Category Archives: paranormal

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 Lead to the Ghost of the Broken-Hearted Octoroon Mistress

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

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