February 11, 2014

Rawhead/Bloody Bones

The next creepy creature on this list is Bloody Bones, a bogeyman feared by children, sometimes known as Rawhead and Bloody-Bones, Tommy Rawhead, or simply Rawhead.

There are as many variations of this creature as there are names for it. The stories seemed to have originated in Ireland and Great Britain, though they've since spread to many parts of North America.

The most common story of Bloody-Bones paints an unsettling picture of an old witch with her beloved pet razorback hog, Rawhead. One day a very lazy hunter came and killed Rawhead along with a number of other razorbacks owned by other people. They were butchered, had their heads chopped off, and their bones defleshed.

When the witch realized what had happened, she flew into a rage and performed a powerful spell of revenge. With her magic she raised Rawhead from the dead. His bloody bones joined back together and his head reattached. The horrible Rawhead and Blood Bones monster had been created. The monster then set out to gain revenge by killing the hunters responsible for his death. After killing the hunters, the monster took up residence in the woods, roaming about with his good friend the old witch.

Other variations tell of Rawhead being a humanoid creature, with all the skin stripped from his head, muscle and veins exposed and oozing, lurking in lakes or ponds, or else in the homes of bad boys and girls whom the creature kidnapped and ate. Somerset Folklore states as well that he, "lived in a dark cupboard, usually under the stairs. If you were heroic enough to peep through a crack you would get a glimpse of the dreadful, crouching creature, with blood running down his face, seated waiting on a pile of raw bones that had belonged to children who told lies or said bad words.”

An eerie British Nursery Rhyme helps to further develop the disturbing tale of this creature:

"Rawhead and Bloody Bones
Steals naughty children from their homes,
Takes them to his dirty den,
And they are never seen again."

An extended tale of the razorback version of Rawhead tells how he took teeth from a panther, claws from a bear and the tail from a raccoon to further augment his body for ease in killing, and in Ireland and Britain Rawhead is said to possess the ability to shape-shift.

Britain's physical description of Rawhead is even more unsettling. For them, he’s a lean, naked giant, with pale skin and great, grasping hands. His head is a mangled nightmare, all pulped flesh and wide, staring eyes, rivulets of blood running down his face and dripping on his chest. He has a den, hidden somewhere, piled high with the gnawed bones of children, where he sits and waits, his long arms clasped about his long legs, which he keeps tucked under his chin. When he senses prey, he unfolds his limbs like a waking spider.

Other stories of Rawhead from different parts of the country claim him to look like:

- A crouching, rock-like hairy creature
- A gremlin with twisted flesh
- A dog or old man covered in scabs
- A burn victim, but with sharp claws and teeth
- A hairy creature with long fangs, a bushy tail, and razor claws

The versions that claim he lives under the stairs or in the dark cupboard also claim that Rawhead/Bloodybones rewards very good children, but will punish naughty children by dragging them down the drainpipes or into the water and drowning them. In addition to drowning naughty children, he is said to be able to turn them into objects such as pieces of trash or spots of jam, which are inadvertently cleaned-up and thrown out by unwitting parents.

So for all of you who get chills every time you walk down an open backed staircase, maybe you should keep track of just how naughty you've been...

And as always, if any of you have tales or experiences of your own involving any of these beasties, please post said stories on the monsters' respective pages!!

December 16, 2013

The Jersey Devil

The next creature to be pushed into the spotlight is the one voted for by you viewers, the Jersey Devil! This one was a doozy, there are countless versions surrounding this story, and no end of pages of research pertaining to it.

Illustration by Ryan Doan

Said to inhabit the Pine Barrens of Southern New Jersey, this creature has been given many different variations on how it looks. All versions however claim the creature is bipedal and has huge, leathery bat wings, horns and a long, forked tail.

Some versions give it the elongated head of a goat or horse, others the head of a dragon or demon. Sometimes its arms are tiny, other times they are massive, and it is even commonly said that its body is that of a kangaroo. All variations however claim that it is violent, dangerous, and lets out a "blood-curdling scream".

Having grown quite infamous, the Jersey Devil has worked its way into pop culture, giving it's name to NJ's NHL team, and even appearing on an early episode of X-Files.

The earliest legend of the Jersey Devil trails all the way back to the 1700s:

"Mother Leeds was not living a wealthy lifestyle by any means. Her husband was a drunkard who made few efforts to provide for his wife and twelve children. Reaching the point of absolute exasperation upon learning of her thirteenth child, she raised her hands to the heavens and proclaimed “Let this one be a devil! In 1735, Mother Leeds was in labor on a stormy night. The child was born normal, but within minutes however, Mother Leeds’s unholy wish of months before began to come to fruition.

"The baby started to change, and metamorphosed right before her very eyes. Within moments it transformed from a beautiful newborn baby into a hideous creature unlike anything the world had ever seen. The wailing infant began growing at an incredible rate. It sprouted horns from the top of its head and talon-like claws tore through the tips of its fingers. Leathery bat-like wings unfurled from its back, and hair and feathers sprouted all over the child’s body. Its eyes began glowing bright red as they grew larger in the monster’s gnarled and snarling face.

"The creature savagely attacked its own mother, killing her, then turned its attention to the rest of the horrified onlookers who witnessed its tempestuous transformation. It flew at them, clawing and biting, voicing unearthly shrieks the entire time. It tore the midwives limb from limb, maiming some and killing others. The monster then knocked down the door to the next room where its own father and siblings cowered in fear and attacked them all, killing as many as it could. Those who survived to tell the tale then watched in horror as the rotten beast sprinted to the chimney and flew up it, destroying it on the way and leaving a pile of rubble in its wake. The creature then made good its escape into the darkness and desolation of the Pine Barrens, where it has lived ever since. To this day the creature, known varyingly as the Leeds Devil and the Jersey Devil, claims the Pines as its own, and terrorizes any who are unfortunate enough to encounter it."

It is believed by some that Mother Leeds was Deborah Leeds, and this is given credence by the fact that her husband, Japhet, claimed twelve children in his will, as well as the fact that they lived in the area known today as the Pine Barrens. Leeds is also the name of one of New Jersey's earliest settlers, and descendants of the bloodline still live there today.

Just as there are variations on the creature, however, there are also variations on its origin tale. One says that rather than cursing the child herself or calling on the devil during the birth, the child’s devilish nature was the result of a family curse, though it doesn’t mention which side of the family. Still another version mentions that the creature visited Mrs. Leeds every day; she would stand at her door and tell it to leave, until finally it relented and never returned.

Some stories say it was the sixth child, or the eight, tenth, twelfth or thirteenth. Some say it was born normal, others deformed. Some say the mother immediately drove it out of the house, while others say she confined it to the cellar or attic.

Another popular alteration of the legend says that a Mrs. Shrouds of Leeds Point, New Jersey, made a wish that if she ever had another child, she wanted it to be a devil. Her next child was born misshapen and deformed (though not necessarily unnatural). She kept it hidden in the house so curious neighbors wouldn’t be able to see him. Finally, one evening the child flapped its arms – which turned into wings – and escaped up the chimney, never to be seen by the family again.

In 18th and 19th centuries the Jersey Devil was spotted sporadically throughout the Pine Barrens region, frightening local residents and any of those brave enough to traverse the vast undeveloped expanses of New Jersey’s southern reaches. Unearthly wails were often reported emanating from the dark forests and swampy bogs, and the slaughter of domesticated animals would invariably be attributed to the Phantom of the Pines. Over the years the legend of the Leeds Devil grew, occasionally even overstepping the boundaries of its rural Pine Barrens haunt to terrorize local towns and cities.

Hundreds of sightings and encounters were recorded by newspapers in 1909, from January 16th through to the 23rd. Footprints in the snow that could not by identified to any particular creature romped throughout Delaware Valley, over and under fences, through fields and backyards, and even along rooftops, and bloodhounds refused to track the trail. Split second sightings of a tall beast on two legs with cloven hooves and huge wings spread like wildfire through Bristol and Camden, and in both cities police opened fire on the creature, to no avail. The towns of Bridgeton and Millville suffered an outbreak of having their livestock slaughtered, chickens in particular. Even a supposed attack on a trolley car in Haddon Heights, and a club in Camden were reported, and all of this led to the Philiadelphia Zoo offering a ten grand reward for dung left by the creature, though no one has ever been able to claim the reward.

Aside from the footprints discovered all over the towns, and the close encounters that fill folders well over an inch thick, there has never been any physical proof that this creature exists. This does not dampen people's belief in the Jersey Devil in the slightest, however. The tale of the creature has spread well past the Pine Barrens, embraced openly by all of New Jersey. Many people believe the Jersey Devil is a very real, very dangerous creature and is a threat to their safety.

Whether this creature is lurking deep in the woods, or only in the back of our minds, one thing is true - The Devil walks in New Jersey, and it seems he always will.

And as always, if any of you have tales or experiences of your own involving any of these beasties, please post said stories on the monsters' respective pages!!

May 10, 2013

Location #6: Poveglia Island

This is a place I've been eager to do since I started this site. Known by several names, including The Venetian Island of the Dead and The Plague Island, it is better known as Poveglia.

This island is most infamous for being the dump site of victims of the black plague as it swept through Italy, but that is not the first misfortune to take place there.

The earliest recording of Poveglia comes from 421 AD, when people from Padua and Este fled there to escape barbaric invasions. In the 9th century the island gained residents, and prospered until it was governed by a dedicated Podestà. This led to many wars on Poveglia, as many barbarians still wanted the people who fled there. The Poveglians won most of these wars, but in 1379 Venice came under attack from the Genoan fleet; the people of Poveglia were moved to the Giudecca, and the Venetian government built on the island a permanent defensive building called "the Octagon," still visible today. The island remained uninhabited otherwise in the following centuries


In 1777 the island came under the jurisdiction of the Magistrato alla Sanità (Public Health Office), and became a check point for all goods and people coming to and going from Venice by ship. In 1793, there were several cases of the black plague on two ships, and as a result the island was transformed into a temporary confinement station for the ill; this role became permanent in 1805.

In the 20th century the island was again used as a quarantine station, but in 1922, the existing buildings were converted into an hospital for mentally ill and long-term care. This went on until 1968, when the hospital was closed, and the island, after being shortly used for agriculture, was completely abandoned. As of today, the island is entirely abandoned, and is closed to tourists and the public.

Legends have arisen about the island throughout many years, and it's difficult to figure out how much is fact and how much is fiction, as very few people are allowed on the land and locals avoid it at all costs. One legend, which can be heavily collaborated with facts, says that during Roman times it was used to isolate thousands of plague victims, and during the three occasions when the Black Death spread through Europe, the island was effectively used as a lazaretto and plague pit – it was considered an efficient way of keeping the infected people separated from the healthy. According to this, over 160,000 people died on the island throughout its history. It is said that the ground covering the island is 50% human ash, and rose over five feet in height. Recently, mass graves have been found on the nearby islands of Lazaretto Nuovo and Lazzaretto Vecchio containing the remains of thousands of plague victims. Poveglia has yet to be fully investigated.

Another tale surrounds a building raised in 1922 on the island, which was used for various purposes, including a mental hospital. The legend states that a particular mental health doctor tortured and butchered many of the patients, before going "mad" and jumping to his death from the bell tower. According to that same legend, he survived the fall, but was 'strangled by a mist that came up from the ground'. Its ruins remain to this day.

In the daylight, Poveglia looks like a beautiful, lost city, overgrown with trees and flowers as nature quickly takes back one of its islands. However, as night falls, the beauty fades and the unsettling chill creeps in, and makes it a bit harder to simply dismiss the legends surrounding this famous island.

May 5, 2013

Baba Yaga

This is a post I've been eager to do for a while now! One of Russia's most well known figures of folklore, the witch Baba Yaga!

Baba Yaga is very popular is Eastern European folklore, and there are several different names for her. She’s called Jezibaba in Slovakia and the Czech Republic. Ukranian children know her as Baba Jaha, while in Slovenia she goes by the name of Yaga Baba. She is not a conventional witch. She does not wear a hat, and has never been seen on a broomstick. She instead travels perched in a large mortar, and pushes herself along with a pestle. Whenever she appears, a wild wind begins to blow, the trees groan creak, and leaves crackle and whip through the air. A group of tortured souls and spirits are said to follow her around, howling and shrieking in constant pain, and yet, despite all this noise and commotion, not a trace of her is ever found, as her silver birch broom sweeps it all away. Sometimes it is said that rather being one witch, Baba Yaga is actually a trio of sisters all with the same name, an intent used to confuse any visitors.

The old witch Baba Yaga is a deformed hag with a mouthful of iron teeth. Her back is so bent over from age that she touches the ground with her head. Her nose is so long that it reaches the ceiling of her hut when she is sleeping. She sleeps stretched out on her ancient brick oven, which she also uses to cook her meals (including unfortunate visitors she catches, particularly naughty children).

Baba Yaga is said to live in a hut deep in the woods, set on massive chicken legs that stand and move about at will, and the windows are said to be eyes that the hut watches its surroundings with. A fence made of bones she eagerly collects from those unfortunate to stumble upon her surrounds the hut at whichever location it chooses to settle down at. The hut spins at an unsettling rate when it is standing on the tall legs, or standing idle with its back to the traveler, and can only be lowered and turned to face the visitor to allow entry by a visitor if said visitor utters the proper incantation: "Hut, hut, turn your back to the forest and your front to me."

Baba Yaga is never painted as purely either a villain or a helper, as she seems to decide on a whim depending on the visitor whether or not she will help or hinder. It helps if the visitor has a 'pure heart and soul' but that is not always a guarantee. One version says that she asks you to try and satisfy a number of wishes she has, and if you fail, she devours you. It's also said that she sometimes gives advice and magical gifts to heroes with pure hearts. Baba Yaga is often a warning tale many parents in Russia would tell the children to convince them to behave, as she delights in devouring naughty children.

Her faithful servants are the White Horseman, the Red Horseman and the Black Horseman. When Vasilissa the Beautiful (sometimes called Vasilisa the Wise, a heroine from Russian folklore) asks her who these mysterious horsemen are she replies: "My Bright Dawn, my Red Sun and my Dark Midnight." Among her other servants that she calls "my soul friends", whom she is reluctant to discuss with visitors, are the three bodiless pairs of hands, which appear out of thin air to do her bidding. Baba Yaga is said to be the goddess of Wisdom and Death, and the embodiment of the wild forest itself, which can also be enlightening but deadly.

Tales say that those pure of heart have a much higher chance of escaping the old crone unscathed, but one has to wonder... is exploring those dark, unmapped parts of the woods really worth it?

And as always, if any of you have tales or experiences of your own involving any of these beasties, please post said stories on the monsters' respective pages!!

April 29, 2013


This is a slight shift from the rules, as this particular spook is confirmed to be fictional, but his lore is popular enough that studying his origins is quite interesting, and not everyone knows about him yet! I give you, Slenderman!

The Slender Man (also known as Slender Man or Slenderman) is a fictional character that was created by user Victor Surge on the Something Awful forums in 2009. He is depicted as a thin, unnaturally tall man with a blank and featureless pure white, bald face, and wearing a black suit with tie. He is claimed to be able to increase his height at will, and stretch his arms to any length, as well as produce long, writhing tentacles from his back. Slender Man is said to stalk, kidnap, or traumatize people, young children in particular. He lurks most often in forests and dark playgrounds, and is able to teleport at will, though the distance he is able to teleport varies. He is one of the most popular creatures on the website creepypasta.com.

Slenderman was created for a contest launched on the Something Awful forums , the goal being to edit photographs to contain supernatural entities. On June 10, a forum poster with the user name "Victor Surge" uploaded two black and white images of groups of children, adding a tall, thin spectral figure wearing a black suit hidden slightly in the backrounds, peeking out just enough to unnerve the viewer, and depicted as heading for the children. Surge added bits of text to the photos, something no one in the contest had yet done, supposedly from witnesses, describing the abductions of the groups of children, and giving the character the name, "The Slender Man", which helped the popularity of his submission surge:

    "We didn’t want to go, we didn’t want to kill them, but its persistent silence and outstretched arms horrified and comforted us at the same time… 1983, photographer unknown, presumed dead.

    One of two recovered photographs from the Stirling City Library blaze. Notable for being taken the day which fourteen children vanished and for what is referred to as “The Slender Man”. Deformities cited as film defects by officials. Fire at library occurred one week later. Actual photograph confiscated as evidence. 1986, photographer: Mary Thomas, missing since June 13th, 1986."

Slenderman has soon become an international folklore, spawning fanart, doctored photos, 'real life accounts' and even a couple video games and a mock-umentry of some teenagers who run afoul of him. As of August, 2012, the video game has been downloaded over 2 million times, and was given a couple sequels, including an app game for phones. His popularity has grown enough that people insist he is real, and have either witnessed him themselves, or know someone who has.

The fact that Slenderman is proven to be a myth, and made purely for a contest, and yet easily terrifies people, and garners several claims to truth, relates back to telling ghost stories and urban legends around campfires and flashlights in the living room purely to scare each other.

Some people claim he is just a myth, others claim that his 'creator' used one of his own personal experiences with the entity as his inspiration for the submission he gave. Whatever the answer is, perhaps you'll think twice about taking a shortcut through those woods at night?

And as always, if any of you have tales or experiences of your own involving any of these beasties, please post said stories on the monsters' respective pages!!

March 3, 2013


Yet another creature from the lovely country of Ireland, I give you, the Banshee!

The banshee is another well known creature of folklore, though she is often mistaken as a malevolent spirit.

According to the tales, a banshee is a fey woman who begins to wail if someone is about to die. In later versions, the banshee might appear before the death and warn the family by wailing, in attempts to save them. When several banshees appeared at once, it signaled the death of someone great or holy. The tales didn't always portray her as a fey. She is often thought of as a ghost, usually either a murdered woman, or a mother who died during childbirth. In Scottish Gaelic mythology she is known as the bean sìth or bean-nighe and is seen washing the blood-stained clothes or armour of those marked for death. Alleged tales of banshees appearing have been reported as late as 1948, and as far back as far as 1380, with the publication of the Cathreim Thoirdhealbhaigh (Triumps of Torlough) by Seean mac Craith.

The story of the banshee began as a fairy woman keening at the death of important people, and in later stories, the appearance of the banshee could predict death. Banshees are said to wail only for particular Irish families, though which families made it onto this list vary depending on who is telling the story. Most, though not all, surnames associated with banshees have the Ó or Mac prefix, such as O'Malley, or MacCormack.

The banshee can appear in a variety of forms, though most often she appears as an ugly, frightening hag. However, she can also appear as a stunningly beautiful woman, and in some tales, the figure who first appears to be a "banshee" is later revealed to be the Irish battle goddess, the Morrígan. Banshees are often described as dressed in white or grey, having long, pale hair which they brush with a silver comb. This comb detail is also related to the centuries-old traditional romantic Irish story that, if you ever see a comb lying on the ground in Ireland, you must never pick it up, or the banshees, having placed it there to lure unsuspecting humans, will spirit such gullible humans away.

Although not always seen, her mourning call is heard easily across the land, normally at night when someone is about to die. In 1437, King James I of Scotland was approached by an Irish seer who was later identified as a banshee who foretold his murder at the instigation of the Earl of Atholl. Banshees are usually only witnessed by a person who is about to die in a violent way, such as murder.

Just like the changeling, there are countless variations on this heartbreaking soul. In parts of Leinster, she is known as the bean chaointe (keening woman) whose wail can shatter glass. In Kerry, Ireland, her keen is experienced as a "low, pleasant singing". In Tyrone, as "the sound of two boards being struck together", and on Rathlin Island as "a thin, screeching sound somewhere between the wail of a woman and the moan of an owl".

Whichever variation you choose to support, if you hear a wail in the night, think twice before investigating the noise.

And as always, if any of you have tales or experiences of your own involving any of these beasties, please post said stories on the monsters' respective pages!!

March 2, 2013


Told you I'd be doing my best to be more regular with this! Next up...


Changelings are extremely well known in Western European folklore, and are quickly becoming more infamous in the North American cultures as well, inspiring creepy shows and movies all around. After all, there is very little more unsettling than a creepy child.

A changeling is typically described as being the child of a fairy, troll, elf or other legendary creature that has been secretly switched with a human child, though sometimes the term is also used for the human child who was taken. The 'child' that is left behind could also be an enchanted piece of wood that would soon appear to grow sick and die. The idea of a child being swapped out was often used as an explanation for children that mysteriously became sick, or developed mental or physical disorders in a family with no history of it back in the medieval years.

There were many reasons why a human child would be taken: to be used as a servant for those that took it, because the creature that stole it had fallen in love with the child, or because the creature holds a vicious grudge against the family. Fairies were most often to blame, though Norwegian tales accuse trolls of stealing them to prevent inbreeding, using the child once they've grown old enough to work new blood into the clans, and humans were given children with enormous strength as a reward. Some cases even tell of how older fairies, on the verge of death, would switch places with the child themselves so that they could live out the last of their days being pampered and coddled by their new 'parents'. Simple charms, like an inverted coat or open iron scissors left where the child sleeps, were thought to ward them off, though the idea of leaving open scissors around a baby seems just as dangerous... other measures included a constant watch over the child, though such a feat was difficult in older times, when farm labour was time consuming and required as much help from all family members as possible.

Another belief was that, again, trolls were behind it, though would only take unbaptized children, since they did not have the protection from Heaven yet, and since troll believed being raised by humans was classy, they were always eager to snap up any child left unblessed, which was why children were baptized as soon as possible.

In other folklore around the world, the changelings are switched with the child to feed off of the mother. The kidnapped child then becomes food for the changeling's mother. Other sources say that human milk is needed for fairy children to survive. In these cases, the newborn human child would be switched with a fairy babe to be suckled by the human mother, or the human mother would be taken back to the fairy world to breastfeed the fairy babies, though the theft of a mother was always thought to be very rare, and only attempted when the mother had lost a child, thinking that the chance to nurse a fey child in place of her own would comfort her.

Some changelings might forget they are not human and live out an entirely normal human life. Changelings who don't forget, however, may later return to their fairy family, often leaving the human family without any warning whatsoever, giving rise to the belief of being 'spirited away' by fey. As for the human child that was taken, they would often stay with the fairy family forever, not being given a choice in the matter.

This is only a brief summation of changelings; the lore on them is extensive, and changing for every country. The one constant, however, is that they steal children to leave their own in place, and it's next to impossible to prevent.

And as always, if any of you have tales or experiences of your own involving any of these beasties, please post said stories on the monsters' respective pages!!

March 1, 2013


I swear, I'm going to do my best to post more regularly guys!

I figured it was time for a creature, after the flood of creepy places I gave you guys, so this time I bring to you a creepy beasty, the Shtriga!

A shtriga is a vampiric witch in traditional Albanian folklore that sucks the blood of infants at night while they sleep, and then transforms into a flying insect, usually a moth, fly or bee. Only the shtriga is able to cure those she had drained. The shtriga is often pictured as a woman with a hateful stare (sometimes wearing a cape) and a horribly disfigured face, though during the day, she seems no different than a regular human, other than a slightly unsettling feeling.

According to the tales, once the shtriga drains the life from a child, she is the only one who is able to return said life, though she has to do so by spitting into their mouth. It's also believed that if you kill the shtriga, the affected children, so long as they are still alive, will be cured. Seeing as the shtriga is a cruel, selfish creature, the second choice seems far more reliable.

Albanian folk would often hang garlic in their homes, and the children and babies that were believed to be prime targets of the shtriga would undergo a blessing to try and ward the creature off.

There are several methods traditionally considered effective for defending your family from shtriga. A cross made of pig bone could be placed at the entrance of a church on Easter Sunday after the suspected shtriga entered, rendering them unable to leave. They could then be captured and killed at the threshold as they tried to leave, though it doesn't specify how one can tell them apart from the others.

Another versions is that after draining blood from a victim, the shtriga would generally go off into the woods and vomit it back up. If a silver coin was soaked in that blood and wrapped in cloth, it would become an amulet offering permanent protection from any shtriga.

Morbid protection from a morbid creature...

And as always, if any of you have tales or experiences of your own involving any of these beasties, please post said stories on the monsters' respective pages!!

October 26, 2012

Location #5: The Sedlec Ossuary

My, it's been a while since I've updated! Graduating will do that to you, my apologies. Allow me to make it up to you by presenting another creepy location! The Sedlec Ossuary!

Oh, this is going to be good...

Now, there are a couple churches like this one that are built out of bones. Back in the late 16th, 17th and 18th centuries, bodies piled up too quickly for churches to dispose of in a timely manner. So what was their solution? Mass grave? Don't be ridiculous! No, these pious people of the cloth decided to follow the oh so important rule of waste not, want not!

As I said, there are more churches than you would think that are built out of bones, but this one holds a bit more of a creep factor for me than the others. I think it may be the elaborate chandeliers, and the coat of arms built entirely out of bone.

  Yes, that is exactly what should be on every church's front door...

The Sedlec Ossuary is located in the small Czech town of Sedlec. A small abbot located in the town was blessed with soil from the Holy Land on the cemetery in the 13th century, and suddenly, people from all over Europe were demanding to be buried there. The Sedlec graveyard grew by leaps and bounds until 1870, when they were unable to keep up with the amount of bodies being shipped in, and the priests decided to finally do something with the decaying bodies laying about. They hired Czech woodcarver Frantisek Rint to create something both fascinating and terrifying in one quick glance.

No, I insist.... after you....

Today, this chapel is infamous for the extravagant decor made from human remains, and some claim that it was what inspired the few other houses of God to try out a new decorating scheme. It was even inspiration for Dr. Satan's lair in the Rob Zombie movie House of 1000 Corpses.

April 26, 2012

Location #4: Waverly Hills Sanitorium

My next creepy location is one that breaks my heart as much as it freaks me out. This place is probably rather well known, being on at least two ghost hunting shows, but that does not make it any less deserving of a spot on this list.

Waverly Hills Sanitorium is a hospital built in Louisville, Kentucky to help battle the white plague, or tuberculosis illness. Built in 1910, it was originally intended to house 40 to 50 patients, a modest two story hospital with the standard equipment.

The ravaging outbreak of TB resulted in Waverly not only being remade into a multistory building capable of housing 400 patients at once, but also granted it the dubious honor of being the epicenter of study, doctors working around the clock to try and find a cure.

The mass amounts of patients that flooded Waverly never caused a crowding issue, as the deaths were rampant. There was no cure for TB yet, and Waverly became the center for figuring out a cure. As a result of this decision, many experimental treatments were attempted.

Surgery to remove ribs and lungs, sandbags crushing the chest to try and deflate the lungs, and even electroshock therapy were all attempted as cures, and proved just as lethal as the white plague itself. As antibiotics had not been discovered when Waverly opened, treatment consisted of heat lamps, fresh air, high spirits, and reassurances of an eventual full recovery. Once tuberculosis hit its peak, deaths were occurring about one every other day.

The patients were not the only ones at risk. Room 502 is sadly infamous for workers coming in one day to discover a nurse having hung herself in front of it. The woman had contracted TB, and had also discovered she was pregnant. Being unwed, and sick with TB, knowing her child would have it too, she saw no other way out, and these days is seen roaming the halls of the wing she worked in.

The hospital closed in 1961, having the highest deathrate in the entire country, and an entire wing dedicated to the morgue in order to deal with said deaths. The patients never knew about the large amount of deaths, however, as the doctors used a 500 foot tunnel known as the Body Chute that traveled to the bottom of the hill the hospital was built on to transport patients who died to keep morale up.

Today, Waverly can be toured overnight for a hundred dollars a person, with a Halloween haunted house attraction used to fund restoration of the building. Full body apparitions, doors slamming, hair pulling, flickering lights, and heart wrenching EVPs are just a handful of the activity that goes on when the sun sets on Waverly Hills Sanitorium.