An interview with Karl Pfeiffer, the multitalented photographer, novelist, and ghost hunter. We cover his time on Syfy’s Ghost Hunters Academy, as well as his thoughts on paranormal TV. We bravely tackle the polarizing topic of orbs! Plus his experiences from leading ghost tours at the Stanley Hotel, and the inspiration for his photography!
Are you brave enough to stay the night at the haunted Myrtles Plantation? I did. Join me as I talk about the exciting stops on my summer vacation through the south, here in the US. Other paranormal spots included the King’s Tavern in Natchez, MS, Oak Alley Plantation, and the Lalaurie Mansion in New Orleans.
The haunted Myrtles Plantation in St. Francisville, LA.
We arrived in the beautiful and historicNatchez, MS. View the photos I took around the city in my Natchez album onFlickr. 3:14
King’s Tavern — Featured on Ghost Adventures in Season 7, episode 18 from 2013. Kings Tavern is the oldest standing building in the Mississippi Territory and Natchez and its history goes all the way back to 1769. 3:36
Plan B and stumbling into a beautiful surprise! 4:17
Dinner at the historicBowie’s Tavern— We talked to some residents who recommended we have dinner at Bowie’s Tavern, which is on Broadway in Natchez. And they made a great choice for us. Good food and really nice people. The historic building overlooks the Mississippi river and was originally a cotton warehouse. They also proudly display a mahogany bar that was built around 1880. They also have lodging on the upper floor with a view of the river! 5:04
The mysterious and unique grave of Florence Irene Ford (Sept 3, 1861 – Oct 30, 1871), who died of yellow fever at the age of 10. This grave was constructed with a set of open concrete stairs that descend next to what would be the head of Florence’s body, with the headstone above. Learn more about this grave atGhostInMySuitcase.com. 8:05
Before leaving Natchez, we toured theMonmouth Mansion(built in 1818) and the beautiful gardens and small cemetery that surrounds it. Check out my Monmouth Mansion photo album onFlickr. 10:03
The Myrtles Plantation
TheMyrtles Plantation(built circa. 1796) in St. Francisville, LA — If you are as big of a paranerd as I am, you’ve probably seen the Ghost Hunters investigation of Myrtles from way back in 2005, episode 1 of their 2nd season. You’ve also probably seen the The Ghost Adventures crew investigate the place just last year in season 9, episode 2. 10:46
The lovely Miss Hester 11:33
Some audio with a little bit of the atmosphere of the haunted Myrtles Plantation. 12:25
The ghost of Chloe — Probably the biggest legend of the Myrtles. Chloe was supposedly the slave closest to the Woodruff family, who purchased the home in 1820 and remodeled it. Was she Mr. Woodruff’s mistress? Did she poison Mrs. Woodruff, along with Cornelia and James, two of the children? Was one of her ears cut off? And was she hung from a nearby tree? 19:03
The nursery, or the “Ruffin Stirling Room”, which is where we stayed for the night. The two children, Cornelia and James Woodruff, were apparently taken to this room, where they later died. 21:26
Kate, Cleo, Voodoo, and other deaths at the Myrtles. 21:47
More about the “terrifying” bed shaking experiences that have been reported in the nursery/Ruffin Stirling Room. 22:34
Before bed we tried to reach out to any of the spirits of the Myrtles by conducting an EVP, Spirit Box, and Ouija session in the nursery. 23:06
Who changed the track on my recorder while we were sleeping? 26:23
More audio of me touring the grounds of the Myrtles, including the pond and cabins around the back of the property. 28:26
Our visit to Grace Cemetery and the Grace Episcopal Church in St. Francisville, LA. You can find the Grace Cemetery photo album onFlickr. 30:18
Oak Alley Plantation
The beautiful and reportedly hauntedOak Alley Plantationin Vacherie, LA. It’s one of the more popular plantations. In fact, you’ve probably seen it in photos or even as the Hollywood backdrop of a movie or two. It was featured in Season 4, episode 19 of Ghost Hunters in 2008. The rows of 300 year old oak trees are breath taking. Check out my Oak Alley Plantation album onFlickr. 32:36
French Quarter in New Orleans
Heading to New Orleans and the overwhelming heaviness or anxiety that I was feeling. 33:45
On the way out the French Quarter, mom dropped me off at the Lalaurie Mansion. Hopefully you remember my interview with Victoria Cosner Love, who authored the book on Madame Delphine Lalaurie, the real life murderess portrayed in American Horror Story: Coven. If not, you can check outepisode 7of the podcast from August 6, 2014. 36:47
What’s the opposite of the French Quarter in New Orleans? Long Beach, MS, which was the last leg of our trip. Long Beach is not far from Gulf Port, MS. We stayed at theHoliday Inn Expressfor a few nights. 38:28
On our first night we had dinner atShaggy’sright on the beach near Gulfport. 39:26
The Big Séance Podcast can be found right here, on iTunes, and on Stitcher. Please subscribe, submit a rating, or share with a fellow paranerd! Do you have any comments or feedback? Please contact me at Patrick@BigSeance.com. Consider recording your voice feedback directly from your device on my SpeakPipe page! You can also call the show and leave feedback at (775) 583-5563 (or 7755-TELL-ME). I would love to include your voice feedback in a future show. The candles are already lit, so come on in and join the séance!
In this episode, I chat with special guest co-host, Karen A. Dahlman! My favorite holiday is just around the corner, and so we reminisce about Halloween memories, the month of October, and some of the legends, lore, and symbols of Halloween! You may remember her fromEpisode 5, talking about The Spirits of Ouija.
What’s the Halloween season like in California vs. the Midwest?
We talk about our memories of trick-or-treating, and Karen will surprise you with the tale of her last time partaking in this fun tradition.
With perfect timing, Ghost Hunters and Ghost Adventures, two of my favorite paranormal television shows, finally return. We review the most recent episodes and talk quite a bit about the ghost of the little girl on theQueen Mary.
Spooky Music featured on this episode is from Sam Haynes. You can find more about Sam and his music athttp://www.hauntmusic.co.uk/. Thanks, Sam!
Record your voice feedback directly from your device on mySpeakPipe page! Call the show at (775) 583-5563 (or 7755-TELL-ME). I would love to include your voice feedback in a future show.
The Big Séance Podcast can be found right here, oniTunes, and onStitcher. Please subscribe, submit a rating, or share with a fellow paranerd! Do you have any comments or feedback? Please contact me atPatrick@BigSeance.com. Consider recording your voice feedback directly from your device on mySpeakPipe page! You can also call the show and leave feedback at (775) 583-5563 (or 7755-TELL-ME). I would love to include your voice feedback in a future show. The candles are already lit, so come on in and join the séance!
This past weekend, friend and past guest of the Big Séance Podcast,Victoria Cosner Love, invited me (ahem… strongly encouraged me to leave my crypt) to a fascinating event, which appropriately fit the season, in my opinion anyway. It was my first visit to the absolutely beautifulChatillon-DeMenil Mansionin St. Louis. “A Death in the Family: Death and Mourning in the 19th Century” is an annual mourning event there.
An interesting fact is that the Chatillon-DeMenil Mansion is right next door to the famousLemp Mansionand the Lemp Brewery Complex, and so the neighborhood is always an interesting place to find yourself this time of year. (Incidentally, the boys from Ghost Adventures just featured the Lemp Mansion and Brewery in their most recent episode, and the Ghost Hunters spent some time there a few years ago as well.)
The Chatillon-DeMenil Mansion is reported to be haunted as well, and I did talk to a few people in the know, but this event didn’t focus on the paranormal aspects of the place.
As you may know, I’m obsessed with staircases, especially grand ones in a historical location like this mansion. So I had to lead with the photo above, with one of the volunteers appropriately mourning in character at the front entrance.
I was very surprised to also run into several friends, some of whom I’ve never met in person, like my new friend Ginger ofMissouri History and Hauntings. I got to meet a few other fascinating and knowledgable people, as well. I’m so very glad I went!
So back to the event itself. Here’s a description of the event, taken directly from theirsite:
This is an open house style event, during which guests are free to visit exhibits throughout the Mansion and learn not only about mourning customs of the 19th century but illness, medical treatments, wakes, funerary practices and more from costumed volunteers and museum staff.
As well as visiting with our informative volunteers, guests get a chance to see a amazing collection of original objects related to death, mourning and medical practices, from private collections, that are on display just this one day every year.
I loved the event, but I look forward to going back again soon, perhaps to get a general tour of the place, plus they have plenty of activities. I encourage anyone in the area to visit if you haven’t been.
I would have loved to have been able to get more shots of the home, but this event was well-attended, which is a good thing, but it made it difficult to get really good photos. But I hope you enjoy the shots that I did capture.
I loved the feel and the color of this beautiful, yet oddly shaped corner. I need to find more information about this room.
In a recent post I mentioned that I had been developing an appreciation for the Ghost Adventures series. Well I’ve been catching up on various episodes from random seasons that my DVR catches and records. Today I watched their investigation of the Bird Cage Theatre in Tombstone, Arizona from 2009. When I saw the description I was really excited because one of my all-time favorite Ghost Hunters episodes from two years earlier is from Bird Cage Theatre. This GH episode goes way back to season 3. Brian Harnois was still a big part of the show, and Tango was still an “Investigator in Training”. I’ve not been to Tombstone, but I’d love to if I ever get the chance! The area, which includes the famous O.K. Corral, is such a historical gem and is supposed to be a hotbed for paranormal activity.
In the Ghost Hunters episode, the most exciting evidence for me was when the TAPS team captured perfectly clear and obviously dated music somehow being played in the background. I remember getting chills the first time I heard it. They also captured the grainy DVR video of an electrical cord being lifted off a bell hanging on the wall and falling to the floor. I found it interesting that both TAPS and the Ghost Adventures crew had the kind of dramatic personal experiences involving full blown apparitions that you just don’t see often. They weren’t your typical “what the frig” personal experiences, they seemed to be incredibly authentic and real. I mean, in both situations they had to stop to catch their breath. Of course, who knows? Both teams also captured audio of the sound of shuffling cards. This makes sense since the Bird Cage was a popular site for gambling. Ghost Adventures recorded some amazing EVP as well as clearly audible disembodied voices (these voices are similar to EVP but are heard in real time without the aid of recording devices).
Embedded in this post will be the first of the three-part Ghost Hunters episode and the entire Ghost Adventures episode. Like most videos of this nature, I’m sure they’ll disappear or be taken down eventually, so if you can’t get to them below, search YouTube or get the episodes somehow. Do any of my readers have a favorite location from paranormal TV? Have you been to Tombstone?
My dad called me about this one. “Hey! Turn it on SyFy. There’s a new show and they’re talking about séances!” This seems to be a goofy show that tastes a little like Unsolved Mysteries to me. Maybe it’s the reenactments that give me that vibe, because it’s certainly not the goofiness. And that’s not horrible, I guess… because I love me some old school Unsolved Mysteries. To this day the old theme song can make me pull the covers over my head, but musically I just love it! But Weird or What? is hosted by William Shatner (which explains the goofiness).
William Shatner hosting Weird or What?
The particular episode that I watched was episode #2 and titled “Life After Death”. In this episode, Mr. Shatner makes his entrance on a Segway…. ??? I was delighted to see that the séance material ended up being about the Scole Experiment, which I’ve discussed on this blog quite a bit (see related links below). Most of the information was watered down to fit a small segment, but it was nice to see some fresh discussion on the topic with people involved. Other segments include a man who has been told and is convinced that in a past life he was a general in the Civil War Battle of Antietam, and a man who comes back from the dead after 18 years. That last one, of course, is trying to take advantage of the huge zombie craze that the American culture is going through right now.
Some of the interviews in this episode include a scientist who discusses his theory about the soul and quantum physics (that’s when I started seeing chickens out of the corner of my eye and thought about going downstairs for a snack), a photography expert that analyzes some of the Scole evidence (even though it has already been done), and a Harvard psychologist and a scientist who both play the part of skeptics. The scientist sets up an almost insulting and fake séance for unsuspecting sitters. Of course, this is his way of saying it’s all an illusion.
So what did I think? It’s the only episode I’ve watched and my DVR is not set to record anymore episodes.
Ghost Adventures: Glen Tavern Inn
I used to not like the boys from Ghost Adventures at all. In fact (as if I knew it all), I would roll my eyes and tell you all about why I thought they were giant asses (though they have been in the past). I’ve talked to other GA fans who believe that they’re softening up a bit and getting more serious. That might be true, but I think I just didn’t really give them a chance before because of the first impression. I began really checking them out in preparation for my Fort Chaffee Prison investigation with JPRS. They had investigated that location a year or so before and I studied that episode. Some people turn their noses up and pretend that all paranormal television (Ghost Hunters, etc.) are nonsense and had nothing to do with why they do whatever it is they do in this field, but I’ve learned to appreciate them for what we can get out of them. I suppose there are pioneers out there who have been at it for years, but the vast majority of people in this field joined AFTER the great paranormal craze of the early 2000s. (Warning: Completely random comment. I think we need to start using the term “ott” or “ot” again when referring to the first ten years of the century. Thoughts?) I can’t pretend Ghost Hunters wasn’t one of the biggest inspirations for why I do what I do.
The Goldfield Hotel
Anyway… (Look! There goes another chicken!) I’ve been watching more Ghost Adventures episodes recently. The episode of their most recent visit to the Goldfield Hotel was outstanding, but just the other night I watched the Glen Tavern Inn episode. What fascinated me about this one? Not only did they get some really great EVP, and they gave us plenty of shots of the beauty of the hotel, but they conducted a séance! I was pleased to see Zak and the boys be open to doing that. The fact that they (like Ghost Hunters) have been having celebrity guests lately has been getting on my nerves, but I guess they gotta do what they gotta do.