Mothman Is Back!

According to an expert in Portland, Maine, the Mothman is still flapping its frightening wings.

Loren Coleman is a cryptozoologist and author who says the Mothman — a mythical monster who causes disastrous events like terrible traffic accidents — is behind some current carnage, including the Minnesota bridge collapse this past summer and another bridge disaster in China two weeks later.

Coleman says there are some precise paranormal parallels, including the fact that the Minnesota bridge stretched across I-35, and was built in 1967, and the original Mothman mishap occurred in 1967, on highway 35 in West Virginia.

He says, “There’s a definite link with the Mothman across time and space. The Mothman can still have an amazing evil effect.”

Coleman is chronicling the ongoing morbid Mothman madness in his upcoming book, “Mothman: Evil Incarnate,” due out next year…


Haunted Connecticut Inn Gets It's Share Of Believers

Marci Chevian-Hooper, famous among blues cognoscenti in Connecticut for her long career and current status as Ms. Marci in the band Ms. Marci and the Lovesick Hounds, isn’t quite sure what to make of the gig they played at the Lighthouse Inn here in June 2005.

There she was in midsong, she said, when to her left she noticed the oddest thing — the fleeting image of a woman in a long white gown, who seemed to be floating, like an ectoplasmic vision, just outside a large window. She looked to her right to see if it was a reflection of someone in the room, but, no, it wasn’t that either. And it couldn’t have been someone outside, she learned later, because the window is 20 feet above the ground.

It wasn’t until after the show, when she shared her story with someone from the hotel, that she was told who it was.

The bride. The one who fell down the grand winding staircase on her wedding day, broke her neck and died at her groom’s feet. The one who has haunted the place ever since, popping up in fleeting orbs and weird flashes of light, including the intriguing picture of what seems to be a figure in a white gown taken just last Sunday on the Haunted Connecticut Tour, led by the paranormal investigator Donna Kent.

“Part of me is still a little skeptical, but I know what I saw,” said Ms. Chevian-Hooper, who added that she hadn’t even heard of the legend before she performed that night. “I try to explain it away, but it still comes down to the bride floating outside that dang window.”

In these dark, confused times, we don’t believe in much, but on some level, it seems almost everyone wants to believe in something; hence the evolution of Halloween as everyone’s favorite holiday. And it’s why a healthy crowd of the curious, the fun-loving and the four trained paranormal investigators from the Smoking Gun Research Agency spent their Halloween at this lovely atmospheric inn, built in 1902 as a private home overlooking the Long Island Sound.

Connecticut is full of famous and beloved haunted spaces: the “White Lady” of the Union Cemetery in Easton, the grave site of the Revolutionary War hero Israel Putnam in Brooklyn, the house haunted by the murdered tobacco farmer in Simsbury.

And these days, like every place else, the state seems to be full of paranormal investigators. Lorraine Warren, head of the New England Society for Psychic Research, has been at it since 1952. But the rest are newer in the business. Jon Nowinski, a 2005 government and politics graduate of the University of Maryland, came up from Westport with his Smoking Gun team. Ms. Kent is founder of the Cosmic Society of Paranormal Investigation. John Zaffis runs the Paranormal Research Society of New England. There’s the Connecticut Paranormal Research Society, the Northwest Connecticut Paranormal Society and various others.

Ms. Kent, author of the recently published “Ghost Stories and Legends of Eastern Connecticut,” has been at it for 12 years, since she was prompted to pull off the road and take photographs in a cemetery that revealed the spectral image of a Mr. Peete, who visits her still. Each year, she does about 25 serious investigations of people who say they were visited by ghosts, some benign, some not.

“It’s a new century,” she said. “At the beginning of centuries people have often been more open. And it’s mostly a good thing that there’s less of a stigma to believing in ghosts. But it also means you have to be careful. You can do a lot of harm by bringing in someone who doesn’t know what they’re doing.”

Still, who can resist the alluring tales of an old haunted hotel, this one including accounts not just of the bride, but of the ghosts of two children who died in the hurricane of 1938 and can be heard running around the halls? Even the deceased golfer Payne Stewart has been spotted there. It seems half the employees have spooky tales to tell, and an investigation by the Smoking Gun team last November reported evidence of unexplained voices and anomalous temperature and electromagnetic field readings.

It’s all pretty compelling but for one small thing. Sally Ryan, 77, New London’s municipal historian, who grew up two blocks from the inn, said, alas, there was no tragic bride. No children died in the 1938 hurricane. If there are ghosts — or mice or rattling pipes — at the Lighthouse Inn, it ain’t them.

“It’s getting to the point that on Halloween, everyone needs a ghost,” she said. “But there’s no truth to any of it. The closest thing to it I know is that my cousins had their wedding receptions at the Lighthouse Inn, but they all made it down the stairs without tripping and all came out alive.”


When ET Comes Knocking the UFO Welcome Center Will Be Ready

It has attracted nearly 3,000 tourists to a small town just off Interstate 26. And its owner says it may attract some from outer space.

In the slightly more than one square mile that is Bowman, South Carolina, there is one blinking light, one restaurant and at least 16 churches. Nearly 1,200 people call Bowman home.

“There is not much here. Sunday afternoon you can ride around in your car, that's about the most excitement around here. All except for the spaceship,” said Jody Pendarvis.

In the shadow of the town's only gas station sits what you could call Pendarvis' cosmic condo. Decades of work and love have turned wood and aluminum into a 42-foot wide planted saucer. He calls it the UFO Welcome Center.

“I guess some people have a destiny and my destiny must have been to build this.”

In 1994, Pendarvis started piecing together wood from his grandfather's house to build his own. But anything square was too square for him.

Pendarvis is known as the alien ambassador.

“Seriously, I am here to welcome the aliens from out of space.”

Inside, you find 4 stories filled with Christmas lights, space-related videos, a mess Pendarvis claims the aliens left behind and some of his 13 cats.

Pendarvis cannot explain why he pours so much time and already more than $20,000 into his hobby.

“Some people think I ought to turn it into a ghost house for Halloween,” he said.

But the UFO man is not out to make a profit or to gain acceptance.

But, he is looking for the community’s support.

“Since this is the only attraction in Bowman, I think I’ll run for mayor and maybe I’ll get it.”

This unofficial mascot of Bowman wants to make it official.

“They want a friendly town and right now friendly is the main word I want to go for,” he explained.

It is a campaign platform based the way he lives his life: welcoming strangers into the town he keeps an extra-eye on from up above.

Pendarvis is running for mayor against Zelda Pelzer, who has held the post for 7 years. She says she is basing her campaign on improving the quality of life and the economy of Bowman. The election is November 6th.

The welcome center is located at 4004 Homestead Road in Bowman.


Spooklights Documented Nationwide

Forget about spooky ghosts when you celebrate Halloween tonight. So fickle, unreliable and, well, unreal, how about spooklights, instead?

Spooklight sighters have documented the floating lightballs for decades throughout the United States, including near Cloverdale and Lexington in Lauderdale County.

"Half the time, you're looking at the sky, see nothing and you turn around and there it is," said Wyatt Cox, spooklight aficionado who documented more than 180 sightings in his 2007 book Spooklights, "The Amazing Cloverdale, Alabama Spooklight Mystery" (Ghost Research Society Press).

Cox said the best place to see spooklights in the Shoals is at the intersection of Cloverdale Road and Lauderdale 272, just south of Cloverdale. The best time, he said, is between 8 p.m. and 10:30 p.m.

"It may not be every night, but it probably will be," Cox said.

Cloverdale spooklights typically are 8-foot-wide balls of yellowish-orange light, that silently pulsate and travel about 20 to 30 mph. Their longevity and altitude are unpredictable, according to Cox.

He said that unlike ghosts, some observers explain spooklights with science as "a natural phenomenon produced by electrical currents in most fault lines."

Andy Goodliffe, geophysicist at the University of Alabama, said other strange light phenomena exist such as St. Elmo's Fire from static charges across sea surfaces. Others are "gas hydrates," which occur when a gas escapes from the Earth's surface and ignites.

Goodliffe remained skeptical about spooklights, however. "As far as it being associated with plate boundaries and electrical charges, that's pushing the scientific frontier," said the researcher who hadn't previously heard of spooklights.

Another experience local residents had with spooklights was in the spring of 1973 when a rash of reported UFO sightings in Lexington stirred up residents.

"Have you heard about the Unidentified Flying Objects in the Shoals Area? If you haven't, you're way behind," wrote Lucille Prince for the TimesDaily in Feb. 6, 1973, article.

By the early 1980s, the paper reported "Local UFO Investigation Team Gets Saucer Theory Shot Down." The team included Cox and his friend, Greg Keeton.

Cox, a Wilson High School graduate, works for the electrical utility at the Hartwell power plant near the Georgia-South Carolina state line.

Cox, who also has written about UFO and Bigfoot sightings in Alabama, said he used long time exposures to photograph the lightballs because, "you can get more information out of a time exposure."

Pulsations and even a tinier sidekick balls of light can be seen with long camera exposures, Cox said.


British Schoolboy Speaks 10 Languages

A boy genius of 10 has stunned teachers by learning to speak 10 languages.

Arpan Sharma taught himself French, Spanish, German, Italian, Swahili, Mandarin, Polish, Thai and the difficult Lugandan language of Uganda. He also learned Hindi from his mum and dad.

The gifted primary school pupil from Oldbury, West Mids, studied using CD-roms.

He learned Italian fluently at seven, German at eight, and Spanish when he was nine.

But he admitted: "Learning Swahili was probably one of the biggest challenges I've faced and Mandarin Chinese was hard too."

Deputy Headmaster Richard Lynn, of Blue Coat School, Edgbaston, Birmingham, said: "Arpan is a language genius, a natural when it comes to listening to an exact pronunciation and repeating it perfectly."

Arpan wants to be a surgeon and work in hospitals abroad and speak each country's tongue.


Neighbors Describe Their Resident Ghosts

It's not unusual to find houses around northern Colorado that seem to be the home of a few haunted things: the Windsor farmhouse where the family can't keep a Christmas tree because a ghost keeps throwing it outside; the rocking chair ghost in Eaton, where family members have seen the old ghostly woman rocking late into the night.

Northern Colorado has its share of apparitions, things-that-go-bump-in-the-night, wisps and mysterious vapors. But now there are reports from the residents of three houses, side-by-side in a Greeley neighborhood, that each house has its own set of ghosts.

The families live in east-central Greeley, and have asked that their addresses not be released. But they wanted to talk about their ghostly experiences.

Gerry Park

From the day she walked into her home 16 years ago, Park "felt something." Her husband felt "the presence" also.

"It was a feeling at first that we weren't alone in the house," Park said. "Then, from time-to-time, we've seen them."

She said a "ghost family" -- a man and woman and two children -- have been seen in her house several times over the years. They stay mainly in the basement, but "things" have happened upstairs, Park said. "One evening, we were sitting in the living room watching TV," Park explained, "and there was a Big Wheel tricycle in the dining room. Suddenly, the trike just started rolling, and came out of the dining room into the living room."

Park's adult daughter had problems in the past with the "father" of the family, and he's terrified her, seeming to chase her from the basement. She told her mother that the man was evil.

Liz Hoffman

"They live in the attic of our house, and we're so used to them, they really don't frighten us. You just learn to live with the ghosts."

But last summer, while Hoffman and friends were sitting outside on a summer evening, they saw something floating out of the attic vents of the house. They were like streaks of light, Hoffman said, and her neighbor, Gerry Park shot a photo. "We've also found that many times, if you take a picture of our house," Hoffman said, "you'll get orbs of light on the photo."

Hoffman lives in the center of the three allegedly haunted houses in north-central Greeley. None of the people living in the houses wanted the addresses released because they are concerned about people coming to their homes to search for their ghostly residents.

Marjorie Park

The third resident on the block said she has seen the shadows and heard the noises her children talk about, but she doesn't let them bother her. "My kids say there are ghosts in my house, but I've lived here 40 years and haven't seen a real one yet," Marjorie Park said.

Gerry Park is her daughter-in-law.

Marjorie said there might be ghosts living in her house but she won't let them frighten her. "I just don't pay any attention to the shadows and noises."

The three houses were placed on the basements and foundations about 40 to 60 years ago, according to Greeley records. The area was farm for many years, but then when it was sold, the three houses were brought in from other areas.

The entire area, southwest of Jerry's Market, is filled with homes and complete neighborhoods now. And three houses who may have extra, ghostly residents.


Realtors Not Welcomed In Wisconsin Haunted House

Since the Field family house was built on Broadway around 1900, five family members have died there. Apparently they found the home so comfortable, they never found a reason to leave.

For decades the house's denizens have encountered such strange occurrences as footsteps, laughter, moving objects, messages and a Halloween party gone awry.

"You just have to hang out at these places," said Terry Fisk, co-author of "Wisconsin Road Guide to Haunted Locations" "There's not a certain time or a pattern as far as what people can do to cause something to happen. It's usually just a matter of being in the right place at the right time."

According to the house's current guests, real estate brokers for ReMax Preferred, these random occurrences begin about 4 p.m.

"It's noises mostly," broker Barb Drolson said. "When we first came in and were taking wallpaper down, we could hear noises in the basement like furniture being moved back and forth."

When ReMax first moved into the house about four years ago, they hired someone to install the phone system. After he worked down in the basement for some time, he ran out of the house leaving his tools behind and never came back.

"When he came up, he told us, 'You know, you're not alone here,'" Drolson said. "He went down to our main office in Madison and said, 'I don't know what you're going to do, but I'm not going back there.'"

Around the same time, they hired contractors to remove wallpaper in one room and apply mudding. To their surprise, each morning the mudding would be strewn on the floor and scratches would appear on the walls.

"We also had a brand new fax machine that we couldn't get to work at the time, and they sent an engineer from the company," Drolson said. "He did a tracing on it that looked like a cardiogram, and they couldn't figure it out. He said it's the closest thing to white noise he's ever seen."

Drolson said they've also had the postage meter turn on and off, heard footsteps upstairs, heard the toilet flush and bathroom sink turn on, had radio stations change channels and emit a high-pitched screeching and experienced cold spots — most of which have happened with several people present.

"Initially we (felt threatened) and when I'm here by myself I keep the radio on so I don't hear the noises," she said. "When we first started my daughter was here, and I was out on appointments, and she heard noises in the basement. She got so freaked out that she sat with a store owner downtown until I got back."

Tom Bannen grew up in the house, which his great-grandfather built, and lived there from 1967 to 2003. Ever since he was a child, they've known who the hauntings can be attributed to.

"We know exactly who it is," Bannen said. "There's five people that died in that house and all five are members of my family. My great-grandfather, great-grandmother, great aunt, mother and father."

Bannen said they'd consistently hear footsteps and noises coming from inside a china cabinet in the living room. Bannen's daughter, Linda Bannen-Stilwell remembers her grandmother asking the noises from the cabinet to stop, and they always would.

"One thing that really scared me was right after my grandma had passed in the house," Bannen-Stilwell said. "The night that I walked in the house and found her, the light bulb popped and went out. Every week for the next month when I walked into a room the same thing would happen. Finally I said out loud, 'This is scaring me grams stop doing that.' And it never happened again."

When she was a young girl growing up in the house, Bannen-Stilwell said her cousin told her stories about the house that thoroughly freaked her out.

"It scared me so bad that I couldn't sleep in that house for a week," she said. "My grandma told me that all of the ghosts are family members that aren't going to hurt you, but protect you."

Other family members have attested that the ghosts have been friendly to them. That is, until ReMax moved in.

"Most of the stuff happened after ReMax bought it so I think they must have been kind of angry that we sold the place," Bannen said.

"I'm not surprised because my grandmother was insistent about keeping the house in the family, so I think she was upset that my aunt and dad sold it," Bannen-Stilwell added.

One morning all of the curtains were down and a curtain rod was leaning against the wall, Drolson said.

"When I was walking through, I could feel something behind me, and I turned around," she added. "Just when I did, the rod came crashing down behind me. Well I bolted out the door and nearly ran over the neighbor with my car."

In another instance, Drolson said two women were sitting in the house as she was walking through and a clock that hangs from chains attached to a railing struck her right in the face.

"Yeah, it's been interesting to say the least," she said.

Drolson has also experienced aromas in the home such as heavy cigar smoke and baking apple pie.

"They didn't share any with us, though," Drolson said with a laugh. "And we know at least one of the past occupants did smoke cigars."

Drolson said area residents know the house for infamously seeing its lights turn on at odd hours in the evening. The ReMax brokers are hoping the ghosts will "mellow out" since attorney George Field, Bannen's cousin, moved into the upstairs portion of the building. However, he's also experienced some strange things in the house.

"Every once in a while George finds stuff in there, which is strange, too," Bannen said. "For instance he found my grandmother and grandfather's brand new checkbook in the attic. The account was issued one week before my grandfather died, and the book was gone for all these years."

Bannen added that Field once went down to the basement of the house where he saw a mirror that had accumulated dust. The mirror quite simply said, "Get out."

"When I was in middle school, I'd have Halloween parties," Bannen-Stilwell said. "Grandma wasn't too keen on it because her father died on that day, but we had one anyway. Well one of the girls brought a Ouija board, and they had candles going and started doing it. I was too scared of that stuff so I was sitting in the hall with my grandma, and we heard them scream. According to the girls, all of a sudden the hand thing flew across the room and the lights flickered. That's when my grandma said, 'OK, no more of that in this house.'"

She added she has caught glimpses of people walking in the hallway and shadows of footsteps under a door, not to mention her grandmother's unique laugh.

"She was a Field, and the Field laugh is very distinctive — very loud — so you could hear it throughout the house," she said.

Though the ghost stories have been well-documented from personal experiences throughout the years, Drolson said it's mostly harmless and quite fun.

"I usually just come in and say, 'Hey, I'm here, and I got work to do so leave me alone unless you want to help.'"


NYC's Haunted Bars: Where The Party Never Ends

'I'm a rational person," says Ernest Lekaj, general manager of W. 23rd St.'s Star Lounge. "I'm a law student. But sometimes there are things that can't be explained."

The lounge - an offshoot of the Hamptons hot spot Star Room - winds through three rooms in the basement of the Chelsea Hotel.

The building has played host to many a famous resident and a handful of famous deaths. Sex Pistols rocker Sid Vicious allegedly stabbed girlfriend Nancy Spungen to death in the bathroom of room 100 in 1978.

And it appears that some of those who have passed to the other side seem to want to stick around for a cocktail.

"A month ago, we came in and none of the lights worked," says the bar's owner, Charles Ferri. "Nothing. And we're like, What the hell happened here?"

A call to the hotel's front desk failed to explain the problem, and an electrician was summoned. After sawing through the ceiling, workers reached a tangle of wiring that had been rearranged.

"We had to cut the drywall to get to these wires, and they were switched," says Ferri. "How could anyone even get to these wires? It's still a mystery."

The incident prompted Ferri, a skeptic, to reexamine a string of odd happenings. Lights had routinely flicked on and off. Odd noises could sometimes be heard from the bar's back-room office, but ceased upon inspection. Once, the furniture in the locked lounge was rearranged overnight.

A visiting self-proclaimed psychic told Ferri that she sensed the presence of an older woman in the bar.

"She said, 'She's unhappy about something,'" says Ferri. "I'm not a believer in this stuff and I don't want to be, but something is just not right."

In any case, he says, any ghost haunting a bar can't be so bad. At least he or she has decided to spend a few days or hours of eternity somewhere festive.

"It seems they like the bar," says Ferri. "They just don't want anyone else to come. If they bought enough bottles, I would for sure let them have the space."

A number of Manhattan's historic taverns and rooming houses have played host to regulars living and dead. Here are the favorite haunts of the city's phantom party animals:

WHITE HORSE TAVERN
567 Hudson St., at W. 11th St


This West Village mainstay anchors its spot in New York lore as the place where poet Dylan Thomas spent his last drinking night on Earth.

After downing a lineup of 17 whiskies - some reports increase this number - the poet stumbled back to his room at the Chelsea Hotel. Accounts of his demise vary wildly, but it is generally thought that he died after being brought to St. Vincent's Hospital.

But if it is Thomas haunting the crowded burger-and-pint pub, he's not making himself a nuisance. "He's never a bother," says owner Eddie Brennan.

In fact, the ghost may have provided at least one worker with a few free drinks. A porter hired to carry kegs down to the basement often told Brennan he heard footsteps in the bar and found an empty beer glass and shot glass on Thomas' favorite table, near the radiator in the middle room.

"I would say, 'Tony, you're drinking the beer and you're drinking the shot and you're drinking too many of them,'" says Brennan. "But he would swear to me up and down."

MANHATTAN BISTRO
129 Spring St.


The restaurant in this historic townhouse sits over a well where the bruised body of Elma Sands was uncovered in 1799.

"She was last seen with her fiancé, Levi Weeks," says Brett Watson, who researched the property for a ghost-themed scavenger hunt put together by his company, Watson Adventures. "They went up in this area for a sleigh ride, back when this was the Lispenard Meadows."

Weeks denied he had been with Sands at the time, and his trial became a sensation with a defense team that included Aaron Burr and Alexander Hamilton. The big-name lawyers did the trick, and Weeks was acquitted.

"Sometimes people have spotted a young woman who is in a dirty dress with moss and vines on it," says Watson. "They say it's the ghost of Elma Sands."

EAR INN
326 Spring St.


The building that houses the Ear Inn was constructed in 1817, and when the pub on the ground floor opened some time later, it quickly became a favorite spot for seafarers.

One known to stick around after closing is Mickey the Sailor, an apparition accused of goosing waitresses. He gets even more amorous with guests brave enough to stay overnight.

"Supposedly women who've lived upstairs above the bar say that the ghost has crawled into bed with them," says Watson.

"He's a sailor. Sailors are going to do what they're going to do."

"It's not a tale," says one of the current owners, Martin Sheridan. "It's a fact. Although lately it's been people who notice a little too much of their drink missing. They look around and start accusing their friends."

WAVERLY INN
16 Bank St.


Built in 1844, the Waverly Inn is currently packed with celebs, not spirits, under the ownership of Vanity Fair editor Graydon Carter.

As recently as 1997, however, the inn boasted a spectral guest list - unseen customers who wouldn't have been very impressed by the truffled mac and cheese.

A fire that devastated the building in 1977 left the restaurant's smoking room, Room 16, unscathed. Hostess Maria Ennes was quoted at the time attributing the room's salvation to its resident spirit, saying: "It's where the ghost likes to be."

Apparently the top-hat-and-waistcoat-wearing phantom was fond of spooking waitresses by moving andirons in the fireplace and sometimes dampening the blazes.

"He was also accused of switching the keys on the computer for meatloaf and fried chicken," says Watson. "I think that would be a good excuse for the management to keep on hand."


Seattle's First Avenue Businesses Have Haunting Problems

There's one place in Seattle where it's Halloween every day.

At 1921 First Ave., businesses keep coming and going, but one thing stays the same -- the presence of ghosts unafraid of making their presence known.

These spirited die-hards have bid their share of goose-bumped humans a hasty adieu.

The latest casualty at 1921 was the hip eatery Starlite Lounge, which closed this year. What ultimately doomed the new restaurant was shaky management, say those in the industry. But rumor has it specters floating inside the stone and brick building -- once home to a bustling death business -- banged pots of disapproval to speed up moving day.

John David Crow wasn't a believer in spirits when he opened his restaurant, Fire & Ice, at 1921 First four years ago. One evening, Crow told me, a wire coat hanger straightened itself and balanced on a knob like a seesaw.

So, Crow called in a shaman, who walked around and was shocked. "There are 19 spirits in here," the shaman told him. "I see 19 faces looking down at us right now."

Before you knew it, Crow's restaurant closed, too.

Workers at a previous restaurant at the spot, Cafe Sophie, also reported strange occurrences. Once, after midnight, an electrician rewiring one of the chandeliers saw two men sitting at a table talking, but thought nothing of it. The men even got up and held the ladder as the electrician worked -- until a woman in a white linen dress entered the room and started arguing with them.

"The electrician suddenly realized that his 'helpers' were not of this world," according to an account in Margaret Read MacDonald's book "Ghost Stories from the Pacific Northwest."

Cooks later found the electrician "sitting on the curb muttering."

Seattle, of course, has its share of famous ghosts and ghost tales.

There's the girl with dark hair, swathed in a white light, said to haunt the Neptune Theater in the University District. A janitor saw her in the lobby and told her the theater was closed. Then he realized she was transparent -- and dropped his Coke.

The Harvard Exit cinema on Capitol Hill has a resident spook. So, too, did the 14-room mansion known as The Castle, in Georgetown. Two residents said they saw a derangedlooking woman clutching her throat as if she were being strangled.

Seattle's most famous market, Pike Place, has a host of otherworldly characters, including "The Fat Woman Ghost" -- the spirit of a barber who lulled customers to sleep to steal from them. The barber fell through a Market floor to her death -- or so the story goes.

1921 First Ave., though, is most unusual, because tenant after tenant has tried to make peace with its lingering dead, even as they've tried -- and failed -- to court the living.

But the back story of the location -- in the same block as Le Pichet cafe -- explains why spirits, if you believe in such things, keep hanging around.

In the early 1900s, E.R. Butterworth brought his thriving mortuary to the location. Inside the building, there was a showplace for funerals, a garage for hearses, a cremation oven and a vault for ashes. On the first floor were viewing rooms, sitting rooms and a chapel. Seattle's first hydraulic elevator carried mourners to the top floor to buy caskets.

"For twenty years, The Butterworth Building saw the city's deceased pass through its doors," MacDonald's collection of ghost stories says. "Then in 1923 the Butterworth family moved their firm to Capitol Hill -- but they seem to have left a few of their customers behind."

Over the years, a man watched in awe as work tools mysteriously danced in the air. A bartender saw wine bottles shoot from a bin. And a kitchen worker stacked plates and looked away, only to turn back and see them laid out like fallen dominoes.

A customer in a booth once complained to a waiter about a woman staring at him. The waiter looked back and said, "What woman?"

Employees from different businesses -- including Avenue One and Isadora's -- that have come and gone at the spot echo the feeling that they were being watched.

Monday, I peered inside the dark space. With its vacant bar chairs clustered in a dark corner and long shadows everywhere, it looked spooky -- but apparently not spooky enough to scare off yet another entrepreneurial spirit.

It turns out the family behind Kells Irish Restaurant and Pub in the Market will open a restaurant in this spot in early 2008.

Ghosts be damned, says Patrick McAleese, an owner of Kells. He says his cousin will try his luck at 1921.

With a touch of Irish humor, he added: "I'm a little more concerned about the living than the dead."


Ghost Lurks at the University of Denver

Gothic arches, long, narrow hallways and massive furniture-the perfect scary scenery for a classic ghost story.

The Mary Reed Building whose red brick tower soars above DU's campus, is a famous site for such creepy tales. Many believe that the ghost of Mary Reed wanders the hallways of the building, which is named for her.

A transparent figure is occasionally seen reading in the dark in a high-back leather chair in the DuPont Room. Others complain of sudden cold drafts in otherwise warm rooms, doors that are stuck then mysteriously open, or fresh light bulbs that abruptly burn out.

Ghosts.org tells the spooky story of a student who worked in the building. One night he entered the DuPont room and switched on the light, an elderly woman in an old-fashioned dress stood up from her reading chair and said hello. He turned and ran, leaving the light on. But as he drove away from the building, he noticed through the windows that the light had been turned off.

Another account tells of a custodian who was suddenly pushed from behind when locking up the building. When she turned around, no one was there. She then began to walk away, and was pushed again by the invisible force.

Other eerie legends include books flying off shelves in the DuPont Room and a chair in the basement archives that often feels warm, as if someone had been sitting in it.

DU's Web site says, "Doors, light bulbs and elevators are said to act on their own accord, and the ghostly figure of a woman is sometimes spotted on a staircase."

Some say the spirit is Mary Reed, while others believe it is her daughter, Margery Reed, a 1919 DU alumna who died in 1925 at age 31 of an illness contracted in Peru. The DuPont Room ghost is thought to be Marcella Miller DuPont, daughter of wealthy Colorado pioneers. In 1966 DuPont made a donation to the university for a study room in the library, and in 1967 the DuPont Room was dedicated in honor of her parents.

Unfortunately, DU students will not be able to confirm these creepy tales for many months, as the DuPont Room is currently being renovated and is off limits at all times.

Glenna Leff works in the Payroll Office in room 107A of Mary Reed. She has heard many ghost stories about the building over the years.

"'In the DuPont Room there is a definite cold area," she said. She has never felt this herself, but she said many of her coworkers have.

She also said she heard stories of people who were inexplicably pushed down the stairs from behind. When the victims turned around to see their attacker, they realized they were alone.

Leff believes the DuPont Room remodel could appease the spirit. "If she likes the remodel, everything will be cool," she said.

Alfredo Abad, director of custodial services, said some of his employees refuse to work alone in Mary Reed. He said stories of the building's ghosts are passed from employee to employee each year.

According to Abad, most spooky complaints are of strangle rattling noises around the building after dark.

Although he has not seen anything bizarre personally, he admits it "gets a little scary for people to work there."

One year ago, custodial services decided that all cleaning in Mary Reed would be completed before 10p.m., by which time the building is usually empty. The deadline has helped calm some employees' nerves, as most odd incidents occur when cleaning alone.

The University of Denver Magazine Summer 2006 issue recounts the relationship between the Reed family and the university.

Mary Reed was born in 1875 and later became a women's rights activist and philanthropist in Denver. Wife of wealthy Colorado Springs businessman Verner Reed, she donated $100,000 for the construction of Margery Reed Hall in memory of her daughter. The building was completed in 1929, and shortly thereafter she contributed an additional $350,000 to construct the Mary Reed Building, which would become the university's new library. Reed died in 1945.

The Mary Reed Building is located southwest of University Hall and was completed in 1931. It served as the university's second library and today houses administrative offices and Penrose Library storage.

According to the DU Web site, the building has been named one of Colorado's most haunted places.


Alien Abduction of Swiss Sheep?

Swiss police are investigating after a flock of 90 sheep vanished from a remote Alpine pasture - for the second time.

It is the second time in a year that the flock has vanished, leaving no traces of their whereabouts.

After the first time, farmer Silvano Bacciarini, from the Magadino plain in Tessin, had to buy entirely new animals.

A baffled police spokesman admitted: "The only way to the pasture is by a remote track - the sheep were not driven away as there was no foot prints, nor was a lorry driven to the meadow.

"Yet we searched by helicopter and there is no sign of the animals anywhere."


Colorado Inn Has Lots of History and Lots of Ghosts

If only Sheri Atencio-Church had more time for the ghosts that are said to haunt her mountainside hotel, Brook Forest Inn, near Evergreen.

"I'm running five businesses here ... the hotel, the restaurant, the bar, the special events and the spa," she said. "I don't have a whole lot of time. ... But I may be missing a huge market on this paranormal stuff."

Atencio-Church counts at least five purported ghosts in the century-old inn that her parents bought in 1996 and turned over to her last year.

There's a little boy who died of influenza who is said to romp through the hallway on the third floor. A girl, who may have been run over by a carriage in front of the inn, is said to run with him.

There's Carl, the stable hand who strangled Jessica, the chambermaid, then killed himself. And then there's Carl the bartender, who died in 1997, yet he's still seen roaming the hotel.

A couple once complained that a man had rudely blocked their path as they walked up the stairs.

"We had a picture of Carl at the bar, and they pointed and said, 'That's the man,"' Atencio-Church said.

Ghosts check in, but they never check out. There are also tales about the Ute Indians, who may have used the land as ceremonial grounds; the outlaw Jesse James, who is said to have buried loot nearby; and Nazis who once gathered at the hotel before America entered World War II.

But one of the oddest things about the inn is it's composition. Its walls are made of white and rose-colored quartz boulders, ripped from a nearby quarry. Atencio-Church claims this crystalline rock conducts unseen energies: "We've become some kind of portal."

Steep gabled roofs, rickety old beams, twisting staircases and creaking hallways fill any gaps in the imagination.

Bryan Bonner of the Rocky Mountain Paranormal Research Society said most places he investigates are not really haunted. He's usually able to find explanations. But Brook Forest? Not yet.

Bonner said he's heard the ghostly footsteps and voices, watched his electromagnetic field meter trip through unexplained energies and felt someone - or something - lie on the bed beside him.

It's not proof, mind you. But it was enough to give even a guy like Bonner the willies.

"A lot of this stuff boils down to personal experience," he said. "People (investigating hauntings) will say, 'We've actually proved there's a ghost in this location.' No, they haven't. There's never 'proof."'

Atencio-Church didn't have time to give me a tour of her inn Monday. She told me I could have the run of the place, though, going into any room I pleased.

So I did. Each room was small and eclectically decorated. Some rooms had claw-foot tubs; others had Jacuzzis. The uneven floors were draped in that flowery carpet typically found in Victorian haunts. And it all felt so cozy ...

Until I reached the staircase between the second and third floors. Somehow, I got that creepy feeling you get when you are sure someone is right behind you. I turned, and there was nobody there.

I was sure I heard someone walking the hall just above me. But when I reached the top of the stairs - nobody. I inspected every room - still, nobody.

I later asked the chambermaid if she had been on the third floor. She said no and told me that some of her associates have been so spooked on the third floor that they will never go back up there. I went back up and looked again. Nada.

Perhaps I was mistaken and the footsteps came from somewhere else in the hotel. Or maybe Carl was just trying to be rude again - I'll never know.

One thing I do know is that places like these love to market their ghosts - particularly for Halloween.

"A haunted inn is a traveler's interest point," said Bonner. "Why do people go to the Stanley (in Estes Park)? It's not the nicest hotel in world. They go there because Stephen King said it was haunted."

Atencio-Church told me she once lost a wedding booking when customers heard about the ghosts. But for every scaredy-cat, there are plenty of thrill-seekers.

This Halloween, Atencio- Church is offering a "Haunted Night Package" that includes a tour with a team from the American Association of Paranormal Investigators and a séance in the basement.

But don't be disappointed if nothing happens. Atencio- Church told me nothing has ever happened to her.

"I really believe in it," she said, "and that's why it's so disturbing that nothing has officially happened to me."


Massachusetts Eatery Features Ghosts on the Menu

Darkness had just fallen and a full moon had risen when two women driving along Eastern Avenue spotted a third, standing in the middle of the road, waving her arms.

One of the drivers swerved to avoid her, colliding with the other. The accident was minor, but when the two women got out to examine the damage, they discovered a rabbit lying hurt in the road. The woman who had flagged them down - perhaps trying to protect the crossing rabbit - was nowhere to be found.

The police report on the accident last Thursday is simple: Sgt. Paul Francis and Detective Ryan Davis responded to the scene at 6:41 p.m., helping the drivers exchange papers but finding no sign of the woman in the road. She may have seen the accident, become nervous and walked away.

But people with a better sense of Essex's paranormal history, especially on the cusp of Halloween, might look around the bend in the road where the accident occurred.

There, the staff of the Windward Grille was serving dinner in a centuries-old farmhouse converted to a restaurant. For years, patrons and staff have insisted that it's haunted.

When the restaurant was the Hearthside, a waitress told the Times that patrons sometimes reported an apparition of a couple in their 30s floating near the walls. The woman wears a long white dress.

The Hearthside closed in 2004 and the Windward Grille opened, but much of the old staff stayed, as did presences that no one can explain.

A few weeks ago, Vicky Kennefick, who owns the restaurant with her husband, Tim, was cleaning the kitchen after closing when her 14-year-old daughter, Justina, came barreling in from the dining room. She screamed that she had felt a breeze, looked up and seen a shadowy figure in one of the dining rooms, called the Thirties Room. The mother and daughter were the only people in the building at the time.

"At first, I thought people were making things up," said Kennefick of the ghost stories that have come pouring in to her from staff. "But with my own kids involved, it gives it a little more credence for me."

Her son, Matthew Kennefick, 12, has only been back to the restaurant twice since the hairs stood up on the back of his neck and he sensed a presence in an otherwise empty room one night.

It's a common occurrence: Two people will be in a room when they look up at the same time and ask, "What was that?"

Staffers say they feel uneasy and sense an unexplained presence when a corridor turns frigid while the rest of the restaurant is extremely hot or lights flicker and toilets flush on their own.

Built sometime between 1640 and 1680 on land given to Deacon Burnham for his services in the Pequot War, the farmhouse was passed from generation to generation of Burnhams until 1897.

Kennefick knows of no tragedy in the house that might have given rise to stories of a ghost, though a neighbor has told her the house was part of the Underground Railroad during the Civil War and it's possible escaping slaves hid in the attic.

The house is old and creaky, which may help explain the strange noises and faulty plumbing.

"I'm sure there's a scientific explanation for all of this," Kennefick said.

Some things aren't easy to explain away. One staff member who tried to push a table across the floor during cleanup couldn't budge it and finally gave up. Kitchen employees said they have watched knives float into midair and come back to rest on the counter.

Then there's the dark-haired woman employees say they sometimes see standing at the top of the stairs in a long dress.

She's never been seen outside the restaurant, as far as Kennefick knows.

But then the police report on the accident at 6:41 p.m. last Thursday did not indicate the length of the dress or color of the hair of the woman who stood in the busy road waving her arms, perhaps to save a rabbit.


Transforming UFO Reported Over India

A small dazzling UFO was claimed to have been sighted in the eastern sky early today with Birla Planetarium Director here saying it was an 'interesting and strange object'.

It was spotted between 3:30 am and 6:30 am by a senior executive of a private company who filmed it on video on his handycam and showed it to the M P Birla Planetarium Director D P Duari.

Duari told PTI here that the viewer, who did not wish to be named, saw the object, a very bright one, changing shape from a triangle into a sphere and then a straight line while emitting various colours at 30 degrees on the eastern horizon.

"The viewer first thought it was a plane but gradually its brightness increased and it went up and vanished at about 6:30 am," the Planetarium Director said.

"No natural phenomenon is likely to last for such a long duration and it is not a meteor either, It is extremely interesting and strange," Duari said.


The Majestic 12 Committee and the Truth About Interplanetary Aliens

It is now hard to believe that it is 20 years since the Majestic 12 or MJ-12 documents were released to the public by William Moore in the United States, and Timothy Good in the United Kingdom.

For the first time these documents seemed to officially confirm that the U.S. government did recover a crashed saucer at Roswell in the summer of 1947 and that the Majestic 12 committee was formed by President Harry Truman on Sept 24, 1947, to investigate the implications of this incident. Since then more MJ-12 documents have surfaced that indicate the United States has secretly worked with aliens and utilized their technology.

Through the stories of whistleblowers, and the recovered memories of abductees, it seems that our planet has attracted all manner of aliens. They range from humanoids, the notorious grays, to "reptoids" and praying mantis creatures. In secret underground bases they keep vats of human body parts to produce medication for their genetically deficient bodies.

They have mutilated cattle and abducted thousands of people against their will. Some are peace loving, others are war-like and bloodthirsty. Some are solid, physically real beings with "nuts and bolts" craft; others are ghostly entities that skip into and out of our physical universe. World governments, and especially the U.S. government, have worked hard at keeping this all secret through the use of debunking, disinformation and ridicule.

Ufology, like any other subject, goes through great changes. The belief that UFOs are vehicles piloted by aliens from outer space has dominated ufology since the 1950s. The contactees of the 1950s told of meeting friendly humanoid aliens who took them for rides to the Moon, Mars and Venus. Their claims were either ignored or dismissed by the more scientifically inclined UFO investigators, who only considered sightings of UFOs by reliable witnesses.

By the 1960s, sightings of UFOs landing and disgorging their occupants became more acceptable but were still viewed with some suspicion. This all changed when the story of Betty and Barney Hill's abduction was published in John Fuller's book The Interrupted Journey in 1966.

"Exopolitics" is an area of ufology that has emerged over the last decade, but its origins are rooted in the 1970s. One of the key factors was the release of Steven Spielberg's film "Close Encounters of the Third Kind" (CE3K) in 1977. In the post-Watergate period, its story about a secret government project devoted to contacting aliens and spreading disinformation about UFOs certainly hit a nerve.

The media publicity surrounding CE3K, which was based on real UFO reports and stories, brought forward more alien abduction reports. Simultaneously, the long-forgotten crash of a flying saucer at Roswell, New Mexico, and many other similar crash cases were re-examined and re-evaluated.

The late 1970s seems to have been a fertile time for the spreading of information and disinformation. Lieutenant Colonel George Edwards (retired, U.S. Air Force), spoke about his involvement in the development of the Avrocar VZ-9, which was an 18-foot diameter flying saucer-like aircraft. There were high hopes that this would be a "flying jeep" for the Army. Unfortunately, it did not fly very well and the project was cancelled in 1961. It was Edwards' view that the U.S. Air Force was really testing an alien flying saucer elsewhere and that they used the Avrocar project as an explanation for any saucer sightings.

During this period Jacques Vallee came into contact with a shadowy character called "Major Murphy." He had worked for the U.S. Intelligence services and advised Vallee to look beyond the organized UFO groups. They were probably influenced and controlled by official agencies. To do this they could easily feed rumors that they wanted to be circulated to "useful idiots." In this sense Moore can be regarded as having been a useful idiot in the promotion of the MJ-12 documents.

Vallee's Major Murphy explained that the Germans had developed disc-shaped aircraft in 1943 along with electrical discharge weapons. After the war this technology and the scientists who created it were scooped up by the Soviet Union and the United States to carry on this research.

In the next decade reports of abductions became an established part of ufology mainly due to the writings of Budd Hopkins, David Jacobs and John E. Mack. Starting with The Roswell Incident by Charles Berlitz and William L. Moore in 1980, the stories of people who claim to have seen recovered flying saucers and even alien bodies proliferated.

According to John Lear, in a document posted on the Internet on Dec. 29 1987, huge crashed saucers were either taken to Wright-Paterson Air Force Base, or buried at the spot. To tackle the situation President Truman set-up MJ-12, which was a panel of the best military minds of the time and still exists to this day. They referred to the aliens as EBEs (Extraterrestrial Biological Entities).

Lear became interested in UFOs when he was told that three aliens met U.S. Air Force personnel from Bentwaters Air Force Base at Rendlesham Forest in 1980. Becoming fascinated by UFOs he discovered that Germany recovered a crashed saucer as early as 1939. After World War II more saucer crashes occurred in the United States and they contained ugly praying-mantis creatures that were a billion years more advanced than us.

Lear also noted that the aliens created Jesus Christ and that they possess holograms of the history of Earth. In October 1987 Moore and several newsmen were invited to interview an alien, but this meeting was cancelled. Interestingly enough, Michael Applewhite, the notorious leader of the Heaven's Gate cult, was regarded as a Jesus-like figure whose biological structure was transformed by aliens in the 1970s.

Lear has since said that there is intense rivalry between the Nordic, human-like aliens and the grays, and that aliens influenced Adolph Hitler's Third Reich, the Trilateral Commission and the "New World Order."

Deception

In all the stories by whistleblowers and "leaked" documents there seems to be the recurrent theme that the Nazis had contact with alien technology that was used and exploited by the Soviet Union and the United States. The retrieval of crashed saucers and their occupants began in the late 1940s and a secret treaty with the aliens was made in the 1950s. Since then the aliens have broken this treaty and continued abducting people for the purposes of research and nutrition.

It is now part of UFO lore that CE3K was part of a program to get the public used to the idea of friendly aliens. MJ-12 realized they could not reveal the "horrible truth." In response they decided to develop weaponry against the aliens through the Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI). This was sold to the public as a defense system against Soviet missiles, and appropriately enough it was popularly known as the Star Wars project.

Vallee's informant, Major Murphy, noted that much of the early government research concerned mind control and the use of electromagnetic fields on the body. He wondered if the UFOs could be "psychotropic weapons" that could cause hallucinations and paralyze anyone who gets near them. Furthermore, they could be used as a propaganda weapon to stimulate UFO sightings and reinforce belief in extraterrestrial visitors.

Murphy encouraged Vallee to look at off-the-wall contactee and occult groups that were likely to be ignored by officialdom and scientists. Here could be the breeding ground for manipulation that could instigate long-term social changes. Vallee summarized this esoteric hypothesis by stating:

It could enlist the resources of leading corporations. It could try to manipulate public opinion for its own ends. It could not control science, but it could certainly influence it. And it could produce many of the effects UFOs seem capable of manifesting. The persons controlling such a "psychotropic" technology might even have already achieved contact with other forms of consciousness and might know the real nature of UFOs, or they might try to convince others that they do. (Jacques Vallee, Messengers of Deception, And/Or Press 1979, p. 206.)
As Vallee acknowledges there are several weaknesses to this hypothesis, and like all conspiracy theories, it can spread paranoia, fear and responses beyond the control of the manipulator or manipulators.

Such a hypothesis leaves open the possibility that UFO beliefs are open to manipulation by a wide variety of groups, from the weirdest occult organizations to government departments.

Film producer Paul Kimball on his blog site "The Other Side of Truth" succinctly notes that today exopolitics threatens to corrupt everything that is good within ufology -- it undermines the search for the truth; it turns the scientific and historical methods on their heads; it is populated by dark characters of questionable repute, in the form of whistleblowers … It replaces evidence with dark conspiracy theory.

Worst of all, it spreads dissension within the ranks. Lear and his ilk can be regarded as rumormongers who used the perceived validity of the MJ-12 documents to fuel their increasingly wild claims. Through various media, these stories have been repeated, changed and enhanced to the extent where it is very hard to separate truth from speculation and fiction. On the other hand, they are seeding the truth or variations of it to the public for the day when the WHOLE truth will emerge on the world stage for all to see. Who really knows?


UPDATE: "....It Appears To Be A Juvenile Sasquatch"


It's furry, walks on all fours, doesn't have a tail and is apparently not a bear.

The only thing certain at the moment is that the images caught by an Elk County hunter have stirred new debate on the Internet about the existence of Bigfoot, or Sasquatch, as believers call the creature of folklore.

Rick Jacobs, the hunter, said he planted the stationary tree camera in Allegheny National Forest, about 115 miles northeast of Pittsburgh, to try to find a handsome buck. Instead, on Sept. 16, the camera caught images of an unusual creature, he said.

"We couldn't figure out what they were," Jacobs said. "I've been hunting for years and I've never seen anything like this."

The hunter said that after a week of trying to decipher what had walked past his camera lens, he contacted the Bigfoot Research Organization.

Stories about Bigfoot are part of North American folklore and some believe the bipedal creature inhabits many parts of the United States and Canada. Scientists, however, say there is no concrete proof that such a creature exists and brush it off as a combination of legend and hoaxes.

Images posted on dozens of Web sites have generated discussions about "Jacob's creature," as the unknown four-legged animal has become known among Bigfoot believers. The exact location of the siting has not been publicized to avoid people flocking to the area.

Paul Majeta of the Bigfoot group said he has been to the northwest Pennsylvania area and done some analysis.

"My impression is that it is not a bear," Majeta said. "It appears to be a primate-like animal. In my opinion, it appears to be a juvenile Sasquatch."

NOTE: There have been several Sasquatch/Bigfoot sightings reported the past 2 years from Westmoreland County, Pa. in the area along the Loyalhanna Creek in and around Chestnut Ridge. This area is about 100 miles or so south of Allegheny National Forest and the specific area we think these recent images were taken. As well, the Lenni-Lenape (Delaware) Indians referred to 3 different man-like creatures that inhabited this area as "Mesingw" (The Masked Being), "Misinghalikun" (Living Solid Face) and "Wsinkhoalican" (The Game Keeper).




Hauntings Are A Nuisance For Realtors

"A year after we moved in, we were invaded whilst away by a family of teenage foxes via the catflap. My PA found one lolling on the quilt in my bedroom. The carpets were ruined and the builders moved in to sand down all the floors.

"That night an elderly woman in a dressing gown appeared by my bed at 4am looking utterly disapproving. She did this for a week until a medium told me to say quite firmly 'It's not polite to wake people up at night ' after which she disappeared".

The Furnivals also have "a couple of mischievous cellar ghosts, who are probably quite bored. They used to mess with central heating. My husband saw the dials turning back and forth. I have to be quite respectful of them".

In their previous house she had a grumpy old man ghost who hated change and threw a coathanger at the decorator. She had the house exorcised before she sold it.

"I got the local vicar in - after much persuasion. He thought I should have had the priest since I'm Catholic but the grumpy old man was Cof E, so the Vicar was the exorcist of choice. And it worked".

Inspired by her experiences, Jane, an author on domestic finance, is now writing a Ghost Spotter's Guide. When it comes to selling a house, haunted properties are more of a headache for agents than vicars.

"It's not like a problem with the roof because it depends on personal feelings," says Peter Bolton King, Chief Executive of the National Association of Estate Agents.

"However, if there is documentation about a haunting there's no point in hiding it. Although I wouldn't put it in the particulars, I'd have a word with the potential purchaser - with the vendor's agreement".

In 1995 a Derbyshire couple refused to complete on a house they'd bought since the agents had not disclosed the existence of a 'pig-faced boy with fiery red eyes'. The agents sued and the couple lost.

Nowadays with HIPs in place, would a vendor have to reveal all?

"Home Information Packs cover a range of issues," says John Vaughan of Savills estate agency, "but ghosts aren't one of them".

John himself had a poltergeist in a farmhouse he once owned in the Vale of Aeron.

"It was forever moving things around. You'd put a glass down on the table, look away, then reach for it and it would be somewhere else. It seemed to dislike men: male visitors would put their shirts in a drawer then find them on a chair. When we had the house re-plumbed the workmen complained of constantly having to look for their tools. Curiously, women always felt very comfortable there."

Charlotte Morgan also had a spirit which made men feel uncomfortable. Wynters Armourie, near Ongar, Essex, is a moated medieval hall house with 16th century add-ons and a couple of mummified cats the previous owners had found in the walls - one even had a rat in its mouth.

"It was a medieval practice to ward off evil spirits", says Charlotte. "They were going to give them to a museum but we said 'no cats, no sale'"

The ghost she lived with, however was "not evil, just confused. He was a Cavalier murdered by a turncoat on his own side. We used to hear him stomping up and down the back corridor. A friend of mine was a 6' 4" boxer who hated the corridor. He said it felt like iced water running down his neck. I'd also hear people talking in the dining room but there was never anyone there".

Charlotte Morgan felt quite happy with her Cavalier but her friends weren't. She called in Terry O'Sullivan of Soul Rescuers (see below) two years ago.

"You often find earthbound spirits and negative energy trapped by water," says Terry, who helped the spirit move on.

"Now that he's gone, I really miss him," admits Charlotte.

Most of Terry O'Sullivan's property work involves checking out homes for new owners or sorting problem atmospheres that have built up over time. He finds the attitude of estate agents to properties that aren't selling difficult to understand.

"Where there's no obvious reason, such as over-pricing, it suggests the house itself has a problem. I don't know why they don't get people like us in to deal with it," he says.

"Ironically, I've worked for the heads of a number of big estate agencies, clearing their own homes."

Debbie DeVito has been a clairvoyant counsellor for the last 20 years and is a Christian Spiritualist minister. She also specialises in 'clearing' houses. In spring this year she was called to a house in a village near Maidstone, Kent by the owner who was hoping to emigrate.

"The house was 400 years old and had been on the market for nine months", says Debbie.

"It had a very negative feel. I began in the attic and was immediately aware of the spirit of a little boy, about 8 years old, who had died of TB, in the 1600s. I helped him move on, and the negative energy dissolved. As I usually do, I replaced it with positive energy, blessed and sealed the house - and garden. Four weeks later the owner rang to say she had a sale and it was all going through".


UFO Reporting Center Relocates To Old Missile Site

To find the new home of The National UFO Reporting Center, you must go several yards underground at a former nuclear missile site in Eastern Washington.

The National UFO Reporting Center, which moved to this sparsely populated farm country from Seattle last year, is basically a telephone, tape recorder and desktop computer run in an underground bunker by one man who collects and publishes UFO reports from across the country.

Director Peter B. Davenport took over the UFO center's work from founder Robert J. Gribble in 1994. It had been located for years in Seattle's University District, until Davenport decided he wanted a change and paid $100,000 for the former Atlas missile site located about 50 miles west of Spokane.

"There was the allure of owning my own missile site," Davenport said.

Missile Site No. 6 now contains a large row of file cabinets and boxes, neatly organized by date, containing thousands of reports of UFO sightings stretching back decades. A typical file reads:

"Longview, WA. February 25, 1999 1158 hrs. (Pacific) Description: Fourteen forestry workers witness a horseshoe shaped object lift an adult elk out of the forest and fly off with the apparently dead, or unconscious, animal."

The missile site covers 22 acres, and the massive concrete buildings are underground. The old Atlas E missiles rested flat, not upright in silos, in what were called "coffin launchers." In the event of war, a concrete lid would slid open, the missile would be hoisted upright and the engine fired.

The UFO files, along with some office furniture, are stacked in a dark, dank room the size of a basketball court, where the yellow missile hoist remains in place. A few bare bulbs provide lights.

Davenport is still cleaning out the missile site, which is pretty decrepit, and is living in an apartment in nearby Harrington while he works to make it habitable.

Davenport doesn't spend much time scanning the skies, or traveling to UFO locations. Most of his work is transcribing numerous calls or e-mails each day from people who think they have seen UFOs. He places those reports on the Web site for all to see.

Davenport also gives lectures and appears often on radio talk shows tied to UFOs. He considers himself among the most skeptical of ufologists, and estimates that 90 percent of the calls he receives can be quickly disproved, and many of the rest likely have a rationale explanation.

But that still leaves a lot of reports for which no terrestrial explanation is available, Davenport said.

Washington has a long history of UFO reports, including the famous Mount Rainier sighting in 1947 that led to the coining of the term "flying saucers." In that incident, pilot Kenneth Arnold reported seeing nine silver vehicles flying in formation at high speed and moving "like a saucer if you skip it across water."

Whether UFOs exist has been hotly debated for decades. Believers point to loads of evidence, including photos and eyewitness accounts. They contend there must be other inhabited planets, and some with more advanced civilizations may be visiting us.

Like many ufologists, Davenport also believes the world's governments and press are hushing up the existence of UFOs to avoid panic.

"There is nothing more bizarre in the galaxy than human behavior toward UFOs," he said.

Despite decades of official denials, UFOs abound in movies, television, books and advertising, he said. They even show up in religion, where some reports of visions have all the earmarks of a UFO sighting, Davenport said.

UFO skeptic Jim Oberg said Davenport performs a valuable service by recording all the strange things people see in the sky. The problem is that he and other ufologists are too quick to label them extraterrestrial, Oberg said.

That doesn't necessarily mean that aliens are not visiting Earth, Oberg said.

"But the evidence does not rise to the level of an unavoidable conclusion that there is no other explanation," Oberg said, acknowledging that the debate won't end anytime soon.

Last March, former Arizona Gov. Fife Symington said he believes mysterious lights widely seen over Phoenix 10 years ago were UFOs. Also in March, France became the first country to release its extensive UFO files on the Internet. The oldest sightings date to 1937.

Earlier this month, actress Shirley MacLaine revealed that Democratic presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich saw a UFO at her home in Graham, Wash. Representatives of Kucinich's presidential campaign and congressional office have not responded to requests for comments on MacLaine's recollection.

Last fall, numerous employees of O'Hare Airport in Chicago reported seeing a mysterious, saucer-shaped craft hovering over the airport. The workers said the object hovered over a terminal before shooting up through the clouds, according to the Chicago Tribune.

The Federal Aviation Administration said nothing showed up on radar, and that the sighting was likely a "weather phenomenon," the newspaper reported.

Davenport graduated from the University of Washington with a degree in fisheries, and specialized in research on the genetics of steelhead trout. He was friends with Gribble, who founded the center in 1974, and agreed to continue the work when Gribble retired.

He estimated the center's work costs $500 a month.

Davenport does not spend all his time on UFO work. He is an unopposed candidate for Harrington City Council this fall, and is considering a run for the state Legislature.

"Initially this job was fun," Davenport said of running the UFO center. Now it is just "a secretarial job."


Colorado Casino Haunted By Slot Playing Entity


While many people travel to Cripple Creek, Colorado for their breathtaking scenery or their casinos to try their luck at the slots, many actually journey there to visit one of the town’s most notorious haunted locations. And that location would be the Imperial Hotel Casino.

Originally named the Collins Hotel, built during the 1890’s, this hauntingly famous establishment is the base of many ghost stories told by guests and employees alike. There is one ghost in particular that these stories always seem to focus around and that is the ghost of George Long. George was an English immigrant who managed the hotel back in 1905. Not only was the hotel the place of his work, but is was the place of his death as well.

While there are many stories surrounding the actual events of his death, it is for certain that George Long died after falling down the stairs, which led to the basement. Whether it was simply an accident or an act of violence, this was an untimely death for Mr. Long.

The first reports of ghostly happenings once the hotel added its casino came in 1992 when a security guard heard something he will never forget. Around 4am one night, as the guard made his rounds, he heard a slot machine paying out. The doors had been locked and there was no one else in the building. It is impossible for this to occur on it’s own as the machine are set that if it pays out even one coin more then required, the machine will shut itself down.

Another night goes by and George is heard playing again. A new employee heard that clear, distinctive sound that is echoed through a quiet casino when a coin is dropped into a slot machine. Upon a search through the casino, no one was found. Apparently, George, like many others, enjoys the slots.

While it is believed that George is a kind and gentle spirit, it has been noted by a “sensitive” who took a tour of the building, that there is an angry presence in the spot where George has passed away.

Is this anger a result of a life taken too early by a slip and fall or that of a life yanked by a criminal act? Either way, the ghost of George is sure to continue passing his time playing the slots.


Pittsburgh Woman Haunted By Resident Spirits

Lori Bookwood says she only wants to be done with the ghostly guests she believes have been living with her family for the past two years.

The Pittsburgh mother says cabinet slammings, window rappings, nighttime laughter, overturned plants and other bizarre events have prompted her to call in ghost-busters - for the second time - just days before Halloween.

The saga, she says, began two years ago in August, about four months after Bookwood moved into the 125-year-old home with her two daughters. First, she heard girls laughing - but her daughters were sound asleep. Then, at exactly 4:27 a.m. she heard a rap on the glass pane of a dining room door.

“I was paralyzed with fear because I just knew it was in the house,” Bookwood said.

Then, her 5-year-old daughter queried whether her mother had also heard the “little girl go by.”

Bookwood said she knew she had to do something when her boyfriend said something tugged on his toe in the middle of the night.

About 18 months ago, she contacted a local paranormal society. Seven “spiritual interpreters” came one evening for a four-hour investigation with an array of video cameras, night scopes, laser thermometers and electronic voice phenomenon recorders. After that, the strange happenings ceased.

But last summer, she says, the unwanted guests reappeared - the footsteps, the noises, the television turning itself on and off, the cupboards slamming and two paddles breaking off an unused ceiling fan and falling onto the bed right next to her daughter.

So, Bookwood says, she has called in the ghost-busters again. They are due to arrive today - just four days before Halloween. If that doesn't work, she said she plans to bring in a priest to bless the home.

“So we'll give it this one last shot and see,” she said.


Another Look: Marysville, Kentucky - Hayswood Hospital Ghost Video


As the camera scans the exterior of the old Hayswood Hospital in downtown Maysville, little can be seen in the darkness save empty windows and dark shadows.

But as the seconds tick on, the camera view changes, and even from a distance a white figure appears framed in one of the upper level windows of the hospital. Zooming in, the white figure seems to assume facial features just before it pulls back rapidly from the window, and the person operating the camera drops it and lets out a slight gasp of astonishment.

The video of the "ghost" at Hayswood Hospital was taped in the spring of last year. It was filmed by an unidentified individual from Lexington whose interest in the old hospital was sparked by Internet postings regarding the supposedly haunted hospital.

A friend of Maysville resident Jeremy Parnell, the person permitted Parnell access to the video, and it has quickly garnered attention on local Web sites, as well as sites such as YouTube, where it has logged more than 67,000 hits.

"It's gotten a lot considering its a small town ghost," said Parnell. "It's become pretty popular around the Web."

From its exposure on YouTube, the video caught the eye of staff on the Maury Povich Show. Producers were putting together an episode for Halloween that featured videos and images of the paranormal. They contacted Parnell through e-mail and asked him for permission to use the Hayswood video on the show. It is slated to air Friday.

"It's a little more than your average lights in the window thing," he said.

According to the Maury Povich Show's Web site, the episode on Friday will ask the question whether ghosts exist, and if loved ones who have died can "reach out from the grave to contact us in the real world."

The episode promises to look at paranormal activity to include window blinds lifting on their own in homes, "frightening voices in the dark," and "ghostly figures in the windows."

Hayswood Hospital operated as a full service hospital for about 60 years. Prior to that, it served as Hayswood Seminary, followed by the old Hayswood/Wilson hospital.

At its peak, the hospital had 87 beds available for patient care. The building has stood vacant since Meadowview Regional Medical Hospital was built and became operational in 1983.

Parnell said he is not sure when tales of ghostly phenomena began to spread about Hayswood, though he said the hospital has gained wider attention since the Internet has picked up the story.

On that Web site, it is reported that "people who live near it have said they have often seen strange lights in the windows and heard infant's cries." In addition, "some have claimed to see a figure standing in the last window on the third floor both day and night." Still others who have been inside the hospital report an old stretcher that moves on its own, shadows that follow them, and the feeling of being watched. Some say past doctors can be seen in the halls, and the cries of past patients can be heard.

In the basement and all over the building are "strange markings."

The site also claims the ghosts of Hayswood "haunt the entire town."

In addition to being featured on The Shadowlands site, the building is featured on other sites and is even the focus of groups on sites such as MySpace.

Parnell himself is skeptical about the tales of Hayswood, but said he has not been able to discredit the video, either.

"It's pretty spooky," he said. "Now what it is, I don't know ... There's always a reason to be skeptical of it."

Parnell said the friend who shot the video did so between 10 and 11 p.m. and was alone at the time it was filmed. The footage caught was actually about 30 minutes worth, but was edited to the less than one minute clip now on-line.


Florida Couple Reports 'Whirling' UFOs

The bright white lights hovering over the Colony Hills Community on Thursday night were precisely choreographed and didn't skip a beat.

They seemed to spin in four invisible corners, then zoom together in the center, spin, rhythmically separate and do it all over again.

'There were four lights up there,' said Dave Loch, 67. 'It reminded me of an old-fashioned square dance.'

Added wife Grace: 'It was like four huge disks of light.'

Spin. Zoom. Spin. Separate. Spin. Zoom. Spin. Separate.

Grace Loch (pronounced, they said, 'like the Loch Ness monster') spotted the light show around 10 p.m. when she took Charlie Brown, her mixed-breed pooch, outside one last time before calling it a night.

The pup didn't seem fazed as his 68-year-old owner waited for a boom that would identify the lights as a thunderstorm, sure to send Charlie Brown crashing through the porch screen.

'I looked closer and I saw these things all whirling around up there. Mind you, I'm in my nightgown and bare feet,' she said Friday.

Pause the special effects. Grace Loch wants to make something perfectly clear: 'We weren't drinking and we don't smoke whacky tobacky.'

Now, cue the scream. Hearing it, her husband came running. Fast.

'The way you were screaming out there I thought it was maybe a bobcat or a mountain lion,' he told her Friday.

He didn't expect what he saw over his mobile home on Colony Hills Drive. Startled, Dave Loch dialed 911.

He said dispatchers seemed lost on what to do, muttering something like, 'We'll check on it.'

The sheriff's office had no UFO reports Thursday night, spokesman Kevin Doll said. That doesn't mean there were no calls. It just means the report might not have migrated from the 911 center.

The Lochs weren't the only ones in Colony Hills who saw the spectacle in the sky. Across the street about 8 p.m., Joyce Thibert was letting out Dewey the miniature Schnauzer.

Four, maybe six lights danced magically in the sky like a kaleidoscope, she said.

'They would come to the center and then shoot apart. Come together and then shoot apart,' said Thibert, 68.

She didn't think too much about it, not exactly eager to delve into the unknown. She and husband Don 'just kind of dismissed it and went inside.'

But when the Lochs called, she considered the possibilities. Could it be alien visitors?

'I believe that's a possibility,' Thibert said. 'God didn't say we are the only ones here. That's the way I look at it.'

Base McKnight, 66, didn't notice anything amiss until the Lochs' late-night knock at his door. 'There were four images in the sky. It rotated in a spiral,' he said.

But he used to set up trade shows and exhibits, and is well-versed in lighting effects. To him, it looked like a spotlight and it appeared to be coming from the Chancey and Morris Bridge roads area.

'Here again with Halloween coming, who knows,' McKnight said. 'To me, it wasn't frightening at all. But I could see how to others it could be.'

Grace Loch didn't get much shut-eye Thursday. It wasn't until after sunrise that her fears quieted somewhat.

'I guess they weren't dangerous, being that we weren't annihilated in our sleep.'

Not that she's a big believer in extraterrestrials. But she will stop channel surfing if a show on UFOs is on the tube.

And it's not implausible that a UFO could buzz by. Anything unknown is an unidentified flying object, after all.

The National UFO Reporting Center's Web site says 13 sightings have been reported in the Tampa Bay area this year. Last month, a family spotted a triangular object moving like a 'stealth bomber' during a storm in New Port Richey. In Wesley Chapel, a man and his son spotted a pear-shaped object flying just above the tree line.

In Zephyrhills, one reportedly shot across the sky in March. The oval craft - which changed colors - hovered for a bit, then started moving slowly before disappearing.

Later on Friday, 'realist' McKnight was motoring along State Road 54 to pick up his grandson. Just west of Morris Bridge Road he spotted vehicles beneath big tents at the Fraternal Order of Eagles #3752 property and stopped to check things out.

McKnight wasn't looking at the cars.

What he found there, he said, was the UFO: spiraling spotlights. Four of them. Safely on the ground.

'As I thought, it was spotlights rather than anything extraterrestrial,' he said.

Spin. Zoom. Spin. Separate.

McKnight enlightened the Lochs. They remain skeptical.

'The car show is still going on. I'll see if it's up there tonight,' Grace said Friday.

'It looks like we won't be beamed up anyway.'


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