Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Puerto Rican Bigfoot

Recently at Mysterious Universe, Nick Redfern wrote about what he has learned of the oft-neglected legends of a hirsute hominid roaming the Caribbean island of Puerto Rico, which is to say not much. To be fair, there isn't much on this strange and elusive creature. Fortunately, I spent several years there talking to locals and researching the island's many tales and can give you what little more I have learned on the topic.

Comecogollos (roughly translated as one who eats the hearts of edible plants) is the term applied to the fabled bipedal primates similar to Bigfoot that are known to destroy guinea (a small, sweet type of banana) crops by devouring the top portion of the tree - hence the name.

Ironically, however, witnesses say that the creature is after the sap found in the trunk and not the guineas themselves. Witnesses have described this creature as hirsute, short, and bipedal with a quick step. It has been witnessed in areas of increased UFO activities such as the El Yunque National Rainforest.

This fabled cryptid is little known in the annals of cryptzoology and, I dare say, is known to few outside Puerto Rico. Frankly, many long-time Puerto Ricans have never heard the legend.

As I mentioned, I lived there for three years and spent that time researching the island's myriad accounts of UFOs, chupacabras, the Moca Vampire, and other strange beasts. Of all those stories, the tale of the comegollos has to be the rarest and most insubstantial. What few reports and analyses exist on the topic have been mostly documented by local researchers publishing in Spanish language media.

One investigator presented the image above as photographic evidence of this strange beast. I have juxtaposed it against another image that will better elucidate my concerns over the authenticity of this Comecogollos photo.

The image above of the "creature" standing higher than the surrounding vegetation in the El Yunque National Rainforest is at odds with the dimensions described by witnesses. For this image to be true, this creature would have to stand between 40 and 60 feet tall, as can be seen when we use the tower image [left inset above] for scale reference. This tower stands approximately 60 feet high. So, it gives us a good scale for the average height of the surrounding (and quite ubiquitous) vegetation. The same trees you see by the tower, are the same you'll see on the mountain in the Comecogollos image. In fact, I dare say the Comecogollos image was probably shot from the vantage point of this tower since landmarks visible from it are clearly in frame here as well.

In many respects, this image reminds me of the many images of Sasquatch that depict these animals protruding well above a mountainside covered with pine trees towering more than 100 feet. It is the (willing) mind taking indistinct blobs of light and shadow in a photograph and seeing what it is they wish to see.

With so little documentation of the Comecogollos, and virtually no trace evidence, it is hard to accept the legend as anything more than a delightful folktale - one of many surrounding the mysterious El Yunque Rainforest.
Gracias a Herminio Salgado por todo su ayuda! This was originally posted on my blog The Island in January 2008. --CH

Sunday, November 17, 2013

The Accursed Ashley-Alexander House

The Ashley-Alexander House outside Little Rock is an unassuming historic treasure with a ghostly legend and a curse.

Originally dubbed the Ashley Mill Plantation, the home was built around 1835 near Scott, Arkansas (12 miles from Little Rock) by Chester Ashley, a wealthy landowner and a prominent man in the annals of that state who served as US Senator from 1844 to 1848. Ashley died in 1848.

Afterward, Watt Worthen took possession of the plantation for another ten years until Arthur L. Alexander arrived in Arkansas in 1883 with his three cousins. The family first settled in Scott and Arthur began work as a bookkeeper at Fred Bryson's plantation. In 1897, he married Otelia George and they moved into the Ashley Mill Plantation in December the following year despite not having much money. But Otelia was a driven women and the two soon made a successful pair in the region. Arthur Lee Alexander died in December 1938.

It is through Otelia that we know of the home's haunting and of the curse she says has been placed upon it.

The strange goings-on manifested early. Shortly after moving in, Otelia spotted a black woman in the reflection of her mirror. However, as she spun to face the woman, the new owner was startled to see the apparition suddenly vanish. Frightened, she asked the staff who the woman was and found out that one of the previous owners had bore a child with a slave. The owner then sent the woman and child way, which angered the new mother who placed a curse on the home. Every five years, they say, some tragedy would befall the owners and occupants of the house.

Balking at such superstitious nonsense, Otelia plowed on as she always had. "Don't think for a moment that I believe in ghosts," she was once reported as saying in a newspaper article from 1949. Still, she couldn't deny the uncanny occurrence of marked tragedies every five years for the next fifty: deaths, fires, floods, financial problems. Each seemed to come about five years apart.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

When You Love Music - Nothing Keeps You Away

Recently in a Norman at one small remote night spot customers listening to live music and a glass of vino were amazed as the back door opened.  Not unusual, you say, but there was no one there and as it opened about three feet all eyes were drawn to the aperture.
Then, our witness noted, all the eyes in the room got round and a little spooked as it paused and then pushed further open as if it was being pushed open to allow someone to enter.
The band leader made a laughing remark, "come on in ghost" and finished the number.  People laughed and returned to the conversations and fun of the evening.  Taking a picture to "remember to tell my friends the story" one of the customers was startled to find in the benign image of the doorway - an orb.
Now, most will agree that an orb is usually dust (and surely dust was blown in by the opening door) but the fact of its placement in the image right in front of the door  with the orb being about head tall was a little disconcerting... 
But, maybe, it was just a music lover out for a good night....

Thursday, November 14, 2013

More Haunted Portland

Portland is an incredible and incredibly haunted city. This is my last post of that town's haunts and happenings--and I haven't even covered them all. But I am including those places I actually visited. I urge you to check out some of the literature on the subject for fun or if you plan to travel that way.

An old Mediterranean style school building from 1915 known as the Kennedy School is now an hip, upscale boutique hotel, cafe and restaurant. Only apparently not all the students have matriculated. A few have stayed behind and reports of a little girl with bows on her shoes is a popular one. Some have said the girl is a suicide, others a victim of witchcraft. All classic tropes, for sure. The place is super cool nonetheless. In fact, the bar is the building's old boiler room!

Crystal Hotel
The Crystal Hotel, owned by the same McMenamin brothers (a pair committed to preserving Portland history) who own the Kennedy School and The White Eagle Inn and Saloon, has its own stories. As does the Crystal Ballroom across the street. Staff of the ballroom have reported sounds of dancing and music when no one is there. The hotel was built in 1911 as the Alma and housed a number of different establishments over the years, such as Club Mecca, The Desert Room (the subject of a Senate hearing on vice) as well as a gay bath and bar known as the Silverado. Several strange apparitions and occurrences have been reported in both the Zeus bar downstairs as well as the rooms themselves.

Nina, the prostitute that haunts the Shanghai Tunnels, has also been spotted above ground in the restaurants that now call that spot home, such as Hobo's and Old Town Pizza. Nina, who apparently met her demise when she crossed the wrong people (she was pushed down an elevator shaft), has been spotted by workers and guests alike. A janitor felt unseen hands grab him once at Old Time Pizza. A manager at that establishment spotted a woman in a long dress before the restaurant was supposed to be open. He ran after her, but she vanished when she went into the basement.

Benson Hotel
The Benson hotel opened its doors in 1913. Originally the New Oregon Hotel, the stately pile is rife with ghostly legends, although management discourages them. At least, they attempt to. The ghost of an unknown man stalks the second floor mezzanine that overlooks the lobby. Sometimes he is spotted descending the grand staircase. The ninth floor has its own ghosts, an emaciated looking youn
g boy has been reported by witnesses. They say he appears at your bedside, much as a sleepless child would, and touches you softly. Others mention the 12th and 7th floors have activity as well as the London Grill restaurant where a man in coveralls and a plaid shirt has been spotted by staff.

The Pittock mansion, which overlooks the city from a towering hill that gives the stately home a perfect view of Mt Hood, is said to be haunted by the Pittock's themselves. Henry and Georgiana's haunting is a genial one, as they tend to look after guests and the home.

Pittock Mansion and its view of the city with Mt Hood in the distance.
If you're curious, there are gobs more haunted places in Portland--many chronicled by John Chilson, blogger at Lost Oregon.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Travels In Strange Lands: Oregon and Washington

Tracks and sightings have been
witnessed around Oregon's Mt.
Hood. I found this guy on the
road up to the mountain.
Some of the other places of paranormal note that I visited while in Oregon and Washington, include some rather famous locales in the annals of the anomalous...

While mainly I enjoyed a tour (and copious samples) from the factory of the eponymous brand of cheese in Tillamook, OR, I also took note of the fact that this area was also the setting for an encounter in 1981 with a foul-smelling Bigfoot that followed a couple up a hill.
Further up the storied Highway 101 (aka Pacific Coast Highway), at Tillamook Head, a UFO plunged into the Pacific several miles off shore in early January 1965.
Mt. St. Helens

Washington's Mount St. Helens may be most famously known as the volcano that destructively blew its top in 1980, but far earlier than that it was known for the strange events at an innocuous canyon on its eastern slope. In July 1924, prospectors were assaulted by "mountain devils' that hurled rocks at the cabin in which they sought refuge. The men fired upon the creatures (whose descriptions clearly match that of what we term Sasquatch), injuring one. As dawn arrived, the men were startled to find giant footprints in the ground--footprints that were still there when reporters from the Portland Oregonian arrived later. Since that incident, this innocuous fold on the mountain has been named "Ape Canyon".

One legend, as recounted by William Halliday of the Western Speleological Survey in his 1983 pamphlet "Ape Cave and the Mount Saint Helens Apes," says that YMCA counselors at Camp Meehan at nearby Spirit Lake would bring their young charges to the edge of the canyon where they would throw small stones (clearly before the advent of TV). The story, which became a Camp Meehan oral tradition, said the miners would look up only to see silhouetted figures throwing stones at their cabin. But the tale told by Fred Beck, the last surviving miner, is one of a far more intense and exhaustive encounter, which resulted in footprints witnessed by others. It seems the YMCA story might just be a camp fire tale, perhaps to titillate and the assuage nascent fears any camper would have about the Bigfoot legends in the area.

And the legends go back. Way back.

 Me with a 20' biggy
at the famous buried
A-frame house on the
road to Mt St Helens
In the spring of 1847, western artist Paul Kane wrote in his journal: "When we arrived at the mouth of the Kattle-Poutal River (Lewis River) twenty-six miles from Fort Vancouver, I stopped to make a sketch of the volcano, Mount St. Helens, distant, I suppose, about thirty or forty miles.  This mountain has never been visited by either whites or Indians, the latter assert that it is inhabited by a race of beings of a different species, who are cannibals, and whom they hold in great dread.  They also say that there is a lake at its base with a very extraordinary kind of fish in it, with a head more resembling that of a bear than any other animal. These superstitions are taken from the statement of a man who, they say, went to the mountain with another and escaped the fate of his companion, who was eaten by the(se) "Skookums" or evil genii.  I offered a considerable bribe to any other Indian who would accompany me in its exploration, but could not find one hard enough to venture."

Rocque Ducheney, a trader and mountain man once employed with the Hudson's Bay Co., told stories of his frontier west days. He daughter, Agnes Louise Ducheney-Eliot was quoted in Told by the Pioneers that "Grandpa Ducheney firmly believed the story of the huge apes near St. Helens Mountain. He went there to hunt once and one of these apemen beckoned to him. He just turned and ran and ran until he reached home." The date for that encounter is hard to pin down but she does also not that General Grant had stayed with the Ducheneys, putting the time-frame at circa 1852.

Back to the Portland area, John Green writes in his Sasquatch: The Apes Among Us of an encounter several fishermen had at a lake in the mountains southeast of the city. Two of the three men spotted a seven-foot creature "like a bear on its hind legs, hairy but almost human" circle their companion who lay asleep on the shore.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

More Weird Portland Stories

Although these didn't transpire while I was there, they are nonetheless remarkable.

A poltergeist outbreak occurred in the fall of 1909. Reports of mysteriously moving furniture seem centered on a young boy named Elwin March. However, he is later discovered to be faking the phenomenon by Dr. Gilbert and Mr. Thatcher, investigators for the American Society for Psychical Research.

In Fortean circles, a "fall" is anything the plummets from the sky that probably shouldn't: toads, nails, fish...

During a thunderstorm on July 21, 1920 fragments of what were described as china fell to the ground in Portland, OR.

Could some updraft have lifted copious amounts of dinnerware into the sky only to send them hurtling back down on the citizens of that city? Seems impossible, but details are scant and it isn't clear as to whether any of the debris survived to this day.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Shanghai Surprise: Portland's Sinister Past Unearthed

One of the highlights of my recent trip to Portland, OR was that city's famous "Shanghai Tunnels", also known as the Portland Underground. This complex labyrinth of interconnecting rooms and passages was once a hot bed of opium dens, illegal gambling, prostitution, and other nefarious dealings. However, the most famous story associated with these underground spaces is the art of Shanghaiing.

Despite it's exotic-sounding sobriquet, getting Shanghaied was nothing a man wanted to go through. Poor souls who walked into the wrong bar (which seemed to be all of them at one point) might find themselves drugged, attacked, or even dropped through trap doors into the warren below. Once unconscious, the men would be loaded aboard ships as slave labor. With only two options: work or die. One couldn't exactly escape when in the middle of the Pacific.

Cities on both coasts had such tunnels (and even landlocked ones as well), but Portland's are perhaps the most famous. While once an extensive network of underground spaces, much of it has been destroyed, filled in, re-purposed, or otherwise cutoff so that only a small portion has been recovered as a testament to this lost history.

The guide who showed us through these rooms was also a paranormal investigator. He informed us of several spirits that wander lost in the places below. Among the ghosts that haunt the place are that of a prostitute named Nina and a notorious criminal and Shanghaier named Joseph "Bunco" Kelly. Other unknown spirits--likely those of the men and women who died there--flit about the shadows as well.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Sasquatch Hunt Takes Dangerous Turn

Shortly before 10 pm Saturday night, calls came into Tulsa authorities regarding an accidental shooting involving a pair of Bigfoot hunters.

Apparently, two hunters had gone into the woods near 177th East Avenue and Tiger Switch Road in Rogers County, Oklahoma to bag a Sasquatch, but one of them ended up getting shot by his companion instead. The shooter, Omar Pineda, was startled by a barking noise, jerked his gun around, and fired. Unfortunately, his friend was in the way.

The wounded man phoned up his girlfriend who drove out to pick the pair up from a convenience store at 161st and Admiral.

From that point the man was taken to a local hospital where he was listed in stable condition.

Accidents, however, do not mitigate arrests, as several were made in the case. 21 year-old Pineda was booked on reckless conduct with a firearm and obstruction charges. Pineda's father-in-law, Perry Don James, was also arrested. The 53 year-old, a convicted felon, was held on charges related to his possession of the firearm and tampering with evidence.

Lacey Jane Pineda, Omar's wife, rounded out the arrested trio. She informed police officers that someone else had shot at the men. Mrs. Pineda was charged with obstruction.

Officers believe the shooting was accidental but until the case has been thoroughly examined, all avenues will be pursued.

It Was Oklahoma City's Most Exclusive Night Club

The place sat perched high on the tree covered hills where slow moving bands of ground hugging  fogs regularly rolled in from the myriad small creeks all around roadsters came via country roads.  Then, later, where Route 66 snaked past and even later where the fast paced  Interstate traffic could see it waiting to offer them a good time in it latest guise of eating establishment.
When this historic location first opened business it was in the country northeast of the Capitol building. Instead of an address, directions were given, such as this from a 1930 ad " 3 blocks north of State Capitol and 4 blocks east of 63rd." Later ads use the terms "63rd and Edmond Hwy" or "1226 NE 63rd".

Termed a 'speakeasy' in the 1920's the location can be found as the "Lincoln Tavern" operated by Mrs. Mitchell in May of 1928.  In summer of 1929 it was "English Tavern" and then in Spring of 1929 it is listed as "Oak Cliff" and was serving meals and Sunday dinners. During the 1920's in Oklahoma there was a accepted turning of the eyes by many city, county and state officials over the issue of prohibition.  With gangsters, the growth of the KKK and a population boom, there was a lot to deal with in the land.

"Mitchell's Oak Cliff Night Club" can be traced in ads to 1930 in Oklahoma City. Like many early night clubs in the city, they were often in refurbished residences (such as the Abe Hale Night Club).  In 1930 ads stated it was 'newly redecorated throughout' but it is not clear when the established started, or if there was something there even earlier.

Later news articles would say the establishment's history was The Silver Club (1935-1937), Oak Cliff Club (1937-1939), Kentucky Club (1939- ). The dates appear to be slightly off for the clubs occupancy's.  The Oak Cliff Club, commonly referred to as "Mitchell's Oak Cliff Night Club" (W. or E. Mitchell, a former policeman from Arkansas who came to Oklahoma in 1924) was found in newspaper ads as early as Spring of 1930. Mid-decade their partners the Murphy's sued over a dispute on the sale of beer. The Murphy's opposed but the Mitchell's supported it and Jessie Murphy alleged Mitchell was a hard drinker.  The court sided, however, with the Mitchell's.   The owners were in a serious accident in 1937 that might have sparked an early retirement.
The "Kentucky Club" has a grand opening Oct. 28, 1938. In 1961, with the construction of new motel complex nearby, the place becomes "The Ramada Club." It is apparently still under the same management as the previous years, Tony Marneres, at that time.  Then there is another stretch of it being "The Kentucky Club"...hawked as fine dining in posh surroundings. In 1981, it becomes "The County Line" and noted for its BBQ in more causal family style dining.
In the early years it was noted for its racing stables theme with thirteen small dining booths. Every year the Kentucky Derby winner's name would be placed on one of the booths.  There were tales of tables that rotated below the floor to hide gaming surfaces, hidden holes in the floor to stash booze or winnings, and signal bells in the booths for police raids. While some denied these, others, even some who had the opportunity to examine the underside of the old floors, indicated some odd construction features.
Overall, despite its self promotion as a fine dining and dancing club with an emphasis on good food at various times it had a shady past. It had a long history of being associated with gambling, illegal booze, and shady ladies.  Most place these stories in the 1920's and 1930's.  There does seem to be evidence of flaunted local laws on gambling and drinking, despite its label as a swank dancing and dining spot.  During the 1950's it was raided more than once - along with dozens of other similar joints - in irregular law enforcement sweeps.  Since it was 'out in the country' just off Route 66 as it angled into Oklahoma City, and an attractive place for those willing to break the law to gamble or drink,  anything may be possible.
The servant's quarters of the Oak Cliff was where the decapitated body of the wife of employee Will Jackson was found in April of 1938.  The wife was 42 and had been a servant in the home of Lytles of Larchmont Lane.  An early ad if 1930 showed an "Aunt Jemima" style depiction of an "Aunt Willie" who served good cooking at "Oklahoma's most exclusive night club" in December of 1930. Was this Mrs. Jackson?

The original house then burned in 1945 and a neon sign was cited as possible cause in a lawsuit by then owner Tony Marneres.  The extent of the damage is unclear and later stories do not jibe as to the extent of the damage to the original house.  Over time the original house of the  club had been added to and had several small motel like quarters added to house staff.  These gave rise to tales of a brothel and other nefarious activities over time. When they were added is unclear, but the 1938 murder does indicate there were servants quarters there then and this adds some support to those other tales.

The rebuilt establishment became the Ramada Club, and then once more the Kentucky Club until just before 1981 when one of its more notable incarnations emerged as "The County Line" (1981 -200?).

However the time line is a little less clear about some of the early forms of the club.  One item was found for 1934 referring to something called "Silver Club" and saying they were 'formerly Mitchell's Oak Cliff".  Why the ownership interruptus is not clear, but given the time as close to the lawsuit and then the road accident that broke Mitchell's neck, the time may have been ripe to sell out. A date of 1935 to 1938 for occupation by "The Silver Club" at the location may be accurate.  There is a reference to a "Silver Dollar Club" in 1938 when a Floyd "Jelly Clark of Texas was stabbed but it was located at NW 50th and May." So it is probably not the same club.

Over the years, many paranormal teams have investigated the location. Cold spots, EVP's and numerous other observations were made (including some by this author) that added to the lore of the haunted reputation of the locale.

For at least eighty three years, there has been an epicenter of lively activity perched on the hillside above the road.  A beacon of good food, music, a nip or two and the ability to toss the dice in a game of chance.  What other secrets might this 'most exclusive night club' reveal? We will let you know.

This location was one that definitely gave the promised 'kicks'  on the historic Route 66 to passing motorists and thrill seeking locals.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Portland's Haunted White Eagle Saloon and Hotel

Haunted White Eagle Bar and Former Hotel
I snapped this picture days before Halloween. I bet the spirits were getting
active. The next time I'm out this way, I will have to book a haunted room.
In the shadow of Portland's Fremont Bridge, just off the Willamette River, stands the White Eagle Saloon and Hotel. This historic 2-story brick structure has 11 modestly furnished rooms that share a bathroom. More known for the bar downstairs (and the bands that play there), this hotel has a long history that includes more than a few ghosts. The saloon and hotel first opened its doors in 1905 to serve a large population of Polish workers in the area. It was even the early home to St. Stanislaus, the West Coast's first Polish Catholic church.

As the neighborhood industrialized further, new workers arrived in the area and the Saloon's clientele broadened as its reputation floundered. It soon became a notorious spot for inebriated workers to either pick up a prostitute or succumb to the sinister tradition of slavery known as Shanghaiing. Legend has it that an underground tunnel ran from the hotel's basement to the river nearby where unconscious men were loaded onto ships and forced into a long, miserable stint working at sea.

At one time, Latino, Black, and Asian prostitutes worked out of the basement; the rooms above were reserved for their White counterparts. The ladies below had often been kidnapped or purchased as slaves and subsequently had a less enjoyable time. It is said that more than one of these girls haunts the subterranean spaces beneath the White Eagle. Doors will open and shut on their own; faint traces of dance hall music can be heard; witnesses have reported feeling unseen hands grope them; and apports such as coins have been spotted falling from the ceiling.

The rooms upstairs are home to two ghosts referred to as Rose and Same. Rose was a prostitute who fell in love with a client. However, when the man proposed she refused in fear of reprisal from her boss. The client was angered by this dismissal and, feeling led on, killed Rose in a fit of rage. Her mournful sobs can still be heard by guests.

Sam the housekeeper had lived in the upper rooms since he was a boy and stayed on as a worker until his death. Many say he still lingers, going about his chores.

A bouncer who worked the Saloon disappeared one day without explanation. Some believed him to have been Shanghaied. His spirit is said to still show up for work as well.

A waitress was once pushed down the basement stairs.

A phantom patron walks from the bar to the bathroom and most courteously remembers to flush each time.

Digging Up An Old Ghost Story

In the second week of September 1919, the residents of Carbon, PA were worked up over the inexplicable presence of a young woman in a white gown who had been seen "flitting about late at night".

The ghost, as the townsfolk called her, was spotted three times between midnight and one o'clock one night. One who saw her was a Norwegian miner named Peter Oleson. The miner heard a strange knocking at his door three nights in a row. Each time he answered, the girl in white would stand there silently.

Oleson bid her come in, assuring her that he meant no harm. But still she said nothing. However, when he tried to touch her, the entity screamed shrilly and vanished.

Oleson wasn't alone in his sighting. An Italian man named Frank Piso who lived nearby also received the spectral knocking.

William Maisers, a local grocer and something of an authority on local ghosts said the woman is the ghost of a young lady who was captured by Indians when they fled from Eastern Pennsylvania in the middle of the 18th Century. Maisers related how in the woman's third and final attempt to flee her captors, she had been killed near where the modern mining town of Carbon lay.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Local Historic Church Walking Tours Nov.3

During the Ruth Haddon Fine Arts Festival (Nov.2-3) there will be tours at:

Sun. Nov. 3 at 12:20 and 1:00, 1:30 and 2:00 p.m. (it will close at 3:30).

Guests can tour the booths for paintings, sculptures, jewelry, and other fine art gift ideas and then take one of the tours scheduled.
Then, a few weeks later, right before the OKC Tellabration event at Wesley UMC there will be another opportunity.

"I will be doing tours from 5:00 to 5:45 p.m. and then right after that will be the storytelling concert at 6 p.m. Tickets for that great event are only $10 per person and will be available at the door."

The church was established in 1910 its English Gothic sanctuary finished in 1928 and has seen many authors, civic leaders, and notable business people come through its doors.  It sits on the old OKC Route 66 loop and was visible to any taking that path on the "Mother Road."

Cameras are welcome. The tour is  free  and donations will be accepted for historic preservation. 

Questions?  Contact

Friday, November 1, 2013

Zena Entirely Human After All.

If you were holding out that Zena, the "wild woman" from southern Russia who was captured in the 19th century and proclaimed to be Almasty, was all the legends claimed her to be, then you're in for a sad shock: genetic testing revealed she was entirely of Sub-Saharan African origin. Likely, she was a slave brought to the region during the rule of the Ottomans. Read more HERE.