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

GS Question of the Week

Do you think the Ark of the Covenant should be revealed to the public?

Reminder Sunday - Ghost Stories Carnival

You have 9 days to submit to the Ghost Stories Carnival July edition. Your submission must be in by 11 pm Central. Pick your best post between June 3rd and July 6th and submit it. No registration required. Your submissions must be paranormal related.

Magnolia Plantation

Note: This entry is in the process of being amended. I recently learned some details are not accurate. I hope to have the problem fixed soon.

Jean Baptiste LeComte II received Spanish and French lad grants in the mid-1700s. Buildings began to erect in the 1800s. However it wasn’t until 1830 Magnolia Plantation saw it’s first residents. Jean’s son Ambroise and his wife Julia Buard and began turning the property in to large-scale cotton production. Using slave labor, they converted 2,000 acres wooded area in to huge cotton crops. Their profits allowed them to expand to three plantations using Magnolia as their home base. Most of Magnolia’s structures which include a blacksmith shop, a plantation store, a former slave hospital, eight brick cabins and a gin barn date between 1835 to 1850. The slave hospital housed the owners when the main house was burned by retreating Union soldiers during the Civil War in 1897. The house that stands today is a recreation of the original.

Magnolia remained a source for cotton for over a century. It was considered exceptional because of the farming technology, such as the cotton picker tractors and two cotton gins (both steam- and animal-powered) and a rare 11 by 30-foot wooden screw cotton press. Ambroise and Julia’s daughter Ursula and her husband Matthew took over the plantation shortly after their marriage in 1852.

The plantation was the center of a community of Creoles of color and blacks who lived and worked on the plantation as tenant farmers and laborers. However, treatment of the slave laborers was not always good. The basement was used for curing meat. In the 19th Century, a slave overseer brought slaves there to punish and torture them. Some rebelled, killing and curing him. No one knows if he was ever served to his compatriots. Leg stocks still stand on the property as a reminder of the humiliations, starvations and public punishments. Escaped slaves were allegedly hunted down. The eight brick cabins were a rare masonry slave village. Two slave families lived in each building, sometimes up to 10 people in each unit. During the Civil War, the slave quarters were used to house Confederate prisoners, up to twenty-five in each. Some soldiers died from suffocation.

Many ghosts are said to plague the property. Neighbors say they still hear the murdered overseer’s screams and feel his icy presence. Enslaved blacksmiths would incorporate hidden voodoo symbols on Christian crosses used as LeComte grave markers. The slaves often casted evil wishes on their oppressive masters using voodoo. In the main house, there is a room dubbed “The Dying Room”. It is said that many of Magnolia’s residents went to this room to die. This room also housed a Union Major who was slowly poisoned and driven to madness by his Confederate prisoners. Eyewitnesses have reported seeing a man’s distorted face appear in the window and during full moons, the kitchen door opens and misty things crawls around on their hands and knees.

Confederate soldiers who died in the slave cabins are said to be buried in shallow graves surrounding them though no one has ever did a thorough search. It is believed they whisper the names of the living. Sometimes even attempts to possess them in order to get the revenge they seek. Other ghostly apparitions and disembodied voices are often seen and heard on the property. Motion detectors are often triggered without a known reason.

Magnolia Lane Plantation has appeared on Scariest Places on Earth and Ghost Hunters. Tonight, it will investigated by the Ghost Adventures team. What will they find in "The Dying Room"? Will it’s voodoo enriched history and their aggressive nature bring forth something unexpected? Watch Ghost Adventures tonight on the Travel Channel to find out.

Preston Castle

Preston School of Industry also known as Preston Castle or The Castle was built between 1890 – 1894 as a school to rehabilitate juveniles in Ione, California. The Castle stands on 230 acres bought from the Ione Coal and Iron Company at $30 per acre with 100 acres donated. The sandstone bricks were made at San Quentin and Folsom prisons and delivered via railroad at 6,000 bricks per car. The original plans consisted of five floors and seventy-seven rooms. It officially opened for business on July 1st, 1894 and remained so until 1960. It fell in to disrepair until 2001. The Preston Castle Foundation received a fifty year lease for the property and restoration began to convert it in to an arts college.

The Castle has seen its share of death. Seventeen boys lost their lives in the hospital to diseases such as tuberculosis and typhoid fever. Sam Goins was shot in the back by a prison guard in 1922 during his third escape attempt. He was only 20. Starvation, isolation, and public paddling and lashings, severe strategies were common at Preston. In 1950, Anna Corbin, a former head housekeeper, was found locked in a store room off the executive kitchen bludgeoned to death. One of the castle’s black children, Eugene Monroe was tried twice for this crime, but the jury was hung each time. To this day, no one has been convicted for her murder. Her spirit is believed to still walk the halls of Preston Castle. Many have witnessed slamming doors, falling objects, disembodied voices, and physical contact by unseen people. During Ghost Trackers investigation, they collected photos of alleged orbs and shadows and EVPs, including a male humming. The Ghost Adventures team began their second season at the castle. They experienced female screams, knocking, sounds of eggs frying in a pan, and electronic malfunctions. Three scratches appeared on Aaron’s leg and Zak was allegedly possessed for a period of time. They captured several EVPs, mist and orbs on camera. 

Preston Castle is not open to the public but does offer tours, including ghost tours and overnight stays, for a price. To spend the night in this haunted castle, it’ll cost $100 per person. The cost includes pizza for dinner and soda/water for the night. You must bring your own sleeping bag, pillows, clothing, toiletries, and any kind of investigative equipment you plan to use during the night. The only areas open for investigations are the grounds inside the fence and around the castle, the visitor's center, the garage/old solitary confinement area, the castle's basement, 1st floor and 2nd floor. The upper floors are too dangerous. To ensure your safety, each group will be accompanied by a Ghost Trackers Paranormal Research group member. All money goes to the continuing restoration of the castle.

For more information on tours visit http://www.prestoncastle.com/tours.html.

GS Question of the Week

What makes a house scary? The ghosts or the appearance?

Reminder Sunday

You have 17 days to submit to the Ghost Stories Carnival July edition. Your submission must be in by 11 pm Central. Pick your best post between June 3rd and July 6th and submit it. No registration required. Your submissions must be paranormal related.

Hot Lake Hotel

Hot Lake Hotel was originally built in 1864 in La Grande, Oregon during the gold rush. It became THE place for vacationers as the 205 degree sulfurous Hot Lake were thought to have healing properties. A Dr. William T. Phy bought the establishment in 1917 and turned it in to a state-of-the-art medical facility known as the "Mayo Clinic of the West". Actually, the Mayo Brothers who established the Mayo Clinic were frequent visitors. 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 a cold or alleged radiation poisoning. Marcus committed suicide a couple of years later.

In 1934, a fire destroyed the ballroom and library. The remaining buildings went on to be a hotel. Then later an insane asylum, a nightclub, nursing home and restaurant in the 1970s. Nurses trained there during World War II. The same railroad that brought Hot Lake business was rerouted guests, the new highway bypassed it and the Depression further led to its dormancy in 1991. It fell prey to vandals and the elements, changing ownership several times. Purchased by The Manuels, it began restoration in 2003 and was scheduled to re-open late 2008.

It is rumored to be haunted by a former gardener who committed suicide, 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 and a woman's screams from the old surgery room.

For more information: http://www.hotlakesprings.com/index.php

Woodland Plantation

William Johnson traveled from Nova Scotia along with his partner Capt. George Bradish in the 1790s. They settled in southeast Louisiana. Johnson became the first American chief river pilot and a prosperous sugar baron during a time when sugar cane was considered the new "white gold". However, he and Bradish was later involved in the illegal slave trade with pirate Jean Lafitte. In 1793 before the Louisiana Purchase, Captains Johnson and Bradish built Magnolia Plantation, four miles from Woodland. The two families remained at Magnolia until Johnson sold his shares. In 1834, he and his four sons built a home in New Orleans called Woodland Plantation. His son Bradish took over the plantation until his death in 1897. His heirs sold it to the Wilkinsons who owned it until 1997.

Woodland was one of the few plantations to survive the Civil War. It's fruitfulness declined soon after. The plantation's worthiness picked up during Prohibition. Bootleggers stored their illegal alcohol at the location. By the 1940s, it laid in ruins. Hurricane Betsy destroyed what was left of it in 1965. Over thirty years later, the plantation was brought back to life again.

While searching for rural property outside of New Orleans, Claire, Jacques and son Foster Creppel, who also own and operate the Columns Hotel, bought Woodland at auction and began restoration in 1997. Adding a 1880s Gothic chapel turned large reception area/dining room now called Spirits Hall to the property, they opened their doors as an official bed and breakfast in 1999.

As for real spirits, the only alleged known ghost is that of Braddish Johnson. He is often seen wearing stripe pants, silk hats and walking with a gold-tipped cane and he is not alone. Sounds are heard throughout the whole house. A young boy has been seen and disappears whenever asked a question. The apparition of two women accompanied with a man and a cold breeze has also been reported on the first floor. Ghosts of former slaves have been encountered in Spirits Hall where the old slave quarters once stood before Hurricane Betsy.

Check out their website for more information on reservations, special events and tours: http://www.woodlandplantation.com

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GS Question of the Week

Do you think Fire Starters really exist?

Linda Heights Hospital

In last weeks episode of VH1's Charm School, they featured the Linda Heights Hospital as a challenge location. The purpose was for the girls to face their fears while earning money for charity. This isn't the first time the hospital has been used for entertainment purposes. It was the backdrop for the pilot episode of ER and Moonlight TV series. In movies such as End of Days, Pearl Harbor and Outbreak. Garbage and Duran Duran used it for the setting in their music videos. But allow me to get in to the history of the building.

Linda Vista Hospital was built in 1904 of the Boyle Heights neighborhood in Los Angeles, California. Originally named Santa Fe Railroad Hospital, it's primary purpose was to service railroad workers and the community. There is a rumor floating around that Howard Hughes often visited the hospital during his time in Los Angeles, occupying the entire top floor. The hospital closed in 1990. The reasons vary: high death rate, doctors murdering their patients, financial troubles, haunted. In 2006, the site was to be turned in to apartments but the deal fell through. Currently, it serves as a film location.

Is Linda Heights Hospital haunted? Eyewitnesses have reported a green light always on. A strange odor emanating from the 3rd floor. A little girl hear laughing and playing. Screams, cries, moaning. Lights turning on and off. A doctor has been seen in the main building, top floor window wearing a white coat and tie. Sounds like a great place to film a horror movie.

Corpse Roads

Corpse roads were a means of transporting corpses from remote communities to cemeteries in parts of Europe. Many such roads have disappeared. In spirit lore, spirits, phantasms, wraiths, and fairies traveled the land along special routes. These such routes were believed to be straight and have something in common with ley lines. Mazes and labyrinths would hinder their movements. Spirits would fly along a direct course close to the ground. Any obstructions such as buildings, fences and walls were kept clear to avoid them. The roads would begin or end at cemeteries and thus believed to have similar characteristics to allow ghosts to thrive.

Corpses traveled along defined corpse roads to avoid their spirits returning to haunt the living. It was a widespread custom that the feet of the corpse be kept pointing away from the family home on its way to the cemetery. It was believed spirits could not cross running water. Often, corpses were taken over bridges in route to their burial.

Other beliefs include phantom lights. These lights were believed to be an omen of an impending death or sign of a soul leaving a body. Some believe crops will not grow where a corpse was carried across a field. Villagers in Manaton, England would carry a corpse around a cross three times until a vicar, irritated with the tradition, had the cross destroyed. On Dartmoor, the dead from remote moorland homesteads were taken along Lych Way to the Lydford Church. Some now see phantom monks in white and phantom funeral processions along this path. 

Crossroads were seen as a place where the world and the underworld intersected. Because it was seen as a place of transition, it was believed to be occupied by special spirit guardians. Some thought the Devil could manifest at these intersections. Lore also states spirits such as suicides, hanged criminals, witches, outlaws, and gypsies could be bound at crossroads.  

Corpse roads weren't strictly an European tradition. Such paths have been found in parts of China, Sweden, the Netherlands and Costa Rica. 

Spearfinger

Long ago, in the woods, there was a woman named Spearfinger. This Cherokee witch was feared among her people along the eastern side of Tennessee and western part of North Carolina. She was described as being forty feet tall with skin like rock that no weapon could penetrate. With one long razor sharp finger, she would sneak up behind you, stab it through your back and yank out your liver, eating it in one gulp.

More than anything, she loved the flesh of young children. Spearfinger could transform herself in to anything or anyone. You never knew if your friend or neighbor was actually them or the witch until it was too late.

One day, an indian village knew Spearfinger was fast approaching them. They developed a plan to dig a huge pit, surrounding the village, and cover it with branches and leaves. When she fell in, they would strike and kill her. The whole village came together, putting the plan in to action. One particular boy had trouble pulling his weight. His clumsy nature hindered their progress and his father told him to get out of the way. While feeling sorry for himself, he noticed a bird caught in a honeysuckle tree. Without realizing it, he gently freed the bird, but it didn't fly away.

Instead, it landed on the boys shoulder. The bird thanked him for his kindness and in returned, told him a secret about Spearfinger. It relayed to him that the witch's heart was not located in her chest but at the tip of her razor finger. He was so excited. He ran to his parents to tell them of this newly acquired knowledge. Before he could pass the secret on to his Mother, a horrible scream came from the forest.

Spearfinger was coming fast and was hungry. As she approached the village, she fell in to the pit. Everyone threw rocks at her, but she kept climbing to the top of the pit. They used bow and arrows but still didn't hurt her. Remembering what the bird told him, the boy ran to a warrior. He told him to aim straight at her spearfinger. The warrior raised his bow and arrow, aiming at the razor sharp finger and shot. The arrow went through Spearfinger's heart and she fell over dead. The people celebrated her demise with singing and dancing. From that day on, all the people listened when the little boy had something to say.

GS Question of the Week

When you feel like you're being watched, who/what do you think is watching you? Guardian Angel? Spirit Guide? Ghost? Why?

Cutler-Majestic Theater

Built in 1903, the Cutler-Majestic Theater is one of the oldest theaters operating in Boston. Located at Emerson College, the theater was commissioned by Eben Dyer Jordan, son of the founder of Jordan Marsh, a Boston-based chain of department stores. In the 1920s, The Majestic was converted to accommodate vaudeville shows. Then later turned in to a movie house until 1983 under the name of Saxon Theater. In the mid-1980s, Emerson College purchased and restored it to its former beauty.

Story goes a former Boston mayor died during a performance and is now often seen sitting at the theater. However, it's hard to determine which mayor it is. Several have died at the Majestic. There are also reports of a little girl who accepts hidden gifts and married couple who haunts the balcony. People refer to a room in the theater as "The Nightmare Room" because of a severe feeling of congestion and breathing difficulties.

Ohio Grassman

In 1869, the first Grassman was sighted in Gallia County, Ohio. Imagine seeing an ape-like creature standing at seven to nine feet tall with brown or reddish hair and a muscular build. What would your reaction be? Now a days, a camera would be retrieved and the next blurry video clip would hit YouTube fame.

Some believed the Grassman is yet another Bigfoot in a different location. Those with a close encounter with the creature describe it as having a more human-like face and teeth. The History Channels investigative team Monster Quest went in search for evidence of its existence. Unfortunately, the evidence they recovered was inconclusive.

Will the Grassman ever be identified?

Ghost Stories Carnival

Halloween Text Generator - http://www.halloweentext.com


Welcome to the June 2009 edition of Ghost Stories Carnival.

The purpose of this carnival is to gather articles about the paranormal from around the blog-o-sphere. If you would like to submit an article for the next Ghost Stories Carnival, please read the guidelines.

So, without further ado, sit back and start clicking away.

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Phylameana presents Do You Believe In Angels? posted at Phylameana lila Desy saying, "Poll and angel encounter stories".

Fiction

Asheesh presents Western Astrology - Astrology - Horoscope posted at My Free Horoscopes saying, "Basics of Western Astrology."

Vichuda presents Ourang Medan Ghost Ship posted at Kota Medan City Indonesia

Article

Martin J. Clemens presents To Charge or Not to Charge, That is the Question posted at Paranormal People.

Ghost Stories presents Green Man Tunnel posted at Ghost Stories

Vera Nadine presents Medium Adventures: The Roman in the Bath posted at Vera Nadine.

floslib presents How to Cast a Spell posted at Spirited Script.

Essay

DM Smith presents The Energy Pool Theory posted at DM Smith.

Nancy Miller presents 100 Best Spirituality Blogs posted at EKG Classes.

Review

Josh Hanagarne presents Book Review: Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark Series posted at World's Strongest Librarian saying, "Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark is always being challenged for removal from library shelves. The reason? Because it's scary! Too few books that want to be scary actually are. This is one of the best and the art is truly indescribable".

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This concludes the June 2009 edition of the Ghost Stories Carnival. THANK YOU for submitting your links! If you would like to see your work showcased in the July 2009 edition, please submit your links here.

If you submitted your link and don’t see it here, that probably means I received it after the deadline.

Thanks for visiting the carnival participants and don’t forget to check back July 7th for the next Ghost Stories Carnival.

GS Question of the Week

Do you think ghosts sometimes manifest through telepathy? Why or why not?
 
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