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Monsters and Myth!

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''THE GHOSTS OF IGBO LANDING''

A Case of Paranormal Activity or justice craved by a regressed Social conscience? Either could apply to Igbo Landing – located in Glynn County, Georgia (US). Our tale goes back to 1803 and the period of American History when The ''Peculiar Institution'' known as Slavery was forefront. Glynn County served as a main ''artery'' for the Slave Trade – coming from Georgia's Coast. One Ship in particular, having transported from Africa thru the horrendous ''Middle Passage'' (The primary Atlantic Ocean Slave Shipping route) – some 75 (surviving) members of The Igbo Peoples, had come to a stop in Glynn.

 

The Igbo were proud people who abhorred Slavery. Unable to escape their chains and restraints – they called upon their Tribal Religion for help. Believers in Water (Elemental) Deities, it was said that one such Spirit controlled a ''doorway'' accessible from water. One simply had to pray and walk into foreign waters and resurface into their own Homeland. When The Slavers were watching, 75 Men, Women and Children walked into The Dunbar River – sure they would surface in their beloved lands. They didn't. Instead all drowned.

 

History becomes unclear as to what happened next (although some stated that 10 were saved) – the remainder were either cremated or simply shoved into a mass trench grave, given to ritual or otherwise. As such, the region became known as ''Igbo Landing''. So too did the curse. From that time until today, the region has seen nothing but hardship. The River has seen more than it's share of ''accidental drowning. Any businesses which tried to make use of the woodlands (wood processing), were likewise met with bad luck and many accidents (since the 1920s). This coupled with the sightings of strange ''Orbs of colored Lights'' seen flying two and fro. Could the spirits of The Igbo still be searching for their ''way home''?

 

In 2012, (indeed for many years) – several coalitions of African-American Historical Societies in the area, have petitioned The State and Federal Government to fully recognize Igbo Landing and the tragedy that happened there. Their cause always fails for one reason or another. The Coalition decided to erect their own small placard detailing the horrors of that day. Something must have worked. Since then, much of the ''activity'' has slowed down or stopped. Did this act appease The Igbo? Maybe...........

 

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''PEPPER'S GHOST''

The effect called ''Pepper's Ghost Illusion'' was named after 19th Century Scientist John Pepper. Pepper developed a method of projecting a living image (person) onto a plane of clear glass – from one angle not seen in the direct vision of the viewer. This image is then project again onto another glass plane (angled) facing the viewer. The effect is a transparent, ghost-like image. The imaged person, dressed suitably, can thus interact (to a degree) with the viewer as a Phantom or Spirit. The effect was first performed in 1862 and was thus n important part of many traveling ''Phantasmagoria'' shows which promised audiences and ''evening with The Spirits''. The effect, still used in Haunted House Shows and more well known in Disney Theme Parks (The Haunted Mansion), is also a crude but effective special-effect used in low budget Horror Films.

 

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MARGARET JONES

Margaret Jones.....a 17th Century Colonial American Midwife or Witch? Jones would have the dubious ''honor'' of being recorded as the first Person in The New World to be executed as a Witch. The punishment was carried out in The Township of Boston and would perhaps serve as the ''starting point'' for the hysteria known as The Salem Witch Trials. Jones practiced as a Midwife, which was not seen as an ''evil''. But as a woman in the 17th Century, One who had skill and made money from it, was viewed often with disdain. Much of this was associated with the rigid Puritanism religious system which was the dominant form of both Worship and Social norm. Jones was also said to have ''great skills'' with Herbal Medicine and cures. This was no doubt seen as a threat by ''trained'' Physicians.

 

Charges were leveled against Jones in 1648, by several leading Citizens. Brought before Colonial Governor John Winthorp, no records remain of specific evidence, only hearsay and rumor. Some of those surviving documents of The Case state that Jones used ''Witchcraft and Magics gifted to Her by Satan to create Spells and Potions'' of which She ''gave out to certain persons''. Further, these ''potions did not cure but drove to unnatural acts by those who consumed them''. Winthrop was ''guided in His Judgments'' by the infamous book by Matthew Hopkins – which as we have discussed earlier was England's ''Witchfinder General''. The information was helpful and within one day of being brought before Him, Jones was tried and executed. Her method of punishment.....''Death by Hanging''.

 

In a side note, Jones too had a Husband. He had been imprisoned as a possible accomplice. After Her death, He was exiled back to England. On the voyage back, The Ship's Captain – upon learning just ''who'' is passenger was, began to harass Him. Some saw that Jones's Husband ''cursed'' The Captain and His Ship. Not long after this, a severe storm developed and threatened to sink the vessel. It was only after the Captain put Jones's Husband ''in Irons'' and ''threatened to throw Him overboard'' did the storm mysteriously stop. It is possible that The Captain made good on His threat, for when the Ship reached England, Jones's Husband was NOT aboard.

 

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''A HAUNTED CELEBRITY?''

While we most often see and hear of ''Haunted'' places (Houses, locations etc), could such malevolence even follow people? The following is a very strange case which began in the 1920s and would supposedly endure until 1969. While many can cite ''circumstance'' as the cause (or even no relation at all), ''something'' odd did occur. You be the ultimate Judge.......

 

Paul Bren was a Metro Goldwyn Mayer Film Producer and Director of some note during Hollywood's ''Golden Age''. His ''fame'' would extend to His marriage to iconic Screen Actress Jean Harlow (The ''Platinum Blonde''). Bren purchased a lavish - but modest home by then Hollywood standards, in Beverly Hills. The two lived there. But Harlow, on more than one occasion complained to friends of ''feelings of dread and depression'', while in the 2-story home. Even Bren's personality began to change somewhat, although many cite His investigation by Studio Authorities of mismanaging funds.

 

Regardless of the outcome, Bren felt that He would be fired and blackballed – in essence ruining His career one way or another. Said to be angry and depressed, Bren took His revolver and shot himself in the head. He was discovered by Harlow, who ran screaming from the house. The death was determined to be a suicide by The Police. Harlow never quite recovered from the shock. Although She went on to met and fall in love with Screen legend Clark Gable, a series of strange illnesses cropped up for Harlow. She died of Cerebral Edema at the age of 26 in 1937.

 

The Bren Home stayed vacant until Hollywood Make-Up Pioneer Jay Sebring brought it. Sebring, well known for His innovative approach to Hairstyling and Make-Up, made him very much in demand in the 1960s by many well known Celebrities. It was in this role, that Sebring met and fell in love with an unknown but up and coming Starlet. Her name.....Sharon Tate. Although much younger than Sebring, the two would make plans to marry. Tate moved into The Beverly Hills home of Sebring. Sebring, whose talents kept Him away for many weeks, left Tate to keep House. Soon, the odd events began.

 

Tate told friends of ''terrifying and vivid dreams'' in which while in the house, She ''saw'' an ''older Man, dressed in 1930s clothing'', clamoring thru the house. He ''appeared almost see thru'' (as Tate put it to friends). Tate would follow the ''Man'' to the 2nd Floor. Tate said She ''witnessed'' the Man ''shoot himself in the head'' and fall to the ground. Soon after, Tate said that a ''blonde woman was then seen running into the room.....screaming''. The scene was too much for Sharon, who would then run from the room, heading for the stairs leading Her to the lower floors.

 

But as soon as Tate made it to the landing of the 2nd Floor, She saw what appeared to be a much younger ''blonde woman with long hair'', Her arms tied to the Stair Bannister – this ''figure'' was limp and not moving. Tate later recalled that when She went down the Stairs and ''examined'' the woman, she was apparently dead with Her throat cut. The pure shock of the scene was made even more terrifying for Tate, due to the fact that the ''woman'' looked like Her!

 

Fast forward in time. Tate's lucid dreams never wavered and were only experienced in The Bren House. So distraught, Tate often had friends stay with Her when Sebring was away – becoming too scared to sleep in the house by Herself. In time however, Tate and Sebring grew apart and ended their relationship. The too however still remained very close friends. Tate went on to become more well known in Film circles, with a Career that was beginning to take off. She caught the attention of Foreign Film Director Roman Polanski and soon the two fell in love. Tate would become pregnant with His Child. But much like Sebring, Polanski was away much of the time.

 

Sharon brought a small Home on Cielo Drive in The Benedict Canyon portion of Hollywood. It was secluded (which Tate wanted). Still having an issue ''staying alone'', Tate asked Sebring and several other friends to ''keep Her company'' on the night of August 8, 1969. Settling in for a quite night, the Group would nonetheless have ''visitors'' that night. Members of Cult Leader Charles Manson – known as ''The Family'', were given the horrific task to search out the ''rich and powerful'' and slaughter them. Manson knew (due to the recent racial tensions in Los Angeles and elsewhere), that people would ''blame'' African Americans – thus starting a ''Race War'' (one of Manson's goals needed to establish Himself as the next ''God'' to people).

 

Associates broke into The Cielo Home and tied up all, including a very pregnant Tate. Then they systematically strangled, shot or stabbed the victims. Phrases were written in the victims own blood on the walls of the home, meant to incite Manson's ''War''. Tate and Her unborn child suffered the most from their attack. Slowly strangled, She was stabbed repeatedly until dead.

 

Could Tate have seen a foretelling of Her own demise when She witnessed the suicide of Paul Bren? Some cite that perhaps Bren's Home was in some way cursed or haunted by evil forces which would (and did) manipulate those who lived there. The Bren Home was sold (and rented) several times over between 1937 and 1969. But most never stayed longer than a few years and no Owners ever gave a full accounting as to why they needed to leave the lucrative property. The Home has been investigated by Paranormal Experts several times (the last in the 1980s). While result were inconclusive, they all state that ''something'' Paranormal does in fact ''exist''.

 

The Bren Home, while always keep immaculate with it's simple gardens and 1920s construction, is still to date........vacant.

 

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''THE DEVIL'S TRAMPING GROUND''

Bear Creek in Chatham, North Carolina (US) is a small confluence which runs thru a tangle of woods and glens. One may even say it is a tranquil piece of American ''Old World'' Countryside, which often attracts Campers and Hikers to the Area. That is for a section of the land known locally as ''The Devil's Tramping Ground''. Why the rather ominous name? Simple. The ''Ground'' is a 40-foot in diameter patch of dirt which is bordered by otherwise green and growing plant life. Nothing has (or will) grow in the diameter of earth, seen as a perfect circle. Legends, going back as far as 1822 – state that ''Old Scratch'' Himself (The Devil), occasionally ''comes'' to the spot and walks in a circle – as in rapt concentration as He invents more ways to torment Humanity. Legend also states that animals shun the spot and if one is brave enough to ''leave'' any object ''inside the circle'', it will disappear. Soil sample show no unusual properties. Locals also state that in October, terrible ''shrieks'' can be heard in the woods near The ''Tramping Grounds'' as well as ''glowing red eyes'' often seen. Perhaps ''The Grounds'' are simply a form of Tourist Attraction, but One is still encouraged to summon enough courage up to spend the night in The ''Devil's Tramping Ground''.

 

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''THE LEGEND OF MANSE JOLLY''

Some say He was a ''real'' Person whose sad family tragedy helped to ''create'' His forthcoming Legend – others that Manse was every bit a ''Monster'' as portrayed. Regardless, Manson (Manse) Jolly was a 5th Son of a South Carolina Farming Family. Poor but dedicated to His Family without fault, Manse had 6 Brothers and 4 Sisters. Life was hard but with the love of His Family, Manse did fine. That was until The War Between The States began in 1861.

 

Manse and His Brothers went off to serve in The Confederacy. Manse had no contact with His Family and His letters home went unanswered. After The War, He went back to His Hometown of Anderson. It was there Manse heard the truth. Manse found that His Brothers were dead. Five had been killed by ''Bluebellys'' (the derogatory term for Northern Soldiers). Manse's other Brother killed Himself when He came home (perhaps an early example of PTSD). Manse's Sisters were likewise, unheard from and no one was sure just what happened. Horrible tales of abuse at the hands of Federal Soldiers were tarried about.......

 

Legend states that Manse swore revenge. He vowed to ''kill 5 Yankee's for every One of His Brothers'' and ''10 More for His Sisters''. Some Say Manse dressed up in His ex-Confederate Uniform and obscured His face with a sackcloth Mask. Perhaps He looked like a living ''Scarecrow''.....Manse sharpened His sword and knife, and as it was said – Northern Soldiers garrisoning South Carolina were being found ''ripped to shreds''. Thinking it was a contingent of still rebellious Southerners who refused to accept they ''lost The War'', bounties a plenty were offered for their Killer. Some even informed against Manse. They to met a grisly fate it was said. Some say as many as 200 soldiers and traitors fell under Manse's blade. Never caught, it was said He escaped to Texas where he was said to have drowned crossing a river. Others, that His soul will never rest until His ''appetite'' for suffering is filled. Many in South Carolina still tell of tales today of Manse Jolly riding thru the countryside, in search of more victims......

 

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''THE GHOST OF JENNIE WADE''

The ''Legend'' of Jennie Wade has been so twisted and added too, that much of the actual historical facts were lost. There are many versions (and additions) to Her story. Jennie lived in a small Southeast Pennsylvania Hamlet called Gettysburg. Had it not been for The American Civil War, Gettysburg would possibly still be largely unknown to most The World. But History placed two great Armies in it's way and after a bloody 3-day battle in 1863 that costs over 58,000 American lives, Gettysburg would become a shrine of sorts – to both The American Republic and to the young lives needlessly lost in combat.

 

As such a terrific and terrible event, it is no surprise that many stories of The Paranormal are closely associated with Gettysburg. One in particular is part ''Gothic Tragedy'' and part ''Ghost Story''. As always, YOU will have to judge......

 

Jennie Wade was a 20 year old girl who was born and raised in the sleepy Town of Gettysburg. Not coming from ''money'' (but nor being poor either), Jennie was a mildly attractive ''catch'' and it was no surprise that She would find a handsome beau to become engaged too. Unfortunately, The War came. Her Love did His duty and enlisted in The Union Army. Jennie, saddened – bit Him farewell, vowing to wait for His return. No one had any clue that such an ''out of the way'' Village would serve as the backdrop for not only the turning point of The War, but one of it's most costliest battles.

 

The massive Confederate (Southern) Army had invaded The North with the goal of capturing Washington DC (at best) – or cause a massive shift in Troop concentrations to deal with such a move. The Federals (Northern) Army was actively searching for them. They would clash by accident on July 1st 1863. The two Armies clashed. Jennie and other Gettysburg Residents with no where to go, all came to the aid of The Federal Army, offering Homes, Barns or whatever they could – to help ''The Boys'' (many hundreds of whom were wounded and dying).

 

Jennie and Her Sister and Mother decided to bake loaves of bread for passing soldiers. Maybe She would catch a glimpse of Her betrothed, whose Regiment She learned was present. Jennie was in Her kitchen kneading dough when the window in front of Her shattered. She no doubt never even felt the .58 Caliber Round that smashed into Her abdomen – killing Her. But how could such a tragedy happen? History states that most civilian homes and such were ''hit'' by stray and errant shells, shrapnel and bullets. It was one of these that no doubt slew poor Jennie.

 

But Legends (and Ghost Stories'' need more ''substance''. According to the common tale – the very same bullet had already killed another before Jennie.....namely Her Fiance. It is said that (unknown to both), a stray bullet went thru Him and continued onward – until it found Jennie (by quirky accident). Both Lover's died by the same bullet. Historically though, this may not be quite right. Official records state Jennie's Fiance had already been killed months before, only Jennie had yet to receive word. The bullet hitting Her thru the kitchen window was ''sad enough''. The addition of The Fiance made it excellent propaganda fodder for The North.

 

Regardless, several wounded Union Soldiers resting inside The Wade House, Jennie's Mother and Sister all came running into the kitchen to find Her dead. Later, during a lull in the battle, the soldiers buried Jennie in the rear yard. Still later (when Her story became known) – Jennie was reburied and give honors befitting a fallen Soldier. She is considered to be the only female civilian casualty of that terrible battle. Fast Forward to the 20th Century...............

 

Gettysburg would become a major National Monument, visited not only by millions of Americans, but foreign visitors alike. Foreign Military Student Officers are given Tours by US Army Officers of the massive battlefield as well. And (as you can imagine), many come to see The Jennie Wade House (fully resorted). But since 1965, MANY going into the small residence ALL state that there is a ''strong presence felt''. So strong in fact, most accept it as The Ghost of Jennie Wade. A small collection of items in the kitchen (placed by Park Employees to aid realism), are always found ''moved around'' – as if to say ''Jennie did not appreciate people mucking around Her kitchen''.

 

But the most intriguing is a tale from the 1970s and a Family visiting the battlefield. A Mother and Father noted that their Son was not paying attention to the pending picture (taken in front of The Wade House), His Father was trying to take. When asked why, the boy responded that He was ''looking at the Lady in the window, She looks very sad''. At first, The Family though it may have been a Female Park Employee or ''Living Historian'' that wanders thru The Park answering Visitor questions. Unfortunately, no such Employee was tasked to ''play'' Jennie. Could the little boy have seen Jennie, still staring from Her kitchen window – waiting for Her Love to return?

 

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''THE HAUNTED MIRROR''

Bela Blasko was a Hungarian Stage Actor. Don't know His name? No need really, for He changed it when He came to The American Stage as one Bela Lugosi (ring a bell?) Lugosi would be known for His many character roles during Universal (US) Studios ''Golden Age of Horror'' Movies (1930s-1940s), but His greatest (and most lamented by Bela) – was the titular Count Dracula in Bram Stoker's Stage (and later Film) Production of the Novel ''Dracula''. An early example of typecasting (from which Lugosi never recovered), as ''annoyed'' as He was about being identified as the infamous blood drinker, He was also strongly protective of it.

 

Lugosi suffered an injury as a young man and suffered from a damaged nerve. It caused Him great pain in later life, so much so – His Doctors prescribed Him a wide variety of painkillers to include Morphine. Lugosi would become addicted and dependent on drugs. It was also well known of by Studio Heads, who began to dial back on His role offers, other than cheap bit parts. Lugosi (who one had Millions and many Real Estate holdings – was reduced to living in a modest Beverly Hills Apartment Complex. He would die in near poverty in 1956.

 

A Lugosi ''legend'' centers around many of His personal articles, in particular His personal Make-Up Mirror. Lugosi kept the self-lighted Stage Mirror for His entire career. There was a reason it seems. It was said that Lugosi, as a young andf struggling Actor also dabbled in The Occult. In order to ensure success in His employment, Bela was said to have invoked ancient Romani Demons, using ''Mirror Magic''. As such, His ''Mirror'' was used as a portal to some unknown demonic world for His ''Associates'' to enter. But Lugosi failed to realize that such ''requests'' come at a cost (hence His later troubles with His health and maintaining His wealth as a Star).

 

Mirror Magic can be tricky. Most Cultures that cite the various rituals state that demons will be trapped within the glass. One must keep the Mirror covered when not being used to summon the ''dark beings''. If not, they can use their powers to influence others foolish enough to gaze at their own reflection. Such an accident apparently happened in the early 1960s, when a close friend of Lugosi was inside one of His long abandoned (but still furnished) Homes. Perhaps His friend (who too was accompanied by an Associate), thought to take some of the ornate items and sell them for money. Imagine how much Bela's Mirror would fetch.........

 

Bela's friend was found later, murdered in the house by His friend. The body was found laying in front of Bela's Mirror. The bloodlust sedated the Demons......for then. Eventually, during an Estate Sale, The Mirror made it's way to another Owner. In all (3) people claimed to own Bela's Mirror. All met with death or misfortune. In the 1990s, The Mirror made it's way into a Las Vegas Museum of The Paranormal – which, it is purported, to display only ''haunted or possessed'' Objects. According to the display, The Mirror is displayed ''covered'' in a Bela Lugosi section. Probably ''old hype'' made new to sell tickets to The Museum. Perhaps..........

 

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''MYSTERY OR FORGERY – THE CASE OF THE BELMEZ FACES''

The ''Belmez Faces'' or locally known as ''La Casas de las Cara'' – ''House of The Faces'' is a purported Paranormal phenomenon which was said to have begun in 1971, in Andalusia, Spain. The simple adobe and brick home was owned by The Pereira Family, it was claimed that ''images'' of ''human-like faces and bodies'' mysteriously appeared on the concrete and stone floor of the Family kitchen. Ghost-like in appearance, these images would – without cause, suddenly appear and disappear at (what some say) was the ''will of the images''. The phenomenon caused quite a stir Nationally, and many came from not only all around Spain, but Europe (in time) as well – to catch a glimpse of what was immediately deemed Paranormal.

 

Maria Pereira Gomez claimed to be a Psychic and determined that the images were the result of a theory known as ''Thoughtography''. Commonly understood by Mediums and alike, a Conduit (Psychic) is able to channel the very images of deceased persons onto canvas, paper and other related Mediums. Conversely, Maria ''claimed'' that the images that appeared in Her and Her Family Home were Spirits trying to make their ''presence known''. Naturally, the stir caused Government Authorities to question the validity of The Belmez Faces. Teams of investigators poured through The Home. After hundreds of tests, they determined that Maria (or others), had used some form of paint which faded into the concrete effectively enough to become ''invisible''. Only thru the application of various acids would the images ''gradually and slowly'' appear. However, despite Laboratory experiments, the same results were not as easily produced in The Pereira Home. This led to two distinct ''camps''. Believers and Skeptics.

 

To ''hammer home'' the idea of no trickery, Maria's Sons pickaxed and hammered the images into dust. The next day, it was said – the images returned. Many have both seen and photographed ''The Faces''. The last such test into their authenticity was in 2014, when more advanced methods where used to replicate The Faces, both in a controlled (Laboratory) environment as well as in the Home itself (Maria died in 2004). The investigators could not reproduce the images, nor could they explain the ''addition'' of Maria's image as well! The ''Belmez Faces'' are either to be accepted or not...............It's your choice!

 

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''THE BANDAGE MAN''

While many visit The American state of Oregon for it's hunting, fishing and extremely peaceful and soul resting environs, The State has always been a place ripe with Myths and Legends. Conversely, it has it's fair share of Ghost Stories. One such is The Bandage Man. The Legend started in the 1930s – but others claim it was in the 1950s (with some validity to the story). As it goes, near The Township of Cannon Beach (along US Highway 101), the area was a mainstay in logging and timber reclamation operations. One such Logger was very severely injured (slashed and cut from head to toe). His fellow workers bandaged Him as best they could and placed Him into a Company vehicle for emergency transport. While enroute, a freak mudslide (common) happened, overturning the vehicle and killing all – save the injured worker. Later, rescue personnel tried to find Him (or His body). Neither were recovered.

 

Several years later, strange sightings from Residents and other Loggers began to arise. Tales of a ''strange man, wrapped in dirty and bloody bandages'' were told. Seen wandering through the woods and walking along the Highway, in quick time, ''He'' was dubbed ''Bandage Man''. In even more time, the tale took on a more ominous telling. By the 1960s, ''Bandage Man'' was said to be the ''living'' dead – a foul rotting (and smelly) phantasm – wandering the woods in search of revenge on those who ''failed'' to find His body. The ''zombie-like'' creature was said to have broken every window of several Cannon Beach businesses as well as being responsible for the consumption of several Town (pet) animals – found brutally torn up and eaten. One is ''aware'' of Bandage Man'' by His putrid smell, which is detected first. In the 1970s, stories of such a ''bandaged maniac'' – chasing vehicles driving along Highway 101 came into light. State and local Police investigated each Case, but found no evidence of ''Bandage Man''.

 

In time, due to the continued problems with mudslides – Highway 101 was slightly redirected away from it's original path. Even now, when nowhere near the original location – motorists still report the occasional sighting (and smell) – of what is still called ''The Bandage Man''.

 

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''RAUM''

An Earl in Hell, The Demon Raum is one of the few who has several physical appearances. His most common form, is that of a Crow or Raven. Called The ''Destroyer of All Dignities'', Raum will bestow great wealth and knowledge for honoring Him. However, the price is to strip away all vestiges of humanity from The Summoner. In another form, Raum is more ''Lovecraftian'' in form – being said to resemble a great black ''blob'' with ''octopus-like'' appendages. When ''cast out'' by a traditional Exorcist, Raum will assume a ''human look'' – as that of an ''old Man''.

 

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''THE DEVIL'S TOYBOX''

While just about everyone has experienced a ''Haunted House'' attraction during Halloween Season, most are harmless fun. ''Guests'' often traverse a series of themed rooms with Actors dressed as various Haunts and Demons, popping out of the enforced darkness for a quick scare. But in 2014, one such Haunted House caused such a stir, that it's ''effects'' are still unexplained. In The Town of Alexandria, Louisiana – a local businessman built a rustic ''Swamp Cabin'' – along with several other themed structures, for a Halloween scare. But the cabin was decorated rather oddly.

 

The entire interior is made of mirror. The floor, walls and roof are all reflective. In a flashing strobe light, one could very well become disoriented. But few thought the cabin could drive one insane. After only a few hours of operation, Guests ran screaming from the cabin. Many stated that the very room ''made them see things'' – best described as from the ''bowels of Hell''. One local Man was up to the challenge it seems, and stayed inside the cabin for 30-minutes. He was taken out, white haired and unable to talk. He still hasn't. So pervasive and creepy was this effect, that the businessman closed His attraction, but never demolished the cabin – which still stands in the Alexandria woods. Locals now call it.....''The Devil's Toybox''.

 

One theory is that (unknown to most), the land was used by local Voodoo Priests for hundreds of years to conjure various Demons. The Earth is thus so saturated with evil that the installation of mirrors (and the resulting ''Mirror Magic'') conjured up what people experienced. Of course, we can easily attribute the ''effect'' to the very real phenomenon of induced seizures which can be brought about by bright and flashing lighting (which has been medically documented as well). The rest is chalked up to superstition.......at best!

 

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''HONOR NEVER DIES – THE GHOSTS OF DUELIST ALLEY''

Charleston, South Carolina (US) is a City of quaint colonialism to this day. Much of this American Town has changed little since the 19th and 19th Centuries. It is a mecca for tourists for this very reason. It is also one of The United States more haunted locations, with plenty of Ghost Stories and haunted locations. One such is Duelist Alley. Dating to 1776, the alley was built to connect homes well offset from the main street. It was (then) somewhat secluded – which is why it would become popular later among those who wished to settle their differences with a test of ''Manhood'' – with pistol or rather the Duel.

 

It seems that the traditional ''21 Paces'' (the steps each Duelist needed to traverse before turning and discharging their weapon) fits perfectly into the length of the alley – without need for exact measurements. Many ''fought their last'' in the Alley, with one in particular in 1783. A newly established young Doctor, was well known for His love of poetry and His habit of whistling. He also was known for the love He had for a young and beautiful girl who lived in one of the homes at the far end of the Alley. However, another had His ''eyes'' on the girl. This suitor decided to attack the general honor of the Doctor, by accusing Him of having an affair with...an Actress!

 

Fearing His love would believe this rumor, He hunted down the source (the rival). He challenged Him to a very public duel in the Alley. He may have been a good Doctor, but a lousy shot, for He would die later of His injuries. Since then, many say they ''hear'' the faint whistling of someone ''passing thru'' the Alley as well as occasionally even ''seeing'' a ''Man in old colonial clothes walking down the Alley''. Where some do wear period costumes on certain occasions for tourism, such a ''sighting'' could be explained that way.......of course. Other Duels were fought until the late 1820s, when the activity became very illegal. Some say other ''victims'' have been seen (or heard) in the Alley. Many state that it is nothing but a quaint local tourist tale, but still.....One never knows.

 

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''BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU WISH FOR....LAFITTE'S PIRATE BAR''

Jean Lafitte...Pirate King and Legend of The Gulf of Mexico in the early 19th Century. As we have discussed, Jean's life was as much legend as it was fact. His name is still a focal point in The State of Louisiana even today...as is the many Ghost Stories and hauntings said to be attributed to not only His exploits, but others associated with Him. A small and rustic Public drinking house exists today in New Orleans that is a haven for tourists and apparently Spirits. The building has obviously been ''decorated'' and renovated to resemble something out of the film ''Pirates of The Caribbean'' – for sure. But it's foundations and some items inside are original and near 200 years old. The Saloon has always been a mecca for scalywags and miscreants coming from the City's Harbor and Docks. It was a well known ''Pirate Bar'' even in 1811...when our Tale starts.

 

It was said said Lafitte Himself (at one time) may have even owned The Bar (although no real proof of this exists). At any rate, it was a ''spot'' for seafarers so it would not be to big a stretch to imagine He a or His Crew drinking and carrying on inside. At least one young man did...and paid a high price for it. The youth wished to be a Pirate it seems, and tried hard to join one of Jean's many Crews. For some reason He was not taken seriously. But the Boy did try, and as such – came up with a plan to impress His potential ''employer''. He would orchestrate a very daring theft. A local Lass (possibly coming from a wealthy Planter), was known to shop during the day, often wearing many pieces of fine and expensive jewelry. So the youth robbed the girl in public, making sure all saw Him and even more – by evading capture by The Police, simply knew His exploits would draw the attention of Lafitte. He later (at night), went to the Bar, boasting of His deed and showing the diamond necklace He had snatched.

 

A Man approached the youth and asked if He had in fact really done the deed (or perhaps either brought the stolen goods). Proudly, the Boy admitted to the deed. Within seconds, the Man pulled out a Gully Knife and split the errant youth from ''gut to throat''. The dying youth stumbled thru the Bar looking for help. Whereas this was a ''Pirate Bar'', this was not the place for such sympathy. He died in the bar and His body disposed of. It appears that the Lass was not the daughter of a wealthy planter, but the wife of one of Lafitte's Captains. Apparently the Boy got some of His wish...to be known by Jean Lafitte (indirectly).

 

Since that time, many other murders and crimes have happened in what would be known as Lafitte's Bar, but none seemed to make the overall impression of The Youth. It is very common to experience a ''moving cold spot'' which moves from (what is claimed) where the youth was stabbed to where He finally fell and died. Glasses and bottle are said to fall without cause and one more that one occasion, Employee's have caught a ''glimpse'' of a ''Man in 19th Century clothing stumbling thru The Bar''. Tourist hype to bring in customers? Perhaps, it has been done before...or is it the Spirit of the errant youth, trapped in The Bar for all eternity and forced to ''relive'' His agonizing death? Go to Lafitte's Bar in New Orleans and see for yourself!

 

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''THE VERY UNRESTFUL BLACK DIAMOND CEMETERY''
Located in King County, Washington State (US) – Black Diamond Cemetery is one of the oldest in The State. Dating to 1884, it's primary purpose was to serve thr many Mining Communities that dotted the Region. Many immigrants made their way from all over the Country to make their fortune in The ''Land of Opportunity''. It was very much opposite. Many of Black Diamond's ''Residents'' were victims of the equally numerous Mine collapses. In addition, no less than (3) sizable explosions (1902, 1910 and 1915), claimed many and left many more buried (still) in the dark recesses of Mines that blew due to negligence.

 

To add more tragedy, The Influenza Pandemic of 1918 was harsh in the Region as well. Hundreds fell prey to not only that ''population killer'', but the added ''plagues'' of Cholera, Smallpox and Measles. In short, over 1,500 (known) people ''rest'' in Black Diamond. It still has ''room'', although not many recent interments take place. A National Historic Registered location, it is well maintained for this reason. But there is another. Black Diamond is one of the most haunted in Washington State. While no set legend or even pattern has ever been established, many (including Paranormal Investigators) cite a very ''active'' location. The sound of hushed whispers and voice (almost hollow), the sounds of work carts and the horses that pulled them generations ago – are commonly experienced – both day and night. Also, strange mist or smoke (again regardless of hours), can be seen on occasion, moving thru the Cemetery. While this can be an easily explained weather phenomenon, one can also wonder the opposite.

 

Orbs, ghostly figures – all have also been recorded by photo and film. No great evil presence or malevolence is felt. But it may be a ''super highway'' (of sorts), for the many (MANY) lost and confused Spectres and Haunts which still remain within Black Diamond Cemetery.

 

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''LET ME OUT!......THE TOMB OF JULIA LEGARE''

In a Tale that is straight from EA Poe, comes a true Ghost Story about a case of premature burial. The story centers around The Legare Family of Charleston, South Carolina (US), in particular their oldest daughter Julia (often referred to simply as JB). The year was 1852 and Julia was ill....dreadfully so. The Legare's were wealthy, so it was easy for them to have a full time Doctor to care for Julia. But whatever was wrong with Julia, progressed very quickly. She went into a coma and apparently never recovered. Her death cause great grief to Her Family. As being rich, The Legare's had a fine Family Crypt already. So space was made for Julia. After a day of mourning, she was entombed inside The Crypt, it's massive stone doors sealed shut by workers.

 

Fast forward 15 years and another Legare death. The Family had the Tomb opened to make it ready – and were greeted with a horrible sight. There, on the cold and stark Tomb floor was Julia's remains. Curled up in a fetal position, Her clothing torn and Her visage in a ghastly state of horror. It appeared after investigation that Julia did not die as a result of Her comatose state. Medicine being what it was in 1852, it may have been a case of an extremely low respiration and heartbeat. Thinking She was gone (with embalming as of yet not widely practice in America yet), She was placed in Her Tomb – only to awake at some point. ''Clawing'' Her way out of Her casket, she must have screamed and yelled for help – within a solid stone box of a Tomb, to no one that could hear Her. She slowly starved to death!

 

Reburied with the Tomb resealed – a series of unexplained events would be recorded. At least once a week, Authorities found The Legare Tomb wide open – it's former heavy stone entrance door either wide open or broken in two. Chains, reinforced concrete – all manner of then ''modern'' engineering methods were used to seal the door. Nothing worked. If guards were posted – nothing would happen. When no one was stationed there – the door would burst open. Then came The Paranormal. People could now hear sobbing coming from the Tomb – even though no one was present. A ''presence'' could be felt within The Crypt. Some felt that it was Julia, so angered at being ''shut in'' again, that She would burst open the stone door to ensure She had ''an escape''. The Legare Family obliged Her. The door was removed in the 1920s and the interior of the Tomb was ''remodeled'' to include a stone bed (perhaps for Julia's Spirit to repose on).

 

Visited by many Paranormal Investigators over the years, all manner of ''Orb Photography'', Electronic Voice Phenomenon and even Psychic ''contact'' has claimed to have been experienced within and around The Tomb. Perhaps it is just hype from an old legend....or perhaps it is just another example of proof of there being ''Life After Death''...........

 

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Very interesting story. Although, the part about Julia being found like that seems like it could be very much true. In that case, one could only imagine the horror her family must have felt. Not to mention her own horror.

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''COLONIAL TERROR.......THE THOMAS NELSON HOUSE''

Thomas Nelson was 3rd Governor of The US State of Virginia and one time Delegate of Virginia's Declaration of Independence Committee. As a signatory, He would be among those would help to ensure American Independence from Great Britain. To further aid in The United states war effort, Nelson also served as a General in The Continental Army. Nelson and His family lived in Yorktown, Virginia. His home was modest, but well apportioned. When British Forces occupied Yorktown, His family had to leave in haste (leaving most of their possessions behind). When Nelson got word that British General Lord Cornwalis commandeered His Home for quartering both Officers and Enlisted Men (in several of the home's outlaying houses), He was more than angered....He sought revenge. Ordering an artillery barrage, Nelson destroyed His residence and killed or wounded many British soldiers as a result. Many where actually buried on His grounds (to remain there for many years until removed). Nelson would abandon His home never to reclaim it.

 

Purchased by another Owner and rebuilt, the now dubbed ''Nelson House'' would sit in relative peace until another American conflict began – namely, The Civil War of 1861-1865. The home would serve as a Field Hospital for both Union and Confederate soldiers (depending on who held control of the surrounding Territory). Again abandoned due to this, it was said (and still is on occasion) – that the fetid odor of decomposing limbs, removed during surgery and cast in great piles, can still be smelled.

 

Long since remodeled as a Museum within The Yorktown National Battlefield Monument System, Nelson House hold several documented haunts. Of the two-story home, the upper level is closed off to the public....for good reason. Apparently, per an associated side legend dating to The Revolution – deals with a particular wounded British Soldier and His Nurse. The two fell in love, but the brave soldier died before anything could come of the affair. Many say His Spirit (which resides on the 2nd floor), is fiercely possessive of ''His'' Territory...not allowing persons to enter the 2nd floor and remaining. ''Shoving''....items crashing to the floor and the occasional heavy thumping of boots across the floor have all been experienced. It is said He is ''waiting'' for the return of His love.

 

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''THE ORPHAN'S BOOK''

As we have seen, ''Cursed Books'' are a mainstay of Gothic and Horror Tales. These tomes hold misfortune and death (depending) to those who even (at times) – open them. While most are the stuff of a Literary Mind (mainly The Author and His ability to ''scare you''), such things cannot be real – right? Well one book may be proof that such things as ''Cursed'' or ''Haunted'' Books exist. The book we will discuss is known as ''Historia del Huerfano'' or ''The Orphan's Story''. Claimed to have been written by an Augustine (Religious Order) Brother in or around 1608 AD – the ''story'' details a (fictional?) young man who was center seat to several horrible events in New World History. The Story is written from ''point of view'' or first person narrative.

 

The Author tells of the harsh condition visited upon Mesoamericans who came under the lash of their Spanish Conquerors. Descriptions of the suffering from Slavery in many Mines (digging for Gold and Silver), are very livid. This leads some Historian to show proof that the Writer may have actually witnessed the torment (although ''He'' could have taken accounts from other and was just a descriptive Writer). In addition, The Author tells of The English Invasion and numerous bloody battles under Sir Francis Drake in 1595 of The Caribbean. Again, His descriptions are very accurate and very bloody. No reason was given as just why The Book was never published. It sat in manuscript form for Centuries. It's associated legend? It was said that when anyone opened the volume to read it, great misfortune was visited upon them. Blindness, instant death or long periods of misery and ruin seemed to accompany the book. One explanation offered – the very Slaves of The Aztecs, Incans and Mayans had cursed the book so that anyone who would read of their suffering would likewise suffer. Other ''curses'' center around those who perished under The English (Spain did not reinforce it's positions in The Caribbean, leaving it's Colonial Defenders - well, defenseless!)

 

The book made it's way to The United States as part of a larger European Collection – in 1965. It was translated and edited. The finished product was made into a volume and sold (copies). Then it started again. Owners experienced car and plane crashes, great sickness and outright death when they read ''The Orphan''. Naturally, thing happen and much of the accidents and misfortune can be rationally explained. The ''curse'' does NOT happen to everyone to be sure, and some say that it's ''curse'' was part of it's ''marketing'' since the 17th Century (when the Legend began).

 

The book can still be found for sale. Order it and read......See What Happens!

 

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''THE J'BA FOFI''

In Congolese (Africa) – The ''myth'' of The J'ba Fofi or ''Great Spider'', was very much such until 1890. European Explorers heard tales of ''giant spiders'' that could eat cattle and indeed humans – lived deep in the jungles of The Congo. It was said that the creatures bodies were 3 to 4-feet in diameter, with 4 to 5-foot legs! Further, their ''fangs'' could reach to a length of 1-foot and their ''bite'' released a deadly neurotoxin capable of death within hours (some myth). A Group of Explorers found out in 1980, that J'ba Fofi was more than that.

 

The Group, while deep in the jungle, ran afoul of a series of ''rope-like vines, covered in a sticky sap). But these were in fact not vines, but spider webbing. The Group became stuck as if to cement. Quickly, a pair of J'ba Fofi descended from the trees onto them. The spiders were said to be massive things. Using knives to cut themselves somewhat free, the creatures only stopped when one was shot dead by a pistol (scaring off the other). But before it escaped back into the safety of the jungle trees, it bit one of the Explorers. Within hours, the Man died an agonizing and swollen death. Later, when a more prepared expedition returned to the location of the attack, they found that the beasts construct a large, hut-like structure in the trees. Inside was hundreds of ''yellow eggs''. Unfortunately, no samples were taken.

 

Many Scientists state that (perhaps), The Spiders are an evolutionary offshoot of prehistoric insects that evolved to their giant size by virtue of being forced to hunt larger mammals. The Spiders are also said to be extremely intelligent, with almost ''human'' deductive abilities.....or so it is believed. The J'ba Fofi of The Congo still has not been captured, although video of several creatures was released in 2014. There are several classes of so called ''Giant Spiders'' documented in The World. Therefore such a stretch as a spider as described in 1980 would not really be so shocking.

 

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''KEELUT''

According to Native American Inuit (Alaskan) Legends, The Keelut is a form of demonic Earth Spirit – very similar to the previously discussed ''Church Grim''. As a ''Demon Canine'', The Keelut are said to be hairless, save a patch of fur on their back and the fact that each ''paw'' is likewise covered. This is so their tracks will not be seen in the snow (or at best, obscured). The Keelut hunt humans, by causing them to become disoriented in the snow. So lost, the victim will die from hypothermia and become The Keelut's ''meal''. Thousands of years old, The Keelut ''legend'' may have well been more of a cautionary tale – meant to teach Inuit children the dangers of wandering off in such a barren and foreboding land.

 

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