Posts Tagged ‘1939’

The village is the only official ghost town in Poland, it is in the voivodeship of West Pomeranian and abandoned, as of 1993. It was originally a German training ground for a branch of Nazi’s and then after World War II, a base for the Red Army, only existing on Russian Military maps thanks to that. Once they withdrew in 1993 it became vacant.

Originally the area was a small settlement, Westfalenhoft, and in the 1930’s the Wehrmacht planners built a large military base. A polish newspaper from the 1939 reported the numbers of personnel at 600,000. In the Autumn of 1939 the German’s then opened a POW camp at the site, by November 1939 there were 6,000 Polish soldiers and 2,300 Polish civlians. It was renamed to Oflag II D Gross-Born in June, 1940 and was used for French Officers and Polish POW’s from the other camps. Westfalenhoft was eventually taken over by the Red Army in January 1945. It was officially Polish territory but it was occupied and held by the Soviet Union. The Polish were not allowed entry, it was renamed Grodek and the village was not named on Polish maps.

The parts of the base not needed were razed by Red Army servicemen, the base had around 6,000 Russian soldiers. The debris from the village was sent back to Warsaw, used to help rebuild the city. When it was vacated as part of the collapse of the Soviet Union the area was handed back to the Polish. It was guarded by the Polish army for a year, after which it was handed over to civilian authorities.

There was an attempt to sell the area for redevelopment but it did not happen, there were other suggestions like turning it into a drug rehabilitation centre, or perhaps a prison but it’s also worth noting anything of monetary value has already been looted. In 2011 I found reference to five residents but there is no bus route there and the nearest shop is 4km away, so it’s not likely to be a cosy place to stay.

I first came across notes about the area on a show called Stupid Man, Smart Phone. Whilst it is a ghost town it is not abandoned and is regularly visited, and seems to be a tourist spot for some. Have you been?

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By RzuwigOwn work, Public Domain, Link

 

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.

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.

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