Thursday, April 23, 2009

The Spalding Inn

I'm a fan of the show Ghost Hunters but I don't follow Jason and Grant's every doing like some fans. That's why I was surprised to learn they'd bought an inn in New Hampshire. The Spalding Inn, which was a fairly decent-sized one too. (Guess they can no longer claim the show hasn't been good to them monetarily. I'd read something once where Jason was trying to be all modest and defend he wasn't getting rich off the show, that he was still just a plumber for Roto-Rooter. I don't think too many plumbers could buy inn's...)

Anyway, they called in the Ghost Hunters International (GHI) Team to do the investigation. There were a fair amount of personal experiences as well as evidence they captured, mostly EVPs. Was it enough to say the place is haunted? Is it going to be the next Stanley Hotel?

Not sure, but there's definitely activity there.

I will be curious when it opens, however. It'll go on the list of Spooky Stays when I get up and running! Who knows? Maybe it'll even be a place Wayne and I will go check out. I've always wanted to make it up to that area...

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

The Titanic Exhibit - Haunted?

If you're a fan of the Sci Fi Channel's Ghost Hunters like I am, then you know last week they investigated a very unusual spot: The Georgia Aquarium, which had been one of the stops for the traveling Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition.


Man, I sure wish I had known the exhibit was rumored to be haunted when we'd seen it in Denver a couple of years back. It certainly has a creepy, haunted feeling, but mostly that's due to the fact that you knew the stuff on display had once belonged to real people --and which had spent a great deal of time resting in what could have been a permanent watery grave if it hadn't been excavated like it had.

Except, now I'm wondering if that's not the only reason for the exhibit's haunted feeling. I certainly never expected the TAPS team to find anything. The last thing I would have expected was them to see shadow figures or capture an EVP, but...that's what happened. Crazy!

But very interesting. I can't help but wonder which artifact or artifacts has someone's energy attached to it. That would be neat to figure out. Even neater if you knew who had owned that artifact. Then you could better communicate with that person's spirit.


If you've never been, it's worth the price of admission. (Which is about $27.)

You have to buy a ticket for a specific viewing, it's not just one of those exhibits you can drop in on any old time you want. They have set entry times.

When you get there, you're given a boarding pass which tells you who you are (a real life passenger aboard the ship), where you were traveling from, who you were traveling with, what class you were booked under, your cabin number, your reason for travel, and even gives a passenger fact, if known. Then at the end of the exhibit you can scan the list of survivors or those who didn't make it to see what your fate was.

I kept my husband's boarding pass. (I thought I had kept mine too. I was a first class passenger. some kind of lady with a title, but I don't remember either what her name or title was now.)

But my husband was Mr. Michael Navratil (aka Louis Hoffman). He was traveling in 2nd class with his two small sons, Michael (3) and Edmond (2). He was from Nice, France, but booked them all under the false name of Hoffman because he was going through a nasty custody battle with his wife. He thought this would make her follow, and they'd all be reunited again in New York.

He ended up dying, but I believe his sons survived.

The Titanic exhibit is interesting, sad, eerie, but amazing. I've made my husband watch Titanic the movie over and over and over again. He was not looking forward to me dragging him to the exhibit. But he ended up enjoying it immensely and found it extremely interesting.

To see where Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition can currently be experienced, click here.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Cheeseman Park - Denver, CO


I attended Cheeseman Academy from 1st grade through 6th. My class was the last to graduate from the school, in fact.

Cheeseman Academy was situated on the fringe of Cheeseman Park. It was housed in a glorious old brownstone mansion. It had started out as a girl's school, complete with dormitories, in the early 1900s. I'm not sure when it became a co-ed private school, but a woman named Ms. Miller owned and ran it for years and years. She died when I was in 5th grade I believe. Maybe 4th. Her son and his wife took over the school when I was in 6th grade, then decided it was too much, the building was too old and needed too much upkeep, enrollment was dropping so...they opted to shut it down.


For a long time I used to have horrible dreams featuring Cheeseman Academy. Dreams not inspired by terrible teachers or bullies I had to contend with, but just by the feeling I sometimes got while at the school. Sometimes it was just a plain spooky place to be.

I'd dream about a malevolent spirit. One that lived up in the attic, a place that in real life students were rarely allowed to go. When we were, it was always in the presence of a teacher, never by ourselves. It would torment me in my down at me as I was walking upstairs, stalk me in the gym, make me not want to be left alone in certain classrooms... I loved attending the school when I was little, but I sure wasn't always happy to dream about it.

I had the dreams on and off until Cheeseman was finally torn down sometime in the '90s. I haven't dreamt of the school since then..nor of the ghost.


At one point, Cheeseman was the old city cemetery. Mt. Prospect Cemetery was its name. In 1890 an Act of Congress mandated that this parcel of property was not supposed to be used for a cemetery but was supposed to be a park. Bodies were removed --paid for by relatives if they could afford it and were wanting to claim family members.

However, in the area known as Potter's Field , where the poor and indecent were buried, who was there to pay for their removal? The city of course. And they paid a man named E.P. McGovern $1.90 a body.

But McGovern had to use children's caskets because a bad mining accident in Utah created a shortage of adult caskets. But since adult bodies wouldn't fit in the children's caskets, he sized them to fit. As you might expect, some discrepancies in billing resulted.

The health commissioner of the time decided to halt further removal of bodies and to seal the land. Some now wonder if this sealed the fate of the park that was to come...


Sine Cheeseman Academy resided on the edge of the park, we were there almost every day. (Winter excluded.) But on nice fall and spring afternoons it was the rule not the exception to go for an outing to the park.

Some have reported strange feelings or interactions while in the park. Such as laying on the grass and feeling like they couldn't get up, like something was holding them down. I never felt anything while I was in the park...only while I was in the school.

And others who live in the houses or condos and apartments that line the park have felt similar things. Some have been more friendly than the ghost who inhabited my dreams, but some have provided quite a shock.


Cheeseman Park is located between E. 8th Ave and E. 13th Ave and Race St. and Humboldt St.


  • Cheeseman Park's history was partly the inspiration for the movie Poltergeist.
  • The Denver Botanic Gardens is also by the park. Because the DBG was also erected over the old cemetery, some people have reported experiencing paranormal activity there too. In fact, an old coffin and remains was recently unearthed when the DBG started construction on a parking garage.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Spookiest Haunted Hotels and B&Bs

There's no guarantee that you'll experience anything paranormal at the following hotels and bed & breakfasts, but you might. They all have quite the history --either of murder and mayhem or of paranormal mischief in general.

They've also all been featured on various TV shows, including ones likes Scariest Places and Ghost Hunters. Heck, one was even featured in a book! (That's why it's number one. Who hasn't heard about how The Stanley Hotel was the spark for Stephen King's The Shining?)

  1. The Stanley Hotel - Estes Park, CO
  2. Lizzie Borden B&B - Fall River, MA
  3. The Myrtles Plantation - St. Francisville, LA
  4. Hotel Del Coronado - Coronado, CA
  5. The Don Cesar Hotel - St. Pete Beach, FL