Unsolved Mysteries: Ghosts, disc 3

Lizzie Borden's house. It's now a Bed & Breakfast.

The episode then goes into some of the things that have happened in the building, including a window that kept going up and down on its own.

An apparition was seen in the basement where the axe supposedly was hidden after the murders. Different other things were seen by various other people, so it's more than just one person seeing something.

Crime scene photos were used to replicate the furniture in the house when it became a Bed & Breakfast.

Crime scene photo. (The photo of the father's murder is a little too gruesome to put up here.)

This story takes place in Georgia and is about a retired couple that had a new house built.

The wife spotted a guy. She thought it was her husband but he was still in bed, so he figured it was a burglar and got up and searched the house, armed with a gun.

Various other noises were heard and things happened.

A parapsychologist was called in to investigate. He said the things that were happening were of a trivial nature, but were still deeply upsetting to the people who lived there.

Since it was a new house it's unlikely it was a ghost of someone that had been there before. It's also unusual for a poltergeist event to happen to an older couple; usually such things center around young kids who are just into adolescence or just about to get there. In any case the couple sold the house and moved.

June, 1968, Virginia.

A woman has a recurring dream about a house she's never been in. She would descend the back staircase, go through the kitchen, go outside onto the back porch and then she would awaken from her dream.

Four years later (with the dream still happening about once a month), she moved to Florida and found a house she was interested in, but it turned out to be the house from her dream. She, her husband and their three kids ended up moving into the house.

Strange things began happening, including a boat being moved off a crosshorse onto the ground several times.

A guy dating one of the woman's daughters was visiting and he had the daughter heard the sounds of boots in the house. He followed the sound and saw a door open on its own.

Lots of things happened, and finally one of the people even saw an apparition.

One of the people begins doing some library research and finds out that a previous owner of the house was gunned down in his back yard while trying to put out a fire in his truck (the fire was arson). After the family moved out of the house another family moved in and they, too, had odd things happen.

Frank and Teresa Wilson, married in 1926. They ended up having seven children. He died in 1960.

One of the women's daughters prepared a memory book for her mother's 80th birthday. One night she saw an apparition She recognized him as her father and he said he wanted her to take down a letter. He finished dictating the letter and then vanished. The letter contained some specific terms known only to Frank and Teresa.

The age of sailing ships, a “glorious age” according to Robert Stack. (Glorious if you didn't mind the pirates, the scurvy, the lack of proper navigational tools, mutinies and so on.)

This refers to the Mary Celeste, lost in 1872 with all hands. That is, sort of lost; the sailors were gone, but the ship was found.

The captain of the ship who had at least a decade of experience.

The captain's log was on the ship and the last entry placed the ship about six miles off the Azores Islands. The ship was carrying alcohol, a dangerous cargo.

Ten days later another ship found the Mary Celeste abandoned. The captain of the ship had eaten dinner with the captain of the Mary Celeste and his wife the night before the Mary Celeste left on its voyage.

When the boarding party (like one of Star Trek's “away teams”) got on the Mary Celeste they thought, at first, that everyone had died of some kind of fever or something. They found the ship's compass shattered but no people anywhere.

Personal possessions, including money and jewelry, were still in the cabin.

The captain of the second ship had salvage rights, basically, and took the Mary Celeste to port along with its cargo. People were suspicious, though, and a trial was held.

The prosecutor was not able to prove any type of collusion between the two captains, so he changed his strategy to claim that there was a mutiny on board the Mary Celeste. That theory also fell apart for lack of evidence.

One theory is that nine barrels of alcohol which were found to be empty had leaked. When the ship got to good weather the crew realized what had happened and abandoned ship, afraid of the alcohol fumes catching fire and blowing up the ship.

The plan was to trail the boat in a lifeboat until the dangerous fumes had vented, but a wind came up and blew the ship out of reach.

The explanation of what could have happened seems, at least to me, to be quite reasonable.

In Hollywood. Various now-famous people have performed at this place, including Roseanne and Jay Leno.

Author of the named book, she says The Comedy Club is filled with ghosts. She says, for example, that girls who worked there to prepare for the customers would put tablecloths on the table, but if they went away for a few moments they might return and find all the cloths removed and neatly stacked. Other incidents are also discussed.

Two comedians who started their work there as doormen both talked about strange things that happened (prank-type stuff, basically.)

It wasn't just doormen or comedians who saw things, either. One of the guys in charge of the club was making a phone call when an apparition strolled right on by. Another guy in the same room also saw th apparition.

Before it was a comedy club the place was a night club, and at least one mobster was known to go there.

Apparently the ghosts on the main floor are just pranksters or someone left over from the forties; the basement, however, is another story as whatever is there appears to not be nice. Overall around fifty different episodes at the place have been documented.

A plantation in Louisiana, or what used to be a plantation but is now a Bed & Breakfast.

At least eight people died violently at the plantation, lynched, poisoned or shot. It is also possible that the plantation house was built on top of an old Indian burial mound.

The owner of the plantation (at least as of the making of the episode) was a skeptic about ghosts and related things before she bought the plantation. Things happened that changed her beliefs, though.

One guest story tells about a woman who woke up and saw the image of a girl bouncing on her bed. The bed was actually bouncing. The girl is thought to be the ghost of Cornelia Woodruff, who died at the plantation.

A slave had been caught eavesdropping on the master of the plantation, and it wasn't the first time. He punished her by cutting off one of her ears and having her sent out to the fields to work instead of working in the house. To get back she put some oleander leaves in with flour used to make a cake. She planned to make the family sick, nurse them back to health and get back in their good graces. Oleander, by the way, is very poisonous.

The slave miscalculated the amount of oleander, though, and three people she fed the cake to died. She was beaten and hung by a group of both black and white people, then thrown into the river.

A guy who originally bought and restored the mansion himself saw an apparition, although this one was outside. That ghost was identified as the ghost of an elderly caretaker who was robbed and killed on the estate in 1927.

A story from a couple that had stayed there is told, so the sightings are not just from people who work at the place.

A former owner had been shot by someone (for an undetermined reason) and his spirit is associated with a particular set of steps. He was climbing the steps after he was shot, trying to reach his wife, but he died on the steps.

The one owner says she feels the ghosts are not there to hurt anyone. She also makes it quite clear just how undergoing a strange experience there can change one's outlook.

Robert Stack points out that the show's camera crew suffered a number of technical malfunctions while trying to film there. This is something that has been mentioned only on one other show, so it's apparently rather unusual for their crew to have major technical problems.

It's quite interesting that the various spirits at the plantation can be identified as being specific people. It would be interesting to see a group of psychics visit the place, although it's so well known that any skeptic would say the person studied up on the place first and they didn't really uncover anything new.

The Frederick News Post, April 25, 2004

The Intelligencer (Penn.), Oct. 31, 1994

The Times Recorder, Zanesville, Ohio, July 17, 1977

This is one of two episodes on the disk that have a commentary. The director of the episode says they spent four days there doing the shooting and did not see any ghosts themselves. The woman who plays the slave is an opera singer by training. Other than that, though, the narrator doesn't add much to the story.

The General Wayne Inn in Philadelphia. Some articles I checked indicate that the inn is no longer in business.

Famous people staying there included Benjamin Franklin, George Washington and Edgar Allen Poe, who wrote part of his poem “The Raven” while at the inn.

The innkeeper sites a rather long list of things that have happened of an unusual nature at the inn.

Some of the things that happen include pranks, such as something blowing on the necks of all the women sitting at the bar. When talking about things that have happened, the innkeeper notes the total is in the hundreds of events. Various apparitions and events have been seen by a wide variety of employees and guests, both.

A historian who has researched the history of the inn said the first sighting of a ghost (that was actually written down) was in 1848. It was of a soldier in a green uniform, and several other much more recent sightings have been made.

The show invited a paranormal investigator to the inn.

This is the other episode that has a commentary. Basically they talk about the making of the episode and how in early episodes they tried to use the actual people involved but ended up using a mix of the actual people and actors as the series went on.

The Gettysburg Times, March 1, 1997


An area of 4700 acres that has had lots of sightings of ghosts reported. The show episode starts off with a real quick review of four of those, each from a different person.

The show talks about the history of the area. Native Americans used to live there; Spanish conquerors came through the area, and a group of Confederates tried to find treasure in the area.

A local historical writer was working one night when he saw an apparation of a Spanish monk (who was known to have been in the area) outside his window.

A deer hunter one time was in a tree planning to kill a deer when he heard footsteps under the platform he was sitting on, but he couldn't see anyone. Later, when he left the tree, he saw an apparition of a Native American at the base of the tree.

The ghost actually followed the guy as he walked back towards the house.

A guy that had been a foreman at the ranch talks about one night when he heard the sound of horses, looked out the door and there was a group of around twenty Confederate soldiers riding by.

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