Posts Tagged ‘Tragedy’

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?

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

 

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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March 18th, 1996 saw a tragedy in Quezon City, Philippines leaving around 162 dead. The Ozone Disco Club was opened in 1991 by Segio Orgaoow but was previously a jazz club named Birdland. The club had an approved occupancy of 35 but inside were around 40 workers and 350 party goers. Many of them were students celebrating the end-of-year or their graduation.

Survivor accounts say they saw sparks at the DJ booth just before midnight and then smoke which they thought was part of the set. Within minutes the fire broke out and the tragedy was under-way. The criminal trial listed 160-162 dead with an additional 95 injured. It was one of the worst death tolls for a nightclub ever, but the República Cromagnon fire has since surpassed that claim.

People tried to escape and many of the bodies were found along the corridor towards the exit piled up waist-high/ It seems that the emergency exit was blocked by a new building next door and no proper fire exit had been installed. It also transpires the security thought a riot had broken out and then locked the doors to the exit.

The building still stands, although not in commercial use, and a former memorial plaque has since been removed. Passers by say that they have peered in through a crack in the boardings and have seen dancing shadows. Sometimes the ghosts of those trapped inside possess someone making them relive their death and awful lead up to it. The descriptions from the people who do have this experience are remarkably accurate in regards to the situation.

Ozone disco

So whilst I am not an avid sports fan it seems fair that I cover these, as they no doubt come under interesting even frightening if you were there for them. So lets go with the round-up. ( I am avoiding Hillsborough if you are wondering, this is simply too big to cover and would no doubt require me to go into a major history account.) I haven’t chosen to link videos, if you want to go and find out more do so but I will say they are very harrowing, you are watching people in the process of dying on some of them. Whilst I am pretty much of the stance that I will take a neutral view, even I admit these are damned sad to watch.

23rd June 1968 – Puerta 12 tragedy, Buenos Aires. This is less well-known it seems but 71 fans died at the stadium, it was two sides that seemed to blame one another for the terrible events. Calls about people burning flags seemed to have caused a stamped and the fans rushed towards gate 12; it caused the deaths and around 150 injuries. Victims were between 13 and 20 years of age and in the end the league paid compensation to the victims families. Even today the area remains to have changed little with the low light around the area, the stairwell and the gate are virtually unchanged.

2nd January 1971, Ibrox Stadium in Glasgow, Scotland. A stampede led to the death of 66 people and over 200 people being injured. Until the 1989 Hillsborough Disaster it was the worst to have occurred in the United Kingdom. The stadium’s owners were later found to be at fault over one of the deaths, they did not dispute it and 60 other cases were brought forwards. In 1902 there had been a previous incident there, a stand collapsed due to heavy rain the night before and killed 25, and injured 517.

In 1971 more than 80,000 fans attended and Celtic took a 1-0 lead against the Rangers. Some Rangers supporters began to leave but at the final moments an equaliser was scored. Thousands were leaving and as this was happening, by stairway 13, a child was on his father’s shoulders and fell, it caused a terrible chain-reaction. Most of the deaths were caused by compressive asphyxia (chest compressed until the longs cannot take in enough air and the person suffocates). Bodies had stacked up to six feet in some of the areas and these days there is a memorial to the event and those who lost their lives.

20th October 1982, Luzhniki in Moscow, Soviet Russia (it was the named Grand Sports Arena of the Central Lenin Stadium) a stampede started that killed 66 RC Spartak Moscow fans and the number of those that died was not made official until 1989, until then speculation ranged from 3 to 240 deaths. The fans had two of the four stands open, they could get the area cleared of snow that way and most of the fans went to the East Stand as it was closer to the Metro station. Thee were about 100 Dutch supporters. The game itself was pretty much uneventful and the fans began to head out minutes before the end, presumably they had already seen enough of the match. The fans effectively rushed to the Metro Station side exit.

A fan fell at the lower steps of stairway one and, according to some reports, it was a woman that had lost her shoe and stopped to find it, some stopped to help. The crowd was getting dense by this stage and a domino effect started.

People around had no idea what was happening as impatient fans tried to move to the exit, the stampede was in full swing as the second goal for Spartak came 20 seconds before the final whistle. The autopsy showed that those who died all died from compressive asphyxia. A Russian site explained that perhaps the goal at the end helped to save more lives as people rushed back to see that and eased the crush, who knows…

1st February 2012, Port Said Stadium, Port Said City, Egypt... a riot occurred at the stadium with 72 killed and over 500 injured when thousands of El Masty spectators stormed the stadium stands and pitch, following a 3-1 by their team. They attacked El Ahly fans who were in their own area using weaponry and fireworks. Their anti-government/revolutionary chants had many thousands of Egyptian fans thinking that it was a set up to get rid of the revolutionary group. The Egyptian government responded by shutting down the domestic league for two years.

The match had been delayed for 30 minutes as El Masry fans were already on the pitch, and each time there was a goal they invaded, along with the half time invasion. The El Ahly were trying to escape and being attacked as they ran, they were asking for police to protect them as they ran and in the melee there were people thrown from the stands as well. The Egyptian family airlifted in soldiers to rescue the players who had been stranded and the Al Ahly coach a the time, Manuel José, even considered giving up coaching, as well as leaving Egypt for good. The security forces were condemned that they had hesitated to act and part of the support for the idea it was government organised came from the lack of security searches, that eyewitnesses saw security standing aside during the attack and overall it seems that this was part of the evidence that was being waded through.

On 26th January 2013 they held the trial, 21 accused were effectively handed their death sentences with 52 postponed until March 2013. 27th January 2013 it was reported that the Egyptian government had lost control of the city. Sadly the deaths continued there.

Other mentions are the Estadio Nacional disaster, Lima in 1964 where a Peru and Argentina match took place and with Argentina leading 1-0 and six minutes of normal time left, the fans of Peru were angered by a goal being disallowed that would have meant they were equalised. The result was a pitch invasion and tear gas being deployed, steel shutters were closed and panic ensued crushing people. All those who died were in the stairwell and there were at least 328 deaths, though this may be an understatement.

The Accra Sports Stadium Disaster in 2001 also deserves a mention, taking the lives of 127 people in Africa. Trouble had been anticipated and there was extra security but the match carried on and bottles and plastic seats were thrown on to the pitch. The police fired tear gas into the crowd and panic ensued with a crush off 127 people that lost their lives. Ghanaian fans remember the disaster on the 9th May each year.

After speaking with my more football savvy friend, he also mentioned that as disasters go another really should be mentioned. The Bradford Stadium fire. On Saturday 11th May, 1985 fire broke out. It was a tragic event taking the lives of 56 supporters and injuring 265. Police, supporters and staff were forced from the stadium dragging out people they could, trying to save as many as possible as the stand was engulfed in fire. This event is one that sparked a wave of new legislations for safety, the antiquated stadium had been unfit for purpose. Bradford City still support the Burns Unit at Bradford Royal Infirmary as their chosen charity to this date.

And my final one is the Estadio Nacional Mateo Flores, 16th October 1996, just before the 1998 FIFA World Cup Qualification match was about to take place, saw 83 people killed and more than 140 injured as excessive numbers of fans then tried to break into the General Sur section. It created a human avalanche and it seems that the excess was most likely down to counterfeit tickets and the poor design of the building. It was a terrible situation with many people having suffocated in the mass.

The sad part is that many of these tragedies are due to bad planning or poor layouts, not to mention people. It’s also unfortunate that the majority of the people in all the cases above would likely have been nothing more than people wanting to enjoy a day out supporting their sport. Violence, stampedes or general disasters meant that innocent people died in a terrible way and I think we owe it to them to remember these things and try to learn from them each time.

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Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=2184782

A small island in the East River, between the Bronx and Riker’s Island, New York City. Once a hospital it is now pretty much a bird sanctuary, and uninhabited. It’s smaller companion is the South Brother Island, not located all too far away.

It was uninhabited until 1855 when the Riverside Hospital relocated there from what is now Roosevelt Island.

The island was also the site of a wreck of the General Slocum, a steamship. It had a fire on board, June 15th 1904, and a thousand people died before the ship beached up on the shores. The bodies also washed up on the shore.

In the 1950’s a centre was opened to treat young drug addicts. Heroin addicts were confined to the island and locked up until they were cleaned up. By the 1960’s widespread staff corruption and patient recidivism forced it’s closure.

 

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Riverside Hospital North Brother Island crop” by reivax from Washington, DC, USA – Riverside Hospital. Licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons.