Archive for December, 2016

Bram Stoker is famous for his novel Dracula, the named linked in modern times to Vlad Tepes, the son of the dragon and quite a few associations between the seaside town of Whitby, England are reflected in his book.

Fanny Harker was for many years the landlady to Stoker and used the family name in honour of that friendship. Stoker was married with one child, Noel, whilst on holiday with his family a local tragedy seemed to have inspired a well-known part of his book (if not a great deal). Chapter 7 is where the Russian ship the Demeter rolls in, unmanned bar a dead man’s hand which seems to have originated from an incident when local small fishing vessels (known as Cobles) were doing their usual business.

One was off the towns harbour when from the mists a large ship came out in front. Frantic cries from the fishermen went unheard and the ship carried on towards the coble. It upturned the small vessel as it hurt and drown two of the crew in the process, it then carried on sailing and disappeared into the mist.

The “great storm” mentioned did occur, many bad storms had hit the coast over the years but it is generally accepted that Stoker meant the one from 1861.

Much of the descriptions he gives for Whitby are still pretty accurate for today, visitors can follow historical trails for both Bram Stoker and Dracula inspired looks at the town. Whitby has many local landmarks and good views, including ones over the harbour where you can still see fishing vessels and crew at sea.

 

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Animal Planet – The Haunted, Episode 1, Season 1 in 2009 had found a nameplate with “The Blakely Home” upon looking for information, the owners of a software company, find that from 1919 to 1950 it was an insane asylum. Going outside the owners of the company find empty animal cages, the cages seemed big enough for cats, dogs and other small animals. Some weeks after this the motion sensors went off the police could find no reason for it.

I tried to look into this, I really found it quite hard work as I am not local and the information online is scant. I found that there were references to Blackley, Blockley or Blakely Insane Asylum all in the area. What I could find in general was an old reference to Blakely Home as an historical building stating it is now used by Calvert Laboratories. The company deals in pharmaceuticals and my research online shows animal testing is mentioned.

Initially I was getting frustrated but genealogy sites can really be of great help. The Blakely Home is located in Lackawama County, PA, USA. Kriswfield has entered a message on ancestry.co.uk about the place, he says that his father and his partner brought the property from the county in 1976. The business his dad owned ran up until 1982. He comments he could not say about the ethics of the lab that came in after that. He does however say that the labs were tightly regulated by the FDA and says in the main building, where they lived, that it was never considered to be haunted.

A nurse prior to that was able to say it was used as convalescent home and she worked there from 1971 to 1972, she states that it was a nice place to work.

Mentions I found in the area:

Built 1891 – Blakely Poor Farm.

Active Electronics building 2014, the PPA.net shows a picture of the building.

Ease Diagnostics – Auto Inspection & Testing Services

What can I work out? There was more than one building and I’m sure there are blurred lines here as I am not local and actually you need to ignore Ease Diagnostics, I believe. So that leaves the electronic company and Calvert Laboratories Inc on the same site. In 1891 the poor farm expanded and on that area there has been an old poor house; insane asylum, nursing home and then animal testing lab. So perhaps the bit more referred too is the one used by the electronics company and its really more coincidence Calvert Laboratories Inc are nearby now.

Haunted Title Screen.jpg
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