Haunted History – Headless Horsemen

I’ve run across some cool headless horsemen legends I wanna tell you about. Yeah, get Icabod Crane out of your heads, these aren’t works of fiction, these legends are a big part of haunted history in the areas where they originate.  Let’s start out in south Texas, shall we?

So, the legend of El Muerto has been around for a very long time, the mid 1800’s to be exact.  Back in the day there was a little strip of land between the Nueces and Rio Grande Rivers that was known as no man’s land.  The area was well known to be a haven for horse thieves and cattle rustlers, and back then, these crimes were worse than murder.  Things had gotten so bad in this area that the Texas Rangers basically deputized posses and sent them out to handle business, but it wasn’t going so well for them.

One of the worse bandits to encounter in no man’s land was a man named Vidal.  By 1850, this dude had a high price on his head and was wanted dead or alive.  And on the flip side, two of the worst rangers for bandits to encounter in this area were Taylor Creed and William “Big Foot” Wallace.  Now, these two in particular had spent a lot of time running these criminals out of the area and they’d resorted to some pretty brutal tactics because shooting and hanging them from trees just hadn’t seemed to get the point across.

Well it just so happened that while both of these guys were out of town defending a white settlement against Comanche attacks.  Vidal and his hoodlums decide to steal Creed’s livestock.  When Creed gets home and finds several of his prized mustangs gone, the shit hits the fan.  He and Wallace join up with a neighboring rancher by the name of Flores and they track down Vidal and his associates shortly thereafter.

So they wait outside of Vidal’s camp and once they’re certain that everyone was asleep, they sneak in and kill every last one of them.  Knowing that this wasn’t going to make the statement that they wanted to make, Big Foot cuts off Vidal’s head then fastens his headless body to a saddle that he strapped to a wild mustang.  Then he ties Vidal’s hat to his head and fastens it to the saddle as well before sending the mustang to roam the country side as a warning.

It didn’t take long before stories began circulating about a headless horseman seen riding around no man’s land. The apparition scared the Hell out of Cowboys and Indians alike and soon Vidal’s mutilated body was full of bullet holes and arrows.  People stated calling this headless horseman El Muerto. As time went by a legend grew that people must avoid this strange apparition because when it was seen, some evil misfortune would befall them.

In the end, a group of ranchers caught up with this poor burdened horse near Alice, Texas. They buried Vidal’s body in an unmarked grave near the tiny community of Ben Bolt. As soon as his body was laid to rest, soldiers at Fort Inge began to see the apparition of a headless rider. Travelers and ranchers in No Man’s Land also reported seeing this strange sight.

One written account was recorded in 1917.  It mentions that a couple traveling to San Diego, Texas made camp for the night near a stream.  As they sat at their fire, they saw a large grey stallion speed by with a headless man atop it.  They stated they heard him shouting, “It is mine. It is mine.” Yet other witnesses saw a similar sight in 1969 outside the town of Freer, Texas.  Even today, people still claim to see El Muerto galloping through the mesquite in the bush country on moonlit nights.

Well Old El Muerto isn’t the only headless horseman out there today, there’s a legend in southern Illinois about a man named Joel Lakely.  This story came to life back before the 1830’s around what is known today as Lakely’s Creek.  The creek, in fact, was named after Lakely.  So, Joel built his home near a shallow spot in the creek where it was easy for folks to cross over.  He was a sociable kind of guy and enjoyed meeting riders as they passed by his home.

Well, old Joel was murdered by his son in law one day, no one knows why.  His headless body was found propped up against a tree and beside him was the very axe that he had used to cut down trees when building his home.  His body and head were buried there next to his new house.  It wasn’t long before folks that crossed the stream there began witnessing some very strange things.  There were reports being made that people would hear heavy horse hooves behind them as they went to cross the creek but when they turned to see who followed them there was no evidence of another rider or horse.

Other witnesses experienced something more terrifying. They too had heard the horse hooves but when they turned around to see who was behind them, they saw a large black horse with a headless rider. Witnesses stated this horrible apparition would chase them–at least until they reached the creek.

All these accounts mention that this headless rider was always seen downstream from from where the witnesses were, which is the same side of the creek near the forest area where Lakey was murdered. This rider and his horse would not follow them across the creek but instead would turn back and go downstream.

Sightings of this headless horseman have endured for over 200 years. This apparition is still seen today. The old ford along Lakey’s Creek has been abandoned for years and there’s a modern bridge that crosses the creek today. It is on this bridge where travelers report seeing Lakely, the headless horseman.

What about one more headless horseman, you know it’s more fun when there’s three right!  I know where your mind went!  Anyway, in Irish legends the horseman is known as a Dullahan, who’s agenda is a little different than the first two.  The Dullahan is basically a reaper, he comes around to grab the souls of those that are dying.  His description is basically the same, big guy, no head.  He is said to ride around on a massive black horse that either also has no head or if he does, he’s got clipped ears and glowing red eyes.  The Dullahan, I have to say, is a bit more intimidating than El Muerto and Joel Lakely, that’s for sure.  He uses a human spine as a whip and if you were to lock eyes with him, he’s gonna snatch your eyes out!  because he can.  Now this dudes head isn’t missing, he usually carries it around with him, he holds it up to see with, and he can see for miles and miles, even in pitch dark he can look right inside the house of the dying even if it’s somewhere across the countryside from where he stands.  Sometimes he’s known to set his head back on his shoulders but more than often, he’s in the habit of throwing it at folks.

Now sometimes the Dullahan would arrive in style, sitting on top of what is known as the death coach.  In his hands are the reins which are attached to 6 black horses that draw the carriage so fast that bushes and trees sometimes catch fire in their wake.  And there was no hiding from him once the wheels on the carriage began to turn as the Dullahan could not return empty handed.  To see or hear him coming was a sure sign that you or someone in your household was fixing to bite it.  Nothing could deter the Dullahan, even locks on gates or doors suddenly spring open in his presence.  The legend goes further to say that if you hear him coming and you open your door and he wasn’t there for you, you would be covered in buckets of blood or even worse be rendered blind in his presence, the only hope you would have, would be to expose him to solid gold.  For some reason he doesn’t like it, and gold will send him barrelling back to the depths from which he arose, at least temporarily.

So one quirky fact about this legendary headless horseman, why is he headless?  Well because ancient Celts believed that the soul resided in your head.  That’s why when the warriors encountered a worthy opponent they were sure to take his head.  They further believed that if they were to attach the head to a pole outside of their home, that it would begin to shriek if the enemy was approaching.

Oh and there’s this tale, he’s not a horseman but he’s got a little issue with his head!  So William Laud was Archbishop of Canterbury from 1633-1645.  During this time religion was in turmoil and Laud had made some serious enemies.  He once had 3 prominent Puritan’s ears and then branded their SL on their cheeks which stood for Seditious Libeller.  That means that they organized against whatever was socially acceptable in some way.
Eventually, his enemies gained enough political power to have him arrested and beheaded for subverting Protestantism and alienating the King from his subjects.

Before becoming Archbishop of Canterbury, Laud was the Chancellor of Oxford University. His gruesome end has become associated with a haunting at the library of St. John’s College in Oxford. At night, it is said, a ghostly figure can be seen walking the building, carrying a candle in his hand as he kicks his own severed head along the floor.

And here’s one more quick tale for you, This one is about the ghost of a drummer boy.  Rumor has it that a mysterious drumming noise can be heard in the walls of Edinburgh Castle. The source of this lonely sound is said to be a phantom drummer boy. According to the story, the boy is seen whenever the castle is under threat, first appearing in 1650 when Oliver Cromwell launched an attack. When he appears, the ghostly drummer boy lacks a head.

Ghostly drummer boys are a recurring motif in legends around the world—for example, one such spirit is said to have been haunting Shiloh in America since the days of the Civil War. However, the headless nature of the ghost of Edinburgh Castle marks him out as a unique case, Bet he got caught putting that little head somewhere it didn’t belong!

Love Haunted History and Urban Legends?

 

Check out my show!

Follow me on Facebook

The Ancient Ram’s Inn

The Ancient Ram Inn was built on top of a 5000 year old Pagan burial ground in 1145.  Another interesting fact about it’s location is that is sits on top of an intersection of 2 ley lines, one of which runs directly from Stonehenge.  Some folks seem to think these are two of the reasons that the Ram Inn has so much paranormal activity.

So, the Inn was originally built to house masons, workers and slaves that were building St Mary’s church, which ironically sits just across the street.  The Inn then fell into ownership of the church and housed their bishop for a while.  In the room where he stayed, there have been up to 9 separate entities recorded.

You’ll see that there are a lot of ironies within this story; one of which is about a witch who’s spirit is still active in one of the rooms at the Inn to this day.  That’s because she was hiding out there before she was captured and burned alive at the stake, right there on the grounds.  The witch is known to be quite violent, she has a tendency to scratch or burn folks that go nosing through her old room.  The lighter side of her letting her presence known to visitors is causing objects in the room to float or spin.   Her taunting cackles have been caught on tape during many investigations as well.

She is only one of the entities that you could possibly encounter on site.  Another rather impressive specter is the full bodied apparition of a Roman Centurion that appears on horseback.  He casually rides through the residence taking note of what and who are there before he and his horse walk through the wall and disappear.  Another interesting ghost is that of a very young girl that was murdered by another of the Inn’s more sinister residents, her body was found hanging from the rafters in the attic.

Another of the mostly peaceful apparitions that make frequent appearances is the high priestess.  She’s scared the hell out of tons of guests at the Ram Inn.  Imagine waking up in the middle of the night to see a woman clad in white robes with her arms outstretched to the heaven’s as she’s looking down at you and chanting eerily in some ancient foreign language.  Yeah, great night’s sleep there right!

There are a couple more spirits that haunt the rooms of the Inn that just seem to be hanging out.  There’s a man with a dog that stands guarding the doorway, a hooded Monk that just kind of meanders around and a woman that killed herself, she’s often seen in the Bishop’s room hanging from the ceiling.  Besides these specters, there is a laundry list of voices that are heard echoing down empty halls, among them are the screams and cries of children, lots of them, we’ll get to that in just a second.

For as many ghosts that have been documented through the years here at Ram’s Inn, those are about the extent of the peaceful ones.  And besides ghosts, there is at least one poltergeist, am incubus, and a succubus.  For those of you that don’t know what a succubus is, it’s a demonic entity known for pinning it’s victims to a bed while they’re sleeping and raping them.  So, there’s that!

The Inn that still stands today is said to be much smaller than the original structure, but there’s still plenty going on in this haunted little joint.  Beneath the bar area of the Inn lies the remains of a tunnel system that was said to have connected St Mary’s church and Lacock Abbey, plenty of wicked shit has gone on inside these tunnels and the residual evil is still there today to prove it.  Also on the lower level is of course the cellar but within the cellar several hidden cells have been discovered.  And this, I believe, is what has branded this site with so much evil.

The property was owned by several families, some in the textile industry but most that were in the business of booze.  The last pint of ale was drawn from the tap in 1960 and in 1968, the Ram Inn was purchased by John Humphries who’s family still owns the property today.  Though the history of the grounds itself was fairly well known throughout the community, it was John Humphries that exhumed evidence of it’s evil past.

Strange things began happening on the first night the family stayed in this property.  Mr. Humphries 85 year old Father was dragged from his bed and across the room by something that had a hold of his arm. This was only the first of many, many restless nights that would be had in the Ram’s Inn by the Humphries family.

Humphries actually spared the Inn from being demolished, he was determined to restore the property as it was the oldest building in the immediate area.  It was during these renovations that the family began discovering things that proved the grounds had once been used for purposes much more sinister than housing bishops and laborers.  Inside the chimney, the first demonic artifact was discovered, a goats hoof was found wedged behind a lose brick, it was then that Humphries discovered there was an opening for one of the tunnels right there in the fireplace.   Soon after they began to find other tributes to the devil, such as mummified animals, daggers that looked as if they had been used and jars full of strange objects and liquids. ” One looked like a human finger.

In the cellar, John discovered what is now known to be a pagan burial ground.  Now, when I say pagan burial ground, I don’t mean a place where the pagans laid their brothers to rest in peace,  This was the spot where ritualistic human sacrifices were performed, and now back to the screaming children part.  When John first discovered the mass grave, he didn’t know what he had dug into, Among some of the first things uncovered were small daggers, after digging a bit further, he began to uncover small human bones, a lot of them.  At that point he stopped digging in order to keep from further disturbing their resting place.

Above the Pagan burial ground is the kitchen where there is said to be a covered well.  In the well are the remains of several bodies along with a malevolent force that seemingly holds their spirits bound to the well.  This entity is said to cause illness and dizziness to mediums and diviners as they investigate the room.  Also in the kitchen, a grave had been excavated, in the grave were the remains of a woman and a child along with several broken daggers.  The remains were studied by experts at the Bristol Museum.  They concluded that the remains and artifacts were believed to have dated back to before the 12th century and were known to have been used in rituals that required human sacrifice.  So what triggered this excavation,  Well, during a paranormal investigation, two of the investigators were freaked the hell out when they saw the woman rising from the floor.  Metal detectors were used to see if there was anything there.  When the readings were going off of the charts, John gave permission for that area of the floor to be excavated and viola!  Bodies and relics were uncovered.

Above the kitchen is a converted loft, John’s bedroom.  Both the kitchen and the loft were two areas that were plagued with the paranormal activity of a poltergeist.  John would be kept awake most nights by constant banging on the doors and windows.  Items from both rooms were known to disappear and turn up in other rooms in the house.  This went on for quite some time, at least until John had had enough.  He had called in several different members of clergy to exorcise the entire property, as you’ve probably already guessed, it never worked, with the one exception of his room, where a sacred cross was hung on the wall, that put an end to the activity in his room but didn’t do anything to help the remainder of the house.

Next to the kitchen is what used to be the stable, John converted this area to living space years later.  The entity that is known to reside in this area is suspected to be an incubus.  Now and incubus is not the same as a succubus.  This entity is said to be a demon that is summoned by witchcraft  which focuses it’s negative attentions on women.  This particular evil being has been witnessed many times and is described as a pitch black mass that is said to stand in excess of 7 feet tall.  A teenager attending a paranormal tour had an interesting encounter with the incubus in this room.  He was snatched up from his feet then slammed to the ground all at the same time that a heavy drape which separated the room from the kitchen was shredded. all of this happened in front of no less than 10 witnesses.

In the bar itself, John and members of his family have encountered a former barkeep as well as the ghost of a lady named Elizabeth that was said to have been murdered in that very room and is supposedly buried under the bar itself.  Obviously, no one had dug there to see if it’s true, no need to stir up any more activity in this joint right!

In attempt to restore the Inn to it’s original state, John furnished the rooms with genuine antiques and period furniture befitting the Rams age and history. He once bought a painting of Rev. John Wesley to hang on the staircase, but as soon as he got it through the front door he describes it as all hell breaking loose, with a large increase in paranormal activity. His daughters dogs refused to go up the stairs once the picture had been hung. Door’s that had been secured and locked slammed shut at night and there were knocks on all the windows of the Inn. John found puddles of water in several of the Inn s rooms and some visitors complained of strange smells. Needless to say, the portrait was removed shortly after.

In 1997, John allowed a paranormal team to excavate and area beneath the stairs where it was rumored there was a hidden room.  The attempt proved unsuccessful but that very same night, John and his family began hearing the cries of infants coming from beneath the stairs.  I think they just didn’t dig deep enough cause there’s obviously something there, right?!

In one of the other bedrooms guest have been attacked by either the incubus or succubus depending on the gender of the guest.  During one investigation, two men discovered black magic and satanic artifacts in the fireplace.  That night they were attacked and by the next morning they were headed to the local Vicar to be exorcised because they couldn’t shake the force of the demons that they encountered in that room.

In the weavers attic resides the ghost of a highway man.  A highway man is someone on horseback that hides in the brush then jumps out and robs people as they pass by.  The tunnels beneath the Inn were said to be haven to such characters, I guess this dude wanted to hide in a more elevated area of the Inn.  His ghost is rather peaceful considering his violent past time while he was alive, but it’s true that he doesn’t care for the company of others with the one exception of the spirit of a past land lady that is also often encountered in the same area.  Maybe the two of them had a little side thing going on while they were alive right?!  hmmm could be!

Louisiana’s Pirate – Jean Lafitte

jeanWhen it comes to pirates, I’m most definitely going to talk about Louisiana’s own, Jean Lafitte!  Jean, of course, was known for his piracy in and around the Gulf of Mexico but I bet you didn’t know that he was also known to have been a hero during the battle of New Orleans.  Yeah, he had his good moments, and then of course there were those other moments.  In fact, on 3 separate occasions, U.S. Presidents Condemned then exonerated his actions.  Jean liked to keep them guessing right!?

Well, in 1804 Louisiana became United States territory, Jean and his brother Pierre bought into a warehouse where they would dispense the goods that they smuggled into port.  When the government passed the embargo act, the brothers moved their business to an island in Barataria bay.  Laffitte was such an entrepreneur and a diplomat the he had been able to take an entire island full of shiftless seafarers and fisherman and turn them into an organized group of buccaneers, smugglers and wholesalers.  By 1810 their port was a huge success.  The two of them continued smuggling and Jean began his career as a pirate, it wasn’t long after, when Captain Lafitte had acquired his own fleet.

During this time, while the embargo was still active, things got tough, especially for the southern states.  Lafitte’s beloved Louisiana, and it’s people, were suffering, so he put his fleet to work.  From the ships that he plundered off of the Caribbean coast and the Atlantic, he and his crews were able to keep clothes and commodities flowing to the people of Louisiana.  As a result, Lafitte became a hero to both the rich and the poor alike, even authorities in high positions were turning a blind eye to his more questionable accomplishments.

Jean saw himself as a patriot, he respected the American constitution and never once attacked an American vessel.  But not everyone saw him in the same light.  Despite Lafitte’s shifty methods, his endless supplies of clothes, spices, furniture and other necessities which helped Louisiana survive and thrive, In 1814 things began to go bad for him.  There was a new Governor by the name of WC Claiborne.  Claiborne decided of his own accord that Lafitte should no longer be accepted in their society.  Claiborne saw to it that he was constantly harassed and that his home island in Barataria Bay was destroyed, but he didn’t stop there, eventually Claiborne has Lafitte thrown in jail.

Well he didn’t stay there long, With the war of 1812 well underway, President Andrew Jackson needed more boats and men, he needed Lafitte’s fleets.  So Lafitte was released from jail and set out to protect New Orleans and the Mississippi river from the British.  When the war was lost, Lafitte sailed away from Louisiana for the last time, he was proud that he had fought to defend her however he was heartbroken, he was no longer wanted or trusted in the place that he loved and called home.

Now days there are many witnesses that have seen Lafitte making a proud return to the Gulf of Mexico.  Workers on oil platforms, which litter the Gulf, have reported the billow of his sails on the horizon just before sunset, he’s always headed east.  Crews on offshore supply vessels have heard the flapping of sail riggings and the cry of phantom voices calling out commands to a ghostly crew in the Creole patois once spoken in Barataria.  These same supply vessels have felt the passing of an entire ghostly fleet, that is unseen, but produces visible white foam where their bows break the waves.  Once they have finished passing, they leave a tremendous wake in the darkened waters.

One three-man crew on a charter fishing boat, anchored off Grand Isle near Barataria Bay in the dead of night reported that they all saw an apparition of a pale man, clad in black and wearing a wide-brim hat such as the one Lafitte wore, standing on the aft deck of their sport fisherman.  The apparition glared at them as if sending a warning, then looked away toward the Louisiana coast before suddenly disappearing.

Folks in my neck of the woods, we believe that when Lafitte’s fleet is spotted in the Gulf it’s an omen that something wicked is about to befall the Louisiana coastline.  In fact, Lafitte and his fleet were spotted in the Gulf just before Hurricane Katrina ravaged the state.  This photo was sent to me by an avid listener that just happens to be a pilot that flies over the Gulf of Mexico often.  It was taken recently.  The pilot, John Bering says that after 20 years of flying across the Gulf, this was the first time he had ever seen a square rigged ship.  Could this be Lafitte, and is it a warning that ill tides are coming?

On shore, Lafitte is seen in the Blacksmith shop in the French Quarter that Pierre owned.  Many nights were spent here planning raids and designing new weaponry for his ships.  Today the Blacksmith shop is a popular bar, and Jean is still spotted there frequently.  He keeps a low profile, always sitting at a rear table while holding a brandy in his hand, the smell of cigar smoke accompanying his rather vivid apparition.

Like the story? Want to hear more haunted history and urban legends?  Check out my show on Armed Radio Global!  All past episodes are available on Spreaker!

Haunted History – The Anderson Hotel

anderson    Alright so how about a haunted story from Kentucky?!  Yep, they have ghosts in Kentucky too, who would have thought!  So this is the story of the Anderson Hotel in Lawrenceburg Kentucky.  The Anderson has been closed down for decades; no room for the living there, cause the locals say that it’s packed full of ghosts.  Well, it’s not just the locals, apparently there’s a bunch of professional paranormal researchers that will tell you the same thing.  In fact, there is so much paranormal activity going on in this old hotel that not even the investigators are allowed back inside.

During a Season One filming of “Paranormal Lock Down” several of the film crew were attacked by, well, something.  On site, the team was able to photographically document bite and scratch marks on the torso’s of camera men and investigators alike.

So where did these malevolent spirits come from?  Well, apparently the Anderson wasn’t anything like the Hilton.  There is a dark and sordid history of drugs, prostitution, murder and at least 3 suicides, attached the the Anderson.  Imagine the fantastic vibes in this joint Ya’ll, it ain’t no Disneyland in this sucker!

mattressInvestigators have found and documented many areas in the Anderson that emit crazy high readings,  In this one room there is a mattress crammed in the corner, it’s stained with this dark rusty looking stuff, I would say likely blood right!  This room is believed to be one of the suicide sites.  The investigators that were last present in this room described some terribly disturbing events.  They claimed to have seem these horrific looking creatures in the room, they drug themselves across the floor.

In checking out the results of the investigation performed by “Week in Weird” I found more creepy details about the blood stained mattress.  These guys think that this is the same mattress where a young girl died after slitting her wrists open. They actually sprayed the mattress down with Luminol.  Guess what Ya’ll, that nasty looking stain, it was blood! Then these crazy bastards do something insane!  They pull the mattress back to the room where police reports said the body was found, and all Hell broke loose!  Members of the team were being slapped and bitten.  Others were having their hair pulled or being shoved by unseen hands.  Black shadowy creatures began drifting down the hallways, darting in and out of long since vacated rooms.

boardIn another location, investigators from “Week in Weird” discovered a floor board with writing etched into it.  This board appears to be several decades old, the lettering that is etched into it does not seem to associate with any known alphabet.  Also inscribed in the board are ominous images of snake like creatures and the board appears to be spattered in blood.  These investigators are convinced that this board was used to open a porthole and allowed something dreadfully evil inside the Anderson.

When the doors were closed, in fact right after this investigation when the summoning board was found, the owner of the hotel brought the board to the investigators, with it came aggressive attacks.  Those that were near to the board were touched by freezing cold phantom hands, bitten and slapped.  Equipment wouldn’t work while in close proximity to the board,  Things would be thrown or moved across the room.  Eventually the board was housed with The traveling museum of paranormal and occult for safe keeping.

Though most of the spirits seemed to have latched hold of this place in the 1980’s, they definitely weren’t the first ghosts to homestead here.  Back in the late 1850’s a young couple lived here.  There had been a horrible steamboat accident and young Sarah was convinced that her husband had been killed.  Out of grief and despair she committed suicide, he husband hadn’t been involved in the crash and came home just a day or so afterward to find Sarah’s lifeless body.  Sarah is one of the more friendly ghosts, She’s seen often in old fashioned clothes and is known to leave dimes at the front counter, intended as a gratuity to management for running the establishment so well.

Follow me on Facebook

Catch past episodes of “The Twisted Southern Horror Queen” on Armed Radio Global!
_________________

Publisher page to purchase The Adrian Trilogy as a 3-Volume Set or separately, “To Be His Soulmate,” “Adrian’s Fury,” and “Adrian’s Legacy.”

My website to purchase: “Short and Gory” and “Wicked Truth.”

DonnaInk Publications Publisher’s Author Lyn Gibson Fan Page

Haunted History- The Stanley Hotel

stanleyThe Stanley was constructed over a period of 2 years by F.O. Stanley and his wife Flora.  When it was completed, 1909, it was the largest and most modern creature of its kind.  Among the amenities were telephones, a fleet of cars, running water and even a nearby hydro-plant that Stanley himself had designed to provide electricity to the hotel.  The grounds, 160 acres, were purchased from the 4th Earl of Dunraven who is said to be seen in his regular room, room 407.  Typically the Earl is seen standing in the corner, the smell of pipe tobacco wafting around his misty image.  He’s also known to look down from his window, surveying new guests as they arrive.

As a matter of fact, many of the hotels guests loved the Stanley so much, that they’ve apparently checked in to spend their afterlife there.  One visitor in particular that we’re all aware of was indeed Steven King.  King and his wife checked in to the Stanley right at the end of tourist season, the setting for them was much as it was for the  Torrance family from “The Shining”  The hotel was basically vacant, the Kings ate their meals alone in a huge banquet hall, ballroom music echoing down the empty hallways.  Yep, those eerie settings are wild motivation for the twisted minds of horror writers, not unlike myself.

King even had an encounter with the ghost of a small boy during his visit.  The meeting was pretty much uneventful however it was the nightmares that began plaguing him afterwards that sparked the idea for his 1977 novel.

So back to the Stanley ghosts.  Of course the Stanley’s themselves can still be seen tending to the day by day business of running the establishment.  Flora sometimes entertains the guest by playing on her antique Steinway piano.  The piano is in the ballroom, many guest have reported hearing music, when they arrive to check out the scene, some have reported seeing the keys of the piano moving on their own, others have been lucky enough to see Flora sitting on the piano bench, playing one of her favorite songs.

And F.O, Stanley continues to monitor the staff regularly.  He has been seen behind counters observing employees as they tend to their daily routines, he is also known to hang out in the billiards room and the bar, he’s been spotted sitting at the bar with his own drink in front of him.

boyGuests and staff say that it is the 4th floor that is the most haunted, of course we talked about the Earl, however, room 418 has frequent guests of it’s own.  Many 4th floor guests have called the main desk in the middle of the night, complaining about children playing in the hall in front of room 418.  Some folks have been lucky enough to photograph children in the hall or looking down at them from the windows of the same room.  Staff often has difficulty in keeping the linens straight too.  Many of them have fled from the room after having made the bed and then seeing the impression of someone sitting down on it, mussing the comforters!  This is the same room where King had his encounter with the little boy.

Ok, Ya’ll so what’s driving me is the fact that I can’t find any history on this room other than the fact that it’s haunted.   I sure would love to know why the ghosts of the kids are drawn to this room.

LucyThere is another young ghost that is said to haunt the concert hall.  Lucy, was said to have been a runaway.  She was 13 years old when she was found squatting in the basement of the Stanley.  She was discovered by maintenance men that had come down to survey the area prior to doing some major renovations to the concert hall which was directly above this area.  So the maintenance men ran her out of the basement.  Lucy was forced to spend the night outside.  That night the temperature dropped below zero, Lucy was found on the grounds later the next day, frozen to death.

Lucy, doesn’t seem to be bitter and she isn’t a bit shy either.  She has been photographed many times.  She has been recorded often too.  Seems that she’s been there for a very long time and enjoys answering questions by staff and curious ghost hunters.  When she’s not being questioned, she’s often heard humming  distant melodies, perhaps reliving a concert that she had once attended in the grand concert hall.  Hey, maybe Lucy can tell us what the hell happened in room 418!

And then there is room 217, the same room that King stayed in on his 1974 visit.  So there are several versions of what happened in this room, but the gist of the story goes like this:

In 1911 room 217 was the presidential suite. One night in June of the same year, a thunderstorm had taken the power down.  All of the guests had been taken down to the lobby while hotel staff went room by room, lighting the back up acetylene gas lamps.

Room 217 had a gas leak, when chambermaid Elizabeth Wilson entered the room with a lit candle, there was a massive explosion. The blast destroyed about 10% of the then 70,000 sq ft hotel, thankfully it was a compression explosion, which meant that it put out it’s own fire, if it hadn’t have been, the entire wood framed hotel could have been burned to the ground.

Anyway, the force of the explosion sent Wilson crashing into the dining room table of the room below.  She actually survived with nothing worse than 2 broken ankles and a multitude of bruises and cuts.  Hotel owner F.O. Stanley, made sure that the chambermaid was well taken care of.  He paid her her regular wages while she was recovering, he took care of her medical bills and promoted her to head chambermaid.  Wilson wore the title proudly and continued working at the Stanley up until her death in the 1950’s.  And that’s when the haunting in room 217 began.

Guest often complained of things being moved around in their room.  Their suitcases were sometimes unpacked and their clothes placed neatly in the dresser drawers.  And then there were times when Ms Wilson must not have been enthused by the occupants of the room, she’s known to repack guests suitcases as well.  Ms. Wilson is a very proper woman too,  if an unmarried couple stays in room 217, Ms. Wilson is known to climb in bed between them, making sure that they keep an acceptable distance from each other.

Other than these specific ghosts, there are of course reports of whispers and footsteps, disappearing items and lights that turn themselves on and off when no one else is around.  Though there have been plenty of tragedies at the Stanley that would suffice in having rooted these hauntings, perhaps the grounds themselves were haunted long before the hotel was ever built, but that’s a story for another day!

Love Haunted History and Urban Legends?  Catch me live on Armed Radio Global and TuneIn Satellite on Monday evenings 7:00 CT  8:00 EST.  Listen to past episodes on SPREAKER