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

GS Question of the Week

What is your New Year's resolution? Do you think you will stick to it?

Could it be?



Make sure you turn up the volume.

A Hoax?

Ghost Hunters wrapped its fourth season with an investigation of Portsmouth Harbor Lighthouse. The location appeared to be active as the night was anything but uneventful but not as much as St. Augustine Lighthouse. According to Jason's and Grant's myspace blogs, the season ended with ratings through the roof. I guess it's no surprise it's coming back for another season. However, is all the attention come from the popular show or the recent controversy surrounding it.

Most of the questions have derived from one scene. Jason, Grant and Steve Valentine were investigating the tunnels at Fort Delaware when supposedly the back of Grant's jacket was tugged. This happened several times and was caught on thermal. If you watch the footage closely, you can see it being tugged. As TAPS always does, they tried to come up with a reasonable explanation for it. Sometime after the live show, people began stating it was faked. That Grant faked it and some believe it's not the only evidence he has faked.

I'm not a gullible person. I don't believe everything I see on TV. I know ratings are everything. If you don't have them, your show gets canceled. If you didn't know that before, now you do. I'm sure they are under tons of pressure to keep the ratings up. I don't know if it was faked or not. I'm a fan of the show but not so much I would believe anything they present as fact. As I said before, it's TV and plus, it's the paranormal. There's not much that can be presented as fact.

What I would like to know is why do you think it's a hoax? Present your argument. Do you believe other evidence they have collected has been fabricated as well? What about their spin off Ghost Hunters International? Do you believe they are guilty of the same?

GS Question of the Week

There is no question this week. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

GS Question of the Week

What is the most memorable paranormal topic of 2008?

Reminder Sunday

This is the last day I am participating in NaNoWriMo or National Novel Writing Month. If I haven't responded to your comments or emails, I will be doing so in the next week or so. This will be the only GS business I plan on doing. I'm taking the week off to rest after NaNo. Don't worry. I'll be back!

Did Ya Know Friday - Xenoglossy

Xenoglossy is a paranormal phenomena where a person speaks a language not obtained by natural means. For example, a person who speaks Italian fluently without studying, being in the country or knowing anyone from that country is said to exhibit xenoglossy. Case of this phenomenon have been used as evidence in the existence of reincarnation. The existence of xenoglossy is not generally accepted by linguists and psychologists.

Rolling Hills

Genesee County Home also known as Rolling Hills has a long tormented history. Over 1,000 deaths reportedly took place within its walls. Genesse County purchased the property in 1826 and opened its doors to the poor a year later. They took in anyone who could not support themselves including orphans, elderly, paupers and the insane. They were self-sufficient farming on 100's of acres of county owned land.

Besides being a poorhouse, it was a hospital, a prison for both men and women, a TB ward, and an insane asylum at the same time as an orphanage. By the 1950s, it was turned into a nursing home, but the residents were moved to a new facility in 1974. For twenty years, the building sat empty until 1992 when it was open as Carriage Village, a mall of unique shops. The name was changed to Rolling Hills Country Mall in January 2003, and became a co-op a year later. In September 2004, overnight ghost hunts began at Rolling Hills making it the first historical site in New York to do so.

There have been reports of figures in windows, shadows passing out of the corner of eyes and strange noises. Jason from TAPS had an interesting experience in a furnace room. A heavy metal door kept closing on him by itself. However, witness accounts such as these may end soon. The owner has supported the upkeep of the building by holding weekly Ghost Hunts. Unfortunately, due to back taxes and other financial obligations, Rolling Hills is currently in danger of foreclosing. The owner applied for National Historic Status in order to save the building, but that takes several years.

Shadow People

Shadow people are the most seen entity among witnesses. The jury is still out as to what exactly they are. Some believe they are another way for ghosts to manifest or demonic in nature. They've even been linked to time travel. A few common types:

Human Shaped - a shadow people type that take on the form of human (mostly male) lacking specific characteristics like eyes, nose and mouth. They tend to flee if you notice them.

Black Smoke or Mist - black smoke-like or mist type of shadow people. Possibly intelligent.

Shadow Animals - basically like the human shaped but in animal form, about the size of a rabbit. Not as common as other types.

Red Eyed Shadow - this type of most often associated with evil. A shadow person in human form with no specific characteristics except for bright glowing red eyes. Some people have even described them with yellow eyes.

We may never know the true nature of these beings. They may be real or just our imaginations running rapid. Demonic or guardian angels. No matter what they are, let your intuition be your guide.

If you have an experience you would like to share, send it to The Official Shadow People Archives.

GS Question of the Week

What is a Bottle Tree?

Reminder Sunday

I am participating in NaNoWriMo or National Novel Writing Month. All entries posted during this month have been pre-written and posted on scheduled days. If you leave comments and/or email me, I will respond when time permits.

Wish me luck!

Myrtles Plantation

The Myrtles Plantation in St. Francisville, Louisiana has had a very interesting history. It has been long known as one of the most haunted houses in America. It was built in 1794 by David Bradford, a successful attorney. After fleeing Washington due to the Whiskey Rebellion, Bradford relocated to Bayou Sarah where he lived in a 8-bedroom house known as "Laurel Grove". Only until after he received his pardon from President Adams did he move his wife and kids in with him.

On November 19, 1817, Judge Woodrooff married Bradford's daughter Sarah Mathilda and they had three kids. After Bradford died, Clark took over the duties of "Laurel Grove" for his mother-in-law, Elizabeth. Six years later, Sarah Mathilda died from contracting yellow fever as well would two of his three children.

There have been stories of numerous murders that occurred at Myrtles Plantation but actually there was only one. The ghost that appears most often is that of Chloe, a slave woman. During the time when Clark Woodrooff and Sarah lived in the house, Chloe was one of the servants there. While Clark was known as a good lawyer, he was also known for being promiscuous. While Sarah was pregnant with their third child, Clark began having an intimate relationship with Chloe but soon grew tired of her and moved on to someone else. Chloe feared that she would be sent to the fields and began to eavesdrop on the families private conversations. Woodrooff caught her and cut off one of her ears to teach her a lesson.

Now no one knows for sure what the motives were behind her next action. Some say it was to get gratitude from Woodrooff and not be sent to the fields. Others say it was strictly out of revenge. But one day Chloe put a tiny bit of poison into a birthday cake meant for Woodrooff's oldest daughter. Sarah and her two kids all ate a slice and later on that day, became very sick. Chloe tended to their needs but before the day was over, all three were dead. Other slaves, afraid for their own lives, dragged Chloe to a nearby tree and hung her. A few days later, she was cut down, weighed down by rocks and thrown into the river. Since that day, the dinning room has never been used for eating meals.

Did Ya Know Friday - Kelpie

Kelpie is a mythic water horse in Celtic folklore who supposedly haunts Scottish and Irish rivers and lochs. Black in color, it appears as a lost pony but can be identified by its constantly dripping mane. It has skin like a seal but as cold as death when touched. They are known to transform into beautiful women in order to lure men into their traps. The water horse creates illusions to stay hidden, keeping only an eye above water to scout the surface.

Star Spangled Banner

It is widely known Betsy Ross sewed the first American flag. Unfortunately, that is inaccurate. Her grandson used his imagination and turned her in to an icon. We do know who the lovely woman that sewed the Star Spangled Banner is.

The War of 1812 was a gruesome conflict. The Capitol and White House were both burned and the port in Baltimore was next on the list. Francis Scott Key and Colonel John Skinner were aboard a British ship to negotiate the release of Dr. William Beanes on September 7, 1814. Beanes release was granted. However, Key and Skinner weren’t allowed to leave until after the attack was over.

The actual battle on Fort McHenry began on September 12, 1814. The major attack took place the following morning in the rain. The British fired 1500 bombshells at Fort McHenry, including specialized Congreve rockets that left red tails of flame and bombs with burning fuses that were supposed to explode when they reached their target but often blew up in midair instead. From eight miles away, Key witnessed it all, including the replacement of a stormy flag with a huge battle one.

Major George Armistead, commander of Fort McHenry, acquired the services of a flag maker named Mary Pickersgill. She was paid $405.90 for a flag 30ft x 42ft or about one quarter the size of a basketball court as well as $168.54 for a smaller flag. Her 13-year old daughter, Caroline and two nieces, Eliza and Margaret Young to make the unusually large flag, assisted her. The delivery was made on August 19, 1814.

Upon seeing this, he began a commemorative poem called The Defence of Fort M’Henry on the back of an old letter. He finished the four stanzas of the poem in a Baltimore hotel. Then, his brother-in-law took it to the printers. As it circulated in the press, this poem was given a new name, Star Spangled Banner and some music. It became a well known patriotic tune during the war. President Woodrow Wilson ordered the song to become our National Anthem in 1916. Congress made it official on March 3, 1931.

The Star Spangled Banner remained in Major Armistead’s family for several decades. His grandson Eben succumbed to requests and finally entrusted this keepsake to the Smithsonian where it is being restored in full view of the public.

GS Question of the Week

T or F: A full moon evokes more paranormal activity than any other phases.

Reminder Sunday

I am participating in NaNoWriMo or National Novel Writing Month. All entries posted during this month have been pre-written and posted on scheduled days. If you leave comments and/or email me, I will respond when time permits.

Wish me luck!

Today is also Ghost Stories 4th Anniversary! Here's to many more years...

Did Ya Know Friday - The Singapore Theory

Also known as Paranormal Stimuli and Theory of Familiarization, this practice is not widely used as you can not always be accurate. Basically, the theory is based on familiarization. If you investigate a house or location, you can try playing music or movies from a certain era in order to coerce a spirit to show itself. As sometimes you can't be certain of the "ghost" haunting the location being from a certain era, it's a hard theory to experiment with.

Ghost on the Set

How many of you have heard the stories of the ghost boy in the movie Three Men and a Baby? You probably think you’ve even seen him in the infamous scene, hiding among the curtains. Turns out it wasn’t a ghost at all. It was actually a misplaced prop. Whether it was done on purpose or not, we may never know. That one little scene provided great publicity for the movie.

An Irish TV series is having a bit of ghost problem of the real kind. The show A Tangled Web, set to air next Spring, is currently being filmed at a house in Ranelagh. According to Director Declan Cassidy, they have experienced three pictures falling off a wall, two vases on the floor smashed after being set up the night before, and things mysteriously being misplaced.

Is it ghosts or is someone having a laugh at their expense?

Ghostly Thirteen

Halloween Text - http://www.halloweentext.com


Ghostly Thirteen was inspired by the Thursday Thirteen meme. You list thirteen paranormal-related things like your top 13 posts (if you have a paranormal blog), mythical creatures, gods, haunted houses, etc...

My Theme - Patron Saints

1. St. Constantine - Greek

2. St. Francis of Assisi - Roman

3. St. Catherine - Sweden

4. St. Gennadius - French

5. St. Anthony - Egyptian

6. St. Willibrord - Netherlands

7. St. Christiana - Belgium

8. St. Rose of Lima - Latin America and Philippines

9. St. John the Baptist - Roman

10. St. Jarlath - Irish

11. St. Mary - Egyptian

12. St. Michael - the Archangel

13. St. Cyril and Methodius - Greek

GS Question of the Week

Where is the Home of the Torturers?

Reminder Sunday

I am participating in NaNoWriMo or National Novel Writing Month. All entries posted during this month have been pre-written and posted on scheduled days. If you leave comments and/or email me, I will respond when time permits.

Wish me luck!

Did Ya Know Friday - K-II Meters

K-II meters are little devices with multi-colored lights. It is primarily used for detecting electromagnetic fields and frequencies. Some paranormal investigators also use it for communicating with spirits. An entity can approach the device and manipulate it in response to specific questions. Investigators are still experimenting with it and it has caused some controversy.

Yeti Footprints in Japan

Members of the Yeti Project Japan returned on Tuesday October 21st with supposed photographs of abominable snowman footprints. These climbers equipped with long-lens cameras, video cameras and telescopes found them on snow at an altitude of about 4,800 meters (15,748 feet) in the Dhaulagiri mountain range in western Nepal where they spent six weeks looking for evidence.

They examined the footprints and determined they didn’t belong to any recognizable animal like bear, deer, or mountain goats. Sherpas have been reciting stories of the Yeti dating back to the 1920s. One of the most famous hunt for a Yeti was carried out by Sir Edmund Hilary.

Others have reported seeing these human-like footprints in the mountains, but as of yet no one has come back with absolute proof of the creatures existence. Do you think Yeti is real?

Zombie Road

Lawler Ford Road was constructed in the 1860s to provide access to the Meramec River and railroad tracks. It is unknown how the "Lawler" portion of the name came about but there was a "Ford" somewhere down the line. It obtained its' Zombie Road name in the 1950s. The original name was tossed due to many stories of a local killer named "Zombie" that supposedly lived by the river.

Like any unused place, Zombie Road become the hot spot for teenagers to party, drink and hangout. I guess that accounts for the killer story. It's a good way to scare kids away from such places as well as draw them to it. Murderer stories aside, it also has a reputation for ghosts.

Supposedly, the first inhabitants were Native Americans, Shawnee to be exact. A family in the 1800s claimed to have been frequently visited by their spirits. There is also the story of a man who was run over by a train. There is no record of this act ever happening (though I doesn't say it didn't). However, it is believed the ghost people are referring to is that of the first white settlers wife Della Hamilton McCullough who was killed by a railroad car.

Zombie Road also saw death during the Civil War. Short battles with a group called Home Guard supposedly took place there as well as people attempting to cross the river unsuccessfully. And was THE spot during its clubhouse era until floods wiped everything away.

This road has also gained fame for a specific photo taken by Tom Halstead and for being featured in the documentary Children of the Grave.

GS Question of the Week

What is Hexakosioihexekontahexaphobia?

Reminder Sunday

As of yesterday, I have started NaNoWriMo or National Novel Writing Month. All entries posted during this month have been pre-written and posted on scheduled days. If you leave comments and/or email me, I will respond when time permits.

Wish me luck!

Death By Curse

It’s no secret gangs are a problem not only for this country but others as well. Many have tried to come up with solutions. Unfortunately, nothing has succeeded. Though that may not be true.

The Filthy Fifty gang has terrorized the city of Dublin for decades. It was disbanded by a series of suicides, murders, and sudden deaths. Could the cause of these events be because of a curse?

In 2003, the mother of a Filthy Fifty victim went to a gypsy and asked her to put a curse on the gang. According to the hex, twelve members would be dead in three years. As promised, twelve members died by the year 2006. John Daly was the last of the trio to die. Upon being released in 2007, he was shot five times while sitting in the front seat of a taxi.

Did a mere gypsy curse get rid of one of the worse gangs Dublin has ever seen? Could a curse have that kind of power?

The Hidden Whisper By: JJ Lumsden

Tonight is Halloween. You may have opted to stay home to watch a scary movie or Ghost Hunters Live investigation. Or you may have chosen book instead. If so, I have a suggestion for you. The Hidden Whisper is a mixture of fiction and nonfiction, all about the paranormal.

It centers on parapsychologist Luke Jackson. He planned to go to a conference in Hawaii, stopping in Arizona for a family visit. Unfortunately, life had other plans. His grandfather died, changing his plans. While comforting his grieving grandmother, his help is enlisted by residents who believed their house is haunted by a poltergeist. After a bit of investigation, Luke concluded the cause was more natural than supernatural.

If this book offers anything, it gives you a better look in to what parapsychologists do. Since it is part nonfiction, it is a bit heavy on facts. If you’re looking for just a ghost story, this book isn’t for you. It’s centered around a fictional story with actual facts to explain certain aspects. Another thing, the author JJ Lumsden is from the UK. British and American English is a bit different. For example, we spell “tires” with an “i” and they spell it with a “y”. If you’re American, it can throw you off a bit, but it’s not incorrect.

If you are like myself and have a general interest in the paranormal, The Hidden Whisper will inform as well as entertain you about the subject. It’s worth the read.

HAPPY HALLOWEEN!!

Share Your Experience

Tonight, TAPS unveiled their findings of the USS Hornet. Yesterday, the Sci-Fi Channel unveiled their newest site. They have developed a social networking community that encourages users to share their paranormal stories and have named it Join the Hunt. They have made this site an extension of one of their most popular shows, Ghost Hunters.

This site allows users to contribute ghostly images and stories, as well as view photographs and vote on whether the structures pictured are haunted. Tutorials on how tracking equipment such as electromagnetic field detectors and electronic voice phenomena recorders work are also being offered. Another offer featured on Join the Hunt is the ability to ask experts, like Grant and Jason, questions.

If you are a fan of Ghost Hunters and/or its spin-off Ghost Hunters International, you may be interested in Sci-Fi’s latest installment in this franchise. They recently announced yet another spin-off of this popular show entitled Ghost Hunters: College Edition. Cameras will follow a group of students investigating unusual incidents. Paranormal State is a show on A&E with a similar concept. Not sure if the GH version will be able out do its competition with this particular show. We will see.

GS Question of the Week

What are your Halloween plans?

USS Hornet



TAPS and Colin Ferguson from Sci-Fi show Eureka will be investigating the USS Hornet on Wednesday.

It seems we will be getting a double dose of Ghost Hunters next week as their Halloween special is next Friday, October 31st beginning at 6pm Central. They will be joined by Rob, Dustin and Donna from Ghost Hunters International and Amanda Tapping from Sanctuary. Josh Gates will return as host and will be accompanied by Steve Valentine from Estate of Panic.

Haunted Attractions

If you're looking for some spooky fun, Haunted House Association has picked 13 haunted houses from around the country:

7 Floors of Hell, Cleveland, OH - In this haunted house you will experience Scarecrow's Revenge, Camp Nightmare, House of Nightmares, The Cemetery, The Crypt, CarnEvil in 3D, and The Butcher Shop. Check website for days, times, and ticket prices.

13th Gate Haunted House, Baton Rouge, LA - You will venture through 13 frightening themed indoor and outdoor areas from a Crematory oven to a rickety old bridge full of snakes. Admission is $20

Nightmare on 13th, Salt Lake City, Utah - Admissions to the main haunted house including the Nightmare Theater are $15 a piece. If you want to experience the extreme version which includes new rooms The Electrocution Maze, The Terror Tunnel ,The Phantom Hall and The Mega Blaster Experience as well as a few old popular ones, you will have to produce $20. Open September 12th to November 2nd.

Nightmare on the Bayou, Houston, TX - This attraction prides itself as the only haunted house that is REALLY haunted in Houston. Open September 26th - November 1st. Admissions is $25 regular or $35 for VIP.

Cutting Edge, Fort Worth, TX - This attraction has a variety of scares for your enjoyment including Halloween screams, mad Texas Chainsaw Massacre ghosts, walking dead pirates, Gothic horror screams, Haunted Jefferson Rivers Amusement Attraction, & spooky Santa ghost. Admissions are $26.50 for adults and $22 for children.

The Bates Motel, Philadelphia, PA - If you're looking for Norman Bates and his mother, this isn't the place for you. However, if you are in need of some "agritainment", check out this attraction located at Arasapha Farms. It features a 25 minute Haunted Hayride, corn maze and of course The Bates Motel. Admissions are $12 for the corn maze or motel, $20 for hayride or $40 for combo.

The Darkness, St. Louis, MO - The Darkness has spent 15 years bringing America scarefests. You will experience the City of the Dead, a witch's swamp house, graveyard, and mirror maze. The website also provides a live Fearcam to watch it all from the safety of your home. Tickets are $17 for adults and $13 for children.

Dreamreapers Haunted House, Chicago, IL - It contains over 22 rooms, 40+ animatronics, over 40 actors and actresses and something rare among this industry, scents based upon the theme of the room. Tickets are $15 per person.

Erebus Four Story Haunted Attraction, Pontiac, Mich - Four-story haunted house featured in the 2005 Guinness Book of World Records as the World's Largest Walk-through Haunted Attraction. Tickets are $20 per person.

The Haunted Hotel, San Diego, CA - Brings horror movies like Saw, Hostel and Texas Chainsaw Massacre to life. This attraction also includes a trail ride featuring the horror of fairy tales.

Headless Horseman Hayride and Haunted Houses, Ulster Park, NY - Contains a one mile hayride, a labyrinth style corn maze, three professionally created haunted houses, four food concessions, as well as Ghoulish Gifts, Magic Moon Gifts, Scarewear, Fear Gear and Witchy Woman gift shops.

Kersey Valley SpookyWoods and Maize Adventure, Greensboro, NC - Provides a haunted house, haunted tram ride, haunted corn field, Spookywoods walkthrough and a chilling magic show by Jonathan Frost. Tickets are $22 for adult and $12 for children.

Netherworld Haunted House, Atlanta, GA - New haunts for 2008: The Bottomless Pit, The Vicious Wolf Pack, The Time/Space Ripper, The Slime Pits of the NETHERWORLD, The 17 Foot Tall Pumpkin King,The Skull Crusher, Massive Gore, Live Roaches, Snakes, Rats, Hogzilla, The Twisted Dentist and The Pile Driver. $18 per person.

Oklahoma attractions didn't make the list, unfortunately. Here are a few this state has to offer:

Pyscho Path - Located in Sperry, this attraction combines the elements of a theme park ride with your average haunted house. Tickets are $15 per person.

Castle of Muskogee - Here you get a variety of entertainment: The Trail of Blood, Domus Horrificus, Casa Morte, the Ultimate Maze, a startling Hayride, the Torture Chamber and Halloween Land for children 8 and under, and ghost stories. Entrance to parking and the village are free.

Trail of Fear Haunted Scream Park - Located in Lawton, the Trail of Fear began as a single attraction in 1998 with a small tent and outdoor maze. The Trail of Fear consists of 4 main attractions- The Trail of Fear (Suitable for Most), Cirque de Morte (suitable for most), The Hackensaw Haunted Hayride (NOT recommended for children under 10), and the Pumpkin Junction (just for kids).

Curse of the Werewolf - Located in Chouteau, features Curse of the Werewolf, The Darkness and Kids Fun House.

Dungeon Haunted Ride in 3D - Located in Oklahoma City, the only 3D ride in Central US. Wearing 3D glasses, you experience 16 scenes that you can't run from.

GS Question of the Week

Who do you think performed the better investigations of The Goldfield Hotel and The Old Washoe Club: TAPS or Ghost Adventures?

Theodores' and Smith Billiards

Next on Ghost Hunters: Theodores' and Smith Billiards in Springfield, Massachusetts.

Resident Steve Gonsalves use to play at Theodores' with his former band Po' Boy and the Red Hats. He heard many stories about this place and approached Jason and Grant about investigating it. TAPS members and crew spent two nights proving and/or disproving what makes this tavern tick.

Co-owners Keith P. Makarowski and Keith E. Weppler, Theodores' Tavern is located in a century-old five story building on Worthington street since 1999. It has come to be known as the place for Blues music, voted #1 Blues club in the country by the Blues Foundation in 2004, and BBQ but also has another reputation. Some claim to hear balls rolling on the fourth and fifth floor which use to be the home of a bowling alley 80 yrs ago (now vacant), chills in the basement, apparition of a little boy on a pool table, ghostly footsteps and whispers when the room is virtually empty.

Are the stories true? Is it haunted? Tune in to Ghost Hunters on Wednesday to find out.

Ghost Adventures: The Series

The moment you have been waiting for has arrived. Ghost Adventures: The Series premieres tonight at 9pm Central/10pm Eastern on the Travel Channel. They will be investigating Bobby Mackey's Music World. If that's not enough to fulfill your GA needs, they will be hosting a LIVE webcam chat after the premiere on TravelChannel.com at 11pm Eastern and they launched their new website at www.ghostadventurescrew.com complete with bios, forums, merchandise, etc.

Zak Bagans and Nick Groff gained increased popularity when their documentary aired on the Sci-Fi channel. If you haven't seen it yet, don't worry. Travel Channel has acquired it and it will be airing sometime in the future. I had the pleasure of watching the film when it first premiered.

Edit: After watching the premiere tonight, I'm starting to rethink how I feel about their investigation style. During paranormal investigators have different investigating styles. Groups like TAPS focus more on science and debunk than anything else. Groups like GA are more emotional with a little science mixed in. Not exactly a bad thing. Personally, I prefer the scientific types. As long as GA are on the up and up about everything, I think it's good that people get to see the other side.

Underwater Pumpkin Carving

Anyone can carve a pumpkin. Some like Hugh McMahon have turned it into art, charging $1500 a piece for his creations. Amoray Dive Resort in Key Largo, Florida has taken this Halloween tradition and given it a new twist.

On October 27th, contestants in this unusual competition, must put on their diving gear and carve a pumpkin 30 ft below the oceans surface. Divers must compete against theirs and the pumpkins buoyancy as well as each other to get top prize, last year being a free dive trip. I wonder how they keep the candle lit...

Hands Free Email

Who needs vocal cords or typing skills when you can create email or voicemail by only thought. Yes, I'm being serious. Mike D'Zmura from the University of California is the lead scientist on a new project to create a helmet to convey messages telepathically. Surprise...surprise. The army is paying for it.

Not exactly a new idea but a twist on an old one. Of course, if he succeeds the army will get first dibs and maybe...just maybe it will become available to us civilians in the future.

For more details on this new project: http://dsc.discovery.com/news/2008/10/13/thought-helmet.html

GS Question of the Week

The Federation of Lights has predicted a large UFO will appear in Alabama tomorrow on October 14th. Do you think this prediction will come true?

Oak Alley Plantation

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

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

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

Many believe Celina Roman haunts Oak Alley. Did TAPS confirm these claims? If you consider a possibly entity on the 2nd floor balcony appearing on thermal, cold spots, and a K2 session supposedly with her as proof, then case close. But like any other reported haunted location, there isn't enough certainity in this field to back that up.

Emma Crawford

What would you do to remember a beloved member of the community? I bet coffin racing didn't come to mind. Since 1994, Manitou Springs Colorado partake in this annual tradition in honor of Emma Crawford. Of all things they could do, why coffin racing?

Emma came to Manitou Springs for their miracle mineral springs in the late 1800s. She was diagnosed with tuberculosis which back then was a death sentence. Unfortunately, she lost her battle at the age of 19. Her dying wish was to be buried on top of Red Mountain. Her fiancee Mr. Hildebrand and eleven other men carried her body up the 7200ft. In 1929, after years of stormy weather, her remains washed down the side of the mountain. Emma was reburied in Manitou Springs Cemetery in an unmarked grave. Some say she haunts Red Mountain.

Now, the townspeople honor her every late October with The Emma Crawford Festival. The 14th Annual Coffin Race and Parade takes place on October 25th, 2008 from 12:00 pm - 3:00 pm.

GS Question of the Week

Thripz By: Robert Farley

We live in a time of constant fear. Terrorist hit us hard with the 9/11 attacks and now, fear has become an everyday thing. Everything is looked upon as a possible terror attack: food contamination, West Nile Virus, etc. A book, fiction or not, becomes more compelling when it parallels with a current fear. Robert Farley developed an idea from the days he use to work on a farm in Hawaii. Working indoors not out didn't stop him from using his surroundings. In the end, he created an evil biogeneticists with one mission in life: seeking revenge. Two feuding farms in paradise gives him that opportunity. With every villain there is a hero. This techno-thriller produces a reporter to save the day.

Nathan Brewster, a reporter for the Waikiki Times, left the fast-pace of city life for the mundane stories to entertain mostly tourists. While at the Honolulu Police Station gathering police reports for his column, he came across a weird story of a man attacked by insects and reported missing. Who could pass up something like that, right? He manages to get his hands on a dead specimen of the allege culprit and rushes it to a college professor friend. While at the college entomology department, he meets a local farmer, Tommy Wagner, who's melons and peppers were destroyed by the very same insect. Dr. James Lanahino and his students discovered the insects were in fact thrips, a common garden pest. There is one slight problem. These thrips were genetically modified to reproduce faster and are immune to pesticides. That's the last thing you want to hear. The only person capable of creating such an insect, no one can find.

Dr. Lanahino and his team continue to break down the insects genetic structure and try to find a way to keep them from spreading all over the island of Oahu. In the meantime, Nathan continues to keep track of where the thrips are, who they are attacking, and where they may head next, helping the military and law enforcement contain the infestation the best they can. If that wasn't enough to keep this reporter on his toes, he consents to helping Tommy (and his story) to determine why his competitor, Tapaya Farms are not only experiencing the thrips rampage but also has managed to get their hands on a specific pheromone to keep them away. However, what they find were two feuding farms unknowingly were working together to help Philip Wei with his revenge plot.

I'm not a big fan of insects period. Yes, I'm the type of person who would do a crazy dance just to get a grasshopper off of me. This book didn't really help with that fear either. There were a few typos. They could easily be missed if you weren't really looking. I think the only other reservation I have is with the characters Jin and Sung, Philip Wei's bodyguards. It's well established how much of a psychopath Wei was though some may understand why. However, considering who Jin and Sung were, why would they risk witnesses? They had chances to kill or at least let Wei kill Lianne Halea, the first dead guy's fiance, and Jael Duncan, works with Nathan, but chose to save them instead. If they were just bad guys with a conscious, that wouldn't be any big deal. But the plan was to take Wei's work back to North Korea and use it for their own military purposes. Despite how it ends, they would have quite a bit to lose leaving loose ends. It just seems a bit out of character for bad guys like them.

Thripz is one long rope of mystery and suspense without any kinks or knots. The point-of-view shifts between multiple characters but you're never lost among all the chaos. Despite a few minor spelling errors and in my opinion, a bit of confusion with a couple of character's behavior, this book is a good read. I wouldn't say it's worthy of Great American Novel status, but good for a nice thrill ride. Thripz is available for purchase on Amazon. Visit the Thripz website if you want an autographed copy.

Book Trailer


Reminder Sunday

If you have a personal experience or topic request, there is still time to get it in. Email me at paranormal_stories2004@yahoo.com with either "Request" or "Saturday Post" in the subject line.

Voting for the 2008 Blogger Choice Awards are coming to an end. If you haven't yet, you still have time. You must sign up to vote. Categories this blog is nominated for are listed on the right sidebar.

TV Schedule

Not really a show I recommend but if you're looking for a good laugh, Most Haunted Live airs on October 10th at 8pm - 3am ET/PT on the Travel Channel. They are "investigating" Gettysburg.

Unsolved Mysteries is back. It airs on October 13th at 5 & 6 pm ET on Spike TV. I'm curious to see if it's as good as the old version.

Ghost Adventures: The Series premieres on October 17th at 9pm ET on the Travel Channel. If it's anything like their documentary, I don't plan on being a fan, but we will see.

Sci-Fi's 31 Days of Halloween began on October 1st. One month of all that is scary from movies, documentaries, reality TV and more! ABC Family's 13 Nights of Halloween begins on October 19th. Yes, they will be showing episodes of Scariest Places on Earth. Not sure if any are new or not.

Later today I will be posting a review of Robert Farley's novel Thripz. Be on the lookout for that.

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Seven Sisters Inn

The Seven Sisters Inn are two beautiful Queen Anne-style Victorian houses in Ocala, Florida. They offer candlelit dinners, gourmet breakfasts, accommodate weddings and even have murder mystery events. A perfect bed & breakfast to get away. One snag though. The inn has permanent guests who will keep you on your toes.

Seven Sisters International House (purple) was built in 1892. It contains 13 bedrooms each with its own themes, representing the many locations owners Bonnie Morehardt and Ken Oden have traveled to. It is believed the house was built on the very spot of a triage nearby Fort King. Her sister, The Scott House (pink) may or may not be on the site of a battle between soldiers and Seminole Indians. The original house was built in 1888 but burned down.

Most of the experiences described are that of playfulness. TAPS discovered this first hand. During a K2 session, something was making it light up in a childish manner. At one point in the evening, Jason and Grant attempted to debunk claims of something tripping people on the staircase in the purple house, I think. Jason took off his flip-flops and climbed up the stairs. Once he reached the top, a small dark mass ran from a room to left of him down the hall. After searching for it, they went back downstairs where Jason found only one of his shoes where he left them. They searched the house for almost half and hour and finally found it in the middle of a room they weren't shown during the tour.

Another experience they had consisted of a K2 Meter and a chair. I believe it was in the purple house. Jason and Grant were trying to track down the origins of a voice and shadows when they came across a spike on the K2 Meter on a chair. The interesting part about it was Grant traced the outline of a person with it. Everytime he went outside the "outline", the K2 went dead. On top of that, the chair was cold. They both sat in it and felt the chill coming off of it. When they checked it again with the K2, whatever may have been there disappeared.

TAPS gained quite a bit of personal experiences but little evidence to back it up. So, is the Seven Sisters Inn haunted? Spend a night there and find out.

Switching Back

It seems visitors are more interested in clicking the header image than anything else. So, I changed the template back and plan on keeping it.

Voting for this year's Blogger Choice Awards are starting to come to an end. If you haven't voted yet and still want to, check the right sidebar.

GS Question of the Week

What books on the subject of the paranormal have you read? Would you recommend it?

Old Show Brought Back to Life

Remember Unsolved Mysteries? It's making a come back! Yes I'm being serious. HBO Distribution plans to bring it back in October 2008. Care to guess which channel it will be appearing on? Spike TV!

The show is getting a makeover. It'll feature a new set, same music, recaps of old cases as well new cases, more stories per hour, new graphics, and yes a new host. Robert Stack can't host it from beyond the grave although that would be an interesting spin. Dennis Farina was the man chosen for the job.

Of course, since it is on a male-oriented cable network, the stories are set to be more male-oriented. I guess since it's been on a girly network for so long, it's time for men to get a taste of it. Although, when it was on Lifetime, I don't recall the stories being so feminized that they needed to be altered to attract the male viewing audience but whatever.

Unsolved Mysteries airs on October 13th at 5pm and 6pm ET. Let's see if the new modernize version lives up to the established brand.

Stonehenge Mystery Continues

There's no doubt about it. Stonehenge has remained a mystery for many years. The first excavation in over four decades took place between May 31st and April 11th with the promise of opening doors to answers for this enigma and it has done just that.

Radiocarbon-dating has established that Stonehenge was used as a cemetery from around its inception about 3000BC. This isn't a new theory. Previous archaeologists believed it to be a burial site also. However, they determined people were buried there only between 2700 and 2600BC. Professor Mike Parker Pearson also adds another idea to the pot. Not only were people buried there from about 3000BC but only the civilization's finest were laid to rest at Stonehenge. It may have been a grave site for the ancient British royals and other elite society members. But this isn't the only new theory.

Professor Tim Darvell believes Stonehenge was a place of healing. The chronically ill and crippled as well as those capable of healing flocked to the Neolithic stone circle from across western Europe. A number of sick or injured people were found buried there which may or may not contradict Professor Parker Pearson's theory. Not only were they traveling to the sacred site to be healed, they were also taking pieces of bluestone home to sustain the mystical powers. Analysis of plant material shows it may have also been a religious site as far back as 7200BC. That's almost 4,000 years earlier than previously thought.

Do you think it was a domain of the dead or a healing center? Were only the elite buried there or a social variety? Do you think more answers will be discovered in the future?

GS Question of the Week

How many types of shadow people are there?

Curse of the Hope Diamond

Is it really cursed? The first supposed curse death was that of a man named Tavernier. According to legend, he took a trip to India. While visiting, he stole the diamond from a statue of the Hindu goddess Sita. After selling the diamond, he was torn apart in Russia from a pack of wild dogs. This legend is more myth than fact.

There was a man named Jean Baptiste Tavernier. He was a French jeweler who in 1642 traveled to India. He bought, not stole, a 112 3/16 carat blue diamond which is believed to have come from the Kollur mine in Golconda, India. Twenty-six years later in 1668, he arrived back in France. King Louis XIV bought the blue diamond along with 1,166 others from Tavernier. He was made a noble and did die in Russia but at the age of 84, the cause of death is unknown.

The next legend claims the lives of King Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette. The pair was beheaded during the French Revolution and the diamond was blamed. First of all, Louis XIV and Louis XV both owned the diamond before Louis XVI and nothing bad happened to them. Second of all, it was the French Revolution. A lot of people were beheaded during the Reign of Terror. While the two royals attempted to flee, the diamond was taken from them and placed in the Garde-Meuble. It was repeatedly robbed, but most of the crown jewels were recovered. However, the blue diamond didn't surface again until around 1813.

Another legend states the Hope family, in which the diamond is named after, went bankrupt because of the curse. Henry Philip Hope acquired the diamond around 1839. It got passed down from one family member to the next until it reached Lord Francis Hope in the late 1800s. Francis Hope petitioned the court twice to gain permission to sell the diamond. He had gambling debts and a high spending habit. The courts denied his request both times. In 1901, he was finally granted permission. The Hope family going bankrupt was more likely due to Francis Hope's living style than the curse.

The diamond switched hands many times once again, was reset into a new mounting and bought by Evalyn McLean. She considered it her good luck charm and wore it all the time. The concept of the diamond being cursed may have derived from her story. Her son Vinson died in a car crash at the age of nine, her daughter committed suicide when she was twenty-five and her husband was declared insane and was put into an mental institution until he died in 1941. That's a lot for one person to go through. In 1949, two years after her death, the Hope Diamond went on sell to settle debts from her estate. Harry Winston purchased it.

This is our last stop on the curse train, for this post anyways. Winston donated the Hope Diamond to the Smithsonian Institution in 1958. Many believe he did so to rid himself of the curse. The truth is he made the donation to be the focal point of a new gem collection and to inspire others to donate. The Hope Diamond remains on display at the Smithsonian for all to view and admire.

Do you think it's cursed?

Interviewed!

If you want to learn more about me, I was interviewed for Whispering Spirits. Please check it out: http://ghostwhisper.proboards29.com/index.cgi?board=talktotheauthors&action=display&thread=46

GS Question of the Week

If you could be any Greek god, who would you be and why?

Reminder Sunday

If you a personal experience you want to share or a topic you want to read about, please email me.

As you can see, I've changed the template. Thought it was time for something new and fun. Like or dislike it?

Did Ya Know Friday

If you really listen to some nursery rhymes, they sound more dark and disturbing rather than light cheery. Ring Around the Rosy a.k.a. Ring a Ring o' Roses is believed to be about the Bubonic Plague. If you examine each line, it kind of makes sense.

"Ring Around the Rosy" represented the skin lesions that appeared as a bright red ulcerated spot surrounded by a ring. The next line, "Pocket full of Posies", had more to do with superstitions than anything else. Back then, people burned, carried, or rubbed down their houses with all kinds of herbs. However, it is believed doctors carried around posies. They even filled the masks they wore with it.

There are some variations in the third line. Some say "Ashes Ashes" which is believed to refer to the burning of bodies. "Husha Husha" represented the quiet in towns due to death or desertion of three-quarters of the population. "Tishoo Tishoo" is suppose to mimic the sound of sneezing. However, this symptom wasn't common for the plague. "We All Fall Down" is an allusion to the depopulation of Europe or merely death.

This explanation of its origins could be true, right? The skeptics side sounds more plausible. One major discrepancy involves the date in which the rhyme first appeared. Some think it dates back as far as the 14th Century, but the first print version was discovered in 1881 Mother Goose version.

If it didn't symbolize the plague, then what was its meaning. Some folklorist believe it was a rhyme developed by children as a way to get around the prohibition of dance by the Protestants in the 19th Century. Play parties were organized where kids would play ring games. The words of the rhyme meant just what they said. "Ring Around the Rosy" symbolized the ring of children. "Husha Husha" is where they would fall silent. "We All Fall Down" is where they would all fall down.

If the second theory isn't more truer than the first then why would we continue to pass down a nursery rhyme about the plague?

9/11 Conspiracies

Today marked the seventh anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. This one single event rocked our nation to the core. Many people died as we sat back and watched in horror. When it came to finding the explanation for such a tragedy, no answer given would be accepted as the absolute truth among all Americans, seeing as the answer wouldn't be as big as the event. This was to be expected as it has been that way for many years.

I had planned on listing and making general comments about a few common 9/11 conspiracies, but decided not to. The problem is if someone chooses to challenge a piece of information they are told and in the process list misinformation to support their argument it is likely others will follow by spreading that misinformation. After doing some research, I realized that would have done exactly that. I don't want to be apart of the problem.

However, I will say this. It's okay to question what you are told. That's normal. But there is such a thing as going too far. I was watching a show on the History channel the other day about this very subject. Conspiracy theorists were presenting their views and experts were giving reasons why they are wrong. I'm the type of person who wants to hear both sides before choosing which one to stand on. Some of the reasons these people were giving for their theories was absurd. But on occasion, that is usually the case.

The bottom line is use common sense. Things aren't always what they seem. And whether we like it or not, sometimes the answer we seek isn't going to be the one we like.

GS Question of the Week

What is the Theory of Familiarization a.k.a. Paranormal Stimuli?

Reminder Sunday

This isn't a reminder as it is a FYI. I'm participating in National Novel Writing Month for the second time. I wasn't sure what to expect last time but I know what needs to be done this year. One item on my lists of preparations is writing and saving posts for the month of November. This blog isn't going dormant like last year.

If you have a specific topic in mind that I haven't covered here yet, email me with your request. If you have a story or a picture you want to share on my blog, now is as good of a time as any. Please....please....please let me know if the story your sending me is intended for the Saturday guest spot. If you don't, you'll get a nice email thanking you for sharing your experience with me and that's it. I appreciate hearing from readers but if you send me something, I need to know if it's for my eyes only or not. I don't have to post your name if you don't want me to. Just let me know.

I'm going to be posting reminders throughout the next two months. October 30th is the deadline. So, you have plenty of time.

Nessie on Film

No I'm not referring to Scotland's lake monster. I'm talking about Sweden's version of Nessie, Storsjoe. The exciting news is they claim to have caught Storsjoe on film or rather some live being. They have a video on their homepage. I'm not sure if it's the one they are so excited about. It looks like a thermal image of a snake moving in the water.

Currently, they have six cameras in and around the lake: two high resolution, one low resolution, one thermal and two underwater. One person is employed full time to review all the footage. Twenty more cameras are expected in the future. Sweden is very serious about solving the mystery of this sea monster and it doesn't hurt to capitalize off of its popularity in the meantime, right? There's even going to be a documentary about Storjoe set to air on the Sci-Fi Channel.

The first sighting dates back to 1635. It is described as being long, serpent-like with humps, a dog or cat-like face, smooth, shiny, slimy or scaly skin, gray or dark green and either ears or fins pressed down to the neck. Turn ons are heat and early bedtimes. Turn offs are annoying people always trying to take its picture. The Monster likes to eat potatoes and Swedish turnips. Yum!

If you like to do a little Storsjoe watching, they have it set up on their website (http://www.storsjoodjuret.nu/index.html) for all your viewing pleasure. I added the link to the sidebar with all the other ghost cams. So, you can do monster spotting whenever you like though I hear the best time for a chance to see it is between 4 and 7:30pm (their time).

Iron Island Museum

Buffalo's Iron Island Museum received its name due to being in a neighborhood surrounded by railroad tracks. In 1888, a wooden church stood where the museum is today. The building was converted to brick for a Methodist-episcopal congregation seven years later. It stood empty for a short period until becoming a funeral home in the late 1950s. The property changed owners once again about eight years ago when Mr. Anthony Amigone donated it to the Iron Island Preservation Society of Lovejoy, Inc. Since then, volunteers have experienced numerous amount of paranormal activity.

TAPS investigation began as always. Jason, Grant and Steve did a walk through with one of the volunteers followed by setting up their equipment in mentioned hot spots. This beginning episode of the mini-season was not a disappointing one. Kris William received a nice treat upon witnessing a first for her. Kristyn was in the middle of doing an interview when Kris saw a shadowy figure followed by a locked door open and close. The pair inspected the situation further and found no logical explanation for the shadow or the unlocked door.

Jason and Grant performed a K2 meter session in hopes of communicating with the ghost of a young boy named Jimmy who by the way was the son of the museum's curator I believe. The meter lit up in response to their questions but the two were left unsure if it was Jimmy doing the communicating or someone else. However, they abandoned the session when sounds of footsteps became present. Jason and Grant manage to discover where the footsteps were coming from, the attic. Grant climbed a ladder and popped his head into the entrance for the room. The footsteps could clearly be heard and spooked Grant when they headed straight towards him. Jason checked out the situation as well before asking Tango to actually crawl up into the room. By that time, the activity had ceased or so it seemed.

Tango attempted an EVP session in hopes of experiencing what Jason and Grant heard and saw. When nothing happened, he went into provoke mode (after asking for permission to curse). I have to saw this part of the show was HILARIOUS. I know he was trying to be professional but he had everyone cracking up. It was hard not to laugh. Upon leaving that attic, he assumed he most likely caught nothing, but after reviewing the evidence, the allege spirit was still in there with him. A very creepy EVP proved that.

Below is a video clip of the reveal. It includes three EVPs and the video footage of the door opening and shutting. Overall, a very eventful investigation.



For more information, pictures, and events via Iron Island Museum, please visit their website at www.ironislandmuseum.com

GS Question of the Week

What is your favorite paranormal TV show? Why?

Reminder Sunday

The premiere of Season 4's last 14 episodes is on Wednesday, September 3 at 8pm Central followed by the premiere of Destination Truth's third season. GH's promos have hinted about this year's live Halloween special at Ft. Delaware is going to be the best. I certainly hope it's better than last year's semi-disaster.

Remember the documentary Spooked about Waverly Hills Sanatorium? If you haven't seen its companion movie Death Tunnel yet, you will get your chance. It is set to show on the Sci-Fi Channel September 6th at 8pm Central. The Booth brothers are currently filming Children of the Grave 2. The first one was pretty interesting, from what I saw of it. Their documentary The Possessed, a movie about exorcism, will be released October 2008 on DVD.

Haunted High School?

On August 1st, surveillance cameras at Asheville High School in North Carolina caught an interesting piece of footage at 2:51 a.m. Is the dark image a ghost?

Ghostly Thirteen

http://www.halloweentext.com - halloween text


Ghostly Thirteen was inspired by the Thursday Thirteen meme. You list thirteen paranormal-related things like your top 13 posts (if you have a paranormal blog), mythical creatures, gods, haunted houses, etc...

My Theme - Paranormal Investigation equipment

1. Digital Thermometer - measures temperature changes

2. Electromagnetic Field Detectors - measures fluctuations in the electromagnetic field

3. K2 Meter - sometimes used to communicate with ghosts

4. Geiger Counter - measures fluctuations in radiation

5. Thermal Imaging Camera - uses infrared radiation to form images

6. Digital Audio Recorder - used to capture EVPs

7. Air quality monitoring equipment - measures levels of gases such as carbon dioxide in the air

8. Digital camera - used to capture visual manifestations such as orbs, apparitions, ectoplasm, etc...

9. Flashlight

10. Beam Barrier Alarm - creates an invisible beam. When the beam is broken, it triggers the alarm

11. Handheld Digital Cameras - used to document investigations

12. Dowsing Rods - two L-shaped, metal rods used to help indicate the presence of ghosts

13. 2 Way Radios - vital for keeping in contact with members of your group throughout investigations.

GS Question of the Week

What is Vacuum Domain?

Answer: This theory is a bit complicating. Basically, three Russian scientists believe a combination of electromagnetics and gravitional principles can cause a small black hole of gravispin waves creating a vacuum effect and lights such as ball lightning, Earthquake lights or even the orb-like lights often associated with crop circles.

St. Augustine Revisited

In January, TAPS investigated the St. Augustine Lighthouse for a second time. The first one was eventful and the second was just as good. On occasion, I provide more information on locations TAPS investigates on their show. Two years ago, I posted about St. Augustine Lighthouse. And earlier this year, it was pointed out that some of the information was wrong. Kathleen, who works in archives at the lighthouse, provided a more accurate history:

Before the lighthouse we have now there was another one just to the east. We're not sure when it was built (this was a Spanish colony then (1600s). When the British took over in 1763 they made improvements and when St. Augustine became a US territory and later, a state, the US government made more improvements. Eventually the beach eroded so much that it was necessary to built a new tower 1/4 mile inland. The land was bought from locals who owned it .

Ballard never owned the lighthouse. It was built by the U Lighthouse Service, which was later absorbed into the US Coast Guard. He was one of the people who owned the land (2 separate parcels) on which it's built. There was some delay in the government's acquisition of the land because of a dispute between Ballard and the owners of the other property over boundaries, etc. Ballard ended up losing money on the deal. The present lighthouse was completed in 1874 and the old light fell into the ocean in 1880.

Hezekiah Pittee was an engineer who was in charge of the construction. Two of his daughters drowned when a hand car or trolley used to bring construction material from the pier to the site went off the end of the pier while 5 children were playing in it. We have absolutely no way of knowing what conversations took place between Hezekiah and his family. Two Pittee girls and an African-American girl who is described in the news reports as a household servant (no name given) were killed and a Pittee son was rescued. Even the descendants have no personal information and they have letters, etc. from the surviving Pittee children. Any stories about the Pittee family other than the news article regarding the accident are fabricated. We have many reports dating back many years of a girl haunting the keepers' house but there is no way to connect that girl to the Pittee girls and the house was not built until long after they had died (They're buried in Maine or Massachusetts).


Keeper Swain used to say that he could hear footsteps following him and he could smell cigar smoke and he thought it was the ghost of Keeper Rasmussen (or Rasmusson). Many people have reported smelling smoke. Most describe it as cigar smoke but to me and others it's more like sweet pipe smoke. We also have many reports of footsteps on the grounds and in the tower, as well as voices. We have many stories from visitors and staff about a figure seen in the basement. Since he appears to be dressed in dark blue clothing we refer to him as "the Man in Blue", not original but non-commitally descriptive.

For more information please visit their website at www.staugustinelighthouse.com.

What Is It? - Montauk Monster

In early July 2008, three girls found an unidentifiable creature that had washed up on the beach in Montauk, New York. This discovery was followed by an article in a local newspaper, The Independent, and dubbed "The Hound of Bonacville" along with a black and white photo taken by one of the girls. Now, it has blown up into a huge debate.

Some think it's a raccoon. Others believe it's a dog. All the questions would be answered with a simple DNA test or necropsy. One problem. No one knows where this thing is. The rumor is the Montauk Monster is rotting in someone's backyard. However, early this month, an unnamed guy, possibly the same person, claims it was stolen from their backyard.

So, we are left with photos as the only source to identify it with which the girls who supposedly found it have an abundance of. Personally, I'm not commenting on what I think it is. There are a lot of rumors floating around stating it is nothing but a publicity stunt. There are two obvious reasons why someone wouldn't produce it for testing. Either they are waiting for the right dollar amount or it's a hoax. I'm leaning towards explanation number two.

The best advice I could give you is don't be gullible. Don't believe every photo you see especially since we live in a world where pics can easily be altered.

GS Question of the Week

Have you ever had an "Old Hag" syndrome experience?

Coming Back For More

Apparently, there were some rumors Ghost Hunters had been cancelled. Jason posted on his myspace blog that the Sci-Fi channel has indeed picked up GH for another season (26 episodes and a live Halloween special). The last 13 episodes of season 4 will air September 3rd followed by new episodes of Destination Truth. This years live Halloween episode will be at Ft. Delaware. Here's hoping it's better than last years.

If you don't know already, the new season of Ghost Hunters International premiered a couple of weeks ago. Dustin left GH and joined their team. Donna left due to illness and they temporarily replaced her with a girl named Brandy I think. Is it just me or is everyone from GH leaving the states for international ghost hunting?

In other GH news, Jason and Grant, along with Michael Jan Freidman, wrote a book! Ok so that's not really news. However, they will be at the Barnes & Noble in Warwick, Rhode Island on August 16th from 5 pm to 8 pm, signing autographs of GHOST HUNTING TRUE STORIES of UNEXPLAINED PHENOMENA. If you haven't bought a copy yet, don't worry. There will be some on hand for you to purchase.

A while back I promised information on the upcoming Ghost Adventures series. I surfed around for a couple of weeks for the announcement and then gave up. I discovered the details recently. Ghost Adventures: the series will premiere October 17th at 10pm Central on the Travel Channel. There's only going to be 8 episodes. I expected there to be more but maybe they don't have high hopes for it or just testing the waters? Oh well.

While I'm on the subject of premieres, the new season of Paranormal State begins on Monday, July 28th at 9pm Central.

Fourth of July Myths - Repost

What better way to celebrate the fourth than revealing the truth of some common American independence myths.

1.) Independence Was Declared on the Fourth of July.

Wrong! Independence was declared by the Continental Congress on July 2, 1776. This is the day according to a letter written by John Adams to his wife Abigail that "will be celebrated, by succeeding Generations, as the great anniversary Festival." So, why do we celebrate the fourth?
First of all, the Declaration of Independence was adopted on the fourth which is indicated on the document itself. It is believed that is where some of the confusion lies. Basically, the day the document was announced has overshadowed the event itself. Americans first celebrated independence on July 8th with a big party including a parade and firing of guns in Philadelphia.

Secondly, to add to the confusion, a scholar in the nineteenth century came across the letter mentioned above and quietly "corrected" it. So, Adams festival prediction would take place on the fourth instead of the second.

2.) The Declaration of Independence was signed July 4.

A canvas painting by John Trumbull hangs in the grand Rotunda of the Capitol of the United States. It depicts the signing of the Declaration ceremony which supposedly took place on July 4th. Too bad it never happened.

The actual event wasn't all that spectacular. Most delegates signed the document on August 2nd, the same day a clean copy was finally produced by the assistant to the secretary of Congress Timothy Matlack. Several signed later. Their names weren't released to the public until around January 1777. The truth about the signing was discovered in 1884 by historian Mellon Chamberlain.

3.) The Liberty Bell Rang in American Independence.

The story goes that a young boy with blond hair and blue eyes was supposedly posted in the street next to Independence Hall to give a signal to an old man in the bell tower when independence was declared. This scene never happened either. The story was made up by nineteenth century writer George Lippard for a book intended for children called Legends of the American Revolution.

The bell wasn't even named in honor of American independence. It received the moniker in the early nineteenth century when abolitionists used it as a symbol of the antislavery movement. As for the famous crack … it was a badly designed bell and it cracked. End of story.

4.) Betsy Ross Sewed the First Flag.

The house where Betsy Ross supposedly lived may not have been hers. In 1949, the Joint State Government Commission of Pennsylvania concluded in a study that there is no proof she even lived there. If that's not true then what else have we been lied to about?

The story of Betsy Ross sewing our first famous symbol of freedom isn't authentic either. It was made up by her descendants in the nineteenth century. She was just a simple unheralded seamstress.

So, who actually sewed the flag? No one knows. However, we do know who designed it. Records show that in May 1780 Frances Hopkinson sent a bill to the Board of Admiralty for designing the "flag of the United States." While with the hype of the Betsy Ross story he may not get much credit, a small group of his descendants work hard to keep his name alive.

5.) John Adams and Thomas Jefferson Died on the Fourth of July.

This one is actually true. Adams and Jefferson within hours of each other both died on July 4, 1826, exactly fifty years after the adoption of Jefferson's Declaration of Independence. While this is accurate, there is no proof that Adams dying words were "Jefferson survives."

Now that you know the truth behind some of the lies we've been told over the years, have a safe and joyous 4th of July, even if independence wasn't declared on this day.


Source: History News Network

GS Question of the Week

What were the Whistles of Death?


Answer: The Whistles of Death were created by the Aztecs. It is believed they blew into these clay, skull-shaped noisemakers prior to being sacrificed to the gods.

Newsflash

I updated the calendar on the Ghost Stories myspace page. I was able to find info on tons of paranormal conferences and events (majority of which are taken place next month). I suggest you check out the websites (web urls have been included) for full information. If you know of any events that isn't listed, email me with the details and I'll add them.

Moss Beach Distillery

If you watched last night's Ghost Hunters episode then you're probably upset with the "evidence" they found at the Moss Beach Distillery. I know I was. I could have logged on today and written a long rant about this but instead, I searched around the world wide web to see what else I could find about this place.

The story of the "Blue Lady" begins with a married woman falling in love with a man who isn't her husband in the 1930s. The guy is a piano player (or someone associated with it) at a speakeasy called Frank's Place, now known as Moss Beach Distillery. She would leave her husband and son to often meet with this gentleman. Now, the details of this story are a bit sketchy. Some say the "Blue Lady" died in a car accident on her way to the speakeasy. Others recite the husband as her murderer. No matter how she died, she supposedly haunts the place now and if your a fan of Sylvia Brown then you may believe she isn't the only one. Brown stated another woman, also in love with the so called piano player, committed suicide shortly after the "Blue Lady" died.

The Moss Beach Distillery is considered a hot spot among the paranormal community thanks to the 70 + years of experiences people have had with the "Blue Lady". The special effects were installed in the late 1990s to heighten the experience. Parapsychologist Loyd Auerbach, who has been investigating the distillery since 1991, helped with the initial set up. The owners didn't keep the rigged effects a secret but they aren't ones to go around bragging about them either. I don't know if TAPS knew about it or not. With one little internet search, they could have found out. So, I don't know if their reaction was genuine or made for TV.

Personally, I don't know how to feel about the situation. I read some of the restaurant reviews at Yelp.com, the ones posted BEFORE the episode aired. Sounds like a business type situation. The place is considered haunted why not capitalize on it. As for the paranormal aspect, I don't see why they would invite people to investigate it if they aren't going to be up front about the effects and/or even attempt to disable them while they are there. Yes, paranormal investigators should do their homework before investigating a location. BUT the owners shouldn't rely on people knowing about the effects before getting there. If they don't have anything to hide then they should just be open about it. Not every tourist is going to thoroughly research the place. If your going to highlight the history and the ghost why not inform them about the gimmicks too. Makes sense, right?

Ghost Stories Has Been Reviewed

I realize I haven't posted in a while. I'm hoping to get back into the swing of things soon. I wanted to point out that Ghost Stories was reviewed by the Paranormalizer. Be sure and check it out: http://paranormalizer.blogspot.com/2008/05/ghost-stories-review-057.html

GA Gets Their Own Show

If you're a fan of the paranormal documentary Ghost Adventures, I have good news for you. They posted a bulletin on Myspace last week stating they will be issuing a Major Press Release sometime this week, regarding two questions fans have been asking. Ghost Adventures is getting its own TV show!


Personally, if the show is anything like the documentary, I don't think I'll be watching it. They don't know how to investigate the paranormal and didn't bother to ask someone who does. If you investigate a haunted place, you're expected to act in a professional manner. Running from paranormal activity isn't exactly professional.


I'll update you when they've made their official announcement with all the details or you can keep checking their myspace page.

GS Question of the Week

What is the name of the creature that is considered Florida's abominable snowman?

Cow-eating Trees?

Many people fight to save the forests across the planet, but the pili mara or tiger trees in India may not need our help. Villagers in Padrame claim these carnivorous trees are the reason for their cow mutilations. A man even claims to have witness one trying to gobble up one of his cattle. Thankfully, he and other villagers managed to rescue the poor animal.

This may sound ridiculous but it's not totally unheard of. I mean Charles Darwin was interested in meat-eating plants. I'm sure there are other tales of cryptobotany floating out there somewhere. Maybe the tiger trees fall in this category along with the Man-Eating Tree of Madagascar.

What are you thoughts?

GS Question of the Week

Do you think people should ghost hunt for the thrill of it? Why or why not?

In 21 Days...

...Ghost Hunters returns!! I can't wait. I can't wait. Destination Truth also premieres on March 5th. We get to see what other pop culture references he comes up with and mythical creatures he doesn't find. Should be fun.

Next Wednesday is the season finale of Ghost Hunters International. The team will be joined by guess who? Josh Gates! No surprised, huh? Well, it looks like this time he won't be playing host and will be participating in the investigation of Frankenstein Castle. I have to say his ghost hunting abilities on his own show weren't all that impressive. Lets see if he can pick up a thing or two from some pros.

GS Question of the Week

Ghost Hunter Trivia
Where was TAPS very first investigation on the show? When did it air?

Wander the Web Wednesday

The idea is to highlight 5 links that you feel would be new to other readers.

They can be daily reads, or personal favorites.

They may even just be something fun or freaky or just plain fascinating that you stumbled into recently.

If you want to “play along” make a list on your site and link to it in 2 Witches Blog comments. They'd also appreciate a link back.

1. Paranormalizer - A blog for reviewing paranormal websites.

2. Free Rice - A word definition game in which you win rice for the hungry.

3. Monstropedia - A wikipedia like site all about monsters.

4. St. Augustine Lighthouse & Museum - Everything you need to know on this haunted place.

5. Dark Stories - Dark and true scary stories

GS Question of the Week

What is your opinion on spoonbending? Is it possible?

Reader Submission - Just Saying Hello

This week's guest post comes from author Deborah Woehr. She chose Ghost Stories as a stop on her virtual book tour promoting her latest horror novel Prosperity: A Ghost Story. To learn more about Deborah and her work, check out her website at www.deborahwoehr.com.

Just Saying Hello

My husband’s grandfather passed away on December 8, 1992. The loss was hard on all of us, although I couldn’t understand why I was so sad. The emotion felt inappropriate because I didn’t really know him like I had known my own grandparents.

I couldn’t shake this sense of sadness after several weeks had passed. One day, I was driving somewhere on my lunch hour when I began to think about why I was so down. Then I found myself stopping behind a black Toyota truck, which had stopped for a red light. I happened to catch a blue bumper sticker that had the name Kamahamea printed on it in white lettering. Grandma! I thought with sudden realization.

I had lost my grandmother in February of that year and didn’t realize that it was her that I was missing so much. My grandparents moved to Honolulu shortly after my grandfather retired and lived there for six months before returning to the States. She told the story about King Kamahamea when I was little, but I had forgotten about it. Call me crazy, but I felt that it was her way of saying hello.

Battle of the UFO Hunters

A while back, I mentioned a new TV show premiering on the Sci-Fi Channel titled UFO Hunters. At first, I thought I got it wrong when I saw a promo for UFO Hunters on the History Channel. Turns out it's two different shows on two two different stations with two different investigation styles that just happen to have the same name. These shows haven't even premiered yet and there may already be controversy.

According to UFOHunters.net, there's supposedly a battle over who came up with the name first. It seems the History Channel's UFO Hunters was originally called UFO Road trip (and is still being referred to that in some cases). Then, Sci-Fi announced their show in July. For whatever reason, the History Channel changed their show from UFO Road trip to UFO Hunters and filed for trademark six days before Sci-Fi. Therefore, trying to stake their claim on the name. Whether all this is true or not, I don't know.

I'm not a big fan of UFOlogy which is why you won't find much of it here. So, I don't know if I'll be watching either one of them. Both of these shows are premiering on the same night at the same time, February 6th 10 pm Eastern. I guess we will see which one comes out on top. My money is on Sci-Fi.

GS Qustion of the Week

Do you think those who have suffered the effects of Stigmata really are having a religious experience or is it all in their mind?

Caught Up

I think I'm all caught up now (besides the lack of posts). Sorry for taking so long. I'll try to be better prepared for Nano this year.

If you sent me an email regarding exchanging links, check the sidebar. I know I received quite a few. I looked at each website and decided whether or not to add it to my blog. So, if your link isn't there, consider it a no to your request. You can email me if you want to know why.

When I made the switch to the temporary holiday template, I forgot to switch the comments from blogger to Haloscan. So, after I made the switch back, I had to manually transfer them. It may not be formatted the same way, but all comments and names and/or links are on their appropriate post.

Speaking of Haloscan, they have a new user rating feature. I thought I would try it out. The only thing is it doesn't show up on Firefox. So, if you want to show your approval of a post, you'll have to view it in IE.

Last update: I'm going to be working on Ghost Stories Myspace page. If you know of any paranormal events and such, you can email me with the details and I'll add it to the calendar. The basic info that I need is the name of event, date, web address (if there is one) and contact details (if available).

GS Question of the Week

What are rods?

Ghost Hunters Night

Jason, Grant, Steve, Tango and Kris returned to St. Augustine Lighthouse in an all new episode of Ghost Hunters. If you remember from the last time they were there, most of the evidence they got was video. This time it was audio most of which was captured in the keeper's house. They also captured a couple things on the thermal imagining camera. Jason and Grant were I believe in the basement of the Keeper's house. This is where the "man in blue" is often seen. On the thermal cam you can see like the outline of a person. The other thermal clip was from the lighthouse. They had a thermal cam sitting at the very bottom of the lighthouse pointing up. Kris, Jason and Grant were in there at the time seeing shadows and on the thermal footage, you see something move from one side of the lighthouse to the other. It looked like it leaped across the opening. It's really cool.

I wanted to add a clip of the evidence but the only one I can find on Youtube has the "reveal" broken up into two different clips. So, I'm just going to provide the links and you can check it out for yourself: clip 1 and clip 2. New episodes of Ghost Hunters and Destination Truth will begin in March.

The premiere of Ghost Hunters International was also on Wednesday. TAPS members Brian, Andy and Donna along with Robb Demarest, Shannon Sylvia and Barry Fitzgerald made up the new group. Robb is the lead investigator. Brian got his old job back as tech manager. I'm sure he was happy about that. I just hope he doesn't screw it up like he did last time. I never was a big fan of Brian and Andy. It seems everyone thinks Barry is annoying. Maybe it's the way he investigates. Andy is the one that annoys me. Just something about the way he operates, I just don't care for.

In their very first episode, they investigated Chillingham Castle and Mary King's Close. The format of this show is very much like Ghost Hunters. So, basically, it's the same thing with different people and on different continents. Chillingham was a pretty good investigation. They caught a couple of evps and had some personal experiences. There was this one part where Donna and Barry were investigating together and they saw something, a shadow I guess. They took off running. I thought at first they were running away from it, but instead they were chasing it. Barry kind of came off as a wimp in previous episodes of Ghost Hunters which is why I thought he was running away from it. I have to say in this episode he didn't seem like a wimp.

The only thing I didn't like about the Chillingham investigation was the reveal. With audio, you want to let someone form their own opinion of what they are hearing. On a couple of the evps, Robb was telling the guy what they thought it was saying. In this case, the unknown voices were only saying names. So, it wasn't that big of a deal.

Their next stop was Mary King's Close in Scotland. In the 17th Century it was a busy thoroughfare and street of pubs, shops and residences. This place was hit hard by the Bubonic Plague and later, tops of buildings were knocked over, making room for new buildings. Some lower sections were used as foundations. I think the best part of this investigation was when Donna and Shannon were in the Chesney House. A piece of foam fell over and scared the hell out of them. LOL It was hilarious. I don't think a ghost knocked it over. I think it just fell on its own. Not very professional, but funny nonetheless.

There was another place in the Close called Annie's room. It was named after the little girl suffering from Bubonic plague who was locked in it. Now it is believed she haunts it. People who visit the Close leave toys and even money for her. Barry decided he was going to provoke her by taking a couple of her toys away and threaten to burn them. They starting getting high readings on the ion meter but I think that's all that happened. I don't think they got much of anything in regards of evidence besides a shadow in a picture which could have been anything.

I don't know if GHI is going to be as successful as GH. It's okay but not the greatest.

GS Question of the Week

Ever receive a phone call from the dead?

Paranormal State

I held off on reviewing this show for a reason. I missed the premiere episode thanks to the stupid ice storm. After playing catch up, I wanted to watch a few more episodes before relaying my thoughts.

While there are a couple things I like about Paranormal State, it leans more towards Most Haunted quality rather than Ghost Hunters. I like that they show dedication to helping those who contact them. I sort of feel as if all paranormal investigators should have either a counselor or therapist on the team. Just someone certified to help those with emotional stress. I also like how Ryan goes back some time after the investigation is over to check up on the family. Jason and Grant always say they stay in contact with those who they have helped (and I'm sure they probably do), but you don't see that on the show. With places like the Stanley Hotel and Eastern State, of course, they have gone back, but not with a residential location.

Everything else about this show kind of turns me off. With the director's log bit, I feel like I'm being told a story. Showing is better than telling most times. I know that every paranormal group has their own investigation style. This particular one has a lot of spirituality involved with it. They try to be scientific, but the spiritual part pretty much takes central stage. Their investigation starts at what they refer to as Dead Time or the Devil's Hour (3 am). Supposedly paranormal activity increases at that time. I guess they feel that is the time they can get the guaranteed evidence and choose not to take a chance on starting earlier. They also include the family in the investigation. I don't think that's a good idea unless it is a case where an entity is attached to a particular person. The last thing I don't care for is it's broken up into two thirty minute shows. Why? To show division between two cases? To make it seem like you are getting more as a viewer than you are? They could have made it one continuous hour show and done that.

Overall, my impression of Paranormal State is it's not terrible but its not that good either. I guess Lorraine Warren thought differently about the group seeing as she is appearing in one of next week's episode. I guess it's okay to watch until Ghost Hunters returns or Ghost Hunters International premieres (which will be next Wednesday Jan. 9th).

The Fairy that Won't go Away

In April, I wrote about a guy named Dan Baines who "supposedly" came in possession of a mummified fairy. Of course later, he announced it was fake. World Horror Stories posted about this too. Even though we know it's fake now, it seems people still think it's real.

Ladies and gentlemen, IT'S NOT REAL. If you want to believe in fairies, that's fine. However, in this particular case, it was a hoax.

I get that people are still going to believe it's real. I don't like it, but I get it. Sometimes I get this overwhelming urge to just shake some sense into them. I don't actually do it, but sometimes I want to. Ever feel like that?
 
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