Category: ghost and hauntings


The Ghost of Guildford

This photo appeared in England’s Surrey Advertiser in March 2012. Taken at The Mount in Guildford, the eerie picture shows a white figure standing in the center. Amateur photographer, Mark Baker, 37, who took the photograph, claims there was no-one around and insists that the picture has not been altered in any way.


There are many superstitions involving mirrors. The broken mirror is probably the focus of more superstitions than any other subject is. Breaking a mirror is supposed to bring seven years of bad luck. These stories evolved from the times when people used water as a mirror. They looked into the water to see their fates. If the image was distorted, the viewer would die. The beliefs changed, as the mirror changed form. Early people imagined they saw the image of their soul in a mirror. If the mirror was broken so was the soul, and it was a sure sign of a person’s death.

The seven year’s bad luck seems to have evolved from the ancient Rome belief that seven years was the time period it took for a soul to renew itself. The Romans are also responsible for little known remedy useful for anyone who breaks a mirror – the only way that you could overcome the seven years bad luck is to bury the broken mirror pieces very deeply in the ground.

Many families cover all mirrors in the house if someone dies. This is to prevent the soul’s deceased from getting trapped in the mirror. In some ancient cultures when a loved one was murdered, died in a horrible accident or died from suffering from unrequited love, all mirrors must be covered, because the spirit of dead would be hanging about, looking for a body to posses in order to resolve a important issues before moving on.

If a mirror in the house falls from a wall and breaks on its own, it means someone is going to die.

Vampires and witches are not supposed to show reflection in mirrors because they have no souls.

Some cultures believe that a baby should never be shown its own reflections before it is a year old, else it will die

It does consider bad luck to see your face in a mirror by candlelight. If you looked at a mirror by candlelight you might see the spirit of a loved person who has died.

Actors believe its bad luck to see their reflection in a mirror while looking over another’s shoulder.

If you want to know what your future husband looks like, you sit down in front of a mirror and eat an apple. After that you start brushing your hair, and an image of your future beloved will appear behind your shoulder in the mirror’s reflection.

There are two good sources for the origins of the superstitions surrounding mirrors. First, people often attributed the supernatural links to things that they do not understand. Mirrors are believed to posses a power beyond the natural, a reflection of the truth, and so became a repository which is handy for many mystical and supernatural ideas.

A scare tactic was the other origin. In old times, mirrors were very expensive, especially not high quality, defect-free mirrors that are taken for granted today and it was a handy mechanism to attribute seven years of bad luck to their destruction.


The Ghosts of Devil’s Den and Little Round Top

Gettysburg, Pennsylvania was the site for the biggest and bloodiest battle of the Civil War. The war had dragged on for two long years when the Union (North) and Confederate (South) soldiers met by accident at Gettysburg in July of 1863.

At the end of this three-day battle, 53,000 Americans were dead. It was the battle that “broke the Confederates back” for they lost at Gettysburg and for the next two years till the war ended they were on the defense.

On July 2nd the second day of the battle the Confederates launched a joint attack on Little Round Top and the Devil’s Den in an attempt to secure the high ground for their troops.

Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain was a college professor in Maine when the Civil War started. He volunteered to fight for the Union. As Confederate troops from the 15th Alabama Infantry charged up the Little Round Top hill led by William C. Oates, it was Colonel Chamberlain and his men from the 20th Maine who were assigned to defend its southern slopes.

Chamberlain knew that since his troops were at the end of the Union’s left flank that they needed, at any cost to strategically prevent the Confederates from taking the hill.

Time and time again the Confederates struck. With many causalities and hardly any ammunition left Colonel Chamberlain, knowing the Rebs were tired ordered his men to do a bayonet charge. They charged down the hill, most without bullets—this strategy worked for the Confederates started to retreat. Chamberlain’s men captured 101 Confederate soldiers, again without bullets, and successfully defended the hill.

Chamberlain’s gallant effort raised him to the rank of Major General by the end of the war and he was awarded the Medal of Honor. After the war he served as the governor of Maine for four terms and as president of Bowdoin College.

At the same time just south of Little Round Top, the Confederates First Corps under the command of Major General John Bell Hood, made up of men from the Texas Brigade and the 3rd Alabama, were charging the Union Armies left flank through very rocky terrain, near a central outcropping of massive boulders known as Devil’s Den.

The Union lll Corps– a division of the Union Army of the Potomac made up of Northeastern Virginians—defended the Devil’s Den. Their commander was Major General David B. Birney. The Confederates placed a sharpshooter hidden between the boulders at Devil’s Den. This strategy has become a legend among snipers. This one soldier was able to harass the Union artillery battery, preventing them from firing. He also was able to shoot many Union soldiers as they passed through the Den all the while staying undetected. *

When Birney’s division was demolished, the Union army was finally able to find this snipers location by using field glasses and mirrors which allowed them to spot the smoke coming from the sharpshooters’ discharging rifle, they then shot a percussion shell killing him.

Hood was injured early in the fight and had to withdraw, Brigadier General Evander M. Law assumed command, this caused confusion, which ultimately changed the outcome of the battle. The Union Army stood their ground.

The next day during the “Battle of Gettysburg” the Confederates under the command of General Robert E. Lee made a fatal error in sending 12,500 troops across open ground against the center of the Union line at Cemetery Ridge. The Union’s rifle and artillery fire repulsed this attack resulting in horrendous losses for the Confederate Army forcing Lee to retreat back to Virginia.

The ghosts of many of these soldiers still linger at Gettysburg—the area around Devil’s Den is one of the most active locations. Many explanations have been put forth as to why these soldiers are still present. This three-day battle and the human loss that resulted on both sides is more than just a tragic death toll.

The Civil War literally caused brother to fight against brother. At Gettysburg many of the officers on the Union side knew the officers on the Confederate side–they had attended West Point together or had served together before the south seceded from the union. Many officers knew enlisted men from the opposing sides—because these soldiers had served under their commands before the outbreak of the Civil War.

A compelling example of this is Captain Lewis “Lo” Armistead a confederate officer  who was mortally wounded while leading his brigade towards the center of the Union line in Pickett’s Charge toward Cemetery Hill. Armistead was shot three times just after crossing a wall. When he went down he gave the Masonic sign asking for assistance. A fellow Mason, Captain Henry H. Bingham, a Union officer—after the war he became a very influential Congressman—offered Armistead help.

Bingham informed Armistead that an old friend of his—Winfred Scott Hancock who had served as Armistead’s quartermaster before the war in Los Angeles, California –had been commanding this part of the Union defensive line, but that Hancock too, had just been wounded. Armistead died two days later at a Union field hospital.

The ghosts at Devin’s Den want to be treated with respect. When people try to take pictures the batteries in their digital cameras and camcorders often drain. Are these soldiers so burdened they can not leave Gettysburg? The reason for their presence is unknown but it should be obvious that they deserve to be left in peace.


Thomas-Carithers House
Athens, Georgia

The Alpha Gamma Delta sorority house in Athens, GA hosts more than exclusive parties and secret initiation rites. This 121-year-old home, known historically as the Thomas-Carithers house, is also said to harbor the heartbroken ghost of a beautiful young woman abandoned at the altar.

Legend has it the spurned bride hanged herself in the attic after her groom failed to show. Now, sorority sisters report doors opening and closing on their own, faucets turning on and off, the sound of a chair moving in the attic, and lights flickering with no explanation. The antique piano in the parlor has also been known to play by itself.


Ghost Classifications

Class I

This type is defined as an undeveloped form, insubstantial, and difficult to see. The interaction is limited. These are typically spectral lights, voices, and sounds.

Class II

This type is defined to have actual visual characteristics and can physically manipulate things like a poltergeist. These forms tend to be vague and inconsistent like hands or a face floating in the air.

Class III

These begin to take on forms of a distinct human being such as face, torso, and arms. They can often change their forms as well.

Class IV

These are class III ghosts revealing their identity which reclassifies it as a class IV. It is usually indistinct from the chest down.

Class V

These are ectoplasmic manifestations but are non-human forms. It is said that these are formed from emotionally charged events or locations.

Class VI

These are non-human or animal forms

Class VII

These are described as a malevolent with powers far beyond human. The powers include the ability to change form at will, dematerialize objects, summon pests, or possess people and animals.


Theodore Edward Coneys

By September 1941, Theodore Edward Coneys had fallen on hard times, so he went to visit his old friend Philip Peters, whom he hadn’t seen in many years. When Coney got to the house in Denver, Colorado, he found it empty and unlocked. Peters was out to see his wife—who had broken a hip—in the hospital. So Coneys let himself into the house. Inside, he found a small door that led to a tiny attic room. Coneys, who was a rather small man, managed to get into the room and decided it was better than living on the streets for the winter. He lived there for a few weeks. Whenever Peters left the house, Coneys slipped out of his hiding spot, helped himself to some food, and used the bathroom. That lasted until October 17. On that day, Coneys slipped out of his attic room and started cooking, but Peters hadn’t gone out. He was actually napping and was startled by Coneys, whom he didn’t recognize. Coneys attacked Peters and pistol-whipped the 73-year-old man to death.

Instead of fleeing, Coneys went back into his hiding spot. Police were called after friends discovered the body, but the police were incredibly puzzled by the crime scene. All the doors and windows were locked, so they were unsure how the killer got in and left the house. A short time later, Peters’s wife returned to the home and hired a series of housekeepers. However, they kept leaving, because they were sure the house was haunted, so the woman ended up moving in with her son. Coneys, on the other hand, stayed right where he was.

When people passed the house, they’d see lights or hear strange sounds. The police investigated but could never find anyone in the house, so people assumed the house was haunted. Eventually, the police started doing surveillance on the house. On July 30, 1942, 11 months after moving in, the police finally saw Coneys move a curtain, exposing his face. They raided the house and caught Coneys climbing into his attic room. They had always assumed the door was too small for anyone to fit through.

Coneys was arrested and convicted of murdering Peters. He died on May 16, 1967, in a prison hospital.


Are Sparrows Messengers of Death?

In many cultures, folk wisdom says animals can embody spirits or predict the future, even serve as messengers of death. For one woman and her mother, a chance encounter with a sparrow was a sign that something truly dreadful was about to happen. Although “Molly” wishes to remain anonymous, she hopes her tale serves as a cautionary true tale that sparrows can be messengers of death.

“Please Go Away!”

For more than 30 years, Molly has lived in fear of seeing sparrows. Each time she does, someone close to her dies. Her story begins when she was an 8-year-old, sitting in the kitchen with her mother, looking out the window at the yard. As they gazed outside, a sparrow flew up to the window.

The strange thing was, the bird was actually making eye contact with my mother,” Molly said, recalling the incident. “My mother said in a frightened tone, ‘Oh no. Please go away!’ then turned away from the window.”
As her mother cowered in fear, the bird flew away. Once she’d calmed down, Molly’s mother told her a strange tale.

“When I was your age, your grandma and I were sitting just like we are now and a sparrow flew up to the window,” Molly’s mom said. “It looked in at us, and your grandmother said, ‘Oh my. We are going to have a death in the family shortly’.”

For Molly’s grandmother, who had immigrated from Norway, the strange incident was an omen. According to Norwegian folklore, Molly said, such an encounter with a sparrow is considered to be a harbinger of death if the bird makes eye contact with you. What made it all the eerier, Molly’s mother told her, was that her grandmother died just two weeks after seeing the bird.

“I know this sounds like a silly superstition, but over the past 30 years, every time a sparrow does this, within two weeks someone close to me dies,” Molly said. “The bird will do whatever it takes to get your attention, then fly off.”

A Fearless Bird

Molly discovered firsthand what an encounter with a sparrow can portend when she was in her early 20s. “My boyfriend and I were cleaning his father’s basement. They had a broken window down there and they had just put some heavy plastic over the window until they could replace it,” she said. “As we were cleaning, my boyfriend said, ‘What is with this crazy bird?’ ”

Molly glanced at the window. On the sill, a sparrow was pecking furiously at the plastic. As her boyfriend swatted at the bird, it suddenly turned and looked straight at him. Then, it flew off.

“That was one fearless bird,” Molly remembers her boyfriend remarking. “I told him it was an omen and that someone was going to die, but he just laughed at me.”

A week and a half later, Molly’s boyfriend’s uncle died unexpectedly.

Molly’s next encounter occurred in 2008. While washing dishes in the kitchen, Molly looked up to see a sparrow at the window. It made eye contact with her for several seconds before fluttering away.

“That afternoon my kids were playing outside and they came barreling into the house and slammed the door. My one girl said, ‘Mom, there’s a million birds on our roof!’,” Molly recalled. “That’s when I could hear them just squawking. People walking their dogs and doing yard work all stopped and just stared at my house.”

Ten days later, Molly’s mother passed away.

Just Chance?

Molly’s most recent encounter occurred in the fall of 2017 when she was awakened by the sound of her four dogs barking at a sliding-glass door. On the other side of the glass, a sparrow hovered, peering inside. After waving away the dogs, Molly took a closer look.

“I squatted down and looked directly at the sparrow,” she said. “I wondered if it was sick. injured? No, he was standing strong, clear eyes, just staring at me. I waved my hand at it. Didn’t flinch. I got afraid and closed the blinds. The sparrow stayed at the door for about three minutes and then flew off.”

Four days later, Molly was working outside when her neighbor came over to visit. Her mother, the neighbor told Molly, had just passed away the day before. Molly was stunned.

“I couldn’t believe it. I know some people must think it’s all a coincidence, but honestly, how many times can it be a coincidence?”

Molly says she no longer fears an encounter with a sparrow. She has made peace with the idea of the birds as harbingers of death, she says, and accepts that some folklore is true even if it cannot be scientifically proven.

“I know what I experienced is real,” she says.


Mirrors are portals

From fairy tales to real life, mirrors, reflective surfaces, and still water all have something in common. They can be used for divination, magic, stealing souls and repelling evil. The first reflective surface used for divination was a body of still water. Mirrors are a basic tool for magical work. The Egyptians, Romans, and Greeks made their mirrors from bronze or silver. The Chinese and Hindu also used metals. It wasn’t until the 13th century in Venice that glass mirrors were introduced.

In tribal societies it is the belief that ones reflection is actually ones soul. And by exposing ones soul it is made vulnerable to evil influences and even death. It is believed that mirrors are tools in which souls may be stolen for evil purposes. Mirrors have been used as tools to increase clairvoyance and/or to gain knowledge of past lives. All class levels have used mirrors to tell their futures. From the middles ages to the 19th century, mirrors have been used by everyone including Catherine de Medici and Henry IV.

It’s not only mirrors that have created concern for people’s souls. The Motumotu of New Guinea believed their reflections were their souls the first time they saw their likenesses in a looking glass. The Basutos believe that the crocodiles have the power of killing a man by dragging his reflection under the water. Saddle Island residents in Melanesia believe there is a pool in which a malignant spirit lives. When someone’s reflection is seen in the water, it is feared that they will die and the spirit will do evil with his soul. The Greeks regarded seeing ones reflection in the water as a death omen for they feared the water spirits would capture the person’s reflection (soul) and drag it into the depths of the water thus leaving the person soulless.

Mirrors are often associated with evil, either as a means to repel evil or as a way to further evil growth in the world. Mirrors are thought to be portals into another dimension or world allowing evil, spirits, etc. to wreak havoc on the world. Superstitions about mirrors are many. For example, if one breaks a mirror one can expect at least seven years of bad luck, disaster or death. If the mirror falls on its own, then it is believed that death is coming for someone in the house. If a dead person is in a house with mirrors, their soul could be trapped forever in the mirror unless the mirror is covered.

If it is true that one sees their soul in the reflection of a mirror, then that must be why vampires can not be seen in them. Vampires have no soul. We also have it on good authority that vampires do not have reflections. After all, it was Bram Stoker’s Renfield who noticed the lack of mirrors in castle Dracula. Taking Stoker’s lead in vampires, Hollywood has reinforced this belief.

It has been a belief that mirrors can be used to protect one from vampires and witches. In Europe it became fashionable for one to wear small looking glasses on ones hat. This was done to repel the evil eye and protect the wearer from evil.

For paranormal investigators mirrors or other reflective surfaces wreak havoc. When taking photographs (35 mm or digital) especially whenever there is a flash involved, the reflection of light can create images that are not really present. One example of this occurred when taking a photo of some clothes hanging from a metal rod located in front of a mirror. The clothing and the reflection gave an illusion of a nose within the clothes as if someone was peaking out. Mirrors draped with lace or near hanging lace can also present the illusion that someone is present within the folds and design on the lace. The same can be said of still bodies of water. Water in a pond or the bottom of a bowl will also create illusions which I am sure helped to fuel these beliefs.


Molly’s Hollow in Jackson Park
Atchison, Kansas

As the story goes, long ago there was a young African American girl named Molly who lived in Atchinson, Kansas. Molly mostly led a normal life, however some of the racist locals found out that she was dating a white boy from the area. At this point in our history, this was unacceptable to a lot of folks.

Unfortunately for Molly, a band of local racists took things a bit too far one dark evening in trying to get their message across that they did not want her dating white men. The next day, Molly was found hanging by her neck from a tree in a wooded hollow. She was lynched. Today the woods are known as Jackson park and the hollow where the girl was found is known as Molly’s Hollow.

Visitors to the park today claim that the spirit of Molly still lingers in the hollow. It is said that on certain nights around midnight, you can hear the screams of a girl coming from what they believe is Molly’s Hollow. They believe that this is the disembodied sounds of Molly as she pleaded for her life long ago in that stretch of woods.

There are others who claimed to have actually seen what they believe is a full bodied apparition of a girl hanging from a tree in the area where Molly died. Others claim to have felt and eerie prescense and unseen hands touching, pulling, or grabbing them as they made their way through the hollow.

Some versions of the story state that Molly was not an African American and was hanged by her boyfriend after he became angry with her for not going all the way with him. No matter what version you choose to believe really happened, many who have visited the park claim that the haunting is real!

Jackson Park is the largest in the city of Atchinson, Kansas and is situated just off the banks of the Missouri River. It contains hiking and biking trails, some of which take you through Molly’s Hollow. If you visit at the right time, you just may catch the sound of Molly’s chilling screams or even see her!


The Olivier House Ghost

The Olivier House Hotel in New Orleans has a long history, beginning 1838, when widow Madame Marie Anne Bievenu Olivier had it built. Construction finished in 1839, when she moved into the house, located on Toulouse Street. Madame Olivier was born in 1772, and witnessed a lot of tragedy in the city of New Orleans, including the fires of 1788 and 1794.

When she was 16, she married Nicolas Godefroy Olivier, distinguished painter. The two would go on to have nine children and many grandchildren. New Orleans began rebuilding itself in the 1830s. Cotton was thriving, and the Olivier family was one of the wealthiest in the city. After her husband passed away, Madame Olivier decided to build a new house at the property she owned at Toulouse Street.

The home was built right in the French Quarter, about half a block off Bourbon Street. It was close enough to the action, yet far away enough for peace and quiet from the sights and sounds. In the original design, there was a business establishment on the first floor. The front of the home was designed with tall arches. At one point in time, there was a ballroom on the top floor.

After Marie Anne passed away in 1843, the property passed into the hands of Felix Labatut, and then onto Ms. Elizabeth Locoul. It survived being desecrated by Union soldiers during the Civil War. Ms. Locoul moved back in after the war and continued living in the house until she passed away in 1895. It has passed through many owners since. In the 1950s, an investment group from Texas bought the house with the intention of demolishing it in order to make room for a parking lot, but luckily, local residents managed to save it. In the 1970s, new owners got a hold of the house, and spent nearly a million dollars to restore it to its formal glory.

Today, the Olivier House is a hotel. It’s been renovated and fixed up with modern amenities. Each room has its very own theme and unique charm. Period antiques are a large part of the interior décor.

It’s also believed, by some, that former owners never left the Olivier House. Ms. Locoul in particular is still believed to live in the house. Perhaps she lived there so long in life that she didn’t want to leave it in death. Guests of the Olivier House have claimed to see Elizabeth over the years.