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The Ghost Story Thread...


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Ahhh...Halloween! It's here. Wow, and it has snuck up on us pretty quickly, too...

 

So, does anyone have a ghost story to share?

 

I'll start, I guess.

 

Before we moved out to our current rural address last March, we lived on Elms Boulevard in Excelsior Springs, MO. The boulevard was so named because at the end of the block is the historic Elms Hotel. Harry Truman stayed at the hotel election night of 1948, the night he beat Thomas Dewey for the presidency. Many other famous folks have stayed at the hotel, among them famous gangsters like Al Capone. They even filmed part of the HBO movie "Truman" (with Gary Sinise) there.

 

Both of my sons worked there in the restaurant as waiters for a time, as did my youngest son's girlfriend.

 

My oldest son relayed the story of the time when he was working room service, and supposed to take an order up to one of the upstairs rooms. As he got off the elevator, he noticed the flicker of candlelight coming from around a dimly lit corridor. He announced as he approached, "I'm sorry, but lighting candles isn't permitted in the hall". Just as he approached the corner, the candle flicker dimmed, and as he turned the corner, there was no one in the hall. No doors slamming shut, all was quiet.

 

Alisha, my younger son's girlfriend, worked in the spa downstairs. One of her duties was to keep the shower area clean, and to resupply the closets with fresh towels. Countless times she'd been there, she had approached the showers with one of them running. She'd turned it off, and left for a moment, only to find the same shower back on when she returned only seconds later. One of the towel closet doors would swing open. She would shut it, making sure the latch clicked, only to find the door open again only seconds later.

 

The legends abound at the Elms...

 

Elms Hotel links:

 

http://www.elmsresort.com/

 

http://www.trumanlibrary.org/places/elms.htm

 

http://www.weirdnj.com/__weirdus_stories/MO_excelsior_springs.html

"Cisco Kid, was a friend of mine"
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The Legend of the Mellon Heads.

 

Back in the early 70's while I was still in high school, there was a story going around about these mellon head people who escaped from a mental hospital and lived in a patch of woods near-by. If you went there at night you could hear them screaming...as the story goes, the mellonheads were deformed people with huge heads about 3-4 foot tall, who were kept in the mental hospital away from society, but some would escape off into the woods, and lived there.

 

Sooooooo, we had to check this out. Me and about 7 or 8 friends decided to go to the woods to see if we could find any mellon heads. We thought it was a bunch of bull. So we get to the entrance of the woods and start walking...it started getting really dark, and all we had was some flashlights for light as we walked into the woods....about a 1/4 mile into the woods, it was pitch black, but the trees were trimmed upto about 20 feet high so there were no branches, just big tree trunks, so it was like being in a big circus tent....as we walked into the woods, we were joking about the mellon heads...then somebody yelled...he found something...it was a large rectangular pit about 10'x 20', 4 foot deep, dug into the ground, with two basic rooms next to each other. One room was half covered with branches. In this pit, we found old blankets, booze bottles, knives, empty cans...obviously somebody had been living there. As we looked around the area somebody else found something else, it was a igloo shaped pile of leaves and branches, with a another pit dug out under it about 1-2 foot deep, about 4-5 foot round. Then we found another one just like it about twenty feet away, then another, and another, there were many of them, we found a kitchen knife in one...it was really getting weird, and everybody was starting to get really nervous. Remember, this was deep in the woods, near a creek, and it looked like a little village....the woods were pitch black...then we heard the screams off in the distance...Our eyes lit up and everybody looked at each other, and said, okay that's enough, and all 8 of us tough guys started running just to get the hell out of there.....we were all scared to death and flew back to our cars......These guys weren't wimps, but everybody was really shaken up by the whole experience....A couple of years ago, I went back to the outskirts of the woods, to see this again, and the woods was fenced off with "No Tresspassing" signs, but still there, mostly really huge trees, with some dead trees, black crows flying around, and a swampy area where the creek was. I took a drive around to see if I could find the mental hospital from the story.... and I found it, right on the outskirts of the woods...it was a spooky looking two story old house, like you'd see in a scary movie.....and it indeed was a place, that would house challenged people.......

 

Another weird thing is that this is very well located property, that has gone untouched and undeveloped for all these years surrounded by urban sprawl....but yet fenced in....I wonder what secrets those woods hold.....

Living' in the shadow,

of someone else's dream....

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Anybody know how the custom of Halloween got started ???

 

A friend of mine from Ireland told me this story...

 

In Ireland years ago, the story was told that, on All Souls Day, evil spirits were coming to steal all the children away, and turn them into evil spirits. The thinking was, was to dress up the children like evil spirits, devils and such, to fool the real evil spirits into thinking the kids were already evil spirits, and they would be spared. So it was a matter of protecting the children, and they would be given treats to calm their fears.

Living' in the shadow,

of someone else's dream....

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Another version......

 

All Souls' Day

All Souls' Day, November 2. A Christian day dedicated to all departed souls of the faithful, especially those in purgatory. This day was instituted by Saint Odilo, abbot of Cluny, France (d.1048) who ordered it to be observed throughout the Cluniac monasteries. It spread through the rest of Christendom by the end of the thirteenth century. The origins are linked to an ancient festival of the dead. In Europe it is believed that on this night the dead visit their homes and eat the food of the living. Candles are left burning and "soulcakes" are left out. In Britain, on the eve of this night "soulers" would once go from house to house saying prayers for the dead and asking for soulcakes. It was believed that the more cakes you could eat, the more souls you could save from purgatory. Also known as Day of the Dead, especially in Mexico, where families picnic at the graves of their dead relatives, and give the children toys, bread and sweets in the shapes of skeletons or caskets. The pagan origins of this holiday are mentioned in The Pagan Book of Days by Nigel Pennick.

 

All Souls' Day commemorates departed spirits not elevated to sainthood. Before becoming a church festival in 998 C.E., it was marked with celebrations from the festival of Woden (Odin) as god of the dead: parading the Hodening wild horse and other guising including mummers' plays enacting the mysteries of life, death, and rebirth. Ceremonial soulcakes were cooked and eaten on this day.

Living' in the shadow,

of someone else's dream....

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Here's a story about a castle near me,that's now a public park...Squire's Castle........

 

In the mood for a country picnic? Make sure to pack your basket, bring a blanket and don't forget the lantern. It gets dark at night and you'll want to see where you're going. After all, you wouldn't want to end up like Mrs. Squire.

 

It was a long, long time ago--about a hundred years now --that Mr. Squire, an oil baron from England, happened upon the woods of Chagrin Valley. He was so taken by their haunting beauty that he bought more than 500 acres of land and started building his dream home--a German baronial castle for himself and his wife.

 

Mr. Squire enjoyed hunting, but Mrs. Squire was afraid of the beasts known to wander the dark woods. She would have nightmares about waking up to find wild animals roaming the house, their fangs dripping with the blood of the Squires' child. What started out as a recurring nightmare would become her mania. Before long, Mrs. Squire could not sleep at night. The sound of the woods drove her to madness, drink and sleepwalking.

 

One autumn evening, Mrs. Squire was awakened by the sounds of wolves outside. She lit her lantern--the one she kept on her dresser next to the bed--and walked towards the pantry. But the howls of the wild beasts grew ever louder. Wolves, panthers, howls, screams--the cries of suffering horses. She started running--faster--the lantern shaking in her trembling hand. And then she saw the beasts--staring back at her--their eyes filled with evil and hunger.

 

And then she stumbled on a step leading to the basement. There was a resounding crash and a snap, followed by a creaking sound as her small, struggling body swung from a rope hanging in the basement, her right hand still clutching the lantern.

 

Mr. Squire, awakened by the noise, walked through the pantry and into his trophy room where he found a chair knocked over and one of his deer antler trophies lying on the floor. Following the creaking sound, Mr. Squire found his wife, dangling from a rope in the basement. She was dead. In her frenzy, she had mistaken Mr. Squire's glass-eyed, stuffed trophies for the wild beasts that haunted her and had caught her neck on a hanging rope as she ran from them.

 

She sleepwalks through Squire's Castle still, lantern in hand.

 

Years ago, A friend and I used to play small concerts here at this castle with our acoustic 12 string guitars.....we didn't see any ghosts, but one time, we did have park rangers enter the castle on horseback, to break up our little concert. They almost trampled a few of us. They search our guitar cases looking for drugs, and found nothing...

Living' in the shadow,

of someone else's dream....

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This is a true story.

 

Last Halloween, I was driving down the highway,on my way home from a party. I saw this girl walking on the side of the road. I was a cold evening, and she didn't have anything on that would keep her warm.

 

I pulled over to the side of the road, and asked her if she wanted a ride. She thanked me many times and got in the car. I gave her my jacket to keep warm. She gave me directions to her house and I started to make my way over there.

 

In about 20 minutes we pulled up to her house. She thanked me for the ride and started to get out. I asked her her name, and she said that it was Karen.She unlocked the door to her house and I drove off.

 

The next morning I realized that she still had my jacket, so I made my way over there again. I knocked on the door and an old woman answered, and I asked "Hi,is Karen home? I let her borrow my jacket last night and she didn't give it back."

 

She started at me with a look of disgust on her face, and answered back, "Nice joke,sicko. Karen's been dead for 20 years." :eek::eek::eek::eek:

 

I found out where she was buried and went to see her grave. As I got closer I noticed my jacket draped over the tombstone.... :D

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I remember a couple of years ago when Peter was away on a covert cctv installation and what occures now is that it was the only night in all the time we have been here that he's been away over night.

Well anyway, I was in bed and it was about 2am or so and my little son wanted to sleep with me that night...

All of a sudden I heard heavy footsteps running up the stairs and my door flew open violently which woke up my son.

I felt something jump on the end of my bed but i couldn't see anything there as the light shines in so my rooms pretty well lit, and it jumped up and down for a minute that we were bouncing with it and sudden i heard a thud and the thing ran back down the stairs and that was it!

It scared the living daylights out of me and my son that we slept with the light on and i dont think we got much sleep either.

I checked everything downstairs and nothing could have got in or out as it was alarmed and it ffnt set any of the trips of so whatever it was, i stil dont have a clue about!!! :eek:

I still feel like somethings watching me when i am in certain rooms and it gets cold around me quickly sometimes and the hairs on my neck stand on edge...

Its pretty scary really!

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BWAHAHAHA!!!

 

(Creepy voice)...Remember to tell yourselves, there ARE no such things as ghosts...ha hahaha...HAHAAHA...BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!

 

There's nothing scary about modern homes, is there? I mean, old Victorian mansions, most certainly. But comfy little bungalows in South Miami with palm trees in the back...nothing scary at all...right?

 

Years ago, when I was a young teenager, I went with my mom to visit my Aunt Marian and Cousin Jenny...who lived in South Miami.

 

Aunt Marian had a Baldwin organ, one of those "old lady" models, with the rhythms like "foxtrot, waltz, samba" etc. You know the type. In the back of the house was what they call a "Florida room", basically an enclosed back porch with lots of louvered windows. A nice place to sit on balmy Florida nights. And so they sat, Aunt Marian, Cousin Jenny, and my Mom. I was 15-20 feet away at the Baldwin organ, plonking on it. I couldn't really play it, but I was trying.

 

Suddenly there was a sharp SLAP on the back of my head. I turned instantly to look, and saw everyone in the house sitting at the table. I mean INSTANTLY. No Jenny scampering to get over there before I discovered her mischief. They were talking. I gave Jenny a look like "Okay, joke's over". Everyone at the table swore they'd been sitting at that same table for the duration, no one had left. I looked up. No hanging plants that I could have bumped my head on. Nothing had fallen off a shelf...no shelves nearby...

 

More to follow...

"Cisco Kid, was a friend of mine"
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Scene 5

 

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'Burn the witch!'

 

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MONKS: [chanting]

Pie Iesu domine, dona eis requiem.

[bonk]

Pie Iesu domine,...

[bonk]

...dona eis requiem.

[bonk]

Pie Iesu domine,...

[bonk]

...dona eis requiem.

CROWD:

A witch! A witch!

[bonk]

A witch! A witch!

MONKS: [chanting]

Pie Iesu domine...

CROWD:

A witch! A witch! A witch! A witch! We've found a witch! A witch! A witch! A witch! A witch! We've got a witch! A witch! A witch! Burn her! Burn her! Burn her! We've found a witch! We've found a witch! A witch! A witch! A witch!

VILLAGER #1:

We have found a witch. May we burn her?

 

CROWD:

Burn her! Burn! Burn her! Burn her!

BEDEVERE:

How do you know she is a witch?

VILLAGER #2:

She looks like one.

CROWD:

Right! Yeah! Yeah!

BEDEVERE:

Bring her forward.

WITCH:

I'm not a witch. I'm not a witch.

BEDEVERE:

Uh, but you are dressed as one.

 

WITCH:

They dressed me up like this.

CROWD:

Augh, we didn't! We didn't...

WITCH:

And this isn't my nose. It's a false one.

BEDEVERE:

Well?

VILLAGER #1:

Well, we did do the nose.

BEDEVERE:

The nose?

VILLAGER #1:

And the hat, but she is a witch!

VILLAGER #2:

Yeah!

CROWD:

We burn her! Right! Yeaaah! Yeaah!

BEDEVERE:

Did you dress her up like this?

VILLAGER #1:

No!

VILLAGER #2 and 3:

No. No.

VILLAGER #2:

No.

VILLAGER #1:

No.

VILLAGERS #2 and #3:

No.

VILLAGER #1:

Yes.

VILLAGER #2:

Yes.

VILLAGER #1:

Yes. Yeah, a bit.

VILLAGER #3:

A bit.

VILLAGERS #1 and #2:

A bit.

VILLAGER #3:

A bit.

VILLAGER #1:

She has got a wart.

RANDOM:

[cough]

BEDEVERE:

What makes you think she is a witch?

VILLAGER #3:

Well, she turned me into a newt.

BEDEVERE:

A newt?

VILLAGER #3:

I got better.

VILLAGER #2:

Burn her anyway!

VILLAGER #1:

Burn!

CROWD:

Burn her! Burn! Burn her!...

BEDEVERE:

Quiet! Quiet! Quiet! Quiet! There are ways of telling whether she is a witch.

VILLAGER #1:

Are there?

VILLAGER #2:

Ah?

VILLAGER #1:

What are they?

CROWD:

Tell us! Tell us!...

BEDEVERE:

Tell me. What do you do with witches?

VILLAGER #2:

Burn!

VILLAGER #1:

Burn!

CROWD:

Burn! Burn them up! Burn!...

BEDEVERE:

And what do you burn apart from witches?

VILLAGER #1:

More witches!

VILLAGER #3:

Shh!

VILLAGER #2:

Wood!

BEDEVERE:

So, why do witches burn?

[pause]

VILLAGER #3:

B--... 'cause they're made of... wood?

BEDEVERE:

Good! Heh heh.

CROWD:

Oh, yeah. Oh.

BEDEVERE:

So, how do we tell whether she is made of wood?

VILLAGER #1:

Build a bridge out of her.

BEDEVERE:

Ah, but can you not also make bridges out of stone?

VILLAGER #1:

Oh, yeah.

RANDOM:

Oh, yeah. True. Uhh...

BEDEVERE:

Does wood sink in water?

VILLAGER #1:

No. No.

VILLAGER #2:

No, it floats! It floats!

VILLAGER #1:

Throw her into the pond!

CROWD:

The pond! Throw her into the pond!

BEDEVERE:

What also floats in water?

VILLAGER #1:

Bread!

VILLAGER #2:

Apples!

VILLAGER #3:

Uh, very small rocks!

VILLAGER #1:

Cider!

VILLAGER #2:

Uh, gra-- gravy!

VILLAGER #1:

Cherries!

VILLAGER #2:

Mud!

VILLAGER #3:

Uh, churches! Churches!

VILLAGER #2:

Lead! Lead!

ARTHUR:

A duck!

CROWD:

Oooh.

BEDEVERE:

Exactly. So, logically...

VILLAGER #1:

If... she... weighs... the same as a duck,... she's made of wood.

BEDEVERE:

And therefore?

VILLAGER #2:

A witch!

VILLAGER #1:

A witch!

CROWD:

A witch! A witch!...

VILLAGER #4:

Here is a duck. Use this duck.

[quack quack quack]

BEDEVERE:

Very good. We shall use my largest scales.

CROWD:

Ohh! Ohh! Burn the witch! Burn the witch! Burn her! Burn her! Burn her! Burn her! Burn her! Burn her! Burn her! Ahh! Ahh...

BEDEVERE:

Right. Remove the supports!

[whop]

[clunk]

[creak]

 

CROWD:

A witch! A witch! A witch!

WITCH:

It's a fair cop.

VILLAGER #3:

Burn her!

CROWD:

Burn her! Burn her! Burn her! Burn! Burn!...

BEDEVERE:

Who are you who are so wise in the ways of science?

ARTHUR:

I am Arthur, King of the Britons.

BEDEVERE:

My liege!

ARTHUR:

Good Sir Knight, will you come with me to Camelot and join us at the Round Table?

BEDEVERE:

My liege! I would be honored.

ARTHUR:

What is your name?

BEDEVERE:

'Bedevere', my liege.

ARTHUR:

Then I dub you 'Sir Bedevere, Knight of the Round Table'.

 

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

Back to the Holy Grail page / On to the next scene!

Living' in the shadow,

of someone else's dream....

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Loreena McKennitt - All souls night

 

Bonfire dot the rolling hillsides

Figures dance around and around

To drums that pulse out echoes of darkness

Moving to the pagan sound.

 

Somewhere in a hidden memory

Images float before my eyes

Of fragrant nights of straw and of bonfires

And dancing till the next sunrise.

 

Chorus

I can see the lights in the distance

Trembling in the dark cloak of night

Candles and lanterns are dancing, dancing

A waltz on All Souls Night.

 

Figures of cornstalks bend in the shadows

Held up tall as the flames leap high

The green knight holds the holly bush

To mark where the old year passes by.

 

Chorus

 

Bonfires dot the rolling hillsides

Figures dance around and around

To drums that pulse out echoes of darkness

Moving to the pagan sound.

 

Standing on the bridge that crosses

The river that goes out to the sea

The wind is full of a thousand voices

They pass by the bridge and me.

 

Chorus - 2x

 

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

This piece was inspired by the imagery of a Japanese tradition which celebrated the souls of the departed by sending candle-lit lanterns out on waterways leading to the ocean, sometimes in little boats; along with the imagery of the Celtic All Souls Night celebrations, at which time huge bonfires were lit not only to mark the new year, but to warm the souls of the departed. - L.M.

 

Music and lyrics by Loreena McKennitt

From: The visit (1991).

 

You can hear a sample of this song at this link...scroll down and look for "All Souls Night"....

 

http://music.barnesandnoble.com/search/product.asp?userid=7m2wIqJAB7&EAN=81227656324&ITM=12

Living' in the shadow,

of someone else's dream....

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Cowbell's story is an old urban legend...but it's a good one.

 

The addendum to my story was that last summer, I went to a family reunion and asked Jenny if she remembered that incident, and asked if it really had been her pulling a prank. Another cousin chimed in and said "That was at Aunt Marian's house? Oh, that place was FULL of poltergeists".

 

There had been two deaths in the house at the time, Aunt Marian's husband, Uncle Ed, had passed away following a heart attack. And there were rumors of a possible suicide (a lady had overdosed on sleeping pills) in years before.

"Cisco Kid, was a friend of mine"
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'Witches just aren't like that,' said Magrat. 'We live in harmony with

the

great cycles of Nature, and do no harm to anyone, and it's wicked of

them

to say we don't. We ought to fill their bones with hot lead.'

Living' in the shadow,

of someone else's dream....

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