Happy Hallowe’en! Here’s a bite-sized ghostly treat

hotel stairsAs suspected, there are several haunted hotels in Mobile. This year I interviewed a former staffer of one, for the next book, who felt from personal experience that the place was indeed resoundingly haunted.

My favorite event from this employee’s time there was even captured on tape.

One night the staff noticed, on a security monitor feed, a guard standing in an upstairs hallway talking to herself. Or rather, talking quite intently to a space a few feet ahead of her. The conversation went on for some time.

Later she came down and reported that she’d really had to give those little boys upstairs a real scolding, as they were playing in the stairwell and making a big ruckus! She read them the riot act before they scampered off.

They showed her the tape.

I’m told they still have it.

Happy Hallowe’en, everybody!



Posted in Mobile Ghosts, True Stories | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Haunted Mobile Book Signing at B&N, Spanish Fort 10/30/15

Barnes and NobleI’m signing books on Friday, Oct 30 at 5:00 pm!

It’s part of the Eastern Shore Centre’s “Trick or Treat!” night, so I hope you’ll stop into Barnes and Noble to say hi, then have a fun time running around.

Posted in Mobile Ghosts | Leave a comment

The October Poltergeist, Part Three

What happens after a poltergeist scares you half to death? You try to figure it out. And if you’re lucky, you get to meet him. Click for Parts One and Two of this story, or continue to page down.


I’ve read a lot about poltergeists and poltergeist type manifestation, and had plenty of low level knocks, bangs and thumps around the house for years, but nothing prepares you for your very own, straight-up poltergeist.

pompeii Advice was sought.

Friends agreed that it was scary and somehow bad form for the paranormal to behave like that, especially since I was studying so hard to focus various intuitive abilities into some sort of coherence – with the specific goal of working more effectively with the unseen world.

But that was also the crux of the matter. If you are studying to be a medium, shouldn’t you expect this type of communication? Much discussion had boiled it down to just that – the facts did not point to a nasty spirit having fun watching me shriek and sleep with the lights on. It was much more likely that someone was trying to communicate.

When I made that connection – that it was possibly a spirit in distress and not just a vagrant, it changed how I felt about it.

Mulling this over as I walked through the house, I glanced to the right and there, in the sliding glass doors, was the image a man. It happened so fast that I didn’t even stop walking, just did a double take. And then he was gone.

The man I saw was very young, and had black hair and a thick, bushy beard. He was

Not a photo of the actual soldier in my house, but he looked very similar.

Not a photo of the actual soldier in my house, but he looked very similar.

looking straight at me as if alarmed, and caught off guard. He had on a Union uniform and was crouching down. Wow, I thought when my head cleared. That’s him.

Fearful but now also sleep deprived, I felt sincerely embarrassed that I couldn’t calmly deal with a spirit, particularly if it was one seeking help.

So I steeled myself to go to bed without the reassuring company of lights, television and cats. That night I apologized aloud for the misunderstanding, but asked the spirit not repeat the performance. And I slept.

The next day, my husband returned home and I was no longer alone. The spirit didn’t come back, but the experience played on my mind and worried me.

I felt like I had flunked some sort of test with my fearful response. I sent earnest pleas to the powers that be that somebody, somewhere would succeed where I had failed and help this spirit, if help was needed.

There was one more knock in the night, about two weeks later. I did better this time; I did sit up, but this time I was calm when I asked the spirit to please hold off until daylight, and that was the end of it.

You’re not allowed to do this, I had cried out when it happened. I didn’t think before I yelled that; it was spontaneous. Did I mean that he was violating my longstanding personal boundary, that I’m off limits to physical manifestations once I turn in, or are there clearer rules of behavior in the unseen world that I am not consciously aware of?

I’d like to tell you that in the years since this happened, I found that soldier and talked with him, but I haven’t. I think of him often and wonder if he’s the presence I feel off to the side of the driveway, where I always feels someone stands and watches when I work in the yard.* He’s definitely not one of the Civil War era houseghosts I write about on my blog, because his energy is that of a stranger. When spring comes and I am outside a lot, I hope he might sidle up to me for a chat – if he’s not scared that I’m going to yell at him again.**



Posted in Mobile Ghosts, True Stories | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The October Poltergeist, Part 2

This is a recounting of the scariest thing that has ever happened to me. It is a true story. You can read Part One of the story here, if you haven’t already, or scroll down this page to the post. Part Three will be posted on Monday, October 26.


Curtains Blowing in the Wind, (c) Molloy Photography

Curtains Blowing in the Wind,               (c) Molloy Photography

I was so scared I remember what happened next the way you remember a car accident – blurred, without a sense of time.

A slam, as if something had smacked the bedroom wall, startled me. Half asleep, I tried to collect my thoughts. Then some very loud bangs. Silence. I absolutely froze.

The silence was not a relief, because it was literally so bizarrely quiet that I could not even hear the fridge humming, the heater clicking, or the dishwasher swishing away in the kitchen. All the ambient noise of the house was absent. It was like an air lock, or vacuum, no normal sound could penetrate.

Frantic, I thought, “That must have been outside.”

But I realized our dog, who (and I am not making this up) will bark at the wind, was not making a peep. So if nothing was happening outside, it also meant that nobody was trying to break into my house (with a sledge hammer.)

Which left me with only one conclusion, as I listened to the little spring in the doorknob on my bedroom door slowly, slowly tighten up with a tiny grate and few pings – whatever was going on, it was not part of the physical world.

Silence again. “Okay,” I thought. “I’ve figured it out. So now it will stop.” I pulled the covers up higher, closed my eyes, and tried to calm my breathing.

And then, BAM! A sound louder than anything I have ever heard blasted through my room, sounding all the world as if a car had just driven down the driveway at full speed and into the wall of the bedroom. Without any conscious thought, I realized I was sitting straight up in bed, and somebody was shrieking.

It was me.

“Stop, stop!” I wailed. “You’re not allowed to do this!” At the same time, I lurched toward the bedside table, grabbed the lamp, and snapped it on.

Nothing was out of place and the bedroom door was still shut.doorknob

But it seemed to me that I could feel it coiling, tightening, rearing back to strike with another noise as soon as I dropped my guard. It was absolutely terrifying, the most scared I have ever been in my life.

I grabbed the remote and turned on the television, so I would not feel alone. The perky people on the set chattered away, and the heavily expectant feeling in the room began to recede.

“I wish the cats were in here with me,” I whimpered to myself, but I was so frightened I would not leave the bed even to go to the door, crack it and call for them. I slept the rest of the night with the light and the television on, and will confess that I did that for the next night, and the next.

The Weather Channel, on low volume, was perfect for deflecting any further activity.


The conclusion of this three part post will be up Monday, October 26.

Posted in Mobile Ghosts | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Haunted Baldwin County Story Telling Event

Swift-Coles Historic Home

Swift-Coles Historic Home

Harriet B. Outlaw, author of the newly released Haunted Baldwin County Alabama  will be telling ghost stories with the marvelous Donnie Barrett at the Swift-Coles Historic Home on the night of Friday the 30th!

Info and directions here  or call the house: 251-949-5550.


Posted in Ghost events | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

The October Poltergeist, Part 1

(This is a three part blog post about my most frightening experience, and what I learned from it.  I guest posted this for another blog several years ago, but I’m sharing it again this year because it’s still the scariest thing that ever happened to me! Look for Part 2 on Friday the 23, and the conclusion on Monday the 26th.)

closet doorsUneasy, uncomfortable, unnerved and sometimes sick to my stomach, I can still count the times I’ve been truly frightened of the paranormal on one hand.

When I opened a closet door in a very haunted Mobile home and a wary spirit bolted out of there, literally ran through me, I was more startled than anything.  It was broad daylight, I was not alone, and there was a physical reaction in my body that I could analyze.

A ghost grabbed me by the leg on another occasion, and I leapt from my chair because it scared me witless. Also in the daytime, also with people there. Unlike the closet ghost that just wanted to get away, this spirit was determined to get my attention!

I’ve seen more ghosts in the daylight hours than after dark, so it was a huge and unwelcome surprise one October when poltergeist phenomenon manifested for several nights in my house, and caused me to question whether or not I was even cut out for this work.

Halfway into the month, I unexpectedly found myself completely home alone in the days leading up to Hallowe’en. Things were okay, initially, and I’m used to unexplained bumps, thumps, boots on the staircase and spirit activity in the house.

I didn’t think much of it when I began to hear these things at night, or when the cats would alert and follow something with their gaze. “Lots going on tonight,” I would smile wisely, while the dog growled at nothing I could see in the darkened dining room, “The veil is thin.”  And I’d feel myself very serene and witchy from my spot in front of the television, watching reruns of “Dead Files” and eating out of a box of Cheezits for dinner.

The night the commotion really started, I’d turned in as usual. A soft bang sounded from somewhere in the house. “Squirrels in the attic,” I reasoned. It happened again.

“Oh man,” I groaned. “I have to check. Must. Protect. House.”

Down a Dark Hallway (c) Jen Gallardo

Down a Dark Hallway
(c) Jen Gallardo

Still half asleep, I crept to the door and poked my head out into the hallway. (Reflexively, I also snapped on the hallway light, effectively blinding myself. Not recommended.)

Because everything looked fine, and the cats were dozing without complaint – and because I was still pretty unnerved – I retreated back to the bedroom, and under the covers.

Then some clicks in the bathroom brought me fully wide awake. I stared at the ceiling, tense as a bowstring.

Then a sharp knock. In the bedroom.

I turned on the light and grabbed a book. A few hours later, too sleepy to stay awake, I closed the book and had an undisturbed night. In the morning light I put it down as a one-time thing.

But the minute I began to doze off the following evening, all hell broke loose.


Part 2 of this story will be posted Friday the 23. 

Posted in Mobile Ghosts, Supernatural, True Stories | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

Haunted Mobile on the Radio, 10.20.15

Really looking forward to talking ghosts with Uncle Henry, and Halloween enthusiasts Mobile Bay Coins and Collectibles on AM Radio 710 in Mobile on Tuesday morning, starting about 7:30 until 9:00. Share your own stories or call in for ghost advice if you’ve got a haunting you need help with!

Thanks for the invite, Uncle Henry!Uncle Henry


Posted in Ghost events, Mobile Ghosts | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

A New Ghost Book About Baldwin County

Haunted BaldwinJust in time for Halloween, ghost fans in Alabama and along the Gulf Coast will be delighted with Haunted Baldwin County by Harriet Outlaw. Available in paperback or Kindle!

Posted in Mobile Ghosts | Leave a comment

True Experience at the Battle House Hotel

Today a comment was submitted about a true Battle House Hotel experience, and I did not want anybody to miss it — here it is as a guest post, with thanks to Serena for sharing it with us!

The majestic Battle House Hotel in downtown Mobile is long rumored to be haunted.

The majestic Battle House Hotel in downtown Mobile is long rumored to be haunted.

“I stayed at the Battle House Hotel a couple of years ago, and had a rather chilling experience myself!

I was with a couple of friends and everyone had been drinking, so went to bed pretty quickly and slept through the night. Everyone went to eat breakfast early that morning, but I stayed in bed. When I woke up around 10, everyone was still gone. I laid there but noticed I was hearing something in the bathroom. Somehow it clicked in my mind that the water was running. The sound stopped, but then it started up again. I was completely startled and just ready to get out the room,  after sitting there stunned trying to figure out if I was really hearing the water running.

It was one of those things where you know you are really hearing physical vibrations, not just conjuring something up in your head (especially since I wasn’t scared the night before; why would I be on edge when I woke up in the morning.) Anyways, after reasoning with myself I decided I was too spooked to stay in the room, got dressed quickly, and fled that hotel room to wait for my friends!”

Posted in Mobile Ghosts, True Stories | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

New Ghost Tour for Mobile!

Christmas is a wonderfully spooky time of year, as Ebeneezer can attest.

If you’re making plans for a busy December holiday season — especially for family gatherings or people visiting from out of town — you’ll be happy to know that Mobile has a new paranormal option.

Spirit Expeditions has added Mobile to its roster of haunted historic tours. They offer a two hour walking tour with stops along the way for photography and deploying ghost hunting devices.

Church Street Graveyard, the Fort, Bienville Square — Spirit Expeditions invites you to get up close and personal with any lingering spirits in our very haunted, historic downtown area.  Your tour host is Tom Rouse, musician, author, investigator and skeptical ghost enthusiast.

Find out more by visiting the website (linked above) or give Tom a call at 1-855-99GHOST. 

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Posted in Ghost events | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment