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Ghost Stories and Hauntings

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Ghost Stories and Hauntings

A Compilation of Paranormal Stories by Bud Steed

Copyright 2016 Bud Steed, LLC and budsteed.com

Table of Contents

Dedication 3

Introduction 4

Chapter One: The 5 Most Haunted Places in Baton Rouge 5

Chapter Two: Natchez City Cemetery 8

Chapter Three: Ghosts of Wilson’s Creek 11

Chapter Four: The Haunted Albino Farm 14

Chapter Five: Wilson Cemetery 16

Chapter Six: Robinson “Red Eye” Cemetery 18

Chapter Seven: Haunted Hospitals 21

Chapter Eight: Bride Under the Bridge 24

Chapter Nine: Kerr Cemetery 26

Conclusion 28

Dedication

This book is dedicated to my wife Jennifer Lynn Steed, who in all our years together has never once lost faith in either me or my sometimes crazy plans. She is the rock upon which our family stands and the one true love of my life.

This book is also dedicated to my children, Bobbi Jo, David, Sean, Ciara Jo and Kerra Lynn. You all are great kids and I cherish each of you more than you will ever know.

A Moment of Your Time

I would like to ask a favor of you, if you would be so inclined? I love being able to interact with my readers and I have found no better way to do it than through emails and on my Facebook authors page. Please take a moment to go to my website and join my Friends and Fans Community list (http://budsteed.com/free-book) and to connect with me on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/Bud.Steed.Author/. As part of my Friends and Fans Community you will get to read new stories no one else can access, a chance to be a “beta reader” and read my new books before they are published, and advanced notice of new stories and books before they are published. Plus, you get the chance to weigh in on what you would like to see me write next and to give input on changes you would like to see included in my new books! (Rest assured, you will NEVER be spammed or have your email address given out at any time; I hate it when it happens to me and sure wouldn’t do it to y’all) I look forward to getting to know y’all a bit better and hope to see you in my Friends and Fans Community and my authors page.

Introduction

This book came about almost by accident. I was going through a bunch of previously written material; articles, stories, things like that, and was wondering what to do with them all. Should I delete them, save them or what?

I was going to save a few of them, the ones that I really liked and had an emotional attachment of sorts to, and the rest I had decided to simply delete. When I mentioned to my wife that I was contemplating deleting a bunch of stories off my computer to save space, she suggested that I rewrite and combine some of them into a book. She pointed out that it would be an easy way to keep some of the stories on file (one book file is easier to manage than a couple hundred individual stories) and to produce a book that I could share with friends and fans for free. I couldn’t help but wonder why I hadn’t thought of that myself? Thank goodness I have a brilliant wife who can see the larger picture!

Therefore, this book is a compilation of stories about hauntings and ghosts that I have previously published in magazine articles, on my blog, and as guest stories for other blogs. I have rewritten the stories, for the most part, added a few more interesting facts that I have uncovered, and tried my best to produce a book that I hope y’all will find both entertaining and informative. Plus…..it will always be free, so feel free to share it around with anyone that you think might find it interesting.

Enjoy, with my compliments and with my sincere appreciation for your continued support of my writing.

Bud Steed

budsteed.com

Chapter One: The 5 Most Haunted Places in Baton Rouge

When you are a “history geek”/paranormal investigator and a writer of books with a historically haunted theme, every day is sort of like Halloween. You look for the bizarre and strange, the legends and reported hauntings, all of which make for excellent writing material, but also make for an interesting vocation; that’s why I love my job.

When I started writing my book, Haunted Baton Rouge, detailing stories and legends about haunted places in Baton Rouge, my first thought was “Wow! There are so many, where do I even begin!” There were so many really good stories to include that I had no trouble at all in meeting my chapter goals and I really enjoyed writing the book. So, since I enjoyed writing it so much, I thought that I would share with y’all a condensed version of what I think are the top 5 most haunted spots in Baton Rouge. Now bear in mind that I am kind of a “history geek” which tends to color my perspective of the hauntings a bit; I like a reason behind the hauntings, a source of the story if you will. I also like having several different people witnessing the occurrence at different times, if possible, which helps establish the validity of the hauntings, and removes them from the category of urban legend. Urban legends can be fun and scary, but in some instances they can lead to death or injury, such as the ghost train near Poplar Bluff Missouri that appears when you park your car on the tracks and turn it off; unfortunately it is an active railroad track with real trains still running on it, and several teenagers have been killed over the years because of the story, so, no urban legends here folks, sorry.

So, here you have my Top 5 Haunted Places in Baton Rouge; hope you enjoy them.

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p(((<>{color:#000;}. The Shadow Man of Pentagon Barracks: Built between 1819 and 1825 the Pentagon Barracks has a varied history to include an actual military post, university, and now apartments for visiting legislators. It is also the home of several ghosts and one very menacing entity; the Shadow Man. Having been sighted on numerous occasions he has, for the most part anyway, kept to himself, seeming to be more interested in watching than engaging, except for one specific time. That time he actually grabbed a repairman from under the bathroom vanity where he was working, and dragged him by the collar of his shirt across the room. Only when he was surprised by the victim’s coworker did he heave the unfortunate man across the room, hissing at them both in anger, and then bolted into the shadows. The victim had no doubt that if his coworker hadn’t heard his cries for help that he would have died that very night; he retired from his maintenance position just a few short days later and never returned. When I interviewed him for my book, you could still see the uneasiness on his face and hear it in his voice, when he talked about his experience. The Shadow Man is still seen from time to time lurking in the shadows near the apartments, watching and waiting, perhaps biding his time waiting for his next victim to lower their guard.

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p(((<>{color:#000;}. The Old State Capitol Building: This is a building with several ghosts who have been spotted multiple times. The most famous of them is the spirit of Legislator Pierre Couvillion, who is said to have died in his office of a heart attack in 1852, after engaging in a heated debate over gambling; he was only 47 years old at the time. He has been spotted wandering the halls and offices, and is credited with random disruptions in the CCTV security monitoring systems within the building. A seemingly harmless individual, he likes to stroll around primarily at night, although glimpses of what is thought to be his specter have been seen in the daylight hours of the early morning. Another spirit is that of a civil war era doctor who walks about the basement floor and inhabits a room that most likely was his work area. He seems to be a residual type of haunting, as he doesn’t seem to be aware of his surroundings or other people, he just continues on doing the same thing time after time.

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p(((<>{color:#000;}. The Heidelberg Hotel: Now currently the Hilton Hotel, this structure was built in 1927 just a short time after the great flood. Many famous people have stayed there including President John F. Kennedy, Will Rogers, and Elvis Presley, but one particular ghost liked the establishment so much that he decided to stay. Since the 1940’s the figure of a man strolling the tenth floor smoking a cigar has been seen by many people. He seems to relish his cigar and his privacy, as most times when approached, he will simply fade away to reappear a bit farther down the hallway. The strong smell of cigar smoke is experienced quite frequently on the tenth floor, as well as several other floors, although no logical source for it can be found.

Hilton Hotel. Image by Hope Steed-Kennedy

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p(((<>{color:#000;}. The Old Baton Rouge General Hospital: As one can imagine, the fact that this building was once a hospital and contained a morgue, it has seen its fair share of pain, suffering, and death, all of which would undoubtedly leave its stain upon the building. One spirit, said to be dressed like a nurse in the old fashioned white dress and cap, is said to haunt the area in the basement near where the old morgue used to be. One witness that I interviewed told me of her encounter with the “angry nurse” one evening while working late. In the cafeteria area she turned around and almost ran into what she called a “nurse with the meanest eyes of any woman I have ever seen.” When she asked who the nurse was and what she wanted, utensils and pans started clanging and banging against each other until she literally screamed at the nurse to leave her alone, at which point it all abruptly stopped and the nurse disappeared in the blink of an eye. That she doesn’t like people in “her” area is a given, and other people have reported seeing her from time to time walking in the hallway. Some people it would seem, don’t know when to retire.

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p(((<>{color:#000;}. The Quarters House at Magnolia Mound Plantation: Built around 1830 the house was part of the Cherie Quarters at the old Riverlake Plantation, and was moved to Magnolia Mound to be a part of the historical exhibit at this excellent educational example of plantation life. Apparently one of the former occupants caught a ride along with the house, as he has been seen walking towards, and entering the house in the evenings. Described as an average height African American man, dressed in what was referred to as mismatched clothing and being barefoot, he is said to suddenly appear in the yard in front of the house, and then disappear inside. When those who have seen him check the inside the house no one is ever found. Soft singing and humming have also been heard coming from the house as well. Another strange phenomenon that has been seen on several occasions is that of a “spook light”, or ball of light, that moves along an erratic line as if moving without a specific purpose in mind. It pulses and meanders among the outbuildings before moving off towards the back of the property where it disappears. The Magnolia Mound Plantation is simply a beautiful place to visit and is filled with much information of historical significance and, haunted or not, I would highly recommend that if you haven’t visited the plantation you should make time to check it out.

So there you have it, my top 5 picks for the most haunted places in Baton Rouge. For those of you who are interested you can find out more about these sites and others in my book, Haunted Baton Rouge. Stories like the grave digger at the St Joseph Catholic Cemetery, Sadie’s ghost at the Pentagon Barracks, the Spanish Moon Bar, and the spirits who call the Baton Rouge National Cemetery home; all these and more are sure to make you look at Baton Rouge in a slightly different, if not eerie, light. If you happen to be fortunate enough to spend a little time in Baton Rouge be sure and check these places out, you won’t be disappointed that you did!

Chapter Two: Natchez City Cemetery

The Natchez City Cemetery was established in 1822 and covers approximately 100 acres of ground. Although established in 1822 there are numerous grave markers with dates from as early as the late 1700’s, adding testament to the fact that human remains were moved to the new cemetery from church yards, outlaying plantations, and from the old cemetery which was located on a hill where Memorial Park and St. Mary’s Cathedral are now located, in the downtown area.

It is without a doubt one of the more beautiful and well-kept cemeteries that I have visited, with ornate iron fences surrounding some of the graves, beautiful marble monuments, and detailed iron benches and mausoleum doors that show the wealth of some of its earliest residents.

It is also a very haunted cemetery with many tales of ghostly lights being seen moving about the cemetery at night, footsteps being heard, and sightings of people who simply seem to vanish into thin air; I myself witnessed an iron gate open and close on its own, and heard the footsteps of an unseen person walk right past where I was sitting. It is a very interesting place to explore with a lot of unusual stories about some of the people entombed there.

One of my favorite stories is that of Florence Irene Ford, which I covered in my book, the Haunted Natchez Trace. Florence was a sweet little 10 year old girl who was deathly afraid of thunderstorms when she passed away in 1871, after contracting Yellow Fever. When storms would roll in she would rush to her mother’s side where she would be comforted and feel safe until the storms had passed. When she died, Florence’s mother was understandably devastated, and she had her coffin built with a glass end where Florence’s head was at, and a pit dug and lined with brick at the end of the grave. A heavy iron door covered the steps down into the pit, and when a storm would roll in Florence’s mother would go down into the pit and sit with her beloved daughter until it had passed. Due to vandalism in the 1950’s, the area where the glass was at was eventually bricked up, but the pit still remains much the same as it was when Mrs. Ford would climb down to comfort her daughter in the grave. It’s said that after a thunderstorm you can still find the iron door laid open, as if someone had come up from out of the pit; perhaps Florence’s mother is still providing comfort to her even after all these years.

Author in the pit at the grave of Florence Irene Ford. Image by Dave Harkins

One unusual experience that I had was that of two disembodied voices engaged in a conversation, and of all things to talk about, it was me that they were discussing. I had been taking photographs around the cemetery for most of the morning when I decided that I was going to sit down on the grass in the shade of a huge old tree and rest a bit. As I was sitting there, leaned up against the tree and relaxing, I heard the voice of a man say, “He looks like an as*h*le”, to which I heard another man reply, “Yep, he sure does.” Sitting up a bit I sort of glanced around the sides of the tree but couldn’t see anyone, so I stood up and walked around the tree to confront the opinionated individuals. As I looked around I could clearly see that there wasn’t a person in sight and no place big enough to conceal one person, let alone two. Thinking that maybe I had imagined it, I just shrugged it off and said “I could care less about your opinion” and sat back down in the shade. As I settled in against the tree I could clearly hear the first man say, “See? As*h*le, what did I tell you?” The second man simply replied “Yep, you were right.” As I sat there I could hear the footsteps of two unseen persons walk right past me; I still think that they judged me a bit harshly though.

Grave marker at the Natchez City Cemetery. Image by Bud Steed

The Natchez City Cemetery is located on Cemetery Road and is open from 7:00 am until dusk and should you find yourself in the Natchez area be sure and stop for a visit; I can guarantee you won’t be disappointed by the beauty or the history.

Chapter Three: Ghosts of Wilson’s Creek

I have the distinct pleasure of belonging to a great paranormal investigation group called The Ozarks Paranormal Society (TOPS). A few years ago we were extremely fortunate in obtaining a Special Use Permit from The National Park Service to conduct one of the first overnight paranormal investigations of the Wilsons Creek National Battlefield. From the start it would prove to be a most interesting evening, and one which would lead to our filming of an additional investigation of the national battlefield for the Travel channel show, [+ Legends of the Ozarks+].

When we arrived the night of our investigation, it was to heavy rain and sharp lightening that seemed to charge the air with a static electricity that you could almost feel wrapping itself around you as you walked. We knew then that if we were to find any evidence of paranormal activity on the battlefield, that we had picked the right night to come.

From the very start we had personal experience after personal experience, from the sounds of fife and drum music, to the sounds of troop movements and clanking of equipment, to the sounds of someone moaning in pain in the woods near the small sinkhole. And all of this was before we even started our formal investigation!

We split into teams and investigated the Ray House, the spring house, the area of Bloody Hill near both sinkholes, and the marker set near the site of General Lyon’s death. Some interesting occurrences were the feeling of being touched, of being watched, of having the laser grid being moved completely 90 degrees and turned downward in the Ray House, of unexplained voices and sounds, of unexplained faces in photographs, and a lot of other interesting things that we really couldn’t explain or de-bunk. All in all it was a very good investigation, and we came away with tons of personal experiences as well as hours and hours of documented footage that is yielding exceptional results.

Historic Ray House. Image by Bud Steed

Prior to the night of the first investigation, Dave Harkins and myself were walking the grounds determining where we wanted to set up cameras, figuring out investigation schedules, and taking a few preliminary reference photos. We found ourselves on Bloody Hill near the marker for General Lyon, when we experienced something that we have never been able to explain. As we were talking we happened to look past the current trail to a section of the old trail system, and much to our surprise, we saw a black shadow figure dart from behind a cedar tree, across an open space, and disappear behind some other cedar trees. We both looked at each other and then took off running after it. As we rounded the cedar trees where we had seen it disappear, we found ourselves in a small open glade. Dave split off to the right, moving down a faint trail, and I moved on into the glade. Dave followed the trail for a ways and said that he had an overwhelming feeling that he just didn’t belong there, so he cut back to the new trail to make his way back to the marker. He said that he called my name out several times, and although we were only separated by a mere 20 yards, I never heard him call out at all except for the last time; I was having my own experience at the time.

As I moved into the glade, I scanned all around me for any sign of movement, but the woods around me seemed empty. I walked up close to the tree line and sort of peered into them, looking for anything that might explain what we had just seen, when I was hit by a wave of emotions. That’s about the only way that I can explain it, as it just seemed to wash over me completely. Anger, fear, anxiety, sadness, and even pain to a certain degree, all seemed to engulf me. This went on for what seemed like an eternity and the next thing I know, I heard Dave call out my name. When I realized where I was at, I had walked backwards away from the tree line for about 15-20 yards, as if backing away from something. I was more than just a little confused and I immediately turned around and walked back to the marker where Dave was waiting for me. He could see that something was wrong and asked me why I hadn’t answered him. I explained to him, the best that I could anyway, what had just happened and that I hadn’t heard him call until what was apparently the last time.

To this day I am still not entirely sure of what happened in that glade. Were the spirits trying to give me a glimpse into what they were feeling that day of the battle? Or were they still experiencing those feelings, trapped in a cycle of fear, sadness, and death, and I just happened to walk into the middle of it? I honestly cannot say, but I have never experienced it, or anything like it, since that day. Wilson’s Creek is without a doubt an interesting place to visit, and an even more interesting place to investigate; if you’ve never visited, you should certainly put it on your bucket list.

While securing the permit for an overnight investigation can be time consuming and costly, it is nonetheless well worth it and I would highly recommend the experience to any paranormal investigation group who has an interest in historical paranormal investigations.

Wilson’s Creek National Battlefield is located at 6424 West Farm Road 182 near Republic, MO and hosts a section of the famous Wire Road, The Historic Ray House and an excellent museum in addition to a very well laid out walking trail and driving route that covers nearly every position of the battlefield.

Chapter Four: The Haunted Albino Farm

Anyone who has lived in the Springfield area for any length of time has heard the stories of the haunted Albino Farm which sits, or rather, used to sit, just north of Greenlawn Cemetery off of North National. It’s one of those stories that makes you immediately go “That sounds like a truckload of BS to me”, and one that you can find dozens of people who swear it’s true, regardless of pesky little things like facts. While they are fun stories to tell, there really isn’t much truth to them.

As the story goes the family who owned the place, the Sheedy’s, were forced to hire help to run the farm after most of the men in the family had died off, leaving the property to several of the women members of the family. They hired an albino man who reportedly had a pretty bad temper, and who used to chase trespassers from the property with a loaded shotgun. Apparently he snapped one night and murdered a man near the property, hacking him to pieces with a hatchet. He then moved on to a bridge near the property, where legend has it he assaulted a woman who was walking there, and murdered her with the same hatchet.

Of course none of this is any more than local legend, although some people swear that the albino farm worker actually did work for the Sheedy’s; that instead of being a violent person he was actually rather shy and kept to himself. If he did exist, keeping to himself, along with his appearance, could have been the major contributing factor to the legend. People love to spin tales about people and things that are different from what they consider normal and of which they know nothing about.

Allegedly, the ghost of the murdered man still roams the old farmstead along with the ghost of the albino who supposedly murdered him. Numerous people have sworn that they have seen the ghosts and have had personal experiences while out there, such as being touched or hair being pulled. I believe that they might actually be having experiences, but instead of attributing them to the ghosts of past inhabitants or owners, they automatically give in to the legend and blame it on the albino or the supposedly murdered man. In all actuality, a farm like that has probably had many deaths over the years, as it was common for people to be born and die at home, not finishing out their final moments in a hospital or nursing home. It would seem to me that the spirits of former owners or inhabitants would be the most likely suspects in any ghostly sightings or experiences. A good number of people over the years have claimed to experience things while there, and even taking off for the over active imaginations of thrill seekers, that would still leave a lot of viable accounts.

The bridge where the woman was said to be murdered is haunted by her specter too, and legend has it that if you stop your car on the bridge and turn it off, that it will keep rolling across the bridge of its own accord. Being an inquisitive person, when I hear a story such as that, I can’t help but jump in the car, drive out there, and give it a go; unfortunately nothing happened. I tried it at various times of the day and night, and from both directions, but no movement of any kind was detectible; that part of the story is most certainly urban legend in my opinion.

Whether or not there is a shred of truth anywhere in the entire legend, one thing remains constant, and that is that numerous people will swear to having seen the ghosts of the murdered victims, as well as the hatchet wielding albino that killed them. If you are ever driving north on National, out past the cemetery in the evening hours, be sure and slow down and scan the area near where the old farm house once stood; you just might catch a glimpse of a ghost.

Chapter Five: Wilson Cemetery

Situated out in the country at the end of a dead-end road not far from Richland MO sets the Wilson Cemetery, an old graveyard and one that, unfortunately, sees a lot of vandalism and littering. Thrill seekers who have heard the legends of shadow figures, ghosts, and unexplained voices grab a six pack of beer and head out in their pickup trucks on dark moonless nights, looking to get the scare of their lives.

At times overgrown with weeds, tall grass, and littered with beer cans, it can be a spooky place at night, in part due to its isolated location. But is it really haunted, or is it all just stories generated by half drunken kids whose imaginations ran wild with them?

My own opinion is that it is a mix of both, some stories of the sightings of individual specters are nearly identical, and while others are so far-fetched one would have to wonder about the mental state of the story teller.

Stories of red eyed shadow figures who stalk and attack trespassers are kind of hard to swallow, but some of the spirits have been seen by numerous people, all telling the same story.

A woman in blue has been seen numerous times in the graveyard, walking slowly around the tombstones, fading from sight only to reappear several yards away. When those brave enough to approach her or call out to her get close, she is said to turn and look at them with sightless holes where her eyes should have been; she then moves quickly towards them fading from view within a few feet of the witness, who feels a terribly cold breeze pass through them.

The ghosts of a little boy and a little girl have been seen numerous times as well, witnesses saying that they will suddenly appear next to them; some have even said that they have felt them hold their hand or tug on their clothing before fading away. Small hand prints have appeared on the dust covering vehicles and faces are said to look in the windows as terrified people were attempting to vacate the premises.

Having heard these stories, and a lot more too, I decided to check out Wilson’s Cemetery, and see for myself if there was anything to all of the stories told about it. When I mentioned to Dave Harkins, my teammate from TOPS, about going out there, he related an experience that he and his partner had while on their way to the cemetery to do some research for his book, Haunted Graveyards of the Ozarks.

They stopped in Lebanon MO and filled up their car with gas before heading out to the cemetery, since it sits kind of far out from town at the end of a dirt road. About a mile from the cemetery their car suddenly lost power, the gas gauge dropped down to the empty mark and all of the electronics in the vehicle (radio, clock, etc) stopped working. With there being nowhere to turn around they cautiously continued on to the cemetery where they could get turned around and head back home. When they got there Dave jumped out to take some photos, then he got back in the car to leave, noting that the place had a particularly menacing feel about it. At about the same place that their car troubles started, about a mile from the cemetery, everything went back to normal. The gas gauge went back up to full, radio came on, and the car had normal power again. After hearing all of that I knew I had to go out and check it out and asked Dave if he would like to go with me; we would take my car of course, just to be sure.

We managed to get to the cemetery without any incidents, but it is easy to see why people are quick to say it’s haunted; it’s a long, lonely, creepy sort of drive out there with no houses around and trees lining both sides of the road. We got out of my car and you could immediately feel a difference in the air; a kind of feeling that makes you want to leave the minute you get there. While it was a creepy oppressive type of feeling outside the cemetery, as soon as you walked through the gate it was gone, replaced with an almost peaceful type of feeling. We walked around a bit and did a quick EVP session (Electronic Voice Phenomena) to see if we might catch a disembodied voice or two, took a few photos, and prepared to leave. As we were getting back in my car we both heard a loud growl sound that seemed to come from all around us; it was like nothing that I have ever heard before. At the same time I happened to look towards the back of the cemetery, and in the quickly fading light, I could clearly see the figure of someone moving about. Knowing that there was no one back there we both took off running to the back of the graveyard, but whatever had been moving around had vanished without a trace. We snapped a few more pictures and decided to leave, keeping a sharp eye out for whatever had made the strange growl sound as we got back in the car.

All in all the likelihood of the Wilson Cemetery being haunted could be quite good due to the age of the graveyard and the frequency of stories of the same sightings being told. Or, it could just be overactive imaginations running wild. While I can’t speak for anyone else or their experiences, I do personally believe that there is something going on out there based on what I experienced that day? Either way, if you go out to the cemetery some night looking to investigate the claims yourself, be sure and get permission first and please, don’t litter or destroy the property; someone’s loved ones are buried there.

Chapter Six: Robinson “Red Eye” Cemetery

Those of you who know me know my penchant for history; it defines us as individuals, as a people, and as a nation. Conserving our historical landmarks goes beyond the National Historic Registry, in my humble opinion anyway, and should encompass documenting and maintaining those sites that have an impact on local and regional histories. Now that being said, and don’t get me wrong here, I’m not “tilting at windmills” promoting the idea that every site with even a remote contribution to local history should be preserved; that would simply be impossible to do, but we can document thru photographs and written historical records those that we cannot physically save. And those that we can physically save can be done through a mixture of fundraisers and community support, starting with educating the public to the historical treasures that exist among them.

That brings me to the topic of Robinson Cemetery, “known locally as “Red Eye” Cemetery due to the reported sightings of glowing red eyes in the surrounding bushes and trees that supposedly stalk those rare visitors to the cemetery in the late evening hours. Located in the foothills of the Ozarks, in rural north central Arkansas near the town of Jacksonport, this graveyard is home to a lot of the prominent families of the area from the early to mid-1800’s. Their lives and deaths can barely be traced in the faded letters of their broken tombstones, a travesty of disrespect and neglect, their memories nearly lost to time.

You see, Robinson Cemetery is now overgrown and forgotten, save for a few people; the graves sunken and littered with brambles and trash, the headstones knocked over and broken, some with ATV tracks running right over the markers. It is in a sad state of repair to say the least.

Robinson Cemetery. Image by Bud Steed

I was first introduced to Robinson Cemetery by my good friend, author David E. Harkins, who wrote about it in his excellent book, Haunted Graveyards of the Ozarks. Harkins put a lot of effort into the research and documentation of the cemetery, and the deceased entombed there, chronicling their history and the stories of the area, as well as shedding light on the vandalism and neglect that haunts the old graveyard.

On Harkins first visit to the cemetery one of the team members from TOPS who accompanied him, was taking photographs of Captain Albert Smith’s gravestone when he stepped backwards a few steps and plunged down through the grave up to his left knee; even walking and standing in the neglected old cemetery has its hazards. Harkins also repeatedly experienced what could only be described as a female voice whispering in his ear several times during his first visit, as well as catching glimpses of movement, like that of a person among the trees, although no one was present except for him and two team members.

I was fortunate to check out Robinson Cemetery with David Harkins on our way back from Mississippi after attending the Delta Paranormal Project and a book signing and lecture at Barnes and Noble in Tupelo. I was shocked and dismayed at the amount of vandalism and neglect the old cemetery had been subjected to. ATV trails cut through the graveyard running right over tombstones and graves, trash littered the graves, and a road that had been cut through the cemetery back in the 1950’s, was eroding badly causing some of the graves to be exposed. The area was apparently used as a paintball course as well, with paint splatter marking the trees and tombstones, and CO2 cartridges littered the ground; it was very disheartening to witness firsthand the casual disrespect with which the old cemetery and those entombed there were subjected to. My hope is that through books such as Haunted Graveyards of the Ozarks and articles such as this one that people’s awareness of the importance of preserving and caring for historical locations, such as Robinson Cemetery, will be heightened, and perhaps the necessary steps to reverse the neglect and vandalism might be taken before it’s too late; when we lose a piece of our history we lose a piece of ourselves, a piece that we can ill afford to lose as a society.

Toppled Gravestone, Robinson Cemetery. Image by Bud Steed

Gravestone, Robinson Cemetery. Image by Bud Steed

Chapter Seven: Haunted Hospitals

Hospitals have the potential to be some of the most haunted locations around based on the amount of pain, suffering, and death that occurred within their walls. Many stories of apparitions, disembodied voices, and other paranormal activity abound in reference to nearly any hospital in any area.

Some hospitals, such as Waverly Hills, have been made famous thru the research of paranormal investigators such as Keith Age, and thru filmmakers such as the Booth Brothers. Others still remain abandoned and neglected; their stories for the most part untold and forgotten, as neglected as the buildings themselves.

One such place is the Lima Tuberculosis Hospital, located not far from where I used to live in Lima Ohio. Built in 1911 it started life as a 24 bed facility used exclusively to treat tuberculosis patients, and several times throughout the years it was enlarged and expanded; most notably in 1957 when it was expanded to house 138 patients.

Between 1914 and 1917, 18 people died of the disease at this facility and many more were to follow, right up until the facility closed in 1970 due to a loss of funding from the state.

Today the building sits at the end of a dead end street and is posted for no trespassing, overgrown with weeds, and in a state of general disrepair; sections of the roof are collapsing and vandals have taken their toll on the interior, but all in all the old structure is still fairly sound.

Interior of Lima TB Hospital. Image by Bud Steed

No one visits the place, a local paranormal team trespassed one time to investigate but were removed by the police after about an hour; a statement from one said that they were extremely happy to be removed from the place and had no plans to ever try and go back. Just what spooked them so bad no one knows as they refused to discuss it.

Apparitions have been seen walking the halls, both patient and nurse, disembodied voices, shadows that quickly move down the hallways, and from time to time, even a faint scream has been heard. Things are reported to be thrown at trespassers, doors slammed behind people, trapping them in rooms momentarily as they struggle against unseen forces holding the door tightly closed, whispers are heard right in peoples ears as if someone was next to them, and shoves and scratches are not uncommon. People get disoriented easily as the place is built in the shape of a squared off horse shoe, and it is hard to get your bearings in the lower floors, as they seem to remain unusually dark even at midday.

All in all, even if you visit during the day the place has an unusually creepy feel to it, as if you are being watched by dozens of unseen eyes. If you should ever decide to visit, please obtain permission first and check in with the police to let them know that you have permission to be there, and above all, never go alone, especially to this place. Trust me on this one, I have been to the place many times over the years, even as a kid, and it is a place that will get to your head quickly if you let it.

Another haunted hospital is one that is still in use in Springfield Missouri and is known as Cox North, part of the Cox Health conglomerate. The hospital has seen many changes and additions over the years, and has went from a thriving facility to one that is partially vacant. It now houses a clinic, a psychiatric ward, some offices, an Emergency Room, and a few other smaller facilities such as a cafeteria and pharmacy; the bulk of it, however, has been shut down for the most part.

While I don’t think that any team has obtained permission to do a formal investigation of the hospital, many people who work there have had experiences that they couldn’t explain. Experiences such as feeling watched, hair being pulled, clothing tugged on, lights being turned off then rapidly switched back on and off as if someone was playing with the switch, the sight of what appeared to be patients in the hallways who just seemed to disappear, and doors being opened and closed.

I myself have witnessed what appeared to be a patient leaning against the wall in a hallway, rocking back and forth. When he noticed that I was watching him he straightened up and started walking towards me, only to disappear a few feet from where I was standing. Everything about the man seemed as if he was a real live person, right up until he faded away in the middle of the hallway that is.

My own personal opinion is that hospitals are a hotbed of paranormal activity, you just don’t hear about it that much because the people who work there don’t want to be ridiculed or suffer any reprimands from upper management for telling of their experiences. I think that in some cases, when a person dies an unexpected death or dies rather quickly, they are in a state of confusion, as if not quite sure what just happened to them. I think that some of them stay there because they are unsure of what to do next or where to go, some from fear, some from mental illness, like the man I saw in the Cox North hallway. Either way, I think a lot could be learned by formal investigations of working hospitals, the only problem would be getting the hospital management to sign off on a team who would do a nonintrusive investigation. Having a team of paranormal investigators wandering the halls of a hospital searching for proof that life continues after the body dies might be seen as counterproductive to the hospitals creed of saving lives; in other words, it might be conceived as bad PR.

Chapter Eight: Bride Under the Bridge

Located just off East Bennett Street in Springfield, this 31 acre city park is a serene and lovely place to enjoy the outdoors with family and friends, or to just sit quietly and contemplate life’s trials, tribulations and joys. There are walking trails, picnic areas and the Springfield Art Museum is even located on the grounds of the park.

The park is very old, having been part of the original homestead of the John Phelps family and has been part of the Springfield Park System for quite a long time. There are several stories of ghosts associated with the park, one being the Bride under the Bridge.

There are two versions of the tale, one a bit more modern than the other, but they both revolve around the demise of the poor young woman on her wedding day. Version one states that a wedding reception was held in the park for the young couple, people coming from miles around by horse back and buggy to wish the young couple a long and happy life together. The groom had a bit too much “liquid courage” during the festivities, and when it came time for them to depart for their honeymoon, the groom had a bit of trouble controlling the buggy (I guess that would be termed a BWI, Buggying While Intoxicated). According to the story, the horse bolted causing the buggy to tip over at the bridge killing the bride. It is said that she appears from time to time under or near the bridge, holding up the hem of her wedding dress and weeping silently; forlorn and alone, never getting to experience the happy life that she had anticipated.

The other version follows the same theme except the groom, slightly drunk, crashed their car at the bridge, the passenger door flying open and ejecting the bride from the vehicle, throwing her into the stones below the bridge, resulting in her death.

Regardless of which version is correct, many people have reported seeing the bride under the bridge throughout the years, all of them saying that she seems to be grieving for her lost happiness. If you happen to be around the park pay particular attention near the third bridge going west, as that’s where she has been sighted; sadly weeping for her lost love and happiness for all eternity.

Bridge at Phelps Grove Park. Image by Bud Steed

Another spirit credited with making the park his home is that of the “Thin Man”, a rather telling moniker for a spirit that is said to be extremely tall and thin. He is often sighted walking the grounds of the park in the evening hours just before dark and in the early morning hours just as it is getting light enough to make out forms. He is said to be dressed in an old style suit, reminiscent of the late 1800’s, and walks with the aid of a walking stick. He never seems to interact with anyone, seeming to be content with taking a quiet walk around the park. I have only heard one story of someone having contact with him and it was a bit unnerving I suppose.

The young man who encountered the Thin Man was jogging in the early morning hours when he spotted the Thin Man walking slowly across the park. He didn’t think anything about it and continued on with his jogging, but when he glanced back over he saw that the man was down on his knees on the ground. Thinking that perhaps the man had fallen and was in need of assistance, he ran over to him, calling out to him, asking if he needed help. The Thin Man never responded, he just knelt there on the ground, his walking stick seeming to support him and keep him from toppling over. When the young man reached him he asked once more if he needed any help, to which the Thin Man raised his head up and looked directly at him; I say looked at him, which might not be accurate, since apparently the Thin Man has no eyes. Where his eyes should have been was nothing but skin, as if there never had been any eyes to start with. The young man admittedly jumped back a little at the sight of his thin emaciated face that had no trace of eyes, and after a second, he bolted from the park, scared half to death. What happened to the Thin Man after that is anyone’s guess, since the jogger never once looked back, he just hightailed it out of the park.

Since that is the only account that I have ever heard of about anyone having any kind of contact with the Thin Man, and since the jogger didn’t stay around long enough to exchange pleasantries with him, no one seems to know who or what he is or why he strolls around the park from time to time. Perhaps he is simply the spirit of a man born with no eyes who takes pleasure in a quiet stroll around the park…..or maybe he is something else entirely.

Chapter Nine: Kerr Cemetery

Located near Billings and Republic MO, just a short drive west from Springfield, Kerr Cemetery is an old burial site with several spooky tales and legends associated with it. One such legend has it that it was the preferred site for devil worshipers to perform their dark ceremonies, and we are not talking about teenagers experimenting in the dark arts, but rather mature individuals well versed and dedicated to their beliefs. Stories of missing and mutilated livestock, as well as sightings of robed figures who would suddenly disappear, only to reappear next to your vehicle, have been told for many years; the people who saw them stating that they experienced a feeling of terror and dread at the mere sight of them.

Several people have claimed to have witnessed a Satanic Ritual in the woods behind the cemetery. Over the years more than one individual has claimed to have followed a glowing weaving light through the trees, only to emerge in a clearing complete with robed figures surrounding a small bonfire. As would be expected, not a one of them would admit to staying long enough to find out what was going on. It could have simply been a group of people engaged in an alternative religion of some type and not necessarily Satanic in nature, but people tend to let their imaginations run away with them, especially when there are already rumors of that sort of thing circulating around.

Kerr Cemetery. Image by Bud Steed

In addition to the devil worshiper’s legend, Kerr Cemetery is also known to house a few ghosts, including those of two children. People have seen them walking and running in the cemetery at dusk, only to have them stop, turn around to look at you, and then quickly fade from sight. People have also reported small hand prints appearing on the windows and in the grime that covered their vehicles; clearly the size of a small child and appearing from out of nowhere. It doesn’t seem as if the children bother anyone though, as no reports of anyone being touched or clothing tugged on has surfaced. They seem to be content to just run around and play, just as a living child would.

The ghost of a man in what has been described as “cowboy attire” has been seen on numerous occasions, walking around in the cemetery, pausing here and there as if ruminating on some thought or other, then moving on. No one seems to know who he is, why he is there, or why the cowboy clothing, but he seems to be a quiet type of person who likes to be left alone with his thoughts. Like the children, he too is reported to fade quickly from sight if approached or called out to.

Just who the ghosts are is anyone’s guess and what keeps them there, living a ghostly existence, we will most likely never know. If you ever get the opportunity to visit Kerr Cemetery just as the light of the day is giving way to darkness, watch closely in the shadows; someone just might be watching you

Conclusion

I hope that you have enjoyed this short nine chapter book as much as I enjoyed writing the stories. There are so many places around the world that are reported to be haunted, that a writer and investigator like myself never runs out of interesting stories to write, and exciting places to explore. That’s why I think that I have the best job ever! And in all honesty, I don’t really even consider it a job, it’s more like a calling I suppose. I wake up every morning, excited and ready to go, because it’s not really a job that I have to run off to, it’s an adventure that I can’t wait to get started.

I hope that you all will click the link below and join me on my adventures, investigations and research. I have a lot of interesting books planned, some of them are almost finished, some are simply notes jotted down in a notebook, but all of them will be interesting to write, and hopefully, exciting and interesting for you all to read. One book that I am currently working on is called “Ghosts of the Black Flag” and is about various pirate ghost sightings from around the world, thrown in with a bit of history about the Golden Age of Piracy; I’m working on including downloadable videos with this book that will help the reader imagine what the area that the story is about looks like. I think you all will find them extremely enjoyable!

If you haven’t already joined my Friends and Fans Community list, please take a moment and be sure to stake your claim by entering your email address at http://budsteed.com/free-book . This will insure that you get the latest new content, advance notice of new book releases and the option to participate as one of my “Beta Readers”, where you will get to read my new books for free BEFORE they are published.

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Note: Some of this material was previously published at [+ Examiner.com+] along with other great paranormal stories. The above stories were rewritten, for the most part, and if you would like to read the original stories, please click on the link above and have a look.


Ghost Stories and Hauntings

Ghosts are everywhere it seems. This free book provides nine chapters on various hauntings and ghosts stories written by paranormal investigator and researcher Bud Steed. Stories such as the Ghosts of Wilson's Creek, The Albino Farm and The 5 Most Haunted Places in Baton Rouge, both inform and entertain. Totaling 9 chapters, this fun and easy to read book, complete with photographs, will keep you entertained and wanting to know more.

  • Author: Bud Steed
  • Published: 2016-05-25 23:40:13
  • Words: 9049
Ghost Stories and Hauntings Ghost Stories and Hauntings