House of Horrors: 4 Seriously Haunted Houses in New England By Eryn Dion

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Just about everyone has, at some point, been convinced their house is absolutely, definitely haunted. Whether it’s hearing footsteps, water faucets turning on by themselves, the feeling of being watched — it’s enough to have the Ghost Hunters on speed dial.

We hate to break it to you, but your house probably isn’t haunted and many of the things that go bump in the night have perfectly mundane explanations. Those footsteps? Uneven floors. Water turning on? Bad plumbing. The feeling of being watched? Bad electrical. So maybe replace Ghost Hunters (based in Warwick!) in your phone with a good contractor.

Unless, that is, you live in one of the following houses, where paranormal and supernatural happenings have gained notoriety and there’s usually a bloody history to back them up. So whether your house is home to a family of humans or a family of demons (or both, we don’t discriminate) enjoy these 4 seriously haunted houses in New England.

Burrillville Conjuring House in Burrillville, Rhode Island

Let’s get the obvious one out of the way first. This unassuming 18th century farmhouse in the equally unassuming Rhode Island village of Burrillville was a downright nightmare for the Perron family, who purchased the home in 1971, only to discover it was already occupied — by a whole bunch of terrifying ghosts. And no, insurance doesn’t cover that.

While each of the seven members of the Perron family were tormented, the apparitions focused on the family’s matriarch, Carolyn Perron, in particular.

“Mrs. Perron said she awoke before dawn one morning to find an apparition by her bed: the head of an old woman hanging off to one side over an old gray dress,” reads an August 1977 story in The Providence Journal. “There was a voice reverberating, ‘Get out. Get out. I’ll drive you out with death and gloom.’ ”

It got so bad that a local paranormal group brought in famed demonologists Ed and Lorriane Warren — two names you’ll recognize if you’ve been following the Haunted New England newsletter — who determined that the house was being haunted by a woman named Bathsheba Sherman, who lived there in the early 19th century and was a practicing Satanist, sacrificing her two daughters to Lucifer and hanging herself in a ritual, according to news reports in The Journal from the time. The story later inspired the Hollywood movie “The Conjuring” along with its roughly 18 sequels and spinoffs (that’s an exaggeration, there’s only 7 movies right now, not counting The Conjuring 3 coming in 2020.)

While the Perrons are regulars on the paranormal circuit and have been open about sharing their story, the current owners of the home had preferred to keep things quiet. That is, until it was bought earlier this year by Maine couple Cory and Jennifer Heinzen, who seem to be embracing the attention that comes with owning a house that inspired an entire movie franchise. And if you ever wanted to visit the house, good news, they plan to open it to the public!

S.K. Pierce Mansion in Gardner, Massachusetts

The word “mansion” doesn’t generally come to mind when one thinks of Gardner, Massachusetts, but there was a time when the Chair City was a bustling hub for furniture manufacturers, some of whom reaped the rewards and got very, very rich.

One of those men was Sylvester Knowlton Pierce, who built his chair manufacturing empire in the mid-1800′s. It was also where, in 1875, he built his three-storey mansion in the Second Empire Victorian-style. While today the mansion feels out of place among the triple-deckers and smaller single-family homes on Union Street and Broadway, the mansion was where S.K. Pierce held court for a decade, its 21 rooms providing ample space to entertain the likes of P.T. Barnum, President Calvin Coolidge and Norman Rockwell.

But all the rooms, fancy windows and immaculate craftsmanship couldn’t save the Pierce family from tragedy, which struck almost immediately after the family moved in. Within two months, Pierce’s first wife died of an illness, and Pierce himself died in 1888, with his second wife dying in 1902. The mansion was then converted into an inn, then a boarding house and collecting several more deaths, including an older man who is said to have burned to death and now haunts the basement area.

Eventually the home entered into private ownership and was opened to paranormal investigators, who have scoured the property on television shows like “Ghost Adventures” and “Ghost Hunters” and probably some other ghost-themed shows. In addition to just generally looking very creepy, the mansion apparently plays host to at least 3 ghosts, including a young woman and little girl. Psychic mediums have also said the building sits on top of a ley line — invisible lines that cross the globe and supposedly carry supernatural energy — which runs through the mansion’s grand staircase. The mansion was purchased several years ago by The Dark Carnival, who have been renovating it with the intention of turning it into a haunted attraction. And yes, you’ll be able to stay the night.

Snedeker Demon House, Southington, Connecticut

As the name might suggest, this rather inconspicuous duplex in Southington, Connecticut was allegedly so haunted it inspired both the novel “In a Dark Place: The Story of a True Haunting” and the film “The Haunting in Connecticut,” both created at the direction of our old friends, Ed and Lorraine Warren.

The Snedeker family moved into their new rental in Southington in 1986, where they occupied the first floor. Turns out, the house used to be a home – a funeral home, that is – and the previous owners didn’t do a great job of cleaning up, leaving behind gurneys, toe tags and, well, demons. Almost immediately the family claimed they were under attack from vicious and terrifying supernatural forces. Hot off the publicity around their testifying that Connecticut murder suspect Arne Johnson stabbed his landlord while possessed by a demon, the Warrens and their media train showed up at the Snedeker house. Many of the initial hauntings focused around the Snedeker’s younger son, who was being treated for cancer, but the incidents, including apparitions and water faucets running with blood, were experienced by the whole family.

Of course, it came out later that much of the story around the Snedekers had been exaggerated or outright fabricated and that the evil around the house had a very real cause, namely alcoholism, drug abuse and mental illness. That didn’t stop the Warrens and Hollywood from turning the event into its own movie series. And at the end of the day, it’s a house that used to be a funeral home and I certainly wouldn’t want to live there.

The home is a private residence, so don’t try and go pay it a visit, but if you find yourself in Connecticut, the Warrens have a whole Occult Museum with various artifacts taken from investigations, including the notorious Annabelle doll (which has its own movie trilogy, of course). The museum is closed currently due to zoning issues, but it’s attached to the former couple’s house, which is pretty creepy in its own right.

Joshua Ward House Salem, Massachusetts

When it comes to quintessential New England, it doesn’t get more New England-y than a good supernatural-based panic. While the Haunted New England newsletter has covered the vampire panic, this house owes its haunting to the OG original New England panic — the Salem Witch Trials.

See the Joshua Ward House – notable in its own right as being one of the first brick homes in Salem and the site where George Washington stayed when he visited the city in 1789 – was built on the site of a different home, belonging to George Corwin who, in 1692 at the ripe age of 25, was the High Sheriff during the Salem Witchcraft Trials. That sounds like exactly the kind of event you want a 25-year-old in charge of.

Corwin was a central figure in the cases that would end in the execution of 19 innocent men and women. One death, the execution of 81-year-old Giles Corey, was equal parts creative and vile, as Corwin oversaw Corey’s “peine forte et dure” meaning “hard and forceful punishment” by pressing — literally what it sounds like as Corey was laid on his back and heavier and heavier weights were placed on him until he died. You’ve probably seen the demonstration of it if you’ve gone to King Richard’s Faire and let’s just say, it was disgusting.

But in addition to Corwin being a guy who seemed to carry around some pretty dark energy, Salem legend says he was known locally as “The Strangler,” for taking the accused into his personal home and down into the basement. No, he wasn’t taking them to see his man cave, he was taking them to a torture chamber where he would, you guessed it, strangle them until they confessed to whatever he wanted. Paranormal investigators have reported feeling a tight pressure on their necks in the basement of the Joshua Ward House, which is also the only original part of Corwin’s home left. The actual Salem Witch Museum, though, says this all probably never happened, but it certainly makes for a scary story.

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Sweet Springs Sanitarium screams leave paranormal investigators terrified on Destination Fear by Jerry Brown

This was a GREAT episode. Calleen

Sweet Springs Sanitarium on Destination Fear
The moment the Destination Fear team hear terrifying screams in Sweet Springs Sanitarium. Pic credit: Travel Channel

The Sweet Springs Sanitarium in West Virginia is no stranger to visits from paranormal enthusiasts. Destination Fear, which heads there for this week’s episode, is not the first and likely will not be the last production to visit the old building searching for paranormal activity.

Previous investigations of the Sanitarium have been carried out by Supernatural Lost Adventures and Paranormal Encounters, with eerie results. Tonight, the Destination Fear team experience everything from unexplained harrowing screams to voices and terrifying chanting.

Before ghosts and paranormal investigators arrived, this pre-Civil War building had previously played host to ex-presidents, famous generals, tuberculosis patients, mental health patients, the elderly, and finally, as reported by some, the ghostly souls of those previous guests.

The Sweet Springs area was first settled in 1760, with a hotel first being constructed at the site of the sanitarium in 1792. The main building currently occupying the site is often referred to as The Jefferson Building, it was built in 1839, during the most prosperous period of the resort, which lasted from the 1820s until The Civil War.Join these TV discussions on our forum!

The resort, known affectionately as Old Sweet, was host to many famous historical guests, including but not exclusive to, George and Martha Washington, James Madison, Franklin Pierce, and Generals Lafayette and Robert E. Lee.

After The Civil War the place began to become less popular, mostly due to its remote location away from the burgeoning railroad network. However, it remained open for business until the 1930s, at which point it finally succumbed to the economic crisis of the era and shut its doors to guests.

The State of West Virginia then came to the property’s rescue, and the building was reopened as a ward for patients suffering from lung diseases, especially TB. In the 1940s and 1950s the property catered for patients suffering mental health issues.

Finally, it was a home for the elderly until 1993, and since then it has been uninhabited by any one large group of people.

The current owners of the property state, on their Facebook page, that they are open to paranormal investigators and that any donations received will go to the preservation of the old resort. Tune in tonight to find out what the Destination Fear team uncovered!Sign up now for your TV newsletter!

Destination Fear airs Saturday at 10/9c on Travel Channel.

15 True Events That Inspired Horror Movies by Martha Sorren

Halloween might be over, but the spooky season can continue as long as anyone pleases. For a really good scare, there are tons of scary movies that are based on true stories. As if ghosts, demons, and serial killers weren’t scary enough in their fictional form, these ones are all reportedly real. 

With any movie, these films can still take creative license with the story lines, but they’re still inspired by supposed true events. Everything from haunted eBay listings, ghost stories, and unsolved murder cases have been fodder for films over the years. Some of these movies even came out soon after the supposed events.


One director who took a lot of his scary movie ideas from true life was Wes Craven. The master of horror himself is responsible for franchises like A Nightmare on Elm Street, Scream, The Hills Have Eyes, and more. Many of his story lines are taken from news stories or old legends.

(So much for reassuring oneself that Ghostface or Freddy Krueger were just fictional!)

Some of these movies came from true stories that were so scary on their own, they didn’t need much embellishing. Others had more mild (but still scary) real events that were dialed up in the movies to really freak audiences out. And, of course, none of the ghost stories and hauntings can be proven, but they’re scary enough to make us think twice about questioning those who say they experienced them. We’re not ones to scoff at the spirit world like that. Just in case.

Here are 15 scary films that come from true stories (or events) that send chills down our spines. No one will be able watch these the same way knowing what inspired these spooky plots.

This creepy movie about a haunted house is based on the story of newlyweds George and Kathleen Lutz who abruptly moved out of their dream home in the ’70s after they became convinced it was haunted. They wouldn’t elaborate on the supposed events, but Topic magazine reports that George said a “very strong force” had driven them to leave “because of our concern for our own personal safety as a family.” Spooky.

Dexter‘s Jennifer Carpenter plays the lead role in this movie about a young woman who dies after having an exorcism performed on her. According to The Telegraph, it’s based on the real case of 23-year-old Anneliese Michel who starved to death in 1976 after being ordered to fast to get rid of the supposed demons within her.

Open Water follows a married couple who accidentally get left behind by a boat during a scuba diving excursion. Without any way of getting home, they’re left to the sharks. According to The Guardian, the terrifying tale is based on the true story of Tom and Eileen Lonergan who were left behind by their dive boat. They were never seen again, but their wetsuits and other diving materials were later found. None of their clothing suggests they were killed by sharks, though, which is where the movie differs.

The Alfred Hitchcock classic Psycho is reportedly based on the serial killer Ed Gein who skinned his victims after death. The movie’s version of Gein is Norman Bates who keeps his mother’s mummified corpse in his house long after her death.
So creepy.

The 1996 slasher film Scream was actually based on a real series of murders in Florida in 1990, according to Complex magazine. Five people lost their lives to a knife-wielding killer, and a story on the murders was shown on TV one night when future Scream director Wes Craven was watching. And so, the creepy Ghostface was born.

Wes Craven was inspired by another true story for the plot of A Nightmare on Elm Street. The director told Vulture that he read an article about a young boy who was having nightmares that he was being chased. Reportedly, the child died mid-nightmare one night, and no one could explain why. Craven was taken by the scary story and turned it into one of the most famous horror franchises ever.

The Strangers is a horror movie about three masked criminals who break into a house. Director Bryan Bertino once said the story is based in part on the Sharon Tate murders which were carried out by the Manson Family. The perpetrators were total strangers to Tate, and the house’s other occupants, which likely would have made the attacks even more terrifying.

The Spanish Netflix horror film Veronica is reportedly based on a true story of a girl in Madrid who died after she used a Ouija board and experienced a set of strange and horrific events. In the movie, the Ouija board became a seance, with its main character Veronica followed around by an angry spirit after she attempts to commune with the deceased. Rookie mistake.

Poltergeist, a movie about a family dealing with evil spirits in their home, is loosely inspired by the rumored haunting of a family in Long Island in the ’50s. Out of the blue, objects supposedly started flying around the home on their own and no one could figure out what was going on. Eventually they stopped, and the family understandably moved away. But imagine living through a haunting and then seeing that haunting portrayed in a popular film a couple of decades later.
Doubly terrifying.

Chucky, the terrifying evil doll in Child’s Play, is based on a doll named Robert who is also said to be haunted by a demonic spirit. According to Talk Radio UK, since 1906, stories of this haunted doll have plagued the Key West, Florida, area where the doll is housed. After its original hauntings in the early 20th century, the doll was stashed in an attic. But it was found in 1974 by a child of the new homeowners who later claimed the doll had tried to murder the girl. Despite that terrifying tale, the doll is now on display at Florida’s Fort East Mortello Museum.Sure, seems safe.

The Conjuring is about a haunting at a farm in 18th century Rhode Island, and it’s based on supposedly true events that real-life paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren encountered throughout their career. Now that’s a job only a select few people would want.

If a cannibalistic cult movie sounds like it couldn’t possibly be a true story, think again. The Hills Have Eyes was reportedly inspired by a Scottish legend of a man named Sawney Bean who supposedly led a cannibalistic clan in 16th-century Scotland. It’s not clear if such a person ever existed, but the legend was definitely scary enough to make for a terrifying film.

In The Possession, a woman buys an antique box at a yard sale and soon discovers that it’s haunted by an evil spirit. The story is reportedly based on an odd eBay listing for a “haunted Jewish wine cabinet box” — a possession that couldn’t possibly end well for the purchaser. The Los Angeles Times article about the listing calls it “a jinx in a box,” which is certainly what the characters of The Possession would say about their own box.

The Haunting in Connecticut movie gets even creepier when learning the backstory of the film. Reportedly the haunted house is based on a real family’s home. Allen and Carmen Snedeker lived in the Connecticut house with their children and one day discovered that it had been a funeral parlor before they bought it. They claim that after that discovery they encountered terrifying supernatural events like water turning to blood. Their supposed experiences eventually became the plot for the movie.

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My Horror Story

I don’t know if you are watching this, but this has quickly become one of my most favorite Paranormal TV Shows. Below is the last episode…. so very eye-opening.

It’s on the Travel Channel… usually on Mondays, but sometimes Tuesdays. You’ll have to check your cable guide. SUCH A GREAT SHOW it’s worth the effort.

Poltergeist terrorized east Hull family before real-life exorcism drove it away by James Campbell

Their lives were blighted by the spirits of a murdered mother and baby

Reverend Tom Willis exorcising a home off Holderness Road in east Hull.
Reverend Tom Willis exorcising a home off Holderness Road in east Hull

Think of exorcisms and immediately thoughts turn to possessed youngsters with rotating heads projectile vomiting.

But for one young family it all became too real if rather less dramatic in an east Hull terrace house.

The couple had a young baby and should have been looking forward to starting their family life together.

Instead, their lives were blighted by what were believed to be the spirits of a murdered young mother and baby.

Having being tormented by a poltergeist for three years the family finally fled with their then four-month-old daughter after waking to find the word “move” written on the condensation in their bedroom.

At that point, they sought help from paranormal investigators who were shocked by the level of activity and produced a startling report of their findings.

It led to the couple calling in the Reverend Tom Willis to carry out an exorcism in April 2011, which the Mail was there to witness.

Reverend Tom Willis exorcising a home off Holderness Road in east Hull.
Reverend Tom Willis exorcising a home off Holderness Road in east Hull.

But there was no Hollywood-style projectile vomiting or heads turning 360 degrees.

Instead, Rev Willis calmly went through the disturbed house, off Holderness Road, quietly blessing it as he went, dabbing the walls with holy water.

While the event may not have been dramatic, the effect on the young mum certainly was.

“I felt like sighing at the end of it,” she told the Mail at the time

“I’m not at all religious but I got a real sense of happiness and calm after the house was blessed. It was very emotional for me.”

It was a different story a week before when the paranormal investigators visited the house.

One investigator was slapped in the face while another had a television remote thrown at him.

But it was a much calmer affair during Rev Willis’s visit on Tuesday night.

The word move was reportedly written by a poltergeist in the condensation of a window in an east Hull home
The word move was reportedly written by a poltergeist in the condensation of a window in an east Hull home

“I can breathe again now,” Emma said. “It is like the house has filled with fresh air. It feels strange, like I have my house back.”

Her partner also felt the benefits: “While everyone was upstairs, I started to feel a lot better. The cold feelings I’ve been having have gone.”

Incidents previously tormented the couple in the past include the stereo switching itself off and pictures spinning on the wall.

The mum even woke up one night and heard something whisper “coochy coo” to her daughter.

A friend who came round to visit also saw the reflection of an unknown baby in a mirror.

Little is known about the history of the home.

The landlord at the time lived in Spain and only bought the property a few years before.

Such knowledge would have helped Rev Willis, who has been exorcising ghosts for 50 years, focus the blessing more.

“Knowing what happened in the house would allow me to provide specific prayers to particular areas where something might have happened,” he explained.

“It would have been nice to know the history and whether it was suicide, murder or a fire.

“The blessing was quite routine but I rarely feel anything and I have never seen a ghost.

“Hauntings are usually lonely spirits that have refused to move on.

“What I do brings relief to both the spirit and those bothered by it.”

“I sometimes get a feeling but, for the most part, I just let God deal with it.”

A week later life had returned to normal for the couple after the exorcism appeared to have banished the poltergeist.

“The house seems fine now and the exorcism seems to have worked,” the mum said.

“It has been a week since the house was blessed and we haven’t had any problems.

“We just feel much better about things. I am so glad.”

Reverend Tom Willis performed many exorcisms across the country.
Reverend Tom Willis has performed many exorcisms across the country

The real test as to whether the spirits have been banished came when the woman’s mum came to visit.

“Every time my mum came to the house she choked,” she said

“But when she came round after the exorcism she was okay so that is a real test.

“I am much happier about everything now.”

Unfortunately, the Rev Tom Willis passed away in January 2014 having carried out several hundred exorcisms during his career.

He previously spoke to the Hull Daily Mail about his career.

“When I was ordained people came to me about ghosts,” he said. “Once, someone said their house was haunted and asked me to investigate. That was my first case. It turned out a woman had committed suicide in the house and when I blessed and forgave her, she went away.

“I was called once by three huge Hull dockers who had played an ouija board and they just sat there shaking. Strange things had happened to them.

“It became such a problem, the Diocese of York created a team of 12 ministers to carry out exorcisms.

“There was a huge issue with the occult in Hull 30 years ago, so much so, the police had my phone number ready to hand.”

Among his most notorious cases was the haunting of a policeman’s house.

“At one of the homes, ornaments were flying about and objects were going through walls,” he recalls.

“At one point, I felt something go right through me. It felt like an electrical shock and it left me rigid. On another occasion, with the same family, I left my Holy water at the house.

“The husband found it and put it on a shelf. It disappeared and was found moments later four miles away at his wife’s workplace. I think a previous family in the home had dabbled in the occult.”

Rev Willis says exorcisms are as much about detective work as a spiritual quest.

“First, we have to establish whether what is happening is spiritual,” he said. “We have to rule out the obvious explanations first. You have to keep your feet on the floor. People get embarrassed when there is a rational explanation, but at least it gives them peace of mind.

“Once, I came into my church late and I saw a flame floating across the room. I thought I had seen my first ghost, but when I switched the light on there was a drunk man holding a lighter.”

Possessions, as seen in the film The Exorcist, can be particularly disturbing.

“I have heard people possessed speaking in a foreign tongue or a frail old woman speak with a deep masculine voice,” Rev Willis said.

“When I was quite new to the job, I was praying with someone in church when he suddenly started blaspheming and foaming at the mouth. He fell to the floor convulsing.

“I continued to pray for him and he stopped. At first, I thought he had died, but he came round. It turned out he used to practice Satanism and he had never dealt with that.”

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Visit The Most Haunted Town in America. Posted by Aimee

You would think the most haunted town in America would be something big, something shrouded in mystery. New Orleans comes to mind, hell even New York City could be super haunted! Well, it turns out the most haunted city is in Illinois. Yes, Alton Illinois to be exact. The city was built on limestone which is a guaranteed producer of paranormal activity. Something about limestone attracts all kinds of entities. I grew up in a house built on a limestone slab. That paired with 3 pre teen/teen age girls the poltergeist had a field day! Angsty energy is a favorite of some ghosts. Pay a visit to the most haunted town in America! Alton, Illinois.

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Ghost hunters say this is their biggest fear. And it has nothing to do with ghosts By John Blake, CNN

(CNN)David Schrader is creeping through the darkened hallways of the most-haunted house in America, looking for trouble.It’s well past midnight, and his paranormal team has been summoned to the 19th-century brick house in San Diego because people say a malevolent spirit dubbed “Yankee Jim” has taken up residence. They report hearing his footsteps clanking down the stairs at night, strange mists floating through rooms, cold spots and the sensation of being watched.

Why we love being scared: The science of fear 01:44As Schrader feels his way through the darkness, he senses that something is stalking him. So does Cindy Kaza, a psychic on his team who whispers to him, “I don’t want to be here.””If you’re trying to influence Cindy you need to back off,” Schrader, a burly man with a shaved head and a goatee, announces as he scans the room. “You do not have power or authority over her.”Then someone, or something, slams into the 6-foot, 280-pound Schrader. He’s knocked to his knees as if he’s been sucker punched — and no one has touched him.”Something just shoved me straight on,” he says, a look of bewilderment crossing his face. “That’s nuts.”

What’s scarier than ghosts?

It’s just another night at the office for Schrader, one of the nation’s top paranormal investigators. For the past 13 years, he has tangled with dark entities, listened to disembodied voices and visited many of the world’s most haunted places.That haunted house smackdown was filmed for Schrader’s new show, “The Holzer Files.” In the Travel Channel series, he and a team of paranormal experts reinvestigate the “secret files” of Hans Holzer, one of America’s first ghost hunters.

Dave Schrader, right (with fellow ghost hunter Tim Dennis): "A lot of these spirits have a story that needs to be told."

Dave Schrader, right (with fellow ghost hunter Tim Dennis): “A lot of these spirits have a story that needs to be told.”Every day is Halloween for people like Schrader, one of a new wave of celebrity paranormal investigators who have inspired countless people to form amateur ghost-hunting teams across America.People routinely ask him about scary stories. But when CNN asked Schrader and other famous ghost hunters to share their biggest frights, none mentioned confronting entities such as “Yankee Jim.”People spook them more than spirits, they all say. One of the biggest secrets of the paranormal field is that it is filled with all sorts of earthbound hazards that newbie investigators never contemplate: Mentally ill people who physically attack investigators during house calls; unscrupulous investigators who stage supernatural encounters; criminals robbing and beating ghost-hunting teams in abandoned buildings.”The living are much more scary than anything paranormal I’ve come into contact with,” Schrader says.And then there is another, little-known occupational hazard — the sheer terror of tedium. Nothing happens during most investigations. An estimated 80% of paranormal disturbances are ultimately attributed to things as mundane as bad housing construction, investigators say.”There is something out there, and we don’t know what it is,” says Elaine Davison, an Oregon paranormal investigator. “But I will tell you that most of it is bad wiring.”

Why ghost hunters do what they do

So why do paranormal investigators persist despite the dangers?The reasons vary. Many had childhood experiences that stoked their curiosity. Schrader’s grandmother used to visit him as a kid after she died.Others mention similar experiences: A ghost kissed one investigator on her cheek as she feel asleep one night; another says they witnessed an exorcism, and another famous ghost hunter started seeing apparitions after visiting a healer.Some also pursue this unique calling because they want proof of life beyond death. Others like the adrenalin rush. And virtually all say they’re providing a service. They help grieving families who often have tried everything else to heal. Sometimes, they say, they even help ghosts.What ghosts want is often what humans want — acknowledgment that they matter, Schrader says.

Joe Trevino, a paranormal investigator with G.H.O.S.T. Houston, sets up an all-night investigation inside the USS Cavalla submarine  in Galveston, Texas, in 2018.

Joe Trevino, a paranormal investigator with G.H.O.S.T. Houston, sets up an all-night investigation inside the USS Cavalla submarine in Galveston, Texas, in 2018.He cites the story of a ghost who haunted a family until investigators discerned her identity. They hung a portrait of the dead woman in the house and the hauntings ceased, he says.”A lot of these spirits have a story that needs to be told, and they had been forgotten,” Schrader says.But paranormal investigators can’t discover those stories if they don’t take precautions.To help protect ghost hunters — and the people who hire them — here are some safety tips from Davison and other leading paranormal investigators.

Tip 1: People are strange

Nothing seems to scare Jason Hawes. He helped launch the paranormal renaissance in 2004 with his seminal TV series, “Ghost Hunters.” The show featured some of the most chilling footage ever captured on camera: apparitions running through darkened corridors; household objects being moved by some unseen force; a cameraman who was so shaken after being attacked by some entity that he started to weep.Hawes is back this year with a new series, “Ghost Nation.” In the show, his team tackles cases that have left local paranormal investigators stymied. Part of Hawes’ appeal is his gruff, everyman persona. He’s a plumber by day and goes into each case intent on disproving paranormal activity.He started seeing apparitions after seeing a woman who practiced Reiki, an alternative form of healing.He also says encounters with living people make his heart thump the loudest.”I get scared by homeowners,” Hawes says. “You never know who is also on the other side of the door. I’m not scared of the dead. I’m scared of the living.”Once an elderly woman invited Hawes and his team to inspect her home for ghosts. As they were chatting in the woman’s living room, she excused herself to go into her kitchen to make tea.

Jason Hawes, whose new TV show is "Ghost Nation."

Jason Hawes, whose new TV show is “Ghost Nation.””Ten minutes later she comes out with a frying pan and thinks we’re intruders,” Hawes says.On another occasion a man had invited Hawes’ team to inspect his home for a haunting. The man had moved out of the house, but it wasn’t abandoned — as Hawes and his team discovered one night.”All of a sudden we walk into a back room where squatters are doing drugs,” Hawes says. “The homeowner didn’t even know they were there.”Then there is another type of horror, that of a misplaced diagnosis. Paranormal investigators will sometimes encounter people who report seeing demons or hearing voices. But the afflicted person’s problem is mental, not paranormal, says Hawes, who keeps a psychologist on his team for such occasions.”We’ve walked into homes where people are dealing with sexual abuse, all sorts of things,” he says. “You always have to be on guard.”

Tip 2: A ghost won’t kill you, but this will

There are other paranormal hazards that people never consider, says Davison, who has written a book, “An Investigators Guide to Paranormal Safety.” Davison says she became interested in the paranormal after a long-dead relative came to her on successive nights and kissed her on the cheek.That experience didn’t scare her, but something else does: black mold, toxic dust and rodents carrying diseases. That’s what paranormal investigators often encounter while investigating old buildings and historic sites, she says.Some contract illnesses or fare even worse. One investigator fell off of an icy roof because he was so preoccupied with setting up a camera. Another was electrocuted by a dangling wire, she says.”Every year paranormal investigators get killed,” Davison says.Schrader, host of “The Holzer Files,” says some teams don’t recognize the enormous risks that come from simply walking in the dark.”I’ve been in paces where people have fallen off of the second floor because there is no railing,” he says.

Tip 3: Don’t play with Ouija boards

Other hazards can put a person’s soul — not just their body — at risk, some paranormal investigators say.Consider this famous real-life story.A young boy in Cottage City, Maryland, loses his beloved aunt. He finds a Ouija board in his home and attempts to communicate with her. Strange things start happening in his house, such as mysterious scratching sounds in the walls and objects being moved by some unknown source. Finally, the boy becomes possessed by a demon that can only be driven out by a team of exorcists led by a determined priest.

Jason Hawes: If you use a Ouija board to summon a spirit, "you're opening yourself up to a world of trouble."

Jason Hawes: If you use a Ouija board to summon a spirit, “you’re opening yourself up to a world of trouble.”That story, first reported by a newspaper, became the basis for the 1973 movie, “The Exorcist.” It’s one reason some people say one should never play with a Ouija board.”You’re asking something to enter you, and you’re opening yourself up to a world of trouble,” Hawes says. “You’re asking something to use you as a puppet. I would never open myself to it.”

Tip 4: Don’t taunt dead people

Here’s another paranormal no-no: challenging or otherwise provoking the spirits.Some paranormal TV series feature hosts who insult unseen entities and challenge them to reveal themselves. It’s like playground taunts of “Yo mama” — meant to provoke a reaction.Schrader says that was his mistake in the notorious Whaley House, the San Diego paranormal hotspot, when he challenged the entity who had spooked the psychic that accompanied him.

The girl in "The Exorcist" became possessed after playing with a Ouija board.

The girl in “The Exorcist” became possessed after playing with a Ouija board.”It let me know I’m not in charge. It knocked me on my ass,” he says.Davison also warns against provoking spirits.”It’s mean, stupid and cruel,” she says. “You could be challenging someone who is a 98-year-old woman. Would you want someone to do that to your grandmother?”

Tip 5: Don’t be too proud to run

Still, there are some spirits who don’t merely want to be acknowledged. They want to torment you, paranormal investigators say.If you run into one, their advice is simple:Don’t be too proud to put on your running shoes.”Run! Learn from the movies,” says Glynn Washington, host of the popular radio show and podcast “Spooked.” Washington says he witnessed an exorcism as a teenager and grew up in a family haunted by ghosts.”Don’t think you’re going to be a hero. You’re not,” he says. “Wait until it’s over and after the spirit, the monster or the demon has left.”Even the most intrepid paranormal investigators say they’ve taken such advice.

Glynn Washington, host of the "Spooked" radio show and podcast.

Glynn Washington, host of the “Spooked” radio show and podcast.Davison and a team were once investigating a home in Lebanon, Oregon, where multiple killings had taken place. As they were tiptoeing through the house one night, they kept detecting a rancid odor that would come and go, she says.A team member then turned on the “Spirit Box,” an electronic device that’s supposed to scan radio frequencies along with a unique synthetic noise that enables spirits to communicate in their own voices.Davison says her team asked whatever presence was in the house to tell them what it wanted. They heard nothing. Then they replayed a transmission from the Spirit Box.In it they heard a menacing voice replying to their question.It growled: “Get out!””At that point,” Davison says, “we all said, ‘Thank you. We’re leaving.'”She says she’s never figured out where that voice came from. And her team has never bothered to go back to find out.

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The 10 Best Cities For Ghost-Hunting BY LACEY WOMACK

If you’re someone that’s seriously into the paranormal, it can be a lot of fun to visit somewhere that’s allegedly haunted. Watching scary movies is fun, but it’s even better to experience the scares in real life. There are a lot of haunted locations around the world, but it seems like there are some cities that are home to more hauntings than others.

If you really want to go ghost hunting and try to track down something supernatural, going to one of these cities to visit one of the many supernatural locations in them is definitely your best bet. These cities have a number of haunted hotels, cemeteries, restaurants, and other places that you can visit and try to find proof of the paranormal.

New Orleans is a historic city that is known for a lot of things. Along with being known for its nightlife and live music, this city is known for being pretty creepy. From unexplained, seemingly paranormal events to a long history of voodoo, it’s no surprise that New Orleans is definitely a popular destination for anyone who’s feeling spooky.

Where can you go to find some ghosts in New Orleans? The Lafitte Guest House is famously haunted by a small child named Marie who became ill in the 19th century and has never left Room 21. The LaLaurie Mansion is famous for its cruel owner and dark history and there are several cemeteries around the city to explore.

Salem, Massachusetts is a town that’s mostly known for the Salem Witch Trials. Over 200 people were accused of witchcraft during this dark period of history and 19 of them ended up being convicted and executed. Whether or not they were witches, this point in time has definitely left a mark on Salem and has lead many places in the city to hold on to the spirits and their energy.

While in Salem, there are a lot of haunted places you can go try to find a ghost. Old Burying Point Cemetery is one of the oldest cemeteries in the country and has ties directly to the Salem Witch Trials. You can also visit The Witch House, home of Judge Jonathan Corwin who oversaw the Witch Trials.

Portland is a city that’s known for being a really quirky, interesting place to visit. Even though it’s not the first city that people think of when they’re thinking about haunted cities, Portland is definitely still making a trip to try to find ghosts. Where should you stop to look for them while in Portland?

The North Portland Library’s security cameras have allegedly caught someone sitting at the tables when no one was in the venue. Tryon Creek State Park is a park in Portland where people have allegedly heard disembodied voices that they believe belong to loggers that once worked in the forest.

Considering the fact that Philadelphia, Pennsylvania is such a historic city, it’s no surprise that there are definitely some spirits holding onto some of the buildings and locations. There are a ton of places in Philadelphia that are allegedly haunted that you could visit and try to find a ghost of your own.

Christ Church Burial Ground is the cemetery that became Benjamin Franklin’s final resting place and many people report feeling his spirit steal things from their pockets. But of all the haunted places in Philadelphia, the infamous Eastern State Penitentiary is the best one to visit to try to catch some evidence of the paranormal.

Bannack, Montana isn’t technically a city anymore. These days, it’s simply an abandoned ghost town and a historic site. But the fact that all the living people moved out after the gold in the mines nearby dried up doesn’t mean that the spirits here have left, too.

Bannack is so famous for being haunted that the Ghost Adventures crew even did an episode in this ghost town. Where should you go to ghost hunt in Bannack? The Hotel Meade was originally a courthouse but was remodeled into a hotel after Bannack lost its position as the county seat of Beaverhead County. According to the stories of many visitors, a girl wearing a blue dress can often be seen descending the stairs that go up to the second floor.

New York City is known as “the city that never sleeps.” This is because of all the fun things there are to do in the city, but it’s definitely also true when you consider how many ghosts allegedly call the city’s different buildings home.

There are a lot of great places in NYC to ghost hunt. The St. Mazie Bar & Supper Club in Brooklyn is a bar where the employees have reported glasses moving and strange sounds when no one else is around. And if you want to meet a famous ghost, book a night in the Hotel Chelsea where Janis Joplin, Dylan Thomas, and Tennesse Williams have all stayed. Most famously, Nancy Spungen’s body was discovered in Room 100.

San Francisco, California is a city that’s known for its iconic landmarks, its football team, and how expensive it can be to live there. But one thing that anyone who loves the paranormal will surely know about San Francisco is the fact that there are quite a few places in the city that are allegedly haunted.

If you’re trying to capture evidence of the paranormal, definitely take a trip to Alcatraz Island or the Winchester Mystery House. Alcatraz Island was once home to an infamous prison that housed Al Capone, Whitey Bulger, and George “Machine Gun” Kelly and is reported to be haunted. The Winchester Mystery House is a strange home that was built by Sarah Winchester and has a confusing layout with ties to the supernatural.

There are ghosts all over Galveston, Texas. Ask any local that believes in the paranormal and they’ll tell you all about the fact that hurricane in 1900 devastated the city and killed thousands of people. With a history like that, it’s no surprise that this city is one that many spirits call home. But where should someone that wants to ghost hunt in Galveston go?

The best place is the Hotel Galvez. It was built in 1911, only a decade after the hurricane that tragically ravaged the city. There have been countless ghosts reported here. From strange faces to unexplained sounds, this hotel has it all. It was once a candy store, but it was destroyed in the hurricane. And there’s an urban legend about a woman who, believing that her husband had been lost at sea, took her own life in the hotel.

Chicago is a city located in Illinois that has a long history that definitely lends to the city being home to a lot of spirits. When you’re not eating deep dish pizza or catching a ball game, you might want to go ghost hunting. But where should you go?

In the early 20th century, the Iroquois Theater was supposedly fireproof. But when a fire broke out and trapped 2,000 people inside, it lead to over 600 people losing their lives in the fire. Today, it’s known as the Nederlander Theatre and the alley behind it where the bodies were laid while bodies were brought outside is one of the most haunted locations in Chicago.

Savannah is a historic city in Georgia that is known for being one of the most haunted cities in the US. If you’re a lover of the paranormal that wants to experience something spooky, you don’t have to look far after visiting Savannah.

Moon River Brewing Co., The Pirate’s House, and the Kehoe House are among the most haunted places in Savannah. But if you’re looking to go ghost hunting somewhere in the city, The Hamilton-Turner Inn is the place to go. With reports of strange sounds and sightings, this place is no stranger to the paranormal.Article Source –


DETROIT ( – Almost 50 years since the release of The Exorcist, actors and experts continue to weigh in on the strange and uncanny events that surrounded — and continue to surround — the film.

Linda Blair, who played the 1973 film’s “possessed” lead character, 12-year-old Regan, recalled a number of eerie incidents for E! True Hollywood News this week. Blair remembers feeling “challenged by the physicality” of the role, which caused her to “fracture [her] lower back.”

Especially unsettling was a fire that tore through the movie set midway through filming and nearly demolished it. Oddly, the only portion left intact was Regan’s bedroom, the site of her possession in the movie.

Other creepy incidents were kept from Blair at the time to avoid her becoming frightened.

Ellen Burstyn, who played Regan’s mother, claimed that several people associated with the film died during production.

Actor Jack MacGowran, who played the alcoholic director Burke Dennings in The Exorcist, died from a heart attack related to a case of the flu shortly after completing his work on set. Vasiliki Maliaros, who appeared as Fr. Damien Karras’ mother, also died during post-production from natural causes at age 89.

Linda Blair’s grandfather and actor Max von Sydow’s brother died during filming.


The son of Mercedes McCambridge, who voiced the demon, murdered his wife and two daughters before taking his own life after being accused of fraud in November of 1987.

An extra in the film, Paul Bateson, a real-life X-ray technician at NYU Medical Center, was found guilty in 1979 of the murder of film critic Addison Verrill, whom he stabbed in the heart. Bateson has also been accused of the murder of several other people.

Concerns about the subject matter and the mysterious events led the production to enlist a priest to bless the set during the filming.

The film itself is based on real life.

The true story of The Exorcist harkens to the late 1940s when a 13-year-old boy, often referred to as Roland Doe, mourned the loss of his aunt, Harriet, a spiritualist who had schooled him in things occult, including how to use a Ouija board.

Shortly after his aunt’s death, Roland began to hear scratching sounds coming from the floors and walls of his room and his mattress would inexplicably shake.

Roland’s family sought the help of doctors, psychiatrists, and their local Lutheran minister. Finally, they contacted the local Catholic priest, who asked permission from his superiors to perform an exorcism on the boy. The priest stopped the rite when Roland broke off a piece of spring from the mattress and slashed the priest across his shoulders.

The family moved to St. Louis where two Jesuits agreed to perform an exorcism on the boy with the help of several assistants.

The bizarre scratching and shaking of the mattress continued. Objects would also fly through the air. Roland would scream and for prolonged periods, mostly at night. He would react most violently when he saw sacred objects like the priests’ crucifix and Rosary.

One night, Roland’s behavior reached a fevered pitch, with his urinating all over his bed and his shouting and cursing at the priests. His parents took him to Alexian Brothers Hospital in St. Louis for more treatment. On that evening, the attending priests called on St. Michael to expel Satan from Roland’s body.

The Devil exists and he can not only possess a single person but also groups and entire populations.

Shortly after, Roland simply said, “He’s gone.” Then the boy recounted how he had a vision that St. Michael vanquished Satan on a great battlefield.

The Demon of Brownsville Road

Church Militant has reported on possession and oppression of evil previously, speaking with the author of The Demon of Brownsville RoadBob Cranmer, for example. 

Cranmer told of the misery he and his wife and children suffered at the hands of an evil spirit possessing their home in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, starting in the late 1980s.

“Good exists. Evil exists. It’s no joke,” Cranmer said as he narrated the series of bizarre and frightening events that led him to discover that the home he and his family lived in was the site of a 1920s abortuary with the abortionist an integral part of the underground life of rackets and prostitution of the day.

Cranmer and his wife had to fight — and continue to fight — the war with the devil. He said they “outed the evil that was infesting their home” through exorcism and prayer and the sacraments. Both are practicing Catholics who pray the Rosary every day, ask for and find “divine Providence and intervention” that allows them to continue to live in their home. 

Father Gabriele Amorth, one of the Catholic Church’s most experienced exorcists, said before he died in 2016, “Of course the Devil exists and he can not only possess a single person but also groups and entire populations.”

The Italian priest told La Repubblica that The Exorcist gave a “substantially exact” impression of what it was like to be possessed by the devil.  

His experiences corroborated the film’s dramatization of people possessed by evil needing to be physically restrained by half a dozen people along with their screaming and uttering blasphemies. They also spit out sharp objects, he said.

Father Amorth said the evil influence of Satan was evident in the highest ranks of the Catholic hierarchy, with “cardinals who do not believe in Jesus and bishops who are linked to the demon.”

The exorcist added that the assault on Pope Benedict XVI on Christmas Eve by a mentally unstable woman and the sex abuse scandals which have plagued the Church were proof that the anti-Christ was waging a war against the Holy See.

“The Devil resides in the Vatican and you can see the consequences,” said Fr. Amorth, who had been the Holy See’s chief exorcist for over 25 years.

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