Blog of Celtic Folk and Rock Musician/Dark Romantic Fantasy Author/Actress/Award-winning Producer and Writer, Tiffany Apan
Also an enthusiast of History, Cosmetics, Fitness, Books, Health Food, Primal Intentions, DIY, Holistic Health, Heavy Metal, Traditional/Early Music, Classical Music, Mythology and Folklore
Formal Website: http://tiffanyapan.com
Where History and Fantasy Collide...
“All that we see or seem is but a dream within a dream.” — Edgar Allan Poe
Day 2 of Halloween Week! In episode lucky number 13, I tell you stories and lore of folks that have beaten the devil. The stories are inspired by variations of American folklore in the books "The Ghosts Amongst Us: Scary Tales from Colonial Williamsburg" and "Ghosts of Williamsburg." Featured are the stories Dark Corners and The Devil at Dancing Point. So grab a snack, put on your best Halloween costume, and let's have a party!
And some fun I had with the Burgatory pitchfork after getting home from seeing Celtic Ceol at Bushy Run Battlefied.
Thank you for watching! Go on a five day journey through time with me and receive a song or mystical story each day!
Happy First Day of Halloween Week! In episode 12, I show you the candlelight stories event that took place at the historic Neville House and a little of what all went into it. I was the storyteller at this event, as well as helped with running it. One of the stories I told at the event, along with snippets of a couple others, are included.
Thank you for reading! Go on a five day journey through time with me and receive a song or mystical story each day!
Episode 11! In this part 1 of My Paranormal Experiences, I tell of three experiences I had while visiting Gettysburg, PA. There will be a part 2 to My Paranormal Experiences, in which I will tell of two other brushes with the supernatural.
I will also do my originally planned episode 11 (Ghosts of Colonial Williamsburg) next week. After getting over a headcold, I was just not feeling donning the costume I had planned.
We are on episode 10! As of the posting of episode 10, the podcast has had 1,342 collective views. That is awesome for a brand new podcast and thank you guys!
For number 10, I'm taking you on one of my favorite jogging trails, Irwin Road (also known as Blue Mist Road). There are many urban legends and folk lore around this road that range from fun to gruesome and horrific. Come with me, see the road, the 'witch house' mailbox, and hear some of the lore. :)
In episode 9, I sit down with Nancy and Larry Podey of Celtic Ceol after their concert at Bushy Run Battlefield, for the site's History Speaks Series. We discuss some of their favorite Celtic pieces, along with their favorite ghostly tales of ancient lore.
Also, please excuse the banging in the background. This conversation took place after the performance when the staff was putting away chairs and clearing out the room, so it does get a little loud in some parts. It does kind of harken back to the horror conventions and rock and metal concerts when you're interviewing people in the midst of all the fun chaos. :D
I attended this event with another friend from the living history and reenactment community.
quick selfie taken just before I left for the evening
Before arriving at Bushy Run, we stopped at the very awesome Burgatory for supper. If you haven't been there, you're missing out. I very highly recommend their Elk Gone Wild burger.
me being 'that guy' who takes a photo of their meal before consuming it
And for those wondering, yes I did keep the pitchfork that stabbed my elk burger. And yes, it will make an appearance in a future Halloween episode. :)
The entire area of Bushy Run Battlefield is America's only recognized Native American battlefield and very beautiful, especially in the early evening. Upon entering the museum (where the performance took place), it is all decked out for autumn and the Halloween season.
inside the museum's entrance
The History Speaks series is part of the many events that the site offers and Celtic Ceol wove stories and music to create a pretty amazing evening.
clips from the concert
Celtic Ceol in action
The entire evening was overall very enjoyable and I also ran into a couple more friends from the living history and reenacting world after the performance! We all hung out for a while and then I conducted my podcast interview with Larry and Nancy Podey after the crowd had dispersed.
I will also add that as I left and stepped out into the night, there was a beautiful eeriness about the site that I enjoyed taking in as I walked back to my car. :)
As of now, Celtic
Ceol is working on their web presence (and we will keep you posted on
But definitely check out Bushy Run Battlefield and if you have a chance to visit, do it! :)
Here we are at episode 8! Since this dropped a little later than intended, there are some events I reference (going to Fort Ligonier Days) that already took place. :)
But in this episode, I do a review and reading of a story by historic and horror fiction author, William P. Robertson, who I met this past summer at Fort Niagara's French and Indian War event. I also get into a little of Edwardian era fashions and how easy it can be to get an outfit for an Edwardian or even late Victorian era event (basically a white blouse, long dark colored skirt, dark stockings, plain black shoes and you're good to go! Just make sure you have the right hair and makeup as well :D ).
The story I read is titled "The Late Mr. Wilson" and it is from Bill Roberston's Fear is Forever anthology. The book is available on Amazon:
If you are a resident of North Hills (Wexford, Gibsonia, Allison
Park, and other surrounding areas) in Southwestern Pennsylvania (near
Pittsburgh), you are likely quite familiar with North Park. I myself
enjoy going there to hike and jog as it is quite beautiful and - even in
its busiest hours - offers much serenity. But one road in particular
that is intriguing to many (myself included) and fodder for much local
legends in the area is what used to be an old dirt road called Irwin. Or, "Blue Mist
Road" as it is also referred.
Now, I am the sort who
loves to explore old buildings and churches, including and especially ones that have
been abandoned. I have never been one to shy away from such things,
regardless of the time of day (or night). But something about this
particular road unnerves me and always has since I moved to the area.
At first glance, it seems fairly innocuous. Just a dirt road that
eventually leads out to one that is more traveled (910). However, it has
recently been converted into a jogging trail. While I enjoy being able
to jog there, I do miss the old dirt road.
what is now Irwin Road
For the longest time when I used to walk it, I was determined to make it down to the end.
But somewhere at about halfway down, I would get the feeling that I
shouldn't go much further. At least not by myself. Perhaps it is just me
being superstitious, but there is a certain point where I do feel I
should turn back.
Though I suppose now that it's a jogging trail, it takes away some of the creepiness, so I have recently gone all the way down and also explored it some more (I do a little of this on one of the next podcast episodes).
end of the road...
exploring a little off the path and further in the woods...
Now, the appeal of the road lies in what many say is the history and the urban legends behind Irwin or
"Blue Mist" Road are quite disturbing. One in particular stating how the
road was once a haven for the KKK. It is also said that the tree on
which they used to execute lynchings still stands at the end of the road. This has been
disputed, however, by some investigators, particularly the folks at
Weird U.S (a site that I do encourage you to check out). According to
them, this is doubtful. They report that the branches of the tree aren't
strong enough to hang a human on. I can also attest that in my time exploring the end of Irwin Road, I also could not find a tree with branches strong enough for something like that. The folks and Weird U.S. also go on to state that because
Pennsylvania was an abolitionist state (and even abolished their
anti-miscegenation laws in the year 1780, long before the Civil
War came to fruition), the Klan would not have had that great of a
stronghold. In this, I can see where Weird U.S. is coming from. But I
will also say that just because Pennsylvania in general might not have
been huge Klan supporters, that does not mean that there weren't groups
whose ideas coincided with such a group. Even if such ideals weren't
acceptable by most, that doesn't mean that even a small group didn't form a
chapter and worked at more underground level. And if you look into the
history of the Klan, there is talk of how they did have disturbingly
higher connections (but that's a whole 'nother post). Either way, the
story of The Hanging Tree remains as one of the more prominent legends
of Irwin Road.
Now, a lot less disturbing, but still quite eerie, is
the reason behind the nickname, "Blue Mist Road." Why Blue Mist, you
ask? Well, apparently this is due to tellings of a blue mist covering the
road at nightfall. Some have even claimed to have seen blue orbs among
the trees while exploring the road at night.
Toward the end of the road, there is a point where the
road diverges into three paths.
one of the paths that I explored a little
One of these paths is marked with a
rusty mailbox and leads up to a foundation where The Witch House once
yes, I made it to the mailbox!
The Witch House was said to have been home to a few Satanic covens
(animal mutilations and disappearances of local teens were widely
circulated during the 1980s and 1990s according to a few sources).
Another of the three paths is said to lead to a place known as "Midget Farm," said to be inhabited by a little person
trying to escape scrutiny. Anytime a curious local might venture onto
the path, the "midget" would chase him or her away. There have also been
stories of rabid dogs coming out of nowhere and sightings of a
Among these creepy tales is also one of
doomed romance. Near the three-way fork in the road is a small cemetery, which I have yet to find in my exploration here.
The graveyard is said to be so old that the names and dates on the worn
down headstones are mostly unreadable (I will add that the idea of such
a graveyard was also part of the inspiration for my short story, The Cemetery by the Lake).
The cemetery is said to have two particular graves belonging to two
former star-crossed lovers. According to legend, anytime the moonlight
hits these two stones, they supposedly lean in to one another as if to
try and touch or kiss. Hence, they are referred to as the 'kissing
stones.' I also mention these tombstones in my story, Upon a Moonlit Path, a serial that is exclusive to those on my email list. I do want to find this cemetery.
Of course, every urban legend has believers
as well as skeptics. Whether or not you choose to
believe is entirely up to you. As for myself, I will say that I do feel
as though I am entering a world different from my own in the times
I've set foot on Irwin. And regardless of how crowded North Park gets
during its peak hours, Irwin or "Blue Mist" is almost always deserted,
save for maybe only a couple other occasional joggers or bikers.
will also add that if you do decide to venture onto Irwin Road, it is
not illegal to do so (at least as of this posting) though there is a sign posted saying that only
authorized vehicles are permitted. Meaning you will have to walk or bike
(though do check into what the rules may be before going on any sort of
And speaking of not taking your vehicle onto Irwin,
that may be a good thing. Another legend states that if you park your
car beneath the hanging tree (and some stories say that you need to
times), the car will fail to start up and strange things will begin to
happen. And according to some, one unfortunate teen met his demise by
ADV: Wow...where do I start? An exciting life, filled with ups,
downs, triumphs, pains, fame, fortune, celebrity, goals far exceeded and still
waiting for some, ships to come in.
On a more personal note, I'm a Hereditary, natural witch
(meaning I inherited the power...didn't have to “become” a witch) tracing my
mother's family power as far back as I can find people in the tree.
Dad's side, was Sorcery. Had to hunt for that info. My Aunt
(dad's younger sister) has the Power, but no one talks about how it came to be.
I found out and proudly crow about it.
The rest of dad's family...they'd have just as soon I left
that secret buried.
I'm a Thanatophile (lover of death...anything dead or involving
death and spend a LOT of time on sites for real death photos and videos) and
now...in my Midnight years, have found happiness through my Phobophilia
TA: Now you used to write horror novels and had some pretty
nice success with it. What story or book of yours would you say is your best
ADV: My favorite book was and will always be… A Man of Two
Worlds. It was in and out of motion picture negotiations, many times.
Just never got there.
My fans disagreed, choosing my first novel, The Two to make
best seller and crowing about Michael.
Michael is one of the books that got me FBI profiled.
I always said I never knew who was sicker and more
twisted...me, or my fans. Ha ha...
TA: Over the years, you have really shifted your focus, both in your life and your career. What made you want to make that change?
ADV: Burn out. Plain and simple. My writing success was sudden,
meteoric and put me on the fast track...appearances at cons, on TV and even in
I was a founding member of the Self Publishing movement. I
pushed for it, paid my dues for it, (including shunning by traditional authors -
hate threads we're even started about me on forums...by people who didn't even
know me. They just knew I bucked the establishment, so they hated me because
their friends (who were robots of the establishment) said they should) and
having to work extra hard to get my name out there.
I did it, too. But not without a hefty price. Within eight
years, the empire I'd fought to help build, spawned all the e-publishing sites
that swamp the market today.
Now...anyone who has a nightmare can publish a book. You
don't need talent. You don't need work. Just upload your story to one of the
popular e-reader platforms and you can call yourself an author...without having
to put out any real blood.
I knew there was no way I could compete with the monster I'd
helped create, the convention and book tour circuits were wearing on me, so...I
Many people have asked me if I'll ever write again. The
answer is simple.
TA:Tell us a little of what you are
currently working on.
ADV: I'm living yet another dream. I've always wanted to be an
artist of any sort, but I can't even draw stick figures.
Photography has always intrigued me and now, thanks to
technology...I'm fulfilling an untapped passion I never thought I get to.
TA: And finally, where can people find you and your work? Plug away :)
ADV: The best place to find my work is on Deviant Art:
Few things fulfill a chilly autumn night more than a ghostly tale, or one that delves into the unknown.
particular piece of lore that intrigues me is the legend of
The Seven Gates of Hell, located in the York County,
Pennsylvania (Hellam Township) area. According to legend, passing through all
seven gates will lead the traveler straight into the depths of Hell. To quote Dante:
"Abandon all hope ye who enter here."
My interest in this urban legend
lies partially in the basis of the location being upon an old isolated
asylum that was once on a wooded road called Toad Road. According
to some sources, the asylum was erected in the 1800s, housing the
most criminally insane (needless to say, the locals were likely quite
relieved to not have this establishment close to their places of
residence). Then one night, a mysterious fire broke out, killing many of
the inmates. Due to its remoteness, firefighters could not reach the
building in time. The few able to escape were hunted down by a
search party and law enforcement. Those found were either beaten to submission
The asylum was never rebuilt, but the role of the gates in
this version is often disputed, the most popular theory seeming to be
that they (the gates) were built by the search party teams as a way to
capture the escaped inmates.
Another version of the legend
suggests that the property on which the pathway to Hell is said to be
was once owned by a rather eccentric and temperamental doctor who had
the seven gates built on the path leading up to his home. I haven't
found any concrete source with information on exactly how these
gates came to be a pathway into the bowels of Hell, but the stories
continue, even to a point of claims about daring travelers reaching the
fifth gate, only to be dissuaded from continuing on, when the sounds of the
damned would permeate his or her ears and a sense of foreboding would take
over. Even the bravest adventurer is said to have not made it passed
gate number five.
In addition, both versions of the legend agree
that only the first gate can be seen in the light of day. The other six
can appear to an onlooker at night, perhaps by moonlight.
a side note, I wonder if the Seven Gates of Hell of legend have any
ties with the Seven Gates of Virtue (in Limbo) and the Nine Rings of
Hell from Dante's Inferno. Perhaps that is where this part of the
myth came from. Might be worth exploring. Perhaps we might even be able
to unlock yet another door in this mystery.
said, a couple websites state that the land on which the gates are said
to be is in fact private. So if you venture there, you do so at your own
risk. There is also debate on the area, and Toad Road in general. Some
say that no asylum or physician ever resided there. Some even go as far
to say that Toad Road never existed, though others claim that it was
changed to Trout Run Road due to its sordid past. Some who have traveled
out there claim nothing out of the ordinary while others swear to
hearing rather unworldly sounds.
I guess this is one urban legend that remains shrouded in the veils of mystery.