Infamous Places

Bob Cranmer and the Demon of Brownsville Rd

 

A comment was left about Bob Cranmer and The Demon of Brownsville Rd, but that name isn’t familiar, so I decided to look it up. Turns out the book chronicles Bob’s dealing with dark forces inside his home. At first glance it makes me think of Amityville.

I don’t have a copy of his book, but I was able to find a few interviews. I have to admit, I’m a bit skeptical for a variety of reasons, but the phrase, "my credibility as a politician" took me by surprise. Politicians are showman and have to market themselves. They tell people what they want to hear to get elected. That’s not a solid foundation for, "my story is real".

That slight prejudice aside, what details does Bob offer during his interviews?

Bob is pretty tight lipped, but a few details manage to come out, but they sound a bit cliche. The previous owners were eager to sell and took the first offer. There is a Native American connection and "possible" curse and bodies buried under the front lawn. The house may have been used as a clinic for illegal abortions. Lots of mood swings, behavior problems, depression and a nervous breakdown.

We also have broken rosary, broken crucifix, a child trying to stop the priest from blessing the house, pictures taken off the wall and furniture moved.

When asked for some specifics, more often than not, Bob responds with phrases like, "well, when you read my book", or, "it’s in the book", or "I don’t want to give too much away". Translation – I don’t want to miss out on sales.

To jump ahead, Bob wages war against "Evil". The details are sketchy, but some of it involves playing the movie, Passion of the Christ, 24 hours a day. That would drive anyone out.

In the end, they triumph and Bob gets his troubled son to build a Facebook page to promote his book. Now there’s something parents should follow, instead of getting mad at your kids for all the crap they drag you through – the sleepless nights, the drugs, the partying, the mood swings, the chaos, the wasted money – spin a yarn about how Evil caused it all and put up a Facebook page. Money can smooth over a lot of family issues.

But Bob isn’t in it for the money even though he mentions stores are sold out, he’s working with production companies about TV shows and maybe movie discussions. His story about God and the battle between good and evil needs to be told. This is the story of our age!

Keep in mind though, this isn’t a horror story or paranormal investigation. Even though he’s working the paranormal circuit, it’s a story about God.

It’s hard to get behind the "evil" angle when there are just too many "earthbound" explanations not to mention the hard sell. The more you say, "it’s in the book" the more capitalist you sound. If it’s just about telling the story, put out a free Kindle book.

At any rate, has anyone read this book? Comments to offer? I’m not against it or Bob, but I’m awfully suspect of a story that sounds like a blend of Amityville and Poltergeist.

Links to the interviews can be found below:

https://player.fm/series/beyond-the-edge-radio/1252015-bob-cranmer-and-the-demon-of-brownsville-rd – jump to 40 minutes
http://mysteriousmatters.com/podcast/282/the-demon-of-brownsville-road/
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xD0gfu8I840
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bJPaPFVGx5g – Jump to 38:00 minutes

And a couple of interesting reads by those who don’t quite agree with the claims:

Another Hell House, book and website. Honestly, this is getting old…
Former residents of Brentwood ‘demon’ house dispute book’s claims

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Ghost Stalkers – Springfield State Hospital – S01E02

imageFor this episode Chad and John head to Sykesville, Maryland to visit Springfield State Hospital. It is yet another tragic tale of a facility set up to treat mental illness that ends up with overcrowding and stories of patients locked up for hours and perhaps days on end. The conditions reached a breaking point and the hospital was ultimately shut down. Now there are tales of spirit energy and patients that still roam the halls. Work crews hears hear moaning, while other feel a presence. The building has been abandoned for years so there are plenty of stories circulating around.

As they speak to Ivy, who knows an awful lot about a building she’s never been inside of, they hear stories of abuse and isolation and that some patients were left down in the steam tunnels below the building. As Chad and John look over the place, Chad is once again inflicted with pain from some unseen force. This happened in the first episode as well and they feel the encounter has left a scratch. They also take a quick peek down in the steam and tunnels and I’ll be damned if it doesn’t look like they built rooms down there. What the hell went on in this place? Did they seriously stick patients with mental disorders in tiny little rooms with dirt floor where they probably couldn’t even stand up?

There property also has it’s own cemetery, but sadly, the patients were simply buried. There are no markers to list their names. The best they got were numbers. That’s no way to be remembered.

John goes first on his solo investigation and hears knocks and what he thinks are moans. As I’ve said so many times, this is an old, rotting building, there are going to be bangs as the place settles over night. There could easily be moans as pipes expand and contract or doors creak on their hinges or birds settle for the night. It’s best to look for the simplest answer, not try to bend sounds to be the paranormal.

Chad is up next and right from the start he is out of his mind with fright. Every sound makes him jump out of his skin. Like before he near the point of hysterics as the walks around the building. This goes far beyond just being nervous, this almost the point of panic. In this state, every noise is going to sound like the devil reaching out to get you. You’re clearly going to see and hear things in the worst possible way. This really isn’t a good way to approach investigating the paranormal. And compared to John’s rather cool demeanor as he walks around the complex, it makes Chad seem ever more hysterical.

When it comes to evidence there are some odd sounds, but who knows if those are voices. The camera goes out in Ward W for both Chad and John. They interpret this as spirits building up energy to manifest. And that manifestation comes in the form of some black mass moving in front of one of the laser lights they have set up. People are doing some wacky things with Kinect devices. Who knows what we have here. I suppose you could say there is a figure moving between the dots, but to me it’s not really all that compelling. To be honest, there has been so much trickery and Tom foolery associated with these shows, that could just as easily be one of their crew wandering around. I’m gonna a bit more than a blocked out dot.

So the question remains, does asylum with it’s checkered past and abused constitute a location holding a portal where spirit energy can pass from one world to the next? I didn’t think this place was all that active. Oh, yes, it’s creepy as can be, but just because it looks the part doesn’t mean it’s haunted. I wonder how much Ivy and the start of Maryland are selling this place for? They’re brick buildings so it seems like you could do something with them. Fix it up and it would be a sweet haunted attraction. Oh wait, can’t do that. All that negative energy would make it haunted. Just ask Zak.

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Ghost Asylum – Hayswood Infirmary – S01E03

imageFor this episode the Tennessee Wraith Chasers (TWC) head off to Maysville, Kentucky to investigate the Hayswood Infirmary, also known as the Hayswood Hospital. Like so many other medical facilities of it’s time, the hospital was understaffed and under funded to handle the volume of patients that passed through it’s doors. It was in full swing during WWI and WWII and saw it’s fair share of men suffering from Shellshock or PTSD as we know it today. Unfortunately, the doctors were scarce and medication even more so. The pain medication had to be rationed and most of the wounded suffered through days and weeks of pain. It sounds like a terrible place and you’d be better off it you never got wheeled through the doors.

The place is a wreck now, with caved in ceilings, broken windows and debris littering just about every square foot of the place. The building comes with it’s own bit of legend known as they Hayswood Ghost. Footage was taken on the grounds looking up into a window where a face can be seen coming towards the window then darting back into the darkness. Many claim this to be positive footage of an apparition freely roaming the decrepit building. Others aren’t so convinced. From the absolutely pixelated footage, it’s hard to make out anything.

But the TWC is once again on a quest to identify a paranormal hotspot and set a trap to see if they can contain the energy from the spirit world. After making their way through the multiple floors they investigate a couple of key areas. One is the morgue where they crawl into the coolers to see if there is any activity, which turns out to be quite uneventful albeit nerve racking. The other is the Veteran’s Recovery area where they have constructed a massive Spirit Board in an attempt to communicate. I’m not quite sure how the spirits are supposed to use that board, but their K2 meters supposedly register energy and contact in that area. I really wish someone would just sit down and try to use one like they did in the old days. A good old fashioned séance would be awesome!

At first glance the "trap" they’ve devised appears to be a fish tank with a limestone rock in a mason jar. At second glance, it’s a fish tank with mason jar and a limestone rock. There is a hint of legitimacy in so far as many people believe that water helps to conduct spirit energy and limestone is able to store spirit energy. Water has been brought up numerous times in investigations such as those relating to boats and mills and limestone is supposed to be the cause of the events that take place at the Stanley Hotel in Colorado. The idea here is that they will lead a spirit to the water and then electrify it so the energy is trapped in the limestone.

Well, we all know water is a conductor as are certain types of rocks, so combining electricity, water and an abandoned building is absolutely safe. What could possibly go wrong?

So the team makes contact and then lures their spirit to water. They have meters on the tank that go berserk as they coax the spirit on. There’s a whole of hollering and excitement as they feel they contained a spirit in the limestone. So they pack up the whole thing and check out their findings inside their Faraday cage. Did they nab a spirit?

The reading prove elusive and like Charlie Brown at Halloween all it appears they got was a rock. There are no signs they’ve captured any energy from this outing. From all the activity they got from their Mel Meters and K2 devices they’re quite convinced there is a ton of activity out there, but they weren’t able to bring it home with them.

Additionally, they gave the Hayswood Ghost footage a once over and feel the footage is bogus and is not evidence of the supernatural. In their minds it appears to be CGI or at least staged in some way. I’m going to have to agree with them on that one. The face appears too easy to fake, the picture far too grainy and overall it appears to be the work of pranksters. Oddly, the footage was taken by a friend of those who posted it on the Internet, but they’re not saying where it came from only they believe it to be the real deal. Who knows what we have here, but I’m still going to side with a hoax. Looks like someone trying to start their own legend for the Hayswood Infirmary.

But anyway, another trap was set, but it failed to harness the energy of the spirit world. We did get to see a very interesting location, yet another I wasn’t aware of, so that’s not a bad thing. If you want to get a bit more information and see some interesting pictures of both the building and the inside, have a look at the link below from AbandonedOnline.

I’m still not sure if I like this show or not. They’ve presented 3 very interesting places that are new to me so that’s great, but these inventions of theirs are leaving me scratching my head. I’m all for trying to capture this energy, but I’m not sure capacitors, solar cells, fish tanks and limestone are going to get the job done. I’m not sure what will, but doesn’t appear to be a step in the right direction.

Hayswood Hospital at AbandonedOnline

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Ghost Adventures – Myrtles Plantation – S09E02

In this latest episode, Zak, Nick and Aaron head down to Louisiana to investigate the Myrtles plantation; a site that has had plenty of owners and plenty of deaths. However, with so many differing stories even the current owners can’t separate the fact from the fiction. All the accounts begin with, "according to legend". Since we’re talking about a home that’s been around since 1796 it’s no surprise records are missing and mystery surrounds everything that happened there.

The most talked about legends involve a girl named Chloe, a voodoo priestess, a little girl named Kate and a man named William Winter who supposedly died on the 17th step of the staircase.

Chloe was a slave girl and mistress to Clark Woodruff and after being jilted she sought revenge by poisoning his children. This resulted in her being hanged for murder in front of the house. That’s the "popular" story anyway.

Kate contracted yellow fever and died at the age of three. Her father had a slave from another plantation brought over to try and save her. It’s believed "Cleo" tried a voodoo ritual, but Kate still died and Cleo was subsequently hung. Kate is listed in the death records, but the Cleo portion is another part of the "legend".

Again, these are unsubstantiated stories. There is no tangible evidence as to what really happened. I do believe that all legends have a basis in truth and given the time period it’s not hard to believe all of this could have happened, but we may never know the truth.

I will also point out one other thing before we hit the investigation. I take locations like this with a grain of salt. They’re obviously trying to promote a tourism business with tours, gift shops and their bed and breakfast. Saying the place isn’t haunted will clearly impact business. Makes me a touch suspicious of how these kind of things play out.

Anyway, the investigation.

They start things off with some voices on the stairs that might refer to the death of William Winter. He supposedly died on the stairs and there might be a female voice talking about the events. Additionally, there is some commotion around the doors that lead into the parlor. The guys feel the doors are being rattled and believe they capture a black mist walking behind the chairs in the opposite room. Did they manage to grab a dark mass in the parlor?

There are some bumps, bangs and perhaps some knocks in response to Zak asking a question, but placing a ball on the stairs gets the whole team excited. To try and make contact with the many children of the house they put a ball on the steps. Right as they ask the kids to kick it, the ball moves and falls down the stairs. And it seems to take off with a fair bit of speed to. So we have to ask, did a child come along and kick the ball or did it simply roll down on it’s own?

The stairs have carpet so perhaps not that easy to simply fall on it’s own.

Nick walks past the ball on his way up the stairs and nothing happens.

But right at they say something it falls. In one shot the ball looks perched right on the edge of the step. In another shot it looks a bit further back. Taking that in account they try a few experiments to match the speed and path it originally took.

The original seems to go a lot faster, so what do we have here? Did it simply fall off the lip of the stairs or was it actually touched, or rather kicked by a spirit? My first reaction is that it fell. Gravity got a hold of it and the ball rolled down the stairs. But does the speed match? And why on the stairs, why not just on the floor? Should this be considered evidence?

It’s claimed the Myrtle Plantation is one of the most haunted placed in America. I find that hard to believe. Sure, there are plenty of stories, but they’re just that, stories. People get all worked up over mistreatment of slaves, voodoo, child deaths and the idea that those kids are still playing around the house. The mirror is all but discounted by matrixing which means people see something and it sets their mind racing so by the time they walk around the house I have no doubt they’re seeing and hearing things. It’s not like this investigation was riddled with voices, shadows, movement or other forms of hard evidence. The house seemed relatively quiet. They do capture some interesting things, but I don’t think the ball is solid evidence, nor do I think there are enough events to really justify this place as one of the most haunted places around.

I would love to see more of what this place has to offer, but for right now it’s just coming across as some interesting ghost stories.

Myrtles Plantation

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