Tuesday, February 21, 2017

The Ghost Rider of River Road

Roads are essential to daily life. These paved travel routes take people everywhere that they need to go, from the workplace to the grocery store and right back home. But roads can also be places where monsters and restless spirits dwell, making their frightening presence known in the darkest hours of the night. Such roads are common throughout the civilized world, and are famous (or infamous) for the legends that surround them. One of the most mysterious of these legends centers on River Road in Perry County, Indiana, where stories of a phantom rider on a fiery spectral horse have persisted since the mid-1800s. Locals know this spirit as the Ghost Rider of River Road.

The Ghost Rider is said to haunt River Road, which is found in Perry County in Southern Indiana. At one time, this three-mile highway was the only thing connecting the towns of Cannelton and Tell City. Today, this route is blocked off to travelers (Marimen, Willis, and Taylor 173). Other roads that are faster and more convenient have been built since those times. But one cannot help but wonder if it was blocked off because of the legend…

The legend of the Ghost Rider began on September 8th, 1858 during a wedding (of all things). Paul Schuster and Amanda Brazee were finally getting married, and both of the couple’s families and friends were gathered together at the Brazee family estate in Mulberry Park for the joyous occasion. Ironically, the estate was located right alongside River Road. Without warning, the festivities were brought to a complete stop when something was seen coming down the road at an ungodly speed. Witnesses soon saw that the figure appeared to be a man, riding on the back of “a fiery black horse” (Marimen, Willis, and Taylor 173). The figure wore a dark, hooded cloak that hid his face and carried a riding crop that he urged his mount onwards with, the steed’s hooves blazing as it galloped down the road. Some of the guests dove for cover, while the others just stared with their mouths hanging open. When the figure reached the party, just before colliding with the terrified onlookers, it stopped and stared at the frightened guests for a moment in utter silence. The rider then reared back on his horse and bolted down the road, vanishing completely when the two came to the end of the property (Marimen, Willis, and Taylor 173; Willis 64).

Gradually, the wedding guests began to regain their senses. They tried to make sense of what the hell they had just seen in rational terms, but no answers were forthcoming. Far too many of them had seen the apparition, so they knew that it wasn’t a hallucination. But they couldn’t help but wonder whether it was a ghost, a demonic manifestation, a malicious hoax, or something else entirely. Finally, they decided that it would be in their best interest to forget about the entire ordeal and get back to the wedding party (Willis 64-65).

After the wedding, news of the ghostly encounter quickly spread throughout Perry County. Most of the folks who heard the tale broke into uproarious laughter, saying that perhaps the liquor had been flowing too freely during the party. However, as time went on, more and more people reported coming face to horse with the apparition as they traveled down the road. These witnesses were honest, churchgoing people, who had little to no reason to lie or to fabricate an outlandish ghost story. Perhaps the sightings of the Ghost Rider actually weren’t the result of a drunken hallucination after all…?

On one quiet night sometime later, a young man was driving his horses and buggy along River Road on his way to Cannelton. From out of nowhere, the Ghost Rider materialized on the road in front of him. The man quickly reined in his team and brought them to a whinnying halt. Scared out of his mind, the young man drew his revolver and fired several shots at the spectral horseman. To his horrified dismay, the bullets had no effect on the rider whatsoever! Freaking out, the man whipped his horses and drove them all the way back to Cannelton like the Devil himself was chasing him down! When he finally got home, his mother and father immediately noticed that their son’s face was as white as a sheet! The young man immediately recounted his harrowing encounter with the Ghost Rider and his fiery steed. Needless to say, they believed him (Marimen, Willis, and Taylor 173).

The next recorded encounter with the Ghost Rider took place on a night in 1890. This time, a young boy was hurriedly walking from Tell City along River Road, trying to make it to Cannelton before an impending thunderstorm hit the area. Nearing Mulberry Park, the boy was startled by the deafening retort of a thunderclap, followed by the inevitable burst of lightning. This lit up the road in front of him, and to his horror, the lad saw the dark figures of a cloaked rider and a horse standing by some trees on the side of the road. The rider made no attempt to move, but the boy was so utterly terrified by the phantasm’s presence that he absolutely refused to try to walk past the spirit or to otherwise draw any closer to it. Now panicking, the young fellow turned around and ran like hell all the way home! Understandably, the boy didn’t try to reach Cannelton again until well after sunrise the next day (Marimen, Willis, and Taylor 173).

Sightings of the Ghost Rider and his fiery black steed continued to be reported for another decade afterwards. In 1900, however, sightings of the phantom began to dwindle as more and more roads were built. Finally, the sightings ceased entirely in 1940 when a flood wall was built over that section of River Road, essentially blocking off the ghost’s path (although how mere bricks and mortar can stop a ghost is anyone’s guess). Nowadays, River Road itself has been all but forgotten, hidden behind a wall and overgrown with gnarled trees and creeping plants. That does not mean, however, that people have forgotten about the fiery, cloaked phantasm and his nightmarish black horse that haunt the road. Nobody seems to know who or what the Ghost Rider is, nor is it known why this cloaked specter terrorized people on River Road for close to half a century (Marimen, Willis, and Taylor 173; Willis 65). And as of this writing, no clues can be found as to the Ghost Rider’s true nature or who he might’ve been during his lifetime, although this blogger suspects that he may have been demonic. If this is the case, then it is very odd that he never actually tried to hurt anyone. Then again, maybe inflicting fear and psychological trauma to those who had the misfortune to see the ghost was all that he wanted to begin with. In any case, there are very few people from the older generations in Perry County who doubt the Ghost Rider’s existence. But if somebody were brave (or stupid) enough to climb up over that wall and walk along River Road’s dilapidated surface at night, what would they find? A heap of legal trouble, or the Ghost Rider of River Road?

Sources

Marimen, Mark, James A. Willis, and Troy Taylor. Weird Indiana: Your Travel Guide to Indiana’s Local Legends and Best Kept Secrets. New York: Sterling Publishing Co., Inc., 2008.

Willis, James A. Haunted Indiana: Ghosts and Strange Phenomena of the Hoosier State. Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania: Stackpole Books, 2012.

Saturday, February 18, 2017

My Encounter with Robert the Doll

Almost two years ago, I had my very first supernatural experience. Ever since I first read about a particular doll in 2006 or 2007, I’ve wanted to meet him myself. His name is Robert the Doll, and this is the story of my experience with him.
 

On Thursday April 2nd, 2015, I visited the Fort East Martello Museum in Key West, Florida while on vacation in the Keys. As soon as I walked into the building, I started looking for Robert. Two minutes later, I found him, sitting in h...is case. I got pretty excited, so I went back to the front and asked the lady at the front desk what I should do and how I should approach the doll. She told me that if I felt nauseated, dizzy, or overheated, I should say “hello” and “good-bye” and leave. I didn’t feel any different than usual (if a bit on the excited side), and so I walked up to Robert’s case. Once there, I said – to the best of my memory – “Hi, Robert. My name is Kyle, and I have traveled a very long way to see you. I was wondering…may I take some photos of you? Please?” I didn’t feel anything out of the ordinary, so I took a couple of photos. I then thanked him and finished looking through the museum.

Shortly thereafter, I noticed that my name had “inexplicably” appeared on the chalkboard behind the case. I asked my parents AND my little sister if they had written it. All three of them denied it. That night, I found out that Olivia had done the deed, and she LIED to me twice about it!! But two days later, on our way back home to Indiana, Olivia was sick as a dog and puking all the way home! As bad as I felt for her, could this have been a coincidence? I prefer to think that this was Robert’s revenge, both for her cruel joke and her disrespect. And in addition, my Mom (who had also disrespected the doll) lost her wallet when we got to the airport, although it was only lost for maybe ten minutes altogether. Both Mom and Olivia had laughed at me for asking Robert if I could take some photos of him. And for their disrespect, they were briefly afflicted, I believe, by Robert’s curse.

In addition to the photos, I purchased a couple of books. Among them was a book simply called Robert the Doll, written by David L. Sloan and published by Phantom Press in 2014. I also purchased a poster of Robert, which says “ROBERT DID IT!” across the top in big yellow letters. After I paid for them, I shared my experience with the cashier regarding the name on the chalkboard, and she said “Maybe it’s a good omen.” I then questioned her about whether it might be some kind of special effects, which she said it wasn’t. After that, I thanked her for her help and said good-bye as me and my family set off to explore the rest of Key West.

NOTE: These photos were taken by me, and they may NOT be used without my explicit permission, and perhaps not even then!

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Donations?

Okay folks, here's the deal. My job doesn't pay very well, and a lot of the money I make goes towards my household's bills (food, television, Internet, etc.) and such. I really don't have a whole lot of money to spend on the research materials that I need to make blog entries more often. Such materials are often expensive and, in some cases, hard to find (or both). So, I hate to ask for this from readers of my blog, but here it goes. If any of you can make donations in the form of cash (via mail), Amazon giftcards (preferred), hard-to-find books (via mail), or information, please contact me at KPG1986@msn.com for further details. I will NOT accept checks or online donations, as I simply do not know how to accept those things through my blog. If any of you can do this for me, you can expect better and more detailed blog entries in the future.

Kyle

DARKNESS PREVAILS

For about six months now, I've been listening to scary stories and allegedly true encounters with monsters on YouTube. Now, I admit that I am skeptical of some of these stories, but some of them are just FAR too frightening to be made up. The channel that I've listened to the most is called Darkness Prevails, and the way he narrates and tells the stories, it's truly chilling. These stories include encounters with the Wendigo, skinwalkers, werewolves, aliens (ugh), ghosts, demons, Bigfoot, dogmen, the Goatman, Creepypasta, lake and sea monsters, the Rake, witches, dinosaurs, clowns, serial killers, stalkers, haunted dolls, poltergeists, faeries, the Jersey Devil, shadow people, the Mothman, the Chupacabra, flying bat-monsters, djinn, incubi and succubi, black-eyed people, imaginary friends...the list goes on and on!! And new videos are being added almost daily! I highly recommend subscribing to his channel. Also, if you have stories of your own that other people might find terrifying, I would recommend submitting them to this guy. His YouTube channel can be found at Darkness Prevails - Creepypasta, True Stories & Paranormal.

I'd like to take this opportunity to share some of my favorite videos with you.







Darkness Prevails also has a website, Darkness Prevails - True Scary Stories - Creepypasta - Paranormal. I highly recommend checking it out. Donate to his cause if you can, and you'll be given a shoutout on his videos. I'm currently unable to do so, not making enough money the way it is. You won't be disappointed. However, take heed of my warning: DO NOT LISTEN TO THESE STORIES AFTER DARK OR LATE AT NIGHT UNLESS YOU WANT NIGHTMARES. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED!