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Ghosts & Hauntings

Phantom Hitchhikers : The Vanishing hitchhiker Ghost Stories

The vanishing hitchhiker (the ghostly hitchhiker, the disappearing hitchhiker, the phantom hitchhiker or the hitchhiker) story is an urban legend in which people traveling by vehicle meet with or are accompanied by a hitchhiker who subsequently vanishes without explanation, often from a moving vehicle. Vanishing hitchhikers have been reported for centuries and the story is found across the world, with many variants. The popularity and endurance of the legend has helped it spread into contemporary popular culture.

ONE OF THE most persistent and entertaining types of ghost stories is that of the phantom or vanishing hitchhiker. It’s also one of the most chilling because, if true,it brings ghosts in very close contact with mortals. More disconcerting still, the stories depict the specters as looking, acting, and sounding like living people – even physically interacting with the unsuspecting drivers who pick them up.

The archetypal modern vanishing hitchhiker is a figure seen in the headlights of a car traveling by night with a single occupant. The figure adopts the stance of a hitchhiker. The motorist stops and offers the figure a lift. The journey proceeds, sometimes in total silence, and at some subsequent point, the passenger appears to vanish while the vehicle is in motion. In many cases, the hitchhiker vanishes when a (normally red) vehicle reaches the hitchhiker’s destination. The basic story usually goes something like this: a weary driver traveling at night picks up a strange hitchhiker, drops him or her off at some destination, then somehow later finds out that the hitchhiker had in fact died months or years earlier – often on that very same date. Like many “true” ghost stories, tales of phantom hitchhikers are difficult to verify, and are most often relegated to the category of urban legend or folklore. But there are many such stories, and it’s up to you whether or not you believe any of them. Here are a few:

Red-Headed Hitchhiker of Route 44

There’s a classic urban legend called the Phantom Hitchhiker, which goes something like this.

One night, a man’s driving down a dark country road when he notices a young lady hitchhiking by the side of the road. She’s pretty, with long blonde hair, and she’s wearing a blue dress. The man thinks, “She looks safe. Why not pick her up?” The young lady gets in the passenger seat and says “There’s a big white farm house about a mile down the road. Could you drop me off there?”

The man agrees. The hitchhiker doesn’t say anything else, and he doesn’t push her for more information. After a mile, the man sees a big white farm house. He turns to the young lady and says “Is this the place?” But she’s not there. The passenger seat is empty. He pulls over in front of the farm house and looks in the back seat. She’s not there either. An old woman comes out of the house and says, “Hey! What’s all the commotion?” The man explains that a young woman just disappeared from his moving car. The old woman says,”What did she look like?” “She was pretty, with long blonde hair, and a blue dress.”

The old woman says “You just described my daughter. She died in a car accident on this road ten years ago tonight.” As far as ghosts go, the Phantom Hitchhiker is pretty innocuous. But there’s a hitchhiking ghost on Route 44 in Massachusetts who seems a little more malevolent. People who have seen the ghost describe him as a red-haired, middle-aged man in a flannel shirt. He doesn’t say much, and is pretty quiet – at least at first.In one story, a driver picks up the red-haired man, who gets in the back seat. Naturally, it’s late at night.

“Where are you headed?”, the driver asks.

The hitcher says nothing but just points straight ahead. But as they head down the road, he starts to giggle. The giggles become loud laughs.”You want to tell me what’s so funny?”, the driver says. The hitchhiker says nothing, and the laughs become howls of wild, derisive laughter. “You better knock it off if you want a ride!” the driver says. The hitcher keeps laughing. The driver looks into the rearview mirror, and sees the red-haired man’s face distorted with malice, his eyes bugged out with insane glee. And then, suddenly, the red-haired hitchhiker disappears like a soap bubble. Only his laughter lingers on, slowly fading away into the night.

The Dancing Ghost

This story has many of the classic elements. It takes place in Tompkinsville, Kentucky.Two young men are on their way to a dance when they spot a girl their age walking along the road in a party dress. They stop and ask if she’d like to attend the dance with them. She accepts and spends the evening dancing with them. When the dance is finished, the young men offer to take her home and she insists they drop her off at a certain spot. They agree, and since it is raining, one of the boys gives her his coat, saying he will pick it up from her later. As she requests, they drop her off at a house on Meshack Road. A few days later, the boy returns to the house to retrieve his coat… but is told by the woman at the house that the girl he describes sounds like her daughter, who died in an accident on that road. When the boy visits her grave at the cemetery, his coat is laying beside her tombstone.

Resurrection Mary
The story of Resurrection Mary is considered one of “the most famous ghosts in Chicagoland.”The story begins on another winter night in 1934 when a young girl was killed in an auto accident while on her way home from the O. Henry Ballroom on Archer Avenue in Justice, Ill., a suburb of Chicago. Five years later, in 1939, a cab driver picks up a young girl in a white gown on Archer Avenue. She sits in the front seat and instructs him to drive north on Archer. After driving a short distance, she suddenly tells him to stop… and simply vanishes from the cab. The cab is stopped in front of Resurrection Cemetery, where the girl is buried. According to a 1977 account, a woman may have seen Mary locked inside the iron fence of the cemetery. Reportedly, the metal bars bore the imprints of her hands. According to the Northwest Indiana Society of Ghost Research, the girl’s name was actually Elizabeth Wilson, and the cemetery she’s buried in is actually called Ross Cemetery.

The Girl on the Side of the Road
“The Vanishing Hitchhiker” relates the story of one Dr. Eckersall who, while driving home from a country club dance, picks up a lovely young girl dressed in a sheer evening gown. She climbs into the back seat of the car, because his front passenger seat is crowded with golf clubs, and gives him an address to take her to. As he arrives at the address, he turns to speak to her – and she is gone. The curious doctor rings the doorbell of the address given to him by the mysterious girl. A gray-haired man answers the door and reveals that the girl was his daughter who died in a car accident nearly two years ago. A very similar story is known as The Greensboro Hitchhiker.


The Basketball Player
It’s a winter evening in Oklahoma in 1965. Mae Doria, driving to her sister’s house from Tulsa to Pryor, sees a boy of about 11 or 12 hitchhiking on the side of the road. She stops for him, he gets into the front seat along side of her, and they make idle chatter as they make their way down Highway 20. In their conversation, the boy says that he’s a basketball player for a local school, and Mae reckons that indeed he has the height and build of an athlete. She also notices that he is not wearing a jacket of any kind, despite the fact that it’s winter. And the boy seemed to have no particular destination in mind. He points to a culvert on the side of the road and asks to be let out there. Mae is puzzled because there are no houses or lights anywhere in sight. Before she can even pull over, however, the youth simply vanishes from the car. Mae immediately stops the car, gets out, and looks around, but there is no sign of the boy. Mae later learns in a chance conversation with a utility worker that the same phantom hitchhiker was first picked up at the same spot in 1936 – 29 years earlier!


The Flapper Ghost
The ghost of an attractive young Jewish girl dressed in the fashion of the Roaring ’20s (hence the “Flapper Ghost”) is said to hitch rides on Des Plaines Avenue in Chicago. According to the story, during the 1930s, she would appear at the Melody Mill Ballroom, looking quite alive and human and dancing with the young men. She would ask for a ride home, then ask to be dropped off at the Jewish Waldheim Cemetery, saying she lived in the caretaker’s house. The girl would then dash into the cemetery and vanish among the tombstones. One of the last reported sightings of this ghost was in 1979 when she was spotted by the police walking from the Ballroom toward the cemetery, where she again disappeared.


The Smoking Ghost
On a night in February, 1951, a British officer stops for a fellow soldier hitchhiking on the road. The stranger is dressed in a Royal Air Force uniform, and after he gets into the car with the officer, asks if he can bum a cigarette. The officer gives him one of his Camels and a lighter with which to light it. With his peripheral vision, the officer sees the flash of the lighter, but then turning his head is astonished to see that his passenger has vanished into thin air. Only the cigarette lighter remains on the seat.


Hitchhike Annie
During the 1940s, a young girl is a white dress is said to be seen hitchhiking on Calvary Drive in St. Louis. The pretty girl with pale complexion and long dark hair would tell the drivers who picked her up that her car broke down or was otherwise stranded. Just as they pass Bellefontaine Cemetery, the girl, who has become known as Annie, would vanish from the car.


Sometimes a Bus Will Do
If you can’t hitchhike, why not take the bus? This seems to be the attitude of a ghost in the Evergreen Park community of Chicago. A beautiful young girl has on several occasions been picked up by drivers. She asks to be taken to a section of Evergreen Park. As they approach Evergreen Cemetery, she simply vanishes from the car. On many other occasions, however, she has been seen waiting at a bus stop across from the cemetery. On one occasion she actually got on the bus and, not surprisingly, did not pay the fare. When the bus driver approached her for the money, she disappeared before his eyes.


The Grandmother
C.B. Colby tells the the story of the “Hitchhiker to Montgomery” in which two businessmen on their way to Montgomery, Alabama, stop for a little old lady in a lavender dress walking on the side of the road in the middle of the night. She tells them she is going to see her daughter and granddaughter, and they offer to drive her to the next town. On the way, she proudly tells them all about her children and grandchildren, their names, where they live, and so on. After a while, the men become engrossed in their own business conversation, and when they reach their destination, the old woman has vanished from the back seat. Fearing the worst, the men retrace their route, but do not find the woman anywhere. Finally, recalling the daughter’s name, they go to her house in Montgomery to report what might have been a horrible accident. The men identify her from photos in the woman’s house. But as it happens, the old woman was buried just three years ago that day.


The Ghost of Highway 36 
Sometimes, it seems, these phantom hitchhikers don’t always ask for rides – they just take them. In the mid-1980s, a woman named Roxie was driving along Highway 36 near Edmonton, Alberta when she was astonished to see a spirit suddenly sitting in the passenger seat next to her. “I realized he wasn’t flesh and blood, but, needless to say, I was scared. He appeared in shades of black, gray and white, as if a black and white movie was being projected into my car.” His attire, she said, from from the previous decade and she was able to describe him clearly: black turtleneck, black pants, leather boots, blond chin-length hair. He turned, smiled at her with a small wave of his hand… and disappeared.

Ghosts & Hauntings

Pluckley – The Village of Twelve Ghosts in the UK

The cozy village of Pluckley is known throughout England, because according to legend, twelve ghosts live in it. Residents of England respect spirits and ghosts, and are not afraid, and even feel pride because of such an otherworldly neighborhood.

In the country there is a special registry in which more or less well-known ghosts are recorded. Pluckley village is outwardly the same as many other English villages: old houses, neat courtyards and roads, perfectly trimmed green lawns. But nevertheless the village is very famous for the fact that 12 whole spirits “live” in it!

It is also called the “Village of the Twelve Ghosts” and the “Ghost Sanctuary.” In the mystical tourism of England, this locality is the most abnormal place. On the side of one of the entrances to the village is a carriage drawn by four ghost horses. The carriage is real, but getting into it is highly discouraged, because it can lead to sad consequences. About 10 – 15 years ago, one of the tourists climbed into the carriage, and after some time disappeared, but he was never found.

The romantic bridge in Pluckley is also famous for its ghost. Legends claim that several hundred years ago on this very bridge they burned a gypsy accused of witchcraft. Local residents claim that they have repeatedly seen the spirit of a fortuneteller with a pipe in his mouth, offering to tell the future by hand. Near the village there used to be a forest in which an English colonel committed suicide.

The forest has long been cut down, and in its place is now a pasture, which has become the place of walks of that very military man. Another spirit lives on one of the trees on Pluckley Street. This is the ghost of a teacher who failed to recover from unhappy love.

But the most famous ghost is the “black miller.” According to local residents, the spirit always occurs a couple of hours before the start of a thunderstorm. The ghost is black that people explain by the fact that he passed away as a result of a fire or his soul is too sinful. In the old park, under the branches of a sprawling oak, you can observe an interesting phenomenon called chrono-mirage. A couple of centuries ago, under the oak tree, they dealt with the robber, and now the process of execution sometimes appears in our time.

The spirits of two sisters “live” in the village. One walks through the village streets, dressed in red, and the other walks in white clothes. In one place they do not meet, since each has its own route for a walk. There is also a ghost of a dog in Pluckley who became infected with rabies. You won’t be able to see it, but you can easily hear it: howling coming from the nearest forest is considered to be the howling of the same dog. There are no recorded confirmations of these legends, but tourists continue to come to Pluckley in the hope of meeting at least one of its ghostly inhabitants.

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Ghosts & Hauntings

Exorcists or charlatans: the most famous ghost hunters

For most of us, ghosts, demons and spirits are only part of horror films or inventions of too impressionable people, but for the Warren family, the study of otherworldly phenomena has become a matter of life. We tell how Ed and Lorraine gained fame as real ghostbusters, and what mystical puzzles they managed to solve.

“The Curse of Annabelle”, “The Curse”, “The Amityville Horror” – almost all of us are familiar with these horror films. However, few people know that these stories are based on real mystical puzzles, the investigation of which was taken by the spouses Warren – the most famous American detectives who sought confirmation of the existence of paranormal phenomena. Over the years, Ed and Lorrien have participated in the investigation of more than 10,000 high-profile cases, but the public still wonders who the Warren spouses really were, and did they really meet with representatives of other worlds?

Edward Warren and Lorraine Rita Moren met in 1943 in Bridgeport. Shortly after meeting Ed, he was sent to serve in the US Navy, but this did not prevent the lovers from getting married a few years later – according to the spouses themselves, they were connected not only by a strong feeling, but also by common interests, which later became the main business of their life .

Even before meeting her future spouse, Lorraine called herself a medium and regularly held spiritualistic sessions, claiming that she communicates with ghosts and spirits. Edward was also fond of paranormal theories, but his profession was more “earthly” – after returning from service, the man got a job at the police station.

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Ed and Lorraine Warren, 1981

From the very first meeting, the couple began to discuss their common interest and make plans for a joint future – a year after the wedding, Ed and Lorraine began to travel around the country in search of people who were faced with supernatural phenomena, and, fortunately, there were many such people in the USA.

Soon, the Warren spouses became known throughout America – newspapers appeared all the new materials on the activities of Ghostbusters, and people began to independently seek meetings with them to tell their story about meeting with representatives of the other world. In 1952, the couple founded their New England Mental Research Society, and created the Warren Occult Museum in Connecticut, which to this day holds the mystical finds of its founders.

Over the course of their careers, the couple have uncovered over 10,000 mystical puzzles, which earned them the title of the most experienced and dexterous ghostbusters. We talk about the most high-profile cases that glorified Lorraine and Ed.

Amityville

One of the most high-profile investigations of the spouses was the case of the damned house in Amityville. This story originates in 1974 – then 23-year-old Ronald DeFeo shot six of his relatives, including parents, two brothers and two sisters, on the night of November 13. The young man was immediately arrested, but could not clearly answer the questions of the detectives and explain the cause of the brutal crime. DeFeo was sentenced to 150 years in prison, and a year later the Lutz family moved to the house in which this terrible crime was committed.

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Frame from the film “The Amityville Horror”

The story did not end there – shortly after the move, the Lutz couple began to feel a “demonic presence” in all rooms of their new home. At first, they assumed that the unpleasant sensations were associated with their subconscious unwillingness to be in the room where the murder was committed, but later the confidence that someone was really pursuing them was strengthened. The presence of spirits was especially evident around three in the morning – at the time when Ronald DeFeo killed his family.

In total, the Latsy stayed in the house for twenty-eight days, after which the couple decided to leave the residence in Amityville with their children – according to the family, being there was unbearable due to the obvious presence of evil spirits. Nine days after the new owners left, the Warren spouses arrived at the house – they were invited by one of the local journalists to sort out what had happened.

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Frame from the film “The Amityville Horror”

When Ed and Lorraine arrived at the scene with the crew, the couple tried to get in touch with the spirits of this house, however, according to Mrs. Warren, something prevented them from having a spiritualistic session. After that, the reporters, who arrived with the couple Warren, decided to install a camera on the second floor of the house, which recorded a very strange phenomenon – when the group was looking at the recordings, one of the frames showed the figure of a little boy who could not be in the house at the time of filming. This picture was shown to the daughter of the Lutz spouses, Missy, who recognized the boy as her friend, who appeared in her room at night. Comparing the photograph of the ghost and the pictures of Ronald DeFeo’s younger brother, the Warren couple came to the conclusion that at the time of the shooting it was his spirit that came into the view of the camera.

After studying the history of the house, Ed and Lorraine found out that not one of the deceased owners could have such a clear effect on its inhabitants – according to preserved documents, only one person died in the walls of the house before the November events, and his spirit did not want revenge. Then the couple went deep into the study of the former inhabitants and soon got to the bottom of the truth – several centuries ago the owner of the house was John Ketchum, who practiced black magic. After death, his body was buried in the territory of the house, and it was he who became the evil spirit that haunted his inhabitants.

This story formed the basis of the novel by Jay Anson “The Amityville Horror”, and later found a new sound thanks to the film project of the same name, which was released in 1979. In 2005, the history of the damned house again reminded itself after the release of a remake of the movie under the same name.

Perron family

In 1971, the Perron couple moved with five daughters to a large new home in Harrisville, Rhode Island, which had previously belonged to the Arnold family. At first, their life in a new place was developing quite well, but soon the peaceful existence of the inhabitants of the house was disrupted by the invasion of spirits.

The first to notice the presence of otherworldly forces were the children – the girls began to complain that at night they hear a rattle, an ominous whisper, and also feel something invisible touching their legs. The words of the children did not convince the parents, who felt that their daughters were simply tired of the recent move. A few days later, the spirits reached the Perron spouses – according to the eldest daughter, one day she woke up from a scream coming from her parents’ room.

 When she went into the room to find out what was happening, a terrible thing appeared before her eyes – the figure of a woman hanging over her mother with a withered face, resembling a mummy, on which insects crawled.

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Shot from the film “Spell-2”

From that night on, an evil spirit began to haunt all family members, paying particular attention to Carolyn Perron – for some reason, it was the mother of the family who was most interested in him. Every day the atmosphere in the house became more and more tense, but the family, having financial difficulties after moving, did not have the opportunity to buy other housing, and therefore they decided to turn to the demon hunters already known at that time.

When Ed and Lorraine Warren arrived at the damned house, they immediately felt the presence of evil spirits and tried to conduct a rite of purification, which only angered the otherworldly entity. According to Lorraine, the family was haunted by the ghost of the witch Bathsheba Sherman, who lived in the house in the 1840s – local residents considered her guilty of the death of her own son, whom she allegedly sacrificed to demonic forces.

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Shot from the film “The Spell”

After the failure to conduct the rite, the head of the family asked the Warren to leave their house, and this temporarily calmed Bathesheba’s spirit. However, the otherworldly residents of the Perron family residence continued to harass them, appearing at night and threatening reprisals. The nightmare ended only in 1980, when the family had money to sell the damned house and move to another state.

These terrible and mysterious events formed the basis of the film “The Spell”, which was released in 2013 and became one of the most discussed horror films in the history of cinema.

The Curse of Annabelle

The story of a doll named Annabelle began in 1970 – then a woman bought a toy at a sale to give it to her student daughter Donna, who collected old toys. The girl was glad of a touching gift, and immediately took the doll to her apartment, where she lived with Angie’s neighbor.

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Shot from the movie “The Curse of Annabelle 3”

Soon, mysterious events began to occur in the girls’ house – students constantly found Annabelle in different rooms and in different poses, and sometimes blood appeared on the doll’s hands. Then Donna and Angie called into their house a medium who told them that the spirit of the deceased girl Annabelle Higgins was enclosed inside the toy. For some reason, the students were reassured by the psychic’s explanation, and they decided that they should offer the ghost to stay with them.

This decision led to dire consequences – suddenly the doll, which had not previously harmed its owners, began to behave extremely aggressively. According to the girls, she attacked them at night, scratched them to blood, and once tried to strangle their friend Lou, who was visiting Donna and Angie’s house during the holidays.

Frightened students went to the local church, whose priest recommended them to turn to Ed and Lorraine Warren. When the demon hunters arrived at the girls’ apartment, they examined the doll and came to disappointing conclusions – the spirit of the girl Annabelle, enclosed in a toy, was captured by a demon who was looking for a human body.

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Shot from the movie “The Curse of Annabelle 3”

After that, several cleansing rituals were performed in the apartment of Donna and Angie, and the doll itself went to the Warren Museum, where it is stored to this day. Many visitors to the museum asked why the couple did not want to destroy the dangerous exhibits, to which Ed gave a very frightening explanation:“Some things should not be touched just because by destroying them you can free those who dwell in them”

The events of those years formed the basis of the plot of the third part of the film about the cursed doll called “Curse of Annabelle 3”.

Anfield Poltergeist

The story of the Enflids poltergeist is one of the most famous ghost cases. Mystical events that took place in a house in London in the 1970s formed the basis of the acclaimed horror film “Spell-2” and attracted more than thirty psychics and mediums to the house of the Hodgson family, including the Warren couple.

This story originates in August 1977, when Peggy Hodgson, putting her daughters to bed, first noticed strange phenomena in the nursery – her daughter Janet suddenly began to complain about the sounds and voices that she hears in her head. When Peggy looked around, she saw that the heavy cupboard, previously standing in the corner of the room, was independently moving towards the door – a frightened woman tried to move the furniture into place, but was faced with strong resistance.

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Shot from the film “Spell-2”

Since then, the family was regularly harassed by otherworldly inhabitants of the house – furniture was constantly moving in the rooms, the kitchen itself bent cutlery, the doors of the cabinets opened. Worst of all was Peggy’s daughter – Janet, who was the first to notice the presence of an evil spirit in the house – according to the family, the ghost regularly scared her, appeared in her room, and sometimes even threw her into the air and put it to the wall with force.

Soon, the situation began to worsen – once Peggy went into Janet’s room to find out if everything was okay with her. When the woman came closer to the girl sitting on her back, she turned around sharply, threw her mother to the side with a terrible low voice and shouted to her: “Get out!”

Frightened, Peggy Hodgson began to turn to mediums and specialists who were engaged in the study of paranormal phenomena – over the course of several months, about thirty psychics visited her house, one of which reported that the former owner of the house, named Bill Wilkins, was the evil spirit terrorizing the Hodgson.

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Shot from the film “Spell-2”

When the Warren couple arrived in Anfield in 1978, they confirmed the theory that Peggy and her children suffered from the presence of the ghost of Wilkins, who did not want to share his house with strangers. However, Ed and Lorraine could not calm the spirit of the former owner and invited the Hodgson to invite a priest to conduct a rite of purification.

After the family followed the advice of the Warren, order reigned in their house, though not for long. A few years later, a terrible misfortune occurred in Peggy’s house – her 14-year-old son Johnny died of cancer, and a little later, the same disease caused the death of Mrs. Hodgson herself. After these events, Janet left the damned house, where new residents soon settled – a woman named Claire Bennet and her four children. However, after two months, the Bennets also chose to hastily leave the new haven – apparently, the ghost of Bill Wilkins did not want to share his house with the new guests.

Returning to the question of who the Warren spouses really were, it’s worth saying that today there is no answer to this riddle – many scientists who studied the affairs of Ed and Lorraine after their death found a lot of inconsistencies and details that testify to that all these stories were just skillful hoaxes. At the same time, one cannot ignore the facts gathered not only by the demon hunters themselves, but also by those people who faced frightening paranormal phenomena in their homes – did they become victims of the influence of the Warrens or do phenomena really exist outside the human mind?

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Ghosts & Hauntings

A Child Ghost Apparition Captured On School CCTV in Armenia

This footage was released by the security guard of the school in Armenia on February 2, 2020.

On hearing voices of children in a school that that should had been empty at this time as this was on a Sunday morning the guard called the police and shortly after the police made their investigation they rolled out a known object from the school. Could this have been a body?

Feeling that this incident would remain untold the security guard recorded and released this footage along with what he had witnessed. The footage was released with no sound and the exact location withheld for the guard’s protection and anonymity.

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