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    "Death is no more than passing from one room into another." – HELEN KELLER

Hot Lake Hotel

Hot Lake Hotel was originally built in 1864 in La Grande, Oregon during the gold rush. It resembled that of a shopping mall. Businesses located in the wooden structure included barber shop, dance hall, post office, blacksmith, and bath house. In 1903, the original building was demolished and construction began on a new brick hotel. Dr. William T. Phy first became involved in the project in 1904. Construction was completed in 1908 containing 100 guest rooms.

It became THE place for vacationers as the 205 degree sulfurous Hot Lake were thought to have healing properties. Phy bought the establishment in 1917 and turned it in to a state-of-the-art medical facility known as the Hotel Lake Sanatorium or the "Mayo Clinic of the West". It came equipped with medical wards, offices, and a kitchen/dance hall. The Mayo Brothers (founders of the Mayo Clinic) and Wild Bill Hickok and his Wild West Show also visited Hot Lake regularly. Prior owners and investors include Governor Walter M. Pierce and Senator Parish L. Willis. There Dr. Phy practice along side his son Marcus until his death in 1931 from pneumonia. Marcus committed suicide a couple of years later.

On May 7, 1934, a fire destroyed the ballroom and library and the wooden structures of the hotel. The remaining brick buildings survived. However, the hotel began to decline in business until the hospital on the third floor was the only functioning portion of the hotel. During World War II, a flight school and nurse training school was established on the property. It's use further declined when it was converted into a nursing home and asylum in 1953. In 1975, ownership switched hands and a nightclub and restaurant was opened, but only lasted for two years.

The same railroad that brought Hot Lake business was rerouted, the new highway bypassed it and the Depression further led to it being abandoned in 1991. It fell prey to vandals and the elements. David and Lee Manual purchased the hotel and began restoration in 2003. Although a slow progress, it re-opened as a 22-room bed and breakfast in 2010 complete with museum, art galley, spa, bronze foundry, and restaurant.

Witnesses have seen an apparition of a man in work clothes believed to be a former gardner who committed suicide. Other spirits seen are that of old vacationers and former patients from its sanatorium days. Some people have reported hearing music from the third floor where an old piano formerly owned by Robert E. Lee's wife use to be. Former caretakers have heard footsteps on the wheelchair ramp, crying and a screams from the old surgery room. Other reports include rocking chairs moving on their own, objects move, disappear and reappear, and equipment malfunctioning.

Sources:

Wikipedia

Hot Lake Springs

Seek Ghosts

David Finney Inn

Built in 1683, New Castles, Delaware's David Finney Inn began as a law office for David Finney, lawyer and soldier. The building was connected by a secret underground tunnel to the nearby Amstel House Museum built by his father John Finney's to serve as his personal home. David Finney not only practiced law but also educated new attorneys. One of his most famous students was his cousin Thomas McKean, a future signer of the Declaration of Independence.

In 1794, Judge James Booth Sr. purchased the building and expanded it. He lived on the property until 1825. Then, it was converted in to a boarding house before transforming in to the Hotel Louise in 1895. It continued to go through architecture transitions before becoming a bed and breakfast known as the David Finney Inn which has since closed its doors.

The inn may not be welcoming new guests but one could still be occupying the rooms. One resident spirit (identity unknown) prefers hanging out on the third floor. It opens and closes doors and windows even if they have been locked. The ghost is also known to move objects. Thanks to the tunnel, this spirit likes to venture to the nearby Amstel House Museum which experiences the same type paranormal phenomena on their third floor.

Sources:

Haunted Places

Dinner and Spirits

History Pin

Kate Shepard Bed and Breakfast

If you're looking for a place to spend a romantic weekend away, the Kate Shepard House in Mobile, Alabama may be the place you're looking for. The Queen Anne home was built in 1897 by Charles Martin Shepard, general passenger agent for the Mobile and Ohio Railroad, and designed by well known architect George Franklin Barber. In 1910, Kate Shepard and her sister Isabel, Charles' daughters, turned the house into a private boarding and day school for Mobile's prominent children. Current owners Bill and Wendy turned it in to a bed and breakfast around 2002.

A picturesque location with eleven fireplaces, stained glass windows, hardwood floor, and a library with Confederate Civil War relics and memorabilia and books from its boarding school days on display for your viewing pleasure. Their Pecan Praline French Toast dish was listed as one of the state of Alabama's "100 Dishes to Eat Before you Die". Beautiful location but is it haunted?

There doesn't seem to be a stack of paranormal evidence available. The rumor is the house is haunted by an elderly woman (former owner, perhaps?). She is seen throughout the house. Witnesses claim to feel a presence within its walls as well. However, the lack of personal accounts, pictures and so on may support the reports as just rumors.


Sources: 


Edna Collings Bridge

Edna Collings Bridge also known as Edna Collins Bridge was built in 1922 over Little Walnut Creek. It was the last covered bridge built in Putnam County, Indiana replacing a concrete bridge washed out in high waters. And it's believed to be haunted.

The most common story is Edna Collins was a little girl who went swimming in Little Walnut Creek often as she lived nearby. Her parents would drop her off on their way to town. When they returned, they would honk the horn three times to let her know it was time to leave. One day, her parents followed their usual routine except this time Edna failed to respond. Upon searching the creek, she was found dead (allegedly by her father), having drown. Circumstances concerning her death unknown.

Variations of this story has her mother following her in death. Grieving over lost of her child, her mother placed a noose around her neck and hung herself. Another piece has her father being the one who built the bridge and named it after his daughter.

The routine you must follow to see the spirit of Edna begins with driving on to the bridge. You then turn off your engine and proceed to honk three times. If you follow all three steps, Edna is suppose to appear and try to get in the car with you. Some witnesses have found child size hand prints on their cars and heard the laughter of a little girl nearby the bridge.

If you want an encounter with her mother, you're suppose to take a piece of the noose that is supposedly hanging from the sign of a nearby church. Then, you take this piece of rope to the bridge. Completing this ritual will summon her mother's final act in life. You will see her hanging from the noose.

Some witnesses have reported seeing a shadowy figure on the bridge as well.


Sources:


Putnam Library

The Examiner

The Force

Indiana Ghost Detectives

Poogan's Porch Restaurant

Where does one come up with a name like Poogan's Porch for a restaurant? Bobbie Ball, a court reporter by day, went above and beyond to show their appreciation of beloved canine friend. That's right. Poogan's Porch Restaurant was named after a neighborhood dog called Poogan who acted as their guardian in 1976 when the restaurant was opened. Poogan died in 1979 from natural causes but his memory will live on through this eatery. However, a touching dog tale is not why you read this blog. The structure was built in 1888 as a residence.

Poogan's Porch is a hot spot for celebrities such as Jody Foster, Jim Carrey, James Brolin and the late Paul Newman. It was also used as a filming location for the 1989 Hugh Grant move "Champagne Charlie".

As for the paranormal world, the restaurant was named "Third Haunted Place in America" by the Travel Channel in 2003. Zoe St. Amand, a former resident of the Charleston House, is often seen throughout the building. Zoe was a school teacher who lived in the house with her sister Elizabeth until her death in 1945. Zoe fell into a deep depression. Her mental state deteriorated and she was taken to St. Francis Hospital where she remained until her death in the 1950s. The best time to see her spirit is late at night. Or if you're a guest at the Mills House Hotel, across the street from the restaurant, you may be granted the privileged of spotting Zoe waving from a second story window.

Zoe is believed to be a rather active ghostly inhabitant at Poogan's. Pots and pans crash in the kitchen. Doors slam and stools flip over. Place settings rotate on tables. Faucets turn on by themselves. The police have been called to investigate but they always turn up nothing.

Stop by Poogan's Porch Restaurant. You may go home with a ghostly tale.


Sources:

Scares and Haunts of Charleston

Dread Central

Charleston City Paper

Shampe

What vampire is closely related to a wendigo and sasquatch? According to Choctaw folklore, a Shampe. Coming across a bear in the woods is the least of your worries. Shampes are described as being giant, grotesque beasts seen with or without coarse brown hair who live in the deepest part of the woods. He is also described as a large hairy man. They can't stand bright sunshine or open air as it makes them weak and sick. Some versions of the story state he is a man-eater. In others, he abducts Choctaw women.

These vampire-beasts were known to follow hunters carrying their kills. The sent of blood attracts them to you. Their keen sense of smell helps them track any person or animal which makes up for their terrible vision.

Considering who it is kin to, the Shampe gives off certain warning signs that lets you know it is near. Their foul smell is a huge one. It is believed that many people have died from this scent. Another giveaway is the whistling sound they make as they stalk their prey. If you ever hear and/or smell these two warnings, drop whatever wounded/dead animal you have and run as fast as you can.

Reports of this creature have been few and far between as of lately. However, some Choctaw people have heard its whistle in recent years.


Source:

Sheryl Nantus

Bigfoot Encounters

White Lady Lane

The White Lady legend has stories sprinkled in various countries. They supposedly died or suffered trauma in life and are associated with losing or being betrayed by a husband or fiancé. They have white cloudy eyes with short white hair and milky white skin or wearing white in some form, each of her physical features are very distinguished. She often appears not to be fearful in nature, more like sad. One such variation of this legend is located on a road in Leroy, North Dakota.

Legend states on a stretch of road, now known as White Lady Lane, a traveling salesman became attracted to a farmer's daughter. He took her for a walk on this remote road for a more intimate encounter. When they came to a bridge over a swampy area, he made his move. Her response to his gesture was anything but what he desired. Instead of walking away, he flew in to a rage and killed her.

Of course, there are variations of this story. Another version begins with a woman, a farmer's daughter, became pregnant by a man she didn't love. Her religious parents forced her to marry this man. When she returned home from the wedding, she found her baby dead in its crib. Facing the death of her infant and a lifetime married to someone she hated, the woman went to a nearby bridge and hung herself still wearing her white wedding dress. Visitors have seen her hanging from that bridge still wearing the white dress she was married in.

Today, when people travel on White Lady Road, it is sometimes met with a surprise. During no specific time at night, witnesses have been known to come across a woman dressed in white standing in the road. Before they can react, she suddenly appears on their vehicle looking inside with red glowing eyes. The purpose of her actions has been tied to her searching for her murderer. Of course, others have had less "horror movie" encounters. Witnesses have seen her hanging from the bridge in her wedding dress. Felt a sudden onset of melancholy. Some have even claimed she climbed in to their cars or followed them.

Does her spirit exist? Driving down a narrow gravel road surrounded by woods on your way to and old rickety bridge is enough for anyone to believe the place is haunted.



Sources:

Haunted USA

Shadowlands

Strange USA

Chimera House

I'm sure some of you have heard about a supposedly haunted house attraction the Chimera House or "13 Floor Money Back House" so frightening that no one has been able to complete a full tour of it. Sorry to burst your bubble but this house doesn't exist.

It started to circulate among the population around in the mid-1980s. Like most urban legends, there are many variations of this one. However, they have some common links. The location of this house is usually set in the South or Midwest, but it is believed this legend may have started in Kansas City. Some have it located in an actual supernatural location or an abandoned hospital. Rumor also has it that the haunted attraction Britannia Manor may have also been the inspiration for the Chimera House.

The "house" has a specified number of floors or levels (most of the time it's 13 floors), and visitors are charged an exorbitant fee for entering, but get back a specified dollar amount for each floor or level completed. Those who complete the full tour get back every cent they paid to get in. In the same breath, however, one hears that no one has yet managed this feat — this place has proved to be too scary for those who've accepted the challenge in the past. The alleged horrors one can find in this house are deadly/poisonous animals, paranormal activity, and even deformed humans. Some versions include that a few visitors never came out of the exit and were later found dead on the top floor.

Many have filled the need for the interest in this legend. Richard Garriott, the creator of the Ultima series of computer games, use to Halloweenify his home and open it to the public. For fours years, 200 guests a night were allowed to explore the interactive theme park for free, witnessing a real-life sword-and-sorcery adventure, complete with monsters and mayhem.

Amusement parks even join in on the fun, turning into a fright-themed after-dark attraction. Of course, not everyone is looking for the ultimate scare. A woman in January 2000 filed a $15,000 lawsuit against Universal Studios in Florida, claiming their annual Halloween Horror Nights was too scary. Ms. Cleanthi Brooks, 57, said she knew it would be scary but not that scary. She said that when she and her granddaughter were visiting the Florida Park in 1998, an employee wielding a (chainless) chainsaw chased them toward an exit, with the result that they slipped on a wet spot and suffered unspecified physical injuries.

I believe the Chimera House will never be found, but think of the haunted attractions you may discover while looking for it.

Source: 

Snopes

Wikipedia - Chimera House

Gravedigger's Local 16
 
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