Creature Feature- The Dresden Files

 

So I read these books called The Dresden Files. If you haven’t heard of them, they’re an urban fantasy series by Jim Butcher. Set in Chicago, the books are told from the first-person perspective of Harry Dresden, local Wizard and private Investigator. With fifteen novels and a collection of short stories (so far), it’s a huge source for both entertainment and inspiration. Every novel Dresden faces supernatural creatures of one kind or another. I’ve been introduced to more than a few weird things because of these books, and I figured this blog was a great excuse to get to know the our-world versions of them better. Some I may have covered before, to greater extent, but this is just a little taste of some of the badies from my favourite book series. Let’s go!

 

SPOILERS AHEAD THROUGH SKIN GAME, THE LATEST NOVEL. THIS IS YOUR WARNING.

 

First, let’s start with the creepiest creature I have ever read about. This thing gives me actual nightmares. Ever since Butcher introduced them to me in Turn Coat, I haven’t really stopped thinking about them, or being incredibly paranoid about them. In short, Skinwalkers scare the bejeezus out of me, and I believe for very good reason.

Skinwalkers, or better known I think by their Navajo name yee naaldooshii– “with it, he goes on all fours” (Naagloshii in DF), are shapeshifters with the ability to take the form of animals and people. In the novels, they are originally disturbing-looking creatures (especially through The Sight) that use the blood of victims to transform into that person. According to actual legend, skinwalkers are medicine men and witches who have chosen the darkest paths to take. One reaching the highest level of priesthood, these people (usually men) choose to use black magic. And, by committing a cultural taboo, or killing a close family member, they become the skinwalker.

Those who have experienced skinwalkers are hesitant to talk about the encounter, fearing it may return to finish the job. However, of what people have said, skinwalkers are incredibly fast, agile, and are impossible to catch. They most commonly transform into owls, coyotes, crows, wolves, and foxes. They use charms, like bone powder made from infants, to attack. A lot of times people hear knocking on walls and windows, or see an animal-like shape peering into their homes. Skinwalkers have attacked cars as well. Legend has it they can read the minds of humans, too. Injuring or killing a skinwalker requires the full Name of the person to be said aloud. I suppose, first you would have to know its full Name.

So good luck with that.

 

Next up on the list are everyone’s favourite side characters, the Alphas! Alright, actually we’ talking a little about werewolves, but Will, Georgia, and the rest are a bunch of really great characters. They transform into wolves willingly and with magic, so willing-wolves, really. But there are a bunch of different kinds of werewolves, some of which we don’t really have time for this time around. So let’s discuss your werewolf basics.

In order to become a werewolf, there were (are?) a number of ways you could go about doing it. Hexenwulfen, for example, used a wolfskin or other talisman in order to transform into the beast. Other ways included sleeping under a full moon during the summer on a particular Wednesday or Friday, drinking specially-prepared beer and saying a ritual, or being cursed with lycanthropy. Some werewolves have/had the ability to keep their human thoughts while in wolf form. Others, like the cursed or the loup-garou, are/were transformed into the animal fully, losing all humanity.

Perhaps one of the most famous cases of lycanthropy is about a man named Peter Stubbe. Stubbe is said to have killed over 12 people in Germany, back in the late 1500’s. He was of the “Put on a wolf belt” variety. Legend has it that when he put on the belt, he physically transformed into a wolf-like creature, and craved human flesh. He was eventually tortured and killed for his crimes.

Werewolves are incredibly strong and fast. They can look like actual wolves, or like unnatural amalgamations of human and wolf. They take on the characteristics of wolves, including heightened sight, smell, and hearing.

Killing a werewolf using silver was a cure thought up in the 20th century, most likely by fiction writers. The Greeks and Romans believed that physical exhaustion was the cure, as the inflicted would be too tired to carry on with the practice. The use of the plant wolfsbane was a cure in medieval Europe, as was striking the head of a werewolf with a knife in Arabic culture.

I find it incredibly interesting that basically every culture has some kind of shapeshifting myth. Everyone thinks there are ways to become an animal, and ways to stop that process once its got a hold. Maybe there’s something to all that, eh?

 

St. Germain

And last, because holy cow this is going to take so many parts, are my favourite supernatural beings, and ones I have studied so much they should give me a Masters degree on them- vampires. In DF, there are basically three kinds of vampires. You’ve got the Black Court, which is kind of your average Nosferatu, undead, smelly, frail (except not at all), not very pleasant to be around. You’re traditional undead vampire. Then there’s the Red Court, who are actually giant bat monsters, but cover themselves in a flesh mask to move around in society. They drink blood, have crazy euphoria saliva, and only the strongest ones can go about in daylight under a flesh mask. And then there’s the White Court, whom are divided into three types of psychic vampire. House Raith feeds on sexual desire, Malvora on fear, and Skavis on despair. They’re all the most human of the vampires, going out in sunlight, not drinking blood.

In our world, there are also different kinds of vampires. It really depends on which cultures you’re getting the myth from. In terms of legends coming from America (since you know, the blog thing), there are really blood drinkers and psychic vampires. Traditionally, vampires were basically our dead brought to life due to a number of circumstances. They were a lot like the Black Court, or possibly even how we think of zombies. Mostly mindless, still decaying, preying on family members, and not necessarily for blood. But they evolved into never-aging humans, who needed blood to sustain their unlives. Vampires in general can’t go out in the daylight, but the really old myths say little to nothing about having to stay in the shadows. They’re fast, impossibly strong, seductive, and unchanging.

New Orleans in particular seems to be a vampire hotspot. Stories are told about the Casket Girls, women from France sent to marry the men of New Orleans. They brought with them large trunks, supposedly containing the things they would need to start a marriage. Well, legend has it that what they really brought to the New World were vampires. The Ursuline Convent in New Orleans is the center for this origination of vampires in New Orleans, and seriously, I won’t look at those attic windows at night, for fear of finding one open, and a vampire at my throat. There’s also the legend of Jacques St. Germain, probably one of the most famous alleged vampires. He’s been seen since the 1800’s, and not as a ghostly apparition. The link has more on him and other vampires of New Orleans.

 

Now, psychic vampires are pretty much proven. Ever have a friend you just found to be completely draining? They probably weren’t do it consciously, but they were sucking the life from you, so to speak. Psychic vampires get their energy by taking the energy of others, whether it be from sexual intercourse, or something more like meditation and transference. A person might not even know this is how they get their energy, but be around them long enough, and you’ll soon figure it out.

 

I have no many more creatures to write about, and even these ones could be a whole blog or two to themselves, so I’ll leave off here for now. If you have any questions, or want to talk about your encounters, let me know! And go read The Dresden Files, by Jim Butcher. They’re absolutely fantastic reads!

 

 

 

 

*all images belong to their respective owners. I’m using none for profit.

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Natural Haunts

It’s been a while. No excuses, let’s just get to it.

 

This is a tricky title. Calling something a ‘natural haunt’ seems to be pretty contradictory, but stay with me. Sure, there are lots of places that can be both natural and haunted. A haunting itself feels pretty natural just based on the amount of occurrences all over the world, although we like to throw them into decidedly UNnatural realms. For this blog’s purposes, however, we’ll call a natural haunt a paranormal events or series of events that happens in natural settings, i.e. forests, deserts, big ole caves, etc. So if there’s a tree in some park somewhere that has a ghosts attached to it, it’s a natural haunt. An unnatural haunt would be like Linda Vista, a man-made hospital in which supernatural events occur. Got it? Awesome. Now let me tell you about a few.

The first is one I hadn’t really considered before doing my traditional Google search of stuff I can write about. After all, Mammoth Cave is pretty much just that- a huge cave. What spooky happenings could go on there? Well, according to the 150+ documented paranormal events in connection with the cave and national park… apparently a lot.

 

What Goes On Here?

It’s not just tourists spouting off stories of scary shadows and echoing footsteps in the caves. No, Rangers and tour guides have come forward plenty of times with tales of their experiences inside Mammoth Cave. One of the most frequent apparitions seen is of Stephen Bishop. A slave of the owner of the cave in the 1800’s, he became one of the greatest guides Mammoth Cave has ever seen. He was the first person to map out Mammoth Cave, and spent most of his life in and around Mammoth. He was buried in the Guide cemetery a little way outside the national park. Bishop is seen often. Most of the time he appears to those on a lantern tour, where the only lights allowed are kerosene lamps. Nothing pointed to him being threatening. If anything, he might just still be exploring the caves he called home.

Perhaps the most famous ghost of Mammoth is that of Floyd Collins. While not exceptionally popular except at the very end of his life, his death, body, and ghost became incredibly famous. In the 1800’s, Floyd fell on hard time after discovering the Crystal Caves, a segment of Mammoth Cave filled with Gypsum. While trying to find more for tourists to see, he fell and got trapped in a cave, down a shaft. After weeks of failed rescue attempts, Floyd died of exposure and exhaustion. After, however, his body did not stay buried. He was exhumed, shown in a glass coffin, body-napped, had his leg go missing, and finally returned for show and burial. In recent history, two rangers were taking a hike through the Crystal Caves. On the way in, they found an old whiskey bottle and placed it on a rock shelf. On the way out, they heard a ‘clink’ behind them, and turned to look just as the bottle came out and away from the shelf, and went crashing to the floor. Others have heard a male voice calling for help near the cave where Floyd breathed his last. Perhaps such an unrested spirit would return to the caves in which he was so desperate for.

Grand Canyon 1

It shouldn’t be surprising that the Grand Canyon is home to a number of spooky spirits. After all, it’s miles and miles of open space, home to a number of people, and sacred to even more. Millions of people visit the Grand Canyon every year, and I’m sure some leave their marks heavy on its deep walls.

The Hopi House, along the South Rim is home to two ghosts nicknamed the “Brown Boys.” They cause a lot of noise upstairs, and a lot of mischief on the floor below. Should they not like the way the crafts and souvenirs have been arranged, they will be sure to let the workers know by tossing the items to the floor.

Along the North Rim the tale of the Wailing Woman is quite popular. Legend has it that in the 1920’s a woman commited suicide in one of the lodges near the rim after learning that both her son and husband had died in a hiking accident. Now she floats along the Transept Trail in a white dress with blue flowers, moaning and sobbing over her loss.

The Crash Canyon may sound like a familiar name to you. In 1956, one of the worst air disasters in America happened above the Grand Canyon. Hoping two avoid the thunderstorms brewing over the southwest, two airlines (one headed for Chicago, one for Kansas City) collided around 21,000 feet above the Grand Canyon. 128 people died as a result, plunging into the canyon far, far below them. Many rangers and visitors have reported a ghostly wind rushing through the otherwise still canyon, the sound of panicked voices accompanying it. People have seen apparitions hiking the trails and heard calls for help. Ghost lights appear amongst the foliage and rocks, coming from seemingly nowhere.

Possible EVP from Mammoth Cave?

The are a vast number of other haunted natural locations throughout the US.All are of varying levels of paranormal activity, with some locales more likely to give you a reaction than others. Below are just a few of the myriad of places you can visit out in the wild.

The Elfin Forest near Escondido, California is home to a very friendly spirit. Called the White Lady (a very popular name for ghosts), she gladly shows herself to visitors of the area. She floats off the ground and has been seen passing through solid objects.

Shut-In Creek, in Hot Springs, North Carolina is known for its disembodied voices and ghost light. Legend has it that a man was killed by the poisonous fumes coming from the old manganese mine in the 1900’s not too far away from the creek.

And then sometimes it’s easy to forget that not all spirits are human. But animals can have a stake in this mortal life just as much as a human can. Untimely ends effect our furry, feathery, and scaly friends, too, and can lead to their spirits hanging around a location with unfinished business. One such haunting is that of the horse of a man named Adam Brown. Mr. Brown was murdered along Raccoon Mountain Road, in Ossipee, New Hampshire. The horse fell down a ravine during the attack, breaking its leg, It died a time later from starvation and exposure. Now it can be seen following travelers down the road. Perhaps its looking for its owner?

Massachusetts is home to another spectral horse. Once owned by a pirate, this black stallion was used to lure ships aground for raiding. A lantern would be tied to its neck, and the pirate paced the horse back and forth behind the rocks. Ships would come into “port,” ultimately crashing and becoming vulnerable to pirates. The horse has been seen in a glowing white light, pacing back and forth near the water. Could this creature be carrying out its mission from life? Who knows.

 

There are so many more places worth talking about and visiting. Like most of my blogs, this requires more than one part. For now, be sure to read more about these natural haunted places. Go forth and ghost hunt, and be safe!

Skinwalker Ranch

Sorry for the extremely long delay, folks. Life likes to push its way to the top of my priority list, and I can only ignore it for so long. I’ll be doing my best to update with a little regularity now that I have a set schedule work-wise. But enough about me… onto today’s topic.

 

Okay, it’s weird that I hadn’t heard of this place until about two weeks ago. It is really hard to find something paranormal that I’m not already aware of. People bring me stories all the time, and usually I can finish their thought for them. Skinwalker Ranch was mentioned in the paranormal sub of Reddit a couple of weeks ago, and it struck me. This was a place, not excruciatingly far from where I am currently, with all sorts of stories coming out of it, that was completely new to me. So of course I immediately Googled it, and whoa. This place is like the X-Files on crack. Below are just a few of the odd stories people tell about this ranch.

 

Skinwalker Ranch, or Sherman Ranch (Bigelow Ranch), as its owners would probably prefer it to be called, is a large-acreage ranch in Utah’s Uintah County. It borders the Ute Reservation, and several other ranches in the area. It looks, well, pretty benign from the outside. Sure, there are fences, and camera traps, and warnings along its borders, but there aren’t men in cars waiting to snipe you from a hill if you step over the line like at Area 51. This ranch looks like any other ranch- there are cattle, farming equipment, buildings… but if you listen to the stories people tell about it, you’ll get the impression that the everyday look the property has is a cover-up for some pretty strange experiments. The ranch gets its nickname from an old Ute legendary creature- the Skinwalker. Now, this will be covered in a later blog entry, but the short story is that the Navajo put a curse upon the Ute a long, long, long time ago. They were cursed with the Skinwalker, a beast that can shapeshift. The ranch is supposedly in an area the Ute call “the path of the Skinwalker,” and near Skinwalker Ridge. So.. the name developed.

 

As for the stories… well there seems to be every kind of paranormal phenomena possible coming out of this place. Stories of Bigfoot, of cattle mutilation, of UFOs, ghosts, all of these have been witnessed in and around the ranch. It appears a lot of the events happened in the 90’s, when Tom Gorman (name changed) and family purchased the ranch. Their first encounter was with a wolf, who at first seemed tame enough to be pet. It attacked one of the Gorman’s calves and was stopped by Tom when he shot it with a handgun, and then a rifle. Only it didn’t go down. According to the story it stopped the attack, stared at the father and son protecting the calf, and then ran off. Not a bit of blood was spilled. The Gormans tracked the creature for a mile, but it appeared to have completely vanished, tracks and all. And that was only day one of the Gorman’s residency at the ranch. Over the years the family witnessed many strange creatures, including one a lot of people have sort-of seen. There have been two descriptions of it like the Predator (you know, from the movie Predator), a creature or entity nearly completely transparent, except for the ability to change translucent colours. Not only did the Gorman family witness it, but one of their guests, and a member of the Ute tribe (video below) also saw the being. By all guesses it is not friendly, and definitely not something you want to encounter. It roars something like a bear, but it is anything but. Unless they’ve developed some kind of cloaking device, that is.

 

But not only have people come face to face with grisly creatures, UFO sightings have been reported since the 1950’s. There are tons of pictures and video of strange lights in the skies over this area of Utah, including the infamous black triangles known to just about every UFO researcher. Better than me blabbering on about all of the UFO activity, below are a few videos of supposed alien aircraft above the ranch. Now, personally, I think at least some of these can be explained by non-supernatural means, but there are those that I just have no answer for.

Some of the most compelling information has to be all of the cattle mutilations that have happened over the years. It seems that no matter who lives there, something or someone has been mutilating the cattle on the property for decades. There are pictures here (warning- graphic) of a few of the mutilations. Signs include complete blood loss, surgeon-like incisions, and completely missing body parts.

Several programs have done outside research on the mysterious ranch. But entrance onto the property is expressly forbidden. I definitely do not recommend visiting the ranch expecting anyone to be friendly. A lot of these storytellers have been met with absolute hostility, being threatened with guard dogs and guns. There is no safe way onto the property, and you would be better off observing the strange lights on the ground and in the sky from a safe distance.

Personally, and i have no idea why, but this place really gets to me. It’s taken me two weeks to finish this blog post. I just have a very bad feeling about it. And my feelings are usually right, so doing research on Skinwalker Ranch has been a little tough. However, don’t let this stop you from finding out more about the ranch yourself. Just take the necessary precautions to protect yourself should you look further into it, or attempt to visit the area. Whatever you choose, happy haunting!

 

More research can be done here:

Skinwalker Ranch

Interview with Larry Cesspooch, local Ute tribemember

Night Crawlers

Alright, take a look at this:

Weird, right? And I don’t mean the unnecessary music or footnotes. That up there has been named a Night Crawler. There have been several sightings of these little creatures all over, and no one seems to have any explanation for them. Indeed, they seem to be very low down on the known list of cryptids (if I can even call them that) that people know of and study. Night Crawlers are short, bipedal creatures who appear to enjoy leisurely strolls through front yards in the middle of the night. They look like they’re all legs, with maybe a teeny head perched on top. The one in the video actually looks like it’s wearing a cape or something. Here’s another video with a similar view:

These ones were caught on tape in Yosemite. The first video is from Fresno. So far these Night Crawlers are California-centric (which certainly doesn’t help me sleep at night). Not only that, the legend of these creatures isn’t a new one. According to the video below, from a Spanish-language paranormal show, the locals in and around Yosemite have known about these creatures for decades. They have even built them statutes in a show of peace and respect. They say that there is a creature of some kind with no torso or arms, and very long legs and a small head, that walks the forest at night. It doesn’t seem to be any kind of dangerous, but the residents give it all the respect in the world.

And while I would love to believe what this TV show has to say… I can’t seem to find the legends on the internet. There’s nearly no information out there on the web about Night Crawlers. Even the SyFy Channel got on board with them, featuring the little guys on Fact or Faked: Paranormal Files. determining that it might not be a hoax or a prank after all; it might be legitimate. At the very least, it’s unexplainable. Other than that, I can’t find anything else on these guys. If you know something, I would love for you to share your knowledge with me! I’m incredibly interested in the Night Crawlers, and I think we deserve to know more about them!

UFO Phenomena

 

For my Culture and Personality class, I will be writing a term paper on Mass Hysteria, with specific focus on the UFO phenomenon. In light of that, I thought I would devote at least one blog, if not a few, to a couple of major events in the UFO community. Everyone has heard of Roswell, of course, but not everyone knows of the Arnold Report, the Airship hysteria of 1897, or the Battle of Los Angeles (not the movie, but close). I would like to highlight these and perhaps a few others. Let’s get started, shall we?

 

First, the Kenneth Arnold UFO sighting happened in 1947, in the skies above Mt. Rainier, Washington. Before Arnold’s report, UFOs weren’t very high on the human radar. America had gone through the panic of Orson Welles’ War of the Worlds Halloween broadcast back in 1938, but since then the idea of aliens had taken a back burner to the second World War. When Arnold saw nine unidentified objects flying through the air “like a saucer would,” America was introduced to the flying saucer and ran with it. Ufoevidence.org has several articles outlining the report Arnold made to the Air Force and other inquirers:

 

“At around 3:00 in the afternoon, he was flying at about 9,000 feet, near Mount Rainier, when a flash of light caught his eye. He turned and saw a procession of nine very strange objects flying from north to south in front of his plane. They were flat and rather heel-shaped, very shiny, and they moved erratically, like a “saucer would if you skipped it across water.” 


Since then, Arnold’s report has been criticized by skeptics the world over. But, what UFO experience hasn’t been? In any case, this is the one that started it all…

 

After his initial report, America (and the world) were kicked into panic-mode. “Flying saucers” were everywhere. There was no going back now. America had UFO fever.

 

 

Far before the idea of flying saucers came about, however, Americans in the northern states were hysterical over something they could only describe as an Airship. Now, all of us in the Steampunk community know all about airships. For us, they’re the main form of travel in an alternate Victorian world, more elegant than airplanes or helicopters. These are not, however, our main form of travel. In fact, even in 1897 these weren’t the way to travel. But residents from California to Michigan saw something in the sky from a period of 1896-97.

 

With over 1500 reports from individuals, the mystery airships have become the best-documented paranormal phenomenon from antiquity. It seems there wasn’t a person alive who didn’t witness some mystery flying in the skies during this chunk of time. But what did they really see?

 

Wikipedia has way more than I thought on the subject of the mystery airships. It seems Sacramento and San Francisco were the first to report strange flying objects in the skies over California. Witnesses reported seeing a dark object behind a very bright light. Shouts of orders were heard from the ground, as well as singing. A man named Lowry reported two men pedaling to keep the aircraft aloft, and above them something like a passenger compartment.

 

Similar reports were given all over the continental US. One man even claimed to talk to two nude pilots from Mars. A lot of the reports claim to have seen crashes and airships on the ground, and one even describes the “pilot” telling about a device that let him shrink the airship enough to fit in his pocket! Most of the reports are honestly funny. “anonymous, but reliable” witnesses, nude pilots, even a woman strapped to a chair as a prisoner were told to various newspapers all over the country. At this point, most researchers believe these were all lies, hoaxes, or a serious of personal airships people weren’t familiar with. Whatever the case, there wasn’t a person alive in the US who hadn’t seen the mysterious airships.

 

The last event isn’t well known to the general population, either. In fact, most of the residents from the city in which it happened have no clue that such a thing took place. At the height of the second World War, 1942, a mysterious object was spotted by citizens and military officers alike over the coast of Los Angeles, California. At first officers thought we (I’m from there, after all) were being attacked by the Japanese. It was disturbing enough that a blackout was called for the city, and dozens of rounds of anti-aircraft bullets were fired on the object.

 

The Los Angeles Times has had two articles on the incident, one from 1942 and the other from 2011:

 

“No one knows what, if anything, the GIs saw in the early morning hours when their antiaircraft batteries opened fire. And after more than 1,000 antiaircraft and .50-caliber machine gun rounds were expended, there was no evidence that they had hit any targets. A single moment of the incident was preserved in a dramatic photo that ran in the next day’s Los Angeles Times, the image of several searchlight beams converged on a single point in the night sky above Culver City. Over the years that photo became legend among UFO-ologists who maintain the searchlights were trained on an alien spaceship, and that the photo is evidence of an extra-terrestrial visitation.”

 

 This could have been an actual raid, a fake raid used to scare the 2,000,000 residents of LA, or any number of things. It seems that no one has been satisfied with the explanations offered by officials. So what was it? We might not ever know.

 

 

What we do know is that there have been thousands of reports on unidentified flying objects spanning the globe for (at this point) over a hundred years. The verdict is still out on every single one of those reports, but the truth is out there somewhere.

 

If you’ve got any UFO stories of your own, feel free to email me, or leave them in the comments section! I would love to hear them!

 

 

http://www.ufoevidence.org/cases/case511.htm

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mystery_airship#Specific_cases

http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/showtracker/2011/03/tv-skeptic-fact-or-faked-paranormal-files-the-real-battle-of-la.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Los_Angeles

http://www.mufon.com/

http://www.latest-ufo-sightings.net/

The Whaley House

https://i0.wp.com/0.tqn.com/d/paranormal/1/0/3/U/1/whaley-house.jpg

 

In the Old Town district of San Diego, California, stands one of the most important buildings in the history of the city- The Whaley House. Built sometime in 1856, it belonged to Thomas Whaley, a notable businessman from San Francisco. He and his family inhabited the building until the last daughter’s death in 1953. Over the years the Whaley house was a family residence, a theatre to the Tanner Troupe, and was even rented out to the San Diego County Court. The house itself was actually built on the site of the hanging of Yankee Jim Robinson, a convicted man in San Diego.

 

The Whaley House is considered to be one of the most haunted in the country. Even Mr. Whaley himself heard mysterious footsteps, which he told his children was “just Yankee Jim.” But it seems that the majority of activity started when the house was opened as a museum in 1960. One of the bigger surprises is that most activity takes place during the day, something slightly abnormal for most haunted locations.


What goes on here?

 

The first (and seemingly one of the most prominent) ghosts here in Yankee Jim. According to Shadowlands, Yankee Jim was hung for stealing a boat. He seems to be the cause of the loud footsteps ringing through the house. There are reports of a tall man with unruly blonde hair (like Robinson was said to have), and a man’s laughter heard in several of the rooms.

Possible apparition of a cat caught on camera?

There is the apparition of a woman in a white dress and gold hoop earrings that is only seen in the court room of the house. There are more ghosts on the property, including an old attourney from the Civil War who fell in love with the house, and Mrs. Whaley, who likes to play the piano to make her presence known. Children and even the spirit of the Whaley’s terrier Dolly roam the House, reliving their time among the living.

 

Music and singing are often heard by the employees and visitors to the House, as well as children laughing and babies crying upstairs. There are phantom smells of perfume, and during the week between Christmas and New Year’s the smells of baking waft in the air.

 

It seems like the Whaleys never left their family home. Whether these are residual or intelligent is left up to investigators. What is evident is that this house definitely earns its title as the most haunted house in America. If you’d like to know more, or even schedule tours, there are several websites below with more details, and even some pictures!

Kind of a cheesy video, but this gives a little information on the Whaley house, and even has some evidence, too!

 

 

Whaley House

Hauntedhouses

shadowlands.net

SDParanormal

 

Roswell

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So I was looking through all of my old blogs, planning on tossing up the one on Roswell in honour of the 66th anniversary of the reporting of the incident, but I couldn’t find one! I feel like I totally should have made a blog on that by now, but I guess I felt it was explored enough, and I would get to it eventually. Well it just so happens that “eventually” is right now! I’m glad I get to dig further into the Roswell crash. I’ve been torn on it before, leaning more toward aliens than not, but at least now I get to lay all the facts out on the table! .. er, blog! So let’s get started.

Everyone knows about Roswell, right? A “flying saucer” crash landed outside of Roswell, New Mexico in 1947. Supposedly the remains of the craft and the pilots inside were taken to Area 51 for all kinds of experiments. No one the average citizen would believe has said what the thing definitively was, and it’s been too-far removed at this point (and too locked away in a very secure base) to even begin to guess. Right? Well, perhaps. Since the original story was published in the Roswell Daily Record there have been several books, many speakers, and even a TV show on the subject. Each one has its own version of what happened, but are any of them correct?

What Goes On Here?

Here’s a snippet of the original story published on July 8th, 1947:

Mr. and Mrs. Dan Wilmot apparently were the only persons in Roswell who seen what they thought was a flying disk. They were sitting on their porch at 105 South Penn. last Wednesday night at about ten o’clock when a large glowing object zoomed out of the sky from the southeast, going in a northwesterly direction at a high rate of speed. Wilmot called Mrs. Wilmot’s attention to it and both ran down into the yard to watch. It was in sight less then a minute, perhaps 40 or 50 seconds, Wilmot estimated…In appearance it looked oval in shape like two inverted saucers, faced mouth to mouth…The entire body glowed as though light were showing through from inside, though not like it would inside, though not like it would be if a light were merely underneath.

I hadn’t ever read the original article before, and I found that it barely mentions the actual crash at all. Most of the article is about the Wilmots’ story of seeing something flying in the sky and their description of it before it crashed. Mostly what I get from this is that the Wimots and the Roswell Daily Record are the ones to thank for coining the term “saucer” to describe a UFO. The website is quick to point out, however, that it is really the NEXT day’s article in the Record that’s the important one. When the first article was published, the RAAF had barely gotten involved, and are only mentioned briefly. By the next morning, they were controlling the statements, with General Ramey claiming that the craft was nothing more than a failed weather balloon, and that there were no “flying saucers” or “aliens” of any kind. They even held a press conference showing the “debris” from the crash. It contained foil, rubber, and wood. (To jump ahead, contemporary statements are that this was Project Mogul, a secret testing of various spy balloons held from 1947 to 1949. More on that later.)

And then everything slowed down… until 1978. Major Jesse Marcel was the man who picked up the debris from the rancher (Brazel) himself. He saw it, held it, reported it to General Ramey. He confessed to the public that he believed what he held was alien technology- that the crash really was an alien spaceship. His story gained notoriety, and papers like the National Enquirer published his account of the Roswell Incident.

In 1980 a book came out called The Roswell Incident, detailing accounts from (they claim) over ninety witnesses to the incident, including the children of Brazel and the reporter of the crash. Berlitz and Moore claim the government set up Brazel’s account of the debris he found in his field, and that he was coerced into making it sound like a balloon really did crash there, and not anything else. Not only that, it claims that the debris was not allowed close inspection by the press, and may have even been replaced with weather balloon materials. It certainly fits with the quickness with which the RAAF put out the story of the crashed weather balloon, but without the ability to instantly fact-check the information provided, The Roswell Incident is quite controversial. The book sparked the obsession with Roswell, shooting it into popularity, and eventually infamy.

There have been several other books written about the incident, but what I’m itching to show you are the recordings of people who claim to have worked at Area 51, and seen not only the remains of the crash at Roswell, but various other alien products. Honestly, some of the recordings scare me. I have no idea if what these people say is true, but I have no doubt that they believe what they’re saying.

The first one really gets to me. Again, I don’t know if any of this is true, but the man calling sure believes what he’s saying:


So while this isn’t necessarily all about Roswell, it is all about aliens and Area 51. Personally, I understand that its a top secret base that does top secret US government stuff, but I’ve seen how outfitted the security is. The ability to shoot first ask questions later is suspicious, at least.

Another clip I’d like to show you, is one that introduces Bob Lazar. Okay, if you’re reading this blog, I have a feeling you know who this man is. And yes, I realise that he’s most likely a fake. That doesn’t change the allegations toward Area 51, I think. He’s making the statements hundreds of people have made since the world first learned of the base’s existence. Some are just a little more willing to be seen as lunatics than others.

These clips raise questions about the Roswell crash. How much does our government cover up? If aliens landed (crashing or not), what would happen to them? Is there anyone out there still credible enough to be a witness to something that happened 66 years ago?

And why wait so long to tell us about Project Mogul, if indeed it was suspended in 1949 for bigger and better spy operations? Even the Majestic 12 documents didn’t bring to light as much as anyone hoped for. And even those are controversial, and might not even be true. All anyone has to go on are the testimonies of people claiming to be in the Majestic 12, a committee designed to investigate the Roswell crash.

Basically what I’m saying with all of this is that we still have no idea if aliens crash landed outside of Roswell, New Mexico in July of 1947. What we do know is that because of Roswell UFO’s became a world-wide sensation. Say the word UFO to any English speaker and they instantly know what you’re talking about. Hell, they probably have their own experiences to share. I like to believe that Roswell happened the way the majority of us think it did. There are obviously things the US government hides from us (NSA, anyone?), so why not this, too?

I hope you all go out and do your own investigating! I could not cover everything in one blog. Halfway through my research I realised how big this incident really is. This is the severely shortened version. In honour of the anniversary, go out and do some digging!

Happy Haunting!

Extra Reading:

Huffington Post

The Ghosts of Route 66

New Mexico

 

Hey, everyone. Yes, I know it’s been one hell of a long time. To keep it short, things have been incredibly trying for me these past few months. I’ve moved back home to California, left my kitty in Michigan, had to find a new job, and study for the CBEST. It’s been a crazy few months, but I think things are slowing down enough for me to focus on what needs to be focused on- like this blog. So I deeply apologize for the wait. I hope I can get back into the once-a-week flow and rekindle my love for all things paranormal.

My trip home was spent on 95% of Route 66. It felt fitting for a journey from Michigan to California, and I’m glad I got the chance to experience what my ancestors did (y’know, but modern) back when they journeyed out to California for the first time. So, thanks to a wonderful book and my own travels, I bring you the ghosts of Route 66, part one of… a lot. I never knew there could be so many ghosts along one stretch of highway! This most likely won’t go in order, half because that’s not how I researched the sites, and half because I feel some are sites are stronger than others. In any case, all are tagged for easy finding. Enjoy!

Tonight we’ll start in Santa Fe, New Mexico, a lovely city rich with culture, history, and diversity.

What Goes On Here?

Santa Fe was one of my favourite places along my route to stop. My co-pilot and I spent a few days there, relaxing and taking in the beauty of the desert. Downtown Santa Fe looks, for the most part, like history left it untouched; the buildings are adobe, the streets are cracked and weathered, and the town square is filled with people selling art, jewelry, and homemade goods. The city feels old. I could feel the presence of a long-occupied city around me, like the streets themselves were alive. Walking around at night gave me a sense of being watched… not in a bad, or creepy way, but like the city was checking us out, getting a feel for who we were as people. I expected to see ghosts at every turn.

And in a way, I did. There are so many supposedly haunted structures in Santa Fe, that you almost can’t go three blocks without coming across one. The first one on my list was the Grant Corner Inn. My co-pilot and I tried to book a room, only to find out the Inn has been closed for a while, but it intrigues me nonetheless.

Adobe

(no pic of the Inn, so here’s some really cool adobe buildings)

 

The Grant Corner Inn (located at 122 Grant Avenue) was originally a three-story residence built by newlyweds in 1905. The wife soon lost her husband and remarried, but to a very demanding and overbearing man. When her son caught ill and died, the wife and her new husband left the area to never return. Stories of the house’s paranormal activity soon arose, and it gained a reputation. People claimed to see a light in the bedroom that used to belong to the son, and would even see his shadow inside, although no one lived there, and no electricity was connected to the house. The residence was eventually sold to new buyers, but they, too, started witnessing strange occurrences.

They claimed to hear loud knocking and the sounds of furniture scraping along the floor of the boy’s bedroom, but nothing had ever been moved upon inspection. This continued for many years before the owners moved out. The next owners turned the house into the Grant Corner Inn, a bed and breakfast. Almost immediately their guests began to tell stories of ghostly events. Most of these seemed to happen in Rooms 4, 8, and the second-floor hallway going up to the third floor. Room 4, of course, was the boy’s bedroom, and guests reported loud knocking and scraping of furniture. Room 8 saw objects fall off of shelves, and paintings fall from walls. Guests heard a woman crying in this room as well. The hallway has had reports of a shadowy figure going from the second to third floor. It’s thought to be the ghost of the wife’s first husband.

It’s closed now, but wouldn’t that have been a fantastic place to spend a few nights?

Loretto

Our second stop is a place I wasn’t prepared for. It wasn’t a place as grand or Holy as the Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi, or as cozy and welcoming as an Inn, but the Loretto Chapel is magnificent, and it holds a miracle.

I have studied the miracle staircase for years. When I first started watching paranormal-type TV shows, it was one of the first things I ever saw that made me question the world around me. Now, granted, I am highly spiritual and a Christian, so I guess I’m a bit more disposed to miracles, but I believe it still counts as something supernatural, and a little wondrous.

Staircase

The story goes that the nuns of the chapel were in desperate need of a staircase to the choir loft. Several carpenters assessed the situation, and told the Sisters that all they could build was a ladder, in order to not interfere with the small space of the chapel. The Sisters prayed to St. Joseph, patron saint of carpenters, for nine days and nine nights for a solution. On the ninth day a man, a carpenter showed up and told them he could build a staircase. In a few months it was complete. The staircase was (and is) made of beautiful wood, and with no center support or nails, just wooden pegs. The man left without payment or thanks, and as hard as the Sisters looked, they could not find the man who did them such a favour. The legend says that the man was St. Joseph himself.

While the design of the staircase has been mostly solved, I still find the whole legend absolutely fascinating. For a very long time, no one could figure out how the staircase stayed up without using either a center support or nails. And while most of the mysteries surrounding the stairs have been solved, the real miracle isn’t the staircase itself, but the answer of a prayer by a very generous carpenter. Perfect place, perfect time, left without giving a name or taking any kind of payment. That indeed is a miracle in its own right.

IMG_0250

 

There are so many more hauntings along the Route 66. I’ll be posting more as part of yet another series! In the meantime, I highly recommend Haunted Route 66. It’s an easy-to-read book, without any gimmicks or overly dramatic stories. It gives you exactly what you need to know, and has tons of places (a lot of which I hadn’t even heard of!) to explore yourself.

 

Happy haunting!

 

 

IMG_0324

Here’s a bonus pic of me at the Grand Canyon

 

The Stanley Hotel

When I think of the Stanley Hotel, what springs to mind is Jack Nicholson, wielding a heavy axe, busting through a closed door into a room and saying, “Heeeeeeeeeeeere’s Johnny!” Who doesn’t, right? This image has become synonymous with the Stanley Hotel. In fact, it’s the only way most people know of the Stanley, even though Kubrick’s film was shot in Oregon. It has become an icon of pop culture due to Stephen King’s classic book, The Shining and the miniseries filmed there. The horror story wasn’t only the location for the film, but also King’s inspiration for the story itself.

The Stanley Hotel was built in 1907 by none other than F.O. Stanley, creator of the Stanley Steamer. He and his family moved to Estes Park, Colorado in 1903 for Stanley’s health. However, he noticed that the town was severely lacking in, well, everything. The town had no economy of any kind, and no amenities to offer guests and visitors. So, Stanley purchased 160 acres of land from one Lord Dunraven, and construction of his grand hotel began. The hotel, which now sits on 55 acres, still uses most of its original buildings, however the water reservoir and golf course have been replaced with growth and wildlife. Estes Park, though, would never be the same. By the time of his death in 1940, Stanley had given the sleepy town a bank, sewers and even the first water and power company. Estes Park became a place for the living to find rest, and the dead to find life. (stanleyhotel.com)

What happens here?

There are many ghost stories surrounding the Stanley Hotel. One of the more famous ones is of Mrs. Stanley. She likes to play the piano located in the Ballroom. However, if you get too close, she’ll stop playing. It seems Mrs. Stanley would prefer not to have an audience.

on their hit show Ghost Hunters, Jason Hawes and Grant Wilson had some exciting things happen to them during their investigation of the Stanley. Grant (and his cameraman) had an entire table lift off the ground while they were trying to change a battery! Jason felt his bed move, heard his closet opening and closing, and even had a glass on his nightstand break in half right next to him. Whoever was responsible definitely wanted to make their presence known.

Room 418 has a lot more going on as well. Guests report hearing children playing in the halls (when no kids were booked into the hotel), as well as see a dark figure standing in their rooms at night and racing into the closet.

Another haunted room is 407, Lord Dunraven’s own room at the hotel. He is sometimes seen standing in the window when the room is not booked. When someone is occupying it, he likes to turn lights off and on, and stand in the corner of the room.

Stephen King himself has said to have seen a little boy calling out for his nanny in the hotel. Many of the tour guides also tell the story of a boy running around the grounds.

And last, it seems, Mr. Stanley couldn’t bear to leave his luxurious home. He is heard playing the piano in the music room, and shooting billiards in the Billiard Room of the hotel.

What I haven’t noticed about the Stanley is anything evil. The OverLook Hotel in The Shining is definitely not the Stanley Hotel of real life. The ghosts here appear to be friendly, not malicious in any sort of way. I hope to get out to Colorado to investigate for myself, but from what I’ve researched, the ghosts here stay here because it’s a lovely place to be. They don’t harm, or have ill intent toward any of the guests. There will be no Jacks coming through doors, no boiler room accidents, no scary twins up on the fourth floor. Just reflections of the glory days of this fine hotel, offering a little entertainment to guests and investigators.

To see where I got my information, pictures and to learn more about the Stanley Hotel, click the links below! There are more ghost stories awaiting you!

http://stanleyhotel.com/about/

Haunted Places in America

Rocky Mountain Paranormal

Suewidemark.com

Spirits Speak

Haunted America Tours

Want some videos on the Stanley Hotel? To Youtube! There are a ton, some very real-looking and some obviously faked. Both Ghost Hunters and Ghost Adventures have been there, and their videos are up on youtube as well, but I’m not sure for how long.

If you’ve captured any evidence, or have any stories about the Stanley, be sure to comment or email me!

Quick Post

Things have been crazy around here. I got a fantastic job, but yet still have to leave Michigan. I move back home two weeks from Saturday.
So.. sorry about the complete lack of updates. By the time I get home I’m usually exhausted.

The good news about all this is that I’m road tripping home! That means I’ll be stopping at a few haunted places! So expect new posts in April about the Southwest!

For now I’ll be posting from my old blog to this one, just to get a little more up-to-date.

Thank you so much for all your patience!