Category Archives: paranormal

Haunting Theme Parks of North Carolina

Ghosthunting North Carolina
Ghosthunting North Carolina

Who knew that there is such a thing as Haunting Theme Parks in North Carolina? Kala Ambrose, author of Ghosthunting North Carolina shares their story with us:

The Tweetsie Railroad is a theme park coated in Blowing Rock, North Carolina. The park offers amusement rides, and a working steam locomotive that takes visitors on a three-mile ride around the area.  Launched in 1957 as a Wild West theme park, it has continued to expand and grow over the decades.  One of the most popular events at Tweetsie is the Ghost Train Halloween Festival held in October.  Train engineer Casey Bones and his crew take you on a haunted train ride, and there’s a haunted house with 113 rooms in the park, as well as a bone yard and a “black hole.” The Freaky Forest was added in 2009, and dances with ghosts and ghouls are held on Tweetsie’s Main Street in the evening.  There’s also a Creepy Carnival and Haunted Saloons.

The Carowinds Theme Park, located just outside of Charlotte, is best known for two major attractions — the park boasts 12 roller coasters, and in October the park turns into “Scarowinds,” releasing more than 300 monsters that wander the park scaring ghouls and guys.  Haunting attractions include Corn Stalkers, Dead Inn, Slaughter House, the Asylum, the Feeding Frenzy, and the Cemetery.

In downtown Reidsville, the largest indoor haunted attraction is called Nightmare on Scales Street.  The building was the former site of the Klenner Clinic, owned and operated by Fritz Klenner, who committed nine murders. Recent paranormal investigations have shown that the building is haunted beyond its spooky attractions.

Author Kala Ambrose
Author Kala Ambrose

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.

 

Granny White Grave Nashville

Granny White Grave – A Heart Beats On
A story from Nashville Haunted Handbook

Granny White GraveThe Story of Granny White
Early in 1743, nearly 270 years ago, Granny White was born in North Carolina. Her early life was quite normal for a woman from that area and time. She married a man named Zachariah, had children, and lived happily. Things began to change when her husband was killed at the Battle of the Bluffs in 1781. Granny White, then named Lucy White, was left without money. Things compounded when her son died, leaving her two grandchildren, Thomas and Willis, orphaned. In 1801, the State of North Carolina declared that she was unfit to care for her two grandchildren, so she took them with her and moved to Tennessee, settling on the land where the Inns of Granny White sit today.

In order to make enough money to care for her small family, she used the culinary skills that she had developed earlier in her life. She set up an inn and a restaurant that quickly became popular with the weary men who had just traversed the Natchez Trace, which ended four miles from her property. Her ingenuity and business savvy allowed her and her grandchildren to survive. Granny White eventually passed away in 1816 and was buried on her property. The nearby road leading into Nashville was named after her.

Ghost story of Granny White Grave
The spirit of Granny White lives on despite the fact that she has been dead for almost 200 years. While her memory may have inspired many older people never to give up, in a more literal sense people have encountered the actual spirit of Granny White even today.

The story goes that if you were to approach the grave of Granny White at any time of the day or night, you will experience this ghost. Her ghost takes the form of a simple sound. If you stand near the grave, you will supposedly be able to hear the sound of a heartbeat coming from the ground. Sometimes, if you’re standing close enough, you can even feel that beating heart through the ground. Granny White’s story speaks of an unwillingness to give up despite age and adversity. Perhaps her will still hasn’t given out and her heart continues to beat audibly to this day.

Visiting the Granny White Grave
The grave itself is fenced off, but you can still walk close enough to experience its unique ghost. This area near the grave where the ghostly heartbeat can be heard does not close at night. If you want to experience the added creepiness of approaching the grave after dark, there is nothing to stop you from doing so.

This doesn’t mean that the ghostly heartbeat will only manifest at night. You are more than able to approach the grave during the day as well. Just stand there for a few moments being as still as you can. Most people who try this will eventually hear the sounds of her heart still beating beneath the ground.

Nashville-Haunted-HdbkDirections to Granny White’s Grave
The grave is located at Travelers Ridge Drive and Granny White Pike, Nashville, TN 37220. This strange location is about 5 miles outside of downtown Nashville. Simply take 12th Avenue South from the city. After a couple miles, the road changes its name to Granny White Pike. Follow the same road for another 2.5 to 3 miles until you see Travelers Ridge Drive on your left by the sign that says “Inns of Granny White.” The grave itself is fenced off at the front of the subdivision.

For more spooky stories check out the Nashville Haunted Handbook by Jeff Morris, Garret Merk and Donna Marsh.

The Ghost of Justus Cemetery

Is there Ghost at Justus Cemetery?

MoreHauntedHoosierTrailsThe clouds scurried across the night sky, at times hiding the pale moonlight. It was a windy, chilly, rainy night, not a good night for man or best to venture out – a perfect night for ghosts.

It was the era of the steam engine, and a train traveling on the Chicago & Eastern Illinois Railroad stopped at the Oxford, Indiana, water tower located within view of the Justus Cemetery. As the crew members began taking on water above the whine of the wind, they heard distinctly a mournful moaning. Passengers hearing the sound strained their eyes into the darkness trying to learn from where and what this sound was coming.

Suddenly a figure in white was seen floating from the cemetery through the air toward the idle train. Its moans could be heard above the wind. The crewmembers and passengers watched, frozen from fright. Women began screaming. The crewmembers worked frantically to complete the task of taking on water. Suddenly without warning the specter retreated back to the cemetery, plunging headlong into an open grave.

The crewmembers were understandably frightened. Some even asked to transfer to daylight trains or better still, to any other train that did not have to pass through Oxford – and the Justus Cemetery.

Once again, a few nights later, the train made its customary and needed stop at the Oxford water tower. The crew had completed the task when the ghost appeared. The train began to get up a head of steam but was unable to move for several minutes, its wheels spinning on the track. The crewmembers became nearly hysterical when suddenly with a jerk the train began to roll free from whatever horror had held it tight in its grasp. Fear and panic consumed the crew, and with open defiance, the train’s crew refused to take the train into Oxford on its next run. Railroad officials were at a loss to know what to do and finally hired a detective.

Justus Cemetery Ghost a prank?

After visiting Oxford and talking to some of the citizens, he was able to persuade a few to accompany him one night as he visited the cemetery. This was scary business he was proposing. As the small group waited and watched, they observed some of the young men of the community creep into the area just before the train arrived to take on water. One of them carried something white – a sheet. The detective left his hiding place, and the others followed as he approached the young men. The youthful pranksters admitted they were responsible for the ghost. They had attached a wire from the top of the water tower to the cemetery and were pulling a sheet, draped over a coat hanger, along this “track.” They also confessed that they had rubbed soap on the railroad tracks to make it difficult for the train to get traction once it had stopped. The pranksters were set free with a stern warning that if this ever happened again they would be arrested.

That ended the life of the ghost of Justus Cemetery – or did it? There were some among the train’s crew – those who had been frightened into near hysterics – who didn’t believe that it was a prank.

In More Haunted Hoosier Trails the author Wanda Lou Willis has many more chilling Hoosier tales waiting for you!

Wanda and Joy AboutAbout the author: Wanda Lou Willis is a folklore historian who specializes in Hoosier folktales and historic research. She is a feature writer for the Indianapolis Star’s “Seniority Counts” Section and regularly appears on WXIN-TV’s early-morning show.

She has taught folklore for thirteen years through the continuing-education division of Indiana University – Perdue University Indianapolis and OASIS. A popular folklore presenter at schools, universities, libraries and historical societies, Willis has received recognition from National Geographic Magazine and the Smithsonian Institution. Wanda Loui Willis lives in Indianapolis, Indiana.

Louisiana Beef Stew

Blog by Keen intern Sarris Balcerzak based on a story from Beyond Delicious: The Ghost Whisperer’s Cookbook by Mary Ann Winkowski and David Powers

Why does anyone stick around after death? For many spirits the intentions are well meaning but futile. They cannot help a loved one or make proper apologies or even satisfying goodbyes. But boy do they try!

Beyond Delicious Coconut Kisses
Beyond Delicious – The Ghost Whisperer’s Cookbook

Clarence’s wife Violet died of cancer, but he kept seeing a woman around the house where she had spent her last months. He didn’t think it was his wife and our expert and writer of Beyond Delicious (link), Mary Ann Winkowski, agreed. People who suffer a long battle with illness are much more likely to let go.

One afternoon, Clarence took the afternoon off of work to discuss what had been going on. Mary Ann confirmed that there was indeed a spirit in his home. The woman peeked at the two from the other room but made no move to come closer. Mary Ann announced she would speak with the woman but before she could, the ghost came rushing towards her.

“I’m coming! I’m coming!” said the plump kind-looking woman.
“Who are you?”
“Oh, I don’t think Clarence would like to know that,” she replied.
“Did you know Clarence?” She replied that she knew both Clarence and his wife.
“Were you and Clarence having an affair?” Mary Ann asked the ghost, happy that the conversation was muted so that Clarence couldn’t hear her accusations.
“Oh no! I wish!” Then Rose told her story. Clarence had dated her first, and then her sister stole him away. Rose never married. She was earth-bound and still pining over her brother-in-law.
“Oh for God’s sake!” exclaimed Clarence, who was annoyed and exasperated at Rose’s attempt to win him back.

Rose understood that she could no longer stay, but she wasn’t going to leave until she could leave behind something much more tangible than herself: her beef stew. She told Mary Ann to ask Clarence about it, to which he easily accredited her with the best stew he’s ever eaten.

“I don’t know what she did to it, but Violet never could get it right,” he admitted.

Rose was happy with this answer and left behind her recipe.

Louisiana Beef Stew
(From Beyond Delicious The Ghost Whisperer’s Cookbook by Mary Ann Winkowski and David Powers)

3 tablespoons flour
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon celery salt
¼ teaspoon garlic salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
½ teaspoon ginger
3 pounds beef chunk, cut into 2-inch cubes
2 tablespoons cooking oil
1 16-ounce can tomatoes
3 medium onions, sliced
1/3 cup red wine vinegar
½ cup molasses
½ cup water
6-8 carrots, cut on diagonal
½ cup raisins

Combine first 6 ingredients and sprinkle over beef cubes. Brown beef in hot oil. Transfer to dutch oven and add tomatoes, onions, vinegar, molasses, and water. Bring to boil, cover, and simmer about 2 hours. Add carrots and raisins, and simmer 30 minutes longer, or until carrots are tender.

Enjoy!

 

 

Haunted Ohio Hotels – Part II

Haunted Ohio Hotels – Part II

Ghosthunting-OH2If you are thinking of taking a tour of haunted Ohio hotels you will  not be disappointed.  Ohio has plenty of ghostly dwellings to pick from. Here’s is Part II of some of the spookiest from Ghosthunting Ohio – On the Road Again a book by John B. Kachuba:

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

Rider’s Inn – Painesville
The Rider’s Inn was built in 1812 and has seen its share of travelers pass through. Suzanne Rider was the original landlady of the establishment, and apparently she has found it difficult to leave. At least one modern guest has reported a silent lady who looks like Suzanne admitting the guests to the inn late at night.

Granville Inn – Granville
Right across the street from the haunted Buxton Inn—which has, among other ghosts, a ghost cat—the Granville Inn has its share of spooky visitors. Cold spots, odd tapping noises, and a piece of glass that floated from a hanging lamp to the floor are just some of the paranormal pranks reported here.

Candlewood Suites – North Olmstead
The land upon which the hotel was built was formerly woodlands. The story behind the haunting says that a woman hanged herself in the woods and that her body was later discovered by construction workers. There are reports of cold spots in the hotel, and some employees say they have been touched by the ghost.

The Inn at Cedar Falls – Logan
The Inn, located in the scenic Hocking Hills area of southeastern Ohio, has several cabins and a main house that incorporates an original 1840 log cabin. Unsettling, eerie guitar music was first heard as the cabin was undergoing renovation in 1987 to become part of the inn. Beneath the birdsong you might hear Guitar Man still playing his haunting tunes.

Westgate Hotel – Sylvania
Maids working on the fourth floor of the hotel often see the apparition of a woman in old-time clothing; they call her “Isabella.” The maids think she may be the ghost of Olive Ward, a local woman murdered by her husband in 1857. They also hear their names being called by unseen persons.

Author John Kachuba
Author John Kachuba

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

Missed Part I of our Haunted Ohio Hotels? You can find them HERE

Bush House Museum: Salem

A History:

Bush House Museum SalemMany historic homes-turned-museums are refurbished to at least some extent. Visitors of the Bush House Museum will find that this is not the case, they will see what the Bush family saw day-to-day in the late 1800s.

After his wife died of tuberculosis, Asahel Bush II bought his partner’s share of their business and became horribly successful. Asahel innovated the Bush House, which he and his four young children moved into after the very accomplished architect Wilbur Boothby built it.

The home is both Victorian and Italianate in style and reflects the independence and elegance of the family who lived there. The home had what was then “modern” conveniences like heating, hot and cold water, and indoor plumbing. These were quite the luxuries of the 1870s.

The children, Asahel III, Estelle, and Sally made their father proud growing up and did well in their lives after college. Sally moved back home and managed the estate, Estelle married, and Asahel III went into banking. Eugenia was the only one of the four who was ill-fated. She developed a mental condition during her school years in Massachusetts and returned home.

Fact or Fiction?

What happened to Eugenia went she returned home is unknown, but there are two versions of the story:

1. Her father kept her in the basement, for he was embarrassed by his daughter’s mental condition. Besides the freedom to go outdoors, she was well cared for down there. There are no reports of abuse or poor conditions.

2. Her father shipped her away to a mental institution in Boston—where only the wealthiest were cared for. She received the best psychiatric and medical care available. She only returned home to the Bush House after her father’s death.

Ghostly Occurrences

While the Bush House is largely an area associated with good memories, pleasant parks, varieties of rare flowers and even houses the Salem Art Fair and Festival, there have been countless reports of the extraordinary presences over the years.

“I did see a vase on a table in the living room slide about three inches across the table-top, and I heard it moving. I would have thought I was going a little crazy if my husband hadn’t seen it too!” said one woman.

Others report that a shadowy figure of a man in a suit fidgets with a pocket watch. One woman even said to have looked up what the senior Bush looked like upon seeing that presence and knew instantly—that is who she saw.

There have been reports of a young woman “crying and sobbing breathlessly.” Is this Eugenia? Perhaps, but more importantly is it the same woman who has been seen looking out a top-floor window in the evenings or floating through the rooms in a mist-like presence?

Frequently, visitors have heard whispers, cries, and even spoken conversations coming from a room around the corner. These occurrences have been reported too often to deny signs of the paranormal.

Now try your best to guess these interesting facts about the Bush House and Family!

1. There are __ bedrooms in the Bush house open to the public.

a. 1
b. 3
c. 12
d. 0
e. 7
f. 10

2. The 100-acre estate does NOT contain which of the following:

a. The barn
b. The original Bush House
c. The greenhouse
d. The garage
e. Many kaleidoscopic gardens
f. Pasturage for cattle

3. Asahel Bush II, a very successful and renowned inhabitant of the Bush House, did NOT have which occupation?

a. Attorney
b. Banker
c. Doctor
d. Democratic National Convention delegate
e. Oregon Statesman Journal owner
f. Oregon Statesman Journal publisher

4. Eugenia’s mental condition was:

a. Depression
b. Schizophrenia
c. Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

Excerpts from Ghosthunting: Oregon by Donna Stewart
Blog by Sarris Balcerzak

 

 

 

 

Answer Key:
 1. c 2. d 3. c 4. b

Sleepy Hollow Indiana

MoreHauntedHoosierTrailsThe Ghost of Sleepy Hollow – Clinton County, Indiana

Washington Irving’s The Legend of Sleepy Hollow is a permanent part of our literary history. The town of Sleepy Hollow along with the headless horseman have become part of our national folklore.

The spirit that haunts Irving’s Sleepy Hollow is the ghost of a Hessian trooper who has been decapitated by a cannonball during a Revolutionary War scrimmage. He rides wildly through the countryside at night seeking his head, but must return to his burial site before daybreak.

Indiana has its own Sleepy Hollow located just outside of Frankfort, and it, too, has a haunting tale. You won’t encounter a headless horseman, but what they say you’ll find there is much more frightening. Clinton County’s Sleepy Hollow is located on a lonely road near a bridge spanning the South Fork of the Wildcat Creek.

The story has its origin sometime in the 1800s. A farmer’s wife had just prepared and served the evening meal. No one knows why it happened or how it happened, but the seemingly docile wife had killed her husband. Had she taken all she could from a domineering, demanding man? Or had she simply gone mad? Did she use her iron skillet to end his life?

To cover up the crime and dispose of the evidence – the body – she decided to cut him up into manageable pieces. Once this was achieved, she waited until it was dark. Then she loaded him onto the wagon and proceeded to Wildcat Creek bridge. Once there she began to toss him, piece by piece, over the bridge and into the creek.

Later, she became fearful that someone would find the pieces. Night after night she went to the bridge to make sure there was nothing to be found. Even if she wasn’t out of her mind when she killer her husband, her guilt most certainly drove her insane. In fact, even after her death, she still protects her secret.

Many have said that on this lonely road as you approach the bridge, she’ll appear as a light floating toward you in an attempt to scare you away. But if you’re really “lucky,” according to some stories you might encounter her husband rising from the creek – piece by piece.

To find Sleepy Hollow, follow these directions – if you dare. Take State Route 28 west out of Frankfort until you reach West Mulberry – Jefferson Road. Turn right and follow the road until you come to 600-West. Continue on 600-West until you see the bridge – and perhaps something else.

In More Haunted Hoosier Trails the author Wanda Lou Willis has many more chilling Hoosier tales waiting for you!

Sleepy Hollow Indiana
Wanda Lou Willis and Joy

About the author: Wanda Lou Willis is a folklore historian who specializes in Hoosier folktales and historic research. She is a feature writer for the Indianapolis Star’s “Seniority Counts” Section and regularly appears on WXIN-TV’s early-morning show.

She has taught folklore for thirteen years through the continuing-education division of Indiana University – Perdue University Indianapolis and OASIS. A popular folklore presenter at schools, universities, libraries and historical societies, Willis has received recognition from National Geographic Magazine and the Smithsonian Institution. Wanda Loui Willis lives in Indianapolis, Indiana.

Dyer Cemetery

The Story of Dyer Cemetery as told in
Nashville Haunted Handbook

Dyer CemeteryHistory of Dyer Cemetery
When they needed a place to bury their loved ones, a family in this remote area with the last name of Dyer established the Dyer Cemetery in the early 1800s. Since this property was somewhat remote, it made sense for them to create their family’s cemetery on the grounds. Eventually the cemetery fell into the care of the Leathers family who lived nearby. The Leathers family cares for the cemetery today.

A strange story circulates about the cemetery. The story takes place in the 1800s, but it is unclear whether the events occurred before or after the Dyer family started using the land as their own. What happened was that three women in a nearby town were accused of being witches and of conspiring with Satan. They fled the town but were followed by a lynch mob to what was or what would become the Dyers’ property. Eventually the witches were cornered, and the mob hung the witches from a tree and then burned their bodies. Their charred remains were buried where the cemetery is today.

Dyer Cemetery Ghost story
Victims of the ghosts here are most often initially approached at the front gate. Due to the terrain and the condition of the gate itself, it is difficult to push open in order to enter the cemetery. Many times, though, people who are struggling to open the gate will have it suddenly fling open for no apparent reason.

Once inside the gate, there is no lack of ghostly activity. Visitors will encounter shadowy figures that approach quickly and maliciously and then vanish. Footsteps will approach people in the dark of the cemetery, but no one will be there. Most of this activity will occur near the rear of the cemetery.

In the front of the cemetery, a cedar tree is rumored to have been the tree where the witches were hung. Near this tree, people will feel a hand grab an arm or shoulder but then turn around and find no one there. Others will feel scratches that resemble either fingernails or straw running down an arm. Sometimes, balls of fire will appear near the tree and will slowly ascend the tree and then disappear. If the story of the witches is actually true, the ghosts seem to be quite upset.

Nashville-Haunted-HdbkVisiting Dyer Cemetery
Unfortunately, in order to see the ghosts here you will have to go at night. The strange behavior of the front gate, the shadowy figures, the balls of fire, and the sounds have been exclusively reported after nightfall. From what we can tell, it seems that the cemetery is open after dark. If you do go there at night, make certain that you search for any signs along the road or at the front gate that suggest that the cemetery closes at dusk. These rules are always subject to change, so even if the cemetery is open all night now, that rule may change tomorrow.

Also, keep in mind that this cemetery is rather remote. Make sure to keep your safety in mind at all times. Don’t go alone. And don’t approach the shadowy figures; they may just be real people up to no good.

Directions to Dyer Cemetery
Dyer Cemetery is located at 8538 Dyer Rd., Rockvale, TN
Take I-24 East for about 23 miles to Exit 74A, TN 840 West toward Franklin. Follow this road for a little more than 2 miles to Exit 50 toward Beesley Road, and then turn left at the end of the exit ramp onto Veterans Parkway. After another 2 miles, turn right onto Franklin Road. Take your second left onto Kingwood Lane. Follow Kingwood for another 2.5 miles before turning right onto Windrow Road. Follow Windrow for 3 miles before angling right onto South Windrow Road. After another mile, turn right onto Dyer Road. The cemetery is near the end of Dyer Road.

For more scary stories check out the Nashville Haunted Handbook by Jeff Morris, Garret Merk and Donna Marsh

Ghosthunting Tips from John Kachuba

Ghosthunting Tips
John Kachuba

1. Conduct all your investigations with an open mind, but 
don’t let yourself be fooled by the “evidence.” No one has yet been able to scientifically prove or disprove the existence of ghosts, and it’s unlikely you will be the one to earn that fame. Better to simply be nonjudgmental and open to whatever you experience and observe for yourself. Be hard-nosed about the “evidence” you uncover. Make certain that you exhaust all possible explanations before you claim a brush with the supernatural.

2. Interview witnesses separately. Take a page from standard police procedurals and always talk to witnesses of paranormal phenomena separately so that one witness’s testimony does not influence that of another.

3. Document your activities. I always carry a notebook and pen, tape recorder, and camera with me when investigating a site. The tape recorder is used to interview witnesses, but some people have also used it to record background sound over a period of time to try and catch unidentifiable sounds or voices in a particular location. 
A note about photography is important here. Many people, using either traditional or digital cameras, have reported various anomalies on the photos once they are developed or downloaded into a computer. These anomalies—usually whitish orbs, but also misty smears—are invisible to the naked eye when the photo is taken. There are many reasonable explanations for these objects. They may be dust particles or water droplets on the camera lens. They may be reflections caused by the flash of other cameras or by common objects—even some insects—that the photographer simply did not notice at the time. Your finger, or the camera strap covering part of the camera lens, may also be possible explanations for your photogenic ghost. Enlarging the photo will often help you identify the anomaly accurately. Despite all these reasonable explanations, there are hundreds of “ghost photos” that defy explanation—much to my surprise, I have taken some myself while writing this book.

4. Respect the site. It is important to remember that any haunted site carries with it a history of both the people who inhabited the site and of the site itself. That history is worthy of your respect. You should observe whatever rules and regulations might be in effect for the site and work within them. In other words, you should not be breaking into buildings or removing anything from them as souvenirs. Nor should you be prowling around cemeteries after posted hours. You will find that people are more receptive to helping you with your explorations if you follow the rules.

5. Respect the privacy of your contacts. Some people may tell you their own ghost stories, but for a variety of reasons, may not want other people to know their identity. You must respect their right to privacy.

6. Be a knowledgeable ghosthunter. This last point is perhaps the most important one. No one really knows the rules and laws of the spirit world. Ghosthunters are always exploring terra incognita and finding their way by learning from others, but it is important to learn from those who are serious about their work, rather than from people who are merely looking for kicks. Serious ghosthunters, such as Ed and Lorraine Warren, emphasize that knowledge about ghosts and the spirit world will increase your chances of obtaining your goals but, more important, will keep you safe. The Warrens and other top psychic investigators never resort to dubious psychic “tools,” such as the Ouija board, which can, in inexperienced hands, summon unwanted and uncontrollable spirits. I urge you to read and learn from the experts before venturing forth on your own ghosthunting expedition.

John Kachuba is the author of Ghosthunting Ohio, Ghosthunting Ohio On The Road Again and Ghosthunting Illinois.

Hollywood Theatre Portland

Opened on July 17, 1926 the Hollywood has not changed much outwardly since 1926, but its heart has continued to advance with the times and, as the film industry changed, so did the technical capabilities of the theater. More changes came in the 1970s when the theater was divided into three separate auditoriums.

Hollywood Theatre Portland
Hollywood Theatre Portland

Despite the attention the Hollywood  received when it was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1983, the theater became a victim to the newer and more modern theaters in Portland, and its business all but disappeared. But in the 21st century, the theater came back to life. It now not only shows movies but also focuses on independent and local filmmakers and educational programs. No one can accuse the Hollywood of not being able to adjust with the times, and because of that, its legacy lives on. And so do the ghosts that reside there.

Walking into the theater for the first time was an almost dreamlike experience for me. I am fascinated by history and architecture, so I found the best of both worlds in the lobby of the Hollywood. While parts of the theater have been updated with modern amenities, I could still envision vaudeville acts and silent movies and Model T Fords parked outside.

Hollywood Theatre lobby
Lobby Hollywood Theatre Portland

The ghosts of the Hollywood have never been given obligatory names or identified as other than male and female, but the reports of their existence are many. Past theater managers recall seeing a well-dressed, middle-aged man floating or hovering in the upstairs lobby. Some people have reported seeing a young, blonde female in high heels in the upstairs theater. She has also been seen nervously pacing the halls while smoking a cigarette. The sightings are brief but detailed, and each witness recalls a similar experience. People also report a feeling of uneasiness on the stairs leading to the upper theaters. A male ghost enjoys tapping people on the shoulder or back and whispering unintelligible words into their ears. Yet another ghost, a female, has been seen sitting quietly in the back row of the theater. While many are startled by a physical touch, most feel that it is done in jest. In all of the accounts that have been relayed to me, no one has felt threatened or fearful.

A woman I spoke with after my visit that claimed to be a medium said that the nervously pacing female ghost waits eternally for her husband to pick her up from work, not knowing he had been killed in an automobile accident on the way to meet her. I do not have an opinion either way on mediums or psychics, and this explanation certainly seems plausible when I consider the reports and the repetitive actions of this particular ghost, but we will never know if this is indeed true.

There does not seem to be any rhyme or reason to the floating man or the woman seen in the back rows. Perhaps they simply enjoyed their time at the Hollywood and thought it would be a nice place to retire after they expired. But turning from a conversation there, I caught a glimpse of a misty, transparent figure that passed before me and dissolved into the wall. It was not as detailed as many other reports, but I do not doubt what I saw with my own eyes. I replay it over and over in my mind in an attempt to come up with a rational, natural explanation, but am left without one.

As the sun began to set, the mood of the  theater seemed to change, and at one point I was actually eager to leave. Two people in my party heard a voice whisper “Hey, you!” and felt unexplained cold spots that had not been there before. It seemed as though when the darkness set in, people we were not able to see were arriving to watch their favorite movies. And perhaps that was the case, nothing more and nothing less.

If you liked this excerpt from Donna Stewart’s book check out Ghosthunting Oregon for more spookiest haunts across the state.

Photo Credits
Hollywood Theatre by Visitor7 (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons