Wednesday, 13 February 2013

Haunting Ghost Stories of Alcatraz

In the late 1850s, the first inmates to occupy Alcatraz were military prisoners who were put to work building a new prison that later became known as "The Rock." The U.S. Army used the island until 1933, at which time the Federal Government decided to open a maximum-security, minimum-privilege penitentiary to deal with the most incorrigible inmates.
Alcatraz was designed to break rebellious prisoners by putting them in a structured, monotonous routine until their release. Prisoners were given four basic things - food, clothing, shelter and medical care. Receiving anything beyond that had to be earned. Famous criminals, such as Al Capone, George "Machine-Gun" Kelly, Alvin Karpis and Arthur "Doc" Barker, spent time in Alcatraz. Mobsters in other prisons often managed to manipulate special privileges from guards, but not at Alcatraz.

Tough Punishment

  • The Strip Cell
    Prisoners refusing to follow prison rules risked being confined to the Strip Cell, located on the lower tier of D Block. It was a dark steel cell, where inmates would be stripped naked and given water and bread once daily, an occasional meal and a mattress at night. The only 'toilet' was a hole in the cell floor and there was no sink. While there, convicts had no contact with others, spending their time in pitch-dark solitude.
  • The Hole on D Block
    Similar to the strip cell, there were five 'hole' cells also on the lower tier, where prisoners were kept in isolation for up to 19 days. The cells had a toilet, sink, lightbulb and a mattress provided during the night only.

Prison Closure

Because of the huge cost to refurbish the prison it was closed in 1963. Later the island and parts of the prison were reopened by the Parks Services for daily public tours.

Tales of Torture

The fact that Alcatraz was built on an island and kept so isolated from public view, tales of inmates being tortured and of their bitter spirits coming back to haunt the halls of Alcatraz began to circulate.

The Ghost Stories of Alcatraz

  • The Utility Corridor
    One of the areas which some claim is the most active with paranormal activity is a utility corridor where inmates Coy, Cretzer and Hubbard were plummeted with bullets after a failed prison escape. It is there that in 1976 a night security guard reported hearing unexplained eerie clanging sounds coming from inside.
  • Cell 14D
    Cell 14D, one of the 'hole' cells is believed by some to be very active with spirits. Visitors and employees have reported feeling a raw coldness and at times a sudden 'intensity' encompasses the cell.
    Tales have been told of an event in the 1940s, when a prisoner locked-in 14D screamed throughout the night that a creature with glowing eyes was killing him. The next day guards found the man strangled to death in the cell. No one ever claimed responsibility for the convict's death, however the next day when doing head counts, the guards counted one too many prisoners. Some of the guards claimed seeing the dead convict in line with the other inmates, but only for a second before he vanished.
  • Warden Johnston
    Other stories have circulated that Warden Johnston, nicknamed "The Golden Rule Warden," also faced a bizarre event while showing some of his guests around the prison. According to the story, Johnston and his group heard someone sobbing from inside the prison walls, and then a cold wind whisked past the group. Johnston could never explain any reason for the occurances.
  • Cell blocks A, B, and C
    Visitors to cellblocks A and B. claim they have heard crying and moaning. A psychic visiting wrote that while in Block C he came upon a disruptive spirit name Butcher. Prison records show that another inmate in block C murdered Abie Maldowitz, a mob hitman known as Butcher.
  • The Ghost of Al Capone
    Al Capone, who spent his last years at Alcatraz with his health in decline from untreated syphilis, took up playing the banjo with a prison band. Fearing he would be killed if he spent his recreational time in the "yard," Capone received permission to spend recreation time practicing his banjo in the shower room.
    In recent years, a park ranger claimed he heard banjo music coming from the shower room. Not familiar with the history of Alcatraz, the ranger could not find a reason for the sound and documented the strange event. Other visitors and employees have reported hearing the sound of a banjo coming from the prison walls.
  • More Paranormal Reports
    Other odd events experienced over the years include guards smelling smoke, but finding no fire; sounds of unexplained crying and moaning; unexplained cold spots in areas of the prison and claims of seeing ghosts of prisoners or military personnel.
Could it be Alcatraz is haunted? Ghost hunters have said they feel parts of the island and areas of the prison evoke a certain "strangeness."

Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Changi Beach, Singapore


Besides the continuous torturing, mutilating and killing, both of prisoners-of-war and civilian captives, which was carried out by the Kempetai throughout the war, at least several mass executions of Chinese took place shortly after the surrender of Singapore.  One was on Changi beach, and the other one off-shore, the victims being taken out to sea in launches and then pushed overboard, to be machinegunned in the water.  During the Sook Ching operation in February 1942, the site of Changi was one of the first of several where tens of thousands of Chinese, suspected of being anti-Japanese, were executed by the Japanese Kempetai.

Changi Beach
(Source: Otherplane)

This area is believed to be haunted by the ghosts of the executed chinese during the Japanese occupation. Passersby often report hearing strange crying and screamings. The heads of the chinese dead bodies are sometimes seen flying everywhere. Headless bodys walk around the beach as well. More scary cases include a passerby witnessing a ghostly execution leaving blood stains, etc.

Infamous execution ground
(Source: Syonan-My story)

It is well-known that thousands of Chinese civilians were shot dead during the Sook Ching operation in February 1942.  However, after the war and the Japanese surrender, Changi beach served too as an execution grounds for the culprits.  It came the war crimes trials.  The trials took a few years as many Japanese war criminals were put on trial.  About 135 were executed, all of them at Changi.

Lieutenant-General S. Fukuyei, commander of the prisoners of war camp in 1942, was the first to be tried.  He had ordered two Australian and two British soldiers to be shot.  They were shot on the shore at Changi.  Fukuyei was sentenced to be shot on the shore at Changi.  Fukuyei was sentenced to be shot at the same place.  Singapore newspapers published a photograph of the execution.

Next, Vice-Admiral T. Hara, the General Officer Comanding the Anadaman and Nicobar Islands, and five of his men were found guilty of murdering nine Burmese in July 1945.  They were hanged on 19 June 1946 in Changi area.  The two condemned men were reported to have composed a poem the night before the execution about their impending doom - their last thoughts - and requested to forward it to their families in Japan.  The poem was something like this: 'Now we climb the thirteen last steps and I shout Long live the Emperor!'  Vice-Admiral Hara, looked calm, resigned to his death the following morning.  He had accepted responsibility for the murder by his men of the nine Burmese because, he said, he was their commanding officer.

Many families and relatives of victims of the Death Railway came from Australia and England, to attend the trial of officers and men accused of crimes in connection with that tragic page of history.  They saw Lieutenant Ishida, the General Officer Commanding of the Thai end of the railway, sentenced to death together with many others including Colonel Nakamura, Colonel Yanagida, Lieutenant-Colonel Ishii and Major Senda.  Many Japanese medical officers were sentenced to long terms in prison, some to life imprisonment.  At the trial of prisoners of war camp personnel, Major-General Saito, Captain Suzuki and Tominaga, Kobayashi and Kawazoye were sentenced to death by hanging.

Wronged deaths in Changi Beach
(Source: Changi Photographer George Aspinalls' Record of Captivity)

This is a true story, told by a POW witness after the war.  You will see the cost of a successful sabotage action happened during war time.  The wronged death was a kind of side-effect of an anti-Japanese operation.

During the Japanese occupation the Japanese Air Force had taken over the whole Changi aerodrome complex, and they were using the old Roberts Barracks as a store and housing for their personnel.  In one dark night, the POWs poked around the area and found a lot of Japanese radial aircraft engines.  They were sitting on stands, obviously being dismantled and serviced.  Some of them had their cylinder heads off and it would be a chance of sabotaging some of these engines.  The place was pretty lightly guarded.  A lot of Chinese used to wander about at night and the Jap guards were rather slack.

One night the POWs were over in the Selarang Barracks area, near a transport garage by the old Changi Theatre.  The Japs were using it as a mechanical workshop for trucks and other vehicles and they noticed a stack of batteries in one corner beside a big battery charger and lots of wicker-covered glass jars.  They brought some of those jars back to Changi Gaol to test it.  When they poured some on to a piece of tin, it ate its way straight through, so it must have been undiluted sulphuric acid!

They got hold of some old pickle jars, and half-filled them with the sulphuric acid and made a holder plaited out of coconut leaves, as it was very dangerous stuff to handle.

In one moonless night, the POWs sneaked into the workshop, groped around until they found the engines with the cylinder heads off.  They opened up the pickle jars of acid, and carefully brushed it inside the five or so cylinders that were on top of the engine.  They managed to do about eight engines, before making their way back to Changi Gaol as quickly as possible.

By this time the Americans were sending B29 bombers over Singapore, and the Japanese would scramble their Zero fighters to go after them.  Several of the fighters returned very quickly after taking off.  Some of them didn't make the aerodrome, and flew straight into the coconut trees at the end of the runway.  The engines were making spluttering noises when the planes came down.

Soon after that there had been some kind of investigation by the Japanese engineers.  The Japanese rounded up a lot of Asian workers down there at Changi Beach, made them stand in line for two days while they were interrogated.  They collected a large group of men of all ages, from the villages near Changi area.  Later on, groups of four or five of these men were taken down to Changi Beach and shot.  Many innocents Chinese men had been punished for the POWs' sabotage actions.  The Japanese had blamed the Asian workers and a large number of them had been shot.  This was quite a large scale of execution after the Sook Ching operation, right there at Changi Beach.  The innocent victims knew very clearly that they were wronged but yet had to face their doom.  You can imagine how fierce and the anguish in their spirits...

   1. Patrol station at the Changi Point; 2 -4. Changi Point jetty taken at various zoom and night vision scope.
You can see how badly infested it is with orb energy.
 The paper umbrella is inserted under the roof at the end of the shelter that faces the sea.
Paper umbrella in Changi Point
(Source: Urban legend)

At Changi Point jetty, many boats were there shuttling people and goods between Singapore mainland and Pulau Ubin.  It costs $2.5 per person even if you carry bulks of goods.  However there is one rule, untold to many people.  The boat drivers would agree to transport anything, except dead bodies.  This is their superstition that they cannot mix the live and the dead passengers.  If ever they break this rule, they will invite mishaps to their water journeys.  But it is true that many people besides tourists are merchants or traders going to and from Pulau Ubin.  For example, they have a business or a job at Pulau Ubin but their home is in the mainland.  If they unfortunately died away from home, their bodies could not be taken back to the mainland but to bury in Pulau Ubin.  This was quite difficult for most people to accept because every family would prefer to have the soul of the lost one return home.

Although their bodies cannot be taken back to the mainland they require the 'spirit' to come home.  One method is to invite along the shaman to the burial location in Pulai Ubin, have some chanting, and summon the spirit to 'live' in a ancestor tablet (that is a wooden altar with the dead's name written on).  They believe using the wood tablet as a medium, at least they can carry back the soul to the mainland.

But there is one taboo for the boat people.  They wouldn't allow a tablet altar to be brought on the boat just as it is.  They will lend you a paper umbrella - a traditional old Chinese style umbrella that is made of paper and bamboo, and the surface of the umbrella is usually waxed and painted.  The umbrella is used to cover the tablet together with the joss-stick, throughout the whole boat journey, regardless of a sunny or rainy day, day or night.  They believe that it is a must to keep the spirit contained under this paper umbrella.  So that the spirit will not flee to elsewhere especially they are afraid the spirit will choose to stay in their boat.

Next time when you take a gumboat ride to Ubin, take a look at the roof structure of the jetty shelter you will see a paper umbrella is placed there.  But don't try to touch it or open it for fun.  It is a serious tool used by the boat men to transport spirits.

  The overpass bridge is rumored to be haunted by beheaded spirits who cursed anyone crossing the bridge with a bicycles to die.
No bicycle on the Overpass
(Source: Urban legend)

Those who have been to Changi point would know that near the boat jetty there is a narrow footbridge connecting the beach area and the mainland.  During the war, the anti-Japanese sentiment increased ever each day.  Many young men had been to execute in the Sook Chin operation in the Changi area.  One of the most caught region was also Changi.  Left with the women, the elderly and the teenagers.  These remained families vowed to revenge at all costs.  They had been having secret contacts with the communist Chinese and the guerillas warfare groups about a counter-strike plan.

For many days they were scouting around the Japanese army compounds, tracking their patrol trails, and got to know where the guards were likely to be.  If they were ever spotted, they had a plan to split up and run in different directions, to get back to their villages.  Out of many places, they chose a small footbridge.  That was the one mentioned earlier.  Headed by a commander, they observed that a small group of about five or six Japanese troops would cross this narrow bridge in every evening after having a meeting with the troops in one of the Changi Beach military camps.  If the narrow bridge were to blow up, they would fall down to the water split and the men hiding below the bridge near the shore will 'finish' them with a parang.

But the challenge was that they would only have about 15 minutes of time between the changing guards from a post next to the bridge, before the commander arrived.  Smuggling a relatively small quantity of dynamites from the guerrillas was difficulty but not impossible.

The operation was carried mainly by the widows and parents of the Chinese men that had been shot.  These people pretended to be fishermen who came to trade their fishes near the bridge when the day was at dusk.  Carefully watching over the Jap guards on the post who didn't pay much attention to the Chinese as they were about to return to their camp soon.  Once the guards stepped off from the post turning their back towards them.  The Chinese operation team immediately started their action in installing the explosive at the bridge.  They knew very well that they had only about 15 minutes of time for their job.

With a big surprise, while they were busy setting up the bomb, the Japanese commander showed up on a bicycle today!  His bicycle was traveling at a fast speed as if some thing urgent happened.  When the Chinese women and elderly saw him riding on a bicycle about to reach the beach, they became very panic.  Holding the explosive and virtually no other weapon they didn't know what to do.

At a glance the commander knew what was going on.  He pulled his pistol out and shot at the air.  Soon after more and more troops were flooding to the bridge area.  Caught red-handed, the operation failed very badly because they never anticipated that their target would have a bicycle.  Under the order of the commander who was standing next to his bicycle, one by one these assassinators were tied up with their hands behind and lined up on the bridge with their faces facing outward.  Their bodies were leaning on the bridge and lined up in a row.  The commander was very agitated about their sabotage plan and he wanted to execute these people on the spot by himself.  Holding his Samurai sword, one by one, he beheaded them over the bridge.  Streams of blood gushed out freely to the water below from their necks.

That was rumored to be the last killings just before the Japanese forces had surrendered unconditionally.  The war was soon over.  And these people, in fact, didn't have to die if their plan didn't fail because the target came much earlier, or they waited just a few more days till the end of the war.  Full of grief these people cursed every cyclist that ride pass the bridge in their last breath.  Nowadays there had been reports of cyclists would strangely lose control and fell off from their bike into the water when crossing the bridge.  Some said there was as if an invisible hand pulling their legs or strangling their necks while crossing the bridge with their bicycles.

Ohio Uni, Athens, America

Ohio University in Athens, Ohio was founded in 1804 and was the first institution west of the Appalachian Mountains dedicated to higher learning. With a rich history that spans over 200 years, it is not unreasonable to assume that there may be paranormal activity around some of the buildings on campus. It seems though in this case it is hard to find a building not associated with paranormal activity making Ohio University one of the most haunted places in America.
There have been quite a few ghost stories that come from the buildings and houses associated with Ohio State. Stories of former slaves associated with the Underground Railroad, an old insane asylum now being renovated by the University, former students who have died on campus and a loving old lady who seems to not have left her home are all a part of the allure that has gotten the campus nicknamed the most haunted school in the world.
What could be the most notable building on campus is the old State Mental Hospital, or more familiarly named “The Ridges”. It is being renovated by the campus and is now the Lin Hall and houses the Kennedy Museum of Art. Margaret Schilling is reported to still walk the halls of this building. Margaret was a patient in the hospital when she disappeared in December 1978.
The authorities look for the woman but didn’t find her. A maintenance man discovered her body a month later on the top floor of a ward that had been closed off for several years. She had been dead for a few weeks. Before she died she apparently took off all her clothes and folded them neatly beside her. To this day there is a stain in the floor that is an outline of her body. It is reported that Margaret still wonders the floors of the old ward at night.
The Alpha Omicron Phi sorority house was once a stop in the Underground Railroad. Apparently the town people heard of the home harboring slaves and not wanting it to be the source of trouble for the whole town, stormed the home only to discover one slave in the home, Nicodemus. As Nicodemus tried to run from the mob, he was shot dead in the back. This house has been the home of a few sororities and fraternities and all of them have reported strange noises and paranormal activity in the house.
The most famed haunted place on the campus is Wilson Hall. There are several reasons given for the high paranormal events that happen at the building. One is that could be built on one of the Athens Mental Health Center cemeteries and the other is that if you connect five haunted cemeteries in the area it forms a pentagram with Wilson Hall in the center. Neither of these can be proven.
One of the most famous Wilson Hall stories is that of room 428. It is told that a girl who practiced the occult died violently in the room. Since then, students have reported items coming of walls and smashing into walls, footsteps and strange sounds in the rooms, furniture being rearranged and reports of an actual apparition of the girl. According to the Athens County Ohio web site, the University has sealed the room and it is not used anymore.

The Screaming Tunnel, Niagara Falls

For as long as we've been interested in ghosts and hauntings, one thing has remained the same - the allure and mystery of the Screaming Tunnel in Niagara Falls that has enthralled so many curious readers and visitors alike.
Many people know how the legend goes... if you light a wooden match while standing in the middle of the tunnel, you'll hear a shrilling scream and your match will immediately blow out.
Where does this legend come from? We can't say for certain, as this is a legend that has been passed down from generation to generation, but one fact remains... someone met their untimely death in the middle of this cold, strange tunnel.
We here at Haunted Hamilton have visited the Screaming Tunnel numerous times and have found it to be quite spooky. Even on the most beautiful, sunny day, you can find yourself becoming frightingly engulfed within the tunnel's cold, dark stoney walls. Upon entering the tunnel's five-metre-high entrance, you can immediately begin to sense some sort of negativity - even if you're completely oblivious to spirits and the other world.
It is this misty setting that provides the perfect stage for one of the most enduring reputed hauntings in Ontario, or so legend has it.
This particular legend takes place over a century ago when a deadly fire raged through an old farmhouse that stood just behind the south side of the tunnel. "On that fateful night, the air was shattered by a young girl's wretched screams as she emerged running from the fire's eerie glow. Her clothing engulfed in flames, she fled into the tunnel in a futile attempt to extinguish her burning garments. Collapsing to the floor, she died alone in its depths."
There are other versions of this story, but the above has basically been derived and deduced from all of the stories. Other accounts say that the girl was set ablaze by her mentally unbalanced father in the tunnel when he learned that his wife won custody of the children during an intense divorce battle. Another story reports that a young girl was raped inside the tunnel and her body was burned to cover the evidence.
Another interesting tidbit of information is that The Screaming Tunnel was used for a scene in the 1983 movie, "The Dead Zone" with Christopher Walken.

Not long ago a good friend of Haunted Hamilton told us about a possible alternative to the tunnel's history and why it was given the name "The Screaming Tunnel.
Historically there used to be a small group of houses on the other side of the tunnel (away from the main road - just like in the legend). A woman who lived in one of the houses was known by the neighbours for being a bit off.
After having a fight with her husband, she would bottle up all that anger and hold it in until he left for work. As a way to vent, she didn't talk with friends, but instead would walk to the very middle of the "Screaming Tunnel" and scream at the top of her lungs. Neighbours would hear this but ignore it, as many didn't want to deal with the woman.
This is what many believe to be the true origins of the name "The Screaming Tunnel"

Bhangarh Fort, India

The ruins of Bhangarh Fort in the Rajasthan state in India are known for being the most hunted place in this south Asian country. While it’s understandable that not all people believe in ghosts, there are warnings at all entry points to the Bhangarh Fort advising people not to venture into the city at night. In fear that something terrible could happen, some of the signs posted by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) not only advise against, but literally prohibit visitors from entering Bhangarh Fort at night. The sign reads in Indian language: “Entering the borders of Bhangarh before sunrise and after sunset is strictly prohibited.” If you are a ghost hunter or like visiting mysterious places, especially those known to be haunted by ghosts, then Bhangarh Fort deserves a solid spot on your “Must Visit Before I Die” list.
The Bhangarh Story
The story (and the history) of the Bhangarh began in the year of 1573 when the fortress was established. Built by Raja Bhagawant Das – the ruler of the city of Amber, Bhangarh Fort has become the residence of Madho Singh, ruler’s second son who fought alongside his father and brother in many wars. The decline of Bhangarh Fort started in 1630 after Chhatr Singh, son of Madho Singh got killed in a violent attack. The decline continued until 1783 when the fortress and the city were completely abandoned following that year’s famine.

The Bhangarh Myths
According to one of the myths, Bhangarh was cursed by Guru Balu Nath (Baba Balanath), who originally sanctioned the construction but warned that his sacred meditating place lies nearby and should the palace reach the size which would cast a shadow big enough to reach his forbidden retreat, the city would fall into ruin. Ignorant of the warning, Ajab Singh – one of dynasty’s descendants raised the palace to a height that cast the shadow on the Balu Nath’s retreat and the city was cursed.
Another myth talks about princess Ratnavati who was so beautiful she had no match in all of Rajasthan. Marriage proposals came coming, but one day she was spotted by a tantric named Singha Sevra who was so bewildered by her beauty, he decided to use his black magic to get to her. As he was spying on the princess, he saw her servant buying perfumes for her. The tantric used the opportunity and put a black magic spell on the lotion which was supposed to draw the princess to him upon initial use.
His intentions were uncovered by a person loyal to the princess who informed her of bewitched lotion. The princess took the bottle and smashed it against the rock which came to life and rolled over the tantric killing him. Before he died, he laid a curse on entire land which came to be the following year during battle between Bhangarh and Ajabgarh. All who dwelt in Bhangarh died, including the princess.
There are several other myths and legends that explain the reasons why the fort was abandoned overnight and never re-inhabited, but they all revolve around the fact that the city was cursed and is now haunted by ghosts.
Even though Bhangarh is deserted at night, locals report that strange noises, including music and dancing can be heard coming from the ruins of the fort. The access to Bhangarh is regulated by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) and by their rule, it is illegal to enter Bhangarh at night. However, several people did make an entry during forbidden hours just to get a sense of thrill associated with being in one of world’s most haunted places. Bhangarh Fort offers superior opportunities for mystery and ghost hunters to experience the ultimate adrenaline rush. The restless spirit of the magician who cursed the land watches over Bhangarh from a nearby hill during the day and comes down at night in search of a ghost of his beloved princess.

Highgate Cemetery

Highgate Cemetery is a cemetery located in Highgate, London, England which opened up in 1839. It is the resting place of Marxist Karl Marx and Sir Ralph Richardson. The cemetery is known to supposedly be haunted by quite a few ghosts including a ghostly old woman wandering the graves and numerous ghost faces starting from the gates to the cemetery. The most famous of all the reported ghosts of the cemetery would be the Highgate Vampire.
The Highgate Vampire was a media sensation surrounding the cemetery dating back to the early 1970s. The hype began when a group of young people roamed the cemetery back at a time when it was heavily vandalized by intruders. David Farrant, one of its members, on December 24, 1969, saw a gray figure when passing by the cemetery which he considered to be supernatural. All the others claimed to have seen a variety of different ghosts they reported to be roaming Swains Lane in the cemetery.
Sean Manchester, a second local man, confirmed Farrant’s account and claimed that a “King Vampire of the Undead”, a medieval nobleman, who practiced black magic in the medieval Wallachia, had been brought to England in the early eighteenth century by coffin. Manchester claimed that modern satanists have roused him. He said that the right thing to do would be to stake the body, then behead and burn it, which is considered illegal so it was never done. Later, Farrant claimed to have seen dead foxes in the cemetery, with throat wounds and drained of blood. He later agreed that it might be a vampire.
Both Farrant and Manchester had an emerging rivalry between each other, fighting over which one would be the first to bring down the vampire. Manchester said to his associates that he would have a vampire hunt on Friday, March 13, 1970 to rid of the claimed vampire in the cemetery. Within two hours of having interviews of Farrant and Manchester shown on TV, a swarm of people climbed over the gates and walls of the locked cemetery beyond the police’s control.
Although the vampire was never found, Manchester kept making returning trips to the cemetery in later years. He had a psychic sleep-walking girl lead him to many places in the cemetery with some companions. She led him to a specific catacomb that was empty. After climbing down a rope through a hole in its roof, he found empty coffins into which there was garlic and sprinkled holy water put on. A few months later, charred and headless remains of a woman’s body was found not far outside the catacomb. This led to a massive surge in both Farrant and Manchester’s activities. Farrant was caught outside the cemetery with a crucifix and a stake. Manchester, led by his psychic sleep-walking friend, visited the cemetery a few days later, during the daytime. He was about to stake a corpse that he believed was transferred from a previous tomb until one of his companions asked him to desist and he did. In his book, he claims to of staked and burned a body in an empty house in the Highgate area.
Farrant was jailed for damaging memorials and interfering with body remains which Farrant claims to have been done by satanists, not him. Both Farrant and Manchester compete to this day on who is the more competent exorcist or better researcher of the paranormal.

Ancient Ram Inn, Gloucester

As one of England's most notorious haunted houses, The Ancient Ram certainly looks the part. Shrouded in autumnal mist, the centuries-old former hostelry squats half-submerged beside the road, a mass of uneven stone walls and decaying, darkened windows.

Owner John Humphries said he doesn't sleep well, and given what he believes he shares his home with, it's hardly surprising: two lustful demons (an incubus and a succubus), a ghostly witch, strange glowing lights...almost every conceivable type of spook, in fact.
Dressed in biker jacket, tight blue jeans, and bearing a more-than-passing resemblance to the late Rod Hull, John appears every bit as unconventional as his unusual home.
He helpfully recounted some of the numerous sinister tales attached to the inn, working through a large pile of yellowing newspaper cuttings and photocopies.
The Ancient Ram is believed to have witnessed ritual child sacrifice, black magic rituals, suicide and to have been the hideout of highwaymen.
John recalled a local clergyman's visit: "When he arrived he said, 'I'm not going in there, what you've got in there is very, very evil.'"
Whatever your stance on ghosts and the paranormal, it's difficult to imagine anyone not finding a visit to The Ancient Ram unnerving, or at least very odd.
The dim, chilly rooms heave with eerie antiques, memorabilia, and menacing stuffed animals.
Entering the "witches' room", John points out the stain where her spectral cat urinates on the bed.
From here we cross the landing into the "Bishop's room", which he describes as "the most haunted room in the world".
The low-ceilinged, crimson-curtained bedroom certainly has an oppressive, unpleasant ambience.
"Eight people who've slept here have had to be exorcised," said John, nonchalantly.
A night in here is not an inviting prospect. A snarling foxes' head adorns the wall, alongside a series of ominous portraits and a dressing table lined with religious ephemera.
John banged on the door in an attempt to "stir things up a bit". To my relief, he was unsuccessful.
Throughout our tour, John has me clicking away on my digital camera in the hope of capturing 'orbs' - glowing spheres frequently photographed at haunted sites.
Some paranormal devotees believe orbs to be the souls or life force of the dead - sceptics claim they are lens flare or dust.
John said that it was in the barn that orbs were most frequently spotted. Using the flash, I took several shot of the dark, cluttered room, which failed to yield anything unusual.
John stepped in, believing that his presence in the room may encourage them to appear. Did they? Check out the photo gallery and decide for yourself...
As I signed the guest book before leaving, I noticed that the preceding entries were by the team from Living TV show Most Haunted, who had recently completed a shoot at The Ram.
"Never been to a scarier place," wrote one of the crew.
Whether it's the finesse with which John recounts his weird tales, the inherent spookiness the building or the presence of something truly supernatural, I'd have to agree.

Public Comments:

We have just recently visited the ram inn and firstly found john to be a great host ,full of information and very welcoming.After giving us a brief history of the building he left us to our own devices to investigate.firstly we looked around the ancient grave and the mens kitchen and had cold breezes constantly coming through ,we had a cat screech at us at the top of the stairs by the attic,my light on my camcorder went off and came back on when i asked it too on several occasions,also we used a spirit board left in the mens kitchen by n.p.r.t and spoke to a 62 yr old male called osckar who said he was a miner and was murdered in 1402 by a man nicknamed red .

I dislike most haunted they spoil things for others we have been to see john at the ARI i was a bit disappoited to start with then by the time we had finished the cameras were dead batteries drained we had an oppresive feeling through out the whole vist we picked up a spirit of a man in the barn some of our group could not go in the barn nausea was a problem for one of a group and a pounding headache we tried the door after knocking each one or us 5 altogether knocked and we couldnt get in we turned away went into another room and one of our team tried again and it opened up she had hardly touched it we had pushed pulled and shook the door before hand (i think the walls moved more than the door) we picked up a lady there she was gentle kind in fact one of our group said she was motherly i must admit the house was difficult to get through but even so it was a pleasure to visit and we are hoping we can do an all night vidual there.
Daniel Ramett

I spent the night at Nottinghams "Ye Olde Slautation", a 700 plus year old public house. We were guided through the sub terrainian passages that, quite frankly, I don't think the people in the bar drinking and enjoying rock music, were even aware of! The group we booked with, simply called UK Ghost nights were simply brilliant. We enjoyed several hours of hard to explain phenomena, stones thrown, strange smells, odd light anomolies and other oddness. There were 20 people in our group altogether and we all experienced a stone being thrown, apparently from nowhere, yes - twenty people - we can't all be wrong can we? None of us could explain where it came from. Upstairs on the first floor, we carried out some Table Tipping - an incredible concept - it seemed that the table was actually moving in response to questions asked of spirits. It is clearly possible that those people around the table were moving it, albeit subconsciously. All in all, we had a great time with the team from UK Ghost Nights. I for one am now leaning towards the "Believer" side of the fence!
Teresa Bristol

I have been to the a.r.i. twice now it is not a very nice place very cold I didn't see anything but felt it in the bar downstairs it was very cold where i was standing. Then john the owner said there was a river underneath me we did get a few orbs. Look for yourself apart from that i would like to go again but to scared to go
UK Paranormal Events 
Sue Miles

We went there tonight and we have seen orbs I have photos that we took and we saw them. We've never been so scared in our lives! We have been round there inside and seen. The night we went there we sat outside in the car turned all engine off and lights etc. 10 mins later after we heard noices went to turn the car on , the car was dead. We managed to jump start it, it was weird how we got back to gloucester and had no problems with the car since. When we were standing in the ram inn, it was cold and full of nasty smells.

I saw ghost hunters last night and it has to be one of the best ones i have ever seen i would love to go there for my self one day but not just yet though.

After filming the show (most haunted) I have to say that I have never felt so sure about the reality of what I witnessed that night. Reading some of the stories above only confirms what i already thought, there are believers and those that doubt, take a visit to the ram and see for yourselves.

I have to say that the Ram Inn is one of the best venues I have attended. I went with Haunted Happenings and I can only say that this was one I would never forget. There were many sightings of orbs and a sense of being watched. At one stage I was so scared I had to leave the building, I had feelings of being pushed and scratched I would recommend the Ram to anyone.

Monte Cristo, New South Wales, Australia

I have been to the famous Monte Cristo homestead in Junee on several occasions hoping to test the claims made about it and try and capture some evidence. On our first such visit we arrived at Monte Cristo at around 7pm, it was a clear, freezing cold winter’s night. Everyone gathered in the souvenir shop and we were all given name tags. From there we took a walk into the ballroom, it had the biggest fire place I had ever seen in my life. We made ourselves coffee and sat down at one of the many tables.

We met the owners of Monte Cristo, Reg and Olive Ryan. Reg told us of the history of the homestead, about the original owners, the Crawley’s, and about how the home came into his possession. He then put on a video for everyone to watch about their house. They had been on many documentaries, including Big Country, Australian Story and The Extraordinary. They also allowed the people from Scream Test to do one of their shows there.
We felt that the video went on a bit too long as we were all eager to get inside and explore Monte Cristo. We all went outside and Reg talked to us about the history and the ghosts of Monte Cristo. Whilst, he was speaking about a boy being burnt in the shed, out came a man running around on fire. That was pretty good. His son was a daredevil and stuntman and took part in number of mock-ups for our entertainment.
While Dave and I were standing there waiting to go inside, we were standing right in front of the original house. Dave saw a lady in the front window sitting on a chair, looking out at us. He thought it was another of the night’s entertainments until we walked in there. We were split up into groups. Dave and I were in the first group, which was led by Olive Ryan. When we first entered the house, I felt a little odd, but I was more curious. We were led into the sitting room first of all. In there I felt very flushed and squeamish. Dave and I looked where the lady should have been, but to our amazement, there was no lady, and there was no chair in front of the window in that room.
Olive went on to explain about all her antiques and the history of the homestead. Olive refused to speak about the ghosts, so a friend of the family, Roy explained about the ghosts. Roy told us that the sitting room was a familiar place for a ghost to be. Quite often people would sense a presence in that room, and feel a little sick. That was exactly the way I felt in there and also explained the apparition Dave has seen.
We then proceeded to go to the dining room. One of the candles was completely burnt out and there was wax all over the large table. This was odd as there were candles everywhere, and Olive told us that they were all approximately the same and were all lit at the same time, about five minutes prior to all of us walking in. Roy went on to explain, that the room was a bit scary for the children of the family. Once a child put his hand in a record player cover, the cover is not heavy, and suddenly the boy's hand was stuck, a firm 'ghost' had the cover stuck firmly over the boy's hand for about five minutes.
Next on the tour was the breakfast room. I did not feel any thing strange in there, neither did Dave. However, this was the room where Olive walked downstairs one morning and found a cat, with its eyes out of their sockets, and disembowelled. One lady with our group asked her exactly where it happened because she could feel a cold spot. It happened roughly where the lady was standing.
After that we went up the stairs, this was a strange experience for me, as I felt as if I suddenly wanted to cry. I felt like I was grieving, but didn't know what for. Roy stopped us at the top of stairs to tell us about one of the Crawley’s maids, holding a baby, slipped when coming down the stairs dropping the baby which fell down the stairs to its death. This story confirming my reaction to the staircase.
At the top of the stairs, we entered the boy’s room. As soon as I entered this room, I wanted to walk straight back out. I got a sudden headache, felt sick to my stomach, dizzy and faint. I had to really grab on to Dave, so I wouldn't fall over. Roy said that in this room, people, especially females, feel very sick when they walk into here. People have seen a male presence in this room, suspected to be of the original owner Christopher Crawley, again confirming my sensations.
Next we went into the drawing room, this room also made me feel dizzy and faint. Dave wanted to throw up, he felt so ill in that room. I felt something stroke the left hand side of my face and the back of my neck. Roy said that in that room, objects were known to move around of their own accord. There is a huge tapestry picture in there and would easily take two men to life it. However, it keeps falling down. Also in this room, I saw a large lady sitting on one of the antique chairs, she was sort of transparent. I walked right up to the chair and took photos. Unfortunately nothing showed up on film.
Then on to the girl’s room, nothing really strange in that room, but the wardrobe door kept opening up by it self. I don't know if it was a set up or if a presence kept doing it.
After finishing in the Ryan's private bedroom, we took a walk out on to the balcony. We all got a fright, there was this lady standing at the end of the balcony, she looked pretty scary. Then she jumped off. And she landed on a mattress, it was another setup. But the story goes, that on this balcony a pregnant maid jumped off and killed herself, and you can still see the stain from where her blood was cleaned off the bottom step leading into the house.
Around the corner we came to the chapel room. In there was a lady sitting on the bed, another fright for most of the people, it was yet another prop.
That was the end of the tour and we were able to walk around the estate, we came upon the caretakers shed, in here a boy was chained up for over 20 years. No shower or anything. The caretaker had been murdered by this boy, said to have been his son. You can still read what the murderer wrote on the door before he left. Dave was unusually drawn to this room. He saw an old man standing in there.
It was a fascinating and entertaining evening. We did not catch anything on film, but we both had several personal experiences. It was good that most of these correlated with the known hauntings at Monte Cristo.

The Ghosts of Edinburgh Castle

Edinburgh Castle is reputed to be one of the most haunted spots in Scotland. And Edinburgh itself has been called the most haunted city in all of Europe. On various occasions, visitors to the castle have reported a phantom piper, a headless drummer, the spirits of French prisoners from the Seven Years War and colonial prisoners from the American Revolutionary War - even the ghost of a dog wandering in the grounds' dog cemetery.
The castle (you can get a tour here) standing magnificently between sea and hills, is a historical fortress, parts of which are more than 900 years old. The cells of its ancient dungeon, the site of uncounted deaths, could very well be an eternal place of unrest for numerous spirits. Other areas of Edinburgh also have ghostly reputations: the subterranean vaults of South Bridge and a disused street called Mary Kings Close where victims of the Black Death plague were sealed up to die.
On April 6 through 17, 2001, these three spots were the subject of one of the largest scientific investigations of the paranormal ever conducted - and the results surprised many of the investigators.
As part of the Edinburgh International Science Festival, Dr. Richard Wiseman, a psychologist from Hertfordshire University in southeast England, enlisted the help of 240 volunteers to explore the allegedly haunted sites in a 10-day study. Chosen from visitors from around the world, the volunteers were led in groups of 10 through the creepy, damp cellars, chambers and vaults. Wiseman's team came prepared with an array of high-tech "ghostbusting" equipment, such as thermal imagers, geo-magnetic sensors, temperature probes, night vision equipment and digital cameras.
Each of the volunteers was carefully screened. Only those who knew nothing about Edinburgh's legendary hauntings were allowed to participate, yet by the end of the experiment, nearly half reported phenomena that they could not explain.
Wiseman tried to be as scientific as possible about the study. The volunteers were not told which particular cells or vaults had previous claims of strange activity. They were taken to locations with a reputation for being haunted as well as "red herring" vaults that had no history of activity at all. Yet the highest number of paranormal experiences by the volunteers were reported to take place in the very areas that did have the haunted reputations.
Reported experiences included:
  • sudden drops in temperature
  • seeing shadowy figures
  • a feeling of being watched
  • one person reported a burning sensation on the arm
  • an unseen presence touching the face
  • the feeling of something tugging at clothes

One reported sighting was of a spectre in a leather apron - a ghost that has been seen before at the same location. Wiseman, a skeptic who has in the past attempted to expose the myths of several British hauntings, admitted his surprise at the results. "The events that have been taking place over the last 10 days are much more extreme than we expected," he said.
Almost immediately she reported hearing breathing from a corner of the room, which was getting louder. She thought she saw a flash or some sort of light in the corner, but didn't want to look back.
One of the most interesting overnight experiments involved enclosing a young woman in one of the dark South Bridge vaults, alone - an experience that brought her to tears. The volunteer was placed in the room with a video camera so she could record what she saw, heard or felt. "Almost immediately," Wiseman said, "she reported hearing breathing from a corner of the room, which was getting louder. She thought she saw a flash or some sort of light in the corner, but didn't want to look back."
The only hard evidence were a few digital photographs that featured such anomalies as dense spots of light and strange fogging. Two photos showed a green glob that no one could explain.
Wiseman has been careful not to jump to any particular conclusions about these supposedly haunted areas. Many of the experiences could be chalked up to common psychological reactions to the unnerving environment. But perhaps not all. "I must stress that these are only initial results," said Wiseman, who admits to being afraid of the dark, "but already they are looking quite interesting. I'm closer now to being a lot more curious. Something is going on, but I won't be a believer until we get something on film."
What Wiseman finds most intriguing is the fact that most of the volunteers' experiences took place in the very rooms that had the reputations for being haunted, even though they had no knowledge of that. The question is: Why? "It could be something quite trivial such as being damper or colder, and we are taking physical measurements to gauge air temperature, air movement and magnetic fields," Wiseman said. "Whatever the explanation, it means there is something going on because otherwise we would expect the distribution to have been more random."
Fran Hollinrake, someone who has been looking into the hauntings for a much longer time - she runs walking tours through many of these same dark chambers - wasn't as surprised by the findings. "People from all over the world are seeing the same things," she said. "So there must be something in it."
Although the scientific results from Wiseman's study are thus far inconclusive, what is most encouraging perhaps is that scientists are beginning to give these paranormal possibilities the attention they deserve.

Monday, 29 August 2011

Diplomat Hotel, Baguio City, Philippine

Baguio City is known for its cold and relaxing weather. It’s been called as the Summer Capital of the Philippines. Do you know why? Well of course you do, but for some who don’t, it’s called Summer Capital because during summer, people tend to go to Baguio City to cool themselves off because of the heat in the lowlands and because of the cold weather in Baguio City.
But do you know that Baguio City is also home to paranormal events. A lot of Philippine ghost stories come from Baguio City. I myself experienced some during my stay in Baguio City.
There’s this hotel that was abandoned for many years now. It’s been deserted and all precious items and designs to the hotel were already ruined. What you would see now is just destroyed bricks, destroyed walls, destroyed rooms, destroyed bathrooms, well you get the idea. This hotel is called, the DIPLOMAT HOTEL.

The Diplomat Hotel

The Diplomat Hotel is located at Dominican Hill, Baguio City. It’s believed to be haunted. In the early 1900’s, it was bought by Dominican Friars from the American owners. Now, it’s been abandoned due to the war that raged here in the Philippines.

On May 1911 the Council of Dominican Order decided to erect a rest house in a 17 hectares place that was called Dominican Hill for the terminally ill patients in Baguio City. The first building was inaugurated on May 23, 1915.

On June 1915 Collegio del Santissimo was opened to the public because of tax exemptions during the time. But it was closed after 2 years and became a vacation house sanitarium. When the World War II started, this is where the refugees stayed. The Japanese Army Liberation Forces bombed the place and a lot of nuns and priests were beheaded and murdered.

After the war, the Dominican Hill was reconstructed in 1947-1948. In 1973, the property was purchased by the Diplomat Hotel Inc. and remodelled the interior and turned it into a 33-bedroom hotel. From the start of the opening of the hotel a lot of guests didn’t stay long for the reason that they’ve been seeing ghosts in their rooms. There were screams and howlings heard along the hallways. Until now, some of the residents in the Dominican Hill had testified of hearing screams and howlings from the hotel.

The fountain view of the stairs going to the second floor

So now, let’s proceed to my story. My friends and I went to the Diplomat Hotel last August 2006 around 5:00 pm. It’s been 3 years since we went there. There’s a guard watching the Diplomat Hotel. Just one. His guard house was located at the gate of the hotel, well duhh. It’s just a very small guard house where you could just stand and sit. The thing is that you won’t be able to enter the Diplomat Hotel when you couldn’t get pass through the guard because it’s the only way. The guard won’t allow you to enter especially if you’re just teenagers. Unless you bribe him with something like liquor or think of a very silly excuse that is believable. So what we did is to tell him that we’re visiting the hotel to do a little investigatory project on it. Kind of like a science project on spooky stuff. He wasn’t buying the excuse so we showed our university ID and such then he let us go in. Finally.

The entrance to the lobby of the Diplomat Hotel

So there we are, walking inside. We felt eerie things while we are walking. As we went inside, you would see that everything has been destroyed and all. We first roamed the first floor. Walked inside every room. Walking inside the halls and inside a room will give you goose bumps. At first, we didn’t encounter paranormal things. So then we proceeded to the second floor.

 Second Floor - Restaurant

The second floor consists of rooms; of course it’s a hotel, and a restaurant of some sort. We took pictures as we proceeded from one place to another, one room to the next, one side to the next one. After that, we went directly to the third floor and me taking a video footage since we entered the gates up to the last. While we were walking through the stairs going to the third and last floor, I was still taking a video of the whole thing. So as I was in the middle of the stairs, I stopped the video recording for awhile and watch if everything’s going well and if I captured something strange. I blasted the volume to maximum and full screened the video. So there I was in the middle of the stairs watching the video while one of my friends watched it with me. Until it came up to the video footage of me walking up the stairs and shooting a video of the guard walking through the second floor. Then a scary thing happened. When I’m watching the video, I’ve heard myself talking in the video; however there was a second voice. I was not shouting or anything and it’s impossible that it’s an echo because there’s no hallow place there and it’s an open place. There I heard a voice copying my voice. Here’s the dialogue:

Me: The guard is right over there!
Unknown Voice: The guard is right over there!
Me: He's coming!
Unknown Voice: He's coming!
Me: Let's go to the third floor immediately!
Unknown Voice: Let's go to the third floor immediately!)

So after I watched and heard that video, I was frightened and so is my friend. We ran to the view deck of the hotel with the others. However, we didn’t tell them the story yet so that they won’t freak out. They were just wondering why we ran to them.

When we were in the view deck, a friend of mine who has a third eye noticed something weird. He pulled me and told me that he saw a ghostly and shadowy appearance on the cross (there’s a cross in the middle-side of the view deck) and the shadowy appearance jumped. So again I am almost freaking out but I maintained my composure. After that, my friend who saw it said that we’d better go down already.

After which, we went back to the first floor. We decided to get a picture of the fountains. There were two fountains. In the left, and in the right. It has 2 or 3 angels on it. However, heads were already removed.

Left Fountain and Right Fountain

While we were taking a picture. A friend of mine heard a girl screaming. A lady more likely. So she went running outside screaming while I and another friend of mine remained in the fountain. Then the friend of mine went back to the fountain and told us what she heard. So everyone ran inside the lobby of the hotel. After that, every one of us heard the screaming and we went outside the hotel. We were so frightened and we were wondering on what and who was screaming. After that incident, some of us wanted to get out of the hotel already. But majority said that we should still visit the park or garden or whatever it is where there’s a lot of trees.

While we were walking through it, the guard told us that there were a lot of visitors who entered the hotel already and went through the park or garden. He said that some even had a camping there. For some, they were unlucky; they were never found and never came back until this day on.

Walking to the garden

We don’t know if it’s true but we’re already scared so we’re starting to believe it due to what happened inside the hotel. So we went to this place in the garden where there’s a big hole in it. The guard said that the hotel had a hidden underground passage where the people staying in the hotel could pass if ever the enemies would try to invade the place. But now, it’s not really clear if it’s still a hidden passage because it’s already filled with water and trash.

The hidden underground passage

After that, the friend of mine who has a third eye said that there’s a woman looking at us from a far. So we asked him if he’s just joking because we’re already scared as it is. He said he is not. He looked really serious to us so we believed him and we hurriedly went back in front of the hotel.

After that, we decided to visit the place where they usually held a mass. There’s a statue of a saint or some sort in there. The weird thing is that, the statue is black, really black. We don’t know if it’s really like that or someone ruined it to be like that.

Well that’s the whole hotel. After that, we took the very last video of the hotel through my friend’s phone. This time, we decided to not watch it until we are far away from the hotel.

We left the hotel around 6:00 pm or 6:30 pm. We decided to walk because there was no taxi passing by in that place. After we arrive in the highway, we departed in our own ways with different taxis. The next day, in class, the friend of mine who shot that last video of the hotel approached me and said that she captured a ghost in the video. When we were watching it closely, it appeared to be a bloody nun or a bloody woman standing just inside the window of the Diplomat Hotel. My friend sent me the video. Fortunately, my phone has the ability to play videos frame by frame. So there it is, we saw it clearly. We chose the best frame and took a snapshot of it using my phone. The snapshot is below. Feel free to see it.