Archive for the ‘Ghosts’ Category

The title related to a local Pittsburgh legend, a man called Charlie-No-Face. The story is that he was the employee of a power company and a downed power line disfigured him to the point that he would hide in an abandoned house. The story elaborates that he has a hole in his cheek and green skin. This ghostly tale of his sightings actually had a more natural and somewhat sadder explanation.

Raymond Robinson was born 29th October 1910, he died 11th June 1985. When Ray was 8 years old he was injured by an electrical line, on the Morado Bridge, when he tried to view a birds nest. The bridge carried a trolley and the electrical lines were 1,200 and 22,000 volts worth. The lines had killed another boy less than a year before.

The poor child was not expected to survive but he did, he suffered terrible scarring, lost his eyes, nose and one ear and one of his arms. He lived with his family in Koppel and made doormats, belts and wallets. His appearance meant that he would rarely venture outside during the day but he did go for walks along the quiet stretch of State Route 51, using a walking stick.

Locals would regularly gather up and search for him along the road, he would quite often hide from them but on occasion he would engage in conversation. Some of these people were inevitably cruel but that didn’t stop him from taking his walks. He had been struck by cars on more than one occasion and yet only stopped his walks in the later years of his life. He retired to the Beaver Country Geriatric Centre, at aged 74 years-old.

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Pic courtesty of Wikipedia – creative commons.

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So it’s not secret by now that I find subjects like this very interesting, apart from EVP’s and videos of bizarre interferences I find any electronic signals to be interesting, such as numbers stations for example. I realise that one of the ones I had not raised here was the concept of being called beyond the grave.

Is the telephone a way to make a last goodbye? To give a deceased person a change to make one last communication before moving on? Quite extensive research has been made, Phone Calls From the Dead (1979) by D Scott Rogo and Raymond Bayless, was the result of their two year research into the matter. In 2012 another book by Callum E Cooper also picked up the subject.

The types of calls appear to fall into three main categories and one is where the witness receives a call from someone who died, sometimes not that recently but either way for the most part the witness knows that the caller is dead and it is rare that they are not aware of it when the call comes in.

Another variation is that the witness gets a call from the deceased but discover their death afterwards. Often it seems to come from the phone of a relative or friend and they did not call, but for an unknown reason had thought about calling them, the voice is unusually strong compared to the faded static type. Some witnesses said it was odd because that person sounded quite mechanical or possibly even drunk.

A rarer but report case is also noted of people calling to the deceased, not intentionally, to find that the conversation they’d had should not have been possible. The person that answered was dead or perhaps the person they should have been talking too was not even in that place at the time.

One of the most famous incidents of this type is by Charles E Peck’s calls on 12th September 2008. At 4:22pm a commuter train with 225 people on board collided with a freight train in San Fernando’s Valley, California, and the 49 year old Charles Peck was on board. 25 people died, 135 were injured and of the injured they sent 87 to hospital, 46 were in a critical condition.

Peck had been travelling for a job in another area, he could then plan his wedding to his second wife once they were closer together, Andrea Kalz was his fiancée and from his prior marriage he had three fully grown children. Andrea heard about the crash on the radio whilst heading to the station to collect him. Peck;s parents and siblings already lived in the area and they came to join her whilst they waited for news.

In the first eleven hours of the wait there were calls from his cellphone suggesting that he was alive. Calls were made to his son, brother, stepmother, sister and fiancée. In all there were 35 calls and they would answer to hear static, understandably they would call back but the call then went to voicemail. The calls meant that the crews were prompted to use his signal to aid in the search, they looked again into the location and at 12 hours after the crash they found him.

Peck was deceased, declared dead on the scene and the resulting investigations showed he had died on impact. Long past his death his cell phone had carried on reaching out to loved ones. Unfortunately they were unable to retrieve the phone or there is no evidence that it was found.

Interestingly enough in regards to the Peck case, it seems that Snopes have decided that there was enough evidence to class this as true.

An Article on that matter

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The name sounds like a fantasy town, unfortunately a town that is no longer there it having been in Ohio, USA. It was a mining community and little remains except for a few foundations, cemetery and an old rail-road tunnel that is the subject of numerous ghost stories.

It was never a big town with a peak population of around 100, the area was fairly isolated in the woods and walking the rail-road tracks was dangerous. One trestle was over Raccoon Creek, 50 metres from the tunnel and by 1920 five or six people had lost their lives.

The decline in use meant that the last family left in 1947, the town was then fully abandoned. By the 1960’s the buildings were gone. In 1981 a signal on the Moonville rail-track was erected, in 1985 the last train took that route in August and the tracks were removed. It is still possible to access that area but there only the abandoned area of the lines.

There is a ghost that appears in the tunnel and swings a lantern, attempting to stop trains that are no longer running. The other ghost walks the tracks near Moonville on the other side of the tunnel. 

B+O Engineers on the line would tell the each other about the ghostly lantern. Sometime in the 1920’s a group of men, some miners, were drinking and playing cards in a shack nearby. Full of moonshine and frivolity one inebriated chap wandered off with a lantern I hand off down the tracks. A train came from the other side and too drunk to think about backing up he waved the lantern, hoping to stop the train most likely. He was hit and killed and buried in the local cemetery, since then his aimlessly wandering ghost has been witnessed.

Another story is about a headless conductor but the details given seem less widely known than the lantern carrier. There are several accounts around a decapitated man who walks the tracks, often with a lantern, so I suspect this might just be an elaboration on the original tale.

Like many asylums this Australian institute is reportedly haunted and as of 1999 its closure has brought paranormal adventurers to the sight. It was part of a larger complex known as Mont Park, it had 750 patients at its peak and has housed some of the most mentally ill criminals in Australia.

It was the first treatment centre for Peter Dupras, a serial killer with rape and false imprisonment included in his history. It is also the birthplace of Lithium, used in the treatment of the manic episode of those suffering bi-oplar.

The asylums construction started in 1938 but WWII disrupted it, it formerly opened it’s doors in 1953. The asylum grounds now have 550 residential dwellings and the last remaining wards are due to be redeveloped.

As for ghostly goings on? Expect the usual of banging, children’s laughter and crying. One rumour of a child on the third floor of a building playing a music box kept turning up in my searches. The creepy sounds and music may well be from the local university who intend its use to scare away trespassers. As with all of these glorious old places I can see why, vandalism and graffiti disturb me more than ghosts, because ghosts down show a blatant disregard for property and history.

Atlas Obscura Entry

Wikipedia Entry 

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By MelburnianOwn work (Digital photograph by author), CC BY 2.5, Link

The tiny village of Nyack in New York State was park of a court case that has become known as the ‘Ghostbuster’ ruling. It means that when selling a property there must be a declaration if it is haunted in the sale information.

The building was constructed around 1900, an imposing Victorian home which was purchased by the Ackley family in the 1960’s. She shared the house with her children and grandchildren and had reported to neighbours that the property was haunted. There were footsteps, doors slamming and beds shaking but she said they lived peacefully with the two spirits. Helen Ackley said they were Sir George and Lady Margaret both of which were a revolutionary war era couple and despite the neighbours scepticism she told the local media about it.

It most likely wasn’t anything too material, but again who knows, and yet the stories took hold either way. They rose in heat when a young and healthy guest at the home came for a dinner party only to collapse and die of a brain aneurysm.

In 1989 she decided to sell the home to Jeffrey Stambovsky, the sale fell through after he made the deposit only to find out that the property was on a local ghost tour. The court case was ruled in his favour as she had not mentioned this in the details. It’s worth noting that subsequent owners have not reported any strange goings on.

After the court case the disgusted Ackley left for Florida, she then declared she was taking the ghosts with her? Whatever the truth this seems like one hell of an odd statement to make…

You can read more about it here

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