Paranormal

Ghost Stories from 7 Haunted Libraries Around the World

April 7 through 13 is National Library Week in the US, and we’re honoring the occasion by bringing you ghost stories from haunted libraries all around the world! Much like the iconic library scene in the movie Ghostbusters, these literary atheneums are stacked with creepy ghosts, shadow figures, and paranormal activity. Not only do we love tales of the paranormal, we also think circulation of some library appreciation is long overdue, so please check out these 7 haunted libraries around the world before we reference another bad library pun!

7) STATE LIBRARY OF VICTORIA - MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA

Dating back to 1854, there’s no surprise that Melbourne’s State Library of Victoria has more than a few resident ghosts. The Arts section of the library is reportedly home to the ghost of a former librarian named Grace. Said to be a benevolent elderly spirit, she continues to keep an eye on the place and make sure that a more confronting spectre, who roams the southern end of the closed Arts stack, stays in his place. The Music room is frequented by a nattily-dressed mustachioed ghost who is known to leave music books out of place after he is finished perusing them. The ghost stories of the State Library are so numerous that many clairvoyants have been brought in, and Melbourne’s Haunted Bookshop owner Drew Stinton is keen to get the building included on the city’s tour of haunted locales. - From The Paperblanks Blog

6) COMBERMERE ABBEY LIBRARY - CHESHIRE, ENGLAND

The library at Combermere Abbey, near Cheshire, England, is said to be haunted. The ghost is rumored to be Lord Combermere himself, who died in 1891 after being run over by a horse-drawn carriage. After members of the Abbey staff reported possible ghost sightings and other paranormal activity, a photographer set up a camera in the library. The camera's shutter was left open for one hour.

The staff could claim no involvement with the photo-taking, as they were all at Lord Combermere's funeral, which took place four miles from his home. And yet, when the plate was developed, a ghostly image appeared, seated in the Lord's favorite chair.

To the modern eye, the photo may well appear to be a simple double exposure. But many people at the time were convinced that a ghost had been captured on film. - From Ranker

5) PEORIA PUBLIC LIBRARY - PEORIA, ILLINOIS

Long before the Peoria Public Library was ever built in Peoria, IL, a house stood on its site. In the 1830s, a Mrs. Gray owned the home, but fell upon hard times and could not pay her mortgage. The bank foreclosed, and she was forced to leave. But before she did, Mrs. Gray is said to have put a curse on the propertyand anyone who would ever own it. Whether it was her curse or just coincidental bad luck, each subsequent owner experienced a sinking of their fortunes.

The library was built in 1894 on land that was once part of Mrs. Gray's estate. That's when truly creepy things began to happen. Each of the first three library directors suffered mysterious deaths. The original library was torn down in 1966 and replaced with a new structure, but the eerie occurrences continued. Staff have reported hearing ghostly voices calling out their names, and feeling the temperature drop to chilling degrees. Some also claim to have seen the ghostly figure of one of the dead library directors. - From Ranker

4) THE AFRICANA LIBRARY - KIMBERLY, SOUTH AFRICA

The Africana Library in Kimberly, South Africa is said to be haunted by the spirit of a man who once worked there. The library was built in 1882, but it wasn't until the early 1900s that the city was able to hire a credentialed librarian. His name was Bertrand Dyer, and while he was qualified for the prestigious position, he soon began to engage in a type of fraud. He would place orders for books, but inflate the price list presented to the city for payment. Dyer pocketed the extra cash.

But his scam was discovered, and Dyer was so ashamed that he decided to commit suicide. He took cyanide, but it did not have the immediate desired effect. He suffered in great pain for three days before succumbing in the library where he worked.

The library is now a museum, and visitors have reported seeing the ghost of a man in Edwardian attire, floating up and down the halls of the building. Some have observed him rearranging books on their shelves. Others claim that if they are having trouble locating a particular book, Dyer will help out by knocking it off the shelf. - From Ranker

3) BELLWOOD ELEMENTARY LIBRARY - BELLWOOD, NEBRASKA

Why is it that one of the creepiest-sounding apparitions appears at the library with the most innocent patrons? Bellwood School District was founded in Bellwood, Nebraska in 1880. Students at the elementary school need to walk quietly through its library stacks, so as not to disturb the ghost of a severely burned woman who reportedly haunts the building, often seen staring out of windows in anger or despair. The library seems to be the site of other paranormal activity too, including scary noises, unexplained sudden cold spots, and the sound of jingling keys. At night, hopefully after all the elementary children are safe at home, ghostly figures have been witnessed patrolling the halls around the library. While the reasons behind the Bellwood Elementary hauntings have not been uncovered, there are reportedly some records from Bellwood’s past that document concerns over the use of coal-burning stoves in the building. Could this historical detail offer an explanation about the ghost of the burned woman? - Lindsay Merkel

2) PHOENIXVILLE PUBLIC LIBRARY - PHOENIXVILLE, PENNSYLVANIA

In the community of Phoenixville, the Phoenixville Public Library is a facility with a rich and notoriously haunted history. The library first came into existence in 1896 as a small collection of books donated to the Phoenixville School District. In 1901, philanthropist Andrew Carnegie donated funds to purchase a plot and construct the public library building. A children’s section of the library was added to the basement in the 1920s, and the following decades saw continual increases in the library’s collection and facility.

Although there is little information available about why or how the Phoenixville Public Library became haunted, it has been so for as long as anyone can remember. Several apparitions have been reported over the years, both by employees and library patrons. The original librarian, an old woman in ghostly form, is reported to reside in the library’s attic. A little girl is believed to haunt the children’s library in the basement, and sometimes the elevator leading down to it. And the specter of an old man and his dog have been sighted, inexplicably strolling through the library shelves.

One employee, who worked at Phoenixville Library for 17 years, witnessed several examples of paranormal activity during his tenure, including how, after he had carefully pushed in the library’s chairs at closing time, they were found scattered all around the Carnegie Room the following morning. Rocking chairs have also been spotted rocking with no one in them, cold spots have been felt, doors were heard shutting on their own, and fleeting figures have been glimpsed.

Phoenixville Public Library has been the site of several paranormal investigations, and teams have reported lots of unexplained equipment malfunctions during filming; one team member who was attempting to film a “mockumentary” project on site even alleged that he dropped something in the attic, which disappeared and was never seen again! When the Chester County Paranormal Research Society spent the night in the library, a night surveillance camera reportedly to caught a book flying off a shelf.

Having personally visited this library many times, I never experienced any paranormal activity while inside, but I can say that there is something eerie behind the calm, quiet atmosphere - much the proverbial feeling of “being watched,” even if no one was nearby. Maybe it’s only because I’m aware of the library’s haunted history that I conjured up these spooky feelings, but I still always expected to turn and see something otherworldly around every bookshelf, from the adult room to the children’s basement to the stairwell. The legend of Phoenixville Library’s ghosts is a strong one!

For an up-close investigation of the haunted Phoenixville Public Library, check out an episode of para-reality show “SCARED!” below that was filmed in the library in 2009. - Lindsay Merkel

1) WILLARD LIBRARY - EVANSVILLE, INDIANA

What exactly is going on at Willard Library? Judging by pictures snapped on multiple “ghost cams” throughout the building, Willard Library looks to be some kind of paranormal portal into the spiritual dimension. The library’s history is rather benign, having begun its legacy as a private donation library from Willard Carpenter and incorporated to the city of Evansville in 1881. The building, resembling a Victorian Gothic structure, was first begun in 1876, but a depressed economy halted its progress, leaving the foundation unfinished until 1882. It is home to a vast range of genealogy and local history special collections, and also to the ghost of the famous Grey Lady.

 The Grey Lady, Willard Library’s most well-known apparition, roams the stacks quietly, aptly wearing a gray dress and veil. Her identity is not certain, but according to legend she may be Louise Carpenter, Willard’s daughter who was allegedly unhappy when he died and left most of his estate to the library; her haunting of the library is her revenge for an eternal grudge against her father. However, the Grey Lady has never been reported to be a malevolent presence, so this tale may not hold true, but she has been reported as a near constant presence! She was first spotted by a custodian in 1931, and since then has racked up hundreds to thousands of reports of ghostly activity. She makes her presence known through sightings, moving around books, turning lights and faucets on and off, touching people and creating cold spots, and also emitting the strong scent of musky perfume. Some of the documented run-ins with the Grey Lady include:

  • Psychics visiting the library in 2007 say they were able to verify that a ghost has been there, and paranormal investigative groups have brought in equipment designed to locate it.

  • Several library employees have reported seeing the ghost, including Margaret Maier, Children’s Librarian, and Helen Kamm, Library Assistant.

  • During a visit to the library, lecturers from the University of Southern Indiana say they saw the ghost peering into water.

  • Policemen responding to a security alarm at the library spotted two ghosts in an upstairs window of the library.

  • A library patron reported an encounter with the Grey Lady in the library elevator, and a local weathercaster also reported an encounter with the spirit.

Though it has been almost a decade since the Grey Lady apparition has actually been seen, when an assistant children’s librarian saw her in a basement hallway in 2010, paranormal happenings continue to occur throughout the building – and they don’t all appear to be the work of the Grey Lady.

Since 1999, Willard Library has been running ghost cams throughout the building, continually filming different areas and streaming online for at-home ghost hunters to search for onscreen ghosts. While some captures could be explained away as misidentified objects, sunlight or shadows, or even real people walking through the rooms, other images are creepy and puzzling. From misty figures to shadow specters to something that looks oddly like a wolf head on a suit of armor, the paranormal happenings at Willard Library are famous, mysterious, and plentiful!

See some of the creepiest camera images below, and click HERE to check out the Willard webcams for yourself. - Lindsay Merkel

Another Grey Lady sighting?

A shadow figure appears to descend the stairs.

Check out the lower left corner… is it a library patron or a ghostly visitor?

What. Is. It.

An amorphous light appears in the dark library.

What exactly is this child seeing?

Some people have speculated this is a black backpack… others believe it to be something more sinister.

Again… is this a real library patron, or a ghost child caught on camera?

Although we narrowed down our blog to these 7 spooky libraries, there are no shortage of haunted libraries across the globe! Do you have any library ghost stories of your own? Share with us in the comments!

NEWS: Chapman University 2018 Survey Shows Paranormal Beliefs Are on the Rise

For the last 5 years, Chapman University in California has conducted a battery of surveys focusing on in-depth examinations of American fears. Their research studies a range of topics, from government, health and environmental matters, to disaster preparedness, personal anxieties, and paranormal beliefs.

In 2018, their most recent survey revealed that government corruption is currently the primary fear that concerns Americans. However, the survey also revealed that fears and beliefs in the paranormal have been gradually rising over the past few years! Take a look below at the breakdown of the paranormal study, directly from Chapman University:

Paranormal America 2018 Chapman University Survey of American Fears

The Chapman University Survey of American Fears Wave 5 (2018) includes a battery of items on paranormal beliefs ranging from belief in aliens and psychic powers to Bigfoot and haunted houses.

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Paranormal Beliefs

Currently the most common paranormal belief in the United States is that places can be haunted by spirits (57.7%), followed closely by the belief that ancient, advanced civilizations, such as Atlantis once existed (56.9%). More than two out of five Americans (41.4%) believe that that aliens visited Earth in our ancient past and more than a third believe aliens are visiting now (35.1%). Of the items we asked about, Americans are the most skeptical about fortune tellers, with only approximately 17.2% believing that others can see the future.

The Prevalence of Paranormal Beliefs

Paranormal beliefs have become the norm in the United States, if we examine how many such beliefs a person holds. Using the seven paranormal items included on the Chapman University Survey of American Fears Wave 5 (2018), we find that only about a fourth of Americans (24.1%) do not hold any of the seven beliefs. What this means is that more than ¾ of Americans believe in at least one paranormal phenomenon.

All Paranormal Beliefs are On the Rise

The Chapman University Survey of American Fears has included the same set of questions about paranormal beliefs on three waves of the survey. What is striking is how rapidly such beliefs are rising.

Belief in six of the seven paranormal items increased between 2017 and 2018, the only exception being the belief that fortune tellers and psychics can foresee the future. All seven items have risen in levels of belief since 2016. For example, Americans are fourteen percent more likely to believe that aliens once visited the earth than they were in 2016. Americans have become seven percent more likely to believe in Bigfoot in only two years.

Given that our survey includes a margin for error of +/- 3%, we should note that some of these changes maybe be slightly bigger or smaller than presented. However, the major pattern is clear – American is becoming more paranormal.

What do you think is responsible for this increase in paranormal fears and beliefs? Share with us in the comments!

Written Confession: Shapeshifter or Fae Figure in Kansas City?

The following written confession was posted on Reddit:

“I had the strangest experience a few weeks back at my local seven eleven early in the morning . I and my fiancé are both in our car headed to 7-11 to get the usual prerequisites that the morning requires .. caffeine, donut, etc ..

We pull into the parking lot and park in the front of the store and we are about to get out when we look to the car next to us . The driver is normal enough , your average looking twenty something Caucasian female but sitting next to her was something quite odd . It was a male , caucasian , glasses on looking for the most part like everyone else . Except for one major difference. He had short goat like horns coming out of his head . They were grey and fat at the base and got thinner as they got farther from the base . It looked like a baby goats maybe , just nubs but still obviously hornlike protrusions.

We quickly turn our heads to verify with each other if we saw the same thing , a moment later and instead of a horned man sitting there I see a large collie dog mix .. The woman driving mind you seems oblivious to all this and is doing her makeup in her visor mirror ..

Baffled we simply pull back out go home and take the day off of work . We spent the day napping and in between naps tried to figure out what we had seen .

Either way it was nuts , the middle of Kansas City , busy parking lot and we see this very odd thing that everyone around us is obviously unable to pick up on.”

Written Confession: Shadow People, Missing Time, UFOs - Recalling a Lifetime of Unexplained Experiences

The following written confession was submitted via email:

“I have had several abnormal experiences in the course of my life which at the persistence of my son have decided to share with you. I have kept these quiet until a couple of years ago, mostly because some happened pre-1970 when the paranormal was for the most part unheard of and things of that nature were thought to be some brain lapse or some sort of deja vu . The Betty and Barney Hill incident never came to MY attention until later in life and flying saucers were either in movies, imagined or deemed to be a hoax. Bigfoot was at best an object of Indian lore and future believers were/are to be ridiculed. Maybe it was because of growing up in a small Western Pennsylvania coal mining town (Export) where everybody outside of the municipality existed with outhouses and at that time, no phone service and little knowledge of the larger world. As children we built tree houses, dug caves, played in the abandoned mines, hunted on local on farms and slept in the woods when the temperature permitted without fear of our parents finding us camping out having stolen their canned soup, beer or cigarettes, much less fear a Bigfoot kidnapping. It was a redneck utopia by my standards and a life my children would never get to enjoy.

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With that in perspective, you can imagine my fear at about age eleven or twelve when I awoke to what I thought was the presence of several shadow-type people in my room well into the post-midnight hours. I remember being approached, something being removed (?) from my right ear, fading back to sleep and awakening with a blood-stained pillow the next morning. Getting my mother (whom I confess never again discussed it with since it was “just a bad dream”, I showed her the 6” diameter pillow stain and the partially dried blood on the side of my head. I distinctly remember her cleaning my ear with Peroxide and telling me that if it persisted to ask the school nurse to take a look. One must remember that back then a doctor's visit was $7 (or literally a chicken or some beef) ! and with five kids…….., plus, the bleeding had stopped right? I never again had a problem with it. I did however later in my life write to Budd Hopkins just prior to his death questioning the procedure, cost and validity of regressive hypnosis later in life to see if their was some relic of a memory of the episode. Budd passed without a reply but a paranormal investigator that I came to know later stated that the cost was seldom worth the outcome and that there were a number of local counterfeit “Svengali's” that preyed on people like me so I abandoned the thought of the hypnosis.

Later in life after age sixteen I had a couple of weird auto trips when by myself I had gone as much as twelve miles without recollecting the trip due to (missing time?) and ending up each time approaching our driveway as if awakening from a nap. I never put a lot of stock in this (missing time) since many people have talked about the same thing happening to them. Truckers, as you know have had similar happenings calling it “white line hypnosis”. I still believe that is all it was but waking up in the same place two or three times makes me wonder a little now. 

That being said, it brings me to the primary incident that I am reporting to you. Having been discharged from the Army eight years prior, my wife, first child and I were building our first home pay-to-pay in the woods near a local reservoir in about 1977 or '78. My job in the Army was that of an Army forward Air Traffic Controller which meant that I was to set up forward landing zones using discarded Navy TPN-8 radar. Having been drafted out of school I attained that position due to cognitive testing as well as my excellent and rare eyesight. Twelve of us out of about three thousand trainees were picked and removed from helicopter crew chief school at Fort Rucker to give you an idea of the tremendous eyesight we had. To be considered we had to have what we were told was a flight- plus physical. This and the fact that I never make an impulsive guess at what I see and what I will tell you as far as size and distance is credible by virtue of this God-given attribute. I worked in a control zone where we saw everything from drone missiles to SR 71 spy planes and never did I see a UFO when I worked in a control tower. EVERYTHING unusual that I saw a lot could be explained away. 

1977-78 there were a number of plausible Bigfoot sightings and reported cave entrance prints in the area near me, one of which yielded footprints which were cast by, I believe, the University of Pittsburgh. There wasn't an “investigator” on every corner like today and purported sightings never went far. This one however piqued my interest when I visited the one sighting as it was reported supposedly by two State Troopers. I had also talked to one elderly lady at a paranormal symposium at a local mall that had a sighting late at night of a Bigfoot at her farm and from less than fifteen feet away from her home though not noting any smell nor aggression from the tall startled creature. I DID find her believable at age 83. She was just curious and had been questioning the investigator as to her sanity and perceived fear.

One Friday evening my father in law in law asked me to go fishing with him at a reservoir which was a fifteen to twenty minute walk through heavy brush and woods from where I was building my home while living in the foundation. I jumped at the chance to once again out-fish the self proclaimed “fish whisperer” who my father in law thought himself to be. Starting out just before eleven PM we made our way to the closest cove not using any lights to alert anybody of our presence expecting to spend the night as this area is patrolled by the authorities for criminals like us. While standing in my waders in knee deep water and rigging my line I immediately caught a 22” bass which gets larger every time I relate this. My father in law (the fishing legend) having to verify my catch came over from about fifty feet away in his waders to belittle the catch in comparison to one he caught probably some fifty years before.

While standing in our waders, we (he) noticed a light above us about 1200 feet away and about 40' over the highway. Asking me what it was I told him that it was probably a dusk-to-dawn light although it appeared bigger. As we looked down at my bass in the bright moonlight I noticed the light move clockwise behind us about ten to twenty degrees to the south of us. I looked down at the fish again and my father in law said “Hey! It's moving again”. It stopped over the tree tops completing a full quadrant of movement as was directly behind us having never elevated nor dipping into the woods canopy. It was now 70-80 feet behind us and its' light went out. My father in law looked at me and said “what the hell was that?” to which I replied that I didn't know. Shortly, guessing a minute or two, the light came back on and appeared to be about 25% larger than a basketball with a translucent bluish-white glow it the climbed upward in opposing left-right 20 foot long, 45 degree steps about seven or eight times. At the top of its ascent the light extinguished. Still gawking and mesmerized we saw this orb come back on, retrace it's path back to origin and emit a dull, very dull, beam (haze?) across the water. There was also during or near a full moon since that is when the “Fish Whisperer” dictated the best time to fish. He again questioned what was going on and we heard splashing in the water near the shore but saw nothing. I said that it might be deer coming to drink and looked back at the sphere which was still lit and prominent behind us and that was it, show over!! We awakened three to three and a half hours later still standing in our waders without a fish in hand ,

Daylight was approaching when we realized something was wrong with the time. All was very quiet and still. He asked me if we had fallen asleep while in our waders. I told him “maybe, but not for hours”. He asked where my puny fish was as if to forget what we'd seen and experienced and I thought that I had dropped it. We were not mentioning that each of us was dealing with mental torment as to the episode. He did once mention while trekking back home about the “time flying”. I didn't reply as he was not a man that you could discuss this with and would argue with a rock. He would not have made mention of it for fear of being harassed. Most of our “discussions” ended with mutual disrespect though I miss that man until this day. Thinking back later, I had previously seen a light do that same ting late one evening while sitting on my porch late one night when I couldn't sleep. It appear to be further away maybe towards the end of the 6-7 mile lake. It seemed to me that somebody was turning out the lights on an electric tower in sequence from the top down. At least that was my take on it then. Like I said, I try to debunk or explain away everything I see that confuses me. The odd part of this is that when we left the lake we never again spoke of it and to be honest I seldom gave thought to it until many years later thinking it was just one of those “brain lapses”. You know I always asked myself why nobody would report a sighting of any nature but I did keep this to myself for decades so I'm no better.

Later in life I had befriended a fellow employee who I later found to have been on tv as a witness to “The Kecksburg Incident” on Unsolved Mysteries and other shows even to this day though he had never mentioned it in the years that I had known him. Through him I had met a Kecksburg investigator who stated that there were myriads of sightings in the area where I lived and near the reservoir where we lost time that evening. We are near some of Bigfoot, orbs and aerial phenomena and not far from the popular Chestnut ridge area that has been noted on some tv shows lately. I however no longer fish and have no desire to walk those woods especially at night.

Lastly, two summers ago, our old minister was staying with us with her husband and we were cooking out with our children and grand children when I looked to the sky which was very bright with a few cumulus clouds and spotted the final phenomenon so far in my 72 years on this earth. I guess having grown up in the times of Echo and Sputnik satellites, scanning the skies had become second nature during my youth and I still spend many warm evenings alone watching from my porch rocker while petting my dog and enjoying a glass of wine, One of life's little pleasures and time of reflection. What I saw were a pod (maybe 15 or so) of tailless swallow wing-shaped highly reflective UFO's (?) writhing and intertwining at about 1500 feet. Each had its' own random sized circle , each maintained the same speed I noted to my youngest son that each went in right hand rotation. At that height they appeared to be about 30' across and disappeared into cloud cover after about 7-10 minutes and witnessed by all who were there. There was no mention of these in any of the local periodicals that week. They circled like kites but they were uniform in size and held the same right hand pattern the whole time. I'd bet my life they were not birds nor kites but possibly drones but that many?,at that altitude?, disappearing into a cloud simultaneously? Possible but not likely.

My son flies drones and even he was in awe. There were no stops nor hovering only constant motion.

Any ideas, I am at a loss?

I offer you these events for future comparison to anything reported in Westmoreland County since the phenomena of glowing orbs is gaining prominence in the UFO/Cryptid community. What happened at that reservoir was in at least my opinion as real as anything I have ever seen and defied any thing I have ever witnessed from my short time in military aviation. It was guided by defined geometry, appeared intelligent and left my soul questioning my existence, faith and purpose which I believe to be a good thing and was shown to us maybe by design. Good luck and I hope this to be of benefit to anybody having a similar experience and are maybe afraid to come forth. People my age had no reason to retain memory of these purely mental aberrations so exact timing  may be a little off. "

Documentary “Paranormal Bigfoot” Makes Its Online Debut

It’s finally here! The anticipated documentary, Paranormal Bigfoot, is now available for viewing!

Created by Bilco Productions, “Paranormal Bigfoot is an investigation into a segment of the Sasquatch community that believe there is more to this enigmatic creature than a simple animal. An uncomfortable and divisive topic for those desirous of representing themselves as scientifically credible. Yet the question remains, can scientific process be claimed until even the strangest of evidence is accounted for?”

Along with notable Bigfoot community figures like Bob Gimlin, Stan Gordon, and Ron Morehead, The Confessionals Podcast host Tony Merkel can also be seen in this new documentary!

Last year Tony was interviewed about the possibility of a connection between paranormal Bigfoot, biblical fallen angels, and the Nephilim, a intriguing premise based on historical evidence from extra canonical texts. The finished film featuring Tony’s interview (and much more!) can be rented or purchased with Amazon Prime.

Click HERE to check it out now!

(If the documentary is not available for streaming in your country, click HERE to contact Bilco Productions about obtaining a DVD version.)

Thank you to Bilco Productions for the opportunity to be involved in Paranormal Bigfoot!

6 Images of Ghost Monks Caught on Camera

The Confessionals Episode 112: Demons in the Desert features a scary encounter with a ghost monk. While it is a unique sighting, others have also witnessed strange apparitions of monks! Take a look at 6 photos of alleged ghost monks that tourists, a ghost hunter, and a photographer managed to catch on camera:

1) In October 2018, a couple reportedly discovered the face of a demonic monk in one of their photos taken in an old slaughterhouse cellar in Nottinghamshire. The building, which is abandoned, was a stop on the Ghost Hunts UK tour in which the couple was taking part. Allegedly, seven monks were burned to death on that spot in the 1500s.

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2) In August 2018, a woman exploring Tintern Abbey says she captured the ghost of a monk standing outside the abbey at night. Tintern Abbey was founded by Cistercian monks in 1131. When the Black Death swept through in the 1340s, many monks succumbed to the disease. 

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3) In January 2018, a father visiting Eynsford Castle in Kent claimed to have photographed the specter of a monk outside on a ruined staircase. Though the figure appears to be very solid, the man says he remembers nothing standing on the stairs when he snapped the photo. Eynsford Castle dates back to medieval times, and according to local lore, one of the families who once owned the castle had a son who left them to become a monk. 

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4) In October 2016, a ghost hunter claimed to have caught an image of the famous Black Ghoul Monk. She believes the photo, taken at 30 East Drive in Pontefract, West Yorkshire, shows the monk’s robed arm clutching a rosary. The home is the site of one of Europe's most powerful alleged hauntings which began in the 1960s, when the Pritchard family moved in and began to be tormented by the Black Monk. The spot where the shadowy photo was taken is purportedly where the Black Monk is often seen, and also where the Pritchards’ daughter Diana was violently dragged by an invisible hand that left fingerprints on her throat. 

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5) In February 2009, a woman who had visited Valle Crucis Abbey in Llangollen was looking at her photos after the trip, and was shocked to see an unknown face staring out of the ruins. The abbey was founded in 1201 by Madog ap Gruffydd Maelor, who was buried in the abbey upon his death in 1236. Shortly thereafter, the structure was badly damaged by a fire. 

6) In 1963, a photograph dubbed “The Spectre of Newby Church” was taken in the Church of Christ the Consoler, on the grounds of Newby Hall in North Yorkshire. It shows a spooky image of a transparent, cloaked figure with a distorted white face standing at the church altar. Some have speculated that the photo captured the spirit of a 16th-century monk wearing a white shroud over his face, possibly masking a disfigurement or leprosy. But others contend that the photo is a hoax, either perpetrated by someone in costume or through the manipulation of superimposed photo images. The church itself does not date from the 16th century, having been built between 1871 and 1875 in memory of one Frederick Vyner, who was kidnapped and murdered in 1870. 

Which photo do you think is the most convincing evidence of ghost monks?

Explorer Films Ghostly Figure in Abandoned Chapel

When you’re alone in the dark and hear an unexpected noise, you may secretly wonder whether you’re about be attacked by a serial killer or spooked by a creepy ghost. Most of the time, the errant sound turns out to be something ordinary, like the house settling or the cat throwing up (also a terrifying prospect).

But for explorer and urban adventurer Danny Duffy, the creepy ghost was all too real in a brief but chilling encounter that he captured on video and recently posted to his YouTube channel, Exploring with Danny.

Danny, who films his explorations of “places frozen in time and places of the forgotten,” was just at the beginning of a venture into an abandoned UK chapel late one night when the sudden appearance of what appears to be a full-body specter sent him running. The scary figure - with a stark white face, fairly definable features, and possibly wearing a long black robe - peers straight at Danny from around a corner of the building. It looks surprisingly human, but it’s frightening just the same. Is it a robed person hiding out in the dilapidated church? Or did a former religious resident of the chapel come to find out what Danny was doing on their hallowed grounds?

The Confessionals had the opportunity to interview Danny following his spooky experience, and that interview will be forthcoming. For now, take a look at Danny’s ghostly video below (language warning!). The actual figure appears at the 2:18 mark. What do you think is really revealing itself in this old chapel in the dark of night?

New Horror Movie to be Filmed Aboard the Haunted Queen Mary

It’s either creative genius or a paranormal disaster in the making - a new horror movie is underway and being filmed onboard the famously haunted ocean liner RMS Queen Mary!

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The Hollywood Reporter has announced that the new scary flick will focus on two photographers and their young son, who come aboard the Queen Mary and soon become ensnared in the ship’s paranormal past. The movie’s synopsis reads: “As the terror unfolds around the family they begin to realize there is more to this sumptuous ocean liner than meets the eye: its remarkable legacy masking violent secrets. As Erin and Patrick uncover the haunted layers that the vast ship contains, it becomes increasingly clear that there is only one way out for them — to go even deeper.”

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After the film’s script spent several years tucked away without a suitable production crew to bring it back to life (ironic pun kind of intended), the upcoming movie now has a bevy of paranormal movie specialists to execute the project (wonder where are all these death puns are coming from...?). Taking the helm as producer will be Gary Shore, who busted box offices in 2014 with the movie Dracula Untold. The film will also be produced by Nigel Sinclair and Nicholas Ferrall of White Horse Pictures, which gave us The Woman in Black, and Brett Tomberlin of Imagination Design Works, the team that created 2018’s creepy Winchester movie.  

While the RMS Queen Mary has been the subject of many documentaries, shows, and stories, the film The Queen Mary will be the first horror movie shot onboard the actual real-life ship. Will the on-site location provide the perfect spooky backdrop for the film’s plot? Or is shooting a horror movie on an already haunted location just tempting fate (and Queen Mary’s spirits) to sink the film?

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Known as one of the most haunted places in the world since it became permanently docked, RMS Queen Mary has a long history of hauntings. During her 83-year existence, the Queen Mary made 1,001 trans-Atlantic crossings, which were reportedly accompanied by 49 recorded deaths and a collision with another vessel that resulted in 239 deaths. Other lore claims that a murder took place in one of the ship’s cabins, a crew member was crushed to death by a watertight door, a woman dressed in all-white dances by herself in one of the luxury suites, and several apparitions of adults and children in old-timey garb sometimes wander the decks. Now functioning as a hotel Long Beach, California, the creepy Queen Mary certainly seems like a perfect set location to capture the spirit of fear!

But cast and crew should be wary that the film doesn’t join Hollywood’s list of “cursed” movies - a number of classic flicks (many of them horror-related) that have been marked by disaster or ghostly activity (or both). Spooky films like Poltergeist, The Omen, The Crow, and others were plagued by murder and death, serious illness and injury, hauntings, and more during and after their filming. Setting the production of a horror movie inside the real haunted RMS Queen Mary may be an exact recipe for one such disaster (or ghostly activity, or both)!

Only time will tell if The Queen Mary horror movie will ride the wave of success, or if a curse from the ship’s spirits will leave it dead in the water (that’s the last of the ghost ship puns, I swear). Will you be lining up for a ticket when The Queen Mary arrives in theaters?!

Cursed Movies According to Slapped Ham

Cursed Movies According to Slapped Ham

TGIF, amiright? If you’re staying in and surfing through Netflix for a movie on this Friday night, you may want to skip these haunted titles. According to Slapped Ham, these 10 films are cursed movies that still haunt the cast and crew. Were they all affected by supernatural forces, or just really, really unlucky? Watch and found out, if you dare!

For those who are not able to watch the video, here is the list of cursed titles for you to check out later!

10. The Passion of the Christ 

9. The Wizard of Oz

8. Superman 

7. Poltergeist 

6. Rosemary’s Baby

5. The Crow

4. The Exorcist

3. The Conqueror 

2. The Addict 

1. The Omen

Were you surprised to see any of these titles on the list? Which cursed flick are you tempted to watch now?

Opera Ghosts: Echoes of the Rhoads Opera House Fire

On the corner of South Washington Street and East Philadelphia Avenue in Boyertown, Pennsylvania is a red brick building. Three stories tall and largely unadorned, it doesn’t stand out from its neighbors, blending in to blocks of similarly-styled buildings without a second glance. Small shops rotate through the ground floor, while apartment dwellers come and go through its top two tiers. Except for a commemorative plaque hung on the front of the building, one would never know that on this particular site, 171 people died in a single night. 

The Rhoads Opera House in ruins.

Although the history of deadly disasters in the United States seems to widely overlook this small-town horror, Boyertown itself has never forgotten the shocking tragedy that was the Rhoads Opera House Fire

The Rhoads Opera House Fire

On the evening of January 13, 1908, over 300 theatergoers and 50 actors gathered at the Rhoads Opera House for the opening night of a production called “The Scottish Reformation.” The term “opera house” was a bit of a misnomer, as the theater only comprised the second floor of the commercial Rhoads building in which it was located. Though the venue was in fact small compared to its grand name, the play was eagerly attended by the hundreds, and featured the latest slide projection technology and dramatic staging effects. Through an unintended tragedy of errors, it was this new technology that served as the catalyst for the catastrophe to come.

The Rhoads commercial building before the fire.

While the rapt audience waited for the play’s third act to begin, an inexperienced projectionist with only two days of training mistakenly turned a wrong valve on the projector, which then hissed and startled a few theatergoers seated nearby. Hearing commotion in the audience, several actors raised the curtain to see what was the matter. When they did, they tipped over a kerosene lamp that had been set on the stage for extra lighting. The overturned lamp immediately started a small fire, but theater personnel quickly responded to tamp down the flames. With the fire nearly extinguished, some of the men in the front row decided to move another kerosene tank, kept under the stage, that fueled the theater’s footlights… as a safety precaution.  The decision proved deadly when the tank’s framework broke, dumping the tank of kerosene across the stage and igniting the small fire into an inferno.

In seconds, the stage became a virtual tinderbox. Its curtains burst into flames, quickly followed by the wainscoting of the 12-foot ceiling, until the entire auditorium was engulfed in “waves” of fire.  Frantic audience members scrambled towards the main exit, only to find themselves trapped inside when the panicked crush of people tried pushing against doors that opened inward. Although the second floor contained two window fire escapes, they were unmarked and located three feet off the ground, nearly unidentifiable amidst the chaos. Chairs, debris, and bodies made the auditorium a maze of obstacles that blocked exits and cost precious time getting to safety. When one of the main exit doors was finally broken open, some victims were trampled to death as the crowd stampeded forward, while others fell to their deaths down the building’s staircase. Still others jumped from windows to the ground below, and not everyone survived the attempt. But most of all, trapped theatergoers burned alive. While many people did manage to escape outside, nearly 200 men, women, and children perished while the fire raged. 

After the fire.

Smoking rubble after the fire.

Hours later, when the very literal smoke finally cleared, the full scale of the fiery tragedy was revealed. With a death toll of 171 people - 170 who attended the play and one firefighter - the little community of Boyertown had shockingly lost one-tenth of its population. In a few cases, entire families - husbands, wives, children - had died in the opera house blaze. Two-thirds of the dead victims were women and children, leading some to surmise that the men in attendance had abandoned them to fend for safety by themselves. When rescue workers entered the burned-out building, they discovered bodies piled six feet deep at the top of the stairway, where the surging crowd had bottlenecked and trapped themselves inside. Because of the overwhelming number of bodies, three makeshift morgues had to be set up in surrounding buildings, while the remaining town worked to identify the victims and cope with the sudden, shocking loss of life.

“Main entrance of Opera House after fire Boyertown, PA, Jan. 08”

Another angle of the fire’s aftermath.

A line of residents looking for loved ones among the bodies of the fire victims.

In the days that followed the disaster, 15,000 people converged on Boyertown to attend dozens upon dozens of funerals. The renowned Boyertown Burial Casket Company, which was to become one of the largest casket manufacturers in the world, was hard pressed to meet the sudden demand for its products and its gravediggers, and had also lost a few of its own workers who had attended that doomed performance of “The Scottish Reformation.” In an unfunny twist of fate, those workers had unknowingly crafted the coffins they would be buried in. Over 100 new graves were dug in Boyertown’s already large Fairview Cemetery, including a common grave for 25 victims whose remains were so badly charred they could not be individually identified. While the town mourned in earnest, the theater fire made headlines across the country, and spurred new legislation for fire safety laws in Pennsylvania. There seemed to be no one in the town who had not been in some way affected by the Rhoads Opera House Fire.

”Interior of Opera House after fire Boyertown PA Jan 08”

An enhanced version of the photo above: “Victims of Opera House fire Boyertown PA Jan, 08”.

Thousands gather in Boyertown after the fire to identify loved ones and attend funerals.

“Preparing for the burial Opera House fire victims Boyertown PA Jan. 13, 08.” More and more graves being added to Fairview Cemetery.

OPERA GHOSTS

Even after 111 years, traces of the tragedy have always remained. To many in the local area, Boyertown is considered one of the most haunted small towns in America. Between its historic buildings dating back to the 1700s, the looming specter of the Boyertown Burial Casket Company (which operated until 1988), and the imposing Fairview Cemetery with its approximately 7,000 graves, there is little doubt that the town is home to all kinds of paranormal activity. There is also no doubt that a significant amount of that paranormal activity has been attributed to the horrific theater tragedy that claimed so many lives. From nearly the very night of the deathly fire, the Rhoads Opera House ghost stories began. 

”Ruins of the Opera House Boyertown PA Jan, 08”.

”Digging the grave for the unidentified after Opera House Fire, Boyertown, PA Jan 13, 08”.

Following the fire, while the ruins of the building still smoked, police were called to the scene to remove an elderly man from the wreckage. He told the responding officers that his dead wife’s ghost had called him to that specific spot on the site, to talk to her a final time.  

Workers attempt to remove and identify bodies after the Boyertown theater fire.

Officers were further called out to the ruins on multiple occasions, for weeks following the event, because residents and passersby claimed they could hear screams and cries coming from inside the building’s hull. A woman who lived nearby also claimed that spirits of the dead victims had taken over her house, though details of her paranormal experiences have not emerged. 

The Boyertown theater fire making headlines.

”Scene at the temporary morgue after Opera House fire Boyertown PA Jan 08”.

The sound of on-site screaming has continued to recur, for years, along with investigations of moaning and strange noises coming from inside Fairview Cemetery. Although the remnants of the Rhoads Opera House building were torn down and rebuilt a few years after the fire, the haunting experiences live on. A present-day resident who lived across the street from the old Opera House shared, “I’ve lived here my entire life and have heard so many ghost stories about the building. One old resident of the apartments there swore that every year around the same time a woman dressed in fine clothes would walk through the apartment, proclaiming to be late for the play.” Still another resident reported that, when the new building housed a dance studio sometime after the fire, the younger girls refused to use one of the dance rooms because it was “full of ghosts.” Even the area surrounding the fire site bears invisible traces of tragedy, with some believing that the victims who were placed in the makeshift morgues never truly left. 

A covered body is removed from a second story window.

“After Opera House Fire Jan 13, 08. Boyertown PA” - a devastating look at the victims laid out in temporary morgues.

Thousands attend funerals for the Rhoads Opera House Victims in Fairview Cemetery.

An artist captures the scene as victims of the Rhoads Opera House fire are taken to Fairview Cemetery for burial.

The Mansion House Hotel in the early 1900s.

Present-day Durango’s Saloon.

The most notoriously haunted of these morgues is probably Durango’s Saloon, a present-day bar located one block from the fire site, in what was formerly the Mansion House Hotel. It was in the basement of the Mansion House Hotel where rescue workers laid out corpses pulled from the Opera House rubble. Today, Durango’s Saloon still seems to be rife with paranormal activity, from shadowy figures glimpsed out the corners of eyes, to items being moved or pushed over, to strange mists appearing in photographs. The bar’s owner once even found himself locked in his walk-in freezer when its large, heavy door inexplicably slammed closed behind him. When local paranormal investigator Scott Wiley conducted his own investigation in Durango’s Saloon, he reportedly captured some compelling EVPs during his three nights in the bar. During one session Wiley asked aloud, “Who’s there?” and says he caught the whispery but distinct reply of “Binder.” Research of the area uncovered that a Henry Binder was in fact the proprietor of the old Mansion House Hotel in the early 1900s - until he was killed in the Rhoads Opera House fire. Binder’s body was buried up the street in Fairview Cemetery, but his spirit, it seems, lingered behind.

With the horror of the Opera House fire impacting so many people, for so many years, there is probably no shortage of those who can share a ghostly story about the theater fire, or about haunted Boyertown itself. I have a few stories of my own.

My haunted Boyertown house

Part of Fairview Cemetery today.

Listeners of The Confessionals may recall the very early Episode 3: “Hatman and Ghostly Interactions”, where I shared with Tony a number of spooky and paranormal occurrences that I experienced while living in several different homes. The home where I had the majority of my eerie experiences was an old Victorian, built in 1900, located on the same road as the Opera House fire site (0.4 miles away to be exact). In even closer proximity was the huge, somber Fairview Cemetery, barely 400 feet away and visible from the house. My elementary school bus stop was actually directly in front of the cemetery entrance... not exactly the most inviting of places to hang around when you are 5-to-10-years old! I remember walking through the cemetery on some occasions and being confounded by the sight of old, ornate gravestones marking the burial places of children who were my own age and even younger - how could they have lost their lives so early?

My elementary school bus stop.

Though I was too little at the time to be familiar with Boyertown’s history, the ghostly impression that Victorian house left on me has drawn me to learn more about the home, hoping to uncover a possible reason behind what, to me, was its pervading sense of spookiness, punctuated by unexplained events and fearful feelings. One experience in particular, which gives Episode 3 its name, was the very brief but distinct sighting of a hatted shadow figure watching me from a doorway. Though the glimpse was quick, the figure was clear: a featureless shadow man, bearing the silhouette of a tail coat, higher collar, and top hat. He never appeared again, but I have always wondered about what I saw. That wonder has led to my amateur research uncovering a tenuous but tangible connection between my old home and the Rhoads Opera House Fire. 

The doorway (left) in my old home where I glimpsed a shadow figure in a tail coat and top hat. At that time the doorway did not have any attached doors; these were added by a later owner.

Through archived newspaper articles, I recently discovered that a man named Leon E. Mayer lived in the same house that I did, in at least the late 1930s and early 1940s. Further records revealed that at around 15 years of age, Mr. Mayer lost both his father and his sister in the 1908 disaster. Dr. Charles Eugene Mayer and his 18-year-old daughter Gwendolyn were in attendance at “The Scottish Reformation” when the fire broke out. According to a Reading Eagle article published on the 100th anniversary of the fire, “Mayer fought off smoke and flames to reach his wife and carry her to safety outside the building. Then, he went back in to rescue his daughter. It’s not known whether Mayer found his daughter amid the smoke and flames, but neither made it out.” After their deaths, Dr. Mayer and Gwendolyn were buried in Fairview Cemetery. 

Dr. Charles Mayer. March 18, 1863 - January 13, 1908.

Gwendolyn Mayer. September 30, 1889 - January 13, 1908.

As of yet, I haven’t found the key detail that I’d like to know - who lived in my creepy old house at the time of fire? - but this little revelation about the Mayer family is still intriguing. Leon Mayer and his family, like so many families in Boyertown in 1908, suffered a tragic loss that would forever be attached to those left behind with their grief. Did Leon Mayer carry a piece of his grief with him while he resided in the home where I used to live? Did it manifest in the strange activity that I experienced? Was it his likeness that appeared in shadow form in my living room doorway? Or does the figure date back even further - was it is an echo of Dr. Charles Mayer, lost to the Opera House fire just down the road? I can’t say with any certainty whether Leon Mayer moved in to my former home well after the fire, or if it was his family home where he had once also lived with his father and sister; I can only speculate and theorize while I continue to dig into small-town history. But even if my paranormal experiences in the Boyertown house are not at all related to the the former Mayer family residents, there is still the fact that the town lost a tenth of its inhabitants in the Rhoads Opera House Fire, and touched nearly every family with its devastation. There is a strong possibility that whoever did live in my home in 1908 bore their own personal connection to the fire, and, perhaps, left a residual force behind them.

Again - this is pure speculation based on a few thinly related facts. But one other thing that stands out to me now is the appearance of that shadow figure in the doorway. Reports from the night of January 13, 1908 recorded that Boyertown’s theatergoers were “dressed in their Sunday best.” “Sunday best,” for a man in the early 1900s, was unquestionably a tail coat, collar, and top hat… a uncanny match for the shadow man who appeared in my circa 1900 home, only blocks away from the Rhoads Opera House.

With only the few historical facts I’ve found so far and my own experiences to consider, I can’t help but wonder…

THE LEGACY OF THE RHOADS OPERA HOUSE FIRE

While looking into my previous home’s history, I found one other story that caught my attention, not only because it further involves the Mayer family, but because it also reveals how quickly after the Boyertown fire its ghostly legacy seems to have begun. The story comes from Dr. Charles Mayer’s own grandson - not from Leon Mayer, but the child of his younger son - and was published on his blog in 2012. In it he recounts how his father woke on the night of the fire to the sound of the hall clock. Strangely, he says, the clock chimed not 12, but 13 times. The next morning, he was confronted with the terrible truth that his father, Dr. Mayer, and sister Gwendolyn would not be coming home again.

A current view of the site of the Rhoads Opera House fire.

Although details in the full story differ from other records (something to be expected as more and more years separate us from the original inciting event), it is clear that the tragedy of 1908 is still leaving its mark. Generations later, families are still affected by who was lost, and a town is forever different because of what transpired. Today the site of the Rhoads Opera House fire is occupied by offices, apartments, and a cozy secondhand bookshop. The fire and the death it brought are over one hundred years in the past. But for anyone who has heard the echoes of the screams from the Boyertown building on the corner of Philadelphia Avenue and Washington Street, the dead may not be altogether gone.

The plaque on the former site of the Rhoads Opera House - “Dedicated to the 171 people who perished within these walls in the tragic fire of January 13, 1908”.

“To the Memory of The Unidentified in the Boyertown Catastrophe Jan. 13, 1908.”

“Rhoads Opera House Fire: A disastrous fire destroyed the theater that stood at Philadelphia Ave. & Washington St. on Jan. 13, 1908. It claimed 170 victims, many buried here, due to overcrowding, poorly designed and unmarked exits, and inadequate fire escapes. The tragedy prompted the Pa. General Assembly to enact fire safety laws and improve construction and inspection standards, making public buildings safer and influencing similar legislation in other states.”

For more information about Boyertown and its haunted history, contact the Boyertown Area Historical Society. To hear my own haunted experiences of Boyertown and other homes in Pennsylvania, listen to The Confessionals Podcast Episode 3: Hatman and Ghostly Interactions on your favorite podcatcher.

Short Story Hour: “Christmas Lights”

Christmas Lights

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It was the first Christmas in our new house. We’d only moved in a week before, but I wanted it to feel like home. What better way than making a festive, cozy holiday atmosphere? So after I unpacked the everyday items, and arranged some furniture, I decided to tackle the Christmas decorations.

As I was winding a string of small twinkle lights around the tree, my daughter watched me intently. Since the first night in the house, she hadn’t wanted to leave my side. I knew she was still getting used to the place, and thought some holiday cheer would help her feel more at ease. At three years old, I really hoped this season she was finally at an age to enjoy all the holiday trimmings. 

So after I finished wrapping the tree in lights, I plugged them in and said, “Ta da! What do you think of the Christmas tree, honey?”

To my surprise, my daughter backed up, wide-eyed, and started shaking her head back and forth.

I was a bit perplexed, looking over at the little red lights that blinked on and off across the branches. “Don’t you like it?” I asked.

She kept shaking her head. “No. No no no.” She even started tearing up. 

Still confused, I took her hands and asked her what was wrong. “Why don’t you like the tree? Are the lights too bright? Should we add some ornaments?”

She replied tearfully. “No. Don’t like it. Looks like the lights in my room. I don’t like them.” Then she cried even harder.

I didn’t understand her; her room was still mostly bare, an old un-decorated room at the back of the house. I hadn’t put any lights up there yet. But I figured, three-year-olds are fickle! She’d probably love the tree tomorrow, when she was in a different mood. “Okay, sweetie,” I said, and turned off the red lights. “We don’t have to finish the tree today.” 

She calmed down after that, but wanted to hold my hand for nearly the rest of the day, peering at the tree every so often like it was some big green monster.

After more unpacking, decorating, and making dinner, I was exhausted come nighttime. I had added more twinkle lights to the mantle and bannister, and with each new strand my daughter had gotten more and more upset. I really didn’t know what to make of her reaction, but I knew we could both use a good night’s sleep. For the past six nights she had cried to sleep in my bed with me. Tonight she had to stay in her room. 

After getting ready for bed, I took her to her room, nearly dragging her the last few feet. She was almost inconsolable, holding me tightly and crying, “No, don’t like the lights!” I was exasperated but she wasn’t going down easy, so I held her on her bed, gently rocking her back and forth. “Okay, sweetie, it’s fine. We’ll take care of the lights tomorrow. I’ll stay right here until you fall asleep.” 

Still she cried, and whispered, “No, no lights,” over and over. I kept rocking and patting her, until we both started settling, getting sleepy....

It must have been a few hours later, I came awake, still holding my daughter on her bed. It was alarmingly dark. I realized groggily I’d fallen asleep in her room, then tried to remember why I’d woken.

Then I heard the sound. 

A creak, low but long, like a hinge turning slowly. 

I stared into the room. It was too dark to see much, but after a pause, I heard another creak. It sounded too close to be the room door. But maybe...the closet door? Was it... opening? 

There came one more creak. Silence. Then, a shuffle.

Step. Shuffle. Step. 

Stop.

Still asleep, my daughter started to  whimper.

Fighting a rising panic, I stared hard into the room, trying to see anything in the darkness. 

 Darkness until.... a sudden glow of lights. Small, red lights, inside the closet. Red, flashing. Then gone. 

I had imagined it, hadn’t I? But then.

Shuffle. Step. Step. Step. 

Stop. Silence. 

I choked on my scream when the lights came back. 

A set of red lights. Glittery, hard, cold.

At the foot of the bed. Like the little red bulbs on the Christmas tree. Except not like the Christmas tree.

Because the red lights didn’t twinkle.

They blinked.

Two red Christmas lights, but not Christmas lights at all. 

They were eyes.

It was the first and the last Christmas in our new house.

Ugly Holiday Sweaters for a Crypto-Paranormal Christmas!

It’s the holiday season! That means it’s time again for spreading Christmas cheer and breaking out the old holiday traditions: decorations, gifts, festive music (on every single radio station), family togetherness...

And ugly sweaters.

That’s right - the month of December is also the perfect time to pull out your hideous knitwear and proudly parade it in public, all in the spirit of Christmas! This year, TODAY, Friday December 21, 2018, marks National Ugly Christmas Sweater Day.

Whether you’re attending the annual office Christmas party, braving crowds of shoppers at every store, or curling up in front of the fire with a gallon of eggnog, make the scene picture-perfect by being as badly dressed as possible! For all of you fellow paranormal and cryptozoological enthusiasts, check out some of these truly terrible designs to inspire your ugly Christmas sweater collection:

Merry Krampus

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You better watch out. You’ll probably cry. And if you pout, you’re going to die - Krampus Clause is co

min’ to town.

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The only thing worse than this ugly Krampus sweater is paying $69.00 for this ugly Krampus sweater.

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Does it make the sweater more or less ugly if it comes in vest form? Probably both.

A Very Cryptid Christmas

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He sees you when you’re sleeping because he’s big enough to look into your bedroom windows.

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This is actually pretty tame as far as ugly Christmas sweaters go, but the sweater model just looks so majestic.

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“Yeti, eat a candy cane.”

“Why?!”

“Because you turn into an angry badly dressed abominable snowman when you’re hungry….”

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“….Better?”

Better!”

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If you’re not sure whether your holiday yeti sweater is ugly enough, make it battery-operated and remove all doubt.

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Holidays are all fun and games until someone gets impaled by a unicorn.

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I don’t really want to have a hairy anything, thank you.

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Every time a bell rings, a Mothman gets its wings.

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Some kids want Santa to bring them a pony for Christmas. Other kids just want a legendary Scottish plesiosaur.

Yuletide UFOs

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The alien invasion comes bearing gifts. And polka dots. So many polka dots.

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Don’t go into the light!

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Santa is out there.

Paranormal Pop Culture Christmas

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Mix a little redrum with your eggnog for a festive holiday drink.

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The perfect cardigan for your office Christmas party or casual Fridays at Ghostbusters Headquarters.

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Better not feed this Gremlin sweater after midnight, or it’ll turn into an even uglier sweater.

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Nothing screams Christmas cheer like a possessed homicidal doll.

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On the Eleventh day of Christmas my true love gave to me, more shadow monsters in a new Season 3. (Seriously, when is Season 3 coming out?!)

Just Plain Creepy

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Have yourself a creepy little Christmas.

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Zombie Santa is going to need a little more than milk and cookies when he lumbers down your chimney.

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I don’t know if this is paranormal or just really weird, but it is an actual nightmare before Christmas.

Scary, merry Christmas, everyone! Which ugly sweater will you be wearing this year?

Written Confession: A Navajo Woman Shares Stories of the Skinwalkers

The following written confession was submitted via email, also following the release of Episode 95: The Roof Walker.

“This happened a long time ago.  I am not fluent in English, but I do my best.

 I'm Navajo women from the Four Corners area, and I grew up as a traditional Navajo.  This means my family conducted Navajo traditional ceremonies and we had lot of  ceremonies, and it was always healing ceremony and lot of prayers.  My grandpa, my dad's father was a medicine man.

 I live west of Shiprock, NM and the mountains are 15 miles on west and south of our home.    We had no trees around our house and I would describe it desert, and only big structure 3 miles east of our home is a big Shiprock Rock.  

My parents enrolled me, my young sister and my older brother in boarding schools at Nenahnezad, NM.  We went home on weekdays, but sometimes we stayed in the dormitory.  At home we had no running water and electricity and we lived in a small 2 room house.  There were two bump beds and one big bed, and kitchen table, cabinets and wood stove in the middle of the house.  The front door is facing east and divided room in the middle of the house.  There was three windows on east, south and west side.  The middle door is blocked because my cousins and her boyfriend lived on the north side.  We lived on the south side.  

My father and brothers started building new house it was about 100 yard south of the old house.  When skinwalker came we lived in the old house. Eight of us lived in that house including my parents.  Sometimes, I stayed with my grandmother.   I don't exactly remember my age, and looking at one of my younger sister age, she was about 4 years old, so this was 1978 and I was 13 years old.

This was on a weekend, we went to bed and light were out.  I was on bottom bump bed and my 11 year old sister was on top bump.  I can hear everyone dozing off.  I could not sleep, and I got up, and my sister help me get the splinter out of my right hand.  She hold the flash light for me.  

another-skinwalker-supernatural-video.jpg

I hear the dogs barking.  They were chasing something and we listened,  they chased it behind the house and it jumped to the edge of the roof on south side of the house.  My bed is southwest of the room and the creature was climbing on top.  We turned off the flash light and my sister went under cover.  I slowly got up and I went across the room to wake up my parents.  I turned on the flash light, shined it in their face so they can wake up.  that did not help, and they said, it's a cat.  I'm I went back to my bed and went under the cover and listen.  By this time I heard it climbing and it was scratching the window as it climbed to the roof.  When it climbed, I can hear it breathing, and scratching the walls and windows, and when when it got on top, It sound like a person walking from south to north, round and round.  The dogs were barking and running around the house as it walked back and forth, and at one time it stopped.  He was not moving and suddenly, he   hit one of the dogs with a long 2" diameter pole.  My sister threw that pole on the roof a day before.  When the dog was hit, he was hurt.  I can hear that pole when it was thrown at the dog.  I laid in bed listening to the foot steps.  The foot steps is not a dog or a cat, it was a human, heavy person walking with two legs.  I fell asleep as I listened to the heavy steps.

The next morning, and I check the area.  There were weird foot prints, we tried to tell my parents but they just brushed it off.  No one paid attention to us.  The prints were not too clear because the ground was too hard. Since no one listens we didn't bother.  

Within four days my cousin passed away, she was 25 years old.  She is the one that lived on the north side of the house.   Before she pass on, on Sunday afternoon, she mentioned a bad headache, that was the last time I heard her talking about the pain.  In the afternoon, we went back to boarding school and by Wednesday Or Thursday my uncle came with the bad news.  She passed away after two or three day.  That was the hardest and saddest thing to take as a kid.  After she passed on, my family brought in a medicine man and he conducted a ceremony.    And he said, TWO OF YOU KNOW ABOUT IT.  Everyone looked at me and my sister.  We never repeated our story to the medicine man.  He said, "it's a man in a bear skin, and I saw he was on the roof of the house.  When it walk on the roof he was using a white powder and blew it over her.  He walked round and round and round and he blew some kind of power on everyone to put you all to a deep sleep.  He had a helper, it was a hummingbird, he did the lookout thru a peep hole.  He blew this white power on her and that is how she passed away.   Then he explained, I see lights, The light traveling toward our house.  It was like a bright flash light, not a spot light.  The medicine man says, tat is it, it is that light.  He conducted the prayers and chanted songs.  He prayed using sacred words, words I never heard.  He takes out the fire ashes and arrow heads to ward off the evil skinwalker.  After singing and praying for several hours, the light disappeared.

 At the time I did not fully understand what he meant, white powder.  Later my grandma tells me, that white powder is crushed human bone, and they get this from the graveyard.  She did not tell me much .

I asked my grandma too many questions, but sometimes, she told me, don't ask, you are not old enough to know.  My grandma always told us to close the curtains, and she said, skinwalker might be watching us close all the curtains.   Or she said, close all the curtains we don't want to see ghost. 

Another time, we had a ceremony in a hogan (one room and round house).  It was after midnight and my father was singing, and I heard the dogs barking close behind him.  I could not hear the songs, instead I heard the dogs.  My brother goes out and checked, they did not see anything. The next morning, I walked to the spot behind the hogan and  I saw a big spot on the ground, someone sat behind him and walked toward south west  The same foot prints, the one I seen before, and these prints had clear markings.  It was a human hand prints in the middle and bear claw around it.    My grandma yells at me not to follow the prints and leave it and my dad reassured me not to worry.  He said, we prayed all night and we will not let it get to us.   I am young and I wanted to know why, it keep coming only at night.  I yelled so loud to it, "why don't you come in day time and tell us what you want.  Don't hide behind that skin!

After a year the new house was finish and we moved in.  My youngest sister was about four or five years old.  Every evening I had to warm up the house.  Before we start the fire, I always take out the ashes and we took it out to a big 100 gallons barrel.  The barrel was set about 60 yard southeast of the new house.   

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One evening when the sun was setting I had to do my chores. My youngest sister was helping me.  We put the ashes in the bucket and we walked out to the big barrel. It was getting dark and I could not see too far.  When we got closer to the barrel, I saw a big bear out in front of us.  We threw the bucket on the ground and we ran back to the house.  My sister is crying and screaming, Bear! Bear!  We got inside and shut the door.  Everyone is inside, cleaning the kitchen and not one person paid attention.  My sister was crying and ran to my mother.   She had night mares, she jumped and cries, Bear Bear Bear!  I noticed the dogs barking and always chasing someone outside.  She does not remember, and she never talks bout it.    Maybe a ceremony was done for her.

Then years went by, I did not live in that house and I moved to Arizona.  My parents lived in this new house, but there was no electricity and running water.  They used the white gas light at night.  The house is expanded to two story, and three bedrooms on the top floor and one bathroom.  The kitcheN, dining room and living rooms, and one restroom are at the bottom floor.   Two entrances from the east and bottom floor has 2 large windows on west side.  

My youngest sister is born in 1987 and she was about 6 years old when she saw a skinwalker.  This was 1993, her and    My youngest my young cousin are the same age.  They hang out together everyday.  

One evening they took a bath in the bottom floor bathroom, and using a white gas lantern.  They walked out of the restroom with the towels and holding the light, turned southwest of the room and they saw a goat looking at them.  This thing was standing behind the west window and looking straight at them.  They stopped and stood looking face to face with the This creature.  The face was an old man and it was wearing a goat skin, like a hoodie over his head and it had two horns.  They screamed and threw the white gas lantern on the floor no they ran to the kitchen.  My mothers runs out to see.  My sister and cousin were frightened and explained what they saw.  

They did not close the window curtains like my grandmother said.  The curtain is closed after they saw the strange skinwalker.  

I asked my sister about what she saw, she said, it was a man in a goat skin.  He was covered with the goat skin over his head, and two horns above his head.  He face was covered with some light and dark color.  He had big eyes and it did not blink, it had a strange look in his eyes, he had human eyes.  

When I was a kid my elderly cousin told me, I know how to witch people.  He was a scariest person to be around.  My brother saw him put some kind of powder on my mother.  He was standing behind her and blew it on her.  Within one hour, she started having pain on her back.  We had to take her to IHS clinic and then to a medicine man.   

Another day, My parents sent my older brother and I to drive to town to get food.  Town is 35 miles away and on way home, we saw that old man on the road.  We picked him up and I smelled alcohol on him.  He was too drunk.  He sat on passenger side and he starts talking about how he witch people.  He was trying to show us how he used his witch craft.  My brother turned up the radio and I looked away from him.  My brother tells him, we don't want to know . He passed always when I was in high school.  

Today,  when someone says skin walker, my response to that,  "Who would still practice it".  I think it died down because skin walkers was practice by the elder Navajos and they could speak in Navajo and they know how to sing in Navajo and chant.  Today over 50% Navajos did not speak Navajo, they don't know how to sing or chant in Navajo.”

Written Confession: Another Roof Walker Encounter?

The following written confession was submitted via email following the release of Episode 95: The Roof Walker.

“I was listening to episode 95 roof walker with kasey. She didn’t mention what city/town in Texas she was from. I had an situation where “something” ran across my roof. Never found out what it was but I am also from a town in Texas near the Mexican border where Santa clause wears shorts and has an accent . . .

Initially my heart dropped bc her story sounded familiar to mine. I lived in El Paso Texas with my older sister when I was around 17-18 years old. She worked 12 hour nights so I was home alone often. We lived in a 1 story ranch, behind it was a large drainage ditch and to the left was an alley. One night my boyfriend and I heard what sounded like a person take a couple of running steps and then jump off the roof. It shook my kitchen light. I was so freaked out! I thought it could be a weirdo off the alley or ditch. My boyfriend wanted to go outside and check but instead I called the cops and they didn’t find anything. Weirdly, my boyfriend thought it was a dog or cat, there’s no way foot steps that heavy were a random animal. They sounded adult weight or heavier. I believe it was after that incident that I heard someone turning the handle to my back door, I looked out but didn’t see anything. It’s possible it could have been some trouble makers messing around but it sure did scare me . . .”

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Our Trip to Alcatraz, America's Most Haunted Prison

Picture it: San Francisco, 2017. I was three months pregnant with our first child, Tony’s beard was at its zenith, and we were vacationing in Frisco for our ten year wedding anniversary! It was probably only our third vacation ever in the last decade, so every day we were checking multiple places off of our “must see” list. Our trip would certainly not have been complete without an excursion to a very famous and historical landmark - Alcatraz, one of America’s most haunted prisons.

A Brief History of Alcatraz Penitentiary

Known as “The Rock”, Alcatraz Penitentiary has a long, chilling history, which seems to echo through its dilapidated buildings as tales of Alcatraz’s hauntings continue to this day. 

Originally built as a military fortress in the 1850s, Alcatraz was converted into a military prison in 1868. Situated one-and-a-quarter miles offshore in the San Francisco Bay, the island’s steep, rocky topography and location in shark-infested waters made it an ideal place to confine violent criminals. The first fortress-prison was demolished in 1909, and a new prison was rebuilt in its place by the prison’s own inmates. After the prison fell into disrepair in the 1920s, it was again closed, restructured, and reopened in 1933, this time as a federal prison claiming to be “escape-proof.” Alcatraz continued to function as a prison for dangerous federal criminals until it was closed by Robert F. Kennedy in 1963, due to the huge financial cost it required to keep it in operation. A few years later, in 1969, a group of Native Americans claimed the island, and held it in occupation for two years, before being forced out by federal marshals in 1971. Finally, in 1972, the island prison was added to the new Golden Gate Recreation Area, and officially opened for tourists and the public.

The Haunted History of Alcatraz

At any given time, approximately 250 dangerous prisoners were housed on Alcatraz, including gangsters Al Capone and “Machine Gun” Kelly, crime boss James “Whitey” Bulger, and murderer Robert Stroud, “The Birdman of Alcatraz” - just to name a few of the criminals from the prison’s bloody history. The reasons Alcatraz earned its title as the most haunted prison in America are many. Some of the creepy occurrences contributing to Alactraz's haunted legacy are as follows:

  • Statistics: During its years of operation, there were 14 escape attempts from Alcatraz, involving 36 men. Twenty-three of the men were caught, 6 were shot dead, 2 were confirmed drowned, and the remaining 5 were thought to have drowned, either in the bay or swept out to sea. (The government's official position is that no one has successfully escaped from The Rock; however, conspiracy theories abound about three men, Frank Morris and the Anglin brothers, surviving their escape attempt, never to be recaptured. You can check out this fascinating story here!) In addition, Alcatraz saw 8 murders by inmates, 5 prisoner suicides, and 15 deaths by natural causes or illnesses. (Want more Alcatraz facts? Go here!)
  • Psychological and physical trauma: The treatment and punishment of prisoners was reported to have resulted in psychological and physical trauma for some of the inmates, a number of whom were driven insane before their time on The Rock was concluded. Some of these treatments and punishment included:

 - The Spanish Dungeon: Located underneath Cellblock A are cells is known as “the Spanish Dungeon.” Reportedly used during Alcatraz’s military prison era, the dungeon cells were used for the more “unmanageable inmates,” who would be taken below and chained to the bars of the dungeon, allegedly without clothes and food on some occasions.

- The single Strip Cell: Feared by inmates, the Strip Cell was a steel-encased cell with no sink or toilet where unruly prisoners would be locked, without clothes, in total darkness. Offenders were usually placed in the freezing cell for 1 to 2 days at a time.

- The Hole Cells: The Hole cells were similar types of cells, where prisoners were isolated from others and provided with only the bare minimum to survive- bread, water, a low wattage light bulb- for sometimes up to 19 days. 

  • Cell 14D: Cell Block D is the most famously haunted cell block. In 14D, one of “the Hole” cells, a prisoner in the 1940s once spent the night screaming that a creature with red glowing eyes was killing him. In the morning, the inmate was found dead by strangulation, and no person was ever discovered to be responsible for his death. 
  • The Battle of Alcatraz: From May 2 to May 4, 1946, inmates attempted to take over the prison. The 3-day fight and standoff resulted in the deaths of 2 corrections officers and 3 inmates, and the injury of 11 officers and 1 inmate. Two convicts who participated in the takeover were later executed (at San Quentin) for their roles in the officers’ death. (You can read more about the frightening Battle of Alcatraz here.)

These events are only a number of potential causes of paranormal activity stemming from Alcatraz's long history. The book Ghosts of Alcatraz by Kathryn Vercillo shares an introductory history and many haunting experiences that have taken place on the island. One excerpt from the book reads:

"Not too far away, just off Cell Block C, is the Utility Corridor where three prisoners who attempted to escape (Coy, Cretzer, and Hubbard) were ultimately captured and grenaded to their deaths. In this same corridor, a welded shut door muffles the eerie sounds of the spirits on this cellblock . . . A guard who was watching the area at night heard odd noises coming from behind the door. It sounded as though something was knocking around in the corridor down there, but when the guard opened the door, he saw nothing that could possibly be making the sounds. He closed the door and was going to continue on his security rounds, but as soon as the door shut behind him, the noises started up again. Thinking that someone must be in there playing some sort of joke on him, the guard opened the door again and looked around the area extensively. He never found the source of the noise. When he closed the door again, the noises again resumed . . . Since that time, this area has been blocked off and that particular door has been welded shut."

In the many decades that have passed since the 1850s, strange events and encounters on the island have never ceased to be reported. From whispering in the cells, to ghostly figures, to sounds of clanging bars and doors shutting, to disappearing smoke, to cold spots and areas where visitors are suddenly overcome with emotion, there are no shortage of ghosts lingering in Alcatraz. 

Our Alcatraz Experience

I'll answer the big question first - no, we didn't encounter any otherworldly activity on Alcatraz! However, our trip to Alcatraz Island was an experience not to be missed (although we almost did miss it!) - and we're glad we had the opportunity to go!

Alcatraz, as one of the most important "must see" items on our trip agenda, was the first big attraction we intended to visit while in San Francisco. But, when we showed up at the ticket office bright and early on the first morning of vacation, those plans hit a bit of a snag: tickets to Alcatraz were already sold out, for the entire summer. With daily tours leaving every 30 minutes, every day, we were dumbfounded that there was nothing available - even considering the landmark's popularity - for the next two months! 

Trying not to cry at this disappointing news (which is the natural reaction to any kind of news when you're pregnant) I jumped on my Smartphone and started searching the Alcatraz Cruise website. We couldn't come all the way to San Francisco and not make it to the "main event" of the trip, right?! Lo and behold, the site came through for us: there were two tour tickets available online, for two days later - the only openings for the entire week! The tickets were promptly loaded into the virtual cart (thank you, pervasive consumer-based technology), and we returned to the pier later that week for our boat ride to Alcatraz. And, lesson learned: always pre-order tickets for popular national attractions before flying across the country to visit them.

Even in June, the ride to and from Alcatraz across the San Francisco Bay was freezing. The wind whipped hard enough to take your breath away, the waves were choppy, and fog rolled in and out across the horizon. From the mainland, Alcatraz looks comparatively close to shore, but after crossing the channel, it's difficult to imagine how a prisoner could actually survive a swim from the prison to dry land. (Lookin' at you, Frank Morris and the Anglin brothers... in whichever undisclosed country you're hiding out in.)

If you're looking for a creepy island where you can enjoy ghostly horrors of the past — and who doesn't look for that in a vacation? - Alcatraz is the place to visit! It’s remote, eerie, and desolate, even with hoards of tourists stomping around. There is a quote, often attributed to Mark Twain, that says, "The coldest winter I ever saw was the summer I spent in San Francisco." After visiting San Fran in the summer, we can both can attest to the truth of this statement; temperatures that week didn’t rise about the low 60s, and it was colder still on Alcatraz, surrounded by water and wind. The chill was everywhere, and the surrounding bay and sky alternated between blue and slate gray throughout the afternoon. Alcatraz is not a cheery place, to say the least.

We opted to skip a guided tour, although looking back I think it would have added even more to our experience by expounding on the island’s history. But since we both hate crowds and love abandoned places, we explored the eerie sights on our own, most notably:

  • The ruined buildings: Many of the island’s residence buildings are in ruins, some having been demolished and some destroyed by fires in 1970. It was interesting to note, though, (in a "Yikes, I hoped they always locked the doors" kind of way) how women and children - the families of Alcatraz’s guards - had lived only steps away from some of the country’s most dangerous criminals. 
  • The morgue: This wasn’t the large, laboratory-style morgue fabricated in Michael Bay’s movie, “The Rock.” (Although I won’t lie, that would have been cool too.) Alcatraz’s actual morgue is tucked away on the far end of the complex, housed in the entrance of an old Civil War tunnel. Despite its small size and the crowds around it, it was still a creepy place, with the mortuary slab still in place and the vaults shrouded in the darkness at the back of the room. Not a place you’d want to hang out in after dark. Or in broad daylight. Or at any time at all, really.
  • The cellhouses: Speaking of places you wouldn’t want to hang out in after dark... The cellhouses, the centers for the main horrors and hauntings comprising Alcatraz’s history and lore, were disturbing. Granted, decay and disuse have done them no favors, but they are still scary places. Cramped, stark, and with no exposure to direct sunlight, the cells were bleak sad cubicles. The buildings were also long and shadowy, ideal places for things that like to come out in the dark - and I don’t mean the Tooth Fairy (cue eerie musical riff). If not for the presence of so many people milling about, I think the overall atmosphere of the place would have felt much more ominous and agitated. My heart goes out to any lonely guard assigned to patrol Alcatraz at night; may he have nerves of steel and carry a big stick.

Although we didn't witness any ghostly activity, experiencing Alcatraz was well worth it, both for its storied history and for its potential to encounter the paranormal.  If you have the chance to see it, we recommend the experience! ...Just maybe call ahead for tickets. Please enjoy some of our touristy pictures of Alcatraz below, and stay tuned for a future blog post about our visit to Eastern State Penitentiary! (Because for some reason, we keep ending up at haunted prisons.)

And now I'm going to watch "The Rock."

Have you visited any famous haunted locations? Share with us in the comments!

Rocky Elmore BORDER PATROL TV SHOW in Production!

On Episode 15: Confessions of a U.S. Border Patrol Agent, Rocky Elmore, former Border Patrol agent and author, shared some of the paranormal experiences he and his fellow agents faced while working long nights on the border.

Now, Rocky is bringing border patrol stories to TV and the web! THRESHOLD: MYSTERIES OF THE BORDER PATROL is a half-hour docureality series that will investigate the Border Patrol’s adventures, murders, and myths.

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Currently in development, the show chronicles dangerous and mystifying happenings along the 7,000 miles of America's borders, including rescues, disappearances, murders, and much more! Each episode will feature stories and reenactments that will grip fans from the very beginning - they're not your typical campfire stories!

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To learn more about THRESHOLD: MYSTERIES OF THE BORDER PATROL and to support the series, check out its crowdfunding campaign here: THRESHOLD: MYSTERIES OF THE BORDER PATROL WEBSITE!

Who will be watching this exciting new series? Tell us below!

"PARANORMAL BIGFOOT" Film Coming Soon!

Does Bigfoot really exist? And if so, what is Bigfoot? Bilco Productions, the creator of “Cultured Bigfoot”, is back to answer these questions with the second film in their Bigfoot trilogy, “Paranormal Bigfoot”!

The documentary, releasing this winter, will explore theories about the existence of Sasquatch, from flesh and blood creature to alien being to spiritual entity. The film will also feature interviews with some of the top names in the Bigfoot research field as they share their theories about the elusive cryptid.

Check out the teaser trailer for “Paranormal Bigfoot” below!

Their first film “Cultured Bigfoot” observes different points of view from the Bigfoot community, and is available on Amazon and Vidi Space.

Are you excited for the next edition of this Bigfoot series? Comment below!

Written Confession: A Life of Paranormal Incidences

The following Confession was shared via email:

Thought I'd let you know that I have had many "paranormal" things happen through out my life. It is a family trait and to me it is just normal life. Something needs to be truly remarkable to make it memorable.

My mother has had many psychic incidences during her life. One just happened to save my life when I was a toddler. 

We lived on an isolated farm that belonged to my father's parents, who also lived there but in another house. My father worked away. 

One day I began to choke. My mother couldn't fix it and didn't know what to do. It must of been quite bad because she grabbed me and rushed out to find my grandmother. When she was outside the garden gate she heard a voice in her head say words to the effect of "turn the child upside down". Which she did and whatever was stuck in my throat dislodged and I recovered. 

One time my when my eldest daughter was about 11 she woke up with a slight fever and felt unwell so I kept her home from school. An hour or so later I get a phone call from the school. They were concerned for my child, wanting to know if I'd taken her home. She had been seen at school that morning but vanished and they were very concerned. I told them she had not been to school and was home sick but they insisted she had been there. That evening there was an event on at the school that my daughter's class was involved in and because she had recovered we went to it. As we arrived one of her friends rushed up to her asking why she had vanished from school that morning. This other kid was adamant that my daughter had been there. This confirmed it to me that the school phone call had been valid.  I know of a phenomenon called "bi-location" and put the incident down to a case of this. I told my daughter that's what it was, no big deal. 

I have many stories, many more are forgotten. I've seen odd lights in the sky, had many out of body / astral events and encounters. Had a dark entity come into a house I was living in. (I'd never believed in them before or been scared like that).

I've had so many dreams that later came true. When I was young I was able to see what people where thinking, I could see thoughts forming. One very famous person - example happened when I was 15 and it bothered me so much it put me off ever wanting that to happen again. It was a member of the British royal family who'd just had a baby. 

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Written Confession: My Husband Sees Demons

The following Confession was shared by Sherilyn N. via email:

I have a special husband who has the gift of seeing angels and demons. Unfortunately he mostly gets demons. It's taken me forever to type it out for him and I wanted to share it with you.

I'm going to write it from his point of view because it's much easier to explain. His name is Adriel.

Adriel

I was about 9 or 10 years old when I saw my first demon. It was nighttime and I wanted to sleep in my brother's room because I don't like to sleep in my room for some reason. My brother's and I would do that a lot for some reason; sleep in each others' rooms. My brother has a twin sized bed so we both were definitely not going to both fit which means I was sleeping on the floor next to the closet. Yep. Across the room there is a window; side note: we live in a two-story house with our rooms upstairs and parents' room is downstairs. In the middle of the night I "wake up" where it's not my body that's awake but more like an awareness that I'm "awake" and can see the entire room. It felt like it was my physical body but not really. I was sleeping on my side and lifted my head to look at my brother sleeping and wanted to see the rest of the room in this "state" of being when behind me I saw him. I knew it was a man because he had a more masculine face. He was crouched over looking at me from about a foot or so away so he wasn't crouching over me. He had his hands on his knees and had long sharp nails like the kind girls are doing today. It was dark so it was hard to see a lot of details but he had pants that looked like he pushed up or rolled up to his calves like capris, no shoes and I saw his toes had long nails like if they weren't being maintained for a while. He had a shirt that was kind of like a muscle shirt without sleeves and a little singed looking throughout, the pants also were in the same kind of condition. His skin was dark greenish like rotting flesh green and had something that looked like cracks. When I looked at his face he was looking straight at me and smiling like he was thinking "hi, I can see you" with his head tilted to the side. His face also had the same cracks as the rest of his body and his eyes were normal looking with the whites but the entire iris and pupil was just black. His teeth were sharp and he had spiky styled hair. I just stared at him with my mouth open and he just stared back unmoving for what felt like minutes but was probably 20 seconds. I had a feeling and slowly turned away from the demon towards the window where I saw a being jump through and land on his feet in front of the window. He was bright and I couldn't see his face like I wasn't allowed to see it. He wore a robe and was tall enough to almost graze the ceiling. He had sandals on (of course) and his skin was sort of translucent but I could tell it was skin. He stood there for only a moment and ran forward around the bed to where I was laying. He stood across from the demon who hadn't realized he was there yet. The demon acted like he knew the angel was there but he didn't really care much until he turned from me to actually look at the angel. The demon literally did a double take like if he knew who was there or which specific angel it was. The look on his face was surprise and terror at the realization. I don't know who it was. They had a brief stare down then the angel darted towards the demon. The angel placed one hand on the demon's forehead and the other hand on his chest and pushed him through the wall behind him. The both of them disappeared into the wall and I remember seeing the complete fear on the demon's face as he kind of tried to fight back but failed and they were gone.

THE NEXT DAY. I kid you not, in the morning I was sitting down in the kitchen eating cereal waiting for my dad to finish showering so he could take me to school. I was shoveling spoonfuls of cereal in my mouth when I looked up and there SHE was. I'll try to explain how the house looks like. There is a little hall leading to the kitchen which is really just the pantry on one side so it's not a huge hallway. If you're sitting where I was you can see straight down the "hall" to the front door and to the left there is the living room. The living room isn't visible from there because the pantry and kitchen wall are there. So the female demon was coming from the living room which is "behind" the wall of the pantry tip-toed like she didn't want to make any noise and walked right through the wall. I literally had a mouthful of cereal with my hand halfway going up when I looked up to see her doing to creeping. I stared at her with my mouth open and she was looking at me with a smile on her face like the one from last night while creeping. I blinked a couple times, swallowed my cereal and looked back down to just keep eating since it was gone. I had another spoonful in my mouth when I looked up and saw her sitting in the chair across from me. She had her elbows on the table and her chin propped up on her hands with the sharp-tooth smile still there. She was also sitting really weird in the seat like she was kneeling on it like some kids do, but I could see that her legs/feet were folded up on the back of the seat. I literally just stared at her and she stared back smiling before she disappeared. I put my spoon down and just yelled "Papiiiiiiii" for my dad. From what I remember was wearing rolled up pants like the other one and no top which is how I knew it was a girl. But it was weird because she didn't look like she was naked on top. I could tell she had bumps like breasts but no nipples to really seem like she was nude. Her skin was green-grey looking with the same burned cracks that the one last night had. She had no hair at all. Basically she looked exactly like the male demon (like twins or a couple) but was distinctly female with lighter skin.

Next one is quick and was at the same age, probably in the same year. I was outside by myself riding on my bike in the neighborhood, it was kind of close to sunset. I had accidentally run into a parked car and my bike was stuck so I was trying to pull it out. I looked up and saw a figure wearing a red cloak with the hood up. He had the cloak completely closed so I saw nothing of the body and nothing of the face. I stared at him for a couple of seconds when he just sunk down into the ground.

End

He has less detailed stories of more shadowy type stuff that are really short or sounds. He still sees them because a week ago he told me something was going "pst" at him from the kitchen and he could tell there was something out of the corner of his eye but when he turned to look he didn't see anything. If he turned away he could still see it from the corner of his eye. I won't be going in the kitchen by myself anymore. He has also told me about having various episodes of sleep paralysis which I think I have seen for myself. Sometimes I heard him breathing hard and making sounds like he's trying to speak and I wake him immediately to get him out of it.

That's it for now. Hope you enjoyed!

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Guest Post: Michigan Dogman Goes for Children on Roof

This blog post has been shared with permission from Linda Godfrey. Her original posting is available on her blog site, Linda Godfrey's Blog. Thank you, Linda, for allowing The Confessionals to share this blog entry!

"In my previous blog post, I shared the encounter of a Michigan man who was confronted by a wolf-like creature sitting on the roof of his house, watching him. In the following report, we will see that it may not be any comfort to an eyewitness to be the one sitting on the roof, as dogmen don’t appear to see that amount of height as any barrier. Tina Cole gave permission to use her name and a sketch that she drew. In her own words, only slightly edited:

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''Bear with me here, because i’m trying to paint a mental picture for you:

I guess I should start by saying that the only people who know about this is my immediate family, my fiance (who’s encouraged me to contact you) and the person who witnessed this with me. This happened back in 2001. I was only 8 yrs. old at the time, my friend who was with me at the time was 7.

We were both very small.

I remember it was early August, and I lived/ live in a semi-inner city in Michigan, next to a very large park. At the time, my friend and I had decided it was a great idea to play in my very big back yard at night, because the neighbors had a bonfire going. It just barely lit that portion of my yard through a bunch of trees.

We had climbed onto the shed via the neighbor’s fence and a propped board. I mention this because it’s nearly impossible to climb to this day, being an adult. (I can send size comparison photos if you’d like. or a drawing if it would be easier.)

Anyway, we had our feet dangling off of the shed, with our backs facing toward the park. And without a word, my friend had jumped off of the highest part of our shed (which we were never able to do, I mean he practically flew) and headed straight for the house. After a long few seconds I turned around to see why he ran, and there was this thing.  It looked half dog and half human, there’s really no other way to describe it.

It had to have been over 8 ft. high (the height of the shed) and its reaching length was over 4 ft. Its ears alone had to have been a foot long, at least, and its eyes did that thing a cat’s eyes do when light reflects on them in the dark. Its hand was inches away from my ankle. Very, very hairy body. It was basically a dog. I don’t exactly remember the color of it, if it even had a color, but I do remember that whatever this was, was standing from the ground because we didn’t have a chain link fence, it was all parallel wood that you couldn’t stand on,) and it was MASSIVE. So tall that I could see [it] from its middle torso and up.  That was literally the fastest I’ve ever rolled away, I don’t even remember how I got down. Ran inside and told our parents. We had no idea what it was at the time so I vaguely remember telling my mom that there was a tall man outside with a very hairy arm and big ears.

All of the adults went outside really quick to check, but I guess they never found anything. To this day I’m still afraid of the fact that even if what I saw was a man in a VERY elaborate, A-movie horror costume, I was still almost abducted. Since then my mom has become a bit of a fanatic about it. Its caused me a lot of anxiety problems. My friend and I never mentioned it after that night, and we’ve since grown apart.

I’ve tried to get in contact with him so I could have some outside perspective and opinion, so I know I’m not crazy, but to no avail.

(Second letter, in answer to my questions)

I’m so incredibly sorry it has taken me so long to respond, I know you’re probably very busy and I don’t mean to waste your time. I can give you a pretty detailed sketch.

There are many woods where I’m from, I’m surrounded by a very large, heavily wooded park, along with woods directly in front of the house. However, it’s an urban area, so I think that’s one of the reasons I’m afraid to tell anyone, because it seems like the most unlikeliest of places for this to happen. Everything is pretty dilapidated. Buildings, railroads, actual roads, you name it. But no matter where you go, there a deer everywhere around my neighborhoods. It’s a huge problem.

You can absolutely share my encounter. I need people to know. No anonymity necessary.
As far as other details go I can tell you the color of the fur must have been some shade of brown, because it wasn’t immediately noticeable, but it wasn’t too dark to see the figure at night. And quiet. Everything was so quiet and it didn’t make any noise. The next I can do is send you this drawing, which I will do, and a photo of the shed for size comparison, if it helps. I mean, because describing it just isn’t enough.'

I’m not sure why Tina didn’t offer the name of the urban area where she was located (and evidently still lives).  She may not wish to have her home’s location made public, as is her right. I have two other quick comments about the creature reported. First, regarding its height of 8 1/2 feet, that is quite high compared to most estimates of dogman size, but not unheard of. It may have been that everything seems larger to a small child, but she still lives at the place and so is able to make her estimation of its height as a grown person, too.

I also thought about the fact that she said it was very quiet, and that does make sense if it was sneaking up quietly on possible prey. And that adds another layer of fright to the story, which, as an example of a large, unknown predator stalking semi-urban areas just as bears and packs of coyotes often do these days, is already quite scary enough."