Friday, October 26, 2012

Ghosts of Oak Alley Plantation...

Imprint on time, vivid imagination, or do ghosts really haunt our nation’s antebellum mansions?

Take Oak Alley for instance, the very mansion that graces the cover of “Spirit of the Rebellion.” According to witnesses, this plantation home, facing the Mississippi River in Vacherie, Louisiana, is a place where supernatural events are commonplace.

The list is endless. Lights turn off and on, and rocking chairs rock by themselves. Unseen hands touch guests and employees alike. Some have heard the mournful sounds of either a woman or a child weeping. A lady in black paces the length of the widow’s walk, and at times, meanders beneath the shade of the mighty oak trees. A man dressed in gray, wearing boots, haunts the kitchen. Many have heard the distinctive clip-clop of horses alongside the sound of approaching wooden wheels. Yet, the phantom carriage never arrives. The pleasant odor of lavender permeates the room that once belonged to the lady of the house. Shadows lurk in the corners. And did I mention the candlestick that flew across the room during a tour?

Haunted Carnton Plantation...

For this blog, let's talk about Carnton Plantation in Franklin Tennessee. This mansion has a few things in common with the fictional “Starling Plantation,” featured in “Spirit of the Rebellion.”

Randal McGavock built this antebellum home in the year 1826. Like Starling plantation, Carnton served as a hospital for those wounded in battle during the Civil War. In this case, the Battle of Franklin which took place in November of 1864. The injured as well as the dead filled every bed, nook, crook, and cranny of the main structure and exterior buildings on the property. Laid out on the back porch were the bodies of Confederate Generals Adams, Granbury, Stahl, and Cleburne, covered with a Confederate flag, as they awaited the dignity of burial.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Entering the Twilight Zone on Clinton Road...

Those growing up in the ‘60’s and 70’s will remember such weekly viewing fare as The Twilight Zone, The Outer Limits, One-Step Beyond and Tales from the Crypt. These were bizarre stories of the paranormal that frequently left one—well—feeling a bit unsettled. However, there are places on this earth where the peculiar and uncanny tend to be commonplace.

Take Clinton Road for instance...

Many have experienced a close encounter of the creepy kind on this long, winding road in Passaic county, New Jersey. has devoted many articles to this lonely stretch of asphalt, with multiple tales of the frightening and uncanny.

My husband is a 32 year retired veteran of the Las Vegas Police Department. One fine evening, as we watched a 1950’s horror movie, he said, “Have you ever noticed that the first casualty in these films is the lone cop on duty—and he’s always out in the middle of a deserted desert or something close to it? I think I’m glad my job is more urban.” too...

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Balmoral Castle, Queen Victoria and the ghost of John Brown...

Queen Victoria never fully recovered from the untimely death of her husband, Prince Albert, in 1861. Nonetheless, she found solace in the companionship of John Brown, who acted as the queen’s personal servant. Whispers concerning an improper relationship abounded and to this day, no one knows how deep that relationship truly ran. The 15th Earl of Derby, Edward Stanley, reported that they slept in adjoining rooms “contrary to etiquette and even decency.” Victoria’s own daughters, in joking manner, referred to John Brown as “mama’s lover.”

So, were Queen Victoria and John Brown star crossed lovers, separated by Royal birth and class, or did they simply have an honorable friendship besmirched by those with a mean, jealous, malicious streak?

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Ghostly Residents of Culzean Castle

Culzean Castle with the Fair Coves engraving by William Miller

Overlooking the Firth of Clyde, in Aryshire, Scotland, stands a mighty fortress...”

First known as Coif Castle (House of Cove) in the fifteenth century, and then Cullean Castle in the seventeenth century, castle Culzean took on its present name, during the eighteenth century.

Recorded history first speaks of Culzean castle in 1569. At this time, the 4th Earl of Cassillis, member of the powerful, ancient Scottish clan Kennedy, gave the estate to his brother, Sir Thomas Kennedy.

As you can imagine, the castle is home to several ghostly residents...

Monday, October 8, 2012

The Haunting of Sker House

Neath Abbey

The time? Halloween night. The place? Celt Central, the land of the druids, the very area the celebrated and near mythical King Arthur may have once hung out. Ogres, giants, ghosts, faeries, (and who knows what else) cavorted about in the inky black darkness.... 

This scenario brings to mind a guy from Missouri that once worked with my husband, a police officer at the time. The man said there were three things one never should mess with:  The mafia, the IRS, and the unknown.  
Anyway... On this particular night, three teenage adventurists tempted fate and leaped headlong into breaking the third know...the one about messing with the Unknown?

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Legend of the Arapaho Warrior and his Ethereal Visitor

A bit of background. Historians tell us that the Arapahos lived on the eastern plains of Colorado and Wyoming after migrating from Minnesota and North Dakota. They lived in transportable tipis so they could follow the bison, and provide meat for their families. They were skilled hunters. Therefore, they had plenty of hides to attend their needs and some to spare. They became great traders and often sold their furs to whoever might desire them. Until they encountered the horse, they used a team of dogs and the travois to move from one place to another.

As with all cultures, the Arapaho have their own spooky stories... Tales of ethereal creatures that rove around in the dark...

They give us a legend that originates long before the coming of the horse and it goes something like this:

Monday, October 1, 2012

Carew Castle...Where Things Really DO go Bump in the Night...

In keeping with the spirit of Halloween... I dedicate this month's blogs to ghosts that endlessly wander, and things that go bump in the night...

And we'll start with Carew Castle, Pembrokeshire, Wales...

A bit of history....

Carew Castle. engraving by William Miller

This castle, overlooking Carew inlet, had its origins in a stone keep, built around the year 1100 by Gerald de Windsor. The castle passed from Gerald to his son William who took the name “De Carew.” Eventually, the castle landed in the hands of Edmund Carew who fell on hard times and mortgaged the Castle. In 1480, Sir Rhys ap Thomas moved in. Henry Tudor knighted Sir Rhys and made him Governor of Wales. Rhys died in 1525.

Now for the dark of the night...bumpy things.