Sunday, June 4, 2017

Book Review for Scary Stories of Mammoth Cave

Title: Scary Stories of Mammoth Cave
Authors: Colleen O'Connor Olson with Charles Hanion
Illustrated by: Roger W. Brucker
Published: 2002 by Cave Books, St. Louis, MO
Amazon Purchase Information

Recently, I took a day trip to Columbus, Ohio. Since we don't have any Half Price Books around here, I always make it a priority to stop while we're in Columbus. On this last trip, I picked up Scary Stories of Mammoth Cave, a great little read about a popular attraction in south central Kentucky.

Mammoth Cave is one of those locations that I've always meant to feature here on Theresa's Haunted History, but just could never get around to organizing all the information associated with its haunted reputation. Therefore, I was thrilled to find this book! I'll definitely be sharing some posts inspired by its content later on, but first I wanted to share my thoughts on the book itself...

It's a good one! If you're looking for just a straight up collection of ghost stories, this may not be the best choice for you. However, if you're looking for dark history, deaths, legends, mummies, un-classifiable weirdness, and a few paranormal anecdotes, then you'll love this book. I definitely did. I learned so much about the cave's general history, but also some really interesting uses for the cave, such as the time it was used as a TB hospital!

Plenty of mummies were found within the cave and at nearby locations, many of which became tourist attractions in their own right. Unique geological features of the cave were given ghastly descriptive names. And of course, there have been plenty of sightings of vanishing guests, reports of phantom sounds, and the touch of disembodied hands.

This really is a great, yet short read about the strange, spooky, and sometimes macabre history of Kentucky's Mammoth Caves. If you're planning a trip out there this summer, or simply want a captivating campfire read, I highly recommend adding this book to your own personal library.

Saturday, June 3, 2017

The Ghost of Curtis Johnston

When Corey Carlsonn uploaded a photo of himself to Instagram, he was shocked to see that there was an extra...person? the photo with him. Standing behind his right shoulder, it appears that there is a woman in a white nightgown with long, black hair. This transparent, ghostly image obviously wasn't noticed when the photo was being taken.

Corey, however, believed he recognized who the ghostly woman was. It seems that in 2001, a woman named Curtis Johnston went missing from the house in which the photo was taken. An added insert of the woman in question is provided for comparison, and sure enough, she is clad in white and does have similar long, black hair.

Unfortunately for the paranormal world, both the ghostly image and the mysterious back story can be completely debunked.

Often the old adage of 'if its too good to be true, it probably is,' applies to these types of full body apparition photos. A quick search of any number of the great ghost app databases (I used Ghost App Ghosts) showed that the ghostly image is a pretty popular image that can be found as a part of several of these hoax apps. Here's our culprit in the menu of one such app known as Ghost Cam by AlonsosSOFT for Android devices.

Now, to be fair, there are times when people believe they have a legitimate haunting. To try to 'prove' that haunting they might fake a ghost photo. Or, a friend or relative might try to prey on their gullibility, and try to trick them with a hoaxed ghost photo, building on the belief of a haunting, or a spooky past incident. But, as I've already mentioned, that just wasn't the case with this story.

The woman referred to as Curtis Johnston is actually named Girley Riley, and she didn't go missing. She simply passed away. The photo used of her to illustrate the similarities to the suspected ghost was taken from the Well Spring Ministries 'In Loving Memory' page. So where did the name Curtis come from? Apparently, someone named Curtis Johnston also passed away and was featured in the church's memorial section. However, since a photo wasn't available, only his named appeared beside the photo of Girley.

Friday, June 2, 2017

The Haunted Chair: A Friday Funny

What a steal! If you buy a haunted object on eBay or Craigslist, chances are, you're going to drop a pretty penny for it. But here we have a haunted object that isn't only spooky, but functional as well (not like those silly haunted dolls that do nothing but sit on a shelf and creep people out)!

Anyway, when I saw this photo on a couple of different Facebook pages, I was quite bemused. You see, my mom has her very own haunted chair. 

My mom is a fickle decorator when it comes to household furniture, and every few years, she likes to change things up a bit. So, when my boyfriend's uncle was selling a like-new couch, chair, and love seat set, complete with accent pillows, for next to nothing, she jumped at the opportunity. However, soon after the new furniture set was moved into the living room, we began seeing something strange. If you happened to walk quickly into the room and glance at the chair, it looked like there was an elderly man sitting in it with his legs crossed. From time to time, we'd even catch a glimpse of him holding onto the arm rest as he raised himself up out of the chair. 

When asked where the furniture came from, my boyfriend's uncle told us that he had bought it from a nursing home. His buddy at the nursing home was selling the set, which was used in a small TV room for the residents, because no one ever sat in it. I think we discovered WHY no one would sit in the chair!  The elderly ghost man, however, has made himself right at home in mom's house. He doesn't bother us, and seems to fit right in with the other resident ghosts. 

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Theresa's 2017 Update

Hey everyone! I want to sincerely apologize for my lack of posts thus far in 2017. I haven't really had anything super negative affecting my life or my ability to keep updated....I've just been unmotivated and stuck in a rut. So again, I want to sincerely apologize and also thank all of you who have still been visiting the blog and Theresa's Haunted History of the Tri-State Facebook page. Without your support and kind words, I don't know what I'd be up to, lol.

Anyway, I'm ready to get back into the swing of things! I might not have been online much these past six months, but my passion for the paranormal never really goes away. I've been busy reading, watching a ton of documentaries and participating in a few other things I wanted to share with you!

Reiki Classes---So far this year, my mom and I have completed both the Level I and the Level II Reiki Practitioner courses offered by the Crystal Lotus Metaphysical Shoppe in St. Albans, WV. We received our certification and attunements from the wonderful teacher and Master Reiki practitioner, Christina (Tina) Dolin.

I've had a lot of fun hanging out with my mom as we went through the classes, and I've spent a fair amount of time reading up reiki, watching YouTube videos about reiki, and of course, studying my handouts and practicing actual techniques. In the second course, I was surprised to learn a lot of helpful techniques to implement in residential investigations.

If you're in the St. Albans, WV area, I highly urge you to check out Crystal Lotus Shoppe! Not only do they offer various classes and sell a wide variety of jewelry, incense, smudging supplies, books, crystals and much more, but they also host tons of wonderful events. Follow their Facebook page for more info on upcoming Psychic Fairs (where you can get discounted readings, reiki healings, and massages), Artist Meet and Greets (where you can usually enter a drawing for a unique piece of art/jewelry), and many other great events.

Mentoring Project---One of the most awesome things I've done this year was serve as a mentor! Back in December, I was contacted by Bree, a student in Wayne County, who was looking for a mentor for her senior project on paranormal investigation.

It was such a pleasure getting to know this intelligent and creative young woman and it was a great honor serving as her mentor on this project. The paperwork wasn't always fun...but I had a great time walking her through Fiona Broome's Ghost Hunting certificate program, teaching her how much fun library research can be (hehehehe), and of course, going on 'field trips.' We saw the sights of Pt. Pleasant, including the Mothman Museum and the TNT area, various cemeteries, the Wine Cellars, and even finished up the project with a capstone investigation experience at the Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum!  She got an A on the project, and recently graduated with high honors, so I'm super proud of her. I hope I was able to teach her a few things, as she surely taught me---she inspired me to really start embracing the more spiritual nature of paranormal investigation and research.

Real-Life Yokai---As I write this blog, my son is finishing up his last day of 1st grade! I can't believe how fast this year has gone. But, he's ready for summer and so am I. Each year, I like to do what I call 'Mom School' during the summer with him. 'Mom School' is just some fun, yet educational, activities we do over the summer to keep from sitting in front of the computer/tablet all day. This year, my son picked real life yokai (Japanese supernatural creatures) as his topic. He loves the show, Yokai Watch, and was pretty interested when I told him that many of the characters in the show and in the video game are based off real legends. Over the past month or so, I've been researching and gathering materials to make our little summer unit study an awesome experience for both him AND me. I'll try to blog about some of our projects throughout the next couple of months.

And, that's about it! Thank you for your patience with me. I'm back and I'll be posting as much content as I can this summer! If you have any questions, comments, or any great ideas for a blog, the best way to contact me is to hop over to Facebook and reach me there. Happy Haunting, ya'll.