Friday, April 6, 2018

A Haunting in Idaho 9: The Unholy Ghost of Salem, Idaho

The following true story has been terrifying me for most of my life. So much so, that I paid homage to it in my first book, The Summoning Those who have read it will immediately remember the significance that the old Salem Church plays in my novel. But, little do people know, such a place really existed and it was no less unnerving. The following true account is taken from none other than my own dad, Ken Longmore. With his permission, I give you the following:

It was the fall of 1967 and Ken was a young man attending his sophomore year at Rick’s College in Rexburg, Idaho—now known as Brigham Young University—Idaho. Ken had come all the way out West, from his home state of Minnesota, to study art, so that, one day, he might fulfill his dream of becoming a professional painter. Having only one year of college under his belt, he was still very unfamiliar with the area and hadn’t really spent a whole lot of time beyond the confining city limits of the small college town.

One morning, while attending one of his classes, the professor felt the sudden necessity to stop his lecture and offer a heart-felt warning to the students in attendance. “I just want to take a moment and tell you young people, that you should stay away from the old Salem Church. I know some of you like going out there, seeking thrills, but something is not right about that place, something evil and sick, and you aught to keep clear of it.”

The professor probably saw the looks of befuddlement, amusement, and disbelief that must have been on many of his students’ faces—Ken included—and decided to add to his message of warning: “A couple of days ago, a few high school kids didn’t come home after being out all night. I was called, as a friend of one of the families, to help search for them. It was discovered that they had been planning to go up to the Salem Church and tell ghost stories and the like. Well, we drove out there and, sure enough, they were still there. We found them on the front steps. They were out of their minds, babbling incoherently, scared half to death. I don’t know what those kids had been dabbling with, but something got at them and really messed with their minds. Two of them came to their senses after we got them home, but one of the girls is still being treated at the state hospital in Blackfoot. I don’t know if she’ll ever be okay. You have no idea what you might be fooling around with, class, so just stay away from that place.”

This professor might have had the best of intentions in offering this warning to his students, but in hindsight, it might have been better if he had just kept quite about this event. Having grown up in a haunted house himself (see A Haunting in Minnesota) Ken’s curiosity was peaked at an all-time high. He had to see this Salem Church for himself. Of course. He is a Longmore.

Not being from the area, Ken had not heard of the place and began asking around about it. He was able to quickly learn that the building used to be an old Mormon church built out of limestone blocks by early pioneer settlers to the area. It had been privately owned for some time now and was derelict, rundown, and slowly eroding from the decay of time. It stood in a rural area, not far away from a small community known as Sugar-Salem. Once he had acquired directions as to its location, he was determined to go out there and have a look.

On a late afternoon, after he was finished with his classes for the day, he hopped into his 1956 Chevy Nomad and began the drive out to the abandoned old church. It was getting to be around five o’clock when he arrived. Despite its rundown condition, Ken was immediately impressed with the unique, Gothic architecture and styling of the building, complete with a belfry. It was really neat, he thought, in its own way. He even considered that the worn-down, two-story structure might provide excellent subject matter for a watercolor painting.

After taking in the scene before him for a few moments, Ken decided it was time to get out of the car and have a look around to see if there was a means to gain entrance and explore this place. It was the reason he had come, after all, despite the warnings of his professor. He had to admit, before arriving, he’d felt pretty bold and adventurous. Now that he was here, all by himself in this rural setting, the old church now loomed threateningly before him in the rays of the waning afternoon sun, and his previous conviction to come here was seeming to feel more and more like a foolish proposition. 

Determined to see this adventure through, however, he approached the church’s main front door. He found the entrance to be securely locked. One would have to break down the doors to get in that way. He knew that there must be another way in, others had told stories of being inside.

To the left of the main entrance, a short distance away, was a smaller door, warped and damaged. It was near the corner of the building, and by the looks of it, this was the means to gaining access to the structure. Sure enough, with a little work, Ken was able to pry the door open, the bottom of it scraping against the ground as he pulled on it. Before him, a steep, narrow flight of stairs climbed dimly upwards to the second story.

Ken steeled his resolve and began ascending the old stairs, the rotting boards groaning under his weight as he climbed to the second story of the old church. The dire warnings of his professor echoed louder in his mind with each step. He finally reached the top. He now stood on a small landing where a door—slightly ajar—led into a larger room on the right.

As he reached the landing, his presence must have startled some doves that happened to be taking shelter in the old place. There was an avian explosion of flapping and beating wings in the other room as the birds became startled and made their escape through some holes in the roof. Ken jumped  back in his own shocked surprise. His heart certainly needed no more shots from his already pumping adrenal gland.

When the birds had made their evacuation and things had settled back down, Ken gathered his wits once more and peered through the six inch crack left by the slightly open door. He could see a large room filled with maybe some old furniture he thought, along with scattered bits and piles of debris from the failing and caving roof. There was what may have been a stage, or otherwise some kind of raised platform at the back of the room. He decided to go in and have a look.

He went to place his hand on the door in order to nudge it the rest of the way open. But as he raised his hand toward it, the door suddenly swung back toward him and closed, all by itself, right before his eyes. This was not a gentle swaying of the door as one might expect that a draft would cause—there wasn’t any wind outside anyway. Nor was it an outright slamming of the door; it was almost just the regular force that one might expect a person to use under normal circumstances when shutting a door.

To Ken, these were not normal circumstances. Not at all! In Ken’s words: “I don’t even remember my feet touching one stair on my way out of there.” The next thing he knew, he was in his Nomad and heading down the road like a bat out of hell. He never returned to the old church in Salem, figuring that maybe there are powers that are not to be trifled with, and places that are better left alone.

There’s no saying what Ken really encountered in the old church that day in 1967: a draft of wind, a shifting of the building, or perhaps it was, indeed, an unseen entity letting him know that he was not welcome. Who knows what really happened to those kids that the professor had warned about, that were driven into such a state of fear as to have temporarily lost their sanity? That story remains to be told, but it probably won’t be by me.

We will probably never be able to find adequate answers to these questions; the building itself is gone, having been torn down, and hauled away years ago. Maybe for good reason.

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 If you have a personal story of the paranormal or an adventure that you would like me to share on my blog please contact me at I'd love to hear your story. You can remain anonymous if you wish.

Some images in this blog post were obtained through Google. The author does not own these images and takes no credit for them. No copyright infringement was intended. 

Monday, December 11, 2017

A Haunting in Idaho 8: What The Shadow Knows

Have you ever heard of shadow people? I suppose it’s a relatively new phenomenon in the paranormal world, but extremely interesting to me. I’m not sure what to think about it to tell you the truth. To be honest, I’ve never really gave it that much thought until a close friend of mine had his own sighting of a shadow person a few years ago.

So, what is a shadow person? Well, nobody really knows and there are many theories on it, but the typical sighting usually goes something like this: The witness will unexpectedly notice movement—many times from the corner of their eye, just inside their peripheral. Most witnesses report seeing the shadowy form of a person, with no identifying features. Many describe it as looking like a three dimensional shadow where you can see the outline and shape of the person only.

In most cases the shadow person seems oblivious to those witnessing its appearance. A lot of the time this phantom is in the act of simply walking—a lot of the time walking right through walls. Usually, the sighting only lasts a few seconds. The shadow person is there … and then … gone.

There are a number of theories on who or what these beings are. Anything from visitors from another world, to time travelers, even guardian angels. Most agree that these are probably not ghosts and don’t tend to haunt or linger in a specific area. Anyone can conceivably encounter a shadow person anywhere, anytime. Although, some people may be more prone to seeing these strange apparitions than others.

The theory that I find the most interesting is that shadow people are actually beings from another parallel universe or dimension. For whatever reason, just for a moment, the interdimensional fabric that separates our reality from theirs thins just enough that we catch a glimpse of someone in that other universe. It’s quite possible that we ourselves unknowingly appear as shadow people, from time to time, in their dimension! As Commander Spock might say ...

This is a true story told to me by my friend, Duane. Duane experienced a classic shadow person sighting with a little bit of a twist a few summers ago while he was mowing his lawn.

It was an average summer day, nothing out of the ordinary going on, and Duane was enjoying the nice, warm weather as he sat astride his lawn tractor, mowing his lawn. As he came around the side of his house towards the front yard, he looked up to see a man striding purposefully across the grass towards him. Duane's first reaction was to assume that a neighbor was paying a visit, or perhaps a door to door salesman had stopped by. The man seemed quite tall and lanky, his long strides carrying him quickly in Duane’s direction. The figure was wearing a top hat of all things! Duane could see the outline of an old fashioned, long coat with tales flapping behind the man.

The most unnerving feature, to suddenly jump out to Duane, was the fact that this man walking towards him had no features. He was just a black shadow, like a cut out hole in the fabric of reality, through which only the darkness of some unseen void shone through. At that moment, before Duane even had time to become alarmed by the appearance of this Lincoln-like specter, the figure seemed to notice Duane sitting there on his mower. There was almost the feeling that the two had met one another’s gaze—if it’s possible to meet someone’s gaze who doesn’t even have eyes. Then, without even missing a stride, the lanky figure changed his direction. In one diagonal step, he vanished behind the trunk of a tree, growing nearby, and was gone.

The whole thing lasted less than two seconds according to Duane. It was broad daylight, he was wide awake, and he swears it was not some fleeting trick of the light or his eyes playing tricks on him. He knows what he saw. He has not seen a reappearance of the tall man in the top hat, but to this day, when he’s mowing his lawn and comes around the side of his house, his eyes go directly to the edge of his lawn, half expecting the strange visitor to be there once more.

Who knows, maybe in a parallel universe there is a tall, lanky man—perhaps he’s the president of his country—wondering if he’ll ever again encounter that strange, shadowy figure sitting on the strange contraption, staring at him.

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 If you have a personal story of the paranormal or an adventure that you would like me to share on my blog please contact me at I'd love to hear your story. You can remain anonymous if you wish.

Some images in this blog post were obtained through Google. The author does not own these images and takes no credit for them. No copyright infringement was intended. 

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Snakes. Why did it have to be snakes?

Most of us can look back on our childhood, or some other occurrence in our lives, and point to a moment that may have defined us in some way or another. In this post I’d like to share one such moment from my childhood. This story is not of a paranormal nature, but still haunts me to this day, just as sure as any poltergeist or demon might. Looking back on it now, it’s probably one of the early experiences of my life that may have traumatized me into becoming a writer.

I grew up in a rural neighborhood that consisted of a row of about twenty houses, isolated in the country, surrounded by farmland on all sides. Across the road from our split-level home ran an irrigation canal that carried precious, life-giving water to the nearby potato and wheat fields. The canal was relatively small compared to some of the larger channels in the area, but was an adequate source of entertainment and adventure for the children growing up on Crowley Road.

We built sketchy forts and swung from rope swings in the ancient Russian olive trees that grew along the steep, grassy banks. We assembled rickety rafts from rotten lumber scraps and old, leaky inner tubes. Most of these hastily constructed vessels would usually disintegrate shortly after an unceremonious launch into the murky currents from which always wafted a faint odor of mildewing vegetation.

After too many failed attempts at navigating the deceiving waters in our crude boats, we eventually resorted to assigning the task to our platoon of G.I. Joe action figures. Courageously, and with nary a complaint, the Joes made these voyages in crafts constructed of pop cans, sticks, and kite string. Incidentally, the action figures usually enjoyed much more successful expeditions than us kids. Although, there were a few casualties that were lost beneath the swift, opaque currents that often churned the same color as the chocolate Nestle Quik that our moms made for us on hot, summer afternoons.

I remember on one such afternoon being down at the waterfall, which was the geographical representation of my mother’s imposed limits upon where I was allowed to range. This was only about five houses away from my mine, so I must have been fairly young still—maybe seven or eight-years-old.

The waterfall was actually just a head gate, where boards could be stacked between two vertical concrete slabs in order to raise the water level upstream. This would result in a waterfall where the water would pour over the top board and rush, foamy and white across another concrete slab, creating a small section of whitewater below. Even the G.I. Joes knew not to float this section of the canal. And knowing is half the battle. (Sorry about that.)

On this particular day, myself and a few friends were hanging out at the waterfall, throwing sticks into the sun-dappled water upstream and watching them take the tumultuous tumble over the falls. I would often imagine that the stick was a small canoe filled with a few unlucky jungle explorers about to meet their demise over a one-thousand-foot cascade.

Our little game was suddenly interrupted when a water snake introduced himself to us by slithering out of the tall grass and into the canal. We watched, mesmerized, as the snake wriggled his body in a sort of whipping corkscrew maneuver to propel himself through the water. He wasn’t very big—probably less than twelve inches long—but at the sight of him, my blood ran as cold as that water flowing by.

I’ve always had an irrational fear of snakes. Even as an adult, just the sight of the smallest snake causes my breath to catch slightly in my throat and my heart to palpitate into a momentary arrhythmia. I blame my best friend’s older sister, Angie, for chasing us around one day with a big blow snake when we were really young—three or four-years-old probably. Pure terror, I tell you.

I don’t remember how long we observed the little reptile swimming there in the white-capped waves, just below the waterfall. Squatting along the bank, I was watching the water snake in such a state of horrified fascination that I didn’t notice the approach of Johnny Roadrash (as he will be known in this story) until he brought his beat up BMX bike to a skidding slide, locking up the rear tire, and spraying us with bits of gravel from the road.

Johnny Roadrash was a few years older than the rest of us, and to say he came from the wrong side of the tracks would be putting it mildly. Sometimes, I think the whole neighborhood was on the wrong side of the tracks, but that’s a story for another day. Johnny’s house was located down at the opposite end of the street, which was in the Forbidden Zone for me. Johnny was an emissary from that mysterious, unseen end of the neighborhood, where the older, sort of bad kids would occasionally emerge, like orcs from the Black Gate of Mordor.

Johnny was the embodiment of rebellion, with his long, shaggy, dirty-blond hair, weathered, sun-chapped face, and capacity for unpredictable outbursts of violence. He smoked, he swore, and he talked back to those in authority. This was a kid that was breaking all the rules and he knew it. He reveled in anarchy. The rest of us feared, and on some deeper level, kind of admired him for it.

I remember one time when Johnny came to our Cub Scout meeting. He showed up with his Cub Scout shirt unbuttoned, the shirt tail flapping behind him like a flag of war as he arrived on his battered bike with the squeaking chain and rusty sprocket. I’m not sure what caused the altercation, but within a short time of his arrival, Johnny punched another kid in the face, dropping him to the ground like a sack of potatoes. Our den mother was furious and evicted him from her yard. I’ll never forget the way he seemed to simply shrug off the enraged screaming of an adult woman, as he sauntered over to his bike, gave a flip of his wild hair, and rode away, like some legendary gunslinger out of a Sergio Leone western, never to return to Cub Scouts again.

I looked up from the swimming snake to see Johnny Roadrash flying from the torn up seat of his bike, allowing the abused contraption to crash in a sprawling clatter to the hot asphalt below. How that bike continued to function was always a mystery to me. I assumed it was just as tough and rebellious as its owner—angry, even. Johnny ran to the bank of the ditch, his bare knees poking through the ragged holes worn through the knees of his faded jeans.

My heart skipped a beat as he picked up a rock, a murderous gleam glinting in his eyes. Was I to be the target of Johnny Roadrash’s legendary rage? To my relief, he didn’t throw the rock at me but directed his aim at the water snake. Barely missing the animal, the rock hit the canal, ejecting a plume of water that sprayed droplets into my face. Another rock followed immediately after, followed by another, and another.

I swear to this day, I have no idea how a kid could find that many rocks and throw them in such furious and rapid succession. It was like a severe hailstorm had suddenly burst out of the perfect, blue sky above. Johnny’s arms whipped the stone projectiles with such rage and reckless abandon, you would have thought that at some point in his childhood water snakes had been responsible for killing his entire family.

Now, I may have an irrational fear of snakes, but I’m also quite the soft-hearted sap when it comes to animals. So I watched with a new-found horror as this poor little snake slithered this way and that, in an attempt to stay clear of Johnny’s vicious barrage of rocks. But the poor guy never stood a chance. Not against the likes of Johnny Roadrash. After churning the water into a literal froth, Johnny finally hefted a huge boulder, roughly the size of a Nerf football, up over his head and hurled it with every ounce of force that all of his ninety-eight or so pounds could muster.

The impact of this larger rock created a huge splash that nearly soaked me and sent a small tidal wave cresting against the bank of the canal. I wiped my eyes, and as the water cleared, I saw that there was no sign of the snake. I assumed the poor creature had simply disintegrated into a million pieces, but secretly held out hope in my heart that it had somehow made it to the bank and escaped into the grass and weeds.

Johnny stood up on the high bank, surveying the scene like some avenging god, arms hanging loose, each hand already loaded with a rock and ready to let fly at the slightest movement in the water. The movement never came; the snake was gone. Johnny sniffed, dropped the rocks, mounted back on his mangled bike—the front tire was still spinning—and pedaled away back to Mordor, from whence he had come.

A movement caught my eye then: a wriggling motion below the surface of the water. At first, I thought it was a strand of algae that had been dislodged from the bottom of the canal by Johnny’s attack. But upon closer inspection, I realized it was the snake. His tail had been pinned by that last big rock, trapping the animal under the water; he was writhing for the surface, just a few inches from his outstretched nose.

An immediate terror took a hold of me that I’ll never forget, rendering me immobile; paralyzing me with fear and indecision. On one hand, I was in empathetic agony as I watched this poor snake struggling to obtain the surface, precious air almost within its reach. On the other hand, my crippling fear of snakes was preventing me from reaching down into the water to remove the rock that was pinning his tail.

I so desperately wanted to help the snake. A couple of times I dipped my fingers into the water, intending to help him, but just couldn’t quite go through with it. In my frenzied mind I imagined myself removing the rock, only for the snake to quickly latch itself onto my hand and then go slithering and twisting up my arm. It was more than I could bear.

So I squatted there on the bank of the canal, watching in my paralysis, as the snake writhed, jerked, tugged, and struggled. Most people would agree that reptiles are incapable of expressing emotions, but I saw the fear and hopelessness in those small, oil drop eyes that afternoon, as the snake finally opened its mouth in a silent scream and exhaled the last of its air. The air bubbles roiled upwards, breaking upon the surface of the water. The little snake struggled for a few more seconds and then went limp. His lifeless body soon joined in with the long, hair-like strands of green algae that grew along the bottom of the canal, swaying gently in the smooth flow of the current.

I don’t remember anything else about that day. I suppose I left the canal, after a while, and went about occupying my time with whatever it is little boys do on hot, summer afternoons. But thoughts of the snake and its senseless demise did haunt me throughout my childhood, and continue to plague me to this day. As the years have passed, I have taken this experience and twisted a meaning out of it, I suppose. I look back on it now as a time in my life when I knew what the right thing to do was, but allowed fear to hold me back from acting. For the rest of my life, I’ve suffered the emotional consequences of this failure to act.

At a young age—too young, I think—I learned how deeply an internal conflict like this can twist itself up and burrow into your psyche. Everyone goes through life and has experiences like this; I’m in no way unique. But, I believe it’s these human experiences that give writers that insightful glimpse into the human spirit, which allows them to flesh out and weave interesting and believable characters into their stories. For that reason, I’m thankful to have been gifted the type of mind that latches onto these moments and stores them away, while looking for hidden meanings and interpretations. Even if it means I have to go through life with a bit more sensitivity to death, tragedy, and the cruelties of our human existence.

I’ve always wondered if watching that snake drown at a young age influenced my later decision to become a lifeguard. Is it possible that the numerous times I’ve snagged a drowning toddler or plucked a panicked kid out of troubled waters, have made up for my lack of action on that day? I’m not sure I believe in karma, but I’d like to hope that if such a thing exists, then perhaps I’ve managed to balance the scales somewhat in this regard.

Even now, I can’t stand to watch a creature suffer death by drowning. I will go to great lengths to rescue ladybugs, earwigs, hornets—even spiders—from perishing in our backyard swimming pool. My kids probably think I’m sort of nuts. I say, I’m just trying to make up for an opportunity lost, many years ago.

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 If you have a personal story of the paranormal or an adventure that you would like me to share on my blog please contact me at I'd love to hear your story. You can remain anonymous if you wish.

Some images in this blog post were obtained through Google. The author does not own these images and takes no credit for them. No copyright infringement was intended. 

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Free Falling

The following story comes from a close friend who wishes to remain anonymous. In the following story I will refer to him as Tyler.

Have you ever heard of astral projection, or OBE (out of the body experience)? The principle is pretty basic. It’s based on the belief that your spirit can vacate the confines of the physical body, for a time, and then return back to the body. This isn’t to be confused exactly with a near death experience but the two can definitely be linked, I believe.

An OBE can happen accidentally to someone. Some people have reported that in a moment of extreme duress, pain, or exhaustion, suddenly finding themselves floating outside of their body and observing what is taking place from a different angle, as if they were someone else merely observing. Others have reported to have left their body inadvertently while sleeping. They might be having a dream and then, the next thing they know they are standing in the bedroom, looking down at their own unconscious body.

Astral projection is the same concept, except that it is the deliberate action of leaving the body. Some claim to have figured out how to meditate and concentrate in the right way, allowing them to leave their body at will. Those who have been able to do this, say that they then are able to move about on what they call the astral plane. They are still here but are able to move through walls, fly about, and even meet other beings and spirits. NO THANKS.

My dad used to know a man that claimed he could do this. According to this person, there was a sort of silver umbilical cord that connected him to his body. He had the feeling that when you die, the silver cord is severed and your spirit is permanently separated from your body. Off you go towards the light. This man gave up the practice, however, after laying down on his bed one night, he meditated and successfully entered the astral plane.
He turned around to look at his body and was horrified to see a dark, shadowy figure standing in the corner of the bedroom. He felt an evil vibe coming off this specter and had the distinct feeling that this character was trying to figure out how to take possession of this now vacant vessel. He jumped back into his body without hesitation, and gave up the practice of astral projection. SO WOULD I! 
In my debut novel, The Summoning, the main antagonist, Daniel, uses astral projection to inhabit the body of someone else and commits a murder that can’t be traced back to him in any way.

The story of my friend, Tyler, is not that scary, but still quite incredible.

One late afternoon, after returning to his second-story apartment from an extra hard rugby practice, he collapsed on his couch. He was so exhausted that he didn’t bother taking a shower or anything. He doesn’t recall ever being in such an exhausted state before in his life, and immediately began to drift off to sleep.

He tells of suddenly experiencing the sensation that he was sinking through the couch. He opened his eyes and was shocked to be looking up at the ceiling, just a few inches from his face. He realized that he was falling, but very slowly—he wasn’t sure how he got up there to begin with. He tried to turn himself around to face the floor. He got about half turned and looked down. This was when he discovered he wasn’t even in his apartment!

Below him, on the floor, was a blow-up mattress with some big guy sleeping on it. He didn’t recognize the man, but he was distinctive, being a very big guy with long hair, possibly Samoan or some other type of Pacific Islander heritage. I’m out of my body, he thought to himself. At that moment, he felt himself fly back up through the floor, the couch, and into his body, like the snap of a rubber band.

At first, he just assumed that he’d experienced a really bizarre dream, brought on by his extremely exhausted state … until the next morning when he went to leave for work. He almost had a heart attack when, coming out of the apartment, he ran into the big Samoan man he had seen sleeping on the blowup mattress. He had not seen the man before hand and had originally thought he was just a figment of his imagination. Now the guy was standing right here in the flesh!

It turned out the big guy was spending the night with a friend and that’s why he had been on the blowup mattress in a spare bedroom. It was at this point that Tyler had to seriously take into consideration that he had, indeed, inadvertently slipped away from his body for a few seconds.
Personally, I don’t condone that one should try to experiment with this stuff on purpose. The story of the evil presence waiting there on the astral plane should serve as warning enough to those who might be curious. I don’t know what to actually think about this particular phenomenon. Of course, I do believe that we all have a spirit that inhabits this mortal house of clay. So, it’s not too far of a stretch for me to think that under the right circumstances we could find ourselves straying a little from our physical body.

But as far as I’m concerned, I’m only planning on my spirit taking a leave of absence from my body once, thank you.
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 If you have a personal story of the paranormal or an adventure that you would like me to share on my blog please contact me at I'd love to hear your story. You can remain anonymous if you wish.

The images in this blog post were obtained through Google. The author does not own these images and takes no credit for them. No copyright infringement was intended. 

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

A Haunting in Idaho 7: The Girl of My Dreams

The following happened to me in November of 2000.

I was twenty-seven years old and was excitedly anticipating becoming a father for the first time, in just a few months. My wife, Kimberly, and I had just purchased our first home in preparation for starting out a family. The house was an old, brick farmhouse, built in 1898 by some of the first people to settle down in the historic, little village of Iona, Idaho. This is the same house where I had my experience with Charles, mentioned in a previous post. Read about that good time right HERE.

We were thrilled to be in our first home and I still remember those wonderfully terrifying feelings of responsibility and stewardship that would come over me from time to time, as the idea of being a property owner and a father began to sink in. And if I’m honest, me being me, the idea that the house could be haunted was also on my mind. A hundred year old house is bound to have a ghost or two hanging around, right?

I don’t remember exactly how long we had been living in the house when I had this experience, but I do know it was within the first few weeks or so. One night, after having gone to bed and falling asleep, I suddenly woke up for no particular reason. I was lying on my right side, my back facing the open bedroom door. In this house the master bedroom was right off the living room. I don’t know why I awoke, but didn’t think much of it and decided to roll over onto my left side.

As I did so, I was taken completely off-guard when I saw a little girl standing in the doorway! She was about six or seven years old and was wearing a white nightgown that had an old-fashioned look to it, like something you’d see the Ingles girls wearing on Little House on The Prairie—minus the bonnet. She had long, dark hair and was smiling at me.

I didn’t feel any fear. In fact, the thought that this was a ghost didn’t even enter my mind. She didn’t look like what I would have imagined a ghost to look like. She seemed solid, right down to her little, bare feet planted on the old, hardwood floor. My first thought was that a neighbor kid must have been sleepwalking and somehow found herself in my house. Yes, that was it.

I was about to ask her who she was when she raised one hand up in a sign of farewell, smiled sweetly, and said, “Bye … “ She dragged the world out like, “Byyye.” Suddenly, she became less substantial, like the dimming of a light, fading into transparency, her hand still up in the air. Before I had time to be scared or disturbed by this, she was gone. Vanished into thin air.

I remember experiencing a sensation of wonder more than fear as I tried to come to terms with what had just happened. What in the heck was that?  I thought to myself as I rolled back onto my right side, once again putting my back toward the bedroom door.

As I rolled over, I caught a strange movement out of the corner of my eye. Some shadowy thing slipped into the bedroom at that moment. Flew into the room, would be the better way of putting it, I guess. The best way I can describe it would be if a black blanket of mist slipped into the room by flying through the doorway, up high near the top of the frame, and then floated up into the corner of the ten-foot ceiling. It hovered up there, watching us in our bed.

I was seized by such a fear at that moment that I suddenly felt paralyzed, like a charge of electricity was coursing through my body. I thought I could sense this thing spreading out across the ceiling, becoming larger. It began to descend, as if to completely drape itself over us. With sheer mental force, I powered myself out of that feeling of paralysis and turned on my back to face this spectral threat. But, there was nothing there.

I lay there contemplating what had just happened. The fear slowly dripped away as several minutes ticked by. I concluded that somehow I had dreamed the whole thing. And, maybe I did. To this day, I’m not exactly sure about that. Was it all a dream? I felt like I was awake, but … I just don’t know for sure. To be honest, maybe I don’t really want to know.

I never saw the girl again, or the strange, black shroud that had flown into our bedroom that night. I’ve spent the years since, telling myself that it was all just a bizarre dream. There was never any other evidence to make me think that there was the spirit of a little girl haunting the house.

Except for this one time when our dog, for no reason at all, got his hackles up and started growling at our darkened kitchen one night. But a dog wouldn’t growl at the ghost of an innocent little girl. Would it?

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 If you have a personal story of the paranormal or an adventure that you would like me to share on my blog please contact me at I'd love to hear your story. You can remain anonymous if you wish.

The images in this blog post were obtained through Google. The author does not own these images and takes no credit for them. No copyright infringement was intended. 

Friday, June 23, 2017

A Haunting in Maryland: If These Walls Could Talk

This week’s true paranormal story comes to us from my friend, Thomas. It takes place in Maryland, over a period of about fifteen years. The story, in an almost classic style, begins with a recurring nightmare.

Through much of the 1980s Thomas had a recurring dream that he was living in an older home. In this dream there was a feeling or sense that the walls of the house were to be avoided. One was to avoid touching or rubbing up against the walls. Even pushing furniture up against the walls was a bad idea. This was because the walls were infested with the spirits of the evil dead. Nothing ever happened in the dream; there was just a sense that the walls were evil.

Sounds like a typical, demented nightmare—I’ve had similar dreams myself—except for the fact that this particular dream persisted throughout most of the 80s for Thomas. That’s something that I would not consider normal if it were happening to me.

In 1992 Thomas found himself renting the second story of an older home, constructed in the 1840s. The home had been renovated some years prior into a rental unit. He recalls that there was a stairway on his floor with a landing that led to an attic door. The door was actually boarded up and also had bars installed across it. He began to feel like something might be wrong with the house when his bluetick coonhound started wandering up the landing to just stare in quizzical fascination at this off-limits door. Was this the house of his recurring dream with the infested walls?

His suspicions were confirmed one night while he was watching TV in the living room. For seemingly no reason the ornamental plaster medallion, mounted above the fireplace, fell off the wall, all by itself. But it didn’t just fall off the wall. It practically sailed across the room, assuming an impossible trajectory, and crashing to the floor! Thomas climbed up to where it had been solidly attached just moments before. He looked for anything that might explain this strange occurrence. No explanation was to be found, and it was at that moment, he suddenly realized that he was actually living in his nightmare house!

He took the dream and the flying medallion as a warning and moved out of the place, having only lived in the old house for three months. Years later, just by chance, he actually bumped into a man who’s grandparents had purchased the house some many years before and had renovated the place.

Remember how Thomas’s dream included the idea that the walls were infested with the evil dead? Well, according to the grandson, when the house was being renovated, four complete human skeletons were found hidden inside the DANG WALLS! I know, I know! How creepy is that?

The bodies were never identified, I guess. The house was close to the old Mason-Dixon Line, and the working theory is the bodies must have been the murdered remains of a small group of runaway slaves. But, nobody really knows for sure.

What do you think about dreams? Was Thomas warned ten years before to stay clear of this particular house? If so, where do dreams like this come from? Is there a higher intelligence reaching out and trying to warn us, or does the dream somehow come from within our own minds? Perhaps, through and extra-sensory ability that we possess but are mostly unaware of?

Whatever the case, I think I might start paying a little closer attention to my own dreams for now on.

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 If you have a personal story of the paranormal or an adventure that you would like me to share on my blog please contact me at I'd love to hear your story. You can remain anonymous if you wish.

The images in this blog post were obtained through Google. The author does not own these images and takes no credit for them. No copyright infringement was intended. 

Monday, May 15, 2017

A Haunting in Idaho 6: No Vacancy at the Hotel Rogers

As I went to do a little research on The Rogers Hotel in order to write up this blog post, I had no idea of the building’s already infamous reputation in the community for being haunted. And I certainly wasn’t aware of it when I got hired to work for a company that was using the haunted hotel as an office space at the time.

I did a little googling on the building to see what background information I could find on the place and was surprised—but not really—to see a few websites where the haunted building is mentioned. There has even been a paranormal investigation done in the place.

Some videos have been posted by the group that did the investigation on YouTube:

The Rogers was built in 1937 by Bronson Marshall “Brunt” Rogers, one of Idaho Falls’s first millionaires, for the cost of $300,000. Upon its completion, the hotel boasted 100 beautifully furnished rooms with attached baths that went for $2 and up. The hotel enjoyed celebrity guests over the years such as: Herbert Hoover, Lyndon B. Johnson, Ronald Reagan, Bing Crosby, Gary Cooper, and Roy Rogers.

My own experience with The Rogers takes place in 2001 when I took a job as a graphic designer for a publishing company that had just moved into the building. The antique structure is comprised of three stories in which all the rooms have been converted into offices; my office was on the second floor, if my memory serves me correctly.

I was excited about this new job—I had my own office for cryin’ out loud, with a window and everything! And I loved the building, located in the historic section of Downtown, Idaho Falls on the corner of B Street and Park Ave. To this day, the old sign still remains on the side of the red-brick building. Painted in fading lead-based paint, it reads:

One of America’s better places … to eat and sleep.

As I said before, this building was not only new to me, but new to my coworkers too, as they had just recently moved in. Well, it didn’t take long before a coworker shared a ghost story with me, and my new workplace began to take on a whole new meaning.

Apparently, two guys stayed after hours one evening to put together a few modular desks. They were on the top floor—what turned out to be the hotspot of paranormal activity—with the parts and pieces of a new desk spread out in front of them on the floor. They were kneeling side by side, hunched over the instruction sheet, trying to make sense of the instructions—you know how those things go. Anyway, as they were kneeling there, they both suddenly felt a hand clap them each on the back of the neck. They both turned in surprise, having thought they were the only ones in the building at the time. They expected maybe to see a coworker, perhaps even the boss standing over them. But, there was nobody there!

In wide-eyed astonishment they looked at each other, and without a word, jumped to their feet and got the heck out of there, the skin on their necks still prickling with the sensation of a hand being laid there. They returned the next day and were forced to confess their story to their coworkers and explain why they had left a desk in a state of complete disassembly for everyone else to find in the morning.

A saleslady, who’s office was located on the third floor, told me of a time when she was working. It was midday and everyone on her floor had gone to lunch, leaving her alone as she worked to finish up a rush job that day. As she concentrated on the work in front of her, she caught a quick glimpse of a man walking by her door. She didn’t see much, except to note that he seemed to be wearing a pair of overalls and a checkered flannel shirt. She found it very odd, as this was definitely not company dress code.

She got up from her desk thinking that perhaps the boss had come in from a day off and was heading to his office, just a couple of doors down. Maybe he’d just come back from camping or something, she figured; he maybe just needed to grab something real quick. Although, it was strange that he just walked past her door without saying anything. She went to the door and called out his name. There was no response. She stepped out into the hallway. It was completely empty; all the doors were closed and there was no place the man in overalls could have gone! A chill spilled down her spine as a very uneasy feeling creeped through her body. She decided the rush job could wait and left until some other workers could return with her to the third floor.

There were other incidents: doors opening and closing by themselves, lights flickering, footsteps, a disembodied voice, etc. A few more employees thought they too had seen the man in the overalls and some had actually given the wandering specter a nickname. I can’t recall what the nickname was. Something like Bill, I think.

Things apparently got bad enough that someone reached out and contacted some people who had worked for the company that had previously occupied The Rogers. These contacts all enthusiastically corroborated our suspicions that the old hotel was haunted, saying that their employees had also experienced similar incidents while working in the building. I don’t know if there’s any proof to the rumor, but we were told that the man in the overalls was probably the ghost of the hotel’s maintenance man who had worked in the building for years, until he was discovered deceased in one of the rooms one day. Dare I speculate he was probably found in a room on the top floor?

Naturally, these stories and incidents served to incite my imagination quite a bit. I would make excuses to walk the halls of the old building, looking for perhaps a shadowy figure lurking in a corner, the ominous creak of a door slowly opening by itself, or even Bill’s ghost gliding down the hall.

One evening, I found myself working late on a project that had to be done by morning. After a while, I decided to get up and walk around a little to stretch my legs and give my eyes a break from staring too long at a computer screen. As I walked around, I soon realized that I had the entire building all to myself. All three floors. Gulp!

I took possession of my faculties and decided that if I was ever going to see a real ghost, this was probably my best chance. Don’t ask me why I actually wanted to see a ghost; seems like a foolish thing to wish for now. With all of the courage I could muster, I began to walk the hallways of The Rogers, one deserted floor at a time. “Come on, Bill,” I said, now and then, as I made my way closer to the top floor, “Come on out and show yourself, if you’re really here.”

I know … Dumb!

For whatever reason, Bill chose not to manifest his presence to me that night, and to be honest, as I left the building to go home, I think I was kind of grateful he hadn’t. I refer you to my previous post: Charles

I kind of have this theory that when we’re actually trying to see a ghost or communicate with them, collect evidence, etc, we’re less likely to see something then if we just go about our normal existence. I think that maybe when we are in the act of pursuing an experience with the paranormal, perhaps we aren’t in the right frame of mind, making an occurrence not as likely. Perhaps, when we’re just going about our normal routines and daily lives, we are more relaxed and therefore somehow a bit more susceptible to a glimpse at the other side. Which leads me to what I count as my own experience at The Rogers.

At some point, I kind of forgot about the supposed ghost or haunting of the building as I went about my daily life there. I even began to doubt the stories I had heard from others. Not that I thought people were making up the stories, but I started to assume that people had probably just allowed their imaginations to get the better of them. Saw and heard things that just weren’t really there. Personally, I had just spent too much time there—many times all by myself—and had not witnessed any kind of paranormal activity. Not even an unexplained cold spot.

One day, I approached my boss and told him that my office needed a second chair for clients to be able to use when they came to see me. He told me that I could probably find a decent office chair down in the basement, where they had stored a bunch of office supplies and furniture when the company had moved in. Basement? Up to this point, I had no idea there was a basement in the old place. If I’d been on my guard, maybe the thought of going into the basement of an old hotel, that was alleged to be haunted, would have at least raised some concern. But, I admit on this occasion, I thought nothing of it, as I took the stairs, making my way down there.

The basement, itself, wasn’t particularly creepy as I remember it now, some sixteen or so years later. It was a pretty open space with an uneven cement floor and, indeed, it had a great deal of office furniture that had been stored down there: desks, chairs, filing cabinets, old computers, old fax machines, etc. The lighting wasn’t too bad, I remember. About what you might expect in a space such as that.

I began to rummage through the selection, in search of a decent chair that would fit well in my small office space. Before long, I had selected a good candidate and separated it from the conglomeration of stuff. With my primary task complete, I took a moment to have a look around. Maybe there was something else in the pile that I could use for my office.

And that’s when I took notice of the dark, far corner of the basement.

It was an empty corner that held this aura of being farther away then the rest of the room—detached somehow from the rest of the basement. It seemed a little darker than everywhere else too, as if the already weak light emanating from the lightbulbs down there just couldn’t quite penetrate into that one corner. Feeling somewhat drawn, perhaps like a moth to the flame, I took a few steps in that direction. But only a few steps.

I pulled up short, the dim corner gaping in front of me like the giant maw of some lurking monster that just might snap shut and swallow me whole, if I were to go any nearer. The skin on my arms prickled and I’ll be danged if I didn’t suddenly feel a slight chill in the air as I stood there, unable to go further—unwilling to take even one more step closer to that darker little realm of shadows.

I thought I actually felt a presence down in that corner. An unseen phantom watching me from the darkness, warning me, maybe willing me away from its otherworldly abode. For a long moment, I stood there wrestling with myself, questioning my instincts, trying to rationalize away these odd feelings of foreboding that had suddenly come upon me. In the end I chose to heed that sixth sense that was trying to tell me that something about my surroundings just was not quite right. I left with my chair.

Before heading up to my office, however, I stopped by the office of a coworker named Chris. I felt comfortable enough with Chris to tell him about my experience—I knew he believed in the ghost stories that had been circulating. I was sort of going nuts inside, wondering if I had just imagined those feelings in the basement, so I asked him to make a little trip downstairs, and see if maybe he might experience something similar in the far corner. Chris agreed to humor me and headed down to the basement while I waited in his office.

It didn’t take long for Chris to return. He was smiling, but looked a bit shaken up. I asked him if he had also had the uneasy sensation of being watched from the corner. He said that he had definitely felt uneasy while he was down there … and yes, especially while standing near the far corner.

I don’t think I ever went back down in the basement of The Rogers hotel during my employment in that building. And never again did I walk the halls, during after hours, audaciously calling out the building’s ghosts to make themselves known. To this day, and even immediately after my experience in the basement, I question what really happened down there. Was it just my imagination, after all? Was my mind just playing tricks on me?

I suppose these are questions that most people who experience a ghost sighting or paranormal event probably ask themselves. And to be honest, I don’t have an answer as to the truth of what really happened. But, I do know this: at that moment, as I stood there feeling as if the very walls of the room were yawning after me, my blood suddenly turning to ice water, there was no doubt. No doubt at all.

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 If you have a personal story of the paranormal or an adventure that you would like me to share on my blog please contact me at I'd love to hear your story. You can remain anonymous if you wish.