Monday, November 24, 2014

Haunted Object: Mandy the Doll

This 114-year old doll named Mandy is considered to be “Canada’s most evil antique.”

In 1991 Mandy was donated to the Quesnel & District Museum located in British Columbia. Today she is the main attraction at this museum.

Former Owner

The owner that donated Mandy to the museum felt uncomfortable owning this doll. She kept Mandy in her basement with a variety of other antiques.

She started to hear strange sounds coming from her basement but when she would go down to investigate nothing seemed out of the ordinary.

She became scared when she started to hear what she described as “a baby crying” coming from her basement. Although she investigated this sound on many occasions she never discovered the reason for these sounds.

As this noise became more pronounced and louder she became convinced this doll was haunted. She decided not to keep it. Not wanting to throw this antique out she donated it to the museum.

Once she did this the strange sounds stopped.

Unusual Activity

Once Mandy was displayed in the museum strange things started to happen.

Staff lunches began to disappear out of the refrigerator only to be found later stuffed into various drawers around the building.

Employees’ personal items, such as photos, pens and books would disappear without a trace.

At first, the museum displayed Mandy in a case near the entranceway but several guests complained that they got a strange vibe from this doll so Mandy was moved. 

This doll's cracked and broken face added to these negative feelings. Visitors often stated that she "has a sinister smile."

One legend states she then was placed in a case that contained other dolls. But when staff started to find these other dolls damaged rumors spread it was Mandy. It seems she was jealous.

Mandy eventually was put in a corner in her own case.

Becoming Infamous

This strange doll was featured in a book entitled Supernatural Stories Around British Columbia. After this more people started to visit the museum just to see Mandy.

Other odd activity began to be reported. Visitors stated that their camera and phone batteries would drain while they stood near Mandy’s glass case.

Photos taken of Mandy sometimes would turn out but in others the photos were blurred. It appears Mandy is picky about who can take her picture.

One female patron stated her camera’s light flickered constantly until she left the room that contains the doll.

Other creepier reports include people noting this doll’s eyes followed them as they moved around the room and that just as they looked away from her case they saw Mandy’s eyes blink.

Employees' state Mandy--regardless of the case she is placed in-- has mysteriously moved positions.

All these reports have guaranteed this doll has a sinister reputation.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

The Ghosts of Fells Point

Baltimore's Fells Point
Sitting on a picturesque peninsula in Chesapeake Bay is a small community called Fells Point that still embraces its roots.

Fells Point today is lined with quaint 18th and 19th century homes and storefronts. This area today hosts several trendy bars and restaurants.

An Englishman, William Fell who originally owned this land, founded a ship building business in 1726. His ships became the famous “Baltimore Schooners.”

Fells Point made a good port because its deep waters almost reach the shoreline. It was Baltimore’s main port for over 100 years.

It original residents were the rowdy seamen that visited this port along with the working class citizens of Baltimore. They frequented the pubs and brothels that were located near this port.

This rich history is why many believe this area is haunted today. Most of this ghostly activity occurs in the pubs and along the streets in this small port community.

 Red Light District

The Cats Eye Pub was also a brothel in the early days. It used a “red light switching system” that was common in establishments that provided its customers with prostitutes.

This system was a board with several red light bulbs. When a Lady of the Evening would flip her switch off it signaled she was not available. When she was ready for her next client she would flip her red light bulb on.

This switching system is where the term Red Light District comes from.

Today the renovated Cats Eye Pub is still used as a bar. A recent employee, Paige McClain states this old switching system was covered up by dry wall when the building was renovated.

She and several other employees believe the spirits of these prostitutes haunt this pub.

The old switching system is located just below the ceiling near the front of the bar. Both employees and patrons have heard these switches engaging and disengaging in this area.

The Whistling Oyster

This pub is located in a building that once was a row house. At one time it had a second floor.

In the early days once it was converted the owner decided he had no use for the second floor so he had the staircase removed.

Today, patrons at the Whistling Oyster report seeing an apparition ascending this staircase, which no longer exists.

William Fell’s Ghost

The original owner of Fell’s Point is also said to haunt this peninsula. A man dressed in 18th century clothing has been seen by several recent residents.

Coby Kay Callahan and her boyfriend Christopher Carter were heading home at 2:30 a.m. when they spotted a strangely dressed man walking into an alley up ahead.

When they reached the entrance to this alley no one was in it. Their sighting is not unusual. Several other witnessed have reported seeing this ghost.

He is seen late at night--normally after the bars have closed--walking along various streets in Fell’s Point.

It is said that this was probably his habit while alive.

Edgar Allan Poe

Another haunted pub located at Fells Point is The Horse You Come In On.

This pub is located on the last street before you reach the dock. It is believed this was one of Poe’s favorite places to drink.

I talk about this pub and several other places Poe’s ghost is said to haunt here.

Employees of this pub blame Poe’s ghost for several strange occurrences that happen in this bar.

One female bartender while preparing to open for business states that when she walked up to the cash register it opened on its own. She closed the drawer and went about her business.

When she returned to the area she was surprised to see the drawer open once more. She again closed it. After this it opened several more times.

At the end of her shift when the next bartender arrived she told him what had happened. He was not surprised. He informed her that it was just Edgar, their ghost. He told her the cash register drawer opening on its own was a common occurrence.

This female bartender found out quickly that if she talked to Poe and acknowledged his presence the activity slowed down for a while.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Tell Us a Story, Grandpa

Our grandfather was a war veteran. He fought for the North during the War Between the States. My twin sister and I had since the age of 5 spent All Hollow’s Eve at his home. All 14 of his grandchildren would attend these parties.

We would play games, eat sweets and have the best time of our lives. These evening were made extra special for we were allowed to stay up way passed our bedtimes.

Tired from all the excitement at the end of the evening we would gather around Grandpa as he sat rocking and smoked his favorite pipe. A hush would fall over the room as we waited in anticipation. He knew what was expected but he always acted like he didn’t have a clue.

Soon voices would ring out urging, “Tell us a ghost story Grandpa. Tell us an exciting one!”

Grandpa would raise his eyebrows and tilt his head. “Well you all know I don’t believe in ghosts but when I was your age my parents did tell me some pretty scary stories.”

“Then tell us one--pleasssse.”

“I’m not sure your folks would appreciate me scaring you all.”

This banter would continue for awhile, us begging and Grandpa making excuses but we all knew that he would relent eventually for every Hallowe’en he told us a ghost story.

After we had all settled down and were sitting still, Grandpa started to talk in a quiet tone. We leaned forward so we would not miss a word.

“I guess since you are all older now it is about time I told you a true ghost story.” We nodded solemnly in unison agreeing that we were certainly old enough.

The firelight in the room shined almost as brightly as Grandpa’s eyes. Before he said another word my cousin Billy--always the doubter--stated, “What makes this story true, Grandpa?”

Grandpa put his large hand on Billy’s head gently and smiled, “Because I really saw this ghost.”

Several of us gasped for Grandpa had never said before he had actually seen a ghost.

The White Ghost

It was one night while I was on picket duty. I was out in the open but there was a thicket of trees near where I stood.

It was dark and in the middle of the night when I first saw the ghost, glowing white standing at the edge of the woods.

I didn’t think anything of it at first--you tend to see strange things in the army. Seeing a little thing like a ghost didn’t bother me.

After awhile the ghost just disappeared. This did make me pause since it had vanished right before my eyes.

A brief span of time passed then it appeared again--but this time it was closer.

Several of my cousins shrieked. Grandpa nodded, “I must admit this frightened me too.”

The ghost just vanished once more. It then proceeded to appear and disappear several more times--each time it came closer to where I stood. I was now more nervous.

Hearing this, I felt shivers run up and down my back.

Grandpa continued. I wanted to run but I was on duty and couldn’t leave my post. I had to stand there and watch this ghost come closer and closer each time it appeared.

I started to imagine all kinds of terrible things...

I calmed down by convincing myself that it must be a rebel soldier in disguise. After all, the enemy--Johnny Reb-- was always trying to trick us.

I now became afraid that if this imaginary soldier came close enough to me that he would run me right through with his bayonet.

We all jumped as Grandpa acted this action out.

He then said, “I could feel the sharpness of this point and the pain that would ensue.”

The next time it appeared this white apparition was now just a few feet in front of me. “I raised my gun and fired not caring if the noise roused the entire camp.”

Within moments an officer was standing before me demanding to know what had happened. How could I tell him that I had shot a ghost? He wouldn’t believe me.

Billy shook his head no. “I wouldn’t have.”

Well he didn’t believe me, he ordered another soldier to stand with me at the post until morning.

As dawn broke I spotted a large white form. I went over to inspect it and discovered I had shot a fat cow. It was white on one side and dark red on the other.

In the dark when she turned her red side to me I couldn’t see her but when she turned her white side to me--well she didn’t look like a cow.

I guess she was just wandering the wood eating the grass. But she sure did scare me. 

Billy always practical asked, “What did you do with her? Did you have to pay for her?”

“Nope, the army was grateful for the meat. I can tell you eating that good beefsteak I was downright happy that I saw that ghost.” 

Friday, November 21, 2014

Creepy Horton Mine

This haunting was discovered by Frank who is an experienced mine explorer. He has explored over 100 abandoned mines in the west. He recommends that the inexperienced should not do what he does because often these mines are falling apart and dangerous.

But what he experienced in two of his latest explorations goes beyond this usual danger--for he encountered something otherworldly. He captures both these events on the two videos below.

In the summer of 2013 Frank was exploring the Victorine Mine in an isolated mountain area of Nevada with his video camera when he spotted a Bore Hole outside this mine. He then explored the bottom of the mountain and found the lower mine that this hole leads to.

The tunnel he discovered is the the Horton Mine. He spotted water coming out of the entrance to this mine but since it was running and not stagnant he felt it would be safe to enter this tunnel.

As he walked through the entrance or what he refers to as the portal of this mine he felt this space was odd.

Becoming overwhelmed he felt that he was being watched. As he moved further into the tunnel he felt cold spots and a strong sense of creepiness.

He films several 40-pound chains hanging from this mine’s ceiling. His camera records one of these chains further down the tunnel from him swinging in a wide arch from side to side. Other chains in front of this one are swinging as well.

He expresses that he feels a negative presence.

Knowing this type of chain normally does not move even when a man brushes passed them Frank understandably freaks out and returns to the entrance and leaves.

Here is the short video, which is 3 and a half minutes. It shows these chains moving.

A Return Visit

A year later in 2014 Frank decides to visit the Horton Mine once more. He is curious to see if something else will happen.

In this video he first films the area outside of the Horton Mine then he enters the tunnel. He has found out more about the mine’s history and shares it as he walks further back into the shaft.

He notes once more that this tunnel has a very strong creepy feel to it. He feels as if something is warning him to leave.

The Horton mine was used in the late 1970s and early 1980s as an ore pass. Ore was dropped down the 900-foot Bore Hole from the Victorine Mine on top of the mountain.

It was then conveyed on a Shute that dumped it into motorized tramcars that carried it out. So Horton was used as a transport shaft. This operation by-passed having to carry this ore the long distance down this steep mountain.

As Frank moves further back into this tunnel he films a strange mist and he begins to hear the dripping water that feeds the small stream at his feet.

He reaches the back of the tunnel where he sees the water pouring down from the Bore Hole. As he explains how the operation worked faint voices can be heard talking above the sound of the running water and his voice.

He does not note this so I wonder if he heard what I heard. Faintly at the 6:20 mark and then they get louder at the 6:35 mark.

After he films the machinery and explains how it all worked he walks back down the tunnel toward the entrance. At this point his video camera records sounds that frighten him--these begin at about the 7:46 mark-- to the point where he panics and quickly runs out of the shaft.

He feels a sudden blast of cold air as he hears these ghostly sounds.

They are clearly recorded. There is the distinct sound of people talking and machinery moving--then a two-alarm sounds.

Frank states he will never go back in the Horton Mine.

One has to wonder if the running water and minerals in this mine contribute to this haunting.

This second video shows his return visit in 2014. It is slightly longer--8 and a-half minutes--but hearing the ghostly sounds at the end make the wait worthwhile.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Dead Man’s Curve

There are several versions of this tale told across America. This account is from the east coast.

An hour before the clock had struck twelve and now it was January 1, 1952. The three young couples were in a festive mood for they had been drinking.

One husband, Bill Gardner volunteered to drive the others home since he had not been drinking except for a few campaign sips to toast the New Year.

The road ahead of their car was deserted but Bill became concerned when he saw another car appear--seemingly out of nowhere. It was traveling straight down the middle of the road.

Bill was worried it was going to hit them head on but in the nick of time he was able to cut sharply to the right. As he hit a curve his car crashed down a steep embankment.

Bill climbed out of his car amidst the dust and smoke. He was bleeding but he managed to inspect the condition of his passengers. They were all pinned in the car. They were hurt but still alive.

He started to climb up the hill to get help. As he reached the highway he saw a man standing near the edge looking down.

The man approached him and stated his name was Benjamin Prudden from New Haven. He offered to give Bill a ride to the hospital.

Just before Bill fainted he heard the man say he would send an ambulance back for his friends.

Several weeks later, after Bill had recovered from the accident he went in search of Ben to thank him for saving his life and his friend’s lives. With inquires he was told a family by the name of Prudden lived in Derby.

He borrowed a car since his was totaled and drove there. He asked at a shop where he could find a Benjamin Prudden. He received some odd looks but the shopkeeper offered to show him.

They got in the shopkeepers car and Bill was surprised to see him drive into the town’s cemetery. He was led to a tombstone with this inscription on it:

“Here Lies Benjamin Prudden, 1846-1906”

Bill inquired if there might be another man by the same name, he was told no. The shopkeeper was not surprised by his story about the stranger who helped him in the early hours of New Year’s Day.

He was the 3rd person that had claimed to see Benjamin Prudden since he had died 45 years before. The shopkeeper mentioned that Ben had lost his life on the same curve Bill’s car had veered off of.