Friday, May 3, 2019

Supernatural Boobs: Another NSFW Friday Funny

There are way too many of these spooky comics that make me laugh way too hard.  As a fuller-busted woman myself, this one makes me especially giggle.  

Friday, April 26, 2019

Cheap Ouija

This is another Friday Night Funny image that really speaks to me, lol.  I remember way back in middle school, making Ouija Boards with a pen and notebook paper, during math class.  To be honest, I'm pretty sure I've used a Dorito as a planchette at one point or another.  

I've come a long way since those days, lol.  I love the art and beauty of Ouija and similar talking boards and have amassed a small collection.  I still appreciate those quick, impromptu boards made in pre-Algebra, though!  

If you're a fan of Ouija history and art, check out the Talking Board Historical Society's website

Sunday, April 21, 2019

Happy Easter from Theresa's Haunted History of the Tri-State!

Happy Easter from Theresa's Haunted History of the Tri-State!  Be sure to join me over on Facebook for lots of spooky Easter-themed posts all day long.  Have a great week, and stay spooky my friends! 

Friday, April 19, 2019

Friday Funny: NSFW

Chalk this one up to things I laughed at harder than I should have!  It actually kind of hits close to home.  I've never had a fear of ghosts, thank goodness, but as long time readers to Theresa's Haunted History blog and Facebook probably know, I've struggled with depression my entire adult life.  It isn't always easy finding mental health professionals with an open enough mind to NOT diagnose you schizoaffective when you tell them that you investigate and research ghosts for a living.  But yeah, sorry for the F-Bomb in this was just too funny not to pass up, lol.  Have a spooky weekend ya'll! 

Friday, April 12, 2019

What's Your Sign?

So, what's your sign?  I'm a Sagittarius, but I er, uh, do NOT set things on fire, lol.  I'm not a pyromaniac in life, so I'm guessing I wouldn't magically become one after I die.  However, I guess I shouldn't rule anything out, right? Let me know in the comments below what YOUR sign is...and whether or not the description fits YOU!   Have a fun weekend, and stay spooky everyone. 

Saturday, April 6, 2019

Budget Ghost Hunting Equipment

So, this meme is supposed to be funny, but it does highlight an important aspect of paranormal investigation:  You don't NEED to spend thousands of dollars on equipment....especially when you're first starting out!  

My very first 'ghost hunting kit' contained a 35mm camera (often supplemented by one of those old disposable cameras), a flashlight, a notebook and pencil, a microcassette recorder that I borrowed from my mom's office, and a cheap compass.

As time went on, I upgraded quite a bit, but to this day, I still haven't really broke the bank on equipment.  It can be fun trying out the latest gadgets featured on your favorite ghost hunting shows, but the truth is, most of that stuff is not really scientifically proven to be able to detect ghosts!

If you're just starting out, I highly suggest you hold off on making any huge purchases for awhile.  Look around your own house and see what you already have that can be used on an investigation.  Most people either own or have access to basic stuff such as flashlights, video and still cameras, voice recorders, temperature recording devices, and basic means of taking notes.  And although I don't normally recommend using a smart phone for investigation purposes, in a pinch they provide access to everything I've listed above, plus a myriad of apps that some ghost hunters swear by.

If you decide that paranormal investigation/ghost hunting is a hobby you'd like to pursue further, THEN start thinking about investing in some higher quality, more specialized equipment. However, DO YOUR RESEARCH!  Don't waste your time or money on fun, flashy gadgets that aren't really of any scientific merit, just because you saw someone else use them.

Be wary of equipment that is specifically marketed towards ghost hunters.  This is for two reasons:  1. As I've said before, there is no way to prove ghosts exists, so its only conjecture at best that these devices can actually detect ghosts.  And, 2. These devices are usually going to be more expensive.  In the case things like cameras and EMF detectors, shop around to see if you can find the same or similar device, NOT being marketed to the paranormal community, for less.  

Also important to note...make sure you know how to use any equipment you might acquire.  Equipment is only as good as the person interpreting its data, so train yourself on how to use your stuff properly.  Know its limitations and potential issues. Finally, take care of your stuff---you're paying for it, so make sure you keep it in good working order. 

And, just a quick bonus tip:  People tend to want to start out in this field by buying a ton of really cool equipment.  Unfortunately, many quickly lose interest in paranormal investigation and end up selling off their stuff for much less than what they paid for it.  Or, as they find that they enjoy the field and want to go further, they upgrade their equipment and sell off their older stuff.  Shop around.  Take a look at places such as eBay and Amazon to try to find the best deals on gently used equipment!  

Friday, April 5, 2019

Someone Like Me: A Friday Funny!

Aww, I love this lil' cartoon by Matt Tarpley!  I'm sure most of us with an interest in the paranormal field have, at one time or another, felt like we'd never find someone spooky like us to share our passion with!  Plus, there's bunnies, making this the perfect Easter-month Friday Night Funny!  Have a fun and spooky weekend everyone! 

Thursday, April 4, 2019

Ghostly Face Appears on Porch Column

This is such an interesting lil' historic article from the Charleston, WV area.  Back in 1945, a family noticed a strange image on the stucco of their porch column.  The image looked like the silhouette of a girl's face...but not just any face.  The family who owned the home claims the face resembled that of their daughter, Peggy Sue, who died two years previously on April 4, 1943.  I really wish the picture I found showed a clear image of the silhouette, but I'll keep looking!  Here's the text from the article:

'Face' Appears on Porch Column
The appearance of the profiled silhouette on a stucco porch post at the home of Mr. and Mrs. J.J. Weaver of Rand, said by the family and neighbors to resemble the Weavers' deceased daughter, has attracted widespread attention.

Late yesterday, Mrs. Weaver estimated that since Tuesday, several thousand persons have stopped to look at the framed silhouette, which she says started forming in the stucco last January.

According to Mrs. Weaver, she first noticed a light-colored ellipse over a foot in diameter.  Near the center was a dark spot about the size of a cup.  The dark surface grew larger, which she says she took notice of from time to time.  Last Saturday Mrs. Weaver says she asked her husband if he could make anything of it.  After examining the spot, he reluctantly agreed that it was the shape of a child's face.

Word spread that the silhouette resembled the Weavers' daughter, Peggy Sue, who died at the age of 12, April 4, 1943.  Since Tuesday afternoon the silhouette has been the talk of the nearby communities, and yesterday crowds grew to such proportions that Greyhound buses on U.S. Highway 60 running in front of the house were stopping briefly to permit passengers to look. Shown right is Robert Lee Weaver, student at DuPont High School, son of the Weavers. [Gazette photo].

Wednesday, April 3, 2019

Charleston's Mortar Man: Weird Wednesday

My attempt at photographing Mortar Man
Along Capitol Street in Charleston, WV there sits a mysterious little man.  Every day, people walk right past the Mortar Man, never even noticing he's there.  But, to those who DO know where to look, Mortar Man has become a local celebrity....and a local legend.

For years, mystery shrouded the tiny figure.  Located 12 feet above the ground, tucked into a corner of brick between two buildings, and measuring in at only 2 inches by 4 inches, its no wonder that so many people never noticed the Mortar Man.  For those who did know of the tiny little figure, now referred to as West Virginia's smallest piece of public art, stories abounded as to how the figure got there, who created him, and of course...WHY.  Was Mortar Man some sort of protector or guardian?  Was he a supernatural creature?  Or was he just someone's idea of a joke?

Turns out, the Mortar Man is the creation of local sculptor, P. Joseph Mullins, best known for work on the Veterans Memorial at the State Capitol Complex.  30 years ago, Mullins was working on the facade of a historic building.  During a lunch break, he took some leftover building materials and sculpted the little fella.  Apparently it took three years before a police officer noticed the figure and people started wondering what the heck was going on! 

Much clearer photo, by Craig Poole
Over the years, Mortar Man has become a favorite with both locals and tourists who have heard of the strange little figure.  When renovations to the building led to the removal of Mortar Man, people threw such a fit that he was replaced.  At one point, someone even tried to steal him!

Luckily, Mortar Man is still holding his ground on Capitol Street.  Go to #108 Capitol Street.  To the left of the building, between its facade and the neighboring building, look straight up about 12 feet.  He's hard to see, but if you're lucky, you'll catch a glimpse of this magical little piece of art history, right here in the Mountain State!

Links for more information:
Mortar Man Facebook
Atlas Obscura
WOWK Article by Craig Poole

Tuesday, April 2, 2019

The Haunting of Haymond House (Sutton, WV)

Theresa's Note:  Today's blog is a wonderful Guest Blog Submission from Carrie Holcomb-Snuffer about the historic William Edgar Haymond House of Sutton, WV.  The Haymond House is a gorgeous home, which has recently opened up for public and private paranormal investigations, metaphysical and psychic fairs, and much more!  I'm thrilled to be able to bring you information about this location...albeit a bit late, lol.  I meant to run this story weeks ago, but just didn't have the time since I was busy running back and forth between Teays Valley and Grafton every few days.  So, a big apology to Carrie (and you all) for being late!  But, better late than never, and I if you're in the Sutton area, I highly encourage you to check out the historic and haunted Haymond House, located just a short drive from the Braxton County Monster Museum

The William Edgar Haymond House is a Queen Ann style home built in 1894. It still has it's original floors and staircase, both of which are beautiful and without any creaking you would expect to find in a home that is over 100 years old. It sits on a sandstone foundation as well.

The home was built by prominent lawyer, William Edgar Haymond, and was home to two of his wives; Emma Catherine (mother of his two children) (1864-1907) and Ethel Rhodes (1871-1932).  His grandchild, who died at the age of 8, was listed as living in the home at the time of death.

During our investigation weekend we recorded a woman’s voice that was in total shock while we were discussing removing a couple of things from the home (original items). 
Us: “a man told us that these could be removed and sold for a certain amount of money.” 
Woman’s voice: “THOSE???” 
Us: “I think they should stay even if they do not work”
Woman’s voice whisper: “yes” 

On the second floor I had someone or something grab the back of my arm in an innocent way, like it was leading me away from the servant stairs. The next morning (around 5:30am) we captured a voice saying a team member's name.  According to recorders, that member woke up a few minutes later for no reason. We also caught footsteps coming down the steps, along with what sounded like the front door lock unlocking. There were sounds of doors opening and closing all night. We shut the blinds early that evening and left to get dinner. Two were opened when we returned. 

We had a psychic come in, at his request, and said he could feel the energy of a mentally challenged spirit. And also felt that a death occurred in the servant stairwell, either by strangulation or by a hanging. He confirmed that the home holds many spirits but none of them wished any harm to anyone. I have spent two nights in the home and always felt at ease there. 

On a separate weekend stay I had two of our Jr Investigators come along. We caught the sound of a bell ringing on our recorder and having one go outside to the yard where there is a bell still standing and ring it while I recorded it, we got the same sound. On the second floor in the “Pink Room” one of our Jr Investigators became overwhelmed with a panic feeling in her chest. We walked out to the hallway and she felt fine. We reentered the room and she became overwhelmed again, and the ghost box said, “OUT.” Back in the hall we still had the ghost box going. The next three words were 'lifetime', 'exit', and 'terrible.' We feel as though this may be the spirit of the one who died in the house by strangulation or by hanging.

Other reports include the same sounds we caught, along with seeing a woman in white on the stairwell landing between 1st and 2nd floor. The woman in white is also seen going in to the bedroom on the 2nd floor. Reports of a child being seen playing in the basement are recorded as well.

Please go give the William Edgar Haymond House a LIKE on Facebook for updates on future events and information on how you can book an investigation at this hot new haunted location here in the Mountain State, which has already been investigated by prominent local investigators including Dave Spinks and Les O'Dell from WV C.A.S.E.! This sounds like a fascinating location, full of history and spooky (yet benevolent) activity and I cannot wait to visit for myself. 

Monday, April 1, 2019

April Updates at Theresa's Haunted History!

Oh, wow!  It's been a long time since I've updated the blog and given Theresa's Haunted History Facebook Page the attention it deserves!  But, it's a new month and a chance for a new start...and I'm ready to finally get back into the swing of things. 

If you've been following me on Facebook, you might have seen a quick post I made a couple of weeks ago, partly explaining my absence on social media and in the paranormal world:  I GOT MARRIED! That's not an April Fool's Day joke; I actually got married on March 14th at the Harrison County courthouse, wearing a pair of jeans and my Braxton County Monster t-shirt!

 After an exceptionally long bout with depression (which also added to my lack of motivation in keeping things updated around here) I was texting a colleague and accidentally typed in the wrong number.  In a weird case of synchronicity that I cannot explain and still have trouble understanding myself, the number I texted happened to belong to the love of my life....15+ years ago!  We found out who each other was, started talking, and well...the rest is happily ever after.

The only problem is...he lives in Grafton and I live in Teays Valley.  In fact, I actually wrote a blog post about a spooky experience I had on Route 50 (The Headless Shadow Being of Route 50) when I used to drive up here every weekend to see him during our first attempt at romance so many years ago. Now that things are finally calming down somewhat, I'm eager to get started back.  And what better way to get the ball rolling than to once again attempt the Ultimate Blog Challenge for April??  Yeah, seems pretty crazy given my past track record, but I'm going to give it a shot, as I've got so many spooky stories, event updates, book reviews, photos, and much more ghosty goodness that I want to share with you all.

Thank you so much for being so supportive during a difficult-turned-magical time.  I hope you enjoy the fun stuff I have planned for the next month!  Spending so much time in Grafton has given me the opportunity to share photos and stories from a ton of spooky new places that I normally may not have had the opportunity to visit, so I'm hoping this month and all that follow are filled with plenty of inspiration!  I've missed you all and am so excited to start immersing myself back into the paranormal world...and sharing every step along the way with you all. 

Have a great April, and make sure to follow me on Facebook for updates on new blogs and plenty of other awesome, fun stuff.  Oh, and make sure to keep your eyes open...I'm close to an even 5000 LIKES on Facebook, and when that happens, there will be a HUGE giveaway!  I'll be sharing details about that later on, so make sure you check back often to see how YOU can win.  Stay spooky, my friends!

Friday, February 1, 2019

I LOVE Ghosts

After a long, LONG January, its finally February!  And, on Theresa's Haunted History of the Tri-State, that means that for the next two weeks, the blog and Facebook page will be filled with love!  With just two short weeks until Valentine's Day, I'll be cramming in as much spooky romance as possible.  

Ghost lore is full of stories of unrequited love and love that lasts beyond the grave. I hope to share as many of those stories from the tri-state as possible, as well as some additional spooky Valentine's-related goodies!  So, keep checking back here, as well as over on Theresa's Haunted History's Facebook page for new stuff every day.  And, not to get too sappy...but please remember that I love and appreciate each and every one of YOU all year long! 

This image is available for purchase as a T-shirt over on TeePublic

Friday, January 25, 2019

Copy Ghost: A Friday Funny

I don't know what it is about this image, but every time I see it, it puts a smile on my face! I hope it adds a little humor to YOUR Friday as well!  And while it's light-hearted, it does kind of reflect how I've been feeling lately, in regards to Theresa's Haunted History blog and Facebook page. I feel like I'm just posting the same ol' thing, over and over again. This blog dates back to 2011 and my original website was started in 2006, so there is actually a fair bit of content to share...but I feel like its all already been done, lol.  

I'm constantly searching for new information and new ways to keep this site fresh and relevant.  However, I also think I'll be spending quite a bit of time this year polishing up, updating, and sharing some of that older content that newer readers may not have seen yet.  But let me know---what do YOU want to see more of in 2019? Are there any specific locations or topics you'd like to see me cover?  Hop on over to my Facebook page and share your ideas! 

Sunday, January 20, 2019

Book Review: West Virginia Bigfoot by Dave Spinks

Title: West Virginia Bigfoot
Author: Dave Spinks
Published: 2018 by Leprechaun Press
Amazon Order Information

Long-time readers of this blog know I cannot say no to a new book for my personal paranormal library, especially when it deals with some spooky or strange topic relevant to West Virginia!  One of my latest acquisitions is West Virginia Bigfoot, authored by local paranormal researcher and investigator, Dave Spinks!

I picked up my autographed copy last November at the Flatwoods Monster Museum's Bazaare.  The Bazaare was a really cool event where various authors, film makers, and researchers of WV ghost and monster lore came together to meet and greet with paranormal enthusiasts, share and acquire new stories, and of course, sell some merch!

Since I go to quite a few paranormal-related events throughout the Mountain State, I was familiar with Dave's work, and excited to finally pick up a copy of his new book for myself.  West Virginia Bigfoot is a slender volume, coming in at 104 pages, but it is full absolutely fascinating case studies and personal experiences with the creature we've come to know as Bigfoot.

Admittedly, my interests in the paranormal lie within the realm of ghosts, hauntings, and afterlife studies.  However, I'm becoming more and more enamored with the study of cryptozoology and its connections, however tenuous, with other 'paranormal' phenomenon. This was a great, quick read to  incorporate into my study of this area.

After a brief introduction by researcher David Weatherly, West Virginia Bigfoot starts with Dave's own experience as a youngster with a Bigfoot creature.  Collected tales from friends, family, colleagues, and others fill out the majority of the book.  These tales come from all over the state and most occurred between the 1970's and 2016, with a few historical anecdotes thrown in as support.  Also included in the book are theories as to what Bigfoot might be, why West Virginia seems to be such a great habitat for such creatures, and some locations that seem to have a high concentration of sightings.

Obviously, there's a lot of value to scientifically examining the Bigfoot phenomena and presenting theories along with the evidence to support those theories. Dave takes an objective look at the various viewpoints of Bigfoot and includes information on historical perspectives, anthropological perspectives, and religious perspectives. Research from Rosemary Ellen Guiley is even presented as an overview to the theory of Bigfoot from a 'paraphysical' perspective.  These are all integral parts of a satisfying and complete Bigfoot book...but my favorite part was the stories!

I love to hear peoples' experiences.  Real people sharing their real stories in their own words is my favorite part of this book. Each experience is documented in just the right way as to be entertaining, yet still contain enough important detail to be useful to a serious researcher.  These stories read like stories...and not necessarily dry case studies armed with just the bare facts.  Further, these tales aren't ones you're going to come across over and over again.  Many of the experiences were submitted to Dave through family and friends who have never reported or published these stories anywhere else.

West Virginia Bigfoot is obviously a labor of love, and its apparent that quite a bit of time and research has gone into producing quite a comprehensive, yet entertaining and quick read concerning one of West Virginia's many mysteries.  If you're a Bigfoot enthusiast, or a just a fan of all things strange and spooky in the Mountain State, I'd recommend adding West Virginia Bigfoot by Dave Spinks to YOUR personal library!

Friday, January 18, 2019

Frozen Ghosts

You KNOW it's cold when your poor ghost freezes solid. Somebody let that poor specter inside to warm up!  So, what's the temperature where you live?  Are your ghosts in danger of ending up like this guy?  I hope you (and your spirits) stay warm and safe all throughout the day.  Have a wonderful Friday! 

Thursday, January 17, 2019

The Groaning Ghost of Kingwood

It's time for another Throwback Thursday vintage newspaper article! In the late 1880s, the West Virginia town of Kingwood, located in Preston County, was under siege by a phantom!  It is rumored that several local citizens tried to engage this spirit, but refused to admit it...well, except for this local lawyer! The following piece is from the Wheeling Daily Intelligencer, and is dated 28 February 1884.  The digitized article is available online through one of MY favorite websites, Chronicling America.  Just a quick side note: The article references the idea that the original story was found in the Argus.  The West Virginia Argus was a weekly publication from Kingwood, WV that ran between 1877 and 1945. After 1908, its offices were located in the basement of the historic Martin Building. 

A Dizzy Ghost Story

For some weeks past Kingwood has been torn up over a spook, which it is alleged roams the streets at its own sweet will, during the witching hours when graves do yawn.

Several persons are reported as having spoken to it. But when approached on the subject they denied it.  Lately, however, a prominent lawyer has been holding interviews with the "goblin damned," and the Argus gives his story as follows:  For the past two or three weeks he has been employed at his office late at night. About a week ago he was seated at his table writing when all at once he heard a deep groan.  He listened and in about two minutes it was repeated more distinctly.  The noise seemed to emanate from something back of the office.  He went on the outside, but could see or hear nothing, nor was the noise repeated again that evening.  Since that time the same thing has been heard every evening about the same hour, 11 o'clock, and on one or two occasions, the gentleman freely acknowledged, his hair assumed a perpendicular position on his head. The most notable occasion of this kind was Friday evening.  He worked till 10:30 and then prepared himself to listen attentively, and  learn, if possible, the origin and cause of the strange and uncommon noise. Promptly at 11, the doleful, wierd, and melancholy groan was heard.  He walked to the window and looked out, but nothing was visible that could produce the noise.  He walked to his door and was just in the act of opening it, when the groan was repeated with such severity that the whole building seemed to tremble and his tables and chairs danced about the room like partners in a cotillion.  This maneuver only lasted a few seconds, and then everything was still as a graveyard.  The origin of this strange noise seems to be enveiled in an impenetrable mystery, as the gentleman is unable to give the remotest idea as to the cause.   

The photo below shows the scene from Kingwood's Main Street.  Is this the street the ghost was said to roam on its own sweet will?  And just what WAS this thing?  Was there a ghost...or was there a natural explanation for the nightly moans and groans heard by the local lawyer?  Let me know YOUR thoughts...and if you're looking for MORE spooky stories from Kingwood, check out my blog post on the haunted Kingwood Public Library.  Perhaps there is a connection to the noisy poltergeist who haunts the library and our noisy, groaning ghost of this vintage article! 

Kingwood Main Street ca. 1905 (Source: WV History on View)

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Mason County's Mysterious Skeletons

The idea that giants once roamed the Kanawha and Ohio Valleys is always a fascinating and popular topic within the mysterious history of West Virginia.  Time and time again, we hear stories of Adena burial mounds throughout the state and surrounding areas having once held the skeletal remains of a people who averaged over 7 feet in height. 

Today, the area of West Virginia where I live is still dotted with some of the larger burial mounds, such as the Criel Mound in South Charleston and the Shawnee Mound in Dunbar.  The May Moore Mound, located on private property in Mason County, WV is another large mound, but it is believed to be largely intact---never properly excavated.  What many don't realize, though, is that at one time, there were many, many more (usually much smaller) mounds throughout this area!  I've always heard stories that farmers along the Ohio River in what is now Mason County, WV would constantly come across small burial mounds in their fields, and simply plow them over.  Supporting that claim is an old newspaper article I ran across from the Niles Register (Ohio paper), dated October 20, 1821.  I haven't been able to locate a copy of the original article, but the text can be found in West Virginia Heritage: Volume One, a collection of books compiled and edited in the late 1960's by the West Virginia Heritage Foundation.  The article is as follows:

Mason County's Mysterious Skeletons
From Niles Register
October 21, 1821

From the Kenhawa Spectator.  A gentleman from Mason County, Va. has very obligingly furnished the following singular facts:  On the 19th ult. four very large skeletons were found in a field which had for twenty-four years past been cultivated in corn. They were deposited in a mound apparently very ancient.  The first was discovered by the owner of the field, having ploughed it up, which induced him to make a further examination, when three others were found.  The bones are perfectly sound, and much larger than common, and more especially the skulls, which can be very easily slipped over the largest man's head.  The upper jaw bone has one row of double teeth all round, and the under jaw two teeth only on the left side, and no sockets whatever in the rest of the bone were provided by nature for more.  Considerable quantities of broken crockery ware, with buck horns and bones, bear's bones and muscle (mussel?) shells, etc. were found with the skeletons, and the whole buried in line two feet deep.

It is hoped that the curiosity of the intelligent public may excite them to examine the skeletons, and furnish us with some interesting speculations on the subject. 

May Moore Mound. Image from Todd Bledsoe

I've seen this particular case mentioned on a few websites, mostly in passing, but haven't been able to really find any more substantial information about who the farmer was, where the property is located, and just what the heck happened to these giant skeletons with their strange double row of teeth.  However, with stories such as these, it makes me wonder why the nearby May Moore Mound was never excavated...and if it ever is, just what will we find inside?

Craving MORE Giant Skeletons in Burial Mounds stories?  Check out my post about another small mound, complete with giant skeleton found in the Central City area of Huntington, WV.  People drive over the site every day, and very few realize that the road was once blocked off by an ancient burial mound!

Friday, January 11, 2019

Winter Fun with Monsters!

Happy Friday! It is officially winter here in West Virginia, and even our out-of-this-world monsters are ready for some snowy fun! This piece is called Fun in the Snow (2011) and its by artist John Meszaros.  Check out his DeviantArt profile, NocturnalSea, for more awesome artwork. How many of these extraterrestrial visitors can you name?

Saturday, January 5, 2019

Book Review: The Iowa Road Guide to Haunted Locations

Title: The Unexplained Presents---The Iowa Road Guide to Haunted Locations
Authors: Chad Lewis and Terry Fisk
Published by Unexplained Research LLC, 2007
Amazon Purchase Information

One of my favorite things about the annual Mothman Festival is the abundance of paranormal non-fiction books available for purchase!  I always walk away with a least a few, most of which whose authors are actually at the festival, ready to chat and sign copies of their work!

This year, I showed an extreme amount of self-control with the purchase of only two books.  I picked up The Unexplained Presents: The Iowa Road Guide to Haunted Locations and also the South Dakota Road Guide to Haunted Places.  That second one will be reviewed at a later date; for this blog post, I want to concentrate on the Iowa book.

So, admittedly I picked out the Iowa book from quite a few available selections because I honestly thought I did not have any books on Iowa hauntings.  As part of my personal paranormal library goals, I'm trying to collect at least one book of regional ghost stories/hauntings from each state.  However, like most people who have too many books, I totally forgot I already had an Iowa book.  But, it was no big deal, because this book was totally different...and a lot of fun to read!

The Iowa Road Guide to Haunted Locations was inspired by the authors' own ghost hunting exploits throughout the state.  During their quest to visit certain locations with a haunted location, they found that a lot of the directions they were given were pretty much useless, causing them to waste hours driving around in circles.  So, they created a handy lil' guide for future legend trippers. This book is packed full of easily accessible haunted hot spots from every corner of the state.  That means that you're going to find a LOT of cemeteries, highways, bridges and parks. There are a few public buildings, such as museums and retail locations, added in as well. 

Each chapter features detailed directions to the location, including any admission and/or contact information where applicable.  There is a Ghost Lore section that gives a quick overview of the alleged hauntings, followed by a timeline of important historical events related to that location.  The basics are followed up with an Investigation section where the authors expand on the legends and ghost stories, talk to witnesses, and explore the authenticity of the claims.  Where applicable, there is also a small 'Dare' section, sharing urban legends you can try for yourself, such as kissing cursed cemetery statuary.

Chapters generally run just a few pages long, so at a total length of 262 pages, you're really getting a TON of different locations.  That format also makes this a fairly quick read, which you can read straight through, skip around, or use as an actual road guide out on road.

I really enjoyed the fluff-free style of this book and think its perfect for anyone who just wants to go out legend tripping---exploring spooky areas and testing out the silly stories passed down generation after generation.  As someone who has never even been to Iowa, I also still found value in this book as a fun introduction to Iowa's many cemetery legends, some of which get right down WEIRD.  However, I'm not entirely sure how useful this format would be for a seasoned investigator working in Iowa.  Each entry, while offering an adequate overview, didn't go too deep into the historical research of the featured location, nor did much evidence was explored or collected.  In fact, for the majority of featured locations, it was pretty clear that there was far more fiction than fact behind the alleged paranormal associations.

Still, this was a really fun read and I definitely recommend it becoming a part of YOUR own paranormal library.  However, if you just have no interest in the ghosts of Iowa, there are plenty of other books in the Unexplained series; check out their website at Unexplained Research for more titles! 


Friday, January 4, 2019

Cemetery Scare: A Friday Night Funny

This is one of those things that I laughed harder than necessary at...and I hope you get a good chuckle out of it as well!  The next time you're lurking around a cemetery at night and see a couple of scared kids, give them something to tell they're grandchildren (or therapist) some day!  Happy Friday, everyone!  I'm still working through my January Ultimate Blog Challenge; I hope you'll join me here and at Theresa's Haunted History Facebook every day this month for plenty of ghost stories, haunted places, weird history, and of course...a weekly dose of spooky humor. 

Thursday, January 3, 2019

How Far Chief Cornstalk's Curse REALLY Goes

When conducting some research for a blog on Chief Cornstalk's curse on Pt. Pleasant, WV and how that curse may tie in with Mothman and/or the fall of the Silver Bridge on December 15, 1967, I came across an interesting little article from the Weekly Register, dated December 4, 1873. 

"A singular fate, which is said to issue from "Cornstalk's Curse" of Point Pleasant! seems to hang over our fair daughters in the city.  No sooner is one engaged (and that is not often enough considering the great number of marriageable girls) to marry than something intervenes to break off the match.  An instance of this kind happened a few evenings since, when a young man was parting from his adored at the gate, slipped on the pavement, and cut himself quite badly on a tin-type of his love, on which he hit in a sitting posture.  When the "love" discovered where he carried her picture, she was so enraged that she spoke her mind and abruptly said she would not wed him.  They parted---she to her room to cry, and he to Dr. Barbee, to have the pieces picked out."

So yeah.  It appears that this dude cut his butt cheeks (at least I hope that's where the area of the body they were hinting at) and had to go to the doctor to get pieces of a tin-type photograph plucked out of him because he kept his love's visage in his pants pocket as opposed to the breast pocket of his coat.  I think that's what they're getting at, right?  I would think if the Curse of Chief Cornstalk was really affecting the ability of eligible young ladies to find a husband, this girl might want to go ahead and overlook where her beau carries her photo.  Although...I'm not sure if I could personally overlook this whole debacle being published in the local newspaper!  I guess that would be a fun story to tell the grandchildren one day!

Just a quick bit of background information---Chief Cornstalk was a Shawnee leader in the area around what is today the Kanawha and the Ohio River Valleys.  In the 1770s, white settlers began reaching the area, and area tribes formed a coalition to keep them out.  Unfortunately, a battle for the land that took place in 1774 led to a number of colonists being killed, but twice as many Native peoples being wiped out.  Those who were left moved westward into Ohio to avoid further confrontation, and a fort was built at Pt. Pleasant, near the confluence of the Ohio and Kanawha Rivers.  Eventually, however, Chief Cornstalk attempted to make peace with the white settlers in the area, and relations were going well until 1777.  Late that year, the British were coaxing Native Americans to side with them in the American Revolution, and local tribes began making plans to attack the American colonists in the area.  Chief Cornstalk went to the fort to warn the colonists that an attack was imminent and that he would not stop his own men from joining in.

Cornstalk, as well as two other Natives were 'taken hostage' and kept in the fort. It is believed that this arrangement was voluntary, at least at first, as Chief Cornstalk's presence at the fort might cause the other tribes not to attack.  And when Cornstalk's son, Ellinipisco came to visit, he was also detained.  Unfortunately, just a few days later, two soldiers stationed at the fort were ambushed by Indians while out hunting.  In retaliation for the deaths of these two soldiers, fellow colonists at the fort massacred Cornstalk and the others in a brutal attack.  It is legend that with his dying breath, Chief Cornstalk cursed the people who settled the area for 100 years.

Throughout the 1800s, many people in Pt. Pleasant DID believe in the curse, at least to some extent.  The curse was quoted multiple times in area newspapers any time something actually bad happened, but also in a more tongue-in-cheek manner, as you can see in the article, transcribed above! And although the curse was only supposed to last 100 years, there are some who tie in both the appearance of Mothman and the fall of the Silver Bridge with the curse...both far cries from slicing open a young man's cheeks with a metal photograph!

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

David Morgan's Vision

Source: WV History on View
I absolutely love when a little supernatural lore makes its way into mainstream history! One such example can be found in the Marion County community of Rivesville. Along US 19 there is a unique historical marker, dedicated to an early pioneer in the region that is today West Virginia, David Morgan.  

David Morgan, known as The Great Indian Fighter, was the son of Colonel Morgan ap Morgan and brother to Zackquill Morgan, who founded Morgantown, WV. Born in 1721, David was a surveyor with George Washington in 1746 when the Fairfax Stone was laid, and fought in the French and Indian War.

In the late 1770's, David and his family had retired to the Prickett's Fort area near Fairmont. And, that's where legend and history collide.  It is said that in April of 1779, David Morgan, just shy of his 58th birthday, had taken ill.  As he lay in his sick bed, he had a feverish dream that two of his children had been attacked and were scalped and bleeding.  David awoke from this strange dream to find that his children had in fact, wandered away from the security of the cabin in search of a lost cow. He jumped from his sick bed, and yelled for his children to hurry back up the path to the home.

The children had just made it back when two Indians appeared from out of the woods and attacked.  David, though ill, managed to fight off and even kill one of the Indians. However, as he was fleeing, the other Indian threw a tomahawk directly at David's head.  David's life was spared as the quick-thinking frontiersman threw his hand up to shield himself, severing at least one finger in the process.

1995 David Morgan portrait by Kelley Ward
Prophetic dreams (also known as Veridical Dreams) are not uncommon among the superstitious Appalachian Mountain folk, and I know that certainly in my family, dreams foretelling the future were taken pretty seriously.  In the wild frontier that would become the state of West Virginia, sometimes that intuition and/or divine intervention...whichever you want to call it...was all that stood between you and death. 

David Morgan's prophetic vision may have saved his life as well as those of his children, and it certainly makes for a wonderful bit of folklore.  Unfortunately, some scholars don't believe this sick-bed vision ever actually happened.  Nevertheless, visitors to Rivesville near where the incident occurred, have been treated to this wonderful informational sign.  The sign is part of the West Virginia Highways Historical Markers Program, which was initiated in 1937.  Based on the photograph above, found at the WV History on View website, it looks like this sign was one of the originals placed in the 1930's and 1940's.  And, at least as recently as 2011, the sign still appears to be standing, as seen here in this Waymarking entry

David Morgan passed away on May 19, 1813.  He is buried in a private cemetery in Marion County. The Morgan Family was instrumental in shaping the history of what would become the great state of West Virginia, and thanks to a dire warning that came to him in a dream, David Morgan and two of his children were able to survive long enough to see some major changes come to the area. 

Further Reading:

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Welcome to a Spooky 2019!

Another year has gone by and while we say goodbye to 2018, we're charging full steam ahead into 2019! And...

Oh. My. Gosh.  Why do I keep doing this to myself?  Once again, I have signed up to participate in the Ultimate Blog Challenge.  That means that once again, I will be pushing myself to publish a brand new blog post EVERY single day throughout the month of January.  That's starting the year off with thirty-one new blog posts! 

It's not totally out of reach, though.  Although I nearly finished last April and totally bombed out last July, I rocked the October challenge, successfully publishing a new blog every day for the entire month.  Given that my favorite holiday, Halloween, awaited me at the end of the challenge made the whole thing a little easier.  There's just a lot to write about that time of year on a blog like this one!

I'm hoping that this challenge will just as easy as October's...and just as rewarding as well.  I think it's going to be an excellent way to kick off 2019!  Like always, I have tons of plans in store for where I want to take this blog, as well as where I want to take my work in the paranormal research field.  I'm not going to bother with any New Year's Resolutions or goals this year, other than I want to push my own comfort levels and make this year better than last.  I truly want those who read and/or follow my work to walk away informed, entertained, and maybe even a little bit inspired.

But what about you?  Do you have any paranormal related goals you're hoping to accomplish this year?  Are you starting or expanding a YouTube Channel, blog or social media group?  Are you starting or joining a new investigation group?  Do you have any really cool investigations coming up this year, or any haunted places you really want to hit up?  Any awesome books on your to-be-read list that deal with the paranormal?  Let me know how you plan on making 2019 your spookiest year yet!