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What makes places haunted by poltergeists? Is it the people who live there? Or, is it the very walls which have been imbued with a profound tragedy?
These five houses may hold a clue to understanding the mysteries of the poltergeist.
5 – The Amnéville Poltergeist
Not to be confused with its American counterpart Amityville, a house in Amnéville, France was said to have been ransacked by a poltergeist in the August of 2014.
A housewife, 57-year-old Chantal Hachette, reported witnessing objects being thrown around her home, including an iron being tossed through a window. In the midst of the chaos, the frightened lady called the police. When the police arrived they saw a television crash to the floor before their eyes.
A neighbour who rushed to help also witnessed the violent disturbances firsthand, when a bouquet of plastic flowers was thrown into his face, seemingly by unseen hands. 1
After a flurry of requests from ghost hunters and investigators, desperate to visit the by now nationally famous house, the police released a statement which denied the entire case. It was stated that the seemingly paranormal events at Amnéville had been falsified. They even released a confession, signed by Chantal Hachette, which declared she – in a fit of female hysteria – had wrecked her own home. 2
The housewife was subsequently summoned to court under charges of providing false information and wasting police time.
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Not before too long, however, it was found that Chantal was illiterate, and could have never written or read her alleged statement. 3
As such, the lawsuit against the woman was overturned, plunging the case into obscurity. The truth of the matter may now never be known. Was the house at Amnéville plagued by a violent poltergeist?
4 – The House of Souls
This unassuming Italian house, chillingly dubbed the House of Souls, is steeped in legend.
It is said that in the Middle Ages it served as a popular inn for passing travelling merchants, soldiers and pilgrims. Sadly for them, these people never completed their journey. For it is claimed that anyone unlucky enough to stop at the inn would be horribly killed and robbed by the innkeepers. Their chosen method of murder was the use of a series of hidden passageways throughout the building. When local authorities were eventually alerted to the innkeepers’ nefarious activities, it is said they uncovered the mutilated corpses of all their victims, buried around the house. The murderous innkeepers were captured and executed.
For hundreds of years afterwards, the house has remained abandoned, its sinister reputation keeping future owners away.
After World War Two, a family reluctantly moved in. They had lost all of their possessions, and their house had been bombed by allied fighters.
Throughout their short-lived stay, they reported hearing the cries of the tortured echo through the walls of the house. Doors slammed of their own accord, and inexplicable noises sounded from every corner. One night the family claimed to have seen an apparition of a spectral woman searching for her long-lost lover, whose life had been taken at that house so many years before. When the spectre disappeared mid-movement, the terrified family fled.
Since that time, the House of Souls has returned to its former state of abandonment, with more stories of terror adding to its already legendary status. 4
3 – The Black Monk House
This ordinary-looking house is number 30 East Drive, in Pontefract, England. Despite its normal appearance, it has become globally famous as one of the most haunted houses in Europe.
Its sinister reputation dates back to 1966, when the Pritchard family moved in with their 15-year-old son and 12-year-old daughter. Soon afterwards, the family experienced small incidents that convinced them their new home was haunted. Believing it to be a friendly ghost, they fell into the habit of calling the entity “Fred”.
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However, time would reveal that “Fred” was far from the jovial spirit they had thought him to be.
After investigators and mediums started visiting the house, the serious poltergeist activity started. 5
Sudden, cold gusts of wind rushed through the house in the middle of summer. Puddles of water manifested without explanation.
One night, a heavy chest of drawers began to sway of its own volition, forcing the terrified Pritchard family to run away and sleep at a neighbor’s house. When they returned, the house was still. So still in fact that nothing remarkable happened at 30 East Drive for the next two years.
The silence broke when the daughter, Diane, was dragged up the stairs by her neck in front of her family. Her neck was left covered in marks. Whatever force had been responsible for this ghastly attack was completely invisible to all who witnessed it.6
Far from the end of their ordeal, the Pritchards said they next experienced vivid dreams and nighttime sightings. On separate occasions, all of them reported witnessing a dark, hooded monk-like figure appearing before them, either in dreams or as a full-bodied apparition. It is for this reason that the house is now known as “The Black Monk House”.
Paranormal investigator Tom Cunniff, who claims to have studied the house, has stated that the black monk apparition is connected to the monastery active in the area from 1090 to 1539. Sometime before the monastery was dissolved in the 16th century, a Cluniac monk was hanged for the murder and rape of a young woman. The local gallows, Cunniff has stated, stood across the hill from 30 East Drive. It is speculated that it is this monk who haunts the house at 30 East Drive. His alleged attack on young Diane being a continuation of his dark past.7
In recent years, the happenings at 30 East Drive have led to much media interest. The haunting was the subject of the 2012 horror film, When The Lights Went Out, and was investigated by the Most Haunted team for their live Halloween episode in 2015.
To this day the house continues to produce anomalous phenomena for visiting paranormal investigators. And for those interested, it is open to any and all who dare find out the truth.
2 – The House that Bled
In 1985, Lucie and Jean-Marc Belmer moved into a small house in Saint Quentin, France. During their first month in their new home, the couple heard many loud and seemingly inexplicable noises coming from around the house. At first, the Belmers rationalised the sounds as coming from the neighbours. However, as time went by, they began to realise there was more to their new home than first met the eye.
One day, Lucie found a peculiar red stain on the wall. Not thinking much of it, she simply cleaned it off.
The next day, the stain was back. Not only that, it had multiplied exponentially, with red liquid gushing from the walls of the house. And it was not merely the walls. Bedding and clothes, even those put away in drawers, were covered in the sanguinary substance. Alarmed, Lucie called the police.
The two officers in charge of the investigation, Brigadier-in-chief Guy Piette and Brigadier Piere Cepparo, examined the liquid and suggested it was blood. They hypothesised that an injured dog may have entered the house and sneezed blood everywhere. The officers proceeded to seal the house, and put flour over the floor to see if any such dog returned and left prints behind.
They returned the next day to find yet more of the red substance. But no prints.
When biologist Jacques Chance was interviewed for the French television show Mystères, he declared that after analysis that the substance was indeed blood. But, not the blood of a sick dog. No, it was human blood. 8
Terrified, the Belmers decided to leave.
After the couple moved out, there have been no further reports of paranormal phenomena by subsequent tenants.9
1 – The Demon of Brownsville Road
In 1792 the Northwest Indian War was being waged by the United States against a confederacy of Native Americans. A short distance from the heart of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Native American raiders are said to have attacked and murdered a mother and her children. This barbarous occurrence was an act of war, meant to dissuade potential settlers from returning. And, if the following account is to be believed, dissuade is too light a word. For some believe that as the blood of the mother and her three children soaked into the earth, something evil was born.
In 1988, Bob and Lesa Cranmer and their children moved into 3406 Brownsville Road, the house supposedly built upon the site of the grisly murders centuries before.
Even before the Cranmers bought the house, during a walk through, one of their children began hyperventilating by the staircase after having seen an apparition. This was a moment of foreshadowing, hinting at the horrors that lay in wait for the unsuspecting family.
RELATED: 5 HISTORIC ENCOUNTERS WITH THE DEVIL
According to a book written by the father, Bob Cranmer, many years later, the first few years of living at the house were marked by small nuisances. Flickering lights, for example, were regularly experienced. Before long it became commonly accepted by the family that the house was inhabited by a spirit. Little thought was initially given to this: it was merely a quirky side note to Bob Cranmer’s political life as a reputable county commissioner.
However, as time went by, it became more difficult to sideline what was happening in the house. Dark fogs descended. Mysterious footsteps raced across floorboards. Invisible hands rapped against walls. And, arguably most chilling, crucifixes were bent.10
Family members also claimed to have awoke with mysterious scratches on their legs, as well as reporting times when they had been pushed by demonic hands.11
Everyone in the family started to experience psychological issues: their minds and thoughts were oppressed by something – something dark. One day Bob’s son, Bobby Jr., attacked his father – unprovoked and entirely out of character. The incident was reported to the police, but the charges were dropped.
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Desperate for an end to their torment, the family called in several priests who repeatedly exorcised the property. It took a few years before the building was finally cleansed, and the house freed of the alleged “demonic entity” which had shaken the family’s life for years.12
The following is Cranmer’s own words, and describes how blood appeared in the house during the exorcisms:
“Some of the areas where the blood was dripping from were so far up (over nine feet) that a person would have had to use a ladder to get there. Another interesting aspect was that it was only on the walls and not on the ceilings, so that if it were thrown up there it would have been impossible to miss hitting the ceilings. It looked as if the walls were bleeding.”13
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