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Moment in Oddity - Yemen's Well of Hell
There is a peculiar hole in the al-Mahra province of Yemen known as the Well of Barhout, but most people call it the Well of Hell. For years, locals have claimed that this is a gateway to the underworld and that the Djinn live within the depths. The truth is that this is a natural sinkhole and in September of 2021, 10 explorers made their way all the way to the bottom. The explorers found dead animals, snakes, frogs, beetles, waterfalls and stalagmites. Another claim about the hole is that it is part of a supervolcano that could one day wipe out the Earth, similar to the one that is claimed to be below Yellowstone National Park. The explorers found no evidence for that either. The most unusual find were cave pearls, which are very unique and rare because they need a completely flat surface in order to form. These are formed when dripping or flowing water gathers around a nucleus of loose material and deposits minerals in concentric layers. Since the nucleus is loose, the shape of a pearl forms. The Well of Hell may not be a prison for the Djinn, but it certainly is odd!
This Month in History - Lawrence Joel Awarded Medal of Honor
In the month of November, on the 8th, in 1965, Lawrence Joel was awarded the Medal of Honor, becoming the first living person of color to do that since the Spanish-American War. Lawrence Joel was serving as a medic with the 1st Battalion, 503rd Airborne Infantry, 173rd Airborne Brigade during the Vietnam War. He was with his unit in the Iron Triangle northwest of Saigon when his heroism earned him the medal. The unit was outnumbered and under heavy assault and Specialist Joel received a severe leg wound. This didn't stop him from taking care of his wounded comrades and he continued his work despite being hit a second time with a bullet lodging into his lung. He didn't stop treating the wounded until his evacuation was ordered. President Lyndon B. Johnson presented the Medal of Honor to Specialist Joel on March 9, 1967, at the White House.
Miss Molly's Bed and Breakfast (Suggested by: Amy Martinez)
Miss Molly's Bed and Breakfast has been on the suggestions list for quite a while and we decided to produce it now because our longtime listener and Executive Producer Amy Martinez's daughter recently visited the location and had a chance to investigate. A sign outside one of the rooms reads, "Street ladies bringing in sailors must pay for room in advance." So clearly, this wasn't always a simple little hotel. This was once a brothel and many of the spirits from that time back in the early 1900s are still sticking around the bed and breakfast. Join us as we explore the history and hauntings of Miss Molly's Bed and Breakfast!
The most famous and popular spot in Fort Worth, Texas is the Stockyards. This is a National Historical District in what was once dubbed "Cowtown" because four million head of cattle were driven through here between 1866 and 1890. When the railroad came to town, it only made sense to establish Fort Worth as a shipping point for livestock and the Union Stockyards were built. Wealthy Boston businessman Greenleif Simpson decided to invest in the stockyard and he renamed it the Fort Worth Stockyards Company. Simpson sought out other investors and one man he approached suggested that they build meat packing plants in the city, rather than shipping the cattle off to other markets. Two large meat packing plants would be built around 1900. Around this time, the Wall Street of the West would be built too, which was the Livestock Exchange Building that housed the railroad offices, telegraph offices and livestock commission companies. In 1907, the Cowtown Coliseum was built for rodeos and stock shows.
In 1911, the Stockyards became their own city known as Niles City, which eventually was annexed into Fort Worth. Droughts, floods and fires would come. The Stockyards would be rebuilt with flame-resistant materials. The business prospered through it all until World War II. At this time in America, the railway business was in decline and the highway system was growing with a trucking business that made small stockyards and meat packers able to pull business their way. The first meat packing plant, Armour, closed in 1962 and the other, Swift, closed in 1971. In 1976, the district earned protection and restoration began on various landmarks with the Exchange Building becoming a museum in 1989. The area has become a shopping and dining district with the Star Cafe in the midst of it and the restaurant has Miss Molly's Bed and Breakfast located above the eatery.
The building that houses the bed and breakfast today was built in 1910 as a high-class boarding house and was called The Palace Rooms. By the time Prohibition rolled around, the building had changed hands and reopened as The Oasis with rooms and a speakeasy. The authorities looked the other way most of the time, but there was the occasional raid. The nice boarding house was gone by the 1940s and replaced with a bordello called The Gavatte Hotel. All types came through from cowboys to businessmen to real shady types. Eventually, Texas outlawed prostitution and the building was on the market once again. It reopened as the Star Cafe on the ground floor and Miss Molly's Bed and Breakfast on the upper floor.
The Bed and Breakfast has eight rooms with one communal bathroom. The former madame's room is known as Miss Josie's Room and this has its on private bath. The other rooms are Cowboys, Miss Amelia, Cattlemen's, Rodeo, Gunslinger and Railroader. The rooms are decorated in a manner that takes one back with lace curtains, antique oak furniture and historic quilts, iron beds and shutters. Miss Josie's Room has elegant Victorian decor with elaborate wall coverings and window dressing and the ceiling is draped fabric. The bathrooms have iron tubs, pedestal sinks and pull-chain toilets.
Stories of unexplained experiences have plagued this location for years and many claim that it is one of the most haunted spots in Texas. Guests and employees claim to see shadow figures and to feel cold spots. The scent of perfume is on the air occasionally. Coins apport into rooms that have been cleaned. Belongings disappear or are moved around and found in odd places. Sometimes after they disappear, they reappear in the spot from which they had been missing. Toilets flush on their own, lights turn on and off by themselves and doors lock and unlock by themselves. Sometimes doors won't open as if blocked by an unseen force. A reporter staying overnight once awoke to find a beautiful blonde woman sitting on the edge of the bed. There is a young girl's spirit that has appeared in the private rooms of the owners. She appears to be around eight-years-old.
Innkeeper Paula Gowins told CBS 11, "I’ve had many reports from the guests of seeing things: transparencies, smoky apparitions. Like in this room, Ms. Josie King was the last madam. She had been sighted many times, usually at 3:00 in the morning at the foot of the bed watching the people sleep. (We) only had one couple jump out of bed.”
Texpart Paranormal LLC had investigated at Miss Molly's in November of 2008. They have great notes on their website about that investigation. One passage reads, "Entered room 5 at 8:08 PM we encountered a female spirit who was 42 yrs of age and she believed the current year was 1946. She said she entertained men in this bedroom. This female spirit thought she was still alive. After initial connection with the spirit my hair in the back of my head was caress. At one point Rosie’s right elbow was touched. She mentioned she was upset that her daughter was not with her. She stated that her grandparents raised her daughter who is still alive and that she was there waiting for her daughter. At one point she laid down in the bed in front of us. We did not find out what her name was. We exited the room at 8:30 PM." Another says, "Investigators reported hearing loud talking and clanking of dishes below them. Interestingly enough, they heard these noises at approximately 9:30 pm and the business below had closed at 7:00 p.m. Upon inspection, no one was left in that business to make such noises. Both investigators also reported hearing someone talking, walking around and shutting doors in room number 8 next to them. No one was ever- at any time in room number 8. It was shut off as a control room for recording."
Amy shared in the Spooktacular Crew: My daughter and her fiancé took his little girl to Miss Molly’s, a haunted hotel, in the Fort Worth Stockyards last night. His 9-yr-old is into that which make her my kindred spirit. Anyway, Ross (the fiancé) lost his dad a few years ago. I get this text from my daughter this morning:
Jayde and Ross talk about the spirits of two little boys and how they seem to be able to leave the room they usually occupy, while the other spirits seem to stick to just the one room they always occupy. And they also relate how the madame would occasionally lock girls in closets. (Jayde Ghosts) They mentioned the cowboy Jake and how his spirit manifests too. He is known to hang out in the stockyards in multiple places. The innkeeper Carey thinks her brother is there and protecting the little girl spirit named Emily and one guest even felt hands closing around his neck one time!
Even though many claim that the spirits are not evil here, that hasn't always been the case and Jayde and Ross shared these experiences from the Innkeeper and a housekeeper at Miss Molly's. (Jayde 2)
Jayde and Ross decide that they want to do some investigating and they borrow equipment from the innkeeper. And what happens reminds us of being at the Clay County Jail where the woman named Joe that was with us seemed to have the spirit of her father there. (Jayde 3) A couple things that didn’t make it onto this recording was Ross asked his dad if he was happy and the answer was yes. Then he asked “do you miss us?” and Charlie said “no.” So Ross asked, “is that because you’re always with us?” And Charlie said “yes.” Ross also said that his Mom said there were things moving around behind them and he mentions a picture of an orb going into him. Amy sent that pic and we'll see if we can upload it to Instagram. Normally, we would just be like, this is a dust orb or something, but because of what is going on with the communication and his Mom seeing stuff, maybe this orb was paranormal in nature.
Karen wrote on TripAdvisor, "OMG - I stayed there Friday night and what a night it was! I saw a door move even with the door stop on. We listened to white noise and spirits spoke through the white noise and guessed cards that we picked from a deck. I saw an orb or something follow one of the young girls that was staying with her Grandmother. You've got to see the little bear. When it's turned on and you touch it, it speaks.... well, it was speaking without anyone touching it! I would recommend anyone that is interested in the hereafter to check it out!! Shelly was awesome. She stayed the night with us along with a couple other ghost hunters. Check it out! There are no TVs or phones in the hotel. It truly is like stepping back in time. Do not expect to sleep too much as there is activity all night long."
Mamie wrote on TripAdvisor, "My friend and I decided to stay at Miss Molly’s because of its close proximity to the nightlife and also because we had heard of the ghost stories. We stayed in the Cowboy Room and were the only guests there that night. Within the first 10 minutes of being there we had the cowboy room door close on us and the closet doorknob rattle when I made a joke about wanting my friend to go open the closet door. We immediately went to dinner and when we came back our keys were moved across the room. From then on we knew the ghosts were definitely just pranksters. Later we found the leather review book that people write in and started reading their stories on the couch and kept hearing banging and shuffling in the 2nd bathroom. We never checked because we were chicken but we later found it that someone was found stabbed in the bathtub a long time ago."
dancepatti wrote on TripAdvisor, "Miss Molly's is a cozy old bed and breakfast (they do NOT serve breakfast anymore so perhaps it is a BED and BATH now). We stayed because we wanted to stay in a haunted hotel and we got our wish. We stayed in room #3 one bed had a spirit sit on it in the middle of the night, the other bed was shaken by a spirit in the middle of the night. The cowboy room gave a good scare as we entered it the door slammed on us- and I do mean slammed. Later our inferred picture showed a silhouette of a cowboy by the furthest bed. It was an exciting night!"
Former brothels have a tendency to be haunted because of the nature of the business and the violent history that can be connected to them. We don't know much about that history here, but clearly there are some unexplained things happening here. And on top of that, it seems that Ross got the opportunity to talk to his father through the veil. Good golly is Miss Molly's Bed and Breakfast haunted? That is for you to decide!