Tag Archives: staircase

HULL HOUSE MUSEUM!

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HULL HOUSE MUSEUM!

My husband & I were visiting Chicago in June ’07 and we decide to do a ghost tour

. The tour was fun & interesting, lasted about 3 hours. The Hull House Museum was the last stop, as soon as we pulled up I knew I needed a photo of the staircase.

I forgot my camera at the hotel so I had to use my cell phone (which has no flash). I waited till everyone had moved on to explore other parts of the grounds & such. I got my phone out & said SAY CHEESE and when I got home & blew up the pic on my pc this is what I got.

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The Brown Lady

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The Brown Lady

This portrait of “The Brown Lady” ghost is arguably the most famous and well-regarded ghost photograph ever taken. The ghost is thought to be that of Lady Dorothy Townshend, wife of Charles Townshend, 2nd Viscount of Raynham, residents of Raynham Hall in Norfolk, England in the early 1700s. It was rumored that Dorothy, before her marriage to Charles, had been the mistress of Lord Wharton. Charles suspected Dorothy of infidelity. Although according to legal records she died and was buried in 1726, it was suspected that the funeral was a sham and that Charles had locked his wife away in a remote corner of the house until her death many years later.

Dorothy’s ghost is said to haunt the oak staircase and other areas of Raynham Hall. In the early 1800s, King George IV, while staying at Raynham, saw the figure of a woman in a brown dress standing beside his bed. She was seen again standing in the hall in 1835 by Colonel Loftus, who was visiting for the Christmas holidays. He saw her again a week later and described her as wearing a brown satin dress, her skin glowing with a pale luminescence. It also seemed to him that her eyes had been gouged out. A few years later, Captain Frederick Marryat and two friends saw “the Brown Lady” gliding along an upstairs hallway, carrying a lantern. As she passed, Marryat said, she grinned at the men in a “diabolical manner.” Marryat fired a pistol at the apparition, but the bullet simply passed through.

This famous photo was taken in September, 1936 by Captain Provand and Indre Shira, two photographers who were assigned to photograph Raynham Hall for Country Life magazine. This is what happened, according to Shira:

“Captain Provand took one photograph while I flashed the light. He was focusing for another exposure; I was standing by his side just behind the camera with the flashlight pistol in my hand, looking directly up the staircase. All at once I detected an ethereal veiled form coming slowly down the stairs. Rather excitedly, I called out sharply: ‘Quick, quick, there’s something.’ I pressed the trigger of the flashlight pistol. After the flash and on closing the shutter, Captain Provand removed the focusing cloth from his head and turning to me said: ‘What’s all the excitement about?'”

Upon developing the film, the image of The Brown Lady ghost was seen for the first time. It was published in the December 16, 1936 issue of Country Life. The ghost has been seen occasionally since.

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The Myrtles Plantation

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The Myrtles Plantation

Built in 1796 by General David Bradford, this stately old home is said to be haunted be several restless ghosts. Some researchers say as many as ten murders have been committed there, but others, such as Troy Taylor and David Wisehart, have only been able to confirm one murder at Myrtles. (Those two authors provide a very good history of the house in their article, The Legends, Lore & Lies of The Myrtles Plantation).

Even they agree, however, that the place is seriously haunted and easily qualifies as one of the “most haunted.” These are some of the ghosts that allegedly haunt the house:

  • Cleo – a former slave who was allegedly hung on the premises for killing two little girls. (Those murders and even the existence of Cleo are in question.)
  • The ghosts of the two murdered children have been seen playing on the veranda.
  • William Drew Winter – an attorney who lived at Myrtles from 1860 to 1871. He was shot on the side porch of the house by a stranger. With his life’s blood pouring from his body, Winter staggered into the house and began to climb the stairs to the second floor… but didn’t make it. He collapsed and died on the 17th step. It is his last dying footsteps that can still be heard on the staircase to this day. (Winter’s murder is the only one that has been verified.)
  • The ghosts of other slaves allegedly occasionally show up to ask if they can do any chores.
  • The grand piano has often been heard to play by itself, repeating one haunting chord.

Now a bed and breakfast, The Myrtles Plantation has opened its doors to guests who often report disturbances in the night. My colleague, Stacey Jones, founder of Central New York Ghost Hunters, reports on her stay there:

“It was a spectacular place to stay, if you keep an open mind. While taking the guided tour, I saw what looked like a heavyset African-American woman wearing an apron walk by the door, on the porch. Thinking it was a worker in period dress, I peeked out and no one was there. We stayed in the children’s bedroom, and my best-friend (who was a non-believer at the time) experienced quite a bit of paranormal phenomena. She was held down in the bed and constantly poked all night. She was unable to move or cry out for help. She didn’t think the stay was as great as I did. They let you ghost hunt on the grounds whenever you like, but you can’t ghost hunt in the main house without an escort. I suggest setting up a video camera in your room and bring a tape recorder to obtain EVP.”

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