Category Archives: Travel Channel

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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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

 

 

 

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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Christ Reformed Church Sheperdstown West Virginia

The year 1747 is the date given for the founding of this Christ Church. However, German-speaking residents of the area assembled together for Sunday worship in the tradition of the Reformed Church in the German Palatinate a few years prior to that. 

In the earliest days of the Christ Church congregation, the local Lutheran congregation and possibly some Presbyterian congregation shared the same log building. The stone tower on this church was a part of the original Christ church building.

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It was preserved and included in today’s structure which was erected in the early 1800s. It is a square tower made of native stone and is surmounted by a steeple and belfry. The belfry contains three bells imported from Germany. The bells were imported a few years after the Revolution by a Revolutionary soldier named Michael Yeasley. The largest of the three bells is engraved with the date 1732 and “Rouen,” suggesting a French manufacture.

The cemetery was established in 1774 and is right beside the church. There were graves of soldiers who served in the American War for Independence and some headstones were inscribed in German.

In the Eighteenth century, the Christ Church name also included the word “German” to distinguish it from the Dutch Reformed Church. Another denomination formed in the United States to include both Lutheran and Reformed traditions. It was called the Evangelical Synod of North America. In 1934, Christ Church merged with the Evangelical Synod and became known as the Christ Evangelical and Reformed Church in Shepherdstown after it was realized that the national leadership of the Church desired cooperation and unity.
The landing of the Pilgrims at Plymouth in 1620 signified the beginning of the denomination in America.  Many years later, in 1957, The United Church of Christ was formed, and the name of Christ Church in Shepherdstown became Christ Reformed Church, United Church of Christ.

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By: Cindie Harper

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