Sunday, August 19, 2018

The Ridge, a novel to give you chills in the August heat

 The Ridge   by  Michael Koryta 

Set in eastern Kentucky, in this book the haunted spot is Blade Ridge its woods so creepy and dangerous that the town drunk/eccentric actually set up a light house to keep the dark at bay.  Unfortunately, several events are set to coincide that greatly disturb the shaky status quo that has been achieved.  When the light house owner is found dead, and the owner of a wild cat sanctuary relocates their 67 large cats there Deputy Sheriff Kimble is drawn into the mysteries that inhabit those woods.  The pace is good, with the creep factor increasing steadily. Good characters, plot and writing make this one I highly recommend.  In paperback and e-book. 

Saturday, August 18, 2018

Two Haunted Inns in the White Mountains of NH

Planning on a trip to the White Mountains of New England to see the unique beauty of the area?  Here are two inns with extra atmosphere to stay at.

The Beal House Inn, Littleton NH 

     The Beal House Inn was built in 1833 and is located in the heart of the White Mountains.  The inn was recently bought and renovated by a new owner, Bill Sanders.  The restaurant is the primary business of the Inn, but rooms are available for guests to stay in.  Over the years reports of paranormal activity include slamming doors and footsteps at night on the stairs.  Mr. Sanders was nice enough to write to me and relate the following:

   "I have kept quite a few of the staff who were here and they tell me that [the previous owner] Mrs. Keller said she often saw pillows floating above the furniture and things of that nature. She even reported having conversations with whatever it was that was doing this. The staff tell me she was very much a no nonsense type of woman and that she relayed these experiences very matter of factly.
    One of the staff members says that she and another waitress were fetching supplies and had unlocked a door in the upper hallway, as she pushed the door open, something shoved it back with great force. Other staff members say they feel uncomfortable in this hallway and several overnite guests who I have allowed to explore the Inn a little have mentioned this hallway (without knowing of any stories prior) as a place where they "felt something" or that it made them feel "weird". The same woman who had the experience with the door also refused to go into the basement alone. She reported seeing dark shapes and shadows moving just at the edge of the lighted area.
    We have had several overnite guests at the Inn complain of noises and voices late at night in the room above them. In each case I knew that I had not rented the rooms out and on investigating I always found the rooms were empty and locked. The staff often complains of things disappearing from they place they were left, only to turn up again somewhere completely different in a day or two. Some of the staff simply won't go certain places in the Inn (the upper hallway, basement) and will send someone else. One staff member was on the job less that a week when he came to me and said he was quitting because he could not stand to be in the building and frankly did not understand how any of us could stand it."

The inn offers 3 suites, and 4 guest rooms.  It is near many ski areas and Cannon Mt., Loon Mt. and  Breton Woods are all within 10-30 minutes away. No children under 12, and one suite can take pets under 30 lbs. at a nightly charge. There is a full restaurant at the inn.  Events can be hosted at the Inn or catered off-site. The Beal House is at 2 W. Main St., Littleton NH.  Phone: 603-444-2661.

The Tilton Inn, Tilton NH  (formerly the 1875 Inn) 
     Innkeeper Joanna Oliver was putting the finishing touches on her new acquisition in  2001 when a woman stopped by and talked about the inn's history.  Distracted, Joanna paid minimal attention to the stories, one of which was about a girl named Laura.  She died in a fire in the building when it was a rooming house in the 19th century.  Laura was only 12 when she died. But Oliver remembered this conversation months later when a guest told her that she had seen a young girl sitting on her bed in the Samuel Sanborn room.  There were no young girls at the Inn at the time.  About a year later another guest was staying in the Mary Baker Eddy room which is close to the Samuel Sanborn room, and told Joanna that he witnessed a young girl leaving his room and she just disappeared.  A motorcyclist staying at the Inn during the major annual NH event Bike Week in 2006 said he saw a teenage girl in his room.  She then disappeared but in the hallway he saw her again.

In the summer of 2007 a woman was startled to see a young girl in her room when she came out of the shower.  The thermostats in the rooms closest to the street are often inexplicably turned down from where the guests had set them. Located in the Lakes and White Mountains area of NH  the inn contains the Onions Pub & Restaurant,  and has 10 guest rooms.  Th inn is a non-smoking area, and is pet friendly.  The Tilton Inn is at 255 Main St., Tilton, NH   (603) 286-7774.

Sunday, August 5, 2018

Looking for a Haunted B&B in Florida?

Here are two Bed & Breakfast Inns in FL where you may have a paranormal experience during your getaway....

1872 John Denham House B&B, Monticello FL
     Pat Inmon, the innkeeper takes ghostly happenings in stride in this Italianate mansion near the center of Monticello. If you want to take any photos on the second floor or up in the cupola take them quickly - batteries get drained at an alarming rate.  Several times a month the alarm clocks in every guest room will go off at the same time in the middle of the day and the lights in the rooms may turn on and off by themselves while guests are in them.  Many guests have reported feelings of not being alone.  Apparitions of a man in period dress has been seen in the upstairs hallway outside the guest rooms, and one guest saw the spirit of a man in their room.  The John Denham House is a family (and pet) friendly B&B where children are welcomed and pets are allowed. There are five guest rooms priced $95 to $110, and the house is available for weddings and functions.  555 West Palmer Mill Rd., Monticello FL   phone: (850)997-4568.

Pensacola Victorian Bed & Breakfast,  Pensacola FL
     This Queen Anne Victorian in "Historic Downtown Pensacola" was originally built by a ship captain, William Northup in the 1890s. Chuck and Barbee Major are the innkeepers and are happy to share their home with benevolent spirits from the past. There is often the sound of classical music with no apparent source and also the sounds of children playing and giggling.  One guest arriving back at the inn late one night saw a woman in a Victorian style nightdress walk into one of the other guest rooms and was surprised to find out the next day that no one was staying in that room and none of the guests matched her description.  Chuck has also seen the apparition of a woman walking into one of the guest rooms when his wife was in their living quarters and no guests were registered at the inn. Some mornings the sounds of breakfast being prepared and even the tempting aroma of hot food have drifted through the house before the Majors have started any breakfast preparation.  The B & B offers 4 rooms to guests -  each comes with full breakfast, private bath, AC, cable TV, computer outlets and complimentary treats and beverages. Cost ranges from $95 to $150.  Address is: 203 W. gregory St.,   Pensacola FL  850-434-2818 or 800-370-8354.

Saturday, July 21, 2018

Haunted Places in Connecticut

Looking for some eerie places to visit while traveling in CT?  Try one of these....

Abigail's Grille and Wine Bar, Simsbury CT
     Built in 1780 to be a stagecoach stop and tavern, this colonial house has been both a private home and a restaurant business at various times over the years.  The story goes that Jonathan Pettibone, the original owner, came home from sea to find another man with his wife. He remedied the situation with an axe, and supposedly his wife haunts the house wandering throughout.  Other spirits are a man (her lover?), a boy and a tavern wench. Furniture has been moved at night, lights that were turned off are turned back on, and the second floor Ladies' Room is a hot spot. Located at 4 Hartford Rd., Simsbury Abigail's serves lunch, dinner and brunch. phone: 860.264.1580


The Benton Homestead, Tolland CT
     The Benton Homestead, a pre-civil war home, is now a museum. During the Civil War, Elijah, who lived in the house, left to fight in the war. He left behind his fiance Jemima, who he would marry upon his return. Unfortunately when he returned he had a fatal disease, smallpox (?) and died. Jemima took care of him until his death, risking her own life to do so. She did indeed contract the disease herself and die. A female apparition has been seen. Men's voices have been heard from the basement.  People have described a cold, suffocating feeling upstairs, and general feelings of sadness and oppression are associated with the house.  On Metcalf Rd., Tolland, the phone number is (860) 974-1875.    

Mystic Seaport, Old Mystic CT
     At Mystic Seaport  you can go onboard the whaling ship, the Charles W Morgan, which some say is haunted.  According to the Boston Globe (6/26/06) three people have independently  written to a local paranormal research group telling them that they had been very surprised to hear after their visit that there were no period dressed staff on the ship. Each email recounted a similar description of seeing "a man dressed in period clothing sitting on a pile of rope and smoking a pipe." All of the sightings were below deck in the room where the whale blubber would have been stripped from the whales.  So enjoy some history, keep an open mind and bring your camera! 

Two good haunted house novels by Carol Goodman

PictureThe first "ghost book" I read by Carol Goodman was The Ghost Orchid. Although the author of many novels, this and The Widow's House are specifically about haunted places.  Ellis Brooks is a writer invited to an artists' retreat at the long abandoned Bosco estate in the Adirondack mountains to write her first novel.  Inspired by a pamphlet she fatefully discovered describing a seance that took place there in 1893,  Ellis Brooks comes to Bosco to write about the tragedies that befell the Latham family and the role Corinth Blackwell, a spiritual medium, might have played.  Bosco and its grounds seem to have never been able to shrug off the aura of tragedy and the past intermingles with the present to affect the people staying there now.  The book travels back and forth between the past and the present.  Events become more eerie and mysterious as the past seeps into the present.  The pacing, dialogue and characters are all excellently done. It is a very good ghost story.  

The Widow's House: A NovelAnother suspenseful ghost story by Carol Goodman, The Widow's House follows Clare and Jess, financially strapped married writers leaving the city for more peace in a college town in the Hudson River valley where Clare is originally from.  They end up moving into a large but decaying estate owned by their former professor and mentor as caretakers.  While struggling with the state of their marriage Clare also starts hearing nonexistent infant cries and seeing visions of  apparitions of a ghostly woman.  A beautifully written gothic novel, it evokes many classics (Rebecca, The Turning of the Screw, Haunting of Hill House and The Yellow Wallpaper to name a few) as the reader is taken down many twisting paths along the way to the climax.  Highly recommended. 

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!

Monday, January 31, 2011

Ghosts On the Underground documentary

I came across a reference to a documentary called "Ghosts on the Underground" which is about hauntings in the Tube, the underground subway in London. It's well done and very interesting. Here's a site where you can watch it online:

I'm glad I came across it, and hope you enjoy it!

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!