COMING SOON!

New episodes of Haunt Heads will be available at hauntheads.podbean.com (or wherever you listen to podcasts) on Oct. 12. The blog and podcast will offer new content on a biweekly schedule beginning at that time. Stay tuned! We’ve got a lot of new, interesting stuff coming down the pike. =)

Your Fellow Haunt Head,

Janine

hauntheadscast@gmail.com

Tweet us @hauntheadscast

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S1 Ep. 20 Labor Day Special: Season 1 Finale

NOW AVAILABLE!

S1 Ep. 20 Labor Day Special: Season 1 Finale
We decided to round off Season 1, and our Labor Day episode, with a feature length special! In this episode, Mimi discusses Annabelle, the Ryman Theater (Auditorium) in Nashville, TN, and The Black Angel of Oakland Cemetery in Iowa City, IA. Janine, in an effort to return to her roots, tells the haunting tale of the Wabana Iron Ore Mines on Bell Island, Newfoundland, Canada, and regails us with the very creepy urban legend of The Body Under the Bed. Spoiler: It’s more true than you think.
This episode contains discussions of Mimi’s narcolepsy, listener shout outs, eclipse observations, and getting older.
Disclaimer: Janine’s piece, The Body Under the Bed, might be a tad too creepy for some listeners. The piece runs from 1hr 35 mins-1hr 51 mins. Feel free to skip it if you’re easily creeped out. Though it doesn’t contain graphic depictions of violence, it is a little “icky”.
Haunt Heads will return in about 4 weeks with new episodes and blog content. Stay tuned and thanks for listening!

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Find us on iTunes HERE.

 

S1 Ep. 19 The Strange Case of Annabelle

S1 Ep. 19 The Strange Case of Annabelle

This week, the ladies are all set to record when something goes wrong with their audio. Is it because they’re talking about Annabelle? Oh dear.. Don’t worry guys, we’ll have a longer episode for you next week. Ep. 20 marks the end of Season 1 of Haunt Heads! Stay tuned but, more importantly, stay spooky!

Show us some love on iTunes! Please take a moment to leave us a review. Let us know how much you love Haunt Heads. =)

S1 Ep. 18 Grace and Doppelgangers

Mimi’s on vacay this week, but Janine’s got some creepy stuff to share. First, explore the (now demolished) Grace General Hospital in St. John’s, Newfoundland, Canada, where ghostly apparitions roam the nurse’s residence, searching for release. Then, enjoy a tale of double walkers, more familiarly known as doppelgangers, and the strange case of Emilee Sagee. This episode contains nostalgia, gardening and astral projection, a creepy little boy in a hospital gown, and footprints leading to nowhere.

Find this weeks episode at hauntheads.podbean.com or wherever you listen to podcasts!

If you listen to us on iTunes, please take a moment to leave us a review. We’d really appreciate it. =)

Wabana Iron Ore Mines, Bell Island, NFLD, Canada

I remember when Bell Island was a hub of activity. In the summer months, my family and I would take day trips over on the car ferry and spend the day there, topping off our trip with a tour of the ore mines. It was truly the highlight of our trip, next to a stop at the gift shop. Our last trip there was sometime in the summer of 1998 and sadly, by that time, the island tourism had appeared to slow. Although a few stragglers wandered in and out that year, it seemed as if the foot traffic had hit a low, but the stories of the Wabana Iron Ore Mines, of strange noises, lights, and apparitions, persisted.

Life on the Island

Bell Island is located on the Northern part of the Avalon Peninsula, a small block of land sticking out of the ocean that is roughly 9  km long and 3 km wide. Year round, the island can be accessed via a car ferry on The Tickle, the section of the Atlantic that lies between the island and Portugal Cove. Farming is a primary means of income for many and is second only to fishing, though not many can make a living from the sea any longer. The topsoil on the island is unusually rich and makes for a good yield. Throughout the 19th century, the seal hunt drew large crowds of men from both Bell Island and Conception Bay.

Mining History

In 1578, a merchant from Bristol, England, reported that there were very rich iron ore deposits on the island and, by 1678, soil samples were sent by Sir John Guy’s colony in Cupids to England for analysis.

By 1890, the deposits began to draw attention from outside mining interests including New Glasgow Coal, Iron, and Railroad Company (later called Nova Scotia Steel and Coal Co.). The NSSC began developing the site in 1892 at the urging of the Butler’s from Topsail. Thomas Cantley, Secretary of the NSSC, called the site Wabana. It is believed that Wabana is an Abenaki Indian word meaning “the place where daylight first appears.” Mining officially began in the Summer of 1895. The deposits at the Wabana mines fed giant steel mills in Sydney, Nova Scotia, and ore was also shipped as far as the United States and Germany.

For the most part, mining operations ran steadily, at times at an expanding pace, but WW1 (Germany being one of Bell Island’s largest purchasers of ore) and the Great Depression greatly affected the demand for ore and its price. Although many believed that modernization would help the mines, it was actually more of a hindrance. Many lost their jobs because new machinery could get the ore out of the ground and to the surface far faster than men with picks and shovels and mining carts. Though the mine experienced an upswing between 1936-59, one mine was shut down. By April of 1966, the final shaft, #3 mine, was shut down permanently. At the time of closure, Wabana was Canada’s longest operating mine project. Almost 80 million tons of ore was pulled from the earth and shipped to other parts of Canada, Germany, the United States, Belgium, and Holland.

Since the mine’s closure, many have left the island. In 2011, the total population was 2,346. Tourism is the primary industry at present, but those who live on Bell Island also farm and fish (to the best of their ability since the government crackdown.) #2 mine has been reopened for tours and many come to the island in the summer months to see what live below the ground was actually like.

To date, no outside company has made a bid to reopen the mines.

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Haunting

If you think about it, working in a mine was likely very dangerous. Heavy machinery could crush you, the ceiling could cave in, low lighting conditions might cause to to catch a pick to the head… None of the above sounds particularly pleasant or pretty, which is likely why many have experienced paranormal phenomena in #2 mine.

Visitors to the mine have reported:

Shadow figures- A visitor to the mine in 2016 reported seeing the shadow of a man standing in a lower portion of the tunnel that she was in with her tour group. She said the figure just stood and watched for a time, then vanished.

Noises- Strange noises are likely common in a mine shaft, particularly one as old as #2. Clanging and banging is often heard along with voices and a strange hissing sound.

Lights- Lights are often seen down in the mine shafts at night. At night, #2 shaft is not lit nor are any of the others (as they are not in use and sealed.) Some visitors have reported that the lights seen appear to be those similar to the older lights worn on mining helmets.

Visitors have also reported being touched on the shoulder or back and feeling cold spots throughout the mine.

Have you ever visited the Wabana mine and gone down into shaft #2? Did you have a strange experience? Please drop us a line via email or leave a *comment below.

Your Fellow Haunt Head,

Janine

hauntheadscast@gmail.com

Tweet us @hauntheadscast

Facebook: Haunt Heads Podcast

Find episodes of our podcast at hauntheads.podbean.com or wherever you listen to podcasts!

*UPDATE: Thanks to Melissa McCall for sending photos of her Wabana Mine experience! Without Melissa telling me what she was seeing, we found out we were both seeing the same thing! What do you see?

___

Melissa wrote: ‪My family and I took a tour in the Bell Island Mines back in 2015, the tour guide brought us to one area of the mine where two cardboard cutouts of miners were placed. She told us how women in the mines were known to be bad luck and weren’t allowed in the mines. I was in the very back of the group and, as we left this area, I stayed behind to take a picture. I said “girls aren’t allowed in this area” and laughed. When I looked through my photos that evening, the photo that I took has an image of a man looking in my direction behind that cardboard cutout. Thought I would share and get your thoughts on this. ‬

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S1 Ep. 17: On Location: Grant Park, Milwaukee, WI

NEW #podcast EPISODE AVAILABLE! S1 Ep. 17 On Location: Grant Park hauntheads.podbean.com #paranormal #fact or #fiction #creepy #milwaukee💀
 
Also check out hauntheads.wordpress.com for photos to accompany your listening experience. 😉
This week, Mimi and Janine (along with Mimi’s shrinky dink hubby Bill) take you into off the beaten path and into the forest. Seven Bridges has been considered a haunted location for a long time and, on this episode, the ladies will try to prove or disprove the stories told around the campfire. This episode contains SPIDERS, many screaming teens, and some nice busts.

S1 Ep. 17 Seven Bridges of Grant Park (Photos)

Thanks for taking a moment to peruse the photos we took at Grant Park on 8/5. I’ve left notes under each to kind of explain what (I think) is present. Some photos contained strange mists and halos. In one, you can almost see some sort of face peering out from the darkness. It could just be a teenager running around in the woods or might be something more. I’ll let you decide. =)

Don’t forget to take a listen to the on location episode of Haunt Heads. The pictures should pair nicely and give you a feel for the park. If you see something I didn’t, please let me know in the comments or shoot us an email at the address below!

 

Your Fellow Haunt Head,

Janine

hauntheadscast@gmail.com

Tweet us @hauntheadscast

Facebook: Haunt Heads Podcast

Find us at hauntheads.podbean.com or wherever you listen to podcasts!

Twin Strangers: The curious existence of doppelgangers.

It’s happened to me several times in the past. I’m walking around a shopping center or a grocery store and someone will tap me on the shoulder. When I turn around, I see a complete stranger staring at me quizzically. “Oh! I’m sorry! I thought you were “insert name here.”” It’s definitely weird. I’m always curious who it is I look like to them. They explain that my nose is similar and the set of my eyes. They might say I walk the same way or look like whomever they’re looking for from the side. Some people have told me I’m the spitting image of their aunt, cousin, niece, neighbor… Sometimes people tell me that they met me in France or England, two places I’ve never been. I am originally from Newfoundland and might look similarly to someone from England or Ireland. I also have French ancestors. I think we’ve all had a similar experience, being mistaken for someone else, but when two people appear in the same place at the same time, it can be very confusing and quite creepy.

The term Doppelganger is German for “double-walker” and the double of a person is considered to be a paranormal duplicate of a real person. On occasion, one can see his or her own double but, for the most part, the individual is unaware of the presence of a doppelganger. A double-walker may appear in the same place as the individual or could appear in a completely different city, town, or country.

“True” Story

In the 19th century, Emilee Sagee, 32, worked as a school teacher at several girl’s institutions in Dijon, France. By all accounts, she was an amazing and engaging teacher and her students loved her. However, despite her popularity with the young ones,  Sagee was dismissed from roughly 18 schools and could hardly hold a job for any length of time due to the strange occurrences that followed her wherever she went. In 16 years, she had changed positions 19 times and, in 1845, 13 students actually witnessed Sagee’s doppelganger mysteriously appear next to her. She stood at the front of the room, her students sitting before her in rapt attention, and all of a sudden, a form appeared beside her. It appeared to mimic her movements and, although the figure was in close proximity to Sagee, she never acknowledged its presence. This was likely a good thing because old folklore tales warn of the dangers of seeing ones own copy or “double walker.” The copy appeared several times, each appearance seemingly making Sagee herself groggy and disoriented, including once while she ate. The copy ate too, presenting the same movements and mannerisms. On one occasion, Sagee was in the garden outside the classroom while her doppelganger sat in a chair at the front of the classroom. Although Sagee reported worrying the students wouldn’t do their work without her supervision, she never looked in on them. Instead, it seems as if she projected an image of herself into the space.

The account reads as follows:

witnessed by nearly 50 persons, the students were intently working in their sewing class while another teacher sat at the front of the room reading a book. Outside the window, the students could see Emilee working in the garden. The supervising teacher stood up and left the room. Seconds later, Emilee walked in and sat down in the empty chair. Students thought nothing of it until one gasped and pointed out the window where Emilee was still working diligently in the garden. Two of the students stood and approached the doppelganger and being quite brave, reached out and touched it. They said it looked just like Emilee Sagee in all aspects except when they ran their hands through the entity, they said it felt empty, like the stuff cobwebs are made of. Later Emilee Sagee had told school officials that she indeed had been outside picking flowers in the garden. She had not seen the doppelganger (in fact, Emilee never once saw her twin) but had in fact, wished to herself that she was in the classroom supervising the sewing class. School officials noted in their documentation that each time the doppelganger appeared to them, the real Emilee appeared lethargic and listless.

A few people attempted to approach and touch the copy, but they found that, although the figure was textural like heavy fabric, they were unable to place their hands upon it. Instead their hands slipped right through the copy, making it more of an apparition. Day after day, the copy would appear and more and more children would be removed from school by their parents. One would imagine it’s quite stressful to have a ghost-like figure drifting about while in the confines of a classroom. Eventually, Sagee was dismissed from the position.

However, this tale is not unique in and of itself. Many others have had similar experiences. Some of them were even famous.

Not the Only One

Catherine the Great, Empress of Russia in the 18th century, retired to bed one evening when servants explained to her that they had already seen her enter the throne room. When Catherine went to investigate, she came upon an exact copy of herself sitting on her throne. She ordered her sentries to fire at the apparition, but to no effect. Catherine herself died shortly thereafter.

Shortly before Percy Bysshe Shelley, a very adept poet, drowned in a sailing accident in 1812 he told his wife Mary (you might know of her, she wrote a little novel called Frankenstein) that he had seen his doppelganger several times. At one point, he had even met his copy on a terrace. The apparition had asked him, “How long do you mean to be content?” before disappearing. Percy’s doppelganger was also witnessed by his friend Jane Williams who stated that she would often see Percy walking past her window toward a dead end. He would only walk toward the dead end and never returned back the way he’d come. The real Percy was no where near at the time of these incidents.

Queen Elizabeth I of England (reigned from 1558-1603) was known by those close to her to be a very savvy and level-headed individual and she was certainly not the type to be concerned with the paranormal, that is until she saw her doppelganger lying motionless on her bed. The spectral Elizabeth appeared to be laid out as if for funerary presentation. Such appearances are often precursors to the death of that individual and, in Elizabeth’s case, this was no exception to that rule.

One day, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, famous writer and politician, (1749-1832) was riding along a footpath toward home, having just left the residence of a love interest named Frederika. Goethe claimed that he saw a rider in the distance riding toward him. As the figure came closer, he realized that the rider was himself, though wearing different clothing. When the figure was close enough to touch, it disappeared. About eight years later, Goethe was again riding the same path in the opposite direction when he realized that he was wearing the same clothes that the figure had been wearing eight years prior.

In another instance, Goethe saw his friend Freidrich walking down the street wearing Goethe’s own dressing gown. Goethe went home and, when he arrived, found that Freidrich had changed into one of his dressing gowns while drying his wet clothes. Freidrich claimed to have been inside and never wandered in the street.

Fact or Fiction?

While mystics believe that double-walkers are supernatural in nature, those with a more scientific lean are inclined to believe that seeing yourself in this way can more reasonably be attributed to schizophrenia or a glitch in the brain.

At present, there are websites where you can find your doppelganger. One such site, http://www.twinstrangers.net, a company based in Ireland, claims that two head shots and a quick search on their site will hook you up with a carbon copy of yourself. Just for fun, I signed up. I have yet to get a confirmation in order to access the site, but it will be very interesting if I happen to stumble upon another me on the other side of the world somewhere.

So what do we make of this phenomena? Have you ever met your double? I suppose not. For, if you did, you’d likely be dead.

Your Fellow Haunt Head,

Janine

hauntheadscast@gmail.com

Tweet us @hauntheadscast

Facebook: Haunt Heads Podcast

Listen to our podcast at hauntheads.podbean.com or wherever you listen to podcasts!

S1 Ep. 16 On an Egg Roll

This week, Mimi delivers two steaming hot tales of the supernatural from Chinese writer Gan Bao and Janine springs into the legend of Spring-Heeled Jack. This episode contains Chinese food critiques and praises, folklore, and mysterious family recipes. “There’s five spice in these egg rolls, right?” 😉

Got a folklore story or paranormal experience to share? Send it to us at hauntheadscast@gmail.com.

Grace Hospital (Nurses Residence)

I was born there, at the Grace Hospital in St. John’s, Newfoundland. There’s a photo of me, a port wine stain on my right cheek, swathed in a fluffy baby blanket with satin trim and a glazed look in my eyes in one of the many, featureless maternity wards the Grace had to offer. There’s more to my story, not much more that I want to divulge here, but the hospital and the residence building on the property have a story all its own. Old buildings often do.

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Yes, this is your humble fellow Haunt Head as a wee babe.

Rich Past

The Grace was Newfoundland’s first maternity hospital, opened in September of 1923 by the Salvation Army. It was built specifically to cater to unwed mothers and had only 22 beds, but quickly expanded to 100 beds and had added a children’s ward by 1929. It was also chosen as the location for the second nursing school in the province. Mary Southcott (1862-1943), having created the first nursing school between 1903 and 1914, was charged with starting one at the Grace hospital. She had been in the employ of the St. John’s General Hospital, but had resigned from her position as Superintendent of Nursing after conflicts arose regarding her methods. She set up her own hospital and promoted midwifery in the province, also serving on the Newfoundland Midwifery Board. She was also the President of the Child Welfare Association and an advocate for women’s suffrage.

Wrecking Ball

Several extensions were added to the Grace in later years, expanding again in 1954 to 200 beds and the government updated the existing nursing hospital 10 years later. A nursing residence was also added. The expansion of The Health Sciences Center in St. John’s prompted the closure of the Grace in 2000. It was believed that the building was outdated and that it would cost far more to bring the structure up to current standards than it would to outfit the HSC.


Transportation and Works
November 17, 2006

Government Plans to Demolish Former Grace Hospital Building

The Honourable John Hickey, Minister of Transportation and Works, announced today that government will issue a tender next week for the demolition of the remaining hospital building at the former Grace Hospital site LeMarchant Road, St. John’s. If that building, constructed in the 1960s, is demolished, only the nurses’ residence would remain on the site.

The decision to issue a tender for the building’s demolition was made following an unsuccessful call for Expressions of Interest to sell the facility issued in July. Government has determined that none of the responses are acceptable. However, Minister Hickey says a window of opportunity remains for those respondents.

“We’ve advised the respondents that we are open to offers until we award a contract for the demolition of the remainder of the former Grace Hospital,” said Minister Hickey. “We expect this would give the respondents four to six weeks to revise their submissions.”

In 2005, Transportation and Works contracted for the environmental remediation and demolition of a portion of the structures on site. As a result, the houses at 205 Pleasant Street and 203 Pleasant Street, the smoke stack, the 1920s section and the majority of the 1950s section of the former Grace Hospital were demolished.

At present, the only structure remaining of the old hospital is the nursing residence. The hospital itself, smoke stack (which was a rather iconic part of the landscape in St. John’s),the residences at 203 and 205 Pleasant St., the expansions added in the 1920’s, and out buildings had all been demolished by 2008.

Abandoned

There’s something about abandoned spaces. It’s as if, at any moment, something terrifying could slither its way around a corner or through a dark opening. These are the things we think about as we sit perched in front of our computers, scrolling through (what has recently been dubbed) our ruin porn.

The Grace had added a children’s ward and was accepting regular patients (not just unwed mothers) by the time it closed its doors. My grandfather, having fallen from a garage roof onto a pocket full of nails, spent a chunk of time here after surgery and rehabilitation. I remember clearly visiting the cafeteria with its pink walls and twisty chairs and weaving my way down the long hall from my grandfather’s room to the vending area. I also recall Mr. Coffee and Mr. Canoe, two men who are very likely dead by now, who shared a room with my grandfather and offered me Werther’s Original’s that had probably been kicking around in the drawer they materialized out of long before either man had resided in those beds. They meant well.

Grace Hosp.

Cafeteria. Grace General Hospital. St. John’s, NFLD. Photos by Colin Peddle. https://www.colinpeddle.com/grace-hospital-circa-2007/

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Long hallways and empty rooms. Grace General Hospital. St. John’s, NFLD. Photos by Colin Peddle. https://www.colinpeddle.com/grace-hospital-circa-2007/

It wasn’t long after the Grace was slated to be torn down that curious individuals began investigating what remained. Although much of the equipment had been moved to the HSC, light fixtures, old desks, and random medical paraphernalia were abandoned within. Many of the remaining articles were removed and taken off property by those looking to make a quick buck while other items remain, a ghostly reminder of the building’s past.

Hauntings

The old nursing residence seems to be a hub of activity. Individuals who live close to the building or have sight lines to the property report ghostly apparitions, strange lights, and strange noises in the night. One such individual, a nursing student on break from his classes at university, had gone home to visit his parents during a break. His bedroom has a clear view to the old Grace Hospital parking lot. The student reported waking to a strange howling sound sometime around 4 A.M. He made his way to the window and instantly noticed someone walking around in the lot. He might have mistaken this someone for a living person if not for the fact that the person appeared to have no legs. They simply stopped at the hips, the remaining anatomy “fading” away into nothing. The figure would stop every few minutes, look to the sky, and let out a mournful wail. After about fifteen minutes, the figure slowly made its way toward the building and disappeared out of sight.

A member of the demolition crew had a similar experience. While inside the residence, he kept catching glimpses of someone peeking around the door frames in his periphery. After a few minutes of this, the man walked to the doorway where he had last seen what appeared to be a little boy. He peeked into the room, but saw nothing there. The room was empty of furniture and he saw no child inside. He went back to work. Shortly thereafter, the crewman again saw the boy. This time, as the boy disappeared through a doorway, he noticed that the boy appeared to be floating. The crewman was unable to make out distinguishing features, but he noticed the boy appeared to be wearing a hospital gown.

As a nurse was leaving the hospital in the winter time, heading across the residence lot to her car, she noticed a woman walking toward the back of the building. It appeared as if she wasn’t wearing any winter clothing and it was very cold. The nurse watched as the woman disappeared around the corner. She didn’t look like any nurse on staff that she knew and she wondered if a patient wasn’t out wandering. The nurse followed the woman around the corner, but the woman had disappeared. When she looked down, there were footprints in the snow, leading toward, and stopping in front of, a solid brick wall.

Are there spirits trapped on the grounds of the old Grace General Hospital? Will they ever find peace? Perhaps the energy surrounding the property has created a sort of portal to the other side, allowing the spirits of those lost while the hospital was still in operation to roam endlessly and without release. What do you think about the eyewitness accounts? Let us know in the comments.

Your Fellow Haunt Head,

Janine

hauntheadscast@gmail.com

Tweet us @hauntheadscast

Facebook: Haunt Heads Podcast

Podcast episodes are available at hauntheads.podbean.com or wherever you listen to podcasts!