Thursday, December 29, 2022

HGB Ep. 467 - Old Town Albuquerque

Moment in Oddity - Fairy Chimneys

We have many adventurous listeners. Their ears may perk up at any reference to fairies or the supernatural. Some of these adventurers would love to spend some nights in a location such as this. It's like an Air B&B of a different sort. Located in Turkey, the Fairy Chimneys began their creation millions of years ago. This was when volcanic eruptions rained down ash in the area, which formed into rock covered by a layer of basalt. Once eroded by time the pillars revealed themselves, some as tall as 130 feet. The chimneys are located in a region once known as Cappadocia, which ran through the historic Silk Road trading route. This area was raided by the Hittites, the Persians, Alexander the Great, the Romans, the Byzantines, and the Ottomans. They all wanted to claim the land. But it was during the Roman period that the persecuted Christians learned that they could easily excavate these 'chimneys' to created homes and churches. This area is now described by UNESCO as "one of the world's most striking and largest cave-dwelling complexes." Today, tourists can even sleep in certain caves and chimneys, which have been remodeled into uncommon hotels. The contemplation of sleeping in such an amazing, historical location is intriguing, but it certainly is odd.

This Month in History - Clara Barton

In December, on the 25th, in 1821 the founder of the American Red Cross was born. Clarissa “Clara” Harlowe Barton helped distribute supplies to the Union Army during the Civil War. She was born the youngest of five children. As a teenager, Clara helped care for her seriously ill brother which was her first experience as a nurse. While still a young adult, she spent time inspiring pupils working as a teacher and even opened a free public school in Bordentown, New Jersey. When the Civil War began in 1861, Barton quit her current job and decided it was her calling to bring supplies to Union soldiers in need. This began her life-long career in aiding people during times of conflict and disaster. In 1862 she was granted permission to bring supplies to the battlefields and aided in every major battle in Maryland, Virginia and South Carolina. In 1869, Barton traveled through Europe and while in Switzerland, she learned about the International Red Cross, established in Geneva in 1864. Upon returning to the United States, Clara began building support to establish an American Red Cross by writing pamphlets, lecturing and meeting with President Rutherford B Hayes. On May 21st, 1881, the American Association of the Red Cross was formed and Clara was elected president that June. In 1882, the United States joined the International Red Cross and Barton remained with them until 1904.

Old Town Albuquerque

Old Town Albuquerque is home to more than 150 shops, restaurants, galleries and museums. This community center was built centuries ago and features several blocks of historic adobe buildings. A handful of these locations are reputedly haunted. Join us as we explore the history and hauntings of Old Town Albuquerque.

Governor Francisco Cuervo y Valdes was born into a noble family in Spain in 1651. He got involved with politics and traveled over to New Spain in 1678 and served as an infantry captain. He was eventually appointed as a lieutenant governor and then he served as governor of Spanish Texas. He helped to found numerous missions before he became governor of New Mexico. He founded La Villa Real de San Francisco de Albuquerque in 1706, naming it for the Viceroy of New Spain who was the Duke of Albuquerque. The Spanish were far from being the first people in the area. Humans had been here for at least 10,000 years and when the Spanish arrived in 1540, the Tiwa people were living in pueblos along the Rio Grande. Governor Cuervo y Valdes had a hard time establishing Albuquerque because Spanish law required that 30 Spanish families be living in a new settlement before it could gain status as a village. The settlement only had 18, so the Governor ordered a Spanish garrison to be set-up nearby so that families would be attracted to the safety of the town. A mission church was also here, San Felipe de Neri. Irrigation canals were built and soon the few adobe houses grew to several hundred structures. 

New Mexico was under Mexican rule when Mexico gained its independence from Spain in 1821. At the end of the Mexican-American War, America made New Mexico an official U.S. territory. A fort was then established in Albuquerque. This would be attacked and taken over by Confederates during the Civil War. After the war, a livestock industry grew up in the town and this brought in a railroad. And that's when the original part of Albuquerque became Old Town and the city center and government moved closer to the railroad depot. Albuquerque was incorporated in 1885 and although Old Town was no longer the center of business, it truly became the heart of the town. The Pueblo-Spanish style architecture is anchored by the white towers of the San Felipe de Neri Church, which was built in 1793 and has walls that are five feet thick. They wanted to make sure that this one did not collapse like the original mission church. Several locations in Old Town are reputed to be haunted!

Church Street Cafe

Church Street Café is also known as Casa de Ruiz, which means House of Ruiz and is the oldest residence in Albuquerque and one of the oldest structures in the state of New Mexico. This was originally built a little after the founding of the town in 1706 by the Ruiz family. That ancestor is unfortunately unknown today, but the house remained in the possession of the Ruiz family until 1991, when the final Ruiz owner, Rufina G. Ruiz, passed away at the the age of 91. The home was an 18-room hacienda with the classic Spanish U-shape. The walls are very thick, more than two feet thick, which was normal for the time that it was built. This protected against both cold and heat. Since it was located near the Rio Grande River, adobe bricks called Terrones were used in construction. The floors were tile and the ceilings were 15 feet high with wooden beams and there was a traditional ceramic fireplace/oven. In 1920, a major flood washed away half of the house, but it was rebuilt. Marie Coleman bought the house when Rufina died and she had a different vision for the dwelling. Marie was a college student taking a break to explore Albuquerque when she spotted the house and fell in love. She offered half the asking price and it was accepted. She renovated it into an upscale restaurant that offers indoor and outdoor dining with the ambiance of strolling guitar music, but it still retains much of the original interior.

Marie was the first person to report strange happenings in the house. It's quite possible the spirit she experienced was Sara Ruiz, the mother of Rufina, because it wasn't happy about the changes. Sara had been known around Albuquerque as a curandera or witch healer. At first Marie didn't believe in ghosts. Then Marie heard a disembodied voice scream at her to get rid of the contractor. The voice literally screamed, "Get him out!" When workers would come in to do work, they would find their supplies and tools in a disarray. Buckets would be kicked over. The main contractor was Charlie Trujillo, who was a healer and a bit of a psychic. He told Marie that she needed to sit down in the great room and have a conversation with Sarah, telling her about her plans and that she was going to keep much of the house the way it was. This seemed to quiet Sarah for a time, After the restaurant opened, employees and patrons started having unexplained experiences as well. They would sometimes glimpse the image of a woman in a long black dress who would disappear after being seen. This mostly happened after hours.Sarah loves to engage in light battles. Employees will turn on the lights and Sarah will flick them off. She drops water glasses, throws silverware and turns over coffee cups, once this was done in front of an entire table of patrons. Sarah also likes to feed her none existent chickens outside and sometimes helps with making up tables.

There could be other spirits here as well. A china closet at the entrance has dolls inside that get moved around. One time a server was in the ladies room when she felt a negative presence enter the restroom. The door in the next stall slammed hard twice, scaring the employee. A window that wouldn't budge near the front of the house was found opened. When the guests sitting at the table near it were asked if they opened the window, they said "no." The waitress closed the window and when she returned to the table later, the window was opened once again. The patrons again said that they hadn't opened the window. A phone at the restaurant was hidden and never found. An employee got grabbed from behind by someone he couldn't see. Sarah seems to be no nonsense, so nobody thinks this was her spirit. On occasion, when the opener gets to the restaurant, they find the state of the interior as if someone threw a party over night.

Chapel of Our Lady of Guadalupe

The chapel was built by nuns who made the adobe bricks themselves. They were led by Dominican nun Sister Giotto. It was built to give the students of Sagrada Art Studios a suitable place to pray as a group. Sister Giotto made four colored glass windows for the chapel and calls them her most significant body of work. Three are in storage, but the fourth can be seen today to the left of the entryway and features a representation of the sun and moon phases. Six wooden benches line the adobe walls in the sanctuary with hand carved Scripture verses on the chair backs. Our Lady of Guadalupe is considered the Patroness of the Americas and because the Spanish and Native Americans love her, the chapel was dedicated to her. The chapel is often used for weddings. You can find it in the Patio Escondido Mall. 

The chapel is home to what people claim is the scariest ghost in Old Town. This is the Lady in Black. She is often seen as a full-bodied apparition dressed in black, sitting on a bench. She is seen praying, meditating and sobbing. Not sure why that makes her scary, other than she just appears and disappears out of nowhere. Jeff Steam wrote in a comment on YouTube, "I've seen her. I swear. I walked in and was woman in a black veil praying. I stepped out because I wanted to give her privacy and I had an odd feeling. She never came out. I went back in and no one was in there. I found it odd but figured I somehow missed her. It was very strange and spooky. A few years later I learned the story of the woman and was shocked. I told no one because they wouldn't believe me. Also this is a special place. But I swear that I saw her."

Old Town Cafe

The La Placita Dining Rooms was a restaurant that had once been the home of the Armijo family and even a trading post. Juan Nepomuceno Armijo built the family house in 1706. The Armijo family was powerful and prominent. Manuel Armijo, who had lived in the house, was the last Mexican governor of New Mexico. The house went into ruin for awhile and became a restaurant in the 1930s and the open-air patio was enclosed, although a large cottonwood tree does grow through the roof. An old staircase was imported from Spain, so it could be used during a wedding. The La Placita permanently closed and was bought by Michelle La Meres who opened the Old Town Cafe in the location in 2022. Employees claim to see the spirit of a little girl who is believed to have died in a bedroom in the late 1880s. Cold spots are felt and employees clear to hear their names called out by a disembodied voice. Customers have claimed to see a weird mist take shape over their tables and then dissipate. Patrons claim to see the face of a young woman in the ladies restroom when there is no young lady standing there.

Bottger Mansion

The Bottger Mansion was built by the man for whom it was named, Charles Bottger. He was born in New York City and eventually made his way to Albuquerque around 1893. He found work at the Sunnyside Tavern, which was owned by Tom Post. Bottger married Post's stepdaughter, Miguela, and thus he became the owner of the tavern when Post passed away. In 1909, the couple demolished the tavern and built the Bottger Mansion, which was completed in 1912. The mansion was designed by Edward Buxton Cristy in the American Foursquare style and had all the modern amenities of the time. That meant that the mansion was the first residence in Old Town Albuquerque to have gas lighting. The house had a dumbwaiter, pressed-tin ceilings, a coal-fired cnetral heater and a speaker system using tubes. And it had a basement, which is almost unheard of in Albuquerque. The mansion was called the “Pride of Old Town.” Bottger also owned one of the first cars in Albuquerque. Bottger died in 1914 and Miguela found herself having to turn the mansion into a boarding house to make ends meet.

One of the renters was Machine Gun Kelly who stayed here with his girlfriend and members of his gang. They used assumed names and had disguised themselves by dying their hair and wearing different clothing. The group would pay a local boy to go out and bring them food. This made Miguela suspicious and she called the police, but a member of the gang heard her making the call and everybody left before the authorities got there. Elvis Presley stayed at the Bottger with his bandmates, Bill Black and Scotty Moore in 1956 when they did two performances in Albuquerque. Frank Sinatra attended a wedding at the Bottger and performed in the courtyard. The property remained in the Bottger family until 1970 when family disputes over ownership led to it being sold. The mansion passed through several hands and served as a restaurant, art gallery, beauty parlor and then in 1989 it became a bed and breakfast and remains that today. It has been restored to its original form and its location on Historic Route 66 makes it a prime place to stay. This is the only lodging to be found in the Old Town Historic District.  Steve and Kathy Hiatt are the current owners and have been for fourteen years.

Charles Bottger loved his home and is said to remain in the afterlife. But he isn't the only one here. There is a spirit nicknamed "The Lover" who likes to sit on the bed of sleeping women and a sighing female ghost. And people have also described an older female ghost that people called "Grandmother." Amazingly, with so many spirits here, there is not much to be found of personal experiences.

Painted Lady Bed and Brew

If we are ever in New Mexico, we know where we are staying! First, the website is Second, there is a little cartoon female ghost holding a beer mug at the top of the website. And finally, this is a Bed and Brew - such a unique and novel concept! There are only a few of these unique establishments in America. The name Painted Lady was inspired by the working gals of the former establishment here. The original building was constructed in 1881 and ran as a saloon and brothel, playing witness to many shootouts and knife fights. It came under the ownership of Cesario ‘Sario’ Gonzales in 1899 and he operated it as the Swastika Saloon. Now hearing that immediately makes one think Nazis, but this was way before they came on the scene. This was a Navajo symbol that meant life and prosperity and good fortune. The saloon quickly became a place of ill repute. People knew it as a dance hall with a Wine Room. At the time, Wine Room was code for brothel. The brothel thrived with the town having five men to every woman. Unfortunately, this was a crib style brothel, which we have covered on other episodes. Basically a room big enough to fit a mattress was where the women worked. Many of them serviced 50 men a day.

This business wasn't illegal. As a matter of fact, prostitution was legal in New Mexico until 1914. So, of course, the brothel closed down after that *wink, wink.* It actually ran illegally until Prohibition. The saloon had its own song and made headlines in local papers all the time. There was “Four Wounded in Cutting Affray, One May Die”; “Saloon Keeper is bound over to grand jury”; “Hold Knife man for stabbing at Swastika Saloon”; and “Co. Commission hears roadhouse complaints.”Sario shut down the Swatstika Saloon when Prohibition started and he died before Prohibition was repealed. His son Charlie opened up Charlie's Grocery here in 1930. And uh, the brothel was still there. Charlie ran this combo business until the late 1970s. The property then became a triplex with three apartments. Jesse Herron bought the building in 2014 and did a complete renovation. The Painted Lady Bed and Brew opened on August 3, 2018.

There were thought to be four spirits in the Bed and Brew. Some may have been exorcised. The most haunted room here was said to be the owner’s suite and Herron has had several experiences. Herron said he made a deal with one of the spirits in his suite saying, "Leave me alone, and I’ll leave you alone." But Herron says the ghost didn't keep with the deal and started to torment Herron's dog making it "yelp in pain" and Herron noticed "bloody marks on his body, from being bitten or poked by something." We think this is what Herron describes as a Succubus on the website writing, "I blame my friend for dropping this lady demon off at my home. It was September 11th, 2017. We were headed out on a bike ride in the bosque. The house had been cleansed of “Bill” just a few months earlier and armed with a grid of black tourmaline in each corner of the apartment. Yet, something was back in the house. Murray would yelp in pain from his bed in my bedroom. After running in to check on him, he was staring with his ears up at a spot just over my bed. Then one night I remember sleeping and waking up to this very uncomfortable, disgusting feeling that consumed me. In my dream (I think) I saw a tall black shadow figure enter the bedroom and climb the walls, getting closer to me. I woke up in hysterics. I called the mediums the next day. After another demon trap session, they were unsuccessful in driving the entity into the trap. Rather, it left out the window (to likely end up in someone else's home). This time, they informed me that unlike Bill, this thing was never human--it was a succubus."

Herron shares his first experience, "This was the first eye-opening ghost experience for me at the brothel. It was the summer of 2014. In the middle of the night, while sleeping on my stomach, something was on top of me forcing me down into the bed. I remember being angry at first that it was trying to force me down. But, once it was over, I remember being so excited to tell everybody about the ghost that made actual physical contact."

Another experience in 2015 for Herron was, "My mom was helping me put the final touches on a room (mere hours prior to the first guests arriving back in October 2015). It was a real rush and I was dealing with a tremendous amount of stress and pressure. I remember attaching handles on the kitchen cabinets in the Lizzie Suite. My mom had the job of removing packing tape from the refrigerator shelves. I will never forget her looking over at me and saying “what did you just say?” I, of course, had said nothing. She told me that a man’s voice said to her “can you grab me a beer?”

And then there is Bill, which Herron says, "Bill, as this spirit was known, was present when I bought the home in 2014. A person related to the original family informed me that the owner’s suite was haunted. He told me that when the property was a hotel, a jealous husband (Bill) took an ax to his lover and his lover's lover when he caught them in the act in this room. Unbeknownst to me, Bill was fairly upset that I bought the home and spent a year or so making his distaste for me clear. A Buddhist priestess cleared the home of two spirits in 2014 after the home became almost uninhabitable. Bill was the lone spirit that stuck around. I remember thinking that we had an understanding: I would stay out of his way and he would stay out of mine. This was not the case. When the paranormal activity reached a peak during the summer of 2017, I called two new mediums to force the spirit out. Bill was successfully exorcised via a demon trap on June 14, 2017." They offer a Brews and Boos package, so this place embraces their ghosts!

High Noon Restaurant and Saloon

The High Noon Restaurant & Saloon is a veteran owned restaurant serving up wild game, steak and margaritas. It officially opened in July of 1974 by the Villa family and has stayed in the family from its inception. The original part of the building was constructed in the 1750s and was a home for several years. Then it served as a saloon and brothel. Carlos and Felicitas Vigil were married in 1910 and moved into the house in 1920. At the time, Felicitas was pregnant with the couples third child. Their youngest, Willie, died five months after moving in from gastritis. The baby was born and was another son named Ernesto and he passed away after his first birthday. Felicitas was soon pregnant again and gave birth to a girl who also passed away at just two months from pneumonia. Another baby was stillborn. That's four kids in a row. Carlos then came down with Syphilis and let's just say that Felicitas didn't give it to him. She had him committed to the New Mexico Hospital for the Insane where he passed away in 1927. Felicitas passed away in 1959 and the property passed to her surviving children who held onto it until it was bought by the Villas and turned into the restaurant. For a time in the 1960s, this was a furniture store and then an apartment. A sixteen-year-old, Freddy Moya, was fatally stabbed at a New Year's Eve party happening down the street in 1951. The Moya family had lived across the street from the High Noon restaurant.

Patrons and employees have experienced unexplained activity. Bartenders have seen glasses move or go crashing to the floor. The activity is so intense here that Dead Files visited in July of 2015. Steve was told that employees and patrons had been experiencing electrical problems, weird noises, objects moving, apparitions have been seen and people had been touched. Employees have had to have their schedules changed because they don't want to close at night. The current owner, Carla, is the daughter of the man who opened the restaurant and she took Steve behind the bar and told him that she often feels something breathing on the back of her neck. What made this even more unusual is that she has long hair and she told Steve that she feels it through her hair. Carla's fifteen-year-old daughter is pretty scared of the spirits. She was once sitting in the dining room by herself playing a video game when she heard a woman crying out in agony. The scariest thing that has happened to her is that she got trapped in the women's restroom. She tried opening the door and she felt like something was pushing back against it. She kicked the door to get out.

Charley is Carla's sixteen-year-old son. He feels very uncomfortable in the restaurant at night. He once saw a cowboy sitting on the last seat at the bar wearing a brown trench coat and a cowboy hat. This was at 8 o'clock in the morning and the restaurant wasn't opened yet. Charley thought it was strange, but maybe someone had let him in early. Charley went through the bar to the gallery and when he looked back, the cowboy was gone. On another occasion, Charley was passing through a hallway and looked through these double doors and saw a woman floating with no arms and no legs! He was so startled, he had an anxiety attack.

Shirley is Carla's mother and for the first 32 years of ownership, she said that she had no personal experiences. Then one night she opened a door and stepped into one of the dining rooms and she immediately saw an apparition on the other side of the room that came at her very quickly and passed right through her. She felt this icy feeling like nothing she had ever experienced before. Shirley described her as being small. She also told Steve that they had two different electric companies come out to work on light issues they were having with lights flickering and neither company found anything wrong.

Amy picked up on a lot of residual energy she described as "lots of men and pandemonium, people drinking and partying and getting crazy." Amy said the effect of all this energy would be claustrophobic and make people feel dizzy. Amy felt as though somebody had gotten stabbed to death when she was behind the bar and this spirit has a lot of pain and sticks to the bar. This pain seems to transfer to other people. Amy picked up on the name Frankie and said this victim had been stabbed twice, once in the front and once in the back. That is how Freddy died. In one of the storerooms, Amy felt the spirit of a murderer. Amy picked up on a short, heavier woman who presented as a busy body who was in her forties and new to the being dead thing. This little woman gets very angry because people ignore her. She tends to mess with the electrical stuff. It would seem that she is Felicitas.

A town marshal, Milton Yarberry, was hanged down the street from the restaurant. He had been a murderer and was a bad dude. People lined the streets to cheer his execution. They even sold tickets for people to get rooftop views. More than likely, the restaurant had people standing up on their roof watching this as well. Amy picked up on this energy outside the restaurant and could hear a lot of men yelling and see a man being walked through the streets. This could leave some bad energy in the whole of Old Town. 

Old Town also has many spirits that just wander the streets. People claim to see the spirits of Civil War soldiers and other apparitions. Hundreds of years of non-indigenous history is captured along the streets of Old Town. Imagine how much indigenous history that we don't even know has taken place here too. Is Old Town Albuquerque haunted? That is for you to decide!

Show Notes:

Ghost tour of Old Town:

Thursday, December 22, 2022

HGB Ep. 466 - Legendary Roads

Moment in Oddity - Sultan Kosen

Some of you may recall us talking about Robert Waldlow, also known as the Alton Giant or the Giant of Illinois. He still holds the record for tallest man at 8ft 11in to this day. However, there is a current day giant by the name of Sultan Kosen (Sul-TAHN KOH-sen), who is a farmer and hails from Turkey. Sultan recently celebrated his 40th birthday at 'Ripley's Believe it or Not' in Orlando, just down the road from us. Sultan stands 8ft 3in tall. In 2010, he underwent a procedure at the University of Virginia medical school for a tumor on his pituitary gland. Sultan was also put on medication to control his excessive growth hormones. This protocol effectively halted Sultan's continual growth. If he had not had access to modern medicine there is no telling just how tall this man may have grown to be. To date there have only been ten reliable cases in history documenting a person reaching 8 feet tall or more. Sultan stated, "After that day,(describing the day he was announced as the world's tallest living man), I was born. Before that, I was a very silent person. Now, I can talk. I'm happy. I'm funny. I enjoy my life." To date, Kosen has visit 127 countries and it's heart-warming to hear how his newly found fame has enriched his life. But one must concede, that being able to palm and dunk a basketball into a regulation height basket, without even standing on ones tippy toes, certainly is odd. 

This Month in History - Gone With the Wind premiere

In December, on the 15th, in 1939, Gone With the Wind premiered in Atlanta at Loew's Grand Theater. This star-studded event was a notable occasion in Atlanta, Georgia's history. The gala hosted Vivien Leigh and Clark Gable, amongst many rich and famous. It is estimated that around 300 thousand Atlantans and visitors lined up for seven miles to view the limos transporting the stars to the theater. It has been said that after the Hollywood press preview, Producer Selznick was quoted saying of the movie, "At noon I think it's divine, at midnight I think it's lousy. Sometimes I think it's the greatest picture ever made. But if it's only a great picture, I'll still be satisfied." One thing is for certain, despite that May-December romance between Scarlett, at a mere 16 years of age to Rhett's 30 something, the movie is iconic. We are positive that there are very few people of a certain age that don't know that oh-so-famous line. "Frankly my dear, I don't give a damn." 

Legendary Roads

We all know that certain road. The one that everyone claims no one should drive along at night. There are rumors of haunted houses, witches, zombies, cannibals and cryptids along these roads. And it seems that every state has one or more of them. Most of these lanes are cloaked in darkness and twist and turn dangerously. Many aren't paved. Roads just seem to attract spirits. Is it because of the accidents or the locations dotting the road side? It's most likely a combination of the two. On this episode, we are going to feature some legendary roads.

Clinton Road 

Clinton Road is located in West Milford, New Jersey and runs for ten miles. The road was named for a settlement that had once been here. This road once had an entire issue of Weird NJ dedicated to it if that tells us anything. The area along the road is mainly undeveloped with few houses and mostly publicly owned woods. Parts of it had been unpaved for years and it receives little maintenance. This makes it the perfect spot for legends and it has many of them. There is a reservoir that is fed by a brook and a bridge goes over this brook. It is said that if you throw a coin into the reservoir from this bridge or if you put a quarter in the middle of the road where the yellow line is at this bridge, the coin will come back to it. And its brought back by the spirit of a boy who is said to have drowned in the reservoir. But be careful not to look over the bridge because the ghost boy might push you in thinking he is saving you from being run over by a car. Many of these roads claim to have Satanic activity occurring along them and Clinton Road is no different. One of the places they like to gather is at Cross Castle. This was built in 1905 by Richard J. Cross, but no longer stands as it was burned down in 1919. There had been a few stone walls still intact, but they were torn down in 1988, so only the foundation remains. People claim to see strange lights along the road that have even followed cars. This is sometimes blamed on phantom vehicles like a truck or a Camaro that follow the cars. There have also been reports of UFO activity. Something that isn't a legend is that on May 14, 1983, the body of Daniel Deppner was found by a cyclist using the road. Daniel had been wrapped inside a green garbage bag. His murderer was Richard Kuklinski who was eventually charged and convicted of his murder.

The Dead Zone 

The Dead Zone is a part of a major interstate in Central Florida. Interstate 4 snakes from West to East across Florida and is used by millions of tourists every year. A small section of road is a bridge over the large St. John's River. It is this bridge and a portion of the area at the end of the bridge that has been dubbed "The Dead Zone." The Dead Zone is said to be haunted by four souls who received an improper burial and were unceremoniously built over when the interstate was installed. Could it be their vengeance that has caused this stretch of road to not only be haunted, but to be a dangerous place to drive?

Sanford, Florida was established in 1877. The original people to settle here were the Mayaca Tribe. European settlement nearly decimated the tribe and they left. These earlier settlers brought with them indentured servants from Sweden and it would be these immigrants who would do most of the hard labor to grow the vast orange groves that Florida would become famous for in the future. The colony that was built near the future I-4 was fairly small. The settlers called it Saint Joseph’s Colony, and it was a religious settlement led by Father Felix Prosper Swembergh. Ten years after it was established a large fire destroyed most of the settlement. Life got even worse for those who decided to stay and rebuild. An historic freeze wiped out the orange industry that year and Yellow fever swept through the few families still at the colony. The site was abandoned, leaving behind a farmhouse and the graves of those hit by the Yellow Fever epidemic. Father Swembergh had been sent to Tampa before the disease killed the last of the colonists. He himself contracted the dreaded disease and died while in Tampa. This left no one to give last rites and a proper burial to the last few colonists who died of the fever. This included four people who were considered to have no absolution when buried.

Several years later, a farmer named Al Hawkins bought a large portion of the former colony's land and he began clearing it for farming. As he did that he came upon the headstones of the small family graveyard. There were four small wooden grave markers that were nearly rotted away. He felt that the right thing to do would be to build a little fence around the graves and leave that plot of land alone. He called it "The Field of the Dead” and it was left alone until Al died in 1939. His widow still owned the land when the state decided that it needed to build an interstate to service all the tourists coming to town. In the 1950s, she sold the land and surveyors came out to start marking off the area for the interstate. They found the graves sitting right in the middle of where they planned to put the super highway. Obviously, when money is to be made, four old graves don't amount to much and it was decided to remove the headstones and build over the graves. And as you can probably already guess, they didn't bother moving the bodies. One of the engineer even remarked,“It’s not an ancient Indian burial ground, they’re just a few old bones." We all know that disrespecting bones is usually not a good thing.

Construction began and the graves were plowed over, leading to the legend about a curse that seems to be connected to I-4 and has lead to it being nicknamed "The Dead Zone." Hurricane Donna would be one of the most deadly hurricanes to hit Florida and it crossed right over the middle of the state on the day construction began. Many people were killed and millions of dollars in damage to property occurred. The interstate construction zone was completely flooded and it would be months before the building could continue. The interstate was finally finished and has become a popular way for people to travel across the state. The section that runs over the St. Johns River though is considered to be one of the most haunted sections of highway in America. At the end of the bridge is reputedly where the four graves where buried over. There are rumors and legends of people seeing ghostly apparitions wearing pioneer era clothing standing on the edge of the highway. One trucker reported, "He was wearing odd clothes, kind of tattered and certainly out of style - he wore a round hat with a wide brim, like the actor in Little House on the Prairie. But the thing I remember most was his color...He looked as if a bluish light was being shined on him, and when I passed him, I looked back, and would you believe it? He was gone!" The trucker described the apparitions eyes as being empty sockets.

Many drivers report pulling over for sickly looking hitchhikers who just disappear. Drivers also have claimed to have weird electrical disturbances. Ghostly voices have been heard coming over the radio and these sometimes are even heard through CBs and cell phones. People claim to hear voices crackling over the static of the radios and the voices call out “Who’s there?” or “Why?” At other times, the eerie echo of girls giggling comes across the radio. There is much disruption of cell signals and radio waves in the Dead Zone as well. Some might claim that these disruptions could be because of cell towers, but there are no cell phone antennas or even radio antennas in the area. This is a swampy marshy area along a very large river and not a good place for such things to be located.

Add to the weird ghostly experiences, the rumors about the curse. There is an unusually high number of traffic accidents on this section of road. We've been across it many times without incident, but we can attest to the fact that this is a straight and wide bridge and so accidents should not be common. In other words, this is not a particularly dangerous patch of road when it comes to the engineering. Between 1995 and 1997, there were 44 crashes that injured 65 people on this stretch of I-4. Add those numbers together, and you get 109 — the exact age of the graves in the year 1996. Coincidence? We don't believe in those around here. But most troubling is the fact that since 1963, 2,000 accidents have happened on this section of road.

Annie's Road

Annie's Road is officially known as Riverview Drive and located in Totowa, New Jersey. This road runs 20 miles along the Totowa side of the Passaic River and can be a dangerous road with tight turns and a steep hillside on one side of the road and the Passaic on the other. The road is remote and heavily wooded. Obviously, it gets its nickname from a woman. Annie appears as a Woman in White and her story is that she and her boyfriend were driving home after a party in the 1960s when they got in a fight. Annie's boyfriend kicked her out of the car on Riverview Drive and she got lost. Then she was struck by a large pickup truck, her dress was tangled up in the truck and she was dragged for awhile on her face and then died. Another version that is closer to the truth is that Annie was walking home from prom along the road and was hit by a vehicle. Every year after that, people started seeing what looked like red paint on the road. Annie is said to be a ghost that tries to distract drivers so they crash their cars. And there have been severe auto accidents here.  People also claim to see orbs, strange fog and they claim to hear disembodied screams. Electrical things experience failure on the road too. 

Moody's Road

Moody's Road is home to Moody's Light and runs between the towns of Rensselar and Francesville in Indiana. Moody was a farmer who came home one day to find his wife and two daughters murdered. The police were not able to find the murderer. This left Moody depressed and he searched the property every night for the killer by carrying around a lantern. Eventually, Moody ended his life at the end of a rope from a tree near the farm. From that time, people have claimed to see a mysterious floating light on the property, especially on the road. Another older story claims that two brothers were going down the road in their horse and buggy when one brother fell off and was decapitated by a wheel. The brother used a lantern to search for the head and it is still seen today, especially when the corn fields are cleared.

This story was shared on the angelfire webwite, "We visited Moody Road on April 11, 2003. It was 50 degrees outside with clear skies and quite breezy. We really had know idea what this light was going to look like. We had never seen a picture of it and the stories that we had heard is that it chases you and it moves from side to side. So we started off at the intersection of Meridian and Division facing South. We flashed our lights three times and drove the 1.5 miles down to the end of Meridian. We turned around and found this tree stump (it was hard to find, especially at night, it's right past the tree that is still there on the same side). We parked at the tree stump and flashed our lights three times again. Then we looked North and we saw this orangish light. It looked like a street light. And we thought it could be except it would go away and then come back every so often. The light would go from orange to red and from big to small. It never got any closer or any farther away from where it was at. Thinking ahead and being smart (like always) we brought a pair of binoculars to get a closer view of the light. When we looked though the binoculars we could see three different lights. Then it would be four, then sometimes it would be two or one and then sometimes nothing. When we didn't use the binoculars the three or four lights look like one single light, just brighter. People have said that the light is just lights from the cars going down Highway 49 (since Highway 49 is a about two miles almost directly north of Meridian Road) and some have even said it's swamp gas. We drove down to the end of Meridian so we could get the best look at the light. It still seemed to be pretty far away. Since that was as far as the road went we got the best picture we could of the light. We still have know idea what causes this light. We are pretty sure that it isn't a ghost, but other than that we really have know idea. We might have to go back there and find out the real cause of the light.  

Username Jnormanii wrote on the Ghost Village website, "I've been there a couple of times. That tree that Moody supposedly hung himself from is now a stump that has satanic symbols carved into it. Satanists used to hang animals from that tree so they cut it down to a stump. The first time I went there was like a scary movie. We had trouble finding the place because all of the roads there look the same. All gravel roads with corn fields on each side. We got to this old church that was converted into a home to ask for directions. This old woman answered the door and we asked how to find Moody's Road. In an eerie voice she said "oh, you don't want to go there. That place is evil." Then either her sister or friend came and said "yeah, that place is evil. You don't want to really go there, do you?" So they gave us directions but again warned us. There's this gravel road called Moody Road. You get about a hundred feet or so away from that stump. It is suggested to flash your lights three times but both times I've been there we didn't need to. There's a soft incline about 150 yds ahead. First there was a yellowish light that looked to be coming from an old fashioned lantern. It would get closer slowly. Then we saw another light. A green one that was also coming closer very slowly. The lights came over that little hill in the road. We tried to chase down that light but as the legend says, you can't catch it. At the end of the road is absolutely nothing. There's a dropoff into a field of nothing and there is no source for that light that can be explained. Whether or not the legend is real, the lights definitely are."

Sandhill Road

There is a stretch of Sandhill Road between Olive Avenue and Charleston Boulevard in Las Vegas that is said to be the most haunted road in Nevada. There are underground tunnels here under Highway 85 and claims that a dead couple haunt the tunnels, whispering and moaning throughout. They were said to have died in an accident at the tunnels. The apparition of an old woman chases cars down an adjacent dirt road. People who visit the location feel nauseous.

Ortega Ridge Road

Ortega Ridge Road is located on the Central Coast of California between the Santa Ynez Mountains and the Pacific Ocean and is home to Las Tres Hermanas. These three women, specifically nuns, go back to California's Gold Rush. Legend claims they were killed by highway bandits on the road. Drivers who have seen the nuns describe them as wearing nun clothing with their hands folded in prayer and their eyes have a bluish glow, which counters their pale white faces. They walk along the street.

Zombie Road

Zombie Road is located in the city of Wildwood near St. Louis, Missouri and is known technically as Lawler Ford Road. This is actually a series of trails now and impassible by cars. Many years ago it had been paved, but eventually just became dirt and gravel. This road was laid to give access to the Meramec River and railroad tracks that ran along the river. The Glencoe Marble Company worked the limestone deposits in the area, meaning this place is surrounded in limestone. This road has always been considered a spooky place and has always been dark because of the dense woods. The nickname for the road came from a killer named the Zombie who was said to live in an old shack by the river. Legend claims he would attack young lovers who made their way down the road as it became the local Lover's Lane. Another story claims a man was killed by a train in the 1970s. People claim to see his apparition covered in blood. There is no record of this, but a woman named Della Hamilton stepped out in front of a train and was killed in 1876. Reports of a forlorn female spirit may be her. People are said to disappear in the woods. The wet spirit of a little boy is sometimes seen near the road and stories claim that he died when he fell from a bluff and drowned in the river. Native American spirits are seen and of course, we have our escaped mental patients here too, and we're sure one of them has a hook for a hand. The stories for Zombie Road go on and on, but some people really have had unexplained experiences here.

Allex Matuszek was walking along the Meramec Greenway in 2013 with her aunt when they experienced something she couldn't explain. It was night and the two women heard a sound they would never forget that resembled a high-pitched squeal that a teenage girl would make and then Allex felt a sharp pain on her leg. The two women ran out of the woods and when Allex got home, she discovered scratches on her leg. The strange thing was that she was wearing layers of clothing and none of the clothing was torn. She said, "I don’t know any physical possible way I would have gotten scratched without there being some kind of marking on my half-chap leathers or markings on my pants or socks. No tears, no nothing."

Haynesville Woods 

Haynesville Woods is officially known as Route 2A and is located in Aroostook County in Massachusetts. This is a curvy road that can be treacherous to drive down. For years, semi trucks loaded with potatoes would make their way down the road, but loads of accidents, especially in winter, have made other roads look much more appealing. This one has been dubbed a death trap. A song has even been written about it by country singer Dick Curless called "A Tombstone Every Mile." There are a couple of ghosts seen here. One is a little girl spirit who is said to belong to a ten-year-old who lost her life when she was walking along the road in the 1960s and was hit by a semi-truck. There is also the apparition of a screaming woman who people claim is yelling at cars that her husband is trapped in a car. The story goes that she and her husband were in a car accident that killed them both. 

Stagecoach Road

Stagecoach Road in Marshall, Texas is a an old red dirt road that is pretty creepy because it is overgrown with branches that block the light. As the name indicates, this was a road for a stagecoach line that ran from Shreveport to East Texas. People who drive the road at night claim that the apparition of a woman in a long white dress is seen walking across the road. There is also a ghostly stagecoach that makes its way down the road and disappears. And the church near the road that has the historical marker for the road is nicknamed Devil's Church. And there are cryptids like Bigfoot, Goatman and even the Chupacabra. In 2018, a woman named Stephenie Watson wrote on Facebook, "So last night, we took a Jeep-Run down Stage Coach Road Marshall TX to Karnack TX and in no way did I have any idea until this morning what many have said about this road. I only recorded a small bit just for memory purposes, and this footage does not justify, by any means, how dusty it was. This morning we went out to clean the Jeep and we are blown away by the child's handprint on the driver's side. At no point was a child anywhere near our vehicle during the ride to have touched it, especially not during the dusty parts of the drive. (We washed and dried our Jeep before the ride!) I am now doing my research and I am finding that not only has this happened to others, but many claim to have witnessed more than just handprints."

Prospector's Road

Just off of Highway 49 there is a road called Marshall Road and Prospector Road comes off of that road and runs for about three miles from Coloma to Garden Valley. Prospector's Road got its start during the Gold Rush in the 1800s and several miners lost their lives along it. One story claims that a drunk miner bragged about his claim in a saloon one night and he was later ambushed that night by a couple of other miners who heard the boast. They murdered him to get his claim. This miners ghost is said to haunt the road and has been seen by both drivers and hikers. Witnesses describe him as being tall with a scraggly beard and torn clothing suitable for a miner. He hovers above the ground and is semi-transparent, which is how people know this is a ghost. The spirit sometimes says, "Get off my claim." The apparition has caused a couple of accidents on the road and local homeowners even claim that he enters their homes on occasion. He likes to spook pets, leave the front door wide open and move objects around.

Jack Cole Road (Suggested by Emilee Duke)

Jack Cole Road is located in Hayden, Alabama. This is said to be incredibly haunted and that's not surprising since there are at least sixty-eight recorded deaths connected to the road. And there are many legends as well with many people claiming that the road is cursed. The road is unpaved and surrounded by woods, but once had a hospital located near the half-mile stretch of road. A cholera outbreak left sixty people at this hospital dead. At least that is what is claimed by locals, but their is no indication that a hospital was ever here. There was a log cabin here and some hunters once found the mummified body of a female inside. Rumors started that she was a witch and that is why the road was cursed. Ghost lights have been seen on the road and people claim to see them dart among the trees. A cryptid described as looking like Bigfoot or a half-man, half-wolf has been seen. One of the other deaths was said to be a local fruit grower who was hit in the head with an ax and left at the end of the road in the 1960s. His killer was never caught. Some other events are fairly current. 

In 2003, a famous civil rights photographer who lived along the road claimed that he saw strange things in his house and he was later found dead in his home. No details can be found like who the photographer was or what he died from. And in 2015, a 52-year-old woman named Lisa Weaver who lived along the road, went missing. Her home burned to the ground and people thought she had burned up in the fire, but after firefighters went through it, Weaver was nowhere to be found. The remains of her three dogs were found in the debris. Even stranger was that Weaver was disabled and would have been unable to just runaway. On top of that, her son had texted her right before the fire started letting her know he was on his way home and she had texted him back. There was no indication that she was leaving the house. The cause of the fire remains unknown and Weaver is still missing. Don't bother trying to check out this cursed road as a sinkhole opened up on it, making it impassable.

U.S. Route 44 

A stretch of U.S. Route 44 through Rehoboth, Massachusetts is home to a hitchhiking ghost. This spirit is said to be six-feet tall with red hair and a beard and he is wearing a flannel jacket. Sometimes he appears just along the road and other times he pops up inside of cars. His most terrifying appearance is when he just shows up in the middle of the road in front of a car leaving the driver thinking that they have run him over. One driver said that he was doing about 40 mph when all of a sudden the face of the redheaded man was pressed against his windshield and then just vanished. Sometimes people just hear his disembodied laughter. Nobody knows his story. Drivers also claim to have technical difficulties in their cars when going through this patch of road with radios just picking up static or cell phones losing power. Strange mutated animals are said to have been seen along the road as well. 

Owaissa Street

Owaissa Street is in Appleton, Wisconsin and runs along Riverside Cemetery. The most seen ghostly activity reported here claims that the ghosts of past mourners dressed in old-fashioned clothing are seen on the road. Legends claim that people see the spirit of Kate Blood here and that she had been a witch, but there is nothing that backs up that claim.

Archer Avenue

Probably one of the most famous haunted roads is Archer Avenue, which is located near Chicago, Illinois. This is a road that Diane has actually been on as she searched for Resurrection Mary. The road runs seven miles between a church and Resurrection Cemetery, which is reputedly the final resting spot for Resurrection Mary. Diane got to see and photograph the Willowbrook Ballroom before it burned down in 2016. The site has been set aside for condminiums, but those have never been built and so there is only an empty parking lot here now. This glorious dance hall started off as an open-air pavilion that opened in 1921 as the Oh Henry Ballroom - and yes, it was named for the candy who bought the rights. It was destroyed by fire in 1930. The ballroom was rebuilt as an enclosed facility and became even more popular, hosting the likes of Ozzie and Harriet Nelson, Count Basie, Frank Sinatra, Doris Day, Guy Lombardo, Jimmy Dorsey, and the Glenn Miller Orchestra. This was the last place that Resurrection Mary was seen alive. She had gone to a dance at the ballroom with a young man, but the couple quarreled and Mary ended up walking home. She was killed in a hit-and-run. Now drivers on Archer Road claim to see a young woman walking along the road in a dress from the 1930s. Some people offer her a ride, but she usually disappears shortly after getting into the car. 

But that's not the only haunting going on along this road. There are claims of phantom monks along the road. They are thought to be connected to the St. James at Sag Bridge Church, which is located at 10600 Archer Avenue. The site was originally a French fort because it sat on a hill with the church being founded in 1833. Drivers claim to see figures roaming the field near the church and chanting in Latin while carrying candles. The church never had any monks, so we're not sure where this story comes from. But there is another haunting tale connected to the church. This story dates back to September 30, 1897 and was reported in the Chicago Tribune. The tale features two musicians, Professor William Looney and John Kelly, whom had performed at a former dance hall along the road and they decided to overnight at the hall. They were awakened in the middle of the night by the sounds of a horse and carriage on the dirt road outside. The Professor looked out a window and saw the carriage come up the road to the entrance way where it stopped and then turned around. He then saw a girl in a white robe appear out of nowhere and she got into the coach with the driver. The coach pulled away and then disappeared. People believed this was the spirit of a girl who was a housekeeper at the rectory and she had fallen in love with an assistant to the priest in the early 1880's. The couple decided to elope and he came along with a wagon and horses to pick her up. She called out to him and spooked the horses who bolted as she was trying to board. The wagon overturned and killed the couple. They were buried together in the church's cemetery.

Boy Scout Lane & Bloody Bride Bridge

A bridge along Highway 66 in Stevens Point, Wisconsin is known as Bloody Bride's Bridge. Local legend claims that a bride was killed in an accident here and that her apparition now haunts the road. Just off the highway is Boy Scout Lane where allegedly a troop of Boy Scouts disappeared. There doesn't seem to be any truth to the story, but that doesn't stop people from telling that story or any of a number of other versions. There's the one that claims the Scoutmaster killed the whole troop. Or the one that says the bus driver did the deed. And then there's the dropped lantern that caused a fire that killed the troop. But again, there's no proof. The land was once owned by the Boy Scouts of America and they had plans to build a camp, which is why the road got the name, but the camp was never built. People claim to hear the disembodied laughter of children in the woods and to get an overwhelming feeling of being watched. Disembodied footsteps are heard and the unnerving snapping of branches.

Shades of Death Road

Shades of Death Road is a two-lane rural road located in Warren County in New Jersey. This road is seven miles long and is always dark because of all the low hanging branches. And those branches may be why this road is haunted. They were used for lynchings. Because of all the deaths along the road, it went from being called Shade Road to Shades of Death. The area was also the scene of an epidemic of malaria in the 1850s that killed many people. The road is plagued by tons of tales. There is Ghost Lake along the road where people have had sightings of mysterious, moving bodies near this lake. A small cave near the lake is called The Fairy Hole. Shards of Lenape pottery have been found in it leading archaeologists to believe that the cave was used for overnight stays while traveling and that possibly a burial or two may have happened here. The spirits of Native Americans have been seen near the lake. Cat Swamp is said to be home to a pack of vicious cats. Lenape Lane runs eastward off of Shades of Death and apparitions are seen along this road that is always enveloped in a weird fog. An orb of white light appears at the end of the road and has been known to chase cards out of the lane and back to Shades of Death Road. And a strange story from Weird NJ claims that in the 1990s hundreds of Polaroid photographs were found scattered in the woods near the road. The pictures featured the blurred image of a woman looking in distress. The local police began an investigation that never found anything and the pictures mysteriously disappeared.

Kelly Road

Kelly Road stretches for two miles in Ohioville, Pennsylvania and is also know as "Mystery Mile." Legend claims that Native Americans cursed the road after the land was taken from them. The road curves through dense forest patches and is said to have a bad aura. Strange sounds are heard, mysterious figures are seen and docile animals are said to become vicious when on the road. An its not just animals. People suddenly lose their temper on the road.There are rumors of cult rituals in the woods near the road too.

Jeremy Swamp Road

Jeremy Swamp Road is in Southbury, Connecticut and is responsible for causing many cars to stall. When drivers get out to check under the hood, the weirdness really gets started. There are stories of people simply disappearing. Tow truck drivers arrive on scene and can't find the drivers. Legends claim that these people have been attacked and carried off by Melon Heads, which are cryptid humanoids that also make appearances in the lore of Ohio and Michigan.

Route 666 

U.S. Route 491 sounds like a pretty tame stretch of road until one hears the nickname, the Devil’s Highway. The highway has that nickname because when it was first established, it was actually Route 666. The route got that number because it was the sixth branch of historic Route 66. It was established in 1926 and ran for nearly 200 miles. The name change came in 2003 when the states of Colorado, Utah, Arizona and New Mexico decided they wanted to get away from the stigma of having it as the number of the beast in the Bible. That didn't change the reputation of this Highway to Hell. People still claim to see ghosts along the route like faceless hitchhikers and some witnesses have even seen hell hounds who will chase the cars. Hell hounds are supernatural dogs that represent death in some cultures. There are also claims of skinwalkers. There is other strange phenomenon like orbs, UFOs and time loss. There is good reason for this road to be haunted. There have been numerous accidents along it. The ghost of a girl in a white nightgown is seen. A flaming semi has been seen that just disappears. Another female ghost runs out into traffic and disappears once hit. And the stories go on and on.

Road trips are a ton of fun. For some like us, including a haunted road on the route is even more fun. Could some of these legends we shared with you be true? Are any of these roads haunted? That is for you to decide!

Thursday, December 15, 2022

HGB Ep. 465 - Lehmann House Bed & Breakfast

Moment in Oddity - Dumpster Diving

Dumpster diving is a term most of us are familiar with. Sometimes the words are describing the act of pulling a cast-off item from the trash to rework it into something creative, be it artwork or repurposing. In the case of a husband in New Hampshire, it was with a sentimental and monetary purpose that he went dumpster diving into 20 tons of garbage. Thankfully, the man was aided at his local garbage transfer station by their team and an excavator. Luckily, there was an identifying item that assisted the men in finding the correct garbage bag out of those 20 tons of trash. The identifying item was a celery stalk. There had been celery in the trash bag the man had disposed of and one bag was seen with a stalk protruding from it. The poor husband sifted through the bag and stated that the ring was not there. However, an employee said, "No, there's a couple little pieces left". The employee then pulled a napkin out of the bottom of the bag and lo-and-behold, within that crumpled, cloaking capsule, lay the ring that the husband had placed on his bride's finger, years before. Without a doubt, unexpected treasures can be found by dumpster diving, but old celery leading a person to a treasure such as a lost wedding ring, certainly is odd.

This Month in History - Glenn Miller's Death

In‌ December, on the 15th, in 1944, Major Alton Glenn Miller was declared dead after having gone MIA during a military flight over the English Channel. The trombone playing composer, conductor and American big band founder is most famously recognized for music synonymous with the "Big Band Era" of the 1930s and 40s. Glenn Miller and His Orchestra was an American band he formed with other musicians in 1938. His music has come to be known as the soundtrack of the World War II era as well as the 'Swing Dance' generation. Miller began professionally recording music in New York City in the 1920s. Over the years his music writing skills evolved, as did the members of his orchestra. After signing with Bluebird Records, Miller's band struck enormous success playing the Glen Island Casino on the north shore of Long Island Sound in New Rochelle, New York. Glenn Miller's chart topping success in such a short period of time has rarely been matched. Cue "In The Mood"...

Lehmann House Bed & Breakfast

The Lehmann House Bed and Breakfast is located at No. 10 Benton Place in St. Louis, Missouri. This is in the historic Lafayette Square neighborhood. The home has been the residence for a couple of prominent families in St. Louis and then fell into a bit of disrepair as it served as a rental property. In the 1990s it was restored and turned into a bed and breakfast and continues to be that today. This not only hosts tourists to the city, but also a couple of ghosts and they embrace their haunted reputation. Join us as we explore the history and hauntings of the Lehmann House Bed and breakfast.

Lafayette Square is St. Louis' oldest historic district. The Gateway Arch is within walking distance and downtown St. Louis is just three blocks north. There are a number of Victorian homes here and a walk through this neighborhood stuns the architectural and historical senses. The first thing that catches the eye are the colors of hue. They are abundantly rich in greens, purples and blues. Better Homes and Gardens named this neighborhood as one of the nation’s 12 prettiest painted places in 2012. And then there is the architecture, which features mainly Second Empire styling with arched doorways and windows and mansard roofs and ornate cornices. There are also homes designed with Germanic influence and Italianate style. Lafayette Park is the anchor to this urban oasis and was dedicated in 1851, making it the oldest urban park west of the Mississippi. Initially it was part of St. Louis Commons and was set aside as Lafayette Square, later changing to its current name. The name Lafayette is in honor of the Marquis de La Fayette. The commons was a place for livestock grazing and criminals. Thieves used the cover to rob travelers. Turning this into a park and selling off lots around it, not only drove out the crime, but made this an affluent area. Homes started going up in the early 1850s and continued through the 1880s. The Daily Democrat wrote on June 27, 1870, "In looking about the city and noting its improvements, we have been struck with the great progress attained in the vicinity of Lafayette Park. Within two years some of the finest residences in the city have been erected and the work is still going on. The beauty of the grounds, the elevation above the city, the character of the buildings, the beautiful shade trees, wide streets, and accessibility to the city by two lines of horse cars, the restrictions (by Statute) upon the erection of objectionable buildings or the carrying on of objectionable business, all combined should make this quarter the most desirable in the city for residence." And then came the tornado of 1896.

This came to be known as the Great Cyclone of 1896. The twister made its way across Shaw's Gardens and then headed up toward Compton Heights and then to Jefferson Avenue, which borders the Lafayette Park neighborhood. This neighborhood was hit harder than anywhere else in St. Louis with nearly every house losing its roof. Some houses lost their second floors and walls were blown out. The neighborhood was on a hill, so it had no protection. The tornado almost seemed to come to a stop right in the middle of the area and then moved on to the Scullin Power Plant. It destroyed the South Side Racetrack and ravaged the streetcar line. Then the twister hit the park measuring three quarters of a mile wide and splintered trees. By the time the storm had passed, most homes were damaged beyond repair. The home of cotton magnate Jerome Hill had huge gaps in the walls, no roof and all the windows were blown out. The Alexander Selkirk home was gone, the Soderer Home was nearly gone and the carriage house was destroyed and had piled on top of the horse and driver and the John Endres home was unlivable. The John Bene home had fallen on Mrs. Bene and the couples two sons. Efforts were made quickly to save them as a fire started in the rubble, but Mrs. Bene wouldn't allow herself to be pulled to safety until her children were saved. One child burned to death, but the other was saved with bad burns. Mrs. Bene was then saved with burns and bruises.

Some homes were rebuilt while others were repaired. The Great Depression and World War II relocation affected the neighborhood after the destruction of the tornado and many of the once grand homes became apartment buildings. The neighborhood deteriorated until the 1950s, becoming a haven for crime. Then people started to buy the old homes and renovate them through to the 1970s and the Gilded Age was reborn in the neighborhood. It was during the renovations of the 1970s that ghost stories started to be told about homes in the neighborhood. The Soderer House had lost its coachman, William Taylor. He had been hiding in the cellar with the family, but the cries of Bess the Horse brought him out of his safety net. He ran to the barn for her even though Mr. Soderer told him to stay. The roof collapsed as Taylor attempted to pull the animal out of the barn. Apartments were built on the foundation of the stable and people who moved into the building started complaining about eerie sounds from within the walls. The noises usually came when there were thunderstorms. People would hear a horse crying and horse hooves beating on the ground. Hopefully, this is just residual energy. 

In the 1970s, the Blair-Hughes Mansion was condemned but a hardy soul named Timothy Conley bought the house and set about restoring it. This had been a boarding house for nearly 70 years and was full of trash. This was originally owned by President Lincoln's Postmaster General Montgomery Blair. He had a special ceiling designed for the drawing room and it took Conley a year to restore the ceiling to its former pale blue and stark white bas relief with gold leaf embellishments. Hidden away in the walls were original 16-foot pocket doors. There was also gorgeous walnut woodwork beneath piles of paint and a parquet pegged floor beneath layers of linoleum. The restoration took two years and during that time, Conley seemed to awaken a ghost. This spirit was experienced by people who lived in the boarding house. They heard strange noises and felt cold spots and heard disembodied footsteps on the third floor. No one could live on the floor for more than one day. Likewise, Conley would heard loud bangs coming from the third floor. Every time he would check to see if someone broke in, he would find no one on that floor. On another occasion, he found a piece of furniture that took four men to move, sitting in the middle of a room on the third floor.

So that was the history of this neighborhood, but now we want to focus on one particular house. Edward S. Rowse and his wife Ann Eliza had the Lehmann House built in 1892 by the Peabody & Stearns architectural firm. Initially the house was to cost $25,000 to complete, but just as is the case today, the house went way over budget costing $50,000. That would be two million in today's dollars. The mansion was 10,000 square feet and was designed in the Romanesque Revival architectural style. Rowse was a financier and served on the city council in St. Louis. He also served on the board at Washington University. He had a prolonged illness believed to be stomach cancer and that eventually took his life and he died in his bedroom in the house. Rowse had barely been in the house for a year. He was buried at Bellefontaine Cemetery. Eliza had died before him and was already buried there.

The next owner of the house was Frederick William Lehmann and this is who the house is named for. He was a prominent lawyer and politician who served as the 13th Solicitor General of the United States under President William Howard Taft from 1910 to 1912. Lehmann was a great orator and Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. once said of Lehmann that he was so persuasive "I don't dare decide against Lehmann. You feel as though you're ruling against God." In 1912, Lehmann returned to St. Louis where he had moved in 1890 and set up a law practice with his sons. He was involved in some important cases. One established the right of the Associated Press to news as intellectual property. He also represented the Coca Cola Company and preserved their right to continue to use Coca in their name after they were sued for fraud since actual cocaine had been removed from the cola. Lehmann opposed prohibition and pushed to have investment banks separated from commercial banks as investments are risky while commercial banking is supposed to protect money. And he was very important to St. Louis as he drafted the charter for the city in 1909 under which the city continues to run. He was a bibliophile and collected rare books and author Henry James visited him at the Lehmann House. Lehmann died in 1931 at the age of 78 and he was buried at Bellefontaine Cemetery.

Marie and Michael Davies bought the house in 1992. Marie owned the home twice in her lifetime. The first time, she purchased it with a college friend who was experienced in house renovation. They owned the property for two years. They sold it and made triple their investment. But something about the house was ingrained in Marie. She couldn't stop thinking about the house. In the eight years that followed, she got married, had kids and opened up a bed and breakfast in Lafayette Square. That house was too small for the growing family and Marie knew that the Lehmann House was being rented out.They asked the landlord if he would sell and he agreed. They turned the rental home into the Lehmann House Bed and Breakfast.

The bed and breakfast has seven rooms today: The Presidents' Room, Nora's Room, Frederick's Room, The John Stark Room, The World's Fair Room, The Judge Sears Room and The Maid's Room. Nora's Room is named for Lehmann's wife and was the master bedroom featuring maple floors and cherry woodwork. This has a private bath with the original marble sink. The John Stark Room is named for one of the Lehmann sons and features Douglas fir woodwork and maple floors. Lehmann had been on the Board of Directors for the 1904 World's Fair and that is the inspiration behind that room's name. The Lehmann's had two live-in maids and that is the inspiration behind that room and is located in what had been the servant's quarters of the house.

Neat story about the Maids Room: "It was early in the renovations of Lehmann house, the spring of 1993. We were scrambling to open by July 1st. We had determined that the two rooms easiest to open would be the Presidents' Room and the Maids' Room. We ran into a problem in the Maids’ Room.- We could tell that the floor was less than sound under the questionable carpet. We decided to rip up the carpet--grungy at best-- and explore the floor issue. What we found were several rotten boards that caved when stepped on. We ripped them up, went off to buy new, nicer carpeting, some floor boards, returning ready to fix the floor--July 1st was looming. As we began, we heard a faint meow. As illogical as it seemed it was coming from the hole in the floor. A minute later, a louder meow escaped the hole in the floor. Nervously, I reached in as far as I could grasp and found a cat! Clutching her (luckily she had a very slim body), as gently as I could, I pulled her all the way out. As I looked down, sunlight glinted on something I hadn't noticed before. I wiped away the floor grunge to discover a butter knife, what turned out to be a sterling silver butter knife! Guests who have stayed will recognize it as the butter knife on the table each morning. After a bit of research, I discovered the pattern to be made by Gorham, and offered initially in 1901, when the Lehmanns lived here. We surmised that perhaps at least one of their servants had hidden a valuable "souvenir", forgotten, to be found by me 90 years later! Alas, when completely refinishing the floor in full three years ago, I personally shoveled out all of the debris, but there was no more silver to be found." 

The Bed and Breakfast has made a top ten list of most haunted places in Missouri. First owner Edward Rowse is definitely thought to be here. A woman's voice has been caught in EVPs. Shadow figures have been seen throughout the house. There are three rooms that have the most activity: Presidents' Room, Judge Sears Room and Nora's Room. One couple who stayed in Nora's Room wrote, "We heard that Nora's Room was the most active room, so reserved it. We sat in the dark to see what would happen. We were not disappointed! After about 30 minutes, three orbs shot across the room, one after the other. We slept with the bathroom light on after that!" A woman named Barb who stayed in 2022 said, "The first night we stayed, I felt like someone was sitting in the chair by the window, staring at me. Then a rush of emotion across me and I started crying. What an experience!"

Marie has experienced a lot of unexplained things in the time that she has owned the house. During the first ownership, Marie had a neighbor named Cindy who wanted to come over and see the floors that had just been newly refinished. Marie invited her to come over and have some wine. She writes, "Just as we began chatting, we both heard the same noise above us, both looking up as we did. Then Cindy asked, 'What was that?' After a moment's thought, I said, 'It sounded like a wagon being rolled across the floor.' Cindy said, 'I thought we were alone, I thought all of the workers went home.' Marie replied, 'We are. They did. And by the way, the floor above us is carpeted.' Cindy jumps up, announcing, 'I have to go home!' Marie replied, 'No you don't! Here grab a poker and let's go investigate.' Reluctantly, she accompanied me up to the room that's now named Nora's Room. We slowly opened the door, flipping on the lights and saw nothing. The three windows were still closed. Nothing in the room was disturbed. No one was there. I reluctantly let her leave and slept with the lights on that night."

Many of those early experiences for Marie were audio. Another experience was explained as, "On another evening, in the house alone, while on the second floor, I heard what I thought was someone in the house. I ran into the turret bedroom, the only room I could lock from the inside. I went to the windows hoping to get someone’s attention from the outside. After awhile, a police car came onto the street, but no amount of effort on my part got their attention. After maybe an hour, I was more bored than scared and went to investigate, poker in hand. Again—nothing! All of the exterior doors were locked from the inside, windows all tightly closed, no one there."

When Marie and Michael made the home theirs, they spent fourteen months renovating and on many occasions, Marie was there alone. She would take her two dogs with her and one of them was always resistant to going into certain rooms. One time, she dragged this dog into the library as he dug his heels in. When she finally released his lead, he bolted from the room. Later, Marie learned that an owner had died in the library in 1980. The parlor is pretty active as well. Marie shared an experience about this room when she doing renovations, "The only light in the parlor at that time was a wall sconce, all the way in the back, on the left, inside the turret. Straight away I noticed when going into that room a presence in the middle of the room, as if there were people sitting on either side of a coffee table. Only the room was completely empty—we hadn’t moved in yet. The presence was so strong, I couldn’t bring myself to walk through the room to get to the light switch, but rather walked cat-like around the edges of the room, quickly, batting at the light switch and bolting from the room."

On another occasion, the house needed some plumbing work before the grand opening. Marie writes, "Then one Saturday, I was over at the house to meet the plumber, Bud. He had to make a phone call so I took the moment to pop in the restroom. As I was washing up, I heard the very distinct sound of a man wearing hard soled shoes walking down the 2nd floor hallway. I ran out to alert Bud there was someone in the house but he had heard it too. We raced upstairs to check it out, but there was nothing, no one, no where. That’s when I conceded that we indeed had a ghost and began referring to him as the first owner, Edward."

The two most profound experiences for Marie came on two different nights. One night she was awakened from her slumber and saw a man standing at the end of her bed. She had seen a couple of pictures of Edward Rowse and she recognized this man as the spirit of Rowse. A few nights later she was awakened from her sleep again and this time there wasn't just a male figure at the end of her bed, but also a female figure. She recognized the woman as Ann Eliza. 

The Lafayette Park neighborhood is a beautiful historic neighborhood that has seen some tragedy that has spawned some spirits. The Lehmann House seems to be home to a couple of spirits as well. Is the Lehmann House Bed and Breakfast haunted? That is for you to decide!

Thursday, December 8, 2022

HGB Ep. 464 - White Hall of Kentucky

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Moment in Oddity - White House Raccoon

Many people enjoy trying unusual cuisines that can be often times, considered exotic. Whether it's trying escargot, frog legs or something similar. However, a meal consisting of raccoon as the main course would surpass the usual 'exotic' label. Back in the 1920's, during the presidency of Calvin Coolidge, many farmers would send various things to the White House to be served for the President's Thanksgiving meal. One such farmer from Mississippi sent a live raccoon. The President and First Lady could not fathom making a meal out of the creature and decided to keep the raccoon as a pet. The female raccoon was thereby named Rebecca, and for Christmas, received an embroidered collar inscribed with "White House Raccoon". Rebecca was allowed to roam the White House, sometimes getting into mischief as only a raccoon could. She was known to occasionally unscrew lightbulbs, dig into houseplants and open cabinets. When outdoors she would walk on a leash and she had her own treehouse built on the grounds. Rebecca even enjoyed participating in events like the White House Easter egg roll. The procyonid (pro-seeo-nid) was clearly very loved by her family with the Coolidge's even bringing her on vacation with them when they traveled to the Black Hills. Consuming a meal of raccoon may be considered odd to some, but having a raccoon as a White House pet, most certainly, is odd.

This Month in History - Birth of Marie Tussaud

In December, on the 1st, in 1761, Anna Maria Tussaud was born in Strasbourg, France. Tussaud's father passed before her birth and when she was six year's old her mother moved them to Switzerland. Once there, they moved in with a local doctor with Marie acting as a housekeeper. The doctors name was Philippe Curtius (cur-she-us) and Tussaud called him Uncle. Curtius had a talent for wax modeling, eventually moving to Paris in 1765 to establish a Cabinet de Portraits En Cire (seer 'sir' French). Marie and her mother joined the doctor in Paris a year later and she began learning from her 'uncle', the art of wax modelling. She showed promise and in 1777, she created her first wax figure in the likeness of Voltaire. In 1794, when Curtius died, he left his collection of wax works to Tussaud. In 1802, Marie began touring her art, but with little success, left for Edinburgh in 1803. In 1835, after touring Britain for 33 years, Tussaud established her first permanent exhibition on Baker Street, on the upper floor of the "Baker Street Bazaar". Marie Tussaud died in her sleep in London on the 16th of April in 1850 at the age of 88. The museums that her wax creations inspired now number over twenty, world wide.

White Hall of Kentucky (Suggested by: Angela Gabhart) 

White Hall State Historic Site is located in Richmond, Kentucky, the Bluegrass part of the state. The site features the former home of one of the most reviled and celebrated men of his time, Kentucky legislator Cassius Marcellus Clay. He was a newspaper editor, politician, soldier and Southern emancipator. The mansion dates back to 1799 and is today a museum with a few spirits. Join us as we explore the life of Clay and the history and hauntings of White Hall!

Richmond, Kentucky is the state's sixth largest city and home to Fort Boonesborough, which is named for Daniel Boone who set up the settlement with his group of men in 1775. This was the second settlement in Kentucky. It is said that this area of Kentucky is where "the rolling hills of the Bluegrass meet the foothills of the Appalachians." That is probably what brought many of the indigenous people here to hunt and live. Unknown groups were here for thousands of years, followed by the Shawnee, Cherokee and Wyandotte. The city of Richmond was officially founded in 1798 by Colonel John Miller who came to the area for the water. The name was inspired by the city where Miller was born, Richmond in Virginia. Richmond became the county seat for Madison County. During the Civil War, the Battle of Richmond was fought here on August 30, 1862 and the Confederates pounded the Union in a very lopsided win. This helped to bring the state of Kentucky under Confederate control and by September 2nd, the capital of Kentucky, Frankfort, fell. This was the only Union capital to fall to the south during the war. One of the most well known figures from this town would be a member of the politically prominent Clay family.

In the 1800s, holding to abolitionist views wasn't popular in the South for obvious reasons. Cassius Clay was a man who believed strongly in emancipation and he was even open to a street fight or two against anyone who didn't approve of his convictions. Clay was no stranger to fights and he was no stranger to scandal. Cassius Marcellus Clay was born on October 19, 1810 to Green Clay, who was a cousin to Senator Henry Clay. Green Clay was one of the wealthiest men in Kentucky and owned a large plantation with slaves. He also owned taverns, distilleries and ferries and served in the Kentucky General Assembly. Clay County, Kentucky is named for him. Cassius was deeply affected by something that happened in his youth on his father's plantation. He already didn't approve of his father owning slaves. One of the young enslaved girls named Mary was a playmate for him. A cruel overseer threatened her once and she stabbed him to death out of fear. People claimed it was self-defense and she was acquitted by a jury of white men, a testament to the real danger she had been in. However, that didn't stop Cassius' brother Sidney from selling Mary down the river and the young boy carried that experience with him. He was devastated.

Cassius grew into a strong, very tall and good-looking man who excelled at sports. He attended Transylvania University and then Yale College. It was here at Yale in 1832 that Cassius heard abolitionist William Lloyd Garrison speak. This inspired Clay to pursue joining the anti-abolitionist movement that was growing in America. The only part of the movement he didn't embrace was an immediately abolition to slavery. He felt that using the political system to gradually change things would work best. This is what made him an emancipator rather than an abolitionist. Clay married Mary Jane Warfield in 1833 and they had ten children with four of them making it to adulthood. Mary Jane would leave Clay after 45 years of marriage and he divorced her for abandonment. She left because of his numerous infidelities, one of which lead to him fathering a son with another woman, whom he later adopted officially. 

The next marriage for Clay would be even more scandalous. In 1894, Clay married Dora Richardson, an orphaned girl. And yes, we are using the term "girl" for a reason because it is thought that Dora ranged anywhere from 12 to 16 years of age. That's already a lot to stomach, but here's the real kicker, Clay was 84-years-old! The sheriff brought a posse  to Clay's house to rescue Dora, but she told them all that she was willingly there. She may have done this for their own protection because it is said that Clay had a loaded cannon near the doorway that he was ready to fire. He and Dora would divorce after four years of marriage. Clay was a fiery man, even in his eighties, and he not only proved that with the cannon story, but when he was 89, three men broke into his house intent on robbing him. Clay defended himself with a knife and left one man stabbed to death in the library, another dead in the ice house where he had bled out and a third went screaming into the night. Clay died in 1903 at the age of 92 from natural causes.

The Clay family was very involved in politics. Cassius himself served three terms in the Kentucky House of Representatives and helped start the Republican Party. His emancipation activism made him many enemies and in 1843, a man named Sam Brown tried to assassinate him. Brown shot Clay in the chest and despite being wounded, Clay pulled out his Bowie knife and took off Brown's nose ear and removed one of his eyes. Cassius decided to start a paper in 1845 called True American and this featured news and articles on emancipation. The office was in Lexington, but after numerous death threats and a break-in that resulted in his printing equipment being stolen, Cassius moved the newspaper office to Cincinnati, Ohio. When Abraham Lincoln ran for the Presidency, Clay backed him and befriended him. After Lincoln won, he appointed Cassius as Minister to the Russian court in St. Petersburg in 1861. It would be in Russia that he would father that illegitimate son. 

Clay was key in getting Russia to back Union forces during the Civil War. This kept Britain and France from backing the Confederacy. Clay was also key to Lincoln issuing the Emancipation Proclamation. Lincoln had asked Clay to serve as a Major General for the Union and Clay refused to take the commission unless Lincoln freed the slaves in the Confederacy. Lincoln asked him to see how Kentucky felt about emancipation. Clay returned to D.C. and Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation. Clay returned to Russia in March of 1863 and stayed there until 1869. During his tenure, he negotiated the purchase of Alaska. Clay left politics and disapproved of reconstruction. He supported Democrat candidates for awhile and then returned to the Republican Party and was even elected president of the Kentucky Constitutional Convention in 1890. Laura Clay was one of Cassius' daughters. She was a big proponent of women's suffrage and states' rights. And even more incredibly, she was the first woman to be nominated for U.S. President by a major political party.

Now many listeners are probably wondering about that Cassius Clay name and its connection to boxing legend Muhammad Ali. The name does come from this Clay. Herman Heaton Clay had been a descendant of African-American slaves and he named his son Cassius Marcellus Clay in honor of the emancipator. That Cassius gave his son the same name and he would later change his name to Muhammad Ali after his conversion to Islam. 

Green Clay built a home in Richmond, Kentucky on rolling farmland in 1798 and he called it Clermont. This was built with slave labor and out shined the log cabins that most people in the region owned. The house was designed in the Georgian architectural style and had seven rooms and covered 3,000 square feet. The first floor had a large hall on one side and a dining room and parlor on the other side. The upstairs had four bedrooms with fireplaces. The house also had an attic and a basement. Cassius Clay inherited the property and he thought of his father's home as the "old building." In the 1860s he did a major renovation to the house, which was a huge expansion. This was constructed above and around the Clermont and was also done in brick with elements of Georgian and Italianate architecture. The architect was Thomas Lewinski and built by John McMurty. This rebuilt mansion covered 10,000 square feet and expanded the seven rooms to 44 rooms and had central heating and indoor plumbing. The central heat came from two basement fireboxes. The water for the bathroom was collected from rainwater on the roof and piped to the bathroom, which had a bathtub made from a hollowed-out poplar tree that was lined with copper. 

White Hall was put up for auction and Clay's grandson, Warfield Bennett, bought the mansion, but over the years it fell into neglect. Tenant farmers used it for storage, with total disregard to the beautiful home. They used the house to store hay bales and the roof eventually caved in allowing the elements into the house. The home was donated to the Commonwealth of Kentucky in 1968 by descendants of the Clay family. Kentucky First Lady Beula C. Nunn oversaw the restoration and it was dedicated on September 16, 1971. White Hall is today a museum and event venue, now managed by Eastern Kentucky University. It's a favorite spot for weddings and sometimes an extra uninvited guest pops up in wedding photos. These guests aren't alive either. White Hall is reputedly haunted.

There are tales of women in black here, as well as the spirits of children. There are many nose pictures here. People smell rose perfume, cigar smoke, burning candles and brandy. So clearly, Mr. Clay liked a brandy with a cigar. And the candle smell probably goes along with people claiming to see candle lights around the perimeter of the house and moving through the house. Sometimes music from a piano or violin is heard and there is no known cause for it. Lights get turned off and on in rooms that are unoccupied and disembodied footsteps are heard. Unseen dinner parties take place in the dining room.

Keven McQueen, a former guide at the house, wrote about this in his 2001 book Cassius M. Clay: Freedom's Champion, "The ghosts of White Hall appear to have a certain fondness for playing tricks with the lights. When restoration began on White Hall in the later 1960s, a trailer was placed near the house for the guards to stay at night. Reportedly, almost every night, the guards would watch a single ball of light moving from window to window in the second-floor master bedroom." McQueen also wrote, "Often the strong smell of pipe smoke or perfume will come seemingly out of nowhere, fill only a particular room or two, then abruptly disappear without fading away."

Former Park Manager Kathleen White told The Lane Report in 2007, "There’s something that goes on here,” White said. “I hesitate to say it’s haunted because it’s all in how you view it. But there are things I’ve seen, things I’ve heard, smells I’ve smelled out of the ordinary that I cannot explain." Many employees have seen the Lady in Black and some even claim that she was actually wearing blue. One employee said that he had seen the end of a hooped, black gown turn a corner and disappear down the stairs to Green Clay's room. Other employees have seen different colored dresses, which makes one wonder if this is like an aura.

Patti Starr is a Certified Ghost Hunter, researcher, lecturer, teacher and tour guide with decades of experience under her belt. She runs the Bardstown Ghost Trek and has investigated White Hall many times. One evening she was at the house taping for Halloween with a Lexington news team when they picked up a voice saying "I'm ready, Clay." Patti believes this may have been one of the robbers that Clay faced off with in the mansion. The cameraman was pretty freaked out by this. Starr writes about the house in her 2010 book Ghosthunting Kentucky and her first time visiting in 2001, she thought she saw someone in an upstairs window looking out at her as she got out of the car. She found out that no one was in the house, but many people have seen the same thing as her. Former tour guide Charles was taking a group through the house and he told Starr that he was explaining the plumbing to the guests when he glanced up and saw the form of a woman on the third floor landing. He could see her from the neck down. She was wearing a white blouse and a navy blue hooped skirt. He could see right through her.

Guides usually dress in period clothing. One day, two of them were playing around on the stairway when they saw a man walk into one of the bedrooms on the second floor. He turned and looked at them before disappearing beyond the doorway. He was wearing older clothing, so they at first thought it was another guide. They went downstairs and mentioned that they saw a male guide go into a bedroom on the second floor and the other guides looked around and said that no one was missing. A couple of the employees went upstairs and found no one. A woman named Misti Dawn got married at White Hall and she and her husband Tommy had pictures taken while posing inside. In one picture, it looks as though a white apparition is hovering above them. They shared the picture with Starr and its a very interesting photo. 

White Hall was the home of a man who was a bigger-than-life character, so its not surprising that he might still be hanging around in the afterlife. His first wife loved this home and probably wasn't happy to lose it in the divorce. Has she returned as a spirit? Is White Hall haunted? That is for you to decide!