A Haunting in Connecticut: Fact Or Fiction?

It’s a familiar tale. A struggling family moves into a beautiful house, ready to make it a home. They fill their new home with artifacts, mementos from family vacations, photographs, and textiles. Then, a darkness seems to settle over the space… There are strange noises in the night. Family members begin acting strangely. You can feel eyes moving over you. There are shadows moving in your periphery. The house is far from being a home.

In 1986, the Snedeker family rented a beautiful colonial style home in Southington, Connecticut. Carmen Snedeker found it was large enough for her entire family and was very reasonably priced, encouraging an immediate move. Carmen had been driving her son some distance from their current home for cancer treatments and the drive was difficult on him due in part to the nausea from the treatments and his medication. After searching for some time for a home closer to the hospital, the colonial home seemed to drop conveniently into her lap. The landlord said she was welcome to move in immediately, she’d struggled with finding a place that would allow four children, and she and her family did so. Carmen’s husband, Allen, still had to travel for work, but was there on weekends or as often as he could be.

As the family started moving their belongings in, they began to notice there was something odd about the house itself. Above each doorway on the main floor, a crucifix was mounted. They appeared old and as if they had been there for some time. In the basement, there were strange tables lined against the wall containing what appeared to be medical tools, in the center of one of the rooms was a metal table on a swivel. In a corner of the basement was a large drain. A large hoisting mechanism was situated on one of the main walls. The family soon realized that the home they had moved into was originally the Hallahan (sp) funeral home and had operated as such since sometime in the 1930’s (some neighbors have speculated the business had operated there even longer). This in itself didn’t make it impossible to live in the house. After all, a funeral home is nothing to fear. Yes, corpses had once been stored in the basement and lifted in coffins to a viewing area on the first floor. Yes, preparation of the dead, embalming and drainage of fluids, had taken place. Every old house has a history. But, after a very short time, that history began to show its face.

Carmen’s son, Phillip, began exhibiting strange behavior. He was irritable, paranoid, and prone to fits of anger. Carmen chalked the behavior up to the medication and treatments he was receiving, believing that some of the things Phillip claimed to see were only in his mind. He would tell Carmen he saw men in the basement with long, dark coats and spoke with the ghost of a young boy with black hair down to his hips who lost his life in the house. When one of Phillip’s episodes became violent, threatening the safety of his siblings, Carmen made the difficult choice to have her son institutionalized. It was safer for everyone involved.

When Phillip left, the activity in the house escalated. One by one, the crucifixes above the doorways on the first floor inexplicably disappeared. When the crucifixes were all removed, the paranormal activity that seemed to be confined to the basement began to move upstairs. Food placed in the refrigerator would become rotten quickly, even if it had only just been purchased or eaten a short time before being stored. Carmen, while cleaning the kitchen floor, found that the mop water turned blood red upon contact with the linoleum and began to smell of decay. No matter how much she tried to mop it away, the festering puddle just kept getting bigger. The children began seeing shadows moving in their rooms at night, heard strange noises and voices, and experienced objects being thrown by unseen hands. The Snedeker children claimed that even leaving the house gave no relief. The spirits harassing them at home would follow them into social situations. If they went out, either they or their friends would experience the sensation of being touched or, on a couple of occasions, slapped. Both parents reported they had been raped and sodomized by demons. Many people asked why the family didn’t just move. Carmen stated that, not only would they lose their deposit for breaking their lease, something they were financially unable to do, they worried that the dark energy in the house would attach to and follow them wherever they went.

After a few weeks, the activity in the house got so bad that the family slept together in the living room on air mattresses.

It was at this point that Carmen decided to call Ed and Lorraine Warren, experts in the field of the paranormal and unexplained. It didn’t take long for the Warren’s to declare the house haunted and recommend the family go public about their experiences because, as Lorraine Warren stated, it would be easier to get the Catholic church to take notice and get involved if there was public outcry. Carmen’s husband was reluctant to go public at first, but after living in the home for so long, he had reached his breaking point. Their story was made public and the home was, eventually at least, as the Warren’s claimed, “successfully exorcised.”

Horror novelist Ray Garton brought the Snedeker’s story to light at the Warren’s insistence. Garton interviewed each family member individually about their experiences, but he encountered a problem. None of the stories matched up and they were unable to keep their stories straight about the paranormal activity. Garton claims he approached Ed Warren about the issue and was told that the whole family was crazy. According to Garton, Ed told him to find what story he could and make the rest up. “Make it up and make it scary.” According to some, that is exactly what Garton did.

The current owners of the home state that they have had no paranormal activity whatsoever, but that they are constantly bothered by people trying to take pictures of the home and asking about their experiences within its walls. Neighbors of the Snedeker’s have reported suspicious activity surrounding newspaper reports vs. actual occurrences on the property and doubt the property was ever really haunted at all.

Is the Haunting in Connecticut just another Amityville Horror story or is there more to it? Were the Snedeker’s telling the truth about what they experienced?

Neighbors and friends of the Snedeker children claim never to have heard anything about the haunting, though they did see the Snedeker children running around outside on warm evenings and making “spooky sounds” in through the open windows. None of the children ever mentioned it. One friend reported that he was eight at the time of the supposed haunting and it was never brought up. Were the children so afraid of what was happening in the house that they couldn’t bring themselves to speak of it? How realistic is it for a child around eight years old to keep that information secret? Was Carmen feeding stories to her children for the press and telling them to keep the information from their friends?

Enter the 2009 film, A Haunting in Connecticut,  supposedly a true story about the Snedeker’s ordeal. The movie claimed to be “based on true events” and told of all the horrifying and demonic experiences the family had in the house. Overall, it wasn’t a terrible movie, but it seemed as if the movie often deviated from Carmen’s account. I’m still trying to figure out where the box of eyelids, bodies hidden in the walls, huge fire engulfing the house, and the carved symbols into Phillip’s body come into play. If by “true events” they mean a family moved into a haunted house and had some crazy shit happen to them, I suppose they’re not wrong…? The movie grossed over $77 million at the box office and DVD sales topped 1.5 million.

Haunting_in_connecticut

 

Gold Circle Films/Integrated Films/Lionsgate

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Haunting_in_Connecticut

 

The truth is, there is little to no proof of any paranormal activity in the case of the Snedeker family. Perhaps they saw all the press The Amityville Horror had received and found out how the Lutz family had profited from their story. Maybe the mounting medical bills from Phillip’s treatment made the opportunity to craft a believable story impossible to resist. Desperate times…

What are your thoughts about the Snedeker’s  story? Let us know in the comments.

Your Fellow Haunt Head,

Janine

hauntheadscast@gmail.com

Tweet us @hauntheadscast

Facebook: Haunt Heads Podcast

Find episodes of our podcast at hauntheads.podbean.com, on iTunes at https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/haunt-heads-podcast/id1229525500?mt=2,  or wherever you listen to podcasts.

 

 

 

NEW EPISODE!!! S1 Ep. 9 Highknocker-ed

NEW EPISODE AVAILABLE TOMORROW!

S1 Ep. 9 Highknocker=

This week, Mimi takes us to a supposed haunted hot spot, Dartford Cemetery in Green Lake, WI, and Janine enlightens us with tales of immurement, the practice of walling up the faithful and/or the penitent. This episode features a haunted mausoleum, foundational sacrifices, and a conversation about finding the story behind paranormal occurrences

Send us your paranormal stories and/or folklore tales! We also love weird and wonderful stuff. If we like what you send, we might even feature it on an episode of Haunt Heads! Send your stories to hauntheadscast@gmail.com.

Stay spooky!

Our podcast is also available on iTunes at https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/haunt-heads-podcast/id1229525500?mt=2 , PodBean (hauntheads.podbean.com), or wherever you listen to podcasts. =)

They called them “asylums,” though I don’t know why…

In 1913, Senator Beall introduced a bill that would appropriate $500,000.00 for a new hospital to be built that would tackle overcrowding issues within the mental health systems of the time. By 1917, after a lengthily build that was wrought with logistical problems, the Alton State Hospital began housing patients. Small groups were already being housed within existing structures on the property, but with the opening of the main structure came an influx of new patients.

Dr. George Zeller became the hospital’s superintendent and immediately enacted some new therapy protocols. Zeller was a pioneer in the mental health field, credited with the creation of occupational therapy to treat insanity. Many of the patients housed at Alton worked on the grounds in the tobacco fields or on the farm and every patient had free reign of the buildings and grounds. Zeller was a believer in the non-restraint system, so doors remained open and unlocked and the windows allowed for sunlight and fresh air. Absent were the bars and mesh screen used at similar institutions of the time. This practice was short lived as many of the patients would occasionally roam to neighboring farm houses, scaring local farmers and doing damage to property.

shaltonpc2

http://rootsweb.ancestry.com/~asylums/alton_il/index.html

Between 1917 and 1919, government agencies pleaded with Zeller for residents at Alton to be restrained for their own safety, not to mention the safety of the staff there. Patients were not only causing pandemonium in the area, but sometimes met their demise in their wanderings. Several patients were struck by trains and were killed instantly while others succumbed to injuries and sicknesses that might have been prevented or contained by simply locking the wards or individual rooms.

In 1921, Zeller resigned and returned to the Peoria State Hospital in Peoria, IL, where he’d been superintendent prior to moving to Alton. Zeller returned to address issues of neglect and abuse of the patients there and, once he saw the way the patients were being treated and housed, he ordered his staff to each take an 8 hour shift, living as the patients lived. Zeller himself spent time as a patient, moving between the wards to sort out the issues in each. In 1938, Zeller passed away from a pulmonary infection, but his philosophy of curing the sick instead of treating them as hardened criminals, was adopted for a time at Peoria.

By 1921, Alton held 757 patients monitored by 117 staff members, an average of 6 patients assigned to each employee. Hydrotherapy became a popular form of treatment. In fact, Alton alone gave over 65,000 hours of hydrotherapy that year.  Hyperactive patients got “calming” baths while lethargy was treated with “invigorating sprays” or “wraps.” Although the term hydrotherapy might conjure a long, relaxing soak or a spritz for a pick-me-up, this could not be further from the truth. Patients were often left to soak in tubs for hours or even days. They were strapped in and unable to move, having to ask permission to use the facilities. Patients were sometimes wrapped in towels drenched in ice water because treating the body with extreme cold would make them easier to handle. There were even cases of patients being chained to a wall in Christ pose and sprayed with a fire hose.

In 1940, Electroconvulsive Therapy (or ECT) was introduced.  ECT is a procedure in which small electrical currents are passed through the brain, intentionally triggering a seizure. ECT is said to alter brain chemistry and reverse symptoms of certain mental illnesses, but in the early years, it did more harm than good. As you can imagine, it is impossible to know how a person will react when you’ve zapped their brain with electricity. aa3270147f94376b7f686950bfd417d9You might hit the “reset” button and help the person to lead a more productive life or you could essentially cause irreparable brain damage. With electroshock came lobotomies, used to treat those considered too far gone for ECT to be effective. The patient population at this time was 1,775. The capacity was only 1,084. That year, 39 lobotomies were performed at Alton and new medications were introduced, allowing doctors to treat patients in less invasive ways. By 1955, the population at Alton was 2100, over twice the recommended occupancy.

As is often the case with locations like Alton State Hospital, the energies of those who passed away on the property are undoubtedly trapped there. The practice of electroshock, lobotomy, and hot/cold water treatments disguised as therapy were beyond inhumane and likely explain the paranormal activity at the hospital. Alton still functions as a mental institution today.

Many people report hearing unusual noises, doors slamming shut and the occasional sounds of disembodied voices whispering to one another. The messages they are trying to relay are indecipherable. Tours of the building are strictly prohibited, but staff members at Alton have reported seeing orbs and experiencing cold spots. They claim to feel as if they are being watched and, occasionally, are touched by unseen hands while doing their rounds. Those who have taken photos of the building and surrounding grounds while visiting loved ones at the institution have captured images of orbs that seem to have human faces in them. Hearing disembodied voices is common and people have reported seeing ghostly mists in the cemetery (located on the property) as well as near the railway tracks.

A nurse claims to have heard a voice ask, “Who’s That?” from behind her. She turned around to answer, but found there was nobody there. Nobody else was around her at the time. Later that day, the exact same thing happened to another nurse in the same spot on the ward.

Have you ever experienced something spooky at Alton or have you taken a tour of a haunted asylum? We want to hear about it! Drop us a line in the comments.

Your Fellow Haunt Head,

Janine

hauntheadscast@gmail.com

Tweet us @hauntheadscast

Facebook: Haunt Heads Podcast

Listen to the podcast! hauntheads.podbean.com or on iTunes at https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/haunt-heads-podcast/id1229525500?mt=2

NEW EPISODE AVAILABLE! S1 EP.8 LEAN IN AND LISTEN

NEW EPISODE AVAILABLE! S1 Ep. 8 Lean In and Listen

“This is a true story. It happened to a friend of a friend of mine…”

It’s a warm summer night in 1950. Maybe Earth Angel is playing on the radio. Maybe a teenage boy has borrowed his father’s Studebaker to impress his girl. Maybe he’s brought her to Lovers’ Lane, a quiet patch of field at the end of a winding gravel drive. It’s dark and secluded, but that’s what he’s looking for.

Studebaker-1950RoadTest&scale=2
As they settle in for an evening of romance, their musical interlude is interrupted by an urgent news bulletin. A mad man has escaped from the local asylum, a criminal deviant bent on murder and mayhem. Police are actively seeking a suspect. He’s got a hook for a hand. The asylum lies just a half mile from their parking spot.
The Good Ending
The girl grows concerned over sounds emanating from outside the car. Metal on metal. Scratching. Obviously, the romantic allure of the backseat and the crooning of the love song have worn off. She’s so scared that she demands they leave immediately. The fine hairs on the back of her neck are at attention, bristled, suddenly very aware of another presence lingering just beyond the car door. She’s petrified. Her male companion is less than amused, having had his romantic evening thwarted, but he agrees to take her home. He throws the car into gear and they speed down the drive toward home.
They pull up in front of her house a short time later and, in the interest of chivalry and the hope that he might get another chance later on down the line, he jogs around the car to her door to open it. As he reaches for the handle, he sees it: a bloody metal hook hanging there, glinting in the moonlight.
The Bad Ending
The boyfriend, irritated by his girlfriends irrational fear, says he’ll take her home after he goes to relieve himself. He leaves her into the car and disappears into the darkness. After a time, the girlfriend begins to hear scraping sounds on the roof of the car. She gets out of the car to see what the noise might be and comes face to face with her boyfriends butchered body. He’s hanging upside down from a tree, his fingers scraping against the roof of the car.
This legend is an oldie, but definitely a good-ie!
It seems as if this legend was designed to frighten, hoping that fear would fix the problem of the insatiable teenage libido, but you could also read into the story a little more. If you channel your inner Freud, you could find all sorts of sexual overtones and imagery. The teenage boy who wants to “get his hooks” into the girl. The tearing off of the hook could symbolize castration. The radio broadcast acting as a sort of voice of reason or conscience, jarring the teens out of their romantic mood.
The Hook Man is a popular urban legend. I’ve heard it more than once while settled around a glowing camp fire in the woods. For me, it was a tale meant to frighten and titillate. A story to make us believe that, at any moment, a hook-handed crazy man would burst through the tree line and flay us all, as the popular fantasy/slasher film Candyman put so aptly, “from [our] groin[s] to [our] gullet[s].”

Candyman

Here’s My Advice…
Interestingly enough, the first appearance of The Hook Man legend in print was in a Dear Abby column on Nov. 8, 1960.
DEAR ABBY: If you are interested in teenagers, you will print this story. I don’t know whether it’s true or not, but it doesn’t matter because it served its purpose for me:
A fellow and his date pulled into their favorite “lovers’ lane” to listen to the radio and do a little necking. The music was interrupted by an announcer who said there was an escaped convict in the area who had served time for rape and robbery. He was described as having a hook instead of a right hand. The couple became frightened and drove away. When the boy took his girl home, he went around to open the car door for her. Then he saw — a hook on the door handle! I don’t think I will ever park to make out as long as I live. I hope this does the same for other kids.
It is interesting that the only consistent part of The Hook Man legend, throughout all incarnations of the tale, is that the maniac wears the prosthetic on his right hand. Never his left.
Legendary Criteria
According to Elissa Michelle Zacher, a writer from The Epoch Times, who penned an article entitled, “Urban Legends: Modern Morality Tales” (2010), in order for The Hook Man story to be classified as an urban legend, it must meet the following criteria.
1. The story must contain outrageous content in an everyday setting: The Hook Man escaping from the insane asylum. What sort of prison or asylum allows a criminal to keep his hook prosthetic while incarcerated?
2. The origin of the story is anonymous: The story has been around for so long, nobody really knows where or how it originated.
3. There are multiple incarnations of the story: The Hook Man is sometimes hiding in the back seat of a car. In some incarnations, the boyfriend gets out of the car to urinate and the girlfriend stays inside the car. She then later hears scraping on the roof of the car. Her boyfriend is hanging from a tree branch above the car, his boots scraping on the roof. Sometimes, the woman is at the gas station and goes to get back in her car when her hamstrings are sliced through. She falls to the ground and the hook man pulls her under the car, brutally maiming her with his hook. In yet another story, the couple run out of gas on a deserted highway. The girlfriend stays in the car while her boyfriend goes in search of a fueling station. She falls asleep and is awoken by a state trooper who tells her to get out of the car and not look back. She does and sees her boyfriends mutilated corpse hanging from a tree.
4. No matter who tells the story, it begins with “it happened to a friend of a friend of mine.”: There is no real credibility and no person to hold accountable for factual information.
5. There are some aspects of the story that are plausible and have a ring of truth: Young lovers let their libidos get the better of them and let their guard down. Something bad happens. A couple run out of gas. An escaped mental patient. A deserted location. Car trouble. Murder.
6. The story serves a purpose, either as a cautionary tale or otherwise: A cautionary tale about the dangers of premarital sex. A warning about spending time in abandoned places. No one can hear you scream.
The legend of The Hook Man was carefully curated by parents and caregivers to deter hormonal teens from unsavory activities on lovers’ lanes throughout North America. Often, it’s easier for parents to offer a narrative in place of logical explanation to get a point across, though many people under the age of 30 might think it’s a child of Hollywood. Movies like I Know What You Did Last Summer have plucked the Hook Man figure straight from urban legend, but that doesn’t mean there’s nothing to fear.
Urban Legends Brought to Life
In the 1930’s, a man described as wearing shabby clothes and around 40 attacked two couples in secluded locations, similar to locations that might be used for popular make out spots, on two separate occasions. In one instance, a man was killed outright and a woman was sexually assaulted. He released the woman close to a bus stop with a letter to be sent to the press. The letter made little sense, but stated that the man had been killed because he possessed secret government documents and that the killer was an international secret agent. The killer was never caught. Seven years later, there was another double murder, but in this instance both victims were found with red bulls eyes on their foreheads.
In 1946, the small town of Texarkana, Texas was terrorized by a ghoul called The Phantom Killer or the Texarkana Phantom. Over the course of 3 months, 8 people were murdered, all had parked at Lovers’ Lanes. The Phantom Killer’s spree began on February 22, his first victims Jimmy Hollis, 25, and Mary Jeanne Larey, 19. Hollis was ordered out of the car by gunpoint and told to pull down his pants. He was then struck in the head with a heavy object, cracking his skull. He attempted to rob the couple and struck Larey with the object as well, then telling her to run for her life. Larey, unable to navigate the undergrowth in her heels, was easy prey. The killer was able to catch her and assaulted her with the barrel of his gun. Both survived the attack and gave a description of the phantom, stating he was wearing a white hood with eye and mouth holes cut into it.

images

A month later, Richard Griffin, 29, and Polly Ann Moore, 17, were parked in a popular make out spot. A driver passing by thought the couple had fallen asleep in their car, but upon approaching realized the two had both been shot in the back of the head.
Next, Paul Martin, 16, and Betty Jo Booker, 15, were killed in a remote location. A couple in their 30’s were also murdered in their home, though some wonder if this murder was committed by the same person.justice6n-2-web
Reigniting the anxieties of Texarkana residents, The Town That Dreaded Sundown was released in 1976, claiming to tell the stories of the murders exactly as they happened.  At the end of the film, we see a figure from the ankles down, feet clad in combat boots, standing in line at the movie theater. The Phantom Killer was never caught.
The Zodiac Killer also enjoyed haunting secluded locations like lovers’ lanes. The Zodiac murdered his first victims in Benicia, California in December, 1968. David Faraday and Betty Lou Jensen had stopped to park at around 10 P.M. The couple were discovered less than an hour later, shot to death and lying on the ground beside their car.


In July, 1969, Darlene Ferrin and Michael Mageau, 22 and 19 respectively, parked at a secluded spot in Blue Rock Springs Park in Vallejo, California. Michael was shot in the head but survived his injuries. Darlene was not so lucky. Police originally thought that Darlene’s husband was to blame for the murder, Darlene and Michael were engaged in an affair, but he had an airtight alibi. The Zodiac has never been identified, aside from though speculation, but his motives were clear: he enjoyed killing, likening it to hunting wild game.

amd-son-of-sam-jpgDavid Berkowitz, The Son of Sam, was also keen on finding his victims in flagrante delicto. In July, 1976, Berkowitz shot two women who were parked in a parking lot. In total, Berkowitz killed 6 people and injured 7 more.

Legends Survive
Whether based on actual fact or a simple tale of abstinence, the tale of The Hook Man is a riveting urban legend. Over time, it has evolved and shifted to suit the time in which it is told and put down roots in our collective psyches. How many of us have heard this story, been frightened by it, and gone on to relay it to some other unsuspecting individual? How many of us have gathered with our peers around a blazing campfire, placed a flashlight under our chin, and let fear reign.

17627-campfire-flames-pv

S1 Ep. 7: Loaf Or Death Situation

Mimi’s love of steak leads to the tale of a haunted steakhouse and Underground Railroad location in Mequon, WI. Janine discusses the weird and wonderful world of toxic fashion trends in Victorian England. This episode contains a little more Capone, copious amounts of arsenic, and whiter than white bread.

We’d like to start recording mini episodes! Please send us your favorite urban legends or folklore tales or share your haunted experiences with us. We’d love to read them on the show! 

LISTEN NOW!!

hauntheads.podbean.com

https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/id1229525500

Immurement: A Rock and A Hard Place.

A Long, Rich History

Elizabeth_Bathory_PortraitIf you know anything of the case of serial killer Elizabeth Bathory, The Blood Countess of 1610, who believed the blood of local virgins would keep her young forever, you already know about Immurement, or the practice of sealing an individual up in a wall or other confined space for a prolonged period of time. Bathory was sealed inside a tower in her castle and left with only a tiny opening for food. Likely very flat food. Bathory lasted four years in her prison, but some sentenced to immurement lasted far longer. Some didn’t last long at all.

Immurement can also be found in literature. Edgar Allan Poe used immurement as a form of punishment several times, but most famously in The Cask of Amontillado. Villain Injun Joe meets an accidental and untimely end in The Adventures of Tom Sawyer when he is immured in a cave. Oscar Wilde wielded immurement like a club in The Canterville Ghost and several characters in the Gothic soap opera Dark Shadows, specifically Barnabas Collins (Collins is a vampire and cannot die so his punishment is eternal), suffer immurement.

Cultural folklore is rife with tales of people being bricked up inside bridges and behind the walls of ancient castles. It was popular to offer a “foundation sacrifice” to ensure the longevity of the structure and to bring good luck to those who would reside within it. In particular, Greek, British, Scandinavian, German, and many other cultures participated in the practice. If it’s any consolation, the sacrifices were likely put to death prior to being immured, though we can’t be sure.

Misery Loves Company

Immurement sounds like cruel and unusual punishment, but there were actually people who elected to be immured, particularly the devout of several religions including monks, nuns, and priests. In some cases, these devout souls would be bricked up along with a small child, a symbol of innocence and purity. It was not uncommon for nuns to be bricked up for a decade or more with a child companion, generally an orphan but sometimes willingly given by their parents, who was a “gift” to the Catholic church. Both individuals would receive food through a small slot and would never emerge from the chamber. There are no records of a child surviving immurement.

220px-Die_eingemauerte_Nonne

In the 4th century A.D., a nun named Alexandria was immured for ten years. Saint Jerome wrote of one devout follower who spent his entire life living in a cistern and surviving on only five figs a day.

Punishment

As much as immurement could be used as a faith strengthening practice, it was also used in the religious community as a punishment. Priests who were found to have committed pederasty were sealed in a coffin and suspended inside a tower until they starved. in 1409, four clerics in Bavaria were subjected to this form of immurement as church officials felt the usual punishment, immolation, was too merciful.

Portrait_of_a_Grand_Vizier_(-)

 

In the 18th century, the governor of Lebanon, Jazzar Pasha, decided to build a wall, something both decorative and entertaining, around the city of Beirut. Pasha, known to be a cruel and vengeful man, captured a large number of Greek Christians and ordered that they be built into the structure. Their heads protruded from one side, allowing Pasha to watch as they suffered and starved to death.

In 1906, a cobbler from Marrakesh was convicted of murdering 36 women and walled up for his crimes. His screams were heard for two days after his immurement. On the third day, he fell silent.

According to Henry Charles Lea, an American historian, civic reformer, and political activist, “The cruelty of the monastic system of imprisonment known as in pace, or vade in pacem, was such that those subjected to it speedily died in all the agonies of despair. In 1350 the Archbishop of Toulouse appealed to King John to interfere for its mitigation, and he issued an Ordinance that the superior of the convent should twice a month visit and console the prisoner, who, moreover, should have the right twice a month to ask for the company of one of the monks. Even this slender innovation provoked the bitterest resistance of the Dominicans and Franciscans, who appealed to Pope Clement VI., but in vain.”

Sir Walter Scott,  a Scottish historical novelist, playwright and poet, notes in a remark to his poem Marmion (1808): “It is well known, that the religious, who broke their vows of chastity, were subjected to the same penalty as the Roman Vestals in a similar case. A small niche, sufficient to enclose their bodies, was made in the massive wall of the convent ; a slender pittance of food and water was deposited in it and the awful words Vade in pace, were the signal for immuring the criminal. It is not likely that, in latter times, this punishment was often resorted to; but, among the ruins of the abbey of Coldingham were some years ago discovered the remains of a female skeleton which, from the shape of the niche, and the position of the figure seemed to be that of an immured nun.”

Ancient Entombment

In Ancient Egypt, it was often the practice to entomb a deceased King or Queen along with those who served them in life and any pets they wanted to bring with them into the afterlife. In some cases, the living sacrifices were drugged prior to being immured with their master. In the 14th century, a mongol khan was immured with his servants, wives, and “several vessels of drink.” In others, as was the case of the widows of a great chief in Africa, legs would be broken prior to being immured.

In an effort to ensure a fruitful harvest, during The Festival of the Sun, the Ancient Incas would sacrifice animals and hold celebrations lasting nine days in an effort to thank the gods for providing their bounty. When Christian Spaniards intiarrived in the 16th century, they attempted to convert the Incas to Catholicism. This was likely due in part to the custom of immuring young women (aged 12 or younger) inside a water-less cistern as a form of sacrifice to the gods.

Infanticide

Why would anyone immure a newborn, you ask? Cases of child immurement were often due to an inability to provide for the infant or in order to hide the shame a child might bring to their parents. Often, these children were the offspring of nuns who had become lustful or who had been raped by monks or priests. Children might also be immured if they came from poverty stricken families. In most cases, the children were left in abandoned places and not actually entombed as they were unable to attempt escape.

Immurement On Television

Mr_BurnsYou’ve likely seen the episode of The Simpsons (Last Exit to Springfield) where Mr. Burns relates the story of a worker in his grandfather’s power plant is found with atoms in his pockets. As he is dragged away, Burns discusses  labor unions and Japan’s economical and industrial prominence. He then remarks “If only we’d listened to that young man instead of walling him up in the abandoned coke oven.”

 

On the HBO TV series OZ, a preacher (Luke Perry) is walled up by some inmates. He is later found by prison officials.

c66

In a 1984 episode of Thomas the Tank Engine, Percy is immured in a tunnel for refusing to leave during a rain storm. I think it had something to do with being afraid he’d ruin his paint job. You’ll have to trust me on that one.

 

On the HBO TV series Game of Thrones,  Doreah and Xaro Xhoan Daxos are sealed in an empty vault in Daxos’ villa, after betraying Daenerys and attempting to steal her dragons.

Here’s the Rub…

There was definitely a trick to surviving this particular method of torture. Obviously, rationing what little food and water you were given and finding something to keep yourself from going batty were givens, but your fate really relied on your keeper and whether or not the people on the outside would continue to care for you. If they forgot about you completely,  you were doomed to spend the remainder of your short life entombed with only the spiders and cobwebs to keep you company. Unless you were a nun who was immured with a kid. Then the two of you could play Parcheesi or whatever until the food and water ran out.

What do you think about the practice of immurement? Did it have practical applications? Was it just a way to punish and murder people? Chat us up in the comments below. =)

Until next time!

Your Fellow Haunt Head,

Janine

hauntheadscast@gmail.com

Tweet us @hauntheadscast

Facebook: Haunt Heads Podcast

hauntheads.podbean.com

Find us on iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/haunt-heads-podcast/id1229525500?mt=2

S1 Ep. 5 Bundy Fundy or Bridge Over Troubled Water

Episode 5 is now available for download! Find it at hauntheads.podbean.com or on iTunes at https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/haunt-heads-podcast/id1229525500?mt=2.

S1 Ep. 5 Bundy Fundy or Bridges Over Troubled Water

Mimi brings you the tale of Seven Bridges in South Milwaukee, WI, and Janine brings Bundy and the story of how his childhood home in Tacoma, WA, might just be haunted. This episode includes movie reviews, true crime, a rant about how ridiculously expensive cable is, a terrible impersonation of Buffalo Bill, and more of Mimi’s infectious laugh.

A Haunting of Bundy Proportions

It’s all over the internet: Ted Bundy’s Childhood Home HAUNTED! No murders ever occurred in the home (that I’ve been able to confirm) and Bundy had long left home by the time he was arrested. What do we make of this story?
About Bundy
If you don’t know who Ted Bundy is, you should perhaps lift the edge of your rock every once in a while. He was only one of the most prolific serial killers EVER, but he wasn’t always such a famous individual. Bundy was born on Nov. 24, 1946 in Burlington, Vermont, and, by the time of his arrest in 1975, it is said that he murdered at least 36 people, though some believe that number could be 100 or more.
Bundy was a rapist, murderer, burglar, serial killer, and necrophile. When he was arrested in ’75 for failure to stop for a police officer, several items were found in his possession indicating that Bundy had a dark hobby. A crowbar, handcuffs, trash bags, an ice pick, a ski mask, and other items believed to be burglary tools were found in Bundy’s vehicle and he was taken into custody. Bundy was executed in Florida’s electric chair in 1989.

963036
The Bundy family took possession of the home in 1955. It was a small blue house, built sometime around 1946 (the same year Bundy was born) and was roughly 1400 sq ft. Ted was 9 when the family moved in and, by the time he was sentenced to death, his family was no longer living there. It is said that Bundy’s room was either on the main level of the home or in the basement at the bottom of the stairs.
Haunted House?
According to contractor Casey Clapton, he was hired in October of last year to remodel the house so it could be flipped, the home is indeed haunted by something otherworldly. Clapton’s 11 year old daughter, often charged with the task of recording the repair notes he dictates as he walks a new property, agrees with this assessment. She claims the house “makes her feel weird” and has refused to remain in the house alone. Clapton dismissed her claims until he spoke with a neighbor about the home and found out about the previous owners.
According to Clapton’s employees, tools often unplug themselves and the batteries on personal electronics drain without explanation or warning. Heavy furniture has also tipped over. A built in dresser was pulled out from its niche in the wall and toppled to the floor. The furniture required two workers to move it. “Help Me” was written on a basement window beneath a protective screen that had been placed over the glass. Although it’s not impossible to unscrew the screen, Clapton’s employees saw this as an unexplained phenomena. Clapton says although it’s “not impossible” to remove the screen, it would “make it difficult” for someone to do so. Although a security system is in place on the property, contractors who have locked up the house the night prior have returned in the morning to kitchen drawers and cabinets hanging open while the system remains engaged. The word “Leave” has also been found written in the drywall dust on the floor with no footprints surrounding it.
Although Clapton, his daughter, and his workers are all freaked out by the occurrences at the property, Clapton himself doesn’t see it as a problem. A self professed lover of true crime, Clapton thinks it’s neat to work on the property and, even if it is haunted, says he’ll continue the remodel.

hqdefault
Did Ted return to his childhood home after his death or is the home haunted by something or someone else? What are your thoughts? Leave us a comment below!
Your Fellow Haunt Head,
Janine
hauntheadscast@gmail.com
Tweet us @hauntheadscast
Facebook: Haunt Heads Podcast

S1 Ep.4 You’re My BEK or Boom Shock-A-Lager

Episode 4 is now available for download! It’s pretty much available wherever you find your podcasts, so maybe I’ll stop writing out “the list,” at least until we’re listed somewhere new! 😉 Don’t forget to leave us a review on iTunes and THANK YOU for listening!

**

Janine’s got your creepy fix this week! From Black Eyed Kids to Lager moguls gone nutty, there’s bound to be something to like about this episode. This weeks episode features haunting and hops at The Lemp Mansion (St. Louis, MO) and some terrifying tales of encounters with BEK’s, otherwise known as Black Eyed Kids. Whatever you do, don’t invite them in!

Haunt Heads is now available on: Google Play, Stitcher, Podcast Addict, Pocket Casts, iTunes, Blubrry, iHeartRadio, and Podknife.

Did something spooky happen to you? Do you have a favorite paranormal story you’d like to share? Send your tales of the paranormal to hauntheadscast@gmail.com and we’ll read them on the show!

Tweet us @hauntheadscast

Facebook: Haunt Heads Podcast