Mysteries 2 Essay, Research Paper
There are many mysteries that question the mind, but none that can compare to the intrigue in the supernatural. Ghosts, goblins, poltergeists, Death Omens, curses, unexplainable phenomena, and hauntings; mysteries of the paranormal could go on and on. There are centuries of ghost stories and tales that have been passed down from generation to generation. From the Bermuda Triangle mysteries, phantoms of the ocean, ships, and glowing ghosts of little boys, to the curse of James’ Deans’ car, The Little Bastard and the Amityville Horror. A little background history of this bone-chilling horror may help one decide whether or not to believe in the existence of the beyond.
“Everywhere on earth and all through history, people have believed that there is more to the world than meets the eye. Behind the outward material appearance of things there is sensed something inward, immaterial, and probably invisible.”(Cavendish 1) Apparitions of things have been seen all over the world. The definition of apparition, as given by Richard Cavendish, is “the supernormal manifestation of people, animals, objects, and spirits.” (Cavendish 25) In the ancient folklore of England and Europe, glowing ghosts of little boys who have been murdered by their mothers appear. This particular apparition portends ill luck and a violent death. The name “radiant boys” could have possibly originated in German folklore with the word “kindermorderinn.” However, there are numerous radiant boy stories in the Cumberland area of England. These boys seem to resemble a flame ; slightly orange with a glow about them. These ghosts have never been proved to have caused any ha!
rm, they simply appear and disappear as mysteriously as they came. There has only been one claim that these radiant boys have attempted to cause harm or scare people. One account of the radiant boy apparition was in Knebworth, England when Edward Bulwer-Lytton stated that he had seen a strange glowing boy with long golden hair sitting in front of the fire. This boy then drew his finger and slid it across his throat three times. Later, however this story was proved to be false and just another attention-getting scheme by Edward Bulwer-Lytton.(Guiley 274)
Another mind-boggling series of apparitions was the Legend of the Faceless Gray Man of Pawley’s Island. The story has it that this faceless man appears just before hurricanes strike at Pawley’s Island off the coast of South Carolina. In fact, this particular apparition has been credited with saving thousands of lives. Residents of the island believe him to be the ghost Percival Pawley who was the first to settle and name the island. Whatever the case may be, inhabitants of the island claim that this faceless phantom appeared just before the hurricanes of 1822, 1893, 1916, 1954, and 1955. (Guiley 115)
A more recent ghost, and a female at that, was Resurrection Mary. Resurrection Mary is one of Chicago’s most famous ghosts. This beautiful blonde, blue-eyed girl dressed in white has been reported in the Chicago environs since 1934, the year of her alleged death. Mary takes her name from Resurrection Cemetery where she is supposed to be buried. Her full name is unknown and her existence is unproved. According to legend Mary was killed one night in an automobile accident in 1934 after an evening of dancing at the Willowbrook Ballroom, formerly known as the O’Henry Ballroom. Her ghost was said to have begun making appearances in 1934. She would hitchhike, and request a ride to the O’Henry where she would dance the night away. After a fairytale evening of dancing, she would then request a ride home. She would give the driver vague instructions past Resurrection cemetery where she would mysteriously disappear. All of Mary’s dance partners throughout the evening said tha!
t she was quiet, aloof and with icy cold skin. The only evidence or proof of Resurrection Mary is old cemetery records of a Polish girl near Mary’s age buried in that same cemetery. (Guiley 280)
On different note, another type of supernatural mystery is the childhood fear of “Bogart” , or otherwise known as the “Bogey Man”. Believe it or not, there is actually belief of the bogey man in English folklore. The Bogart is a”bogey” or type of hobgoblin that has habits like that of a poltergeist. Although at times the Bogart can be helpful and sociable with some people, but is most often mischievous, annoying and frightening. The Bogart is not a visible nuisance, but plays tricks on people, like pulling off their bedclothes. The Bogart hauntings are also accompanied by terrible noises or laughter. The Bogart is also known to be nasty and mean; these habits include scratching, punching and pinching, and even in some cases snatching people up and carrying them away. These vicious ghouls can inhabit a church, house or graveyard, and even at times a cat or a dog. These are evil things but are usually put to an end by exorcism. On a somewhat humorous note, this terrif!
ying creature, whom is feared by many, is said to be frightened of automobiles which explains their absence in modern day world. (Guiley 44) Another fear of children is the closet monster or the monster that lives under the bed. These two phantoms have never been proven, and are simply fears of small children. (Guiley 76)
People, in general, are afraid of death. This fear would explain many mysteries and superstitions of death omens and bad luck. There are countless numbers of superstitions that people believe,”from not letting a black cat cross your path” to”breaking a mirror is seven years bad luck.”Whether or not these superstitions are practical or not is just another mystery of the unknown, a personal preference. One of the most famous death omens of British folklore is a large. spectral demon dog called Black Shuck. A death omen is something that comes to collect souls. It is a British belief that if someone envisions the Black Shuck they may expect death to come within a year. The large, all black, demon dog is about the size of a calf, with large eyes that glow yellow, green or red as if on fire. These spooks are often headless, with large glowing holes for eyes. They mostly haunt graveyards or enter the homes of their victims. When the Black Shuck comes to claim his victims!
his bone-chilling howls can be heard rising above the wind. His feet make no sound, but people can feel his breath on their necks. There are many names for this unwanted visitor, such as, Galleytrot, Old Shuck, Shug Monkey, the Hateful Thing, and Hell beast. Hopefully this superstition does not exist, but if it does, it’s characteristics will not go undetected. (Guiley 43)
Aside from actual ghosts, ghouls, and poltergeists there are also centuries of unexplained happenings all around the world. “There are places on the earth’s surface where the realms of the human and the sacred are felt to be specifically close, places with a powerful atmosphere of sanctity or evil.” (Snow 15) The four following accounts of places being unnatural or haunted are all unexplained mysteries of the beyond; the fifth account sounds so impossible that it is left up to the reader to decide whether or not to believe. Adelphi Theater is in London, and is said to be haunted by the ghost of William Teriss. William was a popular Victorian actor who was murdered by a jealous rival. As Teriss lay dying in the arms of his beloved Milward, he gasped “I’ll be back.” Although the murder occurred in 1897, Teriss’ ghost was not reported until 1928. The most recent account of haunting at the Adelphi Theater was in 1962. On this particular evening two night workmen claim !
they saw a greenish light take the shape of a man and float across the stage. The ghostly figure opened the stage curtains and then proceeded into the stalls tipping the seats as it went. This figure was later identified when one of the workman sketched a drawing that had a remarkable resemblance to a picture of the late William Teriss. (Guiley 43)
The second of the five hauntings is one of the most talked about poltergeists in America today, the haunting at 112 Ocean Avenue in Long Island, New York. “The Amityville Horror is one of the most sensational and controversial of an alleged diabolical presence, but took place not in a European chateau but in a suburban Long Island , New York.”(Guiley 9) The Lutz family moved into the large Dutch colonial house at 112 Ocean Avenue on December 16, 1975. The house was comparable to a palace, but was ironically available at the low price of eighty – thousand dollars; this cheap price was because of the murder that had taken place there approximately thirteen months before. On November 13, 1974 Ronald DeFeo brutally murdered his entire family claiming he had been hearing voices telling him to do so. The Lutzes ignored the superstition and the warnings of the realtors and purchased their dream home. From the very first day the house and it’s inhabitants terrorized them. Gh!
ostly apparitions of hooded figures, clouds of flies in the sewing room and in the childrens’ playroom, window panes that broke spontaneously causing severe injury to the children, bone-chilling cold alternating with suffocating heat, severe personality changes, nightly parades by spirit marching bands, levitations, green slime spilling down the stairs, putrid smells, sicknesses, strange scratches on Mrs.Lutzes’ body, objects moving on their own accord, repeated disconnection of telephone service, and even communication between the youngest, Missy, and a devilish spirit she called “Jodie”; all of this unexplainable phenomena turned their dream home into a hell on earth. Both Mr. and Mrs. Lutz had dreams about the DeFeo family, and even envisioned the actual murders in their dreams. This strange activity went on for twenty-eight days before the Lutzes fled in terror. Later on with investigations of the weather reports and other evidence, police claim that this ordeal was s!
imply a hoax and was just something the Lutzes cooked up around their kitchen over several bottles of wine. The truth will never be known by anyone but the Lutzes and the spirits. (Guiley 9)
A similar case was the Amherst haunting in 1878. One of the similarities was that both of these poltergeists named themselves, this one calling itself “Bob”. Many of the same supernatural activity occurred here as at the Lutz home nearly one – hundred years later. (Guiley 4)