Archive for March, 2012

3rd march 1943, and the air raid siren started up and the local population made the run to their local tube station. That night they had also decided to test-fire an experimental rocket in nearby Victoria Park. the explosion prompted an already nervous crowd into panic.

A woman fell on the stairs, taking several people with her which prompted the crowd into panic. It was a terrible tragedy and due to the morale of London at the time many of the facts remained undisclosed until 1946.

173 men, women and children were crushed to death. It was another awful tragedy for many families.

Why have I picked this? Well a report from 1981 and onwards started to suggest that the area is still active, with late night staff hearing screams that could be heard for up to fifteen minutes. It sounds like a residual type of haunting, with the imprint of the disaster forever remembered in the walls of the tube station.

Disaster Memorial Page

From the Paranormal Database 

Cries and Screams

Location: E2 – Bethnal Green Station
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: 1981
Further Comments: A station master working alone in the station office late at night heard the soft sounds of children crying. As time went by, the cries grew louder and were joined by the screams of women. He ran from the office. One hundred and seventy-three people died in the station in a single accident during World War 2, the vast majority being women and children.

Sir Richard Francis Burton

A British explorer, translator, writer, soldier and so very much more. He had an amazing life in reality. He has a great history which you can easily get from a google search but the bit I liked was his grave.

Burton died in Trieste in the early hours of the morning of the 20th October 1890, he had suffered a heart attack. His wife never recovered from the loss and after his death it is reported that she burned many of his papers.

One of those she burned was a book due to be published “The Scented Garden”, Isabel claimed her actions were guided by her husbands spirit but others condemned the actions.

The tomb is remarkable, it is in the shape of a Bedouin tent at Mortlake in Southwest London.

Find A Grave Entry 

Black Shuck, a ghostly black dog that is said to roam the countryside of East Anglia. The name may have been derived from the Old English of Scucca (demon) or the local dialect word Shucky meaning hairy.

Shuck is one of many ghostly dogs along the British Isles. He has been recorded as an omen of death, or sometimes as a companiable animal, it is classified as a cryptid.

Inhabitants of England report that he dogs have red or green demonic eyes. The size of Shuck varies from a large dog to nearly the size of a cow. Dr Simon Sherwood suggests that the earliest account comes from an incident recorded for the Peterborough Chronicles in 1127.

In 1577 his appearance at Bungay and Blythburgh secured the famous legend and made him part of the iconography of the area.

The Holy Trinity Church has 18 pairs of carved and painted angels hanging from the roof beams. Another interesting part of the Church is the North Door, it has scorch marks on it which, it is claimed, was made by the Black Dog that appeared before its congregation in 1577.

The church was struck by lightning in 1577 and the spire toppled, it’s possible the damage was caused then but personally I prefer Shuck’s tale.

“The corrupted knight with an uncorrupted body”

He is known in local legend to have sired 11 of his own children and over 30 other illegitimate ones. In 1690 he used the ‘droit du seigneur’ to take a shepherd’s daughter to be his wife. She refused and he killed the shepherd. (A pleasant chap eh? Why on earth would she say no?)

As an aristocrat his word would be taken as gospel and he walked free after pleading not guilty.

Sir Friedrich Von Khalbutz died aged 52,  and in 1783 the last of the line died. In 1794 the church where he was buried was being renovated. The bodies were to be moved and buried in the cemetery. All but Khalbutz had decayed.

The local populace decided that it was down to God’s punishment for the murder. Modern theory suggests that he had suffered an illness that emaciated his body. A possible list would include Cancer, Tuberculosis or a muscular disorder.

(top image – http://historymystery.eu)

(image courtesy of wikipedia)

Nurse Jane Toppan (Jolly Jane) might not be the most famous serial killer in the world but definitely deserves a mention!

The “jolly” lady confessed to 31 murders just before her trial in 1902. Suspicions about the total count range from 70-100 people.

She was put on trial for one murder, Maryanne (Davis) Gibbs of Cataumet. She was was found not guilty by reasons of insanity, she was then sent to Taunton Asylum where she remained until her death in 1938.

She might only have been charged for one murder but Jane confessed to wiping out the Gibbs family! During 1901 she poisoned the mother, her sister, father and Mrs Gibbs in the course of one summer. She also confessed to murdering her foster sister, Sarah Brigham,  during a vacation in 1899.

When Maryanne took ill her husband, Irving, was at sea working as a ships captain and could not believe the sudden illness given her usual healthy frame. His persistence on the matter led to suspicion falling on Jane Toppan because the district attorney’s office in Middlesex County were already investigating an alleged poison of a patient, one month before the murders of the Davis/Gibs family.

Just days before the trial Jolly Jane confessed to the murders using atropine and morphine. Not so jolly a story given her name!

Taunton Asylum