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Ghost, Spiritual Or Historic Stories For Pubs And Restaurants

The Masala Ghost

Ghosts, light humour and serious beliefs, item 49

It’s late Friday in a rainy town centre and unnoticed the fleet of takeaway delivery riders are out on their bicycles sharing the road with a few tired and distracted cabbies and the “I’m not a drunk driver, I’ve just had a few pints with the lads” types.

They are the new unnoticed, supposedly part of the new economy and enjoying the freedom of choosing when to work.

Does anyone even notice them anymore or care about them?

Unless of course the take away doesn’t arrives in time for the big movie.

They have become so much part of the scenery that nobody even notices the Indian chap dressed up as if it were 19th century London and carrying curry, not in an ugly square rucksack with a logo but on a silver tray.

An enthusiast might think that smells a bit odd, that’s not a proper curry as we know it today and it’s not sweet like chip ship curry either. It’s more herby and less spicy, possibly no cayenne pepper and no chili’s.

Something that the characters from Vanity Fair may have eaten or what someone in 1811 might call a genuine Hindoostane dish,

Some people have seen him speaking; “Sake Dean Mahomed is pleased to serve the ladies and gentlemen of this house that are desirous of having India Dinners dressed and sent to them”.

The phrasing is a bit odd, it is not 1970s sit-com racism just the way that someone speaks a foreign language and has been told to appear exotic.

Apparently he is talking to himself though as he just stops, turns to the wall of a house and pretends to knock on a door and be greeted.

At other times if you were to notice this man at all you might think even less of him as he isn’t always carrying food, so unkindly you might just think “another weirdo!”

If you had passed him earlier and are seeing him again you might think that oh he has delivered his load, just another person doing what is needed to pay the rent.

Sadly cars have crashes with delivery drivers, this is rare but not unknown and horse drawn carriages can reach 25mph if the coachman is a bit mean and reckless and yes a bit drunk.

Suddenly things are starting to seem more familiar again, rain, booze and takeaway deliveries and like many who laughed at delivered fast food there were those who laughed at the new Coffee House in Marylebone that was selling Indian Food.

The first London restaurant guide The Epicure’s Almanack was written in 1815 by Ralph Rylance so nobody knows what food from that Coffee House would smell like.

Possibly similar to today’s curries? And the delivery men where just as unnoticed then as now.

The plague

Ghosts, light humour and serious beliefs, item 37

You might have heard of something called the Black Death.

One of the most devastating and fatal diseases in human history, it swept across Europe in the thirteen hundreds, leaving hundreds of millions of people dead in its wake. Its symptoms included the development of pus-filled sores across the body, the blackening of skin as it deadened and fell off, and the eventual, usually inevitable, death of the afflicted. The disease reached Britain in 1350, and had spread across the entire country by 1351.

A plague of this nature, as you might imagine, brought about any number of legends, myths, and ghost stories. But one particular story persists, one about a young doctor who lived only a few miles from here, and who understood the plague- and it’s deadliness- better than anyone.

The doctor, who went by the name of Frederick Post, began to study the plague as it began to creep across the whole of the British Isles. Tragically, during his study, he discovered that the disease was not only fatal, but highly contagious, and within a matter of weeks he was displaying a handful of symptoms that he recognised only too well. Terrified, the doctor knew he only had a matter of days to find a cure- and, in his desperation to rid himself of the illness, he called on forces outside his control.

Frederick immediately consulted a local healer, begging that the she find a way to save his life. She swore to him that she would find a way to do so, but in return he would need to bring her the blood of three new plague victims in return for his life. In a hurry, Frederick fled back to the city and continued work as though nothing had changed, attempting to hide the increasingly noticeable symptoms of the plague.

Luring plague sufferers into his office, he promised a cure and, when they were unconscious, collected the blood by murdering off those who were already close to death and draining them- amidst the chaos of the plague, no-one noticed a few more corpses on the pile, even if they did have a few suspicious-looking contusions.

Once Frederick had acquired everything the healer had asked of him, he returned to her and Frederick got his wish.

When he demanded that she extend his life, the healer obliged- but, instead of curing him of the plague, cursed him to wander the streets forever as a ghost, still suffering from the agonising symptoms of his disease for all eternity. As she explained to him, all he had asked for was that his life be extended, and his callousness proved that he was not worthy to look after the patients he claimed to treat, but rather should join the ones he had failed in the spirit world.

They were released from their suffering, but Frederick Post can still be heard, very late some nights, trying to find a kind doctor who might cure him of his ailment…


The dogs from the manor

Ghosts, light humour and serious beliefs, item 36

lot of people say that there are no such things as bad pets, only bad owners. And you know what? They might be right.

Not far from here, some when in the early nineteen hundreds, a woman by the name of Catherine Pollis owned three dogs. All three of them were big creatures, and she’d raised them from tiny puppies after their mother died, bottle feeding them and walking them every day through the desolate countryside that surrounded her home. But these weren’t any ordinary dogs.

Catherine was basically a loner; she lived her entire life unmarried after her family passed away and she inherited the vast family estate. But she had her dogs. And she trained them up to be vicious animals. In fact, when one of them briefly escaped from the estate and made it to a nearby village, the dogs were seen as so vicious that they began to attract a very specific kind of attention.

It started small; a woman approached Catherine about her husband, who had a large inheritance on the way and who the woman simply couldn’t stand. And soon enough, the man had been invited up to the house on the pretence of surveying it for purchase with his incoming inheritance. He never came back. Police visited Pollis House, but could find no trace of him. Eventually, the case was dropped. But people kept disappearing. Feuds were solved by luring the aggrieved party to the Pollis estate, and it soon became clear that Catherine was using her dogs for something a little more sinister than just keeping trespassers away. Rumours began to circulate, but the locals were far too scared to approach the house lest Catherine let loose her three hounds. After a policeman came back from a visit partially mauled, people stopped asking questions, and the house became something of a legend, until one day when three teenagers decided to break in and work out what had been happening all those years.

After they vaulted the gate, the three dogs were immediately let loose and gave chase, hunting the three boys across the acres until they finally caught up with them. One of the boys produced his penknife, and managed to attack one of the dogs that was chasing him. Upon hearing the yelps of the injured dog, Catherine Pollis came running out of her house to see what was going on, and the boys fled. Only one of them reported even catching a glimpse of what happened to Catherine, as she approached the injured dog and it’s companions. He said that she leant down to check on the dog, and the dog bit her. And in that moment, sensing blood, all three hounds leapt on her at once and tore her to pieces. Her remains were never found.

All that we know for certain is that the Pollis Estate- which is now known under a different name- is occasionally plagued by visitations from a ghostly figure tramping the moors at night, followed by her three beloved obedient dogs, looking for revenge on the boy who stabbed them. Just don’t head to the moors alone, as you never know who they might mistake you for…


The suit of armour

Ghosts, light humour and serious beliefs, item 35

This isn’t a story that begins with a once upon a time, or one that finishes with a happy ending, so if that’s what you’re looking for, get out now.

A few miles away from here is one of the most notoriously haunted artefacts in the country. You might be wondering why you haven’t heard of it, or where exactly it’s kept- but there’s good reason for that. Authorities (some allegedly of an ancient or supernatural nature) have attempted to keep the existence of this particular piece of historical memorabilia under wraps for more than three hundred years. But they can’t stop us telling the story of how a suit of 18th-century armour came to be one of the biggest secrets the area would ever keep.

In the early seventeen hundreds, a famous British commander by the name of Lord Buxington became engaged to Harriet Kinnerman, a low-level noble from a neighbouring district. Now, you might think you can see where this story is going- the Lord returns from battle to find his fiancé has been cheating on him, and commits a series of sins so ungodly that he is cursed to walk the earth forevermore. But there was no doubt that Lord Buxington, who was renowned across the land for his skilful control and command of soldiers at the very height of battle, was deeply in love with his fiancé, and she with him. But what Buxington didn’t know was that his wife-to-be was allegedly part of a local coven. And Harriet’s father, a powerful mystic and head of the coven, disapproved strongly of his daughter’s desire to mix with a person of non-magical blood.

The commander officially retired from his work in the army, planning to organise his wedding and begin a family with Harriet. But there were many people furious with his decision to abandon his troops, especially when they were being sent abroad to fight on foreign soil without him for the first time. Pressure on Buxington mounted, and eventually he was bribed back into the saddle by his father-in-law- by a beautifully handcrafted suit of armour, with deliberate but invisible cracks that would allow through bullets and buckshot. Buxington, delighted with his gift, kissed his fiancé goodbye and left once more for battle, while Harriet prayed for his safe return.

Her prayers were not answered.

It wasn’t long till news returned from the front that Buxington had been killed; a stray musket shot had slipped through a crack in his suit of armour, leading to an infection that killed him slowly as his troops attempted to hold back the enemy. Eventually, after the savagery of the battlefield had claimed hundreds of Buxington’s charges, they admitted defeat- the first time Buxington had ever had to concede a battle. He died minutes later, leaving Harriet heartbroken and her father overjoyed that his plan had succeeded.

Life carried on in the district as though nothing had changed. Until one day, when the members of Harriet’s household were awoken by a scream. Hurrying to see what the matter was, a maid was discovered cowering in the corner of Harriet’s father’s bedroom, where his beheaded body lay splayed across the bed. And, standing over the corpse, sword in hand, was the breathtakingly beautiful suit of armour that he had gifted to Buxington. Terrified, the observing members of the household removed the body and immediately blocked up the door with solid stone, hoping to seal the cursed armour inside forever. The room was never re-opened, but it is said that particularly quiet visitors can hear the soft clanking of the armour as Buxington continues to search for Harriet and get back to the life he left behind.

Jackdaw

Ghosts, light humour and serious beliefs, item 33

Mother was forever a sickly woman, trapped in a cycle of perpetual mourning for a long-dead father I never knew. She rambled around our family’s crumbling pile, another lost thing of past to add to the mouldering collection.

We were close, in our way. With nothing more to do but raise me, she spent long hours with me reading and talking, mostly about my father. In these hours, she always had the glazed, far-off gaze of someone trapped in a memory she did not want to escape. I would sniffle and cry, beg Nurse not to make me go sit with Mother, her musty room and hazy eyes frightening to a child who otherwise only knew bright and shining things.

No one was surprised when Mother became ill, again. It was a part of her cycle of despair: long periods of being bedridden, followed by marathon talks about my father. But this time a special nurse came to care for her. I was ten at the time, and gripped my new-found freedom with both hands, packing my satchel with books to wander across the fields to read without the constant interruption of my mother’s memories.

Caught by the ear before I could get out the door, I was trapped in the house, rambling through the cavernous rooms on my tod. Bored with confinement, I marched back to my room in a strop, threw myself onto the bed and fell asleep.

The throaty scream of a jackdaw startled me awake at twilight.

The windows and doors were closed, there was no fireplace in my room. The bird sat on the metal rail at the foot of the bed, one blue-white eye appraising me as I stared back. It cocked its head and screamed. Terrified I ran across the room and threw open the window, the jackdaw crying out a final time before it flew away.

I dashed out of the room to tell Nurse what had happened. She met me in the hallway.

My mother was dead.

I was rescued from a life trapped amongst the relics by my mother’s sister, Aunt Vivian. A vivacious, lovely, and healthy women who had escaped the family home at seventeen for Oxford and then the world. A great believer in music, museums, and education she set me upon a program to correct the deficiencies of a life lived in isolation. The next five years were an endless adventure across the Capital.

Until the morning I woke to find a jackdaw eyeing me from the top of closet door. It screamed out its warning as I opened the window and begged it to leave.

Aunt Vivian was dead on the landing, lying in a pool of blood still in her party dress from the night before.

Run

Ghosts, light humour and serious beliefs, item 27

What I most remember about that night was the cold which blew through the cracked window pane and my husband, Robert.

We had married just as the bombs began to fall. Robert was stationed in France with the British Infantry. I was a nurse at Great Ormond Street and lived in the smallest room of a boarding house on Bloomsbury Square. It was only one rung above a cot in the underground at Russell Square, but it was mine.

It was a restless night. More than the cold, there hadn’t been a letter in three days. Even with the war on, I had received a letter, a postcard, a little something every other day. You could set your watch by my Robert. I would see women on the wards, their sick child in bed beside them, a worn telegram or notification letter clutched in their hands. My letters were tied with ribbon, safely tucked under my pillow back in my room.

I was laying in bed, staring into the dark when the floorboards next to the bed creaked. I grabbed my pedestrian torch from the bedside table. Because of the Blackout the beam was covered with the piece of brown paper, so the light wasn't much, but it was enough to see there was no one else in the room. I clicked off the beam and lay back down.

A weight settled on the end of the bed. I clearly heard Robert's voice say, "Run."

I shot up, standing next to the bed with the torch in hand, the hardwood floor so cold my feet ached. When the beam of the torch feel on end of the bed, my Robert was sitting there, blooding coursing down his face, a gapping hole where his brown hair had been.

The torch clattered to the floor in my panicked dash towards the door, where Robert was waiting. "Dress. Leave. Run."

It was the worst kind of waking nightmare, my husband's ruined face before my eyes regardless of which direction I turned, all the while saying, "Run. Run. Run. Run. Run. Run."

Crying, I threw on clothes and grabbed my coat. I fled through the front door of the house and into the street with only my handbag. As I turned back toward the front of the boarding house, Robert was standing on the front steps, still mouthing, "run" on an endless repeat. The air raid siren started to wail. I ran to Holborn where I eventually fell asleep sitting up against the wall, wedged between two strangers.

The next morning I staggered out of the station in a daze, haunted by the nightmare of the night before. I didn't have to walk far to see the smouldering wreckage of the boarding house, its Georgian bricks blown into the street.

There was a man standing in the street looking lost, the notification letter in his hand.

I walked up to the man and said, "I think that letter is for me."

The Phantom Army at Loe Bar

Ghosts, light humour and serious beliefs, item 25

Ghosts are the spirits of those who have left the earthly plane to continue their journey through space and time, but who have either chosen to remain attached to Earth or are unable to leave it completely for unknown reasons.

The existence of a fourth dimension is argued away by some as human misperception of what are likely natural phenomena. They’re natural indeed, but not of the sort skeptics might expect.

Explanations remain elusive, but many people have reported a surprising number of ghostly occurrences on leys; the alignments of prehistoric barrows, dolmens, altars, and medieval churches that researchers believe hold geophysical power.

Late one afternoon in August 1936, a sixteen year old boy named Stephen Jenkins was exploring on Loe Bar, a stretch of the Cornish coast near where King Arthur is said to have met his death. As he looked about, he was astounded to see a multitude of medieval warriors in chain mail appear before him. Some wore mantels of red, others of white and others black. Their horses were caparisoned to match. One soldier in the center stood, hands on his sword, staring at the spot where Jenkins stood. Eager to have a closer look, the boy stepped forward, but as he did, the army vanished as suddenly as it had appeared.

That single experience was incredible enough, but when Jenkins returned with his wife to the same spot thirty-eight years later, this time with a map in his hands, the same vision reappeared exactly as it had before and it vanished just as it had then. Equally incredibly, his wife saw the vision just as clearly.

One explanation is that the ghostly warriors may haunt the Cornish countryside and be made visible by psychic energy emanating from nodes or intersections of leys nearby. Loe Bar is located in a line that runs from Landewednack Church up through Breage Church and to a junction with two other leys at Townshend.

Some visitors to this site have visions of historic figures reenacting the deeds they performed in life. Others have a sense of some presence that physically overwhelms them with an enlightening feeling of profundity that’s been described as being “high” but with much clarity and not being disoriented in any way. Still others feel oppressed with heaviness or a sense of sadness.

Psychics have been known to experience sharp excruciating pains in various parts of their bodies, and scientific instruments have been able to map actual physical changes in the pain-processing neuromatrix of the cerebral cortex of the brain when these pains occur. Additionally, heat maps of the body have indicated trauma to certain areas during these occurrences, but upon physical examination, there is no actual injury.

How or why some are able to see this phenomenon and others only feel it is unknown. The answer to the mystery of how these spirits are able to cross between dimensions - and whether or not there is really something going on at Loe Bar - is still hotly debated, though there is much evidence in favor.

Richmond Bridge, London Borough of Richmond upon Thames

Ghosts, light humour and serious beliefs, item 24

Do ghosts exist? Many believe that the spirits or souls of those who have left Earth continue to exist. Investigations into the paranormal have been undertaken by psychics, amateurs ghost busters and scientific groups for centuries, and one thing they’ve learned is that ghosts are real. Some of the stories that surround specific sightings may be elaborated, but the energy and frequency that surrounds spiritual entities can be measured by modern scientific instruments.

For every 257 orbits of our moon, 29 different moons gather in mutual eclipse. When these moons gather, they have the potential to create a portal between our world and the spirit world. Some believe this is the case at the former site of the royal residence of Sheen in Surrey along the banks of the Thames.

At the edges of the Richmond Bridge, built in the middle 1700s, there once was operated a ferry crossing that took passengers between Richmond (Surrey) and Twickenham (Middlesex). A royal abode had been in place there since 1299.

In residence at Sheen Palace in the year 1385 (later called Richmond Palace for Henry VII, the Earl of Richmond) almost four hundred years before the bridge was built, was the courtier Michael de la Pole, friend to Richard II, and de la Pole’s daughter, Anne.

The ferry was of course owned by the Crown but it was run by one William Brown and his son, Thomas, who had fallen in love with Anne de la Pole. She would signal him from near the gate house and he would signal back from the shore, whereupon she would come to the river bank to meet him.

When their illicit meetings were discovered, the boy was summarily transported to serve in the ongoing war with France for seven years, only to find upon his return that his beloved had thrown herself into the river and drowned, for she had been shamed.

The Gate House, one of the few vestigial bits that still survives of what was later Richmond Palace, has been the site of ghostly occurrences for more than six hundred years. Once each year when the moons align, eerie sounds can be heard between the Gate House and the bridge.

Witnesses say they hear a young girl crying and the water around the bridge splashes wildly, though nothing can be seen in the water. Others say they hear footsteps running along the bridge but can see no evidence of anyone on it.

Spectators who attempt to walk along the bridge in order to gain a glimpse of the apparition when the footsteps are heard say they feel the physical presence of a strange force that they cannot see or identify. People have been lifted from the ground, struck, shoved about, or suffused with a feeling of sadness.

There’s no way to identify the spirits that continue to haunt Richmond Bridge and the grounds of the former palace, but they are believed to be the boy, Thomas Brown, and Anne de la Pole.

The Forbidden Island, Venice, Italy

Ghosts, light humour and serious beliefs, item 22

We may never understand how or why spirits remain on the earthly plane, but many experts agree that our perception of time is vastly different than theirs and has to do with our brain’s inability to perceive time as a dimension.

The pervading theory is that there are two ways in which ghosts can be seen. They can try to make themselves visible to us by slowing down or staying in one place for an extended period so that they’re moving slower than we are, or we can apply subtle perception from our end.

Subtle perception or the ability to slow the perception of time by varying degrees is what allows some individuals to see ghosts. Because their world moves more swiftly than ours, they may be present for several hours while we’re able to see them for only a moment.

But why do they linger on the earthly plane? Persecution of any sort is one common reason why spirits will remain; to bring light to injustices or to seek revenge on (haunt) their persecutors. These deaths are commonly untimely, and such was the case on the Forbidden Island, one of the most heavily haunted places in the world.

Poveglia, an island in Laguna Veneta (the Venetian Lagoon), is known today as “the forbidden island” and is said to be one of the most haunted places in Italy. Its macabre history begins after the war of Chioggia in 1379, when all the islands inhabitants were moved to another location and the island was fortified for battle. Several unfortunate incidents led up to its present state.

• A healer, or witch as many called her, cursed this place, her ancestral home, willing that it should never again be inhabited.

• The island was used as a mass burial ground during the Black Death and other plagues, when live victims were often thrown into pits with dead bodies and buried or burned.

• In the 20th century, the island’s fortress was transformed into a hospital for the mentally ill, and a doctor was said to have tortured and butchered patients by his own experimental treatments. He finally went fully mad and plunged to his death from a high window, but his body was never recovered.

Legends of hauntings by the crazed butcher doctor, the plague victims, the war victims as well as the descendants of the original inhabitants who where forced out of the island are rampant.

Many say that when the mist rises over the lagoon with a full moon to light the night, figures can be seen walking through the trees. They are generally vague and distant but it’s by and large agreed they appear to have human form.

The most common among them is the apparition of a woman who sits on the seawall dangling her legs over the side, laughing boisterously and pointing at those living who watch from the other side of the lagoon as though mocking them.

At times, the cries of victims can be heard, though they’re often attributed to the call of sea birds. Recordings of the sounds have been made and using high definition technology, words can clearly be defined. The words “help me” and “stop” are most often heard, but other words such as “beg you”, “mercy” and “no” are frequent enough so as to be considered actual verbalisations of spirits.

• In the 1500s, monks were offered the fortified building as a refuge but they refused to inhabit the island.

• Descendants of the original villagers were offered relocation back to the island by the state, but they, too, refused saying they felt an overall sense of evil there.

Forensic experts are baffled by this phenomenon, offering no logical scientific explanation, and the Italian government has closed the island to all tourism, but paranormal experts know the souls trapped there have simply taken over the island for themselves as a final testament to their resolve.

The doomed bride

Ghosts, light humour and serious beliefs, item 18

I was happy to finally have a weekend for myself, after several months of hard work and with every other free minute spent with friends and family, I realized I haven’t done anything to calm myself, to clear my mind for a long while.

So after my day was over I texted everyone that I was taking off to Banff National Park and that I was leaving my mobile phone at home. I didn’t want to risk any disturbance on my small trip, that much I deserved, but I did take my lap-top, so they could send an rmail in case something really bad happened.

I enjoyed watching nature from the train window, but soon it got oto dark to see anything, so I decided to watch a movie. I had a DVD that my sister had given me ages ago, with words: ”It’s amazing, you should watch it! It’s animation, but it’s perfect!” I liked animated movies when I was younger, but now as a grown man I really wasn’t sure if I should waste my time on it. On the other hand I had some free time so I decided to give it a shot. “Corpse bride”… doesn’t really sound like a story for kids.

The movie was over, as well as the journey, I got off the train, took a walk, and reached my destination, “Banff Springs Hotel.” It looked so magnificent, beautiful but also a bit creepy.

Perhaps it had been a bad idea to watch a movie with dead people, where the main character had the same name as me.

But, when I entered the hotel there was nothing spooky, besides being a living museum this place looked like a palace. It was a great choice to come here, I had come too late for dinner, so I went to my room and Thank God, for 24 hour room service.

Midnight had just passed, when I was wandering around the hallways, I could almost feel like a king, all alone in a magnificent ambience. Also I felt so good that I could finally hear my inner voice talking to me.

It’s really great to be all by yourself for a while.

That’s when I felt cold breeze on my neck.

I thought it must be a drift, but all windows seemed to be closed. “Oh, well” I thought “this is a huge place, who knows what is left open.” I was walking toward the stairways, when I saw a mist, it was weird, it came out of nowhere, it became even weirder, once it started to take a shape. I saw a bride, I thought how this has to be a dream, inspired by the movie I’ve seen. But, I was awake. I was certain, she looked at me. I thought she’ll approach me, but she didn’t, she simply went down the stairways, she floated, somehow, very soon, she disappeared.

I can’t say I felt a fear, but I wasn’t very relaxed, either. In the morning I asked some of the workers about what I’ve seen, they told me how apparitions are often seen, but never dangerous, so I felt a lot better.

Someone else would leave, I guess, but I decided to stay. In a way, I felt fully welcomed.

The Woman in Black

Ghosts, light humour and serious beliefs, item 17

I woke in the wood with no idea how long I had been there. The thick trunks of the ancient oaks loomed over me as I squinted against the brightness of the afternoon sun. My legs shook. Warm blood oozed from a gash at my temple. Each pulse of pain from the wound dimmed my vision to a pinpoint, edges a warm black which exploded with colour as the pain eased. I shuffled in a slow circle to find myself facing a high bank of dark earth and rough tree roots, exposed when the hill had fallen away.

A streak of slick mud marked the spot where I had been thrown from the public path into the wood below.

I crawled up the hill using the exposed tree roots as handholds, hands scraped raw on the rough bark.

A cold shadow fell across me, obscuring my sight as I reached for the next root. Blinded, mouth dry I up toward the shadow to see a beautiful woman in a costume from some BBC period drama.

"Help," was all I could croak out.

There was less than a metre between where I clung to the side of the hill and the soles of her shoes. She turned to the right and walked away.

Tears ran down my face as I heaved myself onto the path to lay in the dirt coughing and crying, eyes closed to welcome back the blackness which did not come. I lifted my head to see those same shoes come to stop centimetres from my nose.

She was a vision in a black silk mourning costume and elegant hat, the veil thrown back. She sucked the light from the landscape around her, the center of a black hole in which she was the only star. Though the face and upper chest exposed by the square neckline of her bodice were easily twenty years younger than my own, her hands were gnarled hooks. She pressed a twisted index finger to her full lips and shook her head "no", then gestured for me to follow.

I wanted to leg it but had only managed to crawl to standing by using a tree trunk for support. I clung to the tree, throat too dry to shout for help. I followed; staggered from trunk to trunk, stumbling in the footsteps of the woman in black. My trackies covered in muck, shoes leaden on my feet, my white vest covered in dirt and blood. Every few metres she would stop and look back over her left shoulder, that destroyed index finger pressed to perfect lips. A shake of her head "no". Then she would walk on.

There was no rustle of the leaves, no sound of steps on the dirt path. She hustled around a blind curve and I lost sight of her through the trees but stumbled on to turn the same curve in the path.

A wave of frigid air punched me in the face. The whisper of traffic on Heath Street thunder after the silence of the wood. A uniformed copper ran toward me, his mates on his heels. Though he shouted, I could not understand what he said.

"Did you see her? The woman..." My voice cracked, legs sagged, fingers talons in the copper's uniform sleeves.

"Who?"

"The woman in black."

I woke was in the hospital. The woman in black stood at the foot of my bed, those ruined hands wrapped around the rails. With her sharp nails she beat out a "click, click, click" in perfect time against the metal as she stared me down. She smiled, her teeth a rotted henge, shook her head "no", then walked through wall into the next bay.

There times when the world fades away to silence. I see a flash of a black silk skirt, a glimpse of a midnight hat rounding a corner, hear the click of sharp heeled boots on the pavement behind me or the smooth rustle of shift of silk skirts in the breeze.

I know she is waiting for the moment when she can say, "yes".






Forgotten

Ghosts, light humour and serious beliefs, item 16

No one can escape the judgment, no one should believe that their bad deeds will be left behind, forgotten and lost. Even when enough time has passed, even if people forget, karma won’t, Karma will return it all, good for good, evil for evil.



Is the mercenary evil, if all he does is simply his job? “It’s nothing personal, it’s just a job.” How many times people say this in order to justify themselves. Does the paid assassin actually believe they he is pure in the eyes of God? Perhaps they don’t believe in one, perhaps they don’t believe in karma, either, but, sooner or later, they all met it.



It was the year 1599 when the chieftain of the Leap Castle, Charles O’Carroll, hired MacMahon clan as mercenaries, they fought for him, against the Earl of Tyrone. Once they finished the job assigned to them they were invited to the great feast.



I wonder if they had a great time, I wonder if they asked themselves for a moment if they had fought for the right side. I wonder, because it was the last night in their lives, Charles ordered his man to slay every mercenary in their sleep.



I wonder if no member of MacMahon clan was aware of the history of the castle. Before them, the O’Neil clan was erased in the same manner. And, they all finished in the same place: in the corner of The Bloody Chapel, called The Oubliette, which means “to forget”.



It was discovered that about 150 bodies were left in that corner. 150 souls were left in those walls, souls which, with all my good will, I can’t call good or pure. Some say that such amount of evil spirits was strong enough to awake the supernatural entity. The entity some refer as Elemental, some sort of fire demon.

Some say that the Elemental is a spirit of an ancient O’Carroll.

But, if I have to choose between 150 murderers and one man, no matter how cruel he was, I believe that the first group would be heavier. More souls, more sins…


If Walls Could Talk

Ghosts, light humour and serious beliefs, item 14

“If walls could talk …” I guess someone came up with this expression at the same time as if “walls have ears.” These two somehow seem to go together, don’t you think?

Anyway that’s not what I want to talk about.

Some people are worried about wall listening in on them and then telling stories, I was worried when I heard stories, terrifying stories, ones about skulls talking.

So let me tell you about what happened.

Portugal is a wonderful ancient country which is full of beautiful buildings, although I was surprised by the sheer number of monuments, churches and historic locations, the greatest impression was made by one chapel.

After starting in Lisbon I ended up in Evora via Setubal, next to the entrance of Church of St. Francis it awaits visitors and it is called the Chapel of Bones.

Once I laid my eyes on it I realized why it is called that, I never thought to see so many skulls and bones in one place. Even though the land is a holy place, I felt a disturbance, something like sorrow mixed with agony and anger. The whispering of 5,000 souls, their cries, their screams, yes they were talking to me, but I couldn’t understand their words.

Their language was unfamiliar to me, but even if I could understand the language, I would be very unlikely to hear any story clearly and the words were indistinct and overlapping.

Thinking that I may be losing my mind I went back out into the fresh air and waited for someone else to come along so that I didn’t have to re-enter the chapel alone. After a while two monks entered the chapel and I followed them in wondering if they too would hear the whispering.

They didn’t, probably since they only came to pray but I couldn’t hear anything either, perhaps their talk to God gave some rest to those poor souls.

After they finished they silently went out and I was standing there, wondering if I was nothing but delusional, perhaps caused by the interior of the place. I knew I had creative imagination, but I had never had such an experience before.

Just as I was about to leave I heard the voices one more time.

They were calm, at peace, and they talked as one. I understood few terms they said: “laus deo,”, “ora pro nobis,”, “dirige nos, Domine.” I was sure praying had some sort of healing effect on them.

I promised to pray for them every day in my life I hope it will help them.

Music from the tower

Ghosts, light humour and serious beliefs, item 13

When I decided to visit Prague my friend told me that I had to visit every museum that I saw. “There are a lot of them, but the city is old and has a lot of history, and every, but every aspect is interesting!” I thought that’s exactly what I can expect from a history teacher. I heard they have good food and good beer there, along with a huge wonderful zoo, and nightlife …

I would never consider myself for a cold-hearted, sharp lady, but I like living my life in the present. History belongs to the person who lived in it, that’s what I thought. I was not that person, so why should I get stuck back there? “Because we learn from the past” I can hear her voice in my head.

It was a late hour when I came out of Cilibar, and took a long walk through the streets, over the Manesuv bridge, heading to the hotel. As I was walking through the Thunovska Street, I decided to take a look at the castle. I saw how beautiful it looked from distance, so I wanted to see how it looked when it was in front of me.

And I made the right choice the castle was as magical as if it had come out of some fairy tale. Even if I felt a bit tired, I could still enjoy this masterpiece and just when I thought it’s time to get to bed, I heard an enchanting melody. I could barely hear it, so I started to walk in its direction, “Must be some late night hour street concert” I supposed. I followed to melody all though the Golden Lane, but I still couldn’t find its source and, I could go no further.

“It comes from the tower” said an old lady, she had scared me to the bone as I hadn’t heard or seen her until that moment. “Are you from around here?” I asked as I was surprised to hear English, how could she know that I wasn’t a local resident.?

“Everyone here knows the music, it’s strange to nobody” said women “so I guessed you’re not from here.”

“Who … who plays it? It’s very beautiful.”

“A young man, named Dalibor. He used to be a knight, until he killed a royal man.”

“A knight? Something like … actor for tourist attractions?”

“No, he was an actual knight, hundreds of years ago. He was kept in prison here, in the tower. During those days he played the violin. Many people came here to hear his music. I wish I could tell it in some better way. It’s a sad story.”

“Yes, I agree. Thank you, for sharing it with me.” I smiled to the lady and went off.

So, I had just heard a ghost story. Like if I needed any, seriously, the music was wonderful, but if it’s played by anyone it must be a living person. I don’t believe in ghosts, I used to believe, when I was a child, but back in those days I used to believe in Santa Claus, too.

Nonsense … that was the last word I remember forming in my mind. After that, time stopped as if I was in some sort of dream. It’s not so much what I saw, as what I felt, it was cold all of a sudden then, a warm wind took the leaves off the ground and blew them around me. I felt it was invitation to dance, so I started dancing as if all by myself, but there was a presence there, I knew it.

The sensation lasted for only a few minutes only then I came back to myself, I felt no fear, just confusion and a strange sadness. I don’t know why I was sad, I just felt that way.

On the way back I was wondering if there’s some lesson I need to learn from this. I couldn’t see it clearly, if there was one, perhaps I should return, to hear it all again.


The Little People’s Village

Ghosts, light humour and serious beliefs, item 8

Standing in the forest near Middlebury, Connecticut, is a complex set of dollhouse-sized, ruined and abandoned buildings known locally as the “Little People’s Village”. These small ruins surround the foundation of a stone house with iron bars over the windows. While believed to be the remains of a failed roadside attraction, there is a far more sinister story about the Little People’s Village whispered between the townspeople.

In the early 1900s, a husband and wife were living quite happily in the small stone cottage. As they settled into their home, the wife began to hear voices coming from the surrounding wood. At first, it was just voices, whispers through the trees, but soon enough the voices began to talk directly to her. Then she began to see small figures darting between the trees. She knew these small people were fairy folk and asked her husband to build her new friends homes, each home to be no more than four feet high.

To make his wife happy, the husband began building out of cement, basalt, quartz, and stone intricate homes to house her fairy friends. As more homes were build, more fairy folk came in from the wood. They would gather, speaking with the wife. Slowly they convinced the wife she was their rightful queen.

After the small homes were finished, the wife asked her husband to make a throne from which she could rule her tiny kingdom. Hewn into the side of the hill, the stone throne was to be the seat of the wife’s power. But the Little People made more demands of their queen. Iron bars were put over the windows of the stone cottage the husband and wife shared to keep the Little People at bay.

One version of the legend says: To the horror of the Little People, the husband sat down upon the throne. In retribution, they demanded their queen murder her husband. After she killed her husband, the Little People turned on their queen, hounding her until she committed suicide.

In another version of the legend, the husband cracks under the pressure brought about by his wife’s growing madness and murders her. Despondent over what he had done, he then kills himself.

Now, the sounds of passing traffic cover any voices which might be coming from the wood. The homes of the Little People have been abandoned, their intricate buildings stand open exposing spiral staircases and walls of basalt and quartz to the elements and the eyes of the curious. Today, if you dare to enter the wood, the foundation of the husband and wife’s cottage, the throne and one complete house built for the Little People can be seen.


Sinister Playground

Ghosts, light humour and serious beliefs, item 6

It was his job to take care of the island and he did the best that he could, Perhaps too good, he rarely went to see his relatives, rarely went to town at all. Maybe that solitude made him see something that wasn’t really there, or maybe he was simply the only one who could see it.

He claimed that he saw a girl drowned in the canal of Xochimico and he thought that it was somehow his responsibility, because he was the keeper and the fact that he couldn’t save her life became his heaviest burden. Even when others came and told him, that he’s being delusional, that there’s no girl in sight, he was certain that he saw her there. No girl was missing from the area, so everyone considered this case to be nothing but a mind playing tricks with the lonely man.

Not long after her death he felt her presence again, this time he couldn’t see her, only hear her. She was scared, she was crying and he didn’t know how to put her soul to rest. He didn’t know where the body could be, so he couldn’t perform a regular burial, instead he started to build a playground.

He found few dolls in the house and attached them to a tree and since she stopped crying he assumed that she was happy again. After a while, the crying started again, after all how many children you have seen happy with just a few dolls? Most of the kids get easily bored with old toys, you can try and teach them about modesty and being grateful for what they have, but how can you say anything like this to a ghost?

So, he attached some more dolls, next to those already there, again after a while crying woke him and he had to go all around the island in a search of the dolls. Sometimes he found only a leg or an arm in a trash can, so he would combine those with other dolls that lacked them. Those Frankenstein dolls didn’t look very nice, but the little girl seemed to be pleased with them too.

So he kept collecting dolls for the girl for the next 50 years, there were hundreds of them, all looking at him with empty gaze. They were calling him to join them, but he didn’t understand this as he was always on the island, with them, and with her.

He forgot that no matter how much children likes new dolls, no doll can replace an actual friend for playing, and one day his lifeless body was discovered in the canal.

His life had ended on the spot where he saw her for the first time.

Since he had an actual burial, it is supposed that his spirit went to its resting place.

Some say he joined her on the island, but I’m afraid she might still be alone there.

After all, why would people who go to see the island claim to be called there to stay?

Perhaps she’s alone again, waiting for someone to stay with her, someone to join her, on the island of a thousand dolls.


Other Interesting Pages On Some Of My Sites.
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