Showing posts from September, 2009

Robert the Doll

If La Isla de La Munecas has showed us anything, it is that a benign child's toy can be the subject of nightmares. Stories of haunted dolls is not uncommon but one stands out above the rest. In the late 1800s, Thomas Otto and his family moved in to a mansion at the corner of Eaton and Simonton streets in Key West, Florida now known as the Artist House. The Ottos were known to be stern with their servants sometimes even mistreating them. It was the treatment of one such Haitian servant that provides a twist in this story. This woman was hired to take care of their son Robert. One day, Mrs. Otto supposedly witnessed her practicing black magic in their backyard and fired her.

Before she left, the woman gave Robert a life-like doll which stood 3ft tall, button for eyes, human hair (believed to be Robert's) and filled with straw. Dolls that resembled children were not unheard of during this time, but this one proved to be special. Robert named the doll after himself and often dresse…

GS Question of the Week

Do you think people give more power to curses than they should?


The Chernobyl Power Plant located outside the town of Pripyat, Ukraine (11 miles from the city of Chernobyl) began construction in the 1970s with the first reactor. Over the next few years three more reactors were added and two more were in the middle of construction at the time of the disaster. On April 26, 1986 at 1:23 a.m., the no. 4 reactor was shut down for maintenance. An experiment was being performed to test a safety emergency core cooling feature during the shut down procedure. It's uncertain as to what exact processes led to the explosions but a disruption in regulation seem to be a part of it.

The first explosion was that of steam. Steam from the wrecked channels entered the reactor inner space that caused the destruction of the reactor casing, tearing off and lifting by the force of 2,000 tons the upper plate. This ruptured further fuel channels, the reactor core suffered total water loss and a high positive void coefficient could entirely appear.The second explosions …

Reader Submission - I have Seen the Night Marchers

This is a story sent in by Christl. Night Marchers are primarily a Hawaiian legend but this story comes from the Netherlands Antilles:

"One night me a boyfriend and another couple went to the beach to have fun. The other couple drove themselves and soon we were in our own cars. Suddenly I see torches on top of the mountain. I figure campers were up there or people doing Voodoo. I did not think anything of it. As I look further I see people walking from on top of the hill coming down in a like large zigzag winding march. It was dark so I could not see where they were coming from, but they were a lot of them walking slowly down the hill to the beach. They also walked in perfect line, but not like military style. As if something was keeping them herded together. Each being, was walking and talking like they were strolling along the beach. They seemed young and cool looking and dressed. There must have been more that a million of them.

The boyfriend I was with was from the area, so …

Curse of the Mummy

Is there really a curse or is it all hype? Mummies have always been associated with magical powers, particularly in Egypt. Some found were ground up in to powder and sold. It was believed this powder had magical healing properties. Of course this was before the discovery of King Tut's tomb.

Tutankhaten or Tutankhamun became pharaoh at the age of nine years old. He reigned for ten years likely during the 18th dynasty. He was well known for his rejections of the radical religious innovations presented by his predecessor and of course, his tomb. He died at the age of nineteen with a wife, Ankhesenamen, and possibly two female children (these babies were found in his tomb and their significance and identity is still unknown). His cause of death is still a mystery although recent CT Scans showed he may have died from gangrene thanks to an infected broken leg. If this is proven to be true then his death was likely unexpected. Therefore, his royal tomb was not completed prior to his death…

Mountain Meadows Massacre

On September 11th, our country came together to remember the almost 3,000 lives who were lost due to the terrorist attacks. Some remembered the lives of about 120 men, women and children who also lost their lives in on that day in 1857. Mountain Meadow Massacre began on September 7th and extended to September 11th.

The Fancher-Baker wagon train led by Captains John T. Baker and Alexander Fancher left Arkansas for California. Along the way, they picked up several families and by the time they entered the Utah territory, there were roughly 140 members. The wagon train stopped in Salt Lake City to replenish their supplies. These emigrants picked the wrong time to travel, especially through Utah. Since the founding of their church, Mormons had been heavily persecuted and fear of war hung in the air. Theocratic leader Brigham Young allegedly told his Mormon brethren not to sell supplies to non-Mormons, especially guns and ammunition. When the emigrants attempted to buy supplies in Salt Lak…

GS Question of the Week

Do you think inventor Thomas Edison ever developed an "apparatus" to communicate with the dead?

Mission Inn Hotel

What place could even come close to comparing to the insanity of Winchester Mansion? Mission Inn Hotel. This building began as a 12-room adobe boarding house called the Glenwood Cottage, built by civil engineer Christopher Columbus Miller in 1876. After his death, Miller's son Frank took over the business. He gave it a new name, Mission Inn, and gradually expanded the hotel until the day he died in 1935. The 12-room structure grew to 239 rooms extended over an entire city block.

His vision for the building extended many styles including Moroccan, Mediterranean, Chinese, Turkish, Babylonian, Spanish, Oriental, Italian Renaissance, and Gothic-Hawaiian. The building contains narrow passageways, exterior arcades, a medieval-style clock, a five-story rotunda, innumerable patios and windows, castle towers, minarets, a Cloister Wing (with Catacombs), flying buttresses, Mediterranean domes and a pedestrian sky bridge. The reason for some of the complexity was tailored to Frank's heig…

Reminder Sunday

If you are a long time reader here, you know I participate in National Novel Writing Month every November. In preparation for this event, I write and save articles to be posted during the month. Now, I'm always willing to take suggestions for post topics but this year is going to be a little different. Next month, Ghost Stories will be celebrating it's 5th anniversary. I'm dedicated Thursdays in November to remembering the good ol' days. Reposting some of the earlier articles. Any favorites you would like to suggest are welcomed.

I also want to remind you folks that the October edition of Ghost Stories Carnival is a special Halloween edition to be posted on Oct. 31st. You have until Oct. 30th to submit your articles, essays, etc.

Wyoming Frontier Prison

Ever have the morbid urge to sit in a gas chamber? One of Wyoming Frontier Prison's tourist attractions allows you to sit in the same spot where five men were executed though you won't suffer the same fate as them. The building of this fortress began in 1888 but due to several setbacks it didn't begin operation until December 1901. Several additions were made throughout its eighty year history. It housed some women the first few years but remained mainly an all-male prison containing 13,500 prisoners during the years it was open.

Men were punished in several different manners if they misbehaved. They were strapped to a metal pole called the "Punishment Pole" and whipped with rubber hoses and leather straps. Prisoners were kept in solitary confinement cells naked for up to six weeks. The gas chamber wasn't the only form of execution. The prison also contained "humane gallows". A condemned prisoner would stand on a trap door and hang himself as his bo…

Dandy Exorcism

In 1970, Clara and Phil Dandy moved in to a century-old farmhouse in Hinsdale, New York, leaving the chaos of city life behind. Shortly after, their son Mike befriends some local boys. They decided to explore the nearby woods one day and encounter something unexpected. Upon spotting a hunter, they begin to follow him until he mysteriously disappeared right before their eyes sending the boys running from the forest. This would be the beginning of a stressful four years.

A couple of weeks later, Clara walked the family dog in the very same woods and heard strange chanting. One night, board games were pulled off a shelf on to Mike's bed waking him from a deep sleep. They also experienced mysterious burns on their bodies, bricks pulled from a crawlspace chimney dismantled and placed in the middle of the room, a female spirit spotted wandering the house and witnessed "energy orbs". All these experiences led the Dandy's to contact Rev. Alphonsus Trabold from nearby St. Bon…

GS Question of the Week

Do you think a giant octopus really exists?

Island of the Dead Dolls

Where can you find mutilated plastic children mounted on trees? La Isla de las Muñecas or Island of the Dolls in Mexico and one of the next stops on Destination Truth's crypto-tour of the world. Why dolls on trees? The man responsible didn't take this secret to his grave in 2001.

The gist of the story begins with Don Julián Santana who lived on the island for fifty years as a hermit despite having a wife and family. Shortly after arriving on the island he believed it to be haunted by a young girl who drowned while visiting the island. Some thought he fished dolls out of the canal because he was mad and was convinced they were real children. The truth is whenever he spotted a doll floating by he retrieved and placed it on a tree. Thus, appeasing the spirit and protecting himself from evil. One doll wasn't enough though. He soon turned the whole island in to a shrine dedicated to the poor young girl. He even traded home grown vegetables for old dolls to add to the collectio…