Category Archives: Historic Preservation

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

 

Madison Seminary Camera Issues

Madison Seminary SB7 sessionMadison Seminary in Ohio did not seem to appreciate my cameras. I don’t think I’ve ever had so many camera difficulties across all of my devices at one location.

I was the first one to arrive at The Madison Seminary in Madison, Ohio. It was dark already and I figured I would make the best of my alone time there while waiting for everyone else to arrive. I grabbed my iphone for some quick photos and for some reason, my flash would not work at all.

Sometimes seeing a black screen in the Camera app instead of the image you’re trying to photograph can be a software  or hardware issue. If the problem is due to the software, because of a bug in iOS, you can usually remedy the problem by switching between the front and rear-facing cameras. If that doesn’t fix the problem, then stopping the Camera app and restarting it may fix the problem. The other option is to force restart your iPhone. If the problem isn’t the hardware, it’s a good idea to make sure that something isn’t blocking the camera so make sure that the lens isn’t covered. Which makes the photos that I took even more strange. My phone did not have any of the above mentioned issues and I could see Madison Seminary on my screen. However, when I took the picture, the photos below are the result.

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I was able to see a bright red orb (I am not really a fan of orbs) but I attributed this to the red exit signs illuminating the ends of the halls in the building. (See below).

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I checked all of my settings and even turned my phone on and off but that really didn’t seem to help.

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It was very dark outside but I was able to at least see the building in the photos.

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So I drove around to the back of the building thinking that I may have more luck back there but that seemed to make it worse.

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I realize that this does not mean that it’s a “paranormal” problem but I rarely have this much trouble with my iPhone camera. Being the resourceful person that I am, I put my iPhone in the car and got my digital Canon Powershot out and took a few photos with it. Guess what? I had the same problems.

Here are the photos taken with the Canon.

Here is the back of the building:

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Finally….I got it to work after about 8 million attempts and getting nothing but photos similar to the one above.madison-seminary-back-cindie-harper-canon-camera-haunted

So after getting one successful photo of the back of the building, I went around to the front. This is what I got.

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Now, my iPhone camera and Canon weren’t the only cameras that were not working properly. My handheld Sony video camera’s batteries kept being drained after about an hour of use and the camera would shut off on it’s own even when the battery was charged.

I will post more about that in another blog. I just wanted to share these photos with you so that you could see what I am referring to when I discuss camera issues.

Most of you who know me know that I am not new to the paranormal or visiting old, allegedly haunted locations and I am definitely not new to traveling and photography. I have traveled the world using many different cameras and devices and I rarely have trouble. If I do, it’s usually only with one device or camera but not all of them at one place.

I’m not claiming this to be paranormal. This blog was meant to share this observation with you. That’s it. I am not the first person to have this problem at this location and it’s highly unlikely that I will be the last.

By: Cindie Harper

 

Check out the shadow figure that Todd Bonner of Detroit Paranormal Expeditions (DPX) caught on video at Madison Seminary. It appears to be running away from me while investigator Jeff Adkins of Detroit Paranormal Expeditions (DPX) is sitting on the floor in the middle of the screen below:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Overnight Stay at the Haunted Nemacolin Castle

Nemacolin Castle (also known as Bowman’s Castle) is located in Brownsville, Pennsylvania. It was built by the Bowman family in 1789 and demonstrates Colonial and Victorian styles of architecture. It is believed to have been a stop along the Underground Railroad. It has been owned and maintained by the Brownsville Historical Society since the 1960’s and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

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There have been reports of at least ten ghosts witnessed at Nemacolin Castle. There are reports of a ghost named Elizabeth who wears a white dress, a ghost named Mary who is a seven-year-old girl with dark curly hair, a ghost of a woman wearing a dark dress seen frequently in the second floor hallway, and the ghost of a man who is believed to be  Jacob Bowman himself. There have been numerous reports of paranormal phenomena to include: odd photos of orbs, disembodied voices and laughter, knocking sounds, cold spots, light anomalies, flashlight manipulation, EVP’s and personal paranormal experiences. Law enforcement was called out after motion sensors alerted them that possible trespassers were on the property. When police arrived they saw a little girl upstairs waving to them. They assumed she had gotten locked in somehow. When the door was finally opened by owners, no one was found inside.

I explored this haunted castle this past weekend and was lucky enough to have a few paranormal experiences while visiting. Not only was the location filled with beautiful and intriguing antiques but also seemed to be filled with paranormal activity. Most museum houses that I visit are filled with furnishings that are brought in from other locations but Nemacolin Castle is filled with furnishings that belonged to the Bowman family dated as far back as 1787 when Jacob Bowman built a trading post there.

I would have to say that my favorite room was the nursery. I am not really a fan of creepy dolls but the creepy factor was elevated in that room.

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It could have been the abundance of creepy dolls or maybe it was a combination of the dolls and the antique Ouija Board whose former owner was actually a resident of the home. I’m not sure. Either way, that room was my favorite room in the castle.

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My second favorite room was the Bishop’s room where you can actually see your aura in a giant antique diamond backed mirror above a mantle. This mirror is absolutely breathtaking and is believed to be worth more than the house and it’s belongings put together.

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Renee Kruse was my tour guide for the evening. She is also a Nemacolin Castle Board Member, Paranormal Investigator and very knowledgeable about the history of the area and property. She graciously shared her knowledge and experiences with me and I enjoyed my visit to this amazing location. I highly recommend visiting this beautiful, and in my opinion, haunted location. I will be posting videos and photos of my experiences here in the near future.

If you are ever in the area, I highly recommend that you visit this amazing historic and HAUNTED location. If you are into helping with Historic Preservation, please consider donating your time or money to the preservation efforts.

By: Cindie Harper

http://www.femmeforce.org

Twitter: @thefemmeforce

Instagram: @hella_harper

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/femmeforceparanormal/

 

Shadow Figure Caught on Video at Madison Seminary

The Madison Seminary in Madison, Ohio definitely does not disappoint. Myself and several other paranormal investigators conducted an overnight paranormal investigation at this active location on November 6, 2016. While we were there, Paranormal Investigator and Co-Founder of Detroit Paranormal Expeditions (DPX) Todd Bonner caught a disturbing child size shadow figure while using his iPhone. It appears to run away from me. In the video, you see Co-Founder of Detroit Paranormal Expeditions (DPX) and Paranormal Investigator Jeff Adkins sitting on the floor in the middle of the room and I am standing in the corner changing the battery of my video camera while holding a flashlight. My camera batteries kept draining more quickly than usual at this location and the battery had just died so I was in the process of changing it out and attaching the camera back onto the tripod.

The disturbing shadow can be seen appearing to run away from where I am standing. It appears to be similar to the height of a small child and runs very quickly along the wall in the light cast by my flashlight beam. The shadow looks as though it disappears into the floor.

The hair-raising video was captured in the top floor of Madison Seminary in the very same room where Maddy the haunted doll is located. As if that was not eerie enough, many people who have viewed the video agree that the shadow appears to be very similar to the type of shadow that the haunted doll casts when light is shone upon her.

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The shadow appears to manifest between the wall and myself where my flashlight beam is shining. You can see that the shadow is not caused by anything in the area and appears to move very quickly. I attempted to recreate this image as soon as Todd discovered the shadow on the video and pointed it out to me. I was unable to recreate it. We have been unable to come up with a logical explanation for the image at this time.

The Madison Seminary served as a high school, college, facility for Civil War Army nurses, The Ohio Women’s Reformatory, and a home for mentally disabled, aged or senile women.
The building is on the National Historic Register and in 1993, the building was advertised as “can be leased cheap. Caution: building may be haunted.”

Previous paranormal teams claim to have made contact with the ghost of a young boy named Steven, odd photos of orbs, disembodied voices, knocking sounds, cold spots, light anomalies, flashlight manipulation, EVP’s and personal paranormal experiences.

Shadow people are usually reported to be humanoid figures that are seen flickering on walls and ceilings in one’s peripheral vision. They are usually reported to make jerky movements and to move very quickly. Many reports claim that the shadow beings disappear into walls, mirrors, ceilings or floors. They are believed to be evil and aggressive in nature. These shadow-like apparitions are one of the most regularly reported paranormal phenomena in the United States. Some paranormal researchers believe that shadow people might be extra-dimensional inhabitants of another universe or the Islamic Jinn. They have even been compared to the Cherokee witches known as Raven Mockers. Despite shadow people being one of the most regularly reported paranormal phenomenon, it is very rare to capture these beings on camera.

Most reports of shadow people leave us no evidence to test or study and most videos or photos are worthless in regards to empiricism. In this case, we were unable to find a physical cause and we were unable to recreate the effect only minutes after this video was recorded at the same location with the same lighting conditions. Most of the time, we only have conjecture and hypothesis and my usual go-to explanation is suggesting that shadow beings are results of psychological manifestations like hypnogogia or hypnopompia. This time, it was caught on video so this explanation is not acceptable.

Most of us witnessed some form of paranormal activity at this location. We will be posting more about our experiences at this active location in the near future. If you would like to discuss this location and our experiences there, please get in touch with us. If you’d like us to be guests on your show, please contact us through social media. We’d be happy to share our experiences with you.

Most of us plan to return to Madison Seminary to conduct more paranormal research and experiments and we are very excited to do so.

Here is a link to the shadow figure video:

REAL Shadow Figure Caught on Camera at Madison Seminary

 

By: Cindie Harper

 

The Madison Seminary: One of Ohio’s Most Haunted Places

The Madison Seminary in Madison Ohio. This location was dubbed “One of Ohio’s Most Haunted Places.”

The Madison Seminary started out as a small, frame building when it opened in 1847. It served as a high school and college. The buildings were used for education until 1891, when the property was purchased by the Ohio Woman’s Relief Corps. The Civil War Army nurses, wives, sisters and mothers of soldiers used the facility and it became known as the National Relief Corp Home. The building that stands today was built on the site of the original small frame wood structure and was added by the Woman’s Relief Corps  in 1891. By 1904, the WRC could not maintain the facility so it was donated to the State of Ohio. The property changed hands and functions several times over the next few decades. The building was used as the Ohio Women’s Reformatory and by various medical facilities. It also served as an extension of housing for mentally disabled, aged or senile women.

In the 1970’s, the Lake County commissioners acquired the buildings from the state and leased them to Madison Township for administrative offices until a new facility was built. The building is on the National Historic Register and in 1993, the building was advertised as “can be leased cheap, caution — building may be haunted.”

Previous paranormal teams claim to have made contact with the ghost of a young boy named Steven, odd photos of orbs, disembodied voices, knocking sounds, cold spots, light anomalies, flashlight manipulation, EVP’s and personal paranormal experiences.

By: Cindie Harper

Twitter: @thefemmeforce

Website: http://www.femmeforce.org

 

 

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:

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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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