poltergeist

Or, Take A Peek Into The Haunted Mansion

Is an Oswego Spirit Haunting the NY Governor’s Mansion?

Written by Steve Yablonski in June 2017

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Is Gov. Andrew Cuomo being haunted by the ghost of a former Port City pastor?

At some recent public events, the governor has taken to playfully discussing spooky happenings at the Executive Mansion, his 160-year-old Eagle Street home.

He claims he doesn’t believe in ghosts, the noises the mansion makes in the dark of night still “creep him out.”

“It’s me alone when I’m in the house because my family’s in Westchester,” Cuomo said in an interview with the Albany Times Union early last month, alluding to the home he shares downstate with his partner, Sandra Lee. “The kids are in school. So it’s me alone. There are stories that this house is haunted. Now, I don’t believe in ghosts, and I’m a big tough Italian guy. But I’ll tell you – it gets creepy in that house and there are a lot of noise that go on and you are very alone.”

Perhaps he is being visited by Gov. Charles Evans Hughes’ father.

The elder Hughes died in the Executive Mansion in December 1909, “following a recent stroke of apoplexy,” according to the New York Times.

Whether there were any other deaths in the mansion before it came into the state’s possession in 1877 is unknown. At the very least, none were recorded.

A native of Wales, the 77-year-old arrived in the United States in 1855 and preached at churches in Oswego, Brooklyn, New Jersey and Pennsylvania, according to his obituary.

The Reverend David C. Hughes was the pastor of the West Baptist Church on the corner of West Third and Mohawk streets in Oswego, according to Justin White, president of the Oswego County Historical Society.

The church was an offshoot of the First Baptist Church, which was located on the east side in Washington Square.

The West Baptist Church was formed in 1853, but the current church that stands today was built in 1867.

“Half the cost was financed by Thomas Kingsford, which allowed for a more substantial ornate church,” White said. “It was designed by Andrew Jackson Warner of Rochester, who also designed the Richardson-Bates House and the Oswego Ladies Home.”

Rev. Hughes was the pastor during the construction of the “new” church and was the pastor from 1866 to 1869.

“Ministers often traveled from one church to another and did not stay in one place for long,” White said. “The building of a new church would have been an important legacy.”

What makes this even more interesting is that he was the father of the Hon. Charles Evan Hughes, who had an equally amazing life, he added.

“He was the Governor of New York State, the Secretary of State under President Harding and then Chief Justice of Supreme Court under President Hoover. He also ran for president in 1915,” White said.

Charles Hughes was a child when he lived in Oswego; started school in the Port City and became a “scholar” of the church Sunday school.

“When the stained class memorial windows replaced the original windows in the church by Haskin Glass Studios of Rochester, Hughes donated one the called “Gethsemane” in memory of his father for his time in Oswego at the minister of West Baptist Church,” White said.

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Jared Leto’s Haunted House?

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Jared Leto’s house is haunted.

The ‘Suicide Squad’ actor lives in a converted Air Force base in the Hollywood Hills and believes the estate is inhabited by ghosts.

He told the latest issue of ES magazine: “God knows what they did here, but it talks. We’ve already had ghost sightings reported by my housekeeper. A handyman quit the project as he had an encounter. But I feel quite at home up here. It’s like a refuge. You’re at the top of this mountain. There’s this breeze coming through. It’s hard to leave.”

And Jared, 45, also revealed he believes in Singularity, the theory that technological advances will lead to machines that are smarter than human beings and that man and technology will eventually merge.

He said: “It’s far away but I don’t think it’s science fiction. I think it’s reality. Haven’t you had that thing, where you dream something and it sort of … happens? It’s inevitable that will happen at some point. You’d have to be a monkey not to see that. The difference between ourselves and our technology will be hard to decipher and determine.

“I mean, this is a long time in the future, but we are going to become an interplanetary species. Culture and society will advance. And we will become indistinguishable from the technology that gets us there. If you refuse, you are going to be left behind in the Dark Ages. You won’t even be able to talk to people, you’ll be grunting compared to the language that they speak.”

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Radiohead Talk Recording “OK Computer” in a Haunted House

Written by Luke Morgan Britton in May 2017

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Radiohead have recalled working on their classic album ‘OK Computer’ in a haunted house, speaking in a new interview to mark the 20th anniversary of their seminal record.

The band recently announced the 20th anniversary reissue of their classic album ‘OK Computer’. Originally released in 1997, ‘OK Computer’ was largely recorded at St Catherine’s Court in Bath between 1996 and early 1997.

Speaking of the Somerset manor house where the likes of The Cure and New Order have also recorded, guitarist Jonny Greenwood has told Rolling Stone that “people were always hearing sounds” in the house.

Frontman Thom Yorke added: “Ghosts would talk to me while I was asleep. There was one point where I got up in the morning after a night of hearing voices and decided I had to cut my hair.” The singer described how he proceeded to attempt to cut his hair with “the little scissors on a penknife” and “cut myself a few times. It got messy. I came downstairs and everyone was like, ‘Uh, are you all right?’ I was like, ‘What’s wrong?’ Phil very gently took me downstairs and shaved it all off.”

Elaborating on his psyche during the making of ‘OK Computer’, Yorke said: “I was basically catatonic. The claustrophobia – just having no sense of reality at all… I was getting into the sense of information overload, which is ironic, really, since it’s so much worse now.”

“The paranoia I felt at the time was much more related to how people related to each other,” he added. “But I was using the terminology of technology to express it. Everything I was writing was actually a way of trying to reconnect with other human beings when you’re always in transit. That’s what I had to write about because that’s what was going on, which in itself instilled a kind of loneliness and disconnection.”

“Back then,” Yorke recalled, “the person I saw in the mirror kept saying, ‘You’re shit. Everything you do is shit. Don’t do that. It’s shit.’ ”

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Haunted Insane Asylum Part of Iowa Barn Tour

Written by Alma Gaul in June 2017

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The 2½-story limestone building stands alone on a rural county road in Jackson County.

It is the only structure that remains on what was once the county “poor farm,” a name given to farms set up years ago to give a home to people who, for whatever reason, did not have one.

Constructed in 1870, it was the “insane asylum,” where people judged by the state to be “incurably insane” were locked away.

Local historian Don Wentworth believes it is haunted.

“When you go up the stairs, there is a hall with chambers, or cells, on either side, and at the end of the hall is a door with a lock on it,” he said. “You have to have a key to open it.

“The (caretaker) keeps getting calls that it’s open when no one has been out there. That’s why we call it an authentic haunted place. Because there’s no way to do that.”

So why is this building on the Spring Barn Tour, a free, self-guided event to be held this Saturday-Sunday, June 10-11, sponsored by the Iowa Barn Foundation?

The foundation is a nonprofit group founded in 1997, dedicated to preserving Iowa’s rural buildings that are symbols of Iowa’s early agricultural heritage.

The answer is that because after its use as an asylum, the building was converted to agricultural purposes, used to raise hogs and chickens.

Each year, the spring tour highlights buildings in various parts of the state; this year, the Quad-City region is featured, with six barns in Jackson County and four barns and two corn cribs in Clinton County.

A building with haunted ties definitely is a first for the foundation.

The former asylum is empty inside, Wentworth said. The second-floor door that mysteriously opens without a key opens to … nothing. A person stepping through the door would fall to the ground below. Although there are no known photos of how the building looked when it was built, Wentworth assumes the door originally opened to a balcony or landing with stairs to the ground.

One of the windows still contains a steel grate, making it impossible for anyone inside to get out.

During the late 1800s, people with mental illnesses were regarded as hazards to themselves and to others who needed to be locked away, Wentworth said.

“And there are stories of widows who were committed by their families to get their hands on their money,” he said.

The building was restored in 1993 and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

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Or, A Southern California Haunted Hotspot

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The Ultimate Ghost Town

Written by Manny Sandoval

The City of Redlands is deemed to be one of the most haunted towns in America.

From apparitions of a boy swinging on a swing at Mariposa Elementary School, to hearing footsteps run across the stage at Prospect Park to an even more frightening demonic face that appears inside The Barton Mansion. There is no doubt that Redlands is the ultimate city to ghost hunt.

Redland’s Mariposa Elementary school is filled with happy students by day, but at night its known to be extremely quiet, dark and eerie.

The City of Redlands is deemed to be one of the most haunted towns in America. From apparitions of a boy swinging on a swing at Mariposa Elementary School, to hearing footsteps run across the stage at Prospect Park to an even more frightening demonic face that appears inside The Barton Mansion. There is no doubt that Redlands is the ultimate city to ghost hunt. Redland’s Mariposa Elementary school is filled with happy students by day, but at night its known to be extremely quiet, dark and eerie.

Barton House

In the 1950s a boy named Billy was happily riding a bike and was suddenly hit by a bus in front of the school.

Although Billy later died at a nearby hospital, many claim that he still wanders the school grounds.

It has been reported in several different cases that if you knock on the nurse’s office door, someone will knock back. There have also been reports of Billy rocking the swings back and forth, from time to time.

“I visited Mariposa Elementary school with my older sister and her boyfriend when I was about 15 years old,” said Arnie Lopez, San Bernardino resident. “It was a Friday night and we went to knock on the office door/nurses door and sure enough, something knocked back. I never ran so fast in my life.”

School officials claim that there is no paranormal activity going on whatsoever, which is understandable when you do not want the public trespassing the school grounds in the wee hours of the night.

“I have been to Mariposa Elementary and knocked on the nurse’s door at midnight, and the AC clicks on and the door is vacuumed in and knocks back,” said Yucaipa resident, Rob Thorpe.

“I use to run around Kimberly Crest and Prospect Park making the security guards chase my friends and me, while running from the guard, someone reached out one of the orange trees as I passed and grabbed a hold of me, and it was NOT one of the people I was with. Scared the living poo out of me,” continued Thorpe.

Speaking of Prospect Park, this is also another blood-curdling location that ghosts’ often tend to be seen or heard at.

Prospect Park is one of the oldest and largest parks in California, located on the hillside of Redlands, also known by locals as ‘Sunny-side Redlands.’

Orange grove

In 2013, a man was arrested for raping and murdering a woman, and afterward, her dead body was discovered in the park.

It has also been a popular hangout and sleeping spot for the homeless; which even more dead bodies have been reported from time to time.

Prospect Park is also thought to be a prime location for Satan worshipers to gather at night according to aboutredlands.com.

The most popular tale in regards to this park is about an 11-year-old girl named Lee Ann who was walking home from Kingsbury Elementary school and was abducted while taking a short cut through the rugged orange groves.

She was later found dead, naked, and thrown under the stage in the middle of Prospect Park.

Prospect Park

“I had an eerie experience at Prospect Park. The street lights were all flickering and I heard footsteps and items falling or banging from backstage of the theater,” said Elizabeth Dillon, Redlands resident.

Although many people claim to experience supernatural activity at this park, others do not seem to have the same luck.

“My friends and I visited the park last year and nothing happened, it’s just really creepy at night. You can easily trick yourself into hearing or seeing a thing,” said Los Angeles resident, Joel Morris.

Although some people’s experiences are a laughing matter, when multiple people spot the same demonic face throughout an old Victorian mansion, that is a totally different story.

The Barton Mansion is also known to have been a popular meet up spot for Satan worshipers.

There are also claims that this home was built on top of ancient Native American burial grounds.

Also, the home once served as an insane asylum and a prison.

Today The Barton Mansion serves as a law office.

The Mansion was built in the 1860s and became a hot spot after paranormal investigators posted a video of their findings online in the early 2000s.

The video investigation can be found on YouTube, by simply typing, ‘Barton Mansion’ in the search bar.

In the video, the group of paranormal investigators is investigating the home, when moments later they encounter and capture an apparition of a demon.

There has been much debate as to whether the video is real or not.

“People have reported an intense feeling of being watched by a very unwelcoming source. Disembodied voices have been heard and shadowy figures have been seen darting up and down the staircase,” according to hauntedplaces.org.

Now, whether you believe in the unknown and you are looking to encounter the paranormal, or if you feel that all of these reported incidents are totally bogus, dig deeper, do your research, and maybe visit one of our top three Haunted Redlands locations: if you dare.

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Or, Do You Believe In Ghosts?

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The Mirror in the Last Haunted Hotel

Written by Benjamin Radford in 2017

It was just before two in the morning; the place smelled old and I wasn’t much fresher. I stood quiet and still, alone at the top of the carpeted stairs in one of the most famous Old West–related haunted houses in America: the St. James Hotel in the small town of Cimmarron. It’s in northern New Mexico not far from the Colorado state line.

The historic hotel, built in 1872 as the Lambert Inn, was a prominent stopover for various gold-fevered prospectors and assorted ne’er-do-wells headed west. A parade of rooming outlaws and lawmen added to the hotel’s legend, including Wyatt Earp, Jesse James, Buffalo Bill Cody, and Annie Oakley. Jesse James was said to favor room 14, for example, and today most of the rooms are named for the gunslinging celebrity who allegedly quartered there.

The two-story St. James has kept maintenance in that historic part of the hotel to a bare minimum; the wallpaper is peeling, the doors are scratched, the blood-red carpet and wooden floors are worn. There are modern rooms on the property, but if you want a taste of the Old West and to imagine what it was like to stay there in the 1800s, it’s about as close as you’re going to get. Most of the furniture is antique—or at least quasi-antique—if not from that exact era, with allowances made for modern fire code regulations and minor amenities. A large mirror sits near the top of the stairs. Despite its pocked and blistered silvering, it is in good shape for its age and has surely held the reflections of countless farriers and farmers, harlots and handymen, gunslingers and ghost hunters who roomed there.

The bar of the St. James Hotel.

I’d spent much of the past eighteen hours investigating the grounds, interviewing people, doing historical research at the local library, photographing the area, cataloging claims, reviewing evidence, and taking notes. I’d spent much of the past eighteen years doing more or less the same thing in dozens of other supposedly spooky locations in North America and around the world. Though approaching each new mystery with an open mind and a boyish investigative eagerness to find ghosts and solve mysteries, I had to admit, in this hotel and at this late hour, to a certain numbness, a discouraged cumulative emotional and intellectual exhaustion with evidence that never seemed to improve, no matter the location, reputation, or particulars. It’s a sea of teasing second- and third-hand stories seemingly accepted as self-evident documentary evidence, a litany of twice-told tales “confirmed” by psychic visions, “feelings,” and sciencey Radio Shack beepy things.

I’d seen mirrors in many supposedly haunted locations associated with some ghostly lore—though I hadn’t come across any tales at the St. James related to that particular mirror—and I’d seen cases where mirrors played a role in explaining some ghost sightings. I was curious to see if there were any odd reflections one might mistake for a ghostly image that could be created by a camera flash. I took a handful of test photos, including a few of myself in the mirror. As the sharp click of the shutter faded and the flash burst slowly left my eyes, I met my mirrored gaze and grew, pardon the word, reflective.

I’d paced the decaying halls for an hour searching for any unusual or (seemingly) supernatural phenomenon. As my mind wandered, I wondered what I should look for. I’d read and heard about specific scary events at the St. James (of varying degrees of credibility), but none had manifested themselves to my skeptical eye or equipment. Many of those ghost stories were anonymous anecdotes from a time before the area had electricity—century-and-a-half-old reports of ghostly goings-on, vengeful spirits, and murderous mayhem, all clearly rooted in folklore.

I wondered what would genuinely frighten me. As a longtime movie buff (and the director of two short films), I have developed an eye for how directors and cinematographers frame their shots. TV and film scenes are a series of carefully composed images. A scene’s lighting, camera angle, color, actor blocking (positioning), focus, and many other elements are carefully considered and chosen to achieve a specific effect and reaction from an audience: suspense, surprise, humor, and so on.

It was likely much easier to be scared in the years before the light of science chased the shadows from the dark corners of the world. Our (Western) forefathers lived not so long ago in a world populated by unseen malevolent spirits such as fairies, vampires, and witches. Fear has its roots in the unknown, and as more and more is known about the world around us (ranging from mapping remote lands to understanding germ theory), it stands to reason that the world becomes less and less frightening. Fearsome monsters once rumored to roam South America and Africa or lurk in the murky depths of the oceans are now known not to exist. There is of course a cryptozoology-influenced middle ground, but most modern monsters are all too human and largely created by the news media: school shooters, candy-bearing pedophiles, foreign terrorists, and so on. We have become passive consumers of other people’s interpretations and depictions of what we fear—or are expected to fear—and much of that is visual.

The haunted hallway in the St. James Hotel.

This careful staging for visual clarity and maximum effect is most obvious in scenes where actors are sitting around a dinner table and are carefully positioned so that none have their back fully to the camera or are blocking other actors. Once you begin to notice it, it’s hard to miss the family or group unnaturally sitting around a table in a C-shaped semicircle so that the camera can see what they’re doing. By recognizing (and trying to strip away) the artificial cinematic conventions of ghosts, demons, and the supernatural from our expectations about the real world, we can try to imagine what agenuinely supernatural experience might be like. There is no reason to expect that genuinely supernatural creatures or entities would hew closely to our mass-media-mediated expectations of them.

As I stood at the top of the stairs, I tried to picture what I might see in the mirror in one of the region’s most famous haunted houses that might startle or frighten me—something that would nudge the needle of my internal Skeptometer into the Believer zone, no matter how slightly or briefly. Like many people, I endorse the famous X-Files phrase “I Want to Believe.” I do want to believe—but more so I want to know; belief by itself is cheap, as cheap and transient as doubt. What’s important is understanding the reasons and evidence that make a claim plausible or dubious. I wanted something real, something profound and soul-shaking and unmistakable, to occur. Not some later-noticed and tortuously enhanced small flash reflection orb in the corner of some photo, one mild “anomaly” among hundreds. Not some ambiguous dark blur or “shadow figure” whose origin as a long exposure is obvious to photographers and skeptics (but apparently few others).

No, I wanted something real, something both intellectually and emotionally compelling, something I hadn’t seen dozens of times before. Something that would make me question reality, make me doubt my experience-informed, science-based, heretofore generally negative conclusions about the quality of the evidence for ghosts.

I didn’t want to let my imagination run wild—after all, it was dark and so late it was early, and I was tired. I’d had a long drive and not enough coffee. I was all too familiar with the dynamics of psychological priming and suggestion at spooky locations, certainly enough to know that I’m not immune to it. As Richard Feynman sagely noted, a cardinal rule of science is that “you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool.”

Still, as my heavy-lidded gaze slowly shifted from spot to spot around the mirror, changing focus in the sickly yellowish glow cast by hallway light bulbs, a few visions came into my head. Bloody Mary was the most obvious, the most famous mirror-based ghost story. I pictured her suddenly appearing in the silvered gleam and reaching out toward my face with the classic, dramatic cliché of a pallid outstretched hand and filthy, cracked nails preparing to exact revenge upon the living—me, in this case, I assume—for daring to summon her.

Or maybe, I mused, like the Hispanic ghost La Llorona—and as in Kubrick’s The Shining—she’d appear as a beautiful woman before suddenly turning terrifying. Or would the ghost be closer to Sadako (Ringu), the long-maned Japanese girl who might climb out of the mirror and slowly, inexorably crawl toward me over the worn wooden floor in muted blue cathode-ray light of unknown origin?

I sought a pure, genuinely foreign experience, something unmistakably supernatural that could not be the product of a tired mind, a mild hallucination, or a half-forgotten memory of a scary film scene. It makes sense that our primal fears draw from our familiar bodies and lives, of course; Stephen King understands this and has mined deep fears from the ordinary for decades. If cats feared ghosts, those feline phantoms would surely have tails and walk on all fours; a cat skull—not a human one—would haunt their fervid nightmares.

No matter how deeply I mined my memories or imagination, all the scary, ghostly images I could conjure came from movies: the swarming luminous semi-transparent skeletal wraiths in Raiders of the Lost Ark; the creepy demonic face pushing though a flexible opaque fabric on the poster of Peter Jackson’s The Frighteners; the glimpse of a homeless subway rider’s rat-like tail in Jacob’s Ladder; and so on. Over and over when I tried to picture a real ghost, a genuine spirit of the undead, I drew not from my own personal subjective fears or experiences but from those of other people—and even those were not genuine but completely artificial computer-generated images carefully rendered and constructed by talented visual effects artist strangers. They didn’t know me; they didn’t know my personal fears. They were creating and dispensing memetic fear widgets that I had absorbed and internalized.

These were not organic fears summoned from the depths of my dark unconscious.

These were images created commercially by humans specifically for the purpose of scaring other humans—often using tired tropes such as skeletons (which honestly have never scared me; bones don’t frighten me because they prevent me from collapsing in a soft fleshy lump).

Those were the obvious Hollywood camera-friendly ghosts. But in my years of investigating, I’d never seen anything even close to resembling those. The best “ghost” videos were either fakes (occasionally clever but more often fairly obvious) or so ambiguous as to be close to worthless (reflections in windows, unnoticed long exposures, and so on). There’s no bell curve distribution to quality ghost evidence; instead it’s more of a pyramid shape, with the vast majority of ghost photos being of very poor quality, and the most compelling mysteries very rare.

I watched and waited, studying my reflection. I was tired. I felt as old and faded as the wallpaper.

I felt each minute standing silently in front of the old mirror.

I felt each hour at the hotel.

I felt each year doing the same investigations at dozens of places just like it, looking behind closed doors for spooks that weren’t there.

The search for some ghostly sign, the interviews with believers, the countless fruitless photos and videos and Rorschach EVPs—all that seemed to amount to nothing more than sound and fury: a handful of shadow, a fistful of rain.

As those thoughts lazily wandered through my mind, I returned to the moment and focused on my reflection again.

I sighed and finally gave up. There was nothing for me here or anywhere else I searched. I decided to end it. I was done. I took one last long look in the silver-pocked mirror on the second floor of the haunted St. James hotel and went to bed. Despite a lumpy bed in an old hotel, I slept better than I had in years.

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Haunted Bible on Sale on Ebay for $180,000

Written by Billy Hallowell, Feb. 2016

A seller in the U.K. has placed a “highly haunted” Bible on eBay, asking prospective buyers for a stunning $180,000 to purchase the holy book.

The seller claims that a friend who owns the book was “attacked several times by spirits” soon after gaining possession of it, and is so terrified that she no longer wants it.

“The last time she was attacked, she was pulled by her hair and dragged down the stairs getting bruises all over her body, which is when she thought enough was enough and she decided to give it to me so I could keep it for her in my empty house in Cumbria (England), while I was living in America,” the official item description reads.

The seller continued, “She didn’t want to get rid of it then, as it had sentimental values to her.”

The [seller said that they are] also “scared of keeping it.” For the time being, the book is apparently in an empty room inside of a “local ancient church.”

“I decided to put it up for sale, but because I know it is a very valuable antique item with its cover being leather, and having both black & white and colorful pictures throughout the whole book, which as I have been told dates back to the 1800s, hence the high staring bid!” they wrote.

The text concludes by saying that psychics examined the Bible and found that “many spirits are attached” to it, offering up a cryptic warning to anyone who has enough money to purchase it.

“I accept no responsibility for any poltergeist activities that this Bible might bring into your dwellings,” the seller said. “And I’m not to be held accountable to any incidents of the sort.”

An offer for £50,000 was already reportedly turned down, as the seller believes that the Bible holds the power to bring in a larger sum, the News & Star reported.

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Or, Enough Ghost Stories To Keep You Up At Night

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Truly Haunted Hotels For American Horror Story Hotel Inspiration

Written by Sean Erickson, Apr. 2015

In honor of American Horror Story: Hotel, we took a look at the classic motels and hotels that have made for some good to great cinema in the past. But what real life haunted hotels can American Horror Story season 5 use to creep the living daylights out of television viewers? Like John Cusack’s character in the movie 1408, let’s take a tour of the most notoriously haunted hotels in the US, shall we?

Crescent Hotel – Eureka Springs, Arkansas

crescent hotel

Crescent Hotel

Why not start the list off with the hotel that actually owns the URL, America’s Most Haunted Hotel? The Crescent Hotel is one of many supposedly haunted establishments that had a previous life as a dubious hospital before it was turned into the infamous hotel it is now. Unfortunately, while it was a “health resort”, it was under the control of a Norman G. Baker who had no real medical knowledge whatsoever and instead peddled “cures” for cancer which turned out to be nothing more that giving patient’s spring water.

Theodora is the most famous of the hotel’s ghosts, a victim of cancer and one of Baker’s clients, she appears as an apparition at the foot of the bed in “Theodora’s Room” at the Crescent Hotel – the second most requested room at the hotel, apparently. There’s also Norman Baker himself, who is also rumored to be haunting the premises along with many other mysterious guests – including the Irish stonemason Michael, who fell to his death while working on the construction of the hotel.

The hotel was even featured on a season 2 episode of Ghost Hunters, where they captured a full body apparition of a creepy guy in a top hat nodding his head. Book your room now, folks!

Hotel Parq Central – Albuquerque, New Mexico

parq central hotel

Hotel Parq Central / Memorial Hospital

Is a former health resort not spooky enough? How about a former mental hospital?

Trip Advisor calls the Hotel Parq Central “An Oasis, Slightly Haunted”. If you don’t mind whispery voices floating around you, the occasional cold spot enveloping you out of nowhere, or your sheets being torn from your bed in the middle of the night, this could be your ideal destination on your next stay in the American Southwest.

Previously known as the Memorial Hospital, the psychiatric institution has seemed to bring many of its former patients with it into the building’s new life as a hotel. The top floor of the right wing of the building seems to be the best place to spot the ghost of a woman hanging out and watching over the residents of the hotel. Even while it was a functioning hospital is is said that former patients and staff alike were routinely treated to floating objects, haunting voices and unexplained phenomena that gave them nightmares for years to come.

Retlaw Plaza Hotel – Fond Du Lac, Wisconsin

retlaw hotel

Retlaw Plaza Hotel, Room 717

Formerly a Ramada Inn that was formerly a nursing home which was a psychiatric hospital before that, the Retlaw Plaza Hotel has another haunted history that is right up American Horror Story‘s alley. Ratings on Trip Advisor can be summed up with, “Loved the hotel, not the ghost.”

Aside from its ghost producing past life as a psychiatric hospital, the hotel also sits on top of tunnels that were used by Chicago gangsters for clandestine meetings and other nefarious things. At some point the hotel’s owner Walter (that’s Retlaw spelled backwards) Schroeder was murdered in the hotel and his spirit haunts the place to this day.

Room 717 is the hotel’s hotbed for paranormal activity but residents and staff say the ghostly activity doesn’t stop there. In fact staff kept a daily log of weird activity which includes hair pulling, televisions changing channels, lights and faucets going on and off, banging on the walls, disembodied male voices, phantom footsteps and unseen bodies bumping into people. There are even sightings of a redheaded woman in a white robe disappearing into the walls.

If all this ins’t enough, it is believed that two of the hotel’s ghosts are man who hung himself on the second floor, which is now the ballroom, and a ballerina who jumped out of her seventh floor room window.

The Stanley Hotel – Estes Park, Colorado

Stanley Hotel

Stanley Hotel

The Stanley Hotel, and the infamous Room 217, is where Stephen King was staying when the idea for The Shining came upon him.

Both of the original hotel proprietors, F.O and Flora Stanley are said to haunt the hotel and can be heard playing piano at odd hours throughout the hotel. There are also numerous reports of lights and faucets going on and off and items suddenly being flung across hotel rooms.

Perhaps the creepiest tales form the Stanley Hotel have to do with the ominous sounds of children playing that can be heard in the halls of the hotel and behind the closed doors of Room 408. But when guests go to investigate there are no children. Guests of Room 408 also report to have left the room for a short period only to return and find the entire room trashed and creepy hand prints of small children all over the mirrors. *shudder*

The Stephen King tale has probably made The Stanley Hotel the most investigated haunted hotel in America, if not the world. Nothing sends shivers up the spine like ghostly kids who love to terrorize the guests at hotels in their spare time.

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<3 Anna

Or, Did Ghosts Push CNN Reporters Down The Stairs?

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Evil Spirits Attacked CNN Reporter

Written by Sandra Weyant, Apr. 2015

The "shadow man" caught on film.

The “shadow man” caught on film.

While filming a live segment about a haunted house located in Hanover, Pa., a CNN reporter claimed that an evil entity attacked her and one of the crew members.

This was no ordinary spook, and it was more than hearing a strange noise in the house. The Examiner called attention to the event that occurred last summer, as the Pennsylvania family is still being haunted by unidentified apparitions inhabiting their property.

Reporter Katie Kyros said that she and her crew members were reportedly scratched and then pushed down the stairs.

The CNN reporters were in the middle of an interview with homeowner Deanna Simpson when Kyros’ photojournalist Nick started feeling a burning sensation in his arm, according to The Examiner.

When Kyros examined Nick’s arm, she found red marks and scratches, and admitted that during the interview she was “touched and pinched.”

Simpson revealed that the reporters weren’t the only ones who experienced the mysterious touches. She said that it has happened to her and her husband, as well as friends. Before Nick revealed what had happened to him, Simpson already knew, and said that the spirits harmed the reporters because they were there to expose and tell the story.

“That is their way of a warning, because you’re putting it out there,” Simpson said.

The crew members also saw strange lights cast on the walls and heard noises before even going into the basement.

Simpson believes that there are multiple negative spirits residing in her home, and because of her unrest, she placed a camera in the basement with hopes to catch the evil entity. The camera is equipped with a motion sensor feature, and it picked up a shadowy figure that she claims to have seen before.

She showed the photo of the nearly 7-foot shadow to Kyros and her crew, and explained that she will have difficulty selling the house because of the demon that she thinks is attached to the home.

“When it came on me, I couldn’t breathe, I couldn’t scream, I couldn’t move,” Simpson told CNN of the black figure.

The homeowner has also witnessed other strange sightings, including a creepy black hand near one of the bedrooms upstairs. While the crew was there, they allegedly filmed the basement door closing by itself upon Simpson’s command.

“If that is you, would you please shut that door?” she asked, and within one second, it closed.

The family has tried multiple ways – mediums, paranormal investigators and priests – to rid the house of evil, but nothing has worked. They have lived in the home for seven years, and Simpson said her daughters refuse to stay there.

Simpson believes that a series of “grisly deaths” occurred in her home, and she wants to prove to people what her family encounters on a daily basis.

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Or, The Strange Link Between Mold And Haunted Houses

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Seen a Ghost? Then You May Have Inhaled Toxic Mold

Written by Sophie Freeman, Apr. 2015

seen a ghost

If you think you have seen a ghost, you may have been suffering the effects of exposure to mould, according to a group of scientists.

Researchers claim that older buildings where hauntings are usually reported, often have poor air quality from pollutants like toxic mould, which can affect our brains.

Exposure to the mould can cause mood swings, irrational anger and cognitive impairment.

‘Experiences reported in many hauntings are similar to mental or neurological symptoms reported by individuals exposed to toxic moulds,’ said Professor Shane Rogers of Clarkson University in Potsdam, New York.

‘Psychoactive effects of some fungi are well-known, whereas the effects of others such as indoor moulds are less researched.

‘Although allergy and asthma symptoms and other physiological effects are well established, there has long been controversy over the effects of indoor mould exposure on cognitive and other functioning of the brain.

‘Reports of psychiatric symptoms including mood swings, hyperactivity, and irrational anger, as well as cognitive impairment are prevalent among those exposed to moulds.

‘Other reports include depression and loss of memory function.

‘More recent work is emerging that supports brain inflammation and memory loss in mice exposed to Stachybotrys charatarum, a common indoor air mould, as well as increased anxiety and fear.’

Professor Rogers is currently leading a team of researchers measuring air quality in several reportedly haunted places around New York State.

The group will compare samples taken from several buildings where ghost sightings have been reported with samples taken from properties with no paranormal activity, to see if there is a difference in the types of fungi.

Professor Rogers said: ‘I have long been a fan of ghost stories and shows related to investigation of haunted places and have to admit to some strange occurrences in my own past.

‘Many of the places under investigation and from my own experiences may be prime environments for mould and other indoor air quality issues.

‘We would like to see if we can parse out some commonality between the mould microbiome in places that are haunted relative to those that are not.’ 

The team have only just begun their investigations, but have been to a handful of ‘haunted’ buildings to collect samples, as well as properties with mould, but no connection to ghosts.

‘In one historic house turned into an office building there have been reports of noises, moving ceiling tiles, moving items on shelves and desks, apparitions, and a general feeling of unease among building occupants,’ he said.

‘There have been long-standing stories of some of the original family members still occupying the place.

‘In another location, the Remington Art Museum in Ogdensburg New York, there is a long history of ghost stories involving the former occupants and others.

‘A week prior to our visit, they had a visit from a psychic who took a reading in several rooms in the museum that we then used to target our air quality studies.

‘She reported a few “folks” came to speak with her, children running in and out of some of the rooms in the house, and a woman that claimed she was “not won in a poker game”, which was related to a long-time story related to the Remington family.

‘So far, we haven’t been spooked out of a location, but time will tell.’

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<3 Anna

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