October 24, 2011 | Bill Knell
When I first began to speak of the Ghost Children of San Antonio in my seminars, the story was largely unfamiliar to people outside of Texas. But it's more then just a ghost story, it's a part of American history. In 1949 a school bus filled with children stalled as it tried to climb a small grade on the tracks of a rail road crossing located at the corners of Shane and Villamain Roads, just off of SE Loop 410. These were times when many rural crossings had no signals and were designed to accommodate trains, not vehicles. Wood placed between tracks on the crossing would often warp and create a trap for tires and little thought was given to keeping the grade even on both sides of the crossing.
Although details are sketchy, it seems the bus was able to get it's front wheels over the tracks, but then stalled while trying to climb a suddenly steep grade on the other side of the crossing. Meanwhile, the back wheels acted like an anchor stuck between pieces of wood and track so that the engine kept stalling as it tried to move the bus. With no warning, a train was seen coming down the track. Panic set in and escape seemed impossible. A few lucky children got out through windows, but the driver and most of the kids died.
October 24, 2011 | Bill Knell
The belief in life after death is a common denominator among most of the world's major religions. According to the available archeological and anthropological evidence, this concept grew out of the earliest forms of adoration. Primitive peoples developed the notion of worship with the belief that paying homage would result in personal and group compensation. Some were monotheistic, while others worshiped many objects or deities. Whether worship meant sacrifices, complicated ceremonies or merely a mutual respect between humans and nature, it all added up to a dependence on a higher source for survival.
Primitive societies believed in spirits. For some, everything had a spirit. For others, spirits were the higher beings that they worshipped. Some were able to personally meet, see or commune with spirits, while others simply knew they were there and that was enough. The natural evolution of worship or adoration involving spirits always seemed to lead to a point where good, bad, indifferent or mischievous spiritual beings all co-existed. Evil or mischievous spirits were the most likely to appear to people for the purpose of causing trouble.
July 24, 2011 | Bill Knell
It was a warm and quiet October in Saint Petersburg, Florida during 1971. My family had moved there just a year before to escape the hassle, bustle and crime of New York City. Being an only child with two working parents, I knew what it meant to be home for at least a few hours each day by myself. But at thirteen years of age, it didn't scare me. Coming from a city filled with crime and crazies, I automatically walked around the small rented home we had in a nice area of St Pete before going in. I looked for any open windows, unlocked or ajar doors or signs of forced entry. Once I felt comfortable that the house was secure, I entered quickly and immediately locked the door again. It was a kind of ritual and probably seemed silly to the neighbors. They left garage doors wide open most of the day and back doors unlocked until it came time for their kids to come home from school.