Sunday, August 31, 2008

The Myrtles Plantation - Part II

Legend, or the rumer mill tells us that ten murders and at least one suicide occurred at the Myrtles. General Bradford's daughter and two grand-daughter's were three among the ten.

As the story goes, as many southern "gentlemen" of the time, Clark Woodruff (the General's son-in-law and former law student) was in the way of forcing himself on one of the house slaves, Cleo.

Cleo, like many other female slaves of the day, now found herself in quite a predicament. Being in the home, forced to work with "Miss Sara: (Clark's wife - obviously knowledgable of her husband's indescretions), she must hide her awkwardness and be even more attentive and do nothing that mght anger her mistress or she might be sent to the fields to work where the manual labor was so hard that it actually lowered the life expectency of a slave to about 32-34 years of life.

Then, there was Master Woodruff. Cleo tried to avoid him at all costs, lest he get it in his head to come to her at night in her quaters. He could sell her away if she refused his advances, or have her whipped, or even worse. Then, there were her own people to consider. The other slaves.

The house slaves of the plantations had a secret job-unknown to their owners. As they worked earnestly through the rooms dusting, polishing, they also watched and listened. And they learned. They learned a lot about the Master's business. They leared who might be being bought from a nearby plantation. Who was about to be sold away or traded, when the next slave auction was being held and when the Master might be going out of town and the like.

Cleo's people counted on her for this information. What she could tell them was often the only small bit of security they had that they were staying together, at least for a little while. Now, the listening became even more important, because it was SHE who might be being sold off! So, she listened even more earnestly, but unfortuneately, not with more skill. Cloe was caught by the Master himself and as punishment, he cut off her ear!

From that day forward, Cleo always wrapped her head in a head scarf to hide her disfugurement. Her precarious place in the household had now escalated from bad to worse! Caught in a dishonest act, could the Mistress ever trust her? No longer beautiful, would the Master want her? Probably, the answer to both of those questions, was a resounding "NO!"

One idea came to her. Cleo loved the children and they reciprocated. She knew she still had use where they were concerned. The next time Master Clark went out of town, Cleo baked a cake for the Mistress and the two little girls. Into it, she put the juice of Oleander leaves. She wanted to put in just enough to make them feel a little under the weather so she could love them and tenderly nurse them all back to health and prove how useful she was and that no other house slave could do a better job than she. But, Cleo miscalculated. She used to much oleander juice. Her mistress and the girls grew deathly ill. She tried her best to help them, she nursed them all day and though the night but they just grew worse and writhed in agony on the bed. The little ones went first, then a few hours later in misery, her Mistress died in her arms.

With shrieks of grief, Cleo ran from the home and down the paths to the slave quaters, screaming for help with tears streaming down her cheeks. When she relayed to the other slaves what she had done they became horrifed. Not just for Cleo, but for their own lives! They knew their Master was a cruel slave-owner and would want revenge. All because of this silly girl!

Overpowered by all the slaves, thinking it was better to take their own justice upon Cleo and maybe earn the Master's thanks instead of his wrath, the slaves hung Cleo from a tree on the front grounds. When the Master returned home, it was over. Over for his family, and over for Cleo....but the begginning of the hauntings for this home. Perhaps Cleo's wounded soul on this sorrowful ground was the perfect recipe for misery.

People who stay at the Myrtles today (now a Bed & Breakfast) have witnessed seeing a figure that fits Cleo's description, as well as two figures that sound like the two little girls who died by her hand.

Clark Woodruff sold the property to Ruffin Gray Stirling in 1834 who restored the plantation. The Stirling family held it through 1894 when it starting changing hands many times. We'll learn more about this fascinating place in part three.........

The Most Haunted Place in America - The Myrtles Plantation - Part I

The Myrtles plantation in St Francisville, Louisiana was built in 1796 by General David Bradford. It was originally named "Laurel Grove" and has been scaring the living daylights out of people ever since.

Perhaps our General was a little short-sighted (a nice way of saying "dim-witted!), or maybe he was just selfish. One couldn't really blame him for choosing the lush, green property dotted with weeping willows and magnolia trees. Who wouldn't want this particular spot to build their 2-story wood-frame home?

Well, if the General had been smart, or even a little compassionate, he might have listened to the local people who had been using the spot as a cemetary and burying their dead there for years and years. They tried their best to persuade him not to disturb the peace of the spot and to explain to him why the place was special to the locals. If he would have listened, he might have chosen a spot just as nice a few miles down the road, but the General had a lot of money, and not a lot of sense.

Instead of relizing anthing about the sanctity of death or what any of this meant to loved ones, that children, parents, sweethearts and friends were resting there, were visited weekly, prayed over and more, he just callously ordered the graves dug up and all the skeletal remains removed. Building went on as continued on what was now a place of sorrow and great unrest. This laid the foundation for what was to come over the next 225 some odd years. Knowing this, it all seems a little more clear.

Bradford died not long after in 1808. His widow sold the land and "Laurel Grove" to her son-in-law, Clark Woodruff, a lawyer and friend of Andrew Jackson........

to be continued....

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Stone Circles

I love this topic! I think these are just so beautiful and yet kind of creepy at the same a good way! :) These circles...well they aren't always circles. Sometimes 3 or 4 stones form an arc or only part of a circle. These massive forms are lovely megalithic monuments from ancient times that have been puzzling modern men and women for ages.
I have never been to a site to see one personally, but Ijust love to look at photos of them. I love the quiet stillness they project and the majesty of the rocks. They are projections of the very power of Creation and the Earth itself. I would love to tap into the rock somehow and hook into just a little bit of the knowledge of all the things that time has shown them over all these years. They have seen power and strength, beauty, peace, war, life and death and humanity at its best and its worst. One day I hope to have the chance to visit a site and have the opportunity to "feel" the power of one of these sites. We'll see.
Anyway, there are thousands of these sites all over the world, in Britain, Ireland, Africa, India, the Americas, Israel and even have been found in some polar regions. Although these places are shrouded in mystery and bring to mind pictures of Stonehenge and old druid priests, thanks to archaeologists and their hard work we know that the spots were often used as burial places, often were used for rituals and were probably related to the calendar and in some way were used to mark the solstaces, or at least the summer solstace.
Can any of you readers that have been to a circle of standing stones give a first hand account of your experience?

Friday, August 29, 2008

Woman accused of Witchcraft Exonerated more than 200 years after her "judicial murder"

Approximatley 200 years ago in Glarus Switzerland, a woman lived in the house of a local magistrate, Jakob Tschudi. Her name was Anna Goeldi. She was a maidservant for the household and had the misfortune of falling in love with her employer, who fired her when she threatened to go public with their affair. As adultary was a crime, and he was a public figure who couldn't take the humiliation, he decided to silence Anna for good by accusing her of witchcraft.

Tortured for days until she confessed not once, but twice, Goeldi was publically beheaded in the town square two weeks later.

Just days ago this month, a verdict in this case was handed down from a non-legal trial and held that Anna Goeldi was the victim of judicial murder. An interesting note that the last woman accused of witchcraft in Europe and her exoneration comes some 200 years after her death...and even this was initially blocked by local authorities and the Protestant Church!

Shall we say too little too late? Your thoughts?

Part II

The Fat Man was standing in the doorway between my kitchen and the dining room. He was blocking my exit and I had no way out and yet I didn't feel threatened. Despite feeling relatively calm despite of my visitor, I hoped my children didn't come downstairs looking for their dinner.
Thoughts of my family brought me even a little more around to reality and I started to notice things about "he fat man". I noticed he wore brown dress slacks and a white collared button-up shirt. His brown hair was parted on the side. His face was good-natured and kind. I felt no menace or evil and I felt myself begin to relax.
His smile widened so that it spread to his eyes, as if to let me know everything was fine. He then slowly turned away and I noticed his form start to waver and dissipate. Then he was gone.
To this day, I do not know who the fat man was, but I remember a momentary sadness when he left me. I have never come across a photograph of him. I don't think he was a relative (at least not one that any family member has ever spoken of) and I have never seen him again.
Truth be told, I miss him. For those moments he was with me, I felt comfort. I find myself hoping to see him again and maybe have a chance to chat.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

A Personal Experience - Part I

I've heard that ghosts (entities or spirits) can gain energy from the electrical appliances we use so when I hear stories about that sort of thing, it doesn't surprise me. I am a believer now, but I wasn't always.
My story started about ten years ago when I was cooking dinner for my family in the small galley kitchen of the town-home we lived in at the time. I turned around to put a casserole dish in the microwave and closed the door. Before I could get my fingers anywhere near the cook buttons, large sparks (actually they were more like small lightning bolts!) flew from the buttons and hit the two gold bracelets that were securely clasped on my right wrist. The bracelets fell to the floor with an audible "Crack".
Those bracelets meant a lot to me. My husband had bought them for me as a wedding present and I didn't want to think of losing them. I bent down to pick them up and was so happy to see that they weren't broken, and yet I knew they should be after what had happened. Although they were good 14k bracelets with expensive clasps, I didn't think any metal would have been able to have held up under the explosive "cracks" of lights from the microwave.
An odd burning smell lingered in the air and thin lines of black smoke curled from the microwave. As I picked the bracelets up, and tried to re-fasten them on my wrists out of the corner of my eye I noticed a large, black shadow. When I turned around to get a better look, my heart starting beating faster and a chill corsed through me. Those thin swirls of smoke took the shape of a man! A fat man who smiled at me in the doorway.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008


If you're looking to pick up some good books to add to your collection, to stock up before the long cold winter hits or to get some early Christmas shopping one, give a couple of these a try for your favorite "animal" lover!

Cryptozoology A To Z: The Encyclopedia of Loch Monsters, Sasquatch, Chupacabras, and Other Authentic Mysteries of Nature by Loren Coleman and Jerome Clark (Paperback - Aug 5, 1999)
Buy new: $15.00 $10.20
41 Used & new from $7.49
Get it by Thursday, Aug 28 if you order in the next 20 hours and choose one-day shipping.
Eligible for FREE Super Saver Shipping.

Encyclopedia of Cryptozoology: A Global Guide to Hidden Animals and Their Pursuers by Michael Newton (Hardcover - Jan 6, 2005)
Buy new: $95.00 $76.00
18 Used & new from $76.00
Get it by Thursday, Aug 28 if you order in the next 20 hours and choose one-day shipping.
Eligible for FREE Super Saver Shipping.
Tales of the Cryptids: Mysterious Creatures That May or May Not Exist (Darby Creek Publishing) by Kelly Milner Halls, Rick Spears, and Roxyanne Young (Hardcover - Sep 1, 2006)
Buy new: $18.95 $12.89
26 Used & new from $12.02
Get it by Thursday, Aug 28 if you order in the next 19 hours and choose one-day shipping.
Eligible for FREE Super Saver Shipping.


Well, this elusive little guy gets around! The Chupacabra has a history with first sightings beginning in Puerto-Rico with other sightings in Mexico, the United States and as far away as Australia. The reports of these little vampyric "goat-suckers" are all similar in nater an M.O. (motive operandi).

All victims have 3 small puncture wounds in the neck or chest from which the blood is drained away from the body. Sometimes, organs are found missing as well, presumably from these small holes. The victims are generall herd animal. Goat, sheep, horses, cattle and even dogs. As far as is known, there has never been a human victim.

Interestingly, the appearance of the creature is a little harder to get straight as reports vary from place to place. Most witnesses say the animal is gray to green, or brown. Some say it has wings and piercing red eyes that glow in the night sky. Some say it has wings and can only fly. Some says it is bi-pedal and chases it's pray on 2 legs. All agree it is a creature of the night.

So, an alien? A demon? Some kind of new hybrid species? Anyone have any thoughts?

Monday, August 25, 2008

Shall We Chat A Bit Of Nessie?

Even though described as a monster, I find the thought of "Nessie" so charming, I actually feel a odd pull towards her, it's odd to say, but if it were possible, I would love to have her as a pet! It the same way I feel about dolphins or adorable baluga whales. I've loved hearing about Nessie, or the Loch Ness Monster, if you will, since I was a child. Here's a little background information.

I would say that maybe Nessie is the most famous monster of our time. Loch Ness itself is the largest lake in Great Britain, and of the sights I hope to see one day. It is 23 miles long, one mile wide, and almost 1000 feet deep in places. Some people say that the entire population of the earth could fit in the loch.

The very first sighting of the Loch Ness monster was in about 565 AD by the missionary Saint Columba, who was visiting Scotland to spread the Gospel. He needed to cross the loch, so one of his followers swam out in the water to reach their boat. Then a great form rose from the water and looked like it was going to eat the missionary. Saint Columba ordered the rest of his followers to be quiet, and rebuked the monster in the name of the Lord. The monster drew back and everyone was unharmed.

Since the debunking of the "famous" Nessie phots on the Loch, the sightings seemed to have slowed down some. We'll keep watching and listening

Mondays Cryptozoology Corner....tracking Bigfoot

Hi everyone! Thought we'd catch up on some factoids and some interesting sighting information on some of our most elusive friends.
As far as Bigfoot hotspots, according to the Indiana Gazatte (a newspaper from Indiana Pennsylvania) the 4 main spots for sightings are #1 California, #2 Washington, #3 Oregon and #4 Pennsylvania. Our guy likes nicely dense wooded areas it seems. Makes sense.
Also per the Gazette, they tell us "Bigfoot is believed to roam all over the United States - sightings have been reported in every state except Rhode Island and Hawaii. In Pennsylvania alone, there have been more than 800 alleged sightings since 1830. " Writer Erica Fontana in the Monday, 26 March 2007 edition of The Indiana Gazette raises an important issue "Because the sightings are so rare and they're so sporadic, it makes it even harder to find this creater. We'd like to try to get this animal proven so it can be protected," Some HYPOTHESES about what the creature, if it exists, are varied. Some believe it is the "Missing Link" between humans and other primates; others think it may be a descendant of another primate species that has gone extinct, such as Gigantopithecus blacki, Paranthropus robustus or Meganthropus. Still others think it could be an undiscovered primate species or something else entirely, such as a pervasive hoax.
My stance? Where there is smoke there is fire... I want to believe and think there is truth to what these people are seeing.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Any BIGFOOT Believers Out There?

For Most people, the creature known as "bigfoot" is passed off as myth, largely because the nay-saying scientiests argue that if they were really out there, we certainly would have found bones, or a carcass or two or some sort of remains. Since we haven't, they dismiss the thought of any kind of bi-pedal, 10 foot tall creature roaming the woods. I disagree. I LOVE animals, and I love cryptozoology and Bigfoot (and the lake monsters) is one of my favorites.
The most convincing Bigfoot stories I ever heard in our country are the sightings from Whitehall New York. I come from a small town in upstate New York, Stamford. Stamford is nestled nicely between the Catskills and the Adirondaks, a very similar kind of town to Whitehall.
Whitehall is a small town near the Adirondack Mountain Preserve and has been a pretty busy place concerning the Hairy One's sightings. The Bigfoot sightings in the area date back to the Iroquois Indians. There are also documented sightings during the exploration of the St. Lawrence seaway and Great Lakes areas of the U.S. and Canada by French explorer, Samuel de Champlain, in the early 1600's (Also the home of "Champy, the Lake Champlain monster).
There is a frequenty mentioned road in Whitehall, on the outskirts of town called Abair Road. Whitehall police officer, Brian Gosselin had a very interesting encounter with our guy there. I believe that it garnered so much attention, the television show Monster Quest visited the town and did their own investigation. I'm interested to see what they turn up. Anyone have any information or thoughts about Bigfoot?

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

A lot of people ask me what got me interested in the paranormal. First, I tell them it's a lot more than an interest...more of a life-long learning experience. What sparked it is kind of silly. I remember being a really little kid and coming come from kindergarden with my older cousin. He couldn't wait to get home, plop down in front of the television set and tune into DARK SHADOWS, a soap opera done in black and white. You can still buy copies of the old show at Best Buy or on Ebay, and they have great nostalgic value for old fans like me but they were a little hokey.
What was significant about this show was, for me, 3 of the main charachters. Barnabas (a vampire), Quentin (a werewolf) and Angelique (a witch). From this silly show I actually gleaned the fledgling knowledge of a novice regarding these creatures, but more importantly it left me wanting to learn more. So basically, that's where it started for me, at age 5 but it didn't end there. It's many years later and I am still learning. I hope to never stop. My learning has led me to meeting interesting people and to many personal experiences with the paranormal.
So that's my begninng. It's pretty simple. Now, I'd like to hear to yours. Don't be shy. Tell me about you and what go you started. Tell me what you'd like to talk about here, or what you'd like to learn about. Let's learn together.
Let's talk more tomorrow...

Sunday, August 17, 2008


Welcome to my blog. I'm so excited to begin. There's so many things to talk about and so much I have to say, but this won't be just me. This will be a place where you can talk too, I want to hear about your experiences. All the things that have happened to you, the things you're afraid to talk about to other people. The things that you know if you did tell anybody, they'd think you were crazy. They'd look at you funny. They'd nod with compassion but in your heart you'll know they don't believe you.

I'll believe you. I've had those experiences my whole life. This will be our place. We'll talk, we'll learn about all those things that go bump in the night. We'll get to know each other. So send me your questions, so I get to learn more about you and you can learn more about me, as the days go by.

From your fellow shadow watcher...

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