Do you believe in ghosts?
There is no scientific proof that ghosts exist. But every culture in the world has stories about ghosts and haunted houses. The oldest known record of a ghost appears in an ancient tale known as The Epic of Gilgamesh, which is dated from around 2200 BC!
People believe that ghosts usually live in old and big houses and appear at night. They wear white clothes and don’t say anything. Ghosts can walk through walls. When a ghost enters a room, the room usually gets cold. Some people say that ghosts can read our thoughts.
A special kind of ghost is called a poltergeist. Poltergeist is a German word which means ‘a noisy ghost.’ They make lots of noise, move objects and sometimes throw them.
Some people believe that ghosts are people who are trapped between the living world and the world of the dead.
When the same ghost is seen repeatedly in the same house, it is said that the house is haunted. Witnesses often say that the ghost looks like a person who is sleepwalking.
There are haunted houses all over the world. Glamis Castle has a deserved reputation as the most haunted castle in Scotland. In 1372, Robert II, the first Stuart King of Scots, gave Glamis to Sir John Lyon of Forteviot, as a reward for his services to the crown. In 1376, Sir John married the King’s daughter, Princess Joanna, and since then the Castle has been visited and lived in by many members of the Scottish and British royal families. Glamis castle was also used by William Shakespeare as a setting for the play Macbeth, the spookiest play in history. The play tells the story of Macbeth who became king by murdering the lawful king and his family.
The Tower of London, where so many famous people were killed, is said to have 30 ghosts! Visitors have seen Queen Anne Boleyn, for example, the second wife of King Henry VIII. The ghost of his fifth wife, Catherine Howard, runs through the rooms of Hampton Court.
50 Berkeley Square has a long held reputation as being the “Most Haunted House in London.” According to legend the most terrifying ghost lives here. There are rumors that a few people died when they saw the ghost. Some people see a young girl, others a little boy, and some claim to have seen the ghost of a man.
Sukharev Tower in Moscow. In times of Perth I James Bruce, alchemist and astrologer, spent there all nights long. Legend says he kept there Black Book, which was written by the Prince of Darkness himself. The building was destroyed by the Soviet authorities in 1934.
According to legend, Black Nun (they say it is the ghost of Sarah Whitehead) wanders through the Bank of England trying to find her brother.
The fortress, called Arkaim, is located right near Chelyabinsk, Russia. It is also called ‘Russian Stonehenge’. Arkaim became deserted about 4 000 years ago. Residents leaving their houses set fire to the city. Our contemporaries, who visited Arkaim, claim to have seen ghosts there.
Poveglia is a small island located between Venice and Lido. There is a bell tower of the XII century on the island. In the times of the Roman Empire people infected with plague were brought to this island to die. In the XVI century, the same thing happened again. Sick people were pushed into deep pits and left there. Eyewitnesses claim that they heard the cries of the dying.
Lady in White is the most famous ghost in the world. According to legend, this woman was forcibly married to an evil and cruel old man. The old man began to apologize for his actions before his death, but the woman didn’t want to forgive him. The man cursed his wife. Perchta of Rozmberk is Lady in White. Her husband was a well-known aristocrat Jan Liechtenstein. There is a portrait of the Lady. And at the bottom of the portrait there is an inscription in an unknown language.
Rosamund’s Tower is the oldest part of Woodstock Castle. In the XII century Rosamund Clifford was mistress of Henry II. According to legend, he hid her in a tower, which was surrounded by a maze, and only the king himself could get there. But once the jealous queen wife tracked him and penetrated into the tower. She suggested her husband’s mistress choice – death by dagger or poison. Rosamund preferred poison. And until now, the beautiful ghost is waiting for her king.
Some people say that they’ve seen animal ghosts – cats, dogs, horses and even birds. One of the most famous animal ghosts is a black cat that often appears near the Revolution Museum in Moscow.
There are even ghost hunters. They visit old buildings and cemeteries to look for ghosts.
Do you believe in ghosts?
Many people think that Albert Einstein offered a scientific basis for the reality of ghosts.
Thomas Alva Edison first developed the cylinder recorder in an effort to communicate with the dead.
Spiritualists and psychical researchers have hoped to be able to capture evidence of ghosts on film and thereby offer proof of the survival of the human spirit.
And what about you? Do you believe in ghosts?
There are a lot of films and TV series about ghosts.
Some films about ghosts:
– The Innocents (1961). This adaptation of Henry James’s The Turn of the Screw (1898) is a psychological masterpiece, dealing with ghosts that may or may not be truly there.
– The Haunting (1963). This film has become a classic with horror film buffs and serious psychical researchers.
– The Shining (1980). The film was adapted from Stephen King’s 1977 novel.
– Ghost Story (1981). The film is based on Peter Straub’s novel.
– Poltergeist (1982). Steven Spielberg stated that in Poltergeist he, as screenwriter, sought to walk the thin line between the scientific and the spiritual.
– Ghost Busters (1984). It is an American supernatural comedy film directed and produced by Ivan Reitman and written by Dan Aykroyd and Harold Ramis.
– Ghost (1990). This film also offers a touching love story.
– The Sixth Sense (1999). M. Night Shyamalan won the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay and was nominated as Best Director for this film. The film has a twist ending that brought many audiences back for a second viewing.
– The Others (2001) with Nicole Kidman as Grace Stewart, mother of two children.
And many many many others.
The following places are said to be haunted by Hollywood greats:
• Ever since the late 1920s, the spirit form of the Great Lover, Rudolph Valentino (1895-1926), has been seen in and around his former home, Falcon’s Lair, on Bella Drive.
• The former house of Joan Crawford (1904¬1977) on Bristol Avenue has an eerie history of mysterious fires that kept breaking out on the wall where the headboard of her bed once rested.
• Clifton Webb (1891-1966), who in life was a militant nonsmoker with a distaste for cats, is said to make life difficult for cigarette smokers and cat fanciers in his former home on Rex- ford Drive.
• Guests at the Roosevelt Hotel on 7000 Hollywood Boulevard have reported encounters with the ghosts of Marilyn Monroe and Montgomery Clift (1920-1966).
• Mae West (1892-1980) loved to host seances in her old home in the Ravenswood Apartments on Rossmore Avenue.
• The “Man of Steel,” George Reeves (1914-1959), who starred in the series Superman (1950-57), is claimed to have been seen in the home on Benedict Canyon Drive where his body was found.
(From THE GALE ENCYCLOPEDIA OF THE UNUSUAL AND UNEXPLAINED)