Sunday, August 2, 2015

Maryland: Ghosts of Antietam

This Civil War battle was the result of Confederate General Robert E. Lee’s first invasion of the North in September of 1862.

One day of intense fighting turned the Antietam battle into one of the bloodiest of the war—second only to Gettysburg in devastation.

Middle bridge over Antietam Creek, 1862
Bodies after battle.
Lee’s troops met the Union army at Antietam Creek * on the 17th near the small town of Sharpsburg in Maryland. A staggering 23,100 men were wounded, killed or were missing in action after these two armies collided in cornfields and farmlands.

* In 1933, the National Park Service took over this site making it a National Park.

In just four hours alone, along a sunken road that separated two farms 5,000 men died.

Lee’s troops had reached this road and stayed, thinking at first it provided some protection. Soldiers on both sides fired continuously as the Union soldiers tried to take the position.

Finally, the Confederate soldiers were overrun—bodies fell on top of bodies along this bloody road.

Part of the Sunken Road now
known as Bloody Lane.
Today this road is called Bloody Lane. People who visit it claim it leaves an eerie impression. For no matter how many visitors roam this old road on any given day—it remains deathly quiet.

Many modern day visitors have experienced strange activity along Bloody Lane. The sounds of gunfire and the smell of gunpowder are reported when no one is around.

One male visitor to Antietam National Park spotted several men wearing Confederate uniforms as he walked Bloody Lane. At first he thought they were war re-enactors but then he saw them vanish.

Another strange encounter occurred when a group of Baltimore schoolboys visited the lane. They heard singing out in the fields. They described it as a chant or the Christmas song Deck the Halls.

They heard Fa-la-la-la-la sung repeatedly.

Observation tower along Sunken Road.
Their encounter is telling in that during the battle an Irish brigade charged the Confederates near the observation tower located along Sunken Road. These Irish soldiers battle cry was in Gaelic and sounded like a Christmas carol.

Burnside bridge
Another active area on the battlefield is Burnside’s Bridge. It was here that General Ambrose Burnside finally pushed the Confederate troops back after several previous attempts.

Many soldiers were buried quickly near this bridge in unmarked graves.

Visitors near this bridge at night report seeing a strange glowing blue light moving around the area. Others report hearing the cadence of a drum playing—this sound fades away into the distance.

Ghostly mist captured by
one canon. Photo by
Belinda Franks
Today five upside down canon barrels mark the spots where five generals died during the battle. Photographs taken in these areas sometimes have strange mists or light anomalies in them.

It appears some of the soldiers who perished during the Antietam Battle are more than just a memory.

Two houses-- the Pry House and the Piper House both stand on the battlefield. These structures are haunted as well.

Witnesses report hearing footsteps on stairs and seeing apparitions.

The Pry House was where Union Maj. General George B. McClellan made his headquarters. A woman seen in this house is believed to be Francis the wife of General Richardson.

Pry House as it appeared during battle.
Richardson was wounded during this battle and Francis nursed him on his deathbed.

Another structure near the battlefield in Sharpsburg is the St. Paul Episcopal Church. This building was used as a Confederate hospital following the battle.

Members of this church have heard screams, which they believe to be the southern soldiers who were wounded and dying in this makeshift hospital.

Other witnesses have seen lights flickering on and off in St. Paul’s tower.

Excerpts used from an article written by Rickie Longfellow a member of the West Licking Historical Society.

Here is a stark collection of Then and Now photos taken at Antietam. Warning: many are graphic in nature. 

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Malaysian Karaoke Ghost

Collage of Malaysian

Karaoke has become a very popular activity in Malaysia * for people of all ages who use it to unwind and enjoy.

* Karaoke is also popular in a variety of other Asian countries.

This is a first person account told by a young teenage girl who often goes to Karaoke centers with her friends.

Myself, and two of my friends with nothing better to do and bored on a weeknight decided to go sing.

My closest friend Jolin especially enjoys singing for she holds a dream that one day she will be a famous singer like all of her idols.

We headed for our favorite Karaoke spot located in the center of our town. The time flew by as we spent three hours singing, ordering food and having a lot of fun.

Tired, I decided to request our bill. But when it arrived we were in shock for the center had billed us for four people not three.

Our waitress refused to change the bill.

We called the manager over and angrily demanded he explain why we were being billed for four people instead of three.

We tried to explain to him that there were only three of us but he would not budge. Jolin in her typical fashion asked him, “Do you know how to count?”

The manager shrugged and escorted us to his office where he showed us camera footage taken that evening. In the first clip we were singing our lungs out on stage. He pointed out there was a forth teenage girl on stage with us.

He then showed us another clip when we were sitting at our table. In the corner of our table sat the same fourth girl we did not know.

We were horrified for we had not seen this girl the whole evening. It was even more disturbing because it was a slow night at the center with not many people around.

Scared now, we quickly paid the bill and left. We haven’t returned to this center since. My only explanation for that evening is that a ghost joined us.

Here is a fun clip of a foreigner--an American--singing at a Malaysian Karaoke center.

Haunted Object: The Anguished Man

The Anguished Man is an oil painting that depicts a man that looks tortured.

The Anguished Man
The figure of the man in this picture appears bald, his face, neck and a portion of his body that is shown appears red. The mouth is open as if the man is screaming.

Some paintings are made to look this way but The Anguished Man painting is unusual in that it seems to adversely effect people that own it.

Sean Robinson’s grandmother came in possession of the painting when a friend gave it to her. She was firmly convinced that the painting was evil. She told Sean that the woman who gave her the painting mentioned the painter of this piece of art mixed his own blood with the oil paints he used.

Supposedly the artist then committed suicide after he completed it.

His mother stated that she heard crying and saw a shadow man who was faceless and a strange mist, She felt this activity was connected to the picture.

For twenty-five years she kept the painting locked away in her home’s attic in order to protect the family from the evil it projected. She felt this art piece was haunted.

When Sean inherited the painting his family began to experience several unexplained events. They heard the crying and sobbing sounds and saw the shadow figure as well. Sean’s wife had her hair touched while the painting hung upstairs.

His son fell off the stairs inexplicably. Sean feels the painting was the cause. 

Sean states his dog would not go upstairs when the painting was there and now it is in the cellar the family dog will not enter this room.

His wife had another a spine-chilling encounter with this ghost. One night, she thought  Sean had come to bed with her only to look up into a pair of strange eyes. Sean rushed upstairs hearing her screams. Sean put the painting in the cellar at this point.

After this, the dark figure was seen more often, the noises became louder and the family began to feel cold spots around the home. 

Sean set up a camera in front of the painting and filmed it. What he captured on this recording is interesting. This 2+ minute video is below.

Scraping sounds were recorded, a door shuts by itself and a loud bang is heard—while everyone in the house is sleeping.

Sean later set up his camera once more, this time he filmed for three consecutive nights for 8 hours each time-- he captured the loud bang sound again and he also captured the painting falling over on its own in the middle of the night. This video is below as well.

Sean still owns the painting but these days he keeps it locked in the basement of his home to protect his family. He feels it is cursed.

He has had many offers from others to buy the painting but for some reason he has no desire to sell it.

As usual, skeptics have claimed these videos are hoaxes. I will leave that to the reader to decide.

Here is the original video footage Sean shot of the painting.

Here is the second video where Sean captured the painting falling over.

Friday, July 31, 2015

Nottinghamshire’s Clifton Hall

Clifton Hall was built in the 11th century. It was later named after the Clifton family that lived there for over 700 years, starting in the 13th century.

Hall at time Clifton family lived there.
The hall has stood for over 1000 years.

Many feel this house retains much of the Clifton’s family’s energy-- both their joys and sorrows. People point to this as an explanation for why the home has been haunted for many years.

In 1958 the family sold Clifton Hall. It was then used by a series of schools. One of these—Clifton Grammar School that occupied the hall in the 1970s experienced a variety of paranormal activity.

Students and staff heard a baby crying behind a bricked up or sealed room in the house. Others have claimed to see a woman pacing back and forth through a window in this room.

The cause behind this haunting is said to be a disappointed maid who lived in the hall hundreds of years before the school existed.

A teenage maid who had a child by the lord of the manor found herself jilted. It is said she took her revenge by taking this baby and jumping out of a third story window, killing herself and the baby.

Students who attended this school often reported seeing ghostly apparitions in the house.

They experienced something even more disturbing when they started to see “doppelgangers” or entities that took on their appearance. They would encounter these entities that looked just like them as they walked through the halls of the house.

More proof the hall is haunted is the activity the Rashid family experienced after they bought the manor house * in 2007.

Clifton Hall today.
* The house has 17 bedrooms, 10 bathrooms, 10 reception rooms, a private gym and a cinema.

Anwar Rashid at the time he bought Clifton Hall was warned the house was haunted but he ignored these warnings not believing in ghosts.

From the very first night the family—which included Anwar's wife Nabila and their four children-- spent in the home they realized something strange was going on.

Anwar Rashid
Anwar and Nabila heard a knocking sound and then a male voice said, “Is anyone there?” When these sounds repeated Anwar went to discover who was at their door late at night only to find no one.

After this, his wife saw who she thought was her oldest daughter watching the television one night. She called out her name but did not receive a response. She got a funny feeling and left the room-- only to discover that her daughter was in her bedroom asleep.

The activity after this increased in intensity. The family saw dark forms and often heard a young child and other voices talking.

Friends and family members of the Rashid family started to refuse to visit Clifton Hall stating the activity scared them.

At one point Anwar brought in a paranormal team hoping they could get rid of the ghosts. This team experienced some of the activity and proclaimed it some of the most scary they had ever experienced but they didn’t manage to banish the ghosts.

In August of 2007, just eight months after the Rashid family moved in they experienced something they considered to be “the last straw.”

Random marks and stains that appeared to be splattered blood started to appear around the house. When one of these splatters appeared on a quilt that belonged to the family’s 18-month old son—the family left the hall.

Several months later Anwar defaulted on the home loan and the bank took back the property—this was not because he could not afford it.

Anwar Rashid stated afterwards that it became obvious to him that the ghosts did not want him and his family in the home—and they got their wish.