Nightfall at Pennhurst Asylum

This past summer, my husband and I won two tickets for a public ghost tour of Pennhurst State School and Hospital from the Pennhurst Paranormal Association. Timothy Smith runs Pennhurst Paranormal Association and maintains Pennhurst, conducting ghost tours and teaching visitors about the asylum’s tragic history. Tim and the staff of Pennhurst Paranormal Association are experienced, professional paranormal investigators. Everyone was kind and patient in answering both my questions and those of other tour members. The tour was focused on finding evidence of hauntings through the use of ghost hunting equipment, which they also showed us how to use. Pennhurst Paranormal Association hosts both public and private ghost tours of Pennhurst State School and Hospital.

The drive through the picturesque historical town soon ended, bringing George and me to a stop on a dark, country road next to a water tower. Thankfully, Tim sent one of his team to come and find us because we might have never found the place in time for the tour. Pennhurst Asylum was designed to be an isolated location, which undoubtedly helped in keeping the truth behind it a secret for many years. We had to drive down a winding path through the woods just to make it onto the campus, and it was already after dark.

I felt a shift in the atmosphere from the second I saw the dimly lit structures of the buildings looming above. I was thankful that there was a large touring group that night. After having done some preliminary research online, I was anxious about going. Before now, everything that I had done with ghosts had been low-key or happenstance. This was my first time being with a professional group of paranormal investigators that had ghost hunting equipment. We toured two buildings that night, Mayflower Hall and Devon Hall.

In the first building, we went into a kind of common hall where patients used to congregate. Paint was peeling off the walls and water pooled on the floor in some areas from recent rain. Members of the Pennhurst Paranormal Association told us background history about Pennhurst. The place was known for “womb to tomb care.” Many of the occupants spent their whole lives in Pennhurst, whether they needed to be there or not. Family members were encouraged to drop their children and relatives off and told not to look back as return visits might only upset the patient and disrupt the treatment.

Images of people being abandoned by their families, helpless to stop any ill treatment that might befall them filled me with unspeakable horror. I asked why these spirits were still here. Why hadn’t they moved on after so many years? Pennhurst was officially closed down in 1987. This prompted a discussion about hauntings and whether the spirits see the place as we do now.

Without proper funding, Pennhurst was understaffed, poorly managed, and incredibly overcrowded. This allowed for the medical staff to abuse their patients and for patients to accidentally harm themselves or each other. Severe punishments even included surgically removing the patient’s teeth so that they could not bite in defense. This was done without anesthetics. The mentally disabled were not seen as equals and it was easy for the staff to disregard them.

One story that was told to me was about a telephone lineman who was working on repairing the phone system when a patient came up to him and started swaying. After a few minutes, the patient began banging his head into the doorframe. The lineman hailed a nurse who was passing by for help, but she said that she didn’t have time to take care of the patient because she was so overwhelmed with work already. Meanwhile, the patient that she refused to help had blood pouring from the self-inflicted gash on his head.

We had been in the common room for a few minutes when I felt someone take my hand. Thinking it was my husband, I turned around to see that he was standing a few feet away from me. There was no one standing either next to or behind me. I jumped, pulling my hand back. When I brought this up to the tour guides, they said that people often reported being touched or having someone grab their hand in that room. They said that teenage boys used to be here in this section and that was their way of showing affection. We also got some cold spots in that room.

Next, they brought us to Emily’s room. Emily is the spirit of a sweet, thirteen-year-old girl who has the mental capabilities of a five-year-old. There were various dolls and stuffed animals on her bed. We communicated with her via an EMF (Electromagnetic Field) reader which spiked every time she got excited or came near us. She seemed to prefer females and enjoyed when the female tour guides and I took turns singing nursery rhymes to her.

While I was standing in that room, I suddenly saw a small, green orb. I followed it into the darkness down the hallway into another room, but it disappeared. I came back to Emily’s room. At that point, we said goodbye to Emily and went back outside to join other group members who were planning on visiting Devon Hall. Devon Hall is known for having great EVPs (Electronic Voice Phenomena). Tim, the association’s leader, took us there.

At one point, I remarked that I kept hearing what I thought to be footsteps following behind us. Tim said that while that was possible, it was more likely that I was hearing the steady dripping of water down the wall. He was accustomed to hearing these noises, so he could debunk them. He even showed me where the water was coming from so that I could see for myself. While we had sufficient light to see by, this was mostly provided by flashlights that we carried along with us during the tour.

First, we went upstairs to inspect some bathrooms in Devon Hall where they had gotten great EVPs in the past. I sometimes get mental flashes of spirits when I enter rooms. It kind of reminds me of taking a picture because I only see the ghost for a second or two before they vanish. When we entered the bathroom, I saw an image of a little boy sitting in the bathtub. I grabbed George as he went to lean against it.

“Don’t sit there!” I hissed. He had no idea what I had seen until I told him later. I didn’t want him to upset the spirit.

Tim showed us how EVPs were made. He had a recorder that would only record when someone was speaking. He would ask a question, wait twenty seconds, and then ask the next question. Later, when he would play the recording back to the group, the ghostly voices would show up in between Tim’s questions. Since the recorder only records when someone is speaking, in theory, there should have been no gap between Tim’s questions during the playback.

The bathroom was a horrible place. Tim asked if the ghosts were repentant of what they had done during their lives, but they seemed to be proud of how they molested and raped young boys. They staked out claims on stalls and threatened to harm Tim if he entered them. Clutching my St. Michael pendant for protection, I envisioned a circle of white light around our group. Thankfully, I had managed to convince George to carry a protective talisman as well. The creepiest thing about this whole situation was that while I didn’t hear anything while I was standing there, Tim’s EVP recordings showed that there was someone in the bathroom with us. This someone was getting angrier at what they took as an intrusion of their territory.

We trudged down to the basement. At this point, I was looking at the cracked plaster and broken sinks and thinking to myself that I should have brought a face mask since I am super sensitive to dust. We entered another bathroom. Apparently, they are a great source for EVPs. We had a brief discussion about whether this was because the water is a good source of energy for spirits. Then we started another EVP session.

Tim made contact with another spirit who obliged us by reading the writing that was on people’s shirts to show that he was there. Then Tim asked if he would go and see if he could get Dr. Fear for us. That was actually the man’s name, although it would have been an appropriate nickname for him as well since he instilled fear in his patients. His soul apparently came here after his passing. I wondered how this was an appropriate punishment for his evil deeds since he seemed to be able to lord over the suffering souls that were still trapped here.

Moments after Tim called for Dr. Fear, I got a flash image of a spectacled man in a lab coat walking over to our group. In my vision, he came over and placed his hands on both a young woman’s and my husband’s shoulder as if he was peering over a group of medical interns. Just then George and the young woman complained of feeling a cold spot right where I had seen Dr. Fear appear.

Tim began asking Dr. Fear questions. Dr. Fear stated that while he remembered who Tim was, he didn’t really care about his presence one way or the other. One of the female tour guides asked if he was a real doctor. The ghost half chuckled into the EVP recorder. Of course, he was a real doctor. The way that he said it made it seem as if he thought she had asked a stupid question. She had been trying to insult him, but he had dismissed it.

One of the things we had discussed were the missing bodies of patients. Patients had died or gone missing and their bodies had never been accounted for. It was thought that they might have been buried somewhere on the campus in unmarked graves. Tim asked Dr. Fear what happened to the bodies.

“I burnt them,” crackled over the recorder, followed by low, eerie laughter.

I felt cold all over after that. Tim offered to keep taking us around the buildings. The next stop would have been back to the Mayflower building. There was the ghost of a nurse on one of the upper floors who was reported to administer ghostly shots to people. George and I decided to leave. We still had a three-hour drive back home and I felt emotionally and spiritually sapped after that encounter in the basement.

I was exhausted for days following this visit, even with my spiritual cleansings. Tim later told me that was one of their strongest EVP sessions. While I don’t consider myself a Medium per say, I do feel like spirits tend to manifest strongly when I’m around. This was easily the most terrifying ghostly encounter that I have ever had. There is nothing like being in a silent, near pitch dark room and having someone who you cannot see answer you.

img_4622
Emily’s Room – Mayflower Hall

If you have a real ghost story that you would like to share with The Ghost Post, send an email with your contact information to Tara Theresa Hill at theghostpostreporter@gmail.com to set up an interview. 

I’m always in the mood for a good ghost story! 

Follow Tara Theresa Hill on Facebook and on Twitter at @TaraTheresaHill for more updates and paranormal phenomena!

 

 

 

My Haunted Vacation

Dear Readers,

Happy Haunted Holidays from The Ghost Post!  Please be advised that this will be the last post for 2016 as next Sunday is Christmas.  The Ghost Post will resume posting new stories on January 2nd, 2017.  I have a lot of new things in the works for 2017, including a ghost story magazine.  Please stay tuned for more real ghost stories!

Best,

Tara Theresa Hill

For our five-year wedding anniversary, George and I decided to go to Washington, D.C.  We both love history and he wanted to see the space exhibits at the Smithsonian.  Since hotels outside of D.C. were cheaper, we stayed in a hotel in Virginia and drove into D.C. each day.  I can usually count on at least one ghostly encounter per trip.

One of the attractions that we did was called Monuments in the Moonlight.  This was a nighttime trolley tour of D.C.’s national monuments.  Some of the scheduled stops let you out to explore.  The tour included a drive through Arlington National Cemetery.  Since it was already dark, they didn’t let us get out of the trolley.  The trolley was an open-air one, so that you really got great views and pictures as they coasted by the monuments.

I was leaning with my fist on my chin, gazing out at the cemetery.  My reverie was broken by the appearance of a glowing figure.  At first, I took it to be a statue of a Civil War soldier that had been lit up somehow.  I saw the uniform with the buttons down the front and the cap.  I even noted that he had a handlebar mustache.

“That’s an amazingly detailed statue!” I thought to myself and shifted around in my seat to get a better look.  The figure was gone.  We had only just passed by it, so I should have been able to see it.  I turned to my husband.

“Did you see the glowing statue of the Civil War soldier?”

“No.  What statue?”

I pointed behind us.  “There in the woods.”

“Honey, statues don’t generally glow.”

Then it hit me.  I hadn’t seen a statue at all, but a full-blown apparition of a Civil War soldier on the eve of the 150th Anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg.

 

The Ways of Ghosts

Thanks to Don from New York for this story!

Don lived in the same house in Williamsburg, Brooklyn from 1980 until this past June.  The house is estimated to have been built no later than 1812.  It has three floors, a sub-basement, and is connected to a separate brick building.  Don’s landlord lived in the brick building.

Once when the landlord was away visiting family, Don heard footsteps coming up the stairs.  Thinking it was someone attempting to break in, he armed himself with a bat and went to investigate.  Creeping along, he finally reached the stairs only to find that no one was there.  After a few more repeats of this event, Don started saying hi to the invisible spirit whenever he heard the footsteps.

Don’s girlfriend, Alyssa, had a different encounter with the ghost.  Alyssa is the thirteenth generation of psychics in her family.  One day, she told Don that the ghost in the house had come to her and complained about what was going on in the sub-basement.  Don wasn’t aware of anything happening, but he decided to mention the incident to his landlord.  The landlord was astounded.  As it turned out, he had been setting off bug bombs in the basement and the ghost had not approved of it.

Three years after he had been buried, Alyssa’s uncle’s body had to be exhumed.  Noting that he looked better than he had when he was alive, Alyssa asked Don for a reading to see how her uncle was doing on the Other Side.  Everything went fine during the reading.

Later that night, Don was awakened by the presence of someone lying beside him.  Don jumped out of bed to find the spot next to him empty, except that the blankets seemed slightly raised.  Don and Alyssa mentioned the incident to Alyssa’s aunt who was then ninety-eight years old.

She laughed at them.  “Don’t you know better?  Doing readings about the dead draws them to you.”

If you have a real ghost story that you would like to share with The Ghost Post, send an email with your contact information to Tara Theresa Hill at theghostpostreporter@gmail.com to set up an interview. 

I’m always in the mood for a good ghost story!

Follow Tara Theresa Hill on Facebook and on Twitter at @TaraTheresaHill for more updates and paranormal phenomena!

If you enjoyed this article and would be interested in supporting my work, please check out my Patreon page. 

 

 

 

The Haunts of Lorain County

Thanks to Michelle from Ohio for this story!

Michelle comes from a psychically gifted family that is of French, Native American, and Irish descent.  She lives in a house in the countryside in Lorain County, Ohio.  While the house is relatively new, she believes that the ground might be cursed because of the swirling energy vortex at the bottom of the house and the high levels of spirit activity in the area.  Older buildings and farmhouses surround Michelle’s home.  There is a cornfield and creek nearby the house, as well as an old church on the corner.

Odd things have happened in Michelle’s house.  Her phone continuously malfunctions for brief periods of time.  She has had the phone inspected, but has not been able to find a reason for the strange reoccurrence.  At times, a growling can be heard coming from under the family table when there is no dog or other animal present.

Two apparitions have also been seen.  The first one is of a little blonde-haired boy from the early 1900s.  Locals believe that he is the ghost of a young boy who died mysteriously somewhere on the property.  There is also the figure of a woman wearing a dress from the 1920s who first appears to be waving, but then a look of shock comes upon her face.  Some think that these two ghosts share a connection of some sort, although the exact story is unknown.

Within a mile of the family’s house is an intersection of highways that are the cause of many accidents.  People have seen various ghosts and entities along this road.  There have been reports of Native American spirits, shadow people the color of translucent smoke, orbs, and gremlin-like creatures.  This strip of highway is thought to be a portal that spirits use to cross over into our world.

If you have a real ghost story that you would like to share with The Ghost Post, send an email with your contact information to Tara Theresa Hill at theghostpostreporter@gmail.com to set up an interview. 

I’m always in the mood for a good ghost story! 

If you enjoyed this article and would be interested in supporting my work, please check out my Patreon page. 

 

“Told you that we have a ghost.”

Soon after we got married, George and I moved to Yonkers, New York.  The apartment was a large studio with a walk-through kitchen and a wide hallway that led to the bathroom.  The hallway was so big that we turned it into a mini-library and storage area for some of George’s Star Trek models.

Having grown up in Yonkers until I was about eleven years old, I was happy to be back in my old neighborhood.  The building was from the 1920s, although the city itself dates back to the mid-1600s.  There was even an old Jewish cemetery located a few blocks from our apartment building that was usually kept locked.  The earliest gravestones had dates from the 1950s.

One night, about two weeks after we had settled in and unpacked everything, I was walking by the bookshelf when one of George’s toy Star Trek phasers went off by itself.  To say I nearly jumped out of my skin is an understatement.  I ran out of that hallway so fast that I’m sure the ghost must have been in a fit of hysterics.  This happened a few more times, including a couple in front of George.

Our second year there, George and I decided to throw a Halloween party.  A few of our friends came over and we all dressed in costume and played some board games.  We also gave out candy to the trick-or-treaters.  I had told my friends about the events in the house.  I had by this time taken George’s electronic toys and stuffed them in the closet so that I couldn’t hear them if they decided to go off on their own.  Some of my friends were skeptics, some believed me, but we were all in for a surprise later that night.

Everyone was standing around, saying their goodbyes, and getting ready to go home.  I had just finished telling them that I was in the middle of writing a ghost story that was quickly turning into my first novel.  Then inexplicably, our TV turned itself on.  No one was near the remote or standing by the TV.  This was one of those older television sets with a built-in DVD player from the early 2000s.  You had to press the power button firmly to get it to turn on.  Everyone looked at me.

“Told you that we have a ghost.”

If you have a real ghost story that you would like to share with The Ghost Post, send an email with your contact information to Tara Theresa Hill at theghostpostreporter@gmail.com to set up an interview. 

I’m always in the mood for a good ghost story! 

If you enjoyed this article and would be interested in supporting my work, please check out my Patreon page. 

Red Eyes

Thanks to Tami from Washington State for this story!

Tami and her family moved into their first home off a military base in June 2010.  Built on a man-made island in the 1980s, the house was a three-story structure with three bedrooms and a two and a half bath.  One of the walls in the living room was made of two sliding glass doors that reflected the lagoon that was located behind the building.

Strange things started happening soon after they settled in.  Tami’s then two-year old son, Timmy, started talking to and playing with ghost children that showed up in his bedroom.  Then he told his mother about an entity whom he called “Red.”  Timmy was terrified of whatever it was.  Tami noticed strange scratches appearing on her son’s body in areas that he couldn’t have possibly reached on his own.

Distressed, she called her friend, Destiny, to come over and do a cleansing.  Tami filled her in on the frightening things that were occurring in the house.  Objects got moved around.  Oppressive energy lurked in the darkest corners, making one feel on edge, as if something was going to jump out at you.  While she was there, Destiny mentioned that she glimpsed a pair of red eyes reflected in the mirrors that overlooked the lagoon.  Tami figured that this must have been what was scaring her son.  The house was completely surrounded by water, but instead of being cozy, there was often this unnerving feeling of being watched.

Unfortunately, the cleansing didn’t completely banish the negative entity.  It came back after a few weeks, only now it was much worse than before.  Tami felt helpless in keeping the thing away from her son.  For some reason, the malevolent spirit’s presence seemed to grow stronger whenever her husband was away serving overseas.  Maybe it was afraid of him.  Tami describes her husband as a no-nonsense sailor.  He was probably oblivious of it and that fearlessness helped keep it at bay.

Tami called her landlady to try to find out more about the house, but the woman didn’t offer any helpful information.  Either she really didn’t know anything or she was being evasive.  Tami wondered if the building of the man-made island had disturbed the spirit.  Perhaps the trees and the shrubs had been transplanted from sacred ground.  Whatever it was, Tami never found out.  They lived there for a year and half before they were finally able to move again.  Everyone was glad to leave the house and the angry ghost behind.

If you have a real ghost story that you would like to share with The Ghost Post, send an email with your contact information to Tara Theresa Hill at theghostpostreporter@gmail.com to set up an interview. 

I’m always in the mood for a good ghost story! 

If you enjoyed this article and would be interested in supporting my work, please check out my Patreon page. 

A Haunting Halloween

One of my favorite ghost stories is “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” by Washington Irving.  So, when Mom was approached to do a ritual at Sleepy Hollow Cemetery for a kid’s paranormal television show, I was thrilled to go along.  When our car first pulled into the cemetery parking lot, I was astounded by the sheer size of the place.  The endless rows of old graves amongst the fallen leaves and stark grey sky was an impressive sight.  We were given a brief private tour of the cemetery before leaving to grab some dinner at a nearby diner.  As the shadows lengthened, I asked when Mom and Sandy were going to start the circle.

“Oh, that will take place later tonight, once it gets dark,” said Mom.

“What?  How long are we going to be there?” I asked.

“All night,” Sandy sighed, sipping her coffee.

“You mean to tell me that we’re going to spend Halloween night in Sleepy Hollow Cemetery?”

“Yes.  I thought you knew that,” said Mom, as if walking around a haunted cemetery at night was the most normal thing in the world.  “I’m going to do a ritual that climaxes at midnight.  We should start wrapping up at about one o’clock in the morning, unless of course the film crew wants to do multiple takes.”

“Terrific…” I mumbled.

Of course, growing up Wiccan, Halloween (also known as Samhain) had always been a bit different in my family.  While my mother encouraged me to participate in the secular activities of dressing in costume and going trick-or-treating, it was also a deeply spiritual event.  One of my earliest Halloween memories involves sitting around a flickering jack-o’-lantern in our darkened living room listening to my mother tell me about the history of All Hallows Eve.  She told me about how the veil between the Spirit World and the Living waxes and wanes throughout the year, becoming thinnest on Halloween Night.  Mom raised me not to fear the dead, but to honor our ancestral spirits as they watch over and guide us on our life mission.

So, that’s how I found myself standing in Sleepy Hollow Cemetery at midnight on Halloween Night.  While Mom tried to make contact with a trapped spirit, I went wandering off into the cemetery with my friend and coven member, Carrie.  I had been instructed to stay out of the way of the film crew.  This was before the creation of Smart Phones or Kindles, so I didn’t have much to do to keep myself occupied.  I wasn’t interested in the screeching teenagers and it was too dark to read.  I wore one of my mother’s heavy, hooded cloaks and had bundled up in multiple layers, so at least I was warm.  Carrie and I were standing near a section of graves that were in-between the parking lot and the filming area.  I could just make out the cemetery gates and the outlines of a few tombstones.

We had been silent for a few minutes when out of the darkness, there came a low moaning.  My spine tingled at the woeful sound.  “Do you hear that?” I asked Carrie.

“Uh huh…”

“What do you suppose that is?”

“I don’t know.”

The sound was coming from one of the nearby graves, but it was so dark that we couldn’t be sure which one it was.

“Maybe it’s a sick dog or some other animal,” I ventured.

“I don’t think so,” said Carrie.

My next thought was that it was a sound effect from the film crew.  I looked over toward where one of them was standing in the parking lot.  He seemed oblivious to the noise.  Perhaps someone was playing a trick on us, but we were too far away from the staged area for that to make any sense.  The unearthly wailing continued.

“Okay.  Whatever it is, I’m leaving,” I said.  I struck out into the darkness thinking that whatever lay in front of me was better than staying next to that moaning tombstone.  I walked all the way back to where Mom was doing the ritual before I realized that Carrie wasn’t with me.  To be fair, it was pitch black and I had sped away, so it was hard to tell.

I made my way back through the cemetery, trying not to trip over any gravestones as I went until I found Carrie again.  The tombstone was still moaning.

“You left me with it!” Carrie hissed.

“I’m sorry.  I thought that you were following me.”

“No…I’m too scared to move.”

“Well, come on.  You can’t hear it once you step a few feet away.  Let’s leave whatever it is alone.”  I grabbed Carrie’s arm.  “Sorry to have disturbed you,” I said to the invisible, but clearly audible spirit.  “We’re leaving now.  Have a Happy Halloween!”  Then I dragged Carrie away as fast as we could go.

On the way home, Mom told us that she hadn’t been able to contact any spirits because of all the noise that the terrified teenagers kept making.  The television crew had purposely spooked them to create an artificial atmosphere that wasn’t conducive to speaking with the spirits.

I nodded.  “You can say that again.  I think they annoyed any ones that were hanging out tonight.  Carrie and I heard one ghost groaning.  Perhaps, she or he did not like a bunch of noisy people tromping around the cemetery at night.”

“Yes.  I wouldn’t have even done the show if I had known that they were going to make a spectacle of it.”  Our eyes met in the car’s rearview mirror.  “Remember, Tara.  Always respect the dead for they are people too.”

Please Note: I have visited Sleepy Hollow Cemetery many times since this story took place.  Here are some pictures from a recent trip that I thought that you would enjoy.

Happy Halloween from The Ghost Post!

img_4380
Picture of Sleepy Hollow Cemetery –  Photo Credit: Tara Theresa Hill
img_4383
Sleepy Hollow Cemetery –  Photo Credit: Tara Thersa Hill
img_4402
Sign for The Headless Horseman Bridge – Photo Credit: Tara Theresa Hill

 

img_4406
The Former Site of The Headless Horseman Bridge – Photo Credit: Tara Theresa Hill

If you have a real ghost story that you would like to share with The Ghost Post, send an email with your contact information to Tara Theresa Hill at theghostpostreporter@gmail.com to set up an interview. 

I’m always in the mood for a good ghost story! 

If you enjoyed this article and would be interested in supporting my work, please check out my Patreon page. 

The Banishing

While this story is my own, I have changed the names of those involved to protect their privacy.

Growing up with Wiccan high priestess, Lady Rhea, for a mother made for an interesting time.  Aside from glittering Enchanted Candles, crafting perfumes, and giving clients psychic advice, my mother occasionally performed banishing rituals to remove negative energies from close friends’ houses.  This was much different from the spiritual cleansings that she did to purify a space.  These spells involved deeper, older magick.  For those of you who don’t know, Wiccans and Pagans often spell magick with a “k” to differentiate from the stage “magic” that magicians use as entertainment.

When I was a teenager, a close family friend of ours, started experiencing a lot of problems.  Anne had a big house with several people living there.  Over a few months, her family experienced a slew of bad luck with illnesses, financial setbacks, and a rise in heated arguments.  While various circumstances could lead to this happening, Anne felt that something in the house was “off,” so she asked for my mother to give her a reading to see what was going on.

Mom shuffled her cards and turned them over.  Taking a final drag of her cigarette, she shook her head.  “Oh, no…This is not good.”

“What is it?” asked Anne.

Mom turned over more cards.  “What I’m going to say might sound ridiculous, but I need you to listen to me.”  Anne nodded.  My mom paused before continuing, “The cards indicate that there is something inside of the house that is causing the problem.  It’s a negative entity of some sort.”

Anne’s adult son, Peter, who was also seated at the table turned his head at this news.  He said that he had recently woke up and saw an apparition of a bat-like creature with a human face hovering over his bed.  He hadn’t mentioned it before because he thought it was just a nightmare.  Mom looked back at the card reading.  She turned to Anne’s son.

“Can I see your room?”

He nodded.  Even I tagged along upstairs.  After hearing Peter’s story, I didn’t want to be left alone.  Mom entered the room.  After a minute or two, she nodded.  “Yes.  Whatever it is, it’s upstairs and it generally stays in this room.”

We went back downstairs.

“What can we do?” asked Anne as she made more coffee.

“You can light some white candles and incense to help cleanse the space, but ultimately, I’ll have to do a banishing spell for you,” said my mother.

I almost choked on my soda.  Mom always prescribed candles, prayers, incense, that sort of thing.  She only spoke about conducting rituals for serious problems.

“Great,” said Peter.  “I’m staying downstairs on the couch until this thing is gone.”

After Peter went to hang out with some friends, Mom asked Anne about the history of the house.  A large, three-story, white, Victorian house, it was the kind that you see iced with snow on picturesque Christmas cards.  The house had been remodeled in the years following an older relative’s death.  Mom asked if there were any strange events that had happened in the house.  Anne said that there was one.

The last owner of the house had met a tragic end.  Two hours before his daughter’s wedding, he had excused himself saying that he would be right back.  While everyone was in the house getting ready, he left the car engine running and sealed himself inside the vehicle with the windows shut.  Without any warning to his friends or family, he had committed suicide on the day that his daughter was to be married.

“Why’d you even buy the house?” I asked, after Anne was done telling the story.  I was about fifteen then.

“TARA!” Mom glared at me.

Anne laughed.  “It’s okay, Rhea,” she said.  “We didn’t find out until years after we bought the house.  Some neighbors told us.”

Later on, I shivered as we got into the car.  Even though I had been over Anne’s house hundreds of times, I was afraid that the ghost of the dead man was going to jump out at us in the driveway.

“Could Anne’s neighbors have made up that story?” I asked.

“Perhaps,” said Mom, “But I don’t think so.  That negative spirit has caused trouble before.”

“What are we going to do?”

“It’s okay,” said Mom.  “We’re going to get rid of it.”

“How?”

“You’ll see.”

The first thing Mom did was call our coven members.  She told them that she needed their help doing a special favor for a dear friend of hers.  They all knew about Anne and were happy to help.  I had already been initiated and since we needed as many people as possible, Mom decided to bring me along.

A few days later, our coven met at Anne’s house.  We went upstairs to the second floor where all of the bedrooms were located.  My mother turned off the lights and then lit some candles.  She and her partner cast circle to help protect us during the ritual.  Then we all started running clockwise to create a cone of power while chanting a Wiccan banishing spell that is sacred to my mother’s coven.  As we did this, we were running past the bedroom doors which were all standing wide open.

At one point as I was running past Peter’s room, I saw a pale face glaring back at us from the dark.  The apparition was about three or four feet off of the floor.  The face glowed white and had three dark spaces where the eyes and mouth should be.  I didn’t dare break the chain and by the time that I had come around again, the thing was gone.  After the ritual was done, I mentioned the incident to my mother.  One of my older friends who was also in the coven turned to me.

“You saw it too?”

In addition to the banishing spell, we also said prayers that night to help the previous owner’s spirit move on to the light.  After the ritual, everyone was much more at peace in the house and Anne’s family life returned to normal.

If you have a real ghost story that you would like to share with The Ghost Post, send an email with your contact information to Tara Theresa Hill at theghostpostreporter@gmail.com to set up an interview. 

I’m always in the mood for a good ghost story! 

If you enjoyed this article and would be interested in supporting my work, please check out my Patreon page. 

Legends of CMSV: Sarah’s Story

My alma mater, the College of Mount Saint Vincent, has several ghost stories.  One of the most beloved is about a ghost named Sarah.  Sarah is believed to have been one of the orphan children that the Sisters of Charity cared for during the late 1800s.  After she died from a sudden illness, her spirit stayed on the campus.

Sarah’s favorite place to haunt is Hayes Auditorium.  A big fan of the theater, she likes to make herself known during performances and events.  While I was there, the students had a tradition of greeting Sarah whenever they entered or exited the building.  It was considered bad luck not to do so because then Sarah might decide to play a prank on you.  There were a few people who didn’t do this, but I always did out of respect.  Sarah didn’t mind if you didn’t believe in her because that didn’t stop her from existing, but she didn’t take kindly to people making fun of her.

When I was an Orientation Leader in 2005, one of the new resident directors completely dismissed her when we told him about the legend.  He laughed at us for saying “Hi, Sarah,” when we entered the auditorium.  Later on, he was briefing us about what to expect when the orientation students arrived.  As he was talking, he went to lean back against a table that was set up on stage when it completely collapsed beneath him.  We tried to warn him that he shouldn’t have messed with Sarah, but this did nothing to change his attitude concerning ghosts.  Perhaps he just wasn’t a good fit for our college.  He didn’t even make it a full year as resident director.

Sarah could also be helpful.  During college, my husband (then boyfriend) was a resident assistant.  One of George’s residents told him this story.  The student had lost his security badge somewhere in the theater.  After spending almost an hour looking, he was about to give up, when he asked out loud, “Sarah, please help me find my badge.”  Suddenly he heard something drop from the dark alcove above.  At his feet was the ID badge.  Picking it up, he said, “Thanks, Sarah,” and quickly left the building.

My own encounter with Sarah was equally strange.  I was taking photography in my Senior year.  I had just come out of my class which was in the library.  CMSV is particularly picturesque, so I always loved snapping pictures of the campus. The library is across the road from the auditorium.  Aiming the camera at the circular window of the top floor, I said jokingly, “Smile, Sarah.”  Hours later when I was going through the images, I noticed what looked like the face of a little girl sticking her tongue out at me.

What do you think of the pictures?  Is it a trick of the light on old glass or perhaps a real ghost image?  Let me know what you think in the comments.

 

my-pics-261
Hayes Auditorium, College of Mount Saint Vincent
my-pics-274
Possible Ghost Image of Sarah – Hayes Auditorium
my-pics-271
Possible Ghost Image of Sarah – Hayes Auditorium

If you have a real ghost story that you would like to share with The Ghost Post, send an email with your contact information to Tara Theresa Hill at theghostpostreporter@gmail.com to set up an interview. 

I’m always in the mood for a good ghost story! 

If you enjoyed this article and would be interested in supporting my work, please check out my Patreon page. 

 

 

When Strange Winds Blow

Thanks to Amy from West Virginia for this story!

Amy grew up with her grandparents in an old coal mining town.  Her grandfather built the house with his own hands using leftover wood from the church.  Amy’s grandfather passed away before she was born, but she heard plenty of stories about him.  A coal miner, he had also been a heavy smoker and had a reputation for being a curmudgeon.  Amy never felt her grandfather’s presence in the house while growing up, nor did she experience anything paranormal or out of the ordinary.

However, something strange did happen on the day of her grandfather’s death.  Unknown to Amy’s grandmother at the time, he had been crushed between two mining machines.  It was a terrible accident.

Amy’s grandmother was home alone when suddenly the back door flew open.  The gust of wind tore the curtains down in the living room.  When it reached the other side of the house, the front door opened inward, as if someone had pulled it open from the inside.  Then the wind exited the house and everything was still again.  Later, Amy’s grandmother discovered that this incident had occurred at the time of her husband’s death.

Amy still lives in her childhood home.  Things were fine until she did some major remodeling to modernize the place.  Every so often, a great wind blows through the house.  She has checked it out and there are no sources for these drafts.  She has also occasionally seen a shadow.  She is unsure whether the apparition’s presence makes her feel uncomfortable because of a vibe that it is giving off or if it is because of the background knowledge that she has about her grandfather.  Both Amy and her husband have sensed the spirit.  Sometimes the wind leaves the scent of tobacco in its wake, but no one in the house smokes.

If you have a real ghost story that you would like to share with The Ghost Post, send an email with your contact information to Tara Theresa Hill at theghostpostreporter@gmail.com to set up an interview. 

I’m always in the mood for a good ghost story! 

If you enjoyed this article and would be interested in supporting my work, please check out my Patreon page.