THE MOST FAMOUS and horrific ghoststory of the last century must be that of 112 Ocean Avenue, in Amityville,New York. The terrifying tale has beenturned into a best-selling book andsuccessful film, and captured the public’sattention like no other haunting There is no doubt that some awful events did take place in the building,but were they really caused by ghostlyactions?
In June 1965 the DeFeo family bought thehouse. They were an unhappy family and thefather, Ronald DeFeo Sr., was known to be abusive. Over a period of nine years thefamily was not said to experience any type off rightening event other than those inflictedby paternal forces. However that all changedon the night of the 18th of November 1974when one son, Ronald DeFeo Jr., shot and killed his mother, father, two brothers and two sisters.Just over a year later, in December 1975, a young couple bought the house. George and Kathy Lutz, and her three children moved in, knowing the building’s terrible history.
Almost immediately they began experiencing strange phenomena. Doors and windows would open by themselves, bizarre noises were heard, and a Catholic priest who had come to exorcise the house was ordered to get out by a devilish voice. Things rapidly grew worse. Blood and sticky goo oozed from the walls, clouds of flies appeared on windows, ghostly hooded apparitions manifested, and one of the children started communicating with a demonic pig called Jodie.
One night Kathy Lutz was even thrown from her bed by a supernatural force, and it was famously claimed that the face of the devil appeared in the brickwork of the fireplace. The Amityville Horror Conspiracy, was eventually published some years after his death. Many investigators and cynics have been led to conclude that the whole case really revolved around money, rather than the popular perception of paranormal influences. It seems the evil forces in this story have less to do with supernatural unknowns, and more with all too common, base human (Image Sources: 1 , 2 , 3 )
The first alleged paranormal events for which there are accounts apparently occurred at 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 would 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 1927, 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. (Image Sources: 1 , 2 , 3 )
Hampton Court Palace, with its 500 years of history, has seen many dramatic royal events from the death of Henry VIII’s third wife, Jane Seymour, to the condemnation and house arrest of his fifth, Catherine Howard, for adultery. Over the centuries, staff, visitors, workmen and residents have experienced strange phenomena for which there is often no practical explanation. Many of these experiences have been recorded, the better known of which are below.
Catherine Howard and The Haunted Gallery -The hauntings of Catherine Howard, fifth wife of King Henry VIII, at Hampton Court Palace are so well known that the Haunted Gallery was given its spine-tingling name.
Jane Seymour wanders in Clock Court – Catherine Howard isn’t Henry VIII’s only wife whose presence is still felt at Hampton Court. His third and favourite wife, Jane Seymour, died at the palace following complications after the birth of Henry’s only son, Edward, in 1537. Jane is said to walk through the cobbled courtyard of Clock Court carrying a lighted taper.
Sibell Penn and ‘The Lady in Grey’ – Sibell Penn was nurse to Prince Edward, Henry VIII’s only son. She died in 1562 and was buried in a nearby Hampton church. When the old church was pulled down in 1829, Sibell Penn’s remains were disturbed and it is said that she returned to the rooms she inhabited during her time at Hampton Court Palace. The sound of a spinning wheel could be heard from behind a wall in the south-west wing of the palace shortly afterwards. When the wall was demolished, a small forgotten room was found, containing an old spinning wheel.
The Wolsey Closet Dog – This Wolsey Closet has long been commented on by visitors, warders and other staff as having a “strange atmosphere”. A caterer at an evening function refused to enter the little alcove in the room because he felt it was “evil”. (Image Sources: 1 , 2 , 3 )
The Mary Celeste
The Mary Celeste was a brigantine merchant ship notably discovered in December 1872 in the Atlantic Ocean unmanned and apparently abandoned, despite the fact that the weather was fine and her crew had been experienced and able seamen. The Mary Celeste was in seaworthy condition and still under sail heading towards the Strait of Gibraltar. She had been at sea for a month and had over six months’ worth of food and water on board. Her cargo was virtually untouched and the personal belongings of passengers and crew were still in place, including valuables. The crew was never seen or heard from again. Their disappearance is often cited as the greatest maritime mystery of all time.
The fate of her crew has been the subject of much speculation. Theories range from alcoholic fumes, to underwater earthquakes, to waterspouts, to paranormal explanations involving hypothetical extraterrestrial, unidentified flying objects, sea monsters, and the hypothetical phenomena of the Bermuda Triangle. The Mary Celeste is often described as the archetypal ghost ship, since she was discovered derelict without any apparent explanation, and her name has become a synonym in popular culture for similar occurrences.
Some writers suggest that the crew of the Dei Gratia murdered those on board and then fabricated the story of the ghost ship to secure the salvage rights. However, once again there was no sign of struggle and nothing of value had been taken. When the Dei Gratia presented the Mary Celeste to the British authorities in Gibraltar, the ship was intact and her manifests and inventories full and accounted for.
Further, the captain of the Dei Gratia was an old friend of Captain Briggs, which makes his murdering Briggs, his wife and their two-year-old daughter unlikely. The Mary Celeste sailed one week before the Dei Gratia and Moorehead would not have been able to overtake the Mary Celeste. The Court Inquiry praised the crew of the Dei Gratia for their courage and seamanship in effecting the salvage. (Image Sources: 1 , 2 , 3 )
in the parish of St Lawrence in the Channel Island of Jersey, is named after the great number of reservoirs and pumping stations found along it. Even in the daytime, it is a brooding, haunting place, overcast as it is by a thick layer of trees and foliage. It is damp and dark, and people are often forgiven for seeing or hearing things. Sometimes there is no mistaking the ghostly sights and sounds that occur.
Countless people have seen it pass by, and even more have run away after hearing it approach. This, they say, is the Phantom Carriage’. The stories often follow a similar pattern. Usually the events occur in the evening and begin with the muffled ringing of bells – the unearthly music is said to sound more like wedding bells than anything sombre. Gradually, mixed with ringing, another noise becomes discernible. It is the sound of horses trotting along the valley, accompanied by the spinning, bumping rattles of a carriage. Emerging from the gloom, witnesses spot the procession which is clothed in eighteenth century costume. They see that the coach’s passenger is a bride in her wedding dress, but as it rolls past witnesses see the face behind the veil. It is the haggard skull of a corpse.
One tale of explanation claims that in the early eighteenth century a girl who was due to be married at St Lawrence parish church was disappointed at the altar. It is said she committed suicide that evening, and the apparition is a representation of her timeless sorrow. Another variation of the story is that she committed suicide on the eve of the wedding, but her ghostly figure appeared at the church the next day anyway. It was only as the groom lifted the veil that he noticedthe pale lifeless face of a corpse underneath. Many people believe the phenomenon happens only once a year at a specific time.But there are so many sightings, and such vivid recollections, that perhaps this poor girl’s misery is constant and never-ending. (Image Sources: 1 , 2 )