Tag Archives: travel

The Mystery of the Cup Tree…

I’ve been out of town for about four days now visiting family and now vacation. Currently we are in a beautiful condo at the Lake of the Ozarks here in Missouri. My parents also have a lake lot (no house yet) about 30 minutes away from where we’re staying, and so we’ve spent some time there on the dock and fishing, etc. Until today I hadn’t really been fishing since I was a kid, at least not that I remember. It was kind of fun, as long as someone was there to take care of the slimy things. I discovered I don’t have the patience for fishing for catfish and staring in a trance at the fishing line just waiting for what looked like the line being pulled. I started seeing things, experiencing visual pareidolia, like grilled Cheesus, except on the sparkling water. No, I prefer casting colorful and flashy fishing lures out into the water and reeling them back in, over and over. Much better. It was kind of fun. And I actually caught a fish (going by the official rules set by my sister), although I had one and it flopped off before getting it out of the water. The fish that I officially caught was tossed back in.

The area around my parents’ lake lot is somewhat secluded and not nearly as popular (yet) as many areas on the lake. Lots of winding roads, up and down hills, woods all around you. It would be quite an experience in the dark, I’m sure. And Jason Voorhees would LOVE this place. Chi Chi Chi Ha Ha Ha. (That’s me doing the scary sound effects. Friday the 13th nerds will get it.)

The Cup Tree

The Cup Tree

But if the seclusion or the hillbilly neighbors don’t creep you out, maybe the story of the Cup Tree will? Of course, it depends on what story you hear. The famous cup tree, a bizarre roadside attraction, is not far from the lake lot. The road is even called “Cup Tree Drive”. Looking at this picture you can probably imagine a story in your head to go with it. The story I heard from a local, with obvious holes in it, involves a woman who invited men into her home for tea. She’d kill them and nail a cup on the big oak tree for each one of them. Some say she buried the bodies in the back yard. Some also say she went to jail.  According to ruralmissouri.org, the cup tree has been a popular attraction since the 1950s. The site also says that the land and tree was “originally owned by local resident Fred Moore, the phenomenon’s origins are a mystery shrouded in years of ever-changing explanations and folklore. The current owner is no more forthcoming with a plausible explanation as to why generations of tourists have left cups, saucers and even tea and coffee post dangling from the tree.” I’m unable to find any of the other stories of the cup tree online. Perhaps readers from this area in Missouri could help us or maybe fill in the gaps of the story I told.

The Shoe Fence

The Shoe Fence

If you plan to visit the cup tree, plan on staying on the road long enough to also see the “shoe fence” nearby. (Ruralmissouri.org also includes directions to both attractions.) After seeing this spectacular fence we decided to consider starting something like this near my parents’ lot… perhaps an underwear post. (Imagine the stories we could make up for that one!) Surely we’ll make millions. I’ve already got the t-shirts designed in my head.

I’ll leave  you with a Vimeo I found. Maybe the story of the cup tree went more like this?

 

Related Post:

Route 66: Bourbon Hotel and John’s Modern Cabins (Big Séance)

 


It’s October!

Well even though I celebrated Autumn way too early (because I get so excited), it is definitely here now… and tomorrow is the first day of the spooktacular month of October! October just makes me feel good. There’s just something about the crispness and the electricity in the air. And now is the time to break out your hoodies! 

Here is a pictorial tour of things about October that get me totally excited. 

 

I really kick the candles up a notch in October...

I really kick the candles up a notch in October…

 

Apple Cider… especially for trick-or-treaters…

 

Me as a kid… a clown for Halloween.

 

Another Halloween… this time as a bunny rabbit with my Bampa…

 

This picture is just funny to me. My sister never really got into Halloween. This may be the only year she (as Casper) dressed up. According to what was written on the back of this photo, apparently I dressed as “a Mexican”. 🙂

 

Trips to the Pumpkin Patch…

 

Meril showing off our pumpkins last year…

 

 

My 2011 punkin head….

 

Our annual shot of the punkin heads on the porch from 2011. Joe was feeling very artistic and creative with his pumpkin (on the left)…

 

This is Meril’s first dress up experience a few years ago. He’s a punkin head. He’s much cooler with it all now. He won’t be very happy when he finds out I posted this.

 

The witch my mom surprised me with yesterday…

 

A tree from the front yard of my parents’ house.

 

A walk down historical Main Street in St. Charles, Missouri… It’s where Joe and I first met…

 

More from one of our walks down historical Main Street in St. Charles, Missouri… It’s where Joe and I first met…

 

The movie Hocus Pocus

 

“Welcome to the tunnel of terror… ah ah ah… Please, join us.” From Roseanne’s first Halloween episode from season 2.

 


Bellefontaine Cemetery, St. Louis, Missouri…

It is a cemetery that could keep you busy for days… weeks even. And it’s the largest and possibly the most beautiful cemetery I’ve ever seen. Opening in 1849, Bellefontaine (pronounced “bell fountain” by most St. Louisans) consists of 314 acres of park-like beauty with mausoleums as far as the eye can see. Too many to count. Even with a driving tour map it’s easy to get lost. But trust me, it’s worth it. Among other movers and shakers from the region, you’ll find the resting places of Adolphus Busch (beer giant), William Clark, Sara Teasdale, and the infamous Lemp family. You can find more beautiful photos on Bellefontaine’s Facebook page. There are also several resources on their beautiful website. When Joe and I visited we were greeted by really friendly staff, and they went out of their way to make our visit a nice one.  

Enjoy these photos from our visit…

 

“The Girl In the Glass Box” Herman Luyties 1871-1921

 

 

 

 

The family mausoleum of the infamous Lemps.

 

The family mausoleum of the infamous Lemps.

 

Back window. Family mausoleum of the infamous Lemps.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

William Clark 1770 – 1838

 

Busch Mausoleum
Adolphus Busch 1839 – 1913
Lilly Anheuser Busch 1844 – 1928

 

Busch Mausoleum
Adolphus Busch 1839 – 1913
Lilly Anheuser Busch 1844 – 1928

 

 

 

If you’re hungry for more information on those buried at Bellefontaine, check out Movers and Shakers, Scalawags and suffragettes: Tales from Bellefontaine Cemetery by Carol Ferring Shepley. I picked this book up at the cemetery office. It’s proudly shelved in my personal library. 

 

 

 

 

 


More from the Old Yearbooks…

 

If you liked my last post, Collecting Someone Else’s Memories, then here are some more interesting photos from my collection of old yearbooks from Lexington, Missouri. 

 

From the 1910 Lexington College for Young Women Yearbook (56th Annual Catalogue).

 

From the 1910 Lexington College for Young Women Yearbook (56th Annual Catalogue).

 

From the 1910 Lexington College for Young Women Yearbook (56th Annual Catalogue).

 

From the 1910 Lexington College for Young Women Yearbook (56th Annual Catalogue).

 

From the 1910 Lexington College for Young Women Yearbook (56th Annual Catalogue).

 

From the 1910 Lexington College for Young Women Yearbook (56th Annual Catalogue).

 

From the 1910 Lexington College for Young Women Yearbook (56th Annual Catalogue).

 

From the 1921-1922 “Final Hatch” Lexington High School yearbook.

 

Home Economics classes. From the 1921-1922 “Final Hatch” Lexington High School yearbook.

 

The “L Club”. From the 1921-1922 “Final Hatch” Lexington High School yearbook.

 

French Club. From the 1921-1922 “Final Hatch” Lexington High School yearbook.

 

From the 1924-1925 “Final Hatch” Lexington High School Yearbook.

 

From the 1924-1925 “Final Hatch” Lexington High School Yearbook.

 

From the 1924-1925 “Final Hatch” Lexington High School Yearbook.

 

From the 1924-1925 “Final Hatch” Lexington High School Yearbook.

 

From the 1924-1925 “Final Hatch” Lexington High School Yearbook.

 

From the 1925-1926 “Final Hatch” Lexington High School yearbook.

 

From the 1926-1927 “Final Hatch” Lexington High School yearbook.

 

From the 1926-1927 “Final Hatch” Lexington High School yearbook.

 

From the 1928-1929 “Final Hatch” Lexington High School yearbook.

 

 


Collecting Someone Else’s Memories…

From the 1910 Lexington College for Young Women Yearbook

 

One of my many incredibly nerdy hobbies is collecting old school yearbooks from my hometown of Lexington, Missouri. It’s a sleepy small town now, but at one time around the turn of the 20th century, Lexington was booming and was the home of several colleges as well as several public school buildings. The oldest yearbook I own is from the  Lexington College for Young Women from 1910. Most of my other yearbooks are Lexington High School yearbooks from the 1920s that used to be named “The Final Hatch.” 

I love looking through them and dreaming about what my hometown was like then. And I try to imagine what life was like for the students. Did they go through some of the same drama and problems that my students experience? Was there bullying? What were the expectations? As a teacher, it is also very cool to see course descriptions and curriculum printed for several of the departments. That fascinates me. History! It’s also neat to see the advertisement pages in the back. Some of the businesses had 2-digit phone numbers, if they had a phone at all.

 

From the 1910 Lexington College for Young Women Yearbook

 

And, of course, I wonder what it was like to be a teacher in those days. Several of my yearbooks were originally owned by Verna Owen (pictured below). The only thing I know about Verna is that she taught in Lexington for many years. The inside cover of one of them is even signed. And, from the writing on this page, we see that someone knew her as Aunt Verna. This tells me that I’m probably at least the third owner of this particular yearbook. Sometimes when going through them I thank Ms. Owen out loud for taking good care of her yearbooks so that I could enjoy them now. 

 

My 1928 yearbook belonged to and was signed by Verna M. Owen… She was a member of the faculty.

 

Many of the photos below are from one of the old high school buildings that no longer stands. I never got to see it in my lifetime. I sure wish I could go back in time and take a tour!

 

Part of the Freshman Class from 1921-1922.

 

From 1921-1922.

 

Teacher Training (for students) at Lexington High School 1922.

 

From 1926-1927.

 

Part of the Senior Class of 1925-1926.

 

From the 1922 yearbook. This building is no longer standing and was located where the Lexington Post Office is today.

 

The next building to serve as Lexington High School would later be where I attended middle school from the fourth through the eighth grade. It was a pretty large building that opened its doors to students in 1927. I have a lot of memories from this old building. I still dream about it often. Unfortunately, it no longer stands. A sad and strangely small-looking empty lot sits in its place.

 

Artist Conception of the “new” Jr./Sr. High School that opens the next year. This is from the 1926-1927 yearbook.

 

One of the very first pictures of the main corridor of the “new” building. From the 1927-1928 yearbook.

 

From the 1928-1929 yearbook. This was the second year in the “new” building. This would have been what I knew as the choir room when I was in middle school.

 

From 1924-1925.

 

From 1924-1925.

 

I was very sad when the building was torn down. I was away at college at the time, but my best friend took the picture below and sent it to me. Thanks to a group of high school students, I was able to purchase a brick from this building. It sits here on my desk. 

 

 

 


Opera House Investigation…

Members of JPRS, JHPS, and myself (representing MOSS) posing inside the Carthage Opera House. Photo Credit: Curtis, JPRS.

 

Once again, I was fortunate enough to be invited by the Joplin Paranormal Research Society on another exciting joint investigation. This time I (representing MOSS) joined JPRS and JHPS at an old opera house in Carthage, Missouri on a very stormy evening. It is a beautiful building with an interesting history and was built between 1877-1878. It doesn’t really resemble an opera house today, but it was fun to imagine. And as you can tell from our glistening faces, it was also very, very, VERY HOT!  

Team members are just getting started with evidence review, but I’m hearing some interesting things already. Stay tuned. For now, enjoy a few pictures from the very stormy evening. 

 

 

 


Updates on My Summer: Spirit Box, Clock Radio, EVP Sessions, and More…

I have had a truly relaxing and lazy summer. Those who know me know that I don’t require much entertainment when I’m on vacation or have free time. The truth is, I usually don’t even like to leave the house. My little family here keeps me happy. 🙂 But, I have had some really nice highlights that include a vacation to the Smoky Mountains, a trip home to see the big family and tours of my hometown cemeteries, and of course, lots of reading. When I haven’t been lazy, I’ve spent many, many hours conducting EVP sessions, reviewing audio from those sessions, cemetery visits, and even evidence from an investigation that was months ago. But believe it or not, the school year is approaching and summer is on its way out for me. Preparations for a new year have already begun, both in my head and in the physical world, including the exciting task of writing more new curriculum.  And recently I’ve been contacted with some new and important cases involving a few families. There is always a “to do list”, but these cases will move up a bit in priority. Also, I’m excited to be thinking about and planning some séances with Marilyn Painter for this fall. Can’t wait! I hope I can keep up with it all and blog at the same time… Am I still talking? 🙂 

Cemetery Recordings…

During my recent visits to cemeteries in my hometown, I recorded a couple of hours total of audio. I’ve found a few interesting things, but as usual, not as much as I’d hoped for. I’m still working my way through it so I’m not yet prepared to share anything. 

Clock Radio & Spirit Box…

My clock radio and spirit box.

Those of you who have been following along this summer know that recently I had a dream about spirit contacting me through a clock radio… a clock radio similar to the one in my house growing up. My parents found it in the attic and I now have it in my possession. Before it was in my possession, however, during some EVP sessions I attempted to get some clarification or instructions on how I was supposed to use the device to achieve spirit communication. I have a few responses that are unclear. It is also interesting to note that in both of those sessions I had technical problems with both a microphone that I use and an unusual feedback from another recorder that I have NEVER heard before. This feedback seemed to always happen after questions and has a similar quality to the old school sounds of dialing up to an internet connection. Could it be the sounds of spirit working on fine-tuning the connection? I hope to post an example of this feedback soon so that someone techie might recognize what could be causing it, if anything.

I’ve done two or three experimental sessions with the clock radio, as well as the spirit box. Both of these pieces of equipment, at least for spirit communication purposes, involve a technique called “radio sweep”, which along with EVP fits under the umbrella of “ITC” (Instrumental Trans-Communication). It is a technique that I’ve read a lot about, but haven’t had a lot of experience with until recently.

As you may know, I’ve witnessed convincing evidence that spirits communicate with this technique (such as reading specific words or identifying items in a room), however, I’m still skeptical about many of the types of responses that many researchers claim to hear. For example, even though it sounds as if you’re getting a response (which are usually 1 syllable), is it just a voice from a passing frequency? I could just let my spirit box sweep through frequencies right now without engaging spirits or asking questions and hear multiple sounds that could resemble “yes” or “no” or any other frequent one-syllable answers (including numbers) that researchers claim to hear. Is the spirit using bits and pieces of someone else’s voice and words to form their own words? If so, how do some researchers claim to know the gender or number of spirits communicating based on the pitch or timbre of the voice? Or… will it be their own voice somehow floating in its own layer above the noise? And yes, sometimes it seems to just be noise. I’ve heard and read about answers to these questions, but I still just don’t know. Basically, I’m a bit conflicted and go back and forth with my opinions of the technique and the “responses” that I may or may not be getting. More to come, I suppose…

 

Enjoy the rest of summer! Peace!

 

 


Forest Grove Cemetery, Lexington, Missouri…

I really enjoyed my time in this next cemetery. I would have stayed all day if it weren’t 100 degrees. My Great Grandmother lived near this one. It is across from what used to be the golf course on Golf Road in Lexington. I have to confess that growing up I heard spooky stories about this one. I remember as a teen being dared to just drive by the place in the dark… and considering this one really IS in the middle of nowhere, it truly would have been a bit spooky. Fortunately, it’s not so eerie in the daylight. The few times I actually visited this cemetery it seemed so forgotten. A few years ago I stopped by with my family and I was saddened to see signs of bonfires with beer cans and other garbage right next to headstones. 

I have to tell you that on this visit the place was looking great! It got me thinking of the people who give their time to take care of these older cemeteries. I’d love to find out who takes care of this one because they’ve done a good job. I felt nothing but beautiful energy here, and I could have easily posted 15 more interesting and beautiful photos, but that’s just too many for a blog. Also, I have to note that there were many graves of veterans from several wars in this cemetery. I thanked each one that I saw. I was also surprised to see so many current graves toward the back of the cemetery, and this made me smile. This beautiful place hasn’t been forgotten after all. 

I hope you enjoyed the photos from my cemetery tour. This is the last post from the three-part series. If you missed them, visit my Machpelah Cemetery and Old Catholic Cemetery posts. And for any of my other cemetery posts, scroll down and click on the “cemeteries” category to the right.

Peace!

Forest Grove Cemetery, Lexington, Missouri – Founded in 1890

I fell down the hill across the road after taking this photo. Can’t wait to hear it on the audio.

Anyone know what these are?

I just really loved this one for some reason.


Lexington’s Old Catholic Cemetery (and my 100th post!)

In my last post, I included photos from the beautiful Machpelah Cemetery in my hometown of Lexington, Missouri. It is the oldest and largest (and probably the most popular) cemetery in town. But… when I think about a cemetery, or when I’m reading of a fictional graveyard, it is always this beautiful place that ends up being the setting in my mind.

Old Catholic Cemetery, Lexington, Missouri – Founded in 1860

Until this visit it had been over twenty years since I last saw it. It hasn’t changed a bit. I can’t remember what I had for lunch yesterday, but I remember several of the individual headstones like I was just there the day before. Growing up, I spent quite a bit of time here as my grandparents lived nearby. Even when I was a kid I enjoyed a stroll through this cemetery, many times even by myself. I don’t remember my reasons for enjoying my time there so much, but I do recall having general conversations with any spirits wanting to listen. I also recall my Bama (grandma) packing a lunch for me on a few occasions. And yes, inappropriate or not, there were those times I enjoyed a game of hide and seek with friends. I suppose someone living in this neighborhood might disagree with me, but it really is in the middle of nowhere. I think that is part of what makes it so interesting. It is so quiet. Everything surrounded by trees.  

I certainly haven’t earned any photography awards with these photos, but I hope you enjoy them. (Also, did I mention it’s my 100th post?!)

 

Before you orb lovers tell me there is a spirit off in the distance, I must disappoint you and inform you that it is only the moon. 🙂


Machpelah Cemetery, Lexington, Missouri…

For those of us who love a walk or a picnic in a beautiful old cemetery, or for those people who simply like to look at photos of historical locations, I give you part 1 of a 3-part series (wow, that sounds fancy) of photos of cemeteries from my home town… Lexington, Missouri. Several days ago I went back to visit the family and was inspired to drop by all of the cemeteries in town. Though I have interesting connections and memories from 2 of the 3, I had forgotten (or maybe didn’t realize it before) how truly cool these historic pieces of land are. I think many people from Lexington don’t even realize that such beautiful and historical gems are just hanging out and waiting to be noticed.  I wonder if this is the case with many small towns around the country. Although, I must say that part of what makes them so beautiful to me is the quietness and the fact that I was almost always alone for each visit.

At each cemetery I brought a digital audio recorder along and had respectful conversation with any spirits who may have been present (hopefully there will be more about this in a future post). I’m not a photographer, but I hope you enjoy the photos.

Machpelah Cemetery, Lexington, Missouri – Founded in 1849


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