Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Week 6


By Ashley Hartford

A father and son share similar sightings while staying at grandma’s house in Cameron, Mo. Northwest Missouri State University student Christian Grady and his father, Harry Grady, recall being spooked by much more than the creaky floors and squeaky stairs in his grandmother’s aging home.

“Her home is old,” Christian exclaims. “It used to be a nunnery.”

Sitting across from a Catholic Church and Catholic school, the three-story house has undergone remodeling in the years following the closing of the nunnery, mainly to remove the stairway to the balcony. However, the interior layout hasn’t changed much.

Walking up the stairs leads to a long hallway with bedrooms on each side.

“My father’s bedroom is at the end of the hallway,” Christian explains.

Looking from the top of the stairs to the end of the hall, Christian describes how a closed door and small window that stays “winterized with plastic” year-round opens to the stair-less balcony.

One winter night when Christian was 11, he began to view the balcony in a different light.

Shortly after midnight, Christian approached the stairway. After creeping up half the stairs, he felt a cold burst of air overtake him.

“It felt like I stepped outside,” he explains.

Suddenly, a bright glowing blue light lit up the dark hallway.

That’s when Christian heard a voice.

“She kept repeating ‘No, no, no, no,’” Christian says.

Frozen in place, Christian continued to listen carefully until he spotted an apparition.

“I saw the upper torso of a glowing figure outside the balcony window,” he says.

Shocked and scared at the sight, Christian ran back downstairs to tell his grandma. Deciding to investigate, the two climbed back up the stairs to see only a dimly lit, empty hallway. The figure had vanished.

“The air flow completely stopped,” Christian says.

The next morning, Christian shared the story with his dad, learning some insight on what exactly this apparition might be.

“My dad saw a similar figure by the balcony,” Christian explains. “He felt the coldness penetrating the house, so that’s why the windows and screens are covered in plastic.”

Christian says his dad told him a story of a Catholic woman getting locked outside in the winter. She attempted to get her sisters’ attention by knocking on the balcony door, but ended up dying in the cold.

Christian believes the figure is the spirited remains of this woman.

“The feeling has stuck with me,” Christian says, “like a bone-tingling chill.”

Even though Christian claims to be skeptical of the subject, he states that, “the thought of spirits lingering with unfinished business is intriguing.”



By Mary Balano

Victor Meca of Kansas City, Mo., saw an unidentified flying object in the sky on a summer night in June 2008 while he was out with his girlfriend Lauren. While they were driving back to Lauren’s house after dinner, Victor got lost on the dark roads that lead to Lauren’s farmhouse. Lauren’s father owned a large potion of property where they built their home so there were no other houses in a 10-mile radius and they found themselves in the middle of nowhere with the only light being from the car. Frustrated and annoyed Victor pulled over and tried to get some idea on where he was using his GPS, at that time Lauren was fixated on the sky and telling Victor to “look.” When he looked he saw something he could not grasp.

“It was a huge red light with four small yellow lights circling it in motion. ‘What the hell is that?’” Victor questioned; to which Lauren had no answer.

They both knew what they were seeing was not a plane however the sound it made was similar to what you would hear from a plane close by. They watched the lights for what seemed like 15 to 20 minutes and then all the sudden they just died out “like someone just flipped a switch and turned them off” Victor said.

Victor woke the next morning expecting something to be on the news, he thought that everyone would have seen what he saw, but nothing was ever mentioned about mysterious lights in the sky.

“If it wasn’t for Lauren seeing the exact same thing I would have thought I was going crazy because it just seemed like this would be a huge deal and all over the media,” Victor said.

Victor still to this day has no idea what him and Lauren saw in the sky that night, and probably will never know, but that experience completely changed his mind on earth being the only place for intelligent life.



By Joel Epley

Still fidgeting with his three-year-old son’s 3D glasses, he realized that someone had finally sat in the otherwise empty movie theater.

Joseph Rehagen, 23, girlfriend, Allie Gunning, 23, and son Landon had just about settled in the back row of the enormous movie theater when Landon began to throw his 3D glasses around.

“I’m just glad we didn’t piss anybody off,” Joe said. “I hate being the guy with a crying baby in public.”

The three had sat in the back row on the last day showing of “Up” at AMC West Olive 16 in Creve Cour, Mo. a suburb of St. Louis.

“We walked in and there was nobody,” Allie said. “That’s why I wasn’t too worried if he (Landon) was going to start crying or not. It’s slightly less embarrassing when no one is around to hear it.”

As Joe kept his glasses on to show Landon that everything was OK, he noticed a man sitting in the front row of the theater.

“My first instinct was that I didn’t like this guy,” Joe said. “I only took one glance at him but I stereotyped him as the creepy guy going to see kids movies alone.”

The man sat hunched down in his seat with what appeared to be a skinny frame and long slick-back hair.

“I tried to mention it to Allie so we could trade creepo/pedophile jokes but Landon wouldn’t stop throwing those damn glasses,” Joe said. “I finally got him to calm down and the dude was gone.”

Joe mentioned the lone viewer in the front row but Allie hadn’t seen a thing.

“Dude, I was fixed on the previews. I had already dealt with Landon’s fuss all day,” she said. “I was watching the screen without my 3D glasses because they were giving me a headache and I didn’t see a thing.”

The three continued to watch the movie in 3D as Landon fell asleep in the first five minutes. The figure in the front row was not seen by either the rest of the film.

Joe still swears he saw a “shadowy” figure sitting in the front row of the theater. Allie on the other hand doesn’t believe what her non-3D eyes didn’t see for themselves.

After explaining to them the possibility of Shadow People, they were not amused and suggested we talk about something else.



By Jeremy Werner

Callahan dropped out of school before he graduated and realized how big of a mistake that was because a few of his co-workers were all going from a family-owned grocery store to working a warehouse for a nationwide company. He had finally decided to get his G.E.D. and was able to get a job that wasn’t stocking groceries at night.

“I was moving up the ladder and was going to stock for eight dollars more, “Callahan laughed, “finally could move out of my boss’s basement, too.”

Callahan lived in the basement of his boss’s rental house where his other co-workers lived. He slept in a cold damp basement on a mattress he picked up and “bulk item” trash pick-up day. His bathroom was a chipped toilet and smashed sink from a night of heavy drinking.

“I will never miss that place, but I had to move back.”

Callahan moved back after less than a month in a cozy new apartment. A low-income apartment where Callahan had everything to himself and no longer worried about roommates dumping failed food experiments in the sink to rot and fester throughout the week. The stocking job was at night and Callahan didn’t want to lose this job since it would be the first job he’s ever had that paid more than ten an hour.

“Sixteen dollars an hour changes someone like me fast…more money for drugs and alcohol.”

Callahan didn’t trust his neighbors after the first day he managed to witness a drug deal, a woman beating her child, teenagers throwing firecrackers at joggers, among other things.

”Every day when I’d go to bed I’d lock the door…and every afternoon I’d wake up the door would be unlocked,” Callahan said reassuringly. “I just kept passing it off as if I couldn’t remember if I locked it or not.”

After a few weeks Callahan came home from work, beginning to get use to his new schedule, already having a McDonald’s breakfast in hand and saw the woman who lived below him outside the door.

“Apparently she had been waiting for me, she wanted to know if I had the night off…apparently she heard people walking around my apartment all night and was only able to get a few hours of sleep.”

Callahan checked the door when he got to and saw it was locked. No one could have gotten in and most of his friends didn’t know where he had lived so they wouldn’t bum at his apartment or his other group of friends worked with him that night.

“Luckily I didn’t have that much to move,” Callahan laughs, “I’m also lucky my boss let me love back into his rent house basement.”

A few weeks later Callahan would move into another apartment and life went on.

“I spent enough nights watching bad horror movies…to know if something weird happens, get the fuck out quick.”



By Jackie Walter

Lindsay Irving is no stranger to paranormal activity. In her grandparent’s house growing up, the resident spirit “Ralph” would walk around the upstairs all night, and shake your bed to wake you up. He has always lived there and always will. Growing up with it in your grandparent’s house is one thing. That is a place she would visit for a few days-maybe a week tops- but eventually her family would leave and return home. Growing up with it her own house was another thing altogether.

When her grandparents died, they left Lindsay’s mother their beautiful farmhouse in Bedford, Iowa. This was always Lindsay’s dream growing up.

“I have always loved that house,” Lindsay said. “Ralph was just a part of it and for some reason, it didn’t scare me.”

As a 22-year-old girl, “Ralph” definitely has a different effect on Lindsay today. After they moved into the house, her mother bought a bell to put on the front door at an antique fair. For years, Lindsay thought the bell hung on the outside of the door. She rarely used the front door and when she did, she never paid attention to where the bell was hanging. Almost every day, the bell would ring.

“It would ring really loudly, kind of like someone was shaking it,” Lindsay said. “I just assumed it was the Iowa wind.”

Late one afternoon, Lindsay was moving a few things out of the house, preparing for college, when she noticed something odd. The bell was hanging on the inside of the door. Lindsay later found out that the bell had always hung on the inside of the door. When she asked about it ringing all the time, her mom simply replied, “Ralph.”

“Ralph is just another member of the family for my mom. She has lived with him all her life.”

Lindsay’s mom Joe has always believed that Ralph liked her more than the other members if the family. He would leave things in her shoes all the time, and she was the one he woke in the middle of the night. Before Lindsay was born, none of the other family members had any “Ralph” experiences.



By Bethany Rowell

It was November 1989 and the Rowell family was moving into their new house in the countryside of Missouri. The family had five members: Dave Rowell; his wife, Kelley McLaughlin; their six-month old daughter, Bethany; and Kelley’s twin 10-year-old sons, Chris and Adam Love. They were nestled 10 miles from the nearest cities of Kearney, Liberty, and Smithville with few other houses in the area.

For the first weeks, the family experienced strange occurrences, but attributed them to not being use to the house. Most of these incidents occurred in the attic and loft area on the second floor.

“I often thought that out of the corner of my eye I'd see someone up there, but there never was anyone there when I looked. There were always noises coming from the same area; we joked that there was someone living in the attic,” McLaughlin said.

Dave Rowell never saw anything, but does admit to hearing an out-of-place noise in the attic.

“There was a ‘clunking’ sound that we heard a few times. There was nothing up there that could make that noise; no furnace, no water heater and no way for an animal to get in. It sounded as if something was being dropped or banged on,” Rowell said.

Aside from the attic, the basement was also home to a phantom smell that led to the discovery of a serious problem within the house.

“When we moved in, I kept getting whiffs of cigarette smoke, not stale, old smoke, but like someone was smoking in the house. The basement was the worst place, but it was still only once in awhile that I smelled it. It was strong and then it was gone within seconds,” McLaughlin said.

After a few months, McLaughlin called the gas company, even though she wasn’t certain that it could be gas.

“The man came in and used his detector and told me that we had a lot of carbon monoxide in the house and I needed to get out. I said that I had been smelling it and he assured me that carbon monoxide has no smell. As it turns out, the vent pipe on the roof wasn't tall enough and the wind was pushing carbon monoxide from the furnace back into the house. I'm sure the pipe had been that way for many years.”

There have been many cases of ghosts providing warnings to those who are still alive for decades. This may be the case in this instance with carbon monoxide being an odorless and tasteless gas. Had McLaughlin not smelled the cigarette smoke, the results could have been deadly.

Months went by and the family adjusted to the noises and ignored the unexplainable happenings, but six months at the house hadn’t made it feel any more like a home. Chris Love, now 30, had his own unsettling experience while doing a daily task of retrieving the mail.

"I walked across the front yard to check the mailbox. On the return trip, I made most of the walk looking downward, flipping through the mail for that day. About 20 feet before I got to the door, I looked up and, upon seeing the house, had the almost-overwhelming feeling that this wasn't our house. It wasn't really a scary feeling per se, just the strange feeling that this house belonged to someone else, and wasn't really ours. It stuck with me for a few hours afterward, and eventually faded away, but I always remembered how odd it felt to truly feel like a stranger in a place where I'd felt very settled into before," Chris Love said.

With no information on anyone who had previously lived in the house dying, they went on with unanswered questions. Over time the activity got less noticeable and disappeared, but a lingering feeling of unease still hung around.

“It took years before the house felt like our home. The house always felt to me like I was living in someone else's house; never comfortable,” McLaughlin said.



By Aaron Smithmier

Matthew Miser on Kansas City, Mo., is religious, but never expected contact when he began working at his local church. When Miser first started working at First Christian Church doing custodial work, most nights were pretty dull. He had his routine – vacuum the corridors and chapel, arrange the classrooms and put away various items in storage. It was that last task that changed the job for Miser.

“There is kind of this middle hallway thing where we stored stuff in between the first and second floors. That’s where I heard it. A whisper and then footsteps running away,” Miser said.

This isn’t a new occurrence by any means to Miser family, or to other members of the congregation. Both of Matt’s parents claim to have similar experiences around the church.

“We’ve all heard it; Matt was just the first one to say anything about it,” Becky Miser said. “It’s just something you don’t like to bring up in a house of God.”



By Jesse Shipp

It was a normal hot Missouri summer day. The sun was shining, beating down on the people who dare to be outside. Like most people on days like this, they are pool side, getting tans, reading books and swimming, much like how Stephanie and her friend Rachel were doing, until Rachel’s cousin came running outside.

Last year in the middle of July, Stephanie McDonald went over to her friend Rachel Brennan’s two story, brick home in University City, Mo., just outside of St. Louis, to hang out and to enjoy the day by Rachel’s pool.

Some time has passed; Stephanie and Rachel were lounging peacefully by the pool until Rachel’s cousin Allyssa came sprinting outside, screaming, to warn them and to get gather help because the dishwasher was overflowing and if they didn’t clean up the water in time, it would buckle the floor. Stephanie and Rachel look at each other confused and shocked and grab beach towels and rush inside. The floor is flooded with warm water; Stephanie and Rachel threw down their beach towels to sop up the water. Rachel’s brother, Derek Brennan and their cousins Amy, Jared and Brie, who were also in the house, came and helped.

The sopping and wringing out the towels went on for about 20 minutes and it was getting them nowhere.

“The dishwasher kept spitting out lots and lots of water, more than it could feasibly hold, we already shut it off when it started overflowing,” Stephanie said.

They opened the dishwasher, which was still gushing hot water, and see that it’s still trying to fill with water, even though it was off. Stephanie went to the basement to find the pipe that leads to the dishwasher and turned off the water supply. The water finally stopped gushing out of the dishwasher and they were finally able to clean up the water. After they were finished, Rachel called her uncle Rick to come look at the dishwasher. Rick found nothing wrong with the dishwasher, nothing wrong with the seals or anything that would jam it and keep it filling when off.

“We started to freak out because Rachel and her family always said that their house was haunted because things break for a period of time and then fix themselves,” Stephanie said.

They ran it again, the dishwasher ran fine. Ever since this incident, nothing like this has happened again.

“We did save the floor, nobody was hurt, we were just a little red for a while after,” Stephanie said.



By Rob O’Doherty

Sisters for life and death. At least that’s what the women in Roberta Hall believe. Many sorority girls that have lived in the ill-fated hall on campus believe that there is a presence lurking within the walls. Years ago, the sorority hall caught fire and student Roberta Steele, became trapped inside the burning building and died from complications a year later.

“It started with noises. You could hear scratching, thumping and strange things at night,” local sorority girl Julie Newlin said. “I know we live in a building with a ton of sorority girls, but these weren’t like regular noises. They were eerie; something isn’t right when you hear scratching on your door at 3 a.m.”

Erin Smith, president of Alpha Sigma Alpha sorority thinks that Roberta isn’t a harmful spirit. Many of the sorority girls have actually claimed to have contacted Roberta through infamous games such as the Ouija board. Julie thinks that provoking the spirit of Roberta will only make her closer to her sisters she once had.

“Nobody deserves to die the way that she did,” Erin said. “I honestly think bringing her back into our lives in any way we can is the true spirit of sisterhood. I’m not sure what her intentions are, but all of the sisters living here definitely still feel the presence.”

Different tales are told about the history of Roberta Hall, and most of the girls living there rest assured that Roberta will always be with them. Sisters for life and death.



By Logan Campbell

Man’s best friend has always been a great protector of his master, but what if you couldn’t see what he was protecting you from.

I was playing with my dog around the house about a month after moving into my apartment. I was throwing one of his toys around the house, and we were playing fetch. I threw his toy into the corner of the living room and he ran toward it and suddenly stopped. He started to bark toward the spot where his toy was at, but he wouldn’t go near his toy. I was lying on the floor and he jumped up on my chest and continued to bark toward this spot.

I was freaked out because there was nothing in the corner of the room besides his toy. The part that I was most terrified about was the fact that my dog was acting like he was actually barking at someone sitting in the corner.

I tried to push the dog closer to the corner to see if he would go closer. He was pushing back on me as hard as he could so that he wouldn’t touch the corner. He wouldn’t stop barking, and it was as if someone snuck into the room when he wasn’t looking.

“Please leave this apartment,” my wife said.

My dog started watching something move toward the door and leave. He stopped barking and the entity seemed to have left the apartment.

I haven’t found any information that says there was any person that died in this apartment. But I have read that animals can sometimes sense when entities or spirits are present in the room.

I am still not sure if there was something in the apartment, but I really feel like there was. One thing is for sure, I don’t throw any of my dog’s toys into that corner of the room.