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Ghosts & Hauntings

The World’s 9 Most Haunted Bodies of Water

The World's 9 Most Haunted Bodies of Water 88

Cheryl Eddy

Ghost ships, watery pianos, vengeful spirits, shipwrecks, killer seaweed, and voodoo… haunted bodies of water come in all kinds and configurations. There’s nothing scarier than water that’s out to get you. Here are the nine most haunted bodies of water on Earth. Who’s up for a swim?

Top image: Pluck and Luck Dime Novel Magazine No. 905: Five Years in the Grassy Sea, via davidd on Flickr. More details here.

1) Manchac Swamp, Louisiana

Bayous are generally pretty foreboding, what with all the snakes and gators and quicksand and such, but southeastern Louisiana’s Manchac Swamp has its very own crew of local spooks. One is the bloodthirsty rougarou, a Cajun variation on the werewolf that’s said to lurk in watery turf across Acadiana.

The other, though, is a woman variously named as Julie White or Julie Brown (as in the clip from America’s Most Haunted Places below), described as a “voodoo priestess” who got her jollies freaking out her neighbors by predicting “One day I’m gonna die, and I’m gonna take all of you with me.” Legend has it that her funeral was held the very day the deadly 1915 New Orleans hurricane struck, burying her entire town in its wake. Eerie, no?

2) Okiku’s Well, Japan

The World's 9 Most Haunted Bodies of Water

Looming over the surrounding city of Himeji, in Hyogo Prefecture, Himeji Castle would be an impressive enough sight without the added lure of a spookily famous well contained within its massive grounds. And not only is Okiku’s Well said to be haunted, the tale behind the ghost is as juicy as they come, involving a servant girl who caught the eye of a married samurai who used her job tending a set of very important plates against her to try to force her to be his mistress. She refused, so he killed her by throwing her body you-know-where.

A horrible death, to be sure, but she got revenge from beyond the grave, haunting the samurai’s nights until he went insane. Okiku’s story has remained popular in Japan, inspiring stage productions, video games, and horror film Ringu, as well as its American remake, The Ring. The well where she’s said to have drowned remains at Himeji Castle … along with (maybe) her ghost. Image via Kenpei via Creative Commons.

3) Haunted Lake, New Hampshire

In his book New Hampshire Curiosities, author Eric Jones offers a pair of stories explaining why this pond just outside of Francestown, NH (which he admits is so picturesque, it “doesn’t look the least bit haunted”) got its unusual name. One suggests the shores of what’s also called Scobie Pond (booooring) are haunted by the ghost of a settler killed ’round the campfire by his traveling companion; the other suggests that the supernatural sightings were actually due to a pair of pranksters who took great delight in scaring the bejesus out of anyone who happened to be passing by the lake late at night.

Yet another story, shared on the Cow Hampshire history blog, suggests the moniker came about for more aesthetic reasons: “a terrible fire once burnt the shores of the lake, killing every living thing and leaving it looking charred and spooky.” That said, the post also cites an early surveyor whose 1753 report of hearing mysterious, unrelenting “groanings and shrieks, as of a human being in distress” while camping lakeside suggests … GHOSTS.

4) Chuuk Lagoon, Micronesia

The World's 9 Most Haunted Bodies of Water

Also known as Truc Lagoon, this natural harbor in the Caroline Islands served as home base for Japan’s Pacific Theater campaign during World War II. When American forces attacked in February 1944, the two-day battle rendered Chuuk Lagoon “the biggest graveyard of ships in the world.” According to Atlas Obscura,

Just a week before the attack, the Japanese military had moved additional ships to the area, and, as a result, approximately 250 Japanese aircraft were destroyed and more than 50 ships sunk. An estimated 400 Japanese soldiers were killed in one ship alone, trapped in the cargo hold. Most of the fleet remains in exactly the same spot it was left, largely forgotten by the world until the late 1960s.

Thanks to a 1969 Jacques Cousteau documentary, the wreck-strewn waters became a massively popular scuba-diving destination, and most of the left-behind bodies were removed and buried … though some remain, and ghostly sounds and sightings have been reported over the years. Image via World Archaeology.

5) Sargasso Sea, Atlantic Ocean

Notable for being the only sea without a land boundary (its borders are defined entirely by ocean currents), the Sargasso Sea — 1,000 miles wide and 3,000 miles long — is named for the Sargassum seaweed that floats upon its surface. The region is home to a diverse population of sea life … but it’s also got some uncanny vibes coursing through its oh-so-calm, plant-laden waves.

As Livescience recounts,

This eerie calmness contributes to the area’s mystery, as several ships have been found drifting crewless through its peaceful waters. In 1840, the French merchant ship Rosalie sailed through the Sargasso Sea and was later discovered with its sails set but without any crew members on board.

In an effort to explain the mysterious disappearances, 19th century lore told of the Sargasso Sea’s carnivorous seaweed, which was believed to devour sailors whole, leaving only the ship.

The mysteries of the Sargasso Sea (“a living hell that time forgot!”) inspired the 1968 Hammer production The Lost Continent … a film whose many, many lurid appeals (GIANT MOLLUSCS!) are amply illustrated by its trailer.

6) Gardner Lake, Connecticut

Local lore has it that faint piano music emanates from the bottom of this lake in Salem, Connecticut — the result of a household move gone awry across its frozen (albeit apparently not frozen enough) surface in the 1890s. “To this day, people who have scuba dived in the lake report that parts of the house and furniture still remain intact, including the aforementioned piano,” reports blog Damned Connecticut, though it’s difficult to find actual evidence of this. Just for fun, though … let’s just assume there’s a spindly old piano down there, hosting concerts played by spectral hands, OK? Haunted instruments are weirdly cool no matter what.

7) Great Lakes, America and Canada

Everyone remembers the wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald (thanks, Gordon Lightfoot), but the unpredictable waters of the Great Lakes have taken many ships … some of which have been reported as returning in ghostly form.

Prairie Ghosts offers a raft of anecdotal reports:

Ghost ship Western Reserve has been spotted in the waters off Deer Park, Michigan. The schooner went down in April of 1892 and was the property of famous financier Peter Minch. He had been aboard with his family the day the ship went down. Only the wheelman survived the wreck and the ship continues to be sighted today. Strangely, Captain Truedell of the Great Lakes Life-Saving Service dreamed the exact details of the accident before it happened. He saw it in such detail that he recognized the body of Peter Minch when he found it washed up on shore.

More:

The W H. Gilcher has been sighted in the Straits of Mackinac, where it went down in 1892. The coal steamer is said to appear in the fog off Mackinac Island but it is not the only ship that appears near here. The other is an older vessel that returns every seven years and is the phantom craft of the explorer Sebastian, who is still trying to return home to his fiancee in France … even though he was lost here many years ago.

The ghost schooner, Erie Board of Trade, has also been spotted in Saginaw Bay. The cursed ship disappeared in Lake Huron in 1883 and, according to the stories, was wrecked by a ghost. The captain of the ship had ordered a crewman to go up the main mast to the boatswain’s chair, even though the men knew that it was not safe. The man ended up falling to his death. Soon, his ghost started to appear on the deck and in the cabins. The crew told this story while they were in port and on its next voyage, the ship vanished and was never seen again.

Mystery Portals offers this gem:

Easily the strangest and most macabre story is the tale of Grandpa. The Great Lakes are very cold in the depths, so cold that the frigid water will preserve almost anything through natural refrigeration. This includes human remains, and the story goes that there is a preserved body in the engine room of the wreck of the SS Kamloops, which went down in 1927. Locals and divers call him Grandpa, and he is known to float quietly behind divers, following them as they swim around the compartment. Perhaps this is just due to currents created by the divers, or maybe its something else, but the effect has scared the daylights out of more than a few divers.

As an aside, “Grandpa” has got to be the scariest name for a supernatural creature this side of King Diamond.

8) White Rock Lake, Texas

The World's 9 Most Haunted Bodies of Water

Weird Texas shares this story, a watery spin on a popular urban legend:

The story of the Lady of the Lake (or sometimes the Lady in White) is one of the most well-known ghost stories in the Dallas area. Here’s how the typical encounter with this spirit is usually reported: A man is driving on one of the roads that run around the lake late one night, when up ahead at the side of the road he sees a strange sight: a lone young woman, dripping wet and wearing a 1920’s-era evening gown.

The man pulls over and asks the woman if she needs some help, and she asks him for a ride to a house on Gaston Ave. The man obliges, driving through the night to Gaston Ave; the young woman remains silent beside him. When they finally reach Gaston Ave the man turns to ask the woman where he should pull over and to his shock, she is gone … just silently disappeared, leaving nothing but a wet stain on the car’s seat.

Another version of the White Rock Lake ghost story may be found here. The upshot: just another drowned ghost trying to get home … for eternity. Image via Rediscover Dallas.

9) Bermuda Triangle

You didn’t think we’d forget, did you? Had to save the best/most obvious for last.

Ghosts & Hauntings

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

Reality show to be filmed in medieval "haunted castle" in Wales 102

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

Loftus Hall is the most famous haunted house 103

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

The ghost of the Haycock Manor Hotel: a beautiful legend about a frequent visitor to an ancient building 104

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.

The ghost of the Haycock Manor Hotel: a beautiful legend about a frequent visitor to an ancient building 105

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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