Friday, June 27, 2008

Zombie Land

zombie 2

In Mahoning Township (Lawrence County), hard on the Ohio border, Zombie Land (called White Bridge by the locals) is a lovers lane, party spot, druggies hangout - and the scene of murder. The desolate, two acre spread of land is frequented by teens, state police, and the supernatural.

The first tale concerns Frankenstein Bridge, from where a youth once leaped to his death. It's said that if your name appears on the bridge, the "bridge people" living underneath will find and kill you. It's also known as Puerto Rican bridge, because its early taggers were Latinos.

Another tale concerns an old oil well near the bridge. It seeps natural gas, and if you light it, you'll trigger an attack of the easily annoyed bridge people.

There's a small church by the bridge. It's reported that its boneyard sports a glowing grave.

It's home to the Blood House (now burned down), where an alleged witch lived. She only came out when she wanted to put a spell on someone - or snatch a child to kill. Her yard is supposed to be the kiddies' burying grounds.

Zombie Land has its own Green Man legend, too, featuring a handy man that was badly burned in an electrical accident who now roams the ZL roads, all the way to Steubenville. This tale is based on reality, and has been part of Tri-State history - mostly exaggerated - for decades.

The area also includes lore of ghost hounds and a phantom train, although the train legend could be explained by the echoes of actual trains resounding off the hills.

It's been the scene of grisly death, too. A car crash claimed another life. The tale, as told by one of our readers, is that Chris Jordan, aka Spoon, was riding with his friend Pat, with other friends traveling in a car behind them. Supposedly they were running from something which had chased them from Graffiti Bridge, leading to a wreck that took his life. Of course, there may be a more mundane explanation.

A reader wrote us and said "Hey, this is Patrick, and there was nothing spooky about what happened with me and Chris. And I wouldn't have lived if it wasn't for Ricky and Vinny. We hit a patch of black ice. That's it, nothing more."

A child was murdered there, when three men raped and killed a 12 year-old Ohio girl. They burned her body and left it under the Robinson's Crossing bridge.

It's also said that the mob use to dispose of their victims in the mine shafts that dot the area. But those deaths were the results of evil that walks the earth, not the supernatural.

Tom Rupe, Youngstown blogger ("Y-Town and Beyond") was kind enough to share his knowledge of Zombieland
"I guess rumors and ghost stories must evolve over the years. I was in high school in Struthers in the early 1970's and our tales our completely different to some of the accounts I've read here.

The Green Man was from Transfer, Pa. and I personally read the story of him being tragically burned by a 50,000 volt overhead powerline.

The Zombies were actually a colony of people who had 'Water On The Brain,' a medical disfigurement that causes the skull to be grossly distended making a person's head twice the size of normal. As the story goes they lived there to escape ridicule from gangs of people. Isn't that an irony?

The Eternal Flame was a 'Preventer' from keeping pockets of natural gas from accumulating in low-lying areas and being a hazard. The gas company diverted a small pipe about 10 feet in the air and lit it to burn off the excess gas."

Another reader took the time to give us an update on the locale:

"I grew up in the area and still live near there. I graduated from Campbell in 1977. We knew the area as Hook Man's. It was the same legend as lovers parked by the bridge: their car got attacked, they sped off, and later found a hook stuck in the door.

The bridge is still there. Last I knew the flame was still there. Apparently if you lit the flame hook man would come. If you walked down the stream, south from the bridge, there was a small waterfall supposedly with a coffin buried under it.

Zombieland was farther out near the quarries. A partying/swimming area mainly where you weren't allowed to be. The Green Man was real. He passed away a few years back. The glowing grave was an effect of a small light on the church reflecting off of the head stone of one grave.

Alas, progress has changed a few things. The gravel road is now paved. The trees along the sides have been trimmed up. There are housing developments going up on the east hill of the bridge. The church has updated, added more and brighter lights and now everything is lit.

I loved growing up here with the legends and stories, like the ghost lights at Lake McKelvey, Mary's Grave, and the voices at the Greek Cemetery."

There is one final legend with a saving grace. A statue of the Virgin Mary, the sole remaining piece of old St. Lawrence's church, will open her arms when it's safe to enter Zombie Land, and clasp them in prayer for the people there if it isn't safe.

No one ever recalls her arms being open.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Chickie's Rock

Chickie's Rock from Paranormal Insiders

Chickie's (or Chique's) Rock is on the Susquehanna River in Lancaster County, located between Columbia and Marietta. It gets its name from the Susquehannock Indians, who called the spot Chiquesalunga, the place of the crayfish (We guess surf and turf in Native kitchens was crayfish and venison...)

The first legends were passed on by the Indians, who saw ghosts roaming the area back in their day. They have a couple of tales of star-crossed lovers meeting their doom there. One was a mutual suicide pact, where two lovers took the leap off the 200' precipice when forbidden to marry.

Another concerns an Indian girl who fell for a white man. Her Susquehannock lover was outraged and slit the man's throat, then threw the girl off the cliff.

More recent spooks include a mummified ghost - he's armless, and has arrows sticking out of him. The shore sports the spook of a man that died in a riverboat accident roaming its banks. Then there's the shadow person that wanders the woods at the top of the rock, decked out in a fedora and cape.

The spirits of men have been seen at the foot of the cliff, appearing and then vanishing before your eyes. They're supposed to be the apparitions of dearly departed RR and canal workers. And let's not forget our favorite gremlins, the apple-loving albatwitches that call Chickie's Rock home.

These four foot tall humanoids like to sit in trees and snack on apples, particularly those of unsuspecting picnickers. They even throw the cores at them after chomping the fruit. In fact, that's how it got its' name - albatwitch is the local jargon for apple snitch. They also date back to the Susquehannocks.

Oddly, the best known phenomena is the mist that forms on top of the rock and morphs into a spook. Teens admitted making up the story in 1969, but it's still the most widely reported sighting. Nothing like the power of suggestion, hey?

So for a scenic and spooky day trip, take a run to Chickie's Rock State Park and check out the sights. Oh, and don't forget to bring a bag of apples if you go...

Saturday, June 14, 2008

The Battles House

The Battles House from Erie County Historical Society

The Rush Battles Estate covers 130 acres outside the Erie County town of Girard, and features two homes, the Battles farmhouse, built in 1858, and the Charlotte Elizabeth Battles house, built in 1861. The first was the home of Rush, his mother Elizabeth, and sisters Alcina & Lucina.

The second was the new home of Rush, who in the meantime had gotten married to Charlotte Webster. What bride needs a mother-in-law and two sisters-in-law under the same roof? It's now operated as the Battles Museums of Rural Life by the Erie County Historical Society.

There are reports of footsteps heard on the upper floors, children singing in the first floor dining room, objects being moved to different spots, and an antique oil lamp being thrown to the floor.

The house's cats are attracted to and sometimes upset by unseen spirits. The ghost of a Victorian era lady dressed in widow's black has been seen, accompanied by a noticeable temperature drop. There were reports of a male spirit, and the specters of two young girl were seen on the second floor.

There are also sightings associated with a farmhand injured by a horse. (Yes, he was kicked in the head. Why don't any of these farmers ever get kicked in the butt?) He's been seen in the master bedroom where he was cared for, and a older female spook has also been seen, looking out the loo window.

It's thought that she witnessed the accident from the bathroom. She's also been spotted moving across the bedroom into the closet, perhaps still attending to him.

The last resident of the Charlotte Battle house, Georgiana Reed, can still be seen roaming its' halls, even though she died in the 1980s. So take the tour - you might run across more old dusty things than you bargained for!

The Battle's House is included in Stephanie Wincik's collection More Ghosts Of Erie County.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Time (and ghosts) in a Bottle...


While roaming the Weird World of Web, we ran across across a site called "Ghosts in a Bottle." John Deese, a Florida ghosthunter, stuffs the spooks he captures into bottle, seals 'em with wax, and then sells them at $20 apiece. From the website:

Each Ghost is captured from a reported haunted establishment, (house, hotel, ship, cemetery, etc), by our Ghost Hunters. We seal the ghost in it's own bottle. The bottle is sealed for your protection.

No maintenance required; except occasional dusting. You may release the Ghost at your own discretion and at your own risk.

The Ghost in the Bottle is contained mysteriously and is therefore sealed with wax shortly after the Ghost is caught. The bottle is sealed for your protection. It comes with very important information. We supply the Ghost, you supply the name. Individual Ghost experiences may vary as "Each Ghost is Unique"!

Each Ghost also comes with a "Ghost Certificate" which is signed by the Ghost Hunter that captures each Ghost and is engraved with a Ghost Hunters seal.


The intent of this product is for entertainment purposes only. We have had several customers open or break the bottle and contact us stating that unexplained things have occured in their homes!

If you open or break your bottle you may experience any or all of the following:
• A voice out of nowhere.
• Muffled Moans and Groans for long periods of time during the day or night.
• Doors opening or closing slowly.
• A feeling someone is following you around your home.
• The T.V. volume Increases or Decreases by itself.
• Water left running at the sink.
• The feeling someone is watching you.
• Noises leading into or out of rooms that no one is present in.
• A unfamiliar smell of perfume or cologne.
• Small items moved (favorite items to move are shoes, car keys, T.V. remote).
• Lights coming on or going off by themselves.
• Electrical appliances coming on by themselves (sometimes not even plugged in).
• Phone calls (yes, sometimes they call).
• Your night light may be turned off during the night.
• Bed covers pulled off you, or you pillow may be tossed on the floor.
• Touches (light pat on the back, the touch can be warm or cold).
• Activity will usually peak around 3:00 am in the morning or on rainy days.

You may experience other Ghostly situations not mentioned above.

Ghost In A Bottle is the best spook spoof site we've run across in quite some time. It's already joined the Chia Pet in our private collection of ghastly curios.

Midnight Mary


Ah, nothing like a classic resurrection tale along the lines of The White Lady of Wopsy Mountain or Chicago's Resurrection Mary, the momma of them all. Toss together a young woman, an untimely end, a bit of a morality play, and viola - a resurrection legend is born. We love them all.

In 1935, Gertrude Spring and her date were on their way to, or maybe from, the prom. But their car skidded off the Bordentown Pike in Bucks County and splashed down into the depths of Penn Manor Lake (known by the locals as Tulleytown Lake or Van Sciver Lake), killing them both.

An alternate tale claims that the pair had a spat, and he dumped her off at the lake to find her way home to Bristol. She hitched a ride with another boy who was drunk (well, it was prom night) and he veered into the lake waters, killing them both.

The car and the body of the boy were recovered, but Spring was never found, according to both versions. We'd take that last bit with a grain of salt, since her grave site is pretty well known, and unless it's empty...

Some say they have seen Spring's spirit floating above the lake in her pink prom dress to this day, accompanied by the strains of ballroom music. They add that sometimes she seems to dance on the water.

Others have seen her on Bordentown Road, thumbing a ride. She's wearing a wet pink dress and is obviously distraught, telling the drivers that she has to find her Bobby. She eventually disappears, leaving behind a puddle in the car and sometimes a corsage.

She's buried in St. James Episcopal Cemetery, and her grave is still a popular stop.

The biggest mystery is why they call the wraith Mary. We're sure it's just for the alliteration. Midnight Gertrude just doesn't have the same ring. Now Tulleytown Trudy or Gertie's Ghost, hmmmm, they have some spooky potential....

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Raffles Place Ghost

raffles place
Raffles Place from Wikipedia

Hey, another "look what we found" piece. Ghost are big time business now. This one is the star of a Asian viral vid "Raffles Place Ghost", sadly debunked by Snope's "Urban Legend" pages. Who ever thought a spook flick - widely reported as the real deal in its' first days of release - would be the opening salvo of an ad campaign? We wonder what demographic they were after.