Archive for August, 2012

Another notable haunting based on the Gallows, Louisa Merrifield aka the Blackpool Poisoner who was hanged at Strangeways Prison in Manchester, in 1953 for the murder of a 79-year-old widower. Her ghost is seen in the cell she spent her last night alive on earth, and a Lancashire research team found out from a former prison officer that she was seen regularly.

Merrifield’s description is of a shadowed figure around 5ft that came past in their vision for around five seconds accompanied by a notable cold spot. She also disappeared once she reached a cell and terrified a young prisoner inside. Sightings of the former murderer peaked around the 1980’s.

Another thing Strangeways is famous for is the riots there, video is related to that.

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“Ph’nglui mglw’nafh Cthulhu R’lyeh wgah’nagl fhtagn” In his house at R’lyeh, dead Cthulhu waits dreaming.

I have a love for Lovecraft, I admit it, despite the hammy writing style which can be hard going the concepts for what he produces are, in a nutshell, awesome! Of course without Lovecraft there would be little chance of films like Hellboy and I adore those too.

“The Call of Cthulhu” was published in Weird Tales in 1928 and was the story about the entity being trapped underwater in a city called R’lyeh in the South Pacific. And what a description he brings to us for this creature… “…an octopus, a dragon, and a human caricature…. A pulpy, tentacled head surmounted a grotesque scaly body with rudimentary wings”

The creature is portrayed to be the subject of man’s anxiety on a subconscious level. Cthulhu might well be trapped in the watery city but there is a belief that he will one day return. His worshippers chant the phrase Ph’nglui mglw’nafh Cthulhu R’lyeh wgah’nagl fhtagn.

Cthulhu does not solely appear in the one story. The Dunwich Horror (1928) references him, and The Whisperer in the Darkness (1930) hints at one of his characters knowing his origin. The fantastic novella “At The Mountains of Madness” is due to be made into a feature film and in this Cthulhu is referenced because the Star-spawn of Cthulhu went to war with a race known as The Elder Things before man was even around. Lovecraft’s complex bestiary and mythical hierarchy have become for some a wonderfully intricate study and passion that spawns (get it?) a whole host of fictions inspired by the man’s work and Cthulhu really does make for a big part of that.

The subject of hanging is already pretty gruesome in itself but imagine the old area being haunted. There are said to be plenty of lovely headless ex kings and queens around the world so is it surprising that with such a traumatic type of death the dead tend to “hang around” (oh yes shoot me the pun was awful). Public hanging would seem to have been the norm back in the day, whilst it was moved back behind the prison walls around the 1860’s possibly to reduce the amount of corpses left around the gibbets for years.

Perhaps one of the most famous for those in England is that of Ruth Ellis, the last woman to be hanged in England in 1956. Ellis was found guilty after shooting her lover on the Easter Sunday the year before. Her ghost is said to haunt the pub there, The Magdala in Hampstead, London.

There is another link to her haunting as her lover is buried at the Penn Churchyard and there have been reports of a woman in white around the area. It’s possible it is her ghost searching him out but there is nothing to say that it definitely is, and the woman in white is a fairly common phenomenon. Also I would be a little sceptical as she is buried in Amersham Cemetery ( I would expect with her head but hey who knows!).

Another report (thanks to the fantastic Fortean Times) has a man called John Ellis who was reportedly haunting B-wing in the former condemned block at Strangeways Prison. The staff at the prison have also reported seeing a mysterious man in a dark suit with a briefcase who disappears just before the old staircase (made of iron). He has also been put forwards as a potential for an invisible force that pushed the owner on the shoulder and pinched her bottom, the reason he may have visited there is that he used to run a barber’s shop at the premises. John Ellis committed suicide after seeing the execution of Edith Thompson in 1923 and having found the matter so distressing he never recovered.

Video is Styx, Renegade music and the scene is from Supernatural.

“Hangman is coming down from the Gallows and I don’t have very long.”

Hyogo, Japan has a large castle in the middle of the city, which is famous for many things, including the supernatural. It has the nickname of White Heron Castle, and it one of the big three in Japan. With over 83 rooms this stunning building is a large tourist attraction, that was built somewhere around 1333-1346.  One of the features is a maze that surrounds the castle in the dense wooding, put in place for defence. It is also said to be a lucky place, spotless and survning riots during the Onin war and during the Meiji restoration it was decided that it should end up in the hands of the government. The army went to try and seize it, the Tadasumi family handed it over despite no shells having went off or damaging it.  When the Han system was abolished the city brought the building back and even though the city was bombed by the USA it managed to remain undamaged. This is now a protected site and a popular place to visit.

Okay so history lesson over, let’s get to the ghost.

Okiku was a servant that worked in on of the four guard towers,  Dungon. Dungon is thought to be the one furthest down the mountain. Okiku’s master was a samurai called Tessan Aoyama who’s wife gathered ten expensive Duth golden plates. Her duties included looking after the plates and Tessan Aoyama was not loyal to his wife, he asked her to be his mistress and that he would leave his wife. Okiku honourably said no.

Aoyama did not like this refusal and hid one of the ten plates, realising a plate was missing she began looking for it. Aoyama told her if she did not become his mistress he would blame her and have her tortured then executed. She decided that life was not worth living and dived into the well in the castle courtyard.  For some reason Aoyama kept the plate hidden and still blamed her.  Every night however she returned as a white and black ghost (think Grudge ghost as a description for looks), she would climb out of the well, walk to the plates and check on them. With there being nine and not ten she would wail unnaturally.

Tessan Aoyama should have put the plate back but he was so convinced he would have the last laugh he eventually went insane, he was kicked out of the castle and ironically this stopped him being assassinated. This is a play that has become very famous throughout Japan.  Reports of her haunting still come in but are less frequent in the modern day.

I kinda like these stories… so be warned you might see more haha!

 

Previous entry regarding the Slenderman has brought me to decide to bring a new game to the attention of the bloggers/readers passing by.

So the short game is this one: SLENDER 

Firstly I would like to let people know I am by NO means a pro-gamer, nor will I ever care to be. Horror gaming is something I have enjoyed as yet another additional to the “OMG that’s scaring me”

Don’t expect amazing graphics, do expect to crap yourself. If you turn off the lights and concentrate you’ll soon be immersed. The simplicity is actually what makes this highly addictive. A bit like pacman, who didn’t love just running around trying to avoid the ghosts? And if you’ve never played pacman you may wish to google it to understand what I am talking about (on and make me feel old).