Friday, October 20, 2017

Scary October: University of Montevallo

It's October, which means every Friday, I bring you a new spooky story!

The University of Montevallo is a four-year university located in Alabama.

Established in 1896, the university is highly respected, ranking as one of the top higher education institutions in the South. But the college also boasts a spooky side, with students having passed around stories for decades.

The university has a long and interesting history. The above building, Reynolds Hall, served as a Confederate hospital during the Civil War, where it was overseen by Captain Henry Clay Reynolds. Hearing troops were about to attack a nearby ironworks facility, he left the building unattended, at which point troops descended, killing the wounded soldiers inside. Today, Captain Reynolds is one of the most interesting spirits haunting the campus. A portrait of him is often moved without explanation and a breeze can sometimes be felt across a stage in the building with no known source.

Captain Reynolds

But there's an even spookier story haunting the university. In 1908, a 17-year-old student named Condie Cunningham and her roommate were in their room in the main dormitory when an alcohol lamp caught Condie's clothing on fire. Desperate to extinguish the fire, she ran into the hallway, but by the time the fire was out, her burns were too severe. She died soon after. Below is a picture of the sophomore class, but names weren't labeled at that time. many believe Condie is one of the women pictured.

Today, there are reports of an apparition seen running down the hall. But the biggest legend comes from her image being seen in a door. The door was replaced numerous times, but the face always appeared. Finally they removed the wooden door and replaced it with a metal one. One of the doors is on display in the campus library.

Whether or not the University of Montevallo is actually haunted, the legends surrounding its history are certainly interesting. Do you know of a haunted campus?

Check out last week's post on the Hermitage Hotel. And be sure to come back next week for the next stop on my ghost tour:

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Introducing Pumpkin Spice Secrets by Hillary Homzie

Fall is my favorite season...and it wouldn't be fall without pumpkin spice EVERYTHING! If you're a super-sweet cafe coffee drink lover like me, the cup of coffee on Hillary Homzie's new book will bring some cravings! Hillary is a fellow Aladdin author who is releasing her first book with Sky Pony Press's Swirl line. Scroll down to read all about it.


Sometimes secrets aren't so sweet...

Just as Maddie picks up her pumpkin spice frappe from the coffee shop counter, she spills it all over the cute boy behind her. Talk about mortifying! Luckily, the boy -- Jacob -- is also friendly and easygoing, and soon Maddie is deeply in crush.

But before she can tell her best friend Jana about him at lunch the next day, Jana announces her huge new crush -- on Jacob! Maddie doesn't want to cause trouble, so she keeps her feelings hidden. Jana will get over him soon, right?

Add major school stress to Maddie's secret, and it's a recipe for disaster. Can she stay true to both her friend and her heart... without it all turning into a sticky mess?

Buy Links:


Hillary Homzie is the author of the tween novels Queen of Likes, The Hot List, and Things Are Gonna Get Ugly, as well as the comedic chapter book series Alien Clones From Outer Space, which is being made into an animated television series. During the summers, Hillary teaches in the graduate program in children's writing at Hollins University. A former sketch comedy performer in NYC, Hillary currently lives with her family in Northern California.

Author Links:

Website | Twitter Facebook MySpace Blog

Monday, October 16, 2017

Mystery Monday: Chelsea Bruck

It's Monday, which means it's time for another...

Although most of the stories I post here are mysteries, sometimes I like to post stories that have a resolution. On May 16, 2017, this story had an arrest. But even when someone's arrested, so many questions still remain...

For young adults, Halloween means costumes and alcohol, usually in a party setting. For 22-year-old Chelsea Bruck, that costume was Poison Ivy, a popular character in the Batman franchise. On the night of October 25, 2014, Chelsea joined about 600 other people at a party in Monroe, Michigan.

Chelsea as Poison Ivy

At 12:45 a.m., Chelsea walked into a pole, injuring her forehead and nose. However, she remained at the party and was seen at around 3 a.m. near the parking lot. She'd left her cell phone and purse in the car of the person who had brought her, but that friend was no longer at the party. Several friends had offered her rides earlier in the evening and she'd declined. Now it looked like all those friends were long gone.

One witness reported seeing Chelsea having what appeared to be a cordial conversation with a man. They were last seen walking across the parking lot together, but nobody saw them get into a car.

For a while, it looked like her disappearance might remain a mystery. But in April of 2015, Chelsea's remains were found in rural Carleton, Michigan, which is a short drive from where the party was held.

In July of 2016, Daniel Clay was taken into custody after blood evidence matched him to the crime. Police said Clay knew information that only the killer would know.

According to Clay, he accidentally choked Chelsea during sex. However, authorities say Chelsea had injuries consistent with a violent attack. The medical examiner listed her cause of death as blunt trauma to the head.

In August 2016, Clay was also charged in the rape of a Monroe woman earlier that year. Was Clay the man seen speaking to Chelsea near the parking lot? Did she get in the car with him, hoping for a ride, only to realize too late that she'd made a mistake?