Saturday, May 30, 2009

Eerie Pub HJ: Blake Street Vault

Today I read an article by Kathleen St. John called "Ghost haunting Blake Street Vault helps give LoDo saloon that old-Denver feel." Ah, old stomping grounds. Where I grew up. Where, when I visit these days, I barely recognize.

There was no LoDo when I was coming up in Denver. That's an invention of the last 15 years or so. A cool name given to a part of the downtown area few hardly ventured to after dark. Now it's all hip and cool and happening.

Maybe that's why Lydia, Blake Street Vault's ghost, doesn't want to leave?


The bar sounds pretty cool. The decor hearkens to the era of saloons you might have found in Wild West Denver back before the turn of the century (the one before last): tin ceilings, wood floors and barrels for bar tables. Rustic.

I'm not quite sure if Lydia died in the bar or not. The article wasn't exactly clear on that. Supposedly some ghost hunters were brought in after many people reported having weird feelings or experiences in the place --especially down in the vault. They're the ones who identified the ghost as being Lydia, a saloon girl who worked in the building 150 years ago.


The vault was discovered during renovations down in the basement. The article's author described the vault as "more historically interesting than paranormally scary, at least until you get to the vault."

I'm assuming what makes it both creepy and perhaps playing some part in Lydia's story is that the author mentioned scratch marks on the vault's ceiling. But it doesn't say if she was shut in down there and left to die or what.

However, the saloon's new owners have a tribute of sorts up to Lydia. There's a mannequin dressed as a saloon girl in the window above Blake Street Vault's entrance.


As far as activity...besides glasses being knocked over and people feeling uncomfortable at times, the best story was of the high-heeled footsteps clicking overhead when the bar's new owner and an inspector were down in the basement pre-saloon renovation. At the time, the floors were still covered in carpet, and when they went upstairs to investigate no one was there.


If you live in Denver or are planning to visit and want to make a Haunt Jaunt to an eerie pub, you might want to consider the Blake Street Vault. It's located at 1526 Blake Street.

Friday, May 29, 2009 Logo and Advertising

There are a lot of administrative things to take care of while I'm building, including designing a logo and tackling advertising. (Both from the perspective of doing it for the site and getting others to advertise on the site.)


Last year Randy Okane at hooked me up with the graphic artist who did his logo after I contacted him about it. (I fell in love with it and just thought it was extremely snazzy. I wanted the person responsible for creating it to do Haunt Jaunts' logo too.)

He did get me something I loved, but then my mom fell ill and the rest of 2008, including all my set up plans for Haunt Jaunts, got put on hold. Then I got cancer...well, Life got in the way.

But all that's behind me now and I can focus on getting my site up and running. And part of that is coming up with a face to represent my vision.

I tried to get a hold of the guy (whose name I'm not revealing because he actually works for a graphic design company and could get in big trouble for doing work on the side), but his email is no longer valid. Drat.

But then I saw another logo I liked for a company called Cross Checking. I found out who designed theirs, contacted them, paid a small fee ($80), BUT...have not been pleased with the results.

Yes, I asked for a revision...which I got, but which just basically changed the color scheme and a few minor details of the original samples they sent. Which are okay, but not what I had in mind. And since I had to wait two months (when the policy is to have revisions back in 2-3 days), I'm just sort of done with them.

My friend Chris Verstraete had sent me a link to a free logo generator site, Cool Text , so I finally checked into it today. In less than two minutes I created a logo, admittedly a very basic one, that will totally work for me. (Yep, it's the one leading off the blog.)

Moral of the story: It's worth it to me to eat the fee I paid. In the end I came up with something I can live with...and I know going forward I'll check out the free stuff first before opening my pocketbook!


Speaking of pocketbooks...what a great lead in to the advertising segment of today's show. (Hey, who says administrative business stuff can't be entertaining?)

The reason I needed a logo is because I want to be one of the sponsors for HauntedCon. (Well, I wanted a logo for other reasons as well, but it makes it a little easier from an advertising perspective if you have a logo rather than just a link...) also got me to thinking about how I'm a one-woman show at the moment. (I have visions of hiring help down the road, but I don't have the funds to pay anyone with yet.)

Between collecting and inputting Haunts (that's a job right there!), fiddling with the website (it's a template, I have no web design skills --again, another position I could fill), reading submissions (I see this being my main role at some point), and trying to procure advertising (I could never be a bum, I hate approaching people for money)...I've got my hands full!

But I need money coming in, to do that if I hate asking for it?

LIGHT BULB MOMENT: I may not be able to pay a sales force, but I can accommodate commissions.


Feel free to post this around to anyone you know who's interested in making a little extra money.

  • I'll pay 40% to anyone who brings in advertising to my site. You can find rates (remember, "they're spookily affordable") on our Rates Page under the Advertising tab.

  • By "bring in" I mean they buy advertising and mention YOUR name. OR, you send me an email saying, "I contacted so and so who should be contacting you about advertising." If they do and if they buy, you'll get credit.

  • Somehow I MUST KNOW YOU ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR THE DEAL OR I CAN'T PAY YOU. I don't want to put up an ad and have people randomly claiming responsibility for it and demanding 40% from me. Ain't going to work that way, folks. If I don't know you brought it, you're not getting paid.

  • You get paid when I get paid. The second the funds clear in my PayPal account, I'll zap you your 40% via PayPal. (Unless we've agreed beforehand upon other payment arrangements.)

  • If your advertiser renews advertising, say upgrades from a one month deal to a six month deal down the road, you'll get 40% of that too. (Basically, if you bring in an advertiser who continues to be an advertiser for as long as shall live, you'll receive the 40% credit every time they renew.)

Good luck and may the force be with you!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Charleston Haunt Jaunt: The Battery Carriage House Inn

A few weeks ago I added The Battery Carriage House Inn to Haunt Jaunts' Spooky Stays section. I don't remember how I came across it, but when I went to check out their website I saw they have a page dedicated to ghost stories and sightings at the inn.

Very cool.

It gives a brief history of the inn and the types of ghosts people have seen. The creepiest is the headless torso, which most assume is the spirit of a civil war soldier. The saddest is what they call the "gentleman ghost," which some think might be the spirit of a young man who jumped from the roof 100 years ago for reasons unknown.

Then the page goes on to list encounters people have had at the Battery Carriage House Inn. Quite a few are letters from guests detailing experiences they had while in their rooms. Rooms 3, 8 and 10 (in particular 8 and 10) have the most activity.

(They also comment on the elegance and atmosphere of the inn and praise everything from the comfy beds and friendly staff to the wine and cheese served in the afternoon and the delicious breakfasts. Ghosts or no, it sounds like a delightful place to stay!)

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Getting a Ghost Fix from Radio and TV

My favorite ghost show is Ghost Hunters, but while they're in reruns this summer I can still get a ghost fix from other TV and radio shows.


In addition to Most Haunted, the Travel Channel also has another paranormal show featuring ghosts and ghost hunters: Ghost Adventures. Starting June 5 they'll be back with more ghost adventures, starting with an investigation of Preston Castle.

I didn't much care for the very first documentary-style show I watched featuring Zak and his crew, however...that was just the start of what turned into a series of shows. Which I do like.

If you've never watched the show, it's similar to Ghost Hunters, except they present evidence as they come upon it rather than doing a reveal to a client at the end. Or that's how they did it last season. Hopefully they'll continue that for this new season.

Also like Ghost Hunters, they don't always investigate places that could be potential Haunt Jaunts. (Meaning the public isn't always allowed in because some of the places are private establishments.)

But it's a good show and I'm looking forward to it starting back up again.


A friend of mine turned me on to this site, because she grew up with one of the hosts of Ghostology, a show that comes on Saturday evenings at 8:00 p.m. EST. I haven't had a chance to tune in yet because she just told me about it this past Saturday, but I will.

And I might find some other neat shows, too. There are a bunch of them (like 35), all focusing on ghosts, hauntings, and other paranormal phenomenon --even witchcraft, UFOs and cryptozoology! They also have live chats and forums. It's looks like a pretty neat place to network with others interested in this field.

Oh, and the Ghostology show I mentioned? The hosts are involved in making a pilot for a TV show called "Ghost Tech" which will debut this fall. (I don't know which station, but I'll keep my eyes open for it.)

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Camp Grounds as Potential Haunt Jaunts

I never considered camp grounds as potential Haunt Jaunts until I stumbled across an Paranormal Phenomenon post called "Camping Encounters with Monsters and Ghosts" by Stephen Wagner.

The only thing I normally think about when it comes to camping and ghosts is telling ghost stories around the camp fire. But Wagner's article related incidents of ghost and monster encounters around camp fires and campsites.


I used to camp all the time with my family when I was little. I loved it. I have a pretty active imagination, but I don't remember ever being afraid of the forests we camped near. The only time I ever got a little creeped out was when my cousin Mike started scratching on the roof of the camper shell covering the back of my dad's truck. It woke me up and I didn't know it was him at first, so...there was a wee bit of chaos until my dad told him to knock it off.

However, Wagner told some good monster camping stories. One about a family who encountered some kind of bear-like creature with yellow eyes in the White Mountains of Arizona. (Lucky them. I don't know which is worse: being scared out of your wits by some creature roaring and then suddenly charging into your camp, or camping near that same region and having your dog suddenly bolt out of the tent only to get sprayed by a skunk. Oh yeah, that made for a pleasant experience...)

Anyway, Wagner also told of other stories: a glowing beast that showed up in a field next to where some people had set up camp, and a green "humanoid like" creature that surprised campers near a lake in a nature reserve. (The last one creeped me out because apparently they fled the scene only to return later to pick up their gear but found their tent destroyed and all their gear in the lake.)


Well, the ghost stories in Wagner's post didn't really have much to do with woods. But people did spot ghosts while camping.

One was a silver lady a girl in Australia spotted while camping with her family. The other one recounted a tale of a guy who had been camping with his girlfriend and woke up to see a ghostly form hovering over her body.


That's what I didn't like about the article. It didn't tell specifics about the ghosts sightings, as in where they happened, except in a couple of cases.

Like the creature that surprised the family camping in the White Mountains of Arizona. It at least gave you that much, but where exactly did the family have the experience? I don't know.

The other two monster stories were vague. The settings were described, but states weren't even mentioned.

The ghost stories did give some indication of place. The "silver lady" was spotted at "a beachfront caravan park near Killala Beach, New South Wales, Australia." The hovering ghost encounter happened "along an unpaved forest road in the Manzano Mountains in northern New Mexico."

Wish I could give you more to go on if you wanted to set out this summer on a camping Haunt Jaunt of your own to investigate these places, but...that's all I got folks.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Potential Haunt Jaunt: The Sam Davis Home in Smyrna, TN

This afternoon my husband, Wayne, and I made an unexpected Haunt Jaunt to the Sam Davis Home in Smyrna, TN. It's not far from the hospital where I'm getting my radiation treatments, which Wayne accompanied me to today because he unexpectedly got the day off.
Anyway, I figured if nothing else it'd make a great getaway article for my gig over at, but...I couldn't resist asking, "Do you have ghosts?" when our tour guide kept commenting about doors being unlocked he swore he had locked himself, or vice versa.
Ghost Stories

Wayne gets very uncomfortable when I ask such questions. However, he's also surprised when, 9 times out of 10, instead of looking at me like I'm nuts, people say, "Now that you mention it..." and launch into ghost stories.

Today our guide said there are lots of unexplained things that happen there, but the best ghost story he knew of was one that happened to another volunteer.

The Crying Woman

I forget why he said the guide was in the house, but he was alone...except he heard a woman crying. He ran to see what was wrong, and sadly I don't remember if he was running into the parlor or another room, but when he got to where he heard the crying coming from it stopped.

He went to rejoin the other volunteers and said, "I just had the strangest experience." He went on to tell them and one of the women asked, "Don't you know what week this is? It's the anniversary of Sam's death."

Sam Davis: His Life and Death

I've seen signs for the Historic Sam Davis Home but didn't know who Sam Davis was. I thought he was an old man who was influential in Tennessee politics or something.

In a way he was, but he sure wasn't an old man. He was only 21 when he died and was serving as a Confederate soldier in the Civil War. He was hung after he was caught by Union troops and convicted of being a spy. When his mother saw the wagon pull up with his coffin inside, she fainted.

His body was brought back to his home for burial in late December 1863. It was around that time of year some 140 plus years later that the volunteer heard the woman crying...a woman the other volunteers immediately concluded must be Sam's mom, Jane.
The Sam Davis Home made for a fun jaunt I wasn't even expecting to have today. It was a neat history lesson...and a neat new place to add to the Haunt Jaunts files.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Haunted Landmarks

Today I stumbled across a pretty good article on Digg called "Someone Grab Scooby-Doo: The World's Most Haunted Landmarks."

What I liked most about the article: the pics and details of the ghosts supposedly haunting each haunted landmark.

What I didn't like about the article: I was surprised some places were left off. (Stanley Hotel, Myrtles Plantation, Waverly Sanatorium...)

So what were the haunted landmarks listed in the article?
  1. Edinburgh Castle - Edinburgh, Scotland
  2. The Whaley House - San Diego, CA
  3. Bran Castle - Transylvania, Romania
  4. Alcatraz - San Francisco, CA
  5. Borley Rectory - Essex, England
  6. Winchester Mystery House - San Jose, CA
  7. Pollepel Island - Hudson River, NY
  8. The Queen Mary - Long Beach, CA
  9. The Bell House - Adams, TN
  10. Rayham Hall - Norfolk, England
  11. The Tower of London - London, England

I also learned of a few new places I wasn't previously familiar with (Borley Rectory, Pollepel Island, and Rayham Hall).

Speaking of learning things...I also learned Edinburgh Castle has a canine graveyard, which I didn't previously know, or that there are only two in Scotland.

Which made me wonder: How many canine graveyards does the U.S. have? How many do other countries have?

I like articles that make me think! (Duh. I suppose that's what everyone appreciates about a good article, right?)

But something else I want to know: why was it so slanted towards England and the USA? Besides Romania and Scotland, no other countries made the list. I know darn well there are other haunted landmarks out there.

Maybe the author is saving them for a follow-up article? If not, for any of you more worldly Haunt Jaunters out there, I'd sure appreciate an article on more international haunted landmarks. (Either for's travel articles or to be referred to an already published one.)

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Telephone to the Dead

I got to see the Telephone to the Dead in practice the other day while I was watching the Travel Channel. I had turned it on while I was folding laundry and Extreme Mind Blowing Hotels was on. I just happened to tune in right when they were featuring the Lizzie Borden B&B.

Then next thing I know this guy comes on screen who looks awfully familiar. I thought to myself, "That sure looks like that Christopher Moon guy who does Haunted Times." (His face was sort of fresh in my mind from having been recently checking into something else he'll be doing here shortly: HauntedCon.)

Anyway, the show started talking about how guests at the Lizzie Borden B&B can participate in a ghost hunt using the Telephone to the Dead. That's when I was positive it must be Christopher Moon, because that's sort of his claim to fame.

But just to be sure, I went to the website to double check and...Sure enough, it was him!


Before I'd seen it in action, when I'd only heard the word "telephone," I immediately thought: Gimmick!

However, after seeing the device in action, I'm now thinking: Interesting. Kind of like an instant EVP without having to go back and listen to hours of tapes to find something.

What I found interesting after a visit to the site was that I wasn't the only one skeptical upon first hearing about it. Even Moon himself was!

The device was actually developed by Frank Sumption. Moon put it to the test and was "immediately astonished by the results." (In addition to the Lizzie Borden House, he's also used it at Waverly Hills, The Whaley House, The Hotel Maison de Ville, and Eastern State Penitentiary.)


It's name pretty much says it all. While the device itself doesn't resemble a telephone at all, it does enables communication with the dead. But it doesn't act alone. Spirit guides also factor in.

What I saw on the Travel Channel show was Moon and his team asking questions just like you would during an EVP session, but then the results were audible right then and there.

But according to the TTTD site, it doesn't just let you communicate with ghosts at a particular site. Apparently you can talk to any deceased person. Moon took it to the Ghost Chaser's conference in Georgia and demonstrated it by allowing conference goers to come up and ask questions of deceased loved ones. Answers were received --shocking not only the participants but Moon himself.


If you go to you'll see a box in the upper right hand corner that will let you listen to a recording done during a radio broadcast with Dr. Jimmy and Heather of ASPR Paranormal Talk Radio.

You can also contact Moon directly to set up your own reading.

Or go to HauntedCon. The Telephone to the Dead will be making an appearance there as well.

Monday, May 18, 2009

First submissions in for articles

I am so excited about receiving my very first submissions for travel articles at

I contacted Hope Clark at Funds for Writers to let her know about my call for submissions a couple of weeks back, and she included it in this week's Small Markets listings. But I also got a little bonus: advice from my hero, Hope. (I'm dazzled by all the successes and progress she's made with her different ventures and hope one day to be the same kind of success story!)

Anyway, in addition to some neat marketing tips, she also advised me to cut down some of my wording. She suggested I keep it around 300 words.

At first I didn't know where she meant. My Home page is pretty lean, and it's also "chunky." (Uses headers to make it more easily "digestible" by the Web reading eye.) But what I had forgotten was how long I'd made the guidelines...

I did that because I wasn't sure if people would understand what I was looking for. Turns out I needn't have worried. I didn't know what to expect (at worst an empty inbox), but no sooner did her list go out then I had 3 queries in my inbox. I was over the moon! And all of them understood exactly what it was I was after.

So I went back and edited the Submissions Guidelines page. Pretty soon I'll have specific articles to refer to for examples of what I'm looking for.

If you think you have something I'd be interested in reading, I've posted a condensed version of the guidelines below:


Looking for travel articles, short stories, and other articles relating to ghosts, paranormal activity, or haunted places up to 2,500 words.

Pays $5 up to 1,000 words. $10 over 1,000 words.

Submit IN THE BODY OF YOUR EMAIL (No attachments please) to


Two submitters brought up an interesting dilemma for me. They had photos, which do have to be accepted via attachment. I told them I'll consider publishing those as well if I accept their articles.

Which I think will be my policy. If you have photos, let me know but don't send. If I accept your article I'll ask for them then.

If you have any questions, post them as a comment here of feel free to use the email above.

Anyway, I was pretty excited. Even more excited because when I logged on this afternoon there was yet another query!

Friday, May 15, 2009's Haunted Places and Haunted Sites Examiners

I recently signed on with to be a Nashville Getaways Examiner, but was excited to find several Haunted Places Examiners for me to follow in the process.


It's a newer site dedicated to promoting cities by providing writers a platform to share their expertise or passion about where they live on all manner of subjects. Their catch phrase is: Examiners are credible, passionate, knowledgeable writers.

They have Examiners for everything ranging from Arts & Entertainment Examiners to Careers & Workplace, Bars & Restaurants, Pets, Politics, and Relationship Examiners. (It was actually because a Google alert let me know Seattle Marriage Advice Examiner Becca Campbell referenced one of my old articles that I became familiar with them.)

And I'm glad I did. Not only because they're allowing me to write about Nashville Getaways, but now I've found other people (Examiners) interested in the same thing as me! Haunted Places!

HAUNTED PLACES AND HAUNTED SITES EXAMINERS SO FAR hires more and more writers every day so I'm sure this list will be expanding, but here's the links to two of the Haunted Places and Haunted Sites Examiners already on board.

  1. Debe Branning, Arizona Haunted Sites Examiner
  2. Vince Wilson, Baltimore Haunted Places Examiner


Excellent question! They asked if I wanted to be a Nashville Haunted Travel Examiner, were willing to work with me on that, but I declined. I wanted to broaden my horizons to Getaways because Wayne and I will inevitably be getting out and about more again now that I'm getting better and closer to being done with my cancer treatments. That way I can write about our Haunt Jaunts here, while also tweaking them for the Getaways blog too.

Also, I didn't want to taint Haunt Jaunts the blog. Since I do use it as my travel blog also, albeit for more than just Nashville, I wanted to keep it sort of its own thing.

However, I'm looking forward to becoming more acquainted with the Haunted Places and Haunted Sites Examiners!

. within

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Can Ghosts Follow You Home?

I was talking to a friend the other day about and he said, "Ghosts can follow you home. You don't want to be messing with seeking them out, Courtney. That's bad stuff."

That's a concept I've seen addressed on some of the TV shows that deal with ghosts and haunted places. Some people perform little protection ceremonies before even entering a suspected haunted area. Others do it after, and ask that the spirits leave them in peace as they have tried to do while on their territory. Some combine both techniques together.

I always think it's respectful, if you think you're in the presence of a ghost, to introduce yourself, explain why you're there, and to ask that the entity respect your boundaries. Unless you really do something not to a ghost's liking, I can't see them meaning you any harm.

I also don't believe ghosts can, will, or would even want to follow you home. Mostly I believe they can't, though. I believe ghosts are attached to their surroundings. So much so that's what causes them to haunt there!

But as for regular, every day people who happen to show up? Why would they follow you home? If they didn't know you while they were alive, they couldn't form an attachment to you. Hence, there's no emotion invested in you, nothing at stake.

Although, I have to admit I've read a couple of interesting stories about such a concept, such as Janet Brown's The Ghost in a Yellow Dress or Joe Hill's Heart-Shaped Box. The first dealt with a ghost following someone home, the second with a ghost haunting the buyer of a haunted suit off of eBay.

All fiction aside, I believe it's not a ghost you're dealing with if it follows you home. It's something worse. Could be something evil, perhaps even demonic, but you're run-of-the-mill ghost? Nah. There's no motivation for them to do such a thing.

Still, for paranormal activity that's sketchy and less run-of-the-mill (i.e. not your average bumps in the night/apparition sightings), it's probably best to say your blessings and perform protection ceremonies when adventuring to those.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Ghost Cams: Ghost Hunt from Home

Today I joined Digg and came across some great articles, including one on a topic I've been pondering writing about/adding to's Find a Jaunts page: Ghost Cams.


A ghost cam is a webcam set up to monitor paranormal activity. Then, you the at-home-ghost-hunter, can monitor the activity without the travel, hassle, or investment in equipment. And you can do it round-the-clock if you want to. For multiple locations all at once.


One way is to Google "ghost cam." You'll get a mind-boggling list of hits. Some are for actual ghost cams set up monitoring activity, some are to try and sell you ghost hunting's really kind of overwhelming.


You can save yourself all that work and check out this great article by Ryan Dube called "Go Ghost Hunting with Your Internet Browser." Not only does he list the top ghost cams out there, he shows you how to set up a Webcam Watcher. I didn't even know there was such a tool!

But Ryan sure does, and he uses step-by-step illustrations to explain how to configure everything you'll need to have what he calls your at-home "ghost hunting lab" to flow smoothly from your computer.

It was a really great article that had exactly what I was wondering about (best ghost cams) and a little bit more (a technology lesson).

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

HauntedCon 2009

Today I was perusing posts on the Haunted Times Yahoo Groups listing I recently joined and saw a post for HauntedCon. Of course that piqued my interest, so I clicked on the link and was taken to the HauntedCon 2009 website.


HauntedCon 2009 will be held September 24-26 in Prescott, Arizona at the historic Hotel St. Michael.

I'm kind of hoping I'll get good news next week about my cancer. I used to live in Arizona and Prescott is one of my favorite places. I'd like to attend this conference! Not only because of the location, but because of who all they'll have there.


Guests they'll have there include:

Chip Coffey from Psychic Kids and Paranormal State
Demonologist John Zaffis
Christopher Moon of Haunted Times Magazine and Telephone to the Dead
Michelle "Babs" Babiarz from the PSI Network
Stacey Jones of the Central NY Ghost Hunters
Scotty Roberts, author and Intuitive Tarot Consultant
Mark Mihalko, cryptozoologist and Haunted Times Literary Director
Tim Meunier of River City Paranormal Investigations
Brian Cano & Chris Mancuso, paranormal investigators and urban explorers
Michelle Belanger, vampire author and energy worker

...just to name a few.

Looks like the Paranormal Activity Search Team (P.A.S.T.) of Arizona and Haunted Times Magazine (who are co-sponsoring the HauntedCon) have really gone to a lot of trouble to attract some neat guests.

They don't have the full agenda up on the site yet, but I imagine they will before long.


They have several ticket options to choose from.

Thusday only or Friday only tickets = $99
Saturday only (with buffet dinner) = $124
2 day Thurs & Fri only = $182
2 day with Saturday = $194
3 day (Thurs, Fri, Sat) = $284

This is for the conference only. It doesn't include the cost of any hotel stay.

Monday, May 11, 2009

This past weekend I spent a lot of time adding books to Haunt Jaunt's Emporium. Among them was The World's Most Haunted Places: From the Secret Files of by Jeff Belanger.

I'd heard of, had even clicked through from some Google search I'd run on something or another, but hadn't ever really checked it out. (I think I'd meant to the time I clicked through, but I believe I didn't dawdle because I was on the hunt for something...)

Anyway, I finally tooled around there a little bit more. I found out Mr. Belanger has written a ton of books, a couple of which I'm sure also got added to HJ's Emporium this past weekend like Our Haunted Lives, the Encyclopedia of Haunted Places, and what I believe is his newest book, Who's Haunting the White House. But he's got tons more.

The site's really neat --not to mention among the most popular of its kind. Well, on their home page they declare they are "the most popular paranormal destination according to and"

Paranormal? Destination? Perfect item for Haunt Jaunts!

And I can see why it attracts so many visitors. There are forums, blogs, a listing of Haunted Events, even a listing of some Haunted Places and Haunted Hotels and B&Bs under its Directories tab.

Pretty cool stuff. I have a feeling I'll be referring back to a lot.

Oh, they also have a newsletter. I made sure to sign up for it.

Anyway, not a conventional Jaunt, but heading to is definitely one worthy of making!

Saturday, May 9, 2009 Adds "Emporium"

Once goes live, I'm going to have writers to pay. Which means I need a way to make money from the site.

In addition to offering advertising opportunities, one of those ways was to become a Travelocity Affiliate Member. Anytime someone clicks through on our link and books travel arrangements through Travelocity, we get a cut.

Another way was Amazon's Affiliate Program. I've long been a member of it, but other than to post links on my personal site, I really haven't utilized it much. Until now...


I figured out the whole aStore thing and was able to create one for Haunt Jaunts! So far we have cameras, camcorders, clothing, ghost hunting equipment,luggage, books and magazines. Basically, if I thought a ghost hunting enthusiast would be interested in something, I added it to the store.

Which was kind of fun. It was like shopping without spending the money...

Anyway, if you want to check it out, click here. I also put a standing link to it on the sidebar of the blog. And of course you can access it from the website, (Which isn't technically live yet, but certain elements are active, like trying to find writers and generate submissions,'s up, but just not necessarily running at full steam yet.)

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Getting Up and Running

There is still a lot of work left to do, but is well underway.


Just as Haunt Jaunts the blog is a travel blog for restless spirits, will be a travel site for restless spirits.


Several years ago I had an idea that I'd write a book called Haunt Jaunts: A Travel Guide for Restless Spirits. I'd really enjoyed using Joyce Elson Moore's Haunt Hunter's Guide to Florida to explore Florida when my husband and I first moved there in 1999. Wayne and I ended up having some neat weekend excursions thanks to that book, which I came to think of as our "haunt jaunts."

Anyway, then I started thinking about how I could write a book, what I'd have in it, but... something just didn't seem to gel. There are tons of regional ghost books and what I had in mind just wasn't wanting to manifest in "book" form. It didn't feel right, I couldn't visualize it, etc. But it didn't dawn on me to do a website until a couple of years later. When it did, well...have you ever had an idea gnaw at you, keep you up at night, light your fire, basically consume you? That's what happened to me.

I had put the plans into motion to create the site last February. But then in March my mom got sick, I ended up having to move her in with me, that turned into a full time job, then she passed away, then I got sick, found out I had cancer, started chemo...It was a rough year.

But now that I'm feeling better (and have a second shot at life right now), I decided to take the plunge and create the site.


First and foremost it will be a listing of Haunt Jaunts, or travel destinations that allegedly have ghosts or paranormal activity. Jaunts are broken down and cross-referenced in two ways: By Region and By Venue.

By Region lists Jaunts by state, then alphabetizes them by city. By Venue is broken down into three categories: Apparition Attractions, Eerie Eateries & Pubs, and Spooky Stays.

I'll also be doing something I've always wanted to do: have a publishing venture! On a monthly basis I'll publish travel articles and short stories with a ghostly slant.

There's also The Book Shelf, which will feature books about ghosts and haunted places. (Both fiction and non-fiction.)


No way! If anything, it'll get used more. I plan to do book reviews, author interviews (both authors whose pieces I accept for publication as well as those who have written ghost books), and I'll make editorial comments each month when I publish new stories and articles.

I'm really excited about this, having a lot of fun, and I hope my enthusiasm will catch on to the ghost loving community and we all end up having a whole lot of fun talking about, learning about, and exploring the plethora of Haunt Jaunts out there.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Ghosts in the News for the Week of 5/3/09

Here's a couple of places I came across in news stories this week that might be fun to take a Haunt Jaunt to.


According to an article published on May 4, 2009 by, Metro Paranormal Investigations (MPI) out of Macomb, Michigan, in conjunction with the Historic Fort Wayne Coalition, will be giving ghost tours/allowing for paranormal investigations of Historic Fort Wayne on the following dates:
  • May 16, 2009
  • June 20, 2009
  • August 16, 2009
  • September 19, 2009
  • October 31, 2009.
The fort is located in downtown Detroit along the banks of the Detroit River. Like many such sights, there've been a lot of reports of mysterious forms and unexplained activity. Some of which I presume you'll learn about during the guided tour that'll start off the evening. (Investigators with MPI will be on the tours.) Then, afterwards, you're on your own to investigate where and how you want.

Tickets may be reserved by visiting The Haunted Tours at Historic Fort Wayne site. (Click here.) Cost: $40 per person, with proceeds benefiting Historic Fort Wayne.

Clever idea to raise funds to preserve a historic site!

For more info about MPI, check out their website.


I have a special affinity for haunted pubs. Even before my experiences at the Shilo Inn or in St. Augustine, there was the George & Dragon in Phoenix.

It was supposed to be like an English pub. Neat place. We often met coworkers there for happy hour or dinner. It was a waitress wearing a mass of jingling bracelets on her wrist that first alerted me to the theory their may be an otherworldly patron or two hanging about. Like with Harry's in St. Augustine, this ghost had a penchant for the bathroom, too. (But I never experienced anything like what I did at Harry's.)

Anyway, so I love when I stumble across haunted bar stories. Which is what I found in a story by Diane Rey on from May 4, 2009.

The building that houses the tavern can trace its roots all the way back to 1703. It's been a lot of things over the years besides a tavern and has seen a lot of people come and go. well, um, er...maybe not so much go.

The most notable lingerer is a spirit known as Amy. Legend has it she died in the building while "entertaining" a male client. In addition to spotting her apparition, some claim to feel a cold chill they believe is her when in the presence of "hot guys." (From one of he servers.)

But there's also an old woman some believe roam the tavern, and employees report feeling uncomfortable and spooked by another presence in the cellar.

It sounds like a neat place as is. Food, drinks, music...can't go wrong. But what sounds even more fun is what the Maryland Ghost and Spirit Association did recently: they gathered in the tavern's "tea room," had dinner, then conducted a hunt afterwards.

As Rey quoted manager Scott Haney in the article, "Ghosts don't have to be scary. If they help sell beer, even better."

My thoughts precisely!

Monday, May 4, 2009

Haunted Skies

I just read an interesting article called "Ghosts on a Plane" over at

I thought it was going to be about planes that were haunted and experiences travelers have had on board, but it was a little different. It referenced air force bases being haunted, but talked primarily about crash sites and the after effects some have experienced.

It takes a lot to give me chills these days, and I thought I'd heard just about every variation of ghost story out there, but I have to admit this article brought fresh shivers to my spine. Especially the tale of a crash site in Illinois.
If I'm understanding the article correctly, the crash happened in 1979 near Des Plaine.
After the crash there were reports of "bobbing lights." Some thought it was people looking to scavenge the crash site, but when police were called out they found nothing. Kind of weird, but makes sense. As I'll never forget Donna Marsh saying, the "freshies" didn't know where to go. Instead their energy lingered and resulted in the mysterious lights.
Still, I had never thought about a crash site holding residual energy like this. Why, I don't know. It's no different than a car crash site and I've heard (and even believed) a fair share of tales about those. Maybe because it's not every day you pass a plane crash site...
This is what really got me, though. Right after the crash, residents at a nearby mobile home park started having some weird experiences with knockings on their doors (and even windows). Except, when they went to answer (or investigate), no one was there.
And one man reportedly was out walking his dog one night, came across a man who not only smelt of gasoline but was smoldering a bit. Gas Man told Dog Walker Man he needed to make an emergency call. Dog Walker Man turned to point out a public phone but when he turned back Gas Man had vanished.
I know some groups, even my favorite ghost hunting group TAPS, has investigated air force bases where helicopters or planes now used as displays have purported hauntings, but I wonder if any working commercial airliners ever have an extra passenger on board?
That thought might give me pause the next time I'm flying with an empty seat on either side of me...

Click here to read "Ghosts on a Plane."

Saturday, May 2, 2009


Ghosts, history,'s all quite curious when you stop to think of it.

I once attended a Ghost Hunting Class given by Donna Marsh. I recently learned she's a Nashville Ghosts & Hauntings Examiner for Click here to check out her articles.

At any rate, in her class she'd brought up an interesting point I'd never considered before about child spirits, especially in schools. I happened to love my elementary school, which may or may not have been haunted. (Refer to an earlier post I wrote about Cheeseman Academy to see what I mean.)

But did I haunt it in a way? I had a great deal of affection for the place and a very strong attachment. Not quite as strong as for the house I grew up in, but...I used to dream about my school all the time. I sometimes wonder if I wasn't haunting it in a way before it got torn down. Kind of like an out of body haunting. I haven't dreamt of it since, so I don't think I'm haunting that site anymore.

But the point I'm trying to make is that wherever we have the strongest attachment is where, if we do ever end up as a ghost, is where we'll go. Kids often haunt schools because they have spent so very much time there. In some cases it feels like a home away from home. (I know my school certainly felt that way.)

When I think of the traditional haunted houses, I think of the old castles, manors, plantations or estates where, especially the womenfolk, didn't have much opportunity for traveling away from. They were as defined by their surroundings as their surroundings defined them. And if you happened to idolize, love and in general feel very safe in your surroundings, surely a part of your spirit would linger after your physical body passed from this Earth.

Hotels interest me for this reason. Especially resort hotels where wealthy people might pass a "season." I imagine you could form quite an attachment then too and decide to linger after life.

Bars and pubs, unless they were once houses, trouble me, though. I suppose if a very violent, unexpected death occurred an attachment could form. But those also seem the ones that it'd be easiest to "treat." (Meaning coax the spirit to move on.) Unless the person who died owned the place or something like that where they had a strong attachment for affinity sake.

All I know, I often dream of my childhood home and wonder by doing so if I ever "manifest" and cause the new owners alarm. That house will always be the penultimate of safety and comfort and happy memories for me. And if I ever do become a ghost, I'm sure that's where you'll find my spirit.