Thursday, November 29, 2012

Ghost Hunting – Health and Safety Issues

by Fiona Broome @ www.hollowhill.com

Her story wasn’t the first I’ve heard about ghost researchers contracting respiratory infections after investigations, but it is among the worst. Her widower, Shane Harris, has started the Sara Harris Foundation. It will help to educate paranormal investigators about issues of health and safety, and provide masks and first aid kits to ghost hunting teams that can’t afford them. Shane says, “I have 3M on board to donate masks as soon as I get the tax ID number. My Paypal account is under saraharrisfoundation@yahoo.com, if you can help our cause.”

In addition, a follow-up article at Paranormal Insider includes even more reasons for concern among ghost hunters.

My article barely brushes the surface of the problem, but — in the interest of getting this information to more people, immediately — I’ve decided to publish it early.


Among ghost hunters, I’ve been hearing some really scary stories. They’re not about the ghosts. They’re about health and safety issues.

This is especially important during the winter, when we’re often investigating indoor locations. Energy-saving measures — such as doors and windows with weatherstripping, and storm doors and windows — mean less air circulation. The air isn’t as healthy, especially when someone has “indoor allergies” or environmental sensitivities.
  • Many researchers don’t take allergy medications before an investigation, especially if those medications might affect their alertness. That can put them more at risk for respiratory distress.
  • Sometimes, a client blames physical phenomena — like dizziness or depression in just one part of the home or business — on ghosts when the actual issue is something environmental, like allergies, off-gassing from new wall-t0-wall carpeting, or oil-based wall paint with high VOCs. That’s going to affect some investigators on the scene, as well.
  • Are you or team members allergic to pets? Ask the site owner if he or she has animals in the home or business. Since people often isolate their pets before an investigation team arrives, it’s a mistake to assume that there are no pets, just because you don’t see or hear them.
Allergies are the tip of the iceberg.
Basements and attics often present safety issues. In at least one case this year, an otherwise healthy investigator was hospitalized with a life-threatening respiratory complaint, after conducting research at a site with rodent droppings.
  • Structural issues – Attic floorboards can be old and unable to support much weight. Ask the owner before you venture up there.
  • Dust in attics isn’t just an issue when you’re trying to take credible orb photos. It’s also an allergen for many people.
  • Basements are prone to mold and mildew. Against cement or stone walls, the problems may not be obvious until someone starts wheezing.
  • In cities and warm climates where cockroaches are a steady problem, remember that it’s not always the insects but their droppings that present the worst respiratory challenges for people with allergies.
  • Histoplasmosis – Bat droppings can put you at risk. It’s not just “bats in the belfry,” but bats (and sometimes birds) in the attic and the basement. Histoplasmosis can be a serious respiratory disease and a significant threat in some areas. As it says at Bats and Rabies, “To be safe, avoid breathing dust in areas where there are animal droppings… wear a respirator that can guard against particles as small as two microns.“ Every researcher should have a few simple, paper masks in his or her ghost hunting kit. (However, not all blue medical masks protect at the level you need. Read the label!)
  • If you’re exploring a haunted cave (such as the Bell Witch cave), a mask is an especially good idea, if you’re subject to respiratory issues.
  • Investigating an abandoned hospital? Some people worry about visiting old tuberculosis hospitals; they’re usually called sanitoriums. Generally, TB can only be spread from human to human, and only when the contagious person has an active case of the disease. However, some doctors are now saying that tuberculosis “is spread usually from person to person by breathing infected air during close contact.” (Emphasis added.) Should you wear a mask in dusty, abandoned hospitals? Probably, but not because of TB. At deserted sites, there’s a greater potential for disease-containing animal and insect droppings.
This isn’t a complete list of the risks involved in exploring old sites, especially those that haven’t been maintained, but it gives you the general idea.

With recent reports of ghost investigators becoming ill with life-threatening respiratory issues — and with the death of Sara Harris — we all need to be more aware of the dusty places we visit when we’re looking for ghosts.
You’re probably going to be in the dark, anyway. Why not wear a mask if there are any reasons to be concerned?
A ten-cent paper mask can protect your health, spare you an allergic reaction or asthma, and — in extreme cases — save your life. Get a box for yourself, or your team, and carry some masks with you, no matter where you’re investigating.


Read more at http://hollowhill.com/ghost-hunting-health-and-safety-issues

Saturday, November 24, 2012

St. Joseph's Cemetery - Port Saint Joe, Florida

Saint Joseph Cemetery is the only remnants left of the lost city of Saint Joseph, Florida along the forgotten coast. Once a thriving commercial centre, Saint Joseph was obliterated by yellow fever in 1841 and was abandoned. Nothing remains but this graveyard, aptly dubbed Yellow Fever Cemetery. Thousands are buried here, mostly in unmarked graves.

CLICK HERE TO VIEW OUR PHOTO ALBUM

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Magnolia Manor, Bolivar, Tennessee




Special guest investigator! - Horror Writer, Shane Soll
View our video --- ParaHunt Investigates Magnolia Manor
 

 


Case Number: 2012-43
Case Name:  Magnolia Manor B&B
Date: October 31, 2012
Time: 8:30pm to 9:00am Nov 1st


Investigation Location: 418 North Main Street, Bolivar, Tennessee 38008


Notable History of Location


Magnolia Manor was used as a Headquarters for the Union Army by Generals Logan, McPherson,
Sherman and Grant during the Civil war and it is believed to be the home in which these four Generals
planed the battle of Shiloh.  Three generations of the Miller family lived in the house until the 1970's.
Charles Austin Miller, son of Judge Austin Miller, followed his father's footsteps to become a prominent
attorney and later the Secretary of State of Tennessee. One of C.A. Miller's daughters Lizzie Lea Miller
was also elected State Representative and the first women in the history of Tennessee to achieve this.
The house has since been owned by only two other families. It has operated
as a bed and breakfast since 1985 by Owner and Inn Keeper Elaine Cox.
Governors, Celebrities and even a Vice President have inquired about or
stayed at Magnolia Manor.
 
Date Built: 1849
Physical Description of Site: Classic two-storey Georgian Colonial brick.
Number of Rooms - Four bedrooms in the main house and nine fireplaces.
Two of the bedrooms are suites.
 
Additional Structures - 3-room Slave Cottage on adjoining property.
 


Name of person/s who will be joining the investigation who are not part of the investigative team:
Horror writer, Shane Sollis
Cynthia Sollis
List of equipment used:

Mel-Meter 8704R-rem milligaus and temperature, P-SB7 AM/FM Frequency Sweep Radio, Digital Video Recorder,
Laser Grid, Panasonic Digital Recorder, Olympus Digital Recorder, Full Spectrum Video Camera,
KII - Milligauss Meter , Canon G10 digitial camera, Canon Rebel T3i dSLR digitial camera, divining rods.
Moon cycle:
Waning gibbous - The moon is growing smaller (old moon).
Fraction of the moon: 0.55072926384138
Weather conditions:









High: 55.04ºf @4:53 PM    Low: 35.96ºf @8:53 PM    Approx. Rain Total: 0 in.

Personal Experience:
Location: 1849 Room
Occurrence:
High EMF Readings to the left side of bed in 1849 Room. No source of high readings - location midair.
Location: Front parlor
Occurrence:
Change of temperature - Asked Spirit to lower the temperature - went from 71.0F to 66.6F within a minute.
Then raised to settle back to normal room temperature.
Location: Upstairs hall and 1849 room
Occurrence:
Guest investigator, Shane complained about noises on the staircase and furniture being moved in the 1849
room next door. Innkeeper, Tom, also commented about the commotion upstairs all night long.
 
For more information:
 
 

1849 Slave Cottage at Magnolia Manor, TN



ParaHunt Slept Here - This cottage was built in 1849 as a slave/cooking quarters to the main house - Magnolia Manor. Originally there was a conveyor belt from the cottage to the main  house.

Prior to our investigation that evening, we left a digitital recorder turned on for about an hour while we were out. Upon review of the recording, there appears to be footsteps, bangs, drawers opening and cupboard doors slamming for almost the full hour! While we were there, the house was eerily quiet - with no unidentified sounds being made.
 
The innkeeper told us of recent activity here:
* apparition of a black lady and child
* captured EVP "don't burn the food, chile"
 
 

 
 

Shiloh Civil War Battlefield, Tennessee


Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Nelson Co. Jail - Jailers Inn B&B, Bardstown, KY

Investigation report coming soon!
 

ARTICLE FROM THE BARDSTOWN RECORD – MAY 21, 1909

Spirits Said to Hover About the Nelson County Bastile.

The Nelson county jail is haunted. At least that is the verdict of many of those people who have from time to time been incarcerated therein. Though a comparatively new structure, having been erected in 1874, a number of grewsome occurrences have transpired within its wall.

Here it was George Murrell, the notorious outlaw, after being fatally shot by Marshall Hunter, lingered and died in the most awful agony. Harvey Pash, a negro murderer, and Phil Evans, a negro rapist, spent their last months upon earth within the gloomy edifices and were finally led forth to die upon the scaffold which still stands, a forbidding looking object, close to the walls of the building.

Martin Hill, a wife murderer, died in a cell of the jail of a consuming fever, after weeks of lingering torture, and thereby cheated the gallows. It is said by those in the position to know that it is the spirit of this last named who haunts the jail, and surely his crime was horrible enough and his death of such agony as to cause his miserable spirit to know no rest. In the early part of 1885 Marin Hill walked into a neighbor’s house, where his wife had fled to escape his brutal treatment, and shot the defenseless woman down without a word of warning.

Hill’s reputation had always been unsavory and though he came of a good family, his career had been thoroughly wicked. His last and crowning criminal act the inhuman murder of his wife, aroused the deepest indignation and the women of his neighborhood swore that if he was not brought to be hanged, they would themselves tear down the court house stone by stone. However, before he could be brought to final trial, he was smitten by fever, which resulted in his death.

Citizens, who attended him in his last illness, avow that his sufferings were the most terrible ever witnessed, and that during his moments of delirium his ravings and blasphemies were awful to hear. Prisoners who have since been confined in the jail where he died, he is heard, it is alleged, pacing up and down, as was his wont, during his confinement. He is also heard to groan and toss restlessly upon his bunk, and, as a climax to the whole, the blood curdling scream he omitted while struggling in the throes of death, rings again through the stone corridors, with thrilling distinctness. These and many other manifestations are spoken of, and he is considered a brave man, indeed, who will willingly venture near the haunted cell after night.

Within a few yard of the haunted structure is situated the original old stone prison, built near the close of the last century by “Old Stone Hammer” Metcalfe, afterwards Governor of Kentucky, John Fitch, the inventor of the steamboat, died in the old jail. He was not a prisoner, however, but was boarding with the jailer, Alexander McCown, who was his dearest friend. Many noted criminals have looked through the bars of this old prison house, among them Watson, the murderer of two men, who was the first white man legally executed in Nelson County. Three negro slave, who assassinated their master, James G. Maxwell and Samuel H. Calhoun, a Federal soldier, who murdered William Sutherland, a prominent citizen, were led to the gallows from this old jail.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Backus Mill Heritage Village

Gearing up for tonight's investigation at the Backus Mill Heritage Village with a gristmill that was built in 1798. It contains one of the few mills not burned down during the War of 1812. The mill was operational until 1957 and is now a national historic site. Joining us tonight will be Shannon, a spirit medium, and Kiersten, a reporter from the Port Dover Maple Leaf newspaper.

Stay tuned for full investigation report coming soon.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Norfolk Tavern & The Brig

The eerily haunted Norfolk Tavern and The Brig have stood in this sleepy fishing town of Port Dover on the shores of Lake Erie on Long Point Bay in Ontario, Canada for 200 years, with legends and lore created and embellished throughout the ages.
Soldiers from three separate battles including the War of 1812, sailors from around the world and renegade prisoners from the Fenian invasions of 1866 - all spent time at this establishment.
But not all of them left..... explore the ghost tales and stories of the unexplained of this very important tavern/prison/hotel or why not visit yourself and leave with your own legends.
For more information:
http://norfolktavern.com
PICTORIAL - ParaHunt Investigates the Norfolk Tavern CLICK HERE
Coming soon ... paranormal investigation report.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Lighthouse Festival Theatre

The sleepy fishing village of Port Dover holds more secrets than you can imagine and the Lighthouse Festival Theatre is ready to share them with you. ParaHunt was privileged to investigate not only the theatre but the historically significant clock tower. Please enjoy this pictorial of our recent investigation. To see these photos and more, please check out our Facebook photo album at:
https://www.facebook.com/#!/media/set/?set=a.420983977958374.94971.153568444699930&type=3
PICTORIAL - ParaHunt investigates the Lighthouse Festival Theatre:
http://youtu.be/gqXxT4O-XBo

ParaHunt investigates the Clock Tower:
http://youtu.be/qth_h2EmVXk

For more information on the Theatre and their Haunted House please visit http://www.lighthousetheatre.com.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

S.S. Imperial Sarnia

The S.S. Imperial Sarnia, a 1948 built steamer tanker, ending her sailing days as the bunkering vessel Provmar Terminal II in Hamilton, Ontario in 1988. The ParaHunt team had the opportunity to be the last group to capture her final images and conduct a paranormal investigation inside this majestic vessel before she was sent to the salvage yard in the fall of 2012.

Crew had called her the "ghost ship" as they recounted tales of strange noises within.

For Great Lakes ship enthusiasts, we also have "tour" video before we conducted our investigation. Contact us at info@parahunt.com

RIP S.S. Imperial Sarnia 1948 to 2012.


CLICK HERE FOR PARAHUNT INVESTIGATION VIDEO

CLICK HERE FOR PICTORIAL

CLICK HERE FOR PHOTO ALBUM


Saturday, September 1, 2012

Union Hotel B&B, Normandale


Down an eerie side-road aptly called, Spooky Hollow, past the cemetery at a dangerous S-bend in the road, lies the historic hamlet of Normandale, Ontario, Canada.

In the first half of the 1800’s, it was a bustling, industrial town with a population of 300, the Normandale Iron Works employed 200 at its facilities on the shores of Lake Erie, manufacturing stoves, pipes and farm products.

And within a few hundred feet of the shores of Lake Erie, Abram Post built the Union Hotel  in 1834, to accommodate the influx of commerce and workers.

It was a proud and stately Inn, but with the decline in bog ore in the 1850’s, the town was all but abandoned by industry and the Union Hotel became a casualty of the lost commerce.

Here she stood, mostly abandoned and empty for over 100 years. The present owners acquired this historically designated Grand Dame in 1989 and have been operating it as a charming bed and breakfast facility ever since.

There is something quite not right about this small hamlet on the north shore of Lake Erie, in Long Point Bay….

I have passed through countless times, and always felt an uneasiness as I rounded the bend in the road near the cemetery. Not quite sure why – until I received an email from a reader asking about my investigation at the Cemetery a few years prior. It was then I learned about the Union Hotel – tucked to the left on Main Street – all but hidden as traffic is directed west through town.

On-line research gave me very little. Even my GPS didn’t recognize Normandale, Ontario. All but forgotten.

Union Hotel Bed & Breakfast:
http://www.bbcanada.com/12352.html

Investigation video:
http://youtu.be/-dU8BcXY19o

Pictorial:
http://youtu.be/RkK9Aw8XRvg

List of equipment used

Mel-Meter 8704R-rem milligaus and temperature, P-SB7 AM/FM Frequency Sweep Radio,
Digital Video Recorder, 4 camera IR surveillence video cameras, Laser Grid, Panasonic  
Digital Recorder, Olympus Digital Recorder, Full Spectrum Video Camera, KII - Milligauss Meter ,
EMF detector, IR Thermometer
 




 
 

Paranormal evidence review log
Name of Investigators: Claudia & Ted

EXHIBIT #1 - Orb anomalie captured on IR surveillance camera.

EXHIBIT #2 - USB plug moves captured on Sony HD handycam

EXHIBIT #3 - Possible flying insects captured by front door with IR surveillance camera. Front door was open so perhaps got in through screen but it is quite interesting.

EXHIBIT #4 - Light anomalies looking down staircase captured on IR surveillance camera.

EXHIBIT #5 - Apparition and smoke appearing anomalies captured in Ballroom with IR surveillance camera. May be outside reflection but unable to verify.

EXHIBIT #6 - A second capture 2 hours later with IR surveillance camera in the ballroom.

EXHIBIT #7 - Ballroom light orb anomalie. This appears to come in from the left side, go down to the Etchasketch on the floor - perhaps curious - then sail off to the right.

EXHIBIT #8 - Staircase anomalies captured on IR surveillance camera during daylight so no additional light sources were used.

EXHIBIT #9 - EVP (electronic voice phenomena) captured on Olympus Digital Recorder. Use of earphones needed but response we heard was "NO"

EXHIBIT #10 - Using ghost box (modified radio sweep of FM bands) in Ballroom. Please note that actual responses from radio station signals not used. It is the whitenoise between audible radio chatter. Here we heard a woman's higher pitch voice saying "hi" in response to ours.

EXHIBIT #11 - EVP (electronic voice phenomena) in response to "any children?" there is a audio anomalie which we cannot decipher.

EXHIBIT #12 - Using Ghost Box - two responses to HI captured on olympus digital recorder.

EXHIBIT #13 - Anomalie captured o Sony HD Handycam looking down the hallway from room #4. It appears to us to be an apparition attempting to manifest at the top of the stairs. However, because of the window, there may be some reflective cause.

EXHIBIT #14 - KII - EMF detector - this device captures changes in the electromagnetic fields around the device which some paranormal groups believe can be a sign of paranormal activity. These were captured in both the Saloon and front hallway. The spikes in the Saloon occurred when the iron works was mentioned. These are some captured on video. There were a few more than we did not capture on film but witnessed.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Ghost Photography 101 - An Overview

Ghost photography is a fascinating subject. Ghost photos are also among the easiest ways for paranormal investigators and ghost hunters to find evidence of hauntings.

This website is about taking ghost photos. At this website, you’ll learn more about how to take ghost pictures, and what to watch out for.

Most of these articles are from a chapter in the first edition of Fiona Broome’s book, Ghost Photography 101.

CLICK HERE

Introduction to Ghost Hunting Course

Introduction to Ghost Hunting

(c)2009 by Fiona Broome, founder of HollowHill.com


Welcome to the Introduction to Ghost Hunting Course. I wrote this course to share the basics of ghost hunting, so you can enjoy investigations and perhaps lead some of your own.
This was designed as a four-part course. Most people will complete one lesson per week. Some will finish the course sooner. Many people will take much longer, exploring every possible aspect of this research. At the conclusion of this course, you will receive a Certificate of Completion. The certificates are online, and we use the honor system at Hollow Hill. (In other words, we trust that you won't skip the course or any important parts of it, and simply print out a certificate for yourself.) These are the lessons and the individual chapters in them. Every lesson is available as a printable PDF, and you can listen to me (Fiona Broome) talk about that week's lesson in an MP3 recording.

CLICK HERE FOR THE COURSE

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Mauricetown, New Jersey - A Haunting

A true story from a personal friend:

1992 Mauricetown, NJ.

It's a small historic village that includes 9 streets, some less than 150 yards long.  The village sits on the Maurice River.  It was built by sea captians in the early 1800's.

A major company owned a large 3-story Victorian mini estate here and they sold it to a private individual.  This guy decided he wanted to completely renovate the house/yards and then resell it.  He advertised the home/estate for rent for $500 a month, with the instructions that the renters had to renovate the property. 

My husband worked in the construction field and we had been relocated to NJ for 3 years.  We saw the ad and jumped on it!  I mean the house was 3 stories, 7500 sq ft of living space,  (not counting the huge basement) 2 car garage, 2 kitchens, 6 Bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, Library, Green House, Formal LR and Dining Room, Maid's Quarters, Two staircases, Two tennis courts, and an olympic sized inground swimming pool, pool house and shower rooms,  all on 1 acre of land right on the Maurice River!  For $500 a month! 

The renovations were hard work, replacing/repairing PLASTER walls, painting, fencing, painting the entire outside of the house.  But the house was unimaginable to live in!  It was definitely an experience!

The day we went to look at the house and meet the new owner, I couldn't help but ask him if the house was haunted!  I can't believe I actually asked him that, it kinda just popped out of my mouth!  He didn't answer me, though, and I really didn't pay attention to the fact that he hadn't answered me because I was slightly embarrassed for asking in the first place! 

We ended up renting the house.  And moved right in.

The first thing we noticed was that our two cats wouldn't come out from under the couch.  And they would NOT go up to the third floor at all.  They always appeared to be staring at something above our heads too. Honestly, we didn't really pay it much notice at the time.

But then we started noticing other things.  Like the chandelier above the entry way and at the base of the grand staircase always moved.  Not alot, but it was always swaying lightly.  Wind? hmmmmmmm............

That was the start of things.  It would take forever for me to type a monologue of what happened there, so what I'll do instead is just list the things in order of occurence and explain briefly after I list them.

1.  Cats acting strange.

2.  Chandelier is always swaying.  ALWAYS.

3.  Back door is always unlocked in the morning, even after we double, triple check it at night.  Nothings missing.  Just the door would "unlock" itself.

4.  Coffee pot would come on.  Each morning the coffee pot would be on and the glass pot would be so hot it was nearly broken several times.  We didn't make coffee and leave it on, it would just BE on without coffee in it.

5.  Keys misplaced, shoes misplaced.  Mail misplaced.

6.  Company came over for dinner one night.  We tried to give them the tour of the house.  We went up to the third floor and the woman started crying.  She literally ran down the stairs and out the front door.  Her husband chased after her.  He told my husband the next day at work that she said she couldn't stay in that house.  She felt something and it scared her. We had NOT mentioned ANYTHING to them about the funny/strange occurances that had happened so far.  They refused to come back.

7.  LOUD BANGING on the third floor at night.  usually around 2-3 a.m. in the morning.  We slept on the 2nd floor.  NOTHING was on the third floor.  It was completely empty.  But I swear it would sound like a tree branch coming through the window!  Terrible breaking glass sounds, banging sounds.  Then footsetps would start.  Right over our heads.
When we would get up to go up and look to see what happened, THEN the noises would start coming from the 2nd floor or the 1st floor. We could never find the cause of the noises.

8.  Baskets that were on the kitchen wall flew off by themselves and spun around on the floor.  This was broad daylight.  I was sitting on the couch and I could see the kitchen and I heard a "swish swish" sound.  I looked into the kitchen and the 20 or so wicker baskets I had hanging on the wall were coming off one by one and spinning in the air, before dropping to the floor and spinning awhile there!  I actually laughed!  I can't believe it didn't scare me!  Seriously.  I don't know why I laughed, it just seemed so strange!

9.  The library had a backwards switch on the outlet.  You had to flip the lightswitch DOWN to turn on the power to the outlet.  I was vacuming in there one day and the switch flipped UP which turned off my vacume.  I thought my husband had done it and I hollard at him to knock it off.  I flipped the switch down, started vacuming again and it happened again.  I hollared again at my husband.  This time he hollard back and he was in the basement!  I told her to come here fast!  So he ran up the stairs and came in the library and I started vacuming and guess what?  it didn't happen!  So then I got annoyed and started talking to "whoever it was" and told them that's not funny!  SHOW HIM TOO! lol  I started vacuming again and OMG the switch slowly flipped up turning off the power!!!  We both saw it!

10.  There was something about the mirror over the fireplace.  It faced the grand staircase.  None of us ever dared look into that mirror while we were on the stairs.  We never mentioned it to each other when we lived there (Our daughter was 12 at the time) but later, after we moved out, the mirror got brought up.  I was surprised to find that my husband and daughter had felt there was something off about that mirror too.

11.  Noises increased.  Clanging noises.  Breaking noises.  Thumps, Bumps.  Bangs.  Tinkling noises.  These were sudden and fierce.  Not soft and mellow.  The footsteps seemed to always be on the stairs coming down the third floor staircase.  Sometimes even coming in our bedrooms!  I swear there were times when it felt like someone was standing at the foot of our bed.  My husband felt it too.

So now I've mentioned a few things, I want to add that for some strange reason, we were NOT scared by all of this.  We had spoken to some of our neighbors and they had told us a little history of the house.  The elderly couple next door told us that in the 50's the residents suffered a tragedy in the home. 

On the third floor, their newborn baby had died of crib death. (eerily enough the baby curtains were still hanging in tatters on the windows of the nursery when we lived there!)  After the death of the baby, the nanny couldn't stand living there and the homeowner flew her home in his private plane to be with her family.  The plane crashed and SHE died.  He lived.  After that, his family moved out of the home.

The house was ALWAYS COLD.  Bone chilling cold.  We couldn't afford to run the oil heat alot, so that does explain some of the cold.  But you could actually see your breath at times in some of the rooms.  Especiallly the first floor staircase and the third floor bedrooms/nursery area.

The basement was FILLED with antiques!  I mean LOTS of antiques!  Apparently when the previous family left, they had the furniture, dishes, music boxes, everything stored down in the basement and they never took it out.  The new owner told my husband and I we could have everything down there as partial payment for the work we were doing.  He was also paying us cash each month for each room we completed, but I was thrilled to get those antiques! 

Funny thing is that I couldn't bring myself to remove them from the house! Seriously!  We're talking alot of cash for those antiques and I just couldn't take them and sell them.  We rented/renovated the house for a year  and when we left, we left all the antiques in the basement.  We didn't take a thing. (The house sold for $300K after we finished the renovations).

Now here comes the scary stuff. 

After about 9 months of living there, we all three figured the house was a tad bit haunted.  But strangely enough, we weren't spooked.  Even my 12 year old daughter wasn't spooked.  Admittedly, it was a little uncomfortable at night with the noises.  A little creepy and I couldn't wait for the sun to come up.  But I didn't have a problem being in the house alone during the day when my husband was at work and my daughter was at school.  Until one day.

I was standing in the Formal living room getting ready to walk down to the post-office house and check my mail.  The post office was actually another Victorian house down the street that the owner lived upstairs and ran the post-office down stairs.  I bent to get my keys off the coffee table and when I raised up I caught a glimpse of myself in the "MIRROR" that was above the fireplace and faced the staircase.  Only it wasn't myself that I saw. 

It took me a second to realize this.  I didn't have my hair in a bun. I wasn't barefoot.  I wasn't on the staircase.  And I wasn't wearing a long pale blue nightgown!  I DID NOT turn around and look directly at the staircase.  I couldn't.  I was petrified!  I looked full on in the mirror and realized there was a lady on the staircase.  She was stepping down the stairs, but she wasn't moving and she didn't look at me.  She had blonde hair in a loose bun.  She was wearing a pale blue long nightgown and she was barefoot.  Her left hand was on the bannister.

I ran out of the house screaming.  Literally screaming!  I got down to the post office and told the lady there what had happened.  She wasn't surprised.  She told me that ever house there was haunted.  Even the post office house.  She said they had to keep the portrait of the ship captain that built that house in the back stairwell on the wall or if it wasn't there, then a stinky blue smoke filled the staircase!

I had to go back to my house because my daughter was due home from school. So when I walked in, I talked to "her".  I told her that wasn't funny.  That she scared me.  And that I knew it was her house but I was just taking care of it.  Refurbishing it to it's natural beauty.  I asked her to please never show herself to me again and to please not scare my daughter.  I did feel silly doing that, speaking  out loud to an empty house?  But it worked.

The noises mostly stopped, although the breaking glass sounds did continue.  My cats still were freaked and seemed to watch something over our heads.  They still would not venture up to the third floor.

But all the other little crazy things seemed to stop after that day.

Then the house sold.  The new owners were from Hungary.  They didn't know the US laws on rental property and they wanted us OUT now even though we had 2 months left on our lease.  The man threatened me.  He tried to break in one day (he was going to physically hurt me...........he was screaming that outside and all my neighbors heard him threaten me)  he tried to break the windows (200 year old glass) with firewood logs.  And guess what? 

They bounced off and didn't break the glass!  He tried to get in the front door and guess what?  His key wouldn't work, the lock stuck and he couldn't get in!  He tried to use the back door (neighbors were calling police at this time) and the back door jammed and wouldn't open! I was inside alone and scared to death this big guy was going to kill me!  Cops came and he took off.  They eventually caught up to him and explained he was doing something illegal even if he did own the house!  We left early.  Even though we had two months left on our lease.  We moved into a small 600 sq. ft apartment.  We were getting ready to move out of state anyways.  My husband had been transferred again.

About a month later, our elderly neighbor's son came to visit us at the apartment.  He told us that in one week after the new owners moved in:
(a) their two dogs drowned in the pool. 
(b) the wife fell down the stairs and had a miscarriage. 
(c) the tree out front fell over and crashed/ruined/smashed the green house!

So that's my story.  I swear all of it is true.  I always wondered what the history of that little NJ village was.  The local said lots of the houses were haunted.  I'm still amazed I wasn't totally freaked.  But I know what I saw that day on the staircase.  I can still see the lady on the stairs as clear as anything.  I will always remember what she looked like.  And I know that if she would have turned and looked at me, I would surely have fainted!

C.