Urban Legend – The Haunted Oxford Saloon – Snohomish, Washington

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Featured Haunted Places Horror Mystery and Lore

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!

Urban Legend: Ghost Town of Lake Lanier

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Featured Haunted Places Horror Mystery and Lore

Lake Lanier is the largest lake in the state of Georgia, boasting more than six hundred miles of shoreline that borders five different counties. It is itself a man-made lake, created to establish flood control as well as hydroelectric power and drinking water to much of the surrounding area. It provides many practical services, but it also provides a place for nautical excursions and summertime pleasures. Every summer millions of people flock to this massive body of water in North Georgia to enjoy boating, fishing, and time spent on the beach. But would so many carefree cavorters come if they knew of the deadly lore of the ghost town that (quite literally) lies beneath the surface?

Lanier County and Lanier Lake map in Georgia

The Ghost Town of Lake Lanier is a sprawling urban legend that concerns unmarked graves, displaced souls, hundreds of deaths, and vengeful spirits. Back before the lake was built, the area was home to a variety of businesses, churches, and homesteads. When the government decided to dam up the Chattahoochee River in the 1950s, thus creating the lake, they had to pay off and remove around 700 families.

Though the US Army Corps of Engineers removed many of the buildings in the area (though some built of stone and concrete still remain on the lakebed), they had a harder time when it came to the cemeteries scattered throughout the land. Try as they could when relocating the bodies, there was no way to account for every single soul buried in the soon-to-be-flooded region. By 1956 the lake was finally filled in.

And that’s when the deaths began.

Unnatural Encounters

Imagine a vast body of murky water, in the depths of which resides an abandoned ghost town of concrete skeletons, rusting ferries, countless debris from personal belongings, and even the grandstands of an auto-racing track known as Looper Speedway. Now imagine you’re going for a swim and you feel unknown hands grabbing at you from beneath the waves. Or, conversely, imagine you’re going for a dive and you feel body parts frozen in rigor mortis. As local longtime diver Buck Buchannon tells it, “You reach out into the dark and you feel an arm or a leg and it doesn’t move”. 

Dark water with hand coming out

In addition to these grave encounters, other apparitions have been sighted by lake goers throughout the decades. For some it’s giant catfish as big as station wagons. For others it’s a raft piloted at night by a cloaked figure who vanishes when you go for a better look. But the most detailed and famous story involves two women who drowned there in the fifties. 

The Lady of the Lake

Back in 1958, friends Delia Mae Parker Young and Susie Roberts were driving their Ford across Lanier Bridge over the lake when they suddenly veered off the edge into the water. Divers searched the area but could find no evidence of the women or their car. Then a year later a body was discovered, missing both hands and several toes, but it could not be properly identified. Finally, thirty-one years later in 1990, the Ford is discovered with the body of Susie Roberts still inside, leading most to assume the body discovered decades earlier belonged to Delia. 

Where the story really gets creepy is that for years people have claimed to see a lady walking the length of Lanier Bridge, dressed in blue and missing both hands. Not only would that sight be enough to scare the bravest away, but some have reported that the spector will accost them, using her maimed arms to try and drag them into the lake. Chilling stuff. 

Creepy bridge at night

Lake Lanier Now

Many who visit Lake Lanier would never suspect that such nefarious legends surround it. In fact, its popularity has only increased over the years, and it has become a number one destination in the state during the summer months. However, it is also a place with a checkered past. In addition to the alleged supernatural occurrences, there have been over six hundred people who have died in the lake since it was created. That high body count, much higher than any similar lake in the area, has only buoyed confidence from those who believe the area to be haunted. The truth of the matter is, there is an actual ghost town beneath Lake Lanier, and it’s a sobering fact that hundreds of bodies, both living and dead, were displaced in its creation. Sounds ripe for a haunting to us!

Sources

https://www.cnn.com/2020/10/31/us/lake-lanier-urban-legends-trnd/index.html

https://www.southerngothicmedia.com/lake-lanier

https://www.oxfordamerican.org/magazine/issue-113-summer-2021/the-haunting-of-lake-lanier

Urban Legend: Louisiana Vampires

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Featured Haunted Places Horror Mystery and Lore

Vampires have been one of the most beloved and obsessed-over monsters in popular culture ever since F.W. Murnau’s highly influential silent horror film, Nosferatu (1922). The dark-dwelling bloodsuckers appear frequently to this day, from mainstream titles such as Resident Evil: Village and Twilight to lesser-known works like Stakeland and What We Do In The Shadows. In fact, vampires have existed long before these in many aspects of human culture, fantasized about in folklore and depicted in a myriad of mystical and horrifying tales throughout history. Widely reported from Eastern Europe in the late 17th and 18th centuries, some surmise that the vampire was born from paranoia of widespread illness, though certain figures have been particularly convincing in the existence of these nocturnal immortals.

New Orleans 19th Century

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Cut to 19th Century New Orleans, one of the most prominent places in regards to hauntings, vampire sightings, and cult speculation. Tuberculosis, consumption, and syphilis are running rampant. In a city so accustomed to suffering, fear quickly becomes paranoia, which in turn rapidly morphs into superstition and comprehensive folklore. Among these, and strangely enough confirmed by the New Orleans Pharmacy Museum, is the account of real vampires living in New Orleans.

Louisiana Vampires

The city was the inspiration for many of Anne Rice’s gothic novels, most notably 1976’s Interview With The Vampire, whose story was also based there. Many locals would take the tale further, claiming that multiple real vampires reside in their city. Some would reference the brothers John and Wayne Carter, who in the 1930s were arrested following a string of peculiar murders. The brothers, it was found, drained the blood of over a dozen victims using some unknown method, and were only caught out when a blood-soaked woman managed to escape their New Orleans apartment. When the brother’s corpses disappeared entirely from their family’s funeral vault, suspicion and surmise only grew as to their true nature, and their true species. Reports of sightings of the brothers occur to this very day.

While New Orleans is by no means the first place to encounter the Louisiana vampire legend, (some instances go as far back as ancient Greek Mythology!), it is definitely holds prominence as the home of the most infamous documented vampire existence in the world. To explore this we must dive back to 1700s France where a man, if he can so be called, by the name of Comte St. Germain came into the public eye. While this was the first solid evidence of his existence, figures from around the globe such as French historian and philosopher Voltaire, King Louis XV, and Italian writer and adventurer Casanova all professed to have met the timeless individual. He was said to have been an alchemist, one who knew all and never died, who grew diamonds and created beautiful jewels from stones. The alchemist attending the execution of Marie Antoinette was apparently trained by Comte St. Germain, and claimed to have sighted him at the deadly proceedings, long after he was known to have died.

Skip ahead two hundred years to when a French immigrant known as Jacques St. Germain interloped to the US, settling into a place on Royal Street, New Orleans. Coincidence, no? Any right-minded historian would no doubt agree. However, stranger still was the man’s wit, charm and charisma, his seemingly ageless appearance and the painstaking detail in the tales he told of hundreds of years past. He threw parties that would roll Gatsby’s eyes, all while never consuming a single bite of the food he offered his guests. A few tales surround Jacques St. Germain in this period, including guests claiming he tried to bite their necks, bottles of red wine in his house that later were found to be human blood, and the fact that he didn’t own a single utensil. By the time baffled police made these discoveries in his home, Jacques St. Germain was gone, never to return.


These days, according to a survey by the Atlanta Vampire Alliance, there are over five thousand people in the US today who identify as a vampire. Over fifty of these live in New Orleans alone, past superstitions making the place a veritable hotspot for dwellers of the dark, immortal or not.

References

https://uk.hotels.com/go/usa/creepy-new-orleans
https://pelicanstateofmind.com/louisiana-love/jacques-st-germain-louisiana-vampire/

Urban Legend: The Jersey Devil

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Featured Haunted Places Horror Mystery and Lore

The Jersey Devil is a creature of legend and innumerable descriptions amongst Southern New Jersey and Philadelphia folklore. A flying, hoofed biped that has been described part kangaroo or part horse, with the wings of some huge malformed bat and the forked tail of Beelzebub himself. Like an equestrian chimera inhabiting South Jersey’s Pine Barrens, the Jersey Devil is said to move very fast, some say in great leaps like a hare, and known to emit a scream like grinding machinery. Not only elusive in appearance, the Jersey Devil also has a rich history of occultism, witchcraft and – oddly enough – politics to explore.

By the early 1900s, South Jersey was abuzz with reports of the Devil. Every man and his dog claimed to have seen or even caught the mysterious mishmash of animals. Commonly described as a combination of kangaroo, bat, and pony, several museums professed to have caught it, each offering their own false promises and disappointing hoaxes. Some said the thing was white, others said brown; some said it leapt, others said it flew. By this point the Jersey Devil was becoming one of the more widespread yet confusing urban legends in Pennsylvania.

Daniel Leeds House 1600's

Originally it was known as the Leeds Devil, a name traced back to a young quaker from the late 1600s, named Daniel Leeds, who emigrated to the US. Overestimating his political prowess, Leeds became involved in government and began writing an almanac. Overestimated still were his expectations on how his peers and neighbors would react to what they described as “Pagan” ideas on astrology and magic, or how they would respond to his allegiance to the royal governor of the colony, or the British in general. Local Quakers were quick to brand him as evil for his strange outlook and even wrote pamphlets labelling him “Satan’s Harbinger”.

In 1859 a reporter’s account of stories they had heard in the Barrens was published in the Atlantic. The tales told of Mother Leeds and her practice of witchcraft, devil worshipping, and appearances from the Devil himself. So the tale goes, in 1735 Mother Leeds found herself to be pregnant, the child she bore being her thirteenth. Mother Leeds, dwelling deep in the New Jersey Pine Barrens, said “Let this one be the devil,” and according to the most popular lore that child was born with horns, hooves, wings, and a tail. The devil flew from the dwelling immediately and into the surrounding darkness.

The legend was helped along by a few noteworthy figures, one of which being Joseph Bonapart, older brother of Napoleon, who in 1812 claimed to have spotted the beast while hunting near his Bordentown estate. From this point it seems every animal attack and odd footprint was blamed on the Devil. One key event cementing the Devil’s legend happened in 1909. In the month of January that year around a thousand reported sightings came in from around South Jersey. Navy Commander Stephen Decatur reportedly saw the creature while testing cannonballs at Hanover Mills Works and, despite blowing a hole through the thing with one of those shells, was not able to kill it.

The Jersey Devil legend has had its peaks and valleys in terms of popularity (one peak being when it was the center of an X-Files episode), though alleged sightings have not stopped to this day. All things considered, the sound of the Devil’s screech as it flies through the Pine Barrens is an experience I would like to miss out on.

https://www.nj.com/entertainment/2016/10/13_places_the_jersey_devil_has_been_spotted_in_the.html

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Jersey_Devil_(The_X-Files)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jersey_Devil

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2015/oct/17/jersey-devil-new-jersey-myth-photo-origin-story

Urban Legends – The Cursed Buckout Road

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Featured Haunted Places Horror Mystery and Lore NA

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

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.

Index

http://www.the13thfloor.tv/2017/05/17/what-dark-mystery-lurks-on-new-yorks-buckout-road/

http://rightondudes.com/buckouthistory.html

https://allthatsinteresting.com/albert-fish

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