Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Week 7


By MaryLouise Balano

When you move into a previously owned home you have all kinds of potential problems. Did the previous owners take care of it? Is the house up to code? But no one really wonders if they are moving into a home that’s all ready being occupied.

Joanna Smith, 55 of Kansas City, Mo., was recently divorced with three young boys when she thought she found the perfect four bedroom home for a perfect price. No one had warned her that her new perfect home had an ugly history. Eleven years prior to the Smith’s moving in, a man hanged himself in the garage of the two-story, yellow house. Johanna and her boys were not aware of this when they moved in but soon realized they were not alone.

One day after school the three boys Sal, 13, Nick, 11, and Michael, 7, were playing basketball on the driveway when Michael started to scream and point to the garage. Sal and Nick looked to where Michael was pointing but saw nothing they ask what he was screaming at he said, “A man was hanging in from the ceiling.”

Scared, all three boys went inside and told their mom. Johanna ignored the boys’ story due to the fact that they always had “stories.” After a few weeks of being in the house Joanna began to feel “eerie, I couldn’t explain why but there was just something off, I thought I might have been coming down an illness or something but I just felt uneasy.”

It wasn’t until the first night Joanna spent the night alone in the house did she understand why she was feeling they way she was.

“The boys were with their dad and I was watching TV in the living room right above the garage when I heard a crash below me, I didn’t feel like heading downstairs at the time so I just let it go but as I was sitting there I began to hear and feel a scratching from the floor on my bare feet, like down was taking a rake and was going across the garage ceiling. I went down there and turned on the lights absolutely nothing was wrong with it and I couldn’t even explain the large crash I heard.”

Throughout the night Joanna heard many unexplained sounds that she was up all night scared. She finally called her Realtor and told her something was not right with the house and demanded an explanation. Her Realtor told her she would get back to her when she had answers.

Within those two days of waiting for the call from the Realtor, Joanna knew the house was haunted. Things in the kitchen would move around and fall of the counters. Her youngest Michael would wake up in the middle of the night screaming about a man in his room. Joanna had had enough and when the Realtor called her to tell her a man had committed suicide in the house. She packed up her sons and went to her mother’s and never went back into that house again.

She now lives in a smaller but less “active” house in Kansas City and will never forget her experience with the unknown.



By Joel Epley

Walking down the still hurricane mangled shoreline of Galveston, Texas the four girls couldn’t find a good reason not to get their palms read.

Liz Barnstead, 22, Nikki Hurt, 22, and their two friends had been drinking beer on the beach for a few hours now and decided to walk past all the mini bars, tattoo parlors and gift shops along the tourist strip.

The year was 2006 and it was the girls first ever spring break together. The town was still battered and awaiting repairs from Hurricane Rita.

“That little palm reading place was one of the only places open at the time,” Liz said. “There were tons of shops and stuff but they still weren’t fixed yet.”

The girls stumbled into the palm reader’s shop (they couldn’t remember the name) and Liz was eager to see what her future had in store.

“The lady was surprisingly tolerant of our drunk asses,” Liz said. “She started with a short little hand massage or something to get my blood going and I remember wanting to go to sleep.”

The woman began with where they were from, the Midwest. Not hard to tell considering their accents. Next she said it was their first trip together, two for two.

“When she said that I instantly began to sober up,” said Liz. “I starting paying attention because she was more or less reading my face and just holding my hand to look down every once in a while to think of something else to say.”

The woman began to make a couple of incorrect assumptions such as coming in an airplane, and meeting up with some guys, both false.

The woman then became frustrated and said she needed to realign their minds.

“That’s when I thought she was full of crap,” Nikki, Liz’s roommate said. “She was just buying time or something.”

By this time the other two girls had become bored and went next door to a tattoo parlor to browse for future regret.

The palm reader then began to talk about Liz and Nikki’s home in Saint Louis, Mo.

“She stared saying weird sentences that didn’t make sense under her breath. I was ready to leave,” Nikki said. “Then out of nowhere she said, ‘green’s no good.’”

The two girls had been arguing with Liz’s dad’s choice to paint the house green while they were away. Both disliked like that particular color green.

“All I was thinking was how hot my face got and how I had just wasted an afternoon of drinking, because I was suddenly sober,” Liz said. “She didn’t look at my face anymore and I was totally creeped out and wasn’t having fun anymore.”

The two watched straight-faced and pale to see what the reader was going to say next.

“The lady was biting her lip like she was confused,” Nikki said. “It was like she thought she was seeing it or hearing it or however they take it in wrong.”

The woman looked up confused and told the girls to watch out for bad “sparkplugs” in a questioning tone.

Liz pulled her hand away and the two left immediately. The reader was asking if something was wrong as they both exited without reply.

The two girls had just received two puppies from the same litter as early graduation presents. Nikki’s was named “Spark” and Liz’s named “Plug.”

“I know she was just trying to scare us with some bullshit about driving home and the sparkplug in the car or something but it was still too weird,” Liz said. “I called my dad and made him drive over to check on my dogs right then.”

“She was wrong about a bunch of stuff before that,” said Nikki. “I guess she just got lucky or something.”

The girls regrouped to tell their story and as it turns out the puppies were in good care. The rest of the trip went well but Nikki and Liz still get a weird feeling when talking about the palm reader in Galveston, Texas.



By Jesse Shipp

The moon was full in the autumn sky, illuminating the Chariton Valley, U.S. 24 and the open farm land of Randolph County. As Trey Rexroat and Jason Keeven made their way across county lines, Jason saw something that made him roll around in the passenger seat as if he was a kid trying to escape his seatbelt.

Trey, of Keytesville, Mo., and Jason, of Salisbury, Mo., were cruising down the highway in Trey’s new, apple red Toyota Prius to Moberly, Mo., to meet up with Johnny Lazar, Jesse Kirkendoll and Travis Harvey at their house. Trey and Jason crossed over into Randolph County, making it 20 miles in; they come upon the city of Huntsville, home of the Westran Hornets.

The Toyota Prius pops over the last hill, the off-ramp and over-pass to Huntsville begins to rise from the horizon and runs over the long straight away that leads into Moberly. They start to ride parallel to the off-ramp, Jason, looking straight ahead, sees a greenish light coming at the car and he thought nothing of it until it continued coming at the car. As the light came closer Jason started to squirm and twist in his seat, Trey looks over at Jason, concerned and asks what’s wrong

“You don’t see that light, it’s coming right towards us,” Jason replies in a confused yet lively manner.

Trey, still confused, thought that Jason must be joking, so he just continued to concentrate on the road. The light still came closer, with no intention of stopping. As this light goes up and over the car, Trey looks over and in the blink of an eye Jason releases a worried “whoa,” ducks out of fear of hitting the light and looks behind him though the back window expecting to see this green light again. Jason looks over at Trey and questioned the odd light appearance, with Trey not seeing the light green light, Jason cannot confirm what he saw that night.

“I didn’t see anything and I was looking at the same space he was, he might of saw something, I don’t really know,” Trey said.

A while after the incident, Trey and Jason try to explain what Jason might have seen. The most logical idea that they could come up with was that it was light reflection from a mile marker or some sort of sign.

“I swear something was headed right towards us, It happened so fast, I guess it could have been anything really, but it was just strange because I’ve never really been scared like that before,” Jason said.

After many more times of traveling U.S. Highway 24, Jason has yet seen the greenish light again.



By Jeremy Werner

History thrives at Loose Park in Kansas City where more than 150 years ago a part of the Battle for Westport during the American Civil War took place. Around the park are houses and landmark tourist traps that have history and age of its own. One house in particular still has a very fuzzy past and only general things are known about it from the owner. Stan has owned the house for almost two decades now and still does repairs on the old house, but still remembers the nights he spent in it.

“I had been there a couple of weeks,” Stan said. “I woke up sometime in the night, after being asleep and felt this presence in the hallway.”

Stan was a 100 percent sure something was in the hallway and the eerie feeling of that presence confined him to his bed for the moment. He wasn’t scared of an intruder or burglar, but something in him had told him it wasn’t any of those.

“Who’s there?” a terrified Stan yelled

No response and minutes later Stan would get out of bed to investigate. Everything was where it was suppose to be, nothing was moved and whatever was there was gone. No outline or bodily image had shown itself, but only left Stan with a little bit of fear of what was in his house. Luckily though he would never feel that presence again, but whatever was there would make itself known.

“The other experiences were noises – clanking noises – I could never get closer to the noise or tell where it came from in the house,” Stan said. “There was no pattern to them at all; they were always sporadic and random.”

His attic was made to be separated into four rooms in each corner of the house. During remodeling of the house two doors in particular would always open. He would eventually buy latches and make sure the doors were latched every night when he was done working for the day. That didn’t stop the doors from being wide open every morning or afternoon he headed back up to work on the attic.

Stan eventually accepted that his house could possibly be haunted, but that whatever was there had no malicious intent or brought about any truly bad feelings.

“Things started happening less and the more comfortable I got in the house,” he said.

A sunny afternoon to one of the largest and historic parks Stan turned to look back at the house for one quick second crossing the street and saw the image of a woman looking out from the attic window. His girlfriend had saw the same thing and asked if he had seen it.

“Yes,” Stan calmly said.

Stan is the third owner and the house was built in 1910. The original owner built the house with the intent to sell it to his daughter. The owner had only lived two years in the house before selling it to her where she would raise four sons. Outside of that the history is slim pickings in a historically-rich neighborhood. One thing we know is that whoever the fourth owner is won’t have to worry about anything serious. Maybe an eerie first few weeks and some noises that can’t be explained and doors that refuse to stay shut.



By Jackie Walter

It was the hottest day of the summer in Okoboji, Iowa. Campers lined up to greet the approaching van. They day they had been waiting for all summer was finally here. The men stepped out of the van, found the area for the new pool and began digging. After the initial excitement had worn off, the campers dispersed and returned to their cabins. Work was steady, but slow, and the men were eager to finish quickly. So eager, in fact, that they almost missed it. One of the men felt his shovel hit much more than dirt. When he dug around the object and finally unearthed it, he discovered it was a human skull.

Camp Foster is known for its fun, the camaraderie and its history. Sioux Indians murdered an entire camp of settlers in 1857, leaving only one survivor. One family’s murder was especially brutal. The Sioux tribe murdered the infant and played tetherball with him. They scalped and raped the mother and daughter. They cut the father’s head off and destroyed his body. The family’s ghosts are rumored to haunt the camp in the areas where they were killed.

John Torten managed the grounds at Camp Foster for more than 25 years. He had really seen it all, with new campers coming in and out he was constantly walking back and forth between cabins through the woods at night. He became so good at it, he didn’t need a flashlight. One night, not too long after the instillation of the new pool, he was walking to fit a clogged toilet in the boy’s camp. Almost to his destination, he saw a light out of the corner of his eye. When he looked up, there was father Howe. However, it wasn’t all of father Howe. After a few seconds John realized: it was just his dismembered head.

The next day, finally able to form words, he told a seasoned and trustworthy camper about the previous night’s ordeals. He felt good about getting it off his chest and went about his day’s duties. The camper spread the news around the camp, and everyone was eager to talk to Mr. Torten about the floating head. Stories of “the green head” had been around the camp for years. That night, after telling of father Howe’s appearance, John went into a sudden cardiac arrest and died.

“The green head” is rumored to be seen at the intersection of three cabins at Camp Foster. The only person to have seen it in the last decade was Torten.



By Bethany Rowell

It began three years ago. Jake Sinclair was 18 and living in Springhurst, Victoria, Australia with his parents. He planned to soon move in with his bandmates in Melbourne and continue working on his music career. Life was going well, but Jake was not expecting an unseen being to begin following him.

“I have a ghost that follows me. For some reason it never followed me to Melbourne, but when I’m at home or at a friend’s house in town, it will follow me there,” Jake, now 21, said.

His first experience with the entity occurred while he was in bed one night. The same activity repeats itself sporadically.

“It sometimes tucks my blankets up on me, it’s crazy,” he said. “It’s not like a scary thing now, but the first time it was scary as fuck. It’s kind of comforting in a way.”

Jake says that he will see the blankets move and feel them tighten around him. Along with being tucked in, he says the spirit will wander around the house.

“If it goes past a stack of papers, the papers will move in the wind. It can also seem to just fly through walls.”

Jake is unsure of why the activity started when it did or why it only follows him to certain locations.

“My only theory is that it’s my Nan from my mum’s side. I never met her and she never met me. The ‘tucking in thing’ makes me think it’s that, but I’ve got no clue.”

Jake isn’t the only member of his family who has experienced a ghost. His brother, Travis, was 20 when their grandfather passed away. Travis had been struggling with his dream of becoming a musician and, according to Jake, had only been able to sing in the shower. Soon after their grandfather passed, Travis woke one night to see the spirit standing at the end of his bed. He began to speak.

“Pop told my brother not to worry about what people think of him; Travis is very shy and self-conscious. He said Travis should let people hear him sing, so he did.”

Travis is now a multi-award winning artist in Australia with two albums. Jake is following in his footsteps and tours along with Travis as his guitarist. Jake does not believe that the spirit following him is their grandfather and has since moved back home to Springhurst.

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