The Guinness Book of Records for some time used to include a section for “most durable ghosts”, among those listed was a poltergeist known as “Donald” or “Spooky Willie” who was and is the only known paranormal entity to have written and sent letters to the living.
It did this through the possession of a 15 year old girl named Shirley Hitchings who in 1956 lived in the community of Battersea in South London. Introducing the Poltergeist Girl of Battersea…
You can find the poltergeist known as “Donald” or “Spooky Willie” by looking up either “Eland Road Poltergeist” or “Battersea Poltergeist”, but each will tell a very different story as Donald has plagued more than one family living in the home at 8 Eland Road.
The first of these was in 1928 when 86 year old Henry Robinson was the sole occupant. An invisible entity began harassing him in all the usual ways that one would expect from a poltergeist, including tipping over dressers, smashing windows, and just generally being violent and aggressive.
Henry Robinson was invalid and completely incapable of opening his dresser let alone tipping it over. Mr. Robinson had lived in the home on his own with common visits from his sister for 25 peaceful years prior to these events.
They began without warning and as far as could be discerned, without cause, and lasted only three months before stopping completely. In those three months the actions of the Eland Road Poltergeist were witnessed by more than a dozen people, including a police constable who had chunks of coal thrown at him by an invisible force.
Spooky Willie would remain silent for twenty eight years following Henry Robinson’s experiences with the entity, until what was described as an “ocean of mailed correspondence” began flowing from the home of Shirley Hitchings at 8 Eland Road.
In cases of possession what is first looked toward for evidence is the victim’s ability to speak in languages unknown to them. Despite that the communications were in written form and in English, this is still the case with the poltergeist’s possession of Shirley Hitchings.
The letters were written in a form of English which drew heavily on French influences and hasn’t been in use since the time of Louis XVI. What’s stranger is that the letters were not signed “Donald”, but were signed Louis Capet, who was in fact the second son of Louis XVI.
Those that were aware of and still followed Henry Robinson’s ordeal were stunned and left without the slightest theory as to how the home and location of one of England’s most notable poltergeists could now be the seat of an entity exhibiting an entirely different demeanor and calling itself by a name never before mentioned.
Recipients of these letters ranged from random people no longer present at the addresses mailed to, to current dignitaries, and even included Lord Brabazon, the first Englishman to pilot a heavier-than-air machine.
The content or subject matter varied so wildly it would be impossible to summarize all of the letters. Many were simple meanderings, while others were demands and pleas for recognition, but without any description as to what one should recognize.
The letters continued to be sent for three years, but within the first year another phenomenon began. One night in 1956 Shirley Hitchings’s bed burst into flames while she was asleep, miraculously Shirley was not so much as singed.
Taking the reasonable precautions, Shirley’s father, Mr. Hitchings removed all matches and other instruments for the lighting of fires from the home. When a cloth was left on a heated grill and lit fire he then kept all appliances unplugged. That did not help. The family’s crock-pot over heated and lit on fire while unplugged and not in use.
Shirley never commented on or explained the fires and in fact generally was unaware of what might be causing them paranormal or otherwise, but four months into the outbreaks she would stun those following the case further by stating that the poltergeist, which she named as “Donny” was her boyfriend.
She did not mean that she had a boyfriend named Donny that was playing tricks, or even that she had had a boyfriend that died. She meant that she had started dating the poltergeist. This might have even been plausible as strange phenomenon began following her everywhere she went.
Her father, Mr. Hitchens, who was no doubt going a bit crazy by this point gave in to friends and family’s demands to hire spiritualist Harry Hanks in an attempt to rid Shirley and the house of “Donny”. It appeared to have worked as the strange phenomenon, the fires, all of it ended that night, except for the letters which would continue for another three years.
Nobody actually witnessed Shirley, “the Poltergeist Girl of Battersea” writing or mailing the letters, which was odd in and of itself, but they were written in her hand writing. There are so many possibilities as to what was happening at 8 Eland Road.
It could have been one entity claiming to be two, or that the home is haunted by two distinct entities, or even that Shirley Hitchens was a powerful medium channeling the spirit of Louis Capet while the poltergeist of Donny haunted the home.
This is the reason that to this day the “Eland Road Poltergeist” and “Battersea Poltergeist” are one of the most studied historical hauntings.
Scientists attempting to open portal to a parallel universe
Does a mysterious mirror world lurk in the shadows of perceived reality? It could explain a lot
Could 2019 be the year humans open the first portal to a shadowy dimension which mirrors our own world?
Scientists in Oak Ridge National Laboratory in eastern Tennessee hope so, and have completed building equipment they are to test this summer which may allow us the first glimpse of a parallel universe which could be identical in many ways to our own, with mirror particles, mirror planets and possibly even mirror life.
That is according to Leah Broussard, the physicist behind the project, who described the attempt to reveal a hidden shadow world as “pretty wacky” in an interview with NBC last week.
The discovery of a concealed mirror world may sound like science fiction from the Stranger Things series, but it has been repeatedly suggested by physicists as a tempting means of explaining anomalous results. However, as yet, hard evidence such a realm exists has refused to manifest itself.
One set of anomalous results, and the ones which inspired the research, date back to the 1990s, when particle physicists were measuring the time it took for neutron particles to break down into protons once they were removed from an atom’s nucleus.
Two separate experiments saw the neutrons broke down at differing rates, instead of decaying and becoming protons at exactly the same rate, as was expected.
In one, the free neutrons were captured by magnetic fields and herded into laboratory bottle traps, and in the other they were detected by the subsequent appearance of proton particles from a nuclear reactor stream.
Those particles fired out in the stream from the nuclear reactor lived on average for 14 minutes and 48 seconds – nine seconds longer than those from the bottle traps.
It may sound like a small difference, but it has troubled scientists.
But the existence of a mirror world offers a credible explanation: That there are two separate neutron lifetimes, and it could be that around 1 per cent of neutrons could be crossing the divide between our reality and the mirror world before crossing back and then emitting a detectable proton.
The new experiment will fire a beam of neutrons at an impenetrable wall. On the other side of the wall, a neutron detector will be set up, which normally would expect to detect nothing.
But if the detector does register the presence of neutrons, the theory is that they may have gone through the wall by “oscillating” into the mirror world – becoming mirror neutrons – and reappearing in this universe, and more specifically the lab in Tennessee.
Haunted Eddy Brothers House: Séances and Bizarre Phenomena
In 1874, uncanny events were happening in the home of William and Horatio Eddy, two middle-aged illiterate brothers, and their sister, Mary.
According to newspaper and Spiritualist accounts in 1874, mysterious incidents were happening in a small Vermont farmhouse near Chittenden where the Eddy’s lived. They resided in a two-story building that was reported to be infested with supernatural entities.
People came from all over the world to experience them in the house that Spiritualists dubbed the “Spirit Capital of the Universe.” Prominent attorney Henry Steel Olcott was a skeptic until he experienced the paranormal incidents.
The Eddy Brothers’ Early Years
William and Horatio were descended from a long line of psychics. Mary Bradbury, a distant relative, was convicted of witchcraft in Salem in 1692. Their grandmother had second sight and often went into trances and spoke to entities that no one else saw.
Their mother, Julia, was known for scaring neighbors with predictions and visions although her husband, Zepaniah, condemned her powers as the work of the Devil. She learned to hide her gifts from the cruel and abusive man.
When the couple had children, strange poundings began shaking the house, disembodied voices were heard in empty rooms, and, allegedly, babies vanished from their cribs. They were discovered in the house and outside.
As William and Horatio grew older, their paranormal powers strengthened. Zepaniah beat them with a rawhide whip. He tried everything he could to stop the paranormal incidents by abusing them. The events continued. He doused the boys with boiling water, on the advice of a “Christian” friend.
When this didn’t work, he allowed this friend to drop a hot coal into William’s hand to exorcize the devils. When he realized that he couldn’t stop them, he was furious.
The boys couldn’t attend school. The strange events, including invisible hands throwing books, levitating desks and objects flying about the room, kept happening.
Zepaniah realized they had money-making potential, so he sold them to a traveling showman, who, for the next fourteen years, took them all over America, Canada and Europe. He challenged audience members to try to awaken the boys from their trances, as part of their performance.
The Eddy’s were locked into small wooden boxes to see if they could escape. Hot wax was poured into their mouths to see if they could produce spirit voices when they were unable to talk. Skeptics poked, prodded and punched the entranced brothers. On several occasions, they were stoned and shot at by angry crowds.
The brothers moved home after their father died. They and Mary opened the farmhouse as an inn, the Green Tavern.
Eddy Brothers’ Validity Challenged
Were they genuine or a hoax? Henry Steel Olcott challenged the authenticity of the events at Eddy House. He had no interest in the paranormal before he read about the brothers in the Spiritualist newspaper, the Banner of Light. Although skeptical, he knew that if the stories were true, they were important in physical science.
Olcott traveled to Vermont, accompanied by newspaper artist Alfred Kappes. They planned to investigate the weird events in the Eddy farmhouse. If the stories were a hoax, they would expose the Eddy’s in the Daily Graphic newspaper as charlatans. If they were genuine, Olcott would confirm the validity of Spiritualism. He was determined to be fair and unbiased.
Olcott’s first impression was that the brothers were belligerent and unfriendly. They weren’t the scamsters he expected. He attended an outdoor séance. A group of ten participants gathered in front of Honto’s Cave, named in honor of the Native American spirit who often appeared there. Olcott investigated the cave and found no other egress. Horatio was the medium for the séance.
He sat on a stool in the cave’s opening and was draped in a makeshift spirit cabinet formed by shawls and branches. As Horatio sat there, a gigantic man, in AmerIndian clothing emerged from the cave. While Horatio spoke to the spirit, someone cried and pointed toward the top of the cave.
There was another enormous AmerIndian. A spectral female materialized on a ledge. Ten specters appeared during the séance. After the séance ended, Olcott and Kappes carefully searched the cave and the surrounding area for footprints. They found none. Olcott found the séance convincing but wanted to try to detect fraud in the farmhouse.
Kappes and he carefully examined the large séance room. Olcott drew maps, charts and diagrams and took numerous measurements because he was sure he would find false panels, secret doors and/or hidden passages. He found nothing. He convinced the newspaper to hire experts to examine the house. Carpenters and engineers were the consultants. They found nothing unusual.
Eddy Brothers’ Validity Established
Each séance was basically the same. Guests sat on wooden benches in the room. A platform was lit by a kerosene lamp, in a barrel. William, the primary medium, got on the platform and entered a small cabinet. Soft voices whispered in the distance.
Often, it was singing, accompanied by phantom music. Musical instruments soared over the heads of the audience, disembodied hands appeared, waving and touching spectators, odd lights and unexplained noises appeared. The first spirit emerged from the cabinet. They materialized, alone or in groups. Some seemed solid; others, transparent and otherworldly.
Olcott examined the spirit cabinet and platform and found no trap doors or hidden passages. There was no room in the cabinet for anyone other than the medium. Olcott was familiar with the work of stage magicians and fake mediums, but couldn’t find any of their trickery in the Eddy house.
The apparitions sang and chatted with the sitters. Phenomena included rappings, moving physical items, spirit paintings, automatic writing, prophecies and levitations.
Olcott concluded that such a show would have required actors, costumes and would have cost a fortune. The brothers were nearly penniless. Olcott believed that fraud would have been physically and financially impossible.
Olcott documented the paranormal events in the newspaper and wrote a book, People from Other Worlds. The book contains meticulous drawings of the apparitions, the grounds, the house and blueprints of its construction that proved there were no hidden passages.
He collected hundreds of affidavits and testimonies to the events and reproduced dozens of statements from respected tradesmen and carpenters who examined the house for trickery.
The Eddy Brothers: Post Script
The Eddy brothers and Mary went their separate ways. Horatio died on September 8, 1922; William on October 25, 1932. Some people are inclined to dismiss the events as fiction; however Olcott’s extensive documentation and investigations imply the events weren’t a hoax.
He was skeptical and analytical during his ten-week stay at the farmhouse and he became a believer.
Sources: Dennis William Hauck, Haunted Places, Penguin Books, 2002., Rosemary Ellen Guiley, The Encyclopedia of Ghosts and Spirits, FactsOnFile, 1992., Troy Taylor, “The Strange Mystery of the Eddy Brothers,” www.prairieghosts.com/eddy.html Accessed on October 20, 2011. By Jill Stefko
This story is from a few years ago but I have only just heard about it recently.
A video shared on Facebook from the Philippines shows a mother crying inconsolably at her sons funeral when all of a sudden a white balloon floats from his coffin and towards the mother.
The video was shared by grieving mother Joy Ganda Viber-Alambers.
Witnesses at the funeral believe that the balloon was moved by the spirit of the seven year old boy Trebby who died.
Joy commented next to the video on Facebook “I would like to believe that this was his last mission”
In the video you can see the balloon floating from the coffin and towards the mother. When she looks at the balloon it changes course and moves towards her and around her. She talks to the balloon and hugs it. It hangs around her for a few seconds before floating away.
What do you think of it? Was it the spirit of the child saying goodbye to his mother?