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Paranormal

Tales From Spook Central: “This Place is Weird.”

Why did Da-da park near the vortex again?
You may recall the matter-of-fact attitudes of Hogwarts’ students to ghosts traversing the Harry Potter series of books and movies; in this fictional world, ghosts come and go talking of a Michelangelo, while students go about their business, paying them little attention because they see them all the time. Strangely enough, there are real-world counterparts to these lackadaisical student ghosting attitudes: yes, it’s Da-da’s own Bronko and Nagurski.
Da-da’s 6 and 7.8YO progeny, along with Da-da himself (who’s 10k times that old), experience cold spots and things moving out of the corner of your eye — and above all, voices — all the time in Spook Central, the family abode. While most people get all oogley when things go bump in our night, Da-da’s boys take these experiences at face value: they’re not scared in the least.
This came into sharp relief last Friday afternoon, whilst Da-da and boys were unwinding from a busy week listening to the audio book, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkhaban. At one point, both boys heads turned to look in the direction of the CD player (yes, we still use one of those).
“Did you hear that?” both boys said, nearly simultaneously. Da-da paused the recording.
“What?” Da-da asked, thinking they meant the audiobook.
Did you hear that?

They each explained that they’d heard a kid’s voice clearly say…

This place is weird.”

If one kid had said it, Da-da would’ve shrugged it off, but when both of them report the same event, we take it a bit more seriously.
At first, Da-da thought they might’ve misunderstood words from the recording, but they pointed away from the speakers to the step that leads down into the family room, where we were sitting. None of us was frightened, for the record, we’re too used to strangeness, but we were perplexed at the words: “This place is weird.” (At least it didn’t say, “GET OUT.“)
Supposing that it was indeed a spirit which had said this, was the ghost talking about Da-da’s house? Was the spirit so disused to encountering modern, “reality” that our environs struck them as, “weird”? Da-da’s house is hardly weird — or modern, for that matter, though it does have lots of Da-da’s abstract artworks all over the place; hardly weird, that is, unless the ghost can see something we cannot. Then again, to someone who died in 1925, would a modern house seem weird? Microwaves and chrome faucets and big screen TVs?
Three psychics and a number of “sensitives” have described Da-da’s property as being, “special,” but would never explain why. When cornered, the most reliable psychic (an oxymoron for some) had said that the house sat on, “a vortex.” Great. Try putting that on your real estate sales flyer: “For sale: Lovely 4 BR, 3 BA home with bonus room, mature landscape AND VORTEX INTO THE UNKNOWN. Great views and location!”
Either way, the fact that none of us were fazed by this is a testament to how often it occurs… which is all well and good during daylight hours. However, when a ghost whispers something in your ear in the dead of night, it’s another matter entirely. More on that next time.

Paranormal

Osborne family reunites in a TV show about paranormal

Ozzy and Sharon Osbourne will return to television in the new paranormal television show. According to NME magazine, celebrities will take part in their son Jack’s Osbournes Want to Believe project, in which he will try to convince skeptical parents, showing them “undeniable” evidence that paranormal phenomena exist.

“Maybe they are known as the first “dark” family, but when it comes to paranormal events, the legendary rocker Ozzy Osbourne and his wife, the co-host of the show “Conversation” Sharon Osbourne, are extremely skeptical, ”the description of the show says. “Having the firm intention of dragging them to the other side, Jack will reunite with Ozzy and Sharon and share with them the craziest and stunning videos of the paranormal that have ever been captured by cameras.”

It is also reported that Osbourne will see videos with poltergeists, unidentified flying objects, yetis and many others. As for Jack, he is convinced that his parents do not believe in such things, since no one has yet provided them with enough convincing evidence – and he is going to do this by adding several of his personal videos to the show.

The most difficult task for me, probably, will be the need to keep them from commenting, not intended for children’s ears. This will be the classic Osbourne “cabal”! – Jack said.

The show will premiere on Travel Channel on August 2, 2020.

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Paranormal

Businessman bought a ghost town, believed in mysticism and decided to stay there forever

Two years ago, a young American businessman Brent Underwood bought a ghost town. Once there was a silver mine, shots rang out every day and famous gangsters from the Wild West met. And now – almost nobody, and a few hours’ journey to the nearest store. Underwood arrived in his city in early March, and after two months in complete solitude decided to stay there for a long time. 

In the summer of 2018, Brent Underwood received an offer that is difficult to refuse. “Want to buy a ghost town?” – asked a friend.

Prior to the purchase of Cerro-Gordo, Brent Underwood was engaged in marketing books and enjoyed some fame in this area. In 2016, he decided to demonstrate the simplicity with which crooks and crooks “wind up” the ratings of the largest online store Amazon, and in a matter of minutes brought a best-selling photograph of his own leg. When the media wrote about the trick, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos phoned Underwood.

The message was accompanied by a link to a note on the sale of Cerro Gordo – an abandoned town in the days of the Wild West. “At first I took it for a stupid joke, but still clicked on the link and began to read,” says Underwood.

It turned out that Cerro Gordo is located in the mountains on the edge of the Death Valley. The city appeared in 1865, when silver was found in those places. Entrepreneurial people from all over California immediately rushed there.

Three years later, businessman Mortimer Belshaw settled in Cerro Gordo. He quickly put the mining of precious metal on a big foot and soon sent the first wagon loaded with silver bullion to Los Angeles. Each ingot was 45 centimeters long and weighed 36 kilograms.

The first approach was followed by others. A year later, more silver and lead was mined in the town than in other mines in California. In just a few years, the thousands of miners who gathered in Cerro Gordo dug underground tunnels with a length of almost 60 kilometers.

Near the mine appeared a church, five hotels, seven saloons and two brothels – one on each edge of the city. A fort was built nearby that protected the locals from the Indians.

There was little entertainment: the miners gambled, drank a lot and visited prostitutes. Any quarrel ended in a shootout. Every week someone was killed, and it was possible to die even by accident. In order not to fall under the stray bullet, the workers had to sleep behind sandbags.

It was a true Wild West from Westerns. It was rumored that Butch Cassidy, the famous robber of banks and trains, was hiding in Cerro Gordo. The walls of the Belshaw mansion, which still stands, still have 156 bullet holes, and a blood stain in the hotel’s gaming room

Ten years later, the reserves of the precious metal were noticeably depleted, and the fall in silver prices that began at the end of the 19th century signed the city’s death sentence. The miners went somewhere, and Cerro Gordo was empty. At the beginning of the 20th century, it experienced a revival when zinc was mined there, but this boom was short-lived. In the 1930s, the mine was finally closed, and only its owner lived in the city until 1957. After his death, no one was left in Cerro Gordo.

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The American Hotel. Established 1871

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People returned to the city only in 1985. One of the surviving houses was occupied by a distant relative of the former owner of Cerro Gordo, Jody Patterson, along with her husband Mike. Jody from 1973 in parts bought the city from his uncle’s wife, who inherited it, and by 1984 became his full owner. She lived there until her death and is buried in the cemetery of Cerro Gordo.

Mike Patterson did not leave Cerro Gordo when Jody died and turned it into a tourist attraction. Wild West lovers could rent a bedroom in Belshaw’s house for $ 150 a day, or spend the night in a former workers’ dormitory for $ 300. The toilet, as in the 19th century, was in the courtyard, but the guests did not complain.

One woman wrote a thank-you letter and praised me for having talcum powder in the street toilet. It didn’t immediately reach me that she had in mind quicklime to be thrown into a cesspool

Mike Patterson, former owner of Cerro Gordo

Patterson’s relatives put up for sale the city. By that time, the only inhabitant in Cerro Gordo was the voluntary caretaker Robert Demare. A former school teacher moved there in the late 1990s in the hope of finding silver. “For 22 years, I have found the equivalent of a full wheelbarrow of silver,” he claimed in 2019.

22 buildings survived in Cerro Gordo: several houses where the miners lived, a working dormitory, a hotel, a church and a former store in which Mike Patterson set up something like a museum. The city had an electric generator and water supply (although only in three buildings), but to get to the nearest store, it was necessary to drive for more than 40 kilometers. 

But Demare got used to the life of a hermit. Year after year, he repaired broken windows, cleaned up the garbage that “bad people” throw, he said, once a month poured potholes on a country road and shot snakes and rats. Koyotov, the caretaker never touched them: he considered these animals “important and wonderful creatures.”

Own city

Underwood got the idea to buy Cerro Gordo. He already had a small tourism business: a small hostel with five employees in Austin. But the real city of the times of the Wild West is a completely different matter. He believed that this was the ideal place for modern tourism, where a beautiful Instagram picture is more important than anything else. In addition, such a picturesque wilderness can attract creative people.

The sellers expected to receive 925 thousand dollars for Cerro Gordo. Underwood and his acquaintance were ready to give all the savings for him, but there was still not enough money. To collect the necessary amount, they had to look for investors. Somehow, Underwood managed to interest the former marketing director of American Apparel, one of the leaders of Hulu and several other large businessmen. This made it possible to scrape together 1.4 million dollars.

Several more buyers claimed Cerro Gordo, and some of them offered larger amounts for it, but the sellers liked Underwood’s idea. So he and his friend became the owners of their own city.

https://www.instagram.com/p/CAL1NiqpREk/?utm_source=ig_embed

At first, in Cerro Gordo, everything remained the same. Underwood paid the caretaker a salary and visited him once a month. He was planning to surf the Internet, build a viewing platform and equip a music studio in a former dormitory, but soon discovered that it was far from easy. “Things went very slowly over the next year or so,” he recalls. “We were waiting for permissions and tried to start the reconstruction, but it took a lot of time to do everything, because it is very difficult to bring materials and people there.”

The ghost town was an expensive pleasure. About 10 thousand dollars were spent on repaying loans, salaries, utilities and satellite Internet every month. And this is without repair: as it turned out, even replacing a broken pump for water supply costs hundreds of thousands of dollars.

When the epidemic started, the ranger called Underwood. “His wife lives in Arizona, and he wanted to return to her until they introduced quarantine measures,” he says. “He asked me to keep an eye on the city so that it would not be looted.” I thought that I’ll take care of the repair and maybe I’ll start renting out the houses for the guests. ”

Snow Isolation

The businessman arrived in Cerro Gordo in the midst of heavy snowfall. The car got stuck in the snowdrifts, not reaching the city half a kilometer. “I threw it in the middle of a single-lane road and walked the rest of the way on foot,” says Underwood. – It snowed almost daily for another ten days. It got to the point that I could barely open the front door. “

By March 19, when California introduced a regime of self-isolation, it was ideally isolated by nature itself. It was almost impossible to get out of Cerro Gordo before the snow melted. “For the most extreme case, there are snowshoes, but they will have to cover 11 kilometers along a steep slope,” says Underwood. He tried them on and was out of breath just a few meters away.

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The food they had taken with them quickly dried up, but the ranger left a large supply of rice and canned food. To get water, Underwood melted snow. You can’t watch Netflix over the slow satellite internet , so he had to look for other entertainment.At dawn, he went for a walk, studied his possessions during the day, and photographed the starry sky at night.

Underwood walked around the mine and found graffiti made in 1938 on the mine wall. He had extra furniture, so he moved the sofa, carpet and floor lamp there, arranging something like an underground shelter. In the house where the former owner lived, a huge collection of old video cassettes was found, including a copy of Kubrick’s The Shining. His characters were also stuck in a snowy mountain hotel, and it ended badly. Underwood decided not to watch it.

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Day 71 at Fat Hill

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Locals believed that true ghosts inhabit Cerro Gordo. Several years ago, a documentary was shot in the city about the ghosts of dead children in one of the mansions, and the former owner of Cerro Gordo, Mike Patterson, kept a picture of a man’s face appearing on a window net. He believed that it was the ghost of Alfonso Benoit, who was killed more than a century ago in a nearby lumberjack camp.

Underwood lived in the same room where they saw children’s ghosts. He did not wait for their visit, but nevertheless noticed something strange. Most of all, he was embarrassed that in the working dormitory, curtains open from time to time and the light turns on. Just in case, he decided to bypass this place.

The longer I live here, the more I come across things that I can’t explain. Until I bought the city, I completely did not believe in this

Brent Underwood

Underwood was occupied by ghosts of a different kind. In one of the houses he came across a suitcase with the belongings of a miner who worked in Cerro Gordo during the zinc boom. Inside was his whole life: bank statements, applications for withdrawal of plots, unpaid checks, lawsuits, love letters and divorce documents. “This man had hopes and dreams, ups and downs, and all that was left was a suitcase full of papers,” says Underwood. 

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I found this briefcase a few days when cleaning out the old general store at Cerro Gordo. It was neatly tucked under an old blanket, under a counter, behind piles of furniture and junk that hadn’t been touched in decades. The briefcase is made of paper that still shows bourbon at $0.69 a bottle.⁣ ⁣ I opened it to find hundreds of documents – bank statements, checks, mining claims, lawsuits over unpaid accounts, contracts to sell ore, contracts to buy land, and even a divorce from the Supreme Court that cited “extreme cruelty.” ⁣ ⁣ The highs and lows of former miners lives, all spelled out in faded ink and crumpled contracts. It’s strange going through a box like that. You’re hesitant to touch anything in fear you’ll damage history But as I sifted through the box I found records of three former miners – a Mr. Reynolds, Mr. Leary, and Mr. Carothers. All three miners that tried their hand at the American dream. ⁣ ⁣ In the bit of research I could do it seems Mr. Leary was born in 1881. Mr. Reynolds in 1884, and Mr. Carothers in 1893. They all were miners by trade. All staked their own mining claims and tried their hand at the American dream. The letters and lawsuits lay out the difficulty of that path. But in the other letters is an overwhelming sense of hope. A hope that the next drilling will bring the riches they’ve been searching for. The hope of a dreamer you can still feel today in Cerro Gordo.⁣ ⁣ Here is a few of the documents:⁣ ⁣ 1. briefcase showing the start of documents⁣ ⁣ 2. briefcase in old general store (not where it was found, but placed on shelf)⁣ ⁣ 3. checks from 1926 for $20 and $31.65 and a check from 1931 for $20⁣ ⁣ 4. a mining lease Mr. Leary took out in 1934⁣ ⁣ 5. a letter to Mr. Leary in 1934 from the Utah Junk Company offering to buy 200 tons of his zinc ore⁣ ⁣ 6. the final decree of divorce in 1939 for Mr. Reynolds citing “extreme cruelty” ⁣ ⁣ 7. a lawsuit from 1943 demanding Mr. Reynolds to pay $10.66 to Lone Pine Lumber⁣ ⁣ 8. Mr. Carother’s income tax return from 1945. He made $2,386.22. Occupation: Miner⁣ ⁣ 9. Mr. Carother’s bank statements from 1952. He had $89.70 in his Bank of America account.⁣ ⁣ 10. A letter to Mr. Carothers from a f

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With the help of experts from Reddit, the entrepreneur learned to understand the tracks of animals in the snow. It turned out that his porch regularly visits a lynx. Other footprints were left by coyotes and a bear, it seems. Underwood learned to cycle floors and was used to talking with a couple of local ravens, whose names were Hekil and Jekyll. He liked life in a ghost town more and more.

The problems started when the snow fell. First, Underwood was hospitalized with appendicitis. And in early June, a fire broke out in Cerro Gordo. At three o’clock in the morning an old hotel broke out, then the fire spread to the glacier cellar and the house, where in the days of the Wild West there lived a man named William Crapo, who once shot a postman. “All I could do was call 911,” says Underwood. “And then, with the help of a caretaker, desperately pulling buckets of water from the tanks and trying to fill the flames.”

Perhaps we will never know how the fire started. Firefighters told me that there are a thousand different reasons. Anything could happen in such old buildings

Brent Underwood

The fire destroyed three buildings, but Underwood still expects that the city can be restored. Even before the caretaker returned, he decided that he would stay in Cerro Gordo for a long time. “I already plan what I will do next winter,” he admitted to a New York Times journalist who spoke with him before the fire. “Until then, I’m not going to go anywhere, so I need to prepare.”

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Paranormal

Enfield poltergeist: one of the most famous and mysterious paranormal phenomena, is still considered a mystery

The Enfield Poltergeist is still considered a mystery, but experts on the unknown do not get tired of trying to solve it.

Fans of horror probably watched the movie “The Conjuring 2”, as well as the series “The Enfield Haunting,” but they hardly know that these on-screen horrors are based on an absolutely real story. A series of paranormal events took place in the city of Anfield in 1977. The poltergeist, who terrorized a single mother and her children, was shot on photo and video equipment, but this did not help to get closer to his solution.

It all started when the children of Peggy Hodgson – 13-year-old Margaret, 11-year-old Janet, 10-year-old Johnny and 7-year-old Billy – began to complain to their mother that the furniture in their rooms moves at night. At first, the mother considered this a childhood fantasy, but when she saw how the heavy chest of drawers moved away from the wall by itself, and then fell into place, she had to believe in the incredible. Neighbors came to them – the first witnesses of inexplicable phenomena.

Experts came to understand the strange events and captured the frightening tricks of the poltergeist.

The mysterious something that lived in the house was rampant more and more – things flew around the rooms, dishes hit the walls, little Janet was thrown into the air.

The cries of children and the fright of those present seemed to amuse the invisible joker. And his tricks became more and more meaner and meaner.

Janet was especially hit. She now and then fell into a trance and spoke in other people’s voices. All this was recorded in the most conscientious manner in the photo and video.

Researchers who first encountered such a clear and aggressive spirit did not know how to help the Hodgson family.

After a year and a half, the poltergeist calmed down, and since then has reminded only in the nightmares of the younger members of the family. But things no longer flew, and the furniture did not move. 

The “favorite” of Poltergeist Janet, even having matured, recalled with trembling that period of her life.

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