Saturday, December 31, 2016

New Years Eve Special 2016

Thunder rages outside and there is a knock at the door. Through the rain slicked window, you see a dark figure standing on the front landing. There is another knock at the door and then a persistent banging. The figure will not be satisfied until you open that door. It is New Year's Eve and depending upon where you live in the world, this figure, when it finally steps into the light of a flash of lightning will reveal itself to be one of two hideous looking creatures.

In Wales, this monster standing on the stoop is Mari Lwyd. This is the grey mare. She appears as the skull of a mare, sheathed in white cloth and decorated with the accoutrements of flowers and ribbons. She is here to challenge you to a wassailing contest and she is not alone. She is accompanied by mummers. And your terror drifts away as you realize that this is Halloween on New Year's Eve! This is a tradition that goes back hundreds of years and has been passed down as an oral tradition. Mari Lwyd or "Y Fari Lwyd" actually translates to "The Grey Mary," but more likely comes from the stem "mare" rather than "Mary." And mare also is part of the word nightmare and here you have a grey nightmare.

Mummers are merrymakers dressed in masks and costumes and wassailing is singing and the verses that are sung are created anew every year. Because this is an annual tradition house-holders are able to prepare in advance their response to the verses that Mari Lwyd brings to their door. The creature is carried much like a puppet. The horses skull is placed on a pole and then the puppeteer hides beneath the sackcloth or material. When the knock comes on the door, there are two options reminiscent of trick or treating: open up and present gifts of food and drinks like a treat or take up the challenge of a singing match like a trick.

Different areas carried on different variations of the custom and most were conducted strictly by men as they got pretty chaotic. Revelers carrying on the way they did a couple hundred years ago, would get them arrested today. Some villages featured itinerant singing mummer plays with a horse head as the star attraction. At another village, there may just be verbal jousting with the Mari Lwyd figure-head. And in other places, Mari Lwyd was out and out feared.

Sample verses:

First Round:

The Mari Lwyd party sing:
"Open your doors,
Let us come and play,
It's cold here in the snow.
At Christmastide

The House-holders reply
"Go away you old monkeys
Your breath stinks
And stop blathering.
It's Christmastide."

Second Round:
"Our mare is very pretty (The Mari Lwyd),
Let her come and play,
Her hair is full of ribbons
At Christmastide."

House-holders (Giving in)
Instead of freezing,
We'll lead the Mari,
Inside to amuse us
Tonight is Christmastide."

Or, alternatively

House-holders (Repelling invaders thus)
Instead of freezing,
Take the Mari home,
It's past your bedtime
Tonight is Christmastide."

Now we travel to another part of the world. In Japan, this figure standing on the front stoop is Namahage. Although this creature is a hideous demon, it apparently is bringing good luck. The legend is that the Han emperor brought five demonic ogres with him to Japan a little more than two millennia ago. These demonic ogres are called "oni"in Japanese and they reputedly stole crops and young women from the village of Oga in Japan. The villagers banded together to defeat the oni and they decided to plot a trick. They offered to give up all their young women if the demons could build a stone staircase of one thousand stairs in a single night. But, if the ogres failed to build the stairs all the way to the local temple, they would have to leave Oga forever. The challenge was accepted and the oni managed to get to stair 999. A villager crowed like a cock and the ogres though that the dawn had arrived and they fled.

And now this legend is carried on as a custom. The Namahage are imitated by young men wearing demonic masks and traditional straw garments. They go around to all the houses and burst in searching for new community members. These members could be young children or new wives. The Namahage are there to encourage good behavior like obeying parents and in-laws. A throaty scream is used to make these requests. Other household members come to rescue vouching that the child or new relative is a good person. The demon is then appeased with  sake and food.

What is New Year's Eve without some talk of bars. Molly Dawn Farquhar suggested we look at some haunted bars for this occasion. Many of you listeners are probably either going to have a few drinks or you did have a few drinks to bring in the new year. The town of Roslyn in Washington state is nestled in the Cascade Mountains. It came to fame through the television show "Northern Exposure." What many people probably do not know is that the city of Roslyn is quite the haunted little place and there are a couple bars here that back up the claim. But first, we need to look at the reason why these bars are haunted.

Roslyn was established as a coal mining town by the Northern Pacific Railroad in 1886. C.P. Brosious, Walter J. Reed, and Ignatius A. Navarre discovered the coal vein in 1883. Once the town was founded, men came from all over the world to work the coal mines. By 1900, 40% of the population was foreign born. And very interestingly, many of the residents were black as well. A miner's strike over work hours caused the company to seek out black miners in other parts of America. Between 1888 and 1889, 300 black miners and their families were brought into Roslyn. After the strike, the white and black miners worked peaceably together. And the work was very dangerous.

The Roslyn Sentinal of March 1, 1895, carried the following story about Roslyn's name:
"On the far away shores of Delaware, midst the sand hills, peach orchards, and blue blooded 'skeeters', nestles the little hamlet, named Roslyn over a century ago.  The high bred people were of primitive stock.  The daughters of these householders were the special objects of the devotion of many enterprising young men in the neighborhood.  Now, in this hamlet there lived a handsome, vivacious maiden, who was particularly dear to the heart of a brave and sturdy  young man who was penetrating the wild northwest in 1886, in search of fame and fortune.  This gentleman was one of our early pioneers, and it became his lot to name this new mining camp.  After mature deliberation, he christened the town Roslyn on August 10, 1886, after the town in which his loved one lived.  The event was duly celebrated and the name was placed on a board an inscribed with a pine cone.  It was nailed to a large pine tree which stood near Patrick's business property.   Whether Mr. Bullitt later realized his hopes in love, we do not know, but if his affairs of heart were as fickle as Roslyn's fortunes, he had an interesting time."
The dangerous work led to two separate explosions. In May of 1892, an explosion killed forty-five men. Two of them were father and son, Joseph and Joe, who was not yet twenty. In October 1909, sixteen men were killed in mine number four. There was no warning and the explosion was actually two separate eruptions that blew out windows up to a half mile away from the shaft. Now it would seem that two local bars harbor some of the spirits of the victims. These bars would be the Pioneer Restaurant & Sody-licious Bar and the Brick Tavern.

 It is our understanding that the Pioneer Restaurant and Sody-licious Bar is now closed. The owner was Steve Ojurovich and he was a fourth generation resident of the town. His great-grandfather came over from Croatia to mine coal. The building had once housed the Pioneer Grocery Store and it was a Sears and Roebuck before that. The name for the Sodylicious Bar name came from the soda bottling company that once existed here and carried on some not-so-legal bottling during prohibition. Secret underground tunnels helped facilitate the liquor running. One night, it is said, a man was snooping around and ended up shot down in those tunnels. According to Steve, the ghost of this man is seen in the basement. Steve said that he first saw the ghost there on the day he bought the place. It was a full bodied apparition that he first noticed out of the corner of his eye. The spirit was a man wearing a blue plaid shirt and jeans and he had a beard. He looked like a miner or logger. When Steve saw him, he first thought it was his dad and he called out. The figure disappeared and he searched the building. He was all alone. He went back to his work and the spirit appeared again.

There are other ghosts that have been reported at this location. A woman's ghost has been seen in a second story window. She was wearing a white blouse with puffy sleeves and her hair waspulled back and braided. The owner of the grocery store was named Edna and she had died in the building. Some suspect the spirit belongs to her. One terrifying experience that happened involved a wine bottle being lifted out of a rack and thrown across the room, smashing against a wall, just missing a waitress.

The other haunted bar, The Brick Tavern, is next door. The Brick, as locals refer to it, is the oldest continuously running bar in the state. It was built in 1889. One of the unique features of this bar reminds us of our episode on Casey Moore's Oyster House. There is a running water spittoon, a vestige of the days when miners using it for spitting and for another purpose similar to the Blarney Stone restroom. People think of it as a rite of passage to spit into the spittoon. The Brick Regatta is held each March. Residents make tiny homemade boats and race them down the spittoon.

Jim Luster owned the bar from 1982 to 1997 and Lucky Najar's family bought it in 1997. Both men claim that they and their employees have had supernatural experiences. Najar said one of his bartenders was so freaked out by something that happened when he was working in the bar alone that he ran out and never came back. He also says that on one occasion he took an armful of pool cues downstairs and laid them on a table. He went upstairs, but when he came back down the cues were standing against the wall and the table.

There are three ghosts reported here. One is a cowboy looking entity, another is a little girl and the third plays the piano backstage. A bartender told author Leslie Rule that in 2003, he saw the little girl's ghost. He and a roommate shared an upstairs room where they also monitored the security cameras. One night, they saw movement on the camera even though the bar was locked up for the night. Then they saw a little girl looking at them, or rather, in the direction of the camera. She was as tall as the pool tables. His roommate ran to check the bar and the bartender watched as the little girl hid behind a pool table. She then disappeared. He gave notice about living there, but still continued on as a bartender.

Then one night, he and a co-worker had a really chilling experience. They heard the sound of chopping wood coming from the basement. When they got down there, they found a wooden chair that had been chopped to pieces by what was probably an axe. Perhaps a logger or miner's axe. Is this the same apparition as the one seen at the Pioneer Restaurant? There are jail cells in the basement as well and it is thought that this was a miner's jail.

Do these bars in Roslyn play host to ghosts in the afterlife? Are these bars haunted? That is for you to decide!

Show Notes
Ending song is by:

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

HGB Ep. 173 - Commissariat Store in Brisbane

Moment in Oddity - Posthumous Executions

A posthumous execution is a ceremonial or ritual mutilation of a corpse as a type of punishment. Most people probably think that it is a waste of time to disinter a body to ritually execute that person, but for Christians centuries ago, there was a real purpose behind the morbid practice. It was believed that a body needed to be buried facing the East and that the body needed to be whole and intact in order to meet God when the resurrection occurred. Dismemberment was believed to stop the body from rising, so it was considered a form of punishment. Corpses were generally hung in public for a time and then dismembered. Men like Oliver Cromwell and Robert Blake were subjected to posthumous executions. Cromwell's head was displayed on a stick for nearly 25 years and was never returned to his body. Even stranger is the fact that this practice still continues on even in the modern era. In 1986, General Gracia Jacques, who was a supporter of Haitian dictator Francois Duvalier was exhumed and his body was ritually beaten to "death." Bodies have also been unearthed to stand trial in the past. Interrogating or executing a dead body, certainly is odd!

This Day in History - Florence Lawrence Commits Suicide

On this day, December 28th, in 1938, the silent-film star Florence Lawrence commits suicide in Beverly Hills. She had been born as Florence Bridgewood in 1886 to a vaudeville actress. Her mother took her on the road and she soon was joining her mother on stage. She had her first movie role in 1907. She appeared in nearly 250 films and was so successful that she was able to buy her own car which was unheard of in the early 20th century. Although she was famous for being a silent film star, she was also a talented inventor. She designed the first “auto signaling arm,” which was a mechanical turn signal that worked by pressing a button that raised or lowered a flag on the car’s rear bumper that told other drivers which way a car was going to turn. She also invented the first mechanical brake signal that worked the same way. When a driver pressed the brake, a stop sign flipped up on the back bumper. Unfortunately,she did not patent these inventions and so she received no credit or profit from either of them. She was only 52 when she took her own life.

Commissariat Store in Brisbane (Suggested by Danika Ehlers)

The Commissariat Store in Brisbane is the second oldest building in the city and dates back to the early years when Brisbane was a penal colony. The penal settlement in Brisbane was the most violent and toughest on the continent. Convict laborers were used to build many of the early buildings in the settlement, which included the store. A violent confrontation during that construction seems to have led to at least one haunting at the store, but there could be more spirits hanging around this building that now houses a museum that includes some morbid artifacts among its displays. Join us as we explore the history and hauntings of the Commissariat Store.

Brisbane is a very old city, one of the oldest in Australia. The area was inhabited by the Turrbal and Jagera Peoples and they called it Mian-jin, which means "place shaped like a spike." As was the case with much of early Australia, Brisbane started as a penal colony. The first European to discover Moreton Bay was James Cook in 1770. The English man who circumnavigated Australia and recognized it as a continent was Matthew Flinders and he was the first European to detail the Queensland coast more thoroughly, which he did in 1799. The bay is surrounded by red-colored cliffs and he called it Red Cliff Point. Flinders is who put forward the idea that Australia be named Australia as well.

The Governor of New South Wales was Sir Thomas Brisbane and he ordered further exploration of Moreton Bay because he wanted to establish a new northern penal settlement. Because of his leadership, the river was called the Brisbane and later the settlement would carry the same name. Non-convicts started coming to Brisbane in 1838 and by 1842, Brisbane was declared a free settlement. Queensland separated from New South Wales in 1859 and Sir George Ferguson Bowen became the first governor of Queensland. Brisbane was chosen as the capitol at that time, but it was not incorporated until 1902.

The Moreton Bay Penal Settlement was considered experimental at the time it was founded. Commandant Henry Miller was tasked with finding a good location. The first place he chose proved to be indefensible and malarial mosquitoes swarmed heavily. The second location was found in 1825 and was a triangle of land bounded on two sides by the Brisbane River and the escarpment which is now Wickham Terrace. An added bonus was that there was a natural barrier against escape. This settlement was as tough as they come. Only the most hardened criminals and re-offenders were sent to Moreton Bay. The prison was very violent and death from disease was rampant. Dress for the convicts were grey jackets with the word "Felon" painted across the back, trousers that buttoned at the side and leather hats. The convicts worked in chain gangs of up to 15 men and they were connected by fitted leg irons that had leather cuffs to prevent chaffing. Between the irons was a length of chain attached to a rope that was used to keep the chain from dragging on the ground.

One of the jobs given to the convict laborers was the building of the Commissariat Store that would be Queensland's first stone building. The construction began in 1827 and would last for approximately two years. The local aborigines would occasionally raid stocks of supplies for sugar and flour and so this store was built to be secure with walls over two feet thick. The building was set into the surrounding riverbank between William Street and Queens Wharf Road. It was a perfect location with a pier at the front of the building making the delivery of government supplies easy. These supplies included tools, seeds, grain and various other provisions. The goods stayed here until a department requisitioned them and these included stores at Dunwich, the pilot station at Amity Point and upriver to Ipswich.

When the penal settlement was closed the Commissariat Store building served a number of other purposes. It became a repository for the Queensland State Archives and later a migrant depot. It is one of only two buildings to have survived from the convict era. Today, the Royal Historical Society of Queensland has its headquarters located inside the Commissariat Store building. They opened a museum there with many artifacts that may carry the same affect as objects displayed at Ripley's Odditoriums. There is a bottle from the St. Helena Island Penal Establishment that has the finger from an unknown convict sealed inside and a gallows beam from Boggo Road Gaol. These kinds of objects sometimes carry energy within them that can lead to supernatural occurrences. And it would seem that something is haunting the store.

Employees that have been working in the building alone have reported hearing strange noises like disembodied footsteps in vacant parts of the building. A side door has this phantom footsteps phenomenon occur frequently, particularly after someone knocks on the door. It sounds as though someone is approaching to open the door, then comes to a stop, but the door never opens. Objects are routinely moved from one place to another over night. And shadowy figures are seen waving from the windows of the empty building.

It is thought that one of the ghosts of the store is a convict. The former president of the Royal Historical Society of Queensland, Allan Bell, remarked to The Courier Mail in an article published on October 9th in 2009, that he didn't think the building was haunted even though there are reports that a ghostly convict roams the grounds. The story that is told is that two convicts were building something in the rear yard when one of them attacked the other with an axe. The victim was wheelbarrowed to the hospital where he later died. The convict that did the murdering was John Brungar. He had been a native of Kent and was convicted of a crime for which he was given a life sentence. This meant that he would have a free trip to the penal colony of Australia. He was loaded aboard the convict transport Prince Regent on Septmeber 17, 1819. There were 159 convicts abaord the ship with 43 of them being sentenced to life sentences of servitude in Australia.

The trip took four months and the ship landed in Sydney Cove. Brungar spent a year in Sydney before he got in trouble again and was  brought up on charges at Parramatta and another two years was added to his already life sentence. He was tranferred to Newcastle in March of 1821.Four months after arriving there, he broke out and fled into the bush. He was found quickly and was given 50 lashes as punishment. He kept up the best behavior for a while and was put on a detail to transport livestock from Windsor through to Wallis' Plains. It was a poor decision on the part of the authorities as Brungar took off again. He was found once again and given 75 lashes as punishment. The guy just couldn't stay out of trouble and he was brought up on charges again that added another seven years to his life sentence. There really was no choice, but to send Brungar on to the Moreton Bay Penal Settlement.

Brungar was assigned to the chain gang that was building the Commissariat Store. On September 27, 1828, Brungar would commit his final offense. Another convict named William Perfoot was working nearby digging the trenchwork, using a mattock. His mattock was considerably lighter than the other ones and Brungar wanted to get it for his own. He first asked Perfoot to hand over the mattock. The man, of course, refused. The two got into a tussle and the overseer told Brungar to move to the other side of the trenchwork. Brungar moved, but he was seething and plotting his revenge. At midday, he decided to carry out a plan of attack. He grabbed his mattock and ran across the pit until he reached Perfoot. He slammed the pick end of the mattock into the man's skull and it sunk in two inches. Perfoot fell over, but he was not quite dead. Brungar grabbed a shovel and started digging, pretending like nothing had happened. But everybody on the convict work detail had witnessed the crime. Perfoot was loaded into a wheelbarrow and carried up the hill to the hospital. He lived for six days before he finally died from his injuries. Brungar was sent to Sydney to face murder charges before the Supreme Court and he was found guilty. This time he did not have additional years added to his sentence. He was sentenced to die and he was hanged shortly thereafter. The convict haunting the store could be either Perfoot or Brungar. Neither actually died on the property, but their deaths were connected to it or it could be somebody else's spirit.

There are many ghost stories in Brisbane. We thought we would share a few that are not connected to any particular historical properties as documented by the Brisbane History website:
"In Bardon, a few years ago a young Brisbane woman claimed that the ghost of a tall, young man with shoulder-length blond hair (a ‘surfie’ type, she called him) had appeared one night beside her bed- stark naked. Friends and neighbours told her it must have been a prowler, a burglar or wishful dreaming, but she was convinced she had been visited by a ghost. Two other young women appeared on television shortly after to tell a similar story, of a blond-haired young man, completely naked, sitting in a tree outside their house in the leafy suburb of Bardon staring in through their window. Local opinion maintained that it was the ghost of a young man whose girlfriend had once lived in the house."
"A much more sinister collection of spirits inhabit an old house in another suburb on the western side of Brisbane (the address is definitely not for publication). The house has a grim history. A tenant hanged himself there in the 1920s and a previous owner refused to let anyone dig in the yard, which led to all sorts of speculation about buried bodies. Everyone who has lived in the house seems to have been caught up in its evil atmosphere, their lives disrupted by domestic arguments, mystery and cruelty. A whole team of ghostly figures appear suddenly and disappear moments later inside and outside the building. A medium called in in the 1970s told the newspapers she felt terrible anguish and pain in every room of the blighted old house."
"An old Queensland-style home at Lutwyche is said to be the lair of an unfriendly ghost. A security guard reported that he went there one hot December night at around midnight. When he entered the empty house it was freezing cold. His teeth began to chatter with cold and fear. An eerie female voice came out of the darkness, screaming at him: ‘Get out! Get out!’ Needless to say he wasted no time obeying and has sworn never to return. The exact location of the house is a carefully guarded secret, but nothing in its recorded past accounts for the presence of a ghost."
A pickle factory had once stood on the corner of Adelaide and Wharf streets. It later became the home of Radio 4BC, but was demolished some time ago. Night-time radio announcers would complain that the broadcast room would get icy cold and that they would hear the sound of someone crying out for help. The sound usually came a dumb waiter like shaft. When the building had been the pickle factory, there was a staff tea room in the back where this shaft was used to bring up food. One day, a factory worker fell down that shaft when he was fixing the lift. Could this have been his spirit? And does it still haunt that corner?

Brisbane is another city in Australia that it seems we can add to the list of haunted cities. Do the spirits of those who died in or near some of these location, still roam about in the afterlife? Is the Commissariat Store that was built on the backs of convicts, holding on to some of that negative energy and now reflecting as hauntings? Is there a spirit of a formerly alive convict hanging around the museum? Is the Commissariat Store haunted? That is for you to decide!

Friday, December 23, 2016

HGB Ep. 172 - Haunted Waynesville

Moment in Oddity - White River Monster
Suggested by: Michael Rogers

There is a large cryptid monster fish that supposedly lives in the White River of Arkansas. This creature has been dubbed the White River Monster. Sightings were first reported starting in 1915 and locals began calling it “Whitey.” A man named Bramlett Bateman was fishing along the river on July 1, 1937, when he claimed to see the creature. His description makes it sound really repulsive. He said that it had gray skin and long nasty spiny type teeth and that it was really large. He said it was, "As wide as a car and three cars long.” Reports stopped coming in for a while, but the monster was seen again in 1971. These reports sounded similar as the creature was reported to have gray skin, but these descriptions included a horn growing out of its forehead. Some witnesses said it was 20 feet long with a spiny back. Now some people may just say that there is no such thing and people were seeing some kind of mutant fish, but in 1973, the Arkansas legislature signed a bill creating the White River Monster Refuge along the White River. The refuge is located between “the southern point on the river known as Old Grand Glaize and a northern point on White River known as Rosie.” This bill makes it illegal to harm the monster within the refuge area and that certainly is odd!

This Day in History - Van Gogh Chops off Ear

On this day, December 23rd, in 1888, Artist Vincent Van Gogh chops off his left ear and gives it to a prostitute. Van Gogh was a depressed and anxious man who decided after much failure to try his hand at being an artist in 1880. His early work reflected his experiences among impoverished peasants and miners. In 1886, he moved to Paris with his brother and met other artists who taught him to use more color in his paintings. Van Gogh's mental wellness continued to deteriorate though and on December 23rd, in a fit of lunacy, he tried to attack another artist who was living with him with a knife. He turned the blade on himself and cut off the lower part of his left ear. He then allegedly wrapped up the ear and gave it to a prostitute at a brothel near him in Arles, France. He checked himself into a hospital to fix the damage and then he checked himself into a mental institution. He was there a year and created some of his most famous works at that time including a portrait that documented this tragic event in his life, "Self-Portrait with Bandaged Ear." Despair and loneliness continued to plague him after his release and on July 27, 1890, he shot himself and died two days later at age 37. Today, Van Gogh's masterpieces sell for record-breaking prices,but when he was alive, he sold only one painting and was the poster boy for tortured starving artists.

Haunted Waynesville (Suggested by and research assistance: Amanda Turk)

Waynesville, Ohio is known as the "Antique Capital of the Midwest." At the town's beginnings though, it was an important Quaker settlement. The Quaker meeting established here in 1803 was the first in southwestern Ohio. A stagecoach line connected Waynesville to the rest of the state and eventually the village would serve as a stop along the Underground Railroad. Despite having a pretty peaceful beginning, Waynesville has become known as one of, if not THE most haunted city in Ohio. With thirty-six reputed haunted places, that is no wonder. In this episode, we are going to visit several historic locations that also have ghostly activity. Join us as we explore the history and hauntings of Waynesville!

The Hopewell and Adena tribes inhabited the area from 1000 BC to 800 AD and then the Fort Ancient People were here until 1500 AD. Six years prior to Ohio becoming a state, the village of Waynesville was founded. The year was 1797 and it was a group of English settlers, led by English engineer Samuel Heighway, that set the foundation. The group included Physician Dr. Evan Beans, Methodist minister Rev. John Smith and Scientist Sir Francis Baily. The hope was that they would establish a capital for the Northwest Territory. Heighway had already surveyed the area in 1792 and a settlement party had come out in 1796 to clear the land. They purchased 30,000 acres in the Symmes Purchase between the Little and Great Miami Rivers. The founding group brought 10 tons of supplies on a 12 by 36 foot "Kentucky Ark" flatboat and traveled via the Allegheny and Monongahela Rivers to the Ohio River.

Primitive log shelters were built first with nicer log cabins following and Heighway platted out the village in a rectangular design similar to that of English villages. Formal parks and squares were arranged around a central public square. There were eleven named squares in all, each encompassing four acres. The squares still have those names today, marked on the corners with sign posts. Fishponds, groves of ornamental trees and long winding paths were incorporated as well as several fountains. A "Government House" was built in the public square. The group named the village after General "Mad" Anthony Wayne. General Wayne's troops camped on Camp Creek nearby. *Fun fact: There is a legend that the paymaster for Wayne's troops hid the payroll during a Native American attack and that the money has never been found.* When the Revolutionary War broke out, Wayne raised a regiment and he was named a colonel. His regiment fought in Canada where he was wounded. He received the rank of Brigadier General in 1777.

An interesting point in his military career occurred shortly after this promotion. General Washington asked General Wayne to use his forces to harass the British's rear station. The British General "No-Flint" Gray found out that Wayne's forces were hiding out and they hit them with a surprise attack. One hundred and fifty-eight American forces were massacred. What gave the British the upper hand in this attack was the order by General Gray to use only bayonets. That is why he was nicknamed "No Flint." He reasoned that if they only used bayonets, then they would know who the rebels were in the dark because they would be shooting their guns. It worked wonderfully and General Wayne in his shame, called for his own court martial. General Washington did not want to do that, but he yielded to General Wayne's multiple requests. The Court of Inquiry was made up of Generals Conway, Muhlenberg, Sullivan, Weedon and Huntington; Colonels Dayton, Stephens, Bradley, McClennachan, Stewart, DeHart, Thackston and Davis. The court unanimously decided that Wayne "did every duty that could be expected from an active, brave and vigilant officer, under the orders which he then had. The Court do acquit him with the highest honor."

Several of these early cabins from the early 1800s can be seen today at the Pioneer Village at the Caesar's Creek Lake area. Two of those original buildings are the Levi Luken's Cabin which is located at the front of the property and the Luken's Barn. The Lukens House was built in 1807 and is said to be haunted by the ghost of “Uncle Bob,” who was killed in an automobile accident near the site in the 1940s. The home is the only building in the village original to the site. Caesar's Creek State Park features fossils from the Ordovician period (450 and 500 million years ago) embedded in the limestone. *Fun fact from Amanda: Her parents' home has a retaining wall and outdoor steps made of this limestone and you can see shell-shaped fossils in the rock.* Waynesville was a stop on the Underground Railroad with several locations being places of refuge. Though the building no longer stands, The Old Miami House (aka, The Rogers House, The Morrow House or the Cornell House) was originally built as a tavern in 1827. Purportedly, the tavern had a hidden room in its attic and tunnels that led to other buildings in the area and down to the Little Miami River. The building served as the location of the first Waynesville National Bank and then the Wayne Township Library until 1954. A year later, the Old Miami House was torn down so that a diner could be built.

We're going to focus on three locations in Waynesville that are reportedly haunted. The town itself claims to be the most haunted in Ohio. Summer and Fall ghost tours running from May to October are available, as well as ghost hunting classes from a local group called, Paravizions.

Stetson House - The Stetson House is one of the more famous landmarks in Waynesville and is now home to Trendi Bindi's Boutique. The original building here is believed to have been a log cabin, but there is some confusion as to if that is true. The home that stands here now was built in 1810 by a wheelwright and his family. Wheelwrights would build and repair wooden wheels. Hiram and Louisa Larrick were local farmers with a growing family and they bought the house in the 1840s and renovated. They added a kitchen to the back of the house. The couple had ten children. Louisa's maiden name was Stetson. The Stetson family were hatters in New Jersey. Her brother John had contracted tuberculosis and doctor's suggested that he move to the warmer and drier air out west. He decided to stop at Louisa's on his way to the west and he stayed for a period of time in the early 1860s. His stay was not good for Louisa as she contracted TB too. John continued to Colorado where he took up panning for gold while he recovered.

He needed a good hat to protect his head and he didn't like the typical prospector's hats. He used a thick beaver felt to form a rugged hat. He did this without tanning and the hat was lighter, withstood the weather and maintained its shape. It was considered unusually large with a wide brim and high crown. He grew very fond of the hat and wore it all the time. While out on the trail, a cowboy approached him and asked to see the hat and offered to pay for it with a five dollar gold piece. Stetson jumped at the offer and he was inspired. Maybe others would buy this hat too. He had been cured of his tuberculosis and in 1865, he decided to head home. He needed money though if he was going to start a company and so he stopped at Louisa's again. He asked his sister for a loan and she gave him $60. And the Stetson Hat Company was born, along with the signature "Boss of the Plains" hat.

Although the house is called the Stetson House, the Larricks were never paid back the loan and never received any of the benefits of the success of the company. And even worse, Louisa would go on to die of the disease her brother brought her in 1879. She died in the house a little over sixty years old. 
The Larrick Family held on to the house until the turn of the century and then a young school teacher bought the home and lived there until she died in the 1950s. There is not a clear history from this point until the 1980s when an antique shop moved into the building. Another shop named the Cranberry Bog bought the shop in the 1990s and in 2007, the boutique moved into the house.

From the time that Louisa died, weird activity has been reported in the house. She was a baker and her specialty was gingerbread. Many people claim to smell the lingering scent of gingerbread. Mirrors do not stay on the walls, as though someone does not like that they cannot see their reflection. A woman named Samantha McKeehan said she was shopping for a quilt here and when she was upstairs she felt cold fingers tough the back of her neck. She said, “I just had to get out of there. I felt goose bumps.” A full bodied apparition has been seen and photographed featuring a dark-haired woman in period clothing. This could be either Louisa or the school teacher. One man posted an eerie photo he took of the Stetson House back in 2001 on the Ohio Exploration Society page. In the window above the porch, you can see what appears to be a ghostly figure and here is that picture:

The Quaker Friends House Museum - In 1801, Ezekiel Clever, a devout Quaker, arrived in Waynesville from Virginia and built a home for his family who followed him the next year. Other Quakers came from Virginia as well, along with Quakers from Georgia and North and South Carolina. They wanted to get away from the slave states that they were living in because they were avowed abolitionists. The group established the Miami Monthly Meeting of the Society of Friends in Clever's home in 1803. They quickly outgrew the space and began construction on the White Brick Meetinghouse in 1811. A schoolhouse, the Friends School, was built at the same time, which also served as a schoolhouse. The White Brick was built by John Satterthwaite in the traditional rectangular, gabled roof vernacular style. There are separate recessed doorways and long windows that hold six panes each. Most meetings of Quakers in southern Ohio can trace their origins to the White Brick House. In 1828, a division arose within the group and there was a split into the Orthodox and the Hicksite branches. The Hicksites kept the White Brick and the Orthodox would go on to build the Red Brick Meetinghouse in 1836. It was very unique to have two branches of Quakers in the same village.

In 1905, the Friends Boarding Home was built to the northeast of the White Brick Meetinghouse and established as a place for retired Quakers and single teachers to live. Several years of planning started in 1900 and the group raised $15,000 before grading of the land began. The Miami Gazette reported that the plans for the building were as such: "The building is to be 58 feet front by 50 feet deep, two story with basement below and unfinished attic above. The foundation and all walls are made of concrete, outside walls to be veneered with dressed brick, roof to be tile, supported by an iron post above the square. The contract includes complete installation of both city and rain water, the latter hot and cold in bathrooms, closets, wash stands and laundry. Light is provided for except fixtures. All drainage is to be provided and a 300-barrel cistern will be placed outside the building. The contract includes the laying of cement walks in front and at the sides of the building. The price complete on the entire contract is $10,000."

The Fox Brothers from Cincinnati were contracted to do the work, but they went bankrupt in 1905, so a man named Aaron B. Chandler took over supervising the construction. He was a Civil War veteran - yes, even as a Quaker - and he would be the First Superintendent of the Friends Boarding House. *Fun fact: There was a fire in 1900 that burned up all the law papers and council minutes. Chandler painstakingly re-wrote all the village's ordinances.* Lydia Ann Conard of New Vienna, Ohio agreed to become the first Matron of the house. Chandler's wife had died from cancer in 1903 and after working for three years with Lydia at the house, the two decided to get married.

Today, the building houses the Museum at the Friends Home. There are twenty-two rooms of historic exhibits. It houses more than exhibits though. Rumors of ghosts residing in this building have been floating about for decades. There is no kitchen in the building, but that doesn't stop the haunting sounds of kitchen-like activity. There is also the sound of an organ playing. The apparition of a young girl named Mary has been seen at times. Paranormal investigations have caught EVPs that seemed to be of a male who claimed to have been beat up in his sleep. The White Brick Meetinghouse has hauntings as well. A candle used to be placed in the window to let runaway slaves know that this was a safe haven for them. That ghostly candle can still sometimes be seen in the window. A former teacher who was petite and pulled her hair back into a bun has been seen staring out of one of the windows by passers-by.

The Hammel House Inn - The Hammel House Inn is very unique when it comes to the facade. The building almost appears to be two buildings smashed together because half of it is brick and half of it is wood and there is a long railed balcony connecting the two to each other. Originally, a log tavern stood on this spot on Wabash Square on Main Street and was owned by James Corey. That opened in 1787 and was a stop on the stagecoach line. A man named James Jennings arrived in town from New Jersey and he bought the property. The log tavern was razed and a wooden frame structure was built to replace it some time before 1806. This opened as a tavern known as Jennings' House. Jennings did not own title to the land until a man named David Faulkner got a patent for the land in 1807. For those that don't know what a land patent is, simply put, it's a land grant document signed by a government head like a president and sealed, making it patent or permanent. Faulkner then deeded the lots to Jennings, of which there were 3.5, for $350. In 1817, Jennings deeded the business to John Warrell and in 1822, Warrell added the Flemish bond brick portion of the building we see today and it is in the federal vernacular style. There were originally three stories built, but the third story was removed later. During his ownership, the inn hosted President Martin Van Buren and Vice president Richard Johnson. He ran the business until 1831 and then sold to Keene, Barnhart & Durand, and later N. McLean ran the inn. In 1841, the inn would be bought by Enoch Hammel and would come to be known as the Hammel House Inn.

Under the ownership of Hammel, the inn would experience its most popularity. He was a Wayne Township trustee and candidate for county sheriff. Things got a bit too wild at the inn for some of the Quaker residents in the village. One of them in particular, Mrs. Anna O'Neal, described the activities at the Hammel House as "bacchanalian revelry and ribald conduct." She lived right across the street and was so disgusted with what she considered daily debauchery, she parked a large wagon in front of her cabin, so that her children could not see the antics at the inn. Hammel ran the inn until 1863.

A man named W.O. Gustin bought the inn, but we're not sure on dates other than he was the owner during the 1930s. He would be the owner to remodel and refit the building, so that it had electricity and hot and cold running water. He removed the third floor at this time as well. He wanted to make the place a first-class establishment. He also renamed it Gustin House and added a livery and feed stable. Anybody staying there should have been really careful about leaving their horses in the stable because the rumor is that Gustin had a taste for fine horse flesh. Long-time Waynesville residents and restaurateurs, the Bowman Family, bought the property and operate it as Hammel House Inn, a bed and breakfast. At some point before this became a bed and breakfast in the 1980s, it was apartments.

The Hammel House Inn hosts its own Ghost and Goblet tour every October and is a stop on the town's walking tour. And that makes sense because this building is considered the most haunted location in Waynesville. One of the more frequently seen apparitions belongs to a cat. Yes, we have another bed and breakfast with a ghost cat, but this one is unique in that we have never heard of these other spirit cats leaving fur behind. This cat routinely leaves fur on the stairs where it likes to sit. The cat has also been seen roaming the halls and disappears quite often. Disembodied footsteps and voices and other poltergeist-like activity like bottles and other items falling, have been reported.

A shadow figure has been seen on multiple occasions. One of those reports came from a man who stayed in Room #3. He had the inn completely to himself and so he was shocked when he was awakened by the noise of a loud party. He flew into the hallway to yell at the partygoers. It was completely silent in the hallway. He checked downstairs and saw no one. When he awoke the next morning, he saw a shadow figure floating in his room and then watched as it passed through the wall into Room #2.

The most famous ghost here belongs to Room #4. There are only five guest rooms, so the chances of ending up in this haunted room are pretty high. The story goes that a young merchant came to the village peddling his wares, which may have been gold watches or some other kind of jewelry. He checked into the inn and you probably assume that he either died in his room of natural causes or suicide or that someone murdered him since he seems to be hanging around in the afterlife. But we can't tell you what happened because this is one of our history's mysteries disappearances. He checked in, but never checked out and was never seen again. At least, not alive. If this truly is his ghost, then we think it is safe to assume that he met with some kind of bad Fate. And since he was carrying expensive wares, we think it's safe to assume the motive was robbery. A modern article claims that the room was the scene of a grizzly 19th century murder, but no links to evidence for this. There are reports of seeing his full-bodied apparition in the room, but even more common are the complaints of him getting into bed with guests.

Mary Fessler wrote a blog on Stories from the Playground about her son's experiences while working at the Hammel House Inn and she shared the following:
"On at least two occasions, he heard what sounded like an unseen girl crying in the basement. His co-worker also reported a similar occurrence, claiming that she had heard a young girl ask her to 'hurry up', and had witnessed glasses sliding off of tables, seemingly without explanation."
It is possible that the cries of the young girl described by this woman's son are residual and date back to the Underground Railroad. Tunnels ran through this area and people who have basements in town, complain of hearing children crying in those basements.

Amanda wrote to us, "The cemetery is reportedly a portal to hell and one girl claimed to have seen a towering black form that reached all the way up to the sky from the plot. To be honest, the stories about the cemetery may be more due to overactive imaginations and some illegal substances than any otherworldly activity. My own experiences in Waynesville have been more unsettling feelings and nothing more." Do the former residents and guests of these places still roam about in the afterlife? Are sightings just wishful thinking or overactive imaginations? Is Waynesville haunted? That is for you to decide!

Here is a fun extra featuring the Holloway Tavern, which was owned by David Holloway. Holloway was a well-known Quaker in town and he had a prime spot on Third and High Streets, where he built a store and tavern. He bought the lots from previously mentioned, David Faulkner. The following is taken from an article, “Miami Monthly Meeting, Part I” by Robert Hatton printed in the Miami-Gazette (March 15, 1876):
"David Holloway (b. June 23rd, 1771 Stafford, Va.-d. December 31st, 1847 in Richmond, Indiana) was his (Roland Richards’) son-in-law, having married (March 12th, 1794 at Hopewell Monthly Meeting) his second daughter Hannah (b. January 31st, 1774 in Philadelphia), who was an excellent Friend. David had much of a consequential air about him, and in the earlier part of his time was tenacious of plainness, bringing his children to meeting, etc., and would close his store on meeting days. It is related of him that when suspenders were first brought about, his sons, then in their teens, procured some, which their father no sooner discovered, that he took them away and burned them. Subsequently, the youngsters procured flax and twisted it into a substitute. On this becoming known to David he destroyed them and reprimanded his children. This produced a dislike to the society and when they reached majority they left Friends and married from among them. No doubt David was perfectly sincere in his views, as he never adopted the condemned suspenders in his own wardrobe. About the year 1815 he moved to Cincinnati and the general depression of the commercials affairs in 1819-20 added to some unfortunate endorsements resulted in the loss of most of the acquirements of years of active labor. In 1822 he removed to a farm in Indiana, about four miles east of Richmond, where he remained a few years; and after several other changes closed his life from a cancer. His very superior wife survived him several years." 

Show Notes:
Ghost Tours and Classes

Dayton Daily News: "Local community 'the most haunted town in Ohio.'"
Forgotten Ohio: Stetson House

Warren County and Beyond (via RootsWeb): "America's Cowboy Hat Had Beginnings In Waynesville"

Ohio Exploration Society: Stetson House

Forgotten Ohio: The Quaker Meeting House

Haunted Places: Hammel House Inn

Theresa's Haunted House History of the Tri-State: Ohio's Haunted Hammel House

The Hammel House Inn: Ghostly Waynesville

Enquirer: Waynesville Haunts Sought

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

25 Days of Creepy Christmas - True Christmas Ghost Experiences

We found some good ghost stories that took place during the holiday season while perusing the Internet and we thought we would share them:

-Arthur H.

My mother, to whom I was very close, passed away in 1964 when I was 17 years old. I left home that year and moved to Ontario from Nova Scotia. In 1969 I met a girl whom I will call Karen and we got married in March of 1970.

In December of 1971 we were expecting our first child. We were living in a small 1-1/2 bedroom bungalow. There was a fireplace in the living room. My wife and I loved the fireplace and we had it lit every night.

It was Christmas Eve, 1971, and we had just finished putting the gifts under the tree and a nice fire gave off a beautiful glow. On the tree, one string of lights, which was supposed to flash, had stopped several days before.

It was five minutes to midnight when the fireplace suddenly just about went out, and the string of lights started to flash - and the other lights stopped flashing! My wife and I were sitting on the floor and it had become very chilly in the room.

I looked over to my recliner chair...

and a figure was sitting there -- my mother with a big beautiful smile on her face! My wife, who had never met my mother, said she could see the same thing. This "ghost" never spoke, but just kept looking at me and my wife and smiling.

At 12 midnight, the fire in the fireplace started up again and the lights on the tree stopped flashing and the others started flashing again.

I looked over in the chair and the ghost was gone. No matter what I did to those Christmas lights, they never flashed again.

-Mike B.

This happened on Christmas Eve, 1961. I had returned from college in London to spend Christmas in my hometown of Scarborough, on the north-east coast of England. In the afternoon, I went into the centre of town to buy Christmas presents. At about 4 p.m., I was ready to return home. Scarborough has two bays divided by a headland on which stands a ruined castle. A road, the Marine Drive, runs round the bottom of the headland from one bay to the other.

As I had not seen the sea for some time, I decided to walk this way home to where I lived in the North Bay. In those days the Marine Drive was unlit and very dark. I had gone about two hundred yards when a car came toward me round the bend of the drive. It was traveling quite slowly and for some time the beam of the headlamps fell on the railings on the seaward side of the road.

About 20 yards in front of me was a ghost standing at the railings looking down into the sea. The form was of someone dressed in a monk's cowl, hooded, drooping sleeves, a complete form, but clearly insubstantial -- the kind of figure most people accept as a stereotypical ghost. I was very afraid and stood rooted to the spot.

The ghost then turned toward me and, as if it was as frightened of me as I was of it, it began to retreat backward. There were no discernible limbs, but the bottom of the figure appeared to writhe about. It then disappeared out of the beam of the headlamp into the darkness. I decided to go no further round the drive, but turned around to return to the South Bay and catch a bus.

My right leg went. I found it very difficult to walk, but managed to hobble to the bus stop where I eventually caught a bus home. My leg was better by the time I got off the bus. This infirmity had never happened to me before, nor has it since.

I later made enquiries and found someone had committed suicide from somewhere near the position of the ghost. They had removed their clothes and left them neatly folded on the drive before leaping into the sea. That said, there can be no incontrovertible connection between this and the ghost I saw.

-Alle G.

Around Christmas time, 2001, I had a few weird experiences involving a spirit that must still live in our house. One of the past owners, a lady, died in our house. Around Christmas time, I felt the presence more and a lot stronger than I usually did.

One night, I decided to draw whatever my hand felt like drawing. I drew a bottle with ribbons exploding out of it, then a yacht... then it felt like someone was moving my hand for me. My hand drew a circular shape that at first looked like a peach. My hand lifted and dropped and made a mark inside the circle. My hand lifted again and dropped and it made a weird curve. My hand drew another dot. I regained full control over my hand again and I looked at what I had a drawn: a weird smiley face.

I told my mum about it and she said to try it again the next night, and so I did. I was painting some landscapes in water colours when I felt the presence again. My mum had said that she thought her name was Faye, so that name was stuck in my mind.

I asked, "What is your name?" and I let my hand be controlled. I wrote what looked like the name Faye. I asked what the last name was. I wrote something that looked like "Edith." This was all confusing. I asked why it was here, and the reply looked like "I'm lost." I asked why it was here with me, and the reply looked kind of like "crussby," but was still very hard to read. I asked, "What?" and the answer cleared up a bit, but still not a real word. I asked again, and the final reply came what looked like "crusty." I am still puzzled, but the spirit may have meant the house was crusty since it is falling to bits in some areas.

Later on, my mum confirmed that the lady's name was Edith. This freaked me out big time, and I still felt the presence strongly for a while until a few days after Christmas.

Monday, December 19, 2016

HGB Ep. 171 - Casey Moore's Oyster House

Moment in Oddity - Exploding Killer Lakes
Suggested by: Michael Rogers

In all of recorded history, there have only been two exploding killer lakes and they were both in the country of Cameroon. The first occurred in 1984 at Lake Monoun and killed 37 people. The second occurred at Lake Nyos in 1986 and was more deadly. Three thousand animals and 1,746 villagers were killed during this event. So what exactly is an exploding killer lake? Basically, these are lakes that were formed from a hydrovolcanic eruption that created a crater in the lakes. Carbon dioxide builds up within this crater over time, just like the CO2 in a soda bottle. The water serves as a type of cap keeping the CO2 locked down, but sometimes something happens that causes that cap effect to shift. It could be an earthquake or even a monsoon-like rainstorm. In the case of Lake Nyos, it appears that a simple landslide broke the surface and released a giant cloud of carbon dioxide. It exploded upward and stripped the air of oxygen. This could happen again and scientists are looking for a way to prevent it in the future. Exploding killer lakes certainly are odd!

This Day in History - Thomas Paine Writes "These Are the Times That Try Men's Souls"

On this day, December 19th, in 1776, Thomas Paine publishes his first essay in a collection of essays that would become "The American Crisis." Thomas Paine, was born in Thetford in Norfolk on January 29, 1737. He met Benjamin Franklin in London and asked the man to help him emigrate to the new colonies. He did so in 1774. Paine settled in Philadelphia and became a journalist. He wrote articles on various topics, but in 1776 he wrote the pamphlet "Common Sense" and established himself as a revolutionary propagandist. He had only been in the colonies for a year, but he committed himself to American independence. During the Revolutionary War, Paine wrote a collection of essays and compiled them in "The American Crisis." The first of these essays was published on the 19th and began with the famous line, "These are the times that try men's souls."

Casey Moore's Oyster House (Suggested by Alicia Taylor)

Tempe, Arizona is the seventh largest city in the state of Arizona. The town was built on an agricultural base and grew out of the combining of two distinct pioneer towns. Many of the original historical structures built in Tempe have survived and its one of the town's greatest attributes. One of these buildings was originally a family home that is now a restaurant named Casey Moore's Oyster House. Locals love to gather for a beer and seafood. Patrons and employees all claim that the restaurant is haunted by several spirits. Join us as we explore the history and hauntings of Casey Moore's Oyster House.

For 1,500 years the Hohokam People called the future Tempe, Arizona home. They were here until 1450, leaving behind innovative canals they had built to bring the waters of the Salt River to their crops. Those same canals laid the foundation for the current irrigation system. Charles Trumbull Hayden came to the area in 1870 and established a settlement along the Salt River that he named Hayden’s Ferry. He built a flour mill, warehouses, blacksmith shops. There was also a ferry to cross the Salt River. The flour mill still stands as a historic structure and was operated until 1990. The Hayden home also still stands today. Hispanic families arrived from northern Mexico and established a nearby town called San Pablo. Eventually, Hayden's Ferry and San Pablo combined to form Tempe. There is a place in Greece called Vale of Tempe and an Englishman named “Lord” Darrell Duppa, who had helped establish Phoenix, suggested the name Tempe because it had the same lush beauty of the Vale of Tempe. The railroad came in 1887 and Tempe soon became an important business and shipping center because of the agriculture in the area. 

Education in Arizona can trace its origins to Tempe. In 1885, the Arizona legislature chose Tempe for the Territorial Normal School, which trained teachers for Arizona schools. William A. Moeur and his brother Benjamin were prominent members of Tempe and William helped set up the public school system in town. He was a member of the first school board and chairman of the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors from 1912 to 1915. In 1910, he and his wife Mary built a home on three lots at the corner of 9th and Ash. The house is a mix of architectural styles. The roof is Victorian with gabled vents, front and dormer with a bellcast copper roof. The house itself is Western Colonial with the typical square floor plan and columned porch. There are two stories built mostly from brick and there is a sun room at the south end of the house. Masonry blocks outline all the corners and edges of the home. It is a larger home consisting of 4,061 square feet. William lived in the home until his death in the house in 1929. His wife Mary remained until she died in the house in the 1940s.

The house passed through several owners and there are discrepancies as to the variety of businesses it housed. It definitely was a boarding house for a time and some claim that it was a bordello as well. In 1973, it underwent extensive renovation to open it up as a restaurant. It was called Ninth & Ash. In 1986, another owner bought the property and did even more renovating. A covered patio on the northeast corner was enclosed as was a covered patio along the north facade. A fire escape staircase was added to the west facade and the sun room on the south facade was also enclosed. The nicest addition was adding several pieces of stained art glass to the window panes. This restaurant was called Casey Moore's Oyster House and it is the current business there. It originally had been at 7th St. and Maple, but had been displaced.

The restaurant's website claims that Casey Moore was born in 1886 to Irish immigrants. She loved to sing and play the piano and she invited friends and neighbors to her house often. The restaurant is apparently named for her, but we're not exactly sure why or how she is connected to the restaurant. The interior of the bar is decorated in a Scottish motif, while the outside is very Irish. A real fun fact about this bar is that  it has its very own Blarney Stone. This is not one that you would want to bend over backwards and kiss though. This one has been thoroughly peed upon! This is a bathroom area outside for the men. You just step inside, unzip and donate your beer back to the bar. Okay, so you pee on something that is suppose to be a replica of the Blarney Stone. There is a motion activated waterfall and a little moat to wash away your contribution. There is also a koi pond and a band of stray cats that hang around the spacious patio.

The restaurant has reports from neighbors, patrons and employees about strange occurrences and sightings. While we usually hear 3am being the magic hour for spooks, it would seem that 4am is the witching hour at Casey's. Neighbors report seeing a couple dancing in an upstairs room when no one is suppose to be in the restaurant. Police have been called out to investigate the intruders and there is always no one there. The alarms are even still set. It has been surmised that since William and Mary died in the house, that this ghostly couple is them still enjoying their house in the afterlife. Did they used to dance in the house and this is some kind of residual energy?

Workers claim that utensils fly off tables in the upper area and interestingly, forks end up hitting the same spot on the wall. Place settings, chairs and tables are moved about during the night and employees find them in a disarray in the morning. A full room of customers has witnessed paintings come crashing down from the wall and lamps above tables swing by themselves. The apparition of a young woman has been seen. She is described as having dark black hair and light eyes. People wonder if she was a prostitute in the brothel and whether she was murdered upstairs. She disappears when people's eyes meet her gaze. Most only see her from the corner of their eyes. Some claim she expresses displeasure when couples get a little romantic in the restaurant.

A bartender named Austin Owen claimed that during reconstruction an old photograph was found of a young boy. One of the owners kept the photo. Employees claimed to see the spirit of a young boy roaming about the house and when the owner showed the picture to the employees, they agreed that the ghost resembled the boy in the picture.

The restaurant embraces the tales of hauntings. The website states, "It’s no secret in and around Tempe, that 'Our House' has a mysterious history. In the wee hours of the morning, passers-by have seen a woman dressed in 'turn of the century' clothing dancing in our upstairs dining room. Articles disappear and suddenly show up in odd places. Neck ties are 'tugged' and objects become weightless However, strange this may seem to some, the spirits that linger in this old establishment are “family” to us here at Casey’s."

As we researched, we found another haunted restaurant that had been run out of a historic property in Tempe, the Hayden House. The restaurant was called Monti's La Casa Vieja and it had been the oldest restaurant in the city covering 11,000 square feet. It had been in business for 60 years when it closed on November 17th in 2014. The owner, Michael Monti, wanted to pursue other avenues and the cost of beef was too much. His father opened the restaurant 1956 and it was known for its Roman bread, steak and historic memorabilia. A real estate firm bought the site and plans were made to develop two high-rise towers on the site. The house was rumored to be slated for demolition, but it was a protected historic property. We're not sure of the state of the site today.

The hauntings reported here were two different types. The full-bodied apparition of a cowboy had been seen in one of the rooms named the Mural Room. The Fountain Room featured disembodied laughter and the sound of clinking glasses and cutlery. Do these restless spirits still remain on the property even though the restaurant is no longer open?

Tempe has a long history with many historic structures that could be retaining the essence of those who built the town. Is Casey Moore's Oyster House haunted? That is for you to decide!

Sunday, December 18, 2016

25 Days of Creepy Christmas - Legend of the Christmas Spider

Some of you may have heard of the legend of the Christmas Spider. It's a pretty heartwarming story. Here is a synopsis:

Mother and children are very poor, but they manage to find a beautiful tree in the woods to cut down and bring home for Christmas. They get it set up and the wonderful pine smell wafts through the house. It really is a gorgeous tree, bit it's missing something: Christmas ornaments. The family is so poor that they cannot afford to decorate the tree and they go to bed sad. What they didn't know is that a little spider had come along for the ride. It had been hiding up in one of the branches. It heard what the family had said and it thought to itself, I wonder if perhaps I could wrap my web all around the tree and give the tree a little decoration. So the spider worked all night, wrapping itself around and around the tree, leaving webbing behind it. The family woke up the next day to find a Christmas miracle. The spider's cobwebs had turned to silver and gold tinsel and the tree was beautiful.

But we're into creepy around here, so this story needs some adjusting. This is more like it when it comes to the legend of the Christmas Spider:

A poor family decided to venture out into the woods to find a tree to put up for Christmas. The entered the canopy of trees that all but shut out the daylight. Twisted and gnarled branches hung all around them and brambles pulled at the rags they wore for clothes. Something in the distance made a hideous noise and branches snapped under the feet of a creature unseen. The family pulled up their courage and walked deeper into the murky darkness of the forest. They finally came upon a clearing with a gorgeous tree in the center. It stood seven feet tall and had full branches. It was the perfect tree. The family quickly chopped it down, sneaking peaks over their shoulders as they felt as though something was watching them. They dragged the tree back to their house, relieved to have exited the forest alive.

They put the tree up and it was very nice, but it was missing ornaments. They went to bed sad that they had nothing to with which to decorate the tree. In the middle of the night came a horrible crashing. The family flew down the stairs to see what had made the noise. Their front door was hanging off its hinges and was nearly snapped in two. What had the strength to break a solid wooden door? They quickly found out when a hulking beast appeared in the doorway. Eight black eyes peered out at them as one fuzzy long leg slipped through the opening and then another. Before long, an enormous spider, straight out of Lord of the Rings, was standing in their front room next to the tree. "You stole my tree," the spider roared. And then he ate the whole family in one gulp!

Wouldn't the Grimm Brothers be pleased with our version?

Friday, December 16, 2016

25 Days of Creepy Christmas - Christmas Sasquatch

Christmas Sasquatch

Wait a minute! There's a Bigfoot for Christmas?! And this isn't a tradition floating around from the damp Northwest of the United States. Bigfoot doesn't just hang out in old growth forests, he hangs out in the Balkans too. In countries like Bulgaria, Serbia, Macedonia and even Turkey, the character of Karakoncolos can be found and he usually only comes around during the holidays...kinda like the scary in-laws. He's a lurker and this isn't behind trees. He just hangs out on street corners. No, that isn't the local creepy pedophile leaning on the lightpost, it's the Christmas Sasquatch!

The Karakoncolos waits around until his victim arrives and then he pounces...with a riddle. We know, you thought he used his big gaping teeth to eat some poor naughty kid like all the rest of these Christmas baddies. Well, when we use the term "victim," we really do mean victim. If you screw up answering this riddle, you get the death blow from this fiend! How do you keep from screwing up the answer? Just make sure you incorporate the word "black" in your answer somehow. Apparently, that is some kind of magical word. What's black and white and red all over? Just make sure to say, "A runover zebra in the road, with BLACK stripes!" We know the answer is newspaper, but go with it, okay?

Now you probably think you are clever and have the perfect solution: just avoid street corners. Not so fast Mr. Smartypants! The Karakoncolos can visit houses too and he likes to do so at night. He pretends to be one of your relatives, calling out in distress, "Yoo Whoo, I'm out her on the landing with a broken leg my little brother." Sometimes he dresses up like a little girl - this is a whole nother level of terrifying- and then when the hapless victim comes out of the house - BAM! He puts them into a trance! That causes them to freeze like a night terror/sleep paralysis thing and then that person freezes to death in the cold.

Serbia adds in the unholy, unbaptized twelve days of Christmas and demons and ghosts run rampant. The Karakoncolos can't resist joining them and he uses this opportunity to jump on backs and demand rides. He's heavy, so it's grueling and the rooster's crow in the morning is welcome relief. After the holiday season, the Christmas Sasquatch has to retreat back into the shadows...until the next Creepy Christmas!

25 Days of Creepy Christmas - Mari Lwyd

Mari Lwyd

The holiday season includes the turn of the year. On New Years Eve, revelers celebrate the end of one year and the beginning of another. This evening is also the night of Mari Lwyd in Welsh tradition. The traditions that surround the celebration of Mari Lwyd are straight out of Halloween. There is going door to door for treats while wearing costumes and there are skeletons! One skeleton in particular and that is Mari herself. But this is not a human skeleton, this is the skeleton of a mare. Imagine opening your door and finding a skeletal horse holding a bag and singing. Yes, singing!

The song she sings is in Welsh and she is usually surrounded by other revelers joining her in chorus. The song is basically asking the person who answers the door to let her inside. But we all know what that means when it comes to Black Eyed Kids. Could the same be true for Mari? We're not sure if in the end you die, but it sounds like fun getting to the place where Mari and her party are invited to enter. A battle of wits known as pwnco is entered into after Mari sings her song. This is a battle full of insults, riddles and challenges. These are exchanged back and forth in rhyme.

Nevermind that Mari and her group are a bunch of fiends risen from the dead. If she wins, they get to come in. The ancient practice also incorporates the festival of lights representing rebirth and hope at the new year. So its not all bad. In the areas that celebrate Mari Lwyd, they make a puppet from the skull of a horse, either the real thing or something fabricated, using a stick and a white cloth to conceal the puppeteer taking the figure around. She is occasionally decorated with colorful ribbons and winter vegetation like pine branches and holly.

It seems rather macabre, but really no worse than watching your sister-in-law barf into the kitchen sink!

25 Days of Creepy Christmas - Gryla


We're thinking that Iceland for Christmas is NOT a good idea. What with the Yule Lads running around and a child eating Christmas Cat, the place is not safe for anybody whose actions throughout the past year could be interpreted as "bad." And just what you think it couldn't get worse, you find out about the woman who predates all this, Gryla. We are using the term "woman" here loosely because we're not really sure an ogress is actually a woman. We suppose Shrek has an opinion on that, but that is beside the point since ogres in that movie don't eat children.

Gryla is sometimes referred to as a giantess, which may be an attempt to soften her image. her description in most tellings of the legend is pretty scary. She is described as having hooves for feet and thirteen tails. She has the face of a woman, but is very ugly. She lives in the mountains and at Christmas she comes to town to get all the bad children.

She was not originally associated with Christmas. She first came on the scene in ancient Pagan times, but by the 17th century she was part of the visiting tales told at Christmas. Her name is thought to mean threatening and she certainly is that.  She doesn't come to town bearing rocks for gifts and other such unpleasantries. She comes to gather the bad children and when she gets them, she puts them in her sack and takes them back to her cave. And while other Christmas baddies like to whip and beat children, Gryla likes to eat them. She typically boils them alive to make her favorite stew. She places them in a sack and drags them back to her cave where she boils them alive for her favorite stew.

Adults aren't safe either, especially if you are a man and happen to marry this catch of the Icelandic mountains. She's already killed three husbands. Maybe you might like to be hubby number four? Apparently she made some babies with these men. The thirteen Yule Lads are said to be her sons. And as we already know, they add to all the Christmas nightmare fun!

Thursday, December 15, 2016

HGB Ep. 170 - Whidbey Island

Moment in Oddity - Killer Clothing
Suggested by: Ronda Borgen

Have you ever thought to yourself when you're trying to squeeze into those skinny jeans, "I'm going to get these on, even if it kills me?" Well, apparently back during the Victorian era, your clothes really could kill you. Arsenic could kill a person even without them having to ingest the poison. It was found that arsenic could be used to create a vibrant green dye and thus it was used to dye clothing, particularly dresses. Imagine sweating in these dresses over and over and having the dye absorb into your skin. And then there were hats that contained mercury. Men wore top hats made from fur and mercury was used to make the fur strands stick together to give it that sleek look. It was extremely toxic, especially if inhaled. Socks were made with aniline dye that inflamed feet and celluloid combs exploded. And the cotton that many women wore via their hoop skirts and costumes, were incredibly flammable and there were candles everywhere. A woman's dress could ignite and burn completely in 60 seconds. The poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's wife died this way. While death for a wearer of these toxic clothes was rare, the danger to the makers was very real. Hatters went mad, inspiring the phrase "Mad as a Hatter," and dress makers or floral arrangers died from arsenic poisoning and that, certainly is odd!

This Day in History - Bill of Rights Ratified

On this day, December 15th, in 1791, the Bill of Rights is ratified. The Bill of Rights is the first ten amendments to the United States Constitution. These were meant to define the basic rights that all humans have upon birth and that the Constitution already supported. Some felt that the Bill of Rights was necessary to make sure everyone understood what basic rights were, but others believed that putting these rights on paper would actually limit them in some way. A promise to attach the Bill of Rights to the Constitution was needed to get some states to ratify the Constitution. These rights included the freedom of speech, press, assembly, and the free exercise of religion; the right to fair legal procedure and to bear arms; and that powers not delegated to the federal government would be reserved for the states and the people. The ratification process was lengthy and there were fights over which amendments of the original twelve to include. Virginia was the tenth state of the fourteen states at the time to approve ten of the rights and that was what was needed to ratify the Bill of Rights.

Whidbey Island (Suggested by Marjorie Sneed)

Whidbey Island sits along Puget Sound and has a long history dating back to the 1800s. The island is the largest of all the islands making up Island County in Washington. It is a picturesque location that stretches for 55 miles making it the fourth longest and largest island in the contiguous United States. It is home to the Naval Air Station Whidbey Island. The island also is home to Fort Casey, Ebey's Landing, Admiralty Head Lighthouse and a few legends and stories of hauntings, that include The Lurker. Join us as we explore the history and hauntings of Whidbey Island.

Whidbey Island is one of nine islands located in Island County, Washington. It is about 30 miles north of Seattle and Whidbey Island is the northern boundary of the Puget Sound. Whidbey Island was once inhabited by Native American tribes that included the Swinomish, the Lower Skagit, Suquamish and Snohomish. A Spanish expedition led by Manuel Quimper and Gonzalo López de Haro on the Princesa Real, sighted the island in 1790, but the full exploration would come in 1792 at the hands of Captain George Vancouver. Further exploration and mapping would be done later by Peter Puget for whom Puget Sound is named and Jospeh Whidbey for whom the island is named. Captain Vancouver decided to name the island for Whidbey after he had circumnavigated the island in June 1792. We will talk about Isaac Ebey later, but he was a pioneer to the island who had great success and other families came based on that success in the mid 1800s. In 1860, a man named W. B. Sinclair built an inn, warehouse and postal station. Around 70,000 people call the island home today.

Fort Casey - There was a need to protect Puget Sound and so a Triangle of Fire was devised, which were three forts. There was Fort Worden in Port Townsend, Fort Flagler on Marrowstone Island and Fort Casey on Whidbey Island. Construction began on Fort Casey in 1897. It was named in honor of Brigadier General Thomas Lincoln Casey, the last U.S. Army chief of engineers. The fort was first activated in 1901 and it had a special feature when it came to its cannon guns. They could disappear. They were rigged on special carriages that could be raised up above the fortifications long enough to fire and then brought back down. And...they were obsolete in no time. They were no defense against planes flying overhead. During World War II, the guns were shipped to Europe and placed on railcars. The fort went inactive in 1935. Fort Casey is now a state park.

There is a lighthouse here as well named Admiralty Head Lighthouse. The Spanish style lighthouse is fairly short and barely rises above the two story keeper's lighthouse. The house has three bedrooms upstairs. A kitchen, dining room and living room were downstairs. It is named for the Admiralty Inlet that it keeps watch over. It was built in 1890 and then rebuilt in 1903. The original lighthouse lens was part of the house. The lighthouse was designed by German architect Carl Leick and it was the last brick lighthouse he designed. The Army used it as a place to train for their K-9 dog program. The lighthouse was deactivated in 1922 and its lantern house was moved to the New Dungeness Lighthouse in 1927. The lighthouse is reputed to be haunted. Some people claim to have seen the figure of a woman leaning over the top railing.

The things that people report experiencing at Fort Casey are weird noises and weird drawings on the walls. Somethings like claws are heard scratching on the walls. A disembodied female voice is heard screaming and apparitions have been seen. There are underground tunnels where people have prickly feelings on their arms. Sandi wrote of her experience, "We stayed in the converted officer duplexes at Fort Casey Inn from July 24-25, 2013; Duplex #5.  My 10 year old granddaughter was with her grandpa and I, and we had a car full of those things 10 year old girls MUST have in order to remain appeased and not eternally whining that everything is STUPID. I carried in the first load through the rear entrance of the duplex, while grandpa began unloading rhe overstuffed trunk of the car.  I walked in and I began to lay my load on the kitchen table, when I caught movement out of the corner of my eye. I looked up in time to see a young woman, maybe 19-20 years old with hair cut short like a "20's" kind of flapper style.  I figured she was one of the staff, perhaps a maid doing some last minute cleaning in our unit.  I did think it was odd that she was wearing a calf-length dress cinched at the waist, especially after encountering the office staff earlier who provided me the keys.  These girls were dressed in the standard t-shirt and jean uniform of most college students, so it seemed strange to see someone in such different clothing. I started to say something but she was headed out the door, and then gone.  When she didn't greet me and seemed in a hurry to leave, I got a little suspicious, and followed her to the screen door which was closed as soon as I got to it.  I pushed it and it gave a great groan.  I walked out onto the porch and those 100-year old boards beneath my feet squealed with every step.  Despite my following nearly in her footsteps, our mysterious maid had disappeared as if she had never been there. Nothing inside seemed amiss, and I rather forgot about it while trying to get everyone settled in.  It was only later that I realized that when the Mystery Woman fled out the screen door it had made no noise, whatsoever.  Nor did the porch register it's tired protest, as it had with me."

A woman named Ampbreia wrote of an experience she had at the Fort, "I felt the prickle of an extra presence there, but that was it. Nothing special; not for me anyway… but when we got back out into the sunlight, my mother, who been in the single file line between me and my step father, he leading – mentioned feeling it too and then we all looked at her in surprise because she was wearing a necklace now that she hadn’t been wearing before: a little gold cross I think.  Her hand went to her neck when she saw me frowning at it in puzzlement. 'Where did you get that?' I asked. 'What?' she asked in the same minute that her fingers found the necklace and froze with a similar frown on her face. She couldn’t crane her neck enough to see it properly with it on so I unfastened it for her and held it up.  'This.' She frowned.  'It’s pretty, but I have no idea.  I have never seen that necklace before…. But I felt…. Something….' I can’t recall if she put the necklace back on, but she kept touching her neck, uneasy as to how the necklace might have gotten there."

The Lurker - Whidbey Island has a Naval Air Station. The Base Exchange was constructed in 1942 as a hangar for the P-3 flying boats. When the Navy no longer needed the flying boats, the building was reconstructed to house the store. Inside, walls divide the building into a snack bar, large retail store, quickie food mart and some smaller specialty stores. It is here that an apparition known as The Lurker is seen.

In the late 1940s, mechanics worked on the P-3s in the hangar. One horrible day, a mechanic came to a gruesome end when he walked into a moving propeller blade. No one is sure if this was an accident or a suicide. Either would be tramatic enough to cause a haunting to occur. Ever since this happened, people have claimed to see a man wearing coveralls in the store. He is usually seen on the catwalks in the back portion of the warehouse. No one should be on those catwalks and when anyone approaches to find out what he is doing, he has disappeared. Employees claim to find piles of clothes on the floors when they open up in the morning. What is bizarre about the clothing is that it is usually found in a state as if someone had laid down and just disappeared. The underwear is inside the pants, socks are inside shoes and the shirt is tucked into the pants.

A strange smell accompanies the apparition that is described as being similar to the smell of popcorn and employees hear disembodied footsteps walking among the clothing racks. The hangar has a very secure key padlock and chain system to lock the building at night. There have been several occasions when the night manager has finished locking up and then hears the padlock clicking as it unlocks and opens. The chain and lock then fall free from the doors. Security has been unable to explain how it happens and even after they secure the door, the same thing happens. Very few are skeptical about the Lurker because so many have experienced him.

Crockett Farm Bed & Breakfast - This charming Bed and Breakfast is run out of a 150 year old home that had once belonged to Colonel Walter Crockett. He was born on January 29th in 1786 in Virginia. He served during the War of 1812 and served three legislative terms for Virginia. In 1838, he decided to move west for greener pastures and ended up in Missouri. He decided the Pacific Coast would be even better and he took his family on the dangerous journey there in 1851. He went with several other families. The family did very well with farming on 640 acres and the Colonel lived there for eighteen years before he passed. His sons Walter Jr. and Charles moved into the house. In 1895, Walter Jr. had the barn built from old growth timber with a "mortise and tenon" technique to secure the beam work. The architecture style is unique in that wood dowels were used to secure the beams, so no steel bolts or plates were used.

The Historic Crockett Farmhouse features five guestrooms, each with its own bathroom, a library and a dining room. There is also a barn on the property that is now only 11.5 acres. It is owned by Paula Spina and she hired historian Diana Peterson to be the proprietress. Before Paula owned the property, it was owned by Bob and Beulah Whitlow. They ran it as a bed and breakfast from 1984 until 2005. They even had Danny Devito, Kathleen Turner and Michael Douglas stay there while they were filming a movie. They called in help to purge the evil from the house because they felt they had a ghost in the place. For years before they owned the place, it had been a crash pad for hippies. Much renovation was needed and it was during this time that the Whitlows started to feel an unpleasant presence. One time, Mr. Whitlow was trying to go upstairs to retrieve an item and he was physically stopped by something he could not see.

The Colonel's son, Charles, killed himself with a pistol in an upstairs bedroom on Dec. 12, 1893. He was having mental health issues and decided it would be better to die than be locked away in an asylum. There was blood everywhere and it soaked into the floor boards. It still can be seen underneath the carpeting. It is his spirit that roams the house in the afterlife. Mr. Whitlow was giving a tour to a group of women and when they were leaving the room that Charles killed himself in, glass fell with a crash out of the pane of a broken window. The Whitlows also discovered a hand-sized blood stain on the ceiling in a downstairs bedroom beneath Charles' room.

Gordon Weeks, a former reporter in Coupeville, lived for about six months in that very room and he reported having a number of supernatural experiences. “I felt like it was a benign presence,” he said. “I never felt like it was threatening." Most of the experiences were the basic catching movement out of the corner of the eye. The window shades went up by themselves one time and on another occasion, the bathroom door swung open on its own. It was after this that the Whitlows had the home cleansed and none of their guests ever reported having any issues. And the new owner says she has had no issues either. So perhaps, Charles is at rest now. The property is within the bounds of the Ebey's Landing National Historic Reserve.

Isaac Ebey and Ebey's Landing - Colonel Isaac Neff Ebey was born on January 22, 1818 in Ohio. The west called to him and he spent the early part of his life moving in that direction. He ended up in Missouri for a time where he studied law and he met a woman named Rebecca Davis. They were married in 1843 and had two sons named Eason and Ellison. Isaac wanted to continue to the west coast, but he did not think that would be a good idea for his family. So in 1848, he left his family with relatives and headed off to pursue the Gold Rush. He ended up in the Puget Sound area and after exploring Whidbey Island, he fell in love with the area. He entered a claim for 640 acres in October of 1850. The area came to be known as Ebey's Prairie. He wrote to his brother about the location, "I have taken my claim on it and am now living on the same in order to avail myself of the provisions of the Donation law. If Rebecca, the children and you all were here, I think I could live and die here content."

Rebecca did come and brought their three sons in 1852. She was also joined by her three brothers and a family named Crockett. Isaac built the family a blockhouse. His parents and brother soon joined his family on the island and built a home right next to his blockhouse. The land was very fertile and Isaac did very well. When others heard about the agricultural success, they moved their families to Whidbey. Rebecca died after the birth of their third child, a daughter named Sarah, in 1853. Sarah died as well. The Mainland Indian Wars started in 1855 and Isaac joined the fight leading a company of volunteers. He received the title of Colonel for his efforts. When he returned from the fight he became involved in territorial affairs and used his law degree as a prosecuting attorney.

Isaac remarried a widow named Emily Palmer Sconce and she joined Isaac at Whidbey with her daughter, Anna. Everything was very good at Whidbey except for one thing and that was the relationship with the Haida Tribe. There were several skirmishes and the Haida were finally forced to move north. The tribe agreed that they would go, but within their group they promised to take the heads of several prominent men, which they referred to as Tyee, before they left the territory. Isaac would be one of the men they would choose to attack. It was a peaceful summer day in August of 1857 and the Ebey family were entertaining friends. The dogs suddenly started barking and going nuts.

Isaac told everybody to stay put while he went out to investigate. He was attacked and beheaded by the Haida who ambushed him. We should note here that there is some debate as to who really attacked Isaac Ebey. The oral history of the Kake tribe, a sub-group of the Tlingit from Alaska, claims that they conducted the revenge raid in 1857. A delegation of Kake elders visited Coupeville in 2014 on the anniversary of Col. Ebey's death to offer restitution. Whichever tribe is responsible for the raid, it was brutal. The family and guests heard a gunshot and they escaped through a back bedroom window when the natives broke into the front of the family's cabin. They ransacked the rooms as the guests fled to the woods. Emily took the children to her father-in-law's house.

Isaac's brother, Winfield, wrote in his diary on August 14, 1857: "My Brother Isaac is Dead - My noble high minded brother is no more - shot and beheaded at his own door...Oh! the agony I have suffered for three long days and still suffer. It seems more bitter than death. On the morning of the 12th at about 2 o'clock, we were awakened by a knocking and shouting at the door. I...sprang from the bed and found R. C. Hill, H. Hill, R. H. Crosbie and Mrs Corliss. In a few words they told us that an attack had been made on Isaac's house by the Northern Indians, that Mrs. C- had jumped from a window got off, ran to Mr. Engle's and aroused them and came up here."

Winfield gathered a posse and they rescued the group from the woods. In the morning, Winfield went to Isaac's home to take care of his brother's body. He found his brother's headless body near the end of the porch. He was buried up the hill from his cabin at Sunnyside Cemetery next to his wife Rebecca and their daughter Sarah. Emily left the island after the attack with her daughter and Issac's sons were raised by their grandparents. The cabin was left deserted. The cabin burned down in 1860 and was rebuilt not long after.

In 1992, Phyllis Burns visited the cemetery where Issac is buried and she and her mother reported, "As we turned to leave, I saw a movement off to our right about 100 yards away. I looked and saw a woman in a long black dress with a long black hooded cape over it. She had the hood over her head. She was walking down the hill towards the cabin. Without saying anything, I touched my Mother's arm and pointed to the woman. We all turned and watched as the woman slowly walked then disappeared behind some large bushes. She never came out the other side. We walked over to where we had seen her, feeling a bit apprehensive. There was no sign of her. We walked down to the road that runs between the cemetery and the cabin - she was nowhere to be found. There were no vehicles on the narrow lonesome road except ours. We drove back to the mainland in silence, wondering who the woman in the black cloak was. I often wonder if the apparition was Ebey's first wife, Rebecca, and if she is somehow stuck in time. She must have loved her island paradise as much as Isaac did. Because she died young and unexpectedly, she must be searching for something to hold on to -- maybe looking for Isaac to help him cross over?"

Other hauntings in the area feature the misty, pale blue apparition of Isaac himself. He is generally seen in the cabin and this seems to be residual in nature as he leaves the cabin over and over as if heading out to meet his tragic end again and again. Other times, people claim to see his headless spirit wandering the fields near the cabin. Sometimes he is cradling his head under his arm. He is at unrest, perhaps seeking his head, although his scalp with ears attached was later returned to his brother. Legend claims a couple of things in regards to the scalp. One story says that his brother dug up his brother's coffin so that he could place the scalp in with the headless body. Another story claims that the family passed it down through generations.

Do the Lurker and Isaac Ebey still wander the island where they met their horrific ends? Do spirits wander Fort Casey and Crockett House? Is Whidbey Island haunted? That is for you to decide!

Show Notes:
We also feature the 7th installment in the third series of Tim Prasil's Spectral Edition. Check out more of his stuff at:

Photo courtesy of Brian Dilbeck

Photo courtesy of Brian Dilbeck