Posts Tagged ‘1992’

It’s no secret that England is considered an old historical place and has a fair share of ghost stories, from headless horsemen to the ghosts of animals on the moors and Sussex, England may be subject to a road with an interesting haunting but also a potentially dangerous one. (Starting source BBC Website)

In November 1992, a unsuspecting Ian Sharpe was driving along the road from Sussex to Kent. A girl in white, with what he described as “beautiful eyes”, stepped in front of his car without warning and she disappeared under the front wheels. Shocked and distraught he stopped the car, he was sure he had killed her or at the very least caused her some serious injury. He got out and made a search to find no body, human or animal and not even a sign of impact, other than the frantic beating of his heart.

Two weeks later another report of a man experiencing a similar event came in, again he rushed out expecting a tragedy to find zero evidence of the event.

There is another nearby road where another unexplained happening has been reported, this time a little less worrying as people are not slamming on their brakes but there is a phantom hitch-hiker near the Lower Bell public house on the same road, the mysterious entity spends a ride towards Maidstone putting the worlds to right with their drive before vanishing right out of the seat.

So what is the speculation behind this? Some believe that it is of a woman called Judith Langham who was knocked down in 1965, she was wearing her white bridal gown on the way to her wedding, Has the poor victim now become a white lady?

There is another report earlier than that of 1992 with Ian Sharpe too, in 1974 a man named Maurice Goodenaugh came to the local police to say that he had left a blanket on a woman he had hit and had begged for help. When he came back with the police there was no sign of the seriously hurt woman and again nothing to suggest what had happened to her if she had been there in the first place.

After this there are two other people that stepped forward to report it, this was listed in the tabloid “The Sun” and Joseph Chester and Tracy Boon said they had seen a woman wearing a nightgown on the road, in 1968 and in 1999. They also report a man called Bob Vandeeper gave a woman a lift in 1962 but this is before the crash and so could not be the bride surely?

So is this all correct? Well it seems not, there is more information about this, Judith Langham was not the bride but there was a bride that died. 19th November 1965, a Friday and the eve of her wedding, at Blue Bell Hill. A Jaguar, driven by Harry Backhouse, collided with a Ford Cortina and killed three of the four woman, one of which was 22-year-old Susan Browne, who was due to marry RAF technician Brian Wettton, she died five days after the accident in the hospital. There were two other women, Judith Lingham and Patricia Ferguson, and Patricia died at the site, but Judith died later on, which is probably where the initial rumour about the bride began.

So is this road haunted or is it just that there’s a tragedy there and unusual events have transposed themselves around to fit it? Or is there really the ghost of a young woman killed at the scene, bride or not? And if so who was the other mystery person in 1962?

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I like it when a particular name is attributed to a sighting or ghostly activity, I think for me it makes it seem more like a real story/event as opposed to the vague descriptions of just houses or weird movement, anomalies. The legend comes from Queensland, Australia and no-one knows the truth of his birth date, but he died 16th September 1897.

Jack Darke’s name is more renowned due to his death, as opposed to his life when he was a hard worker who kept to himself. Unfortunately for Jack his life ended when he was pulled into the buzz saw at the Gold Rush sawmill. The town records register it as happening when he died attempting to burn down the sawmill, the townsfolk and their rumours suggest that it may have been another story.

Local stories tell that there may have been another younger man involved in the attempted arson, another says he might have been pushed to his death by someone and his murder was covered up. Since the 1980’s multiple reports of activity at the site come in, it seems the events occur between midnight and 3am on nights with a full moon and little cloud cover. In 1992 there was a report from guests at a banquet there was a man there who was wearing a colonial outfit. There is no audio or visual representation to support the claim.

At Dreamworld Amusement Park there is a ride called Buzz Saw, the theme of the ride is his bizarre death and subsequent ghost story. The rollercoaster is 150 metres in length and quite popular. Have you been on the ride or met with Jack Darke? Let me know.

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Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=1182301

The pneumatic railway was built near Crystal Palace in South London, around 1864 and was effectively a vacuum-driven train that ran for about a year. The power came from a giant steam-powered fan and the fan was reversed for the return journey where the carriage used brakes at each end. Remnants of the tunnel were uncovered around 1992 in the Crystal Palace Gardens.

In 1978, 19 year old Pamela Goodsell claimed she had found the tunnel and within it was an old railway carriage. Her story also included the bizarre details that the occupants were in the train still and were skeletons still dressed in their Victorian garb. The tunnel however was not found at that stage, some believe it was destroyed by construction work in 1911 for the Festival of Empire celebrations. The celebrations were to celebrate the coronation of King George V.

The story may have more origins as a creepy tale in the 1930’s from local school children, the exact origin of the story does not seem to have been found however. The children’s tale says the tunnel was shut down as a commuter train was trapped when the tunnel collapsed. The local tale goes that they couldn’t get out the train or the passengers and so walled it up with the souls left trapped inside. From looking around on the internet if there ever was a train there then it was more likely retrieved and used for scrap not left buried with people inside.

I cannot help but think it’s more likely a themed ride at Disney than an actual event! It makes for a good story… but I am going to go with urban legend on this one.

Crystal Palace Athmosperic Rly.1864

Okay here goes! This one is pretty famous to those of us that like to watch horror at the very least. As the setting for the Session 9 Film (the cast of CSI in a horror?) it has a very interesting history let alone the ghost stories… so hold on to your coffee/tea and get ready for a blog that could be rather lengthy. The State Lunatic Hospital was a psychiatric hospital located in Danvers, Massachusetts. Built in 1874 and opened in 1878 it was a self-contained hospital built according to the Kirkbride Plan. One of the rumours boasts it as a birthplace of pre-frontal lobotomy (lush!).

It was originally two main centre buildings which had the administration and had four radiating wings. There were kitchens, laundry, a chapel, dormitories, boiler  house and other detailed rooms from the plans and records that exist. The water came from Middleton Pond. Over the years they added other buildings and most of the buildings on the campus were connected by a series of confusing underground tunnels. Part of this underground myriad of tunnels was a hub for maintenance; this was nicknamed “The Wagon Wheel”. The older tunnels were used in the Session 9 film. With the original plan being to house 500 patients it’s no surprise that with over 2000 by the late 40’s overcrowding was a major issue. People were held in the basements of the Kirkbride and of course this will add to the stories of  ghosts, tales of horror and anguish.

The asylum was established for residential treatment and care for the mentally ill, in the 1890’s Dr Charles Page, superintendent, declared the use of mechanical  restraint as unnecessary and harmful in some cases. There was more then one account of the way in which people that been treat, the idea of inhumane shock therapies, lobotomies, drugs to control the patients and the time honoured tradition of the straight-jackets. June 24th 1992 the hospital closed, the buildings were left to rot and it was not until many years later it was demolished.

The property was sold to Avalon Bay Development in December 2005 and they demolished most of the buildings, despite an outcry about the matter. June 2006  spelt  the last of the demolition, including the Kirkbride, only the Danvers Reservoir and original block shell remain, buildings are worked around it, Avalon Bay predicted they would have properties ready by Fall 2007.

A spanner in the works came up April 7th, 2007 when four of the complex buildings and four of their construction trailers burnt down. The fire was visible 17 miles away in Boston and investigation began. Avalon Bay provided a live webcam of the construction at the old hospital site however they cut out around 2:03am; it could be due to the damage from the fire. The underground tunnel to the power plant still exists though it is blocked off, and now the only thing left of the asylum are the cemeteries, blocked off tunnels and the brick shell of the Admin, D and G Wings.

So what of the ghosts? Now converted into apartments there have been reports of flickering lights, of full body apparitions, footsteps and audible sounds, and the doors that like to open and close seemingly of their own accord. Here goes:

2001 horror Session 9 is filmed around here, I thought it was a pretty good film.

In Project 17 by Laurie Faria Stolarz teenagers break in to investigate the haunted asylum.

In Mage: The Awakening (Role play game) the hospital in the World of Darkness was administered by vampires who fed on the patients.

It is also believed to be a widely used source of inspiration for H P Lovecraft’s Arkham Sanatorium, alongside the Asylum that shares the name in Batman. It is referenced by name in H P Lovecraft’s Pickman’s Model.