Sunday, April 22, 2012

Dr. Grimes' Part 3: Carla's Story?

  We have another update in the Dr. Grimes' saga:

Up until just recently, I had only really concentrated on Lavina, as she was the main suspected entity and there was so much controversy surrounding her death.  However, I've recently also started exploring some other aspects of the original history we were told.  One such example is the story of a baby girl drowning in the bathtub at the house.  We were originally told that Dr. Grimes had spoken to a woman who lived nearby who told him the story of a mother who had left her baby in the bathtub, and returned to find the infant dead.  She took the infant across the street to a doctor's office, but it was too late.

We weren't sure of an exact year, but thought it happened in the 60s.  Luckily, a neighbor who witnessed the event was found, and said this event happened in 1955.  Going on just that alone, I searched individual death certificates through the WV State Archives website until I found one that matched the description.

Ten month old Carla Dianna Taylor drowned at 1121 20th Street in May of 1955.  A newspaper article confirmed the story, and provided additional details that matched the original story.  However, the main concern was the address...1121 is next door to Dr. Grimes' office, but its too big of a coincidence not to take note!

I have transcribed the newspaper article for future researchers through GenDisasters, and will post a link to it below.  Now, comes the daunting task of trying to find out if there is any substance to the alleged newspaper article about a man named John hanging himself at the location!

Article on Drowning
Lavina's Story

For more updates on this story as they are made available, follow Theresa's on Facebook:
Theresa's Haunted History of the Tri-State FaceBook

Friday, April 20, 2012

HPIR at the Conference for the Cure

This is another reason why I love the HPIR team!  Several months ago, I had received a FaceBook invitation for a paranormal conference that was being held at the Nitro Moose Lodge.  The conference, hosted by the Original West Virginia Paranormal, was a benefit event to raise money for a two-time cancer survivor, Carri-Ann Simmons.  I had planned on going...and then totally forgot all about it until it came up on my calendar.

With only a little over a week to go until the conference, I asked the HPIR crew if anyone wanted to come with me, just as a public guest.  I was expecting maybe one or two at most, but SEVEN us decided to go!  Since admission was $15 a person, but a vendor table with two adult tickets was only $30, we decided to go ahead and pick up two tables--one for HPIR the investigation team, and another to specifically showcase our Haunted and Historic Guyandotte Tours.

Melissa, our group founder and president, put together some wonderful displays, and our new signage arrived on Friday, just in time!  Our tables were definitely bright and cheery...and very professional looking!  They definitely were noticeable, and our group was recognized right away during a local news station's cut-away.

There were some interesting speakers at the event, and HPIR even got a chance to be a part of one of the speakers' presentation!  Robyne Marie, a well-known "photo scryer," actually used some of our display photos  to "read."  What she came up with was pretty interesting.  Her analysis of one of our photos can be found below.

Robyne Marie is also a psychic medium, and several members of our team had readings done, which turned out to be eerily accurate.  In fact, one such reading sparked this weekend's trip to the cemetery to track down a little boy that one of our investigators had following her!  More on that later.

Another favorite speaker of the group was Billy Bean, a gentleman who was featured on A Haunting.  He told his terrifying story, and conference-goers were treated to a screening of the television show.   Mr. Bean was quite an interesting and compassionate guy.  HPIR's Lynne and I met him afterward, got several photos with him, and even bought his book (which I haven't had time to read yet).

Aside from the book and some nachos, I was able to control my spending, although it was pretty tempting. There was a guy selling dolls, and well, PIECES of dolls, lol.  There was also some beautiful jewelry on sale from Mountain Mama's.  Since it was for charity, I did splurge a little on raffle tickets.  I bought one $5 raffle ticket, and 4 $1 tickets.  It definitely paid off!  I won the $5 raffle for 3 tickets for a daytime historic tour at Moundsville!

I wasn't the only HPIR member that got lucky with the raffle tickets!  HPIR definitely won its fair share of prizes, including two more of the $5 prizes.  Unfortunately, as we were leaving, I had given my remaining raffle tickets away and from the elevator, I could hear them call my number for another $1 prize, lol.  Oh well...we had fun together as always, contributed significantly to a wonderful cause, and represented HPIR all at the same time.  We even managed to set up a joint investigation at one of our favorite locations, TBA.

A big thank you goes to the Original West Virginia Paranormal for putting on this conference and contributing to such a worthy cause!

Robyne Marie's analysis of our Bruce Chapel Photo

All photos property of Melissa Stanley and HPIR

Alexander Campbell Mansion

The former home of the father of the Restoration Movement and Bethany College founder, Alexander Campbell, is located just outside of Bethany.  It was built in stages between 1795 and 1840, and at one time, housed up to 20 people.  It was a social hub of both the college and of the Restoration Movement.

Included in the complex is a detached brick building.  This hexagonal-shaped building was home to Alexander Campbell's personal study.  Within its walls lectures were prepared, sermons were written, and perhaps...a ghost still walks.  Visitors to the unique structure have reported seeing the apparition of Alexander Campbell himself, pacing the study's floors.

Mr. Campbell's ghost isn't the only one said to still inhibit the grounds, however.  Other witnesses claim that the ghost of Mr. Campbell's young son, Wickliffe, is also still around, making his presence known....

Wickliffe Campbell was born in 1837, and was a loving, adventurous young boy.  In 1847, his father was away on business in England when tragedy struck.  It was a fairly hot September, so Wickliffe, along with two of his father's grandsons who were attending Bethany College at the time, went swimming in nearby Buffalo Creek.  It was a Saturday afternoon, and the child got away from the older boys.  After many attempts to resuscitate him, he passed away on September 4th.  He was just ten years old.

A soccer ball that mysteriously rolled across the field toward Buffalo Creek was believed to be a sign of Wickliffe's presence by those who witnessed the incident.  I'm not sure of the layout of the area, but we'll just assume for now that gravity had nothing to do with it *wink*

Note:  This location came to my attention from a message board post several years ago at  That post was lost with the board upgrade, but as I was clearing out my files, I was quite relieved to see that I had written down the details of the alleged haunting for further research.  I have yet been able to find anyone who can verify these legends, so if you have information on the ghosts of the Alexander Campbell family, please let me know!  Also, be sure to check out my entry for the God's Acre Cemetery, where the Campbell family is buried!

National Register Listing

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Bruce Chapel Ghost Photo

In February of 2012, HPIR was asked to make a return trip to Bruce Chapel, a small, historic church located in Mason County.  While the night was fairly uneventful, everyone was quite pleased when the evidence analysis yielded the following picture, which I've dubbed "Carrie's Ghost."

The photo in question was taken as HPIR members were wrapping up the investigation, and reeling in cables.  If you look to the right of investigator Carrie (on her left) you'll see a shadowy anomaly.  The camera used was a digital, full-spectrum camera, and the photo was taken by HPIR president and founder, Melissa Stanley.  HPIR has tried to recreate this anomaly, and has tried in vain to find a natural explanation...yet as much as we try, this photo cannot be neatly wrapped up with a textbook explanation.

A common theory as presented on the HPIR FaceBook page is that this is simply either part of Carrie's hood, or the shadow of such.  However, if you blow the photo up and look closely, it becomes apparent that it is not "attached" to her, and does not follow the same curvature of her hood.

Others believe it was a discoloration on the wall--another theory that is ruled out by comparison photos of the same area, showing nothing in that area.  Some simply believe that it was another person in the room, crouching down.  In fact, that's what Melissa thought before she presented it to the rest of the group for further analysis.  However, all investigators are accounted for at this time, and for one of US to have been in that area, the rest of the body would have been visible.

I personally researched the theories that it was either an IR shadow, or some other digital artifact caused by the full spectrum camera in combination with the overhead lights.  Again, as much as I tried, I couldn't make the shape and texture fit into a neat little scientific explanation.  Every comparison shot I studied just didn't match up.  So, at this point in time, the photo is not necessarily being toted as evidence of the paranormal, but rather, "unexplained."

To many of our viewers, however, this picture does show proof of the afterlife.  Many who view the photo claim to see a small African-American child, curiously checking out what is going on.  Some have claimed its a boy, and others claim it is a girl.  I honestly cannot fathom how someone gets a gender or race from the blob, but I do admit that it is "head shaped," and that the idea of it being an African-American child could coincide with the history of the location, which contains a small slave cemetery for the original family's slaves.

Whether this is a legitimate photo of an apparition or not, it has certainly caused a lot of local buzz!  After posting this on FaceBook, we had a handful of shares, which yielded an exponential increase in our page likes!  It seems like everyone wanted to see this picture for themselves, and comment on it.  And, surprising to me, the vast majority of commentators truly believed that we had captured something paranormal.

The mystery of "Carrie's Ghost" became even more intriguing this past weekend, as HPIR members partook in a local paranormal conference.  One of the speakers for the conference was Robyne Marie, a psychic medium with the unique ability of "photo scrying."  As part of her presentation, we were asked to submit some photos for her to analyze, and "Carrie's Ghost" was one of them. 

While the anomaly wasn't mentioned, Robyne Marie did pick up SOMETHING in the photo.  What she allegedly saw was an elderly lady in the second pew, kneeling in prayer.  She psychically told the woman that she wasn't sure if this was a church or a courthouse, or what.  The lady, obviously confused, and believing she may actually be praying in what was NOT her church, allegedly got up and left!

At the time, this was actually pretty funny, but is now sort of worrisome, lol.  I hope Robyne Marie let the woman know that it was okay to come back and pray at this location!  Based on some history that the owner gave us, we do believe that we know the identity of this woman, so we sincerely hope that she's at peace, and feels welcome to come back to visit the church whenever she wanted.

And just a quick reminder...Bruce Chapel now has a FaceBook page, so go give them a LIKE!  The owners are now allowing public ghost hunting at the location for a small donation, which will go immediately back into the preservation and restoration of this wonderful site.  We got a very nice letter awhile back letting us know that our donation would help pay for a sturdy new front door!

For more info, see our HPIR Investigation page for Bruce Chapel, and if you can explain this photo, please do!  And please note:  the key word here is EXPLAIN.  Please break it down, and support your hypothesis with examples, and evidence.  Thanks!

HPIR's Return to Bruce Chapel

Bruce Chapel FaceBook Page!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

What's New with Theresa's Haunted History

Happy April everyone!  With Spring finally having been sprung, I thought it would be a good idea to share a little about what has been going on with Theresa's Haunted History...and some of what is in store for the upcoming months!

Spring Tours!

This year will be a first for Haunted and Historic Guyandotte Tours, hosted by Huntington Paranormal.  Starting in May, we'll be featuring a series of Full Moon Hauntings tours!  Come join me and the rest of the HPIR tour staff as we regale you of tales about haunted, historic Guyandotte...and the power the full moon has on its inhabitants.  We're also working on a handful of new locations, plus some new, updated information about many of our classic fixtures along the tour route.  Check us out at for more information and tour dates.

Theresa on the Radio!

Last week, I had the opportunity to be interviewed by a guy I used to go to school with.  As part of a class project at State, his group was producing a Supernatural West Virginia segment, and I was fortunate enough to be a part of it!  Doing pre-recorded radio is a LOT harder than I imagined, lol.  I have done a live broadcast for Dr. Grimes' office on Clint and Judy, and a handful of "live" internet radio shows, but this was a first for me.  I quickly discovered that its fairly uncomfortable to just TALK about a subject at length, without the aid of specific, leading questions, lol.  Still, it was a lot of fun.  Supposedly, this broadcast may possibly air on WV Public Radio in the near future, so if it does, I'll definitely link it here so everyone can hear my little spiels on the Capitol Theater, the Dunbar Wine Cellars, and Shawnee Lake Amusement Park.  Oh, and I was able to work in a few plugs for HPIR and Haunted and Historic Guyandotte Tours!

Upcoming Investigations!

HPIR has some really awesome investigations in the works for 2012.  I've already spent numerous hours researching these locations, and will continue to do so.  Without giving away too much information right away, here's a little about some of the locations we'll be at:

In April or May, we'll be heading out of state for a popular local haunt.  This location has some shaky historical information, so the next few weeks I'll be busy trying to gather as much information as I can to either back up or refute the claims we've heard.  Either way, this appears to be a very active location, and we can't wait to experience it for ourselves.

In May, we'll be traveling out of county to investigate a wonderfully historic building.  We'll be only one of four groups allowed in to investigate this location this year, so we're super excited about it!  This is also one of the few cases that I went out and contacted the owners myself.  What I learned is that I have absolutely no desire to be a case manager, lol. 

In June, we'll be hitting a VERY famous location for an overnight investigation.  We're looking forward to this one due to the sheer number of sightings and experiences by so many, its just one of those locations that LOOKS like it should be haunted.

100 Candles!

A couple of weeks ago, members of HPIR came to my house for the first time ever in order to have fun, eat pizza....and play 100 Candles!  The idea came to me as my nephew and I were watching old reruns of Paranormal State.  We were watching the episode where the college girl was plagued with paranormal problems after she and her friends played this centuries old Japanese ghost game.  The description of how to play the game varies, but basically, you light 100 candles.  Each member of the party tells a ghost story that happened to them (or comes from their village, hehe), then blows the candle out.  After all 100 candles are blown out, a ghost or spirit(s) is said to be in the room.

Although this game has occult connontations, we played it for the sheer fun of telling ghost stories, an ancient tradition in and of itself.  My nephew ended up chickening out, afraid that we would actually conjure up something, but he needn't have worried; we didn't make it any where near 100 stories before we got tired and bored.  It didn't help that I used cheap tea-lights, and many burned out on their own before we got to them, lol.  Still, it was a super fun evening of sharing time together as a group.  We learned a little about one another, and why we got interested in this field to begin with.  It was also very theraputic in a way to be able to discuss freely events and feelings that most people just wouldn't understand.

The First Annual Oogity Boogity Awards!

This past weekend, HPIR celebrated its first annual Oogity Boogity Awards!  After an evening of group pictures, monthly meeting business, and hot dogs roasted over a campfire (a first for me), came the awards ceremony...and HPIR did it up right!  We received a certificate, a trophy, and even a flower, presented to us in a tent filled with gold stars and balloons!  I was honored with the coveted Best Investigator in the Tri-State award, one that I could not have accomplished without the support of a great team like HPIR.  I cannot express how lucky I am to have found this group of people.  We may not all have the same opinions on things, but we've become like a family.  HPIR is coming up on its sixth year as a team, and I foresee many more in store for us as well!

Team Toni!

Speaking of the HPIR family, I am so proud that once again, we have pulled together for a great cause.  This evening, members of HPIR were stationed at varying locations between Hurricane and Chesapeake, as Toni Black made her journey back home.  For those who don't know, Toni is a young woman fighting a deadly battle with cancer.  One of HPIR's own, Kelly, has been an instrumental player in Team Toni since the beginning and we're super proud of her!  Today, as Toni returned home from the beach after receiving devastating news from Duke, HPIR joined Kelly in support of the Bring Toni Home event.

I had originally planned on being at the Winfield/Scott Depot exit, but after law enforcement deemed it, and my back-up Hurricane location, as unsafe, I joined a group of others who had been relocated from the Hurricane exit to the Hurricane Rest Stop.  It was so touching to see so many out there supporting Toni, and awareness in general.

And with that, I'm saving my biggest suprise for a later date!  I hope you enjoyed this more personalized blog.  If you didn't, don't despair...look for some interesting new haunted places and original articles coming this month.  Happy Reading!