10 Hauntings Science Can’t Explain

Human history is littered with legends of ghosts and hauntings Many of these have been debunked by scientists

Others can be solved with just a little common sense But whether mere superstition, or more supernature, these are 10 Hauntings That Science Can’t Explain 10

50 Berkeley Square This house in Mayfair was known as the most haunted house in Britain’s capital city, London Built in the late 18th century, it was once home to a Prime Minister In 1859 a man called Thomas Myers moved into the house after being rejected by his fiancee Living alone, he slowly went mad and the house gradually fell apart He died in 1874

Rumours persist that a young woman died in the attic – either suicide or murder, no-one knows At some point a maid went mad there, and died dying in the asylum shortly afterwards Politician Baron Lyttleton stayed overnight in the attic for a bet An apparition attacked him, and he shot it In the morning, he found only the shells he’d fired

In 1887 two sailors stayed the night Only one of them survived the night – he ran screaming from the house, pursued by a ghost The spirit has been described as a woman in white, a brown mist, and even a tentacled monster Skeptics say the hauntings are just stories that developed from the eccentric behaviour of Thomas Myers But there is no accounting for the numerous independent witnesses to supernatural goings on at number 50, Berkeley Square… 9

Dow Hill Dow Hill is near Kurseong, about 30 kilometres from Darjeeling in West Bengal The ecological park protects the ancient woods, for now But human laws may not be necessary – the woods have guardians of their own… A strange young boy has been seen in the woods He follows people along a specific stretch of road before turning off into the trees He disappears just as mysteriously as he appears

The most peculiar thing about him, however, is the fact he has no head The nearby Victoria Boys’ School is rife with rumours of inexplicable sounds and sights in its old hallways They happen at night and out of term time, when there are no children around Several local people have committed suicide in the woods, apparently because of the hauntings that plague them Quite why the headless boy follows travellers through the woods, or whether he is connected to the strange incidents at the school, is still unknown

8 The Black Monk of Pontefract Britain has a long history of poltergeists While the Enfield haunting was more-or-less proven to be a hoax, another haunting ten years earlier is much more possible

In 1966 the Pritchard family moved into 30 East Drive in Pontefract, East Yorkshire Soon the domestic disturbances began Strange white powder fell from the ceiling, the rooms flooded, food was thrown around the kitchen, lights turned on and off by themselves, crockery and doors smashed, furniture was moved… Then the daughter was targeted, thrown around the house and, in one incident, dragged backwards up the stairs by the throat, leaving lacerations on her neck Exorcisms failed, and only encouraged the ghost to destroy all crucifixes in the house Eventually the poltergeist ceased being an invisible presence: the family saw a black, cloaked figure hovering above their beds

Paranormal investigator Tom Cuniff identified the ghost as a local monk who was hanged for raping and murdering a young girl during the reign of Henry VIII What sets the Black Monk haunting apart is how many people saw it – not just the family and investigators, but numerous neighbours too 7 Lincoln’s Ghost Abraham Lincoln is widely considered to be the greatest ever President of the United States of America Tragically, the Great Emancipator was assassinated just months into his second term in the Oval Office

Clearly, it seems he wasn’t ready to leave – for his spirit lives on in the White House, quite literally His distinctive figure has been seen wandering the halls of the White House, contemplating by the fireside and gazing out of the windows After meeting such an untimely end, maybe he has too much unfinished business to ever go beyond this world There are skeptics, of course, but what really throws them for a loop is the list of people who have seen Lincoln’s ghost First Lady Grace Coolidge, Queen Wilhelmina of the Netherlands, Eleanor Roosevelt’s maid, President Reagan’s daughter and British Prime Minister Winston Churchill all claimed to meet Lincoln’s spirit in various rooms of the White House

Ironically, Lincoln himself didn’t believe in the afterlife He’s probably changed his mind now 6

The Island of the Dolls The ancient Aztec canal system of the Chinamapas hides a mysterious island From its trees hang thousands of dolls in different stages of decay Some say they are possessed Others say they are there to appease the demonic spirits that dwell in the waters around the island Don Julian Barrera was the caretaker of the island for over fifty years

In the 1950s he found the body of a drowned girl in the canals Shortly after, he found a doll floating in the same place he found the girl In tribute to her, he hung the doll on the trees But something compelled him to keep collecting dolls on the island Some he found in the waters, some he bought or bartered

Barrera said the spirits of the water spoke to him He often heard hurried footsteps on the island, and the screams of a tormented woman Locals say he was haunted by the drowned girl Some say he collected the dolls to appease her He did this right up until his death

The island is a popular tourist attraction Locals describe it as being ‘charmed’, not haunted Whatever the truth, no-one can explain what purpose the dolls really serve 5 Elisa Lam Guests at the Cecil Hotel in downtown Los Angeles were appalled to find the water in their rooms was coming out black, and smelled terrible

When the hotel managers investigated the water tanks on the roof, they found the body of Elisa Lam, a guest who went missing some weeks earlier She was naked and all her personal effects were in the water with her Her clothes were covered in strange particles There was no evidence of violence or sexual assault, or any drugs or alcohol in her system There was no indication that she committed suicide

Puzzlingly, there was no way she could have closed the heavy lid of the water tank on her own while she was inside This is all spooky, but not especially supernatural Until you watch this surveillance video of her in the hotel elevator on the day she disappeared Her behaviour is erratic, and on closer inspection it seems that she is not alone She goes outside the elevator to talk to someone, and even seems scared of someone – or something – outside

There is no physical evidence whatsoever that someone else led to her final resting place But clearly she was not alone 4 The Amityville Horror 112 Ocean Avenue on Long Island was the dream home for the George and Kathy Lutz when they moved in with their three children in 1975 They got it for a bargain – mainly because just a year before in the same house, 23-year-old Ronnie DeFeo went from room to room, shooting his parents and four siblings as they slept in their beds

The Lutz family’s troubles started straight away The priest they invited to bless the house heard a disembodied voice ordering him to get out, before his hands started bleeding The house was unnaturally cold, the walls bled weird ooze and the beds shook Every morning, George Lutz awoke around 315, the same time as the murders – and one night, Kathy Lutz levitated in her sleep

Twenty-eight days after moving in, the Lutzes moved out Many paranormal investigators tried to explain the phenomena, including Ed and Lorraine Warren All of them described a powerfully evil presence in the house, and one photograph they took revealed a young boy’s face in the window Though the infamous novel and films based on the haunting are mostly fabricated, the original events still defy explanation 3

Du Bo The oldest ghost sighting on this list comes from China Xuan was the eleventh king of the Zhou dynasty, who ruled for the decades around 800 BC He was a hard ruler, and ancient Chinese historians record how he ordered a mass execution of his potential enemies His advisor, Duke Du Bo, argued with the king about this brutal policy – and was executed in turn for his trouble Years later, King Xuan called a gathering of all his lords and nobles

At the great meeting, the king was killed by an arrow Everyone at the meeting saw the assassin – and identified him as Du Bo, the executed duke Before he died, Du Bo had warned King Xuan that he would return and seek revenge Even at the time, there were skeptics Chinese philosopher Mo Zi reasoned that, “Those who deny the existence of spirits say: “Many people in the world have heard and seen something of ghosts

Since they vary in testimony, who are to be accepted as having really heard and seen them?” [But since] many have jointly seen and… heard the case of Du Bo, [it should] be accepted” 2 The Blazing Ship The Ghost Ship of Northumberland Strait sails the waters between Prince Edward Island and Nova Scotia in Canada It has been seen by hundreds of people over the years, all reporting the same thing A three-masted schooner with pure white sails passes by, and becomes engulfed in flames as witnesses watch

Then the ship and its crew vanish Sightings occur all year round, but mostly in September and November They most often occur before a northeast wind – so much so, that locals believe the ship forewarns of a coming storm The earliest known sighting was in 1786 The most recent one happened in 2008

Sightings always happen in the Northumberland Strait, but never at a fixed place Scientists have tried to explain the ghost ship as really a natural electric phenomenon, or a bank of fog reflecting moonlight, or the crescent Moon setting below the horizon The lack of a scientific consensus, and the sheer number of consistent sightings, suggests the ghost ship might be real 1 Aokigahara Northwest of Mount Fuji, Aokigahara covers 35 square kilometres of land in foliage so thick it is called the Sea of Trees It is also called the Suicide Forest Over 100 people go into the woods to take their lives every year Authorities have even put up signs to discourage people from killing themselves

The forest is notable for the absence of sound – it has been described as a chasm of silence But this eerie tranquility is often broken by piercing screams Since most suicides are carried out by hanging or drug overdoses, these screams are attributed to the Yurei They are vengeful ghosts who appear as white spirits, floating in the air There have been numerous sightings of white figures gliding between the trees, and of strange attacks by invisible assailants

It is easy to get lost in the forest, and cellphones don’t work there So when tourists stumble across rotten human remains in the undergrowth, it’s not clear whether they are the victims of suicide, or something else Aokigahara is a place of despair and death, with centuries of tragedy in its roots The countless mysterious suicides and ghost sightings have never been satisfactorily explained People go there to escape the pressures of the world

Whether they intended to or not, they often never return

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