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Posts Tagged ‘ghosts’

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January is what the folks of Vicksburg call, “the slow season.” I guess it’s probably pretty slow everywhere what with the holiday craziness settling down, kids back in school, lousy weather for traveling, tax preparation looming, and getting started on all of those awesome new year’s resolutions and all. (more…)

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caspar-ghost

Photo courtesy Google Images.

When we first bought the Baer-Williams House, the previous owner told us some fantastic tales about “ghostly happenings,” that allegedly occurred in the home. Keep in mind, I’m a skeptic so I simply smiled and silently said, “Okay.”

The previous owner, bought the house in 2005, after his home in New Orleans was destroyed by Hurricane Katrina. He’d always loved old houses and always wanted to run a bed & breakfast. (more…)

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Who doesn’t love a good ghost story? I’m not into the creepy, demonic, blood and guts ghost stories where people get hurt, but I do enjoy a good chilling tale now and then.

baer-house-hallway

Original photo by P. Rickrode 2015

The Baer House Inn is one of the houses on the Haunted Vicksburg Tour. The leader of these tours brings people inside and tells them a tale of intrigue that may or may not have happened here.

Now, I have never experienced any of the strange happenings that are talked about on the tour, however, something rather ghostly did happen here. Something unexplainable and very real.

Not too long after my husband and I bought the inn, we started remodeling and redecorating. One of our projects involved relocating some chandeliers. Five to be exact. We hired an electrician and early one morning, they went to work, taking down lights and rehanging them in their new spots. About an hour after they got started, my husband and I were in the hallway talking about something. We heard a crash that sounded like a thousand expensive crystals shattering into a bazillion pieces. Followed by dead silence.

chandelier

We looked at each other with wide eyes, our mouths yawning into perfect O’s. I muttered a hushed curse. Obviously, the guys working upstairs had dropped one of our super expensive chandeliers. We whispered amongst ourselves about how to handle the situation. Should we confront them or let them come to us? We waited with bated breath for someone to slink downstairs and apologize profusely for damaging our property. Nobody came downstairs.

“They must be texting their boss,” I said. “Find out how to tell us that they’d broken one of our lights.”

man-hanging-lightWe waited. And waited some more. We decided to give them ten more minutes. After five, I couldn’t stand it any more. I crept upstairs, being extra careful not to step in any glass fragments I was sure littered the floor. Nothing. No mess. No sound. Two guys were up on a ladder in one of the rooms attaching a chandelier to the ceiling.

“How’s it going?” I asked.

“Great. We’re almost done.”

Almost done? That’s it? They aren’t even going to mention the broken $10,000 light fixture?

I turned to face my husband and mouthed, “They’re lying.”

I proceeded to march my little self into every single room upstairs, checking for lights, damage, broken glass, a broom, trash bag, anything evidencing the crash we heard downstairs.

Nothing. NOTHING. Every light exactly where it was supposed to be. Say what?

I went back into the room with the men on the ladder.

“Hey,” says I. “Did you guys hear a crash a few minutes ago. Like something big, and crystal, and expensive, falling and breaking?”

“No.”

“Really?”

“We didn’t hear anything.”

Now, my husband and I both heard the crash. We both knew immediately what it was. And yet . . . nothing broken. And that my friends, is the mysterious case of the shattered chandelier.

 

broken-chandelier

Have you ever had a ghostly encounter? Ever experience something you couldn’t explain? What do you think we heard?

Word of the day: Gagaku

Fun fact about me: I don’t really believe in ghosts. And yet . . .

Original post by Jansen Schmidt, October 2016. Photos courtesy Google Images and P. Rickrode.

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Last week I gave you a smattering of the kinds of paranormal activity we currently experience here at The Baer House Inn. Never anything sinister or malevolent, just little noises to let us know that “we are not alone.”

This week, I’ll delve a little deeper into some lesser know types of ghosts or ways that ghosts manifest themselves.

First, let’s talk about the trickster, the kokopelli if you will.

Image courtesy Google Images

Image courtesy Google Images

According to http://listverse.com/2013/03/27/10-little-known-mysterious-ghost-types/ – “Unless one is German, then the “Kobold” is not exactly a household term when it comes to the paranormal. Like a poltergeist, the kobold is a mischievous little spirit, playing tricks on humans and doing things to unsettle whoever is occupying its space. Kobolds can be malevolent or benevolent, depending on circumstances.”

Well, I for one only want to experience the benevolent type.

Photo courtesy Google Images.

Photo courtesy Google Images.

Former innkeeper, Doug, had a first-hand experience with a Kobold while he was doing some remodeling work in the basement. You see, the basement (the inside one, we also have an outside one), used to be the Baer House kitchen. I know, I know – weird that a home built in the late 1860’s, early 1870’s had a kitchen inside the house. Unheard of at that time. You see, kitchens had a tendency to burn down and burn down fairly frequently. That’s because people still cooked over open fires or with open flames in cook stoves. Fire, my friends, can be very destructive if one is not careful.

Well, Ms. Leona Baer insisted that her kitchen be built right inside her home. After her original kitchen house “mysteriously” burned down (that’s a whole different blog post), her construction workers began building the basement kitchen. At that time, people thought Leona was a little off her rocker. Why risk burning down your big beautiful mansion just to have the convenience of an indoor kitchen?

Photo courtesy Google Images.

Photo courtesy Google Images.

Fast forward to 2005 when Doug bought the home and decided to turn that unused old kitchen space into a work-out room. During the initial remodel phase, quite frequently his tools went missing. On more than one occasion, he remembered putting a tool in a specific place only to have it disappear the next morning when he went to resume his work. Several days, or weeks, later, said tool would reappear in a very bizarre and out-of-the way place.

I’m thinking that’s a Kobold at work suggesting to Doug that perhaps a work-out room was not such a good idea. In fact, he never finished that room.

That basement was not completed until 2015, when we turned it into a downstairs family room (aka a place to store our stuff). We go down there just about every night to watch t.v. and I have a very small craft/sewing room down there. There’s also a very nice, very modern half bath.

Oh sure, the shenanigans continue, but mostly in the form of electronic equipment going wonky (ie, the television turning itself off or the dehumidifier suddenly stopping for no reason). Occasionally we’ll come home and the lights will be on. Nothing dangerous or scary, just the little trickster letting us know he’s/she’s around.

Photo courtesy Google Images.

Photo courtesy Google Images.

Now, it makes perfect sense that a Kobold would choose to inhabit this house. You see, this house was built by a very devout Jewish family, the patriarch of which immigrated from Germany. Remember the opening quote? Well, Lazarus Baer was a Jew from Germany, so . . . there you go.

Have you ever heard of Kobolds? I know a lot of you paranormal fans probably use that term every day as part of your regular vocabulary, but I had never heard of it. Until now. So tell me readers, would the presence of a friendly Kobold frighten you? Ever been on the receiving end of a paranormal trickster’s prank? I’d love to hear your experiences.

As always, thanks for taking the time to stop by and for your continued support. I love to read your comments, so keep them coming.

Word of the Day: Quadriga

Fun fact about me: I’m an avid fan of Dancing With the Stars.

Original post by Jansen Schmidt, December 2015. Photos and images courtesy Google Images.

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Photo courtesy Google Images.

Photo courtesy Google Images.

So, I live in an old house. As old houses go, mine’s pretty cool. But, I’ve discovered that if you have an old house, especially in the south, you have to have a ghost. So, naturally, we have a ghost (or 2 or 3 if rumor is to be believed).

According to the “experts,” (http://paranormalistics.blogspot.com/p/types-of-ghosts-and-spirits.html) a ghost is nothing more than: “the energy of a person or animals soul that once lived.” Okay. It makes sense that we’d have a ghost then since people did live in this house.

According to the same site, “There are multiple reasons why ghosts make themselves known to us and how they interact with the living is usually determined by what personality characteristics they had when they where alive.” Cool.

Photo courtesy Google Images.

Photo courtesy Google Images.

So, what does that say about our ghost(s)? Nobody has actually seen a ghost in his house, but many have captured shadowy figures in their photographs, or so they say. I’ve taken lots of pictures and I got zilch, nadda, zip. But, I’ve learned that there’s many different ways to be “haunted.” This was news to me. Apparently ghosts make their presence known in several ways.

http://www.ghostsandgravestones.com/types-of-ghosts.php explains it like this: “Many of us have weird sensations about seeing shadows or shapes out of the corner of our eye, only for it to disappear when we turn to look. And while you may be one of those people who are not afraid of such a paranormal experience, did you ever stop and wonder just what kind of ghostly apparition you encountered? Maybe, like most folks, you didn’t even consider that there could be different kinds of ghosts out there.” (Me, me – raising hand.) “But the fact is, experts in the field have put together a list and definitions of the types of supernatural phenomena that exist and it may come in handy, especially if you’re headed out on a Ghosts & Gravestones Tour.” (Or perhaps the Haunted Vicksburg Tour.)

1. The Interactive Personality – The most common of all ghosts spotted are usually those of a deceased person, someone you know, a family member or perhaps even a historical figure. These ghosts can be friendly or not . . . ” (I vote for friendly) “- but often show themselves to others in a variety of ways. They can become visible; they can speak or make noises, touch you or even emit an odor like perfume or cigar smoke, etc, to let you know they are there. Experts say that this type of ghost retains its former personality of when they were alive and can feel emotions. And often, they are visiting you to comfort you or let you know something important.”

Aww, I feel so comforted. Or maybe I’m just missing something. Something . . . important. Hmmmm.

Photo courtesy Google Images.

Photo courtesy Google Images.

So, to recap, there are the filmy white apparitions seen by the naked eye. There are “vortex” ghosts who freeze people out of a sound sleep. There are the “smelly” ghosts, who like to scare people away by filling a space with fragrance of some kind. And then there’s our ghost – the kind that most often “materializes,” in an auditory form.

Here’s how http://www.ghoststudy.com/types.html explains our most common type of “haunting”: “CLAIRAUDIENCE: the ability of hearing the paranormal as opposed to seeing it.”

Ah. Now, I have heard things. Unexplainable things. And others have, too. So . . . perhaps we are “haunted?”

Again, quoting from the paranormalistics blog, “Ghosts were once human, just like you and I. It is believed that you keep your personality characteristics when you die. For example, if you where an evil person in life, you will be the same as a ghost. Mean spirited ghosts usually torment the living at haunted locations, feeding off the victims fear energy. The same goes for good people. If you were a loving person in life, you will be a loving ghost. Good spirited ghosts are usually very protective of families that live in haunted locations. Remember not all ghosts are bad.”

So, if I’ve done my deducting correctly, we have a friendly, even loving, and protective ghost. Probably a family member who once lived in the home. Here’s why I think it was a family member:

Photo courtesy Google Images.

Photo courtesy Google Images.

http://www.angelsghosts.com/family_ghosts says this about family ghosts: “Family ghosts may best be defined as spirits of deceased humans, as well as animals,” (more on this below) “that remain around certain families for a particular function . . . who still care for the family in his or her own way, in a sense, acting as an angel or guardian over the family. And the ways they might find to interact with the living is fascinating . . . Family ghosts are commonly believed to also make themselves knows through use of strange sounds (the hoot of an owl, the sound of a dog, a bird against a window, etc.). Some ghosts of families are said to make everyone aware of them by the cracking of pottery or dishes!” (Or an expensive chandelier, like the sound I heard? Hmmmm.)

So, there you go. We have a friendly family music-loving ghost. Lots of guests report hearing music. Happy music like perhaps from a party. Perhaps a ball? Some have heard the jingling of a dog’s collar. Some hear dripping water (not that that’s particularly happy).

That’s right, it’s not just people sounds. Remember above I mentioned the jingling of a dog’s collar?

Here’s what I unearthed about animal spirits: According to http://listverse.com/2013/03/27/10-little-known-mysterious-ghost-types/, “Animal ghosts make their presence felt not just in manifestations, but also sound and smell. It is not unusual for a person experiencing a haunting which includes animal ghosts to hear the pitter patter of the invisible animal, or whimpering, panting and scratching on the walls and doors.” Add to that list, the shaking of the head so that a collar and metal tags jingle merrily. Could we also have an animal spirit hanging around?

Photo courtesy Google Images.

Photo courtesy Google Images.

So, why are we experiencing paranormal activity but the neighbors aren’t? Here’s what the paranormalistics think: “An area can become haunted for many reasons, not just untimely deaths or tragic accidents. Sometimes an area can become haunted because it was the favorite place of a person who has passed. People do not have to die at a location for it to become haunted and it can technically happen anywhere. The architecture of a structure, the minerals in the land, underground springs and other water sources can have a major factor as well. For example, you should never build structures on top of limestone or water tables, because limestone retains energy and water is a conductor of energy. This belief dates back over 5000 years in ancient China and other areas in the region.”

Photo courtesy Google Images.

Photo courtesy Google Images.

Okay. There you go. We have at least 2 cisterns below the house previously used for water collection. Hmmmm. Are we a conducting ground for paranormal activity? Could be.

Stay tuned for Part Two next week. Maybe after hearing a little more about the history of the Baer House, we can discover the whos and the whys. Until then dear readers, have you ever experienced a “haunting?” Did you know there are different types of ghosts? Is your house built on a limestone foundation? Inquiring minds want to know.

Word of the Day: Panoply

Fun fact about me: I’m glad we’re out of pumpkin season.

Original post by Jansen Schmidt, November 2015.

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In keeping with my recent posts about my trip to Texas, today I’m bringing you a spin on the Take It or Leave It game and I’m doing it Texas style. I’m calling this month’s installment “Did I or Didn’t I.”

The Alamo Shrine - San Antonio Texas Photo by P. Rickrode

The Alamo Shrine – San Antonio Texas
Photo by P. Rickrode

The rules are the same (Post your guesses in the comments section below. I will post my responses on Thursday the 14th. The person with the most correct guesses is my winner, but you must post another comment in the comments section, acknowledging that you are a winner, in order to claim your prize. It’s that simple. Unclaimed prizes will be forfeited after one week from posting the answers.)

So, here you go. For the following list of things, did I do it or not do it?

Photo courtesy Google Images.

Photo courtesy Google Images.

1. Wander the corridors of the historic and haunted Menger Hotel looking for ghosts?

2.  Buy something at a smoke shop?

3.  Take a picture inside the Alamo long barracks?

4.  Participate in the topless experience?

5.  Have lunch with a cute guy from the Ukraine (I know, weird)?

6.  Tour Ripley’s Believe It or Not?

7.  Come home with my first ever shiner?

8.  Bring home a piece of rock from inside the Alamo shrine?

9.  Feed the ducks on the Riverwalk?

10.  Cut in line to get on the boat tour?

So, obviously, I visited the Alamo. The picture at the top is one of the many I took (is that a clue?). And, based on last week’s post, I did enjoy some time on the Riverwalk. But, how wild and crazy and adventurous did I really get? And how rebellious was I? That’s up to you to decide. I can’t wait to see your guesses.

Overall I had a very nice visit and would go back for more thrills. How about you dear readers, have you ever been to San Antonio? What the most crazy, wild or adventurous thing you’ve ever done on vacation? Please share, I love to know I’m not alone in my escapades, legal or otherwise.

Word of the day: Yegg (this is a fun one)

Fun face about me: I like to do cross stitch crafts.

Original post by Jansen Schmidt, August 2014. Original photo of the Alamo by P. Rickrode, Other photos, courtesy Google Images.

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Ah, springtime! Welcome back birds.

Photo by P. Rickrode

Photo by P. Rickrode

Hello flowers!

Photo by P. Rickrode

Photo by P. Rickrode

And babies!

Photo by P. Rickrode

Photo by P. Rickrode
Animal Kingdom Park WDW

So many awesome things to enjoy. As I sit here daydreaming writing, I close my eyes and imagine how wonderful it would be to sit here:

Photo by P. Rickrode

Photo by P. Rickrode

and enjoy a cocktail write.

I should be doing this:

Photo by P. Rickrode

Photo by P. Rickrode

But I’d rather be doing this:

Photo by P. Rickrode

Photo by P. Rickrode
Sailing on Lake Tahoe

Or even just this:

Photo by P. Rickrode

Photo by P. Rickrode

But instead, I’m working diligently on my 2013 vacation plans current work in progress.

Nothing sabotages a writing career faster than the advent of spring. We should be writing, we want to write, creative ideas are hitting fast and furious. But the temptation to go outside and play is strong. The lure of warm sunshine and fragrant flowers calls to our subconscious. Thoughts turn to gardening, sun bathing, long walks, dining on the patio and for me – vacation!

While I’m torturing my characters with attending funerals, mucking out horse stalls, and hiding from evil step-sisters, I’m really torturing myself with thoughts of being here:

Photo by P. Rickrode

Photo by P. Rickrode
Yosemite Valley

Or here:

Photo by P. Rickrode

Photo by P. Rickrode
Cascade Creek, Merced Co. California

That’s right, I’ve been visited by the ghosts of vacations past. They remind me that instead of sitting here gathering wool writing, I could be here:

Photo by P. Rickrode

Photo by P. Rickrode

Or here:

Photo by P. Rickrode

Photo by C. Rickrode

Or here:

Photo by C. Rickrode

Photo by C. Rickrode
Big Island, Hawaii

Or here:

Photo by C. Rickrode

Photo by C. Rickrode
Maui, Hawaii

And what trip down memory lane would be complete without a visit from the ghost of Disney vacations past?

The New FantasylandWalt Disney World

The New Fantasyland
Walt Disney World

So as spring makes it way into my little corner of the world, I shall savor it’s presence and bask in the rebirth of creativity and as new life springs forth from the earth. My mood word count will improve and my house will get cleaned muse will awaken and all thoughts will be of vacation writing “the end.”

Here’s hoping you all have a very productive springtime!

Word of the day: Raffish

Fun fact about me: One summer I worked at a B & B.

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