Posts Tagged ‘suicide’

Newark castle is just down the road from me, here in Nottingham and I went once over a decade ago. It sits by a river which some say might explain this as some experts in the field believe water is a good way to enhance paranormal activity. I’ll admit when I went the most interesting thing that happened was my friend getting stuck up the wall he’d decided to climb…

During the day the park and castle area are busy with the living, there are less accessible these days as the dungeons are locked off for safety reasons and those that have ventured down say it goes very cold, very quickly and more so than they’d have expected. One account from a visitor in the past stated that voices could be heard.

In 1073 the manor on the land was turned into a castle and the then Bishop of Lincoln, Robert Bloet, added a motte and baily. About 50 years later another bishop made it into a fully fortified castle and area. The castle withstood five sieges and until 1646, was a key royalist stronghold and following it’s surrender it was opened up for royal guests to use. One of the most famous royals that came to visit was King John. He died at the castle 19th October 1216, it is said that he was poisoned by order of the pope.

The castle was due to be destroyed but then the plague broke out, the orders were not completed and some of the castle stayed standing. Four rooms remain in tact at the castle site, one is the bedroom King John died in. The undercroft is another room in tact and rumours are that it was used between the 1750’s and 1900’s as a place of practise for black magic. The dungeons there were rumoured to be a meeting place for the Knights Templars.

The King’s bedroom was also the scene of a suicide in the early 1900’s, a castle range was found hanging there. He was swinging by his neck and tour guides have walked into the room to see a body hanging from the ceiling, moaning and crying as if trying to catch it’s breath.

They say in the dungeon that voices and sometimes chanting can be heard. Inside them accounts have been made of cans and stones thrown from the shadows. Flashes of light have been spotted around the grounds at night and those who have done a vigil in the undercroft felt a presence in the room too.

Newark Castle, 06-2013 (3).jpg
Newark Castle, 06-2013 (3)” by Richard NevellOwn work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Commons.

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It is more commonly known as Jonestown, it’s more famously known that way because of the notorious events November 18th, 1978 when over 900 people died in the settlement in northwestern Guyana.  formed by the Peoples Temple and led by Jim Jones. All but two people there died from apparent cyanide poisoning making 909 dead at the site, in an event named ‘revolutionary suicide’ by Jones and some of the members on the audio tape during the event.

The events after the poisonings led to the murder of five others by Temple members at the nearby airstrip, Port Kaituma, one of the victims was a US Congressman named Leo Ryan. Some consider this to be a mass suicide, others suggest it was a mass murder.

I’m not going to go into the events because in actual fact I picked it due to the status of it being an abandoned area. Jonestown was left abandoned and finally given up to nature, the place itself has been swallowed up by the jungle and no doubt sooner or later very little, if any evidence of it will likely exist.

If you should wish to read up more the link is here

jonestown

Recently I went on a trip with friends out to Italy, more specifically Venice. We stayed around the Lido area which is around three kilometres away from the abandoned island of Poveglia. In the port at San Marco we saw a ship called Poveglia and we took it upon ourselves to ask them if the boat did indeed go there… blank faces. This was a similar event when we asked the local police too, seems it was not a well heard of place.

The island itself is not on the main routes, and there are no tourists being guided around. I had hoped we’d find out a way to get there but sadly not. However this hasn’t deterred me from recounting this curiosity. I am sure someone may be able to correct me where I go wrong. (Hope so anyway).

The Island seems to have a lengthy history attached to it, records suggest that in the 9th Century it was fairly well populated but had suffered plenty of wars and attacks. In 1379 Venice came under conflict and the people from Poveglia were moved to the Giudecca. The Venetian government built a permanent fortification on the Island; the Octagon there is still visible today. It remained uninhabited until it was offered to the Camaldolese monks in 1527, they refused to take it. In 1661 descendants were then offered the Island but again it was refused. It was still left empty and abandoned.

1777 saw the Island being used by the Public Health Office who used it as a check point for goods and people as they came and went through Venice. 1793 saw the plague changing the island once more, several cases of the plague on two ships meant that it was a temporary confinement place for the ill. It was a place made permanent in 1805, and the church of San Vitale there was destroyed, the old bell tower was then converted into a lighthouse. It was closed down in 1814.

The 20th Century was used as a quarantine station once more, and then in 1922 the buildings that were left had been converted to a hospital for the mentally-ill and for long-term care. This was the case until 1968 when the hospital was closed, the island was used for a while after that but now is closed off.

So on to the creepy bits? That’s what we’re here for right?

The mental asylum doctor was no doubt given his tyrannical legend like so many others of the time, due to practising lobotomy and other, now, barbaric practises. He was tortured by his patients, went “mad” and then jumped to his death from the bell tower. However the story says that he survived and was then strangled by a mist from the ground.

Other sources say that so many people were buried and burnt during the time of the plague that the ground is half human-remains. The local fishermen will give it a wide berth to ensure they will not fish up the bones of ancestors and a stay overnight would most like produce interesting tales, Ghost Adventure’s went that way themselves and discovered this to be much the case. The locals are either unaware of this place, or will feign disinterest leaving only the more curious and grizzly minded wanting to go there.

A rather good first account from someone that has visited can be located here: MENTAL FLOSS

Poveglia Googled

Denton which is about 20 miles away from Lexington, North Carolina has a locally famous legend about an abandoned house in a field at the back of the woods along the road. It was apparently the scene of a grizzly murder and the reason the house is now abandoned.

 So the story goes that a man came home and had for some reason snapped, he shot his wife outside the house and then went upstairs and shot himself. The blood was washed up from the outside and from the room in which he had committed suicide but it appeared again the next day and so after trying to clean it up numerous times it is apparently still there. It’s said the room upstairs is blocked off but from other sources I have found this is not necessarily the case.

 The notes that I have found are jumbled up however here’s what I have – There is a church nearby called Piney Grove and it’s about a mile or more from the main road away from that. Another source lists this as locally known as the Old Morgan Place but a Google search gave me little bar the original post I found about it. Another post says it’s off 64 just outside Asheboro and says that the house is in very bad shape.

 Access to the property is not by vehicle, not from any note I found. The drive has a cable across it and the terrain is rough thanks to trees (one of which may well have fallen into the place), you can walk around and there are numerous notes to say that EVP’s etc have been found. 

A Facebook Gallery from some people that have visited

 

As you may have guessed I am a big fan of the stories that are pretty well known locally, or even the very big stories. I like to look for the ones that are not always featured on blogs but also I like to find ones I haven’t heard of before. This one I stumbled across and thought was worth a share.

Happisburg is in Norfolk and the churchyard contains the unmarked grave of the “Happisburg Poisoner” his real name being Jonathan Balls. Legend has it that Mr Balls had worked out he was destined for hell, he died having accidentally taken his own poison… bit clumsy of him but anyway he asked to be buried with a Bible, a plum cake in one hand, a poker and a pair of coal tongues in the other hand. It seems that the locals were fearful he might not remain in the coffin as it was believed evil and suicidal people would become vampires after death.

Crossroads were places that these folks were buried as a precaution, the idea that they would be confused by which road to take. They also got buried in unholy grounds and suicides were then staked through the heart, this was legislation until 1834 (I can’t provide citation but I wouldn’t be surprised).

For some reason they exhumed him 6 months later, it was preserved by the arsenic he had consumed. He’d perhaps consumed it over a long period to build up a resistance, this was not an unknown practise. Anyway it seems that the reaction to this fact was not recorded, a shame as I am sure they would have been concerned by the potential of the vampire evidence presented.

Photos by HauntedIsle