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Category: Haunted House

Haunted Sites in York, UK

Or, Explore Britain’s Most Haunted City

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York: Ghost Tales From The Most Haunted City in Europe

Written by Hannah Osborne in August 2014

york-minsterYork has a lot of ghosts. In 2002, the International Ghost Research Foundation said it was the most haunted city in Europe, with 504 hauntings within the confines of the ancient walls.

Founded by the Romans in 71AD, the city’s violent and volatile history – including Viking invasions, the Norman Conquest and the Civil War – makes its ghostly legacy easy to understand.

The Minster, which stands towering over the city, is said to be haunted by Seamus the dog, whose barks echo through the halls at night. Legend has it that Seamus and his stonemason master worked on the Minster when it was being built. Other workers did not like the pair so one night decided to brick Seamus in behind a wall. With his master unable to find him, Seamus died alone terrified in the darkness, his barks never answered.

In one of the houses behind the Minster, another ghost wanders the upper floors. A family that had moved into the house quickly became aware of a strange presence. A crying sound would come from the children’s bedroom upstairs and people who entered would be overcome with feelings of sadness and regret.

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The girl had lived in the house in the late 14th century. Just six years old, her parents had died from the Black Death in the family home. Fearing she too had the disease, the child was locked in with her parents’ bodies by locals. However, she was not infected and after the doors and windows were boarded up, she slowly starved to death all alone.

Rachel Lacy, a paranormal historian from York worked in the Haunted House, on Stonegate, before it closed down just a few days ago. As a paranormal historian, she used to lead ghost tours of York and has researched ghost stories from the city for many years.

Explaining why York was so haunted, she said that before the Romans arrived about 2,000 years ago, there were early tribes that had kept the land as sacred ground. “Then the Romans came and built a great city on sacred site. Maybe they disturbed something much earlier,” she said.

While working in the Golden Fleece, one of York’s most haunted pubs, Lacy said she and many other members of staff saw ghosts or experienced paranormal activity. “The Fleece is weirder than anywhere I’ve ever worked. I’ve heard a lot of stories from different people. I saw things there that I’ve never seen anywhere else.”

Staff members told stories of seeing their colleagues walking through rooms only to later discover they weren’t there or had only just arrived. People heard furniture being moved around when alone in the pub, while others heard their names being called.

Discussing her favourite ghost tale from York, Lacy said she had personally interviewed Harry Martindale, whose story about the Roman soldiers walking on their knees is one of the city’s most legendary.

Martindale had been working at the Treasurers House where a Roman road had been discovered in a cellar. He went down on a broken ladder and began work. However, as he came to the end of his shift he heard music coming from the wall he was leaning on. He fell down and scrambled into a corner, when he saw Roman soldiers emerge from the wall and march down the road. He could only see to their knees – however, when they walked over the hole to the Roman road, he could see their full legs. He could hear them talking, but could not work out what they were saying.

“Now I could see them exactly as I can see you now, they weren’t no wisp of smoke, they weren’t whirly, you know, the atmosphere didn’t change, they were human beings as came out of the wall except they were dressed as roman soldiers,” he said.

Martindale’s story gained legitimacy after describing several aspects about the Roman soldiers’ clothing that he would not have known at the time, including how they laced their sandals, their tunics and their shields.

Lacy said that although a number of popular ghost stories in York have been corrupted over time, there was a great deal of evidence and sightings to support the city’s ghostly reputation. The Haunted House has now been bought by a property development group which plans to refurbish and rent out the house.

She said that after Haunted House closes, they will be working to purge the property of ghosts through rituals, including the spirit of a girl cursed by her own mother in York Minster. The girl had been betrothed to a boy living next door. However, she was caught sneaking out from his house and the moral police dragged them to court.

After being questioned, the pair supplied contadictory stories and she was cursed. She ended up marrying a different man who turned out to be “incredibly violent”. After trying to flee, he caught up with her during an Easter Parade and beat her so severely doctors believed she would die. However, her ultimate end remains a mystery. “The court records stop before the story ends, so either moneychanged hands to make it go away, or the documents were lost. But the last documents with the husband’s name showed he had married another woman, so she either died or he killed her,” Lacy said.

“I can’t think of a better reason why she would haunt the house.”

<3 Anna

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Ghosts Drove Couple Away in 1959

Or, Explore A Haunted House In Iowa

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Melville’s Haunted House: Unexplained Happenings Drove Couple Away in 1959

Written by Diane Langton in August 2014

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Was it haunted or not? The house, whose address was “End of Skip Level Road,” stood three miles west of Millville in Clayton County.

Bill Meyer was born on the property. He was 15 when he helped build the house that seemed to be haunted when he and his wife, Annie, moved out in December 1959.

Strange events began to occur around Thanksgiving that year.

Bill, bedridden with a broken hip at age 83, and Annie, 77, weren’t particularly superstitious and they didn’t believe in ghosts.

But when the ambulance came to take Bill away from the house on Dec. 17, he and Annie said they’d had enough.

“I don’t think it’s safe to go in there,” he said. “I don’t know whether there’s going to be anything left or not. It’s hard to tell. The whole house might fall down.”

“I’ll say I was scared,” Annie added. “Anybody would be scared.” But she still vowed, “There isn’t such a thing as a ghost.”

Just before Thanksgiving, black soot-like dirt started falling through the ceiling, coating everything. It started at about 11 p.m. and kept going until about 3 a.m. In the morning, the coverlet on Bill’s bed in the parlor was covered.

They looked for cracks or disturbances in the plaster. Nothing.

On Dec. 15, another incident: “I was sitting there in the dark by the heater,” Annie said, “when a flower pedestal at the side of the room fell over with a big fern crashing over. You know how that would sound. The house didn’t shake or anything either.”

For the next two days, strange things continued to happen.

“Once I was sitting there in the dark when a glass on the stand by his bed across the room came down on my head and broke in a thousand pieces,” Annie said.

And there were noises. A sound like a crew of men hammering started in the kitchen, moved up the stairs, then back down to the porch.

Pills from a bottle behind a closed cupboard door were found in a pile on the kitchen floor.

Annie and Bill decide to try an experiment. They put an egg in the neck of a milk bottle on a stand at one end of the living room. They found the egg broken against the door on the opposite side of the room.

The frightened pair reached their last straw when on the night of Dec. 17, a separator bowl on the porch crashed to the floor, breaking several jars. An icebox on the porch fell over, too. They called their son, Elmer, who told his parents they needed to get out of the house.

An ambulance was sent to pick up Bill and the couple went to stay with Annie’s sister and brother-in-law. They left Annie’s two cats at the house.

The night they left, a couple of men checked the house at about 10:30 and everything looked fine. The next morning, the sheriff decided to check and found the bed upside down. He straightened it. Later, he sent someone to check the place again and again the bed was upside down.

That night, the sheriff sealed the doors of the house and placed eggs around the house. An egg in the living room broke, but the sheriff blamed that on the cats.

The Meyers’ son, Elmer, and his wife lived in a smaller house up the road with their 16-year-old son, Gene. Elmer went back to the house with a divining rod and reported to his father that it behaved very strangely when it was close to the house.

Pat Livingston, a riverboat captain, was not a small man — he weighed 260 pounds — and he wasn’t afraid of much. He volunteered to stay at the house. As he was beginning to fall asleep in the bedroom he saw a chair glide across the room. He ignored it and went to sleep. “ … the next thing I knew, I was lying on the floor. I’ll take a lie detector test or anything,” he said. “I woke up kind of groggy. I wouldn’t have believed it for love or money.”

News of the haunted house spread across the nation, drawing scientists and other researchers to investigate, but their tests proved nothing. There were no faults detected, no unusual electrical activity, no radiation.

No other unusual things happened after the house was sealed until a photographer went to take pictures of the house. “He was in the basement when a brick fell from the cellar wall and broke a crock on the floor,” The Gazette reported.

The Meyers never returned to the house, selling it to their neighbors, the Finnegans, in May 1960. They moved into a two-room apartment in Millville. Fifty acres of the Meyers’ farm were added to the Finnegans’ 240 acres. Elmer retained eight acres.

By then hundreds of curiousity seekers had passed by, some even stopping to explore.

General consensus seemed to be that the spooky occurrences were the work of pranksters.

When asked about the house they now owned, Mrs. Finnegan said, “We don’t believe in spooks. We just laugh it off as a joke when anyone inquires about us living in the house. It will remain empty, unless someone wants to rent it.”

No one ever rented it, though. It became a target for vandals and trespassers, until finally the Finnegans filled the house with hay, turning it into a barn.

A quarter of a century later, it still stood empty with broken windows and a sagging roof. It had acquired the name “Ghost Hollow” along with a batch of theories about the so-called ghost that drove an elderly couple from their home.

<3 Anna

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Britain’s Top 5 Most Haunted Sites

Or, Ever Want To Visit A Haunted House?

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Most Haunted: Yvette Fielding’s Top 5 Spooky Places in Britain

Written by Yvette Fielding August 2014

British paranormal reality series Most Haunted is back from the dead. The spooky show, which sees ghost hunter Yvette Fielding search eerie properties for signs of the undead, has returned to UKTV’s Really channel, this time the paranormal investigator and her team will visit the chilling Royal Court Theatre in Lancashire, Sheffield’s National Emergency Services Museum and Newton House in Wales, among others spooky spots.

England rugby player Ben Foden will also join them in the shadows, as will Welsh metal band Bullet for My Valentine. We catch up with Yvette ahead of the show to find out about the UK’s top haunted spots open to the public, so you too can do some investigations of your own (if you dare)…

1. Tatton Old Hall, Cheshire, England

It’s always freezing inside. It used to be the gamekeeper’s cottage from what I understand, but I’ve investigated it a couple of times, and I’m not joking, if someone offered me a million pounds to sleep there the night – no way, no way. However, it’s a great place to go and visit because it’s got the most amazing history. Inside, each individual room is themed for a different time. They’ve got dining sets from the 1930s, and upstairs it’s as it would have been in Saxon times. It’s just a really wonderful place to go. It’s one of the most haunted places that I’ve ever been in. As I say, I would never sleep the night there. It’s too creepy, and it’s very active indeed. I’m terrified, absolutely terrified for my life in that place. I heard everything thrown at us, but not just like ooh here’s a little stir, this was with absolute force and could have cut our heads. The knocking that we heard was like somebody had a mallet on the other side of the wall, and went bang, bang. It’s everything you actually imagine horror nightmares to be

2. Newton House, Llandeilo, Wales

The amount of poltergeist activity that we experienced in that place was just unbelievable. Even when I was sort of clearing up at the end of the investigation, the band [Bullet for My Valentine join Yvette during the investigation in episode two of the new series] had gone, it was just me. I was in the tearoom and the lights were going on and off. The door to the kitchen area was opening and closing and I thought  “oh good god, please please not now, I just want to go home”. Everywhere you went without a shadow of a doubt, something happened. Newton House is open to the public, it’s a beautiful building with a fantastic history and is up there for paranormal activity.

3. Edinburgh Vaults, Scotland

Underneath the city there’s Mary King’s Close, and there’s South Bridge Vaults –which we’ve investigated on numerous occasions. We did a live show once and Stuart Torvell [a paranormal investigator on Most Haunted] actually got scratched, he still has the scars on his back, in one of the corridors in the Edinburgh Vaults. It’s where a lot of the very poor people and homeless people lived. There were also villains living there and rapists. They were all bungled in together. Men, women, and children. They all had to live together in these terrible confined conditions. It’s just endless tunnels and you can’t even see your hand in front of your face sometimes – it’s terrifying, but worth visiting. They are genuinely haunted, and there are regular tour guides that take you around with a candle and give you a ghost tour. It’s absolutely brilliant.

4. Ye Olde King’s Head, Chester, England

We did a show at Ye Olde King’s Head in Chester for Really channel and the television there kept coming on and off on its own. Weirdly enough, every time we turned the tap on, the telly would come on, and any time we turned the tap off, the telly would come off. It was just really odd. There are so many ghosts in this pub. Just going for a pint, you’ll see things move. The people who work there often feel a presence, and the chef in the kitchen has had knives thrown at him. The horrible thing is if you’re staying in room six the bed covers may be pulled off you and then you see this horrible grotesque man leering over the top of you. Avoid room six in Ye Old King’s Head.

5. Drakelow Tunnels, Kidderminster, England

Also featured on Most Haunted for Really channel, it is four and a half miles of tunnels, which were used as a shadow factory during World War II. It was used to make Rover Cars – so if any of the main factories broke down, this particular factory would take over and manufacture cars. Later on, during the Cold War, it was a place where all the local government and local councillors and everybody would come and live. It had its own kitchens; it had its own dormitories and showers. There’s even a really weird BBC telecommunication radio centre to tell you that the world had ended. It’s really weird. I was nearly in tears because I got so disorientated and lost. There’s a ghost there that’s really violent and likes to push you around. The owner said he was on a ladder doing some refurbishments to one of the tunnels and something pushed him off. He broke his leg in two places, and he won’t go down there anymore on his own. He has to go down with his dogs because he’s so frightened or take somebody with him. I would never go down on my own. It’s the most terrifying place ever. But they do open it as a venue, you can have parties there, or just have a walk around, but it is a sight for sore eyes. It’s unbelievable, just unbelievable.

Top tips for ghost spotting: 

If you have a person in your group who’s a little bit negative or sceptical, nothing will happen. It’s like a bad fart at a party.  You need positive people that really want to experience it, that are really interested in it, and not necessarily believe but are just up for it. If you use the same group of people and you travel, you’re more likely to get something happening.

<3 Anna

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Photograph of Ghostly Girl

Or, A Ghost Appears In Tourist’s Photo

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Ghost of Little Girl Photographed in Notorious Haunted Mansion Loftus Hall

Written by Ollie McAteer in August 2014

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A tourist who visited a notorious haunted mansion in Ireland believes he may have photographed the ghost of a little girl.

Thomas Beavis, 21, from Lewisham, made the spine-tingling discovery as he flicked through his camera on the drive home from Loftus Hall in Wexford.

He took the snaps for his mother while on a tour with his friends – but captured what could be the spirit of little Anne Tottenham and the spooky face of an old lady in a window next to the front door.

He told Metro.co.uk: ‘I only really looked at the photo while we were driving home – I was actually stunned.

‘We were all feeling a little edgy from the tour but when I showed the photo to my friends we freaked!

loftus hall 2

‘I zoomed in on all the windows to find this girl in the window. I had to take some time before I showed it to everyone just because I didn’t really understand what I was looking at.’

Stories suggest that the Tottenham family moved into the mansion around 1766.

But the youngest, Anne, fell ill after an encounter with a demonic spirit.

She was shunned by her family and locked away in a room in the huge estate until she died.

At first glance the holidaymaker thought it was someone’s reflection, but on closer inspection he noticed that the suspected ghost is looking the opposite way to those outside the house.

Mr Beavis added: ‘I got chills, and still do. The girl could be the spirit of Anne Tottenham still walking around Loftus Hall. It could have been some strange occurrence because of a supernatural power, but I don’t know.

‘Normally I am a guy that believes in what he sees, but with this, I still don’t understand what’s going on in that photo.’

<3 Anna

 

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Blood-Soaked Haunted House For Sale

Or, Stay Away From This One!

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“Haunted” House For Sale — Complete With Blood on the Walls!

Written by Adriana Velez in August 2014

So, you’re looking for a house in the Detroit area because you hear they’re ridiculously cheap. And this one catches your eye. It’s probably a fixer-upper, but it’s a 2,084-square-foot, 4-bedroom brick colonial — for only $19,500! You HAVE to take a look, right? This is so worth considering. There’s just one little thing. According to the listing, it was “previously a Halloween haunted house.”

No big deal, right? Yeah … well, maybe you should see some photos first. Let’s just say, the seller is “highly motivated” to sell but couldn’t be bothered to stage the house.

Maybe you should sit down.

haunted house detroit

So, is it me? Or are the words “YOU WILL DIE” scrawled on the wall in blood along with bloody handprints? I mean, haha, obviously it’s just red paint. I know that! But yeesh. That’s creepy. They must have just forgotten to repaint this room. I can understand that. They were probably in a hurry to list this house. Let’s see some of the other rooms.

haunted house detroit

Hmm, well, I guess you’d have some plaster work to clean up here. And the bars on the window aren’t very warm. Ceiling needs to be redone. And — ew, what’s that on the door to the right? Bloody handprints? Bloody hell! Honestly, couldn’t they have painted over that before taking this photo? I’m afraid to see the other rooms.

haunted house detroit

ZOMG!!! First of all, this room looks like a crime scene. Secondly, is it a kitchen or a bathroom? That’s almost as scary as the fake blood. And what’s up with the random staircase? Where does it lead, and what’s inside the doorway? Never mind, don’t tell me. Whatever it is, I don’t want to see it.

Well then. Good luck selling this house! I think spending a couple hundred and an afternoon to do a little emergency repainting could have made the difference between selling at $19,000 and not selling at all. But then, I’m one of those crazy people who doesn’t like seeing the words YOU WILL DIE on the walls of my future home, you know? But maybe this listing will draw a more adventurous sort who’s not so picky.

<3 Anna

 

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Haunted British Hotel For Sale

Or, Want To Buy A Piece Of Haunted History?

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Historic Haunted Hotel in Northamptonshire On Sale for 1.3 Million

Written Nick Bieber in August 2014

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The Hind Hotel, the place where Oliver Cromwell is supposed to have planned the battle of Naseby in 1n 1645, has been put on the market by specialist hotel property adviser Christie + Co.

The former coaching inn – thought to be haunted, is now a comfortable and stylish retreat in Wellingborough town centre, offering 34 decorated en-suite rooms with satellite television and 24 hour room service.

There is also a traditional restaurant and bar, informal cafe and four meeting rooms of various sizes – ideal for weddings, functions, meetings and family gatherings. A public car park lies to the rear of the property and a large multi-storey car park is situated two minutes away.

Gavin Wright of Christie + Co’s Birmingham office is handling the sale. He says: “Our clients have owned the hotel since 2001 and have built up a fantastic reputation in Wellingborough and surrounding areas. Given the excellent location of the hotel within the town centre, it benefits from a number of meetings, functions and weddings.

<3 Anna
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Haunted London Hotel

Or, Cricketeers Having Trouble Staying At Haunted Hotel

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Stuart Broad and Ben Stokes unable to sleep in ‘haunted’ London hotel

Written by Phil Archbold

England’s cricketers are having trouble sleeping at night after becoming convinced that their five-star central London hotel is haunted.

According to the Daily Mail, a number of players have requested to switch rooms, while some wives and girlfriends have refused to stay at the Langham Hotel during London Test matches this summer after complaints of paranormal activity.

“During the Sri Lanka Test I had to move rooms,” Stuart Broad is quoted as saying.

“It was so hot in the room I just couldn’t sleep. All of a sudden the taps in the bathroom came on for no reason. I turned the lights on and the taps turned themselves off. Then when I turned the lights off again the taps came on. It was very weird.

“It really freaked me out. I ended up asking to move rooms. Ben Stokes has had some problems sleeping as well. He’s on the third floor, which is where a lot of the issues are. I’m telling you, something weird is going on.”

<3 Anna

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How Haunted Is Hoult House?

Or, Take A Peek Inside A New Zealand Haunted House

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hoult haunted house

How Haunted is the Hoult House?

By NAOMI ARNOLD AND ALDEN WILLIAMS

This old house is high on a river terrace, built on the bones of a totara forest. We’d seen it one night and stopped to knock on the door of its neighbour, the trim, shining, former Wai-iti School headmaster’s home.

It was late; raining. Through the glass we saw a woman scold her yapping dog. She answered the door in a pink dressing gown.

“Hello,” she said, then: “The old Hoult place. You’ll be wanting Linesy.”

He wasn’t far away. Just next door, actually, in a shed in the middle of the hop gardens and grapevines, having a drink at day’s end with the rest of the men. Including her husband.

Across the fences, inside the shed, there was beer on tap and aerial farm photographs on the wall and caps hanging from a beam. There was an air of permanence, of roots pushing into the soil for generations. There was the yeasty, stale smell of beer. Linesy’s got a day’s stubble and thick salt-and-pepper hair that might have been under a hat all day.

“The old Hoult house,” he said. It used to be home to the seasonal hop-pickers, back when he was a kid. He still remembered when the first sheet of roofing iron blew off.

“I should have gone in and nailed it down then,” he says. “Never did.” That was 25 years ago. So the rain got in, and then the wind and animals took care of the rest of it.

He broke down the old chimney and sold the bricks, which meant the north end fell in. Parts of the range are still there, under all the timber.

“I wish I had a couple of dollars every time it’s photographed,” Linesy said. “Or a couple of bottles of wine from every wedding that’s taken pictures out there.”

Yes, we can go in and have a dig around, he said – but only if we put in a plug for his company. The men in the shed grinned. He gave us a sticker, a business card. There was the old Hoult house, with a wooden sign hanging on its drooping verandah: Totara Brewing Co. New Zealand’s only hop farm and brewery. The slogan: Taste of the past.

He said: “Wanna beer?”

There’s an entire valley named after the Hoults.

This old family home has been here for 155 years, since the days when the Waimea Plains were freshly shorn of their totara, kahikatea, rimu, beech. Under the sheep, under the pasture, the ground is full of totara seeds. There is no getting rid of them. They still split open in the dark, kick out a shoot, crack the soil and push up through the grass.

The original Hoult, Joseph, arrived in Nelson on the Prince of Wales in 1842, not long after the first batch of English ships had nudged into the Haven. He moved to Wai-iti, started milling trees, and raised a family, his sons eventually joining him in the business.

He built the house for his oldest, also named Joseph, who took his new bride Maria to live there in 1859. A good Catholic, Maria bore four children in five years – but the last, a baby named for his father and grandfather, died at six weeks old.

A month later Maria was gone too, aged just 26 – and her husband found himself not just one of the first steam sawmillers in the district, but mother and father to three children under five.

The solution came in the form of his mother-in-law, Honorah, who he brought out from England to help with the children. He married another Honorah a year later, and she bore her own baby Joseph – then Maud Mary, William, Robert, Albert, and Constance. The mother-in-law stayed for 20 years to help raise all nine children until she died in 1886.

They would all have sat on this front verandah, and looked out across stumpy pasture to the hills. They would have run around the house chasing each other, watched the trees around them coming down, gone to school, seen a new settlement in its infancy. Their verandah roof is sagging now, and surely can’t be more than a few winters away from collapse. But people have been saying that for years.

“Don’t breathe on it,” Linesy had said. “Don’t sneeze.”

The house itself is little more than a balsa-wood model of a home – the slightest nudge of a finger might send the whole thing sliding over. We go in the back, and step straight through the gaping living room wall to stand there on piles of shit-strewn timbers and sacks, to look clear through the second storey to the roof. The second floor, along with the living room wall, was knocked down to store hay.

Scrim hangs in strips from the timber walls, though there are still scraps of pale blue wallpaper up high. Some small, pretty white window latches remain, but every pane of glass has gone, save for a dirty third clinging to the sash in the living room. There’s an old animal hutch on the floor, twists of pipe and piles of hay. A bathtub. The roots of a tree have thrust into the collapsed kitchen wall, where the chimney’s gone. On the western wall, someone has cut their names into the old flowered wallpaper: CAROL ANDERSON 1967. ANITA PETERS 1967.

Here, perhaps, was where Norah Hoult sat by the fire in the winter of 1896 and stitched a Bo-Peep costume for her youngest daughter Constance, for the fancy-dress ball at Wakefield’s Baigent’s Hall that year. Connie might have baked scones here, too. Still a Miss Hoult when she was 22, she took out first prize for six of them at the second annual Waimea Horticultural, Industrial, and Poultry Association show in 1904.

Gingerly, we go up the narrow, ladder-like stairs to where the family once slept. There are still beds with coiled wire bases, double and single; maybe left behind from the Lines’ hop-pickers. The northern bedroom is open to the air, the floorboards leading straight out to the open sky. We shuffle over them to peer at the boards lining the sloping roof, and see faint pencil scratchings in neat cursive. It’s quite a jolt to read them and realise that Norah’s children were actually here, crouching on a bed maybe, on a rainy day, and writing their names on this ceiling on a Sunday in August 1897.

Maybe it was all of them. Or maybe just Robert who wrote them – “R. Hoult” is inscribed several times. There’s also “A. Hoult”, “Connie Hoult”, “Maud Hoult”, and “Joseph Hoult”, preserved up here in the bedroom for nearly 120 years.

When their father died in 1910, a correspondent to the Colonist described him as another “old and worthy settler”. He willed the house to Norah, who lived there until she died there in May 1914, just a couple of months before World War 1.

Joseph had left instructions that upon her death the old house was to be sold and the money given to his sons. The clan is buried now in Wakefield’s St Joseph’s cemetery – Maria with her mother, and Joseph lying forever with Norah. The house remains. Though it’s been gone from the family for a century, locals still call it the Hoult place.

But the house’s other historic graffiti artists are still alive. Carol Anderson and Anita Peters live in Takaka now, six and a half kilometres apart. They were 13 in 1967, their birthdays just three days away from each other, and they remember the “haunted” Hoult house well – especially how all the kids used to dare each other to go inside.

“It wasn’t naughty,” Anderson says. “All the kids did it. Though they’d been told it could fall down any day, they ignored it”.

Both artists now, the pair used to play together in Wai-iti as children, roaming around the roads on their bicycles. “It was a free-for-all,” Peters says. Though they fell out of touch for about 30 years, they’re back in contact since Peters moved to Takaka.

Although they have satisfying contemporary memories of digging into the cardboard-like wallpaper and scrim of other houses – especially Anderson, who grew up to be a sculptor – they don’t remember the day of this particular graffiti. “I remember going up the paddock, and I remember going there often enough,” Peters says.

“I remember the scariness of it. But I don’t remember carving anything.”

Neither does Anderson. “But then I used to carve things into anything, really. Didn’t you?” she asks Peters. “Up in the Wai-iti Domain.”

“It was probably about it being there for posterity,” Peters says.

“We thought like that in those days. We wrote poetry and did thoughtful things. I recognise the impulse. It’s a way of marking your life somehow, of something that’s going to live beyond you. Not that you probably think of that at the time.”

“It’s your ego asserting itself,” Anderson says. “‘I was here’.”

When we turn up to Peters’ historic villa, Anderson has not only brought warm cheese and sweet chili muffins wrapped in a tea-towel, which happen to go wonderfully with Peters’ feijoa relish. She’s also brought another Waimea College school friend who has fond memories of the Hoult house – Judy Cullen, nee Lines, sister of Linesy.

Their uncle David used to say that there were so many people nosing around that house that they should booby-trap it. So they did. Cullen’s brothers set up a piece of wire hung with old tin cans across the door, and wait for their prey.

“We used to watch and we’d see people screaming down the hill,” Cullen says.

“That explains a lot,” Anderson says, who once opened the door to an avalanche of cans.

“There was a hell of a racket. I screamed and ran off and dropped my jandal at the end of the verandah and had to go back up. I can just remember being terrified.”

Cullen recalls how useful the place was to several generations of her family. After the Lineses bought it, the house was used as hop-pickers’ accommodation until the early 60s, the workers enjoying fresh potatoes and milk from the farm every day.

“Farmers were the original recyclers,” Judy says.

“They never pulled anything down. If there was a house falling into disrepair they got boards, iron, bricks from the chimney, cut holes in it and loaded it up with hay. We would have had mismothered sheep thrown in amongst the hay with a couple of lambs.”

Besides, they couldn’t pull down the archetypal old house, she says. “It was the most-photographed house in the area. It was on too many calendars every year. We were really proud to live on the farm [with it].”

Anderson once painted it. Cullen drew and photographed it and did a whole school art project on it.

Her daughter did as well. Her grandchildren haven’t yet – but if she goes to her daughter’s house in Blenheim there’s an old lino cut of the house on the wall.

“It’s very famous for being decrepit,” Peters says.

“It’s beautiful – the big totara trees on either side and the hill in behind,” Cullen says.

“It sometimes had daffodils, if you came in spring. And when that windmill was there that was gorgeous. We’ve all loved it in our own ways. It’s very cherished.”

Although it’s been gone from the family for so long, it still feels a little like home for some of the Hoult descendants. Joseph Hoult’s great-grandniece, Jannine Krammer, lives in Tapawera now. She and her sister Carol have an interest in family history, and they’ve poked around the old house, leaning in the windows and taking pictures.

She says it’s not going to take much to knock it down; she’s surprised it’s lasted this long. “But it’ll be a shame to see it go.”

When she drives past it into Nelson these days, she’s amazed, quite frankly, at how many times she sees people stopped on the side of the road taking their photos. The old place is famous region-wide – it has appeared in dozens of paintings, and there are lots of moody shots on Flickr. She’s proud to see them taking an interest. “I feel like stopping, and telling them stuff about it.”

It’s weird thinking that her relatives died in the house, taking their last breaths under ceilings and walls still standing; that her great-uncles took up a pencil and scratched their names on the ceilings as children.

“I do get the sense they’re there,” she says. “It’s quite eerie.”

She has left instructions that when she dies she’s to be buried in St Joseph’s alongside her family, a clan of more than 50. She’ll lie next to Joseph, Maria, Norah, and the other Hoults who lived and died in the wooden house – one of a few still standing, dotted across the old totara forests of this rich southern land.

<3 Anna

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Is This Georgia Hospital Haunted?

Or, Decide For Yourself

Click here for the original article or scroll down for Tara Herrschaft’s story.

Is This Old Hospital Really Haunted?

The Child Advocacy Center of Coffee County, which serves five counties is in the process of moving into a historic building on East Ward Street.

The building was the county’s hospital from 1935 to 1953, then served as the library and even board of education.

Author and  Former Assistant Superintendent  Julian Williams worked in the building as the assistant superintendent.

He says ghosts are known to haunt the building. Not only has he written a book about it, he has seen the ghost himself. “It’s just a very practical building to use. And it’s too nice to throw away I think. A lot of history, and I don’t know where the ghost would go.”

The child advocacy center bought the building for just $500.

In addition to their services, they’re adding a rape crisis center and onsite mental health therapy.

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Italy’s Most Haunted Island For Sale

Or, Have Some Extra Cash Laying Around?

You can find the original article here or scroll down for the original story.

Italy to sell off the world’s most haunted island

The island of Poveglia, in the Venetian Lagoon, was used to house black plague victims in the 14th century.

A small island in the Venetian Lagoon, considered one of the most “haunted” places in the world, will be up for auction next month as part of Italy’s desperate attempts to offset the effects of the economic crisis, according to a report in British daily The Telegraph.

The 70,000-square-meter island of Poveglia was at the heart of a conflict between Venice and Genoa during the 14th century. Fortifications and other artifacts of the war can still be found there. During the 18th century, the island served as a quarantine station for ships en route to Venice that supposedly carried the black plague with them. Ships were ordered to wait 40 days at the island, to ensure that none of the passengers or crew were infected with the disease.

After two cases of the plague were discovered on the island, it was declared closed-off and used to quarantine others with the disease. Since then, tales began to spread of those who perished on the island and their ghosts, who supposedly haunt the island to this day.

In 1922, a geriatric hospital was opened on the island, functioning until 1968. Rumors spread that the hospital administrator, crazed by the haunted island, would conduct lobotomies and other experiments on patients. Supposedly, the mad doctor eventually threw himself off the hospital’s roof.

According to the report, the Italian government is hoping to market the island as the ideal spot for building an exclusive, luxurious hotel. The auction, planned for next month, includes a 99-year lease on all of the structures on the island, the hospital, the fortifications and also other ruins.

The same auction will feature other Italian properties, including a monastery in the town of Taranto, southeastern Italy, as well as a 15th-century castle in Gradisca d’Isonzo, a town near the Slovenia-Italy border, built to defend against the Turks.

The asking price for Poveglia has yet to be disclosed, but the Telegraph learned that one of the military structures on the island previously sold for 8.3 million euros ($11.5 million). Italy is reportedly planning to put 500 other structures up for sale over the next year, in order to make up a 500 million euro budget deficit.

<3 Anna

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