Real World Horror

Gressenhall Farm and Workhouse

For those of you who might not know, I currently live in Norfolk in England (I grew up in Wiltshire, England and spent four years at university in Wales).

Earlier this year one of my close friends came to me with a proposition, to attend a local(ish) ghost hunt at Gressenhall Farm and Workhouse.

Despite being a horror fanatic I’m also sceptical, especially when people want me to believe something and pay them for the privilege. But I pride myself on being as open-minded as I can be, and after the last eighteen months of barely leaving the house, I promised myself I’d take advantage of more opportunities.   

So long ramble short, I attended a ghost hunt last weekend.

It was a unique experience and not one that banished my scepticism. It was, however, good fun despite being bloody freezing (what do you expect wandering around a workhouse at 1am in November) but it was dry and still so bonus points.

We got to explore several areas of the workhouse, including the Laundry, the Cottage, a shop that wasn’t a shop (it looks like a shop now because of museums, but back in the day it was a casual worker dormitory), a boardroom and the chapel.

We also got half an hour to wander around independently and that was great, I got some cool pictures of a place I’d normally only see in daylight hours.

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Real World Horror

Real World Horror: Tallman Bunk Beds

Today in Real World Horror I want to talk to you about the Tallman Bunk Beds.

Yup haunted bunk beds.

Ghosts, these days will haunt just about anything. You’d think they’d leave little kiddies alone. Asshole ghosts be assholes.

The Tallman haunting was covered by Unsolved Mysteries back in the 1980’s and is said to be so freaky that it rarely airs today. I don’t know if that is the case but I certainly can’t recall ever seeing that episode.

The story revolves around  Debbie and Allen Tallman who purchased the supposedly haunted set of bunk beds. Almost as soon as they had them in the house they started experiencing paranormal visions (the kids saw a ghostly woman), doors opening and closing without intervention, a chair wandered about the house seemingly of its own volition, and disembodied voices started speaking. Naturally the Tallman’s regrated their purchase as their home was terrorised.

Things got worse when the haunting targeted the youngest son, Danny, but Allen gave it a firm word or two and it started targeting him instead.

There have been numerous witnesses to the haunting, which in itself is a rarity. In particular a babysitter who saw a vision of fog and flames.

The Tallman’s ultimately destroyed the bunk beds. I must admit that had I been in their position I would have been hesitant to do so, destroying a supposedly haunted object doesn’t necessarily stop the haunting, sometimes it makes things a whole lot worse.  

Fortunately that doesn’t seem to be the case here.

Though the family moved away for good measure.

Real World Horror

Real-world horror: The Anguished Man

Today I would like to talk to you about the Anguished Man painting.

The painting was noted as being ‘haunted’ when Sean Robinson inherited it from his grandmother and carried out an investigation.

Prior to her passing, Sean’s grandmother had kept the painting in her attic for the last twenty-five years, because she believed it to be evil and claimed to hear crying voices emanating from it. She also claimed to see a shadowy man in her home when she displayed the painting.

After a little research Sean uncovered the rumour that the artist mixed his own blood with the paint and ended his own life shortly after its completion.

Once Sean had it in his home he and his family started experiencing similar occurrences (shadow man and crying) to those his grandmother had as well as some other phenomenon. Sean’s son suffered a nasty accident when he fell down the stairs and Sean’s wife felt someone petting her hair when she was in bed.

So cameras were set up to capture some of the ghostly happenings. The footage shows slamming doors, rising smoke and the painting falling with no discernible cause.

Check out some of the YouTube footage here.

Real World Horror

Real World Horror: Valentino’s Cursed Ring

Today I want to talk to you about Valentino’s cursed ring.

Rudolph Valentino was an Italian actor based in the United States, he was born on 6 May 1895 in Italy died on 23 August 1926 in the USA. Starred in various sites and films.

During his career Rudolph purchased a ring, the story goes that the shopkeeper did not want to sell the ring claiming it was cursed and called it The Destiny Ring. Once Valentino had purchased the ring things started to go wrong for him, several of his movies flopped and then he became sick. He underwent surgery for bleeding ulcers, suffered an infection and passed away.

The ring was then passed to Pola Negri, who immediately became ill. Whilst she was ill her Hollywood career suffered a significant downturn to the point where it was considered over. Pola passed the ring to her younger sibling, Russ who she claimed reminded her of Valentino. Ross then died in a shooting accident.

The ring made its way to Joe Casino, who had the ring placed under glass but eventually decided to wear it and suffered a fatal accident a week later. By this point, people were connecting the ring with fatally bad luck and when Casino’s brother inherited the ring locked away.

The ring was later stolen by James Willis, during the theft the police arrived and shot him. The ring was recovered and placed back inside the safe. The ring was retrieved when director Edward Small wanted to make a movie regarding Valentino, he hired Jack Dunn to portray Valentino and asked him to wear the ring, two weeks later Dunn died of a blood disease.

The ring currently sits in a vault in a Los Angeles bank.

What do you think? Do you think the ring is cursed? Or do you think this is a series of bizarre coincidences?

Real World Horror

Real World Horror: Myrtles Plantation Mirror

Today in real world horror I want to talk about a mirror. This mirror is claimed to contain the spirits of a woman and her children.

The mirror is in Myrtles Bed and Breakfast Plantation, which is claimed to be one of the most haunted homes in America. The plantation was built in 1796, on an apparent native burial ground (is that where that cliché comes from?) and has been the scene for at least ten murders.

The mirror in question was added in the 1980’s and guests have reported seeing figures of Sara Woodruff and her children in the mirror. There have also been children’s handprints on the glass (kids touch mirrors, it’s kind of what they do). Sara Woodruff and her children were poisoned and after their death custom was ignored and the mirrors were not covered during the funeral thus the souls of the dearly departed were trapped inside the mirror.

Real World Horror

Real World Horror: Haunted Chairs

I love horror, but I am generally sceptical.

Today in Real World Horror we are going to be looking at some haunted/cursed chairs.

These chairs can be found in Newport in Rhode Island in America. This is one of the oldest towns in America, which I suppose could have given it a greater opportunity to collect stories, objects, ghosts and ghouls.

These chairs  can be found in Belcourt Castle, which was built in the 1890’s. The castle has a history of containing haunted objects and general supernatural shenaniganry. But some of the most well known are the chairs. There are two chairs in particular which claim to have either a curse or a spirit attached to them. When people sit on these chairs they claim to have suffered from a very unpleasant nauseous feeling, along with feeling cold and generally uncomfortable. Some have described feelings akin to static electricity on their skin, particularly their hands, when they sit in the chairs.  Some people claim that sitting in the chairs felt similar to sitting in someone else’s lap and lastly several visitors have been forcibly ejected from the chairs by an invisible force.

What do you think? Do you think the chairs are really haunted? Or do you think this is some kind of self-fulfilling prophecy where you expect to feel unwell and unwelcome in these chairs so you do? What about those forcefully ejected? Is it a prank or is it real?

Real World Horror

Real World Horror: The Conjuring Really Happened

Well, it kind of did.

The popular movie The Conjuring is based on the real actions of Ed and Lorraine Warren when they helped the Perrons in 1971.

The Perron family, mum, dad and five daughters, moved into the Rhode Island farmhouse in 1970 and continued to live there for ten years, give or take.

The witch, Bathsheba Sherman was born in 1812 and had at least one son with her husband, but possibly four children altogether. She lived until 1885 and was 73 years old when she passed away. There’s no real evidence that she was a witch, only stories, mostly due to the death of an infant in Bathsheba’s care. The child died when a sewing needle was inserted into its skull. Bathsheba was never convicted of the child’s murder but that did not stop stores from sprouting.

There are a lot of stories about Bathsheba’s death, including turning to stone. But I was not able to find the actual cause of her death beyond illness.

It was the Warrens who made the connection between the haunting of the farmhouse with Bathsheba, mostly due to an injury suffered in the house resembling that of a stab wound by sewing needle.

To learn more Read House of Darkness House of Light by daughter Andrea Perron.

Real World Horror

Real World Horror: Haunted Objects Robert the Doll

Robert the doll is a popular haunted object, with many articles, blogs, podcasts and YouTube videos discussing him. The doll initially belonged to Robert Otto, an artist. It was made in Germany and given to Robert as a young boy by his grandfather.

After Robert and his wife passed away, the doll remained with the property until 1994 when it was sold East Martello Museum, although it also spends time at the Old Post Office in October.

By all accounts the doll moves independently and can change its facial expressions, it has been heard to laugh at times, typical creepy doll stories.

But there is more to it than that, local legend claims that the doll has caused car accidents, loss of employment, injuries, divorces etc Apparently the doll does these things because people are disrespectful to it in the museum or Post office, taking pictures without asking is a big no-no. However, it has never been explained how the doll causes these mishaps.

What do you think, superstitious people blaming misfortune on a creepy doll? Or unexplained paranormal stuff at work?

Real World Horror

Real World Horror: Black Agnes

Black Agnes, also known as Black Annis, is effectively a witch or a hag. She is said to roam the lands around Leicestershire and eat kiddies. She apparently lives in a cave with a large oak tree at the entrance (so if you see one avoid it).

The stories say she ventures out at night eating kiddies and little lambs. Once she has eaten the child or lamb she’ll turn the skin to leather and wear it.

Many accounts talk about her having iron claws which she would use to snatch children (although sometimes she was known to snack on an adult). She used these claws to make her cave (that must have taken ages).

There are a few odd traditions around Black Agnes, including building small windows to keep her out, hanging herbs to keep her out and dragging a dead cat covered in aniseed around Leicester followed by dogs. That last one was particularly odd.

Black Agnes has appeared in various modern stories, sometimes as a witch, occasionally as a fairy or a hag. But ultimately she isn’t seen much in stories these days, which is a pity she was a traditionally scary monster, out for blood which seems to be something we see less of these days.