In 1994, I went on vacation with my ex-wife and my son Jason. We went to London, England and saw Westminster Abbey, Piccadilly Circus, Tower Bridge over the river Thames, East End of London where the Kray Twins and Jack the Ripper frequented. Later on this vacation, we took a train to Edinburgh, Scotland and going back to London, the train went through Cardiff, Wales, where I met other “Roberts”. Yes, I do have a tad bit of Welsh blood in me and according to my family’s legend, we are related to the pirate Bartholomew “Black Bart” Roberts. While in beautiful England, we did a quick stop over at Stonehenge, saw the Changing of the Guard, toured the inside of Buckingham Palace, visited the town of Bath to see the Roman baths and a quick visit to the Isle of Man. Special Note: On another vacation, we visited Ireland’s Dublin Castle & Guinness Beer Factory and a quick stopover at Newry, Northern Ireland.
Yes, we saw a lot and one of the reasons why I took a vacation to England are for two reasons. One the history. Yes, there is plenty of history in England. If you don’t believe me, just take a bus tour through London, the tour bus will stop every 3 minutes to point something out and finally #2 – the paranormal. Because of all the history in England, you have hauntings everywhere. You have UFOs. You have crop circles. You have the Loch Ness Monster for crying out loud. England is a smogasbord of paranormal activity that will make any paranormal investigator, cryptozoologist, cerealogist and Ufologist happy as a lark! When I was in England, I was hoping and praying that I would see a crop circle. Unfortunately, I did not find a crop circle.
A person could write a zillion books about the United Kingdom, but I am going to focus only one stop over and that is when we visited the Isle of Man.
It was a short visit, so the only place we saw at the Isle of Man was the medieval Castle Rushen. Castle Rushen is located at the historic capital Castletown. The castle is used as a museum and education center. This castle was built in 1200. It was built for the last Norse King of Man who died in 1266. Robert the Bruce destroyed part of the castle in 1313 during his siege. Sir William de Montacute in 1344 rebuilt the castle and brought the castle back to it’s former glory. One of the reasons why I wanted to visit this castle, because I heard about the mysterious Gray Lady. According to legend, the townsfolk believe she killed her son. She was arrested for murder. She was tried and found guilty. The people of the town hung her. After she was executed, the townsfolk learned that her son had actually died of natural causes. Now the ghost of the Gray Lady is seen walking with her ghostly son on the drawbridge. I heard about the legend of the Gray Lady and was fascinated by the story. Special Note: Castle Rushen served as a prison and executions took place at this castle. Other ghosts seen at this castle have the following names: White Lady, Rose, and the Woman in Black. There is also a mysterious underground room in the castle where a male ghost has been seen lingering. Tourists have named this male spirit Sune, because a United Kingdom ghost hunter claims that he asked the spirit its name and captured a deep male voice saying “Sune”. So it appears that this male ghost has been identified.
Present day thoughts. As I think about the Isle of Man, I wish I had stayed there longer, there were many haunted places to explore and only later on in life, did I realize that I missed out on so much that the Isle of Man had to offer. Let’s take a look at some of the haunted sites on this incredible island.
A special seat at this theater is said to be haunted. Seat B14. The B14 Old Lady haunts this seat. People have seen an old lady sitting on that seat laughing or crying and acting like she is watching a show. Legend has it that she lost her husband in the war and she remembers the fun times that she had at this theater with her husband watching shows. Her favorite seat was of course B14. Sandra Barr who visited this theater said that she encountered the B14 Old Lady and that the B14 Old Lady got up from her seat, walked towards Sandra, walked through Sandra and went into a wall and vanished. Sandra was astonished that she for the first time encountered the paranormal.
Peel Castle was was built in the 11th century by the Vikings, under the rule of King Magnus Barefoot. The castle was originally built with wood and later local red sandstone was used. Red sandstone is plentiful on the island. People claim that they see phantom black dogs at the castle. The most famous black dog of Peel Castle is Moddey Dhoo. During the 17th century Moddey Dhoo was seen many times over wandering the grounds of Peel Castle. It was mostly seen on a regular basis. It would seem to emerge from or disappear into a passageway that connected the guard room to the apartment of the Captain of the Guard. A guard had a mild stroke after encountering Moddey Dhoo and because of that they sealed up the passageway. This ended the sightings of Moddey Dhoo. In this passageway unearthly screams were heard and a guard came out of the passageway as white as a ghost. After the experience, it was said he was lethargic and eventually passed away. Another black dog that is seen is called Mauthe Doog. Mauthe Doog is said to come out during a full moon and his silhouette is seen along the hillside. Recently another strange black dog was seen roaming the grounds and the tourists who were witnesses to this phenomena call the dog “Silvermane”, because he is all black, but has a silver streak going up his snout and over his head. One tourist claims she heard him howl.
There are many famous vampires that we know of, such as Dracula, Edward Cullen of the Twilight series, Bill Compton of True Blood, Nosferatu. Even Lilith and Judas from the Bible have been accused of being vampires in various novels and movies. But, here is a story of a true life vampire named Matthew Hassall. Matthew was just an ordinary fellow until the day he died. Many of his friends and family gathered around at his wake. At the wake he startled everyone by sitting straight up. At that point of time he was declared a vampire and could not be buried on hallowed ground with his deceased wife Margaret. The legend goes that his grave was dug from behind the stone wall that the grave stands against (the old boundary of the church yard) and his body placed inside that way. Just to make sure he didn’t rise again, a stone slab was placed over his corpse and iron stakes and chains cover the grave to keep him in. These chains have remained from the 1800s to this very present day.CASTLETOWN
If you’ve been to Castletown, you have seen the Smelt monument in the town square. On one side is a wooden plaque that states the fate of a local woman who was accused, along with her son, of riding broomsticks around fields to encourage crops to grow. Both were held as prisoners at Castle Rushen and on their last day were dressed in white gowns and taken by cart to Peel where they were put on display as a caution to would-be witches. Afterwards they were taken back to Castletown for execution by fire. Leslie McKinnon says that she has a actually seen 2 figures on fire riding broomsticks under the light of a full moon in Castletown. These 2 figures are known as the Castletown Fire Witches.
Milntown is a historic house on Lezayre Road, just outside of Ramsey. It has extensive gardens and a restaurant. The main part of the house is said to be where the ghosts sightings have been and it’s reported to be the most haunted house on the Isle of Man! There are two main ghosts that have been reported here, the former lady of the house (known as the Milntown Lady) and the other is a malevolent, aggressive spirit who likes to frighten visitors (known as the Narky Poltergeist).
GROUDLE GLEN POLAR BEARS
So as you can see, there is so much happening at the Isle of Man. If you were to get away from the paranormal, you will also find mysteries. One mystery is the Groudle Glen Polar Bears who were released during WWI. After their release, they simply vanished, never to be seen again. The Groudle Glen Polar Bears were very popular and to this day, they are still discussed among family members.