Arch Creek Park, North Miami, FL September 2003 (New Investigation pending for Fall 2014)
In September 2003, Miami Ghost Chronicles was invited to participate in a new ghost tour hosted by Eric King, which would be held at a little park tucked away in North Miami by the name of Arch Creek Park. The park is named after an early settlement in this area named Arch Creek. Surrounded as it was then (2003), and now by modern buildings, it’s hard to imagine that this area of ground was crossroads for many travelers long before the birth of Christ. The Tequesta Indians, one of South Florida’s ancient indigenous people, lived in this area, arrowheads, other artifacts, and a midden was found nearby; later the Seminoles, and then early pioneers of the city that later became Miami.
Remnants of a Coontie mill built in the 1850s can still be seen cut into the limestone along the creek. During the Seminole Wars a Military Trail between Fort Lauderdale and Fort Dallas on the Miami River, included crossing a natural, 40 foot limestone bridge. Underneath it runs a creek that flows from the Everglades to Biscayne Bay. As early as 1895 Henry Flagler brought visitors and settlers from the Eastern United States, and the bridge was a meeting place for local residents. By 1903 a train depot had been built nearby in order to ship out the pineapples and tomatoes planted by early settlers. A present day replica of the limestone bridge is found at the park; the original one mysteriously collapsed one day after the park was founded in 1973.
Ghost stories retold based on the experiences of visitors to the park and the employees are campers disappearing from the grounds, eerie footsteps heard in the thicket, as well as the bungalow which serves as the park office and nature museum. Faces have been seen at the window, murmuring voices thought to be those of the Tequesta are heard in the night, and undoubtedly who ever walks the shadowy trails is not alone.
Kenilworth Lodge, Sebring FL (July 2014), attending the PIA Conference.
Kenilworth Lodge was built in 1916 by the founder of the city, George Sebring, in a Mediterranean Revival style. Throughout the years several stories have been reported by guests, they describe hearing voices to loud stomping outside their room, and when they approach hotel personnel about this they are told no one else was staying on the same floor. Other have claimed they have felt their mattress sink in as an invisible person gets in bed with them or seeing a shadow standing at the foot of the bed as well as feelings of being watched and experiencing uneasiness while using the staircase. Room 213 is supposed to be haunted by a young woman who committed suicide in the room by shooting herself in the head. Several years later, another woman used the same room, and committed suicide in the same fashion. The ghost of George Parker, a former manager who died in the hotel in the 1950s, has been seen on multiple occasions. Another area that is reportedly haunted is the basement.
Miami Ghost Chronicles attended the 3 day conference held by PIA, in which several other paranormal groups from Florida including the FL chapter of MUFON attended. There were several workshops held that covered interesting topics associated with the paranormal, as well as plenty of time to network and meet other who work in this field.
Rolling Hills Asylum, NY (April 2014)
This was a great visit to the Rolling Hills Asylum. This was an unofficial paranormal investigation, and we didn't come truly prepared to capture any evidence with the exception of a 35mm camera. Later Sharon and Jason from the Asylum graciously came along with 4 of the participants of that night's walk through with some equipment and pointed out hot spots, including communication with the spirits using a flashlight.
In one of the pictures below, my companion Henry (x-cop from NJ, wearing black hat) stares at me with wide eyes (yes...he was very startled), later he explained that the reason was that he had seen the doll move, which can be seen in the same picture behind him next to the organ. In another picture he smiles nervously as he sits in the barber chair. He thought that his hair had been touched, and the same thing happened to another participant about an hour later as we sat in the hallway of the 3rd floor right outside the double doors of the sunroom.
In another picture Henry stands next to a child's play stroller and again he claimed he saw this doll move, and if you notice you will see a stuffed "Pluto" doll in the stroller. Later in the night we mentioned the event to Sharon and Jason from the Asylum who both laughed and said now they understood why their ovilus had kept repeating over the word "Pluto" various time throughout the day, however they kept thinking of the planet not the Disney cartoon. No doubt an entity wanted to bring attention to something.
We came by during the day, and even then this location is very spooky, and I stood out in the roadway to assess that even now in modern times it is very remote, so when this location started as the Genesee County Poor Farm in the early 1800s it was meant to isolate those who lived there and keep them on the fringes of society both figuratively and literally
West Virginia Pententiary, Moundsville (April 2014)
This prison was in use from 1867 to 1995. In 1863, West Virginia seceded
from Virginia at
the height of the American Civil War. Consequently, the new state
had a shortage of various public institutions, including prisons; the Wagon
Gate was the only building at this site during the Civil War.
The first building constructed on the site was the North
Wagon Gate. It was made with hand-cut sandstone,
which was quarried from a local site. The
state used prison labor during the construction process
The conditions at the prison worsened through the years, as
the facility would be ranked on the United States Department of Justice's Top
Ten Most Violent Correctional Facilities list. One of the more
infamous locations in the prison, with instances of gambling, fighting,and
raping, was a recreation room known as "The Sugar Shack".
In total, thirty-six homicides took place in the prison. One
of the more notable ones is the butchering of R.D. Wall, inmate number 44670.
On October 8, 1929, after "snitching" on his fellow inmates, he was attacked by
three prisoners with dull shivs
while heading to the boiler room. In 1983, Charles
Manson requested to be transferred to this prison to be nearer
to his family. His request was denied
January 1, 1986 was not only the beginning of a new year,
but also the date of one of the most infamous riots in recent history. The West
Virginia Penitentiary was then undergoing many changes and problems. Security
had become extremely loose in all areas. Since it was a "cons"
prison, most of the locks on the cells had been picked and inmates roamed the
halls freely. Bad plumbing and insects caused rapid spreading of various
diseases. The prison was now holding more than 2,000 men and crowding became an
issue once again. Another major contribution to the riot's cause was the fact
that it was a holiday. Many of the officers had called off work, which fueled
the prisoners to conduct their plan on this specific day.
From 1899 to 1959, ninety-four men were executed. Hanging was
the method of execution until 1949 with eighty-five men meeting that fate. The
public could attend hangings until June 19, 1931. On that date, Frank Hyer was
executed for murdering his wife, however, when the trap door beneath him was
opened and his full weight was put onto the noose, he was instantly
decapitated. Following this event, attendance at hangings was by invitation
only. The last man to face execution by hanging, Bud Peterson from Logan County, lies in the prison's
cemetery, as his family refused to claim his body. Beginning in 1951,
electrocution became the means of execution. Ironically, the electric
chair, nicknamed "Old Sparky", used by the prison was
originally built by an inmate there, Paul Glenn. Nine men died in the chair until the state
outlawed execution entirely in 1965