Friday, October 31, 2014

The Legend of 'Allison's Grave'

northcentralpa - One of the most intriguing tales is that of “Allison’s Grave” at the Mosquito Valley Cemetery near DuBoistown, Pa.

As with most ghost stories, there are many variations of the Allison legend.

Some say that the shadowy spirit seen at the cemetery is a woman who was decapitated in a plane or car crash.

Others say she is a WWII nurse who died in a plane crash while traveling home.

As these and other stories spread, the cemetery on Mosquito Valley Road eventually became a common destination for Halloween pranksters, seekers of the paranormal, and those just looking for a thrill.

Who was Allison?

Clues to her identity have been found in Lycoming County court documents and land deeds, and online genealogy sites.

Her name was Edna A. (Bogert) Allison, the second wife of Herbert F. Allison. After almost 20 year of marriage, they divorced in 1958 after having one son.

Local businessman, Larry Allison, who is Herbert Allison’s grandson from his first marriage, has confirmed that, in the resulting divorce settlement, Edna took ownership of a rock and sand quarry business as well as a second home, both located in Nassau, the Bahamas.

In August of 1960, Herbert Allison remarried for a third time but, on January 3, 1961, he died suddenly while vacationing in Palm Beach, Fla.

According to his obituary printed in the January 5, 1961, edition of the Williamsport Sun-Gazette, 54-year-old Allison was president of Lycoming Construction Company and director of the First National Bank in Montoursville.

He was buried in Twin Hills Cemetery following a private family service.

Ill-fated Flight

In June 1964, Edna Allison left Williamsport on a commercial airline flight to Phoenix, Ariz. From there, she traveled to Aspen, Col., where she boarded a Cessna 310 on Sunday, June 28, for a flight to Dallas, a stopover before her final destination in the Bahamas.

There, she was scheduled to attend a business conference in Nassau in connection with her “rock and mineral business interests there,” according to the article in the July 1, 1964 edition of the Sun-Gazette.

Piloting the light twin-engine plane was William Evans, 38, of McAllen, Texas.

In addition to Edna, the other passengers were Ed Gorman, 38, of Dallas, and Gus Theoklis, 29, of Los Angeles.

When the plane failed to arrive in Dallas, the Colorado Civil Air Patrol searched the mountainous area near Aspen, but the plane could not be located.

According to the July 1, 1964 edition of the Brownsville (Texas) Herald, the search for the plane was made difficult due to heavy thunderstorms and high winds.

Discovery is Made

Almost four months later, in mid-October, the plane was finally discovered in a remote high mountain area 9 miles northeast of Aspen.

Edna and the three other occupants were found, still buckled into their seats.

The sheriff leading the recovery efforts stated that it appeared the plane had “plunged straight down into the mountainside.” (Big Spring (Texas) Herald, Monday, October 19, 1964)

Due to the badly decomposed condition of Edna’s body, her remains were cremated and returned to her family members: a brother, Howard Bogert, who also lived in Mosquito Valley, and her son, who was then an Army private assigned to Fort Belvoir, Virginia.

Edna Allison’s ashes were spread at Mosquito Valley Cemetery where a small gravestone marked her memory.

A large monument inscribed with the Allison name has been installed, perhaps due to the vandalism and the repeated removal of the small stone from the cemetery, especially at Halloween.

The Spirit of Edna

While some of the details of Edna’s life can be documented and confirmed through newspaper accounts, courthouse records, and family memories, we can only make a guess in determining the true essence of this woman who lived during the first half of the 20th century.

While most of her peers did not work outside their homes, Edna was a divorcee, a businesswoman and an international traveler.

Perhaps it is time for her spirit to find peace and rest in Mosquito Valley.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Scared to Death?

The following story was forwarded to me a few days ago. Since then, I have talked to the writer in order to ease the guilt and worry that she still retains:

Hello Sir - your email was forwarded to me by a relative who thought you or your colleagues could help answer some questions regarding an incident I witnessed a few years ago. You have my permission to use this story but I do ask that my name be left out. Since I no longer live in the area where this occurred you may use those details. I would ask that you call me first. (NOTE: I did call and talk to the writer and was given permission to add other facts to her account...Lon).

It was the summer of 2004. At the time I was selling real estate in Warren County, Virginia but mostly in the Front Royal, Virginia area. The vicinity is known more for the Shenandoah Valley as well as it's history during the American Civil War. It seems that most of the older property has a story behind it and it's usually tied to the Civil War.

I moved there in 2000, not long after I graduated from college. Real estate sales was not my first choice for a career but I was doing well, so I decided to see how far I could go.

In March 2004 a house with many acres of farm property was listed for sale. The former resident had recently passed away and the family was selling it. From what I gathered, none of the relatives wanted to take over the property and it was decided that it be sold as soon as possible.

On the day I first toured the old place it was obvious that the previous owner took very good care of it. It was quite a nice house with a barn, a smokehouse and a large greenhouse. A nephew of the former owner accompanied me during the inspection. He assured me that there would be no attempts by any family member to impede a sale and that everything in the house was to be sold 'as is.' All furniture, appliances, tools, etc. were to be included in the sale. I explained to him that they would most likely realize more profit if the items were removed for sale in an auction but he insisted it must be sold 'as is' and that the buyer would be responsible for the contents. I thought this was quite odd, but I promised that I would do as the sellers wanted.

To my surprise, the property was listed for only 3 weeks. The overall housing market was starting to get very tight and large properties were difficult to sell. But, in fact, I made the sale to a couple from Washington D.C. who was the second party that showed interest. They made a counter-offer which was quickly accepted by the sellers. Everything went quite smooth though the day of settlement was a bit strange. The nephew and his sister were representing the sellers. Their demeanor was very distant and cold during the entire procedure. At one point, the buyers asked the nephew if there was any property in the house that he would like to keep. The nephew gave them a glaring look and told them that he 'didn't care if they burned it all.'

Several weeks later the new owners invited me for dinner in their new home. They were quite proud and wanted to tell me about the history of the place. It was once owned by a former British officer who had defected and fought with the colonists during the Revolutionary War. Later it become a working farm and remained so until the 1950’s when it was purchased by a Baptist preacher and his wife. The couple was considered quite eccentric and the preacher never had a large congregation. The new owners were told by an attorney who lived nearby that the preacher held worship services in the barn because there was never a church. There were many rumors of strange rituals being performed during these services.

It was a very enjoyable evening and we agreed to get together again. I really did like this couple. They were very intelligent and quite polite. The husband worked for the Federal government and the wife was a pharmaceutical representative. They had grown tired of the urban lifestyle in Washington D.C. and wanted a home where they could relax. One thing I did notice was that much of the furniture and appliances left in the house remained and was being used by the new owners.

On the July 4th weekend, the couple invited me to join their cookout. My boyfriend was staying with me for the week so he decided to come along. I hadn’t seen the couple in over a month and was very interested to know the life in their new home was going. When we arrived, instantly I knew something was wrong.

We started walking towards the back of the house and noticed that no one other than the couple were there. I asked if we were the first to arrive and was told that none of their friends accepted the invitation. We sat down in the lawn chairs and started to talk. They both looked worried though I didn’t understand what was going on. I’m a very direct person so I asked if there was anything wrong. The wife looked at me and explained that none of their friends would come to the house anymore and that they had all had bad experiences when visiting. She started to get more specific and said that they thought the property was haunted. I tried not to laugh but the smile quickly came to my face. I looked back at both of them. They were deadly serious and not smiling.

They said that something tried to push people down the stairs and that a bad odor would permeate the living room for a few minutes then fade away. They also heard screaming sounds outside at night and thought it may have been coming from the barn. As well, they were both having dreams about dead bodies buried in the greenhouse and barn. I had never experienced anything paranormal while on the property so I simply dismissed it.

The day went by without an incident and, in fact, it was quite enjoyable. It was starting to get late and I needed to get up early the next morning so we thanked them for their hospitality and drove home. I really didn’t think much about what I was told and quickly went to sleep that night.

The next morning I woke early and got myself together because I had several homes scheduled to show that day. I needed to first stop by the office so I could pick up the newest listings. When I arrived at the office, I noticed a police car in the parking lot. I walked into the office and was immediately approached by the office manager and told that the authorities wanted to talk to me.

I introduced myself to the police officers and asked what was going on. One of them handed me a photograph of the couple. They were lying on the ground, side-by-side and obviously dead. They were both very pale, like all the blood had been drained. I acknowledged that I had sold them the property and that we had socialized the previous day. He explained that their bodies were found by a police officer the previous night after a 911 call was placed for a disturbance and that they were found laying in the barn as seen in the photo. The only information I could provide was what they told me and that they thought the property was haunted.

The next day I was told that they both died from natural causes and that there would be no further investigation. That’s all I was ever told and that’s all I would ever find out. I asked a physician if it was possible that two people could be scared to death at the same time. The look he shot back at me was of utter bewilderment, which was followed by laughter. He said that it was practically impossible to scare a person to death, let alone two people at the same time.

Since that incident I moved to the west coast and no longer sell real estate. I know their deaths will haunt me for the rest of my life. I wouldn’t feel so bad if I hadn’t dismissed what they said so quickly and so out-of-hand. I feel that something on that property frightened them so bad that it resulted in their deaths. J.L.

NOTE: I had an associate check the circumstances described in the story. I told the writer that I was going to do this and she agreed just so her name was left out of the post. There was a death of a couple in the area at the time described. Since there was no investigation and the deaths were determined to be of natural causes the only information available is on the death certificate...Lon

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Monday, October 13, 2014

Rainboy: Donnie Decker


Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania native Donnie Decker's life has been surrounded by a phenomenon that remains unsolved to this day. It started after his grandfather's death when he was a teenager in February of 1983. Unknown to everyone within the family, Don had been carrying a secret about his grandfather since the age of 7 years old. Donnie Decker alleges that his grandfather had been repeatedly physically abusing him.

Don was disturbed by the reverence shown to his Grandfather at the funeral and afterwards, spending the night with friends, the Keefer's, those feelings erupted in a way that could never have been foreseen. Who knows what emotional turmoil that unleashes within the mind and spirit of an adolescent but there are those who say Donnie Decker allowed it manifest in a series of strange paranormal events.

As he sat quietly with his friends the air around him suddenly turned cold, and at the same time, water started to drip from the living room walls. Don fell into a eerie trance like state. The tenants of the property immediately called the landlord, Ron H. Van Why to report that water was now dripping from the walls and the ceiling.

When Ron arrived he was mystified as to what was happening. As the landlord he knew where the plumbing pipes were located and there were none anywhere near the vicinity of the room. The plumbing was all at the rear of the building and the water was pouring through one room only where no pipes were located. Ron quickly realized that water wasn't simply travelling downwards from the walls and ceiling...it was pouring up out of the floor as well. At this point he called in the local police.

Patrolman John Baujan couldn't believe his eyes and was taken aback enough by what was unfolding before him to call in his partner Patrolman Richard Wolbert. Together they stepped into the one room which was affected by the water and immediately both were drenched through. Both observed droplets of water travel horizontally between them and move out of the room in mid air.

Police advised the family and Donnie leave the premises and go to a nearby cafe while they investigated, but Ron elected to stay. As the Keefer's and Donnie Decker left the building, suddenly the water stopped pouring. Ron surmised that somehow one of them was responsible for causing the 'indoor rain'...but which one?

It had now been almost a full 24 hours since the indoor rain started and as they sat in the local cafe Donnie still appeared 'trance like'. Cafe owner Pam Scarfano who had earlier witnessed the rain in the house thought out loud that maybe Donnie was responsible and that maybe it was the Devil's work and that Donnie was possessed. No sooner had Pam, the Keefers and Donnie seated themselves around a cafe table than the seemingly impossible happened...it started to rain inside the cafe. Alarmed Pam rushed to her cash register where she kept a crucifix and placed it around Donnie's neck...it immediately turned black and burned Donnie on the neck.

The Keefers and Donnie decided to leave the cafe and as they did so once again the 'rain' stopped. It was at this point the concensus appeared to be that Donnie was the cause. Back at the house the rain had started again and accusations towards Donnie started to fly. At this stage the pots and pans on the stove started to rattle and without warning Donnie suddenly levitated and was thrown across the room. The police chief was called in but he put the whole incident down to 'plumbing issues' and ordered his men to leave...though he also ordered his men to say nothing of the incident and not to file a report.

The following day Lieutenant William Davies of the local police became yet another authoratative witness to the events in the house. He and Lieutenant John Rundle witnessed the seemingly impossible happen again...Donnie Decker was levitated off the floor and hurled across the room. When they rushed to his aid they found three claw marks upon his neck. It is worth bearing in mind at this point that we now have four experienced, respected and completely trustworthy officers of the law who have witnessed the seemingly impossible happen. Rarely does any paranormal event have such authoratative testimony.

Three nights later the rain was still pouring down inside the house. An exorcism for Donnie seemed the only possible answer...but every Catholic priest and Protestant minister turned all request down. Eventually an Evangelical preacher was found who agreed to perform the exorcism. Although Donnie convulsed during the ritual, things appeared to calm down and the rain stopped. The results however were temporary.

Soon after Donnie was sentenced to prison for a theft and was placed in a maximum security cell. Once again the 'rain' started. Startled guards removed Donnie from his soaking wet cell and accused him of throwing water from the sink around his cell. He pointed out to the guards 'I can make it happen anywhere, and I can control it'. The guards then taunted him with the challenge of making it rain somewhere like the warden's office. Lt. David Keenhold was acting warden and sitting in his office oblivious to the events going on with Donnie when a guard came into the office to explain what was happening. Upon standing up the warden only then became aware that his shirt was saturated with water. He hadn't felt it happen to him as he had been focussed on writing a report. When the guard explained that Donnie had said he would make it rain in the warden's office the warden was mystified and in his own testimony states that he and the guard were both scared.

The warden called in a local clergy, the Reverend William Blackburn. The Reverend accused Donnie of making things up and a rattled Donnie replied by raising his fingers and instantly causing rain to fall. The shocked Reverend realized Donnie did harbor the power to make it rain and reached the immediate conclusion that he was possessed. Performing some religious rites the Reverend appears to have dispelled the ability Donnie had. Since then it seems Donnie has never been able to recreate the phenomenon. - planet-flipside.com / profilingtheunexplained.com / unsolvedmysteries.wikia.com

NOTE: A television segment first ran on Unsolved Mysteries in the February 10, 1993 episode. The case was also featured on an episode of Paranormal Witness on SyFy Channel. Most likely this was a thought-form manifestation resulting in poltergeist activity. These situations are normally resolved when the oppressed individual is removed from whatever stimulated the activity or is able to control those emotions that feed the manifested entity...Lon

Haunted Pennsylvania: Ghosts and Strange Phenomena of the Keystone State (Haunted Series)

Big Book of Pennsylvania Ghost Stories (Big Book of Ghost Stories)


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