After too much time away, Natalie Crist and Christopher Balzano are back and ready to get down to work.
The Trippers are still working through Summer Road Trip 2018 as they discuss three haunted legends they explored on day 2 in Central Florida. First up, separating the lies from the lore as they get more into what is happening on the campus of Stetson University in Deland, Florida. They trace the ghost stories and campus urban legends, especially around Hulley Tower and Elizabeth Hall. Next they head down the road to follow up on an unlikely legend in the park before heading out to Oviedo to experience the Oviedo Lights, one the most infamous ghost stories in all of Florida.
You can contact us with questions, comments, and your favorite legend or tidbit of folklore at email@example.com.
We’re still knee deep in the #hauntedlove project, so we’re especially looking for ghost stories with a love twist.
Now one of the most popular figures in the supernatural world, Balzano goes into his early research into the legend and how it came to grow and become what it is today. They explore some of the early references before tackling some of the errors in the lore that have
twisted in recent years.
This story appeared, although a little differently, in my first book Ghost Adventures. As a few more details have come out over the years, as well as being further removed from the situation, I’m now able to reveal that this story takes place in my old house. The people involved are my parent, but I had changed their names in an attempt to avoid that old idea that peole who look into ghost stories ALWAYS have stories that involve their experiences.
Linda and Leo lived in their Goffstown, New Hampshire, home for eighteen years. Located in a rural section outside of Manchester, it seems the ideal sight for something supernatural to happen, but it wasn’t until the death of a close family member that they were visited by a mysterious and comforting presence.
“It wasn’t her. Even when she was young, Millie had a chubby face. Always had that heavy look. She was dainty.”
Shortly after the death of Leo’s aunt, Linda was lying on the couch in the den when she felt someone in the room with her. After a few seconds she looked up to see a young woman dressed in white standing at the doorway, looking up with a blank expression. “She looked like she was lost and she didn’t realize what was going on.” After a few minutes, the woman moved a little backwards and disappeared.
Linda described the woman as all in white, wearing a nightgown of see-through linen. She was in her thirties, was of average height, with long curl red hair that came out the bottom of a scarf or something else on her head. Linda most remembers the expression on her face, “like she was just passing through,” and the fact she could see through her.
Over the next year and a half Linda saw the woman about ten more times, always at night, always at the doorway of her den. “I would stare at her. I would try to figure out what she was doing there and then she’d be gone.” Linda says there was nothing that would preface the woman arrival and it happened during any season. She would just appear. The woman never tried to talk to Linda. In fact, Linda says the woman never seemed to see her there and never tried to interact in any way. She does say that the appearance of the ghost was comforting and soothing.
Linda had had other experiences but she had explained them away. Once, when her husband was in trouble while taking a trip in West Africa, she had sensed something was wrong and, “sent my guardian angel to help him.” When he arrived home safe he said he had felt something at the moment she had sent it. Then there was the mysterious stain on their ceiling that remained although they painted over it several times, bleached it and investigated to find no pipes or trails of water leading to it.
Leo, who is in security, is much more of a cynic and still has trouble explaining away his experiences with the woman in white. He saw her several times, at the foot of his bed and in the same den and his description of the woman is the same. She never looked at time but stared straight ahead, with a blank expression, and then be gone in a few seconds. He doesn’t like to talk about it. Neither Leo nor Linda mentioned it to until they moved to Nashua, New Hampshire, two years after the appearances started.
Both feel if they had not moved, the woman in white would still visit them. This leads me to believe the spirit must have something to do with the sight. When Leo and Linda moved in the house was only two years old. The first owners have moved out shortly after moving in, but Linda claims it was not under any unusual circumstances. Before that, the land was undeveloped and owned by a local Catholic school. The school had a convent which housed several dozen nuns although over the years their numbers have reduced.
Could one of the nuns who enjoyed walking in the woods behind her convent still remain tied to the land? Linda feels this might be a good explanation, but is quick to dismiss the head piece as a habit, or the woman, while comforting, as particularly religious.
The current owner of the house says the only trouble with the house has been trying to plow the rock driveway in the winter during their early years there. They have added a garage to the property and have nothing but good things to say about the property.
The Almshouse on East Street in Walpole has been the sight of hauntings since a fire in the late 1800’s and may have been the site of more than one tragedy before that.
Built in the early 1800’s by the houses original owner, Daniel Allen, the house was transformed into a house for the poor of the town and a weigh station for the homeless who jumped the railroads tracks nearby. The poor farm allowed people to work in return for room and board and was supported mainly by town funds. Because many of the people who lived in the house were unregistered with the farm it was difficult to keep track of who was there and tragedies that might have happened to people who lived a high risk lifestyle, but in the late 1800’s a fire killed anywhere between 16 and 26 boarders. The house switched hands many times after the fire and in the early 1900’s children accidentally set fire to the barn and caused other damage to the property. There are also rumors of the house being used as part of the Underground Railroad, and as we have seen in other stories, there has been a coloration between these locations and hauntings, often because of escaped slaves caught, but also because of the emotion releases during the tense moments hiding for one’s life.
The house has been known to be the spot of several hauntings, the most regular of which is known as Uncle Joe. He is said to be responsible for tickling people on the back of their necks and misplacing thing. There is a bit of sadness in his haunting, as he seems to play out his failed escape from the fire by opening and closing windows and rattling windows.
There have been various investigations of the hauntings at the Almshouse, but they have yet to produce anything more than medium impressions and scary stories.
The majority of information for the Almshouse came from a 1970 article by Janathan Kannair and an Article in The Walpole Times which ran on October 31, 1985 by Steve Mackinnon
Thank you to The Walpole Public Library and librarian Warren Smith for the information. Libraries and Librarians like them are vital to the research I do and proved most helpful. Help them keep up the work they do by checking out the Friends of Walpole Public Library and giving what you can.
This was one of the first articles I wrote on Massachusetts Paranormal Crossroads, even before it was called that. Part of this appeared in Jeff Belanger’s Encyclopedia of Haunted Places and was “borrowed” by several other books. Charlesgate is where it all started for me, so it holds a special place in my heart.
Two things hit me upon reading the article. The first is that I hope my writing has become better since this was first published around 2002. Not sure I can say that’s true. The other is that so much of what I was putting out there about the building and its history was based on things I was told and information passed down rather than researched. I think that works sometimes. Natalie Crist of Tripping on Legends was going through the story and asked me questions about the dates and times things had actually happened. I had no answers for her. I don’t think I need them. So much of the legend of Charlesgate comes things that cannot be verified.
Before I left Boston, I took a haunted tour of the city that went by my old dorm. The person giving the tour retold my stories back to me, not knowing I was the one who had experienced them or at least had written them down. They were mixed and matched, with details added that had never happened. The Federal Government story was its centerpiece and almost none of the details were right.
In that spirit, I offer you the unedited original story.
The old Charlesgate Hotel is one of the most haunted buildings in Boston. Over time the building has taken on legend status, making it difficult to separate the truth from the mystique that surrounds it. It was built in 1891, supposedly by the Mafia, although there has been no connection between the original contractor and architect and organized crime. From the outside you can’t see the eighth floor, where some of the illegal activity was supposed to have happened. There are several areas that are boarded up or filled in, revealing hidden rooms that were once used but that you cannot see unless you follow the slight cracks in the wall. One such room on the sixth floor was the sight of a suicide. Walking through the halls, checking out the rooms and then comparing it to the original blueprints (on file at the Boston Public Library) shows many inconsistencies and points to potential areas of hauntings.
After serving as a hotel it was sold and sold again until it eventually became a BU dorm. The lore began with the influx of students. BU sold the dorms and it became a tenement, serving some of the worst tenants in Kenmore. At that time, students began to move in as well, often charged far more than the other people living there, creating an interesting mix of college kids and sketchy “adults”. Emerson College bought the building in the 1980’s and renovated it back into dorms, placing its foot firmly in the square and extending its influence in the city.
Some of the legendary spirits that walked the halls are very old. In the basement there are the spirits of horses that died when there were stables there. There is a little girl that haunts the elevator where she died. Often people had seances and weird things would happen, and more than once magic and black magic had been practiced in the dorm rooms. But there were other strange things that went on. Often at night there was scampering in the ceilings, too small to be people, but too big to be rats. There would be voices and light problems. Some student would see a gurney roll by their room.
Suicide plays a major role in the mythology of the building, often being the root cause of things that cannot be explained. In the 1970’s there was an alarm clock in a room where a supposed suicide had occurred that would go off at 6:11 am although it was not set. Another time 3 girls moved into a room on the 6th floor. Although each of them wanted the big closet upon moving in, they all had unusual sensations when they approached it, deciding it was better to let someone else use the closet. Research discovered another suicide in that closet. Once a student woke up to see a spirit hovering over him. The ghost was also seen by the RA who ran in to see why the student was screaming.
It was a hotbed of activity, and if you used a Ouija board anywhere in it, you’d get results (See the Federal Government story). One night we got an answer to some of the activity. We contacted a spirit that called itself Zena that would clearly write out answers to our questions and offered a detailed history of its existence. It was not a normal spirit because it had never lived, but was more of a spell that had been cast on doorways by one of the original builders to protect those inside. They saw everything and tried to help people and often communicated on the board as different people to make them do what they thought was right. They told me of a spell placed on me by someone that was later confirmed by two psychics who had no idea what I was going in for. It knew things only the people themselves would know, and made a believer out of more than one skeptic that would try the board.
After we left the dorms it was sold again, and one person who lives in the building says he never has had anything happen. I think back to a rule of Ouija boards though. If a spirit is on the board and it is not cleaned, and it is destroyed somehow, the spirit is said to escape. If there was something in those walls, I wonder what might have happened when they gutted the place out to make the condos.
Recently, while taking photographs for a new book coming out I evaluated some of the designs at Charlesgate. I had lived in the building for two years, but I had never noticed the faces, some obvious and other not so obvious, around the windows and in the rest of the metalwork. There were also scratches which appeared random, but upon zooming appeared to spell things out. Some of the expressions I found, hidden in the beauty, were “No Exit”, “Hell”, and “Gone”.
This is another old post from Massachusetts Paranormal Crossroads and one of my favorite Ouija Board stories. It also appeared in my first book Ghostly Adventures.
Federal Government is the strongest proof I have that a Ouija board might indeed be a useful or effective tool in paranormal research, and also a great argument for why you might not want to use them. He seems to be a powerful spirit with negative intentions, a long memory, and some influence on our world.
In the Spring of 1995 some friends and I spent too much time using the board. We were living in the old Charlesgate Hotel in Boston, considered one of the most haunted building in Massachusetts. We had been using the board and getting mixed results when a very strong spirit pushed a weaker one off. He immediately told us to be scared. When we asked of what he moved the pointer slowly over the OUIJA label on the top of the board slowly enough to give me goosebumps.
FedGov quickly became obsessed with one of my roommates at the time. John (name changed) was a womanizer and I had joked earlier that semester that he was sleeping his way through the alphabet. We asked FedGov why he did not like John and he said because he made girls cry. When we asked how he made girls cry and scrolled through all the letters on the board in a “z”, movement he would often mimic through our interactions with him. He said John had to die, and it was his goal to do it. Whenever we would be talking to a spirit he would force them off and start spelling out John’s name and making a “z” across the letters.
FedGov once caused our fire alarm to go off, but it wasn’t until he almost killed John that we took his threats seriously and understood the kind of power he had. We were using the board and John went to take a shower. We were talking to a spirit that claimed it was one of our guardian angels and FedGov came on. After identifying himself he started to spell out “HAHAHAHA”. When we asked why he was laughing he spelled out “ACDCACDCACDC”. We were all confused until John came back into the room. His hair was wet and the color was gone from his face.
When he had gone to use the shower the light had been out. He screwed it back in and began the shower. Just as he was washing his hair, the light went out. His first instinct was to screw the light in, but he stopped. He was soaking wet and standing in a pool of water. He washed his hair in the dark rather than risk electrocution.
All of this could be a coincidence if it wasn’t for Sarah, one of John’s old girlfriends. They had dated on and off over the years, almost always ending with John doing something horrible to her. They talked that summer, and John brought up ghosts. Sarah said she believed in them because she had talked to someone who claimed to be the devil. She had first talked to him when she was young and he had told her that when she died he would have her. Her soul was his forever and he was just waiting for her to join him. When she had used the board earlier that year the same spirit had gotten on, asking her if she remembered him. She said she knew he was not the devil and begged for his real name. It spelled out FEDERAL GOVERNMENT.