10/31/13  #745
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This week Conspiracy Journal brings you such trick-or-treating tales as:

- Return to Sleepy Hollow -
Annabelle: The True Story of a Demonic Doll -
- The Lost Meaning of Halloween -
AND: Haunted Phone Calls

All these exciting stories and MORE in this week's issue of

~ And Now, On With The Show! ~


The Astounding UFO Secrets of James W. Moseley


You either loved him or hated him – but it was hard to be neutral when speaking about James W. Moseley. Within these pages, Jim Moseley’s closest friends and associates gather one last time for a sendoff like no other . . Journey into the void of the strange and unknown and tag along closely in the footsteps of a man who followed the UFO mystery and the paranormal for well over half a century.

His wit, humor and frequent barbs and sarcasms were well known – and sometimes feared! -- by believers and skeptics alike as he took no prisoners in his quest to get to the bottom of a mystery that has baffled so many for so long.

As editor of “Saucer News” – the premier magazine in the UFO field for many years – to his later satirical newsletter “Saucer Smear,” Jim met and mingled with the best and the worst of the “in crowd.” He admits to a bit of “fun-loving” hoaxing of his own, plus a second career of grave robbing in South America, which partially financed his globe trotting paranormal hijinks – not any endowment from the CIA as some of his most hostile, cynical critics would long contend.

In addition to the musings and gossip of those that he remained closest to in life, Jim (with the help of endeared drinking buddy and ghost writer Gray Barker) fans out across the country to personally investigate some of the most perplexing UFO cases of all time – with periodic stopovers at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, home of the controversial Project Blue Book (long since closed down).

Cases personally pondered over by Moseley in this book include: ** “I Met Two Men From ‘Venus’ -- And They Had No Fingerprints!” ** What Happened To The “Authentic” UFO Film That Vanished Without A Trace? ** Kidnapped By Aliens? – A Most Strange And Unusual Case. ** The Angels Of Oahspe. ** Adamski, Williamson And The Case For The UFO Contactees. ** Behind The Barbed Wire Fence At Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. ** The OSI And The Lubbock Lights. ** ETs And Alien Wreckage - The Strange Story Of An Air Force Whistleblower. ** The Earth Theory And UFOs From The Antarctica.


For subscribers of the Conspiracy Journal Newsletter this book is on sale for the special price of only $15.00 (plus $5.00 shipping).  This offer will not last long so ORDER TODAY! 

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Be sure to tune in to Unraveling The Secrets Saturdays at 11:59PM EST
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This Weeks Guest: Scott Teeters

By Timothy Green Beckley and Circe

Recently, we deployed our company ghoul and likeable horror movie host Mr Creepo (aka "Mr UFO" - Tim Beckley) along with sexy vamp hunter and Creepo henchwoman Circe (or is that wenchwoman?) to check out rumors of a revival of paranormal activity in the dreamy village of Sleepy Hollow, New York, and neighboring Tarrytown.
Though our budget was small, the researchers managed to drink and eat  -- mainly drink -- themselves into a tizzy as if possessed by glutinous spirits. Very much, we fear, like the early farmers whose wives accused them of "tarrying" to long on market day at the local tavern, thus the name Tarrytown was born. In any respect we present their -- pardon the expression - "sobering" -- report.

The cool autumn air sits in just before twilight and a breeze starts to drift in from the Hudson River, just down the road a bit from where legend has it Ichabod Crane was chased by the headless horseman.

Indeed, the bridge and adjacent brook where Crane soiled his pants in an attempt to run for his life still stands, albeit part of the main drag that goes through town, a road now used by truckers, buses and SUV's coming up from Manhattan a scant 40-minute drive away.

Many commuters unwilling to drive in the midst of quite ghostly (I mean ghastly) traffic take to the rails, hopping onboard one of the numerous commuter trains that make the trip from the Big Apple all day and well into the evening hours.

Folding back the pages of the New York Post (we are much to blue collar to read the Times) and gazing out the window one would hardly guess  that he area is particularly rich in paranormal lore. But as you pass White Plains and the office buildings start to diminish in height and number you can start to be thankful that Circe is your traveling companion as ghouls know well to leave her be. We figure it has to be the garlic in her bag, but she insists it is the lovely charms she makes and wears  to ward off negativity and things that go bump in the night.

But, indeed the truth sometimes can be very strange. For it is along this very route to Sleepy Hollow back in 1982 that thousands craned their necks out of car windows to watch as a silent, giant, black-shaped triangle filled the sky, much like the cloak of the headless horseman is said to have done as the phantom glided through the thickets and glades of this same community in the early eighteen hundreds.

One of our first destinations was the Sleepy Hollow cemetery to visit some of the communities founding members. Circe (made infamous for her role of  Muffy in my low budget vampire flix, The Curse of Ed Wood) was perched on a  tombstone while I frolicked with the angels near the grave of Washington Irving.
Switching into a serious mode, I remarked how I could recall numerous conversations with fellow researcher Philip Imbrogno whose book Night Siege: The Hudson Valley UFO Sightings fairly well documents the numerous close encounters in the area. I told Circe how Phil, a teacher by profession (strange, wasn't Ichabod Crane also a teacher?) had started out as a conservative investigator of unexplainable aerial phenomena only to end up photographing ghost lights and confronting time distortions (to find out more order my book Our Alient Planet: This Eerie Earth in the Conspiracy Journal bookstore). All within a few square rural miles of where we were now standing.

During the course of our investigation in the area, we drove over into Connecticut to hunt down giant Jack 'O' Lanterns known to be harassing residents near an outdoor farmers market. This was pretty much the same trek truck drivers had been on that fright filled night in 1982 when they rubbed 18 wheelers with a "thing" the size of a 747 that tailed them at less than a thousand feet in the air.  Around the same time the mysterious men in black showed up to persuade witnesses to back off from telling of their encounters with the unknown. Many similar tales exist from the time of Washington Irving who also spoke of nightmarish figures cloaked in black who staked those who dared discuss their own paranormal misadventures.

Those who have followed such matters will be able to confirm that often times places that have a reputation for being "haunted" have a long history of paranormal phenomenon.   
Indeed, it was Circe that reminded me that Washington Irving had, himself,  speculated on this very "coincidence" in his Legend of Sleepy Hollow tale. To prove her point, she cracked opened a copy of Irving's book just purchased at the Kyjuit gift shop on the Rockefeller Foundation estate, scene of the annual Halloween activities that tourists flock to this region along the Hudson every fall season.

To quote Irving: "A drowsy, dreamy influence seems to hang over the land, and to pervade the very atmosphere. Some say that the place was bewitched by a high German doctor during the early days of the settlement; others, that an old Indian chief, the prophet or wizard of his tribe, held his powwows there before the country was discovered by Master Hendrick Hudson. Certain it is, the place still continues under the sway of some witching power that holds a spell over the minds of the good people, causing them t walk in a continual reverie. They are given to all kinds of marvelous beliefs, are subject to trances and visions, an frequently see strange sights and hear music and voices in the air. The whole neighborhood abounds with local tales, haunted spots, and twilight superstitions; stars shoot and meteors glare oftener across the valley than in any other part of the country. . . "

One almost has to scratch their head in disbelief that this paragraph was written two hundred -- give or take -- years ago. It seems like something a contemporary ghost hunter like our pal Joshua Warren might write in  one of his scripts for the Discovery Channel.

As we hunkered down for the evening -- after hours of paranormal musings -- we couldn't help but reflect on how the area seemingly abounds in the macabre. In fact, all around us were signs and symbols that a spooky October was in the works for the area just up the river from our  vampiric crypts.


Three thousand hand carved pumpkins are the decidedly spooky backdrop for a spine tingling event set on the grounds of the 18th Century Van Courtland Manor. You might be a bit too scared to nip away at those pumpkin cookies or sip down that warming cup of hot apple cider, as you experience the SCARECROW AVALANCHE and PUMPKIN PROMENADE.  


Join Jonathan Kruk for a lively reading and reenactment of the Legend of Sleepy Hollow at the Philipsburg Manor. For Legend Weekend (October 28-30) there will be candle lanterns and bonfires, and a haunted landscape to set the mood. Say doesn't that fellow with the crooked nose  over there look like??? Nah, it can't be!

Sponsored by the Historic Hudson Valley Society, more information can be found at: www.hudsonvalley.org  or for ticket information call 9l4-631-8200.


Numerous bed and breakfasts dot the scenic area. The Doubletree right on the Hudson offers a breathtaking view, but we were stopped at the entrance by the burly  ghoul in charge who informed us before we even had  time to twist our heads around, that the palatial estate was being renovated and thus closed to all. So I guess even the Horseman won't be staying there on Ole Hallows Eve.
If your budget is up to it and you are looking for really lavish grounds, go ahead and plop yourself down on one of the beds at the Tarrytown House. The restaurant wasn't open when we where there so we had to venture out into the crisp autumn air. This slight incontinence was offset by the use of the heated indoor pool (just call me Creepo the prune) and the fact looking out the window at around 3 AM I thought I saw a specter under the flood lights in back of the complex where we should have been fast asleep and not watching the Sci Fi Channel.


For lunch there is the Horseman saloon and the Sleepy Hollow Cafe (service is fine but if your seated outside you notice the sidewalk slants more than it does  in one of those mystery vortex spots).

For about the best meal ever in an absolutely superb setting stop by Harvest-on-the Hudson in Hasting on the Hudson. Its right on the Hudson (boy isn't that repetitive) and outdoor dinning for lunch will be a treat you won't forget for a long time. Lots of indoor seating as well, and a bar that  goes on for miles (thank you, but we had our Bloody Mary's on the lawn).

Thus ended our little adventure...Being psycho -- I mean psychic -- I asked Circe about the vibes. She didn't appear to be scared out of her wits despite the traffic headed home, so I guess the spirits weren't as restless as they might have been.

So do we plan to return to Sleepy Hollow and Tarrytown to search for more spirits?  It could well be that sometime in the not to distant future we might set up shop to film our own version of Sleepy Hollow -- except it will called CREEPY HOLLOW.        
Happy Halloween from Mr Creepo, Circe, and the staff of the Conspiracy Journal
and www.MrCreepo.com


Annabelle: The True Story of a Demonic Doll
By Rob Morphy

The smash hit motion picture “The Conjuring” — based on the harrowing story of the Perron family’s encounter with an evil entity and how they were saved by controversial demonologists, Ed and Lorraine Warren — has earned tens of millions of dollars and spawned as many nightmares worldwide. But while the core story of possession and witchcraft may have propelled the plot forward, it is the allegedly true story of a demonic doll named Annabelle that has left a lingering shadow on the memories of moviegoers across the globe; transforming this arguably inanimate (and ostensibly cursed) object into a surprise pop-culture phenomenon.

Let me be frank right from the outset: “I hate dolls.” Always have.

It started with a dotty old great-aunt, who (of course) lived in a dusty, labyrinthine manor full of long corridors, peeling wallpaper, the lingering scent of mothballs and rooms that all seemed to have at least one porcelain doll with a cracked face that leered menacingly down at me from whatever perch it had made home.

As my beard began to transform from random Klingon-like patches into a cohesive whole and my school days drifted farther and farther into my past, I began to dismiss those childhood fears. I convinced myself that fearing inanimate objects was foolish, but I still harbored an intuitive distaste for dolls; especially old ones.

While looking for curios in old thrift stores and junk shops, I would always grow uneasy when I would catch a figurine or (God forbid) a marionette unmistakably staring at me with its glassy, dead eyes and a bio-electric chill would ripple up my neck. Oh, I’d act cool (especially if I was with my girlfriend) and chuckle and tell myself that it was all in my head, but a part of me knew better… and that’s how I knew, when I hunkered down to watch the aforementioned film, “The Conjuring”, that I had been right all along.

The Original Devil Doll

Like all cinematic depictions of purportedly factual stories, the filmmakers responsible for “The Conjuring” have taken some liberties with the source material. The bizarre case of  Annabelle is no exception, as the pig tailed, rosy cheeked, ghastly apparition from the movie was, in actuality, a run of the mill Raggedy Ann doll.

Now, for the seven of you out there who might not know what that is, Raggedy Ann is an adorable rag doll with a triangle nose and a mop of red yarn for hair. The character was created by writer (and marketing genius) Johnny Gruelle when his daughter brought him an old doll and he drew a face on it. Gruelle would go on to feature the character in a series of children’s books he wrote and, following the tragic death of his daughter, as the symbol for a virulent anti-vaccination campaign. On September 7, 1915, he received a U.S. Patent for his Raggedy Ann doll and with it a toy legend was born.

The Birthday Gift

The particular doll in question, the one which would serve as the inspiration for James Wan’s disturbing plaything in “The Conjuring”, was first purchased in an antique shop in 1970, by a woman looking for a unique birthday present for her daughter, Donna.

The woman, who’s name (much like the ark from “Raiders”) has evidently been lost somewhere in the annals of paranormal research, must have concluded that the antiquated, child-sized rag doll would be the perfect gift for her daughter who was just about to graduate from nursing school. Apparently she was correct in her assumption and, even though Donna was not known to be a collector of dolls, she happily brought the object into to the apartment that she shared with another nursing student, Angie. Once there the Raggedy Ann doll was tossed on the bed and promptly forgotten about… for the first few days anyway.

At initial the signs that something was amiss were subtle. From time to time, Donna would notice that the toy seemed to have changed position slightly, but simply attributed it to a jostling of the bed or something equally mundane. As the weeks passed, however, the doll’s erratic movements became more troubling and both Donna and Angie became genuinely alarmed when they returned home to find the rag doll standing upright and leaning against a chair in the dining room, as if it had frozen mid-step when it heard the door open.

It was then that Donna and Angie realized that there was something truly bizarre about the doll. Donna would later describe the unsettling situation to renowned paranormal investigators, Ed and Lorraine Warren. According to Donna:

    “I put it on my bed each morning after the bed was made. The arms would be off to its sides and its legs would be straight out — just like it’s sitting there now. But when we’d come home at night, the arms and legs would be positioned in different gestures. For instance, its legs would be crossed at the ankles, or its arms would be folded in its lap. After a week or so, this made us suspicious. So to test it, I purposely crossed its arms and legs in the morning to see if it really was moving. And sure enough, every night when we’d come back home, the arms and legs would be uncrossed and the thing would be sitting there in any of a dozen different postures.”

At times Donna would leave the doll on the bed only to find that it had mysteriously migrated to the living room and was now sitting on the couch with its arms and legs crossed almost indignantly. In other instances, Donna would leave the doll on the couch only to return home to discover that it was now in her bedroom — with the door latched shut! Angie shed some more light on this odd increase in apparently paranormal activity:

    “The doll also changed rooms by itself. We came home one night and the Annabelle doll was sitting in a chair by the front door. It was kneeling! The funny thing about it was, when we tried to make the doll kneel, it’d just fall over. It couldn’t kneel. Other times we’d find it sitting on the sofa, although when we left the apartment in the morning it’d be in Donna’s room with the door closed!”

Messages from Beyond

The girls, becoming more and more perturbed by this strange turn of events, decided to confide in a male friend that the Warrens’ chronicle only as “Lou”. Lou claimed that he realized that something about the doll was evil the moment he laid eyes on it. Donna and Angie, though made anxious by the toy’s clandestine mobility, were not prepared to believe that anything insidious was afoot.

That was when curious notes began to appear around the apartment. Donna and Angie both found strips of parchment paper upon which would be scrawled the words “HELP US” or “HELP LOU” in a conspicuously child-like fashion, although in the movie the filmmakers apparently decided that “MISS ME?” would be for unnerving. This startling development perplexed Donna:

    “It would leave us little notes and messages. The handwriting looked to be that of a small child… Lou wasn’t in any kind of jeopardy at the time. And who ‘us’ was we didn’t know. Still, the thing that was weird was that the notes would be written in pencil, but when we tried to find one, there was not one pencil in the apartment! And the paper it wrote on was parchment. I tore the apartment apart, looking for parchment paper, but again neither of us had any such thing.”

Lou became convinced that these notes were from the doll, which was attempting to communicate with its human hosts. But the nurses, being women of science, began to wonder if someone they knew might not have come across a door key and decided to have some fun at their expense by playing an elaborate hoax on them.

To that end, Donna and Angie became amateur sleuths and began marking windows and arranging carpets against the doors to reveal if they had any intruders in their absence. Much to their chagrin their traps lay unmoved while the doll continued to have it’s run of the apartment.

Still, the roommates took solace from that fact that while they might have a “living doll” sharing their home, it seemed not to have any nefarious intentions. In fact, according to Donna, that Christmas the odd being even seemed to offer them a small present:

    “Christmas, we found a little chocolate boot on the stereo that none of us had bought. Presumably it came from Annabelle.”

Sadly, the state of affairs with the entity living in their home would not remain harmonious for long. Angie recalled another seemingly supernatural occurrence in the apartment:

    “One time a statue lifted up across the room, then it tumbled in the air and fell on the floor. None of us were near the statue; it was on the other side of the room. That incident frightened us totally.”

Things would only get worse from that moment on.

The Bleeding Doll

Less than two months after these bizarre events began, Donna and Angie returned home, weary after a long day of school.

Of course, neither of the women were particularly surprised to find that the doll had managed to make its way from the living room back into Donna’s bed, but this time Donna claimed that she suddenly was struck by a feeling that something was wrong and that the doll seemed to have a ominous aura about it.

Hesitantly, the women approached the doll and that was when they noticed that the inanimate object was oozing blood from its hands and chest. Angie described the scene:

    “The Annabelle doll was sitting on Donna’s bed, as was usual. When we came home one night, there was blood on the back of its hand, and there were three drops of blood on its chest!”

Added Donna: “God, that really scared us!”

The now terrified roommates decided that they would have to seek the help of someone more experienced in paranormal activity than themselves. It was then that they decided to call in…

The Medium

Following the “bleeding doll” incident, the roommates resolved to find out just what it was that they were sharing their apartment with.

To that end, Donna and Angie decided to contact a medium in order to conjure up and communicate with whatever was inhabiting the doll.

The unidentified medium agreed to perform a séance in the nurses’ apartment. In Donna’s own words:

    “So Angie and I got in touch with a woman who’s a medium. That was about a month, or maybe six weeks after all this stuff started to happen.”

The medium wasted no time in entering a trance and before long she was weaving a heartbreaking tale of a young girl named Annabelle Higgins, whose body was discovered in the field upon which their apartment complex had been constructed. According to Donna:

    “We learned that a little girl died on this property, She was seven years-old and her name was Annabelle Higgins. The Annabelle spirit said she played in the fields long ago before these apartments were built. They were happy times for her. She told us.”

The medium was unable to ascertain the details of the girl’s death, but in telling Annabelle’s story, she had inadvertently tugged at the heartstrings of these compassionate, young women. Donna continued to detail Annabelle’s plight as heard through the medium:

    “Because everyone around here was grown-up, and only concerned with their jobs, there was no one she (Annabelle) could relate to, except us. Annabelle felt that we would be able to understand her. That’s why she began moving the rag doll. All Annabelle wanted was to be loved, and so she asked if she could stay with us and move into the doll. What could we do? So we said yes.”

Angie would explain the logic behind their decision: “It seemed harmless enough. We’re nurses, you know, we see suffering every day. We had compassion. Anyway, we called the doll Annabelle from that time on.”

There is no way that these kind women could have imagined at the time just how terrible a mistake inviting this apparently innocent apparition to live inside the rag doll would prove to be.

The Nightmare Begins

As things between the newly christened Annabelle and her roommates seemed to be entering a new phase of détente, Lou maintained that he sensed something dangerous about the itinerant doll and admonished Donna to get rid of it.

She refused his request, feeling that getting rid of the doll would be the equivalent of abandoning a child. But even though Annabelle was not removed, it seems apparent that she was not pleased by Lou’s interference.

Lou understood that there was something fundamentally wrong with the doll, but was not prepared for the hellish encounter he would have when it followed him home. The Warrens related the experience Lou had not long after turning in for the night:

    “Lou awoke one night from a deep sleep and in panic. Once again he had a reoccurring bad dream. Only this time somehow, something seemed different. It was as though he was awake but couldn’t move. He looked around the room but couldn’t discern anything out of the ordinary and then it happened. Looking down toward his feet he saw the doll, Annabelle.”

Lou continued to recount his petrifying experience:

    “While I was lying there, I saw myself wake up. Something seemed wrong to me. I looked around the room, but nothing was out of place. But then when I looked down toward my feet, I saw the rag doll, Annabelle. It was slowly gliding up my body. It moved over my chest and stopped. Than it put its arms out. One arm touched one side of my neck, the other touched the other side like it was making an electrical connection. Then I saw myself being strangled. I might as well have been pushing on a wall, because it wouldn’t move. It was literally strangling me to death, I couldn’t help myself, no matter how hard I tried.”

The Warrens concluded the harrowing tale:

    “Paralyzed and gasping for breath Lou, at the point of asphyxiation, blacked out. Lou awoke the next morning, certain it wasn’t a dream. Lou was determined to rid himself of that doll and the spirit that possessed it.”

Lou felt as if whatever was animating the doll was warning him to mind his own business, but out of concern for his friends, he refused to be deterred. It would be back at Donna and Angie’s apartment that Annabelle would strike again.

The following evening, while preparing for a road trip, Lou and Angie were alone, studying maps in in the living room just before 11 pm. Without warning, the pair heard an odd shuffling sound emanating from Donna’s room. Angie was concerned that someone might have broken into the apartment, but Lou feared that it might be something much worse.

Lou, summoning a courage that I’m not sure I could replicate, crept toward Donna’s bedroom door. He paused outside the entrance until the sounds abated, then eased the door open and anxiously flipped on the light switch.

The room was empty, save for Annabelle, which seemed to have been haphazardly thrown into the corner of the room. Lou entered the space and apprehensively approached the crumpled rag doll. It was then that he claimed to have felt a tingling sensation on the back of his neck, as if he was being watched from behind. Lou explained the feeling in an interview with the Warrens:

    “But as I got close to the doll, I got the distinct impression that somebody was behind me. I swung around instantly and, well….”

At this point Angie interjected:

    “He won’t talk about that part. When Lou turned around there wasn’t anybody there, but he suddenly yelled and grabbed for his chest. He was doubled over, cut and bleeding when I got to him. Blood was all over his shirt. Lou was shaking and scared and we went back out into the living room. We then opened his shirt and there on his chest was what looked to be a sort of claw mark!”

On his chest were seven slices. Four were horizontal and three vertical. Both the Warrens, Donna and Angie confirmed that the wounds existed, but unfortunately no one bothered to take any photographs. Oddly, the Marks (which Lou claimed burned horribly and actually radiated heat) were all but gone the next day and completely vanished a mere forty-eight hours later.

Enter the Warrens

Not sure where else to turn — and now realizing that they were dealing with something much worse than the benign spirit of a lonely child — the trio decided to contact a someone in the clergy. The first man they got a hold of was an Episcopalian priest named Father Hegan. Hegan went to the apartment and allowed the witnesses to explain their dire predicament.

Hegan understood the gravity of their situation, but felt that he was not qualified to deal with it himself, so he referred them to one of his superiors, Father Cooke. It would be Cooke who would contact the most experienced demonologists he knew of — the now legendary husband and wife team of Ed and Lorraine Warren, who were also part of the Amityville Horror investigation — and put them on the case.

The Warrens wasted no time in contacting the group and upon interviewing the three witnesses, Ed Warren (a devout Catholic as well as paranormal investigator) seemed astounded that these young adults were so quick to trust the words of the ghost as spoken through the medium. Ed Warren summed up the situation thusly during his interview with Donna, Angie and Lou:

    ”To begin with, there is no Annabelle! There never was. You were duped. However, we are dealing with a spirit here. The teleportation of the doll while you were out of the apartment, the appearance of notes written on parchment, the manifestation of three symbolic drops of blood, plus the gestures the doll made are all meaningful. They tell me there was intent, which means there was an intelligence behind the activity. But ghosts, human spirits, plain and simply can’t bring on phenomena of this nature and intensity. They don’t have the power.”

At about this point Lou interjected: “It’s a damn voodoo doll, that’s what it is… I told them about that thing a long time ago. The doll was just taking advantage of them.”

Nevertheless, Donna defended the position that she and Angie had previously assumed in protecting Annabelle:

    “It was the spirit of Annabelle we cared about! How were we to know anything? But looking back on it now, maybe we shouldn’t have given the doll so much credence. But really, we saw the thing as being no more than a harmless mascot. It never hurt anything… at least until the other day.”

After completing the interview, inspecting the rag doll, checking Lou’s wounds and confirming that none of the eyewitnesses ever saw the specter of the child in the apartment, the Warrens came to the startling conclusion that it was not a ghost that they were dealing with, but an actual demon.

Even more chillingly, the Warrens postulated that the doll itself was not actually possessed by an evil entity, but that the doll was a conduit between the earthly realm and hell itself.

They also affirmed that the medium had been manipulated in order to gain the trust of the people in the apartment, leading to what they called an “infestation” of the home.

The Warrens further claimed that the “inhuman demonic spirit,“ had preyed upon the nursing students’ intrinsic compassion by pretending it was a lost child. According to Ed Warren:

    “…what has happened is something inhuman has taken over here. Demonic. Ordinarily people aren’t bothered by inhuman demonic spirits, unless they do something to bring the force into their lives. Your first mistake was to give the doll recognition, that is the reason why the spirit moved into the doll to draw attention to itself. Once it had your attention, it exploited you, it simply brought you fear and even injury. Inhuman spirits, enjoy inflicting pain, it’s negative. Your next mistake was calling in a medium, The demonic has to somehow get your permission to interfere in your life. Unfortunately, through your own free will, you gave it that permission.”

Adding to the shock that the three friends were no doubt experiencing at that moment, the Warrens went on to insist that following Lou’s attack, the demon’s next movie would be to exit Annabelle and enter one them for the purpose of “complete human possession” followed, almost inevitably, by murder. According to Ed Warren:

    “Spirits don’t possess things, spirits possess people. Instead, the spirits simply moved the doll around and gave it the illusion of being alive. Now, what happened to Lou earlier this week was bound to occur sooner or later. In fact, you all were in jeopardy of coming under possession by this spirit, this is what the thing was really after. But Lou didn’t believe in the charade, so he was an ongoing threat to the entity. There was bound to be a showdown. Had the spirit been given another week or two, you might have been killed.”

This, according to the Warrens, left student nurses with just one recourse…

The Rite of Exorcism

The Warrens then decided that the best course of action would be to invoke the power of an exorcism blessing to banish the malevolent monstrosity from the doll.

They contacted an Episcopal priest named Father Cooke who was at first reluctant to get involved with this case, but eventually yielded after the Warrens explained just how dire the situation had become.

Ed Warren explained how the Episcopalian blessing differed from the more famous Catholic rite of exorcism:

    “The Episcopal blessing of the home is a wordy, seven page document that is distinctly positive in nature. Rather than specifically expelling evil entities from the dwelling, the emphasis is instead directed toward filling the home with the power of the positive and of God.”

Unlike most cinematic versions of an exorcism, the ritual occurred without much commotion from the demonic doll. Following the sacred ceremony, Father Cooke extended the blessing to Donna, Angie, Lou and the Warrens, then (in what I hope was his best Zelda Rubenstein voice) declared that the demon was no longer going to be able to harm them… The Warrens weren’t so sure.

The Aftermath

Following Father Cooke’s exorcism, Ed and Lorraine — still doubtful that the demon had actually been banished from the potentially homicidal Annabelle — suggested they remove the doll from the home. Donna, eager to be rid of the nightmarish entity, readily consented to their request.

Ed then cautiously picked up the hateful doll and handed it to Lorraine, whereupon Father Cooke (who was evidently not completely convinced of the exorcism’s effectiveness either) warned Ed not to drive home on the interstate, lest the inhuman entity managed to linger within the doll and tried to influence the car.

Lorraine then placed the doll into the backseat of his car, buckled up, Ed started the engine and — in what must have been one of the most stressful late night drives in human history — they began their lengthy journey home. Ed took the priest’s advice and stuck to the winding back roads, where few other drivers would be jeopardized by their diabolical passenger… it would turn out to be a wise decision.

According to the Warrens, whenever they approached a sharp curve, their vehicle would inevitably stall, causing the brakes and power steering to fail simultaneously and sending them perilously close to driving off the road. They also had more than one near collision with a passing car. Finally Ed had had enough and he reached into his black bag, removed a vile of holy water and doused the rag doll with the sign of the cross. The doll would behave normally for the rest of the ride.

Once home, Ed (inexplicably) placed the doll into a chair adjacent to his desk. He reported that the doll levitated on more than one occasion, then seemed to fall in an lifeless state. This hiatus lasted only a few weeks and before long, Annabelle was up to her old tricks.

The Warrens claimed that they had locked Annabelle in the outer office building before setting out on a trip, but when they returned home and opened the front door they discovered that the doll was facing them, perched contentedly on Ed’s easy chair, as if mocking their efforts to contain it.

The doll would also, much like in her previous home, randomly appear in different rooms of the house, startling the Warrens.

Finally the Warrens had enough of  Annabelle’s unnatural antics and they decided to bring in the big guns; a Catholic priest and exorcist by the name of Father Jason Bradford. By all accounts, Father Bradford did not take to kindly to being called in to deal with this alleged “devil doll.”

According to reports of the encounter, Father Bradford brashly approached the then inert doll and ripped it up from its seat, screaming: “Your just a rag doll Annabelle, you can’t hurt anyone!” At which point he threw the doll back down on the chair. Ed blanched at his vitriolic demeanor and stated: “That’s one thing you better not say.”

Lorraine was also disturbed by Father Bradford’s dismissive behavior and begged the priest to be careful while driving and to call her when he got back to the rectory. The call did not come until late in the evening when the shaken priest told Lorraine that his brakes had given out just as he had approached a hectic intersection. His car was demolished and he and the others involved barely survived the accident.

It was then that the Warrens decided that Annabelle was simply too dangerous to be exposed to the world, so they had a specially sealed case built for the doll — a sort of glass coffin — plastered with a sign which read: “WARNING, POSITIVELY DO NOT OPEN.”

The case, which the demon doll inhabits to this day, was placed in a room full of supposedly cursed objects that the Warrens had taken out of circulation and the door was locked.

Eventually, the Warrens turned their terrifying collection into an “Occult Museum,” which is open to the public. The now incarcerated Annabelle seems to be unable to move, but that does not mean that her nefarious powers have diminished.

Arguably the most disturbing tale associated with this malicious rag doll involves a young couple who were touring the museum with Ed as a guide. After Ed had explained the background story of Annabelle, the young man — full of the hubris of youth and no doubt trying to impress his innamorata — pounded on the glass case and challenged the doll to rise up and scratch him.

Ed wasted no time escorting the couple out of the museum stating: “son you need to leave.” Ed watched as the couple drove off on the young beau’s motorcycle and was, sadly, one of the last people to ever seem him alive.

According to his girlfriend, just after they left the museum, they were laughing about the silly stories surrounding the doll when the man abruptly lost control of his motorcycle and crashed into a tree. He was killed instantly and his girlfriend required over a year of hospitalization. While many skeptics would insist that this was nothing more than a sorrowful coincidence, the Warrens were convinced that they had incurred the wrath of Annabelle.

Ed Warren passed away in 2006, and Lorraine, now in her eighties, remains a thoroughly dedicated paranormal  investigator. She claims that while Annabelle has not been able to break out from her case, she still manages to shift positions and, on occasion, has even been known to growl at unwary and no doubt terrified visitors.

There’s so much to consider in terms of the legitimacy of this case…

Are we talking about genuine demonic possession or diabolical manipulation? A misunderstood haunting? A bizarre series of events embellished by media darling demonologists? Or one of the most elaborate paranormal hoaxes ever pulled off; resulting in a legend of a possessed doll so terrifying that it  makes Chucky from “Child’s Play” look like a Cabbage Patch kid?

The truth, such as it is, remains buried in the memories of just a handful of individuals and is likely never to see the light of day. And while I remain skeptical about this (and most) possession cases, I feel obliged to admit that if I am ever invited to peruse the shelves of the Warren’s Occult Museum and come face to face with Annabelle. I will graciously offer said invitee the chance to “piss off.”

Because no matter how rational I may be sitting in front of this keyboard with the sunlight pouring over my shoulders and a cold brew mere inches from my hand, in my heart of hearts I know that dolls are pure, unrefined, one-hundred percent evil… and no once can convince me otherwise.

And, putting all rationality aside, I shudder to think that the Warrens actually were right and Annabelle (or whatever is inside if her) might just be biding her time, waiting for her caretaker to expire, so that it can be unleashed by less responsible hands onto an unsuspecting world…

In the meantime, I might never go into a toy store again.

Source: Mysterious Universe


My Louisiana Ghost Story
By Andrew Evans

In an unnamed house in an unnamed town in a state named after King Louis XIV, I met a ghost.

We were never introduced properly – in fact, the housekeeper denied any and all ghosts the minute I walked in.

“Oh no, it’s not haunted – at least I’ve never seen anything,” she announced as she led me through the grand entryway and into the hallway dressed up with fall flower arrangements. The century-old house was massive – one huge square room after another, and each one decorated with antique parlor furniture, huge potted plants, heavy-framed mirrors and paintings, and crystal chandeliers that hung like glowing, upside-down wedding dresses.

It was a beautiful Southern mansion that like so many in Louisiana, now functions as a luxurious bed-and-breakfast. The housekeeper showed me my suite for the night – a tremendous king-size bed that weighed a few tons, smothered in a pile of pillows and with more white lace and satin than a royal christening.

I set my bags down on the floor and took in the size of the room—an immense place, cathedral-like.

“You’ll be staying alone in the house,” the housekeeper added, “There are no other guests tonight.”

I was afraid that would be the situation. It’s not the first time in my travels that I’ve been the sole inhabitant of some oversize, historic property. I’m used to it, though it’s not always comfortable.

“As long as you say it’s not haunted,” I joked, but the housekeeper did not laugh. In fact, she looked a little concerned.

“No, it’s not haunted,” she reassured me, but two seconds later, she began to elaborate. “Oh, there are stories, but nobody’s ever seen anything.” She paused, “I’ve never seen anything.”

I asked her to tell me more about the “stories” and out of the housekeeper’s mouth tumbled one Grade A Southern ghost story. Apparently the Cajun family who owned the house two owners ago reported the ghost of a little girl who, when she was alive, used to get locked up in the wooden closet under the stairs. Locked in the dark she would kick and scream against the door, a habit that she carried on into her next life.

Despite closing that door every night, the Cajun family noticed the closet door would always be wide open in the morning. Eventually, they began leaving little toys inside the closet at night to appease the unhappy little ghost.

The housekeeper told me this as if it were perfectly normal—and in my travels I’ve gathered that ghosts are pretty normal in Louisiana.

“Last year we had a Halloween party in the house and a lot of people dressed up as the ghosts that haunt their own houses. Guess what my costume was?” The housekeeper was suddenly cheerful again, “I dressed up as the little girl from under the stairs!”  She wore a short black dress, put her hair in pigtails and walked around with an armful of toys.

I think I could have handled just about anything—if the housekeeper had told me that someone had hung himself in the foyer, or that the mansion was under some swamp curse, or that it was built on top of some old French cemetery—well, I would have coped fine with any of those.

But no—instead she was describing a bothered little girl ghost trapped in a closet with an armful of old-fashioned toys. Now that was super creepy.

The housekeeper offered to spend the night in the house as well, but I said no—I’d be fine in the house alone. At least, I thought I’d be fine.

Honestly, I thought very little of her ghost stories. I’ve traveled to enough odd places and gathered my own private collection of unexplained phenomena that I prefer to keep private and unexplained. I wasn’t ready to add an old Louisiana mansion to my list—it almost seemed too banal.

My Cajun housekeeper was friendly and welcoming. She showed me around the town and introduced me to nearly every person we ran into. I ended up having dinner with her and her husband at the local seafood restaurant and for hours we swapped stories and laughed.

“In Louisiana, you’re a friend until proven otherwise.” That’s what everyone had told me and I had found it to be quite true. From the minute you met someone, they were genuinely warm and hospitable.

It was only when she drove me back to the house that the housekeeper mentioned the ghost again.

“Oh, you’re gonna hear things tonight. You will,” she laughed nervously. Her approach had changed from a few hours earlier when she flat-out denied any kind of haunting.

I laughed it off and waved goodbye to the two of them as they drove away, then unlocked the door with my key and entered the house alone.

A few lights has been left on in some of the rooms and I did not feel the need to start walking around the huge house to turn them off one by one. Instead I made my way to my first-floor bedroom and then into the bathroom where I changed for bed and brushed my teeth.

That’s when I felt it—that really dreadful sensation of being watched by someone else. I felt coldness on the back of my neck and my spine tingled. I stared at my face in the mirror but there was nothing else there—no apparitions or vague reflections. I left the room and then shut the glass-paneled bathroom door, certain that I was simply scaring myself.

I sat down at the table, opened my laptop and began answering e-mail. It was a quarter ‘til eleven and the glow from my computer pulled me away from any fears and kept me focused on the mundane realities of our digital lives.

At eleven o’clock the noises started.

Sh-sh-sh, sh-sh-sh-sh.

A pair of feet shuffled across the bathroom floor. I turned towards the door I had just closed. It was still closed—the only entrance into that room. The noise repeated itself—a pair of feet shuffling across the floor then stopping right at the other side of the bathroom door.

My fingers froze on the keyboard and I tried to think rationally. Certainly, the sounds had come from someone walking, and it was from inside the bathroom.

Yes, I was scared. My mind went through all the other things that might be making the noise—someone else entering the house, some (very large) wild animal scurrying about—but no, those had been feet pattering along the floor.

That’s when I crawled into the giant bed and took up my defensive position, armed pitifully with my cell phone and laptop.

At midnight, I heard a loud thump upstairs. Then another followed by another.  Soon there was clatter all about—dull thuds, a few bangs, followed by the sound of someone (or many?) walking around on the second floor. I remained frozen in my bed, tweeting my terror out into the great digital cloud.

“There are strange noises coming from upstairs.” I was using Twitter to document the paranormal event that was unfolding around me.

Yes, I was terrified. I hadn’t taken the housekeeper seriously and now it was nearly midnight and I was stuck in a giant bed in a giant mansion that had suddenly come alive with strange noises.

No, they were not simply “old house” noises that old houses make. There was no air conditioning or heat running. It was not simply the humid air turning cooler and the house settling back into its foundations, as many Twitter followers tried to explain to me. I was confident that I was the only person in the house, and yet the sounds from upstairs had me convinced someone else was moving around up there.

A few minutes later, I heard the sound of someone running down the stairs. Whatever it was had joined me on the first floor. I stared at the bedroom door, then reverted to Facebook chat for some kind of small comfort.

I chatted with friends in different countries, explaining my dilemma—that I was wide awake in a house which was most likely haunted by a traumatized little girl and that honestly, this was the kind of adventure on which I’d be happy to take a pass.

Eventually, the footsteps went back up the stairs and the clatter intensified. I wanted to laugh—but couldn’t—as I read my Twitter friends arguing about the existence of ghosts, all the while I was listening to what sounded like bowling balls rolling around on the floor above me and doors slamming shut.

Via social media, I began to get a flood of real-time advice on how to deal with my real-time haunting. Some said to confront the “thing”, others said to call the police and report intruders, a few insisted I turn on the TV, some said to pray to St. Michael, others said St. Joseph was better with this sort of thing. The Hindus in India said to burn incense. My friend who’s a nun in Europe told me to leave the house immediately (which did not make me feel better about my situation).

I don’t remember sleeping much, but eventually my body grew so tired that I lay down, wrapped up like a mummy in my blankets. The house became silent once more, and for several hours I listened to the stillness, still terrified but hopeful that the worst was over. All I had to do was make it until morning.

I awoke at around 4 a.m. to the sound of tinkling glass, which grew louder and louder. It was the sound of crystal glasses clinking against crystal. Then somebody was stacking china.

My mind reflected on everything I had heard through the night.  I mentally begged the ghost(s) to shut up so that I could get some sleep. I thought of the last family who had lived here, how they had appeased the ghost with toys. I had no toys to offer—the only thing I had in my bag was a small harmonica that I had recently purchased. For a second I was relieved, as if I had something positive to offer the ghost, but then I realized that if I suddenly heard a harmonica playing in the darkness I would probably die of cardiac arrest.

And so I stayed in bed until morning, not sleeping and not moving. I waited until I heard the housekeeper arrive and begin preparing breakfast back in the kitchen—only then did I crawl out of bed, open the bathroom door, take a shower and get dressed. I took my bags out into the car, then re-entered the house through the kitchen.

The housekeeper acted nonchalant. She gave me breakfast and chatted about the weather until I finally interrupted. I told her what happened—all the different sounds that I had heard, and how I had been kept awake for most of the night.

She responded with a few confessions. “You know, my son won’t even set foot in this house. He’ll come to the door but won’t ever cross into it.” As a teenager, he played with the owner’s son inside the house and had one creepy experience that kept him away ever since. The housekeeper also told me about her little niece talking alone upstairs, chatting with some unseen friend. Then she told me about the “professional” ghost hunters who had come in and recorded floating orbs and EVPs and plastered the images all over the internet—all the ghost buster stuff that’s lately become so popular on television.

And yet she would never admit that she had any proof of anything. She needed the house not to be haunted, which made sense to me. (If I worked all day in a big old Southern mansion, I would not want it to be haunted either.)

Still, as we talked, the housekeeper repeatedly acknowledged the very real possibility of some kind of ghost, as well as the owner’s own understanding that the house was special. Perhaps that’s why she keeps telling people the house is not haunted.

“If there is something in the house, then we don’t want the wrong kind of people coming in and provoking it —we don’t want anyone bothering it.”  That seemed the right attitude, although I am personally unacquainted with Southern ghost etiquette. Yet I was surprised by the housekeeper’s duality on the subject.

All that I know is that I stayed alone in that house all night long, during which time I heard a lot of unexplained noises.

Yes, perhaps my mind played tricks all night, maybe giant raccoons were wearing people slippers and running up and down the floors. Maybe the neighbor kids snuck into the house and played tricks on me.

Or maybe, just maybe, there was a ghost of a little girl, who escaped her prisoner’s closet beneath the stairs and ran amok all night, down and up the stairs, jostling the crystal and china, then giggling to herself as she scared the crap out of that tall Yankee gentleman holed up in the guest room.

Source: National Geographic

The Stone-Throwing Ghost of Guyra

In April 1921, the small farming community of Guyra was rocked, literally, by an apparent stone-throwing spirit and series of other unusual happenings. Along with the ghostly attacks, an elderly woman, with a potato in each hand, vanished into thin air, a young girl was shot in the head by her kid brother, the town’s Police Sergeant was ordered far away “for a rest” and the town was visited by a close personal friend of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.

This week, weirdaustralia explores the events that bedevilled Guyra, but captivated the nation, as witnessed by those who reported them.

The ghostly activity began around 8 April when the Bowen family experienced “tremendous thumpings” on the walls of their tiny four-roomed weatherboard cottage, located about half a mile outside Guyra on the Northern Tablelands of New South Wales. Soon, these unexplained banging sounds would be accompanied by more destructive showers of stones raining down upon the house. After initial investigations by the Bowens, there appeared to be “no human agency” involved in the wall banging and stone throwing.

These apparently supernatural attacks appeared to revolve around the Bowen’s daughter Minnie, described rather unflatteringly in a 1954 Sydney Morning Herald article as “a thin, dark, little girl with an impassive face” and academically as “not clever, and backward for her age at school”.

Wherever young Minnie went within the house, those “tremendous thumpings” would accompany her. Stones would crash through her bedroom window and land on her bed. As the attacks increased, soon every window in the house was broken. Not surprisingly, the family was left bewildered. Calling on their neighbours for help, word about the haunting quickly spread and the locals came to the family’s defence.

“Night after night, the men of the township threw a double cordon round the cottage. Night after night, the stone-throwing and the thunderous rapping on the walls continued.”

The Sydney Morning Herald revisited the Guyra Ghost mystery in a feature published on 9 March 1954 titled: A Staff Correspondent Recalls The Unsolved Riddle Of Guyra’s Ghost. The article included the following account:

“On the night of April 15 Minnie sat in a well-lighted bedroom, watched by two police officers and a number of other people. Outside ‘in weak moonlight’, 50 men patrolled the silent fields.

“About nine o’clock the silence was shattered by a loud knock on the bedroom wall, followed by two further thumps. Their force was such that the entire building shook. The women inside the house were white with fear, but Minnie remained impassive.

“A Mr Davies, who was interested in spiritualism, suggested to the child that she should ask a question, and she immediately said, ‘Is that you, May?’ naming her half-sister who had died some months before.

“Observers heard nothing, but Minnie claimed later that May had said to her, ‘Tell mother I am in heaven, and quite happy. Tell her it was her prayers which got me here, and I will look after her for the rest of my life.’”

It appears the spirit of May had a strange way of “caring” for her mother. The article continued:

“There were no further disturbances that night. But two days later the Bowen family returned from the fields to find that heavy shutters and battens, nailed over broken windows, had been smashed and piled on the verandah.

“A few nights later, when the outside of the house was illumined by a spotlight, two large stones struck a wall against which a policeman was standing.”

These constant supernatural attacks soon took their toll on everyone in the town. The local Police Sergeant, who had kept vigil at the Bowen’s house over many nights, experiencing the constant onslaught of flying stones and loud banging, soon cracked under the strain. He was sent far away from the town by his superiors “for a rest”.

It may not have only been the supernatural stone throwing and banging that took their toll on the Sergeant’s nerves, however. The town seemed to be suffering a run of bad luck.

Just days before the vindictive Guyra Ghost began its reign of terror, the townspeople of Guyra had been baffled by another mystery, the unexplained disappearance of an 87-year-old Irishwoman, Mrs Doran.

On 5 April, a farm worker had reported seeing Mrs Doran “walking across the fields with a potato in each hand. She topped a rise and was gone”.

Even after search parties had thoroughly scoured the entire district looking for the elderly woman, no trace of her was ever found. Mrs Doran and her two potatoes had seemingly vanished into thin air.

With the disappearance of poor Mrs Doran and the continuing stone-throwing attacks, it was little wonder the nerves of everyone in Guyra were frayed. And the town’s apparent run of bad luck was set to continue.

Nobody in Guyra now felt safe without a weapon and it was reported that “the women of the district began to sleep with guns within easy reach of their hands”.

Just how a gun is supposed to protect one from unseen supernatural forces remains unclear, however.

Unfortunately, this sudden reliance on firearms for protection led to near-tragedy. The Sydney Morning Herald reported in Guyra Mystery. Stone Throwing Continues on 30 April that:

“A revolver left handy on a bedroom table in a tradesman’s house near the railway station, in case the ghost walked in, was picked up by a little boy of five years. He evidently thought it was a toy pistol, and fired it. The bullet entered the skull of his sister, aged 6, and, owing to its dangerous position, cannot be removed.”

Thankfully, the girl survived the accidental shooting.

Were the people of Guyra simply letting their imaginations get the better of them?

After interrogating young Minnie, a breakthrough in the perplexing case was announced by the police. They declared they had a full admission that the Guyra Ghost was a hoax.

“They [the police] suspected that some of the people among the volunteers, who kept a vigil around the house, were ‘sympathetic’ in relation to ghosts…In conjunction with an admission by a young member of the Bowen household — a girl named Minnie — that she had done a little atone throwing on her own account…”

So, was it now case closed on the Guyra Ghost? Were those volunteers “sympathetic in relation to ghosts” hurling a few rocks at the house during the night?

Could a young girl described as being “not clever, and backward for her age at school” instigate an elaborate hoax that fooled her family, her neighbours and, for a time, the police? Or, was she simply telling the police what they wanted to hear in her admission.

The people of Guyra remained unconvinced. “They do not regard the child’s confession of having thrown a few little stones as a solution of the matter.”

Unfortunately for the Bowens, the stone throwing continued despite the police having cracked the case. Mr Bowen reported that the house was again struck by a number of stones during the night. Minnie was inside the house at the time. Mr Bowen “immediately rushed outside with his gun and fired several shots in the direction whence he thought they had come.”

Following further outbreaks of stone throwing and wall banging, in May Minnie’s parents, at their wits’ end, shipped her off to her Gran’s house 60 kilometres away in Glen Innes.

While this solution brought relief to the people of Guyra, it was now Glen Innes’ problem. On 11 May The Sydney Morning Herald reported in Guyra Stone-Thrower Shifts Quarters. Operations At Glen Innes, that:

“The Guyra ghost has removed his venue from Mr Bowen’s house to that of Minnie’s grandmother (Mrs Shelton), who resides in Church Street, Glen Innes…

“…Shortly after the last night noises were heard like stones bumping on walls, the neighbours made inquiries, and the police were sent for…

“…Constable Stewart was sent along to investigate, when he and several others who had arrived were walking round the house a stone hit the window of Alf Shelton’s bedroom, breaking a pane of glass and becoming entangled in the curtain. This stone was of ordinary white metal, and was similar to many others on the footpath in front of the house. The constable kept a close watch, with Minnie inside the house, and while there heard four or five distinct sounds resembling knocks against iron at a distance, but he was not sure whether they emanated from inside or outside. He came to the conclusion that the girl was responsible, and declined to stay any length of time.”

It appears Constable Stewart was very keen to get out of that house as soon as he could.

“After his departure the inmates of the house and the neighbours outside were emphatic in their statements that they heard many noises up till midnight as of stones hitting the walls or the roof.”

It appears that the paranormal activity faded as suddenly as it had started. After a short stay with her Gran in Glen Innes, Minnie’s parents took her back home, and the activity soon “faded away”.

Dead sister’s spirit or poltergeist?

The events that took place in Guyra and Glen Innes over several months in 1921 seem less likely to be the doings of the spirit of a dead girl but more the result of poltergeist activity. After all, nobody witnessed any apparition, and apart from Minnie, nobody heard any disembodied voices. And one suspects that perhaps Minnie was simply telling people what they wanted to hear when she recounted her apparent conversation with her dead half-sister.

On 22 April, The Sydney Morning Herald explored this possibility in Guyra Mystery. Attributed To Poltergeist – Recorded Cases:

“One of the many people attracted to during the last few days by the uncanny happenings there was Mr. H. J. Moors…”

Mr Moors was a businessman with interests in the South Pacific. He was also fascinated with psychic phenomena and was a close personal friend of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. He was made aware of the case after reading an article in The Sunday Times.

After spending time talking with Minnie, police and locals involved in the events, Mr Moors was convinced that the supernatural events “were not the product of trickery, or the ghost of Minnie’s half-sister May, but the result of poltergeist activity”.

Today, investigator Paul Cropper, who is writing a book on the subject, agrees with Mr Moors’ assessment of the case. “The Guyra Ghost is possibly Australia’s best known case of a poltergeist…”

“It’s a fascinating case, and it contains almost all of the characteristics of these kinds of cases worldwide,” he told the Guyra Argus. “My own feeling is that the Guyra haunting was the real thing, and that young Minnie was unconsciously the focus – and possibly the source – of some genuinely strange events”.

Source: Weird Australia


The Lost Meaning of Halloween
By Christan Hummel

All Hallow's Eve, Hallow E'en, Halloween, Day of the Dead, Samhain. By whatever name it has been called, this special night preceding All Hallows day (November 1st) has been considered for centuries as one of the most magical nights of the year. A night of power, when the veil that separates our world from the Otherworld is at its thinnest.

As ubiquitous as Halloween celebrations are throughout the world, few of us know that the true origin of Halloween is a ceremony of honoring our ancestors and the day of the dead. A time when the veils between the worlds were thinner, and so many could "see" the other side of life. A time in the year when the spiritual and material worlds touched for a moment, and a greater potential exists for magical creation.

The name Halloween (originally spelled Hallowe'en) is a contraction of All Hallows Even, meaning the day before All Hallows Day (better known as All Saints Day), a Catholic holiday commemorating Christian saints and martyrs observed since the early Middle Ages on November 1.

It has become commonplace to trace its roots even further back in time to a pagan festival of ancient Ireland known as Samhain (pronounced sow'-en or sow'-een), about which little is actually known. The prehistoric observance marked the end of summer and the onset of winter, and is said to have been celebrated with feasting, bonfires, sacrificial offerings, and paying homage to the dead.

Despite some thematic similarities, there's scant evidence of any real continuity of tradition linking the Medieval observance of Halloween to Samhain, however. Some modern historians, notably Ronald Hutton (The Stations of the Sun: A History of the Ritual Year in Britain, 1996) and Steve Roud (The English Year, 2008, and A Dictionary of English Folklore, 2005), flatly reject the commonly held notion that November 1 was designated All Saints Day by the Church to "Christianize" the pagan festival. Citing a lack of historical evidence, Steve Roud dismisses the Samhain theory of origin altogether.

"Certainly the festival of Samhain, meaning Summer's End, was by far the most important of the four quarter days in the medieval Irish calendar, and there was a sense that this was the time of year when the physical and supernatural worlds were closest and magical things could happen," Roud notes, "but however strong the evidence in Ireland, in Wales it was May 1 and New Year which took precedence, in Scotland there is hardly any mention of it until much later, and in Anglo-Saxon England even less."

Ancient rites

In ancient times, this day was a special and honored day of the year.

In the Celtic calendar, it was one of the most important days of the year, representing a mid point in the year, Samhain, or "summer's end". Occuring opposite the great Spring Festival of May Day, or Beltain, this day represented the turning point of the year, the eve of the new year which begins with the onset of the dark phase of the year.

And while celebrated by the Celts, the origin of this day has connections to other cultures as well, such as Egypt, and in Mexico as Dia de la Muerta, or the day of the dead.

The Celts believed that the normal laws of space and time were held in abeyance during this time, allowing a special window where the spirit world could intermingle with the living. It was a night when the dead could cross the veils and return to the land of the living to celebrate with their family, or clan. As such, the great burial mounds of Ireland were lit up with torches lining the walls, so the spirits of the dead could find their way.


Out of this ancient tradition comes one of our most famous icons of the holiday: the Jack-o-lantern. Originating from Irish folkfore, the Jack-o-lantern was used as a light for the lost soul of Jack, a notorious trickster, stuck between worlds. Jack is said to have tricked the devil into a truck of a tree and by carving an image of a cross in the tree's trunk, he trapped the devil there. His pranks denied him access to Heaven, and having angered the devil also to Hell, so Jack was a lost soul, trapped between worlds. As a consolation, the devil gave him a sole ember to light his way through the darkness between worlds.

Originally in Ireland turnips were carved out and candles placed inside as lanterns lit to help guide Jack’s lost spirit back home. Hence the term: Jack-o-lanterns. Later, when immigrants came to the new world, pumpkins were more readily available, and so the carved pumpkins carrying a lit candle served the same function.

Festival for the dead

As the Church began to take hold in Europe the ancient Pagan rituals were co-opted into festivals of the Church. While the Church could not support a general feast for all the dead, it created a festival for the blessed dead, all those hallowed so, All Hallow's, was transformed into All Saints and All Souls day.

Among the practices associated with Halloween during the Medieval period were the lighting of bonfires, evidently to symbolize the plight of souls lost in purgatory, and souling, which consisted of going door-to-door offering prayers for the dead in exchange for "soul cakes" and other treats. Mumming (or "guising"), a custom originally associated with Christmas consisting of parading in costume, chanting rhymes, and play-acting, was a somewhat later addition to Halloween.

Again, however, despite the obvious similarities between old and new, it's an overstatement to say these Medieval customs "survived" to the present day, or even that they "evolved" into modern Halloween practices such as trick-or-treating. There's no direct historical evidence of such a continuity. By the time Irish immigrants brought the holiday to North America in the mid-1800s, mumming and souling were all but forgotten in their home country, where the known Halloween customs of the time consisted of praying, communal feasting, and playing divination games such as bobbing for apples.

Today, we have lost the significance of this most significant time of year which in modern times has turned into a candy fest with kids dressing up as action hereos. The secular, commercialized holiday we know today would be barely recognizable to Halloween celebrants of even just a century ago.

Many Christians believe that participating in Halloween is a form of involvement in the worthless deeds of evil and darkness. However, many consider the modern-day Halloween activities of most to be harmless fun.

Many cultures have ceremonies to honor their dead. In so doing, they complete a cycle of birth and death, and keep in line with a harmony and order of the universe, at time when we enter into the cycle of darkness for the upcoming year.

As you light your candles this year, keep in mind the true potency of this time, one of magical connections to the other side of life, and a time to remember those who have passed before us. A time to send our love and gratitude to them to light their way back home.

Source: paranormal.about.com


'Wihtikow' Legend Comes Back to Life

You might say Nathan Carlson has a possession obsession, with a keen interest in cannibalism on the side. The University of Alberta Native Studies student is doing a research project on the wihtikow (also known as ‘whetigo’ and ‘wendigo’) the evil spirit said to have haunted northern forests in former times.

There are still people in Slave Lake who heard stories about such spirit possession from their grandparents. In them, a person possessed by the evil spirit would turn to cannibalism. He could only be stopped by someone with stronger medicine (magical or spiritual power), or by decapitation.

Having perused the historical record, Carlson has found that Lesser Slave Lake area had its share of wihtikow stories.

“Lesser Slave Lake seems to be a ‘hot spot’ of wihtikow activity,” he said in an e-mail to The Leader last week. “I have heard of two cases happening at Mitsue Lake, both involving cannibalism.”

It is fairly widely accepted locally that Mitsue (a Cree word meaning ‘eating’) got its name because of incidents of cannibalism that happened there in the latter part of the 1800s. Leo and William Giroux of Slave Lake confirmed that in an interview for a story on wihtikow that appeared in The Leader on Jan. 8, 1992.

The Giroux brothers said that the person possessed by wihtikow could be cured, but once they’d eaten someone, it was too late.

“A wihtikow would kill a whole camp and stay there till he ate up everyone,” said William.

There doesn't seem to be any written records of the Mitsue area wihtikow activity. At least Carlson hasn’t found any, although he mentions the story in his thesis. But one of the more famous cases, for which there are official records, happened at or near the present townsite of Slave Lake in the summer of 1887.

“A woman by the name of Marie Courtoreille apparently turned wihtikow, and to prevent her from committing murder and cannibalism, she, herself, was executed by her husband and stepson.”

The two men were tried at Ft. Saskatchewan and received sentences of six years each.

A case at Trout Lake is also on the books. Here’s what Carlson says in his thesis:

“In 1896 a man traveling through the woods with his family reported having a strange vision of a creature that apparently made him insane. He and the villagers believed he’d turned into a windigo and as his condition worsened, he was locked in a cabin. One eyewitness, a fur trader from Scotland, stated that he hardly looked like a human being at one point. The man was eventually executed by the frightened villagers, and huge logs were piled on his grave to make sure he couldn’t come back to life, as he had vowed to do unless a priest came to the village within three days. Strangely enough a priest did arrive, apparently the first ever in that area, and found all the villagers huddled in a shack, fearing for their lives.”

It was this incident that Carlson heard about from his grandmother, leading to his decision to investigate it in his university studies. His research has turned up 35 such cases, although only one of them documented actual cannibalism.

A man was convicted of killing and eating his wife and five children near Athabasca Landing and was hanged at Ft. Saskatchewan in 1879.

Carlson says he’d like to publish his findings on the matter in an academic journal or as a book, or both.

Source: The Lakeside Leader


Haunted Phone Calls

Ghost are trying to make contact with living friends using mobile phones, a paranormal expert claims.

The number of mystery calls to mobiles attributed to spooks has rocketed by 43 per cent in the last four years, a study found.

Spectre investigator Phil Hayes from Paranormal Research UK believes a third of all hauntings are now through mobile phones.

The calls often feature heavy static and the voice sounds faint and distant, he revealed. Nine in ten show as "withheld number" or "000000000000" on caller ID.

Statistics show two thirds of all paranormal phenomena feature sounds, with just 20 per cent being actual sightings of ghosts and 15 per cent based on smell.

Around half of audible hauntings were captured on voice recorders by specialist spook hunters, with eight per cent coming through TV or radio.

New research shows one in three Brits claim to have seen an apparition in a photo or captured paranormal footage on their mobile.

The study by Tesco Mobile revealed Paranormal Research UK have seen a 70 per cent upsurge in paranormal evidence in the last year due to people using their phones.

More than half of Brits claimed they would try to capture a sighting of a ghost — but one in five admitted they would be terrified and run away.

Three in five people say they know someone who has experienced paranormal activity, with half having felt an unexplained shiver down the spine when entering a room.

Phil Hayes said: "There is evidence to suggest that ghosts can use phones to communicate, with reports of people receiving phone calls from deceased relatives."

Lance Batchelor, CEO of Tesco Mobile said: "We'd recommend those brave enough to capture any spooky sightings should MMS or email their pics to the paranormal society for investigation.

"Keep your camera phone on the highest quality resolution setting and use the recorder to capture the noise of any spectral sounds."

According to Stephen Wagner of Paranormal.about.com, cell phones, cordless phones, telephones...have become indispensable parts of our daily lives. With them we can connect with just about anyone anywhere from virtually anywhere. Voices, conversations and the business of every day moving at the speed of light on microwaves, along wires, through fiber optics, across the sky, under the ocean and sometimes into space and back. Is it possible, however, that these electronic gadgets that we've come to take for granted sometimes make connections beyond what can be logically explained?

Consider these true stories from people who have had unexplained, puzzling and sometimes downright unnerving experiences with their phones.


Many years ago, when married to my first husband, I received a telephone call at about 4:20 a.m. It was my elder brother telling me he had just gotten married. The call woke up my husband and I spoke with my brother for about five minutes. I hung up and went back to sleep. About a week or so later, I was visiting at my mother's home and this same brother was there with his wife. I thanked him for calling me... and I got this odd stare and his mouth fell open. He told me he had called our mother, but he had never called me at all. I turned to my mother and she related the entire conversation she had had with him, and then I related the entire conversation I had had with him - and these conversations were literally identical and at the exact same time. - Barbara


This strange incident happened in our home at Christmas. My husband had his cell phone on our dining room table and it was turned off for the evening. My purse was in our library, where my husband was playing a computer game with our daughter. In my purse I had my cell phone turned on. As my husband and daughter were playing, my cell phone rang. My husband picked it up and it said the incoming call was coming in from his cell phone! He thought our son was playing a prank on him and ran into the room we were in and told our son to stop messing around with his cell phone.

We laughed at him and asked him what he was talking about. He said, "Your phone just rang and it said the call was coming in from my phone!"

This is where things get weird! My son and I were both in the same room together talking and neither one of us had left the room. We weren't even in the same room as my husband's cell phone at all. My husband checked his phone and sure enough it was off just as he had left it. We can't figure out how a call came into my phone from his phone when his phone was off and there was certainly no one in the room with his phone! Strange indeed. We were all pretty mystified over the whole incident for sure! - Janine T.


My mum usually picks me up from work and she doesn't work far from me. One Tuesday night, we were driving home when I asked her how my dad's computer classes were going. My dad usually attended the computer classes every Tuesday night. She said she didn't know as she hadn't spoken to him about it. She asked me why. I replied, "Well, when I was speaking to him he said he was having some trouble. They had been given three assignments to complete, but he couldn't finish assignment number two as the computer wouldn't 'save as.' I think he eventually managed to do them all though."

"Oh, right." she said. That night, with the conversation with my mum forgotten, I was sitting watching TV, when my dad knocked on my door. He said, "I was speaking to mum earlier about the conversation you had about my computer class. How did you know we had three assignments and I had trouble with the second one?"

Confused, I said, "You told me that on the phone."

"No, I didn't. There is no way you could have known that because I have just come from my computer class. You had the conversation with mum before I went, and what you told mum happened tonight. I couldn't have known we had three assignments as I missed last week's class."

We both just sat there looking at each other trying to figure out how I knew what was going to happen before it did. I was sure we had spoken on the phone about it, but how could we if it hadn't happened? The strange thing is, I can remember my dad telling me what happened on the phone, but I can't recall how, where and when. - Cian B.


Sometime in 1999, our phone was out. My mother was at work and I was asleep when the phone rang and woke me up. I answered the phone, but didn't hear anything. I listened and then this man said something that I did not understand. I said, "What?" Then the man repeated himself.

He said, "Is this the barber shop?"
"No," I said. Then I didn't hear anything else. The phone sounded dead, so I hung up. But I soon realized that the person sounded exactly like my grandfather, who had been dead for four or five years. The phone wasn't even working at the time it rang, because after it had rung I picked it up and the phone was still out! I'm convinced it was my grandfather. - Judy W.


My sister has had some pretty interesting activity on her answering machine and phones. I have heard messages from the other side left on her answering machine. We know someone or something is trying to communicate with her using electronic energy as the mode. What we both want to know is how we can better receive these messages. The messages are sometimes hard to make out, yet some of the words are very clear. These messages are not left by human vocal chords (that much we know). We do not know where to go for this. I mean, it is not like we can call Ghost Hunters or anything! She recently has had a good friend pass away, and I also have had a friend pass. It could be one of these two ladies, or it could be any lost soul in need of assistance. Today's message said (as far as we could make out), "I'm calling from the afterlife. Pick up the phone." - Patrice T.


I was asleep one Sunday morning and heard the phone ringing. I tried to wake myself enough to answer it and when I did... it was my father. I was stunned. He had a big voice, like James Earl Jones, so there was no mistaking who it was. He asked me how I was doing. I'd just had major surgery a few weeks earlier and was in recovery. He asked me if I'd heard about the death of two people. I told him I hadn't. He told me that things would get better and to hang in there, he loved me and he had to go. When I hung up the phone, it was as if I stepped from another level back into this one. I immediately called my siblings to tell them daddy called! My father called on September 13 - the second anniversary of his death. - Michelle


I worked as a telemarketer to earn a little money before fall quarter started for nursing school. A friend was a manager there and got the temporary position for me. I had been working there for a couple of months. There was a dialogue on the monitor in front of us to read from while talking with people. The computer dials the number, so I had no say in who I call. I cannot remember the last name of the folks I called this one day, so I'll just use the name Smith.

The phone rang and a man answered the phone. I asked to speak to Mr. or Mrs. Smith, please. The man very nicely said, "It depends on what you want." So I went into my spew of mailers for donations for the particular charity we were doing that day - spew being the number of letters they would have to send and what to do with any money they should get back. I asked if I was speaking to Mr. Smith. He answered with a chuckle, "Yes. And just how much in postage would I have to pay? I'm on Social Security, and my wife and I have to watch our money pretty close." I think it was like $3.40 in postage.

As I was explaining the amount of money and options to mailing, a woman comes on the call and says, "Hello."

I said, "Excuse me, I was talking to Mr. Smith."

The woman said, "Miss, I'm sorry, Mr. Smith has been gone for three years now. He passed away."

I asked, "Is there someone else there I could have been talking to?"

She said, "No, honey. I'm here by myself. Can I help you with something?"

By her voice, I believe she was being sincere. Stunned, I said, "No, thank you, ma'am. You have a nice day."

When the call was disconnected, I looked at the girl sitting beside of me. She said, "Terrie, are you okay?" I guess my face was pale and I had a vacant stare on my face. I went out to a break right then, and proceeded to tell my friend, who was also the manager of the floor. She went in and called the main office and asked them to pull my operator number calls for the day. I told her the name and the next day she called, concerned someone may have been in the house with the woman and she didn't know; she sounded elderly to me.

The answering machine came on and sure enough, she sounded like an elderly woman to my boss. Shelly left the number to our office and asked that the woman call back and reverse the charges. The woman called back a few hours later and just said she was fine. She recalled the phone conversation and thought maybe I was a prankster. - Terrie

Source: The Sun

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