Haunted History – The Castle Inn

the-castle-inn1The Castle Inn stands fully restored to it’s original glory at 1415 Prytania street within the Garden District of New Orleans.  The Inn was constructed on a site that had formerly been a plantation during the early 1800’s.  In 1848 a town home was constructed on the same property.  The home was owned by a prominent local business man who would die just a few short years upon the town homes’ completion.  In 1891 the property was purchased by Alva Schnitt, a German gentleman who was in charge of the New Orleans school district and the leader of a organization known as “The White Men’s League” somewhat similar in ideals to what we now know as the Ku Klux Klan.

Originally constructed as a gift to his new wife, Schnitt oversaw the construction of the three story mansion personally.  He too would succumb to some strange illness and would die in the home just a few years later.  The mansion would remain within his family until the onset of the 1920’s depression.  The financial burden of large New Orleans estates became too much for many to handle.  Some of these home owners, including the owners of this home, would convert the property into a transient rooming house.

The property would change hands several times until the 1950’s when purchased by the Allison family.  It would remain within their family until 1998 when purchased by Andrew Craig and Karen Bacharach who would upon renovations, rename the property The Castle Inn.

Several spirits are said to haunt the property some having a history with the original structure, others that are said to be connected to the properties which formerly graced the grounds.  One is said to be seen and heard most frequently.  A young girl that was said to have drowned in a pond that had been on the grounds of the plantation.  She reportedly enjoys shaking the beds to keep the guests awake at night.  There are claims that she touches female guests to get their attention.  She can be both seen and heard giggling as she frolics about on the grand staircase.

Another of the spirits is said to be a former paid servant who had resided in the quarters behind the mansion with the other slaves.  He is said to be light skinned and dressed in the finest clothes available in his era.  The Servant was said to be a flirt and a bit of a prankster.  He was know to drink heavily and was a smoker.  Legend states that he fell asleep while smoking in bed.  He was too drunk to escape the flames when his bed caught fire consequently, he perished on the grounds within the slave quarters.  Many say that this is why he haunts the mansion, the man felt that he did not belong with the slaves, but that he deserved to reside within the mansion itself.

There are other reports of a carriage driver that could have been associated with the town home owned by Schnitt.  He is said to appear on the front stoop as well as walking around in the surrounding neighborhood.

There have been many reports made of encounters experienced by guests.  Shaking beds, items disappearing and electrical devices turning off and on by themselves.  There was one report of a complaint that the ceiling fan would not turn off.  The “fan” was a dormant fixture, never wired to be used; its purpose was cosmetic in nature only.

Missing room keys were reported found inside a second floor microwave and reports of showers and faucets running while in the “off” position are common as well.  One guest claims that the spirit of the servant man had climbed in bed with her and was smoking a cigarette.  Others claim that they hear the sound of a music box playing.

The Castle Inn is a must for seekers of the paranormal.  Just blocks away from Mardi Gras parade routes and a short walk from the streetcars, the Inn should be added to your list if you plan on visiting new Orleans!

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H. H. Holmes – America’s first serial killer

H. H. Holmes – America’s first serial killer

Today we’re headed to Chicago, cause there’s a man, and his castle that I want to tell you folks about.  This dude was born with the name, Herman Mudgett, which kind of sounds like a Looney Tunes character, I guess he knew that, so he changed his name and became notorious while he was known as, Dr. Henry Howard Holmes.  And Dr. Holmes is said to be the United States very first serial killer.

howardAccording to a recent profile on Holmes, he was the son of a violent alcoholic Father, but apparently the abuse didn’t stop when he was at school.  Because his home life had made him anti social, his classmates tormented the hell out of him.  One time he was forced to stand face to face with a human skeleton when he had admitted that he was terrified of Doctors.  Yeah, the mold of a sociopath is born right!  So the despite all of this, he manages to graduate from the University of Michigan in 1884 get this, he graduates as a Doctor.

Even though he’d earned this prestigious title, Holmes was known to most as a swindler.  So it was no surprise that he decided to build an elaborate hotel at the site of the Colombian Exposition for the upcoming Worlds Fair.  From the outside, it was gorgeous, in fact on the inside it was even more elaborate but there was a lot going on here that the average guy doesn’t notice when they walk in.  Beneath the guise of this fantastic castle was nothing more than an elaborate prison designed to capture, torture and murder his unsuspecting guests.

holmes-hotel-plan-2So, the whole time this place is being built, Holmes would hire, and fire, crews before they finished their tasks.  This way he could both stiff them on their pay as well as ensure that he was the only person than knew the complex layout of his hotel.   There were stairs that led to nowhere, doors that opened to brick walls, doors that could only open from the outside and over 100 windowless rooms with some elaborate yet “unusual” features.

Now, it’s true that Holmes built the joint to cash in on the massive visiting crowds, but as we all know there was definitely a hidden agenda going on here!  and the modern decor of his hotel lured the vacationers into this deadly hotel in freaking droves.  These poor oblivious bastards had no clue of the carefully constructed traps that masqueraded as quiet, comfortable rooms.

hhcorpseHolmes christened the joint with personally invited guests and well, hookers.  They were like his guinea pigs in testing his devices and means.  Other than fulfilling his sadistic urges, there were always financial gains to be had.  So once he finishes tormenting, murdering and dismembering or burning his victims bodies, he robs them.  But sometimes he’d cut out a few internal organs and sell them to nearby medical schools or research laboratories.
I know it all sounds chaotic and macabre, well the macabre part is straight up, that’s for sure but as far as chaos, no way.  This sadistic bastard was as crazy as shit but he was meticulous and each murder was carefully orchestrated from start to finish.

castleSome of his victims were trapped inside a soundproof vault, or a luxury suite, whichever way you want to look at it.  Holmes had some rooms that had metal walls that were painted and trimmed then decorated with wall art and gas lights, once inside, the door could only be opened from outside.  They were screwed.  As they’re suffering through the pains of suffocation, Holmes looked on from specially designed peep holes.  As the oxygen was inhaled, carbon dioxide was exhaled.  They suffered with dizziness, panic and fear all while they lay convulsing.  Their last living moments were consumed with the question of why they were dying this way.

Others victims met their fate locked inside the very rooms they paid to stay in overnight, thinking they’d be safe there resting after spending the day at the fair, not so much….  When they’d return to the hotel to crash for the night, Holmes released gas from hidden lines inside the room, so the guests went to sleep then never woke up.

There were other rooms that were constructed with iron covered walls that actually had hidden blowtorches.   Yeah he’d torch the guests while he stood on the other side of the wall, peeking through those peep holes watching his victims slowly burn to death.  From there they’d be tossed down a hidden trapdoor that opened to a makeshift shaft which led to, the basement of course! In the basement are these two massive incinerators which erased all signs of his dirty deeds, or at least so he thought.

HOLMES_06In 1894, the police investigated a tip from a custodian of the hotel that led to Holme’s arrest. The janitor told the authorities that he was never allowed to clean the upper floors.  A month-long investigation revealed secret passageways and torture chambers.  These atrocities paled in comparison to the mound of human remains like, bones and hair that were found in the basement.  The walls, floors and ceilings were covered in dried blood. Based on the human remains, missing persons reports and testimony of hotel workers who saw Holmes escort women into the hotel but then were never seen leaving, it’s estimated that he killed around 200 people, mostly women and often blonde.  Wait! say what!

Holmes was found guilty of masterminding the horrific events and evil attacks that occurred inside the hotel’s walls, which had then earned the tag of “Murder Castle.”  He was sentenced to death, ya think!  He did his damnedest trying to lie his way out of it, but at the end, he did admit to 30 murders, even though we know there were way more, I guess standing in his shoes, what difference does it make, he’s gonna be a dead man too.

In response to his atrocities, he was quoted as saying, “I was born with the devil in me. I could not help the fact that I was a murderer, no more than the poet can help the inspiration to sing…I was born with the evil one standing as my sponsor beside the bed where I was ushered into the world, and he has been with me since.”

hangH.H. Holmes was hanged on May 7, 1896.

Murder Castle suffered destruction from several unexplained explosions prior to Holmes’ death in an apparent attempt at an insurance scam. His partner, Mrs. Quinian, confessed to an un-awarded policy and the rest of the castle was demolished.

A Post Office was built on the site in 1938 and guess what! Folks start reporting paranormal activity!  Ghostly apparitions, strange noises and even reports that dogs will run across the street to avoid walking near the building.  Postal workers have reported hearing screams and cries for help, they believe are the tortured spirits of  Holmes’s victims.

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Haunted History – The Cecil Hotel

So let’s talk about the Cecil Hotel in L.A., trust me, not a place you’d want to book for vacation, unless you’re as demented as I am!

cecilThe Cecil is a low budget hotel and when I say low, I mean gutter low.  This 600 room train wreck plays host to transients and crackheads alike, offering a roof over their guests heads for about $470 per month, getting the picture, yeah, it’s like that!  Since its construction in 1927 it has been the site for multiple suicides, murders, and disappearances as well as providing a sanctuary for serial killers.

cycsternIn 2013 the Cecil was the site of a mysterious death, this highly publicized tragedy hit headlines across the nation, you may have heard something about it.  It started out with complaints from the guests, stating that the water smelled bad and had a foul taste.  Well, when maintenance staff started investigating the cause it took a while but eventually a corpse was discovered in the water cistern on the roof.  At the bottom of the tank were the remains of a Canadian tourist named Elisa Lam, ring a bell yet?

Just imagine, these folks had been bathing in, brushing their teeth and cooking with the same water that Lams body had been decomposing in, fantastic right!  Lam had checked into the hotel on January 26 and was reported missing on February 1st. No on knows what happened to her to this day but closed circuit tv recordings showed  Lam acting bizarrely, hiding in the lift, then pressing all the buttons before peering out strangely. She eventually exits the lift and gestures to someone – or something – outside the doors.

After this, she vanished. Her body was discovered in the tank on the secured and alarmed rooftop over two weeks later.  In watching the footage it appears that Lam had consumed some serious drugs when she is filmed in the lift, yet no substances were found in her system during an autopsy.

The coroner ruled her death “accidental due to drowning”, yet many questions remain unanswered. What actually happened to Lam may never be known.

rrAs far as those serial killers, yeah, here we go:  The Cecil was home to ‘Night Stalker’ Richard Ramirez, an American serial killer, rapist and burglar during 1984-85. The satanist’s terrorized L.A. before he was finally captured and convicted of 13 murders.

He lived on the top floor in a $14-a-night room while he slaughtered his 13 female victims.  It was convenient for him, he’d just dump his bloody clothes in the dumpster at the end of the evening and go into the hotel via the rear entrance.  Ramirez was sentenced to death in a gas chamber in 1989, and on receiving his sentence showed no remorse, his last statement: “Big deal. Death always went with the territory. See you in Disneyland.” Yeah, keep that shit in mind when you book your summer vacation with the kids right!

jackAustrian serial killer Jack Unterweger also stayed at the hotel in 1991 for five weeks. During this time he murdered three prostitutes, who would enter his room via the fire escape for a measly $30.  This all occurred after he had been jailed and released in Austria for similar murders.  He was released as an example for rehabilitation and was hired by an Austrian magazine to be a crime writer in Los Angeles.  The disturbed crime journalist is believed to have been paying homage to his subject, Richard Ramirez, when he beat, sexually assaulted and then strangled the women with their own bra straps.

g1And what about the suicides and murders?  The horrors started at the beginning of the great depression.   In 1929 a 33 year old woman was taken to the hospital after wandering around the hotel for 3 days while acting in a bizarre manner.  According to reports, she was distraught over the sudden death of her husband and had tried to poison herself with prescribed barbiturates. She failed in her attempt.  After this, the hotel became known as a suicide hot spot.  The first suicide was documented only a few weeks later when a 46 year old man intentionally od’s on poison.   The following year, a 25-year-old man shot himself in his hotel room.  A year later, a young truck driver was fatally pinned against the hotel by a large truck.

g2In 1934, another lonely man took his life.  and then a marine fireman named Roy Thompson, who had been at the Cecil for several weeks, was found dead in the skylight of the building next door after apparently jumping from his hotel room.   Oh, I’m not finished because Pauline Otton, 27, threw herself to her death from a ninth-floor window after arguing with her husband. She landed on pedestrian George Gianinni, 65, on the street below, killing him instantly. Oh and helen Gurnee too, she plunged to her death from a seventh-floor window, her body landing atop the hotel marquee above the heads of pedestrians,  and check this out,  In 1947, Elizabeth Short, nicknamed the Black Dahlia, was allegedly seen at the Cecil bar shortly before she was murdered.

In an unsolved murder in 1964, Pigeon woman, Goldie Osgood, who enjoyed feeding the birds in a nearby square, was found dead in her room. She had been stabbed, strangled and raped – and then had her room ransacked.

These deaths are only a potion of the tragedies that have befallen the Cecil there are many more bizarre stories to be told such as the man accused of killing his girlfriend in Huntington Beach was arrested at the Cecil in 1988.   In 1995, a murder suspect named Eric Reed was found at the hotel, after breaking out of a jail in Castaic.

So, yeah, as I was saying, unless you are demented, not a place you’d care to book.  But I think we may spend some time on this join in a later episode.  I’ve only researched the grizzly deaths associated with the Cecil, There have got to be some serious ghosts wandering around this hotel today, wouldn’t you think?  Yeah, I’m thinking I’ll have to dig into this a little further but at least now we know the background, so later when we talk about the hauntings, we’ll at least have a better understanding of why right!

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The Lemp Mansion is crazy haunted!

The Lemp family has one of the most tragic histories around, and most of them are still clinging to this place that they last knew as home. Over the years, the mansion was transformed from the lavish home of millionaires, to office space, then to a decaying run-down boarding house, before being restored as a upscale dinner theater, restaurant and bed and breakfast.

So the Lemps moved from Germany to St Louis in 1838. They built a little grocery store there where they sold household items, groceries and homemade beer. Well that beer was the shit! two years later the Lemps gave up the grocery store and built a small brewery in 1840. Lemp sold his beer in a pub that was attached to the brewery and it wasn’t long before he’d have to expand again. So he finds this limestone cave just south of the city limits that he could keep cool by chopping ice from the Mississippi river to keep things cold during the lagering process. Lemps Western Brewing company continued to grow and by the time old man Lemp died in 1862 he was a millionaire.

So his son takes over and starts off with this major expansion. and by 1864 his operation covered 5 city blocks. By the 1870s the Lemps were the most wealthy and powerful family in the area, at least up til the prohibition.

In 1868, William Lemp’s father-in-law, built a house near the Lemp Brewery. In 1876 William purchased it as his family home and office. Now this home was already impressive, but Lemp immediately starts renovating and expanding. Under the mansion, a tunnel was built from the basement through the caves to the brewery. When mechanical refrigeration became available, parts of the cave were upgraded adding stuff like a natural auditorium and a theatre. later on there would be a large concrete swimming pool, with hot water piped in from the brewery boiling house, and a bowling alley.

By the middle 1890s, the Lemp Brewery grew again when it began marketing “Falstaff” beer, which is still brewed today. At the same time he was building his own business empire, William, also helped Pabst, Anheuser and Busche get started.

So now that things are really rolling, the Lemp family experienced the first of many tragedies. Frederick Lemp, William’s favorite son and heir apparent, died of heart failure in 1901 at the age of 28. William was never the same, he began a slow withdrawal and was rarely seen in public after that. 3 years later On January 1, 1904, William’s closest friend, Frederick Pabst, died, William lost interest in running the brewery. He’d show up but was nervous and unsettled. His physical and mental health began to decline and on February 13, 1904, he shot himself in the head with a .38 caliber Smith & Wesson.

In November 1904, William Jr. took over as the new president of the William J. Lemp Brewing Company. After inheriting the family business and a vast fortune, he and his wife, Lillian, start burning through the cash. They filled the house with servants, and spent tons on new carriages, clothes and fancy art.

Lillian was a hot little tramp who came from money and before long she became known as the “Lavender Lady”. In addition to her lavender attire and accessories, she had her carriage and horses harness’ died lavender. In the beginning, Will enjoyed showing off his “trophy wife” but Will was a “player” and that wasn’t gonna last. Old boy started giving his wife 1000 dollars a day to get her out of his hair. He demanded that she spent her time shopping but there was an ultimatum attached to the cash, if she didn’t spend it, she wouldn’t get any more.

So his wife is preoccupied with shopping all day every day, but at night, Will let his ho hang out. He held these killer parties in the caves below the mansion, bringing in prostitutes for the “entertainment” along with the swimming pool, the bowling alley, and the free flowing beer.

Well at some point it all caught up with him when he knocked up one of these hookers. This poor kid was born with Downs Syndrome, Will considered him an embarrassment that could not be associated with the Lemp family name. So this kid, who became known as the monkey face boy, was hidden away in the attic for his entire life. Yeah, as you’ve probably already guessed, he’s still there today.

Eventually, Will, filed for divorce in 1908 which back in the day was just outright scandalous. The Court room was like being on set at the Jerry Springer show and folks were flocking in from miles away to witness the drama. Despite the fact that everyone knew of William’s whoring around and drinking problems, Lillian almost lost custody of her son because of a photograph that surface of her smoking a cigarette. In the end, she was awarded custody and after the divorce she disappeared from the public eye.

Well, Will’s trouble had just started, while all this divorce drama was going on 9 of the larger breweries in the area had merged which created a level of competition that the Lemps had never known. As he’s watching his sales dwindle, his mother dies of cancer. William allowed the company to deteriorate, by World War I, the brewery was just barely limping along.

Then Prohibition came along in 1919, by then the family was already wealthy so they didn’t really give a damn about the brewery any more. Lemp closed the plant without notice.

On March 20, 1920, Elsa Lemp, William’s sister, shot herself just like her father had years before.

After the end of the Lemp’s brewing dynasty, William, Jr. slipped into a depression. Acting much like his father, he became increasingly nervous and erratic, shunning public life and often complaining about his health. On December 29, 1922, he shot himself, in the heart with a .38 caliber revolver, in the very same building where his father had died eighteen years before. William, II took his life on the main level of the mansion, just inside the entrance to the left.

In 1943, William Lemp III died of a heart attack at the age of forty-two.

Williams brother Charles eventually remodeled the mansion back into a residence and lived in the house along with two servants and the monkey faced boy. Then he started weirding out. He developed a morbid fear of germs, and would wear gloves 24 7 . Then the monkey faced boy who was now in his thirties, drops dead. Shortly after that, Charles became the fourth member of the Lemp family to commit suicide. He was discovered on May 10, 1949 by one of his staff, still holding a .38 caliber Army Colt revolver in his right hand.

The last remaining brother lived out the rest of his days in his private home in Kirkwood, According to his last wishes, his butler burned all of the paintings that the Lemps had collected throughout his life, as well as priceless Lemp family documents and artifacts.

The mansion was then sold and turned into a boarding house and there went the neighborhood. After year of deterioration, haunted tales start circulating. Residents were complaining of phantom knocking and the sounds of footsteps being heard all through the house. As the stories of misty figures and ghostly music spread, so did the lack of occupants, the mansion was now nothing more than a flop house.

In 1975, the old mansion was purchased by the Pointer family. A drastic renovation began and by the end of it all the Lemp mansion was turned into a upscale restaurant and inn. Now during the reconstruction, the family and workers were constantly having encounters. There were of course the strange sounds, phantom footsteps and whispering but the workers were constantly complaining about feeling like they were being watched, and their tools were constantly disappearing. Many of them claimed to have spotted misty apparitions floating from room to room, and a lot of those guys, left and never went back.

So, after the restaurant opened, staff members start reporting some crazy shit going on. They were all talking about these apparitions that would approach them, then suddenly disappear. Voices and sounds were coming from out of nowhere, and sometimes glasses would lift up off the bar and go flying across the room. As if that wasn’t enough, doors were locking and unlocking by themselves, lights turning on and off, and then, sometimes there were sounds of the piano being played when no one was sitting there.

Folks think that several members of the Lemp family are the ones that are responsible for all this chaos. There’s three spots in the mansion that have a ton of activity — the stairway, the attic, and what the staff refers to as, the “Gates of Hell” which of course, is in the basement, more specifically, the entrance to the caves that run below the mansion and the brewery.

The attic is haunted by William, Jr’s illegitimate son, who lived his life being referred to only as the “Monkey Face Boy.” This poor kid, spent his entire life locked up in that attic. So it’s not really a shocker that crazy shit goes down on the third floor. There’s tons of reports from folks seeing his face in the attic windows looking down at them. Paranormal investigators have left toys in his room, They draw circles around the toys to see if they move. Every time, when they go back to check, the toys have moved from where they were first placed.

Then, there’s the Women’s bathroom, on the main floor which was once the personal domain of William, Jr’s. This is where the first free standing shower in St. Louis was installed. a lot of chicks have gone in there to handle heir business and came out pissed off. bitching about some dude who was peeking over the stall at them. One time, this chick comes out of the bathroom, goes back to the bar and told the two dudes she was there with: “I hope you got an eyeful!” However, the two men had never left the bar, the bartender backed up their story then informed her that it was the ghost of the William Jr., who was pretty much a freak.

Now in William Sr’s room, folks have reported hearing somebody running up the stairs and kicking at the door. When William killed himself, it was a known fact that William Jr ran up the stairs to his father’s room and found the door locked so he kicked the door down to get to his old man.

And outside the mansion, there’s been tons of reports of folks hearing horses galloping up, but when they look in the direction the sounds coming from, nothings there.

So there’s a few really cool tales from folks that have been on tours there, one in particular had about 20 people in the tour and some crazy stuff was going down that night! While they were in the attic, several folks saw a shadow following them around. then a couple of them swore they heard the voice of a small child calling out for help.

Then, later on in the tour, some of them noticed a older, pale man in black pants with a white shirt coming toward them, they thought he was a member of the staff. Well, on their way back down the same hall, they noticed William Sr’s door was open and there was a key in the lock. A couple of them peeked around in the room out of curiosity, it had obviously been rented out by guests. Well, a little while later, those guests came back to their room and were pissed that the door was standing wide open, oh, and there was no key in the lock. So they go to rip the Manager a new one, well the manager tells them that it was impossible for anyone to have gone in there, there were only 2 keys to that room, the guests had one, he had the other.

On another tour, some folks had a similar experience in the attic. Four of them heard a little boy say “Come play with me”

There’s a lot of other personal encounters and experiences there, this one chick says that in 2003 she and her Aunt went to the Lemp mansion, checked in had some lunch then went sight seeing, before they left they were given a key and told that they were the only folks staying there that night. So, when they get back they decide to go explore the place. Their first eerie encounter was a large orb in the doorway of Charles Lemp’s door. At the top of the stairs, she began to feel uneasy, but her Aunt wanted to keep going, so they did, Then they came to a hallway on the left, she said that there was such a foreboding feeling there that she couldn’t physically make herself go down that hall. So, they decide to crash for a little while.

So, she just dozes off and was suddenly woke up by the sound of a baby crying and some woman talking just outside of her door. So, she’s pissed that whoever it was with the kid was rude enough to just keep standing there talking outside their door. Well eventually she doesn’t hear them any more and goes back to sleep.

The next morning they go downstairs and see two chicks there taking down Christmas decorations, in their conversation, they found out that they had been the only people in the house all night, no woman and certainly no baby had been booked there. The next night, they’re still the only folks in the house, so they start exploring again. While the Aunt was walking around in one of the bedrooms, this chick had a shadow speed by her as she’s looking down the staircase. Later on that night, when they were back in their room, the Aunt was woke up a couple of times during the night by someone petting her hair.

The next morning, they went to explore a little more before the staff came in to open the restaurant. When they left their room, this chick left her phone laying on the bed, black phone, white comforter, there were no encounters that morning, so they go back to the room to finish packing. She said she remembered that her phone wasn’t on the bed, she assumed that maybe she mindlessly stuck it in her purse or something. So, they wind up leaving before the staff arrived, and made it to the airport early. They get through security and board their plane.

When they land the chick’s husband is there to pick her and her aunt up, he mentions that she’d called him several times and when he answered no one was there then the line would go dead. She was confused because she knew she hadn’t called him. She thought maybe her phone was just getting bumped around in her purse and redialing his number. A half an hour later, hubby’s cell phone rings, it’s her number, he answers, the line goes dead. So she starts digging through her purse for the phone, its not there. She assumes that its in her suitcase which is in the trunk and blows it off again. The drive home took a little over three hours, during that time, his his phone rang 3 more times, all calls from her number.

When she gets home, she searched her suitcase for the phone, it wasn’t there. So she calls the Lemp Mansion and they sent someone up to look in the room, it wasn’t there either. She called the rental car company, it wasn’t in the car. So, she gives up, calls her cell provider and has the phone cut off. When the bill comes in her mind was blown when she saw that ALL the phone calls had come exactly at 38 minutes after the hour and ALL to my husband’s phone. That’s some madness right there ya’ll!

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Get your CREEPY on for $5 OFF!!! The Line Up’s – Creepy Crate!

That’s right! They’re back and better than ever!  Those Creepy Kids over at the Line Up have been scouring the darkest scourges of the planet in search of the most bizarre and macabre items to appease fans of horror, like us!  These Crates are jam packed with spooky trinkets and shipped straight to your door at a massive discount because the “Line Up”  loves fans of horror!  But that wasn’t enough!  The “Line Up” also loves the “Twisted Southern Horror Queen” show so, they’re giving the listeners an even BIGGER discount!

Use the code “TWISTED” when you check out and you’ll get an additional $5 off your subscription!  For more information, or to order your Crate now, check it out here!

Here’s a peek at what you’ve been mission out on:

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The Dead Children’s Playground

So, there’s this crazy, creepy cemetery that was founded in 1822, Maple Hill is the oldest and largest cemetery in Alabama, almost 100 acres!  But this little bone yard has a unique feature that you just don’t see every day.  Tucked away in a cove that’s surrounded by a rock cliff on three sides, where paths lead through the woods, there’s the Dead Children’s Playground.  Now, during the day, it’s an eerily cheerful looking little spot that just happens to be in the middle of a grave yard.  But, when the sun goes down, things change. What looks like just some little roadside kiddie park turns into something a little more on the creepy side, cause that’s when the ghost children come out to play.  So why in the Hell would anyone put a playground in the middle of a graveyard to begin with, right?

Well, legend has it that back in the 1960’s there was a rash of child abductions, and sadly, the mutilated bodies of the missing children were found in the area where the playground stands today.  Since then, there have been reports of swings moving on their own, children yelling & giggling, and when photos are taken, orbs of light that are believed to be the spirits of the kids are captured on film.  A lot of this activity occurs between 10 p.m. and 3 a.m., far too late for any live kid to be outside playing, but the “perfect” time for a ghosts!

The most widely reported phenomenon is the common occurrence of swings moving themselves, Ok, so that could just be the wind right, yeah, not so much.  Folks that have witnessed this also say that the swings will come to a complete stop.  Some folks have even seen dust rising up from the ground under the swings, just like somebody’s dragging their feet or maybe they jumped off only seconds ago.  Others who have taken pictures there can see circles of light or bright misty figures in their photos, most of which are around the same height as a kid.

So, check this out, In the fall of 2007, the City of Huntsville tried to take the playground over to make room for more grave sites.  They tried to pull this stunt in the middle of the night so the locals wouldn’t get pissed off, yeah, that didn’t really work out for them.  One day the playground was there and the next day all of the equipment was torn down and the area was destroyed.  Well, the locals were pissed!  They raised so much hell that the City had to pull the work order for the cemetery and install new playground equipment.  That’s right, we Southerners embrace our ghosts, especially the young ones!  So, the attempt by the city was a massive failure.  In the meanwhile, none of the paranormal activity skipped a beat, in fact, if anything, there’s only more of it these days.  I guess the ghost kids are digging the new playground equipment!

In January of 2008, The Alabama Paranormal Society did an investigation there.  One of the team members heard the voice of either a woman or female child.  She quickly snapped a photo of the area where it came from and when it was developed, she was ecstatic to see that she’d captured the misty figure of a woman.  It’s not unusual for folks to find orbs in most of the pictures taken there, but this chick lucked out on that night.  Besides the common appearances of orbs, folks report seeing the misty figures of children in and around the playground which of course are accompanied by the sounds of them laughing and playing.  Some times, a few lucky folks have reported the voice of a child calling out, inviting them to come and play with them.

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The Haunted Morse Mill Hotel

This week’s blog is about the Morse Mill Hotel in Hillsboro, Missouri. This place has a pretty crazy history behind it, let me lay that out for you.

So first off, this area was settled in 1799 by Francis Wideman, who was widely believed by the locals to be a sorcerer who, according to his own brother, John Morse, could “conjure up the devil.”  So there’s that!

Now, The Morse Mill Hotel was originally built in 1816 by John Morse, he was an engineer that was well known for building bridges.  In the beginning it was a modest little place but a little later, Morse decided that it was time to add on so it was expanded into this 5300 sq ft. monstrosity of a residence.  But, since then, this joint has been used as a hospital for Confederate war prisoners, a hotel, a whore house, speakeasy, a post office and a half way house and, it’s also rumored to have been one of the connections for the underground rail road, so yeah, there’s a little history there right!

Needless to say, there’s been some pretty interesting folks known to hang out at this place. One of them was one of the first known female serial killers in the U. S., Bertha Gifford. Seems old girl had a lot of folks fooled back in the day.  Locals thought she was just a kind hearted chick that would show up at the homes of sick family or friends to help comfort them and maybe help out around the house.  Well, it never failed that shortly after she left the house, folks would drop dead.

So, after the locals started noticing a pattern, they started watching her.  She was showing up at these homes with cyanide laced truffles. *Foot note here folks, just in case you need it for some reason, cyanide kind of smells like almonds, so just throwing that out there if you were considering baking a cake or something and taking it over to your ex or, whatever.

Well eventually the law figured out what she’d been doing and they went to arrest her.  She was tried but found not guilty due to insanity.  So, old girl spent the rest of her life in the nut house where she died in 1952. Bertha took out somewhere in the neighborhood of 20 people withe her toxic truffles.

Besides this crazy tramp, there were quite a few other well known folks that hung out at the Morse Mill, Folks like Frank Dalton, Al Capone, Charles Lindbergh, Charlie Chaplin and Clara Bow.

So obviously this dude Morse is doing pretty well financially with a client list like that right! Well, in 1847, he built a commercial grist mill on the River using slaves to quarry the stones for the building. He also wound up owning two general stores and a contracting company before going on to be a state politician.  After Morse dies the residence became the Riverside Hotel and was expanded again.  Morse Mill then turns into a resort town, for the rich folks.

Ok, so now you have a pretty good rundown of the history on this joint right, let’s talk about a few of the documented experiences that have gone down here.

So there’s this article about a documentary called the “Morse Mill Project” that was being filmed in November of 2008. These guys got tons of documentation while they were there investigating!  All of them reported seeing the dark shadow of a towering man there.  Their cameras were under constant attack and on more than one occasion, some of them would randomly raise up from the floor and rotate 360 degrees.  While they were upstairs, one of the investigators was scratched through her shirt by some unseen clawed hand.  Then, the team heard a loud metallic sounding clattering coming from downstairs.  They snatch up their equipment, run downstairs and find that the fireplace poker had been bent into a U shape and flung into the coal bed.

Besides all that, they heard footsteps all around the house and some of them experienced being slapped in their faces by unseen hands.

In another article in Haunted Times Magazine, there was a write up from this other paranormal investigation team that caught some pretty eye opening evidence. Before their equipment was even set up, on the first walk-through of the building, one of the investigators was scratched across his neck, leaving 3 distinct fingernail marks with him for the remainder of the investigation.

This article made reference to when Morse Mill was being used as a homeless shelter. There were constant reports from the residents of a big black shadow person, Other reports said that folks were seeing faces in the mirrors as well.

Today, Morse Mill has undergone restoration and is set up as a B&B, there are tours available and of course you can grab a room there, if you want to test your luck!

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