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Haunted Locations: Mississippi

Cold Spring Plantation
Pinckneyville, Mississippi
Dr John Carmichael was an Army surgeon and very eccentric man who came to Wilkinson County in the late 1700s, and settled Cold Spring plantation. Over the next couple of years he erected one of the finest mansions in the area. He used only the finest lumber and stone and surrounded it with iron and wooden fences. Carmichael’s favorite part of the house and where he spent most of his time was the wine cellar. He collected wines from around the world which he and his friends would drink daily. Dr. Carmichael loved his collection so much that he moved a rocking chair into the cellar so he could sit and rock and stare at his collection. The Army surgeon took the love for his wine collection one step further by leaving specific instructions in his will about what to do with his body following his death. He wrote that he wanted to be buried by his friends on the property but first they were to place a casket in the wine cellar with his body in it and drink every ounce of wine. For two days his friends drank themselves silly and when they began to sober up they couldn’t remember where they buried their good friend the Doctor. Days went by and they finally remembered the location of the body. The casket was dug up and brought to Woodville for proper burial. On the way to Woodville the casket fell from the wagon at least a half dozen times. Eventually Dr. John Carmichael was buried again but it is believed that he does not rest in peace. To this day people claim to hear the sound of the old Doctor’s rocking chair creaking in the wine cellar.

King’s Tavern
Natchez, Mississippi
King’s Tavern was originally built as a block house for Fort Panmure during the British occupation of Natchez. Built in 1769 with beams from a ship, it is the oldest building in Natchez. It served as a resting point on the Natchez Trace and was also the first mail stop in the Natchez District. In 1789 the house was bought by Richard King. He moved his family in, changed the building into an Inn and Tavern and named it King’s Tavern. The Inn catered to boatmen, travelers and even outlaws. One of the outlaws to stay at the inn was Micah “Big” Harpe, of the infamous Harpe Brothers. The Harpe brothers murdered at least forty women, children and men in the late 1700s. While staying at the Inn, Micah Harpe walked into another guest’s room, drunk and irate and snatched a crying infant from its mother. He swung the baby by its ankles and smashed it against a wall. The child died instantly and he returned to the bar to have another drink. Another murder that took place at the Inn was that of the King families maid, Madeline. Richard King took a liking to Madeline and began an affair with her. When his wife found out she had the young maid killed and her body was bricked in behind the chimney wall. In the 1930s the home was being renovated and the remains of Madeline’s body and two unknown men were found along with a jeweled dagger. Madeline is believed to be the root of all the paranormal activity in the building. Her full-bodied apparition has been seen on numerous occasions by employees and patrons. She is believed to be responsible for leaving footprints in freshly mopped floors. They appear on the floor seemingly out of thin air. Madeline has also been known to open doors and slam them shut. Water and lights turn on and off on their own, dishes are thrown from shelves and chairs move and shake when no one is near them. Madeline isn’t the only ghost reported in the building. Many people have heard the sounds of a baby crying in rooms that are known to be empty. The apparition of a man in period clothing has also been reported lurking around the building. He has also been captured in pictures. Many people complain of tightness in the chest and shoulders while in the building.

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Haunted Locations: Missouri

An Exorcism
St. Louis, Missouri
What exactly inspired the movie the Exorcist? Is there truth to the movie? Well it looks as though there is some truth to what happened in the movie. However, there is some conflict on where the story actually begins. Towns such as; Maryland or a suburb in Washington to St. Louis all claim that the haunting or exorcism took place in their community. In Jan, 1949 the family of a young boy begin to notice strange noises like scratching and footsteps within their home located in one of the above towns. Soon the family also notice objects such as their dishes being moved from room to room or shelf to shelf with no explanation. People began to believe that the young boy was possessed because new incidents that happened in the house seemed to follow him. His bed would shake so hard that he couldn’t fall asleep at night. His blankets were ripped from the bed while he was in it. Research claims that the boy became “possessed”, after he was taught to play with the Ouija board by his aunt. His aunt was very interested in the occult and practiced new methods of contacting spirits regularly. People even claimed that he may be possessed by the same aunt who had passed away in Jan 1949 from MS in St. Louis a short time after. This young boy started to draw attention from the newspapers when his parents tried to seek help. A diary was kept by a priest that assisted the family, and without that diary there would have been no concrete evidence left behind to write a book or a movie about the incident. The Diary was kept by the actual priest who performed the exorcism on the young boy in months to come. This diary was intended to be used as a research guide for future exorcisms. Throughout the years the diary has passed through the hands of many priests and now people have claimed that pages are even missing from this diary. The Priest who was identified as Father Bowden died in 1983 never admitting he was involved in the exorcism. At one point there was a rumor that the diary had made its way into a hospital in St. Louis called the Old Alexian Brothers hospital that was to be demolished in 1978. Found in a drawer of a locked room. This diary was later copied and sent to an author named Allen who published a book in 1993. So the story goes that this young boy was tortured tremendously by this evil spirit. The family even reached out to contact this spirit thinking that it was their aunt who had died months earlier. The spirit responded to the questions leading the family to believe that it was the aunt, however, over the next few days the family got the feeling that the aunt had nothing to do with the hauntings and attacks on their son. The young boy was being terrorized while he slept and would wake up to the most horrific sounds of someone scratching at his mattress. The young boy eventually started to pick up a strange language that was identified when a rabbi came to observe him. He explained to the parents that their son was speaking Hebrew. Eventually the family started to seek help from Rev. Luther Schulze by way of prayer. He came to the family’s home and prayed with the son and the parents, often at times praying alone with the son. The family was completely drained of energy and emotions. They were so lost and confused on what their next move was to help their son. The noises continued in their home and then moved on to just their son alone. The Rev eventually started to pray with the son in his church rather than at his home. The praying didn’t seem to be working and strange happenings continued to the young boy. The boy’s bed continued to shake and vibrate. Terrifying him to go to sleep at night. Later on the Rev decided to switch angles on what was going on in this home. Was the house haunted, or the boy? The Rev came up with the idea to let the boy sleep at his house in a bed next to him so he could monitor him and see if he could determine if there was something that followed the boy. It didn’t take long for his answer. Once they had retired to twin beds and started to sleep the rev was startled by the boy’s bed creaking and shaking. Later scratching noises were to follow. The rev documented everything and stated that the boy was moving in a way that would cause the bed to shake. Eventually the rev had the boy sleep on the floor for his own safety. Since the above incident the boy started to become attacked and his family was able to witness the attacks. Bloody scratches became visible on the boy and again the parents thought maybe the aunt was involved and tried to make contact with her spirit. The mother had a list of request she wanted from the aunt, such as knocking so many times if it was her. The mother asked the aunt if she was there to knock three times and they were convinced they got an answer with 3 knocks. They continued the conversation and were happy that they were getting the responses that they asked for; convincing them it was the aunt. Soon the floor started shaking and that convinced the family that the aunt had nothing to do with this conversation. Eventually the boy was labeled a victim of poltergeist behavior. And he received a label of being a troubled boy. The Rev called in an investigator (Mr.Rhines) who was the founder of parapsychology at Duke University. He and his wife drove up to check out the boy’s story. They came to the conclusion that it did appear from all the info that they were given that it was a typical case of poltergeist actions that surrounded this boy. Nothing dramatic occurred while the Rhines were in the house but shortly after worse events started to happen. Even more bloody scratches began to appear on the young boy. The Rev decided it was time to call in the Catholic Church, and so the family did. Edward Albert Hughes was the assistant pastor at the time and was a little hesitant to get involved with such a dramatic case. He did however agree to sit and meet with the boy and was quite surprised when the boy spoke to him with a Latin tongue, a language the pastor did not know. And with that one visit Edward decided to contact the archbishop and seek permission to conduct an exorcism. During this exorcism the boy continued to speak in tongue while he thrashed his body around and went into a trance like state. The boy was put into restraints which didn’t last long, eventually he was too powerful to hold down and got himself out of the restraints and went after the priest. This is where the story ends only because after I have read several articles and stories about this case have I realized along with many others that there are parts of this story that could be false and made up. There are records of the young boy being hospitalized during the time of the exorcism but no records of this pastor performing it. Some believe that this story may in fact be so true that people are too scared to talk about it for fear they will place themselves under the same circumstances this young boy went through. While others just claim this is plain silliness and that this young boy was just a victim of his parent’s evil beliefs. There are records and apparently documents in a diary that do account for this story. So you are probably wondering what happened to the young boy? Well, once the parents were able to start communicating with the entity that surrounded their son, it was the strangest thing it told the parents what to do via scratches on their son. The family agreed they should move and were considering St. Louis when the young boy received the message Louis on his chest in scratches. The parents also discussed the possibility of sending their son to school and the word NO appeared on the son’s wrist. However the mother insisted on trying and believed that they did rid the entity at one point because of their continuous prayers and lighting of candles along with holy water, and the young boy attended school. Later the young boy was removed from school around 1949 because his desk refused to stay put during class. The young boy had moved several times to different relatives before the ever popular exorcism had been performed that researchers are unable to be accurately decide on his whereabouts up until the exorcism. Just one last thing here is a comment from a fellow that attended school with the young boy. He said that “we were in the eighth grade and we were in class together at Bladensburg Junior High. He was sitting in a chair and it was one of those deals with one arm attached and it looked like he was shaking the desk – the desk was shaking and vibrating extremely fast and I remember the teacher yelling at him to stop and I remember he kind of yelled back “I’m not doing it!” and they took him out of class and that was the last I ever saw him in school…. I don’t know if he was doing it or what was doing it because I can’t get it clear in my mind. It was very close-mouthed in the neighborhood at first – no one knew anything. I hadn’t seen him in some time and I was wondering what happened to him. I would still see his father around and I remember going to his house and his German grandmother came out and she could barely speak English and she told me he was in St. Louis visiting relatives and would not be back for awhile. He hadn’t been in school and from what I saw I knew something strange was going on but I didn’t know what. When that Washington Post article came out later that summer, I knew from the details it was him.” And from here the classic movie The Exorcist came to be.


Haunted Locations: Montana

Old Montana State Prison
Deer Lodge, Montana
During the gold rush in the mid 1800s, Deer Lodge, Montana was overrun by prospectors, along with thieves, murderers and gamblers. To control the criminal element there was a gang of vigilantes that bestowed upon themselves the responsibility of maintaining law and order with guns and ropes. This went on for years but by 1860 a more respectable and less violent system had to be put into place. Approval was given for the construction of a prison and The Montana State Prison was born. Built by contractors and the very criminals that it would hold, the prison opened its doors on July 2, 1871. The prison filled quickly with all sorts of different criminals and many of them died behind the prison walls. In 1979 the prison was closed and the prisoners were transferred to another facility. A year after closing its doors to convicts the prison reopened for the public as a museum. Since that day there have been a number of paranormals encounters throughout the old building and many people believe that some inmates never left. The most common claim of paranormal activity is the sound of heavy footsteps marching along the cellblock corridor. There have also been numerous reports of disembodied voices that can be heard. Some people also claim that when in the solitary confinement there is something there that pushes them and they can also hear a strange whispering.