Wishing you a “bloody fang-tastic” New Year!

HNY2016

The Legend of the Christmas Spider

This is one of the most precious gifts that has been given to me, I wanted to share it with you all!  A very dear friend presented this to me at a book signing a year or so ago, she giggled when I wanted to pin him to my jacket.  My friend, Tissie Gorman, knows that I research a lot of legends, she made sure to include this little guy’s legend inside the box that contained him; I now know that he is far too special to be pinned to my jacket!

 

spider

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Christmas Spider

(Legend originated from Germany and the Ukraine)

Once upon a time, long ago, a gentle mother was busily cleaning the house for the most wonderful day of the year…. The day on which the Christ Child came to bless the house. Not a speck of dust was left. Even the spiders had been banished from their cozy corner in the ceiling to avoid the housewife’s busy cleaning. They finally fled to the farthest corner of the attic.
T’was Christmas eve at last! The tree was decorated and waiting for the children to see it, but the poor spiders were frantic; For they could not see the tree nor be present for the Christ Childs’ visit. The oldest and the wisest of the spiders suggested that perhaps they could peep through the crack in the door to see him. Silently they crept from the attic, down the stairs and across the floor to wait in the crack of the threshold. Suddenly the door opened a wee bit and quickly the spiders scurried into the room. They crept all over the tree, up and down over every branch and twig and saw every one of the pretty things. At last, now satisfied that they had experienced all of the trees beauty.
But Alas! Everywhere they had went, they had left their webs. When the Christ Child came to visit and bless the house he was dismayed. He loved the little spiders, for they were God’s creatures too, but he knew that the mother who had trimmed the tree for the little children would not feel the same.     The Christ Child reached out and touched the webs, turning them into sparkling strands of silver and gold!
Ever since that time tinsel has been hung on trees, and in Germany and the Ukraine, a Christmas Spider is hung amongst the ornaments on every Christmas tree!

Comte de St. Germain – the history of Vampire Jack

Author Lyn Gibson

Visit DonnaInk Publications, L.L.C. for a copy of, "Adrian's Fury" or "To Be His Soulmate!" St. Germain

After a recent one hour on-air interview, I have been contacted by several parties that have either requested more information or have volunteered first hand experiences concerning Jacques d’Saint Germain, The New Orleans Vampire. Since the show I have begun to research him a bit further. This blog is the first of more to come on Saint Germain, I will start here from the beginning:

Comte de St. Germain was said to have been born in 1712, details of his birth and life as a child are obscure, however Germain was said to have been the son of Francis II Rákóczi, the Prince of Transylvania. In contradiction to this date are two statements, one by Rameau, a relative of a French ambassador from Venice who testified that he had known St. Germain in 1710 and that he then had the appearance of a man near his fifties. The…

View original post 922 more words

Haunted Louisiana – The Myrtles Plantation

myrtles Our story begins in 1796 when General David Bradford, aka “Whiskey Dave” of the Whiskey Rebellion, obtained a 650 acre land grant from Baron de Corondelet.  Bradford had fled the United States to avoid arrest and imprisonment for his involvement in the Rebellion, he would land in Bayou Sarah which, at that time was still a Spanish colony.  Bradford would later be pardoned for his actions by President John Adams.

When construction began on the original home it was said that workers had unearthed a Native American burial ground.  Bradford would order the remains burned thus initiating over two centuries of hauntings that endure to this day.   Bradford experienced great losses during his time at his family home.  One of his sons would fall into the river while working one day, his body was never recovered.

After having received his Presidential pardon, Bradford, his wife Elizabeth and 5 children would move to Pennsylvania where he would pursue his political career resulting in him being appointed Deputy attorney-general for Washington County.  The  mansion would remain in his ownership until 1820 when it was purchased by his son in law, Judge Clarke Woodruff.  The Woodruff era would produce one of the Myrtles’ most well known ghosts; a young Creole slave girl named Chloe.

Woodruff took Chloe on as his Mistress.  She was moved into the main home to live with his family while caring for his children.  Chloe, however, yearned for more than just the position of Mistress.  In an attempt to gain leverage, Chloe would often eavesdrop on family conversations as well as debates held amid the many prominent guests that frequented the mansion.  After several warnings she was caught one evening eavesdropping on a heated conversation between Woodruff and some of his more affluent visitors, Bradford ordered her left ear to be cut off and banished her from working within his home.

Chloe, devastated by the terms of her punishment, devised a plan to see her way back into the home.  She would bake a cake laced with poisoned herbs and when the family became ill, it would be she that would care for them and bring them back to good health.  A good plan, but unfortunately Chloe would lace the cake with lethal doses of her herbs; Woodruffs’ wife and two of his children died.

Now Chloe was even further distraught.  She had cared for and loved his children for years, as if they were her own.  Chloe, no longer able to bear the guilt, would confess to her actions.  Woodruff, in response, ordered for her to be hung just outside of the mansion, her body would then be weighted down and thrown into the Mississippi river.

Woodruff and his last remaining child would then move to Covington Louisiana, the house would be sold in 1834 to Ruffin Gray Sterling.  Sterling and his wife would remodel the homestead, it would nearly double in size to become what we know as the 11,000 square foot Myrtles Plantation.

The Sterling era would bring about even more of the frequently seen apparitions.  Four years after completion of the renovation, Sterling would succumb to Consumption.  Further tragedies struck the family throughout the years as only 4 of their 9 children would live long enough to marry.

The Plantation suffered along with the family as it had been looted and vandalized many times by soldiers during the Civil War.  Many rogue soldiers had lost their lives by charging onto the estate grounds as both the family and slaves had been armed to protect their home.  It was during one of these looting sprees that Sterling’s son-in-law, William Winter, was shot on the front steps as he tried to defend the family’s interests.  After crawling into the house and halfway up the stairs, he died in the arms of his frantic wife.

Occurrences

Many guests have reported the loss of just 1 earring while visiting the Plantation.  Later earrings will turn up in the oddest of places, discovered by staff as they clean and organize.  Perhaps this is the work of Chloe as she would only require the one earring!

There are reports of bloodstains on the parlor floor which will appear and disappear on their own accord, no matter how often the floor is cleaned.  These stains are said to appear where Union soldiers met their demise as they attempted to loot the mansion during the Civil War.

An apparition is seen frequently on the stair case and at some times the sound of fleeting footsteps will accompany him.  It is said to be that of a man dressed in his Sunday best.  Many suspect the apparition to be remnants of William Winter as he met his demise on those very steps.

chloe1a1    Chloe is seen frequently about the grounds, even sometimes spotted on the very limb from where she was hanged.

In this picture there is the apparition of a young slave girl just in between the two buildings.  This photograph has been researched and debunked by many well-known paranormal investigators. National Geographic has used this photograph in a documentary of the Myrtles’ Plantation.  It was also researched by Mr. Norman Benoit who performed a shadow density test, thus proclaiming that all of the physical measurements of the apparition were of human dimensions and proportions.  The circumference of the head, the length of the shoulder to the elbow and the length of the elbow to the wrist were all indicative of a human.

 

childThe ghosts of children are often captured in photographs all about the interior of the Plantation as well as it grounds.  So many children have perished on this property it would be quite difficult to accurately identify any one of them.  As records were not kept on the slave population and waves of plagues were rampant during this era, there is no way for anyone to know exactly how many children passed away on this property over the past 212 years.

This photograph was taken by a teacher on a school field trip.  The figure of the little girl in the window was not discovered until some time after.  Note that the child appears to be looking directly into the camera.

 

mirror Owners and staff have reported hand prints on mirrors and windows for centuries.  The infamous mirror which hangs near the staircase is a prime target.  Previous owners have gone as far as replacing the actual glass to rid themselves of the nuisance, but to no avail; the hand prints would only return.

 

 

 

 

As the Myrtles have been visited and investigated frequently through time, reports range from the inconspicuous to the insane.  Guests have had many encounters with the ghostly inhabitants.  Many items have gone missing and some overnight guest complain of their difficulties in getting out of their beds in the mornings after having been tucked too snugly into their sheets while they slept.

The Myrtles offers guided tours and is currently in operation as a bed and breakfast where many paranormal enthusiasts have conducted their own private investigations.  The Myrtles Plantation is definitely a destination for anyone seeking a ghostly encounter.

 

Haunted New Orleans – The Griffin House

gh     This beautiful home was erected in 1852 by Adam Griffin at what is now known as 1447 Constance street in New Orleans.  Griffin would only occupy the home for a matter of months before fleeing the area; The Federal army was on it’s way to New Orleans.

In 1862, New Orleans was under siege, the Union troops had been selecting and taking over large family estates in which to house their men and supplies.  The Griffin home would be one of the homes that fell into their hands.

During the Civil War occupation period, the Griffin house would be used as barracks and for storing of munitions, and this is where the haunted history begins!  The first of the soldiers to occupy the home reported hearing groans accompanied by the sound of clanging chains coming from the third floor, or attic.  Upon investigation, the rattled soldiers discovered several slaves that had been shackled to the walls, many in the advanced stages of starvation, some had already died.  The slaves were in such dire condition that many of them were plagued by maggots that had infested their woulds.  Those that could be saved were moved to a field hospital to be cared for.  Shortly after, the home became shelter to both soldiers and prisoners of war.

While still occupied by Union soldiers, two confederate deserters dressed in Union uniforms were caught looting in the area; a crime punishable by death.  When brought to the Griffin house, the deserters continued their ruse assuming that their punishment would be much more severe if they were tried as Union Soldiers.  They were so intent on convincing their captors that they would sing songs that were familiar to Union soldiers such as “John Brown’s Body”.  Some of the soldiers had been convinced and became sympathetic, supplying the two deserters with whiskey and other luxuries that were on hand.

When the deserters found out that there would be no leniency in their sentencing, they bribed a guard to smuggle in two pistols so that they may kill themselves before their sentence was passed.  The two of them lay across from each other in their beds, each of them facing the other as one shot the other in the heart.  It was reported that the deserters bled so profusely that their blood seeped through the floorboards and down the walls of the room beneath them.

After the War, the Griffin home was used commercially by several different owners.  Throughout the years, those that had been employed there had reported seeing two drunken soldiers, both holding bottles of whiskey as they sang “John Brown’s Body”.  There have also been reports having heard the sound of marching boots that accompany the singing voices.

In the early 1900’s the house was used as a perfume bottling company and then as a union hiring hall.  The next owner was a man who rebuilt air conditioners, he was said to have disappeared from the home without a trace.  During this period there were several reports of hearing the singing soldiers and marching boots.  There were also reports of screams and groaning accompanied by the sound of clanging chains coming from the attic.  Many passers by had reported seeing the two drunken soldiers staring out of the second floor window.

The home was especially active in and around 1936 while the Griffin house was being used as a lamp factory.  Several workers reported doors that opened on their own followed by the deafening sound of marching.  Others reported seeing and hearing the drunken soldiers as well as seeing blood seeping through the ceiling and walls of a second story room.

The new owners were nearly killed upon their initial inspection of their newly purchased investment.  A concrete block was thrown from the second floor as they stood at the base of the stairs.  Had they not seen the block coming at them they would have both been killed.  The kicker is that there are no such concrete blocks used in the construction of the home.  When the two startled investors went up stairs to investigate, they found that no one was there; all windows and doors were secured.

A few years later, after it had been deemed impossible to maintain commercial tenants, the home was converted into a boarding house.  One of the first tenants, a widow, would rent out a room on the second level.  One day while sewing near the window, she looked down to see a drop of blood on her arm.  Thinking that she must have scratched herself, she wiped the blood away.  Moments later it had reappeared, then another then another.  The widow looked up to see that blood was seeping through the ceiling and landing on her arm.  She immediately ran shrieking from the home and never returned.

In the 1970’s the neighborhood had become blighted, many of the once beautiful family estates had been overtaken by drug addicts and transients, the Griffin house would befall the same fate, but it would not last for long.  Even the addicts and transients were haunted while occupying the house.  Reports were made by some of them that they had witness 2 men in “some kind of police uniforms” singing  “old timey songs”.

In more recent years there have still been reports of having seen the two soldiers peering at the occupants from outside any given window on any given level.  There are also more recent reports of blood seeping through the ceiling and walls as well as the singing voices and marching boots.

Haunted New Orleans – The Beauregard-Keyes House

bgh     In 1824 Auctioneer and businessman Joseph Le Carpentier (Le Carpentier was said to have sold goods for Pirate Jean Lafitte) purchased two lots across from the Ursaline Convent on the corner of Chartres and Arsenal (now Ursalines).  Le Carpentier then employed an architect to construct a grand home and garden where he and his family would live until 1835.  The estate was purchased by John Merle, who became Swiss counsel in New Orleans.  The property would next be purchased by the Andry family of St Charles Parish who later sold to Dominique Lanata, who was Consul-General of Sardina in New Orleans.  Purchased as an investment property, the estate would become home to it’s first tenant; war hero, Pierre Gustave Toutant Beauregard.  He and his family would remain in the home until 1869.

In 1904, Lanata sold the home to Corrado Giacona, a wholesale liquor distributor.  The Giaconas, said to have had ties with the Sicilian Mafia, would soon begin experiencing “difficulties”.  On June 18, 1908, Corrado’s father, Pietro, shot 4 members of the “Black Hand” mafia while on the back gallery of the house.  Both Pierto and Carrodo were indicted for murder but the case was dropped in 1910; the general consensus being that Pietro had done the city a favor rather than committed a crime.  Pietro passed in 1917, Corrado and his mother would place the house up for auction when it would be purchased by Antonio Mannino, a wedded relative of the Giacona family.  The Mannino family then sold to the Owens family who would ultimately sell to world famous author, Francis Scott Keyes, who established the estate as a museum as which it still stands today.

Now that we have discussed the history of the home and it’s inhabitants, we may better understand who and why the spirits are which haunt it.

Paul Munni (Morphy), world class Chess player and heir of Le Carpentier, is said to have gone insane while living at the estate.  Legend states that Munni, while in a crazed state, ran naked from the home and out into Ursaline street armed with a large axe; he was looking to kill whoever crossed his path.  Once successful in his task, Munni was subdued by police and that is where the tale ends.  Passers-by claim to have seen him running naked from the house into the street before disappearing into thin air. Munni also liked to play the piano and can sometimes be heard playing as he screams wildly into the night.

One of the most outstanding displays of paranormal activity is said to take place in the early morning hours when the main hall is alit with gory images from the Battle of Shiloh.  General Beauregard and his men appear in full confederate attire, the sound of their feet marching can be heard just as the battle takes full force. One can smell the strong odor of freshly spilled blood and rotting flesh as well as the stench of burning gunpowder.  There are those who have reported seeing soldiers with blown away faces and mangled limbs as they grasped desperately to their last living moments.  Among the images of the dying men are the remains of horses and mules scattered about as if having encountered the full force of a cannon.  There have also been reports from passers by who could hear a raspy voice gasping out the words “Shiloh, Shiloh” as if suffering the loss of the battle.

Just down the way from the main hall is the ballroom where in the twilight hours a lone fiddler can be seen, and heard as he plays for for a room full of dancing apparitions donning gowns and tuxedos.

The main hall is not the only place where the smell of blood and gunpowder will burn the visitors’ nostrils.  Gunshots can be heard late at night from within the estate as they echo through the garden just beyond the back gallery where the “Black Hand” mafia associates met their demise.  Their shadows can also be seen ducking through the foliage as Pietro fires his weapon.

As an additional “oddity” the home is also reportedly haven to a ghost dog and cat.  The dog is said to have been owned by Francis Scott Keyes.  After Keyes passing, the dog was inconsolable and within a few days, he would follow his master.  The cat is thought to have been owned by the Le Carpentier family.

Haunted New Orleans – The Lalaurie Mansion

Famous New Orleans Haunts – The Lalaurie Mansion

LALAURIE HOUSE   It still stands today at 1140 Royal st. in New Orleans.  The Lalaurie mansion was constructed in 1832 by Doctor Louis Lalaurie and his wife Delphine.  Though the three story improvement is nothing spectacular from street view, the interior was designed to impress the most upper-crust of the elite that the Crescent city had to offer.

No expense was spared by the Lalaurie’s; skilled craftsmen labored mercilessly to hand carve faces and flora into the imported mahogany doors.  The decor of the interior would be accented by only the finest of Oriental silks and the most sought after art in the area.

The Lalaurie’s decadent lifestyle soon accelerated them into the height of New Orleans’ social circles.  Soon, the newest of the elite would begin hosting their own lavish dinner parties; only those within their newly found society would be found on the guest lists.  Delighted by the Lalaurie’s elaborate events, their guests became quickly blinded by the fact that there were still slaves within the household.  The upper-elite were a civilized brood, however, because of the Lalaurie’s new found status within their community, the slaves would be overlooked by them.  Delphine’s new peers saw her as a beautiful and intelligent woman, but there had been rumors of some odd happenings amongst her slaves.  There had been a previous occurrence where a young female slave had leaped from the roof to her death.  The rumor was that the young girl had been brushing Ms. Lalaurie’s hair and hit a snag.  A neighbor reported seeing Madame Lalaurie chasing the girl down the hall from his window.  He reported that Delphine was swinging a whip after her.

The rumors would all come to an end suddenly, but the truth behind them would be difficult for the New Orleans socialites to bear.

On April 10th 1834 a fire broke out at the Lalaurie Mansion.  The Fire Crews responded immediately as the Lalaurie’s were well known and respected members of the community.  The flames were quickly doused and the home experienced only minimal damages.  It was after the smoke cleared that the most gruesome of discoveries would rock New Orleans.

Members of the Fire Crew carefully made their way through the home, inspecting for any signs of damage that would render the structure unsound.  All was well until the Crew reached the attic.

The walls were lined with slaves, chained in place.  Some were alive, some had been dead for quite some time.  Upon closer examination, the Crew was exposed to atrocities that no man should ever have to endure.  Some of the slaves were found with their lips sewn shut, others were found hanging from their wrists with their own intestines tied neatly around their torso.  Others had been experimented on by breaking and resetting bones in their legs and arms; they were said to resemble crabs.  Some had odd limbs stitched onto their bodies, the spare limbs lay scattered about on the attic floor amongst them.

The slaves had endured the most evil of tortures at the hands of Madame Lalaurie.  It was in fact rumored to be a slave that had started the fire in a failed suicide attempt; she was found permanently chained to the kitchen stove.

After having combed the house and grounds thoroughly for remains, with the addition to accounts of missing slaves, it is said that Delphine Lalaurie took somewhere in the neighborhood of 100 lives.

 

As you could imagine, there are likely many angry spirits that haunt the Lalaurie mansion.  Many occurrences have been reported in both the house and about the grounds.  Guests have reported being touched, seeing orbs and shadow people, hearing voices and screams.  EVPs have been recorded on site along with cold spots and apparitions.