"Ghosts?" I said, my voice laced with derision. My companion peered into my eyes, a smile playing on his lips. He took my hand and we trudged up several flights until we reached the attic.
He opened the door to the musty room and I froze. I could not make my body move past the threshold. My chest felt heavy, my throat dry. Moving ahead, he shined the flashlight at the walls, then under the eaves where the illegitimate son of William Lemp II, a Downs Syndrome child, had died at the age of 30--after enduring a lifetime of imprisonment in this attic.
We heard a pathetic cry, "Help me."
My companion jerked the flashlight around the room, shooting the light at every sinister corner, but nothing showed itself. He raced out of the room and we stumbled down the steps. A ghastly smell like sewage assaulted our noses, growing stronger through the mansion as we reached the lower floor and came closer to the "Gates of Hell," the doors that led from the basement to the underground caves, once used for brewing, then philandering.
We ran to the dining area, where a wine glass lifted and flew across the room, crashing against the wall.
I shrieked. Grabbing my companion's hand, we fled through the front door into the black, windy night. Sensing I was being watched, I turned. A motion from the attic drew my attention to one small window. A boy's face stared back.
This story is taken from accounts of visitors to the Lemp Mansion in St. Louis, Missouri, known as one of the ten most haunted places in America. Once the proud possession of wealthy brewery owners, it became the site of four suicides, a poor house, insane asylum, and a medical school where "body snatching" cadavers was encouraged by the resident doctor. Which of these instances encouraged the ghostly happenings? Maybe all. Or none.
The mansion now houses a bed and breakfast. Guests are shown their rooms, but no staff stay overnight.
A twentieth century woman froze to death in below-zero temperatures. And didn’t die.
Where’s the mystery? Any guesses? Leave a comment.
Hadley, Connecticut, 1665.
Silence filled the Puritan meeting hall where we sat: men, women, and children, gathered for a day of prayer and fasting. Hidden from sight, but near at hand, some of we men brought rifles to our worship service.
As a small frontier town at New Haven, we had learned the danger of being ill-prepared during the Indian wars. A chief, called King Philip, and his warriors had already attacked several colonial outposts without warning.
At first, it sounded like distant birds, cawing in the trees. The clamor built until wild war cries filled the forest, striking fear into every heart within the building. We were under attack.
Women’s shrieks and wide-eyed children’s weeping joined the shouts from the men to prepare for battle. I grabbed my gun, but chaos reigned as we stumbled over each other. We faltered, not knowing where to position our firearms. Desperate expressions twisted the brave faces scattered around the room.
As complete annihilation seemed certain, many heads bowed and fervent prayers lifted.
Then, in the mire of confusion, a stranger appeared in the midst of the madness. Tall, with white hair and brandishing a sword, his stately bearing spoke of authority. At once, he took charge, issuing orders and arranging us for battle. With his direction, we repelled the Indian attack without any loss of life.
In the same way he had appeared, the stranger vanished.
With no logical explanation, and not caring if there was one, we believe God sent an angel to protect us. We call him the Angel of Hadley.
But was he an angel? Find out how "Judges Cave" (above) plays into the tale. Dig deeper.
Suicides plagued this 1868 St. Louis mansion and now ghosts haunt its visitors.
Where’s the Mystery? Any guesses? Leave a comment.
The legend of Leon Trabuco’s gold hovers over the sands near Farmington, New Mexico.
It began during the Great Depression in 1933. Trabuco, a Mexican businessman, and four associates thought to make a killing reselling gold in the U.S. when the value of the dollar fell. They bought Mexican gold coins and jewelry, melted them at their makeshift foundry, and cast them into ingots.
Their pilot, William Elliot, was hired to fly sixteen trips, transporting the gold to a clandestine spot in the desert. Trabuco carried the cargo away by truck to an unknown destination.
Records show that the final shipment arrived on July 14, 1933. Approximately 16 TONS of gold ended up buried, waiting for the price to rise. It did, increasing the value by over $7,000,000. Certain that it would go farther, they waited. Bad move.
FDR signed an executive order related to the Gold Act. It declared that after January 1934, private ownership of gold within the US was illegal.
The gold became worthless overnight.
More bad luck. Within five years, Trabuco’s three partners died early deaths. Struggling for over twenty years, Trabuco was unable to find a buyer for the gold. Hounded by the U.S. Treasury Department, he died, taking the location of the gold to his grave.
But there are clues.
One treasure hunter, Ed Foster, has this to say. "I believe that Conger Mesa is where the plane would adjust and come in and land. I met this Indian lady that couldn’t speak English so I got an interpreter. She said she had watched that plane land there many, many times.” Foster also followed leads from eye-witnesses who were children at the time and remembered the unusual appearance of Mexican men on their Navajo reservation.
The ruins of a Mexican-style house, foreign to the area, is believed to have housed the men who guarded the gold. Ed Foster believes the gold lies in a triangle formed by Conger Mesa, Shrine Rock and the Mexican-style home.
Up for a treasure hunt? Is 16 tons of gold enough to tempt you into rattlesnake country?
In the seventeen hundreds, this Puritan community was delivered by an angel - or was it?
Where’s the Mystery? Any guesses? Leave a comment.
While researching sites in Italy for my novel, “The Proof,” I came across the mysterious legend of “Azzurrina,” a child who disappeared in 1375.
Purportedly, her spirit can still be heard within the stone halls of her home, the Montebello Castle in Italy.
The child, named Guendalina Malatesta, was born an albino, an evil sign in those times. Her parents kept the sweet, playful child hidden in the castle and dyed her hair for her protection. The strange blue effect that the vegetable dye gave her hair, plus her pale blue eyes, earned her the nickname Azzurrina (little blue girl).
While her father was at war, Azzurrina played under the watchful eyes of two guards. One day, she chased her ball down the steep steps into the icy cellar below the castle. The guards heard running, a cry, and then nothing. They rushed down and found no trace of the girl. Upon her father’s return, he killed the guards for their negligence.
That would be the end of the story, except that Azzurrina has refused to disappear.
For centuries, reports of noises and sightings have filled visitors with foreboding. In both 1990 and 1995, television crews, using ultra-sensitive microphones, recorded crying and laughter within the empty, locked castle.
Though some have provided their own conclusions of the fate of Guendalina Malatesta, it remains a mystery on this side of eternity.
Where could you dig up tons of gold, lost for eighty years?
Where's the Mystery? Any guesses?
South jetty made of blasted blue schist rock.
It was late summer when I strolled alone on the boardwalks of Bandon, Oregon. Sun and wind swept over the town with their familiar caress. Idyllic. But Bandon has a fiery history.
A brick monument stands in "old town," keeping Bandon's disasters alive in the minds of its inhabitants and inquisitive visitors.
I was just such a visitor. At once alerted to this dark past, I wondered if a mystery hovered nearby. The local museum provided the information I sought.
In Bandon, circa 1890, there existed a massive rock near the site of the old Coquille Indian village of Nasomah. Sacred to the natives, it was called in the Miluk tongue, “qwLai” or “Grandmother Rock.” Made of dense blue schist, the rock was perfect for building the needed south jetty, shown above. The city fathers decided to blow it apart, but faced the wrath of an Indian curse that the city of Bandon would burn three times.
The first fire occurred in 1914. The second struck on the morning of September 26, 1936 from an out of control forest fire. Bandon's entire business district was cremated in an hour, eleven people died, and the property loss was huge, leaving only 16 of the 500 buildings.
Was the curse a prophecy?
Was it a coincidence?
After decades, the truth still lies buried in the charred remains now decomposed or scattered by ocean breezes and raging storms.
The question remains: Is Bandon doomed to a third fire?
A child, known as "the little blue girl," disappeared five centuries ago, but refuses to leave her castle.
Where's the mystery? Any guesses?
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