Social Icons

twitterfacebookrss feedemail

Featured Posts

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Snowball Mansion

Many flock to the Taj Mahal to lay eyes on one of the most grand romantic gestures a man could do for his wife. In 1877, John Wells Snowball, an English businessman, had a beautiful mansion built for his new bride Lucy Ann Knight, daughter of William Knight who founded Knights Landing. John made his fortune as a merchant (opening the first store in Knights Landing after a previous store burned down), gold miner in 1850, Associate Justice of the Court of Sessions and land investor, He married Lucy in 1853 and their fairy tale life began. Unfortunately, their blessed existence would meet with tragedy.

One night, Lucy discovered her child not breathing. It had died of unknown causes. Lucy fell into a deep depression. Despite living well into her 70s, she never recovered from the lost of her child. John died on February 6, 1906. The mansion remained in the Snowball family until 1944.

The Fuhring family converted the Snowball Mansion into a Bed & Breakfast. For $145, you stayed in one of three luxurious guest rooms each equipped with a private bath and fireplace. Enjoyed a gourmet breakfast and access to a private lake and gardens. However, in 2006, Snowball Mansion was in the center of a scandal. When the Fuhrings put the property on the market, the buyer turned out to be apart of a multi-million dollar real estate fraud scheme. There was a FBI investigation and the property fell in to decay for three years. Vandalism. Thefts. But hope was not lost. The Stevens Family bought the property in 2009 and revived it as a private home.

It is believed the mansion is haunted by the spirit of Lucy Snowball who aimlessly roams the hallways. Windows rattle from room to room. Cold chills. Even the lights turn on and off in the same manner. She has awakened visitors. One former B & B guest saw her walk through the wall where the door to the nursery once was. Some have even seen her attending to a phantom child.


Source: 

Sacramento Real Estate

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

The Perot Theater

I don't often get an opportunity to write about a haunted location in my hometown of Texarkana, Texas, but I'm happy to introduce you to The Perot Theater. Originally the Saenger Theatre, it was built in 1924 and was designed by Emil Weil. It came with a price tag of $300,000, taking 17 months to complete.

The Saenger officially opened its doors on November 18, 1924; the first production was “Foot Loose”, starring Margaret Anglin and William Faversham. Over a 15 year span, the grand Italian Renaissance building hosted many performers including John Drew Barrymore, Will Rogers, Annie Oakley and Douglas Fairbanks. The plays and silent movies attracted many patrons until 1931 when it was purchased by the Paramount-Public Corp and renamed as the “Paramount”.

It offered many premieres including  "Papa's Delicate Condition," with Jackie Gleason, "The Legend of Boggy Creek," and Charles Pierce's "Bootlegger." During World War II, Orson Welles radio broadcast on NBC for war bonds was on the stage of the Paramount. However, its success began to wane with the popularity of television, shopping centers and drive-in movies. The Paramount closed its doors in March 1977.

Some buildings would be left to deteriorate as time passed it by. This theater would get another chance to provide Texarkana with art and culture thanks to the community. In December 1977, the city announced plans to purchase the building and begin raising money to restore it. They managed to raise $1.2 million but it was H. Ross Perot and his family who helped them reach their goal with a $800,000 donation. Perot is known for being a successful Dallas businessman as well two-time presidential candidate, but he was born and raised in Texarkana. Every inch was restored and in November 1979 renamed The Perot Theatre in honor of the Perot family. It remains open to this day hosting plays, symphonies, concerts and musicals.

This historic National landmark may also host performers who have chosen not to ever leave. Some have seen people not realizing they are of the paranormal kind and followed them in to walls. The Perot hosts ghost tours every Halloween to raise funds for the theater.

Sources:

Texarkana Gazette

The Perot Theater - Ghost Tours

Monday, September 08, 2014

Corpse Roads

Corpse roads were a means of transporting corpses from remote communities to cemeteries in parts of Europe. Many such roads have disappeared. In spirit lore, spirits, phantasms, wraiths, and fairies traveled the land along special routes. These such routes were believed to be straight and have something in common with ley lines. Mazes and labyrinths would hinder their movements. Spirits would fly along a direct course close to the ground. Any obstructions such as buildings, fences and walls were kept clear to avoid them. The roads would begin or end at cemeteries and thus believed to have similar characteristics to allow ghosts to thrive.

Corpses traveled along defined corpse roads to avoid their spirits returning to haunt the living. It was a widespread custom that the feet of the corpse be kept pointing away from the family home on its way to the cemetery. It was believed spirits could not cross running water. Often, corpses were taken over bridges in route to their burial.

Other beliefs include phantom lights. These lights were believed to be an omen of an impending death or sign of a soul leaving a body. Some believe crops will not grow where a corpse was carried across a field. Villagers in Manaton, England would carry a corpse around a cross three times until a vicar, irritated with the tradition, had the cross destroyed. On Dartmoor, the dead from remote moorland homesteads were taken along Lych Way to the Lydford Church. Some now see phantom monks in white and phantom funeral processions along this path.

Crossroads were seen as a place where the world and the underworld intersected. Because it was seen as a place of transition, it was believed to be occupied by special spirit guardians. Some thought the Devil could manifest at these intersections. Lore also states spirits such as suicides, hanged criminals, witches, outlaws, and gypsies could be bound at crossroads.

Corpse roads weren't strictly an European tradition. Such paths have been found in parts of China, Sweden, the Netherlands and Costa Rica.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Summerwind Mansion

One of Wisconsin's most haunted places is located on the shores of West Bay Lake. A grand mansion known as Lamont Mansion and later Summerwind once stood on this piece of land but is now long gone. However, the ghost stories and legends still remains.

It was a fishing lodge before Robert P. Lamont converted it in to a mansion in 1916 to be a summer home for him and his family. He and his family remained on the property for 15 years before suddenly abandoning the home in the 1930s. Legend goes his maids informed Lamont of the property being haunted. He didn't believe them until one day while eating dessert with his wife in the kitchen when the basement door swung open and an apparition of a man appeared. The door slammed shut when Lamont pulled out a pistol and fired two shots. Then he fled the residence with his wife. After Lamont's death, the house was sold.

During the 1940s, the Keefer family purchased the mansion. They maintained the property but never lived in the home. There were no reported paranormal incidences at this time. In 1969, Arnold and Ginger Hinshaw bought the mansion and moved in with their four children. The family only remained at Summerwind for 6 months. During the process of trying to renovate the structure, they experienced paranormal activity from shadows, mumbled voices to a female apparition often seen floating back and forth near the dining room and windows and doors opening on their own.

Due to stress from doing renovations on their own (the Hinshaws were unable to obtain servicemen to do the work allegedly because of the paranormal activity) and the ghosts, Arnold had a mental breakdown and Ginger attempted suicide. He received treatment and she moved to Granton, Wisconsin to live with her parents. The property reverted back to Mrs. Keefer. Life began to get back to normal until Ginger's father announced he planned to convert the mansion in to a restaurant and an inn. This decision was made without knowledge of his daughter's experiences in the house.

Raymond Bober was a popcorn vendor and businessman who believed guests would be attracted to the scenic location on the lake. When he learned of its haunted status, he claimed he uncovered the identity of the spirit. Bober believed a man named Jonathan Carver, an 18th Century British explorer, was haunting the mansion in search of an old deed given to him by Sioux Indians that was supposedly in a box sealed in to the foundation. A deed that was never found. He published a book in 1979 called The Carver Effect about his communications with Caver through trances, dreams and Ouija board experiences.

After running in to similar problems as Ginger and Arnold, Bober plans to turn the mansion in to restaurant were eventually abandoned. The property reverted back to Mrs. Keefer once again. The house itself was completely abandoned in the 1980s. In  1986, three investors attempted to revive Summerwind but nature intervened. Lightning struck the mansion during a terrible storm in June 1988, burning it to the ground.

Was it haunted? We may never know if ghosts ever occupied Summerwind. Little of the house remains, but those who have made the journey through the woods believe it is. Summerwind is located on private property. I don't recommend you going there unless you obtain permission.

Sources: 

Summerwind Mansion History

Tuesday, August 05, 2014

The Whaley House

California State Historic Landmark #65 also known as The Whaley House is one of the most important historical homes in San Diego. The house has been transformed into many different businesses including a ballroom, school, polling place and even Thomas Whaley's General store. The Whaley House, at one time, was also the Country Court House and San Diego's first commercial theater. Since 1960, the house is now a museum. It is safe to say that The Whaley House has been the home for many things including tragedy.

The Travel Channel's America's Most Haunted had dubbed the house the number one most haunted house in the United States. Of course, America's Most Haunted isn't the only television program the Whaley House has been featured on and probably won't be the last. It's history of hangings, violent death and the seizure of court documents is enough to make someone interested in it, for paranormal reasons or not. Is it haunted? No one can say for sure but many believe it is.

The earliest known ghost at the Whaley House is James "Yankee Jim" Robinson. He was convicted of attempted grand larceny in 1852. He was hanged on a gallows off the back of a wagon on an empty lot. Thomas Whaley was present at the execution. He bought the property in 1865 and built a home for his family despite what happened. Soon after they began hearing footsteps moving about the house thought to be that of a large man.

Many visitors to the house have reported experiencing many strange occurrences. A little girl was said to have seen a male spirit, perhaps Thomas Whaley himself, waving in the parlor. Even television personality Regis Philbin reported seeing the spirit of Anna Whaley in the house. Anna isn't the only female ghost visitors see or sense. Some have claimed to sense a small figure woman in the courtroom. No one has been able to identify this woman but it is believed she is one of the numerous tenants that the house was rented to.

A long-haired little girl has also been spotted in the house, particularly in the dining room. According to an urban legend, the little girl is one of the Whaley children's playmates that broke her neck on a low-hanging clothesline in the backyard. Unfortunately, there aren't really any records to confirm or dismiss this legend. Most believe a past employee created the story to add to the house's mystique. Another young woman believed to haunt the property is Violet, the Whaleys daughter who died in 1885. She allegedly suffered from clinical depression which led to her suicide. Many feel heavy sorrow on the 2nd floor of the house.

Human spirits aren't the only ones seen at the Whaley House. A parapsychologist reported seeing a spotted dog, perhaps a fox terrier, run down the hall in the house. The Whaley's owned a terrier named Dolly Varden.

The Whaley House museum still stands over San Diego Avenue, welcoming visitors from around the world. Even if you are not a believer of the paranormal, the 150 years worth of history is enough reason to take the tour.

For further information on tours, events and the Whaley House click here.



Wednesday, July 09, 2014

Darr Bridge

Ever been to a cement bridge known as Darr Bridge in Nebraska? Located off of I-80 between Cozad and Lexington, many visitors have reported ghostly encounters.

There is a story of an old Pioneer covered wagon crashing off the bridge in to the river below. A woman and her baby boy did not survive the accident. With such an alleged tragedy, a haunting is born.

Supposedly, if you travel over the bridge at midnight during a foggy winter's night, you may see her. She will not appear in front of you. She is always seen from the rear view mirror either in a covered wagon or searching for her dead son.

I warn you though. If you want to visit the bridge but don't live near the area, you may want to reconsider. All those who go to Darr Bridge, there is not guarantee you will see this female spirit. You may drive a long way just to go home with nothing.


Sources:

Strange USA

Unexplainable.net

Hauntin.gs (this site has photos)

Wednesday, July 02, 2014

Reader Submission - Kanaka Pete and Severed Feet

I would like to share an experience I had in August 2013.

Photo provided by Donald Ray
I accompanied my son and a group of Scout age boys and couple of their parents on an overnight camp on Newcastle Island off the Coast of British Columbia. We had read how Newcastle Island is a hot spot for paranormal activity so we thought this would be a fun experience. One of the boys brought along an EMF ghost meter. One of the youth had seen a found footage movie that he believed to be true, about a group of college students filming a documentary about the paranormal happenings on Newcastle Island back in 2007.

Apparently they were searching for the ghost of the notorious axe murderer, Kanaka Pete who was hung then buried in an unmarked grave on the far side of Newcastle Island near Kanaka Bay. The college students went missing that night, their video tape was later found and shortly afterwards severed feet in running shoes were discovered along the shoreline. This is all true as I had seen many news reports, including CNN, on this a few years ago.

Nothing is better than a late night ghost story when camping. This was the perfect setting.
Photo provided by Donald Ray
A Paranormal Island, the unmarked grave of an axe murderer, the place of origin of severed feet in running shoes found along the shore over the past few years and a found footage video from the Island, it just does not get any better. We brought along a portable video player and we had downloaded a copy of that found video tape from ITunes called “Severed Footage”. At 11 pm we gathered around the campfire and watched the video.

There was some pretty scary paranormal stuff happening in the video and we recognized many of the spots we had seen during the day.   There is a big sign saying “No Camping Beyond this Point”.   We were told that is as far as the spirits can travel from their tombs and it is not  safe camping past those signs.  Of course we all thought that was a big joke, but we did set up camp on the safe side of the signs anyway.  The students in the video camped on the wrong side of the signs;  bad things happened to them, much of it was seen with their night vision camera.

After we watched the video some of the braver boys thought it would be
a cool experience to go down to Kanaka Bay and search for the unmarked grave of Kanaka Pete with the ghost meter, just like the students in the video. The adults were less thrilled than the boys. We reluctantly gave in as the boys were all excited and trying to act brave, daring each other to go all the way to Kanaka Bay. When we left on the hike it was a nice warm evening but as soon as we went past the sign that said   “No Camping Beyond this Point”  a very cold chill hit us that we could feel right down the back our necks.  Now all us brave souls became quiet and a little concerned. As we followed the path towards Kanaka Bay a wind came up and was making the most eerie noise through the trees. Then all of a sudden about 100 meters ahead of us appeared two glowing eyes staring right at us, we thought it to be a raccoon or deer’s eyes refection from our flashlights.
Photo provided by Donald Ray

We turned off the flashlights and the eyes were still there glowing as bright as ever.  This was very unnerving, some suggest we turn back but other trying to act brave wanted to continue because the ghost meter had not gone off.  As we got closer the eyes disappeared.  When we got to the place where we thought we saw the eyes it was the place of the large tree with the supposed symbol of Kanaka Pete on it as seen in the video we had just watched.  We were about half way to Kanaka Bay.

As we were looking at the carved symbol on the tree the EMF ghost meter one of the boys was holding started to beep and flash, slowly at first. We all gathered around it watching in amazement. Then it started beeping faster and faster until it hit max reading. I do not know who screamed first but there was a ton off screaming as everyone ran back the way we came. After about 100 meters the ghost meter stopped and so did we. The wind was still quite strong, the air was icy cold and 10 boys and a few adults just had
Photo provided by Donald Ray
the (blank) scared out of them. Someone suggested that we try passing that point again real fast so we could get to Kanaka Bay. He was voted down by everyone so we headed back to camp.  As soon as we passed the “No Camping” sign the wind stopped and the air was warm again.  We all thought we could hear a low but audible eerie sound coming from where we had just been.

We all sat around the campfire talking about what we had just experienced, no one wanted to go to bed or maybe we were too scared to go to bed so we sat around the campfire till daylight. Some said it was the most thrilling experience they had ever had while some said it was the most frightening. It is definitely one we will never forget. Camping ghost stories are supposed to be scary and fun…we never dreamed we would become part of one.

Donald
 

Credits

Blogger Deluxe Templates Image Hosting: Photobucket and ImageShack
Creative Commons License This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License
All videos and photos are the property and copyright of their respective owners.