Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Haunted Locations, Legends and the Unexplained


I will occasionally post a collection of ghostly tales and unexplained phenomena from the past...enjoy:

**********

Malayan House Comes 'Alive' at Night

Many flock to Jalan Bellamy for the Ikan Bakar while others may recognise the road as home to one of the country’s oldest international school, Alice Smith.

The road has not changed much since the country’s pre-independence days and remains a quiet path that most city dwellers do not use.

With old government quarters hidden by the large trees on the road, the aroma of fish being grilled waft out from Gerai Seri Menanti and Seri Melaka while the chatter and laughter of children from the Alice Smith school livens up the atmosphere.

Rosemary Alder Duckworth who lived at 5, Jalan Bellamy from 1947 to 1949 remembers the days when housing was scarce in post-war Malaya and when most houses on the street housed two or more families.

“A few families would share a home and we were very surprised to find house No 5 empty.

“We moved in but for the next two-and-half years, we had a lot of problems, especially with servants who would just disappear in the night without even collecting their pay,” said Duckworth.

She had come to Malaya with her family when her father, Frederick Victor Duckworth, was appointed the last British adviser of Selangor.

The family managed to trace a few of their former workers and they recounted tales of paranormal activities that took place in the servants quarters and kitchen.

“We then realised that the house was not snapped up because it was considered haunted. Many of the servants told us that they would be jolted awake from sleep and see blinding lights circling on top of them. Some said they even saw vegetables flying around the kitchen,'' said Duckworth.

She had the chance to speak to the Richardson family who had lived in the house before the war and they confirmed the unusual sightings in the house.

“Corinne Richardson was one of those who lived in the house and she related an incident that took place one night.

“She told me she was awakened by loud banging noises and saw an old Chinese man standing next to her bed. Corinne’s sister, who was in the room, also saw the man,” said Duckworth.

“Corinne asked the man what he wanted but there was no reply and the man just walked away. The banging noises, however, continued. Corinne told her parents and although they looked everywhere, the man was not found.''

The Richardsons later found out that at the exact time that Corinne saw the old man, the chief of a nearby village on Jalan Bellamy had passed away.

“When she was shown a picture of the village chief, Corinne recognised him as the old man who had appeared in her room.''

During the Duckworth family’s stay at the house, the haunting worsened and they had to conduct an exorcism ceremony.

Other than this, the family enjoyed their stay on the quaint Bellamy road.

“It was a very quiet and nice residential area with big trees. said Duckworth.

Saving Malaya: The chosen ones series (Volume 1)

Jadoo


***********

Girl's Ghastly Death Leads to Haunting Legend


Prosperous times in Niagara County came in the first half of the 1800s and brought many beautiful homes and mansions, some rumored to be haunted.

A mansion on a hill in Lockport's Lowertown briefly claimed a reputation as haunted due to the tragic fire death of a young girl. Mrs. Albert Gagliardi lived in the house as a youngster in the early 1900s and wrote a 500-word essay about it.

Edward Bissel built the Gagliardi house in 1829, according to late County Historian Clarence O. Lewis. A flourmill owner, Bissel decided to build his house high on a hill opposite the Lake Avenue Bridge over the Erie Canal.

The next year, Dr. Jonah Skinner, the first Lowertown doctor, built his house next door. Later that year, Judge Nathan Dayton built his elegant home on the same hill.

Bissel sold his house to Albany Land Company Agent Lot Clark, who in September of 1835 put it on the market with this ad in the Niagara Courier: "Valuable property for sale. The house and lot formerly occupied by Edward Bissel with adjoining lands are offered at a bargain. The house is one of the best built and best furnished in the western part of this state. It is pleasantly situated near other fine dwellings and good society. The out buildings consist of a barn, stables and carriage house. A garden and an orchard of choice fruit adjoins the house; also 40 acres of land. Apply to Lot Clark."

Rev. Piedmont, Mrs. Gagliardi's father, bought the house in 1917. She wrote, "Way up on a hill in the center of an acre of land stood a huge stone house with four Roman pillars holding up the front veranda."

This was her first impression of their new home. The second came moments later when, on their way up the hill to the house, they saw a sign tacked to a tree with huge black letters proclaiming "Haunted House."

Some time before the turn of the century, the rumor went, a young couple with two children, a 9-year-old girl and a baby, occupied the house. One night, the young girl was left alone to watch the baby while the mother ran an errand. Somehow a kerosene lamp overturned, starting a fire in the baby's crib. The girl ran over and beat out the flames around the baby, but her clothing caught fire. She dashed toward the front door but collapsed in the hall there and died.

This tragedy caused the mother to have a breakdown, and she was admitted to a mental institution. The fire burned the wainscoting in the front hall, and the charred boards were replaced but were not an exact match, so it was obvious where the fire had occurred.

Mrs. Gagliardi said the side door consisted of a huge window that went to the floor: "One had to reach down, grasp a handle and pull the window up, step inside and pull the window down."

Beautiful marble fireplaces graced all 17 rooms on the two floors, including the large kitchen. The ceilings were 14 feet high.

"Now the stairs were what really fascinated us. They were winding stairs starting from the first floor and winding their way to the second floor and then to the attic. If one stood at the bottom one could see the attic door.

"The whole stairway and banister and rail were made of the finest black walnut. At the rear of the second story were the servants quarters consisting of a kitchen and four bedrooms."

Many beautiful homes were built in the Lockport area due to prosperity brought by the opening of the Erie Canal. Likewise, commerce brought prosperity to Lewiston, accounting for many fine homes built there.

A Lewiston resident, Mrs. Lucy W. Hawes, wrote a glowing description of the fine Lewiston homes in 1887. She wrote, "Lewiston had advantages denied to other Western New York communities. Her main or Center Street was the great overland route across the continent.

"Great lines of stages loaded with travelers headed for Niagara Falls. Lewiston was the custom port and the distributing post office. Sometimes 30 ox teams conveyed merchandise up the Portage Road to Niagara Falls and Buffalo." About the homes, she wrote, "Nearly every house had its hand carved walnut stair rail, high ceilings, floor length windows, candelabra, pianos, marble fireplaces in every room and other evidence of the prevailing prosperity of that early period."

NIAGARA'S MOST HAUNTED: Legends and Myths

The Haunted Forts and Battlefields of Niagara

Paranormal Niagara: Cases of the Mysterious and the Macabre


**********

The Chase Vault (Moving Coffins of Barbados)

There is a vault in a West Indies cemetery that prefers its coffins in disarray. An entire family was buried within - the Chase family. One by one, family members both young and old would die and be carefully placed in their eternal resting place - until the father (rumoured to be one of the most hated men on the island) was interred. When the ground keepers opened the door to store him within, all the coffins seemed to have scattered themselves about the floor.

The strange occurrence happened again and again. Some reports say people could actually hear the coffins moving themselves while locked inside the cement sealed vault.

Many a strange thing has happened in the West Indies - not the least of which is the case of Barbados' self-moving coffins. The story goes that the family Chase had a crypt in a local cemetery to hold all the family members who'd passed on. The first to be housed in the edifice was Mrs. Thomasina Goddard in or around 1807. She was followed by two year old Mary Ann Chase in 1808 and then by another child - Dorcas Chase in 1812.

Those coffins were all very well behaved until the family head - Thomas Chase - was to be placed inside. Thomas, as we've already stated, is said to have been one of the more despised men on the island. When the crypt was opened to place him inside, the other coffins seemed to have moved themselves from their orderly places.

Those in the funeral party were angered at the finding, supposing heartless robbers to be responsible. This thought was soon abandoned as nothing was missing from the coffins, nothing of value had been placed inside in the first place, and (most significantly) the door to the burial site was a huge stone cemented in place. To open it, the cemetery workers quite literally had to do so with a hammer and chisel. The stone was also said to have been so big, a team of at least four men would be needed to move it. Confused, the townspeople placed the freshest body inside and resealed the vault.

The newest coffin was a 240 lb. lead coffin, an extremely difficult thing to toss about for anyone looking to drag it around until money fell out.

In 1816 another burial was to take place - this time for eleven year old Charles Brewster Ames. Again the coffins were everywhere but in their proper places. The 240 lb. lead coffin of Thomas Chase was also in the wrong location. The crypt had been completely sealed and, again, had no signs of tampering or forced entry.

52 days later, another burial was to take place in the crypt. A large crowd gathered for this one, and they weren't disappointed. This time the cement-sealed door was closely examined before opening, with no strange findings. Again the coffins had thrown themselves about. There was a difference this time in that the first coffin that had been placed inside - the only one made of wood - had been badly damaged by the tussle. A reverend was called in to check the scene, but left with no new insight. Once again the vault was sealed.

In 1819 another family burial was needed. The vault was opened with all the same results - except the wooden one found damaged the last time had not been moved one single inch. The governor of the island (Lord Combermere) had enough at this point and ordered his own investigation - nothing was found. This time sand was scattered on the ground to catch the footprints and movements of any pranksters. The governor's own seal was placed in the hardening cement, then the vault was ordered sealed until the next family tragedy.

But the governor couldn't wait that long.

Less than a year later the head-of-state ordered the crypt opened, this time only in front of himself and several friends. The seal was perfectly intact upon arrival, but the coffins were still scattered. Some of them had even flipped upside down, and one was lying halfway up the stairs leading to the door. The sand so carefully placed before gave away no footprints or signs of water. The governor then ordered the coffins removed to a new burial site, and the crypt was left open. It's standing open and empty to this very day.

We don't know about you, but we're not scared of it at all.

Mysteries and Secrets of Voodoo, Santeria, and Obeah

The Big Book of Mysteries (Mysteries and Secrets)


**********

The Haunted Castle of Oldenburg Princess

The right for long-term rent of Castle of Oldenburg Princess of the 19th century – one of the main sightseeing sites of the Voronezh Region of Russia – has been put out for tender.

According to psychics and ufologists, the Castle of Oldenburg Princess is not only a sightseeing site but also an anomalous zone with strong paranormal activity: it is known that here people often fall down in a faint; rats, mice, and flies do not dwell in the castle, and besides, tourists mark sudden and frequent camera breakages.

In 1879 this estate near the Russian city of Voronezh was a wedding present of the emperor Alexander II to granddaughter of Nicolas I Grand Duchess Eugenya Romanova (married name Oldenburg). The Princess used to visit the castle very often.

After 1917 the castle’s owner migrated to France. The new Russian authorities used the building as a school, then as hospital and library. 30 years ago the building was admitted to be no longer suitable for exploitation.

Now the region’s administration hopes that a new investor will restore the castle and the nearby park and make it the main sightseeing of the Voronezh Region.

Earlier the press wrote that Prince Michael of Kent (great grandson of the Russian Tsar Alexander II) wanted to purchase the castle while being on their visit to Voronezh in spring 2007. However, Prince was refused as the local authorities explained that the castle was registered as federal property and therefore could not be sold.

Unexplained Mysteries Vol. 4

Index to Fairy Tales, Myths and Legends


**********

Poltergeist Forces Family to Flee Home

A poltergeist that has forced a terrified Carlisle family to flee their home is to be "cleansed" by a vicar.

Spooky happenings prompted Allison Marshall, 27, to bundle her family out of the house in Mardale Road, Raffles, in the middle of the night.

Carlisle Housing Association, which owns the property, has now arranged for a priest to step in and end the family's nightmare.

Allison and children Rebecca, three, Emily, four, Shannon, seven, and Aaron, eight, enduring a series of bizarre happenings at the house that has been her home for four years.

She and her children are now staying with her mother Lesley Whitewick, 46.

The drama began last week with a catalogue of inexplicable happenings, which included household objects hurtling around the room and sudden and unexplained drops in the temperature in the house.

They continued with the mysterious appearance of a skull image in a picture frame in a glass display cabinet and disturbing noises in the dead of night, including a child sobbing.

A family friend called in a clairvoyant, who claimed he saw the image of a child in a dressing gown.

Allison said: "I don't really want to leave the house so it would be better if they could do something to sort it out and get this thing out of my house. If they can't get rid of it I'll have to move."

In a statement, Carlisle Housing Association said: "Carlisle Housing Association takes any situation which is causing distress to its tenants seriously and will offer support and assistance where it can.

"Two members of CHA Housing Management team visited the tenant on Monday morning to assess the situation and also arranged for the local vicar to contact her separately.

"We appreciate the distress Miss Marshall has voiced and will continue to offer her our support."

Poltergeist: A Classic Study in Destructive Hauntings

The Poltergeist Phenomenon: An In-depth Investigation Into Floating Beds, Smashing Glass, and Other Unexplained Disturbances


**********

Historic Boston Hotel Has Haunted Past


The story: The third floor is the paranormal hotspot at this historic Boston hotel. Charlotte Cushman, a renowned 19th century stage actress who played both male and female roles (Lady Macbeth as well as Hamlet), died in 1876 in her room on the third floor. Now, one of the elevators often travels on its own to the third floor, even when no buttons are pushed.

More haunting: Charlotte isn't the only ghost suspected to haunt the third floor of the Omni Parker House. A businessman died in Room 303. Guests and staff have reported the smell of whiskey and raucous laughter. After a large number of guest complaints, the room was converted into a closet.



Spooky visits: Some surprised guests have reported seeing Harvey Parker, the hotel's founder, in their rooms asking about their stay. Mr. Parker died in 1884.

History and legend: The Omni Parker House was the gathering place for "The Saturday Club," a group that included Longfellow, Thoreau, Dickens and Ralph Waldo Emerson. Since Longfellow's favorite room was on the third floor, many suspect the elevator is returning him upstairs after a club meeting.

Boston's Haunted History: Exploring the Ghosts and Graves of Beantown

Ghosts of Boston: Haunts of the Hub (Haunted America)

Spooky Creepy Boston