This is an Australian ghost story from around the 19th Century, the events take place in Campbelltown, it was a rural outpost but it is now part of Sydney. Frederick Fisher, an English-born Australian farmer suddenly disappeared, his friend and neighbour, George Worrall, claimed that Fisher had gone back to England and that before he left he had passed over power of attorney to him whilst he was away. Later Worrall said that he had written to him, he did not intend to leave England and come back, saying that the farm was given to him.

Four months later the situation took a different turn, a respectable man of the area, John Farley, ran into the local hotel in an agitated state. He told the patrons that he had seen him sat on a rail of a nearby fence. He said that Fisher had said nothing to him but pointed to a paddock beyond the local creek, he had then disappeared. The story was taken with little stead but given that the disappearance had aroused suspicion they decided to look into it further.

Local police searched the area that Farley had described, and they found the remains of Fisher buried by the creek. George Worrall was arrested for the crime, he confessed and was subsequently hanged. Fred Fisher was buried in the cemetery at St Peter’s Anglican Church in Campbelltown. Some think that Farley had been made aware of the crime, or had stumbled upon the details/body and then made up the story to point them to the corpse.

Since 1956 there has been The Festival of Fisher’s Ghost, and it is organised by the local City Council, NSW, Australia. It is used to promote the community, to bring a diverse set of people together in order to celebrate the town and its history. The event is a ten day one and has a parade, fun run, all sorts of other events and even a Fisher’s Ghost Art Award.

Read more: here 

Sources: Samurai in 100 Objects: Stephen Turnbull, japanvisior.com (Alan Wiren article), amusingplanet.com, samuelhawley.com/bloodyceilingphotos.com, Japanese-castle-explorer.com, ja.wikipedia,org and other google searches.

Amongst the beauty temples in Kyoto and its surroundings there are five that are named to have something called bloody ceilings, and now I don’t want this to be about creepy Grudge like ghosts so right off the bat, if you came here for that I am about to disappoint you, but the reality is far more interesting in my humble opinion.

Koushouji, Yougenin, Shoudenji, Genkouan and Housenin have temples where the floorboards from Fushimi Castle have been built up as their ceilings. This is in part a spiritual thing to appease the souls of the dead but also, I believe as a very practical way to honour and preserve their history.

Following the death of Toyotomi Hideyoshi in 1598 Japan was divided once more, he had ended Japan’s feudal age by bringing Japan under his rule in 1592. He moved to Fushimi Castle in his retirement and that is where he spent his last days. His five-year-old son, Toyotomi Hideyori had supporters and a weak structure around them and the opposition party was Ieyasu Tokugawa, who went on to become the founder and first shogun of the Tokugawa Shogunate.

Tokugawa garrisoned Fushimi Castle with around 2000 men, including his loyal trainer Torii Mototada. They had learned about 40,000 opposing troops coming towards them and Tokugawa pressed on westward to continue gaining ground for his campaign, whilst Mototada remained with his troops to defend Fushimi castle. Capturing rival castles whilst remaining their own was a large part of the strategy of both factions.

Natsuke Msasaie, Lord of Minakuchi was able to capture the wives and children of two of the samurai at the castle whilst the men were absent. An arrow letter was then loosened to them and the demand placed, set fire to the castle and they would be rewarded, if not their women and children would be crucified. The men agreed and persuaded 40 others to help them to set fire to a tower and then pull down one of the walls, this allowed the enemy forces inside.

The loyal forces held out on the battle for eleven days (12 in some sources), and Mototada’s heroic efforts meant that Ieyasu was able to swing the fortune of the battle at Sekigahara as the effort delayed his enemies forces from outnumbering them, they had been delayed so long that they did not reach the battleground. Torii Mototada and ten men were left at the steps and he took a break there, here was issued a challenge to him by an enemy samurai, Mototada announced who he was and the assailant gave them their command to end their lives, whilst waiting to behead the man to signal the end of the siege.

Seppuku, ritual suicide, was the result of the men that had stayed behind to stall the enemy forces. They opened their bellies with swords, the bloody and instant death signalled the fall of Fushimi Castle but Ieyasu’s forces won the war in the end.

The third shogun of the Edo Period saw no needs for the remains of Fushimi Castle, instead the parts of it that were left were dispersed to various temples and castles in Japan. The floorboards, their bloody imprints still soaked into them, were then sent to the five temples mentioned above. The blood stains that are visible when you visit are what remains of Torii Mototada and the men that gave up their lives, soaked into the wood it is possible to make out their foot and handprints.

There is now another castle on the original site, the original was finished by 1594 and then destroyed in 1596, when it was rebuilt but eventually demolished in 1623. Later the site was used for the tomb of Emperor Meiji before a replica of Fushimi Castle was then built in 1964.


(another one here for Japanese readers is about Yogenin Temple, Kyoto City – illustrated article)

Imagine a slightly different London view, The Shard is a very large building but what if there was another one on the horizon? Well there almost was another one, it was a design for London that was proposed in 1820 by Thomas Wilson and it was a large pyramid to tackle the problem of where to put London’s deceased.

The Metropolitan Sepulchre was proposed to be a rather impressive 950 feet high and 94 storeys of death housing. He proposed to build a large pyramid on Primrose Hill, it would overlook St Paul’s Cathedral and most other buildings of the time. It would be rather large and ornate with a steam powered lift to raise the dead up to their resting places.

This large structure sounds rather impressive and would have fitted in with the Egyptian craze of the time, mummy tea parties as just one example, and of course quite expensive to build. It would also bee one hell of a reminder of the inevitability of the mortal coil.

The building would not have seemed an entirely bad idea in the climate of 1820’s London, the dead and where to put them was a pretty big problem. Gatherings From Graveyards would paint the picture of the stench of death oozing from all of London’s pores, and disposal of the dead, in reality, was a growing concern.

A company called the Pyramid General Cemetery Company was set up and would have cost £2,000 to build. The profit margin potential, however, far exceed the outlay. The catacombs could each house 24 bodies, rented out at £50 per vault with the potential for the higher places costing more, well some would pay to get closer to God surely?

A random tangent to this was to have the top part as an astronomical observatory.

It would have taken up 18 acres and was “supposed to be compact, hygienic and ornamental” says Catherine Arnold, Necropolis: London and it’s dead. His idea was people could picnic at Primrose Hill and overlook it.

In reality, the design was rejected by people’s concerns about the weight of it crushing Primrose Hill and a generally unpopular reception to the thing overall.

Highgate Cemetery and the others opening soon solved the problem, and put the pyramid plans on the shelf for good.

Www.ianvisits.co.uk

BBC Magazine Article

Catherine Arnold – Necropolis: London and its dead.

Exploring-London.com

I first did a pretty quick summary on this and feel that I could re-visit this with a little more information, so here goes for another update.

Varosha itself sits in the southern quarter of the city of Famagusta, Cyprus. Prior to the Turkish Invasion in 1974 it was a tourist area, during the invasion the inhabitants ended up displaced, leaving when it was placed under Turkish control. It has been cordoned off and forbidden to enter, it is listed now as a ghost town and under the occupation of the Turkish Armed Forces.

It seems a shame that from 1970-74 a lot was invested into the suburb, it was Cyprus’ number one tourist spot and all that investment has been lost now. Before the invasion it had a population of around 39,000 and in 1984 the UN ordered the area to be handed back over so that people could re-settle who had been previously forced out, but the Turkish State would not comply. Despite several attempts to resolve this no one has got back to their homes and the area is now left rotting away.

Nature is starting to reclaim the city, but some people from other countries are pressing for another ideas, perhaps it could be turned into an eco-city but again all of this isn’t helping displaced people who are still locked away from their original homes.

A few searches online shows mixed information, some happy to state that there is no entry into it, but others stating that they were able to get in due to lapsed security, and that makes it easy to access, of course you can also find pictures online from places that have visited.

Another attempt to assess the situation and condition of the area was due in May 2018. Now it seems that as of 2020 tourism has come back to the place, but if the area is to be redeveloped it most likely won’t be good for the people who lost their homes and were banned from being there. Instead of visiting it as some sort of ghost town, I suspect they will level it and redevelop it which is the most obvious way, but a shame that those displaced people will never get back to the property that was originally their own. The sad part if they open it up as a tourist destination in it’s current climate is that it would have a lot to offer thrill seekers and people like myself who love abandoned decay but I am not sure I would go there and fund the very people that robbed the inhabitants. A moral quandary indeed. 

BBC News
Wikipedia
Cyprus Mail
Tripadvisor
The Guardian
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-54465684

Image - Reuters.

If you look this up on Wikipedia it’s summarised the phenomenon of Black Eyed Kids (BEK’s) as urban legend, but is there more to this than simple campfire tales?

Websites generally attribute the start of the BEK legends to be around November 1998, a mailing transcript was sent out by Brian Bethel who describes an encounter with two children in Abilene, Texas and had found a second person with a similar encounter in Portland, Oregon. He recounted the story for ‘Monster and Mysteries in America’, a TV show and maintains his believe that it was legitimate.

The basics are that Brian was in his car, he saw two teenage boys staring at him from the street and during the encounter only one of them spoke. He felt frightened by them for no real reason and they wanted a lift to their home. Brian states that the encounter just felt wrong and at one point his hand was straying to the door subconsciously but he stopped himself just in time.

When the strange spell broke he realised their eyes were completely black, no pupils, no iris just two whole black orbs on each face.  During the whole encounter both children were insistent and kept saying they needed to go home and see their mother, a normal request but the whole thing was just too odd. Brian felt utterly convinced if he had let them in that they would have killed him.

Outside of this mention little else came to the forefront about the incident or anything after it, but skip to 2012 and BEK are back on the rumour circuit. A Kickstarter horror, Black Eyed Kids, and an MSN feature in 2013 for the Weekly Strange helps bring the subject back up.

Snopes haven’t updated their perspective on this matter since the 2013 article and leave it to the status of legend.

2014, Birmingham Mail, from the UK reported about BEK’s in the Cannock Chase area. A local paranormal investigator, Lee Brickley, opened an investigation into the sightings after a woman described her experience. The woman heard what she thought were screams, she followed the noise and came across a wandering, sightless spectre.

She did not see a child until she turned around, they saw a girl of around 10 years old with her hands over her eyes. The witness tried to speak to her to ask if she had been screaming, this prompted the child to drop her hands and the girls eyes were pitch black. The witness left with her daughter and when she did turn around the girl was gone.

I looked around a little more, according to the ‘journal of the bizarre’ website article there is an explanation. Someone who got referred to as Onizuka claimed to have been a BEK and claims to them that the black eyes come from drugs and 99% of the sightings are people on drugs and into the Lolita fashion. Whilst his claims might seem odd to some people it might explain some cases.

www.journalofthebizarre.com/2013/04/black-eyed-children-finally-explained.html

Be it Creepypasta, true event of something to be explain, I am still confused. What do they actually want?

 

ref; https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Black_eyes_by_megamoto85_(cropped).jpg#/media/File:Black_eyes_by_megamoto85_(cropped).jpg