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Ghost Queens: Lady Jane Grey

by cnkguy
Ghost Queens: Lady Jane Grey
The Execution of Lady Jane Grey is an oil painting by Paul Delaroche.

On February 12, 1554, sixteen-year-old Lady Jane Grey was beheaded for the crime of high treason. The young woman had been Queen of England for just nine days, and the short-lived monarch haunts The Tower of London even now.

Jane’s troubles started in 1553, after King Edward VI died following a prolonged illness. Rather than allow the throne to pass to Edward’s sister, Mary, Jane’s supporters insisted the crown belonged to her. After all, Edward had named Jane his successor, and unlike Mary or Edward’s other sister, Elizabeth, Jane was untainted by claims of illegitimacy. Jane reluctantly accepted the crown on July 10, 1553. However, support for Mary grew, and after nine tumultuous days, Lady Jane Grey was dethroned. On February 12, 1554, Jane lost her head at Tower Green within the Tower of London. Legend has it her ghost remains.

The “Nine Days Queen,” as Jane is known, has spooked many Tower guards in the centuries following her death. The most famous sighting occurred on February 12, 1957, when two guards spotted a phantom woman gliding along a battlement. The woman closely resembled paintings of Lady Jane Grey, and it was the 403rd anniversary of the ill-fated queen’s death.

Legend has it Lady Jane’s ghost also appears at her birthplace, Bradgate Park in Leicestershire. On Christmas Eve, a ghostly coach, drawn by four headless horses, reportedly races through the park with a headless Jane inside. Her bloodied head rests in her lap. Curiously, a nearly identical legend surrounds Anne Boleyn, an English queen who was beheaded 18 years before Jane.

Today marks the 465th anniversary of Lady Jane Grey’s beheading. Do you think she’ll appear in the Tower of London tonight?

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Ghost Photo: Milling Around

by cnkguy
Ghost Photo: Milling Around
ghost photo wheelchair

Taken at Clinch’s Mill in Greenough, Western Australia, this photo appears to show a ghostly figure sitting in a wheelchair. Is it a ghost? Or is it merely a trick of light?

Now in ruins, Clinch’s Mill was built in 1859 and once supplied flour to the miners at nearby goldfields. Today, it is a popular spot for photographers and history buffs.

What do you think of the photo?

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7 Chillingly Haunted Places in California

by cnkguy
7 Chillingly Haunted Places in California
Palm-tree lined street in Los Angeles seen through a rain-spattered windshield

When people think of California, images of sun-drenched beaches and glamorous celebrities come to mind. However, The Golden State also has a dark side. From historic hotels to iconic landmarks, here are seven haunted places in California.

Hotel del Coronado – Coronado

In 1892, 28-year-old Kate Morgan checked into the Hotel del Coronado near San Diego, California. She claimed a man would soon join her, but the expected guest never showed. Five days after checking in, a despondent Kate took her life outside the hotel. Legend has it she’s haunted “The Del” ever since.

Kate reportedly haunts her former room, #3327, as well as the hotel’s hallways. Strange activity includes flickering lights, chilling breezes, and doors that slam on their own. Disembodied voices and unexplained footsteps are also common.

The Golden Gate Bridge – San Francisco

More than 1,000 people have leaped from San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge since its completion in 1937, though it isn’t these tortured souls who reportedly haunt the bridge.

In 1853, the steamer SS Tennessee sank in the Golden Gate Strait after losing its way in a patch of fog and slamming into a rock. Now, the phantom ship reportedly sails the strait, leaving a wake but no trace on radar. On foggy days, pedestrians on the bridge report hearing tortured screams in the mist.

Imperial Palace – San Francisco

In 1977, a gang-related shooting killed five people and injured 11 others at Chinatown’s Golden Dragon restaurant, now the Imperial Palace. No gang members were struck, and the five shooters were later convicted and sentenced to life in prison. Now, the victims’ ghosts allegedly haunt the site of their murder.

Some visitors sense a dark energy within the building while others are overcome by the restaurant’s oppressive atmosphere. At times, old blood stains from the shooting seemingly emerge from the floor only to quickly disappear.

Hollywood Sign – Hollywood

view of from behind Hollywoood sign at night

In 1932, actress Peg Entwhistle leaped from the letter “H” on the iconic Hollywood sign. The 24-year-old beauty died from the 50-foot fall, and legend has it she haunts the sign to this day.

In 1990, two hikers reportedly encountered a disorientated-looking Entwhistle who disappeared before their eyes. Park rangers have also spotted the tragic young woman’s ghost, noting the smell of gardenias whenever she appears. An unknown presence also trips the sign’s motion detectors.

“There have been times when I have been at the sign,” a ranger said, “and the motion detectors say that someone is standing five feet away from me, only there’s nobody there.”

Claremont Resort and Spa – Berkeley

Like many old hotels, the 104-year-old Claremont Resort and Spa is allegedly home to several spirits. Guests have been spooked by flickering lights, drawers that open and close, and feelings of intense dread.

Smoke issuing from non-smoking rooms has also puzzled staff and visitors. In 1901, a fire destroyed the lavish home that once sat on the hotel’s property. Rumor has it a little girl died in the fire and now roams the hotel, making her presence known.

The Queen Mary – Long Beach

The historic Queen Mary is a popular tourist attraction, complete with restaurants, a museum, and a hotel. Legend has it the ship is also haunted by the men, women, and children who died aboard.

In 1942, the Queen Mary accidentally rammed and sank her escort ship, the HMS Curacoa, as she carried over 10,000 troops to Europe. More than 200 men died in the collision, and now Queen Mary staff and visitors hear strange sounds coming from the ship’s bow. Other ghosts include a little girl named Jackie, who reportedly haunts the second-class swimming pool, and John Peddler, a man who was crushed by one of the ship’s massive doors.

Moss Beach Distillery – Moss Beach

A heartbroken woman known as The Blue Lady reportedly haunts the famous Moss Beach Distillery. According to local legend, the melancholy spirit steals women’s jewelry, levitates credit cards, locks doors from the inside, and frightens young children. Legend says The Blue Lady, so named because of her blue clothing, was murdered on the beach outside the restaurant and returns to search for her illicit lover.

Want more? Zoom in on the map below to see more haunted places in the United States.

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Ghost Photo: Face in the Ruins

by cnkguy
Ghost Photo: Face in the Ruins

This Japanese ghost photo reportedly shows a ghostly face peering around a wall. Two women recorded the face while exploring the remains of a long-abandoned, fire-damaged home. What do you think of the picture?

Have a ghost photo you’d like to share? Send it to ghostsghoul@gmail.com.

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Spirits Roam Michigan’s Tunnel of Trees

by cnkguy
Spirits Roam Michigan’s Tunnel of Trees

The Tunnel of Trees in northern Michigan is a scenic stretch of highway (M-119) that winds along the shore of Lake Michigan. By day, the 20-mile stretch of highway is beautiful and tranquil. By night, evil spirits and anguished souls reportedly roam the area.

Devil’s Elbow

Near the town of Harbor Springs is a sharp turn known as Devil’s Elbow. According to local legend, the devil scooped out an enormous hollow after a plague ravaged the Ottawa (Odawa) Indian tribe. Now, they say, the site is home to an evil spirit. A historical marker erected at Devil’s Elbow reads:

Those who dare venture into the woods after dark, hear disembodied voices or the sound of distant drumming. Some say the drums sound each time a person dies in or around Lake Michigan. Reports of orbs and mysterious lights are also common, or so the stories go.

Car Trouble

Navigating the windy M-119 is challenging enough by day, but night presents a new set of problems. Some motorists experience mysterious mechanical issues while driving along the Tunnel of Trees after dark.

“I would highly recommend against driving alone down the Tunnel of Trees,” said one such motorist in the book Weird Michigan.”Once, when I was just past Devil’s Elbow, my car went completely haywire. At the exact same time, my engine cut out and all the electrical systems turned on. I had to wait for a tow truck for 40 minutes. And on that road, there’s nothing to do but sit around and think about which evil spirit jumped inside your engine.”

Is the Tunnel of Trees truly haunted, or are the stories nothing more than fanciful tales? Take a light-night drive and see for yourself.

Does your hometown have a local legend? Share your spooky stories here or email ghostsghoul@gmail.com.

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NBA Players No Match for Oklahoma City’s Haunted Skirvin Hotel

by cnkguy
NBA Players No Match for Oklahoma City’s Haunted Skirvin Hotel

oklahoma city's skirvin hotel

In January 2010, the Oklahoma City Thunder handily defeated the New York Knicks, scoring 106 points to the Knicks’ 88. Was it skill behind Oklahoma City’s win? Or did a ghost indirectly aid the team?

Located at the corner of 1st Street and Broadway, Oklahoma City’s Skirvin Hilton Hotel regularly hosts teams in town to play the Thunder. The 107-year-old building also has a reputation for being haunted. According to a report in the NY Daily News, a two-day stay at the Skirvin left at least two Knicks players convinced the hotel’s spooky stories were true.

Eddy Curry was one of those players. Per the Daily News, Curry slept only two hours the night before the game with Oklahoma City because he was spooked by tales of the resident ghost.

The Legend of Effie

According to local legend, a maid named Effie jumped from an upper floor with her baby after the hotel’s owner and child’s father, W.B. Skirvin, locked her in a room to prevent a scandal. The spurned maid is now said to roam the hotel, slamming doors, peeping at men in the shower, and even propositioning male guests. Visitors also report awakening to the sound of a wailing baby.

“They said it happened on the 10th floor and I’m the only one staying on the 10th floor,” Curry told the Daily News. “That’s why I spent most of my time in (Nate Robinson’s) room. I definitely believe there are ghosts in that hotel.”

Is the tragic tale of Effie true? There’s no record of a woman hurling herself from the upper floors of the Skirvin Hotel, though a salesman once jumped from the 10th. Despite a lack of evidence, tales of ghostly happenings persist.

Wails in the Night 

A year after the NY Daily News published the Knicks ghost story, ESPN columnist Bill Simmons spent an sleepless night at the Skirvin after hearing an infant wail. He described the eerie experience in his column:

“I woke up at 4:30 with my heart pounding. Suddenly, it dawned on me that I wasn’t alone. I had an overpowering sensation that someone else was in the room. I decided to turn on the light.

Stretching to my right for the switch, out of nowhere, I heard the sound of a baby crying urgently to my far left (right near the window). The urgency freaked me out just as much as the crying itself. I fumbled for the switch, couldn’t find it, fumbled, fumbled some more, then finally turned the light on. The crying sound stopped.

I kept the lights on. And the television. And that’s how I spent the next three and a half hours — half-asleep, half-awake and totally spooked. 

I came to Oklahoma City for Durant and Westbrook and left telling stories about Effie’s baby. Just know that the next time someone tells me a ghost story, I will believe them.” 

Has anyone ever had a ghostly experience at the Skirvin Hotel? Share you story here or in the comments section below!

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