Friday, January 31, 2014

Kennesaw Mountain Ghost Rider

"I saw the link about seeing anything strange...well, earlier this year, I think I did."

"I've got a bad back and haven't worked in over a year so I spend a lot of time in bed. Earlier this year, late spring or early summer, I was in a half-awake state and I noticed the hazy form of what appeared to be someone in civil war clothing on a horse standing in my bedroom. It was there for only a second and kind of dematerialized. I remember it being a kind of a yellowish color."

"I wasn't scared and thought it was probably not so much a ghost but the energy of something that happened here during the Civil War. I am 3 miles from the epicenter of the Battle of Kennesaw Mountain park and probably less then a mile from the cavalry battleground at Mud Creek."

"On Twitter, there is an Alabama paranormal group that I think started following me first. I told them that the area I live in is supposed to be haunted and they should check it out sometime. I kind of forgot about the thing I saw in my bedroom. The Marietta Square is about 5 miles from my house and they have a company doing ghost tours. Anyway, I did a Google search to send them some links and I found the posting below. The fence mentioned is probably 1-2 miles from my house. I haven't seen anything in this house before or since, but sometimes I hear things in my bedroom that come from that side of the room. I have heard that for awhile. It may be explainable since I have a fan over there and it may be blowing stuff around on my disorganized desk. Anyway, thought you might enjoy that story." Bill

NOTE: Below is the story Bill referred to...Lon

In the Fall of 2007, a Cobb County, GA man talks about a brush with what may have been a real ghost near Kennesaw Mountain.

The man, who doesn't want to be identified, says he and his teenage son were driving through Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield the night of October 8 when they spotted something about to cross the road in front of their car. Both Civil War buffs, they say the rider appeared to be a Union Army cavalry officer complete with a sabre in his hand.

"I quickly locked down on my brakes as the horse proceeded to come right in front of us", the driver says. He says the rider then headed straight through a fence as though it didn't exist and faded into thin air. "My son and I were in a state of almost sheer panic," the man says, "but we managed to maintain and get on the way home very quickly."

Civil War Ghost Trails: Stories from America's Most Haunted Battlefields

Civil War Ghost Stories and Legends

Civil War Ghosts of Central Georgia and Savannah (Haunted America)

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Japan's Most Haunted Locations

The Japanese believe that all humans have a spirit or soul called a reikon. Ghosts are yurei, meaning “faint spirit.”

If a person dies in a sudden or violent manner, the reikon is thought to transform into a yurei, which can then bridge the gap back to the physical world.

The yurei tend to remain near where they died. They usually appear between 2 and 3 a.m., which is like the western world’s bewitching hour of midnight, and a time when the veils between the world of the dead and that of the living are at their thinnest.

Many Japanese ghosts are connected with battlefields and military bases. Here are some to chillingly consider.

Atsugi Naval Base

Located two hours south of Tokyo, Atsugi Naval base has a secret past, which includes the fact that it was a CIA U-2 Base, which housed the U-2 flown over Russia by Gary Powers in the early 1960s. In 1957, Lee Harvey Oswald, the accused assassin of John F. Kennedy, was stationed at Atsugi as a Marine radar operator.

The spirit of a young man who wanders aimlessly from room to room is said to haunt the naval base. It is believed that he is the ghost of a young marine who was killed in a car accident back in the 1960s

Atsugi: The Corrosion Hangar Bay

Located on the other side of the naval base, this hangar stands over an older one that was used by the Kamikaze pilots of Imperial Japan. Here, many pilots killed themselves in disgrace after Japan’s final surrender to the allied powers.

It is said that doors slam and disembodied red eyes float about.

Field Hospital- Kanagawa Prefecture

Located on the military base named Sagami Depot, this hospital has been the site of several unexplainable occurrences.

The building is hardly used, but nightly security checks reveal raised windows and locked doors that had been previously unlocked.

Many of the military police who patrol the building have reported hearing someone or something walking around inside.

Iwakuni- Barracks 1687, Room 301

A few years ago, a Marine living in that room committed suicide. He broke the mirror in a fit of drunken rage and slit his wrist with one of the shards of broken glass.

Since then, there have been reports from other soldiers staying in the room that sometimes very late at night when looking into the mirror, the dead marine stares back from somewhere deep inside.

Hiroshima and Nagasaki

It should come as no surprise that these two sites of such terrible tragedy are haunted by the unfortunate souls who perished during the nuclear bomb attacks at the end of World War II.

Ghostly voices are heard at twilight crying and screaming for help.

Okinawa: Camp Hansen- Gate #3

After darkness falls, every weekend a soldier with blood all over his World War II fatigues and a cigarette in his hand would ask the gate guard: “Gotta light?” The MP would oblige and as soon the cigarette was lit, the soldier would disappear.

Whether you believe this or not, gate #3 at Camp Hansen is closed because of this reported haunting.

Tokyo: Akasaka Mansion

Many guests have reported seeing specters standing at the end of their beds, white mists coming in through the air vents and sudden changes of temperature in their rooms.

Some have reported a feeling of someone stroking their heads while they sleep, and one person claimed she was dragged from her bed to the other side of the room and then back again. Scratch marks on her back the next day corroborated her story.

Yokosuka Naval Base: Gridley Tunnel

It is thought that the ghost of this narrow, one-way tunnel that runs through a hill is that of a Samurai warrior who was on his way to avenge the death of his lord when he was ambushed and cut down in the tunnel. Because he failed in his mission, he can’t leave his place of death.

Visions of the samurai as reported by passing motorists have caused several accidents in the tunnel over the years.

Himuro Mansion: Tokyo Outskirts

The basis of the survival horror video game series that deals with ghosts, exorcism, and dark Shinto rituals, “Fatal Frame,” Himuro Mansion was the site of a brutal family murder and sacrifice.

Many weird happenings have been reported in and near the old mansion; including apparitions of those who once lived there, bloody handprints and sprays of blood, which mysteriously appear on the walls.

Sometimes, a small girl in a kimono is seen in one of the windows. To add to the mansion’s mystery, no one knows the significance of the vast tunnels the run underneath.

Yokohama: Ikego-The Middle Gate

The Middle Gate marks the spot where a concentration camp from the World War II era once stood. Here, thousands of Chinese and Korean people were put to work and then killed by the Japanese army. Today it serves as a U.S. military housing base.

There are five incinerators on the premises and three gates that separate it from the Japanese community. At the middle gate, patrol guards have reported hearing voices and footsteps, and have described the feeling of being watched by unseen eyes.

One recurring vision concerns a Japanese soldier from World War II in a brown uniform with no legs floating between the middle and back gates.

These incidents are part of a much bigger picture, as there are many more haunted spots in Japan. Most but not all date back to the era of World War II.

If you plan a visit to one of these spooky places, whatever you do, don’t go alone! - WeirdAsia

Yurei Attack!: The Japanese Ghost Survival Guide

Tales of Old Japan: Folklore, Fairy Tales, Ghost Stories and Legends of the Samurai

Japanese Ghost Stories: Spirits, Hauntings, and Paranormal Phenomena (Tuttle Classics)

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Appalachian Haunting Sends Family South

Standing behind the bar at Grayton Beach, Florida's 'The Red Bar', Big Dave Carney is an imposing figure. Broad shouldered and standing 6 foot 5 inches tall, he wears his hair in the queue style, a mostly shorn head except for a small braid of hair in the back.

Despite his size, Carney met his match on a farm his family owns in Virginia and North Carolina: A farm that he swears is haunted.

Carney quickly warms up to most everyone who takes the time to order a drink at The Red Bar. He jumps at the opportunity to wax on about life’s little slip-ups and misadventures. A conversational journeyman, his stories are not only interesting but, allowed to wend naturally, have a happy talent of growing exponentially in entertainment value.

Carney is 38-years-old and was born in Chattanooga, Tenn. He has both Cherokee and English heritage on both sides of his family. Carney moved to Walton County in 2005, and besides pouring drinks at The Red Bar, he practices kickboxing and jujitsu at the Destin Academy for Martial Arts.

He came to the area to work construction during a very active hurricane season which included Hurricanes Dennis and Katrina. “When the work dried up I started bartending,” said Carney.

It was not only employment that prompted the relocation.

According to Carney, when he and his wife, Kelly, were living on the farm, she saw the ghosts of eight people dressed in early American clothing. He believes these ghosts to be members of Daniel Boone’s family who may have been slaughtered by a Blackfoot Indian named Red Feather.

When Carney remodeled the house it led to the discovery of a compartment hidden behind a wall plastered with newspapers from the 1930s and ‘40s. In the ceiling of this compartment, he discovered three antique clocks all manufactured 24 years apart and set to the same time. He also found a box containing about 60 lengths of multicolored, braided human hair.

By asking around in town, Carney learned that the previous owner of the house, Cleave Farmer, went missing without a trace. After Cleave’s disappearance, the house sat on the market for more than 20 years and went up for auction at least three times, but never drew a bid.

Carney’s time at the farm was full of peculiar incidents and eerie discoveries. With Carney’s gift of gab, he captivates with the tales he weaves about strange lights in the woods, stone walls and alters, a chest hidden in a stream, an Indian burial ground and his own firsthand contact with whatever is haunting the farm.

“It was midnightish, I was taking some refuse from remodeling out of the house. I heard something rumbling and thought it was a bear,” said Carney, “so I made some noise to try and shoo it away.”

“Then I heard something come out of the brush and before I could turn around it grabbed me from behind. I could feel it breathing on my head. But when I went to defend myself there was nothing there. Just footprints leading up to me in the snow.”

Not long after that he traded the Appalachian Mountains for the white-sand beaches of South Walton.

Although he is quite comfortable here in Florida and has no immediate intentions of moving back, Carney is interested in writing a book about whatever is haunting his property.

NOTE: I'm not sure what is referred to as 'Daniel Boone's family' but his immediate family were not killed by Indians (though a son, Israel, was killed battling Shawnees). There are a lot of stories about Daniel Boone that simply aren't fact, though it is true that his exploits were the basis for the character Hawkeye in James Fennimore Cooper's 'The Last of the Mohicans'...Lon

Appalachian Case Study: UFO Sightings, Alien Encounters and Unexplained Phenomena

Ghost Tales & Superstitions of Southern Appalachian Mountains

Smoky Mountain Ghostlore

Friday, January 17, 2014

The St.Catharines Poltergeist

The weathered building in St.Catharines' downtown houses a pizza parlor and a 40-year-old mystery.

For about 10 days in February 1970, a series of strange occurrences is said to have plagued 237 Church St, Apt. 1. Pictures flying off walls. Bookcases crashing to the floor without cause. A police officer sitting in a chair that was picked up six inches off the floor.

The kind of spooky stuff made for movies. The root cause of this otherworldly chaos?

Legend has it, an 11-year-old boy, Peter, who remains anonymous to this day, was taken over by a poltergeist.

At the time, the paranormal tale made headlines across Canada and the United States. Even former Tonight Show host Johnny Carson mentioned it in his monologue back then.

Decades later, the story of a ghostly presence wreaking havoc in the modest downtown apartment has endured.

“I think it’s been unshaken, as far as the evidence goes,” said Michael Clarkson, a former reporter who wrote a 2006 book called Poltergeists: Examining Mysteries of the Paranormal.

“I’m not a devotee of the paranormal, but I can’t think of a case that still stands up after 40 years. The witnesses ... no one’s come forward to say it’s a hoax.”

Forty years later, retired police officer Richard Colledge is still a believer.

Now 70 years old, Colledge was one of a handful of officers from the former St. Catharines Police Department to visit the Church Street apartment.

He remembers going into the unit after reports of things moving around on their own. He was 30 at the time. A constable with five years experience who had spent six years before that with the Canadian Armed Forces. And he was skeptical—until it happened.

Colledge said he was standing in the kitchen in front of the sink when a picture came flying off the wall in the adjoining bedroom.

“All I know for sure is when it came off the wall it didn’t fall down on the single bed that was underneath it. It came out and landed on the floor, and I watched it,” Colledge said with a laugh. “I thought it was violating the laws of psychics and gravity.”

He didn’t stay much longer after that.

Colledge wasn’t the only police officer to witness strange goings on at the second-story apartment. Several police notes written by his colleagues at the time chronicled the events.

Const. Bill Weir wrote about witnessing phenomenal occurrences during a visit to the residence on Feb. 10, 1970. He was there with his buddy Const. Bob Crawford.

He called in the city building inspector to see if the odd movements could be explained by structural problems. No luck.

“My only solution to these occurrences is that the boy Peter, whom all the occurrences surround, has been inhabited by a spirit of a poltergeist,” Weir wrote in his investigation report.

“This is the spirit which inhabits the body of a young child about to enter the phase of puberty and has been described as a mischievous spirit that does not generally seriously harm anyone. Briefly, this boy can’t sit on a chair without being thrown off and items are hitting him for no apparent reason. I the writer (Weir) witnessed the boy being thrown on at last a dozen occasions. “

Two days later, Const. Robert Richardson reported visiting the residence with four other officers and a raft of tape recording and movie cameras.

He joined a circle of people in the living room that day. The paranormal-plagued boy, his eight-year-old younger brother, the boy’s parents, two doctors, a local priest and the family lawyer.

Then, the unimaginable.

“At this time, the chair that (name blacked out) was sitting on lifted abruptly about six inches off the floor, and then slammed down again. On examining the chair, there was no explanation for this happening,” he wrote.

Doug Croft was just seven years old when his police officer father, Lebert, told him about his experiences at the Church Street residence. Croft grew up in east St. Catharines, just a few blocks from the cursed apartment.

At the time, most of the guys tried not to broadcast their chance encounter with the dark side. They were worried people would think they were crazy, he said. And they were frightened of what lurked behind the felled bookcases and picture frames.

“They were scared to death,” said Croft, who is a 47-year-old police officer with the Niagara Regional Police.

“At first it was kind of like, ‘Geez I hope I get a call there to see what the hell’s going on. You guys are shooting a line of s---or something.’ But guys came out of there, they were scared to death. It was something weird.”

Clarkson’s brush with the supernatural started with a simple Halloween spook story.

He wrote about the Church Street poltergeist investigation for The Standard in October 1980. Soon after he got a call. It was the boy, then 21 years old.

He was plagued. Not by ghosts, but by family problems. His family was upset that Clarkson had drudged up the past with his story. The memories were painful. During the media storm of 1970, the family was forced to leave town for a few weeks. Embarrassed by the events, the family didn’t want to relive the past. Clarkson had opened old wounds.

The poltergeist-riddled-boy-turned-young-man called Clarkson from a pay phone on Halloween night 1980. He asked if he could come to Clarkson’s Niagara Falls home.

Before long, they were face to face in Clarkson’s office. He was not what the young journalist expected.

“I thought there would be something strikingly different about him,” said Clarkson, a Toronto freelance journalist.

“When he came to my house it seemed to me, initially anyway, that he was like the boy next door. Very clean cut, well dressed, very well spoken, quite sure of himself. The young man didn’t discuss what happened to him that February in 1970. He was there to protect his privacy, his future in St. Catharines. He was worried about what other people in the community, a very conservative community like St. Catharines, might think about him, especially when he’s dealing with young people.”

Over the years, Clarkson saw him a few times. Walking downtown, hand in hand, with a girl. In the pages of The Standard. On a golf course.

Clarkson said the boy has gone on to become an upstanding man in the community. He works with youth.

For all these years, Clarkson, who worked as a daily newspaper reporter for 38 years, has kept the man’s secret.

But decades later, Clarkson, who highlights the St. Catharines case in his Poltergeist book, can’t shake the eerie legacy of that downtown Church Street apartment. His skepticism enduring, Clarkson calls the Garden City poltergeist case one of the best examples of a true ghostly encounter.

“Nobody has been able to shake the facts of the case,” Clarkson said. “In this day and age when so many things have been revealed as hoaxes, this stands up as a real mystery.” - stcatharinesstandard

Video - The St.Catharines Poltergeist

NOTE: though I was only a young teen at the time, I happened to be in nearby Hamilton, Ontario around the time of this incident. It truly was a media frenzy, especially for Ontario. BTW...St.Catharines, and for that matter Hamilton, is a very nice area. I spent several summers within family friends there when I was younger...Lon

The Poltergeist Phenomenon: An In-depth Investigation Into Floating Beds, Smashing Glass, and Other Unexplained Disturbances

Poltergeists Examining Mysteries of the Paranormal

Monday, January 13, 2014

Haunted Plymouth

In 1621, the Plymouth colonists and Wampanoag Indians shared an autumn harvest feast that is acknowledged today as one of the first Thanksgiving celebrations in the colonies. For more than two centuries, days of thanksgiving were celebrated by individual colonies and states. It wasn't until 1863, in the midst of the Civil War, that President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed a national Thanksgiving Day to be held each November. Since the season is upon us, I thought I'd dig up a bit of paranormal lore from 'America's Hometown'...Plymouth, Massachusetts.

The Spooner House

In August of 2005, a group of workmen were hired to do repairs at the Spooner House in Plymouth, Massachusetts and upon arriving, knocked at the door. A little girl in colonial period costume opened it, which surprised no one as the more than 262 year-old house has been a museum for over 50 years. They got busy with their task, and soon along comes the curator, who curious, asks how they got in. The foreman shrugs and says the little girl let them in.

“What little girl,” the curator asked. The workmen led the curator to the room which the little girl had entered, only to find it, as well as the rest of the house, empty. The workmen, not used to encountering ghosts in broad daylight, packed it in and left.

By all accounts, the ghost of Abigail Townsend is a friendly little spirit, and shouldn’t frighten anyone. Abigail was a tiny thing when the Spooner family took her into the family home in the mid 18th century. The house itself, is one of the oldest houses on one of the oldest streets in America. Built about 1749 on North Street, just one street over from Leyden Street, where according to tradition the pilgrims built their settlement, five generations of Spooners called the two story house their home. Originally constructed for the widow Hannah Jackson, the first Spooner to take up residence was a successful business man and patriot of the American revolution, Deacon Ephraim Spooner. It stayed in the family until the death of James Spooner in 1954. It was James who willed the house and all its furnishings to be turned into a museum. Today it contains over 200 years of original furnishing, giving one a sense of how life has changed, or perhaps how little life has changed in Plymouth over the past two centuries.

And perhaps it’s haunted by James as well. Music has been heard coming from the house when it was quite empty, and James was well-known as a patron of the musical arts. But alas, it’s the creepy little kid ghosts that get all the publicity, and so the music is attributed to Abigail. Though when you think of it, that makes no sense at all, as it’s unlikely an eight year-old girl could have been very musical, and there were no stereos in the 18th century.

Abigail fell victim to a tooth infection, dying in an upstairs room of the Spooner House. There was no penicillin in those days, the infection spread and there was nothing to do about it, but try to comfort the little girl in what must have been an agonizing death.

Since then she’s been seen periodically, peering from the windows, rustling the bushes along the alley, even occasionally standing at the corner of the house. But more recently she’s seem to have become more active. Or perhaps the stories just get more publicity.

According to a local historian, a woman who used to live next door to the Spooner House awoke in the middle of the night to find Abigail standing at the foot of her bed. -

Miles Standish State Park

I have some personal history with this location. I was on a school trip to Plymouth and Carver, MA during my senior year in high school in May 1976. A few of us decided to drive out to the park one evening. Frankly, it is one of the eeriest places I have ever been. I could just feel the spirit activity everywhere I turned. In fact, it was so bad I had to leave earlier than the group...there was a true bad vibration in the area. This was a year before the Ruth Masters murder.

Myles Standish was a pilgrim who came to Plymouth on the Mayflower in 1620. He was known for building a fort in Plymouth, leading the attacks on the Native Americans, and starting trading with various tribes. He kept Plymouth in defense and enforced the law throughout the colony. He went on trips back to England to trade goods to bring back to Plymouth. Some time in the 1630s, he founded Duxbury, a town not far from Plymouth. The haunting in Myles Standish State Forest includes an old abandoned mental hospital that is located somewhere deep in the forest. In another part of the woods lies a lot where murders took place in the 1970s. Not a lot is said about the abandoned hospital; as for the murders, on May 14, 1977, according to the Plymouth Police Department records, a man murdered Ruth Masters (née Ruth Rydberg) while she was riding her bike alone on an isolated trail in the park.

Wayne Masters and his wife Ruth were at Myles Standish State Forest, in Plymouth Mass., for a day of bicycle riding. While riding alone, on an isolated trail, Ruth Masters was attacked by Eric H. Anderson and killed.

Ruth Master was knocked unconsious with a rifle, her throat was cut and her body was mutilated. The case went cold and remained unsolved.

In Oct 1977 a woman was assaulted at knifepoint in neighboring Kingston Mass. Eric H. Anderson Jr. confesses to this attack. The attack reminds investigations of the Masters’s unsolved case.

In 1994 Massachusetts State Police and Plymouth Police Department reopened the investigation. While re-examining the case file, police discover a statement from two witnesses from the park the day of Masters’s murder. That statement points investigators to Eric H. Anderson Jr.

Anderson has a long criminal history dating back to a rape conviction in 1957, in 1959 he was declared sexually dangerous, which was later lifted in July 1972. He was released from Bridgewater State Hospital in 1974. In 1977 Anderson was convicted of the attack in Kingston Mass. He was sentenced to 15-20 years in prison, and was released in 1988. Anderson then left Massachusetts and went to live with relatives in Maine. In Dec. 1990 Anderson was sentenced to 25-years in Maine prison for attacking another woman. In 1998 Eric H. Anderson Jr. was indicated for Ruth Masters’s murder, and in 2003 was convicted of first-degree murder and was sentenced to life in prison with no parole.

Since that murder, the area is supposedly haunted by a vengeful spirit and other odd phenomena. I was told later that Ruth Masters' deadly attack occurred very near the location I had visited in May 1976.

Cordage Park

Cordage Park opened in 1824 and was the largest factory located in Plymouth. Plymouth Cordage Company was a rope-making company that designed rope specifically for large ships. By the 1900s, it was the largest rope-making factory in the world. After World War II, the company couldn't compete against a more advanced form of rope made from fiber. In 1964, the factory finally closed down, ending its 140-year run.

Many stories have been told of music being played throughout the old factory as well as children laughing too. Other stories tell of the old elevator operating on its own. Another story is told of a boy who got caught in the smokestack and died. It's said that his spirit will occasionally throw rocks at passersby. I was told a while back that there are 2 dominant entities that roam throughout. A former security guard stated that the place is definitely haunted. Many times, something would rearrange items on his desk. He also stated that the area around the smokestack would sometimes have a sickening 'death' smell.

NOTE: I definitely want to make a trip to the area in the near future. While there, I'd like to checkout the infamous 'Bridgewater Triangle' area as well. You may want to check out the Plymouth section of the 'Ghosts of America' website. Lot's more strange experiences to read about...Lon

Ghosts of the Bridgewater Triangle - by Chris Balzano...definitely recommend!

Haunted Massachusetts: Ghosts and Strange Phenomena of the Bay State (Haunted Series)

Dark Woods: Cults, Crime, and the Paranormal in the Freetown State Forest, Massachusetts

Haunted Massachusetts

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

The Young Man in the Woods

I received the following anecdote in 2009. I was aware of a similar account but the witness assures me that this encounter actually happened to her. So, here you go...enjoy.

When I was 10 years old, my grandmother started to recall stories about a special friend, by the name of Percy, who she had when she was a girl. My grandmother lived in the same house since she was born, a huge old Antebellum era house just outside of Elba, Alabama.

Apparently, Percy was a young adult and she was 10 years old when she met him. She would sometimes see him on the edge of the woods not far from the house and when she would tell her family to look they would see nothing. After a while people started to think she was crazy, saying ‘it’s just your imagination’. So she eventually gave up saying she was just playing a joke, though she still continue to see him. She would say that he was very nice and kind as well as very handsome.

When I was 12, I was staying at my grandmother's house during my summer vacation. I was unpacking my suitcase in one of the bedrooms. As I tried to pull open one of the dresser drawers, it wouldn’t budge at all. I yanked, groaned and moaned but to no avail. After about 5 minutes of desperation, I heard a low pitched chuckle. I turned around, but nothing was there. I was completely puzzled because I knew what I heard, but decided to brush it off.

Several years later my grandmother passed away. My family and I decided to stay at my grandmother's house during the time of her viewing and funeral since we lived about 5 hours away.

The funeral was conducted at her house in the large front living room. After the ceremony, the pallbearers carried her casket to the hearse parked in the front when I noticed out of the corner of my eye someone quickly running into the bushes at the edge of the woods. I thought it may have been one of the neighbors though the nearest farm was about a mile or so away.

That night I was in the same room where I usually slept at my grandmothers house, which was her old bedroom when she was a child. As I laid in the bed, I heard soft moans and whimpering. The sound was coming from the direction of the window and balcony. The evening was very dark and with moonlight peaking through the trees, the only source of illumination. As my eyes adjusted I could make out the figure of a man, but more of a shadow instead of a solid body. The spectre was sitting down on the balcony floor, it's elbows resting on it's knees and it's head hung down in it's hands.

After a few moments, the figure became somewhat clearer and I realized that this was Percy. I called out 'Percy?' The spirit raised it's head and slowly looked in my direction. He was exactly as my grandmother had described though I only saw his face for a second as he quickly vanished. I didn’t know whether it had been a dream or what, so I decided to keep my mouth shut, not wanting people to think I was delusional.

The next night while I slept, I felt a cold brush-by on my cheek. My eyes snapped open and the young man I had seen the night before was looking at me. He appeared blurry but still recognizable with light brown hair and bright blue eyes. He stared at me and smiled, then quickly dissipated.

The next morning we prepared to leave for home. I sat on the edge of the bed and thought about what had transpired the previous days. A few minutes later, we were in the car ready to pull away when I decided to look out the side window towards the woods. There he stood, arms by his side but staring directly at me. He quickly turned and vanished into the bushes. I just knew I would never see him again.

I later found out that Percy was the son of a wealthy land owner who built and lived in my grandmother's house in the 1850's. One day, at the age of 20, Percy simply disappeared and was never heard from again. There had been a rumor that he was killed by a slave who worked on a nearby plantation but a body was never recovered.

That was 15 years ago, but I still see Percy in my mind's eye. I was able to talk to the current owner of the house recently who says they occasionally hear someone talking softly on moonlit nights. I have little doubt that Percy is still at home.

Michelle - Asheville, NC

Saturday, January 4, 2014

His Heart Was Still In Ireland

This is a favorite real-life story from my personal archives:

I have been a collector and dealer of autographs for over 30 years. In July 1997, I received a telephone call from a cheerful lady who was answering my newspaper ad for autographs and old documents. She stated she lived in Thurmont, Maryland and that she had a steamer trunk full of artifacts and documents, mostly from the late 1800’s. We made an appointment for me to come to her home the following day.

It was late afternoon when I arrived and the first thing I noticed was the house, a beautiful Victorian style house painted deep brown with many high hedges and thick pines. A stereotypical “haunted house” we used to see in the old horror movies. I parked the car in the front and walked up the steep pavement and porch steps, each footstep on the porch creaked and moaned. I knocked on the large wooden door and almost immediately the door opened and a pleasant woman reached out her hand for mine and introduced herself. “Just call me Mary, everybody else does” she said. I said “OK, Mary. Thank you for inviting me to your wonderful home.” That was no overstatement, this place was like a step into the past...gasoliers, pedestal sinks, sconces, bronzes, etc.

She motioned to the large sitting room where a steamer chest was sitting by a beautiful daybed. She explained that her late father had collected the contents and simply placed everything in the steamer trunk. He had an interest in documents that described historic events. As well, he had collected several older autographs. The trunk was used by him when he immigrated from Ireland in the 1918.

I opened the lid and was hit in the face by the typical musty aroma of old paper. I started to sift through the items and quickly read over the papers to see exactly what was before me. Many of the items were personal letters written in Gaelic. Included were soldiers correspondence from France, no doubt during the First World War. Then I came across a 7x9 inch photo of King George V of Great Britain that was signed by the monarch. As I touched the piece, I knew there was a history behind it.

I sat motionless for a minute or so, long enough to be noticed by Mary. She inquired if anything was wrong? I told her that I got a sense of hatred and pain when I touched this photograph. She then noticed what I was holding and sighed….then tried to hold back tears. I explained to her that I was able to sense residual feelings and events and that I had performed paranormal investigations for many years. She smiled and told me why she was displaying tearful emotions.

Mary explained that her father was a member of the Irish resistance in Dublin and that he had always blamed King George V for the death of his brother during the 1916 “Easter Rising”. Her father was also captured by the British troops but managed to escape and make his way to the United States. He always wanted to go back to Ireland to reunite with family but was afraid that he would still be considered a fugitive. He eventually got married and raised a family. He worked as a gunsmith and bricklayer. Mary said he would pace in his study daily wondering how his friends and family in Ireland were getting along. In 1935, he had gathered enough money together to visit Ireland after he had received a visa. Then tragedy struck when her father suffered a severe stroke. The money he saved for his trip was used for his cremation and funeral.

Mary then stood up and said “please, follow me.” We walked down the hallway into a study and library. “This is where my father resides.” Mary stated. “I hear his footsteps and moans every night.” I was speechless. I asked her if she thought he may want to 'move on.' She said “No, that’s not necessary. He wouldn’t understand…besides, he talks to me every evening.”

I did purchase the items and the steamer trunk. The signed photograph of King George V of Great Britain remains in my collection and continues to remind me of the sad Irish immigrant who simply wanted to see home one more time.

NOTE: Mary's recall of history may not have been totally correct but I felt that the encounter should be written as stated in her words. I continued to purchase pieces from Mary for several years after our original meeting. Sadly, Mary passed away in 2002 while on Ireland. I fondly remember a phrase she would repeat each time we would depart company..."may the rocks in your field turn to gold." I was told her father's ashes were sent to Ireland to be mixed with Mary's ashes and scattered at an undisclosed location...Lon