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The haunted Places Report 05/09/05  Rev. Ron Beach
 May 09, 2005 11:45 PDT 

THE HAUNTED PLACES REPORT
“Some things exist whether you believe in them or not!”

Founded by: Dennis William Hauck
Edited by: Rev. Ronald E. Beach
Email: Edi-@haunted-places.com
Website: http://www.Haunted-Places.com

All information contained in this newsletter is copyrighted and may not
be used in any format without the express written permission of the
editor.

05/09/05

_____________

FROM THE EDITOR
_____________

Please visit our website at: Haunted-Places.com and let us know your
thoughts & comments. Anything you like to see added to the site? All
items should be emailed to us at: Webma-@haunted-places.com
***
WE NEED YOUR HELP!!!! We would like to get back on track and send the
Haunted-Places report out once again as a weekly report. However, in
order to do this we need your help. To send the Report out weekly we
need input from our readers. Please feel free to send us any ghost
related items to publish. Tell us about your latest investigation, send
us a listing of all your groups events or meetings. How about sending us
a story about your most unusual or scariest ghost hunt. Tell us about
the haunted sites in your area. We look forward to hearing from you!

_________________

ANNOUNCEMENTS
_________________

SPIRITS site updates!! Well, we finally ironed out the difficulties
with the memory situation and it's all good. Site has been stable this
month (but go gently on it! I just got the bandwidth renewed....sigh).
Article on an old haunted house locally with a ghost wearing funky
headgear! Also, a poll on a potential angel image. Come and check it
out.
New article up on 40th Ave. North, new poll on a lovely misty image I
took a while back outside of a cemetery. Hope to see you all there!
Find both at: "http://centralflghosts.homestead.com/home.html"
(40th Ave. under the current investigations category and the poll to the
bottom right)

Brandy Stark, SPIRITS co-founder
***
I'm writing a book of ghost stories around the world (my sixth for
Edmonton publisher Lone Pine) and it's obviously a huge task. There is a
lot of historic research available on many of the well-known global
haunts, and what I am looking for is examples of recent experiences that
I can include to bring the stories to life. If you have experienced a
haunting outside North America and would be willing to share it
(anonymously if you wish), please send me an email to:
"mez-@telus.net".

Thanks! Susan Smitten
***
Great news!! The ever popular Sprucevale Ghosthunt / Campout (near
East Liverpool, Ohio) has been set for Saturday, July 16th. We have
found some great new places to investigate this year. Something new we
are planning to try this year is to make the ghosthunt more self guided.
We are planning on giving everyone a map to the hunted sites. By doing
this everyone can than visit the sites they want in much smaller groups
and hopefully get even better results. Once again this year we are
asking everyone to bring some type of covered dish to share with the
group. Hot dogs & burgers will be provided. Everyone that attends must
be a member of MAJDA (Membership info at: www.MAJDA.net) and over the
age of 13. We will be asking for a small donation of a few dollars from
everyone to help cover expenses. For more info contact Ron at:
"Haunte-@comcast.net"


_______________

FEATURE STORY
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THE KOONST SPIRIT ROOM
How Athens County, Ohio became so Haunted!
BY TROY TAYLOR (from the HAUNTED MUSEUM)
© Copyright 2003. All Rights Reserved. Used with permission.
Website: http://www.prairieghosts.com/

During the heyday of Spiritualism, "home circles" were all the rage
among those who were fascinated by the mysterious workings of the spirit
world. In these small, close-knit groups of family and friends, members
would gather around the dining room table and, curious about tales of
rappings from elsewhere, would try and see if they too could receive
communications from the spirits. Quite often they did --- they might
hear a soft tap, followed by louder ones and soon deafening noises that
could be heard all over the house. Questions would be asked, codes
devised and soon information would be flowing from the other side. In
many cases, especially with socially prominent families, such
manifestations would be kept private, in order to save themselves from
ridicule.
However, in other cases, when social standing was not a concern,
spirit contacts would be widely publicized and neighbors would be called
in for free performances. This
sometimes led to members of the home circle becoming professional
mediums, as if had with the Fox Sisters.
Another family, about whom much less is known, was the Koons family of
Athens County, Ohio. Though they did not gain much material profit from
their venture, the Spirit Room in Athens County became, for a short time
in the 1850's, a Spiritualist destination that attracted hundreds of
believers from all over the country.
What was nearly as amazing as the fact that so many people came to
Athens County was the ordeal that they had to go through to get there.
Although still somewhat remote today, it was a virtual wilderness in the
1850's. It was located in a rough and hilly area not far from the
Virginia (now West Virginia) line. To reach it, one had to travel by
stagecoach from Columbus over rutted and often washed out roads. Then,
to reach the Koons' cabin, visitors still had to walk another two
miles along a wooded trail. However, few pilgrims regretted their
journey and felt completely rewarded by the manifestations that awaited
them.
Jonathan Koons, the head of the family, and his wife Abigail had nine
children. They were self-educated farmers but well versed in politics
and the philosophy of the times. They settled and farmed an area in
Athens County, called Mt. Nebo, a hill that towers over the town that is
now located nearby. Early in 1852, Koons had come across newspaper
descriptions of the Fox Family rappings and had at once made a personal
investigation of the growing phenomenon. He attended several séances
throughout Ohio and allegedly learned from the spirits that he was a
gift medium. When he returned home, he also discovered that Abigail and
his oldest son, Nahum, were also endowed with psychic abilities.
After holding a number of séances of their own, the Koons' were
ordered by spirits to build what was dubbed their "Spirit Room". They
were given the exact specifications on how to build it, the size, the
furnishings and the equipment to use. The Koons' immediately went to
work and following the spirit's instructions, constructed a log cabin
that was 12 x 14 feet, had three shuttered windows, a single door and a
seven foot-high ceiling. The room was then furnished with benches that
would hold about 20 people. The spirits also requested that they equip
the Spirit Room with a number of musical instruments: a tenor drum, a
bass drum, two fiddles, a guitar, an accordion, a
trumpet, a tin horn, a tea bell, a triangle and a tambourine. Koons was
not a wealthy man and could not afford all of the instruments (plus, he
had trouble finding them in this remote part of Ohio) but managed to
order some and borrow the rest from neighbors. After another séance, the
spirits then demanded two tables, a rack for the musical instruments,
and wire with which to suspend a few small bells and some images of
doves that were cut from sheets of copper.
After faithfully following all of these instructions, the Koons' began
giving public séances. Koons, Abigail and Nahum acted as mediums and in
the darkened cabin, the spirits began giving
lengthy communications on various spiritual subjects, as well as
concerts on the musical instruments. Neighbors from all over the region
began descending on the Spirit Room and Mt. Nebo, attracted by not only
the rumors about what was taking place there but also because the racket
made by the spirits could be heard for a mile in any direction.
It was not long before visitors from other parts of the country began
to arrive as well. Charles Partridge, a well known New York publisher,
later wrote that he found at least 50 people
gathered for the first performance that he attended. Many of them were
from various parts of Ohio, but there were representatives from other
states too. Koons, on the advice of the spirits, gave preference to
those coming from far away. There were no admissions or other charges to
attend the séances but those who stayed the night at the Koons' home
usually contributed some offering. Throughout this, Koons was still
working and maintaining his family's farm. He was at times so exhausted
that he fell asleep during the séances and so there is little reason to
believe that the Spirit Room was ever a money-making project.
And while it may not have made money, it certainly attracted
attention. Published accounts soon began to appear in journals and
Spiritualist newspapers and from these reports, it becomes
quickly obvious that the séances were not for spectators with fragile
nerves. The exhibition was often loud and the spirit's performances on
the musical instruments was usually ear shattering. All of the reports
(whether we choose to believe them or not) agree that in the total
darkness of the crowded room, it would have been impossible for the
Koons' themselves to provide the deafening and boisterous entertainment.
The program usually followed a set routine. After the audience was
seated, the lights were turned out and the door and windows closed. The
start of the séance was usually announced by the banging of the bass
drum, which one witness compared to the firing of a cannon in the close
quarters. Then Koons, who sat at a table with his wife and son beside
him, would start to plat a lively tune on his fiddle. In moments, all of
other instruments would join in, keeping perfect time although played
with unseen hands. What is more astounding, the reports all stated, was
that the instruments did not remain stationary but would circle the
room, playing wildly as they danced above the heads of the spectators.
During one séance, Dr. G. Swan of Cincinnati wrote later of a flying
tambourine: " One moment I would feel it on my head or brushing my hair
and the next moment, it would be on the other side of the room." The
triangle was also carried about the room and played in the same manner.
Another witness, John Gage of Illinois, reported that the triangle
dashed about over the heads of the visitors and was "occasionally thrust
almost in my face, so that I was afraid that it would hit me." On one of
its flights, the triangle dropped into his wife's lap and then smacked
him up side of the head. Both agreed that it weighed close to 20 pounds.
According to another witness, the floating instruments would play in
unison and were so loud that it made the "whole house roar so as to
almost deafen us." No one seemed to recognize any of the tunes that the
instruments played, but they were melodies of some sort and not just
noise. Charles Partridge stated that the instruments would start
together and then stop abruptly, "as if by some signal." The music was
sometimes accompanied by songs that were sung in what seemed to be
"something like human voices". John Gage described them as "unearthly".
The words, all of the witnesses agreed, were apparently not in English.
Throughout all of this though, the "master of ceremonies" was not
Jonathan Koons, but rather a spectral voice that came through the tin
horn. He called himself John King and he proclaimed that he was the
leader of the spirits present, which numbered 165 in all. He was said to
be the spirit form of the Welsh buccaneer Henry Morgan, who died in
1688. King, and his daughter Katie (who became most famous when attached
to medium Florence Cook) became popular fixtures at the Koons' séances
and later, with the famous Davenport Brothers as well.
The musical part of the evening was usually followed by the appearance
of spirit hands that were either luminous themselves or illuminated by
phosphorized sheets of paper that were prepared by the Koons'. Visible
to a little above the wrist, the hands felt like real flesh and
according to witnesses were sometimes either hot or cold. Dr. Swan, who
requested that a hand be placed in his own, reported that "it felt
precisely like the hands of the subjects that I have handled in the
dissecting room." Partridge, who also held out a hand and asked the
spirits to take hold of it, said that it gave a distinctive grasp when
it touched his hand but added that "it did not feel like the hand of a
living person."
These phantom hands also played a part in the last feat of the
evening, when the luminous appendages would write messages on pieces of
paper. All those who described their visit to the Spirit Room saw the
hands write out messages and at incredible speeds. Many of the witnesses
watched the hands from a short distance but one fascinated spectator
pressed so close to watch that the hand playfully poked his nose with
the end of a pencil! Six witnesses from four different states testified
that they watched the armless hand write with a pencil. It wrote very
slowly and so one witness asked it to write faster. At this request, the
pencil began scrawling so rapidly across the paper that "we could hardly
see it go." In five minutes, it had filled the page, which it passed to
one of the witnesses, a Mr. Pierce of Philadelphia, who was then given
an opportunity to examine the mysterious hand. He reported that it was
human in all respects,
even to the fingernails, but was slightly cooler than his own. Pierce
then took another sheet of paper and the spirit's pencil and began
tracing an outline of the hand on the paper as far as the wrist but
"found nothing any further than that point." The hand then shook hands
with him and immediately vanished.
Reports of these wonders traveled out across America and hundreds came
to Mt. Nebo, claiming that it was a place of spiritual significance and
a sacred site to the Shawnee Indians. According to some sources, a
psychical society christened Mt. Nebo as "one of the most haunted spots
in the world". Despite the fact that the Koons' have long since vanished
from the memory of those in Athens County today, the reputation of this
being a haunted place has remained behind in tales of ghostly cemeteries
and local legends.
As for the Koons', their Spirit Room continued to operate and attract
visitors until the end of 1858. By this time, they were competing with
another Spirit Room that had been started by the Tippie family, who
lived three miles across the valley from the Koons'. It was never as
popular but it managed to draw some of the visitors who came searching
for the spirits of Mt. Nebo. The Tippie's, who had 10 children, also
boasted musical performances by the spirits but visitors were reportedly
disappointed that no spectral hands appeared. Both families later moved
out of the area with the Tippie's to Colorado and the Koons' to
Illinois. After this, Jonathan Koons announced that spirit John King had
departed and his tin horn was now silent. Koons contributed letters to
the Spiritual Telegraph for a time and then lapsed into silence himself.
Eventually, he and his family disappeared from the annals of
Spiritualism altogether.
What really happened at the Koons' Spirit Room in Athens County? Could
such wonders have really occurred? It is human nature for us to seek an
explanation but in this case, does one exist? It is almost automatic for
us to say that the whole thing must have been a hoax -- but then how do
we explain the independent accounts of strange happenings? Even if all
of the reports were made by avowed Spiritualists, who visited the Spirit
Room only to confirm their beliefs, the general agreement of the
separate accounts seems to offer evidence pointing toward the fact that
the Koons' were not putting on a fraudulent performance. What could they
have had to gain from it? Only notoriety, for it was not money, as they
did not charge for their séances. And if it was fame they were seeking,
then why vanish without a trace after only six years as mediums? And
what happened to them after they left Athens County? No one seems to
know.
Students of Spiritualist history are sure to recognize through that
the Koons' were ground breakers as far as manifestations go. Many of the
happenings at their séances were also reported at later séances, under
the control of entirely unrelated mediums. The mobile musical
instruments were part of the attractions offered by the Davenport
brothers and the spectral hands were seen at many séances, including
those of D.D. Home. The hands that materialized during his sittings
resembled in every respect the hands that were seen and felt in the
Spirit Room. In some cases, these manifestations were exposed as being
fraudulent but not in all cases. And for the most part, in the ones that
were fraudulent, the methods used to make the instruments fly and the
hands appear were beyond the means and the skill of the Koons family.
The case of the "Spirit Room" -- like some of the other aspects of
Spiritualism -- remains unsolved.

____________

SEEKING INFORMATION
___________

This section is devoted to helping those looking for paranormal groups
near their home or seeking information about various hauntings. If you
can provide answers or help to any of these requests please feel free to
email the senders.
Questions or comments for this section can be emailed to:
Edi-@haunted-places.com. Please be sure to include your email address
so our readers can respond to your request. Due to the vast number of
subscribers, we at The Haunted Places Report can not be held responsible
for the types or quality of answers and /or help you receive.
***
We are forming a new ghost hunting group in Columbiana County, Ohio. If
interested in joining please contact me at:
"Haunted-@haunted-places.com"
***
The team at the Haunted-Places Report is trying to assemble a research
library. We are looking for donations of ghost related books, videos,
equipment, etc... If you would like to make a donation please contact
Ron at "Edi-@haunted-places.com"
***
From: Brandy Stark at: puggodd-@yahoo.com

Some of the e-mails I've gotten this week have been asking for
recommendations for ghost groups in various states. I've been able to
tie a few people together, but need to find good, reliable and
recommended teams for the following:
Woodstock, New York
Northeast Pennsylvania

(Be sure to check out the listings at Haunted-Places.com for a state by
state listing of investigative groups).
***
Dear friends at Haunted Places,
Greetings from the Hoosier State. My name is Joy and I had a few
questions and a little info for you. I had recently been looking for
more information on the community that used to be Bartonia Indiana, and
hadn't been able to come up with much. I did find some blurbs with poor
directions about the local "headless horseman" on a bridge on a little
gravel road. I am more interested however in the history of the little
general store as this is where I had my spirit encounter. I saw a very
tall spirit man standing behind the manager in the doorway in the back
of the store, which for the last 8 or so years has been a restaurant, it
is no longer a store. These kinds of encounters have happened to me my
whole life so this was nothing shocking when it happened, I just cant
seem to find any information. Could you help me in any way? Know anyone
who investigates these things in IN?
A little more about the headless horseman. I have never seen him,
however that doesn't mean anything. I know exactly where the bridge is.
It is located on a gravel road off the Arba Pike, the road the bridge is
on is 400 S. I don't know about the horseman but I can tell you it is a
very spirit filled area. Many Native Americans camped along this place
for miles. It was well suited for them as it has a stream running
through this part of the land, not too big, not too small. Large enough
to provide food and carry canoes that is for sure but small enough not
to be a major threat. I have encountered MANY native spirits around this
area, one of whom, while in meditation, spoke to me in Shawnee. My
family owns a small piece of land around there and we camp there and
many times I have started a fire and then been let know I was no longer
welcome and thanks for building the fire, I have seen them dancing
around it during a vision also. Well anyways that's my story, if you
have any way to point me in the direction of Bartonia IN I would be
forever grateful.

Thanks for your time,
Joy at: shawan-@insightbb.com

___________

TRUE EXPERIENCES
___________

From: "Copy-@aol.com"


When I was a child about five years old I laid in bed one night and
listened to voices for what seemed for hours, coming out of a mirror
that was in my bed room. The voices were of people in some type of
nightclub The sounds of a conversation of two or three people would
drift in, lots of laughing and talking, then they would drift out and a
new group of people would come in This went on for hours, the best way
for me to describe it was like hearing a night club environment while
the band was taking a break. To this day, thirty five years later, this
has never happened again but its something that I will never forget.
Have you ever heard of anything like this.

___________

UPCOMING EVENTS
___________


Friday, May 13
Haunted Decatur Spooktacular Tour
History & Hauntings Book Co.
515 East Third Street - Alton, Illinois - 62002
(618) 465-1086 / 1-888-446-7859
Special Friday the 13th edition of the famous "Haunted Decatur Tour" in
Decatur, Illinois. An All-out extravaganza of ghosts, including a
walking tour of Greenwood Cemetery, a late-night stroll through Hell
Hollow, Ghosts of Millikin University, the haunted Masonic Temple, a
last look at the spirit-infested Lincoln Theater and much more! Join us
on two haunted buses for a tour hosted by Skip Huston, Troy Taylor,
Ursula Bielski and new Haunted Decatur host John Winterbauer. This will
be a historical event that you can't miss.
***
May 14
Moundsville West Virginia Penitentiary Ghost Hunt
Sponsored byMAJDA ( "http://www.majda.net" )
The Official Paranormal Investigators for The West Virginia Penitentiary
$50 per person
Tours start at 8pm
Ghost Hunt starts at 9pm
Pizza and a Movie at 10pm
Ghost Hunt ends at 6am
To make a Moundsville Reservation "http://www.wvpentours.com"or email:
"MAJ-@majda.net"
***
May 14
History & Hauntings Ghost Tour of Haunted Alton
History & Hauntings Book Co.
515 East Third Street - Alton, Illinois - 62002
(618) 465-1086 / 1-888-446-7859
7:00 p.m.
$20 Per Person
Three to three and half hours of the city's most famous haunted sites,
based on the best-selling book by Troy Taylor.
"http://www.prairieghosts.com/tours2.html"
***
May 21
Extended Ghost Hunter's Tour edition of the History & Hauntings Ghost
Tour of Haunted Alton
History & Hauntings Book Co.
515 East Third Street - Alton, Illinois - 62002
(618) 465-1086 / 1-888-446-7859
7:00 p.m.
$30 Per Person
An additional hour of the tour, plus even more of the city's most famous
haunted sites, based on the best-selling book by Troy Taylor.
"http://www.prairieghosts.com/tours2.html"
	
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