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Ghosts & Hauntings

One Small Trip with Ivan

I was putting things in slightly better order the other day and focussed on the notebook above. It had been “seen” before of course, but without any consciousness. That day the thought occurred: “Ivan doesn’t seem to have been at all ‘spiritual’ really. Wonder why he even bothered to have a notebook on ghosts?”

The page-through look inside showed quickly that indeed he was NOT much interested. The notebook is relatively thin and has little that I, at least, consider substantial. The main thing there was his draft of a book chapter he later published in More Things, which is worth retelling shortly “down the page”.

The intriguing “Spectral Ships” consists of only a chapter from a book, and the articles that were published by Larry Arnold in PURSUIT are at least as good [and have been covered here already]. The “doppelgänger” section was one letter from a reader and a reply sending it to Berthold Schwarz.

Generally speaking, what interested me was that not everything in the notebook was put there by Ivan. I always viewed these as his files and his alone, but I have to revise that a bit. I know this because there ARE a couple of handfuls of paste-ins about ghosts/ poltergeists BUT they are almost all in the couple of years after he died. The way that I’m going to rationalize this is to believe that once Ivan founded SITU, he “transferred” his files TO SITU as one of the resource foundations of the organization, and for a brief while during his illness and after someone [probably Marion Fawcett] might glue some incoming things in there. This may seem trivial, but it is worth keeping in mind for the researcher. These posthumous add-ins were uniformly low credibility articles out of the National Enquirer.

But there were, as I said, a thing or two else wise in the file which might be interesting to you, both in itself and because Ivan placed it there.

The main thing will be about the event associated with the chapter that Ivan wrote to conclude the book More Things.

It concerns a time well before the SITU dream, when Ivan and his first wife were in Haiti collecting biological specimens on a grant. They lived in a nice residence nearby Port-au-Prince with a friend who spoke the Haitian dialects, and had housekeeping people looking out for their welfare, most important of whom was a lady who took matronly concern for Ivan’s wife. This was a fine lady who happened to be a practitioner of Vaudun, a benign strain of what we call Voudou, aimed mainly at healing. None of that Ivan gave any credence to, but the lady, as he said, tolerated him because she liked his wife.

This lady seemed to have an uncanny knack of knowing if Ivan and his wife would be home for dinner when they were out on one of their field trips or an excursion into the city. When they arrived “on time” for supper, supper would be there on the table. When they would be seriously late, supper would have long been put away and the house ready for retirement. [and the supper actually shared and eaten by the house servant group]. Ivan never thought much about this except for being amused.

Paris'Apr2011-Brittany 020

There came a time when Ivan and his wife and their friend were on a trip into the sort-of-nearby desert, driving their car, when it got quagmired in a basin filled with rapid run-off and mud from a flash storm. There was nothing to do but get out and walk. This had two dangers: local people hated “different” people, and often bad things happened for seemingly no reason when interactions occurred. Secondly, they were a very long walk away from getting any help. Some of the first happened, but their friend talked the locals away. That left just the grind.

The friend was more fit, and walked well ahead to intercept any new local group to attempt to dissuade them from mayhem. Ivan and his wife trudged behind. Thoroughly exhausted and just putting one foot in front of another, Ivan saw up ahead what seemed to be a town. As he approached, it resolved to be something very much like a street in late medieval or renaissance Paris. He stumbled into the street between the buildings when his wife remarked her surprise and said something to the point of: “How did we get to medieval Paris?”

There was no one else in the street, but they sat down on a benchstone or low wall to rest and marvel. Sometime later, their friend turned back to come look for them. He came and sat next to them and offered them a cigarette. When his lighter struck and then extinguished, the Sandersons found themselves sitting on the desert sand with their friend with no 500-year-old Paris anywhere. The friend had seen none of it.

This event haunted Ivan a bit all his life. He never came to any grips whatever with this, what he called, “shared hallucination.” Unbelieving in any spiritual element to the mind, the idea that this could be “psychic” refused to gain any foothold. His later buddy, Berthold Schwarz, however, would have immediately gone right there.

The aftermath of this anomaly had its own oddness. After quite a delay getting back the rest of the way home, the Sandersons found that their housekeeper/Vaudun lady had precisely anticipated both the time of their arrival and the needs of their unusual conditions — soothing baths, clean clothes, and a very late supper were all waiting. Ivan tried to press the lady on how she “knew”, but she wouldn’t say anything.

All he ultimately got was a comment from a younger man who worked with the lady as part of the staff. He said: “You saw things didn’t you? You don’t believe it, but you could always see things if you wanted to. We know, and we were watching you. We have always watched you, and, although you are foreigners, we feel you are good people.” {these, Ivan said, are his condensations of the younger man’s words}.

Ivan fought the possibility of belief in the psychic/ spiritual world. I think that it was because he just couldn’t allow himself to get involved with paths of thinking which [by definition] could never have any chance of “physical proof.”

He had a long insightful talk with Richard Grigonis in about 1970 or so, which is published on Grigonis’ website. In that transcript Sanderson says: “{Charles} Fort does not deal in mystical things: The Occult, ghosts, all this kooky stuff. Rather he deals with things like this ashtray, which you can get your hands on.” He said that he doesn’t doubt people’s honesty or their stories about things like that, they just don’t interest him. As to SITU: “We’re not against science on the one hand, and we’re not against the mystics on the other. We’re right in the middle. We’re a different group of people. We’re entirely pragmatic.”

………well, maybe. The entirety of SITU certainly wasn’t, so that comment was only clearly accurate if Ivan was using the “Royal” we.

………and even for Ivan…… he DID have a “Ghosts” file [thin as it was], and he DID put a walloping good mysterious personal event in there, which probably 90% or more of his readers would have interpreted as either “psychic” or “no conceivable explanation.”

Stuck late into the file, a National Enquirer article from just about the time of Ivan’s death, spoke of an Irish village which believes that its lake has an island that emits ghostly lights when someone dies. On that island are the ruins of an ancient abbey, fallen down since the 1600s. Lights allegedly come from the monastery, float across the lake, pass homes, and then return. 250 people allegedly were on record as having seen them between about 1920 and 1970.

Would “they”, if true, be tangible enough for Ivan?

Why cannot such matters be “Fortean” like any other mystery?

Peace and Warmth. …..  and Wonder.

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Ghosts & Hauntings

Reality show to be filmed in medieval “haunted castle” in Wales

British celebrities will take part in a reality show at the medieval castle of Grich in the city-county of Conwy (Wales), which, according to legend, is full of ghosts. It is reported by The Sun.

According to data from open sources, the castle was built in 1283-1289 by order of Edward I of England. For four years one and a half thousand people erected the fortress and walls. The castle is surrounded by a stone wall with round towers and loopholes. 

According to local residents, the ghost of the previous owner, Countess Dandonald, who died in 1924, wanders around the castle. According to legend, the woman’s spirit is angry because her husband took the valuables out of here. 

About ten years ago, a mysterious silhouette appeared in the photo, which was noticed on the first floor of the castle in the former banquet hall. In addition, it is rumored that objects are moving mysteriously in the castle. Also, fans of everything mystical believe that there you can meet the ghosts of gamekeepers and a maid who died after falling from a horse.

The creators of the reality survival show I’m a Celebrity … Get Me Out of Here! Became interested in the legends of the ancient castle, in which celebrities perform creepy tasks. 

The producers are delighted with Greich Castle. It is planned to spend almost 1 million pounds and six weeks to prepare the location for filming.

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Ghosts & Hauntings

Loftus Hall is the most famous haunted house

Almost any house built 150 years ago is tempting to think of ghosts. Of course, if it was not restored beyond recognition. But a special pleasure is to visit, or at least look at photographs of a house in which ghosts are definitely found. Well, exactly: in the opinion of its owners and those who live nearby.

Loftus Hall is one of those. Even if, in the opinion of the locals, ghosts were not found in it, they would be worth inventing again – this is how the atmosphere of this gloomy house located on the windswept and washed by waves of the Hook Peninsula in the Irish County of Wexford has to do this.

But, before we tell you what is so paranormal in this Loftus Hall, we suggest that you familiarize yourself with real historical events related to the house. Moreover, they are worthy of attention without any devilry.

Photo # 2 - Loftus Hall: Ireland's Most Famous Haunted House
Photoloftushall.ie

We can say that the history of the house began in 1135, when the Norman knight, Raymond Le Gros, landed on the peninsula. To assimilate faster, the knight renamed himself the more familiar to the Irish ear by the name Redmond.

The castle, built by the knight, stood for two centuries, until in 1350 the descendants of Redmond built a new house in its place. It is interesting that they were building right during the Black Death – a plague pandemic that arrived in Ireland by ship from Bristol a year earlier. The new house, Redmond Hall, was named.

Photo # 3 - Loftus Hall: Ireland's Most Famous Haunted House
Photo: Shutterstock

Three centuries later, in 1650, the house became the site of one of the fiercest sieges of the Irish Uprising. The owner of the house, 68-year-old Alexander Redmond, with his two sons, a couple of local activists and a tailor who happened to be in the house at an unfortunate time, barricaded himself and bravely repulsed the attack of almost 90 British for several days. 

In all fairness, most of these Englishmen have crawled into neighboring villages, indulging in robbery and violence, instead of laying siege to an impregnable home.

The attack was repulsed with the help of the Irish forces arrived in time, which attacked the British under the cover of a thick fog, which in time fell on the Hoek Peninsula.

According to local chronicles, Alexander repelled several more attacks. When the British nevertheless conquered Ireland in general, and Redmond Hall in particular, Cromwell even let Alexander die in peace in his own house – for his courage.

Photo # 4 - Loftus Hall: Ireland's Most Famous Haunted House
Photoloftushall.ie

Well, after the death of Redmond, his relatives were evicted from the house and soon the house was sold to a family of Englishmen named Loftus, who live nearby. 

Subsequently, the Redmond repeatedly tried to sue Loftus Hall back, but to no avail. But as compensation, they were given land in the neighborhood.

The Loftuses moved rapidly up the court stairs. If in the 18th century the head of the family was called Baron Loftus of Loftus Hall, then already in 1800 the title of Marquis of Eli was created especially for the Loftus.

Actually, the 4th Marquess of Ely gave the modern look to Loftus Hall. A major renovation was undertaken by the Marquis in the second half of the 19th century: he very much hoped that Queen Victoria would come to visit. After all, the Marquis’s mother was her maid of honor!

Photo # 5 - Loftus Hall: Ireland's Most Famous Haunted House
Photoloftushall.ie

The Queen never came. But the 4th Marquis of Ely became the owner of a luxurious house with such unprecedented conveniences as flush toilets at that time. And, alas, the owner of huge debts. Soon the house had to be sold and its wanderings began among different owners.

In 1917, the house was sold to the monastery order of the Sisters of Providence. In 1983, the house was converted into a hotel. Well, in the early 2000s, it was acquired by the Quickly family. In 2020, it became known that the house was again put up for sale. Moreover, Quickly emphasize that they will not choose a new owner, but “the house will choose him.” And that’s why…

The story of how the devil sailed to Loftus Hall and what happened after his visit dates back to the 19th century. It sounds like this.

On a cold rainy night, a dark-robed rider rode up to Loftus Hall on a dark horse. He said that his ship was caught in a storm and had to dock in a nearby bay. The Loftuses were away, the family of their distant relatives, the Tottenham, lived in the house. They sheltered the rider and offered him shelter and bread.

Photo # 6 - Loftus Hall: Ireland's Most Famous Haunted House
Photoloftushall.ie

Tottenham’s daughter, young Anna, immediately fell in love with a mysterious stranger. A couple of days later, in the evening, everyone sat down to play cards. During the game, Anna dropped the map and, bending down to pick it up, saw that the stranger had cloven hooves instead of legs.

The stranger realized that he had been discovered. He immediately soared up, surrounded by devilish flames – and, as expected, made a huge hole in the roof.

It would seem that the devil is expelled, you can live on. But Anna, after the disappearance of the stranger, became not herself. She went crazy by leaps and bounds. The family, frightened by this development of affairs, locked the girl in her favorite sewing room.

There Anna sat, almost motionless, clasping her knees with her hands and soon died. 

According to another version of the legend, before her death, she managed to give birth to a child – that is, the devil did not lose time during two days in the house. 

Anna was not buried in an ordinary coffin: they could not straighten her and buried her in a sitting position, in which she spent the last months of her life.

Since then, according to numerous testimonies of guests and owners of the house, ghosts of a girl have been walking around the house. And the house itself has become a place of attraction for lovers of everything paranormal and creepy – excursions, especially popular on Halloween, are regularly conducted in Loftus Hall.

If you consider yourself a mystic, but do not have the opportunity to visit Loftus Hall yet, we recommend watching the gothic horror film The Lodgers 2017. It is filmed entirely in the luxe and eerie interiors of Loftus Hall, and has received excellent critical reviews. Here’s the trailer:

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Ghosts & Hauntings

The ghost of the Haycock Manor Hotel: a beautiful legend about a frequent visitor to an ancient building

For decades, the Haycock Manor Hotel, located in the small English village of Wansford, has attracted tourists by claiming to be the home of the ghost of Queen Mary Stuart.

Mary of Scotland, aka Mary Stuart, according to legend, visited the Haycock Hotel on the way to Fotheringay Castle, where she was executed. Why, in this case, she chose a hotel in a small village as her last refuge , and not a stone castle, is anyone’s guess. Nevertheless, visitors to the hotel claimed to have seen the ghost of Queen Mary, the Mirror writes.

The last resting place of Mary Stuart

Because of her intrigues against Queen Elizabeth I of England, Mary Stuart was put on trial and sentenced to death, which took place at Fotheringay Castle. On the way to the castle, Mary of Scotch stopped at the Haycock Hotel.

Mary Stuart

Despite the fact that the woman spent only one night in the hotel, this is the place she, for some reason, decided to choose as her last home. At least that’s what those who encountered her ghost say.

Manifestations of supernatural powers

Many of the hotel guests, who ventured to spend the night in the last refuge of Mary Stuart, complained about strange things that happened to them.

Some guests claimed to have seen a ghost, which they identified as Mary of Scotland. Why they were so sure that the ghost was exactly Mary Stuart is not clear, because the history of England has a large number of women rulers, and it is simply impossible to remember them all.

Other hotel guests recall seeing an obscure ghostly cloud-like figure in the oldest part of the hotel. They also shared that they often encountered the feeling that there is someone else in the room – someone who cannot be seen, but can be felt.

Hotel Haycock

Guests also reported that they heard quiet voices and footsteps, although there was no one else in the rooms.

Despite the fact that such stories can scare ordinary people, they are not of interest to real seekers of the paranormal, since they can easily be explained by the dilapidated state of the building.

haycock hotel

Haycock Manor is currently closed for renovation, which means that if the phenomena of supernatural forces could be explained by the state of the hotel, then after the renovation they should disappear.

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