In September of 1988, 19 year old Tara Calico left her house in New Mexico to go on a short bike ride at around 9:30 AM. She had asked her mother to come pick her up if she wasn’t home by noon. Tara had not returned for some time, so her mother went and searched for her, but could not find her on the usual road that she biked on. However, piecces of her walkman were found on the trail, and her mother reported it to the police. She was never seen again. The case was cold until June of 1989 when a woman found this polaroid in a parking lot of a convenience store.
It was believed that the girl in the photo was Tara, and the boy was another person that had gone missing in that area a year before. However, the boy’s body was found in the same area that he had originally gone missing. There were two more photos found with women that resembled Tara, but they were never released to the public. All in all, the police ruled that Tara was likely struck by a car and the driver had hidden her body along with her bike. If this is true, then who are the kids in the photos?
In January of 2006, the husband of 35 year old Teresa Butler arrived home to find that his wife was gone and their two sons were by themselves. The sons had no information on where their mother had gone. Her phone, purse, a playstation, a gamecube, a digital camera, and a car stereo disappeared with Teresa Butler. However, her wedding rings and Jeep were both left behind. Phone records revealed that Teresa had made two calls to two different phones in different towns. When investigated, neither person claimed to know Teresa and had no idea why she would be calling them. There are still no answers to where she might be, and there has never been any new evidence.
In April of 1988, 40 year old Diane Augat left her home and was never seen again. Three days afterwards, her mother received a call she believed to be Diane. She said “Help! Help! Let me out!” and then “Hey! Gimmie that!” At this point, it sounded like someone was trying to snatch the phone of out her hand. The caller ID read Starlight, but there was no answer when they attempted to call back. The situation took a turn for the worst on April 15, when the tip of one of Diana’s fingers was found in the area where she was last seen the day she disappeared. Two weeks after this, a bag was found in a convenience store freezer, which contained Diane’s clothing. Two years after that, a local newspaper published a story about Diane’s disappearance. Not too long afterwards, another bag labeled “Diane” was found in a different convenience store freezer. It contained many of her belongings. Despite these findings, no trace of Diane has ever been found.
Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum
Built between 1858 and 1881, this asylum is well known for being the largest hand-cut stone masonry building in the entirety of North America. While it was originally built as a safe haven for the mentally ill, it eventually became a nightmare to most of it’s patients. The original hospital was build to accommodate only 250 patients, but it reached it’s peak of 2,400 patients in the 1950’s. Although the building was beautifully built with many windows to allow light, the conditions were terrible, as overcrowding caused living conditions to deplete.
This particular asylum was known well for it’s women’s ward in the early years. In those days, men could have their wives committed for just about anything. Depression, greed, menopause, asthma, inheritance, etc. A man could fall in love with the woman next door or just get tired of his wife and drop her off at the front doors. These women would spend the rest of their lives behind the asylum walls. The only person with permission to check them out were their husbands, who left them behind.
While the medical practices used on mental patients were renowned as “breakthrough operations” in their time can now only be described as cruel. The most popular method of treatment for the worse patients was Lobotomy, which was an operation done on the brain that severed ties to and from the prefrontal cortex. This was meant to cause a calmed state in the patients. However, for the most part, patients that underwent this surgery were thrown into a permanently vegetative state. Many patients were also exposed to shock therapy and other generally torturous experiments and treatments. Additionally, patients that could not be controlled were thrown in cages for days, some even weeks.
The asylum was finally closed in 1994 and is now mostly used to paranormal tours, but is otherwise abandoned. As can be expected from such a wretched place, there are literally hundreds of different paranormal accounts regarding the grounds. People have reported hearing women screaming “help me” and “get me out of here.” A woman on a paranormal tour claimed that she heard a young woman begging “please call my husband.” Additionally, people touring the buildings have reported feeling followed and feeling someone breathing down the back of their neck. The head paranormal investigator in the area reports the spirit of a 9 year old girl that he regards as a very active spirit. Born in the asylum, she lived a short life before succumbing to pneumonia. The investigator states that he’ll ask the young girl, named Lily, to do tasks. These tasks include tapping on walls/windows, turning a flash light on and off, and once tugging on the investigator’s hair. She was able to complete these tasks almost every single time he asked.
For more information on the hospital and tours, click here.