Remembering Undercliff Sanatorium, Meriden

The state of Connecticut is home to many well-known abandoned mental hospitals. For decades, the Undercliff Sanatorium, a former state health facility, lied at the base of South Mountain, near Hubbard Park in Meriden. Even though it was shuttered, some claimed it was still in use….by the ghosts of former patients. It was originally opened in 1910 as the Meriden Sanatorium and, in 1918, became the first facility in the nation dedicated exclusively to treating children afflicted with tuberculosis but also measles, chickenpox, and smallpox. The name was changed to…

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An Irish (true) story: the Enniscorthy poltergeist

You want to exange this life of the modern journalist for the dashing life of an Edwardian hunter news? Well, a century ago, back in 1910, one of the local reporters for County Wexford, Ireland, was one Nicholas Murphy, a man of the Roman Catholic faith who lived at George’s Street in the town of Enniscorthy. He was aged in or around forty at the time, when the call came to cover a most unusual event just a short stroll from his house. The scoop was that an upper room…

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South Stack Lighthouse: one of Wales’ most visited and spectacular lighthouses

South Stack is one of Wales’ most visited and spectacular lighthouses. It is located about 2-3 miles west of Holyhead, on a tiny islet just off Holy Island on the North West tip of Anglesey. It has been a warning beacon for passing ships since it’s construction over 200 years ago, cautioning them of the deadly rocks below. The lighthouse helps guide shipping in the busy channel into the Mersey and is a waymark for local seafarers, but also for coastal traffic crossing the Irish Sea too and from the…

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The legend of Richmond’s phantom Drummer Boy~

It seems there is a particular charm that attaches itself to the world of hidden tunnels, especially to ones that are held to possess ecclesiastical associations. Somewhere deep in the English imagination there seems to lurk the suspicion that the monks of yore, dispossessed and done away with during the years of Henrician terror, held close a knowledge of secret subterranean networks that connected their abbeys to other centres of worldly power and, in some instances, to realms neither secular nor holy. Hidden treasures, madness, slumbering knights and kings: these…

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Swaledale Corpse Way: a winding medieval path used by mourners to carry their dead to the nearest church~

There was a time in England when commoners couldn’t afford to hire a horse or a cart to transport their dead, and so they were forced to carry the corpses themselves to the nearest church. This unpleasant situation led to the creation of paths like the Swaledale Corpse Way, now known simply as the Corpse Way or corpse road, a 16-mile medieval track linking the hamlet of Keld with Grinton, farther down the valley, a small village and civil parish in the Yorkshire Dales, in the Richmondshire district of North…

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The gray cat ghost at Fairport Harbor Lighthouse – Ohio

Even though the Fairport Harbor Light on Lake Erie, Ohio, was given the amazing nickname “The light that shone for 100 years”, it actually doesn’t live up to its name. The current lighthouse didn’t earn the nickname alone, because Its predecessor, which was built in the same site, shone for the first 46 years. The original lighthouse was built in 1825 and, when the population of the town reached 300, the Painesville Telegraph issued a notice asking for lighthouse bids. Collector of Customs, A. Walworth, signed the proposal but, unfortunately,…

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North Island Lighthouse: the oldest lighthouse in South Carolina ~

Heralding the entrance from the Atlantic Ocean into the shipping channel between North Island and South Island stands the oldest lighthouse in South Carolina. For two centuries, mariners have passed this lighthouse on their way to or from Winyah Bay and the Seaport of Georgetown, located 10 miles away. On a sunny, clear day, the North Island Lighthouse (or Georgetown Light, as it has sometimes been called) is visible from Belle Isle Marina as a tiny iridescent white column while, at night, it is discernible from the same vantage point…

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Gibraltar Point Lighthouse: the historic lighthouse on Toronto Island

The Gibraltar Point Lighthouse is located on the Toronto Islands in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Begun in 1808 and first lit in 1809, it is the oldest existing lighthouse on the Great Lakes, the second oldest in Canada and one of Toronto’s oldest buildings. When completed in August 1809, the lighthouse was located 7.6 m from the shore. Since then, sand has built up over time so that it now stands about 100 metres inland. When opened, it was accompanied by a lighthouse keeper’s cottage, a two-stories squared-log house clad in…

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California’s “Dark Watchers” that have been spooking hikers for centuries

For at lest 300 years, hikers in California’s Santa Lucia Mountains have been reporting sightings of shadowy, mysterious silhouettes popularly known as “dark watchers”. If you want to see one of them, you should wait until the late afternoon. As the sun begins its descent behind the waves, look to the sharp ridges of the Santa Lucia Range, the mountains that rise up from the shores of Monterey and down the Central California coast. If you are lucky, you might see figures silhouetted against them. Some say the watchers are…

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Knockers: Mine Spirits of Cornish Folklore

Many miners in the 19th century both in the United Kingdom and America but not only, believed in the existence of more or less helpful mine spirits. The supernatural creatures most commonly encountered underground are the Mine Goblins or Kobolds, in Germanic folklore, characters that sometimes stole miner’s unattended tools and food. This folklore began in Cornwall, England, where miners believed in spirits that lived and worked in mines. The most common of the subterranean British breeds are the Knockers of South-west England and the Coblynau of Wales. They were…

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Tolbooth Tavern: now home to a drinking establishment, this Edinburgh building has a macabre history ~

Edinburgh is a very pictoresque city that offers visitors and tourists several nice locales to take a picture. One such place is located along the Royal Mile, in an area known to locals as the Canongate, and it is the Tolbooth Tavern, situated in an impressive stone building with an ornate clock tower. But what many tourists may be unaware of is that this building hides a quite macabre past. Originally built in 1591, the building that contains The Tolbooth Tavern was used to collect tolls from travelers who wished…

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Black Shuck: The mythic hellhound Of Medieval England

Black Shuck, Old Shuck, Old Shock or simply Shuck is the name given to a ghostly black dog which is said to roam the coastline and countryside of East Anglia, a traditional region of eastern England. Stories about the creature form part of the folklore of Norfolk, Suffolk, the Cambridgeshire fens and Essex. His name, Shuck, may derive from the Old English word “scucca” meaning “demon”, or possibly from the local dialect word “shucky” meaning “shaggy” or “hairy”. In any case, Black Shuck is one of many ghostly black dogs…

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Terrible Tilly, the Tillamook Rock Lighthouse

When you see the Tillamook Rock Lighthouse, you probably think, “Oh, what a beautiful lighthouse!” But – there is more, much more, to its story. Devastating storms, harsh existence, isolation, madness, death, and even hauntings – all add up to the myths, mystery, and intrigue surrounding the lighthouse not by chance nicknamed “Terrible Tilly”. But let’s start at the beginning. One mile west of Tillamook Head, a rock Shaped like a sea monster rises from the ocean. It is where old Nor’easters go to die, and where Indians believed under…

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Point Lookout Lighthouse: why is it one of America’s most haunted lighthouse?

Sometimes lighthouses are the only lifeline for seafarers lost in the dark of night or the chaos of a violent storm. However, they don’t always work as many sailors, captains, and passengers have died from coastal accidents, pirate attacks, or an inability to see the light. In addition, the lighthouse keeper’s job consists of isolation, fear, and uncertainty in the face of massive responsibility. It is for these reasons that many believe lighthouses are haunted. And it seems that Point Lookout Lighthouse is one of king of haunted lighthouses. The…

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Squire’s Castle: the only structure from a huge mansion that was never built

The so-called Squire’s Castle sits upon a slight hilltop right off of Chagrin River Road just north of Route 6 in Willoughby Hills, Ohio. Its massive stone walls, arched doorways and larger tower have enchanted visitors for generations. However, It isn’t actually a castle, but rather the gatehouse to a castle that was never built. And apparently there are two versions of why the building never materialized…. In the late-19th century, such a Feargus B. Squire (1850-1932), attracted by the beauty of the scenic Chagrin Valley purchased 525 acres there.…

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Voergaard Castle: a Danish castle supposedly haunted by a woman too independent to not be a witch….

In short, it is said that the lady of this Renaissance castle had the architect thrown into the moat and left to drown, so that he could never build another one like it… Voergaard Castle, locally know as Voergaard Slot, is popular both for its art collection and for its ghost stories, and it is located in Drottninglund, in northeastern Denmark. It houses works by artista like Goya, Rubens, and Raphael, as well as furniture belongining to both Louis XIV and Louis XVI and, with its oldest part dating back…

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The curious background of Tombland Alley

Once known as the central marketplace of Norwich, England, the name of this historic alley, Tombland, is a bit misleading, as it has nothing to do with the burying of the dead. Actually, it is the combination of two Old English words meaning something like “open ground” or “empty space”, and indicate an area which was once the main market place before the Normans arrived in 1066. The most curious feature of Tombland Alley is the often-photographed Augustine Steward House, built in the early part of the 16th century for…

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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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La Patasola: the vengeful protector of the Andes

Colombia is full of magic and mystery and there is a single village in the country that does not boast its own spirit or superstition, often passed from generation to generation. Some ghost stories have become so entrenched in the national psyche they are known countrywide, by scaring children and keeping errant spouses in their place. Imagine you are alone, deep in country’s central Andean region. Maybe you are cutting down lumber in the lush forests, or prospecting for some minerals, gold, for istance, in one of valley creeks. All…

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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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Saginaw River Lighthouse

Saginaw Bay lies between Michigan’s thumb and the rest of the state’s Lower Peninsula. As Michigan was preparing to become a state, it adopted a constitution in 1835 that encouraged internal improvements such as roads and canals. A project that was contemplated at this time was linking Saginaw River, which flowed into eponymous Bay, with Grand River, which flowed into Lake Michigan. The Saginaw River lighthouse stands about a mile from the mouth of the river. It worked in conjunction with a beacon closer to the mouth and, when sailors…

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Charlie Lawson, the wandering ghost of Stokes County

Stokes County, North Carolina, is located in the heart of tobacco country. Back in the heyday of the Golden Leaf, as tobacco was once called, almost every man in Stokes county farmed tobacco or had some kind of connection to it. And the most infamous tobacco farmer of them all was such a Charlie Lawson. It is said that his crimes are so horrible that his soul is not even welcome in Hell and, as a result, some local residents say his ghost still wanders the road in Stokes County…

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Some creepy real events that actually happened on Halloween

For some of us, October 31st is the most fun day of the year. And, for others, it’s the spookiest. Bad things always happen on Halloween, in a variety of horror movies, but that’s just movie magic, you think, because Halloween is actually just like any other day. And, most of the time, that’s true, but not in these cases. Famed magician Harry Houdini claimed he could take a blow to the abdomen without being taken down. It was October 22, 1926, when a student at McGill University asked if…

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Why the Halloween colors are black and orange?

Probably, we tend to take holiday colors for granted, not giving them too much thought since they’re simply ingrained in our culture. And It’s usually pretty obvious what colors go with which holidays: all you need to do is step into most general or grocery stores to see full aisles filled with the hues of the season. But what might be less obvious is why certain colors are associated with certain holidays. Why are Christmas colors red and green, for instance? Well, in due time, I will also explain this…

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The curious history behind some popular Halloween traditions

Now a night of frolic especially for children in America but now also all over the world, this autumn holiday is actually a mix of old rituals remembering the dead and celebrating the spirit world. You may have found yourself wondering what is the history of Halloween, and why we celebrate it. Well, although it’s a secular holiday today, the history of Halloween has roots in ancient religious and spiritual traditions that have evolved over time. The original Halloween, dating back to ancient times, was a pagan celebration called Samhain.…

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The haunted fields of Andersonville~

When it comes to haunted places in the Deep South of United States, two cities often come to mind: Charleston, South Carolina and Savannah, Georgia. If you’ve ever been to either of these two cities you’ll understand why. And if not, just considering their history, how could they not be, given the bloodshed of the Civil War as well as the horrible Slave Trade? Despite it is easy to understand why these two cities carry a reputation for harboring the souls of the dead, there is another haunted place in…

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Some Halloween urban legends that refuse to die

We’ve all heard the scary stories. And Halloween would be nothing without the tricks and, above all, wouldn’t be fun without a scare or two. That’s the allure of the terrifying tales that circulate around this beloved holiday and have taken on legendary status. In any case, some of the 175 million Americans who celebrate this spooky holiday do take the Halloween pranks too far. Here’s the truth behind some popular Halloween-based urban legends…. Really a lunatic has hidden razor blades in apples? 🍎😱 Probably you heard this story when…

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Sanatorio Durán: one of the most haunted places in Costa Rica

We are along the road to Irazú Volcano, 7 kilometers north of the city of Cartago, Costa Rica. It’s said Carlos Durán Cartín, an eminent physician who briefly served as president of Costa Rica (1889-90), opened this tuberculosis hospital in 1918 hoping to treat his own daughter who was suffering from the disease, for which there was no known treatment in Central America at the time. Others say that she contracted the disease after the hospital opened but, in any case, he chose a remote location complete with good weather,…

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Old Charleston Jail: criminal, pirates and war prisoners~

When one thinks of haunted locations, the first thing that comes to mind are houses, usually followed by cemeteries. However, another type of location that should also come to mind are prisons. The stories of prison in the United states are deeply woven into America’s fabric, and quintessentially depicted in films like Cool Hand Luke and Escape From Alcatraz, and immortalized in songs like Johnny Cash’s “Folsom Prison Blues” and Bob Dylan’s “Hurricane.” In any case, for those who survived prison, for them the triumph is a hollow victory, they…

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Saint Marcel, a castle haunted by hooded souls

In Surpian, a small hamlet of the municipality of Saint-Marcel, 12 km from italian city of Aosta, stands an imposing castle, Saint Marcel (in french château de Saint-Marcel), probably built in the fourteenth century by Giacomo di Challant and now in a state of complete abandonment (with the exception of some recent restoration interventions). It is located on a plateau at a crossroads of paths leading along the valley bottom and the roads towards the larger valley located to the south, known since Medieval times for the presence of iron,…

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