Archive for December, 2012

As you may have guessed I am a big fan of the stories that are pretty well known locally, or even the very big stories. I like to look for the ones that are not always featured on blogs but also I like to find ones I haven’t heard of before. This one I stumbled across and thought was worth a share.

Happisburg is in Norfolk and the churchyard contains the unmarked grave of the “Happisburg Poisoner” his real name being Jonathan Balls. Legend has it that Mr Balls had worked out he was destined for hell, he died having accidentally taken his own poison… bit clumsy of him but anyway he asked to be buried with a Bible, a plum cake in one hand, a poker and a pair of coal tongues in the other hand. It seems that the locals were fearful he might not remain in the coffin as it was believed evil and suicidal people would become vampires after death.

Crossroads were places that these folks were buried as a precaution, the idea that they would be confused by which road to take. They also got buried in unholy grounds and suicides were then staked through the heart, this was legislation until 1834 (I can’t provide citation but I wouldn’t be surprised).

For some reason they exhumed him 6 months later, it was preserved by the arsenic he had consumed. He’d perhaps consumed it over a long period to build up a resistance, this was not an unknown practise. Anyway it seems that the reaction to this fact was not recorded, a shame as I am sure they would have been concerned by the potential of the vampire evidence presented.

Photos by HauntedIsle

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A 14th Century castle, situated around 3 miles north of the fishing town of Arbroath  Angus, Scotland. The castle dates to be around 1300 when the monks at Arbroath Abbey built a sandstone keep. The castled seems to have passed through several hands of the de Maxwell family and then into the ownership of Scotland’s last  Cardinal, David Beaton. Beaton was murdered in St Andrews in 1546.

The castle was purchases in 1665 by the Carneige family, they later became the Earls of Northesk, and they owned it until 1928 when it was brought by William Cunningham Hector. The castle is thought to be the bases for the Castle of Knockwhinnock in Sir Walter Scott;s novel The Antiquary.

The castle was then restored by the chief of the Forsyth Clan, Alistair Forsythe, and it served as their seat. The castle is also now owned by the de Morgan family who have converted it into a hotel. And as with any castle, I thought I’d bring up the subject of ghosts. Now David Beaton is said to be one of the hauntings there, it’s not a surprise really, after all being murdered is a pretty upsetting thing! However he’s not alone because there are rumours of a Grey Lady there too. Let’s hope she isn’t dressed to scandalously for the Cardinal.

Ghosts UK Entry

Their website if you want to check out more information. This also provided me with more notes and corrections that I have put into this. Original draft didn’t really
seem so unbiased as I would have liked. The Ladd School was a mental and rehabilitation hospital (I will rectify comments in later part of the blog here), 1902 to 1982. It looks like it’s been demolished now but I thought it was a nice one to pick up for a story. Rhode Island is also famous to me because of H P Lovecraft so a haunted tale for his neck of the woods sounds like a wonderful opportunity to have a nose around its tales and urban legends.

I’ve seemingly found jumbled mentions so will try and make them slightly more ordered for the purpose of the blog. Ladd School has been described as a series of ten buildings with everything from the main function of the hospital to a dental clinic, x-ray clinic which had patient records from 1968-1987, bowling alley, kitchens, and a crematorium. Overlooking the compound was a 400 foot elevated water tower amidst a group of tress. 1977 supposedly saw reports of abuse and malpractice brought against the school, two decades later the school gradually moved the patients out and it was left to rot and decay so lets see what we can get rumour mill wise?

It was not a mental institution for psychiatry or some kind of mental asylum, the were there for people that suffered disabilities which at the time were labelled under mental retardation etc. This included such things as children with ADHD, pregnant teenagers (I know don’t shoot me), sex offenders, prostitutes etc. There is nothing to suggest the ‘patients’ of these things suffered the same kind of experimental treatments as those in the mental asylums but there was cause to believe they had suffered some form of abuse by attendants. Unfortunately I didn’t see anything about the records that were kept to suggest to what extent and frequency this occurred.

Haunted? Well like any old place of medical facilities, castles and the like with long histories I guess it is not that surprising that these rumours came about. One of which I found was July 3rd, 2002 where a group of explorers headed into the nurses station and heard the sound of a dragging piano with echoing chords as it went. It suddenly stopped and they all looked at one another’s pale faces before they heard it again and promptly left.

Amongst the tales of the ghosts etc are voices, strange noises, mists and orbs oh and apparently someone had their camera smacked out of their hand. My message  here would have been maybe the ghosts or whatever are a little fed up of people trying to take a picture… hey even as spirit it’s not safe to assume they cannot be camera shy surely?

For some reason the website above also mentioned a rumour about a secret graveyard for abortions. Whilst it is likely there would be abortions on the site (or  miscarriages even) I cannot see that they would be performing the medical procedure on site, there is no records of this and as with many things of these periods the records in the cemetery don’t always get kept or created in the first place. More likely any aborted child, like most that died anyway, would be in the unmarked graves. A sad but grim fact would be that without names it’s just the most likely to occur in my mind. Of course the very practical perspective would be (okay I sound  horrible but hear me out) with a crematorium on site the thing would have been running day and night so why not just dispose of remains there?

The buildings were placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1995, I was glad to say that on a random internet search for trips in the area I was staying that this one showed up. The Sanatorium sits in Waterford, Connecticut on the coast.

From some black and white pictures on the internet it looks like it was a very nice little place once, set as a hospital overlooking the sea. Closer to the beach it had the offer of plenty of fresh air, swings and slides that are now rusted over would have been an enticing place on a sunny day.

It was designed by Cass Gilbert and opened in the 1930’s. In 1958 it was used for three years treating the elderly and then became a home for the mentally challenged, but it met a tragic start to the end in the 1970’s when reports came to light that staff were abusing patients and then in  the mid 90’s was shown to have a higher than expected mortality rate.

1996 saw the building closed down, it has passed through various hands and there are talks of removing buildings so the land can be used for condo’s. I visited November 2012, and we were advised by a friendly local resident that even though the building is locked up it is possible to walk around. We were advised to keep a little way off due to security, and so armed with a nervous friend and camera off I went to snap.

Firstly, the area was fairly quiet apart from two idiot hoodies who were determined to break something. I don’t illegally break into places so I took my photo’s from a little way off and and made sure they were external. I came away with a clear conscience though and that was a good thing!

Outside we found signs of an old walkway, an old chess table to play outside on sunny days and also a bridge that had collapsed that would have lead to another larger building area. We also passed an old metal roundabout and the playground that was behind the perimeter fence. The previous (and likely continuing) vandalism is evident on the building which is saddening to see, and nature is slowly claiming her prize around it.

If you go I would suggest you take a short trip to a nearby park, an old restored mansion named Ophelia is also worth a look around. We couldn’t go in as we were off season but you can explore the grounds, enjoy the sights and look into the windows to see a very pretty project that was worth the drive alone.

Information

My video – Slideshow

Built in 1930’s it is situated at Netheravon Road, Changi Villages, Singapore. It’s design is typical of the buildings from the British Colonial architects in the 1920’s. During the assault of the Japanese aggression from Malaya in February 1942 Changi was one of the first attack points.

In a day or two later it was occupied by the Japanese army, soon after OCH was converted into a military hospital, after the occupation ended it was converted back and later had a military ward on the 3rd level.

February 1997, it was replaced with the new hospital, it was isolated and left vacant. Stories about the building being haunted started in 1940’s, with 70+ years of rich history from the dreadful World War II. It witnessed the fall of Singapore and the brutal torture of Prisoners of War.

A quick net search shows me that they have a footage style horror set there, whilst I could not find anything solid on hauntings it seems that there are people making stories for the place anyway.