Three of my favorite haunted asylums!

So the Ridges, which was also known as the Athens Mental Health Center, is in Athens, Ohio. This joint was originally intended to house the “criminally” insane, sounds like a party right!  The Ridges opened its doors on January 9, 1874.  This is a massive, and elaborate institution and the grounds were park-like, with statues and fountains, giving the asylum the look of a classy resort.  At first it kind of was, but later on, it was more like a “last resort”.  This place was supposed to nurse both the mentally and criminally insane folks back to health with care and concern while living in gorgeous surroundings.

Yeah, we already know that all of these places start out just like this, everything is all peachy in the beginning, and then the shit hits the fan. It’s the usual bullshit ya’ll.  First comes the overcrowding, and then they’re under staffed, and then the torture and macabre experiments kick in.  Places like this were usually paid per patient by the federal government, so of course they start snatching up crazies from all over the place.  They even started taking in old folks turned over by their families and rebellious teenagers that were checked in by their parents.  If I had been around back in the day, My mama would’ve kicked me out of the car at the front door and kept going, that’s a fact!

The Ridges had been built to house 200 and now there were almost 2000 in a building that only had 544 rooms. Patient treatment took a turn for the worse. Typical treatments used were Ice water baths, electroshock therapies and lobotomies, along with bleeding, freezing,and kicks to the head which were thought to  “shock” the illness out of the brain.

Now, the least crazy patients were kept near the center of the institution where the admin offices and employee housing was. The violent patients were kept at the ends of the wings and the furthest from exits and everyone else, so they weren’t tended to as often as the other patients. But man when they were, it was like the doctors were trying to make up for lost time! These crazy bastards were the ones that had the pleasure of experiencing these “shock” treatments. They were living breathing guinea pigs.

So with all that being said, It’s important to add that there are over 1700 unmarked “documented” graves on the grounds, God knows how many more are there though. As you can imagine, there’s more than a couple of disgruntled patients still hanging around the asylum and the cemetery today.

But the one that gets the most press here is the ghost of Margaret Schilling. Check this out:

On December 1, 1978, Margaret disappears from one of the wards. Rumor has it that she was playing hide and go seek with a couple of nurses, but the nurses got distracted and forgot to go look for her. On January 12,1979, 42 days later, they found her lifeless body in the abandoned top floor of ward 20. That ward had been vacated for years, it had been last used to house sick and infectious patients.

Maintenance men found her naked body laying on the floor, her clothes were folded neatly beside her. Her bodily fluids had seeped out of her, she basically had to be peeled off of the floor. The official cause of death was supposedly heart failure but the reason behind it remains a mystery. The floor is stained in the shape of a human female figure where she was found. Folks say that her spirit can be seen peering from the window of that room. People have also said they’ve heard disembodied female voices, lights, shadow people and the sound of squeaking gurneys.

 

Next up, Danvers State Mental Hospital

Danvers Lunatic Asylum is probably one of the most notoriously haunted and intriguing places on earth. It’s another massive structure that sits on the top of Hawthorne Hill. This joint is so daunting that it earned the name “witches castle on the hill”. Danvers was built in 1878, and was considered a architectural masterpiece.

Here’ where it gets real yall! This joint is sitting right smack dab in the middle of what used to be Salem Village you know, where the actual witch trials began in 1692. Yeah a lot of folks assume that the witch trial kicked off in Salem but that’s not historically correct. The first actual trial went down at a church on Center street in Salem Village. The trials were later moved to a larger building in Salem when hysteria ran rampant and onlooking spectators swarmed the church. And here’s another kicker, the most fanatic of those witch trial judges, Johnathan Hawthorne, lived in a house that his father built in 1646 tight where the asylum sits today. There’s even a rumor that John Proctor and 4 other accused witches were hung there in 1692. Crazy little backstory there right!

Danvers was the epitome of advancing health care and treatment back in the day, But just like all the rest, yeah you got it, overcrowding, under staffing, budget cuts and then the real madness starts. yeah, we’ve heard this one before right! Yeah, this joint was being referred to as a hell hole, comparable to a German death camp.

Between 1940 and 1950, Danvers housed over 2,600 crazies in a building designed for 600. Due to over crowding it relied on drastic medical treatments, you know where I’m going with this, shock treatment, hydrotherapy, insulin shock therapy, psycho-surgery and lobotomies.

Patients became haggard and grim, A lot of the time they were locked up in solitary confinement in a space no bigger than a small bathroom. They were dressed in rags if they weren’t naked, many of them resorted to lying on the filthy cement floors. It was so bad that the dead patients would go unnoticed for days.

Finally in 1992, Danvers shut its doors. The remaining patients were carted off to other insane asylums and the joint was locked down. Several years go by while the building sat abandoned. In 2005 the property was bought and parts of the hospital were demolished. What remained was renovated and turned into an apartment complex, HA! Seriously!

With such a shit tastic history its no wonder why Danvers was dubbed one of the scariest places on earth. Those people living in the apartments have reported flickering lights, full body apparitions, hearing invisible footsteps and doors opening and closing on their own and the sounds of tormented wailing echoes through the hallways. Peaceful living right!

* Next up, the ByBerry Mental Hospital-

Byberry was a scandalized and horrific institution that was originally created as a mental health facility. They took pretty much every flavor of nut job in here. But from what I can see, there was never any “Everything was all good in the beginning” here. This place immediately started buzzing with rumors of incidents and allegations and more were piled on every year it was open.

There were tales of Murder, rape, child abuse, overcrowding, and naked, shit-covered patients wandering around in the hallways. This madness went on for almost the entire 60 years it was open. And besides that there was an affiliated corporation that funded experiments on patients because they knew they’d never have to answer for it.

One of the last and more horrific rumor to come from Byberry was about a young girl that was admitted in 1987. She was suffering from post traumatic stress, when more counseling was done it was found out that her mental issues originated from her having been raped when she was a child. Well, while institutionalized at Byberry, she was being constantly raped by other patients and staff. Eventually she was raped one last time by an inmate, he then murdered her and hid the body on a overgrown section of the grounds. Well, several of the other patients had stumbled across her rotting corpse and were enjoying playing with it, and other things. Her body came to be discovered when one of the other patients was caught by a staff member showing off her teeth.

When her body was found, so were a few others. But not all of them were rape victims, There were tons of stories about patients that wandered out of the facility and showed up on the grounds, at surrounding neighbors homes or in the middle of the highway, more times than a few, these patients were found dead from either having froze to death or committing suicide.

In 1988 this joint was closed down for good, but by then, it was no more than a human cesspit of despair. Now as we know, a lot of the mental asylums that were around in the early 20th century were deplorable. Most all of them were know for macabre methods and inhumane treatment as well, but Byberry is rumored to be the most horrifying of all of them.

Byberry’s reputation was similar to all the others when it came to the overcrowding and neglect “thang”. Budget cuts caused the asylum to fall into in disrepair and the patients wound up unclothed, starved, and sleeping in hallways filled with human waste. Many patients were forced to live huddled in decrepit, dingy rooms with no socialization or supervision. Every mental institution nightmare you can imagine could be found here. “Padded cells, restraining devices, solitary confinement, beatings by sinister staff, violent inmates, lobotomies and electric shock ” were just some of the maddening treatments they used here. This joint was a “real life house of horrors” murder , suicide, and brutality reigned.

Here’s some of the high points of Byberry’s history:

Patients were often restrained for weeks on end, starved drugged and beaten. Every once in a while one of these poor bastards would manage to break free and tried to make a run for it. Well in 1919 that happened, and when two orderlies chased him down they choked him to death, so brutally that his eyes popped out of their sockets. Well these two dudes were fired but then were rehired a few days later at higher wages.

In fact, in 1987 a patient sued the hospital for holding him in a 4 point restraint for 3 years.

and that corporation I mentioned earlier, the Smith Kline French company, yeah they were testing out Thorazine along with some other mind bending drugs on these folks.

Now a lot of folks died here, some from experiments, some from abuse or neglect, some were murdered by the staff and some committed suicide, but there are a few that were murdered by other inmates, here’s an interesting little example: In 1987 a female patient was murdered by a male patient. He killed the chick then dismembered her body. He then took to scattering her body parts all throughout the property. He was found out after several other patients were caught playing with the victims teeth and mandible after having found them on the grounds.

Oh and you’re gonna love this, At one point the male inmates or patients, were allowed to supervise the children’s ward. Now sit and imagine the absolute worst things that could have come of that, because that’s what happened.

In 1990, state authorities closed the doors. But that didn’t really put an end to things. Some of the worse off of the crazies committed suicide, the remaining 2500 plus nut jobs were set free to roam the streets.
So yeah, as you can imagine, there’s a lot of crazy stuff still going on there today. One freakish legend is about one of those former inmates that was freed. He was a mentally, violent patient who reportedly still lurks around in the catacombs beneath the facility. He’s said to be hiding there just waiting to slice the throat of anyone that should cross his path.

There’s actually a documented case of this happening to a paranormal investigator. He was down in the tunnels with his camera man when he felt something slide across his neck, then he was shoved into the stone wall. After he was able to compose himself enough to get the hell out of there, the camera man shined the light on his neck, documenting a deep, but non lethal cut.

There are also rumors that a gang of satanic occultists have moved in to the dilapidated building. The satanic rituals that are said to take place here have possibly opened up a door to hell within these walls. That would explain the growling sounds and bodily welts and scratches have been reported.

Posted in haunted history, urban lrgends | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Let’s Talk Dahmer!

We talk a lot about serial killers, and of course one of the most sadistic of these bastards was Jeffrey Dahmer. This psycho was so deranged that even Satan himself likely finds him offensive. I’m not sure that there’s even a place for this dude in Hell!

Well a couple of weeks back the Oxygen network did an exclusive 2 part documentary on Dahmer, and all kinds of macabre shit came to surface. I watched both segments and actually learned a few things that I didn’t know!

We already know that Dahmer murdered a total of 17 young men, 1 of which he confessed to, but was never convicted of, due to lack of evidence. But that’s ok, in the end he was sentenced to over 930 years in jail, at the time there was no death penalty, in which Dahmer himself said that he deserved.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As with all serial killers, there were signs early on. But this dude was basically built in a chemical lab.  His biological mother suffered from mental disorders herself, this chick was eating 27 prescription drugs every day while she was pregnant with Jeff.  After he was born, she seldom touched him unless it was to feed him, change a diaper or pose for a picture, and she’d come unglued if anyone else touched him. That my friends laid a solid foundation to create the monster that he became.

Dahmer, as with many other serial killers, appeared from the outside to be a normal kid, at a young age he became obsessed with road kill, again, just like other serial killers. During his teenage years his biological parents were divorced, Jeff’s mother was given custody. Well, this crazy bitch runs off with his younger brother, abandoning Jeffrey in an empty house with nothing more that a gallon of spoiled milk in the fridge. Jeff went to live with his Father and step mother for a while. Now these folks were devout Christians, and did their best to raise him in a loving environment. But again, just like other notorious serial killers Jeff had an extremely high IQ, and he had everyone suckered. No one that knew him could possibly suspect the sick shit that wracked this mad man’s mind. It was around this time when he admitted that he’d attempted his first murder, he was 15.

He was infatuated with a man that jogged through their neighborhood every day. Jeff made his mind up that he was going to kill him, not out of anger or spite, but because he wanted him. He took a baseball bat and hid in the woods, waiting for the man to pass by, that day, the jogger didn’t show. Jeff abandoned acting out his morbid desires for another couple of years after that.

By 1978 he was starting to let his crazy slip out. He was acting up in school and drinking heavily, and openly.  One of the people interviewed was a woman that attended high school and college with him, she stated that he would often show up to class with a drink in his hand and that he hung around his locker a lot drinking. Everyone was aware, no one reacted. Well it got to be too much for his family to handle, and Jeff was 18 by then, they kicked him out of the house.

So know he’s living in his own apartment, unsupervised. And this is when the first murder went down. So he’s driving down the highway and sees this dude, Steven Hicks. Hicks is looking for a ride to a concert, he’d been walking down the road without his shirt, Dahmer liked what he saw. So he tells the dude he’ll give him a ride, after he gets into the car he convinces him to come home with him for a few drinks. Dahmer was enjoying the company but when Hicks said he was ready to leave, something snapped. He didn’t want Hicks to leave, he didn’t really want to murder him either but it was the only way he could keep him there so he smashed Hicks over the head with a nearby dumb bell, then strangled him.

Now there’s some irony with this victim, Dahmer admitted in the interview that he eventually buried Hicks body in a storm drain behind his Dad’s house. Well he started getting apprehensive about it so he digs the body up, puts the pieces in a green trash bag and throws the bag in the back seat of his car. He takes off in his car later that night to get rid of the remains. Well, he was freaking out so bad with the corpse in the back seat that he’s driving all over the road like the crazy man he was. He gets pulled over. So, he tells the officer some sob story about his dad just getting divorced and he was upset so he decided to run the trash to the landfill to clear his mind. The officer actually shined his light on the trash bag then resorted to just writing Dahmer a ticket. Yeah! Well there’s some more irony with this murder, but we’ll get to that later though.

So in the meanwhile Dahmer graduates high school and enrolls in college, but he only managed to keep his crazy under wraps for one semester. by then he was a raging drunk and had only one thing on his mind. It was his father and step mother’s encouragement and support that helped keep him in line, Dahmer took his father’s advice and enlisted into the military, that was December 1978.

Here’s where I learned something else new, 2 men have recently stepped up and publicly admitted that Dahmer raped them. The first one, lost his shit and wound up being discharged. Dahmer destroyed this man. He admitted in the interview that he started drinking and using drugs in attempt of forgetting what happened. He turned indigent, lost his family and his mind for several years before he could seek out psychological help.

The second dude he raped actually took the first man’s spot. He was Dahmer’s bunk mate. This dude said that Dahmer tied him to the bed and raped him nearly every night. At the time this dude was only 17. He was terrified of Dahmer because he was known at that time to be a violent drunk. Plus the fact that he was on a base that was packed down with bad asses, he was scared that these hardened vietnam vets would kick his ass for accusing a fellow soldier of rape. Not long after that Dahmer was discharged because he was drinking so much that he couldn’t function. After that he went to Florida where he just crashed on the beach for a few months before going back to Ohio.

Between 1981 and 1986 he was arrested 3 times, all 3 for being drunk and stupid in public. Well, by now, Dahmer had become a master in manipulation. He always approached the courts apologetically, displaying deep remorse as he’d make his public apologies, and they always bit, he was always released with a slap on the wrist and a small fine here and there.

By 1987 Dahmers crazy was hanging out again, that’s when he murdered Steven Tuomi. This is the one confessed murder that he was never convicted on.
Dahmer claimed that he woke up in bed at a hotel beside Tuomi’s lifeless corpse, he didn’t remember killing him at all. So he goes and buys this huge suitcase, comes back to the hotel room, and crams the body inside. He takes the corpse to his grandmothers house and starts cutting it up over the next few weeks, He had a killer system. He’d be in the basement hacking up the body on Sunday mornings while grandma was at church.  He’d throw the pieces into the trash bin before she got home because the garbage collectors ran early on Monday mornings.

Three months later Dahmer kicks it into a higher gear. January 1988 he convinces this 14 year old boy to come back with him to his grandmother’s house. He offered money for the kid to pose nude for some photographs. So Dahmer makes him a drink, spikes it and when the kid passes out, he strangles him. But he did take photographs. In fact this was just another evolution in his technique. See Dahmer never really liked killing folks, he just wanted to make sure they stayed with him. By taking these pictures of his victims, he was able to save and remember what they looked like before they started decomposing and he had to start hacking them up to get rid of them, and in a way, they did stay with him. This is when he began collecting trophies, he’d save most of their bones, locking them inside a metal filing cabinet at first.

So, three months after that, Dahmer runs across Richard Guerrero, he uses the same “nude Photo” tactic on this guy. Again, after drugging him, Dahmer strangled him. This murder marked an even further evolution in his insanity. He was so desperate for someone to just be there, that at one time he stole a mannequin from a department store to sleep with.

Dahmer wanted his victim to just lie still so he could touch them whenever, wherever and however he wanted, but nut-tastic would come unbolted if he was touched. That mannequin had actually done a pretty good job of sating Dahmer’s twisted desires, at least for a little while. But it wasn’t the real thing.

In September of the same year he encounters this 13 year old boy and offers him 50 bucks to come home with him and pose nude for some photos. So the kid agrees. Dahmer gets him back to the crib, offers him a drink, which of course he’s spiked, and so a little while later, the kids passed out. He of course rapes him like he did all of the others but for some reason he lets this one go, but only under the conditions that he didn’t tell anyone what happened.

In the meanwhile Grandma’s house stinks to high hell but she’s clueless. Jeffrey tells her that he’s taken up taxidermy in the basement and that he had several dead animals down there that he was working on. Granny gets pissed, makes him clean up his mess and tells him to go play with dead things at his own place.

Well right after that, he gets arrested for sexually assaulting the kid. He actually spends a total of 10 months in jail with 5 years probation once he was released in January of 1989. Under the terms of his probation, he had to see a counselor. Jeffrey would attend these one hour session and never say a word, not for any one of them.  He’d just show up and sit there until it was time to leave.

That March he strikes again. Using the same tactics as before, he lures Anthony Sears over to his place and murders him the same way as he had the others. But by now he’d fine tuned his disposal process. Sears body was dumped into a 55 gallon barrel of acid. The acid ate the flesh from his bones, Dahmer, would then select the bones he wanted to keep, first off the skull but sometimes there were others, he’d then grind down the remaining parts of the skeleton and get rid of them.

In 1990 he struck 4 more times, but by September 2nd, he was slipping even further into insanity , if that’s possible. This is when he started saving body parts, to eat. He preferred biceps. Ernest Miller, was the first that he’d had the desire to consume. He first cooked his heart but found that it was too tough to chew. so then he filleted the dudes biceps and cooked them. He sat down at his table and ate the dude while he looked over the grotesque photos that he’d taken of his corpse. He admitted that he rather enjoyed the taste, which he described to be like beef, and in his mind, it was a sure fire way to keep the victim with him always.

Dahmer managed to keep his demons at bay for the next few months, but in 1991, he went ape-shit and his motives shifted. Dahmer said repeatedly that he never enjoyed murdering his victims, he was still trying to find a way just to keep them with him. He began trying to basically zombify them instead. He made several attempts with drugs but nothing seemed to work and he’d always wind up having to kill them any way. Several of the 7 victims murdered in 1991 were the result in Dahmer failing to turn them into zombies. The first attempt was made on Curtis Slaughter in March, Errol Lindsay came in April and then in May, Dahmer meets this 14 year old kid which coincidentally was the brother to the other kid that he set free and wound up doing time over.

You’d think he wouldn’t have fallen for the same bullshit line as his brother, but, he did. Dahmer again offered cash for nude photos and the kid agreed to go home with him. So he offers the kid a spiked drink, the kid accepts and a little while later he’s passed out. Well after Dahmer rapes him he takes a electric drill, and makes a hole in the kids head about 3 inches deep, far enough in to cut into his brain, he then squirts a syringe full of some toxic cocktail into the hole and leaves on a beer run. In the meanwhile the kid wakes up and wanders out of his apartment.

The neighbors call the police because there’s a naked kid wandering around in the street. The police get there, and immediately think he’s and adult and that he’s drunk or strung out cause well, he’s acting like a zombie. Well, Dahmer comes walking up with his fresh 6 pack and sees what’s going on. He walks over to the police and starts telling them that this kid was his consensual lover and that he was drunk and they’d just had a spat. He assures them that everything is ok so they agree to let him take the kid back to his apartment.

So just to make sure everything was ok, the police escorted the pair back to Dahmer’s place. They look around briefly inside and nothing seemed out of place, in fact the joint was spotless from what they could see. So, they left. Here’s the kicker. In this documentary there was an interview with Dahmer where he admitted that had those officers would have just walked into the bedroom they would have seen Guerro’s body laying on the floor next to the bed where he’d been snuggling with him for the past 3 months, yeah. Dahmer admitted that he was absolutely shocked that he wasn’t busted right then. Again, another close call.

Had the officers stepped 10 feet away, they would have seen that body. They were of course reprimanded and the police district paid out some serious money after that, because if Dahmer would have been arrested that night, it would have saved the lives of his last 4 victims.

Tony Hughes in May, Matt Turner in June, Jeremiah Weinberger, Oliver Lacey, and Joeseph Bradehoft in July. Also in July was the attempted murder of Tracey Edwards, this was the guy that brought him down.

Dahmer was trying to convince Edwards to let him cuff him for some bondage photos. Edward let him put the cuff on one of his hands but when Dahmer told him to lay face down and put his hands behind his back, he wasn’t having it. Edwards fled into the street where he found some officers and told them what had happened, he asked them if they could take off the cuffs. Their keys wouldn’t work so they escort Edwards back to Dahmer’s apartment for him to take them off.

When they walk inside everything seemed ok, one of them asked Dahmer where the key was, he told them in the bedroom. Well when the officer walked back there he just happened to walk by a dresser drawer that was opened, he looked down inside and saw what turned out to be over 80 poloroid photos of Dahmers victims, some of which were taken while he was dissecting them. Dahmer was cuffed and taken down town, it took days to remove all of the evidence from his apartment, it took even longer to sort through it.

Through it all Dahmer cooperated, he took full responsibility other than stating that he thought he was evil or sick, or both. Judge didn’t buy that. He was studied, tested, phychologized and all that but he was found to be sane. Yeah, let that shit sink in.

Well, here comes the last of the irony. Think back to victim number 1, he was smashed in the head with a dumb bell before Dahmer strangled him right? So, Dahmer is in the pen on a work detail in the bathrooms, it’s him and two other guys. Well, one of the other guys is a nut job, and this nut job has stolen a dumb bell handle from the from the prison weight room. Well, nut job bludgeons Dahmer and the other dude over the head, both of them died as a result, ironic right, well maybe one more little quirky detail, the day Dahmer was murdered was November 28th, my birthday!

Ok, so Dahmer is dead and gone right, not exactly, in fact Dahmer’s ghost shows up a whole lot, and in several places, to include that jail where he died. We’ve talked about that on a past episodes, so until something else new surfaces on him, I’m going to let that sleeping demon lie, for now!

Posted in serial killers | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Six Creepy Grave Stones

Behind every grave is a story waiting to be told. Most of these stories are glowing memoirs represented by the elaborate carvings on headstones: father, brother, daughter, wife.

Some graves, however, have some pretty crazy-assed stories associated with them.

Ever hear of The Black Angel monument? Legends say that it haunts Iowa City’s Oakland Cemetery. Locals say that the Black Angel possesses the power to kill anyone who kisses it or in some cases touches it, I don’t know why the hell you’d want to kiss a headstone but, ok, apparently it doesn’t like it, so don’t! Ok, let me tell you this legend here.

The angel is a menacing, 8 ft tall, bronze statue that some folks “said” turned black overnight, but the reason why, varies in each version of the legend. Some say it was caused by a lightning strike and others say it was basically a karma thing, they think it turned black as result of its dead owner’s infidelity and some folks, say that the woman who had it put there was a witch. Whatever the reason, the shadow that the Black Angel statue casts, will send an arctic chill up your spine.

History says that in 1912, Teresa Doleful Feldevert commissioned the monument in memory of her son and husband who died before her. Their ashes are marked by the angel, which at that time was bright and shiny. but after Teresa’s ashes were buried there in 1924, folks say that the angel started turning black. It started at the crest of her head and crept it’s way down to her toes.

There’s a couple of creepy stories about the Black Angel. One is about a chick who went to the statue on the night of a full moon and kissed her feet. Locals say that she dropped dead six months later. Another story is about a skeptic who visited the statue with a group of friends, He’s all like “I don’t believe in those stupid legends” and everything. So his friends dared him to touch the statue, and when he did, he died on the spot, from a massive heart attack. There’s some other morbid stories about pregnant women who have miscarried after walking beneath the Black Angel’s wings too.

So, for obvious reasons, there have been countless paranormal investigators that have visited Oakland Cemetery. A lot of them have actually encountered, and captured some crazy stuff going on around the Black Angel. Some of these folks walked away with some interesting recordings of ghostly voices, and of course tons of misty figures and shifting shadows have been photographed there along with some creepy looking light anomalies.

A few years back, Devin Marble and Jaél de Pardo, of SyFy Channel’s “Haunted Highway” went out to the Cemetery to see the Black Angel for themselves. Now, neither one of them touched the statue, but they managed to capture some serious temperature fluctuations with their thermal cameras. Their data showed that the statue’s temperature had risen dramatically, during their investigation, even though it was a freezing cold winter night, I find that rather interesting!

 

Here’s another one: So this chick named Mary Ellis moved to New Brunswick in 1790’s to live with her sister and her husband. Eventually she bought her own house on what is now Livingston Avenue. This story goes that Mary met a sea Captain and immediately fell in love with him. Well, one day he sets off to sea. He’s left Mary with the promise that he’d be back real soon, he even left his horse with her to care for while he was away.

So, Every day, Mary went to the river front waiting for this dude to return. Months go by, but every day she’s standing there on the banks of the river hoping to see her man. Well, the years continued to roll by. Mary buried her relatives along with the Captains’ horse all right there on her property. and eventually in 1828, she was buried in her family plot that overlooked the Raritan River, so she could continue to watch for her lovers return.

Mary never let go of the memory of her long lost sea captain. Nearly 200 years later, she’s still there, waiting. She’s spotted pretty often standing on the highest point of her property, with her hands shading her eyes from the sun, while she’s scanning the river in hopes that her long lost love has finally returned.

 

Now this one’s crazy too, sounds like something that could have gone down back in Mississippi where I grew up. So, County Road 400 in Indiana has a weird little attraction, if you’re planning a road trip out that way. Plan your route along this road cause you’re going to have a creepy little detour around the grave of Nancy Barnett. She had some strong willed relatives that refused to have her grave disturbed when the county decided to put a road through her burial plot. Now when I say refused, I mean like redneck vengeance. Family members took shifts at the grave site with a rifle in hand, daring highway workers to come anywhere near it.

After a tense standoff, the county finally gave up and wound up splitting the road, with a lane running on either side of her grave. But wait, it gets better! What had become a tourist landmark, has taken on a more mysterious air. Archaeologists have recently exhumed that grave, they found the remains of at least six other people—a total of two women, one of whom was presumably Nancy Barnett, a man, and four children—whose origins and identities are unknown. Now besides the remains of whoever the hell was in that grave, There’s the hell bent ghosts that linger there. There have been reports of folks driving by that say they were threatened by a man in overalls that was waving around a shot gun as they approached. Gotta love that sense of family right!

 

Then there’s this freaky little tale, the Victim of the Beast, At a glance, the grave of Lilly E. Gray in Salt Lake City, looks like just a regular grave. Yet beneath her name and the date of her birth and death is a mysterious and sinister inscription, “Victim of the Beast 666.”

Now you’d think with some madness like that etched in to your tomb stone, there has got to be something wicked behind that story right! Nah, not that I could find but, There are a few eye raising theories though.

Some folks think that Lilly might have died in a car wreck on Highway 666, which does run through Utah. The highway was famous not only for its name, but because of the high rate of fatal accidents that happened there on its desolate long stretches. During this time, Lilly actually lived in Utah, she could have easily traveled on that highway, so this does have some plausibility.

Another theory suggests that Lilly was somehow involved in Aleister Crowley’s cult from Salt Lake City. For those if you who thought that Allister Crowley was just a another one of Ozzy Ozbourne’s drug fueled hallucinations, NO! Crowley was a notorious occultist in the first part of the twentieth century. this dude actually referred to himself as “the Beast 666”, Yeah, some folks think she may have fallen victim to one of Mr Crowley’s macabre rituals or something.

But one of the most intriguing and possible theories involves her husband, Elmer. Now Old Elmer was throwed way the hell off. Everybody in town knew his ass was crazy. There’s records that he’d been arrested in Ogden for stealing an umbrella. And old boy had a serious problem with the “system” Maybe somehow in his demented little mind, he blamed the government for his wife’s death.

And here’s another crazy grave story for you about The Jewett City Vampires

In the old Jewett City Cemetery of Griswold, Connecticut you can still find a line of nondescript tombstones dating from the 1840s and 1850s. They’re really not much to look at, but these tombstones represent an era of panic and bloodshed.

When people think of early New England, one of the first things that come to mind is new England clam chowder. but a close second is always the infamous witch trials of the late 17th century, and then, the famous vampire epidemics. Historical documents written by those early residents indicates, that during that dark time in history, folks believed in, and feared the supernatural. Not only were witches to be worrying about, but there were blood thirsty creatures lurking about behind damned near every tree. This general consensus in regard to the supernatural was so deep-rooted and powerful that nearly 200 years after the last supposed “witch” was hanged, people were still paranoid enough to believe that they could be overcome by vampires.

Now, back in the day there were no Eric Northman or Lestat vampires, these bloodsuckers were gruesome, zombie like undead that were looking for lunch, most typically in the form of surviving family members. Well in the case of old Jewett City Cemetery, the family was the Rays, who over the course of nine years, lost multiple family members to consumption, which is now known as tuberculosis. The first to die from the mysterious disease was 24-year-old son Lemuel in 1845; less than four years later, the father bit it and then he was followed to the grave by 26-year-old son Elisha, only two years later.

In 1854, the oldest son, Henry started coming down with all of the same symptoms, and this is when the mass panic set in. Now they’re all convinced that they were dealing with something way beyond some wretched disease, the family came to the conclusion that the illnesses were being caused by their dead relatives rising from the grave during the night and returning to feast on the blood of the living. Something drastic needed to be done, and fast right!

According to old newspaper articles, the decomposing bodies of Lemuel and Elisha were dug up and burned immediately. Although it appears the body of Joseph Sr. was spared, it was believed by burning the parents he’d be rid of his affliction.

But that wasn’t the end of it, some other evidence was discovered in the 1990s that there may have been other earlier, suspected “vampires” outside the Ray family. In the neighboring town of Hopeville, 29 graves were unearthed— it was the unmarked cemetery of the Walton family, who had lived only two miles from the Rays’ farm about 50 years earlier, in the early 18th century. Upon archaeological exhumation, it was determined that one of the bodies, which had been decimated by consumption, apparently had been dug up after it was buried. It’s head was removed, and what was left of the skeleton was buried face down with its femur bones crossed over the chest. Other Walton family members had also evidently died from consumption. Consumption or vampirism, we may never know.

And one last freaky grave story, The Moving Caskets of the Chase Vault. Yeah we talked about this legend a while back, but it’s worth retelling, especially to some of the folks listening that don’t know about it!

On the island of Barbados there’s the Christ Church Parish. It’s just your regular run of the mill church with a peaceful little cemetery on the side. But there’s one tomb in this cemetery, where the dead are anything but at rest.

It’s called The Chase Vault and it is at the center of one of the island of Barbados’ most chilling and sinister mysteries. The Vault was built by The Honorable James Elliot. Elliot spared no expense, this tomb was made of elaborately carved stone and coral, and it had concrete walls over two feet thick. At the entrance there was an enormous blue slab of marble that was intended to seal the tomb in peace.

The first occupant was James Elliot’s wife, Elizabeth, who died on May 14th, 1792. A few years later, the vault was purchased by the Walrond Family and was opened to receive the body of Mrs. Thomasina Goddard however, upon removing the marble slab from the front of the door, the pallbearers were puzzled to find that Mrs. Elliot, and her coffin had completely disappeared.
The vault eventually ends up in the possession of the Chase Family. The first member of the Family to be buried there was baby, Mary Anne Marie Chase, who died at the age of two on February 22, 1808. Her small lead coffin was placed in the vault and the marble slab was put into place where it would remain for four years.

In 1812 Mary Anne’s older sister, Dorcas, died under what some folks say were “strange” circumstances. The rumor was that she’d been abused by her father, Colonel Thomas Chase, who did have a reputation for being cruel and sadistic to both his family and slaves. Some say that Dorcas refused to live with the abuse any longer so she starved herself to death. Her coffin was added to the vault.

Only a month later, the Colonel commits suicide. Well, when the pallbearers opened the vault, they nearly pissed their pants. Inside the tomb, both of the little girl’s coffins had seemingly been slammed around and were lying in a haphazardly on the floor, with one of the coffins was upside down.

So, at first, everybody thought that the tomb had been ransacked by grave robbers, but there were no valuables to steal and the heavy marble slab at the entrance hadn’t been moved.

Despite the mystery, the two coffins were straightened and the body of Colonel Chase was added. The Chase Vault was sealed once more.

Four years later, the vault was opened again to house the body of eleven year-old Charles Brewster Ames. Again, the coffins inside the tomb had been slung around… even the 240 pound lead coffin of the colonel. By now, the story was spreading around the island. 52 days later, when Samuel Brewster was due to be buried, the vault was inspected from the outside for anything out of the ordinary. The vault was found to be sealed airtight and watertight, nothing could get in or out. But, when they opened the tomb, it looked like a twister had hit it.

This time, one coffin wasn’t out of place… the wooden coffin of Thomasina Goddard. However, it had sustained heavy damage from another coffin smashing into it, and Mrs. Goddard’s skeleton was hanging out of it.

By this time, the news of the moving coffins had reached the ears of Barbados’ governor, Lord Combermere who decided that he’d heard about enough of all this bullshit, so he was going to go figure it all out himself.

So he shows up and ordered that the vault be inspected and made impenetrable from the outside. He then ordered that sand be sprinkled on the floor so that footprints would be left by any intruders. Finally, he has his seal placed into the fresh cement of the vault seal, because, no intruder would dare to break his seal right!

The vault remained undisturbed, on the outside at least, for two years but, during those two years, the curious folks who wanted to get a look at the infamous Chase Vault were reporting strange sounds and howls coming from inside.

So Lord Combermere decided to open the vault, he shows up again with eight slaves, a group of able bodied men, and two masons and of course, hundreds of onlookers. Lord Combermere ordered an inspection of the vault from the outside. Nothing was out of the ordinary, none of the seals were broken.

So the marble slab was removed and Lord Combermere’s knees got real weak, real fast. The coffins were violently flung around inside the vault. One coffin was actually leaning up against the door making getting into the vault difficult to begin with. Mary Anna’s lead coffin had been thrown so violently that a piece actually chipped off.

There were no prints in the sand. No one had entered the vault. By this time, the Chase family was done! They had the coffins removed and re-interred in another nearby tomb.

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, you know, the, Sherlock Holmes dude, yeah, he was all into the mystery too. He proposed that the disturbances were being caused by the spirits of Dorcas and Thomas, who had committed suicide and, therefore, were cursed and restless. The fact that the coffins had started moving only after Dorcas Chase was buried seemed to support his theory.

There were other explanations, of course, such as human tampering, earthquakes, and explosions but they were all ruled out. Explosions and earthquakes would have disturbed other vaults in the cemetery and human tampering was kicked out due to the fact that the vault seal hadn’t been broken, the marble slab was so heavy it took eight men to move it, and the coffin blocking the door would have made escape for human intruders impossible.

The most popular theory other than the supernatural ones, is flooding. If the vault had filled with water, the coffins – even the metal ones – would have floated… but if the coffin movement was caused by floodwaters, why was the sand on the floor not disturbed? How would it account for the damage done to the coffins as though they were thrown with great force? Why hadn’t any other tombs in the cemetery flooded?

Posted in vampire history | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

How I spent October 2017

What’s up creepy kids?!  As you guys already know, October was a killer month for me, Big Johnny Blender and the “Adrian’s Fury” Dragster!  We were all over the place this year!  We kicked this Halloween season off in Harlan Kentucky at Harlan Hauntfest!

Earl McKinney was our host and event organizer and he did a fang-tastic job with this event!  To the left is a photo of myself and Earl that was taken on the last day of the event.  We were both exhausted but had had a awesome time.  The folks there in Harlan were really cool, all of them were freaking out over the dragster.

I met a lot of fans from the area, and made some new friends too!  We’re looking forward to a return appearance for 2018.  If you’re in the area or are just interested in finding out more about Harlan HauntFest, Check them out on FaceBook – https://www.facebook.com/harlanhauntfest/

Now beside making lots of new friends, we had a blast hanging out with a bunch of our friends from other events.

 

The Twisted Southern Horror Queen with Josh TKO Turner

Big Johnny Blender and Ricky Morton of WWE Rock & Roll Express

 

 

 

Big Johnny Blender hanging with our friend Tim Shockey and the Green Goblin head from Maximum Overdrive

 

 

Big Johnny Blender and Josh TKO Turner further corrupting the Unicorn.  Note the expression on the little girl’s face in the background, priceless!

 

 

The Twisted Southern Horror Queen hanging with the Ghostbusters, Ecto 1 and the Stay puffed marshmallow dude!

 

 

 

 

 

And so as if Harlan HauntFest wasn’t enough, then came Gulf Coast Fan Fest in Biloxi Mississippi!  This event was organized by Rafe White of Southern Geekfest, Mike Ensley of Pensacon, along with organizers from Coast Con and Quest Con.  It was what I like to refer to as a grudge con that was put together in protest of a over commercialized Canadian con that had planned on crashing another local con’s annual event, the results were awesome!

These are just a few shots taken at the event.  We me up with some old friends, Rafe & Shannon White, Christopher Heskey from “Logan” and our good friend, artist Freddy Roseman of Kaz-Magik Art. who is currently working on a design for our new Adrian’s Fury Dragster Tee-shirts!  Besides all of the talent, staff, fans and organizers, the food was GREAT!!  A huge shout out to “The Shed” for hooking us up with some awesome BBQ!

Now, with every con, there’s always a “This the first time that’s ever happened” moment and at Gulf Coast Fan Fest we had the mother of all firsts!  This next photo still makes me smile, I want to be her when I grow up!

So, Ms. Olive walks up to the car and starts telling me about the engine, I was impressed, she knew her shit!  I asked her if she wanted to get in it, joking of course.  Well she responds with Hell yeah!  So, we got her in the car and she was like a kid in a candy store.  Just look at the smile on her face!

After Gulf Coast Fan Fest there was a week to rest and put a shine back on The Adrian’s Fury Dragster before the next event, Night Risers Con in Elizabethtown Kentucky!

 

 

From left to right: Bill Gibson, Big Johnny Blender & John Thompsett

This event was organized by John and Terri Thompsett, who I told just a day or so ago that it felt like being reunited with old friends when I met them!  John and Terri did a incredible job organizing, hosting and promoting this con!  The staff was awesome to work with and the folks in E-Town ROCK!  Everyone loved the dragster and my books!  We had a blast hanging out with a few of our old friends and made a bunch of new ones too.

John and Terri took all of the celebrities out to eat on our first night there.  Now, I have to admit, I was a little nervous at first.  We knew Sale Lizard and his wife as well as Tim Shockey but when Malcolm Danare sat next to me at the table, that was crazy!  I thought Dear God, here I am next to Mr. Hollywood himself, he’s gonna hate me.  Well, he didn’t.  In fact, Malcolm and I hit it off amazingly. Who would have thought he’d be as demented as I am!

 

 

Malcolm Danare & the Twisted Southern Horror Queen

Micko Hughes & The Twisted Southern Horror Queen

I also got to hang out with Micko Hughes a good bit too!  I adore Micko, nearly as much as Malcolm, however, he’s quite a bit more reserved.  I’m going to have to work on that, no one is exempt from me corrupting them!

For those of you that don’t know these two, Malcolm is from the movie “Christine” and Micko was from “Pet Sematary” both Steven King flicks!

I had the honor of sitting on the celebrity panel with these guys during the event, now that was a blast for sure!

 

From left to right – Tim Shockey, Travis Potts (MC) myself, Malcolm Danare, Micko Hughes and Bill Gibson.

Again, there were a lot of “first times” with this con.  For me, being on the celebrity panel was one of them.  Another first was my own panel in which I had the opportunity to take the floor in front of the entire event.  I’m still trying to track down photos because Big John was tied up with folks at the dragster, so, if you’re reading this and happen to have a couple of pictures, I’d love to have them!

 

 

Another first, you’re gonna love this, Clint Wallingford!  Clint was one of the security personnel for the event. He was a race car driver back in the day so as you can imagine, he spent a lot of time hanging out around the dragster.  On the last day of the event, Clint decided to climb in for a photo-op.  Everything was cool until he tried getting out of her!  To the left is a photo of Big Johnny Blender taking the skin off of the car to get Clint out.

Now, Big John was rather graceful with the entire happening, I, on the other hand, was not!  Big John saw how embarrassed Clint was and told him that it wasn’t the first time that someone had got stuck in the car, I’m standing behind him saying, “Yes it is” and laughing my ass off along side Clint’s wife.   As you can imagine, there was a crowd gathering to see what was going on and Clint’s head was getting redder by the second.  So, Big John gets Clint out of the car, the first thing that comes out of his mouth is; “Great! I’m going to tune in to your show and hear you talking about the dude that got stuck in the dragster.” John, again being uncharacteristically graceful, tells him “No, I wouldn’t do that.”  I looked Clint straight in the eyes and told him “I will!”  Clint is a cool guy, and I hate to pick on him, no not really, I’m picking on him because I like him!

Now this handsome gentleman to my left is the owner of Christine, Bill Gibson.  I adore him as well.  Bill and his entourage were fantastic and made us feel right at home!  Mike and Suzy Jones travel along with Bill and Christine at events all across the United States.  They were all so very gracious, John and I really like these folks, that says a lot!

 

And of course, and as usual, we love hanging out with Sal Lizard and his lovely wife Linda!  Sal is a hot mess and he keeps us all laughing our asses off at every event!  Kids love him and so do the adults, especially the female guests.  Sal’s policy – Flash me your boobs for 3 seconds and you get a free Tee-shirt.

Tim Shockey is a sweetheart.  He’s one of the more reserved celebrities that we have the honor of attending a lot of cons with.  I’m working on him, but so far he seems incorruptible.   Keep fighting Tim but it won’t do you much good, I’m committed on my quest of turning you into a deviant just like me!

 

This final photo was the gathering of the Night Risers 2017 celebrities.  Bottom row left to right: Myself, Bill Gibson, Suzzanne and Mike Jones.  Top row left to right: Sal Lizard and his wife Linda, Big Johnny Blender, Malcolm Danare, Micko Hughes and Tim Shockey!

All in all Night Risers Con was fantastic and we’re looking forward to a return appearance in 2018.

 

So who says Halloween is only on October 31st?  I consider the entire month of October Halloween, in fact, every day is Halloween when you’re the Twisted Southern Horror Queen!  Thanks to all of my old  and new friends for making this year’s Halloween Season so spectacular!

 

 

 

Posted in vampire history | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Urban Legend – How the Jack-O-Lantern became a Halloween Icon

This legend is rooted in Irish folklore, it stemmed off of the reputation of a man called Stingy Jack.

Stingy Jack was a nasty deviant, he was foul tempered and mean and was a known alcoholic that frequently beat his wife and children before setting off into the streets to create mischief with whoever was unfortunate enough to encounter him.

Well, One Halloween night Jack comes staggering in to the local pub. He bellies up to the bar and orders a drink, but the Bar Keep is no fool. Jack had a habit of coming in to the bar and ordering drinks knowing good and damned well that he didn’t have any money to pay for them. Tonight, the Barkeeper wasn’t biting, no free drinks for Jack.

So now, he’s pissed, He looks around the pub and sees that every man in the room has turned their backs to him, he’d already screwed them all over in one way or another, none of them there on that night were game to hook Jack up tonight.

So, Jack was about to hang it up, when all of the sudden, the door to the pub flies open, Satan himself was standing there in the threshold. The Devil had come to claim Jack’s soul and he was eager to add another wicked man to his minions.

Jack looks over at the towering beast, deep within him he knew that he was the reason for Satan’s visit. Jack, thinking quickly, invites Satan to have a drink with him. Satan, seeing no reason to refuse his offer, approaches the bar. Jack orders two pints of ale for them, then proceeds to gulp his down in one swig. Now Jack, of course has no money, so he’s laughing at the Bar Keep when he demands to be paid. Jack then turns to Satan and convinces him to turn himself into a sixpence so that he could pay for their drinks.

Satan, seeing no harm in a further delay, turns himself into a sixpence. Jack, true to his own evil nature, picks the sixpence up from the bar and puts it into his pocket next to a silver cross which would keep Satan from returning to his true form. Jack then hauls ass, lit from free drinks and richer than he was when he first arrived.

At some point Jack decides to set Satan free and releases him to return to his true form with one condition; that Satan would not return for his soul for 10 years.

Ten years later Jack is stumbling down a dark country road and who should he encounter other than Satan himself! Satan, was pissed that he’d been outsmarted and imprisoned by the town drunk, and he’s eager to claim what is rightfully his, Jack’s soul.

“I’ll go with you” Jack said. “But before I go, will you pick that apple from the tree for me” he said motioning to the top of a nearby apple tree.

Satan, gain, feeling he had nothing to lose, climbed the tree but, Jack pissed him off further by demanding to have the highest apple in the tree. Satan starts grumbling but he continued climbing up into the tree.

When Jack saw that he was on the highest branch, he ran to the tree and carved a cross into the trunk so Satan couldn’t come down. Jack, was so pleased with himself, he’d outsmarted the Devil himself twice now! At that point, he made Satan promise that he’d never again come seeking his soul. Satan, seeing no other option, begrudgingly agreed.

Well, not long after this, Jack died, but the story doesn’t end here. Seeing as that this dude was such an asshole and had knowingly made deals with the devil, God refused him entry to Heaven. Jack soon after finds himself at the gates of Hell, but he would find no solace there either. Satan had had more than enough of his bullshit, there wasn’t any way he was going to let Jack in to Hell to spend eternity with him.

Jack, standing alone in the dark cries out to Satan. “God won’t let me into heaven and you refuse to claim my soul, where am I supposed to go?” Yeah, well Satan didn’t give a rat’s ass! He hollers out, “Go back where you came from!”

Well, way back was dark and treacherous and Jack was scared. He begged Satan for a lamp so that he could find his way back. Satan, was becoming more that a little irritated, so he tossed some coals from the lake of fire at Jack’s feet. Jack carved out a turnip and placed the coals inside to light his way. From that day forward Jack has roamed the earth in the form of a shadowy man, carrying what we know today as a Jack-o-Lantern.

So if Jack carved a turnip why the hell do we use pumpkins? The carved turnips were common place because of the great potato famine. When Irish immigrants started migrating to the United States, they discovered pumpkins or other gourds that were way bigger and much easier to carve.

Homes all across the United States and other countries place Jack-o-Lanterns in the windows or on their front porches for dual purposes, whether we knew it or not. The Jack-o-Lantern is said to frighten old Stingy Jack away but on the flip side, a tasty gourd is seen as a food offering to other ill willed spirits that are free to haunt the living on All Hallows Eve. Got your pumpkin ready?

Follow me on Facebook!

Posted in vampire history | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Urban Legend – Friday the 13th

Millions of folks woke up this morning in search of their lucky trinkets as an attempt to ward off the evil and bad luck said to be associated with Friday the 13th. But how did this day become tagged as one of the most ill fated dates in history? The answer may lie within the following historical events:

Friday has been an inauspicious day for centuries in many cultures. Being held to be unlucky as evil powers were said to be at their peak on this day, Friday the 13th is definitely a day to be aware of your surroundings!

In ancient Rome Friday was execution day

From the Christian Bible:

Friday is the day that Eve reputedly gave the forbidden fruit to Adam

The great flood is thought to have started on Friday

God struck down the builders of the Tower of Babel on a Friday

The temple of Solomon was destroyed on a Friday

and as we all know, Christ was crucified on a Friday.

In Britain Friday was the customary hanging day

The word Friday was derived from the Norse Goddess Frigg, wife of Odin. Frigg was known as the Goddess of marriage & fertility, the moon and witches. The Christian church had cast her into folklore as a witch and her day, Friday, soon became associated with witchcraft and evil doings. Her legend goes something like this:

The witches of the north were said to observe their sabbath on Fridays gathering in a cemetery under the light of the moon. On one sabbath the Goddess herself appeared before a group of 12 witches and gifted them with a cat, therefore completing the coven with the 13th member. From this day forward, cats are the most common familiars of witches, and all covens are comprised of 13 members.

The number 13 in itself has been unlucky throughout history, a few examples of such are as follows:

There are 13 steps that lead to the gallows

The hangman’s noose contains 13 knots

The blade of the guillotine falls 13 feet

There were 13 people at the last supper

The 13th card in a tarot deck is the “death” card

Princess Diana’s driver hit the 13th pillar at Palace de l’Alma when she was killed in Paris

Apollo 13 in 1970 on the 13th mission was to be launched from pad #39 which measured 13 x 3, the mission was aborted after an explosion in the fuel cell of the service module. The rocked was shuttled away from the launch pad at 13:13 on Friday the 13th.

It is reported that in an attempt to debunk the legend of Friday the 13th as ill-fated, the British government commissioned a special ship. It’s name, the H.M.S. Friday. The crew was selected on a Friday, the keel was set on a Friday, the Captain’s name was Friday and it was on Friday the 13th that she set sail on her maiden voyage, never to be heard from again.

There are many other references to both the ill-fated Friday and the unlucky number 13 that have been intertwined together beginning back as far as Ancient Egypt. Friday the 13th is the most feared day in modern history, and with so many different references from numerous eras and cultures, it is certain to remain so.

Posted in vampire history | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Urban Legend – Famous Witch Graves

As we all know, Witches have been around for a very very long time.  Many women were doomed by being both rightfully, and unjustly accused of witchcraft and pacts made with the devil.  During the witch hunt craze that started back in the 15th century, and lasted through the 17th century, an estimated 40,000 people were executed for witchcraft in Western Europe.  In America, the hunts spread through colonial colonies in New England, Connecticut, New Haven and of course there were the notorious Salem witch trials in Massachusetts.  The most common method of execution for convicted witches, as we already know, were hanging, drowning or by being burned at the stake.

Most of the final resting places of witch hunt victims have been lost to history, but there’s a few exceptions, here’s five graves and burial sites that make a sobering reminder of some of some of the darkest eras in history.

First off is the Witch of Yazoo.  She actually shares a few of the same characteristics as the sirens from Greek mythology.  According to the legend, in the late 1800s, a witch who lived near the Yazoo River was caught torturing fishermen she’d lured in from the river.  Two butchered bodies were found hanging from the rafters in her home.  The witch hauled ass into the swamp.  While she’s running from the authorities, she fell into quicksand.

As she’s sinking to her death, she swore a curse that she would return in 20 years to see the city burn.  Terrified by the threat of her curse, her body was buried on hallowed ground and heavy chains were installed over her grave to keep her from rising. But in 1904, her prophecy came true.  The city of Yazoo burned to the ground; The day after the flames died out, several townsfolk went to her grave to find that the chains had been broken in two.  So the townfolk replaced and reinforced those chains, and ever since, the witch’s grave has remained peaceful.  Legend has it that if the chains are broken, the city will burn again.

Next is the Grave of Meg Shelton.  In the late seventeenth century the people of Woodplumpton, a small village in England, suspected that Meg Shelton was a witch.  They accused her of stealing milk from the local farmer’s cattle, They swore she was transforming herself into animal at night so she’d remain undetected.  According to legend, Meg was crushed to death by a barrel that pinned her to a wall, when she was buried, the town took extra precautions to prevent her, and her powers from ever rising again.  They buried her vertically, head first in the ground in a small, tight shaft so that if she tried to dig her way out she’d be going the wrong way.  Then, they then covered the hole with a massive stone so that she’d never escape.  The stone remains to this day in the boneyard at St Anne’s Church, next to it is a plaque warning visitors that the Witch of Woodplumpton lies buried beneath.

 

Then there’s the Chesterville Witch, In a small graveyard in the heart of Illinois Amish country, you’ll find her grave.  The story goes, that in the early 1900s, this local chick was accused of witchcraft after she challenged the Amish faith. The town elders banished her, calling her the devil’s servant.  But a few days later, her dead body mysteriously shows up in a nearby field. Terrified she’d come back to life and seek her revenge, the townsfolk buried her, and an oak tree was planted to mark her location.  The legend also goes on to say that the tree contains her soul, and if it’s ever cut down or destroyed, the ghost of the witch will leave her grave to seek her revenge on those who caused her death.

Now, Lilias Adie was accused of being a witch by her fellow townspeople in Scotland in 1704.  The church coerced her into confessing that she was the devil’s wife.  She died in prison before she could be tried, sentenced and burned for witchcraft.  Her body was taken to the beach off West Fife coast and was buried deep in the mud just between the high tide and low tide.  They used a massive tombstone to cover her grave, sealing her into her muddy tomb to prevent her from tormenting the living.  But, legend says that her body vanished when high tide came, all that remained was the massive stone that they used to mark her grave.

In St. Charles Missouri, you’ll find the grave of Molly Crenshaw.  Molly was said to have been a freed Jamaican or Haitian that was a known practitioner of Voodoo.  Her charms were in high demand, folks would come from miles around in search of cures or hexes.  But one year, after a particularly nasty drought, the locals turned against her and executed her.

In order to prevent her from rising from the grave, they chopped her body into pieces and buried the pieces in the woods around a remote cemetery.  It wasn’t enough.  Year after year, the pieces crawled closer together until her body was made whole.  Now nobody knows exactly where the spot she came to rest is, but it’s said that anyone who successfully finds her grave will meet a gruesome end.

According to a local English teacher at Francis Howell High School, “There was a story about two football players who went looking for the grave in the 1950s.  Well, apparently they found it and they met with that gruesome fate.  The sheriff’s deputies found their bodies impaled on the graveyard fence.”

 

Then check out this little tale, There’s a ghost town, that used to be the village of Pere Cheney, and beneath its ruins is one hell of a tragic history.  The remaining cemetery, which houses the graves of around 90 people, is rumored to be home to a witch’s grave, as well as shit ton of supernatural occurrences.  Pere Cheney was originally settled in 1874 by lumberjacks, who thought the site of the local sawmill was an great spot to set down roots.  In 1881, its population had grown to 922.

But a few years later, diphtheria swept through the area and most of the children died.  As the community struggled to recover, a fire broke out, and in 1893 there was an outbreak of smallpox, scarlet fever, and another bout of diphtheria.  By 1818, only 18 residents remained, the village was completely abandoned. According to legend, people from surrounding communities deliberately set fire to Pere Cheney to prevent the spread of disease.  So what could have brought on such tragedy?  Well, Folks say that the epidemics and fires were caused by a witch who cursed the land after having been banished to the surrounding wilderness.  She was later hanged from a tree in the cemetery and her body was burned.  To this day, some visitors claim to see her ghost in Cheney Cemetery.  I’d say she got her revenge.

 

So, Throughout history, there have been tons superstitious, preventative means in which people have tried to prevent witches from rising from the grave, just like vampires.  It seemed that death was never punishment enough, no matter the amount or torment and torture endured in the process.  During a recent archaeological dig of a ‘witches graveyard’ in Tuscany, archaeologists discovered the remains of an 800-year-old woman who they believe died in the middle ages.  It seems the people in the area were so worried that she’d use her powers to bring herself back from the dead, they drove seven nails through her jawbone and more had been hammered into her clothes to pin her down in her shallow grave.  The practice of nailing the mouth shut was an old custom believed to keep the dead firmly in their graves.

 

Posted in vampire history | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment