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Features Archive:

2006 Archive:
The Winchester Mystery House - Ghost Chronicles
December 28, 2006

Ghostvillage Radio - podcast

Investigating Jane Doherty - Ghost Chronicles
December 20, 2006

Ghostvillage Radio - podcast

Shadow People - by Lee Prosser
December 16, 2006

Column - regular feature

The Westford Knight - Ghost Chronicles
December 15, 2006

Ghostvillage Radio - podcast

Haunted Real Estate by Richard Senate
December 13, 2006

Traditions Behind Christmas By Vince Wilson
December 8, 2006

The Haunted Dibbuk Box - Ghost Chronicles
December 6, 2006

Ghostvillage Radio - podcast

Have Ghosts? Will Travel: A Ghostgeek's Guide to the RMS Queen Mary By Jen Brown
December 4, 2006

Thanksgiving: A Day of Forgiveness - by Lee Prosser
December 1, 2006

Column - regular feature

America's Stonehenge - Ghost Chronicles
November 29, 2006

Ghostvillage Radio - podcast

Instrumental TransCommunication (ITC) - by Jeff Belanger
November 16, 2006

Ghost Hunt Seminar - Ghost Chronicles
November 15, 2006

Ghostvillage Radio - podcast

Ghost Photography: Orbs by Robbin Van Pelt
November 9, 2006

Pet Ghosts - Ghost Chronicles
November 6, 2006

Ghostvillage Radio - podcast

Ghosts Haunt the Inn by Richard Senate
November 3, 2006

Japanese Woman Artist - by Lee Prosser
November 1, 2006

Column - regular feature

The Ghosts of the Windham Restaurant - Ghost Chronicles
October 30, 2006

Ghostvillage Radio - podcast

The Salem Witches - Ghost Chronicles
October 23, 2006

Ghostvillage Radio - podcast

Homan House, Gettysburg, Pennsylvania: A Preliminary Report by John Sabol
October 20, 2006

What Does Halloween/Samhain Mean to You? - Compiled by Jeff Belanger
October 16, 2006

That is the Way of It - by Lee Prosser
October 15, 2006

Column - regular feature

Fooling the Ghost Hunter by Richard Senate
October 11, 2006

Jack Kerouac - by Lee Prosser
October 2, 2006

Column - regular feature

Civil War Re-enactors and the Ghost Experience - by Jeff Belanger
September 15, 2006

Who Goes There in the Shadows? - by Lee Prosser
September 15, 2006

Column - regular feature

Engagement and Data Analysis in Symmetrical Field Investigations by John Sabol
September 11, 2006

Occult Warfare by Richard Senate
September 6, 2006

Cats and Other Critters From Beyond the Grave - by Lee Prosser
September 1, 2006

Column - regular feature

Chicago's Strange Angles and Haunted Architecture by Ursula Bielski
August 25, 2006

I Have a Hunch: A Look at Psychics, Mediums, and Clairvoyants - by Jeff Belanger
August 16, 2006

Geof Gray-Cobb - by Lee Prosser
August 15, 2006

Column - regular feature

Orbs: Have They Become that Boring? by Tuesday Miles
August 14, 2006

A Night on Char-Man Bridge by Richard Senate
August 7, 2006

Five Union Soldier Ghosts - by Lee Prosser
August 2, 2006

Column - regular feature

A Visit With Author and Witch Kala Trobe - Interview by Lee Prosser
July 26, 2006

Perceptual Stratigraphy: Making Sense of Ghostly Manifestations by John Sabol
July 24, 2006

The Trouble With Witches - by Lee Prosser
July 15, 2006

Column - regular feature

A Look at Our Haunted Lives - by Jeff Belanger
July 13, 2006

An Active Ghost Hunt at a Haunted Bed and Breakfast by Richard Senate
July 7, 2006

Lee Prosser, 1969 - by Lee Prosser
July 4, 2006

Column - regular feature

My Theory on Spirits by Edward L. Shanahan
June 28, 2006

Ethnoarchaeoghostology: A Humanistic-Scientific Approach to the Study of Haunt Phenomena by John Sabol
June 19, 2006

Christopher Isherwood & Lee Prosser in 1969 - by Lee Prosser
June 16, 2006

Column - regular feature

ESP, M&Ms, and Reality - by Jeff Belanger
June 15, 2006

A Duel on the Airwaves by Richard Senate
June 5, 2006

Marjorie Firestone and Her Dream Predictions - by Lee Prosser
June 1, 2006

Column - regular feature

Until Death Do Us Part? by Rick Hayes
May 31, 2006

Part Four: the Conclusion: Primrose Road - Adams St. Cemetery - by Marcus Foxglove Griffin
May 22, 2006

Column - regular feature

Folklore, Folklore, Folklore with Dr. Michael Bell - interview by Jeff Belanger
May 16, 2006

Swami Chetanananda and Lee Prosser - by Lee Prosser
May 15, 2006

Column - regular feature

Theatre, Sance, and the Ghost Script: Performances at Haunted Locations by John Sabol
May 5, 2006

Willard David Firestone and the River Ghost - by Lee Prosser
May 1, 2006

Column - regular feature

When the Spirits Held Sway at the White House by Richard Senate
April 25, 2006

Part Three: Investigation: Primrose Road - Adams St. Cemetery - by Marcus Foxglove Griffin
April 20, 2006

Column - regular feature

Talking Reincarnation with Dr. John Gilbert - interview by Lee Prosser
April 17, 2006

Billy Bob Firestone and the Ghosts of Pythian Castle - by Lee Prosser
April 15, 2006

Column - regular feature

Cryptobotany: the Search for Lost Plants by Richard Senate
April 7, 2006

The Mysteries of Druidry Book Excerpt Part 4 of 4 by Dr. Brendan Cathbad Myers
April 6, 2006

Vedanta and Durga - by Lee Prosser
April 2, 2006

Column - regular feature

The Mysteries of Druidry Book Excerpt Part 3 of 4 by Dr. Brendan Cathbad Myers
March 30, 2006

Ritual, Resonance, and Ghost Research: The Play in the Fields by John Sabol
March 27, 2006

The Mysteries of Druidry Book Excerpt Part 2 of 4 by Dr. Brendan Cathbad Myers
March 23, 2006

Celtic This, Druid That, Saint Patrick Hit Me With a Wiffle-Ball Bat - by Marcus Foxglove Griffin
March 21, 2006

Column - regular feature

The Mysteries of Druidry Book Excerpt Part 1 of 4 by Dr. Brendan Cathbad Myers
March 16, 2006

Christopher Isherwood, Time Loops, and Ghosts - by Lee Prosser
March 15, 2006

Column - regular feature

Druids - by Lee Prosser
March 3, 2006

Column - regular feature

Natural Selection and the Involution of the Gettysburg Ghosts by John Sabol
February 28, 2006

Part Two: Investigation: Primrose Road - Adams St. Cemetery - by Marcus Foxglove Griffin
February 20, 2006

Column - regular feature

Lights, Camera... Action! by Brian Leffler
February 16, 2006

Divination and Geomancy - by Lee Prosser
February 15, 2006

Column - regular feature

Spirit Messages from a Murderer by Richard Senate
February 8, 2006

The Ghosts of Springfield, Missouri - by Lee Prosser
February 3, 2006

Column - regular feature

The Ghost Storyteller: A Dinosaur Among Lemmings? by Charles J. Adams III
January 23, 2006

The Fools Journey: A Magickal Roadmap to Life - by Marcus Foxglove Griffin
January 20, 2006

Column - regular feature

Tarot and Spiritual Alchemy - by Lee Prosser
January 15, 2006

Column - regular feature

Demons from the Dark by Chip Coffey
January 9, 2006

Spooky - by Lee Prosser
January 3, 2006

Column - regular feature

April 25, 2006

When the Spirits Held Sway at the White House

By Richard Senate

What would happen if it was disclosed that President Bush was consulting spirit mediums in the White House? What if it was learned that he was even following the advise given in sances to run the country? The nation would be outraged and demands hade from both parties for his immediate impeachment. Many would suddenly question his reason, others would seek the medical advise of psychologists. Not too long ago First Lady Hillary Clinton got into trouble when it was learned she was talking to the long decease Eleanor Roosevelt and Mrs. Clinton never said she heard Eleanor talking back to her.

Strange as it seems, such a bizarre thing did happen once. It occurred during the terrible Civil War. President Abraham Lincoln held sances in the White House. These meetings were reported in the press at the time (much of it anti-Lincoln as well) few people condemned the president because so many prominent people had embraced the Spiritualist craze.

Mrs. Mary Todd Lincoln requested mediums come to the White house after the death of her son, Willie in February of 1862. Mrs. Lincolns mind, never stable in any case, was sent into depression by the loss of her beloved son. She was encouraged by advise from a freed slave, Elizabeth Lizzie Keckley who served as the dress maker to Mrs. Lincoln (strangely enough, she was also the dress maker of Mrs. Jefferson Davis, wife of the president of the Confederacy as well). It wasnt long before Mary Todd Lincoln became enmeshed in the occult. In sances, mediums purported to bring back her two dead sons as well as a cousin who had lost his life at the battle of Chickamauga. In her quest for answers from beyond the grave she dragged her husband into the quest. He seemingly indulged her as mediums came and went at the presidents mansion.

One of the worst was an Englishman who called himself Lord Colchester claiming he was somehow related to the British aristocracy. He conducted sances at the Lincoln's summer house. In one session he told of getting a message from Willie. The president was skeptical and asked Joseph Henry, the superintendent of the Smithsonian Institute, to investigate the bogus English lord. After attending a sance Mr. Henry reported that the ghostly sounds must have been the product of some hidden devise. Mr. Noah Brooks, a long-time friend of the Lincolns and a Washington journalist came along and was firmly convinced Lord Colchester was a despicable leach who preyed upon Mrs. Lincolns grief. He caught the medium cheating, passing off simple slight of hand tricks as real psychic phenomena. The British charlatan was told to leave and never return; advise he wisely took. 

Another medium consulted by Mary Todd Lincoln was twenty-one year old Nettie Colburn. She was impressive and had many followers. So impressed was Mary that she secured a position for her in the Department of the Interior so she would not leave the city. Based on the published evidence of the day, many believe she was a true psychic. At least all accounts say she believed the messages she got were from the Spirit World. In a sance conducted in the Red Room of the White House in December of 1862 the spirits urged President Lincoln to free the slaves at once. The question of emancipation was widely discussed in Washington and it wasnt many weeks after the sance that Lincoln came out with the famous Emancipation Proclamation. Did the sance influence him? Still, Spiritualism was born in upper New York State in 1848 with many roots in New England. It had come out against slavery at its inception. 

In early 1863 a simple test was set up for Nettie Colburn. She was asked to identify a masked man who was wrapped in a dark cloak who had just stepped into the room. Miss Colburn went into a trance and contacted her spirit guide Pinkie (said to be a Native American). The figure was named as crooked knife. The man removed his disguise and it proved to be General Daniel Sickle. As a sickle is a sort of crooked knife, the experiment was seen as a success. Still, skeptics pointed out the fact that the friendship between General Sickle and the President was widely known. 

At another sance conducted in the White House a number of strange things happened. The meeting was lead by the medium Charles Shcokle. Also in attendance were Secretary of the Navy, Gideon Wells and Secretary of War, Edwin Stanton. The event was reported by Melton Prior, a journalist. Once the lights were extinguished all sorts of strange events happened. The spirits pulled Mr. Wells long beard and pinched the ear of Stanton. A picture on the wall moved from side to side in the near darkness and two candlesticks, gifts from the ruler of Algiers to president Adams, were seen to levitate nearly to the ceiling.

Abraham Lincoln joked with the spirits and seemed to have enjoyed himself. His own belief, or disbelief, was never reveled . Though this sance was widely published all over the North, there was little criticism leveled at the president or his wife. But, then, that was a different age. If such things happened today the story would be very different. Then again, perhaps the spirits might give our current leader better advise than his present staff -- who knows? 

Richard Senate is a California-based author and lecturer and a regular contributor to Visit his Web site at:

2014 Haunted New England Wall Calendar by Jeff Belanger photography by Frank Grace
Check out the 2014 Haunted New England wall calendar by Jeff Belanger and photography by Frank Grace!

Paranormal Conferences and Lectures
Don't miss the following events and lectures:

Jeff Belanger and “The Bridgewater Triangle” at Dedham Community Theatre - April 6, 2014 9:00PM

The Spirits of the Mark Twain House - Hartford, Connecticut - April 12, 2014

Paracon Australia - East Maitland, New South Wales, Australia - May 10-12, 2014