"Death is no more than passing from one room into another." – HELEN KELLER

Reader Submission: Paranormal Activity at the Pharmacy Museum

As a ghost tour guide in New Orleans, you tend to get repeat questions:

Are we going inside any haunted locations? Unfortunately, no, not unless you have a cool million or so to put down on a historic residence in the French Quarter.

Do you believe in ghosts? The answer to that is yes. I’m fully aware that many guides out there are all-in-out skeptics, but I’m not one of them.

Which leads us to . . .

Will we experience any paranormal activity on our tour tonight? This one’s the kicker, mainly because all guides only wish that we could make ghostly phenomena perform on demand. How much easier would that be for tour companies or paranormal investigators? So much easier.

So that question of whether or not guests will experience ghostly phenomena while on a tour? Highly unlikely—until, that is, it actually happens.


The first time occurred last August. I remember only because it was deathly hot outside and I was, unfortunately, sweating profusely. That night, only two sisters had joined me for our Killers and Thrillers Tour. They were incredibly nice, interested in the paranormal and intrigued by the mystery of the darker side of New Orleans’ past. The Killers and Thrillers Tour was a perfect fit.
As we made our way to our second stop, the sisters asked me about different haunted hotspots in the city—in New Orleans, it’s difficult to come across a place that doesn’t have a ghost story or two lingering around.

But perhaps my favorite story of all entails the Pharmacy Museum. Its original owner Dr. Louis Dufilho was the first licensed pharmacist in the entire country. The first floor of the museum still boasts that 19th century atmosphere, with items like Voodoo Love Potion, medicinal leeches and laudanum (opium) stocked on the oak shelves. But the dark and gory tales of the property didn’t begin until Dufilho’s retirement and the property’s sale to pharmacist Dr. Joseph Dupas.
Photo Provided By Ghost City Tours

Whereas Dufilho was a man greatly loved by the citizens of New Orleans, Dupas was the guy you avoided if you could. In the mid-1800s, he had been arrested for violating health code violations, for bludgeoning a politician in the head with a hammer, and for nearly (or so they say) murdering a young girl with his medicinal work.

As I related the tale, the sisters exchanged looks of disgust. It only got worse, though, because it was rumored that Dupas practiced experiments . . . and he preferred to do so on pregnant women. After hiring local grave cart drivers (who were bringing yellow fever victims out to the cemeteries for interment) to poison pregnant women on the streets with chloroform, they would bring the women to the pharmacy so that Dupas could practice c-sections. Most often, the women died, bleeding out right on the table—in the chances that they survived, it’s said that he murdered them before handing them back to the grave cart drivers.

Dupas suffered from syphilis, and so mentally became more unhinged with every passing year.

It was at this point that I noticed one of the sisters begin to sway. Her skin turned yellowish-green. She asked me to sit down and I quickly helped her to the sidewalk curb. Rifling through my bag, I pulled out an extra water bottle and offered it to her.

It was hot,” I said. The sun was beating down, torching our necks with its unforgiving rays.

And, to be completely honest, that first time I chalked up the near-fainting to a bad case of heatstroke. Even after I asked the sisters if they wanted to reschedule or be refunded, they both assured me that they had been so excited for the tour—they weren’t backing out.

So we continued.

The second time occurred perhaps three weeks later. It was the later tour, the 8PM, and night had already slipped over the sky and blanketed the heavy sun.

The air was cool for once. My group was much larger that night, probably around twenty, and we were camped out directly in front of the Pharmacy Museum. At that time, I liked telling the grisly story right before its front doors so guests could peek inside the glass windows and glance up to the entresol (the French Quarter’s version of a basement) where the experimentations allegedly occurred.

Like always, I jumped into the storytelling, weaving it this way and that like a musical performance reaching its crescendo. Throughout I sporadically glanced at a woman who looked ready to pop at any moment. Her hands continuously went to her pregnant belly and I offered her an I’m sorry smile for the nature of the story.

It wasn’t her I should have been worried about, but the woman beside her. She reached out and clutched her partner’s arm. Immediately I jolted into action. Again I rifled through my bag for an extra water bottle, shoving it into her hand as the group formed a circle around us.

Are you okay?” I asked.

Her nod was weak. “Yeah,” she whispered, “It was just . . . It was weird. One minute I was totally fine, and the next this haze just came right over me. I’m really, really sorry."

I told her not to apologize. I pretended that it all had to do with the hot Louisiana summer, even though it wasn’t that hot anymore and even though her dizziness had struck almost to the same exact sentence that the first girl had weeks prior.

That night, the pregnant woman was the only one to capture any paranormal activity at all on her phone.

I tried not to let either of the instances faze me.


It happened again two weeks later. Same location, same part in the story. Like the two previous times, it was another woman.

This time, when I saw the lady’s hands dip to her knees, I said: “This is going to sound really weird. I know it will. But I think that if you move . . . even just five feet over . . . you will feel dramatically better."

She gave me an odd look, which then forced me to explain why I thought this to be the case, but she took my suggestion anyway. Almost immediately her color cleared and her gaze lost that glossed appearance. The tour continued without any further incidences, and if my guests thought me a little weird for overreacting they didn’t tell me so.


The final instance came perhaps two or three weeks after the near-miss. Up until then, I had convinced myself that they were pure coincidences. The French Quarter, especially if people have been boisterously drinking all day, can take out even the best of us.

On the tour that night, my group was middle-sized. Already I’d gotten the question, Will we see a ghost tonight? Probably not, I told them. What’s the best way to capture paranormal activity? Use your phone or digital camera, I said.

We neared the Pharmacy Museum, took our places. I launched into the tale, immersing myself in the grittiness of our city’s history. The yellow fever epidemics, Dupas’ scheming ways.

I should have known that something would happen—the air felt electric that night. As I spoke, the Irish girl beside me went down. With reflexes I did not know I even had, myself and her friend caught her by the arms.

We caught her, just barely, before she would have gone smashing to the concrete. To say that my heart was beating fast would be an understatement—how could this keep happening?

Wearily, the girl glanced up at us. My fingers were posed over my cell to call 911.

The first words out of her mouth were: “Am I in Dublin?"

My first words were: “No, but I imagine right now that you wish you were."

After explaining to her what had happened, as she remembered nothing at all, the girl turned to her three friends with a laugh. (It’s got to be said that I was not laughing at all). “Guys,” she exclaimed, “How about the fact that I said right before this tour that I didn’t believe in ghosts."

Her friend giggled. “You did say you wanted to be shown that ghosts exist."

While they laughed, I pretty much suffered a mini-panic attack. I ushered the girl a few feet over, just like I had before, and the yellow cast of her skin cleared. She drank heartily from my extra water bottle and discussed how it was so weird that that had happened to her.

It was weird. The first two times could have been chalked up to coincidences, but three or four times? No. Something paranormal was happening. I glanced up at the three-story townhouse. Guests who visit the museum often experience a disorientating scent (like formaldehyde) while ascending the staircase. Ghostly activity occurs on almost a daily basis, with security cameras picking up shadowy figures and museum artifacts being moved by unseen forces.

Had Dupas somehow decided to show me that he held the power? I didn’t question it. After that instance, I brought my tour groups across the street instead. Nothing like that has ever happened again to me, and if my groups have asked why other companies stand by the front doors but that we don’t . . . Well, I explain to them what happened.

I explained that Dupas’ penchant for women and making them feel week did not stop with his death, but has continued for the last century and a half.

Usually, they don’t have much to say after that. Neither do I.

About Maria Pinheiro

Maria first came to New Orleans to attend Loyola University, only to quickly realize that the Crescent City's weirdness matched her own. Since then, she's left only to visit her hometown in the Northeast and to attend graduate school across the pond in England. She's been a tour guide in a medieval townhouse, a Viking museum, and, most recently, a guide for Ghost City Tours. Through working as a tour guide for Ghost City, Maria was offered her current position of Media and Public Relations Director. Her role for the company comprises her favorite topics: writing and history. If you’re looking to talk murder, mystery and scandal in Pre-20th century America or Medieval Europe, she’s your girl! When not working, Maria can generally be found bringing her two black labs on adventures.

For more information on Ghost City Tours, visit their website at

Ghost Hollow

An Elm tree once stood along the Cimarron River in Ripley, Oklahoma believed to be cursed. In the 1800s, this tree served as the ideal spot for hangings. Legend goes in 1887 an innocent man was strung up on that Elm. The next day, all the bark mysteriously fell off of it. When the light of the moon shined on this bare tree, it glowed an eerie white color. Some say you could even see a body hanging from it.

Another story states, three horse thieves were mysteriously hung from the tree, but was not the first death this tree has seen. Supposedly, an "Indian princess" on the site of the tree. Her crime? Falling in love with a white man. She was 17 and wanted to run away to marry him but her father intervened. He attempted to shoot her suitor but instead killed his daughter. Ever since then, the tree has been cursed, demanding a life every 17 years. Other deaths associated with the tree includes a gambler who was caught cheating, two bodies were found there in the early 1900s and a deadly car wreck in 1939.

The Elm remained standing for many years but has since fell down or destroyed (depending on who you ask). We'll never know if it's alleged "glowing" was due to the natural occurrence of the moonlight hitting a bare tree or something more paranormal. However, visitors still claim to get a "creepy" feeling and hear an eerie moaning sound at Ghost Hollow.



Seeks Ghosts - Ghost Hollow's Curse

Goose River Bridge

Looking for a good drink? You may give Goose River Bridge a try. Now, I'm sure you're asking yourself "Why go to a bridge for a beer?". A very hospitable ghost has been known to offer mugs of ale to visitors.

Goose River Bridge is located in what is now known as Rockport, Maine. During the American Revolution, a man named William Richardson played his part in aiding an American privateer who stole a British ship by guiding him to safety and away from the British. Feeling proud of playing his part in winning the war, Richardson decided to throw the biggest party in 1783.

He drank heavily throughout the night and made certain everyone else did as well. Richardson made the rounds, making sure everyone's glass was always filled. Sometime during the night, he wandered off from the party and continued to entertain the good people of Goose River with his singing and dancing. It would be a mistake he would not live to regret. The road led to the bridge where he came across three horsemen.

It was his misfortune that these men weren't allies but Tories or British sympathizers. They beat Richardson, hitting him with the butt of a rifle and rode over him as they left him to die.

Ever since, people visiting the Goose River Bridge have been met by "The Pitcher Man" as he is known as. Pitchers of ale appear in open car windows before disappearing. The bridge has since been replaced but he remains perhaps looking for someone to share a drink with.


Haunted Places - Pitcher Man - Goose River Bridge

Prairie Ghosts - The Goose River Bridge

Suicide Bridge

Many of you know of the Aokigahara Forest in Japan as the location to take their lives. Here in the United States, we have The Colorado Street Bridge a.k.a. The Suicide Bridge in Pasadena, California. Since being built in 1913, over 150 people have relinquished their lives from this structure. The bridge spans 1,486 feet over the Arroyo Seco and sits on the original Route 66. It's known for its distinctive Beaux Arts arches, light standards, artistic supports and railings.

A suicide barrier was added to reduce the number of suicides. After the Loma Prieta earthquake in Northern California of 1989, the bridge was declared a seismic hazard and closed to traffic but reopened in 1993 after a substantial retrofit. The Suicide Bridge was thrown in to the spotlight thanks to film, music, and TV. It's first onscreen appearance was in Charlie Chaplin's The Tramp and was later used in Alias, Seabiscuit, NCIS and The Mentalist. A monument with so much history makes one wonder, why does it attract the attention of the depressed and desperate?

Six years after the construction the first suicide took place on November 16, 1919. However, the majority of suicides taken place on The Colorado Street Bridge was during the Depression between 1919 and 1937. Seventy-nine people leaped to their deaths in the 1930s and more occurred over the years as recently a couple of weeks ago. A 25-year-old Covina man jumped on April 17, and a 49-year-old Altadena woman dove to her death on April 21. Police continue to respond to impending suicides each month. Is the bridge curse? Some believe so.

Legend has it that the first death to occur at the bridge was not a suicide, but an accident when a construction worker fell into wet concrete and his co-workers weren’t able to reclaim his body from the thick mass. It’s believed by many his spirit continues to haunt the bridge, luring others to their deaths. They say whenever he is present the street lights turn blue. Another legend involves a mother and child. A mother intended to kill both herself and her infant daughter. When she threw her over the side, tree branches slowed her fall. She landed relatively unharmed. Her mother was not so lucky. Her spirit is believed to haunt the bridge, searching for her child. With over 150 deaths occurring at the Colorado Street Bridge, they may not be alone. A male spirit with wire rimmed glasses and a woman wearing a long flowing robe are also seen.

Of course the bridge itself may not be the only thing being visited by spirits. Witnesses have heard strange sounds and cries from unknown sources originating from the river bed. The homeless have often seen and heard ghostly spirits under the bridge including someone who says "Her fault" whenever someone runs across the bridge.

Sorry For the Delay

I know Ghost Stories has been lacking new posts as of late. I have no excuse other than the lack of time. I'm in the process of giving the blog some much needed TLC. I'm hoping to have some new stories posted soon. Thanks for your patience.



Long ago, in the woods, there was a woman named Spearfinger. This Cherokee witch was feared among her people along the eastern side of Tennessee and western part of North Carolina. She was described as being forty feet tall with skin like rock that no weapon could penetrate. With one long razor sharp finger, she would sneak up behind you, stab it through your back and yank out your liver, eating it in one gulp.

More than anything, she loved the flesh of young children. Spearfinger could transform herself in to anything or anyone. You never knew if your friend or neighbor was actually them or the witch until it was too late.

One day, an indian village knew Spearfinger was fast approaching them. They developed a plan to dig a huge pit, surrounding the village, and cover it with branches and leaves. When she fell in, they would strike and kill her. The whole village came together, putting the plan in to action. One particular boy had trouble pulling his weight. His clumsy nature hindered their progress and his father told him to get out of the way. While feeling sorry for himself, he noticed a bird caught in a honeysuckle tree. Without realizing it, he gently freed the bird, but it didn't fly away.

Instead, it landed on the boys shoulder. The bird thanked him for his kindness and in returned, told him a secret about Spearfinger. It relayed to him that the witch's heart was not located in her chest but at the tip of her razor finger. He was so excited. He ran to his parents to tell them of this newly acquired knowledge. Before he could pass the secret on to his Mother, a horrible scream came from the forest.

Spearfinger was coming fast and was hungry. As she approached the village, she fell in to the pit. Everyone threw rocks at her, but she kept climbing to the top. They used bow and arrows but still she remained unharmed. Remembering what the bird told him, the boy ran to a warrior. He told him to aim straight at her spearfinger. The warrior raised his bow and arrow, aiming at the razor sharp finger and shot. The arrow went through Spearfinger's heart and she fell over dead. The people celebrated her demise with singing and dancing. From that day on, all the people listened when the little boy had something to say.

Ghostly Thirteen

Halloween Graphics -

Ghostly Thirteen was inspired by the Thursday Thirteen meme. You list thirteen paranormal-related things, for example your top 13 posts (if you have a paranormal blog), mythical creatures, gods, haunted houses, etc... All is welcomed to participate by either leaving a comment or posting on your own blog. Theme is up to you as long as its paranormal related.

My Theme – Most Viewed Posts

1. Chernobyl
2. The Legend of Lucy Keyes
3. Robert the Doll
4. Mandy the Doll
5. Kellie's Castle
6. Clinton Road
7. The Devil's Tree
8. Manly Quarantine Station
9. Island of Dead Dolls
10. Preston Castle
11. Aokigahara Suicide Forest
12. Carey Mansion
13. Windsor Hotel

Reader Submission - The Creeper

There is a true life story, about a little boy at the time called Richard. Richard was baker/acted into the Waverly Hills Sanatorium WHGC way back in 1967. The two doctors and three nurses that were present in the ECT room on August 20th 1967 9:32 am, all signed and swore it to be true. The Creeper actually manifested inside the ECT room, and shrouded the child from electrocution. They also say the child had entities all around him while in his stay. Richard was said to be one of the most powerful Clairsentient Empathetic children, to ever walk threw the Waverly Hills Sanatorium doors, and the same goes for the St Albans Sanatorium.

My father and his friends have been collecting files, along with me and my team on this child for over 50 years now. All this broke in May 20th 2015 when one of the last living WHGC nurses was found alive in California. She had some how found this child in order to give him a case files she stole over 50 years ago out of the Wood Haven Geriatrics Center in September 1967. Pat died two months ago in June 2015. But before she died, it was said she wanted to ease her conscience by sending this man his records she had stolen and kept all these years. Pat was one of the nurses in the ECT room that day. The one that fainted when the Creeper manifested. She all had a picture of Richard B Rollins standing in the 4th floor lobby inside the Wood Haven on August 18th 1967. Along with two pictures of the Creeper standing in the door way of the ECT room that day. There is so much to this story. But here is where we are all at with him today.

After finding that he was still living, everyone thought he died back in 1968 was blown away. None of them can get threw to him. Only three people have his information, Tina Mattlings owner of the Waverly Hills Sanatorium, Pat Holland the one nurse who died, leaving only one more contact, a nurse named Cathy Gales. Cathy Gales has a face book page. And I have been trying to get her to give us his email or way to get in touch with him. But she is not talking, and still protecting him from the public's eye. He has lived life as a recluse. And will talk to no one. So as of now we are still unable to secure an interview with this man. There have been so many paranormal investigators that have tried and failed.

Adam Hastings
Blogger Templates