Sunday, November 26, 2006

Manassas: Ben Lomond

We recently had the pleasure of visiting the Ben Lomond House in Manassas, Virginia. About 2 mi. from the Manassas Battlefield, the Ben Lomond House was built in 1832. "Ben" is the Gaelic word for "mount/mountain", and is named after a place in Scotland (Mount Lomond). The staff have had some experiences: voices, noises, a music stand being turned and also found dismantled. I did a basic history report, but we all went in a little blind for this one. The house is being restored and they're also about to do an archaeological and grounds survey soon as well. Exciting! As it was used as a field hospital during the Civil War, they have also preserved graffitti on the walls that many of the soldiers left.

We got some good EVP there. For one of the best ones, I was standing near a fireplace by myself across the room from the guys as Al asked questions, but my recorder was the only one to get it--a response to one of Al's comments. An interesting thing is that Al said that he felt that the ghost was that of an older man--too old to have been a soldier at the time, at least in his 50s with gray hair and moustache. The curator told us at the end of the evening that a 65-year old soldier from Georgia did die in the house and it's noted in papers in Duke U. because of his age and not common knowledge.

The house is maintained by Prince William County and is open to visitors during normal hours.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Ireland: Leap Castle

I watched the episode of Ghost Hunters on SciFi last night where they visited Leap Castle in Ireland. Above are photos of the famous oubliette in the Bloody Chapel and the door to the elemental's corridor that I took during my visit there with DCMAG and the knowledgeable Barry Fitzgerald in 2004.

I'll go more into the experience that is Irish ghosts when I talk about Ross Castle (brrr). Leap has had quite a history in terms of the paranormal. A bloody past, a lady of the house who tinkered around with calling forth things that she shouldn't have, and God knows what else, but Leap fits the criteria for a haunted place. We didn't have anything unusual happen during our 2004 visit, but the 2003 visit was more eventful. You can read Al's account of that first trip to Leap here.

More photos and info about Leap and our experiences are available here.