Posts Tagged With: halloween

Making Christmas

Where can you find the perfect mix of Halloween and Christmas? Look no further than Disneyland’s Haunted Mansion. The old New Orleans Square attraction gets a holiday overlay beginning in September and running through the Holidays.

Jack Skellington from Tim Burton’s “The Nightmare Before Christmas” is trying his hand at Christmas decorating. Jack O Lanterns with Santa hats, Wreaths with skulls and spider webs and Scarecrows impersonating the man in the red suit appear on the grounds of the deserted mansion.

Inside, the townspeople from Halloweentown are busy at work getting ready for Jack’s big holiday mash-up.

Categories: Disneyland, hdr, Photography, Travel, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

My Ghost Story – Encounter in Key West

Francisco Marrero, a cigar maker from Cuba, built a beautiful home at 410 Fleming Street, Key West. He hoped that it would to lure his love, the beautiful Enriquetta to join him on the island. They lived happily married for many years having 8 children together. Unfortunately, Francisco had already been married in his home country. After his death, his first wife found out about the second marriage and the mansion in Key West. Six months later, she arrived on the island with her lawyers and Enriquetta was evicted from the mansion with her children. Standing on the street as she was thrown out she cried “Esta es mi casa para siempre y nunca me voy a ir” “I will always remain in spirit.” The first wife, Maria Ignacia Garcia de Marrero sold off the house and all its contents and returned to her home in Cuba. Within a few years of being tossed out on the street, Enriquetta and all 8 children died of Tuberculosis or diphtheria.

I stayed at the Guest House with a small group of friends, we had asked specifically for haunted rooms. I was in Room 18, Enriquetta’s old room and my friends were in the front room that had been the children’s nursery. A doorway between the two rooms had been plastered over and a large Armoire stood on my side of the wall. When I first entered the room, I noticed a strong smell of a very flowery perfume. The basket of potpourri on the dresser was old and had no scent left. I took this as a sign that I was welcome in her home.

My friends decided to hit the pool upon checking in and went to my room for a nap. It’s a long drive from Orlando to the Keys. The bed was comfortable and I fell asleep with no problem. When I awoke a short time later, the armoire at the end of the bed was standing wide open. It had been locked shut when I entered the room. Upon further inspection, I was locked in my room. The privacy lock wouldn’t open and the host was unable to unlock it from the outside. He ended up crawling across the small roof form the next room and climbing through the window. After forcing the door open I was able to join my friends downstairs on the porch.

We met the housekeeper who informed us that we had just missed a television crew. They had been filming a haunted travel documentary and Enriquetta was not happy about it. She told us that when Enriquetta is upset, she likes to walk through her. This feels like a freezing cold spasm through her body that only lasts a moment. The housekeeper had a special relationship with Enriquetta and was very careful to try and keep her happy at all costs.

On my last night in the room, after hearing the sound of empty bottles being dumped from a nearby bar, I drowsily looked up to see a figure standing in the window. I can only imagine that it was Enriquetta. The clattering bottles pouring into the dumpster had disturbed her and from the scowl on her face, she was pissed. I was still too sleepy to comprehend what I was seeing, but it didn’t strike me as odd at the time, that the woman in the room was only visible from the waist up. Even more so, when she dissolved into the early morning, I simply rolled over and went back to sleep.

Enriquetta’s spirit can be gentle and playful. Sometimes, playing pranks on her guests or softly brushing up against them. The sound of her children crying was also reported during our stay. I can safely say that, Marrero’s is HAUNTED. Check out these links for reservations and more of Enriquetta’s story.

http://marreros.com/

https://southernmostghosts.com/most-haunted-places-in-key-west-5-marreros-guest-mansion/

Categories: Haunted Travel, Photography, Travel, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Old Key West

Key West, the Southernmost city in the United States. Known for it’s nightlife, Ernest Hemingway and roaming chickens, Key West has something for everyone.

The Artist House is a Bed and Breakfast on Eaton Street right off of popular Duval St. This was the home of local artist, Robert Eugene Otto, called Gene. When Gene was a little boy one of the family’s servants gave him a rag doll. Gene and the doll, called Robert, were inseparable, and everywhere they went strange things happened.

When ever Gene got into trouble he would say “Robert did it”. His parents weren’t concerned until one day, they heard there son screaming in his locked room. There was a loud commotion coming from behind the door, the sounds of furniture being upended and thrown about. When they got the door unlocked, the room was a complete mess and Gene was cowering in a corner. This was not an isolated incident and at times, people heard Gene talking to Robert … and Robert would answer!

In later years, Gene’s wife relocated Robert to the attic, but passerby’s would often see Robert peering out of different windows in the house. Today, Robert now lives comfortably at The Martello Museum. If you visit Robert, be aware that many times when guests try to take his picture, the photos come out overexposed. Inside his glass enclosure, Robert changes positions.

You can visit and even stay at the Artist’s House today. Check out their website below.

http://www.artisthousekeywest.com

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The Ghostly Monk of Westminster Abbey

It’s inevitable that Westminster Abbey would be haunted. More than 3,000 bodies are buried on the grounds. Long ago in the 6th century the area where Westminster sits was an island on the banks of the Thames. Originally called The Collegiate College of St. Peter, Westminster Abbey is the most important churches in London.

Many people have reported seeing the spirit of a monk floating above the ground in the cloisters. It is believed that this is Father Benedictus, who served as a Benedictine monk of the abbey. The monk is said to appear around five or six in the evening. His figure appears to be solid, and he has been known to engage visitors in conversation. It is not uncommon for a guest to encounter Father Benedictus and hold a lengthy conversation before he backs up and melts into a wall.

The facade of Westminster Abbey is covered in extremely detailed carvings of Saints and Gargoyles. Technically, a Gargoyle is a water spout, other creatures are Grotesques or Chimeras taking the place of architectural corbels or supports. My favorite is a sculpture of a little bat.

Within the Abbey lies the Tomb of the Unknown Warrior, a memorial to the soldiers who died in World War 1. On 11th November 1920, an unidentified soldier’s body was given a royal funeral and buried in soil brought form the battlefield in France. Underneath a marble stone quarried in Belgium the unknown warrior lies in eternal rest. On occasion, once the crowds have left the Abbey and the halls are silent, a spectral soldier appears next to the tomb. He materializes slowly and stands quietly for a time with his head bowed. After a few minutes he simply dissolves into thin air.

If you’d like to visit The Abbey for yourself, you can find all of the important information here

https://www.westminster-abbey.org/

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The Bloody Tower

In the 1070s, William the Conqueror, chose to build a massive stone fortress in London. Taking about 20 years to build, the Tower of London serves to defend and proclaim William’s royal power. The mighty castle keep dominated the London skyline, but also served a reminder to the defeated Londoners.

Later Henry III and Edward I added the surrounding walls and smaller towers along it’s length. In 1533 King Henry VII modernized the castle in anticipation of his marriage to the young Anne Boleyn. Only three years later, she found herself back at the Tower charged with adultery and waiting for her death.

Anne was escorted to the Green where she lost her head. The site is memorialized with a glass pillow. Many claim to have seen the apparition of Anne walking the grounds with her head tucked underneath her arm.

Two young princes are said to haunt The Bloody Tower. Richard and Edward met their tragic fate within the walls. Sent to the Tower by their unscrupulous and power hungry uncle, the Duke of Gloucester and kept under lock and key. In 1483, the buys mysteriously disappeared. The gossip was that Richard, Duke of Gloucester had them murdered to become Richard III. Many decades later, the skeletons of two young boys were found entombed under a staircase. The two princes were given a proper royal burial but their spirits are still restless.

Tragedy haunted The Tower in the early centuries of it’s existence. Lady Jane Grey, also known as “The Nine Day Queen” was kept prisoner within it’s confines. Only sixteen years old, on February, 12 1554, she sobbed as she watched her husband, Guildford Dudley, being led to his execution. That same day, the young girl who was forced towards the throne by an ambitious father-in-law, bravely walked to her own death. From that day forward, on the anniversary of her execution, a white shimmering mist floats from the mists of the river and strolls sadly around the Tower Green.

Look closely at this enlarged area from the other photo. Do you see the ghosts of Lady Jane Grey looking down?

For more about The Tower of London, check out these links…

https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/488/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tower_of_London

Categories: Haunted Travel, Photography, Travel, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

The Ghosts Of St. Paul’s

Halloween is the perfect time of the year to experience a ghost tour. The city of London has a vast array of these tours, you can choose The Theater District, Jack The Ripper or any of a number of cool locations.

The Cathedral of St. Paul may be known the spot where Mary Poppins and the children meet the bird woman. But by night, the location takes on an eerie appearance.

The Whistler is St. Paul’s most well-known haunting. Many have seen the visage of an elderly clergyman accompanied by a tuneless whistle. Your best chance of meeting the clergyman is to visit the Cathedral’s west end. On the ground floor of the northwest tower. When the tower was rededicated after WWI, a previously hidden door was uncovered. This is the exact spot where the whistling cleric appears to fade into the wall.

London 20161_-44

There are 2 other ghost stories captured by Irish writer and Ghost Hunter, Elliott O’Donnell. In one story an American couple experience a “great black cloud” that rose out of the floor and climbed 20 feet into the air before disappearing. They described the cloud as “alive'”.

O’Donnell’s second story involves a woman who was resting in the cathedral one afternoon. This woman spotted another woman in a pew in front of her. She seemed to be frantically looking for something. The first woman got up to help the woman, but on her way down the aisle she felt a tap on her shoulder. She spun around to find no one behind and when she resumed her walk, the other woman had vanished.

Several days later, at the same time of day, the woman saw the figure of the woman once again. She rose to offer assistance but was once again stopped by a tap on her shoulder. Just as before, there was no one behind her and in front of her the woman was gone.

London 20161_-45

LINKS:

Walking Tours of London

St. Paul’s Cathedral

Categories: Church, Europe, Haunted Travel, London, Photography, Travel | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Eastern State Penitentiary

     Philadelphia’s Eastern State Penitentiary is a former prison that stressed the reformation of it’s inmates over punishment. Prisoners were completely separated from each other and never knew who was in the cell next to them. They lived in complete isolation every day, never seeing another living soul, eating, sleeping, showering and exercising alone. In reality, the guards developed cruel and hideous tortures, to show their dominance over the prison population.

     In 1966, the prison was designated a National Historic Landmark. By then end of it’s life as a prison it had abandoned the solitary concept and prisoners lived as a community until it was abandoned in 1971. One can only imagine what kind of terrors are imbedded in it’s aging walls.

     The old prison has found new life as a movie set. The decaying building has been featured in Terry Gilliam’s TWELVE MONKEYS and in 2008, TRANSFORMERS: REVENGE OF THE FALLEN.

     The possibility of actual ghosts still haunting the prison has led to paranormal investigators conducting numerous explorations of the site. GHOST ADVENTURES, GHOST HUNTERS, MTv’s FEAR and Great Britain’s MOST HAUNTED LIVE have all produced episodes at Eastern State.

The building is in a state of preserved decay. Areas that are less safe for the average tourist are off limits.

     Among the hauntings witnessed are a shadow figure that quickly scoots away when approached and mysterious ghostly faces in Cellblock 4.

In addition to being a historical site, the building is also home to more than a dozen art installations. My favorite one was called GHOST CATS. Amongst the grounds and cells are sculptures of 39 cats, representing the colony of cats that had inhabited the prison since it was abandoned in 1971. Artist, Linda Brenner created the cats out of a clay that will slowly dissolve over time to represent the inevitable decaying of all living things.

     Eastern State had it’s share of celebrity guests during it’s prime. “Slick Willie” Sutton, a bank robber known for over 50 robbieries. One of the unusual inmates was #C-2559, a dog named Pep. The story goes that Pennsylvania Governor Gifford Pinchot was sentenced to Eastern State for murdering his wife’s cherished cat.

Perhaps the most famous or infamous of Eastern State’s residents was Al Capone. He served his first prison term of 8 months, for possession of a concealed weapon, at Eastern State. His cell was quite comfortable compared to the others, he was allowed to decorate it himself with rugs, art and antiques.

Capone was also Eastern State’s most famous paranormal victim. He claimed that he was haunted by the ghost of James Clark, the brother-in-law of Capone’s rival, murdered in the St. Valentine’s Day massacre. Fellow inmates reported hearing Capone screams nightly, begging “Jimmy” to go away and leave him alone.

     Is Eastern State Penitentiary haunted ? I can honestly say that after visiting, you certainly get a feeling of the oppressive isolation and despair felt by the inmates. EVP’s have captured disembodied voices and more than one person has seen ghostly figures in the Guard Tower. At least for a few days a year, Eastern State is definitely haunted and a scary experience is guaranteed.

“Terror Behind The Walls” happens every Halloween. In 2012, the prison will be the host to 6 different haunted experiences. You can check it out at http://www.easternstate.org/halloween/preview

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