Thursday, October 31, 2013

The Ghost Speaks: The Ghost of Murder Hill/The Sailor’s Secret

I recently discovered a creepy Bio channel show called The Ghost Speaks, and I hope they show more episodes because I really liked it and had to keep looking overmy shoulder to make sure a ghost wasn’t sneaking up behind me. ; ) . On the show, we hear from real people who have had paranormal experiences, and, in a move that sets this show apart from the countless other paranormal shows out there, we also hear the ghost’s point of view (which is of course totally made up, but that doesn’t stop it from being creepy).

The first half of the show was called “The Ghost of Murder Hill,” and the incidents discussed took place in La Porte, Indiana in 2001.  Mike and Laury Render bought a house that sat on property that was formerly owned by serial killer Belle Gunness.  After moving in, they noticed their son talking to a ghost by the woods; young Devincalled it “The Killer Ghost.”  Ghosts inside the house told Devin about how and where they died, and a ghost in the family’s car was a silhouette of a man who told Devin that he would hurt Laury if anything happened to him (I don’t know what the ghost thought could possibly happen to him since he’d already been murdered).  Historian Bruce Johnson says that Belle Gunness murdered and buried at least thirteen people on the property and that she may have murdered as many as twenty-two, so that’s a lot of potential ghosts!  Belle also set her house on fire with her four poisoned children and a servant (who she decapitated in order to fool people into thinking the body was hers) in the basement because she wanted to get away and couldn’t take the children with her.  Neighbor Diana Yerbey, who has lived in her house for sixty years and has seen the ghost of Belle, believes that the neighborhood is cursed.  Sometime after the Renders moved into their house on the haunted property, a fire started in the basement, and it was ruled spontaneous combustion…but I have a feeling that a certain evil spirit had something to do with it.

The second half of the episode was called “The Sailor’s Secret,” and it dealt with a single mother named Jackie Hernandez who was stalked by a ghost in San Pedro, California in 1987.  The ghostly stalker was a sailor, Herman Hendrickson, who drowned in 1930 after being hit with a rock.  It all started with Jackie feeling something watching her in her house and hearing noises…and she even saw the figure of a man with evil eyes sitting on her son’s bed.  One night Jackie woke up feeling like something was on top of her; she couldn’t breathe and saw lights moving around the room, so she decided to call paranormal investigator Dr. Barry Taff.  While investigating this incident, Taff’s photographer, Jeff Wheatcraft, ended up with a noose around his neck in the attic and believed that it was put there by the possessive ghost.  Jackie wanted out of the house, so she got in her car and drove to a trailer park near Bakersfield, but the paranormal activity did not end.  She heard banging on her shed all night, so Jeff, along with cameraman Barry Conrad, arrived shortly after and set a camera up and pointed it at the shed; they were all watching when the camera turned around on the tripod and pointed at them.  Jeff and Barry went to Barry’s apartment to review the footage, and strange things started happening, such as chairs ending up on top of the tables.  They decided to try to contact the spirit with a Ouija board, and they learned the ghost’s name and how he died.  They asked if the spirit had any enemies, and he spelled “JEFF” right before Jeff was knocked out by a sudden gust of air.

These stories were interesting and creepy, but since the show is only an hour, of course they had to leave some things out.  I can’t find much online about the Murder Hill hauntings, but I’ll leave you with a link to a more detailed account aboutthe Jackie Hernandez case.

My rating: 8.5/10  

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Paranormal book giveaway

Want to win some paranormal books?  Head over to Paranormal Books R Us, and enter to win!  The contest ends in two days, so you'd better hurry if you want to win some cool stuff. : )

Monday, October 28, 2013

Seven Haunted Cities

Yesterday on the flight home from L.A., I read an interesting article in Family was about the seven most haunted cities in the United States, and since it's almost Halloween, I thought I should post a link to the article here.  Of course my hometown, Charleston, is on the list, and so are Gettysburg, Salem, Portland, San Francisco, Tombstone, and New Orleans.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Paranormal Paparazzi: Family UFO Abduction

A few days ago I watched Paranormal Paparazzi (which airs on the Travel Channel) for the first time, and it reminded me of TMZ, but with ghosts and aliens instead of celebrities.  The show is hosted by professor/journalist Aaron Sagers, and the Paranormal Paparazzi reporters travel around the country and report on paranormal stories.  This episode was entitled "Family UFO Abduction," and in the show's first segment, reporter Branden Wellington travels to Knoxville, Tennessee to interview Tom Reed, a man who claims that he was abducted by aliens, as well as his brother, mother, and grandmother.  Tom tells Branden that his family had a farm in Massachusetts in the early 1960s and that, along with his brother, he saw and boarded a UFO while living there.  Branden talks to Jimmy Morris, who had given Tom a polygraph test years ago; he said that he remembers that Tom passed the test and was telling the truth about what happened in the 1960s.  Back at Paranormal Paparazzi headquarters, Branden says that after talking to Jimmy and looking at the evidence (medical tests, etc.), he believes that Tom is telling the truth.

Scott Gruenwald travels to the Mogollan Rim, Arizona in search of the Mogollon Monster, which is described as a "Bigfoot-like creature."  Bigfoot Hunters Jerry Waite, Mitchell Waite, and Alex Hearn take Scott into the woods, and they find a giant footprint.  Could it belong to the Mogollan Monster? Later in the show, Scott goes to the Moonlight Bunny Ranch in Las Vegas, where owner Dennis Hof says there are two haunted rooms, one of which belonged to a woman who was murdered while she was away on vacation.  This room was also where Andy Kaufmann spent most of his time whenever he visited the ranch.  Residents/employees Candy and Kim go into the room with Scott and are startled when a door moves by itself; they also note that the room has gotten very cold, but that could just be because they're only wearing lingerie. ; )

Rachel Fine goes to Torrington, Connecticut to spend the night at the haunted Yankee Peddler Inn, which has been around since 1890 and was the inspiration for the 2011 movie The Innkeepers.  Robert Persachino, who owns the hotel's restaurant, tells Rachel about a guest who said a rocking chair in his room would start rocking every time he went to bed; he had to put the chair out in the hall so he could get some sleep.  Rachel stays in room 353, where the inn's former owner allegedly died; current owner Sanjay Patel says that the maids refuse to clean that room by themselves because they're afraid.  Rachel is hoping to detect some paranormal activity, but she tries an E.V.P. session and a K-II meter, and nothing happens.  

I enjoyed Paranormal Paparazzi and will definitely try to catch more episodes.  I have one on my DVR that is about Will Ferrell's haunted trailer, and he's one of my favorite people, so I'm excited to watch that episode.  : )

My rating: 8/10

Friday, October 18, 2013

Haunted History: Hollywood

Today I'm going to Los Angeles for the fourth time, and I decided to watch the "Hollywood" episode of Haunted History on the H2 channel before I go, so I'll know which places to avoid. ; )  These are the haunted places they talked about on the show:

-The Roosevelt Hotel: This hotel is said to be haunted by quite a few ghosts, including Marilyn Monroe and Montgomery Clift.  Marilyn's apparition has been seen by the pool (which is where she had her first paying acting job) and in the lobby as a reflection in a mirror that used to be in her favorite suite.  Montgomery lived in room 928 while filming a movie and used to practice the trumpet in his room; his spirit has been seen on the ninth floor and has been heard playing the trumpet (still practicing in death...that's dedication!)

-Hollywood Forever Cemetery: The tomb of Rudolph Valentino ("the silver screen's first male sex symbol," who died at age 31) is haunted by a "Lady in Black."  After his death, this woman left flowers at his tomb every day, and decades later, many people have claimed to have seen visions of her there.  Also, Clifton Webb haunts the corridor near his crypt, and the ghost of Virginia Rappe (who died mysteriously at a party, and Fatty Arbuckle was accused of raping Virginia and crushing her to death) has been spotted crying next to her grave.

-The Knickerbocker Hotel: Cups rattle in the cabinets, books move by themselves, and the ghosts of Rudolph Valentino and Marilyn Monroe (who spent her honeymoon with Joe DiMaggio at the hotel) have been seen there.  Most of the hotel's paranormal activity occurs in the bathroom, which has got to be the worst place to see a ghost.  Houdini's widow held a seance at the hotel every year on the anniversary of Harry's death, but never managed to contact him.

-Raleigh Studios: An electrician fell to his death there in 1932, and it has been haunted ever since.  Other ghosts include a lady dressed in white walking through the cantina and a man dressed like a stagehand.

-The Georgian Hotel: Ghosts are said to play tricks on people in the hotel restaurant; employees have heard voices, seen ghosts, and witnessed objects moving on their own.

This was an interesting show, and I'm glad I watched it...I would love to see some Haunted History episodes about other cities too. : )

My rating: 8.5/10

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Halloween Craziest

I recently watched a 2013 special on the Travel Channel called Halloween Craziest, and it showcased some of the scariest Halloween attractions in North America.  Here's a list of the attractions and a little information about each one:

-McKamey Manor (San Diego): Owner Russ McKamey has spent about $500,000 converting his home into a terrifying haunted house using animatronics, cgi, and special effects.  He also handcuffs people and covers their heads with hoods and says that some people have gotten so scared they’ve passed out.  Russ does 8 shows every weekend in September and October and uses neighborhood kids as some of his 15 actors.

-Zombie Crawl (Denver, Colorado): This event hosts 15,000 "zombies" every October and includes something called the Organ Trail scavenger hunt, which founder Danny Newman describes as “clue-solving scavenger hunt all around downtown Denver.”  Some of the challenges include crime scene investigation and eating live worms.  There is also a sack race in which zombies have to hop to a drinking station, drink some “zombie juice,” and hop back to their starting point.

-Fearshire Farms (Angelton, Texas): Owners Rodney and Cindy Davis transform their farm into the haunted Fearshire Farm (which includes a haunted corn maze) at night; it is believed that the farmhouse is haunted by a family who lived and died there in the 1800s.  It is not uncommon for visitors to Fearshire Farm to soil themselves out of fear.

-Delusion: The Blood Rite (Los Angeles): This is an “interactive horror play” where the audience members have to act as former patients of a dead psychiatrist who they want to resurrect.  Writer/director Jon Braver is a stuntman who has made sure that his play has “movie-quality stunt work.”

-Skin City Body Painting (Las Vegas): People go here to have their costumes painted on; the work is very impressive, but the customers are basically naked, and the body painting costs way more than an actual costume does.

-Zombie Paintball Hayride (Fenton, Missouri): This attraction debuted in 2012; Creepyworld creator Larry Kirchner says the hayride “takes people through an Old West town, and then everywhere you turn, there’s a creepy zombie ready to eat you.”

-Lemp Brewery (St. Louis, MO): The brewery was shut down by prohibition in 1919, and 5 members of the Lemp family died in the mansion that was connected to the brewery over the next 30 years; at least 3 of these deaths were suicides.   For $20, you can go into the caves and caverns underneath the brewery and walk through 10 scary scenes; some of the actors believe that the brewery really is haunted.

-Statesville Haunted Prison (Crest Hill, Illinois): Mastermind John LaFlamboy says the idea of the prison is that these prisoners were too evil for regular jail and ended up taking over the prison.  This attraction has 150 inmates, 23 rooms, live roaches, spiders, and snakes (including an 8-foot boa constrictor), and a “Clown Room.”

-Hell’s Gate Pumpkin Drop (Hope, British Columbia): People drop pumpkins from airtrams that are 500 feet in the air.

-Zip of Terror (Boyne Falls, Michigan): This is a haunted zipline that people have to do in the dark; when they walk through the woods to get from one zipline to another, scary things jump out at them.

-Blackout Haunted House (New York, NY): Visitors to the “twelve scenarios of psychological torment” must be over 18 and go by themselves with only a flashlight and a protective mask.  Don’t go if you’re not willing to be groped.

-Coffin Race (Manitou Springs, Colorado): This race honors Emma Crawford, who was buried on top of Red Mountain and whose casket sped down the mountain after a storm.  Each homemade coffin has 1 person inside and 4 pushers (or pallbearers); the race is 195 yards with 50 teams running 2 by 2.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Ghost Bait: Demon House

I recently discovered a new paranormal show called Ghost Bait, and I'll warn you not to watch it alone at night.  I've watched a few episodes of Ghost Hunters and Ghost Adventures, but Ghost Bait is scarier than those shows...the point of the show is that the investigators use their client's fear to try "to draw the spirits out and find out why they're here."  The first episode is called "Demon House" and deals with a haunted 140-year-old house whose owner has lived there nine years and cannot sell the place.  The ParaCORE team (team leader Bob Magill, lead investigator Aimee, tech supervisor Mallie, and researcher Bill) meets with Billy, the homeowner, who says he has never spent the night in the house.  Inside the house, Billy shows the team the staircase and tells them that the higher he climbs the more uncomfortable he feels; he also says that his 8-year-old son hears and feels people on the stairs and doesn't like going into one of the upstairs bedrooms because he hears a little girl in there.  Billy tells the team that in the 1940s, a young girl went missing, and though her body was never found, it was believed that she was murdered in the house; as Billy tells this story, a light bulb explodes and scares the crap out of everyone!

Aimee checks out the upstairs bedroom and notes that it is very cold; she hears a noise, then the electromagnetic field detector (EMF) goes off.  Bob calls in psychic medium C.J. Sellers, and when she enters the bedroom, she senses the presence of a sad child and a mentally-challenged male.  Bill and Aimee find a doll buried under a pile of rocks in the crawlspace.  The team decides that Billy will be used as ghost bait in the upstairs bedroom, so they cover his head and put a heart monitor on him.  Once in the bedroom, Billy tells the spirits that they need to leave, and the room temperature suddenly drops...then the comforter starts moving on its own as if someone is unmaking the bed! So creepy! After the team shows Billy the footage, they decide to put a gravestone in the yard, hoping that the spirit of the child will find closure.  Excavators found no remains in the crawlspace, and Billy's son says that the girl is no longer there.

Ghost Bait is a creepy show, and it's only half an hour, so try to catch an episode if you can (it airs on the Bio channel).  I wish there were more than three episodes because I want to watch so many more!

My rating: 9/10

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Cool Website of the Week:

Terry Lee Kercher posted a link to on this blog's Facebook group, and it's so funny I just had to make it my Cool Website of the Week!  The homepage has a search box where single ghosts can choose whether they're looking for a male or female ghost, what age range they're looking for, and whether they want someone who died horribly, mysteriously, tragically, or suddenly.  Click "Search" and you can read profiles of ghosts who are looking for love.  Don't forget to check out the ghost dating tips!

Monday, October 7, 2013


I've always loved Halloween, but I love it even more as an adult than I did as a kid.  I think it's because now I have a whole house to decorate instead of just my bedroom, and I can go buy my own Halloween decorations...and believe me, I've bought a ton.  Here are some of my Halloween pictures from the past few years:

Friday, October 4, 2013

Charleston Ghost Tours

I live in Charleston, SC, which is known for being haunted, so of course ghost walks/ghost tours are a popular thing to do.  I went on one in college and thought it was a lot of fun, so here's my guide to Charleston ghost tours for those of you who live here or just like to visit.


Hours: Monday-Saturday at 8:00 p.m. and 10:00 p.m.
Cost: $16 for adults, $10 for children 5-12, free for children under 4
Reservations required: Yes.
Phone number: 843-720-TOUR
Meeting place: Tommy Condon's, 160 Church Street

Charleston Ghost Hunt

Hours: Every night at 7:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m.; there is also a 10:45 p.m. tour on Fridays and Saturdays
Cost: $19 (no one under 12 allowed)
Reservations required: Yes.
Phone number: 843-813-5055
Meeting Place: U.S. Custom House, 200 East Bay Street

Charleston Ghost and Graveyard Walking Tour

Hours: Every night at 7:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m.
Cost: $18
Reservations required: No, but they're recommended, and you can get tickets online.
Phone number: 843-722-8687
Meeting Place: Rainbow Market, 40 North Market Street

The Haunted Jail Tour

Hours: Every night at 7:00 p.m., 8:00 p.m., 9:00 p.m., and 10:00 p.m.
Cost: $18 for adults, $10 for children 7-12
Reservations required: No, but they're recommended, and you can get tickets online.
Phone number: 843-722-8687
Meeting Place: Rainbow Market, 40 North Market Street

The Ghosts of Charleston

Hours: Every night at 5:00 p.m., 7:30 p.m., and 9:30 p.m.
Cost: $18 for adults, $12 for children
Reservations required: Yes, and you can get tickets online.
Phone number: 800-979-3370
Meeting Place: The circular fountain at Waterfront Park, 1 Vendue Range

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Cool Website of the Week: Eerie Place

This week's cool website is Eerie Place, which bills itself as "The First Stop For Haunted Places" and focuses on the UK.  There are sections for Haunted Hotels, Ghost Hunting Events, Paranormal Attractions, and Haunted Places, and if I ever go to England, I'm going to have to check some of these places out...after reading the blog post entitled "I've Discovered Ghosts, Witches, and UFOs in St. Osyth!," I definitely want to visit that place!  If you sign up for the website's email list, you'll receive two free ebooks in PDF form: "The A-Z of Ghost Hunting Equipment" and "The Best UK Haunted Places to Stay and Visit," and free stuff is always nice. : )  Thanks to Terry Lee Kercher, a member of my "Why would you want to be normal when you could be paranormal?" Facebook group for telling me about this website!

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Movie Spotlight: Ghost Shark

I've seen a few of the Syfy network's original movies, so I went into Ghost Shark assuming it would be terrible, and I was not disappointed!  The movie is about a shark who is hellbent on revenge after being killed by some rednecks, and it started out with some of the worst acting I've ever seen.  Ghost Shark is a translucent shark who is missing an eye and has a hole in one fin...and he is pissed.  Ghost Shark can appear anywhere there's water (and I mean anywhere), and it's up to Bull from Night Court and a couple of teenagers to stop him.  Here are a few of the ridiculous things that happen in Ghost Shark:

Ghost Shark attacks an obnoxious teenager diving into a pool, then the victim's decapitated head lands perfectly on the neck of a beer bottle. (Well played, Ghost Shark.)
Ghost Shark attacks a man from a pipe under a sink.
A child slides into the mouth of Ghost Shark on a Slip 'N Slide.
A teenage girl washing a car is eaten by a bucket that contains soapy water (and Ghost Shark!).
Ghost Shark attacks a teenage girl in a bathtub.
Ghost Shark comes out of a fire hydrant and eats the top halves of some punk kids.

And my favorite Ghost Shark death:

A man is drinking a cup of water and starts coughing up blood.  A few seconds later, his body splits in half as Ghost Shark emerges victorious...yes, this guy drank Ghost Shark.

Apparently, Ghost Shark also came out of the toilet and attacked someone, but I missed it...I must've blacked out during that part.

I've seen a lot of dumb movies, but Ghost Shark just might be the dumbest movie I've ever watched.  That being said, it was entertaining, hilarious, and is probably the only movie to ever use the term "shark bounty hunters," so I'm actually going to recommend it.  I've been saying for years that I'm going to write a movie that should be on the Syfy network, and now that I'm a full-time writer, maybe I'll actually do it.  Look for Manasaurus Rex...coming in 2016 (don't steal my's a winner)! ; )

My rating: 6.5/10

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Free book: Never Trust an Angel and Other Plays

This isn't exactly paranormal, but some of the characters in the book are dead, so close enough. ; )  To celebrate the fact that I'll become a full-time writer on Wednesday, I'm offering the Kindle version of Never Trust an Angel and Other Plays for free on Tuesday, October 1st and Wednesday, October 2nd.  It's dark and twisted, and Satan is the main character, so it's the perfect book to get you in the mood for Halloween!