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.

Thursday, December 12, 2019

The Flatwoods Monster Postcard

This may look like an ordinary postcard of the original Flatwoods Monster drawing, but it is actually one of my most prized pieces in my paranormal collection.  While it's true that this is a normal postcard that can be purchased at the Flatwoods Monster Museum, if you look closely, you'll see that it is hand-signed by Freddie May!  Freddie May was one of the young boys, who along with his mother, brother, and some other fellas, were the original witnesses to the creature back in 1952!

Awhile back, I received a message from Andrew Smith, who runs the Flatwoods Monster Museum, asking me for my address.  And, a few weeks ago, I received this wonderful gift in the mail with a very nice letter.  I had been chosen to receive one of these autographed postcards for my work in promoting the museum and sharing the legend of the Flatwoods Monster.  I gotta say....I was quite humbled to be given such an honor!  If you follow this blog, or follow me over on Theresa's Haunted History Facebook page, you know that I love the Flatwoods Monster and I am so thrilled to have seen this huge surge in interest in this unique case in recent years.  To anyone with an interest in the paranormal, ufology, or just the weird side of history, the Flatwoods Monster case is just such a cool case to study, and it's awesome to see the museum acting as a localized center for collecting and sharing information. Mr. Smith has done an excellent job in curating a collection of artifacts, connecting with witnesses and researchers, organizing community events, and so much more.  If you're anywhere near the Braxton County area, I highly suggest popping in and checking it out! 

I'd also like to extend a huge thank you to Andrew Smith for sending me this treasured piece! It truly is an honor to have received it.  I'd also like to thank Freddie May for signing these postcards and choosing to talk about his experiences. And, I'd like to thank everyone else out there who is writing about, making videos or podcasts or art about, or is in any other way sharing the legend of the Flatwoods Monster and keeping it alive. West Virginia is lucky to have such a fascinating case in its strange history, and we're even luckier that there are so many people out there dedicated to sharing the story.

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Krampus 2019

This past Saturday was a super busy day!  Luke was finishing up his first sleepover birthday party, then had to go to jiu-jitsu, and then had another birthday pool party later that afternoon!  Despite all that, we managed to make time for our annual family tradition: Pictures With Krampus!

This is our third year having our picture taken with Krampus at Mike Winland Studios in Charleston and every year we have a blast.  Mike is a wonderful photographer and his Krampus is the best I've seen!  Our pictures are always a great mix of creepy and hilarious and it really has become a fun, family holiday tradition to take Luke to see Krampus, who seems to remember him and is delighted to see him each year. I personally look forward to it even more than taking him to see Santa, lol.  This year, Luke showed some real bravery and even HUGGED Krampus before we left, which he talked about for days afterwards.  I'm proud of my boy, and I'm so happy that Mike and his staff have brought the opportunity to share a little spooky holiday culture with us, here in the tri-state!

Unfortunately, Krampusnacht 2019 is over...but if you missed pictures with Krampus at Mike's studio this past Saturday, you've still got a few other opportunities to meet Krampus!  Mike and Krampus will be at the Glade Springs Resort for the Fright Before Christmas haunted attraction on Friday the 13th!  Get tickets HERE.

There will also be pictures with a different Krampus available this Friday in Winfield, WV at Fear on the Farm's I'm Screaming of a Fright Christmas haunted attraction!

And lastly, Krampus will be making an appearance at the Sissonville branch public library on Thursday, December 19th from 6-8pm for photos! Check out their Facebook Event Page for more information. 

Krampus also made an appearance last Friday at Oddbird Gift Emporium in Charleston, but I had to miss it this year.  However, that was our very first Krampus experience back in 2016 and it was awesome.  Krampus and St. Nicholas arrived together and assured Luke that he had been a good boy that year, lol.  I'm really happy to see that so many locations throughout the Kanawha Valley are really embracing a little bit of history and culture, especially since I've got quite a bit of German ancestry myself. It's a nice change of pace from the usual Christmas activities and just a really fun tradition, at least in our family!

Friday, December 6, 2019

Making Spirits Bright: Paranormal Education Winter 2020

"Jingle bells, jingle bells, jingle all the way!" I'm going to be completely honest: as a child, this cartoon is pretty close to what I imagined that line, 'making spirits bright' actually meant! I know better now, but I still like the visual of ghosts going to school. I plan on keeping MY spirits 'bright' this winter by going back to school myself and taking a few paranormal courses.

Once again, the Parapsychology Foundation will be offering their completely FREE online parapsychology MOOC.  Registration begins January 13th, with the first two lectures going live January 18th and 19th.  You can sign up and learn more about the course and scheduled speakers HERE. I've taken this course for the past few years and its always really interesting.  There are some wonderful speakers lined up, covering some fascinating topics pertaining to the field of parapsychology.

I'm also hoping to take the new paranormal investigation course offered by WVGhosts.  This course is open to Patreon subscribers, so make sure you check out the link for more information on how you can sign up! Additional courses will be offered in the future.   And as always, I'll be reading anything and everything I can get my hands on pertaining to the paranormal, watching documentaries and lectures online, listening to podcasts, and attending as many conferences, conventions, expos, and other events as time and budget allows!  I'm a huge supporter of lifelong learning, and with a field as dynamic and as diverse as the paranormal field, there is always something new to learn or something to delve into a little deeper.

In addition to doing a lil' learning myself, I'm hoping to share the paranormal knowledge with all of you!  There will be some more educational-type articles and information posted on this blog and I plan on having a few days a month on social media dedicated to scientific-based articles, lectures, and other more academic based content.  If that's not necessarily your thing....don't worry.  There will still be PLENTY of haunted places, folklore, ghost stories, weird history, and all sorts of fun stuff posted on the blog, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

So, are you planning on taking any courses this year to enhance your knowledge of the paranormal field?  Are you attending (or speaking at) any awesome events?  Got any cool paranormal non-fiction books you'll be reading or shows you'll be watching?  Is there a special ghost, cryptid, or UFO related topic that you're hoping to learn more about in 2020?  Let me know in the comments below, or join me over on Theresa's Haunted History of the Tri-State Facebook Page!