With Halloween quickly coming upon us, our minds quickly turn to the supernatural, the unexplained and the down-right creepy. With that in mind, I present to you tales from around the planet. Stories of specters, devils and eerie mysteries that bring a chill to the spine. Without further ado, we have a lot of ground to cover.
- Rawlins Prison, WY U.S.A.– The Ghost Investigators Society was able to visit Wyoming’s first state penitentiary and now historical landmark after hours and gain access to multiple EVP’s (Electronic Voice Phenomena) and photos of unbelievable images of those who died within its walls. The conditions in the past were much different from what inmates enjoy today, including strict rules regarding silence and interactions with visitors. They even had a “Punishment Pole” to which men were handcuffed and beaten with rubber hoses. It was home to 13,500 prisoners, including eleven women. Over all, 14 men were executed within its walls, nine hangings and five in a gas chamber. If that isn’t ripe ghost territory, I don’t know what is.
- The Old Paper mill, U.S.A. UT– Originally built in the late 1800’s by a local newspaper (The Deseret News), the Old Paper Mill is the most haunted place in Utah. Having fallen victim to fires over the years, it has served as a paper mill, dance hall and haunted house for entertainment, but had a more sinister past. Multiple times, curators who stayed over the winter would be found having committed suicide in the “heart” of the building (same place each time), doors would sporadically shut and lock on their own, and night guards would have to go in pairs because fresh batteries would die suddenly and a solitary guard would often find themselves locked in rooms they had just unlocked. The Old Paper Mill is reportedly so haunted that the owners won’t allow anyone in for any reason, lest they end up like the curators.
- Abandoned Doctor’s House, Germany– This isn’t haunted per se, but is definitely creepy. Looking at these images brings more questions to mind than not, such as why the family left so quickly, leaving behind everything, even the science equipment which was in mid-use at the time. Having a personal cemetery out back only adds to the skin-crawl value.
- Fehuluni, Tonga– Fehuluni is a local ghost to Tongan society, and is rarely heard of outside of their own country. The story goes that she once was a Samoan chieftain’s daughter, and she fell in love with a Tongan prince. She followed him to Tonga and that’s where the story switches up. One account tells that the Tongan prince married once he returned to Tonga and broke Fehuluni’s heart. Another is that he never existed and she couldn’t find him on her arrival, suggesting that he was a ghost. A third was that the royal guards wouldn’t let her in and she never saw him again. Either way, her heart was broken and she jumped off a cliff to her death. Now her ghost lives in an avocado tree with her head in her lap while she picks bugs out of her wild hair. She hates attractive couples (assuming it reminds her of her own failed relationship) and leads young women to the ocean where she drowns them, or she possesses the body of handsome young men and causes them to throw themselves off of a cliff like she did. She also gets extra points for pulling a Voldemort inasmuch as Tongans do not say her name lest they invoke her spirit and she comes to possess them. She is actually one of the principal players in my upcoming book Oceans.
- Dogs and the Supernatural, South America– In Chile, Argentina and Peru, there is a belief that when all of the dogs in your village start to howl at once, it is because the devil is walking the streets. A friend of mine is married to a Chilean, and when visiting her family, he has heard this phenomena himself and describes it as “Really eerie.” One dog begins the howl, and suddenly all of the dogs in the village carry it on, and then, like birds turning in unison during flight, they all stop simultaneously. Also, if you want to track the progress of the devil on his trek through your village, you take the tear drop from a dog’s eye and put it in your own (EW!) and you will be able to see the devil. Why would you want to, you say? In South America, making deals with the devil is not an uncommon concept.
- Nova Cidade de Kilamba–Nova Cidade de Kilamba is one of the more famous Chinese ghost towns of modern times. It was as if the builders had seen Field of Dreams too many times and thought if they could build an exemplary city, jobs and people would come. Apparently not. Now it just looks like one more city ripe for a zombie apocalypse. Or maybe a Chinese version of Dueling Banjos.
- Lake Natron, Tanzania– A beautiful lake that kills you dead, Lake Natron lies next to a volcano and thus has its pH balance all thrown off. We all know what happens when you encounter an acid that is too far off the scale: You die and your remains get eaten away. But rarely do we think about what happens when a base is too far off. Not only does it kill you, but it calcifies the remains. This site displays the images of different animals who have fallen into the lake and become more or less monuments of their former selves.
So now it’s your turn. Like local Mom and Pop shops, what makes an area unique are its’ stories and hauntings or local legends. I’ve only covered a hand full of what I’ve uncovered (saving fodder for later) but I would love to hear what local places are haunted in your area. Do you have a home-based horror? Do you have a MothMan or a Chubacabre of your own? Let’s get our creep on and share some good, old fashioned ghost stories!