Category Archives: Occult Activity

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

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Kobal: Demon aka Prince of Mockery

Kobal was created as the Archangel of Laughter and was valued by Lucifer. While Lucifer began sharing some of his opinions, Kobal was often present and would provoke defensive angels into answering. This was actually a good thing and kept the angels from ignoring important ideas. However, Kobal started concentrating more on provoking a response. Most of his comments were directed at Lucifer. Then came the Fall.

Lucifer had been watching carefully as his support grew. With that came heresy and discord. Lucifer gathered his legions around him and set out to capture Heaven for himself. He failed, and his armies were cast into Hell, including Kobal.

As Kobal saw the Rebellion fail, he watched as they were defeated. Kobal saw the future of the War. While the newbie demons were suffering in agony and despair in Hell, Kobal looked at them and laughed. Kobal approached Lucifer who rallied the demons. Lucifer urged them to join him in continuing the War with Heaven, Kobal was quiet. When Baal made it clear that he still believed in God’s omnipotence and that he was only trying to provoke God, Kobal bowed to him and left. Kobal did not participate in the creation of Pandemonium and the Principalities.

When Kobal returned, he returned as the dark, hateful and angry figure that is well known in Hell. He declared that he would take no territory of his own and ridiculed Baal, Belial and Asmodeus. He even pointed out Asmodeus’ faulty plans for attacking Heaven.

He asked Beleth about the Nighmares she created compared to the terror she herself felt at the idea of her own existence. He asked Andrealphus whether he thought his carnal pleasures would ever fill the cavernous, aching void left in him by the loss of the Love of Heaven. He even asked Lucifer how he planned to defeat Heaven with a pathetic, cry baby, whining mob.

Kobal promised Lucifer that he would support him. He promised that when Lucifer’s inferiors would argue and fight each other, he would be there to make them fear him. Kobal declared that he would ruin them in the eyes of their peers. Kobal vowed to have them hate him with a hatred as black as any they feel for Heaven because he could destroy them with words.

When Lucifer asked why Kobal was willing to do that, Kobal answered by saying that he has seen the face of God and that he could destroy them all. Kobal declared, “I am Mockery.”

Kobal’s only goal is to create for himself a temporary feeling of superiority over everything else in the Universe, and to prolong that feeling for as long as possible. He knows that he will ultimately fail because God will eventually destroy him or take away his power. Kobal thinks himself superior since he sees the truth. He vows to have everyone fear him or hate him, or both. He also encourages those he meets to mock their peers, so he can then feel even more superior by being a joker and a victim.

Kobal is whimsical in the extreme. This often provokes counter strikes against his assets. This means nothing to Kobal though because he cares about nothing. It is more important to him that his enemy destroys the assets than steal them.

Kobal will not stand being mocked. If any demon belittles him in any way, he usually destroys them immediately after he forces them to admit to their stupidity. Kobal does not like jokes. He never laughs and does not like it if others laugh or joke around him.

Kobal does not typically make blatant displays of power. He seems to have no need to impress others with force when he can ruin them with his intelligence. Kobal is also aware that controlling others does not reduce God’s power over Kobal. Only his knowledge of the secret of Mockery reduces God’s power to mock Kobal.

I have had Kobal come across spirit boxes and EVP’s numerous times while conducting paranormal research. He definitely seems to be active throughout my life. My great aunt told me that Kobal tries to insert a lot of influence into my life and she can pick up on a lot of his characteristics dominating my personality. I guess this would explain the creepy laughter coming across EVP’s and spirit box sessions. It would also explain my urge to laugh at my enemies while not feeling the need to assert any power over them. They usually show their stupidity through their behaviors.

Kobal is a pretty interesting character. I will go into detail about my run ins with him in my book.

Written by:

Cindie Harper

Black Cats & Halloween- Safety Watch

It seems as though Western culture has always had a love-hate relationship with cats, especially black ones. Ancient Egyptians revered cats but western culture seems to perpetuate negative superstitions about them. In the Middle Ages, it was a common belief that cats were associated with witchcraft and evil. Many believed that witches could turn themselves into cats. During the witch trials and hunts in the 16th and 17th centuries, thousands of cats were torturously killed along with the humans who cared for them.

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Even though cats are the most popular pet in the United States and other Western countries, they are still at high risk for maltreatment.  As a result of misinformation and inaccurate age old beliefs, some people still use Halloween as an excuse to capture and viciously harm cats, especially black cats. This past weekend, during a trip to Petco, I spoke with a local cat rescue agency representative who informed me that they do not allow the adoption of black cats during the month of October. She explained that the Halloween season seems to trigger violence against cats in general and black cats in particular, so the shelter and pet foster families take extra precautions to decrease the chances of cats being adopted for the purpose of being tortured and abused. Unfortunately, this does not protect cats who are not in their care.

During Halloween season, especially on Halloween night, there are more people outside, increased traffic, and noise which could make the world a very scary and unsafe place for a cat. Please keep this is mind. Our feline friends are counting on their humans to protect them.

Have a safe and Happy Halloween!

Oíche Shamhna Shona Duit (EE-hyeh HOW-nuh HUN-uh ditch)! (Happy Halloween!)

Written by: Cindie Harper

 

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ZoZo Phenomena: Hoax or Hysteria

The first reported appearance of this entity occurred in 1816, when a young girl in Picardy, France fell victim to a severe demonic possession. She became the vessel for a number of demons, one of which was reportedly the mysterious Zozo (de Plancy, 1863).

Later, when Ouija boards entered popular culture in the 20th Century, stories of Zozo began to rise. There were numerous tales told of the Ouija spirit, the one who devours souls and changes lives. It’s difficult to tell which stories about Zozo are authentic and which are urban legends. Some tell of murders and suicides, while others involve possession, physical ailments, abuse, curses, and other phenomena commonly associated with demonic forces.

What is the Zozo Demon?

The Zozo demon is a demon that has been documented since the 1800s. The Zozo demon is the demon specifically associated with the Ouija Board, now referred to as the Ouija Board demon to most. This demon is said to be a “Demon of Destruction.” He is a three-headed dog demon that guards the gates of Hell. Each of his three mouths has very sharp fangs.

Zozo typically attaches his presence to unsuspecting Ouija board users. It is believed that once he attaches himself to you, it can take weeks or months before he leaves. According to many, Zozo is very intelligent and intuitive. Zozo will do everything in his power to trick those who have summoned him in order to attach his essence to their being. Some have claimed that Zozo is Lucifer himself.

When Zozo is summoned, either by accident or on purpose, some common themes are reported among Ouija users. It is reported that the planchette on the Ouija board makes a repetitive movement through the alphabet from “Z” to “O” or counts down from ten to one to announce arrival. Some people have reported that the letter “Z” will be scratched into a nearby surface or on the board itself. Many people believe that you should not go backwards in the alphabet or numbers while using a Ouija board. It is believed that demons and evil spirits use this method to open portals into our world and break through from the other side. As a result of this belief, it is believed by some that the name “Zozo” is a trick.

While researching the “Zozo” phenomenon, it was common to come across claims that “Zozo” may actually be a demon named Bahzozo from ancient Babylonian times. Upon further research, no evidence of an entity named Bahzozo could be found in any Mesopotamian belief systems. It is possible that Bahzozo might come from Pazuzu, the Babylonian demon of the wind.

Research also found that some people believe that “Zozo” could be a djinn. Djinn do not possess for the soul, they possess for pure pleasure. Other people believe that “Zozo” is actually Lola Zaza, the daughter of Aleister Crowley. Crowley was known by many as one of the most evil men in the world.  It is reported that Aleister Crowley claimed that “Zozo” also represented 666.

Among the most common beliefs surrounding the “Zozo” phenomenon is that “Zozo” (the destroyer) is a three headed dog demon who guards the gates of hell. Others believe that “Zozo” is also a version of “Zaza” who is described as the Jewish goat-like demon, Azazel.

However, not everyone believes that “ Zozo” is a demon. Many people believe that Ouija boards are fake and that it is possible that “Zozo” could be a shared experience of our human creation. According to Brunvand, word-of-mouth transmission of stories heard “from a friend of a friend” is a powerful way to spread memes.

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The Ouija board has become one of the most feared occult devices. Once this method of “communicating with spirits” was invented, the Zozo phenomenon really took off. It is reported that “Zozo” was always hanging around looking for a way to enter the Earthly plane.  It is believed that the Ouija board allowed access. Once the entrance was provided, it is believed that Zozo would torment the individual forever.

There is a paranormal researcher, Darren Evans, who has a blog called The Zozo Phenomenon. This blog documents hundreds of encounters with Zozo. Darren calls himself a “Zozologist” and states that “The fact remains that an entity or group of entities are harassing Ouija participants all over the world. Language is not a barrier. Geographical locations on earth are no barrier. It is best left alone. If you experience aggressive interaction and planchette movements while using a Ouija, take precautions. It is not just a game. Be aware of the circular patterns, and do not let it count through numbers forward or backwards thru the alphabet. Figure eights while common, can result in some type of manifestation.” (Evans, 2012)

Is the Zozo phenomenon just superstition or is it possibly a result of the ideomotor effect? Rob Schwartz’ article at Stranger Dimensions suggested that it’s possible that the Zozo phenomena could possibly be purely human inventions that rely on credulity and a blurred understanding of the line between fact and fiction.  Regardless of individual belief of Zozo’s existence, reports of Zozo continue to increase.

 

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Table Tipping: Physical Phenomena or Supernatural Force?

Humans have been attempting to contact the dead since the earliest of times. It was so much of a concern, that God forbade people to seek out mediums as recorded in the book of Leviticus. However, throughout the years, humans continued to seek out ways to contact the spirit world. In the 19th century, Kate and Margaret Fox announced that they were going to contact the spirit world. The two young Fox sisters began demonstrating their skills for an audience and within a few months, Spiritualism emerged.

Table tipping in the early days was predominantly considered a parlor game. The basic technique behind table tipping or table turning is simple. Have the participants sit comfortably around the table and have everyone put their hands on the table, palms down. One participant should perform a ritual of protection. Select a leader for the group and have this person address any possible spirits in the room. Ask the spirits to communicate with you by giving them instructions for how you would like them to communicate using the table. After some time, the table should start to move. Participants have reported tables sliding, swaying, turning, tipping and occasionally it has been reported that knocks have been heard in response to the questions.

Table tipping phenomena became the subject of scientific investigation (Heap, 2002). In 1852, the term Ideomotor was first used in a scientific paper discussing the means through which the spiritualistic phenomena produced effect. In the paper, William Carpenter explained his theory that muscular movement can be independent of conscious desires or emotions (Carpenter, 1852). Chemist and physicist Michael Faraday also took an interest in the phenomena and began some scientific testing of his own.

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At some point, several other respected researchers took an interest in the table tipping phenomena. Among these notable men was surgeon James Braid, the French chemist Michel Eugène Chevreul, and American psychologists’ William James and Ray Hyman. The general consensus among these men was the belief that the phenomenon that was attributed to spiritual or paranormal forces, or to mysterious “energies,” was actually due to ideomotor action. Hyman reported that these tests demonstrate that “honest, intelligent people can unconsciously engage in muscular activity that is consistent with their expectations.” He also implied that verbal suggestion can guide behavior after being given subtle clues (Hyman 1977).

In 1853, John Prichard wrote “A Few Sober Words of Table-Talk.” Prichard agreed that the table movement is the result of some physical phenomenon, not a supernatural force. While Prichard agrees with Faraday in principle, he did not agree with Faraday’s explanation. Prichard explains that there is an interaction between atoms, nerves, and electricity that creates a force “antagonistic to the force of gravity.” According to Prichard, he discovered a completely new physical law, boldly declaring that not only will the theory of gravity need to be revisited, but the very movement of the cosmos must be reconsidered (Prichard, 1853).

Raymond Buckland reported that table tipping phenomena is not phenomena of levitation, but most likely a demonstration of parakinesis. Parakinesis is the movement of objects with physical contact that is not considered sufficient enough to explain the movement of the object (Buckland, 2006). Many reports have documented claims that tables have tipped and also lifted into the air and galloped about. There are even reports of tables moving with all participants sitting on top of them. Despite numerous documented experiments, table tipping phenomena remains a mystery to most people.

Scientists and Spiritualists continue to disagree on the methods and results from table tipping phenomena experiments. Most skeptics dismiss all table tipping as either fraud or a result of the ideomotor effect as they do not typically believe in telekinesis, parakinesis, or paranormal phenomenon. Either way, the power of the human mind is fascinating. It has been found that the average person utilizes only ten percent or less of their brain capacity. That leaves a lot of possibilities for researchers to explore. Regardless of whether or not table tipping is a result of some physical or psychic phenomenon or a supernatural force, it is worthy of further research and investigation.

Written by: Cindie Harper

 

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Flinderation Tunnel

Flinderation Tunnel is located in Salem, West Virginia. It is an an old railroad tunnel. The structure is approximately 1,000 ft in length and was built in the 1860’s.

This railroad line was chartered by the Northwestern Virginia Railroad for the B&O. The tunnel section was built between 1853 and 1854. It was actually was an independent company but was essentially financed by the B&O. The B&O timelines show no record of any accident or derailment in or near the tunnel.

Flinderation Tunnel is part of the 72 mile North Bend Trail. It is operated by West Virginia State Parks and is part of the American Discovery Trail. The Flinderation Tunnel has been featured on paranormal shows as it is said that phantom trains are seen and sounds of footsteps and train wheels screeching against the train tracks have been reported by numerous folks in the area.

The stories abound about this allegedly haunted location. There are stories telling of a train wreck, the death of a man, rumors of past KKK murders and numerous ghost sightings. In 2009, I was even present during the filming of my friend Jason discussing Flinderation Tunnel on the Travel Channel.

I have conducted numerous paranormal investigations and completed many hours of research on this location. The place has a creepy atmosphere, with an old graveyard, and the gory story of a deadly train wreck. There are places along the tunnel roof that are missing and have crumbled onto the ground. Traffic noises echo from Route 50 and bounce back and forth within the tunnel walls, making it almost impossible to obtain true EVP’s from the location. The wind whistles through the tunnel and when you look toward either end of the tunnel, the shadows will have your eyes playing tricks on you against the darkness. It is not uncommon to see lights, shadowy figures, and many other light distortions.

According to my friend Jason, local legend tells of a train accident in which two men were ran over by a train in the tunnel. One man was dragged about 75 yards under the train while the other man flattened himself into a shallow cubby hole and survived.

Another story circulating was that there were several men working on the railroad back in the 1800’s. They did not realize a train was coming and one of the workers could not get off the tracks in time. The train caught him and killed him which caused a freak derailment. Many paranormal investigators believe that these stories contribute to the inexplicable fogs, lights and ghostly footsteps that are reported by many who visit Flinderation Tunnel.

There is another legend associated with Flinderation Tunnel. It states that in the mid 1900’s, the Ku Klux Klan brought many of their victims to the tunnel to carry out various attacks and lynchings. Eventually, the tunnel was officially shut down and the tracks were torn up in the 1990’s.That brings us to present day where it remains part of the North Bend rail trail.

I have heard many stories and reports from other paranormal investigators who claim to experience unknown lights, mists or fog, footsteps, orbs, growling, crying, voices and various apparitions to include children who talk and giggle.  There was even a story about  a red “evil orb” that was allegedly captured in a still photo. The man claimed that the orb moved from left to right and knocked him over while he was inside the tunnel.

There is a cemetery located on top of the tunnel. There are claims that some of the coffins have fell through the roof of the tunnel. This allegedly caused the tunnel to be patched on several occasions. There were even some allegations that a body from one of the caskets may have gotten stuck between the repaired tunnel roof and the cemetery after their coffin fell through. I was able to verify with locals that the cemetery above the tunnel has not always been stable. Every time I have ever visited Flinderation Tunnel, I have not been able to see any stones patched because it’s too far up above me and it’s usually very dark.

Most of the legends and stories about the tunnel mention a terrible train wreck but I was unable to locate any historical records to verify the stories. There were no newspaper articles, death records to match the location or any other official documentation that I could use to verify any of the claims. In addition to that, I found it almost impossible to capture EVP’s at this location due to the traffic noise and other contamination from the nearby highway. However, I always felt like someone or something was watching me and there is an overall feeling of uneasiness inside the tunnel. I contribute that to the living humans who regularly visit the tunnel more than I would contribute it to paranormal activity.

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Written by:

Cindie Harper

 

 

 

Mysterious Grave Expulsion in Morgantown West Virginia

In July of 1975, Morgantown, West Virginia had a strange, unexplained event occur right before the Fourth of July festivities began. The caretaker of Oak Grove Cemetery noticed a suspicious pile of dirt that he suspected was caused by local teenagers who had been shooting off fireworks. However, when he went to investigate it, he was baffled. It appeared as though a grave had been desecrated. The ground above the grave was torn up and he could see the vault coming up through the ground. He phoned the police to report what he suspected to be vandalism. When the police officers arrived, they were also confused by the strange site. After inspecting it further, it appeared to look more like something exploded outward. It is reported that the cover on the burial vault had erupted upward through the earth and burst through the soil and grass.  Upon further examination of the grave, they realized that there was no trace of an explosion, no gunpowder residue, and nothing else nearby appeared to be disturbed.

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The local gas company investigated the site for natural gas eruption, but determined that a gas explosion was not the cause. The ground in this area of the cemetery had been graded a few feet which meant that this grave was one of the more shallow ones. Further examination of the grave itself revealed that the vault had split at one corner, which might have forced the 3-inch thick slab lid to pop upward but not enough to appear the way it did. They also considered the possibility that there was a build up of gases from decomposition that caused the expulsion. However, the men could see a child’s coffin that appeared to be untouched and intact.

The vault belonged to Harry Spitz, who had died in 1912 from cholera. He had been buried for approximately 63 years.  An exhumation of the casket was granted with the intention of solving this mysterious occurrence but opening the casket only presented further mysteries. Harry’s body appeared to be very well preserved. His skin was somewhat leathery but intact and his face was framed by long blond hair. He wore a blue and white suit and had a stuffed lion at his feet. The coffin lining had rotted away but Harry appeared to be in remarkably good shape. The morgue supervisor at West Virginia University Hospital examined tissue samples but no traces of living organisms were found. This ruled out the gas theory. Scientists considered coal mining in the area, but no operations had ever been conducted in the vicinity of the grave. Methane and natural gas were researched and eliminated and no seismic tremors were recorded.

A husk of a flower and a small commemorative plate still lay on top of the casket, untouched. Neither of the objects had been attached to the coffin and should have slid off the coffin easily if it were disturbed even slightly. Even though the police chief remembered receiving reports about a strange group of people who had held séances and various other ritualistic activities within Oak Grove Cemetery, he was not willing to believe that they had summoned up some entity with great force.

Unable to reach a conclusion on what had caused the mysterious expulsion of Harry’s grave, the body of young Harry Spitz was reinterred in a new vault and Harry’s body was laid to rest once again on July 12, 1976. This event still casts a mysterious shadow over Oak Grove Cemetery. This mystery brought out many curious people to stare at the grave. The observers ranged from Fundamentalists to Psychics. Many people had their own theories about what had caused the mysterious event.

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Over the years, many stories have been told about the event. One of my favorite stories involves nursing home employees who took care of Harry’s mother, Desiree. Many of the employees who were involved in caring for Desiree over the years reported that every year the furniture in Desiree’s room would move around like someone had come in the middle of the night and moved it. According to several nursing home employees, Desiree was physically unable to move. In fact, the nurses and medical assistants stated that they do not recall any time where Desiree had talked or moved at all during their employment at the facility.

The mystery remains.