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

Sneak Peek Tuesday - Haunted Collector/School Spirits

John and the team investigate an 8-sided plantation/Civil War hospital-turned-museum in Kentucky. Watch this all new episode on Wednesday 9/8c.

It's the season finale already. Did you like the new series? Think it'll be picked up for a second season? On Wednesday, fraternity brothers at Slippery Rock University share their house with the unsettling spirit of a local Native American. School Spirits Season Finale at 10/9c.

Sneak Peek Tuesday - Destination Truth/Haunted Highway

The team comes face to face with ghosts in one of the world’s most spectacular ruins. Watch an all new episode tonight at 9/8c.

Hit the road with Jael, Devin, Jack and Dana as they investigate a Louisiana swamp legend and more. Will they find the Swamp Woman? Check out an all new episode tonight at 10/9c.

Reader Submission - Cleaning A Haunted House Pt. 3

The following is the third and final installment of this story from Lori Zaremba:

Cleaning A Haunted House... Wayne's Turn Part 3

This story is for all the gentle people who are more attuned to the spirit world, who have seen, felt and reveled in the knowledge that there is life after death and we are privileged to have had these wonderful if not sometime frightening experiences. This story is for the same people who live among mortals who just don't get us at all.

I am married to Wayne, a wonderful man who at times has looked at me as if I had taken a liking to drinking out of strange toilets. I would tell him about my experiences at the haunted house and he would laugh and say "that's nice dear" like I was telling him about what's for dinner. I would always say to him "next time I am taking you with me" and he would say "never!" Well as fate would have it "never" came about a month later with a big change in our financial situation.

My hubby lost his job, so with a quick decision to not upset our finances, I went back to a career, and Wayne took over a portion of the house cleaning while he looked for another job. That meant yes, he would have to clean the Haunted House. He started cleaning the house several weeks ago. The first couple times there was nothing, not a peep. I think my little buddy was afraid of my husband, all cranky six foot four of him. That would scare any little kid. I would ask Wayne "did you see or hear anything" He would say "no". Then one day the little fella decided to come out and play.

Wayne was in the master bathroom (typical hot spot). He said while he was cleaning the shower he heard a little voice say "Hi" Wayne thinking that the family came home stepped out of the bathroom to see who was there. He called out and no one answered. He quickly finished up and gathered all his supplies and headed out to the hallway. On the landing before the steps was a ball a stuffed animal and a doll, all lined up. Wayne knew they were not there when he came up the steps, in fact he had seen the doll in the corner of the bedroom earlier. He was in disbelief! Of course someone surely must be playing tricks on him. He told me he searched the house but there was not a soul there, he also said when he was downstairs ready to leave, he heard the sound of children running in the hall upstairs. Hmmmmm... I am trying to keep a straight face and not be my usual sarcastic self. But I can't help myself... I say "that's nice dear" The next visit brought even more fun and games and had my husband re-thinking this whole ghost thing.

Wayne went to the haunted house last Friday. He said he went into the house and everything seemed pretty normal. He said he was mopping the kitchen floor and he started hearing sounds as if someone was banging on the floor above him. He would stop working and the banging would stop, soon as he would start mopping the banging would start again. He finally decided to go check it out. He went upstairs and couldn't find anything that would make that bang. He went back down the steps and as he got to the bottom something bounced past him "what?" it's a little rubber ball... Wayne was now remembering all my stories that include the rubber ball and started to get a little unnerved. He explained to me that the next 2 hours were spent dodging flying dolls, balls, picking up toys that appeared from nowhere and thinking "Keep going, get done and get the hell out of here" Finally he finished up, he was barely in the car and dialing on his cell phone, Who? Yes me, the crazy wife who see's ghosties...

I guess I am not so crazy.

I think Wayne has a new appreciation for the brave woman he is married to, who week after week returned to the haunted house alone. I have a new appreciation for Wayne and the pleasure in knowing that I am now married to a believer...

The End

Sneak Peek Tuesday - Haunted Collector/School Spirits

Watch a sneak peek of the next all-new episode of Haunted Collector, Wednesday at 9/8c.

A ghostly visitor sends an urgent warning to a pair of best friends at Eastern Kentucky University.

Sneak Peek Tuesday - Destination Truth/Haunted Highway

The team traverses across Kazakhstan to investigate sightings of a crashed alien spacecraft, tonight at 9/8c.

Hellish hounds and a southern skin stealer are in the teams sights. Watch a sneak peek of the next all-new episode of Haunted Highway, airing tonight at 10/9c.

Reader Submission - Effect of Out of Body Experience in Ones Life

The following article was submitted by Amy:

What is an out of body experience is the one question that has most drastically changed my life! Let me start by saying that I am not that person that goes out and must ride every new roller coaster or takes backpacking trips across contents or engages in any type of sport with the word ‘extreme’ in it. So when a friend told be about her out of body experience it really did not sound like anything I would ever want to do. In fact I secretly thought she was crazy, especially when she told me she was going to actually try, give concerted time and effort to the act of creating that experience again.

It is not that I am a control freak, but the thought of my spirit leaving my body basically terrified me. Why would I want to go floating around in the ether when I have a perfectly safe, comfy, warm bed right here at home!? Also, I had no interest in coming back to my body after a nice little spiritual journey, only to find that some other spirit made my body their new home! My friend assured me that this was impossible because we are always connected to our bodies and nothing else can enter and list of ten other reasons to assuage my fears. So out of pure curiosity I decided to attend an Out of Body Seminar - about exactly that, how to willfully create your own out of body experience any time you want.

Of course I thought it was bogus, but I agreed to go anyway and forked over my money to sit in a room full of people that looked perfectly normal, but somehow wanted more than anything to learn how to leave their bodies at will. Well, to make a long story short, I was hooked by the second day. I listened to story after story of people that created their own out of body experiences and described all the places they traveled and deceased relatives they met and I started to want to cultivate this ability in myself. The benefits were staring to outweigh the risks so I began to study everything I could get my hands on about this subject. It took me two months of concentrated effort before I was actually able to leave my body for the first time.

I didn’t go very far, basically I left my body lying in my bed, floated into my living room, realized what was happening and before I knew it I went rushing straight back into my body! I laugh about it now, but that is actually quite common for many people on their first and second experiences. Eventually though you are expecting it to happen so the shock won’t compel you to do a nosedive back into the familiarity of your body, like anything you build yourself up and be able to explore out further and further each time you try. Now it is over a year later and I can leave my body at will on most nights and it is so amazing that often think back and remember that it all started with a simple question to my best friend - “So what is an out of body experience anyway?”

If you want to learn more about out of body experience or how to experience one yourself, then click here.

Reader Submission - Cleaning A Haunted House Pt. 2

The following is part two in a three part series from Lori Zaremba:

Cleaning A Haunted House.. What I Do For Money Part 2

Where do ghost go? Do they take naps, walks, vacations? That's what I was asking myself when I would go to the haunted house week after week, month after month without a visit from my friend. Every once in a while I would hear the occasional door slam somewhere off in the distance or I would pick up that rubber ball that would find its way to a new location in the house. I could tell immediately when I would arrive at the house each week that my buddy was not in residence. I even started asking my sister C.J who helps me at the house every other week if she had noticed anything. No, nothing. That had been her answer through the whole thing, when I was seeing full body apparitions and being locked out of the house as well as hearing voices, she noticed nothing. Well, something got her attention.

It was pouring the day we went to clean the house. Lightning flashed, thunder boomed and as I pulled into the driveway I saw the blinds move in one of the upstairs bedrooms.

Looks like its going to be an eventful day. We dashed in with all our supplies and I immediately felt the difference in the house and knew my friend was back.

C.J cleans the upstairs and I clean the main floor when we go together. We share the basement. I know what you are thinking. Send your poor sister upstairs to be scared. The real reason is because she doesn't do a very good job on the hard wood floors downstairs. Besides she says there's nothing spooky going on anyway, so...

I started in the kitchen and I could hear C.J grumbling about something as she came back down the steps. "What's wrong?" I asked. She proceeded to tell me that the upstairs master looked like a camp ground; there were tents and sleeping bags laid out all over the room. "Really?" I say to ghostie, "Are you scaring the children again?" C.J. Looked at me and says "you are goofy." and she went back upstairs. I continued with my routine. I finished the kitchen and started in the powder room. I heard a rustling in my cleaning bag behind me. I turned to look and I saw my roll of paper towels unraveling across the kitchen floor. I stepped closer to get a better look and I heard a scream coming from upstairs. I rushed to the steps and took them 2 at a time and yelled "what's wrong?"

I got to the top and C.J. Was standing there as white as a sheet and says "Something wacked me on the head!" I looked at her with disbelief, she told me she was in the bathroom and she was talking to herself, saying "what a mess these kids made of the sink." She went to pick up something off the floor and as she straightened up, something wacked her on the head. She said it felt like a baseball. Hmm... Now I was confused. While someone was rolling my paper towels across the floor downstairs, someone else was whacking my sister on the head with a baseball? I looked down and there was a stuffed animal toy laying on the floor, a duck. I asked "Is this what hit you?" She said "Where the hell did that come from?" then she said "Maybe?" I said "That's a far cry from a baseball!" She was quite agitated, I can't help it, and I started laughing, laughing until I cried. Finally, I pulled myself up off of the floor, got as composed as I could and said "Welcome to my world" She, as any loving sister would do, whips me the bird.

My sister is as tough as nails. She is a third degree black belt in Tao Kwon-Doe. She would rip me to shreds as she would lay down her life to protect me. That day I saw her as a little girl, frightened by the boogeyman. She would no longer go upstairs in the house by herself.

Wherever my ghost had been hiding all those months, he must not have liked it very much because he was at the house almost every week after that day; at least I thought he was.

It was my day to clean alone. I arrived at the house and once again my key would not unlock the door. I heard a child's giggle from inside, oh; I guess the kids are home today. I turned the knob on the door and it opened. I call out "Hello" as I did the alarm started beeping. I hurried and put my code in before it went off. I guess the kids were not home, weird. As I walked in the kitchen and I heard a ball bouncing in the foyer. I walked down to investigate and I saw that rubber ball roll into the piano room. I walked over and once again felt the freezing air. "WHEW..." I could see my breath. I looked around with the rubber ball in my hand and say "What's up with this rubber ball?" "Do you like it because it has a picture of a puppy in it? Did you have a puppy like this?" Nothing, no answer. I got to work.

I got into the powder room to use it and I shut the door. I immediately heard a conversation going on. It sounded like a man and a woman and it was continuous, although I couldn't make out what they were saying. I opened the door, it stopped, closed the door it started again. I listened closely the voices were coming from the sink drain, hmm... The basement? I dashed to the basement door and got halfway down the steps, I couldn't hear anything. Then I thought of every horror movie that I have ever seen when the dumb blonde decides to go down into the dark basement to meet her demise, no way, not this blonde, see ya! I dashed up the steps back to the powder room and shut the door; I could no longer hear the conversation. I did notice that my roll of paper towels was in the toilet, "Awe give me a break, yuck!" Did you know that a roll of Bounty paper towels can absorb about 15 pounds of water? It's true.

The following week my sister and I went to the house, my sister was wearing two gaudy chains with crosses around her neck she found at an estate sale. She walked into the house and announced to anyone listening. "We are here to clean this house, you are not allowed to harass or hurt us, no touching!"

We cleaned the house together since she would not go off on her own. It takes us twice as long. We are packing up all of our stuff, I was loading the car which was parked 2 feet from the door we enter and exit from. C.J. Was in the kitchen about 10 feet from the door. I heard a voice and as I say "What?" I turned and see a boy about 6 or 7 years old run into the doorway to the laundry room which is between where my sister was standing and where I was. I gasped and looked at her, by the look of astonishment on her face, she saw him to. We both ran to the laundry room door, he was gone but the clothes on the line were still swinging from him brushing them on his way by. We stood there in complete silence; my sister broke the silence by saying "Wow."

The drive home was silent.

C.J. Called me that night and we discussed what happened, she is very sad because it is a little boy and she wants to know why is he here? Where are his parents? How could they leave him behind? Is the man I saw his father?

Many people ask me if I have talked to the owners about this, I have dropped a few suggestions of some weird things happening but I do not want to scare them. Sometimes ignorance is bliss. I am sure the kids have noticed things but then again they may just blame each other. I have gone there when the girls are home and they seem great. They are very outgoing, friendly and smart. These ghost are not harmful and do seem to like this home. My feelings are that they like the family, maybe that is what they lost and just want to be part of again.

When we go there now, there is no fear. I dance and sing while I am cleaning because I know the little one is entertained by it, I can hear him giggle once in a while. He follows me here and there and sometimes he will pull on my shirt hem to get my attention. The ball still bounces around the house as well as some of the other toys he seems fascinated by. The best thing is the day I had to use the toilet and I told him he wasn't allowed to come in. I shut the door and he gently knocked on the door the whole time I was in there.

Ghost are just people who have past away. Some simply want to be acknowledged.

The story does continue.....

Reader Submission - Cleaning A Haunted House Pt.1

The following is the first part in a three part series from reader Lori Zaremba:

Cleaning A Haunted House..What I do For Money Part 1

My name is Lori and I own a small cleaning service in the Pittsburgh area. I have 22 customers and 2 employees C.J. And Marie.

I am writing this story about one house in particular, yes the haunted one. Before I begin I would like to tell all you non believers of the paranormal to chill out, I am not looking for ghosties they just show up. In the past if I saw something or heard a misplaced noise I would pass it off as whatever, now I am paying a little more attention.

In June of 2008 I got my first customer in a very nice neighborhood with all new houses (economy is not effecting this hood). From that customer I was able to get 2 other houses. One was a couple with 2 dogs and the other was a family with 3 little girls. All was great. When we first started cleaning these homes all three of us would go together. The house with the family is quite large 5,000 square feet so as a group we would work our way through all 3 levels.

The first odd thing that I would notice and shrug off was that when we walked into the house we would all feel like someone was home. I would call out for several moments without a response before realizing no one was at home. The other strange thing was the door that we would enter would always shut on me and sometimes it would lock, ok not so strange just enough for me to always hang on to my keys. Then the little weird stuff started, a roll of paper towels spread across the grand foyer, cleaning rags tossed down the steps. I would blame my helpers, what are they doing? This was the norm.

Now the fun starts. Six months into cleaning, the customer request weekly service but only the main floor and the master bath, no problem I or Marie could come by ourselves the opposite weeks. Marie said no so that meant I would have to do, still no problem.

I went my first time by myself and once again the feeling that someone was home was overwhelming. I made it through the whole main floor with no problem. I went upstairs to tackle the master bath, my foot hit the top step and I heard a door slam somewhere in the house. I called out once again," Hello is someone home?" No one was home. I proceeded down the hallway lugging 2 sweepers, a bucket and a bag full of supplies, as I was walking a rubber ball rolls past me into the master bedroom, hmmm... Where did that come from? Whatever, I cleaned the bathroom (takes an hour). Whilst gathering all my stuff and I heard a crowd of voices coming from the foyer downstairs, once again, I called out "hello, whose home?" Got all the way down there with all my stuff, no one was there.

Weeks went by with some weird stuff but once again it could have been shrugged off as whatever. Then the day came when I saw him...

I once again got to the top step and for some reason this day I looked down that long hallway and I could not make my legs move, I was frozen. I felt a sense of dread, what? I said to myself "get your butt movin and clean the bathroom!" I did. After completing my task I began gathering my supplies as usual. As I walked into the master bedroom I kicked something, I looked down and it was that rubber ball again, "now where did this come from?" As I said it I felt a crack of static electricity I looked up and I said to a man "oh your home" As the words were coming out of my mouth he disappeared before my eyes.

What just happened?

Was that real?

Did I imagine it, am I crazy?

Every hair on the back of my neck was sticking straight out. I was covered in chills and sweat. I did what any reasonable woman would do I grabbed my shiat and ran. The story does not end here this is actually the beginning. Yes, I really did see a ghost and no I do not believe I am crazy.

I did have a million questions running through my mind one of which is how can there be a ghost in a brand new home. Well I did some research and I discovered spirits can also be attached to people, land or personal items.

I will tell you this makes perfect sense to me since my mother once gave my ex- husband a haunted clock. She found this dusty old Coca-cola clock at a yard sale, it drove him crazy because sometimes it would keep perfect time, sometimes it would stop, other times it would keep time backwards and sometimes it would fall off the wall for no reason. (Shortly after I moved out the neighbor reported that the clock was out with the trash.)

As time went on I began to wonder more and more about this fella that I saw and who he was. The research I did about the land that this house was on, uncovered that it was at one time farm land. I don't know if this fella was one of the farmers who worked this land. I remember him in pale clothing but nothing stands out in my memory other than his slight build and graying hair. I also thought maybe he was attached to an item in the house but without snooping through drawers and closets everything I saw looked newer.

Weeks passed by without any interruptions to my cleaning efforts. I go to the neighbor's house that I originally contracted as a customer. I was cleaning her dining room windows which faced the haunted house. I reached for the Windex and I saw movement out the corner of my eye in one of the windows at the haunted house. I thought "hmm, I wonder who that was" I said it aloud and Nancy the customer who I was cleaning for asked me if I was talking to her. I told her I thought someone was home next door and that I saw someone in the window. She said "no, they are at work, but I saw someone looking out that window." I turned and looked at her and she had a look on her face that said she knew something. I told her that strange things sometime happen over there. She proceeded to tell me that they first looked at that house before deciding to build this one and she said she got very disturbed when they went to the second floor. She said she felt uncomfortable in one of the bedrooms upstairs. I asked her if the owners had noticed the presence in the house. She said the only thing that they have ever mentioned is that the girls won't sleep in their own bedrooms and so they all camp out in the master bedroom. Hmm, I wonder why... Nancy also told me that on several occasions weird things have happened in her own house as well. The one thing that stood out to me was that she said she has also heard groups of people conversing in the foyer while she was upstairs interesting.

Well I guess my seeing ghosty in the window that day was his way of letting me know that my next cleaning day there was going to be crazy. It was my day to clean alone.

I arrived at my usual 9am start time. I unlocked the door and prepared to go in. Just as I turned the knob I heard the dead bolt lock again. What the ****? Now my key wouldn't turn in the lock, this went on for 5 minutes, I was getting upset. I was now angry and decided I would walk around to the front door and go in that way. The only problem was I would have to run through the house to reach the security box before the alarm sounded off. I got to the front door put my key in the deadbolt; it unlocked the door knob, success. Before I opened the door I prepared for my sprint through the house, ready, get set, go! I dashed through the grand foyer and round the corner to the hall that led to the kitchen. The door to the hall closet opened (ouch!) I ran into it, but kept moving. There is a stool in the hall, I leapt over it and landed on that damned rubber ball again, its ok I was still on my feet and I was now flying through the kitchen. I arrived at the security box and got my code in with seconds to spare. Whew... What a work out!

The security box is by the back door which I couldn't get unlocked a few minutes before. I looked at the door, it was unlocked. Shaking my head I carried on a one sided conversation with ghosty telling him please don't play games. I have to do a good job, I am poor and need to make money and can't get sidetracked by such shenanigans as this.

Did I hear a giggle?

I completed my work at the house and I decided to leave the owners a note to have the lock checked, even though I know there is not a damn thing wrong with it. I put the note on the counter and I saw movement by the sink. The dish towel that was hanging on the handle of the dishwasher was slowly sliding to the right, I said "hey!" The towel fell to the floor. I walked over; it was like I was walking into a freezer. I picked up the towel and hung it neatly on the handle. "OK, I am leaving now; please keep the place clean, thank you!"

Once again I grabbed my shiat and ran.

Sneak Peek Tuesday - Haunted Highway/Destination Truth/Paranormal Wtiness

The team investigates the Darkman in Standing Rock, South Dakota.

Josh Gates continues his exploration for answers to the unexplained. New season premieres tonight!

TV’s scariest show Paranormal Witness returns for a new season, August 8th!

Reader Submission - I am a Ghost Magnet

The following story was submitted by Lori Zaremba:

Some women attract men, some attract riches and some attract trouble. I on the other hand seem to attract ghosts.

When I was a little kid my Jitney bus driver (yes I rode the short bus) departed this earth and came to me in my dream to tell me that she wouldn't be able to take me to school anymore. Imagine my mother's surprise when I told her about the dream and 5 minutes later the phone rings with the official news from the school that Mrs Clements had passed away in her sleep.

All my life I have seen, heard and felt things that had me thinking either I was concussed or perhaps in some way I had a gift.

I'm not talking about The Ghost whisperer where Melinda carries on conversations with full body apparitions. I'm talking more like in the moments of my darkest despair, I feel a gentle hand on my shoulder, I hear a giggle when I do something stupid or amusing, I see a young man chasing my dog through the house, wait...what? Yes and I have seen and heard so much more. I think it's something that runs in my family... My mother, my sister has had numerous experiences since her first experiences cleaning a haunted house

Last summer my sister and I took a vacation together; we went to Ocean city New Jersey and stayed at a quaint Bed and Breakfast. We arrived early Friday morning and to save money we shared a room. When we checked in we were to learn that there would only be the two of us and 2 other couples staying there that weekend. The house is owned by a couple who live on the lower level with their teenage children and a dog named Daisy.

That Friday we spent a sometime at the beach and went out for a nice dinner. We arrived back at the house and enjoyed a quiet evening on the front porch. My sister went to bed about 10pm and I went shortly after 11pm. I was climbing the stairwell up to our room and I heard a distinctive woman's voice say "shhh". I stopped and looked behind me and didn't see or hear anyone. I went back down the steps, no one was there. I go back up and go into our room, my sister was sawing logs. I think maybe it was one of the other guests and somehow their voice carried to me, I can't explain it so I went to sleep. The room that my sister and I were sharing had a double bed and a set of bunk beds, since my sister was sprawled out on the double bed; I slept on the lower bunk. Creek, creek, crack went the joints in my body but I finally got comfortable and fell soundly to sleep.

I shifted in the night and I stretched my foot down to the bottom of the bed, my toes came in contact with a warm, soft, fuzzy creature and I thought to my elf "Awe Chewie your mamas girl" CHEWIE? Chewie is my dog but she was 400 miles away at home in Pittsburgh. I jumped off the bunk and reached for the light, there was nothing in the bed, nothing under the bed. I looked at my sister who was up and looking at me like I was nuts. I told her I must have been dreaming and she says she was too. Her dream was about a dog and it licked her hand, waking her just as I jumped out of the bunk...Weird. I climb backed in bed it was a while before I fell asleep.

Once again I was awakened, this time by children. I could hear them running in the room above us. This is non-stop for at least an hour. My sister woke up and said "Who do those kids belong to shouldn't they be in bed? The noise stopped abruptly and we are able to once again fall asleep.

The next day, we are baffled by the night's events. My sister asked the Inn keeper about the kids and she just looked at us and offered no explanation, in fact she just smiled and walked away.

Saturday was spent at the beach and in the evening we headed up to Atlantic City for some Casino fun! We get back to the house around midnight and headed straight up to bed. I once again got the bunk, but being exhausted I fell asleep as soon as my head hit the pillow. Ok, here is where it gets really weird.

I woke up to a vibration. I realized that the bed was shaking. I mean it was shaking so bad I could barely sit up. I called out to my sister who once again was sawing logs. "Carol-jo CAROL-JO!" She continues snoring. I start laughing; I do that when I am scared to death. I finally yell "Stop!" The shaking stopped. I turned the light on and climbed into bed with my sister.

Later I was awakened again by the kids running upstairs, though I could barely hear them over my sisters snoring. I closed my eyes and thought how I couldn't wait to get home and get some rest.

We packed up the next morning. While we are packing my sister asked me to drive, as she hadn't slept a wink last night" Boy, you could of fooled me!

Like I was saying, I am a ghost magnet or maybe, I am just drawn to ghosts...

Makes for an interesting life and a good story.

I have much more to tell..

Fourth of July Myths

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 on 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.

Although the flag we know today was designed by a Ohio high school student in 1958 for a class project. There had been no changes to the flag since 1912 and Robert Heft believed Hawaii and Alaska would soon become official states. His teacher wasn't impressed and gave him a B- but later agreed to bump it up to an A if he could convince Congress to adopt the design. He took on the challenge and a year later Heft asked his congressman, Rep. Walter Moeller, to take the flag to Washington after Alaska and Hawaii were admitted to the union. Early in 1960, Heft received a call from President Dwight Eisenhower who told him his flag design had been chosen from more than 1,500 entries. Heft was in D.C. on July 4th for the adoption ceremony of his flag. Today, that flag design turns 50 (and yes Robert Heft did get that A)!

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." Jefferson actually died hours prior to Adams. So, if he did say it, his final statement would have been false. Also, James Monroe died on July 4, 1831.

6.) July 4, 1776, Party Cracked the Liberty Bell

They may have had cause to celebrate but these patriots didn't ring the Liberty Bell until it cracked on July 4, 1776. The bell itself was poorly made and cracked shorty after its arrival in 1752. Since then, it has been recast and recracked on more than one occasion. The infamous crack it possesses today happened sometime in the 19th Century, an exact date has yet to be agreed upon. The Liberty Bell received it's beautiful name from the abolitionists.

7.) The Declaration of Independence Holds Secret Messages

As much as some love a conspiracy theory, it seems the film National Treasure is pure fiction. Unless it's one of the best kept secrets in our lovely country, there is no map on the back of the Declaration of Independence. Same goes for secret messages. None to be found. However, there is something written on the back of the document: "Original Declaration of Independence dated 4th July 1776." Why? It acted like an identifier when the document was rolled up for travel and storage.

8.) America United Against the British

A film about the Revolutionary War may gotten a thing or two right. During this pivotal moment in history Americans were pitted against one another. About 15 to 20 percent of all Americans were loyal to the crown. An estimated 50,000 served as British soldiers or militia. Adam Baldwin played such an American in the film The Patriot. They were forced to fight against around 100,000 soldiers in the Continental Army while others tried to stay out of the fight altogether. They must have had their share of awkward moments.

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.


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