Thursday, December 13, 2012

25 Ghastly Places

                            25 Ghastly Places

It should be noted that I will be listing the main town, city, country, or state first, tell a little of its background not much and then list a few place's that are haunted in that area, so you will have 25 places that are haunted and then the main areas inside those top 25. I hope you enjoy. :)

Venice, Italy:

Venice is renowned all over the world for a long list of characteristics that make it unique: the ancient palaces, the Grand Canal, Saint Mark’s Square, the gondolas…But we’re pretty sure that not many people know that the intriguing city of Venice is literally filled with places that could give the shakes to the most dedicated ghost buster! That’s why we’ve devised an itinerary around the scariest haunted houses and places you can find in Venice, just in case you’d like to spend some time ghost hunting during your visit to the City of Love. Let’s discover Venices’s Haunted places.

Poveglia Island:

                Early History
In the South Lagoon between Venice and Lido sits the small Italian island of Poveglia that for centuries has been a refuge, stronghold, place of exile and a dumping ground for the diseased, dying and deceased. In 421, Poveglia welcomed its first inhabitants men, women and children who fled the barbaric invaders that had ravaged the mainland. Its relatively small size made the island defendable and not worth the trouble of invading armies. For centuries this small community lived in peace and avoided the laws and taxes of the mainland; their population dwindled however and by the 14th century, the island was once again abandoned.   In 1348 the Bubonic Plague arrived in Venice and Poveglia, like many other small islands, became a quarantine colony. The Plague killed 1 out of 3 Europeans. Fearing the unbridled spread of the disease, Venice exiled many of its symptom-bearing citizens there. It was clearly a death sentence. At the island's center the dead and those too sick to protest were burned on giant pyres. This included the tens of thousands of Venice citizens dying on the mainland. These fires would burn once more in 1630 when the Black Death again swept through the city.
   Long after the fires were extinguished, Napoleon's military campaign relied on the island's ghostly legends and defendable position to protect stores of gunpowder and weapons.


                              The Poveglia Asylum
In the late 1800s, the area's mentally ill resided in an asylum in Poveglia. The asylum was poorly constructed and was used as a place of exile rather than rehabilitation. There are rumors that in the 1930s, a doctor performed strange experiments on the patients here; eventually, the doctor went mad and threw himself from the asylum's tall bell tower. Though the bell in the tower was removed decades ago, locals still claim to hear its chimes echo from the lonely island.

By the mid-20th century, the facility was converted into a geriatric center, which closed in 1975. Today, the entire island is abandoned; locals and tourists are prohibited from visiting, and fishermen steer clear of the accursed place. In recent years, Italian construction crews attempted to restore the former hospital building, but abruptly stopped without explanation, leaving locals to speculate that they were driven away by the island's dark forces.

Casin degli spiriti:

An elegant palace facing a charming bay in the northern part of the island. Casin degli Spiriti means “house of souls” and for centuries it was believed to be a cursed location. There are stories about the many religious sects that came here to invoke spirits and demons, and there is also a legend about the ghost of Luzzo. Luzzo was a famous 16th century painter who committed suicide in this house because of his unrequited love for Cecilia, Giorgione’s lover. The ghost is said to wander through the palace, crying for his impossible love. The final fact that makes this place famous is more recent. In the 1950s a young woman was killed, cut into pieces, closed up in a trunk and sunk in the lagoon. The body was only discovered many years later. From that moment on, the Casin degli Spiriti was considered to be a cursed place and Venetian fishermen don’t dare to sail its waters.

  Cà Dario:

An ancient and fascinating palace on the Grand Canal, has a terrifying story to tell. Local people call it “The House of No Return” because it is believed to eventually kill or ruin all of its owners, as well as anybody that has anything to do with it. The murder chain starts back in the 15th century when the daughter of its first owner, Giovanni Dario, committed suicide in the house after her husband went bankrupt and their son was killed in a fight. After these first three events, more than twelve of the palace’s owners died in mysterious circumstances including famous people such as Christopher Lambert (manager of The Who) who committed suicide, Nicoletta Ferrari who died in a car accident and industrialist Raul Gardini who killed himself under suspicious circumstances. Five other owners went bankrupt and three of them had severe accidents. Just in case you like to play with fire, the house is currently for sale.

Haunted U.K:

During the day all these places look beautiful and historic but they have hundreds of years of history and as with all things with that much history they all hold stories of there past.

Borley Rectory, Essex:

Was a Victorian manion which gained fame as "The Most Haunted House in England", before it was destroyed by a fire in 1939.
   Borley Rectory was constructed near Borley Church by the Reverend Henry Dawson Ellis Bull in 1862, and he moved in a year after being named rector of the parish. The large brick building was designed by a pupil of Augustus Welby Northmore Pugin called Frederic W Chancellor (1825-1918) one-time Mayor of Chelmsford, who is noted particularly for his work on churches, vicarages and workhouses, especially around Chelmsford. The house was built by Webb of Sudbury, replacing the earlier Georgian house built for the previous rector, Reverend Herringham, which Henry Bull demolished. The rectory was eventually enlarged to house a family of fourteen children.
    There is evidence for there having been a house on the rectory site before the Herringham rectory. The nearby church dates from the 12th century and serves a rather scattered rural community of the three hamlets that make up the parish. There are several substantial farmhouses, and the fragmentary remains of Borley Hall, once the seat of the Waldegrave family. Ghost-hunters like to quote the legend of a Benedictine monastery supposedly built in this area in about 1362 according to which, a monk from the monastery carried on a relationship with a nun from a nearby convent. After their affair was discovered, the monk was executed and the nun bricked up alive in the convent walls. It was confirmed in 1938 that this legend had no historical basis and seemed to have been fabricated by the rector's children to romanticise their gothic-style red-brick rectory. The story of the walling-up of the nun was probably taken from a novel by Rider Haggard. Until the newspaper stories about the ghosts, there had been no mention in the local papers, or any other written source, of anything unusual happening at the rectory. The rectory and the parish gave every appearance of being a typical East Anglian rural parish.
    The first alleged paranormal events for which there are accounts apparently occurred in around 1863, since a few locals later remembered hearing unexplained footsteps within the house at about this date. On 28 July 1900, four of the daughters of the rector reported seeing what they thought was the ghost of a nun from 40 yards' distance near the house in twilight: they tried to talk to it, but it disappeared as they got closer. The local organist recalled that, at about that date, the family at the rectory were '... very convinced that they had seen an apparition on several occasions'. Various people were to claim to witness a variety of puzzling incidents, such as a phantom coach driven by two headless horsemen, through the next four decades. Henry Dawson Ellis Bull died in 1892 and his son, the Reverend Harry Bull, took over the living. In 1911, he married a younger divorcée, Ivy, and the couple moved with her daughter to nearby Borley Place until 1920 (when he took over the rectory), while his unmarried sisters moved to Chilton Lodge a few miles away.
    On 9 June 1928, the rector, Harry Bull, died and the rectory again became vacant. In the following year, on 2 October, the Reverend Guy Eric Smith and his wife moved into the home. One day, soon after moving in, Mrs Smith was cleaning out a cupboard when she came across a brown paper package, inside which was the skull of a young woman. Shortly after, the family would report a variety of incidents including the sounds of servant bells ringing (on which the strings had been cut), lights appearing in windows and unexplained footsteps. In addition, Mrs Smith believed she saw a horse-drawn carriage at night. The Smiths contacted The Daily Mirror to ask them to put them in touch with the Society for Psychical Research. On 10 June 1929, the newspaper sent a reporter who promptly wrote the first of a series of articles detailing the mysteries of Borley. The paper also arranged for Harry Price, a paranormal researcher, to make his first visit to the place which would ultimately make his name famous. He arrived on 12 June. Immediately, objective "phenomena" of a new kind appeared, such as the throwing of stones, a vase and other objects. "Spirit messages" were tapped out from the frame of a mirror. As soon as Harry Price left, these ceased. Mrs Smith later maintained that she then suspected Harry Price, an expert conjurer, of causing the phenomena. The Smiths left Borley on 14 July 1929 and, after some difficulty in finding a replacement, the Reverend Lionel Foyster, a first cousin of the Bulls, and his wife Marianne moved into the rectory with their adopted daughter Adelaide, on 16 October 1930. Lionel Foyster wrote an account of the various strange incidents that happened, which he sent to Harry Price. Price estimated that, between when the Foysters moved in and October 1935, many incidents took place there, including bell-ringing, windows shattering, stones, bottle-throwing and wall-writing, and their daughter was locked in a room with no key. Marianne Foyster reported to her husband a whole range of poltergeist phenomena which included her being thrown from her bed. On one occasion, Adelaide was attacked by "something horrible". Twice, Foyster tried to conduct an exorcism, but his efforts were fruitless. In the middle of the first, Foyster was struck in the shoulder by a fist-size stone. Because of the publicity in The Daily Mirror, these incidents attracted much attention at the time from several psychic researchers who investigated, and were unanimous in suspecting that they were caused, consciously or unconsciously, by Marianne Foyster. Mrs Foyster later stated that she felt that some of the incidents were caused by her husband in collaboration with one of the psychic researchers, but other events appeared to her to be genuine paranormal phenomena. Marianne later admitted that she was having a sexual relationship with the lodger, Frank Peerless, and that she used 'paranormal' explanations to cover up her liaisons. The Foysters left Borley in October 1935 as a result of Lionel's ill health.

Tower of London:

Is a historic castle on the north bank of the River Thames in central London, England, United Kingdom. It lies within the London Borough of Tower Hamlets, separated from the eastern edge of the square mile of the City of London by the open space known as Tower Hill. It was founded towards the end of 1066 as part of the Norman Conquest of England. The White Tower, which gives the entire castle its name, was built by William the Conqueror in 1078, and was a resented symbol of oppression, inflicted upon London by the new ruling elite. The castle was used as a prison since at least 1100, although that was not its primary purpose. A grand palace early in its history, it served as a royal residence. As a whole, the Tower is a complex of several buildings set within two concentric rings of defensive walls and a moat. There were several phases of expansion, mainly under Kings Richard the Lionheart, Henry III, and Edward I in the 12th and 13th centuries. The general layout established by the late 13th century remains despite later activity on the site.
    The Tower of London has played a prominent role in English history. It was besieged several times and controlling it has been important to controlling the country. The Tower has served variously as an armoury, a treasury, a menagerie, the home of the Royal Mint, a public records office, and the home of the Crown Jewels of the United Kingdom. From the early 14th century until the reign of Charles II, a procession would be led from the Tower to Westminster Abbey on the coronation of a monarch. In the absence of the monarch, the Constable of the Tower is in charge of the castle. This was a powerful and trusted position in the medieval period. In the late 15th century the castle was the prison of the Princes in the Tower. Under the Tudors, the Tower became used less as a royal residence, and despite attempts to refortify and repair the castle its defences lagged behind developments to deal with artillery.
    The peak period of the castle's use as a prison was the 16th and 17th centuries, when many figures who had fallen into disgrace, such as Elizabeth I before she became queen, were held within its walls. This use has led to the phrase "sent to the Tower". Despite its enduring reputation as a place of torture and death, popularised by 16th-century religious propagandists and 19th-century writers, only seven people were executed within the Tower before the World Wars of the 20th century. Executions were more commonly held on the notorious Tower Hill to the north of the castle, with 112 occurring there over a 400-year period. In the latter half of the 19th century, institutions such as the Royal Mint moved out of the castle to other locations, leaving many buildings empty. Anthony Salvin and John Taylor took the opportunity to restore the Tower to what was felt to be its medieval appearance, clearing out many of the vacant post-medieval structures. In the First and Second World Wars, the Tower was again used as a prison, and witnessed the executions of 12 men for espionage. After the Second World War, damage caused during the Blitz was repaired and the castle reopened to the public. Today the Tower of London is one of the country's most popular tourist attractions. It is cared for by the charity Historic Royal Palaces and is protected as a World Heritage Site.
    The notorious murder of the Princes in the Tower is traditionally believed to have taken place. The incident is one of the most infamous events associated with the Tower of London. Edward V's uncle Richard Duke of Gloucester was declared Lord Protector while the prince was too young to rule. The 12-year-old Edward was confined to the Tower of London along with his younger brother Richard. The Duke of Gloucester was proclaimed King Richard III in July. The princes were last seen in public in June 1483; the most likely reason for their disappearance is that they were murdered late in the summer of 1483. Bones thought to belong to them were discovered in 1674 when the 12th-century forebuilding at the entrance to the White Tower was demolished. Opposition to Richard escalated until he was defeated at the Battle of Bosworth Field in 1485 by the Lancastrian Henry Tudor, who ascended to the throne as Henry VII.
    The beginning of the Tudor period marked the start of the decline of the Tower of London's use as a royal residence. As 16th-century chronicler Raphael Holinshed said the Tower became used more as "an armouries and house of munition, and thereunto a place for the safekeeping of offenders than a palace roiall for a king or queen to sojourne in". The Yeoman Warders have been the Royal Bodyguard since at least 1509. During the reign of Henry VIII, the Tower was assessed as needing considerable work on its defences. In 1532 Thomas Cromwell spent £3,593 on repairs and imported nearly 3000 tons of Caen stone for the work. Even so, this was not sufficient to bring the castle up to the standard of contemporary military fortifications which were designed to withstand powerful artillery. Although the defences were repaired, the palace buildings were left in a state of neglect after Henry's death. Their condition was so poor that they were virtually uninhabitable. From 1547 onwards, the Tower of London was only used as a royal residence when its political and historic symbolism was considered useful, for instance each of Edward VI, Mary I, and Elizabeth I briefly stayed at the Tower before their coronations.
   In the 16th century, the Tower acquired an enduring reputation as a grim, forbidding prison. This had not always been the case. As a royal castle, it was used by the monarch to imprison people for various reasons, however these were usually high-status individuals for short periods rather than common citizenry as there were plenty of prisons elsewhere for such people. Contrary to the popular image of the Tower, prisoners were able to make their life easier by purchasing amenities such as better food or tapestries through the Lieutenant of the Tower. As holding prisoners was originally an incidental role of the Tower – as would have been the case for any castle – there was no purpose-built accommodation for prisoners until 1687 when a brick shed, a "Prison for Soldiers", was built to the north-west of the White Tower. The Tower's reputation for torture and imprisonment derives largely from 16th-century religious propagandists and 19th-century romanticists. Although much of the Tower's reputation is exaggerated, the 16th and 17th centuries marked the castle's zenith as a prison, with many religious and political undesirables locked away.The Privy Council had to sanction the use of torture, so it was not often used; between 1540 and 1640, the peak of imprisonment at the Tower, there were 48 recorded cases of the use of torture. The three most common forms used were the infamous rack, the Scavenger's daughter, and manacles.The rack was introduced to England in 1447 by the Duke of Exeter, the Constable of the Tower; consequentially it was also known as the Duke of Exeter's daughter.
    Among those held and executed at the Tower was Anne Boleyn. Although the Yeoman Warders were once the Royal Bodyguard, by the 16th and 17th centuries their main duty had become to look after the prisoners.The Tower was often a safer place than other prisons in London such as the Fleet, where disease was rife. High-status prisoners could live in conditions comparable to those they might expect outside; one such example was that while Walter Raleigh was held in the Tower his rooms were altered to accommodate his family, including his son who was born there in 1605. Executions were usually carried out on Tower Hill rather than in the Tower of London itself, and 112 people were executed on the hill over 400 years. Before the 20th century, there had been seven executions within the castle on Tower Green; as was the case with Lady Jane Grey, this was reserved for prisoners for whom public execution was considered dangerous. After Lady Jane Grey's execution on 12 February 1554, Queen Mary I imprisoned her sister Elizabeth, later Queen Elizabeth I, in the Tower under suspicion of causing rebellion as Sir Thomas Wyatt had led a revolt against Mary in Elizabeth's name.
    The Office of Ordnance and Armoury Office were founded in the 15th century, taking over the Privy Wardrobe's duties of looking after the monarch's arsenal and valuables. As there was no standing army before 1661, the importance of the royal armoury at the Tower of London was that it provided a professional basis for procuring supplies and equipment in times of war. The two bodies were resident at the Tower from at least 1454, and by 16th century they had moved to a position in the inner ward. Political tensions between Charles I and Parliament in the second quarter of the 17th century led to an attempt by forces loyal to the King to secure the Tower and its valuable contents, including money and munitions. London's Trained Bands, a militia force, were moved into the castle in 1640. Plans for defence were drawn up and gun platforms were built, readying the Tower for war. The preparations were never put to the test. In 1642, Charles I attempted to arrest five Members of Parliament. When this failed he fled the city, and Parliament retaliated by removing Sir John Byron, the Lieutenant of the Tower. The Trained Bands had switched sides, and now supported Parliament; together with the London citizenry, they blockaded the Tower. With permission from the King, Byron relinquished control of the Tower. Parliament replaced Byron with a man of their own choosing, Sir John Conyers. By the time the English Civil War broke out in November 1642, the Tower of London was already in Parliament's control.
    The last monarch to uphold the tradition of taking a procession from the Tower to Westminster to be crowned was Charles II in 1660. At the time, the castle's accommodation was in such poor condition that he did not stay there the night before his coronation. Under the Stuart kings the Tower's buildings were remodelled, mostly under the auspices of the Office of Ordnance. Just over £4,000 was spent in 1663 on building a new storehouse, now known as the New Armouries in the inner ward. In the 17th century there were plans to enhance the Tower's defences in the style of the trace italienne, however they were never acted on. Although the facilities for the garrison were improved with the addition of the first purpose-built quarters for soldiers (the "Irish Barracks") in 1670, the general accommodations were still in poor condition.
    When the Hanoverian dynasty ascended the throne, their situation was uncertain and with a possible Scottish rebellion in mind, the Tower of London was repaired. Gun platforms added under the Stuarts had decayed. The number of guns at the Tower was reduced from 118 to 45, and one contemporary commentator noted that the castle "would not hold out four and twenty hours against an army prepared for a siege". For the most part, the 18th-century work on the defences was spasmodic and piecemeal, although a new gateway in the southern curtain wall permitting access from the wharf to the outer ward was added in 1774. The moat surrounding the castle had become silted over the centuries since it was created despite attempts at clearing it. It was still an integral part of the castle's defences, so in 1830 the Constable of the Tower, the Duke of Wellington, ordered a large-scale clearance of several feet of silt. However this did not prevent an outbreak of disease in the garrison in 1841 caused by poor water supply, resulting in several deaths. To prevent the festering ditch posing further health problems, it was ordered that the moat should be drained and filled with earth. The work began in 1843 and was mostly complete two years later. The construction of the Waterloo Barracks in the inner ward began in 1845, when the Duke of Wellington laid the foundation stone. The building could accommodate 1,000 men; at the same time, separate quarters for the officers were built to the north-east of the White Tower. The building is now the headquarters of the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers.
    The popularity of the Chartist movement between 1828 and 1858 led to a desire to refortify the Tower of London in the event of civil unrest. It was the last major programme of fortification at the castle. Most of the surviving installations for the use of artillery and firearms date from this period.
During the First World War, eleven men were tried in private and shot by firing squad at the Tower for espionage. During the Second World War, the Tower was once again used to hold prisoners of war. One such person was Rudolf Hess, Adolf Hitler's deputy, albeit just for four days in 1941. He was the last state prisoner to be held at the castle. The last person to be executed at the Tower was German spy Josef Jakobs who was shot on 14 August 1941. The executions for espionage during the wars took place in a prefabricated miniature rifle range which stood in the outer ward and was demolished in 1969.

    Of the famous that haunt the Tower, there are reports that the headless ghost of Anne Boleyn meanders the eerie corridors of the White Tower. She was one of two wives that were ordered for execution by husband, Henry VIII; the other being Catherine Howard. Anne is also spotted in the Chapel of Saint Peter ad Vincula where she watches over her own grave under the altar. Catherine on the other hand can be heard screaming behind the door of the room she was kept in before her execution.
    Other famous ghosts are Thomas A. Becket who struck down the Traitor's Gate with a crucifix, witnessed by a priest. People have also seen 12-year-old King Edward V and his 9-year-old brother Richard Duke of York in the Bloody Tower still wearing the white gowns they were imprisoned in.
Foggy figures, soldiers, and 16-year-old Lady Jane Grey haunt the battlements of the Tower of London. Whole squads of soldiers have been seen marching the grounds.

Windsor Castle, England:

 Is a medieval castle and royal residence at Windsor in the English county of Berkshire that is notable for its long association with the British royal family and for its architecture. The original castle was built after the Norman invasion by William the Conqueror. Since the time of Henry I, it has been used by a succession of monarchs and is the longest-occupied palace in Europe. The castle's lavish, early 19th-century State Apartments are architecturally significant, described by art historian Hugh Roberts as "a superb and unrivalled sequence of rooms widely regarded as the finest and most complete expression of later Georgian taste". The castle includes the 15th-century St George's Chapel, considered by historian John Robinson to be "one of the supreme achievements of English Perpendicular Gothic" design. More than five hundred people live and work in Windsor Castle.
   Originally designed to protect Norman dominance around the outskirts of London, and to oversee a strategically important part of the River Thames, Windsor Castle was built as a motte and bailey, with three wards surrounding a central mound. Gradually replaced with stone fortifications, the castle withstood a prolonged siege during the First Barons' War at the start of the 13th century. Henry III built a luxurious royal palace within the castle during the middle of the century, and Edward III went further, rebuilding the palace to produce an even grander set of buildings in what would become "the most expensive secular building project of the entire Middle Ages in England". Edward's core design lasted through the Tudor period, during which Henry VIII and Elizabeth I made increasing use of the castle as a royal court and centre for diplomatic entertainment.
   Windsor Castle survived a tumultuous period during the English Civil War, in which the castle was used as a military headquarters for Parliamentary forces and a prison for Charles I. During the Restoration, Charles II rebuilt much of Windsor Castle with the help of architect Hugh May, creating a set of extravagant, Baroque interiors, which are still praised today. After a period of neglect during the 18th century, George III and George IV renovated and rebuilt Charles II's palace at colossal expense, producing the current design of the State Apartments, full of Rococo, Gothic and Baroque furnishings. Victoria made minor changes to the castle, which became the centre for royal entertainment for much of her reign. Windsor Castle was used as a refuge for the royal family during the bombing campaigns of the Second World War and survived a fire in 1992. It is a popular tourist attraction, a venue for hosting state visits, and the Queen's preferred weekend home.

                                THE GHOSTS:

   It is the home of the present Queen of England, several of her royal ancestors, and "non-royal" spirits, one of whom, according to legend was an ancient Saxon hunter named Herne, who was renowned throughout the area for his outstanding hunting abilities. One story tells of Herne, as one of the Royal keepers for King Richard II (1367-1400), who was hated by the other keepers for his exceptional skills. One day the King was in danger of being trampled by an enraged stag while hunting and how Herne putting himself between the King and the stag was mortally wounded. Other legends tell of witchcraft and suicide, and a demonic horned being upon whose appearance brings illness and misfortune to all who see him, especially the Royal family. He can be seen in the castles gardens with "his trademark stags head."

King Henry VIII has been seen walking the hallways of the castle. His footsteps, along with agonizing moans, have been heard by many guests of the castle.

One of his wives, Anne Boleyn, has been seen standing at the window in the Deans Cloister, as well as, Queen Elizabeth I. Queen Elizabeth I has also been seen in the Royal Library. She has been seen walking from one room to another. She is always dressed in a black gown with a black lace shawl draped over her shoulders.

King Charles I, has been seen many times in the library and the Canons house, and although he was beheaded during the English Revolution, his ghost is seen as a whole. It is said he looks exactly like his portraits.

King George III had many bouts with mental deterioration. During these times he was kept out of the publics eye. He can be seen looking out the windows located below the Royal Library where he was confined during the recurrence of his illness.

The first Duke of Buckingham, Sir George Villiers, is said to haunt one of the bedrooms of the castle. And many spirits haunt the Long Walk, one of whom is a young solider who shot himself after, while on his guard watch, he saw marble statues moving "of their own accord." His ghost was seen by another solider on guard duty afterwards.

Edinburgh Castle:

   Is a fortress which dominates the skyline of the city of Edinburgh, Scotland, from its position atop the volcanic Castle Rock. Human habitation of the site is dated back as far as the 9th century BC, although the nature of early settlement is unclear. There has been a royal castle here since at least the reign of David I in the 12th century, and the site continued to be a royal residence until the Union of the Crowns in 1603. From the 15th century the castle's residential role declined, and by the 17th century its principal role was as a military base with a large garrison. Its importance as a historic monument was recognised from the 19th century, and various restoration programmes have been carried out since. As one of the most important fortresses in the Kingdom of Scotland, Edinburgh Castle was involved in many historical conflicts, from the Wars of Scottish Independence in the 14th century, up to the Jacobite Rising of 1745, and has been besieged, both successfully and unsuccessfully, on several occasions.
   Few of the present buildings pre-date the Lang Siege of the 16th century, when the medieval fortifications were largely destroyed by artillery bombardment. The most notable exceptions are St Margaret's Chapel, which dates from the early 12th century and is the oldest surviving building in Edinburgh, the Royal Palace, and the early-16th-century Great Hall. The castle also houses the Honours of Scotland, the Scottish National War Memorial, and the National War Museum of Scotland.
   Edinburgh Castle is in the care of Historic Scotland, and is Scotland's most-visited paid tourist attraction, with over 1.3 million visitors in 2011. The British Army is responsible for some parts of the castle, although its presence is largely ceremonial and administrative, including a number of regimental museums. As the backdrop to the annual Edinburgh Military Tattoo it has become a recognisable symbol of Edinburgh and of Scotland.
   Many people have heard the sound of ghostly drums within Edinburgh castle; however few have seen the drummer. The reason for this is the drummer ghost only appears when the castle is about to be attacked something that hasn't happened for some time.
The ghost drummer was first witnessed before Cromwell's attack on the castle in 1650 and is reported to take the form of a headless boy. Who the boy was and why he now haunts Edinburgh castle is not known.
   Edinburgh like most castles has dungeons where prisoners were often tortured and often perished. These dungeons are haunted by the ghosts of their victims; coloured orbs are constantly photographed by visitors. One desperate prisoner hid in a dung barrow, hoping to be carried out of the castle down the Royal Mile and escape to freedom. The unfortunate man died when the barrow was emptied down the rocky slopes of the castle, sending him to his death. Visitors say his ghost tries to shove them from the battlements and is accompanied by a strong and unpleasant smell of dung.
   In the 16th century Janet Douglas, Lady of Glamis, was imprisoned in Edinburgh Castle, accused of witchcraft and conspiracy to murder King James V. Evidence was obtained against her by the torturing of her servants. She was burned at the stake on July 17, 1537, and her young son Gillespie was brought out and forced to watch from the battlements. Lady Janet's restless spirit is said to still haunt parts of the castle. Hollow knocking sounds are sometimes heard at night these are attributed to the workmen building the platform on which she was burned.

Edinburgh Vaults:

   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.
   The vault rooms, used as storage space and workshops for the South Bridge businesses, operated as intended for a relatively short space of time. Construction of the bridge had been rushed and the surface was never sealed against water. The vaults began to flood. Abandonment of the vaults began as early as 1795. With the vaults being gradually abandoned by the businesses on the bridge, the empty rooms were adopted and adapted by new users. 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.
   On Saturday 1 July 1815, The Edinburgh Evening Courant, reported that On the 24th inst. Mr McKenzie, supervisor, accompanied by Mess. Gorie and McNaugton, officers, discovered a private distillery, of considerable extent, under the arch of the South Bridge, which has been working these 18 months past, to the great injury of the revenue. The particulars of this seizure are worthy of notice, from the great pains which had been taken to prevent disclosure. The original door to the place where the operations were going forward had been carefully built up and plastered over, so as to prevent any appearance of an entrance. Behind a grate in the fireplace of a bed-room, an opening had been made, and fitted with an iron door and lock, exactly fitting the grate, which could only be seen by being removed; and this passage led to the flat above by a trap-door and ladder, where the still was working. This place again was in one of the deaf arches, immediately adjoining the middle arch of the bridge, (now The Caves venue), and the person had found means to convey a pipe from one of the town’s branches, which gave a plentiful supply of water. A soil pipe was also got at, and a hole broke through into a neighbouring vent to carry off the smoke. Besides the still, a considerable quantity of wash, and some low wines, were found in the premises; also many casks, mash ton, large tubs, &c. The spirits were said to have been conveyed away in a tin case, made to contain two or three gallons, which was again put into a green bag, and carried out by a woman under her cloak.
It is not known when the vaults complex was closed down, with some suggesting as early as c.1835 and others as late as c.1875. Written records regarding the vaults during their slum use are virtually non-existent. All that is known is that at some point tons of rubble were dumped into the vaults making them inaccessible.
   The vaults were rediscovered by former Scottish rugby internationalist, Norrie Rowan, after he found a tunnel leading to them in the 1980s. From this tunnel he helped Romanian rugby player Christian Raducanu escape the Romanian secret police and seek political asylum weeks before the Romanian uprising of 1989.
   The vaults were excavated by Norrie Rowan and his son Norman Rowan in the 1990s. Hundreds of tonnes of rubble were removed by hand and several interesting artifacts were discovered including thousands of oyster shells, which were part of the staple diet of the Edinburgh working class.
                      Paranormal Activity Reported
   By the late 19th century, the vaults were closed off for good in an effort to drive the seedy activity out from under Edinburgh's main thoroughfare. For decades these vaults sat empty as their marred past slipped into obscurity.
   Obscurity ended in 1988 when a local man crawled through a narrow passageway in one of his buildings and rediscovered the rooms underneath the bridge. Since then, the cavernous vaults of South Bridge have been opened to the public -- and the reports of ghosts have poured in.
   Witnesses claimed to feel cold gusts of air, to hear voices, and to see and sense an intangible presence. Some ghosts are bolder, like the spectral child "Jack" who grabs visitors' hands in the wine vault.
   Another, more menacing presence is known as "Mr. Boots," an unkempt man so named for his tall boots. Mr. Boots lurks in the back section of the vault and has been known to push and throw rocks at visitors. Some have claimed to hear his footsteps on the cobbles and his echoing voice cursing throughout the chambers.
   It's even rumored that in the 1820s, the infamous serial killers William Burke and William Hare lurked within the vaults, killing some of their 17 victims.
   With dozens of other deaths due to disease and crime, the vaults under South Bridge remain one of the world's most haunted places. Experience the mystery of the South Bridge tunnels yourself on one of their guided tours -- you may just meet Jack or Mr. Boots.

Mary King's Close:

   Is an old Edinburgh close under buildings in the Old Town area of Edinburgh, Scotland. It took its name from one Mary King, daughter of advocate Alexander King, who in the 17th century had owned several properties within the close. The close was partially demolished and buried under the Royal Exchange, and later being closed to the public for many years, the complex became shrouded in myths and urban legends; tales of ghosts and murders, and myths of plague victims being walled up and left to die abounded.
   However, new research and archaeological evidence has revealed that the close actually consists of a number of closes which were originally narrow streets with tenement houses on either side, stretching up to seven stories high. Mary King's Close is now a commercial tourist attraction.An well respected lawyer, Thomas Coltheart and his family was one of those that refused to leave. It is reported they were almost driven mad by images of disembodied limbs, a bodiless phantom of a child and the ghost of a gruesome looking dog that would curl up on a chair.
   Now one of the most famous and most haunted attractions in Scotland, the close has become well known worldwide for it’s wide variety of ghostly phenomena. Many visitors have reported seeing apparitions of those that once lived and died there.
   A well known Japanese medium visited the the close when it was re-opened to the public and she came into contact with a little girl. The medium felt a tug on her coat as she left one of the rooms, as she looked back she saw a small girl crying in the corner. The little girl said she died during the sickness of 1645, and the distraught child talked of a doll she had lost and she was lonely without it. Moved, the medium left her a doll, and ever since visitors often leave dolls and gifts in the corner of the room where the girl is seen

Haunted Japan:

Japan is in itself rich in history and tradition, that dates back to the beginning of Japans history.

  Aokigahara Forest: 

Is a 35-square-kilometre (14 sq mi) forest that lies at the northwest base of Mount Fuji in Japan. The forest contains a number of rocky, icy caverns, a few of which are popular tourist destinations. Due to the wind-blocking density of the trees and an absence of wildlife, the forest is known for being exceptionally quiet. The forest has a historic association with demons in Japanese mythology and is a popular place for suicides; 54 committed the act in 2010, despite numerous signs, in Japanese and English, urging people to reconsider their actions.
    The forest is a popular place for suicides, reportedly the most popular in Japan and second in the world after San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge. Statistics vary, but what is documented is that during the period leading up to 1988, about 100 suicides occurred there every year.
   In 2002, 78 bodies were found within the forest, exceeding the previous record of 74 in 1998. In 2003, the rate climbed to 100, and in recent years, the local government has stopped publicizing the numbers in an attempt to downplay Aokigahara's association with suicide. In 2004, 108 people killed themselves in the forest. In 2010, 247 people attempted suicide in the forest, 54 of whom completed the act. Suicides are said to increase during March, the end of the fiscal year in Japan. As of 2011, the most popular means of suicide in the forest were hanging and drug overdoses.
   The high rate of suicide has led officials to place signs in the forest, in Japanese and English, urging those who have gone there to commit suicide to seek help and not kill themselves. The annual body search, consisting of a small army of police, volunteers, and attendant journalists, began in 1970.
   The site's popularity has been attributed to the 1960 novel lit., "Tower of Waves" (波の塔) by Seichō Matsumoto. However, the history of suicide in Aokigahara predates the novel's publication, and the place has long been associated with death: ubasute may have been practiced there into the 19th century, and the forest is reputedly haunted by the Yūrei (angry spirits) of those left to die. When Forestry workers come upon a body in the forest they carry it back to their station where a special room is designated for such occasions. In Japanese mythology, a corpse can not rest alone. If it is, the lonely, unsettled soul or Yurei will scream the whole night, and the body will move itself into the regular sleeping quarters.
   Aokigahara is considered the most haunted location in Japan. Dubbed the "Purgatory of Yurei". Hikers have often seen apparitions as well as heard the howl of Yurei on the wind. Some have reported objects moving and seeing shadows amongst the trees. Spiritualists say that the trees themselves are filled with a malevolent energy, accumulated from decades of suicides. They try to prevent you from getting back out. They say if you look hard at the trees, you can see the faces of the dead in the bark.
   Today, the forest is littered with colored tape used by walkers to find their way among the trees as well as discarded items and nooses, used to facilitate the suicide of its recent victims and bouquets of flowers left by grieving friends and family members.

Ireland: Like all others on this list Ireland is jam packed full of history and tradition.
   And even though during the day it may be beautiful, during the night its a whole different story full of things that go bump in the night.

Malahide Castle, Dublin Ireland:

   Is a very old (and proud) castle, It was built in 1185 by King Henry II of England, for his friend Sir Richard Talbot. A knight who had been helpful to the king during his travels, Richard Talbot was given the Malahide Area. At one point, the Talbot family was at one point one of the most powerful families in Ireland, to the extent that King Edward the Fourth felt obliged to expand their castle massively (giving it towers and a larger garden). They where also Roman Catholic and where massively against the Roundheads (who took over the castle between 1649 and 1600). The castle remained in the Talbot Family until 1979, when they had to sell it to the council in order to pay inheritance tax.
   The castle is one of the oldest castles in Ireland and is also the most haunted, having a grand total of at least five ghosts, haunting the castle.
Miles Corbet was an English Politician, Roundhead, and what was called a Regicide, During the English civil war between Oliver Cromwell and the monarchy, He Represented Yarmouth and was one of the Politicians who signed the Death warrant for King Charles I (in fact his signature was the very last one), He was a very strong supporter of Oliver Cromwell and the idea of a British Republic (He wanted to get rid of the Monarchy, Like Cromwell). He was also Very Anti-catholic and Spent a lot of his time fighting Cavaliers (the kings knights, Against Cromwell). As a result of this, When Oliver Cromwell Took over, He drove the Talbots out of Malahide Castle. And Gave the Malahide area to Miles Corbet.
   During his time there Miles was well known as Not getting on with the local population, Who where mainly catholic. He (Bieng an Against Catholicism All-Together). Tried to outlaw it in Malahide and Started attacking the Local Abbey, Vandalizing it at first. But eventually he managed to get many of Cromwell's Knights to completely destroy the Peoples place of prayer, this earnt him the reputation of being Dictator.
   In 1660, Cromwell was Overthrown and Executed. The monarchy was Reinstated and King Charles II was put into power, He Decided that he wanted to execute all Of the 59 'Regicides' (Member's of parliament who had signed Charles I Death warrant). Corbet Was of course one of them, The moment he heard of this he fled to the Netherlands. During his time there the Talbot's simply moved back into their castle, King Charles II Did However, Two Years Later in 1662 catch Corbet and took Him back to Malahide. Where he was Executed in this Manner, He was Hanged, Drawn, then Quartered. As an example as to what happened to people who Enjoyed the death of a king.
   Since then, Corbets Ghost is said to Haunt the Castle, His Ghost can be, Quite Unsettling. As Well as running around and throughout the castle every Night of the Anniversary of his death. His ghost has also appeared other times of the year, His ghost is usually in a full suit of armour. Though if its not its said to be unlucky since it has a habit of Falling apart into quarters, In a shocking Representation of his Execution.

   Walter Hussey, Also Known as the Young Lord Galtrim (Since he was the son of the Lord of Galtrim). As well as being a Cavalier, Who had been sent to Malahide to fight Roundheads. During his time there he fell in love with a Woman, eventually he decided he was going to marry said women, This was good news and Hussey's Father actually traveled to Malahide so that he could Persuade the Talbot's to let his son be wed in the castle. They agreed, Hussey was still engaged and so made an effort to stay in Malahide but it did mean that he had to stay whilsts the Battles, and the Roundheads moved elsewhere.
   On the Morning of the Wedding, Hussey was not preparing for battle but for his wedding instead, This was Unlucky. As Walter Hussey traveled to Malahide Castle to marry, He was ambushed by his rival. A roundhead with a personal grudge against him, Shocked. Hussey Drew his sword but it was too late, The roundhead Threw his spear at Hussey, Killing him fatally. After the death of Hussey, His Wife-to-be actually fell in love with his Murderer, and soon married him instead.
This Tragic and Untimely death is remembered by Husseys Ghost. The Ghost of Walter Hussey will wander throughout the castle, Sometimes showing his Spear Wound. It is believed by many that he is trying to tell people, Why he Did not show up for the wedding. He is also Upset that his would-be-wife married his murderer.

   Lord Chief Justice (Presumably his actual name), Was a Landowner and the Third and Last husband of Maud Plunkett. His Ghost is closely Connected to the ghost of Plunkett and is usually seen being chased throughout the castle by the ghost of his wife. However, Justice does have some of his own haunting behavior. Because Chief Justice was an Avid Body-builder, and spent a lot of time fighting with his wife. He spent any spare time he had exercising, And so, In various parts of the castle. at random and at night, His ghost can be seen Exercising. Often going for a jog or weightlifting.

   Maud Plunkett, Was, As I have mentioned before. The Wife of Chief Justice, She lived in the Castle for a short time along with the Talbots. When Maud Married Chief it was her third wedding. Chief Justice was unaware of Plunkett's, rather awfully petty behavior. Witch had caused her last two Husbands to leave her. As a result she became Very Possessive of Chief Justice, Some say that she may have beaten her third husband. Even if she didn't, She certainly spent a lot of time Arguing with him. Usually over petty reasons, Plunkett was apparently very Violent during these fights to the Extent that Chief Justice often simply Ran Away when the Arguing escalated, and Plunkett often chased him. The Fights apparently got so bad that it is possible that the Talbot's kicked them out of the castle.
   Plunkett's ghost is always accompanied by the ghost of Chief Justice, or at least another, anamorphic paranormal presence. She will chase her husband around the castle many times.

   The Man who came to be known as Puck, During the Tudor Era, was in fact the Talbot Family's Jester, He was a dwarf. Measuring only Four feet tall and, As well as being a jester he was also a watchman who lived in one of the towers. He kept watch for Intruders and he also kept an Eye on Prisoners in the tower. Puck was well known as, when he was not working, he was Reclusive and Very Neat.
   During his time there, Henry VIII became worried of a woman named Lady Elenora Fitzgerald. And sent her away to be held prisoner in Malahide, It was puck who was made to keep an eye on her. Surprisingly, Puck actually ended up falling in love with Fitzgerald, at first he kept it to himself. But eventually, word of this spread. The Rumours did however, warp what was actually happening. It was originally that Someone in Malahide Castle was on side with Fitzgerald, And eventually people started conspiring that the Talbots where planning with Fitzgerald, Although this was not true, it worried the Talbots. if the rumour reached King Henry he would probably declare war on them.
   As a result, On a very Snowy December morning, Puck was found Stabbed just outside the Castle walls. It is believed that he was killed by a member of the Talbot family. Subsequently they then started to say that Puck had Killed himself, Although this is possible. it is not often believed.
   Puck had said shortly before his death that his Ghost would haunt the castle, but not hurt anyone as long as a Male Talbot lived there, Surely Enough Pucks ghost now haunts the castle, His ghost seems rather live and it cannot be predicted what he will do. Unlike the other ghosts in the Castle, Pucks Ghost has also been seen numerous times. He was Seen during the Selling of the castle in 1979, Although he has rarely been seen manifest since, he often appears in photographs. Despite his promise, Puck has never hurt anyone.

Leap castle:

   The Galic name for the castle is "Leim ui Bhanain", which means the Leap of the O'Bannons. Under the O'Carroll Chiefs, the O'Bannon Clan were the first owners of Leap Castle, later occupied by the O'Carroll's themselves. From here the O'Carroll's would set out for victory and defeat, and here they would bring thier brides and there captives.
   Leap was an impregnable fortress impervious to attack. In 1513, Leap Castle was attacked by Gerald Fitzgerald , but was not taken. Gerald Og Fitzgerald of Kildore attacked the castle in 1516. In 1557 during an attack led by the Earl of Sussex, the O'Carroll's made a successful escape.
   In 1604 or 1605, some of Ely O'Carroll's territory was attached to Kings County which is now Offaly. It is rumored that the daughter of an O'Carroll helped the escape of a Darby from Leap Castle and later married him.
    After the failure of the Revolt of the Earls, in 1619 the plantation of Ely O'Carroll took place. Along with the English rulers, loyal Protestant Scots and Englishmen settled into the area depriving the local Galic population of their land. Leap Castle then passed into the hands of the Darby family. After this many Darbys became high sheriff of Kings County. The most famous Darby is Admiral Sir Henry Darby who fought at the Battle of the Nile and escorted Napolean Bonaparte into exile after leaving France.
   Over 400 years ago in what is now known as the "Bloody Chapel" a shocking murder occured. Leap Castle was then a stronghold of the O'Carroll family, powerful Irish Princes, Chieftains of the area.
   In 1532, on the death of the O'Carroll Chieftain, a fierce rivalary for the leadership errupted within the family. The bitter fight for power turned brother against brother. One of the brothers was a priest. The O'Carroll priest was holding mass for a group of his family (in what is now called the "Bloody Chapel"). While chanting the holy rites, his rival brother burst into the chapel plunging his sword into his brother. Fatally wounding him, the butchered priest fell across the altar and died in front of his family.
  The henious act of brother killing brother and the blasphemy of a sacred mass cut short by such an evil event sent an echo of misery ringing thoughout the castle.
  Another source of evil was found at Leap Castle that may have compounded and nutured the spirt of the elemental. A hidden ubliet (a dungeon) was found off the bloody chapel. It was a small room with a drop floor. Those who were forgotten within this room suffered unimaginable pain and misery until their death. Prisoners would be pushed into the room to fall through the floor and land on a spike eight feet below. If you were not lucky enough to die quickly on the spike, you died of starvation in a doorless room while the aroma of food and the sounds of merriment drifted up from the rooms below. A narrow window would let you watch those who came and went in freedom from the castle. Around c.1900 workmen who where hired to clean out the ubliet made a hideous discovery, human skeletons laid piled on top of each other. It took three full cart loads to remove all of the bones. Among the bones workmen found a pocket watch made in the 1840's. It is not certain if the dungeon was still in use then.
  Because of its extremely bloody history Leap Castle has always had a reputation of being haunted, a reputation so strong local people avoided it at night. Completely gutted by fire, Leap Castle was boarded up and it's gates were pad locked for over 70 years. Locals have described seeing the windows at the top of the castle "light up for a few seconds as if many candles were brought into the room" late at night. The castle laid in ruin for years.
  Shortly after Leap's dungons gruesome discovery, a psychic disturbance may have caused the emergence of the elemental spirit. In 1659 ownership of Leap Castle passed in marrage from the O'Carroll family to an English family, the Darbys. The Darby family turned Leap into their family home, with improvements and additions and landscaped gardens . In the late 19th century descendants Johanthan and Mildred Darby were looking forward to raising their family here. The occult was the fashion of the day, and Mildred Darby did some innocent dabbling, despite the castle's history and reputation for being haunted. Mildred's dabbling with magic awakened the elemental with ferocious velocity.
  In 1909, Mildred Darby wrote an atricle for the Journal Occult Review, describing her terrifying ordeal. "I was standing in the Gallery looking down at the main floor, when I felt somebody put a hand on my shoulder. The thing was about the size of a sheep. Thin guanting shadowy..., it's face was human, to be more accurate inhuman. Its lust in its eyes which seemed half decomposed in black cavities stared into mine. The horrible smell one hundred times intensified came up into my face, giving me a deadly nausea. It was the smell of a decomposing corpse.
  The elemental is thought to be a premative ghost that attaches itself to a particular place. It is often malevolent, terrifying and unpredictable. After Mrs. Darby's experiments in the black arts, Leap Castle has never been the same. Hauntings plague Leap leaving a sinister air throughout the castle. The Darbys remained at Leap until 1922. Being the home of an English family, it became the target of the Irish struggle for independence. Destroyed by bombs, completely looted, nothing but a burned out shell remained. The Darby's were driven out.
  In the 1970's Leap Castle was purchased by an Australian, who had a white witch brought in from Mexico to exorcise the castle. She spent many hours in the bloody chapel, when she emerged she explained that the spirits at Leap Castle were no longer malevolent, but they wished to remain.
  In the 1990's the castle was sold to the current owners. They were aware of the castle's troubled history. Shortly after moving in they began restoration of the castle. During which time a "freak accident" left the owner with a broken kneecap delaying restoration work on the castle for nearly a year. One year after his "accident" the owner was back at work restoring his castle when the ladder he was standing on suddenly tilted backwards away from the wall causing him to jump several stories resulting in a broken ankle. Both were strange accidents.
  The owners say they would be happy to share the castle with the spirits as long as there are no more "occurrences".
  In 1991, in Leap Castle's Bloody Chapel was the christening of the owner's baby daughter. For the first time in centuries the "Bloody Chapel" was filled with music, dancing, laughter, and most of all love. The day had been a "happy, pleasant, wonderful day". If the troubled spirits of Leap Castle did not leave, maybe they have finally found some peace.
   Leap Castle has a violent and turbulent history, a keep castle, it was built in the 14th or 15th century to guard the pass from Slieve Bloom into Munster. This fortress is considered Ireland's most haunted castle, haunted by the type of spirit called an "elemental". It is a frighting and horrifying apparition, it's hauntings bring on an overwhelming sense of dread and deep rooted fear. Those who have experienced it describe a hideous looking "thing" with almost human looking eyes and reeks of the most ghastly odor.

Kilmainham Gaol, Dublin Ireland:

   Is a former prison which is now a museum. It has been run since the mid-1980s by the Office of Public Works (OPW), an Irish government agency. Kilmainham Gaol played an important part in Irish history, as many leaders of Irish rebellions were imprisoned and some executed in the prison by the British and latterly in 1923 by the Irish Free State. 
   When it was first built in 1796, Kilmainham Gaol was called the 'New Gaol' to distinguish it from the old gaol it was intended to replace - a noisome dungeon, just a few hundred yards from the present site. It was officially called the County of Dublin Gaol, and was originally run by the Grand Jury for County Dublin.
   When the Gaol was first built, public hangings took place at the front of the Gaol.However, from the 1820s onward very few hangings, public or private, took place at Kilmainham. A small hanging cell was built in the gaol in 1891. It is located on the first floor, between the West Wing and the East Wing.
   There was no segregation of prisoners; men, women and children were incarcerated up to 5 in each cell, with only a single candle for light and heat, most of their time was spent in the cold and the dark. The candle had to last the prisoner for two weeks. Its cells were roughly 28 meters squared.
Children were sometimes arrested for petty theft, the youngest said to be a five year-old child, while many of the adult prisoners were deported to Australia.
   At Kilmainham the poor conditions in which women prisoners were kept provided the spur for the next stage of development. Remarkably, for an age that prided itself on a protective attitude for the 'weaker sex', the conditions for women prisoners were persistently worse than for men. As early as his 1809 report the Inspector had observed that male prisoners were supplied with iron bedsteads while females 'lay on straw on the flags in the cells and common halls.' Half a century later there was little improvement. The women's section, located in the west wing, remained overcrowded.

                            Historical importance
   Since its restoration, Kilmainham Gaol has been understood as one of the most important Irish monuments of the modern period. Principally this has been understood in relation to the narrative of the struggle for Irish independence. In the period of time extending from its opening in 1796 until its decommissioning in 1924 it has been, barring the notable exceptions of Daniel O'Connell and Michael Collins, a site of incarceration of every significant Irish nationalist leader of both the constitutional and physical force traditions. Thus, its history as an institution is intimately linked with the story of the Irish nationalism. The majority of the Irish leaders in the rebellions of 1798, 1803, 1848, 1867 and 1916 were imprisoned there. It also housed prisoners during the Irish War of Independence (1919–21) and many of the anti-treaty forces during the civil war period. Charles Stewart Parnell was imprisoned in Kilmainham Gaol, along with most of his parliamentary colleagues, in 1881-82 when he signed the Kilmainham Treaty with William Gladstone.
Edmund Wellisha, the head guard at the prison, was convicted of undernourishing prisoners in support of the rebellion.

                      Reported Paranormal Activity
   The most haunted part of the prison is the Stonebreakers Yard, this is where the holding cells were for prisoners who were being executed. It is a very somber place and is filled with unsettled spirits who died before their time. Also lights turn on by themselves, noises are heard and some people report having a complete feeling of dread and a sense of foreboding at the entrance. Other paranormal activity includes

  • Lights often turn themselves on and off in the prison’s chapel
  • Unseen forces pushing people over
  • Phantom footsteps
  • Children pause in sheer fright refusing to step inside the jail
  • Psychics have picked up on an evil presence around the chapel balcony
  • Feeling of being watched
  • Unexplained bangs, and voices

  • Charles Fort, County Cork Ireland:

       Charles Fort is in the County Cork town of Kinsale in Ireland. Is an abandoned fort, built in 1601.
       In 1601, Ireland was still a British Province and this meant it was subject to attack from the Spanish. The British had declared war on Spain in what would be known as the Anglo-Spanish war, after the failure of the Spanish Armada in 1588, the Spanish sought the help of Hugh O'Neill. Hugh O'Neill was a clan leader who, along with other clan Leaders, was heading a campaign against British rule in Ireland. O'Neill agreed to help the Spanish begin their invasion of Ireland by capturing the town of Kinsale.
       On the 2nd of October, 1601, the Spanish moved an armada into Kinsale Bay as O'Neill and his men men moved into the area north of the town. When the British forces heard of this they rushed to the area, led by Charles Blount. Although his army was unable to face the force of both the Spanish and the rebelling Irish. They where able to take their position on the high ground above Kinsale and they used this to destroy crops and cut off supplies from O'Neill to the Spanish. O'Neill then tried to attack the British in order to get them off the ridge, this led to the British army chasing O'Neill and his men. O'Neill's plan was to lure the British army into a marshland in the hope that they would get stuck, his plan failed however and the battle was lost.
       After the siege of Kinsale the British took extra measures against a Spanish attack in the future, this included building Charles Fort by the bay of Kinsale. Charles Fort was named after King Charles the Second and was occupied by the British Army until Ireland became independent in 1922.
    Charles Fort is haunted.
       In the turn of the 1600's, Wilful Warrender was the daughter of Charles Fort's commanding officer, Colonel Warrender. The Warrender family lived in the fort and the Colonel was known for his strict rules and discipline. Her daughter however was more gentle then her father and fell in love with an officer stationed at the fort named Trevor Ashurst. Wilful and Ashurst eventually decided to marry each other and on the evening after the wedding, the newlyweds went for a walk along the fort's battlements. Wilful noticed some flowers growing on the rocks below the fort and Ashurst told a sentry to climb down and get the flowers for his new wife. In return, Trevor Ashurst would take the sentry's position for the night.
       The Sentry retrieved the flowers and so when night fell, Ashurst went to stay in the sentry box for the night. Unluckily however, Ashurst was exhausted from the eventful day and fell asleep whilst on duty. At the same time, Wilful's father, the colonel was routinely expecting the sentry box's. When he came to Ashurst's box he was furious to see a sentry asleep and lost his temper. The Colonel shot Trevor Ashurst through the heart. He then realised who the sentry was and that he had just killed his daughters husband. Wilful soon found out what had happened and was so distraught, she committed suicide by jumping of the side of Charles Fort and into the ocean. Colonel Warrender himself was so torn that he also took his own life later that night, by shooting himself.
    The events of that night are said to be the cause of the level of paranormal activity at the fort. Wilful Warrender is said to haunt Charles Fort by floating around the fort in her wedding dress. She is known as the 'White lady of Kinsale', it is said that the soldiers stationed at the Fort were scared of the ghost and would lock doors throughout the fort in order to try and contain the ghost, this did not work though.

    Haunted Australia:

    Life wasn't easy for Australia's early European settlers. Many of them were convicts who suffered horribly in terrible conditions. Others were successful land owners who eventually succumbed to loneliness and despair in the Australian outback.
        Wherever there are stories of heartbreak and betrayal, there are stories of ghosts of the dead, who for some reason just can't leave this world behind.
       These are just some of the places were the poor souls still linger.

     Beechworth Lunatic Asylum:

       Originally known as Mayday Hills Lunatic Asylum is a decommissioned psychiatric hospital located in Beechworth, a town of Victoria, Australia. Mayday Hills Lunatic Asylum was the fourth such Hospital to be built in Victoria, being one of the three largest. Mayday Hills Hospital closed in 1995 after 128 years of operation.
       The Beechworth Lunatic Asylum held a total of 1200 patients when full 600 men and 600 women. Over 3000 patients died within its walls in the 128 years the hospital operated. Its doors closed in 1995, and since then has operated as a campus of La Trobe University, run as a hotel and conference center.
       In one of the day rooms, the signature of a J. Kelly is scratched in the glass. J Kelly was Ned Kelly’s (the famous outlaw) uncle James Kelly. After burning down his sister in laws house in Greta, in which a young Ned was in at the time, Jim was sentenced to 15 years hard. As part of his sentence he was sent to Mayday Hills to help build the hospital. After serving his time, it’s said his mind “was broken” and as such spent the rest of his days housed in the hospital until his death in 1903.
       The Ghost Tours run at Beechworth Lunatic Asylum have become the most popular ghost tours on mainland Australia. Only the Ghost Tours offered in Port Arthur, in Tasmania, attract more visitors. Tours are offered every evening; on some evenings, as many as twelve tours are conducted. The Beechworth Asylum is now considered to be one of the most haunted buildings in Australia.
       Beechworth Lunatic Asylum’s Ghosts
    One of the ghosts most often seen at Beechworth is that of Matron Sharpe her apparition has been seen in several different parts of the hospital. Matron Sharpe’s ghost has been seen in the former dormitory area, which is now part of Latrobe University’s computer rooms. Witnesses have seen her walking down the granite staircase and into one of the classrooms. Matron Sharpe was apparently very compassionate toward the patients, which is uncharacteristic of the era.
       One patient whose ghost is thought to haunt Beechworth is Tommy Kennedy. Tommy was well liked at the hospital and was given a job as a kitchen hand. Tommy actually died in the kitchen which is now part of the Bijou theatre, it is here that people have said they have felt the sensation of someone tugging at their clothes or poking their ribs.
       The Reaction Hall was an area where patients could sing, play music or perform in plays, on Sundays the hall doubled as the chapel. In 1939 the hall became a cinema, where inmates could come in to watch movies. There are two common sightings in the hall, one is of a young girl, who approaches women and desperately tries to communicate with them. The other ghost has been seen in a window that was once part of the Bell Tower; the apparition of an elderly man facing away from the window is often seen.
       The Grevillia wing was the section of the hospital all patients feared, it has been closed for 13 years, and now in a derelict state. As medication wasn’t introduced until the 1950s, restraints such as straightjackets and even shackles were commonly used as well as electro-shock treatment. Electro shock treatment was widely used in the hospitals early days and there are stories of mass treatments in which almost the entire patient population was shocked in one session. When the shocks were administered the patient’s bodies either splayed out backwards with force or contracted inward into a fetal position, which ever position ligaments would snap, bones were often broken and teeth shattered.
       There are two common sightings in Grevillia, one is thought to be that of an unknown male doctor, his apparition has been seen wandering the corridors at night. The other is Matron Sharpe whose ghost was often seen in this area by the nurses who worked at Mayday Hills. They would report seeing the Matron sitting with patients who were due to have electro-shock treatment. Those who say they’ve witnessed this say the room was icy cold, but her presence was comforting, and seemed to bring a sense of reassurance to the patients.
       Workmen at the hospital have reported hearing the sound of children laughing and playing; when they investigate the sound they are unable to trace their source. Several years ago on a ghost tour a parent noticed their 10 year old son talking to himself when asked who he was talking to the boy said he was talking to a boy called James who lived there.
         A patient, a woman who was a big chain smoker was thrown out of a window to her death by another patient who wanted her cigarettes. Because the woman was Jewish her body was not allowed to be moved until a Rabbi had seen it, so her body was left lying out the front of the hospital dead for 2 days whilst the Rabbi made the trip up from Melbourne. Her ghost has been seen on the spot where she fell, by several witnesses over the last decade.
       The gardens of Beechworth have long been subdivided into allotments; those who live nearby have seen the ghost of a man, wearing a green woolen jacket. The ghost is thought to be of a gardener named Arthur who worked the gardens for many years earning ten shillings a week. He wore his green jacket in winter and summer and no one could persuade him to remove it. After Arthur died, it was discovered why Arthur had been secretly storing his wages in the seam of his jacket. When the nurses opened it, they found 140 pounds, over four years of his wages, hidden inside.
       There’s one final and grizzly tale of a patient who disappeared, despite efforts by staff to locate him. Several weeks later his location was discovered when the resident dog Max, was found chewing a leg near the gate house at the grounds entry. A second search found the body up in a tree; the body had decomposed so badly that his leg had come off. The ghost of the patient has been seen near the entrance to the Asylum, the sightings have often been in the early hours of the morning.

    Boggo Road Jail, Queensland:

       Was a notorious Australian prison located on Annerley Road in Dutton Park. The site is the only surviving intact gaol in Queensland that reflects penological principles of the 19th century. For many years it was Queensland's main prison.
    It was officially known as "Brisbane Jail" but was commonly known as "Boggo Road Jail" because Annerley Road became known as "Boggo Road" due to its poor condition, after originally being named "Bolgo Road". Boggo Road was originally an unofficial and unmaintained short-cut between Ipswich Road and Stanley Street that became very boggy after rain.   In 1863, land off Boggo Road was surveyed and set aside as a government reserve before being proclaimed a gaol reserve in 1880. The first cellblock opened on 2 July 1883,and over the years many other buildings came and went on the site. The first buildings were built by Robert Porter, contained 57 cells and were constructed using materials from the demolished Petrie Terrace Jail. In 1903 a prison was built to hold female prisoners. This later became known as the No.2 Division, and is now the only prison building still standing. It is heritage-listed. The 'No.1 Division' built in 1883 was the scene of 42 hangings, including the hanging of Ernest Austin in 1913—the last execution in Queensland. A new prison was built around the perimeter of No.1 prison during the 1960s and No.1 prison was demolished leaving area for a oval and recreational facilities for the newly built prison and this prison had running cold water and toilet facilities in all cells. Under the oval was the facility that became known as the "black hole" where prisoners were subjected to "punishment". The "black hole" continued in use until the late '80s.
       Protests at the gaol during the 1980s saw inmates undertake hunger strikes, roof top protests, and rioting over the poor conditions and treatment. The prison was constantly in the headlines and became notorious around Australia. Cells did not have any form of sanitation and facilities for washing were lacking. Prisoners were required to use a bucket through the evening for toilet breaks and empty it, or 'slop out', in the morning. A Queensland Government inquiry into the living conditions of State prisons found Boggo Road to be outdated and inadequate for prisoners' needs. No.2 Division was closed in 1989. No.1 division was closed in 1992 and was demolished in 1996 (a small section of what was "C5" and guard tower still remain). A modern (by 1960's standards) prison for women operated adjacent to this site until 2000 and was demolished in 2006.
       Since 1992 the No.2 Division has been home to the Boggo Road Gaol Museum, which featured displays of prison-related artefacts. Throughout the 1990s ex-officers conducted guided tours of the site, and from 2003 the museum and tours were operated by the Boggo Road Gaol Historical Society, a non-profit incorporated association of volunteers. Like many other similar places around the country, the site also hosted ghost tours.
        Redevelopment of the surrounding site began in 2006, leading to the temporary closure of the Boggo Road Gaol historical site. The No.2 Division prison buildings will be preserved according to its heritage listing. It is expected to re-open around 2011. The redevelopment will be called Boggo Road Urban Village and will be completed in 2010.
    The gaol was originally designed to cater for 40 male prisoners serving as a holding place for prisoners heading to St Helena Island in Moreton Bay. However by 1989 there were 187 male prisoners and the women's facility had around 200 additional prisoners.
       But many believe that the ghosts of prisoners, and even a guard, haunt the disused gaol to this very day.One ghost story tells the tale of the only guard ever murdered on duty in a Queensland prison. He was hit on the back of the head with an iron bar by a disgruntled prisoner. For years afterwards officers on duty claimed to see a faceless ghost dressed in a guard’s uniform. He would salute, and the officers would salute back...but then the ghostly apparition would slip away.
       The most enduring and most chilling ghost story from Boggo Road is of the last man hanged in the prison. He was a 26 year old farm hand who murdered a young girl. He was hanged in 1913, and prisoners told of how he laughed as he took his last breaths. Following his hanging, prisoners reported seeing the man materialize in the night, walking near the cells, and knocking on their doors three times. He would then enter the cell and strangle the inmate inside.

    Old Melbourne Gaol:

       Is a museum and former prison located in Russell Street, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. It consists of a bluestone building and courtyard, and is located next to the old City Police Watch House and City Courts buildings. It was first constructed starting in 1839, and during its operation as a prison between 1845 and 1924, it held and executed some of Australia's most notorious criminals, including bushranger Ned Kelly and serial killer Frederick Bailey Deeming. In total, 133 people were executed by hanging. Though it was used briefly during World War II, it formally ceased operating as a prison in 1924; with parts of the gaol being incorporated into the RMIT University, and the rest becoming a museum.
        The three-storey museum displays information and memorabilia of the prisoners and staff, including death masks of the executed criminals. At one time the museum displayed Ned Kelly's skull, before it was stolen in 1978; as well as the pencil used by wrongly convicted Colin Campbell Ross to protest his innocence in writing, before being executed.
        A land allotment of scrub to the north-east of Melbourne was selected as Port Phillips first permanent gaol. On 1 January 1838, George Wintle was appointed to be gaoler at the prison at £100 a year; with the site becoming colloquially known as Wintle's Hotel. Construction of the gaol started in 1839–1840 on Collins Street West, but it was considered too small at the time. A second gaol was then built between 1841 and 1844 at the corner of Russell and La Trobe Streets, adjoining the then Supreme court. The first cell block was opened for prisoners in 1845, but the facilities were considered inadequate; escapes occurring frequently. The gaol was already crowded by 1850.
       With the discovery of gold in 1851 (when the Port Phillip District became the new Colony of Victoria), and the resulting influx of population, law and order became more difficult maintain. Subsequently, a new wing, with its own perimeter wall, was constructed between 1852 and 1854; the building using bluestone instead of sandstone. The design was based on that of British prison engineer Joshua Jebb, and especially the designs for the Pentonville Model Prison in London (which suited the current prison reform theories at the time). The new wing was extended in between 1857 and 1859, with the boundary wall also being extended during this time. In 1860, a new north wing was built; which included entrance buildings, a central hall and chapel. Between 1862 and 1864, a cell block was built for female prisoners on the western side – it was basically a replica of the present east block (until this time, female convicts were not kept apart from the male prisoners). In 1864, the perimeter wall, and the gaol overall, was completed; making it a dominant feature of authority on the Melbourne skyline.
        At its completion, the prison occupied an entire city block, and included exercise yards, a hospital in one of the yards, a chapel, a bath house and staff accommodation. A house for the chief warders was built on the corner of Franklin and Russell streets, and 17 homes were built for gaolers on Swanston street in 1860. Artefacts recovered from the area indicate that even the gaolers and their families lived within the gaol walls in the 1850s and 1860s.

       Much of daily life inside the gaol could be gleaned from sources such as diaries written by John Castieau, governor of the gaol between 1869 and 1884. During its operation, the gaol was used to house short-term prisoners, lunatics and some of the colony’s most notorious and hardened criminals. It also housed up to twenty children at a time – including those imprisoned for petty theft or vagrancy, or simply those staying with a convicted parent. Babies under twelve months old were allowed to be with their mothers. The youngest prisoner was recorded as three year old Michael Crimmins, who spent 6 months in the prison in 1857 for being idle and disorderly. In 1851, the 13 and 14 year old O'Dowd sisters were imprisoned because they had nowhere else to go.
        Prisoners convicted of serious crime, such as murder, arson, burglary, rape and shooting, would begin their time on the ground floor with a time of solitary confinement. They were also forbidden from communicating with other prisoners, which was strictly enforced by the usage of a silence mask, or calico hood, when outside their cells. They would only be given a single hour of solitary exercise a day, with the remaining 23 hours spent in their cells. Inside the cells, prisoners would be able to lie on a thin mattress over the slate floors. They could only bathe and change clothes once a week, and attend the chapel on Sundays (with a Bible provided to promote good behaviour). Prisoners might only have been allowed to finally socialise with other prisoners towards the end of their sentences.
    The routine for prisoners was regulated by a system of bells, and enforced by punishments; prisoners who obeyed the rules would be promoted to the second floor – whereby they would be allowed to work in the yards everyday. Male prisoners would perform hard labour – including breaking rocks, and other duties in the stone quarries, while women would sew, clean and cook. Women would also make shirts and waistcoats for male prisoners, as well as act as domestic servants for the governor and his family. Prisoners who had become trusted, those nearing the completion of their sentence, and debtors, were housed on the third floor communal cells. These top level cells were large, and held up to six prisoners at time; and were mostly reserved to prisoners convicted of minor crimes such as drunkenness, vagrancy, prostitution or petty theft.

       During its operation, the gaol was the setting for 135 hangings. The most infamous was that of bushranger Ned Kelly at the age of 25, on 11 November 1880. After a two day trial, Kelly was convicted of killing a police officer. As stated by law at the time, executed prisoners were buried (without head) in unmarked graves in the gaol burial yard. The head was normally removed from the body as part of the phrenological study of hanged felons. Historian and associate professor of Wollongong University John McQuilton states that the lack of monitoring for burial processes was odd, given Victorian society's normally brilliant attention to detail.
        The first hanging of a woman in Victoria, Elizabeth Scott, was performed in the prison on 11 November 1863 – along with her co-accused, Julian Cross and David Gedge. The last person to be executed was Angus Murray in 1924, the same year the gaol was closed.
        So, is the Old Melbourne Gaol really haunted?
    Rumors of hauntings among paranormal enthusiasts are quite active. With its dark history, the gaol is one of the first places paranormal seekers migrate too. British parapsychologist Darren Done believes that the gaol is haunted and has conducted many studies including spending a night in 2003. He claimed that he heard voices and detected evidence of an electrical interference which ultimately suggests paranormal activity. In 2005, Done claimed that he had a recording of a ghostly figure with a grotesque visage standing in one of the doorways.
       Other paranormal seekers back up Done’s claims by saying they’ve heard the voice of a woman. Most people who have heard this woman calling out suggest that it might be the spirit of the first woman to be executed, Elizabeth Scott.
    But what seems to amaze most people is that none of the reported hauntings have been about the most notorious prisoners, Ned Kelly and Frederick Bailey Deeming, who, after his death was reportedly linked to the Jack The Ripper killing. (Fun Fact: Deeming spent his last few weeks alive writing an autobiography and poetry. One such poem was “The Jury listened well to the yarn I had to tell, But they sent me straight to hell.” However, after his execution, his autobiography was destroyed)
       But where there are believers, there’s also doubt. One journalist has gone on the record to state that any form of supernatural occurrences and paranormal activity at the gaol is, quote, “Scant.” Other doubters have gone on the record to say while the gaol has an eerie feel to it and a dark past, there’s nothing to suggest that it’s haunted.

    Ballarat gaol:

    A former maximum security prison for males, females and children, is located in Ballarat, Victoria, Australia. Replacing temporary structures including prison hulks in the Bay of Port Phillip and holding yards in Ballarat, the gaol operated between 1862 and 1965.
       The report of the Select Committee on Prison Discipline of September 1857 recommended gaol buildings replace the Port Phillip Bay prison hulks. The inquiry recommended adopting London's Pentonvillle design of 1842 to build the gaols. This prison design carried on a revolution begun in 1829 by Eastern State Penitentiary in Philadelphia. The complex was based on a central hall from which radiated wings of cells. The principle of the design being that one guard would stand in the centre of the hall and at one glance survey all cells.
       The construction of the gaol began in 1856 and the first cell blocks were completed by 1857. It was completed in 1862 with 58 cells designed to hold a mixture of 74 male and female prisoners. In 1862 a tunnel was constructed to join the gaol to the adjacent Ballarat Courthouse, allowing for the safe transfer of prisoners.
       In 1872 Captain Moonlite, a bushranger and Anglican clergyman, escaped from the gaol.
    The prison was closed in 1965.
       Most of the gaol was demolished to allow the School of Mines Ballarat to expand onto the site. The remaining structures at the site include the main gate, warden's residence and governor's residence. These buildings are now used by the University of Ballarat.

        The Gaol is said to be vastly haunted with the spirits of the prisoners, who were there during life.

    Haunted South Africa: What with all the wars fought and the slave trades going on here in it's early history it's no wonder this place is jam packed full of spirits trying to find release.

    Castle of Good Hope:

      Is a star fort built in the 17th century in originally located on the coastline of Table Bay, following land reclamation the fort is now located inland. In 1936 the Castle was declared a national monument and following restorations in the 1980s it is considered the best preserved example of a Dutch East India Company fort. 
        Built between 1666 and 1679, this is known to be the oldest surviving colonial building in all of South Africa and was declared a national monument in 1963. With all of those years on it, the building is bound to have its share of paranormal treats!
    One unique spectre at the haunted castle is that of a black hound dog. Visitors have reported frightful encounters with the disgruntled pooch where it lunges at them only to vanish right before it reaches the scared witness–bad dog!
    The ghost of governer Pieter Gysbert Van Noodt is said to roam the castle grounds. If you are lucky enough to see his spirit while on your own ghost hunt, be forewarned (if you are offended by foul language) that sometimes visitors hear him curse!
       Lady Ann Barnard is another appiration some tourists claim to encounter. She loved the castle in and entire area in life. She even enjoyed bathing nude in the Dolphin Pool. Now that it has been restored, it is said her spirit has been more active.
       A “Lady in Grey” is one of the most often sighted ghosts. She usually appears to be weeping with her hands covering her face. She has been sighted at the Government House as well and many believe there was once a passage that linked the Government House to the castle.
       The pentagon-shaped castle was constructed on the shore so high tides would fill its moat. There was a dreaded Donker Gat (dark hole) dungeon used to hold prisoners, who would be chained to the walls and tortured. If an extra-large wave came crashing up the shore during high tide, the hole could fill with water within seconds and drown the prisoner chained below. One can imagine the mental anguish of hearing the waves getting louder and louder as the tide rose—hoping the next crest doesn’t fill your watery tomb. The castle also served as an execution site for convicts, escaped slaves, and rebellious natives.

    No comments:

    Post a Comment