Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Book Review for The Black Eyed Children

Title: The Black Eyed Children
Author: David Weatherly
Published by Leprechaun Press 2011/2012
Amazon Purchase Info
Leprechaun Press Purchase Info (MUCH cheaper than Amazon!)

Every year, I try to take advantage of all the wonderful paranormal authors who visit and sell their work at the Mothman Festival. It's a great way to build up my paranormal library with titles I might not normally come across in local bookstores, and its always fun to actually get to MEET the author. This year, the book I chose was David Weatherly's The Black Eyed Children.

Waaaay back I had done a short little blog post on the phenomenon of the Black Eyed Kids (BEKs), which honestly, was pretty skeptical in nature. However, since my original writing, the interest in the BEKs had surged, and with it came a surge of sightings. That surge seemed to have died down a bit, and while you can still occasionally find mention of the phenomenon online, there just isn't a whole lot of actual information available. 

So, when I saw this book, I knew I had to read it. I'm glad I did. Like I said, thoughtful and/or insightful information or commentary is really hard to find. This book provides an excellent solution---it is a scholarly look at the various reports, theories, and even skeptical analysis of what this whole thing means. There is absolutely no stone left un-turned here. The author clearly lays out the similarities between most BEK sightings, shares stories of variant tales, and presents an absolutely exhaustive list of all the explanations for what these things could be.

I highly encourage anyone who works in or has an interest in the paranormal field to add this book to his/her own library. It's a well written work with only minor editing errors, and honestly, you're not going to find anything else like it. If you want to know more about what the Black Eyed Children/Kids are, then you NEED to own this book!

Monday, October 16, 2017

Ohio's Ghostly Grub

Ohio has a TON of haunted restaurants! Below I've curated a short list of spooky places to eat throughout the Buckeye State. Any of these would be a great place to have a nice Halloween-season meal this month...or to just enjoy year-round. I know that whenever we go out of town, I'm frantically searching for local restaurants with a haunted reputation! If you've been to any of these places, or if you have a favorite haunted restaurant in Ohio, comment down below or hit me up on Theresa's Haunted History Facebook

Drawing by Suck2Day

1. The Galley Restaurant: Marietta---The building in which the Galley restaurant and Hackett Hotel now resides was built in the late 1800s. Many believe it is haunted by a 'working girl' by the name of Charlotte who tends to interact mostly with men. Charlotte has been known to throw glasses and chairs around the room and exude a general feeling of unease. Hackett Hotel and Galley Restaurant Website

2. Crosskeys Tavern: Chillicothe---Crosskeys has been open since the early 1970s, but there has been some sort of tavern or food establishment on the premises for many years prior to that. Somewhere in the history, a ghost dubbed 'Harold' decided to join the permanent staff. Harold behaves much like Charlotte, breaking glasses and moving items around. Unlike Charlotte, however, Harold's poltergeist behavior does not discriminate based on gender. Crosskeys Tavern Facebook 

3. The Elevator Brewery and Draught Haus: Columbus---This beautiful restaurant is my favorite place to eat while in Columbus; they make a darn fine burger! It doesn't hurt that the historic building is also believed to be haunted by a man who was shot and killed in the doorway. His name was Colonel Randolph Pritchard and it is claimed that he and his unknown murderer are seen and heard in the area. The Elevator Website

4. The Amber Rose: Dayton---Located just a short drive from the Air Force Museum, this restaurant is a must-see if you're in the Dayton area. The food is excellent and you might even catch a glimpse of the resident ghost. Staff report seeing a young woman with long dark hair, sometimes peering out the upper floor windows. The ghost MAY be a woman named Chickee who was one of the daughters of the family who originally owned the building and ran a grocery/deli there. During the Halloween season, the restaurant will hold special ghost events to share the history and the haunts. Amber Rose Website

Do you know of any other haunted restaurants in Ohio that you'd like to see added to the list?


Sunday, October 15, 2017

Sunday Fright Bite: WV's Haunted House Photos

Good Sunday evening! Last night was another long night of Halloween fun (we went to a Halloween-themed wrestling show and met Papa Shango!). So, needless to say, I was too tired to post a longer blog for today. Instead, I thought I would share some spooky vintage photographs from right here in West Virginia. I found both of these photos several years ago on the awesome website, WV History on View. This site is filled with a searchable database of vintage West Virginia photos. I did a search for 'haunted' and found these two images. I hope you enjoy them as much as I did...and if you have ANY information on them, especially whether or not they are standing, please let me know. 

Stay spooky!


This photo came from the WV History on View website with the description:  The "haunted house" along Highway 5 west of Glenville, referred to by Virgil and Ernest Danley in their ghost stories. By Thomas Brown (1975). Anyone know if this house is still standing or what the story behind it is? I did find that Virgil and Ernest Danley are folk musician brothers. 




Here's another awesome photo from the WV History on View website. The only description for it is: Haunted House near Aurora, Preston County, W. Va. (1889).

Saturday, October 14, 2017

TNT Area Graves

If you're familiar with the Mothman legend of Point Pleasant, WV, then chances are you at least have some knowledge of his connection to the area commonly referred to as the TNT area. The TNT area, which is now mostly a maze of concrete igloos set within the McClintic Wildlife Area, began life in 1942 as the WV Ordnance Works at Pt. Pleasant. Until 1945, this sprawling complex employed thousands of people in the manufacture of TNT.

Construction began in March of 1942, several miles north of the city of Pt. Pleasant. Most of the land used for the plant consisted of land sold to the government by local farmers. By May of that year, that would pose a slight problem...

During the early 1800s, it was common for settlers in the area to bury their dead on their property in small family cemeteries. There were about seven of these small family burial plots that stood in way of various plant construction projects. Local papers ran announcements asking for any relatives of those buried within these small family cemeteries to contact a local office.

This is an on-going research project for me, but I wanted to go ahead and share one of those newspaper announcements that appeared in the Jackson Herald on Friday May 15, 1942. This is a very interesting topic for me because for some reason, it just never occurred to me that cemeteries would have to have been moved/disturbed during construction. It makes perfect sense, though. This type of thing happened ALL the time with new construction, especially for a project as large as the Ordnance Works! It makes me wonder, though. Many of the burials were unmarked. Many of the descendants of those buried had since long moved on and could not be located. Could this disruption of their original burial site upset the souls of Pt. Pleasant's earliest citizens? Could it account for some of the non-related Mothman 'ghost' stories, such as MY EXPERIENCE several years ago? Was Mothman, although he wasn't sighted until over 20 years after the plant closed its doors be somehow connected to those disturbed souls, watching over them? The concept of graveyard guardians, which stems largely from England, is a traditional belief that many of the early settlers may have carried over with them, and weirdly enough, Mothman could have fit the bill. Or was he maybe a thought-form manifestation of the pain, anger, and all the other emotions associated with having one's eternal slumber disrupted? I'm probably REALLY reaching here, but its kind of fun to think about!


*I'd love to hear from anyone who has had a spooky experience out in the TNT area, or anyone who has any knowledge about the re-burial process for the 200 souls who were moved. You can comment down below, or find me over at Theresa's Haunted History's Facebook. Thanks!*

(Jackson Herald, Friday, 15 May 1942)
"An estimated 200 hundred graves, many of them covered with tall grasses, and forgotten, will be moved at government expense to make way for the $55,000,000 TNT plant being constructed north of Point Pleasant. The graves lie in seven old cemeteries scattered over the 8,000 acre tract for the plant which will be known as the West Virginia Ordnance works, situated in the Robinson district. All will be moved to a single new burial ground on Lock Lane road, off West Virginia State Route 62.

The site includes the old BENNETT-KNOB cemetery, which is of historical interest by reason of the interment of Dr. Jesse BENNETT, a pioneer surgeon credited with performing the first cesarean operation in America.

The cemeteries include:

Eva RICE cemetery: A burial ground near the Oldtown-Dixie road. It holds three unmarked graves, and there may be others, as there is no known record of when it was established or when the last interment occurred.

The STEWART cemetery: Established about 1800, it contains approximately 75 graves of which only 17 have headstones. This cemetery is located on Musgrave road.

The SOMERVILLE cemetery: Located on the Oldtown road, on the Effie SOMERVILLE farm. Established in 1874, it holds 15 graves, 11 of them marked. The last interment occurred in 1913.

The VANMETER cemetery: Also situated on the Dixie road. Established in 1850, it is estimated to hold 20 graves, of which only seven have headstones.

The Cherry cemetery: Oldtown-Dixie road on the C. B. Thompson farm. This, apparently a family cemetery, was established in 1873 and contains only two graves, only one of them marked.

The Nanny B. HOGG cemetery: Oldtown-Dixie and Musgrave roads. Established in 1837, it holds approximately 75 graves. Among the headstones, six are very old but in unusually good condition and probably will be moved to the new burial ground.

The HAWKINS cemetery: On Morning Star road, on the E. J. and C. G. Somerville farm. Established about 1878, it contains 12 graves, 8 of which are marked, the last burial occurred in 1901.

Besides these, there are several cemeteries on the TNT plant site, but will not be in the way of buildings and will not be moved. All these will be fenced. The land acquisition section of the War department, which has charge of moving the graves, has requested that descendants or relatives of those buried in the seven cemeteries get in touch with the office."

Friday, October 13, 2017

Happy Friday the 13th from Miss Rose Cade!

Happy Friday the 13th ya'll! Today is the second and last Friday the 13th we'll see in 2017, so let's make it a good one. Today is usually a day filled with superstition and bad luck, but it can also be a day of fun and silliness. So, as today's Friday Night Funny Post, I wanted to share with you this rather absurd photograph of a woman in a lemon suit, standing under a calendar marked Friday the 13th!

Being so close to Halloween, I guess one could imagine that a giant lemon costume might make for some interesting party or trick-or-treat attire...but this weird get-up is no Halloween costume.  This is Miss Rose Cade, Queen of the Lemons, 1920. I assume this was some type of pageant, because in the Library of Congress description for this photo, it makes note that Miss Cade was also nominated as Southern California's 'Swat the Jinx' Girl. 

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Fairview Grade School

Tomorrow (October 13th, 2017) is a rather special day for Halloween enthusiasts! Not only is it Friday the 13th...but it is also National Haunted House Day! National Haunted House Day falls on the second Friday in October and is held to celebrate the artistry and hard work associated with the Haunted House attraction industry. Each year, all over the country, dedicated volunteers and employees work to transform their spaces from the mundane to the macabre. I'm a huge fan of these attractions and being a paranormal investigator in addition to a Halloween enthusiast, I've noticed something over the years---a HUGE number of these 'fake' haunted houses can actually be found within buildings and locations with a REAL haunted history!

One example of such is the Scareview Grave School, located on High Street in St. Albans, WV. 

Source

The Scareview Grave School began life as the Fairview Grade School. When the original 1877 school (located near where the West Side Volunteer Fire Department is now located) had outlived its usefulness, a new brick school was built in the Virginia Heights area. Construction began in 1926 and the school was opened to students around 1927. Fairview continued educating the youth of St. Albans West until the mid 1990s.

After that, the school largely sat unused. The West Side Volunteer Fire department would use it for training, but it would be several years until that same fire department would breathe new life into the aging building---by turning it into the Scareview Grave School! Scareview is one of the premier haunted house attractions in this area, and is my absolute favorite! The price is extremely reasonable, and you're going to see and experience things that are just as, if not more, scary than you'd see in the big dollar haunts. The staff is entirely volunteer and you can tell everyone there loves doing what they do. Oh, and the profits go to help benefit the fire department and local food banks, so its a total win. If you'd like to know more about the haunted house itself, you can check out my REVIEW and/or the official Facebook page for Scareview Grave School.

But, like I said earlier, this particular haunted house is especially awesome because it may actually be haunted! Over the years, several psychics and paranormal investigation teams have scoured the halls of the former elementary school in search of things that go bump in the night. Unexplained noises and sightings of actual apparitions are among the reported activity. According to a Topix post on the old school, it is claimed that a little boy who died by falling down the basement stairs is the main ghost on site, but there may also be the spirit of a little girl.

If you haven't made the trip to see Scareview yet, I REALLY recommend it! It's an excellent haunted house, made even spookier by the fact that there may be more than just volunteers and props ready to jump out at you as you travel the multiple floors!

*If you have any additional information on the history or the hauntings at this location, please let me know below, or head over to Theresa's Haunted History of the Tri-State Facebook page! I'd love to know more about the real ghosts of the Scareview Grave School!*

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

The Haunted Las Vegas Academy

Source
Las Vegas Academy, located at South Seventh Street in Las Vegas, is a premier performing and visual arts school, graduating students since the early 1990s. However, before the art deco building was used as the academy, it was built as the first Las Vegas High School.

Back in 1930, workers building the nearby Hoover Dam (then called the Boulder Dam) largely lived in the Boulder City area. However, many found the rules and regulations of the city too restrictive, and families began settling in the Las Vegas area. This influx of residents resulted in the need for a local high school. Construction began that year and by the 1931 the school opened as Las Vegas High School.

The main building of the high school was built on land deeded to the city by the Union Pacific Railroad, but in the 1950s, a separate performing arts center was added. It would be this building that would gain a reputation for being haunted, long before Las Vegas High graduated its last student and was taken over by Las Vegas Academy.

Students and staff have affectionately named the ghost that haunts the performing arts center (PAC) "Mr. Petrie." Mr. Petrie has been seen in the PAC as an older man wearing a suit and tie. He is blamed for such things as flickering lights, icy cold drafts, misplaced items, and slamming doors that interrupt performances. It is even rumored that there is a picture of Mr. Petrie in the school's 1968 yearbook!

But who WAS Mr. Petrie? No one can quite agree on who Mr. Petrie was and how he came to haunt the school's PAC. Some believe he was a former teacher. One lady in particular who had witnessed the apparition while a student strongly believes this to be the case. As she and her friends were talking and laughing loudly, they were approached by the apparition of the older man in a suit and tie who looked at them sternly, and even put his finger to his lips as if to shush them.

Others believe Mr. Petrie was an elderly man who died in a house fire on or around the property where the school was built. Believers do like to point out that there WAS a man with a similar name associated with the property. In 1933 a Frank Partie and his wife, Sylvia sold a plot of land to E.A. Clark. This land would later be the land that the PAC was built upon.

Frank died in 1964 at the age of 77, but I cannot confirm nor deny that it was due to a house fire---but instinct tells me it wasn't. For years, he was the city electrician for Las Vegas, and you can find several newspaper articles mentioning his work in this capacity, especially during the Christmas season when he supervised the stringing of the city's Christmas lights. He is buried at Palm Desert Memorial in Las Vegas.

Whether or not Frank is the "Mr. Petrie" who haunts the Las Vegas Academy is unknown, but to scores of students and staff, SOMEONE OR SOMETHING otherworldly is keeping an eye on the old school!

Sources:
Haunted Las Vegas: Famous Phantoms, Creepy Casinos, and Gambling Ghosts by Paul W. Papa
The Haunting of Las Vegas by Janice Oberding
Find-a-Grave
Wikipedia