Wednesday, 17 September 2014

HAUNTED SCOTTISH CASTLE SOLD FOR ONE MILLION POUNDS



Kevin Maley, a partner with Strutt & Parker, Inverness, tells OPP Connect, “Castle Grant was launched to the market in the spring and generated a significant amount of interest from buyers across the globe including America, Australia, Russia and Singapore.

“Those who did view the castle were fascinated by the history of it and the fact that it was purportedly haunted by the ghost of Lady Barbara Grant, not to mention the misfortune of many of the previous owners.

“The new owner is already planning on spending a significant amount on refurbishing the castle and grounds and it is reassuring to know that the ancient, ancestral seat of the Chiefs of the Grant Clan is in safe hands.”

Castle Grant was repossessed by the Bank of Scotland last year and was bought by Mr Whyte and his then wife Kim or £720,000 in 2006, media reports say.

The 35-acre Castle Grant grounds include a landscaped loch. It is the former seat of the Clan Grant chiefs of Strathspey in Highlands, and was originally named Freuchie Castle, but was renamed Castle Grant in 1694.

Lady Barbara Grant was the daughter of a 16th-century laird. She is said to have died of a broken heart after being imprisoned in a hidden closet for falling in love with the wrong man and legend has it that she died there of a broken heart.

Witnesses later claimed to have seen her ghost coming through the door of the closet, stopping and appearing to wash her hands, before disappearing through the door of the tower.

Story: opp-connect


GHOSTLY ACTIVITY CAUGHT ON CCTV AT BARNSLEY ANTIQUES CENTRE?

 Business partners Danny Parker, 42, and Rachel Archer 38, noticed splinters of glass all around the floor.

Danny, 42, of Arthur Street, Pogmoor, checked the cctv establish who or what had smashed a large display cabinet,

And he was left freaked out by what he saw. He said: "I spent hours that night freezing the footage frame by frame on my laptop and suddenly two ghostly faces appeared.

"A split second later the glass exploded."

The unexplained activity happens from around 20 seconds in to the video.

Story: BarnsleyChronicle

Saturday, 13 September 2014

HAUNTED & NOTORIOUS MOSCOW AND ST PETERSBURG, RUSSIA

Here is a compilation from various sources of two very haunted Russian cities.
Without doubt, Russia has a fascinating if not bloody history that is the stuff of legends connected to the paranormal.

MOSCOW




Little remained from ancient Moscow, except for the Kremlin. Ghosts love the Kremlin.  From time to time, a red spot appears on the walls of Konstantino-Eleninskaya tower where a torture chamber was located in XVII century. A pale uncombed lady holding a gun in her hands, lives in Komendantskaya tower. This is famous Fanny Kaplan who attempted to kill Lenin and who was executed by shooting by Kremlin’s superintendent Malkov.

A terrifying shadow of Ivan the Terrible is walking on the bell tower named after Ivan the Great. Czar Dmitry Pretender appears on the Kremlin’s wall. Last time he was seen there in August 1991. The might-have-been czar was gesticulating and giving some signs to people. The prophecy was understood only in the morning, after a coup happened and the plotters read their address on the radio.

And the ghost of Stalin’s special services chief Ezhov is not interested in politics. He just walks around the Patriarch Chambers where his apartments were located before. Even in the corridors of the Kremlin Palace of Congresses one can encounter semi-transparent figures dressed in shrouds.  Don’t think that they are deputies who were exhausted to death at the boring Congresses! At one point, there was a cemetery here, and the souls of the dead people are indignant about the sacrilege.

Lenin is also thought to be a frequent ‘guest’ in the Kremlin. According to some historians, Lenin’s ghost was first seen by a security chief in October 1923, even though he was still alive at that time (he died three months later). The official wondered why Lenin came with no guards accompanying him, but he was told on the phone that in fact Vladimir Ilich was in Gorky at that moment.

Later, other witnesses came forward who saw Lenin in the Kremlin that night. And discrepancies in their accounts have only added to the mystery. Lenin was very ill at the time and couldn’t walk without a stick and moved very slowly, but those who claimed they saw him in the Kremlin that night said he had no stick and was walking very quickly.



But Joseph Stalin remains the most frequently seen Kremlin ‘shade’. Some say his ghost wants to ‘establish order’ in the country, and thus usually appears when Russia is hit by deepest crises. One of the signs that Stalin is stalking the Kremlin, legend has it, is when the room suddenly gets cold.


The Mysterious Black Cat on Tverskaya

Moscow’s central street, Tverskaya, where a black cat is said to appear at midnight. Sceptics say that it is not a ghost but an ordinary stray cat, of which there are a great many in Moscow, and it is only natural that the animal chooses night-time for its promenade: The street is not so busy at night. Critics also say there must be several black cats, not just one.

Local residents claim that the cat does, indeed, exist, appearing at midnight, walking around and then disappearing into thin air. This ghostly inhabitant of Tverskaya Street is known not just in Moscow, but also far beyond Russia’s borders: it is mentioned in Britain’s Encyclopaedia of Ghosts and Spirits. According to another story, this ghost was the prototype for Begemot, a character in Mikhail Bulgakov’s The Master and Margarita. Reportedly, the writer was once returning home late at night and saw a big black cat strolling along the street and then disappearing in front of his very eyes.

This is just one of many cat stories. One resident of Tverskaya Street told us that a whole family of ghost cats haunts the area near the Novokuznetskaya metro station. Once, late at night, he saw several semi-transparent cats and kittens emerge from the wall of a building, cross the street and disappear into the wall of the building opposite. We decided to check this information on the Internet and did, indeed, find stories about the same cats. According to one posting, those cats were harmless even for dogs, but if you get in their way, you will certainly lose consciousness.

The Polite Headless Ghosts of Golygino

                                Prince Ivan Khovansky was a rich and powerful courtier in the late 17th century.
He planned a coup to bring down the Romanov dynasty and take the throne himself. But the conspiracy failed, and Khovansky was executed together with his eldest son, Andrei. They were beheaded and their bodies thrown onto the log road crossing the swampy forest near the Vorya River close to the village of Golygino. This was a way to show extreme contempt: buried in unconsecrated land, their souls were doomed to eternal suffering. So the restless, maltreated souls of father and son rise from the swamps at night and ask passers-by to bury their remains as befits Christians, insisting they were just innocent victims of malignant libel. If an unlucky man so approached cannot utter an intelligible response, the princes grow even more pressing, coming closer and removing their own heads, to be polite!

The Ghostly Coach 

In the 19th century, Kuznetsky Most Street was a thriving centre of fashion and nightlife with many boutiques
and gambling houses. Gamblers often played all night long, losing all their cash. As the legend goes, those hit particularly hard might even be considering suicide when they suddenly saw a grey coach with wonderful horses stopping in front of them. The coachman, hiding his face, was ready to take them “wherever your soul wishes” for very little money. Few were able to grasp the covert sense of the phrase, indeed, they had just considered taking their own lives. Those who got into the mysterious coach were never seen again.

The Ghostly Old Man of Myasnitskaya Street

Another strange place is Myasnitskaya Street, where, before the revolution, there stood a small house inhabited by an elderly couple called the Kysovnikovys. They were known for their wealth and incredible greed. They were extremely thrifty, never visiting anyone and never receiving guests, never going out and not even giving alms to the poor. The pair guarded their money with great vigil. Fearing robbers at night, they would put their money trunk into a coach and drive around Moscow until dawn.

Once they had to leave their home for a while. The couple hid all their treasures in the caretaker’s house, deciding that the thieves would not look there. When they came back, they peeped into the caretaker’s room and saw a fire in the stove, which the servant, unaware, had lit at the site of their cache. All the banknotes and securities in which the Kusovnikovys kept their capital were gone.

Unable to withstand this blow, the old woman died on the spot and her husband went mad, roaming along Myasnitskaya Street, muttering: “Oh, my money, my money…” According to some eyewitnesses, the ghost still haunts the same street at night, stopping passers-by and telling them his sad story.

The Ghostly Cemetery Flautist 

There are even older ghosts in Moscow. On Gospitalny Val Street, near Baumanskaya metro station, there
is an old cemetery dating from the 18th century. In 1771, the city suffered an outbreak of the plague, which took its toll on Muscovites, forcing them to expand their cemeteries: there was not enough land even for locals, but the city also had a German Quarter, which had to bury its dead, too. A special cemetery for foreigners was laid out on the steep banks of the Sinichka River, which flowed through the city. This is where many German, French and Polish soldiers were laid to rest. People say melancholy flute music is sometimes heard from the dark cemetery park on spring nights and, when it rains, an invisible musician plays his sad music until dawn, accompanied by the rattling of iron shackles heard from the tomb of Dr. Fedor Gaaz. Locals call this cemetery “Infidels’ crypts.”

Another sinister place is the house at 28/1 Malaya Nikitskaya Street, near Barrikadnaya metro station, which belonged to Stalin’s henchman Lavrenty Beria, the notorious General Commissioner of State Security.

A unique phantom inhabits the corner of Malaya Nikitskaya Street and Vspolny Alley: No one has ever seen it; it can only be heard. On a quiet night, if you listen carefully, you will hear the sound of an approaching car. It differs from the sound of modern cars and it is like that of the old ZIL limousine that Lavrenty Beria used to drive. The car stops outside the porch, the door slams, steps are heard, and the passenger discusses something with his driver in a low voice. Some also say they have heard groans from tortured “enemies of the people,” but such reports seem to be a product of the imagination: Beria never interrogated or tortured anyone at his home. As for women’s voices, they can well be heard, as many women visited his apartment, some against their will.

`Death Road` from  Lyubertsy to Lytarkino

Another haunted place is the road between Lyubertsy and Lytkarino. This road has a bad reputation among drivers and for good reason: it crosses an ancient cemetery dating from the 10-11th centuries. According to one theory, images of the dead appear before passing cars, causing serious accidents. From 1990 to 2002 alone, nine wreaths were laid along the 1.5 km road to commemorate those who had died in accidents there. The road was dubbed “Death Road” owing to the high number of accidents. There are several “death roads,” but it is this road from Lyubertsy to Lytarkino that is considered to be the worst.

ST PETERSBURG



One of the most ominous palaces in the centre of St. Petersburg is without question Mikhailovsky Castle, also known as Inzhenerny Castle.

Paul I built it for himself as an impenetrable sanctuary, but from the moment in was built it was doomed to become the place he would spend his final moments. Subsequent modifications to the space in front of the castle make it difficult to conceive just how serious the fortifications once were. Back in the reign of Paul I, Connetable Square, the area where the monument of Peter I now stands, was completely surrounded by a moat and bailey with cannons standing sentinel on drawbridges.

Despite the moats, ramparts and guards, there was never any doubt about Paul’s fate – even the castle guards were in on the plot. The chief guard, a man called Argamakov, led the conspirators directly to Paul’s bedroom. The conspirators claimed they merely acting out of concern for the country’s fate, given that the emperor was insane, and they were in fact a group of high dignitaries: among them were general governor of St. Petersburg Peter Pahlen, Vice-Chancellor Nikita Panin, the Zubov brothers (one of whom was Platon Zubov - the last favourite of Catherine II), commanders of four guard troops, and a number of high ranking officers. It is generally thought that the son of the victim, future emperor Alexander I, knew of the plot and had given his approval, either voluntary or under duress. Alexander’s part in his father’s murder was something that haunted him for the rest of his life.

It was never the plotters intention to kill the tsar, they just wanted to remove him from power. But, as historians recall, “the fateful catastrophe happened unexpectedly”. Paul hid himself, but the perpetrators found him and tried to arrest him. A struggle ensued before Nikolai Zubov issued the first blow with a golden tobacco box. One version claims Pavel was immediately killed by this blow to the temple, but others say he was beaten to a pulp before being strangled with a silk scarf. Officially it was announced that the tsar had “died of a stroke”.

Paul only managed to live forty days in Mikhailovsky Castle. Several times before he died he claimed he saw himself reflected in a mirror, strangled with a collapsed neck, and in these moments he would experience an unexplainable shortness of breath.

Ever since his grisly murder, Pavel’s ghost has haunted the halls of the castle. Sometimes he is seen playing a flute and at others wandering around in his night clothes trying to find the people who betrayed him. Most museum workers refuse to stay in the palace at night, while even security guards and the police are not very keen on the idea either. If you’re passing by the castle at night, look carefully at the windows, you might see the city’s most popular ghost staring right back at you.

Cathedral of the Spilt Blood. 1881. Murder of Alexander II

The grand, elegant structure of the Church of the Saviour on Spilt Blood - built in traditional Russian style to emulate Vasily Blazhenny Cathedral at Red Square –stands in sharp contrast to the sad event it was built to commemorate.

There were no obvious motives for the tsar’s assassination. Alexander II was neither a tyrant, like his father and his grandfather, nor was he a weak ruler, like his son and grandson. His official title as ‘the giver of freedom’ was well deserved – he was the ruler who finally abolished serfdom in Russia. But the assassins were brutally determined; first they attempted shooting him while he was out walking, then they attempted to blow him up in his own palace and on a train, without a seconds thought about the collateral victims.

On 1 March Alexander II was on his way back to the Winter Palace. The first explosion did nothing more than damage his carriage. When the tsar got out to confront Nikolai Rusakov, who had thrown the bomb, a second terrorist, Ignaty Grinevetsky, hurled another bomb at the tsar’s feet.

The exact place where the tsar was mortally wounded – part of the railings and the cobble stone pavement – has been preserved inside the cathedral, under the western cupola. For a long time the neighbouring streets (now Malaya and Bolshaya Konyushennaya Streets) were named after the main participants in the plot - Sofia Perovskaya and Andrei Zhelyabov.

The Hermitage 

The Winter Palace not only houses some of the world’s most treasured artworks, it’s also rumoured to be
the home of a number of ghosts. The reputedly very polite spirit of Emperor Nikolai I is said to be looking after the collection of the Tyomny (dark) Corridor, while some people claim that one of the mummies in the Egyptian collection likes to wink at museum workers. The director of the museum, Mikhail Piotrovsky  vehemently denies the stories.




Yusupov Palace. 1916. The murder of Rasputin

This infamous Petersburg crime happened on 17 (29) December 1916 at the Yusupov residence on the Moika river . It actually began inside the historic palace in the lavish rooms of Felix Yusupov. The conspirators acted to save the country and protect the tsar and his family from the influence of this mysterious peasant-monk.





The circumstances surrounding his death are well known: Rasputin was invited to the Yusupovs’ house on the pretext of meeting Felix’s wife. Here he was fed almond cakes laced with potassium cyanide. When this didn’t work the plotters sprayed him with dozens of bullets, but the seemingly invincible Grigory Rasputin still managed to run across the yard and climb over the fence. After this he was finally caught, seized and drowned in the icy Malaya Nevka River near Kamenny Island.

When the body was recovered water was said to be found his lungs, suggesting that even when in the river he was still alive. His body was eventually buried in the grounds of Catherine’s palace at Pushkin but following the October revolution his corpse was dug up and burned. Rasputin got his last revenge though. As the body was being cremated, bystanders were horrified as Rasputin appeared to sit up in the fire - further cementing the legend that the mad monk was completely indestructible.

The Russian Academy of Arts - the depressed artist

This beautiful building reportedly has two ghosts, that of the building’s architect and of the academy’s first
director.

The young architect Kokorinov was commissioned by Catherine the Great to build one of the greatest art academies in the world and he did exactly as directed. However, when Catherine came round to look at the completed building, she became incredibly angry with the architect as her dress got soiled by some wet paint from the walls. Kokorinov was so upset about the incident that he hung himself in the attic of the building the same night. His ghost is said to be seen wandering the halls in a hurry with his drawing tools.

Sculptor Kozlovsky, the first director of the academy, is also said to occasionally turn up. Workers say that on stormy nights, he comes and bangs on the entrance demanding to be let in. Apparently he can even be heard shouting; “It’s me, sculptor Kozlovsky from Smolenskoye cemetery, I got wet and frozen in my grave…open the door!” No one has yet been reported to have opened up for him.

Peter and Paul Fortress - the weeping woman


There’s all number of gruesome events that have taken place inside St. Petersburg’s oldest fortress-cum-prison, everything from torture and public hangings to drownings and suicides. However, there’s only one ghost that is said to haunt the cells of the old prison - that of Countess Tarakanova. Arrested in Italy under the orders of Catherine II, for pretending to be of royal descent, she was imprisoned and later died here of tuberculosis. Many people have reported hearing her sobbing quietly into her silk handkerchief - especially around the Neva curtain walls, where prisoners were sometimes allowed to walk.

The Kunstkamera - Guyduk the Giant

Brought from France to live in the court of Peter the Great, Guyduk the giant was the largest of the many
men who had gigantism that were part of the Tsar’s retinue. When he died his skeleton was saved for the freaky anatomical collection of the Kunstkamera, rather than being buried.


In the late 19th Century someone stole his massive skull and from that day on the ghost of the giant was seen wandering around the halls of the museum looking for the thief. The museum workers began to find this so irritating that they found another skull and put that with the skeleton. Strangely enough, this seemed to actually work and the ghost hasn’t been seen in the last 80 years.


Friday, 12 September 2014

KOM ASH-SHUQQAFA. A ROMAN NECROPOLIS TRAPPED IN TIME

The Catacombs of Kom ash-Shuqqafa in Alexandria, Egypt, are an incredible set of subterranean Ancient Roman tombs.



When a donkey accidentally fell through the ground with his cart, no one expected the discovery that was about to be made.

These ancient catacombs date back to 2AD and are underground burial crypts of upper class Romans, and comprise of a maze of rooms and passageways, including the triclinium, a banqueting hall for the relatives of the deceased and the main tomb. The ornate decorations inside the catacombs are an eclectic blend of Roman, Greek and Egyptian.



The details of this subterranean zone defy comprehensible description- the walls are all engraved and designed with intricate patterns and the tunnels are complex and well laid out- it is said they have as much technological expertise as that of our modern day subway systems but are far more detailed and aesthetically pleasing.



Made up of three levels containing 300 bodies, the Catacombs of Kom ash-Shuqqafa represent the true sophistication of ancient Roman engineering.



The question is, are the burial areas haunted?

Certainly some visitors have reported strange ethereal sounds, and a pervasive atmosphere inside certain areas of the burial chambers.

Worth a visit if you should be in Alexandria, and despite the civil unrest which is afflicting this most ancient country.




Thursday, 11 September 2014

RADAR SCANNING REVEALS A MUCH LARGER COMPLEX AT STONEHENGE























Its enigmatic circle of giant stones are always thought to have stood in splendid isolation on the edge of Salisbury Plain.

But archaeologists now believe that Stonehenge  was at the centre of a vast network of religious monuments.

The latest radar scanning technology has allowed experts to unearth a large but hidden complex of shrines, burial mounds and buildings used in gruesome rituals involving the dead.
Looking just below the surface, their extensive finds include evidence of 17 previously unknown wooden or stone structures.



Scientists from Birmingham University spent four years mapping an area of five square miles in minute detail as part of the largest geophysical survey ever undertaken. Unveiling their findings yesterday at the British Science Festival in Birmingham, they described how advanced radar scanners were developed especially for the project to build up a digital map ten feet underground.

Among the discoveries is a 100ft-long wooden building, or long barrow, around two miles from Stonehenge, built in 2400BC. Experts think it was the site of complex rituals, including the removal of flesh and limbs from dead bodies.

The building is thought to have been used for seven generations by a single family before it was buried in chalk and forgotten for thousands of years.

Also unearthed were massive prehistoric pits, some of which appear to form astronomical and solar links with Stonehenge – confirming the belief that it was positioned to reflect the Sun’s movement.
And the Durrington Walls ‘super-henge’ three miles away was revealed to have once been flanked by as many as 60 posts or stones up to ten feet high – suggesting a very similar structure to Stonehenge itself.



Project leader Professor Vincent Gaffney said archaeologists had previously thought most of the site was just ‘green grass’. He added: ‘What we’re seeing is this unconscious elaboration of the Stonehenge landscape.

‘You’ve got Stonehenge which is clearly a very large ritual structure which is attracting people from large parts of the country. But around it people are creating their own shrines and temples. We can see the whole landscape is being used in very complex ways.’

The way Stonehenge and its surroundings were laid out was a ‘highly theatrical arrangement,’ he said. As people approached the monument via an ancient procession route, it gradually emerged from the landscape.

The structures cannot be accurately dated until they are excavated – and any decision over digging lies with English Heritage.

Source: DailyMail