Categories
Horror Mystery and Lore

Avilla Missouri: A Ghost Town

With a mere population of one hundred residents, Avilla Missouri sits right off the road of Route 66. Avilla is known as one of the longest living ghost towns on the historic Route 66. Founded in 1856, it is the fourth oldest village or town in Jasper County. This once vibrant farming community is filled with a long enchanting history and a dark past. People who still live there say the darkness looms over the town to this date. So what happened in Avilla to make it the ghost town it is today?

Abandoned House of Avilla
Abandoned House of Avilla

To know that we have to go back to the A Civil-War. Missouri was a highly contested border state with both Union and Confederate soldiers. This is where the first legend begins. It involves the spirit of The Avilla Phantom Bushwhacker or, as some call it, Rotten Johnny Reb. Civil war bushwhackers were some of the original guerrilla warfare fighters. They had one purpose and that was to destroy the enemies’ spirit in any way possible.

Rotten Johnny Reb’s spirit is said to haunt not only the town but also the infamous “Death Tree.” As the legend goes, during the war the body of a dead Confederate Bushwacker was found. To ward off future fighters the skull was taken hung from a tree. This eerie symbol of warning did not go as planned though. As a result of removing the skull from the rest of the body, the ghost of Rotten Johnny Reb was created. His ghost torso searches the town and surrounding woods for his head and for Yankees to kill. Many deaths have been blamed on him over the years. This legend began driving off many of the remaining townspeople after the war ended.

Scary tree that might look like the Avilla Missouri death tree
I imagine the Avilla Death Tree looks about like this.

There are conflicting stories as to how this story might come to an end. One way to end the curse and put Rotten Johnny Reb’s spirit to rest is to find his skull, cut it down from the tree and bury it. Another says to set the skull ablaze on holy ground. Or much like the story of the headless horseman the skull simply needs to be returned to the torso. However, it is now basically impossible to do this task because the location of the Death Tree died off along with the last survivors of the war. There was a belief that black crows would flock to it during the day as a perch, and that it was an apple tree that no longer would bear fruit. However, time and the changing landscapes have made finding the tree impossible, if it would even be standing at all today.

What also lurks the ghost town of Avilla, are reports of Shadow Folk. These ghostly figures have been seen through the windows of the abandoned buildings, wandering through the halls of abandoned homes, walking down the empty roads in town, most notably on the side of Route 66, strolling through the park in the center of town and even passing through the locked doors of the post office. One of the shadow folk appears to be that of the town drunk, as the shadow staggers out of the abandoned building that was once the life of the town’s tavern and collapses as if passing out. Although the Shadow Folk may be creepy, they are harmless. In fact, they don’t seem to take notice of the living at all. Paranormal researchers believe that they are the psychic impressions left by people who inhabited the town in the past. They are most likely to be seen at the old abandoned part of the village along Route 66 and can be seen mostly at night.

If you are ever traveling through Route 66 be sure to stop by the ghost town of Avilla. Who knows if you might be one of the lucky few who gaze upon the shadow folk of this eerie little town. This site has been visited by several ghost hunters over the years and certainly has a creepy old civil war graveyard if you are into those sorts of things.. we are! Want to see more, check out this quick video from “The Ghost Watch” channel on Youtube.

Categories
Scary Movies and Series

Paranormal Movies/Television Series On Netflix January 2020

 Do you like the hairs standing up on the back of your neck? Well we’ve put together a list of the best paranormal movies and television series on Netflix right now for your fright nights viewing pleasure… We’ll update regularly as new titles become available.

10.) Insidious

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Director: James Wan

Writer: Leigh Whannell

Cast: Patrick Wilson, Rose Byrne, Ty Simpkins, Lin Shaye, Leigh Whannell, Barbara Hershey

Parents (Patrick Wilson, Rose Byrne) take drastic measures when it seems their new home is haunted and their comatose son (Ty Simpkins) is possessed by a malevolent entity, astral projecting and frightened, the parents call upon a medium (Lin Shaye).

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 66%

9.) Birdbox

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Director: Susanne Bier

Writers: Eric Heisserer (screenplay), Josh Malerman (novel)

Cast: Sandra Bullock, Trevante Rhodes, John Malkovich, Sarah Paulson, Jacki Weaver, Rosa Salazar, Danielle Macdonald, Lil Rel Howery, Tom Hollander, Machine Gun Kelly, BD Wong, Pruitt Taylor Vince

When a mysterious, paranormal force starts killing off the population, if you see it, you die. The survivors must now avoid coming face to face with an entity that takes shape of their worst fears. Searching for life and a new beginning, a woman and her two kids embark on a dangerous journey through the woods and down a river to find a place of safety and life. To make it, they’ll have to cover their eyes from the evil that chases them, completing the trip blindfolded.

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 63%

8.) The Ritual

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Director: David Bruckner

Writers: Joe Barton, Adam Nevill

Cast: Rafe Spall, Arsher Ali, Robert James-Collier, Sam Troughton, Paul Reid, Maria Erwolte

After the tragic death of their friend, four college friends reunite and set out to hike through the Scandinavian wilderness. However when they take a wrong turn it leads them into the mysterious forests of Norse legend, where ancient evil forces exist and stalk them throughout.

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 74%

7.) The Conjuring

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Director: James Wan

Writer: Chad Hayes, Carey W. Hayes

Cast: Vera Farmiga, Patrick Wilson, Lili Taylor, Ron Livingston, Mackenzie Foy, Joey King, Hayley McFarland

Description

In 1970, paranormal investigators Lorraine and Ed Warren are summoned to the home of Carolyn and Roger Perron. The Perrons and five daughters recently moved to a secluded farmhouse, where supernatural entities have been made known. Though the manifestation seems harmless at first, but soon events take place turning the house into a nightmare.

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 85%

6.) The Ring

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Director:  Gore Verbinski

Writer:  Ehren Kruger

Cast:  Naomi Watts, Martin Henderson, David Dorfman, Brian Cox, Daveigh Chase

A videotape filled with disturbing and unsettling images, once you play it, the phone rings, telling of the viewer’s death in exactly seven days. Newspaper reporter Rachel Keller, skeptical, until four teenagers all die exactly one week after watching the tape. Rachel tracks down the video and watches it, leading her to having just seven days to unravel the paranormal mystery.

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 71%

5.) Child’s Play (1988)

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Director: Tom Holland

Writers: Don Mancini

Cast:  Catherine Hicks, Dinah Manoff, Chris Sarandon, Alex Vincent, Brad Dourif

Gunned down by Detective Mike Norris, dying murderer Charles Lee Ray uses black magic to put his soul inside a doll named Chucky, which Karen Barclay then buys for her young son, Andy. When Chucky kills Andy’s baby sitter, the boy realizes the doll is alive and tries to warn people, but he’s institutionalized.

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 68%

4.) The Haunting of Hill House

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Director: Mike Flanagan

Writers:  Mike Flanagan, Meredith Averill, Elizabeth Ann Phang, Rebecca Klingel, Jeff Howard, Charise Castro Smith, Scott Kosar

Cast:  Michiel Huisman, Elizabeth Reaser, Oliver Jackson-Cohen, Kate Siegel,  Victoria Pedretti

This reimagining of the Shirley Jacksn novel follows siblings who, as children, grew up in what would grow to be the most famous haunted house in the country. As adults, forced back into the past, they must finally confront it. Some ghosts lurk in their minds, others still around the Hill House.

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 93%

3.) The Witch

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Director/Writer: Robert Eggers

Cast: Anya Taylor-Joy, Ralph Ineson, Kate Dickie, and Harvey Scrimshaw

In 1630 New England, panic and despair envelops a farmer, his wife and their children when the youngest son Samuel vanishes without a trace. The family blames the oldest daughter who was watching the boy at the time of his disappearance. With suspicion and paranoia mounting, twin siblings begin to point fingers at the eldest, accusing her of witchcraft.

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 90%

2.) Rosemary’s Baby

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Director: Roman Polanski

Writers: Ira Levin

Cast:  Mia Farrow, John Cassavetes, Ruth Gordon, Sidney Blackmer, Maurice Evans, Ralph Bellamy, Angela Dorian, Clay Tanner, Charles Grodin

A young wife believes that her child is not of this world. Waifish Rosemary Woodhouse and her husband Guy move to a NYC apartment building with an ominous reputation and odd neighbors. When Rosemary gets pregnant she becomes isolated, and the truth is revealed once she gives birth.

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 97%

1.) Veronica

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Director: Paco Plaza

Writers: Fernando Navarro

Cast: Sandra Escacena, Bruna Gonzalez, Claudia Placer, Ivan Chavero, Ana Torrent, Consuelo Trujillo, Sonia Almara, Carla Campra

During a solar eclipse, Verónica and her friends want to summon the spirit of Verónica’s father using an Ouija board. However, during the session she loses consciousness and soon it becomes clear that evil demons have arrived. Stalking Veronica and her friends, things take a drastic turn for the worse.

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 90%

Categories
Scary Movies and Series

Ten Paranormal Movies/Television Series to Watch On Amazon Prime in January 2020

It’s winter, it’s cold and well it’s perfect for watching supernatural horror. So we’ve put together a list of the best paranormal movies and television series on Amazon Prime right now to keep you entertained during these cold months. Maybe save The Shining for a nice snowed in some wintery night.. or not. We will be updating this list on a monthly basis as new titles become available and older titles leave.

January 2020

10.) The Woman in Black

Director: James Watkins

Writers: Jane Goldman

Cast:  Daniel Radcliffe, Ciarán Hinds, Janet McTeer, Sophie Stuckey, Liz White

Arthur Kipps, a lawyer, is recently widowed and grieving from the loss of his wife when he is sent to a remote village. Soon after his arrival, it becomes clear that the villagers are hiding a terrible secret. Kipps discovers that his late client’s house, for which he is there, is haunted by the spirit of a woman who is trying to find someone and something she lost, and no one is safe from her.

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 67%

9.) The Innkeepers

Director/Writers: Ti West

Cast: Sara Paxton, Pat Healy, Kelly McGillis

When two employees at a New England hotel decide to investigate stories of hauntings and ghosts, their actions waken an unwanted presence.

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 80%

8.) Carrie (1976)

Director: Brian DePalma

Writers: Lawrence D. Cohen

Cast: Sissy Spacek, Piper Laurie, Amy Irving, John Travolta, William Katt, Nancy Allen, Betty Buckley

In this adaptation of Stephen King’s horror novel, secluded and sensitive teen Carrie White faces taunting and teasing from classmates at school and abuse from her mother at home. When strange occurrences start happening around Carrie, she begins to suspect that she has supernatural powers. Invited to the prom by the empathetic Tommy Ross, Carrie tries to let her guard down, but things eventually take a dark and violent turn.

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 93%

7.) The Blair Witch Project

Directors/Writers: Eduardo Sánchez, Daniel Myrick

Cast: Heather Donahue, Michael C. Williams, Joshua Leonard

Found video footage tells the tale of three film students who’ve traveled to a small town to collect documentary footage about the Blair Witch, a local legend. Over the course of several days, the students interview townspeople and gather clues to support the tale’s truth. But the project takes a frightening turn when the students lose their way in the woods and begin hearing horrific noises.

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 87%

6.) Hereditary

Writer/Director: Ari Aster

Cast: Toni Collette, Alex Wolff, Millie Shapiro, Ann Dowd, Gabriel Byrne

When the grandmother of the Graham family passes away, her daughter and grandchildren begin to unravel cryptic and increasingly terrifying secrets about their ancestry, trying to outrun the sinister fate they have inherited.

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 89%

5.) The Shining

Director: Stanley Kubrick

Writers: Stanley Kubrick, Diane Johnson

Cast:  Jack Nicholson, Shelley Duvall, Scatman Crothers, Danny Lloyd

Jack Torrance becomes the winter caretaker at the isolated Overlook Hotel in Colorado, hoping to cure his writer’s block. He settles in along with his wife, Wendy, and his son, Danny, who is cursed by psychic premonitions. As Jack’s writing goes nowhere and Danny’s visions become more disturbing, Jack discovers the hotel’s dark secrets and begins to unravel into a homicidal maniac terrorizing his family.

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 85%

4.) A Quiet Place

Director: John Krasinski

Writers: Bryan Woods and Scott Beck

Cast: Emily Blunt, John Krasinski, Millicent Simmonds, Noah Jupe

A family must live in silence to avoid mysterious creatures that hunt by sound. Knowing that even the slightest whisper, pen drop, or footstep can bring death, Evelyn and Lee are determined to find a way to protect their children while searching for a way to fight back.

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 95%

3.) The Exorcist (1973)

Director: William Friedkin

Writers: William Peter Blatty

Cast:  Ellen Burstyn, Max von Sydow, Lee J. Cobb, Kitty Winn, Jack MacGowran, Jason Miller, Linda Blair

This tale of an exorcism is based loosely on actual events. When the young daughter Regan starts acting odd, levitating, speaking in tongues her worried mother seeks medical help, only to hit a dead end. A priest, however, thinks the girl may be possessed by the devil. The priest makes a request to perform an exorcism.

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 84%

2.) The Babadook

Director/Writers: Jennifer Kent

Cast: Essie Davis, Noah Wiseman, Daniel Henshall, Hayley McElhinney, Barbara West, Ben Winspear

A single mother, grieving from the violent death of her husband, battles with her son’s fear of a monster lurking in the house, but soon discovers a sinister presence all around her and her family.

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 98%

1.) The Evil Dead (1981)

Director/Writers: Sam Raimi

Cast: Bruce Campbell, Ellen Sandweiss, Betsy Baker

Ashley “Ash” Williams, his girlfriend and three pals hike into the woods to a cabin for a fun night away from it all. There they find an old book, the Necronomicon, and the text reawakens the dead when it’s read aloud. The friends not knowingly, release a flood of evil and must fight for their lives or become one of the evil dead. Ash watches his friends become possessed, and must make a difficult decision before daybreak to save his own life.

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 95%

Categories
Horror Mystery and Lore

The Haunting of the Carolina Theatre of Greensboro

The Carolina Theatre of Greensboro has a long history surrounding of paranormal activity. What makes the theatre all the eerier is that it opened on Halloween night, 1927. Originally called “The Showplace of the Carolinas” it began featuring a mixture of specialty acts such as burlesque comedy, song, and dance. Today it is home to many different events including concerts and live plays.

The Carolina Theatre of Greensboro is also home to three ghosts in particular. One ghost was a steelworker who fell from one of the beams during construction and died during the construction of the Carolina Theatre. A technical director who works at the theatre claims to have see this ghost. He recalls coming in early in the morning and walking across the lobby when it happened and said he saw a man in work clothes walking across the lobby 10 to 15 feet in front of him.

Carolina Theatre Front View Greensboro North Carolina
The Carolina Theatre

Thinking it was his coworker, the director began following him across the lobby. The apparition pushed open the door of the restroom as the director followed behind. When the director opened the door the lights to the restroom were off and nobody was in the bathroom.  He believes it to be the ghost of the construction worker wearing overalls and Dickies. 

The second ghost is that of a little boy. In 2014 a paranormal team stayed overnight at the theatre. They reported communicating with a little boy whose house used to be on the grounds before the theatre was built. His passing was a tragic event. Though no one has seen the little boy’s apparition there are childish things that go on at the theatre. Some report to have had stacks of chairs move on them and chairs taken off of the stacks the next day. People have also heard children’s laughter throughout the theatre.

The third, and most known, ghost is that of Melvaleene Reva Ferguson who died in a fire she had set to the theatre in 1981. In the ’80s there was a homeless woman who apparently had mental health issues. She came to a movie and hid behind the seats. As the story goes, she was denied her medicine that day and she told them if she didn’t get her medication that Greensboro was going to burn that night. After the movie she hid behind the seats while everyone else closed up. She went into the south stairwell of the theatre and started the fire which ultimately killed her. There have been sightings of her walking across the mezzanine level while she holds a clothing basket. People during rehearsals have also seen her walk back and forth before disappearing. 

With its long history and many sightings of paranormal activity it’s only right that The Carolina Theatre offers an event called “Paranormal Carolina with The Ghost Guild.” In the description the event offers you the chance to explore hidden parts of the haunted theatre, learn about 90 years of paranormal history, and experience being locked-in overnight with the spirits the Carolina holds. No prior paranormal experience required! 

Categories
Horror Mystery and Lore

The Ghosts of 274 Charming Forge Road

Built in 1749 on roughly forty-eight acres of land the Charming Forge mansion is nothing short of that, charming. Originally under the ownership of Baron Stiegel, a well renowned glassmaker and ironmaster in Pennsylvania, the mansion features seven bedrooms, four bathrooms, seven different fireplaces, original colonial woodwork, and a history of paranormal encounters within the property.

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Charming Forge Plaque

In August of 1976 Charming Forge came under the ownership of Luther Sensenig Womelsdorf and her sister Lewis Everline. Sensenig said her family experienced paranormal encounters very frequently. The first phenomenon Sensenig and her family recall happened on the lengthy stairs leading from the entry way of the mansion to the top of the third floor. Sensenig was in the kitchen and heard footsteps. She called out to whoever was running on the steps, but there was no answer.

As she made her way into the hall she arrived in time to hear the footsteps turn at the first landing of the stairway. Nobody was in sight even though she could see the opening of the stairway up to the third floor. What made it all the more odd was the phantom footsteps continued to be heard as if someone were running up to the third floor. She followed the sounds up the stairs . Once the unknown footsteps reached the third floor they immediately stopped. No one was there.

Over the course of the Sensenig families’ residency at Charming Forge footsteps were heard occasionally throughout the house as well as unexplained clunking and scraping of chains, screams, bumps, doors creaking and loud crashes. Sensenig also recalled a day walking through a hall directly next to the main hall and noticed a black cloud was floating just above her head. As soon as she noticed the apparition it quickly disappeared. On separate occasions Mr. Sensenig and his daughter Peggy had both hear the screen door slam shut, but no one was there. There wasn’t any wind according to Sensenig and the spring on the screen door was locked.

Another legend surrounding Charming Forge includes the “Weeping Lady” and her lover Stiegle. The story of Stiegel recalls that he galloped up to the Forge on his horse where he saw his beloved on the mansion hill, waving a kerchief at him. He rose on his stirrups to acknowledge her but the action spooked the horse which reared up and threw him from the saddle to his untimely death. Some accounts add the disturbing detail that as he was being tossed the reins wrapped around his neck and severed his head. She is said to roam these halls aimlessly awaiting the return of her lover, crying and weeping. Some say you may even see her deceased lover in the yard at night, a headless ghost.

Others say you may hear the sounds of German prisoners from the American revolution that died on these grounds. It is also noted the original owner, Baron Stiegel himself is said to have died in the house while his nephew was looking after him. Some believe Baron Stiegel haunts the house to this day.

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Outside of Charming Forge

A story from 1926 recounts that while the mansion was undergoing construction, an Indian visited the site and warned crew members and the owner at the time that it was being built upon an Indian burial ground. This is believed to be true as old records of the Forge mentioned the discovery of several human bones  during the renovations. 

As the story goes the ironmaster scoffed at this notion and waved off the Indian. The Indian is said to have placed a curse on Charming Forge. However seconds after the Indian spoke he was killed by a blow from a piece of faulty ironmaking equipment. His ghost too is believed to roam the yard of Charming Forge.

The last homeowner who lived there for fifteen years before recently selling Charming Forge hasn’t had any paranormal experiences himself, though some guests have felt the presence of the paranormal and have been uneasy in the house. Charming Forge is filled with history of the paranormal, and the attraction to it leaves those interested in the paranormal in awe.

This house just changed owners in September of 2019. As you might imagine it sat on the market before finally selling for the low price of $650,000. Perhaps buying haunted real estate is where the best deals are… if only you can find a brave enough buyer.