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2011 Archive

In recent weeks it has come to my attention that certain parties are using my ghost stories and those of my contributors as references for their own commercial enterprises.  If you or someone you know is writing a book on ghosts in the Pacific Northwest, PLEASE DO NOT!!! copy or use the following stories or any other materials within this website as references.  

Jefferson Davis (25 April 2003)

 

  

Here are some buttons which will take you to an archive copy of the last  years of the "What's New" section I began in 2001.

 

Link Added to Ghosts!  Are they Real?  Posted 19 February 2011

Link Added to Paranormal Occult Research Society  Added 19 February 2011

Link Added to North Sound Paranormal Research Society  Added 19 February 2011

Link Added to International Paranormal Reporting Group  Added 19 February 2011

Link Added to Bridgetown Paranormal  Added 19 February 2011

 

What Cost Fame?  What People Will Do to Get on TV  Posted 22 February 2011

Ghost Boxes.  Spirit Communication of Hokum?  Posted 22 February 2011

Other Northwest Ghost Hunters Try To Shine  Posted 22 February 2011

Seattle Museum of Mysteries Moves and Changes Names Posted 22 February 2011:

Norwescon 34 Schedule Posted 17 April 2011

England Working Holiday 2011 Posted 17 April 2011

Hampton Court Ghosts?

Hampton Court's Robed Figure Photographs 

Taunton 

Glastonbury and the Chalice Well

The Angel Posting House and Livery Hotel, Guildford

A Paranormal Conference in Portland  Again!!!  Posted 18 April 2011

Clinical Hypnosis Posted 28 April 2011

The Peculiarium Opens  Posted 2 May 2011

Ghosts Clearing Assistance Link Posted October 2012

 

 

Links to Videos at Youtube Posted 30 January 2010

I have participated in some interesting, and less interesting projects over the past few years.  I have some links on this website to some very low resolution videos here on this website.  I have had some feedback from folks wanting larger images, especially of the firewalk.  So please visit my selection on Youtube  If the link does not work, my profile is named:  ghostguy01.  I have about a dozen videos posted on a variety of subjects.  They include:

Why Firewalk?

Visit Bruce and Brandon Lee's Graves

The Spouting Horn Restaurant in Depoe Bay

Gravity Hill near Prosser, WA

Visit to Stonehenge in the Gorge

Weird Washington Greetings

Interviews on Weird Washington

 

 

Link Added to Ghosts!  Are they Real?  Added 19 February 2011

 

Hello:  My name is Martin Burns and I am the owner/webmaster of Ghosts! Are they real?  It is an open minded skeptics view of the paranormal and ghosts.  The URL of the site is http://www.openmindedskeptic.net/ .  The reason I am contacting you is to request a link exchange.  If you are open to a link exchange I have included my information

Title:  Ghosts! Are they real?   URL:  http://www.openmindedskeptic.net

Description:  An open minded skeptics view of the paranormal and ghosts, what they may be and if there is any danger to the living.

Link Added to Paranormal Occult Research Society  Added 19 February 2011

PORT Used to operate outside the Pacific Northwest, but have opened operations here as well.

 

Link Added to North Sound Paranormal Research Society  Added 19 February 2011

  

North Sound Paranormal Research Society have had some interesting cases.

 

Link Added to International Paranormal Reporting Group  Added 19 February 2011

Hello. My name is Kelly and I’m with the International Paranormal Reporting Group (formerly the Idaho Spirit Seekers) headquartered in Nampa, Idaho.

I noticed that you have a link for the Idaho Spirit Seekers on your website. We have changed our name and were wondering if you could please update your website to our new name (The International Paranormal Reporting Group) and link it to our new website address, http://www.iprgc.com (you can confirm this change, if needed, by visiting our website). We currently have teams in both Idaho and Oregon if you list your links by state. Attached is a banner if you would like to use it.

Thank you for your time and also for having us on your website. We very much appreciate it.

Sincerely,
Kelly
Media and Promotions Representative
The International Paranormal Reporting Group
A TAPS Family Member
IPRG Website
Facebook
Myspace 
Twitter

 

Link Added to Bridgetown Paranormal  Added 19 February 2011

Hi Jeff/Janine,

I recently attended the Spirits of Historic Oregon City event and visited your booth where I bought your book entitled A Haunted Tour Guide to the Pacific Northwest.  I've purchased several other titles written by you, also and have enjoyed reading them immensely.  I mentioned to Janine while at the event that I was a member of Bridgetown Paranormal Research and was going to do a small write-up on our site about the event.  I've finished and published the article (Spirits of Historic Oregon City) to http://www.bridgetownpara.com (Bridgetown Paranormal Research) and wanted to let you know that I did mention you guys within it.  I also included a link to your site.

I'd like to know if you would consider putting a link to our site on your Links page under Northwest Ghost Hunters.  We do currently have a link to your site on our Links page (in addition to the link in my article).

Many regards,
Jamison

 

Want to be on Television?  Added 19 February 2011

I received the following email from a television show highlighting the paranormal.  I cannot vouch for these folks, but if you are interested in being on a televisin show highlighting your paranormal experiences, think about contacting them.

Do you have a ghost story to share?

 

Hi,

 

Please let me introduce myself.  My name is Ralph Andrews and I am one of the

segment producers for the new television series entitled:

 

MY GHOST STORY

 

It is seen coast to coast on the A&E Bio Network on Saturday evenings,

at different times.  Check your local station.  It varies in certain markets.

We are getting wonderful ratings.  Our format is simple.  We search

for people who have actually seen a ghost and have film and video to back it up. 

 

If you fall into this category, please call me, toll free, at the following number:

 

1-866-476-5947

 

Or email me at:  ralph@mppt.tv

 

I look forward to hearing from you.

 Ralph Andrews,

What Cost Fame: What Will People  Do to Get on TV?  Posted 22 February 2011

It is fitting that I am writing this commentary just below the add, requesting people to submit themselves and their haunts to be on television.   October of 2010 I exchanged emails with a woman representing a paranormal investigating team based out of Longview, Washington.  She asked a few questions, made some comments and then told me the most important reason she emailed me.  She said that she and her group had investigated a very prominent historic home which was also very haunted.  A second paranormal group had more or less bribed the owners to allow them exclusive rights to investigate there.  And to also allow a television show to film there.  The woman wanted to know my opinion, and asked if I had heard of this second group:  AGHOST. [Before anyone emails AGHOST, please read the rest of this post.]

I was somewhat shocked to read her comments, and have mixed feelings.  In the past I have both been involved in conflicts and mediated conflicts by paranormal groups who felt that they had exclusive territorial rights to ghost hunt in certain cities or individual properties.  I have found most of these claims to be greedy.  After all, if the haunt is public property, everyone's taxes pay for the upkeep, and they are open for all to enjoy.  If the property is  privately owned, the owners decide who and what happens there.  Including allowing as many, or as few ghost hunters on their property as they (the owners) want.  Having said that, I know some ghost hunters use pretty unsavory tricks to gain access to some sites, and to keep people they feel are competition out. Especially to get on television.  Which gets me to my question What will people do to get on TV?

I have been on national television a time or two, as well as regional television and radio broadcasts.  It can be frightening and exhilarating.  I know a lot of other ghost hunters who are just as skilled as I am who have not.  And they want and deserve to be on television.  Some want too much.  Why would most people do almost anything for their 15 minutes of fame?  I understand that there is a waiting list of people to appear on the Jerry Springer show too.  So what standards should people have when dealing with ghost hunting on television?

I receive a few emails and phone calls from some of the established television shows, and some producers trying to put a show together.  They want something different, and yet similar enough to the existing shows to appeal to an established audience.  Talk about contradictions.  They are also up against hard deadlines, and used to floating ideas, and cutting their losses quickly if things do not work out immediately.  So they encourage ghost hunters they are talking to; to cut out any competition; to gain exclusive access to that ONE special haunt, whatever the cost.  However, if their own executives decide even that is not enough, the producer is willing to drop the ghost hunters who did the dirty work.  And no hard feelings.  They work in a cut-throat world themselves, moving from project to project, hoping for a big break.  I do know one producer who is very honorable and decent, who gave me a few words of advice.

He said once, "Jeff, you will know they are serious when they tell you they are flying out, and give you the reservation information for their plane fights AND which hotel they are staying at."  And he is right.  I have spoken with some of these producers who promised me a chance to help them.  And they actually flew out here, but did not tell me where they were staying.  A friend of mine helped plan a television show, hoping to be one of the team members.  The producers made him fly out and pay his own way, while working with them.  Is it surprising that he did not get on the show?   So, when a producer contacts me, I treat them with the same respect I would anyone.  I will talk to them for an hour; perhaps two if the conversation interests me.  Then I ask for either credit on the show, or more importantly, pay.  That way I know they are serious.  The answer is usually no, and we part ways.

I do not have my own television show.  But if someone offered me one, I would probably take the offer.  I hope I would hold out for a show I could be proud of.  So if anyone reading this has an opportunity to be on television, please consider what will happen if you after the show airs.  Will the price you paid to be famous for a few minutes be worth it?

As far as the situation the group in Longview and AGHOST.  I contacted Ross Allison, the founder and President of AGHOST and put him in touch with the other folks.  He had no knowledge of anyone from his group being on television or working in Longview.  Was there really another group?  Did the owners mistake and pass on bad information?  None of us knows for sure.  To see the exchange, please follow this link to my "other peoples ghosts" section.  

 

Ghost Boxes.  Spirit Communication of Hokum?  Posted 22 February 2011

Below my comments is an email exchange between myself and two other paranormal investigators about the latest fad in ghost hunting, spiricom boxes.  These devices are known by many names.  Basically these devices contain some kind of radio/radiation receiver that picks up energy signals and turns them into words or sounds using some kind of software package.  I am a bit skeptical of these things.  Does anyone have any factual, technical explanation of how these things work?  Please let me know:

 

  Email Jeff 

 

Hi Peaches and Jeff :
 
Im writing to get your input on a ghost box..  I made a Radio Shack hack, but have had nothing but problems with it.  There is so much noise, that it is unuseable.

I was watching an episode of "Ghost Adventures" the other day, and noticed that their Spiricom box was amazing. I got to thinking about my hack, and realized what the problem is...My hack is not scanning fast enough.  Whereas the Spiricom box scanner switches about 4 times per second, my hack switches about 2 times per second, resulting in the speaker getting just enough signal to broadcast the station that it switches to.

I hope I explained myself  good enough for you to understand.... Anyway, Sethyn told me that you have pretty good results with your Ghost Box ( Jeff ), and I am curious how yours works, too Peaches. Can either one of you recommend a brand/model to me??  I wanna check around some, but it helps a bunch when people are happy enough with their product to recommend it...
 
Thanks All....
 Neon Don the Ghost Hunter.....
C.C.C.P.  ( Clark County Couples Paranormal) is now C.C.P.I. 
( Clark County Paranormal Investigators )
We are frequently updating our website !!
http://spirithunters.home.comcast.net
C.C.P.I. is now on MySpace !!!
http://www.myspace.com/519423292

HI Don,
I have been suspicious of the ghost boxes myself.  I have had a hard problem with it's ability to discriminate between different phonemes to produce a language.  Have you noticed on tv that the ghosts in Europe all speak English?

 Jeff

They speak English, because they know they are on TV..ha ha...I almost never watch those shows anymore..I have a "credibility " issue..
I have seen some potentially good Ghost Box modifications, but it is always better to consider something that another may recommend.
Peaches suggested one that I've had my eye on for a couple years now..
Thanks for getting back to me anyway...Happy Hunting
 
NDTGH

 

Other Northwest Ghost Hunters Try To Shine  Posted 22 February 2011

Below is a press release on one of the Portland/Vancouver groups trying to atttract the attention of larger production companies and perhaps highlight the paranormal heritage of the Pacific Northwest.

From the Columbian, November 2010

Greyson Proctor and E. James Omelina of Vancouver’s Infinity Point Studio are delving into the world of paranormal investigations.  Proctor, 37, and Omelina, 32, are teaming up with the local Ghost Haunting Observational Scientific Team, or GHOST, to shine a spotlight on paranormal investigations in the Northwest as part of a television series in development.

So far they have filmed GHOST investigating a Ridgefield property and Kenton Station in North Portland, both suspected of being haunted.  Proctor and Omelina want the focus of their show to be on Northwest history and the technical aspects of paranormal investigations, as well as on the GHOST personalities.

“One of the key draws of the show is the people involved on the investigative team,” Proctor said.  He and Omelina plan to film six episodes of their show, then shop it around to networks.  This isn’t their first joint effort. The two also worked together on “Main Street Quiz,” a quiz show filmed live at Pop Culture in Uptown Village.

 

 Seattle Museum of Mysteries Moves and Changes Names Posted 22 February 2011:

The following is a press release from Philip and Charlotte, whose dream has been to explore everything from bigfoot to UFOs to Ghosts.  They moved at the beginning of 2011 to a brand new location.  Their new name is, the Northwest Museum of Legends and Lore.  Here is their press release:

Happy New Year to  everyone!

This last year was an amazing year of changes, with moving from Broadway and Union to the new INSCAPE Building in the Intl. District. thanks to Randy Richter of the World's Fair Preservation Society we partnered with to organizing the 2010 Capitol Hill Pride Festival.  We didn't make Seattle Center but our new digs in a front room of the former INS building gives us a high visibility. We will have a lot of excitement and changes in 2011.

 First we are changing our name to "Northwest Museum of Legends and Lore" You can see our new logo on our website, www.seattlechatclub.org.   We feel  this reflects our mission in a clearer way.

Have a prosperous New Year
Charlette LeFevre and Philip Lipson
Northwest Museum of Legends and Lore
816 Airport Way across the street from Uwajimaya near Quest Field)
Call to buzz door open: 206-523-6458

Norwescon 34 Schedule updated 17 April  2011

Norwescon, the Northwest Science Fiction Convention is happening from  21 to 24 April 2011 and I will be there.  Fortunately for me, Weird Washington and Oregon have been fairly successful because of people who love the weird and this is reflected in the Con.  There are several panels or discussions on the weird and paranormal.  Here is my schedule:

Friday   Noon     Cascade 10          Fringe: Paranormal investigations in SF television

Fringe is one of the most imaginative and outstanding science fiction dramas on American television. It is also the latest in a long line of similar programs, using investigative individuals to explore the world of science fiction, horror, and the paranormal—on both sides of the Atlantic. Using Fringe as a focus, but including such antecedents as The X-Files, Kolchak: The Night Stalker, Strange World, The Omega Factor, and Sea of Souls, we ask why the investigation format works so well,  and which series and episodes did it best.

Chris Nilsson, Durlyn, Marie D. Jones, Jeff Davis  

 

Friday   6pm       Cascade 4            Supernatural /vs/ Sci-Fi

More and more, the entertainment industry is producing television shows and films that are supernatural in nature, but are calling them science fiction. Are they really? Or is the industry “copping out” and trying to get around having to come up with legitimate science fiction shows? Why are the directors and writers skirting around the science issues instead of addressing them?

David A. Page, Julie McGalliard, Erik Owomoyela, Jeff Davis  

 

Saturday   10am                Cascade 9            Why is the Paranormal so Popular?

On every television network you now find programs dedicated to paranormal research. It has become a very popular topic in today’s society.  Come discuss your favorite shows, and those that leave a lot to be desired.  Which shows make the grade, and which do not?

Jeff Davis, Marie D. Jones, Durlyn  

 

Saturday   5pm  Cascade 10          “Reality” Paranormal Television and its Effects on the Field

With shows such as Paranormal State, Ghost Hunters, Ghost Adventures, Most Haunted, and others out there that currently exist, or are in process of being created, we wonder if these shows help the field of paranormal investigation, or hinder it.  Come and share your thoughts and opinions.

Durlyn, Marie D. Jones, Jeff Davis  

Sunday Event AKA Paranormal Fair  10 am – 2 pm Grand 3

This event is a not-for-profit event for all participants.  This means we will not be selling anything, but answering questions, perhaps making presentations, and in general hanging out, meeting the public.  Here is the blurb sent out by the Orycon organizers.

Curious about ghosts, ESP, strange occurrences and odd artifacts?  Interested in Tarot or psychic reading?  Want to know more about Palmistry or Shamanism?  Then come to the Paranormal Fair on Sunday in Grand 3 where we have esteemed guests who will provide interesting information about many things outside of your average daily experience!  Please check out their websites and come prepared to be amazed!  Some of our awesome participants include:

Washington State Paranormal Investigations and Research http://wspir.com/ i

A.G.H.O.S.T. (Advanced Ghost Hunters of Seattle-Tacoma) http://www.aghost.us/

Jeff Davis, Author of Weird Washington http://www.weirdwashington.us/

The Northwest Museum of Legends and Lore http://www.seattlechatclub.org/museum.html

Philemon of Elemental Entertainment http://www.elementalentertainment.com/Elemental_Entertainment/Welcome.html

The Seattle Metaphysical Library http://www.seattlemetaphysicallibrary.org/

Tom Hopp, Shamanism Researcher http://thomas-hopp.com

Mylee Starhawk, Channeling psychic and teacher of Shamanism

Carol Best, Psychic

Galyna Whyteowl, Divination

Dixie Gaspard, Pagan Priestess and Tarot reader

For more details, follow this link:  

 

England Working Holiday 2011 Posted 17 April 2011

As readers who have visited this website know, I lived nearly a year in England, while working on my Master's Degree in Archaeology.  Every year or two, or three, I try to return to renew ties with my old friends.  As I have done this, I have made new friends, who I try to stay in contact with.  I have been amazed at how many of my friends, who got advanced degrees in archaeology, are now doing something else.  And how many have been able to keep working.  I am proud I have known these people as I learn of their accomplishments.  It is humbling sometimes.

This year, the Ghost Club asked me to be their guest speaker for their March 2011 meeting.  I consider this quite an honor, since they have been around since the 1860s.  Some past members have included Charles Dickens, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Sigfried Sassoon, Harry Price, and many, many free thinkers and scientists.  After attending some of the Ghost Club's current meetings, I am just as impressed with the caliber of their present membership.  What more can I say, it was an  honor.  They seemed to enjoy my talk.  The subject was, how American reality shows on ghost hunting have affected the techniques employed by other paranormalists across the country.  I was afraid that the Ghost Club Members had already seen these shows, since many are world travelers.  Fortunately for me (and them) they do not get most of the cable channels airing in the United States.  They just have to contend with the English show, Most Haunted.  The presentation went well.  It was standing room only in the back, and no one came up later and slapped me in the face for making fun of their favorite show.  Even it is was - Extreme Paranormal!  Which fortunately was cancelled after a few episodes.

Since this was a working holiday, we visited several places for a new book, Famous Haunts of Britain and America. If anyone wants to let me stay at their famous  haunt, please let me know.  Below are some of the unique places we visited.

 

 

Hampton Court Ghosts?

In March 2011, my wife and I returned to England to meet with friends, and visit a few haunts and other sacred sites in the Isles.  Our first stop was at the Borough of Richmond on the Thames, where we stayed at a reputably haunted Inn as well as visited  Hampton Court Palace.

The King’s Arms Hotel is about a fifteen-minute walk from the Hampton Court Railway Station.  It’s a bit shorter walk, if you go through the grounds of the Palace.  It is located near the Lion’s Gate. The hotel sign says it opened in 1709, though the front of the building dates to the 1600s.  The back wall of the hotel actually forms one of the perimeter wall surrounding Hampton Court itself. The ground floor of the hotel and common room look like there has not been much changed since then.  By that, I mean that it looks charming and… quaint.  Quaint is a word that the English do not like to hear from Americans, but it fits here.  We ate dinner there, and enjoyed the nighttime light provided by the candles they used, as well as the overhead lights.

 

The upstairs, where the guest rooms are located is fairly modern and light.  We enjoyed our own bathroom with heated towel rack, and television.  The room was 55 Pounds a night, or about $80, which included a full English breakfast.  The breakfast was very good though I still have trouble eating baked beans for breakfast.  However, I ate every bit.  Waste Not Want Not.  The wifi did not work as well as promised.  I had to take my computer to the ground floor to get reception.  Though I think Janine would not have changed rooms.  Our room overlooked the Lion’s Gate and she enjoyed the view, when she stood on her tiptoes.  The window was a bit high.

I booked the hotel online.  Although the hotel website did not specifically say so, I asked for their haunted room.  Depending on the hotel owners, they consider being haunted a selling point.  Others do not.  In this case, the Innkeeper stated, ‘every room is haunted.’  However, he did not have any stories to tell, nor did any of the staff., and nothing paranormal happened to us.

Here is their website: http://hamptoncourthotel.com

 

In the 16th Century, Catholic Cardinal Wolsey built Hampton Court Palace for himself.  Wolsey was a favorite advisor and courtier to King Henry VIII, until King Henry wanted to divorce his wife, and Wolsey could not get him a divorce.  He quickly fell out of favor, which ironically, is how he came to possess the land where he built the palace.

An aerial view of the palace complex

In 1514, Wolsey purchased the land and existing buildings where Hampton Court now stands. It had belonged to a group of crusader knights, the Order of St John of Jerusalem.  By the 1500s, with the crusades over, many European monarchs turned on orders like the Kinghts Templar, and confiscated their assets.  While the Knights of St. John were not purged, their influence in England was waning in the early 1500s.  So Wolsey began working on his showpiece.  It took him seven years, and 200,000 gold crowns to complete Hampton Court.  The first courtyard was called the Base Court, which had 44 rooms and apartments for visitors.  The second courtyard or second court is known today as the Clock Court.  It had lodgings for Wolsey and his most important guests, including state apartments for the royal family.  King Henry VIII stayed there in 1525.  The third interior courtyard is the Fountain Court, and it was added much later, during massive renovations.

Wolsey only lived and held his own power court there for a few years after that.  After failing to get King Henry his divorce, Wolsey gave the king Hampton Court in 1528 as a gift.  It did not work;  in 1529, King Henry sent for Wolsey for one last meeting.  Wolsey is said to have died of fright before he could see King Henry.  Soon after that, King Henry moved his court to the Hampton Palace, and it became the seat of England’s monarchs for several centuries.  The last king to hold court there was King George II.  Upon his coronation in the late 1700s, King George the III left Hampton Court.  In those centuries, and afterward, English monarchs and courtiers built, demolished, added on and in general created a vast mazelike building complex of over 1,000 rooms, surrounded by several gardens. 

 

Front view of Hampton Court.  The oldest parts are the pinkish red brick.

 

Oddly, it is still a royal palace, even though the royal family do not live there.  Over the years, the English monarchy established a custom called, Grace and Favor.  When a person performed special services for the monarchy, such as soldiers in war, they, or their family were granted apartments at Hampton Court.  I understand that there are a few Grace and Favor apartments still used at Hampton Court.  All I can say about that custom is, COOL!

Having set the stage, let me talk about the ghosts at Hampton Court.  There are supposed to be several seen, felt, or heard over the years.  A large organization looks over Hampton Court today, maintaining the buildings and grounds, guiding tours, staffing kitchens and gift shops and so on.  I asked at the information desk about ghosts.  I had thought that this would be a ghost hunter friendly environment.  Their website mentioned palace ghost walks, and the website suggested picking up a small pamphlet to take a self-guided tour, looking for spirits.  I was a bit surprised at the docent’s reactions.

The look she gave me was sort of pained, as if I had asked whether the place had plumbing problems or rodents in the corner.  She was very polite, but told me that she did not believe in ghosts, and could not help me very much.  She seemed surprised that I did find a copy of the little tour guide.  It seems that the people at Hampton Court are trying to limit the talk of ghosts there.  She was nice though, and put me in touch with one of the other docents.

His name was Alex, or Andrew, or some other name that I am not going to tell you.  I do not want to get him too much unwanted attention or pestering.  The gentleman I spoke with had been working at Hampton Court for many years.  He knew many details about the building and its past occupants that people with advanced history degrees did not.  I watched him speak with different tourists about the palace, switching from one time period to the next, without losing his place or thought.

I cannot quote him directly, but I will try to summarize the situation, based on our conversation.  Basically, he and everyone who work at Hampton Court are either tenants or employees of the Royal Family.  And while past monarchs like Henry VIII are not direct ancestors of the current queen, they are cousins and Queen Elisabeth II is very concerned about image.  Not trying to hide any truths, but the royal family has a certain sense of dignity, and modern ghost hunting and some of its television practitioners can be very un-dignified.  They do not want to mix with the likes of Extreme Paranormal! or other shows.  And frankly, I do not blame them.  There is such a thing as ghost hunting with dignity.

 

 

There are supposed to be nine ghosts at Hampton Court.

The first ghost is 'the Man in Red.'  In 1956, there was a live orchestral performance outside of Hampton Court.  Several people saw a figure in red standing near the gatehouse entrance.  Some people believe this is the ghost of Cardinal Wolsey, who wore red as part of his church costume.

 

The second ghost was seen on the inside of the courtyard, which is known as Base Court.  In the 1830s, the Ponsoby family lived in apartments above the southwest corner of the courtyard.  They complained that they heard the sound of what sounded like a spinning wheel operating, through the wall of their apartment.  They thought this was a solid wall.  Sometimes they heard the sound of a woman's voice along with the spinning wheel.  When this happened, sometimes the guard in the courtyard saw a woman dressed in a grey robe or hood walking around.  Once, Princess  Frederica of Hanover saw the ghostly woman wearing a grey hood, standing over her bed.  After doing some research, and deconstructing, the palace authorities found that there was a blocked up room behind the wall where the Ponsoby's heard the sounds.

According to palace records and legends, the room had belonged to Mrs. Sybil Penn, who was nursemaid to Edward VI, Henry the VIII's son.  In 1568, smallpox swept through England and Hampton Court.  Edward survived the plague, but not Mrs. Penn. She died, and was buried in a fancy crypt in the nearby cemetery.  In 1829, lightning struck the church and damaged her crypt.  Someone opened the crypt and disturbed her bones.  This coincided with the sound of spinning and sighting of the apparition.  Oh, inside the sealed room, they found a spinning wheel.

 

 

The north wall of the Base Court has another gate, leading into what is known as the Clock Court.  The clock is older than Hampton Court, and was brought there during its construction.  Three ghosts have been reported in Clock Court.  All near the northwest and west rooms of the court.

In the 1980s and 1990s, visitors entering  the Information Center reported seeing a white cat standing or sleeping near the entrance to the center.  Some of the visitors mentioned this to the staff, who were surprised, saying there was not a white palace cat.  It is fitting that a ghostly dog has also been seen nearby, around the northwest corner of the court.   In the 1990s, several visitors reported seeing a mixed breed dog near the King's Staircase.  It has not been seen recently.

The third ghost was seen most recently.  The western portion of the court has several rooms, converted into museum displays of King William III's State Apartments.  In 2003, an alarmed door went off when it opened three times.  Once, close circuit televisions captured the image of a robed figure.  I will talk about this in more detail later.

 

Clock Court opens into a third courtyard, known as Fountain Court.  The original Tudor style construction facing the court has been modified, though inside, much of the original construction remains.  Some of the ghosts haunting there are both Tudor and of later origin as well.  

A certain Lady Hildyard lived in apartments in the northwest corner of  Fountain Court.  She reported at least two unseen visitors within her apartments, knocking about and making other noises.  After some time, workmen came to repair some drains.  They found the mangled bodies of two men.  Based on Palace lore, these bones could have been two Cavaliers, men who supported King Charles I, during the English Civil War.  They died in fighting nearby, and were secretly buried at Hampton Court.  

Fountain Court opens at the north, to the Formal Garden.  In the early 1900s, a respected police officer saw a ghostly procession leave Fountain Court and walk through the garden.  He watched them for some time, until the procession disappeared.  

At the west side Fountain Court, there are several staircases and apartments dating to the 1500s.  This is where the more famous ghosts have been seen.  The King's Staircase leaves the Royal Apartments and empties into Fountain Court.  A ghostly woman in white has been seen many times in the 1800s and 1900s by visitors and staff alike.  She walks down the King's Staircase to the courtyard and walks into Clock Court before she disappears.   Many people believe this is Jane Seymour.  Jane Seymour was probably Henry VIII's favorite wife.  She was young, vivacious, and loved him.  She gave birth to his  only legitimate  son, and died before she could disappoint him by any later indiscretions or failures.  She gave birth to Edward VI at Hampton Court, and died a few days later.  Probably of 'childbed fever,' the name given to  peritonitis transmitted to the mother by the doctor's dirty hands.   

The last ghost haunting Hampton Court is supposed to be that of Catherine Howard, another of Henry VIII's wives.  Her crime, on paper, was committing adultery against the king.  That was considered treason in those days.  She committed another crime.  She did not give him a male heir.  According to Hampton Court legend, Catherine and Henry were both at Hampton Court when he had her arrested.  She escaped from the courtiers who arrested her, and ran down to the Chapel Royal, where Henry was attending services.  From the stairs (now gone) she ran screaming down the gallery toward the chapel, where they eventually caught her, and  dragged Catherine Howard away.

In the 18th and 19th Century, many people reported seeing a woman in white floating or running down the stairs and gallery, toward the chapel.  Several people stated the woman had long hair and wore an ornate ring.  Some compared the ring to one shown on a painting in the palace.  This painting was supposed to be that of Catherine Howard.  Unfortunately, there are some  historic wrinkles that spoil elements of this legend.

According to some historians, King Henry was not at Hampton Court when Catherine Howard was arrested.   And the painting, now gone, may not have been that of Catherine Howard.  Thirdly, the ghost was only seen in the 19th century, and apparently the palace staff heard of it, and tried fitting a story to explain it, not the other way around.  So this may not have been the ghost of Catherine Howard.  But even if this is not the ghost of a former queen, whose ghost is it?  That makes this apparition more interesting.

More on the ghostly robed figure...

 

Hampton Court's Robed Figure Photographs  Posted 19 April 2011

The following article is from the pamphlet given out at the Hampton Court Visitor's Centre, entitled Is the palace haunted? 

Location:  Introductory Exhibition

As seen by:  CCTV cameras

Event:  In October 2003, security staff went to investigate when the alarm on the fire doors behind the model of William II's State Apartments was triggered (NB:  Please do not approach these doors).  When they reached the exhibition, the fire doors were open, but there was no one there.  When they checked the CCTV camera footage, they saw the doors flying open, but, oddly, no one was there.  The next day, the alarm went off again, but when they got there, the doors were shut.  Then things got really spooky; the CCTV footage showed the doors opening as before, but then, a mysterious robed figure walked through the doorway before slamming the doors shut.  Then, on the day after that, the alarm went off again, but on this occasion the CCTV again showed no-one there.

 

When this happened, there was a great amount of interest in the ghost hunting community as well as the press.  It seemed to some, that this was finally proof positive that there were ghosts.  However, skeptics quickly said it was some kind of hoax.  In the years since this series of events, no one has proved that this was a deliberate fraud on the part of the Hampton Court officials or a third party.  I believe that the officials at Hampton Court certainly did not fake these photographs as a fraud.  They absolutely did not want the  negative publicity this event has caused over the years.  I understand they allowed one televised paranormal investigation of the palace, which was turned into some kind of media frenzy.  The investigators seemed to have already made up their minds, before they arrived.  The Palace staff noted that their stories were either discounted or altered for television.  I think it will be a long while before Hampton Court officials allow another investigation.  As far as a third party creating a hoax, I do not think this likely either.  If this was a spur of the moment prank, I am sure the people who faked it would have come forward to claim their 15 seconds of fame.  This has not happened.  If it was done for money, no one has cashed in yet.  In the years since this event happened, no one has come forward with a definitive, Ghostly Hampton Court book, or video.  Though there is still a great amount of interest.

The CCTV camera did not take a continuous movie of any of the three times the door was opened.

Looking at the fire door from inside the palace

The parking lot camera was operating before and after the three incidents, and not tied to the alarm when the fire doors opened.  The camera took a series of photographs, one every few seconds, I do not know the interval.  After the alarm went off, the investigators simply rolled the film or digital images backward in time, to coincide with the time the doors opened.  The picture at the top of this article is one of seven or eight taken by the camera on the second incident.  Remember, the first time the doors opened, and the third time, no one appeared in any photographs.  Several organizations put these images together into a .gif movie showing the sequence of events.

The first frame shows the doors shut.  Then they swing open with some force.  There is a figure in the background of the exit corridor.  The figure steps forward and holds onto the door.  It tried closing the doors.  These particular doors latch together in a certain sequence, and the figure closed the wrong door first.  So it had to open both doors again, and close and latch them in the proper sequence.  This ended the sequence of photographs.

 

The alarm sensors are so sensitive, I was warned not to get too close to the doors.

I have included the .gif graphic below.  I hope it downloads properly and plays.  The resolution is bad, and several other photos have problems with digital enhancement.  Which is one of the problems, as different people have tried analyzing the photographs, software errors have only made things more complicated.  I will have to leave the analysis to you.

 

Taunton Posted 19 April 2011

Taunton is a the largest 'shire town' in  Somerset County.  Whatever that means.  It borders other counties as well as being close to Cornwall and Wales, which some people consider separate countries.  Archaeologists have found settlement remains from the Bronze and Iron Ages.  The Romans established, or settled in a village not too far away.  When the Saxons conquered this part of the country, they settled in the area.  Taunton was so important that they established a mint, fortress and and church buildings.  The name Taunton comes from the older name, Town on the River Tone, or Tone Town.  A part of the river-canal network still flows through town, and there is a great river walk, which follows the river through town.  This trail was a shortcut from the train station to our hotel.  

Most of Southeast England is accessible by rail.  Heading out to Southwest England is a bit different.  You need to have a car, or find a base of operations where you can travel by bus or bicycle.  Taunton was recommended by various sources.  While not famous in ancient times, Taunton is the gateway to King Arthur country, and early Christianity in the British Isles.  I did not expect this, but it is as expensive, if not more expensive to stay in Southwest England in summer than it is in London.  Many English tourists who do not vacation overseas stay on the southern coast.  We enjoyed ourselves there and in Taunton, but did not have any paranormal experiences there.

Apparently we arrived a bit too early for the ghosts at Taunton Castle.  

Today the Castle complex is open as a museum, as well as a hotel.  They were completing the final pre-tourist season maintenance at the museum when we arrived.  According to some, an apparition appears at the foot of the stairs in the portion of the castle that now houses the museum.  It is an extraordinary spirit, a man wearing a Carolinian outfit, including an ornate wig, sword and pistol.  This figure may date to the end of the 1600s, when the castle was the site of a famous series of events.

Taunton was the site of several of England's internal wars and conflicts, including the Wars of the Roses in the 1450s, the Cornish Uprising of the later 1400s, and the English Civil War in the 1640s.  Perhaps the most memorable conflict that passed through Taunton was the after effect of Monmouth's Rebellion in 1685.  That year, King Charles II died, and his illegitimate son, the Duke of Monmouth declared himself King of England, in Taunton.  Charles's brother, King James II quickly crushed Monmouth's Rebellion at the Battle of Sedgemoor.   James II's enforcer, Judge Jeffreys came to Taunton Castle, and held a series of trials for the survivors of the battle in what have been called the Bloody Assizes.  Thousands of rebellious farmers, sailors, and tradesmen were sentenced to death by being drawn and quartered, or sold as slave laborers to rich landowners in the American Colonies. 

In addition to the male figure, others saw and were touched by a young woman with blond hair.  In the Castle  Hotel, some guests reported hearing music playing in the Fiddler's Room, when there were not guests registered there.  Unfortunately, we could not afford the going rate at the hotel.  Sigh.  Janine and I managed to find a very nice B&B in Taunton called the Lowden's House B&B, run by a transplanted Scots, James and Jane Boyd.  It was clean, warm and very up to date. 

 

Judge Jeffreys apparently did not stay at the castle.  Instead he took rooms at the Tudor Tavern, along the nearby High Street.  The building dates from the 16th century, and retains a lot of its interior beam work.  

Though it has been converted into a branch of Nero's Cafes;  it does not take very much imagination to see Judge Jeffreys coming out of these doors, wearing his heavy judges robes, carrying a handful of books, and list of names, on his way to the trials.  Which is apparently what happened several times.  His specter was apparently caught on camera in 1959. I tried finding a copy of the photo, but no luck yet.  Did anyone subscribe to The Field magazine in 1959?

We asked around with the workers at the cafe, and they did not have anything happen to them.  Perhaps Judge Jeffreys has moved to other locations, or we were not lucky.  They closed in the mid-afternoon, and did not allow ghost hunting.  Sorry.

 

Glastonbury and the Chalice Well, posted 18 April 2011

 

A model showing Glastonbury Abbey at it's height in the 17th century

No one knows when the lands on and near the remains of Glastonbury Abbey were first considered sacred, though there are clues.  Archaeological work on The Tor, a terraced hillside about a quarter mile away from the Abbey grounds may have been the site of a pagan shrine or early Christian church in the fourth century B.C.  The artesian spring, known today as the Chalice Well, may have been held sacred by the Romans.  And the abbey grounds were consecrated by the Britons in the early seventh century.  In the years since, the Abbey has been associated with the earliest Christian patriarch, Joseph of Arimathea, with King Arthur, and many Saxon kings and queens were buried there.  

One of the early Saxon Kings, Ina, endowed the monastery established by early Britons.  He paid for a stone church to be built there.  Its foundations still exist, in the western nave of the ruined church.  The church accumulated some wealth over the years, and was pillaged by Viking raiders in the ninth century.   Following the Norman Conquest of 1066, a Norman abbot, Turstin added to the older stone church.  All was not well though.  In 1077, he was dismissed when the older monks refused to accept some of his changes, and he had them killed by the High Altar.

Things finally settled into a routine, under Norman rule, until a fire swept though the abbey in 1184, destroying most of the buildings.  The abbey had become popular with pilgrims, who traveled the English countryside seeking salvation and absolution for their sins.  If a church or abbey had relics of saints or prominent people, the pilgrims would come, spending money and giving other gifts to the church.  The abbot quickly began rebuilding the buildings with the savings of the abbey, and an eye to improving their fame.  It was around this time that stories began circulating about King Arthur and the abbey grounds.

 

In the early 12th century, Robert de Boron collected or composed a series of stories about King Arthur and the nights of the Round Table.  He cited the area around Glastonbury as the legendary Isle of Avalon (despite it being inland).  During the rebuilding of the abbey, many scholars looked for Arthur there.  In 1191, the abbot Henry de Sully ordered a search for the mythical king.  According to written accounts, workers dug  a trench 16 feet deep and found an oak log that had been hollowed out.  On top of it was a lead cross with an inscription stating Hic jacet sepultus inclitus rex Arthurus in insula Avalonia ("Here lies interred the famous King Arthur on the Isle of Avalon") and his second wife Guinevere.  She was so well preserved that her long blond hair was still attached to her skull.  Until one of the monks pulled it out of the grave.  It turned to dust under his hands.  Arthur and Guinevere were moved near the high altar in an ornate stone sepulchral.  This was destroyed during the English Civil War in the 1600s.

 

Another casualty of the English Civil War was the Joseph thorn tree.  According to another legend, Joseph of Arimathea, the man who allowed Jesus to be buried in his tomb in Jerusalem, was a tin merchant.  During the Crucifixion,  he or someone else captured some of Christ's blood in a chalice.  Following the Resurrection, Joseph traveled to the British Isles.  After all, he was a tin merchant, and much of Europe's tin came from Wales and Cornwall.  Among other things, Joseph hid the Chalice in England, and he planted his staff on the site of Glastonbury Abbey.  This staff was supposed to flower only once or twice a year.  On Christmas, and spring, usually in May.  It was cut down by one of Cromwell's soldiers.  Who also missed a stroke, and hit himself in the leg.  This soldier died shortly after that; as a sign of divine judgment?

Following the restoration of the English Monarchy, several plantings saved from the original tree were planted around the area.  One of the oldest, died in 1991.  However, the groundskeepers planted seedlings, and grafted cuttings from the old tree onto other stalks.  I understand the next oldest Hawthorne tree was cut down in 2011 by vandals.  Unfortunately, they were not smitten by divine force, and escaped.

Following stories of King Arthur and the holy thorn tree, pilgrims flocked to Glastonbury Abbey.  By the 1300s, it was the most prosperous abbey in all England, with the exception of Westminster Abbey.  It retained that prominence until 1536, when Henry VIII dissolved the monasteries, as the head of the Church of England.  In 1539, the King's servants stripped the abbey of most of its wealth.  They returned, suspecting there were other hidden treasures.  

 

The abbey and lands were sold or leased out.  The lead roof was removed, and most of the buildings fell into ruins.

 

The abbot, Richard Whiting and two other monks were hung, then drawn and quartered on the Tor.  

There was a prominent settlement on the Tor centuries before Glastonbury Abbey ever became significant.  It may have started as the stronghold of a local chieftain.  He may have allowed an early Christian missionary to visit, convert the local folks, and then build a small church on the high point.  However, over the centuries, as the abbey on the lowland grew, the site on the top of the Tor was less important.  Eventually, a small 'retreat' for monks seeking quiet away from the abbey was built there.  In addition to cells, or dwellings, a stone church and tower was built there as well.  Over the centuries, all of the buildings tumbled down, or were removed by locals, leaving the ruined tower to crown the hilltop.  

Getting to the top of the Tor is not an easy walk.  The hillside itself is unstable.  Which may have led ancient inhabitants to abandon it as a dwelling complex.  To limit erosion, authorities constructed a path of paving stones that lead up the hill in a dogleg path.  Which may be part of a very old tradition.  The slopes of the Tor are covered with a network of terraces that begin at the bottom and criss-cross each other to the top.  Some people believe that these terraces (visible in this picture) were part of an ancient maze path, which pilgrims would  ritually walk  to worship at the top.  In the King Arthur legends, some of his knights had to walk such a maze in search of the Holy Grail.  Or these terraces could have been ancient farming terraces, or wide cattle paths.

This is one of many pools filled by the Chalice Well

Oftentimes legends mix up many true stories, or combine them in new forms.  Along with the existence of King Arthur, there is the myth of the Holy Grail, mixed with it.  What if the legend of the Holy Grail mixed with that of the Chalice?  As I mentioned earlier, Joseph of Arimathea is supposed to have stopped at Glastonbury, and planted his staff, which flowered as a thorn tree.  Some people believe he hid the Chalice, with some of the blood of Christ in a nearby well.  This so affected the water coming from the well, that it started to flow with a reddish color, because of the holy blood.  This is the Chalice Well.

In ancient times, both the Romans and ancient Britons believed that artesian wells were holy places.  Archaeologists found the remains of what they think was a Roman era well head around the current spring.  Though there is not a lot of evidence that this spring was as important as, say the one at Bath.  It may not have been a sacred well either.  There is not much evidence that there was a temple nearby.  Even so, the spring is important to the local environment.  An estimated 20,000+ gallons a day flow form this spring, bringing water to the surrounding communities.  To be mundane, it has a high iron content, which accounts for its reddish color and odd taste.  This did not stop the well from becoming important to pilgrims in the Middle Ages.

With the Dissolution of the Monasteries and clearances of the many church properties, the number of pilgrims visiting sites like the Chalice Well got smaller.  What probably finished up the visitors was the English Civil War, and the conservative anti-Catholic feeling among England's people.  Things like a belief in magic healing water seemed a lot like having a priest blessing ordinary water and turning it into 'holy water.'  However, in the mid twentieth century the number of visitors to the Chalice Well increased.  In 1959, Wellesley Tudor Pole, a spiritualist and  military intelligence officer established the Chalice Well Trust.  For a modest fee, people of all religious persuasions are invited to visit the well, drink the water, and hopefully find spiritual enlightenment.  

 

Even though every visitor receives a plastic bottle with a Hawthorne tree design upon it , the staff at the Chalice Well highlight the non-denominational nature of the well.   There has been a movement among many neo-pagans who believe that the well is the symbol, or contains the essence of the divine femme, or Earth Mother Goddess.   Which I find interesting, since it was for centuries a sacred Christian shrine, and very patriarchal.  Of course, was it a pagan shrine before the Christians arrived?  Maybe there is something to it.  I recall when we were at the well, there were over a dozen women sitting in various places.  Contemplating.  There were only four or five men there.  As I recall, all of us guys were wandering around with our cameras taking pictures.

 

The wellhead at the top of the well complex.  This is a fairly modern replica.  

The foundations of the oldest wellhead are several feet below, under several feet of silt and calcium buildup.

 

The Angel Posting House and Livery Hotel, Guildford posted 18 April 2011  

The town of Guildford has an interesting past, but is virtually unknown to American tourists.  In the 1400s, it was a kind of retreat for the English Monarchy.  They built a castle to protect the town, and Henry III had a luxurious residence there.  Under the foundations of that castle, workers recently found foundations and a chamber dating to the 1100s.  In later years, Guildford gained prosperity due to its strategic placement.  It is halfway between Portsmouth, England's great harbor and shipyard city and London itself.  Important travelers used to stop in Guildford either to changes horses or stay overnight at places like the Angel Posting and Livery Hotel.  

In the 19th century, as trains began to replace horses and carriages as a means of travel, Guildford lost its importance as a waypoint.  It slowly faded away, but did not entirely disappear.  In the late 20th century, more and more British professionals left London for the suburbs and commute to work every day.  Many settled in Guildford.  

They found that the town's businesses did not have the money to tear down old buildings over the decades, which left many of its very old buildings intact. 

 

 This included the Angel Posting House.  It is probably one of the only remaining inns of its type in Britain.  I am sure the horses struggled up the steep cobblestone streets to the courtyard of the Inn.  I know we did with our roller bags.

 

Today though, the courtyard has been turned into a bar.

In upscale Guildford, we were lucky to get a room at a discount price.  We looked forward to some ghostly encounter on our last night in England.  The oldest part of the Inn were the cellars, which dated to the 11th century.  Most of the rooms dated to the 1700s and 1800s.  We hoped to meet one of two resident spirits.  In the 1970s, two guests staying in Room 1 were looking in a mirror when they saw a man in 19th century military clothing staring at them.  When the two turned round, they found themselves standing in an empty room.  Other stories tell of another guest who died in a fire in his room, and still haunts the vicinity.  

Unfortunately for us, we passed a quiet night and headed home the next day.

A Paranormal Conference in Portland.  Again!!!  Posted 18 April 2011

On 24 September 2011, I will be at the Beaverton Library, starting at 10 am for an event my friend Dave Galvan calls:   PARANORMAL LEAGUE OF AMERICA: THE CONFERENCE.  I am excited about this event.  In past years, the Rose City Paranormal Conference was held in Portland, but recently it moved east, closer to Mount Hood.  This was too far for me to drive.  So I am looking forward to something more local.  As I understand the details of this conference, because it is being held in a public location, presenters are not allowed to sell items, and the admission may also be - free.  Check the website for details on presenters and other details.

 

Clinical Hypnosis Posted 28 April 2011

My friend Genviev is many things, actress, author, photographer, and a licensed practical hypnotherapist.  She is also a professional member of the National Guild of Hypnotherapists.  She does  technical things, like forensic hypnotherapy for law enforcement, as well as behavior modification such as stop-smoking and weight loss therapy.  Maybe other things?  Visit her website and see what is up at :   professional hypnosis in Portland, Oregon and worldwide.

The Peculiarium Opens  Posted 2 May 2011

Just when I think that I am the only one around committed to the weird and strange, (at least on a regular basis,)  someone comes along and shows they do it better.  The Freaky but True Peculiariam just opened in Portland.  Although its organizers, Filmmaker Mike Wellins, Lisa Freeman, and Eric Bute attribute their guiding force to Conrad Talmadge Elwood, I think they have done most of the lifting and carrying for this new and weird endeavour.  

The Peculiariam is located at 2234 NW Thurman St. in Portland.  Their website is: www.peculiarium.com, and phone number is:  503-227-3164.  Their hours are:  Thursday through Sunday, 11 am to 9 pm. Normally, admission is free, though some events, like magic lessons cost a bit to attend.

I have been to the Peculiariam, and it is an interesting place.  It is sort of like Marsh's Free Museum, on the Washington Coast.  It has a mix of interesting displays, artwork, and oddities.  There are plenty of sculptures and paintings done  by local artist, and some of the displays are related to Mike Wellins' movie experience.  Some are spooky, some funny, some have you scratching your head.  They have a snack bar, gift shop, and lots of positive attitude.    If there is group wanting to have a special event there, I suggest contacting Lisa, Mike or Eric at their website.  Lisa's email is:  lisa@freakybttrue.com

One of the upcoming special events is a book reading and signing by myself on the 21st of May.  The event runs from 7 - 9 pm.  I will be there, giving a power point presentation on my book on Haunted Portland.  The Peculiariam sells many of my books, so it you are in the market for an autographed copy, please come by.  

Sincerely, I advise anyone who likes my website or anything to do with the odd or unusual, to please visit them.  All it will cost is the gas.

 

Ghosts Clearing Assistance Link

My Friend Sethyn has gone online, offering help and advice.

 

 

 

 

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