Tuesday, June 7, 2011

India's Most Haunted Places - India's Top Scariest Places

Co-host of a brand new television show that takes you to India's most haunted places, Rocky lists five that scared the living daylights out of him. Described as a “nationwide trail and journey into the unexplained,” India’s Most Haunted aims to uncover the “real truth behind the country’s most haunted places.”

The new show -- India's Most Haunted -- premiered on NDTV Good Times recently and takes its viewers to the country's most haunted places in the country -- from Bhangar and Mussoorie to Shimla and Jamali Kamali -- and attempts to prove the presence of the supernatural in these places.

Lohaghat, Uttarakhand

Champawat is the famous place where Jim Corbett shot a man-eating tiger.

Lohaghat is a small town in the Champawat district. In Lohaghat is a very old bungalow called The Abbey. It belonged to the person who founded this place.The Abbey was converted into a hospital which saw some strange goings-on like that of a doctor who would predict people's death accurately.

He would move them to this place called Mukti Kothri and the next morning they would be found dead.There was a quandary about whether he was killing them or they were dying naturally.No one knows. What they do know is that the Abbey was first house in the entire region and that disturbed the shrines of the devtas on that hilltop.

So the place never really flourished. There are a lot of stories of spirits and a trail of ghosts that is called bhooth ki daang where there are two spirits that walk here at night.Interestingly the area also falls under the travel zones of two leopards and as we were to discover a huge tiger that had killed a full-grown cow about five days before we went there.

So ghost or no ghost the idea of walking down these trails is very scary.

Tunnel no 103, Shimla-Kalka railway line

Shimla has a lot of ghost stories associated with it. There's one about tunnel number 103 on the Shimla-Kalka railway line that has the ghost of a British sahib.

The ghost in tunnel 103 is said to be one that talks back in full context with the humans he comes in contact with.

The tunnel itself is wet, damp, dingy and about 140 yards long and is quite a scary place.

It is also unique in that the spirit of the Englishman responds to humans.

There are different kinds of spirits. Most of them don't acknowledge your presence. They just appear on a particular day at a particular time and play out their part as if on a video tape -- for instance if a woman who walks in from one direction and ends up jumping in the well will do so even if you try to stop it.

If you come in her way, she will walk right through you. If there is a house built in her path, she will pass through the walls. There is nothing you can do to stop her or even if you try to talk to her, she won't respond.

But besides the tunnel itself Shimla has a lot of villages around it and the only way is to get there is by walking. There are a lot of stories about witches in the area and walking down those was quite terrifying. These trails are very, very scary. As you walk, things move around you and you can hear them. It can be frightening to walk down these trails in the nights.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Mysteries of Feral Children

“Monkey boys,” “wolf girls,” “gazelle boys,” and even an “ostrich boy;” they are all part of the lore of the feral children. Also known as “wild children,” these are children who have grown up with little or no human contact, and they are therefore unaware of human social behavior or language. Some are thought to have been raised by animals, some have reportedly fended for themselves in the wild, and others are victims of abuse, having grown up in the forced isolation of cages or basements.

A feral child (also, colloquially, wild child) is a human child who has lived isolated from human contact from a very young age, and has no (or little) experience of human care, loving or social behavior, and, crucially, of human language. Some feral children have been confined by people (usually their own parents); in some cases this child abandonment was due to the parents' rejection of a child's severe intellectual or physical impairment. Feral children may have experienced severe child abuse or trauma before being abandoned or running away. Others are alleged to have been brought up by animals; some are said to have lived in the wild on their own. Over one hundred cases of supposedly feral children are known.

1. Peter the Wild boy (1725-1785)

Peter the Wild boy

Peter was a mentally handicapped Hanoverian of unknown parentage, who in 1725 was found living wild in the woods near Hamelin, the town of Pied Piper legend. Living off the forest’s flora, he walked on all fours, behaved like an animal and could not be taught to speak.

Once found, he was brought to the Kingdom of Great Britain by order of George I, whose interest had been aroused in the unfortunate youth during a visit to his Hanover homeland. An extraordinary amount of curiosity and speculation concerning Peter was excited in London, and the craze was the subject of a biting satire by Jonathan Swift, and of another entitled The Most Wonderful Wonder that ever appeared to the Wonder of the British Nation, which has been attributed to Swift and John Arbuthnot; Daniel Defoe also wrote on the subject, and James Burnett, Lord Monboddo in his Origin and Progress of Language presents the “Idiot Peter” as an illustration of his theory of the evolution of the human species.

The Princess of Wales, Caroline of Ansbach, took an interest in Peter’s welfare after the initial public curiosity began to subside and in 1726 she arranged for Dr Arbuthnot to oversee his education. All efforts to teach him to speak, read or write failed, though he is said to have developed a love of music. After George I’s death in 1727 Peter was given in charge to a schoolmistress, Mrs King of Harrow and then to a farmer, James Fenn of Axter’s End farm, Northchurch, Hertfordshire, with an annual allowance provided by Queen Caroline. Peter remained at this farm until Fenn’s death when his care was taken over by Fenn’s brother, Thomas of Broadway farm. He was to live here for the remainder of his life only venturing further afield once.

In the late summer of 1751 Peter went missing from Broadway Farm and could not be traced. Advertisements were placed in newspapers offering a reward for his safe return. On 22 October 1751 a fire broke out in the parish of St Andrew’s in Norwich. As the fire spread, the local bridewell became engulfed in smoke and flame. The frightened inmates were hastily released and one aroused considerable curiosity on account of his remarkable appearance, excessively hirsute and strong, and the barely human sounds he uttered, which led some to describe him as an orang-utan. Some days later he was identified as Peter the Wild Boy, possibly through a description of him in the London Evening Post. He was returned to Thomas Fenn’s farm and had a special leather collar with his name and address made for him to wear in future should he ever stray again.

He lived to an advanced age, was seen by Lord Monboddo in 1782, and died in 1785.

2. The Wild Boy of Avyon
The Wild Boy of Avyon 
 Unexplained Mysteries of Feral Children

Screaming Skulls

Skulls that supposedly horribly scream or cause any type of poltergeist or ghostly phenomena and/or activity. In many cultures and countries skeletons have, perhaps understandably, been associated with death and haunting. However, a peculiarly English preoccupation, in terms of ghosts and hauntings, has been with the skulls alone — skulls which bitterly resent any indignity offered them.

The tradition of screaming skulls seems to be almost entirely isolated to England, where stories of these mischievous bone locked spirits abound. A screaming skull is basically a skull of dubious origin, said to cause great havoc - storms, poltergeist activity, and (given its namesake) unearthly screams - when it is removed from its pride of place within a stately home, or other ancient abode. Just how each skull came to reside within the house, is the subject of colourful stories, which also explain why the skull is so unwilling to return to the grave.

Many of the stories about the skulls origins do not stand up to the scrutiny of investigation, but the actual tradition itself bears interest, and can be seen as a folklore motif widespread throughout the English counties.

It has been suggested that the tradition of screaming skulls may be related in some way to a fragmented ancient tradition, associated with the reverence for the head. The Celts in particular were worshippers of the head. There have been many archaeological finds from the Iron Age to suggest that this is so, from skull shrines to the plethora of carved stone heads. The tradition has also been passed down in the Celtic Myths, from Bran's sacred head to the beheading motif found in Cu Chulainn and other folklore. The only problem with this theory is that the tradition of screaming skulls seems restricted to England, and is not found in Wales, Scotland and Ireland. Counties where you would more readily expect to find fragments of surviving Celtic traditions. So whether there is any connection with older traditions is difficult to quantify, and as the stories do not seem to date back further than the middle of the 16th century the tradition may be relatively new.

In some stories these skulls have almost become the 'luck' of the house, in much the same way as some stately homes and castles have an heirloom, which in tradition must be kept safe to maintain good luck for the home and the family. Here is a selection of some of the most famous and well-documented screaming skulls in Britain: 

Unexplained Mysteries of Screaming Skulls


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