Geiser Grand Hotel

Categories
Haunted Places

Date of Establishment

The Geiser Grand Hotel was originally opened in 1886 in the height of the gold frenzy in Oregon. The Grand still operates to this day even after a few reopenings and change of owners, the latest of which was in 1993.

Name/Name & Location

The Geiser Grand Hotel opened in Baker City, Oregon, which was known as the “Queen City of the Mines,” due to the Gold Rush happenings within the region. The hotel also became known as “the Grand” for short because of the advanced technology and beauty it held within its walls.

Physical Description

An Italianate building containing technology that was ahead of its time: an elevator, a 4th story clock tower, a 200-foot corner cupola, a 2nd-floor balcony overlooking marble floors, crystal chandeliers, Honduran mahogany paneling, and stained-glass ceilings. All of these components made this hotel a grander of its time for all the wealthy and high society figures to flock to.

The Lady in Blue was also known as “Granny” Annabelle, a beautiful Victorian woman dressed in a blue gown is one of the hotel’s most known spirits. She was a permanent character making grand entries down from her room 302 and having her own reserved chair at the bar each night.

Origin

Opened in Baker City the hotel has stood for years and in 1906 was named the “the most fortunate place in the country” by a newspaper article. Ever since it’s 1902 reopening The Lady in Blue was a prominent figure at the Grand, which lead to the first tales of ghosts roaming the grounds after her death.

Mythology and Lore

The Lady in Blue has been a staple of siting’s at the Grand, multiple people have reported seeing her descending the staircase, sitting at the bar, and disappearing into the wall through-out the hotel. She is suspected of moving guests’ jewelry and items, nibbling snacks from their rooms, or down at the bar pinch the rears of those who sit in her chair. There are other well-known spirits to call the Grand home as well. There is a saloon girl in a red laced bustier who hangs about the balcony, a cowboy who chats with bar-goers, a little girl wandering the 3rd floor, and flappers from the 1920s. Many of the guests and workers have reported wide-ranges of experiences with the ghosts of the Grand, as well as paranormal groups who investigate the hotel regularly. Ghost Hunters and Atlantic Paranormal Group (TAPS) are two teams that see the Grand regularly and continue to collect data and do studies on the building and its spirits. The Grand also does daily ghost tours at the hotel to educate and tell the tales of the ghosts that stay at the Grand.

Modern Pop-Culture References

Books & Literature

Coast to Coast Ghosts: True Stories of Hauntings Across America (2012) page 156

Television Series

Ghost Hunters (2013 Season 2 Episode 5)

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Golden North Hotel, Skagway, AK

Categories
Haunted Places

Date of Establishment

            The Golden North Hotel was built in 1898 to provide accommodations to ‘gold-rushers’ making their way through the city of Skagway every week. In 1908 the hotel was moved, then another story was added to it, as well as the dome.

Name

Golden North Hotel is also known as the Golden North to local Skagway residence.

Physical Description

            The Golden North Hotel was beautiful off white, 3 story building, with large windows and golden trimming. On the roof, there was a large golden-colored dome clearing marking its place on

Origin

            The origin comes from the height of the rush when a prospector Klondike Ike was staying at the hotel with his beloved fiancé Mary. Mary took residence in Room 23 while awaiting Ike’s return from the goldfields with hopefully their new fortune.  This is where legends split for dear Mary; some say she grew ill with pneumonia and died. Other variations say that Mary grew sick with worry when her lover didn’t return, locking herself away from the town and passing away alone. Hotel staff found her in Room 23, and for years since have reported experiences with her spirit.

Mythology and Lore

            The true nature of ‘Scary Mary’ also comes with a variety of reported sightings. Some claim to see a woman roaming the halls and watching from windows while others hear strange noises, feel colder then one should in Alaska. Some guests reported waking up in the middle of the night choking as well.

            They are another Supernatural event claiming a room at the Golden North, this is Room 14. Staff and guests have reported mysterious lights ‘sparkling’ and also ‘twinkling’ around the room. There’s also an orb about the room that visits guests and workers. None of these “lights” have an apparent source, all reports state they are non-threatening to the viewer.  

            Though the hotel officially closed in 2002, the Golden North did let guests take a turn at staying in the ‘haunted rooms. Room 23 was on the 3rd floor toward the northwest corner, and Room 14 is believed to be on the 2nd floor. The build is currently the Frontier Excursions & Adventures but features the Golden North sign.



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Index

Govan, WA

Date of Establishment

After the construction of the Central Washington Railway in 1889, Govan was the spot to be. The town boomed in 1890 and sand extraction was a bustling business to support this railway town. Govan was a small farm town, with merely two churches, a post office, one school, and a handful of businesses. Even once the town boomed a disastrous fire claimed the town, sending it back into the ghost town era. This central Washington ghost town only has 3 residents to this day, a married couple and one other local.

Name & Location

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Govan Schoolhouse

The abandoned town of Govan, WA sits about 50 miles west of Spokane, just down Highway 2 in Lincoln County. The town’s name is derived from R. B. Govan, who was an engineer for the Central Washington Railway.

Psychical Description

Govan was a large sandbank area in Lincoln County WA. With large plains of sands and minimal foliage to remove, it became easy to settle in the late 1800s. In the 1900s the town would have had full streets, schools, shops, and diners. Machines and railway workers digging pits of sand out of the countryside it would seem.

However, by 1933 Govan would be declared a passed by the town as US Route 2 came along. The town grew old, beaten down, and ghostly to outsides. Locals themselves ever relocated and moved on to better things. Leaving the barren mark of what was, and can never be again.

Origin

One haunting lead back to 1902 when a robbery leads to “the most brutal crime” committed in the county. Judge J.A. Lewis and his wife Penelope were murdered during a robbery, but being hacked with an ax. Mr. Lewis was known to keep large sums of money at his estate. Police concluded that was the motive, yet never solved the case and caught the killer.

Years later C. S. Thennes was killed by a masked gunman in the Govan Saloon. The saloon no longer stands today, as most of the business district of Govan, which was destroyed in the fire of 1927. Many believed that locals focusing on rebuilding the town, rather than avenging their dead helped to “haunt” this ghost town.

In 1941 a woman was founded murdered on her farm property, and her son went missing. Eight years later the son’s body was found in the fields on the property. Some claim this is the reported “shadowy figures” seen in the distant fields.

Along with the murders going on in the town, and the first fire, the town was once again seeing tragedy. A second in 1974 left the town unfixable in many local eyes and marked the end of Govan. Many homes and families were affected and even suffered losing loved ones. Within that fire burned most of the written records for the town, so linking any spirit to a real person is undoable.

Mythological and Lore

Although today most of the buildings from this ghost town are gone, a few remain that were from the town’s heyday. One of these is the Govan School which closed in the 1940s, but still gets visitors today. Some leave trinkets, shines, candles, and boxes of keepsakes at the schoolhouse. The residents the Sullivan’s reported have everyone from thrill-seekers to photographs come out to the property.

Various sites around the internet back up claim that the schoolhouse is haunted by shadowy figures. These figures are supposed to be the murder victims attempting to draw attention to the unsolved crimes. Yet, past a few bolstering claims there is little information on the Govan haunting. Few claim to see a shadowy or formless figure in windows or around the surrounding wheat fields. Most visitors claim to have a pleasant experience around the ghost town, however, that doesn’t stop urban tales. The creepy and rundown presence of the last few standing buildings surely adds belief to the “haunted” rumors and tales.

Many photographs visit the old schoolhouse to get some amazing shots of the skies. However, every few have commented past an eerie feeling and overload of spider webs. Some have claimed they may have seen, felt, or hear something ominous; but chalk it up to their minds playing tricks. Most visitors report known about the ax murderer as well as the saloon, which does lead them to be on guard for the paranormal. You will have to take a visit to make the choice between beautiful or haunted.

Modern Pop-Culture References
Movies
Index
  • Run of the River
  • Ghost Towns of Washington
  • King5.com
  • Pacific Northwest Photoblog

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Great Spider

Date of Discovery

First discovered in the 1890s, the Great Spider has been sighted as recently as 2014. The first sighting of the J’ba Fofi by a western observer was in the 1980s near Lake Nyasa when British missionary Arthur John Simes and his men stumbled upon one of the creatures. Having gotten themselves tangled in the enormous web, a male and female spider came out of their tunnel and attacked them. Despite being bitten, Simes managed to escape after shooting one of them with a pistol, but afterward exhibited symptoms that suggested he was poisoned—paleness, chills, and swelling around the bite. These symptoms worsened, Simes became delirious, before falling unconscious and ultimately succumbing to his wounds and dying.

Name

Giant Spider
Photography by Andre Tan

The Great Spider is also known as J’ba Fofi, or the Congolese Giant Spider.

Physical Description

The Great Spider is known to be a spider-like cryptid, but much larger than the average house spider.

Origin

This giant arachnid can be found in the Congo, Uganda, Papua New Guinea, Vietnam, the state of Louisiana, as well as Zimbabwe.

Mythology and Lore

Said to inhabit the forests of the Congo, it is suspected to represent a new species of arachnid—behaviorally speaking it is classified as a burrowing spider, digging shallow tunnels under tree roots and camouflaging it with large screens of leaves. Their webs are said to be nearly invisible when stretched between their burrow and a neighboring tree, which act as a network of trip lines and alert the spider when new prey is in the immediate area. This type of behavior is said to be reminiscent of a trapdoor spider, which leads investigators to believe that it really is just a new, unclassified species of trapdoor spider.

Natives to the area say that the J’ba Fofi lays pale yellow eggs, then the hatchlings are bright yellow with a purple abdomen, but as they mature, their coloration deepens, darkens, and browns. Many natives actually suggest that these giant spiders have always been in existence, that their prevalence used to be in much greater number, but they have since become more of a rarity. That encroachment of civilization has driven the spiders from their natural habitats.

A far more believed account, again by western sources, was in a book dedicated to cryptozoology by George Eberhart, where he relates the experiences of an English couple traveling through a region of the jungle in the Congo. He says that “R. K. Lloyd and his wife were motoring in the Belgium Congo in 1938 when they saw a large object crossing the trail in front of them. At first, they thought it was a cat or a monkey, but they soon realized it was a spider with legs nearly 3 feet (in length).”

William J. Gibbons, a cryptozoologist and naturalist believed he was hunting what was called the Congolese dinosaur, or Mokele-mbembe, when he came across natives who told him of their experience with the J’ba Fofi, in his narrative he said that “on this third expedition to Equatorial Africa, I took the opportunity to inquire if the pygmies new of such a giant spider, and indeed they did! They speak of the J’ba Fofi, which is a “giant” or “great spider.” They describe a spider that is generally brown in color with a purple mark on the abdomen. They grow to quite an enormous size with a leg span of at least five feet. The giant arachnids weave together a lair made of leaves similar in shape to a traditional pygmy hut and spin a circular web (said to be very strong) between two trees with a strand stretched across a game trail.”



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Grootslang

Date of Discovery

The first records of the Grootslang come from a rock painting in a South African province which has yet to be dated correctly. The first sightings started around 1867 and continued to multiple through the last 1890s. In 1963 newspapers began reporting the sightings sending locals into a frenzy.

Name

Grootslang, Grote Slang, “Great Serpent”, Kayman, Ki-man, !Koo-be-eng

Grootslang Painting - Big Snake

Physical Description

This giant snake is described as being 20 – 39 feet in length with a neck 8 – 10 feet long, and its head is 7 – 8 inches wide. It some tales its body is completely snake-like; however, in others, the body takes on a hippo or elephant-like shape with a long snake-like tail. Its skin or scales are pitch black from head to tail.

Origin

The origin of this legendary cyrtid snake comes from the African regions, most notoriously a deep cave in Richtersveld, South Africa. This creature has also made its way to treading water in the Orange River of the North Eastern Cape Province, as well as the Vaal Dam of Free State Province. It has even been said they dwell in the deep pits of the Congo.

Mythology & Lore

According to legend, the Grootslang is as old as the world itself crafted by the gods themselves in the early time’s creation. This giant primordial creature would prove to be a terrible mistake, as they filled it with tremendous strength, cunning, and intellect. The gods tried to split their creature into two smaller animals, elephants and the first snakes, but one of the original Grootslang escaped the gods. Hiding in the cave known as the “Water Hole” or “Bottomless Pit” it continued to live and breed creating more of its kind. It would lure elephants into the cave to feed itself and little ones.

According to the local legends living in the deep caves of Africa is what drives this great serpent to covet gems and diamonds. This lust of the gems curves the creature’s cruelty and dark nature leaving a bargaining room for its victims to gain freedom from certain death. In 1917 while searching for treasure in the Richtersveld, South Africa English businessman Peter Grayson and his party were attacked and disappeared. Locals blamed the Grootslang for claim yet again another victim from the lions and coveting the riches the party was rumored to have found.

Most of the other significant sightings report the creature attacking from the deep waters of rivers with few people surviving the encounters. Some gave details of a large wave rushing toward them or their boats before swallowing them down into the water. Other reports like Frederick Cornell’s in 1910 say the creature emerged from the wave raising its massive head 12 feet into the air before attacking them.

Many people have tried to rationalize possible explanations for the numerous reports of slightly different creatures. One being a large rock python, another water monitor lizard, or even an unknown species of monitor. Some have even claimed this is could be the same longneck seal that people mistake Nessie and other lake monsters for. Though some of these are good theories none have been proven leaving locals to go on fearing the dreaded Grootslang and its greedy need for the beautiful gem’s African lands hold.

 

Modern Pop-Culture References
Books & Literature



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