All around the globe there is no shortage of tales of ghostly occurrences and things that go bump in the night. Here’s a small selection of multi-ethnic spectres.
Littlecote Manor in Berkshire is well-known for its ghosts. Hundreds of years ago a Lady in the Manor had an illegitimate child, which was said to have been murdered in the bedroom fireplace. The room is now reported to haunted by the heartbroken lady and blood stained clothing is said to appear in the fireplace from time to time. And the tale is disturbing enough to put people off staying there!
In Gloucestershire is Chedworth Roman Villa. Locals who live nearby will tell you of the screams of young boys which have been heard many times. The Romans, of course, pioneered under floor central heating and used young boys to crawl under the floor space to set fires to warm the floors.
Unfortunately it’s said that some boys became trapped whilst carrying out the task and were burnt alive – hence the ghostly screams. Officials in charge of running the villa are reluctant to talk about it because they do not want the historically important site to become better known for its ghosts, but no-one will ever go down to the villa after dark!
About a mile away from the villa is a very large house called Compton Cassey - it is famously haunted by a number of (unfriendly) spirits and has been exorcised many times. The house is built over an old Roman villa and over the years there have been many sightings of a Roman legion marching over the nearby hillside - you can only see the Romans from the waist up as apparently the earth is at a different level now. But, strangely, the Romans have only ever been sighted by people coming back from the pub - there is yet to be a sighting by someone on the way to the pub!
The town of Durham, is arguably one of the most haunted places in the country. It has a fair range of various Grey Ladies and several others to boot.
Whether or not the Kelpie is a ghost is open to debate, but the fact is that it is one of Scotland's most dangerous spirits. It traditionally takes the form of a wild horse or a beautiful woman and offers to carry travellers across the lochs. However, its intentions are by no means noble, for when the Kelpie and its passenger reach the middle of the loch the poor soul will be drowned, but the Kelpie can apparently not cross running streams. The creature now known throughout the world as the Loch Ness Monster was for a long period of history believed to be a Kelpie.
Glaamis is a part of Scotland with a rich supernatural history, particularly where its local castle is concerned:
The family's private chapel [of Glaamis Castle], is said to haunted by a white lady who was burned at stake in the castle grounds for being a witch. Her ghost is said to appear sitting in the back corner of the chapel, where she goes to seek peace. On public tours of the castle few people feel comfortable sitting in this area.
There are other ghosts at Glammis too. One is said to be an 18thC Earl of Strathmore who was drunk and wanted to play cards on a Sunday. Of course in those days nobody would play cards on the Sabbath, so he ran up and down the halls trying to convince someone to play with him. The devil showed up, they played for his soul and he lost, of course. So he's condemned to run up and down the halls screaming.
There's also a room that's bricked off. It was tested in the 1800s. They hung sheets out of all the windows, and there was one window with no sheet. There are two theories for this; one is that the heir apparent to the throne was born crazy, and they walled him up to keep it from the public.
When mountaineers reach the top of the greatest peaks they are sometimes startled to see what appears to be a large, shadowy apparition floating in the sky. These were called Brocken, a name given by the people of Germany who first spoke of them. No doubt these apparitions scared the woolly socks of the poor fellows in days of yore but recently it has become known that they are in fact the mountaineer's own shadows on the clouds, caused by unusual sunlight effects.
One Dutch legend speaks of a phantom boat that ferries the souls of the dead from The Netherlands to the island of Britain. This tale was supposed to be the reason f why the UK has so many ghosts compared with the rest of Europe.
In Denmark, the preferred hangouts for ghosts seem to be old mansions, especially those built between 1600 - 1700. These mansions often have a ghost called the White Lady or the Grey Lady, who wanders the hallways dressed in, predictably, white or grey. It is not known what caused most of them but one is supposedly the ghost of a woman who was bricked into a wall in the house and left to die. This type of ghost is also very common in Estonia.
Banks Islands, Pacific Ocean
The natives of the Banks Islands believe that certain stones contain spirits called 'eating ghosts', and that if a person's shadow falls across such a stone then his soul will be sucked into it and he will die.
Native American Indians have a tradition whereby they hold ceremonies in honour of the ghosts of animals that they have killed for food. These ceremonies supposedly help to ensure successful hunting. Whale hunters in Siberia, Russia also have similar traditions.
Mad Anthony's Ghost is the North American spectre of a famous general from the American Revolution.
There are lots of stories out of Nova Scotia, Canada about ghostly animals. There are stories of large and small dogs wandering around houses, through rooms and up and down stairs. There's a story of a large horse seeming to strike down a fence, and in daylight it can be seen that there is no damage done.
In an area called Fox Point, there is supposed to be a headless pig that crosses the road just at the top of a hill. To the left of the road is a tiny beach where three survivors of a shipwreck and several bodies came ashore, so there may be a connection.
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