Epworth Rectory

In the early 18th century, Epworth Rectory in Lincolnshire, England, was the site of daily poltergeist disruption. The Queen Mary gave over the rectory to the Reverend Samuel Wesley, but his family (especially his daughter Hetty) was not happy with the move into the faraway rural village. The local townsfolk were not particularly welcoming to the stern and severe new clergyman either: They set fire to the rectory in 1709 and injured the pastor's cattle. However, Wesley decided to rebuild the rectory, and stay on. On December 1, 1716, poltergeist activity started at the Epworth Rectory, Dorcester, South Yorkshire. The children and servants brought their complaints to Reverend Samuel Wesley.

Rev. Samuel Wesley
For several nights they had been heard mysterious groans and sounds in their rooms. In addition to those frightening manifestations, they also heard the sound of footsteps ascending and descending the stairs at all hours of the night. The sounds of bottles smashing and pewter plates crashing could be heard in adjoining rooms; but when the rooms were checked, nothing had been disturbed. On at least one occasion, the bed of a daughter, Nancy, levitated with her on it.

Reverend Wesley was skeptical about the allegations that paranormal manifestations were occurring in his house. After a week of careful nocturnal surveillance throughout the rectory, Wesley had not even uncovered a stirring mouse. One night at dinner, he told his family that he been unable to detect any unusual noises in the rectory.

The Wesleys had four grown daughters who had begun to entertain beaus and suitors. One of the older daughters wished aloud that the ghost would come knocking at the door to their father’s study or bedchamber and give him a fright. The girls were so peeved with their father that they stubbornly vowed to ignore the disturbances until they became so loud that even he would have to acknowledge them. The next night, nine loud knocks thudded on the walls of Wesley’s bed chamber.

In the morning, Wesley whispered to his wife that he would buy a large dog “big enough to gobble up any intruder.” First thing in the morning, the clergyman obtained a huge mastiff and took it into the rectory. Such a brute would be able to deal with any spook, he decreed.

That night, however, as the knocks began to sound, Wesley was startled to see his canine ghostbuster whimper and cower behind the frightened children. One of the older girls teased that the dog was more frightened than they were. Two nights later, the sounds in the house seemed so aggressively violent that Wesley and his wife were forced out of bed to investigate. As they walked through the rectory, the unseen noisemakers seemed to follow them. Mysterious crashing sounds echoed in the darkness. The sound of metal clinking seemed to surround them. The Wesleys somehow managed to maintain their courage and searched every chamber rectory for the source of the disruptions, but they found nothing.

Poltergeist activity became a nightly event, usually starting about 9:45 P.M. The impending commotion was always preceded by a “signal” that sounded something like the winding of a very large clock. The noises also appeared to follow a pattern that seldom altered. They would begin in the kitchen, then suddenly move up to visit one of the children’s rooms, where the ghost would knock on the foot and head of the bed.

Wesley demanded to know one night as the knockings in the nursery became especially explosive and challenged the ghost to meet him at his study room. As if in answer to Wesley’s challenge, a sharp knock sounded on the door of his study with such force that the cleric thought the boards would splinter. Although there were no more disturbances that evening, Wesley soon found that his invitation not been ignored. While in his study one evening, “an invisible power” heavily pushed him up against his desk. On another occasion he was slammed into the door jamb of his study just as he was entering the room.

Wesley decided to obtain reinforcements for the struggle against the evil that had invaded his rectory. He sent for Mr. Hoole, the Vicar of Hoxley, and told him the whole story. Hoole listened patiently to his fellow cleric’s story and told Wesley that he would lead devotions that night. They would see if the thing would dare to manifest in his presence.

The ghost was not the least bit awed the Vicar of Hoxley. That night the ghost put on such a powerful demonstration of paranormal power that the clergyman fled in terror, leaving Wesley to combat the unseen demon as best he could. The children had overcome their initial fear of the invisible entity in a most remarkable way. They had come to accept its supernatural antics as a welcome relief from the boredom of village life. They had begun to call their unseen guest “Old Jeffery,” and the ghost almost achieved the status of a pet. Old Jeffery, it was observed, was a bit testy and temperamental. If any visitor slighted him by claiming that the rappings were due to natural causes, such as rats, birds, or wind, the phenomena would quickly intensify so that the doubter stood instantly corrected.

Some people believed the culprit to be the ghost of "Old Ferries," which was the name of someone who had died in the rectory. No apparitions were ever seen, but some thought that a rabbit-like creature seen one night, and a badger spotted on another evening, were actually spirits in animal form. Also, no real communication was ever established with the poltergeist; it would repeat raps but would never use them to answer questions.

Once, Mrs. Wesley remembered an ancient remedy for riding a house of evil spirits. Old folklore and texts recommended that those afflicted by bothersome entities should obtain a large trumpet “and blow it mightily throughout every room in the house,” she told the family. “The sounds of a loud horn are unpleasing to evil spirits.” Then she tried to scare the ghost away by blowing a loud horn throughout the house. The poltergeist responded by doubling its efforts to both day and night.

The children seemed to welcome the fact that Old Jeffery would be available during their playtime hours as well. Several witnesses swore that they saw a bed levitate to a considerable height while a number of the Wesley children squealed merrily from the floating mattress. The only thing that seemed to disturb the children was the sound that Old Jeffery had begun to make. It sounded like a trailing robe was following them wherever they went. One of the girls declared that she had seen the ghost of a man wearing a long, white robe that dragged on the floor. A number of the servants testified that they had seen the head of a creature that resembled a rodent peering out at them from a crack near the kitchen fireplace.

As suddenly as the poltergeist activity started, it abruptly stopped at the end of January 1720. While the entity never returned to harass Epworth Rectory with its mischief, the memory of its disruptive period of occupancy has remained to challenge both scholars of Christian history and the paranormal for more than two centuries. Among the 19 children of the Reverend Samuel Wesley who witnessed the phenomena were John and Charles, the founders of Methodism and the authors of some of Christendom’s best loved hymns.

Paranormal experts suggest that the poltergeist phenomena were actually caused by the unleashing of pent-up psychokinetic activity, either on the part of the frustrated Mrs. Wesley (who was kept in an almost constant state of pregnancy19 births in 20 years, only five children of which lived past infancy), or of the daughter Hetty (who hated the rectory and was at that poltergeist-triggering age somewhere between 14 and 19 years old). There is also the possibility that villagers who wanted to drive the rector and his family out of town perpetrated some of the activity.

Real Ghosts, Restless Spirits, and Haunted Places by Brad Steiger;
The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Ghosts and Hauntings by Tom Ogden

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The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Ghosts and Hauntings by Tom Ogden page 56
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Goatman of Prince George's County

The goatman is a creature with the form of half man and half goat, and it is as much a part of urban legend at Prince George’s County, Maryland, as the woods and fields in which it is said to cavort. The tale holds that he was experimenting on goats, the experiment went astray, and he began attacking cars with an axe, roaming the back roads of Beltsville, MD. Its story began in the late 1700s when wealthy Marylander Thomas Snowden bought 9,000 acres northeast of Washington, D.C., and with the help of a large staff of slaves made it a prosperous tobacco plantation. When Snowden’s daughter, Mary, wed, he gave her 475 acres as a wedding present. It was this little corner of Snowden’s plantation that the U.S. government purchased in 1910 as the start of its main farm and agricultural research center, which now covers 6,700 acres.

 The Devil illustration with the form of half man-half goat from Waite-Smith Tarot cards

The Henry A. Wallace Beltsville Agricultural Research Center (BARC) became known for its pioneering research in genetics. Its Web site says that it has received awards for its discoveries of new forms of life.

Many area residents tell the story of a BARC scientist who was said to be working on a genetic experiment on a herd of goats in the 1970s. Unfortunately, one of the genetically altered goats bit the scientist, and its mutated saliva worked a sudden transformation upon the man. As he watched the lower half of his body change into that of a goat and felt horns curl over his forehead, brown fur sprouted on his chest and arms. He leaped in panic from the goat pen into the surrounding fields and made his way to the woods. Ever since, he has wreaked havoc on local people, pets, and livestock, often venting his madness by tearing animals’ heads from their bodies.

The goatman is especially fond of searching lonely roads for parked cars occupied by teenage lovers. In one oft-repeated tale a young teen was busy fending off her love-struck prom date when they heard curious noises coming from under the car. The young man climbed out to investigate. As the girl looked out the window, she saw a six-foot-tall creature, part man and part goat, with glowing green eyes. Her date was later found torn limb from limb.

One area writer, Mark Opsasnick, investigated the goatman and included what he found in a book titled Horror on Fletchertown Road: the Goatman of Prince George’s County, Maryland. Opsasnick interviewed farm families around the town of Bowie, which lies a few miles east of Beltsville. He discovered that some of them had used the story of the goatman as a “bogeyman” tale to keep youngsters in line for many decades. Opsasnick deduced that the story spread into area schools from the offspring of these farmers, and speedily mutated into an urban legend. However, unexplained, hairy creatures on two feet are still occasionally sighted in the area to this day, according to the book, Weird Maryland.

Mysteries, Legend, and Unexplained Phenomena: “Mythical Creatures” by Linda S. Godfrey;

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Mysteries, Legends, and Unexplained Phenomena: “Alchemy” by Robert M. Place page 112
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Cochran Ghost Town

Cochran Ghost Town is a place of mystery and intrigue, it is located north of the 33rd parallel, along the Gila River. The town itself was named for John. S. Cochran, the first postmaster. There is a row of five domed structures along this prominent river in Arizona that are as beautiful as they are baffling. The Beehives, as they have become known, are located one mile Southwest of the ghost town overlooking the West side of the Gila River. They are 32 feet high, 72 feet around and made from stone granite blocks held in place without mortar, in a feat of masonic engineering. There is a three-foot by six-foot door at the front and a three-foot by five-foot opening at the upper rear of each one.

 The mysterious domes also known as Cochran Coke Ovens

Unfortunately, there are no documented sources concerning the origin of the domes at this site. Some people claim they were built by an ancient Indian tribe from Central America, since strikingly similar beehive-like structures have been found there. Others believe early Spaniards were responsible for building them.

One theory of particular interest is that they were built as lead smelters by Phoenicians who arrived here circa 1500 B.C.E. and founded a city nearby, which later became Phoenix. A professor from Northern Arizona University, Dr. Ronald Ives, writes of the Phoenician theory that “a considerable amount of evidence suggests either one or more pre-Columbian visits to the area by Europeans . . .” In fact, as can be seen in subsequent books in this series, there is an accumulating mound of evidence supporting pre-Columbian visits by not only European explorers, but those from the Far East, the Middle East, and the Near East as well.


Mystery of America: “Enigmatic Mysteries and Anomalous Artifacts of North America – A Connection to the Ancient Past” by Tedd St. Rain;

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The White Man of the Sea Foam

At-ach-u-chu or the White Man of the Sea Foam is the premiere founding father of Andean civilization, revered from deeply prehistoric times to the Spanish Conquest of the 16th century. He was consistently described as the tall, red-haired, bearded, fair-skinned culture-bearer from a distant land in the East who arrived on the shores of Lake Titicaca after surviving some terrible deluge. The Peruvian natives called him “The Teacher of all Things,” and knew him as the man who established the arts of civilization in South America, including agriculture, religion, astronomy, weights and measures, social organization, and government.

At-ach-u-chu’s resemblance to similar culture bearers appearing after a great natural disaster in the Atlantic Ocean, he’s recognized throughout the Americas, from the Menominee Indian’s Marine Man of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, Patagonian Zeu-kha at Tierra del Fuego, to the Aztecs’ Quetzalcoatl and the Mayas’ Kukulcan. These related founding heroes from over the sea apparently represent the impact native peoples experienced from the large-scale arrival of Atlantis refugees in four major waves of immigration over nearly two thousand years. It is not surprising, then, that at least the folkish memory of these arrivals should have been preserved in the valued oral traditions of every native people whose revered ancestors knew and interacted with the Atlanteans.

He was the elder of five brothers, known collectively as Viracochas, or “white men.” At-ach-u-chu is better remembered by his title, Kontiki-Viracocha, or “White Man of the Sea Foam”; in other words, he was a foreigner who arrived by ship, “sea foam” being a poetic description of its bow wave. All features of this supremely important figure in Andean tradition, beginning with the At in the head of his name, clearly define him as the leader of survivors from the final destruction of Atlantis, who reestablished themselves by creating a hybrid civilization, a mix of local cultures with Atlantean technology, in Peru and Bolivia.

At-ach-u-chu was said to have moved on after a few years, traveling to the west. A curious variation of this folk memory from Nazca, site of the great lines and effigies seen properly only from altitude, has him rising into the air and flying toward the setting sun. The South American At-ach-u-chu bears a striking resemblance to Atcha, remembered by the ancient Egyptians as a far-off, splendid, but vanished city echoing lost Atlantis.

Before his statue was destroyed by Christian zealots, it is said, the “hair, features, raiment, complexion, and sandals” reminded the conquistadors of the apostle Saint Bartholomew as depicted in popular holy cards of the time. The statue’s description matches a painting known as the Inca Viracocha at Madrid’s Museo de America. Colonial portraits at the Copacabana Monastery of Manco Capac and Mama Occlo also represent their subjects with facial features that are unlike those of the native Indian population.

Atlantis Encyclopedia by Frank Joseph;
Survivors of Atlantis: Their Impact on the World by Frank Joseph

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Christmas Eve Kitty

On Christmas Eve 1919 the lifeless corpse of Kathleen Breaks (also known as Kitty) was found among the sand dunes near Lytham Road, not far from Blackpool. Early indications showed Kitty had been shot three times at point blank range with a revolver. Kitty had been seeing a local man answering to the name of Frederick Rothwell Holt and by all accounts their relationship was a rough and ready one. A fight or an argument must have ensued during their last night together but no one knows for certain what did occur other than that it resulted in the brutal murder of a young woman.

Its said that Holt’s bloodstained gloves, along with his service revolver (the one used to fire the fatal shots) and a footprint that matched his footwear, was discovered not far from where Kitty was discovered. This incriminating evidence led to the arrest of Holt and ultimately his execution shortly after. He was charged with the murder and tried at Manchester Assizes between the 23rd and 27th February 1920 before Mr. Justice Greer. Holt appealed his death sentence claiming that having earlier contracted syphilis in 1920 in Malaya it had unbalanced his mind. He was examined by Home Office psychiatrists who rejected the appeal. Frederick Holt was hanged by public hangman John Ellis on the 13th April.

Over the years since many holidaymakers and Blackpool locals have claimed to see the miserable spectre of this young woman, usually on Christmas Eve, the anniversary of the discovery of her body. She is said to meander along the sand dunes in a dazed and bewildered fashion. Her bullet wounds drip with fresh blood that stains her dirty clothes, sending chills down the spines of those who encounter her.

Paranormal Magazine February 2011: Ghosts at Christmas written by Darren W. Ritson;

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Paranormal Magazine February 2011 page 15
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Peter Plogojowitz the Serbian Vampire

Peter Plogojowitz was a Serbian farmer who was believed to have become a vampire after his death. This case was one of the earliest, most sensational and most well documented cases of vampire hysteria. It had been investigated by an Army enquiry sitting at Belgrade  There was nothing unusual about Plogojowitz, he was a simple, sixty-two year old farmer who owned some land around Kisilova (possibly the modern Kisiljevo). He seemed extremely hale and hearty. Despite his apparent good health, Peter Plogojowitz suddenly sickened and died. Three nights after his interment, there were sounds from the kitchen of his house, and upon entering, his son, found the likeness of Plogojowitz standing there. The apparition asked him for food. When a meal was set down before him, he ate it, then rose and left the room, presumably going back to the grave.

The next day, the son (who was very alarmed at his experience), told neighbours what had happened. He waited up the following night but the apparition of his father didn’t appear. Yet the next night, he was back and asking for more food. This time, the son refused and Plogojowitz gave him a malevolent and threatening look before leaving. The next day Plogojowitz’s son suddenly died. His death was only the first of six in the village, all of whom seemed to die within hours of each other.

The cause of their deaths seemed to be due to exhaustion and excessive blood loss. Before dying, each of them had complained that they had seen the shape of Peter Plogojowitz either in their bedrooms or in a dream. In these dreams, he seemed to glide toward them and catch them by the throat, then lowered his head to bite and draw their blood from the wound. He was believed to have killed nine persons in this way within the space of a week. Despite the best efforts of the local apothecary, all those who had seen or dreamed of Plogojowitz died extremely quickly.

The local magistrates were determined to put an end to what was happening before a full-scale vampire hysteria broke out. They contacted a local Army commander who happened to be staying nearby, asking him to investigate. The commander arrived in Kislova, bringing with him two other officers, and proceeded to order the immediate exhumation of the body of Peter Plogojowitz. They actually opened all the graves of those who had died subsequent to the farmer’s death, but paid close attention to the corpse that had been Plogojowitz. They found it almost undecayed and lying as if in a trance. In fact, it even appeared to be breathing almost imperceptibly. To the absolute terror of the examiners, the eyes were wide open, and several of those who observed them swore that they moved a little, following the movements of those around the body. His hair and nails had grown, a number of old wounds were now encased in freshly grown skin, and the joints remained supple and moved easily. The farmer’s mouth was smeared with fresh blood, and his complexion was extremely florid, as though gorged with the substance. The commander and his assistants concluded that this was indeed the vampire who had been terrorizing the district and they should put an end to it.

In accordance with local custom, a sharp wooden stake was driven into the cadaver’s heart, resulting in great quantities of fresh blood pouring forth from every part of the body. Wood was subsequently gathered and formed into a pyre upon which the corpse was then burned. No evidence of vampirism was found upon any of the other bodies that were exhumed along with Plogojowitz. Their copses were replaced in caskets and reburied. After this the dreams and apparitions ceased, as did the deaths in the village.

Returning to Belgrade, the commander and his officers formally convened again and made a report, concluding that Peter Plogojowitz had indeed been a vampire. It was published by Wienerisches Diarium, a Viennese newspaper, today known as Die Wiener Zeitung. Along with the report of the very similar Arnold Paole case of 1726-1732, it was widely translated West and North, contributing to the vampire craze of the eighteenth century in Germany, France and England. The strange phenomena or appearances that the Austrian officials witnessed are now known to accompany the natural process of the decomposition of the body.

Because of the military involvement, this was one of the best attested cases of its time, and placed Central and Eastern Europe firmly at the centre of vampire lore.

Encyclopedia of the Undead by Dr. Bob Curran;

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