Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Triple murder sites within a block of each other.

Every city has dark times in its history. East Liverpool is no exception. Take the above building for instance. It is currently owned by Pioneer Pottery
but at one time it was owned by a man named Earl Tweed. This
building was once The National Furniture Store.    On
July 30, 1973, that would change forever. Somewhere between 12:25 and 12:55 pm Mr. Earl Tweed was murdered in his store. What made it even more horrific was when Linda Morris and her little four year old daughter, Angela walked in to Mr. Tweeds store to ask about an apartment he had for rent, interrupting the murder. Whoever killed Mr. Tweed
then killed Linda and Angela. To this day these murders are unsolved.



Just up the street and to the left is the sight of another triple murder that would occur 6 years later


I am standing beside Italo's Pizza. The road going up the hill is where you need to turn.



If you look up the hill, you will see that big brown house in the middle.





That is not the site of the murder. This empty lot is. It sits right beside that big brown house. Here, a woman named Debbie Taylor lived with three children. Jesse was 6, Billie Jo was 4, and a six month old baby.  On June 25, 1979, this little family was beaten to death. The sole survivor was the infant [perhaps because he was too young to identify the killer.)  This cast is solved.  The murderer was Robert Wooten, who is now serving three life sentences for their murders

However
there is a mystery to this case. It would seem that just four day before Debbie was murdered,

the same man who murdered her was also the last one seen with
a young lady named Louise Davis. She disappeared on June 21,
1979. Robert Wooten, or Wooty, as he was known, picked Louise
up at her home in East End and she was never seen again. To this
day she has never contacted anyone in her family, nor has her

body ever been found.



Eerily you can see the Tweed/Morris murder site from where the Tayor house once stood . Two triple murders within site of each other, and just six years apart. One unsolved. One with unsolved loose ends.








Tuesday, January 27, 2009

East Liverpool Ceramics Theatre-Just Another Parking Lot











Can you believe East Liverpool had such a beautiful building in it as the Ceramic Theatre? How I wish it was still here today. The architecture alone is dazzling.
It opened on Nov. 21, 1904 somewhere on 4th street. It boasted 2 balconies, plush interior, and was the second largest stage in Ohio, bested only by the Grand Theatre in Cincinnati. It seated 2000. In later years it was converted into a movie theatre. It's death came in 1961 when it was razed to make a 40 space parking lot. I thought, when I wondered why it was no longer here, that maybe there was a horrible fire that stole this beautiful building from us. I was severely let down to discover it was just torn down for a parking lot. A parking lot. Imagine how great it would have been to have such a building today. People would probably have paid just to get in to see it. And of course, it would have been haunted. Schools, theatres, and hospitals are some of the most haunted places out there. Why? They are full of human emotion. I thought about getting a picture of the 40 space parking lot that took its place, but why bother? Every one has seen a parking lot. Maybe just to remember how important it is to guard our history.
They are tearing down a lot of the old buildings in East Liverpool to make way for parking lots for Kent State. Also for the Christian Academy. Be careful that you don't take away too much of our history in the process of progress. Look at Calcutta. They tore down all the old buildings that were part of her beginning. I can remember a one room school house that used to sit above the Calcutta Elementary school when I was a kid. Long gone. The old Calcutta hotel and other buildings that stood over by Sprucevale Road. Long gone. There is one house left over by the new memorial park that comes from Calcutta's beginning. It is the old gray one across the street. That, however is all that remains of Calcutta's history. Sad.
So, take a look at the pics above. Take a look at what we once had. Let's try harder to guard what we have left before it all becomes just another parking lot.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

The Crooks Building-The House That Makes It Right!



Every building in East Liverpool has a history. This one is no
exception. Known for sayings like "If it's not found right, we'll make it right!" and "We want your name on our books. You're welcome at Crooks." They sold
things like furniture made from Mahogany, Golden Oak and
curley biren. Some furniture sold included things like dressers and chiffoneirs, stoves, and ranges. They also sold carpeting, which they apparently made there, boasting of adding an electric Singer machine for sewing brussels, Axminster and Wilton carpets. I am not sure exactly when the black and white pic was taken. I am guessing around 1900 or so. (give or take 20 years. I am not a historical expert on East Liverpool, yet.)















Now, the reason this building finds its way onto my blog is the story I heard about it a couple of years ago. Remember that camping trip I had with the 25 teenagers? Well, it was during that adventure that I was told about the Crooks building. The story I heard went something like this:
The owner of the Crooks Furniture Store was a very happy wealthy man. He was married and had two children. One day, he came home to find his wife had left him, taking his chidren with her. He had no idea where they went and he was devistated. In his grief, he hung himself on the fourth floor of the building. Now supposedly, years later, there was an effort to remove all the old furniture that remained in the building. However, when they would try to empty the building of all of its furniture, more furniture would unexplainably take its place. To this day, there is furniture in the building even though it has supposedly been removed entirely several times.
That is the story I have heard. What have you heard about the Crooks Building? Email me or leave a comment. As to the pics above: the three in the daylight are from last summer when I was downtown, just taking some pics of the area. The night time pics are from the other night when Jon and I was investigating Skeleton Park. Any building looks a little scary at night. The Crooks building is no exception.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Info on Skeleton Park from a reader



How did this cemetery become "one of the most desolate spots in the Ohio Valley"? A reader sent me some great info about Skeleton Park. Thank you wileyjack. Here is a portion of what was sent to me.
The East Liverpool Daily Crisis May 28, 1901 FORSAKEN DEAD- Names of Those in the Fifth Street Cemetery -Place of Desolate Ruins -The Hand of the Vandal Is Everywhere in Evidence – Regular Loitering- Place forBums – Need of Official Recognition
The old cemetery at the end of Fifth Street is one of the most desolate spots in the Ohio valley, and that is saying a great deal, for the valley is a pretty extensive piece of territory. There are hardly words enough in the English language to adequately picture this graveyard's condition as it exists today. A trip to see it readily convinces one that it is a smirch upon the credit of East Liverpool and a blow at popular intelligence. Much has been written about the unsanitary and unsightly features of this place. Complaints innumerable have been registered against it. In spite of all this it exists and flourishes in worse shape now than ever before. Many bodies have been disinterred and removed elsewhere. In fact this work goes on whenever anybody happens to remember that they have relatives buried there, if they wish them to rest in peace in a fitting place, uncontaminated by the hand of the vandal. Many, however, scarcely ever give a thought to the resting place of their ancestors whose earthly trials and hardships were ended years ago. If they do, there is no effort to lend heed. What matters if that a few human bones, failing to find earth enough to hide their nakedness, go over the hill to bleach and moulder in the sun? What matters it that vandals overrun this place which should be sacred to its dead? What matters it that the fallen make it a place of rendezvous? What matters it that the drunken take themselves there to hold their unholy revels? The dead are dead, they know nothing and care not. A Crisis reporter was delegated Monday afernoon to visit the cemetery and if possible set forth its condition. One's first impression is ruins, ruins, ruins. The small boy of that locality has his favoirte ball grounds there on a clear space where he plays his match games. Tombstones in many instances are flat on the ground and occasionally buried beneath it. Brambles, briars, weeds, trees and grasses grow rich and luxuriant. Some graves are so thickly overgrown that it is simply impossible to get to them. Monuments, also old and time-worn, are defaced by the hand of man, being broken in a few cases so badly that the names and dates are absolutely undecipherable. Great holes in the ground show some have been thoughtful enough to remove their dead to more holy places. Here is a haunt of the intoxicated. As an illustration of the latter statement and to emphasize it: While the reporter was contemplating the sorrowful scene and meditating upon the soul-stirring stories those old gravestones would tell could they only talk, a tall officer of the law made his way down one of the numerous paths running through the place. In a moment he had sent a small boy to "call the patrol." It soon arrived and the officer proceeded to drag two men out of the bushes and stow them in the wagon. They were beastily drunk and had been "sleeping it off." The policmean said: "That's nothing. This is the greatest loafing place for drunks and bum I ever saw. We have to watch it pretty closely." With that the patrol drove away from the home of the dead with its cargo of the semi-dead.A list was taken from the remaining headstones in the cemetery as accurately as possible. This does not include all as many graves bear no headstones, while some could not be made out. It is probable a number of bodies have been removed where the headstones still remain. The list of those who have apparently had no one to look after them includes 134 names. The names are familiar to many. They follow with the year in which death occurred. Among the list is the name of Joseph McKinnon, the first white child born in Northwestern Ohio. He was born in 1750. The names of quite a number of old soldiers also appear in the list.
I also have the list of known people that were buried in Skeleton Park, but I did not print it at this time. I think perhaps the worst thing of all about this cemetery is the story of bodies sliding down the side of the hill after some bad weather that eroded the hillside. I can not even imagine it. I find myself wondering how a cemetery could be right in the middle of town and be neglected to that point.
There are other stories wileyjack sent me and I also plan on sharing them as well, though I am looking to get some pictures to go along with the stories. I am fascinated with this story and hope to find out more. Starting with- What happened to the gravestones from Skeleton Park?
And, are there any ghost stories out there about this area of the city? About the parking lot that is there or about the hospital itself?

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Yesterday and Today-The West End Pottery Company















I rode around for a while today trying to find a close location to where the West End Pottery Picture was taken. This is not exact, but close. So much has changed between then and now. The horizan looks about the same. Everything else is way different. You can see the East Liverpool hospital in todays picture, along with Route 11 running right through where West End Pottery used to be. The only sign that there ever was a pottery there are the Millstones beside the road along Route 7. All other traces are erased.
Do you know any haunting stories or legends about this area? Please email me or leave a comment. I am also looking for any other ghost stories about East Liverpool that anyone knows. Anything I can investigate and add to my list of haunted places in Columbiana County.
For more information on the West End Pottery and other history from East Liverpool please visit the East Liverpool Historical Society Web Site>
http://www.eastliverpoolhistoricalsociety.org/

Monday, January 19, 2009

SKELETON PARK

This is the first of many mysteries about East Liverpool I hope to uncover and share with any ghost hunting enthusiast out there. I think that East Liverpool is a great place to look for them in fact. Once known as the Pottery Capital of the World, dozens of potteries surrounded the city, though you wouldn't know it today. The above photo is of the Newell Bridge and the area surrounding it. Note there is no Route 11.

You can just make out the Newell Bridge in the background of this pic. This is the West End Pottery which was in business from 1893 to 1938. There is not an exact date for this pic, which I found on the East Liverpool Historical Society Website. It is estimated to be taken somewhere between 1906 and 1938. Route 11 runs right through there now. However that is not what got my attention about this picture. The caption under it also said that where the two trees are in the upper center is where Skeleton Park was. I had never heard of Skeleton Park, so I jumped on that. I also know that up there is where East Liverpool Hospital is today. I believe you can can guess what I am thinking. If not- East Liverpool Hospital was built over an old Cemetery?!!! Wow!


Not only should it be haunted because it is a hospital but also because it is built over a desecrated cemetery!! Here is a map of East Liverpool around 1877. Yep, there is a big cemetery right there. Newell Bridge wasn't built until 1904, so it isn't on this map.




And here is a picture of the very cemetery I am talking about. This picture is a true treasure for any ghost hunter to find. It was taken around 1898. As I find out more about Skeleton Park, I will pass it on to you. For example, was the cemetery moved? If so, to where? Was the hospital just built right on top of all those graves? How awful! If you are reading this and know anything about this cemetery, even rumors or legends, please email me or leave a comment. You will find my email address along the left side of my blogspot.
One more thing- I have been looking at a lot of Historical Society pages on the web, and East Liverpool has the best by far. It is very interesting and full of pictures to help you understand the history of this old and charming city called East Liverpool. Well worth a look. http://www.eastliverpoolhistoricalsociety.org/




Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Some of what happened after Mr. Floyd was killed.



















Charles Arthur Floyd. He was young. Handsome. Brave. Cunning. Enigmatic. And doomed to be a legend.

To the left is Mr. Floyd on the autopsy table. If you look closely you can see one of the bullet holes in his side. To the right is the autopsy report that came out a few days after his death.
Reminiscent of the days when a hanging was like going to the movies, Mr. Floyd's death attracted people to East Liverpool just to view his body, which was put on display (shown above laying covered with a blanket, surrounded by a a group of men). His autopsy and subsequent display occurred at the Sturgis Funeral Home, which is now a bed and breakfast in East Liverpool (also pictured above, the brown house with yellow trim). Another pic up there is of one of the crowds of people who came to see Mr. Floyd (more than 10,000).
The final pic up there is of a man holding what appears to be two .45 pistols taken from Mr. Floyd after he was dead. All of this occurred in October of 1934.
There are plans out there to reenact the demise of Mr. Floyd in October of 2009 to honor the 75th anniversary of his death. Whether you believe him to be an outlaw or a hero, coming to this event might well be an interesting and rewarding experience. As I hear more about it, so will you.


Thursday, January 8, 2009

The manifestation of a ghost?




This was an adventure I went on in 2006. A fellow ghost enthusiast named Sandy asked me to come to her home because she thought she might have a ghost. She had moved into a home a few years before that was built by a man who later died in it of cancer. His name was Jerry. The room we are in above was rumored to be his favorite. The haunting she was experiencing was and still is for that matter a case in which the ghost wanted them to know he was there. Her husband Travis would see an old man out of the corner of his eye but when he would look full on there would be no one there. He never saw any definate features, but enough to say it was an old man. Sandy on the other hand had more interesting encounters.
There is a phenomenon in ghost hunting called borrowing. Lets say you walk in to your kitchen with an arm load of groceries and your car keys. You set the keys down on the kitchen table and turn to put your groceries away. When you return to get your keys, they are gone. You look all over, but they are not in the kitchen. Later in the day, you walk into your bedroom, and there they are, laying on top of your dresser. You had not been in there all day, so how did your keys get in there? It is theorized that the ghost takes your property and puts it somewhere else, effectively called borrowing. This happened to Sandy. Not only did the ghost take her keys often, but other things. One day she went to her fridge to get a V-8. She knew it was there earlier, but when she opened the door to the fridge, her V-8 was gone. Thinking some one drank it, she went around and asked everyone in the household but all said no. Angry that no one would admit it, she returned to the fridge to get a soda and there was her V-8 upside down in the fridge.
So, my husband and I went to her home. We had several EVP sessions. Pictured above is one of them, in Jerry's favorite room. My husband was taking the pictures while I handled the sound. In the pic on the left I had turned to adjust the curtain in the room. You can see something starting to form by my head. The eyes are already visible. In the picture on the right is the full blown manifestation of ? We did not witness this with the naked eye. It came out in the pictures.
Once they knew for sure that they had a ghost, the episodes stopped almost altogether. Little things have happened. For instance, Sandy's son was practicing the Pledge of Allegiance, using her digital recorder. You hear him say the Pledge, then his mom and dad praise him. Then you hear a single word-"NICE!" I believe that was Jerry putting his two cents in.
Believe what you want about these picks. Something was and is in that house. It is not mean. If it is Jerry, he just wanted them to know he was there. He isn't evil. He doesn't possess anyone. He just lingers in the house he built. Comments are appreciated.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Longs Run Church Cemetery
















This is Longs Run Church Cemetery. Old and charming, the graves cover the hillside. I went there last night to continue trying to find out why there isn't much activity there. I was pleasantly surprised, as ghost hunting goes.
To my left is the only above ground burial chamber left. There is evidence that there was at least one other like it, but it is long gone. I can remember my dad telling me stories about this particular burial chamber. He used to work for a lawn mowing company and they mowed the cemetery grounds. The lid was not on securely and the side was cracked wide open. He said you could see the bones inside. That is not something I ever wanted to see, but it always made this particular grave yard a little more creepy. When I finally did check it out, the top and side was repaired, and its occupant can rest in peace. There is an inscription on the top, but it is so weathered you can't make it out.
This cemetery does not give much up in the way of pics or EVP's. In fact, I have never gotten an EVP there. And as for pics, even orbs are very rare. For all the pics we took last night, there were very few orbs anywhere. I had my long time ghost hunting team member, Kylie with me last night pictured above in front of the cool tree. She doesn't go much any more. She is 16 and has a boyfriend who is not into ghost hunting. Bummer.
However, what this particular cemetery lacks in those areas, it more than makes up for in personal experiences. Longs Run is good for hearing footsteps coming up behind you. And what orb pics I have gotten, were all below the church, on the hillside. Strange noises can be heard in almost any direction, especially after dark. Twigs breaking and snapping, and swooshing sounds, again like someone is coming up behind you, but when you look, no one is there. That is what happened to me last night. It is not the first time I have heard foot steps in that particular cemetery.
I can not say it is haunted, but it is scary enough to warrant more study. I would like to take my team there, when it gets warmer, and see what we come up with.
Should you decide to visit Longs Run Church Cemetery to make your own conclusions, or any other cemetery for that matter, here are a few tips to have a better adventure.
1. Visit the area in the day time first to become familiar with the area. You don't want to fall into any large holes anywhere or trip and get seriously injured.
2. Make sure you have permission to be on the grounds after dark. Often, as long as you let the grounds keeper know you will be there, they don't have a problem with it. You might also ask them if they know any stories about the grounds that might be interesting.
3. Be respectful. Don't damage anything. Some ones loved one rests there and you should always remember that.
4. Have respect for the things are choosing to encounter. You respect the ghosts that might be there and they will respect you, in theory of course.
One other thing about Longs Run. I find myself being very careful of where I walk there. When I discover I am walking across a grave I feel like someone is there, right beside me. I feel like I am crowding them in a way. And sometimes it seems like they are following me for a while. Gives me the shivers. Gets my attention. And, while I wonder why I go there, I also know I will be back.