Thanks to the Youtube channel series ‘Ask a Mortician’ I ended up travelling to Lincoln Cathedral. I spent a good twenty minutes from the car park up the steep hill to get there and was not disappointed, it was worth the walk and I got plenty of good exercise too.

According to Wikipedia they are also known as transi, and the term Cadaver Tomb refers to a variety of monuments. Thee carving is of a decayed/decaying body with the shroud wrapped around it. Some of them have another sculpture above of the persons likeness before their death. The term includes both the single cadaver monument and the ‘double decker’ that hosts the alive and dead.

The one I went to see if the one at Lincoln Cathedral, it is of Bishop Richard Fleming who died in 1431. It’s said to be the earliest surviving one in England and I took a video and pictures, you can enjoy the link –

There are examples in Italy too, including in Rome at the tomb of Pope Innocent III. France also has examples, Henry II is buried in ice.

I found a very good and lengthy resource.

http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/4274/2/DX082064_1.pdf

Cadaver tombs look dramatic and macabre, with perhaps a deep meaning for those of faith. A reminder that the body must decay so the soul can be released, once left to dust the soul would not longer be trapped and paired, instead the soul would be released and thanks to prayers (and of course money) the soul could ascend.

My last one to look at is a transi-monument that really went the full hog… René de Chalon’s memorial is at Saint-Étienne Church at Bar-le-Duc in France. The young prince died at age 25, either his wife asked or he had asked her, but the upshot was the memorial was about a life-sized skeleton with strips of skin over it, a right hand clutching at the rib cage. He wanted the left hand holding up his heart up high. The hand once held his real and dried heart but somewhere along the lines it was believed to have been stolen during the French Revolution.

I didn’t get to France but I did appreciate the one I found more locally. I hope you like the pics I got courtesy of my phone.

 

The cemetery is also known as the Presbyterian Churchyard in Baltimore, Maryland and probably most famously the burial place for Edgar Allan Poe (19th January 1809 to 7th October 1849) amongst others. There have been some reportedly strange occurrences so it seems like it’s worth a little look around and to enjoy a little of the local rumors and anecdotes. 

He was reburied there 1st October 1875, and the dedication  ceremony was 17th November 1875. He had originally been buried with no headstone and  market on a sandstone block with “No 80” and these days is a household name for horror and poetry enthusiasts.  Poe’s spirit is said to be there, he travelled through a lot during his lifetime and had an unexplained death. He was on the way to visit his mother and true love when he died and it’s said that he wanders the spot he is buried in and around the nearby church. Perhaps he is seeking for his lover to come and wed him at the altar?

Another lovely anecdote surrounding the grave of Poe is that a local Baltimore man would visit the authors grave, he did this annually and would bring cognac for a toast, he would leave three roses and the remnants of the bottle for Poe himself. He would dress all in black, and would go on the 19th January for the deceased poet’s grave, he did this for 75 years. 

Just below the Westminster Hall area, is one of the areas believed to be haunted because there are stories about how many there were buried whilst still alive. The spirit then wanders to find the person that did it, as they want to seek out revenge. There are supposedly a few of them and people have witnessed their wandering spirits.

As well as this is the “Skull of Cambridge”, it is said to be the head of a minister that was murdered. The skill was placed in a segment of concrete in the hopes of drowning out the sounds of his screams but they have still been heard and has frightened a lot who have witnessed it. There is a rumour that several were committed to psychiatric wards because they had gone insane from a prolonged exposure to the event.

Leona Wellesley is another of the rumours for hauntings so I have included her name here, she was a lunatic (reference of the time) who was brought directly from the asylum, still in her straightjacket, and buried as swiftly as they could. Rumour has it that you she follows visitors and her mad laughter can be heard echoing behind as they walk but these days finding her grave does not seem to be located and might be one of those wethered ones in the area.

Black Aggie is another local rumour, was about an innocent nurse who was put to her death in the early 1900’s and they erected a statue in the Druid Ridge Cemetery as an attempt to appease the mistake. It grew in fame locally because rumours of strange things happening around it began to surface. One of them being that if you stand around the “Aggie” statue at midnight her eyes will glow red and if they do you will be struck blind. It is worth noting you may not want to go to close if you are pregnant as it is also said she can cause miscarriages.

Sadly with these things the local rumours and attention have also meant that the 1926 installation has been removed from the original site. People had been caught breaking in at night and the pedestal suffered frequent vandalism. The Agnus family were upset by the negative attention donated it to the Smithsonian in 1967, and sat there in storage in the National Museum of American Art (later the Smithsonian American Art Museum). There is a blank pedestal at Druid Ridge Cemetery and the original rests protected behind closed doors.

Have you ever been and what did you experience?

By AndrewHorne (talk) – I (AndrewHorne (talk)) created this work entirely by myself.Transferred from en.wikipedia, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=10862323

Willowbrook State School, it was constructed in 1938 for the care of mentally handicapped children. In 9142 the building was converted into an army hospital then in 1947 it was named Willowbrook State School. In 1962 the hospital was pretty much a dumping ground for the poor mentally ill children, the place was for a 4000 occupancy and swelled to over 6000. the conditions were horrific for the children and with severe under-staffing the conditions could only worsen.

1963-1966 they were conducting medical studies on children, these poor things were infected with hepatitis, some of these occurred by them being fed the stool of another child. I’m sorry I can’t see how that is a medical study, it just seems cruel and gross.

In 1971 cuts for funding escalated the problems, the local media soon got wind. Once the exposure came so did the lawsuits, 1983 they planned closure, the last child left in 1987. In that year Andre Round, who had worked there, killed and buried Jennifer Schwieger on the abandoned grounds.

From the buildings tragic tale come stories of ghosts, satanic worship and people being followed by dark figures. It is of course possible that when you are being followed by mysterious dark figures, they are homeless people wondering what on earth other people see in the place…

Bedell Ghost, Staten Island’s avenue has the tale that if you go down the road at night with no lights on you can see a ghost hanging from the trees. The road was a dead end but has now opened up as where the mansions were built.

The consensus from sceptics and sensible folks is that it may well have been an optical illusion,. Or popularised from a small source and it escalated. I am sure that is more likely the case, with no reason for the hanging to be there and nothing to suggest a body was found it seems more likely to be a local urban legend.

Vanderbilt tomb it is located in the Moravian cemetery, Cornelius Vanderbilt, one of the richest Americans of all time, donated 8 ½ acres to the cemetery. His son William Henry Vanderbilt then donated a further 4.

The tomb was constructed by William and designed by Richard Morris Hunt, a famous architect of the time. It was built between 1885 and 1886, and is three stories high. It is a replica of a Romanesque church in Artes, France. In the tomb is Cornelius and several family members.

The section that contains the tomb is closed off to the public by means of a large iron gate. The area has been said to have tragedy and accidents linked to it, a woman was killed there when she tried to open the gate and it fell on her. She was killed instantly. A man in a grey suit is also said to chase passers-by from the tomb, it may be that Cornelius is still protecting his resting place.

One widely reported occurrence seems to be that if you take a photograph in front of it, you may find that people are not in it that should be, or you have a random addition.

If you have visited or have any experiences to share please do.

 

Vanderbilt Mausoleum

Cornwall Jail, Ontario, the jail had it’s last official prisoner in 2002, before the war of 1812 the original courthouse was used as barracks, the courts were held in St John church and local taverns. 14 years later it burnt down, the new jailhouse was completed in 1834. It has a plan for 50-60 prisoners but was often over capacity with around 100.

Only 3 guards were on duty at any time and exercises in the courtyard for example, could not be controlled. It’s possible this led to some of the suicides in the jail. One of the suicides took place in the building, belts and shoelaces had been removed but he still found a way to hang himself from the bars, after his suicide Plexiglas was installed. The second was a suicide that took place overnight in a busy prison, and it seems strange that even with it being overcrowded it took a while for anyone to find them, did they have a cell mate I wonder?

Ten inmates were hung at the gallows before executions ended in the courtyard in 1954. Peter Balcombe, a 24 year old man, was the last hanging at the jail on the 25th May 1954, he had been found guilty of murder. Many of those executed were buried in the courtyard, a new section was added in the 1960’s, three ‘cells’ were laid in the ground, supposedly they were used for punishment but there appears to be no record of their existence.

In 2005 the jail opened as a tourist attraction for Ontario, whilst it is there for a historic purpose there are also those who are interested in the paranormal side too. Reports have included hearing the sounds of trolley movement, cell doors that were closed the night before would be found open the next day; or vice versa. Numerous orbs have been caught on photography or film, staff have reported hearing a humming from a male, some believe that woman and children also haunt the jail. TAPS investigated and aired a show from the site.

Cornwall Jail

(METPO-2)

Page 69, Fodor’s Moscow & St Petersburg

Moscow’s metro is one of the deepest in the world, but below it, if you believe the Soviet Legend, is a second even deeper metro system, Metro 2. This metro was purportedly built for Stalin as a private line for top party officials. One of the lines supposedly led from the Kremlin to the Lubyanka, the home of the feared KGB.

1933, summer, and two men found a centuries old tunnel within sight of the Kremlin, excited that they might find Ivan the Terrible’s gold-covered books they found 5 skeletons and a rusted door they could not open. They didn’t dare let on what they had found during Stalin’s reign but when Mikhail Gorbechav came to power surviving engineer, Apollos Ivanov, recalled the tale.

It’s a good old-fashioned conspiracy dive, Metro 2 is the informal name for the secret underground system which parallels the public metro system in Moscow. It is theorised that it was built, or at least started, during the era of Joseph Stalin and codenamed D6 (Д-6) by the KGB.

The KGB (Комите́т Госуда́рственной Безопа́сности (КГБ)) was the main security agency for the Soviet Union, 1954-1991 until the breakup of the union. D6 is still rumoured to be operated by the Main Directorate of Special Programmes and Ministry of Defence.

In 1992 a journalist magazine called Yunost published a novel by Vladimir Eonik. It was called Преисподняя  (Preispodniaia or Abyss) and was sent in an Underground bunker in Moscow. The idea of the D6 project had been introduced to them via 20 years of collected papers and works on secret bunkers and an underground railway system that connected them.

Russian reporters have neither confirmed or denied the existence of D6, but there is supposedly evidence of it and when the Rossiya Hotel was demolished near the Kremlin a tunnel was found, providing another potential link into the conspiracy theory being more of a fact. Given that tunnels are all over major cities I’m not actually sure if this is to be counted as proof. So, let’s take a look into what we can find for further information.

1994, an exploration group “Diggers of the Underground Planet” claimed they’d found an entrance to the system, before that in 1991 the United States Department of Defence published a report ‘Military Forces in transition” that had a diagram of the system that was superimposed on a city map which was, it states, designed for 100,000 people.

Igor Maleshenko, the Deputy Director Broadcaster, gave an interview in 1992 with Time and discussed a similar project called Sofrino-2, he said that it has been built in case of a nuclear war but like many of the installations it was unusable. The age, deterioration and flooding had affected a great number of them.

2004, former advisor to Gorbachev, Boris Yeltsin and Vladimir Putin, Vladimir Shevchenko confirmed that there was a secret in the Moscow Metro, however he said that the number of these things were greatly exaggerated. He then touched upon the subject again, “currently, the Kremlin subway cannot be called a transportation artery, and, as far as I know, for its continued operation it requires major repairs; for among other things there are a lot of underground utilities which will eventually decay.”

2008 – Mikhail Poltoranin, a minister under Boris Yelstin’s reign, confirmed an extensive network of tunnels for the purpose and mentioned Metro-2 directly.

Dimitry Gayev, ex-chief of the Moscow Metro felt that it would be of little surprise if it existed, in 2008 the head of the Moscow Metro, Svetlana Razina, also discussed that there had been recruiting for a service on secret routes and they required special clearance.

2007 ITAR-TASS stated “line of the Metro-2 has long been in the KGB office.”

Alexander Muzykantskiy was the former Head of Moscow’s Central Administrative District and spoke of a gigantic underground system. They had designed a place to ensure the stable operation of military and political operations during nuclear conflict, and for 91 years was kept as a highest state secret. I also think I will mention England tried to set up the same and I am sure it’s commonplace in many countries and not just Moscow.

Speaking of, the British Secret Intelligence Service also got a little information that was put out via defector. The former colonel of the KGB Oleeg Gordievsky said it was one of the main KGB secrets. The massive complex would likely never be shown to anyone, that huge underground city was not for the common eye.

A 2005 BBC article interviewed Eugine, who was 22 years old and a ‘digger’, they explore the underground spaces of Moscow and he relayed how a Russian reporter wrote about that secret network and was then questioned by the FSB (successor to the KGB). He was careful not to say how they got to their places and had a lot of images that they had collected as a group of diggers.

How has it been used in the media?

Well one of them favourite games uses it, I came across D6 in Metro 2033, a video game based on the series of books by Dimitry Glukhovsky. I’m 100% biased with my love of this nuclear survival and urban-ex nature of the game and in the book, it sends the main character, Artyom, to find the massive ‘bunker-like’ system. The existence is a legend amongst the underground dwellers of the Metro, and they reach one of the entrances located near Kievsaya Station. In the books D6 is only mentioned as Artyom does not go there himself.

Incidentally Metro, 2013, is a film set in the Moscow metro when a major leak sets off a pretty decent disaster movie. It has all the classic hallmarks of the type of film this genre holds and was fairly well received. My Russian understanding is minimal at best, but the plot was fairly simple to follow – spoiler alert below.

Rich man, c husband of wife and their daughter all end up trapped when the area floods. The old and busy tunnels become fatal for various reasons. Character (and a dog) all end up dying, trapped etc and you get some very good footage of the metro as this story goes on. It is clear that when travelling miles of these tunnels and seeing various entrances it would not be hard to believe that there is more than meets the eye, you get a similar feel when you go on the New York subway or the London Underground and so I think it is a subject for interested.
What do you think?

Jalopnik.com

inyourpocket.com

mmorpgforums.com

atlasobscura.com

metro.ru/metro2/

globalsecurity.org

bbc.co.uk

Metro 2003, Dimitry Glukhovsky


Read the rest of this entry »