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Creepy Place To Visit – Rose Hall – Jamaica

rose hall 1Rose Hall is one of the finest examples of colonial great houses on the island of Jamaica, but what truly makes it legendary is the fact that locals believe the house has been haunted for decades by the ghost of Annie Palmer, better known as the White Witch.
Since her death in the early 1830s, the spellbinding legends surrounding Rose Hall have been woven into Caribbean folklore and have been immortalized in at least a dozen Gothic novels including the H. G. De Lisser novel, The White Witch of Rose Hall, published in 1928.
Most of the folklore surrounding Rose Hall relates to its infamous mistress Annie Palmer, an 18-year-old English woman who arrived at the estate in the spring of 1820 after her marriage to John Rose Palmer. After the death of her parents in Haiti, Annie had been raised by a nanny who was an expert in the black art of voodoo and faithfully taught her young charge. When Annie came to the island searching for a husband, she was already quite an expert in the dark art of voodoo and some say she used it to attract her first husband, John Palmer.
Although it was never proven, it is widely believed that Annie Palmer murdered three husbands and countless slave lovers in the 10 years she lived on the plantation, who are all believed to haunt the house. Some believe that the lead china she dined on almost daily may have caused lead poisoning that slowly drove her insane.
The Story of Annie’s death presumably at the hands of her slave lover named”Takoo”. , it is said he attempted to bury her in a grave protected by voodoo spells to prevent her malevolent sole from rising up and haunting the mansion. Unfortunately, the spells are believed to have not been performed properly, because countless locals and visitors alike claim to have seen her. A song about the legend called “The Ballad of Annie Palmer” was recorded by Johnny Cash and the satanic band, Coven made a song called “White Witch of Rose Hall.

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(Tomb said to be Annie Palmer’s at Rose Hall, Jamaica)

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Highgate Cemetery, London – ‘The Highgate Vampire’

By Charlene Lowe Kemp

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Many rumours and stories of a dark figure haunting the north London cemetery began after a group of teenagers, who took an interest in the occult, started roaming the abandoned graveyard.
One member of the group named David Farrant, spent the night in the cemetery on December 21, 1969. Two months later he wrote to the Hampstead and Highgate Express about a sighting he encountered of a paranormal shadowy grey figure.
Soon after this, many other people began informing the local paper, claiming to have witnessed all kinds of creepy and scary activity there, including a figure in a pond, a tall man wearing a hat and a ghostly cyclist.

Following the reports, another man called Sean Manchester stated he believed ‘a King Vampire of the Undead’ – a medieval nobleman who had participated in black magic in Romania – was brought to England in a coffin during the eighteenth century.
The ‘vampire king’ was apparently buried in the same burial grounds, that later became as Highgate Cemetery.  Sean Manchester claimed that modern-day Satan worshippers had awoken him.

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The Grave Of Mary Hart – Who was Buried ALIVE!

Charlene Lowe Kemp

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Mary Hart, who, according to urban legend, haunts Evergreen Cemetery after she was accidentally buried alive in 1872.

Her gravestone reads:
“At high noon just from, and about to renew her daily work, in her full strength of body and mind, Mary E. Hart, having fallen prostrate remained unconscious, until she died at midnight October 15, 1872 — born December 16, 1824.”
The tale goes at 48 years old, Mary E. Hart, as she was known in life, just dropped to the floor one day at midnight. Believing to be dead, her family had her buried at Evergreen Cemetery.  However, one night her aunt had a terrible nightmare that Mary was not actually dead.
The aunt eventually convinced the family to exhume the body, and when they open the coffin, they found Mary’s nails bloodied from scratching and a petrified look on her face. It is believed that Hart may have suffered a stroke and when she fell to the floor, her family believed she was dead and So they buried her, not realizing she was still alive.
The epitaph on her gravestone offers a foreboding warning in bold black text: “The people shall be troubled at midnight and pass away.” Some believe anybody caught in the graveyard after midnight or who desecrates her grave would die shortly thereafter. While the quote is from the Book of Job in the Old Testament and, in context, is a statement about being resigned to fate, some locals over the years have interpreted the phrase to mean Hart hated the world enough for burying her alive to curse it with her final epitaph.
Hart’s gravestone is at the back of the cemetery, on the path that parallels the iron fence that separates the graveyard from Winthrop Avenue, with many people coming to visit, leaving coins and wondering whether the myths and tales are true.

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‘Battleship Island’ – Hashima Island – Japan

Charlene Lowe Kemp

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Hashima is often referred to as Gunkanjima, or literally “Battleship Island” due to its unique shape reminiscent of a ship of war.  It was the villain’s lair in the 2012 Bond film “Skyfall” and won UNESCO heritage status three years later, in 2015.

Once the most densely populated place in the world, the tiny island of Hashima is now a surreal ghost island, with its abandoned structures left as is and a population comprised of only rats, feral cats, and perhaps spirits!

Thousands of men, women and children lived and worked on the island, harvesting undersea coal mines that powered Japan’s rapid industrial rise from the late 19th century.

But over the years, it made less and less economic sense and in 1974 operator Mitsubishi Mining abandoned the site.

Up to 1,000 metres below sea level, men toiled in cramped and stifling spaces where they had to defecate into small holes that they dug themselves.

More than 200 workers died in accidents over the years. Others suffered from silicosis, a work-related lung disease.

The former city’s crumbling concrete walls, smashed windows and rusty iron support bars harbour a dark secret – Chinese and Korean workers were once forced to work here, slaves to their colonial master Japan.

Japan put large numbers of Korean and Chinese war prisoners to work in the mines as forced labourers. These slave labourers were forced to do the most dangerous work in the mines, and were subjected to even worse living conditions than their Japanese counterparts, subsisting on a starvation diet, packed into filthy lodgings, and being worked in the cramped mines doing hard labour down in the murk until they collapsed from exhaustion.
It is said that up to five of these labourers died each month, and the nearby Nakanoshima Island was made into a crematorium for the dead, the thin tendrils of smoke from the burning bodies rising over the bleak, grey sea a constant reminder of the death and hopelessness the mines represented. The churning sea and intimidating concrete walls encircling the island deterred all but the bravest from trying to escape, and those that did were swallowed by the waves. In the end, it is estimated that thousands died on Hashima, many of these deaths unreported or undocumented; simply a forgotten footnote to the island’s dark history.

Hashima is truly a unique and enigmatic place, haunted with the past and perhaps even ghosts.

 

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Chapel of Bones – Portugal

By Charlene Lowe Kemp

Capela dos Ossos, also known as the chapel of Bones, is located next to the church of St. Francis in the medieval Portuguese town of Evora. 

The 16th century chapel is a large room which the walls are filled with the bones of over 5,000 monks. Evora, in the 16th century, had around 43 cemeteries, that took up to much land. The decision was made to destroy some of the cemeteries so the corpses of 5,000 monks was exhumed in a effort to save their souls from condemnation. These bones was sent to Capela dos Ossos. The exisiting monks soon realised that it would be better if they displayed the bones rather than hide them. So they set about creating a place for meditation, a place where the undeniable reminder of death would help people transcend the material world.

When you enter the chapel you will see the words

“Nos ossos que aqui estamos, pelos vossos esperamos.” 

“We, the bones that are here await yours.”

Wrote on the door, a reminder that death happens to everyone giving people the perspective before they enter the chapel to prey. 

The corpse of a women and a child hang from a wall, no body knows who they are but legend has it that a powerful man had onced cursed them. They was refused burial in the local cemeteries so the corpses received shelter from the chapel.

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City of the Dead, Ossetia, Russia

 

Dargavs in the city of the dead near Vladikavnas. The 44 beehive shaped tombs, some resembling boats, have been mostly restored and some still hold human remains in various stages of decay.

By Charlene Lowe Kemp

The village of Dargavs, often referred to as the city of the dead,  is considered to be one of the most mysterious sites in Russia. Hidden away in one of the five mountains in the Caucasus mountains, the “city” is actually an ancient necropolis full of tombs or crypts.  The people who lived here, buried their loved ones with their belongings on this site for reasons that have been lost in the passage of time.

There are many myths and legends that surround the site and in the past the local people have refused to go here out of fear that they would not come out alive. The first mention of the City of the Dead dates back to the beginning of the 14th Century (but some sources say the oldest of the crypts dates back to the 12th century).

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In each crypt human skulls and bones have been found. Interestingly, it was discovered that the bodies inside the crypts were buried in wooden structures resembling boats.
Though there are no rivers nearby the village, it is thought they did this as it was thought that the soul of the dead one had to cross a wide river after death.

Another interesting fact is that there are wells positioned in front of each crypt, into which family members would throw a coin in the hopes that if the coin hit a stone, it was said to be a good sign and the dead family member would make it to heaven.

It is believed that plague victims may have been brought here at one point. In the 18th century, according to one legend, a plague swept through Ossetia, wiping out 90 percent of the surrounding population. The clans built quarantine houses to isolate themselves from the village, patiently awaiting their death. When they died, their corpses were left to rot inside these huts.

 

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The Hill of CROSSES

Charlene Lowe Kemp

The Hill of Crosses – in Lithuanian, ‘Kryžių Kalnas’ . Situated 12 km north of the industrial city of Šiauliai in the north of Lithuania, the location itself is nothing extraordinary. Little more than a mound, the small hill rises out of a flat landscape of cattle fields, forests and grass. Nobody seems to know exactly when the Hill of Crosses began, although the local practice of raising cross memorials likely dates back as early as the 14th century.

One story goes that a Lithuanian farmer had a very sick daughter who was going to die. He tried everything, he went to every doctor and tried every medicine but no matter what he did her health become worse. Every night he sat by her bed preying for her health to get better.

One Night, while sitting at her bed, he fell asleep and had a dream. He dreamt of a women dressed in all white came and told him that if he wanted his daughter to get better he had to follow her instructions.

He was told to build a large wooden cross, which he would need to take across the country and place it on a hill. It would be a sign of faith and love for God and by doing this his daughter would be healed. He decided to do this and carried the cross 13 hours each way to Siauliai. Here is where he put the cross on top on the hill. He then made his way home.

When he finally reached home, his wife and daughter were both waiting for him. His daughter seemed alot better and seemed cured of her illness.

The story of the miracle hill soon spread throughout Lithuania. People would pilgrimage to the site and place a cross on the hill hoping it would cure their sick loved ones. It became known as the Hill of Crosses that performed miracles.

Interestly, the second story relates to Lithuania’s history. They have a long and sordid past with the Soviet Union dating back to the 1800s. In the 1800s Lithuania had been occupied and was under Russia’s regime. The official religion was Russian Orthodox, and the official language was Russian. They was forbidden to practice any other religion, hang any crosses or speak any other language than Russian. The rebel fighters took up arms against the Soviet Union and fought for their freedom. Many men were killed and families could not locate their love ones bodies. Crosses was not allowed on gravesite as they was not a official sign of the Russian Orthodox Church.

Many families would place crosses on the hill to mark a remembrance to the men who had gone missing while trying to win back their freedom.

Over the centuries, not only crosses, but giant crucifixes, cravings of Lithuanian patriots, statues of the virgin Mary and thousands of tiny effigies and rosaries have been brought here by Catholic pilgrims. The exact number of Crosses is unknown but a estimate was done in 2006 that put it at 100,000.

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The Hill of Witches

Charlene Lowe Kemp

The Hill of Witches is in Juodkrante, Lithuania also known as Raganų Kalnas in Lithuanian. It is a public trail system through a forested sand dune just off the main road in Juodkrante. It overlooks The Baltic sea on one side and The Curonian Lagoon on the other side. The Hill itself is overgrown with huge pine trees that now stand as high as the eye can see. The forest is teeming with 80 mystical wood cravings such as devils, crow monsters and fairy tale creatures which all represent figures from Lituanian folklore and pagan traditions. Prior to WW1, Witches hill was the location used for a festival called Jonines (St. John’s Eve) Lithuanians would come from miles away to join in on the festival that took place on the 24th June.

Witches Hill was always thought to be a magical place. A location that was not quite real. Legend has it that the hill lies in a dimension between the mystical and the paranormal. The Hill is where the witches, goblins, fairies, fortune tellers, demons and devil’s all come to together each night after sunset and scare the mortals who dare to come to the hill after dark….

It is said they roam the hill – scaring, confusing, luring and tormenting the  humans who dare to cross their path…..until the rooster at dawn finally crows – all the mystal aThe Hill of Witches is in Juodkrante, Lithuania also known as Raganų Kalnas in Lithuanian. It is a public trail system through a forested sand dune just off the main road in Juodkrante. It overlooks The Baltic sea on one side and The Curonian Lagoon on the other side. The Hill itself is overgrown with huge pine trees that now stand as high as the eye can see. The forest is teeming with 80 mystical wood cravings such as devils, crow monsters and fairy tale creatures which all represent figures from Lituanian folklore and pagan traditions. Prior to WW1, Witches hill was the location used for a festival called Jonines (St. John’s Eve) Lithuanians would come from miles away to join in on the festival that took place on the 24th June.

Witches Hill was always thought to be a magical place. A location that was not quite real. Legend has it that the hill lies in a dimension between the mystical and the paranormal. The Hill is where the witches, goblins, fairies, fortune tellers, demons and devil’s all come to together each night after sunset and scare the mortals who dare to come to the hill after dark….
It is said they roam the hill – scaring, confusing, luring and tormenting the humans who dare to cross their path…..until the rooster at dawn finally crows – all the mystal and magical creatures disappear as though they have never been there.nd magical creatures disappear as though they have never been there.

On St. John’s Night, however, which is the shortest night of the year, where the sun begins to set around 22:30 And starts to rise at 4 am, the Lithuanian people are given the chance to join the magical world of Witches. It is only on this night that humans can go on the hill and will return unharmed. 

It is said on this night the fern blossom suddenly blooms at midnight and anyone lucky enough to find some they will be granted with unworldly powers….. such powers could include seeing into the future, talking to animals or to even learn where secret world treasures can be found from all over the world. The night was said to be a magical night and and full of supernatural energy.Be aware though it’s alleged that the witches are extremely protective of their fern blossom and await in hope to scare or confuse anyone who may step in their path. 

After WW1, sadly, the festival was stopped, but it is said that the witches and devil’s still continue to meet every night on the top of Witches hill after dark.

As you walk up the side of the hill, it is bright and airy with sunshine beaming on the magical cravings. Once you reach the top and make your way down the other side of the hill is where you will notice a different feeling. The sunlight is hidden behind the trees and the cravings take a much more darker approach such as devils and the gates to hell.

As you hurrily pass the gruesome cravings is where you will see the rooster…the sign that daylight is soon to come through…..

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The Sunken Church 

Charlene Lowe Kemp

The Sunken Church is located in Bramcote in Nottingham in the UK. The Domesday Book records a settlement here in ‘Bruncote’ and a simple wooden structure is likely to have orginally been here before the rebuild in stone. Now only stands the tower as a new church was built and parts of the old church was used to construct the new but it was agreed that the tower would be preserved to house some memorials. Within the tower the timber frame of 1586 in still insit. It is known by locals as the sunken church but no body knows why…only people can assume that from afar away it appears to look as though it is sinking into the ground.

It is reputed to be haunted by a phantom monk. In 1978 the village policeman witnessed a strange figure in the churchyard. He observed it until it stopped by a gravestone, at which he then shone his torch towards it. The light from the torch shrone straight through the shadow and on to the gravestones behind it.

Then the figure began to approach the policeman in a gliding like motion. The policeman walked closer the shadow stopped and again retreated to a gravestone. By this time the policeman had radioed his inspector who came out to assist, they searched the area but could not find anyone. 

The policeman described the figure as wearing a black ankle length coat and wearing some sort of three cornered hat. With a high collar pulled underneath It. He was unable to see a face.

Shortly after his experience an elderly local gentleman came forward who believed that what had been seen was the ghost of a phantom coachman. He explained that many years ago a female servant in the village was killed by a coachman. The coachman was sorry for his crime, so sorry that he committed suicide before he could be arrested, somewhere in the vicinity of the sunken church. His ghost is often mistaken for that of a monk, and was also witnessed by another two policemen on another night as they drove near the church……