Friday, June 16, 2017

Supernatural Friday: ReadaScare This Summer





The first day of summer will be here June 21st.  People are thinking of swimming at the pools while others will spend their vacation time at the beach or camping in the mountains. Others will get their thrills and scares on riding roller coasters at amusement parks. Lounging at the pool or at the beach, even camping, will be time for those to catch up on their reading. Many will read scary reads even though Halloween and autumn is over four months away. Horror books are as good a read for the beach or to read indoors in the AC as that latest bestseller by James Patterson. 

What is horror? Horror fiction, horror literature and horror fantasy is a genre of literature, which is intended to, or has the capacity to frighten its readers, scare or startle viewers/readers by inducing feelings of horror and terror. It creates an eerie and frightening atmosphere. Horror can be either supernatural or non-supernatural. Often the central menace of a work of horror fiction can be interpreted as a metaphor for the larger fears of a society. The genre has ancient origins which were reformulated in the 18th century as Gothic horror, with publication of the Castle of Otranto(1764) by Horace Walpole.



The reader can even revisit old classics. Like Dracula by Bram Stoker, H P. Lovecraft’s tales, those scary tales by Edgar Allan Poe, Shirley Jackson's ghost story, The Haunting of Hill House, and many others. Today, horror has changed into many different ways. From urban fantasy. psychological, to gory fiction to weird, science fiction horror, paranormal romance, and Johnny-come-lately term, cozy horror (can being scared ever be called cozy?). 
 
So many ways to give yourself shuddering palpitations of the heart.


So, what are you planning to read this summer? Leave a comment, so others can find these great reads in their local library, or at their bookstore or online estore.


Happy Haunting. . .I mean Reading! 




 

Monday, June 12, 2017

My Day at the Paracon at the Exchange 2017

Paracon at the Exchange happened this past Saturday, June 10th, at the Exchange Hotel Museum in Gordonsville, Virginia. One of the special guests were the Tennessee Wraith Chasers seen on Destination Truth channel. Luckily, the day was nice and not hot, not until closer to two o'clock. Bill and I got there about five after seven in the morning to set up the canopy and tables, Carol Smith and her husband about an hour and half later.  I sold books and paranormal World Seekers DVDs, plus Carol and I got a ghostly visitor by my EMF meter and ghost book, a soldier who died in the hotel used as a Civil War hospital during the War Between the States and was buried on the land). If you read my June 9th “Supernatural Friday” blog post about the Exchange Hotel Museum, 700 had died at that time in the hospital and were buried there. If you haven’t, plus like to know some of the ghost encounters there, use this link to go to this post.
Anyway, he gave us his name by the initials over the ghost box, D. and we thought E for the second one. He admitted to yes, coming from North Carolina, as we did learn earlier he was a Confederate. The EMF meter blinked hard all the lights for the name Dennis. Exchange people told us there were rosters of the names in a book up in a room on the second floor, so Carol and I went inside, did a slight investigation and took pictures on each floor. Carol found a man with D. L. for initials of the first and middle names, plus he came from North Carolina. Our man?
Voices came over my box I had on in that room. The names of Dave (this one was very loud and clear), White, and Julep was mentioned twice (though I wonder if it might not be Jubal, when I saw the name Jubal Early in a plaque (No, I did not think this was the Jubal Early, just another Jubal). Jubal was a name used back then.
In a room on the third floor—where the house faced the train tracks on the west side of the house—the Freedom Bureau Room, I got the name, Lou, from a deep male voice over the box, and my right elbow grew freezing cold three separate times, and yet the rest of me felt normal. I also felt something touch beneath my hair at the right side of my back, before a feeling of a big, fat worm moving along where my neck met my shoulders from right to the middle. I now suspected it was a finger, as I had Carol and a nice, young man lift my hair to check, and they did not find or see a worm or caterpillar. I was told later from the worker in the gift shop, it might have been “Cornbread,” a name given to one of the male slave spirits haunting that room. It was something he would do.
We packed up about 4:30 p.m. and Carol and her husband and Bill and me met at the BBQ Exchange nearby, enjoying great barbecue for dinner, before we parted and drove home.

If you missed this paracon, the next Paracon we know about, that will happen in Virginia will be at Ferry Plantation last Saturday in September.

Carol Smith and me with Destination Truth's Tennessee Wraith Chasers.



























Carol sent me this-she found an orb by her sleeve. She circled it.  Plus I found rectangle (card shapes?) distortions on the pianoforte by the candlestick, where there were nothing like those in real time.



Friday, June 09, 2017

Supernatural Friday:: Ghosts of the Exchange Hotel Museum



The wealthy took to rising and enjoying the train. The idea of segregating cabins by class had been introduced in the 1840s. Unlike the rich, everyone else still had a miserable time using trains for traveling. Hospitality establishments known as exchange hotels began to spring up, catering to weary passengers, who needed somewhere to stay while they waited for trains to be refueled.
One of these exchange hotels was located in Gordonsville, Virginia, and nowadays is The Exchange Hotel Civil War Medical Museum. From 1860 to 1862, it served travelers in desperate need of a warm meal and a good night’s sleep. But from 1862 until the end of the Civil War, Union and Confederate soldiers were treated for battle wounds, or perished because of them, here, as it was used as a hospital, as many homes, hotels and other places had been used. It was during the Reconstruction Period, it became a healthcare and educational compound for freed slaves. Over time, it resumed its original function, until it became a complex for private homes in the 1940s. Historic Gordonsville, Inc. acquired it in 1971 and transformed it into a place where tourists check out the Civil War artifacts, learn some American history, and most of all, have ghostly encounters. 
A tavern operated where the Exchange Hotel Civil War Medical Museum stands today. This lively pub was opened in the 1840s, about the time the Gordonsville Depot was built, serving as a great watering hole for thirsty travelers, until it burned down in 1859. Perhaps the hotel’s current roster of spirits includes those who perished in that unfortunate fire.
The depot serviced two major railways, The Alexandria & Orange Railroad and The Chesapeake & Ohio Railroad. Thus, like the hotel, it also fell in the path of many Civil War battles. No wonder it too is believed to be haunted.  Many EVPs were recorded and several eerie shadows photographed in the building. I myself, in 2012, during Paracon at the exchange then, heard things when our guide took us inside there.
After the tavern’s demise, Richard F. Omohundro, the owner of the property at the time, decided that the next best thing to open on it was a hotel. The hotel included a three story main building and an older, two story dependent structure. The establishment is believed to be the work of master architect Benjamin F. Faulconer.
The Exchange Hotel Civil War Medical Museum drew in many travelers for two years.  But hotel operations were brought to an abrupt halt in March 1862 , and it received a new function: as the Gordonsville Receiving Hospital. Within just one year, over 23,000 sick and wounded were brought to it, and by the end of the Civil War, its total number of patients reached more than 70,000. 700 men would not be saved and had to “be buried on its surrounding grounds And we all know how many former Civil War hospitals are now haunted spots.
In January 1865, the Thirteenth Amendment was added to the Constitution, abolishing slavery in the United States. Congress’s next step was to figure out what to do, and where these four million emancipated African-Americans should go. The Freedmen’s Bureau became established, where freed slaves, were provided food, housing and medical aid, established schools and offered legal assistance. The Exchange Hotel Civil War Medical Museum temporarily became a Freedmen’s Bureau hospital. In 2002, it was recognized as an African-American memorial site. This maybe why many spirits seen at the museum are African-American.
Strange occurrences, such as doors closing on their own and eerie orbs appearing suddenly in rooms, have led many employees to avoid night shifts at the museum. In its hotel days, guests also experienced spooky phenomena. They’ve awoken to screams and moans (perhaps of soldiers, enduring painful amputations in operation rooms), for instance. Others would encounter nurses, garbed in black, wandering the halls.
Today, one of the hotel’s most famous spirits is known as Anna, a slave and close friend of Margaret Crank, the second wife of one of the hotel’s early owners. Frequent sightings of Anna in the museum’s dependency, known as the Summer Kitchen, have made it a favorite for ghost hunters.
Anna the cook has been seen and recorded. When asked "What are you cooking Anna?" her response: "I cook fried chicken."
The museum has been featured in My Ghost Story on Biography ChannelAnna’s story was told on this television show. But other scary encounters experienced at the property included being pushed by invisible forces, hearing footsteps and loud banging, seeing shadows and strange lights, and so on. One woman had an especially frightful run-in with one of the museum’s most hostile spirits, Major Quartermaster Richards. According to local lore, Richards’ wife had been cheating on him with a surgeon. Upon discovering this betrayal, the Major took the poor woman into the woods, murdered her, then hung himself. Before taking his own life, he vowed to hold her spirit for eternity.
I will be there tomorrow at Paracon at the Exchange, selling my books and Paranormal World Seekers DVDs. Will I do a short investigation—with my ghost box? Stay tune…



Sunday, June 04, 2017

Supernatural Friday: The Devil Monkey Made Me Write This!


I’m going to blog about a Southern legendary monster, the devil monkey. No, it's not some little monkey you might see at the zoo, or with the organ grinder, tipping its hat for you to deposit coins in. Devil monkeys are described as baboon-like creatures able to leap like kangaroos. They have dark, “mean” eyes, pointed ears, short to shaggy fur that varies from red to gray to black, and large flat feet. Ranging in height from three to eight feet, it is said that they won’t back down, even from dogs, and although thought to be vegetarians, there are stories told of them killing livestock and small game. They exhibit a range of primate hoots, calls, screeches, whistles, and unearthly screams, and have an odor so bad, they have been also called Skunk Apes. It has been seen in the area of the Appalachian Mountains to even in British Columbia.

A cryptozoologist, Chad Arment, investigated the sightings of these creatures that one Virginia family and their friends had experiences with. This occurred from 1959 through the 1990s, in the mountains that surround Saltville.

Paranormal investigators Pauline and James Boyd’s parents were attacked in 1959 by a creature that left three scratch marks on their car. Not long after, a couple of nurses were driving home when an unknown animal attacked their vehicle, ripping the convertible’s top off. Badly shaken, they escaped otherwise unharmed. 

Friends of Pauline saw one of these creatures trotting across the road in front of their car. It leaped over a ditch, glided over a fence, and bounded through weeds along the road. 

Other sightings have occurred as recently as 2001, when a giant black monkey was seen nine different times over the course of two weeks in rural New Hampshire. It has even been told that a search party was formed to track one of these they thought was a devil monkey, but that the dogs refused to follow the trail.

Another beast, the "Belt Road Booger” was encountered by several people in Georgia in the 1970s. It was thought this might have been a devil monkey. The Nalusa Flaya of Choctaw legend bears a strong physical resemblance to the devil monkey, though the devil monkey does not appear to have any of the supernatural abilities attributed to this legendary monster.

What are these devil monkeys? Some people think devil monkeys are feral monkeys released into the wild or escaped from research facilities, such as the ones that broke free in Florida due to Hurricane Andrew in 1992. Cryptozoologists believe they are a surviving species once thought to be extinct, like a fruit-eating spider monkey originating from Brazil, or a large baboon that lived 650,000 years ago in East Africa. Maybe they could even be a sort of Sasquatch? Or could these beasties be nothing more than an illusion? Whatever the devil monkeys are, they are a fascinating tale to tell on Halloween around the hearth fire or around a campfire when you go camping in the mountains.

In 1996, a woman named Barbara Mullins was driving down a stretch of road in Louisiana known as Highway 12 when she noticed something odd on the side of the road. At first Mullins through the carcass she had found was that of a dog, that was until she saw its baboon like features. Mullins snapped several pictures of the carcass with her camera; the resulting images have been the topic of much debate in the cryptozoology world. The creature was described as about the size of a large adult Saint Bernard and covered with a thick coat of dark woolly hair. The most notable attribute was its decidedly simian found a website with the pictures and concluded myself it was nothing more than some dog, maybe gone feral. To me, there was nothing ape-like or monkey-like in the dead animal's appearance.

Was that a screech you heard in the night? Beware, it just might be the. . .devil monkey! 




Friday, May 26, 2017

Supernatural Friday: Weird and Bizarre Things in Virginia


Church of Spock--Illogical?
I'm a big Star Trek fan, and into anything to do with Trek, but one thing taking me aback, is this church called “The Spock.” It is a few miles south of Lynchburg in Campbell County, in the state of Virginia.
Founded in 1977, it was in a large and attractive octagonal building. It is said to be the world's only church of Star Trek, a religion centered on the popular 1960's television series, featuring the adventures of a crew of interstellar explorers. It promotes beliefs associated with one of the popular characters in the TV series, Mr. Spock. The ideology of the church is centered on so-called Vulcan philosophy which includes the belief in pure "logic" and which emphasizes a lifestyle devoid of emotion.
A huge stained-glass likeness of Mr. Spock is featured in the sanctuary. Churchgoers recite sequences of dialogue from the series and participate in what they call a "Holy Mind Meld." It is said that many of the members wear stick-on pointed ears like Spock has during services and at other church functions. Supposedly, in one case of excessive dedication to the "faith," one member attempted to have his ears surgically altered. There were disastrous results, requiring extensive corrective surgery.
"The Spock" is not without controversy, as reportedly in the late 1980's, disagreement arose within the church. This due to the lengths in which members should go in emulating the purely logical and emotionless Vulcan approach to life. Some of them advocated a reasonable degree of emotion, due to Spock’s half-human part. Though a core group of hard-line members were adamant to stick to the Vulcan ideology. The stricter view won.  Several members left the church, condemning the practices. One former member went so far as to publish a science fiction story based on his rigid and stifling upbringing in the faith, a story which concludes with the destruction of the Campbell County sanctuary by a "phaser" blast from an orbiting "starship" at his command.   


Troll in Lynchburg?
A question residents of that neighborhood have been asking for over two decades in the Windsor Hills subdivision of Lynchburg, "Is there something out there...some kind of presence," in their area. One person interviewed said they witnessed an "amorphous black specter that stirred up small whirlwinds of leaves...like a dark vortex." It has also been described as a scampering, mischievous small creature of some sort, sometimes venturing out of the woods to tap on windows, tip over trash cans, while others claimed it has threatened them. One encounter tells of hearing a rustle, then in front of them was something that looked like a troll. Now it was hard to see, but they said it wore dark leather clothes and maybe even a leather cap, had a bare human-like face, and muttered to itself, breaking out occasionally with sounded like a laugh. It turned on them and brandished  a small knife. The people bolted. More than one witness has reported sensing a presence before actually encountering the creature, and they began to wonder if it possessed some form of telepathic powers. Legend of the mysterious resident of the woods has grown over the years, and neighborhood kids called it, "Rufus." As one former Windsor Hills resident summed it up "I never believed in that kind of thing until I saw it with my own eyes."


A Sort of Area 51 in Virginia?
Supposedly in the Shenandoah Valley is "Valleyville," considered by those as Virginia's own twist on the legendary "Area 51." Like its famous counterpart, Valleyville is an off-limits region where only access roads are gated and guarded, the perimeter is electronically sealed and monitored, and its existence is denied by the government. Unlike Area 51, Valleyville serves an entirely different purpose. There are no runways at Valleyville and no top-secret aircraft being tested in the middle of the night. No pieces of UFO wreckage or frozen alien corpses hidden there. Valleyville is by all outward appearances a town tucked away in a nook-and-cranny of the Blue Ridge Mountains and Shenandoah Valley. There is no vantage point in Valleyville from which another town or even a road can be seen.
What is the purpose of Valleyville? No one really can say. A Charlottesville newspaper in 1994 hired former Navy Seal Peter McGowan to infiltrate Valleyville and uncover its secrets, but after acknowledging initial entry, radio contact was broken and McGowan was never heard from again. Efforts are ongoing to bring down the shroud of secrecy surrounding the town.
My thoughts on this? Obviously, someone should be putting their talents to writing a novel about this—sounds like fiction to me.

Catch Me at the Science Fiction Yard Sale May 27, 2017 in Virginia Beach, Virginia

I'll be at the Starfleet Atlantic Science Fiction Yard Sale tomorrow, May 27, 2017, in Virginia Beach, Virginia, selling and signing my books and some of the Paranormal World Seekers DVDs. These will be at their regular prices.

I will also have some used books, a giant-sized adult coloring book never colored inside, plus some other things at yard sale prices. I will even have an Alien: Covenant poster for sale.

The address, plus phone number for directions and more is below. There will be other vendors there too, including other authors. All selling things to do with science fiction, fantasy, and horror. Rain date is June 3rd and it that happens, I won't be there due to other commitments, but the last news I had, the storm isn't hitting until after the yard sale.





Friday, May 19, 2017

Supernatural Friday: You Can Build A Place Anyway You Want, but Can It Be Haunted, Or Just Weird?


It can be fascinating, but it can be strange too. Most homes are built of lumber and brick. But others are made most differently. Some even are haunted.

Like a house of tombstones. Like the one in Petersburg,Virginia that is in Paranormal Petersburg, Virginia, and the Tri-Cities Area  from Schiffer Publishing. It was built in the 1930s, using tombstones from the Poplar Civil War Cemetery. This house’s exterior walls are fashioned from the 2000 marble tombstones of Union soldiers killed during the Siege of Petersburg. Sixty thousand people were killed during the siege, which lasted ten months during 1864-65.


To save money, the city sold these tombstones to the builder, O. E. Young, for forty-five dollars. The ones used to build the house were put in facing inwards, and then Young plastered over the inscriptions. He even made the walkway out of the tombstones too, facing down. Wooden markers were placed upon the graves at Poplar Grove at first. But wood is not a very durable material and the weather destroyed them over a couple of years. In 1873 the government replaced them with marble ones. The soldiers’ names, states, and ranks were inscribed upon these new markers. Poplar Grove is the only cemetery in a national park where the tombstones lie flat. Besides being creepy enough to live in a hose of gravestones, the place is also haunted. To find out more about that, you have to buy Haunted Richmond II, to find out by whom or what.


Though this is the only place made of markers from graves I found, other materials a builder wouldn’t think of using nor ally, are used to build buildings. 

The Wat Pa Maha Chedi Kaew temple in Thailand is constructed from a million glass beer bottles. Decorative mosaics at the temple are constructed from beer bottle lids. The mixture of brown and green glass allowed the incorporation of intricate patterns within the temple’s walls. Since the walls are colored glass they allow for privacy but also a beautiful but diffuse light to spread throughout the buildings.
The monks who built the temple wished to highlight the wasteful nature of consumption and the possibility of reclaiming beauty from rubbish. Since glass is rather too brittle to make a complete structure, the temple does have a concrete core to support its weight.







Not beer bottles, but made of more than 50,000 beer cans adorn John Milkovisch’s Houston home in Texas.  It also includes bottle caps, bottles and other beer paraphernalia. The project began in 1968 when Milkovisch, a retired upholsterer was tired of mowing grass and covered his front and back yards with concrete, inlaying thousands of marbles, rocks and other glittery items to create a unique lawn.

He then turned to the house and began decorating it with flattened beer cans, covering the walls and roof, and even creating beer-can wind chimes. 
Garlands made of cut beer cans hanging from the roof edges not only made the house sing in the wind, but also lowered the family's energy bills.Today the Beer Can House is a museum. Find out more on how you can visit it at http://www.beercanhouse.org/.


It was in RockportMassachusetts, in 1922 that mechanical engineer Elias F. Stenman constructed his two-room home, planning to insulate it with newspaper. Before long, he made the entire house out of paper, and two years and 215 layers of newspaper later, he moved in. At that, he went on to make all of the home’s furnishings — including the desk and the piano — out of newspaper as well. He worked on the project until his death in 1942. Although the frame, floor and roof are made of wood, the rest of the home is composed entirely of newspaper, all donated by Stenman’s friends and family. Although the Paper House is completely sturdy, it does need to be revarnished every few years to keep it well-preserved. Of course, you can visit it. You can learn more at http://www.paperhouserockport.com/index.html.




In the southern part of Virginia, actually in Hillsville, there’s a house made up of all things, bottles. In 1941, pharmacist John “Doc” Hope commissioned a builder to build for his daughter a playhouse made out of bottles. Glass containers that had contained castor oil to soda pop were used in construction of this place. But unlike most children’s playhouses, this one stretched from fifteen to twenty-five feet.


Nicknamed the “House of a Thousand Headaches” due to the wine bottles also used in its construction, unlike many homes today, this one has stood the test of time. It is said that unlike other homes made of bottles in the world, this one had all its bottles arranged backwards, making the inner walls green. Green bottles form an "H" pattern (for Hope) on one of the side walls. There is also a blue bottle chandelier. 

Icehotel is the world’s first hotel made of ice and snow. It was founded in 1989, and is reborn in a new guise every winter, in the Swedish village of Jukkasjärvi – 200 km north of the Arctic Circle. Yngve Bergqvist, that later founded Icehotel, got an idea. Inspired by the Japanese ice sculpting tradition and with the help of two professional ice sculptors from Japan as instructors; he invited artists to attend a workshop in Jukkasjärvi in 1989. This marked the start of a more than two decade long journey with the Torne River- the world’s first hotel made of ice and snow. Want to stay here for your next vacation? Check out their website for more information: http://www.icehotel.com/

The Winchester House was built to placate the spirits, build in a most unusual way. 

On September 30, 1862, at the height of the Civil War, William Wirt Winchester and Sarah Pardee had gotten married in a wedding ceremony in New Haven, Connicut.
Four years later, Sarah’s daughter contracted an illness known as "marasmus", a children’s disease in which the body wastes away, and died on July 24. Shattered by this, she withdrew into herself and teetered on the edge of madness for some time. It would be nearly a decade before she returned to her normal self, but she and William never had a another child.

Not long after Sarah returned to her family and home, another tragedy struck. William, now heir to the Winchester empire, was struck down with pulmonary tuberculosis and died March 7, 1881.  Sarah inherited over $20 million dollars, an incredible sum, especially in those days. She also received 48.9 percent of the Winchester Repeating Arms Company and an income of about $1000 per day, which wasn’t taxable until 1913.
Sarah grieved deeply, not only for her husband, but also for her lost child. A short time later, a friend suggested that Sarah might speak to a Spiritualist medium about her loss. "Your husband is here," the medium told her and then went on to provide a description of William Winchester. "He says for me to tell you that there is a curse on your family, which took the life of he and your child. It will soon take you too. It is a curse that has resulted from the terrible weapon created by the Winchester family. Thousands of persons have died because of it and their spirits are now seeking vengeance."

The medium told Sarah to sell her property in New Haven and head out west. She would be guided by her husband and when she found her new home in the west, she would recognize it.  "You must start a new life," said the medium. "Build a home for yourself and for the spirits who have fallen from this weapon. You can never stop building the house. If you continue building, you will live. Stop and you will die."
Shortly after the seance, Believing that she was guided by the hand of her dead husband, she didn’t stop traveling until she reached the Santa Clara Valley in 1884. Here, she found a six-room home under construction belonging to a Dr. Caldwell. She negotiated with him and got him to sell her the house and the 162 acres it stood on.  She tossed away any previous plans for the house and started building whatever she chose to. She had her pick of local workers and craftsmen and for the next 36 years, they built and rebuilt, altered and changed and constructed and demolished one section of the house after another. She kept 22 carpenters at work, year around, 24 hours each day. 
As the house grew to include 26 rooms, railroad cars were switched onto a nearby line to bring building materials and imported furnishings to the house. The house was rapidly growing and expanding and while Sarah claimed to have no master plan for the structure, she met each morning with her foreman and they would go over her hand-sketched plans for the day’s work. The plans were often chaotic but showed a real flair for building. Sometimes though, they would not work out the right way, but Sarah always had a quick solution. If this happened, they would just build another room around an existing one.
The house continued to grow and by 1906, it had reached a towering seven stories tall. Sarah continued and expansion of the house, while living in solitude with only her servants, the workmen and, of course, the ghosts. It was said that on sleepless nights, when she was not communing with the spirit world about the designs for the house, Sarah would play her grand piano into the early hours of the morning. According to legend, the piano would be admired by passers-by on the street outside, even though two of the keys were badly out of tune.

The most tragic event occurred within the house when the great San Francisco Earthquake of 1906 struck. When it was all over, portions of the Winchester Mansion were nearly in ruins. The top three floors of the house had collapsed into the gardens and would never be rebuilt. In addition, the fireplace that was in the Daisy Room (where Mrs. Winchester slept the night of the earthquake) collapsed, shifting the room and trapping Sarah inside. She became convinced that the earthquake had been a sign from the spirits who were furious that she had nearly completed the house. She boarded up the front thirty rooms of the mansion so that the construction wouldn’t be complete - and also so that the spirits who fell when portion of the house collapsed would be trapped inside forever.
The workmen toiled to repair the damage done by the earthquake, although the mammoth structure fared far better than most of the buildings in the area. A few of the rooms had been badly harmed, although it had lost the highest floors, and several cupolas and towers had toppled over. The expansion on the house began once more. The number of bedrooms increased from 15 to 20 and on to 25. Chimneys were installed all over the place, although strangely, they served no purpose. Some believe that perhaps they were added because the old stories say that ghosts like to appear and disappear through them. On a related note, it has also been documented that they only installed two mirrors in the house, because Sarah believed the phantoms to be afraid of their own reflections.
On September 4, 1922, after a conference session with the spirits in the seance room, Sarah went to her bedroom for the night. In the early morning hours, she died in her sleep at the age of 83. Her possessions left to her niece, Frances Marriot, who had been handling most of Sarah’s business affairs for some time.  Little did anyone know, but by this time, Sarah’s large bank account had dwindled considerably. Rumor had it that somewhere in the house was hidden a safe containing a fortune in jewelry and a solid-gold dinner service with which Sarah had entertained her ghostly guests. Her relatives forced open several safes but found only old fish lines, socks, newspaper clippings about her daughter’s and her husband’s deaths, a lock of baby hair, and a suit of woolen underwear. They never found the solid gold dinner service.
The furnishings, personal belongings and surplus construction and decorative materials removed from the house, the structure iwas sold to a group of investors who planned to use it as a tourist attraction. One of the first to see the place when it opened to the public was Robert L. Ripley, who featured the house in his popular column, "Believe it or Not." Initially advertised as being 148 rooms, but so confusing was the floor plan that every time a room count was taken, a different total came up. The story said that the workmen took more than six weeks just to get the furniture out of it and the moving men became lost because it was a "labyrinth." told to the American Weekly, in 1928. The rooms of the house were counted over and over again and five years later, the counters estimated that 160 rooms existed, although no one is sure if even that is correct. Today, the house has been declared a California Historical Landmark and is registered with the National Park Service as "a large, odd dwelling with an unknown number of rooms."




There is the Trapezium House is located at 15 West Bank Street in Petersburg. It is like the Winchester House in California, it too was built by Charles O'Hara in 1817 with ghosts in mind. but on a much smaller scale.
The legend concerning the house incorporated his West Indian servant’s beliefs that a trapezoid-shaped building would ward off ghosts and evil spirits. The workmen must have thought him loony when he had them build it. 
Charles O’Hara left Ireland at the age of nineteen and immigrated to the West Indies while amassing a large fortune. History does not record the reason why he came to Petersburg, or even how many West Indian servants came with him. It is known that he did bring a West Indian woman named Jinsie Snow with him. It is she who is believed to have told him to build the unusual house.
With no right angles and no parallel walls, the stair steps to the upper floors are set at odd angles with the wall. There is supposedly only one room on the first floor and two rooms each on the other two floors. The interior is elongated, which could be an accident of the house’s irregular shape or a deliberate plan. The windows, fireplace and staircase are all off center. There is only one door in the front. The oddest feature is that the cellar where the cooking had been done could only be reached by a trapdoor under the stairwell. The ceiling is only four feet high which must have made it difficult for anyone over that height to walk around.
O’Hara dressed up in a full British uniform and would sit on the front porch on important English and Irish holidays. This is most peculiar as it is said that the man never served in the military, so why the uniform? Because of this, he became known as “the General.”
He only lived on the first floor and never swept or cleaned the floor. The house earned the nickname, “Rat Castle.” Not just because of the obvious mess, but because he also kept rats along with parrots and monkeys
When he died, some people being nice, took up a collection to mark his grave as the state got his fortune and the house. A tombstone with a harp as a symbol of Ireland marks his grave at Blandford Cemetery on Cockade Avenue. I found his grave and the stone at Blandford on Monday, June 9, 2014. It lies at the corner of Cockade Avenue and Crater Road.

















These are just  a few of places built from unusual materials and not the normal wood or brick. Though some weird places were built with wood or brick. Google to see if any are near where you live. They may even have ghosts, or a curse.