Sunday, 7 September 2014

Rolling Hills Asylum

Rolling Hills Asylum

The eye catching brick façade of the massive 53,000+ square foot Rolling Hills Asylum is situated on a small hill in East Bethany, New York. Originally named The Genesee County Poor Farm, the building was home to many of the county’s infirmed, paupers, orphaned, and mentally ill and was established in January of 1827.

In those times, a poorhouse was a place that offered assistance and support to needy residents, and was most commonly run by a local government entity. In the case of the Rolling Hills Asylum, the Genesee County Board of Supervisors chose the now iconic brick building, which was formerly a stagecoach tavern, as the ideal spot for a county poorhouse. 

Any person in the county of Genesee who was declared a habitual drunk, lunatic, state pauper, vagrant, or others with no means of income due to disability, was eligible to become an inmate (as they were referred to) at the poor farm and therefore receive assistance. This particular facility was self-sustaining, and any who were able bodied worked on the farm to offset the cost of living.

This type of facility wasn’t uncommon at the time, however, the staff encountered issues when trying to keep those deemed “unsafe” from the others. A solitary confinement cell was created, and some spent their entire time at the poorhouse in confinement.

By the 1950’s the brick building was used strictly as a nursing home, and by 1974 the building was vacated. It saw renewed life for a short time in 1992, as it became an antiques mall. When the property owners began noticing strange occurrences, they called in the help of paranormal experts with special ghost hunting equipment to tackle the mystery.

It was then that Rolling Hills Asylum became known as one of the most actively haunted places in America. Witnesses describe eerie disembodied voices, faces in windows that are over forty feet off the ground, footsteps on the 2nd floor ceiling, doors that shut and are sealed on their own, and toys that move in a room known commonly as “The Christmas Room.”

Ghost hunting equipment, used by a variety of individuals to gain the best evidence of paranormal activity, has shown reports of a seven foot tall shadow man, which legend claims is named Roy. Roy was the son of a popular local banker, and suffered from gigantism, a condition which causes physical deformities such as large facial features, hands, feet, and frame. Roy was considered an embarrassment to his family and left at the facility from the age of twelve, until his death at age 62.

One area of the building where ghost hunting equipment is extremely useful is in the main kitchen of the basement. Here, animals were slaughtered for food, and when an epidemic of tuberculosis broke out, and the morgue was filled, the meat freezers became home to the dead bodies.


Today, the property is privately owned and occupied, however, she does allow scheduled ghost tours. With such a varied history, it’s easy to see why many souls will never rest at Rolling Hills.

© Hardcore Paranormal 2014

Sunday, 22 June 2014

Maitland Gaol – Paranormal Prison - NSW Australia


Maitland Goal
 
There is little doubt that Maitland Gaol is a very sinister place even without the legends of ghost and paranormal activities that it possesses. Today, Maitland Gaol is a museum and popular tourist attraction thanks in part to its reputation, history and legend of paranormal activity. The location has been subject to paranormal research including the use of ghost hunting equipment to determine the true nature of the site.

The History of Maitland Goal

The first prisoners entered Maitland Goal in 1848 just four years after construction began on this facility and when it closed on 150 years later on January 31st, 1998 it had become the longest active goal in the history of Australia.  Even before the construction of permanent buildings, the site was used in 1843 to hang two men who were convicted of murdering a child.

For the first fourteen years of its existence, executions were public events that were very well attended. Hangings often took place either at the main gate or in the back corner of the facility. Between 1849 and 1897, a total of sixteen men were executed for rape or murder. However, 1897 was the last year in which executions took place and the corporal punishment of flogging was ended in 1905.

Over the next seventy years, Maitland Goal saw its share of incidents, but in 1975 the inmates rioted and set fire to the maintenance block. The goal was heavily damaged and 78 of the prisoners had to be transferred as well. However, during its long history only 32 inmates attempted to escape and only 1 was never found.

By 1998, Maitland Goal has served its purpose and the aging facility was closed with the remaining prisoners being transferred to other goals. Today, the prison is now a museum that shows the history of the facility and offers tours of the grounds.

The Paranormal Activity of Maitland Goal

The legend of Maitland Goal having ghosts and other paranormal activity was apparent even before the facility closed for having less than suitable conditions for the prisoners. Even though executions and corporal punishment ended well over a century ago, many people still feel the suffering and hardships that the prisoners went through just by walking down the hallways and corridors of the facility.

Ghost hunting equipment has been used in attempts to ferret out the spirits that dwell inside and several ghost seeking expeditions have been made with varied results as they try to photograph images of the ghosts that haunt this place.

What can be said is that there have been plenty of sightings, reporting of footsteps in places where people that were not present and strong feelings and eerie sensations that usually fill the imagination of those who see this gaol for the first time. Separating strange feelings from paranormal facts can be difficult to do in a place like this. However, there have certainly been interesting photographs and strange occurrences in Maitland Goal that has made this facility the most haunted in Australia.


© Hardcore Paranormal 2014

Tuesday, 20 May 2014

The Winchester Mystery House


The Winchester Mystery House

Scary spider web designs throughout the home, the number thirteen represented around every corner. Chandeliers with thirteen candles, sink drains with exactly thirteen holes, and a stained glass window with a spider web motif and thirteen decorative stones are only a few of the significant spiritual elements of the Winchester Mystery  House in San Jose California.


The enormous mansion was the residence of Sarah Winchester, the widow of Connecticut gun maker William Wirt Winchester. Shortly after being married, Sarah gave birth to a baby girl, who died only days later from a rare children’s disease. The loss drove Sarah into madness for over a decade, and although she did return to her normal self again, the couple remained childless.

Tragedy struck Sarah again when her beloved husband died of tuberculosis on March 7, 1881. Having nowhere else to go, Sarah turned to a medium for advice. The medium conducted a séance, in which her late husband informed her that there was a curse upon the family, and the spirits of those who died at the hands of a Winchester rifle were seeking vengeance. The medium instructed Sarah to head west and continually build a home for the spirits. She was given a grave warning: If building stopped, she would die.

And so the Winchester Mystery House was born. Guided by her husband’s spirit, Sarah headed west. With her vast inheritance, Sarah had a wide variety of local carpenters at her disposal, and for thirty six years, the workers constructed and deconstructed the home, one section at a time. Sarah employed twenty two carpenters on staff and work was done year round, twenty four hours a day.

As the days drug on, the house eventually grew to be seven stories high, and included numerous stairways to nowhere, doors that opened to deep drops, and upside down stair posts, along with various representations of the number thirteen. The house appears to be sheer madness, but in Sarah’s mind it was a way of confusing the vengeful spirits, who she believed were responsible for the 1906 San Francisco earthquake.

Sarah passed away at the age of 83, after a conference with the spirits in the séance room. Today, the home is a California Historical Landmark, and no one truly knows how many rooms exist within the home. A number of strange happenings have been reported at the house; mysterious footsteps that roam the maze-like structure, doorknobs that turn by themselves, and windows that shatter when they randomly slam shut.

Several ghost hunters, with the help of special equipment, have documented a variety of phenomena. Cameras outfitted with special infrared boosters have determined various cold spots, strange lights, and other creepy spiritual occupations. While the Winchester Mystery House definitely deserves the title as one of the largest haunted houses, its beauty and confusion that evoke madness draw attention to the spirits that wander the corridors. Every Friday the Thirteenth, the groundskeeper rings the large bell thirteen times on the thirteenth hour.

© Hardcore Paranormal 2014

Sunday, 4 May 2014

Bobby Mackey's Music World - Portal to Hell


Bobby Mackey's Music World – Portal to Hell

There’s something a little wild in Wilder, Kentucky. Bobby Mackey’s Music World is an old Honky Tonk club that’s suspected of having a portal to Hell in the very basement of the place. If the stories of the Devil playing a mean fiddle in the old country tunes are right, more than likely he’s visiting through the basement well at Bobby Mackey’s.
 
The club may currently enjoy a thriving nightlife, but the grounds on which the property stands has a tortured and bloody history. In the 1850’s, a slaughterhouse stood in the same location, and had a well installed in the floor to catch the dripping blood from the slaughtered animals. When the slaughterhouse closed, it’s suspected that a small satanic cult used the premises to worship and perform animal sacrifices, since disposal of the remains was easy.

One of the members of that small court was a prominent dental student named Scott Jackson, who found himself in the middle of pregnancy scandal with a wealthy Indiana farmer’s daughter, Pearl Bryan. Jackson attempted to perform an abortion on Pearl, using his dental tools, but he botched two attempts. Not knowing what to do with her, Jackson and his roommate, Alonzo Walling, drove to a secluded field in Kentucky, less than two miles from where Jackson secretly worshiped at the slaughterhouse. There, the two men decapitated Pearl Bryan while she was still alive, and took her head with them.

Eventually, both men were found guilty and sentenced to death, but were offered a deal if they revealed the location of Pearl’s head. Neither agreed, and to this day her head has not been found. It’s assumed that it was dropped down the well inside the slaughterhouse.  These men were the last hangings to take place in the county, and before their execution, the men vowed to haunt the slaughterhouse for all time.

Later, the a popular roadhouse and casino stood on the same grounds, and histories of murders and two confirmed suicides, one from a dancer named Johanna who tried to murder her father before taking her own life, and one of a casino owner named Buck. Both ghosts are assumed to haunt the building today.

Several television series, which use ghost hunting equipment have investigated Bobby Mackey’s Music World. From Ghost Adventures to Ghost Hunters, and even an early episode of Jerry Springer in 1991, have focused on the paranormal aspects at the club. A video of an exorcism being performed on the building’s caretaker, Carl Lawson, aired on the Springer episode.

Even with the best ghost hunting equipment and the most professional paranormalist, the basement of Bobby Mackey’s Music World is only a place the bravest dare to enter. There are tours for patron’s to experience Hell’s Portal for themselves, and testimonials claim hearing disembodied voices, visions of Johanna’s ghost, and objects moving on their own. Many have reported feeling ill when in the basement, and a decreased ability to breathe, like something was covering their mouth. With such a horrific history of things that have gone into that well, it’s only expected things should come out of it.
 
© Hardcore Paranormal 2014

Saturday, 26 April 2014

Eastern State Penitentiary in Pennsylvania - Most Haunted Prison


Eastern State Penitentiary in Pennsylvania


Dedicated to public service in 1829, the Eastern State Penitentiary in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania is not only one of the most haunted locations in the United States, but in the world as well. Located on Fairmount Ave, the ESP saw its last prisoner leave through the doors in 1971. Though founded with the notion of reform instead of punishment by utilizing the separate incarceration methods developed at the Walnut Street Jail, ESP was still a vicious and gruesome experience for those prisoners who survived to tell the tale.

Currently on the US register as a National historic landmark, ESP’s history is open to the public not only for daily tours, but also for paranormal research and investigation and has been utilized by several reputable teams with positive identification results.  Ghost Hunters, Ghost Adventures, as well as MTV’s Fear have all placed teams on the grounds with claims to have collected substantial evidence of paranormal activity.

Other Notables from ESP

A trip to Philadelphia with the proper ghost hunting equipment  will not result in a waste of time, as spectral analysis results and thermal image captures are often successful for the well-outfitted hunter. Not only is the official record of the prison filled with sighting, they are corroborated by some of the most infamous figures in American crime such as Willie Sutton, who actually led a successful escape in order to flee the haunting he witnessed, and American crime boss Al Capone.

Researchers believe that the unique architectural design and splayed grounds are the focal point for local paranormal activity, driving spirits to shift and reside within the abandoned walls of the prison. Lack of nearby development due to unusual sightings has let the grounds surrounding the prison become wild and abandoned, with trees breaking though the wall’s exteriors to take root in the jail cells themselves in some locations.

Current Paranormal Research at Eastern State Penitentiary

2004 saw the first professional investigation of paranormal activity in ESP with the Atlantic Paranormal Society capturing digital film footage of spectral movement and formations. In 2007, a team specially formed by Most Haunted Live placed equipment as well as observers throughout the prison facility and ground with uninterrupted seven hour surveillance, capturing thermal images and collecting readings that again pointed to the extensive haunting activities of the facility.
 
© Hardcore Paranormal 2014

Jenny Dixon. The Beach, Hitchhiker and Ghost.


Jenny Dixon. The Beach, Hitchhiker and Ghost.

 

There is a beach named Jenny Dixon located at Norah Head on the Central Coast a fact which in itself bears no alarming significance. However what is of increasing significance to me is the stories of Jenny Dixon the hitchhiker and apparition. Fact or urban legend?

 I first heard of this young girl ghost named Jenny Dixon back in the early eighties.  It is said that she haunts Wilfred Barrett Drive (pictured) between Nora Head and The Entrance located on the beautiful Central Coast of New South Wales Australia.

As a paranormal investigator living on the Central Coast for the past eighteen years, I have a strong interest with this local reported haunting and hence have decided to go on a fact finding mission.

There have been many stories from locals over the years who truly believe that this young girl ghost named Jenny Dixon haunts the desolate stretch of road on Wilfred Barrett Drive between Norah Head and The Entrance. As a result of the many reported sightings and stories I am on a quest to find out the truth, as it is there somewhere.

I have thoroughly enjoyed hearing the stories of this mystical apparition of a young female hitchhiker named Jenny Dixon on this deserted stretch of road late at night. There have been many reported sightings of this young girl over the decades, the most intriguing of which is the one of a police car picking up the young girl late one night. The story states that this young teenage girl known as Jenny Dixon jumped into the back of the police patrol car and as the officer was driving down Wilfred Barrett Drive the young girl simply disappeared from the car. To the police officers bewilderment there was no trace of the young girl whatsoever!

Legend has it that in the nineteen seventies, a young teenage girl named Jenny Dixon was hitching along Wilfred Barrett Drive late one evening. This girl was then picked up in a car by a group of five young men whom allegedly violently assault and repeatedly rape her, tragically ending with the young girl being brutally murdered.

No one was ever charged with the young teenage girl’s murder. However the story continues with rumours that five young local men believed to be involved in the murder all met with tragic fates themselves including suicides and accidents.

The fact is that there are no official reporting’s of a girl named Jenny Dixon being raped and murdered on or near Wilfred Barrett Drive, or any where else on the Central Coast. In fact there is no documented evidence of a girl named Jenny Dixon ever existing on the Central Coast. There have been reporting’s of several deaths on Wilfred Barrett Drive with most of these relating to  motor vehicle accidents commonly involving young men.

It is my opinion that Jenny Dixon never actually existed. Through a series of unrelated local events I believe that Jenny Dixon Beach was named as a result of a ship named Janet Dixon that sank near Cabbage Tree Harbour in 1871. Given that Jenny Dixon Beach is the closest reference point to the stretch of road on Wilfred Barrett Drive, I am of the opinion that rumoured sightings of an apparition close to Jenny Dixon Beach have over the years been translated to the ghost of Jenny Dixon.

For those who may be disappointed about the apparition of Jenny Dixon don’t be too concerned.  I do believe there to be an apparition on Wilfred Barrett Drive at Norah Head and I will explain my theory next article. This involves a true documented unsolved extremely violent murder of two sisters from Toukley NSW Central Coast.
 
 
© Hardcore Paranormal 2014

Thursday, 24 April 2014

Gettysburg Battlefield – Most Haunted


Gettysburg Battlefield – Most Haunted

The site of the bloodiest single battle on American soil, Gettysburg stands as the most important battle of the Civil War, marking the true turning point where Union forces finally handed Robert E. Lee and his Confederate Army a real defeat which drove them from Northern soil forever.

The intensity of the battle and horrific number of casualties created a number of results, one of which occurred several months later when President Abraham Lincoln dedicated the battlefield and cemetery where so many had fallen with a short, two-minute speech that remains the most profound in US history.

However, many believe that the actual horror of the battlefield with so many casualties still resonates today with ghosts that have been reported over the decades by those who have travelled through the battlefield.

The Ghosts of Gettysburg

There have been many sightings over the years at the Gettysburg battlefield of ghost soldiers and the sounds of battle off in the distance. Given that for most of its existence, Gettysburg has been a rather quiet town, it has only added to the unique atmosphere that brings back the horror of the battle, the bravery of the soldiers and the intensity of the conflict.

Over the years, many people have brought ghost hunting equipment to the battlefield to determine if the visions and phantoms really do exist. While the evidence may not convince all, it certainly has been compelling over the years, especially for the believers who have recorded much in the way of evidence.

Phantoms: Many visitors over the years have reported seeing and even talking to people that turned out to be ghosts when they mysteriously disappear shortly after meeting them. Usually, the encounter is with someone whom they believed has simply dressed for the day as a soldier, only to vanish shortly after conversing with them.

Sounds of Battle: For others they hear the din of battle complete with sounds of muskets firing and cannons cracking in the distance. Screams and moans often accompany the sounds of the fighting as well. In some cases, people have actually recorded sounds which certainly reflect the battle itself.

Videos of Ghosts: There have been several videos popping up on YouTube over the years of what appears to be ghosts on the battlefield itself, most notably one shot by Tom Underwood in 2001 that is certainly interesting because it happened in broad daylight. 

Are the Ghosts Real?

Admittedly, even with ghost hunting equipment there is nothing conclusive about whether there are really ghosts at the Gettysburg battlefield. What can be said is that the entire area permeates with the history of the conflict and evokes strong feelings about the horror, carnage and intensity of the battle itself. With the many recognizable markers combined with the photos that were taken shortly after the battle, these images combine for many people as they stroll through the battlefield itself.

What’s most interesting is how many sightings have taken place during the daytime hours, something rather unusual for most ghost sightings. Although it will take more research with proper ghost hunting equipment along with some luck to prove conclusively that the ghosts really do exist, for many they are a reality that cannot be denied.
 
© Hardcore Paranormal 2014