Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Pittsburgh, Lisbon, and Western Railroad Train Station In Lisbon, Ohio

 The P.L. and W Railroad Train Station in Lisbon was recently restored over the last couple of years.  Familiar names that had a hand in it's restoration included Linda Bolon, Penny Traina, and Bert Dawson, all elected officials at the time, interested in saving  a piece of the county's history.  It was a fine accomplishment and greatly appreciated by many, including myself. 
I took this picture back in 2008 when I was getting the Lisbon Haunted and Historical Tour ready.
 I didn't know there was any plans to restore it at the time and I took these pics in case they decided to tear it down.  I thought it was a beautiful building  and had no idea it was ever a train station. I thought it had been some one's home.  Built in 1886, it was a train station (first the Pittsburgh, Marion, and Chicago Train Station.  Then in about 1895 it became the Pittsburgh, Lisbon, and Western.)  The trains ran until about 1944.
There are pictures on bulletin boards outside  of the building when it was the train station.  This one is great because the train is right there, billowing black smoke.  You can just see the attachment on the right side of the building, that was gone in my picture above.
 In 1945, the building started being used as a feed mill. and remained that way for many years.
 And this is what it looks like today.  It is beautiful.  As I walked around it, I remembered how it looked before they started and was impressed with the detail that went into restoring it.  Even the glass has that old, pounded, wavy look.  The stained glass in each window adds to the charm of this old train station.  It is now a part of the Green Way Bike Trail. 
While the addition is not the exact same thing as what was originally on it, it has more of a train station feel like this.
Notice the racks to park your bike, where once, perhaps, there were hitching posts for horses.  Please take advantage of a visit to this wonderfully restored building from Columbiana County's History, located in Lisbon, Ohio.  It is worth a moment of your time!
Here are a couple of web sites with additional information about the restoration and the P.L.&W Railroad.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Ghosts In The Glass

Working with Dave's new Full Spectrum Digital Camera is producing some beautiful pictures.  The color variations are amazing, sometimes bringing out so much more detail.  Dave and I are both wondering, at this point, exactly how this particular idea helps in ghost hunting.  This is one of the pics Dave took of  Nessly Chapel.  As he studied the the glass on the window (a common practice for us, as in theory, ghosts appear in the reflection on glass, water, mirrors, etc) and noticed something in the glass.  You will see two possible figures in the upper part of the glass panes.  One in the center and one in the right pain.   Are they ghosts?  I honestly don't know at this point.  Churches are known to be haunted because they offer hope and safety.  This beautiful little Chapel is built strong and I am sure is strong in faith!  The possible ghosts in the window may not even be inside, but present with us outside instead.  And it could just be matrixing. You decide. It makes for one cool picture!  And entered into our unexplained file!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

The Tales of Nessly Chapel Cemetery Near New Cumberland, WVA

 Nessly Chapel was built in 1826.  There are many stories associated with this area, though the church seems to be the strong mainstay of the area.  It is made of cut stone and looks like castle.  the sign above the door says Built 1826-Rebuilt 1905.  For any one who loves historic buildings, this one is a feast for the eyes.
 There is a little cemetery that lies above the Church, on the hill.  It would seem that it is surrounded by stories of mystery, the Under Ground Railroad, family loyalty, Indian Burial Grounds, and witch craft.
A real Ghost Hunters Treasure Trove!
 For instance, some insist this mound of dirt and stone is a witches altar.  Others have told me it is a pile of old cemetery stones.   I think it looks more like the latter. 
Then there is this stone that simply states "The Unknown Dead".  Another stone near it tells that in this area is the mass grave of 20 to 25 people whose identity is unknown.  That is a lot of people to not know who they are. 
 I could understand it if this was a huge city with many indigents.  But this is a rural area, all farm country.  Down the road about a half mile is a sign that says this area was a haven for early mills like grist mills.  Why would there be so many unknown people in a place like this?
 Yet another stone on the other side of the small cemetery proclaims the area around it to have about 60 unmarked graves.  With all the snow around right now, it is hard to tell.  I usually look for divots in the ground to show where there is someone resting.  One story I heard was that African Americans were not permitted to be buried in the original cemetery, so they were buried outside of it.  That could explain the unmarked occupants.  There is also the tale of an under ground tunnel used in the Underground Railroad that was full of slaves escaping from the south when it collapsed, killing them all.  Supposedly they were left buried there.
 An old wrought iron fence remains below the cemetery. What is left of the gate that once graced the entrance hangs precariously, sideways, surrounded by tall fir trees.  It is slowly rusting away.  There is what looks like a family crest at the top of the gate.   Battle axes, and the heads of swans that have the bodies of snakes are in the design.  If it is a family crest of some sort, which family? 
Yet another mystery we walked away wondering about were these large piles of black stones.  I have three theories so far to explain them.  All together there are about 6 piles, and they look something like old burial mounds of some sort.  Are there people buried inside?   Do they mark the Indian Burial Grounds?  Or are they simply the remains of the rebuilding of the church in 1905? 
I was enchanted by this cemetery and church and the legends surrounding them.  We are working with the Tri-State Genealogical & Historical Society to uncover some of these mysteries.  You have to know the history to find the ghosts.  Discovering the real events behind the legends makes it all worth while.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

G12 Meets The Tri-State Genealogical & Historical Society

I was contacted a few short weeks ago by a young man named Jackson Wilson.  He is a remarkable young man who loves his family and has a thirst for history that rivals any true ghost hunter!   He invited us to the Tri-State Genealogical & Historical Society, based in Newell, West Virginia to see what kind of information they had to offer us to help in our research of the legends and lore of the tri-state area. 

Pictured above include G12 members Briana, Staci, Jen, Alex, Teresa, Will, Makayla, Mike, and Alan.   TSGHS volunteers pictured above would be Bonnie (far left) and Jackson (far right).
TSGHS is a non-profit organization operated by volunteers and dedicated to preserving the history, all history, of the tri-state area.    One of their major goals is to help families in the area to trace their own personal family history.  They have a huge collections of books, magazines, birth, death, and marriage records, census records, deeds, cemetery transcripts, obituaries, microfilm, old phone directories, and so much more!    The book case behind us is nearly full of books that are about this area.  They do not charge anything to visit their library and often will aide you in anything you need help with!  They will gladly answer any questions you might have and are eager to help you in your quest for history in any way they can.  
They are located in Newell, West Virginia.

Friday, January 14, 2011

G12 Gets Access To Some New Equipment!

(This one is my favorite!  See how the camera captured the light coming in the window on the wall?  Awesome!)
These pictures are taken with the new Full Spectrum Digital Camera that Dave just bought.  They are awesome!  I have yet to learn about all the capabilities of these cameras and how they can be used to hunt ghosts.  I am, however, excited to find out.  As we learn, we will pass it on to you!  To check out more pictures, taken by Dave with this awesome camera yesterday at Gretchen's Lock, please check out our group website:

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Hill View Manor-A Future G12 Adventure

My Crew member Dave, is busy building a page on our group web site (as he is our web master) all about Hill View Manor.  Here is the web address.  So far he has  8 different references about this awesome asylum listed !


This facility is located in New Castle, PA. 
We are going in July or August for sure, but I think I may throw in an earlier date to scout it out.  I don't want to take 30 people up there blind, so to speak.  I think even 30 is going to get lost in that huge place!  It also has a cemetery associated with it. 
If your group is interested in booking a night there, do it fast.  The dates are filling quickly.  I am calling by this Friday.  Candy, the owner,  is a very nice lady and is very helpful.  The cost is $50 per person.  You have the building from 6pm to 6am.   She has you sign a waiver and then gives you a tour and then the place is yours for the night.  If I go on an earlier date, I will take a small crew of 10 or 12 of my best so we get all we can out of the summer event.  I think it will take at least two dates to cover the whole area that makes up Hill View.  :)))
Please check out our group page above if your group is interested in booking a night!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Hammondsville in Jefferson County, Ohio

 I spent the day working on the Silver Family Mystery on Sunday.  If you are unfamiliar with it, refer to the story below this one with a video about the Silver Crypt in Spring Hill Cemetery, Wellsville, Ohio.  My main concern is that a former Mayor of Wellsville, Thomas Hammond Silver is laid to rest here.  No one knows about him.  His burial site is slowly being taken over by Nature.  The Crypt has been broken into and possibly the body of a baby stolen.  The people buried here cared about their neighbors and community and their final resting place should not be desecrated like this. 
 One direction we decided to go was Hammondsville.  David Silver, a long time doctor of Wellsville, married Nancy Hammond, daughter of Thomas Hammond, founder  of Hammondsville.  It was suggested that there is no longer anyone actually buried in the crypt and that they were all moved to the Hammond family burial site.  We decided the best place to start looking was Hammondsville.  Above is the old Hammondville School.  It closed down in around 1975, and there are claims it is full of asbestos. 
 Some of my crew members, Teresa, Alan Jr, and  Makayla Ammon live in that area, so I stopped and picked them up.  They took me to this house. It is referred to as the Hammond House, home of Charles Hammond, founder of the town.  Hmmm.  I read that Thomas Hammond was the founder of Hammondsville. Who is Charles?  Still working on that one.  One possibility is that his name is Charles Thomas Hammond or Thomas Charles Hammond?  We are still looking into that.  Teresa and her husband, Alan, are trying to get us into this house for a tour.  I sure hope so!
There is a post office for Hammondsville, a church )Hammondsville United Methodist Church) and a few remaining houses.  Oh, and a very beautiful view in many directions.  I couldn't believe, after what I had read about Hammondsville being a busy little city, that there was nothing left but an old school, post office, and a pretty little church.  If the old school didn't have the Hammondsville name on it, we wouldn't have found it so easily. 
Teresa took us to Morning View Cemetery but after a quick look(I say quick because Morning View is a tiny Cemetery)  we determined there were no Hammonds there.  We simply ran out of daylight and had to quit for now.  But we are still looking.  Part of the fun is  actually going out there and searching for answers.  Like looking for treasure.  Historical treasure!

Sunday, January 9, 2011


My favorite Legend and video for 2010. It turned into a mystery we are still working on solving. The Silver family are not in any of the cemetery books, and the only two deaths we can find on record so far re for Thomas Hammond Silver and Margaret Silver. There are three other people buried here that we can not find. David Silver may have died in Pittsburg. Thomas Hammon Silver may have died in an Assylum. Margaret actually died in New Jersey and was brought back here to be buried. There is no record so far that we can find for Sylvester, the son of David and Nancy who died on his birthday at the age of four. We are still looking.

Friday, January 7, 2011

3 Ghost Hunters+1 Haunted Cemetery=A Spooky Night!

 January 5th we went on a Midnight Run (the first of the year for us).  Amber, Brooke and I were the only ones available.  We decided to go to Carmel Acher Cemetery out near Negley.  It is in the middle of no where and includes an old church on the grounds that is no longer used.  Oh, and that is our V10 Dodge Pick up we used to hunt in all evening.  NICE!
The grave markers  are old and truly charming for anyone who likes old cemeteries.
 There is a presence here that defies explanation.  It is protective and wary of us as we make our way around the stones.  There are odd noises and strange movements that you catch out of the corner of your eye. 
 In this picture we are standing below the church.  While it looks like they are right by the building, they are at least 25 feet away from it.  That is all the closer anyone wanted to get to it. 
Unfortunately, there are broken out windows now that were not there before when we went back in May.  I can't stress enough about respect for places like this.  Lack of it might mean you end up dragging something home with you that you dont want.  A car full of kids kept racing up and down the road so we finally decided to leave after about 30 minutes.
 We found ourselves at Mr. Floyd's next.  Always spooky up there, and since it was only the three of us, that made it worse.  Strange crashing noises in the woods kind of chased us into the V10 dodge pick up we drove for the evening and we locked the doors. It felt much safer in there for sure.  That thing is going anywhere you want it to go.   After doing an EVP session , we decided to make one more stop for the evening.
I never get tired of the Grist Mill.  By the time we got here, we decided to stay in the truck, with the doors locked of course.  We sat facing the bridge and became fascinated by flashes of light along the creek from the bridge, going upstream toward Jake's Lock.  We saw this flash of light several times with no explanation for it.  We tried to communicate with it by using our flash light, but could get no intelligent response. 
It was an exciting evening with just the three of us.  I liked it because Brooke and Amber have been with me for about three years now.  They are excellent ghost hunters and I enjoy working with them.   Especially when we have a nice, big truck to go around in to keep us safe.  Thanks Mike for letting us use it!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Leetonia Cherry Valley Coke Ovens

The Cherry Valley Coke Ovens are made up of 200 Coke Ovens, built in about 1866 by the Leetonia Iron and Coal Company.  They would burn coal to remove the impurities and then ship out the ashes as "coke" to make fine grade Iron and Steel. 

This company changed hands a few times over the years, though the name Cherry Valley Iron Works Company is the one that has stuck.  By 1930, when the Great Depression hit it was owned by M.A. Hannah.  It went out of business then and was never reopened. 

Today it is a park.  A beautiful and mysterious place to visit.  Briana and I came here to scout the area for a possible place to investigate.  For me it was like visiting the Shire in Lord of the Rings.  For Briana, it was like visiting Sleepy Hollow and she expected the Headless Horseman to come out at any moment.  Either way, we were both enchanted. 

I am so happy the citizens of Leetonia have saved this place.  It is a part of the history of Columbiana County that made it great.  These are referred to as Bee Hive Ovens and there are none left existing in the state but the ones found here. 

I look forward to bringing my crew here and exploring every inch of it.  A colleague named Jim, who lives in Leetonia,  has found an old locomotive back in the woods that he is going to show us and I hope to get pictures of. 

Like an ancient, abandoned city in the jungle, I could have spent several hours here happily.I am still researching the area and hope to have more information on it soon.  I do know it was given an award for Historic Places in October of 2010.  It surely deserves it.  I can't wait to return with some ghost hunting equipment.  I wonder whispers we will hear.....

Monday, January 3, 2011

Calcutta Cemetery

 I finally made it up to Calcutta Presbyterian Cemetery on Saturday.  I have been up there before, but not with a camera.  I didn't know there was an older section like this though.  Some of the grave markers here are beautiful, like this one that looks to be made of cut logs. 
Or the one that is almost completely grown over by a poison ivy tree,  It is so entwined, you can't even read the name any longer. 

This next one has a cut stump and a dead dove laying across the top, the names long weather worn away. 

 And, had some members of my crew been present, they would have freaked out because this grave looked like someone was either dug up or dug themselves out. Zombies are the main topic of discussion lately and this was surely a grim reminder of them.
 This one is a tragic mystery.  It is a father, Lawrence Lane, and 4 of his children who apparently died in the same year!  No explanation, so I hope to find out by looking at the library and and doing some research to find their story.   They all died in 1934.
There are many divots in the ground where there are no grave markers, indicating many unmarked graves.  It is set up in the typical style, where the town cemetery was established on the top of a hill, often overlooking the town.  This cemetery is located off of St. Clair and McGuffy Drive, above the old Adrian's Restaurant.  Surrounded by newer graves and mausoleums, these old graves make up your typical spooky grave yard.  Yep, I was right at home here, wandering from stone to stone, wondering what their stories were.  If I find anything interesting, I will let you know.  If you are someone who enjoys a stroll through an old cemetery, then Calcutta Presbyterian Cemetery is one you will love.  I did.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

G12P Took Second In The Christmas Parade!

Ghosting 12 Paranormal took second place over all in the East Liverpool Christmas Parade!  Our float theme was "A Christmas Carol!".   
Scrooge-Mike Mitchell
Tiny Tim-Makayla Ammon
Bob Cratchet-Jon McElhaney
Jacob Marley-Will Hilditch
Ghost of Christmas Past-Amber Rodgers
Ghost of Christmas Present-James Carroll
Ghost of Christmas Future-Alex Beilskis
Truck Driver-James Buren
Teresa Ammon and Alan Ammon Jr. carried our banner.
Briana Carroll, Becky and Maria Buren, Jen Beilskis, Sena Bradich, Christy Welch, Mary Wymer and I  walked along the route beside the truck to pass out candy. 
We are going to be in a lot more parades in 2011 with our Legends Of Columbiana County Tour!  Please look for us!