ghosts-and-ruins

It’s finally that time again! Each October I post about haunted historic places and creepy artifacts so I’ve made a summary here of my most popular posts from 2012 to 2014 for you. Also, I’ll be making plenty of new Haunted History posts throughout October in addition to my regular history stuff so keep an eye out. Happy Halloween and thanks again for following me! :) Here are the links:

The Birthplace of Halloween

The Real Dracula’s Castle and yes, it’s haunted!

An Ancient Ghost Story by Pliny the Younger

Roman Skull with a Charon’s Obol

The Phantom Roman Army of Flower’s Barrow

Ghosts of Corfe Castle, Dorset

Egyptian Effigy ‘Voodoo’ Doll

Hecate, the Goddess of… Trick or Treating?

The Celtic Coligny Calendar: The Origins of Halloween

Ireland’s Gate to Hell: Oweynagat (The Cave of Cats)

The Pendle Witch’s Cottage with a Bricked-in Mummified Cat

Haunted Hadrian’s Wall: Milecastle 42 Roman Fort

(There’s many more tucked away below…)

Keep reading

Your holy hands forget my scripture,
and the crown falls off this love.
There’s nothing I can do to stop it.
A kingdom breaks from
even the smallest griefs.

Time passes,
and the world does its best to bury
our small forever,
but you’re still the language I dream in.
I miss you more than any
of the history books promised.

I should let you go,
leave you as a face lost 
to a train’s closing doors
or a busy signal on the other side of the line
but this ache is almost as loud
as the sound of you answering, 
so I keep it.

I know what this looks like.
Like this love is a rotting corpse,
and I can’t stop reading the autopsy sheet,
but
I wrote a poem without you in it once,
and it was the emptiest room
I’ve ever walked in. 

It was the loudest haunting
I’ve ever heard.

—  Y.Z, give me your ghost town, your holy ruins, your forgotten world
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Haunted Rothiemurchus Forest & Loch an Eilein Castle

These dark woods are home to the grave of Seath Mor, a chief of the Clan Shaw who lived in the 14th century. He was a formidable warrior, standing over 6 feet tall and had a twisted smile that could strike terror into the hearts of even his own people. His spirit is said to appear to those who wander too deep into the forest, challenging them to do battle. Legend has it that if you show fear or run away like a coward, you will never be heard from again. However, if you remain calm and accept the challenge, the ghostly chieftain will leave you in peace.

His burial site lies close to the kirk of the Doune of Rothiemurchus and five cylindrical stones have been placed on top of the grave. Tradition says that anyone who dares to tamper with those stones will suffer the wrath of the clan’s guardian spirit, a familiar called Bodach an Duin (Goblin of the Doune). In the early 19th century, a man stole the center stone from Seath Mor’s grave and threw it into the River Spey. The following morning the stone was found back in its place and its thief was found floating dead in the river. More recently, a wrought iron cage has been placed over the grave to keep others from making the same mistake. (photo)

Also in the ancient pines of the Rothiemurchus Estate are the ruins of Loch an Eilein Castle. It’s located on an island in the secluded Loch an Eilean. Built in the 14th century, most likely by Alexander Stewart, the Wolf of Badenoch, the third surviving son of King Robert II of Scotland. Alexander’s nickname was earned due to his notorious cruelty and rapacity.

Loch an Eilein Castle consists of a keep, a hall, other buildings and a small courtyard. Eventually the castle passed into the hands of the Mackintoshes, then the Gordons and then the Grants in 1567.  The castle was attacked by the Jacobites in 1690. It was last occupied in 1715 when Mackintosh of Balnespick was kept there to prevent him from opposing the Jacobites. The castle used to be connected to the shore by a causeway, but it was lost when the water level was raised in the 18th century.

5

Haunted Beaumaris Castle, Wales

Visitors to the castle have reported strange sightings over the centuries. The castle’s most active spot seems to be its chapel where people have reported the sound of ghostly chanting. Some have even been able to record the macabre melody when it wasn’t audible to the naked ear. Also in the chapel, visitors have been known to find themselves standing in a frigid cold spot that tends to appear and disappear abruptly.

Visitors have experienced an uneasy feeling of being watched while they roam the corridors; apparitions have been sighted and the footsteps of people long past have been heard in and around the castle.  Some also report an intense feeling of loneliness when they visit the site. The most disturbing activity at the castle is probably the sound of disembodied, pained screams that appear to come from no living source.

Originally, Beaumaris was a Viking settlement known as Porth y Wygyr (Port of the Vikings). Shipbuilding was an important industry in Beaumaris and during the Saxon times, it was one of the three important Saxon ports in the UK. Beaumaris was also famous for its pirates, many of whom lived in town.

Beaumaris Castle was the last of many castles built by King Edward I in Wales. It was ordered to be built during his campaign to conquer North Wales on an advantageous site that was chosen because it ensured control of the Menai Strait. It stood looking down on Garth Celyn, the Prince of Wales’ reputed headquarters prior to the Edwardian conquest of 1283.

The castle’s construction began in 1295 and continued for 35 years, employing over 2,000 workmen. However, finances ran out when King Edward turned his attention to Scotland, as his Welsh conquest was nearly over and he needed money for his Scottish campaigns. As a result, the castle was never completely finished.

4

The living will forever be obsessed with death and those who have started on that grand adventure before them. This Fall, Fantagraphics presents two books to capture the imagination and haunt each and every night by the young and talentedJulia Gfrörer and Ben Catmull.

Black Is the Color
by Julia Gfrörer

September 2013

$9.99 Paperback • 72 pages
Black-and-white • 6" x 9"
ISBN: 978-1-60699-717-8

The push and pull, ebb and flow of the water calls out to all men. In this harrowing new graphic novella, Black Is the ColorJulia Gfrörer delicately hatches away this sailor-at-sea story until the reader drowns in imminent destruction. Gfrörer states, “Black Is the Color is my most ambitious single story comic to date, and I’m thrilled that Fantagraphics will be publishing it in a format that matches my vision for the work.” Originally serialized at the Study Group web collective, Gfrörer’s work is as seductive as the mermaids she draws beneath the waves.

Ghosts and Ruins
by Ben Catmull

September 2013

$19.99 Hardcover • 88 pages
Black-and-white • 10.25" x 8.50"
ISBN: 978-1-60699-678-2

Continuing his expanding Fantagraphics catalog, Ben Catmull’s chilling compendium of long-forgotten and still-occupied haunted houses joins his 2006 critically-acclaimed Monster Parade. “For Ghosts and Ruins I wanted to take my obsessions with ghost stories, abandoned architecture, and forgotten history and illustrated them with images full of shadows, atmosphere, and texture. I’m looking forward to see how people react to a book that approaches the horror genre not with adrenaline fueled sadism or tongue in cheek goofiness but with haunting meloncholy and a little deadpan humor,” Catmull summarizes. This coffee-table sized collection is the perfect gift for the future ghost in your life, and fans of Edward Gorey and Tim Burton are sure to enjoy these sweeping landscapes that echo of loss, dilapidation and dread.

(Final cover images may vary.)

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“A tour of strange and sinister places only the very brave or the very foolish might be tempted to explore, the kind where ghostly apparitions glide by attic windows, crawl across ancient carpets, or leap out at you from darkened doorways. Ben Catmull is an exceptional artist who has crafted a singularly macabre experience, both frightening and funny.” – Richard Sala

“Ben Catmull’s drawings are mind-blowing and this book is a velvet nightmare you never want to wake from.” – Renée French

Ghosts and Ruins
by Ben Catmull

84-page black & white 10.25" x 8.5" hardcover • $22.99
ISBN: 978-1-60699-678-2

Available now! Click the thumbnails for larger versions; get more info, see more previews and pre-order your copy here:

http://www.fantagraphics.com/ghostsandruins

Ghosts of Corfe Castle, Dorset

Corfe Castle, built by William the Conqueror in the 11th century, has a few ghostly tales attached to its history. Before the current castle was built, the site where it sits was the location of the assassination of King Edward (Edward the Martyr) on March 18th 978, on the orders of his scheming stepmother Queen Alfthryth. Edward was stabbed while he was on his horse and then helplessly dragged along to his death by his own steed. The Queen Alfthryth’s son Athelred “the Unready”, was crowned in his place. Since then there have been reports of hearing a phantom horse’s galloping hooves at the bottom of the hill below the castle. Witnesses hear the horse approach and ride by but never see the ghostly animal.

Another tragic tale is that of Eleanor the “Fair Maid of Brittany” (1184 - 1241). In 1203 she was captured since she posed a threat to John, King of England, as she had a legitimate claim to the throne. The beautiful Eleanor was thus taken to Corfe Castle where she remained a prisoner until her death in 1241.  William de Braose, 4th Lord of Bramber (1144/1153? – 1211), also found ill favor with the king and as a result, his poor wife and child were starved to death at Corfe Castle. The disembodied sounds of a crying child can sometimes be heard around the castle grounds when there is no child to be found anywhere.

During the English Civil War, Corfe Castle was successfully defended by the leadership of Lady Bankes, a Royalist, in the absence of her husband who was away on business.  However in February of 1646, she was betrayed by one of her own people and the Parliamentary soldiers were then able to take control of the structure. Cromwell’s soldiers destroyed the castle,  reducing it quickly to the ruin that we see today. Soon after, stories began to circulate of ghostly occurrences. The best-known apparition is that of the headless ‘White Lady’ who sends chills down the spine of anyone who crosses her path. She has been seen mostly near the castle gate where she then fades away into nothingness, leaving witnesses shocked and shaken. It is believed that she could be the ghost of Lady Bankes, Eleanor “the Fair Maid of Brittany” or possibly even William de Braose’s wife.

Floating, flickering lights have also been reported moving around the castle at night. One popular explanation for this is that these are the spirits of the Royalists killed while defending Corfe against Cromwell’s forces. Whatever the reason, it just adds to the mysterious and creepy charm of this old Norman ruin.