Thursday, March 25, 2010

Other World Bug

Every so often you come across a creature that simply defies imagination. This critter (insect?) fits that description.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Haunted Suicide Railroad Bridge

The sad story has been repeated over and over: Unwed girl gets pregnant, gives birth, and takes her life and the infant's life as well.

This tale of tragedy takes a paranormal turn in Columbus, Indiana. The time is in the mid 1920's, when illegitimate children brought shame not only to the mother but to her family as well. One such birth led to the young unwed mother making the decision to take her own life and her baby's. The location of the suicide was an open railroad bridge over the East Fork of the White River in Columbus, Indiana.
Locals still report seeing the misty figure of a young woman with a bundled blanket in her arms standing on this bridge, which does not have adequate width to even allow current pedestrian traffic. This figure vanishes into "thin" air. Perhaps even more unsettling is the mournful sound of a baby wailing, also heard emenating from somewhere in the area.
Research into this apparition has revealed a couple of accounts of the sighting of some sort of large yellow eyed creature being seen on this bridge at times. However I was not able to confirm any such sightings or reports of same with the locals.

"Mikey" Haunts a School Auditorium

North High School, located in Columbus, Indiana, is apparently the lair of a rather mischievous ghost.

Long before the High School was built, back in the horse and buggy days, a young lad named Mikey was walking along a dirt road on the then northern outskirts of the town. A man driving a horse drawn wagon or buggy did not see Mikey and ran him down, killing the boy.

As it sometimes happens, the Judson S. Erne Auditorium at North High School was constructed on the exact spot where the old dirt road used to run, and where hapless Mikey lost his life. Locals have for years told of many episodes in the auditorium that are attributed to the ghost of Mikey.

Mikey has been known to turn lights on and off. He has been seen briefly at times in the catwalks and the balcony. Some claim to have seen him out of the corner of their eye running across the stage. It would seem that Mikey enjoys staying around, or at least making an appearance occasionally. The school officials tend to discount these sightings, which is frankly to be expected. However, many in the Columbus area are convinced that the ghost of Mikey truly haunts the Erne Auditorium.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

"Cry Baby" Bridge

On a quiet rural road in Hancock County, Indiana, one will find an iron bridge, built in 1887. The historical significance of this bridge was recognized, and the bridge was restored to its original structural soundness in 2006. Iron bridges such as this fine example are becoming scarce. Even more scarce are haunted old bridges.

Historic beauty aside, this bridge also harbors a sad past. For you see, some decades ago, this bridge was the scene of a terrible tragedy. An accident occurred. A car went into Sugar Creek. Upon arrival, the emergency personnel recovered the bodies of the two adults, a married couple. They did not, however, realize that a baby was also in the car. Long before child car seats, they finally realized an infant was missing, due to the late discovery of a baby blanket. The baby blanket is reported to have been buried with the mother.

Many accounts have been written and discussed describing paranormal activity at this location. Most state that if you stop your vehicle on the bridge, and turn off the engine, you can hear a baby crying for its mother. Minor variations of the ghost voices are reported. The setting is not really that ‘scary’, however the approach to the bridge from both directions has a significant raise in elevation as it crosses over Sugar Creek. Ironically, the creek bed widens and deepens as it passes under the bridge, perhaps a contributing factor to the tragic accident?

The early evening that we ventured down Thomas Road was rather cool, with mostly cloudy skies. Our arrival was just before dusk, and fortunately we encountered no traffic. Recent rains had turned the usually clear water to silt brown. We stayed in the vehicle, snapping pictures and listening, listening, listening. Neighborhood dogs finally ceased their barking at our intrusion, and we soon heard only the quiet movement of the water under the bridge. A funky atmosphere bordering on “heavy” soon overtook our senses. Did either of us hear a baby cry? We heard something, not an infant ghost crying, but something that did not fit the normally expected sounds of the countryside.

Interesting that the a baby ghost crying at a "Cry Baby" bridge has been reported at several locations in both Ohio and Indiana. If our schedule allows, we may return sometime after dark, just because that's what we like to do. But this site may very well be another one of many "legend cry baby" sites. We don't feel that it is haunted, but will remain open-minded if we ever return.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Abandoned Central States Hospital, Indianapolis

Central States Hospital in Indianapolis is but one of many closed mental hospitals across the country, closed due to funding issues and reports of inhumane practices. This site currently houses one public accessible building: A medical history museum in the structure originally used as the facility hospital and autopsy wing. Great if you love to see vintage medical equipment, tools, and pharmaceutical goods.

We were fortunate that on the day we went to the site all gates were open. The local fire department was using the grounds for training, as several fire trucks were hooking hoses to the still active hydrants scattered throughout the expansive grounds. In addition, we observed that the local police department had their horses for mounted patrols also stabled on the grounds.

Stories of Paranormal encounters are quite frankly voluminous at this site. Literally miles of underground utility tunnels cross the site, with many reports of sightings. 1950’s workers allegedly discovered evidence of old shackles being found, indicating patient restraint areas in the tunnels. No concrete evidence has been produced, however. The main old hospital buildings have long since been demolished, making way for ‘modern’ dorm style buildings constructed in the mid-late 20th century.

The day we wandered through the grounds was a beautiful, sunny day. The weather notwithstanding, I could definitely feel the emotional energy of this site. No specific encounters, just a discernment of energy, mostly negative. The buildings projected, at least to me, an air of somber abandonment. The old powerhouse, one of the oldest remaining buildings, displayed beautiful brickwork from additions added in the Depression era of the 30’s. That detailed and skillfully laid masonry added to the forlorn nature of the entire environment of this site, as I related to it.

It is easy for me to understand and believe the reports of paranormal activity reported at this facility. I would love to be able to participate in an investigation here.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

My Most Intense Paranormal Encounter, with Witnesses

Picture a small frame house, built in 1865, located at the top of a small rise next to a river. The house is a typical story and a half: two bedrooms upstairs, gabled ceilings, accessed by a very narrow and steep stairway. The top of the stairway faces the door to one bedroom, turn sharp right and you are in the second bedroom. Downstairs are three rooms and a bathroom (of course a newer remodel). As you look at the front of the house (south facing), you see a porch, formerly screened but now glassed in, leading to the main room. To the left, or west facing, there is a door from the kitchen leading to a concrete "deck" covered with a roof and screen. At the time of my encounter, the front porch was just screened in, and there was nothing but a concrete deck on the west side.

My dad and stepmother lived here for a time. During one of my visits, the subject of ghosts and hauntings came into the conversation. Dad mentioned that he and my stepmother have heard a ghost inside the house, usually within a day or two of them hearing an owl hooting in the middle of the night. Hmmmm, I thought. Well, the next night we heard an owl. Hmmmm, I thought again. After a hard days work, I was bushed, and fell asleep upstairs almost immediately as soon as my head hit the pillow.

At approximately 2:30 in the morning, I awoke, realizing that I was troubled, and frankly afraid, for no appearent reason. I lay in bed, and then I heard a door open and shut. (As I write this, my hair is starting to stand on end!) Anyway, after I heard the door, I then heard "heavy" foot steps. The steps came out of the kitchen, into the living room, under the bedroom I was in, and then back to the bottom of the stariway. I'm really starting to freak out now, and then the footsteps started up the stairs. Slow, heavy, and very clear. I'm looking, but the room is pitch black. The steps come to the top of the stairs, go into the other bedroom, back out and down the stairs. The sound of the steps stopped in the kitchen. I did not get much sleep the rest of the night.

Next morning over coffee I asked Dad if he had heard anything. He hesitated, and then said "You heard him too, huh?" The ice broken, we shared our versions of what we had heard. Both of our versions matched, except Dad had not heard the footsteps going into the kitchen on the way "out". We decided to do a little experiment, as we did not know which door our visitor had entered during the wee small hours of the morning. There are two different doors leading into the kitchen, by the way. I went back upstairs, lay down in bed, and listened while Dad opened and closed both doors. I had him do each twice, as the sound of neither door sounded like the door I had heard open and close! Thus, another mystery.

That evening the three of us were sitting on the concrete deck off the kitchen, enjoying a beautiful end to the day. As we were talking, I happened to look at the side of the house, above the kitchen door. There, faint but visable, was evidence on the side of the house that was obviously the remnants of where an old porch roof or shed had been attached to the house. I pointed this feature out to Dad. He sat there a minute, then said "That can explain the door sound you could not recognize." I had thought the same: the sound of the door I heard was in fact the sound of a door that was not there anymore.

Our visitor was benevolent, I'm sure. He was, in my opinion, just checking on someone or something. I heard him one other time, as he was on the way downstairs. Guess I slept through his walk up the stairs. I never heard the door again, but I am sure for whatever reason, he is still checking up on this house.

The Phenomena of Smiley Cemetery