Category Archives: African American History

The Duppy and The Jumbee 

In the islands of the Lesser Antilles, ghosts and spirits are called the Jumbee. The Jumbee  are usually regarded as being malevolent and are also called Mendo. They are mythological spirits or demons originating in Caribbean  folklore. It is believed that people who have been evil during their lifetime are also destined to be evil (Jumbee) in death.


While I was visiting the West Indies this past September, I was able to spend time with many of the locals. Of course we discussed spiritual beliefs and I was able to participate in a few spiritual experiences.

The locals explained to me that they use the word Duppy to describe a ghost or spirit. Most of the folklore in the Caribbean involves Duppies. Duppies are generally considered to be malevolent or restless spirits and can be very harmful. They can also be sent to others by using Obeah.

Good Duppies usually appear to you in a dream as a deceased family member or friend and generally give you advice or information.

The general consensus was that Duppies speak in high pitched, nasal voices and may make you feel like your head is expanding.  You also may become unexpectedly hot.
A Duppy can be chased away by eating salt, wearing your clothes inside out, or by cursing and exposing your private parts.
Many of the locals say they have seen them at night. Three of the most malicious spirits that were described to me were: the rolling calf, three footed horse, and the old higue. The Duppy originates in Bantu folklore. A Duppy is described as a manifestation of the soul of a dead person. They can manifest as a human or animal and are generally considered to be malevolent.


In Jamaica, the word Duppy comes from African folklore and the Ashanti people. The locals explained that in Obeah, a person is believed to possess a good soul and an earthly soul. When a person dies, the earthly spirit stays on earth for three days and the good soul goes to heaven to be judged by God.


During the three days after death, the earthly spirit remains with the body in the coffin, it can escape and appear as a duppy if the proper steps are not taken.

By: Cindie Harper

 

Anchorage Putnam Villa House in Marietta Ohio

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The Anchorage is a historical home in the Harmar neighborhood of Marietta, Ohio, United States. This house is also known as the Putnam Villa, it was built in 1859 by Douglas Putnam for his wife Eliza. Douglas was the great grandson of General Israel Putnam. Douglas’ brother, David Putnam, Jr. was the leading abolitionist in Marietta. It is believed that David frequently visited the home so many people believe that the home was used as part of the Underground Railroad.One of the last private residents of the Anchorage, Eddie MacTaggert, claimed that his grandfather was active in the Underground Railroad and was told that the home was used for it. That was the main reason that Eddie wanted to purchase the home.

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In 1894, the Knox family bought the house from the Putnams. The Knox family was involved in boat building and gave the home the name of The Anchorage. From 1960 to 1986 the house served as a nursing home called The Christian Anchorage. Since 1996, the  the Washington County Historical Society has owned the home.

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There are many claims that Eliza Putnam is seen looking out of the windows of the house. There are also many rumors of tunnels and secret rooms in the house. There are tunnels in the basement of the Anchorage that lead into the surrounding hillside. Geologists and many other experts believe the tunnels were designed for drainage. Without them, the weight of the enormous house would cause the ground to slip and possibly cave in. 

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There is a tiny room directly beneath the kitchen in the basement of the Anchorage. You have to squeeze through a concealed opening to get inside. It’s little more than a large crawl space and no one has an explanation for it.

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Photos taken by Cindie Harper

 

Hilltop House Hotel in Harper’s Ferry

The century old stone inn overlooks the village of Harper’s Ferry, West Virginia, at the confluence of the Potomac and Shenandoah Rivers.

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Since 1888, Historic Hilltop House has received some notable guests like Alexander Graham Bell, Mark Twain, Carl Sandburg, Pearl S. Buck, President Woodrow Wilson, President Bill Clinton and Vice President Al Gore.

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Historic Hilltop House is an establishment that can be directly connected to African American history of Harper’s Ferry.  Its first proprietor and manager was Mr. Thomas S. Lovett, an African American native of Harper’s Ferry.

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Mr. Lovett managed several hotels in Harper’s Ferry including the Lockwood House. Mr. Lovett fulfilled his dream by building the first Hilltop House in 1888.  His first building burned in 1912 and his second in 1917 or 1918. Mr. Lovett and his wife Lavonia, were determined to rebuild each time.  Mr. Lovett maintained his proprietorship of the Hilltop House Hotel for 38 years.

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In Harper’s Ferry, Storer College was created primarily to educate former slaves, and the first public meeting of the Niagara Movement was held to combat the injustices of the Jim Crow laws and legal segregation. Today, the Hilltop House stands as a testimony to the dedication and determination of the Lovett’s.

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In 2008, SWaN & Legend Venture Partners of Leesburg, Virginia bought, opened, then closed the historic 74-room Hilltop Hotel. Since then the Harper’s Ferry hotel has been left to deteriorate and crumble, inside and out. SWaN also purchased between 28 and 30 residences near the hotel, but once the residents were evicted from their houses, those structures were left to decay.

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If you’d like to support Saving this historic location, please LIKE the following Facebook page:

I’d love to see this place be preserved! I have visited this location numerous times and would love to help save it. Please share this post! Let’s save this awesome location!!

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Written by:

Cindie Harperhilltop-hotel-harpers-ferry-wv-abandoned-historic-paranormal

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The Old English Chapel (Mecklenburg Chapel) Sheperdstown, West Virginia

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The “Old English Church” which is also known as Mecklenburg Chapel began as a log cabin in 1745.  The stone structure called the Mecklenburg Chapel replaced the original building in 1769. To this date, the basic structure still remains. It is one of the first church buildings west of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Thomas Shepherd, Founder of Sheperdstown, willed the lot where the building stands to the church parish in 1776. After the Revolution, the building fell into neglect. The church was  rebuilt in 1815. There are records of the church being referred to as Trinity Church in 1836. There was a clock located in the tower of the church from 1841 to 1858. The clock was gifted to the church by Rezin D. Shepherd. After the Civil War, the Old English Church became the first Freedman’s School and then the African Methodist Episcopal Church. The original steeple blew off in a storm in the 1890’s. Today the property is privately owned and was used as the Headquarters for the cast and crew of the show “Ghosts of Sheperdstown.”

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