ALL THE SIGNS ARE THERE: Is Your House Haunted?

I was asked this the other day and as I searched I found there are numerous lists from as few as six signs to as many as sixteen and some who were obviously leaving the door wide open. Further research seems to suggest that these are considered the most common and likely signs of a 'haunting':  Unexplained cold spots, Shadows, sounds, or movements otherwise unexplainable,  Moving objects, opening doors - all unexplainable, Unexplainable moods, changes in atmosphere, or feelings of being watched, or Sightings of unexplained people, animals, or faces in or around a house which are unexplainable. 
You see, the key factor is  it must be 'unexplainable.'   Air in plumbing can groan like someone is being tortured on the rack, can thump floors and shimmy pipes over several floors giving a distinct feeling of some unseen presence. Air flow through a building can be diverted or blocked creating 'cold spots' or strange cold breezes. Old wood can contract and expand cracking open doors and drawers and knocking things off an otherwise even shelf.   Tiredness, flickers of electrical current, vision problems, and birds flitting past a window can create the illusion of something moving past, a shadow rapidly speeding across a room, and slinking in a corner.  Digital photography can capture orbs of light which are merely dust particles, refraction in old wavy glass can create a false play of light and shadow which the brain interprets as a "face" or nearby sounds carry on the wind leading to ideas of disembodied voices.

The amount of things we do not know about how old houses and interact with their geologic foundations, the  interactions of a location with any underground water sources, the possible correlations of electrical storms and 'sightings', and the power of the human imagination to create what it expects to see, all combine to insure we keep learning and trying to understand our wacky and wild world.


What Was Lost? What Can We Still Learn?

In the movement west, European-Americans found strange and mysterious earthen mounds - some of awesome size - and reflecting a great amount of communal cooperation and common purpose.  The often migratory, hunter-gatherer populations of the East, Southeast, and Middle regions seemed removed from what were clearly a more urban minded people.   Using a mindset that equated cultural development solely with specific types of society, they often dismissed any connections, could not accept that social history could be anything but linear, and  devalued anything not meeting preconceptions of an "important" or "civilized" society.

As a result, although many early and large earthen works or "mounds" were  recognized, protected, and preserved, many others were grazed, robbed, and otherwise destroyed.  Valuable information about the earliest community activities in North America were lost without study, record, or concern.  Some questions will never be answered about migration patterns, materials, methods, and relationships because valuable data was lost in the hurry to find mythical "treasure."   The lessons of the Spiro Mounds Archaeological Park in Spiro, Oklahoma are worth noting.  Hailed as an American "King Tut's Tomb" - not for its gold but for its rare information on early occupation.  Yet, it was nearly destroyed, robbed of its information, its contents desecrated with cruel abandon.

For most of the mound building cultures, these earthen works were part of sacred rituals of burial, death, and beliefs in the afterlife.  Archaeologists were seen as 'tomb robbers' and their actions synonymous with going to the local graveyard to dig  up a loved relative.  In most cases, you see, the occupants did not disappear but are connected to various groups who continued to develop and evolve as revealed through customs, linguistics, DNA, and cultural stories.  It was often seen as personal affront and sacrilege of sacred spaces and disturbances of final resting places. 

Spiro Mounds is the gem in Oklahoma but other sites stretch from the Canadian border to Middle America; from the Virginia hills to central plains.

What remains a mystery, however, is how these early groups functioned, what they believed, and how they might have related to other people groups.  These may never be fully answered due to the wanton destruction of some of these sites across the continent.  Their artistic style was as unique to other Native American art as Etruscan art was to Roman art.  They offer a rare glimpse into a more full understanding of human occupation and the connections and cultures of ancient humans.

In the assumptions about social development, definitions of civilizations, cultural superiority and prejudice rare pieces of history were lost - perhaps forever. As new theories of migrations,  multiple approaches to settlement, and new evidence continues to come to light pushing further and further our understanding of time lines and influences, what might yet still be there to be learned and what was lost?



No, not the National Press Club. These are terms used in the newspapers of early Oklahoma City to describe a serious of awful finds in the city dump. "Mountains of mangled flesh" or bodies most "dreadfully abused and mutilated." People pondered often in the midnight dreary what monster walked among them. Not even twenty years past the dreadful "Jack the Ripper" crimes of London Town - there was much for the imagination to contemplate. One story told of the finding of a small infant whose tiny body had been horribly "mutilated" by skilled hands and then the tiny body tossed on the "ash heap." One headline questioned what awful ghouls were prowling the gas lit streets of the new capital? The slasher in this morbid tale was none other than the local medical school, Epworth College. Or, to be more precise, the janitor of the facility. It seems that he had simply taken the discard body parts, bloody cloth, tumor removals and even corpses used in practice dissections, to the local city dump.   

I Write Like...

I write like
H. P. Lovecraft

I Write Like. Analyze your writing!

Expanded and Revised Edition

Expanded and Revised Edition
Coming Soon!