Boston is one of the oldest cities in the United States of America. The first white man to settle in the area was a reverend named William Blackstone (also spelled Blaxton) in 1623. When the Puritans arrived in the area in 1630 Reverend Blackstone invited them to settle where he had in the area now known as Beacon Hill. The Puritans named the settlement Boston after their hometown in England and it is said that Boston was founded on September 7, 1630. Not only does the area have a Puritan history but Boston was also the birthplace of the American Revolution (1763-1783) which included the Revolutionary War that took place between 1775 and 1783. (historyofmassachusetts.org)
With such a long history of European settlement, it is not surprising to learn that there are many ghost stories and urban legends regarding Boston.
When you want to learn more about the history and storied past of Boston, taking a Boston Ghost Tour is an educational and entertaining thing to do. You will get to visit and learn about:
-the history of notorious Bostonians including Albert DeSalvo (a mass murderer) and Jane Toppan (a serial killer)
-Copp’s Hill Burying Ground where Cotton Mather, a man who is famous for his involvement with the Salem Witch Trials, is buried.
-The Old Granary where American patriots Samuel Adams, John Hancock, Paul Revere, and the five victims of the Boston Massacre that occurred on March 5, 1770, are buried.
Your tour guide may be dressed as a 17th-century gravedigger that may just let you in on the “tricks of the trade.” You will learn the stories that go with the notorious ghosts that still wander their favourite spots in Boston. We believe that the Boston Ghosts and Gravestones Tour is well worth your time and your money.
The Enfield Poltergeist is a well-known haunting that occurred at 284 Green Street in London, England in the 1970’s. In this post, I will let you know who was involved, what occurred, and where the victim is now.
August 30, 1977 Enfield Poltergeist
As Zoe Brennan wrote for the Daily Mail in the article entitled, “What is the Truth about the Enfield Poltergeist?Amazing story of 11-year-old London girl who ‘levitated’ above her bed,” on May 4, 2015, there was a single mother named Peggy Hodgson who, along with her four children, lived at 284 Green Street. In the days leading up to August 30, 1977, the two oldest children, Margaret (12) and Janet (11), had begun playing with an Ouija board. After the children’s bedtime, Peggy began to hear Janet calling out that her brother’s beds were wobbling. During the next evening, Peggy heard more commotion from her children after bedtime. When Peggy went upstairs to investigate she witnessed a heavy oak dresser move across the floor. Peggy used all her might to push the dresser back into place but she could not move it. The dresser was trapping the girls and their mother in the bedroom.
Eventually, the family got out of the room and in their pyjamas and slippers, they went next door to their neighbours home. Their large burly neighbour named, Vic Nottingham, entered Hodgson home to investigate. Mr. Nottingham heard strange, unexplainable noises and left the home feeling a bit scared by his own admission. The police were called and a police officer witnessed an armchair move 4 feet across the floor, pushed by an unseen force. The police had to tell the Hodgson that they could not help them as there was no one breaking any laws.
Both the Daily Mirror and the BBC visited the home and each media outlet experienced the poltergeist while in the residence. The Hodgson family would go on to contact the Society for Physical Research who sent Maurice Grosse and Guy Lyon Playfair to investigate the poltergeist. Both men left feeling that the house was haunted by a poltergeist.
Not much is known about a man named Bill Wilkins that is thought to have possessed young Janet Hodgson. While ‘possessed’ by the spirit Janet would speak in the old man’s voice. It has been recorded that Janet/Bill said:
“Just before I died, I went blind and then I had a hemorrhage and I fell asleep and I died in the chair in the corner downstairs.”
Bill Wilkins had once resided in the row house at 284 Green Street. Bill’s son, Terry, heard the voice recording and stated that the voice was that of his father.
Over the course of 1977 – 1978 at least 30 different people witnessed either the possession of Janet or the poltergeist activity. The poltergeist activity came in many forms from levitation, furniture that moved on its own, flying objects, cold spots, graffiti, physical assaults, to matches bursting into flame. The experiences must have been frightening. Janet Hodgson is said to have left home at the age of 16 and to have married young. Janet’s mother, Peggy, continued to live in the home until her death in 2003. Although the poltergeist activity slowed and the possession of Janet ended after the church helped out, the home still felt weird. Janet’s other siblings have said that they always felt like they were being watched by something while in their mother’s house.
Janet claims that the haunting and the subsequent media attention made for a difficult childhood. Janet was often teased by schoolmates and was pleased to leave the media glare behind her as she became an adult. As Zoe Brennan reported in 2015, Janet was unhappy that her experiences had once again captured the public attention due to the making and release of the movie, “The Conjuring 2,” which is loosely based on the Enfield Poltergeist.
Do you believe that the Enfield Poltergeist happened? With at least 30 different witnesses I believe that the house contained a spirit. I just cannot imagine that the Hodgson family would have been able to carry out such an elaborate and sophisticated hoax. That’s just my two cents worth. Let me know what you think.
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Anneliese Michel was born in Klingenberg, Bavaria in Germany on September 21, 1952 to Josef and Anna who were devoutly Catholic. As Anneliese was growing up she would regularly attend mass twice a week. The Michel family did not follow the reformations of Vatican II.
As the 1960’s ended and the 1970’s began Anneliese started to enter trance-like states that turned into convulsions. Her family took her to a neurologist that diagnosed her with epilepsy in her temporal lobe. Over the next 5 years all types of modern medicines were used in an attempt to help Anneliese, but her seizures and hallucinations continued. She suffered from both visual and auditory hallucinations that became more regular and severe in nature. Anneliese and her family began to believe that she had become possessed by a demon, or demons. They sought help from the Catholic Church. The life and exorcisms of Anneliese Michel were later used to make the movie, “The Exorcism of Emily Rose.”(allthatsinteresting.com)
Josef and Anna Michel along with two priests named, Ernst Alt and Arnold Renz began to perform what would end up being 67 exorcisms over a ten-month period in late 1975- June 30, 1976. During that period of time Anneliese would often refuse to eat, and she became violent towards her family and even herself. Anneliese would genuflect (when one bends and lowers the body onto one or both knees as a sign of respect while worshiping) so violently that she eventually broke both of her kneecaps. Each exorcism would take several hours and during them Anneliese stated that she was possessed by five demons including Lucifer, Cain, Judas, Hitler, and Nero.
July 1, 1976
Anneliese Michel endured her final exorcism on the evening of June 30, 1976 because by the next day she had passed away. At the time of her death, Anneliese weighed only 68 lbs and it was determined by the medical examiner that she died of malnutrition and dehydration. Anneliese was only 23 years old when she died.
The Priests Ernst Alt, Arnold Renz, and the parents of Anneliese, Josef and Anna Michel were charged in her death. There were many hours of her exorcisms that had been recorded and those tapes were used to defend the actions of the four defendants during their trial. The priests were found guilty of manslaughter as a result of negligence and were sentenced to 6 months in jail. Their sentences were later suspended. The parents of Anneliese were not sentenced to any jail time as it was felt that they had suffered enough.
In 1984, the Catholic Church released a ruling that had determined that Anneliese Michel was not possessed but had suffered from mental illness. It is interesting to note that the church published a revised exorcism rite in 1999. The exorcism rite had not been changed by the church since the 1600’s.(the13thfloor.tv)
It has been reported that Anneliese Michel wanted to die for the sins of others in a hope that her sacrifice would save others in the future. I am left hoping that she accomplished her goal and that she is has been able to rest in peace.
In this post we are looking into the halls of another abandoned asylum in America. This one was known as the Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum(a.k.a. TALA) located in Weston, West Virginia. This particular asylum was built in the mid- 1800’s to house the mentally ill.
History of TALA
The contruction of TALA began in 1858 and took until 1881 to complete. Originally designed to house 250 patients it opened to patients in 1864 and by 1880 it housed 717 patients. By 1950 TALA housed 2,400 patients and included those suffering from epilepsy, alcoholism, drug addiction, and non-educable mental defectives. With the limited knowledge, resources, and empathy of the time, some patients were kept locked in cages. (the-line-up.com)
The Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum has stone walls that are 2.5 feet thick. It is America’s largest hand-cut stone masonry building and is the second largest in the world, behind the Kremlin. (the13thfloor.tv)
According to americas-most-haunted.com there have been reports of apparitions of nurses, doctors, and patients seen walking the corridors, and screams have been heard.
Located in the east corner of Ward 4 the spirit of a young girl called Lily has been seen interacting with a variety of toys that are set out in a room dedicated to her. It is believed that Lily was either abandoned by her parents, or that she was born in TALA after her mother was committed there. Lily passed away at the age of only 9 from pneumonia. Lily is close to some of the current ghost tour guides and her spirit will follow visitors and her giggles have been heard. Lily will even interact with visitors occasionally by rolling a ball across the floor to them when asked .
TALA’s younger residents are said to occupy the upper floors of the hospital and seem to enjoy having visitors during the tours. TALA also houses the spirits of two vicious murderers. One is called Slewfoot and he haunts a lavatory, while an unnamed serial killer haunts the area of the seclusion cells.
TALA has a section of the building that was utilized during the American Civil War. This section is known for the sounds of footfalls, and tortured moans and misty forms and shadows have reportedly been seen. (americas-most-haunted.com)
Add TALA to our paranormal tour bucket list. Seems like we will be going all over Hell’s half acre.
The Devil’s Playground turns out to be a popular name for movies. I have found at least four different productions that go by this name. The Devil’s Playground is a movie from 1976 about a 13-year-old boy named, Tom, and the physical and emotional challenges Tom experiences while living in a Catholic Seminary. It is also the title of a movie from 2002 about the Amish tradition of rumspringa. Rumspringa is a time in life when a 16-year-old teenager raised within the Amish community has a chance to experience the outside world to determine if they will stay in there or join the Amish community in their Christian beliefs. The title was used again in 2010 for a British horror film about the zombie apocalypse. The Devil’s Playground is also a documentary the debuted at the 2017 Calgary Comic Expo. It is this documentary about the urban legend that will be the focus of this post.
Urban Legend-Devil Playground
The story goes that in the early 1900’s a nun became crazed after making a pact with the devil. The devil caused the nun to light a schoolhouse on fire and all of the children within the schoolhouse died in the fire. The spirits of the deceased children have haunted the land ever since and when workmen were brought in to remove the remains of the building the workmen became sick and their equipment broke down.
Dori Davidson-Revill is a filmmaker who first heard the tale of the Devil’s Playground when he was in high school. Mr. Davidson-Revill spent five years looking into the tale. He spent time finding the actual location of the story, he interviewed eyewitnesses and spoke with the owner of the land located at 84 Street and 9 Avenue SE in Calgary, AB. The house in the picture no longer stands and the owner, Don Ellis, has passed away.
Mr. Davidson-Revill has reported that Don Ellis told him that as the landowner he was more concerned about human trespassers than he was about ghosts. Mr. Ellis had said that some trespassers would carry weapons with them when they illegally entered the property to ghost hunt. (cbc.ca)
The main challenge with this urban legend was trying to determine where the schoolhouse stood. Some people believe that the location was near Symon’s Valley Ranch in the NW area of Calgary, while others were sure it once stood on land that was on the outskirts of the SE area of Calgary. Dori Davidson-Revill believes that the schoolhouse stood at the location that Don Ellis owned. The Ellis family had run a school at that location until the 1950s. But the urban legend said the school burned down in the early 1900s, what gives?
People have claimed to see handprints on foggy car windows, to hear the laughter of children, and to have found animal bones arranged in patterns around the property. Some have claimed to have seen an apparition of a young girl with a red ball.
Like most urban legends the story creates as many questions as it answers. Is the legend true? Is the place haunted? Get your eyes on a copy of The Devil’s Playground Documentary by Dori Davidson-Revill and learn the answers.
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The Merge VR Goggles are a device to give you a very realistic experience. Intended for Android and IOS smartphones, it will offer both a virtual, computer generated view, and an augmented or live view of the world. This model is well padded and is safe for kids 10 and up.
The Merge VR Goggles will allow you to play games, watch 360 degree movies, learn information or travel the world. Many free and paid apps are available for virtually anything you might want to do. I have a rollercoaster in mine, now that’s a thrilling ride.
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This unit has received the parent tested approved seal, Consumer Reports “expert Pick”, Academics Choice Award, 2017 “Parents Choice” award and Common Sense Media’s top choice.
A few features:
super soft “face piece” for ultimate comfort and will protect your phone from drops
The hospital that will be discussed in this post has a long and storied history. The part we are most interested in is the ghost ones, of course. We want to know is the Old Tooele Hospital haunted?
Old Tooele Hospital
Location: Tooele, Utah
The original portion of the hospital was constructed in 1873 by Samuel F. Lee as his family home but by 1913 it had been added on to and it became the County Poor House.
The building has been used in two movies in the past. Those movies were, “The World’s Fastest Indian” (2005) starring Anthony Hopkins, and the mini-series, “The Stand” (1994) based on Stephen King’s novel and starring Gary Sinise.
It has been said that the building contains a spiritual portal that is guarded by a spirit named Maria. Samuel F. Lee and his young son are reportedly said to haunt the halls, along with spirits called Richard, James, Ned, Peter, and a young child called Jessica. The halls are also said to be haunted by Wes, an elderly man who died of Alzheimer’s and is accompanied on his walks by a “dark” entity that won’t let Wes pass over to the light. Other voices and apparitions have been experienced by visitors as well. (haunted-places-to-go.com)
Tourists are able to tour about half of the building that is now referred to as Asylum 49. Will you check it out and see if the Old Tooele Hospital is haunted?