Archive for the ‘Paranormal’ Category

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.

 

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
By Source, Fair use, Link

Ollerton, Nottinghamshire here in England has the ruins of a Cistercian Abbey, Rufford Abbey, and it is currently maintained by the English Heritage, the 1170ish abbey is one of the best preserved in England. In 1146 the Earl of Lincoln founded the abbey, St Mary the Virgin, and the monks wore undyed wool habits giving the nickname of “White Monks”. The monks there lived under the values of hard work and prayer from the completion around 1170 until it was suppressed in 1536.

From there on it became a family estate, remodelled and adapted to their needs accordingly and in 1952 it and its park were brought by Nottinghamshire Country Council, the north and east wings were then demolished in 1956. In the Edwardian times Vita Sackville West (authoress) stayed at the abbey as the guest to the owners of the time, the Saville’s awoke in the night feeling a clammy sensation. She mentioned the event to another of the guests and found out that others had been bothered by what they called a ‘Clammy Baby’, the ghost of a dead child trying to snuggle against women. These areas were demolished but now and then the stories crop up again.

One of the guides told a story about the sounds of a child having been heard in a ditch near an area known as Bride Road, she was surprised to hear from a couple of ladies who regularly walked their dogs and had heard the cries themselves. A psychic who visited also found herself drawn to that area, but had not been informed of a local story that a housemaid at the abbey drowned herself, and the baby, after an unwanted pregnancy.

I ventured out there as it was a nice day, packed the camera up and it took about 40 minutes drive to get there. I was immediately in love with the building, it has a grand look and to get to the building you walk up via the 19th Century stairs that had been added. I also loved that I got a few quiet moments to look around before a school trip descended. Underneath the exterior you can go into the underground chapel area and enjoy cooling down.

I didn’t really feel anything too spooky but there is a section with a model monk and table showing the foods of the time, I stood near him and felt a little spooked out. I suspect more to do with the model monk than anything else. I did venture towards the ditch but my attention was drawn to the animal graces, consequently the only ones there as the human remains were moved to the local church.

(Photography is my own)

A cemetery in Jakarta, Indonesia is one of the better maintained in the Jakarta region. In the mid-2000’s it was extended and several squatters on the land were evicted. It is a heavily used cemetery and one of the few in Jarkata that could potentially extend in future. The cemetery is said to be haunted, including that of a child and a hairy ghoul. (Oh and also it has a Pokemon Go stop!)

The cemetery is most famous for the haunting of a decapitated pastor. A cemetery worker states after living and working in the area he says it is a hoax and two graveyard mowers echoed the sentiment but the story was used in 2006 in as film Hantu Jeruk Purut. It led to a burst in popularity for the story and the cemetery. Locally there are said to be people that go into the cemetery on a Friday night in odd numbers, according to what I could find this is because that’s the only condition under which the ghost will appear.

Legend has it that in 1986 a guard at the cemetery saw a headless pastor carrying his own head, and that he was followed by a black dog. The story is that he is looking for his grave which is said to be not in Jeruk Perut but in Tanah Kosir cemetery, another source on my looks said that he was looking for a Christian grave but actually he was in an area with only Muslim graves. I couldn’t locate the name of the priest or confirm any further details.

The film seems takes the notion that the Priest is looking for a grave in Jeruk Perut but the grave should be in Tanah Kosir Cemetery. An aspiring writer begins to look into it all only to find that the ghost starts to haunt her, fearing for her own life she passes her notes on to a fan and not long afterwards she is killed. I’ve not watched it nor have I typed up the plot, would you recommend it if you have seen it?

In reality other than the local legend there’s nothing more I could find on that regards. I did however find a new story that was really quite sad, a tomb guard at the cemetery, Mohammad Yusuf, appears to have hung himself in December 2015, the news article was translated from Beritahati.com and indicates that he had been suffering schizophrenia and was found hanging in the Frangipani trees there, he was found by local visitors and the most curious part of the translation was that he had no signs of injury other than the genitals, where sperm had been removed. I could find nothing more on his name or case, I could not find any reason for why that last comment seemed to have been included either.

I also found another interesting subject for this cemetery, and suspect not just this, but that regularly there have been fictitious graves found. An article in July 2016 discussed this matter, where a new wave of investigations had been made into it. There were, by that date, a registered 376 graves with no-one in them and no sign of anyone ever having tended them. The Jakarta governor had commented that they had been suspicious about this occurring but that people had remained silent, in 2015 Ahok (Governor) then ordered the Parks and Cemetery Agency to investigate.

By August 9th, they had removed and demolished 277 of them, and it seems that one of the reasons they believe it is happening is that they are to give the impression of a very packed cemetery where they can then charge inflated prices. The fake graves have a name with no date, and often the name is written in some form of marker. Reserving a grave ahead of death is a crime due to the limited supply, yet it seems the there are cases (not just in this particular cemetery) of cemetery caretakers taking bribes to create fake graves. Where these cases are found they appear to be firing the heads of the cemeteries but no arrests seem to be listed.

So it seems there is actually, to me, a more interesting look at this cemetery ghost or not. I hope you enjoyed this article.

Grave of Chrisye, Jeruk Purut

The village of Hayfield was found first in the Doomsday Book under the name Hedfeld and was a natural clearing in the forest at the foot of the highest point in the Peak District, and the southern-most point of the Pennine Chain. It was a mill village from the 17th Century onward and the village is a popular place for walkers, and visitors to the Peak District. There are a couple of interesting little legends about the area which is why I have picked them for the blog.

There are two churches in the area, St Matthew and St John’s Methodist Church (the third was de-consecrated and currently in use as a library) and St Matthew has existed there since 1386. It was previously at Kirksteads and was not completed until 1405, it was then largely rebuilt in 1817/18 and the remnants of the building are visible in the church crypt. The St John’s Methodist Church dates from around 1782 and claims to be the 13th to have been built, and although the building has been added too, the four main walls are entirely original.

31st August 1745 Dr James Clegg, the minister of a Presbyterian Church at nearby Chapel-en-le-Frith, wrote to the Glossopdale Chronicle (local newspaper) reporting that “hundreds of bodies rose out of the grave in the open air” from the graveyard of St Matthews Church. They then proceeded to disappear leaving Dr Clegg to remark something that sounds rather Lovecraftian or Poe in nature “… what is become of them or in what distant region of this vast system they have since fixed their residence no mortal can tell.”

The village also had its very own witch; in 1760 Susannah Huggin sold wooden weaving pins and bewitching charms. An old sailor brought one of the charms and then shortly afterwards he disappeared, she was then discovered to be back in possession of the charm. The villagers blamed her for his disappearance; she was dragged in front of the George Pub and pelted with rotten fruit and stones, to the point at which she was almost killed. Later on somebody from the Tom Hey’s Farm then took the little charm but after a series of disasters, including milk not churning and animals refusing to eat, the charm was then exorcised by a reluctant Reverend Baddeley.

Hayfield Church 0158.JPG
By Clem Rutter, Rochester, Kent. – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=7349638