To test whether it’s possible to artificially induce paranormal experiences — or, from a different perspective, to technologically summon a spirit — researchers at London’s Goldsmith College and architect Usman Haque designed a scientifically haunted room.
From the Penguin Book of Ghosts by Jennifer Westwood, Dr. Jacqueline Simpson and Sophia Kingshill:
Perhaps the most notorious haunting in the history of Penzance was that of a house in Chapel Street, near the parish church. The house, as William Bottrell tells us in 1880, was occupied by an elderly lady called Mrs Baines, who, going into the garden one night to make sure that her manservant John was keeping guard in her orchard, found him asleep and shook down some apples in order to pretend that they had been stolen and he was remiss in his duties. But waking, he mistook her for a thief and shot her, and a short time later she died.
Her ghost returned, and was often seen under the tree where she was shot:
“Everybody knew the old lady by her upturned and powdered grey hair under a lace cap of antique pattern; by the long lace ruffle hanging from her elbows; her short silk mantle, gold-headed cane, and other trappings of old-fashioned pomp.”
Her walking in the garden might have been put up with, but she started haunting the house, ‘tramping about from room to room, slamming the doors, rattling the furniture, and often making a fearful crash amongst glass and crockery’. Finally a parson famed in the neighbourhood as a ‘ghost-layer’ (Bottrell thought his name was Singleton) was brought in ‘and he succeeded… in getting her away to the sand-banks on the Western Green… where the waves now roll’. Here he single-handedly bound her to spin ropes of sand for a thousand years, unless she could weave one to reach from St Michael’s Mount to St Clement’s Isle.
In 1890, Margaret Courtney adds to Bottrell’s story that the whirring of Mrs Baines’s spinning-wheel was often heard long after her ghost stopped appearing, but eventually it was discovered that the sound was made by the wind whistling through loose pieces of leather nailed around a door to stop draughts.
when i was a baby (literally my first memories) i had this really lovely sweet blonde nanny who would sing me lullabies. or i thought i did.
when i was older (probably 10 or so?) my mom had some friends over and they were talking about ~the good old days~ and the house that we lived in which was crazy amazing and really old and well known farmhouse. anyway, i was like “mom who was my nanny when i was a baby?” and my mom was like, “uhhh we never had one” so i was like “yeah, the pretty blonde girl who used to sing me to sleep” and my mom was like “lol your sister? you’re so imaginitive” and i SWORE we did. so then i brought it up with my friend’s mom because our families were close when we were kids and she went white as a sheet and she was like, uh no, but there was a blonde girl who was killed in that house.
so i begged my mom to do homework and we found a picture and it WAS HER and she would sing at the local open mikes and her boyfriend killed her when he found out she was pregnant. it never really freaked me out, she was really warm and sweet and this really calming presence for me.
as requested: some stories about haunted places I’ve lived in!!
the house I grew up in:
my mom found a box of photos in the basement of the house in the early 1900s, but it was used as a funeral parlor. There was a coffin where our couch was, and she said after finding those photos something just felt really off…A couple of months later, she was in the basement doing laundry and caught something in the corner of her eye. She turned around to see a FULL apparition of a early 1900s styled woman in all black mourning clothes, with a high bun and a pinched look on her face. She looks right at my mom and goes through the wall into the next room.
the house my mom grew up in/ I live in after moving out of above mentioned house:
This house was VERY big and very old, in a very old rich neighborhood of the city. The basement was used as a speakeasy during prohibition, the doors had steel hidden in them, the downstairs windows had bars..One night my aunt was trying to put my cousin to sleep and she kept on hearing really loud music. She went to the front and back door, nothing. She finally realizes it’s coming from the basement. She goes to the top of the stairs, hears 1920s music playing, people laughing, and says “CAN YOU PLEASE KEEP IT DOWN, MY SON IS TRYING TO SLEEP” and it all stopped.
Another time, my aunt walked past my OTHER cousins room, and she goes “alex, who are you talking to” and he goes “Grandma, she’s always nice and smells like flowers”…she died before any of us were born and apparently wore a specific floral perfume. Other family members would hear their names being called, light taps on the shoulders
The way to get to the basement, you opened a door int he kitchen, which had the up and down stairs in it. Me, my cousins, my mom and aunts, everyone always RAN past that door because something in the basement was NOT good. my mom said when she was little, rakes would come flying off the walls at them, and it just had a huge aura of BAD all around it.
I have had several ghostly experiences at my house, particularly when I’m alone. My family and I are under the impression that a girl with long blonde hair (like me) likes to think my room is her room. Often times, we have had guests say that while I am in school, they hear walking, talking and the blow dryer being used in my room. My mother recalled a long time ago watching me play outside but hearing me say “Mama!” from inside my room. Here are the creepiest experiences yet:
Last year, I was driving home from school (usually it takes about fifteen minutes) when I got a frantic call from my brother asking how I got out of my room so fast. He seemed very frightened. I was very confused and informed him I had not been home yet but I was on my way. My brother was very scared by that time and explained to me what happened – He came home from school and called out to see if anyone was home – no reply. So he went to his room and started playing video games when out of the corner of his eye he saw what he thought to be my long blonde hair rush past his room. He called my name but no answer. When he heard my door slam really hard, he got up to see what was up but when he got to my room –nothing.
Although we still have no idea how that happened, things got creepier. About four months later, my two aunts came to visit and slept in my bed while I slept on the floor. I fell asleep in the same position and woke up in the same position. When I woke up, one of my aunts asked why I crawled into bed with them. Very confused, I replied that I had no recollection that I did that. We decided it was nothing until my other aunt asked me the same question. Apparently, in the middle of the night, they both felt a girl climb right into the middle of them and get into the blankets. Both of them figured I was just tired of the floor but once I told them it wasn’t me, my aunt remembered she saw a girl with long blonde hair pacing back and forth and then stopping to stare at her. She couldn’t see the girls face because it was dark but the next morning she dismissed it as a dream until I claimed in my defense that I fell asleep and woke up in the same position. That morning, it was confirmed I am not the only resident in my room.