Archive for the ‘Ghosts’ 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

 

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/

The tunnel is located in Richmond, Virginia and has two supernatural reputations of ghosts and another of the Richmond Vampire. The tunnel originally opened in 1873 but closed in 1902, then in the 1920’s with growth to the area it was decided by the rail company that they would re-open the 4,000 ft tunnel but to do this they needed it cleaned and reinforced.

Disaster struck 2nd October 1925, 200 men were at work in the tunnel; the men stood on cars and a steam locomotive so they could work on the tunnel. Above the locomotive the ceiling collapsed, the train was buried and steam from the squashed boiler scalded the train’s fireman. He crawled out of the tunnel but he died of his injuries in the hospital later on.

After eight days of searching they found the driver in his cab. The unfortunate man had a lever through his chest and he was badly burnt. Records are pretty sketchy but at least one body was never recovered and the locomotive is buried in the tunnel, probably along with a few bodies. They sealed the tunnel up with sand and blocked up the entrance with concrete.

There have been reports of people hearing a number of sounds, of voices crying to ‘get me out’ and the sounds of digging or the screeching of wheels of a locomotive. It seems inevitable these tales would surface given such a set of tragic deaths.

The legend of the Richmond Vampire surfaced shortly after the collapse in the tunnel. The report of the creature was that it was blood covered, had jagged teeth and skin that hung from its muscular body. The creature was said to feast on the bodies of the trapped dead.

It emerged from the cave-in and was pursued by a group of men who followed it to a mausoleum of WW. Pool at Hollywood cemetery. Some have suggested that this urban legend may have become mixed with the death of the 28 year old fireman, Mosby, who had crawled out of the tunnel, badly injured and died, the vague description could match up with the terrible injuries he suffered.

The grave of WW. Pool has been padlocked and the bodies inside it have also been removed. The grizzly reality is said enough but the stories of the supernatural also seem to keep the memories and history of those events alive.

Church hill tunnel.JPG
By EsubterfugeEsubterfuge, Public Domain, Link

 

I love Asian based horror stories as much as any story, they are wonderfully ingenious and make fantastic horror films, though I cannot say I always like the Western remakes as they sometimes miss the reason they were scary as they budget up and add in CGI none the less….

There’s a tale that a young woman who fell on to a railway line was cut in two by an oncoming train, becoming a vengeful spirit she is armed with a scythe and travels on her hands or elbows, she makes the strange tek-tek noise and anyone too slow that encounters her at night is cut in half, mimicking her own fate.

The legend says s school boy walking home saw a beautiful girl resting herself against a windowsill, he was wondering what she was doing at the all-boys group but he couldn’t ask. She leapt at him and he saw her lower-half was missing. Now before he could run he was cut in half.

Another version of the urban legend gives the name to her, Kashima Reiko, who haunts bathroom stalls and asks occupants where her legs are. To save yourself in such an incident you tell her they are at the Meishin Railway and you answer Kashima Reiko if she asks you who told you this. The ghost sometimes just asks your for her name, if you then use Kashima Reiko she will attack you. You must use Kamen Shinin Ma – Mask Death Demon – and now once you have heard this story she is said to appear one month later (incidentally I read and wrote these notes longer ago than that if you’re concerned).

Another lovely urban legend, it has been used for a horror film Teke-Teke. The story has also been used in some manga tales, including the first anime episode of Ghost Stories.

Teketeke.png
By Dr.LantisOwn work, CC BY-SA 4.0, Link