Ghosts and Tales from the Outer Banks of North Carolina

Roughly 580 nautical miles west of Bermuda lay a graveyard of a thousand shipwrecks. At least, it is believed to be a thousand; a total accumulation of the effects of storms, wars, ever-changing geological features, and human error. Beyond the grave bed lies a flat, thin chain of barrier islands called the Outer Banks of North Carolina. The largest of the islands being: Hatteras and Ocracoke. Bodie Island is also one of the larger portions of the chain, and sits to the north of Hatteras; due to the changing coastal landscape, Bodie Island is now a peninsula. Cape Hatteras is located in a bend on Hatteras Island; near which, two major Atlantic currents meet: the cold Labrador Current that flows south and the warm Florida Current, from the Gulf Stream, that flows north. Such a mix of two polar currents causes turbulent waters and a large expanse of shifting, shallow sandbars called shoals. The most famous of these treacherous shoals off of Hatteras is the Diamond Shoals.

The island of Hatteras is broken up into little groups of towns. On the northern most part of the island is the cluster that includes: Waves, Salvo, and Rodanthe. Traveling south on the island, next comes Avon; then the Buxton and Frisco area; and finally, the town of Hatteras, from where one catches the ferry to Ocracoke Island. Each town and island has their own ghosts, and in some cases, also their own legends. The mysteries of the Outer Banks are plentiful enough for any visitor.

Many of the shipwrecks that have occurred off of the North Carolina coast, that did not involve war-time activities, happened during the early to mid-1800s. During this time, ships navigated the oceans using sail-power and the crews would sail them close to the islands in order to catch one of the two strong currents. There were times when the high powered winds and storms common to the area would then drive the ships aground. Because of the flat layout of the islands, many ships did not realize that they were going to beach themselves until it was too late.

In the early naval history of this country, and this is a statement true of more than just America, people did not feel the need to record the losses of ships for posterity. Shipwrecks were an expected job hazard, and for the owners and bankers, it was a forfeiture; possibly marked on their books somewhere under the title of damages or losses, with no accounting of the ships name or the hired hands that were lost. They could always look in a port town for their next employees and build a new ship.

For the dead, the damage is not as easily forgotten or forgiven. Those who have passed on will know details of the past that no one else will ever learn. Names, records, and dates that have been lost over the years or burned, discarded, simply not preserved for posterity. The dead are the window into this unknown world in the past.

Waves, NC

Investigators who have wandered the beaches of coastal North Carolina during both day and night have come across a plethora of voices recounting tales of guilt, war, and piracy. One of these inquires on the Waves stretch of Hatteras Island, yielded a response claiming that; (they) “sank in seventy-three.” The date of the investigation was 1 p.m. April 7th, 2013, conducted by the Black Moon Paranormal Society, a group that originates in Pennsylvania. If one were to go with documented shipwrecks that sank off the coast, none were listed for 1773. In 1873, nine ships were lost off of the coast, with only three documenting the possibility of lives lost. The R.B. Thompson – a Schooner – July 3rd – lost off of Cape Hatteras on July 3, 1873 – 9 lives lost; the Henrietta – a Clipper – Nov. 4th – lost off of Frying Pan Shoals – 14 lives lost. Finally, the most likely candidate considering the area of the sinking in combination with the area of the investigation, a Schooner called William, lost off of Chicamacomico with a “?” listed for lives lost.

A separate investigation in the same area, this one conducted on the evening of October 30th, 2013, revealed a very remorseful and confessional spirit. He did not say his name, what was gathered from him was that he was a “Captain,” who was on a “passenger” ship that sunk during a “war.” Two passenger ships did sink off of the coast of the Outer Banks during World War II: the City of New York and The Buarque. The Buarque was lost off of Kill Devil Hills on February 15th, 1942; while the other was lost on March 29th, 1942 off of Cape Hatteras.

Considering the lack of an accent in the Captain’s voice, the Brazilian steamer, The Buarque, may not be the ship in question. The City of New York was on its way from Capetown, South Africa, under the command of George T. Sullivan, and headed towards its home port of New York. She was about forty miles off of Hatteras when she was torpedoed by German Submarine U-160, directed by Georg Lessen. The torpedo struck port side; and wiped out the communication systems and one of the life boats. The Armed Guard on the ship opened fire on the submarine; while the captain gave the order to abandon the ship.

Just before a second torpedo struck the ship, the Armed Guard jumped off the ship into the water. In a matter of twenty minutes, the City of New York sank stern first into the Atlantic. There were 109 survivors. The dead would count to twenty-four: one Armed Guard, sixteen crewmen, and seven passengers (among the passengers included men, women and children). The U-boat that sank the ship went down on July 14th, 1943 with all hands lost. The captain of the City of New York survived the attack; but it is not always for the living to determine why a person may haunt a certain location, that may well be for the spirit to decide in specific instances.

Ocracoke Island, NC

The stories of pirates are centered on Ocracoke Island, particularly in a little patch of the island known as Springer’s Point. While sunlight shines down on this spot, no picture could do the beauty of the scene justice. As night closes in on this secluded picturesque cove on the island, the tone becomes something almost menacing. Springer’s Point is known by the locals as a haunted place. Knowing that the island was once host to a massive pirate jamboree and that the featured guest, and current ghost, was none other than Blackbeard the Pirate, does give chills to more than a few visitors.

Blackbeard, formerly Edward Teach, was known as a notorious and ferocious pirate. In truth though, he was never documented as committing murder outside of the heat of battle or raids. It was just off of Springer’s Point where, in 1718, Blackbeard met his end at the hands of the Royal Navy. The locals believe that in death, Teach came back to his little island hole that had provided him a degree of safety before his death. A tall shadowy figure believed to be the pirate has been seen in the wooded area there. Both with and without his head, this was taken as a prize during the battle. Some have even claimed to see a phantom image of Blackbeard’s ship, the Queen Anne’s Revenge, which met a watery fate along with her captain off the coast of North Carolina. Or, the apparition image may be that of another legendary ship off the same coast.

These next accounts may seem a bit on the verge of the fantastical. Not because the stories are about flaming phantom ships, there are quite a few of those; it is because it occurs in an area with high tourist traffic and there are very few eyewitness accounts. I include it only because it is a local legend of the Outer Banks and also, a former anonymous member of the Coast Guard claims to have seen something unusual on the waters around North Carolina.

There are two ships matching the same description and with an identical legend; which leads to the conclusion that they are one in the same. One is called the “Flaming Ship of Ocracoke” and the other is the “Flaming Ship of New Bern”. As the legends state: every year a flaming ship appears off the island of Ocracoke or at the mouth of the Neuse River at the Pamlico Sound (which is the sound between Ocracoke and the mainland.) The ship never appears to be consumed by the fire; it just burns until it fades away.

On board the ship was a group of Palatines who set sail in 1710 from England to America. This part of the story does hold a basis in historical records. The Palatines were German Protestants from the Palatinate region of Germany. As with many other travelers during this time period, the Palatines were fleeing their homeland for a very specific reason, war! When Philip V, the grandson of the French King Louis XIV, ascended to the Spanish throne following the death of Charles II in 1700, the reason for the war was sealed. Even though it was at Charles’ bequest that Philip follow his rule; other countries in Europe feared that the relation between Spain and France would lead to an empire. The event was called the War of Spanish Succession in Europe; and in America, it was considered a part of, and called, Queen Anne’s War. Though, this latter war was more about who would take control of the American continent.

In 1709, the English government issued sixteen hundred tents for the Palatine encampments; and welcomed the victims of their enemies. Quickly, the influx of the Germans into England became too much for the country to bear. In 1710, it is estimated that between ten and thirty thousand people immigrated to London. To combat this influx, the government began sending the refugees to America. In 1710, three large groups of Palatines sailed from London, one of which sailed to Carolina. The other two went to Ireland and New York where there was already a large number of Palatines.

To protect themselves from thieves on their voyage, the people pretended to be poor; with only enough money to make a voyage to the New World. In actuality, the Palatines aboard the ship were quite wealthy. It was only when they caught sight of the shoreline did they reveal their true wealth. In their excitement to go ashore, they began to carry their precious items on to the deck of the ship, showing off their fortune to every crew member aboard the ship.

            In a moment of quick decision, the captain ruled that they would not set foot on land until the morning. Disheartened, the passengers put their belongings away and settled in for the night. After it was believed that all the men, women, and children were asleep; the captain and his crew murdered every last one of them. Most of the Palatines throats were slit before many of them could awaken.

            Using the lifeboats to escape, they loaded the cargo into the boats and set fire to the ship. As they rowed away from the flaming ship, the crew turned to look back. In amazement, they discovered that the ship was not sinking. Instead, it began to move and screams echoed from the hull as if the passengers were still alive. This site absolutely terrified the crewmembers, who discarded their misbegotten treasures immediately upon landing on the shore. Every year the ship re-appears, waiting for the blood stolen from to be repaid.

There are no recordings from this time that mention a ship sinking during this year; let alone a Palatine ship. This does not mean that the ship did not exist.  During the 1700s, it was not uncommon for a ship not to be logged or for the sinking of a ship to not be recorded. Quite often, ships would fall victims to pirates or mainland scavengers who would not want the final location of the vessel to be known. Back in a day and age where it would take days for any news to travel throughout a single colony; hiding vessels was fairly easy and they were either set on fire, ripped apart, or left to the waves.

Cape Hatteras, NC

Besides the tales of Blackbeard and the Flaming Ship, another prominent ghostly legend is repeatedly told to residents and visitors alike, an apparition who remains to warn the locals of impending danger. He is called the Gray Man of Hatteras.The legend says that this man has been appearing on the beaches between the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse and Cape Point, which is near the lighthouse and a popular fishing site, since the early 20th century. He only appears right before a major hurricane comes to the island. The man is wearing a sou’wester, which is a collapsible oilskin rain hat; and he is seen swinging his right arm as if in a warning for someone to come away from the beach.

The version of the story that has been made most popular by local legend author Charles Harry Whedbee ascertains that the spirit was witnessed in 1966, a few days before Labor Day by members of the Coast Guard. This would mark the coming storm as Hurricane Faith, which swept through the coast on August 29th, 1966 and caused four drownings along the coast.

Fitting with the story, it is assumed that due to the spirit’s duty, he was a man who died during a storm. Some believe that he was a local man by the last name of Gray, which is why he is called the Gray Man of Hatteras; it is true that surname of Gray is a part of the local population of the island. They say that he was swept out to sea and drowned during a storm; which gives the cause for why he is out before hurricanes to warn people of the beaches.

During the early 1900 and late 1800s, the time period when it is claimed that the Gray Man first started to appear; there were only a few tropical storms and hurricanes on the coast of North Carolina. Of the early 20th century storms, none caused heavy damage and there were no recordings of ships or lives lost. Looking back on the late 1800s, two storms did ravage the North Carolina coast within months of each other; the San Ciriaco Hurricane on August 18, 1899 cost ten vessels and throughout the state, twenty lives. The other unnamed hurricane occurred on October 31st, 1899 and cost one ship wreck and one life. The only shipwreck listed for this time was the Roger Moore, a schooner, which sank on October 30, 1899 off of Big Kinnakeet. No lives were lost on this vessel. Of course, upon examination of the facts at hand, there could be other explanations for his existence on the shore.

Between the years of 1900 and 1902, three vessels were lost off of Cape Hatteras in the approximate area of the legendary man: the William H. Kemal, a schooner lost on April 5th, 1900 off of Cape Hatteras with unknown lives lost; the Virginia, a steamer lost on May 2nd, 1900 off of Cape Hatteras with six lives lost; and the Wesley M. Oler, a schooner lost on December 5th, 1902 off of Hatteras Inlet with ten lives lost.

As it has been previously stated, the waters off of Cape Hatteras are extremely treacherous and undiscerning in their taste for vessels riding upon the waves. While the record keeping for lost ships has improved over the years, it is impossible to know the names of all who are lost. Perhaps, some of the locals are correct when they say that the Gray Man is someone with the last name Gray. A few believe that he came by the name because of the color of his long, gray beard; a marked characteristic in old paintings of seasoned sea captains. No matter the case, if one believes the tale, then one must heed the watcher’s warning, or else they may find themselves joining him in his purposeful afterlife. The Gray Man may not be alone in his work.

In the darkness of the night, visitors and paranormal investigators have reported seeing shadows on the beach by the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse. These shadows are noticeable even in the dark because they are blacker than the night. Some appear on the shore, acting as if they had just washed up from the surf. Voices can be heard whispering, or calling out for help; carrying across the salty sea air in both male and female tones. Members of the Hatteras Island Paranormal Society have an additional account of the activity in the area. One of the investigators witnessed a match flame light on the beach and on the other side of the flame, she saw a man’s face. The overall appearance of the scene was that there was a man lighting a cigarette on the beach; however, there was no physical person present when the event happened.

There are many other tales of the Outer Banks, too many to retell in a moment’s time. The coastal area of North Carolina is not the only location tied to the grand and sometimes traumatic relationship between humans and the sea. Around the world, ports, harbors, water ways, lighthouses, coastal towns, and even working ships carrying phantom images from the past and spirits with a story to tell; a tale that may have a well-deserved place in history. All that is required is for one to search for it.

 

 

References:

All the stories listed above were told to me while I was living on Hatteras Island in the Outer Banks of North Carolina.

Additional information was from:

Judge Charles Harry Whedbee, “The Flaming Ship of Ocracoke & Other Tales of the Outer Banks.” (John F. Blair, 1971)

With a special thanks to the Hatteras Paranormal Society and the Black Moon Paranormal Society for their accounts.

 

The Zalud House

6a1d44_d84db2de0300422a95144ba004471b6d_jpg_srz_p_360_306_75_22_0_50_1_20_0The Zalud House is a nostalgic glimpse into the past. Built in 1891, it is one of the few houses of that era that has not undergone remodeling. It has the mansard roof construction, which makes the house unique in its style of architecture. Commissioned by John Zalud and built by John and Hugh Templeton.

From the time the house was built, only the Zalud family lived in the home. In fact, it is one of the few museums in the nation that is furnished entirely with the original owners’ possessions. The house was given to the City of Porterville [California] by the Zalud family’s youngest daughter, Pearle, when she died in 1970. The Zalud House is listed in the National Historical Registry of Old Houses and in the National Register of Historic Places.

This place was one of the first places that my wife and I ever investigated when we got started in the field of the paranormal. It was such a blast, that we’ve gone back again and again.

The house is furnished with approx. 90% of the original possessions of the Bohemian (today’s Czechoslovakia) immigrants who lived here. The fireplace is encircled with a beautiful, intricately carved wooden panel from China. From the time the house was built, only the Zalud family has lived in it. In fact, it is one of the few museums in the nation that is furnished almost entirely with the original owners’ possessions.

6a1d44_27aa44a2a03541859bfcd4d11a99aca0_jpg_srz_p_299_297_75_22_0_50_1_20_0It is filled with clothing, linens, books, ceramic and porcelain collectibles, newspapers, records, personal belongings and other items solely owned by the Zaluds. Several of the items still have the original price tags on them.

The house is surrounded by a large variety of roses, decorative shrubbery and flowers. The rose garden has meandering brick paths, flower beds and archways. The original carriage house is on the property.

The Zalud House is listed in the National Historical Registry of Old Houses and is in the National Register of Historic Places. It was willed by Pearle Zalud to the City of Porterville upon her death in 1970.

The Zalud house is run by Docent Heather Huerta, which is a friend of mine and my wife Crissy. We were fortunate enough to be able to schedule many investigations with Benny and Heather Huerta of the Paranormal Movement. One of the great couples in the paranormal field. Both extremely professional, knowledgeable and very respectful to other paranormal teams coming into the Zalud House. And, just really nice people too. It was like we were stepping into their home.

Annie’s Room

The house itself is pristine. It really is a museum, it is so well preserved and maintained. There is a lot of care and time that Benny and Heather put into this home. When you step inside, you step back in time. Everything in that house is original from the Zalud family or from that era. With the exception of a few cars passing by, you are in a time warp bubble and feel immersed in what life must have been like in the early 1900’s

One of the reasons we might have been drawn to Annie’s bedroom is this bed. Every time we’re in this room the atmosphere is so light and airy, that not one time that we’ve done an EVP session that it doesn’t end up with the whole group starts laughing. Thus, the nickname for this room is called the “Laughing Room.”

his was the chair that Annie’s husband, William Hubert Brooks was shot in 1917 at the Pioneer Hotel – and yes, the bullet hole is still there.
This was his room where William Hubert Brooks died from his wound.

The youngest of the family was Pearle. She never married, instead, became a matriarch of the town she loved until her death. She was involved in everything in town. Above and on the left, this was originally Pearle’s room before she became too fragile to climb the stairs anymore and was moved down to the Laughing Room until her death.  An interesting thing about this room is that Pearle was an avid bird lover. She always had one or two canaries in the house. The last one she had and died just before she did, she had stuffed and encased in a square glass case. Now what is remarkable about this is, when we do an EVP session in this room, we always get a canary chirping in them.  On the right is Pearle sitting in the main room (living room.) during the early 80’s right before she died.

These were very old fashioned style people and appearances were everything. During one investigation in the formal dining room, it was Ed’s birthday. So I decided to buy him a birthday card and use it as a trigger object. It worked perfectly. As soon as I was done reading the card, we got an EVP saying; “Thank you.”

 

We’ve investigated the living museum about a dozen time now and it’s never let us down on getting some great paranormal evidence. So if you’re ever looking for a place to have a fun and very active paranormal investigation and you’re on the West Coast, this is a must stop at this great spot. To get a hold of Heather to schedule your investigation, just go to Facebook  or Official Site and tell them Chad sent you.

Author Spotlight for June

I’m happy to say our first author spotlight is on Chad Stambaugh who is a retired Marine. He is the Co-Founder of 11th Hour Paranormal Research Society. His book (which I own a copy of myself & I believe a few other staff members) ‘The Paranormal Dictionary’ won the 2014 Paranormal Award for the best Non-Fiction book of the year. Because of his advocacy for more education in the Paranormal, Chad has started his own radio shows: The paranormal corner and The paranormal round-table. Chad lives in Fresno, California with his wife and has three kids and two grand-kids.

I met chad a few years ago when as I remember it he contacted me about being a vendor & speaker at the 1st Paranormal Journeys Expo, which I run.  The funny thing is we both were promoting Paranormal Dictionary for him his new book for me my site which was being “re-launched” at the event.  Neither of us realized that till the event started.  I for one always believe great ideas are never exclusive.  Chad is a wealth of knowledge in the paranormal community and of course when I started this mad idea to start a magazine about the Paranormal he was on my list.  Thankfully he accepted! You can read his articles here.

Beyond the Veil bookHe also has a new book coming out ‘Beyond the Veil’:

“This Book is for all Paranormal Investigators everywhere. This is also for all Wiccans, and all Pagans in general. Here’s your book to combat all those Nay Sayers and Bible Thumpers, who constantly say that were conjuring Demons and that were Devil worshipers. This is the book that spreads the truth about the false Origins of the Bible itself and the fear that organized Religion that has held mankind in fear and blind obedience.

This is the book that shows we don’t need an organized religion to talk and be one with God! For God is everywhere! In the Air, in the Sea, and in the Land itself. God is in everything, not just some building that some priest says that you must be in, to communicate with God.

This Book is for man as a whole to finally wake-up and finally open his eyes and see the truth.”

If you are interested, he has a pre-order sale happening right now, but only to July 10th, click here to pre-order! Sale price is $12.50 for pre-orders. Regular price will be $15.95.  Don’t Miss out on this deal!!

I hope you enjoyed this little look into one of our staff members as I plan to spotlight more of our staff and their projects every month!!

The Disappearance of the Eilean Mor Lighthouse Keepers

St._Flannan's_Cell_and_Flannan_Isles_Lighthouse_-_geograph.org.uk_-_623920On December 26th, 1900, Boxing Day, the SS Hesperus arrived at Eilean Mor, one of the Flannan Islands off of the coast of Scotland. On board the tiny vessel, Joseph Moore was preparing to take up his duties as a replacement for one of the lighthouse keepers at the island’s lighthouse; which besides the remnants of an old shepherd’s chapel built tied to St. Flannan, the Eilean Mor lighthouse is the only structure on the largest of the Flannan Islands.

It is a steep, treacherous climb from the boat landing to the lighthouse, even with the use of a 160-step staircase that runs up along the 200-foot cliff. The very landscape of the island projects an eerie atmosphere; combined with the isolation and tales of supernatural occurrences, including old Scottish legends of a race of little people inhabiting the land, the Eilean Mor is certainly an ominous feature.

Normally, one of the lighthouse keepers on the island would come down to greet the boat coming ashore, and a flag would have placed in view of the ship, to alert the crew that their arrival had been noticed. Being only met by silence, Moore headed up the stairs towards the lighthouse alone. Captain James Harvey, stayed with the boat to await the arrival of the keeper who was to be taken back to the mainland. Instead, all that Harvey would take to the mainland was a message. One that would be forwarded to the Northern Lighthouse Board Headquarters in Edinburgh; the first few lines of the telegraph are as follows:

A dreadful accident has happened at Flannans. The three Keepers, Ducat, Marshall and the occasional have disappeared from the island. On our arrival there this afternoon no sign of life was to be seen on the Island.

There is a mix of accounts as to what Moore found at the top of the cliffs. Per some, he found that the door to the lighthouse was unlocked, by others, the door was locked. This discrepancy is rather small compared to other portions of the story, both fact and possibly fiction. Inside the entry way, two of the three oil skinned coats were missing, meaning that one of the men went outside without his gear. This would have been unusual; it was also against the rules of the Lighthouse Board for all of the lighthouse keepers to be outside at the same time. The description of the entryway has been verified in every account of the day that the lighthouse was found unoccupied by any living humans.

In the kitchen area, which this part may be a more dramatic re-telling that has developed over the years than the actual truth of the matter, there was an overturned chair and some half eaten food. Most historians who look back on the accounts believe that this version of the tale was a part of the media frenzy and stories told to add a higher level of dramatic flair to the tragic event. Also, all the clocks in the lighthouse had stopped, meaning that no one had wound them for several days before Moore’s arrival. Captain Harvey ordered a search of the 39-acre island, but no living soul was to be found.

The_lighthouse_on_Eilean_MorSeveral days later, the Lighthouse board’s superintendent came to the island. Robert Muirhead had known all three of the men personally as he was the one who had recruited the three for the positions of keepers. All that Muirhead found in the lighthouse that held any clue about the men was the log book. Quite possibly, it is what is written in the log book that forms one of the multiple theories as to what happened to the men. In the log, second assistant Thomas Marshall wrote that the island was hit with severe winds. The Principal Keeper, James Ducat had been ‘very quiet’ and William McArthur, the third assistant, had been crying. This entry was dated December 12th. As the one theory states, two of the men were the victims of murder, then the third committed suicide.

Considering that no one remarked upon seeing any blood or signs of a struggle, this theory is considered not a likely. These theories site the men’s extreme isolation as the cause of one of the three turning against his fellow keepers. Typically speaking, the factor of isolation causing disruptions in a person’s state of mind happen when they are placed in solitary confinement; documentation of these sorts of events are noted in prisons where the convicts had been in solitary confinement for a lengthy amount of time. In the case of the lighthouse, none of the three were completely, physically alone. Though it would explain the peculiar notes in the log on the 12th that stated that one of the keepers had been quiet and another crying; as far as the stories go, McArthur would not have been one to breakdown over a storm.

There is another log dated on December 13th, noting that the storm was still over the island and that the three men were praying. On the following day, there is no entry. Then the final mark is on December 15th, to state that the storm was over. It was also on the 15th that a passing ship noted that the light on the lighthouse was not lit.

The conclusion of the investigation by the Northern Lighthouse Board was that all three of the men were swept out to sea by a rogue wave. This was based on the evidence of ropes strewn about by the landing platform. The ropes should have been in a brown crate that is situated seventy feet above the platform. Despite this being stated as the “official” and most likely cause of the disappearances, it is not without issue. For one, the only way that the men could have been taken out to sea by an obscure wave is if all three were down on the platform. Once again, this would have been against the regulations of the Lighthouse Board. When this is combined with the evidence that only two of the men were wearing their heavy outdoor wear, would imply that the third man ran out quickly to help the other two. For a calm day, there seems to be little reason for the third man to rush down to the platform. Quite certainly, no wave would have been able to touch the lighthouse since it is 215-feet above sea level. If the other two men had been washed out to sea by a wave, then what happened to the third? Was he too taken unsuspectingly by a wave?

According to those on the mainland and the Isle of Lewes, the seas were calm. However, this does not mean that calm seas in one location mean the same in another. Where one side of a town may have rain, another may have sun. During the rough storm that plagued the men in the middle of December, the mainland was relatively dry. By meteorologically accounts of this time period, the weather was not anymore unusual than any other December.

There are some that still question as to why the bodies were never found. Surely if they had been taken by the ocean, they may have washed up somewhere? This could simply be explained that the current took them in a different direction from the land; for there are many victims of the ocean, from both the sea and shore who were never seen again. The wave report also does not explain how three experienced men could have been so careless and unsuspecting of the dangers around them.

None of the other theories surrounding the disappearances of the men prove any more probable. There are claims of alien abductions, sea monsters, that a giant bird carried the men off, that all three decided to jump into the ocean to commit suicide, or that they boarded a passing ship. Some are not willing to reject the idea that the men’s disappearances were not supernaturally related and that the island claimed their souls. After all, the lighthouse had only been in operation since December 7, 1899, a year before the event. As a few of the older generation can tell you, there are certain unspoken rules apply to the Flannan Islands; they are to be respected by any and all visitors. If one breaks the rules, then they will have to bear the consequences, whatever they may be.

References:

Johnson, B. (2014, January 1). The Eilean Mor Lighthouse Mystery. Retrieved March 13, 2015, from http://www.historic-uk.com/HistoryUK/HistoryofScotland/The-Eilean-Mor-Lighthouse-Mystery/

(2013). Missed in History: Disappearance at Flannan Isles [Radio series episode]. In Stuff You Missed in History Class .Tracy V. Wilson .

Merritt, M. (2014, January 1). Three lighthouse keepers vanished without trace on Boxing Day 1900… now a new clue could. Retrieved March 13, 2015, from http://www.express.co.uk/scotland/475203/Three-lighthouse-keepers-vanished-without-trace-on-Boxing-Day-1900-now-a-new-clue-could

Spotlight: Gettysburg

The BattlefieldWe put the spotlight on Gettysburg, Pennsylvania which is a small town with a big history, a history that has gone far beyond that of the civil war battle that happened there on July 1-3 1863.  Yes it’s place in the history books is unquestioned and as a tourist town visitors arrive every year to walk the hallowed ground that are now preserved.  Some of these visitors come for the history while others come for it’s haunted history.   Walking the town you’ll find markers telling you of the property in front of you, the people who lived there, information about the 46,000 plus casualties, or what happened during/after the battle at the building or nearby.  You may even run into the many dedicated reenactors who permeate the town during the summer months. And that is before you set foot on the national park portion of Gettysburg! So having investigated Gettysburg many times myself I decided to ask some fellow investigators & friends what their thoughts on the town are, the history, the magic if you will of what makes this little Pennsylvania town so special.

Solider Statue in front of Inn 1863“What I think makes Gettysburg special for paranormal is mostly [the] limestone and [that] fuels energy [for paranormal events]. [Gettysburg] Has different feeling than other places.  My fave place is Hoffman mansion on Steinwehr ave. Place is highly active, [I’ve] heard voices out loud, been touched and pushed, and most Evp I ever got was there. Sachs Bridge is second, was a very sad feeling and very strong presence.” ~ Mark Saloky is an investigator and who lives in Gettysburg.

“[Gettysburg] special to me due to the fact of all the men who lost there lives there. It wasn’t a war against another country or nation but a war of brother against brother. That means a lot to me because it did have an amazing end it brought all of America together in the end … (for the most part anyway).  I’m always drawn to devil’s den and little round top, I love looking around from that vantage point [Devil Den] as well I’ve also seen some awesome light anomalies at night from up there.” ~ David Caltrider who is the founder of Manchester Paranormal Society located in Hanover, PA.

Pennsylvania Monument
Pennsylvania Monument

“We [Ruth & her husband] like Gettysburg for the history. We have two favorite spots on the Battlefield, one is Triangular Field . . . the eerie quiet. I even found an EMF meter – laying on one of the rocks, batteries were strewn all over, maybe someone had to leave in a hurry. The other is The Wheatfield, have one photo that we see a soldier on horseback. We also like Sachs Bridge, the history and the beauty of it.” ~ Ruth Himes resides in Lancaster, PA and is a co-founder of The Ghost Seekers.

“There are many people interested in the paranormal that visit Sachs Bridge. You can find any level of investigator there, new or experienced. It also has yielded results from EVPs to K2 hits to flashlight responses to Spirit Box responses. One even stated the bridge name![During one of their investigations] ~ Rebecca Slaughter Boyer resides in Hagerstown, MD and is the co-founder of Antietam Paranormal Society.

“The history is what makes it special but there is an energy that just has me coming back for more.”~ Sarah Mack resides in Indiana County, PA and is the founder of Shotts in the Dark Paranormal.

The Castle at Devil's Den
The “Castle” at Devil’s Den, monument for the 44th New York & (2) companies from the 12th New York Infantry Regiments

“I have always been fascinated in Gettysburg, PA. Being the daughter of a vet I grew up watching war films many of them pertaining to the battle of Gettysburg. So when I was old enough to learn about it’s haunted past. Just made me fascinated even more. It was always a place I wanted to investigate, one day. So, when I learned of the PRS [Ryan Buell’s Paranormal Research Society] and field trip they were hosting I jumped on the chance. When entering the small town you can definitely feel the sadness of it’s gruesome past. The first place I had the chance to investigate was with Heather Taddy in the Orphanage. That is where I also had my very first encounter with being touched by an unseen force. Several things happened that night though nothing like what happened in the old make shift lunch room/classroom on the main floor. We were in a group of about 13. We sat on the benches that were in there doing a session. I sat on the end with only one person to the right of me. As we started I had felt it get colder. As the questions went on I all of a sudden felt something or someone play with my hair to my left. As I said being that I was at the end of the bench there was no one sitting on the left. It didn’t scare me. Surprise? Of course. But it felt in my mind like a child playing. Probably just to let me know they were there. I have been in this field a long time but never had that happen up until that point. I wanted to experience the things I had heard about. And I left Gettysburg with a lot of memories of so much activity that occurred there during our stay. It is very much one of the most haunted places in America. Would I go back? Of course I would like to take my team there this summer.” ~ Victoria Smith is the founder of The New Page Paranormal Research Team located in Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin.

Wheatfield“Gettysburg has, for me, the opposite feeling than I expected . Many times when I go to places where a lot of death has occurred , such as hospitals, asylums, etc, there is a feeling of doom or death. Gettysburg, however, has a calming and peaceful feel to it. I felt as though the spirits there were at rest peacefully. It really allows you to enjoy all the history tied to it. It is very active with spirits but perhaps because of the way it has been preserved and all the monuments for those who were killed, its as if the spirits are proud of their role and are happy to feel respected. It truly is a one of a kind place and one of my favorite haunted places!” ~ Ramona Burns

“It’s funny, because when I went for Paracon [Phenomenology] 105, We stayed at the Fairfield Inn. Spent the weekend at the convention, my daughter went on the junior hunt, and we had an investigation at one of the rooms at the Eisenhower. Had a strange experience of someone grabbing my head like they were talking a basketball. Twice. It was nuts. When we were checking out of the Fairfield, we were coming down from the third floor and as I looked into the second floor dining room, I saw who I thought was the hostess arranging the plates. She walked off towards the left, out of view, so I put the bags down to say thanks. I stepped in and there was a stack of chairs where she walked to. When I got downstairs I asked the hostess if anything ever happened in the upstairs dining room and she told me, “the lady of the house is always.straightening up”. It was something else, cause she was physically there, not translucent or anything like that.” ~ Douglas Chizmadia live in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

“What makes Gettysburg so special to me is that it has struck a balance between the past and the present. It isn’t one of those places where something as phenomenal as war or as final as death left their mark and then moved on, leaving behind only only a small plaque describing the number of lives lost during three days of fighting. Gettysburg is a town where past generations chose to preserve their unique heritage for future generations, long before President Lincoln spoke his mighty words. By doing this, not only was this pivotal point in our history kept alive, but that moment has also become a key factor in the town’s prosperity and growth, forever rooted in our hearts and minds.  The thoughts and needs of the people who endured those terrible days have also not been forgotten, but preserved and expounded upon. Take for instance the need to be remembered, to not be left to wander through the afterlife unnoticed. Echoing across time, their needs have become stepping stones to assist the living in paranormal investigations and discoveries. If their history were forgotten, lost in the shuffle of modern living, would we understand why we briefly caught a glimpse of a soldier walking across a field, heard the haunting sounds of drums echoing in the night or the cries of women, where none could be found? In my opinion there is no other location in the United States that has such a strange dichotomy as Gettysburg, between the history and the haunts.” ~ Kendra Belgrad tour guide for Ghostly Images.

The history is alive and the energy that is felt by the millions who visit Gettysburg every year is always there just around the corner with something new to find everyday. Many historic locations in Gettysburg like the Hoffman House, Devil’s Den & battlefield, Sach’s Bridge, The Orphanage, & Fairfield Inn to name just a small few are well worth visiting if you’ve never been to Gettysburg. We recommend a trip whether you are coming for the history or haunted history, take it from us you won’t be disappointed and if your lucky you’re have you’ll own story to tell…