Friday, January 17, 2020

Pressing Questions: Familiars

If I were a witch and had my own familiar, I'd totally be the type of witch who'd baby-talk my little demonic helper!  In fact, my son once told me that our black cat, Ichabod, was my familiar and I baby-talk to her all the time.  I'm not sure where he learned what a familiar is...but it makes sense to me!

Anyway, according to a Wikipedia article on familiars, the image above is of a witch and her familiar spirits, taken from a publication that dealt with the witch trials of Elizabeth Stile, Mother Dutten, Mother Devell and Mother Margaret in Windsor, 1579.

Happy Friday, everyone! 

Friday, January 3, 2020

Cold Hands: My Experience at the Ridges (Athens, Ohio)

Are your hands ALWAYS cold?  Mystery solved! Personally, this is one issue I don't have to deal with, although I do have a fitting story about holding hands with a ghost!  Way back in the spring of 2002, my friend and I went to visit another friend at Ohio University in Athens, Ohio.  The entire TOWN of Athens seems to have a spooky past, with plenty of ghost stories associated with the campus itself.  While visiting, we went to check out The Ridges, a former asylum complex that the school had taken over.  A local guy who our friend had met while at school was showing us around the outside of some of the buildings and giving us a little history lesson on the area. When we got to the area where the former children's building was, my two friends decided to stay in the car, while I went up the hill with this local guy to where the building was located.  We were only up there a few minutes when we heard screaming coming from the car, so we started back off down the hill.  As I walked away from the building, I felt something cold touch my hand, causing me to just sort of freeze in place.  I'm thinking this dude is getting a little too handsy, but I look and he's already halfway down the hill, way too far away from me to have touched me.  After I realized that I was alone, I realized that the touch really did feel like a small child slipping his or her hand into my hand.  I took a second to look back at the building, and gently tell whoever or whatever had touched me that I had to go now and that it needed to stay there.

As far as I know, nothing followed me home that evening.  As for the screaming coming from the car---my friends had been trying to operate the micro-cassette recorder I had borrowed from my mom for ghost hunting purposes, lol.  Somehow, the recorder got put into fast-forward mode, and they were startled at the crazed, chipmunk-like voices of one of my mom's meetings being played back! The next morning, my friend and I returned to the area for some day-time photos.  This one is of me on the stairway to the building where the incident occurred. My little visitor who held my hand the night before was nowhere to be found, but I walked away from the experience grateful that I had had the opportunity for such an interaction.

 Anyway, if you suffer from constantly cold hands, just make sure to mention it to your doctor in order to rule out any circulatory or other issues.  Also, this cute lil' graphic comes from In Your Face Cake. You can check them out on Twitter and Instagram for more comics!

My experience at the Ridges wasn't the only time in my life where I believe I physically interacted with a ghost!  As I was rushing down the hallway of my mom's house, I think I may have crashed right into (or through) our disembodied roommate!  You can read all about that experience here:  The Day I Walked Through a Ghost

Thursday, January 2, 2020

Bellaire's Sheeted Apparition

It's time for a Throwback Thursday vintage newspaper article!  Today's historic ghost story comes from the December 7, 1892 edition of the Wheeling Register.  It seems that the town of Bellaire, Ohio, located right across the river from Wheeling, WV, was being haunted by your classic sheet-wearing ghost.  But, was it really the spirit of William Barnard...or someone playing a prank? This article can be found on the Chronicling America website.

A ghost had been bothering some of the people of the Fifth ward for some time. The white apparition would appear after nightfall and flit around frightening nervous people and creating great excitement in that usually quite neighborhood. Three or four young men who did not believe in ghosts thought they would run down the spook.  Hiding in the barn on the premises of the late Wm. Barnard, about eight o'clock p.m., they had not long to wait until his ghostship made his appearance.  The young men, now badly frightened themselves, waited until the spook got within easy reach of them and made a grab for it.  This frightened the ghost, and while the young men with hair on end stood holding the white sheet which they had torn from the ghost, the thing which had eluded their grasp bounded away at a 2:40 gait toward the Bellaire Nail Works, and has not been seen since.  The young men are positive, however, that the thing they failed to capture resembled a man. 

Wednesday, January 1, 2020

Goodbye, 2019....Hello 2020!

Happy New Year!  It's time to say goodbye to 2019...and hello to 2020.  This has been a crazy year. I met my husband in January and got married in March.  My mom battled (and won!) against breast cancer. My tiny boy turned DOUBLE DIGITS! I've spent many a day traveling between Hurricane and Grafton, and many a night sitting in hospital rooms. 

With all the craziness going on, this blog has suffered, and to my regular readers, I apologize.  As life is settling back into a routine, I'm ready to get back to bringing you all the coolest ghost stories, haunted locations, urban legends, and just anything and everything spooky related to West Virginia, Ohio, Kentucky and beyond!  To kick start a new year of new content, I'll once again be doing the Ultimate Blog Challenge.  That means there will be a new blog post every day throughout January.  I have failed miserably during the last few challenges, so I'm hoping the motivation of a new year will give me the boost I need to make it through this time. 

If you don't already, please follow me on Facebook for lots of fun and spooky articles, photos, and much more!  It's also the best place to contact me with your questions, comments, and suggestions for haunted locations. Pop on over and let me know if you have any paranormal-related New Year's resolutions, or if you have any awesome investigations, trips to haunted locations, conferences/events, books, podcasts, or anything else spooky coming up in 2020 that'd you'd like to share! You can also find me on Twitter and on Instagram. 

I hope you and yours have a safe and happy New Year, and that 2020 is a great year for you.  Thank you so much for continuing this journey with me as my blog and my involvement in the paranormal community has evolved, shifted, be put on hold, etc.!  I appreciate all the support and kind words you've shown me over the years.  In a few weeks, this blog will be celebrating its NINTH anniversary!  


Curious as to what the Top 3 blog posts of 2019 were?  Here's what people were reading and sharing the most this year!

3. David Morgan's Vision---Early West Virginia pioneer, David Morgan, had a sickbed vision that saved the lives of his children from an Indian attack. This tale of supernatural intervention has been passed down from generation to generation, and there is even a historical marker documenting the prophetic dream.

2. Mason County's Mysterious Skeletons---A newspaper from 1821 shares the news of four giant skeletons found in a burial mound, located on a Mason County, WV farm. Folklore is full of claims that West Virginia's Adena burial mounds contain giant skeletal remains of a race of people long forgotten.

1. The Sistersville Stocking Lady---There's a tombstone in Sistersville, WV with a highly damaged carving of an angelic woman atop.  Local legend states than anyone foolish enough to touch the 'Stocking Lady' will meet a horrible fate.