Monumental Mysteries: Greenbrier Ghost Pictures

Don Wildman visits a monument to the first circus elephant, looks at a tombstone of a young woman whose ghost allegedly helped convict her murderer, and examines the statue of a legendary explorer.

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American Venus in Central Park
American Venus in Central Park

American Venus in Central Park

Scattered around New York City are 3 statues inspired by the same stunning model, Audrey Munson -- often referred to as the American Venus -- who was a muse to hundreds of artists. This statue stands at the USS Maine Monument in Central Park. 960 1280

  

Statue of Audrey Munson at the New York Public Library

Statue of Audrey Munson at the New York Public Library

Another Audrey Munson-inspired statue, entitled “Beauty,” can be seen at the New York Public Library. 960 1280

  

Located in Arizona, the Sitgreaves National Forest is home to over 400 species of wildlife and 680 miles of rivers and streams. But this verdant oasis was once the site of a bizarre encounter. Was a man abducted by aliens here, as he claims? 960 1280

  

Alien Abduction in Arizona

Alien Abduction in Arizona

In 1975, logger Travis Walton mysteriously disappeared from the forest and re-appeared 5 days later, claiming to have been abducted by aliens. All these years later, the veracity of his story has never been disproven. 960 1280

  

Anchor Bar in Buffalo

Anchor Bar in Buffalo

A carved wooden statues stands out front of the Anchor Bar in Buffalo, NY, celebrating the creation of the famous American dish: Buffalo wings. But when a journalist decided to track down the creator of the spicy treat, he found that the tale was not so simple. Who was the real inventor of Buffalo wings? 960 1280

  

Face in the Courthouse Window

Face in the Courthouse Window

The quaint southern town of Carrollton, AL, is home to charming churches and old cemeteries. But one window at the Picken’s County Courthouse has a mysterious and horrifying image that some say was left there by an angry spirit. 960 1280

  

Face in the Courthouse Window

Face in the Courthouse Window

Is the face, forever burned into the glass in the courthouse window, that of a former slave who was executed in 1878, after being accused of arson? And does he still haunt the town? 960 1280

  

Lake George, located amidst the mountains and forests of New York’s Adirondack Park, has been a vacation destination for generations. But at the turn of the century, some say a terrifying and monstrous beast arose from the depths of this typically placid body of water, inciting panic and creating a mystery that has remained unsolved for decades. 960 1280

  

Niagara Falls
Niagara Falls

Niagara Falls

Niagara Falls was one of the most important sites on the Underground Railroad, and played an integral role in allowing abolitionists to smuggle runaway slaves to freedom in Canada. 960 1280

Scoast  

Niagara falls

Niagara falls

The falls was the site of one of the most daring escape attempts in the history of the abolitionist movement. 960 1280

  

Mazart Prospect Park

Mazart Prospect Park

Prospect Park in Brooklyn, NY, is home to a bronze bust of the legendary Austrian composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Could this musical prodigy’s death -- at the young age of 35 -- have been a case of deliberate poisoning? 960 1280

  

Along the Indian River Lagoon in Titusville, FL, is the Space Walk of Fame, and among the outdoor plaza’s monuments is the glistening Gemini Monument. Few may realize that the 8th Gemini mission involved a hair-raising episode that nearly cost the lives of astronauts David Scott and Neil Armstrong. 960 1280

  

Riverside Cemetery

Riverside Cemetery

At Riverside Cemetery in Hopkinsville, KY, is the modest tombstone of Edgar Cayce, a man whom many consider to be the most important American psychic of the 20th century. 960 1280

  

Sleeping Prophet Cayce

Sleeping Prophet Cayce

Could Cayce, the so-called “Sleeping Prophet,” really use his trance-like abilities to heal the hopelessly ill? 960 1280

  

Yosemite

Yosemite

One of the crown jewels of America’s national park system, Yosemite has been enjoyed by generations of American nature lovers. But few realize that the efforts of a man named Galen Clark helped save this majestic natural monument from destructive exploitation at the hands of developers. 960 1280

  

Selling Grant's Tomb
Selling Grant's Tomb

Selling Grant's Tomb

When newspapers report that the General Grant National Memorial is falling into critical disrepair, 67-year-old hustler George Parker gets an idea. In 1928, he poses as President Ulysses S. Grant’s grandson and “sells” the tomb to a number of businessmen, all of whom dream of making a fortune by eventually charging entry to the majestic monument. 960 1280

  

Selling the Brooklyn Bridge

Selling the Brooklyn Bridge

But Grant’s Tomb wasn’t the only monument Parker had “sold.” He began his scheme back in 1883 when he posed as the owner of New York City’s iconic Brooklyn Bridge and “sold” it to unsuspecting immigrants. 960 1280

Thinkstock  

Selling the Brooklyn Bridge

Selling the Brooklyn Bridge

Police frequently had to roust so-called “owners” of the bridge as they attempted to put up tollbooths. The police finally resorted to handing out pamphlets at ports warning all immigrants that they can’t “buy public buildings.” 960 1280

  

Statue of the Republic

Statue of the Republic

The Statue of the Republic, commemorating the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair, reminds passers-by of the exhibition, but also its dark history. During the fair, a man going by the name of H.H. Holmes built a “hotel” where he lured young women, most of whom never came out. 960 1280

  

Alcatraz

Alcatraz

In 1937, Theodore Cole and Ralph Roe were the first 2 prisoners to successfully make it to the shore of the San Francisco Bay after breaking out of Alcatraz. 960 1280

Thinkstock  

Alcatraz

Alcatraz

Officials quickly concluded that the pair had drowned in the San Francisco Bay, but many reports of future sightings suggest otherwise. 960 1280

  

Mt. Rainier

Mt. Rainier

On June 24, 1947, private pilot Kenneth Arnold was flying at 9,200 feet near Mt. Rainier on a mission to find a missing transport airplane when he encountered something extraordinary … he saw a shimmering light followed 30 seconds later by a series of bright flashes north of the mountain range. 960 1280

  

Flying Saucers

Flying Saucers

Arnold then observed flat crescent-shaped objects flying in a chain formation, which he describes as “saucers on water.” The supersonic speed of the unidentified flying objects and the strangely-shaped discs grab both the media and the public’s attention, and the term “flying saucer” makes its debut. 960 1280

Terry Bridges  

Confederate General Robert E. Lee

Confederate General Robert E. Lee

April 14, 1865. Just 5 days after the surrender of Confederate General Robert E. Lee and the end of the Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln decides to take in a show at Ford’s Theatre in the nation’s capital. 960 1280

  

John Wilkes Booth

John Wilkes Booth

At 10:13 p.m., a well-known actor and Confederate sympathizer -- John Wilkes Booth -- enters the president’s box and shoots him in the back of the head. In the ensuing chaos, he flees Washington on horseback. Twelve days later, Union soldiers track him down and shoot him. Soldiers claim he died, but did he? 960 1280

  

Chestnut Hill Baptist Church Cemetery

Chestnut Hill Baptist Church Cemetery

Buried at the Chestnut Hill Baptist Church Cemetery in Exeter, RI, is the body of a girl who was believed to be a vampire. 960 1280

  

Mercy “Lena” Brown

Mercy “Lena” Brown

In January 1892, 19-year-old Mercy “Lena” Brown succumbed to a strange disease – one that caused her to cough up blood as her body wasted away. At the time, many claimed that Lena was a vampire, and they exhumed her body to prove it. 960 1280

  

Photos

Niagara Falls

Niagara Falls

Niagara Falls was one of the most important sites on the Underground Railroad, and played an integral role in allowing abolitionists to smuggle runaway slaves to freedom in Canada. 960 1280

Scoast  

Niagara falls

Niagara falls

The falls was the site of one of the most daring escape attempts in the history of the abolitionist movement. 960 1280

  

Mazart Prospect Park

Mazart Prospect Park

Prospect Park in Brooklyn, NY, is home to a bronze bust of the legendary Austrian composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Could this musical prodigy’s death -- at the young age of 35 -- have been a case of deliberate poisoning? 960 1280

  

Along the Indian River Lagoon in Titusville, FL, is the Space Walk of Fame, and among the outdoor plaza’s monuments is the glistening Gemini Monument. Few may realize that the 8th Gemini mission involved a hair-raising episode that nearly cost the lives of astronauts David Scott and Neil Armstrong. 960 1280

  

Riverside Cemetery

Riverside Cemetery

At Riverside Cemetery in Hopkinsville, KY, is the modest tombstone of Edgar Cayce, a man whom many consider to be the most important American psychic of the 20th century. 960 1280

  

Sleeping Prophet Cayce

Sleeping Prophet Cayce

Could Cayce, the so-called “Sleeping Prophet,” really use his trance-like abilities to heal the hopelessly ill? 960 1280

  

Yosemite

Yosemite

One of the crown jewels of America’s national park system, Yosemite has been enjoyed by generations of American nature lovers. But few realize that the efforts of a man named Galen Clark helped save this majestic natural monument from destructive exploitation at the hands of developers. 960 1280

  

Grand Central Station

Grand Central Station

Grand Central Station in New York City is one of the country’s best-loved landmarks. With 44 platforms, it is the largest train station in the world. 960 1280

  

Grand Central Station

Grand Central Station

The station is most known for the epic grandeur of its main concourse, crowned by the arching splendor of an enormous astronomical mural painted in gold leaf and cerulean blue on the towering ceiling. 960 1280

  

Grand Central Station

Grand Central Station

The station’s mural depicts the star signs of the zodiac, and at 40,000 square feet, it’s the largest diagram of its kind in the modern world. But this zodiac is unlike any other – could there be sinister symbolism hidden in the design? 960 1280

  

Duke Kahanamoku

Duke Kahanamoku

Kuhio Beach in Waikiki is home to a revered statue of a local legend, often referred to as “the father of modern surfing.” But while Duke Kahanamoku’s athletic achievements are internationally renowned, one remarkable incident in his life is all too often forgotten. How was he able to rescue 8 people from a sinking ship as it was slammed by 30-foot waves? 960 1280

  

Lake Havasu

Lake Havasu

Spanning Arizona’s Lake Havasu is a bridge that’s much older than the planned community that surrounds it. The London Bridge -- originally built in 1831 to cross the Thames -- was purchased in 1968 by Robert McCullough and installed across a boating channel in the lake. 960 1280

  

Lake Havasu City

Lake Havasu City

Lake Havasu City, AZ, is now the second biggest attraction in the state. But did McCullough unknowingly purchase the London Bridge instead of London’s more iconic Tower Bridge? 960 1280

  

Woodlawn Cemetery

Woodlawn Cemetery

At Woodlawn Cemetery in Forest Park, IL, are 5 large granite elephants that surround a plot of land known as Showman’s Rest. The remains of 61 people were interred in a mass grave here when, on the night of June 22, 1918, performers and the crew from the Hagenbeck-Wallace circus were involved in a tragic train crash. 960 1280

  

Death Valley National Park

Death Valley National Park

In the hills of Death Valley National Park lies the gravesite of William Scott, the man who engineered one of the most scandalous gold mine hoaxes of all time. 960 1280

  

Scotty's Castle

Scotty's Castle

Located in the Grapevine Mountains of Death Valley National Park in California is an enormous 2-story Mission Revival-style villa that became known as “Scotty’s Castle.” But who paid for this elaborate, opulent structure? 960 1280

  

Golden Gate Bridge

Golden Gate Bridge

Spanning the entrance to San Francisco Bay, the vibrantly orange Golden Gate Bridge is one of this country’s most iconic monuments. This beautiful behemoth holds the distinction for being the most photographed bridge in the world, but few visitors realize that its origins are shrouded in tragedy. In February 1937, 10 bridge workers plummeted to their deaths – what caused this terrible accident? 960 1280

Getty  

Ford's Theatre

Ford's Theatre

On April 15, 1865, America’s beloved 16th president was assassinated by actor and confederate sympathizer John Wilkes Booth at Ford’s Theater in Washington, DC. But what happened to Lincoln’s assassin? Was he killed as he resisted capture -- as our history books state -- or could he have survived and evaded justice? 960 1280

  

Garfield's Tomb

Garfield's Tomb

This magnificent building isn’t a castle or a cathedral, but the nation’s first true mausoleum, commemorating US President James A. Garfield. Despite the grandeur of this memorial, Garfield served the second-shortest term in US history, cut short by his untimely death. Who, or what, really killed President James A. Garfield? And how did his death herald in an invention that we still use today? 960 1280

  

General Grant National Memorial

General Grant National Memorial

Amidst the green oasis of New York’s Riverside Park, stands the General Grant National Memorial, the final resting place of president and Civil War legend Ulysses S. Grant. But how was this monument involved in one of the most audacious scandals of all time? 960 1280

  

Mercy “Lena” Brown's Grave

Mercy “Lena” Brown's Grave

In January 1892, 19-year-old Mercy “Lena” Brown succumbs to a strange disease – one that causes her to cough up blood as her body wastes away. At the time, many claim that Lena was a vampire, and they exhume her body to prove it. What literary classic did her story inspire? 960 1280

  

Tombstone

Tombstone

Designated a National Historic Landmark District in 1961, the town of Tombstone in southern Arizona is one of the best-preserved specimens of rugged frontier towns from the 1870s. But the town was also home to a dangerous renegade, whose reign of terror culminated in an infamous shootout that’s now the stuff of legend. 960 1280

Dennis Macdonald  

Boll Weevil Statue

Boll Weevil Statue

The Boll Weevil Monument in the town of Enterprise, AL, holds the distinction of being the world’s only monument dedicated to an agricultural pest. 960 1280

  

Falling Star Statue

Falling Star Statue

The Falling Star Statue in the sleepy town of Sylacauga, AL, was built to commemorate the first known instance of a meteor hitting a person in modern history. 960 1280

  

Grand Central Station

Grand Central Station

Grand Central Station in New York City is one of the country’s best-loved landmarks. Its main concourse is crowned by an enormous astronomical mural painted in gold leaf and cerulean blue. The mural depicts the star signs of the zodiac and is the largest diagram of its kind in the modern world. But this zodiac is not like others, and sinister symbolism may be hidden within its design. 960 1280

Insight Imaging