The Uninvited Guests 10-card mini set is the final group of minis from the 2011 Topps Allen & Ginters release that draws my interest. I actually had written up a post about this set yesterday but ended up deleting it before posting it but I decided to just go through with it and do a write up.
Bachelor’s Grove Cemetery- This cemetery is an old, now abandoned, cemetery outside of Chicago. The cemetery was used between the late 1830s and 1989 and there were as many as 200 tombstones at one time but with over 20 years of vandalism, satanic rituals and just neglect there are only 20 tombstones now.
The first reports of paranormal activity go back to the 1960s with the 1970s and 1980s being a high time for reports. In the 1990s ghost hunters showed up in force and some of the most famous sightings came during this period including the “White Lady” (also known as “Madonna”) in 1991. People have claimed to see floating orbs, a black dog that vanishes and a couple people have even claimed to see a spectral house.
|The White Lady|
The White House- Probably the most famous haunted location on this list hauntings have been reported back in to the 1800s. The most notable sighting is Abraham Lincoln who can be seen in the Lincoln Bedroom or walking through the halls and some have said he will knock on doors late at night. Other sightings include Abigail Adams hanging laundry, Andrew Jackson has been seen in different rooms laughing or screaming and swearing and Dolly Madison’s ghost saved her rose garden after Woodrow Wilson’s second wife demanded that the garden be removed. There is also a sighting of a British soldier with a torch who roams the grounds, he is said to be part of the group of soldiers who set the original White House on fire in 1814.
Waverly Hills Sanatorium- The sanatorium, which started innocently as a homestead, was eventually sold and opened in 1910 as a hospital for tuberculosis patients. The sanatorium closed in 1961 and was reopened as Woodhaven Geriatrics Hospital, though it should be noted that it is rumored to have also treated the mentally ill. After the hospital closed in 1981 due to patient abuse the building went through renovations then abandoned and then eventually sold and it is now being operated as a paranormal tourist location.
Some people claim that over 64,000 people died in the hospital and their ghosts still roam the halls but a more accurate total is around 1,800 people. There are two locations that most people attribute to the hauntings, Room 502 where a nurse committed suicide by hanging (or was murdered it was never determined) and another nurse committed suicide by jumping out of the window. The other location is the Body Chute, a tunnel under the hospital where staff entered and left through and then later the dead were brought out through the tunnel to keep the bodies out of sight from the other patients. The most notorious sightings are a woman running from the front entrance bleeding and a little girl playing ball on the third level.
Villisca Axe Murder House- In June 1912 someone, who had been hiding inside the Moore’s house, murdered the entire family plus two neighbor girls who were sleeping over. It is said the person was hiding in a front closet and when the family went to sleep he crept out and killed everyone with an axe. There were a couple of suspects including Reverend George Kelly and State Senator Frank F Jones, but nobody was ever convicted. Some even believe that Jones did not kill the family but hired a hit man William Mansfield. Mansfield later became one of the prime suspects after his wife and family was killed 2 years later in a similar style and a similar axe murder in Colorado two days before the Moore’s murder was also attributed to Mansfield.
Former tenants of the house have reported seeing a ghost-like figure carrying an axe, shoes filling with blood and closet doors opening and closing. You can now take a tour of the house or even stay overnight.
The Amityville Haunting- I have a personal connection with this story. My grandfather was friends with the DaFeos before they were murdered and he was living in nearby Massapequa, I was living about 10 miles away in West Islip but I was only a toddler at the time. The fact of the story is in November 1974 Butch DaFeo and his sister Dawn, along with 2 friends, decided to kill their parents after years of physical abuse. At one point Butch left the house to chase down one of the friends who got scared and ran off. When he returned he found out that Dawn had killed their two younger brothers and their younger sister even though they agreed to only kill the parents. In a fight Butch then killed Dawn. This is the end of the story.
But this is where the truth ends and the fiction begins. A year later in December 1975 George and Kathy Lutz bought the house and in a media circus they had the house blessed by a priest and 28 days later they moved out but not before selling their rights to a book publisher. The Lutz claimed that the house revolted to their moving in including talking to the priest (“Get Out!”), bleeding walls, oozing slime from the keyholes, waking up at the exact time of the murders every night, demon pigs with glowing eyes, welts showing up on their bodies, people floating above their beds, people transforming to someone else in front of their eyes, hidden rooms and ornamental pieces moving. After they moved out the publisher released the Amityville Horror, a book detailing the Lutz’s 28 days in the home, it was later made in to a movie. The Lutzs were treated like celebrities jetting around the country in style and making appearances on television to promote the book and later the movie. The Lutz's story is fine for a ficitonal book and movie but it is not true.
There have been 3 families that have lived in the house, plus many visitors and guests, since the Lutz moved out and none hae reported any paranormal experiences. Topps got sucked in to this one and included it based on the book not on actually experiences.
The Lemp Mansion- The Lemp’s were a family that was well known for their brewery in St Louis but between 1901 and 1949 the family encountered a downfall of catastrophic measures. It began with Fredrick Lemp dying of a heart attack in 1901 and was followed with multiple suicides, accidental deaths, a possible murder of a neighbor in the house, heart disease, illegitimate children and finally ending with the end of the blood line.
Like most of the locations on this list you can visit the mansion to take a paranormal tour or stay overnight. Spectral sightings include an adult female (believed to be Elsa Lemp who committed suicide), a few different adult males and a male child in the attic (believed to be Zeke Lemp who died as a child falling down stairs).
Alcatraz- The island began as a military base in the 1830s but was then switched to a military prison housing POWs from the Mexican-American War, the Civil War, The Spanish- American War, and Indian Wars and during WWI it held political prisoners. Alcatraz became a Federal Penitentiary in 1933 before eventually being closed in 1963. During the time as a Federal Prison over 70 people died on the island including natural causes, suicide and a couple of murders including a few guards.
The two main spectral locations are the utility corridor where 3 prisoners were shot to death while trying to escape and Cell 14D, an isolation cell. It is claimed that in the late 1800s a prisoner put in to the cell was screaming throughout the night that something was trying to kill him. The next morning he was found strangled to death in the cell and to add to the tale a few days later while the guards were counting prisoners they ended up 1 extra and when the guard turned to recount he saw the dead prisoner in line before he vanished.
Winchester Mystery House- After William Winchester died in 1881 his widow, Sarah, moved to California. In 1884 Sarah began building a mansion; she had construction workers and carpenters working on the house 24-hours a day from 1884 until her death in 1922. She felt that by always building she was appeasing (or confusing) all the spirits who were killed by her husband’s invention (the Winchester Repeating Rifle). Over the 38 years 160 rooms were built including 40 bedrooms, 2 ballrooms and 13 bathrooms. She also had the most modern of amenities including forced heat, indoor plumbing, hot water and elevators. To confuse the spirits she had stairs built to nowhere, doors that opened in to brick walls and windows facing in to other rooms. She also left rooms unfinished.
In 1999 I was in San Jose on business and was going to take a tour of the house with the group of people I was with but never made off of Winchester Blvd. See, Sarah believed to ward off spirits the 13 was to be used often. She had some items like chandeliers made specially to hold 13 candles, windows have 13 panes, there are 13 bathrooms and she even had trees trimmed to appear like the number 13. I am quirky and the number 13 makes me feel uneasy (2013 is going to be a hell of a year for me) so if I was to enter the house I would be extremely uncomfortable so I decided to pass.
Queen Mary- The ship was constructed as a luxury liner in 1936 but was later converted to support the war effort during WWII as a troop transport. After the war it was reclassified as a luxury liner and was used until 1966 when it was eventually sold to the City of Long Beach where it is now docked as a tourist attraction. There were 49 deaths on the Queen Mary not counting a collision at sea during WWII when it sliced another troop transport in half.
Some of the spectral sightings include an engineer who died in engine room 13 when he was crushed, he can be seen wandering the hallway but always disappears near the engine room. The pool is the location of numerous sightings including a little girl who was rumored to have fallen and broke her neck and two ladies (one from the 1930s and one from the 1960s) who died in the pool area. All three can be seen wandering around the pool or nearby lobby. The in-house psychic, he is part of the haunted tour, claims that he has communicated with 150 different ghosts.
The Lizzie Borden House- The Borden family was dysfunctional before reality television made dysfunctional popular. It has never been stated but I think Lizzie was actually unstable.
In 1892 someone, using a hatchet, killed both Lizzie’s father Andrew and her stepmother Abby. Lizzie was initially arrested but due to a serious screw-up by the police her trial was a joke and the jury took only 1 hour to deliberate and she was finally acquitted. The police investigation was a case of what not to do. They used affidavits that were fake, they refused to take fingerprints off of the hatchet even though they had the technology and they did not investigate some of the obvious signs pointing to Lizzie. There were conflicting police reports about the weapon including it was broken and clean and another report claiming the murder had no time to clean the weapon and it was covered in blood. They also noted that Lizzie when interviewed was not covered in blood and was extremely calm while talking with the police immediately after they arrived (possible psychopath?)
You can now tour the house, or stay overnight, and people have reported hearing a young women weeping, seeing shoes move across the floor, and seeing an old woman trying to tuck them in and the ghosts of both Andrew and Abby wandering around the house.
I like this set but I do not plan on picking it up. I don't know why but I have no urge to own the set. Interestingly when I wrote up this post I felt a cold chill running down my back when I was writing about the Villisca Axe Murder House that I did not feel at any other time while writing. To make it more odd, I originally wrote up this post last night and felt the same chill while writing about the Moore's murder. That was part of the reason why I decided to delete it before finally re-writing the entire post.
To note I do believe in ghosts and have experienced paranormal activity on a couple of occasions.