Archive for the ‘Unusual Findings’ Category

1665 saw the Great plague wipe out vast numbers of lives, as they fell victim to an incurable and quick spreading disease. The Village of Vernham Dene was not spared this fate and the rector of the Parish is said to have been so concerned by it that the infected were persuaded to camp on the isolated top of Haydown Hill.

The story continues to say that he was so terrified of the plague that despite promising them supplies he never went up there. The isolated sufferers died from starvation and disease, the rector was not spared either and also died from the plague. This would seemingly be an apt tale for morals if you are inclined that way…

It is now said that his ghost has often been spotted along Chute Cause, climbing the towards the top of Haydown Hill. So does this tale have any basis? Most likely down to a 26 year gap in the records of births, deaths and marriages as from 1628-1654 no volume of records can be found and someone must have concluded they all died because of it. Over time the story may have been changed and adapted and changed until it was transported into the story of the 1665 wipe out that comes out.

George Inn, Vernham Dean - geograph.org.uk - 985324.jpg
By Graham Horn, CC BY-SA 2.0, Link

 

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Tea Break Read!

The USS Salem was ordered by the US Navy on 14th June, 1943 and launched 25th March, 1947. She was then commissioned at the Boston Navy Yard on 14th May, 1949. She never fired her guns but was a stimulus for peace during the Cold War. She was decommissioned on 30th January, 1959 and in 1994 she went back to her birthplace in Quincey.

She is now a museum, on 14th May, 1995 she was re-commissioned as a member of the Historic Naval Association. So despite the fact that she has never gone to battle, rumours are that she is haunted. Ghost Hunters and Ghost Hunters International certainly seem convinced of the validity of the claims. Summarising their shows witnesses have reported shadow figures and a young girl who has been seen walking around the snack bar. A man who died I the anchor room is thought to haunt the room. In the medical suite a groaning has been heard and on clear nights some have heard blood curdling cries of pain.

A couple of links

https://www.navysite.de/ca/ca139.htm

http://www.uss-salem.org/

USS Salem underway in May 1949
By U.S. Navy Bureau of Ships – This media is available in the holdings of the National Archives and Records Administration, cataloged under the National Archives Identifier (NAID) 7577535., Public Domain, Link

 

The tale has been documented by Michael Norman and Beth Scott, in Historic Haunted America about a tunnel in western Massachusetts. The tunnel is the Hoosac Tunnel in North Adams.

It began construction in 1851 and wasn’t finished unti 1874, for 24 years workers chipped away at the rocks and around 200 men lost their lives by explosions, fires and drowning in what became known as the bloody pit. It seems that many of those were accidental but one may have been more sinister.

Nitroglycerin was an explosive introduced in 1865 to the miners and used for the first time at the Hoosac Tunnel. 20th March, 1865, three men planted the nitroglycerin and ran for the safety bunker, they were Ned Brinkman, Billy Nash and Ringo Kelly. Kelly had prematurely set the charges and it buried both of his colleagues under a heavy pile of rocks.

After the incident Kelly disappeared and he was not seen again until 30th March, 1866 where his body was found two miles into the tunnel. His strangled corpse was at the spot Brinkman and Nash had been killed by the explosion. The Deputy Sheriff thought the murder had happened between midnight and 3am but no suspect was on the cards and his murder went unsolved.

The workers felt the spirits of Brinkman and Nash were the culprits and feared the area was cursed, they felt unhappy about having to go inside. The work slowed to the point that an investigation was called for. Paul Travers was a highly respected cavalry officer in the Union Army. He went into the tunnel with Mr Dunn, they went in at 9am and went to the spot where they heard what sounded like a man groaning in pain. They agreed that it did not sound like the wind.

It was a month later, 17th October 1868, when thirteen miners died in a gas explosion, the gas explosion blew apart one of the surfaces pumping stations. The debris filled the central shaft where the miners were working. It was the single worst disaster during the tunnels construction and a local reporter said that a miner, Mallory, was lowered down by a bucket and rope to search for survivors. He emerged almost unconscious, lifted back up, saying there was no hope. With no pumping station the 538-foot shaft filled with water and the bodies of some of the unfortunates began to surface from it. A year later the remaining men’s bodies were found on a raft that they had built trying to use it to float up on the water as it rose up.

All the time that they were missing the villagers spoke of vague shapes and the muffled wails of what the believed were the dead men. Workmen saw them carrying their picks and shovels through mist and also the snowy mountaintop. They left no footprints and only appeared briefly before they vanished. Once the last of the missing dead were located the strange sightings stopped.

That may have been the end of one tale but in 1872 another report came up about Dr Owens and James R McKinstrey who went into the tunnel. They went down the two miles down and halted to rest, the place was cold and dark, the only light was from their lamps. Both men heard a moan like someone in great pain. A dim light came down the tunnel and as it came closer the light took on a blue hue and looked more like the form of a human being with no head.

The strange light was so close it could have been touched but the men stood with gaping, open mouths and were most likely terrified. It eventually turned away and vanished, Owens was unable to come up with a rational explanation for the very thing they had witnessed.

16th Octobre, 1874, another bizarre event came up, a local hunter named Frank Webster vanished and three days later a search party found him stumbling around in shock, along the banks of the Deerfield River. His story was he had been ordered by strange voices to go into Hoosac Tunnel, when he did ghostly figures were walking around. Suddenly his rifle was seized from his hands, it was used to knock him him out around the back of the head and he woke up outside without the rifle and without any memory of leaving.

The first train went through on 9th February, 1875 and with its completion the stories still carried on. That fall a man named Mulvary, a fire tender, was driving a wagon load of firewood into it. He suddenly turned his cart around, whipped the horses flanks and was never heard of again. Three miles from there they did find the wagon and in 1977 a man named Impoco said he heard someone yell “Run, Joe, run!” as he was chipping ice from the tracks and there was a train coming. The voice alerted him and most likely saved his life.

The tunnel is very much in use today, the Boston and Maine railroad is very busy. It’s an impressive feat of engineering and visitors can talk to local old-timers who will recount the local tales.

Hoosic.jpg
By en:User:Acela2038 – en:Wikipedia, Public Domain, Link

 

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/

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?

Hammersmith nude murders suspect identikit.png
By Source, Fair use, Link