Hungry Ghosts Hungry Ghosts of Starvation Heightsof Starvation Heights
The community of Olalla is just across the Puget Sound from Seattle. “Olalla” means “berry” in local tribal jargon, and the area is well known for its strawberries, which are celebrated in festivals where people surely overindulge in berry-laden cuisine. Strange that this same community was also once the place where people came to starve their way to health—and sometimes to death. All with the help of a self-proclaimed doctor named Linda Burfield Hazzard, whose starvation cure may have been most effective in producing a ghost or two.
Hazzard turned her Olalla cottage into the Wilderness Heights Sanitarium, and from the 1890s until 1912 she rented the attic to patients who had come to experience her cure. She was not a medical doctor, but practiced a form of homeopathy. She wrote a book entitled Fasting for the Cure of Disease, in which she proclaimed her treatment could cure everything from cancer to constipation. The cure? Patients ate one small bowl of tomato or asparagus soup daily, for over 40 days. Long walks, enemas and vigorous massages were also required one or more times a day.
Any patient could have left Wilderness Heights if they wanted, but Dr. Hazzard and the Cure held a strange power over them. Local farmers watched as the patients took daily walks from the cottage to the store and back. These walks soon became daily “crawls” as the patients’ energy dissipated and they slowly grew thinner and thinner.
There were patients who survived and left Olalla, but many died. How many is not known: estimates range from two dozen to over 40, possibly higher. Hazzard acted as the attending physician for her patients, personally performing autopsies on those who died by laying their bodies on an ironing board she placed over the bathtub in the cottage. She seldom filed death certificates with the authorities, and had a special arrangement with a discrete funeral home in Seattle for burials. And conveniently, most of the patients who died left all of their property to Hazzard. Few knew her husband Sam had been cashiered out of the United States Army for forgery and embezzlement.
In 1911, British heiresses Claire and Dora Williamson came to Wilderness Heights to follow the Cure. Both lost more than 50 percent of their body weight and while Dora barely survived, Claire died. It seems someone had also embezzled money from the sisters’ bank accounts. The British Consulate went after Hazzard, and she was found guilty of manslaughter in 1913. She spent less than two years in prison and then traveled to New Zealand, where she continued practicing homeopathy. She returned to Olalla in 1920 and built a large sanitarium and nursing home. This time, however, local authorities made sure none of her patients experienced the same fate as the Williamsons.
It is hard to tell whether Linda Hazzard planned to murder her patients. When rich patients (with no connections) began to sicken from the treatment, Sam and Linda may have decided it was best for business to take over their dying patient's estates. She may not have understood the reality of her actions, making her more of a mass murderer than a serial killer. She firmly believed in her fasting cure, and that people died because they were beyond help. The proof? Hazzard became ill in the 1940s and died while taking her own cure.
Starvation Heights author Gregg Olsen researched the full story of Linda Burfield Hazzard and her sanitarium in Olalla. In the 1990s, he took Weird Washington author Jeff Davis on a visit to its former location. At that time, a family with two children lived in the house, which had not changed very much from the time when Hazzard and her husband lived there.
The family experienced some ghostly phenomena over the years. On one occasion, the woman who lived in the house was in the kitchen cooking dinner. She was facing the stove, which was against one wall, and the bathroom door was behind her. She moved back and forth between a counter on her left and the stove for several minutes. When she turned around, she saw that every chair in the kitchen, and a few from the room next door, had been piled up against the bathroom door.
The woman had been alone in the house at the time, and it’s doubtful that someone else would have taken the time to sneak in and silently pile all the chairs up against the door while the she made dinner. Gregg Olsen was skeptical, but suggested that if there were any ghosts, the owners might want to close off the bathroom where people once experienced enemas and hard massages, or if they died, were autopsied by Hazzard. Some people say the bathtub in the bathroom is the original, others that it is a replacement made after she died.
In the attic were several low “ledges” where the family stored small items. A psychic once said she saw the spirits of many of Hazzard’s victims sitting on the ledges, too afraid to move even in death. The psychic burst into tears several times over the anguish she felt saturated the walls of the little house.
Washington State Paranormal Investigations and Research (WSPIR) visited Starvation Heights three times during 2005-2006, and Weird Washington spoke to their President, Darren Thompson, about some of their experiences there.
The first time, they divided into three teams, each of which had a psychic. To keep the destination a secret, they blindfolded the psychics and put them in separate cars. During the drive, technicians sat next to psychics and recorded every action and statement made with a video camera. Along the way, two psychics felt they were going to a large institution having something to do with medicine. When they arrived at the cottage, the teams removed the blindfolds from the psychics and kept them from communicating with each other. Each psychic was to go through the house alone.
WSPIR investigators Jill and Darren went inside with a psychic named Merlyn. As Merlyn walked up the stairs she saw a book, which she picked up. Upon reading the title, she said, “Oh no!” and threw it down. It was a copy of Fasting for the Cure of Disease. Merlyn was disappointed because this knowledge tainted her impressions.
Darren asked the owners about the book, and they admitted they owned a copy, but had hidden it away so that no one would see it. They did not know how it had gotten there.
The investigators also got some evidence on video and audio tape. One team recorded a video that starts inside their car, then pans outside, where the microphone recorded a muffled statement made by a team member. The video then pans back inside the car, where one can hear a strange, breathy voice, saying “Help me!” The voice could only have come from the inside of the car, and was not made by team members either inside or outside of the car.
Another WSPIR team recorded pictures and audio outside of the house while walking toward a ravine where Hazzard may have hidden victim’s bodies. Their audio recorder taped a voice that said, “Are you talking about me now?” The team members did not hear the voice at the time, and continued their conversation. Another voice seemed to say, “Take us up” or “Dig us up.”
During the second investigation, WSPIR learned that the cottage would be torn down once the owners put a new house up on a different part of the property. They quickly organized a third investigation, during which several members spent the night.
One man tried relaxing in the Hazzards’ former room: the room in which Linda died. The man never had any psychic experiences before, but he felt like something spiritual was in touch with him. He went into a trance and answered simple questions with rumbles of “yes” or “no” from deep in his chest. It seemed he was in communication with Linda Hazzard, who was still in the house. She refused to leave, and refused to let anyone demolish it. Her spirit was wrong, however. The family moved and the cottage was pulled down. Was this last communication the result of overactive imaginations or a final attempt to interact with the other side?
There are many more legends surrounding Starvation Heights, some of which are easily debunked. According to one, for every person that Linda Hazzard killed, she planted a tree. Some distance away from the cabin, there is a stand of nearly 100 large trees, which people believed represented her victims. In reality, the trees were on a different lot and planted by a local landowner, not Hazzard. Other people believe Hazzard killed several patients during the 1920s, when she ran her larger sanitarium. All that is left of this sanitarium is a concrete foundation and a rusting trash incinerator. It was rumored that she burned bodies in the incinerator, but given the close watch the authorities kept on her and her patients, this is not likely.
The cottage that was once Starvation Heights is now gone, but it isn’t known if the spirits detected there, whether they are those of Dr. Hazzard or her unlucky patients, left with its demolition.
During prohibition, corrupt city officials ran drinking dens under the streets of Downtown Los Angeles.
Despite prohibition laws, 11 miles of service tunnels became passageways to basement speakeasies with innocuous fronts above ground. Patrons were able to move about under the city, boozing it up without a care in the world, while the Mayor’s office ran the supply of hootch.
King Eddy Saloon, an establishment that has been alive and kicking on 5th and Main since the 1900s, hid in plain sight fronting as a piano store. Luckily, local officials took no issue with King Eddy’s sudden interest in music, and the business not only survived, but prospered. Now an official saloon once more, its basement still remains part of the tunnel system, littered with crumbling brick lines and graffiti murals.
Aside from the service tunnels, there are also abandoned subway and equestrian tunnels from the days before personal vehicles began clogging up LA’s city streets. There are stories of these tunnels being used by police to transport prisoners, bank security to move large sums of cash safely, and both coroners and mobsters to store bodies. Now they are mostly closed off, but some are still accessible and are used as film locations, easy shortcuts by city employees between buildings, and a place for runners to train on the rare occasion of bad weather.
To explore the former highway of the LA underground, you must slip behind the Hall of Records on Temple Street and locate an easy-to-miss elevator. You’ll be transported down into a subterranean passage filled with mysterious street art, rusted machinery, and iron gates that limit your exploration to areas deemed earthquake safe. Officially, the tunnels are closed to the public.
The Star of India sailing ship is docked at the Maritime Museum of San Diego.
The Star of India (originally known as The Euterpe), the oldest working sailing ship, is described as an 1863 era iron, ship-rigged, sailing ship, with a long life history being used in the merchant trade business, hauling cargo, transporting immigrants, etc. It has a plain bluff bow and a full stern with windows. The original ship, The Euterpe, was a full-rigged ship, which meant it was a square rigged sailing ship with three or more masts, all of them square rigged.
However, The Euterpe was modernized in 1901 and given a barque sailing system, as a result of having new owners. This system resulted in superior all-around performance with far smaller and less skilled crews. This mast and sail arrangement has 3 masts, fore and aft sails on the aftermost mast and square sails on all other masts.
The top inside level of the Star of India housed the captain and his top crew managers, the captain's office, their eating area, etc.
The in-between level, between the top level and the bottom area of the hull housed the crew and passengers in rather close quarters.
The original ship, The Euterpe, named for a Greek goddess, was built in the shipyard at Ramsey in the Isle of Man, England in 1863. It was one of the first ships made of iron, as most ships of the day were made of wood. The company who built her immediately put her to work as a cargo ship in the Indian jute trade. The Euterpe had a rough first voyage, suffering both a ship fender bender collision and an attempted mutiny!
The second voyage was a hair raiser as well. The Euterpe was caught up in a nasty cyclone in the Bay of Bengal, but she managed to limp into port, after having to cut away her topmasts! The stress caught up with The Euterpe's first captain who died on board soon afterward.
After 4 more successful, uneventful trips to India as a cargo ship, The Euterpe was sold in 1871 to the Shaw Savill Line of London. For the next 25 years, the ship brought emigrants, a tough, hardy lot, to New Zealand, Australia, California and Chile, making 21 trips, through all kinds of weather.
In 1894, The Euterpe was chartered by explorer Archibald Campion for his polar expedition, because of the ship's iron hull, and because the ship had both crew quarters and cargo holds. Interestingly, Archibald brought along his own invention, an electric motor with a variety of interesting attachments, which allowed the crew to power the ship through the ice and also provided light and heat.
In 1898, The Euterpe was sold to an American company, The Alaska Packers. After being modernized with a barque sailing system mentioned above in 1902, The Euterpe began sailing from Oakland, Calif. to the Bering Sea during the Spring, with fishermen, cannery workers, box shook and tin plate on board. When they returned in the following Fall, they brought back canned salmon.
In 1906, The Alaska Packer renamed The Euterpe, calling her The Star of India.
By 1923, sailing ships were replaced with more reliable steam ships, so The Star of India was taken out of service and was "laid up". Her future looked grim until a group of San Diegans, led by reporter Jerry MacMullen, raised $9,000 dollars to buy The Star of India and had her towed to San Diego in 1926. A grand restoration was planned for the ship, but then the depression came, followed by WW2.
So, for 30 years, The Star of India sat there, slowly deteriorating into a tattered image of its former self. Luckily, The Star of India's fate was changed yet again, this time by an experienced, highly thought of windjammer skipper, Captain Alan Villers, who while on a speaking tour came to San Diego, in 1957.
Seeing the bedraggled state of The Star of India, the now incensed Captain Alan let all of San Diego know how upset he was that the people had neglected such a great ship for so long, making a lot of people very ashamed of themselves. A fund was established to collect money for its restoration. Skilled workmen who had experience from working on the waterfront volunteered and began to repair the aging hulk, making other much needed repairs.
The oldest known entity is believed to be a young man by the name of John Campbell. It seems that in 1884, John Campbell, a teen-aged boy seeking adventure, stowed away on The Euterpe. He was eventually discovered and put to work to earn his keep. While tending to the masts, about 100 feet above the deck, his foot slipped and he fell to the deck below, breaking both legs. He died 3 days later in great pain.
Sometimes when the living stand near the mast where young John fell off, they feel a cold hand touch them, as to warn them not to climb the mast, or perhaps just to let them know of his presence
A horrible accident happened in the anchor chain locker, a dark storage compartment located below the main deck, toward the bow of the ship. A Chinese crewman was in this locker area going about his business when crewmen on the deck above began to start the machinery to raise the anchor. The chain filled the anchor chain storage locker, slowly crushing the Chinese crewman to death. No one heard his screams because of the noise of the machines and chains!
In the area around the chain locker a persistent cold spot is often noticed by the living.
Some crewmen throughout the years suffered horrible accidents, and some wasted away from fatal illnesses, spending their last hours alive in the cramped crew quarters where they died.
A sense of fear and anxiety as well as cold spots and a chilly room temperature are reported by the living and psychic-sensitive people, when they visit the crew's quarters.
An entity is still busy in The Star of India's kitchen, which has not been used in years.
Pots and pans have moved by themselves, with no help from the living.
The smell of freshly baked bread sometimes fills the kitchen and dining area.
6423-45 Hollywood Blvd
Hollywood, California 90048
(West of Vine, East of Highland)
DESCRIPTION AND HISTORY:
The biggest theater ever built in Hollywood, this grand landmark theater is being restored to its former glory, though it looks rather sad from the outside, partially hidden by bars and street trash.
1927 was a busy year for Harry, Albert, Sam and Jack Warner, as they not only were putting everything at risk by making the first talkie film, The Jazz Singer, but were also building their new larger than life movie theater, known as The Warner Pacific Theater. Sam, a driven, focused person was involved intimately with both projects. Because he was a key participant in the development of sound, his skills were needed in making the film. He also insisted in personally installing the sound system in the new theater as well. Needless to say, he unfortunately didn't get much rest or sleep. When it became obvious that the theater wasn't going to be finished in time for the film's premiere, he cursed at the theater, while in the lobby.
Sam Warner never got to see the New York premiere of their revolutionary film or see the theater completed six months later. 24 hours before the first showing of The Jazz Singer on Oct. 1927, Sam Warner suffered a brain hemorrhage and died in Los Angeles.
When the grand Warner Pacific Theater was opened to the public on April 29,1928, the other Warner brothers mounted a memorial plaque honoring Sam in the lobby.
Soon after the opening of the theater, the apparition of Sam Warner was seen going about his business in the theater and in the upstairs offices. He also liked to pace in the lobby.
Throughout the years, Sam has been a strong presence in his theater.
Men on a cleaning detail were terrified to see Sam's entity walk across the lobby, push the elevator button, go on the elevator and go up to the second floor! The guard wasn't frightened though, but wondered why Sam didn't just float up to the second floor.
The current security personnel are quite familiar with Sam and accept his presence as being just a part of the building. His presence, whether seen or unseen, likes to ride the elevator up to the second floor offices. When finished he'll take the elevator back down to the lobby.
When the theater is quiet, they can hear him in the upstairs offices moving chairs, etc. Guards have seen his clear, detailed form doing his work up in these offices.
The archetypical hedge maze sitting in the center of Barcelona’s Parc del Laberint d’Horta (Labyrinth Park of Horta) is one of the city’s hidden gems, having delighted visitors for centuries making it the oldest garden in the city.
Work on the labyrinth and the surrounding gardens began in 1791 as part of a wealthy estate owned by the Desvalls family. The maze and its attendant Italian-inspired terraces were part of the original construction that is today known as the Neoclassical section of the park. The majority of the rest of the park was created in the mid-1800s, and is now known as the Romantic portion, however as the name implies, it is the central labyrinth that really steals the show.
The tall manicured hedge walls of the maze create over 2,000 feet of twists and turns for visitors to get lost in. Anyone who makes it to the center will find a statue of Eros, Greek God of Love, implying that the romantic part of the garden existed even before any expansion. There are also pavilions that overlook the maze and feature their own statues of Greek gods. There is also a picturesque pond at one end.
The gardens were given over to the city of Barcelona in the 1960s and are now a public park. Since it is set off from the regular tourist strips the Horta labyrinth remains a magical little secret for those willing to get a little lost.
In Redlands, there are two black iron gates standing along the roadside of Sunset street that the local residents refer to as the Gates Of Hell.
I have seen these gates many times while i was out in the area at the courthouse or doing services in the area, and I can tell you they are the weirdest and most evil looking gats I have ever seen. At sunset, their severe blackness has an erie quality to them that makes you wonder what happened to the man who made them.. It almost appears that his anger and hatred fills those gates… I some time wondered why the city left them standing.. But a friend of mine, whom I asked the other day if the gates were still there, said the entire area had been plowed and graded for new housing ..
Extremely unusual things are supposed to have happened at these black gates after walking or driving through them, such as, a ghost with a headless cat would chase you, a bloody bull's head would roll down the driveway as you left the house and so on.
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