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WHAT REALLY MAKES A HOUSE A REAL HAUNTED HOME FOR GHOSTS?

A Real Ghost Haunted House: WHAT REALLY MAKES A HOUSE A REAL HAUNTED HOME FOR GHOSTS?

Many today still live under the presumed supposed assumption that someone has had to die in a particular house or location to claim it as being haunted by a real ghosts. The Americanized image of the "haunted house" as a Victorian (particularly Second Empire) structure is said to have its origins in the Panic of 1893, which led to the foreclosure and abandonment of many then-new houses. Another image blazed into many minds as the ultimate haunted house to investigate is that which was made popular in the Amityville horror. Another much notable haunted location is that of the famous Lalaurie Mansion in New Orleans It is known as the most cursed and haunted house in America.

But as real paranormal investigations continue worldwide we find this to be untrue.

By LISA LEE HARP WAUGH

Legends about reportedly real ghost filled haunted houses have long appeared in literature and in hushed tales in many cities around the world. . Roman-era authors Plautus, Pliny the Younger and Lucian wrote stories about haunted houses, as did the Arabian Nights (such as the tale of "Ali the Cairene and the Haunted House in Baghdad"), and more modern authors from Henry James to Stephen King have featured them in their writings. Haunted castles and mansions are common in gothic literature an such as Dracula's castle by Stoker.

The actual structure of a fictional haunted house can be anything from a decaying European feudal castle to a newly occupied suburban ranch-style house of fairly recent construction, although older buildings tend to be more commonly used.

 

WARNING

warning haunted house


Please use extreme caution before you start exploring or touring Haunted Houses on your own... This is a must!

 

Do Not Tour Haunted Houses alone!

 

HAUNTEDAMERICATOURS.COM suggest, recommends and advises you to contact and book your next HAUNTED HOUSE TOUR with A TOUR GROUP!

Many tours and Haunted House tours do exist.

Many are conducted daily and or recommended by Haunted America Tours as the most safest of way to visit an actual Haunted House .

Visit a Haunted House's web site and find the information and the most accurate stories and history of haunted house from your personal web site internet Tours first get all the info then do your own investigation

Some Haunted Houses may require permission to visit or conduct a private paranormal investigation.

The contents of Ghost haunted information is a compilation of information sent to us from you our readers and Paranormal investigators and may not be accurate.

We at Haunted America Tours do suggest you investigate it for yourselves to find out the haunted truth.

Many Professional Investigators, Ghost Hunters, and haunted authorities in the field suggest you call ahead and contact someone, Their help could be invaluable to you and they may allow you the access of the particular Haunted Houses off limits area that you want to investigate.

Of course you never know what new ghost story is there to be told.

Remember It is always better to be recognized, rather then arrested for ghost hunting.

Haunted America Tours


WARNING

 

SPIRITS, GHOST, DEMONS, ECHO'S FROM THE PAST OR JUST A SLIP IN TIME.

Haunted houses exist all around the world from ancient hobbles to new high rise condo's a home in this world is not free of the dead or the paranormal activity that so many claim to have experienced in the safety of their own private quarters.

As of today many who ghost hunt out scary real actual spooks and specters are beginning to realize that ghosts do not have to have a long or past history to the places or locations they haunt. Some ghosts just like to move around from place to place or from person to person to haunt. You have to realize that many ghosts like to haunt the living. They watch us study us and even some try to redirect our lives whether we really know it or not.

Ghost as we all should know where once living beings. Just because they are dead really does not mean they are not carrying on as they did in life. if they grow tired of a location or feel that the people they are haunting just bore them to tears then they move on. Many today still live under the supposed assumption that someone has had to die in a particular house to claim it as being haunted by a real ghosts. Ghosts as we must realize have their own ideas and personal needs to be doing the strange supernatural things they do.

Many often search the web for the real sign that a a house is haunted. When in truth they should be searching for the signs that prove a person is haunted.

Hauntings are often more personal in nature then one might suspect. A real ghost may be watching your life unfold and think that they have the answers in bringing more happiness and change into your life by directing you to move or make actual decisions in a direction different then you would take. Basically so you do not make the same mistakes they did in life. those more sensitive or more openly haunted or those prone to be effected by such.


A haunted house is defined as a house that is believed to be a center for supernatural occurrences or paranormal phenomena. A haunted house may allegedly contain ghosts, poltergeists, or even malevolent entities such as demons.

Haunted houses are often seen as being inhabited by spirits of deceased who may have been former residents or were familiar with the property. Supernatural activity inside homes is said to be mainly associated with violent or tragic events in the building's past such as murder, accidental death, or suicide—sometimes in the recent or ancient past. Among many cultures and religions it is believed that the essence of a being such as the 'soul' continues to exist. Some philosophical and religious views argue that the 'spirits' of those who have died have not 'passed over' and are trapped inside the property where their memories and energy are strong. Entities which are said to 'haunt' homes are often believed to make noises, appear as apparitions, and shift or launch physical objects. This is sometimes manifested into 'poltergeist activity', poltergeist meaning 'noisy spirit'. Traditionally an exorcism is the method used to remove unwelcome spirits from the property.

In Stambovsky v. Ackley, the Supreme Court of New York, Appellate Division ruled in 1991 that a seller must disclose that a house has a reputation for being haunted when there is a fiduciary relationship or in cases of fraud or misrepresentation, because such a reputation impairs the value of the house:

In the case at bar, defendant seller deliberately fostered the public belief that her home was possessed. Having undertaken to inform the public at large, to whom she has no legal relationship, about the supernatural occurrences on her property, she may be said to owe no less a duty to her contract vendee.
 
 

In Stambovsky v. Ackley, the Supreme Court of New York ruled that a seller does not need to disclose the fact that a house is haunted unless there is a fiduciary relationship or in cases of fraud or misrepresentation. Stambovsky v. Ackley, 169 A.D.2d 254 (NY App. Div. 1991), is a notable New York Supreme Court, Appellate Division case that held that a house, which the owner had previously advertised to the public as haunted by ghosts, was legally haunted for the purpose of an action for rescission brought by a subsequent purchaser of the house. It is sometimes called the "Ghostbusters case", a reference to the author rhetorically asking "who you gonna call" to resolve a haunting. Because of the case's unique holding, it has been regularly printed in textbooks on the subject of contract law and widely taught in U.S. law school classes, if not often cited or followed by other courts.

During the course of her ownership of the property at issue, which was located in Nyack, New York, Helen Ackley and members of her family had reported seeing numerous poltergeists in the house. Ackley had reported the existence of ghosts in the house to both Reader's Digest and a local newspaper on three occasions between 1977 and 1989, when the house was included on a five-home walking tour of the city. Neither Ackley nor her realtor, Ellis Realty, revealed the haunting to Jeffrey Stambovsky before he entered a contract to purchase the house in 1989 or 1990. Stambovsky was from New York City and was not aware of the folklore of Nyack, including the widely known haunting story.

When Stambovsky learned of the haunting story, he filed an action requesting rescission of the contract of sale and for damages for fraudulent misrepresentation by Ackley and Ellis Realty. A New York Supreme Court (trial court) dismissed the action, and Stambovsky appealed.

ALSO SEE: The Most Haunted Scariest Places On Earth

Inviting ghost into ones life is something that many do and do not realize that they have done so. Just by being you this might attract ghosts and strange supernatural forces into your life. Call it a certain light or power one might have or just the recent experiences that life has tossed you can bring strange forces into your life. Yes real ghosts notice us even if we don't notice them. One might be haunted or watched by a real ghosts for several months or years before the spirit is ready to show itself and make itself known to you openly.
 
 
 
 

Real Reasons A House Is Haunted

Signs that a house may be haunted vary from place to place as well as different experiences some might have to deem it as such. Many often report hearing strange crashing sounds in closets, rooms, attics or basements. Often hauntings come to attention because someone reports hearing loud or very real sounding footsteps and no one is there. Other problems might begin as experiencing strange lights or orbs seen by the naked eye. While others report electrical problems voices or whispers.

More extreme Haunted Houses report the actual apparitions of the dead appearing to them. Being scratched bitten, pushed or even sexually molested by an unseen entity.

General depression or even loss of time and creepy feelings make these locations some of the scariest places on earth to visit.

Some report having actual nightmares about these locations after visiting. Many relate this to the fear factor that such locations bring into mind.

Strange smeels of perfumes or heavy cigar or pipe smoke are often encounterd in Haunted Houses, as is just a strange feeling in the pit of your stomach. Many mediums and psychics sensitives often tell of a strange vibe often referred to as ghost poisoned air. Described as a strange almost sweet rotting smell of death that only some can sense.

Hanted houses do not always seem haunted to many though a single individual alone may the only person who witnesses strange occurrences. Ghosts may single people out to spook. Rather they might just pick one victim out of a group and spook that person just for kicks.

Real spooks, specters and ghost do not just haunt houses at night. Hauntings can occur at any point in time. the significance of 3:am or dead time as some call it seems to be not applicable to many haunted homes. ghosts can pop up at breakfast or during prime time television watching. The matter that that a certain ghost appears at a certain time has to deal with the type of haunting it is. Either it is residual or an active intelligent ghost that spooks you in intervals.

Investigating Real Haunted Houses

"All houses wherein men have lived and died are haunted houses." ...Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

The United States of America is a country often associated with all kinds of scary ghosts and reported real haunted houses and haunted mansions, and Plantations.

Quite often a few have made the claim of being scariest haunted and of course "The Most Haunted House In America". And there's quite a bit of anecdotal real haunted history evidence to support those most famous haunted House ghost filled claims.

Much of all haunted house lore is often vague, and riddled with urban legends and embellishments. Records exist always of terrible events occurring, but over the decades and even centuries, details are forgotten...new generations are born... and much is lost to time. And so to often the truth is never quite told.

So please read a collection of facts, urban Legends and haunted real ghost filled tales that hauntedamericatours.com has compiled from you, as our devoted Readers selection of the" Top Ten Most Haunted Houses In The United States Of America".

1. LaLaurie House

THE HAUNTED HOUSE OF NEW LEANS THE LALAURIE MANSION

 

The following is excerpted in its entirety from Old New Orleans: Walking Tours of the French Quarter, by Stanley Clisby Arthur, © 1990 by Pelican Publishing Company, Gretna, Louisiana, @ pages 96-99:

 

LALAURIE HOUSE
" 'THE HAUNTED HOUSE’ 1140 Royal Street

The three-story building at the southeast corner of Royal and Governor Nichols street, to some the most famous private residence in old New Orleans, gained its eerie title, ‘The Haunted House,’ from an oft-repeated tale in which spirits of tortured slaves clank their chains during the midnight hours in remembrance of awful punishment meted out to them by their mistress – a high-bred lady of old New Orleans who had been charged with finding an uncanny delight in dealing inhumanly with her slaves.

Like all such tales, the story has grown in ferocity through its countless retellings and the probabilities are that even the original story of over a century ago was a gross exaggeration. It now appears that the mistress of this home was the first victim of yellow journalism in this country and that she was far from being the ‘fiend’ tradition has labeled, or should we say, libeled her. The facts of this ‘strange true story’ are as follows:


The traditional tales of the Vieux Carre have it that this house was built in 1780 by two brothers, Jean and Henri de Remarie, and that such guests as Marshal Michel Ney, Napoleon’s famous commander; the duc d’Orleans, later, Louis Philippe, king of France; and the Marquis de Lafayette have slept in this mansion. But we are compelled to make the pertinent observations that Marshal Ney never came to Louisiana, that Louis Philippe was here in 1798, and that Lafayette visited New Orleans in 1825 – yet the ‘Haunted House’ was not built until 1832!

 

LALAURIE HOUSE KNOEN AS THE MOST HAUNTED HOUSE IN NEW ORLEANS

There are those who denounce historical accuracy when it destroys fallacious tradition … those who claim that a good story must never be sacrificed and crucified on the cross of truth. Much as one admires the colorful tradition of old New Orleans, our mission is to give a factual history of the landmarks of the Vieux Carre. So, to stick to fact, we must point out that the lots upon which the ‘Haunted House’ stands were purchased by Mme Louis Lalaurie, September 12, 1831, from Edmond Soniat du Fossat, and the house then built was not ready for occupancy until the spring of 1832. As it was part of the tract given the Ursuline nuns, this was the first, and only, house built on this particular site.

Mme Lalaurie was one of five children born to Louis Barthelemy Chevalier de Macarty and Marie Jeanne Lovable, two who stood high in the social life of old New Orleans. One of their daughters was christened Marie Delphine Macarty. She first married, on June 11, 1800, Don Ramon de Lopez y Angula, the ceremony being performed at the St. Louis Cathedral by Luis de Penalvery Cardenas, the first bishop of the diocese of Louisiana, and the marriage certificate was signed by the celebrated Fray Antonio de Sedella. The husband was described in this document as Caballero de la Royal de Carlos, Intendent of the Provinces, a native of the community of Regno,Galicia, Spain, and the legitimate son of his Lordship Don Jose Antonio de Lopez y Angula and Dona Ana Fernande de Angule, daughter of Dona Francisca Borja Endecis.

Shortly after the Louisiana Purchase, on March 26, 1804, Delphine Macarty’s husband was recalled to the court of Spain, the letter carrying this royal command stating that the young Spanish officer was ‘to take his place at court as befitting his new position.’ At this time Don Ramon was consul general for Spain in this new American territory. While in Havana, en route to Madrid, Don Ramon suddenly died and a few days later his daughter was born in the Cuban city. This infant was baptized Marie Delphine Borja Lopez y Angula de Candelaria, but she became best known in later years as ‘Borquita,’ meaning ‘little Borja,’ from the fact that she was named after her father’s grandmother.

Left a widow, Delphine Macarty and her baby daughter returned to New Orleans. Four years later, in 1808, she again married, choosing for her husband a prominent banker, merchant, lawyer, and legislator named Jean Blanque, a native of Bearn who had come to Louisiana with Prefect Laussat in 1803. At the time of his marriage, June 16, 1808, Blanque purchased the residence at 409 Royal Street and in this home Delphine became the mother of four other children: Marie Louise Pauline, Louise Marie Laure, Marie Louise Jeanne, and Jean Pierre Paulin Blanque. In that stylish Royal Street home or in the ‘Villa Blanque,’ a charming country place fronting the Mississippi River just below the city limits, Delphine Macarty Blanque divided her time, both places frequented by the socially elect.

Jean Blanque died in 1816, and Delphine Macarty remained a widow until June 12, 1825, when she again married. Her third husband was Dr. Leonard Louis Nicolas Lalaurie, a native of Villeneuse-sur-Lot, France, who came to New Orleans to establish a practice. Borquita, the daughter by her mother’s first marriage, became the wife of Placide Forstall, member of a distinguished Louisiana family, and Jeanne Blanque married Charles Auguste de Lassus, only child of Don Carle de Lassus, former governor of Upper Louisiana, and later governor of the Baton Rouge post of West Florida when they were under Spanish rule.

The Lalaurie mansion was erected in 1832 and for the next two years was the scene of many fashionable affairs, for the Lalauries entertained on an elaborate plan. On the afternoon of April 10, 1834, an aged cook set fire to the house during the absence of her mistress. When neighbors rushed into the mansion to fight the fire and try to save the furniture and other valuables, slaves were found chained in their quarters. Although the fire was extinguished, the indignation of those who found the helpless slaves blazed high and a newspaper editor, Jerome Bayon of the Bee, published a heated account of the happening and quoted those who had investigated the Lalaurie slave quarters. This newspaper account roused public indignation to such a pitch that on April 15 a mob, led by irresponsibles, charged the house and began to wreck it. The rowdies were finally dispersed by a company of United States regulars who had been called out by a helpless sheriff.


During the excitement Madame Lalaurie and her husband took to their carriage and, with their faithful Creole black coachman Bastien on the box, swept through the howling, cursing rabble and, with the horses lashed to a the full gallop, made her way out of the city. It is supposed the carriage reached Bayou St. John where a lake craft was secured, for on April 21, 1834, the Lalauries were in Mandeville, across Lake Pontchartrain, at the home of Louis Coquillon. There Madame Lalaurie signed a power-of-attorney placing her son-in-law Placide Forstall in charge of her affairs, while her husband signed a similar document in favor of his wife’s other son-in-law, Auguste de Lassus. From Mandeville the Lalauries made their way to Mobile, where a ship took them to France.

 

DELPHINE LALAURIES GHOST STILL HAUNTS THE OLD NEW ORLEANS HAUNTED MANSION

Neither Delphine nor her husband ever returned to New Orleans. She remained in Paris, living there honored and respected in spite of the lurid tales that lived after her in New Orleans. Following her death on December 7, 1842, her body was secretly returned to New Orleans and buried in St. Louis No. 1 Cemetery.

The Lalaurie mansion was sold to various owners but the tale that it was ‘haunted’ and the midnight rendezvous for ghosts grew in the telling as only such stories can grow. The principal ‘ghost’ is, according to the most frequently quoted tale, that of a little girl slave who, to escape the whip of her mistress, climbed to the roof and jumped to her death into the courtyard below. Another tale, equally untrue, was that the mistress of the mansion buried all her victims in the courtyard well. The general impression that the place was haunted was sufficient to keep superstitious blacks from passing the house after nightfall.

In the days of Reconstruction following the Civil War, the old Lalaurie mansion became the Lower Girls’ School. During the government of the carpetbaggers, whites and blacks were taught in the same rooms until the formation of ‘The White League’ in 1874, when the white element marched on the house and expelled the black pupils. In the 1880’s the mansion became a conservatory of music. No matter who has lived in it since, or the manner of business that was carried on in the ground-floor stores, the name ‘haunted’ has clung to it in spite of the testimony of those inhabiting the place that ghosts have never disturbed their slumbers.

Tradition has it that the handsome entrance door ‘was hammered out of iron by the slaves Madame Lalaurie kept shackled to the anvil.’ This must be taken with several generous pinches of salt, for the doors is not of iron but wood and the decorations on it were not cared but put on by appliqué, a sort of plastic wood applied and formed as a sculptor would lay on modeling clay. These ornamentations show, in the lower oblong panel, Phoebus in his chariot, lashing his griffins. Scattered over the door are urns, flowers, trumpet-blowing angels, a beribboned lyre, an American eagle bearing on its breast the shield of the Union, leaves, scrolls, and whatnots – a marvelous example of some unknown craftsman’s art. To save the door from the knives of souvenir-hunters, one owner painted it a dingy brown-black.
LALAURIE HOUSE HAUNTED ENTRANCE

George W. Cable’s Strange Stories of Louisiana, and Judge Henry C. Castellanos’ New Orleans As It Was, contain full accounts of the Lalaurie episode. My account, differing in many respects from those of these earlier writers, is based on recently found documents, notarial acts, and family documents.”
Delphine LaLaurie and her third husband, Leonard LaLaurie, took up residence in the house at 1140 Royal Street sometime in the 1830's. The pair immediately became the darlings of the gay New Orleans social scene that at the time was experiencing the birth of ragtime, the slave dances and rituals of Congo Square, the reign of the Mighty Marie Laveau, and the advent of the bittersweet Creole Balls. Madame LaLaurie hosted fantastic events in her beautiful home that were talked about months afterward. She was described as sweet and endearing in her ways, and her husband was nothing if not highly respected within the community.

At the same time, it is said, Madame’s friendship with infamous Voodoo Queen, Marie Laveau, began to grow. Laveau lived not far from LaLaurie’s Royal Street home and the two women became acquainted when Laveau did Madame’s hair occasionally. It is said that under Laveau’s tutelage, Madame LaLaurie began to act upon her latent interest in the occult, learning the secrets of voodoo and witchcraft at the hands of a might mistress of the craft.

There are reported incidents of people seeing, feeling and hearing the ghosts of tormented slaves in the LaLaurie home, and there are even reports of the Madame herself being seen there. The docile house servants who entreated the assistance of outsiders when the house was about to burn to the ground are said to often return to their task - running and slamming doors and shouts are heard repeatedly. Nor are the spirits of the restless dead quiet: the reports of moans and weeping outnumber all others. Furniture moves about by itself, people feel the touch of unseen hands, and there are several who have seen the ghostly faces of the dead peering from the upper windows and the chamber of horrors that became the crucible of their miserable lives.

New Orleans is one of the oldest and most multi-faceted cities in the United States, and there are other tales, similar to those of the LaLaurie home that, sadly, have made their way into our history. But the gruesome horror of this particular event was so ghastly that it stains the city's memory to this very day.

More Info and links on New Orleans Most Haunted House , the Lalaurie House, New Orleans Louisiana "One of the Most Haunted Cities in America".

Breaking News, Top Stories »

Actor Nicolas Cage can no longer call New Orleans home after property auction

By Rebecca Mowbray, The Times-Picayune

November 12, 2009, 6:07PM

Actor Nicolas Cage can no longer call New Orleans home.

Cage AuctionTed Jackson / The Times-PicayunePeople gather to bid on homes up for action by the Orleans Parish Civil Sheriff's office, including two that belonged to actor Nicholas Cage, Thursday, November 12, 2009.The Academy Award-winning actor, whose life has been in financial meltdown for the past year, lost his French Quarter and Garden District homes at foreclosure auction Thursday.

cagehouse.jpgThe Times-PicayuneThis home on Prytania Street is one of two fomerly owned by actor Nicolas Cage that were auctioned off Thursday. His lender, Regions Bank, purchased the homes for a collective $4.5 million, or two-thirds the value that appraisers hired by the Birmingham, Ala.- bank had determined they were worth.

No other bids were registered for the properties.

Cage, whose father died Oct. 27, did not come to the lunchtime auction in the lobby of the Orleans Parish Civil District Court, nor did it appear that any representatives attended on his behalf.

With the sale, the cash-strapped City of New Orleans will collect $151,729 in unpaid property taxes.

Cage has listed homes for sale around the world as he has found himself mired in debt amid declining real estate values, and the Internal Revenue Service is pursuing him for $6.6 million in unpaid taxes. But while homes in England, Germany, the Bahamas, Rhode Island, Los Angeles and Las Vegas have either been listed for sale or recently unloaded, the New Orleans homes appear to be his first lost at sheriff's auction.

Annett Wolf, Cage's publicist, did not return a phone call seeking comment.

Evelyn Mitchell, corporate communications manager for Regions Bank, declined to comment, saying that her bank doesn't discuss its loans or real estate.

Cage has blamed his problems on his former business manager, Samuel J. Levin. In mid-October, he sued Levin in state court in California, alleging negligence and breach of fiduciary duty.

The suit claims that Levin "lined his pockets with several million dollars in business management fees while sending Cage down a path toward financial ruin," and that Cage "is now forced to sell major assets and investments at a significant loss and is faced with huge tax liabilities because of Levin's incompetence, misrepresentations and recklessness."

Levin has not returned phone calls seeking comment.

Regions Bank's purchase of the 2523 Prytania Street and 1140 Royal Street homes for $4.5 million goes a long way toward satisfying the $5.5 million in unpaid mortgage debts on the homes. The bank is free to continue pursuing Hancock Park Real Estate Co., the entity that owned Cage's properties, for the $1 million difference. Meanwhile, it can try to sell the homes at their market value to raise money.

Because Regions Bank filed its lien on the properties before the IRS did, it was able to get the properties. The sale of the homes does not extinguish Cage's debts to the IRS.

RTA Chairman and attorney Cesar Burgos was on hand for the auction. Hehad said he was interested in the properties, but did not place a bid after the $2.2 million floor on the 13,200 square-foot Prytania Street property was announced.

Sheriff Paul Valteau said he's not surprised that no one bid against the bank on Cage's properties.

Bidders must have cash or a cashier's check to cover 10 percent of the purchase price at the auction.

"Generally, on large properties you don't see third parties bidding," Valteau said, adding that the secret to foreclosure auctions is bidding at a level higher than what the bank's interest is, but below the market value.

Properties in some stage of foreclosure in Orleans Parish are on the rise.

According to national foreclosure data released Thursday by RealtyTrac, the number of homes in New Orleans that are somewhere between receiving a notice of default from the lender to having been sold at auction jumped to 332. That's an increase of 68 percent from September, when 198 homes were in some stage of foreclosure, and an increase of 89 percent from October 2008, when 175 homes were somewhere in the foreclosure process.

The 10,300-square foot Royal Street property, known as the Lalaurie mansion, was appraised by Regions bank at $3.3 million.

During an 2008 interview with David Letterman, Cage boasted that the house was "allegedly the most severely haunted house in the United States of America."

According to the Haunted New Orleans website, Dr. Louis Lalaurie and his wife, Delphine, moved in in 1832 and quickly became known as a glittering couple.

But Madame Lalaurie was allegedly cruel to her slaves, keeping the cook, for instance, chained to the kitchen fireplace.

Outsiders started to get an idea of the horror when a neighbor saw Madame Lalaurie chasing a girl with a whip to the roof of the house. The girl jumped to her death and was buried in the backyard.

Whispers about these goings-on continued until April 1834, when a fire in the house confirmed the rumors.

Legend has it that when firefighters went inside after extinguishing the flames, they found a barred door to the attic, where more than a dozen slaves were kept in chains. Some were in cages.

Eventually, a mob formed outside the house. A carriage zipped out of the gates and into the night. The Lalauries never were seen again.

The next owner said he heard strange noises and groans in the house. He moved out after three months.

"Some people have beach-front property," Cage said in the Letterman interview. "I have ghost-front property."

Staff writer John Pope contributed to this story.

Rebecca Mowbray can be reached at rmowbray@timespicayune.com or 504.826.341

 

2. The Whaley House
WHALEY HOUSE

Located in San Diego, California, the Whaley House has earned the title of "the most haunted house in the U.S. Built in 1857 by Thomas Whaley on land that was partially once a cemetery, the house has since been the locus of dozens of ghost sightings.

Author deTraci Regula relates her experiences with the house: "Over the years, while dining across the street at the Old Town Mexican Cafe, I became accustomed to noticing that the shutters of the second-story windows [of the Whaley House] would sometimes open while we ate dinner, long after the house was closed for the day.

On a recent visit, I could feel the energy in several spots in the house, particularly in the courtroom, where I also smelled the faint scent of a cigar, supposedly Whaley's calling-card. In the hallway, I smelled perfume, initially attributing that to the young woman acting as docent, but some later surreptitious sniffing in her direction as I talked to her about the house revealed her to be scent-free."

A WHALEY HOUSE GHOST?

The Whaley House is a two-story Greek Revival style brick residence in San Diego's Old Town, was designed by Thomas Whaley and completed in 1857. The home, acclaimed as the "finest new brick block in Southern California" by the San Diego Herald, contained mahogany and rosewood furniture, damask drapes, and Brussels carpets. Whaley established his general store in this residence, and solicited cash customers only. The Whaleys moved to San Francisco but returned to San Diego in 1868. Whaley family members would live in the house for nearly a century.

From October 1868 to January 1869, the Tanner Troupe Theatre operated out of the front upstairs bedroom. The San Diego County Courthouse utilized the former granary in August 1869 and rented three upstairs rooms for records storage. After the establishment of New Town San Diego by Alonzo Horton in 1868, the town focus changed to present day downtown San Diego. During a March 1871 raid, courthouse documents were removed from the Whaley House and taken to Horton’s Hall on 6th and F in San Diego. After the County’s exit, Whaley connected the former granary and courtroom to the residence, changed windows and doors, and altered the front portico.

On October 31, 1956, the County of San Diego purchased the historic Whaley House, and undertook a major renovation of the property, which is still evident today. In September of 2000 Save Our Heritage Organization assumed the stewardship of the property for the County of San Diego and is in the progress of restoring the house to its original appearance.

THE VERY HAUNTED WHALEY HOUSE

Some of the other ghostly encounters include: the spirit of a young girl who was accidentally hanged on the property; the ghost of Yankee Jim Robinson, a thief who was clubbed to death and who can be heard on the house's stairway where he died, and has sometimes been seen during tours of the old house; the red-haired daughter of the Whaley's sometimes appears in such a realistic form, she is sometimes mistaken for a live child. Famed psychic Sybil Leek claimed to have sensed several spirits there, and renowned ghost hunter Hanz Holzer considered the Whaley to be one of the most reliably haunted structures in the United States.

Group Tour Fee Schedule & Procedures

Daytime Groups:
Includes School Groups, Senior Groups, Prearranged Groups of Children, Disadvantaged or Disabled Groups.
Minimum 15 people: $2.50 per person. Call (619) 297-9327 for reservations.

Nighttime 1-Hour Private Tour with Ghost Tour Docent
$75 per person, minimum 2 people, maximum 15 people
Larger groups must submit proposal via email to group@whaleyhouse.org
After 1 hour: $100/hour per couple. Call (619) 297-9327 for reservations
More info on the haunted Whaley House and links

 

3. The Winchester House

WINCHESTER HOUSE

There have been a number of strange events reported at the totally unique Winchester House for many years and they still continue to be reported today. This Haunting makes the top ten in the USA , Number 4 Haunted House in America.

In 1884, a wealthy widow named Sarah L. Winchester began a construction project of such magnitude that it was to occupy the lives of carpenters and craftsmen until her death thirty-eight years later. The Victorian mansion, designed and built by the Winchester Rifle heiress, is filled with so many unexplained oddities, that it has come to be known as the Winchester Mystery House.

Sarah Winchester built a home that is an architectural marvel. Unlike most homes of its era, this 160-room Victorian mansion had modern heating and sewer systems, gas lights that operated by pressing a button, three working elevators, and 47 fireplaces. From rambling roofs and exquisite hand inlaid parquet floors to the gold and silver chandeliers and Tiffany art glass windows, you will be impressed by the staggering amount of creativity, energy, and expense poured into each and every detail.

 

Many many psychics have visited the Haunted house, most have come away actually convinced, that Sarah Winchester and many other tormented spirits still wander the Great maze of rooms.

In the years that the house has been open to the public, employees and visitors alike have had one to many unusual encounters with ghost. There have been the sounds of haunted footsteps; etheral music and many a banging doors; too often one hears mysterious echoing ghostly voices; several unexplainable cold spots; strange moving lights and orbs in ghost photos; witnesses have seen doorknobs that turn by themselves... and don’t forget the scores of people who have their own claims of phenomena to report but just are to afraid to do it.

Tour through 110 of the 160 rooms and look for the bizarre phenomena that gave the mansion its name; a window built into the floor, staircases leading to nowhere, a chimney that rises four floors, doors that open onto blank walls, and upside down posts! No one has been able to explain the mysteries that exist within the Winchester Mansion, or why Sarah Winchester kept the carpenters' hammers pounding 24 hours a day for 38 years. It is believed that after the untimely deaths of her baby daughter and husband, son of the Winchester Rifle manufacturer, Mrs. Winchester was convinced by a medium that continuous building would appease the evil spirits of those killed by the famous "Gun that Won the West" and help her attain eternal life. Certainly her $20,000,000 inheritance was sufficient to support her obsession until her death at 82!

The Behind-the-Scenes Tour is a guided tour which takes guests into areas which had been unexplored for over 75 years. On tour you will learn how Mrs. Winchester's 160-acre estate functioned. You will go into the stables, dehydrator, Plumber's workshop, the unfinished Ballroom, and one of the basements.

WINCHESTER STAIRWAY TO HEAVEN?

 

You will also learn about Victorian architecture as your guide points out the many features used in the building of the Winchester mansion. Safety hats will be worn on the tour. The Behind-the-Scenes Tour is limited to those 10 and older. Sorry, due to safety concerns, children 9 and under and babies are not permitted.

The Winchester Firearms Museum

The "Gun that Won the West" is the main attraction in the Firearms Museum, one of the largest Winchester Rifle collections on the West Coast. See the collection of guns that preceded the famous Winchester Rifle, including B. Tyler Henry's 1860 repeating rifle that Oliver Winchester adapted and improved upon to produce his first repeating rifle, the Winchester Model 1866. Learn about the Model 1873 which came to be called the "Gun that Won the West." See a collection of the Limited Edition Winchester Commemorative Rifles including the Centennial '66, the Theodore Roosevelt, and the renowned John Wayne.

The Winchester Antique Products Museum

This museum contains a rare collection of antique products once manufactured by the Winchester Products Company, a subsidiary of the Winchester Repeating Arms Company. In the years following World War I, the parent company launched a Post-war Program, aimed at expanding the manufacture of new products in order to fill the factory space previously used for military production. At one time there were 6,300 individually owned Winchester stores carrying these products, which made it the largest hardware chain store organization in the world! The museum now displays items produced in the 1920's ranging from Winchester cutlery, flashlights, lawn-mowers, boy's wagons, fishing tackle and roller skates, to food choppers, electric irons, and farm and garden tools.

For more information about the Mystery House, see the rather longer review of it in my magazine, Emerald City. There is also a review of Tim Powers's excellent book, Earthquake Weather, which uses the Mystery House and various other spooky Bay Area buildings for settings.

More info and links on the Winchester Mystery House
525 South Winchester Boulevard
San Jose, California

http://www.hauntedamericatours.com/hauntedhouses/winchesterhouse/

http://www.winchestermysteryhouse.com/

 

4.The Stranahan House

STRANAHAN HOUSE

The Stranahan House, Built in 1906, for Pioneer Floridian Frank Stranahan, This is one of Haunted Fort Lauderdale's most haunted houses. Built in 1906, for Pioneer Floridian Frank Stranahan. Experts have analyzed the unexplained events at the Stranahan House and have determined they are "Unexplainable"!

Stranahan House, located in downtown Fort Lauderdale on the New River, has been the site most closely associated with both the founding of the City and its economic and social development. Frank Stranahan originally selected the site because it was where he operated his barge ferry across the river as part of the new road from Lantana to what is now North Miami. Today, Stranahan House is the eastern anchor of River Walk, a linear waterfront park connecting Fort Lauderdale's historic district with the soon to be created cultural district anchored by the Performing Arts Center and the Museum of Discovery and Science.

FRANK STRANAHAN

The Haunted Stranahan House has served as a trading post, post office, bank and town hall. Restored to its 1913, it's a "must see" in Haunted South Florida.

Frank Stranahan was born in Vienna, Ohio August 21, 1864. In 1890, he relocated to South Florida for health reasons, settling first in Melbourne. Moving again in 1893, Stranahan relocated to Fort Lauderdale to assume management of the overland mail route from Lantana to Coconut Grove.

Stranahan established the first post office in Fort Lauderdale, and the location also became a popular trading post and ferry service. By 1895, Stranahan’s Trading Post was a well-known South Florida landmark. Stranahan also established the first banking institution in Fort Lauderdale and financed the construction of the first road from the New River to Miami. He became one of the largest land owners in the area but gave away large portions of his land for public welfare, including sites for the memorial Hospital and Stranahan Park.

Frank Stranahan married the lovely Ivy Cromartie and used his newly acquired wealth to build her a home whose charm and beauty would endure into the 21st century. Today Stranahan’s labor of love serves as a unique – and haunted – museum.

Stranahan died in the city on June 23, 1929 but his life story had a sad end. Legend tells that he committed suicide after having sunk into financial ruin in 1927 when he lost most of his wealth and holdings in the aftermath of a devastating hurricane and then being further victimized by the arrival of the Great Depression. Stranahan lost a battle with depression, compounded by the fact that it was not only his own money and assets that were lost, but also those of his family and friends who had entrusted their life savings to his financial management.

Stranahan's demise was his own doing and remains an oddly unique departure: He methodically strapped a large iron gate to his ankle and threw himself into the nearby Inter coastal Waterway. The weight of the gate assured that he would not be able to alter his course of action even if he had wanted to. But many say that Stranahan may have found his way back to the home he knew in life, returning as a ghost from the watery depths that claimed him.

The Haunted house itself, was built of Dade County pine, is an example of Florida vernacular architecture in a tropical wilderness setting. Expanded and renovated numerous times, it is presently restored to its 1913-1915 configuration. At that time the Stranahan's seven year old home had electric wiring, indoor plumbing and running water, interior stairways, bay windows and wide porches.

All woodwork, flooring and paneling have been refinished and the exterior repainted in the original white with green trim. A new roof, a prototype for other historical properties, was completed in 1996 and meets current hurricane specifications. Many, but not all, of the original furnishings were either sold or given away over the years, and the house is furnished with examples of period Victorian furniture and decorative pieces. And some say this has brought many of the hauntings and ghost back to the house.

 

Locals say that Frank Stranahan is still in residence at the home he built with such loving care. Reports of strange apparitions and ghostly noises have come from rattle staff members. Because Stranahan is considered one of the founding fathers of Fort Lauderdale, ghostly happenings at his former residence still make the news. Reports about the Haunted Stranahan House have been featured on local radio stations and in the local newspaper, the Sun-Sentinel News.

But its not just Frank Stranahan who remains an unseen resident at this historic haunted home. As many as six family members have died in the house. The ghost of Ivy Cromartie Stranahan, who died in an upstairs bedroom in 1971, is reported to appear accompanied by the strong scent of an antique fragrance. The uneasy ghost of her father, Augustus Cromartie, who died in that same bedroom years before, is reported to make his presence known on occasion; other ghostly residents include Ivy’s brother and sister and the apparition of an Indian servant girl seen outside the rear of the building.

IVY STRANAHAN

IVY STRANAHAN

Reports of unearthly activities are made by employees, guests and visitors from time to time. Even vagrants who used to habitually sleep on the expansive exterior porch area (now fenced off) reportedly didn’t have to wait for employees or security guards to drive them away. Accounts from the squatters tell of encounters with an angry spirit who shows his displeasure by banging on the walls of the building preventing the vagrants from getting any rest. One homeless man reported being chased away from the home by an unseen but angry spirit that only broke off the pursuit once the vagrant had reached the property line.

The third floor attic space is the site of much activity. Employees who sometimes have to go to the attic have reported the presence of a spirit in the area and sometimes the cold touch of a hand upon their back. Reports seem to support the contention that this is the ghost of Ivy Cromartie Stranahan attempting to assure that the employee does not fall from the attic. Apparently, the possibility of an employee being injured was one of Ivy’s great fears in this area. In the bedroom where Ivy died, the beds are made and re-made. Every time the bed is straightened the housekeeping staff will inevitably return the next day to find an imprint as if someone had sat down and steadied themselves with a heavy hand on the bed. This occurs even though the bedroom is off limits most of the day, and the last staff members to be in the room work the evening shift.

Guided tours of the Haunted Stranahan House are available! For more information on the Stranahan House or other Haunted Fort Lauderdale ghost filled destinations.

More info and links on the Haunted Stranahan House

The Ghosts of Stranahan house are widely known in Fort Lauderdale since Frank is considered one of the founding fathers. News coverage of the ghosts are mentioned in the Sun-Sentinel News and have been featured on radio programs. Investigations happen from time to time, and reports from employees, guests are more then very common.

www.hauntedamericatours.com/hauntedstates/hauntedflorida/hauntedfortlauderdale/

Haunted Stranahan House

www.stranahanhouse.com

www.fortlauderdaleghosttour.com

 

 

5. The White House

 

WHITE HOUSE GHOSTS
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, D.C. is not only home to the current President of the United States, it also is home of several former presidents who occasionally decide to make their presences known there, despite the fact that they are dead.

Americans have long enjoyed telling scary ghost stories. From the ghost of Abigail Adams doing her laundry in the East Room to the spirit of Dolly Madison overlooking the Rose Garden, the White House has its own legend of ghost stories that have been passed down over the years.

There is a story of a British soldier who died on the White House grounds during the war of 1812 in 1814. The British came through Washington in 1814 during the war of 1812 and burned all of the federal buildings in Washington, including the White House. A number of years ago, when a restoration project of the exterior stone walls of the residence, restores found scorch marks around the windows and doors that were deep into the stone and were obviously part of the damage from this fire in 1814. It is said that some people have seen a ghost of a British soldier with a torch in his hand.

Members of the staff, who have worked in the White House for many years, recently shared some of their stories of strange noises in the White House, sightings of President Abraham Lincoln's ghost and many, many more.

After Lincoln's assassination in April 1865, Mary Todd Lincoln attempted to stay in contact with her dead husband through private readings and seances. Whether she achieved genuine communication with the late president will never be known. Mary also visited the studio of William Mumler, a Boston engraver who claimed to photograph the dead. This photo (right) of Mary with the ghostly Lincoln was the result of her sitting with Mumler.

In 1869, Mumler was arrested for public fraud, larceny, and obtaining money under false pretenses. The highly-publicized trial ended in dismissal for lack of evidence. Was Mumler a fraud? Probably, although many of his sitters claimed to recognize loved ones in Mumler's photos who had never been photographed in life. Others claimed that some of the "spirits" in his pictures had been identified as living models.

For further research on Mumler and his "spirit" images, visit the American Museum of Photography's The Mumler Mystery. This site includes many examples of Mumler's carte de visites with background on each image.

MARY TODD LINCOLN AND ABE'S GHOST, PHOTO BY MUMMLER.

 

Another popular legend is that of Dolley Madison coming back during the Wilson Administration when Mrs. Wilson wanted the rose garden dug up. Dolley's ghost arrived, supposedly, and told them not to disturb her garden.

President Harrisons' ghost is said to be heard rummaging around in the attic of the White House, looking for who knows what.

President Andrew Jackson's' ghost is thought to haunt his White House bedroom. And the ghost of First Lady Abigail Adams was seen floating through one of the White House hallways, as if carrying something in her hands.

Mrs. Mary Todd Lincoln held real seances in the White House, it was said she would try and recall the spirit of their dead son Willie who died in the White House during his father's Presidency. After Willie's death, Mrs. Lincoln was seated at a table and held the seance in the green room to try and contact Willie's spirit.

Legend has it that Mary Lincoln reported hearing Andrew Jacksons' ghost walk around the halls of the White House and supposedly swearing up a storm.

The most frequently sighted presidential ghost has been that of Abraham Lincoln. Eleanor Roosevelt once stated she believed she felt the presence of Lincoln watching her as she worked in the Lincoln bedroom. Also during the Roosevelt administration, a young clerk claimed to have actually seen the ghost of Lincoln sitting on a bed pulling off his boots. On another occasion, while spending a night at the White House during the Roosevelt presidency, Queen Wilhelmina of the Netherlands was awakened by a knock on the bedroom door. Answering it, she was confronted with the ghost of Abe Lincoln staring at her from the hallway. Calvin Coolidge's wife reported seeing on several occasions the ghost of Lincoln standing with his hands clasped behind his back, at a window in the Oval Office, staring out in deep contemplation toward the bloody battlefields across the Potomac.

www.whitehouse.gov/ghosts

 

6. Congelier House

Formerly known as the Most Haunted House in America, Pittsburgh, PA, the home of carpetbagger Charles Wright Congelier, his Mexican wife Lyda, and a young servant girl, Essie, was located at 1129 Ridge Avenue, in the Manchester, North Side, neighborhood of Pittsburgh. The story of its life as a haunted house begins in the winter of 1871, with Lyda's discovery of Charles having an affair with the maid. Lyda was so enraged, that she fatally stabbed Charles and chopped off Essie's head.

CONGELIER HOUSE GHOSTS

For the next 20 years the house remained vacant. It was remodeled to accommodate railroad workers in 1892, but they soon moved out, claiming to hear the sobbing and screaming of a woman. The Most Haunted House in America once again stood vacant.

Around 1900, Dr. Adolph C. Brunrichter bought the home. "Keeping to himself, the doctor was rarely seen by his neighbors. Then on August 12, 1901, the family next door heard a terrifying scream from the Brunrichter residence," wrote Richard Winer and Nancy Osborn in their book, Haunted Houses. "When they ran outside to investigate, the neighbors saw a red explosion-like flash shooting through the house. The earth under them trembled, and the sidewalls cracked. Every window in the doctor's home was shattered."

When officials entered the house to investigate, they found a decomposed female body strapped to the bed and five headless young women in basement graves. "Dr. Brunrichter had been experimenting with severed heads," wrote Winer and Osborn. "Apparently he had been able to keep some alive for short periods after decapitation." Dr. Brunrichter, meanwhile, had disappeared, and the house once again stood vacant.

As a result of its reputation for being haunted, the house stood empty for several years before undergoing its second remodeling to ready it for housing emigrant Equitable Gas Company workers. These workers experienced many strange occurrences but wrote them off as pranks by the American workers they had replaced (for lower wages). One night things took a tragic turn, however, and two of the workers were found dead in the basement. One had a board driven like a stake through his chest, and the other was hanging from a rafter. These men had both been seen alive just minutes earlier.

In 1920, the famous scientist and inventor, Thomas Edison, came to study the house. Edison spoke of a machine that he was building to allow communication with the dead. Edison died before the mechanism was perfected. Winer and Osborn wrote that Thomas Edison's visit to the house at 1129 Ridge Avenue apparently influenced his strong belief in the afterlife. THOMAS EDSION

In September of 1927, a drunk was arrested who claimed to be Dr. Adolph Brunrichter. He told police gruesome stories of sex orgies, demonic possession, torture and murder that had occurred in the house. The authorities could not determine if the man they had in custody was indeed Dr. Brunrichter. The man was released after a month and was never seen again.

Days were numbered for the haunted house which everyone was convinced was evil. Nearby, on the site that is now the Carnegie Science Center, stood the largest natural gas storage facility in the world. On the morning of November 15, 1927, the giant gas storage tank owned by the Equitable Gas Company exploded with an awesome force which was felt across the county. The Story of Old Allegheny City, compiled by workers of the Writers' Program of the Works Projects Administration, describes the destruction. "As houses collapsed and chimneys toppled, brick, broken glass, twisted pieces of steel and other debris rained on the heads of the dazed and shaken residents who had rushed into the streets from their wrecked homes, believing that an earthquake had visited the city." The force was so strong it reportedly blew out windows throughout downtown, Mt. Washington, and as far away as East Liberty. Dozens of manufacturing plants and hundreds of homes were damaged or destroyed within a 20-mile radius.

The Most Haunted House in America, which once stood at the present day site of the Route 65/I279 interchange, was obliterated in the explosion. According to Winer and Osborn, it was the only structure destroyed in the blast for which no trace was ever found. The area is still haunted by this ghost house, some often tell of a strange house that appears to be solid then just vanishes into thin air.

According to a family member, Robert Frederick Congelier, the house stood for several years after the disaster and was only torn down to make way for the freeway and the redevelopment of the area.

 

7. FRANKLIN CASTLE


Cleveland's Franklin Castle has the distinction of being known as Ohio's most Haunted House. The historic Franklin Castle located at 4308 Franklin Boulevard in Cleveland, Ohio.

FRANKLIN CASTLE

The Tiedemann Legends

The majority of the ghost stories and legends about the Castle stem from the tenancy of its builders. Whether it is a fair description or not, history has painted Hannes Tiedemann as overbearing and dominating, at best. At worst, as a cruel and temperamental monster of a man, capable of the worst crimes of passion. A number of murders have been attributed to him for generations, though as far as I can tell he was never formally accused during his lifetime, let alone tried or convicted. Nonetheless, it is considered to be a fact that he was responsible for the deaths of at least two women in his household: his daughter and a servant.

HANNES TIEDEMANN

The accounts of the murders vary, of course. According to some, the 15-year-old daughter, Emma, (whose official cause of death is allegedly diabetes) was found hanging in the rafters. Another story has the dead girl being Tiedemann's 13-year-old niece, who was killed for being either promiscuous or insane... which could be synonymous for a teenaged girl in the 1880s. Yet others make her Hannes' illegitimate daughter, Karen. Some say the girl (whichever girl she might be) had been caught in bed with his grandson... which makes an interesting tale, except that it is rather unlikely that he could have had a grandson old enough to be sleeping with anyone's daughter, illegitimate or not, in 1881, because Hannes was only 48.

The stories say that the murdered servant girl was either hacked to death with an axe in a front turret window on her wedding day in a fit of Tiedemann jealousy (with the neighbors hearing each whack of the axe from outside), or perhaps she was strangled in her bed when Hannes bound and gagged her upon learning of her engagement to another man and her intention to leave him. Another version has him tying her up and gagging her before shooting her to death. Some speculate that you can still hear choking sounds in the room where she was killed, but I haven't heard any other references to such sounds.

The stories also tell of the death of Tiedemann's mother, Weibeka, and of several other young children in the family of various childhood illnesses, though there is always an underlying doubt about natural causes. Some speculate that Tiedemann killed his wife, as well-- with poison-- though it sounds to me like Luise died of liver failure, probably drinking herself to death rather than live with the unpleasant Hannes.

 

The German Socialist Legends

Considering the Castle was used as a party house rather than a residence during the German Socialist years, it doesn't really surprise me that there aren't many stories from this time. One story I've heard repeatedly is the tale of twenty people being machine-gunned down in a hidden room. The strange thing is, in none of the stories have I heard conclusively who the Nazi spy was: the machine-gunner or one of his victims. It's also a little suspect that there are no newspaper articles (yet... admittedly, I haven't researched thoroughly) about this mass murder.

Some say the German Socialists were doing some sort of spying from the house during the war-- a German short-wave radio was found in the rafters of the fourth floor-- but I've yet to figure out if they were broadcasting or intercepting broadcasts, who they were spying on, and who exactly they were really spying for.

 

The Romano Legends

When the Romanos moved in, things apparently got weird right away. The stories say that on the first day the family moved in, several of their children (there were five total) went to play on the fourth floor. They returned a while later and told their mother of their new playmate, a little girl who dressed and talked strangely, and who refused to leave the upstairs. The continued to play with the girl for quite a while, but could never get her to come downstairs.

Meanwhile, Mrs. Romano was apparently developing quite a bond with Mrs. Tiedemann. Both women had five children, including twin boys. They slept in the same room of the house. And perhaps Luise chose Mrs. Romano to be the protector of the house. Mrs. Romano apparently often felt possessed in the house, felt that Luise was using her to keep the house's secrets. She said that the spirits were friendly, protective of her and the children, and that she had made a pact with them to protect the Castle.

A variety of investigators visited the house during the Romanos' stay. A team of researchers from the Northeast Ohio Psychical Research Society visited the house, and in the middle of the investigations one member of the team fled and vowed to never return. A writer saw a strange ectoplasm cloud and felt dizzy to the point of passing out when she approached it. A Catholic priest refused to perform an exorcism, telling the family that he sensed an evil presence, and that the spirits were not to be trusted-- that they were only being friendly to Mrs. Romano until they had her in their grasp-- and that they should move out immediately.

The family did move out after Mrs. Romano's ghostly friend warned her of an impending death in the family... but unfortunately, the move did not prevent it: it happened just as the spirits had warned.

These are the FACTS about the Franklin Castle and its first resident. Everything that you have read about Tiedemann ownership is correct to the best of my knowledge. I'm certain that many aspects of it may seem boring and only interesting to anyone who's really into genealogy and early Cleveland Ohio History, but it is all part of the haunted history, tragedy and life of a fascinating family who arrived in this country as immigrants only to leave an enduring American legacy to succeeding generations...

Franklin Castle Story and Photos By William Krejci

These are the FACTS about the Franklin Castle and its first resident. Everything that you have read about Tiedemann ownership is correct to the best of my knowledge. I'm certain that many aspects of it may seem boring and only interesting to anyone who's really into genealogy and early Cleveland Ohio History, but it is all part of the haunted history, tragedy and life of a fascinating family who arrived in this country as immigrants only to leave an enduring American legacy to succeeding generations... /www.hauntedamericatours.com/hauntedhouses/franklincastle

 

The Muscatello Legends

Sam Muscatello, the next owner after the Romanos, was very enthusiatic about owning a haunted house. He started selling guided tours of the Castle, inviting visitors to share their haunting experiences. He also invited local media into the house. One story from this time involves John Webster, who was doing an on-air radio special about the house, and had a tape recorder ripped from his shoulder and flung down the stairs. A television reporter at that time also reported seeing spinning chandeliers and feeling a general sense that the supernatural was at work.

It was Muscatello who discovered some of the secret rooms (like the hidden still from Prohibition) and the gruesome discovery of human bones in the walls. Of course, some speculate that he should not have been too upset about the bones... considering he placed them there, in a stunt to attract attention. Others think the bones were medical specimens. Some said they were all babies, butchered in recent times. Many believe they might have been more of Tiedemann's victims, or perhaps more Tiedemann children who had died in infancy. The Coroner allegedly determined that they were old bones, but offered no further solution to the riddle.

 

Architectural Legends

There are numerous stories of a mysterious trapdoor entrance to a tunnel which runs north from the back of the house. Some say it runs a great distance and then dead-ends abruptly. Some speculate that it ran all the way to Lake Erie (in the pre-Shoreway days when the land had not been filled out into the lake) for bootlegging or smuggling purposes. I even met a man who claimed to have worked in the Castle for haunted houses a decade or so ago and says that he went into this tunnel. Well, so far no tunnel for me. The floor in one back room does sound rather hollow, though, and there is a mysterious cemented-over area in the floor of the carriage house. I think I'll hold off on renting a jackhammer until I can do more research, though.

How many rooms are there? The count varies from 21 to30-something, depending on which story you read. It was listed with the realtor as having 25. I guess it depends on what you consider a separate room and how big a hidden space has to be to achieve Room status. I honestly don't know. I haven't counted. Besides, it's more fun to answer, "I'm not sure" when people ask.

There are also numerous reports of the house being riddled with secret passageways and hidden rooms. Some say Mrs. Tiedemann installed them to sneak past her husband and see her children secretly. Some say the German spies added them. All I'll say is this: they do exist. But if I told you anything about them, they wouldn't be secret anymore, now would they?


FRANKLIN CASTLE

Other Ghost Stories
Many people have reported seeing a woman in black in an upstairs turret room, just standing and staring out the window (if you saw a woman sometime in the summer of 1999 in the window and she was washing the window, that probably was not a ghost, but me or one of my friends. I've yet to hear any stories about the ghosts doing housework. I think I have inadvertently tormented quite a few pedestrians and people in cars stopped at the light by merely standing in a window)

Lights turn on and off, chandeliers spin, doors open and close, mirrors fog, doorbells ring. Mysterious sounds come from the walls-- everything from muttering voices to babies crying. Past visitors have reported feeling possessed or overtaken with another personality. There are cold spots, and times when whole rooms turn icy spontaneously. And there is one particular space where I always feel... something. Not necessarily something bad, just... something there. Many other people have felt similar strange feelings on that same spot.

MORE ON THE FRANKLIN CASTLE

Franklin Castle Story and Photos By William Krejci

These are the FACTS about the Franklin Castle and its first resident. Everything that you have read about Tiedemann ownership is correct to the best of my knowledge. I'm certain that many aspects of it may seem boring and only interesting to anyone who's really into genealogy and early Cleveland Ohio History, but it is all part of the haunted history, tragedy and life of a fascinating family who arrived in this country as immigrants only to leave an enduring American legacy to succeeding generations... /www.hauntedamericatours.com/hauntedhouses/franklincastle

 

 

http://www.franklincastle.com/

http://www.franklincastleclub.com/

http://www.forgottenoh.com/franklin.html

http://www.franklincastleclub.com/press_release.html

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT:
Charles Milsaps
4308 Franklin Boulevard
Cleveland, OH 44113
216-631-CLUB
info@franklincastleclub.com

 

8. Hull House

THE LEGEND OF HULL HOUSE LIVES TO THIS VERY DAY.

Hull House was constructed by Charles J. Hull at Halsted and Polk Streets in 1856 at a time when this was one of the most fashionable sections of the city. After the Chicago Fire of 1871. In the 1880's, Hull House was surrounded by factories and tenement houses and soon after, became one of the most famous places in Chicago.

A black and white infrared picture taken at Hull House in downtown Chicago, Illinois by Dale Kaczmarek in November of 1980. This is enlarged blowup of the interior staircase of this most haunted house in Chicago. There was nothing visible to the naked eye when the photograph was taken but what appears are four distinct shadowy monk-like figures standing on the bottom four or five steps. The one directly in the middle appears to be dressed in monk's habit with his two hands together in prayer. There are two other figures to the left of the center monk and one to the right superimposed on the banister which apparently has no head!

HULL HOUSE


Although it was never originally to be known as a "haunted house"... it would not be unscathed by stories of ghosts and the supernatural.

Jane Addams died in 1935 but the Hull House Association continued her work at the settlement house until the 1960's. At that time, the property was purchased by the University of Illinois, bringing an end to one of Chicago's greatest achievements in social reform.

THE HAUNTING OF HULL HOUSE
In 1889, Jane Addams and another social worker took over the Hull mansion at 800 South Halsted and turned it into a community center. The house, now part of the Chicago campus of the University of Illinois, is currently a museum dedicated to Addams and her work.

Mrs. Hull's bedroom was first occupied by Jane Addams herself, who was awakened one night by loud footsteps in the otherwise empty room. After a few nights of this, she confided her story to Ellen, who also admitted to experiencing the same sounds. Jane later moved to another room.

But she would not be alone in noticing the unusual happenings. Helen Campbell, the author of the book PRISONERS OF POVERTY, reported seeing an apparition standing next to her bed (she took Jane up on the offer of staying in the "haunted room"). When she lit the gas jet, the figure vanished. The same peculiar sounds and figures were also observed by Mrs. Louise Bowen, a lifelong friend of Jane's, Jane and Mary Smith, and even Canon Barnett of Toynbee Hall, who visited the settlement house during the Columbian Exposition in 1893.

According to Jane Addams' book, TWENTY YEARS AT HULL HOUSE, earlier tenants of the house, which included the Little Sisters of the Poor and a second-hand furniture store, believed the upstairs of the house was haunted as well. They had always kept a bucket of water on the stairs, believing that the ghost was unable to cross over it.

Regardless, the ghost was always considered to be rather sad, but harmless, and residents and guests learned to live with its presence. Unfortunately, it was not the only "supernatural" legend connected to Hull House!

THE DEVIL BABY OF HULL HOUSE
Hull House received its greatest notoriety when it was alleged to be the refuge of the Chicago "devil baby". This child was supposedly born to a devout Catholic woman and her atheist husband and was said to have pointed ears, horns, scale-covered skin and a tail. According to the story, the young woman had attempted to display a picture of the Virgin Mary in the house but her husband had torn it down. He stated that he would rather have the Devil himself in the house that the picture. When the woman had become pregnant, the Devil Baby had been their curse. After enduring numerous indignities because of the child, the father allegedly took it to Hull House.

DEVIL BABY OF HULL HOUSE BY ARTIST RICARDO PUSTANIO

After being taken in by Jane Addams, staff members of the house reportedly took the baby to be baptized. During the ceremony, the baby supposedly escaped from the priest and began dancing and laughing. Not knowing what else to do with the child, Jane kept it locked in the attic of the house, where it later died.

Rumors spread quickly about the baby and within a few weeks, hundreds of people came to the house to get a glimpse of it. How the story had gotten started, no one knew, but it spread throughout the west side neighborhood and was reported by famous Chicago reporter Ben Hecht. He claimed that every time he tried to run down the story, he was directed to find the child at Hull House. Many people came to the door and demanded to see the child, while others quietly offered to pay an admission. They believed the wild story to be absolutely true!

Each day, Jane turned people away and tried to convince them that the story was fabricated. She even devoted 40 pages of her autobiography to dispelling the stories. Even though most of the poorly educated immigrants left the house still believing the tales of the Devil Baby, the stream of callers eventually died out and the story became a barely remembered side note in the history of Hull House.

As the years have passed, some people still maintain the story of the Devil Baby is true... or at least contains some elements of the truth. Some have speculated that perhaps the child was actually a badly deformed infant that had been brought to Hull House by a young immigrant woman that could not care for it. Perhaps the monstrous appearance of the child had started the rumors in the neighborhood and eventually led to Hull House.

Regardless, local legend insists that at some point, there was a disfigured boy that was hidden away on the upper floors of the house. The stories also go on to say that on certain nights, the image of a deformed face could be seen peering out of the attic window.... and that a ghostly version of that face is still seen by visitors today!

HULL HOUSE is located at 800 South Halsted Street in Chicago and is open to the public as a historic site. The West Side Levee District no longer exists but was once bounded by Madison Street on the south and running north to Lake, east to Halsted and west to Center Street (now Racine Avenue). The bordellos and saloons have been replaced by loft apartments, parking lots, a few ethnic restaurants and Oprah Winfrey's HARPO STUDIOS on Washington Boulevard.

MORE INFO ON HAUNTED HULL HOUSE AND THE DEVIL BABY

http://www.hauntedamericatours.com/hauntedhouses/hullhouse/

Hull House
Chicagoland area's Legendary Haunted House.

Hull House 800 Halsted Street, Chicago
Phone: (312) 413-5353
Tours: Chicago Supernatural Tours; (708) 499-0300; www.ghosttours.com

http://theunexplainedworld.com/Haunted-Hull-House/

http://travel.discovery.com/convergence/hauntedtravels/interactives/chicago/hullhouse.html


http://www.hauntedhamilton.com/gotw_hullhouse.html

 

9. Lemp Mansion

The Lemp Mansion is located in St. Louis, Missouri, a short distance away from the Mississippi River. Take Broadway from Interstate 55 and follow that to Cherokee Street. Go west on Cherokee and turn right onto De Menil Place. The address of the mansion is 3322. The Pointer Family has owned and operated the Lemp Mansion since 1975.

LEMP MANSION

When John Adam Lemp arrived in St. Louis from Eschwege, Germany in 1838, he seemed no different from the thousands of other immigrants who poured into the Gateway to the West during the first half of the 19th century. Lemp originally sought his fortune as a grocer. But his store was unique for its ability to supply an item sold by none of his competitors - lager beer. Lemp had learned the art of brewing the effervescent beverage under the tutelage of his father in Eschwege, and the natural cave system under St. Louis provided the perfect temperature for aging beer. Lemp soon realized that the future of lager beer in America was as golden as the brew itself, and in 1840 he abandoned the grocery business to build a modest brewery at 112 S. Second Street. A St. Louis industry was born. The brewery enjoyed marvelous success and John Adam Lemp died a millionaire.

The Lemp Mansion was built in the early 1860's and was subsequently purchased by William J. Lemp as a residence and auxiliary brewery office. Although it was already an impressive structure, Lemp used his massive brewery fortune to turn the thirty-three room house into a Victorian showplace.

The radiator system was installed in 1884, five years after radiant heat was patented. The grand staircase was removed to accommodate an open-air lift that ran the gamut of the house. The decorative iron gates in the basement restaurant are all that remain of the elevator. In 1904 the house was completely renovated. To the left of the main entrance is the former brewery office, where William Jr. committed suicide. The decorative mantle is Italian marble.

To the right is the parlor, with its hand-painted ceiling and intricately carved mantles of African mahogany. Behind the parlor is an atrium where the Lemps kept exotic plants and birds. The main bathroom is dominated by a unique glass-enclosed, free-standing shower that Lemp discovered in an Italian hotel and brought back to St. Louis for his personal use. Other unusual fixtures in the room are a barber chair and a sink with glass legs. At the rear of the house are three massive vaults that the Lemps built to store great quantities of art objects. The Lemps were such avid art collectors that they could not display all of their acquisitions. Each vault is fifteen feet wide, twenty-five feet deep, and thirteen feet high.

The bedrooms were on the second floor. The main bathroom has a white granite shower stall and a marble and cast-iron mantle. The servants' quarters were located on the third floor, which boasts cedar walk-in closets, a skylight and an observation deck. The mansion does not have a ballroom in the traditional sense because the Lemps built an auditorium, ballroom and swimming pool in a natural underground cavern that could be reached from a now-sealed tunnel in the basement. Another tunnel led from the house to the brewery.

The wine and beer cellars, laundry and kitchen were located in the basement. The huge kitchen that once served the elite of St. Louis society has been completely modernized and now serves the honored guest of the historic Lemp Mansion Restaurant.

1980, Life Magazine called the Lemp Mansion "one of the ten most haunted places in America". The Lemp family line died out with him and the family's resting place can now be found in beautiful Bellefontaine Cemetery. But while no one remains in the Lemp family today, it certainly doesn't mean that some of them are not still around.

After the death of Charles Lemp, the mansion was sold and turned into a boarding house. Shortly after that, it fell on hard times and began to deteriorate, along with the nearby neighborhood. In later years, stories began to emerge that residents of the boarding house often complained of ghostly knocks and phantom footsteps in the house. As these tales spread, it became increasingly hard to find tenants to occupy the rooms and because of this, the old Lemp Mansion was rarely filled.

LEMP MANSION SIGN

The decline of the house continued until 1975, when Dick Pointer and his family purchased it. The Pointer's began remodeling and renovating the place, working for many years to turn it into a restaurant and an inn. But the Pointer's were soon to find out that they were not alone in the house...

The bulk of the remodeling was done in the 1970's and during this time, workers reported strange things happening in the house, leading many to believe the place was haunted. Reports often varied between feelings of being watched, vanishing tools and strange sounds. Many of the workers actually left the job site and never came back.

Since the restaurant has opened, staff members also have had their own odd experiences. Glasses have been seen to lift off the bar and fly through the air; sounds are often heard that do not have explanation and some have even glimpsed actual apparitions who appear and vanish at will. In addition, many customers and visitors to the house report some pretty weird incidents. It is said that doors lock and unlock on their own; the piano in the bar plays by itself; voices and sounds come from nowhere; and even the spirit of the "Lavender Lady" has been spotted on occasion.

The house has also attracted ghost hunters from around the country, who have come partly due to a November 1980 LIFE magazine article, which named the Lemp Mansion as "one of the most haunted houses in America". It remains a popular place for dinner and spirits today.

The current owner of the house, Paul Pointer, maintains the place as a wonderful eating and lodging establishment and takes the ghosts as just another part of the strange mansion. "People come here expecting to experience weird things," he said, " and fortunately for us, they are rarely disappointed."

http://www.lempmansion.com/

http://www.prairieghosts.com/lemp.html

10. The Myrtles Plantation

THE MYRTLES

 

Saint Francisville is located in West Feliciana Parish Louisiana. A small town on the Mississippi River. Once the Capital of the Republic of West Florida, it is here that John James Audubon (Birds of America Collection) created over 80 of his beautiful watercolors. There are seven Magnificent Plantation homes opened for public tours. And The Myrtyles Plantation is the one you would not want to miss. And with all the recent investigations by TAPS is now fast becoming the most famous ghost filled haunted house in America.

 

MYRTLES PLANTATION

Exploring the myrtles you will see grand fine antiques and architectural treasures of the old South and you personally might discover why The Myrtles has been called "America's Most Haunted Homes".

 

"The actual haunting hour at the Myrtles Plantation is said to be at three AM.
At that exact hour each dark night, Chloe's restless ghost roams the great dark haunted plantation,
The Myrtles isn't an ordinary plantation. It's supposed to be one of the most haunted houses in America. "
"Whiskey Dave" Bradford--former leader of the whiskey rebellion-- built the great haunted house on a Tunica Indian burial ground in 1794. He was actually the very first to see a ghost at the Myrtles Plantation, a naked Indian girl wandering lost on the grounds is what he is said to have observed. But Many of the locals state it is Bradford's' many ghostly children and grandchildren that haunt the Myrtles today. WHISKEY DAVE BRADFORD

Sara Matilda, Bradford's' daughter, married Judge Woodruff. Woodruff was said to have kept a slave mistress named Chloe or so the haunted tale goes....

When Woodruff grew tired of Chloe, and she was afraid she would be sent to the fields she is said to have started eavesdropping on him to learn of her future fate.

When Woodruff caught her, he cut off her left ear and sent her to work in the kitchen. From then on, Chloe wore a green turban to hide her disfigurement. She devised a plan to regain the affection of him and the family. She boiled poisonous oleander leaves and baked them into a cake.

Chloe believed the children would become ill and need her to nurse them back to health. But she used too much. Sara Matilda and two of the children died that night from the poison.

When the other slaves heard about Chloe's actions, they hung her from a tree. They then weighted her body with stones and threw her into the Mississippi river.

Chloe still wanders the house and grounds of the Myrtles Plantation. She sometimes shows up in photos. The Woodruff children are also heard playing and laughing on the veranda on rainy nights.

The Chloe story is the most popular haunting tale at the Myrtles, but many more people met their untimely demise on the premises and can be seen and heard wandering.

A Civil War soldier died on the floor near the front door from battle wounds. He was an avid cigar smoker who stayed at the house before his death. The smell of cigars sometimes fills his room. ( And smoking isn't allowed at the Myrtles...)

William Winter was said to have died on the 17th step of the staircase after a mysterious man shot him through the study window in 1871.

The steps heard on the stairs in the middle of the night are attributed to him. Those who count claim the footsteps stop at the seventeenth step.

Another young girl died of yellow fever in one of the upstairs bedrooms. Her parents called on a voodoo priestess to help her, after all traditional medicines had failed. When the little girl died, the parents hung the priestess from the chandelier.

In 1927, the caretaker was murdered during a robbery attempt. The owners claim that he can sometimes be seen at the plantation gates telling people to leave.

The Myrtles is now a bed and breakfast, so guests can stay in these rooms and see if the ghosts come out and play. The proprietors, John and Teeta Moss, claim that the Best Western loves the Myrtles, because so many guests get spooked in the middle of the night and run to the other hotel.

Whether you believe in ghosts or not, it's fun to be scared. This house has a creepy vibe. Bursts of cold air come from nowhere. Former owners have had church stained glass installed in the front doors to keep out the evil spirits. Also, the keyholes of every door have a small cover over them. In the nineteenth century, people thought ghosts came into a house through its keyholes, and these covers were designed to keep them out.

People also believed that the ghosts would hide in the corners until nighttime, when they would come out to pester the living. The Myrtles contains custom plaster work nun and cherub charms specially designed to keep the spirits away from the corners. Every resident has painstakingly tried to protect himself from wandering spirits.

THE MYRTLES

Ghosts or not, everyone who has owned the property has either seen ghosts, has turned into a ghost, or tried to keep the ghosts away. Mysterious figures and spheres often show up in ghost photos.

The Myrtles has been featured in New York Times, Forbes, Gourmet, Veranda, Travel and Leisure, Country Inns, Colonial Homes, Delta SKY, and on the Oprah Show, A & E, The History Channel, The Travel Channel, The Learning Channel, National Geographic Explorer, and GOOD MORNING AMERICA. It was also featured in The Hauntings of Louisiana.

Historical tours are conducted daily from 9am - 5pm.
Mystery tours are conducted on Friday and Saturday evenings.
All bed and breakfast reservations include a complimentary tour of this National Historic Register home filled with hand painted stained glass, open pierced plaster frieze work, Aubusson tapestries, Baccarat crystal chandeliers, Carrera marble mantles and gold leafed French furnishings. Guided tours include the history, the architectural significance, and the enchanting stories of mystery and intrigue.

Relax in the giant rockers on the 120-foot verandah or stroll through the lush ten acres filled with majestic live oaks. The 5000 square foot old brick courtyard is the perfect place to unwind before enjoying a delicious candlelight dinner at our Carriage House Restaurant.

THE MYRTLES HAUNTED MIRROR

Located in the Legendary Plantation Country on U.S. Highway 61, 30 miles North of Baton Rouge between New Orleans, Louisiana and Natchez, Mississippi.

More Info and links on the Myrtles Haunted Plantation

 

 

Haunted America Tours does not necessarily endorse any of the groups or web sites listed, and cannot be held responsible for their views or actions. We also do not necessarily endorse any of their evidence, opinions, or claims in any manner whatsoever.

 

 

These are considered Haunted America Tours Most Shocking Haunted Houses In America.
Our Very Own Haunted House

Our Very Own Haunted House

By Brad Steiger

Artwork Ricardo Pustanio

On the outside, the farmhouse was a solid two-story dwelling with an inviting front porch. It sat atop a grassy hill and was flanked by majestic pines and backed by a dwindling number of oak and walnut trees. At the foot of the hill was a picturesque creek with a small but sturdy bridge. Across the lane from the barn was a cabin said to be one of the very oldest pioneer homes in the county. The sturdy Iowa farmhouse seemed an ideal home in which our family might attempt an experiment in country living.

Inside, however, it seemed another matter entirely. I first entered the home with a friend, who is very psychically sensi­tive. "Someone died here," he stated bluntly as soon as we crossed the threshold into the dining room.

The woman whose home we were in the process of purchasing appeared startled by my friend's immediate announcement. When he quickly added, "A man died in the room across from the kitchen," she became visibly upset.

Within a few days we had the whole story. Her father, who she called Papa, had in his day been a well-respected church and com­munity leader. His "day" had been in the 1920s and 1930s, and he had steadily grown more reclusive and more strongly opposed to modern technology. Papa's distrust of modern times extended to storm windows, electric lights, and running water. Life with Papa had been a rugged existence.
He had yielded to electric lights sometime in the 1940s, and he loved to sit in his room and listen to the radio--one of his few con­cessions to the contemporary world around him. He had not permit­ted running water in his house during his lifetime, and the plumbing we now saw had been only recently installed. There still was no drink­ing water in the home, however, and if we did not wish to carry buck­ets from the spring near the barn, we would have to dig a well.

I strongly felt a presence in the house, and I was concerned about the children, since the energy I detected did not seem to be a hospitable one.

Shortly before we were to move in, a cousin of the vacating fa­ily approached me with an amused smile. "Well, Brad, you should really be happy now,” he said. “What more could a writer of all those spooky books want than a haunted house of his own?"

When I pressed him for details, he only shrugged. "Grandpa was a stubborn Norwegian when he was alive, and I guess he's just as stubborn now that he's passed on. You should have some inter­esting evenings ahead of you."

As I evaluated the situation, we had a problem. If we truly were dealing with the earthbound spirit essence of a man who had been a pious church leader and a fervent opponent of progress, just how would he take to a family moving into his home that was headed by a psychical investigator with four lively kids who would immediately begin playing stereos and television sets? And how would the impressionable psyches of the kids, aged eight to six­teen, respond if the spirit became antagonized?

I was the first to undergo an initiation at the hands of an invisible welcoming committee.

I was alone in the house on a Sunday morning having some tea and toast while I read the newspaper. My wife, Marilyn (who died in 1982), had gone to the village to open the small retail store that she managed. One moment things were as idyllic as they could be--the next, my tranquility was shattered by a violent explosion that seemed to come from the basement.

Fearing that the oil-burning furnace had somehow exploded, I opened the basement door, expecting the worst. I could hear what seemed to be the walls of stone and brick caving in on the washer, the dryer, and the other appliances. I expected to be met by bil­lowing clouds of thick black smoke.

But the instant I stepped onto the basement landing all sounds of disturbance ceased. The furnace was undamaged. The walls stood firm and solid. There was no smoke or fire.

Before I could puzzle the enigma through, I was startled by the sound of yet another explosion coming from somewhere upstairs.

I had a terrible image of the old brick chimney collapsing, and then I was running up the stairs to investigate.

The attic was as serene as the basement had been. I shook my head in confusion as I studied the sturdy beams and the excellent workmanship that held the roof and the brick chimney firmly erect and braced. The house had been built by master carpenters and brick­layers. It could probably withstand a tornado, I thought to myself as I attempted to understand what was happening around me.

A massive eruption sounded from the basement again. I slammed the attic door behind me, fearing the awe­some damage that surely must have really occurred this time.

But before I could run back down the stairs to inspect the extent of the destruction, I heard what sounded like someone tap-dancing behind the door to my son Steven's room. I knew that Steven did not tap-dance and that I was home alone.

Then I thought of Reb, our beagle. I laughed out loud in relief.

The sound of "tap dancing" had to be the clicking of the dog's paws on the wooden floor. He must have been shut in the room by accident.

But why wasn't Reb barking to be released? He was never shy about expressing his wishes, frustra­tions, or irritations.

I hesitated with my hand on the doorknob. I felt an even greater hesitation when I heard Reb barking outside.

The dog was out back, by the kitchen door.

I was so engrossed in the mystery of the strange disturbances that I had forgotten I had let him out. It was cold out that morning, and Reb was barking to come back into the warm house.

Who--or what--was still merrily dancing behind the door to Steven's room?

I shamed myself for permitting fear to make me lose control of my hand. I twisted the knob and pushed open the door.

The room was empty. And the dancing stopped as suddenly as the explosions had when I had swung wide the basement and attic doors.

I suddenly felt as though I were being scrutinized by a dozen or more pairs of eyes.
Another detonation roared up at me from beyond the basement.

It was then that I sensed the game plan behind all of this. I was now supposed to dash down the stairs in puzzled panic, desperately seeking the cause the violent "explosions."

I could almost hear the giggles of unseen pranksters.

I resolved not to play the silly game any more. I walked pur­posefully back to the kitchen table, where I had left my tea, toast, and Sunday newspaper.

Then it sounded as if the attic roof were being torn from its anchoring beams. The basement walls shuddered and collapsed in what seemed to be another wrenching explosion.

During my career as a psychical researcher I had become well versed in the games that certain entities like to play with people. I decided to do my best to ignore the phenomena.

The tap dancing was nearer now. It was coming from the music room, the room that the previous owners had kept locked and unused--Papa's room.

When we had moved into the home, I had placed the piano, television, and stereo in the room and had repainted the walls and ceiling with two coats of paint. I had blessed the room and announced that it would henceforth be a place of love and laughter.

I was determined not to glance up from my newspaper, even if Papa, a headless horseman, or a snarling troll came walking out of the music room. I was not going to play the game.

Within about twenty minutes the disturbances stopped. I was relieved that I had guessed the secret. It appeared that the invis­ible pranksters did not enjoy playing tricks on someone who remained indifferent to such a grand repertoire of mischief.

Since I did not wish to alarm the rest of the family and was totally immersed in working on a new book at my office in the village, I did not mention the incident to anyone.

About three nights later, when I was working late at my office, I received an urgent telephone call from my older son, Bryan. The panic in the sixteen-year-old's voice told me that I must drive out to the farmhouse at once.

When I arrived, I found Bryan barricaded in his room, together with Reb and a .12-gauge shotgun. After I had calmed the boy I learned that Bryan too had fallen victim to the tricksters.

Bryan had been alone at home watching television in the music room. He heard what he assumed was the sound of other family members returning home. He listened to the familiar noises of an automobile approaching, car doors slamming, voices and laughter, and the stomping of feet on the front porch.
Then he was surprised to hear loud knocking at the front door. Everyone in the family had their own keys, so why would anyone knock? And why would they be pounding at the front door when they usually entered through the back door, in the kitchen?

Bryan begrudgingly stirred himself from his television program and went to admit whoever it was on the front porch. He was aston­ished to find it empty.

Just as he was about to step outside in an attempt to solve the mystery, he heard knocking at the back door. Uttering a sigh of frustration, Bryan slammed the front door and began to head for the kitchen. He had taken no more than a few steps when the knocks were once again at the front door.
By now Bryan knew that someone was playing a joke on him.

He turned on the yard light so that he could identify the joke­sters' automobile. He gasped when he saw that his car was the only one there.

Fists were now thudding on both doors, and Reb was going crazy, growling and baring his teeth.
Bryan next became aware of an eerie babble of voices and short bursts of laughter. Someone very large was definitely leaning against the kitchen door, attempting to force it open.

That was when he called me. A few seconds of hearing my son's strained, frightened voice and the angry snarls of the dog in the back­ground convinced me that something was very wrong.

"Dad," Bryan told me, "Reb and I are in my room. Someone is coming up the stairs. I can hear him move up one step at a time!"

'Dad,' Bryan told me, 'Reb and I are in my room. Someone is coming up the stairs. I can hear him move up one step at a time!'

An intuitive flash informed me what was occurring. The invis­ible pranksters were playing games again.
"Bry, your fear is feeding it," I advised my son. "It has already tried the game with me. Try to stay calm. Put on some music. Dis­tract your mind. I'm on my way home right now!"

It had snowed earlier that day, and I prayed for no ice and no highway patrolman. I was fortunate in both respects and man­aged to shave four minutes from the normal twelve-minute drive to the farmhouse.

The doors were locked from the inside, and Bryan was still bar­ricaded in his room with Reb. I offered silent thanks that the boy hadn't blown any holes in himself or the walls with the shotgun.

I showed Bryan that there were no footprints in the freshly fallen snow. There was no evidence of tire tracks in the lane. No human had visited him, I explained, but rather some nonphysical intelli­gences that would initiate a spooky game with anyone who would play along with them.

Early the next evening I gave all of my children instructions on how best to deal with any ghostly mechanisms of sound or sight that might frighten them.

Basically the strategy was to remain as indifferent and as aloof to the disturbances as possible. In a good-natured way one should indicate that he or she simply did not wish to play such silly games.

The entity that was quite likely causing the spooky activity in the home, Papa, had been a strong-willed man who didn't care much for progress and new fangled inventions He never would have approved of his daughter and son-in-law sell­ing the place. He had died in the room that we had named the music room. His family had kept the room locked and had never used it again while they lived there, since things just hadn't felt right in there.

I told the children that under no circumstances should any of us become defiant or angry or threatening. The laws of polarity would only force the tricksters into coming back with bigger and spookier tricks in response to the neg­ative energy that had been directed toward them.

Whether we were dealing with poltergeists, Papa’s restless spirit in limbo, a repository of unknown energy that somehow mimicked human intelligence, I felt that I had given the kids some advice that was sound.
Bryan had experienced the phenomenon firsthand, so he was now better prepared to confront it should the situation arise. Steven reported that he had been reluctant to go his room at night, because just as soon as he made himself comfortable in bed, the rocking chair in his room began moving back and forth. Kari, who had strong mediumistic abilities, seemed very aware of the disturbances and had often heard her name being called from the shadow of the attic. She had declined their invitation to come upstairs to play with them. Julie had also heard her name being called, but had always run downstairs to escape them.
Marilyn, who had listened quietly to my discussion with the kids, told me when we were alone that she had witnessed balls of light that had moved around the outside of the house. Once when I was out-of-town lecturing, she had even called one of my friends in the village to come out and investigate.

Most frightening of all for Marilyn, another time when I was away from home, she had awakened to find an old man on the top of the bed covers, attempting to molest her. She had fought him off with blows and prayers until he disappeared.

Marilyn was very conventionally religious, and she found such confrontations with spirits to be very troubling and difficult to fit into her previous reality construct. She had married me with the understanding that I was going into the Lutheran ministry and that she would then be the choir director and a good pastor’s wife. She had never accepted my decision to undertake a kind of ministry that was completely nondenominational and totally universal in its philosophical parameters.

The varieties of paranormal experiences that were worked upon our family became a little too awesome for eight-year-old Julie to under­stand. Whenever she was left alone in the farmhouse, the entities would gang up on her, and I would return to find her standing at the end of the lane or seeking refuge in a neighbor's home. In each instance she complained of having heard strange voices, laughter, and weird music.

Early one evening just as I was entering my office to do some work on my book, I heard the telephone ring­ing. It was Julie. She had been calling the office ever since I had left home and she was in tears. A dramatic manifestation had begun within minutes after I had left her at the kitchen table, eating cookies and drinking milk. She was alone home. Marilyn was at work, and the older children were involved with school activities.

This time it had begun with laughter from the music room.

There was a noisy blur of voices, as if several people were trying to speak at once. Then came some "funny piano music" and the sound of a drum.

Valiantly Julie had tried to practice what I had told her do: to remain calm, act aloof, and not to play the game with whatever it is that likes to play such spooky tricks on people.

When the rhythmic tapping of the drum suddenly gave way to blaring horns and trumpets, Julie's indifference melted.

I had not been gone for more than two or three minutes, but Julie knew that I was headed for the office. She just let the telephone ring until I answered it.

Shortly after that incident, a medium friend of mine from Chicago visited for the weekend and a series of séances and cleansings managed to calm the phenomenon considerably. Within another few weeks, it had largely dissipated. According to the medium, I had, in fact, angered the spirit of the original owner by bringing in running water, television and stereo sets and adding insulation, modern window, and modern toilets. I had simply “ruined” his home--and he didn’t care very much for my attitude, either.

It was years later, but Julie finally identified the music that she had heard coming from the music room on the several occasions when she had been left alone to deal with the phenomenon.

"When I was a senior in high school," she said, "some girlfriends and I were just driving around one night, and we had on one of those radio stations that play nostalgic music from the 'good old days.' We were talking about how different some of the music used to be, when suddenly I just about freaked out. It was a good thing that I wasn't driving! It was the same music that I had heard corning from that spooky room, and all those terrible memories came back to me."

Julie had heard Glenn Miller's "In the Mood."

Incredibly it had been music from the 1940s that had so fright­ened Julie. To this day, whenever she hears Benny Goodman, Duke Ellington, or Glenn Miller, she gets a cold shiver, for it was their old records that she had heard playing from the darkened recesses of the music room.

Although she grew up in a home where we enjoyed eclectic musi­cal taste, I must confirm that the tunes of the 1940s would have been foreign to Julie at that time of her life. The family had classical, folk, motion-picture themes, rock, pop, and Broadway show tunes, but we had no big-band records from the 1940s in our collection. My parents had an extensive collection of big band music on old 78 platters, but I can honestly say that I had never owned any records of that genre.

Papa might not have cared much for most of the instruments of progress, but he must have accepted radio. And he probably toler­ated the music of the 1940s, the years when he would have been hav­ing some of the most meaningful experiences of his life.

Although it has now been over thirty years since we shared those encounters in our very own haunted house, there is never a time when the family gets together that the conversation does not eventually turn to the subject of “that place”-- and each time I learn about some eerie experiences that the children had endured and had never before shared with me.

 

About Brad Steiger

Steiger was born on 19 February 1936 in Fort Dodge, Iowa, to a mother and father who were farmers. He claims to have lived "in a haunted house with thumps, bumps, doors opening and closing, and men and women walking around all night in period costume. 

Brad Steiger

 

Steiger claims to have written his first book when he was seven years old, and has published 162 books with over 17 million copies in print, including the biography of Rudolf Valentino, later made into a feature film by British director Ken Russell. From 1970-1973 Steiger wrote a weekly newspaper column, The Strange World Of Brad Steiger. He has authored over 2000 newspaper columns.

Please also see: THE TEN MOST HAUNTED PARANORMAL BOOKS 2008

Brad Steiger Official Web Site Visit It Here Now: "www.bradandsherry.com"

Brad Steiger: Official Web Site

Personal life and beliefs
Steiger is married to Sherry Hansen Steiger, a former model. He is a former high school teacher, and college instructor. He began writing when he was a school teacher in his native Iowa when he had writings published in Fate Magazine and other publications. Throughout the 1960s Steiger co-wrote 22 books with other writers. Steiger claims to be politically independent, and cynical of politics. He lists his political heroes, however, as Jonathan Swift, Benjamin Franklin, and Thomas Jefferson. When asked about individuals he admired, Steiger listed Ralph Waldo Emerson, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Mark Twain, William Shakespeare, Jesus Christ, Mary Magdalene, William James, Fredric W.H. Myers, Rudolf Steiner, Sir William Crookes, and Mario Lanza as those he would have liked to have met.

In an online interview with Dan Schneider, Steiger claimed to be an 'Emersonian transcendentalist,' and summed up his philosophy this way:

I believe humankind is part of a larger community of intelligences, a complex hierarchy of powers and principalities, a potentially rich kingdom of interrelated species, both physical and nonphysical. I believe that humankind’s one truly essential factor is its spirituality. The artificial concepts to which we have given the designation of sciences are no truer than dreams, visions, and inspirations. The quest for absolute proof or objective truth may always be meaningless and unattainable when it seeks to define and limit our Soul, which I believe is eternal, evolving higher, seeking to return to the Source from whence it came. I believe that technology plays a far smaller role in the lives of nations than the spirit, for the essence of humankind is its intellect and its Soul. Machines, associations, political parties, and trade balances are but transitory realities that must ultimately wither, decay, and come to nothing. The only lasting truths are Soul, imagination, and inspiration.

Brad And Sherry Steiger Official Web Site.

Steiger and his wife are also animal lovers and believers in animal rights. Steiger claims, "We are appalled by any mistreatment of animals—chemical testing, dogfights, rooster fights, bull fights. We must learn to respect all living things if we are to survive with dignity as a species. I doubt if I could live for any length of time without a dog. Fortunately, my wife and children feel the same. We are all dog owners. Dogs are our connection with nature and the Earth Mother.

Brad and Sherry Steiger

Brad and Sherry Steiger

 

 

 

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The Top Most Haunted Places" 100 places to see a real ghost and have a Paranormal Encounter.

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Some of these Top 100 Most allegedly haunted places are known for their haunted cemeteries, houses, buildings, Roads, hotels, & battlefields and churches. And in some cases a city may be listed and in other spots a haunted hot spot. Please feel free to use this as a Paranormal Travel Guide when planning your next haunted destination ghost hunt or vacation. There are literally thousands of haunted places around the world, and this list only compiles a small number of them.

The World's 100 Most Haunted Places

William Mumler was a 19th century Boston engraver who dabbled in the recent technological advance called photography. In 1861, less than forty years after the world's first photograph, Mumler noticed a strange, ethereal face next to his in a self-por
The House Of Voodoo
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