Ft. Thomas is known for many things - beautiful homes, an excellent school system, and great sports teams. However, there's a little more to Ft. Thomas than meets the eye. Just ask longtime resident Jill Weitkamp, who currently lives on Highland Avenue. She's had paranormal activity in two homes on Highland Avenue, and one home on Bonnie Lane.
After at least twenty years of investigating ghosts in the area, Weitkamp is now in the beginning stages of writing a book about hauntings in Ft. Thomas. She hopes the book will be completed in the next 18 months, and is currently collecting stories from Ft. Thomas residents about their own ghostly encounters. "I have talked to several people who have shared some incredible stories with me so far. Some have asked that I not disclose the house location, and I won't. Others have had paranormal experiences outside of Kentucky, but I am sharing their stories as well." Weitkamp's hauntings and the stories of other Ft. Thomas hauntings inspired her to start writing the book. "Fort Thomas is an old city with a rich history and I have had people tell me stories before about their homes," said Weitkamp.
She kindly shared some of her ghost stories with me. Some were nice and friendly, and some not so much. Luckily, nothing was too reminiscent of The Amityville Horror, so you shouldn't lost (too much) sleep tonight. One story takes place in a two-family home she owned. "The upstairs was vacant, but you could hear furniture being moved, more than one person walking around, conversations between several people and music playing. Of course I would go up there and there was nothing there. Go back downstairs and it would start up again. We would see orbs the size of bowling balls roll down the hallway and the front door would shake so violently you would think it was coming off it hinges, but nobody was at the door. It would scare my boys to death and I would have to command it to leave and it would stop. It was witnessed by many people. If had cold spots, full body apparitions, and voices would call your name when you were the only one home," said Weitkamp.
In her current residence on Highland Avenue, Weitkamp has a much friendlier ghostly houseguest. "Grace" is an old lady, who wears a pink robe and sometimes has curlers in her hair. Weitkamp often sees Grace walking from her room into the bathroom. Weitkamp isn't the only one to encounter Grace. "When my granddaughter was about 3, I was sitting at my computer in my room and she stood in the doorway across from the bathroom and told me she had to go potty. I told her to go ahead. She said, 'I can't. That lady is in there.' That got my attention and I said, 'Really? What is she wearing?" She said, 'A pink robe.' Now I don't know what the ghost's name is, but I call her Grace. I said, 'Grace, get out of the bathroom.' With that I watched my granddaughter start turning her head slightly to the right as if watching someone walk down the hall. She said, 'Okay, Mimi, she's gone,' and skipped into the bathroom," said Weitkamp. "The apple doesn't fall far from the tree, I guess."
Many residents know about the story of Pearl Bryan, and the accompanying hauntings at the house on South Ft. Thomas Avenue. However, there are many more places in Ft. Thomas that have seen their fair share of paranormal activity. By now you're probably wondering where the most haunted places in Ft. Thomas are, right? Well, Weitkamp can't say for certain which ones are more haunted than others, but has had experiences at some of our town's popular landmarks. "I get a creepy feeling in Tower Park. I think that is because the Beverly Hills victims where brought to the Armory," said Weitkamp.
There seem to be some scientific as well as historic reasons why Ft. Thomas is particularly susceptible to hauntings. "We have the old Army fort and if I am correct, at one time this was a Native American site as well," said Weitkamp. "Water is a conductor of psychic energy and the Ohio River runs right along Ft. Thomas. We have older homes that have had many families live in them. Some people die at home, others come back to visit. Sometimes we just have imprint energy from those who left their imprints behind." Basically, some of the aspects of Ft. Thomas that make it a great place to live, such as river views and historic parks, are also making it more prone to paranormal activity.
If you think your house is safe from ghostly visitors, you might want to think again. "Any house can have activity or just have a 'visitation' from a loved one and not be haunted," said Weitkamp. Just a little something to think about after it's dark, and the house is seemingly quiet (or is it?).