Category Archives: paranormal

Knott House Museum

Knott House Museum Tallahassee
By Dave Lapham

After a delicious lunch of pizza at the Monticello Pizza Kitchen, which, by the way, is also haunted, Betty, Lisa, and I headed for Tallahassee and the Knott House Museum just down from Florida’s Old Capitol in the Park Avenue Historic District. The area around what is now Tallahassee has been occupied by various indigenous and European cultures for twelve thousand years. Soon after the United States took possession of Florida from the Spanish in 1821, the Territorial Governor, William P. Duval, laid out the city, and in 1824 it became the territorial and later state capital of Florida. It is a beautiful city. Its rolling hills, wide boulevards, stately buildings, various college campuses, and numerous parks give Tallahassee a genteel ambiance.

Knott House Museum
Knott House Museum – Tallahassee

And the Knott House with its handsome Greek Revival facade only adds to that atmosphere. The house was built in 1843 by free-black builder George Proctor as a wedding gift for Thomas Hagner and his wife, Catherine. Thomas died in 1848, but Catherine remained in the house and added major additions to the rear. She turned it into a boarding house, presumably to supplement her income. At the end of the Civil War, Union General Edward McCook commandeered the home for his headquarters. He read President Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation from the front steps on May 20, 1865. Today a ceremony on May 20 every year commemorates the event.

The Hagner family owned the house until 1883 when they sold it to a Dr. Betton, who maintained his office in the building. Following a succession of owners, William and Luella Knott finally bought the house in 1928. The Knotts were an influential family in Tallahassee. William was variously the state treasurer and comptroller and ran unsuccessfully for governor. Luella, a poet and community volunteer, was a staunch supporter of women’s rights. She homeschooled her three children, Mary Franklin, James Robert, and John Charles (“Charlie”), wrote and published countless poems, and filled her house with the antiques she loved. She also filled her home with poetry, which even today is scattered around the rooms, tied to various items with silk ribbons. Because of that, the house is known as the “The House That Rhymes.”

William died in April 1965 at 101 years of age; Luella fell and died a few days after that. Charlie then moved into his family home, determined to preserve it as his parents had left it. And when he died in 1985, he left it to the State of Florida, stipulating that it be maintained as a museum house. The Historic Tallahassee Preservation Board took charge of the property, and after spending more than one million dollars and several years of preservation and restoration efforts—the restoration team found evidence of earlier fires, which had to be addressed—the museum finally opened to the public in 1992.

Walking through Knott House Museum

Walking through the house is eerie. It is so complete and looks so lived in, I expected to see the lady of the house, Mrs. Knott, around every corner and in every room. There are four thousand books, three hundred pieces of furniture, and fifteen hundred personal items and art work. Books lie open on tables. Personal effects are strewn about. I would not have been surprised to see a steaming cup of coffee sitting on the counter in the kitchen, waiting for Charlie to come in and pick it up. I felt as if I were invading the Knotts’ privacy, as if I shouldn’t be there. But it is a beautiful house and extremely well maintained. Tours in the past used to be self-guided, but are now led by knowledgeable docents. That’s probably a good idea. Betty and her BBGT crew have been through the house many times. In past years, the curator hosted a “Fear Knott” event around Halloween as a fund-raiser. Betty, Lisa, and their team gave presentations and “haunted” tours through the house in the evenings. They also have conducted paranormal investigations in the building and have spent many nights there after the museum was closed. The most frequent experiences reported by BBGT investigators, visitors, and staff are footsteps. They are heard throughout the house. Sometimes they are very heavy like a man’s, and at other times lighter, as if a woman were walking around. They could very well be Charlie’s father, his mother, or Charlie himself. All three had a special passion for the house.

Once in the days when the tours were self-guided, a visitor rushed down the stairs breathless. A staff member was standing at the bottom. The visitor, quite excited, said, “I believe I’ve just seen a ghost!” The staff member, who’d had her own experiences, asked the lady what had happened. “Well, I just went into the first room on the right at the top of the stairs, and there was an older woman dressed in old-fashioned clothes standing there. At first, I thought she was a docent or something, but she just stood there and looked at me. And then she evaporated into thin air!” On several other occasions, visitors have reported seeing people throughout the house who appeared to be visitors as well, only to vanish before their eyes. Perhaps Charlie, his parents, and maybe even his friends are walking the halls. In the past, various staff members have reported items being moved around. Perhaps a book has been taken from a shelf in the library and left on a table somewhere else, pictures rearranged, fireplace tools misplaced, pages of music on the piano turned.

The Knott House Museum is a “must-see”
Knott House Museum
Ghosthunting Florida

At the end of each day, the outside doors to the Knott House are closed and locked, of course, but inside doors are always left open to provide air circulation. Often when staff members arrive in the morning to unlock the house, those inside doors are all closed. And passersby late at night have reported seeing lights switching on and off inside the locked and empty house, as if someone was going from room to room.

In the Knott House Museum, Betty and her BBGT investigators have experienced just about every activity others have reported. They’ve also had another experience. During one investigation, Betty and Lisa were sitting downstairs, quietly listening, when they heard humming coming from upstairs. It sounded like a woman softly humming a lullaby to a baby. When they went through every room in the house to try to find the source of the sound, they could hear it everywhere but were never able to identify its location. The Knott House Museum is a “must-see” stop for anyone visiting Tallahassee. The visitor will find the most completely restored nineteenth-century house in Florida, and who knows? You might get to meet Mr. and Mrs. Knott or their son, Charlie.

Enjoy Ghosthunting Florida from the safety of your armchair or hit the road using the maps, the haunted sites travel guide, and the “Ghostly Resources.”

Sleepy Hollow Southern Style

Berry Hill Road – Sleepy Hollow Southern Style
A story by Michael Varhola

Certain it is, the place still continues under the sway of some witching power … The whole neighborhood abounds with local tales, haunted spots, and twilight superstitions; stars shoot and meteors glare oftener across the valley than in any other part of the country. – Washington Irving, ”The Legend of Sleepy Hollow”

Sleepy Hollow Southern Style
Ghosthunting Virginia

Berry Hill Road and the area through which it wends are creepy under the best of circumstances, and it is easy to see how someone visiting them in darkness might conclude they are haunted. In addition, the stretch of country road and the rural thoroughfares branching off it are also home to a number of other reputed paranormal phenomena.

This road does, in fact, have a widespread reputation for weirdness in the Danville area, as my wife, Diane, and I discovered while ghosthunting there the week between Christmas and New Year in 2007. We had gone in search of ghosts associated with the wreck of the Old 97, a train that had derailed in 1903, but nearly everyone we talked to dismissed it and directed us instead to Berry Hill Road.

It was an unseasonably bright, sunny, and warm afternoon as my wife and I headed east on Riverside Drive out of Danville, following the directions we had been given by various people. We had, in fact, spent part of the previous evening drinking martinis with Colie Walker, night manager for the restaurant at the hotel where we had stayed the night, and he had given us an earful about the place. His stories included accounts of ghostly little girls jumping rope near the willow tree under which their bodies were buried; a span dubbed “Satan’s Bridge” where the spectral form of a young man who supposedly hanged himself there has reportedly been seen; a stretch of highway in front of a witch’s house on which cars will roll uphill rather than down; and the slaughtered carcasses of animals hung from trees. It is also reputedly an active stomping ground for the Ku Klux Klan. In short, Sleepy Hollow, Southern style.

Just a few miles past the line for Pittsylvania County, we came to the intersection with Berry Hill Road and turned left. From where it begins at Riverside Drive, Berry Hill Road twists about seven-and-a-half-miles, generally heading southwest, until reaching the North Carolina state line, where its name changes to T. Clarence Stone Highway. In its relatively short stretch through Virginia, however, the road has a markedly distinct character, which became obvious to us almost immediately.

Near its start, a number of other roads lead off in either direction from Berry Hill Road: those to the north generally past older, modest, relatively small houses, and those to the south past larger, more affluent homes and farms. Soon after passing these, however, the road begins to run through dense woodland punctuated by miles-long stretches of devastated-looking blight, mostly on the south side of the road. Periodically, tucked back in the wood line, we could see abandoned, vegetation-choked farmsteads and rutted dirt roads (that probably don’t appear on any maps) twist away into the forest. Many were blocked by makeshift gates emblazoned with signs warning visitors away. To say that the area felt ominous and unwelcoming would be an understatement.

At the intersection with Oak Hill Road, we went north for awhile, and eventually came to a small country church, the first thing we had seen in several miles. We decided not to go any further at that point, and turned around. Approaching the intersection with Berry Hill Road again, we noticed at the side of the road the mangled carcass of a large animal, possibly a deer, with its exposed and bloody ribcage turned skyward.

Sleepy Hollow Southern Style
Rock with cross by the side of Berry Hill Road

We continued on Berry Hill Road, and soon after saw, at the left side of the road, a large rock painted with a white cross. Overhead, both in the air and perched on nearby utility poles and trees, an uncannily large number of vultures watched over the place and regarded us as we passed.

At the intersection with Stateline Bridge Road, just past a set of railroad tracks, we went south. We turned past a pickup truck stopped at the three-way stop that was turning onto Berry Hill Road, and I noticed the driver, a white guy with a mustache and baseball cap. As we moved down the road, I saw him make a U-turn and begin to follow us.

As we sped down the road, the creep in the pickup stayed behind us, and after about a mile we broke out of the wood line onto a low concrete span over a river. As we reached the other side of it, we passed a sign welcoming us to North Carolina, and the name of the road changed to Berry Hill Bridge Road. We went about another mile, until we reached an intersection near a farm where we could turn around, and as we did the pickup truck passed us and continued on its way.

Returning to the bridge from the other direction, I was stunned to see that it was completely covered with graffiti, something that while driving into the sun and keeping an eye on my rear-view mirror I had not noticed previously. Colie Walker had described “Satan’s Bridge” as being tagged (an urbanized term for “painted” that, when I explained it to my wife, both baffled and annoyed her). Its location corresponded exactly with the directions Walker had given us, and so it seemed we had found the cursed bridge.

Driving back across to the Virginia side, we went a few hundred yards to a spot where the road widened adequately for me to safely turn off and start to get my equipment ready for a walk back to the bridge. “I’m just going to wait in the car,” my wife said as I started to get out of the vehicle, repeating a mantra that for her was as automatic and unanalyzed as “bless you” would have been in response to a sneeze. The creep with the pickup was on the other side of the river and I would see if he was coming back, so I didn’t argue with her.

Heading toward the bridge along the left side of the road, I could see that the nearby woods were choked and tangled with heavy vine growth and had an almost quintessentially haunted look. I also had a growing sense of unease, and as I came nearer to the bridge I became increasingly aware of a sound like a howling wind, somewhere in the distance, that became more and more audible as I neared the span.

Walking out onto the sunlit bridge, I could hear a low, shrieking noise somewhere in the distance, like a wind ripping through the woods around me. Glancing at the wood line on either side of the river, I could see that it was perfectly still and could not feel so much as a light breeze. It sent a chill up my spine. It would have scared the hell out of me and made me feel like I was standing on the threshold to the netherworld if I’d been there at night, possibly alone, or under the influence.

I quickly walked to the far end of the bridge and, with the light at my back, got some photos. Most of the graffiti I passed seemed to be of the “X loves Y” and “Class of Z” variety, but there were a few pentagrams and devilish epithets mixed in with it. I also saw burnt-down candle stubs lying among the detritus of broken beer bottles on either side of the bridge. No one passed by during my time there, and I was completely alone as I looked down into the swirling ochre water of the Dan River and contemplated where the young man would have hanged himself if such an incident really had occurred here. The low, concrete bridge didn’t look like it would be very convenient for that purpose—and his dangling specter would not have been visible by anyone on or at either end of it—and I wondered if he might not have used one of the trees in the surrounding vine-choked forest. It would have been, in any event, a morose and dismal place to die.

Sleepy Hollow Southern Style
Berry Hill Road

My need and desire to stay at the bridge sated, I trotted back toward the car and we resumed our exploration of the area. Turning back onto Berry Hill Road and continuing southwest on it, we soon reached the point where it crossed the North Carolina state line. Almost immediately afterward, we heard a shrieking exactly like that of a jet engine, pulled over to the side of the road, and looked up, expecting to see an aircraft passing overhead and the noise to fade. There was nothing above us, however, and the noise remained steady for awhile longer before fading away.

We could see that the land across the road was fenced off and make out a small cluster of pipes and utility infrastructure. While we could not see anything that could have been making the great noise we heard, and while no signs offered an explanation for them or the fenced-off area from which they emanated, it seemed pretty obvious that we had stumbled onto some sort of industrial test facility—and that it had accounted for the distant noises I had heard at Satan’s Bridge (a later perusal of maps and satellite imagery, however, did not reveal anything of that nature in that particular area). This new mystery being far beyond our purview, and with the sinister aspect of the neighborhood starting to weigh on us, we decided to leave it unexamined.

Heading back up Berry Hill Road toward where we had started, we made a few more exploratory stops before reaching the highway. We never did see the willow tree Walker had told us about, and we weren’t sure of the exact location to try putting our car in neutral to see whether it would roll uphill. We saw so many dilapidated antebellum houses that we could not be certain which one was reputed to be the lair of the witch. But a couple of hours on Berry Hill Road were enough to convince us that there is probably a good reason for its reputation in the local area – and that we did not want to be lingering on it after dark.

For more ghostly stories in Virginia check out Michael Varhola’s book Ghosthunting Virginia 

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.

 

http://www.amazon.com/Ghosthunting-North-Carolina-Americas-Haunted/dp/1578604540

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.

 

 

ComedySportz Portland – Haunted!

ComedySportz Portland
ComedySportz Portland

When most people think of a comedy club, they do not necessarily liken it to a boxing match or mixed martial arts bout.

But ComedySportz Portland has quite a bit in common with both. A boxing or MMA match has two competitors, a referee, and a panel of judges.

Let Donna Stewart, the author of Ghosthunting Oregon tell you all about it!

The competitors battle it out to be the best and hopefully win, the referee is on hand to call out fouls or illegal actions, and the panel of judges ultimately decides the winner.

ComedySportz has two competitors (two comedy teams), a referee, and a panel of judges. Each team battles it out with hilarious jokes, skits, and songs. The referee is on hand to call foul, to relay suggestions from the audience, and to keep things moving right along. The panel of judges—which, in this case, is the audience—decides the winner of the bout via applause. It is a high-energy, fast-paced show that leaves spectators rolling in the aisles.

Another thing people do not necessarily associate with a comedy show is ghosts, but ComedySportz entertains in more than one way. It provides laughs, good company, and a family-friendly environment, and it also includes a paranormal element with its resident ghost—a spirit that apparently enjoys the shows as well!

The history of ComedySportz goes back 30 years to Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and a gentleman named Dick Chudnow. With a different structure than most comedy clubs, ComedySportz took off almost immediately, and another venue opened a year later in Madison, Wisconsin. Three years later, the first Comedy League of America National Tournament was held in Madison, with 10 teams participating. The World Comedy League now has more than 20 teams from as far away as the United Kingdom and Germany, proving hands down that laughter is a universal language.

Donna Stewart ComedySportz Portland
Author Donna Stewart

ComedySportz came to Portland in 1993 with Ruth Jenkins and Patrick Short, who are not only performers but are also the club president and general manager, respectively. Their run in Portland has been impressive, with more than 3,000 shows in 18 seasons and never missing a weekend. Unlike most comedy clubs, ComedySportz is family friendly, with children of all ages welcome at the shows. It is not out of the ordinary to see 4-year-old children sitting next to 40-year-old adults, enjoying the laughs, smiles, and ongoing entertainment.

One has to wonder why more ghosts do not haunt comedy clubs. . . . What better place to spend eternity? Instead of hanging out in dark, dingy rooms or deserted hospitals, wouldn’t life after death be more fun with unlimited laughter and happy people? If I have a choice after I die, you will find my ghost at ComedySportz.

It seems that one woman did decide to remain at Comedy- Sportz, and over the years a number of people have seen the specter of a middle-aged woman with red hair and a contagious laugh. The ComedySportz ghost seems to especially enjoy  spending time in the costume closet and with movie outfits.

Objects often get moved from one place to another, and a quiet voice has been heard both throughout the building and in the costume closet in particular. If she is attempting to attract someone’s attention, she will knock on doors or walls or other solid objects to indicate she is there. She has also been known to flip on and off the lights and laugh hysterically.

No area of ComedySportz is off-limits for its mischievous ghost, including the bathroom. There are dozens of reports of toilets flushing on their own, either while the bathroom is unoccupied or while customers are in the privacy of a stall. Hearing a toilet flush on its own can be a bit unnerving to most people, but it has become part of the ghost’s charm and practical-joking sense of humor. Those who have experienced this particular form of paranormal activity warn that it is best to finish what they went into the bathroom for before running to an awaiting public.

I didn’t experience any of this while I was there and was honestly too busy laughing and pounding on my table. Most of the people I spoke with after the show were much like me in that they were laughing too hard to take notice of much else. But there are some who visit ComedySportz Portland on a regular basis who have heard the ghostly woman’s laughter and her knocks for attention, and a few who have experienced her bathroom pranks.

“I come in sometimes for the workshops or other things they have going on here,” said one young woman. “It’s much quieter during the day when there are no shows going on. I have heard her laughing and knocking on things. It’s not scary or anything. It’s neat that someone would want to hang out here after they died. I bet she was an awesome, funny person when she was alive!” I also spoke with a young man who volunteers at ComedySportz who has not only heard the laughter but seen lights go on and off for no apparent reason.

“I was by myself in a room the first time it happened, and it creeped me out,” he told me. “I was talking to myself, trying to calm down. Then I thought, ‘This is stupid, it’s just a light. It’s not like Freddy Krueger or anything!’ It’s happened a few times. There aren’t electrical problems at all. Just off and on. I think the ghost likes it here and likes to joke around. It’s not like ghosts you see in the movies or anything. It’s just interesting and fun after you get used to it.”

Not one person I spoke with felt any fear of the happy ghost that resides at ComedySportz. Most seem to know about her and simply consider her to be part of the audience and the ComedySportz family. And judging from the many reports of her hysterical laughter, she obviously appreciates the comedic talent that abounds at the club.

ComedySportz is proof that haunted locations do not have to be dark and frightening, spine tingling, or traumatizing, and I highly recommend catching a show while you are in Portland. I have always believed that we are in death what we were in life, that we carry our personalities with us, and if this is true, then this particular ghost is happy and content where she is.

ComedySportz Portland offers much more than comedy shows each week, including a number of workshops and classes. One of the top eight comedy schools in the nation, ComedySportz holds improv classes for both adults and youth, stand-up comedy classes, team building and applied improvisation for businesses, and a number of other ways to learn how to keep oneself and others laughing and entertained.

ComedySportz is also community oriented and gives back in many ways. It sets aside 15% of its pretax profits each year and chooses a charity to donate it to; some of the charities it has helped include the American Red Cross, Oregon Humane Society, Oregon Special Olympics, Oregon Food Bank, and Camp  Ukandu. ComedySportz makes people all over Oregon and across the country smile in many different ways.

ComedySportz provides a good example of ghosts not being the spooky, frightening entities we are used to seeing on paranormal reality television. In fact, in my experience, the spooky, frightening ghosts are the exception. What we often forget is that any ghost was once as alive as you and I and had families, friends, emotions, and unique personalities. I believe that these traits are carried over when we pass; the energy that we carry as we live only changes forms when we die. I often recall the quote from Patrick Swayze’s character Sam Wheat in the movie Ghost: “It’s amazing, Molly. The love inside . . . we take it with us. . . .”

That’s the truest reference to life after death I have heard. And in the case of the ghost at ComedySportz, she took to the other side her love for laughter and passion for practical jokes.

ScareFest7 Ghostly Fun for Everyone

ScareFest7 Ghostly Fun for Everyone
Tanya & Liliane at AHRT Booth

ScareFest7 started out on Friday September 12th with the Black Carpet arrival of this year’s celebrities. The media and the fans were at hand to capture the stars’ arrivals.

Meanwhile the Clerisy Press team Liliane and Tanya were ready at booth #63 eagerly awaiting the Platinum and Golden Ticket holders who are lucky enough to enter ScareFest one hour before the official opening.

ScareFest7 Ghostly Fun for Everyone:

Dancers of Lexington Ballet School
Dancers of Lexington Ballet School

The venue includes a 82,000 square foot area where ScareFest Con houses over 200 different dealers offering the strange and the bizarre.

Fancy an individual reading or holding a very creepy bug? It is all available at ScareFest.

During all three days the convention offered a wide choice of seminars, workshops, panels, and celebrity book signings.  At times long lines formed with fans waiting to meet their favorite horror actors or paranormal personality.  Sean Astin (Mikey in The Goonies in the ’80s, Rudy in the ’90s and beloved hobbit Samwise Gamgee in the The Lord of the Rings trilogy) had a constant line of excited fans waiting to meet him.  Read more about all celebrities present here.

ScareFest7 Ghostly Fun for Everyone
Costumed fans at ScareFest7

Young ballet dancers of a Lexington Ballet School performed several times throughout the weekend and the many costumed convention goers added color and excitement to the show.

The weekend included the Platinum/Golden Ticket VIP Party at HighTop Bar hosted by Patti Starr and on Saturday the free for all costume ball.  The Clerisy team joined the fun and while we did not win the prize for best costume we sure had a ball!

Book Signings and a raffle at our Booth:

ScareFest7 Ghostly Fun for Everyone
The Clerisy team with John Kachuba

On Saturday Patti Starr and John Kachuba held book signings at our booth. John Kachuba is the author of Ghosthunting IllinoisGhosthunting Ohio and Ghosthunting Ohio – on the Road Again and Patti Starr is the author of Ghosthunting Kentucky as well as the co-founder and producer of ScareFest.

Patti Starr and her team presented some ghostly entertainment. We had fun at ScareFest7, and there is no doubt in my mind that we will be back for more in 2015.

The winners of our raffle prizes are:

Krista Scrubbs – A basket filled with America’s Haunted Road Trip books including our latest addition Ghosthunting Oregon

Betsy Newsad – Winner of three signed books by John Kachuba including his latest book Ghosthunting Ohio – On the Road Again

Jim Ambs – Winner of Ghosthunting Kentucky signed by Patti Starr

Mary Schneider – Any one book in our America’s Haunted Road Trip Series

We thank all who stopped by our booth.  If you are a fan of horror films and all things paranormal, start planning your trip and join us next year at ScareFest8!

You can also find us November 22 & 23 at booth # 622 at the Victory of Light Expo in Cincinnati.

Western Hills Country Club Ghost Story

Western Hills Country Club Ghost Story
Western Hills Country Club CC Jeff & Michael Morris

Western Hills Country Club Ghost Story is one of many ghost stories detailed by Jeff and Michael Morris in their Book Cincinnati Haunted Handbook. The brothers guide the readers to haunted roads and bridges, to cemeteries and museums, to schools, theaters and restaurants, stores, and any other place where people have reported paranormal experiences.

There are a variety of small hauntings that occur in this building. Sometimes glasses in the bar area will fall from where they are being stored all by themselves. People will see ghostly figures in early twentieth century dress walking throughout the building.

When approached, the figures fade away. Sometimes at night, when all the customers have left, people will see a man dressed as an employee setting the tables in the dining room. When approached, he vanishes.

Cincinnati Haunted Handbook
Cincinnati Haunted Handbook

If he is not approached, he finishes setting the tables and then disappears into the back of the building. Talk about a dedicated employee! Forget about calling in sick, these employees show up to work when they’re dead!

The history of the Western Hills Country Club

This country club was founded in 1912 and has since become a landmark in Western Hills. It is one of the oldest private clubs in Cincinnati and includes dining rooms, a bar, and a golf course. The neighborhood around the country club, especially on Neeb Road, includes some of the largest and most beautiful houses in the city. Most were built during the 1920s, and their original owners belonged to the Western Hills Country Club.

How to get there

Take I-75 north to exit 2B, Harrison Avenue, on the left side of the highway. Take the

Western Hills Viaduct and follow the signs that lead to Queen City Avenue. Follow Queen City Avenue to the left past the BP and go up the hill about a mile and a half until you get to the traffic light at Sunset Avenue. Turn left onto Sunset Avenue.

After about a half mile, turn right onto Guerley Road. At the top of the hill, Guerley changes its name to Cleves-Warsaw. Continue to follow this road straight for another two miles. The country club and golf course will be on your right.

Ohio’s Haunted Hotels

Ghosthunting Ohio - Haunted Hotels
Ghosthunting Ohio, On the Road Again by John B. Kachuba

Ever think you might want to spend a night in a haunted hotel? Ohio is full of haunted hotels. Here’s a sampling of some of the spookiest from Ghosthunting Ohio – On the Road Again a book by John B. Kachuba:

Hilton Netherland Plaza – Cincinnati This beautiful Art Deco hotel right in the heart of Cincinnati is home to the Lady in Green. The spirit of a woman who jumped out a window high atop the hotel after her husband was killed while working on the construction of the hotel, she is most often seen on the elevators wearing a fancy green dress.

Hotel Breakers – Sandusky Located in Cedar Point Amusement Park, the hotel has been serving guests for more than 100 years. The hotel is haunted by the ghost of a woman named Mary who hanged herself in a room on the second floor.

The Old Stone House Bed & Breakfast -Marblehead This bed-and-breakfast is supposedly haunted by the ghost of a little girl who fell out of a window and flew three floors to her death. Guests claim to hear flushing toilets on the third floor, and some have reported photographing orbs in haunted Room 11

Siesta Motel – Norwich In 1994, a man who had argued violently with his mother left their house and rented a room at the motel. He was awakened in the middle of the night by an intruder. A struggle ensued, and the man was killed. Guests and employees now hear slamming doors, crying and laughter, and whispered obscenities. Lights go on and off by themselves, and some guests have reported being struck by the unseen presence.

The Lofts Hotel – Columbus The boutique hotel in Columbus’s new Arena area began life in 1882 as the Carr Building and housed several different businesses until it became a hotel in 1998. Perhaps the Lady of the Lofts, a woman in Victorian clothing who haunts the hotel, was an employee in one of those businesses; we don’t know. What we do know is that several people have glimpsed her from the corner of their eye in the stairwell and occasionally in the halls. Recently, a hotel security guard named Kevin heard a woman’s horrific screaming on the second floor in the middle of the afternoon. For twenty minutes he frantically searched the area but never found an explanation for the screaming.

The Golden Lamb – Lebanon One of America’s venerable old inns, the Golden Lamb has seen scores of generals and presidents, writers and actors, sports figures and entertainers pass through its doors since it was established as a stage-coach stop in 1803. Many of these guests found the inn so comfortable that they simply decided to stay. Look for the ghosts of Senator Clement L. Vallandigham, who accidentally shot himself to death in what is today a dining room; or Ohio Supreme Court Justice Charles R. Sherman, father of Civil War general William T. Sherman; or the little daughter of Henry Clay, Eliza, who died from an illness at the inn.

About the author:  John Kachuba is the award-winning author of twelve books and numerous articles, short stories and poems. Among his awards are the Thurber Treat Prize for humor writing awarded by The Thurber House and First Place in the Dogwood Fiction Contest. John teaches Creative Writing at Ohio University, Antioch University Midwest and the Gotham Writers Workshop. He is a member of the Historical Novel Society, the Horror Writers Association, and the American Library Association’s Authors for Libraries.

John frequently speaks on paranormal and metaphysical topics and is a regular speaker at conferences, universities and libraries and on podcasts, radio and TV.

Want to read more about haunted hotels and ghostly places in Ohio? Get your own copies of John’s books  Ghosthunting Ohio and Ghosthunting Ohio – On The Road Again

Welcome to Ghosthunting North Carolina

This week Kala Ambrose, takes us Ghosthunting in North Carolina.
Ghosthunting North Carolina
Ghosthunting North Carolina

Kala Ambrose is “Your Travel Guide to the Other Side”. An award winning author, national columnist, inspirational speaker, and host of the Explore Your Spirit with Kala 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 or teaching to groups around the country, fans around the world tune in daily for her inspirational musings and lively thought-provoking conversations. Make sure to read all about Kala at the end of her story. But without further due we invite you to sit back and follow your host on a trip through North Carolina:

It’s my pleasure to share with you, the stories from the ghosts of North Carolina. As your travel guide to the haunted state of North Carolina, it seems appropriate to let you know who your guide is on this journey. Since my childhood, I’ve seen ghosts and restless spirits.  As an adult, I’ve had experiences with the supernatural and paranormal realms. I’ve interacted with powerful beings of light, faced encounters with beings from the dark side and seen ghosts from every walk of life.

Cape Hatteras Lighthouse
Cape Hatteras Lighthouse

In my work, I share my experience and training in workshops around the country. I teach others how to become more intuitive, how to connect with the other side, how to sense negative energy in a home or building and more importantly, how to discern whether the energy can be removed and cleansed or whether it is best left alone.

Over the past decade, I’ve seen a rise in paranormal activity, which corresponds to the lifting of the veil between the earth plane and the spiritual realms at this time. I believe that a conscious evolution is occurring on the mind, body and spirit level and as this evolution continues, many people will connect with their intuitive abilities and be able to communicate with the spirit world, including with ghosts that have remained here on the earth plane.

With this in mind, the mystical and haunted lands of North Carolina have a profound and deeply moving story to tell. So gather your family and friends and join me as we go ghost hunting across the state of North Carolina. The journey begins in the Atlantic coastal wetlands of East Carolina full of haunted lighthouses, battleships, and the shipwrecked beaches where the ghosts of Blackbeard and his pirates still roam. Next we explore the Piedmont area of North Carolina where I spent the night in the most actively haunted capitol in the United States and interacted with the ghost of a former North Carolina State Governor.

State Capitol Building in Raleigh
State Capitol Building in Raleigh

Our quest continues west into the Blue Ridge Mountains to meet the ghost known as the Pink Lady, who awaits your presence at the historic Grove Park Inn, where many presidents, celebrities and ghosts have stayed over the decades. I researched over one hundred reportedly haunted sites located in North Carolina and culled this list down to the twenty-five chapters here in my book Ghosthunting North Carolina.

My reason for choosing this particular twenty-five had to do first and foremost with finding historical research, which confirmed some of the details with the legend of each haunted site. The second most important criteria in my selection process included being able to confirm reports of ghost activity around the site by a variety of people over a generous span of time. After each site made the cut on these two selections, the final decision then came down to my personal experiences at each of these locations including what I experienced psychically first-hand at each location relative to paranormal activity.  My intent is to provide you with all three of the above listed criteria in order to assist you in your paranormal research and ghostly investigations.

Happy Haunting! Enjoy the journey as you ghost hunt your way across North Carolina.

– Kala Ambrose www.ExploreYourSpirit.com

More about Kala Ambrose:
Author Kala Ambrose
Author Kala Ambrose

A highly interactive teacher on a mission to educate, entertain and inspire, Kala teaches and writes about ancient wisdom teachings and how their techniques can be used in modern day living. Her books, The Awakened Aura: Experiencing the Evolution of Your Energy Body and 9 Life Altering Lessons: Secrets of the Mystery Schools Unveiled both cover these topics.

In addition, Kala shares her love of history, travel and the spirit world in her books Spirits of New Orleans: Voodoo Curses, Vampire Legends and Cities of the Dead 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.

Kala writes for the Huffington Post, the Examiner, AOL, Yahoo and Fate Magazine and presents workshops nationally on the Mind/Body/Spirit connection including Auras and Energy Fields, Developing Entrepreneur Intuition, Haunted History, and Wisdom Teachings at the Omega Institute, John Edward Presents Infinite Quest, Edgar Cayce’s ARE, the Learning Annex, LilyDale Assembly, Daily Om and her school, the Academy of Mystical Arts & Spiritual Sciences. More about Kala at http://www.ExploreYourSpirit.com

About the American Haunted Road Trip Series:

America’s Haunted Road Trip is a one-of-a-kind series of haunted travel guides. Each book profiles 30-100 haunted places open to the public. From inns and museums to cemeteries and theaters, the author visits each place, interviewing people who live and work there. Books also include travel instructions, maps, and an appendix of 50 more places the reader can visit.  Check out a complete list of our books here.