Friday, March 23, 2012

Bizarre and Odd Locations You May Not Know


Bhangarh Fort, India

The ruins of Bhangarh Fort in the Rajasthan state in India are known for being the most hunted place in south Asia. According to one of the myths, Bhangarh was cursed by Guru Balu Nath (Baba Balanath), who originally sanctioned the construction but warned that his sacred meditating place lies nearby and should the palace reach the size which would cast a shadow big enough to reach his forbidden retreat, the city would fall into ruin. Ignorant of the warning, Ajab Singh – one of dynasty’s descendants raised the palace to a height that cast the shadow on the Balu Nath’s retreat and the city was cursed. There are several other myths and legends that explain the reasons why the fort was abandoned overnight and never re-inhabited, but they all revolve around the fact that the city was cursed and is now haunted by ghosts.

Even the army is scared – The Government of India wanted to put the myth of ghosts haunting the Bhangarh Ruin to rest by deploying the military to patrol the fort at night. However, none of the Indian military personnel dared to participate in this ghost busting operation because the belief that it’s haunted by ghosts is so deep. Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), the official government body responsible for maintenance of monuments and ruins throughout the country officially recognizes the Bhangarh Fort as a place haunted by ghosts. Because of that, no accommodation if offered within the ruins and even the office of ASI was built at a safe distance from the fort, instead of within it as is the case of other similar sites.

There are warnings at all entry points to the Bhangarh Fort advising people not to venture into the city at night. Some of the signs posted by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) not only advise against, but literally prohibit visitors from entering Bhangarh Fort at night, stating:

“Entering the borders of Bhangarh before sunrise and after sunset is strictly prohibited.”

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The Screaming Bridge

Outside of Fairfield, Ohio on Maud Hughes Road is the legendary Screaming Bridge It’s said that the ‘scream’ that is heard is that of someone who has died here. One of the earliest tragedies linked to the bridge goes back to a railroad accident in which two men were scalded to death when the locamotive they were on exploded between West Chester and Gano. However, that accident was in West Chester Township (formerly Union Township). The Maud Hughes bridge is in Liberty Township, yet somehow, the accident became attributed to this area.

Other tales tell us though that the ‘Screaming Bridge’ name came from one of several possible other events. Stories such as an arguing couple crossing the bridge, when a woman was pushed, or fell, to her death. Or of another couple breaking down at the bridge, and the boyfriend left his girlfriend behind to go get help. When he later returned, she was found hanging by her neck from the bridge. Yet another tells of a distrought mother throwing her newborn baby from the bridge, so the screams you hear are of her misery and horror of what she did.

While these are all stories told of any number of bridges around the world, there’s more. Reports of phantom trains or engineers on the tracks below. Orbs seen floating along beneath the bridge, along with supposed Satanic rituals taking place below as well. Still other variations of the tales say that if you stop on the bridge, and flash your headlights 3 times, some form of ghostly activity will occur. I wouldn’t recomend trying though, the bridge turns sharply at either end, making it impossible for oncoming traffic to see you until they are right on you!

A 1909 accident killed two engineers and injured 3 others aboard a train on October 24th. One of the engineers killed was off duty, hitching a ride back home to Middletown when the steam locamotive exploded. It had been fully loaded with water when it left Ivorydale in Cincinnati, but after about 11 miles out, a leak had drained most of it, causing the explosion. That accident wasn’t the only tradgedy along that stretch of track. On June 7th. 1976, at the Princeton Road overpass in Liberty Township, a Penn Centeral employee was killed when two rails protruding from a southbound work train penetrated the cab of the Northbound locamotive he was on.

So while I can’t say no one had died here, in fact, i’m sure they have at some point in time, but all these tales surrouding the bridge seem to be just urban legend, or error. But who’s to say, after all, those phantom trains and engineers have to come from somewhere, maybe they are just passing by here on thier way to the other side!

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The Merry Cemetery - Sapânta, Romania

The original character of the cemetery is first of all suggested by its name: Cimitirul Vesel that means The Merry Cemetery. This paradoxical name is due to the vivid colours of the crosses and the amusing or satirical epitaphs carved on them. It is said that this joyful attitude towards death is a legacy of the Dacians who believed in the immortality of the soul and that death was only a passage to a better life. They did not see death as a tragic end, but as a chance to meet with the supreme god, Zalmoxis.

The cemetery dates back to the mid-1930′s and is the creation of the local folk artist Stan Ioan Patras, sculptor, painter and poet rolled in one. Patras used all his skills to create colourful tombstones with naïve paintings describing, in an original and poetic manner, the persons that are buried there as well as scenes from their lives.

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The Forbidden Island

This island is one among 505 uninhabited islands in the Nagasaki Prefecture of Japan about 15 kilometers from Nagasaki itself. It is also known as "Gunkan-jima" or Battleship Island thanks to its high sea walls. It began in 1890 when a company called Mitsubishi bought the island and began a project to retrieve coal from the bottom of the sea. This attracted much attention, and in 1916 they were forced to build Japan’s first large concrete building on the island. A block of apartments that would both accommodate the seas of workers and protect them from hurricanes.

In 1959, population had swelled, and boasted a density of 835 people per hectare for the whole island (1,391 per hectare for the residential district) - one of the highest population densities ever recorded worldwide. As petroleum replaced coal in Japan in the 1960’s, coal mines began shutting down all over the country, and Hashima’s mines were no exception. In 1974 Mitsubishi officially announced the closing of the mine, and today it is empty and bare, with travel currently prohibited. The island was the location for the 2003 film ‘Battle Royale II’ and inspired the final level of popular Asian videogame "Killer7".

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The London Dungeon

London Dungeon is Europe's largest ‘dark' visitor attraction and is appropriately sited under the bleak, foreboding arches of London bridge. It is certainly not for the faint-hearted and visitors see torture, execution, and macabre medieval madness along the way. The Dungeons are some of Europe's premier themed attractions offering visitors the opportunity to take a terrifying journey through the darker side of history. The Great Fire of London, a Boat Ride to Hell, and the Labyrinth of the Lost are all fantastic multi-million pound themed attractions amongst dozens of other exhibits and tableaux. Live actors add to the terror and excitement. There are many hideous instruments of torture to be seen in recreated settings, most of which are unbelievably sadistic and cruel. The dangerous streets of Whitechapel in Victorian London were the hunting grounds for notorious murderer and mutilator Jack the Ripper. One of the most infamous serial killers of all time, you can meet Jack at the London Dungeon.