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Old October 13th, 2001, 12:35 AM   #31
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The Hannah House

Far removed from the slave-holding plantations of the south is a historic home in Indianapolis, Indiana called the Hannah House. But even here, in the northern states, the specter of slavery, and of the Underground Railroad, still manages to make itself known.

The house was built in 1858 by Alexander Moore Hannah, a prominent figure in Indiana history. Originally, the house had been constructed to house Hannah and his staff but at age 51, he married Elizabeth Jackson and another wing was added on for the servants.

Hannah was well-known in Indiana for his stand against slavery. It was a time of coming change in America where political opponents fiercely debated the question of slavery and President James Buchanan openly supported it. Hannah was a firm abolitionist and this is the reason his former home has such a reputation for being haunted.

The source of the haunting remained a mystery for some time. The stately mansion had seen few owners over the years and unlike most haunted houses, had seen little in the way of trauma or death... or so most people believed.

Hannah himself had owned the home until 1899, when his heirs sold the place to another family. Since that time, there have been reports of many strange things in the house, moving objects, phantom sounds... and the unexplainable smell of death. Apparently, the Hannah House held a dark secret and one that would not be easily explained away by saying that one of the Hannah?s had returned to haunt the house. This secret was much darker... and much more terrible.

Prior to the outbreak of the Civil War, Hannah?s staunch abolitionist views had led him to allow the house to be used as a station on the Underground Railroad. Escaped slaves were brought into the house at night and given shelter until the following nightfall. Then, the Hannah?s would load the slaves into a wagon and they would be transported to the next station. We have to remember how dangerous this was, especially to a person of Hannah?s standing. This was a time when even assisting an injured runaway slave could be punishable by law.

One night, a lantern was overturned in the basement of the house and a number of slaves were trapped by the flames. Several of them burned to death. The fire did extensive damage to the basement and the lower floors of the house. While the fire was being put out, the source of the blaze had to be kept hidden and the fact that the house was an Underground Railroad station had to be covered up. This is the reason that no one knew the source of the haunting for so long.

One of the upstairs rooms of the house sometimes smells like gangrene and decay and this odor has been attributed to the death of the slaves in the house. Those who have been in the room report, besides the occasional smell, the sounds of moaning and whining. It has also been said that doors in the house suddenly open and close by themselves and that cold drafts are felt when no windows are open to cause them.

The secrets that remain at Hannah House are certainly dark ones, and be the haunting a conscious or a residual one, it still continues to plague the curators of this historic mansion today.

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Old October 13th, 2001, 12:39 AM   #32
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Diana of the Dunes

Around 1915, the area that is now the Dunes State Park in northern Indiana was mostly uninhabited wilderness. The stories spread around the vicinity of Chesterton, Indiana that fisherman who were along the beach at certain times of the day had been lucky enough to catch a glimpse of a naked woman swimming in the lake. The story spread that a beautiful woman was living as a hermit along the beach and her notoriety grew to a point that many compared her to the ancient Greek goddess Diana...hence the name of this legendary creature.

In truth, her name was Alice Marble Gray and she was the daughter of an influential couple from Chicago. Alice had traveled extensively and was cultured and educated. She had worked in the city as an editorial secretary for a popular magazine, so what had made her take up the lonely life of a recluse.

Some have claimed that Alice came to the dunes because of a broken love affair but actually she left the city life because her deteriorating eyesight had made her work impossible. She had sought refuge in the rough land that she had enjoyed as a child. Alice moved into an abandoned fisherman's cottage on the beach and lived a life of peace, borrowing books from the library, walking in the woods and of course, swimming naked in the chilly waters of Lake Michigan.

In 1920, Alice met a drifter named Paul Wilson and he moved into the cabin with her. He was an unemployed boat builder with a shaky past but he seemed to make Alice happy and the two of them stayed together until 'i 922....when tragedy struck. The badly burned and beaten body of a man was found on the beach and police suspected that Wilson had a hand in the murder. He was questioned but eventually let go. He and Alice moved to nearby Michigan City, Indiana, where they made a small living selling handmade furniture. Alice bore her husband two daughters but he treated her terribly, often beating her severely.

In 1925, Alice died in her home, shortly after the birth of her second daughter. The official cause of death was said to be uremic poisoning...complicated by repeated blows to her back and stomach. Wilson disappeared and later tuned up in a California prison, serving time for auto theft. The fate of Alice's daughters is unknown.

So ended the life of Alice Gray.... or did it? Legends of the dunes say that Alice still returns to the beach and the wilderness that she loved so much. Over the years, many have claimed that they have seen the ghostly figure of a nude woman running along the sand or disappearing into the water.

Perhaps she does still walk here, the trials and pain of her lonely and sad life forgotten, at least for a time, as she vanishes along her beloved beach or disappears into the waters of the lake.

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Old October 15th, 2001, 05:44 PM   #33
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<font color = red> Thanks Scooby and pennylynne for the ghost stories. I enjoyed them and will look forward to reading more of them here. Oh, and Misty I am with you - don't think we should go to Kentucky and looks like we might have to add Indiana to that list of no shows for us!! lol

Thanks again Scooby and penny!!!!!
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Old October 22nd, 2001, 02:05 AM   #34
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The Mandy Tree
In the next county over from me, lived a family who was very much loved by their mother.
During the 1920s is when this story took place.
Young Mandy Holloman was known to be an exceptional wife and mother to her loved ones. Everyone knew she lived for her her family and filled her home with love and happiness.
Mandy was also an avid gardener. Her yard was filled with colorful flowers. She even planted a tiny oak tree in the backyard. Shortly after, Mandy was found shot to death in her home.
Several decades passed and the town soon forgot about Mandy. Until...something strange happened when the tree leafed out. It was the perfect profile of Mandys face.
Curosity seekers began coming in drovs to see the Mandy Tree. It was amazing how much the tree looked like her. Who knows why the tree looks so much like her? Coicidence, shadows? Maybe Mandy just didnt want to be forgotten.
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Old October 22nd, 2001, 02:38 AM   #35
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The Killer Ghost of Eastern Kentucky

In 1938, the story of a killer ghost began to be told in Eastern KY. Even though no one ever saw this ghost, it is said to have caused 5 similiar unexplained deaths.
In June of 38, a man named Carl Pruitt came home from work and found his wife in bed with another man. Carl became enraged and was gonna kill the other man. The other man escaped, but Carl strangled his wife with a small piece of chain. After he becamerational again, Carl saw what he had done and committed suicide. He was buried in a seperate cemetary than his wife.
A few weeks after his burial, visitors to the cemetary noticed something odd about Carl's tombstone. It was slowly forming a chain.
The chain was caused by unusual discoloration in the stone and was taking on the form of a cross. At that point it stopped growing.
Some citizens said that maybe the tombstone should be destroyed and moved, but officials scoffed and nothing was ever done about it.
A month or so after the chain stopped growing, a group of boys were riding their bikes by the graveyard one day. One of them, a boy named James Collins, decided to throw a few stones at the "cursed" tombstone, just to prove he wasnt scared and didnt believe in spook stories. The hurled rocks managed to chip several spots in the stone. As the boys started home, James' bike began to pick up speed. It peddled faster and faster until he had no control over it. It veered off the road and collided with a tree. Then, in some weird way, the chain from his bike became entangled around his neck and he died. Rumors started to spread, especially after the tombstone was examined and no marring or chip spots could be found on it. James' mother was filled with grief. Less than a month after James' accident, she went to the cemetary and destroyed the tombstone with a small axe. She pounded and hacked until it lay in dozens of pieces. The next day, she was hanging out her laundry when she slipped and fell. Oddly enough, the clothesline was made from a small link chain instead of the usual wire.Her neck got wrapped around the chain and she suffocated. Legend says after she died, Pruitt's stone showed no signs of destruction.
Needless to say, new spread of the incident
A short time later, a farmer and 3 of his family members were in their wagon traveling by the cemetary. For some reason, the farmer said he wasnt afraid of any ghosts and fired several shots at the stone sending chips of the stone into the air. The noise sppked the horses and they started running. The family jumped off the wagon, but the farmer stayed on, trying to get the horses to stop. Just as the wagon veered around the corner, the farmer was thrown forward and got caught in the chain of the horses and the motion of the horses snapped his neck. Investigations of teh stone showed no bullet marks at all.
The local residents were convinced of a curse. Even the local Congressman was called on and then the police were sent out to investigate. On arrival, one of the policemen laughed at the stories and said they werent true. When they took pictures and were getting into their car, the doubting officer looked into his rearview mirror and saw a glow coming from the stone. At first he though it was a reflection of th tail lights, but the glow got closer and closer. So the officer sped up, but so did the glow. The car swerved off the road and crashed into a between 2 posts. The officer on the passenger side was thrown free of the car. He was banged up, but ok. He went to check on his friend and found him dead. Not of the crash, but of a chain that hd been between the 2 posts. It had shattered the windshield and nearly severed the officers head.
After this death, the people began to avoid the cemetary altogether. But there was one man, Arthur Lewis, who was bound and determined to prove this whole thing a lie. So one night after supper, he told his wife he was gonna go destry that tombstone once and for all. Neighbors all around could hear him with his hammer and chisel, methodically chipping away at the stone. The also heard the bloodcurdling scream in the night. The local men gathered up their lanterns and headed out to see what happened. Something obviously terrified Arthur and he had started running, forgetting about the chain that barred the cemetary gate. Oddly enough, even though 10 or 15 men had heard Arthur destroying the Pruitt stone, there were no marks or broken pieces on it anywhere.
After this, some people had their loved ones moved to a different cemetary. Since Pruitt had no family, his gravesite became overrun with weeds.
In 1958, it was destroyed for good by a strip mining company. The 5 strange deaths, all linked by chains, have never been explained.
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Old October 22nd, 2001, 03:25 AM   #36
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<font color = red> Oh wow, Mandy's Tree was a nice one!! Interesting. Oh wow, the chain murders story was scary and I might never ride a bike again!!! Thanks for the stories pennylynne. I always enjoy them!!!

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Old October 22nd, 2001, 05:28 AM   #37
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Thanks for the ghost stories Pennylynne, I really enjoyed them, I love ghost stories.

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Old October 22nd, 2001, 11:23 AM   #38
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((((Lee and buggaboo)))) You are very welcome. Im glad you enjoyed the stories. I liked them both too,but the one about the chains was excellent. Have a good day, Penny
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Old October 22nd, 2001, 11:32 PM   #39
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HIGHLAND LAWN CEMETERY

These next two stories are from the same cemetery in Terre Haute, Indiana. Both originated in the early 1900's

The Story of Stiffy Green

They say that there is nothing unusual about hearing a dog barking in a cemetery at night, unless you happened to be in Terre Haute, Indiana. If you are anywhere in the area around Highland Lawn Cemetery at night, and hear a dog bark, you may just be hearing the legendary voice of Stiffy Green, Indiana?s favorite graveyard ghost.

In the early 1900?s, Stiffy Green was a familiar character around Terre Haute. He was the constant companion of a man named John Heinl, an elderly gentleman who was well-liked in town. He too was familiar figure as he strolled about the city each day in the company of his little bulldog. Stiffy Green was so named thanks to his unusual, stiff-legged walk and the fact that he had startling, green-colored eyes. The little dog was friendly, yet fiercely protective of his master, never allowing strangers to get too close.

In 1920, John Heinl passed away. While his death was a cause for sadness in the community, no one was hit harder by it than Stiffy Green. The poor creature was heartbroken and he refused to leave his master?s side, even during the funeral services and after Heinl was entombed at Highland Lawn. Eventually though, two of Heinl?s friends decided to take in the dog and care for him. They took him to their house in Terre Haute and introduced him to his new home.

Within a few days, Stiffy Green had gone missing. He was found a few hours later lying in front of the door to the Heinl mausoleum, silently watching over his master?s burial place. John?s friend placed a leash on the dog and took him back home again but less than a week later, the dog was missing once more. He was always discovered again, several miles away, in the cemetery. Over the next month or so, this became a standard routine. If the dog could not be found around the house anywhere, his new owners always knew where he was. Eventually, they just gave up and let Stiffy Green take up residence in the graveyard. They brought him food and water and allowed him to stay there.

Not long after this, they began to realize that the dog was not eating. He paid little attention to the bowl of water either, preferring to sit nearly motionless at the entrance to the tomb, barring anyone from entering it. He stayed there in the rain and cold and never shirked what he seemed to feel was his duty. And it was there, on the cold stone step, that the body of Stiffy Green was eventually found.

As word of the loyal dog?s death spread, Heinl?s friend pondered what to do with the animal?s body. They certainly didn?t want to simply dispose of their friend?s constant companion but they weren?t certain he should be entombed as a human would be either. Finally, they reached a compromise. A fund was established and the dog?s body was taken to a local taxidermist. The dog was then stuffed and mounted into the sitting position that he had maintained outside of the tomb for so many months. His eyes were left open and his bright green eyes were replaced with glass ones that managed to capture the gleam of the originals. When the task was completed, Stiffy Green was placed inside of the Heinl tomb, right next to the crypt that held the remains of his beloved companion.

And seemingly, this would be where our story ends... but it?s not.

Several months after Stiffy Green?s death, a caretaker was leaving the cemetery on a warm evening. Just as he was opening the door to his car, he heard the bark of a dog from the direction of the Heinl mausoleum. Thinking that something about this seemed odd, he decided to go and have a look. As he neared the tomb, the sound got louder and then he suddenly realized why the bark seemed so strange, and so eerily familiar. He had heard this dog barking before. It was the bark of Stiffy Green!

But that was impossible, he realized, the poor animal had died many months ago. The bark must have been his imagination, he decided and walked back to his car. He would think no more about this until other people started to report the same barking from the area around the tomb.... and they would report something else too.

According to the legends, many people have heard the barking of a small dog in Highland Lawn Cemetery in the evening hours. It always seems to come from the direction of the Heinl mausoleum. A few of them have also reported that Stiffy Green does not wander the cemetery alone. They also claim to have seen the figure of an elderly man strolling along between the tombstones, sometimes smoking a pipe and sometimes just smiling as he looks away into the distance. While the old man?s description sometimes varies, the witnesses never disagree about the fact that he is always accompanied by a small stiff-legged bulldog... with piercing green eyes.

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Old October 22nd, 2001, 11:33 PM   #40
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HIGHLAND LAWN CEMETERY

THE RESURRECTION OF MARTIN SHEETS??

Martin Sheets was a wealthy businessman who lived in Terra Haute, Indiana in the early 1900?s. One of his greatest fears was that of a premature burial. He often dreamt of being awake, but unable to move, at the moment the doctor pronounced him dead and then regaining consciousness while trapped in a coffin below the ground. Sheets decided to fight his fears by investing some of his resources in the prevention of his being buried alive.

First of all, he had a casket custom-designed with latches fitted on the inside. In this way, should he be placed inside prematurely, he would be able to open the coffin and escape. He also began construction on a mausoleum so that when he died, or was thought to have died, he would not be imprisoned under six feet of dirt. The mausoleum was well built and attractive but Sheets realized that even if he did manage to escape from his casket, he would still be trapped inside of a stone prison.

He came up with another clever idea. He installed a telephone inside of the tomb with a direct line to the main office of the cemetery. In this way, he could summon help by simply lifting the receiver. The line was fitted with an automatic indicator light so that even if no words were spoken, the light would come on in the office and help would soon be on the way.

Death came for Martin Sheets in 1910 and he was entombed in the mausoleum. I would imagine that for several days afterward, cemetery staff workers kept a close eye on the telephone indicator light in the office. After more time passed though, it was probably forgotten. Years went by and the telephone system in the area changed. Eventually, the direct line to the cemetery office was removed but thanks to very specific instructions in Sheets? will, and the money to pay for it, the telephone in the mausoleum remained connected and active.

A number of years later, Sheets? widow also passed away. She was discovered one day lying on her bed with the telephone clutched in her hand. In fact, she held the receiver so tightly that it had to be pried from her fingers. It was soon learned that she had experienced a severe stroke and family members assumed that she had been trying to call an ambulance when she finally died. A service was held and after a quiet memorial service, she was taken to the family mausoleum, where she would be interred next to her husband.

When cemetery workers entered the mausoleum, they received the shock of their lives. Nothing there was disturbed, they saw, except for one, very chilling item. Martin Sheets? telephone, locked away for all of these years, was hanging from the wall.... its receiver inexplicably off the hook!

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Old October 22nd, 2001, 11:38 PM   #41
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LA LLORONA: GARY INDIANA

This strange and frightening phantom has been making appearances in the old Gary neighborhood of Cudahee for many years. She is usually seen near Fifth and Cline Avenue. Years ago, Cudahee was made up of mostly Mexican immigrants who came north to find work in the steel mills. Many people believe that the legend of La Llorona came with them....

The original story tells of a young widow who lived with her sons in a small town near Mexico City. It seems that she fell in love with a young nobleman who refused to marry her because of her children. The woman went mad and one night she savagely murdered her children. She ran to her lover to tell him what she had done but he was repulsed and frightened by her and threw her out of his house.

Now completely insane, she roamed the streets, her children's blood on her hands and dress, weeping and screaming. Before she could be apprehended by the authorities, her body was discovered face down in a pool of muddy water.

For hundreds of years, the story of the bloody, woman in white has been told in Mexico City and she was called "La Llorona, the weeping woman". Some believe this spirit came north with the immigrants but others believe the Mexican population simply gave the name of their legend to a ghost that already existed in Cudahee.

They claim that the ghost is actually that of a woman whose children were killed in an auto accident in the early 1930's. After their funeral, she returned to the spot many times and wandered the area crying for her children. She died, completely insane, many years ago, but her spirit still continued to wander.

Despite the frequent sightings of La Llorona, she has remained an elusive ghost. Many researchers and investigators have tried in vain to track her down but she remains one step ahead of them, still roaming the night, crying over the loss of the children whose blood still stains her hands.

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Old October 22nd, 2001, 11:54 PM   #42
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Burnley School Ghost : Seattle, Washington

This story comes from an author (Susy Smith) who researched haunted places from around the United States in the mid 1960's. It is a tad long but I found it quite interesting.

In doing research for this and other stories I have made it a practice never to visit ghost houses with mediums. If a psychic person has happened to be along, I have noted his impressions; but it has not been my purpose to attempt to communicate with the alleged entities who haunt the houses I have visited.

Once, though, I found myself in a haunted school in the company of four mediums, and it was an experience I?ll never forget. This is what happened.

The Burnley School of Professional Art, at 905 East Pine Street in Seattle, Washington, had loud creaky footsteps on the stairs and locked doors that opened in the night for about six years, until they abated somewhat in the spring of 1965. I made an appointment on October 4, 1965, with Jess Cauthorn, the owner-director of the school and one of the Pacific Northwest?s best-known watercolorists, to visit his school and interview several of the students who had heard study the manifestations of the medium Keith Milton Rhinehart, we unexplained activity in the building. Since I was in Seattle also to decided to ask him to join us later and see what psychic impressions he received there.

The Burnley School is on the corner of Broadway and Pine Street, across from a very old public school now known as Edison Tech. The Fran~klin Savings & Loan Association occupies the street-level offices of the building, and the art school takes up the two top floors. The structure was originally designed to be a cultural and art center; and it had studios for ballet and piano and a large auditorium on the second floor to be used for special events. Its first official function was a reception for President William Howard Taft when he visited Seattle to open the Alaska-Yukon-Pacffic Exposition of 1909. For some years a dancing club known as ?Entre Nous? used to rent Christiansen?s Dance Studio in the auditorium, for student affairs which were the big social events of Broadway High School each season.

There was a period when the auditorium was used as a temporary school gymnasium for the overflow from across the street; but the ceilings were so low that basketball players had to invent trick shots- such as banking the ball off the ceiling. When the dancing teacher complained that the noise was disturbing his classes, wrestling mats were brought and placed against the gym walls to muffle the noise.

In 1946, Edwin Burnley, a well-known Seattle artist, opened art classes there and taught many budding painters, including Jess Cauthorn, who now owns the school. The big gym has been turned into a classroom full of adjustable wooden desks at which students work during the day, and which the ghost apparently resents exceedingly. He makes noises at night as if he were moving the desks around-great scraping and scrunching sounds as if he were trying to drag them out of there. He is better in the audio department than the material or physical, for nothing is ever actually disturbed in the morning-except the people who had to listen to the noises the night before.

Jess Cauthorn told me that he, himself, has heard these- manifestations. He had never believed in ghosts until that time. He isn?t really sure that he does now, and yet

?I?m a realistic person,? Cauthorn said, ?but there are some things you just can?t ignore-like the sound of desks being moved in an empty room behind locked doors.?

Jess thought that perhaps the ghost had been more active in recent years because, ?We?ve had to enlarge the school to accommodate more students. This meant going into strange nooks and crannies, opening up heretofore unused rooms and employing the long-locked-up back stairway in order to get to new classrooms. That?s probably what disturbed the ghost, who, apparently had not been too active up until then.?

John B. Nelson, a tall young student, illustrated for me the sound the ghost made on the stairs. He went down and clomped up the wide flight leading from the first floor to the third. The steps are very creaky, and each footstep squeaked in its own specific way. There was no possible doubt that the sound was just that-a footstep on a stair. John said that, when he had been working on a big art project and didn?t want to stop, he had sometimes painted most of the night. When he was all alone in the building, and knew he was all alone, he would hear, at any moment between eleven o?clock at night and three o?clock in the morning, footsteps mounting those stairs. He would naturally go to see who was arriving, but nobody was there. At least, no physical presence was there.

?I was scared to death at first,? said John.

?Can you ever get used to a thing like that?? I asked.

?Not really,? he replied. ?You just learn not to work here alone at night.?

?You wouldn?t get me here alone, even without a ghost,? I said, being somewhat of a sissy about big, empty places.

?New students don?t believe it, of course,? John went on. ?But after they?ve been here some of them work late at night and then they hear it. Jennie Miller . . .? and John nodded toward a girl who had just come into the room, ?didn?t believe it at first. And she even stayed in the building several nights and didn?t hear anything

?But when I finally did,? Jennie interrupted him, ?I went bellowing down the hall. I was all alone here and I wanted to run out, but I was scared to go down the stairs.?

The students got together and devised tests to catch the haunt. With masking tape they fastened thread across doorways about three feet off the floor. The next day, when they were sure that they had been the last ones out at night and the first ones in in the morning, they found some of the threads broken. On another occasion they stretched the thread across the stairway. Then they turned out the lights and waited upstairs. Some time later, they heard the steps come up both flights; but on examination the thread, which a living being would either have broken or knocked down, was intact.

Lest it be suspected that the noises heard on the stairs were just the normal creakings of old buildings, the students ask how that accounts for the fact that when they hear someone climbing, the creaks are sequential in order from bottom to top.

Cauthorn did not want his students alone there at night if there was any possible danger that a robber could be getting into the place in such a clever way that no one could catch him at it. So he had an insurance investigator check over the building carefully. When the place was pronounced perfectly safe, with all the locks and doors and windows secure against intruders, Jennie again worked late in her studio.

?While I was concentrating hard on my sketches,? she told me, ?I heard a bang, and then a creak, and then the sound of somebody walking. Naturally I had all the lights on, and I hurried out into the hail to see who it was. Nobody was there.? Later that night she heard a key go into the lock of the front door and the squeaking sound of the door opening. ?I rushed out and looked down the stairs,? she said, ?but the door was not open and not a soul had come in.

Jennie?s friend, Ellen Pearce, had a studio on the third floor, and they worked there sometimes at night. The main light switch for that floor is on the inside of a room, and you have to grope your way across in the dark to find it. One night the girls heard a moan behind the door of that room, like a human being in great agony. Wondering who could possibly have gotten in there, and what could be happening, they fumbled their way across to the light switch, almost petrified with fright.

?But can you imagine our state when we got the light on and looked behind the door and no one was there?? asked Ellen.

I could. But I said I?d rather not.

Another student, Robert B. Theriault of Seattle, found a certain small room, used by the students for resting and coffee breaks, to be the most sinister of all. Once, when the lights were on in there, he was standing outside the door, but he knew someone was inside because he heard sounds as if magazine pages were being turned, and other movements. However, when he started to enter the room, the rustling stopped, and there was no one in there.

Henry Bennett is a commercial artist who had an apartment on the third floor while he was a student at the Burnley School around 1959-60. Cauthorn told me, ?Hank was responsible for the security of the building at night. But often in the morning I would find the front door, or the fire door, wide open, or at least they would be unlocked when I arrived. Sometimes I really chewed Hank out, but he always insisted he had locked the doors and checked the place over the night before. I didn?t know what to think.?

Bennett confirmed to me that he always carefully locked the building each night. But the doors were often unlocked the next morning, and sometimes even open. ?Many curious things happened while I was living there,? he said. ?You would swear someone was walking up the stairs or moving furniture in some room, or some unseen person was doing construction work on the building. But when I?d turn on the lights, nobody was ever there.? Henry Bennett said that the ghost had not scared him; but he was talking from a distance of five years from the time of the events in which he had been involved.

I was to get close to events within a very short time-for the mediums were gathering. Clyde Beck, a member of the American Society for Psychical Research and an individual who believes in attempting to work with all the equipment of a modern technician, had arrived first, loaded down with movie cameras and tape recorders-none of which were usable when things got interesting. By then we were all in the dark, and he had been unable to secure infrared lights and film. After Clyde, came several of the younger mediums of Rhinehart?s church-the Aquarian Foundation. Then came the feature attraction of the evening-Dr. Keith Milton Rhinehart, himself.

Actually an intelligent young man of twenty-nine, Keith was at that time affecting a mustache and goatee and a loud sports jacket-and he looked more like a beatnik guitar player than the pastor of a church.

He brought a few more people with him; so it turned out to be altogether a much larger group than we had anticipated. Since many people know little about mediums except the reputation some of them have for being fraudulent, I think perhaps I should take a moment here to discuss the subject. Extrasensory perception (or ESP) is not uncommon. Those who have a great amount of it are known as mediums, or ?sensitives,? or ?psychics.? They may be born with the natural talent in large degree, or they may have some slight ability and decide to improve it by sitting for development in classes at which a trained medium presides.

I have sat in a number of development groups myself, and have begun to exhibit an interesting amount of telepathy-I can sometimes see a picture clearly in my mind of something another person is at that moment thinking. I have on one or two occasions gone into a trancelike tate. I was not then completely unconscious, but my mind was withdrawn to the extent that I was not consciously instigating the words that were spoken through my mouth, words that purported to come from a deceased entity. Whether or not what I said came from my subconscious, I cannot state. I am only sure that certain information was given through me which I did not consciously know, and had not acquired normally.

Because of my own personal experience with this, I am aware that the material mediums produce may be genuine. I also know the effort, the countless hours sitting in classes, which many sensitives spend in order that their psychic talents may be developed as fully as possible. For this reason I must say definitely and firmly that all mediums are not fraudulent.

Yet I know that, just as there are quack doctors and shyster lawyers, there are phoney mediums. I have seen some who put on such sham acts that it was disgusting; and I have been furious, not only with them but with the gullible public who allowed themselves to be taken in by such trickery.

Keith Rhinehart is a natural-born medium who also spent years improving his native capabilities, beginning when he was in junior high school. When he is in good form, his powers are excellent. I have seen much evidence that, when he is entranced, genuine information has been given through him that he could have no possible normal way of knowing. This is usually referred to as ?mental? mediumship. Although extremely adequate as a mental medium, Keith prefers to be known as a ?physical? medium-one in whose presence curious physical phenomena occur.

One of his special abilities, it is claimed, is the production of ?apports?-objects that are said to have been dematerialized from somewhere else on earth and then rematerialized inside the seance room. If the room has been thoroughly searched beforehand, the possibility of trap doors and secret compartments and false arms and bottoms to chairs, etc., eliminated, and the medium has been stripped and examined by a doctor, and then apports appear during the seance-it is hard not to consider their appearance as a supernormal manifestation. In the history of psychical research there is evidence for the appearance of apports, under conditions that have been so controlled as to give no opportunity for fraud.

I have seen apports appear in a lighted room under what I considered to be controlled conditions; but still I am reluctant to declare firmly once and for all that the phenomena were genuine. Many investigators much more highly trained than I have also hesitated to commit themselves. This is because there are some mediums who are so adept at prestidigitation that it is difficult for anyone ever to guarantee absolutely that he might not have in some way been hoodwinked.

I am going into this in such detail because of the events which followed at the Burnley School. I want it understood that I do not point an accusation of fraud at anybody for what occurred on the evening I am about to describe. And yet there is no possible way for me to be certain that there was not at least some lighthearted trickery involved. Then again, maybe there wasn?t. After all, we were in a building with a reputation for being haunted.

The members of Keith?s organization who came with him to the Burnley School that night had trained themselves very carefully, sitting hour after hour in dark rooms letting their natural mediumistic talents develop. I felt, and still feel, that they are sincere workers at their trade. In this group were Judith Crane, a very pretty, well- educated young woman who has gained considerable prominence as a medium,, and her fianc?, Donald Ballard, whom she has since married. Don is not a medium and is only a follower of psychic interests insofar as they affect Judy. I can?t help but believe that Don would have been furious if he had observed in Judy or her associates anything he thought was in any way dishonest-yet he was with the Aquarian Foundation members all the time that evening. The two other Aquarians present were Kenneth Bower and Helen Lester. The rest of the crowd that began to tour the haunted school included Jess Cauthorn, his students John Nelson and Jennie Miller, Clyde Beck, and me.

As we moved through the building I took notes on the impressions each sensitive expressed. Some were interesting in the light of the history of the school: It was sensed that there had been dancing and basketball in the big auditorium and that there had been exercise mats there at one time. But all this had been published in various newspaper accounts of the haunting which had appeared over the years, one as recent as June 1965, so the mediums could be given no special credit for their successes even if they were genuine ?hits.? There is always the chance that they may have read the articles.

Several persons stated that a young man had been killed in or near the building long ago, and that he still hangs around and wants to dance and play basketball and have fun as he used to. (Unfortunately for the veracity of the tale, checks with the police since then have revealed no record of a killing in or near the school. An Associated Press reporter made a serious effort to track down verification of a murder, but with no results.)

We first decided to try to hold a seance in an area of the basement that had an unpaved dirt floor and old boards and boxes stacked in the corners. There we turned off the lights and sat at first with o?ly one small candle. After a moment, we put that out and sat in the dank dark. Fortunately for my peace of mind, after later developments, some of the girls decided that there might be rats down there, and so we adjourned upstairs. At that time, none of us was in the least afraid of the ghost.

We finally chose a small room on the second floor, just large enough to hold the ten of us, and we put opaque screens over the windows and turned out all the lights. Just enough glow came in around the edge of the screens from the streetlight outside so that we could dimly see those. closest to us. Keith and I sat on a short couch, and the others milled about in the dark for a while.

In order to learn if there might be any spirit about who wanted to make an effort to communicate, all those in the room except Keith and me put their fingers On the top of a tall stool. Almost at once it began to move around, so fast that they kept up with it only with difficulty. The stool banged itself with great force against the floor and the wall. It was asked to answer questions in code, with one rap for ?Yes? and two for ?No?; and it did give some answers this way to a few questions. But whatever was propelling the stool had no interest in such attempts to talk. It preferred to show off its great force by banging itself senselessly against the wall.

Keith and I got monstrously bored watching this-it is very routine in mediumistic circles. Catching me yawning, he asked if we should call it all off and go home.

?In a few minutes,? I said, ?if nothing else happens.?

Soon the game with the stool palled on the participants, and they all settled down quietly, pulling their chairs into a circle facing Keith and me. After a few moments of extreme silence, when the full impact of the darkness crept over us, I glanced toward Keith-and suddenly realized that he was staring at me fixedly with the most malevolent expression I have ever had directed my way. He kept it up, not moving, for at least three minutes. The way he looked, with his dark hair, glittering eyes, mustache, and goatee, one could almost suspect that the devil himself had become incarnate in our midst. Not being quite unsophisticated enough to believe that, I decided instead that the medium must have been taken over into trance, and prepared myself for a discussion with some spirit entity who was obviously ?earthbound? and must be convinced that he should stop haunting this school. I began racking my brain for suitable phrases from those who had published their experiences involving other such delicate situations.

?Who are you?? erupted suddenly and loudly from the medium.

I jumped a foot and a half into the air and started to shake. ?We?re here to help you,? I quavered. Then I began to explain to him that he had passed through the experience called death and that he must adjust himself to that fact and go away and stop bothering the people at this school-that there were helpful spirits around him who would give him advice and assistance if he would but listen to them.

?I?m not dead,? he shrieked, interrupting me. Then he lunged at me, waving his arms, and shouted, ?Get out! Get out, all of you!? And no matter how much I talked to him he kept repeating this refrain with the appropriate motions. It was coming to my attention that the

techniques that may have worked for those glib writers who had calmed obstreperous entities with a few well-chosen words were not likely to be so successful in my case. I started on a new tack.

?Did you know it is the year 1965?? I asked.

Keith almost leaped out of his seat. ?No, no,? he cried. Then apparently taking a second to estimate, he added, ?That would make me sixty years old. I?m not old. I?m young!? Yet, as if the idea of his death were beginning to penetrate after all, he began to mutter about blood and a knife. ?Blood all over everything,? he said, and then such things as: ?He got me in the back. I just wanted to stay here and play games and dance but John did me in. He did it; blood, blood, it spurted! The knife dripped blood! John did it. He always hated me.? Then, as if taking me for his false friend John he leaned toward me once again, with a look of utter viciousness, and shouted into my face, ?Get out, all of you. Go away and leave me alone.?

As this dialogue is now written, from notes made the day after the episode, I am appalled by how silly it all was. Even as I sat there participating in this drama, the realization was very present that it was overplayed and amateurish. In retrospect the whole evening seems a trivial travesty of a bad movie or a television turkey.

But while the events were going on and I was participating in them, it was rather necessary to take them at face value, which was not in the least comfortable when the entranced medium kept jumping my way threateningly from time to time. Finally, he lunged and waved his arms in my direction just once too often and I got up and moved over to a bench just opposite the couch. The Thing, whoever it was, by then was muttering irresponsibly to himself, and I saw him glance down at my expensive camera which was on the floor beside where my feet had been. Lest he be inspired to break it, I reached over and picked it up.

As I did so, the maniacal look on Keith?s face made me think, ?Oh, if I could just get a picture of this for the book.? I began to sight the camera at him. Fortunately, I did not have time to flash the bulb-for if it is true, as I have since learned that all spiritualists believe, that any flash of light or sudden shock might kill an entranced medium, it might have been I instead of a ghost who was the villain of this piece.

When the camera went up to my eye, Keith cried, ?What are you doing?? and made a leap for me.

I shouted, ?Don?t you touch me!? and kicked him. It was just a little kick and it barely connected with his leg; but he plummeted to the floor as if I had landed a rock on his skull. I didn?t do anything then for a minute but sit and quiver. Then I began to worry for fear the medium was badly injured, because he was lying there prone, breathing as if each gasp might be his last. I had not more than touched him, but it was evidently enough to have caused the entity to lose his hold.

All of us sat with eyes glued on him, to see if he would come out of it; finally, we heaved sighs of relief as we heard the deep sonorous tones of the medium?s special ?spirit guide,? who acts as his ?control? and takes care of him, saying through him, ?This is Dr. Robert John Kensington, and we have things in hand.? Keith, still entranced, but now by his proper control, got up and sat back on the couch, Dr. Kensington apologizing all the while for having allowed him to be taken over by such an irresponsible entity. He said that he had not realized that the spirit was actually insane until he had gotten into Keith?s body; and that the number of mediums present acted as a battery that gave the entity more power.

Keith then came out of his trance, asked for a drink of water, and sat holding his head, complaining of a violent headache. He asked what had happened, and somebody began to tell him. I was doing a lot of thinking, very negatively. If this had all been an act, it was such an overdone performance that it was hardly worthy of Keith?s histrionic ability. . . . yet if it had not been put on-Good Heavens! I?d been in real danger! I turned and said, perhaps a bit sarcastically: ?How did it happen, may I ask, that all of you sat there so calmly while I was being attacked by a maniac??

The Aquarian Foundation members told me that they knew that touching the medium when he was in such a state would have injured him.

?But what if I had been injured??

?You didn?t have a thing to worry about,? they assured me. ?We were surrounding everyone with protective thoughts, so everything was completely under control.? Under control? I almost had a camera wrapped around my head!

Keith had nearly been clobbered, too, Jess Cauthorn told me later. When we had a long retrospective chat about the evening?s experiences he said that he and John Nelson had been sitting on the edges of their chairs, signaling each other, and ready to spring if the medium got one inch closer to me. They had been considering the entire thing to be a clumsy hoax; but they wondered why, if it was a hoax, Keith had not known he was going too far and would be in danger from them if he got the least bit rough. This was part of the whole big mystery. If he was putting on an act, why did he not realize the possibility of being physically restrained by those two men so much larger than he? There were many mysteries about this evening that have never been resolved; and this was one of them. Yet the biggest mystery of all occurred after we left the seance room. It put a slightly different light on the whole performance. But it did not solve anything.

It only made the confusion worse.

Rather depressed by the episode that had just taken place, I had gathered my nerve, my wits, and my camera and walked out of the seance room to try to get another picture or two of the school building.

I was accompanied by Keith and Clyde Beck. The others remained in the room and then spread out, eventually going downstairs. The three of us walked back down the hall and into the auditorium, around a
corner and about fifty feet from the seance room. After discussing the possibility of getting a photo of the large room, and deciding it would be useless to try with my equipment, I started to walk back up the hall. Hearing a funny sound from Keith, I turned to look at him.

His eyes were getting that glassy, glittery look again, and he began to mumble, ?I told you there was something I could do you couldn?t? and other phrases that weren?t particularly intelligible. He approached me
menacingly.

?It?s got him again,? I shrieked, rushing up the hall away from him.

?Clyde, do something!? Clyde did something; he watched to see what was going to happen next. I moved on as quickly as possible, hollering to the people downstairs. Aquarians came bounding up, and as they did the medium began to speak once more in the deep tones of his control. ?This is Dr. Robert John Kensington,? he said. ?The entity got back in once again because there was something he insisted on saying. Will you please call the owner of the building??

Jess Cauthorn was just arriving up the stairs on a run, and he said breathlessly, ?I?m here.?

?Do you recall if there was a rock about the size of a brick in that room where the seance was held?? Dr. Kensington asked.

?No, I don?t think so,? answered Jess. ?I?m almost sure there was not.?

?Well, the entity was trying to say that he had the power to bring apports,? the voice went on. ?Now if you will go into the seance room you will find a rock there close to where Miss Smith was sitting.?

We all rushed into the room, and sure enough, right where my feet had been when I sat on the end of the bench, there was now a smooth, oval rock as large as a brick. It could not have been there when my feet were cringing in that spot a few minutes before.

The next day, at my suggestion, students went into the basement of the school building and reported that they found a hole the exact size, into which the rock fit neatly. It was in an area of the dirt where there were a few other similar stones scattered about. They immediately decided that this was the proof they needed that the whole thing had been a hoax. But it really wasn?t necessarily that convincing. Even if the rock had come from there, this would not prove it wasn?t an apport, because an apport has to come from somewhere; and the spirit would not in that brief interval have gone wandering afar to dig one up. He was said to be haunting this place. If he had decided he wanted a rock to heave at me, would he have thought of looking anywhere else for it?

As can be imagined, we all did a great deal of arguing and conjecturing for days afterward. All except Keith Milton Rhinehart, who went home with a terrible headache and was said to have been confined to his bed. As we thought about the apport and tried to explain it, we realized that the medium, being a rather slight man, could not possibly have hidden so large a rock on his person in order to bring it up from the basement without being observed. If one of the women members of the Aquarian Foundation had managed to secrete it somewhere (in some oversize handbag?) how did Keith, down the hall with me, know about it?

The only answer, except one really dealing with ghosts and apports and other supernormal things, is that the whole event was an extravaganza put on by the entire group of mediums in collaboration, to show the visiting author a good time and give her something to write about. But Keith and all the others knew that I was prepared to write scathingly about them if I discovered them in anything fraudulent, or even in anything particularly suspicious looking. They were aware, moreover, that they had much more at stake than a haunted school, for I was in Seattle investigating whether or not the phenomena of all Keith?s services and seances were genuine; and I had a magazine contact that they knew was eager for the story. Why, under those circumstances, would they play stupid games with me? Why also would Keith have run the risk of being injured when he leaped at me, knowing full well that the non-Aquarians in the group would certainly have defended me?

Although my experience at the Burnley School was effective enough to scare me temporarily out of my wits, it could not have been permanently convincing. Of all the questions raised by this incident, the biggest that remains is this: If the Aquarians had decided to put on an act, why wasn?t it a better act? These were intelligent adults, not children; they couldn?t have been stupid enough to have produced such an overblown, overacted melodrama and expected it to be believed.

But an old, earthbound spirit so dumb as to hang around a school for sixty years without knowing it was time to graduate-be might have acted just the way he did that night. After all, we were in a building in which a great many genuinely unexplainable manifestations bad already occurred.

I came out of this whole adventure with only one conclusion: You?d better keep your cool if you?re going to fool with an old school ghoul.

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Old October 23rd, 2001, 12:01 AM   #43
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Olde Angel Inn: Ontario Canada

I know Misty is lurking somewhere So I figured I would throw in a Canadian story for her!


To step through the doors of this, one of Ontario?s oldest inns, is to step back into history Looking remarkably like an English pub, the inn has lots of exposed hand-hewn beams and thick plank floors. The latter sometimes still seem to echo to the sounds of the British soldiers and townsfolk who have gathered here for food and drink for two centuries.

Small but unique, the inn is believed to have been founded around 1789, when it was called the Harmonious Coach House. At that time, Niagara-on-the-Lake was called Newark, and was destined to become the first capital of Upper Canada. Newark was the first place in the world to abolish slavery Legislators celebrated the passing of their innovative new law with dinner at the inn.

All the guest bedrooms are furnished in simple colonial style. Besides a wealth of beams, they feature four-poster canopy beds. But modern additions mean they also have private bathrooms and color TV Because the inn is so popular, advance reservations are advised. Room rates (particularly inexpensive in winter) do not include breakfast, but this is available on request.

The restaurant offers fine dining at reasonable prices. The nerve center of the inn is the English Pub, running across the front of the building and popular with residents and locals alike. The pub has a wide selection of ales and draft beers and also serves a variety of hearty snacks. A relatively recent addition is the Shaw Wine Bar, featuring fine Niagara wines.

Niagara-on-the-Lake has its own summer Shaw Theater festival. It is a charming little town, full of tempting craft shops and good restaurants. Niagara Falls is only a short drive away, and because you are on the Canadian side of the border, you?ll see the vast Horseshoe Falls close up. Especially recommended: the boat trip to the foot of the falls on the Maid of the Mist.

The ghost at the Olde Angel Inn is Captain Swayre, a local militiaman, who was either killed in action or else died of his wounds after hiding in the basement of the inn during the War of 1812. The Americans burned down the hotel to find him.

In the ground floor, English pub-style bar, townsfolk will tell you the tramp of soldiery can still be heard coming from the cellars. While you are quite welcome to pop down and see if there?s anyone there, they?d rather not join you, thanks very much.

Several people have even seen the captain, complete with blue frock coat and white trousers wearing a wig Seances held at the inn have confirmed the captain?s presence. When a reenactment of the local battle between English (and Canadian) soldiers and their American opponents was performed in Niagara-on-the-Lake, a member of the inn?s staff went down to the cellars afterward and returned upstairs to report that ?bne of them is still walking about down there.? An immediate investigation of the cellars showed them to be quite empty.

Innkeepers Peter and Diane Ling take a prosaic view of their intangible guest and whether or not he exists. But when the Lings took over the inn, and Peter was sleeping there alone, he brought with him their favorite lucky horseshoe. He was awakened by the sound of a loud crash and found the heavy iron horseshoe had been torn from the wall and hurled down in front of the front door. Perhaps the distinctly unlucky Captain Swayze didn?t care for the good-luck charm.

When Peter Ling first heard the stories about Captain Swayze, he was silly enough to say laughingly ?I?d like to meet this ghost.? Next day an old newspaper with headlines detailing the ghostly goings-on appeared on the doorstep.

Perhaps that could be attributed to a human hand. Less easily explained is the evidence of tourism executive Duncan Ross, a provincial government official. Says Ross (and remember, his job is attracting visitors-many of them Americans-to Ontario), ?Captain Swayze doesn?t like Americans. If anyone goes into the inn with an American flag on his jacket, or anything like that identifying him as an American, glasses start falling off shelves.?

All that trouble over the forty-ninth parallel almost two hundred years ago and things still aren?t settled. At least, not down in the cellars of the Olde Angel Inn. But such ?local difficulties? apart, the bar of the Olde Angel Inn is as pleasant and atmospheric a refreshment stop as any in Ontario.

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Old October 23rd, 2001, 02:59 AM   #44
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<font color = red> Oh thanks for the ghost stories Scoobydoo!! Enjoyed reading them! Gee, do I really want to try to get to sleep now???? Thanks again Scooby!!
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Old October 24th, 2001, 11:37 PM   #45
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{{{{{{ LondonLee }}}}}} Glad you liked them sweetie!
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