If you steal from me, I will HAUNT you down!

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Sunday, October 31, 2010

Haunted History Tour...New Mexico State Penitentiary

For our next stop (and possibly our final, depending on how this post does for viewership), we once again will travel to a prison. And this prison was the gruesome scene of one of the worst riots ever recorded, where prisons are concerned.

New Mexico State Penitentiary sits about 15 miles from Santa Fe, New Mexico. The prison opened in 1956, and closed it's doors for good in 1998. But not before a severely violent riot had occurred in 1980.

The riot had taken place between February 2 and February 3 of that year. Now mind you, this is a maximum security prison. So extreme force and security measures are used daily. During the two-day riot, thirty-three prisoners had died. And more than two-hundred inmates had to be treated for injuries. None of the security staff were killed during the ordeal, but seven of them had to be treated for their injuries and for rapes.

NMSP was overcrowded, to say the least. The treatment from guards were not always "kind". The night that the riots started, there were 1,136 inmates placed on a cell block made to house only 900. Also they were not separated properly, as to help with any possible violent possibilities.

Another cause, they say for what transpired to be the worst riot in prison history, was the fact that programs such as educational, recreational and other rehabilitative programs were cut off, that had been started in 1970, but ended in 1975. In those five years, violence and mayhem was at a minimum.

There was also a severe shortage of Security Staff. So, those that were "fortunate" to work there, made a game with some of the prisoners called "The Snitch Game". This is where the inmates that were chosen would go and tell the guards of fellow inmates that were "uncooperative".

Those named would receive abusive treatment. And the abusive treatment came in the form of being from their fellow inmates. In the end though, this "game" was an epic fail, seeing as most of the information passed along was pretty inaccurate and minimal at best.

On the morning of February 2nd, it started. Hostages began to be taken by those that felt that enough was enough. Two prisoners in the South-side Dormitory E-2 had grabbed an officer who had been caught by them drinking a homemade liquor. Minutes later, four more officers were taken hostage.

Not too long after E-2 Block was under the control and leadership of the prisoners. And things were soon to become much, MUCH worse.

Before noon, the violence started to escalate to extreme proportions. And the "snitches" were beginning to be gathered up, along with the prison security staff members.

Within twenty-four hours after the riot began, Negotiators were starting to try and get demands of the prisoners and talk them down from their so-called power trip. At one point, eleven demands were made clear. Including, but not limited to inmate discipline, educational services and improving food. They also demanded to be able to speak with the media.

After the inmates were able to speak with the reporters, the officers that were taken as hostages were let go. Not all of them got out unscathed unfortunately. Some were severely beaten. Others had been raped. Seven of the guards had suffered severe injuries, but did live to tell of their ordeal.

There were also eighty prison inmates that had fled, seeing as they wanted no part in the riot, or wanted no further part in it. They had ran to the baseball fields to get away. Sunday morning, even more came out and fled the prison.

During the ordeal, thirty-three prisoners perished. Some were raped and beaten. And in all honesty, that was the EASIEST of the deaths that had occurred during the stand off. Some had their genitals burned off wit blowtorches. Some had their eyes gouged out, or even scooped out. While they were still very well alive, mind you. Also, some of the prisoners that had died were found to have overdosed on drugs as well.

Within thirty-six hours, on Sunday, February 3rd, things were finally calming down and coming to a stand-still. State Police officers and National Guard servicemen entered the charred remains of the prison.

Even after order was restored within the prison walls, gang fights, racial tensions, and fights had continued. But of a much smaller scale.

As I had earlier stated, the prison was formally closed in 1998. But since then, it has been opened as a Tourist Attraction, as well as used in the making of the 2005 remake of "Longest Yard" (featuring Adam Sandler, Chris Rock and the original film's Burt Reynolds).

Former employees of the prison and cast/crews from film have themselves reported to have heard disembodied voices, cell doors opening and/or closing of their own volition, sightings of apparitions.

If there was ever a haunted prison in the United States, New Mexico State Penitentiary has wonderful potential to be a hotbed of supernatural activity for obvious reasons. Violence, violent deaths, anger, resentment, unfinished stories of the inmates killed, seeking of justice and of justification.


Ghost Tour of Old Albuquerque

New Mexico State Penitentiary

History of the Riot that took place

The next video that I had wanted to show you was disabled to embed, so please CLICK HERE to view PART 1, and then click on the following parts to view the entire episode.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Haunted History Tour... Borely Rectory

Borely Rectory was built over near Borley Church in 1862. It's creator was Reverend Henry Dawson Ellis Bull. The building's architecture was inspired by Augustus Welby Northmore Pugin. And at one point in time, the Rectory had housed fourteen kids.

The church, which sets close to Borley Rectory dates back to the Twelfth Century.

In 1863, the first reported haunting of the Borely Rectory had supposedly taken place. In 1900, on July 28th, a ghostly nun was reported to be seen about forty yards away, by four of the rector's daughters. As the girls enclosed upon this apparition to speak to the lady, the nun simply disappeared in to thin air.

Also reported from time to time is a phantom coach that has two headless horsemen driving. Bells ringing, footsteps that were heard and lights appearing in windows ended up being common place as well, mainly after the Rector's son, Harry Bull (whom had taken over as caretaker after his father's death). The rectory had at that point, sat in silence with no one to care for the place.

A year after Bull's death, the home was moved in to by another couple. Reverend Guy Eric Smith and his wife. Not long after, as Mrs. Smith was cleaning, she happened upon the skull of a female. Not much time after the discovery, odd things started up once more.

On June 12, 1927, a Paranormal Researcher by the name of Harry Price, along with the news paper reporter that hired him from The Daily Mirror had made their way to the home to see what all the hub-bub was about.

No sooner did Mr. Price enter it's doors, did Borely Rectory and it's spirits come to life. New occurrences had started to happen. Such as stones and vases being thrown by unseen forces, messages being tapped out within mirrors. But then no sooner that Harry Price had left the home after investigating, these strange things suddenly ceased. At that point, Mrs. Smith felt that Price himself was the one haunting the home and was trying to pull the wool over the couple's eyes.

In July of 1929, the Smith's decided to move on, and moved out of Borley. In 1930, a new person moved in to it's walls with his adopted daughter, Adelaide. The father's name was Reverend Lionel Foyster.

At one point, the phenomena started up once more. And it was to a point that Reverand Foyster tried to perform an Exorcism. But to no avail. Once more, Harry Price was contacted. And he suspected that the house came back to life again. Only this time, the happenings were more sinister and malevolent.

In 1948, Harry Price had passed away. Two of his colleagues had pieced together, the best that they could of Price's findings of Paranormal Phenomena within Borely Rectory. But mix in the fact that much of what was "experienced" within the Rectory's walls was mostly due to Price's own making, along with some other man-made "haunting" that is noted within the piece I am using as a research tool (link below), the two men could NOT definitively indicate that Borely Rectory was indeed haunted. "The Haunting of Borley Rectory" was published in 1956.

So all in all, it is a case of believe what you wish. And disbelieve what you will. This one is a case of "it's up to the reader to decide". Is Borley Rectory truly haunted, or have human hands tainted the home so badly, that we will never truly know fact from fiction?

To read more, please CLICK HERE.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Haunted History Tour... Waverly Hills Sanatorium

Let's venture to one of the most prolific, well-known, and most actively haunted places in the United States. Waverly Hills.

Waverly Hills Sanatorium sits in Louisville, Kentucky. The current owners are Charlie and Tina Mattingly. At the end of the post, I will list the link to the site where I am getting the information and history about the Waverly, along with Tourist Hours.

In 1883, the land was initially purchased by a Major Thomas H. Hays. He wanted a school for his daughters to attend. Upon that land, he had built up and had a one-room school for his girls. He had hired Lizzie Lee Harris as the school's teacher. She adored the school so much that she named it "Waverly School", after falling in love with Scott Waverley novels.

Construction on the Sanatorium had started in 1908 and then had opened its doors on July 26, 1910. At the time, it could house up to fifty Tuberculosis (which was also called the "White Plague") patients at a time. Before antibiotics were produced, TB was a top killer. Those that contracted the disease were placed in to isolation.

Over in Pleasure Ridge Park, Kentucky, Tuberculosis was hitting Pandemic proportions. The clinic was seeing as many as one hundred and forty patients, and they knew that there was a great need for a much larger building to house the sick.

Construction began in March of 1924, and was completed on October 17, 1926. There were enough rooms to house four hundred TB patients. Waverly operated as a Tuberculosis Hospice until 1961. Then, was reopened in 1962, after mass cleaning and disinfecting. It's new name was then, WoodHaven Medical Services. It was now a Geriatrics Facility at this point, and remained as such until 1980. The state had shut it's doors.

To learn more about the treatment of Waverly's patients, CLICK HERE!

Meet the Waverly Staff HERE.

Now, one of the most popular areas of Waverly Hills Sanatorium is... The Body Chute! Pretty creepy looking, if you were to ask me. This was the hall where those that had died from their illness were transported through to awaiting hearses. It is also called the Death Tunnel. A wench-type of apparatus was used to cart the bodies to the end of the tunnel, where they met the hearse at the bottom of the hill.

If you travel about thirty feet down the Chute, it becomes completely dark. Not a speck of light is coming in. There is much echoing also if you talk while in there. The Body Chute is about five hundred feet long, has vent shafts about every one hundred feet.

Many inhumane experiments had also taken place at the Waverly.

There have been reports of a man in a white coat, who seemingly wanders through the kitchen, and at times, you can smell food cooking. Also, the fifth floor, which housed two nurses’ stations, a pantry, a linen room, medicine room and two medium-sized rooms on both sides of the two nurses’ stations, is said to also have activity of seeing shapes moving within the windows and/or have heard disembodied voices that order trespassers to “get out”. In Room 502, it is rumored that two people had jumped to their deaths.

To read more about the Fifth Floor, GO HERE (scroll down about half way).

If you wish to tour Waverly Hills Sanatorium, please note...


Tour information – (502) 933-2142

All of our 1/2 night and full night paranormal investigations / ghost hunts are Sold Out for the remainder of the 2010 season. Thank you to everyone who has scheduled, we appreciate your support.

Our 2 hour paranormal and historical tours are now sold out.

We will begin scheduling for 2011 on January 3rd, 2011.

The office is open M, T, W, F 9am – 5pm and (closed 1pm – 2pm for lunch) and Thursdays 9am – 1pm.

Links to sites used for this post...

OFFICIAL site for Waverly Hills

Prairie Ghosts

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Haunted History... The Towers of London

The Towers were erected in 1078. It stands out from all of the surrounding landscape. It's creator was William the Conqueror. And it is more than likely the most haunted place in England to date.

The Wakefield Tower houses Henry VI. He was murdered, after people became enraged over his weakness to rule in the manner that they felt that a king should "take charge". It happened on May 21, 1471, as he knelt in prayer. On the king's anniversary of death, Henry VI is said to appear as the clock strikes midnight, which is said to be the hour of his killing. He paces back and forth up until the last stroke of midnight, then just fades.

Within the White Tower is the oldest of all of the Towers of London. It also houses the "White Lady", who at some point of time stood at a corridor and waved to children that were in an opposing tower adjacent to the one that the spectral was spotted. In the gallery, Henry VIII's armor is on exhibition. Many guards have stated that they get a feeling of crushing in their chest as they enter the armor's area, but leaves them almost as sudden after leaving the room.

Over on the Tower Green, there is a memorial, that remembers those that were executed on the grounds. It is said that an Anne Boleyn and a Lady Jane Grey both come back from their ethereal realm. Where as Margaret Pole, Countess of Salisbury returns to the spot where her life ended in a very uh... attention-grabbing way.

Speaking of Margaret, her mother/son relationship was strained, to say the least. See, her boy, Cardinal Pole was on a major power trip. He sealed the king's claim to rule. And in the end, got the King Henry VIII to place Pole's mother's head upon the chopping block. She was executed on May 27, 1541. When told to kneel, dear old Mom refused. “So should traitors do and I am none” were Margaret's last words...The executioner raised up his axe, hacked her head off as she ran around the scaffold like a chicken trying to save it's head. Since her death, the residual haunting, replaying the scene over and over like a broken record has been witnessed many times since on the anniversary of her demise.

Now, let's go a CUT above the rest, where names are concerned. How about we travel to the Bloody Tower? Edward IV had died suddenly in April of 1483. Due to his death, his son, who was twelve years old at the time was to succeed him as Edward V. But before Edward V could take the reigns his younger brother had been declared to be an illegitimate child by the Parliament. So instead, their uncle, Duke of Gloucester had succeeded and taken to the throne as Richard III. In the end, the two boys were placed in the Tower of London. They could more often than not be spotted playing on the grounds.

Around June of 1483, the boys just suddenly vanished. Nowhere to be found. It is believed that Richard III had them killed and buried in an unspecified place. Two skeletons were found many, many years later. They were located beneath the White Tower's staircase in 1674. They were believed to be the remains of the two young princes that never got to see a day of ruling upon their father's throne. After the discovery, their bodies were interned in at Westminster Abbey with a Royal Burial.

Once in a while, there will be sounds of crying and whimpering of two children, dressed in period clothing from the days of the Fifteenth Century. They are shown to be extremely frightened and cling on to one another in terror. Most people that get to see this scene are mostly with pity and sorrow for the children that never got to grow up and rule in succession of their father. Some even go as far as to literally reach out to them, as to take them in to their bosom and console the frightened boys, only to have them slowly back away from their mournful witnesses and fade in to the wall.

To read more, please visit Towers of London.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Haunted History.. Eastern State Penitentairy

Prison. No one likes the thought of being in prison, caged like an animal. Just the thought alone is unbearable. Think of how it is for those that really are incarcerated. Some, for the rest of their natural lives.

Prisons, for the most part want to reform their prisoners. Not just punish them for their misdeeds. Some prisoners do turn from their life of crime, and even find new found faith in the deity of their choosing. Sad though, that it takes being locked away from the rest of society for them to rethink things. Often, when it is too late.

But for today, we shall concentrate on one specific of the Penal System's prisons that sadly went wrong and lost sight of the true reasoning behind their "mission".

Eastern State Penitentiary.

It was not too long after the Revolutionary War. Finally, the United States of America was no longer under British Rule's thumb and being lead by King George III.

Most prisons back in those times were geared to reforming the prison populous in many of the ways that we wish to do so today. They reformed the prisons educationally, medically and also in governmental standards. Democracy in the newly recovering country was at the time, of most importance, as well. But their "democracy" was a far cry of how it is in the treatment of today's prisoners.

For the most part though, most of the prisons of that time were just "holding" cells. They incarcerated men, women, and yes, even children. Petty thieves were not uncommon types to be found behind their bars. Sadly, abuse and even mutilations were not uncommon to take place.

During the year 1787, in Philadelphia, powerful men had met within Ben Franklin's home. This group was named "The Philadelphia Society for Alleviating the Miseries of Public Prisons". Long name, if I don't say so myself. These men felt that the way prisoners of their time were being treated had to change. And for the better.

Dr. Benjamin Rush, who was apparently the Society's 'spokes person', stated that the goal of the group was to build a "true penitentiary, a prison designed to create genuine regret and penitence in the criminal's heart".

After thirty years of pushing this radical idea of reform among the prison population, a brand new prison building was being constructed with the reform ideals in mind.

Eastern State Penitentiary opened it's doors to let in it's first prisoners in 1829. It was one of the most expensive construction projects of its time. There would be no corporal punishment brought to it's charges. But instead, spiritual reflection, as well as change.

The Quaker-type methods were used (as many Americans of the century were of that Religious faith). Isolation and heavy labor was the norm for prisoners at Eastern State.

They felt that giving these two proponents would instill the wanting and the need to change. Also, when the prisoners were being moved from their cell, the guards would place hoods over the person's head, as to keep them from socializing and to continue in their solitude and reflection.

The only light that came in to the prison cell was from skylights that were built in. They were deemed "Heaven's Light", to let the prisoner look up to God, and let God see them. Their only literature was the Bible.

Other than these things, prisoners at Eastern State in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania had no other outside contact. They were not allowed to have socialization with fellow inmates. Nor were they allowed visitors from the outside world. To do so, would interfere in the prisoner's time to reflect, repent, and turn from their ways.

In 1971, Eastern State Penitentiary had its doors closed for good. One hundred and forty-two years after the doors opened, and they had encased Prisoner Number One, Charles Williams. The closing was mostly due to the fact that the elderly prison was in desperate need of major repairs. But, the additions that were done over the previous years left the prison with not enough dough to work with.

Now, remember earlier, I had stated that horrendous abuse had occurred while the prison was open for the first many years? No human contact was allowed. Beatings, floggings and other atrocious acts were brought upon the prison's unfortunate souls that had been forced to reside there. Some were chained to the walls, half naked. Some placed in complete darkness, with no food. Even the "iron treatment" was allowed. Many became completely nuts and driven to permanent insanity, due to their "living" conditions.

Willie Sutton, Al Capone and even Pep, the dog (that killed the Governor’s cat) were just a few of the more "famous" inmates that reportedly had spent some of their time in prison at ESP.

Now, on to the reported haunting activities that have supposedly happened..

Over in Cell Block Twelve, there is a disembodied laugh. There is no specific location of exactly what cell it is emanating from.

Cell Block Six has people abuzz in regards to having the most shadowy figures and forms. But these shapes form pretty much everywhere within the prison.

Many reports from tourists of Eastern State Penitentiary state that they feel like they are being closely watched and some, even followed around.

Tour Information...


Every Day, Twelve Months A Year:

10am to 5pm
(last entry: 4pm)

Summer Twilight Hours:

June through August

Wednesday evenings until 8 pm

Last Entry: 7 pm

No reservations necessary.

**Closed Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and New Year's Day.**

***Children under the age of 7 cannot be admitted.***

Ticket Office (215) 236-3300


ESP History

America's Most Haunted Prison

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Haunted History...The Winchester Mystery House

 I personally have been fortunate to take a tour at the following home. It does indeed live up to the name of "Mystery House". There have been reports from staff and visitors alike, especially after the sun has gone down to hearing strange noises, seeing things from the corner of your eye to only take a full look and the apparition is gone.

Personally, I had seen (during the daytime tour) what I had thought was an indentation in one of the beds. In fact, it was supposedly in the same room that Sarah Winchester was said to have passed away in. I also had feelings of being watched and followed. Also, there were cold spots. Especially in the Blue Room.

Come and take a virtual tour with me through the history of one of the most famous, and reportedly haunted places in the United States... The Winchester Mystery House, in Santa Clara, California (the area that I originally hail from).

The Winchester Rifle. One of the first rifles to be mass produced in the United States. And one of the deadliest of its kind as well. The gun had made it's way in to America's hands in 1866. It's creator, Oliver Winchester.

After Mr. Winchester's death in 1881, as well as the death of their only daughter, Annie, in 1866, Sarah Winchester had set out to see a Psychic Medium in Boston. This Medium, preying on Sarah's grief, claimed that the deaths of her only child and one and only husband were brought upon by a curse from the spirits of the dead American Indians that were shot to death during the Civil War.

What was the only way to appease these poor souls? Why, to build a home, of course! And to NEVER stop building. For if Sarah Winchester stopped construction, then her death was surely to happen. But, if she kept on building for all time, twenty-four hours a day, every single day, with not a single break, then death would not touch her. But, this home of the spirits was to be built out West.

After moving West, as told, Sarah Winchester had found a beautiful spot of land in Santa Clara, California. She knew then, that this would be where her great mansion was to sit.

By the time that the 1900's came around, already, the eight-room home became a sprawling seven-story mansion. Her monetary status was unscathed, seeing as she had unlimited amounts of money from the on-going sales of the Winchester Rifles at her late husband's company to spend to make the spirits happy. What began as an unfinished farmhouse, that came along with the land, was completed to be one of the grandest Mansions of our time.

 For thirty-eight years straight, twenty-four hours a day, with not a single break in the construction, Mrs. Winchester made the spirits happy. She would go nightly to the "Blue Room", which was her Seance Room to converse with the ghosts and to ensure that what was being done was up to par with them.

There were also stair cases and doors that were built in the oddest of places. Stairs that lead to the ceiling. Doors that opened to a wall behind it, or to a hole where if you step through, you either end up on the pavement, after falling from two stories up, or you land in the kitchen sink.

Also, Sarah had an odd fascination with the number 13. Everything from the window panes, to the holes in the sink drains had no more than thirteen pieces to it. Even the chandelier glass.

Sadly, Mrs. Winchester's promise of eternal life never came to pass. After suffering with ailing arthritis for several years, on September 22, 1922, having had heart failure. She passed away peacefully in her sleep. At the time of her death, the home had engulfed six acres of land.

Construction ended with... 160 rooms, 2,000 doors, 10,000 windows, 47 stairways, 47 fireplaces, 13 bathrooms, and 6 kitchens. The carpenters had even left nails half driven when they learned of Mrs. Winchester’s death.

All of the original furnishings were sold off, via auction, through a niece. Today, with turn-of-the-century-like furnishings in place to show the beauty of what it once was, the Winchester Mystery House is now a museum dedicated to the life and legacy of Sarah Winchester. As well as to her devoted servants and employed construction workers.

                                           (The door that leads to a two-story drop, outside)

                                                         (Front view of the mansion)


The Sarah Winchester Mystery House

The Winchester Rifle

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

The Bell Witch Legend

Again, we are touching upon the subject of witches. This one seems to be the true basis behind the movie, "The Blair Witch Project" (1999), which is a fake documentary about three teens that go in search of the Blair Witch and her "haunted cave" in Blair, Maryland. Needless to say, in the movie, the kids got more than they had bargained for.

This time, we are traveling to the Red River, which is located over by Adams, Tennessee. And this story is also the ground-base story for the movies "An American Haunting" (2006) and "The Bell Witch Haunting" (2004).

In the year 1817, John William Bell, Sr. had reported that he had come in to contact with an animal that was not of "normal nature", so to speak. This had happened in a cornfield on his farm in Robertson County. The animal that the older Bell had described was as follows..

It had the body of a dog and the head of a rabbit. Mr. Bell had claimed to have shot at it.

Later on after this strange creature happened upon the Bell's land, the family had started to hear strange rapping and gnawing outside of their home. At one point, these noises moved to within the home.

Eventually, the youngest daughter of the Bell family, Betsy, had started to claim that she was assaulted by something unseen.

As time went on, other things supposedly took place within the confines of the Bell Family's abode. Including poltergeist activity. Things like spirits moving various objects, their (the ghosts) speaking with and having conversations with the family and guest alike.

John Bell, Sr. had died on December 20, 1820, after suffering for a while after being inflicted by facial seizures, which rendered him unable to speak. Laying beside him, was a vial filled with a liquid that no one knew its contents. This liquid was fed to the family's cat by force, killing it.

In the latter 1800's, the Bell Family's home was torn down. The cave is said to be haunted by the witch that supposedly haunted, taunted and tormented Betsy Bell for years. Those walking through it's hollow passages have reported different sounds coming from within the cave's depths, such as laughter and footsteps. Also, there were reports of eyes watching it's visitors and just plain "creeped out" feelings.

Who is this Bell Witch, though?? She is reported to be (thanks to folklore) the spirit of a woman named Kate Batts. She was supposedly a tyrannical, mean-spirited old lady, and the Bell Family's neighbor. Miss Batts came to believe that John Bell, Sr. had cheated the old lady out of some land when he made his purchase.

As she had laid on her deathbed, she cursed Bell and swore that she would haunt him, his family, and the future generations of the Bell's descendants.

Is any of the legend true? Maybe so. Does Kate Batts still haunt the cave where the Bell Family's home once stood? It's possible indeed. I guess the only way to find out is to take a trip to Adams, Tennessee and find out for yourself.

Reference links to read more about The Bell Witch are as followed...

The Bell Witch Cave

Bell Witch History


The Bell Witch Haunting

Bell Witch the Movie

Monday, October 11, 2010

Reader Request... The Blair Witch

The following delves in to two different categories of the paranormal. One of course being of a haunting/ghostly type nature. The other being of Black Magic and Witchery.

Most of my generation has at least heard of, if not have actually watched a movie from 1999 called "The Blair Witch Project", where three students make a fake documentary about the Blair Witch of Blair, Maryland.

According to legend, this ghostly 'witch', who's real name was Elly Kedward, was pegged to be a witch who had cast evil spells amongst the townspeople of the 1780's.

Elly was found guilty and was banned to the deep forest in the middle of winter. About a year later, many children just simply went missing. Of course, the witch, Elly Kedward was the first suspect.

The following are some excerpts from "The Blair Witch - The Facts"...

"In the 1820s, the abandoned property of Blair, MD was brought to the attention of a man by the name of Burkitt.  He purchased the property from the government, renovated the abandoned buildings, and rechristened the town after himself.  Burkittsville was founded in 1824, and still stands in Maryland today.

Just four years after the founding of Burkittsville, there was an incident involving a young child named Eileen Traecle.  This small child was wading in a very shallow stream.  Allegedly, before the eyes of at least a dozen eyewitnesses, a ghostly white hand reached up from underneath the water and pulled Eileen Traecle into it.  The water was reportedly less than a foot deep, yet the body of the little girl was never found.   For weeks afterward, several wooden stick figures mysteriously appeared in the creek bed, and the water itself became oily and contaminated for several months...."

"...However, after the little girl returned alone, the search party that had gone out after her had not returned.  So a second search party was organized to find them.  Their search ended at Coffin Rock, near the creek where Eileen Traecle had met her death less than fifty years before.

The second search party claimed they found the first search party stripped of all their clothes and belongings, and their bodies were tied to Coffin Rock.  Their intestines had been removed and their reproductive organs had been mutiliated.  On their chests, hands, feet, and foreheads, strange cryptic symbols had been painstakingly carved into their skin...."

"...Outside the shack and a small distance away they found seven graves marked with piles of stones.  When the graves were dug up, the children's bodies were recovered.  Their bodies had been treated in much the same way as the accounts of the victims at Coffin Rock.  Symbols had been cut into their faces, chests, hands and feet.  They had been disembowled...."

"...Rustin Parr, it was reported, admitted to the murders, saying the voice of an old woman told him to do these horrible deeds.  After the seventh death, the old woman's voice told him he was finally free.  He was sentenced to death by hanging, and his house was burned to the ground...."

To read all of the article in it's entirety, please scroll back up and click on the provided (highlighted) link from which these excerpts were obtained. The Blair Witch is an intriguing legend, to say the least. Some people still go to Coffin Rock and step inside the cave.

Those that dare to tread within, both during the daylight hours, as well as in the still of the night, claim to at times hear odd noises no sooner that they set foot on the grounds at the mouth of Coffin Rock. Some even tell of hearing an elderly woman's disembodied voice come from the depths of the seemingly endless cave dwellings. Sometimes, even a manic chuckling or all-out maniacal laughter.

This legend, and it's legendary namesake is of a story where you, the reader must decide for yourself. Is this a tale of a woman of the 1780's done wrong, and wrongly accused, as was the case back in the period of witchcraft, only to pay for the town's mistake and bring forth her wrath to following generations for eternity to come? Did a man claim insanity and admit to murders that he himself committed, only to blame it on a dark fairytale?

Or is The Blair Witch legend just that, a legend? Maybe it is a story to tell around the campfire and make all the children run to their tents and hide in fear of the possibility of something coming to get them?

Only Elly Kedward and Rustin Parr know the REAL truth behind whatever fiction lies behind the story.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Reader Request... The Wendigo

I'm glad my friend, Miriam over on FaceBook brought this topic to light. Seeing as I have never myself heard of this mythical creature before. And he doesn't look like the friendly type, either.

According to Wikipedia, the following is said about this strange monstrous-looking creature...

"The Wendigo (also known as Windigo, Weendigo, Windago, Windiga, Witiko, Wihtikow, and numerous other variants) is a mythical creature appearing in the mythology of the Algonquian people. It is a malevolent cannibalistic spirit into which humans could transform, or which could possess humans. Those who indulged in cannibalism were at particular risk, and the legend appears to have reinforced this practice as taboo.

Wendigo psychosis is a culture-bound disorder which involves an intense craving for human flesh and the fear that one will turn into a cannibal. This once occurred frequently among Algonquian Native cultures, though has declined with the Native American urbanization.

Recently the Wendigo has also become a horror entity of contemporary literature and film, much like the vampire, werewolf, or zombie, although these fictional depictions often bear little resemblance to the original entity.

All cultures in which the Wendigo myth appeared shared the belief that human beings could turn into Wendigos if they ever resorted to cannibalism or, alternately, become possessed by the demonic spirit of a Wendigo, often in a dream. Once transformed, a person would become violent and obsessed with eating human flesh. The most frequent cause of transformation into a Wendigo was if a person had resorted to cannibalism, consuming the body of another human in order to keep from starving to death during a time of extreme hardship or famine.

The term "Wendigo psychosis" (also spelled many other ways, including "Windigo psychosis" and "Witiko psychosis") refers to a condition in which sufferers developed an insatiable desire to eat human flesh even when other food sources were readily available,[15] often as a result of prior famine cannibalism."

Now one of the most famous (or shall I say 'infamous'?) forms of United States-based cannibalism came in the form of the Donner Party and their failed expedition. They had set out towards California, through the Truckee, Nevada (there is a California and a Nevada side of Truckee) area of the mountainous regions of the Sierras.

As they headed out in to the wilderness, to find their pot of gold (as did many upon many had done in those days during the Gold Rush, in the mid 1800's, the group had come across a violent winter storm during the white-out conditions of the 1846-1847 Winter Blizzard.

Eventually, with their being trapped in the Sierra Nevada terrain within the deathly condition, surely, they were in big trouble. When there is snow in the Sierras, you can get several feet. Some top at twenty-five. Some even higher. And the Donner Party's food could only last and be rationed for so long. Soon, they were going to have to resort to other means to keep alive. In fact, much soon than they had hoped for.

Eventually, they had to kill off the horses and feed off of them. Any parts that were edible..were eaten. Then, once the horses were picked apart, there was no other real alternative left. They, instead of burying the dead below the deep snow as a final resting place, preserved them in the snow and ate off of their deceased members. Men, women and children alike. They did what they could to survive the extremely harsh conditions.

Would you say that the Donner Party had succumbed to "Wendigo psychosis"? It's very possible. Or did they do it as a way to survive and live to at least see one more day?

Weather these people continued on their flesh-eating ways is of no known knowledge. I say personally, most likely not. Seeing as it was their way of staying fit for survival within the harsh elements. Not some insatiable appetite for human flesh.

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