Thursday, February 28, 2019

A Strange Twin

Robert Owen's book

One of the strangest stories about a doppelganger was chronicled in Robert Owens 1860 book, Footfalls on the Boundary of Another World.

Emilie Sagee lived in 19th Century France. She was a single lady who made her living as a schoolteacher. She was pretty, likable and a good teacher by all accounts.

Despite this, she had trouble keeping a job, in fact, she was forced to move from town to town.

The reason for this is she had a ghostly twin who haunted her. This apparition since birth had plagued her life. For her twin was no ordinary ghost, it was a doppelganger.

She was fired from eighteen teaching positions because of this doppelganger.

It was during her time at her 19th position that it was clearly documented what was happening. She obtained a position in Latvia at the Pensionat von Neuwelcke--a prestigious school for girls.

While teaching a French class in front of thirteen students, her twin appeared out of nowhere and proceeded to mimic her every move. Though all her students could see this ghost, Emilie could not.

During another lesson, this doppelganger appeared in front of the class sitting in Emilie’s chair. Emilie at the time was out in the school garden. Two brave students approached this apparition.

One of the girls tried to touch her, but her hand went straight through her. Later she reported it felt like her hand had touched a substance that felt like cloth.

Emilie’s twin would often follow the class when they took walks together. It always kept its distance. Again only Emilie’s students saw it, never Emilie.

It was also seen standing in the classroom doorway imitating Emilie’s every move. Not surprising, with these strange sightings Emilie lost her job at this school as well.

It is said that it is a blessing Emilie never met her own doppelganger for it is believed this would have brought her further bad luck.

A doppelganger is the exact double of a living person but is an apparition. In German doppelganger means, “double walker” for these phantoms are not ghosts in the traditional sense. They instead are a projection of a person who is not deceased.

It is like a person who has split in two or has the ability to be in two places at once. It is believed that Emilie’s doppelganger often appeared because she had a driving need to be a good teacher.

The following is a short video that highlights this story.

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Blue Boy Ghost Story

As I have mentioned in other posts, our neighbors across the pond—the Brits love a good ghost story. They love them so much their newspapers, mainstream and tabloid alike publish them regularly.

You can always find a good ghost story or sighting, with pictures included, in the Daily Mirror and The Star, which are both tabloids. The Guardian, a mainstream English newspaper, also reports the latest paranormal sightings.

This might be the reason that 1 in 3 people in Great Britain believes in some form of paranormal activity. Just like in the U.S., more women than men hold this belief.

Coylet Inn
A widely debated ghost sighting received a lot of attention in the British papers recently.

The Ten witnesses were holding a hen party in August of 2017, in America, we call them bachelorette parties, at a remote estate in Argyll, Scotland.

During the festivities to celebrate the bride-to-be, these women gathered near the Loch Eck near the Coylet Inn to take photos in front of the lake and surrounding hills.

When the group gathered around to view the photos on the camera, they saw a young boy crouching behind a log in the second picture.

They were surprised for no children were staying with them at this remote inn, and they wondered how this boy could appear in the second photo taken just seconds after the first.

The first photo was taken. Click to enlarge.

The second photo was taken seconds later. Click to enlarge.

When they shared this photo with the Coylet staff, what they were told frightened them. They packed their bags and immediately left.

They were told the story of “The Blue Boy.”

Loch Eck
Several centuries before their visit, a mother and her 4-year old son had visited the inn. While they slept, the boy prone to sleepwalk left his bed. The next morning they found his body turned blue from the cold waters in the lock. He had drowned.

The Blue Boy ghost has been seen at the inn and the surrounding area since this tragedy.

He is often heard crying. It is believed he is looking for his mother. Wet footprints are spotted in the inn’s hallways leading nowhere.

Items in Room 4 where he and his mother stayed are found moved about, and for years, witnesses have sensed his presence in this room.

Film Poster
In 1994, a film starring Emma Thompson was made at the Coylet about this haunting. The director, Paul Murton, while editing the film, saw a strange blue mist in several of the scenes. No one had seen this mist during the filming.

Since this story was published, some contend what was captured was just a clever photo-bomb, but others knowing the history of the inn doesn’t blame the hen partygoers for leaving early.

Friday, February 22, 2019

A Creepy Conversation

One of the scariest accounts published in 2016 of a ghost encounter involved a woman sleeping alone in her home.

Jenny had been having trouble sleeping so her doctor recommended she download a sleep app onto her smartphone. This app would record the second; there was any noise in her bedroom in order to track when her sleep pattern became restless.

In late October, Jenny had been using this app for a month—it typically picked up her coughing and snoring. But then it recorded something one night at 2:04 a.m. that freaked her out.

Sleep as Android App
Leading up to this early morning hour the app had picked up a clicking sound that became louder and louder then this sound stopped. In its place, she heard her own voice state, “What are you doing?” Jenny on occasion would talk in her sleep.

But this time a deep male voice replied, “Nothing.” The clicking crackled again, and then the same male voice at the end of the recording stated, “That’s them.”

Jenny woke up the next morning with no memory of this. So when she heard this voice, she was shocked and then scared.

At first, she wondered if someone had broken into her home as she slept, but she found nothing out of place or missing. She then convinced herself that the second voice must be hers; this comforted her for a while.

A month later, not hearing anything more unusual on her sleep app Jenny tried to put the incident out of mind, but she was still uneasy. A friend recommended she share the recording with an expert.

When she consulted with an expert, he told her the second voice had an entirely different pitch and could not have been hers it is much lower than hers.

Jenny then placed the recording online. The general consensus was a ghost had conversed with her while she slept. No longer comfortable in her own home, Jenny moved.

Here is a link to SoundCloud where this creepy conversation can be heard clearly. Every time I listen to it I get chills.

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Burnt Mill Road Ghost

For over fifty years in Atco, New Jersey there is a rite of passage that many of the teens in this small town have participated in. It involves a haunted road that dead ends at the Pine Barrens. *

The following story like most ghost lore is part rumor and part true haunting.

Burnt Mills Road
For decades Burnt Mill Road has been considered haunted by a pale little boy dribbling a basketball. It is said that one Christmas night many decades ago this boy was playing with his new ball when it rolled out into the middle of the road.

A drunk driver not seeing him struck him. This driver then headed toward a dead end, he was forced to turn around and head back passing the small body of the boy he had just killed.

Since many witnesses have seen the apparition of this boy along this road. The youth of the town, since the 1950s drive out to Burnt Mill in hopes of catching a glimpse of this sad ghost.

From the way, this apparition behaves when cars drive along this road the locals feel he is trying to find the man who hit him. As a result, there are several rules that people are encouraged to follow to increase their chances of seeing this ghost.

One must drive to the end of the road and turn their car around as if they are about to head back. They then must turn off their car engine and lights and exit their car. It is said this is when the ghost will appear.

Most witness sightings have happened after dark for this is when the accident occurred.

Burnt Mills Road Dead End
After one young man exited his car, he spotted the apparition walking toward him, but it was if the boy was, “walking in place” for the ghost never reached where he stood. Another account states this ghost just sat down next to the witnesses’ car and didn’t move—as if dejected that they weren’t who he was looking for.

A common description of this ghost includes the fact this boy is still seen dribbling his basketball.

One group that went out looking on a misty night gave up when nothing happened but when they reentered their car and turned on the ignition a figure of a small child broke through the fog. As they left in a panic, this low-lying fog swirled around behind them faster and faster.

Most witnesses who have seen this ghost are not ashamed to admit they were frightened and left Burnt Mill Road quickly.

*  The Pine Barrens are known for the Jersey Devil and other specters.

Sunday, February 17, 2019

Ghost with a Sweet Tooth

Reader’s Digest has some wonderful first-person accounts of people who have encountered ghosts. Two female neighbors shared the following story.

These two women had something in common—their homes shared a poltergeist. This type of entity is known to move objects around, and these neighbors experienced this on a daily basis.

This poltergeist was very playful, and the two women named him Billy.

They often came home to find items in weird places. Milk cartons were moved to cupboards, toilet paper was found in the refrigerator, and laundry detergent was found dissolved in the bathtub.

One day the two women greeted each other on their back porches. Both were hunting for their lost milk. They discovered the gallons on the steps by their feet.

Both women joked Billy had a “sweet tooth,” for every morning they found their sugar bowls empty.

The two women would talk to Billy. When one would become frustrated, they would demand he go bother their neighbor for a while. This worked for the two would call each other to say, “Thanks a lot” because Billy had pulled some new mischief in their home.

Billy was active the whole time these two women were neighbors. No one believed them when they mentioned Billy—not even their husbands.

Their relatives and friends would often see the result of Billy’s impish ways, but they always made excuses—it couldn’t possibly be the ghost the two women knew shared their homes.

Reader’s Digest shared this story from a Reddit thread.

Saturday, February 16, 2019

Doherty Hotel: Speakeasy Murder

Doherty Hotel

Located in Clare, Michigan the Doherty opened in 1924. During prohibition, this hotel was the place to be, it offered alcohol, loose women, and gambling.

With this illegal activity came two competing gangs for the profit it offered. 

Michigan’s notorious Purple Gang ran illegal booze across the Canadian border, and Carl Jack Livingston, a business associate of this organized crime family, lived in the hotel.

His cousin, Isaiah Leebove, was the attorney for the gang. These two men owned Mammoth Oil Company together. The group used this business to launder their ill-gotten profits.

The two men got in a dispute over land Leebove owned. The cousins quarreled over whether they would drill for oil or not on this 45-acre lot.

As this disagreement escalated, Livingston became paranoid that Leebove had aligned himself with the competing New York crime syndicate, headed by Meyer Lansky. He believed his cousin was working with Lansky to put a contract out to kill him.

On the night of May 16, 1938, Livingston approached the table where Leebove and his girlfriend were eating dinner in the hotel. He shot and killed his cousin in cold blood.

A newspaper report about murder.

Livingston pled “temporary insanity” at his trial, and the jury acquitted him. Despite this, he did land in a northern Michigan institution where he died of a drug overdose in 1948.

One ghost that haunts the Doherty Hotel is Isaiah Leebove. His dark entity is seen from the hotel lobby to the upper floors, he is also seen in the Tap Room where he was murdered so heartlessly.

The owners, their guests, visitors, and hotel employees all report unusual encounters. A dark figure is seen in the hallways, and guests hear knocking on their bedroom doors. When they open it, no one is there. As well as many witnesses reporting hearing unexplained noises.

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Pitt Union’s Prima Ballerina

Schenley Hotel 1900

Several ghosts haunt the University of Pittsburgh located in the Oakland section of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. One of these stories I find especially compelling, it is about a Russian ballerina.

Today the student union, William Pitt Union, is located in once was a former hotel called the Schenley. The ghost that resides in this building is connected to the Tansky Family Lounge or the Red Room, which is located on the first floor just to the left of the entrance—at one time it was the hotel lobby.

The Red Room is still used today as a lounge with comfortable couches and chairs. Legend states early in the 20th century this space was connected to a tragedy.

Tansky Family Lounge once hotel lobby.

The Schenley Hotel, being one of Pittsburgh’s finest, hosted the Russian National Ballet when they kicked off their American tour in this northeastern city.

The troops prima ballerina exhausted from all the travel fell asleep in the lobby and missed the premiere performance. The furious company director announced that for the rest of the tour the young understudy whom had performed that night in her stead would have the role for the rest of the tour.

The devastated prima ballerina then took her own life in the area near the lounge. Even though this tale is tragic the spirit of this ballerina, which still resides in the Red Room is fondly known as a “helping ghost.”

If a student falls asleep in the Red Room it is stated the prima ballerina wakes them up—it is as if she knows they will be late for something important. Students state she prevented them from being late for exams, classes, meetings, appointments etc.

Now that is my kind of ghost . . .

Forbes Avenue side of William Pitt Union