Expedition Team: Dave Miller, Rosie Miller, Holly Eller, Carin Bell, Valerie Bell
Date: October 18, 2023
Since Josh is one of my six favorite adventurers listed on my web site, I got the opportunity to buy five tickets and attend his presentation at Victoria Theater. His show was called “An Evening of Ghosts, Monsters, and Tales of Adventure” and he talked about his early life, his interest in travel and adventure and how he came about hosting “Destination Truth” and “Expedition Unknown”. And best of all, we got to meet him before the show. When he was talking about “Destination Truth”, he showed video of the show about the island of possessed dolls located on a small island along a canal in Mexico City. This was one of our favorite shows and one of the scariest paranormal segments he has ever investigated. Jacque was disappointed that she could not attend as she gave birth to baby John the day before and Matt was going to attend but he had a mandatory training day at work, so the Bell family subbed for them. I added a photo of a Yeti/Bigfoot footprint that Josh’s team found in Nepal. The cast was donated to an exhibit at Disney World.
This famous tunnel, an icon of the Red River Gorge Geological Area, has a haunted claim although it smells more like an urban legend. Built in the early 1900’s by the Dana Lumber Company to carry logs from the gorge, it was a small tunnel barely big enough to fit the narrow-gauge steam locomotive. Two different crews worked on each side of the large ridge carving through the solid sandstone by blasting with dynamite.
One day during construction, a worker named Charlie McNabb was thawing frozen dynamite next to a fire. Both Charlie and his dog Spike were blown to bits. Many claim the spirit of Charlie is in a state of unrest and haunts the 900-foot-long tunnel. Locals have reported on some summer nights blue orbs are seen floating through the tunnel and a growling sound (perhaps the ghost of Spike) can be heard. Standing in the long, tight, dark tunnel is unnerving since you never know when a vehicle might approach. As for a ghostly blue presence there is a possible explanation. Park rangers claim that the tunnel ceiling is home to a bioluminescent phenomenon that is a larva similar to fungus gnats. In late spring/early summer the larvae give off a blueish light. This type of bioluminescence appearance occurs in only a handful of places in the world. This reminds me of seeing similar luminance on a night scuba dive trip when I turn the night light off and the ocean lights up. I hope to return to the tunnel some night in the early summer to see this fantastic nature light show or instead, see a ghost that smells like dynamite.
A haunting or just an urban legend, this lore began 100 years ago in the 1920’s when a young woman named Lydia was killed near this railroad overpass. Wearing a white dress, on dark, rainy nights Lydia flags down passing motorists to seek a ride home. A driver will pull over and the apparition will vanish. I visited the site during a sunny day and obtained no EVP evidence on the road by the bridge nor under the bridge on a nearby bike trail. Interestingly enough, there must have been enough past “evidence” to warrant a state legends & lore marker to be placed here.
Expedition Team: Dave Miller, Rosie Miller, Jacque Kelly
Date: June 4, 2023
At the Vent Haven Museum, there were over 1,300 ventriloquist dummies. With hundreds in each room staring at you it could be quite unnerving. I had read an article about several dummies once belonging to ventriloquist and illusionist William Wood that were haunted. Wood (1862-1908) and his daughter perished under mysterious circumstances in a shipwreck. A 2013 episode of “Mysteries at the Museum” on the Travel Channel also purported this belief.
Wood’s tragic story is this. Once considered one of America’s top ventriloquists famous for a fantastic levitation stunt with his wife Edna, Wood was traveling on tour with his young daughter. Crossing the Gulf of Mexico in 1908 in a large tugboat with all his equipment, eight dummies and a large sum of money ($20,000), they were lost at sea under mysterious circumstanced. But suspiciously, all the crew survived but Wood, his daughter and the money vanished. Four dummies eventually washed ashore. The four dummies are supposedly haunted since they are the only “survivors” of the shipwreck disaster. It is reported the dummies occasionally move by themselves and a male voice is sometimes heard. Photos of the four dummies are below and a poster of Wood and his wife doing the levitation act are also below.
As for the haunted dummies the case is officially debunked. The Vent Haven Museum curator said that there is nothing paranormal about the dummies. She said the haunted aspect was completely made up by the TV show writers. Plus, she has observed nothing out of place over the past decade. So, there you have it. A made-up historical urban legend.
Investigation Date: February 27 & March 10, 2020, April 1, 2023
“The Strawberry Bitch”, a B-24 Liberator bomber, had a range of over 2,400 miles carrying 5,000 pounds of bombs. The plane has several paranormal claims. Visitors say the belly gunner who died on a mission still haunts the plane, rattles and clanks the machine gun and a shadow figure has been seen inside. Mysterious lights have been seen in the plane. One night a custodian sweeping around the plane was touched, slapped in the face and then he saw a face in the airplane.
This UH-19B Sikorsky Chickasaw Helicopter, built in 1962, served in the Korean War as a rescue and medical evacuation helicopter and is haunted by the pilot who died on the last mission. The helicopter has a 400-pound hoist above the door and an external sling that can hold 2,000 pounds. Claims include seeing the pilot in the pilot’s seat, bloodstains on the seat, and flickering lights inside of this Vietnam era helicopter. The ghost pilot appears late at night reliving the last moments of his last mission over and over again.
This is no April Fool’s joke. Built in 1966, this CH-3E Sikorsky is haunted claims numerous AF Museum night janitors and security guards. This transport helicopter flew many high level, classified secret missions and daring rescue missions. The Sikorsky was armor sides, two machine guns, rescue hoist and ability to refuel in mid-air. Cruising speed was 154 mph. Claims include hearing voices and moans from the soldiers that died in the helicopter during missions. This was confirmed by a volunteer who was stationed near the helicopter. There were still bullet holes in the sides of the helicopter that verified its combat activity.
Sitting around the campfire reminded me of this popular, hilarious western United States urban legend – the legend of the Jackalope. This urban legend always makes me laugh. It reminds me of when camping, I would send my kids out at night with a flashlight and small paper bag for them to go snipe hunting to catch the non-existent snipe.
For those unfamiliar with the jackalope legend, the fake hybrid is said to have first ‘come to life’ in 1932 when Douglas Herrick and his brother conceived of the creature while tinkering in their hobby of taxidermy. Their curious creation became something of a sensation, and over the years, countless versions of the antlered animal were crafted by various artisans. Basically, the jackalope is half jack rabbit and half antelope. How this small animal and large animal could mate is beyond me. In time, all manner of tall tales became attached to the jackalope, which has been depicted as something of a vicious trickster that lured unsuspecting cowboys to their doom by mimicking a human voice and then, upon drawing its victims close, swiftly attacking them with the tiny antlers atop its head. Cowboys were told not to be fooled by its diminutive size and adorable appearance and to “Fear the Jackalope.”
According to folklore, the jackalope was not above being fooled itself as it is said that the creature could be captured if one left a glass of whiskey beside a fire. What cracks me up is that the jackalope supposedly can imitate a human voice. Cowboys singing to their herds at night have been startled to hear their lonesome melodies repeated from a hillside by a jackalope. Jackalopes only sing on dark nights before a thunderstorm. So, this legend is ridiculously silly but a great story to tell when sitting around the campfire. I included a few photos of the kids and me a long time ago riding a giant jackalope at Wall, South Dakota.
While visiting relatives, I was told by a woman we will call RS, that a child’s doll named Woody from the movie “Toy Story” has caused the family a fright. Twice the doll spoke words all by itself without being touched by a human hand. During my investigation it did not speak on its own. It was rather eerie looking, sitting under a table in the corner. There is no battery in the doll. So, is this doll possessed or did the voice mechanism just malfunction? The family will continue to monitor the doll and keep me posted if anything unusual occurs.
Investigation Team: Dave Miller, Rosie Miller, Jacque Kelly
Date: February 18, 2023
The gates kept us from entering and investigating this beautiful but creepy looking Gothic Revival Memorial Mausoleum built in 1870 by Edmund Dexter. I expected an upper window to open and Count Dracula look out and bats to fly out of a nearby broken window. Located in Spring Grove Cemetery, the 2nd largest cemetery in the United States, this mausoleum is often misidentified as a chapel and cost $100,000 to build back in 1870. My research revealed that inside the locked lower level are 12 catacombs where the bodies of four generations of the Dexter family reside. The mausoleum overlooks one of the cemetery’s picturesque lakes and the urban legend states, if you sit on the landing of this tomb, two white dogs or wolves will run by. Sources indicate that the wolves will stare at you with red glowing eyes and a blood curling howl. I sat there overlooking the beautiful lake and landscape and felt nothing but peace. The entire cemetery has 225,000 people buried here there are only a couple alleged ghost stories. This truly seems like a made-up urban legend.