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

Happy Halloween!

Halloween Candy Poisonings

I guess Joanna at Paranormal Experience has been quite busy lately. I haven't seen the guest post I sent her up on her blog. Since Halloween is tomorrow, I feel this should be posted.

If you are a parent, I'm sure you always check your kids Halloween candy after a night of trick-or-treating, right? A popular urban legend states that there are documented cases of children being poisoned after eating candy collected from a random house on Halloween. This one is actually false.

It's not certain of the origins of this legend, but according to Snopes.com (http://snopes.com/horrors/poison/halloween.asp), there have been only two cases where a child was poisoned with Halloween candy. The most famous was that of an eight-year-old boy in Houston named Timothy Mark O'Bryan who died on October 31, 1974. His father Ronald Clark O'Bryan poisoned him with a cyanide-laced Pixie Stix, claiming his son acquired it while trick-or-treating. To make it seem more random, he gave poisoned Pixie Stix to his other four children, but thankfully, none of them ate it. So, why would a father do such a thing to his son? For money, of course. Timothy was insured for a large sum of money. Ronald Clark O'Bryan was convicted and executed on March 31, 1984.

The second case was that of Kevin Toston from Detroit. On November 2, 1970, he lapsed into a coma and died four days later from a heroin overdose. During the investigation, heroine was found on the child's Halloween candy. It was concluded that Kevin accidentally discovered his uncle's heroine stash and poisoned himself. The family sprinkled heroine on the Halloween candy afterwards to protect the uncle. Personally, if it were my son, I wouldn't have done that. I wouldn't like frame him for murder but I definitely wouldn't cover for him.

Even though there isn't any known proof that this legend is true, don't think you shouldn't continue checking your kids Halloween candy. Many have used this as inspiration for Halloween pranks and maybe one day, someone will turn this legend into reality.

Source: Snopes

GS Question of the Week

What do you think is the scariest place on Earth?

My Answer: There are too many places on Earth to narrow it down to one. However, if I had to choose one, I guess it would have to be Waverly Hills. It seems to be one of the most popular ones.

Stay Tuned..

I'm not a big fan of this particular program, but Most Haunted Live begins tomorrow from 4pm to 7pm ET/PT in Edinburgh, Scotland for three nights. I watched this last year and I have to admit I didn't see anything that people were claiming to have seen on the webcams. Maybe you will.

If you don't have any plans on Halloween, Ghost Hunters is having a 6 hour Live show on the Sci-Fi channel. They will be revisiting the infamous Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, Colorado. Joining the TAPS team will be ECW's and ghost hunting novice, CM Punk. The live investigation will serve as the end of Sci-Fi's 13 Days of Halloween marathon.

In addition to the live broadcast, viewers can interact with the 'Ghost Hunters' via polling, SMS messaging and SCIFI.COM, logging suggestions for rooms to investigate and screening an online video feed. One unprecedented interactive addition to the live telecast is the SCI FI.COM "panic button" which will enable viewers to email the control room and alert the 'Ghost Hunters' to any paranormal occurrences observed on the online feed.

Top 13 Haunted Houses

I was browsing the AOL CityGuide and discovered their Top 13 Haunted Houses across the nation:

1. Nightmare in New York : This horror's creators polled thousands of local residents to list their top 13 fears, and then designed five haunted house based on those responses.

2. Netherworld in Atlanta : This place consistently changes themes every year. All the great acting and special effects set aside, Halloween veterans shower this house with praise.

3. Queen Mary's Shipwreck in Los Angeles : If boats make you queasy without ghouls, then this might not be the fright for you. Bravely enter the Haunted Hull of Horrors or the Decks of the Dead. If you survive, be sure and stop by the nightly dance party.

4. Fright Dome in Las Vegas : Michael Jackson has visited in previous years. Aside from that? You'll find 20 rides that'll make it worth every penny. Be sure to pay the all-new Zombie Mansion a friendly visit. Take it from Micheal this one's guaranteed to be a thriller.

5. Terror Behind the Walls in Philadelphia : Exploiting Eastern State Penitentiary's innate atmosphere foreboding (and its legacy of hauntings). Terror Behind the Walls invites the intrepid to experience "11 acres of terror." Pretty soon, you'll be contemplating a prison break.

6. The Darkness in St. Louis : You might get grabbed by one of the many mummies that will be crawling out of the crypts -- maybe even be sacrificed by a zombie priest. Just when you think the terror is over, you'll find the only way out is through the haunted house.

7. Thrillvania in Terrell, Texas : It's not just a haunted house -- but a macabre theme park. two attractions include Haunted Verdun Manor (occupied by a werewolf) and Cassandra's Labryinth of Terror (hosted by a lady, who's perpetually grouchy over her lost head).

8. Pirates of Emerson in Fremont, California : What began as a backyard operation has grown into a three-acre extravaganza that requires a crew of 75 to build. Hold on to your beloved lad or lass, or you may loss them to one of the many wicked buccaneers.

9. Markoff's Haunted Forest in Dickerson, Maryland : As if isolated woods weren't scary enough, the staff concocts creepy encounters along the way. Expect chainsaw-wielding wild men and witches in enough fake blood to flood a city.

10. The Beast in Kansas City, Missouri : Forget about lines here. The Beast is set up so you can wander from one horror to the next as you choose. Once you find your way out of Werewolf Forest, you can exit by riding a four-story slide.

11. Headless Horseman Haunted House in Ulster Park in New York : You'll find three haunted houses and a spooky hayride and 100 ghastly folks who are waiting to scare you out of your wits. One seems to be missing his noggin.

12. Brown Palace in Denver : This hotel was founded in 1892 and has never closed for a single day. Many guests have checked in over that long time span, but there are also a few ghostly guests who have yet to check out.

13. Scream at the Beach in Portland, Oregon : Prepare to be creeped out. Whether you see one of the freaky medical experiments gone wrong at the Hayden Institute for the Criminally Insane. Or you might accidentally stumble upon where the mirthful pirates are hiding.

Odd News Part 2

London's Vampyre club seeks new recruits : "Vampyres are prowling for new recruits in London as Halloween approaches to partake in wild parties, trips to Transylvania and bat spotting nights -- but coffin-dwelling, blood drinkers need not apply. With a penchant for custom-made fangs, striking make-up and gothic clothes, members of the London Vampyre Group (LVG) say it's their fascination with the romantic notion of vampires, rather than any darker intent, that draws them together."

Scientists Create Cloak of Invisibility : "Scientists are boldly going where only fiction has gone before -- to develop a Cloak of Invisibility. It isn't quite ready to hide a Romulan space ship from Capt. James T. Kirk or to disguise Harry Potter, but it is a significant start and could show the way to more sophisticated designs. The "metamaterial" cloak deflects microwave beams so they flow around a "hidden" object inside with little distortion, making it appear almost as if nothing were there at all."

Man builds haunted house out of balloons : "Instead of clay or wood, sculptor Larry Moss prefers a highly malleable but far less durable material: balloons. Moss typically creates air-filled models of humans, animals and monsters, but his latest piece of performance art is even spookier: a 10-room, 10,000-square-foot, walk-through haunted house made out of 130,000 latex balloons covering everything but the floors and ceilings. The Balloon Manor and its inhabitants — quirky, hilarious and somewhat creepy Halloween creatures — fill a wing of the Medley Centre mall in this Rochester suburb."

30,128 Jack-o'-Lanterns Light Up Boston : "Bostonians on Saturday, October 23rd, lit 30,128 pumpkins on Boston Common, shattering the world record for the most jack-o'-lanterns lit in one place that was once held by Keene, NH since 2003."

Man Gives Ring Finger to Wife in Divorce : "A Viennese man cut off his ring finger and presented the digit, still holding his wedding band, to his ex-wife after an acrimonious divorce, Austrian news agency APA reported Tuesday. Charged with dangerous harassment and assault for the act, he told a preliminary hearing he did not regret having cut off the finger and had chosen deliberately not to reattach it."

Wedding Traditions

Many soon-to-be-married couples probably have scheduled their big day on Halloween. There are many traditions involving weddings, including a few superstitions. But how many of you know the origins of having bridesmaids, groomsmen and bouquets of flowers?

When it comes to THE ring, something that is big and sparkles is always welcomed, but did you know that in Egyptian times a gold ring was thought to hold mystical powers? When adorned with a diamond, the hardest substance on earth, it symbolized a love that would last forever. Also, why do you think that it is traditionally worn on the third finger of the left hand? There are two answers to that question. The first belief refers to an Egyptian belief that the ring finger follows the vena amoris, the vein that runs directly to the heart. The second dates back to the 17th century, when at a Christian wedding the priest arrived at the forth finger (counting the thumb) after touching the three fingers on the left hand “...in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost.”

The viel holds some significance as well. By wearing a veil, the ancient Greeks and Romans believed that a bride would ward off evil spirits and magically protect her from harms way as other suitors might try and “steal” the bride. Of course, today, we know that a veil doesn't get in the way of other suitors (a groomsmen is one of the guilty ones) stealing the bride.

The tradition of having bridesmaids and groomsmen originated from the Roman law that demanded that ten witnesses be present at a wedding. By having ten witnesses they were believed to be able to dupe evil spirits who were believed to attend marriages with the view to causing mischief and disharmony. Unlike today, originally, the bridesmaids and groomsmen all dressed in identical clothing to the bride and groom. This was so the evil spirits wouldn't know who was getting married.

Many couples pay quite a lot of money for that perfect wedding cake. However, if you are a strong follower of the Greek and Roman traditions, you may want to think twice about having an expensive cake (and an expensive wedding dress too). The ancient Greeks threw cakes at the newly married couple, just as we through confetti, rice, etc. today. In Roman times, brides and grooms would first share the cake with each other which was thought to promise the couple a life of plenty, in both children and happiness. Then the remainder of the cake was then broken over the bride's head. I'm sure the kids would enjoy that, but the couple not so much.

Having the perfect flowers is of major importance. It was believed that strong smelling spices and herbs would ward off and drive away evil spirits, bad luck and poor health. Garlic and chives were also popular for the same reason and were added to the bouquet.

During the marriage ceremony, depending upon one’s religion, the bride stands on the left and the groom on the right as they face the alter. The origin of this goes back to the days when a groom would “capture his bride” by kidnapping her. In the event that the groom had to fight off other men who also wanted her as their bride, his right hand would be free to use his sword to hold potential thieves!

The full wording of the popular bridal attire rhyme goes something like this: 'something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue and a silver sixpence in your shoe'. Do you know what each means? Something old refers to wearing something that represents a link with the bride's family and her old life. Something new represents good fortune and success in her new life. Something borrowed is meant to bring good luck to the marriage from a happy bride. Something blue dates back to biblical times when the color blue was considered to represent purity and fidelity.

Last but certainly not least, we can't forget about one of the most important part of a wedding: the honeymoon. There are two origins for this common practice:
  • The first is thought to have begun 4,000 years ago in Northern Europe and Babylon. Newly married couples would drink metheglen, a fermented honey drink, for one lunar month (about 28 days). From there the custom grew from the terms “honey moon” or “honey month.”
  • The second possible origin came from ancient times when the groom kidnapped his bride and kept her from her family for approximately one lunar month. This was considered the cooling off period for the bride’s family. It was the hope that the bride’s family would have forgiven him upon his return.

Some of these traditions are certainly being upheld until this day whether you know their origins or not. However, sometimes it's okay to do away with old ones and come up with a few of your own.

Source: Sacred Unions

Castle of Muskogee


This is for the Oklahomans in my neck of the woods. You may want to check out the Haunted Castle Halloween Festival located at the Castle of Muskogee. You can start in the Halloween Village for hot and cold drinks, food, bobbing for apples, fortune tellers, ghost stories, games and much more. A few other activities you can enjoy:

DOMUS HORRIFICUS: takes you into the areas where your favorite horror monsters dwell. Not recommended for children.

Haunted Hayride: is sure to keep you on your toes as you ride through the Haunted Castle grounds. Recommended: For Families.

CASA MORTE: features a labyrinth through the 12th Century Castle, with doom and mystery around every corner. Enter if you wish, but hope to find your way out.
Recommended: 13 and older.

Trail of Blood: Take a walk in the woods if you dare. The lost souls of those who have gone before will guide you. Not recommended for the faint of heart.

Ultimate Maze: Dare to walk the many pathways of this haunted maze. Most of you will find the way, the rest of you, well.

Pirate Ship Stage: Live entertainment for the whole family.

Enchanted Boardwalk: Take a stroll on the boardwalk and see over 150 Halloween Inflatables ranging from 3ft - 12ft tall. A GREAT Adventure for kids and adults.

Torture Chamber: See what really happened in medieval times in the depths of the dungeons.

Halloween Land: A safe zone for the little ones. It's a carnival of delight with no scares. Games, face painting, treats & balloons. (open from 6pm to 9pm)

Opened at 6 pm to 10 pm on October 27th, 28th, 30th and 31st. Check out the Castle of Muskogee website for prices, pictures from past events and to buy your tickets. Advanced tickets may be purchased any time up to October 31st.

GS Question of the Week

During my all-night ghostfest, I asked this particular question at the end of the Villisca Ax Murder House post. I feel it is an intriguing question and so, I decided to post it again:

If a place experiences a gruesome event(s) such as eight people being murdered then does that mean it automatically is prone to a ghostly future?

My Answer: I think a traumatic event happening in a particular place makes it more likely to have a ghostly future but I don't think it always happens.

Celebrities and Ghosts

Tonight is the Chainsaw Fangoria Awards on Fuse but if you prefer something else, how about checking out the latest edition to the Celebreality line-up on VH1. Celebrity Paranormal Project sends five celebrities to investigate reports of paranormal activity in a certain location. They are given history of the site, the background on the ghosts, the testimonials of the sightings. Of course there can't be an investigation without EMF meters, laser thermometers, thermal imaging cameras, sensitive digital recorders to pick up EVP recordings and cameras to document themselves, each other and their experiences.

Tonights premiere takes place at one of the most famous haunted locations in the country, Waverly Hills Sanatorium. Gary Busey, Hal Sparks, Survivor winner Jenna Morasca, Toccara from America's Next Top Model, and Baywatch original Donna d'Errico will be tested to see how "fearless" they really are. Tune in at 9 pm Central to see why Waverly Hills is infamous among ghost-hunting circles.

UPDATE: Okay, so, I watched CPC last night and basically, if you were a fan of the MTV series Fear then you will be a fan of this one. They are almost the same. However, there was one interesting part. When Hal Sparks was outside on the 5th floor, you know where all the sick kids use to play; there was a perfect shot of a shadow passing by a doorway. Now, whether or not that was just special effects or the real deal, it still looked pretty cool.

Some Odd News for Your Enjoyment

Calling teaspoon benders! Geller seeks "heir" on TV : "After four decades of bending spoons, halting clocks, reading minds, and penning metaphysical thrillers, Uri Geller is seeking a paranormal protégé. A reality television show being produced in Israel where Geller grew up, will feature 10 contestants vying for the title of "heir" to the world-famous celebrity psychic."

Nightmares brought to life in New York houses : "If being buried alive, overrun by rats, or encountering a sinister clown is your worst fear -- then welcome to your living nightmare. In the lead-up to Halloween, off-Broadway producer Tim Haskell has set up "Nightmare: Face Your Fear" -- interactive haunted houses in each of New York City's five boroughs -- and is daring people to endure a psychologically terrifying experience."

Coffins to bear logos of baseball teams : "Many crazed baseball fans have said they would die for a championship. But are they willing to take that devotion to the grave? Major League Baseball and a company that makes funeral products will soon find out just how many fans want to be decked out for all eternity in tribute to their team. Starting next season, fans of the New York Yankees, Boston Red Sox, Detroit Tigers, Philadelphia Phillies, Chicago Cubs and Los Angeles Dodgers will be able to have their ashes put in an urn or head six feet under in a casket emblazoned with their team colors and insignia."

Stonehenge makes list in new seven wonders vote : "Only one of the ancient wonders of the world still survives -- now history lovers are being invited to choose a new list of seven. Among 21 locations shortlisted for the worldwide vote is Stonehenge, the only British landmark selected. The 5,000-year-old stones on Salisbury Plain, Wiltshire, will be up against sites including the Acropolis in Athens; the Statue of Liberty in New York; and the last remaining original wonder, the Pyramids of Giza in Cairo."

Chimera House


I'm sure some of you have heard about a supposedly haunted house attraction so frightening that no one has been able to complete a full tour of it and maybe you went a bit further and tried to find 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 "house" has a specified number of floors or levels, 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 too darned scary for those who've so far tried it. 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.

Source: Snopes

GS Question of the Week

Do you think that UFOs are nothing but an elaborate hoax or do you really thing we aren't alone in the universe? Why?

My Answer: I don't think we are alone in the universe. I mean what are the odds of only one planet in the entire universe maintain life. I don't think they visit our planet or not at least as much as people think they do but I do think they exist.

Halloween Treats

It's approximately 16 days until Halloween. If you plan on having a huge Halloween bash for the kids, you may be in need for some themed treats. Razzle Dazzle Recipes has several for you to choose from including Pumpkin Pizza, Barbecued Bat Wings, Moldy Turkey Burgers, Kitty Litter Cookies and Ghoul-Ade over Gopher Guts. It also includes some ideas and games to keep the party going.

Click.....if you dare!

Good Morning!

Good morning, everyone! I hope you enjoyed the all night ghost fest. I want to remind you of the little contest going on here. Match the lighthouse with its' ghost and you could win 1,000 BlogMad Credits. Today is the last day. I hope you all had a great Horror Day.

Borley Rectory

Borley Rectory has claimed one of the most famous and controversial hauntings in Britain during the 1920s and 1930s. Most believe it was never really haunted. Many believe it was merely fraud, misinterpreted natural phenomena and the will of Harry Price in order to create an interesting case. Most experiences can rationally be explained but a percentage can still be seen as inexplicable.
The rectory was built in 1863, on the site of an old Benedictine Monastery for the Reverend H.D.E Bull, pastor of Borley Church, and his family. It is said that a monk and a young novice were killed while trying to elope from the place. The monk was hanged and his would-be bride bricked up alive within the wall of her convent. Despite local warnings, Bull built the house on a haunted site.

In 1892, the Reverend Bull died in the Blue Room and his son, Harry Bull, took over from his father until 1927, when he also passed away in the Blue Room (now with a reputation as the haunted room of the house).

Harry Price got involved in the case after a newspaper carried a story about a phantom nun at the house in June 1929. Price was asked by the paper to investigate and he was told about various types of phenomena that had been reported there, like phantom footsteps; strange lights; ghostly whispers; a headless man; a girl in white; the sounds of a phantom coach outside; the apparition of the home’s builder, Henry Bull; and of course, the spirit of the nun. This spectral figure was said to drift through the garden with her head bent in sorrow.

Local legend had it that a monastery had once been located on the site and that a 13th century monk and a beautiful young novice were killed while trying to elope from the place. The monk was hanged and his would-be bride was bricked up alive within the walls of her convent. Price scoffed at the idea of such a romantic tale but was intrigued by the phenomena associated with the house.

It would be during his investigations of Borley Rectory that he would become the best-known and most accomplished of the early ghost hunters, setting the standard for those who would follow. Price coined the idea of the “ghost hunter’s kit”; used tape measurers to check the thickness of walls and to search for hidden chambers; perfected the use of still cameras for indoor and outdoor photography; brought in a remote-control motion picture camera; put to use a finger-printing kit; and even used portable telephones for contact between investigators.

Until that point, the ghosts at the rectory had been relatively peaceful, but all that would change in October 1930 when Smith was replaced by the Reverend Lionel Foyster and his wife, Marianne. Their time in the house would see a marked increase in the paranormal activity. People were locked out of rooms, household items vanished, windows were broken, furniture was moved, odd sounds were heard and much more.

However, the worst of the incidents seemed to involve Mrs. Foyster, as she was thrown from her bed at night, slapped by invisible hands, forced to dodge heavy objects which flew at her day and night, and was once almost suffocated with a mattress.

Soon after, there began to appear a series of scrawled messages on the walls of the house, written by an unknown hand. They seemed to be pleading with Mrs. Foyster, using phrases like “Marianne, please help get” and “Marianne light mass prayers”.

Many other phenomena occurred here. In 1939, the house burned down and the remains of a "young woman" who was thought to be the nun buried there were found. The building itself was finally demolished in 1944. However, its legacy still continues today and it retains its reputation as one of the world's most famous haunted houses!

Source: Prairie Ghosts

Villisca Ax Murder House

Villisca was a close community in Iowa but everything changed on June 10, 1912 when the bodies of eight people were discovered. The Josiah B. Moore family and two overnight guests were founded murdered in their beds. Over 90 years later, the murders still remain unsolved.

What happened? All is known is that Sarah and Josiah B. Moore, their four kids Herman, Catherine, Boyd and Paul and two of their two friends Lena and Ina Stillinger walked home after a children's program at their Presbyterian Church at around 9:30 pm. The next day, a concerned neighbor Mary Peckham noticed the family was strangely quiet most of the day. She didn't see Moore leave for work. Sarah wasn't cooking breakfast or doing chores. No sounds of their children running and playing. She examined the house, looking for signs of life prior to calling Josiah B.'s brother, Ross.

When he arrived, he unlocked the door with his set of keys and along with Mary, began searching for the family. When he discovered the bodies of Ina and Lena, he told Mary to call the Sheriff. The rest of the Moore family were found upstairs brutally murdered, all their skulls were crushed by an ax that was later found.

The news spread fast and it has been said that hundreds of people wandered the house before the Villisca National Guard arrived to regain control of the crime scene but not before they touched everything, stared at the bodies and taking souvenirs. As a result, all potential evidence was either contaminated or destroyed.

There were many suspects. Frank F Jones was a prominent resident of Villisca and a senator. Josiah B. Moore worked for Jones until he opened his own company in 1908. Jones was considered one of the most powerful people in Villisca. He was a man who didn't like to be "defeated" and was upset when Moore left his company and took the John Deere franchise with him. There were also rumors that Moore was having an affair with Jones' daughter-in-law, but nothing was ever proven. However, it was motive to Jones and his son Albert. William Mansfield was believed to have been hired by Jones' to carry out the murders. He was arrested and later released after payroll records showed he was in Illinois at the time of the murders.

Revered George Kelly was a traveling salesman who supposedly confessed to the crime on a train heading back to Macedonia, Iowa. He claimed the reason for killing them derived from a vision telling him to "slay and slay utterly". He was arrested on unrelated charges and eventually was sent to a mentally hospital. His obsession with the murders and numerous letters sent to law enforcement made him appear as a viable suspect. However, after two trials, he was acquitted.

There was a common belief a serial killer may have been responsible for the murders and Andy Sawyer was number one suspect tied to this theory. He was a transient fingered by his boss on a railroad crew as knowing too much about the crime. Sawyer was also know to sleep and have conversations with his ax. He was brought in for questioning but was released when records showed he was in Osceola, Iowas on the night when the murders took place.

The house had many owners over the years. Darwin and Martha Linn had purchased the house in an effort to preserve and save it from being razed. They restored the house, turning it in to a museum. As much as the Josiah B. Moore family home became a part of American crime history, it also has a place in ghost legend.

Ever since the house was opened to overnight visitors, ghost enthusiasts have flocked to it, seeking the strange and the unusual. They witnessed the sounds of children’s voices when no children were present. Others have experienced falling lamps, feeling of heaviness, sounds of dripping blood, moving objects, banging sounds and a child’s laughter.

There are those who lived in the house who say they never experienced anything paranormal. No ghosts at all were believed to be inhabiting the dwelling until 1999 when Nebraska ghost hunters labeled it "Haunted". Some believe the house gained it's status after the Sixth Sense gained popularity.

So, is it really haunted? Spend $10 to tour the house during the day or $400 to spend a night there with a group of friends or family and find out for yourself.

Source: 

Prairie Ghosts

P.R.I.S.M. - Villisca Ax Murder House

Villisca: Living with a Mystery

Franklin Castle

There are over thirty rooms in the castle's four stories and the roof is designed in steep gables that give the place its gothic air. Secret passages honeycomb the house and sliding panels hide the doorways to these hidden corridors. It is said that a thirteen-year-old girl was once murdered in one of these hallways by her uncle because he believed her to be insane. In the front tower, it is told that a bloody ax murder once took place and it was here that one of the former owners found a secret cabinet that contained human bones. The Deputy coroner of Cleveland, Dr. Lester Adelson, who examined the bones shortly after they were found in January 1975, judged them to be of someone who had been dead for a very, very long time.

A German immigrant named Hannes Tiedemann built the mansion in 1865. Tiedemann was a former barrel-maker and wholesale grocer who had gone into banking. This new source of wealth allowed him to spare no expense in building the house and he soon moved in with his wife, Luise. Over the next few years, Luise gave birth to a son, August, and a daughter, Emma but life in the mansion was never really happy. By 1881, it had become tragic.

On January 16, 15 year old Emma died from diabetes. In those days, death from the disease came as a horrible, lingering starvation for which there was no cure. A short time later, Tiedemann’s elderly mother, Wiebeka, also died in the house. Over the next three years, the Tiedemann’s buried three children, one of them just eleven days old. Rumors began to spread that there may have been more to these deaths than was first apparent.

To take his wife's mind off the family tragedies, Tiedemann enlisted the services of a prominent architectural firm to design some additions to the mansion. It was during this expansion that the secret passages, concealed rooms and hidden doors were added to the house. Gas lighting was also installed throughout the building and many of the fixtures are still visible today. A large ballroom was also added that ran the length of the entire house and turrets and gargoyles were also incorporated into the design, making it appear even more like a castle.

The hidden passages in the house also hide many legends. At the rear of the house is a trap door that leads to a tunnel that goes nowhere. Another hidden room once contained a liquor still, left over from the Prohibition era. During the 1920’s, the house was allegedly used as a speakeasy and warehouse for illegal liquor. The most gruesome secret uncovered in the house came from another of the hidden rooms. Here, an occupant found literally dozens of human baby skeletons. It was suggested that they may have been the victims of a doctor’s botched experiments or even medical specimens, but no one knew for sure. The medical examiner simply stated that they were "old bones".

On March 24, 1895, Luise died at the age of 57 from what was said to be "liver trouble". Rumors continued to spread about the many untimely deaths in the Tiedemann family, especially when Hannes married again a few years later. By that time, he had sold the castle to a brewing family named Mullhauser and had moved to a grander home on Lake Road. The following summer, Tiedemann decided to vacation at a German resort and there he met (or some have suggested became re-acquainted with) a young waitress named Henriette. He quickly married the woman and lived just long enough to regret it. He divorced her and left her with nothing.

By 1908, Tiedemann’s entire family, including his son, August and his children, had passed away. There was no one left to inherit his fortune or to comfort him in his old age. Tiedemann died later that same year, suddenly stricken while walking in the park one day. It is believed that he suffered a massive stroke.

Tiedemann's death did not end the speculation about strange events in the house however. Legend had it that Tiedemann had not been the faithful husband that he appeared to be. There were stories of affairs and sexual encounters within the vast confines of the house that were only whispered about. Tangled in the distasteful stories were also rumors of murder.

One of the bloody tales was told about a hidden passage that extended beyond the castle’s ballroom. It was here that Tiedemann allegedly killed his niece by hanging her from one of the exposed rafters. The stories say that she was insane and that he killed her to put her out of her misery. But it’s possible this was not the truth because others maintain that he killed her because of her promiscuity. He discovered her in bed with his grandson, it is said, and she paid the ultimate price for this transgression.

Tiedemann is also said to have murdered a young servant girl on her wedding day because she rejected his advances. Another version of the story says that the woman who was killed was Tiedemann’s mistress, a woman named Rachel. She accidentally strangled to death in the house after Tiedemann tied her up and gagged her after learning that she wanted to marry another man. It’s possible that Rachel’s spirit is the resident "woman in black" who has been seen lurking around the old tower. Former residents say that they have heard the sound of a woman choking in this room.

In January of 1968, James Romano, his wife, and six children moved into the house. Mrs. Romano had always been fascinated with the mansion and planned to open a restaurant there, but she quickly changed her mind. On the very day that the family moved in, she sent her children upstairs to play. A little while later, they came back downstairs and asked if they could have a cookie for their new friend, a little girl who was upstairs crying. Mrs. Romano followed the children back upstairs, but found no little girl. This happened a number of times; leading many to wonder if the "ghost children" might be the spirits of the Tiedemann children who died in the early 1880's.

Mrs. Romano also reported hearing organ music in the house, even though no organ was there and sounds of footsteps tramping up and down the hallways. She also heard voices and the sound of glass clinking on the third floor, even though no one else was in the house. The Romano’s finally consulted a Catholic priest about the house. He declined to do an exorcism of the place, but told them that he sensed an evil presence in the house and that they should leave.

By September of 1974, the Romano’s had finally had enough. They sold the castle to Sam Muscatello, who planned to turn the place into a church, but instead, after learning of the building's shady past, started offering guided tours of the house. He also had problems with ghostly visitors in the mansion encountering strange sounds, vanishing objects and the eerie woman in black.

In 1984, the house was sold once again, this time to Michael De Vinko, who attempted to restore the place. He claimed to have no problems with ghosts in the house but surmised that it may have been because he was taking care of the old place again. He spent huge sums of money in restoration efforts. He successfully tracked down the original blueprints to the house, some of the Tiedemann furniture, and even the original key to the front door, which still worked. Even after spending all of the money though, the house was put back on the real-estate market in 1994.

The castle was sold again in 1999 and the new owner once again attempted to restore the place, even after an arson fire damaged it badly in November of that same year. Work continued throughout his ownership, as he hoped to open the place once again for tours. But had the blood-soaked past of the house left a mark that was still being felt in the present? When asked if the castle was really haunted, the owner admitted that he was not sure that it was, or if he even believed in ghosts at all. However, he did say that many of his friends and family have had had odd experiences here. "Most of them involve either unexplained sounds, or difficult-to-describe feelings."

According to a July 2003 edition of the Cleveland Plains-Dealer newspaper, Franklin Castle sold once more and the new owner, a local land developer, has hopes of converting the place into a social club. When completed, he also plans to offer ghost hunters a chance to spend the night in this legendary haunted house, using the new bed and breakfast facilities that opened in May 2004.

Source: Prairie Ghosts

Hornet Spook Light

A strange light has been seen along a road for almost 140 years. No one, not even the Army Corps of Engineers, has a clue what it could be. It has had many names but is now commonly known as Hornet Spook Light.

This light has appeared seemingly as a ball of fire for almost 140 years, varying in size from a basketball to larger. It spins down the center of this gravel road at great speed, rises up high, bobs and weaves to the right and left. It appears to be a large lantern, but there is never anyone carrying it. The light has appeared inside of vehicles, seems to retreat when it is pursued and never allows anyone to get to close to it. Does it have some intelligence? Possibly, but no one knows for sure.

The light has never harmed anyone. It mostly has just frightened people as it tends to come out of nowhere. Some witnesses have even claimed to have felt the heat as it passed by them.

There have been many theories that have attempted to explain why this mysterious light appears here. Originally, a number of legends sprung up around the place. One of them claimed the light was connected to the spirit of two young Quapaw Indians who died in the area many years ago. Another claimed the light was the spirit of an Osage Indian chief who had been beheaded on the Devil's Promenade and the light was said to be his torch as he searched for his missing head. Another legend tells of a miner whose children were kidnapped by Indians and he set off looking for them with only a lantern to light his way. The light is said to be his lantern as continues looking for the children that he will never find.

The first known account of the light was in the Kansas City Star in 1936 and then in 1947 book called Ozark Superstitions by Vance Randolph. Many have investigated the light but have yet to come up with a solid explanation. For now, it remains a mystery.

Source: Prairie Ghosts

Bachelor Grove

No one knows how Bachelor Grove got its name but it’s one of those must visit places to find strange phenomena. Hundreds of reports have derived from there and it began in 1844 when the land was set aside to be a burial ground. The first burial was that year and was in steady use until 1989, when the last burial was. It was in the middle 1800’s when it received the name Bachelor Grove.

Trouble began in the 1960’s when the road leading to the cemetery became a popular “lovers lane” and vandals left it in terrible condition. It was officially closed in 1965. However, in the 70s, satanic and occultist groups performed ceremonies there, leaving remains. Many tombstones were stolen and some returned which could have given origin to legends that they moved by themselves. Some have witnessed ghost lights, voices, apparitions, and sightings of unbelievable creatures. The cemetery would soon be forgotten if it weren’t for the numerous ghost stories.

One of the most interesting stories is that of the phantom farmhouse. In order to get to the burial ground, you have travel on a narrow gravel trail. It is along this road that the house has been reported seen. It is always described the same: white house with porch pillars, a swing and a soft light burning in the window. However, it is never seen in the same place. It has been seen during daylight and night time hours. Even more strange is there are no reports of there being a house ever there.

A small lagoon borders the nearby turnpike and was known to be a dumping ground for gangsters during the Prohibition. So, it isn’t a surprise that the pond is haunted. Strangely, one ghost linked to the lagoon, is said to be a two-headed creature that has been reported on several occasions. The most famous ghost of the lagoon is an old farmer who was pulled into the water by his plow horse in the 1870's. The horse was drowned by the weight of the plow, taking the farmer with it.

The cemetery itself has its own ghosts, from the image of people dressed in monk's robes to the spirit of a glowing yellow man seen in 1984. Many ghosts have been captured on film. The most famous would be an old woman dubbed “White lady” or “Madonna of Bachelor Grove”. She is said to be the ghost of a woman buried in the cemetery next to her young son. She has been seen on nights of the full moon, wandering the cemetery with a baby in her arms.

Ghost lights are also well known on the trail leading through the woods. The strange lights on the trail are said to be red in color and move so fast that they leave a streak behind them in the air. The blue balls of light in the cemetery itself seem to have intelligence, dancing just out of reach of those who pursue them.

Even the turnpike near Bachelor's Grove is said to be haunted. For a number of years, witnesses have reported phantom cars that disappear along this road. One couple even had an auto accident with a car that vanished before their eyes, leaving their own vehicle untouched despite the sounds of bending metal and breaking glass.

So, if you are looking for a ghost experience, this place should be on the top of your list.

Source: Prairie Ghosts

St. James Hotel

A Frenchman and personal chef for President Lincoln named Henri Lambert, started Lambert Saloon and Billiard Hall in Cimarron, New Mexico. As it grew in popularity, Lambert added thirty guest rooms turning it into the St. James Hotel, attracting well known guests such as Buffalo Bill Cody, Clay Allison, Annie Oakley, Jesse James, Zane Grey and Wyatt Earp. It was also a place where 26 men died (among others) from various gunfights. The ceiling of the Saloon still has 22 bullet holes in it.

The building saw one owner after another between 1926 and 1985 before being bought in the 1985. The new owners restored it to it's former hotel glory, prohibiting electrical devices and telephones and retaining almost all of the original furniture. The antique chandeliers, beds and dressers give guests a taste of the Wild Wild West. In 2009, the hotel was bought and restored once again by the Express UU Bar Ranch. The dining room and bar were merged into one area and the a walled-in courtyard replaced the deck and lawn.

There are several rooms in the hotel that is believed to be haunted. Room 18 has been locked up tight and off limits to guests for years. Rumor has it if someone were to stay in that room something bad will happen. It is uncertain what the true reason is. However a man named TJ Wright is believed to have died in there in 1881. Story goes that after winning a poker game as he was leaving, he was shot in the back. Somehow he managed to walk back to his room (Room 18) where he bled to death. Guests in the Kate Lambert room get woken up in the middle of the night to find no one in the room. People smell perfume in the room Mary Lambert died in. It is also believed Mary's spirit is a protector of the hotel.

Other paranormal activity includes smell of cigar smoke, cold spots, feelings of being watched, things fall off of walls and shelves, computer turns on and off and phone rings at the front desk. Witnesses have reported seeing a "dwarf-like" spirit who likes to play pranks, moving objects from one place to another. Cameras and video equipment often break or don't work correctly. Many guests have reported seeing the reflection of a cowboy sitting at one of the tables in the original mirrored bar only to discover no one else in the room. The chandelier refuses to turn off for no obvious reason.

Sources:

The Ghosts of the St. James Hotel in Cimarron, New Mexico by: Jennifer Eblin

Ghosts of the St. James Hotel by: Jill Sweatman

Wikipedia - St. James Hotel

For 1,000 BlogMad Credits...

Match the number of the lighthouse with the letter of the ghost that haunts it. The one with all or the most right will receive 1.000 BlogMad credits! Tomorrow is the deadline! Good luck!

LIGHTHOUSE

1 - Baker Island Light
2 - Bird Island Lighthouse
3 - Cape Neddick Lighthouse
4 - Fairport Harbor Light
5 - Harbour Town Light
6 - Heceta Head Lighthouse
7 - Marshall Point Lighthouse
8 - Minots Ledge Lighthouse
9 - New London Ledge Light
10 - Ocracoke Light
11 - Old Port Boca Grande LH
12 - Pemaquid Point Lighthouse
13 - Point Lookout Lighthouse
14 - Presque Island Lighthouse
15 - Seguine Lighthouse
16 - Seul Choix Point Lighthouse
17 - St. Augustine Lighthouse
18 - St. Simons Island Light
19 - White River Light Station
20 - Yaquina Head Light

GHOSTS

A - The Spanish Princess Josepha
B - "Murdered by Assistant" Keeper Walking Hallways
C - A Breakfast Cooking Ghost
D - A Cigar Smoking Ghost
E - A Drowned 12 Yr Old Girl's Voice
F - A Ghost the Screams "Keep Away" in Portuguese
G - A Gray Cat
H - A Keeper Whose Wife Ran Off With the Ferry Captain
I - A Keeper With a Cane Who Refused to Leave
J - A Kissing Ghost
K - A Wife Who Has Only One Piece of Sheet Music
L - Blackbeard the Pirate
M - Blond Teenager and Rum Running Murderer
N - Civil War Veterans Looking for Graves
O - Disfigured Lady with Corn Cob Pipe
P - Female in Blue Dress Crying For her Father
Q - Lady in Window Looking Down
R - Red Hair Lady in Shawl Near Fireplace
S - The "Gray Lady" Who Doesn't Like Work on Light
T - The Ghost Ship "Isadore"

Old Slave House

A man named John Hart Crenshaw set up a sort of a reverse “underground railroad” in 1842. Back then, slavery was against the law in Illinois. However, a law stated that slaves could be leased from other states to work in dangerous salt mines. Crenshaw took major advantage of that.

He kidnapped free slaves and forced them to work in his salt mines. He also sold these people back to slave owners in the south. Crenshaw kept slaves locked up in the attic and some say he brutally tortured them. Crenshaw devised another plan, this one to create slaves of his own. He selected a slave for his size and stamina and set him to breeding more slaves with the females that could bear children. This man, known simply as "Uncle Bob" was said to have fathered as many as 300 children. He lived until the age of 112 and died in 1948.

The attic at Hickory Hill was a chamber of horrors. A dozen cells opened off a wide corridor. They were small rooms with bars on the windows and with iron rings where shackles could be bolted to the floor. The attic had only a small window at either end, so the air was stifling. A whipping post was also constantly in use and many of the valuable slaves were said to have died at the cruel hands of Crenshaw and his men.

In 1842, Crenshaw was brought to trial for selling a free family. Unfortunately, the case could not be proven until after the trial when it was too late. One of Crenshaw’s slaves attacked him with an ax, severing his leg in 1846. His slave trade days were over and his mill was burned to the ground. He died in 1871 and he and his wife were buried at Hickory Hill Cemetery.

Years later, the house was opened as a tourist attraction and was no stranger to strange occurrences. Tourist were reporting hearing strange noises coming from the attic. . .noises that sounded like cries and whimpers, and even rattling chains. Some say no one could spend the night in that house especially after an exorcist named Hickman Whittington wrote an article about the house in a local newspaper in 1920. He was in perfect health when he came to visit the old mansion but took ill later than same night and died just hours later.

In the late 1960's, two soldiers who had seen action in Vietnam ran screaming from the house after being surrounded by ghostly shapes. A year or so later, the owner stopped letting people in the house after dark. A small fire had accidentally been started by a lantern. In 1978, he finally relented and a reporter from Harrisburg named David Rodgers was allowed to spend the night. Despite hearing a lot of strange noises, he managed to beat out 150 previous challengers to become the first to brave the night in the former slave quarters.

Black Aggie

First of all, I would like to wish everyone a Happy Horror Day. Later on tonight, you will have a chance to win 1,000 BlogMad credits. Keep checking for that. Now on to tonight's first story.

Henry Adams hired American sculpture Augustus St. Gaudens to construct a memorial for his beloved wife, Marian "Clover" Adams who committed suicide after the death of her father. After four years, the piece was finished in 1891. It was never officially named, but it was mostly known as the "Adams Memorial" and later "Grief". Stories vary as to how it received that nickname.

The statue was so fascinating that a sculpture named Eduard L.A. Pausch copied it. The statue would go to be named "Black Aggie". General Felix Agnus purchased the copy in 1905 to place at his family's tomb. Then had a monument and pedestal created that would closely match the setting of the Adams Memorial in Washington. No one knows exactly why he chose this statue.

A year later, the widow of the artist Augustus St. Gaudens sent a letter to Henry Adams to inform him of the poor reproduction that had been done of "Grief" and which was now resting in Druid Ridge. There was nothing they could do legally about the theft of the design so St. Gauden's widow traveled to Baltimore to see the site for herself. She discovered a nearly identical statue, seated on a similar stone, but with the name "Agnus" inscribed on the base. She also noted that the stone was a nondescript gray color and not the pink granite of the original. The Baltimore site also did not have the bench and the rest of the stonework as the original Washington gravesite had.

After seeing the site, Mrs. St. Gaudens declared that General Angus "must be a good deal of a barbarian to copy a work of art in such a way". Agnus quickly responded and claimed to be the innocent victim of unscrupulous art dealers. The artist's widow then requested that he give up the sculpture and file suit against the art dealers. Strangely, Agnus did file suit (and won a claim of over $4500) but he refused to give up the copy of the statue.

It was shortly after Agnus died that the legend began. Those who encountered the statue after dark dubbed it "Black Aggie". It was said the spirits of the dead rose from their graves to surround the statue on certain nights. Those who returned her gaze went blind. Pregnant women who passed through her shadow (where grass never grew) would suffer miscarriages.

Local college fraternities used Black Aggie's reputation for initiation rites. Candidates for membership were ordered to spend the night in the cold embrace of the statue. The stories claimed that the local fraternity initiates had to sit on Aggie's lap and one tale purports that "she once came to life and crushed a hapless freshman in her powerful grasp."

One night, at the stroke of midnight, the cemetery watchman heard a scream in the darkness. When he reached the Angus grave, he found a young man lying dead at the foot of the statue.... he had died of fright, or so the story goes.

One morning in 1962, a watchman discovered that one of the angel's arms had been cut off during the night. The missing arm was later found in the trunk of a sheet metal worker's car, along with a saw. He told the judge that Black Aggie had cut off her own arm in a fit of grief and had given it to him. Apparently, the judge didn't believe him and the man went to jail.

Descendants of Agnus donated the statue to the Maryland Institute of Art Museum. However, the move never happened and it was later donated to the Smithsonian. Even though it was meant to be displayed there, it was placed in storage with no intentions of ever placing it on display. So, it was later donated to the National Museum of American Art where she placed in a storage room once again never to be seen again until...

In 1996, thanks to a writer named Shara Terjung, Aggie was found and can be seen at the Federal Courts building in Washington, in the rear courtyard of the Dolly Madison house.

Was the statue ever haunted? Who knows, but it has left itÂ’s mark in American supernatural history.

Source: Prairie Ghosts

Mummy for Sale?

If you are familiar with eBay then you know some "interesting" items are put up for auction all the time. The item of topic tonight is another one to add to the list. A Michigan woman, Lynn Sterling, tried to sell a mummy on eBay.

The St. Clair County medical examiner's office confiscated the mummified remains Tuesday from Sterling's home. She told police that she received the remains from a friend who claimed to have found them in a Detroit school he helped tear down nearly 30 years ago. Sterling said she contacted a lawyer before posting the remains for sale. You would think an attorney would advise their client to hand over the mummy to the state, not sell it on eBay. I would fire him if I was her.

Port Huron police were notified of the eBay posting by a caller from North Carolina who spotted the listing on the site. Before the posting was removed, due to violation of site rules, one curious person made a bid of $500.

"It's an anatomical, medical-use skeleton," Sterling told The Times Herald of Port Huron. "I would never have put it on (eBay) if I thought it was anything other than an anatomical, medical thing." Sterling likely won't face charges.

The remains were sent to an anthropologist at Michigan State University. The St. Claire County Medical Examiner Daniel Spitz described the remains as an intact skeleton with mummified tissue. He said age, sex and race could not yet be determined, but said the remains appeared to be those of a child.

"It's very, very old. It's probably some type of anatomical dissection that was part of an anatomy class that over time got into the hands of somebody in the general public," Spitz said.

Source: Yahoo! News

Ghost Hunters Premiere

Any comments on TAPS investigation of the Bird Cage Theatre?

Horror Day

The Horror Writers Association has dubbed Friday, October 13th as National Horror Day. They are giving away loads of cool prizes including a signed copy of "Grudge 2" script from writer Stephen Susco, "Saw 3" merchandise from Lionsgate, Signed copy of "Tales from Edgar Allen Poe" illustrated by Gris Grimly and Signed "Death Tunnel" and "Spooked" DVDs from director and producer Christopher and Philip Booth for those with the best and most creative actions on Horror Day, determined by a panel of celebrity judges. Prizes will also be given to random friends at myspace.

On Oct. 13, fans are asked to buy a horror book, give away a horror book, rent a horror video, host a movie night, read ghost stories to children, or talk to the local library, bookstore, video store, newspaper or radio station.

I wish I had heard about this sooner. I could have come up with something creative for this day and maybe gave out a few prizes of my own. Unfortunately, I didn't, but I still would like to celebrate. So, this is what I have come up with. I've decided to do an all night Ghost Story blogging. I plan to post at least one new ghost story per hour from 11 pm to 5 am Central Time. Other bloggers are welcome to join me, but whether you do or not, doesn't matter. I'll still be here all night.

How do you plan on celebrating?

A Reminder: Saturday's guest poster position is still available. All you have to do is email me your topic idea and a link to your blog by Friday.

Ghostly Thirteen

Ghostly Thirteen
Thirteen Ghost Tours


1. Philadelphia
2. Richard Crowe's Chicago Supernatural Tours
3. St. Augustine
4. Austin
5. New Orleans
6. Eureka Springs
7. Charleston
8. Calico Ghost Walk
9. Colorado Ghost Town Tours
10. Wichita
11. Old Town Albuquerque
12. Fells Point
13. Savannah



Add your link if you want to join Ghostly Thirteen.

GS Question of the Week

What do you think is the difference between a skeptic and a believer?

My Answer: I once heard this on 7th Heaven. I'm not sure if it's an actual famous quote or not: "Those who are uneducated believe what they are told. Those who are educated, question what they are told". That quote pretty much answers the question for me. I think both are considered believers but skeptics are willing to ask questions before believing of something to be true. I think believers are too willing to trust something to be true. However, I think both sides bring something to the table.

Ghost Stories Forum

I wrote about setting up a forum for this blog and apparently, I put the wrong url for it in the post. So, this is the correct web address to view the group and/or sign up. This will also double as a monthly mailing list. New members have to be approved by me. So, if you are signing up for the mailing list, please indicate that.

Unfortunately, I don't have the time to post on a daily basis. Considering that, I've decided to declare Saturdays Guest Post Day here. If you would like to be a guest poster, email me at paranormal_stories2004@yahoo.com with your idea(s) and links to any websites or blogs you own or contribute to. If you have several, I don't need links to them all (unless you are picked to be a guest poster and choose to list them in your bio), but one or two are the minimum.

One last thing. The next edition of Ghostly Thirteen will be on Tuesday. I know there are many popular memes going around including Thursday Thirteen which this inspired from. Since I search blogs via BlogMad on regular basis, I don't believe seeing one on Tuesday (I could be wrong about this). So, I figure it would be a good day to do it on.

UPDATE: The forum has been closed.

Have You Been Abducted by Aliens...

and want compensation for it? Well you probably won't get it here in the US. However, according to an article from Reuters, a German lawyer based in the eastern city of Dresden hopes to get more business and expand his client list by pursuing state compensation claims for people who believe they were abducted by aliens.

"There's quite obviously demand for legal advice here," Jens Lorek, who specializes in social and labor law, said. "The trouble is, people are afraid of making fools of themselves in court."

He hasn't won any abduction claims yet, but says there are plenty of potential clients, noting that extra-terrestrial watchdogs report scores of alien assaults every year. Lorek, 41, is pinning his hopes for success on a German law which grants kidnap victims the right to state compensation.

Lorek isn't too worried about being ridiculed for representing clients haunted by aliens. According to him, "Nobody has laughed about it up until now." If that happened here, he probably would have been laughed right out of the courtroom. I guess it's good he is doing this in Germany and not the US.

Types of Hauntings

I found a detailed article written for two classes taught by Carl and Keith Johnson from The Atlantic Paranormal Society about categories of hauntings. There are basically three types: "human", "residual" and "inhuman". This post is like a Cliff's Notes version. Read the article if you want to know more about these types of hauntings.

A "human" or "intelligent" haunting are entities (known as spirits or ghosts) that possess limited human personalities and emotions. They appear in human form and respond to activities of the occupants of a household, the presence of investigators, or the rearranging of furnishings in a setting. They are attached to particular sites, vicinities or dwelling places, usually houses. EVPs and pictures/video of "orbs/globules" are the type of evidence that can be captured with this type of haunting.

The second type is called a "residual" haunting. In this case, a scene from past or present replays itself and is witnessed by a living person(s). They rarely acknowledge any present day observers. Known "residual" apparitions include Ann Boleyn and Katherine Howard at the Tower of London where they were both imprisoned prior to being beheaded. Marie Antoinette, who was also beheaded, has been seen sketching on the front lawn of her Paris estate. There has been speculation that some UFO sightings are also examples of "residual" hauntings. Instead of seeing scenes of the past or present, you see a glimpse of the future which is the idea of clairvoyance and precognition.

There has been much debate in this last haunting. A "demonic" or "inhuman" type of haunting is perhaps of other-dimensional origin, and is often possessed of a quite hostile nature. It's similar to a "human" haunting as it evinces a form of intelligence as in it anticipates the approaches of a person it menaces. It usually occurs in households of psychological instability, distress or unresolved conflict on the part of a resident(s) who perhaps inadvertently invited the demon through scrying implements such as a Ouija Board, conducting séances, indisciplined psychic experimentation, performing magic ceremonies or by habitually conversing with unseen presences. They may seem harmless but can open back doors that should remain closed.

A sub-type of the "inhuman" haunting is a Poltergeist. Poltergeist aren't considered a spirit or demon and they are more mischievous than malevolent which an adolescent boy or girl is almost always the center of it all. What you expect in a brief episode is floating or flinging of kitchen utensils, thunderous poundings reverberating in walls and ceilings, heavy furniture moved about or tossed by an unseen force, and, on rare occasions, disembodied voices. It usually lasts a few months to a few years and has benn to known to follow a family to a new residence. I guess in these situations its better to ride it out rather than relocating.

Weird Winter

Battle the wintertime blues with a day (and night) of the weird and wonderful, including ghosts, the unusual and the unexplained! The spooky Lincoln Theater in Decatur, Illinois will play host to a day that you won't soon forget! The event will include:

- Presentations by "Weird" Authors
- Book Signings & Meet the Authors
- Raffles & Door Prizes
- Hauntings of the Lincoln Theater
- Displays & Presentations from Our "On the Fringe" Ghost Groups
- History & Hauntings Books
- Whitechapel Press Books
- Overnight Ghost Hunt at the Lincoln Theater

Plus: Meet Weird Authors Troy Taylor, Linda Godfrey, Jim Willis, Charlie Carlson & Mark Moran, one of the "weird duo" that started it all!

General Admission: $13 Per Person
Admission to Haunted Overnight: $60 Per Person
(includes general admission to daytime event)

The Weird Winter Event is on February 17th, 2007. Tickets are on sale now! Reserve your seat. Click here for more information about this event.

GS Question of the Week

This week's question is a trivia one:

Serial killer Ed Gein was the inspiration of several horror movies. Name three.

ANSWER: The three main movies most known to use him as inspiration (not including the movie made about him) for character(s) is Psycho, Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Silence of the Lambs. However, House of 1000 Corpses and American Psycho also referenced his crimes.

Raynham Hall

The Brown Lady of Raynham Hall is one of the most famous hauntings in Britain, because of the strange form captured by photographers from 'Country Life' magazine in 1936. The hall dates from the 17th century, and has been in the hands of the Townsend family from that time. In some stories the apparition of the Brown Lady once haunted Houghton Hall, but came to Raynham with sister of Robert Wallpole, who married Viscount Townsend in 1713.

Lucia C Stone recorded the first reference to the ghost in 1835; the sighting takes place at Christmas of the same year. Lord Charles Townsend had invited a number of guests to the hall for the Christmas festivities. Among them was a man called Colonel Loftus, who witnessed a figure in a brown dress with another guest called Hawkins. He also ran into the apparition on the stairs of the hall. He described her as an aristocratic looking lady with one horrific feature, where her eyes should have been were only empty sockets, highlighted in a face that glowed with an unearthly light. The captain drew a sketch of the apparition, and others also said that they had witnessed the ghost.

The next sighting was by a Captain Marryat (1792-1848), an author of sea novels, although no firm date is given for this encounter. In most accounts the captain has asked to stay in the haunted room because he believes that the haunting is the result of local smugglers. He is returning to his room with two companions, when they see a figure with a lantern coming towards them. They take refuge in a doorway, and the figure turns and grins at them in a "diabolical manner", the captain, who is armed, looses off a shot, which passes straight through the figure and becomes lodged in the opposite wall. Fortunately the figure is not a guest with a sense of humor in disguise, and the apparition vanishes.

The next publicized sighting was in 1926, when Lady Townsend admitted that her son and his friend had witnessed the ghost on the stairs. They identified the figure with the portrait of the lady hanging in the haunted room.

Ten years later in 1936, the most famous event occurred in the potted history of the haunting. Two professional photographers, Captain Provand and his assistant Indre Shira, were taking photographs of the hall for 'Country Life' magazine. The date was the 19th September, and at 4.00pm that afternoon they were photographing the Hall's main staircase. They had completed one exposure, and were preparing for another, when Shira saw a misty form ascending the stairs. He shouted to the captain that there was something on the stairs, and asked if the Captain was ready, he replied "yes" and took the cap off the lens, while Shira pressed the trigger for the flash light.

After this the captain came up from under the protective cloth, and asked what all the fuss was about. Shira explained that he had seen a shadowy, see-through figure on the stairs. When the negative was developed it showed the famous image. There were three witnesses to the negatives development, as Shira had wanted an independent observer to verify the event. He ran and got a chemist called Benjamin Jones, who managed the premises above which the development studio was located. A full account of the experience was published in Country Life magazine on the 26th of December 1936.

The photo was later examined by experts at the Country Life offices, where it was declared unlikely to have been tampered with. There have been a few detractors saying that Shira hoaxed the image by smearing grease on the lens or moving in front of the camera, but there is unlikely to be a definitive explanation for the photo. It is still held in the offices of Country Life.

The spirit has not been reported at the hall since the photograph was taken.

Source: Mysterious Britain
 
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