Friday, July 16, 2010

Maria Del Rey Condos, Biloxi Beach, MS

Hurricane Katrina did not take the Maria Del Rey condo building in Biloxi down but it did close it and it has remained frozen in time since the day of the storm. The building still has drapes and furniture inside. Located across the street from the beach it stand in silence with a few broken windows and the once landscaped ground is now over grown and neglected. Reports say that the storm damaged the roof and for five years water has drifted down the thirteen floors, molding and rotting the interior. The lower parking area under the building were gutted by the surge that washed through it taking out wiring, utilities, insulation and the elevators system. It is one of the few remaining buildings left standing that bears the large X spray painted on it that indicates the search that was made after the storm.
While driving by recently my daughter and I spotted what we though were workers on top of the building. We stopped to look, thinking that workers were beginning to renovate the huge building. After we stopped we did not see the figures on top again and chalked it up to a trick of the eye. While there were decided to snap a few pictures of the gutted area under the building. When we checked the pictures we found what appears to be a figure walking away from the building wearing a shawl or some kind of cover over it's head with an orange colored long skirt below that. The Condo is enclosed by a six foot fence and is locked. This figure was not seen when the photo was taken. The figures is the correct height for a human.
This photo below is not nearly as clear, but I thought it deserved to be shown. It appears to be a dark figure wearing a hat leaned against the building. It was not seen with the naked eye. You may form your own conclusions about what it is. The old building is definitely a spooky place that possible holds onto the day that Katrina emptied it of life and activity. At least the kind that it used to know.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Deserted Six Flags Park New Orleans

Below is the deserted Main Street of Six Flags New Orleans. When walking through the area you feel as if you are being watched and there are some sounds in the buildings that should not be there. Parts of the area seem to have lights where there are none since the place is without electricity.

Deserted Six Flags is a huge area that is completely empty and silent except for the sounds of old flags flapping in the wind, birds and the faint sound of past screams of delight from riders on the now empty rides.

The area still has all the equipment to operate even though it is rusting and frozen in place. The huge parking lot is overgrown with weeds, but the area still has the once cared for shrubs and remnants of the flowers which once brightened the area. Viewed from a distance as in the photo below the area gives off a creepy feeling even from that distance.

Fallen figures from Six Flags

The opened door to the ride pictured above seems much more sinister now that it is empty than it did when the park was operating. The faces seem to have turned truly frightening instead of the funny but slightly scary features they once were. Overall the place is filled with many sounds that can not be traced to any certain place or object in the park. There is a distinct feeling of something or someone moving behind you and there is a desire to keep checking over your shoulder.
What is it about deserted amusement parks that makes them so spooky? Perhaps the missing people who should be among the bright gaudy rides and flags. I noticed the park each time we passed it going to and from New Orleans and even from a distance it's scary looking. Up close it is really something. There are a lot of sounds that do not have an explanation and that do not fit the area. Some of the time there are the sounds of metal banging and sounds like a motor running, as if a ride is going to start moving to take riders for thrills. There are the deserted cafes that still have old food and all of the equipment in them.Some of the booths have prizes still hanging on the walls. And the figures that are left have changed from fun to sinister. Hurricane Katrina damaged the place and it has been deserted since. It's as if the owner took nothing and just walked away.

The skeleton above and the piano hanging out the window give the place some of it's surprise creepiness. It is one of the scariest and spooky places I have even seen. One surprise is that the area is not fenced off. There is a fence across the entrance to the parking lot but the area is open otherwise although the cops probably do not take kindly to trespassing.

Some photos by Brynne Photography

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Ghost at Train Crossing

Recently a homeless man was struck by one of the many daily trains that pass through Ocean Springs, MS. He was part of the large homeless community that lives in a wooded area near the tracks. This man was in his twenties and did not take drugs or drink. On the day he died, he was walking down the tracks when a train approached from behind him. Witnesses said that despite the nearly continuous sounding of the train horn the man never looked back or move off of the tracks. Was it suicide? No one knows. Since his death there have been reports of a young man who seems to step through of a moving train and appears between the guard rail and the train as it passes. One of our SAPS members recently witnessed this phenomena.

While stopped at the tracks by the lights and guard rails she saw a man suddenly appear between the tracks and the guardrail. He walked calmly around the guard rail, past her car, he looked directly at her and nodded his head in greeting. When she turned and looked behind her to see where he was going he was nowhere to be seen. He did not have time to disappear in the open area where she was stopped. The SAPS member said that the man appeared to be moving very fast; much faster that a human man could have moved.

When SAPS members went to the site to check it out we found that there is only about three feet between the tracks and the guard rail, which would be a very scary place for a living person to be when a train is passing. There is no place for the man to have come from when the train was passing since the area is open. Had he been a live person who was walking down the track beside the train he would have been easily seen. So SAPS concluded that he was indeed a ghost. A ghost of a man who died on those tracks and now walks between and through the trains. Research of the accident from news accounts indicates that the man was killed about twenty feet from the crossing where the ghost was seen. Since that time there have been other reports of this apparition by non SAPS members as well.

NOTE* The Methodist Church in Ocean Springs held a memorial service for this young man that was attended by many of his homeless friends and others. Perhaps this service will lay to rest this ghost. At the very least it recognized his life and his passing and the fact that though homeless he was not alone and was loved by his friends.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Ursuline Convent New Orleans

A ghost hunter in New Orleans is not limited to just a search for ghosts and haunted structures at the twilight hour in the Big Easy. Voodoo, witchcraft, and members of the undead mingle among the living—seeking energy from that one unsuspecting person on the street. Vampires awakened on an evening of the new moon could walk past you near an alleyway. You wouldn’t be aware that they’re hunting for their feast. But, they would be aware of you! Tales of vampires have been circulating around New Orleans for hundreds of years. One of the most repeated stories is that of the Casket Girls at the Old Ursuline Convent. The Sisters of Ursuline established a Catholic School for girls and set up the first orphanage in Louisiana and the Mississippi Valley. Today the Ursuline Convent stores the Catholic Archives records dating back to 1718. In the 1700’s, the Catholic Diocese sent young girls from the French convents to New Orleans to spread Christian values and find respectable men to marry. They each carried a coffin shaped chest packed with their belongings. The chest was called a “casket” and the young women were mockingly called the Casket Girls. However, the plan backfired. A good number of the girls were raped and forced into prostitution. Ships sailed back to New Orleans to rescue the fair maidens and returned them to France. Some of the girls still carried the small caskets with them and the contents were never revealed. Legend says with the contents still unknown, the Sisters of the Ursuline placed them on the third floor of the convent. The doors and windows were sealed shut for all eternity. When the chests were finally opened many years later, they were found empty. Superstitious citizens claimed the girls had smuggled vampires into New Orleans in the chests instead of clothing and such. The sealed attic of the convent has shuttered windows. The heavy shutters are of an unique style not seen anywhere else within the French Quarter. The shutters are always closed, but they say late at night the shutters open and the vampires come out into New Orleans seeking their prey. The Ursuline Convent claims there is nothing stored in the third floor attic, but then these mysterious questions arise.

If there is nothing in the attic, why not allow the public inside to document that fact?

If there is nothing in the attic, then why was it sealed by nails and screws blessed by the pope?
While on the tour our guide (haunted New Orleans Tours) told us that about 2 weeks before Katrina hit he was out there doing his tour, as he tuned towards the convent he noticed that on the window all the way to the left the shutter wasn't just open it was completely gone. This freaked him out so he quickly moved his tour along and the next night he saw that the window was bricked up from the inside. He counted the days, it took them 9 days to fix the shutter because they actually had to wait for a priest to fly in from Rome to bless the nails. So if there is nothing hidden in the attic why the over kill to make sure no one sees whats actually in it, Also as they tell you on the tour in the 17 & 1800's you didn't put shutter on your attic windows because you could actually DIE from the heat because there was no electricity .

A story reported from the 1970's states two ghost hunters hid in the courtyard of the convent one evening after spotting a set of the shutters half open. They had planned to photograph the vampires and kept a vigil through the night. Their bodies were found the next morning with a few scratches and all the blood drained from their bodies. So what is on the third floor of the convent. no one will know until investigators are allowed there to see for themselves.