Wednesday, November 30, 2016

One Wedding Tradition Wards off Evil Spirits

Today, when one thinks of weddings they don’t think of evil spirits. Weddings instead are seen as celebrations—happy events.

But one wedding tradition still observed today came about because of an ancient Roman belief. The Romans believed brides had to protect themselves from evil. They thought merriment attracted evil spirits—not to mention rejected grooms.

So a tradition began during this time to assure the bride and groom were protected from demons and angry ex-boyfriends.

All the females in the wedding party dressed the same as the bride. This was to confuse anyone or anything with ill will. It was a trick to keep the wedding couple safe—so they could get through their vows unhindered.

This belief of demonic wedding crashers persisted well into the Victorian era when it finally petered out. At this point brides began to dress more elaborately than the maids in their wedding parties.


What lingers from this protective ritual is the fact bride maids still dress in matching dresses—most of them unflattering.


Saturday, November 26, 2016

Johnny Morehouse and His Dog

Many claim that Woodlawn Cemetery * in Dayton, Ohio is haunted. The most popular story is about the ghosts of a five year old boy and his dog.

Woodlawn Cemetery
Like many ghost stories about young children this one is more charming than scary.

In the mid 1800s residents of Dayton used a series of man-made canals to transport goods and people.

Miami and Erie Canal
The Morehouse family lived in the back of their shoe-repair shop in downtown Dayton. Behind this shop ran the Miami and Erie canal. In August of 1860, the Morehouse’s youngest son Johnny was playing near the canal with his dog. The young boy lost his balance and fell into the water.

His dog jumped in after him. He was able to pull his master out of the water but it was too late—Johnny had drowned.

The Morehouse family buried Johnny at Woodlawn Cemetery. Within days of his funeral people began to see an unusual sight. Johnny’s dog was lying on his grave and would not leave.

As the days passed people worried this dog would starve to death so they began to bring him food. Because of this dog’s faithful vigil a new headstone was carved for Johnny’s grave. It has “Johnny Morehouse” inscribed on the front and “Sweet Slumber” inscribed on one side.

It depicts a large dog enfolding Johnny tenderly. Today, this gravesite is the most visited in the cemetery. People leave offerings of coins, stuffed animals, various toys and food—in fond remembrance of this child and his devoted companion.


Offerings in remembrance.


For three months in 2008 a rumor was spread that the gravestone was vandalized. These stories were false. The head on the statue of the dog did disappear –the reason for this was with age it had fallen off. It was repaired and placed back on the statue.

Over the years, witnesses have claimed to see the ghosts of Johnny and his dog throughout the cemetery. They are seen running and playing together.

Many have heard the sounds of Johnny’s laughter as his dog barks.

Most interesting are the reports that people have seen what appears to be the statue of the dog breathing. Some have put their hands directly under the dog’s stone nostrils and felt these breaths.

*  Woodlawn is the 5th oldest garden cemetery in the U.S. Orville and Wilbur Wright are buried here as well as Erma Bombeck.

Monday, October 31, 2016

An Unusual 911 Call

This is from a first-person account.

I used to work as a 911 operator in a large urban area. One night shift I worked, at around 3:00 a.m., I answered a call from an elderly woman.

She told me she didn’t feel well. I tried several times to illicit more information from her. Was she having chest pains, trouble breathing etc.?

The only response I got was her stating over and over again she was not feeling well. She did give her address and phone number. She also volunteered that she was alone and her front door was unlocked. 

She said when the paramedics arrived they should walk right in.

I put the call out as a “general illness” and continued to talk to her. After several minutes she told me in a weak voice, “ I don’t feel well.” She then stated, “She needed to go to the bathroom.”

I tried to encourage her to stay on the line but I heard her put the phone down. Every few minutes I called her name but received no response.

Eventually a firefighter whom had been dispatched to the callers’ home came on the line. He asked if the call had come in from a third party or family member. I replied “no.”


He sounded puzzled as he told me they had found an elderly lady in the bathroom. I told him that was the lady who had made the call. He slowly stated “no” and then informed me that the lady in the bathroom had been dead for at least 12 hours. That rigor had set in.

Afterwards my supervisor and I pulled the tapes on this call to see if I had missed something. We checked the timestamp, address and phone number. No one else was in the home.

My only explanation is I took a call from a dead woman.

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Goliad: Presidio La Bahia

The Presidio
Two hours south of Houston, Texas on Highway 59 is Goliad, Texas. Just south of this town sits the most fought over spot in Texas history—nine different flags have flown over the Presidio La Bahia.

The presidio’s history is seeped in violence. This it is why so many people believe the area is haunted.

The most atrocious act that occurred at La Bahia happened during the Texas Revolution in March of 1836. During the Battle of Goleto, General Santa Anna’s troops were able to retake the fort from the Texas troops.

The nine different flags that flew above the fort.

342 Texas soldiers surrendered. Several days after this battle Santa Anna ordered the massacre of all these soldiers. They were marched out of the fort in three different groups and shot at point blank range. These men were buried in a mass grave at the presidio. Today a memorial stands at the site to honor them.

This is why a month later in April of 1836, Texas soldiers' rallying cry was “ Remember Goliad” * when they defeated the Mexicans and gained independence for Texas during the Battle of San Jacento.

     *  They of course also yelled, “Remember the Alamo.”

The presidio continued to be occupied by soldiers and then by priests. Today, the Catholic Diocese of Victoria owns the “Quarters” at the presidio. It is a National Historic Landmark.

In the 1960s La Bahia was rebuilt. A museum was opened that highlights the fort’s bloody history. The architecture at the presidio is considered one of the finest examples of the Spanish Colonial style in America.

Once opened, visitors began to report strange encounters at the presidio.

These reports back up the claims that restless spirits remain in the area.

Common encounters include the sounds of footsteps heard on the roof while visitors are in the Quarters area, and the sound of distance canon fire. There are also countless other reports of strange unexplained sounds around the fort--including footsteps in the wee hours.

Most chilling of all are the eyewitness reports of seeing spectral soldiers walking around the grounds.

Because of these encounters various paranormal groups have investigated La Bahia. Their evidence is presented in several videos on YouTube.

The Quarters
Today, tourists can stay overnight in one of the rooms in the Quarters area—the cost is $200.00.

In the spring—the presidio despite its otherworldly residents is quite peaceful. Wildflowers bloom on the gentle slopes that surround it.