Sunday, September 25, 2016

The Demon Dog of Valle Crucis


A few of my relatives were raised in the North Carolina mountains. There were a lot of stories that came out of the region but the one tale that each one knew the best was that of the demon dog of Valle Crucis. The community of Valle Crucis, which is Latin for "Vale of the Cross" and refers to the valley where three streams come together to form a shape similar to a cross, is rustic and a favorite destination for tourists. But don't let the quaint scenery hide the truth...there is a dark side to Valle Crucis.

There's an old stone church (St. John's Episcopal), located along Highway 194 just on the edge of town, where in the churchyard cemetery the supernatural moves among the venerable graves. St. John's was built in the 1860's and the legends of the hellhound and other strange beings have been told for several generations.

The traditional story starts on clear moonlit Autumn night. Two young men, who were students at a local college, were driving through the Valle Crucis area when they received the shock of their lives.

They were driving along Highway 195 that leads through Valle Crucis at around midnight. As their car passed the old church, the young men saw a large shadow leap out from behind one of the tombstones in the church graveyard. The shadow leaped into the road in front of them. The driver swerved his car to avoid the shape that suddenly landed in his path. He slammed his foot on the brake and pulled his car over to the shoulder of the road, according to the witnesses' accounts.


Both he and his friend were startled to see that it was a massive dog. It was as tall and big as a fully grown man. The fearsome canine was covered with bristling black fur and had large yellow teeth. And most unusual of all, the dog's eyes were glowing. They were not reflecting back the light like a dog's or cat's eyes will sometimes do. Instead, these eyes were really glowing with a weird red light.

One of the young men turned to the other and asked "Do you see that?" His friend said "No and neither do you."

As the unearthly growling beast walked toward their car, the driver took his foot off the brake and hit the gas. The car roared down the winding mountain road and barely made it along the sharp curves. The driver did his best to control the car as the speedometer reached 60 and then 70 miles an hour.

The driver looked in his rear view mirror and his face turned white from what he saw. The ghostly dog was keeping up with his speeding car. It was even gaining on them.

Determined to get away from the nightmarish canine, the driver pushed his accelerator even harder. His car leaped over a bridge just below where the streams meet to form a cross. At that point, the dog stopped following them and vanished from sight.

The two frightened young men drove into Boone and stopped at the local diner, because it was the only place open at that hour. They knew they would not get any sleep that night. They also knew they would never forget the demon dog of Valle Crucis.

Traditionally the tales from this area center around a supernatural canine but there have been other odd sightings including the apparition of a woman near the very same cemetery. There have also been sounds of gunshots and of a female crying. No one has attributed these sounds to any known event but its just another unexplained occurrence typically encountered at the location.

The 1772 Stockwell Poltergeist

The case of the Stockwell poltergeist is not commonly told nowadays, mainly because it took place in 1772. But it is a terrifying tale that was told in great detail for the time. I have added some commentary to the witness accounts (which is written in 18th century King's English):

"An authentic, candid, and Cir­cumstantial Narrative of the astonishing Transactions at Stock-well, in the County of Surrey, on Monday and Tuesday. the 6th and 7th days of January, 1772 ; containing a Series of the most surprising and unaccountable Events that ever happened, which continued, from first to last, upward of twenty hours, and at different places : published with the consent and appro­bation of the family and other parties concerned, to authenticate which the original copy is signed by them.

Before we enter upon a description of the most extraordi­nary transactions that perhaps ever happened, we shall begin with an account of the parties who were principally concerned, and, in justice to them, give their characters, by which means the impartial world may see what credit is due to the following narrative :

The events, indeed, are of so strange and singular a na­ture, that we can not be at all surprised the public should be doubtful of the truth of them, more especially as there have been too many impositions of this sort ; but, let us consider, here are no sinister ends to be answered, no contributions to be wished for, nor would be accepted, as the parties are in reputable situations and good circumstances, particularly Mrs. Golding, who is a lady of an independent fortune : Richard howler and his wife might be looked upon as an exception to this assertion ; but, as their loss was trivial, they must he left out of the question, except so far as they appear corroborating evidences. Mr. Pan‘s maid lost nothing.

How or by what means these transactions were brought about, has never transpired: we have only to rest our confi­dence on the veracity of the parties, whose descriptions have been most strictly attended to, without the least deviation: nothing here offered is either exaggerated or diminished—the whole stated in the clearest manner, just as they occurred : as such only we lay them before the candid and impartial public."


The phenomenon centered upon a Mrs Golding at her farmhouse. Mrs. Golding, an elderly lady at Stockwell, in Surrey, at whose house the transactions began, was born in the same parish (Landreth), has lived in it ever since, and has always been well known and respected as a gentlewoman of unblem­ished honor and character.

Although the beginnings of the case suggested nothing more than a nuisance spirit that occasionally threw plates from the wall, something sinister was on the cards one particular day when Mrs Golding fainted.

“On Monday, January the 6th, 1772, about ten o‘clock in the forenoon, as Mrs. Golding was in her parlor, she heard the china and glasses in the back kitchen tumble down and break; her maid came to her and told her the stone plates were falling from the shelf; Mrs. Golding went into the kitchen and saw them broke. Presently after, a row of plates from the next shelf fell down likewise, while she was there, and nobody near them ; this astonished her much, and while she was thinking about it, other things in different places began to tumble about, some of them breaking, attended with violent noises all over the house ; a clock tumbled down and the case broke ; a lan­tern that hung on the staircase was thrown down and the glass broken to pieces ; an earthen pan of salted beef broke to pieces and the beef fell about : all this increased her surprise and brought several persons about her, among whom was Mr. Rowlidge, a carpenter, who gave it as his opinion that the foundation was giving way and that the house was tumbling clown, occasioned by the too great weight of an additional room erected above : so ready are we to discover natural causes for everything ! But no such thing happened, as the reader will find ; for whatever was the cause, that cause ceased almost as soon as Mrs. Golding and her maid left any place, and Ibilowed them wherever they went. Mrs. Golding ran into Mr. Gresham’s house, a gentleman living next door to her, where she fainted.

In the interim, Mr. Rowlidge and other persons were removing Mrs. Golding‘s effects from her house, for fear of the consequences he had prognosticated. At this time all was quiet ; Mrs. Golding’s maid, remaining in the house, was gone up stairs, and when called upon several times to come down, for fear of the dangerous situation she was thought to be in, she answered very coolly, and after some time came down as deliberately, without any seeming fearful apprehensions.

Mrs. Pain was sent for from Brixton Causeway, and desired to come directly, as her aunt was supposed to be dead : this was the message to her. When Mrs. Pain came, Mrs. Golding was come to herself, but very faint.

Among the persons who were present was Mr. Gardner, a surgeon, of Clapham, whom Mrs. Pain desired to bleed her aunt, which he did. Mrs. Pain asked him if the blood should be thrown away : he desired it might not, as he would examine it when cold. These minute particulars would not be taken notice of, but as a chain to what follows. For the next circum­stance is of a more astonishing nature than anything that had preceded it : the blood that was just congealed, sprang out of the basin upon the floor, and presently after the basin broke to pieces! This china basin was the only thing broke belonging to Mr. Gresham; a bottle of rum that stood by it broke at the same time.

Among the things that were removed to Mr. Gresham’s, was a tray full of china, a japan bread-basket, some mahogany waiters, with some bottles of liquors, jars of pickles, &c., and a pier-glass, which was taken down by Mr. Saville (a neighbor of Mrs. Golding’s) ; he gave it to one Robert Hames, who laid it on the grass-plat at Mrs. Gresham’s : but, before he could put it out of his hands, some parts of the frame on each side flew off! It rained at that time ; Mrs. Golding desired it might be brought into the parlor, where it was put under a sideboard, and a dressing-glass along with it. It had not been there long, before the glasses and china which stood on the sideboard be­gan to tumble about and fall down, and broke both the glasses to pieces. Mr. Saville and others being asked to drink a glass of wine or rum, both the bottles broke in pieces before they were uncorked !

Mrs. Golding’s surprise and fear increasing, she (lid not know what to do, or where to go. Wherever she and her maid were, these strange, destructive circumstances followed her and how to help or free herself from them was not in her power or any other person’s present. Her mind was one confused chaos, lost to herself and everything about her—drove from her own home, and afraid there would be no other to receive her. At last she left Mr. Gresham’s and went to Mr. Mayling‘s, a gentleman at the next door; here she stayed about three quar­ters of an hour, during which time nothing happened. Her maid stayed at Mr. Gresham’s to put up what few things remained unbroken of her mistress’s, in a back apartment, when a jar of pickles that stood upon a table turned upside down ; then a jar of raspberry jam broke to pieces ; next two mal3′ogany waiters and a quadrille-box likewise broke in pieces.

Mrs. Pain, not choosing her aunt should stay too long at Mr. Mayling’s, for fear of being troublesome, persuaded her to go to her house at Rush Common, near Brixton Causeway, where she would endeavor to make her as happy as she could, hoping by this time all was over, as nothing had happened at that gentle-man’s house while she was there. This was about two o’clock in the afternoon.

Mr. and Miss Gresham were at Mr. Pain’s house when Mrs. Pain, Mrs. Golding, and her maid, went there. It being about dinner-time, they all dined together; in the interim, Mrs. Golding’s servant was sent to her house to see how things re­mained. When she returned, she told them nothing had hap­pened since they left it. Some time after, Mr. Gresham and miss went home, everything remaining quiet at Mr. Pain’s; but about eight o’clock in the evening a fresh scene began. The first thing that happened was, a whole row of pewter dishes, except one, fell from off a shelf to the middle of the floor, rolled about a little while, then settled ; and, what is almost beyond belief, as soon as they were quiet, turned upside down ! They were then put on the dresser, and went through the same a second time. Next fell a whole row of pewter plates from off the second shelf over the dresser to the ground, and, being taken up and put on the dresser one in another, they were thrown down again.

The next thing was, two eggs that were upon one of the pewter shelves, one of them flew off, crossed the kitchen, struck a cat on the head, and then broke in pieces.

Next, Mary Martin, Mrs. Pain’s servant, went to stir the kitchen fire ; she got to the right-hand side of it, being a large chimney, as is usual in farmhouses. A pestle and mortar that stood nearer the left-hand end of the chimney-shelf, jumped about six feet on the floor ! Then went candlesticks and other brasses, scarcely anything remaining in its place. After this, the glasses and china were put down on the floor for fear of undergoing the same fate : they presently began to dance and tumble about, and then broke to pieces. A teapot that was among them flew to Mrs. Golding’s maid’s foot, and struck it."


A glass tumbler that was put on the floor jumped about two feet and then broke. Another that stood by it jumped about at the same time, but did not break till some hours after, when it jumped again, and then broke. A china howl that stood in the parlor jumped from the floor to behind a table that stood there. This was most astonishing, as the distance from where it stood was between seven and eight feet, but was not broke. It was put back by Richard Fowler to its place, where it remained some time, and then flew to pieces.

The next thing that followed was a mustard-pot, that jumped out of a closet and was broke. A single cup that stood upon the table (almost the only thing remaining) jumped up, flew across the kitchen, ringing like a bell, and then was dashed to pieces against the dresser. A candlestick that stood on the chimney-shelf flew across the kitchen to the parlor-door, at about fifteen feet distance. A teakettle under the dresser was thrown out about two feet ; another kettle, that stood at one end of the range, was thrown against the iron that is fixed to pre-vent children from falling into the fire. A tumbler with ruin­and-water in it, that stood upon a waiter upon a table in the parlor, jumped about ten feet, and was broke. The table then fell down, and along with it a silver tankard belonging to Mrs. Golding—the waiter in which stood the tumbler, and a candle­itick. A case-bottle then flew to pieces.

The next circumstance was, a ham that hung in one side of the kitchen-chimney raised itself from the hook and fell down to the ground. Some time after, another ham, that hung on the other side of the chimney, likewise underwent the same fate. Then a flitch of bacon, which hung up in the same chimney, fell down.

All the family were eye-witnesses to these circumstances, as well as other persons, some of whom were so alarmed and shocked, that they could not bear to stay, and were happy in getting away, though the unhappy family were left in the midst of their distresses. Most of the genteel families around were continually sending to inquire after them, and whether all was over or not. Is it not surprising that some among them had not the inclination and resolution to try to unravel this most intricate affair, at a time when it would have been in their power to have done so? There certainly was sufficient time for so doing, as the whole, from first to last, continued upward of twenty hours.

At all the times of action, Mrs. Golding’s servant was walk­ing backward and forward, in either the kitchen or parlor, or wherever some of the family happened to be. Nor could they get her to sit down five minutes together, except at one time for about half an hour toward the morning, when the family were at prayers in the parlor ; then all was quiet: but in the midst of the greatest confusion, she was as much composed as at any other time, and with uncommon coolness of temper ad­vised her mistress not to be alarmed or uneasy, as she said these things could not be helped. Thus she argued, as if they were common occurrences, which must happen in every family.

This advice surprised and startled her mistress almost as much as the circumstances that occasioned it. For how can we suppose that a girl of about twenty years old (an age when female timidity is too often assisted by superstition) could re-main in the midst of such calamitous circumstances (except they proceed from causes best known to herself), and not be struck with the same terror as every other person was who was pres­ent? These reflections led Mr. Pain (and, at the end of the transactions, likewise Mrs. Golding) to think that she was not altogether so unconcerned as she appeared to be ; but, hitherto, the whole remains mysterious and unrivalled."


About ten o’clock at night, they sent over the way to Rich and Fowler, to desire he would come and stay with them. He came and continued till one in the morning, and was so ten-i. fled that he could remain no longer.

"As Mrs. Golding could not be persuaded to go to bed, Mrs. Pain at that time (one o’clock) made an excuse to go up stairs to her youngest child, under pretence of getting it to sleep, but she really acknowledges it was through fear, as she declares she could not sit up to see such strange things going on, as everything, one after another, was broke, till there was not above two or three cups and saucers remaining out of a consid­erable quantity of china, &c., which was destroyed to the amount of some pounds.

About five o’clock on Tuesday morning, Mrs. Golding went up to her niece, and desired her to get up, as the noises and destruction were so great, she could continue in the house no longer. At this time all the tables, chairs, drawers, &c., were tumbling about. When Mrs. Pain came down, it was amazing beyond all description. Their only security then was to quit the house, for fear of the same catastrophe as had been ex­pected the morning before at Mrs. Golding’s. In consequence of this resolution, Mrs. Golding and her maid went over the way to Richard Fowler’s. When Mrs. Golding’s maid had seen her safe to Richard Fowler’s, she came back to Mrs. Pain, to help her to dress the children in the barn, where she had carried them for fear of the house falling. At this time all was quiet. They then went to Fowler’s, and then began the same scene as had happened at the other places. It must be re-marked, all was quiet here as well as elsewhere, till the maid returned.

When they got to Mr. Fowler’s, he began to light a fire in his back room. When done, he put the candle and candlestick upon a table in the fore-room. This apartment Mrs. Golding and her maid had passed through. Another candlestick, with a tits lamp in it, that stood by it, were both dashed together, and fell to the ground. A lantern, with which Mrs. Golding was lighted across the road, sprang from a hook to the ground, and a quantity of oil spilled on the floor. The last thing was, the basket of coals tumbled over, the coals rolling about the room."


The maid then desired Richard Fowler not to let her mistress remain there, as she said wherever she was the same things would Mow. In consequence of this advice, and fearing greater losses to himself, he desired she would quit his house ; but first begged her to consider within herself, for her own and the public’s sake, whether or not she had been guilty of some atrocious crime, for which Providence was determined to pur­sue her on this side of the grave : for he could not help think-mg she was the object that was to be made an example to pos­terity, by the all seeing eye of Providence, for crimes which but. too often none but that Providence can penetrate, and by such means as these bring to light.

Thus was the poor gentlewoman’s measure of affliction complete, not only to have undergone all which has been re­lated, but to have added to it the character of a bad and wicked woman, when till this time she was esteemed as a most deserv­ing person. In candor to Fowler, he could not be blamed. What could he do ? what. would any man have done that was so circumstanced ? Mrs. Golding soon satisfied him : she told him she would not stay in his house or any other person’s, as her conscience was quite clear, and she could as well wait the will of Providence in her own house as in any other place what-ever; upon which she and her maid went home. Mr. Pain went with them. After they had got to Mrs. Golding’s the last time, the same transactions once more began upon the remains that were left.

A nine-gallon cask of beer, that was in the cellar, the door being open, and no person near it, turned upside down. A pail of water, that stood on the floor, boiled like a put ! A box of candles fell from a shelf in the kitchen to the floor; they rolled out, but none were broke : and a round mahogany table over-set in the parlor.

”Mr. Pain then desired Mrs. Golding to send her maid for his wife to come to them. When she was gone, all was quiet Upon her return she was immediately discharged, and no dis turbances have happened since. This was between six and seven o’clock on Tuesday morning.

At Mrs. Golding’s were broke the quantity of three pail. fuls of glass, china, &c. At Mrs. Pain’s they filled two pails.

Thus ends the narrrative—a true, circumstantial, and faith­ful account of which we have laid before the public ; and have endeavored as much as possible, throughout the whole, to state onl! facts, without presuming to obtrude any opinion on them, If we have in part hinted anything that may appear unfavora­ble to the girl, it is not from a determination to charge her with the cause, right or wrong, but only from a strict adherence to truth, most sincerely wishing this extraordinary affair may be unravelled.

The above narrative is absolutely and strictly true, iii wit­ness whereof we have set our hands this eleventh day of Janu­ary, 1772:

MARY GOLDING, JOHN PAIN, MARY PAIN, RICHARD FOWLER, SARAH FOWLER, Mtuv MARTIN.


Accounts provided by a Mr. Marks, bookseller, in St. Martin’s Lane, London

Sources:
Encyclopedia of Occultism & Parapsychology 5 2v (Encyclopedia of Occultism and Parapsychology)
Spirited
ghosts-uk.net
Pseudoscience/Paranormal 2nd Edition
The Poltergeist


Saturday, September 17, 2016

Fear of Contact: Transforming Denial


I received the following email today. I have made only minor edits because I feel the writer's intense conscience needed to be conveyed to the readers:

It wasn’t until quite recently that I realized my odd hallucinations and “awake nightmares” which had caused me to believe that I am either insane or possessed by some sort of demon although I did not believe in demons. At 12 years old I confided in a psychiatrist about a single event and it was determined I suffer from Hypnagogia. The psychiatrist noted that I had a vivid hallucination and I was admitted to hospital. Since then I have not shared my experiences and never found out what they were — until quite recently I stumbled upon a UFO and strange events website. There were others with the same experience I had!! The relief, the Eureka moment, and I have suffered from great fear, insomnia, and the suspicion that I was quite insane deep down inside.

Whew...OK, just talking about this upsets me but there are others here with much more descriptive events. Why aren’t these on the news??? Why isn’t this accepted in Western society??? It’s baffling!! This denial of spirit/alien? beings has ruined my life, and for some of my adult life was involved in drugs, in and out of mental hospitals. I am very sad that I did not have the opportunity to discover others' experiences earlier. Yes, even in this day and age of internet, etc. I never, never put two and two together until recently! I would laugh at ANY one with belief in these things. How could I have not seen what it really was? Denial.

When I was very young, I must have been around 5 or 6 I was sleeping at the edge of the bed that my elder sister and I shared. Everyone was asleep except (I think) my father was in living room watching TV. I woke up in middle of night for no reason but normal for a child? A “visitor” suddenly appeared in my bedroom doorway, he was leaning against the frame just staring at me. He was nothing but a deep black cut out shape of a man that was completely motionless. I told myself it’s an illusion and shut my eyes tight and held my breath (so the man couldn’t see me) but, even with my eyes closed I could still SEE him quite evidently (how??). He gave me the impression that he found it humorous that I was trying to “hide” and I really could feel his eyes. I lie there wishing someone in the household would wake up and make this “man” go away. I held my breath as long as I could...I was so terrified, I thought I would die of fright. Can you imagine being this afraid? I remember trying to damper my heartbeat, because he could “hear” it. It was beating so hard I think I could see the beats coming up through the blankets. I must have either passed out from holding my breath or from fright. I never told anyone (that I know of or can remember, that is...)

The next time, I was lying on my grandmother's guest bed while I was over for visit. I was 11 or 12 yrs old. I was just lying there thinking...not sleepy nor wanting to sleep. Suddenly I heard a sound getting louder and louder. It sounded like thousands of “electric bees”. It made my head “vibrate”. The “bees” sound slowly formed itself into words. It reminds me of trying to find an AM radio station and just tuning in to clarity. The “sound” (I will try to explain it best I can, it defies what I know of physics so far) “took” me up in the air a la Scrooge being led by ghost of Xmas past! I was “flown” over what I think to be the 1940s. I could hear the “bees” chanting louder and louder! Up to a crescendo that inferred something like “we are legions”. The “vision” I saw was Hitler, and he had not thousands of followers but millions! I was shown colors red, white, and black. They have some significance that the “electric bees” wanted me to note. I was “brought back” and found myself wide awake back on the bed and thinking to myself “hmm, wow, this must be what insane people feel when they hallucinate. This is very strange and I must seek professional help” but somehow even at my youth I did not believe the good doctor's explanation.

Fast forward to adult married life. I warned my new husband “be careful, since we now share bed I must confide in you that I suffer from extreme night terrors where I get “monsters” bothering me and you must wake me when I call for you in my sleep.” Yes...this refrain common when I share bed with anyone. Sometimes I can manage to get out a muffled “hellllp meeee...wake me up...monsters..”

The “nightmares” always start with a weird noise, like the sound you imagine you feel if you are being electrocuted (the best I can describe it). There have been several instances the past year where my mate “rescued” me. These “monsters” all come armed with nightmares with a common theme/message. One of my nightmares a soothing and calm man tried to explain the symbols in the dream, he even pointed and made some verbalization that I could not make out. It is as if “they” were doing their very best trying to convince me of something but that I cannot speak their language. In this vision, I was witness to a major “Battlestar Galactica” scene and many planets, namely Saturn, etc. and Earth were involved in a stellar battle...there was cannibalism, blood, guts, horror!! Absolute horror (The more I tell these stories the more descriptive they get, as I now am able to make out more details now that I am not trying to stuff the memories deep inside any more). I totally understand the messages now but I cannot explain them, not because it is impossible, but that you will find it trite and probably won’t believe it. Even if you believe my experiences, which in fact did happen, I am constantly in fear of the chance I may see the monsters again. I understand NOW that the monsters were not trying to harass me but instead helping me with important messages. I will say that “they” are supposed to instill great fear into people but they do not do it out of cruelty, but do so that you will respect and see them in awe.

After praying (I come from a very scientific and logical minded upbringing so this praying thing is all new to me) I was given “hints” by the former “monsters” (they are now what I think are friends, but I am still horrified at the idea of seeing one again!) to look around every day for more clues. A clue may present itself in a playlist on a station that you just tuned to (song titles) or in other coincidences. I prayed..."well if you can tell me these things in this way, why not show Mankind the clues in more obvious ways!" “They” said that they do, but we don’t believe it, and also it has to be this way, because we are given FREE WILL and that “they” already HAVE robots that do and think what they want! “They” are angry and sad that we human beings on Earth don’t appreciate “it” and always take credit for “their” things and that “it” is a special gift that we shouldn’t take for granted.

I feel I have said “too much” and these “monsters” tell me in hints help me in minor and major things. But my problem is that I don’t have enough faith in “them”. You can make what you want out of this and if you think I am a complete nut that is OK, I guess, but I wish more people would talk about these things. I wish more people would go to the news with their experiences, some of them so incredible, I can’t believe that these things aren’t more accepted! It is so sad.

Thanks for reading...K

Contact with Alien Civilizations: Our Hopes and Fears about Encountering Extraterrestrials

CONFRONTATIONS: A Scientist's Search for Alien Contact

Phobias: What Do We Really Fear?


When I was a child, I had a number of 'fears' that included the fear of heights and the fear of dogs. I overcame my fear of dogs as soon as I received one as a pet but I have never quite gotten over my fear of heights. I have fought for many years to transcend another fear but this one has been a bit more of a challenge.

Anxiety is a strange disorder because is can strike at any moment. There was a time when could drive a vehicle anywhere and at anytime. I had driven throughout the U.S. and Canada for almost 25 years without a problem. But that changed one day in 1997 while I was driving on I-76 from Baltimore, MD to Cleveland, OH. I had made the trip many times before and usually in about 5-6 hours. But this one day, something happened...though I don't know what it was.

I was near the Pennsylvania / Ohio state line when I suddenly started to go into an unbelievable panic. I was shaking, sweating and disoriented...as well as experiencing an overwhelming sensation of dread. Well, I had to stop at a rest area and get myself together. I finished the trip and drove back home a few days later, but it required that I stop and take a break every hour or so. I still have difficulty driving on open highways and for long distances. I have wondered if these panic attacks are triggered by an anxiety disorder or have I developed a phobia...or is it one in the same?

A phobia is an irrational, intense, persistent fear of certain situations, activities, things, or people. According to the American Psychological Association, phobias are one of the most common mental disorders, affecting over 11% of men and women in the world. They can extremely diminish an individual’s social, economic, and personal life. Phobias are the most common form of anxiety disorders. There are thousands of debilitating disorders in the world, including:

Nyctophobia - The Fear of the Dark

Nyctophobia is a disabling disease characterized by a frenzied fear of the darkness. The phobia is generally related to children, but many adults experience it. It is extremely disruptive and incapacitating in adults and almost always leads to hospitalization. Patients experience an uncontrollable fear triggered by the mind’s perception of what could happen and is waiting in the dark. It seems to be based around mental-recall of past horrifying events. There is little known about the pathological background and emotional aspects of nyctophobia. However, scary movies, television shows, and ghost stories can manifest the phobia in children.

Patients suffer from various physical, emotional, and mental reactions to the phobia, including chest pain, discomfort, choking, smothering sensations, vertigo, and feelings of unreality, sweating, and shaking. Individuals suffering from nyctophobia have a hard time sleeping. Psychotherapy is one way to treat the disorder, while other methods include desensitization and exposure to the panic stimulant.

Spectrophobia - The Fear of Spectres or Ghosts

Spectrophobia is a specific phobia that involves an intense fear of ghosts and aspirations known as specters. Most adults will admit to being a bit afraid of ghosts, but people with spectrophobia feel that ghosts and specters are powerful black magic phantoms who can steal souls and even lives. Like most phobias, people who suffer from spectrophobia usually have experienced some sort of mental or physical trauma in their life. This experience then becomes associated with specters, ghosts, or apparitions. The symptoms of this phobia can range from a mild uncomfortable feeling to full blown anxiety or panic attacks. It is a rare disorder that is usually self-diagnosed, as the individual realizes the fear is interfering with their ability to function. Some treatments include traditional talk therapy, self-help techniques, exposure therapy, support groups, and various relaxation techniques.

Homichlophobia - The Fear of Fog

Homichlophobia is an exaggerated or irrational fear of fog. This disorder causes extreme panic in all patients. Individuals will take extreme avoidance measures towards fog, locating themselves in geographical areas that don’t receive much precipitation. They have extreme imaginations and create horrible visions surrounding the mist and fog. One commonly reported symptom is tunnel vision and crazy feelings of dread. It is a widespread phobia and has been reported in over 67 countries. This condition is treated with various cognitive development techniques. Direct exposure has been tested and performed extremely well in helping these patients cope. People suffering from homichlophobia greatly benefit from behavioral therapy.

Here is a list of the more bizarre and unusual phobias IMO:

Caligynephobia - The Fear of Beautiful Women

Caligynephobia is a form of gynophobia, which is the fear of all women. However, caligynephobia is directed towards good looking females. It can be an extremely disruptive social phobia, depending on the level of damage. The symptoms include rapid breathing, shortness of breath, irregular heart beat, nausea, sweating, panic attacks, and feelings of dread. There can also be individualized specific responses to this phobia. Caligynephobia can manifest itself in adolescent children, adult men, and women, but is most often viewed in men. Some common approaches to treating the disorder are systematic desensitization and cognitive behavioral therapies.

Chorophobia - The Fear of Dancing

Chorophobia is defined as the irrational fear of dancing. It is often times based around the individual’s unwillingness to become aroused or excited. This phobia surrounds social problems, such as the fear of embarrassment or large crowds. Symptoms include shortness of breath, rapid breathing, irregular heartbeat, sweating, nausea, panic, and avoidance of places where dancing would take place. The disorder can become disabling. The real problem ensues when the individual is forced into a dancing situation. A good treatment method is personal therapy and some people use hypnosis. Many sufferers take to hiring a personal trainer to improve their dancing skills.

Ablutophobia - The Fear of Washing, Bathing, or Cleaning

Ablutophobia is a phobia that results in a persistent, abnormal, and unwarranted fear of washing yourself. It is most commonly found in women and children. Most patients don't fear water, just when there is intent to clean. It is important to note that many children dislike baths, so ablutophobia is generally not diagnosed in children unless it persists for more than six months. Like all phobias, ablutophobia is often linked to a traumatic past event. It can be serious, as a lack of hygiene can lead to social displacement and disease. It is a situational specific phobia and common treatment methods are exposure and various cognitive behavioral therapy techniques.

Anglophobia - The Fear of the England or the English Culture

Anglophobia is a phobia that includes the fear of the English. The term is also inaccurately used to discriminate against English people. Anglophobia is a true disorder that has historic routes. A 2005 study by Hussain and Millar of the Department of Politics at the University of Glasgow found that the condition has decreased in prevalence since the introduction of devolution. Having an English friend or direct contact with the English greatly reduces the chances of suffering from Anglophobia. Anglophobia has existed in Wales since the Laws in Wales Acts of 1535–1542 was passed by the Parliament of England, which annexed Wales to the Kingdom of England. It is a rare phobia, however in August 2008 a pipefitter based in Dublin was awarded €20,000 for receiving abuse and discrimination because he was English.

Dendrophobia - The Fear of Trees

Dendrophobia is a very common phobia surrounding the fear of trees or the forest. One of the most complicated factors when dealing with dendrophobia is that the patients often times don’t reveal the disorder, in fear of ridicule and joking. Individuals with this phobia become occupied with the thought that a "dead fear" is linked to the dense trees. They might feel trapped or experience a sense of strangulation. Dendrophobia causes anxiety and intense panic attacks. Avoiding trees can often be a difficult task. Some other symptoms of the disorder are rapid breathing, shortness of breath, sweating, irregular heartbeat, nausea, sweating, and strong feelings of dread. Many documented cases have patients referring to forests and tree land as “the darkness” and “evil.” It is a disabling phobia that can be treated with exposure programs, talk therapy, medication, and other cognitive behavioral therapies.

Cypridophobia - The Fear of Prostitutes or Venereal Disease

Cypridophobia is an irrational fear of venereal disease. The phobia has been around for generations and the name originates from Cyprus and is a Greek word for Venus. It surrounds the fear of gaining a deadly venereal disease. It is a serious disorder and the patients often experience feelings of panic, terror, dread, rapid heart beat, trembling, anxiety, and can become ill and often faint. The phobia helps fuel bipolar personalities. Patients often suffer from sleep disorders and depression as the phobia expands and greatly damages social behavior. Cypridophobia can often lead to a complete withdrawal from sexual intercourse and isolation from the opposite sex. It is a serious disorder that is commonly seen all over the world.

Methyphobia - The Fear of Alcohol

Methyphobia is an intense and irrational fear of alcohol. People suffering from this phobia fear the consequences of alcohol consumption and in many instances they avoid everyone who drinks. They will also avoid any situation where alcohol is present, including weddings, holidays, and family gatherings. Methyphobia can directly lead to many social disorders. People suffering from this phobia often times have experienced a real life trauma related to alcohol consumption. It could be parental abuse, personal damage, or many other causes. There is a wide spectrum of symptoms when dealing with methyphobia.

Some individuals might lightly perspire and feel uncomfortable around alcohol, while others might have serious anxiety and panic attacks. Some other symptoms include dry mouth, numbness, dizziness, trembling, rapid heartbeat, feeling out of control, trapped, or utter doom. The disorder is usually self diagnosed and can be treated with various behavioral and cognitive therapy techniques. Basically, helping to teach the patient that they don’t have to drink alcohol, but others are allowed.

NOTE: do you have an unusual phobia? Lon

Anxiety, Phobias, and Panic

Beyond Anxiety and Phobia: A Step-by-Step Guide to Lifetime Recovery


Saturday, September 10, 2016

Vanishing Hitchhikers


The scenario...an unknown hitchhiker flags down a car and gets into the backseat. As they drive away and travel a short distance, the stranger may say a few words...after which, the phantom suddenly disappears. It's the type of encounter that really sends a chill down my spine. I have listed a few 'vanishing prophet' tales followed by disappearing hitchhiker accounts that are published in the media:

A lady was driving and saw a young man walking beside the road. Never before had she picked up a stranger, but she felt that she was to pick up this man so she did. He had a hood over his face and she was not able to see his face at all. She began driving and said to him "Son, where are you going?" He said to her "My lips are near the trumpet." She turned to look at him but he was gone! Startled, she pulled over to the side of the road. As she sat there, a police officer stopped to see why she was parked by the side of the road, telling her that it was too dangerous for her to be there. "I'm so shook up I can't drive" she told him. "Why, what"s wrong?" he asked. She said "If I told you, you wouldn't believe me!" He asked again what had happened and she told him. The officer said to her "You are the fifth person that has told me this!"

Also....

A man driving along a busy motorway sees a hitchhiker and stops. The hitchhiker gets in and straightaway announces the 'End of the World.' The way he speaks makes a deep impression, but when he says he is an angel, the driver looks round at him incredulously, and at that very moment there is no one there; he has dissolved into thin air. The driver's surprise is immense. He stops the car, looks around him, and sees a police car approach. "You are by no means the first to tell me this story," says the officer when the driver tells him his tale.

-----

During the latter part of WWII came a pipe-dream rumor which was undoubtedly the most popular of all:

The weird tale of the man who picked up a strange woman in his car. Arriving at her destination, his passenger allegedly offered to pay the man for the gas he had used. But the man refused to accept the money, so the woman offered to tell his fortune. And, as the rumor went, mysteriously she told him, "There will be a dead body in your car before you get home, and Hitler will be dead in six months." Supposedly, then, on the way home the man had seen a serious automobile wreck and had taken one of the victims into his car to rush him to the hospital. But the injured person died en route, which left the hopeful implication that Hitler would therefore be dead within the following six months.

There are many more listed throughout the internet...the 'vanishing prophet' tales

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Mt.St.Helens Strangeness

I don't know the validity of the story but it is definitely worth the read:

In 1973 I met two very tall persons, about 8 to 12 feet tall; a man and woman on the side of Mt St Helens. I went there as a prep trip to go canoeing on the, not there now, Spirit Lake. Since it was March, I found the lake under snow drifts so I went up to the top of the mountain to climb it.

As I got out of my VW Super Beetle I was overcome with fear. Terror gripped me.

Try as I might I could not force myself to cross the parking lot to the beginning of the trail where a family were beginning their ascent. I could not move because the fear within me petrified my body.

I then saw in my mind's eye, through my third eye, the mountain blowing up right underneath me. I saw the mountain and the rocks and the trees below me and all around me being superheated and exploding into shreds.

I shouted to the family to get out of there because the mountain was about to blow. They looked at me like I was some nut probably on drugs. I did have long hair in those days.

The day was a beautiful, clear day, and I quickly realized that the sensation I was receiving was only a premonition of an event to come. I fell back into my car and got outta there.

On the way down I stopped at the Lodge where I bought some beer from the owner, Harry Truman, who made a snide comment to me when I stopped to debate getting a bag of chips after buying some beer. I almost, with knowing, said to him that someday he would die up there with his mountain; I didn't, and I left.

Farther down the mountain top as I turned a sharp corner I passed by two persons who were dressed in white robes. At first glance I thought that they were Hari Krishna's out for a hike, and being twenty miles from Toledo, WA I pulled over and got out to offer them a ride to town.

Immediately, two things happened.

First, as I walked up to them I realized that I had to look up at them like I was looking at the top of a basketball net. That realization freaked me out, but I love an adventure. As I walked up to them, I offered to give them a lift to town.

The woman then turned to the man and said quietly, "I thought we were supposed to meet someone here." The man who also had long hair only slightly raised his right hand in my direction to indicate that I was the contactee they were waiting for.

This point was not lost on me.

Next, a car pulled up and asked me if I was alright. Again my senses told me all was not normal...at all. I "knew" the man and car load of four persons, perhaps a man and his wife in the front seat with his daughter and son in the back seat could not see the tall persons towering over me.

I said that I was simply overtaken by the beauty of the scenery and just had to get out and look at it. Slowly, very slowly, they drove away. I had covered for what to then seemed like me talking to imaginary persons.

But they were real, very real.

The woman again turned to the man and said, "He can see us," to which he replied, "He's in an altered state of consciousness."

Then the man turned to me and said, "You deceived them?"

Thinking that I had done them a favor by covering for them, I did not have a ready reply. I then asked them if they wanted a ride to town. I was torn at this point between what I know about my reality on this dimension and what really knew I knew who were standing before me were beings who were not from this dimension.Yet, I could not wholly accept that fact.

The man turned to the woman and said with a sweeping gesture toward the car "Shall we?"

So they walked to the car. I wanted to tell them about what had just happened on top of Mt. St. Helen. As they approached my Super Beetle I knew that they were very very tall; not normally tall but way tall and would not fit in my car.

I said, "Maybe it's not such a good idea," to which the man replied, "We'll fit fine."

Before my eyes those two beings began to shrink. The man got into the back seat along with the lady, which in our culture the man would usually get into the front, right?

After they got in the man turned to the woman and said, "Are you okay?" she said, "I'm fine."

I needed a beer. I opened a Bud (this was rural backwoods Washington State and 1973) and offered them a beer too. I took in my now normal sized guest in the backseat of my souped up Super Beetle.

Their robes were somewhat soiled, and had dirt marks and signs of wear like they had been hiking through the woods. I did not expect this from what I had come to accept as aliens or some kind of angels.

They really looked real. The guy had very long fingers and that's when I saw that, to my surprise, that he had six fingers on his hands!

Since I was driving at the time the man said in a polite but commanding voice, "Turn around and watch the road," to which I replied as any young twenty year old who had already totaled three cars doing stunts...

"I'm good man. I can drive and talk at the same time."

"What are you drinking?" He said,

"It's a Bud," I said.

"What is that," he said.

"Beer, you know, alcohol."

That's when he said, "Alcohol? That's poison."

My guest hesitated for a few seconds before he spoke again,

"Alcohol is going to cause you a lot of problems in your lifetime." He was right about that.

I turned around again to scope out these two hitchhikers. The young woman smiled. They both looked to be in their early thirties. She had long brown hair. His hair was as long as hers which was at least shoulder length

I said, "Toledo's twenty miles away. That would have been a long walk," I said.

"What were you doing on the mountain?" he asked.

My mind was fighting with the thought now of that I just may have two aliens who just shape shifted in size in the back of my car, and who just chewed me out for drinking. I was beginning to question my rationality, and what if they wanted to eat me or something?

I told them all about my experience on the mountain and the feeling and the vision I had just had. That's when he began to give me specific details about the date, the time eruption of Mount St Helen. He even told me how many people were going to die up there.

"About 60 to 70 people will die on that mountain when it erupts," he said.

Sixty eight died on it that May 18th in 1980.

Seven years later I would find myself working for Lewis County as a transporter for Senior Services. I had something to do with the red zone being established, but that's another story. I had told so many predictions about the mountain that came true before the eruption that one grandma, just after it erupted, said "You did it! You made that mountain blow up!"

The alien, or whatever, said something that triggered a repressed memory I had. He said it would happen because of the flood that we had prevented that year.

Then I began to feel real strange about this encounter. I was sure that he could not have known about the topographical map I had drawn in my cabin last year, and how I had highlighted in blue everything in the state of Washington under 3,000 feet and wrote a short story about me and my family living on Mt St Helen Island after the flood, or could he?

"Who are you," I asked.

The woman leaned over to him and quietly with her easy smile asked him, "Should we tell him who we are?"

"No," he said.

Then he said to me, "We're Watchers," he said.

Right about then I knew I had stepped into a forest I did not know the way through.

"I mean what's your names?"

He said his name was, "My name is Geruisyumain."

I said I would not be able to remember his name, and I didn't for thirty three years. Then in a dream I heard his name as he had spoken it.

"And my name is Isyu. It's real easy to remember. Just think about it this way. Say "Is you," and you will remember it."

I did remember it. Also I read something unique about the name IS You and a significance about that name...but again, I can't place what that importance is.. you guys know?

Of all the wonderful questions I could have asked them I failed to do so. I still beat myself up for letting a great opportunity slip through my fingers out of primal fear of the unknown.

We were about ten miles out of Toledo, Washington by then and Gerisyumain said "Pull over, here and when we get out don't look back."

So I pulled over, and let them out. And of course as I pulled away I looked back to see them grow back to their ten-ish or so feet height and then vanish.

Later, the next year in a total accident, I was pinned inside my Super Beetle on a bridge over a river. With no way out and not knowing how to swim, I was lifted out of the window and flown out over the river. I was set down in front of a car and the driver took me to the hospital.

"Who are you?" she asked.

I'm just a man," I replied. It's all that any of us can be.

NOTE: yeah, it's sound a bit fabricated...but who knows. Lon

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Spectral Lady Hitches Ride...Then Vanishes

It happened like this: Shortly after midnight on July 11, a police officer in Mechanic Falls, Maine stopped to check on a teenage driver who was frantically flashing his headlights. When the cop approached the car, he found a 16-year-old named David who was badly shaken. The kid was in tears and babbling about something that happened moments ago in Poland.

The story David told was a crazy one but not unique. For generations, travelers through this dark place have told tales of a young lady dressed in white hitchhiking along Route 26. Sometimes she's dressed in a prom dress and sits quietly in the passenger seat. Other times, she is a bride dressed in white or a morose young woman with a cautionary message to deliver.

But our friend David had never heard those stories. He sat in his car stammering and trying to explain to the frowning policeman what had happened.

Just before 2 a.m., David was driving on Route 26 bound for Oxford. In the midst of all the darkness that collects in the middle of the night in Poland, suddenly there was a gleam of light at the roadside.

"She was standing on the side of the road, near the frozen custard place. At first, it was just a white glow," David said. "I drove up closer and saw that it was a woman. She looked to be between 20 and 24. I pulled over and she said, 'Can you bring me to the church on Route 11?'"

You or I might have left 100 yards of peeling rubber on the road as we beat a hasty retreat to a safer and more illuminated patch of the world. Because we have heard the legends before and brother, the Samaritan within us all tends to wither before the mighty force of self-preservation.

But David did the respectable thing and stopped to help the stranger. The woman in white climbed into the car, tucking her gown in around her. Past the middle and high schools they drove. The woman in white asked David if he went to school there. They made small talk but she appeared agitated.

"She asked me if I could start driving faster, because she was late for her wedding," David said.

Those of us who have been around a while know that when a woman found wandering the back roads starts babbling about going to meet her beloved, what you have on your hands is a ghost. We will take appropriate action, which may include flinging ourselves out the window.

But David steeled up and drove on with the curious woman in the wedding gown. He turned onto Route 11, where even greater darkness gathers, and within a quarter of a mile, he found what appeared to be a church. He stopped between two posts out front and asked his eager rider if this was the right place.

"She looked back at me and she looked like a regular person," David said. "She said, 'There is a cop coming.'"

Startled by the comment, David turned to look out the window. Sure enough, the lights of an approaching car appeared and as it passed, he saw that it was a police cruiser. As he continued to watch the police car shrink into the distance, he heard one final word from his passenger.

"She said 'goodbye,'" David said. "When I turned to look at her, she was gone."

I'll give you a moment to rub the chill from your skin.

David is absolutely sure the passenger door of his Camaro was never opened. When he peered out into the night around him, he saw no sign of the woman in white. No brightly glowing gown in all of the blackness along Route 11.

"I was so freaked out," David said. "I didn't stop crying until the next afternoon."

How rattled does a 16-year-old boy in a Camaro have to be to speed off into the night to chase down a police officer? You and I, when we were 16, avoided cops at all costs in the wee hours.

When he found the officer in Mechanic Falls, David begged him for insight. Did you see anyone in my car, officer? Did you see a woman in white climbing out of the passenger side? The officer had seen none of that — only a kid alone in a car sitting at the roadside.

The ghost hitchhiker of Route 26 comes with a variety of stories. In the most common, the woman wandering the dark roads is the murdered bride of George Knight, slashed to death in 1856 in her farmhouse on Route 11. The woman will deliver a warning, or perhaps a prediction, to the person who picks her up. Then she vanishes.

In another version, the roaming woman is the ghost of a young girl killed on her way to the prom. She is said to wander near the Poland Spring Inn, waiting for a ride in her eternal quest to make it to the dance. Like the slain Mrs. Knight, the ghost of the prom girl is said to vanish before the ride is over.

"I don't think it was either of them," David says of his spectral passenger. His research — there is plenty to be found on the Web regarding the ghost of Route 26 — has led him to believe that the lady who sat in his Camaro was a bride struck and killed by a car on the way to her wedding in the 1930s; a woman forever trying to reach the site of that long-ago blessed event and disappearing once she arrives.

David was also told that the man who was to marry the young lady is still alive, an elderly man who lives in Oxford.

The terrain of local legend is a labyrinth of falsehoods, misinformation and tiny kernels of truth that get built upon and built upon like papier-mache over decades of retelling. David relates his tale with excitement but without the kind of rhetorical battering you find in those who are trying to convince you of a lie.

I sought him out for this story; he didn't come to me. He spoke to me only hesitantly once I explained what I was after.

And at last, there is a police report on the matter. The prettily dressed lady may not have identified her killer, or made her way to the altar or the prom. But at the very least, she climbed her way up out of local lore and into the public record.

It took a brave kid in a Camaro to get her there. - SunJournal

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A Tombstone Every Mile


"It's a stretch of road, up north in Maine that's never ever, ever seen a smile…"

Those words from the song "A Tombstone Every Mile" refers to the isolated highway in Maine that most folks called the Haynesville Woods. Country singer Dick Curless recorded this song in 1965 and it proved to be his biggest hit.

For many years, this section of Route 2 has made its way through some lonely and remote parts of Maine. Truck drivers and motorists alike dreaded traveling through the Haynesville Woods, especially during the cold and snowy New England winters. The place naturally developed a sinister reputation.

A native of Maine, Curless was one of the few country stars to come out of the Northeast. He was also a former truck driver who knew all too well the dangers of traveling through the Haynesville Woods. The song talks about all the truck drivers and others who were killed in accidents along this stretch of road, hence the title "A Tombstone Every Mile."

Any place that could inspire a song like this one must be scary. And it is probably haunted by those who didn't make it out of there alive.

For many years, people living in that section of Maine talked about seeing a woman in white walking along the road at night. She would appear out of nowhere in front of a tractor-trailer and ask the startled truckdriver for a ride. She would tell the driver that she and her husband had just been in a terrible wreck and they needed help. Those drivers who encountered the mysterious woman said later they could feel a weird chill when she got into their trucks. As they exited the dark Haynesville Woods, the woman would then vanish without a trace, according to a Web site.

The story behind the ghostly hitchhiker was that a newly married couple traveled through the Haynesville Woods one dark night. The husband was drunk and driving and the car crashed into a telephone pole. He died instantly. It is believed that his young wife crawled out of the wrecked car and she froze to death in the snow.

Folks living in that part of Maine believe that the young bride still wanders Route 2, desperately looking for someone to help her.

In another version of the legend, the ghost of a little girl wanders the road between Houlton and Haynesville. Like the young bride, she would try to seek help from truckers and other motorists traveling through there. But in some instances, she would suddenly appear in the passenger or back seats of cars and then just as quickly vanish into thin air.

Some people have talked about driving through the Haynesville Woods at night and seeing a red flashing light off in a distance. It would come closer and closer to their vehicles. Then, a white cloud would float over their vehicle and the flashing light would disappear.

Records from the state of Maine show that two girls, both 10 years old, died on Aug. 22, 1967 in the town of Haynesville. One Web site suggests that the ghosts of these girls could be the ones now haunting that lonely stretch of road "that's never ever, ever seen a smile." - Mcdowell News

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Phantom Hitchhiker Sighting Causes Traffic Problems In Northern Ireland Town

This time of year is traditionally associated with high spirits as revellers welcome in another year.

However, a spirit of a different kind has been causing a bit of a commotion outside Coalisland in County Tyrone.

An apparent sighting of a ghost has led to crowds of people descending on the Brackaville area over the holidays.

"At one point, there was a line of up to 60 cars on the Mullaghmoyle Road with people trying to spot it," said Sinn Féin Councillor Desmond Donnelly.

"It wasn't just one night, it was going on for a week or so over the holidays. I'm not sure how it all started - I wouldn't be one for ghosts, but you know how this type of thing spreads.

"If you ask me, it's more likely to be a reflection of the moon on the river that flows through the area. Although the talk is that what was seen was in the shape of a person."

Pat Hughes, speaking at the Central Bar in Coalisland, said the sighting had certainly got people in the town talking.

"Everybody's been talking about it in the bar and it has also caught the imagination of young people," he said.

"It has got to the stage where it's a bit like a drive-in movie."

As with these sorts of things, rumours about what was or was not seen quickly spread. It was claimed the apparition was a woman who had lived locally.

Warren Coates of the Northern Ireland Paranormal Research Association (NIPRA) said he was aware of "previous paranormal activity" in the area.

"It related to a phantom female hitchhiker, but if anybody down there would like us to investigate this latest sighting, we'd only be too happy to help," he said. - BBC

Phantom Hitchhikers and Other Urban Legends: The Strange Stories Behind Tall Tales

The Vanishing Hitchhiker: American Urban Legends and Their Meanings

Haunted Highways: Spooky Stories, Strange Happenings, and Supernatural Sightings


Bizarre Arcadia, FL


By David Hoes - Although most small towns can claim a haunted building or two, Arcadia, Florida is a focal point for the paranormal. This town of 7,100 residents can even challenge Key West and St. Augustine for the title of "Paranormal Capital" of Florida. Among the local "hot-spots" are:

• A haunted opera house
• A haunted hotel
• A haunted "hanging tree"
• A "rock of love" in a local river. (According to the legend, couples who camp near the rock will get married.)
• A phantom hitchhiker
• The ghost of a boy who appears on a local river
• A mysterious black hearse seen traveling local roads
• A nearby ghost town
• Several haunted residences and antique shops.
• A hill where ghost lights have been seen
• A haunted cemetery

Today's article will provide some details on the last two phenomena -- the Oak Ridge Cemetery and Goat Hill Ghost Lights.

Goat Hill

Just north of town is a small rise locals call Goat Hill. Sadly, the area is on private land and is inaccessible to the public. The road going in has been blocked by a gate and signs are posted letting visitors know they are not welcome. However, a few locals have apparently gained access and have seen the mysterious lights.

On the website 'Haunted America Tours', Clifford Murphy describes his encounter with the lights:

"We put on the river at the park and started up the river going slow and quiet. We tried to run off the moonlight and not use the spotlights.

Once we got away from the road, it was pretty eerie on the river. The banks are high and full of oaks and cypress. The shadows are deep and there are lots of logs and stumps to dodge. Once you are north of the railroad bridge, there are no houses for miles.

Finally we got to a big bend in the river with a giant, high beach of white sand. That was the closest landing to the woods with the Goat Hill. We beached the boat and climbed up the beach out into some flat pasture lands with scrubby trees scattered around. The moon was bright, but there was this weird low ground fog that was a couple feet high. Fences, trees and stuff kind of stuck up out of the fog and you had to watch where you were walking.

It’s hard to explain, but the farther we went from the river the weirder things felt. And the screwing around just kind of stopped and everybody got real quiet. We broke out of some trees, and then we could see the hill where the orbs were supposed to be. It was a couple hundred yards out in the middle of a flat pasture. It’s a big round hill covered in oaks. It was black compared to the white fog that hugged the ground. There was a herd of cows, and it was funny because you could see their backs and heads but not their bodies and legs in the fog.

"Then it was like something just ‘happened.’ I felt something cold come over me. The hair on the back of my neck started to prickle and it felt likes something marched up my back. Like my skin crawled. Just then the cows started mooing and then they all took off running through the fog. You could hear the thuds and feel the rumble under foot. Everybody looked at each other and there were a lot of big eyes.

And then we saw the orbs. My jaw just dropped. This faint orange light came up out of the ground in the trees on the hill and slowly went up through the air to the tree tops. It hovered there. Then three or four more came up and started drifting through the trees. They started getting brighter and whiter and bigger.

The next thing, a big wind came out of nowhere and the mist started rolling around and the orbs seemed like they left the hill and started towards us. Somebody said ‘let’s get the hell out of here.’ And the whole bunch of us took off running for the river. It would have been funny to watch but it wasn’t at all funny at the time. I didn’t look back, I was too busy running."

There are two theories concerning the Goat Hill lights. The first relates to the tragic murder of seven children in 1967. All of the children of James and Annie Mae Richardson became violently ill shortly after eating lunch on October 25, 1967. Within twenty-four hours they were dead; their food had been laced with pesticide. Richardson and his wife both worked, and next-door neighbor Bessie Reese babysat the Richardson’s youngest children. She served all seven children lunch when they came home from school at noon -- a meal of rice, beans and hogshead cheese that had been prepared earlier that day by their mother.

James Richardson was arrested and tried for the murders and would be convicted based on flimsy evidence. Decades later he would be freed when Bessie Reese, who was on her death bed in a nursing home, confessed to the murders.


British Cadets Marker and Graves

Cemetery records indicate that Alice, Diane, Dorine, James, and Vanessa Richardson, all of whom died on October 25th and 26th, are buried in the Oak Ridge Cemetery, which is just south of Goat Hill. Are their spirits responsible for the lights? Or are the lights related to the 23 dead RAF pilots who are also buried there?

During World War II, British pilots came to South Florida for training. They were stationed at a base near Lake Okechobee. A few of their barracks are still standing; they were moved to serve as housing at a local fish camp.

Twenty-three of the pilots were killed during training and were buried at Oak Ridge. Some locals believe their spirits are responsible for the Goat Hill Lights.

Old RAF Barracks

In addition, some residents have reported strange occurrences at their gravesite. One posted a story on Facebook that when he visited the graves, he saw a Union Jack hanging from the flagpole. Later, when he viewed the photos he had taken that day, there was no flag on the flagpole. Others told the following tales:

"We used to rent a house across the little gully that runs along the south side of the cemetery, across from the British plot. Sometimes late at night we would hear voices from that direction. We could never exactly hear what was said, but they sounded like it had an accent. Never exactly felt the urge to go check it out."

"One night I parked on the side street that dead ends at the cemetery with some friends. We heard singing - really old stuff. Sounded like a bunch of drunk guys. British accents. I didn't know any of the songs, but there was something about the 'white cliffs' (Dover?) and the 'lights going on'."

"I know for a fact that the Arcadia police went in there one night looking for somebody playing the bagpipes."

So are the Goat Hill Ghost lights the spirits of murder victims, RAF pilots or are they something else? I hope to learn more about this strange little town in the near future.

James Richardson, Jr gravesite / photos

Downtown Arcadia

*Thanks again to David Hoes for another interesting article. David has previously submitted articles and sighting reports to 'Phantoms and Monsters', including Astor, Florida: Ground Zero for the Paranormal? and The Haunted Smallwood Store - Chokoloskee, Florida

Suggested Reading:

Florida's Ghostly Legends And Haunted Folklore: Volume One: South And Central Florida

Haunted Florida: Ghosts and Strange Phenomena of the Sunshine State (Haunted Series)

Haunted Florida: A Guide to the Departed Soul: Volume One

Oddball Florida: A Guide to Some Really Strange Places (Oddball series)


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