Sunday, January 31, 2010

The Jekyll and Hyde Club

Tonight's location isn't technically haunted, but it is a fun haunted attraction for a weary traveller looking for something a little bit odd and different.   The Jekyll and Hyde Club has several locations around Manhattan.   It is my sons' favorite place to eat and although the food may be nothing extraordinary, it's worth a visit just for the show.
This restaurant creates an atmosphere that is complete with a story of Dr.Jekyll travelling to New York to found the restaurant and turn it into a museum for his and his diabolical collection of friend's mad experiments and ghostly travels. 

The Jekyll and Hyde is staffed by actors and as soon as you walk in the door you are greeted by igors and vampires who keep their role on all night long.  They take you to your table and play various jokes on you that keep this already interesting place even more interesting.  Once you are in the restaurant, there are several options for seating.  There is the attic floor which is filled with goulish dolls and creepy clowns that move and reach out for you as you walk past.  A skeleton band plays for a black angel.   In the labratory, you'll find all kinds of hellish concoctions and experiments.  The library is my favorite floor with it's stacks of bizarre books and paintings that follow you with their eyes as you walk past.   On the first floor, or grand salon, you get the best view of the show.   The show pays homage to classic horror and is scary and funny enough to keep both grown-ups and kids watching.

The Jekyll and Hyde is a family friendly restaurant and if you ever take your family to New York it is a fun way to spend an evening.  You can eat, get a show, and enjoy a little scare before you return to the real world.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

The Bookstore Ghost

The University of North Alabama in Florence has several ghost stories associated with it.  It's old halls are littered with ghosts and phantoms.  One of my favorite ghost stories from this University comes from the off campus bookstore.  This bookstore wasn't always a bookstore.  It was once a house and a family lived there.

It was a typical family.  There was a mother, a father, and a little girl.  They were a happy family, but the little girl was lonely. She spent her days playing alone in her room with her dolls.   The little girl's father was particularly worried about his baby's loneliness, so he went out and purchased an adorable, little puppy for her.  Of course, the girl was delighted.  It was love at first site.  She loved the puppy so much she put it in bed with her that night and the two little ones nestled up next to each other in the soft, evening light.

It wasn't long before the parents heart their little girl scream.  The wail cut through the night awaking both parents and sending them running into their daughter's room.   The puppy had bit the little girl.  Things returned  to normal, but it wasn't long before the dog and the little girl began to show signs of illness.  The parents took the little girl to the doctor and both she and the puppy were diagnosed with rabies.   Both died shortly after.

Time went on and the building was turned into a Fraternity House.  The house was remodeled and the fraternity members reported seeing a phantom girl sitting in the second story window gazing out.  It wasn't just the frat boys that saw her.  People walking by the house reported seeing her as well.   The building is an off campus bookstore now and people still see the little girl looking longingly out the window.  The women that work at the bookstore don't deny her presence.  They say she still makes her appearances, sometimes alone and sometimes with her dog. 

Friday, January 29, 2010

Abenor: The Ancient Word for Love

My father used to call my grandmother a witch.  I never listened to him because he never had anything nice to say about my mother or her family.  I took what he said with a grain of salt.  It wasn't until much later that I realized their was a grain of truth in what my father said.  

The women in my family have always had a strong connection with the paranormal and this connection was at it's strongest with my grandmother, Kay.  Kay was a passionate and needy woman who was afraid of being alone.  She was a beautiful woman that was used to being adored by the men around, so after the first few years of marriage ground the edges off of my grandfather's, Raymond's, adoration, my grandmother found herself lost in loneliness.   Raymond was a good man, but he never knew what to do with his beautiful and slightly melodramatic wife, so he retired to his study at the end of every day to find peace.  

Kay couldn't stand her loneliness and she turned to the ouiji board to find some answers to her condition.   In order to use the ouija board she enlisted the assistance of her young daughter, my mother, Robin.  It started slowly.  My grandmother would ask the spirits questions and they would answer.  Robin hated it.  She fought it.  She felt that something was wrong in the core of her being and the ritual terrified her, but Kay persisted.  It wasn't long before one spirit in particular started a dialogue with Kay.  His name was Alonk and Kay and he spent their lonely evenings together with little Robin trapped between them.   Every night the two met  and spoke over the ouija board and every night they drug Robin with them.

Alonk loved Kay and he told her that the ancient word for love was abenor.   Abenor was their secret word for love, more powerful than any English word.   So the lovers met as often as they could, but Kay was encountering a problem.  Little Robin hated Alonk.   Little Robin hated the ouija board and refused to play.   Kay was not deterred.  She turned to her youngest daughter, Kathy, to play with and the love affair continued with a frantic passion that consumed Kay and her new assistant.

My mother still remembers my aunt, a little girl of five, sitting on the bay window looking out, waiting for Alonk to come for her.  She still remembers little Kathy speaking with fire of her mother's love.   Life moved on and even little Kathy grew up, taking with her Kay's connection to Alonk.  Raymond and Kay were divorced and Kay remarried.  She married a man that adored her and gave her the love she wanted.   Alonk vanished. 

But Robin's scars remained in a deep fear of the supernatural, especially the ouija board.   Kay is old now, very old ,and alzheimers has taken many of her  memories.  She forgets who I am and who Robin is.  She forgets everything, but she insists that she was married three times and she remembers Alonk and the ancient word for love, abenor. 

Thursday, January 28, 2010

The Tutwiler Hotel

The Tutwiler is one of the rare haunted hotels in Alabama.  It is located in Birmingham and was originally named the Ridgely.  Robert Jemison opened The Tutwiler in 1914 to convince the American Iron and Steel Institute to have its annual convention in Birmingham.  He built the hotel to be luxurious and inviting.  He wanted people to come from all over to stay in the overabundant luxury of the hotel.  Mr. Jemison's plan worked and for a long time the hotel was the premier location for conventions and meetings in the South.

But time takes it's toll on all things and the glory of the beautiful hotel faded as the years pressed down on her. By the 1960's, she was a faded reminder of what she had once been.    The owners attempted to give the hotel a facelift, but with skyscrapers and luxury high rises taking over, she seemed like a pale comparison.  In 1986, Mr. Tutwiler purchased the building and began a complete renovation of the hotel.  He stripped it and rebuilt it.  He took the old historic hotel and gave it all the modern conveniences and extras that would bring tourists to visit and stay in the once run down hotel.

It is after these renovations that the ghosts appeared, or maybe that the ghosts were noticed.  The story began with the bartender who was in charge of closing up the kitchen every night.   Every night he would turn off all the lights before he left.  He began to notice that the lights would turn right back on.  One night he turned the lights off five times and finally gave up and went home.  His supervisor yelled at him the next day for leaving all the lights on and the bartender explained the situation.  The supervisor stayed late and found the same things with the lights.  Both employees went home and in the morning the lights were all on, the dishes were all out, the stove was on, and food had been prepared.  The next night the bar tender tried a new tact.  He turned off all the lights and said good night to the ghost and asked it to please leave the lights and stove off and clean up after himself.   He never had the problem again.

The bartender wasn't the only one to report odd occurences.  Throughout the old hotel there have been reports of lights flickering, tunring off and on, and doors opening and shutting.  In my attempt to see as many haunted locations as possible, I have booked a room in this lovely hotel next weekend.  I'm taking my boys and we are going to stay in this elegant hotel for one night and see what we can find when the lights go out (or come back on)  More to come once I visit the hotel!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Through an Animal's Eyes: Do Animals See What We Can Not?


A coworker of mine told me a story today.  She grew up with her grandparents on a farm in rural Alabama.  Her grandfather spent a lot of time in the fields working with his mule team.  According to her, her grandfather was out working one day and the mules went crazy.  They stopped working and tried to break free from their constraints and run away.  They knocked her grandfather over in their frantic attempts to escape their bonds.  The mules were terrified.  They were acting as if they had seen a wolf or the dead.  

Her grandfather went home and told the story to his wife.  Her grandmother listened solemnly to her husband's story of mad mules and placed quiet hand on her huband's shoulder.   She had more important news to convey.   While he had been out working in the fields,  his brother had died.  In fact,  he had past away at the exact moment the mules had gone mad.

It has always been the family's assumption that her grandfather's brother had come to say goodbye to him in ghost form and the animals had seen the ghost.   I have heard many stories like this and the more ghost stories I read and tell the more I hear about animals sensing the supernatural world more profoundly and more deeply than people do.   In many ghost stories,  it is the dog or the cat that starts to go crazy first.  It is as if they see a world we can't see.

In several of the stories I have put on this blog the haunting begins with animals acting out.  In the famous haunting on Larabee Street, the cat acted so wildly after they moved into their haunted house they got rid of the cat.  In the televison show called, The Haunted, animal planet explores the connection between animals and the supernatural.  In a recent episode, a woman who owned a horse farm swears up and down that her horses were the first to know that the farm was haunted.  There are many psychics and paranormal experts that insist that animals see what we can not and my coworker's story is not the first I've heard of animals reacting to hauntings, so if your animal is going crazy maybe it's because your house is haunted!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Ghost Hunting Tips


I got my ghost hunting kit together tonight and went out into the darkness for the first time.  I violated most of the tips I am going to list in my eagerness to venture into the night with my night vision camera, electromagnetic field meter, thermometer, and electronic voice phenomena recording device. I went out alone to a lonely cemetery in the woods near my house.  I did bring my dog and I am  fairly sure he is psychic, so that does make me a little bit more professional.  What I learned fumbling around through the bramble in the dark while chasing shadows is that the cemetery by my house is probably not haunted and is definately thick with thorns.  I'll be picking stickers our of my pants and putting neosporin on my wounds for a few days to come.   With all my mistakes in mind,  I thought I would list some tips provided by the Ghost Hunter's Guidebook to help others avoid my silly mistakes.

1.  Never go alone into an investigation  (I don't think I broke this rule since I brought my psychic dog)

2.  Try to make sure that those who own the site you are going to have granted permission for you to investigate.

3.  Keep your perceptions clear prior to the investigation.  Do not drink, smoke, or use drugs before investigating.

4.  Arrive with skepticism.

5.  Make sure you bring along all of the items that you need to properly conduct your investigation.

6.  Avoid publicity and the media when starting a case.

7.  Interview any witnesses in depth.

8.  Become part of the location.  Try to blend into the background as much as possible.

9.  Always respect the location and always be polite.

I will try to follow more of these rules on my next expedition, but for tonight I just enjoyed stumbling around in the bramble, peering through my night vision camera, and hoping my catch a glimpse of something paranormal.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Riverhaven


Most ghost stories are creepy. They hint at some unhappy soul lurking just beyond reality waiting to do us harm. The Riverhaven cabin is haunted, but the ghosts there seem pleasant and inviting.

Riverhaven is a cabin in Gatlinburg, TN. It is described by the reality company as plesant and comfortable. This historic log home is an antique Chestnut log approx. 200 years old built in 1800. It has unique wormy Chestnut paneling inside. The cabin was constructed in the National Park and was moved in the 1930's to its current location in downtown Gatlinburg. The realtors website shows many pretty pictures of the cabin and if you rent it, when you enter you'll be pleasantly surprised by it's comfort and warmth.

Every cabin in Gatlinburg has a log or journal for visitors to share their experiences in. Typically, these logs are filled with stories of family vacations. Every page has the same bland pleasantries. It is as if they came from a script. Guests tell about their family, what they did, and the great time they had in the cabin. Riverhaven's journal is different. Each guest tells about flickering lights, moving objects, vanishing items, and odd noises. Not every resident there concludes the cabin is haunted, but every page indicated there is something odd about this pleasant cabin nestled by the river.

I only stayed at Riverhaven for three nights and for the most part it was quiet. I stayed with my family and we complained to each other about the lack of linens in the cabin. We searched it from top to bottom, pulling it apart in a futile quest for a table cloth or anything to cover the splintery, ancient dining table. Finally, on the first night we gave up and ate on our laps. We went to bed and dead bolted the door and locked the door with the sliding lock that even someone with a key couldn't open. In the morning, we awoke to find every table set with table cloths and silverware. The cabin was clean and pretty and we certainly hadn't left it that way when we went to sleep. We often laugh about this cabin as we flounder to explain our experiences there, but when I think of the strange journal there and the consistency of all the stories, I have to assume it was haunted by ghosts that liked us.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

The Psychology of the Paranormal Explosion


All you have to do is turn on the television to realize that interest in the paranormal has exploded recently. The names of the televisions shows that are dedicated only to the paranormal have gone from the solitary few to one on ever channel.  There are Ghost Hunters, Ghost Adventures, and The Haunted.  The list goes on and on and the trend does not stop or start with the television.  People have suddenly become interested in the paranormal.  Elizabeth Parker of Haunted America describes this trend by saying that just a few years ago she would go out looking for information on hauntings and people would "laugh, smirk, call me crazy or quietly move closer and tell me in a lowered voice usually reserved for discussing nasty medical conditions that they had had an experience."   She says that now people are excited to tell her and she is overwhelmed by stories and interest.  

The question then becomes, what has caused this incredible increase in fascination with the paranormal?  I look to history to answer this question.   There have been many periods in history before this that have had  increases in spiritualism and religiousity.   The last period that had this kind of explosion in interest in the supernatural was the period around World War I.  During that time, spiritualism was embraced and became a normal part of popular culture to the point where the celebrities of the day, Houdini and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle became part of the movement.  

The psychology that unites that period and our period now is the psychology of instability and radical change.  During the last explosion in interest in the paranormal,  people witnessed World War I, the great depression, The Swine Flu, and radical social and political upheval.    Their world was no longer stable or safe so they turned their hopes to another world.  They turned their hopes to the world of supernatural.   Similarly, the last ten years in our culture have seen war, recession, natural disasters, and cultural instability.   We have lost our faith in a safe world that makes sense.   In this period of instability, we have also turned our hopes to life after death and put our faith in the paranormal and supernatural. 

These two periods are not the only periods in history that have seen these trends.  Following the periods of  black death there were massive upsurges in religiousity and spiritualism. The consequences of this resulted in the massive witch hunts that plagued these times as women and men turned to non traditional faith to make sense of their insane world and the religious majority became markedly more religious. the terrible uniting of these two factors created a climate in which those that had embraced non tradition faith could be easily persecuted by the now even more hyper religious. 

Another thing all these periods of instability and increased interest in the supernatural share is that they all come to an end.  Stability will return and people will again let go of their need to embrace the supernatural.  Inevitably, the tide will turn and interest in ghosts and the supernatural will fade, leaving behind them only the rare few that have always been interested.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

The Dallas Mill and Village

The Dallas Mill is a fascinating place with a history that has been almost completely forgotten.  The Dallas Mill was a cotton mill that was a center of life for those who worked there. The mill was the epicenter of a little city that centered around it. Employees were provided homes, medical care, churches, library, lodge building, YMCA, concerts, a kindergarten, and schools.  The area that surrounded the Dallas Mill was called Dallas Mill Village.  The mill comunity was so tightly linked that they still have a website and community that gathers to remember the good old days of Dallas Village.  Most of the original Dallas Village homes and the Riser School that the mill built for the children have been destroyed or burnt down, only the empty mill remains as a reminder of the once strong community that thrived in it's shadows.

Dallas Mills was begun by T.B. Dallas in 1892 and was Alabama's largest cotton manufacturer.    The Mill closed in 1949 and it's village was incorporated into the city of Huntsville in 1952.  Genesco shoe company bought the building and used it until 1985.  Since that time it has been sitting vacant.  In 1991 there was an enormous fire in the building that burned for three days.  Apparently, at the time of the fire there was a homeless man that was living in the vacant building.  His ghost is said to be seen wandering through the now vacant and burnt remains of the building at night.   Observers say that they have heard his footsteps echoing through the halls and have seen his face looking out through the windows.   It is also said that a man died at the mill cleaning the smokestacks early on and that his ghost also lingers in the shadows of this burnt out, husk of a building.

I travelled to the site where the old mill once stood today and took the pictures below of the old building.  The area that was once the beautiful village  and mill above has turned into a dilapidated, vacant stretch of land that is hidden beneath a network of interstates.  The area itself is haunting. It is empty and dead, as if no new life can find purchase in this once beautiful location.

Friday, January 22, 2010

The St. James Hotel


I am very excited about tonight's haunted location.   It is an old hotel in Selma, Alabama called the St. James Hotel.  It is a beautiful ante-bellum hotel that was built in 1837.  It has 43 rooms and suites some of which have private, wrought-iron balconies, whirlpool tubs and fireplaces.  
The St. James Hotel was originally called the Brantly Hotel and has some of the most interesting history in Alabama.   The Union Army occupied it during the civil war and it was saved from being burned like the rest of Selma because of this.  After the war it was owned by Benjamin S. Tower who was the frist African American Congressman.  The notorious outlaws Jesse and Frank James made this hotel their headquarters for a considerable amount of time.  After 1892, Selma had some very difficult economic times and the hotel was shut down.  It was 100 years before the hotel was rediscovered.

In the 1990's a group of investors began a project to restore Selma and the St. James Hotel was part of this project.   Unbeknownst to them, the hotel was still occupied by some guests that had no intention of leaving.
Since the reopening of this hotel there have been multiple manifestations.   The hotel appears to haunted by Jesse James,  Jesse's girlfriend Lucinda, and a phantom dog that may have belonged to Jesse.   

The most haunted part of the hotel seems to be the inner courtyard area where odd, unexplainable sounds have been heard, barking dogs have been heard, and apparitions have been seen by psychics.   Room 304 has also been the source of many odd lights and strange voices.  An entity behind the bar often clangs glasses together and the St. James Drinking room has been haunted by the ghost of an older man wearing a hat.  A psychic research team did some EVP recordings in the ballroom and asked if anyone was there.  A voice responded, "That's a stupid question."   Several psychic groups have confirmed that this location is haunted.


I am most excited about this find because I have been able to book a room here and will be staying in room 301, Jesse Jame's old room.  I can't wait to spend the night and see what ghosts come to see me!  Expect more on this wonderful hotel after I've spent a night there.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

How to Build a Ghost Hunting Kit


There has been a recent explosion in excitement about ghosts and the supernatural which has lead to an enormous increase in ghost hunting.  There are ghost hunting tv shows, clubs, and websites.   Ghost hunting has become as popular as spiritualism in the early 20th century.  I'm not a ghost hunter.  What fascinates me most about haunted places are the stories, the histories, and the mythologies that grow from experiences with the unexplained.  I love going to haunted places and feeling the history.  I love learning the story of the place and understanding it, however, as I started planning for several trips over the next few months I thought I would go exploring and try to find new haunted places.   In doing this,  I thought it might be fun to take some ghost hunting tools with and just see how they work.   I've done my research and here is what the American Ghost Hunting Society and other books say a ghost hunter should never be without while conducting paranormal investigations.

1.  Notebook and pen

2.  Sketch pad and drawing pencils (drawing maps of locations)

3.  Measuring tape (for checking distances)

4.  Flashlight

5.  Recording device for E.V.P. recording:
          Electronic voice phenomena (EVP) are electronically generated noises that resemble speech, but are not the result of intentional voice recordings or renderings. Common sources include static, stray radio transmissions and background noise. Some people claim these sounds are of paranormal origin.

6.  Camera

7. Video camera (preferably with night vision)

10.   Paranormal Detection Equipment
         There are many possibilities here.  Electromagnetic Field Meters are the most popular and commonly used devices by ghost hunters today.  They are used to record and document disruption in the electromagnetic field of a location.   IR Motion Detectors are also very useful in measuring unexplained movement in an area. Thermometers and Temperature Sensing devices can also be used  to track cold spots that are believed to signal that a ghost is present. 


So now I know what tools I need and I will try to gather as many of these items as possible so I can see if this equipment responds to any of the haunted places I will be travelling to.  This should be fun!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Zombie Love Stories and The Steampunk Undead

I have been inspired by another blogger who has recently done several posts on zombies.  Although zombies are neither ghosts nor haunted, I thought it would be fun to take a break from my usual ghost story for an evening and instead pay tribute to some of the wonderful writers out there that make the world a more interesting place to live in.   In that spirit, I am going to review my two favorite zombie books.   Good ghost stories, zombie stories, and horror stories are in short supply in book stores these days.  They seem to have been replaced by teenage vampires and sexy vampire slayers with swords.  But I will always be drawn to classic monsters and classic horror and the new places that inventive authors can take me.  Here are my two favorite zombie novels that tackle the genre in new and unexpected ways:




Breathers by S.G. Browne:

This is a romantic zombie comedy with everything you could possibly want from a good romance and a good zombie novel.  It is complex and makes you think and at times makes you laugh so hard you cry.  It is the story of Andy Warner, a new zombie, who's just trying to make his way in a zombie hating world.   He finds his way at Undead Anonymous where he meets kindred spirits that inspire him to discover his inner zombie.   This book is both surprising touching and completely interesting and filled with all the blood and horror you want from a good zombie novel.  Breathers is a gem and definately worth the read.




The Boneshaker by Cherie Priest

The cover of this book describes it as a steampunk zombie airship adventure and that sums this book up completely.  I've never particularly enjoyed steampunk, but I couldn't resist that collection of words so I bought this book expecting to like it the way someone enjoys a particularly bad b-grade movie, but The Boneshaker is surprisingly well written and the main character is a very real woman who is put into unreal circumstances.   The book is set in a Seattle in 1864, but in this fictitious landscape something has gone terribly wrong and a crack in the earth's crust unleashes a blight that turns Seattle's citizens into the undead.  The book twists and turnes into an ending that is completely unexpected while taking you on adventure into the heart of darkness and back.  

Thanks to Autumnforest at Ghost Hunting Theories  for taking me off the beaten track and into the world of zombies for a change.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Dead Children's Playground


Those who reside in Huntsville, Alabama are very familiar with dead children's playground. It is part of the unique history of this region. Dead children's playground is set in the middle of Maple Hill Cemetery, which is the largest and oldest cemetery in Alabama. Built in 1882, the cemetery covers over 100 acres of land. Dead children's playground is a small playground in the heart of this picturesque grave yard. It is surrounded on three sides by a rocky cove and faces out onto the ancient stone garden.

Local legend has it that Huntsville suffered a rash of child abductions in the 1960’s, and the bodies of the children were found in the area of the playground. Since that time, there have been reports of swings moving on their own, children calling out, giggling, and when photos are taken, orbs of light believed to be the spirits of the children are captured. Much of this phenomenon occurs between 10 p.m. and 3 a.m., far too late for any live child to be out playing.


Local teens and other curious locals, often make pilgrimages to the playground at night to witness this activity. I have made this trip on several occasions, and although I have never seen any ghosts myself, I have heard many reports of swings moving on their own and bright lights drifting through the darkness.   I recently went to the playground with my family during the day to explore the playground and it is odd that the swings are always moving at this playground.  I can't say for sure that they aren't being moved by the wind or that there isn't some natural force at work, but a video I took shows the swings moving as my children play in the distance.  We didn't touch the swings that day because there were very large puddles beneath them, yet they still seemed to move.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Poltergeists or Bad Spirits?


The word poltergeist is from the German and means "noisy ghost."  However, experts today agree that a poltergeist is not a ghost.  A poltergeist is the product of the psychic energy.  This energy has usually been found to be connected with  angsty, pubescent teenagers.  The most common manifestation of this energy is the movement of physical objects.   It is easy to see why poltergeists were mistaken for ghosts.   In homes that have poltergeists, objects move on their own and strange noises fill the house.   It is important to remember, however, in the case of poltergeists this activity ceases when the angst or the person associated with the angst leaves the house.

The house where I grew up was the perfect place for poltergeist energy to flourish, as it was often filled with pouty, angsty, adolescent girls.  I am not always the most observant or communicative member of my family, so much of the activity in my house went over my head or was purposely ignored because I didn't believe in the supernatural.   I know when I hit puberty I was plagued by bad dreams and feelings that something was hovering over me, watching me.  Being a logical young woman,  I assumed it was hormones and did my best to ignore the noises and oddnesses that followed me.   After speaking with my mother tonight,  I realized it may have been more than hormones.  She also said that for the years during my adolescence she felt like something evil had entered the house.  She heard noises at night and felt like something was sitting on her chest, crushing her.  She was always afraid.  She felt this dread so powerfully that she called two different priests to the house to do services and the darkness left.

My sister came of age later on and was similarly angsty.  With her however,  objects moved of their own accord.  Boxes stacked against one wall would fly across the room.  Chairs would relocate and loud noises would fill the house at night.  This activity stopped on it's own and was not accompanied by any sense of dread or malevolence. 
I decided to do my own childhood homestead as a haunted location for this blog after talking to my parents about all the moving objects and noises that had filled the house during my sister's late childhood.  I had no idea about the other activity and the more my parents talked the less sure I became that I knew whether there had been a ghost, a poltergeist, or a bad spirit in the house.  I'm still not sure.  But there certainly was enough activity in the house for enough years for me to call it a haunted location.  The picture below is the sticker one of the priests placed on the doors of the house following a blessing that was done.  Any thoughts out there?  What was in my parents house?


Friday, January 15, 2010

The Disgusting History of Ectoplasm


I'm going to diverge from my usual daily journey to a haunted place tonight.  Instead I'm going to dive into the darker side of the history of the paranormal and the darker side of those who have exploited the supernatural to profit from it. 

During the time comtemporary to and following World War I there was and explosion in what was then called spiritualism or mentalism.  Spiritualism  is a religious movement revolving around communicating with the dead via a medium.  This explosion was brought on by the massive number of people that died in the war.  One of the more bizarre activites that became prevalent in this movement was the expolsion of ectoplasm.   Ectoplasm is a term used to define a physical manifestation of the supernatural and  it usually came out of the medium's nose, mouth, or ears.  The term, defined by Charles Richet, meant spiritual energy externalized by psychics.  It was for many years, used as absolute confirmation that the supernatural was tangible and proveable. 

Ectoplasm was so believed in that it was featured in respectable scientific journals and it's existance was confirmed by the great minds of the time including William Butler Yeats and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.  It was so believed in that Scientific America sought to do a study on it and offered a $5,000 reward to anyone who could demonstrate the release of extoplasm in front of a scientific panel.  This reward lead to the beginning of the end of the scientific validity of ectoplasm.

What was discovered was both revolting and eye opening.   Although many techniques and materials have been used by mediums to produce ectoplasm, the medium examined by this panel was found to be storing a sheep gut and fat mixture in a sack in her vagina which she expolsed at the appropriate time to make it appear as if she was expelling ectoplasm.  Further research into other psychics revealed many other grotesque techniques for producing this fraudulent material.  Some women learned how to regurgitate on demand and swallowed yards of muslin and cheese cloth which they would vomit on command.  Others stored materials in their rectum.
  
Although this story is disgusting.  It is more about the disgustingness that is possible within humanity when exploiting the needs of  those suffering from the lost of a loved one than the vileness of the actual act.    Although I love a good ghost story,  it is always amazing to me how much more horrifying live people can be than ghosts..

Thursday, January 14, 2010

The Haunting of Bradmar

This is one of my favorite ghost stories because it is so different than the usual haunted house stories you hear.  Most haunting stories end the same way.  They end with fear and a family fleeing their home to escape the nightmare of the paranormal.   This story shows that fear is in the mind of the beholder.

This is an older story.  It's from the 1960's and began when a physician and his family purchase a beautiful Tudor style manor house and began rennovations on the house.   The physician, Dr. Bradley, fell in love with the house and hired a well known architect and friend to supervise the renovations.    It was the architect, Karly Vogel, who had the first ghostly encounters.  While he was working in the house,  a local came in and told him the houses history.   The local told him that the woman who had owned the house prior to the doctor had lived there for five years and died there.  He said the woman had loved the house dearly and asked for the wake to be held in the parlor.   She also told many friends that she would haunt the house and that during the wake she would break the beam above her coffin to show them that she was haunting the house.   The events followed exactly as she predicted.  The beam shattered and the entire local community had assumed that the house was haunted by her.

Mr. Vogel didn't believe in ghosts and laughed this story off.   It wasn't until he spent the night there that he took the story seriously.   Dr. Bradley and his wife asked Mr. Vogel to stay in the house with their children so they would meet criteria for school placement.  The Doctor and his wife had job obligations and weren't ready to relocate, but they wanted to make sure their children didn't miss any school.   Mr. Vogel happily agreed to this, but while the children were sleeping he heard someone wandering though the house.   He investigated and found foot prints, but no sign of entry.   The noises and opening and shutting of doors continued.   Unphased, Mr. Vogel called out to the spirit and told it that he was rennovating the house.  He asked the spirit if they had any special requests for the renovation.  There was no answer.

The Bradley's moved in and named their new 33 room manor house the Bradmore Manor.   They loved it, but they were very quickly bothered by lights flickering on and off and doors opening and shutting on their own.   Visitors also had ghostly encounters and Mrs.'s Bradley's mother actually saw the ghost standing above her one night.  She couldn't fully see the ghost so she assumed the ghost was her daughter checking on her and told her she was alright.   Activity continued.   Ashtrays flew across the room on their own.  Furniture moved.  Faucets turned on and off on their own.  Other visitors saw ghosts while they were there.

Rather than be daunted by all this supernatural activity, the Bradley's took it in stride.  They opened their home up to paranormal investigators and general haunted tours to the public.  They even wrote a book about the haunting.  The Bradley's didn't leave their beloved home until other circumstances drove them to divorce. Rather than fleeing, they embraced the haunting.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010


Searcy is one of my favorite haunted places.   I did my internship here a very long time ago and I fell in love with it's history and it's white chipped walls.  Everything about this old hospital spoke to me.  It was even more remarkable because most of those who worked there and lived there every day were oblivious to it's history.  I found this hospital so fascinating that I wrote I book about it which will be coming out this April. 

Searcy State Hospital is located in Mt. Vernon Alabama. Prior to being a state hospital the old hospital has a long and dark history that is very difficult to find, but easy to see upon casual observation. The hospital is encased in long, chipped, white walls that seem as old as anything in the United States. From outside these walls, you can see a battered watchtower that gives testament to the fact that the hospital is in the same location as a 300 year old fort. The fort bears witness to American history and was originally a Spanish fort. It switched hands during the Louisiana Purchase and became a US fort. After the US took possession of the fort it was converted to a military arsenal and became known as the Mount Vernon Arsenal.



The Arsenal switched hands again several times and was taken by the Confederates during the civil war only to be passed back over the United States again in 1862. From 1887 to 1894, The Arsenal became a Barracks and was used as a prison for the captured Apache people. The most famous of the Apache people to be held in these barracks was Geronimo. The infamous Aaron Burr was also held at this secluded prison at some point.

In 1900 the Barracks were transformed once again and the prison became a mental hospital. Searcy hospital was built as the African American mental hospital in Alabama. Conditions in the hospital were beyond questionable and at one time there were over 2000 patients in the crowded hospital and all were seen by one psychiatrist. All patients were expected to work in the fields.

The hospital was desegregated in 1969, but it’s history is all around it. The hospital is still in used today, and although the residents live in new buildings, many tell stories of ghosts and devils that linger in the white walls and abandoned buildings that surround the new facilities. These stories are usually ignored, because the patients are crazy, but I’m not the only sane person who saw a few ghosts while they were working there.


Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Woodland Hospital


I thought this story deserved a revisit.  This little hospital in Cullman, Alabama has enough former employees telling stories to fill a book with.  Although I've never seen the hospital,  the rumors  conjour images of hospitals that resemble Arkham Asylum.  My husband has been talking to more nurses that used to work at Woodland Hospital and the plot has thickened.  This small hospital in Cullman, Alabama had always been haunted, but this never sufficiently concerned anyone to make them think of doing anything about it.   So when the hospital was closed, it was still haunted by "Homer" and all the ghosts that had always wandered the halls.  According to several nurses,   in the days leading up to this closure the haunting became more pronounced.   The nurses were some of the last staff left in the hospital.  The patients were gone and the doctors had left.   My sources report that during this time, call bells went off on their own.  Lights turned off and on.  Doors opened and closed and the hospital was filled with the noise of dead.  Ghosts were seen wandering the halls and the voices of these phantoms could be heard in the silence.  Needless to say, the nurses were more than happy to leave after that.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Roosevelt Island


Roosevelt Island is a narrow island in the East River of New York City.   The island, now filled with towering high rise housing complexes, was once largely secluded from the rest of the city.   Originally called Blackwell island, the island belonged to the Blackwell family for most of the 18th century and part of the 19th until it was bought by the state of New York as a location for charitable and corrective hospitals.   

The first such institution established on the island was a prison which was the source of much scandal.  It was built in 1825.  The second institution established on the island was The New York Lunatic Asylum that was used from 1837-1894 whose buildings included the Octagon which still stands today.  Over 1700 patients were housed in this asylum, twice the suggested occupancy, and these patients were supervised by convicts from the neighboring prison.  Charles Dickens was one of the more famous people to have visited this asylum and he described it as horrible and "very painful."  A famous reporter, Nellie Bly, disguised herself as an inpatient and spent time in the asylum as well and she described the asylum a  "human rat trap."

In addition to the horrible assylum and prison that marred blackwell island, the island was also the site of a Smallbox Hospital, which housed small pox patients from 1856 until 1886.   The intense suffering that went on in this building added to it's ruined state have built numerous rumors about it's ghostly activity.  The ruined hospital is now known as the Renwick Ruin and is brightly lit at night giving it a ghostly glow that only adds to stories.


These two facilities are the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Blackwell, later turned Welfare, later turned Roosevelt Island's dark history, but these facilities ruins are the most notoriously haunted.    The Octagon has been renovated and turned into an apartment building. The residents of the building have reported numerous unexplainable incidents.  Ghost hunters have taken pictures of ghosts lurking in the hallways of this building and even the pets refuse to walk up the stairs of this once "human rat-trap"

I was lucky enough to visit my aunt on this island last year.  She lives in one the large high rises that have consumed the once forlorn landscape of this island.  She reports that she felt ill at ease when she visited the octagon and that it's atmosphere conveyed a sense of old sorrow.  It is easy to forget, however, that the island was once filled with such mass suffering and sorrow.   The island's atmosphere has been completely changed, but the ruins of the old hospital remain, reminding visitors that it wasn't so long ago that the island belonged to the tortured souls of the dying, the mad, the forgotten, and the imprisoned.  To learn more about Roosevelt Island please visit:   http://nyc10044.com/timeln/timeline.html


Sunday, January 10, 2010

Possessed Computer

I had plans for a brilliant story today.  I began work on it this afternoon and as I was uploading several stories I found a wonderful picture taken of a ghost.   Of course,  at that moment as I gazed at this amazing picture in slack-jawed awe, my computer crashed and I have spent the rest of my day trying to get it to work again.   It is my story that my computer was possessed by the ghost.  It is much more probable that it was possessed by some wretched hacker and infested by several worms.  However,  my story for tonight remains that my computer was possessed by a ghost.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

The Catacombs of Paris


The Catacombs of Paris have always been a source of endless fascination for me.    The catacombs are a series of labrynthian tunnels that burrow beneath the city of Paris.   The walls of these tunnels, or this ossuary, are covered in the bones of Paris's dead.  Opened in the late 18th century, the underground cemetery became a tourist attraction on a small scale from the early 19th century, and has been open to the public on a regular basis from 1867.

The history of the catacombs starts with the booming population of Paris.  As more and more people flooded this populous city, there began to be serious problems with overcrowding cementeries.  Around the 12th century, this problem became more than serious.  The wealthy could still afford expensive cementery plots, but the bodies of the poor were flooding the streets.   As solution to this,  Saints-Innocents cementery was created for the poor.  The poor were buried here in less regal style that usually involved being dumped in a sack into a mass grave.   This solution worked for a while and other mass burial plots for the poor were established.

However, by the 17th century even the mass graves of Saints-Innocents were overflowing and the sanitary conditions around these poor cementeries was becoming intolerable, even by 17th century standards.  The bones of the older dead were exhumed and laid in piles to make room for fresh corpses.  So that the cementery was laden with the unburied remains of the dead.    Luckily, the government was also looking for a solution to dealing with a series of abadoned quary mines beneath the city.   The solutions to the two problems came in the form of the l'Ossuaire Municipal, the official name for the catacombs.  

Alexandre Lenoir first had the idea to use empty underground tunnels to the outskirts of the capital to use as the ossuary. His successor, Thiroux de Crosne, chose a place and the exhumation and transfer of all Paris' dead to the underground sepulture began in 1786.  At first the catacombs were merely a place to place the bones of the dead.  It wasn't until Louis-Étienne Héricart de Thury assumed responsibility for the ossuary that it became a work of art.   He rearranged the skulls and bones to create symbolism within the tunnel and also added old cementery decorations to the underground mortuary to turn it into what you see within the catacombs today.

I've spent quite a bit of time on youtube today viewing videos of ghosts visitors of the catacombs have caught on tape. The list is more than lengthy and several people have caught honestly scary images of the spirits of the dead on tape in the catacombs. The stories of ghosts here are more than prolific.  The place is considered to be one of the most haunted places in the world and according to http://www.hauntedamericatours.com/FRANCE.php  the most haunted place in France.   To learn more about the catacombs or to find out how to visit them  go to http://www.catacombes-de-paris.fr/english.htm.


Friday, January 8, 2010

The Haunting of The Sherrod House


A friend of mine who lives in a small town in South Alabama sent me the most wonderful pictures.  She moved into her century old home a few years ago and when she first moved into the house it was haunted by an irritating spirit. My friend sent me the story of her haunted house and since I don't think I could possibly tell the story as well as she does I have placed it in quotes and put it word for word here.

"The house was built in 1906, and is known as "the Warren House," although there is some dispute over who built the house. The Coles or the Warrens. Because of this dispute, we decided to put the name "Sherrod House" on our historical register sign.  Next door is the McCleod house, built in 1903. When we moved here, 2 elderly McCleod sisters remained. Their story varied at times, but this is the best we could come up with from them.

In 1906 the Cole family (allegedly) built the house. Sadly, they died while their children were still young, perhaps in the flu epidemic of 1918. Naomi Cole, and perhaps some of her siblings, went next door and were raised by the McCleods. When she was old enough, Naomi married a man, Mr. Warren, and moved back into her family home. When her husband passed, and her children moved, she turned the house into a boarding house, and many of the people in our town have memories of living here, or visiting their grandparents here, etc. Naomi left (died?) sometime in the early 1970's. Incredibly, the house stood vacant until we bought it in 2003.

When we first bought the house, we loved it. It needed a lot of work- but we could see it's potential. My great grandmother was just moving into a nursing home, and we were blessed enough to get her old furniture. We visited the house at least once a month, while still living in Huntsville.

Almost immediately, we felt a presence, but weren't too threatened by it. We would hear things in the middle of the night. Footsteps in the hallway, that sounded like a man's boots, slow and steady. We would groggily awaken, think to ourselves, "oh, he's just checking up on things," and fall back asleep. I don't know why we were so sure that it was ok, but we were. At other times we would hear the back door open. We would go to check it, and it would still be dead bolted.

The activity began to become more common, to the point of where Michael and I were almost too spooked to stay in the house alone. A photo frame in the living room lifted itself from the mantle and flew across the room. One night, while MIchael and I were asleep, we heard very heavy determined foot stomping, across the length of the foot of our bed. It felt strongly like the spirit was trying to wake us up. Not knowing what else to do, Michael sat up in bed, said "Stop that! You'll wake the children!" The stomping stopped, and never happened again. But on another night, Michael woke up to someone pressing down on his chest. It took him a minute or two of struggling to sit up and breathe. It felt like something was trying to get our attention.

On one night we allowed Chloe to have a friend spend the night. All 4 older children slept in the boys room, which has a closet that connects it to Lily's room. The children woke us in the middle of the night. "The ghosts are bothering us." Not wanting to scare them, we assured them that there was "no such thing as ghosts," and sought to calm them down. We all went back to bed. Early in the morning, I woke to find the kids terrified in the room. I tried to settle them down again. I looked into the mirror above the fireplace, directly beside the closet, which was latched shut with a hook and eye closure. I told them "There is no such thing as ghosts!" The minute I said that, the hook very slowly released itself from the eye, as if by an unseen hand. Then the closet door swung open and and a burst of icy air came rushing out. I looked at the kids, there was no denying ghosts now I supposed!

Soon after this incident, we moved into the house full time. Lily was 3 years old at the time. At night, before going to bed, Lily would complain that there was a "grey lady" watching her. She always pointed to the same corner of the room, and told us that the grey lady would stand there when she was trying to sleep. Finally, in an effort to calm her, we began talking to the grey lady at bedtime. We asked her to please let Lily sleep in peace. After a week or so, this seemed to work, and that was the end of all the activity.

We feel now, that whatever was haunting the house is not here anymore. The "presence" is gone. We never felt threatened, only a little spooked, and for some reason, we always felt like the spirits (one man, one woman, is what we felt) were just checking up on things. They seemed to want to know that the house would be taken care of. They seemed attracted to the children. I feel like they have accepted us here, and have moved on. We haven't seen any activity since the fall of 2005.

What we have seen is a supposed granddaughter of Naomi. She showed up unannounced at our house while I was out of town on a business trip, and Michael spoke to her. She wanted to know if we had found anything that had belonged to her family in the house. She asked Michael if he had found a box of some sort. She kept pressing the point again and again, and asked Michael if he would be willing to sell the house to her. When he declined, she left. The McCleod sisters next door got very upset over this visit. They told Michael "whatever you find in that house is yours, and she has no business coming around here and bothering you!"

We don't know why the McCleods would be so upset over Naomi's granddaughter coming for a visit. We have been all over the house, including the attic, which is almost as big as the 1st floor, and have not found any boxes. The fireplaces seem to have stopped being used at some point, there are gas lines near most of them. We don't know if there is maybe something in a chimney. We also don't know the identity of the ghosts that were here, though it seems to make sense that it would be the original owners of the house."

Although the Sherrod's say their house is no longer haunted,  the picture they sent me of a lonely ghost staring out the window still sends chills down my spin

 

Thursday, January 7, 2010

THe Newton-Allaire House in Cheboygan Michigan

Tonight's story is a personal one.  The most haunted place I have ever visited is my family home, the Newton-Allaire house in Cheboygan, Michigan.  This house has been in my family for almost 150 years.  As long as I have been alive, it has been the residence of my grandmother and my great-aunt.  Recently they both departed the home leaving it empty.   The house itself is a beautiful 8 bedroom Victorian  within walking distance of the down town.  My grandmother spent much of her life painstakingly restoring the house so that it is as historically acurate as possible.   She often speaks of the house as a person and loves it as if it were her child.


This seems appropriate to me, because the house has always seemed alive and the house has always been alive with ghost stories.   My father once told me that there was a spot in the house that turned ice cold at midnight.   At night, the house is filled with odd noises and bizarre lights.   One of the last times I stayed there, I was awoken int he middle night to find my night table shaking and what sounded like a train passed through my room.  My mom says she awoke one morning to find a ghost holding her hand.   The same trip that I awoke to the loud noises, I had travelled to a wedding as well.  My wedding clothes were carefully nestled at the bottom of my suitecase.   I never used them during my stay at the house and I never touched them, however after I left,  my family found them laid out in an unused room.  They were laid out like someone was going to wear them.

When I was little several sets of family photos came back from the house filled with white blobs.   My parents, reluctant to believe in ghosts, tossed the photos and blamed it on bad photography, but I always knew the house was filled with the ghosts of our family.  The house was alive with them and I think that is why I never wanted to leave.   I still miss it and I often hope the ghosts aren't too lonely.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Woodland Hospital in Cullman, Alabama

My husband works at a small hospital in Alabama.  Although this might seem uninteresting,  this hospital is always a source of interesting gossip and fascinating stories.   One of these stories comes from the many nurses my husband spends his days with.   Apparently, not so long ago there was a hospital in Cullman Alabama called Woodland Hospital.  This hospital is now closed, but the nurses that used to work there remember a ghost named "Homer" all too well. 

Homer wandered the halls of this small hospital causing distress in all who saw him.   According to one nurse,  she was walking through the hospital one day when she felt a coldness spread out over her and she suddenly felt distressed, as if there was something wrong.  She turned just in time to see a door slam behind her and hear her coworker run screaming in the other direction.   Her coworker reports that she saw a ghost walk by the nurse and brush up against her closing the door behind her.

These nurses aren't the only ones that felt this dark presence at this hospital.  Many employees have reported seeing the deceased wandering empty rooms, hearing toilets flushing by themselves, hearing phantoms voices, and seeing ice machines start by themselves.  The stories of "Homer" and the other ghosts that have wandered these now forgotten halls are numerous.  It is my hope to do a part two of this story after I talk to more employees and go to see the hospital myself.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Pere La Chaise


I have been doing a lot of research for this blog and my research has lead me to many wonderful books and websites.  I recently visited a site that listed than ten most haunted places in France.  I have already written about one place on the list, Chenanceau, and there are several places I have yet to explore, but the second most haunted place on the list called to me.  

The second most haunted place in France is the famous cementery, Pere La Chaise.   As far as I can tell, this necropolis is one of the most beautiful places on earth and the art lurking in the shadows of death in this strange museum put the art in the Louvre to shame.  Pere La Chaise is the most visited cementery in the world and is the final resting place of numerous famous people including Jim Morrison, Chopin, and Oscar Wilde.  The cementary is named for Louis the XIV's confessor.  Napoleon took the land and turned it into a cementery in 1804.   Since that time the number of brilliant people buried there has grown over time turning a stroll through these hallowed grounds into a small history lesson.




It is not surprising that this cementary, filled with so many dead is considered haunted.   Any google web search will pick up hundreds of photos of ghosts wandering the tombs and stories of tourists catching fleeting glimpses of phantoms.   The stories are so prolific I will not do them the injustice of innumerating them all, but will instead give you a photo journal of this unforgettable museum of death. 




Monday, January 4, 2010

Fort Gaines


Dauphin Island has long been one of my favorite haunts.  It is a lonely, little island off the coast of Alabama that has beautiful, white beaches and great views of dolphins leaping just off the coast.    It has been missed by much of the tourist trade that has made Pensecola and Gulf Shores unbearable for me.  It is quiet and lovely.

The island itself has a long history that has shifted with the shifting sands of the island itself.   Daupin Island was initially name massacre island by the French until it was given a more comforting name by colonists.  The French colony on Daupin Island was short lived, however, and was the site of a notorious pirate attack that left the island abandoned.

The island's strategic positioning made it unforgettable, however, and it was taken by the US for the construction of a fort in 1812.  The construction of this fort was as doomed as the the original French inhabitants of the island.  Due to poor engineering, poor planning, and stupidity the fort was constructed in an area that was quickly flooded and reclaimed by the shifting waters of the gulf.     In 1853, a new engineer was brought in and the construction had to begin again.  The new engineer was not so dim as the first people to work on the Fort and construction of the new Fort Gaines was completed in 1858.

Fort Gaines was of critical importance in the Civil War and the Confederates used it as a base for blockade running.  Fort Gaines was also important in the Battle of Mobile.  Union Army commanders, Admiral David Farragut and Major General Gordon Granger, came through the bay amid fourteen ships, with the orders to shut down the fort.  The guns in Fort Gaines fired doing damage to the Union Army. Then, Admiral Farragut gave the notorious order, "Damn the torpedoes! Full steam ahead!" The Union army succeeded in its task when Fort Gaines surrendered to avoid hand-to-hand combat. Eighteen-hundred men died in the Battle of Mobile despite the surrender of the fort.

Fort Gaines is one of the most popular haunted sites in the nation.  The ghosts of dead soldiers have been captures on film by tourists and paranormal investigators.   All types of visitors have reported hearing mysterious footsteps, voices, and seeing ghosts.   MTV will even feature it on it's haunted television special.   I have been to Dauphin Island and Fort Gaines numerous times with my family and have never witnessed any of this activity.   More than anything I have been haunted by the lonely beauty of the island that has been ravaged by history and nature.  It remains one of my favorite places and I will face all manner of ghosts to wander the quiet shores of this island.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

The Haunting on Larrabee Street


This haunting story has always been one of my favorites because it does not have a history.   The haunting on Larrabbee Street has often been compared to the Amityville case, however, the house on Larrabee Street didn't have the history the Amityville house had.   It is a haunting that is unexplainable.   The spirtit that haunted  Allen and Deborah Tallman came from nowhere.

The Tallman's moved into the house on Larrabee Street in Horicon, Wisconsin in 1986.  At that time, they had a little girl and a boy who was about 6 years old.   Deborah Tallman was pregnant.  The Tallman's loved their new home and began a fairly typical America life in their new home.   Although they loved their new home, The Tallmans immediately began having difficulties in the house.  They were plagued by a rash of sicknesses and their cat went crazy, climbing the walls and screaming all night.   Deborah was close to her family and her family usually spent a considerable amount of time visiting Deborah.   These visits began to decrease in frequency following the Tallman's move into their new home.   Both Deborah's mother and sister indicated they felt sick in the Tallman home.   They felt sick and suffocated.

It took more than a year for the haunting to escalate and culminate in the events that lead to the Tallman's fleeing their comfortable home.  Deborah had her baby girl and the children began to complain more and more about things in their room.   The little boy said that a hideous, diminuative, old woman would come into his room at night.  The little girl was plagued by visions of monsters.   The Tallman's grew more and more tired as their children kept them up night after night.    Even their attempts at time away from home were thwarted when the babysitter saw furniture moving on it's own. 

The children's nightmares could be brushed off as childhood fancy, but when Allen began to hear things and see things the Tallmans called their preacher.   The preacher came into the home and told the Tallmans that their home was in the grips of something from the devil.  He told them that the only way to dispel the evil that had been growing in their home was to go to church more.    The Tallman's listened to the preacher to no avail.  Things got worse.   Windows in the basement relocated on their own, the refrigerator door remained open on it's own, the children continued to be visited by nocturnal terrors.  Allen saw the garage catch on fire and when he rushed to extinguish the flame he saw a green eyed demon above the door.  Allen even saw a full bodied ghost that rose from the floor in a a kind of fog and took form just long enough to tell him that he was "going to die."

Desperate, the family called the preacher again.  The preacher came and told them to play church music all the time.  The family listened.   They listened and their was a brief reprieve before the entity came again.  This time the entire family and the babysitter saw the specter just long enough to turn them all white with fear and send them fleeing into the night.

After the Tallman's left their home,  the house became a local sensation and lines wrapped around the neighborhood with curious spectators hoping to catch a glimpse of some random terror.  Many spectators claimed to have been successful in their desires.   Many claimed to see snowblowers running up and down the driveway by themselves and furniture being flung around inside the house.  Of course, none of these stories have ever been confirmed, but the stories themselves turned the Tallman house into a local legend that grew with time.   Stories of the house being a gateway to hell and blood dripping from the ceilings proliferated and a media frenzy swept incidents out of control.

Despite this,  and despite accusations that it was a hoax on the Tallman's part,  the Tallman's have shown nothing but the desire to stay out of the spot light.   They've turned down interviews and even rejected Oprah when she invited them to be her guest.   They seem happiest forgetting the horror on Larrabee street.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Ghost Pictures



Sadly, I missed a day of blogging yesterday and to make ammends for my missing ghost story I went wandering in the woods in the freezing cold in search of an old, abandoned cementary.   The cementary is about one hundred years old and is almost completely forgotten.  For an avid hiker seeing small cementaries in the wilderness is not that uncommon of an experience.  I had been to this one before and with my new ghost story blog in mind,  I drug my family out into the darkness, turned the flash off the camera, turned off the flashlights, and took pictures of the cementery.  I then turned the flash back on and took pictures with the light of the flash.   I have included both sets of shots here.  I can account for some lights in the distance that belong to houses, but the rest I'm not sure about.  I'll leave it to my readers to decide.