Tag Archive: featured ghosts and hauntings

Jan 24

Delphine LaLaurie

Lisa Shaner-Hilty

Lisa Shaner-Hilty

I am a supervisor for several programs assisting individuals with intellectual and mental challenges. I have 2 Masters Degrees from Penn State in Communication Disorders and Psychology. My first experiences with the paranormal were around age 5. I’ve been fascinated ever since. I have been an investigator for over 10 years (first 5 years with a team, then leaving to form my own more than 5 years ago, and have taught classes on investigation, evidence analysis (especially EVP) and debunking at local community college. I also have abilities, some of which began at age 5 and others around puberty. Therefore my fields of major interest are investigation and psychic and empath. While I am open to considering all aspect and viewpoints, I am dedicated to seeking natural explanations first before anything is considered evidence.
Lisa Shaner-Hilty

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d1Delphine LaLaurie is among the most notorious figures of her time in New Orleans. Born Marie Delphine McCarty in 1787 to Creole parents, Delphine created a reputation for herself from a young age when she had a scandalous affair with and was made to marry the Governor’s second in command, who was nearly three times her age – the first of three marriages. Her entire name reads like a soap opera character: Madame Marie Delphine McCarty Lopez LeBlanc LaLaurie, a larger than life name for a larger than life woman. Details of Delphine’s life do vary from source to source.

Delphine, or simply ”Madame”, despite her colorful youth, became a popular socialite, known for her lavish parties, sometimes three in a week. In the early 1830’s, Delphine and her third husband, Dr. Leonard Louis LaLaurie (“Louis”) moved into the grand house on Royal St. Louis was significantly younger than Delphine, and this afforded her authority over her husband nearly unheard of at the time. She required him to sign a prenuptial agreement, as she had wealth from the deaths of her previous husbands, and Louis was a young doctor trying to establish a name for himself.

Growing up in a family with numerous slaves, Delphine and Louis were said to have had up to 54 slaves. While Delphine was known speak gently to her house slaves in front of her society friends, neighbors slowly grew to hear, and later to see, that when the parties were over, her demeanor changed dramatically. “It was said that Mme. LaLaurie’s manners were sweet, gracious and captivating. She was born in the society’s upper circles. She was accustomed to and acculturated to the good life. Yet there were persistent rumors that she treated her servants with disdain and in a cruel, abusive manner. And still, those who visited her said that she was kind to her servants. If one of them tremble in her presence or startled at the sound of her voice, she would soothe and endeavor to reassure her. Nevertheless, the stories of barbarity increased. The smothered indignation on Royal Street grew.” [2] Delphine has been widely considered to be mentally unstable, flying into fits of rage over insignificant issues, and an extreme sadist.

d2Details of what prompted the following vary, but in 1833 a young slave girl is said to have run through the house, with Delphine giving chase, to the third floor and flung herself off the balcony rather than face her mistress’ wrath. She died from the fall, and the LaLauries put her body in the well. This was when neighbors started to take notice. While slaves were not treated well by any means, brutality in proper society was not tolerated. The police were notified, and the girl’s body found in the well. Delphine was fined $300 and forced to sell the majority of her slaves. Being quite clever, she sold them to relatives, who secreted them back to the LaLaurie Mansion. Rumors spread about an attic chamber of torture, where slaves with whom Madame was displeased were taken, but from which they did not return. Neighbors noted screams coming from the lavish home. Not long after these events, the full truth of her sadistic treatment of her slaves would become public knowledge.

On April 10, 1834 an elderly slave who served as the LaLauries’ cook and was chained to the stove reportedly set fire to the house in an attempt to commit suicide. She had angered Madame and was willing to die rather than be sent to the attic. [1] While Madame and Doctor LaLaurie were legally separated at the time of the fire, Louis was in the mansion on the night of the fire. As the neighbors rushed to help, witness reported that Delphine rushed around the house rescuing her valuables. Neighbors asked about the slaves; where were they? Delphine reportedly told neighbors, “never mind the servants. Fetch my valuables.” [2]

d3Those who came to help, including a judge, began demanding the keys to the attic, “known to the neighbors …as a prison and that it was then tenanted by several unfortunate slaves.” [3] Louis Lalaurie… replied that “there are those who would be better employed if they would attend to their own affairs instead of officiously intermeddling with the concerns of other people.”[ibid] Breaking down the door, rescuers found an apparent torture chamber with starved, brutalized slaves. Some were old women wearing spiked iron collars; others chained into crippling positions. Judge Canonge, among the rescuers, gave a deposition which was published in the newspaper describing what he witnessed: “slaves, more or less horribly mutilated…. [Some were] suspended by the neck with their limbs stretched and torn from one extremity to the other.’ They found ‘an elderly negress,’…with a ‘deep wound on her head.’ A man had a “large hole in his head, his body [covered] from head to foot with scars and filled with worms.” [3,4] Reportedly Dr. LaLaurie, who specialized in osteopathy, performed medical experiments on slaves, most notably revealed by a slave whose bones were broken and reset in positions that resulting in resemblance to a crab.

d4The LaLauries’ former society friends ran them out of town, reportedly calling for their heads. They reportedly escaped to Paris, where Delphine died in 1842. [1] Rumors have Madame secreting back to New Orleans, still oblivious to her crimes, though there is no proof of this. Of the up to 54 slaves owned by Delphine, only 11 were rescued, leading to much speculation regarding the fate of the others, during a time when slave records were meticulously maintained. The LaLauries never faced charges. Delphine’s body is buried in St. Louis Cemetery #1 in a tomb belonging to her son.

Human remains are reported to have been found in the floorboards and grounds dating to the 19th century. The LaLaurie Mansion is considered by many to be New Orleans’ most haunted house, and even rumored to be cursed. [3,4] Subsequent owners have suffered death, insanity, and financial issues. A well-known actor purchased the mansion in 2007 for over three million dollars, and was forced to take a sizable loss when it went into foreclosure only 2 years later. While this actor claims to have experienced no paranormal activity, others report guests fainting, shadows, mists, thumping, moaning, screams of the tortured slaves, sightings of Madame herself. Many state that the little slave girl repeatedly throws herself from the third floor balcony, in apparent residual fashion. It is easy to believe that, given the abject horror of the LaLaurie’s barbaric behavior, that some of these souls may not be at rest. Granted using our due diligence, these claims can be debunked; however, this remains a case where the truth is truly stranger than fiction.

SOURCES:
History.com [1]
Nola.com [2]
KnowLouisianna.org [3]
“Mistress of the Haunted House” by Carolyn Morrow [4]
“Mad Madame Lalaurie: New Orleans’ Most Famous Murderess” by Victoria Cosner and Lorelei Shannon [5]
“The Haunted House in Royal Street” by George W. Cable [6]

Oct 05

Highgate Cemetery London, England

Deb Daniel Jansons

Deb Daniel Jansons

Assistant Director / Haunted Locations at National Paranormal Society
I am Deb Daniel Jansons. I was born and raised in the Huntsville, Al area, but lived in Ontario, Canada for 12 years, before coming back home to be with my grandson. I have had an interest in the paranormal since I was a small child and had my first experience. I love going out to places that are known to have strange things happen, but I always look for an explanation of anything that might happen when I am there and take nothing at face value. I also love to read anything that I can get my hands on concerning the paranormal and other people’s experiences. One of my hopes is that the day will come, during my lifetime that we will have absolute proof that there are spirits, aliens, etc out there. Until then, all we can do is investigate and hope.
Deb Daniel Jansons

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During the early 1800’s London had a population of approximately one million people. As the population increased over the years, the number of deaths also increased. With all of the deaths, sometimes numbering in the area of 30 a week, there wasn’t enough room to bury them all and there was no official cemetery in London. There were people being buried between shops, taverns and houses – just wherever a place could be found to put a body. Some bodies were actually buried with other remains, only a few feet deep. Lime would be thrown over the bodies for faster decomposition where the grave could be used again within a few short months. There were even cases where the undertakers would dress as a member of the clergy and bury people illegally. The horrific stench from these disease ridden graves was unbearable and especially so during the hotter time of year.

In 1836, The London Cemetery Company was created by Stephen Geary, through an act of Parliament. Geary was an architect and the founder of the company. He appointed James Bunstone Bunning as the surveyor and David Ramsey as the landscape architect. Seventeen acres of land that had the Ashurst Estate was bought for 3,500 pounds and so began the Highgate Cemetery.

The cemetery was dedicated and opened in 1839. On May 26, 1839, Elizabeth Jackson, age 36, was the first person to be buried at the newly dedicated cemetery. In addition to Highgate being the burial place of Karl Marx, it is also the final resting place of the famous bare-knuckled prize fighter, Tom Sayers. To this day, Sayers has had the largest funeral in the history of the cemetery. It was reported as having over 10,000 mourners in attendance including his faithful dog, Lion.

Highgate Cemetery has been famous for quite some time for its’ ghosts and what some call “sinister activities”.

The most famous apparition is known as the Highgate Vampire. It isn’t an actual vampire in the sense that we know the word. It’s a phantom that has been described as being 7 feet tall – a male with piercing hypnotic eyes, wearing a high top hat and a long black coat.

The spirit of an insane woman that allegedly murdered her children has been reportedly seen rushing through the gravestones looking for her children as her gray hair flows behind her. There is a dark figure that simply stands perfectly still and stares off into space. If it’s approached it suddenly vanishes and then reappears a short distance away. There have also been reports of the spirit of a nun moving quietly over the graves.

Tours of Highgate Cemetery are given on daily basis, with the exception of Christmas Day and Boxing Day. If you’re ever in London, Highgate is a must see. Just beware of the ghosts and phantoms if you decide to take a night time stroll by this famous cemetery.

www.highgatecemetery.org

Sep 02

Houska Castle, Czech Republic

Deb Daniel Jansons

Deb Daniel Jansons

Assistant Director / Haunted Locations at National Paranormal Society
I am Deb Daniel Jansons. I was born and raised in the Huntsville, Al area, but lived in Ontario, Canada for 12 years, before coming back home to be with my grandson. I have had an interest in the paranormal since I was a small child and had my first experience. I love going out to places that are known to have strange things happen, but I always look for an explanation of anything that might happen when I am there and take nothing at face value. I also love to read anything that I can get my hands on concerning the paranormal and other people’s experiences. One of my hopes is that the day will come, during my lifetime that we will have absolute proof that there are spirits, aliens, etc out there. Until then, all we can do is investigate and hope.
Deb Daniel Jansons

Latest posts by Deb Daniel Jansons (see all)

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Approximately 47km from Prague, sits a large and menacing structure called the Houska Castle. It is believed that this was ordered to be built by Otto Karll of Bohemia, who reigned as ruler from 1253-1278. Sometime later this building began passing from one aristocratic member to another, until it stopped being used as a noble residence in the 18th Century and began to fall into a state of disrepair. It was renovated in 1823 and in 1897 was purchased by Princess Hohenloke and then again in 1924, by Skoda President, Josef Simonek during the first Republic.

Houska Castle was built over a hole so deep in the ground that no one has ever reported seeing the bottom of it. This is cae3lled “The Gateway to Hell”. There are many legends surrounding this hole, including that there were creatures that were half human and half animal that would crawl out of it. There were also stories of creatures with dark wings that would fly above this area. One of the many legends is that a man who had been condemned to die was told that if he would descend down into the hole by rope and tell them what he saw there, that he would be set free. The man agreed and shortly after he was lowered, there were sounds of gut wrenching screams being heard. When he was pulled back to the top, it appeared as if he had aged 30 years in a mere few minutes. His hair was gray, his face was wrinkled and shortly after that he went stark raving mad. He died not long after this happened.

There is no water and no kitchen. It is not located near any trade routes and there were no occupants to live there when it was first built. It was not built as a sanctuary or residence Oronto, who was a Swedish rogue commander as his headquarters. He was reported to be an Alchemist and Black Magician that performed dark experiments in the castle. His life ended when he was shot through a window by some local villagers while he was supposedly working to discover the elixir of eternal life.

From 1939-1945 the German SS took over the castle, though no one was ever sure why and they made sure to destroy all of their records before leaving the

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castle when they learned that the Russian and American armies were advancing. It is thought that they may have been using it for various types of paranormal research. Another thought is that it was used by the SS as one of their secret breeding grounds, due to them trying to breed a superior race of people.

Today, the castle serves as a meeting place for experts on the occult, UFOs and all paranormal phenomena. There are also conferences that are held here.

No one will ever know the true purpose of Houska Castle. We can only choose to believe what we want to believe – so do you think this is truly the home to the Gateway to Hell?

Because this is located in the Czech Republic, the only official website is written completely in the Czech language. However, if you will Google it, you will find it listed on haunted tour sites for that area.

Aug 31

The Greenbriar Ghost

Sara Fawley

Sara Fawley

Hello my name is Sara Fawley. I was born and raised in San Diego, Ca Oct 1965. I lived there until I was 19, then moved with my now ex-husband to Texas where I lived for the next 25 years. I have two grown sons who are married and have lives and families of their own. My current husband and I now live in a small town in Arkansas with our dachshund Shabar. I owned and antiques and collectibles shop but closed it down in September 2013 after having a heart attack. I still buy and sell antiques and collectibles and make handmade natural gemstone jewelry which we sell at shows and festivals. I don't recall ever not knowing that there was more than just us out there. My first experience happened when I was a young child and was visited by my godfather "Grandpa Clyde" at the time of his death and for three weeks after that. I have seen one other full bodied apparition in my life and had several other minor experiences that left me scratching my head.I am not an investigator but have a huge thirst for knowledge. I am always looking up this or that legend, myth or story I hear or sometimes I just have random thoughts and look them up to see if anyone else thinks the same way. I am very analytically minded and always like to get to the bottom of things.
Sara Fawley

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gbgAnother story about the ghost of a murdered victim seeking vengeance, but this one has a twist. The only known case where the word of a ghost is credited with helping solve a crime and convict the murderer!

This is the sad tale of Elva Zona Heaster. She was born in 1873 in Greenbriar County, West Virginia. In October 1896 she met a man named Erasmus (Edward) Stribbling Trout Shue. Edward Shue was a drifter who moved to Greenbriar to start a new life and find work as a blacksmith.He went to work in the shop of James Crookshanks, and found plenty of work to keep him busy.

Zona met Edward shortly after he moved to town. The two became attracted to each other and married shortly after meeting despite the fact that Zona’s mother Mary Jane Robinson Heaster detested Edward from the moment she met him. She just felt that there was something “not right” about him.

Zona and Edward lived together, the happily married couple, for several months. Then on January 23, 1897 Zona’s body was found at her house by a young local boy Andy Jones. Edward had sent Andy from the blacksmith shop to see if Zona needed anything from the store. When Andy arrived at the house he found Zona lying at the bottom of the stairs with her head slightly to one side, her feet together, one hand on her abdomen and the other next to her. He immediately knew she was dead and ran home to tell his mother. His mother contacted the local doctor and coroner, Dr George W. Knapp who did not arrive for nearly an hour.

By the time the doctor arrived Edward had carried Zona’s body upstairs and laid her out on the bed. He had already washed and dressed her in her best clothing (even though this was normally done by the town ladies after the coroner had finished with the body) a high-necked, stiff-collared dress and a veil covering her face. While Dr Knapp examined the body and tried to determine cause of death, Edward stayed close to Zona’s body, cradling her head and sobbing. Because of Edward’s obvious grief , Dr Knapp made his examination of the body very brief and listed cause of death as “everlasting faint” then changed it to “complications of pregnancy”.

At the funeral in her parent’s home at Little Sewell Mountain, Edward exhibited bizarre behavior. He continuously paced by the coffin. In addition to the high-necked collar and veil he covered Zona’s head and neck with a scarf that even though it did not match her burial outfit he claimed was her favorite and what she would have wanted to be buried in. He also propped her head up, first with a pillow then a rolled up cloth. Although the behavior was odd, Edward was well liked by the town and rather than seeing his behavior as suspicious it was chalked up by most as the grieving process.

Notice I said most did not find it suspicious. One person, Mary Jane Robinson Heaster , did find it suspicious. She had never liked Edward and even without evidence was convinced he had murdered her daughter. She decided to pray that Zona would somehow be able to communicate from the other side and let her know what had happened. She prayed every evening for days, then weeks until finally one night her prayers were answered.

Mary Jane Heaster claimed that her daughter Zona appeared to her in a dream four nights in a row. She claimed it started as a bright light then formed into the image of her daughter bringing a chill into the room. Mary Jane claimed that Zona tearfully confessed that Edward Shue had been cruelly abusive to her. On the fateful night of her death he flew into a rage because he thought she had not made meat for dinner. He broke her neck, which the spirit of Zona demonstrated by turning her head completely around and walking away while staring at her mother.

Mary Jane Heaster went to the prosecutor, John Preston , and spent the afternoon in his office trying to get him to reopen her daughter’s case. Now no one can say for certain if John Preston believed the ghost story or if a mother’s persistence persuaded him, but either way he started asking questions. Edward Shue’s friends and neighbors related his bizarre behavior after the death and at the funeral and Dr Knapp admitted that his “cause of death” examination had been cursory at best. It was enough for Preston. He order a full autopsy on Zona’s body. The body was exhumed and taken to the town’s schoolhouse where it was thoroughly examined by Dr Knapp and two other doctors. The local newspaper, The Pocahontas Times, reported later that “On the throat were the marks of fingers indicating that she had been choken; that the neck was dislocated between the first and second vertebrae. The ligaments were torn and ruptured. The windpipe had been crushed at a point in front of the neck.” It was clear to one and all that Zona’s death was not of natural causes.

After the autopsy, Edward Shue was indited for murder although the evidence was clearly circumstantial. While Edward was awaiting trial, his past (if not his dearly departed wife) came back to haunt him. It came out that Zona was not Edward’s first wife. She was in fact his third. His first wife . Allie Estelline Cutlip obtained a divorce in 1889 while Edward was in jail for horse theft. In the divorce decree she alledged that he frequently beat her. In 1894. Edward married again. His second wife, Lucy Ann Tritt, died 8 months later under what were described as “mysterious circumstances”. Edward claimed Lucy had fallen and hit her head on a rock. Most did not believe him and it was under these circumstances that he left town and relocated to Greenbriar.

The trial began on June 22, 1897. Numerous people from the community testified, but of course the highlight was the appearance of Mary Jane Robinson Heaster, mother of the deceased. John Preston wanted her to appear sane and believable so he skirted the issue of the ghost story since not only would it make her look irrational but would be considered hearsay and thereby inadmissible.

Unfortunately for Mr Shue his attorney was not as astute and chose to question Mrs Heaster about her ghostly encounter, thereby entering it as evidence for the defense. He badgered Mrs Heaster about her “visions” characterizing them as the “wild ravings of a bereaved mother” He attempted to make her look irrational and ridiculous but Mary Jane never wavered in her testimony. After some time he realized that his tactics were not working and dismissed her. By this time the damage was done and since the testimony was entered by the defense the judge could not charge the jury to ignore it. Erasmus “Edward” Trout Shue was convicted of murder in just over an hour. 10 of the jurors voted for hanging but since it was not unanimous the sentence of life in prison was handed down.

On July 14, 1897 Erasmus “Edward” Trout Shue was moved to the West Virginia State Penetentiary in Moundsville. He lived there until March 13, 1900 when he died from one of the epidemics of measles , mumps or pneumonia that swept through the prison. Unclaimed remains of prisoners were buried at Tom’s Run Cemetery for which records were not kept until the 1930’s. No trace of Edward Shue can be found today.

Mary Jane Heaster repeated her story of her ghostly visitation by her daughter to all who would listen until her death in 1916. This sad story in commemorated on a historical roadside marker along Route 60 that reads:

Interred in nearby cemetery is Zona Heaster Shue. Her death in 1897 was presumed natural until her spirit appeared to her mother to describe how she was killed by her husband Edward. Autopsy on the exhumed body verified the apparition’s account. Edward, found guilty of murder, was sentenced to the state prison. Only known case in which testimony from ghost helped convict a murderer.

Sources:

The Greenbrier Ghost. (n.d.). Retrieved August 31, 2015, from http://www.prairieghosts.com/shue.html

Elva Zona Heaster: The Ghost Who Helped Solve Her Own Murder. (n.d.). Retrieved August 31, 2015, from http://mentalfloss.com/article/30608/elva-zona-heaster-ghost-who-helped-solve-her-own-murder

Aug 24

Black Eyed Kids

Sara Fawley

Sara Fawley

Hello my name is Sara Fawley. I was born and raised in San Diego, Ca Oct 1965. I lived there until I was 19, then moved with my now ex-husband to Texas where I lived for the next 25 years. I have two grown sons who are married and have lives and families of their own. My current husband and I now live in a small town in Arkansas with our dachshund Shabar. I owned and antiques and collectibles shop but closed it down in September 2013 after having a heart attack. I still buy and sell antiques and collectibles and make handmade natural gemstone jewelry which we sell at shows and festivals. I don't recall ever not knowing that there was more than just us out there. My first experience happened when I was a young child and was visited by my godfather "Grandpa Clyde" at the time of his death and for three weeks after that. I have seen one other full bodied apparition in my life and had several other minor experiences that left me scratching my head.I am not an investigator but have a huge thirst for knowledge. I am always looking up this or that legend, myth or story I hear or sometimes I just have random thoughts and look them up to see if anyone else thinks the same way. I am very analytically minded and always like to get to the bottom of things.
Sara Fawley

Latest posts by Sara Fawley (see all)

Black-eyed-children-1Someone is home alone at night, or in their car in a secluded area, minding your own business. Suddenly, they hear a knock at the door or on their car window. They answer and there is one or two pre-teen to teen children standing there. They have pale skin but they are wearing hoodies and their heads are ducked down so their faces cannot be seen. They ask if they can come in and use the phone because they need to call their mother to come get them or if it is someone in a car they ask for a ride because they need to get home.
Pretty innocent right? But then the person gets a creepy, uneasy feeling and stall. Suddenly the children look up and demand that the person “Let me in”. The person sees that their eye sockets are completely black and experience an overwhelming sense of dread. Who are they? What do they want?

This is an example of stories that have been going around the internet since 1998 when a blog was posted by Brian Bethel a journalist and sci fi/fantasy blogger. He claimed to encounter two such children outside a movie theater in Abilene, TX. This is the first known report of such beings.

So what are Black Eyed Kids? Are they demons? Ghosts? Vampires? Aliens? If you troll around the internet and read enough stories you will hear that they are any and all of the above. However, lets take a logical look at how the stories started and what add fuel to the fire.

The accounts started pouring in for a while then tapered off until 2010 when they hit the internet again. Wby the sudden surge in new reports after 12 years? When I first started hearing reports of Black Eyed Kids that demand “Let Me In” it reminded me of a movie I had seen (coincidentally by the same name “Let Me In”). The premise is of a young pale blond girl (who once you see her eyes are completely black) that befriends a lonely young boy. Turns out she is a vampire and cannot come into his house unless he invites her. Hmmmm sound familiar? Out of curiosity I checked to see when the movie was released. Would it surprise you if I told you it was 2010? Once again the stories kind of petered out.

Fast forward to 2013. Again another furious rash of Black Eyed Kids sightings exploded onto the internet paranormal sites and forums. After doing some research I found that a 2 min video clip of “Weekly Strange” was posted to the entertainment section of the MSN website discussing Black Eyed Kids. Again coincidentally this video coincided with the release of yet another movie “Black Eyed Kids”, an urban legend based horror movie that was a spinoff of the YouTube series “Haunted Sunshine Girl”.

So are they real or is this just an Urban Legend fueled by movie releases and internet chatrooms, blogs and posting? My take from all of the research I have done and the fact that there is not one proven ( more than one credible witness, police reports, photographs) documented case of these encounters I have to say Urban Legend. However, as always, you be the judge.

 

Sources:
Black-Eyed Children. (n.d.). Retrieved August 24, 2015, from http://www.snopes.com/horrors/ghosts/blackeyed.asp

Wagner, S. (n.d.). Dark Visitors: Black-Eyed Kids – Horror or Hoax? Retrieved August 24, 2015, from http://paranormal.about.com/od/humanmysteries/fl/Dark-Visitors-Black-Eyed-Kids-Horror-or-Hoax.htm

Jul 29

Top 5 Ghost Hunting Mistakes Science and Pseudoscience in Ghost Hunting

Top 5 Ghost Hunting Mistakes Science and Pseudoscience in Ghost Hunting by Benjamin Radford adapted from SCIENTIFIC PARANORMAL INVESTIGATION

How to Solve Unexplained Mysteries BENJAMIN RADFORD

Scientific Paranormal Investigation_Benjamin RadfordYou’re interested in ghosts. Or maybe you investigate ghosts, and your group claims to be scientific; join the club. Just about every ghost hunting group calls themselves skeptical or scientific. A lot of ghost hunters think they are being scientific if they use EMF detectors and FLIR cameras. Others think they are being scientific if they don’t use psychics, or if they conduct tests or experiments. If you want to know whether an investigator or group is scientific or not, examine their methods and results. Do they use the pseudoscientific methods described here? What is their track record of solved cases? Do their investigations end up with inconclusive and ambiguous results, or solved mysteries? I’ve been a science-based paranormal investigator for over a decade. My investigations have been featured on CNN, in national magazines, and on a half-dozen cable TV shows. I give lectures on science literacy and critical thinking across the country. I edit a national science magazine and write columns for LiveScience.com and blogs for Discovery News. I’ve written four books from mainstream publishers (not self-published) and I have two more books coming out this year. I point this out not to brag but to establish my credibility. Every Joe Shmoe who owns the first four seasons of Ghost Hunters on DVD and has an EMF detector from Radio Shack thinks he’s a ghost hunter and knows how to investigate ghosts. I know both science and investigation, and 99% of what passes for “science” and “investigation” among ghost hunters and paranormal investigators is neither. This document explains why.

If you want to learn about the real science, the real deal, here it is. This article is adapted from Chapter 4 in my book Scientific Paranormal Investigation: How to Solve Unexplained Mysteries. I am making this material available for free to anyone who wants it, and it may be re-distributed in any form as long as proper credit is given. Do I hope you’ll buy, or at least check out, my book? Sure I do. I spent years researching and writing it, and it’s a damn good book with great reviews. But even if you don’t, I want to help educate the ghost investigation community about what real science is, and how to do good research.

Introduction

Ghost investigations can be tricky. Very ordinary events can be—and have been—mistaken for extraordinary ones, and the main challenge for any ghost investigator is separating out the facts from the jumble of myths, mistakes, and misunderstandings. Often it is very easy to accidentally create or misinterpret evidence: Is that flash of a light on a wall from flashlight reflection—or a ghost? Are the faint sounds recorded in an empty house spirit voices—or a neighbor’s radio? It’s not always clear, and investigators must be careful to weed out the red herrings and focus on the real information.

The most famous ghost hunters in the world, Jason Hawes and Grant Wilson (co-founders of the Atlantic Paranormal Society—T.A.P.S.—and stars of the TV show Ghost Hunters), agree with me that science is the best way to approach investigations. They have always claimed to use good scientific methods and investigative procedures, for example writing in their 2007 book Ghost Hunting, “T.A.P.S. uses scientific methods to determine whether or not someone’s home might be haunted,” and “We approach ghost hunting from a scientific point of view.”

Yet Jason Hawes spends a grand total of four paragraphs (out of 273 pages) to a chapter titled “The Scientific Approach.” Hawes doesn’t say much about science or the scientific methods, and in fact it’s the shortest chapter in the book. Hawes writes that “Scientific knowledge comes from systemic and objective observations, which help us make deductions we can trust. It also means we have to test those deductions through controlled experiments that can be repeated by others under those same conditions…. We’re determined to come as close to scientific accuracy as we possibly can. That’s the only way we’re going to produce reliable evidence and advance the study of the paranormal.”

Jason Hawes is correct, as far as he goes. He is right that only scientific investigation will shed light on ghostly phenomenon. But he is wrong in his belief that he and his T.A.P.S. crew are doing good scientific investigation. After watching episodes of Ghost Hunters and other similar programs it quickly becomes clear to anyone with a background in science that the methods used are both illogical and unscientific.

Ghost Hunting

Most ghost investigations follow a similar pattern. First, the group hears about the claim, and goes to the location to interview one or more people who reported some unusual event. Next, armed with reports and speculation about what might be going on, the team spends hours bringing out and setting up high-tech gear (cameras, audio recorders, EMF detectors, infrared cameras, etc.) around the reputedly haunted location. Then the group does a stakeout that lasts anywhere from a few hours to overnight. During this time they walk around taking photos, temperature readings, recording audio and video footage, and so on. The lights are turned off, and sometimes psychic mediums, dowsing rods, pendulums, and the like are used to try and communicate with a spirit. Other times a test (or “control”) object (such as a teddy bear, ball bearings, a toy, a candle, etc.) will be placed in a conspicuous place, and the ghost asked to affect or move the object. Usually as the investigators, either individually or as a team, walk around the darkened place they may hear noises or bump into things. Often any “strange” sounds or smells or lights or other experiences will be considered potential ghost activity. Sometimes the ghost hunters will find an explanation for this (and the original claimed) phenomenon, other times they won’t. Nothing terribly dramatic will happen, and at the end of the specific time, the investigators have some phenomenon (recorded sounds, video, etc.) to be analyzed at a later time; the stakeout ends and everyone gets some sleep.

Later the investigators go over every bit of audio and video they recorded, combing through for anything that anyone thinks might be strange or unusual. Depending on how much recording they did, they may have dozens or hundreds of hours, and usually they are able to find a few faint “unexplained” noises (that might be EVPs, or ghost voices) or lights or odd electromagnetic field readings. If the team uses psychics, they will give their impressions. Usually at this point the team has found at least a few pieces of evidence that they can associate with a human presence. For example, a psychic may say she sensed an older male presence in one room or area; or a faint sound recorded at some location might be thought to resemble a child’s voice; or one of the investigators might suggest that a shadow on a wall looks like a tall, thin woman.

Often the investigators research (or further research) the history of the house, poring over early records and newspaper archives, perhaps interviewing previous owners, looking for anything having to do with the house, its previous occupants, or even the nearby land and houses. Once they have a rough history of the place, they will look for matches: Is there anything in the location’s history that can support or confirm the “evidence” they gathered during their investigation?

Often the answer is yes: If it turns out that an elderly woman lived in the house at any point since it was built (and especially if she died there—or even might have died there), that “confirms” the psychic’s impressions. If a young girl lived there at some point (especially many years ago, and therefore might have since died), then the sound that could be a girl’s voice is probably her. And so on. In this way, the investigators believe they are being successful when they find a correlation. They congratulate themselves on a good ghost investigation, explain their findings to the location’s owner, and then either call the local news media or write up a report for their Web site listing the phenomena they couldn’t explain.

While this is standard operating procedure for many ghost hunting groups and paranormal investigators, there are many errors, logical fallacies, and investigation mistakes in this scenario. Most of these mistakes fall into two categories: They either create false evidence (red herrings, or what in science are known as false-positives, or Type II errors); or the practice is illogical and violates basic scientific methods.

Studies have repeatedly found that the general public has a very poor understanding of science. Most ghost investigators are intelligent, sincere people who have simply never been exposed to the real scientific side of ghost hunting, and instead take their cues and methods from “experts” and what they see on TV shows.

Here are the top five ghost hunting mistakes.

1. Assuming that no specialized knowledge or expertise is needed to effectively investigate ghosts.

One of the most common assumptions among ghost investigators is that in the paranormal field “there are no experts.” If there are no experts, then of course anyone can effectively investigate ghosts. Almost all ghost hunters are amateur, part-time hobbyists from all walks of life, and thousands of them investigate ghosts (apparently with some success). On the hit show Ghost Hunters, two ordinary guys who work as plumbers during the daytime are touted as experts on ghost investigations, though none of the team has any background or training in science, investigation, forensics, or any other 3 field that might help solve mysteries.

Why it’s a mistake: Paranormal investigation requires no certificate; anyone can do it with no training, knowledge, or expertise whatsoever (though of course there are people who will try to sell you a “ghost hunter” certification). Whether they are effective or not—actually solve any mysteries— is another matter entirely. Despite their name, ghost investigators do not investigate ghosts; rather, they investigate various phenomena that might (or might not) be related to a ghost. Effectively investigating claims and solving mysteries, on the other hand, does require some experience and expertise—specifically in logic, critical thinking, psychology, science, forensics, and other areas. And there certainly are experts on that subject, people who have researched and investigated phenomena claimed to be evidence for ghosts. I’m one of them, and I can name a handful of others.

This shouldn’t surprise anyone. Ordinary people hire specialists all the time to explain or handle things that seem too arcane or mysterious for us layfolk. People don’t assume that a person without training can be a good mechanic, doctor, or athlete, yet when it comes to the supposedly “unexplained” mysteries—ghosts, crop circles, psychic powers, and so on—people often assume that no expertise or specialized knowledge is needed to successfully investigate the phenomenon. One thing that distinguishes an expert from an amateur is that experts get better. They improve their tools and refine their techniques as they gain knowledge and apply their experience to future investigations. Many ghost hunters, on the other hand, repeat the same mistakes over and over, investigation after investigation, year after year.

2. Considering subjective feelings and emotions as evidence of ghostly encounters.

Members of ghost hunting groups (and TV shows such as Ghost Hunters) often report descriptions of personal feelings and experiences like, “I felt a heavy, sad presence and wanted to cry,” or “I felt like something didn’t want me there,” and so on. They also describe in detail how, for example, they had goose bumps upon entering a room, or grew panicked at some unseen presence, assuming they were reacting to a hidden ghost.

Why it’s a mistake: Subjective experiences are essentially stories and anecdotes. There’s nothing wrong with personal experiences, but by themselves they are not proof or evidence of anything. Most people who report such experiences are sincere in their belief that a ghost caused their panic, but that belief does not necessarily make it true.

The problem, of course, is that there is not necessarily any connection between any real danger or a ghostly presence and how a person feels. Many people suffer from irrational phobias and panic attacks, terrified of any number of things such as insects, airplane travel, and crossing bridges. Their fears and panic are very real—they truly are sweating and terrified. But it’s all psychological; it has nothing to do with the outside world. In the same way, the power of suggestion can be very strong, and a suggestible ghost hunter can easily convince herself—and others—that something weird is going on. There is of course no objective, scientific way to test these sorts of claims, no test for fear, uneasiness, panic, a sense of dread, a “spooky” feeling, or other subjective sensations. Even if a person is sweating, or his skin feels clammy, there could be any number of things that caused it. Most ghost hunters recognize that their personal feelings can’t be considered good evidence, yet they often report these experiences along with the rest of their evidence. Investigators should make an effort to learn about psychology (especially perceptual processes) and human behavior so that their investigations aren’t sidetracked by these distractions.

3. Using unproven tools and equipment.

There are two basic types of equipment and tools that ghost hunters use: metaphysical ones (psychics, dowsing rods, pendulums, séances, etc.) and scientific ones (electromagnetic field detectors, thermometers, FLIR cameras, etc).

Why it’s a mistake: In their work, real scientists and investigators only use equipment that has been proven to work and is designed for the purpose for which it is used. Police detectives don’t use dowsing rods to identify suspects, and doctors don’t use EMF detectors to test for genetic diseases. It’s not that EMF detectors aren’t useful—they very much are, in certain fields—but they have nothing to do with what the doctor is investigating. The same holds true for these unproven tools.

Some investigators claim that they don’t use the equipment to detect ghosts; instead they use it to rule out natural explanations for a ghostly phenomenon. The problem is that the naturalistic “explanations” they claim to be ruling out often have nothing to do with the original ghost claims. For example, let’s say that a person believes his house is haunted because he hears faint voices at night, an odd glowing form appeared in a photograph of the house, and small items have inexplicably fallen off a kitchen shelf. Ion counters, FLIR cameras, and EMF detectors are of no benefit in addressing these claims. They cannot reveal the true identity of a glow in a photograph, nor will they explain the origin of the voice-like sounds, nor what caused an item to mysteriously fall off a shelf. The ghost investigators are not “ruling out” any natural explanations with this equipment, because the gear has nothing to do with the claims. Establishing the location of an electromagnetic field is of no value; it doesn’t “explain” anything.

Metaphysical Tools

Psychic abilities have never been proven to exist. Some people—especially those who claim to be psychic or “intuitive” —may disagree, but the fact remains that such powers have never been scientifically validated. This is not the place for a lengthy discussion on the reality of psychic powers; the scientific evidence can be found elsewhere. But, for the sake of argument, let us suppose that psychic power exists, and that some psychics have some unknown, unprovable ability to provide unique in- 5 formation about a haunted location or spirit. This would still be of little or no value to a scientific paranormal investigator. To see why, let’s examine some claims. In the book The Other Side: A Teen’s Guide to Ghost Hunting and the Paranormal, authors Marley Gibson, Patrick Burns, and Dave Schrader write, “Certain studies suggest that even the best psychics are accurate only 30 percent of the time… Remember again that a lot of psychics will be wrong more often than they are exact” (p. 49, 51). I don’t know where the authors—who, by the way, all believe in psychic ability—got the 30% figure (instead of random chance), but let’s assume they are correct. If the accuracy rate of psychic power is 30%, this is a horrible success rate!

No scientific test is accurate 100% of the time, but any investigative tool or technique that was wrong 70% of the time would never be used by a responsible scientist or investigator. Can you image going to a doctor for a cancer screening and being given a test that was wrong almost three-quarters of the time? Any result from the test would be worthless; you’d have to take the same test many times to overcome such a low accuracy rate. If you were smart, you’d use a tool that had been proven to be valid and reliable most of the time. And remember: that rate is for the best psychics. If the ghost-hunting psychic isn’t one of the best, the accuracy rate would presumably be lower—twenty percent? Ten percent? Zero percent? Who knows?

Imagine if, during the course of an investigation, a ghost hunter used a psychic who gave 30 different pieces of information about the haunting or spirit. Assuming your psychic is one of the best, she will be wrong about 21 pieces of information, and correct about 9 of them. Making matters worse, there’s no way to know which 9 clues she is correct about. To find out, each piece of information would have to be investigated, and three out of four will be wrong. It’s an incredible waste of time and resources—and that’s assuming psychic powers exist! No scientific investigator in his right mind would use a psychic.

Steve Gonsalves, of the Ghost Hunters TV show, wrote in the February 2007 issue of the TAPS Paramagazine that “the legitimacy and findings of remote viewing [psychics] are obviously questionable, but… if you believe in mind power and ESP, then I say, ‘Why not?’ It certainly won’t hurt…” Gonsalves’s answer reveals a very shaky grasp of both science and investigation. Real investigation requires knowing that the tools and methods you use to gather information are valid, and that the information from those sources is accurate and useful. To an investigator who wastes hours trying to verify wild leads provided by psychics who can’t validate their powers scientifically, it certainly can hurt!

The exact same problem occurs with the use of dowsing rods, pendulums, Ouija boards, and other metaphysical and New Age items: they may be fun to play with, but they have never been scientifically proven to work. There’s no evidence that dowsing rods can detect water, much less ghosts. Any readings that these devices provide are far more likely to be red herrings than valid evidence.

Scientific Tools

Many ghost hunters consider themselves scientific if they use high-tech scientific equipment such as Geiger counters, Electromagnetic Field (EMF) detectors, ion detectors, infrared cameras, sensitive microphones, and so on. Yet the equipment is only as scientific as the person using it; you may own the world’s most sophisticated thermometer, but if you are using it as a barometer, your measurements are worthless. Using a calculator doesn’t make you a mathematician, and using a scientific instrument doesn’t make you a scientist.

The use of these devices rest upon nothing more than assumptions and pure speculation. For any of these pieces of equipment to be useful there must be some proven connection to ghosts. For example, if ghosts were known to emit electromagnetic fields, then a device that measures such fields would be useful. If ghosts were known to cause temperature drops, then a sensitive thermometer would be useful. If ghosts were known to emit ions, then a device that measures such ions would be useful. And so on.

The problem is that there is no body of research that shows that any of the things these devices are measuring have anything to do with ghosts. Many things are known to emit electromagnetic fields and cause temperature drops; ghosts are not among them. There has not been a single study that shows that these things can detect a ghostly presence. Until someone can reliably demonstrate that ghosts have certain measurable characteristics, devices that measure those characteristics are irrelevant.

Every single reading, whether a fluctuation in a field or a drop in temperature or anything else, can always be attributed to something other than a ghost: even if an investigator gets an “anomalous” reading, there’s simply no way to prove it was caused by a ghost. The evidence gathered by these devices will be inconclusive at best—and always has been.

There is no reason for any scientific investigator to possess or use these devices, since there is no evidence that they detect ghosts. Using a tool or device without being certain it works to find what you’re searching for is illogical and unscientific. What’s the point in using a tool that—even if it works as you think it does—can’t prove anything one way or the other?

Many ghost hunters, including the T.A.P.S. team, use EMF detectors to search for electromagnetic fields because they believe that intense magnetic fields can create hallucinations, which in turn might create the illusion of ghosts. The basis for this theory comes primarily from research done by a Canadian cognitive neuroscientist, Michael Persinger. He found that hallucinations (such as outof-body experiences) could be triggered by stimulating specific areas of the brain with fixed wavelength patterns of high-level electromagnetic fields. He suggested that EMFs might therefore be responsible for everything from UFO sightings to religious apparitions to ghosts. It’s an interesting idea. Unfortunately for the ghost hunters, it’s just a theory—not a proven effect. There’s little or no evidence to support the idea that EMFs create ghosts. Ghosts are not being seen in Persinger’s experimental laboratory in Ontario; they are being seen in abandoned hospitals and suburban basements. There is simply no evidence that electromagnetic fields generated by common household appliances can generate EMFs of the frequency and power that induce hallucinations in a clinical setting.

Indeed, Yale neuroscientist Steven Novella says that the theory of EMFs as an origin for ghosts is “speculative at this point.” The electromagnetic stimulation used by Persinger “has to be focused, and at a certain frequency in order to have this effect. It seems unlikely that environmental electromagnetic fields would be fine-tuned just enough to cause this effect… It’s an interesting idea, I just don’t think it’s terribly plausible. At present, while we can certainly duplicate it in a lab, I’m not aware of any evidence to suggest it actually happens out there in the world” (Novella, Steven. 2010. Getting into the Spirit of Things. MonsterTalk podcast, March 2).

In their rush to accept this “scientific” explanation for ghost sightings, investigators extrapolated far beyond the evidence. Until it can be demonstrated that generalized, non-clinical EMFs can create the psychological perception of ghostly phenomena, there is no investigative value in detecting such fields.

Is it theoretically possible that, if ghosts exist, EMF detectors might find a sign of them? Of course it is; anything is possible, but there’s no evidence for that. There are hundreds or thousands of other devices or tools that could possibly do the same thing. Without knowing what specific characteristics define a ghost experience, it’s based on nothing more than guesses. There’s no logical reason to think that an EMF detector would be any more useful in detecting ghosts than a snow globe, a broken inkjet printer, or a fuel gauge from a 1983 Buick. I’ve been investigating ghosts for over a decade now, and I don’t use EMF detectors to find ghosts for the same reason I don’t use a toaster to clean my laundry.

This is not to say that cameras and other recording gear cannot be useful in an investigation. They can, but it all depends on the purpose, on what the investigator is using it for. A camera set to record the entrance to a door might be very useful in making sure that no one enters unnoticed to pull a hoax or prank. If there is a specific claimed phenomenon that is said to occur, the camera may be a useful tool to record the event if it happens. But simply setting a camera up to record for hours on end with no particular purpose is an easy way to collect bogus evidence.

Why do so many ghost hunters use these high-tech devices, even though there’s no evidence they detect ghosts? Part of it is because that’s what they see on TV, so they assume that must be the “scientific” way to look for ghosts. And partly it’s because there are dozens of “ghost equipment” outfitters who make a lot of money selling this gear to amateur ghost hunters. They can make hundreds or thousands of dollars by selling this equipment to people who don’t know any better.

4. Using improper and unscientific investigation methods.

In addition to misusing scientific equipment, ghost hunters often misuse (or ignore) good sci- 8 entific research methods.

Why it’s a mistake: Examining all the errors in ghost investigations would take an entire book; instead I will highlight the three most common mistakes I have encountered, drawing from personal experience and TV shows like Ghost Hunters.

Investigating with the lights off

Nearly every ghost-themed TV show has several scenes in which the investigators walk around a darkened place, usually at night, looking for ghosts. Purposely conducting an investigation in the dark is the equivalent of tying an anvil to a marathon runner’s foot. It intentionally hobbles the investigation and is completely counter-productive. It also violates common sense and logic; think about it for a second: if you are trying to identify an unknown object, is it better to look for it under bright lights, or in a darkened room? There are no other objects or entities in the world that anyone would think are better observed in darkness instead of light; why would ghosts be any different? Humans are visual creatures, and our eyes need light to see—the more light the better. Darkness, by definition, severely limits the amount of information available. Searching at night in the dark puts investigators at an immediate and obvious disadvantage in trying to identify and understand what’s going on around them. If limiting the investigator’s ability to detect things around them helps find ghosts, why not take it a step further and use blindfolds and earplugs on the ghost hunters?

Furthermore, this strategy fails on its own terms. While some report seeing ghosts as glowing figures, many people report them as shadows or dark entities. Searching a dark room for a shadowy figure is an exercise in futility. If it was an established fact that ghosts emit light, there would be some logic to looking for them in a dark room. Unless a ghost or entity has been specifically and repeatedly reported or photographed emitting light, there’s no valid, logical reason that ghost investigators would work figuratively (and literally) in the dark. Some ghost hunters believe that darkness helps to draw out ghostly entities. Yet even a casual review of ghost reports shows that this is not true: most sightings do not occur in darkness. People have reported seeing ghosts in broad daylight, in the morning, and at all times of the day. It is true that people are more likely to report seeing a ghost in the evening, but it does not logically follow that ghosts must be more active after sunset.

There are several non-supernatural reasons why ghost reports would occur more often at night, especially in homes. For one thing, there’s a sampling bias: most people are not at home during the daytime, and most of their waking hours while at home occur in the evening. Obviously, people are more likely to report potential ghostly activity at night in their homes instead of during the day at an office job or assembly plant. Furthermore, people are more likely to be in psychological states that can induce misperceptions (and even mild hallucinations) in the evening. The evening hours—which of course coincide with the darkness hours—are when people get off work to relax; sometimes they drink alcohol or use recreational drugs. Even those who don’t succumb to another mental state that has been clinically proven to greatly increase misperceptions and hallucinations: ordinary fatigue.

This of course does not mean that everyone who is tired after a long day will necessarily see or hear things that aren’t there, but fatigue is a real and significant factor that cannot be dismissed. Ghost hunters who are quick to attribute hallucinations to EMF fields often overlook fatigue as far more obvious (and proven) cause. Ironically, ghosts are almost never reported under the conditions that most ghost hunters search for them: late at night, in near-total darkness with flashlights and EMF detectors. The reason it’s often done for television shows is obvious: it makes more dramatic footage. It’s spookier and more visually interesting to film the ghost investigators with night-vision or infrared cameras.

Sampling errors

Elsewhere I explain why a ghost stakeout or overnight investigation is a bad idea, but there’s another, less obvious basic scientific mistake. Usually ghost hunters will begin their stakeout by taking readings from their high-tech equipment. While a thorough investigation into specific claims or phenomena (such as why a door opens on its own, or the source of a strange noise) can be conducted in a matter of hours, a complete investigation into a haunted location can’t be done in a few hours, or even during an overnight stay. The reason is very simple: a few hours or overnight is not enough time to gather enough information to establish a valid set of baseline (or control) measurements for what “normal” (i.e. presumably ghost-free) conditions are at the location.

To know what is extraordinary for the area, an investigator must first determine what is ordinary. Many ghost hunters understand this general principle, but greatly underestimate the importance of valid sampling. In environmental science, measurement sampling, for example checking for water or air contaminants, is a very complex process: choosing how to sample, where to sample, what to sample, how often, with what tools, etc. is critical to getting useful measurements. This is why for valid experiments, scientists must take dozens—sometimes hundreds—of independent measurements, and analyze the results to derive a statistical average (along with a range of normal variation),which can be used as a basis for research. The timeframes and number of samples that ghost hunters use are far too short to yield any scientifically meaningful baseline numbers.

There’s also the logical problem of comparing readings (EMFs, temperatures, etc.) taken at different times. As any scientist or statistician can tell you, two data points are meaningless. All you can tell from two sets of readings is that either the number has changed or it hasn’t. How can the investigator know that the baseline readings they got “before” the investigation started were not detecting ghosts? Think of it this way: Just because Measurement A was taken a few hours before Measurement B does not mean that Measurement A is the “normal” one (the control) and Measurement B represents an anomaly. Maybe Measurement A was the anomaly; or maybe Measurement B was the anomaly; or maybe both Measurements A and B were within the ordinary range of variation and if the investigators took Measurement C they would find that to be the anomaly. There’s no way to tell which of these interpretations is correct without many more samples (data points).

It gives you no information about which number (or set of numbers), is the “normal” condition and which is the “anomalous” one. It gives no information on correlation or causation (such as noting that a higher temperature reading was taken in a room that had just been occupied by a dozen warm- 10 bodied investigators). It gives no information about anything, yet it is a standard procedure among many ghost hunter groups, who have convinced themselves and others they are doing good science.

A scientific ghost investigator would have to make at least a dozen separate visits to the location (at different times of the day and under different conditions) to carefully measure and record whatever variables (temperature, humidity, light, vibrations, sounds, electromagnetic fields, etc.) they will be measuring during their stakeout. The more times an investigator samples the location, the more complete and more accurate the information will be.

It’s easy to understand why ghost hunters don’t follow scientifically valid sampling methods. First, it requires learning about basic scientific and sampling methodologies. This doesn’t require a college education; there are plenty of books that can help investigators learn about this. But ghost hunters need to “know what it is they don’t know” and be willing to study and use correct procedures.

Second, there is the time commitment and “fun factor.” From my experience, most ghost hunters aren’t really interested in the science; they want the fun. Taking measurements and creating a data set in preparation for an investigation is neither interesting nor spooky; it is boring, tedious, mathematical drudgery. Why bother spending weeks with equipment and silly old numbers and textbooks when you can be walking around an abandoned hospital with flashlights, spooking your friends and jumping at shadows?

Ineffectively using recording devices

As we have seen, devices such as EMF detectors and ion counters have no use in ghost investigations. Ordinary cameras and audio recorders, however, can be helpful if used correctly. Unfortunately, many ghost hunters (including the Ghost Hunters) don’t know how to use the equipment effectively. For example, in Episode 401 (airdate March 5, 2008), the TAPS crew investigated Philadelphia’s Fort Mifflin. While there, lead investigator Grant Wilson acted startled on camera while looking through a crawlspace (in near-darkness, of course). He claimed he saw a human face staring back at him only a few feet away, but predictably the television crew trailing him didn’t capture it on video. This type of incident has happened dozens of times over the six seasons of the Ghost Hunters television show: One or another ghost hunter claims to have seen or heard something just off-camera, and therefore without any proof. Was it real, a hoax, an illusion, or hallucination? Without some recorded evidence, it’s just another personal story. The solution is obvious: head-mounted wireless digital cameras. They were finally used occasionally in a few recent episodes (though not consistently by all the crew), and it’s odd that it took five years for the high-tech TAPS crew to realize they were a good idea.

Another example is the use of voice recorders. Most ghost hunters, including the TAPS team, use handheld voice recorders in an attempt to capture a ghost voice or EVP. Often the ghost hunter holds it while standing in the middle of a room while addressing the supposed spirit, or while walking around. Sometimes a voice-like sound or noise will be heard at the time; if so, the ghost hunter(s) will ask more questions, and if not the sound or EVP will be saved for later analysis.

Unfortunately, this is not an effective protocol. To identify the nature of the sound (human, ghost, cat, furnace, etc.), an investigator must first determine its source, and that in turn involves locating the sound’s origin. This can be very difficult for a ghost hunter to do, especially in a darkened room. If the sound came from an open window, that would suggest one explanation, while if the sound’s origin could be located to the middle of an empty room, that might be more mysterious. Locating the source of a sound is nearly impossible using only one recording device.

The way to scientifically determine the source location of a sound is with more than one microphone—at least three, and the more the better. By placing sensitive microphones throughout the location (and certainly in the four corners of a room and outside), the signal strength of the sound can be measured at each microphone. Sound is created by longitudinal compression waves in the air, moving away from the source of the sound. Furthermore, soundwaves have several measurable characteristics, including frequency, amplitude, speed, and wavelength. Along with a basic knowledge of acoustics and math, these characteristics allow the investigator to triangulate within a few feet where the sound came from. Ideally this should be done in real time so that the ghost hunters can immediately investigate. Methods of triangulation have been used by engineers and sailors for hundreds of years– and are widely used in GPS equipment—but for some reason are not used by the T.A.P.S. crew.

5. Doing a stakeout or “lockdown.”

This is typically an overnight “investigation” into a haunted location, usually with a half dozen or more people wandering around the location, setting up cameras and other gear, etc. This is one of the most common and basic mistakes made by amateur ghost investigators. Nearly every ghostthemed “reality” television show features this, and it’s a staple of most ghost-hunting groups, and a particular favorite of the cast of Ghost Adventures TV show. It’s also a huge red flag, warning of bad science and amateur investigation.

Why it’s a mistake: As an investigative procedure in ghost hunting, the stakeout (or “lockdown,” as it’s sometimes melodramatically called) has a 100% track record of failure; out of the hundreds of stakeouts conducted by ghost hunters, not a single one has yielded any significant proof of ghosts. (As I noted, they might have better success if they left the lights on.) Every stakeout gets more or less the same results: a few ambiguous—yet supposedly mysterious— noises or lights or shadows, but never anything scientifically useful or definitive. Scientists and investigators abandon tools and techniques that don’t work, help solve mysteries or explain phenomenon. Instead of recognizing that their evidence never gets any better using this technique, amateur ghost hunters keep doing it. There’s a certain entertainment value in walking around a supposedly haunted location and scaring each other silly.

A stakeout is essentially a scientific experiment without the science. Scientific experiments are carefully controlled by the investigator or experimenter: he or she controls some variables or conditions, and measures the variation. To use a basic example, if a scientist wants to see if one potting soil helps plants grow better than another potting soil, she can set up a simple experiment to test this. But she would need to establish careful controls over the experiment to make sure that the results she gets are valid. She would take two identical plants (ideally cuttings from the same parent plant to control for genetics) and expose them to identical sunlight, water, temperature, and so on— essentially controlling a dozen or more variables, so that she can be sure that any difference in growth between the two plants is a result of the dependent variable, the different potting soil. This careful control of the environments is absolutely critical to conducting a valid experiment. If one of the plants was given more sunlight or more water, then that could be the reason it grew better, regardless of which soil it was planted in. Without careful control over the variables and conditions, the experiment is invalid and any results from that experiment are worthless.

Some ghost hunters and paranormal investigators believe they are using good science and controls when they conduct tests, for example setting out “trigger” or “control” objects (teddy bears, balls set on tables or chairs, and so on) that ghosts are invited to move to demonstrate their presence. The problem is that there is no scientific control group to compare any result to. For example, let’s say that a child’s ball is placed in the center of a table in a reputedly haunted room and recorded on camera overnight. Even if the ball begins to move or roll for some reason, it is not a valid experiment. The investigator would need to have a control condition—one or more identical balls set up in comparable conditions and locations that are supposedly not haunted. It might be, for example, that slight vibrations from a passing train a few blocks away would be enough to move the ball, and that any ball placed on any comparable table anywhere in the neighborhood would act the same way. If the investigator only tests that one ball on that one specific table in the suspected haunted location, it’s impossible to know if any movement was caused by a circumstance unique to that place. Without a control group, there is nothing to compare any result to. It is classic pseudoscience. This is directly relevant to ghost investigations, because in a stakeout the experimenter by definition cannot control all, or even the most, of the variables and conditions in the experiment he’s conducting.

In a recent issue of Haunted Times magazine, ghost experts Christopher Mancuso and Brian J. Cano suggest searching for ghosts in urban areas such as abandoned hospitals, institutions, and factories. This, of course, is a textbook example of a completely uncontrolled location with an untenable signal-tonoise ratio. It’s difficult to understand why Mancuso and Cano would think that their “urban exploration” would be a productive setting for an investigation. A serious investigator wants fewer variables and distractions, not more. You might as well try to record EVPs during a rock concert. How, exactly, is an investigator  supposed to tell the typically subtle signs of a ghost in a place that is not only decaying (and likely infested with rodents, insects and other animals), but also surrounded by the typical lights, smells, and noises of an urban area? There are likely to be ordinary sounds and drafts all over the place that would duplicate or mask any supposed ghostly phenomena. (Not to mention the potential problems of running into vagrants, drug users, and police enforcing trespassing laws.) It’s hard to think of a worse place for ghost investigation—or one that would be more likely to create false-positive evidence. An investigator’s inability to reliably distinguish between ordinary and extraordinary phenomena renders these “investigations” a joke.

Making the problem worse, ghost hunters often have little or no training in proper investigation procedures and usually create as much “evidence” as they uncover. I have witnessed many cases where ghost hunting groups waste time investigating “evidence” that they themselves created because of sloppy technique and carelessness. It’s very much like a dog chasing its own tail, and it would be funny if it wasn’t such a serious problem. It’s important to remember that nearly anything anyone thinks is odd for any reason can be offered as evidence of a ghost. There is an impossibly broad spectrum of phenomena that have been claimed as signs of ghosts, including lights, shadows, noises, silence, heat, cold, moving objects, smells, uneasiness, and so on. If the presence of a ghost could be narrowed down to a specific phenomenon—for example, if everyone agreed (or it had been proven) that ghosts give off red light, or a certain high-pitched sound—then the problem of not having a controlled location would be greatly reduced. An investigator wouldn’t need to rule out every possible source of sound, smell, light, etc. but instead rule out merely any sources of red light or a high-pitched sound. But because just about any phenomenon can be attributed to ghosts, there is no way to rule out or control for the conditions. A ghost stakeout or lockdown is completely unscientific, and a waste of time.

There is one limited exception when a stakeout is warranted: if there is some claim or specific reason to believe that the ghostly phenomena will appear at a certain time, or under certain conditions. This can help establish or refute a cause-and-effect link. For example, if a mysterious sound or light is claimed to happen at a specific time (say, around midnight), or under certain conditions (such as a full moon or the anniversary of a death), then it is reasonable to be present and ready to investigate should the phenomenon present itself. However, simply sitting around waiting for some unspecified event to happen is non-scientific and almost guaranteed to create false positive evidence.

To be fair, some of these techniques may be useful in doing demonstrations for the public as to how not to scientifically investigate ghosts (for example using EMF detectors to explain to the public why they can cause false readings). Similarly, if ghost investigators are not claiming to be doing good science or real investigation but merely having spooky fun, there’s no harm in these techniques. These are mistakes only if the goal is to understand the phenomena using science and logic.

There are many more common ghost hunting mistakes; I list another half-dozen in Chapter 4 of Scientific Paranormal Investigation. Ultimately, of course, whether ghost hunters and paranormal investigators choose to use the scientific methods and strategies I describe is up to them. I personally don’t care either way; it’s not my time, effort, and money that’s being wasted. I get results and solve cases using these techniques. If ghost hunters don’t care about doing scientifically valid investigations and are happy with the quality of evidence they are getting, they are welcome to ignore this information. But they can’t complain that no one has offered a science-based paradigm for investigation. I believe that if ghosts exist, they are important and deserve to be taken seriously. If investigation is to be done, it should be done right: with science. Healthy peer review is an important part of good science. To that end, I invite informed, constructive criticism of the material presented here. If ghost hunters who use these techniques can explain the valid science behind their methods, I will be happy to address those comments and revise this material. I can be contacted via my Web site www.ScientificParanormalInvestigation.net.

About the author

Benjamin Radford has been a science-based paranormal investigator for the non-profit educational organization The Center for Inquiry since 1997. He is author of five books and hundreds of articles on critical thinking, popular science, and paranormal investigation. He is also a columnist for LiveScience.com, Discovery News.com, and has been seen on CNN, CBC, ABC News, The History Channel, The Discovery Channel, National Geographic Television, MTV, and The New York Times, among others. He has investigated and solved dozens of ghost cases, including New Mexico’s Haunted KiMo Theater, the Santa Fe Courthouse Ghost, Jamaica’s White Witch of Rose Hall, the Kansas City Gym Ghost, California’s Wolfe Manor, and many others.

This material is copyright 2010 by Benjamin Radford, adapted from Chapter 4 of his book Scientific Paranormal Investigation. It may be redistributed free of charge for non-commercial purposes under a Creative Commons License as long as proper authorship attribution is given. The author thanks Reed Esau, Tonya Keyser, Matthew Baxter, Blake Smith, and others for their input and suggestions. www.Scientific Paranormal Investigation.net 15 Scientific Paranormal Investigation is available at bookstores everywhere, online at www.RadfordBooks.com, or direct from the publisher at www.RhombusBooks.com. At RadfordBooks.com and Rhombusbooks.com, signed copies are available at a discount; enter coupon code SPI10 to receive 20% off your online order. Or you may return this coupon with payment of $16.50 per book (includes shipping, cont. U.S. only) to: Rhombus Publishing Company P.O. Box 806, Corrales NM 87048 Also by the author Tracking the Vampire: Chupacabra in Fact, Fiction, and Folklore 2011 (in press) Science Under Siege: Defending Science, Exposing Pseudoscience 2009 (contributor, ed. Ken Frazier) Paranormal Claims: A Critical Analysis 2007 (contributor, ed. Bryan Farha) Lake Monster Mysteries: Investigating the World’s Most Elusive Creatures 2006 (with Joe Nickell) Media Mythmakers: How Journalists, Activists, and Advertisers Mislead Us 2003 Hoaxes, Myths, and Manias: Why We Need Critical Thinking 2003 (with Robert Bartholomew) 16

Jul 02

Russell Hotel, The Rocks

Deb Daniel Jansons

Deb Daniel Jansons

Assistant Director / Haunted Locations at National Paranormal Society
I am Deb Daniel Jansons. I was born and raised in the Huntsville, Al area, but lived in Ontario, Canada for 12 years, before coming back home to be with my grandson. I have had an interest in the paranormal since I was a small child and had my first experience. I love going out to places that are known to have strange things happen, but I always look for an explanation of anything that might happen when I am there and take nothing at face value. I also love to read anything that I can get my hands on concerning the paranormal and other people’s experiences. One of my hopes is that the day will come, during my lifetime that we will have absolute proof that there are spirits, aliens, etc out there. Until then, all we can do is investigate and hope.
Deb Daniel Jansons

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DSC00983

The Rocks, Sydney Australia is actually the birthplace of that country. It is where prisoners were sent to live from Great Britain. Of course, over the years, it has become a bustling city full of history and charm.

What was called a “Moveable Hospital for His Majesty’s Distant Possessions” was originally built here in July of 1790. Then the Rum Hospital was established in 1816, so the portable hospital was removed from the site.

Between 1820-1835, Samuel Terry built shops and houses here. What had originally started as a house and shop in 1845, became a public house called the Patent Ship Inn, and was run by Robert Whitemore, in 1853. From 1858-1870, John Gallagher was the owner. The Patent Ship Inn was torn down and a new hotel called the Port Jackson Hotel was built.

Tooth and Company became the new owners in 1900 and W. Russell became the licensee. They also bought the property at the rear of the hotel and enlarged it from 1910-1920. In 1981, it was restored and became a small hotel that included personal touches to make it more like the original hotel.

Maybe because the Russell Hotel started as a sailor’s hostel, there have been reports of people seeing a a ghostly looking sailor standing around Room #8. He doesn’t seem to be in a hurry and will even stand still and look directly at people.

Employees of the hotel have reported hearing what sounds like walking and floors creaking. But, when they go to investigate, they can never find a reason for the strange sounds.

While there are many things to see and do in the beautiful city of Sidney, if you are able to go to this spectacular part of the world, make sure to stay at the Russell Hotel. You might just see the old sailor of yesteryear.

Source:  http://www.therussell.com.au/hotel-history/

 

May 28

The Bell Witch

Deb Daniel Jansons

Deb Daniel Jansons

Assistant Director / Haunted Locations at National Paranormal Society
I am Deb Daniel Jansons. I was born and raised in the Huntsville, Al area, but lived in Ontario, Canada for 12 years, before coming back home to be with my grandson. I have had an interest in the paranormal since I was a small child and had my first experience. I love going out to places that are known to have strange things happen, but I always look for an explanation of anything that might happen when I am there and take nothing at face value. I also love to read anything that I can get my hands on concerning the paranormal and other people’s experiences. One of my hopes is that the day will come, during my lifetime that we will have absolute proof that there are spirits, aliens, etc out there. Until then, all we can do is investigate and hope.
Deb Daniel Jansons

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bw1The town of Adams, Tennessee, located in Robertson County, is home to one of the South’s most well known hauntings. This spirit allegedly tormented a family in every way possible during the 19th Century. As quickly as the spirit came into the family’s lives, it left. The spirit is known as the Bell Witch, named after the family that it haunted.

John Bell, Sr. had carved out a nice farm in Adams, TN during the early 1800’s. During, 1817, the Bell family came under attack by unseen forces. It was believed that the source of the haunting was a witch and the witch was thought to be a woman whose name was Kate Batts. Kate was reportedly a mean neighbor that felt she had been cheated by John Bell in a land purchase. She swore that she would haunt both John Bell and all of his descendants.

There are also those that believe the haunting was nothing more than poltergeist activity because many of the reported happenings seemed to happen around the Bell daughter, Betsy. There are also accounts that relate that the haunting was even a male slave that Bell had killed. Although no one can bee 100% sure of just who the witch was, reports of the Bell family, neighbors and friends did lend credibility to the family experiencing something of a paranormal nature. However, no haunting was reported until after the death of Kate Batts. No one ever reported actually seeing the Bell Witch, but those that visited the family often heard her very well. One visitor explained her voice in this way….”spoke in a nerve-racking pitch when displeased, while at other times it sang and spoke in low musical tones.” For some reason, both John Bell, Sr. and his daughter, Betsy, seemed to be the main targets of the spirit. It basically seemed to pay no attention to other family members, although it seemed quite friendly with Mrs. Bell.

If it was the spirit of Kate Batts, she definitely let John and Betsy know of her particular displeasure with them. They reported having furniture and other items thrown at them. She poked them with needles, pulled their noses, jerked food from their mouths and yanked their hair. She even yelled at night to keep them from sleeping.

bw2The story of the Bell Witch became so widely spread, that it is said to have reached the ears of Andrew Jackson in Nashville, TN. The tough general became determined to confront the Bell Witch. It’s been said that he had 2 courses of action in mind – to either rid the family of the spirit, or to prove that it was nothing more than a hoax.

General Jackson’s party came by horseback and wagon from Nashville. They were loaded with a tent and provisions, and they were determined to have fun investigating the witch. As the men rode along discussing how they were going to confront the witch, they came close to the Bell home. As they were talking over their plans, the wagon came to a smooth area of the road, suddenly coming to a halt and becoming stuck. No matter how loudly the driver shouted to the team, or how many times he cracked his whip…no matter how hard the horses pulled, the wagon could not be moved. Gen. Jackson commanded that all of the men dismount and push the firmly stuck wagon. Even with the extra manpower, the wagon still could not be moved. As a last resort, each wheel was removed and examined one by one. They could find nothing wrong with the wheels and they each moved smoothly on the axles.

It was reported that after all of this, that the rough and tough Gen. Jackson could no more than throw his hands in the air and shout, “By the eternal boys, it is the witch.” It was after this that a sharp voice was heard to say from the bushes, “All right General, let the wagon move on, I will see you again tonight.” All of the men stood looking in every direction trying to find the source for the voice that they had heard. Not a one of them could find an explanation for what they had just heard and seen. The horses suddenly started to move and the wagon made the small distance to the house without another problem.

There are various versions of this story and in at least one of them, Gen. Jackson did have another meeting with the witch that night. Betsy Bell reportedly screamed all night from her physical encounter with the witch and Gen. Jackson’s covers were jerked off of him as fast as he could pull them back up. His men reported being slapped, pinched and having their hair pulled all night by the witch. At the first sign of morning, the General’s men packed up and quickly retreated from the Bell property. The General was later quoted as saying, “I’d rather fight the British in New Orleans than to have to fight the Bell Witch.”

bw3John Bell, Sr. and his family continued to be tormented for years. Then in October of 1820, John was struck down by an unknown illness while walking to his pigsty. Some thought he’d had a stroke because of his difficulty in speaking and swallowing. His health continued to decline over the next few weeks. The following part of the story comes from the Tennessee University in Nashville:

“On the morning of Dec 19, he failed to awake at his regular time. When the family realized that he was sleeping unnaturally, they attempted to arouse him. They discovered that Bell was in a stupor and couldn’t be completely awakened. John Jr. went to the medicine cupboard to get his father’s medicine and noticed it was gone with a strange vial in its place. No one claimed to have replaced the medicine with the vial. A doctor was summoned to the house. The witch began taunting that she had placed the vial in the medicine cabinet and given Bell a dose of it while he slept. Contents of the vial were tested on a cat and discovered to be highly poisonous. John Bell died on Dec. 20th. “Kate” was quiet until after the funeral. After the grave was filled, the witch began singing loudly and joyously. This continued until all friends and family left the grave site.”

The Bell Witch left the Bell family in 1821, promising that she would return in 7 years. She reportedly appeared at the home of John Bell, Jr. making good on her promise. It is said that she left predictions of world events that included WWI and WWII. She said that she would once again appear in 1935 – 107 years later. However, no one ever came forward as a witness to this event.

There are some that claim the Bell Witch still haunts the area. There is a cave on the land once owned by the Bell family, now known as the Bell Witch Cave. many of the locals still claim to see things that they can’t explain around the cave and on the property.

Although we may never know for sure just what John Bell and his family did experience all those years ago, would you take a chance on making the witch angry?

Apr 10

Banff Springs Hotel, Alberta Canada

Screenshot_12Nestled in the Canadian Rocky Mountains is a beautiful castle like hotel known as the Banff Springs Hotel. It was originally built as a Canadian railroad hotel by William Cornelius Van and opened its’ doors on June 1, 1888. It is within walking distance of the resort community of Banff. It is considered to be one of the most haunted locations in Canada.

In 1911, a new structure was built to replace the original building, in stages. The wooden building was replaced with a concrete and stone facing to create the look of a fairytale castle. Both the original and new structures were designed by American architects.

There was a young woman that lost her life on the staircase of the hotel. She had started to walk down the stairs in her beautiful wedding gown, when candles that were used for lighting, allegedly caught her gown on fire. She panicked and fell to the bottom of the staircase, breaking her neck in the fall. People have reported seeing her still in her wedding dress and dancing in the ballroom.

When the hotel was originally built, the contractors made a mistake and added a room that had no windows or doors. When the mistake was realized, the area was covered up where it wouldn’t be noticed. After a fire, the room was discovered. There have been reports of strange sounds and apparitions here, even though no one can explain why.

Room 873 is where a husband, wife and their daughter were murdered. After the police finished their investigation, the hotel staff was sent in to clean the room. However, there was one small issue with a mirror. It seems that the child’s fingerprints that were located on it could not be removed. The management decided to close the room off, but to this day, people report seeing the slain family moving around in the hall close to the room where they all died.

There is also the spirit of a former bellman, Sam Macauley. Sam is usually seen on the upper levels of the hotel. Several people have identified him as a real person – spoken to him – and then had him to quickly disappear right in front of them.

If you are in Alberta and looking for a haunted hotel to visit, Banff Springs Hotel is a must.

www.fairmont.com/banff-springs/

 

Apr 10

Haunted Beach Of India : Dumas Beach

14by Ayran MEtzender

Dumas Beach in Gujarat already has an ominous ring to its name. Therefore, it is not surprising that it is considered as one of the most haunted places in India. This beach is located very near Surat, one of the developed cities of the state. This particular beach draws countless visitors almost every day as legend has it that the winds which blow fiercely come along with whispers.

In fact, it is believed that there have been many people who have lost their lives here. Also, if you are a brave heart, you can test the waters yourself by taking a midnight stroll along the beach, if you have company. If the testimonies are anything to go by, then you will also be greeted by warnings asking you to not cross a certain line while on the beach.

It is also believed that this beach was for long used as a Hindu burial ground, therefore, being the resting place of tortured souls. There have also been reports of people disappearing mysteriously and having never been found again. However, if you still want to visit the beach to do some exploring of your own, then go ahead and do so if you have the stomach for it! You will find Dumas Beach one of the most mysterious places in India.

Apr 10

The Castle: Haunted By A Lady Ghost

12by Ayran MEtzender

What is it with castles and multicoloured female spooks? Ghost hunters calling at 12th century Berry Pomeroy Castle are spoiled for choice with both a Blue Lady and a White Lady plying their mournful trade and causing many people to feel inexplicably uneasy when visiting.

The White Lady casino online is said to be Margaret Pomeroy, a renowned beauty who had the misfortune to fall in love with the same man as Lady Eleanor, her less beautiful but insanely jealous sister. Eleanor imprisoned Margaret in the castle dungeons and it is from here that her spirit is said to rise to the castle ramparts. Her partner-in-colourful-haunting, the Blue Lady, is also reportedly seen beckoning to visitors among the ruins. The consensus is that it”s not a good idea to follow her.

Apr 10

Can’ Dario : Most Haunted Building in ITALY

11by Ayran MEtzender

This building on the Canal Grande is of rare beauty, but it brings with it a curse: apparently everyone who has owned the building has died a violent death. Built in the XV century, it was designed and owned by Giovanni Dario, who lost his son to a murder and his daughter to suicide while under the cursed roof. Count delle Lanza was murdered, the manager of ‘The Who’, Kit Lambert committed suicide by throwing himself down the stairs, Raul Gardini committed suicide – also under suspicious circumstances. Death has claimed the lives of thirteen successive owners and no one wants to buy the house anymore…

Apr 09

Negative spirits versus demonic

Ashley Ann Lewis

Ashley Ann Lewis

Director / Dept Chair Occult at National Paranormal Society
Ashley became interested in the paranormal at a young age, but at that young age she did not have much understanding in it at all. I wasn’t until 2010 that she really became interested. Thanks to a Resolve carpet cleaning can that flew across the room, Ashley among three others who witness what happen that night, they pulled a team together. Ashley is a heavy researcher and though she may find the answer to what she is searching for she’ll search even harder. She’s overly determined and takes her part in the paranormal field very seriously. Between working hard and spending every dime she had she became a found of a paranormal team that is based out of Historic Louisiana and was honored to take on a position as a Representative with The National Paranormal Society. There is still so much she does not understand which drives her to work even harder and to further educate herself on everything.
Ashley Ann Lewis

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56546In my opinion, many spirits can be negative and not truly demonic. A demon is any entity which is not of the light. Usually this means the entity is influencing those around him in a negative way. A demon does NOT have to look like a big scary monster with horns and a tail! Many demons may be small, some may be large, most cannot be seen at all. Yet their affect and influence are very real.

In the movies we see scenes of demons attacking humans, throwing them through the air with the powers of their mind, causing crosses to turn upside-down, causing possessed people to experience various “phenomena”. Some examples of movies which show these very extreme effects include The Rite. These phenomena are real and have been documented in many cases of exorcism. The Clergy has a great deal of experience dealing with such cases.

However, in actual fact most demonic attack is far more subtle! Think of it this way: why would a demon spend all their energy to throw you off a building when instead they can infiltrate your mind, causing you to feel depressed and causing you to think you are worthless so that YOU throw yourself off the building all by yourself! This is truly the way of demons.

Many symptoms of demonic attack “look” a lot like psychological illness, and in fact it can be challenging to differentiate between psychological illness and outside influence, i.e. attack. This is something the Clergy is specialist in and can assist with.

Let’s go over some things about Demonic Activity. It comes in three stages with the first being Infestation then Oppression and finally Possession. Each stage is used to weaken the faith and will of a person.
What is Infestation and it’s purpose? Demon’s in the Infestation stage look for a member who has the weakest Faith and Will. Demon’s use this stage to see who they can manipulate the easiest. Once attached this will lead to Oppression where more wearing and tearing down the person is done. If the person gives in Possession can then take place.

So, what are the signs of each of these?

Infestation
Infestation is the easiest stage to clear up. House cleansing and blessings are done but if not caught in time it can be a little more difficult. Let’s take a look at some signs:

  • Groups of 3 (Bangs and knocks
  • Smells of sulfur, feces, urine
  • Physical actions such as being pushed, dragged around, bitten
  • Things being thrown around
  • Feelings of depression
  • Religious items being broken or disappearing
  • Seeing apparitions that look deformed or scary
  • Disembodied voices such as growls
  • Mood swings but no medical attention is need because there is no explanation

These are just some. Please note that because someone is depressed doesn’t mean there is demonic activity and that when looking at a possible demonic situation there shouldn’t just be one of these signs.

Let’s look at Oppression.

Oppression is the second stage is a little more tough then Infestation. A person has come to this stage because the demon has latched on and is doing what it can to wear a person’s will and faith down EVEN MORE. But wait, you might not know that. In this stage you might not even know that something is wrong with you. Someone in the Oppression stage can still have control over their mind and body. They can still understand things and can seem as if there may not be anything wrong but with just some strange symptoms. Let’s take a look at what Oppression can do:

  • Person usually is outgoing or likes to get out do things but them isolates themselves for no reason.
  • Starts doing things they wouldn’t have never done such as drugs or drinking or other bad habits
  • Mood swings, depression, anger issues
  • Hearing voices
  • Person see’s things that no one else can see
  • Markings on body such as bites, bruising, scratches
  • Zoning out or in a trance like state
  • Person has the ability to know things they wouldn’t know

Here we need to take note that before assuming someone is in a demonic situation, it needs to be discussed if a person is on medication, has physiological issues etc. Do NOT attempt to cure someone who may have demonic activity if you are not trained. Contacting the Clergy is the best way to go as Oppression cared for used by

Deliverance.
The final stage…Possession. What now? This is a dangerous stage and should not be toyed with. You or the person who is possessed can be hurt or worse. The goal of a demon is for the person to end their life in one way or the other. Let’s have a look:

  • Speaking languages they wouldn’t know or have never studied
  • Superhuman strength
  • Knowing where secret things are that someone may have hidden
  • Ability to move things about without touching them
  • Nasty reactions to Holy items such as Holy water
  • Unable to pray or seems to be tortured from hearing pray
  • Hurting one’s self
  • Trying to commit suicide
  • Issues with sleeping
  • Eating nasty things
  • Using the bathroom on themselves
  • Saying ugly things that they wouldn’t normally say

If one has been interviewed and it is believed that Possession is the problem the Clergy should be contacted to see if an Exorcism is needed.

What if a person is not possessed but had a mental issue? My answer is that I personally do not jump up and say a person is possessed or even has a demonic problem. If you feel someone is having some issues from the lists above, seek professional medical help, see what explanations there may be. Physiological evaluations are needed to rule out things as well. If all is unexplained and medication is not helping then we can look into it to see if there is Demonic Activity.

If you or someone you know if having any of the above problems or feel like suicide is your only answer, please seek help or call your local Clergy. God Bless.

Mar 25

Black Eyed Child of Cannock Chase UK

g1Black-Eyed Children (or Black-Eyed Kids) is an urban legend of supposed paranormal creatures that resemble children between the ages of 6 and 16, with pale white skin and black eyes, who are reportedly seen hitchhiking or panhandling, or are encountered on doorsteps of residential homes. Tales of black-eyed children have appeared in pop culture since the late 1980s.

In a British Newspaper The Daily Mail, dated October 3rd 2014, Paranormal experts have reported a rise in the sightings of Black Eyed Children, its reported that the terrifying spectre of a Black Eyed Child has returned to Cannock Chase in Staffordshire England, after an abstinence of 30 Years, and has literally struck terror into the local people, so much so that Following the headlines, many of the nearby residents have been so scared that they have considered selling up and leaving Cannock.

The story of the return of this Black eyed spirit has also sparked a number of other locals to make public their fear. Many posted online about how they’ve been left too scared to leave their homes at night, just in case they cross paths with the demonic spirit.

The latest descriptions of the girl given by several independent eyewitnesses, was of a very young female possibly 6 to 10 years of age, who has eyes as black as coal. These descriptions are identical to those chronicled in the early 1980s, where a woman heard a scream and upon responding found a small child wandering aimlessly, when asked if she had been the one screaming the child turned round and the woman was faced with a child who had eyes of black, the child promptly ran away into woodland, such was the disbelief by the witness that she called the police and the local police conducted a hunt for what they believed was a child out alone on the Chase, at the time no one had any reason to believe that anything paranormal was going on. It was only after many more reports that interest in this phenomena was sparked.

Another disturbing revelation is that unlike sightings of these Children in other parts of the world that take place at night, the Black Eyed Child of Cannock Chase, has been seen consistently during the day.

g2According to one leading psychic from the UK who claims to have not only come face to face with this spectre but to have caught photographic evidence, states that the child was the victim of a diphtheria outbreak in the 1800s. They claim the trouble spirit could be one of many buried in an unmarked grave after perishing in a workhouse. The Psychic also had an explanation for the child’s eyes of black, she commented “The eyes are for effect. These children have a story and they want it told.”

Another Ghost expert who is famous for appearing on TV shows led a team through the woods to where he says he felt the most intense paranormal presence, once at the spot he picked up on two names that of a young 7 year old named Christine (or Christina) and another female named Alicestina, but he was unable to say as to whether at the time if either of these youngsters had black eyes.

In 1967 the body of 7 year old Christine Darby was founded dumped on Cannock Chase less than a mile from where the expert felt compelled to stop.

The Ghost expert strongly believed that the sightings of this Black eyed girl may be connected to the murdered child Christine. He Stated: “I had a very negative feeling when we were up there and I think it is linked. The names I’ve come out with are too coincidental not to be connected.

Another statement from this expert in explanation of the black eyes was: “It’s also common for ghosts with black eyes to have been blindfolded or had their sight restricted shortly before their death.

He went on to say: “The feeling I got there makes me think there could be more bodies up there too.”
He also sensed that a medieval village had existed right where we he was standing, and that he believed that some form of burial ground connected to witchcraft may be there and was likely to have been linked with the young girl Alicestina that he had picked up on.

The notorious Black Eyed Child of Cannock Chase has very quickly become an internet sensation, and belief in ghosts and the supernatural is definitely on the rise in Britain. However if this phenomena is real or not a satisfactory conclusion I feel is a long way off.

 

Mar 12

The North Wales Hospital for the Mentally Infirm, Denbighshire

intby Tracy Jones – Division 4 representative

Situated in the hills of Denbighshire, The North Wales Hospital for the Mentally Infirm, was the first institution of its kind that was built in Wales housing welsh patients from 1848. Prior to this, all mentally infirm patients were hospitalized over the border in English Asylums.

Building commenced of this Tudor-Bethan style hospital in September 1844 and was completed in October of 1848. By March 1849, The Asylum held 70 patients and further renovations and expansions were made to the hospital up until 1956, where the upward rise of patients hit 1500 with nearly 1000 staff up to the time of its closure in 1995.

During the 1920-1930’s, there were limited treatments available for mentally ill patients, many of which were highly experimental causing extremely unpleasant side effects. Such treatments included the use of medications such as Cardiazol and malarial treatment, along with insulin shock therapy and sulfur based drugs which were used and developed at the hospital itself. In 1941, therapies such as electro-convulsive therapy (ECT) and prefrontal leucotomy (lobotomy) were becoming common place.

Although it could be argued that the asylums offered a haven for the mentally ill, where mental illness was treated, it could also be suggested that life at the asylum was both difficult and at times painful for patients as they underwent many painful experimental procedures which perhaps were not governed in the same way that such treatments are today. It can only be imagined that patients experienced much anguish and despair not only from their mental health conditions themselves, but also from the treatments that they endured.

Such buildings which are historical in nature and where both mental and physical pain have been endured, are of great interest to paranormal investigators, as many would suggest that the very fabric of the building is intertwined with such extreme experiences which can then manifest into paranormal occurrences.

There have been many claims both from Paranormal Investigators and other visitors to the hospital over the years, of paranormal activity which has been found throughout the entire complex. Both audible and physical phenomena have been reported. Apparitions have been witnessed, voices have been heard and physical contact of people reporting, that they have been touched or pushed are plenty. It is reported, that one paranormal team fled in terror from the building as they experienced what sounded like a gurney being wheeled down a corridor which was heard by the entire team. A further investigation reported that contact was made with an elderly lady through the use of a Ouija board at the hospital Chapel… Initially the energy seemed friendly in nature but suddenly an air of uneasiness descended on the group, and they all, except one witnessed her apparition walk at least 15 feet across the chapel. The team were reported to be so scared, that not one of them have returned since. A further claim has been made centering around three witches who were supposedly hung on the grounds before the hospital was built. They are said to be seen and heard in many areas of the North Wales Hospital, but there is no conclusive evidence to back up this story.

Many Paranormal teams were extremely keen to investigate this location, given the history of the grounds, the buildings and also from the reports of paranormal occurrences on the site. The North Wales Hospital being just on the doorstep was therefore a key location for our team to investigate in the very early days of our investigating. During the investigation of the site, EVP (electronic voice phenomena) recordings were captured on a digital voice recorder of what sounded like a female voice saying “push her”. This in itself is a meaningless phrase, however, on review of the investigative notes, it was noted that at the time of the recording, the team were standing at the top of a stair case in the hospital. Other personal experiences documented by the team were both of audible and physical phenomena, however, these experiences were subjective in nature as scientific evidence could not capture the claims experienced by the team members. Nevertheless, the investigation was extremely interesting and many questions have arisen about the paranormal phenomena which was experienced, captured and reported. In conclusion it is suggested that further research at the location would be required to substantiate the paranormal phenomena. Unfortunately due to substantial damage caused by a recent fire in the building, the entire site is now unsafe to investigate further and the building has fallen into disrepair which is deemed extremely unsafe to enter.

What once was a huge and very grand building which oozed history with reports of paranormal phenomena, sadly will now be lost for investigative purposes due to the crumbling disrepair of the building and the spirits of the patients and staff that once inhabited this magnificent and iconic place of mental health history will no longer have anyone to tell their stories to.

Mar 12

Holy Cross Orphanage

Todd Wayne Knipple

Todd Wayne Knipple

I was awakened to the reality of the paranormal at the age of 12 while at a friend’s home. What happened that one night back in 1983 kept me awake for three days. After that incident I was left with many questions. My determination to find answers to what had happened that night became an obsession that would lead me down a path into investigating the paranormal. I found myself consumed by these strange anomalies that were captured on video, audio and photographs, and the strange feelings and sensations I would have from walking into old buildings or a person’s home.
For nearly 30 years, I have dedicated myself to finding these answers by using a scientific approach to fully understand and bring explanations to those who seek help and who are experiencing themselves the same things I experienced some 30 years ago. I can say that out of all of the cases I have investigated over the years as a paranormal investigator, 99% can be explained as a product of environment. There is, however, that 1% that can only be considered Beyond The Grave.
Todd Wayne Knipple

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I think it’s time to travel far north to Michigan’s Upper Peninsula to Marquette Michigan’s Old City Orphanage Formerly known as the Holy Cross Orphanage.holycross001

First and foremost, let it be known that anyone caught within the Holy Cross Orphanage in Marquette will be arrested and charged to the fullest extent of the law. It’s illegal, and most of all dangerous. The building has been neglected for a long period of time. It is presently for sale and for those interested may wish to contact the Marquette Chamber of Commerce and inquire with the Lake Superior Community Partnership.

Located at the corner of Altamont and Fisher Street, looms a foreboding six story building that stands with half of its windows boarded up and an over-growth of trees and wild foliage that seems to be melding with the dilapidated structure.

This building is presently referred as to the ‘Old City Orphanage’, formerly known as the ‘Holy Cross Orphanage’, run by French Catholic nuns. The building allegedly has a sinister past involving sinful deeds by the sisterhood operated orphanage. This alleged dubious checked past also comes with a paranormal and phenomena present.

holycross002Some neighboring residents adjacent to the orphanage claim that wayward and orphaned children were beaten, and even killed in the orphanage at the hands of the strict and stringent nuns.

As one story has it, a little child that was lodged at the Holy Cross Orphanage once wandered off to play in the snow during one of Marquette Michigan infamous winter blizzard and got pneumonia. The little girl died shortly there after her affliction of pneumonia. As a lesson to the elementary student body, the nuns held a “private” funeral in the front lobby, attended only by the students, staff and nuns, where the remains were displayed in full view of the children of what the results are for their wrongful doings.

And as a result of this act, it is said by some that the sounds of children sobbing can be heard outside on the grand staircase that leads to the improvised funeral parlor in the lobby.

An “accident’ death by drowning is yet another story about the Holy Cross Orphanage. Supposedly the nuns hide the body in the basement of the orphanage from the suspicious eyes of the children and staff. Some of Marquette’s more daring “explorers” make claims of a strange glowing orb of green light surrounding the medical like table where the boys body was waywardly laid to rest.holycross003

There are many other accounts of light being seen in the windows by the local Marquette residents and curiosity site-seekers. A particular area of question would be a window fitted with a fire escape that leads down to the lobby’s front porch. The story goes that the children would use this fire escape to get out on the roof on hot summer nights or risky play and the nuns would ambush the children as they retreated inside from their fun and frolics.

Source:

http://www.maineghosthunters.org/blogs/2013/01/01/the-lost-souls-of-the-old-city-orphanage/

Mar 02

Elvey Farms, United Kingdom

Deb Daniel Jansons

Deb Daniel Jansons

Assistant Director / Haunted Locations at National Paranormal Society
I am Deb Daniel Jansons. I was born and raised in the Huntsville, Al area, but lived in Ontario, Canada for 12 years, before coming back home to be with my grandson. I have had an interest in the paranormal since I was a small child and had my first experience. I love going out to places that are known to have strange things happen, but I always look for an explanation of anything that might happen when I am there and take nothing at face value. I also love to read anything that I can get my hands on concerning the paranormal and other people’s experiences. One of my hopes is that the day will come, during my lifetime that we will have absolute proof that there are spirits, aliens, etc out there. Until then, all we can do is investigate and hope.
Deb Daniel Jansons

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elvOn 75 acres in Pluckley, in the Ashford District of Kent lies beautiful Elvey Farms. The actual farm dates back to 1496 and references to Pluckley can be found in the famous Doomsday book.

Surrenden Manor, the former residence of Sir Edward Dering, 1st Baronet ( 1598-1644) can also be found in this area. This is where the Dering manuscript, the earliest extant manuscript text of any Shakespearean play was discovered. It is a single play version parts 1 and 2 of King Henry IV.

In 1989, the Guinness Book of Records named this location as “the most haunted village in Britain”.

Several of the ghosts that haunt this area have had stories told about them for so many years, that when people stop by they seem to be automatically told about them.

Edward Brett actually shot himself in the dairy at Elvey Farms. It is said that prior to his death, he said to his wife, “I will do it”. To this day, there are reports of hearing these last words of Edward Brett being whispered around the farm.

There is also the legend of Robert DuBois, an 18th century highwayman. He was run thru with a sword, while he was hiding in a hollow tree at what is now known as Fright Corner. He can still be seen reenacting his death.

The Watercress Woman is seen as a misty figure at Pinnock Bridge. This is the same bridge where she would sit and sell the watercress that she gathered. She seemed to have a penchant for smoking her pipe and drinking gin as she sat on the bridge. One fatal day, she set herself on fire while lighting her pipe.

The Red Lady, who legend says was a member of the Dering family can be seen walking with a small white dog in the churchyard of St. Nicholas’s Church.

The White Lady of Rose Court allegedly poisoned herself over a love triangle.

The black silhouette of the miller can be seen in the ruins of the old windmill which closed in 1930.

There are many more stories of hauntings in this area. If you ever choose to go to Elvey Farms, be sure to take a walk around the village and see which one of these spirits decides to stop long enough to tell you hello…..

Source:  www.elveyfarm.co.uk

Feb 28

Poltergeist hauntings versus Demonic hauntings

Kelly Timmons

Kelly Timmons

My name is Kelly Timmons. I am 35 and from Montreal, Canada. I have had an insatiable curiosity for all things paranormal since a young age. I have been actively searching for answers and for the truth in all things paranormal.
Kelly Timmons

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poltergeist-haunting-122013zzThe word poltergeist comes from the German words “noisy spirits”, although poltergeists are not actual spirits. Poltergeist activity centers around an individual and is believed to be caused by the sub-conscious mind of that individual. It is in effect the sub-conscious release of psychic energy that are triggered when the individual is under extreme emotional, psychological or/ and physical stress.

A poltergeist haunting is very chaotic and very noisy. Which because of this can often be mistaken for a demonic haunting. Some of the symptoms of a poltergeist haunting are similar to demonic infestation. There are however differences between the two.

Some signs of poltergeist activity:

  • Disappearing objects : objects are moved or vanish (including heavy objects)
  • Objects levitating or thrown
  • Knocking
  • Violent banging on walls or doors, etc
  • Electrical interference
  • Footsteps
  • Physical attacks ( scratches, bruising,, being pushed, punched, etc..)
  • Doors opening and closing
  • Feelings of being watched
  • Voices ( include growling, snarls)

Now let’s take a look of some sign of demonic infestation:

  • Banging (often in groups of 3’s)
  • Knocks ( often in groups of 3’s)
  • Footsteps
  • Destroying of religious objects
  • Activity violently increases during prayer
  • Foul odors ( sulfur, feces, rotting flesh, urine)
  • Violent physical attacks
  • Nightmares
  • Depression
  • Objects moved or thrown (including heavy objects)
  • Apparitions
  • Voices
  • Feelings of being watched
  • Mood swings ( with no medical explanations)

As you can see there are many similarities between a poltergeist haunting and demonic infestation. On the other hand, there are many differences also. In a poltergeist haunting apparitions are never seen, but in cases of demonic infestation many have reported seeing apparitions of creatures and of shadow-men. Poltergeist simply cause chaos and there is no strategy or pattern to the chaos that they cause. Demons however, always have a plan, a strategy and always have an end result in mind.

Feb 15

The Flying Dutchman

Aurthur Mclelland

Aurthur Mclelland

Alt Asst Director / Chair: Tech at Cheyenne Mountain Paranormal Investigations
I have always been questioning the paranormal since I was a kid. Having lived all across America and in several countries overseas, I have heard story after story of this place or that place being haunted, and my curiosity always got the better of me. Always looking and seeing things I could not explain, my eye opener was when I was twenty and seeing a full body apparition standing in front of me made me more curious of what actually happens to us when we pass on. I aim to find the truth of what is out there. When I am not finding the truth I am usually taking care of officer business or fencing in the SCA (Society for Creative Anachronism, Inc.). Aurthur is also President (for business only) Chase Manger, director of Cheyenne Mountain Paranormal Investigations, co-owner of Front Range Ghost Shop and also severs 16 years army and has been Medical Retired. Having been station in places like Iraq, Korea, Fort Hood TX, Aberdeen Maryland, Fort Irwin CA and Fort Riley KS just to name a few this hole time caring what ever equipment he could care doing investigation on his time off in all thous places trying to learn what he could and how to be a better investigator. always learning on how to do thing better.
Aurthur Mclelland

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flying-dutchman7The ship is known for its many ghostly appearances; showing up out of the dark or the fog and then disappearing, often terrifying the sailors who witness it. An interesting point shared by so many of the books and articles written about the Flying Dutchman is that they all list the same half dozen or so famous sightings of the ship; but these reports are all terrible, because in not a single instance is there any reason for the witness to have identified the ship as that of the infamous Dutchman. They saw, or believed they saw, unidentified wooden ships under sail.

For centuries, sailors around the world have told the legend of a cursed ghost ship, named The Flying Dutchman. The ship is cursed, and as such can never return to port. Since it has place to go, The Flying Dutchman sails around the ocean aimlessly, haunting the minds of sailors and toying with the imaginations of sea farers globally. There have been tales for ages, of late-night spotters in the crow’s nest of a ship seeing a ghost ship passing their bow. Men swear on their lives that the cursed ship, The Flying Dutchman was seen sailing past them.

Where did this legend come from, and who started telling the story of this cursed ship? The first references to The Flying Dutchman comes from the writings of George Barrington in the late 1700’s who wrote about the ship that appeared and then disappeared in a dark cloud – like an apparition. Several other writers and authors have written stories and poems including mentions of The Flying Dutchman. In all of the references, they talk about the ship being a terrible omen to sailors… They never want to see this ship. Seeing The Flying Dutchman is tantamount to a visit from God telling them that their voyage has been cursed.

Was The Flying Dutchman an actual ship, or was it created as folklore? The jury is still out on this question, but many who have speculated about the legend agree that The Flying Dutchman was a ship that became doomed for one reason or another. Some say that The Flying Dutchman was used for piracy and was loaded with gold and other loot. While travelling with a load of treasure, unspeakable crimes were committed on board the ship, thus making it cursed forever.

Other variations of the legend say that the Captain of The Flying Dutchman refused to go to port in the face of a horrible storm and as a result the entire ship perished. Others claim that the ship was not called The Flying Dutchman – that instead it was the name of the captain of the ship. Eventually, as people passed the legend down through the generations, the story of The Flying Dutchman referred to the ship.

Throughout the years, many sailors have claimed to see a ship sailing past them, and then disappearing. One of the most famous men who swore to have seen The Flying Dutchman is Prince George of Wales, along with his brother Prince Albert Victor.

In his writings, he stated that no less than thirteen men saw The Flying Dutchman sail by their ship in the middle of the night, and a few hours later disappeared from all site into thin air.

With all of these sightings, this leaves sailors and observers to wonder… Is there any merit to this legend? As has been well-documented, The Bermuda Triangle has taken the lives of many sailors and pilots throughout history. It is difficult to argue against eyewitness accounts – but can there be a logical explanation to these sightings? Some scientists have stated that the moon light reflecting on the ocean in a distance can create an illusion of sorts, almost like a mirage creates images in a sandy desert.

Does The Flying Dutchman exist today, or is it simply a legend from long ago? Regardless of what one may believe, mariners today do not gamble with fate. This story may be a legend to those who casually read about stories on the ocean’s open waters, but one thing is for certain: A sailor does not dare to call the bluff of the mighty ocean for they do not want to fall victim to the same fate as The Flying Dutchman.

The legend of The Flying Dutchman is said to have started in 1641 when a Dutch ship sank off the coast of the Cape of Good Hope Captain van der Decken was pleased. The trip to the Far East had been highly successful and at last, they were on their way home to Holland. As the ship approached the tip of Africa, the captain thought that he should make a suggestion to the Dutch East India Company (his employers) to start a settlement at the Cape on the tip of Africa, thereby providing a welcome respite to ships at sea.

He was so deep in thought that he failed to notice the dark clouds looming and only when he heard the lookout scream out in terror, did he realize that they had sailed straight into a fierce storm. The captain and his crew battled for hours to get out of the storm and at one stage it looked like they would make it. Then they heard a sickening crunch – the ship had hit treacherous rocks and began to sink. As the ship plunged downwards, Captain VandeDecken knew that death was approaching. He was not ready to die and screamed out a curse: “I WILL round this Cape even if I have to keep sailing until doomsday!”

So, even today whenever a storm brews off the Cape of Good Hope, if you look into the eye of the storm, you will be able to see the ship and its captain – The Flying Dutchman. Don’t look too carefully, for the old folk claim that whoever sights the ship will die a terrible death. Many people have claimed to have seen The Flying Dutchman, including the crew of a German submarine boat during World War II and holidaymakers.

On 11 July 1881, the Royal Navy ship, the Bacchante was rounding the tip of Africa, when they were confronted with the sight of The Flying Dutchman. The midshipman, a prince who later became King George V, recorded that the lookout man and the officer of the watch had seen the Flying Dutchman and he used these words to describe the ship “A strange red light as of a phantom ship all aglow, in the midst of which light the mast, spars and sails of a brig 200 yards distant stood out in strong relief.” Its pity that the lookout saw the Flying Dutchman, for soon after on the same trip, he accidentally fell from a mast and died. Fortunately for the English royal family, the young midshipman survived the curse. By Brian Dunning via skeptic some say it is a spectral schooner seen under full sail, sometimes in the distance, sometimes at night or through the fog, sometimes gliding above the water; its sails may be torn to ribbons, or it may be making great headway even in the lack of wind. Some say the Dutchman refers to the captain of the ship, a man cursed to sail the seas forever and never make land. Flying Dutchman 736_300pxSome say the captain and his ship are doomed to forever try to round a stormy cape, never quite succeeding and always being beaten back by the howling wind and waves. But whatever the specifics of the legend, the Flying Dutchman has become a mainstay of maritime lore. With such a famous story, it would seem worthwhile to see whether it grew from some seed of fact. References to the Flying Dutchman have been around for more than two centuries, and sailing ships were plowing the salt water for centuries before that; so it seems a practical certainty that we should be able to nail down exactly what triggered the stories. A good place to start is its most famous iteration in pop culture. In Wagner’s 1840 opera Der Fliegende Holländer, it is not the ship that is named the Flying Dutchman, but refers to the captain of the ghostly vessel.

The Dutchman, who is unnamed in the opera, commands a ship with only a spectral crew. He makes port in a storm in Norway, and grapples to the ship of Captain Daland. The Dutchman reveals to the captain that years ago, me made a curse during a storm, swearing to Satan that he would round the Cape of Good Hope even if he had to keep trying until doomsday. Satan took him at his word, and cursed him to never be able to make port until he found a woman who would love him until she died. Fortunately, the captain has a nubile daughter, Senta, who, upon hearing of the Dutchman’s terrible plight, falls in love with him. But another suitor, the muscular and handsome huntsman Erik, reminds Senta that she had once promised herself to him. When the Dutchman hears of this, he assumes he is lost forever and casts off with his ghostly crew. Flying Dutchman 735_300pxBut Senta’s love was true, and when she sees the Dutchman sail away, she throws herself into the ocean and drowns. The terms of the curse thus fulfilled, the Dutchman and his ship are seen ascending to heaven (thus becoming the “flying” Dutchman), where he will finally be able to rest.

Interestingly, the Cape of Good Hope is not the cape infamous for its stormy seas; that’s Cape Horn, at the southern tip of South America. The Cape of Good Hope is the tip of the peninsula jutting south from Cape Town, South Africa, and is some 150 kilometers west-north-west from the true southern tip of Africa, Cape Agulhas.

Feb 11

Marriott Syracuse Downtown

Lillee Allee

Lillee Allee

Representative at National Paranormal Society
Lillee Allee has studied religion, spirituality and paranormal investigation for over 40 years. She is the widow of John D. Allee, an internationally known dark magician. She continues to consult in paranormal investigation. Her specialties include: Marian and cultural spiritual phenomena/apparitions, spiritual support to teams and clients who want spiritual counseling after investigation, evp work and old school audio, the accuracy and research of past life regression and seance, and spiritual protection. Lillee was also one of the first to incorporate trained canines into paranormal investigations. She hosts a radio program on the para-x.com network, Happy Mediums, with Debra Ann Freeman, who also consults with paranormal investigative teams in Southern New England. Lillee is a published author and journalist, and legal clergy with degrees in psychology and mass communication. Lillee walks on the middle path sees learning as a life-long endeavor and is looking to make a difference and contribution to this field before she too will be heard on someone’s EVP. Lillee is always available to educate and consult and continues to enjoy guesting on other’s radio and television programs.
Lillee Allee

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syr1syr2syr3

By: Lillee Allee

The Marriott Syracuse Downtown (Formerly the Hotel Syracuse)
500 S Warren St,
Syracuse, NY 13202
(315) 422-5121

Definitely historical, but possibly haunted?

The 1920s were a time of growth for cities such as Syracuse, New York. In 1921, to solve the need for more hotel rooms in the city, a group of businessmen were able to raise $3.8 million to build a hotel. Construction began in 1922 on Warren Street. George B. Post built the Hotel Syracuse and then moved on to the Waldorf Astoria. After a few problems with financing, the 600 room hotel opened in 1924. Its beauty and feeling of opulence were unmatched in the city. Parties and weddings were held in the gorgeous Grand Ballroom or the later added Persian Terrace. The Rainbow Lounge with its unique bar, and the Cavalier Room, with men-only hours, were frequented by locals and guests. The hotel was not built on an empty lot, but a hotel, the 4-story Truax, was already on the location. This building was moved by rollers across the street and turned so that it still faced Onondaga Street. Amazingly, the workers stayed in the hotel as it was slowly wheeled, inch by inch. It remained in full operation during this 90 day endeavor. A church and some homes were demolished for the build.

Jackie Coogan, the child star who worked with Charlie Chaplin and later played “Fester” in the Addams Family television series was present for the grand opening and the first to sign in as a guest. The flood of celebrities continued through the years including Babe Ruth,, Mickey Mantle, Charles Lindbergh, Presidents Roosevelt, Truman, Eisenhower, Nixon and George W. Bush. Guests also included Nelson Eddy, Jean Harlow, Redd Skelton , Whitney Houston, Kim Basinger, skater Katarina Witt, Nata King Cole, Bob Hope, Perry Como and Frank Sinatra. In 1971, John Lennon escorted his wife, Yoko Ono on her trip to Syracuse for the opening of her art exhibit “This is not Here” at the nearby Everson Museum. The couple stayed in the hotel for John’s 30th birthday and were joined by Phil Spector, and Ringo Starr. John asked an employee to procure some guitars, this lucky man ended up jamming with John on several songs for the party. The Lennons thoroughly enjoyed their stay and spoke highly of the hotel.A historic reunion of the Beatles was planned for Syracuse in 1974, but sadly it never took place … anywhere.

syr4Early on, radio station WSYR moved into the hotel and made the place famous by recording and broadcasting bands in the Persian terrace. In 1954, the television station WSYR started broadcasting a fashion show for ladies at home with a full orchestra present.. The fashions were by the buyer of the Addis Company, who had won the award of “best hatted woman in Central New York “ by the National Millinery Institute. The Walnut, a private dining room became a popular officers’ club during World War II. The hotel’s famous mural, currently being cleaned, was put up above the check-in desk in the lobby. It shows many important events in the history of the area including the Iroquois Confederacy and the Jerry Rescue.

The hotel has lots of interesting history with all types of mysteries.. On March 22, 1954, on the 9th floor, a guest found a burglar in her room rummaging through her jewelry. The man escaped through a window. At that time, there were hotel detectives to protect guests. These employees watched out for the very well-to-do who frequented the hotel. It was around this time when paranormal events were first recorded. Employees were reporting feeling a hand on their shoulder, but there was no one there. The mystery of the empty bucket also became one of the well-known stories where bartenders deposited the remains of drinks not finished in a bucket and every night take it to the main kitchen to be cleaned. The bucket was often found empty even when the room was locked.

Like any other hotel, this site has had its shares of guest deaths. The most frightening occurred on New Year’s Eve, 1984. In the new part of the hotel, the Hilton Tower, built in 1980, an elevator stalled with about 20 people in it. According to the Associated Press, it stopped between the 10th and 11th floors. Two men pried open the doors and helped others from the elevator onto the 10th floor. A 31 year old man jumped into a crouching position, but fell backward and fell down a 100 foot elevator shaft. The paranormal events continued.. A psychic claimed there was a male ghost in Room 517. Doors would lock and unlock without individuals. Stories continued to circulate among the staff about a lady in a blue dress covered in blood. Staff reported doors opening or closing by themselves, phones ringing from empty rooms, and the feeling of someone in an empty corridor with them.

For 80 years, the Hotel survived, but closed its doors in 2004. However, the hotel remained secure so the building was spared any vandalism but still damage was done due to the deterioration on the inside. Many companies had promised the city that the hotel would open its doors, but none came to fruition and this led to just more physical neglect. The hotel remains on the registry of historic places.. The Hotel Syracuse will shine again, however, and after a 57 million dollar renovation to the original splendor and modernization of all floors, is planned to open in March 2016. Due to changes in guest habits, the rooms will be enlarged and will have less than 300 available, over half of what it originally had. The Hotel has survived, while all of the other grand hotels in the city of Syracuse have not. One has to wonder who continues to walk the halls when no humans are present.

Sources:

Onondaga Historical Association, “Suite Stories Ghostwalk.” December 28. 2014.

The Region, elevator stalls, man falls to death. New York Times, January 2, 1984.

Personal interviews 1985-1999.

Feb 09

Shadow People – A compilation of data

Allen Marston

Allen Marston

Director / Chair Health & Safety at Apocalyptic Paranormal Investigation & Research
Allen grew up in a small town in Southern Virginia. His interest in the paranormal began as a young child after his parents told him of some experiences that they had over the years involving UFO’s and Ghosts. He began reading every thing about the paranormal he could get his hands on, thanks to his mother. As the years went by he had many experiences and feelings that he could not explain. One day he found out about a group in his area that was actually conducting paranormal investigations in his area and attended a public investigation with this group. He was totally hooked and began doing investigations with this group. After some time he and another member decided to leave the group to gear towards conducting more scientific investigations. Allen is co-founder of Apocalyptic Paranormal Investigation & Research where he specializes in audio and EVP. His team is the first to ever investigate the buildings of the Appomattox Court House Historic Park, where the surrender of Civil War occured. He has a passion for the paranormal and strives to bring all teams together to hopefully find concrete proof of the fringe sciences. When Allen is not working as a professional firefighter, you can find him spending time with his wonderful family, working other jobs to make money, creating artwork or finding more places to investigate.
Allen Marston

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shadA few years ago, a co-worker and I were siting in the office of my fire station when I saw the most defined shadow person I have ever seen. I was writing up a report from the call we had just run and for some reason I looked up. At that moment I saw a human shaped black mass “walk” from the bathroom to the kitchen. I got up quickly and went to the kitchen but no one was there. I walked back to the office wondering what I just saw. I asked my co-worker if she saw anything out of the ordinary or strange and she quickly replied, “No, and I don’t want to know what you saw, I know what you see” with a smirk and wide eyes. Like many other people I have had shadows in the corners of my eyes, only to disappear when acknowledged, but nothing this pronounced and clear. This instance is what really provoked me to start researching the phenomena known as “Shadow People”.

When I began my research I was expecting to hopefully find one theory that would explain what I saw……boy was I wrong. There are just as many theories as there are experiences pertaining to this phenomena. The only thing that seemed to be the same in all cases was that they were dark in color. Due the varying data it seemed that “Shadow People” could be defined as another race, if you are so inclined to see it that way. Just as in humans, no one true trait could be attributed to to this phenomena. It would basically be like stereotyping a certain race, there is exceptions to every stereotype that one could come up with. I felt it would be easier to come up with a compilation of data, list them in one document, and let others decide what they had experienced and leave it at that. By doing this I felt it would allow me to keep an open mind and not be thrusted to put them into any certain group, as many have done in the past. I hope you enjoy what I have come up with.

 

THEORIES: Ghosts, Astral travelers, Djinn or Jinn, Aliens, Angels or protectors, Demons, Time travelers, Inter-dimensional travelers, Mischievous spirits, Malicious Spirits, Phenomena related to sleep paralysis or Hypnagogia, Thought forms, Hallucinations, Pareidolia , Spirits trapped in purgatory, residual energy, secret government experiments.

CONSISTENCY: Ranges from a dark mist all the way to a dark solid mass, Can be seen as having an oily texture at times

SIZE: Ranges from rodent size to around 8’ in height or greater

SHAPE: Usually a silhouette of a man or woman. Can be either with the addition of a hat, hood, coat, or cloak and at times red glowing eyes. Can also have an animal shape as well as being just a “blob” or shifting shapes. Have also been seen with horns, but very few accounts of this. Even though they are usually seen as people, animal shadows have also been reported. They can basically take any form.

CONDITIONS SIGHTED: Any location, Day or Night, Usually seen in or around dimly lit areas or shadows, (Not limited to these though)

ACTIONS: Seen out of ones peripheral vision, Standing, Walking, Floating, Peeking around corners, scurrying about, and a few accounts of being attacked.

FEELINGS ASSOCIATED WITH THE PHENOMENA: Calm or peaceful, No feelings, Love, Scared or frightened, Trance like state, Anger, Overcome, Pain or sorrow, Evilness

POSSIBLE CLASSIFICATIONS:

LURKERS: Usually seen out of peripheral vision or peeking around corners, furniture, etc. Once seen they tend to duck around the object to not be seen.

WATCHERS: Often tend to be seen standing either close to or far away from an individual having no interaction other than watching the person. Many people have reported this type standing at the end of their bed or in a corner.

SCURRIERS: These are usually rodent or animal sized and seem to run very quickly across the floor, walls, or ceilings.

FRIGHTENERS (NOT TO BE MISTAKEN WITH THE MOVIE): Usually this types tends to cause fear or dread. This can either be done by producing feelings or by “attacking” an individual.

In my honest opinion I feel that in 99% of cases involving shadow people are benign. Does this mean that this is the standard at which you should gauge shadow people? No, I feel that every case of this phenomena differs in many ways and individuals should treat the case not the category. In conclusion I would like to stress that this is my interpretation of the information that I have researched and not the so called “GOLD STANDARD”. There are always new experiences and theories popping up. Go out , do your own research and come up with your own conclusion. You definitely will not regret it.

Feb 09

Doppelgangers

Courtesy of:  http://ghosts.monstrous.com

dgagA doppelganger, also spelled doppelgaenger, can be the ghost of a living person or any other sort of physical double that look very similar to the ghosts of the deceased. The idea of a doppelganger is sometimes similar to that of an “evil twin.” The word doppelganger comes from the German Doppelgaenger, literally meaning “double-goer.” Doppelgangers are also linked if not similar to crisis apparitions.

There are many different types of doppelganger, as the definition of the term has become somewhat loose, encompassing any sort of double. The doppelganger may be ghostly or appear in the flesh. It may be an “evil twin” unknown to the original person who causes mischief by confusing friends and relatives, or it may be the result of the original person being in two places at once through an act of magic. In some cases a person will come upon his own doppelganger who is typically engaged in some future activity. Scientists at the University Hospital in Geneva, Switzerland discovered that electrical stimulation of the brain, used to treat epilepsy, can produce the sensation of a doppelganger’s presence in the patient.

In folklore, the doppelganger is said to have no shadow or reflection, much like vampires in some traditions. Doppelgangers are often malicious or a bad omen, and they can haunt their earthly counterparts. They may also give bad advice or put thoughts in their victim’s heads. Seeing one’s own doppelganger or the doppelganger of a friend or relative is considered very bad luck, often heralding death or serious illness of the doppelganger’s original.

In fiction

Doppelgangers appear often in various types of fiction, from mistaken identity plots in novels and plays to more supernatural doppelganger phenomena in works of science fiction, fantasy, and horror. There are many famous accounts of doppelgangers in history as well. Guy de Maupassant’s short story Lui (Him) tells of the writer’s own experience with a doppelganger. In Edgar Allan Poe’s short story “William Wilson”, the protagonist of questionable morality is dogged by his doppelgänger most tenaciously when his morals fail. A similar device is employed in Fyodor Dostoyevsky’s short story “The Double: A Petersburg Poem. In Charles Williams’ novel, Descent into Hell, a doppelgänger is a significant part of the plot as the heroine’s fear of the doppelgänger drives relationships and choices. In Stephen King’s book The Dark Half, the main character, Thad Beaumont, thinks he’s being tormented by a murderous doppelgänger. But is revealed later that he’s indeed the ghost of Thad’s twin who had died in his childhood, and acquired an own life when Thad invented a fictional character for the book he was writing.

Famous cases

English poet John Donne claimed to have met his wife’s doppelganger in Paris shortly before his daughter was stillborn. Poet Percy Bysshe Shelley and President Abraham Lincoln both saw doppelgangers that presaged their death; Shelley in a dream and Lincoln in his mirror.

Case example: German ghost hunting investigative team is called upon a doppelganger haunting activity to investigate.

The woman victim was standing on a street corner and with her peripheral vision saw the image of herself on a bus. The image of herself was staring back at her. One week later she again faced her doppelganger in a crowded mall, it stared at her and seemed to disappear amongst the mass of people. It wore the same clothes that she wore. One week later, she was diagnosed with cancer.

Meaning

Doppelganger haunting activity is considered the evil twin, the harbinger of misfortune, the omen of death.

In most cases, the victim of this haunting activity is in danger with her immediate surroundings, her family or in some cases the victim themselves are in grave danger of illness or death.

Theories

According to Shahar Arzy and colleagues of the University Hospital, Geneva, Switzerland the left temporoparietal junction of the brain evokes the sensation of self image—body location, position, posture etc. When the left temporoparietal junction is disturbed, the sensation of self-attribution is broken and may be replaced by the sensation of a foreign presence or copy of oneself displaced nearby. This copy mirrors the real person’s body posture, location and position. Arzy and his colleagues suggest that the phenomenon they created is seen in certain mental illnesses, such as schizophrenia, particularly when accompanied by paranoia, delusions of persecution and of alien control. Nevertheless, the effects reported are highly reminiscent of the doppelgänger phenomenon.

Source:  http://ghosts.monstrous.com/doppelgangers.htm

Feb 09

The Philip Experiment

Allen Marston

Allen Marston

Director / Chair Health & Safety at Apocalyptic Paranormal Investigation & Research
Allen grew up in a small town in Southern Virginia. His interest in the paranormal began as a young child after his parents told him of some experiences that they had over the years involving UFO’s and Ghosts. He began reading every thing about the paranormal he could get his hands on, thanks to his mother. As the years went by he had many experiences and feelings that he could not explain. One day he found out about a group in his area that was actually conducting paranormal investigations in his area and attended a public investigation with this group. He was totally hooked and began doing investigations with this group. After some time he and another member decided to leave the group to gear towards conducting more scientific investigations. Allen is co-founder of Apocalyptic Paranormal Investigation & Research where he specializes in audio and EVP. His team is the first to ever investigate the buildings of the Appomattox Court House Historic Park, where the surrender of Civil War occured. He has a passion for the paranormal and strives to bring all teams together to hopefully find concrete proof of the fringe sciences. When Allen is not working as a professional firefighter, you can find him spending time with his wonderful family, working other jobs to make money, creating artwork or finding more places to investigate.
Allen Marston

Latest posts by Allen Marston (see all)

philioIs it possible to create an “entity” using nothing more than your mind? Many believe that this was done back in the 70’s ,by a group of parapsychologists in Canada, while others believe it was nothing more than parlor tricks of the time. Keep in mind that this experiment was recorded and is accessible on line for viewing. Instead of me telling you my thoughts, I think it is best I give you the account of what supposedly went down and let you decide if they definitely created “PHILIP”, or if it was something else entirely. I hope you enjoy.

The story begins in 1972 in Toronto, Canada. Dr. A.R.G. Owen (self proclaimed poltergeist expert and mathematician by trade), along with eight people from the Toronto Society for Psychical Research, decided to conduct a study to prove that an entity could manifest itself by using nothing but the thoughts of individuals. The theory in itself is not a new one. Buddhists have long believed this to be true, they called this entity a Tulpa. Anyway, back to the story. They first had to come up with a backstory to really give this entity a “life” is you will. The following is the biography they came up with:

“Philip was an aristocratic Englishman, living in the middle 1600s at the time of Oliver Cromwell. He had been a supporter of the King, and was a Catholic. He was married to a beautiful but cold and frigid wife, Dorothea, the daughter of a neighboring nobleman.

One day, when out riding on the boundaries of his estates, Philip came across a gypsy encampment and saw there a beautiful dark-eyed girl. Her name was Margo, and he fell instantly in love with her.

He brought her back secretly to live in the gatehouse, near the stables of Diddington Manor – his family home.

For some time he kept his love-nest secret, but eventually Dorothea, realizing he was keeping someone else there, found Margo, and accused her of witchcraft and stealing her husband. Philip was too scared of losing his reputation and his possessions to protest at the trial of Margo, and she was convicted of witchcraft and burned at the stake.

Philip was subsequently stricken with remorse that he had not tried to defend Margo, and would pace the battlements of Diddington in despair. Finally, one morning his body was found at the bottom of the battlements, whence he had cast himself in a fit of agony and remorse.”

Now that they had his biography, they needed to come up with a visualization of what they thought “Philip” should look like. One of the researchers came up with what they thought he should look like. Some say that the recreation of “Philip” looked a lot like Jesus is supposed to look. The picture included is Philip.

All aspects of “Philip” had now been created. It was time to go ahead with the experiment. The group would get together and talk of “Philip’s” life, as if they had really known him. As well as talking about his life, they would also meditate about him. I’m not real sure on how many times a week they met, but this continued for a year. “Philip” never showed any sign that he was there. When he had not showed himself they decided to take the experiment on a new approach that had shown some interesting results in the 19th century, a seance.

The new way of conducting this study continued for about a month, when finally, “Philip” made himself known. At first the table would vibrate and shake but later on in the experiment he began to answer questions. He would answer the questions with knocks on the table. One knock for yes and two for no. With all of the researchers having input on his life, they all knew what his answer should be. This continued for some time and he even started to add his own input into his story with historical accuracy and sometimes inaccuracy. This isn’t the only activity that they would experience. It is said the table itself would move around the room. He was also said to control the lighting in the room on command.

Now that they were getting activity they needed to make sure that none of the researchers were making it happen. As a way to make sure that none of the researchers were moving the table, it’s said that paper doilies were placed under there hands to make sure they could not move the table. They also went as far as to record each person making knocks in different audible ranges and comparing them to “Philip’s” knocks. They were said to not have the same reverberation as his did. They even videoed their sessions and invited the public in to view their seance. At one point a whole new group was used and the same results ensued. To view on the experiments you an go to: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X2lGPT2J1cc

Now…..what was really happening? I will give you some possiblities, but like I stated above I will not lead you one way or the other. This is where I want you to do some more research on “Philip” and come to your conclusion. Now to the possibilities:

1) They actually produced a Tulpa through mere thought.

2) It was actually all a big hoax and all the activities were staged and rehearsed.

3) What they actually produced was a poltergeist, as it is believed that poltergeists are merely produced by ones subconscious.

4) It was something else coming through giving them the false hope and lying that they were indeed “Philip”. When in actuality they were not.

YOU BE THE JUDGE

Jan 28

Exclusive interview with award winning author Micheal Rivers

Screenshot_1Just recently I had some time to sit down with the award winning author Micheal Rivers whom also happens to be one of the founding members of the Smokey Mtn Ghost Trackers. Let me tell you a little bit about how I found Micheal.

Twitter as we all know is a conundrum of people either selling something or looking for something. With proper use of hashtagging, you can certainly stumble upon networks of people. Being an indie author myself, I followed all of the #IAN #amwriting #author tags which introduced me to like-minded authors and in the true spirit of independent unity, I would go to the Kindle store and buy books of various genres by various authors. This networking led me over to Micheal Rivers through his novel ‘Verliege’ which is one very chilling paranormal, and international crime mystery. I was so impressed by what I had read that I looked into Micheal’s Amazon page and learned he was as well a paranormal investigator.

After we passed some questions back and forth, I decided to ask him his standpoint on Orbs. This is how he replied: “A genuine orb is seldom. It has been my experience the orb in question will seem to have a life of its own instead of falling to the floor or shooting straight to the ceiling. Case in point an orb left a room that was used as an incubator room in an old hospital and followed me down the corridor. This was caught on infrared camera and there is no mistaking it. It stayed approximately five feet off of the floor and traveled in the same manner in which a human walking would take.”

He then agreed to allow me to ask him a few questions through G+.

Me: You have been on numerous investigations with your team. Has this inspired your writing, and do you think you’ve ever taken anything home from an investigation?
MR: I can’t say it has inspired my writing, though I do use some of the things that have happened in the fictional stories. I did bring home something on one investigation. It was in Indiana. We did an investigation of a region known for being a very old burial ground. On return we had water coming on by itself along with cabinet doors in a bathroom opening by themselves. Very strange to say the least. The camera stopped operating several times during the investigation. Batteries were great. Once out of the area the camera worked fine. The cabinet doors opened with the witness sitting on the toilet next to the doors. I checked the doors and there was no reason why they should have opened.

Me: I bet you must have gathered quite a bit of evidence on an investigation like this. Have you ever come across something on such an active case that you’d consider solid evidence towards verification of a haunting?
MR: I have had many cases where there is no doubt that the building is haunted. I do everything possible to debunk any pictures or evp’s from the investigation. You have to be very careful not to let the evidence get you excited before there is nothing left to guess. Physical evidence such as being touched or pushed can be very hard to prove. At Trans Alleghany Lunatic asylum I was struck in the face with a force hard enough to leave a red streak vertically across my left eye. The mark was there for several days. We were able to communicate with a former inmate there from the civil war. His brother had been there several years after he was. There was verified by management of the facility by going through records only she had and was not privy to others outside of the facility. Pixilation of photos can deceive your perception you must be careful of that with every photo. Take the photos in succession to be able to verify if the anomaly is in all of the photos.

Me: Indeed photos can be quite misleading. A lot of the time I notice heavy amounts of pareidolia and apophenia in photos people have brought to us. You and I covered before in a prior email your take on orbs, and other dust anomalies, how do you handle photos with other such anomalies?
MR: When I find pictures with orbs most of the time I find myself somewhat dismissing them. The coloration usually is a dead giveaway. I prefer to see video concerning orbs. A great deal can be told from seeing these. Recently I had a mist from a grave yard taken at dusk. The problem with it was weather conditions and location. These mists are like orbs, a great deal of conditions can cause this.

The average camera and flash can cause lens flare or catch things the investigator is not seeing. Emotions can run high in a location that is unfamiliar to you. Human emotion can lead you to see and hear things that are simply not there. I find it is best to check your evidence more than one time and at different times. Give your mind a rest before you declare a solid haunting. I found in one case I jumped to conclusions with a shadow person at Old South Pittsburgh Hospital. The culprit when analyzed fully was a cheaper quality of enamel paint. The flash caused the shadow by bouncing off the far wall causing a shadow of someone walking behind me when the picture was taken. The witnesses all four of them could see the shadow moving from one wall to a set of double doors. Very convincing to say the least, but as I said the proof was there when it was broken down. Whether it is video or still shots I treat them all with a doubt going in until all room for doubt has been removed.

Me: Finally, out of all the locations you have done (I noticed you mentioned a few in prior responses) which one really stuck with you the most? Which one of them made you think you will maybe go back again and again until you have resolved its mystery? Or what was it you thought? (I understand you client confidentiality so I don’t expect you to mention personal names) answer whatever’s most comfortable?
MR: All of the locations and events stick with me to be honest. The one in particular that stands out is the girl in the window. I know from written testimony she was abused and that bothers me greatly. I want to know why she is making herself so perfectly known to us, my wife in particular. For whatever reason it makes you feel like she may be reaching out from the past. I have a bucket list that could last for centuries. There are some places I feel were a serious waste of time and resources. It is hard for the client to realize at times that what may or may not be happening will not always happen for the investigator. It disappoints them and I can sympathize with that. On the other hand you have the nonbeliever. When this is the case you have a simple question. If you do not or refuse to accept what is happening; passing it off as imagination; “Why did you call me? You don’t believe in the paranormal and I am who you called to verify what is happening to you.” The spirit world is very real. The Native Americans believe as do most of the religious sects that some dismiss as being “not one of us”. In its way it is more real than what we have in front of us. Can 12 disciples be wrong? I think not.

The next time you are alone in a wide open space with no-one within miles and someone calls your name think about your beliefs. The voice will sound familiar each time and yet you cannot place a finger on who it belongs to.

I am sending you a video taken with infrared cameras attached to the ceiling. I was in the room minutes before this was shot. This is evidence of a true orb. Watch the fourth frame. You will see an orb leave the door of the room and turn heading up the hallway. We were about fifty feet ahead of it. Amazing to say the least. I have had a very nice time talking with you today. Don’t be a stranger and let’s talk again.

For more information on Micheal Rivers, visit his team Smokey Mtn Ghost Trackers on Facebook, and check out his author profile in Amazon. You can also follow his real-time messages over on Twitter.

Smokey Mtn Ghost Trackers

Smokey Mtn Ghost Trackers

Jan 15

Resurrection Mary

Allen Marston

Allen Marston

Director / Chair Health & Safety at Apocalyptic Paranormal Investigation & Research
Allen grew up in a small town in Southern Virginia. His interest in the paranormal began as a young child after his parents told him of some experiences that they had over the years involving UFO’s and Ghosts. He began reading every thing about the paranormal he could get his hands on, thanks to his mother. As the years went by he had many experiences and feelings that he could not explain. One day he found out about a group in his area that was actually conducting paranormal investigations in his area and attended a public investigation with this group. He was totally hooked and began doing investigations with this group. After some time he and another member decided to leave the group to gear towards conducting more scientific investigations. Allen is co-founder of Apocalyptic Paranormal Investigation & Research where he specializes in audio and EVP. His team is the first to ever investigate the buildings of the Appomattox Court House Historic Park, where the surrender of Civil War occured. He has a passion for the paranormal and strives to bring all teams together to hopefully find concrete proof of the fringe sciences. When Allen is not working as a professional firefighter, you can find him spending time with his wonderful family, working other jobs to make money, creating artwork or finding more places to investigate.
Allen Marston

Latest posts by Allen Marston (see all)

rmary

If you ever find yourself driving down Archer AVE in Chicago ,Illinois be sure to keep your eyes peeled for a female hitchhiker. She is said to be a very good looking woman with blonde hair and blue eyes, wearing a white party dress. I know this doesn’t sound too odd in this and time, but wait it gets better. The lady is said to seem 100% solid one second, and then vanish in the blink of an eye. She was first documented being seen around Resurrection Cemetery in the middle to late 1930’s. Since this is where she was mostly seen at this time she came to be known as “Resurrection Mary.”

When the stories of Mary first started, passersby claimed that she they would first see the a few feet up the road. When they got up beside her she would attempt to jump onto the running boards of their automobiles and vanish. All of this seemed to happen right as they got to the cemetery.

Years after the first accounts new ones started to pop up. These seemed to be more interesting. They didn’t seem to center around the cemetery now. The stories now tend to begin either in or around the old O Henry Ballroom. Some accounts have her walking down the road near the ballroom and then get picked up, and some actually have her in the ballroom itself dancing with guests before being given a ride. Most of the ones that gave them rides were given bad directions by Mary that usually ended up with them driving by the cemetery and her disappearing right before their eyes at the gates. Descriptions of woman always seemed to match exactly. The other sightings weren’t as pleasant. Drivers would be startled when a blonde woman in a white dress would dart across the road. Usually the cars would drive right through her. When they stopped to see what happened they would see her turn and cross through the gates, never to be seen again.

There is one account that is different than all the rest. This account supposedly has evidence of its happening. Now wether this is 100% true story or not I’m not sure but it’s still pretty neat. Here is the story according to prairieghost.com:

“The strangest account of Mary was the one that occurred on the night of August 10, 1976. This event has remained so bizarre after all this time because on this occasion, Mary did not just appear as a passing spirit. It was on this night that she left evidence behind!

A driver was passing by the cemetery around 10:30 that night when he happened to see a girl standing on the other side of the gates. He said that when he saw her, she was wearing a white dress and grasping the iron bars of the gate. The driver was considerate enough to stop down the street at the Justice police station and alert them to the fact that someone had been accidentally locked in the cemetery at closing time. An officer responded to the call but when he arrived there was no one there. The graveyard was dark and deserted and there was no sign of any girl.

But his inspection rmary2of the gates, where the girl had been seen standing, did reveal something. The revelation chilled him to the bone! He found that two of the bars in the gate had been pulled apart and bent at sharp angles. To make things worse, at the points on the green-colored bronze where they had been pried apart were blackened scorch marks. Within these marks was what looked to be skin texture and handprints that had been seared into the metal with incredible heat.

The marks of the small hands made big news and curiosity-seekers came from all over the area to see them. In an effort to discourage the crowds, cemetery officials attempted to remove the marks with a blowtorch, making them look even worse. Finally, they cut the bars off and installed a wire fence until the two bars could be straightened or replaced.

The cemetery emphatically denied the supernatural version of what happened to the bars. They claimed that a truck backed into the gates while doing sewer work at the cemetery and that grounds workers tried to fix the bars by heating them with a blowtorch and bending them. The imprint in the metal, they said, was from a workman trying to push them together again. While this explanation was quite convenient, it did not explain why the marks of small fingers were clearly visible in the metal.

The bars were removed to discourage onlookers, but taking them out had the opposite effect and soon, people began asking what the cemetery had to hide. The events allegedly embarrassed local officials, so they demanded that the bars be put back into place. Once they were returned to the gate, they were straightened and painted over with green paint so that the blackened area would match the other bars. Unfortunately though, the scorched areas continued to defy all attempts to cover them and the twisted spots where the handprints had been impressed remained obvious until just recently, when the bars were removed for good.”

One question that many have tried to find the answer of is who was Mary and did she actually exist? I found this answer on prairieghost.com as well, and it seems plausible:

“Most researchers agree that the most accurate version of the story concerns a young girl who was killed while hitchhiking down Archer Avenue in the early 1930’s. Apparently, she had spent the evening dancing with a boyfriend at the O Henry Ballroom. At some point, they got into an argument and Mary (as she has come to be called) stormed out of the place. Even though it was a cold winter’s night, she thought, she would rather face a cold walk home than another minute with her boorish lover.

She left the ballroom and started walking up Archer Avenue. She had not gotten very far when she was struck and killed by a passing automobile. The driver fled the scene and Mary was left there to die.

Her grieving parents buried her in Resurrection Cemetery, wearing a white dress and her dancing shoes. “

Who Resurrection Mary really was will more than likely never be known. For all we know it could be a compilation of stories. However I will say that if it is, it’s a very good story. I hope that this has intrigued you enough to go out and do some research on who Mary could have been. Maybe, if you’re brave enough you’ll venture out to Chicago and take a drive down Archer AVE and experience Mary for yourself………

Stories and Accounts used from www.prairieghosts.com

Jan 15

The Perrons

Todd Wayne Knipple

Todd Wayne Knipple

I was awakened to the reality of the paranormal at the age of 12 while at a friend’s home. What happened that one night back in 1983 kept me awake for three days. After that incident I was left with many questions. My determination to find answers to what had happened that night became an obsession that would lead me down a path into investigating the paranormal. I found myself consumed by these strange anomalies that were captured on video, audio and photographs, and the strange feelings and sensations I would have from walking into old buildings or a person’s home.
For nearly 30 years, I have dedicated myself to finding these answers by using a scientific approach to fully understand and bring explanations to those who seek help and who are experiencing themselves the same things I experienced some 30 years ago. I can say that out of all of the cases I have investigated over the years as a paranormal investigator, 99% can be explained as a product of environment. There is, however, that 1% that can only be considered Beyond The Grave.
Todd Wayne Knipple

Latest posts by Todd Wayne Knipple (see all)

In December 1970 Roger and Carolyn Perron purchased a farmhouse in Harrisville, Rhode Island. Following events at their previous address, Carolyn decided she did not want to rear her children there and felt a house in the country would be a more suitable location for her 5 young girls to grow up. What Carolyn thought would be her dream home turned into a living nightmare.

par1Seeking to move the children to a quieter home life in the country, Roger and Carolyn Perron purchased their dream home in the winter of 1970. The Old Arnold Estate was 200 acres in size and one of the original plantations in the area surveyed by colonist John Smith in 1680 and deeded to Roger Williams for the formation of the state of Rhode Island. Located on Round Top Road in Harrisville, Rhode Island, the 10-room “lovely, charming” country home was built in 1736 on a beautiful plot of land with plenty of room for their five children, all girls, to roam about and play. Nancy and Christine Perron shared one room, Cindy and April another, and Andrea had a room all to herself – except on nights when, as Andrea put it, the sisters “came crawling into bed with her, trembling and crying in terror”.

The Perron family began to notice something was amiss from the first day they stepped into their lovely new home. Later it would be learned that eight generations of families had lived, and died, in the Old Arnold Estate including Mrs. John Arnold who at the age of 93, hung herself from the rafters of the barn. Other unfortunate losses of life on the estate included several suicides (hangings, poisonings), the rape and unsolved murder of eleven-year-old girl Prudence Arnold (later presumed to have been murdered by a farm hand), two sudden drownings in the creek located near the house, and four men who mysteriously froze to death on the land. It did not take long before the Perrons’ understood why the previous seller advised them on the day that they moved into the house, “leave the lights on at night.”

The house they purchased was the old Arnold farm which was over two centuries old. Eight generations of families had lived and died in that house and some of these spirits never left. Previous residents of the farmhouse included Mrs John Arnold who at the age of 93 hung herself in the barn and Bathsheba Sherman who had an extremely hard life. She lost all of her children before the age of four. When she was a young woman, Bathsheba had a young child in her care (it is uncertain if this was her child or if she was caring for the child for a friend) that died. Upon examination of the baby’s body it was found that a needle had been impaled into its skull and the baby had died from convulsions. Bathsheba was charged with manslaughter but due to lack of evidence the case was dropped. However, in the court of public opinion she was found guilty. She was a very beautiful woman whom men loved and women envied. Following the death of the baby rumours began to swirl that Bathsheba had sacrificed this baby as an offering to the devil for eternal beauty. Due to the belief of the locals that she was a witch she lived a life of solitude. Eventually she married and it is unsure if she lived all her days at the Arnold farm or the adjacent Sherman farm. She died in 1885 and the coroner made a note in his report stating that he had never seen anything like it that it was like her body had turned to stone. The Perron family spoke to a man who knew Bathsheba and he said she was a very angry and bitter woman who would beat and starve her farmhands.

From the very first day the Perron family moved into the farmhouse the paranormal activity began. When the family first arrived at the house the old tenants were packing up the last of their things. As they did so a man stood in the corner watching them. Three of the five girls seen this man but the parents did not. It was an apparition. The family continued to see spirits some of which did not even notice the family were there, they were the quiet ones who lived peacefully at the farmhouse and did not bother the family. One of the girls made friends with a spirit whom she called Manny. He was a sympathetic soul whom the Perrons believed was the spirit of Johnny Arnold who had committed suicide in the house in the 1700’s. He would watch over the family. He would appear to the children but as soon as they made eye contact he would disappear. Many peaceful souls resided at the farmhouse but there was also dark forces. Every time the father was home machinery in the house began to breakdown that he would have to go and fix. All of this machinery was located in the cellar for example the boiler and the heating. When he would go to the cellar he would be approached by a spirit who seemed very attracted to him. She would touch him on the back of the neck and run her hands across his back. Over time he developed a kinship with this spirit and this was the spirit who caused most of the problems in the house. It is believed this was Bathsheba (although it is possible it could have been one of the many other spirits) and that she seen herself as the mistress of the house and Roger and the kids were hers which led her to put Carolyn Perron through what her daughter Andrea describes as ‘Something no human being should endure’. She wanted to drive Carolyn from the house and when this did not work she tried to claim her from within and this is when the true terror of Harrisville began. One of the children, Cindy, one day decided with her friend that they would try to drive the spirits from the house which resulted in a brutal attack on the two children and then Cindy began to suffer at the hands of the evil spirits also.

par2At first the ghosts, or demon spirits were harmless. Described variously as opaque or somewhat solid in appearance, there were many spirits present in the old homestead. One ghost smelled of flowers while another would gently kiss the girls goodnight in their beds every night. Another appeared to be a small, young male that the girls would watch, mesmerized, push toy cars about the room propelled by an invisible hand.

One apparition, presumably a female ghost, was a welcome presence in the home. The Perron’s would often hear sweeping noises coming from the kitchen. When they entered the room, they would find the broom had been moved to a different spot in the room with a neat pile of newly swept dirt sitting in the middle of the floor, waiting to be deposited in the trashcan.

“Manny” was another spirit that the young Perron children loved. Manny was believed to be the spirit of Johnny Arnold, who had committed suicide by hanging himself in the attic of the house in the 1700’s. Manny would appear before the children, often standing nearby quietly watching the children going about their daily activities, a crooked smile on his face, amused at the children’s’ play. If eye contact was made with Manny, he would withdraw from sight just as suddenly as he had appeared.

In addition to ghostly entities, the Perrons’ witnessed many other odd and unexplained phenomena. Beds would levitate several inches off of the floor, telephone handsets would hover in the air and slam down onto the phone base when someone entered the room, and various household objects would glide about the house on their own. Often chairs would be pulled suddenly from beneath an unsuspecting guest and pictures would tumble from the walls. The Perrons’ once reported seeing an orange ooze blood and a wall dissolve into nothingness.

Not all the ghosts at Harrisville were welcome visitors. Some would yank the girls’ legs and hair during the middle of the night. Others would loudly bang the front door of the home with such force that the entire house would shake. Doors would slam shut on their own while others would stay frozen in place, unable to be shut no matter how much force was applied to them. One entity in the home routinely kept the family awake as it continually cried out in the night, “Mama! Maaaama!” while another apparition tortured 8-year-old Cindy telling her over and over, “there are seven dead soldiers buried in the wall”. One of the Perron’s recalled a small, delicate spirit, appearing to be about 4 years old, roaming the house crying, calling for her mother.

The most horrid ghost in the home targeted Mrs. Perron specifically. Known as Bathsheba, the entity was thought to have been the ghost of Bathsheba Sherman, a practicing Satanist and witch who had lived in the home in the early 19th century and died there after hanging herself from a tree behind the barn. The Perrons’ were not a religious family. Weak in faith, it was theorized to be a primary factor for the particularly violent and active nature of Bathsheba’s treatment of the Perron family.

Bathsheba was a vile, hideous creature described as having a face “similar to a desiccated bee hive” covered in cobwebs with no real human features other than vermin crawling from crevices etched into the wrinkled skin of her face. Her head, round and gray, sat “leaning off to one side” as if her neck had been broken and an evil stench permeated the room when she was present.

Bathsheba Thayer was born in 1812 in Rhode Island and married fellow Rhode Islander Judson Sherman on March 10, 1844. When alive Bathsheba had lived a life of solitude, an outcast of the community she lived in after being accused of killing her young baby as a sacrifice to Satan. The baby’s body was found to have been impaled in the head with a sharp object. Lacking evidence, the case was eventually dropped. Bathsheba was believed to have had three other children, none of whom survived past the age of four. Her children may not have been her only victims. Bathsheba was also known to have brutalized the staff often starving and beating them for minor infractions. When Bathsheba died on May 25, 1885, the coroner wrote that he had never seen anything like it – her emaciated body had eerily solidified, seemingly turned to stone.

It was easily recognized that Bathsheba had her favorites in the household. She tortured Carolyn Perron (one of the daughters, Cindy, was often a frequent target) while lusting after Mr. Perron. During their stay, equipment in the home frequently broke. Roger Perron would take the broken machinery down to the cellar to repair. While working, he often felt Bathsheba touching him, gently caressing his neck or running her hands down his back. But while longing for Mr. Perron, Bathsheba abhorred Carolyn. It was clear that Bathsheba wanted Carolyn out of the house.

In the beginning, Bathsheba’s treatment of Carolyn was merely “cruel”. Carolyn would be pinched, slapped, or have objects thrown about her. Her greatest fear, fire, was soon discovered by the entity and used repeatedly to strike terror in her as Bathsheba banged torches against her bed while demanding that she leave the home immediately.

As time progressed, the attacks grew harsher. In one instance, Carolyn was lying on the couch when she felt a sharp pain in the calf of her leg. She examined her leg and found a large, bleeding puncture wound that looked “as if a large sewing needle had impaled her skin”. Later, after threats failed to motivate Carolyn to leave, Bathsheba took a different tack and attempted to invade Carolyn from within.

The Perrons’ soon learned that every occupant (with the exception of a local minister and his family) of the old Arnold Estate had reported supernatural phenomena on the homestead. In fact, the owner just prior to the Perrons’ had hired a contractor to renovate the house. The contractor had been busily renovating the home when he suddenly stopped work and fled. It was reported that he had left the home screaming leaving behind his tools and his car. The owners never moved in and the home sat vacant for several years before the Perrons’ discovered it was on the market.

Despite their unfortunate circumstances, financial constraints kept the Perrons’ rooted in place for 10 long years. Unable to flee, they endured the inconvenience of the “friendly” spirits and the torture the malevolent ghosts bestowed upon them. Finally, in 1980, at the insistence of Carolyn, the Perrons’ were financially able to vacate the home. They moved to Georgia.

Andrea Perron wrote a trilogy of books entitled ‘House of Darkness, House of Light’ volumes 1, 2 and 3 of their experiences in the home, She tours the country giving lectures and recollections of her time in the haunted home.

According to Andrea Perron, the current owner, Norma Sutcliffe, who purchased the home in 1983, stated that she, her husband Gerry, and various visitors to the home have had paranormal experiences in the farmhouse, including the door banging in the front hall, sounds of people talking in another room, the sounds of footsteps scurrying around the house, and one odd instance when her husband’s chair began vibrating in the study room. They claim to have also witnessed a glowing blue light “shoot across the bedroom”, “fog” floating through the rooms of the home, and vibrations in the walls so intense they felt the house was going to come apart. Several visitors to their home have independently reported seeing an elderly woman, hair in a bun, moving silently throughout the house. the current residents claim there is always activity in the house but not to the extent the Perrons endured.

Those involved:

Carolyn Perron – born on 8/1939

Roger Perron – born on 8/27/1935 in Providence, Rhode Island

Andrea Perron – born on 10/10/1958 in Rhode Island

Nancy Perron – born on 2/8/1960 in Willimantic, Connecticut

Christine Perron – born on 1/30/1961 in Willimantic, Connecticut

Cindy Perron – born in Willimantic, Connecticut

April Perron – born in Willimantic, Connecticut

Source:

http://altereddimensions.net/2013/harrisville-haunting-perron-warren-family-conjuring-movie

http://westportcrypt.blogspot.com/2013/06/the-true-story-behind-conjuring.html

Jan 15

Haunting in Conneticut

Courtesy of:  http://nationalparanormalassociation.blogspot.com/

hic“In 1986 Carmen and Al Snedeker moved to the small town of Southington, Connecticut, with the purpose of being closer to the hospital at which their oldest son was being treated for Hodgkin’s Lymphoma.

hic2

Having fallen on hard financial times, the family jumped at the chance to rent what appeared to be the perfect house. It was large enough for their family, which included three children and a cousin, and the rent was in their affordable price range.

It was while they were moving in that Al made a startling discovery: In the basement was a peculiar room that was complete with embalming tables and tools. The house, it turned out, used to be a funeral home. Moreover, the basement, which was sectioned into several rooms, was the only room deemed large enough to serve as the two boys’ bedroom.

Not long after, Carmen says she began experiencing strange phenomena, like items disappearing and her children reporting seeing strange people in the house, as well as hearing voices and the sounds of hundreds of birds taking flight. Her oldest, who was at the time in the middle of radiation treatment, began to exhibit radical personality shifts, becoming withdrawn and angry. He brooded and began writing poetry with necrophiliac themes. During one intense episode he attacked his cousin with the intent to rape her. His family had him arrested and taken for an evaluation, where he was pronounced schizophrenic. He was removed from the house and seemed to get better until returning.

Other phenomena that were reported by the Snedekers included the repeated and brutal rape of both Carmen and her niece, as well as acts of sodomy being performed on her husband, by unseen entities. Mop water was reported to turn blood red, and the scents of rotting flesh and decay were reported throughout the house. She was also frightened of apparitions that she saw, one with long black hair and black eyes, the other with white hair and eyes and wearing a pinstriped tuxedo. It was then that Carmen decided to contact controversial paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren.

Along with John Zaffis and a few investigators, the Warrens moved into the house for several weeks until they’d experienced everything the Snedekers claimed. During their time in the house, they claim to have seen first-hand the damage the “demons” in the home could inflict, with many members being slapped and beaten, pushed, and slammed to the floor. Investigation into the history of the house supposedly revealed that one of the undertakers at the funeral home was found guilty of necrophilia, which fed fuel to the fire. It got to the point that the Warrens deemed it necessary for a full-scale exorcism of the property, after which the house was judged “cleared” by the Warrens. With the evil banished from the house, that should have been the end of the story. But it wasn’t.

Controversy:

Like another Warren investigation, the infamous Lutz house in Amityville, there have been numerous claims by people who lived in the house, both before and after the Snedeker

family, that there have never been any “evil entities” in the house. In fact, the family’s claim to have no knowledge that the home was once a funeral parlor was refuted by the house’s owner. Perhaps the most damning evidence that the whole event was a hoax came from horror novelist Ray Garton, who was contracted to write the book In a Dark Place with the Warrens and the Snedekers. According to Garton it was difficult to write the “true” story because none of the involved parties could keep their stories straight. It seemed everyone was contradicting everyone else.

When he went to Ed Warren with the problem, Garton wrote in a post dated April 27, 1999:

“He told me not to worry, that the family was ‘crazy.’ I was shocked. He said, ‘All the people who come to us are crazy. You think *sane* people would come to us?’ He knew I’d written a lot of horror novels prior to that, so he told me to just make the story up using whatever details I could incorporate into the book, and make it scary.”

Furthermore, others who lived in the house during, and prior to, the same time have similar stories to tell. Sure, they say, there were a few odd occurrences, but nothing near the scale the Snedekers claimed. Many point to the Warrens as instigators and others as enablers.

Aftermath:

Whether true or not, it sure makes for one helluva story. The house surely seems like one that would be ripe for a haunting, and whatever did go on in the house, the effects of it are being felt now by the current owners, but not in the form of supernatural boogeymen. Today hoards of photographers, curious gawkers, and paranormal enthusiasts flock to the home with hopes of getting a glimpse of the famous house from hell. Much like the Lutz house in Amityville, the current owners report no paranormal activity and would really just like to be left in peace.

In an Associated Press article dated March 22, 2009, current owner Susan Trotta-Smith had this to say:

“Most people are respectful. They stay on the road. They might take a picture,” Trotta-Smith said. “But we have had a few problems with people kind of rudely coming up to the door and scaring our kids, telling them the house is haunted.”

The Snedeker family lived in the house for two years after it was exorcised, then moved to Tennessee. The children are grown now with children of their own, and Carmen Reed (nee Snedeker) is now a “spiritual advisor.” She also has plans of writing another book based on the experience with John Zaffis.

Psychic Chip Coffey was once slated to co-author the book but has since distanced himself from the project.

While the statements of Carmen and her family are refuted by numerous people, no one knows for certain what, if anything, happened in the house in Connecticut. The events have spawned a book, a Discovery Channel special, and now another book and the major Hollywood film. Doubtless this story will become as famous as The Amityville Horror, and for much the same reason. Did the family make it up, or did the walls bleed? Was the boy hallucinating from his chemotherapy, or did the dead really torment the owners of the house? Did it really happen, or was it a hoax? We may never know the truth.

Also for the reality of the stories:

The home was indeed once a funeral parlor and it is true that in the 1980’s a family lived there who reported having various ghostly experiences, but there is little evidence to back these claims. There are still a few residents in the neighborhood who lived there at the time of the reputed haunting.

Those who remember the events write off the claims of a haunting, and cite the fact that the electrical service was prone to interruptions, many caused by an old tree whose branches had grown long enough to occasionally brush against the uninsulated power lines. One account of the haunting involves a story of a tree branch catching fire and falling during an exorcism ritual – a story that seems less demonic in view of the dangerously close power lines.

Another aspect of the movie and the stories which preceded it had to do with the funeral home that had previously occupied the house in question. The Hallahan Funeral Home was run by the Hallahan family. Members of the family still live in the community and many residents have relatives whose wakes and burrials were handled by the Hallahan Funeral Home. There have been accusations of rumors surrounding the owners of the funeral home. These rumors, not surprisingly, include fantastic claims of satanic worship and even necorphilia. A few who live in the community have investigated these claims, looking through old newspapers and asking some of the long time residents if they had ever heard such claims at the time.

All indications are that these stories were entirely made up, and those who knew and worked with the operators of the funeral service remember the operators as being honest, respectable and ordinary.”

Source:  http://nationalparanormalassociation.blogspot.com/2011/11/haunting-in-connecticut-hoax-yea-pretty.html

Dec 05

The Ghost of Chloe

Allen Marston

Allen Marston

Director / Chair Health & Safety at Apocalyptic Paranormal Investigation & Research
Allen grew up in a small town in Southern Virginia. His interest in the paranormal began as a young child after his parents told him of some experiences that they had over the years involving UFO’s and Ghosts. He began reading every thing about the paranormal he could get his hands on, thanks to his mother. As the years went by he had many experiences and feelings that he could not explain. One day he found out about a group in his area that was actually conducting paranormal investigations in his area and attended a public investigation with this group. He was totally hooked and began doing investigations with this group. After some time he and another member decided to leave the group to gear towards conducting more scientific investigations. Allen is co-founder of Apocalyptic Paranormal Investigation & Research where he specializes in audio and EVP. His team is the first to ever investigate the buildings of the Appomattox Court House Historic Park, where the surrender of Civil War occured. He has a passion for the paranormal and strives to bring all teams together to hopefully find concrete proof of the fringe sciences. When Allen is not working as a professional firefighter, you can find him spending time with his wonderful family, working other jobs to make money, creating artwork or finding more places to investigate.
Allen Marston

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ghostchloeOur story begins sometime in the 1800’s on a plantation near St. Francisville, Louisiana. Like many southern plantations of this time, slaves took on many of the duties on the farm and in the home. This plantation was no different than any of the others. The owner at the time, Judge Clark Woodruffe, had chosen a slave girl by the name of Chloe to serve as the governess for his two girls.

Chloe tended to the day to day activities of what ever the Judge’s daughters needed. After some time the Judge became very fond of Chloe. He began to make sexual advances towards the governess. Chloe did not really want to go along with his advances, but you have to remember at this time pretty much anything was better than being sent back to fields to hard labor and discipline, so she complied. This went on for some time and she began to get the feeling that he may have began to get tired of her. She feared that he would find someone new and she would be stripped of her “freedoms” and be sent back to the fields.

Her fears got the best of her, so she decided to see what she could find out by eaves dropping on the day to day activities in the house.

Story has it that she would sneak up to the doors and listen through the key hole. Its unsure of how long this went on, but one day the Judge caught her. After talking with Chloe he was so furious that he chopped off her ear. From that day forward she wore what has become her recognizable green turban. Sadly enough her fears of being sent back to hard labor didn’t cease.

Chloe began to thinking of ways that she could make herself seen as an asset and was needed in the house. She devised a plan to take oleander, a poisonous plant that grows in the south, and bake it into a birthday cake. She figured that that the family would get sick and she would be there to nurse them back to health. She felt that this plan would make her valuable again.

Chloe decided to go through with her plan so she gathered just enough oleander leaves to make the family sick and baked the cake. After dinner she brought out the cake for everyone to “enjoy”. It’s unclear if the Judge had any of the cake, but the rest of family definitely partook in it. Immediately after eating the cake the judges wife and two daughters fell to ground in agony. She helped the family to the beds and began to take care of the family. Despite all her efforts the daughters and mother (who was also pregnant) died.

It didn’t take long for the news of what happened to spread between the other slaves. Now it’s know if Chloe told someone, or they put two and two together and figured out that it was her that made them sick, but they decide to take care of the problem before the Judge took it out on all of them. Story has it that late one night they got together and captured Chloe as she slept. They proceeded to hang her from one of the oak trees on the property till she was dead. Supposedly they then they cut her down, weighted her body down with rocks and threw her into the Mississippi River.

Guests have stated that they have woke up in the middle of the night by what seems to be a slave girl with a green turban on her head. She has also been seen in numerous places on the grounds. Something is definitely going on there, but it’s not known if it is Chloe. To be honest, they are not sure that Chloe ever existed. From what I can tell there is no record of anything going on at the Myrtle’s Plantation involving this girl. I’ll leave the mystery for you to find out.

Oct 31

The Ghost of Marie Laveau

Allen Marston

Allen Marston

Director / Chair Health & Safety at Apocalyptic Paranormal Investigation & Research
Allen grew up in a small town in Southern Virginia. His interest in the paranormal began as a young child after his parents told him of some experiences that they had over the years involving UFO’s and Ghosts. He began reading every thing about the paranormal he could get his hands on, thanks to his mother. As the years went by he had many experiences and feelings that he could not explain. One day he found out about a group in his area that was actually conducting paranormal investigations in his area and attended a public investigation with this group. He was totally hooked and began doing investigations with this group. After some time he and another member decided to leave the group to gear towards conducting more scientific investigations. Allen is co-founder of Apocalyptic Paranormal Investigation & Research where he specializes in audio and EVP. His team is the first to ever investigate the buildings of the Appomattox Court House Historic Park, where the surrender of Civil War occured. He has a passion for the paranormal and strives to bring all teams together to hopefully find concrete proof of the fringe sciences. When Allen is not working as a professional firefighter, you can find him spending time with his wonderful family, working other jobs to make money, creating artwork or finding more places to investigate.
Allen Marston

Latest posts by Allen Marston (see all)

10620666_10152372045261576_1170317444348853306_nWhen I decided to write this article, I thought it would be a straight forward synopsis of the Voodoo Queen’s life and ending with with what is believed to her ghost. This couldn’t be any further from the truth. While doing my research I learned that this lady is wrapped in mystery and the truth is hard to pull out.

The first mystery is her actual birth year. Everything that I found leads to the month and date of September 10, but this is where the variances begin. I first found the date of 1784 and began to write this article. While checking sources I began to find a few other dates as well. I came to the conclusion that she was born somewhere between 1783 and 1801. Okay, no big deal as for that time records were probably poorly kept or possibly got lost/destroyed along the way.

The next thing that stumped me was the actual birthplace as well as to who her parents were. The mother wasn’t too hard to find as all the reference material I found stated that her mother was Marguerite Darcantel. The father on the other hand wasn’t as easy as I kept finding two different possibilities of a father. The first was Charles Laveau, a wealthy white creole plantation owner. The second was a free man of color who had the last name of Laveaux, sometimes cited as Charles also. Her birthplace went along with the differences of the father. While most things cited she was born in New Orleans, a couple stated she was born Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic.

The mystery doesn’t stop there. Some say that she was brought up as an educated woman that learned the art of hairdressing which was very prestigious at the time.

Other sources say that she never learned to read or write. All do say however that she was brought up as a devout catholic, which would lead one to believe that she could actually read and possibly write.

The story starts to even out a little about these aspects of her life. On August 4, 1819 she married a free person of color of Haiti, by the name of Jacques Paris. The couple then moved to the French Quarter of New Orleans. The couple was together until he went missing and presumed to be dead in 1824.(Although there is some evidence that he deserted her). Presumably she was left with two children as well.

After the disappearance she is believed to have become a hairdresser to many prominent women in New Orleans. Some say this lead to part of her fame. She also would go to the prisons and minister to the ones on death row, as well as care for sick people in her home.

Somewhere around 1826 she entered into a common law marriage with Louis Christophe Dumesnil de Glapion. This fellow was a very prominent member of the New Orleans society. There is a little discrepancy as to how many children they had. It’s just safer to say that they had anywhere from five to fifteen kids. They remained together until his death in 1855. At this time she stopped hairdressing and raising her family was one of full time jobs.

Most feel that it was at this point she began to infuse her Catholic upbringing with her voodoo roots to make it more acceptable to upper class of clients that she would soon take on. She would go on to making a very comfortable living selling gris-gris, magical items, and spells as well as telling fortunes and curing ailments. One articles I read suggested this: “Some scholars believe that Laveau’s feared magical powers of divination were actually based on her network of informants which she developed while working as a hairdresser in households of the prominent. As she visited her clients (mostly white) she listened closely to their gossip. She also appeared to excel at obtaining inside information on her wealthy patrons by instilling fear in their servants whom she either paid or ‘cured’ of mysterious ailments.” -womenhistoryblog

The same article also had this to say:

“Once the news of Laveau’s powers spread, she overthrew the other voodoo queens of New Orleans. She acted as an oracle (a person who predicts the future), conducted private rituals behind her cottage on St. Ann Street in the French Quarter, performed exorcisms and offered sacrifices to spirits. Oral traditions suggested that the occult part of her magic mixed Roman Catholic beliefs, including saints, with African spirits and religious concepts.” -womenhistoryblog

She continued her legacy up until she died in 1881. Or did she? She has been spotted outside of home on St.Anne St numerous times. After hurricane Katrina it is said that she was seen on her front porch weeping because of the state the city she loved was in at the time. It also said that a thick black mass has been seen above her home accompanied with the smell of sulfur. She has also been spotted outside of her supposed tomb in St. Louis Cemetery #1.

Many feel that she is still at work. Visitors to her tomb draw three X’s on it’s wall and make their wishes known to her believing that she will still carry on her life’s work. Whether true or not she remains as one of New Orleans most famous and powerful women.

I hope you have enjoyed this and it inspires you to go out and do your own research on this remarkable woman.

Sep 08

The Outer Banks of North Carolina

Jason Black

Jason Black

Alt Asst Director / Chair: Ghosts & Hauntings at National Paranormal Society
My name is Jason, I’m 38. Originally born & raised in Houston, Tx, I relocated to the North Dallas area mid 2013. I have been involved in Paranormal investigating since 2011. I have had many personal experiences with paranormal activity since I was about 12 years old. I have always believed, but it wasn’t until 1997 when my grandmother appeared right in front of me & told me everything was ok then vanished before my eyes (2 months after she had passed away) that I became completely interested in learning more about the unknown. In 2011, I joined my first Paranormal group and began investigating. I was involved with 2 different groups in Houston before I moved to Dallas. Once in Dallas, I started contacting different groups and made quite a few contacts. I eventually joined Texpart Paranormal Research Team in November 2013 and continue to investigate as a member of that team. I am honored and excited to be a member and Representative of NPS and look forward to learning and sharing with everyone.
Jason Black

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There are many locations along North Carolina’s Outer banks with rich history, beautiful scenery and most of all, ghostly tales of pirates, Civil War battles & stories, haunted lighthouses and much more. I will touch on a couple locations known for their ghostly tales.

Cape Hatteras Lighthouse

hateras-lighthouseCompleted in 1870, the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse is the tallest lighthouse in The USA and is the main one out of 5 lighthouses on the North Carolina coast most associated with the state. In 1999 the lighthouse and its historic surrounding structure were moved 3000 feet from the original location due to erosion causing the land it stood on to recede. Rough waters and the infamous Diamond Shoals have caused many ships to wreck in the area, in a section known as The Graveyard of the Atlantic.

Reports of paranormal activity are that of shadow people inside with most of the occurrences happening in the water and around the lighthouse grounds. Ghostly sailors and pirates as well as phantom ships have been reported to be seen in the waters around the lighthouse.

In December 1812, Theodosia Burr, daughter of Aaron Burr, was sailing with a group to New York from South Carolina on the Patriot when the schooner was blown off course by a gale, taking it close to the Outer Banks. During that time, pirates regularly sailed the area in search of treasure. It is believed that pirates captured the Patriot, killing everyone on board. For many years, there have been sightings of a female apparition, thought to be the spirit of Theodosia Burr, who roams the beach around the lighthouse.

Another known spirit of the lighthouse is the Gray Man of Hatteras who has been appearing to people since the early 1900’s. It is believed by many that the man was a sailor named Gray who lived near Cape Point. The story is that Gray drowned when his ship was caught in a hurricane. He often appears out of nowhere with verbal warnings of impending doom and then vanishes. Witnesses say that they feel no fear as they believe he is just trying to prevent the same tragedy that happened to him.

Teach’s Hole

blackbeardTeach’s Hole is named after Edward Teach, more widely known as Blackbeard the Pirate. A cove on Ocracoke Island is known as Teach’s Hole because it is the supposed site of Blackbeard’s execution at sea.

Blackbeard terrorized the sailors of the Atlantic and the Caribbean for twenty seven months by ambushing ships and stealing their cargo and killing anyone who got in his way. He would often attack at dawn or dusk when his ship was harder to see. When prisoners willing surrendered, he would spare

them. There is a story of one man who refused to give up a diamond ring he was wearing, so the feared pirate cut the ring off, finger and all.

In November of 1718, Blackbeard retreated to Teach’s Island and threw a wild pirate party that lasted for three days. When word got to Governor Alexander Spotswood of Virginia, he immediately ordered two sloops, commanded by Lieutenant Robert Maynard of the Royal Navy, to go to Ocracoke and capture the pirate They hung the head from the bowsprit and threw the pirate’s body overboard. As the body hit the water, the head hanging from the bowsprit shouted: “Come on Edward” and the headless body swam three times around the ship before sinking to the bottom.

To this day, Blackbeard’s ghost has haunted Teach’s Hole, forever searching for his missing head. Sometimes, the headless ghost floats on the surface of the water, or swims around and around and around Teach’s Hole, glowing just underneath the water. Sometimes, people see a strange light coming from the shore on the Pamlico Sound side of Ocracoke Island and know that it is “Teach’s light”. On night’s that the ghost light appears, if the wind is blowing inland, you can still hear Blackbeard’s ghost tramping up and down and roaring: ‘Where’s my head?

Resources:

http://www.ncgypsy.com/haunted-nc-cape-hatteras-lighthouse.html

http://hauntedstories.net/ghost-stories/north-carolina/gray-man-hatteras

http://americanfolklore.net/folklore/2010/07/blackbeards_ghost.html

Sep 06

The Haunted Kendrick House of Carthage Missouri

Sheri Collins

Sheri Collins

Assistant Executive Director Department Chair Investigation & Research Education Resource Photography & NPS Photography Team at NPS of Texas
Sheri has always had an interest in the paranormal – from watching different paranormal shows over the years to having déjà-vu experiences throughout all her life that she has tried to put an explanation to. When her dad passed away in March 2010she began her journey into the paranormal. She has had several encounters over the years since starting in the field & takes more of an “old school” approach to her research in the paranormal. She is a supporter of today’s modern technology being used on investigations & encourages the use of various tools on investigations. She is always looking for a new ‘old school’ method to try on investigations & employs the use of trigger objects in an effort to get a response. She became fascinated with the pendulum after using a set of original jailer’s keys as a trigger object on an investigation at a local historic jail & they began to sway in response to questions.She is a huge proponent of education in the paranormal field choosing to debunk things immediately by trying to recreate situations & experiment to find logical answers to things that have happened or been captured in photographs or on video in an effort to prove or disprove paranormal activity. She & her team focus on private residential cases as well as educating the public on paranormal investigation & research. You will often find them assisting & consulting with other teams on theircases. Sheri is a certified paralegal and Notary Public for the State of Texas. Her professional background includes working in the legal field, sports marketing, event coordination & business management. She serves as Assistant Executive Director of NPS and the Department Chair overseeing Photography and the NPS Photography Team. Sheri leads the Investigation & Research Education Resources for NPS which provides information, links, & articles surrounding education in the paranormal field. She also writes articles periodically for the NPS’ website that are tied to photography & education. She is one of the founders of NPS of Texas, a paranormal research & investigative team based out of Dallas, Texas.
Sheri Collins

kendrick-houseThere’s this house that sits at a fork in the road in Carthage, Missouri that when driving by one would have no idea the history that is the Kendrick House.
This red brick home with an old well and a small building sitting behind it holds so many spirits within its walls. Having been built starting back in 1849
and completed in 1854, it is one of the oldest standing homes and one of only a few to have survived the Civil War. The home has served as a private home,
field hospital during the Civil War and a sickhouse. It is a really cool place to investigate as the house itself is like a vortex for paranormal activity
because it sits on limestone next to a river AND a set of railroad tracks!! A serious hotbed for paranormal activity for sure and we all LOVE that.

The following excerpts were taken from my friend Lisa Livingston Martin’s book Haunted Carthage Missouri:

“Antebellum homes are rare in Southwest Missouri due to the scorched-earth policies employed by both sides during the Civil War. The term conjures images of large plantations as are found in the Deep South. Though plantations were located along the Mississippi and Missouri Rivers in Missouri, the land in southern Missouri did not lend itself to large-scale crop farming. Nonetheless, elegant antebellum homes were built here. The oldest surviving example is Kendrick House, on the northern edge of present-day Carthage, at the intersection of Garrison Avenue and VV Highway. When built, it was considered a mansion and one of the most beautiful homes in the area. It was one of three homes in the Carthage area to survive the Civil War and is the oldest standing house in Jasper County. The house was built beginning in 1849 and completed in its current state by 1856.

When the house was built, there were no roads leading to its site. There was a trail off to the east, and the trail that would become Garrison Avenue would be forged from an Indian trail that led to Fort Scott, Kansas, and later would be part of the original Route 66. However, in the 1840s, there was nothing but prairie grass and trees outlining Spring River, several hundred yards to the south.

Sennett Rankin was drawn to this spot in the mid-1840s, building a small log cabin on the northern bank of Spring River just southeast of the house, on which he began construction but that never bore his name. A prosperous farmer with large holdings in the area, Rankin broke ground on the rolling hill above the river in 1849, as slaves tended a forty-acre field carved out of the prairie by horse and man. We have no idea what plans Sennett Rankin and his wife had when they started building what later became known as the ‘Mansion.’ After a couple years, Sennett and his wife moved back to their large farm near present-day Jasper, Missouri, some fifteen miles north, without finishing or ever living in the house. The partially constructed house was sold to Sennett’s son-in-law, Thomas Dawson. Soon, the lure of gold took Dawson to California to seek his fortune. Dawson did not find gold in California. He didn’t finish construction either and never lived in the house. Perhaps as a means of recouping his losses from that search for gold, Dawson sold the still unfinished house and 640 acres of future farmland and orchards to William and Elizabeth Kendrick for the sizeable sum of $7,000 in 1856. At the same time in Jasper County, farmland was selling for approximately $1.25 an acre ($800 for 640 acres). The Kendricks finished the house on the hill and made it their home. They turned the 640 acres of virgin prairie grass into cropland and orchards and operated a successful blacksmithing and gunsmithing business for many years. The Kendrick family and their descendants, including several generations of the Janney family, lived in the home continuously for approximately 130 years, until it was sold to Victorian Carthage in the 1980s, which still owns the home. Approximately 20 acres of the original 640 acres remain with the house.

Although the city of Carthage had been established by the time Kendrick House was built, it was still a small collection of houses and buildings. It was not readily accessible from Kendrick House, as there were no bridges across Spring River or in all of Jasper County until the 1870s. Everything that was used in construction of the house except for glass for the windows was either material found on the property or items that were made by the workers. For instance, there were no store-bought nails available, so each nail was made by hand by a blacksmith in a forge. The outer walls are red brick, made from the clay from the banks of Spring River, just a few hundred yards from this spot. Sennett Rankin, as well as Dawson and the Kendricks, owned slaves. Rankin was the largest slaveholder in Jasper County, and his slaves built the brick walls. The bricks are concave on the interior side so as to hold more mortar. The exterior walls are three bricks thick, very unusual for construction of the time in the region, where a small log cabin with a hole cut out of one of the logs for a year-round open window was a symbol of permanence. The thickness of the walls meant that the house was better insulated than most buildings of the time. If you look closely, you will find bricks with areas of gray glazing, which was caused when a brick was too close to a hot spot in the wood-fired kilns.

The house is Federal-style architecture, which means that there is an entryway and staircase with symmetrical wings on either side. Although the house looks large from the outside, the original structure consists of four rooms: the dining room and parlor on either side of the entryway on the ground floor and two bedrooms on the second floor. There was no running water in the home until 1954. Water was originally available from the hand-dug well beside the house and a cistern that collected rainwater. There were various outer buildings on site, including a kitchen, slave quarters, blacksmith shop, smokehouse, barns and later homes for family members and rental homes for men working in the nearby quarry. The old outhouse still stands out back near the slave cabin. The original slave quarters were brick, like the house, but were demolished sometime in the past. The slave quarters on site were moved from the Miller, Missouri area when Victorian Carthage opened Kendrick House to the public. There have been reports of an African American man wearing a white shirt standing and looking out one of the windows in the slave quarters, staring off into the distance. The sound of harmonica music has been recorded in the slave quarters as well.

Death was a frequent visitor to the Kendrick-Janney family. Three of William and Elizabeth’s sons died while the Civil War raged around the family: Richard, Alex and Austin, all in their early twenties. William passed away in 1868, followed by Elizabeth in 1878. Joshua’s wife, Elvira, followed in death in 1884. Joshua and Elvira’s daughter, Fannie, with her husband, Carl Janney, raised their family in the mansion. Tragedy struck again in 1899, when Fannie and Carl’s four-year-old daughter, Pauline, died in the house of an unspecified spinal disease. Joshua died in 1901, and Fannie inherited the house and farm.
The last person to die in Kendrick House was Carol Sue Janney, Fannie and Carl’s granddaughter, who lived in another house on the family land at the time. Carol became ill on or about April 23, 1936, a few months short of her third birthday. To protect her four-year-old sister, Jackie, from contracting the illness, Carol was brought to the mansion. A doctor was summoned, and it was discovered she had contracted polio, for which there was no vaccination or cure at the time. Approximately thirty-six hours after becoming ill, little Carol died in the big house.

It is here that Paranormal Science Lab (PSL) conducts Haunted History Tours and paranormal investigations, raising funds for preservation efforts at Kendrick House. Historic homes such as Kendrick House face very difficult obstacles to maintain the property and keep the doors open to the public. Victorian Carthage and Paranormal Science Lab have worked together to raise awareness of the history of the house, as well as offering people an opportunity to experience a real-life paranormal investigation. People have traveled from across the United States, as far away as California and Georgia, to attend Haunted History Tours and paranormal investigations. Tours focus on the history of the house and Civil War history of the area. Guests review evidence of paranormal activity documented at Kendrick House by PSL and then participate in a live investigation. Proceeds are donated to Victorian Carthage for preservation efforts. PSL members also donate labor to Victorian Carthage to make repairs and maintenance. The Missouri Humanities Council, which, among other things, promotes public awareness of history and works with museums and historic sites to provide educational experiences for the public, has used the Haunted History Tours offered at Kendrick House as an example of combining the interest in history and the paranormal for fundraising at historic sites.

There is a modern addition on the back of the house used as part of the museum. The original frame structure kitchen, which was behind the west end of the house, is long gone. The purpose of locating the kitchen outside the main structure was for safety. Cooking was done on open hearths and ovens with wood fires. Kitchen fires, including catching floor-length skirts on fire, were one of the most common causes of injury and death to women of the mid-nineteenth century. The kitchen also contains a large long room with various artifacts found on site from the 1800s. The room is dominated by a long, narrow dining table that is original to the house and, according to family lore, was used as the field hospital operating table during the Battle of Carthage. This was merely lore until Paranormal Science Lab employed techniques used in crime scene investigations to supply corroboration of the story. As demonstrated on crime investigation television shows, law enforcement uses UV (ultraviolet) light to search for bloodstains. Paranormal Science Lab approached the table as a crime scene. Blood appears violet or purple under UV light. It is extremely difficult to eliminate all traces of blood, even after long periods of time. Turn out the lights and turn on UV flashlights, and the ordinary, antique table takes on a vastly different appearance. At one end there are violet spots in splatter patterns, and as the UV passes down the length of the table, lines of violet illuminate the grain of the wood planks forming the tabletop and violet drips down the side edges and legs. Although a bit macabre, it makes perfect sense. A military field hospital of the 1860s could be anywhere from a tent to a barn to a house commandeered, as was Kendrick House. A long table worked well, and one end would be propped up so that fluids would run off into buckets or bowls at the other end. The UV test supports the family lore handed down through more than 150 years that this table saw a lot of blood and thus very likely is the operating table used by army doctors during and after the Battle of Carthage.

A large number of EVPs (electronic voice phenomena) have been recorded in the room where the table now sits, which is in an addition that did not exist in 1861. It is believed that the table does sit in the general location of where the operations were performed, as the room sits directly behind the original back door to the house. It was a very hot day on July 5, 1861, and no evidence of bloodstains have been found inside the house, so it is likely that the table was carried out the back door and set up as an operating table. EVPs are voices captured on audio that were not audible to those present at the time of recording. Many are at frequencies outside the range of the human voice. EVPS have been captured in the room containing the operating table that seem to be related to the Civil War period, including one that says “General —E Lee” and another that names Peter Hahn, a German name. The Union troops headquartered at Kendrick and working and bleeding in the field hospital were mostly German Americans.”

They have several reports of interaction with a spirit that is referred to as “Carrot” which is more than likely the nickname for one of the children that passed on the property. Shadow figures are also seen upstairs and until recently there was a voodoo protection on the home that the slaves placed upon the home to protect the women and children in the home during the war.

This house is full of incredible history and paranormal activity is off the chain!! i would recommend this place to anyone!!

To read more detailed information please grab haunted carthage missouri and brush up on this amazing place and it’s rich history.

https://www.facebook.com/HauntedHistoryKendrickHouse
https://www.facebook.com/HauntedCarthageMissouri

Aug 08

Lizzie Borden

Jason Black

Jason Black

Alt Asst Director / Chair: Ghosts & Hauntings at National Paranormal Society
My name is Jason, I’m 38. Originally born & raised in Houston, Tx, I relocated to the North Dallas area mid 2013. I have been involved in Paranormal investigating since 2011. I have had many personal experiences with paranormal activity since I was about 12 years old. I have always believed, but it wasn’t until 1997 when my grandmother appeared right in front of me & told me everything was ok then vanished before my eyes (2 months after she had passed away) that I became completely interested in learning more about the unknown. In 2011, I joined my first Paranormal group and began investigating. I was involved with 2 different groups in Houston before I moved to Dallas. Once in Dallas, I started contacting different groups and made quite a few contacts. I eventually joined Texpart Paranormal Research Team in November 2013 and continue to investigate as a member of that team. I am honored and excited to be a member and Representative of NPS and look forward to learning and sharing with everyone.
Jason Black

Latest posts by Jason Black (see all)

lizzie bordenLizzie Borden (July 19, 1860 – June 1, 1927) was tried and acquitted in the 1892 axe murders of her father Andrew Borden and stepmother Abby in Fall River, Massachusetts. The Borden home, originally built for two families in 1845, was turned into a single family dwelling by Andrew. The house remains a city landmark and is now the “Lizzie Borden Bed And Breakfast.

History/Background

Andrew Borden married Sarah Anthony Morse, a seamstress, in 1845 and had three children with her: Emma Lenora (1851), Alice Esther (1856; d. 1858), and Lizzie Andrew (1860). Tragically, in 1863, Sarah succumbed to uterine congestion, also called a “disease of the spine” by her death record. He was a wealthy, Influential man In Fall River. He prospered through the manufacture and sales of furniture and caskets and went on to become a successful property developer. He also directed several textile mills including the Globe Yarn Mill Company, Troy Cotton, and Woolen Manufacturing Company. In addition to that, he owned many commercial properties and was both president of the Union Savings Bank and a director of the Durfee Safe Deposit and Trust Co.

Abby Durfee Gray Borden was the second wife of Andrew Jackson Borden, and for nearly three decades, the stepmother of his children Emma and Lizzie.

Lizzie had a relatively religious upbringing and attended Central Congregational Church. As a young woman, Lizzie was very involved in activities related to her church, including teaching children’s Sunday school and other Christian organizations. she served as secretary-treasurer in the Christian Endeavor Society, and was involved in contemporary social movements such as the Women’s Christian Temperance Union.

Even by those who knew her, there were many divided opinions about Lizzie, as if she had different personalities. Some say she was a kind, good daughter. The type that would tuck her father in on the lounge for a nap (the same lounge he would be killed on). Others say she was incisively bitter and would say bad and mean things behind his back when she was angry with him.

The Murderslizzie-borden-news

On the morning of August 4, 1892, Lizzie Borden yells for their maid Bridget “Maggie” Sullivan. “Maggie, come down! Come down quick; Father’s dead; somebody came in and killed him.” A half hour or so later, after the body–“hacked almost beyond recognition”–of Andrew Borden had been covered and the downstairs searched by police for evidence of an intruder, a neighbor who had come to comfort Lizzie, Adelaide Churchill, made a grisly discovery on the second floor of the Borden home: the body of Abby Borden, Lizzie’s step-mother. Investigators found Abby’s body cold, while Andrew’s had been discovered warm, indicating that Abby was killed earlier–probably at least ninety minutes earlier–than her husband.

Earlier that morning, Abby was upstairs cleaning the guest room that John Morse has stayed in the previous night. Forensics determined that Abby was initially facing her killer when she was struck in the head with a hatchet cutting her just above the ear. The blow spun her around and caused her to land face down on the floor. From there, the killer assumed to sit on Abby’s back and continued to deliver 18 more direct blows to the back of her head.

Once the killer finished with the victim, the 200-pound corpse lay sprawled out on the knees face down waiting to be discovered two hours later.

Meanwhile, Andrew Borden went calmly on his rounds of business to the Union Savings Bank, to the National Union Bank, to the First National Bank of Fall River and then to see one of his tenants, the hatter Jonathan Clegg. At 10:40 a.m. his next-door neighbour Mrs. Kelly saw him at his front door as she hurried on to a dentist’s appointment, unkown to the fact that he would not leave the house alive.

Less than an hour later his daughter Lizzie called up to the maid, who was resting in her attic room.

It was there, in the small little sitting room, where the dead body of Mr. Borden lay, with his head and face so hacked as to be unrecognizable even to his friend and physician, Dr. Bowen, who attended the scene.

Again, the mysterious murderer struck violently to the head. According to Robert Sullivan:

“Borden’s head was bent slightly to the right, but his face was almost unrecognizable as human; one eye had been cut in half and protruded in a ghastly manner, his nose had been severed, and there were eleven distinct cuts within a relatively small area extending from the eye and nose to the ears. Fresh blood was still seeping from the wounds, which were so severe that the first of the eleven blows must have killed him.”

Although she was tried and acquitted of these gruesome crimes, Lizzie Borden and her hatchet have caused more confusion, speculation and debate than any other murder case in American history.

The Hauntings

The Spirit of Mr. Andrew Borden is said to still inhabit the home. Seething that his life was so brutally taken from him. Finding some comfort that the living are bringing things to light.

He enjoys watching the activity in the home, and has started to answer evp questions.

Goes about his business, what he used to do while alive.

The spirit of Mrs. Abby Borden

In the guest bedroom, now called The John Morse Room, an indentation of a body on the room’s bed was discovered by a staff member, like someone had just laid on top of it, one month after renovations and refurnishing the home was complete.

Faint cries are heard in here as well.

The spirit of Lizzie Borden

An apparition of a woman, that looks like Lizzie has been seen down in the basement, looking around the basement, possibly making sure that she disposed of all the evidence.

The spirit of Bridget “Maggie” Sullivan – Still trying to say what happened; the truth.

Cold spots are reported in Maggie’s room.

An apparition of a woman dressed in maid’s clothes is seen doing her chores around the house.

Other paranormal happenings:

Former owners, The McGinns, and present day owners of this home had some experiences:

lights turning on and off.

doors open and close, followed by footsteps.

Shadow people have been seen, especially on the staircase going down to the main hallway, and walking into the other parts of the house.

Sometimes staff and guests can feel someone brush against them on the stairs and in various parts of the home.

Disembodied voices have been heard as well.

Owner Leanne Wilbur felt the cold touch of a finger run down her back. When she quickly turned around, no one was visible.

Entities of two young children

Have been seen by the living, in various parts of the house.

Have been heard playing marbles.

References

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lizzie_Borden

http://www.history.com/news/9-things-you-may-not-know-about-lizzie-borden

http://www.hauntedhouses.com/states/ma/lizzie-borden.htm

Nov 25

Colorado Ghosts – Part IV

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by Deb Anderson

We have all wanted to make a wish list of haunted places we would like to investigate and Colorado has enough to keep us busy for the next few years, when we’re not doing residential investigations.

Some of Colorado’s haunted places are famous and you probably already know about them, but I will touch on them and we will then move on to local places that we can get to in one weekend,

The Stanley Hotel in Estes Park is one of them; it is haunted by its owner and his wife, F.O. Stanley, inventor of the Stanley steamer and his wife Laura.  A little-known haunt of the Stanley, is Lord Dunraven, who actually built the hotel. He may be encountered at room 407, where he stands in the corner of the room near the bathroom door. Witnesses have reported that a light in the corner turns on and off and the elevator is heard operating even though it is not running at the time.

Other rooms that are haunted our 217 and 401, and children are apparently seen in room 418 and leave impressions on the bed when no one is staying in the room. Guests who stay in room 418 complained of children playing in the hallway at night even when there are no children registered at the hotel.

Another famous Colorado haunt is Cheesman Park in Denver, which began in 1858 as Mount Prospect Cemetery and became Boot Hill.  In 1873 the cemetery was renamed City Cemetery and buried only criminals, transients and epidemic victims there.

In 1893 the city gave notice all bodies must be removed in 90 days. The city hired a local undertaker to dig up the 6,000 to 10,000 remaining bodies not claimed by family, put them in 1′ x 3.5′ pine boxes and deliver them to the Riverside Cemetery.

Workers hired by the undertaker broke corpses into pieces to get them to fit into this miniature caskets, unrelated bones were thrown together and many of the graves were looted.

Spiritualists at the time warned workers that the dead would return unless a short prayer was uttered for each casket, but no one listened to them. One worker removing valuable brass coffin handles ran hysterically from the graveyard saying that a ghost jumped on his back. People in neighboring houses and apartments reported confused spirits wandering through their homes and appearing in mirrors.

A huge scandal erupted and Mayor Platt Rogers ordered all work halted for an investigation. No one was able to sort the mess out, so the remaining bodies were plowed under and grass and trees were planted over them.

As you walk through the park is said that you can still feel a sadness and confusion at the site and some say you can hear a low moaning sound coming from under the ground.

Denver International Airport was built on land considered sacred by the Native Americans and opened later than expected due to all sorts of unforeseen problems. This was confirmed by experts in Feng Shui when they surveyed the airport said the site was “full of images of death and grief”. In spring 1995 Colorado Indian tribes held a ceremony to put their ancestor’s spirits to rest.

Molly Brown house also in Denver was built in 1889 by Molly and her husband James Joseph Brown in 1894. Molly had survived the sinking of the Titanic in 1912 and become a national heroine. Her ghost and that of her husband have been detected in the gray brick mansion since then. Ghost lectures are held in the house in October and tours are given daily.

Union Depot on 22nd St. in downtown Denver has the ghost of a man called the soldier by employees who since the unmistakable presence of a military officer in the great Hall. In the 1930s a shadowy operation was reported several times in the station, but the confuse ghost which seem to be seeking a way out of the building eventually found his way out. Union Depot replaced the original Denver Depot in 1880 which was torn down because of the dozens of apparitions reported by telegraph operators and agents who worked there. Among the ghost at the Denver Depot was a three fingered hobo who harassed agents by tapping on the glass petitions at ticket counters. He was seen scores of times over a ten-year period at around 2 AM and would appear on train platforms, in the lobby, and inside the offices of the Denver Depot. Several agents quit rather than work with the ghost.

Also in Estes Park, the Baldpate Inn a 12 room, log cabin lodge is haunted by the couple who built it 1917. The ghosts of Ethel and Gordon Mace walk the hallways of this inn and have been seen by both guests and employees. Ethel is seen mostly in her old bedroom and a small stateroom called the Key Room which houses the largest collection of keys in the world. The collection was begun in 1923 when Clarence Darrow donated one of his keys. The collection of celebrity keys has grown to over 12,000 and includes Edgar Allen Poe’s dorm room key (number 13) and Stephen King’s key to the hotel room where he wrote The Shining.

Mesa Verde National Park in Cortez houses the ghosts of the Anasazi Indians, the mysterious “ancient ones” who suddenly disappeared around A.D. 1500. They are seen among the ruins of their 220 room dwelling known as Cliff Palace. The apparitions are encountered most frequently near the 23 pit houses or kivas, on the floor of the canyon. Each of these ceremonial buildings has a hole in the floor that serves as a spirit gateway or “Earth Naval”. In one building known as the Sun Temple, there is a great sunflower carved in stone. Called the “Sun Shrine”, the 2 foot diameter stone flower is mounted on an altar. Geologists say it was not carved by human hands, but was formed by the natural erosion of a sandstone boulder. The sacred symbol is painted on the walls of pueblos throughout the Southwest. In all of their architecture, the Anasazi express their belief in spiritual links that connected all things. Perfectly straight roads link Mesa Verde with its sister city in Chaco Canyon, New Mexico.

Silver Cliff Cemetery near Rosita, in south-central Colorado, is said to have the ghosts of deceased pioneers showing up as shimmering blue lights that hover over the graves in this old cemetery. The haunting lights were first reported by silver miners in 1882 and are still seen to this day. It is believed the lights are the dancing blue spirits of sacred hilltop that are spoken of in Indian legends.

A 1967 article in the New York Times caused the site to become a tourist attraction and hundreds of people reported seeing a strange floating lights. Edward Linehan of National Geographic, investigated the site in 1969 and observed “round spots of blue white light” glowing over the graves. When he approached one, it disappeared and slowly then reappeared in a different area. The lights are not reflections of car, train, or airplane lights as they appeared long before these inventions were in wide use. A Geiger counter survey revealed no radioactivity in the area.

One last haunting you may not be aware of in Grand Junction takes place on the Denver and Rio Grande Railroad tracks that run between Grand Junction and Gunnison. The phantom of the old steam locomotive, Engine 107, haunts these tracks with a ghostly whistle.

At the turn-of-the-century, engineers avoided the unlucky locomotive, dubbed Dread 107. This steam engine was the instrument of death for scores of people. On one of its first runs the train went off a trestle, killing several trainmen and many passengers. The engine was restored to the line and rebuilt and then struck a massive boulder, tossing passengers from their seats like dolls. Dozens of people were killed or injured. Repaired once again, Dread 107 hit a snow slide in the Black Canyon which claimed more lives. The railroad finally scrapped the cursed locomotive in 1909 after several more accidents which claimed even more lives. The phantom train or rather its ghostly whistle, are still seen and heard along the tracks that run between Grand Junction and Gunnison. It is most often encountered near the Gunnison River and Crystal Creek.

Nov 25

Colorado Ghosts – Part III

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by Deb Anderson

Denver- Belle Worden’s House- The ghost of John  Fitzgerald haunts the whorehouse where he was murdered.

On March 19, 1884, he was stabbed to death as he lay  sleeping in the bed of a prostitute.

His lifeless body was thrown into cherry Creek and found  by a group of boys two months later.  Madame Bell Worden and two of her employees were sent to jail for the  murder robbery.  The phantom of  Fitzgerald has returned to make sure the place would never again be a house of  ill-repute. The house is a private residence at 578 Holiday Street.

Bombay Club-Owner Greg McAllister says he serves cowboy  ghosts as well as living guests in the 1895 saloon.  The Bombay Club is located at 1128 Grant  Street.

Bradmar-The haunting of this Tudor mansion began when a  ceiling beam was split by a ghost.  The mansion was built in 1920 by George Gano, when he died; Hubert Work  bought the house and married Gano’s widow Ethyl.

Many years before her death, Ethyl told friends and  relatives that when she died she wished to lie in state before the  fireplace.  She promised that on  that night she would split a certain beam on the ceiling above her coffin.  The beam split just as she had  promised.

After the Works died, no one lived in the house until  1962, when it was purchased by Dr. Robert Bradley and soon after moving in; the  Bradleys experienced ghostly presences, levitating objects, odors, and moaning  sounds.

Dr. Bradley consulted renowned psychic Arthur Ford who  identified the spirits as Ethyl and Hubert Work.  Bradley wrote a book about the  experiences and finally the house was sold in 1980.  The people who bought it couldn’t stand  the paranormal activity and moved out shortly after.  It is still a private residence at 4100  South University Blvd.

Croke-Patterson-Campbell Mansion-The haunting began in  1970 when tenant’s offices were remodeled.  The often heard typing in the building at night and when they brought in  two Dobermans to guard the place, the found them the next morning dead on the  sidewalk, the animals had been so frightened of something they jumped from a  third floor window.

In the same year, a baby died in the third floor nursery  and the distraught mother committed suicide.  The mansion was then turned into a  museum at 428 East 11th Street.

Denver Courthouse-In 1900, every night for a week at 3:00  AM, the ghosts of departed souls walked the hallways accompanied by the stench  of brimstone.  Not one but dozens of  spirits were reported by night watchmen and janitors and one of the ghosts was  the courthouse elevator operator who had fallen to their death down the elevator  shaft.

The courthouse is located on the corner of 16th  Street and Tremont  Avenue.

Grant-Humphreys Mansion-This old house is said to be  haunted by five ghosts, one the former owner, A.E. Humphreys.  Humphreys died on May 8, 1927 from a  suspicious gun accident despite being an excellent marksman.

A séance sponsored by radio station KNUS contacted  several ghosts.  The Grant-Humphreys  Mansion is located in the Cheesman Park area and ghost lectures are held in  October.

Littleton Town Hall Arts Center-Ghostly laughter and  music have been heard coming from this community theater building late at  night.  The ghost also likes to mess  up workers desks and move their personal belongings.

Molly Brown House-The ghost of Molly Brown wanders her  former home, which was built in 1889.  Molly survived the sinking of the Titanic and died in 1932.  Her husband James Joseph Brown’s ghost  has also been detected in the home as visitors sometimes smell cigar smoke in  his study.

Molly Brown House Museum is located at 1340 Pennsylvania  Avenue.

Peabody Mansion-This house was built by Colorado Governor  James Peabody at the turn of the century and haunted by later residents.  It is rumored a woman was brutally raped  in the basement and that someone committed suicide in the bathroom.

Whatever the cause of the disturbances, many people feel  bad vibes here.

Reynolds Cottage-This historic house is haunted by Madge  Reynolds who had an adulterous affair with Denver Post owner Fred Bonfils.  She collapsed and died in her bedroom  after a horseback ride with Bonfils.  Ever since, her ghost has been seen roaming in the rooms on the north  side of the house.  The house is a  private residence on Logan Street in the Capital Hill area of Denver.

Fairplay-Buckskin Cemetery-J. Dawson Hidgepath came to  Fairplay to find gold and a wife, but only found tragedy in 1865.  His broken, lifeless body was found at  the bottom of the West side of Mount Boss where he had apparently fallen while  trying to prospect the mountainside.

Soon after, the bones of the wandering lothario were  found in the bed of a dance hall girl in the town of Alma.

Believing some prank had occurred, the citizens of  Fairplay reburied the bones in the Buckskin Cemetery. Time and time again, the bones would find  their way to the house of some fair lady.

By 1872, Dawson’ bones were the talk of the territory,  and in a last attempt to rid themselves of the wandering bones; someone threw  them into an outhouse where they seemed to have stayed.

Alma is two miles east of Buckskin Cemetery though not  much is left of the town.  Buckskin  Cemetery is in the town of Laurette eight miles northwest of  Fairplay.

Nov 25

Colorado Ghosts – Part II

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by Deb Anderson

Alamosa-the  Luther Bean Museum is the site of a UFO sighting that left a horse named Snippy  dead with unusual holes in the ground around the  body. On September 9,1967, the three year old gelding was found  with all the flesh on its neck and shoulder carefully removed and the  internal organs were missing, yet the rest of the carcass was intact.  The  hoof prints of two other worse is turned away from Snippy’s tracks, and headed  back toward the ranch house.  No other tracks were found around the  carcass.

Brown’s Park-Brown’s Hole-the ruin of Butch Cassidy’s cabin  where he and the wild Bunch hit out is rumored to give visitors.   Sensations of being drawn back in time by the powerful emotions of the  individuals who rode through this Valley.  Brown’s Park is in the extreme  northwest corner of Colorado in Moffat County, near Maybell,  Colorado.

Central  city-the Masonic cemetery is said to harbor the ghost of a lady in black  satin dress that has been seen placing blue Columbine flowers on the grave of  John Edward Cameron.  Cameron died of “heart paralysis” on November 1, 1887  at the age of 28.  A beautiful woman in black attended the funeral and  reappears every April 5 and November 1 to put flowers on his grave.  No one  knows who she is, but she is rumored to be a  ghost of a former lover who  committed suicide after Cameron wed another woman.  On November 1 (no year  given), over a dozen people gathered at the grave hoping to get to glimpse of  the ghost.  Then at sundown, she appeared and lay flowers on the grave as  two men tried to grab her, she vanished over the top of the hill.  Ever  since people been trying to catch the faithful wraith on Cameron  Monument.

Chivington-Sand Creek-After fierce fighting here on November  29, 1864, the phantom of the gray wolf appeared to Cheyenne women and children  to lead them to safety.  Colonel John Chivington led the Third Colorado  Regiment in the bloody attack on Chief Black Kettles camp at Sand Creek.   The mysterious animal escorted the few survivors all the way to another  Cheyenne camp near the forks of the Smoky Hill and Republican rivers.  Sand  Creek is also rumored to have a phantom teepees and the sounds of children  and women that appear in the fall near November 29.  Chivington is 28 miles  north of Lamar in Kiowa County.

Colorado Springs-Black  Forest hauntings-Paranormal activity in a two-story log cabin began  when Stephen Lee purchased it in 1992.  Lights flashed through it  sounded like people stomping across the roof and they would hear chains  rattling.  One night they awoke and heard orchestra music.   Strange things started happening every day.  Their two boys complained of  weird lights and shadows in their rooms.  Lights and appliances started  turning off and on by themselves and pungent odors burned family members eyes  and throats.  The sheriff stopped responding to their pleas for help so the  leaves hired private investigators to try to find out what was going on.   They noticed that photographs and videotape taken in certain locations of the  property had strange light streaks running through them and sometimes  translucent faces appeared on the film.  To this day red, yellow, and white  forms are seen and recorded as well as apparitions of an old lady, a little  girl, a burly man dressed in 1800s clothing, and a “flying dog” not to mention  hundreds of forlorn faces seen floating in the mirrors of the house.  So  far, there are 4000 photographs and 400 videotapes supporting the validity of  this case.  The Black Forest area is directly east of the Air Force  Academy, the haunted property is in El Paso County 15 miles north east of  Colorado Springs. ( Www.haunted-places.com)

Dead Man’s  Canyon-Colorado Springs-this can it is haunted by the ghoulish Phantom of a man  with an ax in his four head.  The ghost of William Harkins has haunted the  area since 1863 when he was murdered by a gang of Mexican religious  fanatics.  Over the years dozens of people have reported being chased by  the angry phantom near his cabin on Little Fountain Creek.  Some have  fired bullets at his ghastly shade and one mother struck him in the ear for  scaring her son.  It took a few seconds before she realized the man with an  ax in his head was a ghost.  Dead Man’s Canyon is 10 miles south of  Colorado Springs, follow Highway 115 through the canyon toward Canon  City.

Cripple Creek-the  Dunn  Building-This building is to be a funeral parlor, but Mrs. T. F.  Dunn turned it into a boarding house.  Her presence is still felt in the 11  original rental rooms and her footsteps are often heard scurrying about as  she attempts to clean them up.  Legend says another spirit in the building  is a miner killed in an explosion at the Mamie R Mine.  Late one night,  while the undertaker was preparing the body, the dead miner began to moan in  pain.  Not wanting to delay his job or cancel preparations, the mortician  injected morphine to quiet the man and continued his work.

Fairley  Brothers and Lampman Building-this block square building is home to a ghost  locals call Maggie, who wears a white shirt waist with a long brown dress and  high heeled boots.  Witnesses say Maggie appears to be in her late 20′s and  keeps her shoulder length brunette near hair pinned up.  Contractors,  employees, and visitors have all detected Maggie’s ghost walking in the second  floor corridor or dancing in the third floor ballroom.  The red brick  building is on the corner of Third Street and Bennett Avenue in  Victor.

The Mamie R. Mine-The  ghosts of three minors haunted the depths of this gold mine for several  years.  The men all died in separate accidents in 1894.  Minors  reported encountering their phantoms in the main shaft, at the 375 foot level  and in the isolated dress in the deeper recesses of the mine.  One ghost  carries his severed arm over her shoulder and another like to write in the or  buckets.  It was said the mine was also possessed by mischievous sprites  called Tommy Knockers.  The Earth spirits cause beams to give way and  explosions go off prematurely.  After several unexplained accidents  and ghost sightings, the mine shutdown in 1895.  It is located on Raven  Hill in Cripple Creek.

Palace Hotel-this old  hotel is haunted by the presence of one of the original owners, Mrs. Kitty  Chambers who likes to keep candles lit and placed in certain spots, just as they  were when the Palace Hotel first opened.  Mrs. Chambers died in room three  of the hotel in 1908 and is said to haunt the room.  That doesn’t stop her  from turning up all over the hotel and she may be responsible for turning down  beds in other rooms and stealing all the keys to room nine as well.  The  Palace Hotel and Casino is located at 172 Bennett Ave., Creek. Www.palacehotelcasino.com

Nov 25

Colorado Ghosts – Part I

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by Deb Anderson

We have all wanted to make a wish list of haunted places we would like to  investigate and Colorado has enough to keep us busy for the next few years, when  we’re not doing residential investigations.

Some of Colorado’s haunted places are famous and you probably already  know about them, but I will touch on them and we will then move on to local  places that we can get to in one weekend,

The Stanley Hotel in Estes Park is one of them; it is haunted by its owner and his  wife, F.O. Stanley, inventor of the Stanley steamer and his wife Laura.  A little-known haunt of the Stanley, is  Lord Dunraven, who actually built the hotel. He may be encountered at room 407,  where he stands in the corner of the room near the bathroom door. Witnesses have  reported that a light in the corner turns on and off and the elevator is heard  operating even though it is not running at the time.

Other rooms that are haunted our 217 and 401, and children are apparently  seen in room 418 and leave impressions on the bed when no one is staying in the  room. Guests who stay in room 418 complained of children playing in the hallway  at night even when there are no children registered at the  hotel.

Another famous Colorado haunt is Cheesman Park in Denver, which began in 1858 as Mount  Prospect Cemetery and became Boot Hill.  In 1873 the cemetery was renamed City Cemetery and buried only criminals,  transients and epidemic victims there.

In 1893 the city gave notice all bodies must be removed in 90 days. The  city hired a local undertaker to dig up the 6,000 to 10,000 remaining bodies not  claimed by family, put them in 1′ x 3.5′ pine boxes and deliver them to the  Riverside Cemetery.

Workers hired by the undertaker broke corpses into pieces to get them to  fit into this miniature caskets, unrelated bones were thrown together and many  of the graves were looted.

Spiritualists at the time warned workers that the dead would return  unless a short prayer was uttered for each casket, but no one listened to them.  One worker removing valuable brass coffin handles ran hysterically from the  graveyard saying that a ghost jumped on his back. People in neighboring houses  and apartments reported confused spirits wandering through their homes and  appearing in mirrors.

A huge scandal erupted and Mayor Platt Rogers ordered all work halted for  an investigation. No one was able to sort the mess out, so the remaining bodies  were plowed under and grass and trees were planted over them.

As you walk through the park is said that you can still feel a sadness  and confusion at the site and some say you can hear a low moaning sound coming  from under the ground.

Denver International Airport was built on land considered sacred by the  Native Americans and opened later than expected due to all sorts of unforeseen  problems. This was confirmed by experts in Feng Shui when they surveyed the airport said the site  was “full of images of death and grief”. In spring 1995 Colorado Indian tribes  held a ceremony to put their ancestor’s spirits to rest.

Molly Brown house also in Denver was built in 1889 by Molly and her  husband James Joseph Brown in 1894. Molly had survived the sinking of the  Titanic in 1912 and become a national heroine. Her ghost and that of her husband  have been detected in the gray brick mansion since then. Ghost lectures are held  in the house in October and tours are given daily.

Union Depot on 22nd St. in downtown Denver has the ghost of a man called  the soldier by employees who since the unmistakable presence of a military  officer in the great Hall. In the 1930s a shadowy operation was reported several  times in the station, but the confuse ghost which seem to be seeking a way out  of the building eventually found his way out. Union Depot replaced the original  Denver Depot in 1880 which was torn down because of the dozens of apparitions  reported by telegraph operators and agents who worked there. Among the ghost at  the Denver Depot was a three fingered hobo who harassed agents by tapping on the  glass petitions at ticket counters. He was seen scores of times over a ten-year  period at around 2 AM and would appear on train platforms, in the lobby, and  inside the offices of the Denver Depot. Several agents quit rather than work  with the ghost.

Also in Estes Park, the Baldpate Inn a 12 room, log cabin lodge is  haunted by the couple who built it 1917. The ghosts of Ethel and Gordon Mace  walk the hallways of this inn and have been seen by both guests and employees.  Ethel is seen mostly in her old bedroom and a small stateroom called the Key  Room which houses the largest collection of keys in the world. The collection  was begun in 1923 when Clarence Darrow donated one of his keys. The collection of celebrity keys  has grown to over 12,000 and includes Edgar Allen Poe’s dorm room key (number  13) and Stephen King’s key to the hotel room where he wrote The  Shining.

Mesa Verde National Park in Cortez houses the ghosts of the Anasazi Indians, the mysterious “ancient ones” who suddenly disappeared around A.D. 1500. They are seen among  the ruins of their 220 room dwelling known as Cliff Palace. The apparitions are  encountered most frequently near the 23 pit houses or kivas, on the floor of the canyon. Each of these ceremonial  buildings has a hole in the floor that serves as a spirit gateway or “Earth  Naval”. In one building known as the Sun Temple, there is a great sunflower  carved in stone. Called the “Sun Shrine”, the 2 foot diameter stone flower is  mounted on an altar. Geologists say it was not carved by human hands, but was  formed by the natural erosion of a sandstone boulder. The sacred symbol is  painted on the walls of pueblos throughout the Southwest. In all of their  architecture, the Anasazi express their belief in spiritual links that connected  all things. Perfectly straight roads link Mesa Verde with its sister city in  Chaco Canyon, New  Mexico.

Silver Cliff Cemetery near Rosita, in south-central Colorado, is said to have the  ghosts of deceased pioneers showing up as shimmering blue lights that hover over  the graves in this old cemetery. The haunting lights were first reported by  silver miners in 1882 and are still seen to this day. It is believed the lights  are the dancing blue spirits of sacred hilltop that are spoken of in Indian  legends.

A 1967 article in the New York Times caused the site to  become a tourist attraction and hundreds of people reported seeing a strange  floating lights. Edward Linehan of  National Geographic, investigated the site in 1969 and observed “round spots of  blue white light” glowing over the graves. When he approached one, it  disappeared and slowly then reappeared in a different area. The lights are not  reflections of car, train, or airplane lights as they appeared long before these  inventions were in wide use. A Geiger counter survey revealed no radioactivity  in the area.

One last haunting you may not be aware of in Grand Junction takes place  on the Denver and Rio Grande Railroad tracks that run between Grand Junction and  Gunnison.The phantom of  the old steam locomotive, Engine 107, haunts these tracks with a ghostly  whistle.

At the turn-of-the-century, engineers avoided the unlucky locomotive,  dubbed Dread 107. This steam engine was the instrument of death for scores of  people. On one of its first runs the train went off a trestle, killing several  trainmen and many passengers. The engine was restored to the line and rebuilt  and then struck a massive boulder, tossing passengers from their seats like  dolls. Dozens of people were killed or injured. Repaired once again, Dread 107  hit a snow slide in the Black Canyon which claimed more lives. The railroad  finally scrapped the cursed locomotive in 1909 after several more accidents  which claimed even more lives. The phantom train or rather its ghostly whistle,  are still seen and heard along the tracks that run between Grand Junction and  Gunnison. It is  most often encountered near the Gunnison River and Crystal  Creek.

Jan 08

Ghosts and Hauntings, Introduction

Sheri Collins

Sheri Collins

Assistant Executive Director Department Chair Investigation & Research Education Resource Photography & NPS Photography Team at NPS of Texas
Sheri has always had an interest in the paranormal – from watching different paranormal shows over the years to having déjà-vu experiences throughout all her life that she has tried to put an explanation to. When her dad passed away in March 2010she began her journey into the paranormal. She has had several encounters over the years since starting in the field & takes more of an “old school” approach to her research in the paranormal. She is a supporter of today’s modern technology being used on investigations & encourages the use of various tools on investigations. She is always looking for a new ‘old school’ method to try on investigations & employs the use of trigger objects in an effort to get a response. She became fascinated with the pendulum after using a set of original jailer’s keys as a trigger object on an investigation at a local historic jail & they began to sway in response to questions.She is a huge proponent of education in the paranormal field choosing to debunk things immediately by trying to recreate situations & experiment to find logical answers to things that have happened or been captured in photographs or on video in an effort to prove or disprove paranormal activity. She & her team focus on private residential cases as well as educating the public on paranormal investigation & research. You will often find them assisting & consulting with other teams on theircases. Sheri is a certified paralegal and Notary Public for the State of Texas. Her professional background includes working in the legal field, sports marketing, event coordination & business management. She serves as Assistant Executive Director of NPS and the Department Chair overseeing Photography and the NPS Photography Team. Sheri leads the Investigation & Research Education Resources for NPS which provides information, links, & articles surrounding education in the paranormal field. She also writes articles periodically for the NPS’ website that are tied to photography & education. She is one of the founders of NPS of Texas, a paranormal research & investigative team based out of Dallas, Texas.
Sheri Collins

ghost_on_stairsIt seems everywhere we turn we find something related to our field of study within the paranormal realm.  The ghosts and hauntings categories have gained a lot of popularity and attention here recently with Hollywood making movies about it, television shows being produced about it, and more of the general population talking about their experiences and beliefs of the paranormal as a result.  I would like to welcome you to the Ghosts & Hauntings section of the National Paranormal Society.  Here you will find that in order to research and investigate the ghost and hauntings categories of the paranormal field we must first understand what they are.

Despite what I see or hear, my experience in this field has taught me to continue with my skeptic view even though I am a believer.  I believe this mindset balances me when stepping into the researcher mode for an investigation.  Personally it is also my opinion that those of us who have gotten into the paranormal field because we have either lost a loved one that visits us or have had a unique experience know how to truly tell if something is paranormal or not because we tend to compare it our personal experience – whether it’s intentionally or not.  How do we know whether or not we are encountering a ghost or a haunting?  Just because we heard something, think we captured something on film or in a picture, or felt something does that mean it’s really a ghost or a haunting?  That is what this section is about – learning more about ghosts and hauntings.  What is a ghost?  Are there different types of ghosts?  What is a haunting?  What are the different types of hauntings?  How do I know if I am encountering a ghost or a spirit?  Is there a difference?  We have so many questions that we need a place to find these answers and so I have attempted to pull together some sources, information, articles, videos and the like to help us all with our research and investigation skills.

What is a ghost?

My experience in this field has taught me to continue with my skeptic view even though I am a believer.

Dictionary.com defines a ghost as “the soul of a dead person, a disembodied spirit imagined, usually as a vague, shadowy or evanescent form, as wandering among or haunting living persons.”

Merriam-Webster.com defines a ghost as “a disembodied soul; especially: the soul of a dead person believed to be an inhabitant of the unseen world or to appear to the living in bodily likeness.” Merriam-Webster also gives a link to the definition of a spirit…”a supernatural being or essence; an often malevolent being that is bodiless but can become visible; specifically:  ghost; a malevolent being that enters and possesses a human being.”

But wait, I thought in our field there was a distinct different between ghosts and spirits?  How is it Merriam-Webster basically refers to them as one in the same?  Some paranormal researchers and investigators see the difference as this:

A ghost is someone who has passed on and stuck between our world and the afterlife.  They do not cross over, or go through “the light,” but they stay here for some reason – either they have unfinished business, emotional trauma, fears, or some other strong connection that holds them here.

A spirit is someone who has passed on but has gone through “the life” or crossed over into the afterlife.  As a result they are able to return to our world, the physical world, and cross back to the afterlife.  Spirits tend to be seen as guardian angels of sorts watching over us, comforting us and guiding us.

I believe there is a difference between ghosts and spirits; when we are researching and investigating, we are looking at (or for) ghosts.  We want to see how we can help them cross over and join the spirits.  As such we should always be respectful in our approaches and try to find peace for these ghosts.

Are there different types of ghosts?

In my research to find the answer to this question I have found lots of confusion.  Some believe there are different types of ghosts – orbs, ghost lights, apparitions, disembodied spirits, spirits, ectoplasm, vortex, shadow figures, poltergeist, and the list goes on.  Some believe there are different types based on personalities – don’t all living people have different personalities?  And if ghosts are dead people, it would be a given they would have different personalities!  I will let you take a look at the different links and websites provided below to form your own opinion, after all, thinking outside of the box is one of the most valuable things you can do when researching and investigating!

What is a haunting?

I have seen lots of definitions of a haunting as well as various types of hauntings so for the sake of sticking to the basics here I am going to provide you with the most general definitions.  You will find links below to other articles and websites that might provide more in-depth discussion and definitions for you.

A haunting is generally defined as “to inhabit, visit or appear in the form of a ghost or other supernatural being.”  Generally there are four different types of hauntings:  residual, intelligent, poltergeist and demonic.

What are the different types of hauntings?

Residual is generally defined as “an imprint left behind by an event with high energy that may have been extremely emotional.  The manifestations seen are not aware of your presence and will repeat their actions time and time again.”

Intelligent is generally defined as “a haunting where the entity is conscious and can interact with living witnesses.”

Poltergeist is generally defined as “an extremely rare occurrence wherein random objects are moved and sounds produced by an unseen force, the sole purpose being to draw attention to itself.  The phenomenon always involves a specific individual, frequently a child or adolescent.”

Demonic is generally defined as “a supernatural malevolent spirit that causes harm and/or extreme emotional distress.  Usually associated with foul odors, visible wounds and aversion to sacred objects.”

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