Ghostly Voices and Haunted Love



With a special Monday Night Live broadcast, Tripping on Legends explores some new revelations about the Singing River Legend and announces its new project.

First, Christopher Balzano gets into how the Singing River legend connects to a similar legend in Mississippi involving mass suicide to explain how the singing came to be.  Along the way, he connects a few more Native American legends and folktales.


Listen to Epsiode 12…The Story of the Singing River



Listen to Epsiode 13…The Singing River Sings Back


Balzano then official announces Tripping on Legends’ new project.  The Haunted Love Project covers one of the most common motifs in the paranormal and the backstory of so many ghosts people see and ghost stories they share.

Love and love lost.

We’re looking for any and all ghost stories, folklore, legends, and unexplained happenings you have that have an element of love and love lost. Shafted brides who commit suicide and haunt bridges, ghostly hitchhikers roaming roads trying to find their lost ladies, even ghost lights said to be lovers playing in the night.

If you have heard a story, experienced a haunting, or know of an odd tale where love is at the center, let us know.

You can reach us at

or post something to us at


Twitter @naynaymyfriend @SpookyBalzano

Instagram @SpookyTripping 



Travel Log…The Mini Lights of St. Petersburg

Tonight go to Booker’s Creek in St. Petersburg, Florida.  Lean over the edge and look at the water which appears more like the dirty, foamy stream of at the end of your driveway when you wash your car than a waterway.  Hold your breath for a moment and say, “Mini Lights, Mini Lights, come out tonight,” three times.  Try not to notice that noise behind you as you finish.  But then the rustling get louder and is coming from all around you.  You see a glowing figure a bit away from you, moving quickly as it runs the distance between the two of you.  You turn to escape, but a pair of pale blue hands, too strong for how small they are, have grabbed your leg and won’t let go.  The other one is getting closer.  You’re in a city neighborhood, Tropicana Field less than a mile away, but you’re alone, and you know, because you’ve heard the stories for years, that you may never be seen again.

Here’s the thing about urban legends and folklore; they’re always in the background and ready when you need them.  They sit there on the shelf with all their universal truths waiting for moments when they are needed.  The right situation, the right need, and they jump out, like memories with springs on them, and fill the void.  They make sense because you’ve heard them before.


Listen to Episode 9…Mini Lights, Mini Lights, Come Out Tonight

The story of the Mini Lights is one that keeps changing and adapting to its environment, a sign of the times.  It’s nearly impossible to create a straight narrative line which tells the story of them.  Over time the tales have been twisted and combined and borrowed and cut so that everyone who talks about it tells their own version.  That makes a folklorist smile but a storyteller left struggling to choose how to tell the story the right way.   What’s the in and how do you weave it the right way.  No one can even agree with what they should be called.

  • Minnie Lights
  • Mini Lights
  • Mystery Lights
  • Midget Lights
  • Minnie’s Lightning
  • Mini Lightning
  • Merry Lights
  • The Memonites

The Story?

The story has to start, maybe because it is easiest, with a description as to what people have physically claimed to see, or more accurately what they claim other people have told them they see.  First hand sightings are almost nonexistent.  People state they have witnessed or heard stories of strange, almost monstrous “small people” around a bridge or in a field near the bridge in one of three possible locations.  Descriptions vary as to what is seen.  An article in the Tampa Bay Times says the creatures are, “bluish-greenish-gray, bald and small.”  Some say they are small people whose skin has a green or pale glow to it.  Other people say they are just dressed in all green with painted skin but have glowing green eyes.  Stories are out there to say they are more like ogres.  In modern times people have said the Mini Lights are now dead and exist as ghost lights of white and green and blue, nearly as large as a small child, floating or appearing to run at you.

Both the people and the orbs are said to appear and disappear at will, popping up and seeming to surround you, supporting the idea they are paranormal or sewer travelers.  The most important aspect of their behavior, and the one that both inspires their infamy and explains it, is that they abduct people and take them away never to been seen again.  They may physically attack you or try to intimidate you to leave, but more than likely if you see them, it’s too late.  No evidence left behind.

The story is said to date back generations, but has experienced a resurgence in the last few years, partly due to the nearby baseball team and partly due to a new movie being made about them.  When newspapers mention them, they get responses from people who all know the details as they were told them by their sources, and when Facebook posts went out asking residents for details, the responses were an avalanche and conflicting.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.


We can start with the witch, because she is somewhat consistent to the story.  She lived in a shack near Booker Creek and was named Minnie.  At times she is said to live under a bridge that crosses the creek.  No one is really sure of the date or how she had came to the area, but she was protective of her land.  Anyone approaching would soon find themselves being chased by two protectors.  Some of the stories claim these are her sons, or may even be circus freaks she worked with while she was with the circus.  Others claim they were monsters she had captured or even a witch’s familiar, maybe born of some horrible spell that mutated humans.

As the area was developed more, they say the shack was torn down and Minnie disappeared, perhaps leaving a curse on the area.  Another tale says she was upset when she had to give up a part of her land when they began developing and sought her revenge.  Others say she left, but for a while the shack remained and you could conjure something by circling her house and chanting her name.  Sometimes the house is a Mennonite church near the bridge or that she is a Mennonite that moved into an abandoned church.  Either way, the little ones remained in the area, perhaps becoming ghosts, and still wander around at night.  They can be brought out by calling out, “Mini Lights, Mini Lights, come out tonight.”

The Bridge is Just over There

Here’s where things get a bit more confusing.  There are several locations people have associated with the story.  Online and news sources retell the story as happening as very specific locations and addresses (which we will not print).  The majority of stories focus on one of three locations which are connected to Booker Creek; Rosier Park, Thrill Hill, and Child’s Park.  This made it hard to focus our attention when we went out to see if we could find the witch or the lights.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

We first went to Thrill Hill, named because of the steep climb and quick drop of the road the hill takes as the bridge crosses over the Creek.  The legend, which has a racial element we will talk about later, may be closely tied to the slow losing of the community, and as we made our way there, weaving in and out of small neighborhoods, the streets alternated between close, rundown houses and large well-kept properties.  Thrill Hill itself was more of an industrial park, with large business and docks on either side.  Of the places we went, this was the only one that had enough water to support a boat and a large enough space under the bridge to lend credence to the “living under the bridge” aspects of the story.  The place was not near spooky.  Cars were coming by constantly, and the lights and music from nearby businesses broke any odd atmosphere that might have been there at some point.

We stood on opposite ends of the bridge and both called out to whatever might be there three times.  Between the water and cars and lights, it might be able understand why people might associate Thrill Hill with the story.  There are odd streaks of colored lights all over the bridge and the road, but all can be explained, mostly by the way the road rises and falls.  It may be more a case of a location having a name that is promoted and known by local businesses and the nature of the name pinning a local legend to it.


The next location, Roser Park, offered much more.  Natalie is convinced this was the location of Mini Lights, and there were elements to our experience there that points at something being in the park.  The area is 270-acres and has almost 150 historic homes, some of which are beautiful near-estates and other of which have that same rundown feel we saw in the other neighborhoods.  The main path that cuts through it is also lined with houses and markers talking about the history, development, and renaissance of the neighborhood.  Just past the trees and bridge crossing lies a hospital.

The bridges at Roser Park were much smaller and crossed Booker Creek at several places.  One, however, was where the creek turned and also had a field that fit the description of how the monsters would cover an expanse of land in chasing you down.  On the other hand, there is a connection between economic challenges and the sightings, and the community appeared to be a higher end locale.

We called out three times in several places along the water, but nothing dramatic happened.  There are times when we are in the field when I keep things from Natalie in order to keep us from influencing each other and partly to not scare her with what I am seeing.  Several times I saw orbs the size of basketballs crossing the street.  I tried to get pictures of them, but they had moved on before I could. I also saw something more disturbing.  As we walked back and forth across the path, something dark was following us.  A dark shadow moved behind us in the tree, jumping from branch to branch and tree to tree and then leaning against the trunk, almost out of view.  It was like a solid shadow in the form of a person but with no eyes or distinguishable face.  It stopped when we stopped and moved when we did, and when I would turn back and see it, it would jump, land, and lean.  I had the distinct impression it was the same figure, or at least related, to the one we saw in Holiday, Florida.  I also heard crunching of leaves as if something unseen was following us and surrounding us as we walked the distance of the area.

The last location led the two of us to again enter a playground after dark, this time Child’s Park.  This was my frontrunner for the actual location, mainly due to its reference in one of the news articles as being the place where a specific witness had grown up hearing the story.  We found a cement foundation, which may have been the place where Minnie’s house once stood, and it was situated near a large entrance to the sewer that could have been where her foot soldiers could move throughout the area and create that impression they could appear and disappear at will.

When we stopped to try and conjure the Mini Lights, it was obvious we were not alone.  The distinct sounds of alligators could be heard from the sewer, which may sound a bit like the old urban legend of alligators in the sewers of major cities but makes more sense when you consider the tunnels size and their location.  It also lends credibility to one aspect of the legend we will look into more in Part 2.  We ran into several people walking through the park that added to the overall creepiness there, and the surrounding area seem to fit the depressed and urban aspects of the story, but nothing happened there to prove or disprove that this was the spot where the story takes place.

Unlike some other legends we have explored in the last year, the Mini Lights does not have sightings we can pin down that spark the folklore.  It seems to be more a story passed down to warn kids and say something about the community rather than one invented to explain away events that were unexplained.  What we’re left with then is the question of why they story has endured and what it means about the people who continue to pass it down.

Of course, that is a story for another day.

When the Trippers Hit Carolina

What the hell are a couple of Legend Trippers living in Lee County, Florida, doing in North Carolina?

In the Summer of 2017, Tripping on Legends made their way up to Indiana to check on some stories of pukwudgies playing on mounds.  To make a full road trip of it, they spent some time in an area of North Carolina known as the Piedmonts to figure out whether the Tech Triangle might have a little Bridgwater Triangle in it.

First they look to discover what the true story is at the Devil’s Tramping Ground in Chatham County.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

They then head to Durham to search for the headless trainman who walks the grounds near the old Catsburg Country Store. They close out the marathon day hot on the trail of a white gowned ghost hitchhiker named Lydia.


Listen to Episode 19…Tripping Carolina in My Mind


Then Natalie Crist and Christopher Balzano find themselves in Greensboro, North Carolina, staying at the haunted Biltmore Hotel. After spending a few hours sleeping off the road and then recovering from a night of tripping in the NC Triangle, they find themselves waking up to several different types of hauntings..and face to face with a red-headed ghost who does not want them to be there.


Listen to Episode 20…There’s Something in Room 223

When they reviewed some of the audio they recorded, things at the Biltmore got a bit creeper.


Listen to Episode 21…but Who Is Haunting Lydia

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Episode 32…Two Movies, So Much Folklore


Listen to Episode 32…Two Movies, So Much Folklore


How much of the Ring is based on folklore? Does Poltergeist owe more to urban legend than to the paranormal community?

The Trippers break down all that is scary while spending just enough time talking about the original HellBlazer, John Constantine.

Make sure to visit our page on the third movie, The Lady in White.

You can contact us with questions, comments, and the details of your favorite scary movie at

Keep visiting the site for the trip log of our travels and other urban legends at: 


Listen to Episode 32…Two Movies, So Much Folklore

Follow us at: 

Twitter @naynaymyfriend @SpookyBalzano 

Instagram @SpookyTripping @NayNayV3

Episode 33…Why Are All the Women in White


Listen to episode 33…Why are All the Women in White

What’s your favorite scary movie?

After looking into two classic horror movies last week, Natalie Crist shows Christopher Balzano the movie that gave her nightmares as a kid, the 1988 classic The Woman in White.

They get into stories and legends Balzano has tracked down involving the Woman in White legends and explore some of the other folklore the movie uses to scare the audience.

You can contact us with questions, comments, and the details of your favorite scary movie at

Keep visiting the site for the trip log of our travels and other urban legends at:

Follow us at: 

Twitter @naynaymyfriend @SpookyBalzano 

Instagram @SpookyTripping @NayNayV3

Listen to our show about Poltergeist and Ring:


The 5 Most Misplaced But Brilliant Ghosts on Television

Throughout history the paranormal has always been an effective plot device.  From Hamlet’s father begging to be avenged to the specters on the edge of Turn of the Screw to the creepy urban legend of the ghost of Silas Scratch in Diary of a Wimpy kid, storytelling becomes easier when you throw in a bit of the creepy and paranormal.  It’s partially the draw of all things ghostly upon the public and partly the idea of rubbing out the clear lines of reality to allow the impossible to happen.  When you tear down the wall, even for a brief moment, and let something unexplained to enter your narrative, you have the freedom to do things that do not need to be explained.  In theory…and when done well.

Sometimes an ongoing story, like a television show that has nothing to do with the paranormal on a week to week basis, dives into old ideas of ghosts to take advantage of that.  At times these shows pull it off, but other times it creates an odd hole in its continuity.

This originally started as a casual joke between Spooky Southcoast host Time Weisberg and I years ago.  We would get to talking about paranormal television shows, and eventually we’d turn our attention to those moments in “normal” television shows that had these odd, misplaced ghost stories.  Each week it seemed one of the cartoons my children were watching introduced a Bigfoot, or an alien, or a ghost.  We eventually took to the air with it one night when the Sox ran late and the guest had cancelled.

After Tripping on Legend’s recent episodes involving a few horror movies, I decided to dust off the old list, which meant searching hard for the erased page out there on the Internet.

Honorable Mention

Two Cathedrals from The West Wing

The greatest episode of television ever, but before the final curtain drops, the President has a telling conversation with his recently dead secretary and life-long friend.  This is only an honorable mention because it is unclear whether she is dead or a product of anger, stress and guilt.  She does, however, interact with her environment, something a hallucination can’t do.

Happy Halloween from Growing Pains

This makes the list because it involves one of the classic ghost urban legend and does it well.  It also has Jamie Luner.  Mike learns another classic dating lesson; no true romance ever started by picking up a beautiful hitchhiker who seems to not know how to get home.  It doesn’t make the actual list because it’s a Halloween episode which is designed to allow that one-off ghost story.

How the Ghosts Stole Christmas from The X-Files

This is only an honorable mention because the show itself tackled the subject of ghosts several times so it becomes disqualified.  Mulder and Scully spend Christmas in a haunted house with Ed Asner and Lilli Tomlin who try to convince them to kill each other or themselves.

  1. Ghost Story from Laverne and Shirley

A spirit from the 20’s possesses a clown from the 50’s and all hell breaks loose.  This actually one of two L&S shows to involve a ghost, the second of which we talked about during our Lady in White episode, but this one was a bit creepier.

This was a real departure for the show, which was based in a slapstick but solid world, and the ghost is presented as a straight spectre and taken seriously.  Well, at least as serious as anything was taken on the show.

  1. Some Kind of Miracle from Grey’s Anatomy

I am not a fan of this show overall, but I have seen enough of it to know that when they mess with traditional storytelling, they usually get it right and give the viewers a memorable moment.

In this episode, Denny, the recently dead fiancé of one of the characters comes back to walk the halls of the hospital and encourage Grey to return to the living.  The idea is that he’s trapped, a classic paranormal idea used throughout time.  The final moments of his scenes are the most uplifting paranormal flashes I have ever seen captured on any kind of film.  They bring the idea of Denny back a little later in the show, but it plays more like he’s a figment of her imagination, and possibly her sex drive.

  1. The Phantom Brigade from GI Joe

This was one of my first exposures to the paranormal.  If you really think back on episodes, and even story arcs, of the old GI Joe cartoon, it feels like they had a copy of The Power of Myth with them in the writing room.  They had no problem bring in mythical characters and plotlines.  They even tackled such fringe topics as mind control, ancient aliens, and cryptozoology.  Let’s face it, even Serpentor was just a modern-day Frankenstein.

This episode was even different from those.  The idea these souls are trapped on this planet blew my mind while forming my ideas of what a ghost was and why ghosts stayed with the living.  The scene towards the end where each one talks about the object which binds them is actually heartbreaking.  Tim and I tossed The Phantom Brigade out during the writing of Haunted Objects, and it even made it into the introduction of the book.

  1. Afterlife from St. Elsewhere

    People have forgotten about the brilliance that was St. Elsewhere.  It’s remembered more for how it ended or the stars that came from it than for the impact it had on prime time dramas, especially hospital shows.  Like Grey’s Anatomy, it was always willing to introduce an odd narrative form to tell a different kind of story.  It not only often stepped outside of the box, it threw the box away.

    In this episode, Howie Mandel’s character,  Dr. Wayne Fiscus, is shot while on duty.  He travels to the afterlife and experiences heaven, hell, and the places in between, including coming back to the hospital as a ghost.  The writers make an attempt to weave humor and sadness into his journey, mainly because those are roles Fiscus brought to the show in the first place, but some of the scenes are downright spooky.

1. The Beast in the Black from the Greatest American Hero

Some of the scariest moments on television ever.

High school teacher and part-time hero Ralph is allowed to enter a spooky abandoned house to strip it for antiques his students can sell to raise money for a class gift.  There in lies one of the first things I learned about ghosts that has stayed with me until today.   It is always a bad idea to disturb trinkets and chandeliers when the house is haunted and the mirror is a vortex to another dimension.

The idea that a ghost could physically attack you and even trap you in another dimension stayed with me, and predated Poltergeist by over a year.  I still see those eyes sometimes at night.  The show itself is based on the idea of aliens, which makes a ghost story not too far off the mark, but the show was grounded in that reality and not in the paranormal world.  The idea that Ralph could not just use his alien technology but rather needed help from a psychic sets this episode apart.

My First Year as a Tripper

by Natalie Crist

This will be my first dive into the realm of personal online publication. Naturally  I’ve written previously, however it was always for the purpose of professional advertisement, or literature for product knowledge. In short I’ve never put myself out there for the world to read. Wish me luck!


In 2016 I was introduced to Christopher Balzano, and quickly learned about his ongoing Legends Project. Immediately I was drawn in by his enthusiasm, and extensive knowledge. Not only was I in presence of someone who truly had a passion for his field, but a highly educated individual who could offer fresh perspective and alternative opinions on the popular or widely accepted ideas the modern paranormal world had to offer. Hell, not even just the world of weird, he has an opinion on everything!  He asked me to join in on the Legends Project – specifically resparking the Tripping on Legends part, and of course I wanted in.  
shirt1At the time I didn’t even really realize what I was signing up for… I’ll never fully grasp why me, but I suppose it has something to do with my naiveté, my natural inclination to trust what’s given to me. Be it words, smells, sounds, or gut instinct, I have a tendency to blindly believe, and ask questions later. And I was a newbie into the paranormal, so I had no preconceived notions of right or wrong when it comes to stepping into the spooky.  

From the very beginning we hit the ground running. I had never been a part of such an engaging adventure.  Picking the theme song for the podcast was like destiny embodied. I’ll never forget that moment. Pure entrancement. Choosing artwork for the cover. (We argued here – for I’m not zombie fan!) We compromised. The picture of the spooky forest, was perfect for us in my humble opinion.. For me it stood as an allegory – a seemingly blank yet terrifying forest, with a touch of mystery – this was us. It calls to me. It has a luring quality, like you just have to know what lies beyond the blackness…  We had both undergone life altering changes in our personal lives, and we were ready for the next chapter. The empty spaces needing to be filled with adventure; paranormal adventures.


17626251_10212808826124518_9004207747878773194_nThis adventure came with a set of issues though – I’m prone to spiritual attack, or at least I think I am.  It could just be my empathic tendencies picking up strong emotions, and I can suffer.  Number two, I despise attention (Not really the personality traits of a Paranormal Podcast host, huh?). Thankfully we’ve worked around these issues!  Christopher is kind enough to shoulder my need for anonymity and does most of the publicity. I don’t really love to be seen on camera, and he respects that. (He’s also much more charismatic, and, er, enigmatic, so the role fits him) But, I am slowly stepping up.


2016-2017 was a hell of a year!


Listen to the Tripping on Legends episode about it…

We’ve been to so many places I had never heard of, experienced so many things I never thought possible, had lengthy discussions about the philosophical meaning of legends, but in the same breath joked about them as well. We have had the cards stacked against us, and we’ve had to learn on our feet. We’ve shelled out hundreds, if not thousands of dollars just experiencing new places, and I wouldn’t want a dime back for the lessons, the connections, and the memories are invaluable.



Natalie investigating the difference between traditional Mary hair and the statue’s

The next time I write I think I’ll delve into the what draws me in so strongly and what my reactions have been. One sentence kind of drives me – Often I forget the words that are said, however I feel forget the feelings.


Thanks for reading… I welcome feedback!