Monthly Archives: June 2015

Cincinnati Prom Ghost

Blog by Keen intern Sarris Balcerzak based on a story from Cincinnati Haunted Handbook by Jeff and Michael Morris

Princeton Road and the Prom Ghost
Cincinnati Prom Ghost
Princeton Road

Ode to the Prom-day horror story…if we don’t have one ourselves, we know somebody who does. This story starts like you would expect: with a young woman excited to go to the school dance. She has her date and her dress, the two prom essentials, what could go wrong?

Well, for starters the weather was not cooperating. It was raining. Her date called to tell her he could no longer pick her up—but he would meet her there! It wasn’t an ideal situation for the young woman, but she decided to take him up on his offer and drive herself to the prom. She left her date waiting…because she never made it to the prom. A car hit her on the way, causing her to spin out of control. She died that night.

Now cars speeding down Princeton Road will encounter what appears to be a young hitchhiker girl dressed for the prom. This is where the story splits in two:

Some say the spirit of the girl walks Princeton warning passing drivers of the dangerous road ahead. Others say that the girl is indeed hitchhiking and goes as far as to get in the car, tell the driver where to go and then suddenly vanishes. But other cars who pass her by mysteriously get in a wreck.

Visiting: The best way to drive when attempting to encounter this phantom hitchhiker is

Cincinnati Haunted Handbook
Cincinnati Haunted Handbook

to begin your drive near the church on the western end of Princeton Road.  Drive east down Princeton Road past Rose Hill  Burial Park. According to the legends, the area just past the cemetery is where she was killed and where people encounter the apparition most frequently.

Warning: If you see a girl hitchhiking on the side of the road in her prom dress, it may be in your best interest to pick her up and take her wherever she wants to go. You would’t want to make her mad.

To discover other haunted locations in Cincinnati (including Eden Park, Kings Island, and St. Xavier Highschool) check out Cincinnati Haunted Handbook by Jeff and Michael Morris.

Dabbs Cemetery

Blog by Keen intern Sarris Balcerzak based on April Slaughter’s book Ghosthunting Texas

Dabbs Cemetery
African-American side of Dabbs Cemetery

As a young child, April Slaughter, author of Ghosthunting Texas, would request to go to local cemeteries rather than normative childhood venues…you know, like playgrounds. She claims they left her feeling tranquil and curious about their mysterious histories.

In truth, cemeteries have always held historical artifacts that anyone paying attention would find interesting. In certain places of the world, people spend full days touring graveyards. In Edinburgh, Scotland, for instance, you can find many of the names for the Harry Potter series on headstones. As a young girl, J.K. Rowling too would explore the cemeteries.

By nature people associate cemeteries with ghosts for the obvious reasons, says April, and it makes sense that the place with the most dead is a prime haunted spot. But Dabbs Cemetery in Frankston, Texas has a new story, one that isn’t as commonplace as death.

An east Texas historian and author, Bob Bowman, claimed that a man who was mistaken for dead was buried alive in this cemetery. This would be enough, but the story doesn’t stop there. The guy dug himself out…then on his way back home died.

Now, let’s stop to examine the realistic scenario here. What do you do when a man you thought was dead is found dug out and dead on the way home? (Wouldn’t that be a great Family Feud question?) Well, naturally the general public was a little bit spooked. In an effort to make sure this incident would not happen a second time, the locals “constructed a cage of wooden stakes directly above his burial site.”

Currently there are many accounts of shady activity at the graveyard: a woman in a white dress, fast inexplicable shadows, these things give people the scare they had hoped for and they leave in a hurry.

Dabbs Cemetery
Caucasian side of Dabbs Cemetery

So, April Slaughter and her husband ventured up the unpaved road to Dabbs to see for themselves. What they encountered was a segregated graveyard, with unmarked and unruly grass marking the African American side and nicer head stones and a trimmed lawn marking the Caucasian side.

April and Allen started on the unkept side of the yard where April felt a definitive presence. She pressed record on the digital recorder and asked, “Is anyone here with us that is willing to say hello?” The playback revealed a small girl and a heavily southern male voice, both of which sounded welcoming. April and Allen walked around the cemetery recording. They heard approaching footsteps that were not their own.

April suggests that not all graveyards are haunted simply because of dead people or in the case of the buried-alive man, traumatic stories. Sometimes people don’t stick around after death, clearly there were a few spirits hanging around Dabbs, but don’t be discouraged if every graveyard you encounter isn’t a mosh pit of ghosts. Take a voice recorder, ask some simply friendly questions, wait for the playback, and if all else fails enjoy the silence the cemetery has to offer.

For more stories, check out April Slaughter’s book Ghosthunting Texas.

Cold Lonely Nights in New Orleans

Blog by Keen intern Sarris Balcerzak based on a story from Spirit of New Orleans by Kala Ambrose.

December of 1850 was a cold winter for New Orleans. Julie was visiting her extremely wealthy lover in the comforts of his Royal Street apartment—he had not yet married. He treated Julie as well as any man with an octoroon mistress could be expected to, he gave her gifts, set her up in her own cottage, and she visited him frequently.

photoJulie desperately wanted to marry the man she loved and this conversation led to many fights. One day, her lover told her that if she stripped naked and stood on the roof—in the sleeting rain—all night and into morning, that would prove her love for him (for love would keep her warm, he said) and he would agree to marry her despite his father’s wishes—and fortune. If she failed, she would stay his mistress.

Now, Julie’s lover never expected his mistress to take the bargain seriously. He couldn’t imagine she’d think of standing outside given the weather conditions, much less stark naked. So he went downstairs to play cards with other wealthy men and gave the matter no more thought.

He returned to the bedroom late that night to find it empty. He searched the house for Julie, to no avail. Finally, he found her: lying naked on the roof, cold and completely void of life.

Rumors suggest that her lover died of heartache just one year later. Many guests of the house, however, have seen Julie. Sometimes she’s nude with hallowed eyes filled with intangible despair, other times she’s dressed in a nightgown reaching as if to embrace her lover. Her love for him never ended, she remains in the house searching for him. Others report seeing a young man playing cards. The two are never seen together. It’s as if they are still searching for each other in the afterlife. It appears that they are both caught in moments of despair, trapped by their fateful circumstances.

As time went on the house transformed into the Bottom of the Cup Tea Room—a famous psychic shop—employees of this place said Julie’s mood goes sour every December. You can still visit the location that once housed the lovers and was once the “most reliable psychic shop in town.” Be sure to pick up your copy of Spirit of New Orleans by Kala Ambrose for other ghostly tales.

 

Marie Laveau a New Orleans Legend

Marie Laveau: The Woman, The Legend, The Queen

Ask anyone who has ever paid the slightest attention to the world of Voodoo what they know about the subject and chances are that the name Marie Laveau will be the main topic of discussion.  Regarded as the queen high priestess of Voodoo in New Orleans, Marie  Laveau was respected by all who knew her.  Her reputation was so revered that even her enemies thought twice before taking her on in any manner.  Marie was a free person of color and regarded as one of the best hairstylists in town.  The majority of her clients were the wealthy French women in the city, who were said to adore her.  She quickly gained their trust and confidence by making poultices and spells that helped with the pain of childbirth, as well as making women more fertile so that they could conceive more children.  On the flip side, when some women came to her no longer desiring to have children, she provided contraception methods that helped them achieve those goals as well.

Marie Laveaux
Tomb of Marie Laveaux

While Marie and other practitioners like her provided the mundane practice of Voodoo to clients, delivering potions and gris-gris bags as needed, the more elaborate rituals were held in the swamps outside the city as well as at Bayou St. John, where spiritual ceremonies were conducted (including the high priestesses dancing naked to a powerful rhythm of drums while handling large serpents).

In her book Spirits of New Orleans, Kala Ambrose dedicates an entire chapter to legendary Voodoo Queen Marie Laveaux including a list of places to visit such as Marie Laveaux’s grave,

Spirits of New Orleans
Spirits of New Orleans

About the author: Award winning author, national columnist, inspirational speaker, and host of the Explore Your Spirit with Kala Radio and TV Show, Kala Ambrose’s teachings are described as discerning, empowering and inspiring. Whether she’s speaking with world-renowned experts on the Explore Your Spirit with Kala Show, writing about empowering lifestyle choices, reporting on new discoveries in the scientific and spiritual arenas or teaching to groups around the country, fans around the world tune in daily for her inspirational musings and lively thought-provoking conversations.

Kala shares her love of history, travel and the spirit world in her books Spirits of New Orleans and Ghosthunting North Carolina. Her books are designed to explore the history of cities in an entertaining manner while sharing haunted stories and offering travel tips on how to best see the cities to shop, dine, stay, and visit the haunted sites.

Lady of the Lake

Spotlight on Ghosts: The Lady of the Lake

As far back as the 1930s, stories have circulated throughout the Dallas area about a spectral women wandering in search of help.  She is reportedly seen by many people near White Lake, though no one knows exactly who she is.

One of the most common experiences reported is that of drivers in the area who happen to see a wet and stranded girl near the lake in search of a ride home. Several drivers have stopped to offer the poor girl some assistance, only to have her disappear a short while later, leaving nothing behind but a damp mark in the vehicle where she had been sitting.

Lady of the Lake

This vanishing hitchhiker has fascinated people in the area for decades. Some think she may be the spirit of a young women involved in some sort of fatal accident on the lake where she and others may have died.  Desperate to get home to her family, she provides the driver with an address before suddenly disappearing from the car.

Those who have taken it upon themselves to locate the address found that, indeed, the family living there had lost a young woman to a tragedy on the lake.

The ghostly apparition witnessed by many at White Rock Lake may actually be more than one female spirit. Other accounts tell of at least two other women who perished in the water between 1935 and 1942 due to suicide by drowning.  Visitors to the area have not only seen the figure of a woman hitchhiking for a ride, but also rising up out of the water before vanishing into thin air.

This legend had survived for nearly a century. Is the lady of the lake still wandering the night asking passersby for help? Could there be several female spirits destined to roam the area for eternity? The only way to find out is to take a drive out to White Rock Lake and see for yourself. You just might end up with and extra passenger…or two.

Ghosthunting Texas
Ghosthunting Texas

In her book Ghosthunting Texas, author April Slaughter puts the spotlight on many ghosts that roam the State of Texas. Enjoy Ghosthunting Texas from the safety of your armchair or hit the road using the maps and ghostly resources of her book. Either way buckle up and get ready for the spookiest ride of your life.

About the author: April Slaughter and her husband Allen are the founders and executive directors of The Paranormal Source, Inc., a nonprofit research and education corporation based in Dallas, Texas.

Photo of White Rock Lake courtesy: Mahanga (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons