Friday, August 19, 2016

Killed for Revenge

This story is an old legend that is told in Maine.

Major Thomas Means fought bravely during the Revolutionary War. He was at Valley Forge with General Washington and served under “Mad” Anthony Wayne at the battle of Stony Point.

He returned home to North Yarmouth, Maine in 1779 having reached the rank of Major. Years before, in 1756, he had lost his father and other family members when the Micmac Indians attacked the settlement.

The Means farm was a half-mile from the settlement’s fort. When news of a pending Indian attack was spread most of the community took refuge at this blockade. The Means family decided to wait until the next morning --they were attacked before they could leave their farm.

Thomas’ father Thomas Sr. was killed instantly his mother was wounded. Months later she gave birth to a baby who was named after his dead father. Thomas Jr. at the age of 18 joined the army as a private. As mentioned, he fought bravely alongside the other Colonial forces.

In 1807, now a respected gentleman, his peers still called him Major, Thomas bought a home once owned by the town’s minister. Situated on Main Street he opened it as a tavern.
Yarmouth Harbor
One evening Means and his patrons watched as a tall older Indian entered his establishment. This man ordered rum. As Thomas served him this man bragged about being a member of a war party that years before had massacred a family that lived near the fort.

As Thomas served him several glasses of liquor the Indian talked more. It dawned on Thomas and his patrons that this was the man who killed his father. Once the Indian was drunk Thomas escorted him to a small guest room above the tavern known as the “monitor room.”

None of the townsfolk saw this Indian again. Shortly afterwards, Thomas began to be awakened by “flashing lights and uncanny sounds” coming from the monitor room.

He then began to see the figure of the Indian moving back and forth across this small room. This activity was relentless especially during storms.

These sightings continued for years and almost drove the Major crazy. On his deathbed in 1828, Thomas confessed to his son that he had killed the Indian with a hatchet. Seeking revenge he had scalped the man as well.

Means confession did not settle down this activity. The small monitor room continued to be haunted for 50 years after his death.

It wasn’t until the late 1970s after the new owners of the tavern renovated the upstairs that this troubled ghost finally settled down.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Ohio’s Engine House No. 16

Engine No. 16
This fire station located on North Fourth Street first opened in 1908 in downtown Columbus, Ohio. At first, a horse drawn wagon was used then later a more modern fire engine.

While in use, Engine No. 16 was a favorite gathering place for all the area firemen. It was used for 70 plus years. When it closed in 1981 its rich past made it an ideal place for a museum about Columbus’ firefighting history.

Today the Central Ohio Fire Museum is a favorite destination for Columbus’ school children. They learn about firefighting and fire safety.

Central Ohio Fire Museum
One item that is not talked about is the firehouses’ resident ghost.

Most of the museum staff believes that a beloved ghost haunts Engine No. 16.

This ghost is Capt. George Dukeman—known more affectionately by his men as Captain D. He supervised the firehouse for many years. It is said he loved it so much he rarely went home.

He was known to make nightly rounds checking on his men and making sure everything was in its proper place in the firehouse.

No one in recent years has seen Captain D’s ghost but his presence is often felt. It is believed that he returns often to “check on everything.”

Doors open and close on their own—they often close one after another as if someone is walking through the house.

Lights that are left on are found turned off and even stranger if someone forgets to turn on a light within seconds that light turns on without assistance.

It appears a children’s display at the back of the museum is one of Captain D’s favorite spots. This display shows the dangers of fire. Cloth flames spring to life at the touch of a button.

These flames turn on inexplicably several times each day.

Another ghost that haunts the building is a horse. In the area that once housed the stations’ stable snorting and other strange sounds are often heard.

Engine House No. 16 is on the National Register of Historic Places.

Friday, July 22, 2016

Terrifying Tale: Road Accident

I was driving through the California desert on my way to Arizona when I became bored with the scenery. I decided to take a shortcut.

The smooth highway I traveled quickly became a bumpy two-lane back road.

The landscape that sped by remained desolate. There was nothing for miles around. This was during the 1980s and I had heard a satanic group had taken over a nearby ghost town.

As the sun set the road became very dark. My truck headlights swept across a canyon I traveled through. I noticed the high grass that lined the road appeared to take on eerie shapes.

As the canyon ended, I saw shapes silhouetted in the middle of the road up ahead. As I drew closer I realized they blocked my path.

I slowed my truck to a crawl as I realized another pickup was turned sideways across both lanes. I saw an open suitcase with clothes strewn around it.

To my horror I then saw two bodies, one a man, one a woman who where laying face down on the blacktop. They appeared to be dead. It must have been a terrible accident.

I stopped several yards from this scene. I went to open my door but then I hesitated. For some reason the hair stood up on the back of my neck. Something wasn’t right but I couldn’t pinpoint what.

I turned and retrieved my rifle from the hooks above my back windshield. I placed a round it the chamber. It then hit me, the scene in front of me didn’t appear real it appeared staged.

Was this a carefully laid ambush or was my imagination getting the best of me? I broke into a cold sweat and my heart began to pound. Something was wrong.

I decided not to get out of my truck. I looked at the road that lay before me and laid out a path I could take to avoid the truck and the bodies that lay on the ground.

I slowly zigzagged my way around these three obstacles. I then sped up and drove down the road several hundred feet. Curious, I slowed down and looked in my rearview mirror.

As my breathing became normal I noticed the two bodies were no longer lying face down. Both figures now stood.

My line of vision shifted. I saw a least twenty more figures emerging from the tall grass on either side of the road.

In a panic my foot hit the accelerator and I didn’t slow down or look back until I reached the 4-lane highway.

I refuse to think about what would have happened if I followed my first instinct and had gotten out of my truck. I have a feeling it would not have gone well.

Southern California’s Convict Lake

Sportsmen state the fish do not bite when the ghosts are near. . .

A mile and a half up in the High Sierra Mountains in California sits a Lake named after escaped convicts.

Nevada State Penitentiary at Carson City
Convict Lake was named after a group of six convicts that escaped from the Nevada State Penitentiary in September of 1871. Twenty-nine men convicted of stagecoach and train robberies escaped this prison in the Nevada desert and headed west. They crossed the border into California.

This group of convicts split up and headed into the High Sierras, which was not a wise decision for the first snowfalls in late September were already hitting these mountains.

Convict Lake
Six men from this group headed south toward the lake that is now named after them. They found themselves without shelter or supplies.

Along the trail they encountered a local mailman, William Poor. Poor immediately recognized them from the wanted posters in his office. The convicts seeing the fear in his eyes killed him in cold blood.

When word about this murder reached the locals they became enraged and formed a posse. On September 24th they found the convicts’ hideout near the lake. A bloody gun battle ensued. Deputy Sheriff Robert Morrison was killed. 

When the fight was over three men were taken into custody, the other three escaped further into the mountains and died of exposure. Two of the men captured were hanged the third man who had testified against the other two convicts was returned to prison. He was stabbed and killed by fellow prisoners for being a snitch.

Ever since, three ghosts have been seen near this lake. Two wear nooses around their necks the third has a knife sticking out of his back—it is believed he was the one who was the informer.

All three ghosts are seen covered in snow with icicles hanging from their eyebrows. Witnesses state these men have “lifeless” eyes.

These three ghosts are seen near Convict Lake year round but they are seen more often in the fall months. Locals and fishermen state that the trout in this lake do not bite when these ghosts are seen.

Witnesses state they present a gruesome sight.