Archive for August, 2015

Mary Shelley is best known in history as the creator of the novel Frankenstein. She died 1st February 1851 and despite never having lived in Bournemouth requested she was buried there. Her wish for this and her deceased parents to join her was met, her parents were buried with her. 

Mary Shelley had lost three of her four children to illness and when her husband died she was in the process of recovering from a miscarriage. Her son, Percy Florence, had purchased land there and was arranging to build Boscombe Manor for his sick wife and Mary, his ailing mother. She died before it was completed but she was buried in Bournemouth anyway.

In 1822 Mary’s husband, Percy Bysshe Shelley, had died during a boating accident out in Italy. The body washed ashore on a beach near Viareggio and due to quarantine laws it was cremated on the beach. A friend saw this and the heart did not seem to be burning very well, he was able to take it from the pyre and passed it back to Mary Shelley. It sounded like a very bizarre and romantic thing to do but most likely Edward John Trelawny was more interested in the object for his own collection. He was eventually persuaded to hand the heart to Mary Shelly and the heart then ended up at Boscombe Manor for many years.

It is worth noting that it was not customary for the wife to attend such a thing either, and that the picture below isn’t quite right because of that. It is also worth noting it was a hot day and not so bleak as the picture shows, his body was doused in wine  and the head was intense from the weather and fire. The corpse fell open and from there the heart was laid bare, it was surprising to see that it remained in tact and 

When her son, Percy Florence Shelley, died he was buried in the family tomb. At the same time the heart was slipped into the tomb. The two were finally united.

Shelley, the writer of some infidel poetry, has been drowned, now he knows whether there is a God or not.” – Courier of London

Mary Shelly on Find a Grave

Shelley's cremation

Louis Édouard Fournier, entitled The Funeral of Shelley. 

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Newark castle is just down the road from me, here in Nottingham and I went once over a decade ago. It sits by a river which some say might explain this as some experts in the field believe water is a good way to enhance paranormal activity. I’ll admit when I went the most interesting thing that happened was my friend getting stuck up the wall he’d decided to climb…

During the day the park and castle area are busy with the living, there are less accessible these days as the dungeons are locked off for safety reasons and those that have ventured down say it goes very cold, very quickly and more so than they’d have expected. One account from a visitor in the past stated that voices could be heard.

In 1073 the manor on the land was turned into a castle and the then Bishop of Lincoln, Robert Bloet, added a motte and baily. About 50 years later another bishop made it into a fully fortified castle and area. The castle withstood five sieges and until 1646, was a key royalist stronghold and following it’s surrender it was opened up for royal guests to use. One of the most famous royals that came to visit was King John. He died at the castle 19th October 1216, it is said that he was poisoned by order of the pope.

The castle was due to be destroyed but then the plague broke out, the orders were not completed and some of the castle stayed standing. Four rooms remain in tact at the castle site, one is the bedroom King John died in. The undercroft is another room in tact and rumours are that it was used between the 1750’s and 1900’s as a place of practise for black magic. The dungeons there were rumoured to be a meeting place for the Knights Templars.

The King’s bedroom was also the scene of a suicide in the early 1900’s, a castle range was found hanging there. He was swinging by his neck and tour guides have walked into the room to see a body hanging from the ceiling, moaning and crying as if trying to catch it’s breath.

They say in the dungeon that voices and sometimes chanting can be heard. Inside them accounts have been made of cans and stones thrown from the shadows. Flashes of light have been spotted around the grounds at night and those who have done a vigil in the undercroft felt a presence in the room too.

Newark Castle, 06-2013 (3).jpg
Newark Castle, 06-2013 (3)” by Richard NevellOwn work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Commons.

Pérez was a Spanish soldier with a rather curious claim and the rise of a story that leads me to choose him for this blog.

Pérez was a soldier of a Filipino Civil Guard who suddenly, it is said, appeared in the Plaza Major of Mexico City on 24th October, 1593. It was over 9,000 nautical miles from his origination in Manila. He was wearing the uniform of guards in the Philippines and he calmed that he had no idea how he had ended up in Mexico.

It also transpired that moments before he arrived there, his excellency the Governer of the Philippines, Gomez Perez Dasmarinas had been killed by Chinese pirates. After a lengthy period on duty Pérez had felt faint, leaned against a wall and closed his eyes. He opened them to find he was no longer in Manila but apparently in Mexico.

So what happened? Apparently two months later news came from the Philippines via a Manila Galleon, the axing of his excellency as well as other facts that could be confirmed about the soldiers story. Also one of the passengers recognised Pérez, eventually he went back and took up his old position as a palace guard and then led an uneventful life.

So it is a good story but there are a couple of things I am compelled to mention. Historical records put the Guardia Civil as forming in 1868, it seems that the date varies for the killing too from 23rd, 24th and 25th.

Saint Hilaire Ossuary is in Marville, France and home to about 40,000 skulls. It was constructed towards the end of the 15th Century and many of the skulls in boxes seem to be those of the men and women of Marville who died around 1780-1860.

It seems that during 1890 the cemetery keeper, Constant Motsch, decided that in order to make more space in the cemetery he would dig up older graves with no perpetual concession (Permanent claim to the grave site). He kept the skulls and longer bones and put the commoners in boxes, keeping the lords and gentry aside. The skulls look out of their boxes and some have unfortunately weathered over the long years. Above their heads reads “we were like you – you will become one of us”.

The cemetery is one of the oldest ones in France and is situated on an old Roman temple dedicated to Mars. It served as the parish church until village residents found it to be too long a walk, a new construct was made closer by. The cemetery however stayed in use from the 15th to 18th century.

The entrance to the cemetery has a crucifix called Christ of the Lepers and within the grounds is a Pieta decided to their suffering.

Hi

I decided that if you find it hard work slogging through all of my writing but you might like to try an alternative…

Video’s might be the way…

Thanks!