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. =)

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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!

S2 Ep. 4: Burrito Ghosts

https://www.podbean.com/media/share/pb-f6c93-7d93b8

A new intro, but the same old dance from us!

S2 Ep. 4: Burrito Ghosts

Janine explores the practice of Spiritualism and tells the tale of the Stratford Knockings and the Fox Sisters. Mimi again takes us across the pond to the Thirsk Museum in Thirsk, North Yorkshire, UK, for a sit and a cuppa. Whatever you do, don’t sit in Busby’s Chair!

This episode contains turkey talk and traditions, a (potentially) dropped burrito, an entity named “Mr. Splitfoot,” and a little healthy raggin’ on Bagans.

Music/Intro
St. James Infirmary, is generously provided by Fox and Branch and is used with their permission. For more info about them and additional samples of their music, visit their website HERE. You can also purchase digital and physical copies of their CD’s, which is something we’re sure they’d love. =)

S1 Ep. 14 A HAUNTING OF HAMILTON PROPORTIONS

Another week, another episode! This week, Mimi shares the story of a haunted Manhattan hotel, the Morris-Jumel Mansion, and Janine fans the flames of speculation surrounding spontaneous Human Combustion (SHC.) This episode features a “shrunken” head, an elderly ghost, an expression of love for musicals (from Mimi,) and some Googling (it sounds dirtier than it is…)
Thanks to http://anomalyinfo.com for all of the awesome info regarding Spontaneous Human Combustion. If anyone is interested in learning more about SHC, check out this website. It’s full of interesting information and a chronological list of SHC cases throughout history.
http://anomalyinfo.com/Topics/spontaneous-human-combustion-reports-chronological-order

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, The 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

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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

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

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.