A Visit To Capt. Tony’s Saloon

Screen Shot 2015-10-17 at 12.10.46 PM

Let’s see, a haunted saloon that has been a mortuary, an execution spot, holy water bottles lodged in the walls to keep the evil spirits out, there are dead bodies underneath, a real human skeleton excavated from the site and hung behind the bar, an actual hanging tree with a grave right next to it AND it’s all located in a tropical paradise? Yup, I’m in!

Welcome to Capt. Tony’s Saloon! This little spot is said to be the most ghostly active place in all of Key West and that is saying a lot considering the history of this key. I mean, there is a cursed doll who is reported to have chased a young girl around her room and distorts its face. Yeah.

We aren’t chatting about ol’ Robert the Doll right now. I have quite a bit to say about him later but for now, lets focus on a saloon that has been the last stop for many poor souls and some are said to still be restless. Of course, if you believe in that sort of thing.

Screen Shot 2015-10-17 at 11.34.21 AM

The site the bar sits was the execution spot for those who didn’t were sentenced to death and that included sixteen men and one woman who stabbed her husband and children and chopped them up. She’s said to still haunt the bar and is known as the “Lady In Blue” because that was the color of her dress she wore on her execution day and also the color she turned when she died. HA!

By the mid 1800’s, the saloon was used as an ice house and since recently deceased people smell bad in the 90 degree tropical heat, it doubled as a morgue. After that it turned into a cigar-rolling/gambling facility, then a telegraph station, then an openly gay burlesque and finally, Anthony Tarracino moved from New Jersey, renamed himself Captain Tony and bought the place that we now know and love as Capt. Tony’s Saloon.

Many famous people have frequented the bar especially Ernest Hemingway, Al Pacino, Robert Redford and of course, Jimmy Buffett whose music sounds like parrots burning to me. But that’s just my opinion.

Watch this video and take a tour with me as this super great guy named Doug shows us around the creepier parts of Tony’s Saloon. Also, if you find yourself there, don’t get the Pirate Punch. It’s pre-made horse piss.

Sorry about the background noise. Life shooting in a bar full of drunks and a crappy musician.

Spooky NC With Bayou Babylon

Hello my friends. Today is a special day here at the Spook Show because I can share with you my amazing trip to visit my buddy Travis who you might know as Bayou Babylon down in the Gulf of Mexico, Mobile Alabama. Both he and his wife, Crystal, are some of those most amazing people I have ever met and together we had a blast. From the history to the food to the 300 beers, I will say Travis is a lifelong buddy who is stuck having an semiannual guest crash his pad.

Screen Shot 2014-10-07 at 8.25.23 AM

This trip, Travis took me to a creepy and the notoriously haunted Church Street Graveyard where certain legends rest. Or sort of rest. This is also the burial spot of Joe Cain who is of super hero status to the people of Mobile, Alabama. After the Civil War ended, the Union soldiers banned many Southern cultures and celebrations. In defiance, Joe Cain dressed in Native American garb, wore beads and drunkenly drove his horse and buggy around Mobile starting up the celebration of Mardi Gras. To this day, the start of Mardi Gras begins from the grave of Joe Cain where his unknown “widows” gather to weep over his site and then dance out of the cemetery starting the celebration. Pretty awesome!

Later we visit the Boyington Oak which took forever to locate. Thanks to smart phones, we found the spot where Charles Boyington is buried. In 1835 he was quickly accused of murdering his friend Nathaniel Frost and was hung. Right before he was executed he stated that a mighty oak would spring from his heart to prove his innocence. Well, he is buried on that spot where a pretty large oak now resides. Locals claim to hear cries from the tree and the cemetery nightly so…that’s crazy!

To wrap up the night we attended a beer crawl which probably shaved off a few years of our lives. So much beer. So much beer. You’ll see.

I hope you enjoy this Spooky NC: Mobile, Alabama! The next one will be mostly myself chatting about the experiences on an abandoned railroad track. The footage isn’t the best but it was absolutely terrifying. I’ll just have to show you.

EDIT

Just to clarify a bit, Joe Cain is credited with bringing Mardi Gras back to Mobile post-Civil War. Mardi Gras has been celebrated here, in one form or another, since 1703, but was cancelled during the Civil War and banned by the occupying Yankee troops. – Travis aka Bayou Babylon

Spooky North Carolina: The Lawson Family Massacre

Hey! So, uh, September happened. How about that? I started this “Spook Show” and then got sidelined with work trips for half the month. Well, I am back and for the rest of this Halloween season I promise not to disappear again. To be honest, I had planned on this happening so fear not, this ride has only just begun.

Today we start the “Spooky North Carolina” series with a doozy and to my shock, right next to where I currently reside! You will see as the month of October progresses we will travel to many states, not just North Carolina (even though that is the name of the series) so when I learned of this being right up the road, it HAD to be the first one of the Halloween season.

Screen Shot 2014-09-29 at 8.17.54 PM

In 1929, one of the country’s most profound tragedies happened in Stokes County, North Carolina about ten miles or so away from where yours truly lives. On Christmas morning the Lawson family were gathered together celebrating the day when the father, Charlie Lawson who was a wealthy tobacco farmer, shot and bludgeoned his wife and six kids excluding the oldest son. He had sent him on an errand into town earlier in the afternoon. The crime was brutal and without logic or reason to the locals. In the report, the wife was shot at pointblank range along with his oldest daughter while the young children were bludgeoned to death with a club. All their bodies were placed in the barn with their arms crossed and stones under their heads. When the gravity of what Charlie Lawson had done sank in he turned the rifle on himself. Those who found him say he had worn a circled path on the ground from pacing.

Screen Shot 2014-09-29 at 8.18.32 PM

When news broke about what had happened it became a national story that attracted thousands to the little county. The massacre shocked and horrified the country but also fascinated as many. How could such a well-respected farmer slaughter his entire family? It had to be premeditated otherwise why would he spare his oldest son? And the fact it was on Christmas day only added to the sadness of the atrocious crime.

Screen Shot 2014-09-29 at 8.18.16 PMThere are a couple of theories to why Charles Lawson murdered his family. One theory was that Charlie suffered head trauma from a work accident leaving him with terrible chronic headaches. Much like other cases of temporal lobe lesions or brain damage, he suffered from rage which ultimately led to the murders of seven and his suicide.

The other theory, and far more sinister, was that Charlie had been molesting his oldest daughter and impregnated her. Not wanting to live with the shame he decided to end everything before the community found out.

So, why does this make the “Spooky NC” list? Well, just like any unanswered event like the Amityville Horror, the locals claim to hear children laughing and playing in the woods at night near the Lawson farm. Most of the locals aren’t very willing to talk about the history of these events and get really evasive when asked about any strange occurrences since. Maybe they didn’t like my shirt or perhaps I am just another dumb city dweller who is there to trespass and make mischief? You never know what idiots preceded your visit to make the local people interrupt your questions with, “Are ya’ll ever gonna buy something’?”. I guess you can’t blame them.

In the video we travel to a bridge which was made from the floor boards of Lawson house that was dismantled after too many trespassers made it impossible for the land owner to keep privacy. After that, and with a whole lot of trial and error, we found the mass grave of the Lawson family. It is said the reason so many ghost sightings happen there is because of the way they were all buried together. I guess it would be pretty unrestful to be under with the dude who put you there.

Regardless of whether or not paranormal happenings are present today, it is still a real shocker to find out one of the worst crimes occurred right down the street from your house. Even if it did happen nearly one hundred years before.

 

The Halloween Spook Show 2014 Begins!!!

And so it begins.

Welcome and thank you for joining in on this insane journey as we celebrate together the best season of the year. I have planned this one out since, I don’t know, last November? There are certain people in this world who have a connection to the strange and unusual. I, myself, am strange and unusual so the duty of writing, filming and photographing everything this Halloween season is a job which I revel in. But what does that mean, you ask?

Well, here is a tease of the season ahead:

Spooky NC!

Holy cats, ya’ll. I have been around the block since the beginning of Spring to film a lot of scary locations and real haunts from North Carolina all the way down to Mobile, Alabama. I know the title is geographically misleading but after I started the page, I couldn’t change the name. To find the past Spooky NC trips just click HERE!

Horror Business!

You’ve seen my Beers with Movie Sauce show, haven’t you? This Halloween it will return but with shorter episodes because, lets face it, no one is going to sit through a fifteen minute video about a movie they have seen. Brevity is the key to comedy. Expect this to shine closer to October in a countdown to the best horror movies you may or may not have experienced.

Celebrity Guests!

I won’t spoil the surprise but this season there will be awesome joint bloggers and guests who many of you are familiar with. I am that kid who shouts what the gift is before the other person has a chance to open it so I will stop here.

BREIIIIEEE IT’S KILLING ME!!!

Tales Of The Macabre!

Remember back in the day when I used to write long stories of life experiences? Yeah, I saved a few just for this season. Like the time I ruined my first grade Halloween recital in front of the whole school and my parents. I think I am brave enough to talk about that now. This is my version of therapy.

Reviews!

Ho-Boy I have spent some cheddar this year. I have lots and lots to talk about when it comes to silly Halloween retail that you must buy. From food to beer to a headless horseman costume, it’s all on the table this year. There’s a reason I bought two mega hard drives and a production studio. Shit, I am in the middle of building a bar to film my “Halloween Cocktail” show. Trust me, it’s fucking stupid but oh so fun.

Friends!

And it wouldn’t be Halloween if I didn’t talk about DinosaurDracula, Review the World, Sexy Armpit and the like. They kill it when it comes to this season and please, please, please, support Dino Drac and the awesomeness that he brings to this Halloween season by subscribing to the Fun Packs. They are so worth it and each box is like having 1991 spring in your living room, knocking over furniture, flipping out the cat and then crash through the window only to distantly sound car alarms and sirens. It’s crazy. Click here to spend your money on something amazing.

Screen Shot 2014-09-03 at 10.31.54 AM

I can’t thank you enough for coming along with me down this dark and scary road. I promise it will be fun. I PROMISE! The postings will be pretty regular throughout the week. I am not going to tie myself to a midnight deadline for everyday because of that whole career thing but it will be busy here. Lots of videos and tons of articles to pass the time in your cubicle. I know what you do at work.

Let the show begin.

Fall Beer Review AND Spooky NC!

We are in the pipeline, folks. T-Minus ten days and counting before we switch from jack-o-lanterns to turkeys and trees. It’s hard to believe we are in the last third of the month but…we are. So let’s do it right.

Tonight I am reviewing a beer that takes all things pumpkin to a higher and more sophisticated level. I usually shy away from reviewing such beers because it will attract the beer snob who picks apart the video and scoffs at he fact a guy like me can have two cents to throw. If you are reading beer jerk, expect to be pissy. But, I wanted to shed some kind light on Rogue Pumpkin Patch Ale because of the way they make it. It’s a farm to table way that I love. Real pumpkins from their farms make this mild and sweet beer all the more enjoyable.

Also! Also my pal Dave tells a spooky story about a notable haunted bridge only miles from where I live. He’s the type that is pretty serious so I 100% believe this tale. Now whether it was a ghost, who knows? Sometimes the perception is as fun as the reality of an event.

Enjoy this video and expect another catchup post later tonight.

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: