Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Hey, everyone.

Well, things have taken a turn, and I have moved my business over to Wordpress. The blog is still the same. It's still American Haunts, now it just has .wordpress.com at the end instead of blogspot.com.

I will be leaving this up as long as Blogger will let me, so you can go back and find all the old posts. Hopefully I will be able to move them to Wordpress. I'd hate to lose all my research!

I hope to see you on the new site. It looks a little... amateur, right now, but bear with me. American Haunts will be bigger and better than ever before! Y'know.. eventually.

Thank you for all your support! You're the best readers a girl could have!



Saturday, July 21, 2012

Cryptozoo- what now?

 (Ogopogo, a water cryptid in Canada)

A friend and I were talking a few days ago, and the subject of Bigfoot came up (I can't remember how). We talked about the possibility of it at length, and moved onto the subject of Atlantis. Now, I'm not so great with things like that. I confessed that my area of expertise lay more with ghosts, UFOs and cryptozoology, and not really on Atlantis, The Bimini Road, or things of that nature. And then he asked me a question I honestly had trouble believing. "What is Cryptozoology?"

Wait, weren't we just discussing it? That's what Bigfoot is, after all. A large, bipedal cryptid sighted throughout North America (with cousins around the world) that science hasn't been able to fully explain yet. It hadn't ever dawned on me that there would be anyone out there in the internet/nerd/research community who didn't have a clue as to what Cryptozoology is. I guess I had shoved myself so far down the Cryptid tunnel that it became second nature to me.

So, now that I know that there are paranormal researchers out there who haven't the foggiest as to what Cryptozoology is, here's a little on the field of study, and some famous (and not so famous) creatures that have one time or another fallen under the category of "cryptid."

What goes on here?

Cryptozoology is the study of "hidden animals." Basically, it's the study of animals that may or may not have been properly discovered yet. Cryptozoologists research everything from the possibility of extinct animals making a return, to legendary and mythological animals, to animals sighted completely out of their regular range of habitat. Essentially, if science hasn't proven its existence, Cryptozoologists are studying it. And, while not recognized as a real branch of science, there are hundreds of people in the world who consider themselves Cryptozoologists.

Cryptids, a term coined by John Wall in 1983, refers to the unproven animals themselves. Creatures like Bigfoot, the Thylacine and Mothman are all considered cryptids.

So how about some examples?

1. Well, I've already done one blog on him, but the most famous example of a cryptid in North America is Bigfoot. Myths and legends from several Native American communities have helped shape the idea of a large, hairy man-like beast marching through the woods, swamps and fields of home. It came to full attention with the Patterson film, landing in the minds of the average Joe. Bigfoot, whether it be a very old relative of ours, or something completely different, has been sighted, photographed, filmed and casted a hundred times over. Are all of these pieces of evidence truthful? Of course not. But not everyone can be that good at creating hoaxes. So Bigfoot falls into the category of cryptid. We're not sure if it does exist, but we're slowly collecting the evidence we need to prove or disprove him.

2. The Okapi. Now a well-known creature in our zoos, until about 1901 the Okapi was a suspected animal called an Atti. There had been rumours of it, and Henry Morton Stanley described it as a kind of "donkey" native peoples in the area used. The Okapi was referred to as the "African Unicorn." Until its' skull was brought for research, explorers thought they were looking for a rainforest Zebra, not the creature they eventually found living in the African forests. Now the Okapi is displayed in several zoos throughout the world. But until it's official discovery, the Okapi was a well-known cryptid.

File:Okapia johnstoni -Marwell Wildlife, Hampshire, England-8a.jpg

3. The Jersey Devil. Perhaps the second most infamous creature lurking in the fears of Americans from Jersey to California. The Jersey Devil, thought by legend to be the child of Mother Leeds and the Devil back in the 1700's, is a cryptid said to have a horse face, and hooves, but also has wings and walks upright. The legend has persisted, and even as recent as 2009, there were encounters with the creature and hoof prints found on a man's roof. Still considered a mythological creature, cryptozoologists all over know about this devil.

File:Nj devil notgreyscale.png

4. Mokele-mbembe. According to some, dinosaurs still walk among us. One of the more famous of these leftovers from the days of yore is the Mokele-mbembe. According to Congo tradition, this creature is a herbivore, living in the rivers and lakes of the Congo River Basin. There have been many, many expeditions to the area, with sightings happening during the vast majority of them. Elephant? Maybe. Dinosaur? Perhaps. But this is definitely under the sphere of cryptozoology.

Mokele-mbembe ill artlibre jnl.png

There are so many more creatures that fall under the heading of "cryptid." These are just a tiny sample. But, they are some great ones to describe what Cryptozoology is and does a little better. I'll be featuring a lot of cryptids on this blog, so be sure to stop back by and check them out! If you have any questions, are a Cryptozoologist, or have creepy stories of your own.. I'd love to hear them! Put them in the comments section, or email me direct! Subject line: American Haunts

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Sorry for the lack of updates, all. My best friend in the entire universe came to visit from California, and we were off having wacky adventures in the wilds of Michigan. Regular update next week, I promise!

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Marshall, Michigan: The most haunted town in the US?


For my birthday, and because I'm a nerd, my roommate her boyfriend and I took a trip down I-94 to Marshall and Colon, Michigan. On the Hand, these two towns are little specks amongst better known destinations like Kalamazoo, Ann Arbor and Detroit. In fact, I hadn't really heard of either of them until doing idle research of the paranormal online and learned that Colon was the Magic Capital of the World (their sign says so). Well, being the nerd that I am and lover of anything magic, I needed to go. And then my roommate and I discovered that Marshall was home to the Museum of Magic, and, well, my 25th birthday party was set.

It was only after doing more research about our destination that we learned Marshall has a ghost tour.. two in fact. My birthday could only get better! And so we set off on a Monday to see what this little piece of Michigan had to offer... only to discover that the American Museum of Magic is closed on Mondays. Okay, well, small set-back, but we still saw Lakeview Cemetery and went on the ghost tour!

What goes on here?

Well, first thing's first. A little on Marshall itself.

Marshall was built up by the wealthy and elite. The wives of Marshall wanted a place where their friends could stay and relax, and yet still live their high-standard lifestyles. They built the little city up, complete with Opera house. There are several places to shop, to entertain, and every single home in the neighborhoods surrounding the downtown area is grand and beautiful. The downtown area is lively, with people coming and going all day long. Marshall is also home to Schuler's, a famous restaurant in that part of Michigan (and incredibly delicious to boot). And, you might also know Marshall as the birthplace of Jamie Hyneman, one half of the Mythbusters!

But that's the city. What about the ghosts?

(Adiya decided to show up in my picture)

Well, let's begin at the beginning of the ghost tour. Marshall Carriage Company is host to the Marshall Ghost Tours. They have an on-foot tour and a carriage tour. The three of us took the on-foot tour, but there are definitely plans to return sometime around Halloween and try the carriage tour. But!

The on-foot tour begins in the Carriage Company itself. Before we even left the store we were introduced to Adiya, a doll from India. There were several offerings in front of her. Lisa, our amazing tour guide, told us that people leave offerings to Adiya so that she won't feel the urge to follow them home and wreak mischief on them there. My roommate (C) and her boyfriend (G) both left offerings. I... did not. Call me crazy, but I wanted to see if Adiya would indeed follow me home. She didn't, fortunately (or maybe unfortunately), but maybe she was busy following someone else already.


Stop number two on our tour took us slightly down the road to the Stagecoach Inn. This was the gentlemen-only hotel in the city back in the day. It was also a bordello (surprise, surprise). The ghost here is of one of the women of the night. She was tipsy, and on the balcony, and, well.. she fell. Now, she leaves doors open, she takes photographs and faces them to the wall, and likes to leave cupboards open. But there is more to this building than just her.

The third stop is the Block Building. An upper floor housed the opera house of the town. Today it's still up there, still with the posters of the last opera performed hanging on the walls. The ghost here is the leading man from that last opera. He can be heard practicing his lines and acting out his scenes. People have seen shadows, too.

Our fourth haunted building was Filligree Supply, on Michigan Ave. There was an accountant who had an office just inside the doorway, and he would come in every morning to find the tape in calculator run out with a bunch of random numbers on it. The computers would shut down on their own, and cold spots (areas where a spirit may be drawing heat from in order to manifest) even in the dead of summer with no air conditioning to be found! But you'll have to check it out to find out the backstory!

The next stop takes us to the Cronin Building, and the Cronin sisters Elizabeth and Virginia. These ladies were the last to run the dry goods store in Marshall, now an empty building. Since they passed away (actually fairly recently), the sisters have not stopped helping those who come into their store. They can be heard saying "Good day, how are you?" and "How may I help you?" And at 6:30pm, Elizabeth still raps her cane on the floor of the second story, calling for Virginia to send up the day's receipts.

(the inside of the Cronin building)

And last for this particular installment, is the American Museum of Magic itself. While she is unsure just who it is, Lisa is certain a magician haunts the museum. Perhaps someone is attached to a particular trick or tool in the museum. In any case, there is a seance held trying to contact Harry Houdini himself held there every October 31st (you know, despite him having tried to pass a law banning such things). If you get a chance, go exploring (not on Mondays!) and tell me what you find!

I've decided there is just too much information to cram into one blog. I want to do everything justice, so tune in next week for the second half of the Marshall Ghost tour! I promise you a ton more information, and some really amazing pictures lent to me from Lisa herself! Marshall is one hell of a haunted city!

If you'd like to know more, or schedule a tour for yourself, go to Haunted Marshall and make sure you talk to Lisa DeGraw! She is the best tour guide you'll ever have on a ghost tour!

All pictures here were taken by G or me

Saturday, June 23, 2012

You know what they say about big feet...


Well! Unfortunately I haven't received an email back from our wonderful tour guide in Marshall, and I think it wouldn't do the tour justice if I did the blog on it anyway. So, instead I'm going to bring you something a little different. We're going to look away from ghosts for a week and instead turn our eyes onto something else entirely.

Yes, I know, this phenomenon has been done to death. But I have never done proper research on it, and it seems only fair that I devote equal attention and brain space to all the supernatural phenomenons out there, not just the ones no one knows about. And, since I've lived in California, Oregon and Michigan (three places where he/she has been spotted and has somewhat of a following), I thought it would be a good idea if I, along with you, became better acquainted with this elusive monster of legend.

So, without further ado, I present you.... Bigfoot.

What goes on here?

If we want to learn anything new about Bigfoot, we have to start with everything old about Bigfoot. This legend has been around for years. And when I say years, I mean Columbus hadn't even stumbled upon North America in a drunken stupor yet, this legend is so old. Nearly every Native American community has a legend similar to Bigfoot, whether they call him "the Big Man," or think of him as something closer to a big brother. He appears in times of great need or distress within a community, and sometimes offers strength to the people to fight through their troubled times. At other times, to other communities like the Hopi, he is just the messenger from the creator sent to show the people how much they are destroying what the creator gave them. Kind of like a warning.

"The existence of Bigfoot is taken for granted throughout Native North America, and so are his powerful psychic abilities. I can't count the number of times that I have heard elder Indian people say that Bigfoot knows when humans are searching for him and that he chooses when and to whom to make an appearance, and that his psychic powers account for his ability to elude the white man's efforts to capture him or hunt him down. In Indian culture, the entire natural world -- the animals, the plants, the rivers, the stars -- is seen as a family. And Bigfoot is seen as one of our close relatives, the "great elder brother" " (http://www.bfro.net/legends/)

But in recent times, Bigfoot has become a new kind of legend. He's the scary story we tell our kids around a campfire, or that mysterious noise just outside our tent. He's the strange, awful smell when we're on the hiking trail, or the movement in the trees. We know him on sight, or on sound, as some big, hairy hominid lurking just out of reach in what's left of America's forests. The last great mystery of the wilderness. There have been countless sightings, photographs and videos. Hell, there's even a Bigfoot Museum in Willow Creek, California (I've been, it's awesome). Bigfoot is part of the American culture, as much as apple pie, or political sex scandals.

But there continues to be sighting after sighting, and more and more people believing in the big guy everyday. 

Of course, it all really began back in 1967. 

Since the Patterson film was presented to the public, there are have a myriad sightings of Bigfoot (or something like it) in the wild of America. This video is still hotly debated, and a great many people do believe it's completely fake. And who knows? It could be. But what people are seeing out in the woods might not be.Gimlin, Patterson's partner in crime, still claims the film is 100% real, and since the early 2000's has been available to talk about what happened. 

The men were on horseback near the Klamath river in California when they spotted a big fallen tree and the furry creature behind it. Patterson got off his horse and started rolling. The thing, presumably Bigfoot, kept on walking from the scene, looking back a few times at the men with nothing resembling emotion. They tracked it for a few miles, but the creature eventually disappeared into the underbrush of the forest. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Patterson-Gimlin_film)

Since then there have been more than a few other videos claiming to capture Bigfoot:

Like this one, of a police car dash cam.

Unfortunately Bigfoot has become such a known entity that finding nearly anything worthy of posting here from Youtube is nearly a waste of time. However!

BFRO, the Bigfoot Field Researchers Organization, is a group that collects reports of the Big Brother from all over North America, from Florida to Alaska, with Canada in between. And it's not just old hunters with stories from the eighties. According to their website, Bigfoot was spotted this month! Their reports are pretty credible, and they even do follow-ups with the eyewitnesses. They seem like your one-stop-shop for everything Bigfoot. http://www.bfro.net/

Or! If you'd like to look at a whole bunch of photos that might be (but might not be) Bigfoot, there's a great image gallery over at Unexplained Mysteries that has a ton of photos from users all over the world!

Personally, I would love to know much more about Big Brother, watching over the forests of North America. Have you seen one? Or have other evidence for or against the existence of Bigfoot? I would loooove to hear it! Email me, or leave a comment below and tell me what you know!

Until next week, happy hunting!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

I'm back!

Welp, my computer has been fixed by a wonderful friend of mine, and now she (renamed the TARDIS by said friend) is running like a dream! Apparently I just need to reinstall Windows every few years, and my computer keeps trudging along.

However, I still can't afford to pay for the internet at my new apartment, so I have to go in search of it at my lovely local library to do anything requiring the interwebs. Which is fine for now, I suppose, since I don't work on Saturdays, and can come here and update for all of you!

Speaking of an update, do I have a doozy for you. It'll be here when I get the email back from the very interesting and well-informed tour guide who will be filling in any spots I missed. What happened, you ask?

Well! My roommate, her boyfriend and I all went to Marshall and Colon, Michigan for my birthday this past Monday! If any of you are familiar with the place, you know just how excited I was to go! Colon is the Magic Capital of the World. I know, right? I had never heard of it, either. But! I have always had a soft spot for magic, and I needed to see what all the fuss was about (and pay homage to Harry Blackstone's grave). We also went on the Marshall ghost tour, and, well, I've got a few amazing pics to show you.

However! That will all have to wait until Saturday! For now, know that I am back in the full swing of things, and I can't wait to tell you everything there is ghostly in Marshall!

Thursday, May 3, 2012

My Absense

Hey everyone. I apologize for being gone so long. It looks like I'll be updating irregularly for a while yet. It's incredibly frustrating, for me just as much as you, but I have good reasons! I promise!

First of all, my computer still won't load anything related to Google, so Blogger is out of the question. I'm writing this from one of my roommate's computers, and will have to update from it for the forseeable future.

Second, I just finished another semester, and there was no way I could manage all the homework and studying I had for my classes with updating a blog, even once a week. I take research pretty seriously, and a blog can take me a few hours to write. So.. I had to set it aside.

Third, my roommate and I just moved to Belleville, a wonderful little paranormal-filled town. Seriously, there are more books on the supernatural at this little library than the whole of Ann Arbor's branches put together. Plus, the place looks like Sunnydale or something. I've already decided I'm going to be the next Vampire Slayer.

But, this also means that we have no internet in our apartment, because neither of us can afford it. Our Clubhouse next door does have it, however. The problem with that is that it's spotty, and neither of us can connect to it all the time. So I use the internet while I'm out and about, but that's unfortunately not all the time.

On top of THAT, I'm helping a friend through a paranormal crisis (read: possible possession, we're not sure), and a lot of time has been taken up by that.

So, all of this to say I'm sorry. I'll be back as regularly as possible soon. Summer has begun, and I finally have the time to fix my computer. Thank you for your patience, I am lucky to have all of as readers!


Saturday, March 17, 2012


Sorry for the delay, folks. I'm still have Google issues with my computer, and they won't be fixed anytime soon. So the updates will come as often as they can, but I make you no promises.

A few weeks ago, my roommate (CK) and her boyfriend took a week long vacation in the Pacific Northwest. They mostly stayed in and around Seattle, but ventured to my old hometown of Portland to see the wonderful things it has to offer! They went on an underground tour, and even bought me a book about Pike Place Market's ghost stories. They came back with so many great stories (including seeing an honest to goodness ghost), that I had to put my new book to good use and do a blog about the great city of Seattle! My blog will focus strictly on the weird and spooky, but if you'd like a traveler's point of view of Seattle, be sure to check out my roommate's blog over at Life From A2. For now, enjoy the ghosts of Seattle!

What goes on here?

Pike Place Market has been around a long, long time. Since 1907 it has been the place to buy and sell in Seattle. You might know it best as the place where they throw the fish. But it's so much more than that. Pike Place Market is the home of unique shops, and even more unique people. One of these people was Princess Angeline.

Princess Angeline (Kikisebloo, her given name), daughter of Chief Seattle, marked a turning point in Seattle history. She lived in a little wooden shack just by Western Ave, and when the time came that the other Native Americans were forced from the city, she refused to leave. She stayed in that little wooden shack until her death. And even then, she was given the kind of burial reserved strictly for men in those days. Her image was used as a symbol of the city right into the 1960's. But she didn't fade away after that. According to Mercedes Yaeger, Angeline is the most seen ghost in all of Pike Place.

She appears anywhere and everywhere, even at a wedding at one end of the Market! She's frequently seen on the ferry to Bainbridge island, but disappears about halfway through the voyage. She's also seen covered in a white blanket on the lower levels of the market. Princess Angeline is just as much a part of Pike Place Market now as she was when she was alive.

The next story takes us to business #415. It was a little bead shop (now a store called Merry Tails) in the Market, with plenty of strange happenings to warrant it a place on the list of hauntings in Seattle. The owners of Bead Zone have related several different stories. Their inventory liked to be moved around a lot. Nina, one of the owners, was on the phone having a heated conversation. All of a sudden a string of beads flew off the wall and at her. Another time, Nina was trying to decide what necklace to wear with her dress for work, when a necklace containing a bead the same blue as her dress flew off the wall and landed at her feet.

The ghost, called Jacob by both Nina and Ram, and the current owner, has made himself known to more than them. Mercedes has taken several different tours through the shop, and twice she has gotten a reaction from the boy. Once, two strings of red beads flew from their place on the wall. The other, a group of Girl Scouts smelled hay and horse manure quite strongly within the shop.

Perhaps the strangest sight came when Ram and Nina discovered a completely closed off room next to their shop. One morning they noticed their shop had six windows from the outside, but three from the inside. They investigated, and found a hollow space in the wall. They knocked through it... only to see some of their inventory (written in their own handwriting) from the week before sitting in neat little piles among other beads and pennies. They were all stuffed behind a completely sealed room! There would be no way for the pieces to have gotten into the room... unless Jacob was up to his tricks.

Now the current owner keeps a spot in the shop devoted to Jacob. It's his own little area to play in.

All of this just brushes the surface! There are dozens more ghosts and strange stories from Pike Place Market. Below is a video that claims to have captured one of the apparitions of the Market. You can decide for yourself whether or not it's a real ghost. In any case, it's a great addition to the stories people have to tell about Seattle.

As always, if you have stories of your own, be sure to email me, or comment below!

My info on all these hauntings came from here:
Legends of America
Haunts of America
Seattle Times
Yaeger, Mercedes. Seattle's Market Ghost Stories. http://www.seattleghost.com

Pictures come from here:

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Chicago, again!

So, as some of you know, I'm obsessed with a little book series called The Dresden Files. Harry Dresden is a wizard for hire, a private investigator who utilizes magic to help him solve crimes (and sometimes the world). The books are set in Chicago, and streets, parks and buildings are beautifully highlighted. And while I only live a few hours from the Windy City, I have yet to visit it myself. But I've already fallen in love with the oasis in the Midwest. And so, Chicago will be getting multiple posts in American Haunts! It's also large enough and old enough to warrant enough spooky stories to cover multiple pages and websites. So, today we'll visit a few more haunted locations around Chicago. Maybe one day I'll even be able to visit them!

What goes on here?

Nearly every state has the same story- a girl walking alongside a deserted road late in the evening is spotted by a driver. He (it's usually a he) offers her a ride, and she gratefully gets in and gives him vague directions to where she's going. The driver pulls up alongside a cemetery and the girl disappears. Or sometime during the drive she vanishes from the car. Chicago is no different.

She's called Resurrection Mary, and she's been getting into cars since the 1930's. She's always heading to the same destination- you got it, Resurrection Cemetery. Mary seems to have started hitchhiking near the cemetery itself, but has spread to the Willowbrook Ballroom, the last place she was seen alive. There are stories of Mary jumping on the baseboards of cars back in the 30's and 40's, up to men meeting her in the ballroom and giving her a ride "home" from there.

Prairie Ghosts has this to say on the history of our dear Mary: "Most researchers agree that the most accurate version of the story concerns a young girl who was killed while hitchhiking down Archer Avenue in the early 1930’s. Apparently, she had spent the evening dancing with a boyfriend at the O Henry Ballroom. At some point, they got into an argument and Mary (as she has come to be called) stormed out of the place. Even though it was a cold winter’s night, she thought, she would rather face a cold walk home than another minute with her boorish lover.

She left the ballroom and started walking up Archer Avenue. She had not gotten very far when she was struck and killed by a passing automobile. The driver fled the scene and Mary was left there to die.
Her grieving parents buried her in Resurrection Cemetery, wearing a white dress and her dancing shoes. Since that time, her spirit has been seen along Archer Avenue, perhaps trying to return to her grave after one last night among the living."

There have been dozens of sightings of Resurrection Mary, but perhaps the most convincing evidence comes from a 1976 report. A man, passing by in his car, spotted a young woman in white at the closed gates of the cemetery. Instead of offering to help her, the man called the police. They came to deal with the problem, but never found the woman in white. Instead, they found something much more interesting. Two of the bars of the gate had been pulled apart from the rest. On them were human-looking hand prints, pressed deeply into the metal!

Officials did their best to get rid of the evidence. They tried to "fix" the bars by blowtorching the fingerprints, but really all that did was draw more onlookers. Eventually they removed the bars in total, and claimed a truck backed into the gates on accident. 

But that's not really fooling anyone, now is it?

Next we visit the Red Lion Pub, located across the street from the theatre where John Dillinger was ambushed and arrested. It would be enough for that to make the pub popular, but there are a few other things going bump in the night in this section of Chicago. 

Since its opening as a pub in the 1980's the Red Lion has become a hotspot for anyone looking for a little creep with their beer. People have reported feeling a dizzy feeling and feel a strange presence when they pass by a plaque memorializing the owner's father. Another presence is that of a woman. She likes to mark her entrance with a strong smell of lavender. There's yet another feeling of a person in the women's restroom, and an apparition of a man in a cowboy hat and boots who walks by the main bar. There are at least two other ghosts seen on the property- a man with a dark beard and hat and a blond man.

The Red Lion Pub has become one of the most famous pubs in Chicago due to its entire family of ghosts. I'd love to hear any stories about it you've got! If you've seen something weird, email me, or post a comment below! 

As usual, links to the info are here:
Resurrection Mary
Red Lion Pub

And pictures you see on the blog are from here:

Saturday, February 25, 2012

New Orleans: A Love Story- Part 2

Joyeaux Mardi Gras everyone! Laissez les bon temps roulez! I apologize for this being a week late. My computer is still quite unable to access Google in any capacity, and now I'm just saving up the money to get it fixed by a professional. So, for the foreseeable future, I'll be using my lovely roommate's computer (CK Coburn) to bring you all the weird and spooky in America! I hope I can keep updating every week, but until my laptop gets fixed, it will kind of touch and go. I apologize in advance for anymore delays!

In celebration of Mardi Gras, and because I miss it so much, I bring you installment number two of my Love Story about New Orleans. Today we visit some of the seedier legends of the Quarter.

What goes on here?

(not exactly what I'd consider attractive..)

In 1903, a young man showed up in the French Quarter. He claimed his name was Jacques st. Germaine, the ancestor of a once-famous alchemist and high society man, the Comte st. Germaine. He didn't stay in the city long- rumour has it that he invited a young woman back to his house on Ursulines and Royal for a rendezvous. It did not go to plan, however. Germaine attacked and bit her, and, frightened for her life, the woman jumped out the window and escaped to the police. Germaine fled the city shortly after, but before the police could raid his house. When they did, they found bottles of wine... with blood mixed in! The cops also found blood stains covering spots on the floor of all different ages.

The legend is that this is actually the alchemist himself. The Comte st. Germaine of long ago is a vampire, and he simply had a little stint in New Orleans. Of course, I was told on my multiple vampires tours not to walk the streets alone at night (for more reasons than the obvious ones), and not to talk to young-looking, well-dressed men with canes. St. Germaine is still alive within the minds of New Orleans. Perhaps he'll make a reappearance within in the city to keep his story alive.

(Second floor on the left, according to www.epfarms.org )

Our next stop keeps us on Royal street, and also focuses upon the blood drinkers of legend.

In the 1930's a pair of brothers moved into an upstairs apartment on Royal street. John and Wayne Carter were supposedly average men- manual laborers by day, returning to their apartment every evening... but they kept a deep secret. One day in 1932 a young girl stumbled into the police station with peculiar cuts to her left wrist. She claimed to have been kidnapped by the brothers and tied to a chair. The brother would slit her wrist, let the blood drip into glasses, and then drink it. They would bandage her up and repeat the process.

New Orleans having the superstition and reputation that it does, the police searched the apartment immediately. They did not find the brothers, but found four others in the apartment, all strapped down (save for one girl already dead), and with the same mysterious slices to their wrists. In another room lay the bodies of over 14 people, long dead. The brothers were captured, but legend has it that several more men than it should have taken were needed to subdue the brothers. They were average in build and had been working all day, after all.

They were tried, convicted and executed. Funny thing about blood drinkers, however. They never seem to completely disappear. The brother have been reportedly seen (as solid flesh and bone, not apparitions) at least twenty-two times since their execution. Most people report prowlers around the property, and the police always find nothing. Stranger still, when the tombs in which the brothers were buried were opened to inter another member of the family a year and a day later... there was nothing inside. No John, no Wayne.. no bones or dust or anything.

As for the survivors, they didn't have happy endings, either. Old rumour has it that if a person is fed from by a vampire seven times they will become on. Well, the girl who ran to the police was alright, she reported only four times. However, the adult woman was fed upon seven times. She went to a mental hospital directly after her release. The adult man turned into a serial killer, murdering thirty-three people and disposing of the bodies in acid. He stopped when he heard about another killer in England doing the same thing. The young boy, who had been fed upon eleven times, was unfortunately murdered and burned by his father. Not a happy ending for anyone, really.

So it seems there are vampires in New Orleans still. Well, there are at least people who think they see vampires in New Orleans still. Have you seen anything in the Big Easy that you can't explain? I would absolutely love to hear about it!

Joyeaux Mardi Gras!

As always, the links to where I got my information and pictures are below, along with a fantastic book about the spooky in New Orleans:

Haunted Shreveport Bossier
(book) New Orleans Ghosts and Vampires: Journey Into Darkness... http://hauntedhistorytours.com/


Saturday, February 11, 2012


Hello fellow ghost hunters! I apologize for this (and possibly a few upcoming blogs) running late. My computer has decided to get itself a virus, and the only thing Google now does for me is redirect to useless websites. So, until I can get it fixed, I'll be updating from my roommate's lovely old computer (whose keyboard doesn't seem to like the comma button). In any case, American Haunts will keep on running until someone pries technology from my cold, dead hands. Even then, I'm sure I'll be around enough to haunt them until they give it back.

Anyway! Onto today's featured haunted location. My roommate (the lovely CK Coburn who keeps a blog over here ) and I are moving from Ann Arbor a little closer to all of our friends. As it turns out, we're moving to Westland, one of the most haunted cities in the state. Who knew, right? As we were exploring things to do and see in that part of Michigan, CK found the Eloise Sanatorium. As you can imagine, we were sucked in immediately to the rich, dark history and hauntings Eloise has to offer. And while we do have plans to check out the asylum in person, I thought I'd do a little research and write a blog before we got there. And so, without further ado, welcome to Eloise.

Eloise got its beginnings as a poor farm near Detroit in 1832. In fact, it wasn't even located at its current address until 1839. It was still a Count Poor House, until it began accepting tuberculosis patients for outdoor therapy later in the century. Before it became Eloise, the Sanatorium was in the middle of nowhere. So far out that only 35 patients moved with the building when it relocated. By the time the building gained its unusual name, several other government services had sprung up around it. A post office (carrying the name Eloise) and the railroad soon made their homes adjacent to the Sanatorium.

Eloise got its name from the only living child of the President of the Board. When the post office was sent to the Sanatorium (to aid in the receiving of supplies to the area), it was on the stipulation that all new post offices were to have incredibly short names. So, the president tossed in his suggestion and got a resounding "sure, why not?" On July, 20 1894 the post office (and subsequently the sanatorium) became Eloise.

During its height, Eloise was a full-functioning poor farm, general hospital and insane asylum. In the 1830's it was also home to a school district for all the children of patients who had died from cholera or other diseases in the poor house. Additions and new buildings were constantly being added on from around 1840 until 1929. All in all, there were close to 78 buildings total. The hospital ran until 1979. Today the Kay Beard building and little museum are open to the public (but as far as we've found, there isn't much keeping anyone out of the property besides signs).

What goes on here?

Well, like with any asylum in the 1800's and early-mid 1900's, a lot of really bad things happened in Eloise. The standards apply here- patients were overcrowded. They were beaten and given rudimentary and often unsafe treatments. In the 50's electro-shock therapy was common, and patients were treated with a variety of chemicals. The conditions were unsanitary, and life in Eloise wasn't pleasant for anyone. Attached to the asylum is a cemetery, with over 7,000 patients buried next to the buildings they most likely resented the most. All in all, it's things like this that make for spectacular, if saddening, hauntings.

It seems that everything under the "haunting" umbrella happens here. Workers and thrill-seekers hear disembodied voices all over the property. Growls are heard by the playground set up for the patients' children. Lights turn on and off on their own. There are reports of a woman's apparition floating in the corridors of the upper floors, and on the roof of the Kay Beard building. Many people have captured photos of things they can't explain, voices on recorders and video of strange sights. In fact, go to Ghost Watchers for a sampling of strange pictures taken at Eloise.

I'm incredibly nervous and excited to try my hand at ghost hunting inside (or at least close to) Eloise. I hope to bring you much better detail on the activities inside Eloise, and maybe even a video or EVP recording. My adventure won't be a for a few months (the weather is still far too cold to be out at night. I'm a SoCal wimp), but hopefully I can wiggle my way in and take some great pictures for you! Until then, below I've posted a few places to learn more, see some videos and stills, and get the nerve up to exploring for yourself! Enjoy, and as always, thanks for reading!

The best place to start is here:  Tales of Eloise
Strange USA
Haunted USA
Detroit News

Pictures (seen on the blog):
http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=C544C00AD17A399B (youtube videos about Eloise)

Saturday, February 4, 2012

What's that in the water?!

We all love ghosts! Me more than most, I'm sure, but I thought I'd change things up a little bit this week. Instead of focusing on the paranormal by way of ghosts, poltergeists and the unseen, I thought I'd highlight some of the creatures lurking in our lakes and rivers. The Loch Ness Monster isn't the only thing lurking just beneath the water. There are hundreds of sightings every year in the US claiming something unusual in the water. This week's blog will focus on just one of these elusive creatures- New York's very own Champ!

What goes on here?

Let's start with the country's most well-known lake monster- Champ. Champ hails from Lake Champlain, located on the border between New York and Vermont. The legend of Champ starts all the way back with the Iroquois who were settled on the land by the lake far before any Europeans got there. Some say the first sighting of Champ by aa European was by Samual de Champlain, for whom the lake was named, when he wrote a report of the land in 1609. From around the late 1800's and on, there have been reports of Champ all along the lake.

The creature is described much like Nessie: a serpent-like thing with a long neck, arched back and flat, long tail. Stories of appearance have been surprisingly consistent through the centuries. Although, the description changed a little with the popularity of the Plesiosaur theory.

And then came the Mansi Photograph in 1977. unexplainable.net gives a particularly good account of what happened that day:

"During July 1977, a couple in Connecticut was spending vacation time in the Vermont area. Anthony and Sandra Mansi were positioned a little past St. Alban's Bay, which can be found close to the Canadian border. The family stopped in this area so that the children may take a break in the waters of Lake Champlain.

Parked close to the lake, the family walked about 100 to 200 feet away from their car, traveled down a 6-foot bank and reached the waterline. The children dove into the water and Mansi hiked back to the car to grab his sunglasses, as well as his camera. During his absence, his wife spotted bubbles forming in the water about 150 feet away from where they were. She then recalled sighting a large animal lift its head from the water, displaying a small head, long neck and humped back. She would later describe the creature as something that belonged in prehistoric times.

Mr. Mansi returned just in time to view the creature with his own eyes. The children, who had their backs turned towards the creature, were called out of the water and never spotted the creature. Sandra retrieved the camera from her husband and was able to take one picture before the creature sank back into the water. The couple claimed that the sighting lasted for about 2-4 minutes."

Some people think this photograph is still the epitome of evidence proving Champ exists. Obviously, there are nay-sayers and doubters. But, it hasn't been either proven or disproven as a hoax, so.. who knows? 
(the Mansi photograph. Decide for yourself!)

Of course it's all still up in the air about what exactly is swimming around in Lake Champlain, if anything is there at all. The lake is very similar to Loch Ness in many respects. It's incredibly deep and cold. It might be big enough to hold a breeding population, and the fish there are nothing to laugh at. If anything managed to survive extinction, lakes like these have the best chance of that. If anyone of you has ever witnessed Champ, or any other lake monster for that matter, let me know! I'll be doing a few more of these in the future, and I'd love to include some more personal stories! 

Here's where the info comes from!

And the photos: