Sunday, April 29, 2018

April's Links I Love

Hey, everyone! I hope you're having an appropriately spooky day!  Today on the blog, I wanted to share some of the websites that I've been reading and loving this month. A few have made my 'link share' posts before, but some are brand new! Please go check them out and support paranormal bloggers/webmasters/authors!

1. Terror From Beyond the Daves:  This is David Fuentes' site and its dedicated to all things horror, with plenty of paranormal thrown in for good measure. Dave's website really helped me out with my Lincoln Park Zoo blog, and I've enjoyed reading his other articles as well!

2. Haunt Jaunts:  This is the go-to site for all your haunted travel plans! Find ghost tours, the best haunted hotels to stay at, and all sorts of crazy-cool festivals, conventions, and year-round spooky and weird attractions. They even have a radio show!

3. Chris Woodyard's Haunted Ohio:  Chris is one of my favorite paranormal authors and this website is packed full of awesome articles and other information to complement the Haunted Ohio book series. Check out the section for the Haunted Ohio Blog---you will NOT be disappointed!

4. WV Cryptids and Strange Encounters:  This is a fairly new Facebook page, but its already gained quite a following. The admins of the page regularly post tons of awesome stories about strange and spooky happenings in West Virginia and encounters with all manner of cryptozoological creatures.

5. The Southern Spirit Guide:  The Southern Spirit Guide remains one of my favorite sites of all time! The author, Lewis O. Powell, IV, does an excellent job in documenting the haunted history of the southern United States.

6. Ghost Theory:  Tons and tons of articles on ghosts, UFOs, cryptids, and just about anything else paranormal you could think of!  Always well written, and very informative, I love to peruse this site as often as I can.

7. Lore Podcast: Lore is one of my favorite podcasts to listen to! There's such a variety of spooky stories and interesting folklore---and narrator/writer Aaron Mahnke does an excellent job telling them.

Friday, April 27, 2018

I'm Here to Haunt You: A Friday Funny Motivational Comic

I thought today's Friday Funny ghost comic was too cute not to share...well, minus the dog killing of course. It sends an important message---don't forget to lift up those around you, even if those around you are already floating three feet above the ground! Safely Endangered comics are created by Chris McCoy; go check out his page for more funnies and ways to support his work.

Thursday, April 26, 2018

A Spooky Case of Mistaken Identity

I love today's Throwback Thursday vintage news article. It's a funny story about mistaken identity, and is even illustrated! The story was published in the September 6, 1907 edition of the Daily Telegram, a Clarksburg, WV newspaper. (The original is available on Chronicling America.) However, the incidents took place in Fort Dodge, Iowa. Since the text is a little hard to see, here's the full transcription:

Turns Out to Be a Girl Asleep in Her Nightgown

The ghostlike apparition of a girl astride a bicycle flitting about the streets after midnight will not startle residents in the east end of Fort Dodge, IA any longer.  For weeks pedestrians abroad late at night have been scared.

On a recent night a policeman, attracted by a crash and a scream, ran around a corner and solved the mystery.  He found a young and pretty girl clad in a thin nightdress, which had suffered severely when the wheel she riding struck a brick.  The girl was dazed, but told the policeman where she lived.  He escorted her home and startled her father, a well known merchant, who thought his daughter was safe in bed.

The girl said she had no recollection of her midnight rides.

*Theresa's Note:  I found this story especially interesting because my own mother is a huge sleepwalker, or somnambulist, if you want the fancy title. My biggest fear is that she will attempt to drive off somewhere while in her sleep, but luckily that hasn't happened. The worst she's done so far, to my knowledge, was sleep-order a bunch of crap off a home shopping channel. Usually she just walks around, mumbles about some weird stuff, and eats. Thank goodness she doesn't own a bicycle!

So tell me, are you a sleepwalker or is someone in your family prone to these nighttime escapades? What is the weirdest thing YOU'VE ever done while asleep? What's the weirdest thing you've ever seen a sleepwalker do? Let me know below!

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

The Donkey Tree of Kentucky

Kentucky has a lot of weird trees! Last month, I posted about a tree near Paducah that kept trying to tell passersby that there was treasure buried at its roots. Today, however, is dedicated to the Donkey Tree, a cursed tree near Springfield.


Like all urban legends, the story behind the Donkey Tree changes slightly depending on who is telling it. Along with the background, the consequences of visiting the cursed tree also change from person to person. But, here's the gist:

There was once a farmer who was especially cruel to his donkey, and would often beat the animal severely. One day, the farmer took it too far and beat the animal to death. Atop the site where the donkey died (or was buried) grew what is today known as The Donkey Tree.

Visitors to the spooky tree, which does closely resemble a donkey, believe that the tree is cursed. It is said that anyone who touches the tree will have bad luck. Some believe that touching the tree will result in the person being in an accident, and some even say that its a death sentence. On the flip side, putting an apple in the 'donkey's' mouth is considered good luck. If you do put an apple in its mouth and then leave, you'll find that the apple has mysteriously disappeared by the time you get back.

According to the Donkey Tree Facebook page, in October 2014, people began contacting the admins of the site to report that they were hearing the sounds of a child laughing or crying near the tree between the hours of 11 p.m. and 3 a.m. Even stranger, the Facebook page mentions that an abandoned car was found in front of the Donkey Tree in September of 2015. The car allegedly belonged to a YouTuber from Indiana who was visiting the area to shoot a documentary for his channel. No updates were ever posted, and I couldn't find any additional information on this case.

Having said that, if you're still brave enough to visit the Donkey Tree yourself, it's located on Valley Hill Road in Springfield, KY. Roadside America gives the following directions:

Directions:  From Springfield drive north on Hwy 55/Bloomfield Rd. Just past the nursery on the left, turn left onto Valley Hill Rd. The tree is on the left, just past the little one lane bridge.

*Kentucky has donkey trees...West Virginia has men's faces in rocks.  It's all thanks to the wonders of Pareidolia!  Learn more about pareidolia at the link provided!*

Monday, April 23, 2018

If I Were a Ghost

I don't WANT to come back as a ghost. But, knowing me, I will. I'm one of those people who fear, and even resist, change. The thought of what lies beyond this world terrifies the heck out of I'll probably be too scared to follow any white light and thus, get stuck here on Earth for who knows how long.

I'm not entirely sure how I would spend my time as a ghost, though. Maybe I'll try to watch over my loved ones, especially my son.  Maybe I'll haunt someplace that makes me happy, such as a library, museum, amusement park or zoo.  Or, maybe I'll just float around, wailing, and occasionally screwing with the pictures on peoples' walls!

If YOU found yourself "living" as a ghost, how would you spend your time? Let me know in the comments, or hop over to Theresa's Haunted History Facebook page and join the discussion there! 

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Eleanor Cooper's Ghost

On January 28, 2012, Stuart Cheveralls and his partner Natalie visited London's Dominion Theater. They were there to see the We Will Rock You show, and after settling into their seats to wait for the show to start, Stuart used his iPhone 4 to snap a quick selfie of himself and Natalie.

While going over the pictures the next day, Stuart noticed that he and Natalie weren't alone! At the time of the photo, the couple was sitting at the end of a row of seats. The two seats directly behind them were unoccupied---they'd be filled later on by two men who arrived late to the show. But what showed up in the photo was definitely not an empty seat, nor was it a dude arriving late to the show!

What Stuart saw made the hair on his arms stand up. What showed up directly between him and Natalie was the ghostly pale image of a young girl! Intrigued, Stuart began doing some research on the theater, and found that it had a haunted reputation.

The Dominion Theater was built atop the site of the old Meux Brewery. On October 17, 1814, tragedy struck when a vat of beer burst. Over 3500 barrels of liquid were released, collapsing a wall and part of the roof, and reigning terror among the nearby citizens.  One of those citizens was a 14 year old girl named Eleanor Cooper who was a servant of Richard Hawes.

According to the British Library's Untold Lives Blog, "Richard Hawes gave evidence at the coroner’s inquest held on Wednesday19 October that he was in the tap room of the Tavistock Arms at 5.30pm on the previous Monday when he heard a crash. The back part of his house was beaten in and everything in his cellar destroyed. Beer was pouring into his pub and across the street. Eleanor Cooper was in the yard washing pots and her body was dug out from the ruins nearly three hours later. She was found standing by the water butt."

In total, 8 people lost their lives, many of them children. It's no wonder that staff and visitors to the Dominion Theater have reported the phantom sounds of a giggling child and the apparition of a brew-master! But the big question is...

Does this photo really show a ghost and if so, is it the ghost of Eleanor Cooper? Although Stuart claims that there was no trickery involved, many people don't agree. What about you? Do you think this is the real deal, or not?

Matthew Tucker: 'Theatre Ghost Picture Is Real' Insists Photographer Stuart Cheveralls - Are You Convinced?  (HuffPost, 31 October 2012)

Saturday, April 21, 2018

Death and the Dancer

This spooky aquatint engraving was done by illustrator Joshua Gleadah, around 1822. According to the Oxford Index, "Joshua Gleadah executed a few engravings for A Treatise on the Principles of Landscape Design; with General Observations and Instructions to Young Artist by John Varley (1778-1842); and Journey Through Part of the Russian Empire by R. Johnston; and Album of the Spirit."  He was active between the years of 1815 and 1836.  

Aside from Death and the Dancer, Gleadah is responsible for two similar works, Death and the Industrious Wife, and Death and the Warrior. All three images are presumably from the same time frame and same publication.  They can be found on the Wellcome Collection's online database. 

Friday, April 20, 2018

Demons for Sale

If I managed this produce department, I'd FIRE the writer of this sign. Not only is it really weird that he/she chose to randomly use a cursive 'L' for lemons when all other letters are printed...but this sign contains one of my biggest pet peeves in the whole demon-infested world. If you are writing that something costs x amount of cents, and you use the cents sign, then you do NOT need to add the decimal!!! By adding the decimal, you're actually stating that the price of the lemons shown here are less than 4 tenths of a penny. Every time I see a sign like this, I want to challenge the cashier and refuse to pay anything but what is stated right there on the sign.  Wow, this sign really is demonic, lol. It has brought out a terribly ugly side of my personality, lol. 

Thursday, April 19, 2018

The Stinky Streak

Don't let the silly title of today's blog post fool you! This vintage West Virginia ghost? creature? oddity? story was reported in Cooper's Clarksburg Register on Wednesday, August 8, 1853 and sounds pretty horrifying! It appears that the original tale appeared in the Buckhannon Observer, so I would imagine that the strange events took place in that area.  However, I'm not EXACTLY sure what those strange events were!

While out riding, a group of men noticed movement in the distance. It streaked past them at remarkable speed, sounding like a buggy. It was dark brown in color, and smelled strongly of tar. The horses were spooked and a couple of men were even knocked to the ground. Upon returning to town, the men found that the THING, whatever it was, had passed through there as well, much to the puzzlement of the local citizenry. It was headed west, leading the people to surmise that this thing would show up in Weston and Parkersburg as well.

This is definitely one of the weirder articles I've come across, and much like the citizens of Buckhannon back in 1853, I couldn't even fathom a guess as to what it was that was experienced by such a large number of people. It certainly doesn't sound like a classic ghost story. Could it have been a Bigfoot? Were the sable garments actually dark brown fur? Bigfoot experiences are often reported as being accompanied by a foul odor.  However, I've never known such a creature to move that fast, nor sound like buggy. Perhaps it was some sort of demonic or other non-human entity.

I hope you enjoyed today's Throwback Thursday post as much as I did!  Join me over on Theresa's Haunted History Facebook and let me know YOUR theories!

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

White Gate Cemetery

Photo by Beth--Grave Addiction

Travelers driving down Tom's Run Road in Moundsville, WV will notice a quaint, white gate with no fence, just on the other side of a small creek. Above the gate is a sign reading "White Gate Cemetery."  Beyond that gate are rows and rows of small metal signs, each marking the final resting place of a former inmate of the West Virginia State Penitentiary. 

The West Virginia Penitentiary, located in Moundsville, officially opened in 1876. Deceased prisoners whose bodies were not claimed by friends or family were first buried along a narrow strip of land on the south side of the penitentiary wall. However, drainage issues resulted in the need to remove the bodies and place them in a 5 acre area just outside the prison set aside for a cemetery.  This arrangement lasted until 1897. Around that time, Moundsville citizens had started complaining about convicts being buried within cemetery limits.  Therefore, during the 1897 Legislative Session, House of Delegates member John J. Leach proposed House Bill 255. The bill was "to prohibit the burial in the cemetery at Moundsville of the bodies of convicts who may die in the penitentiary." The bill passed, spurring the prison on a search for a proper burial site outside of city limits.

Wheeling Daily Intelligencer February 9, 1897

In November of that year, they would find a suitable location. Prison officials purchased 10 acres of land from David Levi along Tom's Run Road.  The location chosen was about 3-4 miles from the prison, fell outside of city limits, and cost the state $600. 

Wheeling Daily Intelligencer November 24, 1897

For half a century, the cemetery didn't really have a name. On death certificates, it was usually listed as 'prison cemetery' or Tom's Run. It wasn't until the 1950s that it came to be called White Gate Cemetery when the wife of a warden (I haven't confirmed it, but I think its Rilla Skeen, wife of Orel J. Skeen, 1947-1955) took interest in improving the cemetery and had the gate and sign installed. 

There are close to 300 known burials at White Gate, most of which are marked with a simple metal sign made at the prison. The majority of burials are the result of natural causes and many come from the era of the Great Depression when families simply didn't have the money to have their convict kin shipped home and buried.  

Photo by Beth--Grave Addiction

Unfortunately for many of those buried on this little plot of land, their stories are lost to history. In some cases, their names are lost to history---a blank sign being the only tangible proof of their existence. Others buried at White Gate are a little more notorious...

It is said that Edward Trout Shue, the infamous "Man Who Wanted Seven Wives" is buried at the prison cemetery. You might know him better as the man who took the life of Zona Heaster Shue, the Greenbrier Ghost. Also among the burials are Herman Drenth, better known as Harry F. Powers. Powers is responsible for at LEAST 5 murders in the Quiet Dell area of WV. This "Bluebeard of Quiet Dell" is believed to be West Virginia's first serial killer.  He was executed by hanging on March 18, 1932. Then, there's William Holly Griffith, the "Bestial Murderer" who kept escaping! He died July 10, 1971 from prostrate cancer. 

In the paranormal world, there's a debate as to whether or not cemeteries are likely to be haunted. The theory is that a ghost would more likely haunt the place where he/she died, or where he/she had spent the most time while living, as opposed to just the location where the earthly body lies.  I'll save that debate for another blog, but I wanted to touch upon the haunted history of the White Gate Cemetery.  Surprisingly, there really isn't much of one! Those who have investigated the cemetery haven't really collected any data to show that it might be haunted, and there really aren't any stories about its ghosts, either, that I could find.  I did find one thing, though. Visitors to the cemetery don't find the little spit of wooded land peaceful. Rather, the whole area seems to give off a very heavy, even negative feeling. 

Last January, my friend Bree and I set up a vendor's table at the Grave City Haunted Relic Expo, held at the old Sanford School. We arrived in town a little early to explore and the number one spot we wanted to see was White Gate Cemetery. We found it easily enough. It's just a short drive from the prison and my GPS took us right to it.  The problem was, we couldn't get to it! There had been recent snowstorms throughout West Virginia earlier that week, and Tom's Run Road wasn't entirely free from snow and ice just yet. The parking area was covered in snow, and since I wasn't sure what was under it (I was thinking lots and lots of mud), and didn't want to get my car stuck, we chose not to stop.  That wasn't the only issue though; even if we had parked, there was NO bridge over the creek to the cemetery. And, since the snow was starting to melt, the creek was running pretty high. You can watch the video I took of me panicking about where to stop below, but it begs the question: why is this cemetery so isolated?

A really sweet lady named Tammylynn whom we met at the Expo shared some insight.  She said the cemetery was built across the water to keep negative energies at bay! It is a popular belief in folklore that a ghost cannot cross running water (for example, the Headless Horseman of Sleepy Hollow), so it makes sense. And, if that negative energy is all trapped in that small, little space, that could explain why so many people can pick up on it so strongly.  She also let us know that the cemetery grounds aren't regularly mowed, and there's an issue with snakes, so be careful if you plan on visiting! 

If you have any additional information on this cemetery, or have had your own personal paranormal experience there, I'd love to hear from you! Feel free to comment below, join me at Theresa's Haunted History Facebook, or email me at  Stay spooky, ya'll!

For a list of burials, check out Find-a-Grave
For more photos and info, visit Grave Addiction
You can find a little bit of info on early burials at the WV Pen on its National Register application

Here's the video of me panicking, trying to figure out how to get over to the cemetery without A. Getting my car stuck, and B. Drowning while trying to cross the creek on foot. We will be returning in the Spring! You can also watch it on YouTube

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Tax Season is Ghost Hunting Season

Happy Tax Day! Today is the last day to file your taxes, although the date seems a little later than usual this year.  The reason that Tax Day isn't April 15th this year is because the 15th falls on a Sunday and the following Monday is Emancipation Day, a recognized holiday in D.C. So, today is your last chance to turn over all your paperwork to the IRS and hope for the best!

Hopefully, this year you'll have (or have already received) a hefty tax return to spend on what else: new ghost hunting gadgets! The last leftover remnants of winter seem to be finally leaving the tri-state area and many paranormal investigators and ghost enthusiasts are experiencing a renewed interest in some hands-on field work!

While it may be fun to start a new season of ghost hunting/paranormal investigation with a few new high-tech goodies, remember that quality over quantity is key when it comes to equipment. Much of what is marketed towards the paranormal community is not based on good science, and is often downright useless, especially if you're not using it correctly. Do your research, make good choices, and of course, have fun! Get out there and collect some data. 

Let me know if YOU plan on spending your tax return on anything ghost related! Feel free to post down in the comments, or join us over on Theresa's Haunted History of the Tri-State Facebook with your ideas!

Monday, April 16, 2018

Watch Your Language! Speaking to the Dead in Their Native Tongue

It's been awhile since I've posted a Monday Meme, but I saw this one and knew I had to share it. It's hilarious---it definitely made me chuckle, because it is something that I've seen more than once. And every time I see it, I think, "What are they thinking?"

While it is funny, it actually is pretty thought-provoking as well. In today's paranormal investigation/ghost hunting culture, EVP (electronic voice phenomena) work is an integral part of the process. Personally, I feel that some of our strongest data and potential evidence comes from our audio. Therefore, its crucial to do everything possible in order to maximize EVP results. Way back in 2012, I blogged about some EVP Tips and Tricks, but I didn't really go in depth about language.

I understand that not all of us are as lucky as the TAPS team is above. Most of us will probably never conduct an investigation in a foreign country where the official language is not that of our own. That doesn't mean that we should just ignore the whole topic of ghosts that speak a different language, however.

This is where a little historic research comes in. Just because you and everyone around you speaks the same language, doesn't necessarily mean that was always the case!  The town of Gallipolis, Ohio was once a French Colony! However, you'd be hard-pressed to find someone living there today that speaks fluid French as a first language, on a regular basis.  In Northern West Virginia, many Italian, Hungarian, and other immigrants worked the coal mines and many never learned much, if any, English at all. You might live in an area that was once home to a large Native American population.

Italian Miners in WV
Photo from Marcia Green Hilton
If you suspect that you might have a ghost that speaks a certain language other than your own, familiarize yourself with a few key phrases that you might want to ask/say during your EVP session. It doesn't have to be anything fancy; a simple "Hello, my name is....What's yours?" is a good start. If an entity can understand you and thinks you can understand it, they may be more likely to attempt communication.

Similarly, you might get an EVP that sounds like speech---but it sounds like its in another language. If you are familiar with some different languages that were spoken in that area or may have been spoken by the people associated with the location, you can more easily and quickly get it translated.

One last thing to consider is it all necessary? I've seen instances where investigators go into a location in a foreign country, speak their own language, and then get an EVP response IN THEIR OWN LANGUAGE!  If we use the posted meme for an example, why would a 500 year old German ghost respond to a question in English?  If I could answer that, I'd be a hero in the EVP world. Alas, I am not...but there are a few theories floating around out there:

1. Spirits vs. Ghosts---While the terms are often used interchangeably, its pretty widely accepted that there is a difference between spirits and ghosts. Spirits are entities that are 'higher up,' so to speak. They are the souls of people who have passed and crossed over...but have returned for whatever reason. They may also be entities that were never human, such as nature spirits. Ghosts, on the other hand, are usually described as the souls of deceased persons who are earthbound---they've never crossed over. If you're contacting a spirit, who is a higher being, perhaps things such as language and other earthly constructs are not a problem. They can understand and communicate in any language.

2. You're not really getting a response from any spirit, ghost, or other paranormal entity. Instead, you're picking up radio waves, your own thoughts telekinetically imprinted on the recorder, or tapping into free-floating voices and sounds that are just out there, floating around. I know, it gets a little strange...but that's why we love it right? Part of the joy of paranormal investigation is trying to make the unknown known, to unravel the mysteries that have been eluding us since the beginning of time. Keep searching for answers, and have a wonderfully spooky Monday!

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Parkersburg's Haunted Castle

According to the WV Division of Culture and History's "On This Day in West Virginia History" series:  On April 15, 1872, Peter Godwin Van Winkle, who represented West Virginia in the United States Senate from 1863 to 1869, died in Parkersburg. 

Photo property of Susan Sheppard,
Haunted Parkersburg Ghost Tour
In the Julia-Ann Square Historic District of Parkersburg, WV, there's a lot of history...AND a lot of hauntings! One of the more notable haunted buildings is the Van Winkle-Wix House, also known locally as The Castle. The Castle was built around 1833-1836 and served as the one-time home for Peter G. Van Winkle, a lawyer and renowned politician.

The house standing today (not to be confused with the demolished Peter G. Van Winkle House that was located nearby) is vastly different than the original. Back when the home was built, there was no Ann Street, and thus, the 1209 address of the home didn't exist! Instead, the home faced the Ohio River. Between the period of 1870 and 1899, the Castle underwent some pretty major renovations, giving it an updated Victorian appearance with the added turret and tower, and raised roof. The front door was also moved so that the new main entrance faced Ann Street.

Over the years, the Castle has been a private residence, a girl's school, and an apartment complex. It has also set empty for long stretches of time, adding to its mystery and haunted reputation! However, in October 2013, owner Craig Wix sold the property to Standard Oil. Craig, who had owned the property since 1985, also did some major renovation work and lived in part of the Castle off and on. In fact, it was under Craig Wix's ownership that some of the most fascinating stories of the home's hauntings were born.

In 1990, renovation and construction work was taking place on the home when some really weird stuff started happening. Years later, workers would report to Susan Sheppard of Haunted Parkersburg Ghost Tours that they were seeing the apparition of a man with curly blond hair and a ruffled shirt, roaming the house. When they gave chase, the man disappeared!  Workers outside the home also saw the apparition. As it was standing in the window, they were able to snap a photograph of it. The photographs can be found in Sheppard's book, Cry of the Banshee. (Theresa's Note: I can't find these photographs, lol. I have two copies of this book...a first edition from 2004 that has no photos at all of the Van-Winkle Wix House and an edition from 2008 that shows two photos of the house taken on tours. One photo shows a ton of 'orbs,' while the other allegedly shows a female figure in the window. I'm guessing these photos made it into the next edition, which I will now have to track down!)

Photo by the Parkersburg News and Sentinel

It is an almost universally accepted theory that renovations tend to stir up paranormal activity and after Standard Oil purchased the home, another round of renovations began. Originally, Standard Oil was going to use the property to house their visiting shareholders and staff, but by 2016, falling profits prompted the company to seek out other sources of revenue. The city allowed them to begin renting out the facility for weddings and other events, but the citizens were resistant to an all out Bed and Breakfast in their residential area.

The Castle can be rented out, and it is open several times a year for public events, making the chances of having a paranormal experience there all the greater (and legal, since you won't have to trespass!). Even if you don't catch a glimpse of the curly-haired gentleman, people have experienced plenty of other types of activity as well. The most common reports are phantom footsteps, but disembodied voices, cold spots, turning doorknobs, and objects that seem to move on their own have all been witnessed.

Sources and Additional Reading:
Historic Home Gets New Lease on Life, by Paul LaPann. Parkersburg News and Sentinel (October 19, 2013)

Delivering the Shivers: Top-Rated Ghost Store Scares Up Some Haunted History, by Julie Robinson. Sunday Gazette-Mail (October 5, 2008)

National Register of Historic Places Nomination Form

HPIR Founder, Melissa's Haunted Travels Blog

Saturday, April 14, 2018

Paranormal Activity at the Titanic Museum in Branson

Branson, Missouri is a great family vacation destination. Amid such attractions as the theme park Silver Dollar City, Dolly Parton's Dixie Stampede Dinner Theater, and plenty of live music, there sits a unique museum along 76 Country BLVD.

From Wikipedia

The Titanic Museum is any history buff's dream location. Opening in 2006, the museum itself is a smaller version of the actual ship. The inside is packed with over 400 artifacts, some belonging to survivors of the Titanic sinking in 1912, and some actually from the Titanic shipwreck debris field.  The Museum is owned by John Joslyn, who led a 1987 expedition of the Titanic wreckage, and is one of two of his Titanic Museums, the other being located in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee.

However, it is the Branson location that has really obtained a reputation for being haunted! In 2009, the Wichita Paranormal Research Society, led by Shane Elliot, conducted a paranormal investigation of the museum after staff and visitors alike began having experiences.

Museum character actor Jamie Terrell, said in a November 8, 2009 interview with Ozarks First that many people have reported the smell of cigar smoke around the area of the First Class elevators and that staff members routinely hear their names being called by phantom voices in the area of the Third Class corridor.  She also goes on to say that she has personally witnessed the apparition of a man in a black suit.

These claims of activity, including full-bodied apparitions, drew the attention of Zak and his gang, and the museum became the focus of Episode 12, Season 15 of Ghost Adventures.

During the pre-investigation walk-through, Zak met with Jamie Terrell in the Grand Staircase, built based on actual blueprints of the original Titanic Grand Staircase.  Jamie once again tells of seeing a man's apparition.  He is seen near the top of the Grand Staircase, near the private quarters of First Class passenger, John Jacob Astor. She believes the apparition to be the wealthy businessman, who perished in the sinking.

Jaime also mentions to Zak that visitors to the museum are often overcome with emotion, some to the point of uncontrollable sobbing, stating that they can actually hear the screams recorded in time of that fateful night and early morning in April of 1912  when the Unsinkable Ship struck an iceberg and began to go down.

After Zak's interview with Jamie, he meets in the Musician's Gallery with another Tour Guide/Character Actor named Alexis. Before Alexis can even tell HER story to Zak, Zak starts freaking out and asking everyone if they "can feel that?" Zak, Alexis, and even Jamie all confirm that they do feel something that can only be described as a child-sized pocket of ice cold energy. Alexis then shares that her story for this room is that she has actually experienced a child's ghost here.

The child ghost(s) has also been experienced in other parts of the boat. Alexis leads Zak to the Captain's Bridge and Promenade Deck where the child has also been known to frequent. While showing the area to him, Zak notices that there are child's hand prints on the class---a common occurrence witnessed in this area. Alexis confirms that the glass was cleaned just prior to the Ghost Adventures crew coming  aboard, and it even seems as if some of the hand prints seem to materialize right then and there!

The Ghost Adventures crew returns the next night for the actual investigation, and they are not disappointed by the level of activity. Things start off sort of mundanely, with a simple light anomaly being observed over the piano keys of the Musician's Gallery's piano.  However, the child ghosts of the museum quickly show up, possibly lured by candy, cookies, and several toys. While in the Captain's Bridge area, a child-sized figure shows up twice on the structured light sensor (SLS) camera before the figure can be seen jumping THROUGH the glass window. When the window is inspected, tiny hand prints can be seen.

Back in the Musician's Gallery, the Ovilus is giving information that the ghost is possibly a 6 year old female who likes to eat cookies!  But, the fun isn't over yet.  Later on, Zak claims to see the apparition of a chubby-cheeked boy with dirty blonde hair and a life preserver standing in a doorway. The doorway happens to be the entryway to where the memorial for the children lost on the Titanic is located. Soon after, what appears to be a non-heat producing figure of a child is seen on the Thermal Imaging Camera, peeking around a corner.

With so many actual artifacts that were on the Titanic being on display here, combined with the fact that both the outside and the inside of the museum are built to closely resemble the real deal, it is theorized that all ghosts on site are directly related to (as in being passengers on) the Titanic disaster. Has their energy somehow imprinted itself on these objects, only to replay their final night, over and over...or are these sentient beings attached to their last possessions? It would seem that at least some of the ghosts of the Titanic Museum are intelligent hauntings.

Well, I didn't mean for this blog to be a re-cap of Ghost Adventures! However, much of the information about the Branson, Missouri Titanic Museum that I was able to find came from this episode! If you've had an experience here and want to share, I'd love to hear your stories! Let me know down below in the comments how you were affected by the ghosts of the Titanic Museum!

Friday, April 13, 2018

Thirteen Club Comes to Morgantown

I absolutely LOVE this photo! I first shared it a couple of years ago on my Theresa's Haunted History Facebook page, and then shared it again last October. I felt, however, that it needed a more permanent spot here on the blog!

The photo comes from one of my favorite websites, WV History on View. It is labeled: "Friday the Thirteenth Group Dinner, Morgantown, W. Va". However, I THINK we can take it a step further and assume that this is an example of a local 13 Club! 

In the 1880s, the Thirteen Club was created to debunk the superstition of "13 at a table" being unlucky. This belief states that when 13 people are seated together at a table, one will die within a year, usually the first one to get up and leave. They met on the 13th of the month for a dinner served to 13 people at each table.

Now, I don't like to think of myself as a superstitious person, but if I were invited to one of these dinners, I'm going to be taking my good, sweet time in finishing it! 

For more information on 13 Clubs, check out this article in the Paris Review

Thursday, April 12, 2018

The Shrouded Lady of Rippon, West Virginia

It's time for another Throwback Thursday vintage newspaper article!  The clipping above comes from the 8 August 1912 edition of the Shepherdstown Register. Rippon is a small community located in West Virginia's Eastern Panhandle county of Jefferson.

I was drawn to this short little blurb of a story, not only because its a West Virginia ghost story being reported and documented in a local paper...but also because of how the family chose to rid the home of this ghostly shrouded woman. It is stated that the head of the household flipped all the doors in the home upside down!

Throughout my years of study into folklore and ghost lore, I've come across a ton of strange ways to prevent ghosts or keep them away, and there does seem to be an underlying theme to most of the strategies:  keep the ghost confused.  While I've never come across the idea of flipping the doors to a home upside down, I'm going to guess that such an act is based on the theory that a confused ghost is a ghost that won't bother you. I mean, renovating a building is a great way to stir up latent energies and kickstart a haunting....I guess if you already HAVE the haunting, structural changes such as flipping doors could have the opposite effect?

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Theresa's Travels: In Search of the Braxton County Monster (Part III)

It's finally time for the culmination of Theresa's Travels: In Search of the Braxton County Monster! Today's blog is about the whole reason we decided to take a day trip into Sutton/Flatwoods in the first place:  The world premier of Small Town Monsters' The Flatwoods Monster: A Legacy of Fear!

I have been following the Small Town Monsters crew, consisting mostly of filmmaker/producer/writer Seth Breedlove, since meeting them at the Mothman Festival last year. They make good, quality documentaries about spooky stuff, such as Mothman, the Minerva Monster, and the Boggy Creek Monster. So, when I heard that a new Flatwoods Monster film would be coming out, I was excited.

We could have just bought/rented the movie when it was released on April 7, 2018. It was/is available on Amazon and Vimeo---but what's the fun in just sitting at home watching a movie when you can travel just a short 90 minutes from home and experience the premier in an historic theater, just minutes away from where the sighting originally took place?!?

And, that's precisely what we did! We pre-ordered our tickets online, which were an absolute STEAL at $5 a piece and made plans to get to the Elk Theater in downtown Sutton a little early to get good seats.  Well, we arrived a few hours early in order to explore the town, which you've hopefully read about in Part I and Part II of my Theresa's Travels series! But anyway...

We arrived at the Elk Theater about 35 minutes before the 7pm showtime, and seats were already filling up fast. I bought my son Luke and I matching T-shirts, and Aaron stood in line for our popcorn and drinks. By the time he met me back at our seats, the place at sold out. In fact, so many people were turned away at the box office, that a special matinee showing for Sunday at 3pm had to be scheduled.

During the few minutes we had before the film got started, we got to chat with our seatmates, which was very sweet. A local man and his daughter sitting in front of us gave us the scoop on the historic theater and a little about the town of Sutton. An older couple beside them giggled at Aaron's near-miss in regards to my concession stand order. And, a dad and son all the way from New York sat beside us and we talked like we'd known each other forever. Les O'Dell, from WV's Cryptids and Strange Encounters, who we ran into at the Museum (and at several of the chairs throughout the day) had arrived at the theater the same time we did, so we got in a few more minutes of chatty-time. We also saw (and sat near) a small group that we ran into at both the museum and The Spot AND another couple who we spoke with briefly earlier, also while at the Spot!

I was fired up for the film, and after a few brief words, it began. I don't want to ruin it for anyone who hasn't seen it yet and wants to, so I'll try to keep spoilers to a minimum.  However, if you have a basic understanding of the story, spoilers are a moot point, lol. The film is about the weird and wacky evening of September 12, 1952 when a group of kids playing football saw SOMETHING over the skies of Flatwoods, WV. The object appeared to either land or crash on a nearby hill, so the boys, led by brothers Freddie and Eddie May, went to investigate, stopping at the May home where they were joined by their mother, Kathleen and a 17 year old relation named Gene Lemon. The group proceeded to the Bailey Fisher farm, where they would encounter SOMETHING that would scare the bejeebus out of them, and change them, and the town of Flatwoods, forever. Over the years, that creature would be known as the Flatwoods Monster, the Braxton County Monster, and even, the Flatwoods Green-eyed Monster. Sometimes its referred to as just..."the Creature."

I really enjoyed the film. At 45 minutes long, it didn't go too in-depth about the theories as to what the creature was. However, it was an excellent overview and introduction to the case, which I think is one of the most fascinating in WV UFO lore. Unfortunately, most of the witnesses are now deceased, but Seth managed to get both Freddie and Eddie (now known as Fred and Ed) May to tell their stories, stories that are unassuming and haven't changed since the original events took place.

Also featured in the film (and who were present for the Q and A afterwards) were John Gibson, who is responsible for the popular Flatwoods Monster lanterns, paranormal investigator Dave Spinks, who tells a fascinating related tale of a similar (or same?) monster in the area, Andrew Smith, executive director of the Braxton County CVB, and a really cool lady (for the love of all that is holy, someone remind me of her name, please!) who told a chilling tale from her grandmother that seems to relate directly to the Flatwoods Monster event of of September 12.

Q and A Panel at the Elk Theater

Original interviews were enhanced with some creepy animation and a haunting score. Historical photos and audio recordings, and even some 1950s UFO movie footage gave the film a really cool, vintage vibe. The 45 minutes flew by and left me wanting more!  Luckily, the Q and A provided it.  Usually these things are boring, stuffy, and awkward, as no one really wants to get started in asking the questions. I was pleased, though, to see people jumping right in, and asking really good questions about a variety of things. Seth and the rest of the panel were not only informative, but they were fun to listen to. Everyone had a great sense of humor and was really personable---which fit perfectly into the whole atmosphere of the evening.

My only issue was with the film itself...and honestly, its NOT an issue. I understand that the filmmaker had a set vision---to tell the tale of the Flatwoods Monster and how it affected a small community. But, being someone who appreciates the bigger picture when it comes to these things, I would have loved to have seen more on what was happening throughout the state and throughout the East Coast of the country that same night as evidence suggests that our little freaky Flatwoods critter was NOT the only one of its kind to visit that night. I also realize that much of that story was the passion project of another researcher, Frank Feschino, and that certain things were left out of the film, not only to keep the narrative focused on the vision, but also to not step on any toes, legal or otherwise! If you see The Flatwoods Monster: A Legacy of Fear and YOU'RE left wanting more, you might want to read Frank's book, The Braxton County Monster.

Overall, though, this weekend was an absolute blast! I don't mean to sound too hard on the movie, because in all actuality, I really enjoyed it. I thought it was well done, entertaining, and informative. Getting to see it premier live at the Elk Theater in Sutton was icing on the cake---it makes me really sad that I didn't take the time to make it to the State Theater in Pt. Pleasant when they showed the Mothman film.  Not only did we see a great movie among a group of other fans of WV's spooky history, but we got to spend an afternoon exploring some of the awesome, off-beat attractions that have grown out of a renewed interest for this strange, yet important tale of the Flatwoods Monster. If you missed the premier, you can still see the movie. You can buy/rent a digital copy from Amazon or pick up a DVD from the Small Town Monsters website . And although the movie is no longer showing at the Elk Theater, there is still a ton of great things to do in the Sutton/Flatwoods area, for fans of monster lore, history, outdoor sports, as well as many other interests. It's also about an hour or so drive from Weston, which makes a trip to the Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum for a tour, an easy thing to add to any itinerary!

Make sure you visit the previous posts in the "Theresa's Travels: In Search of the Braxton County Monster" series:

Part I---Braxton County CVB/Monster Museum and The Spot Dairy Bar
Part II---Flatwoods Monster Chairs

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Theresa's Travels: In Search of the Braxton County Monster (Part II)

The Braxton County/Flatwoods Monster Chairs
Part II of Theresa's Travels: In Search of the Braxton County Monster

Yesterday's blog  (Part I) was all about the Braxton County CVB/Monster Museum and The Spot, a little monster-themed dairy bar in Flatwoods. After exploring the museum and having lunch, we still had about an hour and a half before we needed to be at the Elk Theater for our Small Town Monsters premier of The Flatwoods Monster: A Legacy of Fear.  So how did we kill the time? By going on a quest to photograph ALL FIVE of the famous Monster Chairs, located throughout Braxton County.  I had been to only two of the chairs before, so we were determined to make it to all five...and we did it!

I've said before that I am really pleased at how, over the past 5 years or so, the area has really started to embrace its monster lore. I believe that Andrew Smith, executive director of the Braxton County CVB, has had a huge part in that. In 2014, he was instrumental in drawing up the plans for oversized, novelty chairs, featuring the Flatwoods/Braxton Co. Monster with different paint jobs, to be placed throughout the county. The first such chair was installed beside the Dairy Queen in Gassaway in May of 2015, and there are now 5 total in the county, drawing in visitors from all over.  Please see the Flatwoods Monsters Chairs website for more history, and how YOU can find all 5 chairs and collect a small prize!

Part III of the Blog Available Here!

1. Flatwoods Municipal Building (right across from The Spot Dairy Bar)

2. Flatwoods Days Inn

3. Holly Gray Park

4. Cafe Cimino

5. Gassaway Dairy Queen 

(Apparently, I've lost the photo of Aaron at the Dairy Queen chair, lol. Ooops!)

Monday, April 9, 2018

Theresa's Travels: In Search of the Braxton County Monster (Part I)

Braxton Co. CVB/Monster Museum
Last week, Aaron and I decided to pre-order tickets to the Small Town Monsters' world premier showing of their new film, The Flatwoods Monster: A Legacy of Fear. The movie, followed by a Q and A with producer/writer Seth Breedlove and a few of the people who appeared in the documentary, was held on April 7, 2018 at the Elk Theater in Sutton, WV.  I'll be discussing the movie more in Part III of the 'Theresa's Travels: In Search of the Braxton County Monster' series....but first, I wanted to share the REST of our day!

We live about 90 minutes away from the Flatwoods/Sutton area, so we wanted to make sure we arrived in town with plenty of time to explore before the movie. The main location I wanted to check out was the new Braxton County CVB/Monster Museum, located at 208 Main St. in downtown Sutton. 
Piece of tree near sighting

Back in November of 2016, I had stopped in at the CVB when it was located in the Flatwoods Outlet Mall, and it was a nice little experience! The collection of Braxton County/Flatwoods Monster stuff was neatly displayed, yet browsing was a little awkward---the CVB shared space with something I can't remember (a realtor/travel agency/insurance company?) and there was a guy at a desk talking with two clients as I'm a few feet away snapping photos, lol. 

Horvath Collection
The awkwardness is all gone with the new building, thank goodness! It's located in a historic, downtown storefront, complete with a soda fountain behind the counter. Admission is FREE, its open until 4pm on the weekend/5pm on weekdays, and its closed on major holidays. Check out the website for further details. It's also important to note that the building IS still the CVB, so you're going to find a lot of brochures and tourist information NOT related to local monster lore.  However, if you're there just for the monster lore, you won't be disappointed.  With much more room, and plenty more to grow, the ever-increasing collection of Flatwoods Monster memorabilia is well organized, visually appealing, and easy to browse through. Plenty of comfortable seating and a friendly and knowledgeable staff are added bonuses, adding to the coziness of the experience. Ample street parking out front was also appreciated!

Aaron chatted with our museum host for awhile, and was surprised to find out that they actually had met before and ran in the same gaming circles. So, while they discussed those sorts of things, I had some free time to really take in all the museum has to offer.  Some of my favorite exhibits included:

*The original lantern molds, by John Gibson (and plenty of lanterns for sale!)

*A piece of wood from the tree that the monster stood by in 1952

*3 different costumes, one a mystery, one from a youth play in the early 2000s, and the current one you've seen me with during last year's Mothman Festival!
Aaron has found his kith

*David Horvath's colorful toy monsters

*And...just about everything else there, lol.

I had a great time looking at everything, and an even better time getting to chat with Les O'Dell from WV Cryptids and Strange Encounters, who just happened to come in shortly after us! It's always a lot of fun to meet others with a passion for the strange and unusual, and its especially cool to bump into someone whose work you really admire! He and his son were really cool, and had some fascinating stories to share. If you're not familiar with his page, please go check it out!

I could have sat in the comfy little museum, talking all day and buying everything that had a price tag (actually, I think we DID buy at least one of each thing aside from the poster and the lantern, which we already own), but we hadn't eaten yet and were getting hungry. Not sure where we wanted to stop, we were pointed in the direction of The Spot in Flatwoods.  Holy cow, we could not have found a better place to eat on our own!  This little quick-stop-spot was similar to our local Dairy Freeze or Dairy Queen. The staff was extremely friendly, the food was good, and they had a whole bunch of specialty sandwiches with UFO/Monster-themed names. They even had a little display case set up with additional souvenirs. More lanterns and t-shirts were available, but they also offered decals, and adorable hand-made Flatwoods Monster figures, earrings, necklaces, and keychains. I couldn't leave without taking home a figurine and a necklace, along with a novelty beverage cup (FREE refills!) with the Monster on it.

Outside, The Spot has some patio dining space, and a few Flatwoods Monster posters. Adjoining the property, you can get your photo taken with the Spot sign, and right across the street, you can find one of the five Braxton County Monster Chairs...but more on THOSE in the next post!  You can find more photos from our trip on Theresa's Haunted History's Facebook page, and keep checking back for Part II and Part III!

Sunday, April 8, 2018

The Haunted History of Chicago's Lincoln Park Zoo

Happy Zoo Lovers' Day!  That's right---according to Holiday Insights, a website devoted to cataloging the smaller, and often pretty bizarre, holidays throughout the year, today is a day dedicated to zoos and the people who love them. Here at Theresa's Haunted History of the Tri-State, that means today is the perfect opportunity to talk about HAUNTED zoos!

Previously, I've featured the Phantom Lioness at the Cincinnati Zoo and the ghost of a murdered zookeeper at the Houston Zoo. Personally, I find these tales fascinating and lately, have been on a quest to read about as many haunted zoos as I could find. There are a lot of them throughout the United States, but today I want to focus on Chicago's Lincoln Park Zoo. Not only does it have a huge range of paranormal activity and reported sightings of spooky things, but it has a pretty dark history to back them up.

The Lincoln Park Zoo is an old one. It was established between 1868 and 1869 when the land was turned over to the zoo from the city of Chicago. The reason why the city had this land to give was because it was removing the city burial grounds!  According to Chicago Quirk, the cemetery dates back to around 1837 when the state of Illinois set aside the land for a burial ground in Chicago. Between 1843 and 1859, the location was the site of tens of thousands of burials of Chicago citizens. However, around the time of the Civil War, people began to favor the more beautiful, expansive rural memorial gardens over small, crowded city cemeteries.  Not to mention, the citizens of Chicago were getting sick of having a burial ground right in their city. Not only do cemeteries take up valuable real estate that could be used by the living, but at the time, a doctor named John H. Rauch, warned that the close proximity of the graveyard to local water sources could be a major health hazard.

So, they began the laborious process of removing the bodies, but for various reasons, not ALL the bodies were removed.

However, the park and the zoo continued to grow and flourish. And, as you can imagine, has picked up quite a reputation for being haunted!  It is not usual for a visitor or member of the zoo staff to see people in Victorian dress, simply walking around the property, oblivious to the fact that over 100 years have passed since they've died. One woman in particular is seen in a white dress, and prefers to manifest in and around the Lion House.  She also is seen in the Ladies' Room mirrors (located in the basement of the Lion House)---but as soon as the witness turns around, no one is there.

Phantom footsteps, disembodied voices, slamming doors, photographic anomalies, and flickering lights are all the norm as well, and can be experienced throughout the zoo. There also seems to be a floating pocket of negative energy that makes people physically ill when they encounter it in various locations throughout the park.

Another hot spot for activity is a fairly recent addition to the zoo.  In 1962, ground broke for the zoo's Barn, a location featuring farm animals and demonstrations on farming. When ground broke for the building, a body was unearthed.  After not much help from authorities, zoo director, Dr. Lester Fisher made the decision to simply return the body and build the barn over top it. Various EVPs have been captured here, along with plenty of reports of other spooky happenings. (A short excerpt from a ghost tour explaining the Barn's hauntings can be found on YouTube.)  What's even weirder is that Dr. Lester himself seems to be haunting the zoo, even though he's very much still alive!  His voice has been captured on EVP as well, near the primate exhibit.

It seems obvious that the majority of paranormal activity (minus Dr. Fisher) stems from the fact that the zoo was built atop a cemetery, where bodies are still occasionally being found.  However, the paranormal activity has had a LONG history at this location, and some people believe that the ghosts are the lost souls from nearby suicides. Between 1894 and 1919 a bridge was located across the lagoon, just past the zoo's parking lot. It is estimated that between 50 and 100 people managed to kill themselves by jumping off or hanging themselves from the bridge. It was such a popular place to commit suicide, that the bridge was actually called 'Suicide Bridge' on postcards!

If you'd like to experience the ghosts of the Lincoln Park Zoo for yourself, you're in luck!  The zoo is open year-round and offers FREE admission!  There aren't too many places throughout the zoo that are free from activity, but you might want to spend some extra time at the Lion House, the Barn, and the cafe. If you're interested in a more in-depth paranormal experience, paranormal investigator and author, Ursula Bielski offers tours throughout October. Just keep an eye on the zoo's website for more info!

Brent Swancer:  High Strangeness at Haunted Zoos (March 29, 2017)
Dave Fuentes: Ursula Bielski and the Ghosts of Lincoln Park Zoo (November 5, 2014)
Chicago Quirk: Guess What? There are thousands of bodies under Lincoln Park (10/29/12)

Saturday, April 7, 2018

The Floating Coffin of Monongah, WV

The original purpose of Theresa's Haunted History was to provide factual documentation and resources for haunted locations throughout WV and the tri-state area. I wanted to focus on places that could be visited, but more so, I wanted to focus on places that were verifiable---places where you easily pinpoint, find documentation for details such as the people involved, and hopefully, could still experience something paranormal for yourself. Over the years, however, my focus has changed slightly, and I've realized the importance of sharing personal experiences, vintage stories, and events that are probably more folklore than fact.

This story probably falls into that last category. I found it in the West Virginia Folklore Journal, Volume 19, Number 1. It was published in July of 1977. Floating Coffin was included in a section of ghost stories, and it is noted that it was submitted by the late Thomas M. Leeper of Monongah, WV. I've copied the text below exactly how it appears in the journal, but  this tale can also be found in Ruth Ann Musick's The Telltale Lilac Bush, which was published in 1965. In fact, you can listen to an audio version presented by the WV Network on YouTube! Please enjoy this wonderful old tale and let me know if there are any other stories you'd like to see featured here!

WV Folklore Journal Illustration by Don Mangone. I love this picture.
While I mean no disrespect to the wonderful artist, I can't help but think that it looks like the ghost is flipping the bird to those ladies.

About the close of the Civil War, "Hatter" Sam Cooper lived at Monongah.  During the winter he set traps for small fur-bearing animals, such as fox, coon, skunk, mink, muskrat, and opposum.  One day while going over his trap line on Booth's Creek near the cornfield where Captain James Booth was killed by Shawnee Indians, he found a very fine fur hat sticking in the crack of some rocks.  It was new and had a small bullet-hole through the rim, through the side of the hat and sweat band, but there was no hole to show that it had come out on the other side.

He took the hat home and reported what he had found so the owner could come and get it, but one one ever claimed it. It was rumored around that a Pennsylvania drawer had been murdered there for his money.

A short time after Cooper found the hat, Mrs. Hess Bender, who lived near Bobtown, was going home and stopped for a drink of water at the Smiths, who lived about half a mile below where the hat was found.  Mrs. Smith met her and it was not until supper was about ready, and asked her to come in and have supper with them, which she did, and then started on home.

She was gone about half an hour when she came back to the Smiths.  Said she had forgotten her bonnet and could not do without it.  Then she told them that as she was going along, about the middle of the stretch of road that lays along the edge of the woods on top of the creek's bank, she saw a coffin with a man sitting on it, rise up from the upper side of the road. She could not see anything or anybody floating near it. She said that it came up about as high as her head, went quartering across the road and disappeared over the creek bank.  She said she was scared and had come  back to stay all night.

It was said that Isaac Koon, an old farmer living a short distance away saw the same thing, and he said it went over the creek bank, about where the hat had been found.  Then two women who lived near Bobtown saw the coffin and man.  Several others reported that they had seen it and it always came up from the same place on the upper side of the road, crossed the road, and went over the creek bank at the same place, and was always seen about the same time in the evening.

About 1874 or 1875 on a Saturday, several boys from Monongah and Rhea Chapel were at Boothsville playing baseball.  A new road had been made up the creek but the old road was still open.  In the evening Tom Rhea, Barney Whaling, and Will Barnes were coming from the ball game on horseback and took the old road for it was shorter to their homes.  Tom was a few steps in front of Barney and Will. 

Barney called to Tom and said, "Say, Tom, right along here some place is where that dead man lives."

"Yes," said Tom.  "I wish I could see him.  I would whistle for him to dance."

Just then the coffin and man came up from the side of the road.  Tom's horse saw it, reared, and whirled to run.  Tom was a good rider or he would have been thrown.  Barney and Will watched the coffin and man cross the road and disappear over the creek bank.  Whaling lived at Rhea's and Barnes went there to stay all night.  They got to talking about how far the horse Tom was riding jumped.

The next morning, being Sunday, they went back to see.  The horse tracks were plainly visible. They measured the tracks and all claimed that the horse had jumped 19 feet.  That was the only time that I ever heard of a horse seeing a ghost.

All of the old people living around there have passed on and I have not heard a word about the man and coffin for more than fifty years.