Posts Tagged ‘deceased’

So it’s not secret by now that I find subjects like this very interesting, apart from EVP’s and videos of bizarre interferences I find any electronic signals to be interesting, such as numbers stations for example. I realise that one of the ones I had not raised here was the concept of being called beyond the grave.

Is the telephone a way to make a last goodbye? To give a deceased person a change to make one last communication before moving on? Quite extensive research has been made, Phone Calls From the Dead (1979) by D Scott Rogo and Raymond Bayless, was the result of their two year research into the matter. In 2012 another book by Callum E Cooper also picked up the subject.

The types of calls appear to fall into three main categories and one is where the witness receives a call from someone who died, sometimes not that recently but either way for the most part the witness knows that the caller is dead and it is rare that they are not aware of it when the call comes in.

Another variation is that the witness gets a call from the deceased but discover their death afterwards. Often it seems to come from the phone of a relative or friend and they did not call, but for an unknown reason had thought about calling them, the voice is unusually strong compared to the faded static type. Some witnesses said it was odd because that person sounded quite mechanical or possibly even drunk.

A rarer but report case is also noted of people calling to the deceased, not intentionally, to find that the conversation they’d had should not have been possible. The person that answered was dead or perhaps the person they should have been talking too was not even in that place at the time.

One of the most famous incidents of this type is by Charles E Peck’s calls on 12th September 2008. At 4:22pm a commuter train with 225 people on board collided with a freight train in San Fernando’s Valley, California, and the 49 year old Charles Peck was on board. 25 people died, 135 were injured and of the injured they sent 87 to hospital, 46 were in a critical condition.

Peck had been travelling for a job in another area, he could then plan his wedding to his second wife once they were closer together, Andrea Kalz was his fiancée and from his prior marriage he had three fully grown children. Andrea heard about the crash on the radio whilst heading to the station to collect him. Peck;s parents and siblings already lived in the area and they came to join her whilst they waited for news.

In the first eleven hours of the wait there were calls from his cellphone suggesting that he was alive. Calls were made to his son, brother, stepmother, sister and fiancée. In all there were 35 calls and they would answer to hear static, understandably they would call back but the call then went to voicemail. The calls meant that the crews were prompted to use his signal to aid in the search, they looked again into the location and at 12 hours after the crash they found him.

Peck was deceased, declared dead on the scene and the resulting investigations showed he had died on impact. Long past his death his cell phone had carried on reaching out to loved ones. Unfortunately they were unable to retrieve the phone or there is no evidence that it was found.

Interestingly enough in regards to the Peck case, it seems that Snopes have decided that there was enough evidence to class this as true.

An Article on that matter


Victorian Era – 1937 to 1901 and death

I haven’t gone into the cemetery stuff here, simply because I could write so much on them that
they would need their own post. I will likely cover some of them at one point or another.

The period is known as the Victorian Era for England’s Queen Victoria, she took the throne in
1837 and died January 22nd 1901. Her husband died of typhoid in 1861 and for the remainder
of her life the queen was left in mourning. She wore her black attire for three years and dressed
the entire court that way. It was a reflection of her prudish and mournful period and for myself is a
very interesting time.

The Funeral

The funeral was very important in this era, lower classes would plan ahead, and before a child
was even born they would be saving up for the funeral because mortality rates were so high. And
it’s not surprising given the cholera outbreak, previous near wipe-outs such as Black Death and
the great fire meant London had a pretty good reason to suspect a need for forward planning!

The funeral procession would have been a pretty impressive sight, led by various attendants.
Pall Bearers carried batons, feathermen, pages and mutes would be dressed in gowns and carry
wands. There were reports of disorderly conduct at times, often these men would be in the cold
for long hours and were fed gin to stay warm.

The first coach would be the hearse, a black affair with glass sides. It would be highly decorative
with silver and gold. A huge canopy of black ostrich feathers covered the hearse, inside the coffin
was polished, moulded and had expensive handles with inscribed plates. It was also possible for
the coffin to have black, purple or dark green cloth attached with brass, silver or gilt-headed nails.
The hearse was filled with flowers and six black horses with more black ostrich feather plumes on
their heads pulled the entire ensemble.

The rest of the coaches came behind the hearse, mourners were inside and it was usual for the
blinds to be drawn. Men wore full suits with crape bands around the top hat. Women wore gowns
of black crape, veils and gloves. They would have black handkerchiefs; the fans they carried were
made of black ostrich feathers and tortoiseshell handles. Jewellery would also contain jet stones.

A procession was made at walking pace from the house to the main roads leading to the
cemetery. If necessary they might take a detour to significant areas for maximum display. Once
they got out of the town they would be able to take up coaches until the cemetery gates and a
brisk trot would be employed. Once at the gates the walking pace would continue once more.

Thanks to Loudon and other architects/garden landscapers of the time, it was customary for a
chapel to be built in the centre of the cemetery. The coffin was carried in and laid on a bier, then
at the end it would be lowered to the catacombs, or to the burial site. If they were buried in the
grounds the women would leave and the men would remain to witness the internment.

A feast would be held at the deceased’s home. There might also be one with the body present
before the funeral. There would be ham, cider, ale, pies and cakes. The immediate family
and distant relatives would attend. Cards were sent to friends, business colleagues and other
acquaintances to invite them to the funeral.

Funeral Cards

These were another tradition, traditionally supplied by the undertaker. They were printed in black
and silver on white and would be embossed with traditional symbols of grief. They were mounted
on ornamental card mounts so that they could be used as reminders for the recipient to offer their
prayers. The card would contain the name and age of the deceased alongside the date and place

of burial.

Funeral Costs

Five pounds – Hearse, with one horse; mourning coach, with one horse; stout elm coffin, covered
with fine black, plate of inscription, lid ornaments, and three pairs of handles, mattress, pillow,
and a pair of side sheets; use of velvet pall, mourners’ fittings, coachmen with hat-bands and
gloves; bearers; attendant with silk hat-band.

Fifty three pounds – Hearse and four horses, two mourning coaches with fours, twenty-three
plumes of rich ostrich feathers, complete velvet covering for carriages and horses, and an
esquire’s plume of best feathers; strong elm shell, with tufted mattress, lined and ruffled with
superfine cambric, and pillow; full worked glazed cambric winding-sheet, stout outside lead coffin,
with inscription plate and solder complete; one-and-a-half-inch oak case, covered with black
or crimson velvet, set with three rows round, and lid panelled with best brass nails; stout brass
plate of inscription, richly engraved; four pairs of best brass handles and grips, lid ornaments to
correspond; use of silk velvet pall; two mutes with gowns, silk hat-bands and gloves; fourteen
men as pages, feathermen, and coachmen, with truncheons and wands, silk hat-bands; use of
mourners; fittings; and attendant with silk hat-band.

Mourning Periods and Fashions

After burial the mourning period would depend on the person’s relation to the deceased.

Directly the widow would enter the period for up to two years.
For mourning a spouse, parent or a child the period was 12 months.
For grandparents, brothers or sisters a six month period was considered acceptable.
For Uncles and Aunts it would be a two month period.

During this a widow was required to dress in black crape for the entire year, in most other
instances the relative wore black crape for approximately two thirds of the period, after the
allotted time black silk would be allowed for the remaining mourning period.

The fashion mainly applied to women, this made her an isolated figure, and socially her activities
were restricted. Initially the widow would only be expected to go to church services. Also the
mourning attire would be a display of wealth and respectability; some would also dress their
servants during this period if the head of the household was the one that had passed away.

Middle and Lower Class woman would go to great lengths to appear fashionable in their clothes,
dying them black and bleaching them out again after was a common practise. There were
rumours spread that gave the tailors greater revenue that to recycle funeral attire was very bad
luck. Hair art also developed to allow family members to keep mementos of their loved ones.

Again the fashion for mourning is very extensive and so would deserve in all honesty a post
dedicated to itself, the fabric used are either no longer in use or simply very expensive. Black
was used as a symbol of the lack of light and in turn, life. It was instantly possible to spot
someone in mourning and to recognise the loss of their loved one.

Mourning attire is associated with a deeply rooted fear of the dead, when veiled and cloaked in
black it was believed that the living were invisible to the dead. It was a Roman idea that it would
prevent the mourner from being haunted. There were other colours that could be brought into the
outfit but the trend in England was most definitely to remain in black.


Although produced for around 2000 years it reached a peak in Victorian England, it was also at
it’s height in the American Civil War. The most popular material associated with this is jet. Queen

Victoria called it “Black Amber” and is a fossilized coal, a modern substitute is glass.

By the second half of mourning other additions such as gutta-percha, gold, pinchbeck and human
hair were brought into the wardrobe. Hair art took on a life of its own, with a lock of the deceased
woven into such things as rings, bracelets, earrings, watch fobs and necklaces as an example.

London’s pretty famous for a variety of reasons but one of the places I read about when I have the time is Bedlam. Bedlam was originally the St Bethlehem Hospital, in 1247 when it opened and was nicknamed Bedlam.

It was a lunatic asylum and possibly one of the first of it’s kind in England, other uses and the word Bedlam is now synonymous with chaos.  So it comes as no surprise that there are many stories roaming around about it, paranormal or otherwise.

Archaeologists were brought in to survey the area with a proposal for Crossrail tunnelling. The bodies have been removed for study. It has posed interest on a macabre level because of the bodies being found uncoffined and there could be thousands in numbers. It’s a significant number of patients and their stories which will hopefully be brought to life via the London Museum at some point.

From opening it’s door it accepted the “insane” and did so as a Religious priory until Henry VIII managed to close them, 1547 it shut it’s doors only to be refounded as a Hospital which in 1598 was reported as full of squalor and neglect.

With decaying buildings, a cesspit threatening to overflow and unchecked drains it would have been a horrific place. The patients hardly faired any better either with iron restraints, buckets of water and the lash being used to control them.

The howls of the patients were enough to drive other men just as mad, the notoriety of the place made it a tourist attraction. It was possible to pay a penny to walk through the place and to witness it first hand.

London faced a realistic crisis of the dead overcrowding the city, the graveyards were at crisis point. Gatherings from Graveyards is a book that was in response to the crisis and in graphic detail for the time is given a unique look into the problem. There is a distinct possibility that the numbers of dead there are brought to the graveyard as they have space. The reason this is more likely is also that Bedlam was a hospital and like any other they would discharge patients or the bodies could be sent to the deceased’s local parish instead.

I am told that there is a series about this place and that it’s based on ghosts and hauntings. For every real historical situation someone will find a reason to use it for a TV series eh! Personally I think a Lovecraftian or Poe style story based on it would be brilliant so if you know any do pass them my way.