Thursday, July 26, 2018

Ep. 268 - Hauntings of the Cumberlands


 Moment in Oddity - Telling of the Bees

Many of us are very aware of just how important bees are to our world. We may fear their stinger, but it would be much more fearful to live in a world without bees. Where would we be without honey, wax and pollination? In Medieval times, bees were held in even higher esteem and were thought to have a special intelligence in regards to the mysteries of the cosmos. Bees were highly prized and could be found kept at monasteries and manor houses, where they were cared for as a part of the community and family. Their behavior was watched closely and if the bees were seen swarming, they were given special attention. If the swarm was around a dead branch, a human death was imminent. A group of bees flying into a home meant that a stranger would soon call. Good luck was coming if the bees rested on a roof. Communities were very careful about their dealings with each other and emotions because they found that discord could cause the bees to stop producing honey, die, or fly away. Because of all of this the tradition of the “telling of the bees” was started. Bees would be kept informed about everything important in a keeper's life like marriages, births and journeys. One of the most important rituals in the "telling of the bees" was in regards to death. If the bees were not put into mourning after being informed of a death, it was believed they might fail to thrive or leave their hives. In order to put the bees in mourning, a keeper would need to drape the hives with black crepe fabric and leave a piece of the funeral bread nearby. Then the keeper would sing pleasantly to the bees about who had died and how it happened. These songs became rhymes that were shared across Europe and eventually made their way to America. We should all treat bees with respect and harvest their honey sustainably, but the idea that we should tell the bees all about our major life events, certainly is odd!

This Month in History - Legionnaires Disease Outbreak Starts

In the month of July, on the 23rd, in 1976, the Legionnaires Disease outbreak starts. The disease is named for the group of men who came down with it in the late Summer of 1976 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The American Legion opened its annual three-day convention at the Bellevue-Stratford Hotel in Philadelphia on July 21 with more than 2,000 Legionnaires in attendance. Three days after the convention ended Ray Brennan, a 61-year-old retired US Air Force captain and an American Legion bookkeeper, died from what was believed to be a heart attack. A couple days later, another Legionnaire named Frank Aveni died of what looked like a heart attack. Six more Legionnaires died and officials finally took notice. Within a week, more than 130 people, mostly men, had been hospitalized, and 25 had died. It was discovered that this was a cluster of a particular type of pneumonia caused by the Legionella pneumophila bacteria.

Hauntings of the Cumberlands (Suggested by: Jamie Wolfe)

Williamsburg, Kentucky is said to be the "Gateway to the Cumberlands." This area is nestled in the foothills of Daniel Boone Country. It's part of Whitley County with the Cumberland River running through it. Another city in this county is Corbin, which has stories of its own including Satanic activity. On this episode, Jamie Wolfe shares many legends and ghost stories from the Williamsburg and Cumberland Gap area in Kentucky. These include University of the Cumberlands, Highland Cemetery, The Independent School, Cumberland Inn, the Bird Man, the Mulberry Black Thing and Cumberland Falls. Join us as we explore the history and hauntings of the Cumberlands.

University of the Cumberlands

Jamie attended the University of the Cumberlands, which was originally called Williamsburg Institute. The college was founded on January 7, 1889. This was a religious institution established by the Mount Zion Association, which were representatives from 18 eastern Kentucky Baptist churches. This started just as one building, but in 1907 the school bought the three buildings of Highland College. The name changed to Cumberland College in 1913. The name Cumberland comes from the Cumberland River, Cumberland Falls and the Cumberland Gap. Because this was a religious establishment, the rules on campus are very strict. Jamie explains that they are not allowed to close doors and they must keep feet on ground when a male is in their rooms.

There are several ghosts at this location. Gillespie Hall is considered the residence hall of choice for freshmen women and was dedicated as Johnson Hall on February 11th, 1894. On ghost story goes, "Long ago, a young girl went to Cumberland College. If you have ever heard of the school, you know that it is a somewhat strict, private Christian institution. Anyway, the young girl got pregnant while on campus and knew that if anyone found out, she would be shamefully dismissed. Thus, she committed suicide by hanging herself on the third floor of Gillespie Hall. Long after this, a girl was staying in room 316 (?) and she was engaged. One day, she sat her engagement ring down on a desk and left the room. When she returned, she could not find the ring anywhere. She searched and searched until finally she found the ring in a trash can. The incident happened multiple times. It is also said that, even thought the room is locked up, the light will sometimes be on in that room and the girl who died will show herself to other girls in the dorm. She will not talk but stand on the third floor. You can talk to her and everything and she will not disappear and such but she will vanish after you walk by without a sound." Jamie recounts the story for us.

Mercurial1101 wrote, "My friend unfortunately saw the one in Gillespie. She spoke with her and everything and the girl didn't say anything. When my friend turned around, the girl was gone."

The Ruby Gatliff Archer Hall opened in 1966 and houses more than 150 female students. It is rumored that a room on the first floor is haunted. The cause of the haunting is unknown. It is reported that posters fall off the wall no matter how much they're taped up, alarm clocks will go off at midnight despite them being set for a different time, cd players will come on by themselves, also different objects within the room will become misplaced inexplicably. Jamie has experienced it.

The Slain Robbery Victim's Ghost

Cumberland Falls

This waterfall is located in the Daniel Boone Forest in Cumberland State Park. Jamie tells us about the very cool moonbow phenomenon here.Lover's Leap has led to hauntings.


Jamie also shared about Highland Cemetery, The Independent School, Cumberland Inn, the Bird Man and the Mulberry Black Thing.



This area along the Cumberland River that is home to Whitley County seems to have many ghost stories connected it. And the legends are fun too. Is this area of the Cumberlands haunted? That is for you to decide!

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