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19 August 2015

Abandoned gothic castle: Chateau de Noisy - Miranda Castle in Belgium

When the French Revolution heated up, the politically active Liedekerke-Beaufort family were forced to abandon their castle in the Walloon region of southern Belgium.

After a few decades of lying low on a nearby farm, the Liedekerke-Beauforts were ready for a new chateau. In 1866 they turned to English architect Edward Milner, whose Gothic design came to life in the form of Miranda Castle.

Things were sedate and stately at Chateau Miranda until the last gasps of World War II, when German troops descended on the grounds during the Battle of the Bulge. Post-war, Belgium's national railway company used Miranda Castle as a summer home for children who could not be cared for by their parents. Known by the nickname Noisy Castle, the mansion remained a children's recreation site until 1980.

After becoming too expensive to maintain, Miranda Castle was abandoned in 1991. A fire in 1995 destroyed part of the roof, and dry rot has set into the wood. The building is still owned by Liedekerke-Beaufort family, who, following the fire, stripped the castle of its more valuable components.

Though rumors of impending demolition persist, Belgian publication La Meuse reported in August that the castle has been granted a reprieve until at least February 2015 due to its possible inclusion on a Walloon heritage conservation list. According to the article, developers have expressed interest in turning Noisy Castle into a hotel and restaurant. Regardless of the outcome, you may have just a few more months to see the chateau in its dilapidated state.

source: http://www.slate.com/blogs/atlas_obscura/2014/09/29/abandoned_noisy_castle_or_miranda_castle_in_belgium.html

MORE PICTURES HERE: http://www.urbanghostsmedia.com/2013/08/inside-the-abandoned-chateau-de-noisy-photos/

08 July 2015

The Haunted Doll of Okiku

The story of the so-called Okiku doll starts in 1918, when a 17 year old boy by the name of Eikichi Suzuki purchased a doll for his 2 year old sister, Okiku, as a souvenir while visiting Saporro, on the Japanese island of Hokkaido for a marine exhibition. The doll itself was around 40cm (16 inches) tall and clad in a traditional Japanese kimono. Its eyes are black beads set within the life-like porcelain white face, and the black hair is in a traditional style cut shoulder length. Eikichi immediately knew his sister would love it and bought it right away. The overjoyed little girl was smitten with the doll, and played with it every day, even going so far as to name it after herself, Okiku. The two were reportedly inseparable and went everywhere together until tragedy struck the following year and Okiku fell gravely ill. The girl soon died from complications of severe influenza and fever, and the mourning family placed her beloved doll in a family altar in memory of their daughter.

Not long after the heartbroken family placed the doll in the altar, they noticed something odd. The jet black hair of the doll, which had originally been cropped to about shoulder length and with neat ends in the traditional style, started getting longer day by day and the ends of the hair became random and haphazard in length in contrast to the straight cut it had had previously. Before long, the hair had grown all the way down to brush against the doll’s knees, which caused the rather alarmed family to conclude that Okiku’s spirit had somehow inhabited the doll. Even when the doll’s hair was trimmed, it soon grew back inexplicably and always stopped at around knee length.

In 1938, the Suzuki family moved to Sakhalin but was wary of taking the mysterious doll with them. Since they believed that their daughter’s spirit resided within the doll, they were unwilling to discard it and so they instead brought it to Mannenji temple, in the town of Iwamizawa, Hokkaido, Japan. The family explained the doll’s unusual qualities to the priest of the temple, yet he accepted it anyway and soon was able to see for himself that indeed the doll’s hair continued to grow. Trimming the hair became a regular chore at the temple, and soon pictures of the doll with hair of various lengths were adorning the shrine where it was kept.

To this day, the doll remains at Mannenji temple, housed within a modest wooden box, and its hair purportedly continues to grow no matter how often it is trimmed. The haunted Okiku doll has become rather famous throughout Japan, with its story being adapted into novels, films, and traditional Kabuki plays, which have mostly expanded and dramatized the story to include more ghostly, spooky elements such as the doll giggling, sobbing, wailing, or walking about.

It is unclear what is going on with the growing hair of the Okiku doll. No one has really been able to explain how it has kept growing continuously for the better part of a century. Is this a truly supernatural phenomenon or some sort of hoax? Samples of the Okiku’s doll have been taken and analyzed in the past and it was determined that the hair was indeed human, but this does not necessarily point to a supernatural origin. What is going on with this doll? Is this some sort of trick or are there paranormal forces we don’t understand compelling its hair to perpetually grow?

For now, anyone who wishes to take a look at the Okiku doll up close can readily see it on display at Mannenji temple. It continues to stand in its box as it always has, wearing its kimono, growing its hair, and staring out at visitors with its beady black eyes, perhaps even watching them right back.

source: http://mysteriousuniverse.org/2014/12/the-haunted-doll-of-hokkaido/

11 January 2015

Ouija boards

The Ouija Board first appeared in 1891 in a Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania novelty shop. The game was advertised as a magic board that answered questions about the past, present, and future with amazing and spooky accuracy. The board was constructed with letters, numbers, and the words yes, no, and goodbye, and came with a planchette for players to place their hands on. The object of the game was for players to ask the magic board questions and wait for the planchette to spell out the answer. Original price of a Ouija Board was $1.50. (Smithsonian.com) The work “Ouija” originates from ancient Egypt and translates to “good luck.”

Since the Civil War, when so many Americans lost loved ones, spiritualism has gained popularity as desperate people longed for a way to contact their deceased loved ones. At the time of its invention, séances and “table turning parties” were common place and attempting to contact the dead was a form of entertainment among some social circles. According to Ouija Board historian, Robert Murch, “Communicating with the dead was common, it wasn’t seen as bizarre or weird.”

Now, in modern day, some people believe the Ouija Board is a doorway to other dimensions, realms, or even evil spirits and would never touch the game, even for entertainment purposes. Christians have a firm belief that the Ouija Board is akin to a séance, witchcraft, or a tool of the devil. Others feel it is harmless entertainment and one or more players is intentionally moving the planchette to watch reactions of the most gullible players.

William Fuld (July 24, 1870–February 24, 1927) was an American businessman, inventor, and entrepreneur from Baltimore, Maryland who is best known for his marketing and manufacture of Ouija boards from the 1890s through the 1920s. Fuld is seen as the father of the Ouija board. Though Fuld never claimed to have invented the Ouija board, intense media coverage in the 1920s credited him with it. The misinformation was sustained by his own marketing, and his practice of stamping "Original Ouija Board" and "Inventor" on the back of his boards. By the end of his life he would have over 33 patents, trademarks, and copyrights credited to him.

Today it's a paranormal communication device currently marketed and sold by the game company Hasbro, as a board game. Historically, it is method used to talk with the dead, having its roots in automatic writing. This form of automatic writing would start over 900 years ago in China.
The modern Ouija uses a board with letters to spell out words, Yes/No for direct questions and even numbers. It uses a Planchette device (the pointer shaped like an upside-down heart) to communicate. The modern board also has a dark reputation of causing negativity for those who use it. It has been linked with possession, violence and even death, however how much of that is true, and how much is public paranoia.

Much of the fear of the board seems to resonate from the movie The Exorcist: the story of a young girl being possessed by a demon. The movie hints that the possession was caused by a girl taking the drug Ritalin and using the Ouija Board alone. The movie itself was fiction, however is based on a true story, and even though it's unknown if the real "Regan" the movie is based on even used a Ouija, the belief still remains.

I'm not trying to say the Ouija is without danger, because that would be an untrue statement. It can cause you problems of a spiritual nature. In my years of experience and study with the board (starting over a decade ago in 1997), the worst, and proven cases fall into the category of invitation and "possession".

Invitation is the inviting of negative forces into your space. This will cause places you were once comfortable in, to become uncomfortable and cause you nervous stress. Nobody knows for sure what this energy is, whether you call it a ghost or demon, just that it can be strong and invasive and can ruin your day.
It could be a buildup of negative energy from the outside, or the other side... or even a build up of living energy from the participants of the Ouija session. Either way it is a real danger with the use of the Ouija Board.

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