Monthly Archives: October 2014

Ghost Whisperer’s Cookbook

From the Ghost Whisperer’s Cookbook a recipe for Deviled Eggs

In her book Beyond Delicious, The Ghost Whisperer’s Cookbook, Mary Ann Winkowski shares more than 100 recipes from the “Dearly Departed.” 

Mary Ann Winkowski has been communicating with earthbound spirits for most of her life. Through the years she has received countless recipes from spirits of greats cooks who have passed on.

The story behind the recipe from the Ghost Whisperer’s Cookbook
By Mary Ann Winkowski

One recipe I am proud of is my deviled eggs. Whenever I have a party to go to and we’re asked to bring something, I always take my deviled eggs, and they’re always a hit. I don’t say this to brag; I say it because I guess you could say I have a thing for deviled eggs. As my own recipe is my favorite, I’m always curious to try other people’s to see how they stack up. Such was the case when I cleared the home of Eugene and Vera, a first-generation immigrant couple from Poland.

 The Ghost Whisperer's Cookbook
Beyond Delicious – The Ghost Whisperer’s Cookbook

After I was done, they insisted on taking me and Ted out to eat at what they called a “very special place.”  It was just a little Polish restaurant, but I’m sure to them an authentic taste of the old country was quite special indeed.  The menu was very Polish. Ted was all over the duck-blood soup and I was very curious about the deviled eggs. Ted loved the soup, but the eggs were just okay. The ghost who showed up with the food didn’t think much of either of them.

“That soup’s not sick enough!” she yelled out. She was a heavy woman wearing a hairnet under her babushka – very Polish and, I had no doubt, once a chef at the restaurant. I tried to ignore her so we could finish our meal.

“How are the eggs?” Vera wondered. “They’re okay,” I said. “But I think I still like mine better.” Well, the ghost in the babushka exploded! “If you had my deviled eggs you’d like them!” she hollered. “Those aren’t good deviled eggs! I tried to tell them!”

“I’m sorry, Vera and Eugene,” I said, leaning in to them. “But there’s actually a earthbound spirit here with us now, and she’s kind of upset.” “Oh!” Vera gasped. “What about?”

“Deviled eggs!”

I turned back to the ghost and suggested she give me her recipe so I could have real deviled eggs later, when I got home – it would be the only way to make a fair comparison. But she wasn’t having it. She crossed her arms and shook her head and refused to give up her personal recipe.

“You know, my husband, Ted, his mother was from Poland,” I said. “Can’t you give me the recipe for him, so he can see what real Polish deviled eggs taste like?”
That got her. She mumbled a bit more and pretended to be cutting a hard bargain, but she finally gave me the recipe.  Thing is, the recipe is so odd, I had her repeat it three times.  I can’t say I like them better than my own deviled eggs – but I think I’m biased and I doubt anyone else’s will ever compare – but I can say this is the most unusual recipe for deviled eggs I’ve ever seen. And besides the recipe itself, she was also insistent that you only use goose or duck eggs to make them!

Deviled Eggs recipe from the Ghost Whisperer’s Cookbook

6 hard-cooked eggs
1 tablespoon chopped chives
3 tablespoons butter, divided
2-3 tablespoons sour cream
Salt and pepper to taste

Using a very sharp knife, cut  the eggs lengthwise through the shells, taking care not to crush shells. Scoop out the egg yolks, chop fine, and mix with the chopped chives, 1 tablespoon butter, sour cream, and seasoning.  Return mixture to shells, cover with breadcrumbs, and fry quickly with remaining butter, open sides down.

Serve at once as a side dish. The same deviled-egg mixture may also be spooned into scallop shells.  In that case, brown the butter, and breadcrumbs and pour over the eggs.  Then place in hot oven for a few minutes to heat through.  Duck or goose eggs are excellent for this dish.

For more recipes from the Dearly Departed check out Beyond Delicious – The Ghost Whisperer’s Cookbook

Haunted Dakota

Haunted Dakota
Haunted Dakota

The Dakota is a famous apartment building where the rich and famous reside. The facade of the Dakota is a blend of German Gothic, French Renaissance, and English Victorian architectural styles.

It was the perfect backdrop of Roman Polanski’s 1968 thriller Rosemary’s Baby. Only the outside shots were filmed on location.  No filming is allowed inside as the Dakota has a strict policy protecting tenants’ privacy.

Haunted Dakota

However, no privacy policy is strong enough to keep the ghosts of the Dakota from appearing to tenants and their visitors.  Paula Santangelo was quoted in a New York Times article about her encounter: “In 1982, I was waiting for a friend in an apartment on the 10th floor. As I waited in the foyer, a little girl dressed in period clothing suddenly appeared, smiled at me and disappeared into an adjoining room, which was later pointed out to be a closet. Obviously an experience I will never forget!”

Over the years the little girl ghost has appeared to people in the building at various times. Usually people describe her as wearing a yellow taffeta dress and say that she stops bouncing her red ball long enough to tearfully say, “Today is my birthday.”  Supposedly, seeing this sad little ghost is a bad omen, usually foreshadowing the impending death of the witness.

The ghost of the building’s original owner and builder, Edward Clark, shows up occasionally. One time he reportedly shook his toupee violently at workmen in the basement of the building. Another time, he appeared ever so briefly to an electrician working in the basement. Later, when the electrician saw a picture of Edward Clark, he realized he had seen Clark’s ghost.

John and Yoko Ono Lennon move into haunted Dakota
Haunted Dakota
Strawberry Fields in Central Park

In 1975, John and Yoko Ono Lennon moved into the Dakota, purchasing an apartment formerly owned by actor Robert Ryan. Ryan’s wife Jessie, had died in the apartment, but was not about to relinquish her stay just because she was dead.

The Lennon’s knew early on that their apartment was haunted, and in 1979, they called in a psychic to conduct a seance. Mrs. Ryan came through and politely informed John and Yoko that she was not leaving the apartment.  John was open to spirituality and otherworldly topics, so he was comfortable coexisting with the spirit of Mrs. Ryan.

The most shocking and devastating event in the Dakota’s history happened on December 8th, 1980, when Mark David Chapman gunned down John Lennon. The debate rages on as to whether or not John Lennon haunts the Dakota.

In 1983, Joe Harrow, a musician, and Amanda Moores, a writer, both saw the ghost of John Lennon standing at the entrance of the Dakota. Over the years people have reported seeing John’s ghost around the Strawberry Fields memorial to John, located in Central Park.

Surely the most reliable and believable sighting of John Lennon’s ghost comes from his wife Yoko. She saw him seated at his piano in their apartment. He looked at her and said, “Don’t be afraid, I am still with you.”

Poltergeist activity at the Dakota includes elevators that start and stop for no apparent reason, and lights that turn themselves on or off. Trash bags have levitated, and several small fires have mysteriously started.

If you want to know more about the haunted Dakota

For more details about the haunted Dakota, Strawberry Fields and ghosts in Central Park read Ghosthunting New York by L’Aura Hladik, one of America’s most respected paranormal investigator.

Pekin Farmhouse Ghost keeps trick-or-treaters away

Pekin Farmhouse Ghost keeps trick-or-treaters away on Halloween

Pekin Farmhouse Ghost
The Pekin Farmhouse picture courtesy Pam French

In 1977 Robert and Pam French purchased the 1863 farmhouse located at 8178 S. State Road 335 in Pekin, Indiana. The first Halloween they lived in the house they decorated with jack-o-lanterns and purchased candy in anticipation of trick-or-treaters. None came, though they could see children going to houses near them. When they mentioned this to some of their neighbors, they were told the children were afraid to go to their house because it was haunted.

The Frenches had been in the house for about a year when Pam was dusting and realized that when she turned her back, small items such as pictures or figurines would mysteriously be moved from one spot to another.

Owner finally meet Pekin Farmhouse Ghost

The following year Pam finally saw the Pekin farmhouse ghost, a slim, barefooted young boy, about seven or eight years old. His dark hair was cut in the bowl style and he whore bib overhauls and a shirt. He didn’t say anything, just stared at her. When Pam said “Hello, there,” the boy ran into another room and disappeared.

The Frenches haven’t seen their friendly, mischievous, young ghost for sometime, though they feel his presence in the house. Pam believes that once the boy had met them and found out that they were nice people to live with, he was content to stay in the shadows and from time to time play little jokes by moving small items when she wasn’t looking.

They have lived in the house for twenty-five years and each Halloween they purchase candy in anticipation – and still no trick-or-treaters have come to their door.

The Pekin Farmhouse is in Washington County, Southern Indiana. Washington County was formed from Harrison and Clark Counties in 1813 and named for George Washington.

The French farmhouse is located at 8178 S. State Road in Pekin, Indiana.

For more haunted places and ghostly stories in Indiana check out Haunted Hoosier Trails by Wanda Lou Willis.

Haunted Blount-Bridgers House

Southern Hospitality Extends into the Afterlife at the haunted Blount-Bridgers House in Tarboro

Tarboro was established in 1760 along the Tar River and is located in what is described as the Inner Banks area of North Carolina. Originally it was referred to as Tawboro, taw being a Native American word referring to “the river of health.”

My favorite part of Tarboro is the historic area, which is a 45-block district with more than 300 residential homes, historic churches, and many nineteenth-century buildings still stand­ing and in use. Tarboro also has a 15-acre park with war memori­als and a town common.

I visited Tarboro in 2010, as the town celebrated its 250th anniversary. The celebration included a variety of events based on the town’s history. Driving around the Tarboro historic com­mons, one senses how ripe it must be for ghostly activity. In 1863, 800 Union soldiers engaged in a five-day attack on Green­ville, Tarboro, and Rocky Mount, destroying steamboats and supplies in Tarboro. As we’ve already seen in these investiga­tions, the Civil War made its mark across North Carolina, and many ghosts remain to tell the tale.

Where is the Haunted Blount-Bridgers House?

Haunted Blount-Bridgers House
Haunted Blount-Bridgers House

In the historic district is the haunted Blount-Bridgers House, a Fed­eral-style plantation home built in 1808 by Thomas Blount. Blount built the plantation, originally called the Grove, on 296 acres of land. Throughout the years, the house seemed to wel­come and favor military men. Thomas Blount lived in the home from 1808 to 1812, Col. Louis Dicken Wilson lived there from 1831 to 1847, and Col. John Bridgers lived in the home from 1850 to 1880.

During the American Revolution, many of the locals fought valiantly in the war, including Thomas Blount, who became a prisoner of war in England. He was eventually freed and returned to North Carolina to help create one of the largest shipping companies in the late eighteenth century and later served in the U.S. House of Representatives. Colonel Wilson served in the North Carolina Senate and fought in the Mexican-American War, and Colonel Bridgers is best known for his service as a commandant in the Civil War, where he served at Fort Macon.

The Blount-Bridgers House served as a public library and a dance studio before it was turned into a museum in 1979. It fea­tures a nice collection of nineteenth-century furniture along with the art collection of Tarboro-born Hobson Pittman. The home is welcoming with wraparound porches, which I love; I could spend an afternoon here just relaxing and chatting on the porch. While taking the tour of the haunted Blount-Bridgers House, we were guided to two areas of the home where a female ghost has been seen and felt by visitors and staff. Many presume the ghost to be Jackie Blount, and she is most often seen in the parlor and the art room displaying Hobson Pittman’s art. Apparently a lady of good taste and breeding, she has a love and appreciation of art and likes to show her Southern hospitality by greeting guests who visit her home.

Haunted Blount-Bridgers House
Inside Haunted Blount-Bridgers House

During my research and conversations with local residents, I learned that the ghost, Jackie (Mary Jacqueline Sumner Blount), was the wife of Thomas Blount and part of the Sumner fam­ily connected to the Mordecai House in Raleigh. I write more about the Mordecai House in the Central Carolina section of this book, as it is also haunted. This led me to wonder: Do ghosts visit all of their family homes and haunts, much as they used to travel back then between their winter and summer homes? Could the ghosts of the Blount-Bridgers House also be haunting the Mordecai House? Did Jackie still spend time between the two cities, coming and going according to social occasions in spirit, and was John Bridgers enjoying the Blount-Bridgers home in the afterlife while also spending time checking on his troops at Fort Macon, which is also haunted?

Most likely, we’ll never know for sure, though it is interesting to ponder. I also find it fascinating that the more I travel and inves­tigate throughout the state, the more connections I find between haunted areas, historic sites, and family trees. Some people leave such an impression by their lives that their presence continues to be felt in every location where they lived, fought, and loved.

While visiting Tarboro, I also learned about the gravesite of Civil War Gen. William Dorsey Pender, who is buried in Cal­vary Churchyard in Tarboro. He was fatally wounded during the Battle of Gettysburg. Many locals say that his ghost is still around today and has been seen in both the church graveyard and in the town commons area. He’s reported to be cordial and a true Southern gentleman. What I found most romantic about his story is that the letters that the general wrote to his wife were collected and published almost 100 years after his death in a book titled, The General to His Lady: The Civil War Letters of William Dorsey Pender to Fanny Pender.

When I travel to towns, I generally get a feeling about the area and how it’s doing economically, emotionally, and otherwise. My feeling about Tarboro is that it’s on its way up, and about to experience a renaissance and period of new growth and expansion. History in the making is occurring in Tarboro, and the local ghosts couldn’t be more pleased.

For more information on the haunted Blount-Bridgers House click HERE. Want more spooky stories of Ghoshunting in North Carolina? Check out Kala Ambrose’s book Ghosthunting North Carolina.

Haunted Cincinnati Zoo Story

Haunted Cincinnati Zoo Story

There is a haunted Cincinnati Zoo story out there and the ghost that haunts this location is that of a lion. That’s right – a ghost lion walks the paths at the zoo and will often watch passersby from the safety of the thick foliage that lines many of  the paths.

Haunted Cincinnati Zoo Story
Haunted Cincinnati Zoo

Witnesses claim to have been walking alone down a remote path and heard what sounded like the footfalls of a large lion behind them. Sometimes these witnesses have become so terrified that they broke into a run, hearing the sounds of the lion’s footsteps keeping up with their every step.  When they feel that the lion is about to strike, they turn to face their attacker only to see that there is nothing following them.

Other times, witnesses will see the glowing eyes of a lion looking out at them from the brush down a dark, out-of-the-way path.  These witnesses slowly walk the other way, hoping the lion doesn’t follow them.

Some History

The Cincinnati Zoo was the second one built in the Western Hemisphere, after the zoo in Philadelphia, and it contains the Western Hemisphere’s oldest standing zoo building, today’s reptile house.  From the time the zoo was built in 1875 until the present day, many animals lived and died there. This zoo also housed the world’s last passenger pigeon the world’s last Carolina Parakeet.  After these animals died at the zoo, they were considered extinct.

Visiting and checking out the Haunted Cincinnati Zoo Story

The zoo is open to the public, of course, but it charges an admission fee, whether you’re there to see the animals or to research the ghost stories. The zoo closes at six p.m. during the spring and summer and at five p.m. during fall and winter.  If you want the added spookiness of being there at night, come to the annual Festival of Lights, which is held every November and December. At this event, the zoo is open until nine p.m. and so the place is open well past dark.  The zoo also holds an event on weekends in October called “Hallzooween” where the zoo is decorated for the Halloween season.  This event is only open until five p.m., however, so you will have to leave the park before dark.

If you hope to find the ghost lion, linger on the more remote paths that weave through thick foliage. If you see the lion, it’s all right to get scared. After all, this is a zoo, and it is entirely possible that the lion may not disappear before it attacks.

For more spooky stories such as the haunted Cincinnati Zoo story check out Jeff & Michael Morris’ book Cincinnati Haunted Handbook.