Wednesday, September 30, 2009

The Ghost Of a Twin Named Cathy

The picture of the metal object is that of a boot scraper. It is on the front stoop of the house pictured here.
One of the most interesting stories about Lisbon was the one of a little girl named Cathy. According to a psychic that the family ultimately consulted, she was around 12 years old and a twin. Perhaps at one time she lived in this home. At least this is the home she haunted. Owned by a very nice couple name Chris and Debbie, they graciously told me their story. For them, Cathy was a member of their family. As she told me about their home and the many disturbances they had experienced in more than ten years, it was immediately apparent that their little spirit meant them no harm. She hid the children's homework. She "borrowed" Debbie's make up and created works of art at the top of their 15 foot tall ceilings. She created some havoc, but she also did other things. Once, Chris lost a check that was payment from a client. He had decided to call the client the following day and tell them to cancel the check and make another one. The next morning, sitting on the Kitchen Counter under his car keys, was the check, slightly muddy, but back in his possession just the same. Did Cathy go out and look for the check, find it, and leave it where Chris could find it? Debbie believes this with all her heart. Perhaps my most favorite story Debbie told me was the time they went on vacation to a friends house and discovered that Cathy had gone with them. They were only at their friends house for 20 minutes when it was discovered that someone had taken a green crayon and written on the wall, a lot. They also discovered green crayon written all over the dryer in the laundry room. When Debbie asked if they even had any crayons since the couple had no children, she was told they did. When they got the box of crayons, the green one was worn way, way down. Later, during dinner, the table they sat at had little drawers on the sides, and these drawers kept opening by themselves. Ultimately, this proved to be too much for the hosting couple and the Shiver family left. As they drove down the road, Debbie reached over and turned off the car radio. It turned right back on all by itself. She laughed as she said "At least I knew then that Cathy had come with us."
Today, her children are grown with families of their own. It has been a long time since they have heard from Cathy. Debbie believes that when her own father passed away, he came to the house and took Cathy with him. She thinks her dad helped Cathy to cross over.
Another interesting thing she mentioned was finding old coins in the walls of their home when they first bought it. Often old silver coins were put in the walls or floors when a house blessing was performed to help banish unwanted or evil spirits in a home. It was interesting to note that Cathy was haunting this house in full force when the Shivers moved in. Does that mean that if a blessing was done on the home it didn't work? Perhaps the ghost of this little girl had been there for a very long time, haunting other families and the coins were an attempt to get rid of her. Perhaps she was just being courteous then to families past. Maybe it just took this one unique and amazing family to give her the one thing she needed to move on. Love.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Erastus Eells-First Undertaker in Ohio

Erastus Eells lived in this house, which was built in 1843. He was the pioneer undertaker of then New Lisbon. His business, the first funeral home in the county and possibly the state of Ohio, is still in business today through 4 generations of his family.

The pic of the gray barn is the actual barn owned by Erastus. It was in this barn that he built coffins and had them shipped up north to places like New York State and Canada. There are some historians who believe that Erastus was heavily involved in the Underground Railroad. While no proof apparently exists to back up this belief, for me, that means Erastus was very good at his job. As the story goes, somewhere down along the creek there was a tunnel that lead under the village of New Lisbon. This Tunnel branched off to several locations in the city and includes The Old Lincoln Theater, The Ivystone Lounge, and The Federal Order of Eagles (formerly the home of Joshua Hannah). It also leads to the home of Erastus Eells. Once there, the slave who bravely traveled those long dark tunnels would be smuggled out of the country to Canada in the coffins that Erastus was making. There are advertisements in some old newspapers, like the Ohio Patriot, put there by Erastus himself to advertise his business. Was there any Underground Railroad activity in Lisbon, Ohio? The debate rages on. Personally, I have seen enough to believe there was.
More recently, the home of Erastus was owned by a couple named Fred and Ruth Anne Pasture. They have both passed on, but when they still lived in the home, they talked of an angry spirit named George who haunted the house. He had been known to knock pictures off of walls and slam doors. He even tried to push Ruth Anne off of a ladder once, or so she claimed. Today, the current residents have no complaints of any such hauntings. While the ghost story totally has my attention, the awesome history behind this home and barn are what really shine to me.

Ghost Walk At Gretchen's Lock On October 17

The house is long gone at Gretchen's. There is only a cement slab sitting where the house used to be.

One of my most favorite building in all of Columbiana County is the Grist Mill or Hambleton's Mill. I love when I get to come here and show people why it is so great.
Since this is October, I have tried to do some extra things for Halloween. The rules are a little different now to have an event at Gretchen's Lock since all the attention it received over the summer, but I got permission this morning. So, on October 17 at 6pm we will be down at Gretchen's Lock to take you on a tour of the area, show you where the ghosts are that we have encountered, and maybe do some ghost hunting too. You are invited to attend. There is, as usual, no charge.
You might have more luck talking to the ghosts if you know where to look. Hope to see you down there on October 17th. Questions? email me.

Monday, September 28, 2009

The Sultana

This mansion in Lisbon was once owned by a man named Anton Brewer. He was a well known lawyer back in the mid 1800's. When the Civil War broke out, he was quick to sign up. I am yet unable to find much about his military career. I know he was an officer and ended up being a prisoner of war. Where he was kept I do not know, though I hope it was not Andersonville.
In April of 1865, the war finally ended. A few day later, President Abraham Lincoln was assassinated and the country changed forever. But, a little known story about that tumultuous time came to light as I investigated Lisbon for the ghost walk. It would seem that Officer Brewer was released from the POW camp he had been confined to and he was making his way back to his beloved home. He boarded a Paddle Wheel boat on the Mississippi called the Sultana. It was made to carry only 400 people. But at the time Officer Brewer was aboard, there were about 2400 men being taken home to Ohio, Indiana, and Michigan. One night, one of the boilers blew up, destroying the ship and causing the deaths of at least 1500 men. There is not an exact count but it was estimated to be between 1500 and 1800 people. The pictures above are of the Sultana and an artists rendition of the explosion of the ship. Unfortunately, Officer Brewer was a casualty of that disaster. Many people do not know about this particular incident because it happened during the time of President Lincoln's assassination.
Today, this beautiful mansion is owned by a man named Ryan Hillman. He is also the owner of the Steel Trolley (which has excellent food!!) in Lisbon. He says that his home is haunted, though he tries not to think about it too much. Doors opening and closing by themselves, phantom footsteps, whispers of conversation that seemed muffled and far away, like in another room, are all things he has experienced. Is this the ghost of Officer Anton Brewer? I sure would like to find out.
Our little village of Lisbon has such a story attached to it. And no one knows. I will be writing about the other pieces of history I uncovered in my search of the Lepper Library for the Lisbon Ghost Walk. I am delighted to do so because our county has some fantastic history that I can't wait to tell you about. You are going to be pleasantly surprised.

A Walk Along The History Of Lisbon

The Lisbon Ghost Walk went great. About 20 people came and for me, that is the perfect size group. We took them all over the village and told stories that most people do not know. Ghost stories were hard to come by, but Lisbon is so full of great historical occurrences, that was all I needed. Above pictured: Jon, me, Belinda Mike, Amber, Amy, Sarah, and Sammi.
Here we are in front of the Eells Legget funeral home. I think there is a Stauffer in their name too. But the spelling is off, I think.

Here and explanation comes about the letters C D on the stone pillar. Civil Defense.

A little lesson about the history, or lack there of, of the Masons. They also guard their secrets well.

Walking toward the home of Erastus Eells, the first undertaker of the county. He may have been involved in the Underground Railroad, though no proof exists. Personally, a lack of proof suggests he did a good job at smuggling out the slaves. He used his coffin making business, hiding the slaves in the coffins and sending them up north, like to Canada.

Here is our little group standing in front of the home of Chris and Debbie Shivers. For many years, their home was haunted by a little girl they called Cathy. She created a lot of mischief inside the home, though it was tolerated with great affection. They even went so far as to buy little Cathy Christmas presents. A more elaborate story about this will come later this week.

This is some climb. We walked up the steps toward the F.O.E. building. Benjamin Hannah had this house built for his son Joshua. There is a rumor that there is a ghost on the second floor, but no one would elaborate. Also the home was a station for the Underground Railroad itself.

They look sadly at the grave markers of the little German Cemetery in Lisbon. They all expressed dismay at the state the markers are in.

Everyone listens as I tell the story about the little cemetery and point out the row of pine tree the Lisbon Garden Club had planted to hide what the public thought of as an eyesore.

Standing beside the police station and talking about the architecture of the old Presbyterian church across the street, wondering if the Masons had a hand in building it.

Bad Frogs. Closed forever. Haunted forever, too. It has a Lady in White that floats down the stairs to look at the bar patrons and then glides back up to disappear. Formerly the Ivy Stone Lounge, it was also a stop on the Underground Railroad.
By the end of the tour, my ankle throbbed, but it was so worth it. I think people liked the tour. I was happy they took the time to come and I hope they felt they got their moneys worth. They helped the CCFHV to get that much closer to their goal of non profit status. Thank you to everyone who came. Please check the list of tours on the side. The next event is October 3 at Thompson Park. I don't charge for any of the tours I do, except for the one today. It was a charity event and ALL THE PROCEEDS went to CCFHV. Looking for some fun Halloween activities? Check out the side of the blog and see if there is anything you'd be interested in attending. Hope to see you at one of them!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Lisbon Ghost Walk- Rain or Shine

This was us yesterday, following the route we had determined to be the best way to go on the Lisbon Ghost Tour. Yes, that is a cane you see me with. UGH! You will no doubt see it again today. Remember, kids under 12 are free. Also remember ALL THE PROCEEDS GO TO COLUMBIANA COUNTY FAMILIES OF HOMICIDE VICTIMS. It is a group I volunteer with and they need money to get their official non profit status (501 c 3).
Lisbon has guarded her ghostly secrets well, but I did manage to find a few. Please come and learn some amazing facts and legends about Lisbon, Ohio.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

An Eventful Day

Interesting day. First and foremost, we got our new shirts. I am sad to say they are not printed right. But since I really need them for Sunday's Lisbon Ghost Walk, I have no choice but to use them. So while it says Ghost 12 Paranormal, it should say Ghosting 12 Paranormal. But the picture on them is the best!!!!
I then got a phone call from Theresa and Patty and made arraignments to get my lost recorder back. It was in the back of their car. Yes! Sigh of relief. I went out on Church Hill Road to retrieve my most important piece of equipment, and discovered to my joy, this little cemetery. As usual, I could not resist doing a little exploring. It is old and a trip to the library is in order to find out more about it. But the disturbing thing is, many of the stones were missing or broken and we found them lying in the woods in a pile. About four piles in fact. I am hoping there is a list of who is where written somewhere. From there I might be able to find either a group who will try to restore it or learn to do it myself. Never thought to go in that direction, but anything is possible.
Continued working on the ghost walk and learned even more interesting things about Lisbon. There is a mansion on the tour that was owned by a man who died in the Civil War in the Sultana Disaster. Before today I had never heard of that maritime wreck. I am doing a story on it for next week.
I also learned about the Fighting McCook Family. My first thought was feuding, like the Hatfields and McCoys, but I was wrong.
I think the Lisbon Historical Society guards the history of Lisbon too well. Perhaps it is because they don't know me. Or maybe they didn't like that I am doing a haunted tour. Whatever the reason, they would not help me. No stories. No legends. Nothing ever happened in Lisbon, or so they told me. I asked what was the most interesting historical fact about Lisbon and I was told "When Lewis Kinney went to Stubenville and filed the plans for Lisbon. " While that was a truly historic event, it was not what I had in mind. It took some extra hard work, but I did find everything I needed at the Lepper Library. Imagine that. Combined with some wonderful people like Stevie and Chris and Debbie, this will be a pretty cool tour. I hope I see you there.

Friday, September 25, 2009

September 27 Lisbon Ghost Tour

On Sunday September 27 at 4pm is the Lisbon Ghost Walk. This is a charity event and ALL the proceeds benefit the Columbiana County Families Of Homicide Victims to help them get their 501 c 3 for their non profit status. The cost is $5 per person and children under 12 are free. We are meeting at the gazebo in Lisbon where you will find a display of equipment used in our investigations. There will also be pictures of the some of the areas we have covered so far in the county. Please come and learn something about what it is like to be a ghost hunter. You might be pleasantly surprised.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

A Memory Of Hotel Wick

The Hotel Wick was built in 1836. It operated as a stagecoach inn and tavern for many years, but it's claim to fame is the people who stayed within it's walls. General William H. Harrison spoke from the balcony and gave the little hotel high marks. Mr. Harrison later became President Harrison. Sadly, the Hotel was torn down in 1993-94 and a 1st NC bank built in the spot.

Like East Liverpool, you find this lovely plaque that marks the spot where Hotel Wick once stood.
Too bad they park a bench in front of it so no one sees it. Yes, I am bitching. But, come on. Can you blame me? Why put that stupid bench right there? Who plans this stuff?

Dark Trails, Noisey Bugs, A Lost Recorder, And A Twisted Ankle

Despite the rain, which wasn't a problem at all except it made it twice as hot, the YMCA night was a lot of fun. About 15 people came, the perfect size group.

Dave brought his tent just in case and set it up over a picnic table. We met there and set out on our walk around Thompson Park. In examining the pictures, there seems to be an orb following us around the park. There are several pictures sporting the round, dimly white object seemingly

listening like everyone else or silently watching us. If you click on most of the pictures, you can easily find it. Our first destination

was the flag poles in the front of the park where I told the story of Marie Hayes. Then we stopped at the time capsule to hear about The Captain. From there we ventured to the Big Rock where we discussed the legend of the Blue Lady.

We then went to the Pool House and talked about Charles and Verna Baker and the legacy they brought to the park. I also spoke of the brave Bernard Fitch, a World War 2 War Hero who could not leave his horrible memories behind.

We finally entered the woods near the pool area and followed the trails that wound around the lower part of the park. Like me, many there did not know the vast area the park covered or that
there was so much to see. Half way into the forest, it became
very dark, as expected. Flash lights
were turned on and we continued the tour.

The woods treated us like welcome guests. It was very hot though. I wore a long sleeved shirt because I thought the rain would cool things down. I was so

You can see our flashlights twinkling in the darkness as I tell them the story of my first adventure in these woods with my son, Jon. We had walked onto the Back Nine path without flashlights because we didn't know how huge the trail system was down there. We made our way back out of the dark, creepy forest with only my digital camera screen light. Jon was dealing with memories of Pitch Black and I was right there at Blair Witch Project. UGH!!
All in all it was a great group and we had a good time. I took a few people around the circle, though the bug noise was too great to hear any EVP. As we walked down to the Amphitheater, one of the cut stones I walked on gave way and I fell to the ground, twisting my ankle pretty good. I sit here now, wearing a pair of Crocks, which actually helps to walk. I also lost one of my recorders. Bummer. All this ghost hunting is getting expensive. I hope I left it in the back seat of the car of two ladies I helped get out of the park. Tabby and Theresa, if you read this, would you check in the back seat of your car and see if my recorder is in there. I miss it already.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

The Spread Eagle Tavern Ghost Tours

The Spread Eagle Tavern in Hannoverton has a ghost walk they give occasionally. The tavern itself has a ghost story about a woman who hanged herself from a third story bedroom window and now haunts the tavern. The tour also includes other parts of the town and a cemetery. There are only three days this tour will be given. October 3, 24, and 31. The tour starts at 7pm. The cost is $5 per person and children under 12 are free. I have a Thompson Park Tour on October 3. My crew and I will be going on October 24. Here is a link to the Spread Eagle Tavern:
If you want to follow us up, let me know and we can make arrangements to meet somewhere, like Dollar General, and go from there.

Monday, September 21, 2009

October 9- A Walk In The Woods At Thompson Park

On Wednesday, September 23, we are having a walk for the YMCA for their American On The Move Week at Thompson Park. We explored all the trails on the Back Nine over the past couple of weeks and have come up with a great tour. Dave mapped out the trail on the Thompson Park Map (pictured above) that we will be taking. It is in black.

If there is any one who isn't involved with the YMCA that would like to go on the walk, we will have a rerun on October 9 (unless there is a schedule conflict, though so far there is not.) at 6:30 pm. This is a Friday night. Hopefully we will have some Fall colors going on by then and it should make for a beautiful walk.

There are two bridges like this one on the tour. There are also bridges made from trees and logs you will see. The trail is some what rugged in spots but mostly quite easy to walk. There are a couple of hills to walk up, but nothing to severe. You will get a good work out if you decide to come.

There are some fabulous photo ops along the trail too, so don't forget your camera! Or a flash light. The woods get very dark even before it gets dark so a light is necessary.

There are really impressive rock formations to see and some spooky parts of the trail that get pitch black once it gets dark. We have only been able to find one area that has some potential for ghosts, which we will try to explore a little along the way. The Pool House and the Big Rock are also on the tour and are haunted. The Pool House has a ghost that says (on an EVP) "I like to watch them." The Big Rock somehow has a connection to the Blue Lady. There have been many sightings of her down in that area. While there are several stories concerning her origins with the pool, others believe it is a woman who has somehow lost her children and she searches for them every night.
The date could change for the October 9 walk, and if so, it will be before the end of this week. Any questions? Email me.
My team and I are trying to work in some other tours for the Halloween season. A possible Gretchen's Lock Walk is in the works. Possibly for October 17, but that is not for sure yet. The only walk that costs anything is the Lisbon Ghost Tour. That is a Charity Event that Benefits Columbiana County Families Of Homicide Victims to help them get their 501 C 3 (non profit status). Everything else we do is free to the public. If you would like any info on any of the walks, email me.