Sunday, December 31, 2017

Theresa's Haunted History Welcomes 2018!

Image from Shutterstock
Tonight, we say goodbye to 2017 and welcome in a new year full of new hopes and new possibilities. This past year wasn't the greatest for Theresa's Haunted History---between bouts of depression and lack of motivation, I just don't feel like I accomplished very much. Therefore, I'm MORE than ready to usher in a new year and another chance to move on.

I've got some pretty awesome things in the works for this year, and I wanted to share them with you all! So, here's my Paranormal New Year's Resolutions for 2018...ya'll make sure I stay accountable and actually get at least SOME of these done!

1. Increase Posting: I have a bad habit of going through these phases where I'll post every day for a couple of weeks at a time...and then stop for over a month. I went nearly 6 months without a single post earlier this year and that is something I NEVER want to do again. Not only do I want to do WAY better than this year's measly 51 posts, but I want to make sure I stay consistent as well.

2. Start a YouTube Channel: My goal is to make several micro-documentary style videos on various paranormal topics of interest to the tri-state. I'd also like to do some review-style videos and maybe showcase some actual investigations, field work, and/or experiments.

3. Book!: I've been saying this for YEARS and the truth is, I pretty much HAVE a book ready to be self-published at any time. However, like with most of what I do in regards to Theresa's Haunted History, I am my own worst enemy. I am WAY too thin-skinned, lol. I feel like that whatever I try, there's already someone out there who has not only done it already, but has done it way better than I ever could. I just got a really strongly worded comment on how awful my historical research was and it is taking everything I have to not just give up completely. I feel like the second I publish a book, all I'm gonna get is hate-mail about how awful and inaccurate it is. But, I'm gonna try to bite the bullet and overcome my fears. Keep an eye out for updates!

There are a few other things that I'm working on for the next few months. On a personal level, I'm planning on continuing my reiki studies and finally taking the MUFON certification test. You can always follow me on Facebook or on Twitter for updates, news, and all sorts of other fun stuff.

I sincerely hope that you have had a wonderful 2017 and will have an even better 2018! Thank you so much for supporting and encouraging me through the tough times. Be safe out there tonight and make the coming year your best one yet!  Stay Spooky, and let me know what YOUR spooky resolutions are for 2018!

Friday, December 29, 2017

Friday Funny: Exorcising Season!

We're just a few more days away from the end of 2017 and the beginning of 2018! If you're already starting to make your list of New Year's Resolutions, perhaps you've included a goal of losing weight? Working out? Getting healthier?  If your 2018 includes plans on joining your local gym or breaking out your own treadmill, then let this Friday Funny serve as a spooky inspiration for you! I hope you had a great 2017 and that 2018 is a good one as well!

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Luke Meets Krampus...AGAIN

On December 9th, my family and I traveled to Mike Winland Studios in Kanawha City. Our mission was to once again face off against everyone's favorite holiday monster, Krampus!

Mike Winland, creator of the West Virginia horror and sci-fi convention, Shocka-Con, is a local artist and photographer with a flair for the spooky and unusual. We were thrilled that he was offering this opportunity to sit for a professional photo shoot with such an awesome Krampus! The prices were extremely reasonable for the prints, and Mr. Krampus himself was quite entertaining. We may have to pay for some therapy for Luke later on, but it was all worth it for this shot!

In case you're not familiar with Krampus, he's the not-so-lovable companion to St. Nicholas. On the night of December 5th, while St. Nicholas is busy throughout eastern Europe leaving presents for good little boys and girls, Krampus is out roaming the countryside for the naughty ones. If you're just a little naughty, he might just leave a birch switch for your parents to beat you with. If you're REALLY naughty, you might end up being spirited away in Krampus' sack of horrors!

Luke was a very good boy this year, but there was no convincing him that Krampus wasn't out to take him away, lol. And I don't blame him for being scared----we met a different Krampus last year at Oddbird Gift Emporium in Charleston. That Krampus was a well-spoken, non-threatening sort of interpretation, while the Mike Winland Krampus was the stuff nightmares are made of!

I really hope Mike Winland Studios offers this unique chance again next year. Yeah, its fun to be scared, but more importantly, the sharing of the Krampus legend preserves and introduces the culture, history, and folklore that many around here might not otherwise get to experience. So keep an eye out for next year to see if Krampus shall return...and until then, watch for other great events. The studio is not only a REALLY unique place to get photos done year round, but also houses an art gallery full of wonderful pieces for sale.

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

A Funeral For Old Man Gloom

It's late...but its still technically Wednesday and therefore, its time for a Weird and Wacky end-of-the-year Wednesday!

I found this photo on one of my favorite historic image sites, WV History on View. Taken in Fairmont, WV in late 1928, this strange image depicts a funeral being held in the downtown area.

The funeral, sponsored by the WMMN radio station in Fairmont, is for none other than Old Man Gloom!  But...who IS Old Man Gloom? From what I can gather, in the 1920's, it was an annual tradition in many parts of the country to personify all the gloom and doom of the year and bury it as a way to usher in a more prosperous new year. The funeral procession and mock burial, complete with coffin and headstone, would take place during the last days of the calendar year. With Old Man Gloom safely six feet under, hope for a better year ahead was given to the city.

I hope YOU have a much improved year in 2018! Say goodbye to 2017 and make sure to take any gloom you may have acquired over the past 12 months and bury it safely least, metaphorically!

Friday, December 15, 2017

More Ouija Demons

Ever since the movie, The Exorcist, came out, the Ouija Board has been synonymous with demons. Many believe that there are plenty of low-level, evil, demonic entities just sitting around waiting to be contacted through improper use of the board. This is the second Ouija-related Friday Funny of the month, and I cannot promise it will be the last! 

Oh, and if you want some tips and tricks on using the Ouija board for yourself, or are simply interested in hearing MY thoughts on the whole Ouija debate, please check out my article: Ouija Boards ARE Dangerous! Stay spooky ya'll! 

Friday, December 8, 2017

Friday Funny: The Ouija Demons

You can file this one under "things I laughed at harder than I should have"! Happy Friday Funny Day...and I promise, there will be more...educational...demon-related posts throughout the rest of the month, lol. 

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

The Day I Tried to Sell my Soul

We've established on here that I was a weird kid. A REALLY weird kid. When I was about 4 or 5 years old, I would tell people that I wanted to be a voodoo high priestess when I grew up. When I got a little older, I abandoned those plans in favor of becoming a parapsychologist, just like the people I read about in my grandparents' collection of parapsychology and ghost books! I enjoyed visiting spooky locations, watching anything that came on television dealing with the paranormal, and reading anything I could get my hands on.

However, probably the weirdest (and least-advised) things I did before my 10th birthday was attempt to sell my soul to the king of demons himself, The Devil. A little explanation is in order...

It's not that I was an evil, Satanic child. I didn't worship Lucifer and I certainly wasn't after any selfish gains, such as wealth, popularity, or immortality. I was simply curious as to whether or not I could actually do it. There may also have been a touch of oppositional defiance disorder thrown in for good measure.

Even as a young child, I was starting to question a lot of things that I had been taught, one of them being the existence of Satan and how easy it was to summon him, according to movies and television. I was convinced that no matter what, it wouldn't actually work. However, on the off-chance that it did, I was prepared. I had planned on simply just not going through with the deal, lol. I would summon him with the promise of my soul, but before I signed any contract or made anything official, I'd just tell him I changed my mind. Apparently, I had thought this would be adequate, lol.

So, without fear, I attempted to contact the Devil one night. I didn't do anything fancy...just simply audibly and in my head tried to call out to him that I wanted to make a deal. I think I did wait until midnight to do this, as if that would make a difference. Obviously, the red man never showed up. For a brief period of time, I was slightly worried that somehow it HAD worked without me even realizing it. But since I could still enter a church without bursting into flames and the automatic door at the supermarket still opened for me (Simpsons reference for ya), my confidence that I was okay quickly returned.

As an adult, I still have a hard time believing in a Biblical perspective of the Devil and his legion of demons. However, I still would not recommend anyone actually attempting to make contact like I had tried, so many years ago. While my beliefs tend to lean away from this Christian perspective of who/what Satan is, I am open-minded enough to acknowledge that there very well may be forces of good and evil beyond our comprehension. There are some things that its probably best to err on the side of caution and just not mess with, this being one of them, lol.  I hope you enjoyed reading my Weird Wednesday personal experience for Demonic December---but try to do as I say, not as I do in this case!

*On another note, if you WERE to actually try to sell your soul, what would you ask for it in exchange? Is there anything worth selling your soul for? Let me know in the comments below!*

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Paranormal Investigation Bucket List (Extreme Edition)

Image Source
Top 10 Tuesday Time!

One of the questions that you always see being asked of paranormal enthusiasts and investigators is this: If you could investigate any place in the world, where would it be? There are literally hundreds of places that come to mind for me...I love investigating historic properties and there are so many great locations out there that have a lot of potential. But, after much consideration, I've narrowed down my paranormal 'bucket list' to ten locations. I tried to pick locations that were kind of extreme---places that I'm extremely unlikely to ever get a chance to visit, let alone investigate. It's fun to dream, though, right?

Let me know in the comments below what locations are on YOUR paranormal investigation bucket list!

1. Poveglia---Italy's famous Plague Island is thought to be one of the most haunted locations in the world. With a history of sickness, insanity, and death going back hundreds of years, the isolation alone of this island makes me immediately want to go there! As of right now, public access is limited at best, though. Maybe Zak Bagans can hook me up, lol...

2. The White House---The White House is one of America's most historic locations, and if you believe the slew of stories and legends, its also one of the most haunted! Of course, I'm drawn to the history and the potential to meet the spirit of a former president, but I have another reason for wanting to investigate here: just to say that I did! I would love to be the first private citizen to be able to publicly investigate and publish any findings. Even if I wasn't allowed to publish any data or even admit that that I was there, I'd still jump at the chance.

3. Disney World/Disneyland---The Happiest Place(s) on Earth have some pretty dark elements to their history, and various locations at the different parks have a reputation for being haunted. My favorite attraction is the Haunted Mansion...and maybe believe that it may actually BE HAUNTED. At Disneyland, the Haunted Mansion was used as the dumping grounds for the ashes of a deceased young boy by his distraught mother. After this was done, staff claim to have seen the ghostly image of the little boy...among other REAL phantoms. Make sure you click on the link to read more about the Disney ghosts. The ghost stories about various attractions are pretty well-known, but I don't ever see Disney tarnishing their family-fun facade with publicizing any actual paranormal investigations on park property.

4. Western Regional Jail---This jail, located in Barboursville, WV is just a short drive away from me. Built atop the site of a relocated cemetery and home to many, many untimely deaths during its years in operation, Western Regional has racked up plenty of ghostly tales. One of my favorite stories came from a former Correctional Officer who had to deal with a phantom inmate asking for a shaving kit! Since this is an active facility, and I don't plan on being arrested any time soon, chances are doubtful that I'll be experiencing the ghosts here for myself.

5. McMurdo Station---McMurdo Station is a research facility located in Antarctica, so yeah...the logistics of getting permission and traveling to the site just aren't going to happen! The stories from this location are interesting, though. Some of the ghostly sightings and experiences may be the result of a plane crash nearby, but what about the others?

6. Titanic Underwater Site---Again, this would be a complete logistical and financial nightmare, lol. Plus, I'm not SCUBA certified and quite honestly, am a little scared of being in the ocean. But how cool would it be to conduct an underwater investigation of such a historic site?  Luckily, there are several exhibits that house Titanic artifacts that claim to be haunted. Some of those locations may actually be in reach.

7. Chernobyl/Pripyat---A radioactive town left stuck in time? Evidence already collected from several teams allowed in? This is a place I WANT to be, but probably never will. Even if I could secure permission to enter the site and investigate, my funding for a trip to eastern Europe is a little low right now.

8. Tower of London---Honestly, I don't see myself being able to travel anywhere out of country for an investigation, but if I could, I'd definitely want to start in Great Britain. The Tower of London has so much history, much of it rather violent, and there are any number of ghost stories that would make a great focus for a ghost hunt. Maybe one day.

9. The Amityville Horror House---I know there is a lot of controversy surrounding the events that took place with the Lutzes in this home. I am in the camp who believes that most, if not all, of what they claimed was entirely fictional...but that doesn't mean there ISN'T anything going on here! A family was brutally murdered here, which could definitely lead to some potential paranormal activity. Plus, how cool would it be to get to investigate such a well-known, but now off-limits location? *Bonus: Check out the facts behind this creepy photo caught during an investigation of the Amityville home---Amityville Demon Boy Photo.

10. The Library of Congress---I am a certified bibliophile and cannot get enough of libraries and books. Some of my favorite spooky spots are haunted libraries and this king of all libraries has so many treasures that I'd probably be too busy snooping around the collection that I'd miss any ghosts! Still, it would be cool to say that I investigated here, since I highly doubt I'd ever be granted permission to do so.

Want more of Theresa's Favorite Haunts? Here's my picks for Top 10 Most Haunted Places in the World!

Monday, December 4, 2017

Book Review for Roswell: History, Haunts, and Legends

Title: Roswell: History, Haunts, and Legends
Author: Dianna Avena
Published: 2007 by The History Press
Amazon Purchase Information

When I think of a haunted city in Georgia, my mind goes straight to Savannah. In fact, I would wager that Savannah could be ranked up in the Top 10 Most Haunted Cities in the WORLD! But, after reading Roswell: History, Haunts, and Legends by Dianna Avena, I don't know. There is definitely enough history and ghostly legends in this small town to give Savannah a run for its money!

Located just 20 miles north of Atlanta, Roswell was once home to the Cherokee Indians, before they were cruelly moved off their land through the Trail of Tears. Just a mere quarter-century after being established as a town, Roswell would suffer through the ravages of the Civil War. Today, the town is a great place to live and raise a family---close enough to a major city to be convenient, yet still quiet and peaceful with a small-town feel. Well, maybe things aren't TOO quiet and peaceful...

Many locations around town, both old and new, boast a haunted reputation. At Chaplin's Restaurant, employees have reported the spooky sounds of a phantom horse-drawn buggy outside after business hours. A woman, believed to be a victim of suicide, is seen standing in front of the fireplace at the Voila Hair Salon. And, Barrington Hall, a historic home open to the public as a museum, has hosted a number of ghosts and the ghost hunting groups intent on experiencing them.

These stories and more make up Avena's Roswell Ghost Tour, which operates year-round. However, if you can't make it down to Georgia to take the tour, I'd highly suggest this book! It is packed with some of the great stories about this fascinating place in norther Georgia. While its not the same as actually being there, this book is a great read. There's just enough history mixed in to really set the context for the stories without bogging the reader down with mundane details. It's well written and contains plenty of beautiful photographs to accompany the text. If you're interested in southern hauntings, pick up a copy of this book---it makes a great addition to anyone's paranormal library!

Sunday, December 3, 2017

Chaplin's: Georgia's Most Haunted Karaoke Bar

You can find Chaplin's Restaurant and Bar just outside downtown Roswell, Georgia. Located in the Founders Square Shopping Plaza on South Atlantic Street, this popular karaoke club and family dining establishment has been in operation since at least 1988. Owned by David Kamran and Joseph Radfard, the bar is named for legendary actor, Charlie Chaplin. And, like so many other locations in this historic town, the restaurant has a reputation for being haunted!

According to the book Roswell: History, Haunts and Legends, by Dianna Avena and based off the popular Roswell Ghost Tour, the activity at Chaplin's is quite unnerving to its various staff! In one incident, a manager was staying late to wrap up some paperwork alone in his office. While working, he heard a commotion coming from the kitchen. Cabinet doors were slamming, the oven doors were opening and slamming shut, pots were rattling---just complete chaos. Fearing a break-in, the manager approached the kitchen cautiously, but of course, found nothing. No burglar...and no signs of anything being amiss in the kitchen. 

That manager won't stay alone in the building anymore, and neither will most of the other staff. Strange noises, feelings of unease, and items being moved around by unseen hands are common experiences. But the freakiest thing experienced by those staying after hours is the sounds of a phantom horse and buggy! 

When the last patron of the evening has left for the night, and the karaoke machine has gone silent, its not unusual for staff members to hear the distinct sounds of a horse-drawn buggy clomping around outside. Of course, when the sounds are investigated, there is nothing there.  Only the echo of an event from long, long ago in the town's history.

It is believed by many that Chaplin's was built atop what was once a Cherokee burial ground and that the sounds are that of a horse and buggy carrying a body up to the graveyard to be buried, as was the custom for the natives in the area during the late 1700s/early 1800s before they were relocated on the Trail of Tears. Or perhaps, the horse and buggy are from a slightly more recent time in history, when the town was ravaged by the Civil War. 

We may never know just who or what haunts Chaplin's Restaurant and Bar, but to many staff members over the years, there is no doubt that it IS haunted. If you're ever in the area, Roswell is just a short drive from Atlanta. Many of its beautiful, historic homes are open to the public and the Roswell Ghost Tour is a must-see. Finish off your evening with some karaoke...and hopefully, a ghost!

Stay Spooky, Ya'll! 

Saturday, December 2, 2017

Gifts for your Favorite Squatcher

Christmas is right around the corner....and if you're still searching for that perfect gift for your own Sasquatch-loving friend or loved one, look no further!  I've compiled a short list of the best Big Foot inspired gifts on the market.

I've tried to include a variety of price points and sources, but if there's something you're interested in, I'd suggest doing your own research to make sure you get the best deal available from your most trusted retailer. For a more comprehensive list of items, I found this website, Bigfoot Gifts and Toys, FULL of unique gifts!

Have a very, I mean MERRY Christmas!

1. Big Foot Ornament:  There are a ton of Big Foot Christmas Tree ornaments available from a variety of online sources, but I love the festive garland festooning this hand-painted design by Toscano.  At a cost of $15.90, this one is durable and affordable enough to overlook the Planet of the Apes-looking face on the Squatch. 

2. Vial of Bigfoot Fur: We all have that one person who is incredibly hard to shop for because they already have EVERYTHING. they have a vial of Bigfoot hair?!? I'm guessing not. And, even if they do, at less than $5 a pop, this little gift makes a great stocking stuffer that anyone can enjoy. After all, you can never own too much Bigfoot hair.

3. Bigfoot Socks: These are an essential wardrobe piece for everyone from the armchair Squatcher, to the experienced Bigfoot researcher. They also make a great gift---practical AND alluring (bonus points if you can name that reference, lol). These run a little under $13.

4. Bigfoot Play Set: Toys R Us offers this unique play set from the Animal Planet for $22. Pieces include a plaster cast of a Bigfoot print, a little hunter with equipment, and of course, the man himself, Sasquatch...among other pieces. Children of any age would love this set, including me!

5. Hands-On Bigfoot Expeditions!:  If you have someone on your list who enjoys experiencing stuff over getting stuff, consider purchasing them tickets for a hands-on field research event, hosted by the Bigfoot Field Research Organization! Various dates and locations are available for the 2018 season, but get your tickets fast, as events tend to fill up quickly! 

Friday, December 1, 2017

Demonic December and Other Updates!

Holy crap, it's December already! 2017 seemed to fly by and as we wrap up this last month before the new year, I wanted to give you some updates...kinda, lol.

2018 is going to be a BIG year for Theresa's Haunted History. There are at least two big projects in the works, including an actual full-length, publicly available book about local haunts. The other---well, I'll be keeping that a secret until after the holidays. Until then, I think I've got some cool stuff planned for the blog and the Theresa's Haunted History Facebook page.

November's Serial Killer Month was a lot of fun and took us to some weird places, so I wanted to try another theme this month. Throughout December, both on Facebook AND here on the blog, I'll be posting some interesting facts, case studies, and other tidbits of information relating to anything and everything demonic. If demonology fascinates you, or even terrifies you, I'm hoping you'll be able to find some accurate, reliable information presented in an objective way from a scientific viewpoint. At the very least, I hope you'll be entertained!

December's postings will also be heavy on holiday related hauntings, traditions, and folklore. No matter what winter holiday you celebrate, there should be something that you can both relate to and learn from. And to be honest....December is a spooky month! There are just as many, if not more, hauntings and ghostly traditions associated with Christmas and other winter holidays as there Halloween! I'm looking forward to the traditional  telling of ghost tales around the fire on Christmas Eve and holding a Dumb Supper for lost loved ones. I even plan on meeting Krampus again this year!

Please check back here often for updates, and if you aren't following me on Facebook, please hop on over and join in the discussions! Throughout December I'll be bringing back Daily Questions and even a few debate topics. I love to hear from my readers. I think each and every one of you has so much to offer and we can all learn so much from each other!

I hope you have a wonderful December. Stay Spooky, ya'll!