Monday, January 4, 2010


By Ashley Hartford

In his youth, Dave Hardin’s tropical family trip to Hawaii introduced him to much more than just the sand and surf.

“I witnessed a lot of firsts,” Hardin shares.

While traveling the islands, Hardin enjoyed his first pig-roasting luau, drank his first can of guava juice, witnessed his first bird of paradise and even flipped open the cover of his first Playboy. But while any pair of nine-year-old eyes may call these experiences rare, few are likely to remember their tale as vividly as Hardin does.

While staying at the opulent Prince Hakia Hotel in Honolulu, Dave spotted a spectacular sight at the piano.

“The creator of Spider-Man and the Fantastic Four was in the lobby playing,” Hardin shares.

But getting Stan Lee’s autograph wasn’t the most unusual event that took place on the fourth day of their vacation. That afternoon the family drove to Hanama Bay on the south side of the island to enjoy coral reefs and tropical fishing on a sunken-in volcano. Right as the sun was setting, the group hopped in the car to head back to Honolulu.

“We became hopelessly lost and hungry,” Hardin tells, “so we decided to stop at a McDonald’s by the beach.”

After enjoying burgers and fries, the family headed back to their deserted car parked in a dark T-lot across the street.

“We were discussing directions and looking at a map under a dimly-lit yellow street lamp,” Hardin said.

All of a sudden, a nice looking Polynesian Hawaiian man approached the family.

“It was a comfortable feeling just looking at him,” Hardin shares.

Noticing their troubles, the man offered to help.

“He asked us to step over to his car to see better,” Hardin said.

But the family didn’t notice a car or headlights in the lot before.

“The headlights just turned on,” Hardin shares.

According to Dave, after a quick exchange the Hardin family received “really concise directions,” and turned to walk back to their car. Halfway back, Dave’s mom handed him five-dollars to tip the man.

“I turned around and his car wasn’t there,” Hardin explains. “We didn’t hear the engine or see the headlights,” leaving the entire family confused.

Dave ran back over to McDonald’s, but the mysterious man had completely disappeared.

“I never caught his name, but it was like he was completely prepared for this one specific moment,” Hardin explains.

The awe-struck family discussed the exchange the entire way back. They believe the man was an angel.

“He didn’t seem like a lost soul. He wasn’t familiar, but not foreign, just – right.” Hardin said.

The family may never know the truth of the night a man appeared and disappeared right in their moment of need, but Dave sums up the experience with a profound thought.

“We can’t explain the unexplainable,” Hardin shares. “We’re just grateful it happened.”

The man’s directions guided the family home perfectly.



By Doug Kimball

A lover ready to move on returns for one last farewell.

Pat Quinn says his recently deceased grandfather came back just to see his wife.

“He told us he lived a good life and was ready,” Quinn says.

It wasn’t three weeks later when Quinn’s grandmother was sleeping in her room when she woke up in the middle of the night. She looked over and could see her husband there in the room. Quinn says his grandmother “asked him what are you doing here and he didn’t reply, he didn’t show any emotion, but she said she could see him.” She add that he was there for about 15 seconds, just standing there watching her. He looked out into the hallway and he disappeared into thin air.

“She said it was almost like someone called him,” Quinn says.

Quinn says this isn’t the first time they have seen things like this at the house.

“We live right behind an old school graveyard, and my room is in the back of the house,” Quinn says, “you can see the graveyard from it.”

One night Quinn just happened to look out his window and saw an old woman standing there.

“She was watching my house,” Quinn says. “The woman was wearing raggy clothes and she was all white,” Quinn adds.



By Jesse Shipp

Halloween came early this year for me and some other students of the Northwest Missouri State University Paranormal Journalism class. On a cold, overcast day, we traveled to a haunted house, which is considered by some to be one of the most haunted places in America, where the Moore family and two family friends were brutally murdered.

Upon arriving in the once booming town of Villisca, Iowa, driving down the streets, passing some old run down houses and narrow lanes, I could feel that there was heaviness in this town, the weather did help much. We arrived at our first destination, The Olson Linn Museum on the town square. Here we first met Darwin Linn, the owner of the Moore house, more commonly known as the Villisca Axe Murder house, and Johnny Houser, the paranormal guide and historian. Linn gave us a brief history of the town and the murders and then let us wonder around the museum. Upon display there were photo’s, newspapers and items from the Axe Murder house, such items that gave me the chills was a photo of a little girl in a window, that you can barely see and two axe’s which one of them is believed to be the murder weapon.

After viewing the museum, we all piled into our two white vans and followed Houser in his beaten up, maroon paint chipped Chevy Lumina to the Villisca Cemetery where the Moore family and the two Stillinger daughters were buried. Here Houser went into more detail about the town and the murders, it started to sprinkle which brought a somber mood.

We once again jumped into our white vans and follow Houser’s Lumina to our final destination, the axe murder house.

Upon entering the house, the class split off into groups, occupying every room. I felt heaviness and had a weird feeling when I entered the house. After experiencing some false alarm scares, I decided to go to one of the scariest rooms with the smallest door ever, the attic, with Karra Small. Entering the attic, I could smell the rain and dust. After a little while of sitting around in the dark and asking questions on the recorder, Aaron Smithmier entered the attic bearing a video camera and a Ouija board, quickly followed by Laura Boden, Doug Kimball, Ashley Hartford and Houser with his white box “white noise” scanner. Smithmier sets up the camera with Boden sets up the Ouija board. We all gather around the board and put our fingers on the movable piece. All of the flashlights but Smithmiers red head lamp were turned off and the questions begin; Smithmier starts off with the first question.

“Is there anybody in the room with us?” Smithmier said.

The Ouija board piece didn’t move and the white box reader scanned back and forth, after a moment the white box said “Adam.”

“Who is Adam,” Smithmier said.

The Ouija board piece didn’t move and the white box scanned, but nothing came out but static and the rain tapping on the roof. Smithmier tried to entice the any spirit/s to move the Ouija board piece to respond, nothing happened. I asked Houser if there was a history of an Adam, he said not that he knew of. Then I asked if new spirits can move into a place, Houser said they most certainly could. The next person to ask a question was Hartford.

“Is there anybody else in the room with use, other than Adam?” Hartford said.

Again, the Ouija board piece didn’t move, by this time we knew it wasn’t working, the white box scanned, this time the white box said Boyd, who was one of the youngest brothers.

At this moment in time I started to freak out, breathing heavily and was on the verge of leaving the attic. Smithmier asked another question.

“If there is somebody with us, are you male or female?” Smithmier said.

The whit box scanned and gave a whisper and said male.

At this point Smithmier decided that we should move the Ouija board to the children’s room. As people slowly got up, they turned their flashlights on and packed put the Ouija board. Houser and I were still sitting while everybody else slowly filed out of the attic; Smithmier was of the last people to leave. When he got to the door the white box scanner said “Aaron,” clear as day, Smithmier stopped in his tracks and asked if the white box scanner just said his name.

“Do you want me to stay?” Smithmier said.

Nothing but static came over the scanner, Smithmier proceeded out of the attic. At this time I was really freaked out but excited at the same time, it really got the adrenaline pumping.

“It was creepy at first when the white box said my name, but now I find it pretty cool,” Smithmier said.

The clock stroked nine p.m., it was time to leave. As we left the house it started to pour. Once again everybody piled into the white vans, passing some old run down houses and narrow lanes, I could still feel that there was heaviness in this town, the weather did help much.



By Joel Epley

Just before calling it a night in Tarkio, Mo. four unexplained lights disappeared then reappeared above the tree line.
A.J. Martin, 21, and his girlfriend Tara, 21, were at a bon fire last fall and enjoying their last beer when they noticed four lights above the tree line disappear.

“We weren’t really staring at those specific lights, we thought they were just stars,” said A.J.. “We probably would have never noticed them until they were just gone.”

The lights disappeared and grabbed A.J. and Tara’s full attention. They sat in silence trying to figure out what they just saw if anything at all.

“The sky just looked different all of the sudden,” Tara said. “It was the same patch of sky we were staring at all night, and it just changed.”

It wasn’t until the lights reappeared that the couple tried to involve the rest of the group. Trying to point out four specific lights in a clear country sky only raised disbelief among the rest of the group. A.J. and Tara sat for the rest of the evening convinced they saw and possibly still see a UFO.

People slowly left the party one by one until A.J., Tara, and three others sat around the fire to keep warm. Calling it a night the group began to pack up and walk to the cars. One last look at the sketchy patch of sky and the lights were gone once again. Throwing his chair in excitement, A.J. screamed to the rest of the group to take a look.

“They didn’t believe us at first and they still probably don’t,” he said. “But the rest of them looked at that part of the sky and all I got was a ‘yeah, the sky does look different now’.”



By Melissa Morkus

There have been many reports of paranormal activity occurring in the Midwest. The Villisca Axe Murder House, Lemp Mansion and the Lincoln Theater are all famous places in this region that are considered haunted. What about the small town of Maryville, Mo.?

Jake Koehn, 22, is a strong skeptic when it comes to ghosts and paranormal activity. Ever since moving into his new apartment in, Maryville, he’s experienced some strange phenomenon. Koehn has started to really consider the possibility of the existence of ghosts.

One night when he was sleeping, Koehn, was awaked by someone touching his shoulder.

“I woke up and turned on my back and immediately felt a shock sent through my body,” Koehn said.

After the shock, Koehn’s heart rate increased dramatically and it took him two hours to relax and finally fall back asleep. Coincidentally, Koehn’s roommate had a very similar experience that same week. He woke up because he felt a presence in the room. Before his eyes could open he felt a hand brush the side of his face. When he opened his eyes, no one was there.

Koehn and his roommates have also experienced seeing strange shadows on their ceiling and hallway. One night Koehn spoke of not being able to sleep and staring at his doorway where there was a shadow moving halfway like a pinwheel.

Being a skeptic, Koehn has tried numerous times to find some kind of explanation for these occurrences. Some of his theories have been just his mind playing tricks or just having nightmares and letting it affect his thinking. Is this apartment building haunted? Or is it just the mind playing tricks on itself?



By Rob O’Doherty

Like every other random drunken hope of finding something besides graffiti on the ill-fated walls of Workman Chapel, this time around some men of the Phi Sigma Kappa fraternity were in for something other than the norm. After passing through the one-lane bridge and slowing down to read the gut wrenching religious signs, the tombstones began to rise from the left.

“We always go out to Workman’s Chapel in the hopes of finding something different,” Ryan Parkhurst said. “A lot of the time when I head out there, I don’t experience much, but this night was different for some reason. There was something different about the presence of the church. The hair on the back of my neck never stood up at Workman’s until that night.”

The feeling that the men got from the church that night was something they couldn’t explain until they got home that night. Of course, each time they make the trip out there, the men always follow tradition by parking their car under the twisted, rotting tree that hangs over the church-the very spot where the legend says people hung during the Civil War period.

“We didn’t hear anything unusual when we were parked under the tree. It was after we got back to campus and got out of the car when we discovered something that we’ll never forget,” Cody Meek said. “The back windshield had around three to four mud-pressed handprints against the fogged glass. The handprints looked like they belonged to small child.”

The men swore that there was no one else out there that night. They don’t know how to explain what had happened that night, all they know is that they take their trips out to Workman’s Chapel more seriously. It just goes to prove that even small town legends, such as Workman Chapel still have secrets hiding in its walls.