It was originally known as the Eastern State Institution for the feeble-minded and epileptic, it closed 9th December 1987 after a decade of controversy. From 1903- 1908 the original buildings were constructed, there were further additions to the site in 1919, 1921 and 1929. It didn’t stop there either, more were contributed in the 1960’s and again in 1971.

23rd November, 1908, they admitted patient 1 and within four years it was overcrowded and pressured. The patients would be classified, and the status of admitted children would be seen as abhorrent these days. They ranged from the mute, blind, epileptic to deformity, offensive habits and more. Yet somehow they also for the patients into making mattresses, shoes, farming, laundry and other trades.

There were other assumptions, one of them was the Chief Physician (and eugenicist) thought that all of those of feeble mind were potential criminals.

In 1968 a CBS10 correspondent Bill Baldini anchored a five part exposé about the poor conditions. In 1983 there were nine employees on charges of patient abuse and finally the Halderman Case details the wide-spread abuse and finally resulted in its closure.

Halderman was a resident who upon her release filed suit in the federal district court. It had started when she visited her parents and had unexplained bruises, it led to the courts finding that Pennhurst was unsanitary, inhumane, dangerous and violating the fourteenth amendment (an easy summary being an Equal Protection Clause), and essentially the patients rights had been abused.

It has since been through various attempts at reincarnation for use. Now the administration building has been partially renovated and opened as the Pennhurst Asylum haunted house. It attracts quite an interest but those formerly affiliated with the place seem to find this disrespectful and controversy about it remains. Former patients, I presume from some feedback, find the tourism and sensational way it is handled as somewhat akin to a slap in the face.

Pennhurst has attracted its fair share of TV coverage, with shows like Ghost Adventures, Ghost Hunters (TAPS) and Haunted History in the name.

Reports on the paranormal side involve partial and full-bodied apparitions, the noises of screaming and piano playing. Along with various reports of this, those interested in the exposure of the place will find Suffer the Little Children both interesting but at the same time it can be a quite disturbing watch.

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By Smccphotog (talk) (Uploads) – Own work, Public Domain, Link

 

I was so sure I had covered this before – Imagine that? So here goes… The Zodiac Killer is a name given to an unidentified serial killer who was in the north California area from the late 1960’s to early 1970’s. The name comes from a letter to the Bay Area press in 1969, it was one of a series that taunted press, police and public alike.

There are 7 confirmed victims, four possible murder victims and a suspected escapee, the murderer claimed a death count of 37 but 12 can be included on the case files from the main information given. The first of the ZK’s murders are considered to have been attributed to those of Betty Low Jensen and David Faraday. On 20th December 1968 at Lake Herman Road, the couple were out on their first date, what they know about the case is that it is believed another car came up before 11pm that night, Jensen exited the car, possibly under threat and as she did so the killer shot Faraday as he was half way out of the car. Jensen was gunned down 28 yards away by five shots, the killer then drove off.

4th July 1969 Darlene Ferrin and Michael Mageau drove into the Blue Rock Springs Park and parked up. A second car came up but drive off almost immediately, then around ten minutes later the car returned, the driver got out and came to the passengers side, he was carrying a flash light and a 9mm Luger. The killer fired off five shots and both were hit, the bullet passed through Mageau into Ferdinand, the killer then walked away. Mageau’s moaning drew him back to the car where he fired two more times. Ferrin died but Mageau survived despite being shot in the face, neck and chest. Someone called up to claim responsibility for all four and police traced the call to a gas station phone booth, they got no further.

1st August 1969, three letters reached the press offices of Vellejo Times Herald, San Francisco Chronicle and The San Francisco Examiner. They took credit for the four shootings and each one had a third of a 408-symbol cryptogram, which would reveal his identity. The killer demanded all three be printed across their front pages or he would cruise around to kill until he racked up a dozen over the weekend. The Chronicle posted their letter and put up a quote from Vallejo Police Chief, Jack E Stiltz, saying they needed more proof of his identity. All three parts were eventually published and the murder spree seemingly never occurred.

7th August, a letter was received at The San Francisco Examiner, where he wrote ‘Dear Editor, This is the Zodiac speaking’ and he went on to provide details about the murders that had not been released to the public.

8th August, Donald and Bettye Harden cracked the code, albeit misspelled, but it said that he was collecting, slaves for the afterlife. He said he would not give away his identity because it would slow down, or stop, him from collecting.

27th September 1969, students Bryan Hartnell and Cecelia Shephard were picnicking when a man wearing a black executioners hood with with sunglasses over the eye-holes and a cross-like symbol with a circle around it on a bib around his neck. He approached with a gun, said he was a convict who had escaped and demanded their car and the money to get to Mexico.

Shephard was told to tie up Hartnell and then the attacker tied up Shephard, Hartnell was expecting it to be a bizarre robbery but both were stabbed repeatedly and the killer then went to their car and used a black felt-tip pen to draw the symbol and then wrote “Vallejo/12-20-68/7-4-69/Sept 27-69 – 6.30/by knife”. The killer than called in his crime to Napa County Sheriff from a pay phone. Shephard was conscious when he was found and gave a description of the attacker but died later on, Hartnell survived and recounted the event.

11th October 1969, a passenger got into Paul Stine’s Cab and wanted to go to Presidio Heights. The result was that Stine got shot in the head by the passenger, he took is wallet, car keys and a section of his shirt. Three teenagers saw the events and called the police.

14th October 1969, the Chronicle got another Zodiac letter containing the stolen section of Stine’s shirt. He proceeded to threaten to kill school children on a school bus. His plan was to shoot out a tyre then pick them off one by one as they came out of the bus. 2pm on the 20th October, he called demanding F. Lee Bailey or Melvin Bellie appear on the local T.V. station A.M San Francisco. Bellie appeared and the lines were kept open, someone called in saying they were the Zodiac Killer several times, they called themselves Sam and arranged to meet in Daly City but the suspect never arrived.

9th November 1969 the Zodiac Killer then sent another 340 character cryptogram, so far this one has not been decoded. The day after he mailed a 7 page letter saying two policemen had spoken to him only three-minutes after he had shot Stine and then on 20th December, that same year, he mailed Bellie supposedly he wanted help from the very famous criminal lawyer.

22nd March 1970 saw Kathleen Johns off to see her mother, she was 7 months pregnant and had her 10 month-old daughter with her. She was on Highway 132 near Modesto and a car came up behind flashing its light and honking the horn. Johns pulled off the road and stopped, the man in the car said he’d seen her wheel nuts were loose on her back tire and offered to help her out. When she tried to drive off the entire wheel came off and the man came back, he offered to help take her to a gas station, and stranded, she got in with her daughter.

The car passed several stations but did not stop, when she asked him why he did not stop he would change the subject. John’s escaped when she jumped out with her daughter at an intersection, eventually he gave up because he could not find her. She then managed to hitch a lift to the police station and the cops found her car gutted and torched.

20th April 1970 he wrote again with another 13 character cipher and said he was not responsible for a police station bombing, he threatened instead again to aim at a school bus. 28th April he then wrote to say that he was upset not to see any of the Zodiac symbol buttons and in response had shot someone. The closest match for a shooting that could be found was for a police Seargent shot in his car. His case however was not definitively linked as a Zodiac killing and remains unsolved. In the letter he also left instructions to find a bomb, the cipher he gave was not decoded but no bomb was ever found or detonated either.

24th July 1970 the Zodiac took credit for John’s abduction, he left another letter on 7th October 1970 with the Zodiac symbol on it drawn in blood. Inspectors Armstrong and Toschi, both on the case, said it was probably it was the killers blood.

27th October 1970, Chronicle reporter Paul Avery got a Halloween Card signed with Z and the symbol. He had been covering the case and threatened that he would be next. Avery got another letter soon after they gave similarities between the Zodiac’s killings and that of the murder of Cerri Jo Bates, four years prior. He reported his findings.

22nd March 1971 and a card was posted to Paul Avery at the Chronicle claiming responsibility for a missing woman called Donna Lass, she had gone missing 6th September 1970 and was thought to be from the Zodiac. Lass’s body has never been found.

13th November 1972, Vallejo Times-Herald ran a story that postulated two young people from Santa Barbara were the Zodiac’s victims. The victims were Robert Domingoes and Linda Edwards who had been shot on 3rd June 1963. They’d been shot and hidden in a small shack but the killer had failed to burn it down.

The final letter authenticated as the Zodiac came three years later on 29th January, 1974. It praised the horror film The Exorcist as a comedy and tallied his victim score as 37.

Subsequent letters came but after that last they have not been verified as the original Zodiac. In April 2004 the case was marked as inactive but not closed. The case was then reopened in March 2007. Several of the victims have been named, put forwards and even had people come forwards to confess but as of yet no charges have been brought forwards and no one has been put on trial.

The Zodiac killer has inspired films, music, games, liberate and was used in a mobile game, one I played for a while, which was EA’s Cause of Death. If the killer is still alive he would be in his late 60’s as a minimum and so he may have been incarcerated, killed, committed suicide or even still walking around.

Zodiac-Killer

The Film Star, Rudolph Valentino, owned a great Dane who was buried in the Los Angeles Pet Cemetery, supposedly Kabar is often seen or heard by visitors giving the occasional lick to an unsuspecting guest. It is also said Kabar has been spotted at Valentino’s old home.

Rudolph Valentino is said to haunt his former estate, Falcon’s Lair, as well as Hollywood Forever Cemetery as he died with unfinished business. He is interred in the Cathedral Mausoleum, crypt 1205, as he lost his wife to his movie obsession, filming ‘The Hooded Falcon’ when she left the stress may have left to the onset of his perforated ulcer. He died 23rd August, 1926 with Kabar by his side.

Kabar was heard to howl mournfully when his master’s spirit crossed over and finally they had to overpower the dog in order to get Valentino laid out in state.

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By Associated Press-much of the stamp is under the wire copy, but “Associated Press Photo” can be read. – Original text : eBay
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archived links
The Warren Tribune 26 August 1926 page 1), Public Domain, Link

 

http://undereverystone.blogspot.com/2013/08/rudolph-valentinos-faithful-dog-kabar.html

A deeper dive into the story, and worthy of a click!

Tea break over… back to work.

This is a ghost of South-eastern Asian mythology and is like a vampire myth, the name is derived from the meaning to remove or detach. The lore in this case is that the creature looks like a beautiful woman during the day, at night the head detaches from the body and she flies around with her intestines and lungs floating like a jellyfish, where she then hunts for blood.

Stories of the origins of the Pennanggalan are that a woman has made a pact with the devil, used black magic or some mystical approach to get beautiful features. Often it’s believed the woman was a midwife, who has been charged with the pact of starving for 40 days but has broken the pact. With the broken pact comes a curse where she must then become a bloodsucking vampire. She will keep a vat of vinegar at home and after flying around all night will be engorged with the blood, she then has to put the entrails into the vinegar to shrivel them so she can reattach to her body. Sounds… lush doesn’t it? But that’s how you can spot one too, the smell.

Victims are usually pregnant women and young children, she will search for a woman in labour and land on the roof letting out a shriek. She can then use a long invisible tongue to get into the house and then laps up the blood of the new mother, the victim is then struck with some unknown disease that is fatal. Even if the creature cannot feed the entrails brushing over the victim cause horrid sores and they won’t heal without the help of a Bomoh (healer).

The Mengkuang plant is recommended to be scattered around the area, this will trap the exposed lungs and intestines. Once the vile thing is trapped she can be killed with parangs (sort of sword) and machetes. A precaution would also be to keep scissors or betel nut cutters under her pillow as she is afraid of these items. Another action is that brave men can take up vigil at night and trap her as she flies.

Another way, non-lethal, to sort out the Pennanggalan is to turn the body over whilst she flies and then she will reattach with her head the wrong way around, that way she is easily identified by others.

The below picture is thanks to a version in the Monster Manual for Dungeons & Dragons.

Penanggalan.JPG
By Source, Fair use, Link

 

It is know as the Tunnel Railway, Ramsgate Cliff Railway and other variations, it is located in Ramsgate, England. It was a 2 foot narrow gauge underground railway and was closed in 1926 as part of a restructure, however it was then opened again in 1936 to connect tourist attractions near Ramsgate Harbour with the new mainline at Dumpton Park.

Other than the two stations it ran entirely underground and the line through was built in only three months, it was then converted to an air-raid shelter during the second world war, it was not handed over to the Nationalisation of Railways and remained in private hands. Make-shift homes were made in the area, it was a dark but safe place, despite regular bombing the total civilian death only amounted to 29 for the town.

In 1946 it was back to being used normally and was illuminated with floodlights to the sides of the trains. In 1957 part of the chalk cliff near the lower terminus collapsed and this meant it was closed whilst they reinforced the tunnel.

Passenger numbers began to fall during the 60’s and it was becoming unviable to use. 1st July 1965 there was an accident, the driver was 74-year-old Ernest Brown, he was trapped it the cab and suffered pelvic injuries, whilst a number of passengers suffered minor injuries. The line was finally stopped in September 1965.

The tunnel was then left empty and unused, but after being renovated it has been handed to Prince Edward, Duke of Kent in a ceremony on 27th May 2014. Now they are open it seems that the Paranormal Teams are flocking to the place!

One tells everyone that the tunnels were badly sanitised, that people were injured and a lack of healthcare claimed the lives of many (somewhat more sensational than the 29 listed huh?) and that residents that died in there still haunt the place. Already they say that many sightings have been witnessed, along with the cries of people rushing around… I am sure at £46.50 a night for a seat someone will get something out of it… I think I’ll just keep my cash thanks.

Ramsgate Tunnel Railway entrance at Beach Station.jpg
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