Saturday, January 30, 2016

Haunted Day Trip to Salem MA area

Do you live near northern Massachusetts and want to do a day trip or a quick overnight to some haunted places?  Here's a sample itinerary for Salem and Gloucester MA.  Gloucester is America's oldest Seaport and is still a major center of the fishing industry.  Hammond Castle is in Gloucester and overlooks the Atlantic Ocean.  Open as a museum from May-October, one can take self-guided tours or schedule private events (weddings) on the grounds. Built in the 1920s by John Hammond Jr, an inventor, the castle is thought to be haunted by Mr. Hammond, a former groundskeeper, and several other unidentified spirits.  No photography is allowed.  After touring Hammond Castle, you can take a half hour drive west to Salem for lunch.  Dine in the restaurant or tavern of the Hawthorne Hotel, where there are two notably haunted rooms (612 and 325), and sometimes strange happenings in the tavern - the large Ship's Wheel has been seen turning on its own.

From there, less than a half mile away is the House of Seven Gables (the Turner-Ingersoll Mansion) which is open as a museum. The stairway to the attic area and the attic are described by many people as creepy and seeming to be haunted.  Read some of these accounts on GraveAddiction website.  I did not know that the House of Seven Gables was  supposedly haunted until just a few years ago, but it made sense to me because of an experience I had there a long time ago.  When I was in high school my family went on a trip to New England and visited this house museum. During the tour we were in a room and the guide was explaining that the staircase I was near went up (along the outside wall I think) to an upper floor or attic.  We did not go up - they may not even have allowed people up there at that time, but I remember being very creeped out by that area and would not have wanted to go on those stairs.  It was a strong enough feeling and so unusual that I remembered it.  It is very strange to read reports citing that very area as the haunted region! Note: no photos are allowed inside the house.

So take a drive, enjoy some history and sights, and maybe see even a little more than you bargained for!

Friday, August 29, 2014

Whaley House, Most Haunted Place in US? - I doubt it.

The Courtroom
I recently vacationed in San Diego Ca and of course hosting the Haunted Travels website and loving all things ghostly, The Whaley House was a must-see!  My husband and I eagerly paid our money, took the self-guided tour material (some typewritten pages describing each room) and set off next door to explore.  I was prepared with my camera and took tons of photos.  Because there was only one other family in there at the same time, we were able to spend some time in the Courtroom downstairs and the theater upstairs just being quiet and soaking up the atmosphere.  Of which there was none.  Not a single iota of a feeling of something being "off" or strange about the surroundings.  My husband and I are both kind of sensitive to unusual atmospheres, him probably more then me.  The place felt as (non-)creepy as my local grocery store. Nothing was strange in any of my photos.  There is a loose leaf notebook in the general store room with "ghost photos" visitors have taken, so I looked though it on our way out.  Nothing but photographic anomalies due to flash, exposure, dust, insects or camera straps IMHO.

 Assuming that it really is haunted, I guess if you're that rare employee alone after hours at just the right moment maybe something unexplainable occurs.   If you look at their website or at their offerings in the gift shop, they very heavily promote their hauntings to attract tourists. And no, I don't think that means all visitors will have something odd happen, but if you're "the most haunted house in America" I expect that someone who is sensitive will feel something odd somewhere inside the building. Now, many publicly open places are haunted and acknowledge it without seeming to shamelessly exploit it.  Sadly, when we left the Whaley House the only feeling of discomfort I experienced was the one of being duped.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Words I'd Like to Never Hear Again on Paranormal Shows

I'll admit it - I;m a sucker for shows about the paranormal, especially the "ghost-hunting" ones.  No matter what show, but especially the newer ones where psychics or paranormal groups have been consulted, there seems to be an increasing use of 3 words I hate to hear: Vortex, Portal, and Orbs!!! While I obviously believe in ghosts and hauntings I do not believe that there are vortexes where energy flows in like a whirlpool from another dimension or "beyond". Neither are there portals: tunnel like pathways for spirits to enter and leave at  will to a specific site.  And orbs - don't even suggest that they are not due to slow speed night digital cameras creating "orbs" out of dust, insects and sometimes nothing at all but a miscommunication to a digital processor!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Graveyard Tour of Concord MA

Cemeteries can be spooky, creepy places but they can also be peaceful landscapes that reflect a town's history. Below is a video tour of three graveyards in Concord MA, a town steeped in history and the site of the first shots of the Revolutionary War. It was also the home of many famous authors such as Ralph Waldo Emerson, Louisa May Alcott and Henry Thoreau.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

"I feel a presence...."

How many shows with investigators or psychics have any of us watched where at some point comes the inevitable "I feel a presence"? This statement always elicits a mental response from me of "Oh, please..." It's easy to feel like something is hovering in a dark corner or just out of sight in any place that is creepy to begin with. I have certainly experienced this unnerving sensation in such situations, but does that mean that there really is a paranormal presence there? I don't think so (and many people will certainly disagree with me). It's so subjective, and so hard to prove or verify.

Having said this, I will admit that there was one time that I experienced this feeling in a way that does make me give it more credence than I used to. I do real estate photography and have done hundreds of houses. In one house the realtor was downstairs with the seller while I was shooting the master suite. The suite had a long hallway into the actual bedroom area with double closets on one side and the master bath on the other. I was shooting an office area off the back of the bedroom with my back to the hallway into the room. I thought the agent had come up and was walking in, and I turned to see nothing. Mentally shrugging I aimed my camera again, and I definitely sensed her walk in and up behind my left shoulder. I actually said, "one more second - almost done" and after taking the photo, turned with my mouth open to say "okay, all set" to see no one. I went out to the landing and heard the agent and seller talking downstairs. Could have been a spirit, could have been my imagination. There's no way to ever really know. And that's my point (problem) with this type of "evidence". It's not true evidence at all.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Market Ghost Tour in Seattle

While I was in Seattle recently I went on the Market Ghost Tour which is run by Michelle and Mercedes, two very personable women. The guide for my group was Michelle, who was a very good storyteller. The tour lasted a little over an hour, and covered the Pike Place Market area. We visited about four places that we stopped and heard about at length, but there were also other places that were referred to as we went along. The first mortuary in Seattle was definitely the most intriguing site, but all of the tour was interesting. Michelle gave us a lot of the history of Seattle and the Market as well as talking about the paranormal goings on, and made it entertaining as well as informative. My only disappointment was that we were not able to go into any of the sites - the Market Theater was having rehearsals going on, and the mortuary building has been in the process of major renovations for a year or two and is not accessible. If you are visiting Seattle, I would recommend this tour as one of your activities!

Friday, February 8, 2008


Anyone else out there getting tired of International Ghost Hunters' obsession with EVPs? It seems like their technique of choice lately. Whereas Jason and Grant's investigations used it at times, this team seems to always have their trusty mini recorders on and asking questions. The strangest aspect to this is that many of their investigations are in countries where the deceased they're trying to communicate with wouldn't know English!!! I find also that their EVPs are even more vague than usual and yet they think they're clearly saying what they want to hear in them.

Personally, I have always been very skeptical of EVPs. There are so many air waves carrying radio, TV, cell phone, and computer communications it would surprise me if a tape recorder left running didn't pick something up. The day an EVP has a voice speaking clearly in sentences relaying information very unique to the situation/question I'll be impressed.

Has anyone gotten an EVP that is clear, is more than a word or two and is specific to the situation? What do others think about this technique as a tool for investigating the paranormal?

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Ouija Boards

When I was young ouija boards were a part of many sleepover parties. Now there are warnings throughout paranormal articles, books and TV shows about the dangers of using one. The predominant opinion seems to be that they can "open a door" for evil spirits to come through. I guess it's best to take the "better safe than sorry" approach. Although my experiences never resulted in any horrific or lasting results, it seems that others have had very negative experiences.

Are ouija boards' movements performed by spirits at all? Could most or all of the answers from beyond be from our own subconscious? If previously unknown facts are offered, couldn't ESP be a factor and the board a vehicle for the psychic ability of an individual?

If anyone has any ouija board experiences to share or thoughts about its validity and how it works, please comment!

Monday, November 12, 2007

Ghost Hunting Groups

It seems like there are more regional paranormal investigative groups than ever, and more springing up all the time. Are any of you starting your own ghost hunting groups? Looking for like-minded people to start one?

Information on what tools you use and how you get clients would be interesting. Also, feel free to let the rest of us know about any of your unusual experiences.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007


Hi, welcome to my Haunted Blog. I hope you've enjoyed my web site with places to visit, and reviews of books and movies. This is a place to post thoughts and share responses.

Some of my general opinions on the paranormal: I believe in ghosts and also in ESP. I do not believe that "orbs" in photos are ghosts or spirits and I also do not believe in demonology. The book Psience is the most fascinating book I've read lately about the paranormal and I am so excited that people are starting to think that quantum physics may hold some answers that explain what we now call paranormal events.

You can email me your stories and experiences and I will "paste" them in here as posts so others can read them. Again, welcome and feel free to share your thoughts!