Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Theresa's Top 10 Most Haunted Places in the World

It's been awhile since I've done a Top 10 Tuesday here on Theresa's Haunted History, but this week its appropriate! If you read yesterday's blog, you know that I'll be on Paraversal Universe Radio this Friday (22 April 2016 at 8pm EST), discussing the world's most haunted places with Gavin Lee Davies and Jason Bland. Each of us were asked to compile our own list of the ten most haunted locations throughout the WORLD, so we can compare and discuss on Friday.

Ya'll know how hard it was for me to come up with my top 50 locations in the United States! The task of narrowing down just ten locations worldwide is overwhelmingly difficult, firstly because how do you even gauge the 'hauntedness' of a location? Until we fully understand the mechanics and the reasoning behind a haunting, and start producing evidence that holds up to scientific scrutiny, the subject is largely...well...subjective.  Therefore, my list is going to be pretty subjective, and quite honestly, probably a little ethnocentric, ie, heavy on not only American locations, but locations within or near the tri-state area!

In order to narrow my list down, I'll be looking at the following criteria:
1. How popular or well known is the location? Do people hear this location's name and automatically associate it with ghosts and hauntings?

2. How often has it actually been investigated or explored? Do those who investigate this location find consistently 'good' evidence that stands up to peer review? Do visitors routinely report experiences?

3. What are the stories associated with this location? Why do people believe this place is haunted to begin with...and how much of it is supported by historical documentation?

4. How intense is the suspected paranormal activity? Is it truly frightening? Does it happen on a regular basis? How likely are you to actually have an experience or capture potential evidence at this location?

5. Duration:  How long has this place been known to be haunted? Are the stories and/or experiences new, or have they been around for awhile?

I'll also be taking into consideration the TYPE of haunting or activity. Some locations might not necessarily have a strong, intelligent presence, but instead be saturated with emotions and energy from a past event--to the point that even those who don't consider themselves sensitive to such things can pick up on it. Some of these locations might even have a reputation for being home to entities other than human. I'll be discussing a mix of places where I have personally already investigated, and places that are on my paranormal investigation bucket list. And, obviously, this list is subject to change at a moment's notice, based on my whims, lol. And with that....here are:

MY Top 10 Most Haunted Locations in the World! In no particular order:
1. Highgate Cemetery, England
2. The Tower of London, England
3. The White House, USA
4. Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum, USA
5. WV State Penitentiary at Moundsville, USA
6. Poveglia Island, Italy
7. Pripyat/Chernobyl, Ukraine
8. Aokigahara Forest, Japan
9. Gettysburg, USA
10. Island of the Dolls, Mexico

One obvious omission from the list is any examples from the continent of Africa. In a place of some pretty violent history and where people are still put to death over allegations of witchcraft, I honestly cannot think of any locations that would fit my criteria off the top of my head.  I think I foresee some investigative research and a series of blog posts coming up soon about this!

Anyway, let me know what you think of this list! I've still got a few days to make final changes, so hop on over to Facebook and give me your thoughts. Happy Haunting!

Monday, April 18, 2016

Theresa's Back on the Radio!

Hey, everyone! Happy Monday! I wanted to take a few moments to share with you an exciting opportunity I've been given. I've been asked to return to Paraversal Universe Radio, with hosts Kevin Malek and Jennifer Scelsi! I will be taking part in the show's very first round table discussion. Our topic will be that is very exciting to me, and I'm sure to many of you as well----The Most Haunted Places in the World!

I'll be joining two awesome guests: Gavin Lee Davies and Jason Bland. Gavin operates the Paranormal Chronicles website, a great source for all sorts of interesting and spooky articles. Jason is the host of Paranormal Soup--make sure to check out his YouTube channel for a variety of paranormal topics.

The show will air LIVE Friday, April 22, at 8 pm EST. You can listen through the Paranormal King Radio Network site, where there will be a live chatroom available if you want to hang out and discuss the show, ask questions, or comment on what you hear. I really hope you make it...and if you do, make sure to mention in the chatroom that Theresa sent ya!

But, if you can't make it to the live showing, and still want to listen in, the archives will be up within a day or two, and I'll make sure to post it on my Facebook page. Also, before the show airs, I'd love to have YOUR input! I've been asked to submit MY Top 10 picks for most haunted places in the world, and I'm really struggling with it. I mean, how do you categorize and rate a haunted location? How popular it is? The amount of potential 'evidence' collected, the stories associated with it, how many ghosts the places has, how often the activity occurs, how intense the activity?  What???  Heck, I struggled with my list of Haunted America locations, lol. Hop on over to Theresa's Haunted History Facebook page and let me know what you think---how do you pick what is the MOST haunted, and what are some of the locations YOU think should make the list?

Friday, April 15, 2016

Book Review: Strange West Virginia Monsters

Title: Strange West Virginia Monsters
Author: Michael Newton
Copyright 2015 by Schiffer Publishing
Amazon Purchasing Info

This book had been on my radar for a couple of months before I finally received it as a Christmas present this past December. Even though I already owned quite a collection of books dealing with all the strange critters of West Virginia (plus, dozens other on West Virginia ghosts & hauntings, UFOlogy, etc, lol) I was really excited to see how this author would put his own spin on the topic...and what cases would be covered.

Before I even get into the content of this book, though, I have to comment on its appearance. This is a REALLY awesome book, visually. As you can tell from the cover photo, it's set up like a tabloid newspaper. Bright colors, bold text, and full color photographs and illustrations not only grace the cover, but are found throughout the book as well. Broader chapter headings are further broken down into individualized case studies, and the creatures featured range from your more mundane Bigfoots to the REALLY weird and uniquely West Virginia monsters, such as the Braxton County Monster and Sheepsquatch.

It was those chapters on the more unique monsters that really interested me the most. Although I was familiar with the vast majority of the material covered in the book, most of it being stuff I've read in other books, message boards, blogs, and websites, it was really cool to see it all compiled in one place. As an added bonus, the more outrageous and unique animals had pretty short write-ups---interesting and to the point---which served my ADHD well. What I had a little trouble getting through were the chapters on more common sightings, such as the Bigfoot and out of place felines. Since this book focused mainly on reporting sightings and didn't really include much generalized information on these monsters, it led sometimes to huge blocks of text with nothing more than a list of sightings, one after another.

Therefore, while reading, I did a lot of skipping around chapters, trying to balance out the short and easy to read, with the more tedious. In future editions, it might be a little easier if bullet points were used in some places, but overall, the effect wasn't bad and really shouldn't bother most people too much. I'm just sort of a...distracted...reader at times, lol.

Overall, I highly recommend this book. It's a great compilation of a very weird side of West Virginian history and culture. There's a good mix between historical and modern sightings, great photos and illustrations, and a very thorough works cited section. It deserves a place of honor on the shelf of any West Virginia para-enthusiast!

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Mexican Airport Haunted by...a Ghost App

Last November, DailyMail.com ran a story about the hauntings at Mexico's International Airport. It seems that staff was being spooked by the apparition of a little girl, who appeared to be about seven years old, and was often spotted in what was described as Victorian clothing. She carries with her a small ball, and has perpetually untied shoelaces. Although the girl roamed the restricted areas of the airport at all hours, she was most often spotted at night in an area known as the 'graveyard of planes', a section where unneeded airplane parts were stored. A photo of the young girl was even captured, showing her through the window of an abandoned plane, dressed all in black and with long black hair.

But, its another photo that I'm more concerned with, because this photo has recently been posted in a couple of different Facebook paranormal group pages I belong to. This next photo shows a stark contrast to the girl in the first photo...and for good reason. The girl below, shown outside the terminal in a shot allegedly taken by a tourist, is nothing more than the product of a popular ghost photo app! I was easily able to track down the exact image, with the help of the handy index over at Ghost App Ghosts. Check out the photos below: the image is in the app menu in the right hand column, third down from the top. I can't stress this enough---if you are a paranormal investigator, researcher, or just someone who owns/operates a paranormal Facebook page for other para-enthusiasts, take some time to familiarize yourself with the photo albums over at Ghost App Ghosts. As long as people are still being tricked by these images, people will keep putting them out there.  And as for the photo above, depicting the little girl through the window of a plane...well, I'll just let you decide on what THAT is for yourselves!

Close up of Ghostly Little Girl
Original Image

App Menu

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

The Strange Tomb of Fernand Arbelot

According to a brief biography written by Kit and Morgan Benson, not much is known about the musician, actor and architect, Fernand Arbelot. However, he has left quite a legacy in the form of a very unique tomb, located in Paris' Pere Lachaise Cemetery.

The tomb depicts a man lying on his back, holding up a disembodied HEAD and gazing into its cold, stone eyes. An epitaph reads, "They were amazed at the beautiful journey which led them to the end of life."

Sources say that the stone is the work of Belgian sculptor, Adolphe Wansart,  and completed in 1946, four years after Arbelot's death.  Arbelot was born in 1880 and a Parisian newspaper ran an obituary for him on November 19, 1942. Again, very little information was given, other than that he was serving as a director in the Westminster Bank.

Legend states that Arbelot's wish behind the tomb design was to gaze upon the beautiful face of his wife for all eternity. Some unsubstantiated claims indicate that he sped that desire along by killing her before taking his own life in a murder-suicide that would give Romeo and Juliet a run for their money. What IS known is that Arbelot passed away during the Nazi occupation of Paris, a very dark period of time in French history---and while not much is known about his life, his name will forever be known, thanks to a VERY unusual piece of funerary art.

Find-a-Grave/Kit and Morgen Benson
Amis et Passionnes du Pere-Lachaise

Monday, April 11, 2016

Fright Bite: Oklahoma's Blanchard Cemetery


When I was searching for a haunted location in Oklahoma to feature on my Haunted America page, I kept coming across articles listing the alleged 'spookiest' haunts or most disturbing haunting cemeteries in the state...and Blanchard Cemetery always seemed to make the list!  Although there isn't a whole lot of information about this particular haunting...its a neat story!

By haunt standards, the Blanchard Cemetery, about 12 miles north of Norman, is fairly new. It was incorporated on October 19, 1917 and is still an active cemetery today, accepting new burials and being maintained by the Blanchard Cemetery Association. The sprawling acreage of the cemetery is divided into sections, and while the cemetery is quite large, it seems like the only section to be haunted is Section 2.

Various websites state that if you enter the cemetery and come to the second section, you'll see a group of three trees. Stand to the left of the trees, and in the middle of this tiny grove, you're sure to see a spooky sight: a ghostly young man wearing black pants. This young man will stand there, with his hands in his pockets. If you're lucky, he may raise his hand to wave you over to him, although various commentators to different websites claim that to accept his invitation would surely be a ticket to demonic possession.

You can tell that the young man is about to make his appearance by a ghostly light. It is said that right before he appears, witnesses have observed a bright bluish light, that suddenly goes dim. Others have heard unearthly noises right before the apparition makes itself known. Unfortunately, not everyone may see this spooky sight. A girl named Chelsea wrote in to the Ghosts of America website, claiming that SHE was the original reporter of the story, submitting her claims to the popular Shadowlands Index, where it was subsequently copied and pasted by a variety of other websites. Chelsea asserts that only teenagers are able to see the apparition, and that on subsequent visits to the Blanchard Cemetery, the young man in black pants had grown progressively more frightening, in once instance, brandishing a knife at the witnesses.

Although I'd put money on the fact that this story is nothing more than a modern urban legend, it would be interesting to see if the young man can be tracked down. The cemetery's website offers an alphabetical listing of burials, which includes what section the plot is in. Just going through the As and Bs I found a few very early burials...and a few of young men who passed away. Could one of these be the young man...and if so, why is he still haunting the cemetery? Is he protecting the cemetery itself from potential teenage vandals, or is he protecting something more specific? Hopefully someone will do a little more research and possibly come to some conclusions. If you'd like to learn more, I suggest my article on cemetery guardians---people who were the first burial in a new cemetery who folklore denotes are chosen as protectors of that cemetery until Judgment Day.