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

Happy Halloween

Be safe and have a great Halloween!

Oak Alley Plantation

When you first look upon Oak Alley Plantation in Vacherie, Louisiana, it's a home out of the movies. In this case, that statement is more true than anything. Oak Alley has appeared in films such as Primary Colors, Interview with the Vampire and more recently Stay Alive. But is such a beauty haunted?

Oak trees line the walk and frame the house, adding to its exterior appeal. Planted 300 years ago, they may have brought the same to another home owned by a French traveler. Jacques Telesphore Roman met and married Marie Therese Josephine Celina Pilie in 1834. They purchased the house in 1836 and Celina's father Joseph Pilie, an architect, possibly provided the design. The house took approximately two years to complete. In the end, Celina Roman named their beautiful home "Bon Sejour" but travelers dubbed it Oak Alley for the avenue of mighty oaks.

Jacques died in 1848 from tuberculosis, leaving Celina to manage the business affairs. She was inexperienced and her incessant spending helped begin the downslide for the Roman family among Creole Society. Henri, her only son, was forced to sell the plantation at auction in 1866 where John Armstrong purchased it. The family continued to live there for administrative purposes for awhile. In 1881, Portugal native and Confederate veteran Antoine Sobral bought Oak Alley. More than twenty years later, the plantation traded hands again. Many people tried to turn it into a respectable business but failed. In 1925, Andrew and Josephine Stewart bought and paid to restore the house. After two years, they realized it's historic value and open it to the public.

Many believe Celina Roman haunts Oak Alley. Witnesses have seen her in the Lavender Room and the "Widow's Walk". Lights turn on and off on their own. Empty chairs rock by themselves. Things from one place to another, including a candlestick that was thrown across the room. Sounds of crying and a horse drawn carriage are often heard but the source of the noises are never found.

Sources:

Oak Alley Plantation

Livery Tours

Conover Road/Birthday Bridge

Some places just don't have a complex history to explain why they are haunted. Sometimes its just simply something bad happened and the spirits stayed behind instead moving on. Here are two places in Iowa:

On Conover Road near Calmar, it is said a family of four died on this road near some evergreens. It's uncertain if this accident ever took place or not but passersby have seen four shadows on the spot where it supposedly happened.

And then there's Birthday Bridge in Mount Pleasant. Birthdays are suppose to be a time for celebration, but according to local legend, one girl wasn't in the mood to celebrate hers. She decided to hang herself from the bridge on her birthday. Supposedly, witnesses can see her spirit hanging from the bridge on that exact day.

However, it is unknown if anyone ever hung themselves from that bridge. If a girl did, her identity is no known either much less when her birthday was. I'm guessing there haven't been many witnesses who have seen her spirit. No one knows the exact date to be there and...well....the bridge itself  doesn't exist anymore due to an accident.


Sources:

Only In Your State

Haunted Places - Conover Road

Iowa Haunted Houses

Haunted Places - Birthday Bridge

Hauntin.gs 

Pegram Family Cemetery

You've heard of the movie Poltergeist, right? The fictional tale shows what could happen if you disturb a cemetery in the name of progress. The citizens of Pegram, Tennessee may have learned that lesson the hard way as well.

The Pegram Family Cemetery sat deteriorating until the 1970s when a group of developers decided to raze the land running along a stretch of Harpeth River. The idea was the build small homes on concrete slabs. Good in theory but selling the soil from the cemetery as fill dirt possibly created a problem. Five years after the project began, the river rose 30 feet, unearthing the coffin of Miss Carrie Pegram Heath. She was probably reburied but could she be the only one not properly removed?

The constant unusual flooding of the new homes was just one thing on a list of Pegram's bad luck. That cemetery fill dirt was used all over two Tennessee counties. The Town Hall has had it share of problems including large legal fees. The local supermarket burned down. Fires that had been properly extinguished mysteriously reignite among other abnormal occurrences that take place in Pegram.

Is this the usual wear and tear of a small town? Or is it cursed?


Sources:

Only in Your State

Haunted Places

Haunted Rooms

Legend of Maggie Duffton

If you’re a resident of Kemnay in Scotland, you may have heard of the legend of Maggie Duffton. She once owned the Burnett Arms Hotel, a quaint hotel dating back to the 1800s. Maggie died in 1931. Her wishes was to have three coffins made. One was to be buried in a family grave in the Kemnay Cemetery. The other two, one containing her body and the other her money, was to be walled up in a vault in the hotel cellar.

Seventy-eight years later, Malcolm Edwards, current hotel boss, is determined to prove the legend’s validity once and for all. Along with local stonemason Karl Bisset, the plan is to open up a solid cellar wall. A probe camera was pushed through a tiny wall to reveal a framed photograph and box. The demolition date was set for July 11th. Villagers were even invited to watch the unveiling on a large screen in the bar above. I could not find any word of what happened. Maybe there was nothing to tell.

Even though Edwards doesn’t believe in ghosts, he says there is an unknown presence in the hotel. Many staff members have described seeing a ghostly woman wearing a pink wedding dress walking through the lounge. One night, a staff member cleaning the bar saw someone coming through a locked door calling for someone named Norman. It is not known who Norman is. Another former owner’s father supposedly had “many conversations” with this ghost believed to be Maggie. Locals are afraid the excavation could stir up other ghosts in the hotel’s past.

The Elms Hotel

Do you believe in curses? At one time, it may have crossed the minds of those living in Excelsior Springs, Missouri. The Elms Hotel and Spa burned down twice. Thankfully, no one was hurt in either fire. But lets start at the beginning.

The Elms didn't become a twinkle in someone's eye until after a local farmer used the healing mineral waters to cure his daughter's incurable tuberculosis in 1880. Word of her miraculous recovery spread about the country and people began to descend on the location in hopes of curing their own ailments. A pastor named John Van Buren Flack and a landowner named Anthony Wyman saw it's business potential, forming Excelsior Springs.

Excelsior Springs Company was created to bring the town pavilions, parks and The Elms Hotel. The hotel opened in 1888 and guests enjoyed the mineral water baths, gardens and luxurious parties and balls. Ten years after it open its doors, the first fire burned the wooden structure to the ground on May 9, 1898. Another ten years went by before the second Elms Hotel was completed. It reopened its doors on July 31, 1909. However, guests were only allowed to enjoy it for a little over a year before burned down again. Again there were no fatalities.

Third time was a charm for The Elms. The structure seen today was completed and opened on September 7, 1912. It continued to advertise and sell it's healing waters, experiencing success in the 1920s. Was even nearly converted into a sanitarium. All good things come to an end at some point. The hotel may have aided in the good health of its guests but couldn't survive the Great Depression. It filed for bankruptcy in 1931. New owners were able to revive it, attracting a variety of famous guests including Harry S Truman, Jack Dempsey and well known criminals such as Bugsy Moran and Al Capone.

The Elms saw many changes in ownership over the decades. Even experienced a second bankruptcy and a couple of renovations but managed to keep it's doors open to guests. So why is The Elms be labeled haunted?

Many believe one of the spirits tied to the hotel was from it's speakeasy days during Prohibition. This particular ghost hangs out in the basement, enjoying the lap pool. This area of the hotel use to host all-night gambling events and a popular hiding place for liquor brought by gangsters. Another spirit is that of a woman, searching for her child. They say she has been known to pull a person's hair and throw objects.


Sources:
The Elms Hotel and Spa
Only in Your State

Remembering 9/11

9 11 photo 911neverforget.jpg

The White Lady of Frio River

There is a lot of fear that surrounds ghosts, particularly those who had a violent life. It's always good to come across one who is good and gentle in nature. The life of Maria Juarez may have ended tragically but she spends her afterlife as a protector of children in Uvalde County, Texas.

All Maria wanted was to marry and start a family of her own. She was very close to her older sister. Even cared for her children. However, her constant presence in her sister's life came with a price. Her sister's husband Gregorio fell in love with Maria. She being the good honest person that she was refused him. Unfortunately, he did not want to take no for an answer.

The day came that Maria almost received her wish. She met a man name Anselmo. They fell in love and were about to marry. Upon learning of this news, Gregorio became enraged. If he couldn't have her, he wasn't going to let anyone else either. Maria went to meet Anselmo but came face-to-face with Gregorio instead. He pulled out a pistol and shot her in the heart.

He fled but was later captured. He confessed to the murder and spent many years in prison. Maria was buried in an unmarked grave wearing her wedding dress.

Many who visit the Frio River have seen a white mist in the shape of a woman. It is believed to be that of Maria. She's also known to be a guardian of sorts for children at night. Even covers them with blankets when it's cold.

Sources:

Wide Open Country

HauntedPlaces.org

Texas Escapes


 
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