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I love to explore creepy places. Haunted houses are always cool, old dilapidated buildings at night, attics, basements, cemeteries in the fog, those kinds of places. I like to check out all the little nooks and crannies to see if there’s any hidden switches that open doorways to secret rooms. You know, the kinds of stuff you see on TV.

cemetery in fog

Photo courtesy Google Images

Here are some photos of some mysterious and supposedly haunted places I’ve had the privilege of exploring:

We’ll start with a local one. These pictures were taken on one of the nights I took the haunted tour over at the McRaven Tour Home here in Vicksburg

If you are interested in touring this fabulous house, and you should if you’re in Vicksburg, here is the link for more information https://www.mcraventourhome.com/

Next we’ll go to California, to a VERY small town called Ione in Amador County. One of the last places I visited before leaving California for Mississippi was Preston Castle. Here is a brief bit of information about Preston Castle:

In 1890, the California State Legislature purchased 230 acres from the Ione Coal & Iron Company for construction of the Preston School of Industry, a place where troubled boys could learn a trade instead of being incarcerated in juvenile prisons.

ione city limitThe complex was highly self-sufficient; the large acreage of the purchase allowed the boys to grow their own food, raise livestock and learn farming trades. Additionally, there was a print shop, bakery and cobbler shop where the young delinquents and otherwise homeless boys could learn skills for self-preservation in the real world.

The school officially opened on June 13, 1894, and the first wards moved in only two weeks later. The superintendent controlled life inside the Preston School of Industry, where discipline was extreme. Loss of privileges seemed minor in comparison to starvation, isolation, and public paddling and lashings, severe strategies that were common at Preston.

Here are some of the photos from my tour:

For a brief time in 1954 country music legend Merle Haggard did time at Preston Castle for auto theft. For more information about Preston Castle click here: http://www.prestoncastle.com/

Next we’ll head up north to Victoria, British Columbia and take a peek at Craigdarroch Castle. The castle is a historic, Victorian-era Scottish Baronial mansion. It was designated a National Historic Site of Canada due to its landmark status in Victoria

All of these places are reportedly quite haunted although I never experienced anything supernatural while I was there. Quite a few of my photographs from Craigdarroch Castle have what appear to be orbs in them, but it might just be dust motes in the air. This one in particular is of interest.

alaska cruise 2014 405 (800x579)

Me and Corey on the grand staircase at Craigdarroch Castle.

I don’t know what that big cloudy bubble thing is near my hand but it darn near touched me. And, there are at least 3 more smaller orbs in this photo. Do you see them?

Anyway, if you’d like more information about this creepy cool place, here’s where you need to start: https://thecastle.ca/

So there you have it my friends, my nod to keeping it creepy in February. What creepy places have you explored? Do you like visiting haunted houses?

Word of the day: Zloty

Fun fact about me: I guess I live in a haunted house, at least that’s what people tell me.

Original post by Jansen Schmidt, January 2019. Photos by P. Rickrode and Google Images.

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anshe-cemetery-sign

A few days ago my husband and I decided to take a little stroll in the Temple Anshe Chesed Cemetery. I know, not your typical mid-week, daytime, activity, but we’ve driven by this landmark many, many times and never taken the time to stop in and look around. (more…)

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As time allows, I’ve been doing some exploring around my new home state. Not too long ago I took an afternoon road trip on what I thought was the Natchez Trace. Turns out it was just Old Highway 61, but I didn’t find that out until later.

Anyway, I came upon this cute little old church up amongst the trees and decided to check it out up close and personal.

Rocky Springs Church. Photo by P. Rickrode, August 2015.

Rocky Springs Church. Photo by P. Rickrode, August 2015.

Rocky Springs church, circa 1700 something. Photo by P. Rickrode, August 2015

Rocky Springs church, circa 1700 something. Photo by P. Rickrode, August 2015

Much to my excitement, the door was open. So, of course, I went in.

Inside the church @ Rocky Springs. Photo by P. Rickrode, August 2015.

Inside the church at Rocky Springs. Photo by P. Rickrode, August 2015.

I imagined what life would be like as a preacher.

View from the pulpit - Rocky Springs Church. Photo by P. Rickrode, August 2015.

View from the pulpit – Rocky Springs Church. Photo by P. Rickrode, August 2015.

In the yard was this graveyard, just beckoning to be explored.

Graveyard @ Rocky Springs church. Photo by P. Rickrode, August 2015.

Graveyard at Rocky Springs church. Photo by P. Rickrode, August 2015.

So many babies died.

Headstone at Rocky Springs church. Photo by P. Rickrode, August 2015

Headstone at Rocky Springs church. Photo by P. Rickrode, August 2015

Tombstone at Rocky Springs church. Photo y P. Rickrode, August 2015.

Tombstone at Rocky Springs church. Photo y P. Rickrode, August 2015.

After exploring the church and adjoining graveyard, I found this curious path admidst the Spanish Moss:

Path in the woods. Photo by P. Rickrode, August 2015.

Path in the woods. Photo by P. Rickrode, August 2015.

Spanish moss at Rocky Springs church. Photo by P. Rickrode, August 2015

Spanish moss at Rocky Springs church. Photo by P. Rickrode, August 2015

It seems I had stumbled upon what had once been the rip roaring community of Rocky Springs.

Rocky Springs, Mississippi. Photo by P. Rickrode. August 2015

Rocky Springs, Mississippi. Photo by P. Rickrode. August 2015

I continued along the path until I got to this little bridge, which did not look safe to cross.

Bridge at Rocky Creek. Photo by P. Rickrode, August 2015.

Bridge at Rocky Springs. Photo by P. Rickrode, August 2015.

Yes, I crossed it anyway and found what remains of Rocky Springs.

Old well at Rocky Springs. Photo by P. Rickrode, August 2015.

Old well at Rocky Springs. Photo by P. Rickrode, August 2015.

Burned out safe at Rocky Springs. Photo by P. Rickrode, August 2015.

Burned out safe at Rocky Springs. Photo by P. Rickrode, August 2015.

So there you have it, my afternoon walk in the woods, found by mistake while innocently thinking I was traveling the famous Natchez Trace.

How about you dear readers, what unexpected adventures have you encountered in your leisure time? Any surprises uncovered on an afternoon road trip? Inquiring minds want to know.

Word of the Day: Casuistry

Fun fact about me: I love exploring in the woods.

Original post by Jansen Schmidt, September 2015. Original photos by P. Rickrode.

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