Posts Tagged ‘1931’

The museum is located in Peterborough, Cambridgeshire, England and I used to regularly visit this Grade II listed building up until I was in my late teens. We used to go because Priestgate area was near my Nan’s cleaning work and she would finish up and then we’d go home with her for tea… all in all as it was free and it had dinosaurs it was a great place to spend some time. The building has been there for over 75 years and looks rather different now, it was originally a small area of office space and ran by Mr Yarrow as the full time caretaker, his wife and two children helped him. They lived in a flat on the first floor and this proved to be eventful itself.

September 1931 Mr Yarrow took his sons out for the afternoon and left Mrs Yarrow to lock up when the last of the visitors departed. With this done she went to the flat to start the evening meal, after half an hour or so she heard a noise on the main staircase and assumed they had returned, so she went out to meet them.

Mrs Yarrow came to see that there was a young man coming up the stairs, he was about 30 years old with brown hair and wore a green suit. She thought she had locked in a visitor by mistake, which seems a fairly reasonable assumption. It soon dawned on her that this might not be the case as his footsteps were unnaturally loud, and he was floating not walking. He reached the landing, walked through the doors near her and then without opening them headed off down the corridor and was not seen again. Spooked she left the building as quickly as possible.

The ghost might be that of a First World War Australian Soldier, Sergeant Thomas Hunter who was born in Newcastle in 1880. He emigrated to Australia as a young man and worked as a coal miner, in 1914 he enlisted in the Australian army and served as Gallipoli and on the Western Front. In 1916 he was seriously wounded, and was treated in a field hospital. He was then sent to Britain as he required more specialist care.

The medical staff found that his condition was worsening and they stopped at the next place they could, Peterborough. The hospital he was taken to is now the museum and sadly it was too late for him, he died there 31st July 1916. The operating theater there and is a rare example of a Victorian operating theater, when the redevelopments are finalized (probably have been by now) it’s due to be part of the public displays.

The soldier is buried at Broadway cemetery and his figure hasn’t been seen since the 1970’s but the anecdote has continued to be part of the museums history. Alongside this the staff has found furniture moved around at night too.

Along with the First World War soldier the museum is said to have a Roman Soldier and a White Lady there too. Alongside this in the geology gallery they are saying that a little girl likes to leave messages on tape recordings there and that she once popped up to terrify a workman.

I have to admit I don’t know if it was the fact there were loads of old things there, or maybe the giant plesiosaur looming over us, but it has a pretty creepy atmosphere in some sections. Then again you are talking to someone that shuddered when touching a half-bald taxidermy giraffe so who knows…

 

Peterborough Museum and Art Gallery - geograph.org.uk - 1777376

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A quick tea-break read, the lighthouse existed from 1889-1960 and was in Chesapeake Bay, it was notable for an unexplained death and having suffered from friendly fire. It was dismantled in 1960 and replaced by an automated beacon.

Ulman Owens was found dead 31st March, 1931. He was found dead at the station with blood and signs of a struggle, yet no wounds were found on the body and the subsequent cause of death was listed as natural. Investigators found that he had been unwell in the days before his death, and there was a chance he had suffered a fit which killed him. However, a report from a local captain says that he saw a vessel cruising without it’s running lights in the area. There was a suggestion it might have been a rum runner and a later autopsy revealed Owens had a cracked skull. It is possible that he was subjected to a violent end. However the cause of natural death has remained as the autopsy also revealed an enlarged heart which suggested a heart attack.

The US Navy regularly used the nearby hulk of an old ship, Hannibal, for target practise. 19th February, 1957, 3 of the ASDN Skyraiders bombed the light mistaking it for Hannibal. It did enough damage to have to have the four keepers removed until the damage was repaired.

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HollandIslandBarLight” by Original uploader was AlbertHerring at en.wikipedia – Image taken from Coast Guard website. Originally from en.wikipedia; description page is/was here.. Licensed under Public domain via Wikimedia Commons.

It was a psychiatric hospital located in Newtown, Connecticut, that was open from 1931 50 1995, and at it’s peak had 4000 patients. It was built to ease overcrowding, another common factor of the time, for two other hospitals in the area. It’s original plans had 16 buildings which also had a network of roads through large farm meadows and a forest.  It was closed due to de-institutionalization, the hospital patients were moved and in 1995 the doors to the hospital were finally closed.

It used typical treatments for its day, including the use of hydrotherapy, the now controversial shock therapies and frontal lobotomy. Much like other institutes of the scale and time it employed an architectural use of tunnels for staff to move around under the complex and also for the disposal of corpses.

The town acquired the land and building from the State and there are calls to preserve the main buildings at the very least.

It was used for an episode of MTV’s Fear and whilst I could see numerous mentions of hauntings etc… I could find nothing for a basis even anecdotally. other than rumours due to what it was I drew a blank, so perhaps someone else can give me some more concrete stories for the blog?

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J Tunis’ wife Lula was dying of cancer in the 1930’s, and having tried every method of cure available, they prayed for some sort of assistance where the medical world had failed. Norman Baker came to them from the Baker Institute, Iowa and Lula was in his hands with the last of their hopes on a recovery, he was a medical maverick with a new cure. He dressed in a white suit with a lavender tie, owned a radio station and preached a gospel… that he would use alternative medicine and cure the common man!

Unfortunately with this great claim was a man experienced in great lies. He was a former magician, inventor and radio host who then turned to a Cancer Doctor without a day of training in the medical profession. The magic elixir was nothing more than watermelon seed, brown corn silk, alcohol and carbolic acid.

Tunis later testified against Baker, she endured terrible needle treatments and that it did nothing. She begged to go home and he took her back home only to have Lula dead by Christmas. Normal Baker wanted to sell himself as a pioneer of medicine and that it would be his story of a personal battle, in fact brought and paid for as a biography. What he actually did was make thousands of pounds from the sick and dying and Lula was not a unique victim of this man’s “cure”.

The scandal was made more prominent because of his history of radio broadcasting and that had also been often done illegally, he was determined to allay fears that the cure was actually harmful and drank a massive dose of it himself. He put on a show for all those people that were gunning for blood and he one of those other events was to do open air surgery on a 68 year old man!

A doctor from his Baker Institute opened up the skull of Mandus Johnson, he then applied his cure to the cancerous brain tissue whilst he was still conscious. Cancer is cured, he claimed, and now that he had their attention he launched an attack on America’s Medical Association. He charged them with choosing profits over patients and said that he would remind the people he was fighting for them.

The AMA retaliated against the man and his growing institute, stating that even the open air brain surgery was nothing more than a trick. The whole in the man’s head meant that when they opened his skull what they saw was a part of an inflamed skull, a medullary portion. The AMA were also able to get his radio license revoked meaning that the radio method of damage was not renewed in 1931 as he had hoped. Following this a steady stream of relatives of former patients began to come forward to testify.

Finally he was issued with a warrant for practising without a license. He then fled to Nuevo Laredo, Mexico and started another radio station that was out of the legal reach of the Federal Radio Commission. He was there until 1937, with another smaller cancer hospital but appears to have become restless. He pleaded guilty and served a one day sentence then he tried to bid for Iowa’s senate seat but failed and left Muscatine for good.

He ended up in Arkansas, purchasing the Crescent Hotel, a majestic Victorian hotel that had fallen on hard times. It was the “castle in the air” and was soon the new Baker Institute location. He made the same scam as he had done in the previous town, conning more people with the same terrible behaviours and after two years the Federal Authorities were closing in. 1939 they finally arrested him.

1940, Little Rock trial, Norman was found guilty and the court of appeals declined his application, the cancer cure was declared a hoax. He arrived at Leavenworth Federal Penitentiary to serve a four year sentence. It’s possible that the treatment he gave did nothing but hasten the deaths of the poor people he preyed upon. Norman Baker was therefore resigned to being nothing short of wonderful, instead he was Inmate 58197.

He was released in 1944 and retired to Florida, he lived comfortably until his death in 1958. He was a monster and he was happy to arrange the deaths of people in order to profit. And with this history? Yes you guessed it, there are a wide variety of haunted legends about the place. Perhaps there are some replay ghosts or even active intelligent hauntings, but for now I think his story alone was gruesome enough.

NormanBaker-PrisonPhoto-SMALL IMG_1388 CrescentHotel

No I haven’t sneezed! It’s the name of a ship that floated around for over 30 years, and could be attributed to a ghost ship legend.

It was a steel 1,322 ton cargo steamer from 1914 that was owned y Hudson’s Bay Company and was used for trade. She was abandoned in 1931 and then seen numerous times until the last reported sighting in 1969.

1st October 1931 the ship ran into trouble when she got trapped in ice. The crew abandoned the ship and got a half-mile away to a town called Barrow. She loosened up and two days later they set off, but by October 8th she was stuck again and on the 15th the company sent aircraft to retrieve 22 of the crew. 15 stayed behind intending to wait out the winter until she freed up, and made a wooden shelter some distance away.

November came and on the 24th a powerful blizzard struck, there were no signs of the ship and the skipper determined she had broken up in the storm. A few days later however they were informed by an inuit that they had seen her, the 15 men then found her and deciding it was unlikely she would last the winter they took the most valuable furs and they were transported back by air.

She did not sink however and there were sightings of her but unfortunately each time they were either unable to get to her due to bad weather or not well enough equipped to perform a salvage operation. The last sighting was from a group of Inuit 38 years after she had been abandoned. She had been stuck fast in ice but then never seen again.

She had been boarded in March 1933 by a group of Eskimo’s who stayed there for ten days due to a freak storm. In 1969 she was last sited and then in 2006 a project was launched by the Alaskan Government to try and find her.  As of yet she remains not found.

Blog by a descendent. 

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