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.
The Balkans historically has been a place of violence and for this reason, its borders are very fluid. The main countries that generally are accepted as a part of the Balkans are Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Montenegro, Slovenia, Serbia, Kosovo, Romania, Macedonia and parts of Greece, Turkey, Italy and Hungary. This Peninsula of land is named for the Balkan Mountains, which in Turkish means “a chain of wooded mountains.” The superstitions and legends of the region are rich. The legends that people are most familiar with from this region are those regarding vampires, but there is so much more here. Our listener Chris Klimovitz, who has been living in Albania, returns to the podcast to share his first-hand accounts of the legends surrounding cemeteries, witches and ghost in the Balkans. The Moment in Oddity features the mysterious sinkholes of Mt. Baldy and This Month in History features the eviction of the Bonus Marchers and their shanty town burned.
Manhattanville College is a small liberal arts college in New York. The college began as a Catholic women’s school, but through the years it not only moved from its original location, but moved to co-education. The land where it sits today in Purchase has European settlers arriving as far back as the 1600s. The main point of interest on the campus is the original castle-like mansion known as Reid Hall. The structure induces shudders and is home for legends and a really creepy picture of some children. There are tales of ghostly nuns, cold spots, weird music and truly terrifying presences on the campus. Join us and our listener Bailey Pollack as we explore the history and hauntings of Manhattanville College! The Moment in Oddity features a Man in Black Ghost warning of the Austin Dam breaking and This Month in History features the modern bikini being introduced to the public.
Perched on a hill above the town of Ione in California is a menacing and haunting castle-like structure that once was a reform school. The Preston Castle was an ambitious plan to get juvenile deliquents to become contributing members of the community. But as was the case with so many of these types of places that were built in the late 1800s and run through the early 1900s, abuse, overcrowding and death were commonplace. The emotional residue of this location seems to have led to haunting experiences. Pam Ennis, Case Manger for Pacific Coast Spirit Watch, joins us to share the history and some of her paranormal experiences at Preston Castle. The Moment in Oddity features the Taos Hum and This Month in History features the birth of Ida B. Wells.
There is one absolute for all human beings and that is that we all will die. Throughout history, humans have disposed of and honored their dead in various ways. Burying the dead and marking their resting place has been the most popular and it has carried over to our modern era. Cemeteries have become a record of history for towns. Who lived here? When did they die? Why did they die? Was there a plague, a war, a natural disaster that devastated the population? Some of the interred at times wander from their resting places. There are tales of specters roaming about the tombstones in certain graveyards. Weird lights and mists have been photographed. On this episode, we have four cemeteries that seem to have unexplained activity. Those cemeteries are the Silver Terrace Cemetery in Virginia City, Nevada, which is actually divided into eleven separate cemeteries, Union Cemetery in Easton, Connecticut, Old Quaker Cemetery in Camden, South Carolina and Hollywood Cemetery in Richmond, Virginia. The combined histories of these graveyards covers the 1600s, 1700s and 1800s. Every class is found in these cemeteries and each has its own legends and hauntings. Join us as we bring you Haunted Cemeteries 2! The Moment in Oddity features Timothy Smith’s window grave and This Month in History features the Riot Act in Britain.