5 Creepiest Haunted Places In The World

5. Paris Catacombs

The Catacombs of Paris are underground ossuaries in Paris, France, which hold the remains of more than six million people in a small part of a tunnel network originally built to consolidate Paris’ ancient stone mines. There became an urgent need in Paris in the 1780s to relieve the mass grave at Saint Innocents Cemetery, which had been collecting bodies since the year of 1130, when a basement wall of an adjacent property collapsed under the weight of the bodies and decomposed corpses flooded into the basement. Three mine networks had previously existed in Paris for limestone used in building construction and gypsum used in plaster of Paris. The use of the old mines as an ossuary coincided with the consolidation of the mine network as mine collapses began occurring throughout the city.

The transfer of the remains began after the blessing and consecration of the site on April 7th 1786, and it continued until 1788, always at nightfall and following a ceremony whereby a procession of priests sang the service for the dead along the route taken by the carts loaded with bones, which were covered by a black veil. Then, until 1814, the site received the remains from all the cemeteries of Paris.

Exploring the mines is prohibited by the prefecture and penalized with large fines. Despite restrictions, Paris’ former mines are frequently toured by urban explorers, popularly known as cataphiles.It’s said that those who venture into the catacombs after midnight hear the walls talking to them, urging them to wander off into the maze. While disembodied voices lure adventurers farther into the tunnels, victims go mad and suffer a slow and agonizing death.

In 2010, cave explorers claimed to have recovered video footage that they stated showed a man wandering, lost, through the catacombs until he finally panicked, dropped the camera, and ran off into the darkness, never to be seen again. The found footage is said to have inspired the popular horror movie As Above, So Below (2014).

Popular rumors of the catacombs included cultists stealing bodies from morgues to perform rituals within the catacombs and adding their remains to the plethora of human bones.

The oldest ghost story of the Paris catacombs, beginning in 1793, belongs to Philibert Aspairt, doorkeeper of the Val-de-Grâce hospital who entered through a passage in the hospital with the intent to look for the famous Chartreuse liquor stocked in the cellar of a convent. He entered with only a single candle and was not seen again for 11 years. Presumably, his candle went out and became lost in the darkness alone wandering the galleries of bones before collapsing and succumbing to death. He was finally found in 1804, identified by his Val-de-Grâce ring and the bottle of alcohol he carried. He was buried at the place in which he was found and is now celebrated as the Protector of the Cataphiles. Each November 3rd, the date on which he ventured into the catacombs, it is said his ghost haunts the complex.

On his tomb, one can read this epitaph:

THE MEMORY OF PHILIBERT ASPAIRT
LOST IN THIS QUARRY ON NOVEMBER 3RD 1793
FOUND ELEVEN YEARS LATER
AND BURIED AT THE SAME PLACE
ON APRIL 30TH 1804

4. Ohio State Reformatory

The haunted Ohio State Reformatory in Mansfield, Ohio, served as a state correctional facility for nearly a hundred years, with over 154,000 prisoners passing through its gates, but beginning in 1896 with only 150 prisoners. The site was originally a Civil War training camp in 1861, and construction on the prison began in 1886, continuing through 1910. The first prisoners housed were tasked with helping to build the facility that would keep them imprisoned. The East Cell Block remains the largest free standing steel cell block in the world at six tiers high.

From 1935 until 1959 Arthur Lewis Glattke was the Superintendent. His wife, Helen, died of pneumonia at the facility in 1950, three days after an accident in which a handgun went off when she reached into a jewelry box in the family’s quarters. Her ghost, wearing rose perfume, is said to haunt the administrative wing. Nine years later, Glattke, himself, died of a heart attack in his office. Over 200 people died at the Ohio State Reformatory, including two guards who were killed during escape attempts.

Paranormal activity at the prison includes The Chair Room, named after the sole piece of furniture in it. It’s said the chair can be heard scraping around on the floor when no one is in the room, and one paranormal investigator claims to have received scratches while sitting in the chair.

The library at Ohio State Reformatory was also once the infirmary, and used for a time as a tuberculosis overflow facility, and it’s rumored to be haunted by a nurse as well as sick inmates who died there.

One of the spirits in the east cell block belonged to a man who set himself on fire in his cell. He doused himself with chemicals from the prison furniture workshop and lit a match. By the time the guards got to him, it was too late, and his skin was already falling off in chunks. He haunts the cell where he died and sometimes shows himself to visitors.

3. Poveglia

Poveglia is a small island located between Venice and Lido in the Venetian Lagoon of northern Italy which became a permanent confinement station for the ill in 1805 until 1814. 100 years later, the island was again used as a quarantine station, and in 1922 it was converted to an asylum for the mentally ill and for long term care. Allegedly, one of the doctors began performing gruesome experiments on mental patients and later threw himself from the tower, the last remnant of a 12th Century church destroyed by Napoleon, after claiming he was being terrorized by ghosts. Some say he jumped of his own accord while others say angry spirits pushed him over the edge. Yet another story states that he initially survived the fall and a nurse witnessed a ghostly mist choke him to death on the ground.

The facility eventually closed in 1968, and the island became abandoned.

In earlier history, octagonal battlements were built in the 14th Century to repel Genoese invaders, and then later used by English soldiers during the Napoleonic wars where prisoners were taken ashore and burned. Poveglia is believed to contain more than one plague pit, a mass grave for disease victims, and it’s estimated that over 100,000 people died on the island over the centuries. During the worst outbreaks, Poveglia and the surrounding islands were quickly overrun with the dead and dying, who were hastily shoveled into grave pits, and when those were full, burned.

Today, the buildings on the island are left to deteriorate as access is difficult. Those who manage to slip onto Poveglia have reported the overwhelming feeling of being watched, disembodied screams and moans are heard throughout, and the stench of decaying flesh still wafts through the air. Some have experienced unseen entities pushing them into walls, and yet others have claimed to have seen specters of the past. One Australian news team claims that a steel hospital side table that they had photographed earlier in the day was on the right side of the room was, later in the day, on the left side of the room.

2. Corvin Castle (Vlad’s Castle), Transylvania

Corvin Castle in Romania was also known as Hunyadi Castle or Hunedoara Castle in the area that had once been known as Transylvania. With construction beginning in 1446, it is one of the largest castles in Europe. This is the castle in which Vlad the Impaler was held prisoner by John Hunyadi for seven years in one of the tower cells when Vlad was deposed in 1462. They later formed a political alliance even though Hunyadi was responsible for the death of Vlad’s father.

Vlad the Impaler was Vlad Tepes, who waged a fierce war against the Ottoman empire when he refused to pay the Sultan tribute. On many occasions, he impaled those he conquered, hoisting up bodies on long wooden stakes, and turned one Ottoman camp into what was called a forest of the impaled.

The name “Dracula” can be traced back to Vlad as he was known to sign letters Dragulya or Drakulya in the late 1470s. His father, referred to often as Vlad Dracul, was a member of the Order of the Dragon, so the literal meaning of “Dracula” is “son of the dragon.”

There are many legends surrounding the construction of the castle, such as the one about the Turkish prisoners who built the interior fountain. The story says that they were promised freedom, but after 10 years of work, they were instead, executed. For this reason, one of the prisoners added the following inscription to the fountain: “You have water, but not soul.” Even today, Turkish tourists throw coins into the fountain in the memory of their enslaved countrymen.

The Capistrano Tower acquired its name from a monk named Ioan of Capistrano. Legend says that the last monk who was caught spying on the noblemen in the Council Room was walled into the recess in the wall of the room.

Ghostly silhouettes are also said to appear in photographs and violent spirits are thought to wander the halls and chambers at night.

One tale that has been spread is that of a group of tourists who convinced the guards to let them remain in the castle at night. They came out the next day bruised, beaten, and terrified – supposedly suffering the wrath of an angry ghost who had tortured them until the early morning.

Of course, many believe that Vlad the Impaler also haunts this historic castle.

1. Edinburgh Castle

Edinburgh Castle is a historic fortress on Castle Rock in Edinburgh, Scotland. A royal castle has been established on the rock since at least the reign of David I in the Twelfth Century, although archaeologists have established human occupation of Castle Rock since at least the Second Century AD. It has been one of the most important strongholds in the history of Scotland, having been involved in many historical conflicts, including the Wars of Scottish Independence, and research has identified 26 sieges in its history, giving it claim to being the most besieged castle in all of Great Britain. It is also claimed to be the most haunted location in Scotland, while some say Edinbugh is the most haunted city in all of Europe.

On various occasions, visitors to the castle have reported a phantom piper, a headless drummer, the spirits of French prisoners from the Seven Years War, and colonial prisoners from the American Revolutionary War — even the ghost of a dog wandering in the grounds’ dog cemetery has made appearances.

In April 2001, Edinburgh Castle was one of the haunted locations in Edinburgh chosen for an ambitious paranormal experiment. A group of 240 volunteers were enlisted to explore allegedly haunted sites in Edinburgh for a 10 day study of paranormal activity. Chosen participants from around the world were to have no knowledge of Edinburgh’s hauntings, and were led to both haunted locations and locations that were not considered active. By the end of the experiment, nearly half reported phenomena that they could not explain.

This included:

– sudden drops in temperature
– seeing shadowy figures
– a feeling of being watched
– one person reported a burning sensation on the arm
– an unseen presence touching the face
– the feeling of something tugging at clothes

One reported sighting was of an old in a leather apron — a ghost that has been seen before at the same location.


Inside Gore Orphanage aka Swift Mansion

The legend of the “Gore Orphanage” is just that: a legend. There was never a Gore Orphanage. The building that’s been called this institution for decades was originally known as the Swift Mansion, or Rosedale, built by Joseph Swift in 1841. However, since it has rested in ruins off of Gore Orphanage Road for nearly 100 years, the pieces of local history morphed together into an urban legend that resembled the following: “Old man Gore was a mean old man and ran an orphanage in which he’d beat the children and kept them locked in their rooms. One night, there was a fire, and all the children died since they were locked in their rooms.”

 

The Swift Mansion originally rested off of Gore Road (it was named as such for the wedge shape piece of land it rested on that was established as a map correction), and when the Swift’s left due to personal financial troubles, the Wilber’s moved in. There they stayed until 1901, when Nicholas Wilber passed away (his wife, Eliza, had passed in 1899), and the house was abandoned. The tragedy of the Wilber’s is that of their grandchildren, all four of them succumbing to diphtheria within the span of six days in 1893. It is not believed that they died within the mansion, but since the elder Wilber’s were Spiritualists, it is believed they conducted seances within the house to try to contact the children. As a medium, Nicholas had already been conducting seances within the house to try to contact deceased members of the Swift family, acts to which the more conservative locals thought were sinister and dubbed him instead as a Satanist (which he was not).

In 1903, the Light of Hope Orphanage was established by John and Katie Sprunger up the hill from the Swift Mansion, and the word “orphanage” was appended to Gore Road to make it Gore Orphanage Road. While the Sprunger’s bought the land the mansion rested upon for the fields to farm, they never used the Swift building for the orphanage. Instead, they established both boy’s and girl’s dormitories on the farmland up the hill, as well as a church and a schoolhouse, and a printing press. It wasn’t long before children began running away, and tales of abuse filtered out of the Light of Hope Orphanage. In 1909, there was a formal case against the Sprunger’s after two girls waded across the Vermilion River and sought refuge within the town of Vermilion. Abuse included beatings, undernourishment, inadequate schooling (they only received schooling if there wasn’t work to do on the farms), the same bath water being used for five to six children with accusations mounting up to 12, and their corn was boiled in the same pot as the dirty underwear, among other things. John Sprunger died just two years after the court proceedings, and in 1916 the Light of Hope Orphanage closed its doors for good.

The Swift Mansion, however, still lingered down the hill. Even in the late 1910s and early 1920s, it was a hangout for area teens, and ghost stories began to surface about the building being haunted. In 1923, plans for a restoration of the house began, but an unfortunate fire took the building and destroyed any hope of restoring the Greek Revival structure. So, yes, the Swift Mansion did burn down, but it had long since been abandoned and no children were inside. Headlines in the local paper read, “Haunted House Destroyed By Fire.” Today, all that’s left is a depression in the ground, remnants of the stone foundation, scattered brick fragments, the well, and a defaced pillar from along the old fence line.

Final Note #1: In 1908, the Collinwood School fire in the Cleveland area claimed the lives of 172 children. It’s believed that this story was meshed with with the atrocities of the orphanage to help create the urban legends that came to be.

Final Note #2: In our explorations, Shana and I discovered the bases to two additional pillars along the fence line of the property. Given the size and weight of these, we didn’t believe that the teens that had defaced the one still standing would have made off with these monoliths. When we ventured up Gore Orphange Road, we found them flanking the old driveway of the property on which the boys’ dormitory once stood.

 

Decadent December!

There has already been a lot going on this year between traveling, investigations, and videos, but even though there is some traveling downtime at the moment it doesn’t mean I’m not stoking the winter fires. There’s a lot going on, so let’s get to it!

If you also follow along at HauntedRoadMedia.com you may have noticed that we started releasing podcasts of our Edge of the Rabbit Hole episodes. Yes, now you have the option of listening to the show after the initial YouTube livestream broadcast! Available now on iTunes, we’ve started with uploading our earlier episodes, and will be doing this a few times each week until we’re caught up. You may have also noticed that the haunted Road Media site states that episodes of Inside The Upside Down will be found here. This is true! Very shortly, you’ll find podcasts of our new Tuesday Night after hours show here on MikeRicksecker.com. There will also be additional podcasts added to the mix as well — thoughts, research, updates, investigation clips, and more.

Coming soon this month will be an updated Second Edition of Encounters With The Paranormal: Volume 2, the Goldenrod Showboat Edition. While this volume already featured the Goldenrod Showboat, given the recent tragic events we thought we would add a little more content to the book including stories, memories, perspective, and photographs. Of course, part of the proceeds of this book will still go toward the Goldenrod, but now it will be in whatever capacity the Historic Riverboat Association will take to ensure the historic showboat’s legacy lives on. There are many artifacts that still remain from the Goldenrod, and Haunted Road Media will continue to take steps to help ensure these artifacts can be enjoyed by all.

On social media, you may have noticed an uptick in activity, primarily on the Haunted Road Media Facebook page and on the Mike Ricksecker Instagram. On the Facebook HRM page, we’ve started featuring a series on saving endangered historic haunted locations. Even though we were already working with haunted locations to help raise funds, the loss of the Goldenrod Showboat has fueled the fire and we’re making greater strides in spreading awareness and raising funding that these locations desperately need to stave off the wrecking ball. While the goal is to make this an almost daily vlog, we’ve been updating a couple times each week that have included vignettes of the Swift Mansion/Gore Orphanage and the 101 Ranch. As for Instagram (@mikericksecker), I’ve been utilizing the Story feature more often to give a quick glimpse of what’s going on during all that craziness that keeps me busy each day. It’s almost like another version of the “Behind the Scenes” feature we have out on Patreon. Which reminds me… if you haven’t checked out what we’re doing on Patreon, you should!

Finally, only until December 10… you can get the Encounters With The Paranormal at 15% off… meaning you get all three books for a little less that $10 per book! If you’ve always been looking for the collection, now is your time to get it! Check out the deal at: https://www.hauntedroadmedia.com/2017/11/27/encounters-with-the-paranormal-december-offer-bundle/

Stay tuned… because we have a number of other things up our sleeves that are hush-hush until release date!

Oh… and you can now follow me on SnapChat @ mikericksecker

Inside The Upside Down

Ok, so the new show on the Haunted Road Media YouTube channel is a blatant play on Stranger Things. I can’t help it. I’m hooked on the nostalgia and the fact that “Mike” in the show is just like me, right down to the moppy black hair and being the Dungeon Master while playing Dungeons and Dragons with his friends. That these kids are essentially the same age I was at exactly that time in the 1980s makes watching the show like watching an alternate reality of my childhood. That they’re dealing with a supernatural world is icing on the cake, but it also is another play on the rabbit hole… or even through the looking glass.

The Upside Down in Stranger Things is, essentially, in alternate universe, a nether world that is a mirror of the current world… in which lie many unknown secrets (and where something dark lurks). It’s a world that exists but cannot normally be seen.

So, in “Inside The Upside Down” we’ll be exploring deep supernatural topics and the unknown secrets of the world, almost like an extension of “Edge of the Rabbit Hole.” Our Mad Hatters have repeatedly asked for a second hour of content, and when we had a Double Feature night in the wake of the Goldenrod Showboat tragedy everyone stuck around for the second show. You’ll now be a getting a second show every night.

First up for “Inside The Upside Down”… Haunted Cemeteries! Yes… cemeteries can really be haunted! How and why? Plus, real paranormal encounters at cemeteries! And, yes, Shana will be “shananigating” the chat as our “Chat Shananigator” with this one, too!

Tune in November 7, 2017 @ 10:30 PM Eastern at http://www.youtube.com/hauntedroadmedia

American History Murdered

It was murder. Premeditated and with malice aforethought, the 108-year old, historic Goldenrod Showboat was murdered by fire in the early morning hours of October 21, 2017. It was the last showboat of its kind anywhere in the world, the last true vestige of early Twentieth Century American life along the Mississippi River, and now this window into the past is gone forever. No further generations will be able to experience authentic showboat life and soak in true living history as only the Goldenrod Showboat could have provided.

We call wonderfully old historic vessels like this “Great Dames,” and here is what you just did to this great dame, arsonists. Imagine an elderly woman sitting in a wheelchair, worn, but still filled with life and vigor, recanting stories from long ago that only she can tell because no one else is left to tell the tales. Even though her voice may be a little raspy and her eyesight not as crisp as it once had been, she’s still the last remnant of a bygone era, an absolute jewel, irreplaceable beyond measure. You just doused that elderly woman in gasoline and roasted her alive. May her screams haunt you and the smell of her scorched flesh permeate your nostrils for eternity, you murderers.

The Goldenrod in St. Louis.

More than 48 hours later, there still has been no real investigation of the fire that began around 2:00 AM on October 21, aside from the locals pointing out the obvious, and the rains are washing away what little evidence there may have been. Small town politics? Of course. A couple weeks ago, the land owners cleared the site of debris and cut back the brush — can’t have the surrounding area catch on fire, after all — and holes were punched into the side of the iron hull to allow ample ventilation to stoke the flames. The delivery method chosen were Roman candles, their casings conveniently left scattered about to make it look as if a group of kids were up to mischief. Outside parties experienced with hundreds of arson cases that have no knowledge of the political wranglings behind the boat have looked at the photographs and have deemed it suspicious.

The smoldering hull of the Goldenrod, October 20, 2017.

It’s no secret that the landowners have long-sought to rid the property of the Goldenrod, citing a desire to destroy it on more than one occasion, but the Historic Riverboat Preservation Association who controlled the showboat had worked hard to try to maintain and preserve it. Following hull damage that incurred in 2015, the landowners were going to burn the former National Historic Landmark in early 2016 before a legal tussle with the Riverboat Association held it up, and an agreement was finally made that the showboat would return to the St. Louis area, where it had operated prominently in front of the Gateway Arch for decades, to be restored. A flood earlier this year that saw the Goldenrod take on seven to eight feet of water reinvigorated the legal tussle, and the landowners reclaimed the vessel and their desire the rid themselves of it on their acreage of land north of Kampsville, Illinois, in the middle of nowhere where it bothered no one.

Handfasting on the deck of the Goldenrod, Oct. 29, 2016.

A year and a half ago on this blog I lamented the demise of the Goldenrod Showboat and waxed poetic over the disrespect that is given to so many of our national treasures. But then it seemed as if the landmark had averted that trouble and a bright future for it was ahead. The Riverboat Association continued it’s work on the vessel, paranormal investigations resumed, and Shana and I were handfasted on the Goldenrod’s deck on October 29, 2016. This spirits of the Goldenrod still had their voices. Then suddenly, in the flick of a lighter, it’s gone. The time for lamenting is over. Now, I’m just angry.

Enough of this senseless destruction. Enough of selfishness and self-interests determining that the last relic of a bygone era can be purposefully destroyed without any repercussions. This isn’t even a debate of progress versus history since there is nothing going in the Goldenrod’s place except for clear land. No strip malls are going in, no high-rise buildings, no fancy marinas. This was the purposeful obliteration of American history that can never be recaptured. It was murder. May the arsonists roast in hell.

NEW Encounters With The Paranormal: Volume 3!

The new Encounters With The Paranormal book, the haunted Mineral Springs Hotel Edition, is finally here! Actually, it was here last week, but this October has been so busy so far that I’ve barely had time to say much about it. Fortunately, we just recently had an entire Edge of the Rabbit Hole episode about it so we could at least give it some coverage. Later on this month, October 28th, we’ll have an official book release event.

So what’s new in this volume? Well, of course you’ll read about more haunted houses, supernatural creatures, messages from pets from the other side, haunted history, experiences during paranormal investigations, psychic experiences, and more, but there is also a 50+ page section dedicated to the old Mineral Springs Hotel in Alton, Illinois. This wonderful, historic building almost met the wrecking ball last year, so keeping true to the tradition we started with Volume 2, we gave this location a major feature in the book and part of the proceeds from sales will be donated to preserving the building.

Shana and I both recount experiences we’ve had investigating the paranormal in the century-old hotel (now Mineral Springs Mall), but also featured are experiences recounted by renowned shaman Coyote Chris Sutton, proprietors of the fantastic It’s Raining Zen shop within Mineral Springs, Dave and Donna Nunnally, and scores of historic photographs and captures taken while investigating. This is on top of the contributions we received from many others recounting their own personal paranormal encounters elsewhere, including Vanessa Hogle, Rob Gutro, Michelle Hamilton, Brooke Haramija, Stephanie Bingham, Greg Feketik, Sabrina Meyers, Donna Gorton, Dawn Bradley-Francisco, Katie Hopkins, Darrell Russ, and Penny Scott. Also returning, is Adam D. Tillery with more fantastic illustrations to complement a few of the stories within.

There’s a little something for everyone in this latest offering from Haunted Road Media. Encounters With The Paranormal: Volume 3 reveals more personal stories of the supernatural and paranormal, continuing to explore the realm beyond the veil through its contributors.

Get Encounters With the Paranormal 3 here: http://amzn.to/2yGmsrZ

The book release event, hosted by It’s Raining Zen, will be October 28th 11:00 AM – 6:00 PM at Mineral Springs Mall, 301 East Broadway, Alton, Illinois.

Cemetery Crawls and Investigating Graveyards

At Lakeview Cemetery in Cleveland, OH.

It’s called “taphophilia” (“taph” from the Greek for tomb and “philia” meaning an inordinate fondness), but we’ve been referring to what we do as a cemetery crawl. Basically, Shana and I enjoy going to cemeteries, observing the intricate masonry work on many of the stones, sometimes picking up decorative objects that have fallen to neglect, and paying our respects to those who have long been forgotten. Those that follow us on Facebook are probably very familiar with the many photos we’ve posted over the years of the numerous cemeteries we’ve visited.

There are times that those buried there reach out to us, perhaps offering one last message from the past to today’s society. Sometimes a connection is established with an entire family, and we feel compelled to research who they are. Shana frequently connects with the children and the sad fate they faced at such a young age. Yes, paranormal activity and spiritual connections can happen at a cemetery — I’ve witnessed it too many times to even consider this a debatable issue. And then there are times that we venture off to a cemetery looking for answers to mysteries from long ago that have never been answered.

Twice recently, we’ve gone searching for the graves of lynch mob victims, both murderers, but had justice carried out upon them by local rabble stringing them up from trees. One we found. The other we did not. As paranormal investigators who focus heavily on research and history, it’s a loose end we like to tie up. Unfortunately, sometimes that loose end will remain hanging, but more often than not that end is at a cemetery. Mortality is the one thing in common we all share, after all.

Shana at St. Omer Cemetery

Sometimes the process happens in reverse. Occasionally, we’ll visit a cemetery and the story there will lead us to investigate the people and/or the area further. The sheer number of child graves at the St. Omer Cemetery in Illinois weighed heavily upon Shana the first time we visited, and in a return visit she discovered a back entrance to the cemetery that may have once been used by the townsfolk before they abandoned the town. What had once been an aside to the “Witch’s Grave” that is there suddenly became a prominent focus. Similarly, just down the road in Ashmore is what we call the “Crazy Portal Trees,” an area of the cemetery in which trees have been strategically placed to box in a set a graves and the effect on the senses is dramatically felt. The first time I ventured in I called out to Shana, “Oh, this is creepy,” and later on I saw a figure that wasn’t either us us walking just beyond. Of course, we followed up with a return visit and continue to research.

Whatever we may discover at a cemetery, each one seems to have its own character. It may have a majestic view or ornate mausoleums. It may be tucked away at the end of a dusty road or completely abandoned all together. It may have some great historical significance, or it may be a small family cemetery. Whatever the case may be, we’re interested.

Dwelling Paranormal Thriller Review

Need a good horror movie for Halloween season and you’re tired of all the same cookie-cutter movies of the genre? If so, then try Dwelling, a paranormal thriller written and directed by Kyle Mecca.

Haunted house movies are usually pretty formulaic: Unsuspecting family moves into a haunted house, haunting ensues, family either flees for their lives or banishes the spirits from the house. Not so in Dwelling. In Dwelling, Ellie (Erin Marie Hogan) purposely moves her family into a haunted house because she wishes to reconnect with the spirit of her deceased mother. Just this premise alone, the fact she purposely moves into a haunted house, makes this film quite different than most others of its genre, and compelled me to start following the film’s production progress a few years ago.

Filmed on location in Buffalo, New York, Dwelling is a classic slow-burn and not littered with gimicky jump-scares. Mecca’s story is a suspenseful build in a supernatural setting, harkening back to the days of Hitchcock when it was the tension of the moment, the possibility of what may happen, that scared you.

The actors portray this tension well as the situation inside the house devolves, setting up a mesmerizing conclusion. After a traumatic childhood that found her sister, River (seasoned scream queen, Devanny Pinn) in a psychiatric facility, Hogan’s Ellie is hell-bent on utilizing the house and the budding psychic abilities of her young niece, Izzy (Abigail Mary), to find the closure she seeks with only the lone voice of reason, her partner, Gavin (Mu-Shaka Benson), standing in the way. What happens when the paranormal and the desire to harness paranormal power collide?

Haunted Road Media was fortunate enough to recently interview both Kyle Mecca and Erin Marie Hogan about Dwelling and their own paranormal experiences on The Edge of the Rabbit Hole Livestream Show. (Watch the videos posted below.)

Recently released on DVD, Dwelling may be found at your local Wal-Mart or Fye, and also on iTunes or Amazon. (Click for direct Amazon link.)

New Encounters Coming Soon!

Allow me to be candid this Monday morning… I’ve busted my ass, and I’m exhausted. Those who are involved in the publishing industry know what all goes into producing a book, especially when you have a hard deadline. So, in order for the next Encounters With The Paranormal book to make it on time for the release event later this month, finishing the book became my weekend. There were videos to produce as well, but the book took precedence — we need to have it available at its own release event, after all.

I must thank all the contributors, of course, and Shana has been there every step of the way to help champion the cause, contributing her stories as well and helping with editing, along with her unwavering moral support. Donna Gorton helped with some editing, too, and I can’t thank Dave Nunnally of It’s Raining Zen enough for his considerable contribution, not only in the sizable accounts of the hauntings at Mineral Springs he sent my way, but also in the historic photos he provided. This work does not exist without all of those who have been involved. Those who contributed this year include Shana Wankel, Vanessa Hogle, Rob Gutro, Michelle Hamilton, Coyote Chris Sutton, Dave Nunnally, Brooke Haramija, Sabrina Meyers, Donna Gorton, Greg Feketik, Stephanie Bingham, Dawn Bradley-Francisco, Katie Hopkins, Darrell Russ, and Penny Scott. And, of course, the talented Adam D. Tillery has returned to offer more fantastic illustrations.

It’s a collective effort, to be sure, but, damn… I was wallowing in a puddle of drool by night’s end last night. There’s still more work to do, of course, including the e-book format and all the promotion that follows a book release. The promotion is a whole other job, entirely.

Not to worry, though. We may have missed a video for Sunday night on Haunted Road Media’s YouTube channel (for those keeping track, we’ve been going every Tuesday and Friday night, plus at least one other, usually Sunday), but I’ll get one out there tonight. Yes, that means, somehow, after I”m done with the day job today I will record, edit, upload, and put together all the additional material (thumbnails, etc.) for a video all by night’s end. Oh, and I have to finish up a few things for tomorrow’s Edge of the Rabbit Hole episode, too. And there’s that darned e-book I was just talking about a moment ago. Also, at some point, I’ll want to go live and talk about these things since everyone loves live. There aren’t enough hours in the day… (well, there are, but that darned day job keeps getting in the way).

Speaking of live… did you know that I’m now on Periscope? Since this service also streams to Facebook and Twitter, I’ve been using of late to replace what we had been doing as just straight Facebook Live videos. Follow me there at: https://www.pscp.tv/MikeRicksecker

If this seems like a disjointed blog post, that’s because it is. We’ll continue on with more of the October Haunted Blog tomorrow… and expect the Encounters With The Paranormal: Volume 3 release, featuring Mineral Springs Hotel, to be on Wednesday.

Add that to the list!

Bleeding Painting and Rising Bones

The cracked grave of Legh Master.

My first book focusing on the paranormal was Ghosts of Maryland, covering a state in which I’d lived for 17 years split up between two different stints, and it contains over 100 ghost stories. Not surprisingly given all its history, Maryland is an extremely haunted state!

There are a number of tales that I often speak about, including my experiences at the Samuel Mudd House, my discoveries of Ariana Calvert at Mt. Airy Plantation, and my prophetic dream of Montpelier Mansion, but I also found the town of Westminster to have a number of very interesting haunted tales. Westminster is a quaint, historic town, sleepy in some senses, but its ghost stories are anything but sleepy. In the most recent Friday Night Ghost Frights I tell two of these tales — the legend of Legh Master and his cruelty that still surfaces today, and the strange tales of Cockey’s Tavern.

The bleeding painting of Ulysses S. Grant.

Legh Master was a cruel, rich widower who had moved to Maryland from England after his wife passed away. He murdered slaves in his great iron works furnaces and its said that in death, his bones are still trying to rise from their grave. At Cockey’s Tavern, many hauntings have occured, including disembodied footsteps and candles relighting themselves, but it seems to be the wall hangings that are the most haunted. Not only are they found to move on their own, but the one of Ulysses S. Grant (some say it’s just a bearded man and not the former President) appears to bleed on its own.

To learn about these tales, watch Friday Night Ghost Frights below!