Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Hauntings: Zoos

Zoo Hauntings

People usually head to the zoo to see the exotic wildlife, but in some zoos, the ghosts are watching you!  Here are five US zoos that are reportedly haunted.

A Ghostly Lioness – Cincinnati Zoo
At the Cincinnati Zoo in Ohio, it's said that visitors who stroll alone in isolated areas may find themselves stalked by a ghostly lioness.  People hear the sounds of footsteps and low growls, but turn around to find nothing behind them.  Glowing eyes shine from vacant sections of the zoo.


 The Zoo Director's Ghost – Alexandria Zoo
At the Alexandria Zoo in Louisiana, it seems the zoo director loved his job so much, even death couldn't keep him away.  Leslie “Les” Whitt died in 2008, but since then, his friends and staff have heard his voice and spotted his spirit in the zoo.


Apparitions – Philadelphia Zoo
The Philadelphia Zoo is home to a number ghosts according tho staff and visitors.  The apparitions make their presence known through flickering lights, strange thumps, and the sound of old-time music.


The Ghost of the Elephant Trainer – Fort Worth Zoo
An elephant trainer was accidentally crushed to death by an elephant in 1987.  Since then, the man's been seen by staff at the elephant and zebra areas.  The zoo is also reportedly home to a ghostly woman in white, who paces in front of the zoo’s café, carrying a parasol and looking forlorn.


The Aqua Ghost – Oklahoma City Zoo
Some people claim that  in the Oklahoma City Zoo's aquatic area lurks the ghostly figure of a woman with long pale locks.  Few have seen her, but those who have find her unforgettable
.





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Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Hauntings: Yellow Jacket Mine

Yellow Jacket Mine (Nevada)

The Yellow Jacket Mine Disaster was the worst mining accident in Nevada history.  One April morning in 1869, a fire started at the 800-foot level and spread quickly.  Timber supports collapsed and poisonous methane flooded not only the Yellow Jacket Mine but also the neighboring Crown Point Mine.  Survivors described horrible scenes of miners burning or choking to death.  Firefighters entered the mines, but flames and smoke pushed them back.  Between 35 - 45 miners died.  They weren’t sure because many of the bodies couldn’t be recovered from the collapsed shafts.  The fires continued to burn in the depths of the mine for months afterward, but the demand for gold was so great, the men went back to work three weeks later.  Even though they sealed off the dangerous levels, they remained hot for several years thereafter.

Virtually nothing is left of the Yellow Jacket Mine physically -- but the ghosts of miners prowl the nearby town, especially the Gold Hill Hotel and Saloon, built in 1859 and the oldest hotel in Nevada.  When the miners weren’t working, many of them spent their free time in the hotel’s bar or with the “ladies” who worked there.  Since the fire, there have been myriad reports of paranormal activity in the hotel.

Ghostly happenings include:

~  Doors opening and closing by themselves, lights turning off and on, scratching on the doors, and beds shaking.
~  Sounds of furniture being moved or people talking, but no one’s there.
~  Room 4 is often permeated by the smell of roses.  The staff call it Rosie’s room, and believe she was a lady of the evening who worked out of the hotel in the 1800s.  She likes to move guest’s belongings around when they aren’t looking.
~  The ghost of William occupies Room 5, and he’s thought to be one of the dead miners.  When people enter the room, they smell tobacco.  Some guests report being locked out when they are sure they didn’t lock the door, and the key is still inside the room.  Apparently, William likes his privacy.





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Monday, April 28, 2014

Hauntings: Xenia, Ohio


Xenia (Ohio)

Xenia, Ohio, has a population of about 25,000 people—and plenty of ghosts, too!

Blue Jacket Amphitheater. This outdoor theater is named for Shawnee Chief Blue Jacket, who fought hard defending his tribe against the white settler incursion and assaults by the army.  Members of the audience as well as actors have reported seeing the ghosts of Indians in the woods around the amphitheater.

Crybaby Bridge. There are several bridges in the vicinity of Xenia that have the misfortune attached to them and have become known as Crybaby Bridge.  One is a bridge on Wilberforce Clifton Road where a father supposedly dropped his baby into the river below. When near the bridge, people have reported seeing apparitions, hearing strange sounds, and feeling as though they were being watched.  Also, according to the locals, a fisherman at the James Barber Road Bridge pulled a baby’s skeleton out of the river, and since then, many people have reportedly heard the sound of a baby crying.

Eden Hall. One of the most historical buildings in Xenia is Eden Hall.  Strange lights sometimes glow in unused portions of the house, and doors have been known to open and close by themselves.  Child-sized footprints have appeared in the dust, and mysterious music and voices commonly wake guests.  The family members who lived there are said to haunt the place along with an ill-tempered woman who haunts the third story and likes to knock objects onto the floor.

Old Veterans Children's Home. This orphanage was in operation from 1870 – 1997, and although it’s closed now, reports of spectral children laughing and playing are common.

Spring Hill Elementary. Xenia's Spring Hill Elementary School is said to be haunted by the ghost of a teacher murdered over 100 years ago.  A pale, barely discernable figure roams the grounds, and the locals believe it’s the teacher, looking for her murderer.





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Saturday, April 26, 2014

Hauntings: Waverly Hills Sanatorium


Waverly Hills Sanatorium (Kentucky)

Waverly Hills Sanatorium opened in 1910 as a small, two-story hospital to accommodate 40 to 50 tuberculosis patients.  But tuberculosis was extremely infectious and the disease spread quickly, so a five-story building that could hold more than 400 patients was constructed in 1926.

At the time, tuberculosis treatments were primitive, experimental, and painful.  One treatment was to place sandbags on patients’ chests to compress the lungs and expel the disease.  Electroshock therapy and experimental surgeries were also used, so a stay at Waverly Hills was often an agonizing experience.

A 500-foot tunnel with a cart and cable system carried supplies to the hospital, so deliverymen wouldn't have to enter the premises and expose themselves to the disease.  But once tuberculosis hit its peak, deaths were occurring about one every other day, and the tunnel took on another use.  When patients died, their bodies were placed on the cart and lowered to the bottom where a hearse would be waiting to take them away.

Though death estimates vary, at least 6,000 people died at the hospital during its 50+ years in operation.  After the introduction of streptomycin in 1943, the number of tuberculosis cases decreased until there was no longer need for such a large hospital, and it was closed in June 1961.

Many visitors to the abandoned hospital claim to have heard screams of pain and wailing in the empty hallways as well as seeing mysteriously moving shadows.  In the old tunnel, lights flicker, and people have heard footsteps and the creak of the cable-cart even though both cable and cart were removed many years ago.

Other ghost sightings include two female ghosts in old-fashioned nurse’s uniforms in Room 502.  These are believed to be a nurse who allegedly committed suicide by hanging herself there and another who’s said to have leaped to her death from the same room for unknown reasons.




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Friday, April 25, 2014

Hauntings: Van Horn Mansion


Van Horn Mansion (New York)

The Van Horn mansion was built in 1823 by local judge, James Van Horn.  The large house was home to his nine children and a number of servants, and later to his oldest son, James Van Horn, Jr.'s wife, Malinda.  In 1837, Malinda died, but the circumstances and explanation of her death varied.  Some claimed she died in childbirth, some said she was accidentally killed by a falling branch, and some whispered that her husband killed her.  Whatever happened, the wealthy judge was able to quash a police investigation.  However, her body was never buried at the family cemetery, and the headstone ordered for her was never erected but was hidden in the carriage house.  Years later, an investigation using cadaver dogs revealed a shallow grave only fifty feet from the back door of the house.  They found a female skeleton, the right age to be Malinda, and twisted as if it had been hurriedly dumped in the ground.

Sightings of a female ghost have been reported by roofers doing renovations.  They've seen a face in windows when the mansion was vacant and observed lights flicker for no reason. Carpenters swore they saw a spirit appear.  On the street outside, drivers have slammed on their brakes to avoid hitting a girl running from the mansion who later vanishes.  Doors have been known to open and close on their own, and in certain parts of the house, visitors have smelled lilac perfume although no one nearby is wearing it. Lilac perfume was always said to be Malinda's favorite.




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Thursday, April 24, 2014

Hauntings: USS Hornet

USS Hornet (California)

The USS Hornet, built in 1943, was an aircraft carrier that served in WWII and was also used as the recovery ship for the Apollo 11 and 12.  More than 300 crewmen lost their lives aboard this ship, some in combat, others maimed onboard by spinning propellers, sucked in by air intakes, killed in the steam room, or blown apart by explosions.  She’s now a museum, permanently docked in Califonia.  The spirits of dead sailors and officers have been seen wandering passages, going about their daily routines.

Hell’s Half Acre.  The steam engine room in the USS Hornet was called Hell's Half Acre by the crew because it was cramped and scorchingly hot inside.  One crewman was working in the area when a pipe burst.  The hot steam burned him to death.  Some have felt his unseen hands jerking or pushing them away from the dangerous machines.

The Kamikaze Ghost.  During WWII, a Japanese kamikaze pilot missed the ship and crashed in the ocean nearby.  After being captured, he was put in a holding cell where he went mad and died.  It has been reported that the wails of the kamikaze pilot have been heard echoing from the depths of the ship.

The Catapult ghosts.  One of the most dangerous areas the ship was the catapult used to launch airplanes off the flight deck.  The heavy wire that catapults the planes has a tendency to break and can whip back at 500 miles per hour, slicing anything along its path.  Through the years, there were many casualties and injuries due to this device, including men cut in half and one who was decapitated.  Witnesses have seen a headless crewman pacing up and down the deck.





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Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Hauntings: Tower of London



Tower of London (UK)

The Tower of London, over 900 years old, was used as a prison from 1100-1952 and has a reputation as being one of the most haunted places in Britain. Beheadings, murders, torture, and hangings have been carried out there.

Famous ghosts haunting the tower include:

Edward V and Richard Duke of York, two child princes, believed to have been murdered in 1483 on the command of their uncle and guardian, the Duke of Gloucestershire. Upon their disappearance, the Duke of Gloucestershire ascended the throne and was crowned Richard the III. Guards in the late 1400s spotted two small ghostly figures wearing the white night shirts, just as the princes wore on the night they disappeared. In 1674, workmen uncovered a chest that contained the skeletons of two children. Believed to be the remains of the princes, they were given a royal burial.

Queen Anne Boleyn. King Henry VIII, after learning his queen gave birth to a still born baby, accused her of infidelity. She was taken to the tower and beheaded on May 19, 1536. Queen Anne’s ghost appears near the Queen’s House and is often seen leading a ghostly procession of Lords and Ladies down the aisle of the Chapel Royal to where she’s buried, under the Chapel’s altar. Her headless body has also been seen walking the corridors of the Tower.

Sir Walter Raleigh was imprisoned and then executed by order of James I. His ghost has been seen wandering the halls and looks just like the portrait that hangs in his rooms, which are still furnished as they were in the 16th century, and can be seen when visiting the Tower today.

Countess of Salisbury
. The most grisly execution and haunting is that of the 70-year-old Countess of Salisbury, the last of the Plantagenets. King Henry VIII ordered her execution for political reasons, but the proud Countess refused to put her head on the block like a common criminal. She tried to escape and her executioner chased her, striking her with his axe until she was hacked to pieces. Her ghost has been seen running and screaming, reliving her gruesome murder.

Lady Jane Grey. She was the granddaughter of Mary (Henry VIII’s younger sister) and Louis XII of France. To keep the throne from Mary (who was Catholic) Jane’s father conspired to arranged her succession to the throne when Edward VI died. She was crowned Queen of England, but the supporters of Mary overthrew her. Mary spared her life, but when Jane’s father was later involved in a rebellion against Mary, Lady Jane was beheaded. She was only 17 years old. Lady Jane Grey’s ghost appeared to two Guardsmen on February 12, 1957, the 403rd anniversary of her execution. Her husband, Guildford Dudley, also beheaded, has been seen weeping in Beauchamp Tower.

Catherine Howard. Henry VIII married Catherine when she was 17. She allegedly had an affair with one of his courtiers and was imprisoned on charges of adultery and treason before she was 20. She once escaped from her room in the Tower and ran down the hall screaming and begging for mercy. She was caught and beheaded the next day. Her ghost has been seen running down the very same hallway, screaming for someone to help her.






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Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Hauntings: Stratford-upon-Avon

Stratford-upon-Avon (UK)

Stratford-upon-Avon is best known as the birthplace of William Shakespeare, but the town, which is over 800 years old, is also known for its ghosts.

The White Lion Inn.  The Inn is said to be haunted by the ghost of the Stratford Ripper, John Davies.  People swear they’ve been chased from rooms or even followed home by a ghostly man with a knife.  It’s said that a little girl named Alice (one of Davies's victims) haunts the area as a protective spirit.  Sightings of as many as forty other ghosts have been reported at the White Lion over the years.

The Dirty Duck Pub.  The ghost of a World War II pilot has been seen at the bar at the Dirty Duck pub, wearing old-style clothes and hoisting a pint.  Once, the landlady even spoke to the ghost before it excused itself and vanished.

Ettington Park Hotel.  The Ettington Park hotel is probably the area's most haunted site.  Built in the 1100s, it has served as a night club, prisoner-of-war camp, and nursing home.  After a fire, the location was renovated and became a hotel.  Haunting activities include:

~  Mysterious forms staring out the windows of empty rooms.
The ghost of an old woman wearing a Victorian dress has been seen in the conservatory.
Women's voices are heard coming from the empty drawing room.
The sounds of heavy footsteps are heard, stomping around the premises when there’s no one there.
The sound of billiard balls clacking and colliding comes from the deserted library, and books have been known to fly off the shelves.
A candlestick has been seen floating above a fireplace mantel.
It’s said the ghost of a servant named Mary, who died in a fall, has appeared on the main staircase.





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Monday, April 21, 2014

Hauntings: Railroad Crossing in San Antonio


Railroad Crossing (San Antonio, Texas)

Mostly an urban legend rather than verifiable fact, the story about the Haunted Railroad Crossing by Shane Road, south of San Antonio, is well known in the area – and really creepy!

It’s said that in the 1930s, a school bus stalled on the railroad tracks.  Before they could escape, a speeding train smashed into the bus, killing the ten children and the bus driver.  Since then, if any car stops on the tracks it is pushed by unseen hands across to the safety of the other side.  People claim it’s the spirits of the children who push the cars to prevent a tragedy like their own.

Even today, cars line up at the haunted intersection to see if the legend is true.  The driver stops the car near the tracks and puts the car in neutral.  And even though it appears that the road is on an upward grade, the car begins to roll.  It rolls slowly first, then gains speed, rolling up and over the tracks to the other side.

But that's not all.  People who have sprinkled powder over their car's trunk and rear bumper before their car is pushed across the tracks have then discovered tiny fingerprints and handprints in the powder - the prints of the ghost children who push them to safety.





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Saturday, April 19, 2014

Hauntings: Queen Mary


Queen Mary (California)

The RMS Queen Mary sailed the seas from 1936-1967, making 1,001 trips across the Atlantic, acting as a troop ship in World War II, and hosting hundreds of thousands of passengers.  Along with her colorful history, she’s had her share of tragedies.  Now, she stays docked and hosts tourists -- and ghosts.

Watertight Door #13.  In 1966, a worker in the engine room named John Peddar was accidentally trapped and crushed to death by the massive Watertight Door #13.  Since his death, John's ghost has been seen many times in the engine room.  On one occasion, a tourist couple visiting the ship heard about the ghost, and the man joked, “John Peddar, would you like to join us?”  He and his wife laughed, but shortly after, the man felt something brush across his face.  When they reached the sunlit deck, his wife noticed a smear of grease on his face where he’d felt something brush him.  Neither of them had any grease on their hands or clothes.  Although grease was abundant in the engine room when the ship was operational, it’s kept clean and grease-free since it was retired and docked.  There's no logical explanation for the grease, and the couple is sure it was John's ghost.

Promenade Deck.  Another area on the ship where ghostly sightings have occurred is the Promenade Deck.  Once, when two employees were there, they saw a woman walking toward them wearing 1930s clothing.  She was lost from sight when she crossed behind a pillar. When she didn’t emerge from the other side, the two employees went to look.  No one was there.  The woman had vanished.

The Lower Bow.  During World War II, the Queen Mary was a troop transport.  Adolf Hitler offered a $250,000 reward to any captain who could sink her.  To maneuver through the submarine-infested waters of the Atlantic, the Queen Mary had to travel in a zigzag pattern.  Unfortunately, during one of her crossings, she collided with a smaller British ship, the HMS Curacao, causing that ship to sink.  Most of the Curacao's 300 passengers drowned.  The Queen Mary, however, was only slightly damaged at the lower bow.  She was soon repaired and put back in service.  Since then, many people in the lower bow area have heard the sound of the two ships as they collided and the frightened screams of the crewmembers aboard the HMS Curacao.

The Boiler Room.  During the ship’s operation, the boiler room was probably the most dangerous area on the ship.  One day, pipes containing high-pressure steam exploded, killing several crewmembers.  After the ship was permanently berthed in Long Beach, California,  the boiler room was gutted,  but many ghostly sightings of the dead men have been reported in that area to this day.






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Friday, April 18, 2014

Hauntings: Pennhurst Asylum

(Lexa's Note:  This post is long because 
the true history behind the facility is so shocking.)
 
 

Pennhurst Asylum (Pennsylvania)

In 1908, the “Eastern Pennsylvania State Institution for the Feeble-Minded and Epileptic” was built.  It contained many buildings and was capable of housing as many as 10,000 patients, medical staff, and employees.  Pennhurst's patients were committed by court order or brought by a parent or guardian for things like: vices of constitution and habit, feeble-minded disorders, blindness, defective sight or hearing, muteness or imperfect speech, paralysis, epilepsy, imperfect gait, deformity of face, head, limbs and/or feet, microcephalic or hydrocephalic head, and offensive habits.

In 1913, the Commission for the Care of the Feeble-Minded labeled the disabled “unfit for citizenship” and said they posed a "menace to the peace.” The Commission decided they should be locked up permanently, so their genes would not be intermixed with those of the general population.


The Real Life Horror Story


Pennhurst patients (both adults and children) were tied to beds, their bedding was rarely changed, they wandered in various states of undress, and some were imprisoned in solitary confinement for bad behavior or forced to take tranquilizers to stay docile.  Some patients were strapped to wheelchairs by straightjackets.  Most toilet areas didn’t have toilet paper, soap, or towels.  Patients beat and severely injured one another.  Rapes were common.  Staff members hit and beat patients.  After being committed, some mentally challenged patients lost the ability to walk, talk, or control their bowels.  There were also allegations of forced sterilization.

In 1968, conditions at Pennhurst were exposed in a television news report by CBS correspondent Bill Baldini called “Suffer the Little Children.” The documentary revealed much abuse and neglect. It included a doctor describing how he dealt with a bully who’d beaten another patient by figuring out which injection would cause the most pain to the bully without permanently injuring him, and then administering it.

Pennhurst remained open.

In 1977, a class action suit was brought by patients and heard by a U.S. district judge, who ruled that the conditions at the institution violated patients' constitutional rights.

Pennhurst remained open.

In 1983, nine employees were indicted on charges ranging from slapping and beating patients (including some in wheelchairs) to arranging for patients to assault each other.

Pennhurst remained open.

After many appeals and legal fights, Pennhurst was finally closed in 1986. Its buildings were abandoned, left just as they were, with patients’ clothes and belongings strewn about, and furniture, cabinets, and medical equipment, some dating as far back as the 1930s, were left to decay. 



The Ghosts of Pennhust


Since Pennhurst closed, visitors to the property have reported seeing shadows moving along corridors or scurrying away from the light, objects have been thrown through the air, and doors opened and closed by themselves.  People have heard shouts, crying, and screaming.  They've been touched, scratched, and shoved or felt an icy wind in areas that are sealed.  Many visitors experience such an overwhelming feeling of despair inside the buildings, they can't remain inside them for longer than a few minutes.




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Thursday, April 17, 2014

Hauntings: Orphanage at Gettysburg

Orphanage at Gettysburg (Pennsylvania)

After the Civil War, many orphanages were opened around the country to take care of children whose parents died in the war.  One opened in Gettysburg and was run for many years by  Phelinda Humiston.  When she retired, she left the children in the care of a woman named Rosa Carmichael.  However, Rosa was a merciless sadist who beat the children, imprisoned them in the basement for days, and even killed some of them.

One young girl escaped and told others of her experiences at the orphanage, which included being beaten by teenage boys, who Rosa armed with sticks, and being tied to a fence in the hot sun until she suffered serious burns.  When the house searched, it was found to be full of torture devices, and the basement had been converted into a dungeon where children were shackled to the walls and left to starve.

Today, the house is the Soldiers National Museum, but the dungeon was kept as it was in the 1870s -- the shackles can still be seen in the basement and many of the other artifacts from Rosa Carmichael's time there are on display.

Visitors have reported hearing children crying or moaning and feeling invisible little hands tugging on their clothes.  Photos come out with strange white streaks on them, and sound recordings with e.v.p.s (electronic voice phenomena) have been made.





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Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Hauntings: Newstead Abbey


Newstead Abbey (UK)

Newstead Abbey was originally built in the 12th century as a priory for Augustine monks. In the 1530s, King Henry VIII broke with the Catholic church and the monks were kicked out. The priory was bought in 1540 by Sir John Byron—an ancestor of Lord Byron, the famous poet—and that began the first of 300 years of Byrons in Newstead Abbey.  
 
The Curse  According to an old superstition, people become cursed and have bad luck if a religious home is used as a private residence.  Several generations of the Byron family experienced bad luck and declining fortunes. By the time the last Lord Byron—the famous poet—lived at the abbey, it was in decrepit shape. Byron was forced to sell the property, and Thomas Wildman bought it. The curse affected the Wildman family too, and several more families that owned the property in later years were also plagued by bad luck. 

Along with the curse, ghosts haunt the abbey.

The “White Lady” ghost Sophia Hyett, a great fan of Byron’s poetry, lived near the Abbey.  The Wildman family gave her permission to roam their gardens whenever she liked.  Even after her death, people have reported seeing Sophia’s ghost, and she’s always dressed in white.

The Goblin Friar or the Black Friar This spirit presages doom.  He only appeared to heads of the Byron family just before something bad happened.  On the day Lord Byron married Anne Milbanke, he saw the Friar’s ghost.  The marriage turned out to be a disaster that lasted for only one year.  Lord Byron wrote about his encounter with the Goblin Friar in the poem “Don Juan.”

Boatswain’s ghost Lord Byron had a pet dog, a Newfoundland called Boatswain.  When the dog died, he was buried at Newstead, and one of Byron’s last wishes was to be buried with his beloved pet.  However, when Byron died in 1824, he was buried at the famous and prestigious Westminster Abbey.  It’s said that the ghost of the big Newfoundland dog wanders Newstead, looking for his master.

The “Rose Lady” This ghost is often seen at the bottom of staircase and is always accompanied by the scent of roses that lingers after she disappearsOne notable appearance she made was in front of a group of tourists.  The tourists were frightened, and the staff believe this was done as a protest by the Rose Lady because tour leaders hadn’t included her story in the tour.  Now, she's always mentioned, and she’s been seen less often.

The Legend of the Rooks Rooks (crows) live on the property by the hundreds.  It’s believed they're the souls of the monks who once lived at the abbey.  American author Washington Irving stayed there and reported he saw all the rooks leaving in the mornings to search for food and then returning every nightfall.  They did this every day, Monday through Saturday
except Sundays, when they remained roosting in their nests as if it's their "day of rest."  The locals are so sure the rooks are the former monks that hunting or shooting them is forbidden.




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Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Hauntings: Moss Beach Distillery


Moss Beach Distillery (California)

The Moss Beach Distillery (Moss Beach, CA) first opened in 1927 as "Frank's Place"      a speakeasy frequented by movie stars, politicians, and gangsters.
 

Although the property has changed hands many times, the ghostly presence of the “Lady in Blue”persists.  Legend has it that in the 1930s, a beautiful, local housewife who loved to wear blue dresses had an affair with a piano player and often met him on a nearby beach.  Later, she was murdered on the beach, and her spirit has been glimpsed wandering the beach and the cliffs above, some say still searching for her lover.

The Lady in Blue also appears in the Distillery (now a restaurant). She's a melancholy and gentle spirit, more given to playing tricks than scaring people. Some of her more playful acts have been:

~  In the mid 80s, the Distillery’s wine storage was in a room with one door and no windows. One night, a waiter looking for wine couldn’t push the door open. After calling others to help, their combined weight managed to get the door far enough for one man to slip through the gap. He found all the wine crates in the room had been stacked up against the door. But no one could have done it and then gotten out through the door—the only exit.
~  The Lady is fond of locking and unlocking doors, turning on faucets and showers, and moving furniture around in the middle of the night. After hours, her footsteps were so often heard walking around the dining room that the owners finally carpeted the floor.
~  Children have reportedly been warned away from the edges of cliffs by a lady dressed in blue.
~  The oddest incident happened when the restaurant’s computer system began showing all dates as 1927 no matter how many times the software was re-booted or the date was changed manually. It was 1927 when the business first opened as "Frank's Place."





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Monday, April 14, 2014

Hauntings: LaLaurie House


LaLaurie House (New Orleans, Louisiana)

In 1832, Dr. Louis Lalaurie and his wife, Delphine, moved into a mansion in the French Quarter of New Orleans.  Madame LaLaurie and her husband became renowned for holding lavish parties in their ostentatious house.

However, there were dark secrets behind the fine façade.

On April 10, 1834, the house caught fire. When the fireman arrived, they discovered a secret attic where dozens of slaves were chained to walls or in cages. Madame Lalaurie had been experimenting on them, mutilating them, and removing body parts. When the police came to arrest her, she escaped and was never caught.

Since that time, many have reported supernatural experiences in and around the house, such as:
~  A slave girl who Madam Lalaurie once chased onto the roof with a horse whip, leaped off the roof to her death.  For years after, neighbors reported seeing the girl’s ghost screaming and repeating her death leap every night.
~  In the early 1900s, an Italian immigrant living in the house was attacked by a black man wearing chains.  When the Italian shouted for help, the man vanished before his eyes.
~  At one time, the house was remodeled into a furniture store, but the owner kept finding his merchandise covered with a foul-smelling liquid.  Even when the man stayed late at night, waiting for the vandal, he never saw anyone, but the nasty fluid kept showing up on his furniture.  He sold the business.
~  Madam Lalaurie’s ghost was once seen standing over the cradle of a resident’s child, and she was also seen chasing ghostly children with a whip.  Once, a black servant reported being chased through the house by her spirit. The story goes that when she caught him, she tried to strangle him.




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Saturday, April 12, 2014

Hauntings: Kutna Hora's 'Bone' Church, Sedlec Ossuary


Kutna Hora's 'Bone' church, Sedlec Ossuary (Czech Republic)

In Kutna Hora in the Czech Republic, there’s a bone church (also known as an ossuary), built in 1400.  When skeletons were removed from the ground to make room for new burials, the bones were put in the ossuary under the church. 

 The ossuary is estimated to contain the skeletons of between 40,000 and 70,000 people. 

 In 1870, František Rint, a woodcarver, was employed to put the bone heaps into order. He took it upon himself to arrange the bones artistically to form decorations and furnishings for the chapel. 


The chandelier of bones (in the picture at the very top) contains at least one of every bone in the human body.





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Friday, April 11, 2014

Hauntings: Jerome, Arizona Ghost Town


Jerome, Arizona

Jerome, Arizona, is the largest ghost town in the US.  When huge deposits of ores were discovered, mines opened, and the town grew from 250 residents in 1890 to 15,000 in the 1920s.  One mine produced nearly 33 million tons of copper, gold, silver, lead and zinc ore from 1876-1953.  After the mines played out, the population fell to less than 100.

During its prosperous copper mining years, the town was called the "Wickedest City in the West” by a New York newspaper.  In those days, people died of diseases, in mining accidents, in gunfights, were stabbed, strangled, or beaten to death, overdosed on opium, or committed suicide.  With its colorful history, it’s no surprise the city is filled with restless spirits.




The town’s Community Center has had so many ghost sightings, it’s nicknamed “Spook Hall.”  One of the ghosts is a forlorn lady dressed in 18th century clothes and was allegedly a prostitute stabbed to death by a miner.


At the turn of the century, prostitution thrived in Jerome.  Madam Jennie Banters ran a bordello.  The building is now called Mile High Inn, but the ghosts of Jennie and her employees are still seen on the premises where they move things and turn on the radios and ceiling fans in the rooms.  A spectral cat has been glimpsed walking down hallways only to vanish, and sometimes it leaves pawprints across freshly made beds.  The cat is believed to have been Madam Jennie’s pet.

The Jerome Grand Hotel used to be a hospital.  Guests now report hearing coughing, moaning, and the sounds of labored breathing.  In 1935, a man named Claude Harvey was accidentally crushed beneath the elevator.  Since then, strange lights have appeared in the shaft, the elevator doors open and close by themselves, and guests report hearing the elevator moving up and down even after the power’s been shut off.

At the abandoned Phelps Dodge Mine, a miner was  decapitated in an accident.  His head was found, but his body fell down a shaft and wasn’t recovered.  People who visit the old mine report hearing footsteps, horrible screams, and seeing the apparition of a headless man.





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Thursday, April 10, 2014

Hauntings: Iolani Palace


Iolani Palace (Hawaii)

In 1882, King Kalakaua had the Iolani Palace built in Honolulu. When he died in 1891, his sister, Lili'uokalani, became Queen.  She was a beloved Queen of Hawaii until she died of a stroke in 1917.

The palace is now a museum and no one lives there—no one except the ghost of Queen Lili’uokalani, who seems to enjoy playing pranks on the security staff.

~  In the Palace’s blue room, a piano is on display in a locked glass case. The security guards have often heard music coming from the piano even though it remains completely sealed in its glass case.
~  The Queen was known to love smoking cigars.  Many tourists and people who work at the palace have reported smelling cigar smoke.  When security guards search for the offender, they never find anyone.
~  The Queen’s bedchamber is locked, however, often in the dead of night, alarms go off in the room. When the guards go to check, they find the door open, but no one inside. Even after they relock the door, the alarms will go off later, and again, they find the door ajar but the bedroom empty.
~  Towers bracket the roof of the palace.  On several occasions, security men patrolling the palace grounds, or staff members leaving late at night, report seeing a very bright light in one of the towers.  No one's ever been found there.  In fact, considering the towers aren’t even wired for electricity, there’s no explanation for the light.





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Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Hauntings: Highgate Cemetery


Highgate Cemetery (UK)

Opened in 1839, Highgate Cemetery is in North London and has 170,000 people buried in it.  Naturally, the site of so many dead bodies has spawned tales of many supernatural incidents and ghosts over the years. Here are some of them:

~ The Highgate Vampire is described as a 7-foot-tall, dark male figure, dressed in a long black coat and top hat
, with glowing, hypnotic eyes.  He appears and disappears at whim, and there have been dozens of sightings since the late 1960s, although no one's reported him sucking their blood.

~ A man whose car broke down outside the cemetery’s gates came face to face with the Ghoul.  The creature’s red eyes glared at him through the graveyard's iron gates until he ran away.


~ The floating ghost of a Nun has been reported passing over the graves.

 ~ The specter of the Old Woman races between the gravestones, her long hair whipping in the wind.  It’s said she murdered her children and dashes about, desperately searching for them.

~ One night, a local businessman was horrified when a phantom jumped over the fence and landed right in front of him.  He described it as having glowing eyes, pointed ears, and large nose.  This might have been the infamous Spring-Heeled Jack.  The first claimed sighting of Spring-heeled Jack was in 1837.  Later sightings were reported all over Great Britain, including at Highgate Cemetery.  He was known to have a frightening countenance and make inhuman leaps, which inspired his nickname.






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