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Haunted Buffalo Trace Distillery

Patti Starr, author of Ghosthunting Kentucky,  investigates the Buffalo Trace Distillery. Join her on her adventure!

Patti Starr
Patti Starr

When I first got the call from Theresa, a former employee at Buffalo Trace, inviting us to investigate the distillery, I remembered that I had a student, Bobbie Vereeke, whose husband also worked there. Bobbie told me that her husband knew about the ghosts that haunt several of the buildings on the property. While she was a student in my ghosthunter course, Bobbie shared with me her unusual talent for automatic writing, in which a spirit takes control of her hand and writes out messages. I knew she would be a great asset to the investigation because she used that method to communicate with the spirits.

I organized a group of 40 ghosthunters from my organization to investigate the distillery. When we arrived on the property, we drove through the entrance into a beautiful, natural, and rustic setting. It wasn’t hard to imagine herds of buffalos grazing along the traces that lay before us as we circled around to the back of the original main house to the company parking lot below.

When we met our tour guide, she asked us if we wanted to know the history first or did we want to wait until after the investigation. I like to go into an investigation without being briefed about the place beforehand so that if a name or event is revealed to us, we will not be influenced by it until it is later validated through reliable sources. We opted not to get the history until after our investigation and went forth with our ghosthunt.

The guide led us up to the main house, called Stony Point Mansion, because that was where so many of the employees had experienced unexplainable and illogical activity. With our cameras, camcorders, audio recorders, and EMF meters in hand, we started our investigation, moving down the hall towards the back of the house. My EMF meter started to register a disturbance by beeping and flashing a red light. I wanted to electric dowse with the EMF meter, so I asked the invisible entity to stop making the meter go off by backing away. The meter came to an abrupt stop. I thanked the spirit and asked it if it would answer my questions by making the meter beep for “yes” and remain quiet for “no.” It beeped once to agree. This is a method I call electric dowsing. The tour guide was delighted to see this result. I asked if the spirit was a female, and the meter remained silent.

I asked if it was a male, and the meter immediately beeped twice for “yes.” Several gasps came from the group. I continued to ask yes and no questions in order to find out as much as I could about this personality that was coming through for us. When the session was over, I asked our guide if she had any idea who we might be communicating with. She replied, “All of the information that was validated through the meter matches that of a former president by the name of Colonel Blanton. When Blanton was 16 years old, he started to work at the distillery; by the time he was 24, he became president of the whiskey plant. His leadership allowed the company to survive the Great Depression, the Great Flood of 1937, and World War II. His love for people and the company inspired him to build a clubhouse so that employees could have a place for social and community functions. All the employees wanted to work hard and please Colonel Blanton.”

We left the first floor of the mansion and descended into the basement to see what else our instruments would reveal. This time, Bobbie Vereeke felt a strange urge to go into one of the back offices. She sat down at the desk with pen and pad and went into a mild trance so she could give in to the movement of her hand. Soon the writing began. It was amazing to see the words start to appear across her pad. After the session was over, she revealed that she had been in communications with a lady named Anna, a former employee of Colonel Blanton. She wanted to make sure all was well at the distillery. Her job had been to keep the place clean, “spic-and-span” were the words Bobbie wrote, and to keep the Colonel happy. Anna’s words read, “I worked here. I don’t have anywhere else to go. He was a great man, and I just want to please him.”

We left the basement and headed for another building, known as the Riverside house, opposite the boiler room. This house was built in 1792 and is the oldest recorded building still standing in Franklin County. The house is being renovated, but, at the time of our investigation, it was in a deteriorated condition. We were not allowed to go inside for fear of injury, so we stood at the doorway and took pictures of the shabby structure’s interior.

As we backed away from the house, I looked up and saw a face looking down at us from the second floor. I pointed my camera and took a shot but was not able to capture the face in the photo. Another member of my group took a shot and got a faint outline that appeared to be someone looking back at us. It was a good piece of evidence in the camera, but it just didn’t show up once we printed it out on paper.

It has been more than eight years since I did that investigation at Buffalo Trace, so I thought I would call to see if any of the employees were still experiencing any ghostly activity. After introducing myself and explaining the reason for my call, I was routed to Angela Traver, the public relations manager. Angela was attentive; once I asked her if she had experienced any type of paranormal activity, she was gracious enough to share her story with me.

Angela’s office is located in the sunroom of Stony Point Mansion. It was a wintry morning, still dark, when she arrived at her office. Soon after entering the room, she sat her computer case on the floor beside her desk so that she could remove her coat and scarf. As she bent down, she saw a tall, dark figure pass by on her right side. She jerked round and quickly reached for the light switch to see who else was in the room. Once the light was turned on, she could see that the room lay quiet before her with no sign of a dark figure. She recalled, “Knowing that Colonel Blanton was a tall thin man, and the fact that he died in this same room, made me think that maybe he was still making  his rounds in the manor. I was okay with that thought and proceeded to get ready for the day’s business.”

On the last leg of our investigation, we entered the Buffalo Trace Gift Shop. The sales staff gathered around to tell us about the weird experiences they had had while working in the shop. Most of them agreed that the most common occurrence was the sound of footsteps above the gift shop. It sounded as if three or four men were walking around wearing heavy boots. The area above the shop was a storage space. No one was assigned to that area unless they were adding more items to storage. Sometimes, the employees would hear the sounds of objects being dragged across the floor. They said that sometimes it sounded as if the items in storage were being rearranged, even though there was no one on the second floor at that time.

Our group was anxious to get started upstairs. As we ascended the stairs, we were met with a blanket of hot, still air that took my  breath away. It was roasting up there. I didn’t know how long we could last in such heat, so we started immediately gathering evidence. Bobbie held her notebook in her hand, and I took pictures as I recorded my requests of the spirits to speak. My husband, Chuck, took a picture of me just as I asked the spirits to come to me, and he captured the image of a spirit orb hovering over me. I glanced over at Bobbie and saw that she was starting to write. I went over to where she was standing and looked over her shoulder to see what information she was getting. It was hard to make out some of the words, but she later translated them for us. This is what she wrote: “Must be careful here. We know that it is hot, but you need to spend time . . . .” and the message stopped. Then it started back up again: “Four of us are here for work. The big man came to see us daily. He wants to make sure things are done right.” There was another break in the writing and then she continued again: “John, Amos, Fred, and Ralph.” Another pause: “There are secrets in this building. You can find them, but you must look carefully. I found them long ago and protected them. The stone walls are built to hide . . . .” There, the communication stopped.

By this time most of us were about to pass out from the heat. I knew it would not be good for any of us to remain there any longer, so we concluded our investigation and returned to the gift shop below. It was a super experience for all of us. The best part was hearing all the stories and experiences of the employees that helped validate the data that we collected while investigating the distillery.

Colonel Blanton passed away in 1959, after spending more than 55 years doing what he loved best, in the home he loved the most. During his time at the distillery, he went from being office boy to company president, and he was credited with preserving and enhancing one of Kentucky’s historic landmarks. It seems as though the Colonel has made Buffalo Trace Distillery a paranormal landmark as well.

Haunted Hotels in Kentucky

Haunted Hotels in Kentucky anyone?
A list of haunted hotels in Kentucky as described in Patti Starr’s Ghosthunting Kentucky
Haunted Hotels in Kentucky
Boone Tavern Berea, KY

Boone Tavern (859) 985-3700
100 Main Street North, Berea, KY 40403
During the past century Boone Tavern has provided cozy lodging and fine dining to many travelers. These features have contributed to the hotel’s heritage of hospitality. Boone Tavern has been visited by many notable guests, such as Eleanor Roosevelt, Duncan Hines, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Alex Haley, Dalai Lama, Jesse Stuart, Robert Frost, and Geena Davis. Now you can be a distinguished guest by staying at the Boone Tavern. Reserve your room today by going to the Boone Tavern Web site.

Hall Place Bed-and-Breakfast (270) 651-3176
313 South Green Street, Glasgow, KY 42141
You will find this antebellum house in the historic downtown district of Glasgow. The dwelling offers four spacious guest rooms with private baths. There is a wonderful parlor and library filled with relics and old books. There’s a wonderful Victrola in the corner of the parlor that just might play a song on its own, if the ghosts are active enough. Check out the Web site for weekend specials.

Jailers Inn Bed-and-Breakfast (502) 348-5551
111 West Stephen Foster Avenue, Bardstown, KY 40004-1415
The Jailers Inn Bed-and-Breakfast is a place to enjoy a bit of history and to “do time” in the old jail. Of course your time will be a short stay as you enjoy their Southern hospitality. They offer a full breakfast, private baths, and a complimentary tour through the historic jail. Please check the Web site for weekend specials.

Haunted Hotels in Kentucky
Maple Hill Manor Springfield, KY

Maple Hill Manor Bed-and-Breakfast (859) 336-3075
2941 Perryville Road, US 150 East, Springfield, KY 40069
Voted “Most Historic Charm in the US” and “Best B&B in Kentucky” and “Best Breakfast in the Southeast.” You will find lots of amenities, which include a full country gourmet breakfast, homemade desserts and refreshments during the day with hot and cold beverages available. Check out the Web site for a variety of weekend specials.

Mullins Log Cabin (859) 322-3082
305 Scaffold Lick Creek Road, Berry, KY 41003
You get closer to nature at the Mullins Log Cabin. Judy Mullins offers workshops in basket weaving and herb picking if you want more to do. There’s so much to enjoy while staying at the cabin, and telling ghost stories by the fireplace at night might conjure up a ghost or two. Call Judy for reservations.

Haunted Hotels in Kentucky
The Old Talbott Tavern, Bardstown, KY

The Old Talbott Tavern (502) 348-3494
107 West Stephen Foster Avenue, Bardstown, KY 40004
The Old Talbott Tavern has provided shelter and nourishment to Kentucky travelers since the late 1700s. It is said that the Tavern is the oldest western stagecoach stop in America. It continues to serve good home-cooked meals and furnish comfort and rest for the weary traveler.
Serving times: Monday–Friday, 11 a.m.–4 p.m. (lunch) and 4–8 p.m. (dinner);
Saturday, 11 a.m.–4 p.m. (lunch) and 4–9 p.m. (dinner); Sunday brunch, 10 a.m.–2 p.m.

Springhill Winery and Plantation Bed-and-Breakfast (502) 252-9463
3205 Springfield Road, Bloomfield KY 40008
Springhill, the stately and historic 1857 plantation, is a destination to discover both the historic past and ghostly activity. After a delightful day, what better way to end it than to have a glass of wine from the vineyard. Check out the Web site for weekend packages and special events.

Explore the scariest spots in the Bluegrass State with author Patti Starr in Ghoshunting Kentucky. Join Patti as she visits thirty legendary haunted places, all of which are open to the public – so you can test your own ghost hunting skills, if you dare.

In addition to the above mentioned haunted hotels in Kentucky you go to Bobby Mackey’s Music World, the State Historic Theater and Natural Bridge Resort Park. Enjoy Ghosthunting Kentucky from the safety of your armchair or hit the road using the maps and the ghost hunting travel guide. Book a night in a haunted hotel in Kentucky and get ready for a frightful night.

Haunted Colville Covered Bridge

Excerpts from Haunted Colville Covered Bridge
from Patti Starr’s book Ghosthunting Kentucky
Haunted Colville Covered Bridge
Haunted Colville Covered Bridge
Haunted Colville Covered Bridge

In the late 1700s covered bridges were being built in small towns all over Kentucky. At one point there were over four hundred of these magnificent wooden, covered passages that provided protection for travelers, wagons, cargo, and cattle as they crossed a river or creek. Of all these bridges, there are only thirteen left, and of the thirteen, only four are still open to vehicular traffic. Most of these covered bridges were lost to fire, burned by troops on both sides during the Civil War. Today, all the remaining covered bridges are listed with the National Registry of Historic Places. Stories are told about the bridges as stages for hanging a slave, or hacking off someone’s head, or losing control of a car and crashing into the water below. There are bridge stories about Civil War ambushes and unwanted babies tossed into the water. Such incidents are the source for many ghost stories.

Facts about the Haunted Colville Covered Bridge

It was built in 1877 by Jacob Bower, and it traverses over Hinkston Creek in Bourbon County. The bridge featured truss construction and a multiple king post style with a single 124-foot span. During this era the Kentucky wilderness was covered with an abundance of poplar trees, so the truss structure was built with poplar timbers. After many years, the bridge was in dire need of repairs and was restored by Louis Bower in 1913. His son, Stock, restored and raised the bridge to its present height in 1937. Sadly, the rough-hewn structure that served its community so well was dismantled in 1997 and had to be totally rebuilt. It didn’t open to traffic again until 2001.

Investigating the Haunted Colville Bridge
Haunted Colville Covered Bridge
Investigating Haunted Colville Covered Bridge

Once I had collected my information about this haunted location, Chuck and I drove to the Colville Bridge by the way of Paris Pike, one of the most scenic roadways in the Kentucky Bluegrass Region. This quiet route affords spectacular views of horse farms amidst the historic rock fences that line the road for twelve miles.

A blanket of shadows formed around us as we entered the blackness of night along the country road. We turned off onto a more primitive road, and shortly the headlights revealed a bright white-and-green covered bridge directly before us. We pulled off the road and stopped before entering the bridge. I grabbed my flash light and left the car to go stand in the middle of the bridge. It was a cool October evening with a slight breeze that carried the scent of the water below. There was no moon that night so the only light that brightened my path was the torch in my hand. Chuck called out from the car, “Hey, Patti, don’t go too far, I don’t want to lose sight of you.” I yelled back, “I’m okay, don’t worry about me!” and at that moment I felt a slight touch on my shoulder. I jerked around and flashed the light towards where I was standing. Nothing was there. Just about that time, a set of headlights came up behind me, and as I turned I could see that it was the rest of my investigation team. I had decided to invite Pete Eclov and Mary Beth to join us at the bridge. They were two of my newer ghosthunters and needed to get more experience in the field. I knew their expectations would run high, which, to me, seems to render better results on a ghost investigation. It sure did pay off because we started to get results as soon as we began gathering our data.

After we had discussed some of the bridge legends, which included the teenage couple who drowned under the bridge and Ms. Mitchell, we decided to turn on our EMF meters, recorders, and the Ovilus. While walking down the center of the bridge, our EMF meters started beeping, alerting us to a disturbance in the electromagnetic field. Even though the disruption only lasted for a couple of minutes, we were able to get responses to a few of our yes and no questions. The Ovilus, which indicates energy through reciting words, started to talk shortly after the meters registered. As I lifted the Ovilus up, it spouted out, “Car lights,” and we looked at each other in amazement, since one of the stories involved car lights coming up behind a parked car on the bridge. Then I asked if Ms. Mitchell could come through, and shortly after that question the Ovilus said, “Sarah Mitchell.” This name is not programmed into the vocabulary of the Ovilus, so you can understand our astonishment. Mary Beth said, “Are you here with us, Ms. Mitchell?” Pete decided to rewind his audio recorder to see if we got a response to the question. Sure enough, we heard a woman’s voice clearly answer “yes” to Mary Beth’s question.

I always tell people that I do not have proof that ghosts exist, but I’ve been known to get some pretty convincing evidence. I feel the evidence we collected that night at the bridge was a good indication that the Covered Colville Bridge is definitely haunted and worth the trip to investigate.

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.

The Clerisy Press Team is ready for ScareFest7

The Clerisy Press Team is ready for ScareFest7
Tanya & Liliane ready for ScareFest7

The Clerisy Press team is ready for ScareFest7.  Armed with plenty of ghostly books from the America’s Haunted Road Trip Series we are excited to be back at ScareFest in Lexington, Kentucky this weekend September 12-14 .  Come and visit us a booth # 63. Meet some of our authors,  take advantage of incredible deals and enter our raffle for chance to win one of our many awesome prices.

Here are our ScareFest7 only deals:
Buy one book at $15, two books for $20 and three books at the all-time low price of $30. Sign up for our newsletter and receive a raffle ticket. Earn additional raffle tickets with the purchase of any our our books. (One book = 1 raffle ticket, two books = 3 raffle tickets and three books = 5 raffle tickets.

NEW at ScareFest7 is Ghosthunting Oregon by Donna Stewart which was just released this September. Ghosthunting Oregon takes readers along a guided tour of some of the Beaver State’s most haunted historic locations.  Accompany the author as she explores each site, investigating eerie rooms and dark corners, talking to people who swear to their paranormal experiences, and providing you with first-hand accounts.

Donna Stewart is a noted paranormal researcher, radio host, writer, and founder of the nonprofit Southern Oregon Project Hope.  With a lifelong interest in the paranormal, she has devoted more than 30 years to research, mentoring new investigators, and confounding the highly regarded paranormal research team Paranormal Studies and Investigations (PSI) of Oregon.  She also hosts the long-running BlogTalkRadio Show PSI-FI Radio.

On Saturday October 13 join us at our booth (# 63) for the following book signings:

10 a.m.      John Kachuba
12 noon     Patti Starr
2 p.m.        John Kachuba

About the authors:

John Kachuba is the author of Ghosthunting IllinoisGhosthunting Ohio and Ghosthunting Ohio – on the Road Again. John is a frequent presenter on the paranormal at conferences and on radio and television.  For more information visit his website.  

Patti Starr, author of Ghosthunting Kentucky, is a certified Ghost Hunter, researcher, author, lecturer, consultant, dowser, and teacher with over thirty years of ghost investigation experience.  Patti is also the producer of the annual ScareFest Horror and Paranormal Convention. For more information visit her website

The Clerissy Press team is ready for ScareFest7, are you?

Education in the Paranormal Field

Often, when people think of ghosthunting, they don’t generally think of education being a big part of the field. Sometimes it’s not, but many ghosthunters pride themselves in backgrounds ranging from psychology to medicine to science. All of these disciplines lend themselves to better ghosthunting research, but do you believe that further education is necessary?

Many organizations, small paranormal shops, individuals, and even some colleges now offer ghosthunting courses and certifications. One example is The Ghosthunter Shop out of Lexington, Kentucky. Patti Starr owns and operates the shop with her husband Chuck Starr (these are the same folks that produce Scarefest) and they offer an introductory course, a certification class, and a certification from home class for reasonable prices.

The question is, what do you think about ghosthunting education? Do you believe it’s necessary for a ghosthunter to be certified to be considered an expert?