Death Row Hauntings Jun 2, 2017 15:33:11 GMT -5
Post by Graveyardbride on Jun 2, 2017 15:33:11 GMT -5
Death Row Hauntings
Currently, the United States has almost three thousand men and women on Death Row and unless there’s a drastic change, most of them will never be led to the death chamber. But every old prison has stories of infamous inmates who died for their crimes and if the stories are to be believed, the spirits of some of them didn’t leave the prison along with their corpses.
Old Charleston Jail. In the early 1800s, Lavinia Fisher (above*) and her husband John owned the Six Mile House, located six miles north of Charleston. When they had a customer of means, Lavinia would stir poison into a beverage and after he went to bed and became unconscious, she would trip a trapdoor and the bed and its occupant would fall into a pit below the house. There, John would finish him off and dismember the corpse for easy disposal. The Fishers would take the traveler’s money, horse and other property. No one knows how long they carried on this practice, but their luck ran out one night in February 1820 when a man named David Ross escaped and he and John Peeples filed a complaint against the Fishers. The two killers were arrested for their attack on Ross and their other dark deeds were subsequently discovered. The two were tried, convicted and sentenced to hang February 18, 1821. John was dispatched first, without incident, but when Lavinia – who was reportedly wearing a wedding dress – was led to the gallows, she stomped, shrieked, swore and called for damnation on those taking her life. According to legend, just before the trapdoor was released, she cried, “If you have a message you want to send to hell, give it to me I’ll carry it!”
The Old Charleston Jail is rife with supernatural activity and one of it spirits is believed to be that of Lavinia Fisher. Following her execution, jailers reported seeing her ghost on a regular basis. Numerous paranormal investigators claim to have recorded evidence of the phantom Lavinia and photos taken inside the jail sometimes show an anomaly that many believe is the image of the long-dead murderess.
Ford County Jail (Paxton, Ill.). Frederick Hollman came to the United States from Germany in 1883. He had lived in Illinois several years when he went on a killing spree in 1896. Hollman was arrested and convicted of murdering Wiebke Geddes, but many believe he killed as many as 17 women in two states. He was sentenced to death and incarcerated in the Ford County Jail, but despite his conviction, Hollman refused to confess to the full magnitude of his crimes. During interviews, he would swear revenge on those responsible for putting him behind bars, saying, “I will haunt them to their graves. I will rap on their windows at night, and they will see my face at their windows.”
Following his execution in May 1897, true to his word, Hollman began haunting the jail. To this day, shadowy figures are seen in and around the cell he occupied and visitors sometimes report hearing phantom voices in that particular location. One paranormal investigation team captured what appeared to be a man looking out the window of the cell once occupied by Hollman.
San Quentin Prison. Though Amos Lunt hanged numerous men at San Quentin in the late 19th century, feelings of guilt finally got the better of him and he began to lose his reasoning. He told guards and other prison employees that 21 bloody ghosts followed him everywhere he went and were constantly trying to toss a noose around his neck. Finally, things got to the point that Lunt was afraid to go to sleep for fear the spirits would kill him in bed. Concerned for his sanity, he was relieved of his duties in October 1899. Daniel Vasquez, San Quentin’s executioner from 1983 to 1993 said he was never bothered by the ghosts of any of the men he put to death in the gas chamber.
Old Idaho Penitentiary. On September 23, 1956, Raymond Snowden (above) met Cora Dean, a newly-widowed woman out on the town. It is unclear how the two got together, but at some point, Snowden slashed the woman’s throat, stabbed her 29 times and at one point, plunged the knife into the back of her neck so violently that her spinal cord was severed. Snowden was hanged for his heinous crime October 18, 1957, however, the rope was too short, failed to snap his neck and it took more than 20 minutes for the fiend to chock to death.
Following the botched execution, guards and prisoners alike claimed they saw Snowden’s apparition wandering the grounds. Many paranormal investigators have reported hearing a man’s disembodied voice laughing and screaming and some insist they have actually seen Snowden’s ghost. The old prison is now a museum and visitors sometimes feel what they describe as an “evil presence” near Snowden’s old cell.
Florida State Prison. Ted Bundy is one of America’s most infamous serial killers. During his last hours, Bundy admitted to having killed approximately 30 women, but some believe there were more. Learning he decapitated some of his victims and engaged in sex acts with the severed heads convinced those who had investigated his crimes that he was more of a degenerate than anyone had imagined. On January 24, 1989, Bundy was strapped into “Old Sparky” (above), Florida’s electric chair, and executed for the murder of Kimberly Diane Leach of Lake City.
Since his execution more than 28 years ago, numerous guards and prisoners have reported seeing, hearing and feeling Bundy’s ghost. Some claim to have seen his apparition sitting – cool, calm and collected – in the old electric chair sneering at them. Others have reported seeing him in his former cell and hearing his voice. One guard swore to anyone who would listen that one night he heard Bundy’s voice whisper to him: “Well, I beat all of you, didn’t I?” Indeed, Ted Bundy’s ghost has been reported so often that many guards and other personnel are reluctant to enter the execution chamber alone.
Sources: Chelsey Baggot, Occult Museum; Phantoms & Monsters; A Gothic Curiosity Cabinet; The Daily Mail; and Florida State Prison.
*No one is certain the woman in the painting is Lavinia Fisher.