In culture after culture, people believe that the soul lives on after death, that rituals can change the physical world and divine the truth, and that illness and misfortune are caused and alleviated by spirits, ghosts, saints ... and gods.

STEVEN PINKER, How the Mind Works

Friday, August 13, 2010

Hunt for Ghosts near Nordegg

Western Wilderness Adventures is offering an unusual weekend getaway for visitors who want to test their supernatural detection powers.

All I can tell you is that either you’re going to love Cabin #3 or you’re going to run screaming into the woods as if your hair is on fire. Because that’s where … well, you’ll find out.

A new ghost hunting camp perched on soil that’s soaked in ghost lore offers a wilderness adventure that promises pay-offs in the form of sightings, hearings and – if you’re lucky – an unforgettable night of fright.

There’s no running water, no telephones, no disturbances of any kind at this rustic camp, other than the kind that might make your skin crawl.

How to track a ghost
Will Baker, 28, owner and operations manager of Western Wilderness Adventures, tested the property near Nordegg (west of Red Deer) for a year to ensure it was ghost-active but visitor-friendly.

“Ghosts and spirits walk the grounds here, and this is a chance to learn all about investigating such phenomenon,” says Baker, who is First Nations and a member of the Chippewa of Sarnia.
“We launched our ghost hunting adventures at the beginning of April, but I’ve been doing ghost hunts here with family and friends for the past year, and that made me confident that if guests came I could produce results that it is haunted.”

Get the right ghost gear
You need the right stuff to hunt ghosts and Baker provides it all at the camp. “We make sure that what we use is something you can buy yourself if you learn here and want to do more on your own later,” he says.

A digital voice recorder is used “to keep a record but also to keep up on disembodied voices that you can hear.” A portable laptop enhances and isolates sounds. An EMF meter (electromagnetic field detector) tracks ghost energy. A video camera captures sightings. A night vision scope shows things you wouldn’t see otherwise.

Enjoy your weekend
Okay, about Cabin #3: there have already been several “very successful” ghost hunting camp weekends over the past month or so, says Baker. Cabin #3 is where the little girl ghost tends to appear. She pulls on your covers. She asks you to play.

You can book a weekend here or call (403)846-9026 for more information.

Return to Fort San

Lately we had a chance to return to Fort San and wander the grounds taking pictures. The years have not been kind to the site as well as the vandals. Almost every building, which was firmly boarded up last time we visited, has now been torn open and furniture and debris thrown about.

While walking the grounds we met many other curious persons as well. Unfortunately nothing of the supernatural kind. We left with plans of returning on another day in the evening.

Several weeks later on driving by the site it has on
ce again been plastered with no trespassing signs and trailers blocking the way in. So much for procrastination. Hopefully we can once again get in contact with the current owners and get permission to explore the grounds and buildings in the evening.

Watch here for more updates on the Fort San location.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Spooky encounter for Bristol Old Vic architect

The architect leading the redevelopment of the Bristol Old Vic claims to have seen the theatre manager who worked there 200 years ago.

The ghost of Sarah Macready appeared to Andrzej Blonski as he climbed the back stairs at lunchtime. He says she was wearing a long, white crinoline dress, had black hair and a pretty face. When he tried to speak to her she vanished.Mr Blonski told the BBC that he has never believed in ghosts and - prior to their meeting - was not aware of her legacy at the Bristol Old Vic.

"The thing that really got me was that she smiled - she was a friend and then she vanished," he said."But then I was really very, very happy - at the moment I'm quite emotional about it because I think that if there is a ghost, it's someone who cares about this building."
The architect believes that her smile is a sign that she approves of the current redevelopment work taking place in the theatre.

Andrzej Blonski says he has sensed ghostly presences on the stairs before, and caught a whiff of lavender perfume.This distinctive scent has also accompanied some of her previous appearances since her death.
A security guard in the 1980s smelled lavender in the air while on patrol along the passageways below the auditorium. The Alsatian dog by his side froze and started barking.
The guard also says he heard a woman's voice tell him to "get out" and he felt her breath on his face.

Andrew Stocker, who gives tours of the Bristol Old Vic, said Sarah Macready's hard work was part of the key to the theatre's early success.
"She was an actress originally - she had an affair with William Charles Macready. He married her and he basically gave her the keys to the theatre and she worked here for over 10 years.
"She was a lady that ran this building seven days a week and she was an incredible lady."

The project manager from the team redesigning the Bristol Old Vic had a more shocking experience. Mr Blonski says that he was physically pushed. He ran away and now will not use the "haunted" staircase.

Sarah Macready is not the only spirit said to haunt this old playhouse. The ghost of a boy who died in an accident in the paint shop in the 1950s has been spotted as well as the 18th Century West End actress Sarah Siddons.
Mr Blonski says he feels the building is alive with its past: "It's got a very strong spirit - the spirit of the people who have passed through it and I connect to that. Somehow this place has got to me."

Prairie Specters

Hey there readers sorry for not posting in a while. I had some busy life issues to deal with but I can devote more time back on PR now. I hope you like the sites new look. Go ahead and comment on it as I'm very curious on what you think. Watch for a new post about our return trip to Fort San in the next few days.


Friday, June 4, 2010

Stalking 'ghosts' of a violent past in Saskatchewan's Fort Pitt

When Wayne Brown scans the landscape, he's adding a generous overlay of history to a familiar terrain. We're touring the area where Fort Pitt once stood, about 60 km northeast of Lloydminster. An early Hudson's Bay post and base for a North-West Mounted Police detachment, Fort Pitt is now a catchbasin of memories from events that fired up the country 125 years ago.

"This portion of the province, adjacent to the North Saskatchewan River, is so rich in history it absolutely reeks," Brown says.

In his mind's eye, the amateur historian and writer is back in 1885, musing on the part the region played in the Northwest Resistance.

Not far from here, nine people, including two Roman Catholic priests, were murdered at Frog Lake in April of that year, and all hell broke loose in this part of west-central Saskatchewan.
Soon afterwards, Cree warriors laid siege to Fort Pitt, forcing the defending North-West Mounted Police to escape down the ice-filled river to Fort Battleford.

"They only had a short time to make their escape, which they did toward dark. They pulled a scow down to the river, got it afloat and piled in and made the harrowing journey all the way to Battleford," Brown says. Rising from the river valley, the flat land where the fort stood blends in with the broad expanse of prairie that climbs away to the horizon. While there are interpretive panels where buildings once stood, you'll need some imagination to help stir visions of the past if you visit here.

Fort Pitt is rich in heritage. The first fort was built in 1829, and hosted many of the early explorers who were passing through, Brown says.

A second fort was built after the original one burned down. Even before the Northwest Resistance, the remote enclave had witnessed violence.

"There was even a real Wild West gunfight between two American gold-seekers in March 1859," Brown says. "One guy died of his wounds; the other was slightly wounded."

The second fort was really a conglomeration of buildings -- a fort in name only, possessing no palisades and a zero inventory of big guns, he says. Nevertheless, it was headquarters for a detachment of NWMP commanded by Insp. Francis Dickens, son of Charles Dickens.

"Dickens had less than a sterling reputation as a leader, and it wasn't long after he escaped with his men to Battleford that he would quit the force he'd served in for a dozen years. But the fort was totally non-defendable, and you can't blame Dickens for abandoning it during the rebellion."

While there is little evidence of the fort's presence, it's still a fascinating place to visit, Brown adds.

"Go there on a calm autumn evening and the whole place is alive with ghosts. I'm not kidding: You can feel the presence of them in the dusty fall air." It is truly an eerie feeling, but not without good reason, he says, strolling through the old fort graveyard recently rejuvenated by Saskatchewan's parks department. Nor is that the only reminder of the tenuous nature of life during that era.

"Somewhere, not far from the fort, there's a mass grave of probably hundreds of First Nations people who died in the smallpox epidemics and who knows who else."


The Vancouver Sun

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

UK Museum gives up the ghost.

A city council believes it may have proof that ghosts really do exist after something strange was caught on film at a Victorian museum.

Security cameras in Belgrave Museum in Leicester appear to have captured pictures of ghostly apparitions in the grounds of the museum.
Curator Stuart Warburton said: "The security cameras at the back of the hall triggered off one night at about 4.50am, and then suddenly ... two figures appear on the film.

"The camera freezes for about five seconds and then the figures disappear. And then we have a mist that swirls along the top of the wall, which we cannot explain.

"The hall is haunted, there is no question about that," Mr Warburton added.

There have been supernatural sightings here before. The museum gardener, Michael Snuggs, is convinced he has seen a ghost.

"I was standing in the house and from the top of the stairs, this figure appeared and walked down the stairs.

"At the bottom, she looked through the window at the garden, and then just turned and smiled, and walked through to the kitchen," Mr Snuggs said.

Belgrave Hall, a Victorian townhouse, was originally owned by the local MP, John Ellott.
Many believe that one of his daughters is still present here now - as the ghost of Belgrave Hall.

Haunted or not, the security camera footage is now being tested as experts are determined to get to the bottom of this mystery.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Cemetery Etiquette for Ghost Hunters

copyright Fiona Broome,

Enthusiastic ghost hunters sometimes forget that--for many people--cemeteries are solemn places with clear rules of etiquette.

Here are a few suggestions for your visits to cemeteries:

Not everyone believes in ghosts. In any cemetery, you may find genealogists, historians, and descendants of the deceased. You may also find people who love to photograph (or transcribe) headstone engravings. Others may be doing gravestone rubbings, though this has become a less popular hobby due to decaying stones.

Babbling happily about ghosts may distract or offend these people, who expect respectful silence in a cemetery.

If someone is visiting the grave of a recently deceased family member, your comments may upset them. They often prefer to think that everyone who has crossed over, is in a happier place... not lingering around a cemetery.

It's best to speak in subdued tones, and not approach strangers unless they initiate conversation.

Joking is generally inappropriate. I'm not saying you have to be dour, but some jokes are in very poor taste. Sure, people get nervous and manage to say the worst possible things, sometimes. Try to avoid offensive patter.

As a guideline, here are a few "jokes" that could irritate the dead, and probably annoy the living as well:

"Oops, didn't mean to shout loud enough to wake the dead. Ha-ha-ha."

"Gee, he must have been a cheapskate, not giving his wife her own headstone."

"So, when do the ghouls show up, huh? Ha-ha-ha."

"Let's leave soon, I'm feeling dead tired."

"Can't you take a joke? I mean, hey, you're looking pretty grave. Ha-ha-ha."

You get the idea. If someone starts joking, stop them immediately or leave the cemetery. We've seen jokers suddenly twist an ankle, or encounter other odd problems; we're still not sure if the ghosts were "getting even."

Obey the laws. If the cemetery says, "Closed dusk to dawn," get permission to visit it after hours. If you inadvertently stay past dusk, remember that you are breaking the law; leave cheerfully and quickly when you realize your mistake. Likewise, if the gate is locked, it just might be a hint that you're not allowed into a private cemetery. Stay out!

Protect what's in the cemetery. Do not lean on fragile headstones, much less sit on them. Don't use shaving cream to reveal inscriptions; many of them contain perfumes or other ingredients which contribute to decay. Acid rain has already done enough damage! A halogen flashlight at a sharp angle will reveal nearly as much--and sometimes more--than shaving cream would.

Respect the deceased. They may consider their cemetery "home," and you are visiting--or perhaps trespassing--on their property. It's okay to ignore belligerent, territorial ghosts, but be as understanding as you can.

Step carefully on graves. Leave no litter. Speak in soft tones; joking or loud voices can annoy and/or frighten some spirits and reduce your chances of getting a great photo.

Some people recommend waiting at least a half an hour before taking photos, and then quietly asking permission of the deceased, in a respectful manner. Fiona doesn't do this, but many ghost hunters do. Use your best judgement.

It is generally inappropriate to take your pet into the cemetery. If you must, be certain your pet is on a sturdy leash (particularly if he is frightened by spectral appearances), and that you clean up after your pet. If your pet disturbs others, including the spirits, take the animal back to the car (or return him to your home or a kennel, if it's a hot day). Use common sense.

Move or remove nothing. Leave plants, markers, badges, ribbons, and so on, exactly where you found them. Do not pick anything, even autumn leaves from the trees. However, if you find empty beer cans or fast-food wrappers, you can help the cemetery caretaker by putting them in the trash.

Do not eat, drink, or smoke in the cemetery. Step outside the cemetery if any of these pastimes are necessary.

Monday, April 26, 2010

The Moose Head Inn

KENOSEE LAKE -- One of Saskatchewan's classic ghost stories has a new twist. It may even have a happily-ever-after ending. But don't bet on it.

When Dale Orsted bought the Moose Head Inn at Kenosee Lake in 1990, he believed he was extending a tradition that began in the late 1960s when Ethel and Archibald Grandison constructed and operated the building as a dance hall for teens. Orsted, now in his 40s, spent his summers at this resort community located about two hours southeast of Regina. He remembers with great fondness Grandison Hall and its owners.
"They were great people. And they were in their 60s when they started this," says Orsted.

When Archie died around 20 years ago, Ethel sold the dance hall and Orsted bought it from a third party in 1990. The bottom floor of the Moose Head Inn is a restaurant, the second floor a cabaret/nightclub and third floor is an office and small apartment where Orsted lives.
Soon after the purchase, a curious thing happened. Glasses, ashtrays and knick-knacks went missing from the bar area of the nightclub.

At first, Orsted thought the missing items were the result of former employees, with keys, slipping into the club to nip keepsakes. But changing the locks on all the doors made no difference - items still went missing. Then they started reappearing. And then things got really weird.

"It started out with banging -- it sounded like somebody was trying to break into the place," Orsted said in an interview at the club. "The banging would go on for hours. It was super loud. . . "I'd phone the police because I thought it was a burglar. I phoned two or three times and they came in here with their guns drawn. But there was no one here."Orsted and his former manager and roommate Jeff Stephen were scared. They installed a security camera above the bar and after one incident, the banging could be heard clearly on the audio portion of the tape. But there were no images. The best police could do was suggest the sounds were coming from outside.

"This was before we thought it was a ghost," explains Orsted. "Now, I know I actually had the ghost's sound on videotape."

Orsted, his girlfriend and Stephen learned to live with the strange noises for a while. But when they carried out renovations in 1992, all heck broke loose.

"We started to tear out the carpets and, that same night, it started to go nuts. It took a week to get the carpet out and a new one installed. And every night, about four or five in the morning, this place would just start going."

Noises emanating from the nightclub area were so deafeningly loud they sounded like horrible car crashes. Orsted later concluded through experiments conducted with several strong friends the only item in the building capable of producing those window-rattling crashes was a large steel desk hoisted several feet into the air and dropped to the floor. He could only guess the desk was being levitated and dropped.
The bone-jarring collision sounds weren't the only strange goings on. The dishwasher in the bar started up and turned off by itself, and doors on stalls in the women's washroom swung back and forth as cleaning staff looked on in fear. Mop pails flew across the dance floor with no apparent source of propulsion and lights in the building went on and off without a human touch. And more. . . "There's been nights when there's maybe 20 people sitting around in here after hours and the doors just all of a sudden fly wide open," says Orsted, pointing to the heavy, double security doors at the side and rear of the bar. "And then they'd slam shut."There's lots of people that have seen and heard this stuff."

Orsted became so concerned about the strange happenings he actually moved out of the building for two years, preferring instead to commute from his home town of Estevan.

In the meantime, stories about Saskatchewan's haunted nightclub began appearing in ghost books and newspapers. Television stations in Regina and Minot, North Dakota sent reporters to do stories on the strange phenomena occurring at the Moose Head Inn. And a national television news magazine did a piece about a paranormal investigator from Winnipeg who came to the Moose Head to study the ghostly happenings first hand. His conclusion? Orsted's club seems to be an example of a 'classic haunting'.

"I didn't, myself, see or record anything unusual," investigator Roy Bauer said in a phone interview. "This (conclusion) was basically from the information they gave me, and from my past investigations. The classic haunting seemed to fit the best."

Bauer says that in a general way, he and his colleague 'probably make better skeptics than believers' when it comes to things ghostly.

"But you do have to have an open mind to investigate them because, supposedly, ghosts don't exist." Not long after Bauer completed his investigation a psychic from Winnipeg contacted Orsted claiming to have clues as to the identity of the Moose Head ghost. Orsted said her detailed knowledge of the club, including its previous design and decor, was impressive considering she'd not set foot in the building. And while he chose not to present Ethel Grandison with the list of clues the psychic felt might solve the mystery, he was intrigued by how insightfully she connected the ghostly happenings to the renovations.

In fact, when he considered all the fuss attending the replacement of the carpets, he wondered whether the ghost might be that of a handyman who used to work at the building. In a vain attempt to appease the entity, he tried reversing some of the changes made to the interior of the club. The level of activity rose and fell, but the haunting continued. Frightening new episodes included being awakened in the middle of the night by door knocking, doorknob fiddling, and what sounded like a man moaning in the hallway beyond the apartment door.

"It'd be scary," Orsted recalled. "But at least you knew you were safe if you were locked in a room upstairs. I'm more afraid of a burglar than a ghost."

In the summer of 1997, Orsted staged a 'psychic fair' at the Moose Head, with several psychics on hand to do palm and tarot card readings for customers. He and two female employees who had also experienced the ghostly shenanigans used the occasion to participate in a seance with one of the psychics. Its purpose was to shed some light on the Moose Head's invisible resident.

"She told us to imagine a big blue tarp over the whole building," said Orsted, who admits he had more trouble than his co-workers concentrating on the process. "And then she said 'picture a big cone coming out of the building and take it right up to the heavens and you'll see three angels. Out of the seance emerged information about three ghosts: a cleaning lady, a young male who had drowned and an old man. With assistance from the Moose Head group, the psychic said she was able to convince two of the three entities to leave the premises. The third -- the old man -- didn't want to go. According to the psychic, the stubborn one was the ghost of Archibald Grandison, late owner of the dance hall. And she said he had a request for Orsted.

"He said he wanted me to look after his wife because she was getting old," Orsted said, adding Ethel Grandison lived in the house next door to the Moose Head. Orsted wasn't taking any chances. He agreed to do so.
In spring, 1999, Ethel Grandison passed away. Ever since, there's been no trouble with ghosts at the Moose Head Inn. Not yet, anyway."I don't think there's been enough time yet to say that it's definitely gone," says Orsted, pointing out it's been just over a year since Ethel died. "And if there really were three ghosts, well. . ."

On the Victoria Day long weekend in May 2000, the Moose Head Inn sponsored its fourth annual 'psychic fair'. 'Cher', the woman who led Orsted and his staffers through the seance many believe determined the existence and identity of the ghost, was present with her daughter and fellow psychic 'Chalaine'. They were joined by a third psychic named Robert Morrow.

The psychics' verdict? To a person, they're convinced the Moose Head Inn is still haunted.
"I was in there last night," says Morrow. "And with me, I'm all over the place. I'm in the kitchen, I'm upstairs, I'm in the lounge, I'm in the slot room, I'm in the bar. I feel a presence in there. Very strongly."

Friday, April 23, 2010

What is a Residual Haunting? by Dave Juliano

Do you see the same apparition doing the same things all the time? Do you hear the same noises, possibly at the same time of day, each time they are heard? Does that ghost seem to not even realize that you are there? If the answer is yes to any of these, you may be witnessing what is known as a residual haunting. Some of the most famous hauntings appear to be residual ones.

A residual haunting is a playback of a past event. The apparitions involved are not spirits, they are "recordings" of the event. I believe that this will be the first type of haunting that main stream researchers will recognize and study. There are numerous theories on how these residual hauntings come to be. The main one will be discussed here.

Video and audio tapes capture sounds and images on a film of special material that has been oxidized or rusted. Certain building materials, such as slate used in older castles and stone structures and iron nails used in many older buildings, have properties similar to that of the tapes. When a traumatic event occurs or a time of heightened emotions, these materials record the event for future playback. Everything is made up of energy and energy cannot be destroyed. The materials store the energy created by these traumatic events and plays them back at a later time. The Tower of London's ghost of Anne Boleyn and the Brown Lady of Raynham Hall are two famous examples of residual hauntings. We are not sure what causes the playback of the events, that still remains a mystery. Is it the right weather conditions, the witness's energy or sensitivity or some type of energy release? That is the question that we as researchers are trying to answer.

As I said, in a residual haunting, there is no spirit involved. This type of event is not dangerous at all so if you ever have the chance to witness one, do so without fear and enjoy it. This type of haunting has to be considered when investigating a haunting. When my group goes to a haunted location, we spend the first hour split into two teams. One team maps out the area, noting any EMF readings and Temperature readings so we have guidelines to judge other readings by. We also make note of how the building is constructed and set up. The other team is conducting interviews with witnesses. The questions are setup to find out if the activity sounds like a spirit, poltergeist, residual haunting, etc. If we feel the activity is a residual haunting we will set up a stakeout in the location the ghost is often seen or heard. This is the best way to observe and possibly capture evidence of the event. It may take many return trips and hours of sitting there staring at nothing. It is very tedious but if it something occurs, you will forget very quickly about all the time you sat waiting for it to happen.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Canada’s Top Five Haunted Places

Like many other places in the world, Canada has it fair share of ghost tales and haunted buildings. I have researched the most active haunted places to date and came up with 5 that Canada has to offer.

Gibraltar Point Lighthouse

Gibraltar Point Lighthouse on Toronto Islands was first constructed in 1803 and was totally finished and operational by 1809. Local legend states it haunted by the first lighthouse keeper JP Radan Muller. Muller had been murder one misty night by drunken soldiers from Fort York looking for bootleg beer. The soldiers had cut Muller up and buried his body somewhere on the beach. The soldiers where charged but later acquitted. In 1893 a coffin was found buried on the beach with a jaw bone still inside it but it has never been known if it ever belong to Muller. The lighthouse since time is no longer on the shore line since the sand has built up, but lies 100 meters inland. Its not being used and is boarded up but people say on misty nights you can hear a mans voice moaning and even some people have reported ghostly figures roaming the grounds.

Screaming Tunnel
The “Screaming Tunnel” was built by Grand Trunk Railroad in the early 1900’s and is located near Niagara Falls. The tunnel was meant for railroad cars but shortly after finishing the structure World War 1 had begun and GTR went bankrupt never finishing laying tracks in the tunnel. Now there’s 2 different legends but both basically have the same story line. First legend is said that a little girls parents where separating and her father take hers down by the tunnel and buried her alive. Second legend involves the little girls parents fighting over her and somehow the house catches fires. Well the little girls ends up getting set ablaze as well and runs down to the tunnel. As she runs through the tunnel screaming for help she eventually falls in the middle and dies. Anyways legend has it if you enter the tunnel and stand in the middle and light a match, something will blow it out and you should be able to hear screams in the distance. Horrible story but makes a great ghost legend.

By Town Museum

The By Town Museum was built in 1827 in Ottawa Ontario. The building was used as storage and treasury during construction of the Rideau Canal. The building is located at the entrance locks of the Rideau Canal and is the oldest surviving stone building in Ottawa with 2 feet thick stone walls. It officially became the By Town Museum in 1951. There is said to be a few different ghost haunting this museum. One of the people that is suppose to be haunting the museum is the builder of the Canal “Colonel John By” and another is his assistant “General Dunan Mc Nab”. Staff at the museum over the years have reported strange events like TV’s turning on and off, lights staying on after being turned off, strange messages appear on computer screens when no one is in the room, voices of men yelling and even some angry voices saying “Get Out”. Some visitors mostly women to the museum have reported being pushed hard but no one is in the room, while other have heard children crying in the doll exhibit and seen dolls wink and move. Even to date this is suppose to be one of the most active haunted places in Canada.

Skeleton Park “Mc Burney Park”

Back in 1813 to 1865 this park was known as Kingston’s Upper Cemetery. What this was, was a mass cemetery/grave site containing more then 100,000 bodies which all died from contagious epidemics. In 1894 Municipal government tried to remove the remains but many locals objected due to fear that contagious diseases might start again if dug up. The cemetery was transformed into Frontenac Park in 1895 and then became what it is known as today “Mc Burney Park” in 1965. It is said that over the years many different remains have surfaced through out the park thus giving it the nickname “Skeleton Park."

Original Article

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

The ghost in my garage: Riddle of the tyre depot phantom whose calling card is a pre-war penny.

Gothic castles, deserted mansions, ivy-covered old houses - all of them perfect haunts for a ghost.

But how about something as modern and mundane as a tyre depot in sensible South Yorkshire?

According to owner Nick White, a supernatural visitor has been running riot at his garage, which was originally a chapel and also served as a makeshift mortuary during the Second World War.

The uninvited guest has thrown stones and coins at staff, and stacked up piles of tyres and moved them around the building while it was locked up overnight.

The ghostly figure, which materialised from time to time dressed in the style of the 1940s, is said to have first made its presence felt in 2003 but vanished (so to speak) after Mr White took over the business three years ago.

Now, however, the odd goings on have started again, with pre-war coins turning up mysteriously on the garage floor in two strange incidents a month apart. Mr White found the first of the old penny pieces, dated 1936 and bearing the image of George VI, when he arrived for work one day in February.

The second copper coin, dated 1938, was lying in almost the same spot when Mr White, 35, and one of his mechanics turned up at the depot in Doncaster last week. Mr White said: 'I took all the strange stories with a big pinch of salt when I bought the place. But I wouldn't like to say it's not true any more. There's no logical explanation for the two old pennies turning up like they did. I wish there was. 'It's a little bit scary knowing that there's something happening while the place is locked up at night.'

Previous owner Nigel Lee once called in a clergyman to perform an exorcism.

Mr White added: 'Nigel told me all about the tyres being moved around when the place was locked up at night and customers witnessing small change and stones coming out of nowhere and flying here and there.

'It's all right being sceptical about these things, but I'm the owner of two very old pennies now, and I'd love to know where they came from.'


Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Location - Indian Head Rental House

Can a home have a 'feeling'? Can past tragic events forever leave their mark on the building in which they happened?

Prairie Specters was asked by a reader to come out and visit their home. The home-owner was in the process of moving out but wanted to share some of the past events with us.

"Once I moved in I immediately felt like there was a dark cloud over the house, there was a cold uneasiness about the house and I quickly began to hate being there. After months of always feeling like I was being watched, more loud bangs and strange noises from the basement I started to question my sanity. I was so frightened to go in the basement ..."

A man was rumored to have hung himself in the basement. A second death incurred in the home as well. Interested in finding out more we packed up our gear and headed out to Indian Head to visit the home.

Part I

The house, we were told, is over 100 years old and like most older homes is quite small. The upstairs having a common area, kitchen, and two small bedrooms and a bathroom that appear to have been added on to the original home. Right away I can tell this home has a uneasy feeling to it. After a brief tour the owner describes the experiences they have been having, most of which seem to involve the basement. Shadows would be seen moving in the kitchen around the area leading down to the stairs.

"I would take my laundry to a laundromat because my washer and dryer were in the basement, I didn't even like going to the bathroom at night because I had to walk past the basement stairs to get to it. "

Loud bangs were a common phenomena in the home. Most coming from the area directly under the stairs.

"While I was painting the walls going down into the basement a very loud bang came from underneath the stairs, so loud I could feel the vibration in my feet. The original owner of the house had hung himself in the basement 20 years ago..."

The reluctant , but brave :), owner led us into the small basement to have a look around. Again the same uneasy feeling was present here as well. We took photos and I placed a digital recorder near the space under the stairs. Light bulbs have a tendency to explode down here, our guide explained, the evidence crunched beneath our shoes. They had an electrician out to try to find the cause but he came up empty handed.

The small basement has weird feeling to it. You can feel it as a sort of vibration in your feet. I thought it may be the train tracks the run nearby, but after checking for a train I ruled that out.

It was while we were down there the second time a loud bang was heard upstairs. I was standing directly under the living room where it seemed to originate and could feel the vibration from the wooden floor above. We quickly moved upstairs and found nothing had fallen or anything to explain the bang we had heard. I got the impression that something did not like us being in the basement.

With nothing initially showing up on the photos or digital recorder we decided to leave but with a plan to come back soon after we had done some more research and with some more equipment for a longer visit.

[ photos to follow ]

Part II

Dead Steve Irwin tells dad everything's okay, where are my socks

MUSCLING in on the wacky turf of La Toya Jackson, Bob Irwin has gone public about a beyond-the-grave dialogue with Steve.

Woman's Day reports its psychic Deb Webber hooked Bob up with his late son during a private reading at his remote Queensland property, according to the Courier-Mail.

Bob said the psychic left him with "goose bumps" by relaying things only he and Steve knew about.

The clincher? Steve wanting to know what Bob had done with the old socks and hat he'd pinched years ago.

"We talked about so many things, some too personal to talk about," Bob said.

"He told me everything is OK, not to be sad and to keep up the fight, to continue looking after the animals."

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Heavyweights of the Paranormal - Gettysburg, Pennsylvania

Three days of the bloodiest fighting of the American Civil War have forever etched these hallowed fields into the memory of a country and a people. But in the hundred-plus years since the last shot was fired and the last man fell, there continue to be reports from the fields of the fallen: reports of spectral armies still marching in step, of ghostly sentinels and horsemen, of mournful women in white, and the ghostly wails of orphans and animals alike.

The Gettysburg Battlefield was the site of the Battle of Gettysburg, fought July 1 to July 3, 1863, in and around the borough of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, the county seat of Adams County, which had approximately 2,400 residents at the time. It is now the site of two historic landmarks: Gettysburg National Military Park and the Gettysburg National Cemetery.

The town was the center of a road network that connected ten nearby Pennsylvania and Maryland towns, including well-maintained turnpikes to Chambersburg, York, and Baltimore, so was a natural concentration point for
the large armies that descended upon it.

To the northwest, a series of low, parallel ridges lead to the towns of Cashtown and Chambersburg. Seminary Ridge, closest to Gettysburg, is named for the Lutheran Theological Seminary on its crest. Farther out are McPherson's Ridge, Herr's Ridge, and eventually South Mountain. Oak Ridge, a northward extension of Seminary Ridge, is capped by Oak Hill, a site for artillery that commanded a good area north of the town.

Directly south of the town is Cemetery Hill, at 503 feet (153 m) above sea level, a gentle 80 foot (24 m) slope above downtown. The hill is named for the Evergreen (civilian) cemetery on its crest; the famous military cemetery dedicated by Abraham Lincoln now shares the hill. Adjacent, due east, is Culp's Hill, of similar height, divided by a slight saddle into two recognizable hills, heavily wooded, and more rugged. Cemetery Hill and Culp's Hill were subjected to assaults throughout the battle by Richard S. Ewell's Second Corps.

Extending south from Cemetery Hill is a slight elevation known as Cemetery Ridge, although the term ridge is rather extravagant; it is generally only about 40 feet (12 m) above the surrounding terrain and tapers off before Little Round Top into low, wooded ground. At the northern end of Cemetery Ridge is a copse of trees and a low stone wall that makes two 90-degree turns; the latter has been nicknamed The Angle and The High Water Mark. This area, and the nearby Codori Farm on Emmitsburg Road, were prominent features in the progress of Pickett's Charge during the third day of battle, as well as General Richard H. Anderson's division assault on the second.

Dominating the landscape are the Round Tops to the south. Little Round Top is a hill with a rugged, steep slope of 130 feet above nearby Plum Run (the peak is 550 feet (168 m) above sea level), strewn with large boulders; to its southwest, the area with the most significant boulders, som
e the size of living rooms, is known as Devil's Den. [Big] Round Top, known also to locals of the time as Sugar Loaf, is 116 feet higher than its Little companion. Its steep slopes are heavily wooded, which made it unsuitable for siting artillery without a large effort to climb the heights with horse-drawn guns and clear lines of fire; Little Round Top was unwooded, but its steep and rocky form made it difficult to deploy artillery in mass. However, Cemetery Hill was an excellent site for artillery, commanding all of the Union lines on Cemetery Ridge and the approaches to them. Little Round Top and Devil's Den were key locations for General John Bell Hood's division in Longstreet's assault during the second day of battle, July 2, 1863. The valley formed by Plum Run between the Round Tops and Devil's Den earned the name Valley of Death on that day.

Northwest from the Round Tops, towards Emmitsburg Road, are the Wheatfield, Rose Woods, and the Peach Orchard. As noted by General Daniel E. Sickles in the second day of battle, this area is about 40 feet higher in elevation than the lowlands at the south end of Cemetery Ridge. These all figured prominently in General Lafayette McLaws's division assault during the second day of battle.

After the battle, the Army of the Potomac and the citizens of Gettysburg were left with appalling burdens. The battlefield was strewn with over 7,000 dead men and the houses, farms, churches, and public buildings were struggling to deal with 30,000 wounded men. The stench from the dead soldiers and from the thousands of animal carcasses was overwhelming. To the east of town, a massive tent city was erected to attempt medical care for the soldiers, which was named Camp Letterman after Jonathan Letterman, chief surgeon of the Army of the Potomac. Contracts were let with entrepreneurs to bury men and animals and the majority were buried near where they fell.

Two individuals immediately began to work to help the town recover and to preserve the memory of those who had fallen: David Wills and David McConaughy, both attorneys living in Gettysburg. A week after the battle, Pennsylvania Governor Andrew Curtin visited Gettysburg and expressed the state's interest in finding its veterans and giving them a proper burial. Wilson immediately arranged for the purchase of 17 acres (69,000 m²) next to the Evergreen Cemetery, but the priority of burying Pennsylvania veterans soon changed to honoring all of the Union dead.

McConaughy was responsible for purchasing 600 acres (2.4 km²) of privately held land to preserve as a monument. His first priorities for preservation were Culp's Hill, East Cemetery Hill, and Little Round Top. On April 30, 1864, the Gettysburg Battlefield Memorial Association was formed to mark "the great deeds of valor ... and the signal events which render these battlegrounds illustrious", and it began adding to McConaughy's holdings. In 1880, the Grand Army of the Republic took control of the Memorial Association and its lands.

On November 19, 1863, the Soldiers' National Cemetery was dedicated in a ceremony highlighted by Abraham Lincoln's Gettysburg Address. The night before, Lincoln slept in Wills's house on the main square in Gettysburg, which is now a landmark administered by the National Park Service. The cemetery was completed in March of 1864 with the last of 3,512 Union dead were reburied. It became a National Cemetery on May 1, 1872, when control was transferred to the U.S. War Department.

The removal of Confederate dead from the field burial plots was not undertaken until seven years after the battle. From 1870 to 1873, upon the initiative of the Ladies Memorial Associations of Richmond, Raleigh, Savannah, and Charleston, 3,320 bodies were disinterred and sent to cemeteries in those cities for reburial, 2,935 being interred in Hollywood Cemetery, Richmond. Seventy-three bodies were reburied in home cemeteries.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Ghost Picture taken at one of Britain most haunted buildings Gwrych Castle

Ghost Picture taken at one of Britain most haunted buildings

A company boss Kevin Horkin was taken pictures at Gwrych Castle in Abergele, North Wales, the picture looks like a woman looking out of a first floor window. Kevin didn’t notice anything unusual until he downloaded the pictures to his PC. Kevin believes that the picture captured a ghost as it’s impossible for anyone to stand at the window because the floor in the room is completely destroyed.

North Wales Paranormal group have confirmed that many sightings have been recorded at the castle.
Local history claims that the first castle at Gwrych was built by the Normans in the 12th century. It was seized by the Welsh prince Rhys ap Gruffydd (the Lord Rhys) of Deheubarth in about 1170 who then rebuilt the timber castle in stone. This castle was later destroyed by Cromwell’s army following the English Civil War of the mid-17th century.

The later castle at Gwrych was begun in 1819. The castle is a Grade 1 listed building set in a wooded hillside overlooking the Irish Sea. It was the first Gothic folly to be built in Europe by a wealthy industrialist Lloyd Hesketh. Bamford Hesketh, his son, inherited the title of Gwrych in his early 20s and used his vast fortune to build the 4,000-acre Gwrych Castle Estate.

The castle once had a total of 128 rooms including the outbuildings, including twenty-eight bedrooms, an outer hall, an inner hall, two smoke rooms, a dining room, a drawing room, a billiards room, an oak study, and a range of accommodations for servants. There are nineteen embattled towers and the whole facade is over 2000 yards. Many feel the castle’s outstanding feature was the castle’s 52-step marble staircase.


Friday, January 22, 2010

Children's 'ghosts' haunt Picton cemetery

DOES this photograph show the figures of two children, born nearly a century apart, walking in their own paranormal playground?

The family who took this picture while on a ghost tour in Picton, NSW, swear there were no children inside the St Mark's Cemetery.

Which begs the question: who, or what, is out there?

Local legend has it that the two children are David Shaw and Blanche Moon, who died 60 years apart.

Blanche was crushed to death in 1886 when a pile of sleepers that she and a number of children were playing on slipped.

David was the son of a minister who died in 1946 from polio.

The woman behind the lens of this mysterious photo, Renee English, said she was "a sceptic" before undertaking the ghost tour on January 9.

"When we were standing at the bank looking into the Cemetery I was just snapping away and making jokes about the whole thing and asking when the ghosts were going to come out," the Port Macquarie resident said.

"I know that when I took that photo there was no-one else in the cemetery. The only people we saw were a family of four about 10 minutes later but those kids were clinging to their parents the whole time.

"When we uploaded our photos and saw the children all the hairs on my arm stood up and I just went cold all over.

"That night I couldn't sleep at all and I'm never watching a scary movie again.

"I wasn't a believer in ghosts, but now I'm intrigued."

Local historian Liz Vincent conducted ghost tours in Picton, claimed to be Australia's most haunted town, until her death last year. Since then, her husband John and daughter Jenny Davies have taken up the mantle.

"Picton's just so haunted," Ms Davies said. "We find people always love to see their photos afterwards because most of these things aren't visible to the naked eye."

One of the tour's most popular figures is Emily, a lady who was hit and killed by a train in 1916 while taking a shortcut through the Redbank Range Tunnel, also known as the Mushroom Tunnel, to visit her brother.

Emily Bollard resided near the railway line and was a single woman aged in her 50s. Before taking her shortcut, she didn't check the timetable and was hit in the tunnel by a train coming from Thirlmere. She died instantly.

"She likes to move among the participants and loves to touch their hair and body, particularly their arms and legs," Ms Davies said.

"Those on the tour often say that they've also felt a cold wind blowing through the tunnel."

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