Posts Tagged ‘Ghosts’

The building is in a 60 story-high skyscraper in the Ikebukuro area of Tokyo, Japan. It’s main use now is for shopping and for entertainment and in 1978 when it was built it was the highest building in Asia.  It was surpassed in 1985 but for a while remained that tallest in the city. The building’s foundation is made of reinforced concrete and the lower segment of the building is reinforced concrete, with a steel skeleton. 

Sunshine 60 was built over the destroyed Sugamo Prison, it has been used to hold Senior Japanese war prisoners during the occupation. 23rd December, 1948 seven of the high-ranking officials were hanged. It was also the sight for the hanging of a Soviet spy called Richard Sorge and because of it’s former use there are rumours that it is haunted.  

 I saw there there were reports of chanting when there is no one there. loud bangs and knocks in places where they would not be expected, or of old spots that could not be explained. A tenant in one of the flats heard his daughter scream and ran to see fireballs over their heads. A few other phenomena have been reported but on writing this I could not find anything more specific.

Sunshine 60.JPG
By KakidaiOwn work, CC BY-SA 3.0, Link

 

I have a copy of the first edition published of the game Wraith, it is battered and showing its age but it is still sat in my collection. It was published in 1994 by White Wolf and is part of the World of Darkness setting. The World of Darkness is an alternative world, a fictional setting using our world events and accepting that supernatural events and creatures like vampires, werewolves and mages exist.

I remember the rumours about this when I was more heavily into following the Role Play Gaming scene and thought I might do a tea break read on it.

So rumour had it that the game setting was being worked on and that play testing is a part of this, so during the first play test and in talks with the designers they all had instances where they were falling ill When they tried to prepare the book for its original publication the printing factory burnt down.

So this is really what seems to be nothing more than a rumour circulating at the time, there was no twitter to hashtag it out and a look online only had one other person that had posted about it. So it was a rumour mill that may well have not gone all that far outside of small circles or in chat rooms now very out of date or defunct. So was there any basis to this? Most likely not, it was more likely down to the fact that the game was just selling poorly.

The game itself meant that before you even started the game you had to conceive characters that had been traumatized enough to become these angry/tormented spirits. This was not just hard for players to work with but also the storyteller. I am quite sure the concept and development was hard work, the subject of things like murder, suicide and horrific accidents are going to drag the most positive of folk down over time.

Ultimately I don’t consider this a case of cursed gaming more a case of concept that didn’t sell well in reality. After two editions Wraith: The Oblivion was shelved and now appropriately haunted a space in my collection like it does many other people’s shelves.

Does any one else recall this?

Wraithoblivi c.jpg
By Source, Fair use, Link

 

Podcast notes

In the last installment for this series I have reviewed Lee Roberts and the Parasearch Radio, I made notes against the information on the last two posts I made about Clifton Hall. It was uploaded to youtube in 2008 and if you want a far more in-depth listen, I have linked it below.  The first thing I will say is that I listened to the beginning and wondered if this was really my kind of listen, but I did enjoy it overall. They go over the history of the hall and the presenter has clearly spent time going into the past, even noting that Gervase Clifton had seven wives, and all died young, she said even for the time it was a lot.

Percy Clifton’s history was touched on, last Lord of the Manor, he lost his eldest son Gervase Ronald Bruce on the HMS Mommouth. Supporting information can be found here – https://secure.nottinghamshire.gov.uk/RollOfHonour/People/Details/9543 and was a young midshipman, at 15 it seems a sad loss of life, along with the other 735 crew that went down with the ship when it sank.

Along with this the rumours and hauntings from the Grammar school years are discussed noting that the rumours of hauntings do indeed go further back.

After this Lee Roberts is introduced who explained that at the time, they were trying to get TAPIT noticed and their name out there as an investigation team. He explains that the PA for Anwar Rashid contacted them to invite them in and they clearly wanted to go, Roberts says that they scheduled it for a three night visit where they could take some baseline readings for humidity, room temperature and air temperature. He goes on to say that there was a scenario where he got lost in a way he never should have, he left the nursery and went down a straight hallway then got turned around back into it, he could give no explanation about how it happened.

He references another event, there is a black and white chequered room that they went into and Roberts says the whole floor was covered in wasps. He turned to his brother-in-law and said they needed to get their cameras and record it all, they passed Rashid’s brother, they told him, and all went back to the room. When they got there the room was clear, there was no sign of a wasp in sight. Roberts says it took only 30 seconds but even if it was slightly longer than that it would surely have meant some evidence of them was left, even a straggler? It turns out that this was not a one-off thing, but they also found out that the wasps were never seen anywhere but that room.

Remember I mentioned the winding staircase? Well Roberts brought that up as well, they discuss King Charles and that the team had radio’s on them to communicate, over the radio Roberts heard “we know you’re alone in there,” which he explained was female and they checked locally for baby monitors or anything that could have come to the same channel but found nothing, a year late when he went back the same voice came over and said “so, you’ve come back again?” and they had no explanation for it.

The maid and her death are discussed too, they say a local witness talked about seeing a figure of a woman by the cliff and that the person had disappeared when they turned around. Roberts says that the team did not witness this, but they do muse about the subject of this as it is accepted that historically richer men would have affairs with their servants and the bi-product of unwanted – bastard- children was a reality. These scandals would result in women trying to self-terminate children or they must be secreted away to have them elsewhere.

It loosely linked into the story of the bricked-up room/wall and I think Roberts provides some better context about how this all came around. In the cellar they found that Rashid’s family stored boxes and belongings, also in there were some gargoyles and objects from the church along with an area that had been bricked up in the past that may be the tunnel to the church. It was reported that there were the sounds of scratching and of cries from behind it, realistically he points out that even if they wanted to sledgehammer the wall to find out more this was not going to happen and it was far to expensive to destroy the old wall.  Roberts goes on to explain that they did contact the local church and attempt to get information on the tunnel, but they got no reply. He does say that I was not unusual as many of the churches don’t want these teams coming in or making local sensations of them.

A year later Anwar Rashid contacted Roberts again to ask him to come back, he said that the situation had escalated to physical attacks leaving scratches and bruises. They had a priest come in who had left them prayers to print out and put around the house, the family had nailed them up high in all the rooms and it had not helped at all. He states that on the second visit it was a more active site, and this is where the Dark Mansions statement must have come in as well, he says that one of the team got scratched, another saw a reflection in the mirror and that two members passed out. Roberts says that this was the only time he had stopped an investigation and got the team back together through safety fears.

So here is a loose timeline I was able to make

Jan 2007 house is purchased

June 2007 the family moved in

August 2007 TAPIT call in the first time

August 2008 TAPIT go in the second time

October 2008 the family leaves.

Lee Roberts and his team had planned to put all their recordings and notes together ready to present to Anwar Rashid, he had heard nothing more from them and then one day he got a call from a newspaper for a quote. I rather liked that Lee Roberts made no hidden fact about the fact he enjoyed media attention and that he said he was happy to discuss it until he realised that they were after a sensational story about it all, at the time he was a police officer and was told by the force that he would need to remember this and keep it all professional so he held back from too much attention on himself.

Anwar Rashid gave some statements at the time, then he went media silent. This to me came across as quite a good point in the recanting of the events, the man didn’t want to make more money from it or bring his family more attention as he was more concerned about his family and their welfare. He mentioned that they also had a few things that were discussed like a little boy that appeared around a curtain and then could not be found, along with there being an elderly man’s ghost in the headmasters room but Anwar Rashid wanted to enter the tale no further. Lee Roberts say they keep in touch, but the subject of the Hall is not one to bring up, instead it is about how things are now.

I think there is a lot of interesting reading in Clifton Hall and the church, it is a small pocket in Nottinghamshire and has kept me busy reading for a while now! I hope you like the write up and that you find the subject interesting. I also hope you like my deep dives now and then as I do enjoy bringing more to the tale than a few tea-break paragraphs. Thank you also if you read all of this and if you want to offer any comments, I always enjoy seeing feedback.

Sources:

Wikipedia                            savills.com                                          History of Nottinghamshire, Vol 1

Telegraph.co.uk                mysteriousbritain.co.uk                nottsalgia.com

Haunted rooms                 theparanormalguide.com            Clifton-vollage.org.uk

Paranormaldatabase.com            Dark Mansions – Dinah Williams

BBC News                           kids.kiddle.co                                    officialleeroberts.com

Google                                 Fortean Times                                   alchetron.com/chek-whyte

Paranormal Network      Find A Grave                                      Parasearch Radio

Sky News                             nottinghamshistory.org.uk          The Clifton Book 1906. Rev Rosslyn Bruce

It is also known as the Essex County Hospital, the area is heavily guarded for the sake of preventing further vandalism and general criminal activity. I for one salute this, preservation of these buildings seems to be scarce in my country so I am always glad to hear when action is taken anywhere.

In 1986 the land was designated for the new location of the insane asylum and was located in Verona, now Cedar Grove, it was selected as a remote location, high altitude and peaceful for rehabilitation.

Like many it was soon victim to being at full capacity, it was so large it had its own train stop, grew its own food and the farming was considered to be helpful towards the rehabilitation of the patients. It was its own little town and even had a semi-professional baseball team.

The 1960’s and 70’s brought the further introduction of new treatments, medication and brought a decline in admitted patients. It still operated into the 1990’s and slowly parts were abandoned, which meant urban explorers and then local legends started. In 2007 Essex Court announced a smaller, modern place would be built. Overbrook would become a 90 acre country park.

For New Jersey teens exploring this was a rite of passage, “the asylum”, “the bin” and “the hilltop” tested their mettle. It is a sad fact that the buildings have been demolished. Now the site will hopefully be used for local benefit.

The site for the asylum is not that of the sanatorium, the Essex County Mountain Sanatorium stood elsewhere but was left entirely without preservation and nothing remains. The once lovely building for aiding tuberculosis sufferers is no longer standing. Nearby the penitentiary from 1872 will eventually follow suit no doubt.

In 2008 Choke was filmed at the Overbrook Asylum and so has been preserved in the form of video/film at least.

21st December, 1917, an article appeared in The New York Times about a terrible tragedy at Overbrook. A set of boilers failed during a cold wave, 24 patients died within 20 days. There were 1,800 patients at the time in the asylum and it gave rise to 32 cases of frostbite. The conditions were bad enough that the director sent a letter to relatives, he encouraged them to take their relatives away until the situation could be resolved.

Ghost Adventures visited the site but they did not give the official location during the filming, but Ghost Hunters and their sister show, GH Academy also visited. The TV shows go with the idea that forgotten patients still wander the halls. Much like Danver’s and others of a similar build the idea of the underground tunnels draws a good deal of attention too.

Building II was the location for the morgue and criminally insane, apparently, I do wonder why these two always feature together on plans… and it is said that there is a nurse there walking the halls. Alongside this are reports of screaming, bangs and direct threats on a vocal level for people to leave the property.

I could find nothing outside of the TV shows about hauntings, I am more than aware about the claims from these shows about false evidence too. Many locals seem quick to dispute the cases and tales as well, so have you anything to add?

Overbrook Station.JPG
By J. E. Bailey – Images of America: Cedar Grove, Public Domain, Link

 

It was originally known as the Eastern State Institution for the feeble-minded and epileptic, it closed 9th December 1987 after a decade of controversy. From 1903- 1908 the original buildings were constructed, there were further additions to the site in 1919, 1921 and 1929. It didn’t stop there either, more were contributed in the 1960’s and again in 1971.

23rd November, 1908, they admitted patient 1 and within four years it was overcrowded and pressured. The patients would be classified, and the status of admitted children would be seen as abhorrent these days. They ranged from the mute, blind, epileptic to deformity, offensive habits and more. Yet somehow they also for the patients into making mattresses, shoes, farming, laundry and other trades.

There were other assumptions, one of them was the Chief Physician (and eugenicist) thought that all of those of feeble mind were potential criminals.

In 1968 a CBS10 correspondent Bill Baldini anchored a five part exposé about the poor conditions. In 1983 there were nine employees on charges of patient abuse and finally the Halderman Case details the wide-spread abuse and finally resulted in its closure.

Halderman was a resident who upon her release filed suit in the federal district court. It had started when she visited her parents and had unexplained bruises, it led to the courts finding that Pennhurst was unsanitary, inhumane, dangerous and violating the fourteenth amendment (an easy summary being an Equal Protection Clause), and essentially the patients rights had been abused.

It has since been through various attempts at reincarnation for use. Now the administration building has been partially renovated and opened as the Pennhurst Asylum haunted house. It attracts quite an interest but those formerly affiliated with the place seem to find this disrespectful and controversy about it remains. Former patients, I presume from some feedback, find the tourism and sensational way it is handled as somewhat akin to a slap in the face.

Pennhurst has attracted its fair share of TV coverage, with shows like Ghost Adventures, Ghost Hunters (TAPS) and Haunted History in the name.

Reports on the paranormal side involve partial and full-bodied apparitions, the noises of screaming and piano playing. Along with various reports of this, those interested in the exposure of the place will find Suffer the Little Children both interesting but at the same time it can be a quite disturbing watch.

Admin-current-pennhurst.jpg
By Smccphotog (talk) (Uploads) – Own work, Public Domain, Link