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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Listen to Episode 21…but Who Is Haunting Lydia

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Episode 32…Two Movies, So Much Folklore

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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 spookytripping@gmail.com.

Keep visiting the site for the trip log of our travels and other urban legends at:
www.trippingonlegends.wordpress.com 

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Listen to Episode 32…Two Movies, So Much Folklore

Follow us at: www.facebook.com/trippingonlegends 

Twitter @naynaymyfriend @SpookyBalzano 

Instagram @SpookyTripping @NayNayV3

Episode 33…Why Are All the Women in White

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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 spookytripping@gmail.com.

Keep visiting the site for the trip log of our travels and other urban legends at:
http://www.trippingonlegends.wordpress.com

Follow us at: www.facebook.com/trippingonlegends 

Twitter @naynaymyfriend @SpookyBalzano 

Instagram @SpookyTripping @NayNayV3

Listen to our show about Poltergeist and Ring:

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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!

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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.

 

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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!

 

 

Grandma’s Raising Your Child

Regina always felt close to her grandmother, Maria, living with her most her life, surviving tragedy together and sharing all of the best times of her life. After Maria’s death from cancer in 1989, Regina found herself feeling guilty over her death and saddened that her grandmother and friend would not be able to share the most exciting stage of her life.  She was dating the man she would eventually marry and soon there would be children.  “I think she would have gotten a kick out of my sons.  She never had a grandson except Paul and Michael a bit later.  She would have loved them.”

Lately Regina has begun to feel that Maria might not be missing out but is sharing her family’s lives in the apartment she used to live in.  Regina has felt her grandmother’s presence since her death, but since the birth of her second child and the boys moving into what was once her grandmother’s bedroom, the feelings have turned to physical experiences, and as the moments seem to intensify, Regina is left more confused than scared.  “It’s scary, but more or less positive,” says Regina, an energetic mother and cataloger at a library in Boston.  “Ever since she died there’s been a connection there.  What’s the message?  I mean, what’s the main purpose?”

grandma2Regina lived in the same house as her grandmother for most of her life.  After a fire in 1981 they were separated for a few months, but when her parents bought a two family house in Everett, Massachusetts, Maria moved in downstairs.  Regina would climb down the backstairs to her grandmother’s apartment to have tea and spend time talking.  When Regina left for college in the late Eighties, Maria became sick.  She tried to come home as much as possible, but the college was in Western Massachusetts and her grandmother was in and out of the hospital.  The night before Maria died, Regina had a confusing dream that seemed to trigger the connection between the two.  She dreamt of standing over her mother’s casket, her grandmother at her side.  The next day, although she was doing better, Maria passed away.  Regina never fully got over the guilt she felt about not being there, and it did not help when years later she heard her grandmother had responded to her absence by saying, “What, is geography more important to her than me?”

The first time she noticed something unusual about the apartment was shortly after her grandmother’s death.  She was staying there with some riends from college.  They joked around and watched scary movies, but some time during the night each of them experienced something they blew off until the next morning when they all told what had happened to them.  They each distinctly heard tea being made, from the sounds of things being moved to the clinking of the pot and the sound of the spoon against the cup.  Regina sees it as a sign of their connection.

“As soon as I would get home from school in the afternoon she would yell up the backstairs, ‘Are you coming down for tea?’  It was our thing.”

Four years later, now married, she moved in to the apartment.  Through the years she noticed small things but constantly pushed the idea aside.  “You look back and make the connection.”  There was often a smell in the apartment she associated with her grandmother, even though the apartment had not been lived in for years and her father had renovated the place.  They both would smell her grandmother’s perfume, White Shoulders, mixed with cigarette smoke, often coming from the bathroom.  Maria would often sit in the bathroom smoking and doing crossword puzzles.  Regina would also see shadows out of the corner of her eye and experience vivid dreams about her.  One involved Maria standing on the newly renovated upstairs porch, dressed in black, holding a baby, and eerily cackling.  She also woke up once to her grandmother in the room glowing white with angelic wings.  She felt it might have been a dream, but the next morning she found feathers in her bed.

1172840_10152431110917841_210684489_oShe attributed most of the dreams and experiences to her imagination and guilt.  When her second child was born, however, things began to intensity.  “When I had Anthony I needed more room so the two kids could share a room.”  She moved Anthony, and his older brother Tom, into the bedroom where her grandmother once slept.  Almost immediately things started to happen.  There was a fire alarm installed in the room that ran off the electrical of the house.  It started to beep as soon as the kids moved in, although her and her husband had lived there for three years without any noise.  They cleaned the alarm, reset it and had an electrician take a look at it, but every time they put it back up it went off.

Tom, her three year old son is often heard talking to someone over the baby monitor.  Regina hears a soft buzz and then her son whispering low enough so that she cannot understand what is being said.  When Regina finally got up enough courage to ask him who he was talking too he explained, “I’m talking to my friend, the lady.  The lady that watches me sleep.”  Tom has started to not sleep in his room, preferring to sleep with his mother in her bed.  Recently, Regina was talking with her mother upstairs with the boys asleep in their room.  Her mother heard Tom talking over the monitor and asked what he was doing.  Regina explained to her skeptical mother, Maria’s daughter, who she feels has had things happen to her but refuses to talk about them.  Regina went back downstairs and right before she opened the door to the boys’ room, she heard Tom say, “Shhh,” over the monitor.

There have been other signs that there might be someone else living in the house.  The family dog does not go in the room unless there is someone in it, often circling around the door when it goes by and running from the room into Regina’s lap.  Regina has seen a figure in the hallway out of the corner in her eye.  She has not gotten a solid look, but she knows there is someone there.  Keys hanging from hooks in the hallway start to swing when she feels someone is there.

nanaLately things have gotten stranger.  Near Halloween she was sleeping in her bed with her son.  From the angle she was at she could see her mirror and through the mirror the reflection from her television.  All of a sudden there was a bright light about the size of a grapefruit in the mirror, slowly moving from side to side.  She tried to rationalize what was happening, thinking it might have been the Halloween lights outside, but she could not tell where the light was coming from.  She closed her eyes, but when she opened them, the light was clearly in the room inches from her, right above her son.  The light then seemed to move into the bathroom, at which point Regina ran into a different room.

A few nights later she was again lying in bed with her son Tom when she felt someone sit on the bed.  She could feel the pressure and thought it might be her husband.  When she looked there was no one there.  She asked, “Nana, is that you?”  The pressure on the bed felt like someone just jumped up and Regina felt as if the room had become suddenly empty.  This experience has confused Regina more than the others.  She always felt the presence was her grandmother, but she does not understand why she would run away when she tried to make contact.

Regina is convinced the spirit is that of Maria, but she is not fully ready to see her grandmother in the kitchen making tea.  “I’m afraid to know.  I like to hear it on the other side but I know it’s not in my head any more.  At some point you have to say, ‘there’s something here.  There’s something going on.”  She feels her grandmother was not ready to die and was on some much medication towards the end she did not know what was happening to her.  If she had, she would have fought it.  She feels Maria wants to see her great-grandchildren grow up and share their experiences.  “She won’t have wanted to miss out on everything she’s missing out on.”  She also feels the nature of what happened points to her grandmother.  “I think the stuff that is happening is her personality.”

Regina also believes the activity will get stronger as Christmas approaches.  “It was her thing,” she says thinking about the holidays spent with her Nana.

Regina has gotten use to the idea of the ghost she might share her house with.  Although she is still not sure what to make of her grandmother, she accepts the signs that are around her.

grandma3It was somewhat discouraging for her though.  Just when she was ready to listen to what her grandmother had to say, she stopped talking.  She continued to smell the roses and cigarettes in the bathroom and sometimes felt someone watching her when she was alone, but the lights and noises stopped.  Pretty soon Regina felt her grandmother must have passed on.

That was until Christmas.

Maria had always enjoyed the holidays.  Regina was able to look back on her experiences in the apartment and see her grandmother had always made herself known around Christmas.  She was not really thinking about it when she put up her decorations this year.  There were other things to think about.  Her husband had just gotten out of the hospital with a heart problem.  More importantly, this was the last Christmas they would be in the apartment.  They had bought a house several months before and were only waiting to finish fixing it up before moving in.  When she had purchased the house she had wondered briefly if Maria would move with them.

Tom, now almost five, made his way downstairs from his grandmother’s upstairs.  He stopped to look at the tree and then went into the kitchen to brush his teeth in the sink.

As Regina finished up the last of the decorations, she heard Tom talking from the kitchen.  He was not singing or babbling, but talking in complete sentences with pauses as he was listening to someone else and responding.  Regina thought it must be her father and went it to say hello.

Tom stood alone on his stepladder with his wet hands in the sink.  He was alone.  “Tom, where’s Papa?”

Tom looked confused.  “Papa’s not here.”

“Well, who were you talking to?”

“The lady with the white hair on the stairs.”

Regina wanted to ask him who the woman was.  What did she look like?  Had you talked to her before?  But all she could do was watch little Tom make his way to the TV room as and think about all the times she had run down those same stairs to go see her grandmother.

Horn Pond’s Little Demons

 

100_0203Most of the locals who walk along the picturesque trails  circling Horn Pond know little of its history. They do not know how it was once used to carry supplies in and out of nearby Boston. They look across its empty surface and do not know that boats and swimmers used to sail and play and laugh.

They do not know it is haunted.

Horn Pond has been a source of mystery since before it was settled. Native Americans in the area stayed away from the pond. Their legends tell of a great battle between the gods of light and the gods of darkness. The bad guys were winning victories all across the land, forcing the good guys to run and hide and try to regroup.   Finding a hiding place in Woburn, they made the mountains of Woburn their home until they got word the bad guys had found their hiding place.  They dug out a trench, waited for the evil ones to enter it and then filled it with water, trapping the demons beneath the surface but not killing them.

It’s not a new story.  In fact, there are several similar references to this kind of battle, including one in Lakeville, Massachusetts, where the legend is attached to Pukwudgies.  There the curse was responsible for the sketchy murder of  John Sassamon, the spark of King Phillip’s War.  The backstory is also responsible for haunted ponds and lakes in Minnesota, Michigan, and Oregon.

It may be the demons that have taken the lives of the people on Horn Pond, but it the human spirits people believe they see at night. In the past two hundred years the body of water has taken the life of over forty-five people, an amount made even more outrageous by the size of the pond. Most of the accidents involved boating errors or small children. There have been some reports of falling through the ice, but what is unusual is that there is no curse or negative Native American-settler story attached to the area. Most bodies of water considered this haunted in New England have a story of a settler taking the life of a Native and the pond becoming a source of death as revenge. Natives and modern Americans seem equally affected by the forces.

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The haunting happen at night and during the day. The pond is used for nature walks and has foot traffic even on the coldest day. Some people have said the mood changes when they reach certain spots. They have feeling fine and then need to stop walking and turn around. They often feel as if they are being watched. Dogs have been known to bark or whimper and then become normal again.

At night lights have been seen above the water. They have been described as bright blue, round, several feet tall and hovering above the water. Several people have seen people walking on the water, always with their back to the viewer. One local tells of a canoe she has seen several times. The canoe always is seen sailing to the middle of the pond and then fades away as she watches. The water itself is closed to both boats and swimmers.

All the Angels in Iowa are Dark

And I started in Iowa.

I’m not sure why except someone had sent me a press release about a monster book from the state, which I really didn’t intend to read, and I heard something on the news about someone from Iowa.  It seemed like a good place to start because, like most of the country, I am completely ignorant to its geography and its complexion.  I can gather from the name it must have a strong Native American heritage, but other than that, I draw a blank.  In fact, it may have appealed to me because what I know of it exists for me as little fragments of facts that I’m not sure are correct.  I can make a strong argument that is exactly what a legend is.

So, week one is Iowa, and here is what I think I know.  Captain Kirk was raised there.  One of its colleges, I believe Iowa State, has the best writing program in the country.  I remember a friend of mine applying to graduate school to the wrong one and nearly collapsing when she discovered her mistake.  There is farming there, or ranching, and it might be in the middle of the country.

At some point, I’m hoping someone thinks this is quaint.  Are we always patting the student on the back who’s not afraid to ask the dumb question and admit they don’t know something.  I do not know about Iowa, blame my parents or the school system.  I am sure a few of the people I get in contact with will look me up to see if they should respond.  If you work under the assumption that this is my way to stick pins in the places across the country I’m ignorant to, does that mean I should be commended for asking and forgiven for not knowing.  Again, at some point, I’m hoping they think this is quant.

Visit Spooky Southcoast’s Pinterest page to see images of the Dark Angel…

Iowa City’s Oakland Cemetery and its legendary Dark Angel were the most common response to my inquiries, although I need to admit most of the people I contacted were from state commissions and agencies.  I was leery at first because I am trying to avoid hauntings, but I discovered something a bit different there.  I avoided their links to paranormal sites and went to the source itself.  According to the Iowa City Government site, the statue, erected under the direction of a grieving mother and wife of Bohemian descent, has a history with the University of Iowa and the surrounding community because:

  • No University of Iowa coed is a true coed unless they have been kissed in front of the Black Angel.
  • Any girl kissed near her in the moonlight will die within six months.
  • If a girl who is innocent of men and the world is kissed in front of the Angel, the Angel
  • will return to its original color, and the curse that turned it black will be lifted.
  • Touching the Angel at midnight on Halloween means death within seven years.
  • Anyone who kisses the Angel will die instantly.
  • Every passing Halloween causes the Angel to turn one shade darker as a reminder of the people she has killed.

Automatically, I’m taken back to other cemetery legends I’ve heard.  I’m reminded of the Graveyard Wager legend where someone, on a dare, has to spend the night in a local cemetery and dies because they become scared and accidentally fall or hit their head.  When the cemetery in your town has a particular monument or statue or unusual grave, it increases the likelihood of this kind of story.  Of course, the death become part of the lore of the story, and their spirit becomes part of the reason people go there on a dare themselves.  This also takes me back to the story of Rockadundee Road and its ghostly gazebo.

As is often the case, the figure is a magnet to the local college area and its connection to love and sex can’t be ignored.  It is a right of passage to kiss in front of the Dark Angel, but if you do, you risk dying.  Only the pure woman, like in modern horror stories, can break the curse and stop the killing.  The Angel has been there for over a hundred years, which leads me to believe she has incredibly high standards or there aren’t many pure young ladies on the campus of the University of Iowa.    The college embraces the legend, and in a weird twist has students translate the inscriptions and markings, which I’m sure adds to the oddness of the location.  The connection to Halloween, along with the references to rites of passage, also remind me of the famous Session House hauntings at Smith College.

Why did the angel turn black?  I’m going to allow you to read some of the reasons and find the one you like the best, and instead offer up another question.  Why are we so quick to condemn and accuse?  In my limited research, I have found nothing, accept the court case mentioned on the site, to taint the woman who patroned the Dark Angel.  Yet she has been accused of witchcraft, been involved in murder plots and adultery, and had her family members reputations smeared to try and explain the anomaly.

There is the hitch though.  We need that mythology to explain that which defies our understanding.  It’s no different than Zeus in the lightening and God behind the flood.  Angels don’t just become Dark Angels without some evil behind it, and if the village didn’t do it, an individual must have.  Throw in an outsider, and I’m not totally sure what people from Iowa would consider at outsider, and you know where the blame is going to fall.  These stories don’t just tell us right from wrong.  They also firmly place those who tell them on the side of the just and those who don’t heed the moral firmly in the dark.