10-10-2007, 06:25 PM
The Dancing Ghost.
A most unusual ghost has been reported at Honor Oak Park in Dulwich, South London. Near One-Tree Hill there is a large cemetary, and it is here that the ghost of a young girl appears. She is said to be in her late teens, and she has long blonde hair. Unlike most ghosts, this young lady appears to be quite content, for she is often seen dancing happily.
The Skulls Of Calgarth.
Kraster and Dorothy Cook owned a small farm near Troutbeck; it overlooked Lake Windermere in Westmorland (long ago, changes to county boundaries transferred the village and its outlying areas to Cumbria). The couple worked hard, lived simply and were happy. Much of the land adjoining their farm was owned by a wealthy man, Myles Phillipson - a grasping social-climber. Despite his fine possessions and great riches, Phillipson harboured a burning ambition. He wished to build for himself and his family a magnificent new house that would impress his upper class cronies and display his status.
Phillipson wanted to erect his new house on the site of Kraster Cook's little cottage - a beautiful location with wonderful views of the lake and the fells beyond. He tried many times to persuade Kraster and Dorothy to sell their farm. Each time they refused. The bid was increased; bigger and bigger sums of money were offered - amounts Phillipson thought only fools would refuse. But the Cooks valued something more than money: their happiness on the farm they loved. At last Phillipson's thwarted ambition turned sour. He swore to gain the Cooks' land by hook or by crook...whether the farmer was alive or dead. It is said that his beautiful, but unscrupulous wife devised the plan which eventually brought disaster to all the Phillipson family.
A week before Christmas Phillipson visited the Cooks' cottage. He was charming and friendly. He had decided, he said, to build his new house on his own land. He could see the Cooks were determined not to sell and who could blame them? No one would willingly move from such a perfect place! He hoped that Dorothy and Kraster would let bygones be bygones, forget the angry words of the past and remain friends. To show his goodwill, Phillipson invited them to dinner on Christmas Day.
Of course, Dorothy and Kraster were delighted to hear that their powerful and influential neighbour had given up the idea of buying their land. But they hesitated before accepting the invitation. They knew they'd feel out of place and uncomfortable at Phillipson's grand house and in the company that would be present. However, to show their renewed friendship and so as not to offend him, they politely accepted.
Christmas Day came, Dorothy and Kraster dressed in their best clothes and set off for the Phillipson mansion. Their host and hostess made a great show of trying to put them at their ease; but Dorothy and Kraster were like fish out of water. They sat awkwardly with the other guests, speaking only when they were spoken to and saying very little.
Dinner was served. On the dining-room table, opposite Kraster, stood a silver bowl (some accounts say it was a cup). The poor farmer, perhaps as much to avoid conversation as to admire its beauty, stared at the expensive object as he ate.
After a while there came a pause in the conversation. Out of the silence Mrs Phillipson said loudly to Kraster: 'I see you are admiring that bowl, Mr Cook. It is indeed worth looking at!'
Every eye in the room seemed to be turned on Kraster as he mumbled some polite reply about his hosts' good taste. Other guests commented on the beauty and value of the ornament before the conversation passed on to different subjects.
When dinner was finished, the guests went off into other rooms to dance, talk and play Christmas party games. But not Dorothy and Kraster. They waited about in the dining-room until they could discreetly take their leave. Free at last from the ordeal, they walked back with relief to more familiar surroundings.
Some time during the next day, a troop of soldiers marched up to their farmhouse. They had orders, they said, to arrest Dorothy and Kraster. Without any delay or explanation, the bewildered couple were carried off to jail and locked in separate cells.
For a week the farmer and his wife were not allowed to communicate. They next met, confused and shocked, in court. Only then did they learn why they had been arrested. They were accused of stealing the bowl Kraster had noticed on Phillipson's table.
It was on the order of the local Magistrate that they had been arrested. It was the local magistrate who tried them now. That magistrate was Myles Phillipson.
The first and chief witness was Phillipson's wife. She stated that the stolen bowl had been on the table during Christmas dinner in her house. Kraster Cook, she said, had sat opposite the bowl and gazed at it throughout the meal. Indeed, went on Mrs Phillipson, she had mentioned the bowl to him during dinner. Many other guests had heard the conversation and some of them were called to testify. Each one supported Mrs Phillipson's account.
Then came two servants from the Phillipson household. They swore that they had seen the Cooks lingering in the dining-room while the other guests were dancing after dinner.
The bowl itself was exhibited. Two of the soldiers who'd siezed Dorothy and Kraster gave evidence. They falsely claimed that a search of the Cooks' cottage had uncovered the missing item.
Asked if they had anything to say in their own defence, the dumbfounded prisoners could do nothing but flatly deny the charge against them.
In those days theft was punishable by death. So it was that Myles Phillipson, Magistrate, could and did sentence Dorothy and Kraster Cook to be hanged by their necks until they were dead.
Only now did Dorothy Cook find strength and words to speak. In a loud voice that echoed round the courtroom she cried out:
'Look out for yourself, Myles Phillipson. You think you have done a fine thing. But the tiny lump of land you **** for is the dearest a Phillipson has ever bought or stolen. You will never prosper, nor any of your breed. Whatever scheme you undertake will wither in your hand. Whatever cause you support will always lose. The time will come when no Phillipson will own an inch of land and while Calgarth walls shall stand, we will haunt it night and day. You will never be rid of us!'
A few days later she and her beloved husband died on the gallows at Appleby. Their bodies were still swinging from gibbets at the crossroads when the Phillipsons took possession of their farmhouse, pulled it down and began building the sumptuous house they had longed for: it was named Calgarth Hall.
10-10-2007, 06:27 PM
By the following Christmas, the new building was ready. Myles Phillipson and his wife held a great banquet on Christmas Day to celebrate. That night Dorothy's curse became more than a thing of mere words.
Guests crowded into the new Hall, admiring, envying the owners, impressed by such a show of wealth and social position. The dinner was boisterously merry. In the middle of it, Mrs Phillipson left the table to fetch a jewel that she wanted her guests to see.
The rooms and stairs of Calgarth Hall were lit by candles that threw deep shadows which danced and flickered when touched by draughts. But Mrs Phillipson was used to this kind of vague illumination And Dorothy Cook's curse was long since forgotten.
As Mrs Phillipson turned a corner in the dimly-lit stairs, she came on something that made her blood run cold; her eyes stared in terrified amazement. She stopped dead in her tracks, for a moment unable to utter a sound or move another step.
No more than inches in front of her, resting on the wide banisters - so near she could have reached out and touched them - were two grinning skulls. From one, hair streamed down in wispy strands. Both the deathsheads seemed about to open their grinning mouths and speak.
With a scream, Mrs Phillipson recovered her senses, turned and fled. Whimpering in terror, she ran in to the startled dinner party; trembling, white, and stammering, she gasped out what she had just seen.
Phillipson at once grabbed up a sword and a candle. Others male guests followed his example. Hosts and guests ran to the stairs. The skulls were still there. Even the men were shaken by the sight. For a moment, no one moved or said a word. Then a man bolder than the others went cautiously up to the skulls and thrust at them with his sword. They were real enough. The sword rang as it struck solid bone.
'Someone is playing a trick!' shouted Phillipson, livid with anger. There and then he set about questioning the servants For some reason, one of the houseboys was suspected. He denied having anything to do with the presence of the skulls. Phillipson did not believe him and ordered the boy to be taken to the cellar and left there, tied to a pillar, until he confessed. The skulls were picked up on a sword blade and thrown into the courtyard.
There was no more merry-making that Christmas night at Calgarth Hall. The party broke up. Guests who lived nearby went home; the others retired to bed.
About two o'clock in the morning, the household was woken by a number of anguished screams. A crowd of tousled guests gathered round Myles Phillipson. The screams came from the staircase. Bunched together, fearful of what they would find, the startled group crept cautiously towards the sounds.
What they saw struck deeper terror into them than anything they had seen before...or wished to see again. Perched on a step, gleaming in an eerie light, were the two grinning skulls. No one slept again that night. When dawn came, Myles Phillipson himself took the dreadful objects and threw them into a pond.
This was but the beginning. Next night, from behind locked doors all over the house, came chilling screams. Next morning, the two skulls were found once more on the stairs. So it was night after night. No matter what was done to rid the Hall of the skulls - burying in quicklime, burning or even smashing with hammers - always the following night ghastly screams echoed throughout the building and the skulls were found on the stairs!
One by one the servants left the house. Phillipson's friends, remembering Dorothy's curse, refused invitations to stay at Calgarth. Nor would they have the Phillipsons in their own homes. For Dorothy's curse promised misfortune not on the Phillipsons alone, but on all with whom they associated.
Even so, Myles Phillipson and his wife refused to give up the house. They remained, with their children, suffering the nightly terrors. If the skulls had been ghostly apparitions, perhaps people would have minded less. But they were not. They were tangible bone; solid images of death; fearsome reminders of the evil deed on which Calgarth Hall was built. Every night as they climbed into bed the Phillipsons wondered when the time would come that the screams would wake them and they would open their eyes to find the grinning skulls there on the pillow beside them.
Meanwhile, just as Dorothy had predicted, Myles Phillipson's business began to decline. No one would deal with him; everything he touched failed. Slowly his wealth dwindled. When at last he died, he left his son with little fortune. And the skulls screamed ceaselessly all that night.
From the time of Phillipson's death, the skulls appeared only twice a year: on Christmas Day - the anniversary of the treacherous dinner - and on the day of the year on which Dorothy and Kraster were hanged. Even so, the heir fared little better than his father. No project he undertook prospered. Once he tried holding a party for his friends in his parents' old home. In the middle of dinner the dining-room doors were flung open. Across the floor rolled the two skulls; they jumped up onto the table, and lay there gaping at the assembled guests.
So it went on, one heir succeeding the last, each one inheriting the dreadful curse; each worse off than his father before him, until the family came to an end. The last member lived as an outcast and died a penniless beggar in 1705.
The dwindling state of the Phillipsons' fortunes meant that Calgarth Hall was neglected; its occupants used only parts of the building and allowed ever greater portions of it to fall into disrepair. As late as 1891, a Victorian chronicler stated that two skulls (which had been present as long as anybody could remember) sat on a window ledge in a large, semi-ruined unoccupied room. Today the Phillipson coat of arms is still visible on one old fireplace.
Dr Watson, the Bishop of Llandaff (who only visited his diocese on one occasion) acquired the property. According to some sources, he had the skulls bricked up within the walls and conducted an exorcism. The local people had doubts about the effectiveness of this service; for many years afterwards strange sights and sounds in and around the Hall were reported.
10-11-2007, 08:56 PM
The Tower of London
Over the past 1000 years, the Tower of London has seen more than its
fair share of murders, executions, tortures and poisonings. It's little
wonder therefore that a few of its victims should remain there in death.
On the 12th February 1957 a guardsman came face to face with one of the ghostly residents at the foot of the Salt Tower. It was 3.00am when
something struck the roof of the sentry-box in which he was sheltering
from the rain. Stepping out, he looked up to see what it was, and saw a
shapeless white ghost on the top of the tower. He shouted, bringing out the guard captain and the duty warder.
They both searched the Tower, but could find nothing. Is it a coincidence that on 12 February 1554 Lady Jane Grey was beheaded on Tower Green, which lies less than 200 yards away from the Salt Tower? One of the best known ghosts is that of Anne Boleyn, who also lost her head on Tower Green. She is now said to carry her head under her arm on the eve of a death. A sergeant serving with the Artist's Rifles was on duty the night before several spies were due to be executed during the First World War.
He claimed that the night before Carl Lody was executed, he saw the ghost of Anne Boleyn in a silk dress and a white ruff.
Anne has also been seen in the Tower Chapel. One night, a guard captain and a sentry set off on their rounds, but when they reached the chapel they both noticed lights coming from inside. The captain sent for a ladder and climbed up to a window to look within. He found the interior lit with a blue-white light, and a ghostly procession of men and women in Tudor costume could be plainly seen walking down the central aisle.
At the head of the procession was the spirit of Anne Boleyn. Suddenly
the light faded and the chapel was left in complete darkness.
It's not only ghosts of people that visit the Tower. In 1816 a sentry
was walking his beat in front of the Jewel House when he saw a dark
shape moving on the steps of the building. He approached the figure
just as the moon came out from behind some clouds, revealing a huge bear lunging at him. Paniced, he struck out at the bear with his bayonet but the blade simply passed through the bear, which then engulfed him.
He was later found (unconcious?) by another sentry and died shortly after. Pleasant dreams.....
10-12-2007, 02:01 PM
Margaret, Countess of Salisbury
Everyone has heard the horror stories of b'otched executions with victims running screaming around the scaffold etc. The story of Margaret, Countess of Salisbury, is one of the authentic examples of such horror. Her only crime was that she was the mother of a Cardinal who stood up to King Henry VIII.Her screaming ghost is still said to haunt the tower on the anniversary of her death.
Margaret was the daughter of the Duke of Clarence, who was brother to Edward IV. He was secretly put to death, reputedly in a butt of Malmsey wine, by Edward at the Tower on February 19th 1478. She was therefore of Plantagenet stock and a child of The War of the Roses. She married Sir Richard Pole and their son, Reginald Pole became Archbishop of Canterbury. Her eventual fate was determined by her son's attitude to the divorce of Henry VIII and Catherine of Aragon. Pole opposed the divorce and was suspended from the Archbishopric by Henry. In defiance, he was made a cardinal by Pope Paul III in 1536 and sent as a legate to the Low Countries to confer with the English Malcontents.
Henry immediately set a price on his head and looked for other means of retaliation. Guided by Thomas Cromwell, Henry launched, in 1538, a grand assault on religious images which were denounced as objects which encouraged superstition. The income to the royal coffers from the subsequent destruction and confiscations was considerable but the greatest prize of all was the destruction of the shrine of St Thomas à Becket at Canterbury. This brought the Crown two great chests of jewels - "such as six or eight strong men could do no more than convey one of them"- and another twenty-four wagon loads of varied treasures.
The evidence against Montague was that he had said in private that he liked " well the doings of my brother the Cardinal and I would we were both over the sea". He is also supposed to have said, again in a private conversation, that when Henry VIII was a young child his father, Henry VII, did not like him. This was enough to convict him of high treason. The evidence against Neville was that once, when a guest at Cowdray House, the splendid mansion of the Earl of Southampton at Midhurst in Sussex, he said that "the King was a beast and worse than a beast". Again this was enough and both Montague and Neville were executed in December 1538.
Southampton, accompanied by other members of the Privy Council, went to Margaret's house at Warbledon in Hampshire where they interrogated the servants and searched the property. The only evidence they came up with was that the Countess had forbidden her servants to read the Bible in English and that she had once been seen burning a letter. Margaret, was then taken to Cowdray and subsequently to the Tower. It was felt that there was not enough evidence to convict her of high treason but she was condemned to death as a traitor by an Act of Parliament (Act of Attainder).
Then, following an abortive conspiracy in the north, he had her executed on May 27th 1541. Margaret did not realise what was happening. When she was told to lay her head on the block she set off to wander slowly and aimlessly around Tower Green. She was forcibly returned to the block, but the executioner was young and inexperienced. Perhaps put off by the advanced age and obvious senility of the old Countess, he bo'tched the execution.
It was not until the third or fourth stroke of the axe that Margaret's head was severed from her body. It is said that every year, on the anniversary of the execution, her ghost can be seen and heard re-enacting the terrible scene on Tower Green.The photograph, taken recently in the Tower of London, shows the block which was made for the last execution on Tower Hill. The Axe, however, is that which was actually used to execute Margaret and others in the Tudor period. (It was NOT used to execute Anne Boleyn, as the notice in the Tower claims, she was executed with a sword brought over especially from France at her own request.)
LITTLECOTE Manor is said to be haunted following heinous crimes which took place there in the 16th Century.
A man called William Darrell was the lord of the house in Elizabethan times. He summoned a midwife who was brought blindfolded to Littlecote Manor in 1545.
She was offered a lot of money to deliver a baby if the mother should live and was led into a room where she delivered the baby of a masked woman.
The identity of the mother remains a mystery. It is thought the pregnancy may have been as a result of incest.
When the baby was born she took it through to Darrell, who instead of holding the newborn infant, instead threw it onto the fire, where it was held down and burned alive.
The midwife reported the murder to the authorities, but Darrell bribed a judge for his release when the case came to court and was freed.
Soon after, while out riding on the estate, a ghostly figure of a baby boy in flames appeared to William Darrell.
His horse shied and threw him to the ground, breaking his neck.
It is said the crying of a baby has been heard in the house and the twisted body of William Darrell has been seen prowling the corridors.
here one frome Missouri - 10-14-2007, 10:12 PM
Raw Head and Bloody Bones
Way back in the deep woods there lived a scrawny old woman who had a reputation for being the best conjuring woman in the Ozarks. With her bedraggled black-and-gray hair, funny eyes - one yellow and one green - and her crooked nose, Old Betty was not a pretty picture, but she was the best there was at fixing what ailed a man, and that was all that counted.
Old Betty's house was full of herbs and roots and bottles filled with conjuring medicine. The walls were lined with strange books brimming with magical spells. Old Betty was the only one living in the Hollow who knew how to read; her granny, who was also a conjurer, had taught her the skill as part of her magical training.
Just about the only friend Old Betty had was a tough, mean, ugly old razorback hog that ran wild around her place. It rooted so much in her kitchen garbage that all the leftover spells started affecting it. Some folks swore up and down that the old razorback hog sometimes walked upright like man. One fellow claimed he'd seen the pig sitting in the rocker on Old Betty's porch, chattering away to her while she stewed up some potions in the kitchen, but everyone discounted that story on account of the fellow who told it was a little too fond of moonshine.
"Raw Head" was the name Old Betty gave the razorback, referring maybe to the way the ugly creature looked a bit like some of the dead pigs come butchering time down in Hog-Scald Hollow. The razorback didn't mind the funny name. Raw Head kept following Old Betty around her little cabin and rooting up the kitchen leftovers. He'd even walk to town with her when she came to the local mercantile to sell her home remedies. Well, folks in town got so used to seeing Raw Head and Old Betty around the town that it looked mighty strange one day around hog-driving time when Old Betty came to the mercantile without him.
"Where's Raw Head?" the owner asked as he accepted her basket full of home-remedy potions. The liquid in the bottles swished in an agitate manner as Old Betty said: "I ain't seen him around today, and I'm mighty worried. You seen him here in town?" "Nobody's seen him around today. They would've told me if they did," the mercantile owner said. "We'll keep a lookout fer you."
"That's mighty kind of you. If you see him, tell him to come home straightaway," Old Betty said. The mercantile owner nodded agreement as he handed over her weekly pay. Old Betty fussed to herself all the way home. It wasn't like Raw Head to disappear, especially not the day they went to town. The man at the mercantile always saved the best scraps for the mean old razorback, and Raw Head never missed a visit. When the old conjuring woman got home, she mixed up a potion and poured it onto a flat plate.
"Where's that old hog got to?" she asked the liquid. It clouded over and then a series of pictures formed. First, Old Betty saw the good-for-nothing hunter that lived on the next ridge sneaking around the forest, rounding up razorback hogs that didn't belong to him. One of the hogs was Raw Head. Then she saw him taking the hogs down to Hog-Scald Hollow, where folks from the next town were slaughtering their razorbacks. Then she saw her hog, Raw Head, slaughtered with the rest of the pigs and hung up for gutting. The final picture in the liquid was the pile of bloody bones that had once been her hog, and his scraped-clean head lying with the other hogsheads in a pile.
Old Betty was infuriated by the death of her only friend. It was murder to her, plain and simple. Everyone in three counties knew that Raw Head was her friend, and that lazy, hog-stealing, good-for-nothing hunter on the ridge was going to pay for slaughtering him. Now Old Betty tried to practice white conjuring most of the time, but she knew the dark secrets too. She pulled out an old, secret book her granny had given her and turned to the very last page. She lit several candles and put them around the plate containing the liquid picture of Raw Head and his bloody bones. Then she began to chant: "Raw Head and Bloody Bones. Raw Head and Bloody Bones." The light from the windows disappeared as if the sun had been snuffed out like a candle. Dark clouds billowed into the clearing where Old Betty's cabin stood, and the howl of dark spirits could be heard in the wind that pummeled the treetops.
"Raw Head and Bloody Bones. Raw Head and Bloody Bones."
Betty continued the chant until a bolt of silver lightning left the plate and streaked out threw the window, heading in the direction of Hog-Scald Hollow.
When the silver light struck Raw Head's severed head, which was piled on the hunter's wagon with the other hog heads, it tumbled to the ground and rolled until it was touching the bloody bones that had once inhabited its body. As the hunter's wagon rumbled away toward the ridge where he lived, the enchanted Raw Head called out: "Bloody bones, get up and dance!"
Immediately, the bloody bones reassembled themselves into the skeleton of a razorback hog walking upright, as Raw Head had often done when he was alone with Old Betty. The head hopped on top of his skeleton and Raw Head went searching through the woods for weapons to use against the hunter. He borrowed the sharp teeth of a dying panther, the claws of a long-dead bear, and the tail from a rotting raccoon and put them over his skinned head and bloody bones.
Then Raw Head headed up the track toward the ridge, looking for the hunter who had slaughtered him. Raw Head slipped passed the thief on the road and slid into the barn where the hunter kept his horse and wagon. Raw Head climbed up into the loft and waited for the hunter to come home.
It was dusk when the hunter drove into the barn and unhitched his horse. The horse snorted in fear, sensing the presence of Raw Head in the loft. Wondering what was disturbing his usually-calm horse, the hunter looked around and saw a large pair of eyes staring down at him from the darkness in the loft.
The hunter frowned, thinking it was one of the local kids fooling around in his barn. "Land o' Goshen, what have you got those big eyes fer?" he snapped, thinking the kids were trying to scare him with some crazy mask.
"To see your grave," Raw Head rumbled very softly. The hunter snorted irritably and put his horse into the stall. "Very funny. Ha,ha," The hunter said. When he came out of the stall, he saw Raw Head had crept forward a bit further. Now his luminous yellow eyes and his bears claws could clearly be seen. "Land o' Goshen, what have you got those big claws fer?" he snapped. "You look ridiculous."
"To dig your grave…" Raw Head intoned softly, his voice a deep rumble that raised the hairs on the back of the hunter's neck. He stirred uneasily, not sure how the crazy kid in his loft could have made such a scary sound. If it really was a crazy kid. Feeling a little spooked, he hurried to the door and let himself out of the barn. Raw Head slipped out of the loft and climbed down the side of the barn behind him. With nary a rustle to reveal his presence, Raw Head raced through the trees and up the path to a large, moonlight rock. He hid in the shadow of the huge stone so that the only things showing were his gleaming yellow eyes, his bear claws, and his raccoon tail.
When the hunter came level with the rock on the side of the path, he gave a startled yelp. Staring at Raw Head, he gasped: "You nearly knocked the heart right out of me, you crazy kid! Land o' Goshen, what have you got that crazy tail fer?"
"To sweep your grave…" Raw Head boomed, his enchanted voice echoing through the woods, getting louder and louder with each echo. The hunter took to his heels and ran for his cabin. He raced passed the old well-house, passed the wood pile, over the rotting fence and into his yard. But Raw Head was faster. When the hunter reached his porch, Raw Head leapt from the shadows and loomed above him. The hunter stared in terror up at Raw Head's gleaming yellow eyes in the ugly razorback hogshead, his bloody bone skeleton with its long bear claws, sweeping raccoon's tail and his gleaming sharp panther teeth. "Land o' Goshen, what have you got those big teeth fer?" he gasped desperately, stumbling backwards from the terrible figure before him. "To eat you up, like you wanted to eat me!" Raw Head roared, descending upon the good-for-nothing hunter. The murdering thief gave one long scream in the moonlight. Then there was silence, and the sound of crunching.
Nothing more was ever seen or heard of the lazy hunter who lived on the ridge. His horse also disappeared that night. But sometimes folks would see Raw Head roaming through the forest in the company of his friend Old Betty. And once a month, on the night of the full moon, Raw Head would ride the hunter's horse through town, wearing the old man's blue overalls over his bloody bones with a hole cut-out for his raccoon tail. In his bloody, bear-clawed hands, he carried his raw, razorback hogshead, lifting it high against the full moon for everyone to see.
10-15-2007, 04:36 PM
At the side of the road that runs between Heatree Cross and Hound Tor you come across one of Dartmoor's most poignant monuments, the wayside grave of Kitty Jay. She is said to have been a poor workhouse orphan who having been deserted by her lover hanged herself. In those days a suicide could not rest in consecrated ground but had to be buried at a cross roads with a stake driven through the heart. Kitty’s bones were re-discovered in 1860 by a road mender named James Bryant and re-buried in their present location. From that day forth fresh flowers would be mysteriously appear upon the grave and no –one ever discovered who was responsible. Even when snow lay thick upon the ground the flowers would appear each morning yet no footprints were ever discovered leading to or from her resting place. More startling are the reports of a footless, ghostly figure that has often been seen floating over the grave.
10-22-2008, 08:55 PM
The Sad Tale of the Lady Lovibond
In the British Isles, the thought of Friday the 13th brings more to mind than just the occasional superstition. It is at this time that the shipwreck of the Lady Lovibond is forever mentioned in historic terms. On that fateful day in 1748, all of the passengers of the ship went down all in the name of love. The cause of this unfortunate event was actually caused by a fit of jealousy, as well as rash decisions. Below the decks, there were celebrations amidst the journey. For example, the joyous occasion of the union of two people was going on through the cheers and laughter of Simon Peel's marriage.
Above the deck, an angry man stewed. A man by the name of Rivers refused to join the party because he too was in love with Peel's new bride. Consumed with jealousy, he truly took on the attitude of "if I can't have her, then no one will." Fueled by the love he had for the young bride, he actually drove the Lady Lovibond off course and into the sands. This act, sadly, killed all on board. To this day, it is believed that the reenactment of the shipwreck can be witnessed every 50 years. The ghostly ship, as well as the crew may also be sighted.
The China Doll
Fanchon Moncare and Ada Danforth regularly cruised between France and New York. Ada would tell inquiring passengers that her little ward, Fanchon, was an orphan who's wealthy parents had died in a fire. On her 21st birthday she would inherit a fortune, but til then, Ada was her legal guardian. Fanchon would then curtsy adorably to the passengers before skipping away clutching her china doll.
However, all was not as it seemed. Fanchon Moncare was really an ex circus midget named Estelle Ridley, and the china doll was full of stolen jewels. Ada was Estelle's partner in crime and they had been running this farce for some time. While Ada attended to the luggage after the ship docked, Estelle would skip thru customs cradling her cherished doll. And no-one ever dreamed of stopping her.
In New York's China Town, an elderly fence named Wing To would await the pair, his eyes gleaming with greed as Estelle unscr'ewed the head of the doll and the stolen gems spilled out. He would buy them for an agreed price and the villainous pair would head back to France to begin yet another series of crimes.
Unfortunately for the pair, their number was up. Estelle was in love with a local gambler; sadly for her, Magda Hamilton was also in love with him, and unwilling to allow Estelle to beat her to the punch. She violated all underworld rules by going to the police as an informer, and for the first time, little Fanchon's doll was inspected. The pair were soon on their way to prison.
Several years passed. Estelle and Ada were almost forgotten when Magda burst hysterically into a local police station. She had awoken from a heavy sleep, she said, to find Estelle Ridley standing by her bed. She still wore her childish finery and clutched a china doll, but her face was now that of a withered hag. Magda had screamed and locked herself in the bathroom all night out of fear. She now insisted on police protection til Estelle was recaptured. A bemused police officer showed Magda a newspaper article. It detailed how Estelle had hanged herself in her cell two days ago.
Magda was frightened now, and decided on the spur of the moment to leave the country. She booked her voyage, had a farewell dinner with a friend and went home. The next day, the friend called at Magda's house. Puzzled by how the doorbell went unanswered, the friend forced the lock and went upstairs. There was to be no voyage for Magda. She was sprawled accross the bed, a look of terror in her eyes. Her mouth was ruptured, and she had drowned in her own blood.
The mouth injuries indicated that a large heavy object had been rammed into it with savage force. The murder weapon was never found, despite extensive searches by the police, but they did find a clue of sorts. Lodged in Magda's bloody mouth were several hairs; hairs that had come from a child's china doll.
10-12-2010, 08:42 PM
Annie Chapman's Ghost
The north side of Hanbury Street is now covered by the sprawling mass of the buildings that were formerly the Truman Brewery. It was built on the site of number 29 Hanbury Street, in the back yard of which at around 6am on 8th September 1888, the body of Annie Chapman, Jack the Ripper's second victim was discovered.
At 6am on 8th September 1888 John Davis, an elderly resident of 29 Hanbury Street came downstairs, walked along the narrow passageway and opened the back door. The sight that he saw shook him to the core. Moments later two workmen walking along Hanbury Street were suddenly startled when the door of number 29 burst open and a wild eyed old man stumbled into the street. "Men" he cried "come here." Nervously they followed him along the passageway and looking into the yard saw the mutilated body of Annie Chapman.
Her dress had been pulled up around her knees, exposing her striped stockings. A deep cut had slashed across her throat; her intestines had been tugged out and laid across her shoulder. Missing from the body were the uterus and part of the bladder. The contents of her pocket were found lying in a neat pile near to the body. The brass rings that she had been wearing at the time of her death had evidently been torn from her fingers and were never discovered. And, just a few feet away from the body, there lay a folded and wet leather apron.
In the days of the brewery it was often noticed that a strange chill drifted through the boardroom at 6am on the anniversary of the murder and it was also reported that Annie Chapman's headless ghost was sometimes seen standing by the wall of the storeroom that occupied the spot where she died.
10-12-2010, 08:44 PM
The Zaragoza Poltergeist
In the 1930's the Palazon family, residing in an apartment complex on the "Gascon Gotor" street, encountered a frightening ordeal when they started to hear maniacal laughter and voice coming from inside their home. The family did not know what or who was causing this. The poltergeist phenomenon quickly turned its attention to the young maid, Pascuala Alcocer. She had reported that the voice was tormenting her and that it came from the wood stove.
As the news of this poltergeist spread, thousands, of people started to visit the building. The spectators all came interested in hearing the so-called "duende of Zaragoza". The word spread so fast and so wildly that the London Times had made a report on the case. Taking it upon themselves to "put an end to the circus", local police and judges personally investigated the home and brought with them a few psychiatrists to analyze Pascuala Alcocer, informally putting the blame on her from the beginning.
While investigating, the officials found more and more evidence to prove that this was not a hoax. The entity was reported to not only speak, but also to be able to see what was going on around the home. It would accurately state the number of people that were in a room at a time.
With no real answers to the strange events, the judges, police and psychiatrists assumed that Pascuala was using ventriloquism to create this hoax. They were in extreme pressure to come up with a solution to this hysteria, blaming the girl was the best way they could think of quieting the situation.
All the tenants in the building were evacuated, and the whole block was quarantined and Pascuala was removed from the premise. An architect was called to examine the whole building, corner to corner. Even the army was called in to investigate the case; all communications (radio/telephone) were cut from the outside. The maniacal voice continued emanating from the wood stove, but now with a different attitude. It started yelling and insulting everyone in the room, telling them that it would kill them all!
When the architect called a skilled mason in order to take some measurements of the kitchen, something else happened. The voice showed them it had knowledge of the building. While the man was measuring a certain part of the kitchen the voice said: "Don't worry, it measures 75 centimetres." Of course when he measured, it was exactly 75 centimeters. The mason was so scared he left the building never to come back leaving his tools behind.
Arturo Grijalba was only a kid when the entity spoke to him. He was the building owner's son and the only remaining witness alive to this case. While the investigation was taking place, he had wondered into the kitchen to take a look at the kitchen for himself. When Arturo turned to his dad and said: "Let's go dad, this thing is crazy" a voice replied: "Not crazy little one." in a guttural response everyone in the room heard it and were visibly shaken.
After two months of insults and threats, the maniacal voice suddenly stopped. Like in all poltergeist cases, it manifested quickly and without warning and vanished the same way.
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