The best evidence a paranormal investigator can hope for is capturing a full bodied apparition. This is a rare occurrence during an actual investigation. Some of the best photos of ghosts ever captured were done by accident. With the average five year old today being able to photoshop a picture that can fool experts, let’s take a look at some of the best ghost photos history has to offer us.
The Brown Lady
In 1936 Hubert C. Provand was a photographer working for Country Life magazine. He and his assistant traveled to Norfolk, England to take photos of Raynham Hall for an upcoming issue when he inadvertently captured this shot:
The apparition is believed to be the ghost of Lady Dorothy Walpole, the sister of the first Prime Minister. She was the second wife of Charles Townshend. When Charles discovered she had been having an affair he locked her in her room where she remained until she died of smallpox.
This pic shows a squadron of the Royal Air Force. Upon closer examination an extra face was discovered partially hidden behind the fourth man from the left in the top row. The face bore an uncanny resemblance to Freddy Jackson, a squadron member who had died two days before the photo was taken. He had been killed in a freak accident by an airplane propeller and his funeral was being held that day. Perhaps unaware that he was dead, he decided to show up for the scheduled photograph.
Bachelor’s Grove Cemetary in Illinois is considered by many to be one of the most haunted sites in the country. Mari Huff, a member of the Ghost Research Society, snapped this photo in 1991. According to Mari and others present there was no woman visible at the time the picture was taken.
The Backseat Ghost
In 1959 Mabel Chinnery spent a day at the cemetery visiting the graves of her relatives. To finish off a roll of film she snapped a picture of her husband who was waiting in the car. When she had the film developed it appeared her husband hadn’t been waiting alone. Mabel said the apparition in the backseat looked just like her deceased mother.
Tulip Staircase Ghost
Retired clergyman Rev. Ralph Hardy visited the National Museum in Greenwich, England in 1966. In the Queen’s House section of the museum he snapped a shot of the Tulip Staircase. Prior to the picture being taken footsteps, doors slamming, and disembodied children’s voices chanting could be heard. Allegedly 300 years ago a maid was thrown from the top of the stairs, falling 50 feet to her death.
Moundsville Shadow Man
On May 7, 2004 Polly Gear was with a group of paranormal investigators at the abandoned West Virginia State Penitentiary in Moundsville. While walking down a hallway toward the cafeteria she heard a noise. She turned on her flashlight and saw the form of a shadow person at the end of the hall. The beam of the flashlight went through the apparition, which noticed the light and dashed through a nearby door. Hoping to capture a photo of what she had seen Polly started walking backward and readied her camera. As soon as the flash was ready she snapped this shot.
Polly goes on to describe being about 10 feet away when she first saw the shadow person. It was very tall, and the black form appeared to be moving like static on a television, only black. It seemed to be intelligent, recognizing the light on it and Polly’s presence. After taking the photo she went to make sure that no one was in the area. Experts who have analyzed the photo say there is no way it could be Polly’s own shadow casting against the end of the hall.
Toys ‘R’ Us Ghost
The toy store chain is notorious for its locations being haunted. Such seems to be the case with the Sunnyvale, CA Toys ‘R’ Us. This photo was taken during the filming of a television show called “That’s Incredible.”
No one was standing where the figure is on the left
Several psychics, including Sylvia Brown, have visited the store and ascertained that the spirit's name is John. The story goes that John was a preacher and ranch hand in the 1880s on the property where the store now sits. Most believe he bled to death in an accident while chopping wood. Store employees tell of John following people into the ladies’ room and turning the water faucets on, throwing dolls off the shelf, and whispering worker’s names in their ears.
Denise Russell took this picture of her grandmother in 1997. They had just moved her grandmother into an assisted living facility for the elderly. One weekend the resident’s families were invited for a picnic. Denise attended and took this picture. No one noticed anything for three years. On Christmas Day, 2000 Denise and her sister were looking through family photos at their parents’ home. Their grandmother had since passed away, and while looking at the picture they noticed the man who appeared to be standing behind her. They believe the man in the picture is their grandfather, who had passed away in 1984.
Mrs. Andrews was visiting the grave of her daughter, who had died at 17, in Queensland, Australia and took this picture. At the time she didn’t notice anything unusual. When she developed the film she was shocked to see the infant looking directly into the camera.
There were no children in the cemetery that day. Some thought the photo could be the result of a double exposure but Mrs. Andrews stated that she didn’t know anyone with a baby and hadn’t taken any pictures like that. She also said it didn’t look like her daughter had at that age. When a paranormal researcher later visited the site he found the graves of two infant girls near that of Mrs. Andrews’ daughter’s.
As you can read about in the previous blog, the house at 112 Ocean Ave. in Amityville, New York has quite a history. When Ed and Loraine Warren were investigating the house, photographer Gene Campbell took a series of infrared time-lapse photographs. The camera was set up on the second floor and took photos at regular intervals throughout the night.
No children were at the house at the time. The boy in the picture has been described as demonic, with glowing eyes. When George Lutz asked his children if they knew who the boy was one of his daughters said it was the little boy she used to play with.
San Antonio Railroad Crossing
Legend has it that this railroad crossing in south San Antonio was the site of an accident that involved a school bus and several children were killed. Although the road goes uphill, the story goes that if you park on the tracks the ghosts of the children will sometimes push the car uphill, leaving tiny hand prints on the back of it. This picture was taken by the daughter of Andy and Debi Chesney and shows a mysterious transparent figure.
Yorkshire Moors Apparition
Colin Foster, 34, took a backpacking trip through England and took along his new digital camera. At the Yorkshire Moors he snapped this photo. He didn’t notice it until he returned home and reviewed his pictures with his girlfriend. She saw it and had him zoom in (shown below) on the transparent figure. Foster recalled having a feeling of being watched when he took the picture, but just chalked it up to the remoteness of the location.
Here’s a few more modern ‘ghost photos’ that are circulating on the internet. Couldn’t find a background story to them, but they were interesting enough to deserve inclusion here:
The first (legal) hanging here in Letcher County was connected to one of it’s most famous murder cases which also happens to be one of our most famous hauntings. Floyd Frazier was hanged on the gallows where the old Whitesburg High School now stands on May 19, 1910 for the murder of Ellen Flannery. For the last century Ellen is said to be spotted occasionally near where she was killed, seeming to try and get back home.
On May 21, 1907 Ellen Flannery, the widowed mother of five children, sent her two eldest children to town on errands and went out to pick greens for supper. The children returned from town to find that their mother had not returned. When night fell, they were still alone. They spent the night by themselves and the next morning neighbors learned of Ellen missing and a search party sat out to look for her.
Among the search party was 21 year old Floyd Frazier. Frazier was said to have been mildly mentally handicapped and had been sweet on Ellen. Taking the lead, he led the party to a creek bank, then announced their was no need to check down in the creek, she wasn’t there. Other party members insisted on checking, and there they found the body of Ellen Flannery.
Several large stones, some weighing up to 65 pounds, were piled on top of her in an effort to conceal her body. Her throat had been slashed and their was bruising on her head. Also her skirt had been torn off and placed beneath her body.
Nearby lay the mess of greens she had collected along with a blood trail leading away from the scene. A fence close by had bloody handprints on it from someone climbing over it. Following the trail, large footprints were found in the mud with an unusual number of tacks in the heel. Following the footprints they found a knife, and under another pile of rocks, Ellen’s bonnet.
Suspicious of Frazier who had led them straight to the body, police went to his home where a shirt was found with blood on the sleeve that had been scrubbed. He had several scratches on him as well. When a pair of shoes belonging to him were found that contained an unusual number of tacks in the heel that matched the footprints, Frazier was arrested for the murder.
Sentenced to be hanged, his mother and several others testified at the trial that Floyd didn’t have the mind of an average person and was known to fly off in a rage for no apparent reason. Word spread around town that Frazier’s mother disapproved and was even jealous of his love for Flannery, and some said she even told him to kill her.
Ellen Flannery’s ghost has been seen walking in the head of Pert Creek and along Pine Mountain that joins the hollow. Witnesses have seen her apparition walking near the spot where she was killed, perhaps trying to get back home to her children. I’ve visited the site where Ellen was killed, as well as her gravesite on ghost hunting trips. While we didn’t capture any concrete evidence, we did hear strange sounds like gravel crunching but there were no cars. Was Ellen or Floyd walking down the road by us? There are many stories of drivers seeing a woman in white while crossing Pine Mountain. Maybe this is the spirit of Ellen Flannery, eternally searching for her way back home.
To view the lyrics to an old mountain ballad about Floyd and Ellen, hit this jump
.For an old Mountain Eagle article on the hanging, check out this link
On top of a mountain along the border of Virginia and Kentucky lies a dirt path that shoots off the Appalachian Trail. This isolated stretch was once the only way to get from one state to the other, long before US23 and its four lanes of asphalt. It is along this path that the Killing Rock is located, the scene of an ambush that left several people dead, others on the run for their life, and possible paranormal activity.
Let’s start with the Killing Rock’s history.
On May 14 1892 this desolate stretch witnessed a horrific massacre that seems to have left a psychic impression on the land. Ira Mullins was a moonshiner on his way to the coal mining camps of Jenkins to sell a load of unstamped illegal liquor. His party of seven, including his wife and some children as well as hired hands, had just begun their descent into Kentucky when a shot rang out. A horse fell dead. Three men with veils partially hiding their faces emerged from their hiding place upon the rocks where they had camouflaged themselves with branches. When the smoke cleared, Ira Mullins’ sister-in-law and his 15 year old son were the only survivors of their party.
Ira Mullins, moonshiner
The massacre is just part of this story that has been handed down from generation to generation. There was bad blood between a US Marshall, Doc Taylor, known as the “Red Fox,” and Ira Mullins. Taylor was a former soldier and local doctor who had declared war on moonshiners when he was deputized. On a previous run Mullins ran into Taylor in Wise, VA. Over 250 shots were fired. The wagon driver was killed and Mullins himself was left partially paralyzed. Soon after Taylor lost his government affiliation, but the hatred between the two intensified. Out of fear Taylor decided to take action first and went to the Mullins home one night, shooting through the windows. Afterward Taylor fled to Kentucky, fearing a return attack.
The Red Fox, Doc Taylor
There he caught wind of Mullins’ next scheduled trip to deliver illegal liquor and enlisted the help of two brothers, Heenan and Cal Fleming. The trio laid in wait among the rocks as noon approached on the scheduled day. They fired mercilessly on the travelers.
Ira’s wife, Louranze, was shot several times in her chest and knees. She had been wearing a leather pouch tied underneath her clothes containing about $1,000, the family’s entire savings. Her skirt was tossed up and the pouch had been cut off. It had been cut to pieces and parts of it were found a few hundred yards away. The money was never recovered.
When the shooting broke out 15 year old John Harrison Mullins took off running back toward Wise. The suspenders he was wearing were shot through by passing bullets but he was unharmed and made it back to town.
Jane Mullins had married Louranza's brother. He was riding at the front of the procession and was among the first shot. She was also riding on horseback and was thrown from her horse. She scrambled to where her husband lay dying. Louranza yelled out for Jane. Despite bullets continuing to fly Jane hurried over to Louranza, who was fatally wounded and had propped herself up against the back of the overturned wagon. She looked Jane in the eyes and uttered her last words, "They have killed me."
The shooting died down. The gap hung thick with smoke from the gunfire. Jane chanced a look and saw the three men upon the rocks, the bottom half of their faces visible. She called out to them,” Boys, for the Lord's sake, don't shoot anymore, you have killed them all now. Let me stay here with them till someone finds us." They yelled and cursed at her. Jane thought she recognized one of the voices as being Cal Fleming’s, and another to be Doc Taylor. Some accounts hold that Heenan Fleming had been sweet on Jane and convinced the others to spare her life. He yelled to her,”Goddamn you, take to the road and leave or we will kill you, too." Jane took them at their word and made haste down the mountain towards Jenkins. Her clothes were riddled with bullet holes but she herself was not shot.
Fingered for the murders, Doc Taylor and the Fleming brothers went into hiding. The Fleming brothers made it to a logging camp in Boggs, West Virginia where they found work. Big Ed Hall and a posse after the reward being offered for them intercepted a piece of mail that told them where they were. The posse traveled to Boggs and confronted the brothers when they came to the Post Office to check their mail. A gunfight ensued, with Cal killed, several of Hall’s posse members dead, and Hall himself wounded. Heenan was brought back to Wise to stand trial.
Heenan and Cal Fleming
By this time Jane, who had been kept in the jail as a form of witness protection since she believed she could identify the men, had passed away. Heenan was set free due to a lack of evidence. He returned to West Virginia, took a wife, and eventually became a law officer himself.
Taylor hid in the attic of his son’s home. He was attempting to board a train in Bluefield that would have ensured his escape, but was captured by a railroad company detective. He was taken to the Wise Jail where his trial and conviction were quickly accomplished. His appeals failed to help, and he was scheduled to be hanged on October 27, 1893.Taylor was quite the character, subscribing to the Swedenborgianist Christian faith, a movement that followed a Swedish man who claimed God had revealed secret meanings of the scriptures and the second coming of Jesus. They believed followers needn’t have faith to get into heaven, only do good works in life. During his years of practicing medicine he would often come in and talk with the ill person. He would ask them a few questions, then ask them to concentrate on him. He would lay his hands on them and recite prayers and incantations. Following this he would go outside and hold his hands up to the sky, continuing his prayers and incantations. He would return and tell the patient the ‘spirits’ had told him what was wrong with them and how to treat them.
On the day of his hanging Taylor’s request to preach his own funeral was granted. He spoke to a large crowd that had gathered outside the courthouse for the hanging, speaking for an hour and a half, citing Revelations 3:20 and appeared to be drunk on wine that had been smuggled into him. He asked the crowd to join him in singing “How Firm a Foundation,” and all but one old widow declined.
At 2:00 pm he was led up the scaffolding dressed in white as he had requested. He also asked that his body not be buried, because to prove his innocence he would rise from his coffin on the third day and continue to preach the word. After saying another prayer, he trembled and had to be aided to remain standing. The noose was placed around his neck, the trapdoor dropped, and he was pronounced dead 18 minutes later. His body was taken to his home and laid out, but after nothing occurred three days later it was interred at a Wise County cemetery, where it remains unmarked to this day.
This sign marks the spot along the trail where the massacre occurred. With so much emotional energy being expelled in one spot, it’s no wonder that for decades visitors to the Killing Rock have reported paranormal activity. Phantom horses can be heard trotting along the path both in the daylight and in the dark. Dark or black shadowy apparitions have been reported.
I was part of a local ghost hunting team and after learning the hard way that private property wasn’t always a good place to go hunting. On Halloween night I came up with the idea to go hunt at the Killing Rock. We split up and did some EVP recordings and took hundreds of pictures. Some strange orbs and flashes of light were showing up in some of our pictures. I sat my flashlight on one of the rocks. I asked the spirits if they were hanging around to turn my flashlight off. After a few seconds of nothing I went back to taking pictures. About a minute later I looked back to see that my flashlight was now indeed off. Thanking who or whatever had manipulated the flashlight, I asked them to do it again. We all watched for the next 20 minutes as the flashlight came on, went off, dimmed, and grew brighter. After a few minutes with no more activity I retrieved the flashlight to find that the batteries, brand new when I put them in that night, were dead as a doornail.
A lot of pictures I got that night had strange light anomalies in them. The following pictures are a few examples:
The strangest photo evidence from that night came while I was standing on the path. I randomly snapped this shot:
Wondering if i had some kind of lens flare going on or something paranormal in nature I asked it to come closer if it was a spirit. This is what i got:
A camera malfunction? In case it was paranormal in nature I said, “That’s good, keep coming,” and got this photo.
Almost looks as if the main concentration of energy is passing to the left. In the next one it’s completely gone. Did something come toward and past me?
With its history of a lot of bloodshed, mass murder, and killers claiming to come back from the dead the Killing Rock is a relatively undiscovered paranormal treasure. I'm excited about returned and seeing what we capture next. I highly recommend the Killing Rock if you're in the area.
The David Rocks used to be a local gathering place to build a bonfire, bring a cooler full of the beverage of your choice, and hang out with friends. Strip mining and companies sucking the natural gas out of the mountains have changed the landscape of the area. They have literally moved mountains, but were nice enough to leave the David Rocks and an area of a hundred yards or so around them untouched.
A friend a fellow paranormal enthusiast recently sent me a picture her brother had taken. He had went up to the David Rocks to take some shots of the scenery and didn't realize what he had captured until he was sharing the photos with some family members.
That was when they noticed what appeared to be a man peeping out from behind a tree. Those who have viewed the photo (the original is below) have theorized that it is an apparition of a civil war soldier, others saying he's a coal miner. Even the most hardened mountain skeptics agree there seems to be something here.
Often with supposed photos of apparitions, something we call matrixing occurs, in which the brain automatically tries to make connections with the information it is given, such as seeing faces in tree branches. I do not think this is the case with this photo, as matrixing is usually just a face or single body part, and what we have here seems to be a ghost hunters dream, a complete full bodied apparition.
Who is the man looking out from behind the tree? To some he appears to be holding something. Some say it looks like a gun, a knife, a various other objects. Restless civil war soldier, coal miner with unfinished business, or perhaps a moonshiner shot down by the revenuers? I'm hoping to get back to the David Rocks soon and do some further investigating. For now, just had to share this photo.
America is fascinated with it’s celebrities. It’s also fascinated with the paranormal. It seemed only natural that I should throw something together to merge the two obsessions. The Bio channel has been cashing in on it’s new show “Celebrity Ghost Stories,” but while entertaining, the featured celebrities aren’t quite A-listers. So I’ve assembled this little inventory of haunted celebrities, and celebrities who have passed on but reported to still be hanging around.
HEATH LEDGER AND MICHELLE WILLIAMS – since his untimely death in 2008 Heath Ledger seems to have found a way to come back to his ex Michelle Williams. One night Michelle was awoken to the sounds of furniture moving around the room. She saw a shadowy figure that looked like Heath. Another time Michelle says he visited and apologized for not being there to help raise their daughter, Matilda.
NEVE CAMPBELL – The Scream star bought a house that had been owned by a woman who was murdered in 1991. She reported paranormal activity including doors slamming, windows banging open, and ashtrays flying off shelves. The specter of the woman has been seen by Campbell and visitors on many occasions. Neve says she grew accustomed to the spirit, “After a while it felt normal. I'd pass her in the hallway and casually wish her good morning.”
ADELE – The phenomenal British songstress paid £7 million for a home in Sussex that had once been a convent. Immediately after moving in Adele said she was creeped out by the place. She told friends about hearing bangings late at night. She was so freaked out she moved in her female bodyguard so she wouldn’t be alone in the mansion, and hired additional security personnel.
LUCILLE BALL – Lucy seemed to have been loved by those living and dead. During her life she managed to keep her encounters with the supernatural relatively quiet. At one time she had grown tired of being known as a comedy queen, until she was visited in a dream by her dead friend Carol Lombard, who convinced her to keep going. Lucy’s spirit is said to frequent her old Beverly Hills home, where furniture moves and windows are found broken with no explanation, and shouting sounds have been traced to the attic. Lucy is also believed to hang around the Paramount Studios building where DesiLu’s production offices were located. Security guards have reported seeing a woman wandering the upper levels and smelling old flowers and perfume.
JOE HILL – The son of horror writer Stephen King has came into his own, publishing several novels of his own. One of his works was picked up for a television pilot. While the show never got picked up, Joe’s return trip from shooting the pilot in Pittsburg led him to spend the night in the Bethleham Hotel. The hotel’s room 932 is supposedly haunted. Visitors can by the “Room With a Boo” package that includes spending the night in the spooked room. The night Hill visited the room was booked and he was given room 832, directly below it. Even so Hill woke up in the middle of the night as terrified as he’d ever been. He was certain something was sitting on the edge of his bed and was paralyzed, unable to lift his head to see who, or what was there. He was able to scream, quite loudly, which caused a lot of thumping from the room above to be heard. Perhaps there were residual haunting effects from the room above experienced by Stephen King’s son that night.
MATTHEW MCCONAUGHEY – Alright, alright, alright. When Matthew McConaughey moved into his Hollywood home he and his dog spent the first night, where else, in a tent. He awoke to the sounds of furniture moving and other weird noises. McConaughey grabbed a baseball bat and went off to investigate, in his birthday suit. The actor is convinced the noises he heard that night were caused by the apparition he has seen several times since then, whom he calls Madame Blue. When talking about Madame Blue he often says the two of them get along famously, and he thinks it may be because of his constant nudity at home.
ANNA NICOLE SMITH – The Texas native and former Playmate has paranormal tales circulating from both sides of the grave. During her life, Anna Nicole talked about an incubus that used to visit her in an apartment she once lived in. She claimed she thought it was her boyfriend until she woke up one day and it wasn’t. At first Smith was freaked out by it, but came to terms with it saying, “Well, you know what? He’s never hurt me and he just gave me some amazing sex so I have no problem.” And Anna Nicole isn’t the only celebrity to have encountered such a spirit. Lucy Liu has also talked about being visited by an incubus.
After her death from an accidental overdose in 2007 Smith’s ghost has been spotted at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel in Hollywood, Florida where she passed away. To discourage tourists seeking to exploit the room she died in, the hotel has since renumbered the rooms so that room 607 can’t be found.
DAN AYKROYD AND MAMA CASS – One of the writers and stars of the Ghostbusters films has had his own real life encounters with the paranormal. Aykroyd, who lives in the home once owned by Mama Cass Elliot of the Mamas and the Papas, is sure the singer is still lingering around. “I'm sure it's Mama Cass because you get the feeling it's a big ghost.” Gym equipment and jewelry moves around mysteriously. Aykroyd says she once crawled into bed with him. He says he rolled over and nuzzled up to whatever it was and went back to sleep.
NICOLAS CAGE – Actor Nic Cage owned one of the most notoriously haunted properties in the country. The LaLaurie House in New Orleans has a haunted past that goes back to the 1930s and a socialite named Madame Delphine LaLaurie. Madame LaLaurie was well known for the elaborate parties she hosted in the home, as well as her dark side. She is said to have mistreated, abused, and some say even murdered slaves. During the time he owned the home, Cage never slept there. Over the years countless witnesses have reported ghostly goings on there. For more info on the LaLaurie House’s haunted history visit this link. Perhaps Cage’s reluctance to spend the night at the LaLaurie House and possibly encounter it’s ghosts stems from an experience he had at an earlier age while staying at the home of his uncle, Francis Ford Coppola. Nic’s room was in the attic. One night he saw the black silhouette of a woman with big hair appeared. At first he thought it was his aunt, but as it approached he realized he didn’t know what it was. He screamed and threw a pillow at it, and it disappeared.
SHARON TATE – The horrific murder of actress Sharon Tate and several guests at her home by the Manson Family is a dark stain on American culture. In August of 1969 Tate, the pregnant wife of director Roman Polanski, was stabbed to death repeatedly by followers of Charles Manson. Eerily, just days before the murders, Sharon confided to friends that she had seen her own ghost. If you’ve read my blog on dopplegangers you’ll know this is commonly seen as an omen of impending death. The encounter started while she was in bed and saw what she believed was the ghost of the home’s previous owner, Paul Burn, who had shot himself there following the breakup of his marriage to actress Jean Harlow. Terrified, Tate fled downstairs only to be confronted with her own ghost. She saw herself tied to a pillar with her throat cut, in the same position her body would be found days later.
JIM MORRISON – The Lizard King died in Paris but some would have it that his ghost is still hanging around a Mexican restaurant on Santa Monica Boulevard. The restaurant was once a recording studio The Doors used as a workshop. A manager there reports lights mysteriously going on and off and the door handle to the bathroom, which was where the recording booth once was, jingles by itself. A chef added that someone was brought in to do a sort of spiritual cleansing but was unsuccessful, telling the owners that whatever was there wasn’t leaving.
An interesting photo is out there, supposedly taken in 1997 at the French cemetery where Morrison is buried. It shows ‘rock hisrorian’ Brad Meisner and what appears to be the spirit of Morrison in the background. Experts who have analyzed the photo say it shows no signs of manipulation. You decide.
TORI SPELLING AND FARRAH FAWCETT – After the death of her father, super-producer Aaron Spelling, actress Tori Spelling had psychic John Edward attempt to contact him. Instead her late neighbor, Farah Fawcett came through. She asked that Tori pass along very specific messages to her family.
ORSON WELLS – The genius behind Citizen Kane and responsible for the ensuing real-life panic when his “War of the Worlds” was broadcasted on the radio and thought to be actual news bulletins reporting a Martian invasion is said to still hang around his favorite haunt. His apparition has been seen at what was his favorite restaurant during his life, Sweet Lady Jane’s in Los Angeles, sitting at the table he preferred. The smells of his brandy and cigars are also said to sometimes be present.
JOHN LENNON – Shot and killed by Mark David Chapman in 1980 in New York, the spirit of John Lennon has reportedly touched those who were close to him since his death. His son Julian believes it was the spirit of his father at work when in Australia working on a film, he was handed a white feather by an Aboriginal elder during a ceremony. Lennon told his son before his death that if he died, to look for a white feather. Fellow Beatle Paul McCartney also believes Lennon visited the studio where his former bandmates were recording of one of his songs. A white peacock wondered in and McCartney is sure it was Lennon (although it belonged to a neighbor). When they finished the recording they decided to throw some backmasking on the end, recording themselves backwards and sounding like gibberish when played forward, all except for one part. See video below:
By the time I came along Loretta Lynn was already an icon. That little gal from Butcher Holler sang her way into American history. In her twilight years, Loretta has added another chapter to her mythology, her home finding itself on all kinds of “Most Haunted Locations” lists.
In 1964 Loretta released “This Haunted House” about the ‘ghost’ of a lost love. A couple years later she and her husband Doolittle were taking a country drive when a huge house caught her eye. She told Doolittle that was going to be her house. At the time they didn’t even know who owned the property, but they soon bought it. The Hurricane Mills Plantation included the mansion, several other houses, a church; years ago it had been its own little town. A bloody Civil War battle had been fought on the property, the mansion having been used as a hospital.
The Hurricane Mills Plantation Mansion
Soon after settling into Hurricane Mills Loretta’s family began experiencing frightening encounters with apparitions. Her twin daughters, Peggy and Patsy, told her about repeatedly waking up in the night to find a woman watching them. Curious, Loretta attempted to contact the restless spirits. She believed one of them was a man she came to call Ol’ Man Anderson.
It was found that the home’s original owner was named James Anderson. Loretta felt that he and his wife lingered in her house. She had a little talk with them, promising to take care of the house and ‘fix it up real nice.’ After that she thought of the occurrences as just Ol’ Man Anderson letting them know he was still around.
One day Loretta arrived home from being on tour. She looked up and saw a woman standing on the second story balcony crying and wringing her hands. When she asked who was in the house, she was told no one. She went upstairs and out onto the balcony. No one was there, but she looked out onto her property, which included a cemetery, and saw the woman walking there, and then she seemed to vanish. Buela Anderson was James’ wife, who had died only days after the death of their infant child. They are buried in the cemetery.
Loretta Lynn has had paranormal experiences her whole life. She has talked about seeing people who had passed away as a child. It wasn’t until years later that she realized that everyone didn’t see them. She awoke one night from a vivid dream in which she had seen her father lying in a coffin. That night she received a telephone call from home telling her that her father had passed away. She returned home for the funeral. She found her father laid out in the same suit and in the same coffin that she had seen in her dream. Years later she returned to Butcher Holler and saw her dad’s ghost sitting on the front porch of the house she had grown up in.
Perhaps she inherited some of her abilities from her mother, who was half Cherokee Indian and foretold her very specific details about the man she would marry years before she met Doolittle Lynn. Loretta said she and her mother shared a strong connection. Even on opposite sides of the country, her mother would know when she was feeling sad or depressed, and a letter from her would arrive to cheer her up. Once while visiting Hurricane Mills, her mother gave her a startling warning. She told her she needed to move away from there, because there was a lot of water on the property and one of Loretta’s children would drown there.
Years later while on tour Loretta experienced a seizure and was hospitalized. At the same time one of her sons couldn’t be accounted for back home. He was soon found dead in a creek on the property. Once his body was found, Loretta came out of the coma-like state she had been in.
Both of her sons encountered apparitions at Hurricane Mills. One of them fell asleep fully dressed one night. He woke to find a Civil War soldier tugging on his boot and his dog barking at it. The other son has woken up to find a soldier staring at him. While fishing in the river, they saw a soldier walk across a bridge then vanish.
The family moved out of the mansion and into another house on the property in the 1980s. The mansion is now a museum. Visitors often report being touched, and tour guides have walked away from the job because of the paranormal occurrences. No matter how often they’re straightened, Loretta’s album covers that hang on the walls are said to be found crooked on a regular basis. One visitor saw someone in period clothing standing behind a tour guide. When they asked who it was the person disappeared and the tour guide was mysteriously pushed down the stairs.
While many were unnerved by the incidents, Loretta came to regard the spirits in her home as part of the family. She has said she feels a connection to them, and a responsibility to take care of the house. Hurricane Mills is on the top of my list of dream places to ghost hunt. Loretta, if you’re reading this, give me a call!
With the GOP and Democratic national conventions over and the November election coming up, I thought it would be fun to explore the ghostly goings on in the most famous address in the country. 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue is reportedly home to a host of spirits, with one of the most famous presidents in our history topping the list. The home of the Commander in Chief is no stranger to the paranormal. Jimmy Carter once reported seeing a UFO. Nancy Reagan regularly cosulted astrologists. The ghost of Abigail Adams has been seen more than once, hanging wash out to dry. Most commonly reported, and by some quite notable witnesses, is the ghost of Abraham Lincoln. It has been seen so often, it has came to be referred to as simply the White House Ghost. While in office, Lincoln and his wife Mary dabbled in Spiritualism. They routinely held séances to try and contact their son Willie, who had passed away in the White House. President Lincoln also received advice from spirit visitors, such as the specter of the deceased Massachusetts Senator Daniel Webster, who urged him to continue his fight to free the slaves. Just prior to his assassination, Lincoln encountered a doppleganger-like figure in a mirror. Seeing one's doppleganger is in some cultures an omen of impending death. While lying on a couch Lincoln saw his reflection as having two distinct faces. He rose and went to the mirror, finding his reflection normal. Returning to the couch, he saw the strange reflection a second time. He said this time, one of the faces were noticeably paler than the other. A few days later he attempted to recreate the event. Sure enough, it came back. After several more attempts, however, Lincoln was never able to make the doppleganger image reappear. He tried unsuccessfully to have it appear before his wife. Mary was very concerned. She saw the doppleganger as a sign that Lincoln would be re-elected to a second term, but would not live to see the end of it. On the day of his assassination, John Kennedy remarked to his wife and friends, "If someone is going to kill me, they're going to kill me." Several eerie coincidences connect the Lincoln and Kennedy assassinations. See the video below for more on that. Days before his own assassination, Lincoln told of a dream he had, in which he found himself wandering about the White House. He could hear sobbing. Following the noise, he entered the East Room to find a body laid out before mourners. Soldiers stood guard around it. Upon asking who was dead, a soldier replied, "The president, he was killed by an assassin." A full account of the dream can be found here: Lincoln's Dream
Abraham Lincoln was assassinated on April 14, 1865 by John Wilkes Booth. He suffered a gunshot to the head and died hours later. Since then, apparitions of his spirit have been haunting the executive mansion. Calvin Coolidge's wife reported on several occasions seeing the ghost of Lincoln standing at the window of the Oval Office, hands clasped behind his back, staring out across the Potomic where the bloody battlefields of the Civil War once were.
Paranormal events linked to Lincoln were reported frequently during FDR's administration. It's been theorized this is related to both presidents being in office during times of great war. Eleanor Roosevelt used the Lincoln Bedroom as a study and although she never saw an apparition, said she often felt as though she was bring watched and believed it to be Lincoln's presence. A clerk for the Roosevelt administration saw Lincoln's ghost sitting on the edge of a bed pulling his boots off.
Abe Lincoln: Ghostbuster
Ronald Reagan's spaniel, Rex, often barked at the door to The Lincoln Bedroom and refused to enter it. Being at the height of the Cold War, he had his staff check into it when he began to wonder if the Ruskie's might be sending some kind of high-frequency signal into the White House. He dismissed this notion when no evidence was found, and decided it was paranormal in nature after his daughter Maureen along with her husband saw Lincoln's ghost several times while spending the night in the Lincoln Bedroom.
Queen Wilhelmina of the Netherlands was spending the night in the White House when she was awakened by a knocking on her door. She answered the door to find the specter of Abraham Lincoln standing before her. She was so frightened she fainted. When she awoke the ghost was gone.
During WWII Winston Churchill was spending the night at the White House. He liked to take a bath and have a cigar before retiring to bed. Retuning to the adjoining bedroom in his birthday suit, Churchill discovered Lincoln's ghost standing by the fireplace. “Good evening, Mr. President. You seem to have me at disadvantage,” he said, as Lincoln was fully dressed.
Several other Presidents, First Ladies, and White House visitors have seen or felt the presence of Abraham Lincoln. His ghost is also said to be spotted at Ford's Theater where he was shot, and in Springfield, Illinois at his gravesite. A ghost train, identical to the one that carried Lincoln's body across much of the country following his death, is said to be seen in several places along it's original route, sometimes carrying a skeletal band playing music that cannot be heard.
Mary Todd after Lincoln's death. Taken by spiritualist photographer later proven to be a fraud.
Sometimes the paranormal finds you when you least expect it. This was the case one night when my cousin called me up and asked if I wanted to go ghost hunting. Of course my answer was yes. She wanted to know where we could go. I decided on a lonely mountain road that crossed from Letcher County into Pike County.
Around 40 years ago a man had went missing from town following a poker game in which he had been accused of cheating. Weeks later a deer hunter discovered his body. It appeared as if he had been killed and driven up this mountain road, turned off on a dirt road and driven as far as it went, and then dumped out. Growing up I heard tales of people driving along late at night spotting his ghost walking along the side of the road. My cousin said it sounded as good a place to go hunting as any, so we sat out.
We drove across the mountain. The moon was full and it was very bright outside, but bitterly cold on that January night. I had thought ahead and put on thermals under my clothes, and would be glad I had a little later on. At the top of the mountain there’s a dirt road that goes higher up, part of an old strip mine. She had never been that way so we decided to go exploring. We were lost in conversation and enjoying splashing the car through mudholes. I told her about a guy I had dated telling me he had seen shadow people up here, although he hadn’t known to call them that. Another guy swore something black flew beside his car as he drove up the Pike County side one night. She agreed that the place had a certain creepiness about it. I’d never gotten that vibe from this place but saw how one could, especially in the middle of the night with a reddish-tinted full moon overhead.
We had driven for miles and the condition of the road was getting progressively worse. I suggested we turn around and head back since you couldn’t go much further anyway. By this time she had started down a hill and we agreed we’d turn at the bottom of it, wanting to get back to one particularly deep mudhole and use our cameras to film the car splashing through it instead of trying to catch a ghost floating by.
I got a text message and was busy typing out a reply when I felt the front of the car go down fast and with a thud. “I hope you didn’t just get us stuck,” I said jokingly. She had pulled to the side of the flat area at the bottom of the hill in order to back up and head back up the hill, only we weren’t going anywhere. She put it in reverse and the tires just spun. I got out to inspect the situation, and saw that she had driven the front tires into a ditch that was overgrown and pretty much hidden in the dark. We tried every trick I knew, pushing from the front, sitting on the trunk, putting rocks under the tires in hopes of getting traction, but we just kept digging the tires deeper and deeper into the mud. My cousin had a big Maglite that had worked fine when we tested it before we left, but when we tried to use it to see how deep we were stuck, it wouldn’t come on. We took out the batteries, put them back in, and nothing.
Knowing that we weren’t going to drive out of this situation by ourselves, I called my uncle who lived at the bottom of the mountain, hoping that he was home. I knew that hooking a chain to the car and pulling it out was the only way we were getting out of this one. My aunt answered the phone, and a few calls back and forth later, after explaining as best I could where we were, I felt reassured knowing that my uncle and his son-in-law were on their way to rescue us.
I walked to the top of the hill a couple times, wishing there was something more I could do. Those mining roads went on forever and splintered off every couple miles. I knew it would take them a while to get to us, assuming they didn’t take a wrong turn, because of the rutted out roads and mudholes big enough to go swimming in. Thinking I could help the situation by walking out to meet them, I called down to my cousin, asking if she wanted to come. She said she’d stay with the car. I asked if she’d be alright by herself and she assured me she would. So with my flashlight whose batteries were weak-going-on-dying I set out.
Other than the cold it was a beautiful night. The sky was full of stars and because of the full moon I only used the flashlight when I had to cut around one of those big mud holes and through the weeds. I’d walked about 15 minutes when I thought I heard my cousin a little ways back. I could hear her talking. Figuring she’d got spooked staying by herself and had set out after me, I got out my cell phone to call her. I thought about just yelling, but if she was spooked that might only make it worse. I had great service on top of that mountain, but when I called her phone I got a recording that said she was out of the service area. I tried a couple more times, getting the same result, so I texted her. When I didn’t hear anything back from her, I kept on walking, hoping our rescuers would come rolling up any minute.
After another 10 minutes or so of walking, I heard something in the weeds to my left. They cut those mining roads into the mountains, so the edge of the road dropped off steeply down the hill. I stopped dead in my tracks, and immediately thought about what a bad idea walking off by myself had been. Now here I was, with nothing but a tiny flashlight to defend myself, and a bear or bobcat was 20 yards away from me. I decided it was time to turn around and go back to the car. I made much better time going back.
Twice more while walking back I heard what I thought was my cousin. It was always in the direction back where the car was stuck, but was too far away to make out any words. I tried calling again, just to be told again that she was out of the service area. I finally made it back to the top of the hill and saw that she had started a little fire at the bottom. I called out to her, asking if she was okay. She yelled that she was. Then I heard the ‘critter’ again, about the same distance away. My first thought was ‘I’m being stalked.’ A mountain lion was hungry and was hunting me. I stopped where I was, just below the top of the hill, and shined my flashlight in that direction. It was too weak to see anything more than the moonlight already allowed.
Just as I was about to start back down the hill to the car, I heard small rocks hit in front of me. I looked down and saw them skip to a stop just in front of my feet. I had been standing still for several seconds, so there was no way I had kicked them myself. That was the first time in a long time that I had been genuinely crept out. I forgot about the cougar and briefly entertained the idea of a Sasquatch toying with me. I called out for my cousin again, this time telling her to come up the hill and meet me. I could hear the fear in my own voice and didn’t like it. She didn’t ask why, but started up the hill.
Once we were close enough that I felt a little easier I told her it was okay and she waited, then we walked the rest of the way down together. Once we were back at the car and in the comfort of the fire’s light, I asked her if she had started walking in the direction that I had went. She said no, and asked why. I was puzzled, “Because I heard you.”
“No way! I kept hearing you. I texted you back and told you. I thought you were just standing up there.” She said that she couldn’t make out any actual words because the voice was too far away, but had clearly heard a woman talking. She thought it was me and that I was on the phone with someone. I told her I hadn’t spoken a word aloud since I had left. We both had a serious case of the creeps. A couple minutes later my phone beeped, and although I’d had perfect service it was the text she had sent me, “Yeah, I’m fine. I can hear you lol.” She showed me on her phone that she had sent the text 20 minutes before. For arguments’ sake I texted her back, and the delay between me sending it and her receiving it was about 5 seconds.
I got out my audio recorder and walked back up the hill to where I had last heard something and saw the pebbles thrown at me. I just had time to state where we were and say if anything was with us, make yourself known, when headlights appeared at the top of the hill. Our rescuers had arrived.
Getting the car unstuck was no small feat, but they didn’t give up until we were out of the ditch. They insisted on following us off the mountain to make sure we made it safely, so there wasn’t an opportunity to try and connect with whatever both of us had heard. We had decided to ditch ghost hunting for some four-wheeling, and the ghosts seemed to have found us.
A couple days later I got out my video camera, which I hadn’t taken out at all that night, to discover that it was dead. I tried two packs of brand new batteries and it wouldn’t even turn on. I’d never had any problems out of it before. I’m convinced the woman on the mountain killed my camera, as well as my cousin’s flashlight. I’ve never heard any stories connected to the part of the mountain where we were, but there’s no doubt in my mind that something is lurking there, hiding in the dark.