Archive for the ‘Unusual Findings’ Category

This fine place at Comberbach, Cheshire was unfortunately demolished which is a great shame as it was a historically interesting place that once housed valuable art treasures. Living residents and visitors offer up tale and there are some photo’s of the building, which also had some ghostly tales to offer. The hall was once in Marbury Park and research projects continue to ensure that the building was gone is not forgotten.

As late as the 1930’s reports still spoke about an old oak chest with a skeleton kept inside it. A mundane reason might be it was a medical or art students possession but rumours for these macabre items often occur and this has gained one such tale.

At some point in the past one of the owners of the Barrymore family went to Egypt and an Egyptian women fell in love with him. She was obsessed and followed him back to Cheshire, and refused to go home. He had, however, married his English sweetheart, the woman was installed at Marbury as his mistress and she loved the house. She said that when she died her body must remain at the home and she did not want to be buried at the church. She died, or was murdered, and the request was ignored, she was given the usual funerary customs.

Not long after her ghost was seen riding on a white horse, bells rang mysteriously and to stop the strange events her body was exhumed and brought to the house. Later generations tried to remove her to a family vault and others tried to get rid of her by throwing the chest into Budworth Mere, but mysterious happenings would being her back again. In the 1930’s she went missing one last time, some say she was buried in the church at midnight and others that she was walled up into the house.

As the house is now demolished I would hope if there is a truth to this that the churchyard tale is the real one, but it seems this legend and another have been crossed over thanks to the white horse. Supposedly Lord Barrymore wagered the hall that a mare he purchased could go from London to Marbury in a day. He wanted the mare there for a wedding present for his wife and the horse did the gallop. The mare dropped dead after a drink from the trough and was buried in the park.

Lady Barrymore was so upset that she died of a broken heart not long after, she wanted to be buried near the horse but again her requests fell on deaf ears. She now cannot rest and her and the horse ride around the park and are seen now and then.

Pretty much everything I can find out about this seems anecdotal, made harder to look into now that the hall is gone. It also seems that as with many of these types the legends have crossed over and changed. Either way I hope you liked the read.

http://lostbritain.uk/site/marbury-hall/

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Stripper. Go on let out the groan, it feels better.

JTS is the nickname attacked to an unidentified serial killer from 1964 to 1965. I am going to detail the victims of the serial killer that are confirmed:

  • 2nd February 1964, Hannah Tailford was found dead near Hammersmith Bridge, the 20 year old was strangled, several teeth were missing and her underwear had been forced down her throat.

  • 8th April 1964 saw Irene Lockwood found dead on the shore of the Thames; a 57 year old man named Kenneth Archibald confessed three weeks alter but it was inconsistent and a third victim came to light. She was 26 years old.

  • 24th April 1964, Helen Bathelemy was found dead in an alleyway. The 22 year old case yielded the first evidence, paint flecks used for car manufacturing, it was felt it likely came from the killers workplace.

  • 14th July 1964, Mary Flemming’s body was found in an open street, close to heavy police presence and again paint spots were found on the 30 year old’s body.

  • On the 23rd October 1964 Frances Brown was last seen alive by a fellow prostitute, Kim Taylor, who saw the 21 year old picked up by a man who is now believed to have been her killer. She was found a month later, 25th November.

  • Bridget O’Hara’s date of death could not be confirmed as her body had been stored in a warm heated area, she was found in a storage shed. Once again the body had flicks of paint on them.

Possible victims also include a 21 year old Elizabeth Figg, she was found five years before the Stripper murders started, 17th June 1959. She was in the area and had also been strangled. The other was Gwynneth Rees who was found dead in a rubbish tip near the Thames, she was 22 years old and again had been strangled, she also had several teeth missing. She was discovered 8th November 1963.

7,000 suspects were interviewed and at an initial conference Chief Superintendent John Du Rose falsely stated that they had narrowed it down to 20 people. After a short period it was claimed to be 10 and finally three, but what is known is that after this no more Stripper murders occurred.

There have been theories put forwards about who the murderer was, one of them was that it might be a man named Mungo Ireland. He was picked up as a suspect for O’Hara’s murder and worked as a security guard near Heron Trading Estate. The estate was linked to the paint and shortly after the link Ireland committed suicide, but research suggests that he was in Scotland at the time that she was most likely murdered.

Howard Jones, convicted murdered from Wales, was also put forward as a suspect as he killed two girls in 1921, he did not get the death penalty because of his age and was released in 1941 where they think he went back to his home town, of Arbetillery. In 1942 he was in London and had come to marry and have a daughter. He was not considered for it at the time but it seems that much of the speculation about him comes merely from coincidence and not fact.

What do you think?

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The castle is an hours drive from Lviv, Ukraine, and is closed at present but it is due to be opened as a museum and will no doubt make a great tourist spot.

It was built in 1625-1640 for the elite and royal families and has been a functioning residence for many centuries but sadly is left in a poor state now. It is in the shape of a square with five pentagonal bastions on the corners and has seen modifications to its designed. It was proven to be a well functioning fortress on more than one occasion and during WWI was captured by the Russians, they looted the precious items but did not destroy the building.

In 1939 Prince Sangusko packed up most of the valuables and went to Romania, anticipating another bout of looting and interior destruction. After WW2 the castle was used as a TB Sanatorium. In February 1956 the castle was nearly burnt down completely. The fire that broke out lasted three weeks, only the walls remained and an extreme bill of $12 million worth of damages. In 1997 it was purchased by the Lviv gallery of painting and opened as a museum.

When the Ukraine gained independence from the Soviet Union the castle was to be used as a presidential residence but it never came to pass. Now the Lviv gallery of arts, and lack of funds, have slowed down their renovations with plans to give it a more historical look on a future project.

There is a ghostly take attached to Pidhirsti Castle, Waclaw Rzewusky dwelled there from 1720-1779 and the rumour is that he murdered his wife by burying her alive in the walls of the castle. This was due to jealously and may be the woman in white seen by many witnesses.

Ghost Hunters International went to look into the rumours at the castle. Ukranian TV show Psychic Challenge also went there, they concluded it was haunted. GHI stated that they were confident that ghosts resided pretty much throughout the place.

England’s history for a small island is quite varied and bloodied, there are lots of ghostly tales but as a result of the Royal Commissions probe the Public Record Office gave Edgehill the official recognition of having paranormal activity.

23rd October 1662 was the first fight of the English Civil War, Royalist troops were marching to London to support the King but they were intercepted by Parliamentarian troops at Edgehill. Edgehill lies between Banbury and Warwick and the fight went on for three hours with casualties on both sides. The fighting proved to do very little, both sides saw death, the Parliamentarian troops went to Warwick Castle and the Royalists then did not venture on to London. It was a senseless death score for both sides in pretty much every regard.

Even after the smoke and bodies had cleared the battle raged on. Only a few weeks afterwards reports came in about how the terrible scene kept being regularly re-enacted. King Charles 1 was so intrigued by the reports he sent out a Royal Commission to investigate it. They witnessed the events and were able to point out faces in the crowds, including the King’s Standard bearer, Sir Edmund Verney. Slowly the frequency of replays died down until they eventually stopped altogether.

Incidentally Verny’s story does not end there, during the battle he refused to give up his role and the Parliamentarian’s cut off his hands that gripped on the standard. His hands were later identified due to a ring he wore, it bore the resemblance of the king. His hands were then returned to his home, Clayton House, for burial.

Since then Verney is said to be seen around the house, his body was never recovered from the Edgehill Battlefield and so it seems he might be trying to find a way to get himself back together one day, as he cannot rest as he is.

http://www.paulmeekins.co.uk/?page=shop/flypage&product_id=32090

GHOSTS OF EDGEHILL

I thought I would pick some folklore/stories from the Caribbean for this blog. To be fair I believe most of the good stuff would be local legend and I’ve not ben lucky enough to get to that side of the world so armchair investigations will be my guide for this… feel free to correct anything I get wrong as always.

The first one is Papa Bois who is pretty much thought of as the keeper of the forest, a protector of them and the enclosed flora and fauna. She is said to be married to the Mama Dlo, a water entity. His appearance is thought to be a short, old man of African descent and he has cloven hooves, or possibly in some notations his left leg ends in a large hoof. He has a beard of leaves and despite his age is very strong and can run faster than a deer.

Papa Bois’ body is completely covered with hair like that of a donkey, he has small horns that sprout from his forehead and is know to carry out a hollowed-out bulls’ horn so he can use that to warn animals when hunters approach. He is said to have the power of metamorphoses and most often uses this to transform into a deer, he then lures hunters deeper into the forest to get them lost. This is much like his wife, Mama Dlo, who does the same to sailors.

Should you meet Papa Bois you must be polite and refrain from staring at his hooves. Say something nice like “good day old father” an ensure that you don’t do anything to upset him. He is also found in Grenadian folklore and represented as a huge Opossum. Hunters of the forest are afraid of him because of the tricks he uses.

My second choice is La Diablesse, a female devil, who was born as a human but her malicious shape-shifting spirit was born of her dealings with the devil. She can appear very beautiful but her hideous face is hidden by a large brimmed hat, and she wears long dresses to hide the fact that one leg ends with a hoof, she often walks with her human foot on the road and her hooved road in the grass at the roadside. She can cast spells on unsuspecting male victims, then leads them into the forest with promises of sexual acts but then she will disappear leaving him lost and confused. In a panic the victim runs around the forest until he meets his death by falling down a ravine or drowning in a river.

My third choice was Lagahoo, this folklore comes from Trinidad and Tobago (usually considered part of the Caribbean) and is the equivalent in cousin to the French loup-garou and or German werewolf, though not restricted to the form of a wolf. It is a normal human during the day with no head and at night roams around with a wooden coffin on its neck. On the coffin there are three lighted candles, the long loose end of a heavy iron chain is noosed around the waist and trails behind. Often it can be seen with chains around its neck which change in side and at times with one of the appendages turned backwards.

Legahoo can change into various animals too, like horses, pigs or goats and on occasion is even a centaur. It is thought to be a blood sucker, which is less particular than vampires about its food source as it will feed from animals like cows and goats. To kill a Legahoo you need to beat it with a stick that has been anointed with holy water and holy oil for nine days. When you beat the creature it will change into others, then waves of water until finally it disappears in a mist.

My final choice is that of the Soucouyant, it is also known as the Ole-Higue or Loogaroo and is a blood sucking hag. She appears as a reclusive old woman in the day and then at night she strips off her wrinkled skin and puts it in a mortar. In her true form, a fireball, she flies across the dark skies in search of a victim. She can enter the home of a victim through small holes like cracks, crevices and keyholes.

The Soucouyant takes the blood from arms, legs and soft parts whilst the victim is sleeping and leaves blue-black marks that are seen in the morning. If they draw too much blood then the victim will either die or become one themselves. The creature also practices witchcraft, voodoo and black magic. They trade their victim’s souls for evil powers with the Bazil, the demon who resides in the silk cotton tree.

If you want to expose one you need to heap rice around the house or at the village crossroads, as the creature will be obliged to gather every grain and can be caught in the act as she tries to do so. To destroy her, coarse salt must be placed in the mortar that has her skin so she perishes because she cannot put it back on. The skin of the Soucouyant is very valuable as it us used in the practice of black magic.

She is part of a class of spirits called jumbies, and some say that they may well have been brought over by the European countries and so the French vampire-myths intermingled with those of enslaved Africans.

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