From the #1 Amazon Bestselling Author comes a series that ghost hunters are sure to love!
A TRUE HAUNTED PAST…
I want to tell you a story……about a place once called The Devil’s Furnace. A place that dates its beginnings in prehistoric times. Where Indigenous people once lived and hunted.
A place that’s known massive bloodshed……This bloodshed has stained the soil of the landscape and created a portal to another world. It’s a world where the souls of the deceased enter and exit at will.
Read about the stringy haired ghost woman…… She still roams the streets of this southern town. Find out where ghost sightings are a regular occurrence in haunted buildings and homes.
Explore the history of the city known as the Cradle of Rock-n-Roll, Elvis Presley’s birthplace…… Discover the many reasons why ghost hunters love the hills of the North Mississippi landscape.
If you love history and ghosts, you’ll love the first book in this series. Like The Haunted America series by The History Press, L. Sydney Fisher’s The Haunted is a historical narrative that explores southern sites with a paranormal past. Let’s begin…in Tupelo, Mississippi.
A note from the author: This series is a haunted history narrative. It includes local history and lore that has been thoroughly researched. Often times, this research includes interviews, visits to haunted locations, and paranormal investigations. I have spent months and even years researching a project before publication. If you like history and ghosts, you will probably enjoy The Haunted.
Follow L. Sydney Fisher’s On the Haunted Trail at Facebook each month and get a first look at the stories in The Haunted Series.
Situated on a hillside in the Columbus Historic District is the renowned Lincoln House built in 1833. The two level, wood framed house was once home to Columbus mayor, C. L. Lincoln. The house has been in the family for more than 135 years. It’s one of the oldest pre-Civil War homes in the city and in recent years past, the home was a popular bed and breakfast.
Noteworthy features of the home include a front porch with original wavy glass jib windows, white columns, and a front door with the original blue and red Venetian side lights. The house also includes a basement where the original kitchen was located along with a carriage house and stables. As decades have passed, the house has undergone modern updates and the addition of brick floors in the original English basement. The Lincoln Home is the recipient of a Heritage Trust Award (1999) and an award winning landmark in the history of Columbus.
The present day home owes its gratitude to the owners, Sidney and Brenda Caradine who have lovingly preserved the house, but a number of eye witnesses have left the Caradine’s wondering if some of its ghostly residents are still there, reminding us of its beloved past.
In November of 2017, a friend and I purchased tickets to the Ghosts and Legends Tour that’s held annually in the Fall. After arriving in downtown Columbus at the Tennessee Williams home and Welcome Center, we boarded a bus for an hour long tour. The bus navigated through the downtown area, stopping at various points along the way. Each time the bus reached a tour stop, all guests exited and were joined by guides wearing costumes relative to the historic period and story that they narrated.
We made a few stops before we reached The Lincoln House, and even though I had already heard that the house was haunted, I didn’t know any details about the place. The bus driver turned at the corner of College and 7th Street, slowly making his way along the dimly lit street. Then just as we approached the house, I noticed a man standing near the right end of the porch and a lovely, brown-haired woman gazing out the front window. Both of them were dressed in period costumes with the woman’s hair pulled up and tucked into a loose bun at the crown of her head. Her ivory dress was a floor length, chiffon gown with a high-neck lace collar. The gentleman standing outside on the porch was dressed in captain’s attire with a poet sleeve, white shirt and a bayonet by his side.
The bus pulled forward a few feet from the steps leading up to the top of the porch where we all exited and gathered in a semi-circle at the bottom of the steps. We were greeted by the home’s hostess who was dressed as Mother Goose. As she stood on the front porch steps, we listened as she narrated The Lincoln House story in a rich southern dialect that echoed the southern belle’s voices of the past. Then we were introduced to Sidney Caradine who finished the narration with another ghostly tale.
At the completion of the stories, I was surprised that we were being led back to the bus. I looked beyond the steps and toward the window where the Victorian lady stood just moments before. Wasn’t she a part of the tour? I assumed that we would be entering the front parlor of the house to hear another haunted story. However, my assumption was not only wrong, but the woman in the window had now disappeared!
A bewildered expression covered my face as I turned to our guide, Dr. Bridget Pieschel, a local expert on the town’s history and also an English professor and Director of the Center of Women’s Research and Public Policy at MUW (Mississippi University for Women, 1884).
“Aren’t we going inside the house?” I asked.
“No, we don’t go inside.” Dr. Pieschel answered, shaking her head.
“Oh.” I replied with a downturned smile as I started for the steps, and then I stopped. I turned and looked back at the porch.
“There was a woman in the window.” I said pointing to the front of the house. For a moment, I worried if I should mention the work that I do. Paranormal research wasn’t for everybody, but I felt a strong nudge to mention it.
“Well, this is Mother Goose. You know, she just narrated a part of the story here on the front steps and Mr. Caradine was on the front porch, but they’re the only two hosts here.”
I shook my head and responded with a nervous laugh. Fearing I might sound crazy, I leaned forward and whispered.
“I saw a woman in that window. She was standing right there.” I pointed to the window to the right of the front door. Mr. Caradine’s wife joined us on the sidewalk at just that moment and introduced herself to me.
“I’m Brenda Caradine. You must have seen Miss Sue.”
“Miss Sue? Oh, is she inside the house?”
“No, you must have seen her ghost. She’s the ghost that appeared to the women who stayed in the downstairs room.” She said with a genuine and bold confidence.
A tingling chill crept over my body. I rubbed the goosebumps now evident on my arms and nodded. Then without hesitation, I asked Mrs. Caradine if I could come back at a later time and interview her. If the image that I saw standing in the window was, in fact, a ghost then I knew that I had to know more about The Lincoln Home and its history.
“Mrs. Caradine, would it be okay to contact you in a few weeks and schedule a time to talk with you. I am a writer and paranormal researcher.”
Mrs. Caradine’s approval was immediate as her eyes lit up. “Oh, yes. Please do!”
“Okay, I will be in touch with you in a few weeks. And thank you so much.” I shook her hand and then followed Dr. Pieschel back to the bus.
Just as I sat down next to Lisa, she immediately noticed the expression on my face. She looked at me as if she was waiting for me to tell her what was on my mind. As the bus began to move, I turned to look back at the house.
“Lisa, when we first pulled up to the house, did you see a woman inside that window?” I pointed toward the front porch.
“Yes, she was standing by the front door.” Cold chills spread across my arms again.
“What did she look like?”
“She was wearing a white dress. Her hair was in a bun—
“Oh my God.” I mumbled as I covered my mouth.
“Lisa, I saw the same thing, but I saw the image of that woman standing on the inside of that window. The owner of the house just confirmed to me that no one was inside the house at the time they were telling the stories.”
Lisa smiled and nodded. “Wow. We just saw a ghost.”
“I believe we did. And if it’s the same ghost that they spoke of during the story, I have to know more. I’m coming back.” I promised as the bus pulled away from the curb.
Two months later, I phoned the Caradines and arranged to meet Sidney at The Lincoln House. After driving for an hour, I arrived in front of the house and parked along the street. I got out of the car and grabbed my backpack and camera case before climbing the same steps that had led me to the front of the house just weeks before when I first saw the ghost.
I paused for a moment on the sidewalk and studied the front porch area. The nervous flutter of “butterflies” in my stomach consumed me as I began to put one foot in front of the other. I walked steadfast toward the front of the house when all of a sudden the front door opened, and I was greeted by a tall gentleman dressed in a red, button down shirt and wearing a baseball cap. He closed the door behind him and introduced himself.
“Hey, I’m David. Can I help you? Maybe carry something for you?” He asked, extending his hand.
I smiled and replied. “Oh, thank you, but it’s not too much.”
“Did you have a nice drive over?” David led me to the door.
“Yes, it’s been a sunny February day.” I answered with a smile.
“Come on in and have a seat. Sidney is on his way over from his house next door. He also owns the Amzi Love House that’s been in his family for over a hundred years.” David motioned toward the front room on the right.
“Oh my! That’s intriguing.” I marveled.
As I entered the wide open entry from the foyer, my senses immediately alerted me that we were not alone. I sat my backpack and camera bag down on the corner of the sofa and then moved toward a pair of wingback chairs positioned right in front of the window where I had seen the woman’s apparition. David followed me taking a seat in the chair to the left of me.
No sooner had I sat down than the image of a man dressed in a dark suit appeared before me. He stood near the entry to the parlor and appeared to be uninterested in us until David handed me a photo. Then without warning, the now invisible man stood over me, leaning down as if he was looking at the picture in my hand. Amused and slightly unnerved by the drop in temperature near me, I leaned toward David.
“He’s standing over me!” I blurted out before I could stop myself.
David glanced at me, his eyes wide open and fixed on the space directly in front of me. Although I felt like an idiot, I couldn’t ignore how the entire left side of my body was now icy cold. I rubbed my arm in an attempt to warm myself. Then I twisted my body in the chair and faced David in an effort to ignore the ghostly presence. I placed a notepad on my lap and began to write down important details as David talked about the history of the house and some of the paranormal stories that had surfaced over the years.
Shortly thereafter, we were joined by Sidney and Brenda Caradine. I was immediately charmed by Mr. Caradine’s gentile manner as I observed him with his wife. Due to Mrs. Caradine’s failing health, Sidney had assumed a more protective and nurturing role, but both of them still exhibited a passionate love for the house as they shared stories of family history and legacies left behind for the last 185 years.
One of Sidney’s most intriguing stories involved the paranormal encounter with a large, handcrafted replica of a trolley car that still sits in the parlor today. Years ago, friends of the Caradine family came to stay at the Lincoln House. After enjoying a southern dinner and fellowship, the couple retired for the evening. Nothing unusual had happened in the home since their arrival and they had no reason to suspect anything out of the ordinary, but sometime after midnight, they were awakened by a loud and unexpected sound coming from the foyer.
The two of them lay quiet with bewildered looks and creepy goose bumps as they listened to the sound of Louie Armstrong singing It’s a Wonderful World. The music was crisp and clear as the sound bounced off the walls of the Lincoln House, and then as the couple slowly edged off the bed and out into the hall, they were shocked to find the music coming from the trolley. A handcrafted trolley that had been in the family’s heirlooms for decades without anyone ever knowing that it was a music box!
They all examined the trolley the following day and found the hidden mechanism that was responsible for activating the music, but after examining the switch and finding it difficult to slide forward, it seemed impossible for it to come on without someone manually moving it. And so the mystery remains to this day. Who turned the trolley on after decades of silence?
I listened and watched Sidney’s pale blue eyes as they widened and filled with awe while he told the trolley story, and Mrs. Caradine’s almost childlike wonder burst forth each time she took a breath while telling her own personal account with the ghosts of the Lincoln House. It was enough to convince me that I had to spend the night there, even if it was only once. And before the end of our interview, my reservation had been made.
Thrilled and now committed to contacting the ghosts of the Lincoln House, I had to find a team. A team of ghost hunters who wanted to make contact here as much as I did. In just two weeks, the ghost hunt would commence.
I remember being mesmerized by The Bell Witch stories when I was a child. I read at least 3 or 4 different books on the subject and vowed that I would someday travel to the small town of Adams, Tennessee where the famous Bell Witch once lived. Now three decades later, I can now mark it off my bucket list and instead pencil it in on my “Must Return” list.
Last Saturday May 26th, 2018, a friend and I traveled to the farm located about 55 miles north of Nashville. Upon entering the small community of Adams, Tennessee, I immediately sensed the remnants of a time past as Katy (not to be confused with Kate Batts) drove us down a rural county highway, following the Bell Witch signs strategically placed along the roadside. The rolling hills extended for miles on what was once hundreds of acres of farmland owned by John Bell, Sr. The lush, green grass and wooded landscape was surrounded by white fences that gave the property a warm and inviting feel unlike the memories that the Bell Witch had left behind 200 years before. Although Katy and I reveled in the beauty of the area, we both couldn’t deny our apprehension as we approached the entrance to the site of the Bell Witch Cave.
Katy followed the signs until we saw the entrance to the tour. A bright red barn with bold white lettering on the front greeted us at the main entrance as we made our way to the gift shop. Rain clouds loomed overhead as we hurried to park and get our tickets.
After booking our tour, we were taken to a cabin (replica, not original Bell cabin) where we listened to an audio presentation of the Bell Witch haunting and toured a cabin that was set up with furniture and props staged to look much like what the original Bell house would have looked like at the time of the spirit’s visitations. Although the home was not the original site, our EMF (electromagnetic field) detector started acting crazy, the lights zipping back and forth while we were in the front of the house. When we moved to another room upstairs, the EMF detector stopped for a few minutes as if whatever had been present was suddenly gone. At that time, I began experiencing a strange pressure on my neck/chest area near my throat that caused me to cough. The feeling intensified a couple of times and startled me to the point that I felt the need to take deep breaths. I knew that I was sensing something paranormal.
After the audio presentation that lasted about 30 minutes, we were escorted to another part of the cabin that housed artifacts and pictures of the original site. Included in the mini-museum was a black cauldron that belonged to the Bell family when they lived in the house where the hauntings occurred. I intentionally let myself be the last guest to leave the room so that I could stay behind and touch the large stone that sat on the floor and was reportedly a part of the original Bell house fireplace. I placed my hand on the rock, but unfortunately, I did not pick up any residual energy. Then just as I turned and walked out of the cabin to follow the rest of the group to the Bell Witch Cave, I was overcome by a wave of nausea that did not subside until I reached the cave entrance.
We were greeted by Kris, our tour guide who narrated the fascinating history of the cave and the land. She informed us of the area’s known American Indian burial grounds linking parts of the area’s history to the Bell Witch legend. But within minutes of entering the cave’s second room, I felt that our 10-person tour group was no longer alone with just our tour guide. The distinct sound of children’s laughter filled the front room that we had just exited.
I spoke up and said, “I hear children laughing. Are there other people coming?”
But no one else seemed to hear the children and our tour guide continued to narrate. I looked down the long, narrow hall of the cave’s stone walls toward the cave’s entrance and saw no one, but I couldn’t shake the feeling that we were not alone. Our guide then showed us pictures taken by guests who had captured spirits and strange orbs while on the cave tour. Suddenly, my suspicions were validated.
We finished up the tour about fifty feet inside the cave. I marveled at its beauty and the markings that were visibly noticeable on the walls and ceilings left behind by ancient Indians. When we exited the cave entrance, Katy and I walked several feet and were suddenly startled by the appearance of a bare-chested young man with dark hair and a long black beard. The color of his eyes was pitch black and he wore only black gym shorts while sitting high on the heavily wooded hillside outside the cave entrance. Directly below us was the Red River often mentioned in the Bell Witch stories as being near the original site of John Bell’s home located just two miles away. The man studied me as I walked closer to him, his piercing dark eyes glaring at me as if I was intruding on his space. I glanced down the hill at the river and looked around to see if he had a canoe or kayak nearby, but I saw nothing that indicated that he had been on the river that day. He was just standing alone on the steep slope studying me as I now paused on the rocky path. I turned and called for Katy who was several feet behind me. She finally appeared and joined me only to feel the same creepiness as the stranger watched us pass, my eyes locked with his. Who was he? How did he get up that steep slope without shoes on his feet? Was he a shapeshifter placed there for us to see? We still don’t know, but we won’t forget the unease that his sudden appearance caused.
If you dare to visit the site of the famous Bell Witch, take no souvenirs such as rocks from the cave and make sure you say a prayer as you leave. Although I never heard The Bell Witch’s cackle that day and thank goodness, I never saw any weird animals, I still felt the remnants of her spirit and those of many others who still haunt the landscape where she once roamed.
For more of L. Sydney Fisher’s adventures, On the Haunted Trail, check out her book projects @LSydneyFisher.com or join her at the group page of @Ghosts, Unexplained Mysteries, and The Supernatural on Facebook and remember…
Get your copy~https://www.amazon.com/See-No-Evil-Sydney-Fisher-ebook/dp/B01KF0I862/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1519248997&sr=8-4&keywords=L+Sydney+Fisher
From the Author’s Diary
This story has been percolating in the recesses of my mind since 2013. After my debut novel The Haunting of Natalie Bradford was released, I had the honor of speaking to a crowd of enthusiastic readers and paranormal fans at the Dixie Regional Library located in Pontotoc, Mississippi. Unbeknownst to me was the town’s very own psychic celebrity of the 20th century known as Seymour Prater, a man often referred to as The Mississippi Mystic.
The Library Director, Regina Graham approached me with the Prater story as I was preparing to leave that day. She told me about a man from Pontotoc who was known to have a unique gift that enabled him to find lost objects. She also advised me that his fame spread far and wide across the southeast earning him notoriety as a “fortune teller”, a label that his wife highly detested.
Stories of Seymour Prater covered the inside pages of newspapers and magazines from time to time. Fortunately, some of these articles had been saved and collected by the library. Mrs. Graham invited me to explore the supernatural wonder and offered to help any way that she could.
Fast forward almost two years later to January, 2016. I had just released my supernatural bestseller, The Phoenix Mission a month earlier. That book was inspired by the U.S. Army’s psychic spy program, Stargate. And while my creative tone was fixed on that material, the Prater story easily came to mind as a project that I needed to explore.
After meeting with Mrs. Graham who provided me with the Seymour Prater file of newspaper clippings and family journals, I began my research into the man who often called himself “the man with the radio mind”. I sat at a long, conference table inside a room designated for Genealogy research and slowly flipped through the newspapers one page at a time, taking it all in. I was mesmerized. Seymour Prater and his story was more than I had anticipated, and I knew that most people in the area probably didn’t realize how profound his ability was and what it all meant. He was destined to be a legend.
As someone who has studied the paranormal and unexplained most of my life, I realized the magnitude of his gift within seconds of picking up that first newspaper article. My mind raced with thoughts of past explorations. There was another man who I studied over the years, and he possessed the same abilities as Prater, but this man became known worldwide. His name was Edgar Cayce, The Sleeping Prophet, and I knew that in order to study Seymour Prater, I needed to study Edgar Cayce one more time. Don’t miss my addition of The Divinely Gifted at the end of this book.
See No Evil is a project that included detailed research. This research even included studying the flow of the Tombigbee River and the riverboats that traveled to Aberdeen during the time of Seymour Prater’s boyhood. It was on that fateful day in Aberdeen, Mississippi when Prater met the man who would deliver a message that shaped the course of his life. The entire Prater story is laced with providence and even what some may define as predestination. Pay attention to the opening scenes that have been created most likely as they happened. Unknown until now, Lewis Prater became Seymour Prater’s father only because Thomas Jefferson Brown was captured and taken prisoner at the Battle of Missionary Ridge in November, 1863. Fate?
While parts of this story have been dramatized for the sake of storytelling, let it be known that this really happened. On January 3, 1931, Arthur Floyd was murdered at his store in Carrollton, Mississippi. And as the town lived in terror from the haunting at the Floyd place, Seymour Prater became the victim’s only hope for solving a murder and putting the angry spirit to rest. While the town’s folk frantically searched for answers, it was murder at first sight for The Mississippi Mystic.
From the bestselling author…A story inspired by the U.S. Army’s psychic spy program, Stargate. For two decades, the Army trained special agents in remote viewing. In 1995 during the Clinton Administration, Stargate was shut down. Now twenty years later, a new story emerges.
Meet Sergeant Major Seth Phoenix. He’s spent his entire life guarding a secret, but when a terrorist attack at Fort Bragg threatens the lives of himself and two of his closest friends, he risks it all and uses his supernatural powers of telekinesis. When General Monroe witnesses the event, he has Phoenix transported to Fort Meade where the sergeant major is introduced to the clandestine Stargate Program. But a mole leaks Phoenix’s identity to Russia, and Seth must find the spy and stop one of the biggest Al Qaeda attacks in history. Just remember, in the end and by direct orders of the CIA, this never happened…