Tuesday, November 21, 2023

Halloween 2023 Wrap-Up

I can't quite explain why, but the Halloween season is a bittersweet time for me. I love it; it's my favorite time of the year. But at the same time, I get really depressed as well. Part of it is hiraeth---an obscure word meaning homesickness for a time or place that no longer exists. I can never go back to the magic of the Halloween from my childhood. It's also partly FOMO-the fear of missing out on all the awesome NEW activities that are out there, that I just don't have the time or the energy to fit in. 

I've been a little mopey the past several of weeks thinking about all the things I didn't get to do this year. I didn't carve pumpkins for the first time in my entire life. I didn't decorate the new apartment. I didn't visit a haunted house/trail. Oh, and I only watched about a third of the Halloween movies I usually I watch each year. Today, however, I decided to stop feeling sorry for myself, and take a look back on the wonderful things I DID get to experience this year, including a couple of bucket-list items for me. Let's start with some of the activities I did with my group, Spectral Research and Investigations!

Brian dressed up at ready
to receive trick-or-treaters!

2023 was the start of our (hopefully!) annual Safe Trick-or-Treat, held at the Museum of Radio and Technology in Huntington. In the three hours we were open, we had well over 220 people come through the museum, where they were greeted by costumed members of the SRI team. We loaded them up on candy and non-food treats (we even had to make a store run halfway through!), and let them play games, participate in Halloween crafts, and of course, explore the museum itself. It was a wonderful way for us to give back to our community and introduce the museum to many new faces. Almost everyone we talked to either didn't realize the museum was even there, or had never had the opportunity to stop by. It was so awesome to see entire families dressed up and having a great time. Plans are already underway to make 2024 an even bigger event! 

Another community outreach service SRI offered this Halloween season was donating our services to the Cabell County Library's Halloween Gala. After the gala had concluded for the evening, SRI members led small groups of gala participants around the main branch library in search of ghosts, giving them a little history of the building's alleged haunts, and showing them how to use popular ghost hunting tech. We had done something similar last year, offering two separate public hunts of the main branch and the Gallaher Village area. Those events were so much fun and went so well that we were honored to be asked to return again this year to help raise funds for the library system.

The SRI team and the Uncovering
History team in front of the Lowe Hotel

The last big project that SRI worked on in October was a two-day on-location film shoot with the crew from Uncovering History! We joined the guys in Point Pleasant in search of the Mothman, starting with an investigation of the haunted and historic Lowe Hotel, and wrapping up with a wild romp through the TNT area. We did a little of our own filming as well, so I'll be sure to share when each of our videos premiers. We had a blast and got along so well with the crew that we've been asked to lend a hand on further adventures...more on that coming up soon!

Amidst all that chaos, I managed to work in some personal adventures as well, starting with attending MystiCon at the Ravenswood Public Library. MystiCon is an annual all-things spooky and Halloween event, offering guest speakers, vendors, and all kinds of other cool activities to get you in the mood for the season. I've already blogged about it (MystiCon blog) so I won't babble on, other than to say that this is a REALLY well put together event with some great speakers, and I look forward to hopefully vending next year. 

MystiCon 2023

My husband, who is trying to make a solid effort to join me on more of my spooky pursuits tagged along to MystiCon and had a great time. He didn't, however, care too much for another event I dragged him along to....

Okay, so ever since I saw the Halloween episode of King of the Hill with the Hallelujah House, I've wanted to experience that for myself. The problem was, I could never find a Hell House or Judgement House close by. This year, I started my search early, and found that Memorial Baptist Church in Beckley was offering a Judgement House AND it had a Sunday date that I could work into my schedule!  It was quite the experience. The place was packed, and that poor staff was trying their best to move the huge number of guests through as efficiently as possible, which meant that each 'scene' involved us being stuffed butt to gut with about 20 other people into a small viewing area. We got super up close and personal with our fellow patrons as we moved through the story line of a family just discovering church....only to be gunned down in a home invasion. 

It seems we were the only ones who were there ironically, lol. I won't get into the subject of religion other than to state that I wholly disagree with the message that was being preached. But, we watched as the mother went off to Heaven, while the father went off to Hell, which was the coolest scene in the whole production. Afterwards, we had to sit in a room with a preacher for an additional 30 minutes, not unlike a timeshare presentation. I was disappointed that this was not one of those Hell Houses that were really wild and gruesome in its coverage of multiple sins. It was fairly tame with one message at hand and one story line. Still, we remained absolutely respectful and left there knowing that we were surely going to Hell. 

Kenova Pumpkin House

The other bucket-list item I checked off for 2023 was my first visit to the Kenova Pumpkin House! I'll be dedicating a whole blog to this one, but the Pumpkin House is a internationally-known attraction, with thousands of carved and lit pumpkins on display. We went on Halloween night, and surprisingly, found a good parking spot. It was crowded, but not overwhelming, and plenty of food trucks and vendors were set up along the street to enhance the experience of seeing more jack-o-lanterns in one place than I'd ever seen before. It was kinda funny, though...the weather had been downright HOT that week, then wet, so there was quite a bit of visible mold on most of the pumpkins, which actually somewhat added to the Halloween atmosphere, lol.

Sadly, I have yet to bring back my own Halloween party, but I went to the St. Albans Paranormal Discussion Group's end of the year Halloween bash, and it was awesome! Games, costumes, prizes, good food and great friends were just what I needed to cheer me up. Ron Lanham of Wild and Weird made a little alien body cake that we all devoured, my team dominated Paranormal Trivia, and Denise Cyrus from the St. Albans Historical Society gave our group a special haunted walking tour of the town. Angie Breeden, who started the group with a young man named Barry, has done an excellent job with this group, and if you're interested in the paranormal at all, I'd highly suggest you follow on Facebook for updates! Meetings will resume in January 2024 and are held on the last Wednesday of the month at the St. Albans Historical Society.

Move over, Jaimie!
This alien was delicious

One last thing my husband joined me for was a Ghost Hunting 101 class with Tracey Perry. I attended Tracey's class last year as well, and both times have lucked out; I've walked away with the door prize! Last year I won a nice video camera, and this year I (well, my husband actually won, but....) walked away with a little ghost hunting kit.  It was a nice  presentation, and I'm always interested to see how other teams out there are operating, and I'm always willing to support my fellow investigators. I wrote about my experience last year HERE

Looking back over this super long list of things I did, I realize that I need to stop moping around! I did a LOT of cool things this Halloween season, and made some lasting memories with friends and family. I only hope that Halloween 2024 is as awesome as this year was. 

Tuesday, November 7, 2023

The Horse with a Halo

This spooky and strange tale can be found in Appalachian Ghost Stories and Other Tales, by James Gay Jones, originally published around 1975. If you'd like to hear me read the story in it's entirety, as written in the book, head on over to my TikTok account. But, read on for a more summarized version of this fascinating tale from the Leatherwood Creek area of Clay County, West Virginia. 

It seems that many years before the tale was collected, a family was being plagued by an odd apparition: a white horse with its head surrounded in a halo of ethereal light. One evening, this family was sitting on their front porch after dinner, enjoying each other's company and conversation. After awhile, they noticed the spooky horse trotting up the highway in front of their house. When it turned off the main road onto their lane, the family, understandably spooked, ran inside and took their positions at the windows to see what the horse would do next.

 As the horse reached the gate, it paused, snorted, then leaped over into their yard and on towards the house. By this point, the family was already getting pretty anxious. Some tried to get a better view out the windows, while others abandoned their post and started trying to find a place to hide! Meanwhile, the horse continued to approach the house, and within seconds had leaped up onto the porch. From this close-up view, the family could see that the horse was 'monstrously large,' had 'eyes shining like coals of fire,' and of course, the halo. 

The horse started stomping through the front door, sending the family fleeing out the back door and up the hill behind their house, where they hid behind the trees, waiting to see what else this fallen angel of a horse would do next. Fortunately, the horse did not pursue the family. Instead, it backed out of the house through the front door and into the yard. But, it didn't turn around and continue on down the road. Instead, it began to ASCEND into the sky, up and up until it had disappeared. However, it did leave a clue to it's existence. For some time after, a halo of light was observed around the moon. No one ever did figure out what this strange phenomenon meant, where it had come from, or where it went. 

Theresa's Note: This is an absolutely wild story to me, and I couldn't even begin to fathom what it all means, especially since we aren't given any more details about who the family was or what happened to them afterwards. Depending on your culture and interpretation, a white horse can symbolize death, but it can also symbolize purity and good fortune. The addition of a halo further denotes that this horse was a symbol of something divine, not evil, and some native tribes believe that a halo around the moon was either a sign of good luck or of change. Was it an omen foretelling the imminent death of a young and innocent family member? Was it a guide of sorts, guiding that soul to Heaven? Or did the family prosper following the sighting? Maybe it was just one of those weird things that aren't meant to be understood. 

Monday, November 6, 2023

The Man Who Wanted to Go Back

Wheeling Daily Intelligencer
4 January 1898

Hey, everyone! By now, regular readers to Theresa's Haunted History know that I love to share weird history, even if it isn't necessarily paranormal. I also like to share interesting tales from popular haunted hot spots that aren't necessarily related to the location's ghost stories. Today's blog is a two-for-one deal, covering both those themes. 

The story first came to my attention through an un-named author's account collected in West Virginia Heritage, Volume Two (1968) and was further confirmed through a newspaper article in the January 4, 1898 edition of the Wheeling Daily Intelligencer. The un-named author in the story was apparently a lawyer working in Clay County, West Virginia who represented Mr. William 'Bill' Dorsey, the Man Who Wanted to Go Back.

It started on Sunday, January 2nd, 1898 at the Big Sycamore Church in Clay County, a small location that served as a one-room schoolhouse during the week and held services during the weekend. On that particular Sunday, the preacher failed to show up for services, so Mr. Dorsey took over duties, leading the congregation in prayer and song, and even preaching a short sermon. After he dismissed the congregation, he hurried out the door. 

After many church services, the priest/preacher often greets and shakes hands with the congregation as they leave the church. But, familiar pleasantries were the furthest thing from Dorsey's mind. He waited until a young man named Benton Jarrett exited (who just happened to be chatting with and escorting Bill's wife out of the church building). Not saying a word, Dorsey pulled out his .38 caliber revolver and fired two shots at Jarrett. One of the bullets hit Jarrett in the stomach, killing him.

Dorsey turned himself in to authorities without incident. Due to the fact that he was the brother of Judge J.M. Dorsey of Clay County, the trial was moved to Parkersburg, under Judge Lew Tavenner. 

Dorsey's family, obviously in shock over the events that had transpired, insisted that he was insane, and his lawyer agreed to that defense. Per court order, he was examined by a panel of doctors, who couldn't agree on a diagnosis. Some believed he was insane, while others thought he definitely knew right from wrong. During the trial, his lawyer noticed that Dorsey was sweating profusely...but only on the right side of his head/face. The reason for this was a nasty scar on the left side of Dorsey's head, caused by a head injury sustained when a piece of lumber fell on him. The family claimed that he hadn't been the same, mentally, since that accident, and it was the cause of the insanity that led to tragedy.

Another factor used in the insanity defense was the rumor that Dorsey had shot Jarrett because he was jealous of the relationship between Jarrett and Mrs. Dorsey. However, everyone insisted that Mrs. Dorsey was a fine, loyal wife who never gave her husband reason to suspect her fidelity, so even if he WERE jealous, there was no reason to be, other than insanity.

The jury deliberated, but were torn. As a compromise, instead of offering up a charge of premeditated murder, which would have surely resulted in a hanging, they found Dorsey guilty of voluntary manslaughter, a charge carrying a penalty of 1-5 years in the state penitentiary at Moundsville. The judge decided on a sentence of two years for Dorsey.

As the trial concluded, Dorsey thanked his lawyer for his help in defending him and offered up a pretty damning detail: he told the lawyer he had actually waited for Jarrett in the woods over a period of three weeks, but he had never shown up. Wisely, the lawyer kept that tidbit to himself until many years later! Dorsey was transported north to the penitentiary, and it was said that the Warden himself remarked to the Sheriff chaperoning Dorsey on his trip that the man was obviously insane and should be in the state asylum, not prison.

Anyway, Dorsey served his two years, minus 4 months off for good behavior. Upon returning home to Clay County, he stopped by his former lawyer's office and asked for help in writing a letter to the governor. It seems as if Dorsey didn't want to leave the penitentiary. It was the 'best place he had ever been,' and wanted the governor to allow him to return. The lawyer promised to write the letter, but never did. 

It wouldn't matter. Dorsey would soon devise a plan to make it back. He went to go visit his adult daughter on Sycamore Creek. The daughter had several small children and Dorsey asked her how many she had now. When she replied that she had three, Dorsey pulled out a pocket knife, remarked that three was getting to be too many, and that he intended to thin them out. 

Understandably alarmed, the daughter ran to the neighbors for help, who in turn took Dorsey in to a local Justice on an insanity charge. But, Dorsey would NOT get his wish. He wasn't sent back to the WV State Penitentiary. Instead, he was found insane, and committed to the State Hospital in Spencer, where he died two years later. 


Tuesday, October 24, 2023

12 Foot Tall Humanoids in West Virginia

From The Twilight Zone 
"To Serve Man"
This is what I see when I read the description, lol!

In 1897, the little West Virginia town of Ogden was in the midst of an oil and gas boom. Located in Wood County, Ogden quickly became home to numerous drill sites dotting the former farm lands. Tycoons, businessmen, investors...all would descend upon the town in order to try their hand at making a fortune. However, that spring, another type of visitor would also show up.

According to sources, on April 21, 1897 a man witnessed an astonishing sight. This unnamed man observed a well-lit aerial object land nearby. Out of the craft came eight creatures, each 11-12 feet tall with disproportionately large craniums. As luck would have it, these creatures spoke English, and told the man they were there, "exploring the planet." Further, they were observed eating small pills and 'drinking air.'  This crew remained in Ogden for about an hour before taking off again.

Okay, wow. That's quite a story! Unfortunately, that's all there currently is to it. Researcher Albert Rosales included this little blurb about a run-in with giant UFO occupants in his book, Humanoid Encounters and Others Among Us: 1 A.D.-1899. He cites HIS source as a book by Phillip  L. Rife called It Didn't Start with Roswell.  The case was also mentioned in Strange West Virginia Monsters, by Michael Newton, which is where I first heard it and began my (feeble) attempts to track down more information. 

Although all three books recount the exact same details, no more no less, Newton's book did offer a little insight into where this tale may have possibly come from. It seems as if, despite Rife's jumbled notes, the story most likely came from an article in the Parsons Advocate, a newspaper out of Tucker County, WV, located over 2 hours away, all the way across the state from Ogden. The article allegedly appeared in the April 23, 1897 edition, but neither Newton nor myself have been able to get ahold of an archival copy. 

So, I'll have to take Rife's word on it, I guess! But, I think there are some important things to consider when looking at the authenticity of the sighting. If we put away how much like an episode of Scooby Doo this reads as (shady oil and gas tycoons scaring off potential threats to their claims), there is some contemporary precedence for this event. 

While I haven't gotten a chance to read further than the free Google Books preview, Rife's work documents a huge number of both 'ufos' and encounters with the beings inside them dating from late 1896 into 1897. In fact, West Virginia was no stranger to this flap of reported 'phantom airships' that were seeming moving east across the United States during this time frame. 

On April 19, 1897, only TWO DAYS before this weird encounter, witnesses in Sistersville, WV reported seeing red, white, and green flashing lights in the sky. When observed through 'strong glasses,' witnesses could see an 180 foot, cone-shaped craft with fins on either side. It was seen for at least 20 minutes, but seemingly it never landed in that area. (Read Sistersville Phantom Airship)

Sistersville is only about 35 miles north of Ogden, both being right along the Ohio River and accessible via today's Route 2. Was the craft seen in Ogden the same one seen two days earlier only 35 miles north in Sistersville? Or, was the story made up, playing on the sheer number of other newspaper articles from various other locations all reporting weird phantom airships and/or strange humanoid encounters?

There's a good chance we'll never know just how true this story was...but one last thing to consider. Remember how I said Ogden was located in Wood County, West Virginia? Around 70 years later, Wood County would be the location of ANOTHER humanoid from a spaceship encounter...possibly one of the most famous in modern ufo history. In early November 1966, Woodrow Derenberger, returning home to Mineral Wells from a business trip in nearby Marietta, OH would meet a fellow who would call himself Indrid Cold. But, that story is for another day! 

Keep your eyes to the skies!

Wednesday, October 11, 2023

The Wild Man of Mason County

Robert Hannaford
Self Portrait as a Wild Man

It has been a minute, but I wanted to bring you all another Wild Man Wednesday blog! This particular wild man doesn't appear to be a Bigfoot or Sasquatch, but an actual human. Still, the story is pretty interesting!

Back on October 27, 1897, the Point Pleasant newspaper, The Weekly Register, ran not one, but TWO small pieces about a Wild Man who had been seen for awhile in an area of Mason County called Coal Hollow. Coal Hollow was a local hunting area known for an abundance of rabbit and squirrel. For several weeks, at least, area residents would see a very large man. When approached and questioned, he refused to talk. And, when spotted, would disappear back into the dark ravine. 

Residents speculated as to who this strange man may be, and it was largely believed that he must be an escaped lunatic OR a member of a group of escaped highway men from Meigs County, Ohio. Whoever is was, he was blamed for setting a series of mysterious and destructive fires at area farms. 

Fast forward almost three years later to June 6, 1900. The Weekly Register posted another article about a wild man in Mason County. Described as having hair 5 feet long, and arms 5 feet long, and wearing an old pair of boots, this particular wild man may or may not be the same one seen in 1897. This time, the unkempt stranger was being seen along Mission Ridge, near West Columbia. That's about 35 miles from Coal Hollow. 

And, unlike the Coal Hollow wild man, this particular wild man DID speak. Believed to make his home in the nearby caves, when hungry, the man would come to local farms and order the women-folk to prepare him a meal. 

One house he sought sustenance from was the Edwards residence. He was given an adequate lunch, but the wild man insisted that he be allowed to sit at the table and dine with the family. He stated that he was good enough to eat with President McKinley himself. Mr. Edwards didn't agree, and a verbal altercation broke out. That fight devolved into a physical altercation, and no more was mentioned about the Mason County Wild Man. At least...not that I've found yet, but the hunt continues!

So, what do you all believe? Was this an escaped asylum patient, or even a criminal on the run? Were these two incidents, three years and 35 miles apart, even the same person? Let me know in the comments what YOU think! 

The Weekly Register
27 October 1897
Page 4

The Weekly Register
27 October 1897
Page 1

The Weekly Register
06 June 1900

Monday, October 9, 2023

2023 Ravenswood MystiCon

On Saturday, October 7th, the Ravenswood Public Library in Ravenswood, WV hosted its second annual Ravenswood MystiCon! This sleepy lil' river town really knows how to capitalize off its spooky name and come together to put on a really nice FREE smaller-scale paranormal convention.

I didn't attend last year, and honestly debated as to whether or not I was going to this year, as there was actually another event that same day that I was interested in attending. I'm really glad I gave it a shot, though! We arrived about 15-20 minutes after the event started and found ample parking nearby. We gave a quick peruse of the outside vendors, before heading in to say hello to this year's speaker line-up. Being in the field as long as I have, I knew just about everyone scheduled to speak!

After a bit of small talk, JR (yeah, my husband made a rare appearance!) and I went to find seats and settled in to listen to the speakers. Hearing the lectures on various paranormal topics is always my favorite part of any convention. I like to keep up with the research being done in this field, and I'm always down with learning new snippets of information. As we were waiting, we took note of the extensive and creative decorations adorning every available space in the library, giving it a fun, spooky, magical feel.

Tony Breeden

Tony Breeden was the first speaker we had the pleasure of listening to, and he gave a humorous and fact-filled talk all about WV's very own controversial ufologist, Gray Barker. Since I know Tony from the monthly St. Albans Paranormal Discussion Group, I was already familiar with his views on Barker, but it was a really fun refresher on such a fascinating topic. Next up was Ashley Hilt, a Fortean researcher and podcast host (On Wednesdays We Talk Weird) who specializes in the topic of Mothman. She gave an interesting talk about the Men in Black phenomenon, and even shared her own crazy encounter with a possible MIB. Her talk was also very informative, and hilarious at times. As a bonus...I got to sit next to Linda Sigman during the presentation! Linda is an original Mothman witness who spoke about her experiences at this year's Mothman Festival. I also picked up a copy of her book while in Pt. Pleasant, so I was happy to get the chance to tell her how much I enjoyed it. 

Ashley Hilt 

We had a brief interlude after Ashley spoke, so we grabbed a snack from the food trucks. I had a yummy chicken fajita from Jimmy Avocado's.  As the temperature had recently plummeted, we hurried back inside to settle in for the next speaker. While waiting, I checked my phone, and my sister had another pleasant surprise for me: an interview on ghost hunting I gave to Amanda Larch that had been published in the Charleston Gazette the previous weekend had been posted online as well! My sister sent me the link and saved me a physical copy of the newspaper! 

Ron Lanham

Ron Lanham, who also appeared in the article, speaking about Wild and Weird West Virginia, was up next. He spoke on a variety of things going on in the paranormal field and within his own research. I'd heard quite a bit before from other presentations (seriously, at this point, I feel like a Wild and Weird Groupie, with all the events I follow them to, lol) but there was some never-before-seen footage from their investigation of the RAVENSWOOD LIBRARY! Seems like this little community hub is home to spooky things more than just once a year! As always, Ron's talk was excellent, and he had plenty of embedded QR codes for further information, which is a really cool touch.

The last speaker we saw was WV author, researcher, and TV personality Dave Spinks. Dave talked a little about UFOs, cryptids, AND ghosts/hauntings, mainly in West Virginia, but also those pertaining to his research worldwide. Even though I had heard Dave speak before, there were a lot of stories and details that I hadn't heard previously, so that was awesome. Plus, he even took a minute to shout out my blog, so that was super appreciated as well!

Dave Spinks 

After Dave spoke, we did one final lap around the inside-vendors, picking up a hot chocolate bomb for Luke, and a weird little musical instrument for JR. I snagged some books from both Tony and Dave, and JR picked out a UFO art print of Ron's...which, get this: using the app Artivive, MOVES. It's the coolest/freakiest thing I've seen in a long time, lol. 

Anyway, we had a lot of fun, despite the fact that we didn't really take advantage of all the cool things on offer. There was also a costume contest going on, an Escape Room, photo booth, psychic readings, door prizes (we were there between 12:15 and 4:45 and never heard these called?), LOTS of merch, and live music later in the day. But, I got to see what I really wanted to see...and that was my paranormal family. My earlier years in this field were filled with groups not getting along and not working together, and even though that's still true for many areas, I feel like I've finally found a supportive community that works together to further this field along. Of course, I love spending every minute I can with like-minded people doing like-minded things, making this weekend another incredible one!

Thursday, October 5, 2023

A Frankenberger Follow-Up

This is the photo by Dick Johnson allegedly
showing the shadow figure(s). Unfortunately,
this copy is too dark to see anything!

Hey everyone! It's officially Spooky Season, and despite the fact that I last mentioned it almost two years ago, I wanted to post a follow-up to the Frankenberger Mansion in Charleston, WV! This location came to my attention via a modern-day story on it ran by a local news station. That article was fun, and it inspired me to look into the history behind the turn-of-the-century home turned broadcast station, but details about the actual reported paranormal activity were kinda...sparse. But, thanks to newspaper archives, I was able to find a story from the Charleston Sunday Gazette Mail dating back to 1972, which delves a little deeper into eyewitness reports. The smell of perfume, LOTS of phantom footsteps, and a wayward hat are pretty much what was experienced by everyone who worked there.

I've transcribed the article from the 19 March 1972 edition of the Charleston Sunday Gazette Mail below for your Halloween-time reading pleasure!


By Terry Marchal

Al Sahley, the rotund radio man, arrives at WCHS in the deep, dark hours before dawn. The minute he steps inside the main door of the television-radio building on Virginia St. E., he starts talking to a ghost.

"Ghost," he says, "I know you're in here. Just let me know you're around. You can have a cup of coffee with me if you want. But don't do anything. I don't like surprises."

Sahley has never seen the ghost. He has never experienced anything unusual. But he sincerely believes the spirit is there.

"A lot of people laugh at me," he said. "But I really believe in the thing. Too many things have happened to too many people around here. It couldn't possibly be a practical joke."

For several years, incidents around the older section of the WCHS building complex have kept alive the belief that a ghost wanders in the nighttime.

Hats being knocked from heads. Puffs of cold air blowing through closed-up rooms. Strange odors. Eerie noises. Footsteps in deserted areas. Slamming doors. Flickering lights.

The WCHS complex is built around an old three-story Virginia Street home. Although a newly built front section and an adjoining television building have hidden the outer views of the old house, it's still there. And that's where the ghost is said to stay.

"Nothing ever happens in the newer television section," Sahley said. "And the incidents mostly occur in the upper two floors of the old house."

Sahley said the house was once owned by the Frankenberger family. The radio man said he has tried to dig up some history of the house, something that might account for the presence of the ghost. So far he has found nothing. "But I'll keep trying," he said "because I know the ghost exists. 

Dick Johnson, director of photography at the station, also believes in the ghost. He thinks it's a female.

"Well, there have been perfume odors," he said. "So, I figure it must be a woman."

Like Sahley, Johnson talks to the ghost. He calls it "honey." He said "I guess as long as you talk nice to it, it won't bother you."

Johnson may have taken a picture of the spirit of WCHS.

He once set up a camera on time exposure overnight in an office at the station. When he processed the resulting picture, two shadowy images were apparent.

"It could have been someone who came in to get a coat and created a shadow on the time exposure," he said. "But I like to believe it's the ghost."

Gene Brick, chief engineer, also believes that talking to the ghost keeps its bothersomeness limited.

Brick said his hat was knocked from his head a couple of times one evening. At first he thought it was done by a fellow human. When he realized there was no one around him, he assumed that the hat had been knocked off by a string dangling from an overhead light.

"But the string was five or six feet away from me," he said. "So I turned around and said "Ghost, why don't you stop bothering people around here?"

That was the last trouble he had with the spirit, Brick said. 

When art director Butch Armstrong first came to WCHS 20 months ago, he had a harrowing experience.

The art department is on the top floor of the old section. A storeroom adjoins the art room. 

"I don't believe in ghosts," Armstrong said, "but when some strange thing happens that you can't explain, you can't discount it."

Armstrong was working in the art department one night when the lights suddenly went out. He said he went to a master switch and circuit breaker next to the storeroom door. But flicking the switches failed to bring the lights on again.

Armstrong said he had a hint of perfumey odor near the storeroom. In the darkness he opened the storeroom door. 

"When I opened that door," he said "the odor filled the entire art department. It was a sweet musty odor like that of an old trunk that's just been opened."

"I had a morbid feeling as if a cold wind had swept past me. But all the windows were closed. I backed away from the storeroom door. Then the odor faded and the lights came on."

Armstrong said he didn't think too much of it. "I'm a believer in logic and there must be some explanation," he said. "But it wasn't my imagination. I didn't even know about the ghost at the time."

The art director said there are often footsteps around the upper floors of the building.

"They are distinct footsteps. Sometimes you hear them approach from behind, but there's no one there when you turn to look. I once had an assistant run out on me one night after hearing the footsteps."

Armstrong said the footsteps may be explained by the acoustics of the building, that they could possibly be an echo from some other section where someone is walking.

"But there are very few people in this building who will come upstairs alone after dark to investigate noises."

Bob Hamlin, assistant operations manager, agreed. 

"There are a lot of unexplainable  happenings," he said.

One night, Hamlin was working after midnight on a videotape project with Gary Lashinsky of National Shows Inc. 

Although all the offices were locked and deserted and the lights turned out on one of the upper floors, they heard a banging noise from the area.

"When we went to check," Hamlin said, "we found all the doors open and all the lights on." Still, he said, the floor was deserted of other human existence.

"We turned out all the lights and relocked the doors," Hamlin said. But shortly after they returned downstairs they again heard the noise.

Returning to the area, they once again found all the locked doors swung open and all the lights on.

"This ghost has a thing with lights," Johnston said. "I was here one New Year's Eve--just stopped by to pick something up--and a fluorescent light above my desk that had never worked suddenly came on. "It hasn't worked since," he said.

"I walked into a hallway and around a corner and said to the ghost, "Hey, Honey. Happy New Year." My wife was with me. I went back to the office and got her and said, "Let's get out of here."

Commercial film coordinator Charles Martin had a "frightening experience" one night.

It was last summer. He was alone on the third floor, preparing to pack up a projector. 

"There was suddenly this sickening sweet perfumy odor you wouldn't believe. An eerie feeling came over me, just as though someone had slipped up behind me and started running their fingers up and down my back."

Martin said all the windows were closed, that there was no breeze in the room. Suddenly the door slammed shut and locked. 

"That door is next to impossible to lock," he said. "You really have to work with it. But it locked by itself."

"Naturally I was scared. I ran to the door and it wouldn't open right away. When I finally managed to get it unlocked and open, I ran downstairs.

He said newsmen Roy Brassfield and Jane Martin had to sit with him for about 20 minutes before he was calm enough to drive home.

"When I'm working alone upstairs now, "Martin said, "I tie the doors open. I know a lot of people laugh at people experiencing things like this, but I say wait until it happens to you. I was scared and I admit it."

Jane Martin, the pretty blonde TV weather girl, said she has experienced noises when there's no one around. 

"Some of them can be explained," she said. "Once, I was fixing some coffee and reached for a paper towel when I heard the floor squeaking as if someone was walking. But there was nobody there."

It was explained to her, however, that the tile floor often popped or squeaked a few seconds after someone had walked by, a natural occurrence. 

"But I tend to believe there is a ghost," Mrs. Martin said. "There are some things that haven't been explained. I once heard shuffling noises in a corner when there was absolutely no one there."

Engineer John Barker said there is a WCHS janitor who refuses to go to upper floors after dark because of the footstep noises he has heard.

"There are noises all around here at night," he said. "We used to have a lot of break-ins around the building and when we hear noises, we always go check them out. But we never find anything."

Barker said there are very few people who will travel alone to upper floors at night. 

"They always go in groups," he said. The footsteps are frequent. Nearly everyone in the building at night has heard them at one time or another.

"People hear the footsteps in the hall," Charlie Martin said, "and open a door to look. There's no one there. You hear them in the same room with you when there's no one there but you."

"There are a lot of people around here who laugh at the idea," he said, "but I'm a firm believer that there's a spook in this building."

The other morning, Charles Ryan, the news director, banged on the door of the control room and moaned softly. 

"There were people inside," he said "but they wouldn't open the door to investigate. Around here, nearly everyone believes."

Does Charles Ryan believe?

"Well, I don't know. Are there such things as ghosts?"

Before WCHS refronted the old house, it looked as though it certainly should be haunted.

Art Linkletter once visited WCHS. As he stepped from a car on Virginia Street and looked up at the old building, he said: "I thought they filmed The Munsters in California."