Sunday, February 19, 2012

Haunted U.K

Denham Church, Suffolk, England:
Denham Church is located in the village of Denham St. Mary in Suffolk, England. Denham hall stands right next to the church, and these two structures have been shrouded in mystery for countless years regarding the existence of paranormal entities. There are at least eleven known ghosts that haunt the hall, which include: a monk who walks the footpath, a lady walking on the nearby bridge, and another lady who walks outside of the church gate. There is also a misty figure that seems to be floating from the large hill that slopes down from the church. Two red eyes have also been seen staring at people from that same hill. Two apparitions of females have been seen on the grounds.
One walks up the path of an old cottage, and the other is seen walking around the gardens at daylight wearing Victorian clothes. New reports are of the ghost of an old farmer that have now been released. This farmer is seen by the old farm building and is believed to have been killed around the year of 1920 in a gruesome accident. The legend is that this unlucky farmer had his head cut off under the wheels of a horse drawn carriage. The ghost is said to be still headless, and certainly appears to be looking for his missing head. Within the hall, there have been a number of paranormal events.
Small colored lights have been seen moving around, a bloodstain appears and disappears in a certain spot on the floor from time to time, and footsteps and whispering voices can be heard. Along the road from the church, people have reported hearing the sound of a chain being dragged across. This chain sound apparently always stops at the same spot that was once a major crossroads. When the chain stops, a clear ball can be seen hovering above this spot for about five minutes before it disappears.
Many years ago, a 16 year-old girl lived in the village and was always checked out by the local men because she was so beautiful. The wives of these men were jealous and unhappy that this was happening, so they assumed that this girl must be a witch for trying to take the men away from them. This poor girl was then found guilty of practicing witchcraft, and was locked in the church for a week or two before the people of the town decided on what the best course of action would be to take. She was chained, dragged down the road, and thrown into the well where she drowned. They then took her body and buried it across the road. Her body was dug up years later, upon which she was still in chains. She was given a full Christian burial following this, but it seems as though her ghost remains with her chains, duplicating the event that shattered her once beautiful existence.

The Tower of London, London, England:
One of the spookiest buildings is the Tower of London. Grim, grey and awe-inspiring, the Tower has dominated the London landscape and the pages of history, since its construction by William the Conqueror in 1078 and today it is, perhaps, the most haunted building in England.
One such spirit said to haunt the tower is that of Henry VI whose reign ended here with his murder in the hour before midnight its said that the Duke of Gloucester (later the infamous Richard III). Stabbed him as he prayed. Now every year on the anniversary of his murder his spirit rises and walks the halls of the tower and then slowly fades away.
  There's also the spirit called "The White Lady" who once stood at a window waving to a group of children in the building opposite. It may well be her 'cheap perfume" that impregnantes the air around the entrance to St. John's Chapel.
    In the gallery where Henry VIII's impressive and exaggerating suit of armour is exhibited, several guards have spoken of a terrible crushing sensation that suddenly descends upon them as they enter but lifts the moment they stagger, shaking from the room. A guard patrolling through here one stormy night got the sudden and unnerving sensation that somone had thrown a heavy cloak over him. As he struggled to free himself, the garment was seized from behind and pulled tight around his throat by his phantom attacker. Managing to break free from its sinister grasp, he rushed back to the guardroom where the marks upon his neck bore vivid testimony to his brush with the unseen assailant. 
  A memorial on Tower Green remembers all those unfortunate souls who have been executed here over the centuries. Anne Boleyn and Lady Jane Grey are both said to return to the vicinity, whilst the ghost of Margaret Pole, Countess of Salisbury returns here in a dramatic and alarming fashion. At the age of seventy-two she became an unwitting and undeserving target for Henry VIII's petty vengeance. Her son, Cardinal Pole had vilified the kings claim as head of the church in England. When told by the executioner to kneel, the spirited old lady refused. “So should traitors do and I am none” she sneered. The executioner raised his axe, took a swing at her and then chased the screaming Countess around the scaffold where he, literally, hacked her to death. The shameful spectacle has been repeated several times on the anniversary of her death, as her screaming phantom continues to be chased throughout eternity by a ghostly executioner.          
The Bloody Tower, the very name of which conjures up all manner of gruesome images, is home to the most poignant shades that drift through this dreadful fortress. When Edward IV died suddenly in April 1483, his twelve year old son was destined to succeed him as Edward V. However, before his coronation could take place, both he and his younger brother, Richard, had been declared illegitimate by Parliament and it was their uncle, the Duke of Gloucester who ascended the throne as Richard III. The boys, meanwhile, had been sent to the Tower of London, ostensibly in preparation for Edward’s Coronation, and were often seen playing happily around the grounds. But then, around June 1483, they mysteriously vanished, and were never seen alive again. It was always assumed, that they had been murdered on Richard’s instructions and their bodies buried, somewhere within the grounds of The Tower. When two skeletons were uncovered beneath a staircase of the White Tower in 1674, they were presumed to be the remains of the two little princes and afforded Royal burial in Westminster Abbey. The whimpering wraiths of the two children, dressed in white nightgowns, and clutching each other in terror have frequently been seen in the dimly lit rooms of their imprisonment. Witnesses are moved to pity and long to reach out and console the pathetic spectres. But, should they do so, the trembling revenants back slowly against the wall and fade into the fabric.

Ordsall Hall, Salford, England:

Ordsall Hall is located in Salford, England, and is known as one of many homes to England’s “White Ladies.” A white female apparition has been seen frequently, seemingly floating among the grounds. The inside of the hall is believed to be even more haunted, which includes phenomena such as electrical equipment malfunctions, the sound of knocks, footsteps, and doors opening and closing. Ghostly apparitions have also been reported within the walls of the hall. The oldest part of the building dates all the way back to 1177 C.E. We know this because the name Ordeshala paid a feudal tax in the public records of that year.
    The hall is probably most famous for being the home of the Radclyffe family. Margaret Radclyffe is generally the center of the spiritual activity that takes place on the property of Ordsall Hall. Alexander was the name of Margaret’s twin brother, and in 1599 he went off to fight in Ireland. He died in battle, never returning home. This would lead to the death of Margaret, who seemingly died of a broken heart. Legend has it that Margaret will continue to haunt Ordsall Hall, waiting for her brother to return home.

Muncaster Castle, England:
 Is a privately owned castle overlooking the Esk river, about a mile south of the west-coastal town of Ravenglass in Cumbria, England.
    Muncaster Castle has acquired a reputation for being one of the most haunted houses in Britain. However, this has only been the case since the 1990s (Even though the castle has been reportedly haunted for centuries), partly due to the investigations of Jason Braithwaite of Birmingham University into whether the alleged hauntings are down to environmental factors such as magnetic disturbances, and partly due to the drastic rebranding of the Muncaster Castle estates to appeal to tourists for more than merely its acclaimed gardens at the turn into the 21st Century. This was in order to ensure that it remained in Pennington hands (the financial situation was acute enough at one stage for them to admit in a BBC documentary called Castle Ghosts of the British Isles, that the estate was in danger of being sold as they could not afford much needed repairs to the roof). 
Prior to the 21st Century, most ghost books that bothered to list Muncaster mentioned only two ghosts, that of Henry VI (who was sheltered at Muncaster after his defeat at the battle of Hexham) and the head carrying ghost of an apprentice carpenter who was decapitated whilst sleeping in the old stable block by jester Thomas Skelton (Tom The Fool) at the orders of Sir Ferdinand Pennington because of his love affair with his daughter Helwise.
    However, visitors to the castle have long been informed by guides that as well as the above, the ghost of Skelton and the vengeful ghost in white of Mary Bragg - a foul-mouthed local girl who was murdered by being hanged from the Main Gate by drunken youths in the 19th Century after they'd kidnapped her for a joke: those responsible were never brought to justice. There were even tales that a lion shot by the last Lord Muncaster in Kenya, and whose skull is kept in the castle, was sometimes heard prowling (& gently growling) around at nightfall.
  Guests may book a tour of the castle and an all-night vigil in a haunted bedroom known as the Tapestry Room, where guest reports of paranormal phenomena include: hearing footsteps, seeing the door open of its own accord, hearing a crying child (allegedly Margaret Susan Pennington, who died of screaming fits in the 19th Century) and/or a singing woman, having their digital cameras turn off and on inexplicably, feeling themselves patted, experiencing changes of room temperature, chest pains, and even being inexplicably tossed out of the bed.

The Marsden Grotto, Tyne and Wear, England:
Is a pub that was partly dug into the cliff face and fronted with a more conventional building opening onto the beach.
It is commonly known as the Grotto.
  There have long been tales of hauntings at the Grotto, mainly relating to a smuggler named John the Jibber who was reputedly murdered by his fellow criminals after selling information to HM Customs. It is said that he was hung in a barrel in a cave close to the present lift shaft and left to starve. Until the pub was sold by Vaux, it was said that the landlord would leave out a special tankard of ale each night after closing and, in the morning, it would be empty. Local DJ and TV presenter, Alan Robson drank from the tankard during one of his live Metro Radio shows, allegedly sparking off a series of supernatural phenomena that eventually forced the then landlord to quit. This included flying ashtrays smashing against the wall and flooding in the cellar after all the beer taps were inexplicably turned on. Unfortunately the original tankard was lost during refurbishment. A replacement is on display, but is no longer filled up each night for the ghost. The pub was also the venue for a uktv investigation in 2001, where paranormal researchers claimed to have identified at least seven different spirits.

Malahide Castle, Ireland:
Malahide Castle which is the oldest in habited castle in Ireland has not one ghost to frighten its guests but FIVE.

The first ghost is that of Sir Walter Hussey, who on his wedding day was killed in battle during the 15th century by a spear wound to the side of his body.
Sir Walter can bee seen wandering and groaning throughout the castle pointing at the deadly wound. It is believed that he haunts the castle venting his resentment towards his young bride, who upon his death married his rival.
Lady Maud Plunkett who had been married three times is the second ghost to haunt Malahide Castle. Her last marriage was to a Lord Chief Justice. By this stage of her life she had become a notorious virago, and she can bee seen chasing her husband through the corridors of the Castle.
The Chief Justice himself is the third of our ghosts to haunt Malahide Castle. He who simply appears to provide his spouse with an opportunity of taking a little exercise. I will leave what type of exercise to your imagination….
Our fourth ghost and probably the most interesting is that of Miles Corbett. During Cromwell’s reign, the castle and property were handed to Miles. During his occupation of the castle, Miles committed many atrocities but the worst was the desecration of the chapel of the old abbey near the castle.
For his crimes he was hanged, drawn and quartered and when his ghost first appears it seems to be a perfectly whole soldier in armor. But! If you are brave enough to be still around when you meet him you will find that he falls into four pieces before your very eyes.

The fifth and final ghost is that of a 16th century court jester called “Puck”. Puck had the misfortune of falling in love with a relation of Lady Elenora Fitzgerald, who under orders from Henry VIII was being detained at the castle due to her rebellious nature.

Poor Puck was found close to the castle during a snowy December night and for his troubles was stabbed through the heart. With his dying breath he swore and oath that he would haunt the castle until a reigning lord chose a bride from the common people. Pucks latest reported sighting was in 1976 when the castles contents were sold off in May of that year.
His dwarf like specter can be seen in many photographs taken at the castle but the most vivid is on were his wrinkled old face is seen peering out of the ivy on the walls of malahide castle.

South Bridge Underground Vaults, Edinburgh, Scotland:
 Are a series of chambers formed in the nineteen arches of the South Bridge in Edinburgh, Scotland, which was completed in 1788. For around 30 years, the vaults were used to house taverns, cobblers and other tradesmen, and as storage space for illicit material, reportedly including the bodies of people killed by serial killers Burke and Hare for medical experiments.
As the conditions in the vaults deteriorated, mainly because of damp and poor air quality, the businesses left and the very poorest of Edinburgh's citizens moved in, though by around 1820, even they are believed to have left too. That people had lived there was only discovered in 1985 during an excavation, when middens were found containing toys, medicine bottles, plates, and other signs of human habitation.
As the industrial revolution took hold of Britain, the Cowgate area had developed into Edinburgh's slum. Slum dwellers took over the vaults and they became a renowned red light district with countless brothels and pubs operating within the abandoned complex. The vaults also served as additional slum housing for the city’s poor. Living conditions were appalling. The rooms were cramped, dark and damp. There was no sunlight, poorly circulated air, no running water, and no sanitation. Many rooms housed families of more than ten people. Crimes, including robbery and murder, soon plagued the Vaults. Burke and Hare, the infamous serial killers who sold corpses to medical schools, are rumoured to have hunted for victims in the Edinburgh Vaults.
Paranormal reports
The frequent reports of paranormal activity and ghost sightings resulted in the UK paranormal entertainment show, Most Haunted, to investigate the vaults in both a 24 hour investigation and for a Most Haunted Live show on Halloween 2006. The television show Ghost Adventures investigated the vaults and claimed to have numerous encounters with spirits there.
In 2001, Professor Richard Wiseman of the University of Hertfordshire invited subjects to spend time in the Edinburgh Vaults. His study concluded that people who believed in ghosts reported more supernatural experiences than disbelievers, that participants consistently reported unusual sensations in areas they were told were haunted, and that there was an increased report of incidents in Vault rooms with a decidedly more sinister visual appearance or stronger cold air flow. Professor Wiseman’s study suggests that visitors may help create the haunted experience they expect to find in the Vaults.
However in 2009 a BBC TV production team filming a one-off TV special featuring Joe Swash recorded unexplained voices in the vaults during an overnight sleepover by Swash. One voice appeared to be that of a Catholic priest reciting the Last Rites. Swash was the only person in the vaults and did not hear the voices himself at the time of recording, despite the sounds being audible on his own microphone. The voices continued to be heard on the recording for some 20 minutes before abruptly ceasing after what appears to be the sound of children yelling. BBC sound engineers initially thought the sounds may be explained by voices drifting into the tunnels from nightclubs nearby but this was found to be incorrect and no other logical explantion could be found. The recordings were broadcast as part of the finished program Joe Swash Believes in Ghosts on BBC Three in January 2010.

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