Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Most Haunted Islands

kalaupapa, Hawaii is a small unincorporated community on the island of Molokaʻi in the u.s. state of Hawaii. 
   The village is the site of a former settlement for leprosy patients. The original leper colony was first established in kalawao in the east, opposite to the village corner of the peninsula. It was there where Father Damien settled in 1873. Later it was moved to the location of the current village, which was originally a Hawaiian fishing village. The settlement was also attended by Mother Marianne Cope, among others. At its peak, about 1,200 men, women, and children were in exile in this island prison. The isolation law was enacted by king kamehamea V and remained in effect until 1969, when it was finally repealed. Today, about fourteen former sufferers of leprosy (which is also known as Hansen's Disease) continue to live there. The colony is now part of kalaupapa National Historical Park.
   Shortly before the end of mandatory isolation in 1969, the state legislature considered closing the facility entirely. Intervention by interested persons, such as entertainer Don Ho and TV newsman Don Picken, resulted in allowing the residents to remain there for life. The opponents to closure pointed out that, although there were no active cases of leprosy in existence, many of the residents were physically scarred by the disease to an extent which would make their integration into mainstream society difficult if not impossible.


Hart island is a small island in New York City, the island has been used as a union civil war prison camp, Lunatic Asylum, Tuberculosis sanatorium, Potters field, a boys reformatory, and a Nike Missile base.



Hart Island was a prisoner of war camp for four months in 1865. 3,413 captured Confederate soldiers were housed on the island. 235 died in the camp, and their remains, along with those of Union soldiers buried there, were moved to Cypress Hills cemetery, Brooklyn in 1941.
At various times, the Department of Correction has used the island for a prison, but it is currently uninhabited. Access is controlled by the Department of Correction. However a bill (0848) transferring jurisdiction to the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation was introduced on April 30, 2012. The Hart Island Project testified in favor of this bill on September 27, 2012. Bill 803 requires the Department of Correction to post its database of burials on-line. Bill 804 requires the Department of Correction to post its visitation policy on-line.



A trench at the potter's field on Hart Island, circa 1890 by Jacob Riis
Hart Island is the location of a 101-acre (0.41 km2) potters field for New York City, the largest tax-funded cemetery in the world. Burials on Hart Island began during the American Civil War. Hart Island was sold to New York City in 1869. The city then began using it as a cemetery when a 24-year-old woman named Louisa Van Slyke was the first person to be buried in the island's 45-acre (180,000 m2) public graveyard. Burials of unknowns were in single plots, and identified adults and children were buried in mass graves. In 1913, adults and children under five were buried in separate mass graves. Unknowns are mostly adults. They are frequently disinterred when families are able to locate their relatives through photographs and fingerprints kept on file at the Office of the Medical Examiner. Adults are buried in trenches with three sections of 48 individuals to make disinterment easier. Children, mostly infants, are rarely disinterred and are buried in trenches of 1,000.
Hart Island's southern end continued to accommodate the living up until Phoenix House moved in 1976. In 1977, the island was vandalized and many burial records were destroyed by a fire. Remaining records were transferred to the Municipal Archives in Manhattan. People were quarantined there during the 1870 yellow fever epidemic and at various times Hart Island has been home to a women's lunatic asylum (The Pavilion, 1885), a tubercularium, delinquent boys, and during the Cold War, Nike missiles.
More than one million dead are buried there—now approximately 1,500 a year. One third of them are infants and stillborn babies - which has been reduced from one half since children's health insurance began to cover all pregnant women in New York State. In 2005 there were 1,419 burials in the potter's field on Hart Island, including 826 adults, 546 infants and stillborn babies, and 47 burials of dismembered body parts. The dead are buried in trenches. Babies are placed in coffins of various sizes, and are stacked five coffins high and usually twenty coffins across. Adults are placed in larger pine boxes placed according to size and are stacked three coffins high and two coffins across. Burial records on microfilm at the Municipal Archives in Manhattan indicate that babies and adults were buried together in mass graves up until 1913 when the trenches became separate in order to facilitate the more common disinterment of adults. The potter's field is also used to dispose of amputated body parts, which are placed in boxes labeled "limbs". Ceremonies have not been conducted at the burial site since the 1950s, and no individual markers are set except for the first child to die of AIDS in New York City who was buried in isolation. In the past, burial trenches were re-used after 25–50 years, allowing for sufficient decomposition of the remains. Currently, historic buildings are being torn down to make room for new burials.
Because of the number of weekly interments made at the potter's field and the expense to the taxpayers, these mass burials are straightforward and conducted by Rikers island inmates. Those interred on Hart Island are not necessarily homeless or indigent, as hearsay has it, but people who could either not afford the expenses of private funerals or who were unclaimed by relatives who are frequently not notified within a two-week period. Approximately fifty percent of the burials are children under five who are identified and died in New York City's hospitals. The mothers of these children are generally unaware of what it means to sign papers authorizing a "City Burial." These women as well as siblings often go looking many years later. Many others have families who live abroad or out of state and whose relatives search for years. Their search is made more difficult because burial records are currently kept within the prison system. An investigation into the handling of the infant burials was opened in response to a criminal complaint made to the New York State Attorney General's Office on April 1, 2009.
In 2009 the digital mapping of grave trenches using the Global Positioning System was started. In 2013 the New York City of  the Department of Correction created a searchable database on its website of the people buried on the island starting in 1977 and it contains 66,000 entries.
A Freedom of information Act request for 50,000 burial records was granted the Hart Island Project in 2008. The 1403 pages provided by the Department of Correction contain lists of all burials from 1985-2007. A second FOI request for records from September 1, 1977 to December 31, 1984 was submitted to the Department of Correction on June 2, 2008. New York City has located 502 pages from that period and they will soon be available to the public. A lawsuit concerning "place of death" information redacted from the Hart Island burial records was filed against New York City on July 11, 2008 by the Law Office of David B. Rankin. It was settled out of court in January 2009. Only private addresses are now redacted from publicly available records, according to the NYC tax code. On May 10, 2010, New York Poets read the names of people buried and located through the Hart Island Project.
The New York department of transportation runs a single ferry to the island from the Fordham Street pier on City Island. Prison labor from Rikers Island is used for burial details, paid at 50 cents an hour. Inmates stack the pine coffins in two rows, three high and 25 across, and each plot is marked with a single concrete marker. The first pediatric AIDS victim to die in New York City is buried in the only single grave on Hart Island with a concrete marker that reads SC (special child) B1 (Baby 1) 1985. A tall white peace monument erected by New York City prison inmates following World War II is at the top of what was known as "Cemetery Hill" prior to the installation of the now abandoned Nike Missile Base at the northern end of Hart Island.
The Jewish playwright, film screenwriter, and director Leo birinski was buried here in 1951, when he died alone and in poverty. The American novelist Dawn Powell was buried on Hart Island in 1970, five years after her death, when the executor of her estate refused to reclaim her remains. Academy Award winner bobby Driscoll was also buried here when he died in 1968 because no one was able to identify his remains when he was found dead in an East village tenement. His daughter, Aaren Keely, submitted a poem in his memory to the Hart Island Project.

Boys' workhouse

In the late 19th century Hart Island became the location of a boys' workhouse which was an extension of the prison and almshouse on Blackwell's Island, now Roosevelt island. There is a section of old wooden houses and masonry institutional structures dating back to the late 19th and early 20th centuries that have fallen into disrepair. These are now being torn down to provide new ground for burials. Military barracks from the Civil War period were used prior to the construction of workhouse and hospital facilities. None of the original Civil War Period buildings are still standing. In the early 20th century, Hart Island housed about two thousand delinquent boys as well as old male prisoners from Blackwell's penitentiary. This prison population moved to Rikers Island when the prison on Welfare island (formerly Blackwell's Island) was torn down in 1936. Remaining on Hart Island is a building constructed in 1885 as a women's insane asylum, the Pavilion, as well as Phoenix House, a drug rehabilitation facility that closed in 1976.


The island has defunct Nike Ajax missile silos, battery NY-15 that were part of the United States Army base Fort solcum from 1956–1961 and operated by the army's 66th Antiaircraft Artillery Missile Battalion. Some silos are located on Davids island. The Integrated Fire Control system that tracked the targets and directed missiles was located in Fort Slocum. The last components of the missile system were closed in 1974.


Deadmans island is south of Stanley's park in coal harbor Vancouver, British Colombia. it has been a battle site, a native tree burial cemetery, its been used for squatters and the smallpox epidemic, today it is used as a Naval Reserve.
   One of Vancouver's first white settlers, John Morton, visited the island in 1862. Morton discovered hundreds of red cedarboxes lashed to the upper boughs of trees and one had evidently fallen and broken to reveal a jumble of bones and a tassel of black hair. The island was the tree-burail grounds. Undeterred, Morton took a fancy to the island and attempted to acquire it. He changed his mind when Chief Capilano pointed out that the island was "dead ground" and was a scene of a bloody battle between rival tribes in which some two hundred warriors were killed. It's said that "fire-flower" grew up at once where they fell, frightening the foe into retreat. The macabre name of the island is thought to reflect this history.
   Settlers continued to use the island as a cemetery prior to the 1887 opening of Mountain View cemetery. Between 1888 and 1892, Deadman Island became a quarantine site for victims of a smallpox epidemic and burial ground for those who did not survive.

Okinawa island, Japan.  The time when human beings first appeared in Okinawa remains unknown. Since that time, there have probably been immigrants from China, Japan, Australia, and elsewhere.
Okinawa midden culture or shell heap culture is divided into the early shell heap period. In the former, it was a hunter-gatherer society, with wave-like opening Jomon pottery. In the latter part of Jomon period, archaeological sites moved near the seashore, suggesting the engagement of people in fishery. In Okinawa, rice was not cultivated during the Yayoi period but began during the latter period of shell-heap age. Shell rings for arms made of shells obtained in the sakishima islands, namely Miyakojima and yaeyama islands, were imported by Japan. In these islands, the presence of shell axes, 2500 years ago, suggests the influence of a southeastern-Pacific culture.
After the midden culture, agriculture started about the 12th century, with the center moving from the seashore to higher places. This period is called the gusuku period. Gusuku is the term used for the distinctive Okinawan form of castles or fortresses. Many gusukus and related cultural remains in the Ryukyu Islands have been listed by UNESCO as World Heritage sites under the title Gusuku Sites and Related Properties of the Kingdom of Ryukyu. There are three perspectives regarding the nature of gusukus: 1) a holy place, 2) dwellings encircled by stones, 3) a castle of a leader of people. In this period, porcelain trade between Okinawa and other countries became busy, and Okinawa became an important relay point in eastern-Asian trade. Ryukyuan kings, such as shunten and Eiso, were considered to be important governors. An attempted Mongolian invasion in 1291 during the Eiso Dynasty ended in failure. Hiragana was imported from Japan by Ganjin in 1265.Noro, female shaman or priests (as in shintoism), appeared.
In 1429, King Shō Hashi completed the unification of the three kingdoms and founded one Ryūkyū Kingdom with its capital at Shuri Castle. The Chinese Ming dynasty sent 36 families from Fujian at the request of the Ryukyuan King. Their job was to manage maritime dealings in the kingdom in 1392 during the Hongwu Emperor's reign. Many Ryukyuan officials were descended from these Chinese immigrants, being born in China or having Chinese ancestors. They assisted in the Ryukyuans in developing their technology and diplomatic relations.
In the 17th century, the kingdom was both a tributary of China and a tributary of Japan. Because China would not make a formal trade agreement unless a country was a tributary state, the kingdom was a convenient loophole for Japanese trade with China. When Japan officially closed off trade with European nations except the Dutch, Nagasaki and Ryūkyū became the only Japanese trading ports offering connections with the outside world.

The last King Shō Tai
In 1879, Japan annexed the entire Ryukyu archipelago. Thus, the Ryūkyū han was abolished and replaced by Okinawa Prefecture by the Meiji government. The monarchy in shuri was abolished and the deposed king Shō Tai (1843–1901) was forced to relocate to Tokyo.
Hostility against mainland Japan increased in the Ryūkyūs immediately after its annexation to Japan in part because of the systematic attempt on the part of mainland Japan to eliminate the Ryukyuan culture, including the language, religion, and cultural practices.
The island of Okinawa was the site of most of the ground warfare in the battle of Okinawa during World War II, when American Army and Marine Corps troops fought a long and bloody battle to capture Okinawa, so it could next be used as the major air force and troop base for the planned invasion of Japan. During this 82-day-long battle, about 95,000 imperial Japanese Army troops and 12,510 Americans were killed. The Cornerstone of peace at the Okinawa Prefecture Memorial Peace Park lists 149,193 persons of Okinawan origin - approximately one quarter of the civilian population - who either died or committed suicide during the Battle of Okinawa and the Pacific War.
During the American military occupation of Japan (1945–52), which followed the Imperial Japanese surrender on September 2, 1945, in Tokyo bay, the United States controlled Okinawa Island and the nearby Ryukyu islands and islets. These all remained in American military possession until June 17, 1972, with numerous u.s. Army, u.s Marine Corps, and u.s Air Force bases there.


Ellis island, New Jersey. was the gateway for millions of immigrants to the United States as the nation's busiest immigrant inspection station from 1892 until 1954. The island was greatly expanded with land reclamation between 1892 and 1934. Before that, the much smaller original island was the site of Fort Gibson and later a naval magazine. The island was made part of the statue of Liberty  National Monument in 1965, and has hosted a museum of immigration since 1990. Long considered part of New York, a 1998 United States Supreme Court decision found that most of the island is in New Jersey. The south side of the island, home to the Ellis island immigrant hospital, is closed to the general public and the object of restoration efforts spearheaded by save Ellis island.

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