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Brad and Sherry Steiger


Please Visit his Official Web Site ~ edwardshanahan.com

Conscious Channeler Edward Shanahan





 

 

The East End Ghoul of Parkersburg, West Virginia

Holida Cemetery  -- Parkersburg, West Virginia

by Susan Sheppard

If ghosts frighten you, you might not want to consider the thought of being chased by a ghoul. So what is a ghoul, you ask? A ghoul is a pungent, graveyard creature that preys upon the bodies and souls of the dead. The word ghoul comes from GHUL, in the Arabic language meaning to “seize quickly” or “grab a hold of.” Ghouls are universally malevolent entities. They are like ghosts but are more visceral — you can smell the ghoul’s foul breath and touch his rotting skin. Ghouls come on as physical and not so much of a fleeting apparition.

Ghouls are here to do evil and are more closely related to graveyard demons, revenants or vampires than ghosts or lost souls of the dead. Ancient lore says ghouls will feast upon the flesh of road worn travelers or corpses stolen out of graves at night. This is why ghouls often hang around cemeteries or at the ever-menacing Crossroads.

Most ghouls are content to terrify. Their purpose is to scare the living so bad they wish to hell that they were dead for ghouls only prey upon the already dead.

But the dreaded ghoul has a gruesome face but devoid of features. They moan and groan and are unable to make human conversation. These midnight demons are said to even inhabit old ruins, cemeteries, abandoned houses and other lonely, isolated places.

In European folklore, ghouls are most strongly attracted to travelers. The reason for this is not really known except for the fact that travelers seem to be vulnerable. In older Dracula movies, you may remember how the movie often opens with a scene of weary travelers, after delayed by thunderstorms or losing their way, eventually find them selves at Castle Dracula. Therefore it is no surprise that in Eastern European lore, a vampire and a ghoul are pretty much the same thing. Both are re-animated corpses with evil spirits inside. But only in the cases of extreme evil do human beings ever become ghouls.

Perhaps ghouls are attracted to travelers because travelers are vulnerable, easy to prey upon and confuse. After people in route somewhere are not immediately missed by family members. That is, if something “unexpected” happens to them.

This is where our tale unfolds, at the Crossroads, a place where the malevolent energies of the supernatural are at their most powerful. The exact place is the East End B & 0 Railroad yard in Parkersburg, and at the Rowland Boarding House where weary sojourners working the rails chose to rest their heads at night as they dreamed of the safety of home and family, back in the Appalachian foothills.

The year is 1888. It is the last week of June, more than twenty years after the Civil War has ended. The 6th Street train trestle and bridge has been completed — jobs are plentiful and West Virginia coal is being shipped out west.

The exact place of the haunting is the coal chutes of the B & 0 Railroad yard in what was then the eastern end of the city. The time closes in on midnight, ‘the witching hour,’ a tenuous moment when supernatural forces are the strongest and most unpredictable. Tired rail workers were leaving their late evening shifts when they encountered a mysterious being that both startled and terrified them. More than six feet and moving at a “funereal pace,” the apparition was completely enshrouded in white from head-to-toe.

Although ghostly in appearance, the being was more horrible than any ghost was; far more menacing than ethereal phantasms spotted on nearby Blennerhassett Island. What the men encountered was an actual ghoul, the “East End Ghoul,” to be precise.

Haunted Parkersburg Ghost Tours

The B & 0 railroad workers were made aware of the ghoul when they first heard “a clanking of chains.” As the men looked in the direction of the sounds came from, they saw something large and white floating along the railroad tracks. Its feet never touched the ground even though the men heard echoing footsteps. The face was mostly covered, but absent of any human features. As this incredible apparition swayed down the tracks, it emitted an unearthly groan that could be heard for several yards.

The workers that didn’t scatter immediately took refuge behind some barrels to watch the bizarre event unfold. The ghoul drifted along, moaning all the way, seemingly unaware of the men’s presence. The ghoul then came upon the Rowland Boarding House where railroad men and travelers stayed. The hulking phantom hesitated for a few moments as if pondering whether to go in or not. The sounds of the chains were fainter. The thing seemed to have lost its direction. But without missing a beat, the ghoul sped up and coursed down the tracks, past the cemetery, where it came upon an alleyway and vanished into a gray smoke.

This appearance of the ghoul might be easily explained as a hoax except for the fact that it appeared every night for a week in late June and was witnessed by dozens of people. And as such, it was written up in local newspapers as the story unfolded during mid-summer on 1888.

As with many haunted tales, a skeptic enters the scene to challenge the validity of such frightening and puzzling appearances. In this story, the skeptic is one Mr. Crolley, (accounts of a first name were not mentioned in the 1888 news article) who did not work for the B & 0 Railroad but was employed by the Camden Consolidated Oil Company.

Crolley happened to be at the railroad-yard one late June night handling a business transaction, and perhaps also to spin a yarn with the B & 0 workers around quitting time. This was shortly before the towering ghoul appeared once more.

As Mr. Crolley left for home, he heard a dreadful groaning near the railroad yard which was across the alley from the old Holliday Cemetery in Parkersburg. When Crolley glanced around, he spotted a shrouded phantom exactly as the other men had reported on earlier in the week. The apparition drifted up and down the tracks in the area of the coal chutes, approximately one hundred yards from the Rowland Boarding House.

Too shocked to even breathe, Crolley receded quietly into the shadows. The ghoul paused in the area of the Rowland Boarding House as if something inside interested it. Gaslights fluttered at the glass. Songs of drunken men poured out of the second story windows, oblivious to the unearthly thing that was now focused on them.

Of indeterminate sex, the ghoul glided down the tracks. A sweet stench of decay filled the air ---it was the kind of smell that reminded Crolley of a back alley behind a funeral parlor. With caution, he inched closer to the ghoul only to realize that he was completely drained, taken over by an overwhelming tiredness. As Crolley fought his fatigue, the ghoul stopped at an alleyway and stared, still not noticing him. The strange being then vanished in direction of the graveyard -- just as it had done before.

Crolley was not a man who was easily frightened or frustrated by unearthly things. He promised himself that he would investigate the ghoulish appearance the very next night. After all, the ghoul appeared near the Coffin House where they made caskets for this about to be buried in the cemetery. Mr. Crolley was not disappointed.

It was now after eleven o’ clock on a Thursday night, a time when many of the railroad workers ended their shifts. As Crolley waited, strange echoing footsteps sounded. This was certainly odd, because the ghoul, in fact, did not appear to have any feet at all as it floated above the railroad tracks. And yet, footsteps echoed!

As with the previous night, the ghoul moved in the direction of the Rowland House and nearby Holliday Cemetery and its Coffin House across the street, where the ghoul stopped for a few brief moments then diverted its attention toward the alleyway. Only this time, Crolley started to run after the ghoul. He wasn’t about to let this mystery get away from him! What happened next was utterly unexpected.

With a supernatural force, the East End Ghoul wheeled around and approached the terrified man at a high rate of speed. Not knowing what else to do, Crolley leapt behind a tree where he hid for several seconds. As soon as the man regained his courage, he peered out from behind the tree to see where the ghoul was now. What he witnessed there startled him.

The East End Ghoul was joined at the tracks by another one, an exact replica! But this particular ghoul was dark, its face and clothes completely blackened as if by the sulfurous fires of Hell.

Twin-like, the ghouls moved at a lingering, slow pace, echoing the same movements. Later it was said they were resembled photograph negatives of the identical image. The ghouls were alike, but in contrasting tones of white and black. Even so, both ghoulish manifestations seemed to be intent on one Mr. Crolley, who now ran away, feet barely touching the brick-street, glancing over his shoulder all the while. It wasn’t long before the ghouls halted. It seemed they had lost interest in the frightened, bedraggled man.

The “Ghouls of East End” turned and floated back toward Rowland Boarding House where they paused for another few moments as if straining to hear the lively sounds of happy men inside. The figures then peered down the alley, hesitated at the gates of the Holliday Cemetery when in a phantomlike silence they both disappeared. Perhaps, as ghouls are concerned Crolley wasn’t much of a catch anyway. More fun seemed to be had by those spending the night in the Rowland Boarding House.

Nevertheless, the East End haunts were quite the sensation for the rest of the summer based upon the puzzling events of the last week of June in 1888. However, the East End Ghoul and his black-enshrouded partner were never seen in Parkersburg again. If we move up in time to December 31st, 1952, the old Coffin House (which was said to be shaped like a coffin) across from the Holiday Cemetery was now a bar and small store directly behind the Greyhound bus station. Legend has it that on that fated night, Hank Williams, the “Hillbilly Shakespeare” and his seventeen-year-old driver stopped at the Coffin House to buy refreshments for their journey in which he had a gig in Canton, Ohio on the first. Something happened and the car turned around and ended up the following morning in Oak Hill, West Virginia. The driver of William’s Cadillac noticed the singer wasn’t moving and was, in fact, dead. Many believe the old Coffin House was the last stop Hank Williams made before he died in the early morning hours of January 1st, 1953. Williams was pronounced dead at the hospital in Oak Hill, West Virginia. Like the mystery surrounding the death of Hank Williams, what eventually happened to Crolley is pure speculation. It appears his name also faded from the newspapers’ pages. One thing that is for certain about Mr. Crolley though is — only a fool would chase a ghoul!

About Susan Sheppard

Not only is Susan Sheppard the creator of the Haunted Parkersburg Ghost Tours, she is also well respected for her abilities as a psychic medium. She has worked as psychic and a spiritualist medium since age fourteen and as a paranormal investigator for the last decade. This came about when her friends overheard a well-known psychic tell Susan that she, too, had "the gift" and should use her special abilities to help others. This was no surprise to Susan's family who had witnessed her uncanny abilities since early childhood.

Her West Virginia childhood might have some bearing on her interest in the paranormal. Sheppard is "Black Dutch," meaning she is descended from the less than 850 Shawnee Indians who remained east of the Mississippi River after the other Shawnee (during the "Trial of Tears" removal) were forced onto reservations out west in the 1830s. Susan, along with others in the Friend family, is a direct descendent of Shawnee Chief Big Thunder through his daughter, Bright Lightning, whose name was anglicized to "Anna Friend."

Susan grew up just a few hills away from the first sighting of the famous West Virginia Mothman. It was during this time that Sheppard’s family home underwent a great deal of paranormal activity sparking her interest in the unknown while tapping into her natural psychic talents. However, Sheppard has had direct communications with spirits of her Native American ancestors since around age four when she met the ghosts of two Indian braves on the hillside above her grandparent's house in broad daylight. Though very small, she understood the braves to be both her ancestors and her guides. Ms. Sheppard’s adolescence was spent partly doing psychic readings along with school work and sometimes working with local law enforcement on missing person cases. She later grew up with the aspirations of becoming a published author and an artist, both of which she achieved. Sheppard has authored a number of popular books which are sold worldwide and has continued with her art in many venues. Her poetry alone has won many prestigious awards.

Susan has never strayed from her interests in the spirit world and has continued to work in the field as a medium, as well as a practicing astrologer. In the last few years she has worked primarily as a psychic medium and a paranormal investigator on various ghost hunts and investigations. She also leads séances, does clearings and performs platform style readings before the public for which she is the most famous in her area.

Susan was featured on the ABC Family Channel’s popular show “Scariest Places on Earth” as a psychic medium at the Shawnee Amusement Park in Bluefield, West Virginia. She has previously taught “Be Your Own Psychic” classes at the Self-Health & Awareness Center and continues appear before audiences and live television as a psychic medium.

Haunted Parkersburg Ghost Tours,

Susan Sheppards new book "Cry of the Banshee" which will be released September 1st, by Quarrier Books in Charleston, West Virginia. "The East End Ghoul" story is a small part of it.

CRY OF THE BANSHEE

t appears his name also faded from the newspapers’ pages. One thing that is for certain about Mr. Crolley though is — only a fool would chase a ghoul!

GHOST STORIES TO CHILL YOU DAY OR NIGHT... PLEASE LOOK NO FURTHER YOU MIGHT JUST GET THE FRIGHT OF YOUR LIFE!

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The Search For Screaming Skulls

SCREAMING SKULLS

The Screaming Skull of Higher Farm, Chilton Cantilo
The skull at Higher Farm is said to be that of Theophilus Broome, who died in 1670. Before he passed away he left instructions for his skull to be kept at the farmhouse, and attempts to remove it are said to have resulted in poltergeist activity. The haunting is well documented; a manuscript at the farm has written account from a number of people who attested to the phenomena resulting in the attempted interment of the grisly item.

The tale was committed to paper in 1791 by John Collinson in his History and Antiquities of Somerset, and the tomb of Theophilus can be found in St James's Church.

READ MORE ABOUT SCREAMING SKULLS VISIT HERE

 

HAUNTED HIGHWAYS, STREETS, ROADS AND GHOST LIGHTS
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Spectrophobia: The Real Fear Of Ghost
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Real Life Encounter at Cold Harbor Battlefield, Mechanicsville, VA
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VOODOO HOLIDAY HOODOO
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Delphine Lalaurie
A Haunting in Jackson, California
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Ghost Articles & Haunted Stories

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At HauntedAmericaTours.com we invite you into our Ghost Haunted Paranormal world where art, News stories, photography and the unexplained merge into a new landscape that will leave you truly spellbound. HauntedAmericaTours.com is a continuous work in progress; we will keep it updated for you on a regular basis, so that you can come back and see a ghost or two, and meet some new ones. Please browse here and find what your looking for. Check out the other Catgories also and enjoy your very haunted adventures safely.

HAUNTED AMERICA TOURS: Essentials For Ghost Hunters And Paranormal Enthusiest In Your Life

Who are "AMERICA'S TOP TEN FAVORITE HAUNTED AUTHORS" > find out visit here also <

HAUNTED HAIGHT LADY OF STOW LAKE GHOST STORY!  by Tommy Netzband,  San Francisco Ghost Society

HAUNTED HAIGHT WALKING TOURS

Lady of Stow Lake

Over the years, many people claim to see this woman late at night searching for her baby around Stow Lake. She is often described the same way every time. The woman is seen wearing a soiled white dress and has long dark hair.

(VISIT HERE!)

by Tommy Netzband,
Founder, San Francisco Ghost Society

 

ISLAND SCARES: GHOST STORIES FROM THE PHILIPPINES

 

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Not all urban legends are false!

 

INVESTIGATE THESE FROM SOME OF OUR FAVORITE HAUNTED BOOKS BY NOTED AND AWARD WINNING AUTHORS

 

Ed Okonowicz is the author of the well-known DelMarVa murder mystery series. His programs on teaching Delaware and Maryland history through folklore and legends are popular in schools and libraries. He also offers workshops in writing and storytelling and public speaking.


READ AN EXCERPT FROM " GHOST"

 

 
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WHAT GREAT BOOKS ARE ON THE TOP OF EVERYONES READING LIST THIS MONTH? WELL LOOK NO FURTHER

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GHOST SHIPS

THE FLYING DUTCHMAN ISN'T THE ONLY HAUNTED SHIP THAT SAILS THE SEVEN SEAS!

LEARN MORE ABOUT GHOST SHIPS VISIT HERE NOW

 

 

A Spellbound Tours™

Exclusive Ghost Photo!
Submitted by Mollie Stewart

Mollie Stewart is a licensed ghost hunter through the International Ghost Hunters Society, a member of the International Society of Paranormal Investigators, and the head of Paranormal Investigators of New England, which specializes in paranormal research and investigations and scientific documentation of such. Using EMF meters, infra-red non-contact thermometers, tape recorders and cameras, she has recorded ghost voices, (also called Electronic Voice Phenomena) and documented various ghosts in action! ).

Mollie travels to locations locally as well as nationally to conduct paranormal research and investigations. She has conducted investigations at haunted cemeteries, haunted houses, a haunted prison, haunted plantations.

 

Mollie Stewart Of Spellbound Tours Salem, Mass

Gallow's Hill Ghosts Salem Massachusetts

 

Ghost Of Gettysburg VI , by Mark Nesbitt

From the series on ghosts of Gettysburg by Mark Nesbitt

Mark Nesbitt was born in 1949 in Lorain, Pennsylvania. He has published twelve books including the "Ghosts of Gettysburg" series which have been turned into programs seen on A&E, The History Channel, and Unsolved Mysteries and Sightings. He started his own freelance writing and research business in 1977.

Nesbitt is currently working on writing novels.

 

VIOLETTE
WITH EYES TO DIE FOR!

 

Violette The Zombie Child.




Psychic Mickey of Miami Tells the Frightening Tale of the Living Dead from Post-Katrina New Orleans!

Who Will Discover the Next Zombie Child?

A Haunted New Orleans fiction?
By Mickey of Miami, Art and Zombie doll by Ricardo Pustanio

 

Michael Grosso is a teacher, author, and painter, whose interests span psychical research, metaphysical art, the parapsychology of religion, and, primarily, philosophy. He received his Ph.D. in philosophy, and studied classical Greek, at Columbia University, and has taught at City University of New York, Marymount Manhattan College, and City University of New Jersey. He has published books on topics ranging from life after death to the mythologies of endtime.