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Behind Every Cloud is a Kindred Spirit (BECKS)I lost my grandfather when I was 17. I had a VERY difficult time getting over it. How could I still communicate with him? I loved him so much I didn't think I could live without him. I read everything I could get my hands on to do with the "afterlife" and that started it all...the love of Ghost Hunting and the Paranormal. I have been researching the paranormal for over 37 years!! It is my way of staying in touch with my grandfather. Being a Ghost Hunter is not always as exciting as it seems on TV. Many nights I have sat in the dark and not a thing happened. BUT it is those times you DO get that one voice, that one explainable picture or have an experience that sends chills down your back that makes it sooo worth it all!!! My purpose of this blog is not to make people believe in ghosts but maybe to open their minds just a little bit... I LOVE this crazy thing called Ghost Hunting. It is as much a part of me as breathing. I am just a girl that refuses to accept we can't still contact our loved ones after they die. My grandfather won't let me.



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   This is McPike Mansion in Alton, Il.  I had a great time here.  For a small town, it is covered with haunted history.  So much to do here.  

OMG!!!  It's time of year when I head up to Alton, Illinois for the Annual Haunted American Conference!!!!  I have made so many good friends that I only get to see once a year at this conference!  I CAN'T WAIT!!!!

One of my FAVORITE haunted "hot spots" in Alton is the VERY HAUNTED McPike Mansion.  I go to McPike every year and it has yet to disappoint me!

So, let me tell you how I first met...will "visited"  McPike Mansion.....

It was one of the very first times I went up to Alton.    I went up for one of the annual American Ghost Society's Conferences (that's what it used to be called).  At the conferences you can register for "after hours" events which is usually an investigation at a haunted location.  Well I registered late, and therefore, I missed out on an investigation of the famous "McPikes" mansion.  I was soooooo bummed!!!  So, on my way to the airport, returning from my trip, and I was talking to the cab driver.  He asked me if I got to do everything I wanted and I said "no".  I missed out on an investigation at the old McPikes Mansion.  He said, well no problem.  I know where it is,  and if you would like to go there before catching your flight I'll take you.   ARE YOU KIDDING!!!!! YESSSS I would love to go!!!!!!!!!!!! 

So, off we went. After a short drive, we pulled up in the driveway of the McPikes Mansion.  This is an abandon mansion so no one was there. It sits quietly just a little ways back from the street and I can honestly say that even just passing it or pulling up to the house.....you definitely feel this house is NOT EMPTY!!!!  When we pulled up in the driveway I noticed the cab driver didn't pull up very far.  He turned and looked back at me and said "this is as far as I go".  The funny thing is that he said it sooooo seriously that I just died laughing.  As I started to open the door his eyes got so big and he said "your NOT getting out are you"???????  I said "of course I'm getting out".  Are you CRAZY!!!  I got out of the cab and could not take my eyes off the mansion!!!!  It was almost as if IT was staring back at me or "wondering" who was in "their" front yard.  Now there are NO TRESPASSING signs posted everywhere.  So I respected that and just kinda walked around the front yard taking pictures.  I could hardly pull myself away.....but I knew if I didn't I would be late for my flight so I got back in the cab and said my goodbyes to the McPikes and off I went.  Needless to say......THAT cab driver got a GREAT tip!!!!!

When I got home I downloaded my pics and my last pics were of the mansion.  My first thought was, wow what a beautiful old mansion and what it must have been like to live here.  THEN.... I looked at my pictures again and couldn't believe my eyes!  I believe there are two people, well one man and a young girl in the window on the second floor.  I could see them clearly!!! So the feeing that someone was staring back at me......well you tell me!!! I was sooo excited!!!

If you look close, (may have to enlarge) you can see a little girl's face and to me, appears to be screaming... or with her mouth open.  And right behind her, standing up, looks like a man, maybe with a beard, one of those that goes around the sides of a mans face up to his sideburns.  I don't know.  What do you think?  Mr. McPike or another resident ghost?

I have included below some information about the McPikes Mansion.  And a video of one of the best EVP's I have ever heard!!! Get ready to feel that "chill run down your back" as you can plainly hear in the CREEPIEST voice ever say the word HENRY after the guy ask "what is your name?".  Don't miss it.

 The house was built in 1869 by architect Lucas Pfeiffenberger.  Original owner of the Mansion was Henry Guest McPike.  The McPike family owned 15 acres of land, then known as Mount Lookout Park.  Here McPike, a horticulturist, perfected his McPike Grape.  The family lived in this, their country home, until 1936.

Original photo of faces
The house has changed hands several times since its original owner Henry McPike.  The building has been home to Browns Business College and was later owned by Paul Laichinger, who rented rooms in the house to other occupants.  The house has not been occupied since the 1950's.  Before weather and vandals brought extensive damage to the structure, it was a regal addition to the Illinois town of Alton.  There is even two small tombstones that are located at the back of the house .  Who they belong to or who may call them "home" is unknown.

The mansion featured 11 marble fireplaces and beautifully carved stairway banisters, all of which have been stolen during its abandonment. Intricate carved trim still border the ceiling in one of the front rooms.  McPike Mansion today is owned by Sharyn and George Luedke who have been trying to nurture this great house back to its regal state.  It is readily known today for its hauntings in paranormal circles. The grounds are often visited by ghost hunters and haunted tour groups in the area.  It is not uncommon to find in photos of the mansion, orbs, balls of light, even figures appearing in the windows that were not seen by the human eye when the photo was taken.

This Grand Ole House is thought to still house many of the spirits that once lived here.  Many Psychics and Mediums have felt the presence of what they believe to be McPike family, servants, as well as some of those who resided in and owned the house since 1936.

Can't wait to get back and write about my next trip!!!!  See you next week HENRY!!!!!!



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The Menger Hotel in San Antonio is one of the most haunted hotels in Texas. It was built in 1859 on the site of Menger′s brewery and is haunted by a number of ghosts.
Gutson Borlum was the sculpture of Mount Rushmore and was known to spend many, many hours out in the garden of the Menger Hotel.  Let me tell you, I did my research paper on this hotel and I had to many experiences to list.  I loved it!!  I read tons about the "spirits" that linger here and from what I have read some of them are not very nice!!!!  But I have to tell you...I stayed two nights here alone in supposedly the most haunted room in the hotel and never felt any kind of evil spirits at all!!!!  But DID I FEEL spirits around?????  YOU BETTER BELIEVE IT!!!!!!!!!

The above picture I believe is Gutson Borlum. I think you can make out his facial structure, eyes, mustache, and even what looks like a hat.   I showed my picture to the manager and he instantly took me to the second picture and said" so, you met Mr. Borlum did you?".  

I want to tell you a couple things that happen to me at this amazing hotel and I'll try not to make them to long.  I experienced loud footsteps walking up behind me in a hallway where I was all alone.  I had an EMF Meter and I was looking down taking readings along the hallway baseline... and I could hear someone walking up behind me.  The footsteps were so loud, that I never looked up and just moved to the side of the hall and said out loud..."excuse me".  I 100%  thought someone was coming down the hall behind me!!!  Not to mention it was about 3am in the morning so if I am hearing "footsteps" at that hour so loud and clear more than likely it really IS someone.  I moved to the side and then looked up to see who it was passing me at that hour and there WAS NO ONE!!!! I was sooooo confused.......the footsteps were so loud I never doubted for a minute someone was walking up behind me.  hhhuuummm

By now it was around 4am and I decided that I had done enough for the night,  so I was going to head back to my room.  I had been interviewing the night staff so I was on the bottom floor.  I was so tired and I just wanted to lay down, so I went to the elevators.  At the Menger, they have the original elevators so at the top of the doors, you see the little needle going up and coming down, so you know exactly where the elevator is.  I looked up and it was on the top floor (not sure, but seems like it was the 12th floor).  So I just took a deep breath and said, "man, now I have to wait for it to come all the way back down".  This is NOT a fast elevator ya'll.  At that exact moment....the elevator doors OPENED!!!! I looked up and the needle was on the first floor.  YOU HAVE TO BE KIDDING ME!!!  NO WAY!!!  I had rode this elevator a dozen times and had watched it go up and come back down floor by floor!!!!  So I did what any good ghost hunter would do......I graciously stepped in..... waited for the door to close and said "thank you very much." lol 

There are many more stories I could tell about this hotel but for now, I'm going to stop.  Don't want to wear out my welcome you know.  By far, this hotel is one of my favorites. You got to check it out!!!!



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So last week I told you about this awesome HAUNTED RESTAURANT in Waxahachie, Tx.  The history is so cool on this place and well.....I didn't see any ghost on MY visit but even if you DON'T find any ghosts...you MUST GO for the fish!!!!!  I can't wait to go back!!!!!!!!

So I spoke with Shawn Sparks who is the owner of this family business and MAN what a FUN interview this was!!!  This family is very into "education".  Man they have a TON of Degrees and Certifications between them!!  From Lifetime Teacher to History and everything else in-between. And her Father is, or was in the field of Human Resources...…...so he is so "my people".   LOL  As my daytime job is an HR Manager.  Man after talking with Shawn I need more education!!!!!! LOL

Ok.....so let's get to Shawn's stories about the ghosts that haunts the Catfish Plantation.  One of the funny stories that Shawn told me about and you would just have to hear her tell it to appreciate it as I did......but she was saying one of the things the spirits like to do to the "new employees" is say their names out loud.  So like if they hired a new girl named.....oh lets pick a great name.......ok I got it......Lets say they hired someone named BECKY.  The spirits would say "BBBBBBEEEEECCCCKKKKYY" you know one of those "Creepy" long......drawn out.....BBBBBEEEECCCCCKKKKKYYYY's and she has just told the "new hires" to just say back in that.......long........drawn out.............way "WWWWWWHHHHAAAATTTT"??????  
Anyway it was really funny to hear her tell it. LOL

Another thing that happened was that Shawn would have to order a lot of "stem wear" because the glasses would keep breaking for no apparent reason.  They would just come in and the glasses would be all broken.  And of course you hear voices, things moving on their own.....you know the usual haunting kind of things. LOL

There has also been confirmed deaths in the home.  Mrs. Mooner once the owner of the property actually died where the bar area is now.  It was once her bedroom.  One of a former owners, Mrs. Caroline still likes to let people know she is in charge by people getting a glimpse of her all around the home.  People often see the presence of a woman over by the window in one of the rooms near the bathrooms.  

Another spirit that has been identified by one of the physics is a spirit named "Will" that appears as an "old farmer". They feel he died in the house around 1930. Now according to Shawn "Will" is a bit of a "bad boy".  Will likes to open the ladies bathroom door while ladies are inside.  The door will mystically unlock by itself.

Once when Shawn came in one morning she was all alone and she witnessed a "sugar bowl" exploding right in front of her.  On another morning, Shawn was in the kitchen and she was trying to light one of the burners and was having difficulty.  Getting very frustrated with the situation was yelling out loud something like "light already" and all of the sudden ALL FOUR BURNERS lite all on their own!!!!

She has also witnessed a teabox being lifted up and down with no one holding it!  Not to mention that she saw "spoons" in the Steam well come hurling out and fly across the room hitting the pots and pans.  

Here's the deal......there are to many stories to tell about this wonderful location!  This restaurant has it all.........beautiful surroundings, great history, great food, the nicest of people waiting on you and the best part...........yep...........IT'S HAUNTED!!!!! So you have to go check it out!





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So, for years I have heard about the Catfish Plantation in Waxahachie, Tx. and how haunted it was!  Finally I was able to check it out.  Deak and I were on our way to an investigation down in Yorktown (you know....that insanely haunted abandon hospital) and had to go right through Waxahachie.  Well....no way could we pass through here one more time and NOT stop at the Catfish Plantation!!!
I am writing about this place in two parts.  Part 1 is just a little background and Part 2 will be my pictures and interview with Shawn Sparks who is the owner and runs all the day to day operations.  And let me tell you...she has stories to tell about the paranormal activity that goes on at this restaurant!!!  I also just want to say........talking with her is one of the "funner" interviews I have done.  What I thought was going to be a 15-30 min interview turned into a 1 1/2 hour interview!!!  
Shawn was very honest as well as making me laugh so hard and yes.......it was about the ghost there!  So, you have to be sure and read next weeks post about my interview with Shawn.

So, first here is a little about the history and what has been reported.  The term “Haunted” as any respectable Ghost Hunter will tell you, is a relative term and often misunderstand by the public; but one thing all paranormal investigators agree with is that the 1895 Victorian at 814 Water Street in Waxahachie is most definitely haunted and home to several spirits.

In 1984, Tom and Melissa Baker found the property, which had been empty for several years and while it was not the perfect location to start a restaurant, they both agreed that the house had a charm that could not be denied. 

Shortly after purchasing the home, Melissa started to realize that something was very different about this house.  One day, she came in to find a large tea urn, with neatly stacked coffee cups inside, which had somehow been transported to the middle of the floor, far away from where they belonged. 

On another morning, she came in to find fresh brewed coffee waiting for her!  Once opened, employees began to tell strange stories; a fry basket levitating in the kitchen, a glowing blue light illuminating a room that was otherwise empty and the ghostly figure of a bride standing by a front window. 

Some of the spirits that have been identified  is a man who likes to "flirt" with female guest by touching their knew or shoulder or playing with their long hair.  Caroline a previous owner who sometimes becomes short tempered because she see herself as still being the head of household.
In 2007 the Bakers sold the restaurant and its ghostly inhabitants to the Landis Family who invited the nationally acclaimed Association for the Study of Unexplained Phenomenon to investigate the location.  They confirmed that there are spirits at the Catfish Plantation but said they were "friendly and positive".
Now, when I was at the Catfish Plantation it was fairly early and we didn't unfortunately encounter any paranormal activity.  But here is what we DID encounter!  Some of the BEST Catfish and green beans with homemade rolls I think I have ever had!!!!  And the staff....from the lady that greeted us at the door, to the sweet waitress that waited on us, to the very nice bartender....and the Victorian d├ęcor......I could not have been more impressed with a restaurant!  You MUST check it out!  It is such a "step back in time" kinda of place and even though I didn't encounter any ghosts I could definitely pick up on the "vibe" that they were there!!! 



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HAPPY MOTHERS DAY EVERYONE!!!   I hope everyone that has children or is a Mom to our four legged friends or has to be both Mom and Dad and to those that are not related at all but step up and give love and guidance in the absence of a biological birth Mother enjoy this very special day just for you.

I want to give a quick shout out to MY MOM for allowing me to be me!  And trust me....I don't think that was always easy! lol  But she has always supported my passion for the paranormal and although she may not want to go with me to sit in dark, old houses (although I never understood that)...she has ALWAYS loved me and made me feel like she is very proud of me know matter what I did.....yep....even GHOST HUNTING!!!!!  I love you MOM.  And even though my grandmother has passed she is YELLING IN MY EAR......"WHAT ABOUT ME?????  NOT GOING TO MENTION ME?????" lol  I love you to Nanny and miss you everyday. :)  There are you happy now....

Ok...so not all Moms like flowers and to be taken out to dinner....SOME MOMS....like.....well......lets just say the "unusual". LOL  So guess what???  This is my suggestion for you!!!!

So is your Mom into scary shows, interested in the paranormal or just ....likes creepy stuff?????  I have picked my top 10 Scary movies for you to plan a Mother's Day your Mom won't soon forget.  READY...here ya go....

First, to get Mom "in the Mood" take her out for a drive and end up in a CREEPY cemetery.  Take pictures, EVP's and just enjoy being together....yes....even in a cemetery.

Next, get ready for the FUN STUFF.  The gift.  You can't forget the gift.  So pick out a really scary or ghost book, buy a nice candle, maybe even buy one of the small Meglite flashlights so she can try some flashlight communication sometime at a haunted location and put it in a cute little bag. You can even through in a throw (or a cute little blanket) because with the scary movies planned for the night she is going to need something to "hide her eyes" in.  lol  Plan on spending the night with your Mom because after the scary movies she isn't going to want you to go home!

Now, at some point during the day or that morning make one of those cute little graveyard desserts and have it ready for MOVIE NIGHT.  If you want to get really creative you can get bones, skeletons etc. candies at Michelle's, Hobby Lobby or a place like that and come up with your own creation.  Here are just a couple suggestions and YES even a healthy one for THOSE Moms. lol
Image result for graveyard dessert    Image result for Graveyard Salad Image result for scary desserts

Get all comfy and cozy with Mom, turn down the lights or even turn them out...have your dessert ready and a bottle of RED wine...(ok...white is fine to but RED for blood...lol).  Now, put in your movie and get your SPOOKY ON!!!

Enjoy your CREEPY MOTHER'S DAY NIGHT with your Mom and most of all...have FUN...tell your Mom how much you appreciate and love her.  That's what she really wants to the most anyway. :)


10.  MOTHER-


8. IT

3.  MAMA

1.  And of course, there is only one MOTHER we could never forget.....PSYCO!



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I wanted to re-post our investigation we did about 3 years ago at the very haunted Hill House Manor in Gainesville, Tx.  I get asked all the time about it, so here you go for those of you that were wondering if it WAS REALLY HAUNTED or not. 

I have been here several times since then and each time have had an awesome time and collected great evidence.  And Linda Hill, she is so nice and gracious and has done a great job with putting together a great place for you to setup your equipment as well a period themed living area to take a quick break in between running up stairs because your REMPOD is going off and down to the back of the house to the murder room!!!  If your looking for something haunted to do this summer, then I suggest you grab your gear...and head out for a night of certain paranormal events.  http://hhmgville.com/

So....here ya go.  Let me know what you think about the video. :)

So, if you haven't heard of the haunted Hill House Manor in Gainesville, Tx let me tell you a little about it....The house is located in Gainesville, Tx just off one of the main streets on the square.  It has been there since 1883.  Gainesville has a dark past. I guess it is best known for The Great hangings of 1862.  In the Hill House, it has been reported that a spirit of a little boy and girl are there, along with a man and woman who know ones knows who they are.  It has also been reported that there is a "ghostly cat"....YES I said CAT....that roams the house.  Paranormal groups have reported to have been touched, orbs and shadows are seen, along with a mist or fog.  I have heard some GREAT EVP's from here, but now I have a few of my own to share with you guys.

Linda Hill acquired this house along with several others in May of 2004.  They have named it Hill House Manor because they have no idea who built it or owned it over the years so they chose to use the last name of  the current owners.   The house was a triplex when they bought it.  Two of the units were livable; one was and continues to be used for storage.  For over 3 years they rented out the units on a 12 month lease basis.  Not one tenant stayed for the full 12 months.  The downstairs unit has not had a tenant stay for 6 months.  The upstairs unit has not had a tenant stay 2 months.
It was a loooonnnnggg night for us investigating!  We got there at 7:00pm and left at 6:00am in the morning.  The house itself, for me, did not give off like a super creepy feeling.  I do think spirits were there, but nothing evil or bad that I picked up on.  Now through the course of the night we had several personal experiences.  Right off the bat....we sat up in what Linda refers to the "window" room where supposedly a young boy and girl play.  You know me, I LOVE animals...so I brought a cute, little furry mouse to use as a trigger object for the "ghost cat".  It is very sensitive, so at any sign of touch it would squeak.  As we were sitting in the floor about to start an EVP session....all of the sudden the mouse starts going off!  It was squeaking all by itself.  We all saw it.  That happened several times through the night. 

Then we had set up our motion detector or shadow detector with a "grid"(a little light that shines dots all over the room so that you can easily see someone pass through)in the hallway upstairs.  As we were in one room conducting our investigation, the "shadow detector" starts going off.  So I went to the hallway and started asking if someone was there, could they walk back and forth in front of me so that the shadow detector would go off....and guess what????? IT DID!!!  Then, in another room, the murder room(so it's called)one of our investigators starts crying.  She had no explanation for this, just that tears started rolling down her face.  She said she had a overwhelming feeling of sadness.  One of the EVP's we caught has a young female voice responding to our investigator by saying "don't cry".

We also used the dowsing rods and was getting a lot of communication that way along with flashlight communication.  At one point, I had even recorded some music resembling that in which would have been played in the early and late 1800's and well......just wait and listen to the EVP's to see what that produced!!!

What can I say about the Hill House Manor?  Well, I really enjoyed it and hope to make another trip back soon, but did we get over whelming evidence.......not so much this trip.  BUT.....the things that we did capture on video and audio along with our own personal experiences.......I think are pretty amazing .  You guys check out some of our evidence and let me know what you think.   Below is a clip with a few good EVP's.  PLEASE NOTE*** One of the EVP's is a BAD word in it, so please be aware of this before viewing the video.


Also, if you haven't already, check out the other video on the Haunted Hill House Manor on YouTube.

Below are just a few of the pics we took where we were getting activity.

Upstairs where the children are heard.
Notice our little mouse over in the corner
right by the step that kept going off.

Room where mirror pic was taken.

Aren't they CUTE!!!!!
The Murder Room

In the murder room and the EVP that
told us to "get the F*** out!"

The arrows are pointing to his Eye, Cheek bone, nose, and mouth.
Kinda' has a "smirky" smile on his face if you ask me.... 

Original mirror photo unedited.

Until next week.....Happy Hunting.... :)