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the Occult => Ghosts & Apparitions => Topic started by: Jennie McGrath on October 27, 2007, 07:53:26 pm



Title: Ghosts
Post by: Jennie McGrath on October 27, 2007, 07:53:26 pm
To celebrate the annual festivities, I thought it would be nice to have a topic on ghosts!

Before we get into all the various ghost stories out there (and there are a lot of them), I thought we might examine the idea of just what ghosts actually are first.


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Ghosts: What Are They?  

You've seen them depicted in movies, read stories of their unnerving activities and have seen television shows and documentaries sensationalizing them. You have probably seen rare photos of them and have likely heard of first-hand ghostly encounters from friends and relatives. I receive dozens of reports from readers every month. Perhaps you have even seen a ghost yourself.

But what are ghosts? I'll give you the answer straight out: No one knows for certain.

There are, however, many theories to explain the thousands upon thousands of documented experiences that people around the world have had since the beginning of recorded history. Ghosts and hauntings seem to be a relatively common part of the human experience. And there appear to be several types of ghosts or hauntings, and more than one theory may be needed to explain them all.

Dead people
The traditional view of ghosts is that they are the spirits of dead people that for some reason are "stuck" between this plane of existence and the next, often as a result of some tragedy or trauma. Many ghost hunters and psychics believe that such earth-bound spirits don't know they are dead. Veteran ghost hunter Hans Holzer says, "A ghost is a human being who has passed out of the physical body, usually in a traumatic state and is not aware usually of his true condition. We are all spirits encased in a physical body. At the time of passing, our spirit body continues into the next dimension. A ghost, on the other hand, due to trauma, is stuck in our physical world and needs to be released to go on."

Ghosts exist in a kind of limbo in which they haunt the scenes of their deaths or locations that were pleasant to them in life. Very often, these types of ghosts are able to interact with the living. They are, on some level, aware of the living and react to being seen on the occasions that they materialize. Some psychics claim to be able to communicate with them. And when they do, they often try to help these spirits to understand that they are dead and to move on to the next stage of their existence.

Residual Hauntings or Recordings
Some ghosts appear to be mere recordings on the environment in which they once existed. A civil war soldier is seen on repeated occasions staring out a window at a house where he once stood guard. A dead child's laughter is heard echoing in a hallway where she often played. There are even cases of ghost cars and trains that can still be heard and sometimes seen, even though they are long gone. These types of ghosts do not interact with or seem to be aware of the living. Their appearance and actions are always the same. They are like spirit-level recordings - residual energies - that replay over and over again.

"A traumatic moment in time leaves an indelible impression on the building or area," says Strange Nation in "What Is a Ghost?," "replaying itself for eternity. This could be anything from a 'glimpse of the past' - a recreation of some traumatic or emotion-laden event - to footsteps up and down a hallway."

What causes these recordings to be made and how and why they are played back is a mystery. "How and why past events are recorded and replayed repetitiously is not understood," writes Lauren Forcella. "Whatever the actual mechanism, it apparently possesses longevity as the encore performances of a haunting can continue for decades or longer. Generally, the haunting is a fragment or portion of an actual event."

Messengers
These kinds of ghosts may be the most common. These spirits usually appear shortly after their deaths to people close to them. They are aware of their deaths and can interact with the living. They most often bring messages of comfort to their loved ones, to say that they are well and happy, and not to grieve for them. These ghosts appear briefly and usually only once. It is as if they intentionally return with their messages for the express purpose of helping the living cope with their loss.

"This category commonly involves one-time visits to someone with whom the apparition has close emotional ties," says Lauren Forcella at Paranormal Investigations, who calls these ghosts "crisis apparitions." "Though the encounter usually seems to be a type of farewell, sometimes important and useful information is relayed to the 'viewer.' Though dying is the most common crisis, other life-threatening situations can also trigger apparitional visits."

Poltergeists
This type of haunting is the most feared by people because it has the greatest ability to affect our physical world. Poltergeists are blamed for unexplained noises, such as wall-banging, rapping, footsteps and even music. They take our possessions and hide them, only to return them later. They turn on faucets, slam doors, turn lights on and off, and flush toilets. They throw things across rooms. They have been known to pull on people's clothing or hair. The malevolent ones even slap and scratch the living. It is because of these sometimes "mean-spirited" manifestations that poltergeists are considered by some investigators to be demonic in nature.

Other investigators, however, believe that poltergeist activity is not caused by ghosts at all, but by certain living people under stress. "During a poltergeist experience," writes Lauren Forcella, "the agent, in an attempt to relieve emotional stress, unknowingly causes the physical disturbances using mental forces. The mental mechanism that allows the poltergeist agent to unconsciously cause these physical disturbances is called psychokinesis."

Projections
The skeptics' point of view - if they are willing to admit there is anything to haunting experiences at all - is that they are all in our minds, or are products of our own minds. Ghosts, they say, are psychological phenomena: we see them because we expect to or want to see them. A grieving widow sees her dead husband because she needs to; she needs the comfort of knowing that he is alright and happy in the next world. Her mind produces the experience to help itself cope with the stress of the loss. Since we know so little about the power and capacity of our own minds, it's possible that they can even produce physical manifestations, such as apparitions and noises - projections that even others may be able to see and hear. But they are not "real" in any sense, say the skeptics, just the conjurings of powerful imaginations.

Are there such things as ghosts? The phenomena of ghosts and hauntings are very real experiences. It is their true cause and nature that is the ongoing mystery.
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http://paranormal.about.com/library/weekly/aa082701a.htm


Title: Re: Ghosts
Post by: Jennie McGrath on October 27, 2007, 07:55:18 pm
Unexplained Sounds  

Mysterious booms, annoyingly persistent hums, and underground mechanical rumblings that defy explanation.
Mystery Booms

In January, 1999, a loud boom at 12:15 a.m. disturbed the residents of Colorado Springs and Denver. Some witnesses said the noise was accompanied by a flash of light in the sky. There was no electrical storm. Although it could have been a sonic boom, the military denied any military activity in the area.
On January 10, 1999, dozens of people in Fairfield, Ohio reported a stunning, explosive sound. No cause was ever discovered.
Thousands of homes were rattled by two huge, mysterious booms 30 miles southeast of Los Angeles just before 10 p.m. in May of 1998. Residents described the sounds as explosions, earthquake noises, and thuds. The two booms occurred about five minutes apart.
Two very loud skyquakes startled hundreds of people on the beaches of Ocean City, Md. on July 30, 1998. No planes were in sight, and the sounds seemed to be coming from some miles offshore.
A mysterious boom reverberated through Narragansett Bay, R.I. on August 1, 1998 at 9:30 p.m. Investigating officials could not find the source of the noise.
On Sept. 16, 1997, the campus of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill was rocked by a boom that shook the ground and registered 1.1 on the Richter scale. Readings from ground-monitoring equipment showed that the energy did not come from the air, ruling out a sonic boom.
On December 17, 1997, a huge aerial blast rattled windows and blew open storm doors in Rogersville, Mo., a town 13 miles east of Springfield. Again, the Air Force denied the possibility of a sonic boom caused by one of its aircraft.
These are just a few recent examples of a fairly common phenomenon - loud, earth-shaking booms with no apparent cause. They are often labeled as mystery booms, sky booms, or skyquakes, and although there could be quite prosaic explanations for the explosive sounds - sonic booms, small earthquakes, even exploding meteors -- investigations always come up short for conclusive explanations.

The Taos Hum
The Taos Hum is a faint, low-frequency humming noise heard in and near the town of Taos, New Mexico. Not only is the hum's source a mystery, but its peculiar qualities are as well: only about 2 percent of Taos residents - about 1,400 people - can hear it. The low hum - between 30 and 80 Hz on the frequency scale - has been described by hearers as sounding like a diesel engine idling in the distance or having a slow beat-note sound. Some people perceive it as being louder indoors than outdoors. More mysterious still, some hearers who are bothered by the sound have tried earplugs and other acoustic quieting devices to block it out - to no effect. Investigations by scientists, including some from the prestigious Sandia National Laboratories, have failed to find a source or even a plausible explanation for the phenomenon. One theory is that the source is the U.S. Navy's ELF (extra-low frequency) communications system that is used to communicate with its submarine fleet. The Navy, of course, accepts no such responsibility.

If you'd like to hear the Taos Hum, here are some recordings in .wav format (click icon to listen):


Taos isn't the only town afflicted with an annoying hum. According to The Taos Hum Homepage, "Nearly every state in the U.S. has at least one 'hum hearer' report, including Alaska and Hawaii. The largest number of reports come from the southwestern U.S., the Pacific Northwest, and southeastern states. Worldwide, the hum has caused such problems in the U.K. and Sweden that hum-hearer support groups have formed there. There are hum-hearer reports from Italy and from Mexico." The Bristol Hum is the most widely reported hum in the U.K.

A long list of hum reports from around the U.S. can be read here, and you can even add your own to the list.

Underground Mechanical Sounds
An article by Greg Long for Northwest Mysteries [link no longer works] reports on strange sounds seemingly coming from underground in the south-central region of the state of Washington. Those who have heard the mysterious machine-like sounds, including loggers, liken the noise to "several large turbines" starting up and running, or a "loaded truck pulling up a long hill and never reaching the top." The article also examines similar noises reported in England, Italy, Colorado, Texas, Puerto Rico, New Jersey, California, and other states. Among these accounts are what sounded like underground drilling and construction work, motor-like sounds, or generators. Explanations? Long wonders if the noises can be attributed to seismic activity and speculates on the correlation with sightings of UFOs sometimes reported in the same areas.

Are they sure it wasn't the National Enquirer or some such "newspaper" that this story came from? Do they actually believe that Hell is literally inside the bowels of the Earth? At any rate, here's the recording, in streaming RealPlayer format (click icon to listen):


The Sounds of Hell?
And speaking of weird underground sounds... have scientists actually recorded the sounds of people suffering in Hell? This sound file comes from Art Bell's Web site which was submitted by one of his listeners in response to following story, allegedly quoting a scientist as excerpted from Ammenusastia, a Finnish newspaper. It seems the researchers had drilled a nine-mile-deep hole and were astonished at what they heard down there:

"As a communist I don't believe in heaven or the Bible, but as a scientist I now believe in hell," said Dr. Azzacove. "Needless to say we were shocked to make such a discovery. But we know what we saw and we know what we heard. And we are absolutely convinced that we drilled through the gates of hell!" Dr. Azzacove continued, "...the drill suddenly began to rotate wildly, indicating that we had reached a large empty pocket or cavern. Temperature sensors showed a dramatic increase in heat to 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit. We lowered a microphone, designed to detect the sounds of plate movements down the shaft. But instead of plate movements we heard a human voice screaming in pain! At first we thought the sound was coming from our own equipment. But when we made adjustments our worst suspicions were confirmed. The screams weren't those of a single human, they were the screams of millions of humans!"

http://paranormal.about.com/library/weekly/aa031599.htm


Title: Re: Ghosts
Post by: Jennie McGrath on October 27, 2007, 07:58:20 pm
The Best Ghost Photos Ever Taken
Part 1


They say seeing is believing. And while in this day of digital image manipulation that might not be as true as it once was, these photographs are considered by many to be the real deal - photographic evidence of ghosts. Faking ghost photos through double exposure and in-the-lab trickery has been around as long as photography itself; and today, computer graphics programs can easily and convincingly create ghost images. But these photos are generally thought to be untouched, genuine portraits of the unexplained.

(http://z.about.com/d/paranormal/1/7/B/B/brown_lady_lg.jpg)

The Brown Lady

This portrait of "The Brown Lady" ghost is arguably the most famous and well-regarded ghost photograph ever taken. The ghost is thought to be that of Lady Dorothy Townshend, wife of Charles Townshend, 2nd Viscount of Raynham, residents of Raynham Hall in Norfolk, England in the early 1700s. It was rumored that Dorothy, before her marriage to Charles, had been the mistress of Lord Wharton. Charles suspected Dorothy of infidelity. Although according to legal records she died and was buried in 1726, it was suspected that the funeral was a sham and that Charles had locked his wife away in a remote corner of the house until her death many years later.
Dorothy's ghost is said to haunt the oak staircase and other areas of Raynham Hall. In the early 1800s, King George IV, while staying at Raynham, saw the figure of a woman in a brown dress standing beside his bed. She was seen again standing in the hall in 1835 by Colonel Loftus, who was visiting for the Christmas holidays. He saw her again a week later and described her as wearing a brown satin dress, her skin glowing with a pale luminescence. It also seemed to him that her eyes had been gouged out. A few years later, Captain Frederick Marryat and two friends saw "the Brown Lady" gliding along an upstairs hallway, carrying a lantern. As she passed, Marryat said, she grinned at the men in a "diabolical manner." Marryat fired a pistol at the apparition, but the bullet simply passed through.

This famous photo was taken in September, 1936 by Captain Provand and Indre Shira, two photographers who were assigned to photograph Raynham Hall for Country Life magazine. This is what happened, according to Shira:

"Captain Provand took one photograph while I flashed the light. He was focusing for another exposure; I was standing by his side just behind the camera with the flashlight pistol in my hand, looking directly up the staircase. All at once I detected an ethereal veiled form coming slowly down the stairs. Rather excitedly, I called out sharply: 'Quick, quick, there's something.' I pressed the trigger of the flashlight pistol. After the flash and on closing the shutter, Captain Provand removed the focusing cloth from his head and turning to me said: 'What's all the excitement about?'"

Upon developing the film, the image of The Brown Lady ghost was seen for the first time. It was published in the December 16, 1936 issue of Country Life. The ghost has been seen occasionally since.



Title: Re: Ghosts
Post by: Jennie McGrath on October 27, 2007, 08:00:27 pm
(http://z.about.com/d/paranormal/1/0/w/A/lord_ghost_lg.jpg)

~ Sybell Corbet

Lord Combermere

This photograph of the Combermere Abbey library was taken in 1891 by Sybell Corbet. The figure of a man can faintly be seen sitting in the chair to the left. His head, collar and right arm on the armrest are clearly discernable. It is believed to be the ghost of Lord Combermere.

Lord Combermere was a British cavalry commander in the early 1800s, who distinguished himself in several military campaigns. Combermere Abbey, located in Cheshire, England, was founded by Benedictine monks in 1133. In 1540, King Henry VII kicked out the Benedictines, and the Abbey later became the Seat of Sir George Cotton KT, Vice Chamberlain to the household of Prince Edward, son of Henry VIII. In 1814, Sir Stapleton Cotton, a descendent of Sir George, took the title "Lord Combermere" and in 1817 became became the Governor of Barbados. Today the Abbey is a tourist attraction and hotel.

Lord Combermere died in 1891, having been struck and killed by a horse-drawn carriage. At the time Sybell Corbet took the above photo, Combermere's funeral was taking place some four miles away. The photographic exposure, Corbet recorded, took about an hour. It is thought by some that during that time a servant might have come into the room and sat briefly in the chair, creating the transparent image. This idea was refuted by members of the household, however, testifying that all were attending Lord Combermere's funeral.

Interesting side note: Lord Combermere is connected to another well-known paranormal story: the famous "Moving Coffins" of Barbados. The coffins inside the sealed vault of the Chase family are said to have been moved about by unnatural forces. The heavy coffins were repeatedly put in proper order, but often when a new coffin was added to the vault, the coffins were found strewn about. Lord Combermere, while governor of Barbados, had ordered a professional investigation of the mystery.


Title: Re: Ghosts
Post by: Jennie McGrath on October 27, 2007, 08:02:38 pm
(http://z.about.com/d/paranormal/1/7/n/I/freddy_jackson_lg.jpg)

Freddy Jackson

This intriguing photo, taken in 1919, was first published in 1975 by Sir Victor Goddard, a retired R.A.F. officer. The photo is a group portrait of Goddard's squadron, which had served in World War I aboard the HMS Daedalus. An extra ghostly face appears in the photo. In back of the airman positioned on the top row, fourth from the left, can clearly be seen the face of another man. It is said to be the face of Freddy Jackson, an air mechanic who had been accidentally killed by an airplane propeller two days earlier. His funeral had taken place on the day this photograph was snapped. Members of the squadron easily recognized the face as Jackson's. It has been suggested that Jackson, unaware of his death, decided to show up for the group photo.
Interesting side note: In 1935, Sir Victor Goddard, now a Wing Commander, had another brush with the unexplained. While on a flight from Edinburgh, Scotland to his home base in Andover, England, he encountered a strange storm that seemed to transport him through time into the future. You can read more about his experience in the article "Time Travelers" under the section "Flight Into the Future."


Title: Re: Ghosts
Post by: Jennie McGrath on October 27, 2007, 08:04:50 pm
(http://z.about.com/d/paranormal/1/7/5/B/ghost_on_stairs_lg.jpg)

Tulip Staircase Ghost

Rev. Ralph Hardy, a retired clergyman from White Rock, British Columbia, took this now-famous photograph in 1966. He intended merely to photograph the elegant spiral staircase (known as the "Tulip Staircase") in the Queen's House section of the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich, England. Upon development, however, the photo revealed a shrouded figure climbing the stairs, seeming to hold the railing with both hands. Experts, including some from Kodak, who examined the original negative concluded that it had not been tampered with. It's been said that unexplained figures have been seen on occasion in the vicinity of the staircase, and unexplained footsteps have also been heard.
Interesting side note: This photo isn't the only evidence of ghostly activity at the Queen's House. The 400-year-old building is credited with several other apparitions and phantom footsteps even today. Recently, a Gallery Assistant was discussing a tea break with two colleagues when he saw one of the doors to the Bridge Room close by itself. At first he thought it was one of the lecturers. "Then I saw a woman glide across the balcony, and pass through the wall on the west balcony," he said. "I couldn't believe what I saw. I went very cold and the hair on my arms and my neck stood on end. We all dashed through to the Queen's Presents Room and looked down towards the Queen's Bedroom. Something passed through the ante-room and out through the wall. Then my colleagues all froze too. The lady was dressed in a white-grey colour crinoline type dress."

Other ghostly goings-on include the unexplained choral chanting of children, the figure of a pale woman frantically mopping blood at the bottom of the Tulip Staircase (it's said that 300 years ago a maid was thrown from the highest banister, plunging 50 feet to her death), slamming doors, and even tourists being pinched by unseen fingers.


Title: Re: Ghosts
Post by: Jennie McGrath on October 27, 2007, 08:06:55 pm
(http://z.about.com/d/paranormal/1/0/b/A/back_seat_ghost_lg.jpg)


~ Mabel ChinneryThe Back Seat Ghost

Mrs. Mabel Chinnery was visiting the grave of her mother one day in 1959. She had brought along her camera to take photographs of the gravesite. After snapping a few shots of her mother's gravestone, she took an impromptu photo of her husband, who was waiting alone in the car. At least the Chinnerys thought he was alone.
When the film was developed, the couple was more than surprised to see a figure wearing glasses sitting in the back seat of the car. Mrs. Chinnery immediately recognized the image of her mother  the woman whose grave they had visited on that day. A photographic expert who examined the print determined that the image of the woman was neither a reflection nor a double exposure. "I stake my reputation on the fact that the picture is genuine," he testified.


Title: Re: Ghosts
Post by: Jennie McGrath on October 27, 2007, 08:08:33 pm
(http://z.about.com/d/paranormal/1/0/n/C/boothill_ghost_lg.jpg)

~ Terry Ike ClantonThe Ghost of Boothill Cemetery

"This is the photo that changed my opinion about ghost photos," says Terry Ike Clanton, who runs the TombstoneArizona.com website. Clanton is an actor, recording artist and cowboy poet, and is also a cousin of the legendary Clanton Gang who clashed with the Earps and Doc Holliday at the famous gunfight at OK Corral. Clanton took this photo of his friend at Boothill Graveyard. The photo was taken in black and white because he wanted Old West-looking pictures of himself dressed in Clanton's 1880-period clothes. Clanton took the film for developing to the local Thrifty Drug Store, and when he got it back was startled at what he saw. Among the gravestones, just to the right of his friend, is the image of what appears to be a thin man in a dark hat. By height, the man appears to be either legless, kneeling... or rising up out of the ground.
"I know there was no other person in this photograph when I shot it," Clanton insists. And he believes the small figure in the background is holding a knife. "We thought this was a tie at first, but after further review, it appears to be a knife," Clanton says. "The knife is in a vertical position; the tip is located just below the figure's right collar. If you're not convinced that something is weird here, look at my friend's shadow in the photo. It appears to be going back slightly to the right of him. The figure in the back should have the same shadow, but it doesn't!"


Title: Re: Ghosts
Post by: Jennie McGrath on October 27, 2007, 08:10:21 pm
(http://z.about.com/d/paranormal/1/7/k/C/fire_girl_lg.jpg)

Ghost in the Burning Building

On November 19, 1995, Wem Town Hall in Shropshire, England burned to the ground. Many spectators gathered to watch the old building, built in 1905, as it was being consumed by the flames. Tony O'Rahilly, a local resident, was one of those onlookers and took photos of the spectacle with a 200mm telephoto lens from across the street. One of those photos shows what looks like a small, partially transparent girl standing in the doorway. Nether O'Rahilly nor any of the other onlookers or firefighters recalled seeing the girl there.
O'Rahilly submitted the photo to the Association for the Scientific Study of Anomalous Phenomena which, in turn, presented it for analysis to Dr. Vernon Harrison, a photographic expert and former president of the Royal Photographic Society. Harrison carefully examined both the print and the original negative, and concluded that it was genuine. "The negative is a straightforward piece of black-and-white work and shows no sign of having been tampered with," Harrison said.

But who is the little girl? Wem, a quiet market town in northern Shropshire, had been ravaged by fire in the past. In 1677, historical records note, a fire destroyed many of the town's old timber houses. A young girl named Jane Churm, the legends say, accidentally set fire to a thatched roof with a candle. Many believed her ghost haunted the area and had been seen on a few other occasions.


Title: Re: Ghosts
Post by: Jennie McGrath on October 27, 2007, 08:13:58 pm
(http://z.about.com/d/paranormal/1/0/j/C/watertown_ghosts_lg.jpg)

~ Keith Tracy

Ghosts of the SS Watertown

James Courtney and Michael Meehan, crew members of the S.S. Watertown, were cleaning a cargo tank of the oil tanker as it sailed toward the Panama Canal from New York City in December of 1924. Through a freak accident, the two men were overcome by gas fumes and killed. As was the custom of the time, the sailors were buried at sea off the Mexican coast on December 4.
But this was not the last the remaining crew members were to see of their unfortunate shipmates. The next day, before dusk, the first mate reported seeing the faces of the two men in the waves off the port side of the ship. They remained in the water for 10 seconds, then faded. For several days thereafter, the phantom-like faces of the sailors were clearly seen by other members of the crew in the water following the ship.

On arrival in New Orleans, the ship's captain, Keith Tracy, reported the strange events to his employers, the Cities Service Company, who suggested he try to photograph the eerie faces. Captain Tracy purchased a camera for the continuing voyage. When the faces again appeared in the water, Captain Tracy took six photos, then locked the camera and film in the ship's safe. When the film was processed by a commercial developer in New York, five of the exposures showed nothing but sea foam. But the sixth showed the ghostly faces of the doomed seamen. The negative was checked for fakery by the Burns Detective Agency. After the ship's crew had been changed, there were no more reports of sightings.



Title: Re: Ghosts
Post by: Jennie McGrath on October 27, 2007, 08:16:02 pm
(http://z.about.com/d/paranormal/1/7/Z/A/girl_on_gravestone_lg.jpg)

Madonna of Bachelor's Grove


This photo was taken during an investigation of Bachelor's Grove cemetery near Chicago by the Ghost Research Society (GRS). On August 10, 1991, several members of of the GRS were at the cemetery, a small, abandoned graveyard on the edge of the Rubio Woods Forest Preserve, near the suburb of Midlothian, Illinois. Reputed to be one of the most haunted cemeteries in the U.S., Bachelor's Grove has been the site of well over 100 different reports of strange phenomena, including apparitions, unexplained sights and sounds, and even glowing balls of light.
GRS member Mari Huff was taking black and white photos with a high-speed infrared camera in an area where the group had experienced some anomalies with their ghost-hunting equipment. The cemetery was empty, except for the GRS members. When developed, this image emerged: what looks like a lonely-looking young woman dressed in white sitting on a tombstone. Parts of her body are partially transparent and the style of the dress seems to be out of date.

Other ghosts reportedly seen in Bachelor's Grove include figures in monks' clothes and the spirit of a glowing yellow man.


Title: Re: Ghosts
Post by: Jennie McGrath on October 27, 2007, 08:18:38 pm
(http://z.about.com/d/paranormal/1/0/4/D/track_ghost25.jpg)

~ Andy and Debi ChesneyRailroad Crossing Ghost

A strange legend surrounds a railroad crossing just south of San Antonio, Texas. The intersection of roadway and railroad track, so the story goes, was the site of a tragic accident in which several school-aged children were killed - but their ghosts linger at the spot and will push idled cars across the tracks, even though the path is uphill.
The story may be just the stuff of urban legend, but the accounts were intriguing enough that I wrote an article about the phenomenon, "The Haunted Railroad Crossing." The article included a photograph submitted by Andy and Debi Chesney. Their daughter and some of her friends had recently been to the crossing to test the legend, and she took some photographs. Inexplicably, a strange, transparent figure turned up in one of the photos. "They had no idea that it was in the picture until the next day when I printed out the picture and showed them," said the Chesneys. "It was really freaky. It appears to be a little girl carrying a teddy bear."

Other readers who have viewed the photo think it shows a little girl with a dog sitting at her feet. What do you think?


Title: Re: Ghosts
Post by: Jennie McGrath on October 27, 2007, 08:21:04 pm
(http://z.about.com/d/paranormal/1/0/V/A/hooded_monk_lg.jpg)

~ Reverend K. F. LordSpecter of Newby Church

This photograph was taken in 1963 by Reverend K. F. Lord at Newby Church in North Yorkshire, England. It has been a controversial photo because it is just too good. The shrouded face and the way it is looking directly into the camera makes it look like it was posed – a clever double exposure. Yet supposedly the photo has been scrutinized by photo experts who say the image is not the result of a double exposure.
The Reverend Lord has said of the photo that nothing was visible to the naked eye when he took the snapshot of his altar. Yet when the film was developed, standing there was this strange cowled figure.

The Newby Church was built in 1870 and, as far as anyone knows, did not have a history of ghosts, hauntings or other peculiar phenomena. Those why have carefully analyzed the proportions of the objects in the photo calculated that the specter is about nine feet tall!


Title: Re: Ghosts
Post by: Jennie McGrath on October 27, 2007, 08:23:37 pm
(http://paranormal.about.com/library/graphics/best_baby_lg.jpg)

Baby Ghost

A woman named Mrs. Andrews was visiting the grave of her daughter in a cemetery in Queensland, Australia in 1946 or 1947. Her daughter Joyce had died about a year earlier, in 1945, at the age of 17. Mrs. Andrews saw nothing unusual when she took this photo of Joyce's gravemarker.
When the film was developed, Mrs. Andrews was astonished to see the image of a small child sitting happily at her daughter's grave. The ghost child seem to be aware of Mrs. Andrews since he or she is looking directly into the camera.

Is is possibly a double exposure? Mrs. Andrews said there were no such children nearby when she took the photograph and, moreover, did not recognize the child at all – it was no one she would have taken a picture of. She remarked that she did not believe it was the ghost of her daughter as a child.

Investigating this case, Australian paranormal researcher Tony Healy visited the cemetery in the late 1990s. Near Joyce's grave he found the graves of two infant girls.


Title: Re: Ghosts
Post by: Jennie McGrath on October 27, 2007, 08:26:36 pm
(http://z.about.com/d/paranormal/1/0/Y/M/gables_ghost_2.jpg)

~ Lisa B.Ghost of the Seven Gables

While touring the historic House of the Seven Gables in Salem, Massachusetts – the birthplace of American author Nathaniel Hawthorne – Lisa B. snapped this remarkable photo. The ghostly image of a small boy seems to be in the shrubbery, peering over the wooden fence.
The most amazing part of the story of this photograph is that she subsequently did some research about Hawthorne and the house. While looking through a library, she came across one of Hawthorne's books, Twenty Days with Julian & Little Bunny by Papa. On the cover of that book is a portrait of Hawthorne's five-year-old son, Julian. And as you'll see by clicking on the photo at left, the portrait of little Julian bears a striking resemblance to the ghost in Lisa's photograph.



Title: Re: Ghosts
Post by: Jennie McGrath on October 27, 2007, 08:35:15 pm
(http://z.about.com/d/paranormal/1/7/P/P/best_church1_lg.jpg)

Choir Loft Ghost

In 1982, photographer Chris Brackley took a photograph of the interior of London's St. Botolph's Church, but never expected what would appear on the film. High in the church's loft, seen in the upper right-hand corner of his photograph, is the transparent form of what looks like a woman. According to Brackley, to his knowledge there were only three people in the church at the time the photo was taken, and none of them were in that loft.
According to London Paranormal Database Records, "Mr. Brackley was later contacted by a builder who recognized the face of one that he had seen in a coffin in the church."



Title: Re: Ghosts
Post by: Jennie McGrath on October 27, 2007, 08:37:09 pm
(http://paranormal.about.com/library/graphics/best_priest_lg.jpg)

Sefton Church Ghost

Sefton Church is an ancient structure (started in the 12th century and finished in the early 16th century) in Merseyside, England, just north of Liverpool. This particular photograph was taken inside the church in September, 1999.
According to Brad Steiger's Real Ghosts, Restless Spirits and Haunted Places, where this photo was found, there was only one other photographer in the church beside the person who took this picture. Neither of them recalled seeing the ghost or any flesh-and-blood person standing there who could account for this image. Because the figure is all in black, it has been theorized that the apparition could be that of a church minister.

Reader Mark Tomlinson reports that a pub next door to the church, called the Punch Bowl, is said to be haunted by the ghost of a man in blue nautical garb, which has been reported there for many years.


Title: Re: Ghosts
Post by: Jennie McGrath on October 27, 2007, 08:40:19 pm
(http://z.about.com/d/paranormal/1/7/M/L/granny_lg.jpg)

~ Denise Russell

View Full-SizeGrandpa's Ghost

This photo was received from Denise Russell. "The lady in the color photo is my granny," she says. "She lived on her own until age 94, when her mind started to weaken and had to be moved to an assisted living home for her own safety. At the end of the first week, there was a picnic for the residents and their families. My mother and sister attended. My sister took two pictures that day, and this is one of them. It was taken on Sunday, 8/17/97, and we think the man behind her is my grandpa who passed away on Sunday, 8/14/84.
We did not notice the man in the picture until Christmas Day, 2000 (granny had since passed away), while browsing through some loose family photos at my parents' house. My sister thought it was such a nice picture of granny that she even made a copy for mom, but still, nobody noticed the man behind her for over three years! When I arrived at my parents' house that Christmas day, my sister handed me the picture and said, "Who do you think this man behind granny looks like?" It took a few seconds for it to sink in. I was absolutely speechless. The black and white photos show that it really looks like him.


Title: Re: Ghosts
Post by: Jennie McGrath on October 27, 2007, 08:42:49 pm
(http://z.about.com/d/paranormal/1/0/K/L/granny2_lg.jpg)


Title: Re: Ghosts
Post by: Jennie McGrath on October 27, 2007, 08:46:26 pm
How to hunt for ghosts!
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Here is the much anticipated list of all the basic ghost hunting tips necessary for optimal results in the field. The list was created with your safety in mind.
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"A good investigator is objective. Adheres to scientific protocols, eliminates all other possibilities and presents what is found"
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Let's Get started...
In the instructions below I allude to the fact that it is possible for a ghost to follow you home, and this is obviously a concern among ghost hunters. However, it is extremely rare! You have more of a chance of being followed home by an actual person than of a ghost. I feel confident if you follow the rules all will be well. 


Here are twenty helpful tips:

1. Never go alone on a ghost hunt. Take along a partner for safety and peace of mind.

2. Always say a prayer of protection before and after a ghost hunt. We don't want those pesky ghosts following us home!

3. Make sure all of your equipment is fully charged and that you have extra batteries available. Ghosts have the ability to drain fully charged instruments.

4. Don't walk into an area snapping pictures right off the bat. Give those ghosts that are present some time to get used to you.

5. Be aware of the surroundings for safety sake. For best results, always take a day walk through before doing a nighttime investigation, if possible. The other option would be to show up just before dark (dusk) and have a look around before starting.

6. A ghost hunter steps into an investigation/ghost hunt with the best of feelings for those that are with him/her and for the ghosts that might be present. In other words, full respect for the living and the dead.

7. Above all - NO HORSE PLAY! A serious and conscientious ghost hunter gets results.

8. Large groups should split up into smaller groups of four individuals or less per team.

9. If you are scientifically minded, and I hope that you are.....take along a notebook to record significant occurrences. Begin by logging in the starting time and weather conditions etc. Also make note of surrounding lights so as to not confuse them with anomalies later on in the pictures. Record all meter abnormalities, strange sounds, sightings and feeling or emotions. Each group should take their own notes and compare afterwards.

10. Do not show fear. A gracious ghost will not come around if they sense you are fearful. Yet your fear can have a mischievous ghost feeding on that fear......not good.

11. Always remember, you are the one with the body, and you are the one with the power. Don't give up your power to them through fear.

12. Keep in mind that a lot of the places you will be investigating will be secluded. Because of this you should always bring along some form of protection. I suggest pepper spray or a stun gun. I am of course talking about protecting yourself from bad people, not bad ghosts. *smile*

13. If you are going to be taking pictures, be sure and read the Ghoststudy photography tips page. Click here for that page

14. If you feel that some unknown force wants you out of there...then by all means get out! You should never go against these feelings or you could end up having something show up at your home. Turnabout is fair play right?

15. Never dare an unseen entity to make itself known to you. However, It is okay to ask those present if you can take their picture or record their voice.

16. Make sure you have permission before entering private property such as a cemetery or abandoned house. I know how tempting this can be for a ghost hunter to do. Just remember this though, when you are caught sneaking around, it makes the ghost hunting community as a whole look bad. You could also be fined or jailed. Think about that.

17. If you are not familiar with EMF meters, you might want to check out our meter page for helpful tips on using these devices. We also have meters available for sale through our secured service. Meters can be quite helpful in locating ghostly presences.

18. Now a word about ghost voices, referred to as EVP (electronic voice phenomena). Take along an audio recorder and as you are recording ask questions to those invisible beings that might be in the area. Pause for an answer. It's also a good idea to ask some questions and then leave the device recording in a remote location for around 20 minutes or so. When you come back you might have your replies! For a list of EVP instructions for capturing ghost voices, please see our EVP page.

19. Be sure and have a look at out "standards and Protocol" page for a list of the guidelines expected when hunting for ghosts.

20. End a ghost hunt/investigation by evoking the power of God as a protection. "All unseen presences must remain here in the name of God" (or however you would do it according to your own personal religious beliefs). And don't forget to thank these that are unseen for any evidence you may have acquired during the investigation/hunt.

Don't forget to check out your old photos and you photo albums for ghost anomalies. You might be pleasantly surprised at the ghost pictures you already have!

http://www.ghoststudy.com/new/huntips.html


Title: Re: Ghosts
Post by: Jennie McGrath on October 27, 2007, 08:47:41 pm
... Learn basic ghost photography!  


Here's the must know facts that every ghost hunter should know when out on a ghostly photography shoot. There are many basics that all ghost photographers should be aware of in order to have the best possible chance of getting ghostly phenomena on film. My hope here is to furnish all of the essentials necessary to allow everyone the opportunity to capture their own great photos! Once you get that first great snapshot.....you're hooked!

........................

Let's Get started... The first thing you should realize is that ghost phenomena does not always show up on film, even when they are present. And daylight photos are always a challenge. Therefore it's always better to take your photos at night with a flash or in an area with subdue lighting for the best possible chance of capturing something..

Type of camera's to use
Just about any camera will give you the desired photo results you seek. I'm seen great photos come from all types of camera's including simple disposable units. Now if you want the advantage of slow shutter exposure or fancy filters then you'll need a fancy camera to do it but to capture ghost phenomena on film can be achieved by using just about any camera you might have. I also recommend using 400 film. It's an all purpose film that will work great in most conditions.

Digital Camera's are a great tool for ghost hunters, but...
Digital cameras can be a great tool for ghost photographers! They allow you to see your photo results immediately. No film required! They only require a memory card or in some cases like mine, a floppy disk. The big advantage is, you will know right away if you have captured an anomaly, therefore allowing you to track it. There are draw backs however, digital cameras do not furnish a negative, therefore it's hard to prove your photos are not enhanced, A drawback indeed! So with that in mind, never depend totally on a digital camera for all your photos....more like use it as a tool to locate the anomalies. Then have a buddy duplicate your photos with a regular film camera. This will document your findings with a negative as well as a hard copy photo. There are other drawbacks that I am a bit reluctant to mention but I feel a responsibility to do so. First of all, I want to say that digital cameras are the best for capturing authentic ghostly orbs on film because of the technology used, (no doubt about it). But they are also notorious for producing them artificially from airborne particles at the time of the flash. These particles being, dust, pollen, and moisture, to name a few. Please note however that regular film cameras can also pick up these artificial orbs, but it is much more rare and they are always fewer in numbers. A general rule is to look for some substance within the orb structure for authenticity. Also avoid taking pictures in the above described conditions....that's it! In conclusion, Let me reiterate what I suggested earlier...... Taking your digital camera along with you on your ghost hunts (as I always do) but also take along your 35 MM camera as well. It's best to use them as a team.

Here are twenty helpful tips:

1. Ghosts are not just in haunted old buildings. Ghosts are almost everywhere in one form or another. So don't be afraid to take photos at the mall or out on a busy intersection at night, or anywhere else for that matter.

2. When you take photos at night, let's say in a cemetery etc. make sure you have you camera set for night filming. If your camera has this setting, please use it otherwise your photos might come out to dark or fuzzy.

3. Always take photos of something and not just a clearing. Having a background image such as a tombstone, tree, building etc., It adds to the quality of the photo and allows mild light reflection for best possible results.

4. Take lots of pictures! Takes photos of anything & everything with a good background image. The odds are good that you will capture an anomaly if you take at least 50 pictures on your hunt. Then again, you might just get some great stuff on your first roll, you just never know.

5. When taking your photos, make sure to avoid shinny surfaces. The shine from a glossy tombstone or pane of glass etc. can cause anomalies that can appear to look like ghost mist, fog & orb shapes. Oh, and never try taking photos through a glass window. It's just to easy to create shapes that aren't really there. Not worth wondering if it was created from the glass or not. Old glass is the worst.

6. Make sure your camera lens is clean at all times. Again, this can cause anomaly type images to appear. If the lens has a smudge it can easily show up on several pictures and can look like an anomaly, so look for that sign. Try to always keep your lens spotless.

7. Make sure you know where your camera strap & lens cover are at all times. These can appear as a vortex or other ghostly images if left to dangle free from the camera. If your thumb or finger is in the way of the lens it can cause this same effect.

8. Make sure long hair is tied back. Hair can also appear as a ghostly anomaly. Strains of hair can look like orbs in motion as well as ghost energy.

9. Completely avoid taking photos when conditions are windy, foggy, rainy, dusty and where it's snowing or when moisture is in the air. All of these conditions can cause images to appear that look exactly like orbs and ghostly anomalies.

10. In cold weather make sure your breath is not affecting the photo results. Exhaled air in cold weather can appear in front of the lens to create all sorts of strange elusions including mist & orbs shapes.

11. A condition called "Lens Flair" produces strange effects in your photos. To avoid this do not take photos in the direction of the sun. Also, never take a picture in the direction of any direct light source. Preferably have all light sources away from you or even behind you when snapping your photos.

12. Talk to the ghosts. When you enter an area that you want to photograph, such as a cemetery, follow these steps: Walk around the area for about 15 minutes before doing anything else. As you're walking around, clear your mind and think only good thoughts. (Ghosts can sense your feelings and read your thoughts) After 15 minutes, recite the following statement or something similar. "Hi, my name is ______, We have come here to take some pictures of you as ghosts in order to show & document that there is life after death. We have only the best of intentions. We are not here to do any harm and we will only be here long enough to take our photos and then we will leave. Our only request is to take a picture of you, any of you! Thank you so much. I'll begin taking pictures now......thanks. Take all the pictures you think you need to and start heading back to your car. On the way, stop one last time and say: We are leaving now, just in case I didn't get any pictures of you on film can I take just 5 more pictures of this monument (or whatever) and would one of you mind posing for me in these very last photos? Take five more photos and then say: Thank you so much for putting up with me & my group.....we enjoyed being here in your company and am grateful for any photos you have allowed us to have of you..........thanks again, bye. If you were able to get some good pictures and you proved your good intentions to the ghosts.....then you will be welcomed back on your return visit. 

13. Most ghost energy will appear in the air from two to ten feet above the ground. So focus a portion of your attention at that level but don't limit yourself totally to it. Ghostly phenomena can and will also appear above your head at times so be sure and snap some random shots up above at times. Note: in a buildings they can appear at any level of the structure and at any height.

14. The odds of encountering an evil spirit are slim to none but here is the counsel concerning them. Don't go hunting for evil spirits and DO NOT dare them to come around. If you hear or see a sign of evil spirits you should leave immediately.

15. Avoid mirrors or even taking photos in the general direction of a mirror. The camera flash can create a flash in the mirror that can produce a variety of effects including vapor, mist & fog.

16. Try following your instincts when taking ghost photos. If you have a particular inclination to snap a photo in a particular direction or at a particular object, do it. Trust your feelings an as you do, your abilities to sense ghosts should increase.

17. Ghosts are quite often attracted to people and will follow them around. So include people in the photos you take. Tip: When taking photos of others try to include enough space to one side of the picture and above the heads of those in the photo to capture any anomalies present. Remember the purpose is to catch anomalies and people together in the same photo. Here's another trick to use when ghosts might be following you around......put the camera over your shoulder and snap a picture behind you. This can be an effective technique at times......trust me.

18. The best time of the year for capturing ghost images on film are in the colder months when electrostatic energy is at it's highest. These months being October through February. You can capture any kind of ghost type on film at any time of the year but the above mentioned months just increase your odds is all. Orbs however, don't seem to be affected by seasons and are by far the easiest anomalies to capture on film.

19. Remember your flash limitations. A flash can only be useful for up to a certain distance. Normally within 15 feet. So if you are in a cemetery at night and take a picture of a mausoleum 30 feet away, the image will be hard to view and a bit washed out, as well as any anomalies present. Important note: The flash will help highlight the anomaly if the background image is within the the range (15 feet). Note: A flash attachment will increase your range if you desire to use one.

20. Best places to take pictures: Some places are more haunted than others. Some typically haunted locations are cemeteries, old buildings, including old hotels, houses, hospitals, schoolhouses, and churches. Other good spots are theaters as well as any historic part of a city. Use your imagination and see what works for you. Just remember the best rule of thumb is to include places that are rich in history on your investigations. That's the basics in a nutshell.......study and know them well and you will be well on your way to capturing strange phenomena on film in the near future. I might add, once you start seeing the fruits of your labor, you will be hooked! And life will no longer be the same for you as it was before. Ghost hunting is a great hobby and can be a truly fulfilling one as well. We wish you the best of luck in your endeavors!

Don't forget to check out your old photos and photo albums for ghost anomalies. You might be pleasantly surprised at the ghost pictures you already have!
http://www.ghoststudy.com/photography_class.html


Title: Re: Ghosts
Post by: Jennie McGrath on October 27, 2007, 10:15:17 pm
You want ghost stories? I got 'em! Here is a site where people can post their own ghost stories, instantly. Haven't checked it all out yet to see what they have, but here is a nice little ditty from it:

http://www.ghoststudy.com/ghost_stories.html


What's in the attic might scare you!

Submitted by James: JamesJ@NAVSEA.NAVY.MIL

The house I grew up in Hagerstown, MD was nothing spectacular. It was small, and cramped, with 4 sisters, a brother, and my two parents. (One bathroom and 5 women, now that's scary.) My eldest sister was, well, I hate to say it, but she was 'sensitive' (if she were rich they'd call her eccentric). She would constantly go screaming into my parents bedroom in the middle of the night to tell of the 'things' in her room (which she shared with the other girls, they never saw anything). Personally, I wrote it off to her just being 'weird', although my father still tells stories of hearing someone running down the stairs in the night. Thinking it was my older sister having another nightmare, my father would run after her, and find no one downstairs, and all the kids sound asleep.........Now, I'd like to tell you of my experiences in that house. One night, when I was 16, I was reading William Peter Blatty's 'The Exorcist'. I heard one of my dogs paw nails clicking on the linoleum of my bedroom floor, a very distinct sound. I reached out to pet him and he was not there. He wasn't anywhere upstairs that I could find him. I was done with that book for the night. Over-active imagination from reading a horror story? Most likely............. A few years later, and most of my siblings had moved out. I took over the attic bedroom. My eldest sister, Jenny, hated to sleep up there, she always complained of being tormented by the 'things', pulling her hair, grabbing her feet, etc. Again, I laughed it off. One night, though, I was reading once again, and I managed to spook myself. I went to sleep with the lamp on. This lamp sat on my nightstand right beside my bed. When I awoke the next morning, the lamp was laying on it's side, the lamp shade and light bulb were sitting a few inches apart, in the middle of my room, on the floor. OK, I rationalized that I must have done that in my sleep. Funny how I didn't burn my fingers on the hot light bulb, though. A few more years go by, I'm married and have a two year old daughter. My family and I are visiting my parents, and we sleep on the attic. We had just settled down for bed and turned the lights off, when, after about 5 minutes, my daughter sits up and points to a fixed spot in the middle of the room, and says 'There they are, mommy. There they are.' over and over. When we asked her who was there, she just kept pointing and said 'The people, there's the people, mommy.' My wife knew of my sister's experiences, and my own, and needless to say we were both spooked. Although my daughter was not the least bit concerned or upset. There's something very unnerving about a two year old pointing to 'something' in a dark room and repeating 'There they are'. I was relating this story to another sister a couple of Sundays ago (July 16th, 2000). While I was telling her, her face went pale and she broke out in a serious case of goose bumps. She then told me that a couple of years after my incident, she was also visiting my parents with her two year old son, and slept on the attic. During the night, her son Chris sat up, pointed to the center of the room, and said 'Look at the people, mommy.' .........One final addendum. I was asking my daughter recently (she's 18 now) if she remembered what she saw that night. Of course, she did not. But she told me that when she walked by one of the bedrooms upstairs (this bedroom was filled with toys for visiting grandkids), she heard a child's toy playing when there was no one in the room. I was telling (yet another) sister this story, and she told me a friend of hers refused to go into that room, because she once saw a child's toy piano playing by itself. I cannot vouch for the validity of the statements in this last paragraph, but I can tell you that everything I related in the first person did occur. Ironically, I'm still not 100% convinced in the existence of spirits, but I do have to wonder about what my daughter and nephew 'saw' on the attic.

http://www.ghoststudy.com/ghost%20stories/sep00/attic.html


Title: Re: Ghosts
Post by: Jennie McGrath on October 27, 2007, 10:16:48 pm
Haunting experience at Lenin Museum

The director of Russia's Lenin Museum says the ghost of the former soviet dictator is haunting the building.

Maja Obraszowa, head of the museum located in Vladimir Ilyich Lenin's former house in Samara, says staff often hear footsteps and see furniture moving, as well as other inexplicable phenomena.

Obraszowa said: "We walked into the master bedroom one morning and saw the bed had been slept in, even though the door was locked all night.

"And we can often smell apple cake, which was his favourite food, even though there is no bakery near here."

The ghost story emerged after a group of school children visiting the museum swore to have smelt fresh coffee while looking at the former revolutionary's ancient coffee machine.

Lenin studied law in Samara from 1887 to 1891. His body is on display in the red square though many Russians feel it should be removed and given a Christian burial.

http://www.ananova.com/news/story/sm_1627023.html


Title: Re: Ghosts
Post by: Jennie McGrath on October 27, 2007, 10:19:26 pm
Sweet spirit Teenage ghost joins students at Sweet Briar College Visit Sweet Briar's ghosts

By Donna Chasen


Sweet Briar College sits in the gently rolling foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains just south of the small town of Amherst in the Virginia county of the same name. The campus setting is serenely beautiful, with 3,250 rolling acres of meadows and small hills. The academic village sits in the center of this pastoral landscape.

Sweet Briar was founded as a girls' school and remains so today. Every fall, young students enter its gates to enjoy the exquisitely unique collegiate experience that Sweet Briar has to offer. Some bring their horses with them, to be housed in an elegant stable complex. Sweet Briar is home not only to its student body, but also to many staff members and approximately half of its faculty. The campus is crisscrossed with walking, hiking and riding trails.

As the grounds were once the setting of an extensive working plantation in the 18th and 19th centuries, history and archaeology students enjoy a rich cornucopia of opportunities for a hands-on study experience.

The majority of Sweet Briar's buildings were designed in the early 20th century--predominately by Ralph Adams Cram, whose work is also present at the University of Richmond, MIT, West Point, Princeton and many other notable colleges and universities. Over two-thirds of Sweet Briar's buildings have been designated the Sweet Briar College National Historic District and were listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1995.

This icon of higher education was founded in 1901 as a condition of the legacy of Indiana Fletcher Williams. Williams wished that her plantation and her entire estate become an institute of higher learning for female students in honor and memory of her only child, her daughter Daisy, who died of antitrypsin deficiency, an inherited enzymatic disorder that is easily treatable today. Daisy passed away in New York at the age of 16 in 1884. She was returned to her beloved Sweet Briar to be buried in the family graveyard on Monument Hill in January of 1884.

Williams' bequest was formidable, as her estate consisted of over $1 million and over 8,000 acres of land, including the Sweet Briar Plantation. Sweet Briar College was established per the wishes of its benefactor to maintain the highest standards of education to--in the words of its founder--prepare young women "to be useful members of society."

It is in this peaceful, serene setting that the legends of the Ghosts of Sweet Briar originated. The most visual evidence is the "screaming statue"--a sculpture standing high over the family cemetery on Monument Hill (there is also a recently discovered slave cemetery on the grounds, as well). The statue's hand is carved in such a way that, when the wind passes through it, it emits a high-pitched whistle some describe as a "scream."

This statue is the most obvious symbol of Daisy Williams, Sweet Briar's most famous ghost and the center of most of the legends and "sightings" that surround the college. It replaced another funerary monument that was erected at the actual time of Daisy's burial in the family cemetery on Monument Hill. Legend is that a relative, angry that Williams' vast fortune was going to be used for the education of young women rather than disbursed among family members, charged the statue and destroyed all but a portion of the base. He theoretically "wrenched" a wrought-iron post from the cemetery's fence and broke apart the marble monument.

The new statue was erected in the original's place. Its setting is high atop a hill and the formation of a circular "passageway" in the statue's hand create a high-pitched "whistling" or "screaming" sound when the wind blows through it--hence, the screaming statue legacy.

Other incidents involving the impish spirit of Daisy, who passed away far too young, have occurred throughout the years. The college's Web site dedicates several pages to these "meetings with Daisy" and, up until very recently, offered an opportunity for more recent "sightings" to be entered, as well.

Tales told include a music box that does not work, but on occasion plays anyway; the mysterious appearance of a medallion with Daisy's image; and strange laughter and noises throughout the buildings of Sweet Briar. Rather than hide away these legends, Sweet Briar offers them up as a sort of "Southern Gothic" element to the overall Sweet Briar experience. There is a sense of pride in how the founding family of the college still "watches over" their school to this day.

One early legend about Daisy came from an older resident of Sweet Briar who played with the actual Daisy as a child--years before the plantation became a college. The two young girls would dance in front of the large mirrors in Sweet Briar House, twirling and spinning away the hours. Years later, a cloud appeared in these same mirrors, twirling in a similar manner as the two young girls had done many years before.

When former President Barbara Hill first moved into the President's House, her young daughter found a new "friend" within its walls. The President's House is the former home of Daisy and her parents, and Daisy's bedroom still boasts the original furniture from when she lived there. The "invisible playmate's" name was--surprise!--Daisy!

An alumna of Sweet Briar has chosen the investigation of the paranormal as her life's work. As a freshman, she lived on the fourth floor of Meta Glass dormitory. Above her was the attic. It was an honor violation to go up to the attic and it was actually locked at all times, but the elevator had a habit of going up to this attic, where it would stop and open for no apparent reason. Daisy perhaps was mesmerized by the mechanism of these machines, as other elevators on the campus act strangely, as well. Noises were a common occurrence, with the police often arriving at the dorm due to the strange sounds echoing from this "unoccupied" space. This alumna personally witnessed these noises and she, along with her friends and roommates, were quite frightened by the experiences.

http://www.ufodigest.com/sweetdaisy.html


Title: Re: Ghosts
Post by: HereForNow on October 28, 2007, 02:27:49 pm
Haunted Rooms at the Crescent Hotel: A number of rooms are haunted in the historic Crescent Hotel. Room 218 is the spot where Michael, an Irish stonemason, landed when he fell from the hotel's roof during construction. His ghost is said to bang on the walls and turn the lights and television on and off. Rooms 202 and 424 of the Crescent Hotel are also said to be haunted.
The Haunting of the Crescent Hotel: You don't need to stay in a haunted room to see a ghost at the Crescent Hotel. Outside of the Recreation Room, the ghost of Dr. Norman Baker often appears, looking a bit confused. He ran a controversial hospital and health resort in the building during the 1930s. A nurse, dressed in a white uniform, has been seen on the third floor of the Crescent Hotel. A woman in Room 419 introduces herself as a cancer patient to guests and housekeepers, then vanishes.
In the Lobby: In the lobby of the Crescent Hotel, look for the ghost of a man who hangs out at the lobby bar or stands at the foot of the staircase.
http://www.americasmosthauntedhotel.com/press_scifighosthunters2005.htm