Scared to Death?
Hello Sir - your email was forwarded to me by a relative who thought you or your colleagues could help answer some questions regarding an incident I witnessed a few years ago. You have my permission to use this story but I do ask that my name be left out. Since I no longer live in the area where this occurred you may use those details. I would ask that you call me first. (NOTE: I did call and talk to the writer and was given permission to add other facts to her account...Lon).
It was the summer of 2004. At the time I was selling real estate in Warren County, Virginia but mostly in the Front Royal, Virginia area. The vicinity is known more for the Shenandoah Valley as well as it's history during the American Civil War. It seems that most of the older property has a story behind it and it's usually tied to the Civil War.
I moved there in 2000, not long after I graduated from college. Real estate sales was not my first choice for a career but I was doing well, so I decided to see how far I could go.
In March 2004 a house with many acres of farm property was listed for sale. The former resident had recently passed away and the family was selling it. From what I gathered, none of the relatives wanted to take over the property and it was decided that it be sold as soon as possible.
On the day I first toured the old place it was obvious that the previous owner took very good care of it. It was quite a nice house with a barn, a smokehouse and a large greenhouse. A nephew of the former owner accompanied me during the inspection. He assured me that there would be no attempts by any family member to impede a sale and that everything in the house was to be sold 'as is.' All furniture, appliances, tools, etc. were to be included in the sale. I explained to him that they would most likely realize more profit if the items were removed for sale in an auction but he insisted it must be sold 'as is' and that the buyer would be responsible for the contents. I thought this was quite odd, but I promised that I would do as the sellers wanted.
To my surprise, the property was listed for only 3 weeks. The overall housing market was starting to get very tight and large properties were difficult to sell. But, in fact, I made the sale to a couple from Washington D.C. who was the second party that showed interest. They made a counter-offer which was quickly accepted by the sellers. Everything went quite smooth though the day of settlement was a bit strange. The nephew and his sister were representing the sellers. Their demeanor was very distant and cold during the entire procedure. At one point, the buyers asked the nephew if there was any property in the house that he would like to keep. The nephew gave them a glaring look and told them that he 'didn't care if they burned it all.'
Several weeks later the new owners invited me for dinner in their new home. They were quite proud and wanted to tell me about the history of the place. It was once owned by a former British officer who had defected and fought with the colonists during the Revolutionary War. Later it become a working farm and remained so until the 1950’s when it was purchased by a Baptist preacher and his wife. The couple was considered quite eccentric and the preacher never had a large congregation. The new owners were told by an attorney who lived nearby that the preacher held worship services in the barn because there was never a church. There were many rumors of strange rituals being performed during these services.
It was a very enjoyable evening and we agreed to get together again. I really did like this couple. They were very intelligent and quite polite. The husband worked for the Federal government and the wife was a pharmaceutical representative. They had grown tired of the urban lifestyle in Washington D.C. and wanted a home where they could relax. One thing I did notice was that much of the furniture and appliances left in the house remained and was being used by the new owners.
On the July 4th weekend, the couple invited me to join their cookout. My boyfriend was staying with me for the week so he decided to come along. I hadn’t seen the couple in over a month and was very interested to know the life in their new home was going. When we arrived, instantly I knew something was wrong.
We started walking towards the back of the house and noticed that no one other than the couple were there. I asked if we were the first to arrive and was told that none of their friends accepted the invitation. We sat down in the lawn chairs and started to talk. They both looked worried though I didn’t understand what was going on. I’m a very direct person so I asked if there was anything wrong. The wife looked at me and explained that none of their friends would come to the house anymore and that they had all had bad experiences when visiting. She started to get more specific and said that they thought the property was haunted. I tried not to laugh but the smile quickly came to my face. I looked back at both of them. They were deadly serious and not smiling.
They said that something tried to push people down the stairs and that a bad odor would permeate the living room for a few minutes then fade away. They also heard screaming sounds outside at night and thought it may have been coming from the barn. As well, they were both having dreams about dead bodies buried in the greenhouse and barn. I had never experienced anything paranormal while on the property so I simply dismissed it.
The day went by without an incident and, in fact, it was quite enjoyable. It was starting to get late and I needed to get up early the next morning so we thanked them for their hospitality and drove home. I really didn’t think much about what I was told and quickly went to sleep that night.
The next morning I woke early and got myself together because I had several homes scheduled to show that day. I needed to first stop by the office so I could pick up the newest listings. When I arrived at the office, I noticed a police car in the parking lot. I walked into the office and was immediately approached by the office manager and told that the authorities wanted to talk to me.
I introduced myself to the police officers and asked what was going on. One of them handed me a photograph of the couple. They were lying on the ground, side-by-side and obviously dead. They were both very pale, like all the blood had been drained. I acknowledged that I had sold them the property and that we had socialized the previous day. He explained that their bodies were found by a police officer the previous night after a 911 call was placed for a disturbance and that they were found laying in the barn as seen in the photo. The only information I could provide was what they told me and that they thought the property was haunted.
The next day I was told that they both died from natural causes and that there would be no further investigation. That’s all I was ever told and that’s all I would ever find out. I asked a physician if it was possible that two people could be scared to death at the same time. The look he shot back at me was of utter bewilderment, which was followed by laughter. He said that it was practically impossible to scare a person to death, let alone two people at the same time.
Since that incident I moved to the west coast and no longer sell real estate. I know their deaths will haunt me for the rest of my life. I wouldn’t feel so bad if I hadn’t dismissed what they said so quickly and so out-of-hand. I feel that something on that property frightened them so bad that it resulted in their deaths. J.L.
NOTE: I had an associate check the circumstances described in the story. I told the writer that I was going to do this and she agreed just so her name was left out of the post. There was a death of a couple in the area at the time described. Since there was no investigation and the deaths were determined to be of natural causes the only information available is on the death certificate...Lon
Haunts and Curses - tales of the supernatural in the world of sports
Ghosts looming throughout Wrigley Field. Dorms haunted by unfortunate football players. Spirits inside hotels, tormenting the traveling player. Horrible fragments to open my article... With October just about half-way over already, I figured it was time to get into the spirit on Gonzo Sports Chicago.
Curses are not the only sign of the otherworldly crossing-over into the world of sports, but don't worry; for those of you who want the curses, I have those for you too.Take a look at these tales of the undead mingling with some of our favorite pastimes, and (an early) Happy Halloween to you.
The Pfister Hotel in Milwaukee caused one baseball player to sleep next to a bat for protection, while others have bunked-up together in the same room to ease the fright of its hauntings. Some players even request separate accommodations as they refuse to stay in the haunted hotel. From Tony LaRussa to Trevor Hoffman, the Pfister Hotel has garnished plenty of special attention from MLB players and staff.
During 2010, the Pfister was exceptionally disturbing. Edgar Renteria and Pablo Sandobal of the San Fransisco Giants fled after their experience with the hotel's dead tenants.
Two one-time football players are among the ghosts haunting the halls of Iowa State University. Linden Hall has a floor that is entirely mirror-less, due to reports of the players being seen behind those who looked into the floor's mirrors.
Kansas State University is haunted by a football player who was killed during his last collegiate game. For those of you looking for the details and first-hand accounts of this story, you may find that here.
Ex-Bull Eddy Curry shacked-up with Nate Robinson while at the Skirvin Hilton in Oklahoma City. Frightened by the thoughts of ghosts, Curry claims he literally could not stop thinking about them: "Something is going on here," he stated. Legend has it that a woman in the 1930's jumped to her death from the 10th floor, while holding her child.
Considering golf's lengthy history, it is no wonder that so many of its have reports of hauntings. One of the most famed stories originates from Fort Leavenworth in Kansas, which is said to be home of Catherine Sutter's spirit, roaming the grounds looking for her husband and children whom she lost in the 1880's.
Sports fans have compiled a tall list when it comes to sports curses, but the best from this list of 10 include: 5) The Madden Curse, 4) The Curse of Bobby Layne, 3) The Socceroos' Witch Doctor Curse, 2) The Curse of the Billygoat (hey- that one sounds familiar), and 1) The Sports Illustrated Cover Jinx.
Then, of course, there is the grand-daddy of them all; Chicago's very own HAUNTED WRIGLEY FIELD.
Don Gordon, co-author of Haunted Baseball: Ghosts, Curses, Legends, and Eerie Eventsstated in an interview that the (maybe not-so-)Friendly Confines is the most haunted park on the planet. From bullpen phones ringing at night, to apparitions appearing in the press boxes and seats, Wrigley's legends hint that the stadium may be haunted by more than just the Cubs' baseball history. - Chicago Now
Leave the Lights On
By Sharon Chayra - Las Vegas Informer - After two days of international travel, I tucked my nine year-old daughter, Jordan, in a bed befitting the princess from Princess and the Pea. The sumptuous white duvet and coverlet allowed her to burrow between the linens that were particularly welcoming on the chilly summer night. You come to realize that even in June, British summers require holiday travelers to pack cardigans instead of bikinis, but it was a welcome respite from our departing temperature of 110 degrees.
Shortly after our arrival, my aunt prepared a proper British roast dinner. She even ensured my favorite Jersey potatoes were served with the luxurious butter made only in the lush Somerset countryside and used by chefs around the world.
Afterward, we sat around the fire that flickered from the six-foot wide hearth made of large quarried English limestone that buffered the wattle and daub (timber and mud made popular in the Tudor times) masonry. Above the mantle on the plastered white walls hung my cousin’s school photos, a portrait of my mother and various members of the family, along with assorted horse brasses. It was a charming setting in which to catch up after a six-year separation.
My aunt and uncle’s house was cozy but afflicted with the challenges of a home over 400 years old. Renovations had afforded radiant heating and indoor plumbing, but even on a summer night the house still required a fire. The temperature was a “comfortable” 70°. It was also the reason that there were few windows and those that existed featured floral-print, heavy tapestried drapes.
Finally the antique clock bellowed seven o’clock and my aunt encouraged me to go to bed. She didn’t need to ask twice, and I staggered up the spiral staircase so narrow that the opposing wall doubled as a bannister. The wall was cold but being two feet deep, that wasn’t a surprise. They surely don’t make homes like they used to, which is why it ranged from a nursing home to an apartment and finally a residence. I could only imagine the residents of this once six-family flat lugging a 500 lbs. sideboard to the second floor.
Before I retired, I went to my daughter’s room and leant over to kiss her. I remained hunched over as the ceiling was only six feet at its apex. The wooden floors creaked with every movement playing a veritable symphony depending on what plank my foot alighted. Startled by the medieval environment, my daughter refused to let me turn the small desk lamp off or close the door even if the door could never close. It’s hard to ensure perfect angles in a building centuries old.
As I walked nearer the door, she asked that I check on her as I did at home. I chirped in the affirmative to assure her. She gave an uncertain smile but was asleep before I even left the room. Then I managed to my room and fell into bed clothes and all.
The next morning Jordan was already out in the garden admiring the wild rabbits, hedgehogs and mesmerized by my uncle’s tractor. She was blissful as I trudged into the kitchen for coffee that my aunt had prepared for her American guests.
“How was your sleep,” my aunt said as she placed a plate of toast made from bread by the village baker, and served with butter and marmalade.
“Soundly,” I responded. “I could have slept through an earthquake.”
“That’s very well then. I thought perhaps the piano playing might have roused you,” she casually responded as she now set an English fry breakfast before me.
“Who was playing piano at o’dark thirty?” I chuckled, cutting my blood sausage and piling a bit of baked beans atop before taking a bite.
“Our ghost, darling,” Auntie Mo casually said as she poured me orange Ribena.
I felt a bit of a chill run through my still fatigued body, or maybe it was the door opening as my daughter trotted in with the pet ferret in her arms.
Jordan was eager to show me the animal as it wiggled in her hands. “Isn’t she pretty?” Jordan asked, pushing the bit of white fur nearer my face.
“Yes, very nice. I think she misses her cage though,” I responded, recoiling back a bit.
My words fell on deaf ears as my daughter enthusiastically cuddled the animal closer. “Miss Sally had a ferret too, but she was yellow,” Jordan precociously stated, never averting her eyes from this fascinating creature.
“Who’s Miss Sally?” I asked as I sipped my coffee. In a town of a couple hundred, visitors don’t go without notice and neighbors loved to introduce themselves, especially to yanks from Las Vegas.
“She’s the lady who played piano for me,” was her reply. I sat silent for a moment, bewildered. “You know, last night?” Jordan said.
Silence. Chills. More chills.
“My darling, I’ve not seen Miss Sally, but I’m very glad you did. Should that happen again though, pet, let your mummy know. You wouldn’t want to frighten her if she didn’t find you in bed,” My aunt lovingly cautioned.
“But I know Miss Sally! You’ve got her picture on the fireplace,” Jordan insisted as she tugged my hand while still clutching the ferret in the other. We went to the sitting room and she pointed like a hunting dog. It was a photo of my deceased grandmother, Sally Firth Staples.
Nearly as quickly as she swept in, Jordan swept out to further explore the treasures of the massive blackberry bramble. We went back to the dining room table. I was freaked out but my aunt calmly rummaged through the fridge for the sweets tin. Everything is made better by cold Cadbury’s chocolate, you know.
My aunt proceeded to give me details of Miss Sally, the primary ghost in the house who went on benders playing the piano in the living room. There were other apparitions, including a cheeky lad who delighted in taking keys and handbags and placing them everywhere from the toilet to the greenhouse. He also gave my burly uncle a fright when three doors simultaneously shut as my uncle walked the hall. Despite her assurances that it was just mischievousness, I was glad we were leaving the next day.
Jordan never made a peep all day about the piano incident, but as we went to bed that night I was none too comfortable so I suggested we sleep together. You know, a sleepover. It’ll be fun. Jordan was delighted at this treat so and we played games including her favorite, would you rather. With droopy lids we decided to turn out the light and get to sleep. In the inky darkness with only a moonbeam shining in, Jordan casually asked, “Do you think Miss Sally will play again tonight?”
I felt a chill run down my spine. I stammered that Miss Sally was probably very tired having been up late the night before. That satisfied my little girl and she promptly turned over and went to sleep. I, however, was suddenly afraid. So I did what any grown-up would do; I turned on the desk lamp. - Las Vegas Informer
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Book Trailer - 'Phantoms & Monsters: Cryptid Encounters'
`THE HAUNTED EARTH SHOW` OCTOBER 2012 - HALLOWEEN
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Suggested Reading / DVDs:
HISTORY Classics: Americas Most Haunted Places
Haunted History: Haunted Histories Collection (Hauntings / Vampire Secrets / Salem Witch Trials / The Haunted History of Halloween / Poltergeist) (History Channel)
The Haunters & The Haunted: Ghost Stories and Tales of the Supernatural
Haunted Highways: Spooky Stories, Strange Happenings, and Supernatural Sightings
The Complete Tales Of Washington Irving
Complete Stories and Poems of Edgar Allan Poe
I would like to offer Phantoms & Monsters: Cryptid Encounters for free during a 3-day period starting Sunday (October 21st). If you have purchased previously, I truly thank you...feel free to lend your purchase to others. I would appreciate your help in promoting and recommending the book. I want to continue to offer future publications for free...remember, the readers ARE 'Phantoms & Monsters!' Thanks...Lon
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