10-08-2007, 07:58 PM
The Black Shuck
Anyone that knows even just a little bit of folklore or legends has most likely heard or come across stories of black phantom dogs that tend to hang around old crypts and graveyards. These phantom creatures have been said to be anything from the grave owner's pet to Satan himself depending on which myth you read.
Stories of these dogs are not new, in fact some date back centuries such as the legend of the Black Shuck.
Picture yourself alone on an English hillside late at night, with only the light of the moon above you. As you walk along the air is cold and damp as if a storm was moving in. You hear what you think are twigs snapping on the trail behind you. Stopping, you listen, but hear nothing. You start walking again only to hear the snapping return. Slowly turning around you find a large headless dog has been following your every move. Stalking you!
Sounds like a purely fictional tale right? Well not if you ask certain people in England. Some people especially the older generation will tell you that if you ask them the Black Shuck is very real and is not something that you should take lightly.
The Black Shuck has many stories associated with it. Depending on what version you read it can appear headless or it can appear to be floating. Most of the stories that we have come across though has described it as being a large black dog with glowing red eyes.
The Wikipedia has this to say about the appearance of this dog, "Black Shuck has appeared headless, and at other times he appears to float on a carpet of mist rather than run. According to folklore, the specter often haunts graveyards, side roads and dark forests." * There is even a poem that is said to go along with this terrifying beast.
"And a dreadful thing from the cliff did spring,
and its wild bark thrill'd around,
His eyes had the glow of the fires below,
'twas the form of the spectre hound" *
What makes this legend one of the most frightening is that " Black Shuck is said to be one of the oldest phantoms of Great Britain, with the name deriving from the Anglo-Saxon word 'scucca' meaning demon or devil" *. They also say it will cause the death of any person that is brave enough to look into his eyes. They say that anyone that does foolishly look into the eyes of this hound from hell will perish within a year.
10-08-2007, 08:18 PM
St. Louis, MO
Lemp Mansion is believed to be one of the most haunted places in St. Louis
City, and in the top 10 of most haunted in North America. Located at 3322
De Menil Pl., across Highway 55, across from the Anheuser-Busch Brewery
in the Soulard Area. The Lemp Family seemed to be cursed with death and depression. It is believed the curse of the Lemp Family started with William Lemp Sr.'s son, Fredrick Lemp. Frederick's death, believed to have been a heart attack from being over worked, caused William Sr. to fall into a deep depression, leading to him committing suicide in his bed room by shooting himself, and killing his dog.
The next to commit suicide was Frederick's sister, Elsa. Though not in the
Lemp Mansion when she killed herself, her home is believed to be haunted as
well. William Jr. later married Lillian Hadlan. She was a beautiful young woman. Her favorite color was Lavender and that is all she wore, thus her being nicknamed "The Lavender Lady" (There is a beauty shop 2 blocks away from Lemp Mansion called "The Lavender Lady"). They eventually divorce causing a great scandal all of St. Louis would talk about causing Lillian to go into seclusion. There is a rumor that there was a child born around this time (possibly from an affair William Jr. had with a servant) supposedly this child was mentally retarded, and deformed in some way, causing the family to keep him a secret to avoid humiliation or disgrace.
They only know the child by the name of Monkey Boy. There is no record of a child like this being born to the Lemp's, but he has let himself to be known by psychics that have toured the home. William Jr. eventually joined the rest of his family by shooting himself in the chest with a revolver, in the Office on the first floor of Lemp Mansion, now a dinning room!
In the 1970's the mansion was sold to **** Pointer who started renovations
on the mansion. Many of the workers started complaining of being watched by unseen, unwelcoming eyes, disappearing tools, apparitions of a gentelman in black, and eerie, unexplained sounds. Many of these workers left never to return to the site. Now Lemp Mansion is a bed and breakfast where many employees and guest report sightings of the Lavender Lady, a phantom dog barking, cold spots, the feelings of being watched, disembodied voices, even glasses being picked up from off the bar by unseen hands. Anyone is welcomed to decide for themselves.
The next time you're in St. Louis, Maybe you might want to check out Lemp Mansion. You can even reserve the room that William Lemp Sr. Killed himself in!
10-08-2007, 08:23 PM
This seventeenth century mansion has been occupied by the Sitwell family for the past 400 years. Reports of a haunting there go back at least 100 years. The current owner's grandfather made many of the improvements to the estate that are visisble today, such as the garden, park, and lake, as well as cosmetic changes to the interior. During some of these renovations involving the enlargement of the central staircase, a secret was revealed that may be the cause of the hauntings.
Back to 1885. Miss Tait, daughter of Archibald Campbell Tait, the Archbishop of Canterbury had been invited to Sir George's (the renovator) coming of age party. She was given a first floor bedroom to stay in. In the middle of the night she woke up because someone was kissing her. She ran to the room where Sir George's sister was sleeping and told her. Miss Sitwell then made up a bed for Miss Tait on the sofa, explaining that she would never sleep in that room because she had had the same experience there.
After the party, Sir George's agent, a Mr. Turnbull, came to see him about some business. During the conversation, Sir George laughingly told him the story of Miss Tait's phantom kisser. The agent didn't laugh. He looked shocked and then related a story of his own.
When Sir George had lent him the use pf Renishaw Hall for his honeymoon, a friend of the bride had come to stay. She slept in that same bedroom and had reported the same experience. She was so shaken up that she left earlt the next morning. Mr. Turnbull had put it down to an over-active imagination.
A few years after Miss Tait's vsisit, Miss Sitwell was entertaining guests in an upstairs drawing room after dinner. The room was brightly lit and the door to the hallway was open. She was chatting away when she realized there was a figure in the hallway outside. Her friends claimed to have seen nothing but Miss Sitwell's eyes obviously following something. She later wrote of her experience, "I saw the figure with such distinctness that I had no doubt at all that I was looking at a real person."
The figure was of a woman, seemingly a servant, with gray hair in a bun under a cap. Her dress was blue and had a full dark skirt. She moved as if trying to avoid detection or notice, but her arms were stretched out in front of her with hands clasped. She moved towards the top of the staircase and disappeared. Lady Sitwell called out, "Who's that?" and urged her firends to acompany her on the chase. They were jsut about to give up when one young woman, looking into the hall below cried out,"I believe that's the ghost!"
Where her old room used to be, she saw a woman with dark hair and dress, obviously distressed and deep in thought. Her figure cast no shadow. She slowly glided around and then melted away.
Back to the secret...
During the enlargement of the staircase, the first floor room where the women had had their harrowing experience, as well as Miss Sitwell's old room, had to be demolished. Sir George asked the clerk to take note of anything interesting that was found. Maybe Sir George was psychic, because when the floor was taken up, a coffin was discovered between the joists of the bedroom floor. From its constrcution, and the fact that it had nails rather than scr'ews, it was dated from the 17th century. It had been attached to the joists with iron clamps. It had no lid, since the floor had served as a lid.
The coffin did not contain a skeleton or bones, but there were marks in the coffin that indicated that a body had been in it. The coffin has kept its secret. What happened there and the origin of the coffin has never been discovered.
10-08-2007, 11:20 PM
been busy sorry!
Baylorís Massacre Site, River Vale NJ
Imagine walking through the old Baylorís Massacre site in River Vale NJ, where in 1778 members of the local militia known as Baylorís Dragoons were slaughtered by German Hessians. These men were just like any other men with at least one exception. They left their homes and families to fight for the independence of a fledgling nation and gave their lives to the spirit of liberty.
As they slept, the German mercenaries crept upon the camp and butchered the patriots. This event went unnoticed until development unearthed the graves. But there is more than a simple fence cordoning off the area that outlines the grounds consecrated by their ultimate sacrifice. The event itself seems to replay from time to time.
Local stories abound concerning strange happenings in the massacre site while the author experienced it for himself on a warm summerís eve. The sighting was corroborated by two others present that night. What was witnessed were numerous apparitions moving through the woods as if to stealthily creep upon some unseen prey. Although dark and shadowy, the attire could be ascertained as that of the era of the revolution, particularly that of the Hessians.
As these apparitions moved from tree to tree, some crouching as if to hide, no sound was made. As the three individuals stared incredulously at these men, they began to make their way toward the woodline, only to feel a marked drop in temperature and a sudden feeling of foreboding. The sensation of knowing if they continued, very bad things would happen. Without saying a word, they stared at these men of another time only to watch them fade away as the temperature regained itís summer comfort.
Although somewhat unnerving, I later came to the realization of what I had truly witnessed. Yes, I feel we saw numerous ghosts, but the revelation was more than that. We had witnessed a part of an event that had taken place 217 years prior. Not only had I read the little sign erected to commemorate the site, not only had I read about the militia in my area from the war for independence; I had actually witnessed the preface of the massacre.
Many people feel the best way to learn about history is to talk to those who lived it. My grandmother was a wealth of information concerning stories from the ĎOld Countryí and stories about my grandfatherís involvement in the first world war. Given our biological frailty, it becomes impossible to speak with those from an era long passed. Or is it?
Think about a ghostly apparition witnessed on a battlefield of your choosing. What are you seeing? Perhaps you are discomforted in seeing what shouldnít be, but keep in mind that you are also seeing someoneís father, brother, or son who lost their life upon such a field. Tears were shed for their loss, or perhaps their sweetheart went to her death never knowing what happened to her love.
Of course you canít sit and have tea with these spirits while discussing firsthand accounts of their struggle, but with a little after thought, the sighting becomes more than just a great tale to spin around a campfire. You may have seen a ghost, but you also have briefly seen firsthand something that you were only able to read about prior.
10-09-2007, 06:41 AM
For thousands of years across many different cultures across the world people have believed that the head or skull has held the soul. Some tribes would preserve the skulls of their fallen enemies and the celts would decorate their shrines with skulls.
In Britain we have a strange folklore of skulls that scream if taken from the location that they are held.
At Wardley Hall in Lancashire the skull of 16th century Catholic martyr Father Ambrose Barlow is on view at the head of the staircase with the legend that if anybody removes it the skull will emit a blood-curdling scream! Burton Agnes Hall in Yorkshire has another screaming skull legend, this one belonging to Anne Griffiths. After being attacked and beaten by robbers, Anne in her dying breaths expressed the wish that her head should be buried in the home that she so much loved. Nevertheless her family buried her in the village churchyard.
After the funeral, terrifying groans and poltergeist activity such as doors slamming and crashes were heard around the house. The dead girlís body was exhumed and her skull was exhumed and bricked up in a wall off the staircase. Although in recent times the skull has been on display without any side effects.
Bettiscombe Manor in Dorset probably has the most famous screaming skull legend in Britain. In the 18th Century, a member of the Pinney family returned from living in the West Indies and returned with a black slave. Shortly after returning the slave died after making his master swear that he would be buried in his homeland. The Squire broke his promise and the slave was buried in the local churchyard.
Similar to that of the Burton Agnes Skull, the skull of the slave began to make agonising screams that so much disturbed passers by that they asked the Squire to make amense. Since then the skull has remained on show at Bettiscombe Manor.
As with many legends the truth is often very different from the legend. Analysis during the 1960ís confirmed that the skull was in fact 2000 years old and was that of a girl. The legend remains intact that if the skull is ever removed from the manor the person who moves it will die within a year.
Colonel Buck's Tombstone.
In a cemetery on Bucksport's main thoroughfare, clearly visible just inside a wrought-iron fence, is the gray tombstone of Col. Jonathan Buck. Appearing on one side of the tomb is the dark image of a woman's stocking foot, a reminder of an 18th-century curse. During the Salem witch trials, all New England was caught up in the fever to exterminate witches. Colonel Buck, an influential resident and a member of the family from which the town took its name, decided that Bucksport should purge itself of witches also.
He found a perfect candidate in an old, feeble woman, whom he had tried, convicted, and executed. With her last breath, she cursed the colonel and declared that when he died his tomb would bear the print of her foot as evidence that he had murdered an innocent woman.
Colonel Buck, not one to tempt fate, cautioned his heirs to choose a tombstone unblemished in any way. Soon after his death, however, the shape of a woman's foot gradually began to appear on the marker. Dutiful heirs made many efforts to have it removed, but to no avail. Finally they replaced the stone with a new one. Within a few months, another footlike shape appeared. Like the first footprint, it could not be removed. When a third stone was put in place and yet another footprint appeared, the heirs gave up. Today the third stone and footprint remain for all the world to see.
10-09-2007, 07:06 AM
Think Gettysburg, Pennsylvania....
My mom, age 12 (this was about mid-nineteen-sixties), is staying at her Grandma Elsie's with her cousin Tina.
Tina and Rhonda (my mom), wander to the attic to sort through some junk, and find what they think looks like a crystal ball. They could not resist the urge to play gypsies with it, and even dress up in some old clothes.
Then, Rhonda announces she has to use the bathroom to her elder cousin, who then announces the roleplay paused. So Rhonda races down to the bathroom. Well, whilst on the toilet (I'm sorry if you're mentally picturing this...) my mom felt a cool breeze, and looked over to see a ghastly while hand that was attatched to no arm reaching for her. "Tina, cut it out!" My mom yells, though her voice is shaky. The hand keeps comingMy mom, still believing it is some cruel prank, reaches out to feel for a string or wire from which her cousin would control the hand, and felt nothing.
At this point, she gets up off the toilet and runs dowstairs, screaming (No, she did OT remember to pull up her pants) to her Uncle Steve...
I think it's hilarious! I cried I was laughing o hard when she first told me. This is a true story, and she told it much better than I.
10-09-2007, 07:12 PM
Ok this is just freaky and it's something that happen to me.
Ok so a week after my mom passed away I had this weird dream, maybe an out-of-body experience, idk you decide.
I was home alone with my grandma right and I was tired so I went to my room to take a nap and my grandma went outside to so some knitting and stuff.
So I fell asleep like around 10 am. All of a suden I hear my mom calling me. (Back when she was alive, she didn't like it when I slept during the day). Anywayz, she was telling me to go sleep on her bed, on her side of the bed to be spedific. I just got up really fast and then when I realized I was already out in the hallway. Everything looked gray, kinda like static from a tv and I couldn't hear anything. I slowly walked to the kitchen (my parents' room is like right next to the kitchen). So I just stand there and I'm just annoyed cuz everything is gray. I walk to my parents' room and I see that my dad's bed is undone so then I walk back to the kitchen and I look out the window and I see my grandma knitting outside. The I head my to my room and when I open my door I saw myself on the bed and all of a sudden I woke up. Idk why but when I woke up it was already 3 hours later.
And the freakiest part is that afterwards when I went to see my parents' room my dad's bed was messed up just like in my dream. Same with my grandma, I saw her outside just like in my dream!
idk this is just freaky.
10-09-2007, 07:23 PM
The Vampire Of Croglin Hall
The vampire story dates from just after the English Civil War. The owners of Croglin Low Hall were a family called Fisher and the story was told to one Augustus Hare by a descendent of the family in 1896. For some reason of their own, the Fishers decided to go and live in the south of England and rent out the farm. The tenants they found were two brothers and a sister called Cranswell. The new family stayed in their remote farmhouse through the first winter without event. The summer came and, that year, it was stiflingly hot so they slept with the windows open. At that time the Hall was only one storey high - the upstairs has been built subsequently. Near the Hall was a chapel and a small graveyard which once belonged to the Howard family - great landowners in these parts.
One particular airless summer night the men sat with their sister watching the moon rise. After a time they decided to go to bed. The sister lay in her bed, the bedclothes cast off because of the heat. She had closed her window, but not fastened the shutters. She gazed out of her window, propped up on her pillows as the long summer day faded out and night took its place. In Cumbria at midsummer, because it is quite far north, it does not get very dark at all between sunset and sunrise.
Miss Cranswell soon became aware of two lights in the belt of trees some distance from the house which separated the lawn from the graveyard. She watched and, after a while, she made out a dark shape moving towards the house - towards her window. A terrible horror seized her. She wanted to get up and leave the room, but to go to the door would have meant she had to go closer to the window. Besides she had locked the door from the inside and so would have to stand there and unlock it - all the while clearly visible to whatever was out there.
Frozen to the spot, she stared at the shape but then it turned and instead of moving closer to her window, it started to move around the house. She jumped up and ran towards the door. Her hands were shaking so much that she found it hard to turn the key. And then her heart nearly stopped. Behind her - close to her though she didn?t dare look - she heard a scratching at the window. It was outside. Just feet away. She stood there petrified with fear still not turning her head. Then she heard the sound of it unpicking the lead which held the glass in place.
She forced herself to look and saw that one pane of the mullioned glass had come away and a long bony hand stretched in and turned the window catch. Whatever it was, it came in through the window with a rush and grabbed her - its fingers in her hair, its mouth at her throat. It bit her neck and forced her onto the ground. As it bit her she screamed.
Her brothers heard the noise and came and battered at the locked door. The creature looked up and as the door was broken open, then it turned and fled out of the window, leaving her lying on the floor, bleeding profusely from a wound at her neck. One brother clambered out of the window and went after it. But it was fast and before he could catch it - perhaps it was lucky for him that he didn't - it disappeared into the inky blackness around the graveyard.
Trying to explain it afterwards, the girl rationalised that the creature must have been a dangerous lunatic. But she was still horribly shocked and her brothers took her away from Croglin to recover - over to the Continent. They stayed away for a while, but then, as autumn came, it was she who urged them to return to Croglin. They had paid for the tenancy, and besides, she joked, it would be very bad luck to come across two escaped lunatics.
They returned to Croglin and spent the winter there. She had the same room, but always closed the wooden shutters. The brothers took to carrying loaded pistols with them around the house. But nothing happened until one night in March.
The sister was lying in bed when she heard a terribly familiar scratching at the window. She struggled to get fully awake and scrabbled for a candle and something to light it with. When she got a flame she saw that the shutters were opened. Staring in at her was a brown shrivelled face and she saw its long bony hands picking at the lead of the windows.
This time she screamed immediately. Her brothers rushed in with their pistols. She pointed to the window, but the creature had gone. The brothers ran out of the front door and saw it moving across the lawn towards the graveyard. They fired and one of them hit it in the leg. It scrambled away into the darkness and they lost it.
The next day the brothers summoned their neighbours, and with their help they went into the graveyard. The tenants of nearby Croglin High Hall had also been suffering visits from it and their young daughter had bite wounds at the throat. The father had thought that she had been bitten by a rat, but when the Cranswells said what had happened to their sister, they feared the worst and the father joined the party as it made its way to the graveyard.
One of the locals had heard rumours of a particular vault being home to some monster so they opened it up. They stood around, pistols and other weapons at the ready. The vault was full of coffins but most were smashed and the remains mangled and strewn across the floor. Only one coffin was undisturbed. They lifted the lid and there they saw the mummified and shrivelled figure that had moved as if alive the night before. To confirm what they feared they looked at the leg and found a recent wound from a pistol ball. There and then they set fire to the dry coffin and burnt the vampire in it.
In his book Legends of the Lake District J. A. Brooks tells that in the early years of this century the tenants of Croglin Low Hall had to deal with a fire in the dining room chimney. When the fire died down and they were rebuilding the chimney, they found an ancient burnt corpse in there. Though the tenant wanted to rebury the corpse in a churchyard with proper Christian rites, he died before he was able to do this. It is possible that the corpse is still there in the chimney....
10-10-2007, 12:33 AM
The Edgar Allen Poe House
People often take it for granted that Edgar Allen Poe's former houses
could be haunted. Though his ghost has been spotted other places, his old home on 203 N. Amity Street in Baltimore is haunted by someone else. The building is a two and a half story brick row house. It is very small and narrow. The attic room that Poe lived in is so tiny that adults often have trouble standing up in it. The house was built in 1830, and Poe's aunt Maria Clemm rented it in 1832. Poe himself lived there from that year until 1835, along with her, his grandmother, and two cousins. (One of these cousins was Virginia Clemm, whom he later married.)
In 1939 the house was almost demolished during a "slum clearance" program. It was taken over by the Edgar Allen Poe society of Baltimore in 1941. The house is open to the public and operated by Jeff Jerome, who has been the curator since 1977. One of the interesting things that can be seen there is a portrait of Poe's wife painted from her corpse.
Doors and windows in the Poe house often open and close by themselves. In 1968 a local resident called the police after seeing a light moving around the closed building late at night. When the police arrived they saw a candle-like light move from the first floor, through the second, and up to the attic.
When they went into the house no one was there. Curator Jeff Jerome has stated to several sources that the identity of the spirits has not been determined. Most of the activity has taken place in
the bedroom that was once Poe's grandmother's. (Jerome has also cautioned that many people have lived there besides Poe. Have lived there. After all, it was a rental house in a slum area.) Elizabeth Poe did die in the house in 1835. In her room many people have been tapped on the shoulder. In 1980 people gathered for a radio station publicity stunt heard voices and other noises.
Several psychics have reported seeing visions of an old woman
dressed in clothing of the 1830s. She has grey hair and is heavy set.
Psychics have also reported sensations in Virginia's room and Poe's attic. During the 1940s the building became surrounded by Poe homes, the city's first housing project. Since then, the neighborhood residents have had their own stories about the Poe museum. Tales about his spirit are used to frighten children. A November 1985 New York Times article reported that street gangs were afraid of the house and therefore left it alone.
Several residents have admitted to being scared of the place.
A recent article that appeared in the Baltimore Sun (September 18, 1999) reported on how the local residents felt about the Poe house. Some people believe that Poe's ghost terrorizes the neighborhood, running across rooftops and grabbing children to torture.
A local man reported that in August 1999 he looked the window to see a shadowy spirit sitting at a writing desk. (Others have reported this, though Poe actually did his writing in the attic.) The Poe house is open to the public, though the hours vary wildly from season to season. For more detailed information about the house, pictures of it, and visiting hours the Edgar Allen Poe Society 's web site is an excellent resource.
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