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Over the years we’ve had our own unexplained ghostly adventures… like our time spent at Bodie State Historic Park (CA). Bodie is a modern-day ghost town. When the California State Park system took over Bodie, it left all the buildings as they stood. This is one of the most unforgettable places we have ever been. There is so much history there it consumes you. You can almost feel towns folk walking along the street beside you. Peering through windows you feel invisible eyes staring back. It is a must-see for anyone visiting the Eastern Sierras.

Another place to note is Wilson’s Creek National Battlefield (MO). This was the first major Civil War battle west of the Mississippi. The park is a five-mile driving tour and you are literally driving back through time. In fact, at one point I think I really did! I had gotten out of the truck at one stop to take a photo of two cannons in a field and when I walked past the first cannon I was overcome with chills. I assumed it was from stepping out of the air-conditioning into the ninety-plus degree heat. But after I took a photo of the farthest cannon, I walked back to the first and I got chills and goosebumps again. I stepped toward the cannon to take a photo and swear I heard someone shout “NO” in my ear. Boy, did I hustle myself back to the safety of the Silverado!

Although we have visited Pensacola Lighthouse (FL) several times, we returned to visit last year to see the lighthouse decorated for Christmas. Even though the lighthouse is haunted, I didn’t see the Ghost of Christmas Past – but I did feel a section of cool air as I entered the Keeper’s room. The last time I visited there had a similar experience in that area. And on the previous visit I had also felt someone watching me in the basement. So even after telling myself I wasn’t going in the basement this last visit, I did. However, they had a clothed dummy sitting at the desk at the base of the stairs and it startled me so much I jumped backwards onto the steps again!

Then there was the time we planned a trip to see Appomattox Court House National Historic Park (VA). Those a little dusty with their history may recall the name but not the significance of the location. This was the surrender grounds, where Generals Lee and Grant put an end to the Civil War. The building where this historic moment occurred, the McLean House, still stands. After touring the house we went outside to one of the other buildings. No sooner had we stepped through the doorway when we found ourselves quickly stepping back outside. Hard to explain why we all got goosebumps, but it just felt very wrong in there. We resumed our tour of the park and enjoyed the other buildings without problem. At least for a little while…I have a tendency to lag behind as I read every plaque and take a number of photos. We were visiting the new jail and the other two were already heading outside while I was alone upstairs. I was snapping a few photos of the window when I felt a chill. Looking down I saw I had goosebumps again. I shrugged it off until I heard a cough come from the cell. Then I headed down the stairs as quickly as I could!

But the eeriest thing happened just a few weeks ago while touring the USS Alabama (AL). The battleship is about seven hundred feet long from stem to stern and if you take the self-guided tours it will take about two hours. Parts of the ship were rather warm and stuffy and I quickly found myself finishing the tour alone. Although there were other people touring the ship, I managed to always stay a room or two apart. I was getting a little dehydrated and just poked my head in a few rooms to quickly finish that section of the tour. As I looked in one room, an officer’s quarters I believe, I noted the typewriter on the desk and was about to head to the next room when I heard the sound of an old typewriter. It was just two keystrokes. My first thought was that another room nearby had some sort of voiced display and a visitor had activated it. So I quickly continued with the tour. But after I finished that section of the tour, I saw there was nothing like that. Where did that distinctive sound come from?

Sometimes when you visit historic sites you get more awareness of history than you paid admission for… 😉

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Halloween Spider

The area we are currently staying is big on Halloween! The campground is booked every weekend and has numerous Halloween activities from carving pumpkins to haunted hayrides. The children can trick-or-treat and families can enter weekly campsite-decorating contests.

Of course, when you are a full-time RVer, your storage space is limited. Fortunately, when it comes to being creative, we have plenty of space! 😉

Initially we discussed doing scarecrow “people” around our campfire… lounging in the chairs, roasting fake marshmallows over a fake fire… But after some brainstorming, we decided to base our theme on a children’s Halloween party. We decided to keep it simple, festive and child-friendly.

Halloween Decorations

We decorated our picnic table with costumed “children” having a Halloween party. The table includes plates, cups, candy (emptied and resealed wrappers, of course!), plastic toys (spiders, bats, pumpkins) and orange Halloween lights. The table has been webbed-over by a few busy spiders.

Halloween DecorationsThe “children” include a skeleton, scarecrow, pumpkinhead, lady bug and, of course, Frankenstein. Our little creations were easy to make – we created their bodies out of recycled water bottles, two-liter soda bottles and one-gallon tea containers. All their costumes were purchased from the local thrift store for less than ten dollars. No item was over $1!

When the party is over – the children go in the recycle bin and their clothes get washed and donated back to the local thrift store.

No party is complete without a buffet table and decorations! So we decorate the tree above the Halloween party and a table behind it. Spider webbing, ghosts and an inflatable spider were quick, inexpensive decorations to draw attention to our main display.

Halloween Decorations

Halloween treeThe “boo-ffet” table was decorated with a Halloween tree. If you just want one decoration or a centerpiece for a Halloween party – a Halloween tree is easy to do. We purchased a trick-or-treat bucket (a pumpkin) at a Dollar Tree store. We filled the bucket with rocks and then arranged dead tree branches in it.  We decorated the tree with ghosts, spiders, bugs, skulls and Halloween-colored ribbons. After our tree was finished, we webbed it. For a creepy effect, we used a hot glue gun around our “ornaments” and left the glue drip around the tree and webbing. We then added our other table decorations (garland, white lights – from Christmas!) and webbing.

So even if your space is limited, use your imagination to take part in the Halloween fun at your local campground! 😉

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