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

GS Question of the Week

What is the most haunted city in the world?

Boyington Oak

Charles Boyington was a printer who moved from Connecticut to Mobile, Alabama in 1833. He obtained residence in a local boarding house and soon became friends with a man named Nathaniel Frost. Frost was also a printer who suffered from tuberculosis and bouts of melancholy. The two men would walk to the nearby Church Street cemetery to sit, talk and read poems.

Boyington received an invitation to a ball to be held at the Alabama Hotel. He spent most of his savings on clothes to be worn that night. After arriving, he became infatuated with a young woman named Rose. She was well liked by the gentlemen but Boyington managed to obtain a dance with her. They fell in love. He attended mass each morning at the Catholic Church she attended. A staff member who worked for her father named Lydia would pass notes between them during the service.

While Rose was very much in love with Boyington, her father did not see him as husband material for his daughter. He believed Boyington did not have the money to provide for Rose properly and made it difficult for the two to see one another.

Boyington stopped attending social events to spend hours composing poetry for his beloved. He daydreamed of her so much it cost him his printing job in 1834. He searched for another job but no one was looking to hire a printer, especially one who was known for poor work. No work meant no money. No money meant Rose’s father would never give permission for the couple to be married.

His friend Nathaniel had sympathy for Boyington and offered to pay for his room, board and other expenses until he could obtain employment again. Instead of being grateful, he was humiliated by the offer but learned Frost had money stashed in a chest in his room. Frost relayed to his friend about his wood carving skills. Boyington wanted a heart carved from wood for his sweetheart Rose. Frost offered to teach him how to carve at their usually spot in the cemetery.

Later that day, Boyington returned and handed a package to the owner of the boarding house to be delivered to Rose. He assured her Frost wanted to spend extra time in the cemetery to explain why he hadn’t returned with Boyington. That night, he boarded the James Monroe, which sailed out of Mobile on its way to Montgomery.

The boarding house owner became concerned when she discovered Frost was not in his room the next morning. She notified the Sheriff who found his body in the cemetery. He had been stabbed multiple times. His carving knife was nowhere to be found. There were no other leads. Folks knew Frost spent time with Boyington often in that cemetery. All the circumstantial evidence pointed to Boyington. On May 12, 1834, the town paper printed an article by the mayor, John Stocking, Jr., noting that Charles Boyington was suspected of murdering Nathaniel Frost. A reward of $250 was offered for his capture.

The article was printed on Monday and Boyington’s whereabouts were discovered on the James Monroe by Thursday. He was handcuffed and brought back to the Mobile jail. He proclaimed his innocence until the very end. His trial was in November of 1834. It was short and the jury found him guilty. His sentence was to hang in February of 1835. On the day he was to be put to death, he proclaimed that a great oak would grow from his grave to as a sign of his innocence.

An oak did indeed grow over his grave in Potter’s field, months after he was laid to rest and still stands today outside of the walls of the Church Street Graveyard on the edge of a parking lot. His headstone has since been removed. The tree is believed to be haunted. They say when the wind blows through the tree’s branches you can hear Charles Boyington voice still proclaiming his innocence. Other strange noises have been heard from around the tree. People have found anomalies in photos they took of the tree. Some have even felt cold chills near the tree on hot summer days.

For more information: Mobile's Boyington Oak

Reader Submission - The Ghosts of Palo Duro Canyon

The following story was sent in from Scottish Medieval Romance & Urban Fantasy author Terry Spear:

When I was young, I devoured every ghost story I could, but I’d never come across any real ones. They were strictly fantasy.

Have you ever encountered a ghost in your wanderings? I have...but the first one wasn't the usual human type spirit though.

Here I was, sleeping on a cold night with our Army ROTC cadets on the rocky ground in Palo Duro Canyon. But not sleeping exactly. Everyone else was, but I'm born of the Princess and the Pea blood...which means, anything can bruise me.

So the lumpy, rocky ground kept me awake, the cold, the sounds in the night, the breeze stirring over the cliffs, the thought rattlesnakes, or tarantulas, or scorpions would seek heat would find their way into my sleeping bag, kept me awake. I stared at the sky that stretched forever. The Texas sky does, you know. In other places, mountains and trees and buildings might break up the sky, but not out there. Not in the vast wilderness that was the Panhandle of Texas. The stars sparkled across the dark sky like jewels twinkling in the night. And I was frustrated with myself for not being able to sleep, knowing we had to run up and down the hills in the morning to search for clues on an orienteering course.

Sometime during that night, I finally drifted off, but then heard the sound of horses running, stampeding in our direction. They snorted and whinnied and the sound was frightening.

I recalled deer running through our friends' tent when we camped off an island in our boat in a lake in California. They don't go around, I thought. The horses will run straight through us and trample us to death. I tried to wake my sister who was sleeping in a bag next to me. She grumbled at me to leave her alone and I watched the others in the dark. No one heard the noise but me.

I lay back hoping that the horses would skirt around us. I realized the pounding of hooves didn't shake the ground like it should have. Maybe they were too far away. And then, they moved off in the distance, fading until they were gone. I lay awake for a long time, unable to get over how close we could have been to being trampled, fearing their return. That they'd switch back and come this way again.

And then finally, I was able to sleep and before I knew it, we were sitting at a campfire, cold, achy, having breakfast. I asked about the wild horses. Our cadre said there could be. Sure. But no one had heard anything last night.

Years later, I wanted to write about the wild horses for a magazine, only when I began to research them, I learned others had heard the ghost ponies in the dead of the night. I sat slack-jawed reading the accounts. Ghost ponies? For years, I had believed they were real. The sound of their running, snorts, whinnies were real. It happened.

But they were whispers of the past--of soldiers running Indian ponies off the cliffs in an attempt to keep the gathered tribes from fighting back. Without their horses, the tribes could no longer be mobile. They could no longer mount any campaigns.

The horses were terrified and were driven to their deaths. And now, they live in the canyon forever, a memory of past deeds, a remembrance of their past life.

Because of my love of ghost stories and the wild west, I’ve written A GHOST OF A CHANCE AT LOVE, a ghostly time travel romance set in Salado and Waco, Texas, which you can purchase on Amazon. To learn more about Terry, you can visit her website at

Sneak Peek Tuesday: Ghost Hunters/Fact or Faked/Zombie Apocalypse

This week in an all-new Ghost Hunters, Jason and Grant are investigating with guest star Meredith Vieira (Who Wants To Be a Millionaire?) and they decide they should go down a flight of stairs to get an area where a child was kept. While Jason and Grant’s main concern is connecting with any potential ghosts, Meredith is concerned with the fact that with them being in the basement, someone could lock them in from the upper level. While she is concerned with making sure they have a way out, she also expresses a desire to see the matron that evidently chained her child in the basement. Be sure to watch the clip and tune in at 9/8c on Wednesday to see if Jason and Grant’s mission alongside Meredith provides an encounter.

In Fact or Faked, the team is putting together another project right outside of Area 51 and are discussing sling-loads, where military aircraft use a sling below the craft to transport various resources. They’re trying to see if they can create a sling-load to look similar to what they saw in UFO footage. Be sure to tune in on Wednesday at 10/9c on Syfy to see how real and accurate they can get the sling-load to look like a UFO!

I wanted to start your Friday with a sneak peek clip featuring the upcoming Syfy Original Movie, Zombie Apocalypse, airing Saturday at 9pm ET/PT. In the clip you’ll see that the zombies are even attacking in broad daylight and Henry (Ving Rhames) realizes they’re getting smarter. He has a feeling that he has to constantly look over his shoulder. There’s a good reason to have that feeling as one zombie retreats from attacking, only to quickly find multiple reinforcements. Henry and Cassie decide to run instead of sticking around to fight. Be sure to watch the clip and tune in Saturday to see just how long they can outrun the dead.

Sneak Peek Tuesday - Ghost Hunters/Fact or Faked/Urban Legends

This week in an all-new Ghost Hunters, the team is looking for the actress that killed herself back stage. They continue to explore the Niagra Falls Theater and hear voices all over. They decide it was a male voice and it almost sounded like a conversation. Be sure to watch the clip and tune in at 9/8c to see if they can have their own conversation with the spirits.

In Fact or Faked, the team has designed a UFO made of aluminum discs. The disc is supposed to follow down a zipline and then release toward an explosion. Be sure to tune in on Wednesday at 10/9c on Syfy to see just how elaborate of a set up this took to pull off and it all ends with some fireworks!

In Urban Legends, a lottery official is pretty lucky and gets to give away millions of dollars each day. There is however one draw where they picked a winner that she will never forget. They had over 100 winners and it looked like fraud, and the winners could potentially get away with it. There are 30 times more winners than usual. Be sure to tune in on Monday at 11/10c on Syfy to see how so many people were cashing in.

Sneak Peek Tuesday - Ghost Hunters Live

Ghost Hunters Live – This Halloween

Ghost Hunters Live – Tunnel Whispers - Pennhurst

Ghost Hunters Live – Chasing Noises – Pennhurst

The Sun Inn

Construction began on this 18th century Moravian architecture in 1758. The first guests were welcomed two years later. It was built by the Moravian community for non-Moravian merchants who had business with the community. The Sun Inn was known throughout the American colonies for its gracious service, fine food and wines, and its comfortable rooms.

This Bethlehem, Pennsylvania inn had many notable guests. During the American Revolutionary War, General George and Martha Washington, John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Samuel Adams, John Hancock among others were guests. In 1777, leading fourteen members of the Continental Congress met at the Sun Inn, signed the order of Protection and stayed the night. Many people fleeing Philadelphia after General Washington’s defeat at the Battle of Brandywine stayed at the inn. During the Fries's Rebellion in 1799, seventeen of Fries's followers were held at the inn and then freed by Fries.

Sun Inn began as a 66ft by 40ft two-story stone structure with a mansard roof and alleged underground tunnels (built in case of hostile Indian attacks) in 1758. In 1826, a third story was added with 17 new rooms and enlarged again in 1866. It was restored in the 1970s and 80s and is now a museum and restaurant.

It is possible this historical inn may be haunted. So much so, it even caught the eyes of Ghost Hunters (and will be featured on a future episode). Hughetta Bender founded the Sun Inn Preservation Association in 1972. Some believe she never left. There have been pictures snapped of an elderly figure wearing a white apron. Hughetta was known to wear a white apron often. A nurse named Elizabeth Moore, who died at the inn in 1897, is also believed to haunt the location. There’s even a legend attached to the structure. Supposedly, a man named Brother Albrecht hit treasure and wine in a secret room. Now, his ghost guards the treasure. Not entirely sure if a secret room has ever been found on the property.

The Lynch House

This story begins with a woman and her husband. During the Civil War, he left his wife, Liza Thompson, to fight in the war. On his way out of town, he left the deed to their house and other important documents with a banker friend. He never came home again.

After suffering such a tragedy, Liza was faced with another problem. The banker who retained the documents for her house also left to fight the war. And, like her husband, was killed. In this tale, two wives grieved for their husbands but it was a house that brought on their own war.

After the banker’s death, his wife came across the deed and other documents to the Thompson home. She decided she wanted it for herself. This began a 13 year court battle between the two widows. In the end, Liza kept her home.

The family that lives in the house now, known as the Lynch House, says it is haunted. Witnesses have seen Liza Thompson dressed in white, standing at the foot of beds and walking the halls of the second floor. She is described as being a good, helpful spirit. They believe she may not be the only spirit in Lynch House. The second one is of a more mischievous nature who likes to hide keys and flicker lights whenever the Civil War is the topic of a conversation.

The Lynch House is a stop on a haunting tour in Leesburg, VA if you’re ever in the area and want to learn more.

Sneak Peek Tuesday: Ghost Hunters/Paranormal Witness

This week in an all-new Ghost Hunters, Jason and Grant are kicking back to try and put themselves in position where there’s been reports of hearing heavy breathing, cold sensations, and having an arm grabbed. They’re trying to affirm the spirit or ghost that everyone still misses him, and that they still remember him. Suddenly they start to feel the cold drafts, and it’s clearly not coming from the vent. Be sure to watch the clip and tune in at 9/8c to see if they are able to speak or feel the ghost of Al.

In Paranormal Witness, the season finale takes us out with a bang, or I guess we should say spook. A man walks into the restroom to wash up for supper as a weird feeling starts to arise within him. He turns to dry his hands on a towel and all at once air starts to leave the room and it’s like he’s been sucked into a vacuum. Next, he starts to feel as if he’s being attacked, but can’t see the pursuer. He looks towards the window and sees an old man that creates chills up and down his spine. Be sure to tune in on Wednesday at 10/9c on Syfy to see if the victim comes face to face with the old man, or if he can get to his family downstairs.

Blood Cemetery

Pine Hill Cemetery in Hollis, New Hampshire has locals to thank for its nickname. “Blood Cemetery” doesn’t derive from bleeding trees or tombstones. It comes from one resident family buried there. Many believe its haunted by a man named Abel Blood. He was buried there in 1867. Several members of his family including his wife Betsy are there as well. But why does Abel Blood supposedly haunt the cemetery?

One rumor states he was connected to the occult. However, those who have researched his story has turned up nothing tying him to the occult. In fact, it relieved he led a very law-abiding, Christian life. Another rumor has his entire family being murdered. Again, research ruled that explanation out. No two members of the Blood family were murdered much less an entire group. They all died different times, places, of natural causes and otherwise. Many of those who have investigated the cemetery don’t even believe Abel Blood is the one who is haunting the area. So, why does his name keep popping up in this legend?

It has to do with his grave marker. Etched in to the stone is an enclosed hand with a single finger pointing towards the heavens. They say at night, when the ghosts come out to play, the finger is seen pointed down towards the ground. There may be a reasonable explanation for such reports but we may never know what it is because the image has since been chipped off the headstone.

Perhaps the answer lies in the land itself. Benjamin Parker Jr. donated the land in 1769. He had to sell his farm and the area needed a place where the dead could rest in peace. Now, nearly three hundred people has been buried in this cemetery. Several grave markers have not survived and succumbed to weatherization. The graves now stand bare. Could this be why it’s haunted?

Maybe it’s a boy who has all the answers. Supposedly, a young boy haunts the Pine Hill Road next to the cemetery. The story associated with his death states he and his whole family were murdered in the 1800s (could some people be mixing this story with that of Abel Blood’s?). It’s believed they were murdered in their home, which was once located near this road. Then buried in the cemetery. Witnesses claimed to have seen the boy attempting to flag down vehicles. Once someone stops to assist him, the child vanishes.

No matter what the cause of this haunting may be, visitors have reported seeing shadows, orbs, strange sounds, tapping, strange anomalies in photographs and trees moving when there is no wind.

If you decide to pay the Blood family a visit, don’t go after dark. The cemetery is officially closed between dusk and dawn. The police heavily patrol the area, especially around Halloween. You’ll likely get arrested and prosecuted for trespassing.

The Shanley Hotel

Located in Napanoch, New York, Thomas Ritch first built the Shanley Hotel in 1845. Six years later, it became the Hungerford’s Hotel. Then, it burned down on March 18, 1895 after a nearby house caught on fire and spread to the hotel, burning it to the foundation. The construction of the new hotel began by September on the same foundation and it reopened in November. Over the years, the hotel switched hands more than 20 times. The one who really put the establishment on the map was James Louis Shanley. He was born on Halloween in 1874 in Ireland and later, moved his family to New York City. Shanley moved upstate for health reasons and purchased the hotel on October 1, 1906.

Shanley was well loved by the community. Upon returning from his honeymoon with his new bride Beatrice Rowley in 1910, the couple was greeted with a grand parade welcoming them back. The Shanleys welcomed everyone and used games, entertainment, parties and special events to attract new guests. In 1908, he added on a bowling alley, billiard room and Barbershop. Attracted such elite guests such as President Franklin D. and Eleanor Roosevelt and Thomas Edison.

While The Shanley Hotel was known for its picturesque location and beauty, it wasn’t without it’s share of blemishes. At some point, it housed a bordello, inviting certain male guests. There was a raid by the police where alcohol was seized. Beatrice gave birth to three children, all of which died within nine months of being born. Her sister, Esther Faughman and husband John lived in an adjoining apartment. She was known to be a beautiful woman with a big heart but lived a quite lonely life. After her death of influenza, she left her daughters to her sister and brother-in-law to raise.

The barber’s 4-year-old daughter Rosanna “Rosie” Grager fell in to the well and drowned in 1911. A 6-year-old boy was hit by a doctor’s car as he backed out of the alley between the hotel and the doctor’s house. He sustained severe head injuries and died in 1915. Over the years, there were several accidental deaths, missing persons and alleged murders that may or may not have been covered up. James Shanley died of a heart attack on August 26th, 1937. Beatrice sold the hotel to Mr. Al Hazen, who coincidentally was born and had died on the same days (different years) as James Shanley, in 1944.

Today, Salvatore and Cynthia Nicosia own the Shanley Hotel, which consists of thirty-five rooms, hand painted floors, antique furniture and one hidden basement area. Many believe the numerous deaths have led to its now haunted status. It is believed to be the home of 30 to 40 spirits, most associated with the Shanleys. A man, fitting James description, wanders around the location in the form of a misty apparition. The cries of a female has been linked to Beatrice, mourning her three children and sister. Witnesses have seen a woman dressed in a beautiful Victorian style gown. Various aromas have been experienced throughout the building including perfume, burning pipe tobacco and food. Many have experienced the sensation of being bound or handcuffed in the “secret room”.

A boy named “Jonathon” is believed to haunt the 3rd floor. Some think he may be the 6-year-old boy who was hit by a doctor’s car. However, witnesses have described the boy spirit as being 11 not 6. Either way, he’s been known to play with toys left in his room. A young woman named Claire has been seen on the 3rd floor as well. She supposedly hung herself but rumors dictate she may have been murdered. Other reports include footsteps, voices, doors opening and shutting, children laughing, cold spots, the sounds of music being played on an unattended piano, ladies’ jewelry being tugged, and the feeling of being watched not to mention various spirits from different time periods have been seen throughout the hotel.

Sneak Peek Tuesday - Ghost Hunters/Paranormal Witness

This week in an all-new Ghost Hunters, Jason along with daughter Haily, visit a house to investigate child ghosts who occasionally bounce balls and are heard walking back and forth on the third floor. Jason allows Haily to take the lead on her first investigation, as he believes that child ghosts are more apt to make contact with younger females. The group just might have thought correctly after Haily hears whispering voices. Be sure to watch the clip and tune in at 9/8c to see if they are able to connect with the young residents.

In Paranormal Witness, we have two sneak peeks for each story within the upcoming episode. In the first, a family talks about odd events that often happen in the upstairs bedroom and hallway at night. The parents experience odd tugging of bed sheets, hear whispers during the night and their closet door is constantly being opened and terrifies their baby boy even after its been tied shut.

Finally, in the second Paranormal Witness sneak peek, the Trumball County police department chases after an unidentified object in the sky but seem to have trouble making out exactly what it is. Terrified over the sightings, one officer finally makes it to the top of an old radio tower and makes a alarming discovery. Be sure to watch the clip and tune in to watch as the breakthrough unfolds. You’ll have to watch the clips and tune in at 10/9c on Syfy to see for yourself.

Teaser Tuesday - Fact or Faked/Being Human

Fact or Faked: Paranormal Files will be premiering it's new season in a couple of weeks, October 19th. In the meantime, here is a little teaser of what viewers can look forward to.

The UK version of Being Human, minus Aidan Turner, is set to premiere it's fourth series sometime next year. I'm assuming January or February since that's when the others started. Personally, I don't think it'll be the same without Mitchell but we'll see what some new and old characters will bring to the show.

The US version of Being Human will premiere it's second season in January 2012. Today, I have a couple of teasers to maybe hold you over until then.

Giving Into Your Inner Monster

Kept the Wolf in the Box

GS Question of the Week

Do you think the paranormal is the new normal?
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