Of Leprosy and Confinement: The Tragic Haunting of Uncle Hỏa’s Mansion, Vietnam

A haunted mansion. An ancient disease. A family with a dark secret.
The tragic legend of Hứa Bổn Hòa (aka Uncle Hỏa) and his ill fated daughter Lan is well known in Vietnam. But since Hứa Bổn Hòa was a real historic figure, it’s strange that this famous ghost story features a daughter that appears to be entirely fictional. Who exactly was Lan? Was her death as tragic as the legend says? And most importantly, did she ever actually exist?

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Sacred Earth: The Neolithic Longstone on the Isle of Wight

Tucked near the village of Mottistone on England’s Isle of Wight is the Longstone, the remains of a 6000 year old communal long barrow from the Neolithic Period. The site sits at the foot of a large hill who’s peak features south views of the English Channel’s endless blue. A sense of peace is present when standing next to the...

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Meet Okiku, the Haunted Japanese Doll that Grows Real Human Hair

Pediophobia: the fear of dolls. Pop culture has done a great job turning the age-old children’s toy into a potential vessel of evil (thank you Chucky and Annabelle), and while we rationally recognise that dolls aren’t going to come to life, it’s completely understandable that we simultaneously feel uneased by the stare of their cold, lifeless eyes. Will they turn...

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The Georgia Guidestones: Secret Societies, Ted Turner, and the Antichrist

Known as an “American Stonehenge”, the Georgia Guidestones were mysteriously commissioned in June 1979 by a man under the pseudonym R. C. Christian and “a small group of loyal Americans”. According to Christian, the anonymous group spent the previous 20 years developing plans for the Guidestones – a structure of five massive monoliths standing 5.87m and weighing a combined 107,840kg...

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The Haunted Gonjiam Psychiatric Hospital: Gone But Not Forgotten

In 1982 the Gonjiam Psychiatric Hospital (or 곤지암 정신병원 / Gonjiam Namyang Neuropsychiatric Hospital) was established outside Gyeonggi-do, South Korea by a Mr Hong. The original building was just over 11,000m² and spread across three floors. Sometime during the early 1990s, an additional two buildings were added, which increased the size by another 500m². A short time later in July...

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“What Drew Her Into Oblivion?”: The Disappearance of Silent Film Actress Marie Empress

Mary Ann Louisa Taylor, known by her stage name Marie Empress, was born on 26 March 1884 in Birmingham, England. Marie had a busy career as an actress, singer, dancer, and successful male impersonator, and garnered a reputation as a comedienne in Britain. She specialised in playing femme fatale, or vamp characters which led to confusion about her real persona...

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The Solway Spaceman, Men in Black, and the Blue Streak Missile

On 23 May 1964, firefighter Jim Templeton was walking through Burgh Marsh overlooking the Solway Firth in Cumbria with his wife Annie and their five-year-old daughter Elizabeth. It was a lovely spring day and Jim had brought his camera to take photos of their daughter in her new dress. Other than two elderly woman in a parked car at the...

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‘Castle Sinister’: The Terrible 1932 British Horror Film Lost in Time

Castle Sinister, released in 1932, was a 50 minute (4410 foot long) black and white British horror film produced by Delta Pictures that’s now classified as ‘lost media’. The film is so obscure that there is no remaining footage, stills, teasers, or posters and most of the actors don’t have any photos available online. It’s unfortunately common for early films...

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‘Bloody Mary’: Is an English Queen Behind the Haunting Urban Legend?

It’s 1999 and you’re at a sleepover for a friend’s birthday party. You’ve exhausted the films rented from Blockbuster and you’re all eager for something else to do. It’s nearly midnight when one of your friends mentions a game she heard from someone… a friend of a friend, but she doesn’t remember who. She’s wanted to try it for a...

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