I’ve been watching (okay, I’ve been binging) on old episodes of Dead Files and I’ve been fascinated to learn about portals. Many of us remember that Buffy’s hometown, Sunnydale, had a Hellmouth, a particular kind of portal that supposedly is an entrance to hell. (Makes sense.) The wardrobe in “The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe” was a portal. Monsters, Inc. used portals that opened up in children’s closets. (See, another reason why I don’t like closets.) But, according to Paranormal expert John Tenney, there are portals all around the world. And portals are one explanation of areas being haunted.
In a youtube video Tenney describes portals as access ways or entrances to a different dimension, a different time, or a different reality. He believes that these doorways or easy access points allow spirits or other beings to slip into ours. He feels that because these portals lead to a variety of places from different realities to different dimensions, it’s not only ghosts that we’re dealing with. We could be dealing with inter-dimensional beings, time-travelers, or even beings from outer space.
The Ancient Ram Inn, in the quaint English village of Wotton-under-Edge, is said to be built not only on an ancient pagan burial ground, but also on the intersection of two ley lines. And, according to OMG Facts many believe the reversal of water flowing from a nearby church to the inn opened up a portal for dark energy on the site.
This haunted Bed and Breakfast was built in the year 1145 and has had nearly 900 years of scary things happening in it. According to OMG Facts, back in the 1500s, one of the lodgers was labeled a witch and burned at the stake. Her ghost is said to haunt the aptly named “Witch’s Room.” Over twenty ghosts are believed to haunt the inn, including the spirits of children and a talking cat. Past guests have reported seeing furniture fly across the room and being pulled out of bed by a pair of icy, hairy hands. Some patrons have been so terrified that they’ve jumped out of windows to escape.
John Humphries, who ran the inn from the late 1960s until 2015, was a skeptic at first, but he soon became a believer. Once when he was renovating the inn, Humphries discovered several small skeletons with broken off daggers inside of them, believed to be the remains of children killed for pagan sacrifice.
Today, the house is owned by Humphries’ daughter Caroline, who was so afraid of the house as a child that she would sleep outside. While the inn is still open to ghost hunters and paranormal experts, Caroline has stopped renting rooms to the general population because “it’s just too haunted.”
“But after nearly 50 years here,” she told the localpaper, “I’ve accepted that we have to live with some unwanted guests.”
Of course, normal people don’t believe in that right?
Well, actually, the old custom of covering mirrors when there was a death in the home was because mirrors were considered portals and people used to believe that the spirits of their loved ones could become trapped inside the mirror. Actually, John Zaffis, the star of the SyFy Channel’s haunted collector said, “Because the reflective layer of the mirror was painted on, there is a gap between the two layers. Spirits can get trapped between the two layers of the mirror and be unable to move on.”
There are several well-known haunted mirrors. One can be found at the Myrtles Plantation in Louisiana. According to Destination America, the plantation is considered to be one of the most haunted locations in the United States due in part to the horrific treatment of slaves house on the land during its prime years of operation. This is what they say about the mirror: Aside from the ghosts that linger on the land, a physical haunted relic is displayed inside referred to as “the haunted mirror.” According to the legend of the mirror the spirits of Sara Woodruff, along with two of her children, are permanently trapped inside of it as eternal punishment for their bad deeds. It’s said that if visitors take pictures of the mirror they’ll be able to see the spirits’ hands pressing back from the other side, as well as the outlines of their bodies.
The Driskill Hotel in Austin, Texas is supposed to also have a haunted mirrors. According to David Weatherly blogsite the hotel purchased the eight gold, French mirrors from an antique shop in San Antonio and installed them in the newly renovated room to add a touch of European elegance to the décor. Now dubbed “The Maximilian Room,” both guest and hotel employees have had strange experiences in the hall over the years.
Some people believe that the spirt of Empress Carlotta haunts the mirrors, despite the fact that she had never seen them while she lived. Perhaps it’s due to the fact that her image adorns the frames, or, perhaps she returns simply to see if the gifts from her beloved husband are being properly cared for.
Austin ghost tour guide, Monica Ballard, recounts an interesting story involving the mirrors in her book on Driskill hauntings.
According to an account related to Austin ghost tour staff, a photographer in the 1990s encountered an apparition that he believed was the ghost of the Empress.
The man was setting up for a shoot in the Maximillian room. He intended to photograph modern bridal gowns against the classical period background of the room’s décor. While he was unpacking his equipment, he heard the doors open and glanced up into one of the mirrors to see a woman stride into the room. He described her as a stunning, raven-haired beauty wearing a sumptuous antebellum white gown. He turned to question this “bride” as to why she was wearing a period dress rather than something modern but found there was no one in the room, though the doors were now standing open. He turned to look in an opposite mirror, and there she was again! Snapping his head around once again to the doors, he found that the room was still empty. The woman, it seemed, only appeared in the mirrors.
Once the woman had vanished from the mirrors, the photographer found himself looking closely at the carved bust on the gold frames and shaking his head in amazement at the uncanny resemblance to the spirit he had seen.
The Tennessee Wraith Chasers (I love those guys) did an episode on Cape May, Massachusetts. They claim that the town has a hidden history that caused portals to be opened in the town. The history goes back to the practice of spiritualism after the Civil War. Many people would hold seances to try and get in touch with dead relatives. The TWC guys believe those seances invited thousands of spirits into the living world.
The Dead Files also talk about portals that are more extraterrestrial, instead of ghostly. But, I’m going to leave those stories until next week.