Posts Tagged With: travel photography

 
 

Spirited Theaters

One thing London does not have a shortage of is haunted places. On my sprint through the city, I mapped out a few spooky locations. Due to the pandemic and the hour of my journey, I wasn’t able to venture into any of them, but they still have that sense of something other worldy lurking in the shadows.

In St. Martin’s Lane, it was originally called The New Theater in 1903. The Noel Coward Theater has the distinction of being the home of it’s original manager, Sir Charles Wyndham. Sir Charles managed both the New Theater and the Wyndham Theater, which sits behind it.

If you see a debonair gray haired man walking the hallways or entering the dressing rooms, say hello to Sir Charles.

Towards the end of WWI, a group of friends were enjoying a performance at The London Coliseum. They noticed a friend of theirs walking down the aisle. Strangely, he disappeared into thin air. On his last day before being deployed, this young soldier had seen a production at The Coliseum. Later, the friends were notified that he had been killed in battle. There were sightings of the young soldier for many years after.

For more stories about Haunted London check out this book by my good friend, Rob Gutro.

Categories: Haunted Travel, hdr, London, Photography, Theaters, Theatres, Travel | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Shiny and Bright

In anticipation of the Magic Kingdom’s 50th Anniversary, Cinderella’s Castle has a swanky new paint job.

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Marilyn Monroe’s Mirror

The four-star Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel on Hollywood Blvd is one of the area’s most haunted hotels. It seems that some guests just refuse to leave. One such guest was the legendary, Marilyn Monroe.

The Roosevelt Hotel is named for President Teddy Roosevelt and was financed by Hollywood elite, Douglas Fairbanks, Mary Pickford and Louis B Mayer of MGM. Among the Hotels’ guests were Charlie Chaplin, Clark Gable, Carole Lombard and Montgomery Clift (who still paces the halls of the 9th floor.)

Among the treasures of the Roosevelt is a particular mirror that used to be in Suite 1200 during the time that her modelling career was flourishing. Some believe that she comes back to the spot where she spent some of her happiest days. In the 80’s after a lengthy renovation, a mirror from the suite was relocated to an alcove off of the main lobby near the elevators.

One day as an employee was dusting the mirror, she noticed the reflection of a pretty blond woman. She turned around to say hello, but there was no one there. But, when she turned back to face the mirror, the woman was still there.

Marilyn is not the only spirit that haunts the halls of the Roosevelt Hotel. A ghostly apparition manifests on security cameras in the hotel pool. When security goes to investigate, there is no one there, yet the camera shows the swimmer standing next to the security guards.

Caroline is a five year old girl that likes to skip around the lobby singing and 2 gentlemen haunt The Blossom Room. One is seen wearing a tux, the other is heard playing the piano. Guests have been locked out of their rooms, the switchboard receives calls from empty rooms and yes, Montgomery Clift is heard practicing the trumpet he played in “From Here To Eternity” outside room 928.

The Roosevelt Hotel is operational today and, if you dare, you can book a room and discover if it’s haunted for yourself.

https://www.thehollywoodroosevelt.com/

Categories: Haunted Travel, 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

Spectral Cats and Dogs

Near The Tower of London, All Hallow’s Church shared in the bloody history of it’s neighbors. Legend states that the beheaded victims of Tower executions were sent there for temporary burial. Among it’s happier memories are the baptism of William Penn and the marriage of John Quincy Adams. Being so close to The Tower of London, one may expect All Hallow’s to have it’s share of headless spirits. This is a different kind of ghost story.

In 1920, the choir noticed a grey haired old lady in old fashioned dress watching them as they practiced Christmas Carols. The choirmaster was surprised to see the woman as he had locked the church’s door. Once they choir rehearsal had ended, the mysterious woman had vanished. The boys heard a strange sound “as if a cat was in the building and was trying to get out.” One of the boys shouted to the choirmaster, ‘There it is sir! I saw a cat rush out of the room and go down towards the south aisle!’ The group searched the aisles for the cat and found nothing, even noting that the front doors were still locked. Several years later, an old man approached the choirmaster. He explained that he thought he knew who the mysterious woman was. As a choirboy at that very church almost 60 years prior, there was an eccentric lady organist with a strong passion for cats. He told him that cats would follow the woman everywhere and she would pay him to help feed the cats.

The Atheneum Club, The Traveler’s Club and The Reform Club are located off of Pall Mall. On our last night in London, we took part in a ghost tour. As we stood in front of these old men only clubs once frequented by the likes of Charles Darwin, Charles Dickens, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Alfred, Lord Tennyson, we listened to the story of a phantom dog that caused car accidents. It has been reported that several accidents were caused when a dog ran out in front of one of the drivers. No sooner than the end of this tale, two cars next to us got into a fender bender. The first driver said she saw something jump in front of her car.

Tucked away in this square lies the grave of a German Shepherd named Giro. Giro was the companion of the German Ambassador who resided in the area. It is considered the only Nazi memorial in the UK and in recent years there has been discussion of removing it. Could Giro be running around the Mall after dark just trying to be a real dog?

You can read more about Giro and his master here…

https://www.atlasobscura.com/articles/london-s-hidden-memorial-to-a-nazi-dog

For more information on pets in the afterlife check out my friend Rob’s books…

http://ghostsandspiritsinsights.blogspot.com/

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

The streets of Cartagena

It has been called by some ‘The Queen of The Caribbean Coast’. Cartagena, Columbia is a bright maze of cobblestone streets. Just inside the ancient city walls, you can find used booksellers. The brutal heat and humidity were overwhelming but wandering the neighborhoods was not to be missed.Cartegena1_-2The thick walls of Las Murallas surround the Old Town. Originally built to keep out enemies, Las Murallas is in remarkable condition.  Even though there are numerous guide books on Cartagena, it is better to just wander about. Colorful buildings line the streets with their open patios and balconies.Cartegena1_-3Street vendors sell a variety of fresh fruits, ranging from coconuts to papayas and bananas. It’s safe to try some of the produce, the water in the larger cities is safe to drink and the fruits and vegetables are also safe.Cartegena1_-10You are sure to encounter some of the brightly dressed Palenqueras. These black women were originally from San Basillo de Palenque, a small village located in southeast of Cartagena. San Basillo de Palenque was founded by runaway African slaves and is one of the first free towns in the Americas. Tourists snap up pictures of the beautifully dressed women with bowls of fruit on their heads. But beware, if you do not tip them first, they will hiss at you and hide their faces. Cartegena1_-18For a dollar each, I got some great shots, but as soon as the cameras stop snapping, the smiles disappear from their faces. Even though they are used to being the center of attention, they really are tired poor women who have to sit all day in the sun and heat to make some sort of living.Cartegena1_-17As colorful as the tropical parrots that freely fly around, the buildings are dressed in bright yellows, blues, reds and oranges. Cartagena was one of Spain’s important ports along with San Juan and Havana.Cartegena1_-11Cartegena1_-12Cartegena1_-22Cartegena1_-23

LINKS

Cartagena

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Yo Ho, Yo Ho – A Pirate’s Life For Me

Boom (1 of 1)

June 14th – 16th, the seaside city of Cocoa Beach was invaded by pirates. The annual Cocoa Beach Pirate Fest attracts pirates and fans from around the world.

Raquel and her little cannon

Raquel and her little cannon

Demonstrations included period firearms and cannons

A Pirate named Brave

A Pirate named Brave

A pirate encampment allowed guests to see how pirates may have lived off their ships.

Steadfast Steel

Steadfast Steel

The group Steadfast Steel gave demonstrations of swordplay and combat.

Steadfast (1 of 1)-2

Pearl (1 of 1)

The lovely but deadly, Pearl

Pearl (1 of 1)-3

Undead Pirate

Undead Pirate

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

Chicago – That Toddlin’ Town

Foyer TouristChicago, Chicago, that toddlin’ town… The city of Chicago has some really unique architectural history. The Cultural Center located near the Loop and Millennium Park. when it was completed in 1897 it served as the city’s central library.

Tourist DomeThe center of the Grand Army of The Republic Memorial hall is a massive Tiffany dome. This massive installation is the world’s largest Tiffany dome and went through a major restoration in 2007.

Library OwlChicago’s Harold Washington Library replaced the Central Library (now the Cultural Center) in 1987. The roof is adorned with 7 Acroteria or archiectural ornaments. On the corners and center can be found large sculptures of Owls, the symbol of the goddess of knowledge, Minerva. This Great Horned Owl sits over the center of the State Street entrance on Printer’s Row.

Peacock JewelersAnother bird hanging around the loop is the majestic peacock. The Jeweler’s CD Peacock store at State St. and Monroe. The House of Peacock was the first retail jewelry store in Chicago and catered to such big names as Mary Todd Lincoln, Marshall Fields and Mick Jagger. Hotel Sconce

Carson Pirie 2One of the coolest facades in Chicago has to be the Carson, Pirie, Scott and Company Building. Built after the great Chicago fire, the Sullivan Center as it is known today, was built as a major retail center. Today, the building hosts a Target on the bottom floors, but the ornamentation is still intact. The ornate floral details are bronze cast iron and were meant to appeal to the female clientele.

Carson Pirie

FaceMetropolitan Capital Bank on the Magnificent Mile features details from the Prairie School of the Arts and Crafts movement, Frank Lloyd Wright once had a studio at Chicago’s Tree Studios artist’s enclave.

Whacker DriveAt one time, the Jeweler’s Building at 35 Whacker Drive was considered the tallest building in the US outside of New York City. Movie fans may recognize the building from Batman Begins and Transformers: Dark of the Moon.

Water WorksThe Chicago Water Tower was one of the few buildings to survive the great fire. It’s tower was built to house a massive pump that would pump water directly form Lake Michigan. Built from Joliet limestone, it stands 154′ tall, Oscar Wilde said it looked like “a castellated monstrosity with pepper boxes stuck all over it.

Gargoyles TribuneThe Chicago Tribune Building completed in 1925 is adorned with gargoyles and grotesques designed by American sculptor Rene Paul Chambellan.

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Boston Through A Fisheye

On my recent trip to Boston I decided to give a new lens a try. I made a point of only shooting with my new fisheye and here are some of the results.

BurrageHouse

There are several buildings that have always captured my imagination, I frequently find myself returning year after year and finding new angles. One of these buildings is the Burrage House on Commonweath Ave at Hereford St. This unusual mansion is currently divided into 6 condos, former residents included New England Patriot’s Tom Brady.

BurrageHouse2

Similar homes werre built on New York’s Fifth Avenue. Modeled after Chenonceaux, a chateau located in the Loire Valley of France. Covered in Gargoyles and Grotesques, it represents the only example of the “chateauesque” style in Boston.

CommAve2

Walking along the mall at Commonwealth Ave, one encounters a number of sculptures representing some of Boston’s noteworthy citizens. Merdith Bergmann’s The Boston Women’s Memorial features likenesses of Lucy Stone, Phillis Wheatley and Abigail Adams,

CommAve

                All along Commonwealth Ave, you can see architecture ranging from the typical Boston Brownstones to the fabulous marble mansions.

PublicGarden

At the end of Commonwealth Ave, heading towards the State House, is the Boston Public Gardens. This public park features the Swan Boats, beautifully manicured lawns and one of my favorite statues.

Duckling

Robert McCloskey’s children’s book, Make Way For Duckings, tells the story of a pair of mallard ducks that raise their family on the Public Gardens Lagoon. Through the years, pranksters have duck napped individual ducklings, only to return them. The story is so popular that a sister to the statues was installed in Russia.  The Boston residents take great in their duckings, each spring they don straw Easter bonnets. And in remembrance of this year’s Marathon bombings, they wear their own Marathon runner’s bibs.

PostOffice

The Post Office in Beacon Hill on Charles Street, is the oldest operating Post Office in the city. This 2 window Post Office is one of the most popular in Boston , due in part to the friendliness of the customers and workers.

ScoreAntiques

Stephen Score Antiques is nestled among 18th and 19th century buildings in the Back Bay. The vivid blue paint and the French Clown standing guard above the sign welcome you to a gallery full of antiques and fine arts. Previous owner, Israel Sack installed many of the period arcitectural details found throughout the gallery. Many were taken from an old mansion in Marblehead.

SteinartHall

Steinert Hall on Boylston Street was built for piano dealers, M Steinert and Sons in 1896. The six story Beaux Arts style building used to feature a concert hall frequented by the elite of Boston’s arts scene.

PartyStore

This unique facade is at 356 Boylston Street and currently houses iParty with a Twist. In a past life, this was the site of a Schrafft’s Restaurant. Schrafft’s was the kind of place you could see an old lady sipping a cocktail at one table, a group of businessmen having lunch and a gaggle of kids enjoying ice cream cones over at the counter. Schrafft’s was closed on Sunday with the exception of this one location, where Sunday church goers needed somewhere to have lunch.

TheBerkeley

The Berkeley on Boyslton Street was built in 1906 and long considered the crown jewel of Boston’s Back Bay. Designed by Désiré Despradelle, a professor of architecture at MIT had been educated at the Ecole des Beaux Arts in Paris. The magnificent facade is encased in terra cotta details and panes of glass.

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