Archive for the ‘Interesting History’ Category

March 18th, 1996 saw a tragedy in Quezon City, Philippines leaving around 162 dead. The Ozone Disco Club was opened in 1991 by Segio Orgaoow but was previously a jazz club named Birdland. The club had an approved occupancy of 35 but inside were around 40 workers and 350 party goers. Many of them were students celebrating the end-of-year or their graduation.

Survivor accounts say they saw sparks at the DJ booth just before midnight and then smoke which they thought was part of the set. Within minutes the fire broke out and the tragedy was under-way. The criminal trial listed 160-162 dead with an additional 95 injured. It was one of the worst death tolls for a nightclub ever, but the República Cromagnon fire has since surpassed that claim.

People tried to escape and many of the bodies were found along the corridor towards the exit piled up waist-high/ It seems that the emergency exit was blocked by a new building next door and no proper fire exit had been installed. It also transpires the security thought a riot had broken out and then locked the doors to the exit.

The building still stands, although not in commercial use, and a former memorial plaque has since been removed. Passers by say that they have peered in through a crack in the boardings and have seen dancing shadows. Sometimes the ghosts of those trapped inside possess someone making them relive their death and awful lead up to it. The descriptions from the people who do have this experience are remarkably accurate in regards to the situation.

Ozone disco

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.

 

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)

One of the oldest castles in Ireland, Malahide Castle, is located in Dublin County. In 1185 Kind Henry II had the castle built for his friend Richard Talbot, the castle remained in the hands of the Talbot family until 1979, when they sold it to the council to pay for inheritance tax.

Mile Corbet is said to haunt the castle, he was an English politician who wanted King Charles dead and supported Oliver Cromwell. He was anti-Catholic and despite fleeing to the Netherlands he was caught and brought back to Malahide. For his part in it all he was hanged, drawn and quartered. It is said he appears on the anniversary of his death but on other reports outside of this he may appear in a full suit of armour.

Another one that caught my attention was the Chief Justice who was a landowner and the third (also last) husband of Maud Plunkett. His ghost is connected to Maud Plunkett and is seen throughout the castle being chased by his wife. His obsession was for exercise and aside from the interaction with his wife has been reportedly seen jogging or lifting weights. Plunkett herself is reported to have been very possessive and may even have beaten him to death.

Malahide Castle, March 2011 (2).jpg
By William Murphy from Dublin, Ireland – Malahide – Dublin, CC BY-SA 2.0, Link

The Odessa Catacombs, which are indeed mines not catacombs, are located in Odessa, Ukraine and attract extreme tourists, despite the number of warnings, they stretch around 2,500 kilometres and are larger and longer than those or Rome and Paris. The labyrinth of tunnels is largely unknown and unmapped, as such only a small percentage are opened via the Museum of Partisan Glory.

The tunnels materials were good for cheap construction, during World War II the tunnels served as a hiding grounds for Soviet Partisans and in 1961 the Poisk Club was created in order to explore the tunnels to map them, in keeping with the old tradition there’s really no maps by others instead clues and symbols on the walls are used to traverse them. The tunnels continued to be mined for the rich resource of limestone and so kept expanding.

The catacombs hit the news because another explorer found the remains of a body. In 2007 an urban explorer, Eugene, made a morbid discovery of a corpse of a 19-year old women. She had been at a New Years Eve party, 2005 and they had been partying there all night. At some point the woman was separated from the group and when they left the next morning they were unaware that she had not left as well. This young lady died alone, lost and probably from things like dehydration due to not having supplies and maybe even intoxicated to a high degree.

Coroners findings say that she had spent three days dehydrating before she came to the end of her life. Her name from sources around the internet suggest she was known as Masha. On other sites her name is listed as Mariya and it’s been a lot of internet trawling to try and work out more information. Eugene did not tell the police her location, nor did other explorers and she was around 5km away from the area, eventually the police located her because she was was shown in location and they managed to get her out and this is sometimes where the story lines get blurred.

She is not the only person to have been found there, there have been older mummified corpses found and the cold air and dry conditions lead to good preservation. There have also been old World War II era rifles and grenades. In 2015 two teenagers went missing but from what little I could find I worked out they were rescued.

So I couldn’t find her surname or if she is Masha or Mariya, I guess her name has been lost amongst various media reports and outlets. If you can confirm her name I would like to be able to put that to this article.

Odessa kat 01.jpg
By Полищук Денис Анатольевич – Own work, CC BY 2.5, Link