S2 Ep 16 (Minisode): That’s a fine BOO ya got there!

It’s our first mini-episode featuring stories from our pals on Reddit! We’re excited to share these tales with you, ranging from ghostly sounds and moving objects, to shadow people and spirits who count raisins (just trust us), and hope you enjoy. Haunt Heads will return on the 22nd with a new episode to accommodate some life “stuff.”

Stay Spooky, y’all!

Intro/Outro: Fox and Branch foxandbranch.com

Please take a moment to leave us a 5* review!!

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S2 Ep 6: Ghosts and (Polter)geists

https://www.podbean.com/media/share/pb-sverr-8389c8

It’s a new year and a new episode of Haunt Heads! This week, Mimi and Janine bring you tales of ghosts and geists! Janine weaves the tale of the Enfield Poltergeist and Mimi takes us on a tour of the Lemp Mansion in Saint Louis, MO. 

This episode contains a peeping tom ghost, a haunted bar, marbles and Lego’s learning to fly, and a spirit named Bill.

Music: Our intro/outro has been generously supplied by Fox and Branch. To hear more of their music, visit them at http://www.foxandbranch.com/.

If you haven’t already, please take a moment to leave us a review on iTunes. We’d really appreciate it. =)

S2 Ep. 5: The Banff Diggity or Blood Marmalade

https://www.podbean.com/media/share/pb-z4s9r-7ece21

This week, Mimi and Janine recall some of their favorite past episodes and topics and discuss shuffling off their mortal coils (a discussion of life insurance.) Janine discusses corpse medicine and Mimi takes us to Banff, Alberta, Canada, and into the Banff Springs Hotel. 

This episode contains nostalgia, mummies used as a cure-all, blood marmalade, a ghostly bellhop, and a hidden room.

DISCLAIMER: This episode contains descriptions of cannibalism and the use of human remains as medicine. It might gross you out if you’re a sensitive sort. Listener discretion advised!

Don’t forget to vote!

Mimi and I have collected a short list of places we’ve talked about on the podcast and we want YOU to tell us what our first road trip location should be! Visit our Twitter page (@hauntheadscast) and cast your vote. The location with the most votes will be the first stop on our WI road trip! We’ll visit the location, do a little ghost hunting, and report back to our loyal listeners with what we’ve found.

VOTE TODAY!!

Your Fellow Haunt Head,

Janine

S1 Ep. 3 Available!

Find Episode 3 of Haunt Heads on iTunes, Stitcher, Podcast Addict, Pocket Casts, Podknife, Google Play, iHeartRadio, PodBean, and Blubrry.

S1 Ep.3 A Lupine Dancer is A Steppin’ Wolf OR Sh!t Just Goat Serious

This episode features stories about the Goatman of Kewaskum, WI and The Beast of Bray Road (WI.) Find it at Haunt Heads.podbean.com

New episodes every Monday! 

Have a paranormal or folklore tale to tell? Send it our way and we’ll read it on the show!

Your Fellow Haunt Head,

Janine

hauntheadscast@gmail.com

Tweet us @hauntheadscast

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House of the Seven Gables, Salem, MA: Haunting & Hawthorne

A visit to Salem is pretty high up on my bucket list. It falls just above taking the Jack the Ripper tour in England and just below visiting the Mutter Museum in Pennsylvania. The history of old Salem is definitely a draw for me, but I’m also fascinated by the touristy side of new Salem. Some compare it to a witchy sort of theme park, filled with out-of-towners and people swathed in robes and pointy hats. Some might find the commercialization of Salem quite sad, but truthfully it makes me want to visit even more. It seems to me as if this side of Salem has become a way of life for those who reside there, embracing the past and creating a new future. But there are some structures that retain their history and their ghosts.

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Built in 1667, the House of the Seven Gables is the oldest surviving 17th century wooden mansion in New England. The house is now a museum, but has undergone renovations by the Turner and Ingersoll families that resided within it. For this reason, it is often referred to as the Turner-Ingersoll mansion. Susan Ingersoll, Nathaniel Hawthorne’s cousin, resided in the house until she died at the age of 72 and he visited her quite often. The house was the inspiration for his novel of the same name.

Visitors to the mansion report the house to be quite active, particularly on the attic staircase. Some claim to feel dizzy or lightheaded as they ascend the stairs while others feel an oppressive force pushing down on them. It has also been reported that there is a sensation of being pushed backwards, as if something is forcing them out of the attic. Susan Ingersoll’s ghost has also been spotted in the windows of the house and people have seen her specter wandering the halls. An apparition of a little boy has been seen playing in the attic. Other experiences include:

  • Cold spots.
  • Being touched by unseen hands.
  • Hearing screams.
  • Hearing deep growling sounds.
  • Malfunctioning water taps and electricity (turning off and on by themselves.)
  • While outside, some have said they heard someone tapping on the windows as if trying to get their attention.

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Tours of the location last roughly 30-40 minutes and, it seems to me, that given the activity at the location there’s practically a guarantee you’ll experience something during your visit.

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Have you visited the House of the Seven Gables? Did you have an experience there that you’d like to share? Let us know in the comments.

Your Fellow Haunt Head,

hauntheadscast@gmail.com

Tweet us @hauntheadscast

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Sleep Tight: The Hag of Newfoundland Folklore (Newfoundland, Canada)

I learned of The Hag in grade school, sometime around 1994.  It was close to Halloween and my teacher had added a little bit of folklore into her lesson plan. It was a story I hadn’t heard before and I was instantly intrigued.

Most people call it what it is: sleep paralysis. That feeling of being unable to move in the moments just before your fall into REM sleep. If you have issues falling into or out of REM sleep, and your experience involves hallucinations or you’re unable to move or speak as you begin the waking process, you might be experiencing sleep paralysis. Where I come from, it means you’ve been “Hagged.”

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The Hag is a demon called down upon an unsuspecting individual by another person. There are many reasons why The Hag might be summoned, but the tale my teacher wove involved a vengeful wife. As the story goes, the woman made a pact with the devil and offered her husband’s soul in exchange. He had many women interested in him, but one woman in particular had set her sights on him and the two were often seen in each other’s company. This angered the man’s wife, so she called The Hag down upon him.

One night, the man awoke from a deep slumber to a pressure on his chest. His eyes slowly came to focus on a dark form perched there, its eyes glowing and its teeth glinting in the moonlight. Although the man tried to scream, no sound could he make. Although he tried to move and push the figure away, he could not make his arms or legs react. The growling form pried his mouth open with long, sharp talons and placed its mouth upon his, draining the life from his body. The Hag swallowed his soul and forever imprisoned it in hell. The man’s wife lived a long and happy life without the burden of her cheating husband.

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There is no definitive cause for sleep paralysis, though some doctors suggest that getting more sleep, as sleep deprivation is often reported by sufferers, could be a cure-all. Perhaps getting better and longer sleep will help, but the stories in cultural folklore still persist.

As long as there are unexplained phenomena in this world, there will be folklore tales to craft a response. Although this response may sound illogical, the folklore tale of The Hag was rooted deeply in the lives of early settlers on the island. These tales were handed down from generation to generation and allowed sufferers to give a real face to something they could not explain.

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Side Note: I’m pretty sure my teacher was disciplined for sharing such a story with a grade school class, even if it was just for laughs.

Have you ever experienced sleep paralysis? Do you have a Hag story to share? Please comment below. Sweet dreams.

Your Fellow Haunt Head,

Janine

hauntheadscast@gmail.com

Tweet us @hauntheadscast

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Enjoy Your Stay: The Carlton County Gaol (Ottawa Jail Hostel), Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

Dark Past

Said to be one of Canada’s most haunted buildings and featured on many top ten lists of haunted places is The Ottawa Jail Hostel. Originally, the structure was used as a maximum security prison, connected to the courthouse next door via a tunnel, and housed every kind of offender from murderers to the mentally ill. The structure, opened in 1862, had no glass over barred windows, allowing the Ottawa winters to chill the inhabitants to the bone in their tiny 9’x3′ cells. Each cell barely had enough room for a mattress on the floor. Prisoners endured harsh conditions, including torture from the guards, and were only fed once per day, leading to an undocumented number of deaths. Up to 150 prisoners had to share 60 small cells and 30 larger cells. Six cells were reserved for solitary confinement.

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The prison was Ottawa’s main detention center and was a model prison when it opened. Other institutions were modeled after its example and it remained the main jail for over 100 years.

Darker Present

Once the prison closed in 1972, a company bought the location and turned it into a hostel, converting the cells into small dorms with bunk beds where patrons could sleep. The staff run regular tours of the building, telling visitors of the horrible conditions and the innumerable deaths on the property. The hostel now offers a money back guarantee to those brave enough to stay the night. The location is apparently very active because they’ve never had to refund a guest.

Unexplained Occurrences

A guest who had complained about not seeing any ghosts approached the manager about a refund about halfway through her stay. The manager, following their policy, retrieved the woman’s money and laid it on the counter. Before she could grab her change, a coin rose from the counter top and hovered in the air for at least a minute before dropping again. The woman threw her money down and ran from the lobby.

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Guests have reported hearing women and children crying in the basement area of the old jail as well as disembodied footsteps in the hallways. Cell doors will often slam shut on their own and, on the top floor where Death Row was located, guests have reported hearing the trap door release and the tightening sound of the noose around a neck. They also hear kicking noises as if someone is flailing after being hanged.

Have you ever spent the night at the Ottawa Jail Hostel? Do you have experiences to share? Please let us know in the comments.

Your Fellow Haunt Head,

Janine

hauntheadscast@gmail.com

Tweet us @hauntheadscast

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Black River Falls, WI: Hauntings, Murder, & Suicide

There  is little explanation for the events that took place in the small, isolated town of Black River Falls at the end of the 19th century. Between 1890 and 1900 the town, filled with primarily German and Norwegian immigrants, fell victim to a rash of occurrences that very nearly brought the town and all who lived there into complete downfall. Charles Von Schaik, a local photographer, cataloged the events in photo form capturing some 30,000 images. What he captured on film was evidence of vagrancy run rampant, murder-suicide pacts, madness, and the unexplained.

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In the 1890’s, Black River Falls was enduring the worst financial crash and commercial depression the country had ever known. Many immigrants had come in hopes of growing or starting a family in the area and the land was very cheap, but upon arrival had realized that the land was worthless, not even worth what they paid. Railroads offered free fare to those eager to move elsewhere. Shortly thereafter, residents began acting strangely. Stories of ghosts and witchcraft swirled and reports of random violence, shootings, and suicides rose. Residents took their lives and were found hanging in barns and from trees on their property. Some accounts of strange behavior include:

  • A farmer blew off his own head by placing it over a hole full of dynamite and lighting the fuse.
  • A woman, concerned about the rash on her back, went outside and doused herself in gasoline then lit a match and self-immolated.
  • A young mother takes her children for a day at the beach and drowns them one by one while the others watch.
  • A fifteen-year-old girl burns her employers barn and house because she “wanted some excitement.” She had burned several buildings of previous employers.
  • A recently divorced man shoots his wife and family dead in the town square.
  • A young man attempts suicide by laying on the train tracks. He had only been living in Black River Falls for about a month. It takes four men to remove him from harm. After this incident, he is never seen or heard from again.
  • A farmer decapitates all of his chickens, convinced that the devil has overtaken his farm.
  • A family offers lodging and food to a drifter who, after the family goes to sleep, shoots them all before shooting himself.
  • A former school teacher, now addicted to cocaine and travelling the country by train, is admitted to the insane asylum for her propensity to break windows. She had been arrested and institutionalized scores of times for the same activity.
  • A ten-year-old boy and his brother run away from home and kill the owner of a remote farm by shooting him in the head. They live on the property for some time before being discovered by the farmer’s brother. The younger boy is caught while the older flees the scene. Authorities capture the older boy, but not before he shoots one of the men. The boy is sentenced to life in the penitentiary.

Today, Black River Falls is a tourist destination and is home to roughly 3,600 souls. People come to the community for camping and shopping and downtown is filled with small shops and restaurants that resemble little of the town depicted in Von Schaik’s photographs. There are no explanations for the behaviors of the residents in the 1880-90’s and answers will likely never be found. Despite that fact, there will always be speculation surrounding the small town and its former inhabitants.

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Have you ever visited Black River Falls? Do you have any theories as to why these strange occurrences took place? Do you have a story you’d like to share? Let us know in the comments.

Your Fellow Haunt Head,

Janine

hauntheadscast@gmail.com

Tweet us @hauntheadscast

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Flatbed or Keep On Truckin’

It’s Easter weekend, so I thought I’d share something a little special for the occasion. Below is another encounter I’ve had with the paranormal. As I mentioned in one of my first posts, I am sensitive (some call it clairsentience), so I can often feel the presence of those who have passed over or, in some cases, have interactions with these spirits. It’s often frightening, it was especially so when I was younger, but I have come to accept the fact that I have this gift. I have embraced it as an opportunity to interact with the unknown and to get a sense of what awaits us after we pass on. I hope you enjoy this piece. I call it Flatbed.

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The summer had been on the warmer side. For Newfoundland, the “warmer side” means somewhere around 70 degrees. It’s not really warm for most Americans, but I’m certain it was for most Newfoundlanders. I remember that summer as peaceful and quiet in the little town where I grew up, a place called Paradise. I spent my time building hideouts in the woods, tepees and lean-to’s mostly, in an effort to distance myself from my parent’s volatile relationship.

Many of my friends had gone on vacation that summer. My best friend George had gone to Nova Scotia and my other friend Mel was stuck at camp somewhere in New Brunswick. During their time away, I had found some old wrecks in the woods, most of which were too far gone even for the most vivid imagination, several dilapidated cars and a flatbed truck. The truck in particular captured my attention and I spent copious amounts of time sitting in the driver’s seat, pretending to drive everywhere in the world I wanted to go. I was 10.

It was a Sunday. I remember because Jem and the Holograms came on at 3 pm and a half hour after that some boring religious documentary, standard Sunday fare. I was out the door before the credits rolled. At this point in my life, I had a “get out” mentality. I had trained myself to be elsewhere before voices were raised, battle lines drawn, and insults thrown like spears. I visited my grandparent’s house on the weekends and, in short order, escaped to the woods at the earliest convenience.

Per usual, I picked my way through the dense undergrowth to my vehicle of choice. The truck sat untouched, in the same condition as I’d left it the weekend before. Something was different, though. There was a chill in the air and the woods were quieter than normal. As I slid into the driver’s seat, I felt a cold hand grab my shoulder. I spun around to see a man with dark hair and dark eyes. He wore a leather jacket and jeans stained with motor oil. On his feet were cowboy boots with steel tips on the toes.

“This ain’t no place for little girls!” He scolded. “You shouldn’t be here!”

I slid out of the truck via the passenger door and put the truck between us. “I’m s-sorry,” I stammered.

“This is my truck! You shouldn’t be here!” His face was angry as he slid into the driver’s seat and gripped the wheel. “I put a lot of work into this truck. It’s mine!” His eyes were two black holes, void of any warmth. “Get the hell out of here!”

At this point, I turned to run. He could have his truck for what good it would do him. It was a rusted heap that had obviously been there some time. As I ran I looked back over my shoulder. The man was gone.

I stopped and waited. He didn’t appear. It seemed as if he had vanished into thin air. I thought better of waiting around, so I ran all the way home.

The following Saturday I was doing my paper route. My route took me up the street next to Irving Drive, a dead end called Drover’s Road. I opened the mailbox to slip a paper in, but the front door opened. The old lady who lived here was always kind, offering me something cool to drink and a cookie for the road. It wasn’t long before we were chatting about this and that. She lived alone and likely looked forward to company, even if that company was a lanky preteen like me.

I told her about what I had been doing over the summer and how all my friends were gone to the mainland. She was sympathetic. She explained that, when you’re alone, you have to make your own fun. I agreed and told her about the abandoned cars, the truck in particular, that I had found in the woods.

“That’s Jim’s truck,” she said quietly, her voice suddenly sad.

“Did you know him well?”

“Oh yes!” Her face brightened. “He was a mechanic. He loved that truck like it was a baby, always polishing it and yelling at the neighborhood kids if they came too close.” She smiled. “He was all bark and no bite if you know what I mean. He lived here for a time. Here,” she said, “give me a moment and I’ll fetch a photo of him.”

I heard her rummaging through a drawer somewhere inside. When she returned she held a Polaroid in her hands and was admiring it fondly. She handed it to me and a chill ran up my spine.

In the photo, a man with dark hair and dark eyes stood next to a white pickup. He wore a leather jacket, blue jeans stained with motor oil, and a pair of cowboy boots with metal tips on the toes.

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I hope you enjoyed Flatbed and I hope you have a great Easter weekend (or just a long weekend, if your custom is not to celebrate Easter :)).

Your Fellow Haunt Head,

Janine

hauntheadscast@gmail.com

Tweet us @hauntheadscast

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