H. H. Holmes – America’s first serial killer

Today we’re headed to Chicago, cause there’s a man, and his castle that I want to tell you folks about.  This dude was born with the name, Herman Mudgett, which kind of sounds like a Looney Tunes character, I guess he knew that, so he changed his name and became notorious while he was known as, Dr. Henry Howard Holmes.  And Dr. Holmes is said to be the United States very first serial killer.

howardAccording to a recent profile on Holmes, he was the son of a violent alcoholic Father, but apparently the abuse didn’t stop when he was at school.  Because his home life had made him anti social, his classmates tormented the hell out of him.  One time he was forced to stand face to face with a human skeleton when he had admitted that he was terrified of Doctors.  Yeah, the mold of a sociopath is born right!  So the despite all of this, he manages to graduate from the University of Michigan in 1884 get this, he graduates as a Doctor.

Even though he’d earned this prestigious title, Holmes was known to most as a swindler.  So it was no surprise that he decided to build an elaborate hotel at the site of the Colombian Exposition for the upcoming Worlds Fair.  From the outside, it was gorgeous, in fact on the inside it was even more elaborate but there was a lot going on here that the average guy doesn’t notice when they walk in.  Beneath the guise of this fantastic castle was nothing more than an elaborate prison designed to capture, torture and murder his unsuspecting guests.

holmes-hotel-plan-2So, the whole time this place is being built, Holmes would hire, and fire, crews before they finished their tasks.  This way he could both stiff them on their pay as well as ensure that he was the only person than knew the complex layout of his hotel.   There were stairs that led to nowhere, doors that opened to brick walls, doors that could only open from the outside and over 100 windowless rooms with some elaborate yet “unusual” features.

Now, it’s true that Holmes built the joint to cash in on the massive visiting crowds, but as we all know there was definitely a hidden agenda going on here!  and the modern decor of his hotel lured the vacationers into this deadly hotel in freaking droves.  These poor oblivious bastards had no clue of the carefully constructed traps that masqueraded as quiet, comfortable rooms.

hhcorpseHolmes christened the joint with personally invited guests and well, hookers.  They were like his guinea pigs in testing his devices and means.  Other than fulfilling his sadistic urges, there were always financial gains to be had.  So once he finishes tormenting, murdering and dismembering or burning his victims bodies, he robs them.  But sometimes he’d cut out a few internal organs and sell them to nearby medical schools or research laboratories.
I know it all sounds chaotic and macabre, well the macabre part is straight up, that’s for sure but as far as chaos, no way.  This sadistic bastard was as crazy as shit but he was meticulous and each murder was carefully orchestrated from start to finish.

castleSome of his victims were trapped inside a soundproof vault, or a luxury suite, whichever way you want to look at it.  Holmes had some rooms that had metal walls that were painted and trimmed then decorated with wall art and gas lights, once inside, the door could only be opened from outside.  They were screwed.  As they’re suffering through the pains of suffocation, Holmes looked on from specially designed peep holes.  As the oxygen was inhaled, carbon dioxide was exhaled.  They suffered with dizziness, panic and fear all while they lay convulsing.  Their last living moments were consumed with the question of why they were dying this way.

Others victims met their fate locked inside the very rooms they paid to stay in overnight, thinking they’d be safe there resting after spending the day at the fair, not so much….  When they’d return to the hotel to crash for the night, Holmes released gas from hidden lines inside the room, so the guests went to sleep then never woke up.

There were other rooms that were constructed with iron covered walls that actually had hidden blowtorches.   Yeah he’d torch the guests while he stood on the other side of the wall, peeking through those peep holes watching his victims slowly burn to death.  From there they’d be tossed down a hidden trapdoor that opened to a makeshift shaft which led to, the basement of course! In the basement are these two massive incinerators which erased all signs of his dirty deeds, or at least so he thought.

HOLMES_06In 1894, the police investigated a tip from a custodian of the hotel that led to Holme’s arrest. The janitor told the authorities that he was never allowed to clean the upper floors.  A month-long investigation revealed secret passageways and torture chambers.  These atrocities paled in comparison to the mound of human remains like, bones and hair that were found in the basement.  The walls, floors and ceilings were covered in dried blood. Based on the human remains, missing persons reports and testimony of hotel workers who saw Holmes escort women into the hotel but then were never seen leaving, it’s estimated that he killed around 200 people, mostly women and often blonde.  Wait! say what!

Holmes was found guilty of masterminding the horrific events and evil attacks that occurred inside the hotel’s walls, which had then earned the tag of “Murder Castle.”  He was sentenced to death, ya think!  He did his damnedest trying to lie his way out of it, but at the end, he did admit to 30 murders, even though we know there were way more, I guess standing in his shoes, what difference does it make, he’s gonna be a dead man too.

In response to his atrocities, he was quoted as saying, “I was born with the devil in me. I could not help the fact that I was a murderer, no more than the poet can help the inspiration to sing…I was born with the evil one standing as my sponsor beside the bed where I was ushered into the world, and he has been with me since.”

hangH.H. Holmes was hanged on May 7, 1896.

Murder Castle suffered destruction from several unexplained explosions prior to Holmes’ death in an apparent attempt at an insurance scam. His partner, Mrs. Quinian, confessed to an un-awarded policy and the rest of the castle was demolished.

A Post Office was built on the site in 1938 and guess what! Folks start reporting paranormal activity!  Ghostly apparitions, strange noises and even reports that dogs will run across the street to avoid walking near the building.  Postal workers have reported hearing screams and cries for help, they believe are the tortured spirits of  Holmes’s victims.

 

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Dead Serial Killers that linger on…..

So we all like serial killer stories here, we’ve talked about a ton of these sick bastards and their gruesome deeds but I don’t think we’ve ever discussed that fact that some of them refuse to leave, despite the fact that they’re deader than Hell.  Oh yeah, I’m talking about the demented ghosts of serial killers, let’s line them up!

bundyTed Bundy was one of the most prolific serial killers in American history!  This twisted individual admitted to murdering 30 women across 6 states, but he hinted that there were more.  We may never know how many victims Bundy kidnapped, assaulted and raped both before and after he hacked their heads off, we can only hope that he can’t figure out how to kill anybody else while he’s dead.  Yeah they fried this twisted bastard in the electric chair in  January of 1989, but he came back.  In fact, almost immediately after his body was removed and his toasted remains scrubbed away, he was seen sitting casually in the electric chair with a knowing smile pasted across his lips.  Bundy was seen so frequently in the chair that the warden was hard pressed to find anyone that would go into the chamber alone.

But the chair isn’t the only place that prison guards see him, he still pops up in his holding cell and apparently he’s a bit on the chatty side.  More that a couple of guards have heard him sarcastically state, “I beat all of you, didn’t I” while he’s still wearing that all knowing grin.  It’s assumed he’s telling them he beat death, and well, it seems that he may have done just that.  Bundy’s quite the traveler too, folks have claimed to encounter his spirit in some of his other old stomping grounds as well.  He’s been spotted at Chi Omega Sorority house, where he earned two of his life sentences.  He brutally beat and raped his victims, two of which actually survived.

He also turns up on the front porch of a small wood framed home in Tennessee that he rented under an alias but mysteriously, never copped to any murders while in this area.  The bulk of Bundy’s slaughtering spree took place in Washington state.  Bundy’s remains were cremated and scattered over Washington state’s Cascade Mountains, perhaps so he can also lurch about on their high peaks, as he surveys the shallow graves of some of his still missing victims.

dahmerAh and then there’s Jeffrey Dahmer, we’ve definitely talked about this demented freak on some past shows.  Remember? this is the sicko that that raped, tortured, murdered, dismembered and then ate at least 17 male victims between 1978 and 1991.  Dahmer was sentenced to a total of 957 years in prison. The first year he spent in solitary for his own safety, after that he was moved to a less secure unit with a population of inmates that weren’t quite as nasty, but they were nasty enough.  These dudes were constantly beating the hell out of Dahmer, sometimes stabbing him.  It wasn’t that they were against murder, cause well, they all got there mostly due to violent offenses themselves.  The prisoners all had a problem with the fact that Dahmer had eaten pieces parts from off of his victim’s corpses.  Eventually they got the best of him and he wound up beat to death on November 28, 1994.

Now, unlike Bundy, Dahmer didn’t stick around the prison, his spirit returned to his childhood home, also the site of his first murder.  Dahmer lured a hitchhiker home with promise of drugs and booze, then after smashing him in the head with a dumbbell he drags the body into the crawlspace beneath the house and dismembered it so that he could bury him in the woods.  Well, there have been some ghost hunts at Dahmer’s old boyhood home but it’s impossible to get the equipment to work long enough to document things.  Cameras and EVP recorders just stop working or their batteries are completely drained within moments of entering the home.  We know why don’t we folks.

gacyAnd here’s another one, John Wayne Gacy, definitely talked about this twisted bastard too.  This is the dude that found his cure for ED in murdering young boys.  Gacy doubled as Pogo the clown, luring little boys to a tragic and despicable fates.  33 kids died at his hands some were raped before he murdered them, others after, some got it twice.  Gacy buried their mutilated corpses in the crawl space of his home or out in the yard.  So many bodies were exhumed there that the house had to be demolished and for years after, nothing would grow on the vacant lot, not even a weed.  Another home has been built on the lot since then, i can’t help but think that there’s some crazy wicked shit going on in there, but for now let’s talk about this freaks lingering spirit.

Gacy was put down by lethal injection on May 10, 1994.  The death chamber where he drew his last breath is where he likes to spend most of his time.  There is a video on youtube from where some investigators went in with EVP equipment.  Gacy was otherwise occupied and irritated by their presence, In the video you can hear and understand him quite clearly, he’s even tells the investigators to get out because he’s trying to masturbate, I shit you not, the dude is still fighting that ED thing I guess, but at least he won’t be murdering anymore children to get his jollies.

jackAnd this one is from way back, Jack the Ripper is still making appearances as well, kind of.  It’s actually the ghost of one of his victims that he is seen with.  Kind of makes you wonder if the victim is summoning him each time that she relives her brutal death.  Maybe she’s still trying to finger the asshole that murdered her.  Annie Chapman was one of 5 hookers that died at his hands in 1888, she appears at 29 Hanbury street, the same place where she was murdered.  Her headless apparition is sometimes seen sitting in the back yard but sometimes she’s seen walking down Hanbury street in the company of the shadowy figure of a man.  Too bad no one can get a good look at his face before the two of them vanish.

We know there are a ton of other notorious serial killers, some of these monsters are still alive too like David Berkowitz and Ronald Defeo, yeah, they’re classifying Defeo as a serial killer, I guess technically that would be right, he did kill his entire family, 6 people I’d say is enough to tag someone a serial killer.  But we know what really happened there.  Even though Defeo was under the influence of demonic possession, he still had some sense of responsibility.  Demonic infestation and possession don’t get crazy insane like this over night, precautions could have been taken, but weren’t.  With the tainted soul this dude is lugging around, just imagine the spirit that he could leave behind, and then, there are those that he has left behind.

 

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Haunted History – The Cecil Hotel

So let’s talk about the Cecil Hotel in L.A., trust me, not a place you’d want to book for vacation, unless you’re as demented as I am!

cecilThe Cecil is a low budget hotel and when I say low, I mean gutter low.  This 600 room train wreck plays host to transients and crackheads alike, offering a roof over their guests heads for about $470 per month, getting the picture, yeah, it’s like that!  Since its construction in 1927 it has been the site for multiple suicides, murders, and disappearances as well as providing a sanctuary for serial killers.

cycsternIn 2013 the Cecil was the site of a mysterious death, this highly publicized tragedy hit headlines across the nation, you may have heard something about it.  It started out with complaints from the guests, stating that the water smelled bad and had a foul taste.  Well, when maintenance staff started investigating the cause it took a while but eventually a corpse was discovered in the water cistern on the roof.  At the bottom of the tank were the remains of a Canadian tourist named Elisa Lam, ring a bell yet?

Just imagine, these folks had been bathing in, brushing their teeth and cooking with the same water that Lams body had been decomposing in, fantastic right!  Lam had checked into the hotel on January 26 and was reported missing on February 1st. No on knows what happened to her to this day but closed circuit tv recordings showed  Lam acting bizarrely, hiding in the lift, then pressing all the buttons before peering out strangely. She eventually exits the lift and gestures to someone – or something – outside the doors.

After this, she vanished. Her body was discovered in the tank on the secured and alarmed rooftop over two weeks later.  In watching the footage it appears that Lam had consumed some serious drugs when she is filmed in the lift, yet no substances were found in her system during an autopsy.

The coroner ruled her death “accidental due to drowning”, yet many questions remain unanswered. What actually happened to Lam may never be known.

rrAs far as those serial killers, yeah, here we go:  The Cecil was home to ‘Night Stalker’ Richard Ramirez, an American serial killer, rapist and burglar during 1984-85. The satanist’s terrorized L.A. before he was finally captured and convicted of 13 murders.

He lived on the top floor in a $14-a-night room while he slaughtered his 13 female victims.  It was convenient for him, he’d just dump his bloody clothes in the dumpster at the end of the evening and go into the hotel via the rear entrance.  Ramirez was sentenced to death in a gas chamber in 1989, and on receiving his sentence showed no remorse, his last statement: “Big deal. Death always went with the territory. See you in Disneyland.” Yeah, keep that shit in mind when you book your summer vacation with the kids right!

jackAustrian serial killer Jack Unterweger also stayed at the hotel in 1991 for five weeks. During this time he murdered three prostitutes, who would enter his room via the fire escape for a measly $30.  This all occurred after he had been jailed and released in Austria for similar murders.  He was released as an example for rehabilitation and was hired by an Austrian magazine to be a crime writer in Los Angeles.  The disturbed crime journalist is believed to have been paying homage to his subject, Richard Ramirez, when he beat, sexually assaulted and then strangled the women with their own bra straps.

g1And what about the suicides and murders?  The horrors started at the beginning of the great depression.   In 1929 a 33 year old woman was taken to the hospital after wandering around the hotel for 3 days while acting in a bizarre manner.  According to reports, she was distraught over the sudden death of her husband and had tried to poison herself with prescribed barbiturates. She failed in her attempt.  After this, the hotel became known as a suicide hot spot.  The first suicide was documented only a few weeks later when a 46 year old man intentionally od’s on poison.   The following year, a 25-year-old man shot himself in his hotel room.  A year later, a young truck driver was fatally pinned against the hotel by a large truck.

g2In 1934, another lonely man took his life.  and then a marine fireman named Roy Thompson, who had been at the Cecil for several weeks, was found dead in the skylight of the building next door after apparently jumping from his hotel room.   Oh, I’m not finished because Pauline Otton, 27, threw herself to her death from a ninth-floor window after arguing with her husband. She landed on pedestrian George Gianinni, 65, on the street below, killing him instantly. Oh and helen Gurnee too, she plunged to her death from a seventh-floor window, her body landing atop the hotel marquee above the heads of pedestrians,  and check this out,  In 1947, Elizabeth Short, nicknamed the Black Dahlia, was allegedly seen at the Cecil bar shortly before she was murdered.

In an unsolved murder in 1964, Pigeon woman, Goldie Osgood, who enjoyed feeding the birds in a nearby square, was found dead in her room. She had been stabbed, strangled and raped – and then had her room ransacked.

These deaths are only a potion of the tragedies that have befallen the Cecil there are many more bizarre stories to be told such as the man accused of killing his girlfriend in Huntington Beach was arrested at the Cecil in 1988.   In 1995, a murder suspect named Eric Reed was found at the hotel, after breaking out of a jail in Castaic.

So, yeah, as I was saying, unless you are demented, not a place you’d care to book.  But I think we may spend some time on this join in a later episode.  I’ve only researched the grizzly deaths associated with the Cecil, There have got to be some serious ghosts wandering around this hotel today, wouldn’t you think?  Yeah, I’m thinking I’ll have to dig into this a little further but at least now we know the background, so later when we talk about the hauntings, we’ll at least have a better understanding of why right!

 

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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!

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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!