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Featured Haunted Places Horror Mystery and Lore

Urban Legend – The Haunted Oxford Saloon – Snohomish, Washington

Would you like a few ghost sightings with your burger? Only at the Oxford Saloon. This establishment has been standing in downtown Snohomish, Washington for over a century – starting out as a Dry Goods Store before transforming into a saloon for locals and travelers. The only issue? When these visitors aren’t enjoying live music, good food, and rounds of pool, they’re committing acts of violence and occasionally killing each other. Okay, maybe even more than occasionally – as there have been at least ten documented killings at The Oxford Saloon over the years. Any building over 100 years old is bound to have a little history, and here’s what you should know about one of the most haunted places in Washington.

Haunted Oxford Saloon Snohomish Washington

From the outside, The Oxford Saloon looks like your typical saloon and dive bar. But Henry, the ghost of the policeman who died from a stab wound after trying to break up a fight, would have to disagree. He’s one of the most famous paranormal residents of the bar, frequently seen in the women’s restroom, near the men’s card room, and at the bottom of the stairwell. He is a fairly mischievous entity – as many guests have reported being pinched or watched by his spirit. But all you need to do is confront him, and he’ll disappear! In fact, the main floor is generally pretty harmless when it comes to hauntings, as guests have reported seeing full-body apparitions and orbs in their photos – but the vibes stay positive and not exactly scary.

However, things get a bit darker when you head to the second bar of The Oxford Saloon. This is where a woman named Kathleen is said to have run a brothel, and many instances of violence and death occurred within the space. In fact, Kathleen herself was decapitated and murdered by a man while she was upstairs taking a bath… and that very same bathtub sits at The Oxford Saloon to this very day. Not creepy at all. Her ghost is seen as an older woman wearing a purple dress, along with one of her younger girls, Amelia – whose body was found dead in her bedroom closet. The third most popular ghost resident that you’ll find on the second floor? A tall man in a bowler hat – which gives us terrifying The Haunting of Hill House vibes.

There’s no denying that The Oxford Saloon is a fun and legendary hangout – and not just for humans.  Countless paranormal investigators have visited the spot, with many picking up EVPs that would send chills down anybody’s spine. They range from simple and cute, like the sound of a child laughing, to hearing a man’s voice repeating and mocking everything the female investigator said. Not cool. And while some establishments try to hide their haunted history, fearing that it may affect business…. Oxford is definitely not one of them. The staff will happily chat about the paranormal activity and spirits roaming the bar, and even has a feature on their website that lets you share your very own ghost experiences at The Oxford Saloon. It will likely stand for another 100 years, so next time you’re in Washington… don’t forget to stop by for a sandwich and a possible ghost encounter!

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Featured Haunted Places Horror Mystery and Lore NA

Urban Legends – The Cursed Buckout Road

When you mix a long history of violence with an abandoned mansion on a spooky road surrounded by woods, you know what you get? The paranormal. Since Buckout Road in White Plains, New York has this combination, naturally, it has quite a bit of paranormal history. Though this one is especially interesting with arson, grave robbing, witch trials, and more littering its history.

History of Buckout Road

Gravestone of John Buckhout
Gravesite of John Buckhout

Quite a bit has happened on this shady road in New York. To begin, there was a large event where many slaves were illegally released. This established the first free black community in New York. It’s been rumored to have been a checkpoint in the Underground Railway as well. There was a clash between Native Americans and white settlers which ended in mass murder, with some victims even being scalped. One of the more well-known incidents there included the murder of a family member that lived in a mansion on Buckout Road. This was the Buckhout family, they had initially lived in Sleepy Hollow, which you likely have heard of from the story of The Headless Horseman. The road was named after this once prominent and landholding family. On the road stands one lone headstone that belongs to John and Charlotte Buckhout. John and Charlotte had not been the murder victims in their family though, it was actually the wife of Isaac V. Buckhout, whose name was Louise. Isaac had discovered that Louise was having an affair with a man named Alfred Randall, and he viciously murdered the two lovers. Issac was eventually hanged for his actions on New Years day in 1872. He was later buried in Sleepy Hollow.

Albert Fish

Albert Fish was one of the worst human beings imaginable, and it is alleged that he owned a residence on Buckout Road. He was a child killer, and he was also a cannibal. Some consider him the real life Hannibal Lecter, and he has other names such as the Brooklyn Vampire, The Gray Man, and more. Fish was born in 1870, he was always a quiet and unassuming man who kept a very private life. His family had a long history of mental illness, his brother was in an asylum, his uncle was diagnosed with mania, and his mother routinely suffered from hallucinations. He went on to consume human waste, stick needles into his pelvic area, and just overall become very unstable. He began to eat raw meat, eventually graduating to human flesh. He went on to murder and eat three children, he is just another example of the evil that can be connected to Buckout Road.

Witches and Ghosts and Cannibals, Oh My!

You can’t be on a haunted street without seeing an old, and a worn-down red barn, right? This is exactly what used to reside on Buckout Road. Multiple people have claimed to have a paranormal experience with it too. It was said there was a family of cannibal albinos that lived in the home, and if you disturbed them, they would eat your flesh. If you stopped your car in front of the barn and honked your horn three times, they would come out and attack you. There was one report of that a teenager went to put an M-80 (a powerful type of firecracker) into the mailbox to prank the ghostly albino family. But when he opened the mailbox, he saw the decapitated head of a child inside.

There have also been a surprising amount of reports of witches on this road. It was said that three women were burned at the stake on suspicion of them being witches, and this was before the Salem witch trials took place. It is rumored that these three witches left three white X’s on the road in a certain spot, and every once in a while these three markings are reapplied. Supposedly if you flash your lights three times on the markings and turn off your car engine, your car will not start back up. Many locals claim that they have had car trouble on that road.

The final, less common occurrence was of a ghost called the Leatherman. He was said to be a ghostly figure that drives on the road at night, looking for his home which is a long gone cave. There are not many who have claimed to have seen the Leatherman.

Movie and Book

There is a book with an in-depth look at the history of Buckout Road, it is called Buckout Road: Revealing the Horrifying Truth of Westchester County’s Alleged Haunted Street by Eric Pleska. The Curse of Buckout Road is a horror movie based on the chilling history.

Index

http://rightondudes.com/buckouthistory.html

https://www.bedofnailz.com/buckout.html

Categories
Featured Haunted Places Horror Mystery and Lore

Urban Legends – Unsolved Axe Murders lead to Haunted House in Villisca, Iowa

Murder of 8 People

Villisca Ax Murder House early 1900's photo
Villisca Ax Murder House

June 11, 1912 is a day in history that will never be forgotten. On this day, an innocent group of eight people were brutally bludgeoned to death in their sleep with no clear motive or murderer. A family of six and two friends of the children’s were staying in the home the night of the 10th after returning from church at 9:45-10 p.m. Similar to many of the people living in Villisca, Iowa at the time, the Moore family did not lock their doors when they were away for Church. This is possibly when the murderer entered their home awaiting their return. Police were led to believe that the killer was hiding out in the attic before the killings due to cigarette butts being found up there. When a neighbor realized the family hadn’t started their daily chores on the morning of the 11th, she called Russ Moore, Josiah Moore’s brother. Russ Moore went over to the home and checked the inside and found a horrific sight. He immediately called the police who figured out the series of events.

The first person who was bludgeoned that night was Josiah Moore, he was said to have been most brutally attacked with the blade of their family’s own axe. Next was Sarah Moore who was murdered with the blunt end of the blade like the rest of the victims. Their kids were killed next along with the family friends, Ina Mae Stillinger who was 8 and Lena Gertrude Stillinger who was 12. All of the victims were said to be asleep when they were attacked except for Lena who was found with defensive wounds on her and in a strange position on her bed.

There were a few odd things about the crime scene. The family’s axe was left on the ground in the guest room where the Stillinger sisters were staying, and next to it was a piece of slab bacon weighing four pounds. Also, the killer had covered all the of the mirrors in the home with blankets or clothes, what does that mean? It was found that after the murders the killer had cooked himself a meal but left it untouched. Near the plate of food was a bowl of bloody water in the kitchen. These strange details left many dumbfounded and confused.

Suspects

Picture of suspect serial killer Henry Moore in old newspaper clipping
Suspect #2 was serial killer Henry Moore

Investigators were quickly called to the home after police saw the sight of the obvious homicide. They quickly ruled out a murder suicide because the wounds of each victim could not have been self inflicted. There were many suspects but the one that they honed in on was Reverend George Kelley. He was a traveling minister that had been in town for one night and performed the service the Moore’s had attended that evening. He was not able to explain what he was doing when he was out of town from 5-5:30 a.m. the next morning. He was reportedly very interested in the murders and had been in and out of trouble with the law in the past. He had sent obscene materials through the mail and had a stay at a mental hospital. In 1917 he was arrested for the murders and confessed but later recanted his confession. Eventually he was tried and acquitted for the murders as many people didn’t think he was mentally or physically capable of murdering the 8 people. No one else was ever convicted or tried for their murders, so the case went cold.

Newspaper article from the early 1900's alerting people of the murders that took place.

Paranormal Activity

Similarly to many other houses with mass murder, there are people who believe ghosts are haunting this home. Families have tried to live in this home after the murders but never lasted long in it. In 1994 Martha Linn bought the home and restored it to use it as an attraction. You could visit the house for a tour or stay overnight in it. It was featured on many ghost hunting shows and has had every type of paranormal activity imagined. People have reported disembodied footsteps, voices and apparitions, strange shadows, things moving of their own accord, and overall just bad vibes.

Among the most mysterious events was a Ghost Hunter stabbing himself during an overnight stay in the house. He was rushed to the hospital on November 8, 2014 with a self inflicted stab wound to his chest. From what the police understand he had called for help from his friends on his mobile two way radio. The rest of his party had found him with the injury. The stabbing took place around the same time that the murders in 1912 had occurred. It’s such a popular destination for people to investigate the paranormal on their own, especially since it has the title of one of the most haunted places in America. Martha Linn has even said that she has seen guests interact with the spirits of the victims in the home.

In June of 2016 a photographer went to the home to take pictures for a sneak peek into the RAGBRAI route that cyclists go on. He took a picture in the attic which is where the killer was said to hide out. People that have seen it looked closely and noted that the front right leg of the chair seems to be floating, many people believe that this is due to the paranormal presence in the home. There is also another image of a board filled with pictures where people have claimed to see floating orbs around different rooms in the house, supposedly those of the victims.

Haunted Villisca House Tour

Sources

https://www.desmoinesregister.com/story/entertainment/2016/06/13/photo-inside-villisca-axe-murder-house-seriously-creepy/85833366/

https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/ppm84g/why-did-a-ghost-hunter-stab-himself-inside-a-famous-axe-murder-house-1118

https://roadtrippers.com/magazine/villisca-ax-murder-house-iowa/

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Featured Horror Mystery and Lore

Urban Legends: Dark Magic at Malheur Butte in Ontario, Oregon

A seemingly unassuming dead volcano in Eastern Oregon, the Malheur Butte has long boasted a secret history of witches practicing dark magic, as well as strange creatures who appear in the dead of the night to keep visitors away. It is said that the shadowy past of Malheur Butte entails one full of dark magic and that witches used to meet in secret on the rugged tip of this dead volcano whose history dates back over thousands of years. 

Malheur Butte
Malheur Butte

The history of the Malheur Butte spans between fifteen and twenty million years, so far back that not all of the details are known about this geological landmark. With a history that expansive, it’s not really hard to believe that people have experienced odd occurrences and reports that have accumulated throughout the years. Over the last century, people have experienced strange beings, from ghosts and witches to sprites and fairies, at Malheur Butte. One thing this once-active volcano does not lack, is paranormal activity and phenomena.

Before the days we could consider to be modern, Native Americans used the butte as a lookout point to watch for settlers coming in on covered wagons. It is believed that many people met their demise on the trail, and their spirits linger on—haunting the area to this very day. Legends dictate that the Malheur Butte was once a place where witches would gather to celebrate their dark occult practices. Covens would regularly meet there to perform their bone-chilling rituals and ceremonies. Then again, there was a history before that, one that rarely—if ever—got recorded into what we consider known-history. For millions of years the Malheur Butte was an active volcano, but now a few million years after its slow and agonizing death–this formerly ferocious threat–that spanned the distance between the northern border of modern Washington to the northern region of modern California, would spew forth floods of lava in a series of volcanic eruptions. In the times of the active volcano, the lava dammed up the streams and created lakes and swamps that otherwise would have remained in existence for millions of years before they filled with sediment. The Snake River once contained one of many such lakes and many geologists agree that Lake Idaho once covered most of easter Oregon more than two million years ago. The sediment that at one point covered the Malheur Butte was then deposited in Lake Idaho by volcanic eruptions and the Butte was eventually exposed over time to what is now visible today.

First-Hand Experiences…

Dark Magic - Black Goo on Hands
Photography by Ian Espinosa

There have been so many first-hand paranormal experiences reported after visiting the area—especially at night, an area that is now considered rife with terrifying, imp-like creatures that appear out of the shadows to chase visitors away. Reportedly, with the appearance similar to small black dogs, with long skinny limbs, over-sized heads, and dark empty pits where eyes should have been—these stories account for the reports of the loud unidentifiable sounds that have been spoken of.

I’ve been here a long time…a long time, and I’ve seen somethings that I expect most folks read about in books…The witches? I’ve heard about the witches since I was a boy, and I was always told not to go to the butte after dark. So of course I did! Can’t say I’m positive I saw witches, but more than once I’ve seen robes…long robes that flap in the wind, more than one. Sometimes women laughing, but not in a funny way…more of a serious kind of laughing. I don’t know. I know each time I left pretty fast! I think there are witches, either ghosts of witches or living witches. I don’t have the intention to interrupt them, either.

Unidentified Longtime Resident of Vale, Oregon
Ghosthunting Oregon by Donna Stewart
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Featured Haunted Places Horror Mystery and Lore

Urban Legends: Scary Mary at the Golden North Hotel in Skagway, Alaska

As the forty-ninth state of the United States, Alaska is often described by locals as being thirty years behind the contiguous United States—with the days of pioneers and people flocking to take advantage of the gold rush set so recently in the past, it’s not too far-fetched to see how life might be a little slower in the Last Frontier. This also means that the ghost stories that haunt the oldest buildings in the state of Alaska are a little bit more recent and sometimes seem a little bit more vivid.

The Klondike Gold Rush

The Klondike Gold Rush began in the Yukon in 1896, when gold was first discovered, this drew roughly one hundred thousand prospectors into the territory—all of whom decided they would strike it rich. Skagway served as the most direct route to the gold-fields, so most of the traffic flowed through this deep-water port. This, of course, caused the population of Skagway to explode nearly overnight, with a population going from approximately seven hundred residents in 1897 to over ten thousand in 1898, it made it the largest city in Alaska at the time. That rush only lasted about two years and the population dwindled back under two thousand. The times in which the Klondike Gold Rush was underway, created an atmosphere that was rife with chaotic ambition, corruption, lawlessness, disease, shattered dreams, and many untimely deaths. Built at the height of the gold rush in 1898, the Golden North Hotel provided accommodations and refreshments to nearly one thousand prospectors who passed through the city on a weekly basis. It was a breeding ground for ghost stories.

The Origin of Scary Mary

One of the most legendary ghosts in Alaska goes by the name of Scary Mary and her story begins with a Gold Rush expedition. Mary came to Skagway, Alaska as a blushing young woman, already engaged to a prospector that went by the name of Klondike Ike—she checked into the Golden North Hotel where she and Ike became engaged and were set to start their future together. The two lovers spent several days at the hotel before Ike had to return to his prospecting ventures over Chilkoot Pass. Mary’s fiancé, Klondike Ike, set off over five hundred miles to the gold-fields with tremendously high hopes that he would win them their fortune—unfortunately for both Ike and Mary, Ike never returned. Ever the loyal partner, Mary waited for Ike to return home to her—she locked herself in the room the couple had rented, lost in the abyss of worry for her lover, and waited. When the housekeepers of the Golden North Hotel finally broke down the door with concern, they discovered Mary in the wedding dress she had planned to be married in, dead and waiting for Ike to return to her, so that they may marry. In many of the stories, it is said that Mary ended up coming down with a fatal case of pneumonia while waiting for Ike in room 23—other stories imply that after months of waiting for his return, she simply locked herself in her room disallowed any company and refused to eat.

Golden North Hotel in Skagway, AK
Photography by Kira Picabo

First-Hand Experiences

Legends tell us that Mary still hasn’t checked out of her room at the Golden North Hotel and since her death arrived all-too-soon, that she has been checking up on guests in the middle of the night. Her apparition appears as a pale figure and is seen looking through the hotel windows, waiting for her lover’s return from the mountains. There have been reports of cold air pockets when walking through the hallways and a subsequent glimpses of white rushing past them—even more strange are the reports of the unfortunate guest who wakes up to Mary’s ghost hovering above their beds as if checking to be sure that Ike isn’t in bed with another woman.