What else can you call a tree that's been tainted by the blood of innocent human beings? This 150 years old oak situated in a residential park in Port St. Lucie, Florida was a silent witness to the atrocities committed by serial killer Gerard Schaefer against two victims who he tortured and then buried under the tree.
More than forty years have passed since the skeletal remains of those teenage girls were recovered, but just as the years passed so did the tales of paranormal events and sightings of hooded figures increase.
How much of these tales are urban myth, and how much is the truth?
In January 2016, a house located in Gary, Indiana, and alleged to be infested with demons was torn down.
Zak Bagans the host of Ghost Adventures had bought the house in 2014, and during 2015 had filmed a documentary in the home about the events that had transpired there. He claimed that there was something powerful, dark and intelligent haunting the small structure.
The release of the documentary has been delayed and as of this date there is no further information about it. The following article which appeared in the National Catholic Register quotes Father Michael Maginot, pastor of St. Stephen Martyr Church in Merrillville, Indiana, and the priest who freed the family through a series of exorcisms in 2013, as believing that there is a supernatural agent interfering and causing the delays.
St Ann's Retreat is located in Logan Canyon, Utah, just off U.S.89. The campsite has been there for about 100 years, and many think it's haunted by nuns who used to vacation there, but who truly walks through the woods and peeks around the side of the cabins?
Originally this site was called Hatch’s Camp or Pine Glenn Cove. It wasn’t referred to as St. Ann’s Retreat until after 1959 when the Sisters of the Holy Cross would come to the camp for respite. Due to the presence of the sisters, it came to be called the Nunnery as well, and throughout the years different stories have abounded how the ghosts of nuns roam the ground, but the truth be told there are much more likely candidates that might walk the paths of the now derelict campsite inside Cache National Forest.
You would be surprised how many other more plausible sources for the haunting are present, especially in an area which is adjacent to U.S. 89 which for years has seen horrific accidents, ending lives under violent and sudden circumstances which is one of the main ingredients identified as the trigger for a haunting.
The initial and most important step in investigating stories about a haunting or an urban myth, is to go back to the when humans started inhabiting the area, bringing with them their drama, dark deeds which many times ended in murder.
Any historian will tell you that despite the golden patina of yesteryear memories, people committed horrible acts to others and themselves, leaving heartbreak and unanswered questions in their wake. Midnight burials in unhallowed ground, kept killers safe and victims rotted in secret graves, never receiving justice or resolution. The families or communities when faced with scandal, did not want to be tainted with the occurrences and would hide them, and just not talk about it anymore.
Most paranormal investigators eventually encounter stories of injustice and hidden truths, and identify them as the catalyst for full-blown intelligent hauntings.
So let’s go back to the beginning…
Vince "Trapper" Nelson (born Vincent Natulkiewicz) was found dead on July 30th, 1968 inside his chickee, from what appeared to be a self-inflicted gunshot wound to his stomach. He was a very interesting character, and larger than life both literally and figuratively as he measured 6'4" in height. It is the ghost of Trapper Nelson or the Tarzan of the Loxahatchee as he was also known, who is said to roam the Jonathan Dickinson State Park where he lived and established a wild life zoo which was shut down in the 1960s.
The reason for his haunting could be that he was murdered as many of the locals claimed instead of committing suicide. He could also be guarding his treasure which park rangers found in April 1984 inside a hiding place in the chimney of his home. Inside were 5,005 coins, totaling more than $1,800. The coins ranged in date from the 1890s to the 1960s. The land he owned at the time of his death was worth more than $1 million. No other treasures were ever found, so the mystery remains as to why Trapper Nelson is tied to the land he loved so much.
On September 16, 2016 in Rome, the internationally known exorcist, Father Gabriele Amorth, died. From 1986 until his death, he was head of the diocese of Rome. Amorth, together with other exorcists, founded the International Exorcist Association (AIE) in 1994, whose president he had been until 2000 and has been honorary president since then.
What Father Amorth was on an international level, Father Vincenzo Taraborelli is at the Italian level. Father Vincenzo Taraborelli is Carmelite and belongs to the Carmelite monastery on the Via della Conciliazione. He had been an exorcist of the Diocese of Rome along with Father Amorth for the past 27 years. He has now followed Amorth's footsteps as a de facto chief priest of the Pope's diocese.
Father Taraborelli offers regular consultations for exorcisms which are the Catholic rite of expelling evil spirits. An exorcist "must be accessible to everyone," says the Carmelite, and he is serious about it. Anyone who goes to the monastery website will find Father Taraborelli's office hours.
On December 10th, 1909 Eliza Gribble and her daughter Carrie Ohlander were discovered beaten to death inside their home located at 401 West Perry Street, in Savannah, Georgia. Not too far from them Maggie Hunter was found clinging to life, she was also beaten and her throat was slit. She died three days later at the hospital.
The neighborhood where the house was located was on the outskirts of Savannah and known as Frogtown. It was not considered a good part of the city and was close to the railroad yards. A widow who was renting out rooms in a rundown boarding house occupied by two divorcees, fit right into the dubious reputation that the Savannah townspeople had for those who lived in this part of town. The reason that this figures in the story, is the area housed many undesirables, including thieves, drug addicts and unsavory characters any of who could have committed the crime. Gribble House was situated close to the railroad tracks, and some people theorize that the real killer was a railroad worker who committed the deed and then left the area.
Since time immemorial there have been stories of the spirits of murder victims coming back to point a finger at their killer and seek justice for themselves. Such is the sad story of Zona Heaster Shue who lived in rural West Virginia at the turn of the 20th century.
ZONA AND THE STRANGER
Born Elva Zona Heaster in 1873 in Greenbrier County, West Virginia, Zona’s life is something of a mystery before she met her eventual husband Erasmus Stribbling “Trout” Shue in 1896. Shockingly only a year prior to their meeting, the records of Greenbrier County indicate that when she was twenty-two years old on November 29, 1895, she bore an illegitimate male child, who’s supposed father was an unskilled laborer named George Woldridge. According to census records the absence of any child born in or near 1895 to the Heaster family indicates that Zona’s illegitimate child was raised by someone else, or that he died in infancy, but if so, his death is not recorded. That he is called Heaster in the birth book would seem to indicate that he would be accepted and raised by the Heaster family, but apparently that was not the case.
Zona was twenty-three when Trout Shue, a good-looking drifter came to town and found employment as a blacksmith which had been his father’s profession. However in those times just moving to another county could give a person a clean slate, and unbeknownst to Zona her beau was a man with a dark past that did not come to light until after her untimely death. Zona never knew that she was his either third or fourth wife, and in her ignorance of his past life, she found herself falling in love with the new blacksmith and accepted his proposal of marriage. Her mother Mary Jane Heaster, adamantly objected to the marriage from the beginning, citing an odd feeling and instant dislike of Shue. They married in October 1896.
Claire Sloan, owner and investigator of Shadows of the Night Investigations and Paranormal Events retells the investigation of the tunnel.
The Victoria Tunnel in Newcastle upon Tyne, England is a preserved 19th Century wagonway. It extends under the city from the Town Moor to the Tyne. Its purpose was to transport coal from Spital Tongues (Leazes Main) Colliery to the river. It operated between 1842 and the 1860s. In 1939, the Tunnel was converted into an air raid shelter to protect thousands of Newcastle citizens during World War II.
Today, when the revelers of Newcastle are partying away, underneath lies a dark past. The three northeast witches were hung on the Town Moor at Newcastle, multiple deaths were reported in the area, and there were haunting stories told of what went on down there during World War II when Newcastle was being bombed by the Germans. It’s safe to say that there are a few lingering spirits in the Tunnel.
So, what paranormal investigator wouldn’t want to go into the Tunnel to investigate and gather evidence? Unless, of course, you are afraid of small, confined very dark spaces and being 85 feet underground.
A deserted leper colony, convent and hospital is slowly being reclaimed by the jungles on Chacachacare Island, which lies close to Trinidad, B.W.I.
For many years the Dominican sisters ministered to those who had been exiled to this island due to having contracted leprosy.
The echoes of the past are easily envisioned among the ruins where so many came to live and die.
For many years there have been reports of ghosts, especially the White Lady of Chacachacare, who is supposed to be the apparition of a nun who committed suicide. There are other reports of supernatural encounters since at least 2,000 lepers lived on the island during its 60 some years as a Hansenian Settlement.
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Miami Ghost Chronicles is documenting one the most haunted places in the US... Bobby Mackey's Music World which we visited August 2014.
This is the first installment, which details the death of Pearl Bryan who supposedly haunts the honky tonk, but like most things that deal with the supernatural, not everything is what it seems.
On Feb. 2nd, 1896 The Courier-Journal wrote a short piece about the mysterious remains of a woman who was found beheaded in a lonely area, about one mile south of Fort Thomas, Kentucky. The crime was compared to the work of Jack the Ripper. Only 5 years before H. H. Holmes had stalked the World’s Fair for his victims, and the year after that Lizzie Borden’s parents had been hacked to death in their home.
Initially it was suspected she was an “abandoned woman” from Cincinnati, and law enforcement was unable to find her head, despite bringing in blood hounds to find it. A soldier in Ft. Thomas reported seeing a man and a woman walking out late at night along Alexandria Pike close to where the body was found, and a sergeant claimed he had heard a woman scream around midnight.
If you’ve seen Stephen King’s The Shining or Rose Red, where the structure and the spirits within seem bent on claiming souls, then as you read about the events that transpired in or around the Brookdale Lodge, you’ll understand why it has the reputation of being haunted, and that King’s fiction is not too far from the reality of what has occurred to those that came here to find happiness and relaxation and found death instead.
Built on the site of a lumber mill in the Redwood forest of the Santa Cruz Mountains, it hosted parties to the elite that traveled from San Francisco, and luminaries of Hollywood's Golden Age, however as time passed the glamour faded and it even became a hangout for the Hell's Angels.
Presently the Charles Kreischer Mansion sitson five acres of land atop Kriescher Hill on Arthur Kill Road in Charleston, Staten Island, NY. It went on the real estate market on March 26, 2016 for $9.5 million. Restored to its former glory as a Stick style example of architecture, its looks exactly as what most people think of as a traditional, Victorian haunted house, the thing is… it really is haunted. If walls could talk, then the Kriescher Mansion could speak volumes about violence, murder, possible infidelity and it all started over 130 years ago.
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In 1974, the Sarasota-Tribune newspaper ran a short article titled, Exorcism Daily Occurrence at Miami Jackson Hospital. Your first thought is that this was due to the notorious film, The Exorcist which was released in 1973; however according to Dr. Sukhdeo, the director of the crisis Intervention center at Miami Jackson Hospital at that time, the influx of patients as many as 900 in one month, had nothing to do with the film. He described how patients came in asking for evil spirits to be driven from their body, apparently believing that their symptoms, whether mental or physical, were demonic in their origin.
He described where many of these patients such as Haitians, Cubans, Puerto Ricans and other West Islanders had a strong, cultural belief in the influence of evil spirits. Bahamians complained of “jumbees” or ghosts inside of them that were causing them to hear voices. Other patients believed they had been hexed, even to the point of thinking they would die at a specific time.
In late September 2015, Mark & Debby Constantino, paranormal researchers in the field of EVPs, who made several guest appearance on Ghost Adventures, died after a murder suicide situation played out. The couple were estranged due to domestic violence. This is a recording from 2005, made with psychic Chris Fleming, in which Mark Constantino is actually channeling a spirit who is believed to be himself 10 years in the future.
Presently stories abound about haunted houses, castles, cars, collector items etc, but for me, the real question lies in how did this come about, and if there is really a way to truly release the agony, torment and terror of incidents that produced this haunting, whether intelligent or residual.
Some desperate measures taken, especially when the haunting takes place in a structure, is to burn it down, however I don't think that really does the trick, because I believe that the spirits of those who experienced moments so extreme that they are trapped there even after the death of their physical bodies, do not recognize the purifying effect hoped for by those of us still in the material plane.
Read Kristal Hawkin's narrative describing just such an event titled Keddie Resort, Calif: The Unsolved Nightmare in Cabin 28, and tell me what you think, and if this story describes what many times has happened, unrecognized and unknown for years in other places around the world. Long after witnesses and family have passed away, and stories in newspapers or books are buried and forgotten, those that stumble upon these places will wonder how it became cursed.
Marlene at Miami Ghost Chronicles is a freelance paranormal investigator and writer.
Over the years I have gathered the most interesting stories that I have witnessed firsthand or that have been retold to me, but there is so much more happening in the mysterious world of the paranormal. I will provide a wide range of the true stories, folklore and urban myths that are a delight to the weird folk that enjoy the supernatural world.
Do you have a story to tell?