Archive for the ‘Paranormal’ Category

Birkdale, Southport is in my home county of Lancashire and once had a luxury hotel that opened in 1866, was then demolished in 1969. During the Second World War it was used for US airmen as a rehabilitation centre, for that stage of it’s existence it was used as a film location.

It entered the interest for paranormal enthusiasts when a report came up 6th May, 1969 in the Southport Visitor. A group of demolition workers claimed that the lift at the Old Palace Hotel was haunted. Jos Smith was heading up the demolition team and said that they had been woken up there by eerie voices and strange noises at night, and even more frightening the lift began to work by itself.

The lift’s power had been cut, the brakes were on and yet the four ton metal box continued to go up and down as it did when the building was operational. It was enough to unnerve hard workmen, worried by the lifts working they disabled it and cut the ties, they were then more concerned because it did not drop as it should have. In the end they hammered it on until it finally tell from the third floor.

The workmen had heard voices, the sounds of arguments and footsteps, they didn’t rule out that it could be down to people breaking in, but it would no doubt have been strange to hear. Southport Police also arrived one night as they’d received a call from a woman saying she was trapped inside. The police arrived to find that the phone-lines had been cut a significant time before then.

An urban legend about a ghost also came from the hotel, Ursula Wall was the architect and it is said she was on holiday when the foundations were laid back to front and therefore the hotel. Having seen the error she was so distraught she committed suicide, leaping down the lift shaft. It is however one of a few legends around her death and so not really confirmed.

There are other stories linked to the building, in 1961 Amanda Jane Graham was abducted by a hotel porter. The 6-year-old was murdered and found under his bed at the hotel. There is a rumour too about two sisters who carried out a suicide pact, and 14 deceased lifeboat men were temporarily laid out in its coach house. All these stories helped add to the haunted rumours.

The only surviving part id the coach house were the lifeboat men had been laid out to rest. The pub (as it now is) is called Fisherman’s Rest in their memory. It is also reportedly haunted and people have said that they feel as though they are being watched.

9th December, 1886, a sailing ship, Mexico was driven ashore and the bodies of their fellow crewmen were viewed at the pub by the jury. Now the lost men are touchingly recalled by 14 small brass mermaids that hold the bar handrail in place.

1866, Palace Hotel, Southport. North-East View From Birkdale Park.png
By JonmaddoxukOwn work, CC BY-SA 4.0, Link

 

In Japanese folklore the faceless ghost is usually known for frightening humans, but seem to be relatively harmless. The creature appears human, but this is an illusion, the faceless ghost has no eyes, nost or mouth, just smooth skin. Often the victim will speak to them for sometimes not realising until the Noppera-bo chooses to reveal it’s true nature. This naturally scares the witness who are often caught out by them on dark rural roads, sometimes they are mistakenly identified as mujina, which are thought to be badgers or raccoon dogs. Mujina are, in folklore, demons/yokai that shapeshift into the animals to deceive humans or take the form of attractive women and cause trouble in relationships. I’ve mentioned them in a basic intertwined way here for the sake of a coffee read.

One story of the legend is that a fisherman went to go fish at the Imperial Koi Ponds, near the Heian-Kyo palace, despite the fact his wife asked the he would not. The ponds were near a graveyard and considered to be sacred. He was also warmed by another fisherman, but being lazy and possibly arrogant he carried on.

At the spot a beautiful young girl tries to tell him not to fish (come on wife, fisherman, sexy lady? Take the hint!) but again he ignores the request. The beautiful woman then wipes off her face and the man rushes home in a panic. His wife is there, who confronts him, telling him off about his wickedness before she then wipes away her features too.

Perhaps this was the original slenderman and his story is an adaptation of this. A modernisation of an already fascinating tale.

Another modernisation of the tale is that of the animated film Spirited Away, the Japanese film features a creature “no face”. It is a 2001 one film, about coming of age and has been widely accepted as a wonderful piece, I admit I have seen it and highly enjoyed it. In the anime it is capable of responding to emotions and also ingesting people to gain their personality and their physical traits. By the end of the film this strange entity accepts an apprenticeship to stay on as an apprentice, this doesn’t seem to match the above but it seems like quite a lovely end to the fantasy story in the film itself.

May 19th, 1959 a reporter called Bob Krauss for the Honolulu Advertiser reported on a sighting of a mujina at the Waialae Drive-In Theatre, Kahala. A woman was combing her hair in the women’s restroom and someone came up beside her, the witness at the time said that the mujina turned around to show the featureless face. The witness was said to be taken to the hospital for a mental breakdown but the story didn’t end there. An Hawaiian historian, folklorist, and author called Glen Grant did a radio interview in 1981 and called it out as a hoax but someone called into the show saying that they were that witness and proceeded to tell them something omitted by the article, that the woman had red hair.

Slenderman – Courtesy of Princekarr – Deviantart.

SlenderMan

It is one of the most beautiful buildings over-looking the Grand Canal, Venice, Italy and it seems, according to some, that the building is cursed and leaves its owners on the streets, or worse still dead. The building is tilted to the left adding to the effects of the story and its beauty caught men such as Claude Monet and John Ruskin.

Pietro Lombardo built it in 1479 for Giovanni Dario, secretary of the Senate of the Republic of Venice. His daughter, Marietta, married into the Barbaro family and the building stayed in their hands until the 19th Century. Before they sold it, back in that period, Dario lost power and suffered a financial collapse. Mariette fell into disgrace, rumours say she may have died from a broken heard or possibly committed suicide. Her father and husband died not long after she did.

Seemingly the curse came with the building and not the family, in the 19th Century an Armenian diamond-dealer took ownership. Arbit Abdoll went bankrupt and died in disgrace. In 1832 a British Scientist, Rawdon Brown, took ownership and by 1842 was on the streets, committed suicide and so did his lover.

Sometime after Charles Briggs brought it and was forced to flee to Venice. He was charged with homosexuality, which as then a crime. After him was Henry De Reigner who fell ill two years after the purchase and went back to France. In the 1970’s Giordano delle Lanze was killed by this lover in one of the palace rooms.

Christopher (Kit) Lambert, the manger of The Who, brought it and died soon after in London of cerebral hemorrhage when he fell down the stairs at his mothers house. There are more but I will just surmise that it seems some unlucky folks have owned that house, or you can believe it is the curse. Today it is privately owned and not open to the public. 

You would also think I had a picture of this, considering I took a lot of random pictures there but no… turns out I could be the one person that went down the Grand Canal and snapped anything but haha!

Top picture is from Wikipedia the bottom ones are just some random bits I took on my travels.

Iain99 [CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)

Palazzo Dario

Wellington, Washington State was founded in 1883 and was relatively unknown until an event in February 1910, when the community there suffered a 9 day blizzard. Around a foot of snow an hour fell to the ground and initially two trains (one passenger and one mail train) found themselves trapped but the worst was to come.

28th February and the snow stopped only to have rain and warm winds replacing it. Just after 1am the next day a slab of snow broke loose during a violent thunderstorm and this slid towards the town. A previous forest fire had exposed the approach into the town and down it rolled without resistance.

The impact to the two trains threw them 150 feet downhill to the Tye River, the result was the death of 35 passengers, 58 Great Northern employees and three rail-road employees that were in the depot. The 23 survivors were rescued by rail-road employees.

It took months to recover the bodies, Alaskan-style dog sled, slopes with ropes and pulleys and sheer hard graft took a toll on the physical and mental being of the rescuers. Wellington was renamed Tye in October that year and the depot was closed down in 1929, the town was then abandoned and raised.

The Iron Goat Trail allows visitors to go to the site, however hiking there in the winter is highly discouraged due to the nature of avalanches in the area. A retired editor for the Monroe Monitor newspaper said it is a very eerie feeling to be stood there.

The most common reports are about the sensations experienced at the site of the old town, often people feel that there is someone else watching them and many hikers will avoid camping there overnight. Oak Harbor resident, Bill Robards, is certain it is haunted having been there. He witnessed apparitions following them when they walked at night and even heard a child’s voice and states they captured audio evidence of a man (an immigrant working on the train perhaps) singing in Italian.

Train wreckage from Wellington WA avalanche cph.3b13980.jpg
By E.J. Frazier, Thompson, Montana – This image is available from the United States Library of Congress‘s Prints and Photographs division
under the digital ID cph.3b13980.
This tag does not indicate the copyright status of the attached work. A normal copyright tag is still required. See Commons:Licensing for more information., Public Domain, Link

 

‘It is a cause of unmitigated and disappointment and vexation’ Lord Overstone.

Overstone Hall in Northamptonshire is a 114 room mansion that has been up for sale for one million pounds and is going to be some sort of epic project for anyone taking it on. It has 114 rooms, it’s 20,000 square foot and covers 50 acres of land. It went up for sale in 2011 for that price and did not sell, and the New Testament Church of God are still asking for the same price now.

1832 Overstone Park was acquired by Lewis Loyd for £117,500. Upon his death in 1858 the 10,000 acres of land became Lord Overstone’s. 1860 Lady Overstone commissioned the hall through architect William Milford Teulon; it was to replace the existing house with something more akin to her taste and more lavish to reflect their status. Lord Overstone was reported to have hated the thing since the very start, his wife commissioned a strange mix of Victorian and Renaissance architecture but didn’t live to see it finished She died in November 1864 and in return he left a letter to a friend about the place – ‘The New House, I regret to say, is a cause of unmitigated disappointment and vexation. It is an utter failure although very large and full of pretension, it has neither taste, comfort, nor convenience.’ He refused to live there.

1883 Lord Overstone hated the place that his wife designed and gave it to his daughter Lady Wantage upon his death. She was a philanthropist well known for her interest in hospital and nursing work, she married Robert

James Lindsay, the resided primarily at Lockinge House in Wantage. Lady Wantage was rarely there either, she used it on occasion for winter hunting parties and it was sold to Sir Philip Stott after she died in 1920.

1920’s the building was used by owner Sir Philip Stott who used it as a base for Conservative party members.

He disliked the imposing building and his project there was deemed as a failure in 1928. In 1929 he sold it to the Charlotte Mason Schools Company. They used part of the large building as a girl’s only boarding school.

1979 the school was closed and the building sold privately for £701,000. It was then used by the New Testament Church of God as it’s UK headquarters. 2001 a fire ripped through the building. It came from the top floor and ripped through the principle rooms and carved staircase.

A photographer called Mathew Growcoot went to see the place and described the whole experience as both surreal and haunting, most of the place is slowly being reclaimed by nature. He said: ‘I’ve never been to anywhere like it, it is such an enormous, imposing house that has been reclaimed by nature. He said that the main tower looked unfriendly and that it was very hard to judge it in the current derelict state but that the remains had rooms that looked like they would be far too big and would be draft riddled. He felt on edge the whole time he was there to to noises that surrounded him.

It is worth noting that despite the comments about this building it was advanced for its time. It had cavity wall insulation and even had a heating system, called Mr Price’s Apparatus. The building also had gas lighting and a butler’s lift.

Daventry District Council have said that they are concerned about it’s state, it is in a perilous condition. It seems a shame to let something like this building go to waste, and invariably it’s become a hotspot for ghost hunting though I cannot ascertain why.

http://www.overstoneschool.co.uk/