Larnach Castle: a haunted castle high on a hill

Larnach Castle, one of only two castles in all of New Zealand, has a rich history, spotted with family drama, death, and a variety of ghost stories and, given the facts, It’s unsurprising then that its owner’s ghost is said to be a bit tetchy. The interior is filled with vintage furniture, beautiful designs, and cat artwork. However, this architectural oddity would be difficult to stumble across, unless you knew it was there. Hidden in the South Island is the city of Dunedin. Wandering through its streets, you’ll find dozens…

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Bottle trees: a southern tradition with a spiritual past

For believers and ghost stories enthusiasts, the countryside of the American South is haunted and, given the history of the region, it is not hard to understand why. For istance, If you travel across the South from the Lowcountry of Charleston to the Mississippi Delta you will find many superstitions about the dead, and you will see firsthand some of the ways that locals protect their homes from the souls that apparently have not moved on from our world and have chosen instead to wander in the night and not…

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St. Dunstan-in-the-East: one of the few remaining casualties of the London Blitz, this destroyed church has become an enchanting public garden.

We are on St Dunstan’s Hill, halfway between London Bridge and the Tower of London in the City of London.The church of St.Dunstan-in-the-East built here has survived a lot during its 900-year history, including the Great Fire of London in 1666.It was originally built during Saxon times, in about 1100. Although the Great Fire caused terrible damage to the church it was faithfully rebuilt, and topped with a steeple designed by Sir Christopher Wren, one of the most highly acclaimed English architects in history. However in 1941 the church was…

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Wandering through Wallenstein Palace Garden in Prague: the Dripstone Wall

We are in Prague, a magnificient city full of hidden alleys and charming walkways. Hidden behind the high walls, at the heart of baroque palace grounds, among a variety of buildings, is a palace lush garden with fountains, statues and other unique features. Constructed at the behest of Bohemian military leader who fought on the Catholic side during the Thirty Years’ War Albrecht Vaclav Eusebius of Wallenstein, between 1623 and 1630, the Wallenstein Palace (Valdštejnský palác) enjoyed a centuries-long first life as a magnificent private residence for various generations of…

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Hampton Court Maze: the English maze that has been confusing visitors for over 300 years.

The Hampton Court hedge maze is the oldest surviving hedge maze in the United Kingdom. It is a multicursal maze, that baffle its visitors since the 17th century. Unlike a regular labyrinth, which is single-path or “unicursal,” in a maze like this, which is “multicursal”, a visitor must make decisions) baffling and delighting visitors since the 17th century. Even if it isn’t large as modern-day mazes, it still provides a challenge and, above all, it remains an important historical structure. The original design has since been modified due to gaps…

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Cottingley’s Fairies: the pictures that tricked also Arthur Conan Doyle

There are fairies in the stream that runs through the village of Cottingley in West Yorkshire. It’s true, and there are pictures to prove it! The very popular Cottingley Fairies refers to five photographs taken by two schoolgirls between 1917 and 1920 near Cottingley Beck, England, close to a narrow stream. Elsie Wright (1901–1988) and Frances Griffiths (1907–1986), cousins living at Elsie’s house in the village, liked to play by the stream at the bottom of the garden, much to their mothers’ annoyance, because they frequently came back with wet…

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Lakewood, Washington: Historic Thornewood Castle and its ghosts

This magnificent three story manor home was built by Chester Thorne, who was one of the founders of the Port of Tacoma (a major seaport and top 10 U.S. container port), as a gift to his bride, Anna. After almost four years of works, the 2.500 square meters manor was finally ready in 1911 and only the very best went into its building, including 400-year-old bricks from an original English castle. Designed by a famous architect, Kirkland Cutter, this English Tudor/Gothic mansion, having 54 rooms, including 28 bedrooms and 22…

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The Poison Gardens of Alnwick Castle, England.

We all know that among the features that make England famous in the world there are the green lawns and the perfect beautiful gardens. But there is an exception. The garden of Alnwick Castle in Northumberland is not exactly an idyllic place: the sign at the garden gate reads “These Plants Can Kill”! Behind big black gates, the carefully curated garden contains about 100 popular killers like Atropa belladonna (deadly nightshade), Strychnos nux-vomica (strychnine), and Conium maculatum (hemlock). Guides explain their deadly properties while keeping ne’er-do-wells and curious children away…

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