13 Books to Read This Halloween

  1. The Invention of Murder by Judith Flanders
  2. The Bell Witch by Brent Monahan
  3. The Walking Dead: Rise of the Governor by Robert Kirkman and Jay Bonansinga
  4. Red Dragon or The Silence of the Lambs by Thomas Harris
  5. The Witch’s Daughter by Paula Brackston
  6. From Hell by Alan Moore and Eddie Campbell
  7. The Complete Tales and Poems of Edgar Allan Poe
  8. The Shining or Doctor Sleep by Stephen King
  9. Johannes Cabal: The Fear Institute by Jonathan L. Howard
  10. Blood and Other Cravings edited by Ellen Datlow
  11. Let the Right One In by John Ajvide Lindqvist; Translated by Ebba Segerberg
  12. Werewolves and Shapeshifters edited by John Skipp
  13. Her Fearful Symmetry by Audrey Niffenegger

List courtesy of Buzzfeed.

Top 10 Haunted Colleges in the Southwest


If you’re at the stage of your life where you’re thinking to the immediate future about where to go to college (I’m not speaking to those of you who just graduated in May or June who should already have your plans laid out), here are ten schools for your consideration listed here due to their haunting factor.

10. Utah State University – Logan, UT
9. Oklahoma State University – Stillwater, OK
8. Johnson & Wales University – Denver, CO
7. Texas A&M University – College Station, TX
6. University of Arizona – Tucson, AZ
5. New Mexico State University – Las Cruces, NM
4. University of Colorado, Denver
3. University of La Verne – La Verne, CA
2. University of Texas at Austin
1. University of Nevada – Reno, NV

This link directs you to short blurbs about how each school is haunted: full story

John Ringo Grave

John Ringo Historic Site Monument

The Historic Site Monument at the Ringo Gravesite.

If you’ve read about the untamed American frontier and have never heard of Tombstone, Arizona, for shame! This little town is a great place to learn about frontier life in a mining boom town. Tombstone is rife with legends and stories that would keep anyone interested for weeks on end. It was a silver mining town known for its rough-around-the-edges citizens. Names like Wyatt Earp, Curly Bill Brocius, Big Nose Kate, Doc Holliday– are a dime a dozen in the annals of Tombstone history. Tombstone is noted for the longest poker game in history (8 years, 5 months, and 3 days) and the infamous gunfight at the O.K. corral which was primarily between the Earps and the Clantons and McLowerys.

Part of the culture of the “Wild West” was to bury a body along the trail where the person passed away. There was no transporting the body anywhere unless the deceased was close to the rail lines at their time of death. Decomposition was rapid because food didn’t have preservatives and embalming was still in its infancy. Bodies still relatively intact that were found on the trail were buried deep enough to keep the coyotes, vultures or other desert scavengers at bay. Most makeshift graves were covered with rocks and marked with a simple wooden cross near the place the body was found and buried. The practice of leaving a cross or headstone is still observed in parts of the American southwest– though, the bodies are typically transported and interred in an actual cemetery instead of beside the road.

One such body that was found and buried on the trail is the source of much historical intrigue as there is some disagreement over the death of this man whose personal legend is linked to the infamous “Town Too Tough to Die”– Tombstone, Arizona. The body of John Peters Ringo is interred near the oak tree where he was found. A coroner’s inquest was held to determine his cause of death, but not everyone agrees with the verdict. Continue reading

Another Reason to be Careful While Ghost Hunting

You just never know what you’re going to find while wandering through a cemetery or graveyard. Case in point: a small tour group in the UK town of Hull stumbled across a porn shoot while on a tour….

The group were examining gravestones on the south side of Sculcoates Lane in Hull last month, when they heard groans.

When they went to investigate, presumably searching for paranormal activity, they found a couple having sex on a patch of ivy, filmed by two men.

Full story

10 Stories of Witches in IL

I wish I had seen this list before my trip last month, but it was only shared today on the forum where I found it.

10. St Omer Witch Grave
9. The Chesterville Witch
8. The Persecution of Toby Allen
7. Strange Case of Elizabeth Friend
6. Beulah, the Meridian Witch
5. The Hanging of Moreau
4. Eva Locker
3. “Black Annie”
2. The Williams Sisters
1. Mary Worth

A few observations about this list:

  • none of the stories come from the height of the witchcraft craze begun in Salem
  • not all are women, as is traditionally believed
  • one of our members here on the blog lives near Chesterville and is familiar with the witch grave story and believes that she was more than likely a feminist who ran afoul of the Amish people
  • the authors of this list don’t necessarily buy into the stories, but simply share them and all knowledge of the rumours surrounding each tale

List with details

The Congress Plaza Hotel

1462288160807 I recently visited Chicago and stayed at The Congress Plaza Hotel, situated at 520 S Michigan Avenue facing Lake Michigan.

I knew from my best friend that CPH is allegedly the most haunted hotel in Chicago and admittedly was slightly apprehensive at staying there, but not enough to make me change my reservations.

Dating from 1893, the hotel has two towers and is clearly full of history.  As most buildings built around this time and in this area of the Windy City, the Congress was built to provide accommodations for those attending the World’s Columbian Exposition. At that time, however, it was called the Auditorium Annex and was meant to be a complement to Louis Sullivan’s Auditorium Building which was situated across the street. By 1908, the 1,000 room hotel was experiencing innovations to keep up with modern conveniences and a new name was part of that change. The new name was derived from the hotel’s location at the intersection of Congress Street and S Michigan Avenue as well as the Congress Plaza portion of Grant Park across the street.

Over the years, the hotel has hosted many famous guests, among them many of our nation’s presidents. It was even referred to as the “Home of Presidents” among Chicago hotels. Presidents Cleveland, McKinley, F. Roosevelt, Taft, Wilson, Harding, Coolidge, and T. Roosevelt all stayed at the hotel. In the early 1900s, the White House presented a special chair to the hotel which was a favorite of Presidents Polk, Van Buren, Harrison and Harding. The chair can be seen in the lobby of the hotel.

Aside from mentioning further remodeling down through the years, that’s about all of the history the CPH’s official website offers. I haven’t, until now, read about any of who or what is supposed to be haunting this hotel to qualify it as “Chicago’s Most Haunted Hotel.” I saw vague references to experiences had by people who reviewed the hotel for travel sites, but nothing specific. Not until I decided to write this blog piece did I look into it, lest I be influenced by the stories.

Another blog indicates that there have been rumors of Al Capone’s ownership of the hotel, but no proof has ever been found that he even stayed at the hotel, much less owned it. The blog also sheds light on our first potential ghost, Peg Leg Johnny, a hobo who is assumed to have died in the area of the hotel, but at an undefined time.

I also found an article on rent.com which states definitively that Al Capone had a suite of rooms on the 8th floor of the North tower and haunts the hotel. A third potential spirit is that of a little boy who haunts the 6th floor, but there’s no indication of which tower he haunts, though.

In the 1930s, a young, Polish mother came to Chicago with her two sons. She was supposed to wait for her husband to arrive and then they’d start their new life on the city’s northside. He never came. The depressed mother threw herself and children out of a 6th floor window to their deaths. However, the body of one of the boys never made it to the city morgue. He’s thought to play tricks on guests staying on the 6th floor.

The article also mentions Peg Leg Johnny as being a rather goofy spirit who turns appliances off and on.

Then, of course, because every haunted hotel must have a specific room that is the creepiest of them all, CPH has Room 441. Naturally you can specify if you wish to stay in this room, but be warned there seems to be a female spirit who doesn’t take kindly to sleeping guests.

…a female specter haunts Room 441. Witnesses say she manifests as a shadow at the foot of your bed. She then kicks it to wake you. We don’t know how this spirit came to haunt the room. As far as we know, no one committed suicide or killed anybody there. Anyway, this scary lady wants the room for herself.

The final bit of haunting I read about is the “hand of mystery” that often appears in photographs from events in the Gold Room – one of the ballrooms in the hotel. Allegedly one of the workers got trapped when the wall was sealed up.

1462288192040I have to say that from my perspective, the creepiest part of the hotel was the hallway because it had muted lighting and definitely and had a Shining vibe going on. I half expected to see two little girls standing at the end of the hall. Considering The Stanley Hotel, the inspiration for The Shining was built in 1909 and the second tower of the Congress Plaza Hotel was built around the same time, it stands to reason they’d resemble each other. I really liked the muted lighting, especially at night, because it meant less light shining in under the door when you’re trying to sleep. I had a one night stay in the North tower, but changed rooms the next morning because there was little in way of storage space and I couldn’t plug my phone charger into any of the outlets due to their design. The only time I really thought about any potential ghosts was that one night in the North tower because I sensed it was older and my only thought was, I’m too tired to bother with any of you if you decide to pass through here. What can I say? It was an exhausting day.

Would I stay in the Congress Plaza Hotel again? Absolutely! It has lots of character and it’s conveniently located in the heart of downtown and within walking distance of many many attractions. Don’t go there, though, if you’re expecting ghosts. I’m just not sure there’s anything there. Do, however, go if you like history. Beware of the leather couches in the lobby though…. I sat in one and almost didn’t move again. Lol


Congress Plaza Hotel

The Paranormal Corner

Chicago’s Most Haunted #1: The Congress Plaza Hotel at 520 S. Michigan Ave. in Chicago, Illinois

Capture Made at Historic 15th Century Building


I think a warm body was captured, not a “ghost,” but I thought this might stir some conversation. Photo is on original story, follow link below. Let us know what you think.

An experienced ghost hunter claims to have captured the terrifying image of a woman in the grounds of a historic 15th Century building.

Erica Gregory, 49, spent the night with other members of her paranormal activity group in Turton Tower in Bolton, Lancashire – in a bid to gather physical evidence showing the presence of something out there.

The group spent most of their time indoors but it was Erica’s impromptu trip outside for a bit of fresh air that unearthed the most exciting discovery of the evening.

Erica said: ‘When outside I saw an old tree, it must have been about 100 years old. Looking at the tree, I felt there was a kind of mist forming around it.

Full story