Archive | Ghost City RSS feed for this section

Canterbury Tales

13 Nov

One of England’s most venerable cities, Canterbury offers a rich slice through two thousand years of history, with Roman and early Christian ruins, a Norman castle, and a famous cathedral that dominates a medieval warren of time-skewed Tudor dwellings. The city began as a Belgic settlement that was overrun by the Romans and renamed Durovernum, from where they proceeded to establish a garrison, supply base and system of roads that was to reach as far as the Scottish borders. With the Roman empire’s collapse came the Saxons, who renamed the town Cantwarabyrig; it was a Saxon king, Ethelbert, who in 597 welcomed Augustine, dispatched by the pope to convert the British Isles to Christianity. By the time of his death, Augustine had founded two Benedictine monasteries, one of which – Christ Church, raised on the site of the Roman basilica – was to become the first cathedral in England. Canterbury, like any other city with such rich history, has its fair share of spooky ghost stories, including the Girl in Grey in St Margaret’s Street, the mysterious figure in white at the Marlowe Theatre, and the Robed Man of Sudbury Tower.

Continue reading

Midwinter Ghosts

15 Dec

There is something about the festive season that irresistibly brings ghosts to mind. Who can tell whether it is the wintery chill, the creeping mist or the inscrutable blanket of snow, but the period approaching Christmas seems inextricably bound with the supernatural. A traditional time for tales of unquiet spirits and the restless dead, the Yuletide season has inspired writers from Charles Dickens to M R James to write ghost stories either during or expressly set at Christmas. But is there perhaps more to this? Are these fictional ghostly tales actually based on real-life paranormal occurrences? There is no shortage of material to support such a conclusion – in Britain alone, there are spooky stories of things that go bump in the night each Christmas that span the length and breadth of the country. From spirits that roam the bleak North York Moors, to haunted houses in the garden of England, from ghastly deeds in the cobbled streets of old London town to dark legends of the highlands of Scotland, almost every region has its own chilling seasonal tales to recount. So, whilst everyone else is buying presents and preparing for Christmas parties, spare a thought for the more sinister side of the festive period and its very own Midwinter ghosts.

Continue reading

Edinburgh: Dark Deeds in the Old Town

15 Aug

With the Edinburgh Festival upon us again, I thought now would be the perfect time for a reblog of one of my Scottish-themed posts from last year…

 

 

 

Ghost Cities

I’ve always found Edinburgh a splendidly atmospheric city, which is why I’ve visited it time and again over the years. The city is perched on a series of extinct (we hope) volcanoes and rocky crags – a setting so striking that Sir Walter Scott was moved to call it “My own Romantic Town”. In my opinion, however, it was another native author, Robert Louis Stevenson, who perhaps best captured the feel of this city with the following description in Edinburgh: Picturesque Notes: “You go under arches and down dark stairs and alleys. The way is so narrow that you can lay a hand on either wall; so steep that, in greasy winter weather, the pavement is almost as treacherous as ice.”

View original post 509 more words

Land of the Prince Bishops

12 Aug

For England’s northeastern region – in particular the counties of Northumberland and Durham – the centuries between the Roman invasion and the 1603 union of England and Scotland were a period of almost incessant turbulence. To mark the kingdom’s limit and to contain the troublesome tribes of the far north, a series of formidable coastal fortresses was built, most impressively those at Bamburgh, Alnwick, Wakworth and Durham. For arrivals to Durham, the view from the train station is one of the finest in northern England – a panoramic prospect of Durham Cathedral, its towers dominating the skyline from the top of a steep sandstone bluff within a narrow bend of the River Wear. This dramatic site has been the resting place of Saint Cuthbert since 995, when his body was moved here from nearby Chester-le-Street, over one hundred years after his fellow monks had fled from Lindisfarne in fear of the Vikings, carrying his coffin before them. Cuthbert’s hallowed remains made Durham a place of pilgrimage for both the Saxons and the Normans, who began work on the present cathedral at the end of the 11th century. In the meantime, William the Conqueror, aware of the defensive possibilities of the site, had built a castle that was to be the precursor of ever more elaborate fortifications. Subsequently, the bishops of Durham were granted extensive powers to control the troublesome northern marches of the kingdom, ruling as semi-independent Prince Bishops, with their own army, mint and courts of law. When they ceded their powers to the Crown in 1836, following a long period of decline, they also abandoned Durham Castle and transferred their old home to the fledgling University of Durham, England’s third oldest seat of learning after Oxford and Cambridge. Unsurprisingly for a place with such a long and storied history, Durham is said to be the home of a number of ghostly residents and eerie legends.

Continue reading

Royal Ghosts & Hauntings

10 Jun

With the Jubilee not long past I thought that this would be the ideal time to look at the long and storied history of Britain’s royal ghosts and hauntings. The most difficult part is knowing where to begin – one thing that this country does not have is a shortage of tales of blue-blooded phantoms and faders. There is the ghostly lantern-carrying groom of Althorp in Northamptonshire, the spectral limping priest of Amersham, the blood-curdling screams of Edward II in Berkeley Castle, the decapitated head of Charles I seen floating around Billingham Manor, the various phantom coaches of Norfolk, the duelling knights with fiery swords at Blofield, the disguised queen at Borthwick Castle and the crazed laughter of Queen Isabella at Castle Rising. Royal ghosts haunt the New Forest, Hampton Court Palace and St James’s Park. Windsor Castle, one of the main royal residences, is also one of the most haunted. It somehow seems fitting that a royal line with a history as long, colourful and often lurid as that of the British Isles should boast so many ghost stories. But is there a deeper, darker reason for the prevalence of malevolent spirits in relation to the British Crown?

Continue reading

Ghosts of Prague

25 Mar

Prague, the city on the Vlatava river, is not only one of Europe’s most beautiful capitals, it is also one of its most haunted. This bustling, cosmopolitan Czech city is sited amid the tranquil Bohemian countryside, which is home to dozens of brooding castles and historic towns, whose appearance has remained virtually unchanged for hundreds of years. It is hardly surprising that a place with so many layers of history, that has seen battles, murders, executions and assassinations aplenty, as well as many of the key moments in the story of Europe, should also boast more than its fair share of ghosts. In the late Middle Ages, during the reign of the Holy Roman Emperors, Prague’s position as the crossroads of Europe aided its growth into a magnificent city (at that time far larger and more important than Paris or London). In the 16th century the Austrian Habsburgs took over and built many of the Baroque palaces and gardens that delight visitors today, few of whom suspect the many secrets and supernatural mysteries that lie beneath the glossy veneer. Whether you are a believer, a sceptic, interested in the unexplained or simply looking for a good old-fashioned scare, learning more about the dark side of Prague is a fascinating process. The narrow lanes, cobbled alleys, ancient churches and historic monuments of Prague are brimming over with tales of alchemists, murderers, executioners, and the many unfortunate souls who once lived there. Some of them are said to linger in these places, and who knows, perhaps they can still be seen today…

Continue reading

Oxford Ghosts

22 Oct
Oxford is probably most famous for its ancient university, its royal associations and its modern car production factories but this historic city is also full of ghostly accounts of apparitions, manifestations, and related supernatural phenomena. This should perhaps come as no great surprise: if any place in Britain is going to be haunted then it is Oxford, cruel to kings, malignant to monks and redolent with scandal. There are many stories of hauntings in Oxford, from tales of spirits that haunt the libraries of the colleges and shades that sup at the pubs and watering holes around the city, to stories of spectral monks and even royal ghosts. In particular, pubs and inns are a rich source of ghost stories and Oxford has its fair share of hostelries – at one time there were well over 400 in the city and perhaps the most famous of these still stands today in the form of the Eagle and Child.

The Ghost of the Gibbs Building

7 Oct

King’s College is perhaps Cambridge’s most iconic and well-known college. Trinity, Queens’ and St John’s may be larger and richer but King’s boasts unquestionably the finest building in Cambridge in the form of the college chapel, one of the great masterpieces of English architecture dating from the fifteenth century. The chapel took almost a hundred years to build and it shows in the way that it towers magnificently over every other building in central Cambridge, a symphony in Late Gothic design. It has a world-famous choir to boot, whose Christmas Eve service is broadcast across the world to an audience numbering in the hundreds of millions each year. For connoisseurs of supernatural literature this college is best known as the home of M R James, whom many regard as the author of the best ghost stories in the English language, but King’s also has an additional claim to fame in the realm of the paranormal: The Gibbs Building, one of the most haunted locations in Cambridge.

Continue reading

Don’t Sit On The Buttercross!

4 Oct

The supernatural has always played an important role in the background of the city of Winchester. There are tales of spectral monks at Winchester Cathedral and phantom horses in the Cathedral close, as well as stories of the Eclipse Inn, where Dame Alice Lisle, condemned by ‘The Hanging Judge’ Jefferies, still walks. But perhaps it should come as no surprise, once one becomes aware of the city’s wealth of history, to hear that ghosts are said to haunt almost every inch of Winchester within the old city walls. Perhaps the strangest ghostly account of Winchester concerns the statue at the heart of the city known as The Buttercross.

Continue reading

Edinburgh: Dark Deeds in the Old Town

13 Sep

I’ve always found Edinburgh a splendidly atmospheric city, which is why I’ve visited it time and again over the years. The city is perched on a series of extinct (we hope) volcanoes and rocky crags – a setting so striking that Sir Walter Scott was moved to call it “My own Romantic Town”. In my opinion, however, it was another native author, Robert Louis Stevenson, who perhaps best captured the feel of this city with the following description in Edinburgh: Picturesque Notes: “You go under arches and down dark stairs and alleys. The way is so narrow that you can lay a hand on either wall; so steep that, in greasy winter weather, the pavement is almost as treacherous as ice.”

CBS Sacramento

News, Sports, Weather, Traffic and the Best of Sacramento

CBS San Francisco

News, Sports, Weather, Traffic and the Best of SF

Going Places with Embry-Riddle Career Services

A blog for students and alumni of Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University

jessasmiley

the secrets of my scratch paper

hungarianportrait

Portrait and Glamour Photography from Laszlo Racz

Indie Hero

Brian Marggraf, Author of Dream Brother: A Novel, Independent publishing advocate, New York City dweller

criticaldispatches.com/

Follow me on Twitter and Instagram @RichyDispatch

A R T L▼R K

An Alternative Cultural Daybook

Snapping Twig

A Lit & Art Magazine Publishing a Diverse Collection of New & Established Writers & Artists everywhere [for the THRIVE ART CREATIVE]

Gmail Technical Support|1-888-551-2881|Helpline

Gmail Tech Support, Helpline Number, Customer Care Phone Number, Contact Technician for Recover Gmail Forgot Password

Books, Brains and Beer

"Words, words. They're all we have to go on."

Illa Poeta

A Female Scribe Who Loves To Rhyme

A Round of Words in 80 Days

The Writing Challenge That Knows You Have A Life

Elizabeth Willse: Surrounded by Books

Writer, Book Blogger, Librarian

The Blog of Funny Names

Celebrating Great People With Greater Names.

ARMAND ROSAMILIA

Official Site for Author Armand Rosamilia

COTTIDIANUS

Daily Life Photographs by PC Silva

thekitchensgarden

farming, gardens, cows, goats, chickens, food, organic, sustainable, photography,

Maurice Sapiro

TONALIST AND REPRESENTATIONAL FINE ART

%d bloggers like this: