Sunday, January 27, 2013

Insatiable: The Magazine of Paranormal Desires

I have been a fan of White Cat Publications for some time.  They have a wonderful collection of literary magazines for those who have a taste for the paranormal or the otherworldly.  I have even been lucky enough to write a column for White Cat for a while.   All of this is why I'm thrilled to have been given the opportunity to be the editor of the new White Cat Magazine, Insatiable:  The Magazine of Paranormal Desires.

Insatiable is primarily dedicated to quality paranormal fiction with a romantic or erotic twist.   I've spent my last week reading all kinds of submissions and I have to say that I am thrilled by the quality of the submissions to the magazine and I believe that this is and will continue to be an outstanding publication.   A magazine can only be as good as its writers and if I continue to receive submissions of this quality, the magazine will be amazing.  The first issue of Insatiable was fabulous and if you have any interest you should take a peak at:   http://www.whitecatpublications.com/?wpsc-product=insatiable-premiere-issue

Due to this change in my paranormal interests, periodically I will make announcements regarding Insatiable on this blog.   Insatiable magazine is currently open to submissions and I am now reviewing submissions.  If you are a writer who loves the paranormal, please consider submitting your work.  You can find submission guidelines at:  http://www.whitecatpublications.com/?page_id=1995

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

The Vengeful Ghost of Emily's Bridge

In Alabama, the stories of haunted bridges fill almost every small town and county.  Cry baby hollows and cry baby bridges bring stories of children lost to tragic ends in turbulent waters.   Interestingly,  there is a similar story in Vermont.  There is a haunted bridge that is said to be lost in tales of woe. However it isn't a sweet babe that haunts this bridge, but an angry woman.  Emily's Bridge is located in Stowe,Vermont in the lovely valleys of the Green Mountains.

Emily's Bridge is mired in rumor.  Its true history is somewhat bland.  It is the oldest remaining covered bridge in the Stowe area.  The stream beneath the bridge once had a little gold in it, but not enough to make anyone rich.   The bridge is picturesque and warn by time, but it is the ghost that haunts it that makes it famous.  No one knows for sure who Emily was.  Some say she was a young woman who had her heart broken by her true love.   Desperate and despairing, she threw herself into the water below the bridge to end her life.  Others say she was a mother, whose husband ended his life and who lost her babies.  In a fit of despair, she also ended her life.

Whoever Emily was,  the stories of the white lady of Emily's bridge are terrifying.  Emily is a vengeful ghost.  It is said that after she is seen throwing herself off the bridge, she often chases her observer.   Some who catch a glimpse of Emily, are said to leave covered in cuts and bruises from her brutal attacks.  Strange noises are often heard on the bridge.  Screams, scrapings, and footsteps are said to haunt the quiet nights there.  Those who park on the bridge say that they hear Emily tearing and scraping at the outside of their cars.

Whoever Emily was, her sad story endures, even in the shadows of rumor and legend, because her ghost story endures.  As long as her tragic screams are heard in the shadowy nights of Emily's bridge, her story will remain.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

The Ghosts of Native American Burial Grounds

One of my ex high school classmates posted an interesting bit of news on Facebook this morning.  The news was that my high school may be relocated to a place off of Weatherly Drive in South Huntsville, Alabama that is currently the location of three Native American archaeological sites dating from 1200 BC to 1500 AD.   One of these sites is said to be the resting place of Native American remains.  This means they may be moving my old high school to a location on top of an ancient Indian Burial Ground.   So many images popped up in my head when I found out about this.   Old ghost stories crept up from the dusty corners of my mind, Buffy the Vampire Slayer's high school popped up,  and many other images.   I am thrilled.  This could be the making of a thousand ghost stories whispered by high school students down over the generations.  

Stories of ghosts associated with Indian Burial Grounds have been pervasive in American folklore for generations. Indeed, where ever you find an Indian Burial site a ghost story is almost always close at hand. Some Native Americans buried their dead in large mounds.  These mounds have made for some interesting Native American Burial Ground ghost stories.  Indian Burial Mounds almost always have ghost stories associated with them.  One resident of Grandville, Michigan told a story of ghostly visitations nearby the Mounds there.  He described phantom noises and strange visitations.  In Alabama, Dauphin Island is known for its shell like burial mounds.   Phantom Native Americans have been seen in the shadows there.  Mounds aren't the only type of Native American Burial Sites that are haunted.  Robinson Woods in Chicago was known to once be the site of an Indian Burial Ground and stories of ghosts and paranormal activity abound in this area.  In Malone, New York there is an elementary school called Flanders Elementary.  It was built on top of a cemetery which was built on top of an Indian Burial ground.  Of course, the ghosts that wanders this school are legendary.   When I did research for my book, Haunted North Alabama, I discovered a paleo Indian graveyard might contribute to the hauntings associated with the Space and Rocket Center.  These stories are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Native American Burial Ground stories.  I could fill a book with these stories.

With the prolific nature of ghost stories associated with Native American Burial grounds, you would think that builders would avoid these sites for construction.  You'd think even skeptics would say it is probably bad business to build in a location that will inevitably be associated with stories of ghosts and horrors, but it doesn't ever seem to phase anyone.   I always wonder why people build on these sites just because it seems bad to destroy such ancient archaeological sites that surely hold unique pieces of American history.   Of course, none of these things phase those who decide where to build things.   So Virgil I. Grissom High School in Huntsville, Alabama could very well be the next of many places haunted by the ghosts of Native American Burial Grounds.  I wish I could send my children there.  I would love to hear the stories.

To read more about the relocation of Virgil I. Grissom High School:  http://blog.al.com/breaking/2013/01/huntsville_school_officials_do.html#incart_river_default

Thursday, January 10, 2013

The Horrific and Beautiful Franklin Castle

The Franklin Castle is a house surrounded by sorrow.   Franklin Castle was built in 1865 by Hannes Tiedemann, a German immigrant.  It is located in Cleveland, Ohio and is believed by many to be the most haunted house in Ohio.  Whether or not it is the most haunted house in Ohio, it is certainly one of the most tragic.   Tiedemann's luck seemed to have taken a downward turn after he moved into the beautiful mansion.  Many say it wasn't his luck, but his murderous temperament that took a downward turn, but history speaks only of his luck.   Tiedemann's daughter died of diabetes shortly after his taking up residence in the house.  His mother followed quickly behind her and three more of the Tiedemann's children also followed their sibling into the afterlife.  Death came more and more often in Tiedemann's house.  His wife died.  His niece died.  A maid died.   Rumors began to circulate that Tiedemann was behind all the deaths. Other rumors surrounded the house itself.  People began to whisper that the house itself was cursed.

In 1911, the house was purchased by the German Socialist Party.   Little is known about this period in the house's history.  The Nazis owned the house until 1955 and many tell a story in which 20 Nazi's were killed in the house during this period.   Later, the Germans rented the house out.   Other rumors indicate that a mad doctor lived in the house while the Germans owned it.  The doctor performed strange and perverse experiments in the darkest parts of Franklin Castle killing all he experimented on.

Rumors and stories about The Franklin Castle abound.  Mysteries lurk in the shadows there.   The house is riddled with secret rooms and hidden passages.  Tunnels creep underneath the house and old stories lay buried there.   In 1970, one of the occupants of the house found a secret room filled with the skeletal remains of babies.  Those that found the babies described hearing the phantom voices of crying babies long before they actually unearthed the remains.   Theories about the origins of the baby remains go from them being medical specimens, to them being the remains of Tiedemann's lost children, to them being the medical experiments of the mad doctor.

Ghost stories surrounding the Franklin Castle are prolific.   Residents and visitors have described hearing weeping babies and phantom children.  A black lady is said to be seen from one of the window. Nazi ghosts are prevalent and strange noises, voices, and lights fill the stories of all those who have wandered Franklin Castle.  The house gathers ghost stories like a child collects Halloween candy while trick or treating.    

The house's recent history is as odd as its past.  The house was burnt to a ruin in 1999.  In 2004, the house was bought and it was said it was going to be turned into a club.  The website for this club still remains.   http://franklincastleclub.com/.   This was shown to be a scam by a Mr. Mislaps.  He got into some trouble over back taxes and was ordered to stop giving tours of the house. 

The house has recently been rezoned as a 3 family dwelling.   One thing is for sure, with more people living in the house in the future, there are sure to be new ghost stories and new dark tales to fill the halls of this old house. 

Sunday, January 6, 2013

The Mummy of Bessemer Hall

Hazel Farris was a beautiful woman in life.   She was beautiful and notorious.   Hazel was born in Bessemer Alabama, but she was a fast living woman and ended up in Kentucky with a hard drinking husband by the time she was twenty-five.   Hazel and her husband both drank heavily and they were known to exchange blows from time to time.   One night,  one of their fights got out of hand.   Hazel grabbed the pistol and shot her husband three times.   The neighbors called the police and three police officers entered the house.   Three more gunshots pierced the night.   Reinforcements were sent and before the night was over five officers had been killed and Hazel had fled into the night.

Hazel ran home to Bessemer where she managed to avoid arrest despite a reward being posted for her capture.  In Bessemer,  Hazel got a job and went on with life.  She fell in love and in the heat of her passion,  she confessed her crimes to her lover.  Her lover was terrified by her confession and immediately turned Hazel in.  Hazel was mortified and heart broken.   She could take no more so she got completely intoxicated and took as much arsenic as she could get her hands on.   Hazel died in 1906.

Hazel's corpse was taken to Adams Vermillion's furniture store and funeral parlor.   Since no one claimed Hazel's body,  Adams placed her corpse in storage.   After a few months,  Adams noticed that Hazel's body was beginning to mummify.  It is believed that she began to mummify because of the combination of arsenic and alcohol she used to end her life.    Always one to make the best of situation,  Adams began showing the  modern mummy for money and eventually her body was sold.   After changing hats and going across the country in various sideshows as an oddity,  Hazel's body eventually came to the Bessemer Hall of History.  The mummy was displayed there from 1974-2004 and many believe that this is where Hazel's ghost lives on today. There have been reports of lights going on and off in the building and strange whistling noises.   Visitors have also reported feeling ill at ease at this building.   Even thought Hazel's corpse has finally been laid to rest,  her spirit walks on giving visitors a new nightmare to keep them up at night.