Tag Archives: suicide

Snowed in on a Haunted Island

Haunted-PembineBy the time we reached our final destination, the weather had turned.  Soon intense lightning strikes were replaced by intense snow.  Very long, dark, narrow, wooded roads finally opened up to a single lane, converted railroad bridge that leads to the remote, tiny, haunted Miscauno Island, which is located in the middle of the Menominee River on the border between Wisconsin and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, in Pembine, WI.

This island, for better or worse, in truth and in urban legend, has a long connection to the Chicago Mafia, specifically, the West Chicago neighborhood of Cicero.  In the modern era, the island, which contains a 55-room hotel and a 9-hole golf course was purchased with millions of dollars, skimmed from the Cicero town budget by then-town President Betty Loren-Maltese, herself a long “connected” individual who was married to mid-level mobster Frank “Baldy” Maltese.  Only in Cicero can politics and the mob intertwine so blatantly. The IRS seized control of the island and resort while Loren-Maltese served six and a half years in a federal penitentiary.

Another Cicero-based mobster going by the name of Al Capone allegedly visited this location during the heyday of prohibition.  The resort staff are among the first to admit that this is a claim that’s been made for ages, but is impossible to verify.  It’s not like Capone would’ve signed a guest book, after all.

The island was first developed in 1905 by the Wisconsin and Michigan Railroad to house a 25-room inn.  Unfortunately that inn burned to the ground in 1923 (there were no deaths or injuries).  All that remained was the fireplace, which served as the centerpiece of the rebuild.  The new facility was opened in 1925 and included the addition of a golf course and a speakeasy, which is currently the sports bar.  It opened with the name The Four Seasons Club as it caters to summer and winter activities, such as snowmobiling.  It wasn’t until 2005 that the large 55-room hotel with massive salt water indoor pool was added.  This location is not associated with the Four Seasons luxury chain.

FourSeasons-Haunted

The ghost story is not actually associated with the Mafia legends.  As the story goes, the daughter of a successful industrialist by the name of Laura Van Du Rose was set to be wed on the grounds, but her would-be groom, Doyle Holmes, never arrived.  Heartbroken, she threw herself out of an open window, to her death.

Poltergeist-like activity has been observed ever since with objects moving and the lobby piano even being played by some invisible being.  While the staff seemed somewhat skeptical or level-headed about their Capone connection, they were adamant that this story is true.  Her body landed right in front of the main doors, her presence is felt throughout the older building, especially in the uppermost ballroom (pictured below) and that she never enters the newest construction.  When we were on hand, snowed-in with over two feet of snow falling in under a day, hotel staff mentioned that closed rooms are locked and checked by multiple people, but on the last walk-through, the door to the vintage ice cream parlor had somehow become unlocked and wide open.

Haunted-ballroom

The only problem: cursory internet and in-depth searches on newspapers.com, reveal no mention of the wedding, the suicide or even the names involved.  A high-profile wedding like this would’ve generated plenty of ink in the early 1900s.  I was even able to find reports out of Green Bay that detailed when trains were simply passing through town on the way to Miscauno Island.

So, either more research needs to be done (please comment if anyone has solid historical information), or there are other reasons for the ongoing hauntings.  Asked if anything has been recorded, the staff mentioned that once a ghost hunting team did an extensive, overnight investigation… but by morning all of their recordings on all of their devices had been deleted.  We’ll never know what, if anything was captured that night.

For a place with such deep known history, possible Mafia history and likely extensive Native American history and pre-history, there is a lot more to learn about this site, including the surrounding grounds before we know why this site is so actively haunted.

LoveThisWoman

The snow didn’t keep us for exploring outside a bit and it eventually did stop, allowing us to leave.  Thanks for the adventure, Wendy!


Rancho cucamonga / Alta Loma Suicide House

Is it pure urban legend or can someone actually track down a newspaper report to verify this intriguing story?  It shouldn’t be too hard if the facts we’ve heard are true.  The alleged suicide happened recently, just in the 1990s.  The details of the haunting (first reported here: InsidetheIE.com/scariest-place-alta-loma) include phantom whispers, screams, cries, an apparition of the father, and even a shadowy form walking about the back yard.

We’ve also heard that there are other homes in this neighborhood with very active entities residing within them.  We would love to investigate!  Please drop us a line!


Halloween Gift: A new video (Peg Entwhistle Investigation)

Investigation at the Hollywood Sign on the anniversary of Peg Entwhistle’s suicide.

YouTube, compressed the audio so much that it’s quite hard to hear the Peg Entwhistle EVP.  Please take a listen to a cleaner version here (MP3 format):  PegEntwhistleEVP


Are the hauntings at Galster Park real?

We gave a private tour tonight to a small group of people from West Covina, CA (our tour company is LAHauntings.com).  Since I had a little time before the tour, I decided to see what kind of research I could find on the haunts that West Covina has to offer.  The location that seemed to jump off the page is a haunted park that goes by the name Galster Park.  The authors on a number of sites seemed to speak of great reverence for this location as a very dark and scary site.

Everyone seems to be in agreement that bodies are commonly found at this location and this location was the “hunting grounds” for a pedophile murderer that committed their crimes in the 1990s.  Additionally, this is a common place for gang activity.  One site event went so far as to call the park a gang initiation rite – if they can stay there for an entire night, then they’ve sufficiently proven their courage.

However, from there, the reports went in a million different directions.  If there was a serial killer operating in this area as little as 20 years ago, there should be quite a large number of easy-to-find newspaper articles on the topic.  Moreover, it should be common knowledge whether or not this killer was apprehended (some sites claim the killer is still at large while other maintain that this nameless killer is currently doing time).

So, the name of the game is now research.  I’ve been digging through a lot of digital dust looking for leads and want to share with you what I’ve learned so far.  If you know more, please chime in, in the comments below.  (by the way, the tour went great, thanks for asking)

FACTUAL moments in the dark history of Galster Park:

*  June 2, 2013:  Yes, VERY recent!  A man was found hanged at the south end of the park, an apparent suicide.  This death is so recent that it is certainly not responsible for the past claims of hauntings, however this is something that investigators can now use when conducting EVP sessions.  Link to the article here.

*  2006:  I need more information on this crime.  It seems as though Benjamin Cruz shot and killed Danny Hernandez.  I’m not yet sure if a dispute happened at the park, then the killing happened at a different location, if the killing happened at the park or if Danny’s body was found at the park.  Details are still needed.  What is clear is that Benjamin Cruz is currently serving a 65-year sentence for the crime.  He was sentenced in January 2007.

* 1978 – 1981: Unrelated to any crime, the park was closed for a few years due to budget cutbacks.  During this time, this would’ve been a prime target for people looking to do bad things and get away with it.  Chances are, though that the extent of these bad things is selling drugs and sneaking off for some underage drinking.

Other possibly-related West Covina crimes:

While these crimes do NOT revolve around Galster Park, I am looking for other crimes that could’ve helped inspire the current urban legends

* 1980: There was a highly publicized murder case involving the death of a 10-year-old boy (I attempt to leave out the names of victims and criminals when possible).  His body was found at the house of his killer and his killer did come to justice after several trials and appeals.  I include this story because of the attention it got, the age of the victim matching the urban legend and the fact that the final trials relating to the murder finally concluded in 1989.  Again, this is far from an exact match, but perhaps some exaggerations over the years bring us to the urban legend at hand.

*  1991: The “Mall Murders” – You cannot consider this a case of a “serial killer” per se, however there was a crime spree in West Covina that resulted in a string of homicides.  The killings were preceded by people being kidnapped while using an ATM.  Sometimes the victims were released, however five random people were killed in cold blood.  In the end, a four-member “crime family” was arrested and convicted of the crimes.  Three of the killers received life in prison without the possibility of parole, while the ringleader was sentenced to death (he is still alive as of this post, however).  Link to article here.

CONCLUSIONS (so far):

While it is very easy to find a disturbing number of murders associated with West Covina, my preliminary searches returned zero results that accurately match the legends that are found throughout the internet.  We have the recent suicide and we have the 2006 shooting that may have somehow involved Galster Park.  However, I think it’s fair to say that we can close the book on the “child serial killer” story.  If something paranormal is going on at this park, we need to find a different reason or look back deeper in the archives than the 1970s.  For the record, I was browsing articles that reached into the 1950s.  Perhaps we can look to see if there is any history of Native American battles, for example.

In the meantime, please let me know if you’ve had any interesting experiences at this park.  If you have intriguing pictures to share, I will gladly post them here as well.  Thanks for stopping by and if you do visit this park on a paranormal expedition, please use caution as this may not be the safest of places after dark and you may also get fined for trespassing as the park closes at sunset.