The Hampton Inn and Suites in Birmingham is an upscale hotel with a long history. This is the former Tutwiler Hotel and the former Ridgely Apartments. This was not the original Tutwiler Hotel. That one was built in 1914 on a different spot and eventually demolished in 1974. The Tutwiler was built in a grandiose style to attract the steel industry to come to town for conventions. This worked and Birmingham soon became a convention destination. The city felt the loss of the hotel when it was demolished and so it was decided to renovate the historic luxury Ridgely Apartments and reopen it as the new Tutwiler Hotel. And it is this location where the namesake for the hotel is reputedly still hanging around in the afterlife. Join me as we explore the history and hauntings of the Tutwiler Hotel. We also have three listener stories to share! Moment in Oddity was suggested by John Michaels and features Alien Hand Syndrome and This Month in History features Zulu War Begins. Our location was suggested by Jonathan Geisel.
Most of my adult listeners have probably read something written by classic author Nathaniel Hawthorne. Nearly all schools require a reading of “The Scarlet Letter.” Hawthorne also wrote other classic stories and one of those books is “The House of the Seven Gables.” Within the pages of this volume is a ghost story. Hawthorne himself claimed to be a skeptic, but even he had some experiences. And the house he wrote about was not a fiction. It is a real home that can be found in Salem, Massachuesetts. Apparently, it’s not just the novel that claims that the location is haunted. Visitors and staff to the now museum, claim to have had experiences they cannot explain. Join me as we explore the beliefs of Nathaniel Hawthorne and the history and hauntings of The House of the Seven Gables! The Moment in Oddity was suggested by Kim Gasiorowski and features three cages on St. Lamberti Church spire and This Month in History features Unabomber killing first victim. Our location was suggested by Nicole Cardarelli.
The Battlefield of Culloden is under the care of the National Trust for Scotland and can be found in the Scottish village of Culloden. Culloden Village is an ancient town with buildings dating back to the 1600s, one of which is Culloden House that is today a hotel. The battlefield was the scene of the Battle of Culloden that would be the final confrontation of the Jacobite rising of 1745. This battle was bloody and causalities were high. This has led to paranormal activity on the battlefield that seems to recreate the battle. Along with this are stories of omens, premonitions and The Scree. Join me as I share the history of the Battle of Culloden and the resulting hauntings of the battlefield. The Moment in Oddity was suggested by John Michaels and features French Stilt Walkers and This Month in History features the first Virginia Company Expedition leaving London. Our location was suggested by Brian Morse.
Pennhurst State School and Hospital is sometimes referred to as Pennhurst Asylum. This is a location deemed to be one of the most haunted and with its history, there is no wonder. Decades of abuse and experimentation were perpetuated on children who for all intents and purposes were left abandoned to a system with no moral compass. An expose in the 1960s shined some light on the situation, but it would still take twenty years before the location was shut down. Today, it is open again as a haunted attraction and hosts tours. I’m joined on this episode by Tony Merkel of The Confessionals Podcast who lived near Pennhurst. We discuss his fascination with Bigfoot and the paranormal and the history and hauntings of Pennhurst Asylum! The Moment in Oddity features The Narragansett Runestone and This Month in History features the Bhopal Disaster.
Old jails just seem to be crawling with spirits as we have come to find from the several jails covered on this podcast. No matter the country, region or city and no matter the size, prisons hold spirits. One incredibly haunted jail can be found in Iowa. Council Bluffs was known as the Great Railroad Center of the Northwest. Before that time, it was a hub for trade between Native American tribes and white settlers. The Squirrel Cage Jail was built here in 1885. This jail has one of the most unique designs of any jail I have ever researched. This prison had a long run, being used until 1969. Today, it offers tours giving a glimpse into penal history and is said to be home to several spirits. Join me as I explore the history and hauntings of the Squirrel Cage Jail. The Moment in Oddity features Old Mike and This Month in History features Architect Stanford White Born. Our location was suggested by Jessica Garcia and Lynne Larsen Savage.
As I continue to roll out these new episodes in the Haunted Cemeteries Series, it never ceases to amaze me just how wrong I was in thinking that there were very few haunted cemeteries. After all, I surmised that spirits would want to be among the living with all of their energy and not hanging out with the dead. I tend toward believing that most graveyard ghosts are residual and perhaps that is why I have managed to find so many of them. On this episode, we are going to explore cemeteries in Erie, Pennsylvania, cemeteries in Iowa, Odd Fellows Rest in New Orleans and Riverside Cemetery in Asheville. Join me on this journey through the history and haunts of these graveyards! The Moment in Oddity features train accidents depicted on gravestones and This Month in History features the first Presidential Library constructed.
Visiting the Great Wall of China is a bucket list item for many people. This man-made structure runs west to east across northern China for 13,171 miles. Construction began with the First Emperor of China over two thousand years ago. Building would continue for centuries with most of the work being done during the Ming Dynasty and actually, most of the original wall no longer exists. Thousands of people died while building the Wall and many died in battles near and on the Wall. This much death seems to have lead to paranormal activity. The Wall is said to be the most haunted structure in China. There are many ghosts seen here. Join me as I explore the history and hauntings of the Great Wall of China! Moment in Oddity was suggested by Pat Clifford and features Sarah’s Grave and This Month in History was suggested by Johnny Marvin Allen and features the murder of Stringbean Akeman. Our location was suggested by Katrina Ray-Saulis.
Vicksburg is one of those Civil War era cities that I long to visit because I love antebellum mansions. The Greek Revival architecture and magnolia trees take me back to an earlier time with hoop skirts embellished with ribbons and elegant carriages riding in the streets, but it was also a dark time of slavery and division in the United States that would lead to the outbreak of the Civil War. Vicksburg was the scene of an intense battle that would leave over 37,000 causalities in its wake. Just prior to the outbreak of the war, Duff Green built his mansion and the Bed and Breakfast still carries his name today. The mansion seems to have more than just the Green name. Spirits of the family members seem to have stayed on her in the afterlife. Join me as I explore the history and hauntings of the Duff Green Mansion! The Moment in Oddity was suggested by Kim Gasiorowski and features the Park of Monsters and This Month in History features the founding of Mission San Juan Capistrano. Mort starts his Executive Producer eulogies on this episode as well!
The annual HGB Halloween Special is here featuring paranormal experiences by fellow listeners. We have many spine-tingling tales that will cause the casual skeptic to take notice. And since this is a history podcast, you just know we needed to add in a little bit of that. So we talk about the history of haunted house attractions. I’m joined on this episode by our Spooktacular Crew Admin, Kelly!
Roadside apparitions have been witnessed by thousands of motorists and there seems to be a legend of a hitchhiking ghost in every state in America. Many countries around the world have these hitchhiking ghost tales as well. These tales are haunting and tragic. They usually involve a young woman standing on the side of the road, appearing to be in distress or in need of a ride and after being noticed or picked up in a vehicle, she disappears. There is a level of trust and intimacy in giving someone a ride in your car, particularly a stranger. In our modern era, it just isn’t save to be either the driver or the hitchhiker. And maybe that is why these types of tales are so prevalent. There already is a basic level of fear involved in the act of hitchhiking. This episode can’t possibly cover every single legend out there involving hitchhiking ghosts, but we will touch on several that include tales from across America and from several countries. Join me on the roadside as we search out the legend of the hitchhiking ghost. Moment in Oddity features Pumpkin Races and This Month in History features the calliope is patented.