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 )

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...


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): (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. 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: