In culture after culture, people believe that the soul lives on after death, that rituals can change the physical world and divine the truth, and that illness and misfortune are caused and alleviated by spirits, ghosts, saints ... and gods.

STEVEN PINKER, How the Mind Works

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

50 Berkeley Square

50 Berkeley Square is one of the most haunted houses in the UK. There are a number of ghosts that are rumored to haunt this gruesome building.

The earliest report of a haunting is the ghost of a little girl who was killed by a sadistic servant in the nursery. She has been seen on the top floor, sobbing and wringing her hands in despair.

In the 1700s, a young woman called Adeline, lived at the house with her evil uncle. One day she tried to escape from him by climbing out a window. She fell to her death and since then, her screaming ghost has been seen hanging from the window ledge many times.

During the 1870s, the building was vacant and neighbors reported hearing screams and loud cries coming from the locked house at night. They also heard the sound of furniture being dragged across the floor, bells ringing and and windows being slammed shut. Even though the house was deserted, furniture and books were thrown out the windows onto street below.

Years later the house was occupied by a Mr. Dupre, who locked his insane brother in a room on the top floor. He fed the insane man through a special opening in the door. This room was said to be the heart of the haunting, and is called the Haunted Room.

In 1850s, a maid was staying in the haunted room overnight. The owners of the house were shaken from their sleep by awful screams coming from her room. They opened the door to find her lying on the bed, her face hideously twisted, her eyes fixed, staring in terror. She went insane and died in hospital the next day, unable to describe what she had seen.

A young man said that he did not believe in ghosts and made a bet that he could spend a night in the haunted room. He arranged for a bell to be rigged up in the room so that he could call for help if he needed it. With his friends sleeping downstairs, he went to bed in the haunted room, holding a gun for protection.

At 2 AM, his friends heard the bell ringing violently. They ran upstairs and heard the sound of a gunshot. As they entered the room, they found the poor young man lying against the wall, his eyes wide and his face contorted in fear. He was dead but there wasn’t a mark on him. The smoking gun was in his hand and there was a bullet hole in the wall.

By 1872 the house had a horrific reputation and nobody would live in it. A man called Lord Lyttleton decided, on a dare, to spend a night in the haunted room. He armed himself with a shotgun and, during the night, fired it at something that jumped out at him from the darkness. When he turned on the light, there was nothing there.

On Christmas Eve, 1887, two sailors named Martin and Blunden, were looking for a place to spend the night. When they came across the empty house in Berkeley Square, they decided to break in and sleep there, unaware of the house’s ghastly reputation.

They chose the room at the top of the house to spend the night. The haunted room.

During the night they heard shuffling footsteps coming up the stairs and a horrific smell entering the room. The door creaked open and some shapeless thing came through the doorway.

Martin managed to rush past it and raced down the stairs to the street, leaving his terrified companion Blunden behind.

He found a policeman and returned to the house just in time to see Blunden jumping out the window, screaming in horror. His body landed on a spiked railing at the front of the house. He was impaled on the spikes and died instantly. Police searched the house but found nothing.

By the 1900s the house was occupied by an elderly couple who acted as caretakers but this couple were never allowed to go into the haunted room. The only key to the room was held by a man who called every six months and spent several hours in the room after having first locked the couple in the basement.

Today, the house is occupied by Maggs Bookshop, and employees working there still report strange happenings. A young woman saw a mass of brown mist, move quickly across the room and then vanish. A cleaning lady felt the presence of a ghost following her around the house. A man was walking upstairs when his glasses were torn off his face and thrown across the room.

Employees are not allowed to go up to the top floor. They say that there’s a police notice hanging on the wall inside the house that was put up in the 1950s. It states that the top floor of the house is not to be used, even for storage.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Paranormal Group Finds Bones Behind Historic Mansion Wall

A historic Brooke County, W. Va., mansion is at the center of a police and paranormal investigation after skeletal remains were found hidden behind a brick wall.

Gene Valentine, the building's owner, told Steubenville news station WTOV that it all started when a paranormal research group came to the Aspen Manor to hunt for ghosts.While there, some members of the Brooke County Paranormal Society said they sensed someone was buried in a basement wall and said they followed the voice to the area."A couple of the psychics that were part of that group got physically sick when they went down there and they couldn't figure out why," said Valentine.

The paranormal group came to the 76,000-square foot mansion in search of spirits, but had no idea they would find skeletal remains."It wasn't what we actually went in looking for," said Kathy Larntz, a member of the group.Larntz said they found a bone on the floor, so she picked it up thinking it was probably an animal bone. She kept digging, and as she did, she found more and more bones.Sheriff Richard Ferguson said the bones had "been chopped up into pieces" and had saw marks on them.The remains were removed from the wall and are being sent to the state medical examiner, who will determine if they are human or animal."They found some questionable bones and I still cannot confirm or deny that they're human," Ferguson said. "They appear to be very old, but still intact, and we have no time frame. We're actually looking back into the history of this area.

"In the meantime, in the former nuns' quarters, Larntz said she, her husband and another investigator made another finding. She said the trio was using electronic voice phenomenon equipment and heard clicking sounds."Nuns would use these clickers when kids would get like really loud (and) wouldn't settle down, they'd start clicking," she said.Valentine said he isn't surprised by the findings."I've had a few psychic friends walk through here and they've had really bad reactions in the house," Valentine said. He said he is restricting access to the mansion until the sheriff's department gets more answers.

The sprawling Aspen Manor mansion was built in 1895 by the Vandergrift family as a boys' getaway that hosted gambling and cockfights.Later, the Catholic community took over and turned it into an assisted living home where nuns and priests once lived. The mansion has since been converted to a bed and breakfast.

(above taken from "WTOV9.COM".