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.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

The Totem Pole and the Curse

Totem Pole

The sewer system in the town of Livermore, California was once cursed because of how a totem pole was treated.

This totem pole still stands in Centennial Park on the corner of 4th and Holmes.

Adam “Fortunate Eagle” Nordwald, a member of the Ojibwa Nation, carved this totem pole in 1969 for a local shopping center but when they refused to pay him, he donated to the city of Livermore instead for their 100th anniversary.

This totem pole depicts scenes representing Livermore’s history. Every ring on it represents ten years. It has a carving of the city founder—Robert Livermore and another that shows Atomic energy being used for peaceful purposes.

The pole when given was 18 feet tall and was dedicated in May of 1974.

At the time it was installed in the park, city workers for some unknown reason chopped off a few feet at the bottom of the pole. Nordwald felt this desecrated his work. He demanded it be restored to its original height.

But his demands fell on death ears. The city council refused to restore the pole.

So Norwald placed a curse on the city’s sewer system. Within two weeks Livermore’s entire sewer system backed up.

Article in Independent in March of 2015
After this Livermore restored the totem pole to its original height but they never issued an apology to Nordwald so he did not lift the curse.

Some believe this curse has impacted the city in other ways. In 1974 during the centennial celebration a Time Capsule was buried in the park. In 1999, when the city went to unearth it could not be found.

It later was found underneath the totem pole.

In more recent years, two deaths have been blamed on the Nordwald curse. A former city manager and a prominent city resident that were both interviewed in a documentary about Livermore’s history mentioned the totem pole and curse.

They both died within a few short weeks after this documentary’s release. Were they victims of this curse or was it just an eerie coincidence?

Adam Nordwald also became known because of his activism in various Native American protests.

He was the main organizer for the Native American occupation of Alcatraz Island from 1969 until 1971.

In 1973, he “discovered” Italy. He showed up in this country in full tribal regalia and announced in the name of the American Native people that he was taking possession of Italy “by right of discovery” just like Christopher Columbus had done.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Bannack: A Ghost Town with Ghosts


Bannack, Montana was established in 1862 when gold was found along Grasshopper Creek.

Like other gold rushes, miners flooded into this settlement in search of their fortunes. It was not long before the hills surrounding the community were filled with as many as 10,000 miners.

With this large population came violence.

In 1883, a fast-talking, handsome, well-dressed newcomer, by the name of Henry Plummer, impressed several leading community members. It wasn’t long before he was elected sheriff.

Henry Plummer
But what the unsuspecting citizens of Bannack did not know is Plummer was actually the head of a secret band of road agents called the “innocents.”

They began to terrorize travelers between Bannack and Virginia City, robbing and killing more than 100 men within a few short months.

In December of 1883 the miners formed the Montana Vigilantes and during the next 42 days they hanged 24 gang members, including Henry Plummer.

Later, the authenticity of this story was questioned by historians—some believed it was just a cover the vigilantes used to mask their own nefarious activities in the area.

Today the ghost town of Bannack is a state park. Many people believe that the ghost of Henry Plummer—wrongly hanged—haunts the area. His motivation is said to be the need to clear his name.

Hotel Meade
Another ghost that resides in Bannack is seen on the second floor of the Hotel Meade.

This structure built in 1875 was originally used as a courthouse. In 1881 when Bannack lost its county seat status to nearby Dillon the building was abandoned until 1890.

It then was remodeled and reopened as a plush hotel. It remained a hotel for many years—in its final reincarnation it was used as a hospital.

Today visitors experience cold spots and see the apparition of a teen-age girl on its second floor. Others report hearing the sounds of children crying. One investigator caught these sounds during an EVP session.

The first sighting of this ghostly girl happened over 100 years ago. It is said she is Dorothy Dunn a 16-year old resident of Bannack who drowned while swimming in a dredge pond along Grasshopper Creek.

Shortly after her death, Dorothy’s ghost first appeared to her best friend who was with her at the time of her death.

Since this initial encounter numerous witnesses have reported seeing a teen-age girl wearing a long blue dress on the second floor of the old Hotel Meade.

Children most often see her. One 7-year old saw Dorothy and she states this ghost tried to talk to her. She saw Dorothy’s mouth moving but heard no sound.

Others have seen Dorothy’s ghost standing at an upstairs window as they stood in the street below.

Yet other witnesses have seen ghostly women dressed in their best finery in various places around the old town.

When the mines played out in Bannack it quickly was abandoned. By the 1940s it was a ghost town.

The Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks stepped in to save the town from the elements and vandalism by making it a state park in August of 1954.

Today, over 60 structures remain and the staff gives tours—as well as allowing individuals to explore this historic site on their own.

The following photograph was taken at Bannack’s General Store. Two photos were taken one right after the other. In the second photo this mist appears—it is believed to be paranormal in nature.