JUNE 9, 2013
I HAD TO DO SOME QUICK ELECTRICAL WORK IN THE HOTEL BASEMENT, so I was down there alone in the pitch dark, using my cell phone as a light source. It was like my phone was swatted out of my hand. Really? It bonked to the floor and dismantled. Really? So I am reaching down around the bottom of the old creepy stairs trying to find the phone parts in the dark. I gather up the phone but realize the battery is gone, and can’t find it anywhere in the darkness, seeming to have probably bounced down behind the old wooden creepy stairs into the forbidden zone. Really? So I have to start digging around with my hand in one of ‘those spaces’: ancient cobwebs, mud, rusty nails, little bits of history, and other things better left untouched in the complete dark, you know the scene. I kept thinking about the rhyme a psychic friend years ago told me she picked up on from a dead little girl in our basement: “609, come and see me anytime, I play in riddle and in rhyme. My father killed me, what a crime.” And I kept visualizing the creepy dead kid under the stairs from that movie that circulated recently, imagining that’s what she looked like. No, I don’t want to play, I’m thinking. And don’t touch my hand (as I reach back and dig around in there). I was having such an enchanted morning. Anyway, I eventually find the phone battery waaaaay back in there under those stairs.
BODY IN THE BASEMENT?
So, the history of the potential children ghosts in the Midway…
About six months after our purchase of the building someone involved with the sale of the hotel (maybe a lawyer, maybe a real estate agent, maybe a code inspector, maybe a police chief, maybe a family member) told us a story of how there was supposed to be a body buried in the basement. A child. Wow! So, we started doing research. Eventually, several psychics, not knowing this story, stated flat-out how there is a body buried in this hotel basement.
SLEEPING IN THE BASEMENT
Above is a photo in the basement from our first season when Jonathan Rabkin slept alone down there. It’s a large dungeon. A lot of bones were found in the walls of the basement. we puled countless animal bones from the walls. Jonathan felt compelled to sleep down in the basement alone, possibly to commune with any spirits down there. He brought with him what looked like a Christmas tree of sage. He was he only person to have slept down there since we’ve taken over the place. He survived.
LITTLE GIRL GHOST STORIES
Many guests have reported experiencing a little girl ghost. Though the stories take place all over the hotel, the basement and the third floor seem to be their most popular domain.
The claims by guests were mostly from woman. They were not negative so much as playful, mischievous, or wanting attention. I can remember Sarah Ireland mentioning it the first time, how she was certain a little girl climbed up on her when she was napping and took a nap next to her. Years later, Deana Kane was vacuuming on the third floor and she’d watch the curtains in the doorways rise to mid level as if someone was passing through. Fifty stories later of a Little Girl Ghost touching someone and she seems like just another resident in the building anymore.
THE LULLABY GHOST
Since spirits can supposedly communicate through electronic devices, many a recording has been attempted here in the Grand Midway by researchers. Perhaps the most dramatic audio recording was the very first attempted where hotel hosts Damien Youth and myself when we were caught off guard to hear a woman singing a child’s lullaby in the middle of the night inside the hotel from their small recording device. Then as the recordings continued there were further recordings that same night of a young child crying. We dubbed her the Lullaby Ghost.
THE LULLABY GHOST -by Damien Youth
There was an odd feel to that old Hotel. One that even, on occasion, unnerved a hardcore skeptic such as myself. Perhaps it was the aesthetics of the place? Upon first arriving, the place reeked of dead relative. So many discarded items. Old clothes, shoes, records, the old guest book. Regardless to what contributed, I knew no other way to react when a strange occurrence took place on one particular evening.
Blair & I were down on the first floor, brain storming, moving things about. I had my baby monitor on, as our family rooms were way up on the third floor. As Blair & I were chatting, I noticed periodically, voices coming through my baby monitor. I didn’t pay much attention at first as, it sounded like Elizabeth & little Starr talking. At one point it sounded as if Starr was upset so I decided to excuse myself & run up to the room to see if Elizabeth needed help with Starr.
When I reached the third floor, I cracked the door & peeked in. I got a deep chill when I saw that Elizabeth & Starr were both in a deep sleep. They couldn’t have dropped off to sleep that fast! Not in the short time it took me to run upstairs!
I shared this with Blair. We were both moved by this. And this opened a whole new door to us for a while. The baby monitor began a ghost busting device! There were a few nights that we set the monitor up, turned on maximum volume. I had a tape deck recording it. Blair had a camera turned on it. And we were determined to capture these voices!
Yes! Me! A skeptic, wandering about those old halls, holding the monitor in different areas to see if the voices could be detected with more clarity. And a few times they were! Blair & I both heard a mother singing an old lullaby to a child! Really!!
In retrospect, I can think of 101 reasons why I was picking up voices on that device. But the point is simply this. In the midst of it, with-in the structure of that old building, nothing seemed more feasible than it being the voices of past lives. And getting me to entertain such a thought as being feasible, is an accomplishment all on it’s own!I mean, if you told me it was the government or space alien’s… perhaps … But ghosts!!!!
VOXX’S NURSERY RHYME MURDER POEM
Her web page boasts: Voxx is listed in the national best-selling book, “America’s Top 100 Psychics,” where she is featured as the world’s youngest and most accurate Psychic. Voxx is respected as the nation’s leading Love Psychic; however, she also gives amazingly detailed Psychic Readings regarding all aspects of life. Voxx astonishes clients during Psychic readings by literally giving names, specific dates and details that are miraculous. A gifted Trance Medium, Voxx also connects the living with spirits of their loved ones on The Other Side. Voxx possesses a unique combination of amazing, natural Psychic ability and Metaphysical scholarship. Voxx is the only professional Psychic in the world who is an initiated High Priestess. A lifelong student of the sacred Kabbalah, Voxx is also an esteemed member of several ancient, mystical orders. Voxx was born Psychic, descended from a family of gifted seers, dating back to 10th century scotland. Her Psychic mastery includes: Clairvoyance, Clairaudience, Clairsentience, Trance Channeling, Kabbalah, Tarot, Astrology, Numerology, Dream Interpretation, All Forms of Divination, and Ritual Magick. She’s written books on Positive Spellcasting, Psychic Ability, and Astrology. With over 20 years of experience, Voxx is one of the most trusted Psychics in the world. She has proven her talents on numerous television and radio shows, as well as several films, over the last 10 years. Voxx is the first Psychic to have hosted her own national radio show on KLSX 97.1 FM, where she was the lead-in to the “Howard Stern Show.” Every 2 AM out of Los Angeles, five nights a week, this paranormal show was wildly successful. “The Voxx Show” averaged over one million calls per month! Currently, Voxx co-hosts Love Calls with the Poorman on KMPC 1540 FM.
I have known Voxx for years, going back to when he first interviewed her for my film Black Pearls. I wrote her and requested any images that came to mind about the Grand Midway. All she had was a picture of the hotel exterior. She had no prior knowledge of the hotel, nor of the often-mentioned possibility of a child buried in the basement, only that I’d relocated from LA and was currently doing something with this old Pennsylvania building. This letter was her response:
Re: Spookiness in general … I see a young girl named Sarah with long hair in spiral curls. She is wearing a white pinafore and holding a doll. She says:
“609, come and see me anytime,
I play in riddle and in rhyme.
My father killed me, what a crime.”
That’s automatic writing from Sarah in “609” … sometimes spirits speak backwards and this could indicate she may have been born in 1906. You could check it out. Hope all is well Blair. I might come visit you soon. Let me know when is a good time. Blessings, -Voxx
NOTE: I have always thought the use of ‘609’ in her poem was a reference to my first area code in New Jersey which was 609 when I was also a little kid.
ORIGINAL PHOTOS OF WOMAN AND CHILDREN OF THE MIDWAY
CHIP COFFEY VISITS THE BASEMENT / CLAIMS TWO BODIES HERE!
Chip Coffey celebrity psychic / medium from Psychic Kids and Paranormal State joined Adam Blai and I for an hour in the hotel basement.
Chip said, after considering the space, that we not only had one body, but two bodies buried in the basement! “A child and a young woman. The woman was a sad story. She died by accident, killed by accident, almost in a kind of auto-asphyxiation. The man who killed her was too important in the community, so she was quietly buried here in the basement.”
SEEING A CHILD GHOST IN THE BAR -by Renee Angle
When I first entered the hotel one wintry night last January, the first room I saw was the bar. I hadn’t really known what to expect coming to this building, but I was still surprised by the grand-looking room with the high ornate ceiling, ship-shaped bar, and skeletons adorning the velvet-papered walls. It was spooky, no doubt about that, but too fascinating to be really foreboding. As a result, I found myself hanging about a lot in the bar after relocating to the hotel shortly afterwards.
One night, I was alone in the bar around five in the morning. I’d been up all night working on some writing and the work was stressing me out. Leaving my laptop on the surface of the bar for a moment, I stood and began to pace around the room, trying to organize my thoughts and stretch my legs. Suddenly, I became aware of an apparition straight ahead, staring dead at me from the far end of the room, the back of the bar where the stage is.
Now, that section of the room is certainly more dimly lit than the rest of it, but there was no mistaking what I saw – it was not a shadow or a trick of the eyes. It was a little girl dressed in white with an arm outstretched toward me, as though she wanted me to come to her. I was startled, but not intrinsically afraid. I was curious about the spector and took a step toward her. Perhaps my movement startled her, because she instantly vanished.
I stood there bewildered for a moment, then, not worrying about how crazy I might sound to the other hotel residents, I called after her something like, “Wait, come back! I want to see you!” But she didn’t return that night. For about a half hour following her disappearance, I was aware of the energy in the bar which felt like standing near a power plant – electric, alive, almost oppressive in a tingly sort of way. It destroyed any chance of concentration, and eventually forced me to call it a night and head upstairs to sleep, and later, to share my exciting encounter with everybody else.
GUEST COLLAPSES SCREAMING!
One day we had a bbq with a house full of people. Everyone was outside. We suddenly heard screaming from within the building. All of us so used to pranks by that point just laughed at first. But the screaming continued. It sounded terrible, like they were sawing a oman in half. We realized something was genuinely wrong. we raced up the stairs. There lay one of our good friends on the ground shaking and screaming. She wasn’t faking anything.
After a while, after she eventually calmed down, she told us she was in a room on the third floor and got shocked touching an electric lamp. When she next stepped into the hallway, she turned to see what she described as a dead little girl right before her, arm stretched out pointing, screaming at her. With that our friend lost it, started screaming uncontrollably, and fell to the ground.
Her screaming was so loud and had gone on for so long the Windber Police showed up!
RESIDENT JIM’S GHOST BALL BOUNCING STORY
When the group of artists first moved into this hotel, Jim’s first night was an uneasy rest. So uneasy was his first night he was kept awake sure he was hearing things. At this point in time he didn’t know any of the stories of the hauntings. He just felt uneasy in his room. He thought he heard the sound of a ball bouncing in the room above him. He lay listening as he thought someone was in the room above him dropping a rubber ball, over and over, allowing it to create a bumpada bumpada bumpada sound in order to annoy him. Or to freak him out. He was certain he was hearing a ball bouncing. They were holding the ball very close to the floor so the bouncing was almost directed, it seemed, at creating the noise just to disturb Jim below.
The person upstairs had to have been doing it intentionally, Jim felt, and they would have to be standing in the center of the room above him for the ball to be tapping just in that place. This went on for hours. This went on for so long he finally got up and went up to the third floor to find the culprit joker and force them to cut it out.
The sound of the ball bouncing stopped.
Only when Jim got to the third floor room that was at the end of the hall directly above his own room, he found behind the closed door what he was not expecting. The room above his had been sealed as a storage room. It was totally stuffed from floor to ceiling with storage and trash and furniture. There was no possible way anyone could even enter the room let alone reach the center to stand at and bounce a ball there.
If the sound was coming from somewhere it didn’t come from any person in the room. And there were no pets back at that time to create the ball sounds either. The ball bouncing was a puzzle Jim never was able to answer.
This was only one of the many unusual stories that creeped around the edges of this room while Jim lived in here.
MY BALL BOUNCING STORY -by Joebob Smith
Well, where do I start? I was up on the third floor and the party had just died down. I was exhausted and went to the room Blair had assigned for me. It was pretty cold that night and I had my sleeping bag on a mattress. Back then, nothing but the mattress was in the room. I left the door open and had crashed on my back with my face up. Within minutes, I was out cold. All of a sudden I felt a ball hit me. Not only did it hit me, I felt it hit the mattress and heard it hit the floor. Startled and wondering what the hell was going on, I looked up and around. There was no one around and not only that, there wasn’t even a ball in the room. I didn’t know what to think so I scratched my head and tried to go back to sleep. I fell back down and tried to calm myself. As soon as I relaxed, I felt a little girl crawl on top of me and she started to poke me in the chest. I quickly sprung up and looked around. The girl was nowhere to be seen but I could hear her laughing and running down the hall.
THE BAT CHILD DRAWING
The Creepy Little Girl theme became the poster art for the hotel’s DraculaCon conventions. (Artwork by Mike Merarian)