Posts Tagged ‘Ghosts’

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

 

Wellington, Washington State was founded in 1883 and was relatively unknown until an event in February 1910, when the community there suffered a 9 day blizzard. Around a foot of snow an hour fell to the ground and initially two trains (one passenger and one mail train) found themselves trapped but the worst was to come.

28th February and the snow stopped only to have rain and warm winds replacing it. Just after 1am the next day a slab of snow broke loose during a violent thunderstorm and this slid towards the town. A previous forest fire had exposed the approach into the town and down it rolled without resistance.

The impact to the two trains threw them 150 feet downhill to the Tye River, the result was the death of 35 passengers, 58 Great Northern employees and three rail-road employees that were in the depot. The 23 survivors were rescued by rail-road employees.

It took months to recover the bodies, Alaskan-style dog sled, slopes with ropes and pulleys and sheer hard graft took a toll on the physical and mental being of the rescuers. Wellington was renamed Tye in October that year and the depot was closed down in 1929, the town was then abandoned and raised.

The Iron Goat Trail allows visitors to go to the site, however hiking there in the winter is highly discouraged due to the nature of avalanches in the area. A retired editor for the Monroe Monitor newspaper said it is a very eerie feeling to be stood there.

The most common reports are about the sensations experienced at the site of the old town, often people feel that there is someone else watching them and many hikers will avoid camping there overnight. Oak Harbor resident, Bill Robards, is certain it is haunted having been there. He witnessed apparitions following them when they walked at night and even heard a child’s voice and states they captured audio evidence of a man (an immigrant working on the train perhaps) singing in Italian.

Train wreckage from Wellington WA avalanche cph.3b13980.jpg
By E.J. Frazier, Thompson, Montana – This image is available from the United States Library of Congress‘s Prints and Photographs division
under the digital ID cph.3b13980.
This tag does not indicate the copyright status of the attached work. A normal copyright tag is still required. See Commons:Licensing for more information., Public Domain, Link

 

The tunnel is located in Richmond, Virginia and has two supernatural reputations of ghosts and another of the Richmond Vampire. The tunnel originally opened in 1873 but closed in 1902, then in the 1920’s with growth to the area it was decided by the rail company that they would re-open the 4,000 ft tunnel but to do this they needed it cleaned and reinforced.

Disaster struck 2nd October 1925, 200 men were at work in the tunnel; the men stood on cars and a steam locomotive so they could work on the tunnel. Above the locomotive the ceiling collapsed, the train was buried and steam from the squashed boiler scalded the train’s fireman. He crawled out of the tunnel but he died of his injuries in the hospital later on.

After eight days of searching they found the driver in his cab. The unfortunate man had a lever through his chest and he was badly burnt. Records are pretty sketchy but at least one body was never recovered and the locomotive is buried in the tunnel, probably along with a few bodies. They sealed the tunnel up with sand and blocked up the entrance with concrete.

There have been reports of people hearing a number of sounds, of voices crying to ‘get me out’ and the sounds of digging or the screeching of wheels of a locomotive. It seems inevitable these tales would surface given such a set of tragic deaths.

The legend of the Richmond Vampire surfaced shortly after the collapse in the tunnel. The report of the creature was that it was blood covered, had jagged teeth and skin that hung from its muscular body. The creature was said to feast on the bodies of the trapped dead.

It emerged from the cave-in and was pursued by a group of men who followed it to a mausoleum of WW. Pool at Hollywood cemetery. Some have suggested that this urban legend may have become mixed with the death of the 28 year old fireman, Mosby, who had crawled out of the tunnel, badly injured and died, the vague description could match up with the terrible injuries he suffered.

The grave of WW. Pool has been padlocked and the bodies inside it have also been removed. The grizzly reality is said enough but the stories of the supernatural also seem to keep the memories and history of those events alive.

Church hill tunnel.JPG
By EsubterfugeEsubterfuge, Public Domain, Link

 

The tale has been documented by Michael Norman and Beth Scott, in Historic Haunted America about a tunnel in western Massachusetts. The tunnel is the Hoosac Tunnel in North Adams.

It began construction in 1851 and wasn’t finished unti 1874, for 24 years workers chipped away at the rocks and around 200 men lost their lives by explosions, fires and drowning in what became known as the bloody pit. It seems that many of those were accidental but one may have been more sinister.

Nitroglycerin was an explosive introduced in 1865 to the miners and used for the first time at the Hoosac Tunnel. 20th March, 1865, three men planted the nitroglycerin and ran for the safety bunker, they were Ned Brinkman, Billy Nash and Ringo Kelly. Kelly had prematurely set the charges and it buried both of his colleagues under a heavy pile of rocks.

After the incident Kelly disappeared and he was not seen again until 30th March, 1866 where his body was found two miles into the tunnel. His strangled corpse was at the spot Brinkman and Nash had been killed by the explosion. The Deputy Sheriff thought the murder had happened between midnight and 3am but no suspect was on the cards and his murder went unsolved.

The workers felt the spirits of Brinkman and Nash were the culprits and feared the area was cursed, they felt unhappy about having to go inside. The work slowed to the point that an investigation was called for. Paul Travers was a highly respected cavalry officer in the Union Army. He went into the tunnel with Mr Dunn, they went in at 9am and went to the spot where they heard what sounded like a man groaning in pain. They agreed that it did not sound like the wind.

It was a month later, 17th October 1868, when thirteen miners died in a gas explosion, the gas explosion blew apart one of the surfaces pumping stations. The debris filled the central shaft where the miners were working. It was the single worst disaster during the tunnels construction and a local reporter said that a miner, Mallory, was lowered down by a bucket and rope to search for survivors. He emerged almost unconscious, lifted back up, saying there was no hope. With no pumping station the 538-foot shaft filled with water and the bodies of some of the unfortunates began to surface from it. A year later the remaining men’s bodies were found on a raft that they had built trying to use it to float up on the water as it rose up.

All the time that they were missing the villagers spoke of vague shapes and the muffled wails of what the believed were the dead men. Workmen saw them carrying their picks and shovels through mist and also the snowy mountaintop. They left no footprints and only appeared briefly before they vanished. Once the last of the missing dead were located the strange sightings stopped.

That may have been the end of one tale but in 1872 another report came up about Dr Owens and James R McKinstrey who went into the tunnel. They went down the two miles down and halted to rest, the place was cold and dark, the only light was from their lamps. Both men heard a moan like someone in great pain. A dim light came down the tunnel and as it came closer the light took on a blue hue and looked more like the form of a human being with no head.

The strange light was so close it could have been touched but the men stood with gaping, open mouths and were most likely terrified. It eventually turned away and vanished, Owens was unable to come up with a rational explanation for the very thing they had witnessed.

16th Octobre, 1874, another bizarre event came up, a local hunter named Frank Webster vanished and three days later a search party found him stumbling around in shock, along the banks of the Deerfield River. His story was he had been ordered by strange voices to go into Hoosac Tunnel, when he did ghostly figures were walking around. Suddenly his rifle was seized from his hands, it was used to knock him him out around the back of the head and he woke up outside without the rifle and without any memory of leaving.

The first train went through on 9th February, 1875 and with its completion the stories still carried on. That fall a man named Mulvary, a fire tender, was driving a wagon load of firewood into it. He suddenly turned his cart around, whipped the horses flanks and was never heard of again. Three miles from there they did find the wagon and in 1977 a man named Impoco said he heard someone yell “Run, Joe, run!” as he was chipping ice from the tracks and there was a train coming. The voice alerted him and most likely saved his life.

The tunnel is very much in use today, the Boston and Maine railroad is very busy. It’s an impressive feat of engineering and visitors can talk to local old-timers who will recount the local tales.

Hoosic.jpg
By en:User:Acela2038 – en:Wikipedia, Public Domain, Link

 

This fine place at Comberbach, Cheshire was unfortunately demolished which is a great shame as it was a historically interesting place that once housed valuable art treasures. Living residents and visitors offer up tale and there are some photo’s of the building, which also had some ghostly tales to offer. The hall was once in Marbury Park and research projects continue to ensure that the building was gone is not forgotten.

As late as the 1930’s reports still spoke about an old oak chest with a skeleton kept inside it. A mundane reason might be it was a medical or art students possession but rumours for these macabre items often occur and this has gained one such tale.

At some point in the past one of the owners of the Barrymore family went to Egypt and an Egyptian women fell in love with him. She was obsessed and followed him back to Cheshire, and refused to go home. He had, however, married his English sweetheart, the woman was installed at Marbury as his mistress and she loved the house. She said that when she died her body must remain at the home and she did not want to be buried at the church. She died, or was murdered, and the request was ignored, she was given the usual funerary customs.

Not long after her ghost was seen riding on a white horse, bells rang mysteriously and to stop the strange events her body was exhumed and brought to the house. Later generations tried to remove her to a family vault and others tried to get rid of her by throwing the chest into Budworth Mere, but mysterious happenings would being her back again. In the 1930’s she went missing one last time, some say she was buried in the church at midnight and others that she was walled up into the house.

As the house is now demolished I would hope if there is a truth to this that the churchyard tale is the real one, but it seems this legend and another have been crossed over thanks to the white horse. Supposedly Lord Barrymore wagered the hall that a mare he purchased could go from London to Marbury in a day. He wanted the mare there for a wedding present for his wife and the horse did the gallop. The mare dropped dead after a drink from the trough and was buried in the park.

Lady Barrymore was so upset that she died of a broken heart not long after, she wanted to be buried near the horse but again her requests fell on deaf ears. She now cannot rest and her and the horse ride around the park and are seen now and then.

Pretty much everything I can find out about this seems anecdotal, made harder to look into now that the hall is gone. It also seems that as with many of these types the legends have crossed over and changed. Either way I hope you liked the read.

http://lostbritain.uk/site/marbury-hall/