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

Reader Submission - "The Anguished Man" UPDATE

Last year, Sean Robinson shared a story about a haunted painting called "The Anguished Man". Below is an update on paranormal activity surrounding the object. Thanks Sean!

I thought you might be interested in the latest Anguished Man news. I have recently temporarily moved in with my parents and obviously took the painting with me. It was only in the house for a few days when the noises started, the same noises I had previously experienced. Then on the third night my father fell down the stairs, the same as my son did at the other house. Thankfully he was unhurt but I have now moved the painting back into storage.

I have been working closely with John Blackburn and Ian Lawman for the Mysteria Paranormal group. Taking the painting to some of the allegedly most haunted locations in the UK, including 35 Stonegate at York and Chillingham Castle in Northumberland. It was on the evening of 18th May 2013 at Chillingham Castle that a group of people experienced events that were both terrifying and unexplainable. None of the guests were prepared for what was about happen in the early hours of Sunday Morning.

The room went icy cold, a large dark figure appeared in the middle of the séance circle and a large wooden bench banged on the floor of its own accord in response to John Blackburn’s questions to the painting, then suddenly the bench was flipped upside down violently by what was believed to be John Sage, one of Chillingham Castle’s resident powerful spirits, who we think was showing his anger to a foreign uninvited spirit to his castle. John Blackburn stated it was the strangest experience in all his years of investigation.

Happy Blogiversary!



In 2004, I didn't expect a simple interest in researching the paranormal would turn in to a 9 year project. It started with the Bunnyman. Then, expanded with stories from across the world. Although my writing has taken my time away from here more than I like, I hope to continue this for as long as possible. 

A special thanks goes out to all of you. Without your support and spooky stories, Ghost Stories would have closed up shop a long time ago. You all are the best!!!

Reader Submission - Hampton - Lillibridge House

Kidnapping. Murder. Loss. Suffering. Yellow Fever. Suicide. Possession. Exorcisms. Seance. Parapsychologists. Poltergeist. Demonologist. All words associated with one Savannah home, the Hampton-Lillibridge. Over 50 years ago, before ghost tours or real tourism in Savannah, Jim Williams — one of Savannah’s preservation visionaries and the main character in the “non-fiction novel” Midnight In The Garden of Good and Evil — “rescued” a home that some believe might have been better off being allowed to die.

Beautiful and austere-looking today, and arguably on Savannah’s nicest colonial-era street, the home became the wellspring of all things haunted lore and ghost economy in Savannah. Some say it’s haunted by its past as a hospital during an epidemic in 1820, the family found dead in the home, believed to be poisoned by their slaves. Or perhaps later when a German sailor set himself on fire in the upper floor where so much poltergeist activity has been experienced. Others have offered the more simple explanation to the home’s upset: “you never, ever move a house.” It didn’t help much that when developers attempted to restore the home in 1961, they found a large, watery grave on the move location and proceeded to renovate right on top — now the grave is just part of the basement. No big deal.

Jim Williams routinely encountered and heard others refer to a violent spirit, “the evil man upstairs,” with one scientist even believing it had tried to murder him. Before Williams sold the home in 1971, it had been exorcised once and declared “the single most psychically possessed home in America,” by Duke University, after documenting some 300 instances of Level Four & Five Recurrent Spontaneous Psychokinesis (RSPK) — or in effect, violent poltergeist activity. Although more people know the name Amityville via the pop culture legacy, no home in America has so much of a historical haunted rap sheet along with scientific one as does the Hampton-Lillibridge, and what better destination to find it in but America’s Most Haunted City? And yet, there’s still an asking price for anyone who dares to take it on: 2.1 million.

Shannon "Dr. Buzzard" Scott

Excerpt from Celebrate Halloween by Discovering Your Town’s Spooky History at Zerve.com

Reader Submission - Opera House Ghosts

Opera House Fire Leaves Ghosts Behind?


Men, women and children crowded into the third floor of the Weyant Opera House on a brisk spring evening on May 17, 1886.

The local Westerville residents were excited to see the traveling theatrical performance of “Uncle Tom’s Cabin.”  The play had been a national sensation since P.T. Barnum staged it in 1853 in New York City.

The church-going folks of the town were not in the same frame of mind about theatrical performances.  They considered them sinful and warned of dire consequences for those in attendance. That warning came true on that cool evening.

A four-foot stage sat along the western wall of the opera house’s large top floor.  Theatre goers ascended a long set of stairs and entered through a narrow doorway in the rear of the room.

Coal-fired oil lamps lit the stage to the delight of the children who lined the front row.   The buzz in the room was audible.   Traveling actors who performed world-renowned plays rarely came to towns as small as Westerville.  The disagreement between the church-goers and play-goers showed its importance.

The play began to a rapt audience.  But the mood would soon change to terror. The actor playing Augustine St. Clare, a bombastic role in the production, came on stage carrying an umbrella.  As he wildly swung it during his performance, he inadvertently knocked over one of the coal-oil lamps.  The oil spilled and a fire erupted on the stage raging over the heads of the children in the front row.  Pandemonium ensued.

Luther Clouse, a janitor for the opera house, sprung into action.  He rushed the stage and grabbed the burning lamp.  He turned and ran toward an open window in the rear of the room near the stairs.  Unfortunately, the crowd was out of control as they rushed past Clouse.

The narrow doorway quickly clogged with people attempting to flee.  Women and children were knocked to the floor.  The surging crowd knocked Clouse over and the burning coal lamp fell upon the prone women and children.

Many were severely burned and three young children, Berkie Knox, Bertha Scofield and Edward Evans, and a young woman, Mrs. Osaac Hoffman, were killed in the blaze.  One young patron was thrown over the crowd and down the long stairway. She suffered no burns but had many broken bones and lost all of her teeth in the fall.

The Weyant Opera House is now the Bag of Nails Restaurant.  Many of the employees who have worked there or are working there believe the ghosts of the children still haunt the third floor.

Many of them have heard the sounds of chairs moving quickly and small feet running toward the third-floor door.  Others hear the sounds of young girls playing.  The young girl voices call out their names.

Staff members have called the Westerville Police Department to investigate noises and doors being found opened when they had been closed.  Nothing is ever found.
Some employees simply refuse to go up to the third floor alone at night.

“It is so creepy at night.  If you left a light on upstairs you don’t go up to turn it off because it is so scary,” says one long-time bartender.


John McGory
   orbit ohio 81
Orbit Ohio

Reader Submission - The Old Jail in St. Augustine


St. Augustine’s Paranormal Places: What’s Locked Up in the Old Jail?

The Old Jail in St. Augustine, Florida is listed on the Florida and National Register of Haunted Places. The Old Jail’s paranormal past has been featured on The Today Show, the Syfy Channel and the Travel Channel. These supernatural occurrences include loud banging noises, light orbs, sudden chills and even sightings of moving shadows and apparitions. The history of the jail is sordid and scary, so many tourists and locals flock to the site to experience the haunted tales firsthand.

Henry Flagler, a key industrialist in Florida, built the structure in 1891. The same construction company would later go on to build the infamous Alcatraz prison. During its time as a jail, conditions for prisoners were notoriously inhumane, with poor diets and sanitation. The maximum security area housed the most dangerous criminals, and a total of 8 men were hung from the jail’s gallows. All of the violence and death led to many angry spirits haunting the grounds, which may be why strange odors and supernatural occurrences persist in the Old Jail even during the day.

Presently, the Old Jail is only accessible by guided tour. During a visit to the Old Jail and Museums, you’ll see the restored facilities, weaponry displays and even a visual account of the 8 infamous gallows deaths. For those who desire a bit more than a guided tour, Old Town Trolley Tours and 2Ghouls partnered up in the spring of 2013 to offer overnight paranormal investigations of the jail. The unique tour allows you to hunt for ghosts and spirits inside the registered haunted site, which is a one-of-a-kind but spooky experience for any fans of ghosts and the occult.

During my tour, about twenty ghost hunters gathered for three hours in the Old Jail. Being in such a small group was great because everyone was able to get individual attention and assistance from our guides. Ghost hunters on the tour can even use real ghost-hunting equipment including EMF detectors, field matrix scanners and camcorders. Using these authentic tools was a perfect combination of thrilling and educational, and some of my fellow ghost hunters were able to capture pictures of spooky orbs and even feel the presence of apparitions.

Ideal for both beginners and more advanced paranormal investigators, this opportunity to experience ghoulish activity shouldn’t be missed during a trip to St. Augustine. I would definitely go again. For more information about the Old Jail and Paranormal Investigations Tour, visit http://www.ghostsandgravestones.com/st-augustine/.

Want to share your paranormal experience? Submit it to paranormal_stories2004 @ yahoo.com (without spaces).

Hendel House

In 1877, the original house was built in Reading, Pennsylvania. Charles W. Hendel, a financier and owner of the Charles W. Hendel hat manufacturing company, enlarged the Victorian mansion. He hired the Muhlenburg Brothers Architects of Reading to turn the structure in to a spacious Queen Anne style family home, popular during that time period.

Adelaide K. Hendel was the last of the Hendel family to live in the house. It was transformed in to a Lutheran church from 1949 to 1999. In 2000, a Marjorie Hendel-Perject "donated" the house to the Historical Society of Berks County in an effort to preserve the structure in honor of her grandfather Charles Hendel. It has since been used as office space, meetings, a space for events and storage.

Hendel House is also believed to be haunted. A male spirit known as "Mr. Whitman" has been seen throughout the home and he may not be alone. Witnesses have also encountered a little girl and various other entities. 

You have a chance to investigate it for yourself. S.P.I.R.I.T. Paranormal is organizing an event at Hendel House scheduled for September 21, 2013. For $60 per person, you get a mini history presentation from a person of the historical society, food (pizza, snacks, desserts and water (included in the cost)), and a 7 hour investigation of the location. Spots are limited. Check out their Facebook page for more information.

Sources:

Hendel House

GoReadingBerks

Mountain Monsters a Hit??

Graphic by Destination America


Has Destination America found its hit paranormal series with Mountain Monsters? An order for a second season says possibly.

A group of hardcore hunters and trappers called The Appalachian Investigators of Mysterious Sightings (AIMS) based out of West Virginia use their expertise in attempt to catch elusive supernatural beasts. Will they be successful where others have failed? Unlikely, but viewers will tune in to watch them try.

When I first switched Mountain Monsters on, m initial reaction was "Oh, no. Not another Deep South Paranormal disaster". I was surprised to find it wasn't a total waste of time. They talk to witnesses, view evidence, use a combination of cameras, homemade traps and years of hunting/trapping knowledge to track their supernatural prey.

White it's not completely terrible, Mountain Monsters isn't going to revolutionize the paranormal world. Allegations of fabrications have already began to make the rounds. Why do people continue to expect 100% reality from reality TV? Fake or not, Mountain Monsters will likely generate a decent amount of viewers until they lose interest in the team coming up empty-handed every episode.

Psychic Reprieve: Deception & Reality

Earlier today, Lemon Press Publishing released crime novelist Mitchell Nevin's latest novel that touches on matters of law and justice, psychic phenomena, criminal investigations, and personal redemption.

In Psychic Reprieve: Deception & Reality, a handful of colorful characters -- a well-liked college baseball prankster, a disgraced Chicago police sergeant, and a folksy Twin Cities identify thief -- devise a plan to market a member of the trio's clairvoyant abilities. During this venture, the lines between deception and reality blur as the motivation for monetary gain clashes with conscience and personal responsibility.

Psy Rep CoverPurported psychics use their talents to provide a service and earn an income. In this particular line of work, scammers abound like thieves in the night. To realists, a psychic reading is a pricey form of entertainment. To those in search of inner peace, however, the hopes of bringing a loved one's killer to justice or communicating with a relative on 'the other side' can make them an easy mark for brazen charlatans.

Yet a handful of creditable sleuths believe some middle-ground exists. In the 1930s, Arthur Price Roberts, a man with "strange talents," led detectives to victims of foul play and correctly predicted a series of bombings that shook Milwaukee to its core.

Psychic Reprieve: Deception & Reality navigates this gray area, the shadowy expanse occupied by serial killers, cold-blooded terrorists, challenged detectives, troubled loved ones, and one gifted young man's quest to reclaim his tattered reputation.

Available now at Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble.

For more information please visit the following links:

Checkout Psychic Reprieve

Watch the Video Trailer

Reader Submission - H. Annie Marshall (Violin Annie)

Annie 2
From the personal blog (http://www.jeannicolerivers.com) of JeanNicole Rivers:
Recently, I visited my hometown of Centralia, IL. While visiting gravesites of relatives with my grandma Bunny and great grandma Joyce I got to meet Harriet. Annie Marshall. Annie was the daughter of the town doctor; she died in 1890 at the age of 11. Her mother and father were so crushed by her death that they memorialized her with a grand tombstone featuring a life-sized sculpture of Annie holding her beloved violin. As we cruised through the cemetery on the rocky paths my grandma pointed Annie out and told a haunting tale.
Annie 3
“Every evening just as the sun sinks below the horizon leaving Centralia in the dusty shadows of twilight H. Annie Marshall begins to play her violin for exactly one hour in order to soothe the souls of the dead and the damned, keeping them from raging up out of their rotted coffins in the night and taking to the narrow streets of the time-forgotten town. Before her death, Annie volunteered regularly at the local asylum playing beautiful songs to calm the tortured souls. It was said that the only time when the residents of Centralia weren’t haunted by the violent screams of the patients at the asylum was during the hour of the day when Annie was there sedating them with the sounds of her beautiful instrument. And everyone knows that all living souls should stay far away from Elmwood Cemetery at dusk else you take the chance of hearing the sad song of Violin Annie’s strings and if you are unfortunate enough to actually hear one of her torrid tunes your days are numbered to a very few that will drive you mad, dragging you to a tortured death and burial in Elmwood Cemetery where she will play for your wretched soul for all eternity.”
Annie 4
Is my grandma creepy or what?
…Ok, so it didn’t happen exactly like that and the local legend and history are a little different (mostly on the pertinent facts, but who’s checking?).
My factual research confirms that at the age of 11 H. Annie Marshall who was the beloved daughter of Dr. W. Scott Marshall died from diphtheria. Local legend is sparse and tells me only what my grandma did that evening in the cemetery, that Violin Annie can be heard playing her instrument at night. There is no local asylum and never was to my knowledge despite the fact that my family makes up a large percentage of the population of Centralia and we are as my great grandma would say, “crazier than two pet coons” and no, I’m not quite sure what that means. Truth of the matter is Centralia is a great little town with a proud paranormal free history, but hell, what’s a small town without a decent ghost story.
Tell me about some of your personal hometown/homemade hauntings and ghost stories.
JeanNicole Rivers
@JeanNicole19
Author of Black Water Tales: The Secret Keepers (http://tinyurl.com/cgvgd98)

Do you have a ghost story and want to see it here? Email it to paranormal_stories2004 @ yahoo.com (without spaces).

Reader Submission - Newlyweds in a Haunted House

My name is Andrew Mahaney and this is a real haunting story.

In Colonial Beach, VA in a moderate sized two-story row house, within a small very old beach community on the Potomac River, my wife and I bought this house that had been on the market for many years. As a newly married couple we bought the 60 year old house and immediately started to fix it up, adding new flooring, and a kitchen. From the moment of this buy and change everything went down-hill:

1) Even during the first night we noticed the back room to house was extremely cold, in the dead of summer with no A/C this room should have been cold. My children complained of this.

2) My wife in this room would shut closet doors only to have them open and this would go on several times a day.

3) Electrical disturbances would also happen in this same room, with lights turning on and off for no reason scaring my two sons at all hours of the night, to the point they had to move to the upstairs bedrooms.

4) One night my wife and son Andrew were watching TV downstairs and heard a person walking all the way across the upstairs hallway from one end of the house to the other; they both looked up and followed this person with their eyes/head all the way; then looking back to each other scared and in disbelief!

5) My mother-in-law who can also testify to this sleeping one night in the upstairs room heard voices, and some-one consistently with their fingers rolling them against the wall as if they were passing the time and watching her; and then she never came back again and only would come into the front yard.

6) As the year went on, we heard footsteps around 1-2 am coming up the spiral staircase, when no one including our sons were in the house at the time; only we were in the upstairs master bedroom (this happened several times a week)

7) We would hear footsteps going across the tin roof above the bedroom late at night, and this was clearly human steps not a squirrel per say.

8) One night my wife was in the master bathroom and I was in the bed watching TV and a loud male voice in the hallway leading to the other bedroom, sounded out as a high to low pitch yawn. Started high and then finished low in pitch. My wife ran in “Did you hear that?” “Yes I did” and she said “Stop playing around!” and I told her it was no game and it was time to realize we had a paranormal presence

9) After speaking to our neighbors we realized the family before us were petrified and their children paralyzed in fear so they had to leave the house without notice; we again have more witnesses;

10) One day my wife heard a voice down-stairs calling her name; so she stated: “Andrew I’m up here!” The voice called again and again to her and she repeated this again and again. Finally she came downstairs and I was not here. She called me at work and I was still at work. Some presence again attempted to make contact.

11) It was with this that we finally realized we had to move and finally did sell the house

12) After speaking to next-door neighbor (need to get their POC info) we realized the CAUSE; she stated an old man and his wife lived here; he died in that back room and he stated: “Please never sell this home and keep it always in the family; I built it with my bare hands and I want it to stay in the family!” Well after he died eventually Doris put an extra floor on, put in a spiral staircase, and sold the house, and we of course made improvements (new windows, flooring, kitchen, carpeting).

13) We also talked to the previous renter before us and they were run out of house due to the noises behind the walls, hearing footsteps at night, and seeing black shapes moving in the hallways late at night. When their kids would not sleep in their own rooms they broke their lease and hit the road. So yes, this was real, and there are many, many witnesses to this haunting.

Seven Sisters Inn

via Judy Kapral on Pinterest
Named for the original owners seven daughters, the Seven Sisters Inn are two beautiful Queen Anne and Gothic style Victorian houses in Ocala, Florida. They offer candlelit dinners, gourmet breakfasts, accommodate weddings and even have murder mystery events. A perfect bed and breakfast to get away. You can stay in one of it's 13 themed rooms. One snag though. The inn has permanent guests who will keep you on your toes.

Seven Sisters International House (purple) was built in 1892 and was the family home for entrepreneur and influential Ocala citizen Charles Rheinauer and his wife Emma. The couple moved in to the house in 1895 and remained there until they each died 30 or 40 years later. It is believed the house was possibly built on the very spot of a triage nearby Fort King. Her sister, The Scott House (pink) may or may not be on the site where a battle between soldiers and Seminole Indians took place. The original house was built in 1888 but burned down.

Some paranormal experiences include voices, shadows, footsteps, furniture moves, doors slamming, lights turn on and off, things move from one room to another, cold spots, people being tripped on stairs. Some spirits have been spotted as well, including a dressed-up female, a young boy, female wearing white and an old man.

So, is the Seven Sisters Inn haunted? You can find out for yourself. The Purple House has been reopened, remaining a bed and breakfast. However, the Pink House has been converted into business offices. Go to www.sevensistersinn.org for more information on how you can stay in the inn or submit a ghost story.

Sources:

Seven Sisters Inn Website

Ocala.com - "Ghost Hunters" drawn to Ocala Inn

Little Oak Road

South Dakota lacks an abundance of ghost stories and legends. However, a small community known as Little Eagle has resident ghost who made one of their roads his home.

Witnesses have seen a 6 ft tall male spirit with red eyes along Little Oak Road. Who is he? It's uncertain. And if tall and red eyes weren't creepy enough, he is often spotted dancing and jumping high in the air. If you get close to it, the spirit looks at you and then vanishes. His spirit may not be alone. There are reports of a variety of other spirits haunting Little Oak.

Who are they? There is a story a section of the road was built over a cemetery. This could certainly explain the multiple haunting. However, others dismiss the claim. Another thoroughfare called "Cemetery Road" could be the reason for the confusion. Neither pieces of information have been really verified as of yet.

If you find yourself in south central South Dakota and come across Little Oak Road, be on the lookout for a spirit or two.

Sources:

Hauntin.gs - The Haunting of Little Oak Road

Strangeusa.com - Haunt in Little Oak Road


Ropen

Image by TheMorlock via Deviantart
Many years ago Josh Gates from Destination Truth visited Umboi Island, Papua New Guinea in search of an alleged extinct dinosaur. The locals refer to it as a Ropen a.k.a. "demon flyer", but it was believe to be a  Rhamphorhynchoid pterosaur. It is said to have a wing-span of about 20 ft with two leathery, featherless wings like a bat, gray in color, a long tail with a flange or diamond shape on the end, a beak filled with teeth, razor-sharp claws and exhibits a bioluminescent glow. The Ropen supposedly lives on fish but there are reports of the creature having a taste for decaying human flesh and has even harassed native funeral gatherings and robbed graves.

One of the first reports of this flying creature was made by Duane Hodgkinson who was stationed northwest of Lae, near Finschaven, PNG as part of the Army cavalry in 1944. About noon one day in August he was walking down a trail through a clearing in the forest when he was startled by a crashing in the brush. As he watched a large bird-like creature ponderously rose from the ground, circled and flew away. A forensic videographer interviewed Hodgkinson in 2004 and found his testimony to be credible.

Several people have traveled to Papua New Guinea in search of this creature. Their mission to prove whether or not the Ropen exists or to discredit mainstream views on the age of the Earth. The only evidence Gates left with was video footage of what looked like two glowing orbs (well it more like pulsated than just glowed). No explanation could be found as to what it was. In 2009, MonsterQuest investigated the creature but walked away with no evidence.

Is it possible Ropen exists? Or is it plausible this is simply a case of misidentification? Or perhaps it is all a hoax.

Source:

Smithsonian Magazine - Don't Get Strung Along by the "Ropen" Myth 

Creation Wiki - Ropen

Reader Submission - The Real Life Shadow Man!

There are a good bit of people that don't remember much about their childhood. Me, I remember a very scary part of my childhood that started when I was 7 years old. I haven't told too many people in fear that I would be considered crazy, but then shows like "Celebrity Ghost Stories" on cable.tv came out and showed me I was not alone.


Everyone has heard stories of seeing a shadow or shadow man. I saw one when I was ten. I am an identical twin and my brother and I shared a room in our childhood home. The first time I remember seeing this shadowy figure was floating over my brother’s bed. At ten years old you start to fear the boogeyman a little more. I remember being scared to not go asleep at night. My brother never stirred. It just consistently floated back and forth over his bed and eventually disappeared through the wall. I remember it like it was yesterday. The room was so dark, I had to rub my eyes to make sure I wasn’t seeing things and I wasn’t.

As the years went by, I saw the shadowy figure on an irregular basis. It never scared me or even awoke my brother. It was always by him. It never ventured to my side of the room. I guess I had mentioned it to my mother a few times, but of course she told me I was seeing things or having nightmares. After a while I just started believing that I was really going crazy. Not fearing this unknown thing or feeling threatened was about to change.

It was a very warm summer night; I was 15 years old at this point. After a severe thunderstorm had taken the electric out, we had to open the windows to cool down. We had cold fried chicken and played board games by the candlelight. Then at 9pm, it was bedtime. There was a consistent steady breeze flowing through the windows of the house. I was just about to fall asleep when the shadow figure caught my eye. It was over my brother’s bed, as usual, but the air felt different. For it being about 90 degrees outside, our room felt like an icebox. Watching this thing over my brother’s bed, I suddenly felt anxious as it began to levitate him over his bed. The shadow figure had merely been just a presence until this point. He was lifted almost to the ceiling and then began to move towards the door. When it took him past me I began to scream for my mother. The shock of my scream must have spooked the figure because my brother fell from the air on to the floor with a thud. My grandmother rushed in to comfort him, but the figure I kept referring to was gone.

Many nights passed in that tiny home without seeing the shadow man. I wondered if we really had scared it away. I will admit it was peaceful knowing it was no longer there, but a part of me wanted to see it again. When my mother sold the house I often wondered if it ever came to visit the new owners.

Eddie D. Shackleford loves talking about paranormal activity and has experienced his own encounter with the paranormal world. He experienced a lot of these events when he was a little boy. Eddie is also an avid writer. You can follow Eddie @Eddie20Ford.

The Dark Watchers

Image from weirdus.com
The Dark Watchers sounds like the title of some spirit-fueled horror movie. In reality, they are shadowy spirits seen on the Santa Lucia Mountains in California.

Their exact origins are unknown. According to legend, the Chumash Indians were among the first to witness their presence and supposedly carried them in their legends and drew them on cave walls (all of which is up for debate). However, in 1937, John Steinbeck described them in his short story "Flight" and poet Robinson Jeffers mentioned the Dark Watchers in his poem "Such Counsels You Gave to Me". It's uncertain if either had a personal encounter with the phantom shadows or only heard about the tale. Their legend has been circulating for years but what are they?

These spirits are described as being large in size, but human in shape. Some have reported seeing them in robes and hats and as their name suggest, they are pitch-black in color. Some believe they are only a form of shadow people, but don't worry if you happen to see them. The Dark Watchers are not known to be violent in nature.

Witnesses often see them in groups on the mountains and often appear at dusk. They are observed doing as their title suggest, watch. They watch you or stare off in the distance. If you get too close or call out to them, the phantoms disappear. So, if you're hiking on the Santa Lucia Mountains, be on the lookout. You may go home with a ghost story.

Sources:

Weird California - Dark Watchers

Sluggo's House O' Spookiness - Dark Watchers of Santa Lucia Mountains

Deep South Paranormal Reviewed


This review will be short and sweet. It took all of ten minutes to develop a complete viewer evaluation. To sum it up, Deep South Paranormal is Duck Dynasty meets paranormal investigation. I don't think I need to elaborate any further on the subject. 

As much as I am a proud Southerner, I was hoping from a new Southern paranormal show a little more science and logic and a little less "frog's breath wards off evil spirits". Maybe someday....

Reader Submission - Truly Bizarre: Haunting at Minnesota State University

Truly Bizarre: Haunting at Minnesota State University


It’s not unheard of for college dorms and campuses to sometimes gain auspicious reputations for paranormal happenings. As so many young minds and imaginations filter through the same halls over decades, it’s reasonable to assume that each class may twist local tales to create deeply seeded urban legends. After all, who doesn't love a good ghost story – especially one that’s possibly fabricated to bamboozle genuinely curious investigators?

At the crux of such cases, one must ask: How can we tell the difference between an urban legend and a true story? What lies at the root(s)?

In the case of Minnesota State University (MNSU) in Mankato, MN, one ghostly legend has long-persisted to catch the attention of local media, ghost investigators and students alike. Could it be more than a tall tale, some ask? Only some digging might reveal the truth.

McElroy Hall’s Most Unconventional Haunt

The MNSU co-ed dorm, McElroy Hall, is fabled to house multiple spirits (by some accounts), one of which – a panty-snatching specter – is most well-known.

No, you really heard that right...(Ghosts in your underwear drawer? Hard to believe, indeed!)

With a ghostly panty-bandit on the loose, the story seems to have all the markings of a co-ed urban legend. Yet some accounts may paint a different picture.

Accounts from On-Site

We turn to Robb Murray of the Mankato Free Press, who beat the pavement in 2006 to find out exactly what’s going on at McElroy Hall.

After several failed attempts to glean evidence for the existence of the spirit from multiple people, Murray writes: “[The ghost] is in at least three books, listed on at least one Web site. Could it be that it’s simply a recycled tale that makes for good copy? Helps sell books? Really, who can resist retelling the story of a ghost that goes on panty raids?”

While in the end no definitive explanation from Murray’s investigation broke free of “rumor” or “legend”, he was able to establish that according to one interviewee – residence hall maintenance worker, Rich Wheeler – a resident once died in “Mac” (McElroy Hall). While he could not say exactly how or when, this adds interesting credence to the story.

Pealing Back the Layers

With the possible culprit in sight, additional examination might reveal whether correlation is actually causation; or if the unfortunate and untimely death of a student decades ago was simply a convenient hook-line-and-sinker for baiting curiosity even today.

One reference in particular echoes the same cautious-curiosity reflected in Murray’s prose. The Shasta Supernatural Investigators on Spiritrealm.iwarp.com list the phenomenon at MNSU as “Unknown..[sic] possibly Visiting Spirits… possibly pranks by students…” Though perhaps even more tellingly, the following line reads, “Crawford Dorm, the main storeroom, and Crawford-McElroy Complex all claim genuine hauntings. No evidence of pranksters has been detected.” [For a map of land, which illustrates the connection of the Crawford Residence Community and McElroy Residence Community, see this MNSU map.]

If it’s not pranks, then what is it, really? Perhaps only time will tell – or maybe a more thorough investigation should be sought to definitively put this case to rest.

Whether witnesses are pealing back the veil in McElroy Hall or having the wool pulled over their eyes is up for debate. But one thing is for certain – McElroy Hall has amassed a strange reputation in regional paranormal circles and one that perhaps warrants a closer look.

Emmitt House

In the mid to late 1800s, Waverly, Ohio's way of life was heavily influenced by one man named James E. Emmitt. He was the town's main entrepreneur and self described first millionaire, earning his wealthy from hauling grain, operating a mill, making whiskey and "Emmitt's Discovery". He "discovered" his snake oil cure-all after a mule kicked a can of fuel in to a vat of spirits. Why he would want to drink it much less sell it is beyond anyone's understand.

Using his influence, the county seat moved from Piketon to Waverly. The Ohio and Erie Canal route was changed as well. If he didn't already have his hands full, Emmitt decided to build a restaurant/hotel on the site of a former hotel owned by one of his former business partners. The original wooden hotel was built in 1850.  A fire killed 3 people and destroyed much of the structure. In 1861, Emmitt rebuilt the hotel using bricks, hiring a man named Madison Hemings to do the construction. Hemings is believed to have been the illegitimate son of Thomas Jefferson by a slave woman named Sally Hemings. Whether this is true or not, it is uncertain. The hotel became popular among the salesmen, travelers and workmen. James Emmitt died in 1893 at the age 87 after losing much of his fortune. His hotel continued operating after his death in one form or another. It is also believed former visitors and owner have never left.

Stories about the hotel dictate it may have been a stop on the Underground Railroad. The discovery of bricked over hidden rooms and maze-like features of the basement support this rumor to be actually fact. Is it possible the spirits employees and guests encounter in that part of the hotel be that of slaves who died en route to freedom? There are also rumors it may have operated as a gentleman's club at some point.

James E. Emmitt has been seen but smelled mostly. Witnesses have reported smelling cigar smoke so often cigars are routinely left for him. Some have seen an elderly female spirit wearing an old-fashioned apron, cleaning things. Two children believed to be members of the Harper family roam the building. The family stayed at Emmitt House and was nearly wiped out by smallpox, the disease that killed many people in the town including two of Emmitt's children.  Other paranormal reports include voices, shadows and lights from unknown sources.

It is not certain if these are the only spirits allegedly haunting Emmitt House. The current owners are in the process of restoring the building again (It was fully restored once before in 1989). Maybe the activity will stir up more lingering spirits.

Sources:

Forgotten Ohio

Theresa's Haunted History of the Tri-State

Travel Ohio

Jesse Lee Home for Children

via Pinterest
This Jesse Lee Home for Children is the second of three locations with the same name. The first move was from Unalaska to Seward, Alaska for several reasons including, the Spanish Flu, overflowing and the building was in desperate need of repairs.

In 1925, the Methodist Episcopal Church opened the second Jesse Lee orphanage/school which averaged 50 to 100 children (possibly more) and 10 employees. The Jesse Lee Home was not a victim of child neglect or abuse. As a matter of fact, one of the students Benny Benson won a contest to design the Alaskan state flag in 1927.

However, it didn't escape a natural disaster. In 1964, it was hit by an unexpected earthquake, one of the worst in Alaska history. The home and school were hit hard. More than a dozen children were killed. Goode Hall, the largest Jesse Lee building, was heavily damaged and later demolished. With most of the buildings damaged beyond repair, the orphanage was moved again to Anchorage.

The remaining Seward building is believed to be haunted. Paranormal reports include giggles, sounds of children playing/skipping rope, footsteps, and spirit of a little boy about 3 years old wearing a dirty shirt is often seen.

The property has sat empty for many years but is currently owned by the City of Seward. However, there are attempts to raise money to restore and convert the remaining building in to a museum.


Sources:

Seward Historic Preservation Commission - Jesse Lee Home For Children

True Hauntings of America - The Haunting of the Old Jesse Lee Home for Children

Beauregard Parish Jail

via Pinterest
Beauregard Parish Jail also known as the Gothic Jail or Hanging Jail in DeRidder, Louisiana. The Beauregard Parish Police Jury purchased land for a new courthouse and jail. Stevens-Nelson designed the buildings while Falls City Construction Company was awarded the contract to build them in September 1913. Both were completed in 1915.

The building did not only have an unique design but it also contains a toilet, shower, lavatory, window in each cell and a spiral staircase. The jail could hold over 50 prisoners at a time. There was a jailers' quarters on the bottom floor with a kitchen and a tunnel leading from the courthouse to the jail to transport prisoners for trial.

The jail received it's nickname after a double execution by hanging in 1928. Joe Genna and Molton Brasseaux murdered a taxi cab driver named J. J. Brevelle while he was taking them to the John Miller place on August 28, 1926. They wanted money and had planned to hi-jack Brevelle. Genna and Brasseaux hit him 15 times, stabbed him with a screwdriver and cut his throat before dumping his body off a bridge. Then took the money and taxi and attempted to escape, but was arrested a few days later. Genna and Brasseaux were found guilty and hanged on March 9th. It was the first time DeRidder had seen an execution. The jail was closed to inmates in 1984. It's currently not in use, but funding is being sought to save it and the building is being considered as a location for an upcoming Disney film.

It is believed that spirits of the two inmates hanged in the jail haunt the building. Former police and inmates have witnessed figures throughout the building. Witnesses have heard footsteps, and running water. There are reports of smelling pipe smoke.


Sources:

Wikipedia 

What You Need to Know - DeRidder Jail (a more indepth account of J. J. Brevelle's murder and trial/execution of Joe Genna and Molton Brasseaux)

Stranded Reviewed


I haven't written a TV review in a while but after watching the debut of Syfy's Stranded, perhaps I should have waited a little longer. It appears finding life on Mars may be an easier task to accomplish than finding a decent paranormal show with an original concept these days.

Stranded promised to make even the most veteran ghost enthusiasts terrified. It didn't deliver. Some potential viewers, including myself, were hoping for something to rival that of Scariest Places on Earth and MTV's Fear. They may have been overly dramatic and possibly containing fake elements but at least they were entertaining. What makes Stranded different from other paranormal shows on TV? Nothing. It's amateurs wandering a possibly haunted location with cameras and the power of suggestion leading the way.

I expected more from a project involving Josh Gates. If this show doesn't improve in episodes to come, I don't see it making a return trip to Syfy's lineup.

Nathan Hale Homestead

via Pinterest
Nathan Hale Homestead in Conventry, Connecticut. During the American Revolution, Nathan Hale graduated from Yale and was a teacher for two years. He volunteered to be a spy for the Continental Army on September 8, 1776. He was captured by the British and hanged on September 22. His famous last words were supposedly “I only regret that I have but one life to lose for my country.“ Although, some believe they weren't his exact last words but part of a longer speech. His body was not returned or ever found. He was 21 yrs old.

The house named after him is not the original house Hale grew up in. His father, Reverend Deacon Richard Hale, a prosperous livestock farmer, razed their home to build a bigger structure the same year he received word Nathan had died. Six of his eight sons served in the patriot army. Three died from wounds obtained in the war, leaving Richard to care for their widows and children. The family needed a larger living space to accommodate the expansion of their family. After fell out of the Hale family's hands in the 1820s, the house exchanged owners on many occasions, remaining a private residence. Nathan Hale's sacrifice was long forgotten until a lawyer named George Dudley Seymour became fascinated with his story. He helped get a statue of Hale erected at Yale University. Purchased the Hale family residence in 1914 and restored it to it's original beauty. He also purchased the property across the street which belonged to Hale's grandmother and converted it in to a museum. Seymour furthered his effort to recognize Hale by convincing the federal government to print a Nathan Hale postage stamp designed by artist Bela Lyon Pratt in 1925. The house was deeded to Connecticut Landmarks in 1940.


Several ghosts are believed to haunt the Nathan Hale Homestead. Many have seen the spirit of Nathan's father, Richard since the early 1900s (around the time when the house was restored). The family's servant girl Lydia Carpenter is also sometime seen, spying from the hallways. Another spirit seen and heard is Nathan's brother Joseph. He was imprisoned in the basement on a British prison ship. Witnesses have heard the clinking of chains associated with him.

Other reports include footsteps, voices, strange banging noises and unknown lights in the attic.


Sources:

Connecticut Landmarks

Examiner - Nathan Hale Homestead

Northeast Paranormal - Nathan Hale Homestead

Mathias Ham House

photo via Pinterest
The Mathias Ham House was built in 1837 by Mathias Ham in Dubuque, Iowa. The house was a small two-story, five room structure for his wife and five children. More rooms were added on after the death of Ham's wife, going from five rooms to twenty-three.

Mathias made his fortune in the mining, lumber, agriculture and shipping vessel. He would sit in the very top room of his house, keeping an eye on his ships. One day he spotted pirates on the river and alerted the authorities. As they were being arrested, the pirates vowed vengeance on him. However, when the day came, it wasn't Mathias they found.

It was the end of the eighteen-hundreds. Every member of the Ham family had passed on except for one, Sarah Ham. She was one of Mathias' daughters and the only one living in the house at the time. While she was reading in bed one night, she head someone moving around on the floor below her. She slowly made her way downstairs to investigate and found no one.

The next night she was better prepared in case the intruder returned. Previously that day, she alerted her neighbors of what happened. Informed them that if the intruder returned she would put a lantern in the window as a signal for help. But
that wouldn't be the only preventative measure she would take.

That night, Sarah heard the same movement below her. She called out to the person but received no answer. Locking herself in her bedroom, Sarah placed the lantern in the window and picked up her shotgun. She waited as heavy footsteps made their way to her. They stopped before her bedroom door. Sarah fired two shots.

Her neighbors arrived shortly after only to find a bloody trail leading down to the river. They found the pirate captain who had threatened Mathias dead on the river bank.

Today the house is a museum and considered to be haunted. Paranormal reports include unexplainable lights, noises, cold chills, old broken pump organ plays on its own. Footsteps and voices are also heard. It is believed Mathias Ham and possibly the pirate captain are the ones responsible for the haunting.

Ghost Hunters is Back And Has a New Friend



Ghost Hunters is back with a whole new season. Their first investigation will be at the Sowden House where Elizabeth Short, aka “The Black Dahlia,” was allegedly murdered in 1947. Dr. George Hodel owned the house at the time and was a suspect in her murder. His son Steve believes his father murdered Elizabeth in the house, providing evidence to back up his theories. However, it has not been proven Hodel was the one who murdered her. The house was designed by Lloyd Wright for his friend John Sowden in 1927. 

Next, TAPS heads to Madame Tussauds Hollywood Wax Museum. As if being alone in the dark with hundreds of life-sized wax figures wasn’t creepy enough, the team learns that museum staffers have experienced unexplained phenomena – shadows, footsteps, the eerie feeling of being watched – which may have ties back to actor Victor Kilian’s nearby 1979 murder. Tune in Wednesday at 9/8c to see what they uncover.



In the remote woods of Oregon lies one of the richest gold mines in the U.S.—but for the last 100 years, it has remained abandoned... Until now. Soon to be re-opened by a scraggly group of miners, these hardy souls will battle the elements to find their fortune. But with a rich history of paranormal activity surrounding the mine, these miners may just find something else.

Reader Submission - Are You Scared?

The below story comes to you from Jules: 

After what I have learned to call The Lennox Haunting, a haunted house that I lived in terror in for thirty eight days total, we vacated the property and moved to a different home on the outskirts of Lennox.

I thought the hell was over, but I was dead wrong. Sometimes hell does not leave, it just lays dormant, waiting and watching for that exact slice in time when you’re vulnerable. That’s the moment it comes again and lets you know that you are human, and it is not. Here is part of my story. I had walked upstairs to retrieve something from my bedroom, when I heard a commotion in the bathroom. It was impossible, I was home alone. I had left the bathroom door open with the light out, but the door was now closed and I could see light filtering out from beneath it. I slowly approached it.

I laid my hand on the door knob, not being sure if I had the guts to actually open it. My heart was beating so hard by then I could hear it echoing in my ears. I paused there a moment. I slowly took my hand back off of the door knob and crept back to the hall closet.

My ex husband had left his old set of golf clubs there for our son, Dominick to use. I opened the closet door slowly and as quietly as I could. I reached in and quietly pulled out the first one I felt. I was still watching the bathroom door, never taking my eyes off of it fearing it would suddenly open and some stranger would come charging at me.

I retrieved the club and quietly closed the door. I felt so much better from the feel of the cold metal of in my hand. I headed back down the hall to the bathroom door. I stood beside of it listening for any movement. I could not hear anything in there, not so much as a breath. I was actually starting to get angry. I felt I had been through enough of this shit. I took a deep breath and turned the handle, pushing hard, almost throwing the door with enough force that I knew the handle would dent the wall. The door banged loudly as it did precisely that, leaving a round imprint. The pressure was so great from the door that the shower curtain blew away from the tub; its movement startled me.

“Who’s in here?” I asked in a very unfriendly tone, raising the golf club into the air, ready to strike if I had to. My voice echoed loudly throughout the bathroom. I heard a bit of a sound, like wind escaping or maybe it seemed more like a long deep breath. I held mine. I wanted to hear everything. I was getting tired of the fear, of the seemingly endless games. I just knew in my heart that something was there, and whatever it was, it was definitely messing with me.

I saw the shower curtain flutter again, as though there was a breeze passing through it, even though there were no windows in the bathroom. I stood my ground even though my heart was thumping so hard I could feel it moving my chest with each beat. I walked over to shower curtain. It was almost completely drawn closed. I slowly reached for it, grabbed the edge of it, and then quickly, I pulled it completely open. The tub was empty. I let out a long sigh of relief, and then took a couple more long deep breaths, exhaling very slowly. It helped to slow my heartbeat down to a more comfortable level.

I stepped in front of the vanity to look into the mirror. My eyes looked like those of a crazed maniac holding a golf club in the air. I stared at myself just shaking my head at myself. “What is your deal today Jolene?” I said sternly to my reflection as if it could actually answer me. Then I heard a raspy, very loud whisper directly into left my ear as though someone was standing very close, right next to me.

“ARE YOU SCARED?” The voice came from seemingly nowhere. I could see from my reflection in the mirror there was no one standing beside me. It startled me so much my knees buckled, had I not grabbed the edge of the vanity to steady myself, I would certainly have fallen to the floor.

The voice I heard had such a mean tone that it had chilled me to the bone. I felt a cold rush of air on the side of my head as though someone was breathing icy breaths on my cheek. I could even feel the pause between breaths. The suddenness of it had startled me so much I had dropped my golf club. I quickly bent down to retrieve my precious weapon even though I could not see anyone to use it on, it still felt very good in my hand.

I straightened back up and saw myself in the mirror. I knew my reflection was telling me that I was standing there by myself but I still couldn’t help glancing directly beside me and all around the room. I was alone in the room. I laid my hand to my cheek where I had felt the breaths. My cheek was very cold to the touch. I glanced back at my reflection one more time and for a moment, just for a thousandth of a second I thought I saw another face looking back at me. It was not a face of a normal person. It was distorted, as if I were looking into one of those weird mirrors in the fun house at a carnival, and then it was gone again.

It was so quick, I could not be absolutely sure if it had actually been there at all. I continued staring into the mirror; I was in too much shock to move right at that moment. It finally dawned on me to move my feet and get myself away from the mirror. I really did not want to see anymore if I could prevent it. I was shook up enough. I ran out of the bathroom pulling the door shut behind me. I headed for the stairs. I didn’t know where I was running to at that moment; all I remember was that I needed to get some distance between myself and that bathroom.

If you would like to read more, check out the “look inside” of Beyond The Lennox Haunting, the haunting of me, vol 2 on Amazon. This is based on a true story that began in a home I had lived in a few years beforehand in the town of Lennox.

Battery Park Hotel

Battery Park Hotel - 1880s
The original Battery Park Hotel was built in 1886 by Colonel Frank Coxe in Ashville, NC. Named after Confederate soldiers using it as a site for batteries of artillery, it was the first hotel in the South with an electric elevator and lighting. Many visited for the clean Mountain air to combat illnesses like Tuberculosis and enjoyed its beautiful views. Famous families visited the hotel including Rockefeller and Lorillard. George Vanderbilt also stayed at Battery Park, viewing the land where he would soon build Biltmore Estate. The old building was torn down and a new was built in its place in 1924 thanks to Edwin W. Grove It remained in operation until 1972. In the 1980s, it was converted in to apartments for senior citizens and today, businesses operate on the first floor.

Battery Park Hotel is believed to be haunted by Helen Clevenger. She was in Ashville visiting her uncle W. L. Clevenger. On July 17, 1936, she was found brutally murdered in room 224. She was shot and savagely beaten with her face slashed. Police arrested hotel hallboy Martin Moore after interviewing numerous witnesses and possible suspects. Moore claimed he was beaten in to confessing . He died in the gas chamber in December 1936. 


On stormy nights, Helen is seen wandering the halls of the old hotel. The hotel has also been the scene of a number of suicides who would jump off the roof. On September 4, 1943 a U.S. Government Official, Clifton Alheit allegedly committed suicide in this manner. People have reported seeing "bodies" falling from the roof and a tragic suicide replaying itself over and over. A male spirit was also seen by staff members. His identity is unknown but it is believed he may have been murdered in the hotel at some point. Since the building was converted to apartments, he is no longer seen.

Sources:

Wikipedia

Asheville, NC National Park Service

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