Thursday, May 30, 2013

The Moving Doll of Allaire House


My family house finally sold and I have been thinking about it a lot lately.  This is the blog post from my last trip to the house.  I will miss it.

For the last week, I've stayed in my family home.  My family home, The Newton-Allaire House, in Cheboygan, Michigan has served as my inspiration for many years. It has always been my favorite place, and, as a child, I would have prefered to stay in this ghostly mansion than take a trip to Disney World. The old mansion is filled with ghosts and ghost stories and if you scroll down you'll find some of the many ghost stories that I grew up with. Lately, the ghost stories from this house have been few and far between. It has sat empty since my grandmother died and my family decided to sell the house. For many years, the house didn't sell and sat in silence, as if waiting for something. I always prayed that it wouldn't sell, although I know the rest of my family has prayed it would. The rest of my family sees the house as a decaying burden that serves no purpose. I have always seen it as a link to our family history. This week, if all goes well, the house will sell. I will say goodbye to the beautiful mansion that inspired so many of my ghost stories and will always haunt my dreams. Such is life, but as the house vanishes from my life, I've caught my first glimpse of paranormal activity here that I've seen in years.

On Tuesday, my boys played tricks on each other in the upstairs bedrooms of the old house. My older son moved a doll from room to room and tried to convince his younger brother that the doll was evil and moving on its own. After my younger son came screaming down the stairs in terror, I decided to put an end to this game. I went upstairs with my angry face on and found a mound of what looked like a small child beneath the covers in one of the bedrooms. The mound was moving and I could see it shifting beneath the sheets. I could even see a hand moving under the sheet.  I assumed it was my eldest son, waiting to leap out at his youngest brother and scare him to death. I pulled back the covers and found the large plastic doll under the sheets staring out at me with glassy eyes. I have never been afraid of strange events in this house, but I knew if my sons found out about this they would  be sleeping on top of me so I have kept this event to myself. It is the first unexplained event in this house for many years and I think it means that even though I won't be here anymore, the house is awake again.  The pictures I took of the house this trip have a few orbs in them.  The house is a dusty old lady, so they could be tricks of light and dust, but I'm glad to see some sign of ghosts again.  I'm also glad for the chance to say goodbye to the house I've loved my entire life.





This is a crooked picture of the giant doll I found beneath the sheets.
 
 








Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Do Ghosts Set Off Smoke Alarms?

For the past week,   our smoke alarms have been going off every night at 9:00pm.   Nothing has been on fire.  There has been no smoke.  The alarms just go off.  We live in a new house we purchased from the builder 5 months ago.  The smoke alarms are brand new, but every night the alarms go off.  This is a huge pain in the ass.   It is loud and wakes up the baby and it creeps out the kids.   Everyone panics and runs around like idiots.  You never realize how hard it is to stop those things from going off until you try to get them to shut up.  I knocked the things off of the ceiling and they still went off in my hand.  I mashed the button.  I took the batteries out.  If one goes off,  they all go off.  It is maddening.

This maddening smoke alarm behavior got me thinking about whether or not a ghost could produce this type of behavior in a smoke alarm.  My preliminary research showed that many people have this problem.   I found countless message boards where people have asked if a haunting could produce an alarm going off every night at the same time.   One person hypothesized the following on a yahoo message board, "If the theory about ghosts being a collection of energy is true, then yes, they could manipulate electrical equipment to do such things, powering if from their own energy."  This made sense to me.  This theory is supported by the large number of people that describe this type of  smoke alarm activity in haunted locations.    Stories like this one from Castle of Spirits http://www.castleofspirits.com/stories03/smokedet.html are prolific.    Another interesting smoke alarm ghost story can be found a http://www.yourghoststories.com/real-ghost-story.php?story=3449.  My husband used to work at the morgue and every night the smoke alarm went off  in front of the cooler where the bodies were kept at 3am on the nose.  It was like clockwork.  It went off for five or ten minutes and then went quiet.  It was more than creepy, especially when you are spending the night alone at the morgue. 

So, theoretically a passing spirit or ghost could produce the type of behavior we've observed in our smoke alarms here.  This smoke alarm behavior is made even more frustrating by the fact that it only seems to happen when my husband is gone so the only person that knows what they are doing with the smoke alarms isn't present.   I also wanted to investigate non supernatural possibilities for my faulty smoke alarms.   I did my reading and found that there are many things that can contribute to smoke alarms going off at the wrong time.  Many modern smoke alarms are also triggered by intense heat.  So, if it is very hot and your attic is excessively hot sometimes that will heat the ceiling and trigger the smoke alarm.  Also, if  hot steam from a shower rises up this could trigger the smoke alarm.  It is also always possible that the things are broken and need repair.  I could easily rule out the smoke alarm being broken by talking to my builder.  I could also rule out the attic heat hypothesis by going up into my attic and finding that it was not really hot up there.   That left the steam possibility.  My son does shower every night around nine and after examining his behavior, I think he was setting off the alarm by opening the bathroom door and releasing all the hot steam onto the smoke detector.  

Our house is not haunted, but that doesn't make the number of cases of smoke alarms going off without any reason less interesting.   I have never found an explanation for the alarm that went off at the morgue.   The alarm was a hospital alarm that was checked regularly due to tight hospital regulations.  It was in front of the cooler and the air around it was cooler than the rest of the hospital and since the morgue was in the basement there was no attic above it.   My husband and I still tend to believe that the phantoms of the dead locked up in that rancid smelling cooler drifted out late at night, setting off the alarm.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

The White Queen of Chenonceau



During my castle tour of the Loire Valley, I listened to many audio tours and studied the history of each castle. There was no mention of anything supernatural. The tours contained only the facts. Interestingly, my son's audio tour of the castle of Chenanceau was quite different from mine. It was designed for young children and told a detailed account of the ghost that haunts the castle.

Chenanceau is one of more stunning of the castles in the Loire Valley. It is a beautiful Renaissance castle that stretches across the Loire-Indes River. It was constructed in phases and is a uniquely feminine castle. All of it's owners and occupants have been women and the castle itself seems to whisper this character. The castle was taken by King Henry II in 1517 for his mistress Diane de Portier. After the king's death, his wife Catherine de Medici, took the castle back from Diane and began the elaborate construction of the gallery that stretches across the river. It was completed in 1577.

It is this gallery that is haunted by the ghost of the White Queen. The White Queen was the wife of King Henry III. Following his murder, she retired to Chenonceau and clothed herself only in white. She spent the rest of her life mourning his loss. Even her bedchamber reflects her sorrow. It is black, painted with white flowers.

According to my son's audio tour, her ghost still wanders the halls of the chateau forever mourning her lost love. She is seen by many visitors as a white clad specter weeping in the hall. Many have also reported seeing images of her in pictures taken of the hall. I have included the pictures we took of the gallery. It may be my imagination, but I always think I see a soft white form by the window.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Amazon Giveaway!

Mark Hedder Won this giveaway!  Watch for your prize in your inbox!

It is give away time again!  A couple of times a year I giveaway free books and prizes to my readers.   This time I'll be giving away kindle copies of all of my books and a ten dollar gift card to amazon.com.  If you would like to win this lovely amazon gift basket follow me on Facebook or twitter and comment about it below.  I will pick one lucky winner!  Good luck! Here are the links!

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Jessica-Penot/512746908786746?ref=hl

https://twitter.com/Jessica_Penot