Thursday, July 7, 2022

HGB Ep. 442 - Wheeldon Manor

Moment in Oddity - The Legend of Taimur's Curse (suggested by Paolo Jay)

Taimur or Timur was a Turko-Mongol conqueror who brought most of the Muslim-ruled parts of Central Asia and India under his control in the 14th century. When he died, his body was embalmed and ceremonially buried in his capital, Samarkand. In 1941, Joseph Stalin sent a Russian anthropologist, Mikhail Gerasimov, to exhume Taimur's body to study it. Stalin wanted to use the body to make a replica of what Taimur looked like. When word spread of the Russian plan, local Samarkands warned the anthropologist of a terrible curse attached to Taimur's grave. Of course Gerasimov labeled the curse 'mumbo jumbo'. Once the grave was located, the anthropologist exhumed the body and found a curse inscribed inside the tomb that read, "Whomsoever opens my tomb shall unleash an invader even more terrible than myself." The curse was dismissed and Taimur's body was taken to Moscow. Within three days Hitler launched his surprise attack on Russia which took approximately 30 million Russian lives. As the Germans continued advancing, the anthropologist began to worry about the curse and shared his thoughts with Stalin. Being a deeply superstitious man, the dictator arranged a special aircraft to fly Taimur’s body back to Samarkand, where they gave it a reverential re-burial. A few weeks later, the tide of German invasion suddenly turned and the Russians were victorious at the Battle of Stalingrad. Today, Taimur's tomb in Samarkand is an important tourist attraction. So what about this curse? Is it real or is it just a legend followed up by some strange coincidences? Whatever the truth, the story of this curse certainly is odd. 

This Month in History - 24 Hour Power Outage in New York City

In the month of July, on the 13th, in 1977, New York City dealt with a power outage that lasted over 24 hours. At 8:37pm EDT a lightning strike hit the Buchanan South substation on the Hudson River. This in turn tripped 2 circuit breakers. The location was currently used to convert 345,000 volts from a nuclear generating station to a lower voltage for commercial use. Shortly after, there was a second lightning strike which caused the loss of two 345kV transmission lines as well. Then at 8:55pm there was a THIRD strike, this one occurring at the Sprain Brook substation in Yonkers that took out another two critical lines. During all of this, Con Edison had to  manually reduce the load on another local generator at their East River facility, due to problems at that plant. This made an already dire situation even worse. Throughout the evening, Con Edison continued to be asked to reduce loads from working stations due to thermal overloads and continued trips and drops in service. Con Ed could not generate enough power within the city, and the three power lines that supplemented the city's power were overtaxed. Just after 9:27 p.m., the biggest generator, Ravenswood Generating Unit No. 3 (also known as "Big Allis"), shut down and with it went all of New York City. The blackout occurred at a time of severe financial crisis as well as fear of The Son of Sam in the city. The 1977 blackout resulted in citywide looting and other acts of criminal activity, including arson. They say that lightning doesn't strike twice in the same place but New York City had the bad fortune of being struck 3 times that evening, resulting in a darkened city that is known for its nightlife. 

Wheeldon Manor (Suggested by: Cara Danelle)

Wheeldon Manor in Kentucky has stood for over 100 years and has played a variety of roles. Some of them as mundane as a post office and others along criminal lines featuring gang activity and a brothel. It's final function has been as a paranormal hotspot. Military Veterans Paranormal has investigated the location many times and founder Mellanie Ramsey joins us to share what she has found out about the history and the unexplained experiences that they have had there. Join us for the history and hauntings of the Wheeldon Manor!

Central City is located on the Green River in Muhlenberg County, Kentucky. The town was first known as Morehead's Horse Mill, named after an early settler to the area, Charles S. Morehead. He had built a steam-powered grist mill here. The name changed to Stroud City in 1873 when it was officially incorporated. This was in honor of John Stroud, a local landowner. A large mining business in the area was Central Coal and Iron Company and the city was eventually named Central City for that in 1882 and that one stuck. The town became an important regional hub for the railroad, which continues today. One of the rail lines actually passes by Wheeldon Manor.

*Rabbit Hole* In the interview with Mellanie that we are going to share in a moment, we discuss this idea that rail lines seem to have a connection to the paranormal. This theory first caught our attention on an episode of Kindred Spirits and an experiment Adam and Amy did with a railroad crossing and they got an amazing interaction. Then when we investigated the Villisca Axe Murder House, in the wee hours of the morning, just as dawn was breaking, the sound of a train passing nearby could be heard. At the same time, Kelly and I saw white streaks near the ceiling after I saw some kind of weird purple swirling anomaly. I wondered if the train had something to do with it. In 2011, Ghost Hunters Jason Hawes and Grant Wilson were interviewed by HuffPost and they said, "One thing we found is that you find more paranormal activity around flowing streams of water, railroad tracks and places with high limestone deposits." And there are, of course, numerous tales of ghost trains. Is there anything to this? We'll never know, but it is interesting!

The name Wheeldon Manor sounds quaint, like a fancy apartment building or old Victorian home. This location is a 23,000 square foot rectangular, multi-level brick building that basically covers the block. This was the perfect spot for a variety of businesses from a dealership to boarding house to apartments. Mellanie Ramsey joins us to share more. (Ramsey Interview)

Keith Fournier of Night Stalkers Paranormal Research said of Wheeldon Manor, "This place is a paranormal investigators dream!" In 2014, that haunted house Mellanie referred to was started, known as Sinister on Center. But before that, the owner had many of his own experiences. In 2013, the SURF KY website ran an article about Wheeldon Manor. The owner at the time was Jason Dillihay who purchased it in 2003 and rented apartments out of it. He was a skeptic when he first moved into 102 Center Street and shared an apartment with his wife. Dillihay told the website they experienced many weird things. "I had numerous complaints [from tenants], but I just always brushed them off. I just really didn't believe it until I lived here myself. My wife, Emily, first noticed smells, movements and other occurrences. Of course it was always when I was not home. She saw her purse straps move one day. Then the curtains, which were closed, opened wide by them self. She would see shadows and feel someone was standing right behind her. I would come in from work and she would tell me about it. But I was always, well, skeptical. It took a while, and it started ramping up. When I started believing was, one night while she was doing dishes. I went down to get something out of the car. I came back in, and she was calling 911. She said, 'I was doing dishes and I could see someone behind me.'

His wife went on to say that she felt something wrap around her and then something she couldn't see breathed in her ear. Dillihay says he told his wife, "I don't understand why it only messes with you when I'm not here. When I said that, it was like a train locked up its brakes on the tracks. There was screeching, grinding, metallic sounds. It kept getting louder and louder, circling the whole apartment. Then it was like the sound of someone running as hard as they could, into the closed door of our apartment. When that happened, the sound stopped cold. Nobody else in the apartments heard it. Nothing was there. My wife said, 'I told you so'... and I didn't argue. That's when we moved out." Dillihay also commented that tenants reported experiencing stuff too. "One of the last people to move out said they say a little girl running down the hall. One family that had a little boy with toys scattered all over the floor, and when he was not home, they could see and hear a small child sometimes sitting, playing with his toys." The spirit of an elderly man was seen in one room and an older female in another.

Western Kentucky Paranormal Investigators did some research at the building in 2013 and the co-founder Cameron Hesson said the city told them that 19 people had died in the building. Hesson told SURF KY,
"We have captured some pretty good evidence from this building. We're not a huge fan of 'orbs', aka paranormal balls of lights floating in midair, but we have captured some video evidence here in the back hallway. The camera was facing down the hall. We heard a loud noise and asked, 'Is anyone down here?' About that time there was another loud knock and a brief flash of light, like someone turning a flashlight on and off quickly. We stopped the video, and analyzed it frame by frame. It does have the characteristics of an orb."

 Wheeldon Manor sounds like an interesting place. Is it haunted? That is for you to decide!

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