Many cemeteries have been designed to serve as parks. They have many features that we would find in large public parks like statuary, stone architecture, large trees, lush landscaping and beautiful flowers. For taphophiles, cemeteries offer a place of adventure and discovery, whether it is seeking out a specific burial plot or figuring out the meaning of the symbology we find there. For genealogists, cemeteries offer a way to track down ancestors and trace their movements. For historians, cemeteries are a giant story and record of an area. On this episode we are going to discuss cemeteries in general, including the architecture found there, the meaning of the symbols, the materials used and why we love them so much. We also will share the history and hauntings of a couple of cemeteries in Windham, Maine: Chute Road and Anderson, and Hookman’s Cemetery in Connecticut. Joining us on this episode is author and historian Annette Student. Listener Suzanne Silk suggested the topic of cemetery symbology and designed our Cemetery Bingo Cards. The Moment in Oddity features a Viking leader killed by a tooth in a severed head and This Month in History features the publishing of the first multi-page American newspaper. This episode is dedicated to Dannah Jones, gone too soon.
The Old Idaho State Penitentiary was in use for over a hundred years and had more than 13,000 prisoners pass through the gates. As was the case in most prisons that were built in the 1800s, conditions were brutal with a complete lack of sanitation and ventilation. All variety of criminals were housed here and many were executed on the gallows that were set up first in the Rose Garden, and later inside the prison walls. Violent riots have had their place in the prison’s history. All of this negative energy seems to have absorbed into the sandstone walls and now reflects back haunting energy. Guests and employees claim to have experienced paranormal activity. On this episode, we are joined by the hosts of the Not Alone Podcast, Sam Frederickson and Jason Moitoso, to discuss the history and hauntings of the Old Idaho State Penitentiary. The Moment in Oddity features a bug spray that attracts Bigfoot and This Month in History features the first televised debate, which was the Kennedy/Nixon Debate.
William S. Culbertson was once one of the wealthiest men in the state of Indiana. He made much of his fortune in the dry goods business and he became a very important part of the development of the city of New Albany. In was in this city that he built his dream home, the Culbertson Mansion. The mansion is beautiful and picturesque with the inside even more stunning than the outside. Artists turned the inside of the home into a colorful abode. Today, it is a state historic site that offers tours. William had three wives and one of them is believed to still be in the home in spirit form. A tragic fire has also left behind shades of former servants. Many guests and employees have had unexplained experiences in the home. Join us as we explore the history and hauntings of the Culbertson Mansion. The Moment in Oddity features Dog Carrying Day and This Month in History features the birth of Agatha Christie. Our location was suggested by listener Melody Davis.
The city of Jerome in Arizona sits perched above the beautiful Verde Valley on Cleopatra Hill. Today, it is considered an artist community, but it once was considered the “Wickedest City in the West.” Like so many Arizona towns, Jerome began as a mining town with a focus on copper. In its heyday, it was one of the richest mines in the world and was dubbed the Billion Dollar Copper Camp. Thousands made the town their home, from miners to prostitutes to lawmen. A hospital was needed for all these people and that is what the Jerome Grand Hotel started as, but in 1996 it became a hotel. Throughout its years, it has earned a reputation for being haunted. Many guests and employees claim to have had experiences. Join us as we explore the history and hauntings of the Jerome Grand Hotel. The Moment in Oddity features Zarafa the Giraffe and This Month in History features the beginning of the Mexican fight for independence. Our location was suggested by listener Katie Hickcox.
The Kentucky State Penitentiary is known as the “Castle on the Cumberland.” The prison is perched along the Cumberland River and is Kentucky’s oldest prison facility. Construction on the facility began in October of 1884, headed by Governor Luke Blackburn after the Kentucky legislature passed a bill authorizing the construction. The prison officially opened in 1889. The worst of the worst have found their way to this place and male death row inmates have been housed here. And since 1911, 164 men have been executed at the penitentiary. Because of the deaths and the energy, the prison is reputedly haunted. Author and paranormal investigator, Steve E. Asher joins us to share the history and hauntings of the Kentucky State Penitentiary. The Moment in Oddity was suggested by Shelby Hammond and features the tomato as the Wolf Peach and This Month in History features French aviators Dieudonne Coste and Maurice Bellonte making the first non-stop flight from Europe to the USA.
Just outside of Philadelphia, in a town called Glenside, sits a small private university that is home to a castle. This is the second campus that we have featured with a castle-like structure and this one is also haunted. Grey Towers was once home to the William Harrison Family and many of them seem to still be here after death. The university that now sits on that former property is Arcadia University and it has a history dating back to the mid-1800s. Our listener Chris Klimovitz is an alumni of Arcadia University and he joins us to share his experiences at the university and the stories of haunting legends and experiences connected to the school. The Moment in Oddity was suggested by listener Michael Rogers and features Skeletal Body Paint Rituals and This Month in History features PT-109 rammed nearly killing future President John F. Kennedy.
When one hears the city of Niagara mentioned, one immediately thinks of the stunning natural wonder Niagara Falls. There is much more to this western New York area and it is truly a haunted spot. One location that is rich in history and haunts is Old Fort Niagara. The Fort’s history stretches back over three centuries and it initially was a key point of defense, especially during the colonial wars in North America. Several countries have held control of Fort Niagara. Fort Conti, Fort Devonville, the French Castle and finally Fort Niagara have all had homes here. The strategic importance of the Fort diminished when the Erie Canal was built, but it remained active into the 20th century. Today, it has been restored and is operated by the Old Fort Niagara Association, Inc., a not-for-profit organization, in cooperation with the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation. Tours are offered and it is a living museum. Former docent from the fort and author, podcaster and investigator Tim Shaw joins us to discuss the history and hauntings of Old Fort Niagara! The Moment in Oddity features the Delphi Purple Sapphire and This Month in History features the death of President Warren G. Harding.
We love to visit cemeteries. They are so peaceful and many of the older ones are like parks. We will be talking about a couple of these park-like cemeteries today. We’ll be in New York to check out a graveyard that inspired Central Park, Brooklyn’s Green-Wood Cemetery. Then there is Spring Hill Cemetery in West Virginia that is home to victims of epidemics and a plane crash. Indiana’s Clark County has several old cemeteries with unique legends and finally our listener Dannah Jones joins us to discuss Maple Hill Cemetery and its creepy legend that will make you think twice about the swings at the playground. All of these places of rest have several spirits at unrest! Moment in Oddity features a tale from listener Chelsea Bishop about a ghost cemetery guide and This Month in History features Jamaica’s Second Maroon War.
Montana is known as Big Sky Country and one tends to think of wide open spaces when picturing the state. The state was formerly part of the Louisiana Purchase and the Lewis and Clark Expedition left their mark here, literally, with Clark inscribing his name and the date on a pillar northeast of modern day Billings. Explorers, frontiersmen, miners and businessmen all flocked to Montana. One of those men was Charles Conrad. He was a pioneer, businessman and banker who founded the city of Kalispell in Montana with his own money. He built his home in Kalispell and today it is known as the Conrad Mansion Museum. The mansion is a great example of a turn of the century home in the Northwest and it is reputedly haunted. The spirits seem friendly as they belong to members of the Conrad family. Join us as we explore the history and hauntings of the Conrad Mansion Museum!
Derby has been described as the “Ghost Capitol of England.” The city claims to have 159 known ghosts. The center of the city lies on a series of rolling hills and claims a history that goes back to Roman occupation and forts. While it was once a place of strife and fortification, it became a center for the Industrial Revolution. The vast number of pubs still located in Derby serve as a testament to the value given to public houses for centuries here. And just under the din of the night life are the stories of those things that go bump in the night. Come with us as we do a pub crawl and travel to a gaol and hotels in search of spirits to find out if Derby really is one of the most haunted cities in Britain! The Moment in Oddity features Wang the Human Unicorn and This Month in History features Anne Frank’s last diary entry. Our location was suggested by listener Nellie Johnson.