HAUNTED TALES OF TERROR
Startling Hauntings, Apparitions, and Contact From the Other Side
Table of Contents
Haunted Railway Stations
Where would you go if you wanted to see a ghost? Most people might think about a spooky old abandoned house. Or a graveyard. Or a lonely forest. Those are certainly the kind of places we traditionally associate with ghosts, but in this book you’ll read about real-life hauntings that have happened in some very surprising and very different locations…
You’ll read here about a bustling, modern, international airport where there are so many ghosts that the airport authorities have been forced to take drastic action to try and keep them away from passengers. You’ll also find out about a railway station which is so haunted that staff refuse to work after dark and even busy roads where ghosts have not only been seen, they have even been blamed for causing fatal accidents!
If that isn’t enough, there are also hotels and bars where visitors include both the living and the dead and even the tale of a haunted wartime German U-boat.
Prepare to have your ideas of where to find ghosts challenged as we explore some of the most unlikely and surprising haunted places on the planet…
© Copyright 2016 by Joseph Exton – All rights reserved.
This document is geared towards providing exact and reliable information in regards to the topic and issue covered. The publication is sold with the idea that the publisher is not required to render accounting, officially permitted, or otherwise, qualified services. If advice is necessary, legal or professional, a practiced individual in the profession should be ordered.
- From a Declaration of Principles which was accepted and approved equally by a Committee of the American Bar Association and a Committee of Publishers and Associations.
In no way is it legal to reproduce, duplicate, or transmit any part of this document in either electronic means or in printed format. Recording of this publication is strictly prohibited and any storage of this document is not allowed unless with written permission from the publisher. All rights reserved.
The information provided herein is stated to be truthful and consistent, in that any liability, in terms of inattention or otherwise, by any usage or abuse of any policies, processes, or directions contained within is the solitary and utter responsibility of the recipient reader. Under no circumstances will any legal responsibility or blame be held against the publisher for any reparation, damages, or monetary loss due to the information herein, either directly or indirectly.
Respective authors own all copyrights not held by the publisher.
The information herein is offered for informational purposes solely, and is universal as so. The presentation of the information is without contract or any type of guarantee assurance.
The trademarks that are used are without any consent, and the publication of the trademark is without permission or backing by the trademark owner. All trademarks and brands within this book are for clarifying purposes only and are owned by the owners themselves, not affiliated with this document.
Since experiencing several of his own paranormal experiences, Joseph has always been a believer of the unusual, weird, crazy and downright insane. He writes only of ‘true’ stories in history, stories that have baffled even the most committed of researchers.
Growing up in Canada but now calling Los Angeles home, Joseph continues to research, write and explain the unexplainable.
Be sure to check out all of his books on true crime, unexplained mysteries, the paranormal and all things bizarre…
Would you like some FREE books?
Yes that’s right, we send free books out to our subscribers every single week!
If you think that sounds pretty awesome, then visit our website at the end of this book and sign up!
All you have to do then, is keep an eye on your inbox for the next free books for the week.
The Many Ghosts of Suvarnabhumi
Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi airport is one of two International airports serving this popular destination. Suvarnabhumi opened in 2006 and is one of the twenty busiest airports in the world and the sixth busiest airport in Asia. The airport authorities will happily tell you that Suvarnabhumi airport regularly tops the polls as the most popular location worldwide for the taking of instagram photographs.
What the airport authorities are less likely to tell you is that Suvarnabhumi is also the most haunted airport in the world and that ghosts have been blamed for a host of problems including a breakdown of the baggage handling system and even an accident involving a Thai Airways International aircraft.
The problem has become so serious that the airport has built a number of condominiums specifically to provide attractive housing for the ghosts in the hope that this will keep them away from the passenger terminal and aircraft operations.
Inside the main terminal building at Suvarnabhumi airport. Ghosts not shown.
Though it now looks plush and efficient, Suvarnabhumi’s problems began at a very early stage. The need for a new airport was recognized in the mid-1970s – Don Muang, the other airport in Bangkok, started life as a US Air Base and was struggling to deal with the sheer volume of traffic.
What was needed was a purpose-built airport with good rail and road connections to the centre of the city. A possible area for construction was quickly identified to the east of the city. There were however, a couple of problems.
First, the area was a snake-infested swamp known as Nong Nguhao (Cobra Swamp) which would make construction of the new airport challenging and very dangerous for workers.
Second, the area also included the site of an old graveyard and Thai people are very, very nervous about disturbing the rest of the dead.
Work on building the new airport finally began in 2002 though, as for most major construction projects in Thailand, there were immediate accusations of corruption and the use of inferior building materials and practises in addition to delays and budget over-runs.
Some of the delays were caused by frightened construction workers. Not only were cobras displaced and very aggressive when their swamp was drained, there were frequent reports of ghostly figures moving around on the site. When challenged about how and where they had relocated bodies from the graveyard on which the airport was built, members of the consortium responsible for building work suddenly became very vague and were unable to remember where precisely the bodies had been re-buried.
Most people believed (and continue to believe) that the airport buildings were simply constructed on top of the bodies in the graveyard. It was also decided at around this time that the new airport would be named Suvarnabhumi (Realm of Gold). Probably a good idea because, let’s face it, a destination called Cobra Swamp Airport doesn’t sound especially enticing…
Reports of ghosts became so prevalent and caused so many work stoppages that on 23rd September 2006 (before the airport was opened to the public) the Airports Authority of Thailand organised a [_phiti tam bun phuea phensirimonkol _](a merit-making ceremony for prosperity) at the airport. Ninety-nine respected Buddhist monks from temples and monasteries around Thailand were invited to undertake the ritual chanting required to ensure that the airport would be free from ghostly interference.
In addition to the monks, the ceremony was also attended by around 350 airport staff – one of the main purposes of the ceremony was to reassure staff about what had already become known as a haunted building. This was not a notable success.
During the chanting, Kwanchai Tabto, a young parcel inspector, collapsed and then announced that his body had been possessed by Pho Ming, the guardian spirit of Cobra Swamp. Pho Ming announced that he was displeased because his home had been destroyed by the construction of the airport and demanded that a shrine be built for him on the airport grounds immediately.
Another view of the main terminal at Suvarnabhumi
Photo: Heinz Albers
The airport authorities reacted by building not just one but a total of six shrines around the airport in a effort to appease Pho Ming and other entities which seemed to haunt the airport. Despite this, ghosts continued to appear.
One of them was the ghost of a female Burmese construction worker who had died during the building of the main terminal. The woman fell into a column mould as concrete was being poured into it and was crushed. When the mould was removed, the woman’s body was trapped inside the set concrete. Workers using power tools removed as many parts of her body as possible, and then used a new outer skin of concrete to conceal what was left inside.
This column (which is inside the customs hall) was believed to be haunted and several night-shift workers at the airport reported seeing the ghost of a long-haired woman lurking close to the concrete column. This story became so well known that it was reported in the [_Thai Rath _]daily newspaper which also noted that workers had taken to leaving gifts by the column to appease the angry female ghost.
In addition to the column ghost, night workers at the airport also heard ghostly footsteps echoing throughout the empty halls and the sound of Thai traditional music with no obvious source.
Even the Head of Airport Security, Squadron Leader Pannupong Nualpenyai, was forced to take evasive action when a woman in traditional dress and carrying a baby walked in front of his car, then disappeared in front of his eyes. When he was interviewed by a Thai Newspaper, Squadron Leader Pannupong noted that “I believe in this phenomenon, I have seen many ghosts in my life.”
But the most commonly seen ghost was that of Pho Ming, the irate guardian spirit of Cobra Swamp. He was most often seen by night-shift staff, though occasionally also seen in daylight. He was generally easy to spot as he looked like an old man in traditional Thai dress, but with a blue aura round his head. One sighting by Pratheet Wanmuda, a startled security guard, was reported in a Thai newspaper:
“It was late at night when I saw him. He had an aura around his head and walked with a stick. I called out to him but then he was gone. I was so scared that I forgot to ask him for next week’s winning lottery numbers.”
Ghosts continued to plague Suvarnabhumi. A major failure in the baggage handling system soon after the airport opened was blamed on interference by evil spirits. Supernatural involvement was also suspected in the deaths of two airport workers in separate road accidents close to the terminal.
General unease increased when a number of people (both Thais and International visitors) committed suicide by jumping off the terminal’s fourth floor level and falling to the car park below. In response, the airport authorities supplemented the existing shrines by adding a number of “ghost houses” round the airport.
Ghost houses are common next to large commercial buildings in Thailand as well as near some private houses. These are small, ornate constructions which look almost like doll houses and which are placed on pedestals close to the building which is to be protected.
The ghost houses are always kept immaculately clean and well supplied with food and drink for ghosts – Cherry Fanta is said to be very popular with ghosts, and this is often left in ghost houses to attract the spirits.
The idea is that the ghost house will be so attractive to any wandering spirit that they will choose to live there rather than enter the main building and bother the living occupants. A number of ghost houses were built round Suvarnabhumi Airport in an attempt to keep ghosts out of the main airport buildings.
One of the many ghost houses round Suvarnabhumi International Airport.
Then, in September 2013, ghosts were involved in an aircraft accident at Suvarnabhumi. A Thai Airways International Airbus A330 aircraft en-route from Guangzhou in China ran off the runway while landing on runway 19L at around 23:30 on 8th September.
The aircraft’s undercarriage collapsed and the wreckage came to rest completely off the runway. Fortunately there were no fatalities though twelve passengers were injured and the aircraft was written-off in the accident. It was quickly reported in the local press that there had been supernatural intervention during the evacuation of the aircraft.
Several passengers reported being assisted from the aircraft by a stewardess wearing traditional Thai dress. Thai Airways noted that none of its staff wear Thai traditional dress and it was concluded that this must have been one of Suvarnabhumi’s resident ghosts.
Chotisak Asapawiriya, former CEO of Airports of Thailand (AOT), was quoted in the Thai press as noting that several airport staff had also seen a woman in traditional dress and heard a woman’s voice on runway 19L before the crash. Another AOT source noted that during the response to the accident, airport emergency personnel saw a woman in Thai traditional dress on several occasions and noted that appearances of this woman caused interference on radio equipment.
As you might expect, there was an immediate enquiry into why this modern jet aircraft had careered off the runway. On 15th September the Managing Director of Thai Airways International, Mr. Sorajak Kasemsuvan, publically announced that preliminary investigations had proved that “vengeful spirits” were a primary cause of the incident.
His urgent recommendation was that a ceremony of appeasement for the angry ghosts of Suvarnabhumi was required. Mr Sorajak was publicly supported by several prominent figures in the Thai aviation industry including the Head of the Thai Meteorological Service who agreed that Suvarnabhumi airport was haunted by a number of malevolent ghosts who caused regular problems with systems and equipment as well as terrifying staff.
A ceremony of appeasement was generally agreed to be a prudent response to the accident but it was also suggested that the sheer volume of ghosts at the airport was such that existing ghost houses were becoming too crowded and therefore no longer attractive to ghosts.
The answer: a giant ghost condominium should be built which would provide adequate accommodation for all the spirits which haunt the airport!
The giant ghost Condo was duly built, but there are still very regular sightings of ghosts at Suvarnabhumi which suggests that it hasn’t been entirely successful. Workers and visitors to the airport continue to report sightings of a mysterious woman dressed in traditional Thai costume who disappears when she is approached.
Ghostly footsteps continue to be heard as they pass along the many corridors and rooms of the airport and the sound of Thai traditional music continues to be heard inexplicably and randomly in all parts of the terminal.
Since the accident in 2013, the ghosts of Suvarnabhumi do not seem to have made any further attempts to interfere directly with aircraft operations, but if you do happen to find yourself passing through this airport, you may want to check that the lady you see in Thai costume really is a flight attendant.
And if you happen to meet an angry old gentleman with a blue head, it may be best to consider revising your travel plans completely…
Other Haunted Airports
Suvarnabhumi may have more than its fair share of ghosts, but it’s far from the only haunted airport in the world. In May 1979 Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport was the scene of the worst ever US aviation disaster when an American Airlines McDonnell Douglas DC-10 crashed just after takeoff, killing all 258 passengers and thirteen crew as well as two people on the ground.
The DC-10 came down in a field close to the airport boundary and within a few weeks, motorists passing this location reported seeing moving lights and shadowy figures in the field. Police were alerted and, on several occasions, came to the site expecting to find ghoulish souvenir hunters looking for pieces of the wreckage from the aircraft.
Instead they found absolutely nothing. And yet the reports of lights and people being seen at the crash site continued and still happen today. Sometimes these include reports of screaming and cries for help from the crash site, even though there is no-one there…
Even more frightening, residents in a trailer park close to the crash site began to experience very odd happenings within hours of the accident. They would hear knocks on windows and doors, footsteps would cross porches and doorknobs would be rattled as if someone was trying to get in.
However, when they investigated, no-one was there. Some residents even claimed to have met bemused looking people wandering in to the park from the crash site, mumbling about missing luggage or missed connecting flights before disappearing.
In the airport itself, a man in 1970s business clothes has been seen using a payphone close to the gate where passengers boarded the doomed flight. He finishes his call, steps away from the phone and simply vanishes…
Heathrow, the UKs busiest airport, also has its share of supernatural visitors. One of the most reported is known simply as “The Man with the Briefcase”. The story of this ghost begins on March 2nd 1948 when a Douglas DC-3 of Belgian Airlines en-route from Brussels was approaching Heathrow in thick fog. The pilot misjudged the approach and the aircraft smashed into the ground short of the runway, killing all three crew members and seventeen of the twenty-two passengers.
As emergency service workers were searching the area for survivors, they were approached by a smartly dressed man wearing a dark hat who asked if anyone had seen his briefcase?
He wandered off into the darkness before anyone could ask who he was, but rescuers were certain that one of the bodies they recovered from the wreck was the man who had spoken to them. Except that his massive injuries made it certain that he must have died at the moment of impact and could not possibly have been walking around afterwards.
The same figure has been seen a number of times, either wandering close to the runway or in one of Heathrow’s terminals. On occasion he has been seen sitting in one of the VIP lounges, but he disappears if approached.
However, in 1970, staff in the control tower called in Police and security personnel when they spotted a smartly dressed man wearing a dark hat wandering aimlessly on one of the active runways. Police and security staff arrived quickly but could see no sign of the man, despite the fact that incredulous staff in the control tower could still see him, and could see that he was right beside the oblivious officers!
Tenerife North Airport in the Canary Islands was the scene of the worst ever air disaster in March 1977 when a KLM Boeing 747 which was attempting to take off collided with a Pan-American 747 which was taxiing. All five hundred and eighty-three people on board the two aircraft died.
A number of sober and seemingly sincere pilots have reported delaying their take-off from this airport because, despite the fact that they are cleared for take-off, they have seen what appears to be a large crowd of people on the runway, waving their hands as if to warn of danger. In each case, the figures have simply disappeared after a few moments and the aircraft have been able to take-off normally.
And it isn’t just airports that can be haunted, even aircraft sometimes seem to attract ghosts. The stories surrounding one particular Airbus A320 aircraft operated by Belgian airline Constellation International Airlines were so prevalent that the aircraft became known as the Scarebus and some crew members became very reluctant to travel on it.
The problems started when a flight attendant suddenly became ill while performing pre-flight checks on this aircraft. A replacement was found and she was released from duty but, tragically, the woman was killed in a road accident on her way home. Several crew members have reported hearing her scream for help on the aircraft and flight attendants working alone in the rear galley have reported hearing her whisper into their ears.
However, the strangest on-board encounter was reported by a Virgin Atlantic flight attendant on a flight from America to the UK. The flight attendant was working alone in the forward galley, near the stairs on a Boeing 747 aircraft when she was suddenly interrupted by an agitated elderly male passenger.
He insisted that the attendant must pass on a message to another passenger (he specified the seat in which she was sitting). The message consisted of nothing more than a string of numbers which the man insisted the flight attendant write down so she would remember them accurately.
The attendant sought out the female passenger and passed on the message. The passenger looked stunned and produced a photograph from her handbag. Was that the man? The flight attendant agreed that it was.
The passenger told her that the man was dead and that his body was being transported back to the UK in a coffin in the cargo hold of the aircraft. And that a major problem with sorting out the man’s affairs was that no-one knew the number of the bank account in which most of his savings had been deposited…
Hotels are a place where you want to be able to relax and take it easy. They certainly aren’t the kind of places where you expect to encounter the supernatural. So, it’s a little worrying to discover that so many hotels around the world have dead as well as living guests…
The Stanley Hotel, Colorado
The Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, Colorado has the unusual distinction that it not only terrified horror writer Stephen King, it also inspired him to write one of his most popular novels.
King and his wife Tabitha stayed at the hotel in late September 1974. They were the only guests as the hotel was shutting for the winter the next day. That night, King had a nightmare in which his three-year old son was being chased through the corridors of the hotel by a strange entity. He woke up and jotted down some notes which would later become the plot for The Shining.
The Stanley Hotel
Photo: Miguel Vieira
However, not all guests at the Stanley have been able to convert their unease into a best-selling novel and this is known as one of the most haunted hotels in America.
The Stanley was completed in 1909 and was one of the first hotels in this part of America to have electric lights – the hotel had its own hydro-electric plant to supply electricity to its 140 guest rooms. The hotel immediately proved popular, but several of the guest rooms have a reputation for being haunted.
Room 428 is haunted by the ghost of a man in Cowboy dress. One couple awoke to find the ghost pacing back and forth at the end of their bed, but he left when they asked him to go. Female guests have reported waking to find the Cowboy leaning over them, seemingly about to place a kiss on their heads.
Room 418 is said to be haunted by young children who can be heard giggling, talking and running by guests who stay in this room. Room 418 is also known as a room where there are indentations in the bed, as if someone has been lying on it, even when there has been no-one in the room. Some guests have also reported bed covers being pulled off the bed in this room and the bathroom light switching itself on and off.
Nearby Room 401 is also said to be haunted, though this time by the person who sold the land on which the Stanley Hotel was built. Thomas Wyndham-Quin, the Fourth Earl of Dunraven and Mount-Earl[* *]was never a guest in the hotel when he was alive but a shadowy figure has been seen in this room on several occasions which is presumed to be him due to the presence being accompanied by the smell of the pipe tobacco he was so fond of.
This ghost is said to be particularly welcoming to women guests, who often feel an arm around their shoulder or their hair being stroked. Male guests on the other hand seem to be less welcome and often complain of an oppressive atmosphere in this room.
The Concert Hall at the hotel is also said to be haunted. Sometimes, the sound of someone playing the piano can be heard when the hall is empty. This is claimed to be the ghost of Flora Stanley, wife of the man who originally had the hotel built, who enjoyed picking out tunes on one of the pianos in the Concert Hall.
The ghost of a young girl named “Lucy” is also often seen in the Concert Hall and is believed to be responsible for lights being switched on and off and the sound of melodic humming.
However, the most haunted room in the Stanley Hotel is said to be Room 217, the room in which Stephen King spent the night in 1974. This room has been the location for a number of odd happenings including items being moved around the room, lights turning off and on and even luggage being carefully unpacked and placed on the bed.
The paranormal events reported in this room are often linked to an explosion which happened here on June 25th, 1911. However, there is more than a little confusion about precisely what did happen.
On June 26th, the Denver Times and the Denver Post reported that a maid named Elizabeth Lambert was killed when she inadvertently ignited leaking gas in room 217. The Fort Collins Weekly Courier agreed that the maid was killed, but confidently named her as Lizzie Leitenbergher.
However, the Colorado Springs Gazette and the Rocky Mountain reported the same story by noting that the maid was named Elizabeth Wilson and that she survived the explosion but suffered two broken ankles. All we can be certain of is that something happened in Room 217 in 1911 and that this Room now seems to be the focus of a number of paranormal events.
The Stanley Hotel was one of the first to recognise that having haunted rooms doesn’t discourage guests from visiting a hotel. In fact, quite the reverse. The Stanley Hotel organised Ghost Tours, taking guests to the most haunted parts of the hotel and explaining its history and welcomed investigators from a number of popular ghost hunting television shows including Ghost Hunters and Ghost Adventures.
The result? People flocked to stay at this historic hotel and often insisted on staying in some of the reputedly most haunted rooms.
Castle Stuart, Scotland
Castle Stuart is sited on the coast of the Moray Firth just a few miles east of the City of Inverness in the Highlands of Scotland. Despite its name, it isn’t really a castle – it’s a Tower House, a common form of fortified house from the 15th and 16th Centuries.
Castle Stuart was built around 1625 and was the home of the Earls of Moray. When a new young Earl inherited the title during the late 1600s, he decided to move to Castle Stuart from his home in London, bringing his retinue of servants with him.
Photo: Dave Conner
We don’t know precisely what happened to the young Earl, but we do know that he stayed at the castle for less than a week and swore never to return. There were rumours of screams in the night, footsteps shuffling along empty corridors and even a sighting of a headless man!
The Earl left the castle in charge of the local factor and suggested that it might be rented out. Several people agreed to rent the imposing castle, but none were able to stay for more than a few days. The problems were always the same: doors opening and closing on their own, footsteps and screams. After this time, the castle was maintained by a team of gardeners and house staff, but none lived on the premises. The East Tower was sealed off from the rest of the castle and allowed to become semi-derelict.
Then, in 1798, a terrible storm ravaged the Moray Firth, tearing the roof off the East Tower of the castle. Workmen called in to repair the damage reported that they had found a secret room within the derelict tower. When they broke into this room, the air was filled with a terrible shrieking and a foul blast of air rushed from the tiny room. The workmen fled and the room was once again closed up and the castle left as a ruin…
In 1977 the castle was purchased by descendents of the original owners who had it restored for use as a luxury hotel with an adjacent golf course. During the restoration several rooms and staircases which had been walled-off and uncovered were rediscovered. The room at the top of the East Tower was restored as the most luxurious bedroom in the hotel with its three distinctive turrets. However, from the very start of its new incarnation as a hotel, Castle Stuart was plagued with stories of strange events.
Lights and other electrical items would switch themselves on and off. Doors would slowly open or suddenly close for no apparent reason. Footsteps would be heard moving along the stone flagged corridors when no-one was there and more than one guest awoke to find a shadowy figure standing beside the bed which would disappear when the light was switched on.
Despite this (or perhaps because of it!) the castle became a popular hotel and even began to challenge guests to spend a night in one of the more haunted rooms. The bedroom at the top of the East Tower seems to have been a particular focus for paranormal events and the hotel’s own website provided the following information for potential guests:
“The Three-Turret Haunted Bedroom at the top of the East Tower is the room where, a long time ago, when the Earl of Moray was looking for someone to spend the night at Castle Stuart to prove to everyone that it was not haunted – he asked the minister at Petty Church to offer a £20 reward. The local poacher, known as Big Angus, was neither afraid of man nor beast and he’s recorded to have spent the night in this room. The next morning, unfortunately they found his body in the courtyard, dead, with a look of horror frozen on his face…”
Castle Stuart is currently closed for another extensive renovation project, but it is expected to re-open soon to offer guests luxury haunted accommodation.
The Hotel Savoy, Mussorie, India
The small town of Mussorie in Uttarakhand state in northern India remained relatively unknown until 1900 when a railway line was built to nearby Dehradun. This area, high in the mountains and overlooking the Himalayas to the north, had always been popular with the British colonial rulers in India as it offered respite from the stifling heat of the plains.
With the coming of the railway, Mussorie was transformed into one of the most popular holiday locations in India and quickly became known as “the pleasure capital of the Raj”.
The luxurious Hotel Savoy was opened in Mussorie in 1902 and became the place to be seen. Providing 50 rooms in a wooden building featuring English Gothic architecture, the Savoy was located on a hilltop overlooking the town and offered guests the Imperial Dining Room and the splendour of the ornate ballroom.
Emperors, Kings, queens, princes and Maharajas stayed at the hotel and, until 1911, it was known mainly as the centre of social life in the area. However, in 1911, the first of a series of mysterious deaths took place at the hotel and it began to acquire the sinister reputation that it has today…
In 1911, a British woman, Frances Garnett-Orme, arrived to stay in the hotel. Garnett-Orme was a 49 year old spiritualist who believed that she was able to contact the spirits of the recently dead. She travelled to the hotel with her companion, another British spiritualist from Lucknow, Eva Mountstephen.
The two women held a number of séances at the hotel before, in the early summer, Eva Mountstephen travelled back to Lucknow on business. While she was away, the body of Frances Garnett-Orme was discovered in her bedroom at the Savoy. The room was locked from the inside and an autopsy discovered that she had been poisoned with prussic acid. Initially, suicide was considered most likely, but, sensationally, Eva Mountstephen was arrested and charged with her murder.
In the event, the prosecution was unable to provide any evidence to support the notion that Eva Mountstephen had somehow administered the poison to Garnett-Orme even though she wasn’t in the hotel at the time, and the case was dropped. No-one else was ever charged with the murder of Frances Garnett-Orme and the case became briefly well known, especially amongst the British community in India.
The famous writer and poet Rudyard Kipling was a frequent guest at the Savoy and he became fascinated by this case. He even wrote to his friend Sir Arthur Conan-Doyle (the creator of Sherlock Holmes and an ardent spiritualist) and suggested that he might be interested in investigating the case? Doyle didn’t have the time, but he did mention the story to a young acquaintance of his, a woman who was looking for a story she could use to write a first novel.
She became intrigued and wrote a best-selling novel inspired by events at the Hotel Savoy – she was Agatha Christie and the novel was [_The Mysterious Affair at Styles _]where she also introduced one of her most famous creations, the Belgian detective Hercule Poirot (the story is transplanted to England for the novel, but the architecture of Styles Court is clearly inspired by the Hotel Savoy).
However, the death of Frances Garnett-Orme wasn’t the last mysterious demise associated with the Savoy. Soon after, the doctor who had performed the autopsy on her body was found dead of strychnine poisoning in another locked room in the hotel – the case was never solved.
In 1951 a hotel employee was found hanged in one of the guest rooms. The case was adjudged to be a suicide though the young man was newly married, seemed happy and had no obvious reason to kill himself.
In 1956 another employee was found hanged in another vacant guest room. Once again this was adjudged to be a suicide, though the young woman was also newly married and had no obvious reason to kill herself.
With such a history of murder and unexplained deaths, it’s not surprising to find that the Hotel Savoy has a reputation for being haunted. Several hotel guests and a number of members of staff have reported seeing the figure of a woman in white in the gothic corridors, on the grand staircase and even on the hotel roof. Those who have seen the apparition at close hand say that she seems lost and confused, leading some people to suppose that this is the ghost of Frances Garnett-Orme and that she is still looking for the person who murdered her more than one hundred years ago.
A team of Ghost Hunters recently spent time at the Hotel Savoy and recorded an EVP (Electronic Voice Phenomenon) which seemed to include the voice of a woman whispering and singing softly.
Other ghostly happenings at the Hotel Savoy include the sound of footsteps walking along the hotel’s empty wooden corridors, doors opening and closing of their own accord and the sound of music heard from outside locked and vacant guest rooms. This hotel is now recognized as one of the most haunted places in India and many guests come to the gothic splendor of the Hotel Savoy in the hope that they will encounter one of the hotel’s ghosts.
In a bizarre coincidence, less than ten years before construction work began at the Hotel Savoy in Mussorie, India, a Savoy Hotel was also being constructed in Missouri in the USA.
Even more strangely, the Savoy Hotel in Kansas City Missouri was also the scene of several mysterious and unexplained deaths and is also said to be haunted by the ghosts of these events…
Bars and pubs are places where we go to enjoy the company of friends in convivial surroundings. However, given the number of bars around the world which are haunted, it seems that it’s not just the living who are attracted to these places and it’s not just behind the bar that you will find spirits!
The White Hart Inn, Edinburgh
Photo: Nicholas Mutton
The White Hart Inn, located in Edinburgh’s historic Grassmarket, is not only the oldest Pub in Edinburgh (it was opened in 1516), it’s also one of the most haunted. Perhaps that isn’t too surprising given that two of the pub’s regulars were William Burke and William Hare, who would lure fellow drinkers from the pub to their nearby lodgings where they would murder them and then sell their bodies for dissection at the university medical school.
The Grassmarket was also the site of a number of public executions and the White Hart did good business quenching the thirst of enthusiastic spectators. Nowadays, the White Hart Inn attracts visitors not only on account of its history but also because of its reputation as one of Scotland’s most haunted pubs.
There is a low doorway behind the bar which leads down to the cellar (the oldest part of the building). Many staff and visitors have reported seeing a shadowy figure standing in this doorway and then seeming to descend into the cellar. However, on investigation, no-one is found in the cellar and there is no other access other than the door from the bar.
It’s also not uncommon for members of staff to discover that it is no longer possible to pour beer in the bar. On investigation, it is found that the relevant alcohol tap has been turned off even though there is no-one in the cellar. Gas cylinders have also been found to have become detached from their connections and loud banging has been heard coming from the empty cellar.
One member of staff claimed that an unseen entity pulled her hair while she was in the cellar, changing a barrel. A person working in the cellar was disturbed by the sound of revelry from the bar above, despite the Inn being closed. When he came up to check what was happening, there was no-one there.
People using the toilet in this bar have also reported being pushed and struck by an unseen presence and cables have been mysteriously pulled from electrical items. More than one member of staff has left rather than continue to work in the haunted bar…
However, one of the most frequently reported ghosts is that of a woman dressed in red who has been spotted by several staff and visitors. This is said to be the ghost of a young prostitute who was killed in the bar in the 1800s.
In 2013 a family of Australian tourists who were visiting Edinburgh took some photographs in the bar with a digital camera. One of the photographs appears to show a blurred figure in red standing in front of the bar. Many people have claimed that this photograph shows the ghost in red who has been reported so often in the bar. A second photograph of the same ghost was also apparently taken in 2014 by members of the Edinburgh Ghost Hunting Society.
Ghost investigators Scottish Ghost Adventures spent a night at the White Hart Inn in 2014 and they were able to record EVP (electronic voice phenomena) in the cellar area. This recording sounds unnervingly like a human voice saying “Help me, help me” and the name “Connor”.
Excalibur Nightclub, Chicago
In an odd coincidence, on the other side of the Atlantic there is another bar where the ghost of a woman in red has been seen and photographed. The odd, castle-like building at 632 North Dearborn Street in Chicago was originally built in 1892 to house the Chicago Historical Society but from 1985 has housed various bars and nightclubs. Throughout its history, this building has been the scene of a number of seemingly paranormal events.
632 North Dearborn Street, Chicago. This photograph is from 1963 when the building was being used as a recording studio.
Photo: Cervin Robinson Historic American Buildings Survey (HABS)
The building at 632 North Dearborn Street was commissioned by the Chicago Historical Society for use as that organization’s headquarters in 1890. The building was constructed on the site of an earlier building which had been destroyed during the Great Chicago Fire of 1871.
The building continued to be used by the Chicago Historical Society until 1931 after which it served as the offices for a magazine publisher and a recording studio before being converted into The Limelight nightclub in 1985. The Excalibur Club opened in 1989 and this building has continued to house various nightclubs, bars and restaurants since that time. It is while it has been used for these purposes that most reports of hauntings have been made.
There seem to be several different ghosts associated with this building. One is the ghost of a little girl who is seen on the lower floors of the building. At least one employee of the nightclub caught sight of the little girl and spent time trying to find her and explain to whoever had brought her that she shouldn’t be there, before she was told that the girl was a ghost.
The third floor of the building appears to be a paranormal hot-spot with staff reporting strange cold spots, bottles and glasses moving on their own, balls moving on the pool table and heavy boxes being heard moving in a store-room even though the room was locked and empty. Motion sensors connected to alarms in this part of the building have also frequently been tripped though there is no living person in the area.
Several members of staff have also reported hearing their names being called or whispered by a voice which comes from empty parts of the building. Screams have also been heard coming from the restrooms on the lower floor when these are empty and the club is closed.
However, one of the most common sightings is of the mysterious “lady in red”, a woman, often glimpsed for a moment who appears to be wearing a red dress. A Polaroid photograph taken some years ago appeared to show the woman in red at one of the windows of the building.
No-one is quite certain why this building should be so haunted. One theory is that it was constructed on the site of an earlier building which was destroyed in the Great Fire. It has been claimed that this older building was used as a refuge from the fire by a number of women who were all killed when it burned down, but there is no documentary evidence to support this idea.
This building was also designated for use as a temporary morgue following the Eastland disaster in 1915 when more than eight hundred people died when a passenger ship rolled over at its mooring on the Chicago River.
On July 24, 1915, the passenger ship SS Eastland rolled onto its side while moored at a dock on the Chicago River, killing 844 passengers and crew. The building at 634 North Dearborn Street was designated as a temporary morgue to deal with the large number of bodies recovered from the ship.
Photo: Max Rigot Selling Company, Chicago
However, while historians agree that the building was designated for use as a morgue, most claim that it was never actually used for the storage of bodies from the Eastland disaster which seems to rule this out as a source of the hauntings. This building now houses The Castle and Vision nightclubs as well as bars and restaurants and continues to be the scene of frequent ghostly encounters.
Eastern Station Hotel, Ballarat, Australia
Ballarat is a city in Victoria, Australia located around 100 kilometers east of Melbourne, the State Capital. Within the city is a bar which is reputed to be one of the most haunted places in Australia.
The Eastern Station Hotel, Ballarat
The Eastern Station Hotel was originally built in 1862 and the bar seems to be inhabited by a number of different ghosts. Several people have reported seeing the ghost of a young boy running round the bar. This is believed to be the ghost of two-year old James Nunn who drowned in 1863 after falling into a waterhole at nearby Black Hill Flats.
James’ body was brought to the Eastern Station Hotel where it was kept in the cellar until an autopsy could be performed by the coroner, Dr Sutherland.
Just like the other two locations described in this chapter, the Eastern Station Hotel also has the ghost of a woman with long hair wearing a red dress! This ghost has been seen on several occasions and is believed to be the spirit of a woman called Maggie who arrived at the hotel with her daughter Sarah in the 1870s from Melbourne where she had recently disembarked from a ship from England.
Both mother and daughter died in the hotel of yellow fever which they had presumably contracted on their journey from England. The woman in red is sometimes seen with a younger woman who is supposed to be the spirit of her daughter.
The first owner of the Hotel, Thomas Redshaw Hunt, is also said to make occasional appearances in the bar. Staff and visitors have reported seeing the figure of a tall man wearing dark clothes and a top hat standing next to the fireplace.
He disappears if approached and the appearance of this ghost is said to be accompanied by the smell of pipe tobacco. Sometimes nothing is seen, but the bar is suddenly flooded with the unexplained smell of pipe tobacco. One of the serving staff in the bar has noted that, more than once, she has turned to serve a customer, only to discover the ghost of Mr Hunt.
Other spirits reported at this bar include a soldier who had recently returned from the First World War who was killed in a brawl with another member of staff. This man worked in the kitchen area and his ghost has been seen in the kitchen as well as walking though a doorway leading to the bar which has since been closed off.
Staff working in the kitchen have also complained about unexplained cold spots and a general feeling of unease if they are working in this area on their own. In the bar cellars, staff have seen the figures of two bearded indigenous men who are believed to be the original caretakers of the hotel who were recruited from the local tribe who originally owned the land on which the hotel is built.
For a relatively small bar, the Eastern Station Hotel does seem to be haunted by a very large number of ghosts and spirits…
The London Underground
The London Underground is the oldest mass rapid transit system in the world. The first part of what would become the London Underground Railway opened in 1863 with a single line, The Metropolitan. Now, the London Underground System includes 270 stations on eleven separate but connected lines. Many of the London Underground stations are associated with ghosts and hauntings.
Bethnal Green Station
Bethnal Green Underground Station is on the Central Line and is located in the East End of London. There have been a number of encounters with paranormal events, mainly the sounds of people in the station which are heard by staff late at night when the station is closed and after the last train has departed. This account provided by Station Foreman John Graham in 1981 is fairly typical:
“It was normal, up till the last train. Staff went home, I had just secured the station and I went back to the office. I started to do some paper work, and all of a sudden I heard the sound of children crying. I dismissed it as nothing really, and then all of the sudden it become louder, and then there were voices of women, people screaming and loud noises. It was a combination that built up to quite a frightening situation. It went on for about 10 minutes, as if people were panicking. I left the office and went up to the hall. I was frightened to go back to the office, because of the noise down there.”
Many of the reports of ghostly noises include the sound of children, screaming and crying. Several members of staff have been deeply shocked and plainly terrified by the sounds and some have refused to work in this station at night.
The explanation for this haunting seems to be fairly clear. During World War Two, some London Underground Stations were used as air raid shelters where civilians could come to be safe from German bombs. Bethnal Green Station was used in this way and by 1943 it was able to provide accommodation for over 10,000 people in its deepest areas.
Around eight o’clock in the evening of 3rd March 1943, the air raid siren sounded and large numbers of people began to make their way to the station and down the steep staircase towards the escalators. At first, everything was calm when, suddenly, the station was filled with a terrible roaring noise.
People began to panic and rush to get into the Station. Someone near the bottom of the stairs tripped and fell, and suddenly there was pandemonium as people were crushed as more and more people tried to get in to the safety of the shelter. When emergency services were finally able to get to the casualties, they were horrified to find that 173 people had been crushed to death in the stampede on the stairs – 27 men, 84 women and 62 children…
The steep stairs leading down to Bethnal Green Underground Station haven’t changed much since World War Two – this photograph was taken in 2009.
Photo: Dr Neil Clifton
Ironically, the roaring sound which had precipitated the crush was not dangerous – it was the sound of a new rocket-firing anti-aircraft unit stationed in nearby Victoria Park. Not a single German bomb fell in the East End of London on March 3rd 1943. Wartime censorship ensured that news of the disaster was suppressed until much later. However, from this time on, terrified night staff in Bethnal Green Station have heard the ghostly sound of screaming children…
British Museum Station
You won’t find the British Museum tube station on any current map of the Central Line in the London Underground system. The station was closed and abandoned in September 1933 (there are many such closed and abandoned underground stations beneath the streets of London and these are generally referred to as “ghost stations” by railway staff).
The official reason for the closure was that a new Central Line station, Holborn, had been built nearby and this station provided a direct interchange with the Piccadilly line – passengers using the old British Museum Station had to ascend to street level to reach the Piccadilly Line. However, many people thought that there might also have been other, darker reasons for closing this station.
The British Museum tube station had been the location for persistent sightings of a very unusual ghost – the apparition of an ancient Egyptian Priestess associated with the tomb of Amen-Ra. The apparition, dressed in a loincloth and head-dress, was seen late at night in the station, screaming horribly. Strange moaning sounds were also heard, seemingly coming from the tunnel walls themselves.
The British Museum certainly has the mummy of an Egyptian female who has been claimed to have been a priestess of Amen-Ra. There have been stories that this mummy is cursed, with many people involved in its discovery and transport back to the UK suffering a variety of early and unexpected deaths.
The story that this mummy was the origin of the ghost at British Museum tube station became so well known and there were so many sightings of this ghost that a British daily newspaper offered a substantial reward in the 1920s for anyone willing to spend the night alone in this tube station. No-one claimed the reward.
There have also been persistent rumours that there is a secret tunnel between British Museum tube station and the Egyptian Room of the British Museum – this actually formed part of the plot of the 1935 movie Bulldog Jack.
Many London Underground stations and passages were used as air raid shelters during World War Two, including disused stations such as British Museum.
Photo: Ministry of Information Second World War Official Collection
After its closure, British Museum was used for a time as some form of military establishment and during World War Two it was used as an air raid shelter. Now, the station is completely closed and inaccessible, but there are persistent stories about distant screaming being heard from the platform of Holborn Station coming from the tunnel leading to the abandoned station just 100 yards away.
Other Ghosts of the London Underground
The network of rail lines which make up the London Underground system is vast, covering more than 250 miles in total. As a safety check, every foot of the line is inspected every night once trains have stopped running by patrolmen who walk the tracks and tunnels.
In the early 2000s, an experienced patrolman was walking the line on part of the new Jubilee Line Extension (opened in 1999). This new line cut through the grounds of what had previously been several monasteries, and the remains of nearly 700 graves were relocated during construction. Ghosts wearing monk-like cowls have been reported at several locations on this line since it opened, but what the patrolman encountered that night was something even more strange…
As he was sitting by the track taking a break in one of the tunnels, the patrolman heard the sound of footsteps approaching, crunching on the gravel between the sleepers. The footsteps were very distinct, heavy and, to the man’s astonishment, as they got close to where he was sitting, he could actually see the gravel being displaced with each step.
It was, he said later, as if a large, invisible entity was walking past right in front of him. The footsteps continued for almost ten yards beyond where he was sitting before ending. The man sat, terrified, watching and listening but nothing further happened.
He completed his track walk and reported what he had seen to his supervisor. To his surprise, the supervisor didn’t seem particularly perturbed, and said that several track-walking patrolmen and other maintenance workers had experienced something very similar on that stretch of line. No-one has any explanation for what might have caused the ghostly footsteps on this stretch of line.
The London Underground also incorporates a number of sections of track known as “balloon loops”. These are, as the name suggests, loops which can be used to allow trains to change direction. One such loop is the Kennington Loop, south of Kennington Station on the Northern Line.
This is used to turn southbound trains and send them back to the north. If the loop is to be used, station staff ensure that there are no passengers left on the train which then enters the looped section of tunnel with only the driver aboard and awaits a signal letting it know that it’s safe to proceed.
Depending on the time of day and how busy the tracks are, drivers may have to wait in the loop tunnel for some time before being allowed to return to the main track.
Photo: Chris McKenna
A number of drivers have reported a very strange and frightening experience while waiting in this loop tunnel. There are connecting doors between carriages in all underground trains, and these open and close with a distinctive “crash”. Drivers have reported that, while stopped in the Kennington Loop, they hear connecting doors between carriages open and close.
The sound begins at the far end of the train, and then gets closer, as if someone is making their way along the train, towards the cab in which the driver sits even though there are no passengers on the train. So far, no-one has been kept waiting in the loop for the ghostly passenger to reach the cab!
Begun Kodar Station, West Bengal
Begun Kodar is a small village in the Purulia District of West Bengal in India. It’s a sleepy little place where very little happens and yet the Railway Station in the village was closed for 42 years due to a ghost!
Photo: Anup Sadi
The story began in the early 1960s when queen Lachan Kumari of the local Santal tribe donated land to be used for the building of a railway station to allow local people to commute to the town of Purulia, 50 kilometres away.
The station building was completed in 1963 but it wasn’t long before station staff began to be terrorised by the ghost of a young woman wearing a white sari who would be seen after dark, walking along the railway lines.
Then, in 1967, the apparition was seen by the Station Master. When he was found dead the following day, both passengers and staff became terrified and refused to come to the station. It was closed soon after. It is said that in the official files of the railway operating company, the reason for the closure of Begun Kodar station was given as “Haunted”.
However, time passed and the people of the surrounding area began to regret the lack of a railway station. Eventually, in 2009, they appealed to Mamata Banerjee, the female politician who was at that time Minister for Railways (she is now the Chief Minister of West Bengal).
Her response was unequivocal: “Ami bhoote bishshas korina” (I don’t believe in ghosts) and the station was re-opened late in 2009. The local people welcomed the re-opening of the station, but many are less certain about disbelieving the story of the ghost. When Narayan Mahato, a man from the nearby village of Baamni was interviewed in 2010 about the re-opening of the station, he said:
“People are curious and some still believe the stories of paranormal presence here. You should leave the place before 5.30 pm, no one stays here after that.”
Caobao Road Subway Station, Shanghai
The reputation of the Caobao Road subway station on Line 1 of the Shanghai Underground system in China as a haunted place, is so famous that it is locally known as “Ghost station”.
Just waiting for a train at Caobao Road Subway Station can be dangerous!
There have certainly been a number of deaths in this station – most sources quote nine deaths in the last few years. One in particular helped to gain this station its unfortunate reputation.
Before the station was provided with automatic doors, a passenger fell on to the track just as a train was approaching the platform. He was killed instantly when he was struck by the train. However, when witnesses were interviewed, they agreed that the man did not accidentally fall – he was deliberately dragged on to the track as the train was approaching…
The thing that witnesses couldn’t say was what precisely it was that dragged the hapless man in front of the approaching train. The only thing they all agreed on was that it wasn’t human!
Then another passenger died on the tracks in front of an approaching train. This time it was a young woman wearing a distinctive red coat and it was assumed that she had committed suicide by jumping in front of the train. However, in the days and weeks that followed, a number of staff saw the young woman in the red coat sitting on a bench close to the platform and weeping after the station was closed for the night.
Other night staff working in the empty station have reported hearing the sound of horrible, cackling female laughter coming from one of the tunnels leading to this station. When an unlucky member of staff is sent to investigate, no-one is there…
Many people believe that the haunting at Caobao Road subway station is due to its proximity to a mortuary – parts of the station are built directly underneath a municipal mortuary. Whatever the reasons for this haunting, this must be one of the oddest and most haunted stations in Asia…
The Haunted U-Boat
The idea of encountering a ghost on a ship at sea is particularly frightening, probably because there is nowhere to escape. How much more terrifying then to meet a ghost in a tiny submarine submerged beneath the waters of the English channel…
World War One was the first major war in which all the main protagonists used submarines as offensive weapons. However, it was the German Imperial Navy which became the best remembered operator of what became known as U-Boats (Unterseeboot – Under Sea Boat). German U-Boats operated in the North Sea, the English Channel and the Irish Sea, sinking large numbers of naval and civilian vessels.
There were a bewildering array of different types of U-Boat including ocean-going attack submarines, cargo carrying submarines and submarines designed specifically to lay mines in shallow coastal waters. One of the most common types was the Type UB III Coastal Torpedo Attack submarine, with 96 of this type being built.
The Type UB III boats were relatively large at over 50 metres in length and had a speed of 14 knots and a range of almost nine thousand miles.
A German Type UB III Submarine
Photo: Marius Bar
One Type UB III boat, the UB-65, was ordered in May 1916 constructed at the Vulcan shipyard in Hamburg. Even during its construction, this U-Boat gained a reputation for ill-luck. While a heavy girder was being lifted by a crane on to the submarine, it somehow broke loose and fell on to the deck below.
One worker was killed immediately and another was crushed beneath the girder and horribly injured as his colleagues frantically tried to free him. Tragically he died before he could be extricated from beneath the heavy girder.
Soon after, three engineers were aboard the almost complete submarine and checking its large batteries when they were suddenly overcome by fumes in the tiny battery compartment. All three died before they were discovered. No explanation was found for either accident. All that was known for certain was that, even before launching, UB-65 had taken the lives of five men.
However, Germany was critically short of submarines and the UB-65 was commissioned in June 1917. Just like every other U-Boat, it was required to undertake a series of sea trials before being accepted as combat ready, but these did not go well.
For its trials, UB-65 was commanded by Oberleutnant Karl Honig, an experienced U-Boat officer. On its very first voyage, a freak wave swept a member of the crew off the deck as he inspected the forward hatches. He was never seen again.
Then, when the submarine submerged, a leak from one of the ballast tanks allowed water to enter the battery compartment, producing lethal chlorine gas. Two crewmen died before the submarine was brought under control and returned to the surface.
After repairs, UB-65 set off once again on a test voyage. However, when it attempted to submerge, the ballast tanks malfunctioned once again, leaving the submarine on the bottom of the Baltic Sea for 12 hours. The crew worked desperately to repair the problem before they succumbed to lack of oxygen and were finally able to bring UB-65 back to the surface.
As the UB-65 prepared for further sea trials, torpedoes were loaded on-board under the supervision of the Second Officer, Leutnant Richter. Suddenly and with no obvious cause, one of the torpedoes exploded, killing Leutnant Richter and injuring several other crew members.
The UB-65 was forced to remain in port while repairs were completed but, just a few weeks after the explosion, there was the first suggestion of a supernatural element to the story of this U-Boat…
Inside the cramped Torpedo Room in a Type UB III U-Boat
Photo: Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums
Just as the submarine was preparing to cast-off on another test voyage, one of the crewman ran into the control room, half crazed with fear. When he was finally able to talk, he explained that he had just seen Leutnant Richter on deck. Captain Honig and an Officer went out onto the deck where they found another crewman cowering close to the Conning Tower.
When questioned, he explained that he too had watched Leutnant Richter walk up the gangplank on to the deck before moving to the bow where he stood for a moment before disappearing.
The stories of the haunted U-Boat began to circulate throughout the German Imperial Navy, and many men were wary of serving on a seemingly jinxed ship. Nervous about the potential effects on morale, a Commodore was sent to investigate events on the UB-65.
He spoke to the Captain and members of the crew and concluded that they were genuinely reporting on what they had seen – even Captain Honig admitted that at one point he had seen what appeared to a human figure on the open forward deck while the submarine was at sea, something that was impossible as all the hatches giving access to the deck were closed.
A Lutherian Pastor was ordered to conduct a service of exorcism on the ship and a new Captain was appointed on 18th August 1917 – Kapitänleutnant Martin Schelle, an experienced U-Boat Officer who had previously commanded a minelaying U-Boat. The no-nonsense Schelle forbade any discussion of ghosts on the U-Boat and for a time, there were no more reports of disturbances on the submarine.
However, in 1918, the ghost of Leutnant Richter returned. An experienced Petty Officer claimed that he had seen Richter in the Torpedo Room while the submarine was submerged. During a torpedo attack on a British ship, several members of the crew claimed to have seen Richter in the Control Room, seemingly watching the instruments, before he disappeared into thin air.
One member of the crew appeared to have become insane and had to be physically restrained when he claimed that the ghost would not leave him alone, even whispering in his ear when he tried to sleep. The man seemed to calm down and was released, but he jumped overboard at the first opportunity…
On several occasions the ghost of Richter was seen walking in the cramped passages and small compartments while the submarine was submerged. One experienced sailor said that he was prepared to swear before God that he had seen the ghost pass through a closed, watertight bulkhead door. It’s difficult to imagine the horror of encountering a ghost in the claustrophobic confines of a submerged submarine – there would have been no place to run and no place to hide.
Despite the haunting, the UB-65 undertook five combat patrols between September 1917 and May 1918 and sank six British ships in the English Channel. On a patrol off the coast of Spain in May 1918, the ghost of Richter was seen on several occasions by various crew-members. The effect on morale amongst the tough submariners was disastrous, and when the U-Boat returned to port, several men were re-assigned to other duties and warned not to speak of their experiences on the haunted U-Boat. It is even claimed that some men deserted rather than undertake another patrol on UB-65.
In June 1918, the UB-65 left port on what would be its last combat patrol. What happened to the U-Boat after that is not at all clear. Official German Navy records state that the UB-65 was lost on 10th July 1918 south of the coast of Ireland when one of the submarine’s own torpedoes exploded prematurely.
This seemed to be confirmed in official World War One US Navy records where it was noted that the US submarine L-2, operating from a base in Bantry Bay in Ireland, spotted what appeared to be a German submarine on the surface, seeming to be disabled. Captain Forster, commander of the L-2, manoeuvred his vessel to set up a torpedo shot but, before he could fire, the German submarine was destroyed by a massive explosion.
No survivors, bodies or debris were recovered. One very peculiar thing noted by Captain Forster was that he initially thought that he saw the figure of a German officer, standing motionless on the bow of the submarine, though this seemed to disappear as the L-2 manoeuvred.
Up to 2004, it was believed that the L-2 had witnessed the destruction of the UB-65 as no other submarines were lost in that area around those dates…
Crew on deck on a Type UB III U-Boat. This is UB-94, but the photograph was taken after this submarine was captured and the crewmen are French.
Photo:[* *]Robert Wilden Neeser
However, in 2004, an expedition was mounted to examine the wreck of a submarine which had been located in the English Channel off the port of Padstow in Cornwall. The expedition, organised by the Channel 4 television show Wreck Detectives, sent a team to the location who discovered through detailed examination that the wreck was that of the UB-65.
However, the location of the wreck was a long way from the reported area where the L-2 had claimed to have seen the UB-65 explode. Further examination of the wreck showed no damage consistent with an explosion, though it was noted that the rear escape hatches were open, indicating that some members of crew may have tried to escape after the submarine sank.
Later investigation revealed that a Portuguese sailing ship, the Maria Jose, was attacked and sunk by a German submarine on 14th July, 25 miles south west of Lundy Island off the coast of Devon. The only German submarine in the area was the UB-65, but this sinking happened four days after the L-2 claimed to have seen the UB-65 destroyed by an explosion off the coast of Ireland.
Therefore, and despite what official US and German Navy records claim, it seems that the UB-65 must have carried out the attack on the Maria Jose on the 14th July before later sinking for unknown reasons off the coast of Cornwall.
The mystery surrounding its sinking is just one more strange element in the story of the UB-65. Whatever the Captain of the American L-2 saw on 10th July, we can now be certain that it wasn’t the destruction of the UB-65 or of any other submarine as there were no other losses in the area at that time.
Did he see a phantom ship that somehow pre-figured the actual loss of UB-65 a few days later? Or did he see the UB-65 itself, undergoing some strange phenomenon as part of its haunting? We’ll never know for sure as there were no survivors from the destruction of the UB-65.
What we can be sure of is that, whether it was jinxed, cursed or just plain haunted, the story of the UB-65 must be one of the oddest stories of World War One…
The Haunted Hornet
It’s difficult to imagine a greater contrast between ships than the difference between the tiny UB-65 and the giant American aircraft carrier USS Hornet. Yet, these two craft have one important feature in common – they’re both haunted.
CV-12, the USS Hornet, was built in 1943 and served in the Pacific. Aircraft from this carrier destroyed almost 1,500 Japanese aircraft and sank over one million tons of Japanese shipping. During World War Two, the Hornet was attacked 59 times by Japanese aircraft, but was never hit by a single bomb.
In the 1960s, the Hornet recovered the astronauts from the Apollo 11 and 12 missions. In 1970 the USS Hornet was decommissioned but in 1998 the ship was opened as the USS Hornet Museum in Alameda, California.
The USS Hornet at sea in 1968
Photo: U.S. Navy Naval History and Heritage Command
However, the Hornet’s illustrious career and subsequent use as a tourist attraction cover up one or two uncomfortable facts. For example, in 27 years of active service, over 300 men died on this ship. Most died during World War Two, but some were the victims of horrible accidents.
Three men were decapitated when a catapult wire snapped on the flight deck. One man died in the engine room when he walked through an invisible stream of super-heated steam leaking from one of the boilers. His arm was severed, the skin peeled from his body and his blood boiled.
However, a bafflingly high number of deaths on this ship were a result of suicide – the USS Hornet had the highest suicide rate of any US warship. Perhaps as a result of these deaths, this is generally recognised as the most haunted US Navy warship ever.
In the course of its active service career and its subsequent use as a museum, there have been so many reports of supernatural activity on the Hornet that no-one has ever attempted to compile a list of them all. Events include:
Some of these events were witnessed by a number of people simultaneously and some are backed-up by photographs and videos. Accounts by eyewitnesses include:
“I’m not a true believer in all of that stuff. But I saw what I saw. One day I saw an officer in khakis descending the ladder to the next deck. I followed him and he was gone. I have no explanation for it.”
“I was sitting in my office when it got really cold. I saw a man in a blue uniform. He was clear as day, like you or I, but he wasn’t making any eye contact. He was sort of slow moving. There was a bulkhead there, and he walked right through the bulkhead.”
A number of psychic investigators and crews from television shows such as Ghost Hunters have visited the USS Hornet and all have agreed that the ship is haunted by a number of entities, many of them seemingly former crew members.
A modern warship just isn’t the kind of place that we normally associate with ghostly experiences, but it does seem that this giant ship is more haunted than many of the locations that are more traditionally associated with ghosts…
The A75, Scotland
The A75 is a major and very busy Scottish trunk road linking Stranraer and its ports on the west coast with the M74, the main west coast north/south route. The A75 has the reputation of being Scotland’s most haunted road, with a fifteen mile stretch between the towns of Annan and Dumfries which is known as the Kinmount Straight seemingly the worst affected.
The first reports of haunting on this stretch of road date from 1957 when a truck driver reported to police that he thought that he had run over a couple who suddenly appeared at the side of the road as he was driving between Annan and Dumfries, but when he checked, the shaken man could find no trace of the pedestrians.
One of the most dramatic sightings was made by two brothers, Norman and Derek Ferguson, in 1962. The brothers were returning to their home in Annan after a one week holiday touring Scotland in their father’s car. Derek, 22, was driving while his younger brother Norman, 14, occupied the passenger seat.
Late in the evening, they had filled up with petrol in Dumfries and were driving on the Kinmount Straight towards their home when their encounter began when a chicken suddenly flew into the light of their headlights and towards the windscreen. The two young men barely had time to brace themselves for the impact when the chicken disappeared.
Moments later the brothers saw an old woman running towards them on the road, her arms held out, then she too disappeared. She was followed by a man with long hair who screamed as he ran towards the car and then a whole parade of animals including “great cats, wild dogs, goats, more hens and other fowl, and stranger creatures”. All these creatures also disappeared before they reached the car, which by now had come to a complete stop…
Both brothers noticed that the temperature had dropped suddenly and that the van was shaking violently from side to side, as if it was being moved by an unknown and invisible force. Derek got out to see what was happening, and the shaking stopped.
When he got back into the car, the brothers saw the final apparition – what appeared to be a large furniture van was bearing down on the car when, at the last possible moment, it too disappeared. The story was widely reported in the Scottish press, but no-one was able to offer a prosaic explanation for the strange things that the brothers had seen.
During the next fifty years, reports of strange sightings on this stretch of road continued to surface. Many spoke of a couple (some described them as wearing dark, Victorian clothing) who would suddenly appear on the road. Some reports noted that, while the face of the woman looked normal, the man’s face lacked eyes.
Other people reported seeing single figures. In 1995 a local couple, Garston and Monica Miller, were driving on the Kinmount Straight when a man who appeared to be wearing a hessian sack rushed out in front of their car. They thought that they must have hit him, but when they stopped the car, they could find no trace of the man. They reported the incident to the Police in Annan.
Another local woman, Donna Maxwell was driving in the same location with her two children in 1997 when a man wearing a red top and dark trousers stepped out in front of her car without warning. Donna instinctively shut her eyes as she braked, but she felt no impact.
She stopped the car and could find no trace of the man, but she was so certain that she must have hit him that she reported the matter to Dumfries Police who appealed in the local press for witnesses or for the man himself to come forward. No-one responded to this appeal for information.
Bon Sturgeon lived beside the A75 and at one time ran a snack van at Carrutherstown, near the Kinmount Straight. He became used to shaken drivers pulling in for a cup of tea after a ghostly encounter, often lorry drivers who were driving alone and late at night. Sturgeon said:
“There was very rarely a week went past without somebody telling me about some experience, and usually along that Kinmount Straight.”
The A75 near Carrutherstown, close to the spot where Bob Sturgeon ran a snack van.
Photo: Oliver Dixon
One lorry driver who spoke to Bob Sturgeon had parked overnight in a lay-by on the Kinmount Straight. He woke in the early hours of the morning to see a whole parade of ghostly figures passing his truck. They all looked bedraggled and some were carrying bundles or pushing small handcarts. All disappeared a short distance later along the road. Sturgeon said:
“He had been parked on the Kinmount Straight and he had woken up at the back of three in the morning and he saw this “parade” of people.
He said that it went on for ages and he had just frozen – he was in an awful state. It doesn’t matter if you blame it on imagination or fact or whatever, it certainly affected him badly.”
Sightings of strange figures who jump in front of cars on the A75 continue to the present day – sightings of the man in the red top first reported by Donna Maxwell in 1997 are particularly common. No-one knows why this particular road should be the location for so many paranormal encounters but the A75, and especially the stretch between Annan and Dumfries is still known locally as the “ghost road” and many locals are very wary of driving in this area after dark.
A3 Motorway, Croatia
The Autocesta A3 is a motorway which runs east/west across Croatia and connects the city of Zagreb with the Slavonia Region. One stretch of this very busy motorway, between Staro Petrovo Selo and Nova Gradiška and close to the Bosnian border, has a reputation for being haunted.
A number of drivers have reported seeing ghostly figures and other strange creatures on this stretch of the road and, unfortunately, there also have been a large number of fatal accidents in this area. However, the area’s dark reputation is connected with two particular deaths on this stretch of road.
The Autocesta A3
Todor “Toše” Proeski was a multi-talented and massively popular Macedonian singer, songwriter and actor who was named “The Elvis of the Balkans” by BBC news. On 5th October 2007, Toše held a concert to raise funds for the Primary Education Project, a part of USAID.
Over 40,000 people attended the concert which was also televised worldwide and raised many thousands of dollars for Macedonian schools. In the early morning of 16th October, Toše was a passenger in a car being driven on the A3 motorway near Nova Gradiška. Toše was asleep in the front passenger seat when, for reasons that were never completely explained, the car collided with a truck and then hit the central barrier of the motorway. Toše was killed instantly though neither of the other two people in the car were seriously injured.
Almost exactly seven years later, on 23rd October 2013, thirty-two year old Dolores Lambaša, star of several Croatian television soaps and movies, was travelling as a passenger in a car on the same stretch of motorway. Like Toše Proeski, Dolores Lambaša was asleep in the front passenger seat of the car when, for unknown reasons, it left the motorway and collided with the crash barrier at the side of the motorway.
In another bizarre coincidence, when the car in which Lambaša was travelling finally came to rest, it was just fifty meters from the site of Toše Proeski’s fatal accident…
Many locals claim that this stretch of the A3 motorway is cursed (there were 54 other deaths on this stretch of road between the deaths of Toše Proeski and Dolores Lambaša), though no-one has been able to provide any reason for this. Drivers continue to report seeing strange creatures and shadowy figures on the road and the number of fatal accidents does seem very high for what seems to be a modern, safe stretch of road.
Like many of the other haunted roads described in this section, locals tend to avoid this stretch of the A3, especially after dark.
E8 Expressway, Malaysia
The E8 Expressway was opened in 1977 and links Kuala Lumpur with the city of Karak and the Sempah Pass, a mountain pass which gives access to the resort area of the Genting Highlands. The narrow, twisting road is known as the Karak Highway and passes a number of steep ravines and gorges.
This road has been the scene of a number of serious accidents and fatalities – One particular multi-vehicle accident left seventeen people dead and unfortunately there have been many other accidents involving deaths. Perhaps because of this, this road has the reputation of being haunted by a number of strange entities…
One of the best-known apparitions associated with this road is a phantom, yellow Volkswagen Beetle car. It is said that several drivers have come upon the yellow Beetle on this road, driving very slowly, and always late at night and when the road is quiet. If the driver overtakes the Beetle, then soon after they come upon another yellow Beetle, driving very slowly, which they are forced to overtake.
This will go on for some time, with multiple instances of the yellow Beetle being passed until, seeming to tire of the game, the ghost car will speed off and disappear. Those brave enough to look closely at the phantom Beetle report that there is no-one in the driving seat…
Another phantom reported by a number of drivers on this road is the ghost of a young boy who is bleeding from both eyes and wanders the road calling for his mother. This is said to be the ghost of a young boy who was killed when the car he was in, driven by his mother, ran off the road and fell into one of the steep ravines which border the road.
Both mother and son were flung through the windscreen on impact, and both were blinded by broken glass. Their bodies were discovered some distance apart and it is believed that the ghost of the young boy is still trying to find the body of his mother.
However, perhaps the oddest story connected with the Karak Highway is that it is haunted by a Pontianak, a type of Malaysian vampire. According to Malay folklore, a Pontianak may be created when a woman dies during childbirth, turning her into a vengeful member of the undead who haunts a specific area.
The Pontianak is a hideous looking creature with long fangs and claws which is capable of flying. However, the Pontianak is also able to appear as a beautiful woman dressed in white. The Pontianak is said to eat babies and to kill and castrate men who are beguiled by her attractive appearance.
There have been many reports of strange creatures flying above the Karnak Highway and several people have reported a ghostly but beautiful woman dressed in white standing beside the road.
It is believed that this is the Pontianak who will attack and kill any man unwary enough to stop to offer her a lift…
Hopefully you will now realise that the ideal location for a ghost hunt is probably not a spooky old house, a graveyard or a desolate forest. Ghosts seem to be attracted to much more populated places including hotels and bars, airports, railway stations and even busy roads.
But then, if you think about it logically, this makes perfect sense. Ghosts, after all, are said to be the spirits of dead people. And what could be more understandable than that these spirits would choose to return to places that were important to them in life? And the places that we humans tend to visit most are places where we will be with other humans.
Perhaps ghosts also populate shopping malls, footballs grounds and concert venues and we simply fail to recognise them as ghosts?
The only problem is, this may make it very difficult to avoid ghosts in our everyday lives! Next time you’re enjoying yourself in a crowded bar or waiting for a train or an aircraft, take a close look around. Perhaps those people next to you aren’t being rude or anti-social. Perhaps they’re actually ghosts…
[*Ready for all Those *
That’s right, you can receive free books from us every single week of the year!
All you’ve got to do is just go to our website below and sign up!
Then it’s just a simple matter of keeping an eye on your inbox so you can grab all your free books every week :)
We hope you enjoy them!
Where would you go if you wanted to see a ghost? Most people might think about a spooky old abandoned house. Or a graveyard. Or a lonely forest. Those are certainly the kind of places we traditionally associate with ghosts, but in this book you’ll read about real-life hauntings that have happened in some very surprising and very different locations... You’ll read here about a bustling, modern, international airport where there are so many ghosts that the airport authorities have been forced to take drastic action to try and keep them away from passengers. You’ll also find out about a railway station which is so haunted that staff refuse to work after dark and even busy roads where ghosts have not only been seen, they have even been blamed for causing fatal accidents! If that isn’t enough, there are also hotels and bars where visitors include both the living and the dead and even the tale of a haunted wartime German U-boat. Prepare to have your ideas of where to find ghosts challenged as we explore some of the most unlikely and surprising haunted places on the planet...