Saturday, April 5, 2008

The Whaley House

Whaley House

by: Kelli Patrick (an excerpt from
The Whaley House is said to be the most haunted house in California. The U.S. Department of Commerce has listed the Whaley House as an authentic haunted house. The Whaley House is located in the historical Old Town area of San Diego.

Built on the site of public gallows and the scene of several deaths, the Whaley House is home to several ghosts, one of which before the house was even built. In 1852, a man known as "Yankee Jim" Robinson was caught trying to steal a boat. He was beaten and taken to jail.

Jim had a trial and was to hang for his crime. Two of his possible accomplices were sentenced to prison. September 18, 1852 was his execution day. On the day of Jim's execution, he was barely conscious due to the beating and the lack of medical care he received. The sheriff gave the order for the executioner to pull the mule cart from underneath Jim. The executioners did not factor in Jim's height when constructing the gallows. Jim's toes scraped the ground and took approximately 45 minutes for Jim to slowly strangle to death.

Yankee Jim has stayed on at the house. People have heard him trudging around in his heavy boots upstairs. The gallows once stood where an archway between the music room and parlor now stands. Visitors have felt like they were being strangled while passing through the archway.
In 1869, the city leased a first floor room as a courthouse. A heavy iron chain in the room has been seen swinging by itself and several people have felt uneasy there.

In 1871, an angry mob held Anna Whaley at gunpoint on the 9th step of the stairs, while public records were removed. Thomas Whaley was out of town at the time. A chill in the air is reported there. The ghost of Thomas Whaley has been seen on the second floor landing dressed in a black coat and wide-brimmed hat.

In the music room, turn of the century songs, laughter are heard and the smell of cigar and the smell of perfume, which quickly disappear. A lamp in the music room has a couple of crystals that hang off the lamp. These have been seen moving, while the others are motionless.

Electric lights in the house go on and off by themselves. Inspections find nothing to explain this. The ground floor windows have been sealed to keep them from opening by themselves, setting off the alarm.

There is a little girl ghost that we believe is the granddaughter of Anna Whaley. She died in the dining room after accidentally ingesting some poison. When the Whaley's lived in the house the "kitchen" was actually outside just off the dining room.

Thomas Whaley, Jr. died at the age of 17 months in his upstairs bedroom. Cries of a baby have been reported coming from this room. The ghost of a small dog has been seen coming and going from this room. The dog has also been seen out in the yard.

At night, a figure has been seen peering out of the upstairs windows when everyone has gone home for the day.

Things that have been reported upstairs are: curtains in many rooms moving by themselves when the windows are closed, beds and pillows have shown the impressions of someone having laid there, even though visitors cannot gain access to the rooms. A rocking chair has been seen rocking on its own.

The kitchen has been restored back to a dining room. Visitors can now enter that room. I have run into the little girl ghost there. She also hangs out in the back yard.

The electric lights have been restored back to kerosene lanterns and chandeliers.

The master bedroom upstairs is now a theatre and visitors can enter this area.

The family dog is Dolly.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

The Ghost Stories of Alcatraz

The Utility Corridor One of the areas which some claim is the most active with paranormal activity is a utility corridor where inmates Coy, Cretzer and Hubbard were plummeted with bullets after a failed prison escape. It is there that in 1976 a night security guard reported hearing unexplained eerie clanging sounds coming from inside.
Cell 14D Cell 14D, one of the 'hole' cells is believed by some to be very active with spirits. Visitors and employees have reported feeling a raw coldness and at times a sudden 'intensity' encompasses the cell.
Tales have been told of an event in the 1940s, when a prisoner locked-in 14D screamed throughout the night that a creature with glowing eyes was killing him. The next day guards found the man strangled to death in the cell. No one ever claimed responsibility for the convict's death, however the next day when doing head counts, the guards counted one too many prisoners. Some of the guards claimed seeing the dead convict in line with the other inmates, but only for a second before he vanished.
Warden Johnston Other stories have circulated that Warden Johnston, nicknamed "The Golden Rule Warden," also faced a bizarre event while showing some of his guests around the prison. According to the story, Johnston and his group heard someone sobbing from inside the prison walls, and then a cold wind whisked past the group. Johnston could never explain any reason for the occurances.
Cell blocks A, B, and C Visitors to cellblocks A and B. claim they have heard crying and moaning. A psychic visiting wrote that while in Block C he came upon a disruptive spirit name Butcher. Prison records show that another inmate in block C murdered Abie Maldowitz, a mob hitman known as Butcher.
The Ghost of Al Capone Al Capone, who spent his last years at Alcatraz with his health in decline from untreated syphilis, took up playing the banjo with a prison band. Fearing he would be killed if he spent his recreational time in the "yard," Capone received permission to spend recreation time practicing his banjo in the shower room. In recent years, a park ranger claimed he heard banjo music coming from the shower room. Not familiar with the history of Alcatraz, the ranger could not find a reason for the sound and documented the strange event. Other visitors and employees have reported hearing the sound of a banjo coming from the prison walls.
More Paranormal Reports Other odd events experienced over the years include guards smelling smoke, but finding no fire; sounds of unexplained crying and moaning; unexplained cold spots in areas of the prison and claims of seeing ghosts of prisoners or military personnel.
Could it be Alcatraz is haunted? Ghost hunters have said they feel parts of the island and areas of the prison evoke a certain "strangeness."

Thursday, March 6, 2008

My Ghost Memoirs 2

Approximately 1977

When I was the age of 4 or 5, my family moved into a large, fantastic house in Colorado Springs, Colorado. It was at least a hundred years old at that point and rich with history. My parents had purchased it as a fixer-upper, which it was in desperate need of. Reportedly, the house had been lived in prior to us by a motorcycle gang. There were even still oil stains on the carpet where they would work on their bikes in the house. Despite it's downfalls, though, it was a beautiful house, and my parents were determined to turn it back into the grand old house we all knew it had been at one time.

From about the moment that we moved into the house, to the moment we moved out of it, we all knew we were not alone, and we had, each and every one of us, our own experiences to talk about.

The ghost in the attic

On the second floor of the house was a very large room that had been a studio apartment at one time. It even had it's own kitchenette with a sink, stove, cupboards and space for a refrigerator. The room was so large, that at one time all four of us girls slept in there. I can honestly say though, that from the first night to the last night in that room, I never got a good nights sleep. I remember laying awake for hours at a time, with the covers pulled up to just below my nose, trembling in fear. You see, the only thing above us was an unused attic, however, every night we were terrorized by the sound of heavy footsteps pacing back and forth above us. Now, I have heard rats before, and I know the scurrying, scratching sounds that they make as they traverse around. These sounds that we heard every night were certainly not rats. They were a heavy, almost dragging sound with very distinct “human” footsteps. On a “quiet” night, we would all fall asleep to heavenly silence, only to be woken up to the sound of footsteps later in the night. On a bad night, the footsteps would be frenzied, pacing around all night, as if it were desperately searching for something. Sometimes on those nights, the “door” to the attic, which was located in the ceiling of our closet, would even rattle, as if whatever was up there was trying to get out, to come down to us. It was on nights like these that us girls would often crawl into bed together, trying desperately to find comfort in one another. On the rare occasion we would even end up climbing into bed with our parents. I say rare, because we knew that it really would do no good. No matter what, the very next night, we would all be back in that room again, as there simply was not enough room for us to sleep anywhere else.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Ghostly Bells and Boots in a Lumberjack's Bunkhouse

Excerpt from "Real Ghosts, Restless Spirits and Haunted Places" by Brad Steiger

Dennis M. stated that his father was born in 1907 in Nova Scotia and had once worked in the woods as both a lumberjack and a cook. One night during the winter of 1935, just after the men had retired for the night, they were awakened by the sounds of sleigh coming to the door.

The personal experience of Dennis M. :"They heard the bells on the horse, the sleigh runners squeaking on the snow, and the driver holler, 'Whoa!' Of course everyone got up and rushed to the dor to meet the visitor. However, there was no visitor, no sleigh marks, no hoof prints from the horses, nothing.

"The event that finally chased everyone out of the bunkhouse was when the ghost drove the sleigh up to the door, got off the sleigh, opened the door and walked in. Dad said that you could hear the boots walking across the floor, clip-clop, clip-clop. It horrified everyone. Lumberjacks began throwing their boots and whatever else at the ghost. Dad said he finally got a lantern lit, and just like before, there was no evidence of anyone or anything being there."

Thursday, February 28, 2008

What Are Ghosts?

Excerpt from "The Haunted Tourist: A Layman's Guide to Ghost Hunting and Hauntings In Northern California" by J.D. Woodall

What are ghosts? Theories abound. A literate discussion about ghosts leads naturally to rumor, hearsay and innuendo, as well as philosophy, religion, mythology, history, folk-tales, and physics. Most researchers agree that ghosts, spirits, apparitions, et al., are the electromagnetic residues of a once-living being. The experts' theory is that energy is neither created nor destroyed, but can be transformed. That transformation of energy after the death of the physical body exists in the form of ghosts. In short, a ghost is a person's lingering personality, hopes, dreams, desires, soul, memory, and all those things which made that person so unique while he or she was still alive.

There is evidence on film and on audiotape that ghosts do, in fact, exist. There are a lot of photographs showing unusual, round, milky white bubbles floating over tombstones or over the heads of other people in the photographs. There are also photographs of smoke like ghosts, misty ghosts, and half-transparent apparitions which were not there when the pictures were taken, and which only show up on film or videotape. The good news is that the living people present in the photograph, videotape or audiotape are not aware that there is a ghost standing next to them. Personally, I wouldn't want to know either. Ghosts don't seem to be limited only to human beings. There are reports of ghostly dogs and cats who haunt houses after they have died. There are even reports of household pets who sometimes haunt a location with their owners after the owners become ghosts themselves. There are also reports of ghostly pack mules, spirited horses, and wild black panthers that haunt the hillside and then disappear. And even more strange are the tales of ghostly ships which can be spotted docked at the pier or sailing into the foggy bay. And who hasn't heard tales of phantom trains and stagecoaches, the mournful whistles and clatter of which can be heard in the lonely darkness of the night?

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Ghost Memoirs #1

Approximately 1976

This was my first real memory of an unexplained spirit experience. I was very young, so young in fact that I cannot tell you how old I was or even the address of where we were living at that point. I do know that the time frame was right to have us living in Colorado Springs, Colorado, and I do know that I was in the car with my mother. Please understand that my mother also seems to be “sensitive” to spirits, so I cannot say whether it was because of her or me that we experienced what we did. Or perhaps it was both of us that brought it on. Unfortunately, we will never know.

As I said before, I know that I was traveling in a car with my mother that night. When she recounted the tale in later days, she told people that she remembered passing by the local graveyard. I cannot honestly say that I remember this, however, as I was so young that I couldn't see far past the bottom of the windows. What I do remember is driving along in the dark and then having the feeling like something was behind us. When I turned to peer over the back of the seat and look out the rear window, what I saw took my breath away. Apparently, my mother saw it as well, as she gasped as she looked in the rearview mirror. What we saw looked like a very small, glowing cloud, tailing along directly behind our car. When I asked my mother what it was, she glanced back at the rearview mirror a couple of times, her eyes wide. She finally replied, “I don't know, honey. “ and I could sense that her uneasiness was equal to mine. As we continued to drive, my mother kept worriedly glancing at the rearview mirror, and her uneasiness seemed to grow into fear.

The shape continued it's pursuit of us until we pulled into the garage, at which point my mother grabbed my hand and said, “Let's run, honey”. In that final moment, I didn't have a chance for a last look, to see if it were still there, floating in our garage, as my mother hustled me very quickly into the house. However, my mother yelled to my father to go have a look, at which point, of course, there was nothing there.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Do you believe in ghosts?

Do you? I do. Ever since I was a little girl, I have experienced things that could only be classified as paranormal. It is something I have learned to accept and to try to understand, something that I will always strive to learn more about.

That is why I have started this blog - to share with others my experiences, to talk to others about there experiences, to share stories and information, to just have a place to talk about something I am very passionate about. To learn from and help each other understand.