Archive for the ‘Urban Legend’ Category

It is also known as the Essex County Hospital, the area is heavily guarded for the sake of preventing further vandalism and general criminal activity. I for one salute this, preservation of these buildings seems to be scarce in my country so I am always glad to hear when action is taken anywhere.

In 1986 the land was designated for the new location of the insane asylum and was located in Verona, now Cedar Grove, it was selected as a remote location, high altitude and peaceful for rehabilitation.

Like many it was soon victim to being at full capacity, it was so large it had its own train stop, grew its own food and the farming was considered to be helpful towards the rehabilitation of the patients. It was its own little town and even had a semi-professional baseball team.

The 1960’s and 70’s brought the further introduction of new treatments, medication and brought a decline in admitted patients. It still operated into the 1990’s and slowly parts were abandoned, which meant urban explorers and then local legends started. In 2007 Essex Court announced a smaller, modern place would be built. Overbrook would become a 90 acre country park.

For New Jersey teens exploring this was a rite of passage, “the asylum”, “the bin” and “the hilltop” tested their mettle. It is a sad fact that the buildings have been demolished. Now the site will hopefully be used for local benefit.

The site for the asylum is not that of the sanatorium, the Essex County Mountain Sanatorium stood elsewhere but was left entirely without preservation and nothing remains. The once lovely building for aiding tuberculosis sufferers is no longer standing. Nearby the penitentiary from 1872 will eventually follow suit no doubt.

In 2008 Choke was filmed at the Overbrook Asylum and so has been preserved in the form of video/film at least.

21st December, 1917, an article appeared in The New York Times about a terrible tragedy at Overbrook. A set of boilers failed during a cold wave, 24 patients died within 20 days. There were 1,800 patients at the time in the asylum and it gave rise to 32 cases of frostbite. The conditions were bad enough that the director sent a letter to relatives, he encouraged them to take their relatives away until the situation could be resolved.

Ghost Adventures visited the site but they did not give the official location during the filming, but Ghost Hunters and their sister show, GH Academy also visited. The TV shows go with the idea that forgotten patients still wander the halls. Much like Danver’s and others of a similar build the idea of the underground tunnels draws a good deal of attention too.

Building II was the location for the morgue and criminally insane, apparently, I do wonder why these two always feature together on plans… and it is said that there is a nurse there walking the halls. Alongside this are reports of screaming, bangs and direct threats on a vocal level for people to leave the property.

I could find nothing outside of the TV shows about hauntings, I am more than aware about the claims from these shows about false evidence too. Many locals seem quick to dispute the cases and tales as well, so have you anything to add?

Overbrook Station.JPG
By J. E. Bailey – Images of America: Cedar Grove, Public Domain, Link

 

Tea Break Reading!

It is also known as Truk Lagoon, it is part of a protected reed and in 1944 the Americans launched an early morning attack on 17th February. The Japanese intelligence had picked upon it and removed their largest war ships but Operation Hailstorm lasted for three days. It resulted in them sinking 12 warships, 32 merchant ships and destroyed 275 aircraft.

In 1969 the lagoon was explored and it is now a popular diving spot, it’s referred to as a Ghost Fleet and the ocean floor and sunken vehicles are gas masks, depth charges, human remains and many artefacts of interest. Alongside this is a wonderful variety of marine biology such as manta rays, turtles, sharks and corals. All of these sights, sand and life are part of what is classified as a Japanese Graveyard. Its eventual clean up for any fuel or environment threats will require the involvement of the Japanese Government.

Paranormal divers are a group that investigated it, they checked it out as other divers reported hearing the sounds of engines turning and starting up. Other mentions were of voices and the sounds like idling machines. There has even been an account of investigators picking up a human-like heat signature.

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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

 

In Japanese folklore the faceless ghost is usually known for frightening humans, but seem to be relatively harmless. The creature appears human, but this is an illusion, the faceless ghost has no eyes, nost or mouth, just smooth skin. Often the victim will speak to them for sometimes not realising until the Noppera-bo chooses to reveal it’s true nature. This naturally scares the witness who are often caught out by them on dark rural roads, sometimes they are mistakenly identified as mujina, which are thought to be badgers or raccoon dogs. Mujina are, in folklore, demons/yokai that shapeshift into the animals to deceive humans or take the form of attractive women and cause trouble in relationships. I’ve mentioned them in a basic intertwined way here for the sake of a coffee read.

One story of the legend is that a fisherman went to go fish at the Imperial Koi Ponds, near the Heian-Kyo palace, despite the fact his wife asked the he would not. The ponds were near a graveyard and considered to be sacred. He was also warmed by another fisherman, but being lazy and possibly arrogant he carried on.

At the spot a beautiful young girl tries to tell him not to fish (come on wife, fisherman, sexy lady? Take the hint!) but again he ignores the request. The beautiful woman then wipes off her face and the man rushes home in a panic. His wife is there, who confronts him, telling him off about his wickedness before she then wipes away her features too.

Perhaps this was the original slenderman and his story is an adaptation of this. A modernisation of an already fascinating tale.

Another modernisation of the tale is that of the animated film Spirited Away, the Japanese film features a creature “no face”. It is a 2001 one film, about coming of age and has been widely accepted as a wonderful piece, I admit I have seen it and highly enjoyed it. In the anime it is capable of responding to emotions and also ingesting people to gain their personality and their physical traits. By the end of the film this strange entity accepts an apprenticeship to stay on as an apprentice, this doesn’t seem to match the above but it seems like quite a lovely end to the fantasy story in the film itself.

May 19th, 1959 a reporter called Bob Krauss for the Honolulu Advertiser reported on a sighting of a mujina at the Waialae Drive-In Theatre, Kahala. A woman was combing her hair in the women’s restroom and someone came up beside her, the witness at the time said that the mujina turned around to show the featureless face. The witness was said to be taken to the hospital for a mental breakdown but the story didn’t end there. An Hawaiian historian, folklorist, and author called Glen Grant did a radio interview in 1981 and called it out as a hoax but someone called into the show saying that they were that witness and proceeded to tell them something omitted by the article, that the woman had red hair.

Slenderman – Courtesy of Princekarr – Deviantart.

SlenderMan

It is one of the most beautiful buildings over-looking the Grand Canal, Venice, Italy and it seems, according to some, that the building is cursed and leaves its owners on the streets, or worse still dead. The building is tilted to the left adding to the effects of the story and its beauty caught men such as Claude Monet and John Ruskin.

Pietro Lombardo built it in 1479 for Giovanni Dario, secretary of the Senate of the Republic of Venice. His daughter, Marietta, married into the Barbaro family and the building stayed in their hands until the 19th Century. Before they sold it, back in that period, Dario lost power and suffered a financial collapse. Mariette fell into disgrace, rumours say she may have died from a broken heard or possibly committed suicide. Her father and husband died not long after she did.

Seemingly the curse came with the building and not the family, in the 19th Century an Armenian diamond-dealer took ownership. Arbit Abdoll went bankrupt and died in disgrace. In 1832 a British Scientist, Rawdon Brown, took ownership and by 1842 was on the streets, committed suicide and so did his lover.

Sometime after Charles Briggs brought it and was forced to flee to Venice. He was charged with homosexuality, which as then a crime. After him was Henry De Reigner who fell ill two years after the purchase and went back to France. In the 1970’s Giordano delle Lanze was killed by this lover in one of the palace rooms.

Christopher (Kit) Lambert, the manger of The Who, brought it and died soon after in London of cerebral hemorrhage when he fell down the stairs at his mothers house. There are more but I will just surmise that it seems some unlucky folks have owned that house, or you can believe it is the curse. Today it is privately owned and not open to the public. 

You would also think I had a picture of this, considering I took a lot of random pictures there but no… turns out I could be the one person that went down the Grand Canal and snapped anything but haha!

Top picture is from Wikipedia the bottom ones are just some random bits I took on my travels.

Iain99 [CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)

Palazzo Dario