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Mysteries Essay, Research Paper

There are many mysteries that question the mind, but none

that can compare to the intrigue in the supernatural. Ghosts,

goblins, poltergeists, Death Omens, curses, unexplainable

phenomena, and hauntings; mysteries of the paranormal

could go on and on. There are centuries of ghost stories

and tales that have been passed down from generation to

generation. From the Bermuda Triangle mysteries,

phantoms of the ocean, ships, and glowing ghosts of little

boys, to the curse of James’ Deans’ car, The Little Bastard

and the Amityville Horror. A little background history of

this bone-chilling horror may help one decide whether or

not to believe in the existence of the beyond. “Everywhere

on earth and all through history, people have believed that

there is more to the world than meets the eye. Behind the

outward material appearance of things there is sensed

something inward, immaterial, and probably

invisible.”(Cavendish 1) Apparitions of things have been

seen all over the world. The definition of apparition, as

given by Richard Cavendish, is “the supernormal

manifestation of people, animals, objects, and spirits.”

(Cavendish 25) In the ancient folklore of England and

Europe, glowing ghosts of little boys who have been

murdered by their mothers appear. This particular

apparition portends ill luck and a violent death. The name

“radiant boys” could have possibly originated in German

folklore with the word “kindermorderinn.” However, there

are numerous radiant boy stories in the Cumberland area of

England. These boys seem to resemble a flame ; slightly

orange with a glow about them. These ghosts have never

been proved to have caused any ha! rm, they simply appear

and disappear as mysteriously as they came. There has only

been one claim that these radiant boys have attempted to

cause harm or scare people. One account of the radiant

boy apparition was in Knebworth, England when Edward

Bulwer-Lytton stated that he had seen a strange glowing

boy with long golden hair sitting in front of the fire. This boy

then drew his finger and slid it across his throat three times.

Later, however this story was proved to be false and just

another attention-getting scheme by Edward

Bulwer-Lytton.(Guiley 274) Another mind-boggling series

of apparitions was the Legend of the Faceless Gray Man of

Pawley’s Island. The story has it that this faceless man

appears just before hurricanes strike at Pawley’s Island off

the coast of South Carolina. In fact, this particular

apparition has been credited with saving thousands of lives.

Residents of the island believe him to be the ghost Percival

Pawley who was the first to settle and name the island.

Whatever the case may be, inhabitants of the island claim

that this faceless phantom appeared just before the

hurricanes of 1822, 1893, 1916, 1954, and 1955. (Guiley

115) A more recent ghost, and a female at that, was

Resurrection Mary. Resurrection Mary is one of Chicago’s

most famous ghosts. This beautiful blonde, blue-eyed girl

dressed in white has been reported in the Chicago environs

since 1934, the year of her alleged death. Mary takes her

name from Resurrection Cemetery where she is supposed

to be buried. Her full name is unknown and her existence is

unproved. According to legend Mary was killed one night

in an automobile accident in 1934 after an evening of

dancing at the Willowbrook Ballroom, formerly known as

the O’Henry Ballroom. Her ghost was said to have begun

making appearances in 1934. She would hitchhike, and

request a ride to the O’Henry where she would dance the

night away. After a fairytale evening of dancing, she would

then request a ride home. She would give the driver vague

instructions past Resurrection cemetery where she would

mysteriously disappear. All of Mary’s dance partners

throughout the evening said tha! t she was quiet, aloof and

with icy cold skin. The only evidence or proof of

Resurrection Mary is old cemetery records of a Polish girl

near Mary’s age buried in that same cemetery. (Guiley 280)

On different note, another type of supernatural mystery is

the childhood fear of “Bogart” , or otherwise known as the

“Bogey Man”. Believe it or not, there is actually belief of the

bogey man in English folklore. The Bogart is a”bogey” or

type of hobgoblin that has habits like that of a poltergeist.

Although at times the Bogart can be helpful and sociable

with some people, but is most often mischievous, annoying

and frightening. The Bogart is not a visible nuisance, but

plays tricks on people, like pulling off their bedclothes. The

Bogart hauntings are also accompanied by terrible noises or

laughter. The Bogart is also known to be nasty and mean;

these habits include scratching, punching and pinching, and

even in some cases snatching people up and carrying them

away. These vicious ghouls can inhabit a church, house or

graveyard, and even at times a cat or a dog. These are evil

things but are usually put to an end by exorcism. On a

somewhat humorous note, this terrif! ying creature, whom is

feared by many, is said to be frightened of automobiles

which explains their absence in modern day world. (Guiley

44) Another fear of children is the closet monster or the

monster that lives under the bed. These two phantoms have

never been proven, and are simply fears of small children.

(Guiley 76) People, in general, are afraid of death. This fear

would explain many mysteries and superstitions of death

omens and bad luck. There are countless numbers of

superstitions that people believe,”from not letting a black

cat cross your path” to”breaking a mirror is seven years bad

luck.”Whether or not these superstitions are practical or not

is just another mystery of the unknown, a personal

preference. One of the most famous death omens of British

folklore is a large. spectral demon dog called Black Shuck.

A death omen is something that comes to collect souls. It is

a British belief that if someone envisions the Black Shuck

they may expect death to come within a year. The large, all

black, demon dog is about the size of a calf, with large eyes

that glow yellow, green or red as if on fire. These spooks

are often headless, with large glowing holes for eyes. They

mostly haunt graveyards or enter the homes of their victims.

When the Black Shuck comes to claim his victims! his

bone-chilling howls can be heard rising above the wind. His

feet make no sound, but people can feel his breath on their

necks. There are many names for this unwanted visitor,

such as, Galleytrot, Old Shuck, Shug Monkey, the Hateful

Thing, and Hell beast. Hopefully this superstition does not

exist, but if it does, it’s characteristics will not go

undetected. (Guiley 43) Aside from actual ghosts, ghouls,

and poltergeists there are also centuries of unexplained

happenings all around the world. “There are places on the

earth’s surface where the realms of the human and the

sacred are felt to be specifically close, places with a

powerful atmosphere of sanctity or evil.” (Snow 15) The

four following accounts of places being unnatural or haunted

are all unexplained mysteries of the beyond; the fifth

account sounds so impossible that it is left up to the reader

to decide whether or not to believe. Adelphi Theater is in

London, and is said to be haunted by the ghost of William

Teriss. William was a popular Victorian actor who was

murdered by a jealous rival. As Teriss lay dying in the arms

of his beloved Milward, he gasped “I’ll be back.” Although

the murder occurred in 1897, Teriss’ ghost was not

reported until 1928. The most recent account of haunting at

the Adelphi Theater was in 1962. On this particular evening

two night workmen claim ! they saw a greenish light take

the shape of a man and float across the stage. The ghostly

figure opened the stage curtains and then proceeded into

the stalls tipping the seats as it went. This figure was later

identified when one of the workman sketched a drawing

that had a remarkable resemblance to a picture of the late

William Teriss. (Guiley 43) The second of the five hauntings

is one of the most talked about poltergeists in America

today, the haunting at 112 Ocean Avenue in Long Island,

New York. “The Amityville Horror is one of the most

sensational and controversial of an alleged diabolical

presence, but took place not in a European chateau but in a

suburban Long Island , New York.”(Guiley 9) The Lutz

family moved into the large Dutch colonial house at 112

Ocean Avenue on December 16, 1975. The house was

comparable to a palace, but was ironically available at the

low price of eighty – thousand dollars; this cheap price was

because of the murder that had taken place there

approximately thirteen months before. On November 13,

1974 Ronald DeFeo brutally murdered his entire family

claiming he had been hearing voices telling him to do so.

The Lutzes ignored the superstition and the warnings of the

realtors and purchased their dream home. From the very

first day the house and it’s inhabitants terrorized them. Gh!

ostly apparitions of hooded figures, clouds of flies in the

sewing room and in the childrens’ playroom, window panes

that broke spontaneously causing severe injury to the

children, bone-chilling cold alternating with suffocating heat,

severe personality changes, nightly parades by spirit

marching bands, levitations, green slime spilling down the

stairs, putrid smells, sicknesses, strange scratches on

Mrs.Lutzes’ body, objects moving on their own accord,

repeated disconnection of telephone service, and even

communication between the youngest, Missy, and a devilish

spirit she called “Jodie”; all of this unexplainable phenomena

turned their dream home into a hell on earth. Both Mr. and

Mrs. Lutz had dreams about the DeFeo family, and even

envisioned the actual murders in their dreams. This strange

activity went on for twenty-eight days before the Lutzes fled

in terror. Later on with investigations of the weather reports

and other evidence, police claim that this ordeal was s!

imply a hoax and was just something the Lutzes cooked up

around their kitchen over several bottles of wine. The truth

will never be known by anyone but the Lutzes and the

spirits. (Guiley 9) A similar case was the Amherst haunting

in 1878. One of the similarities was that both of these

poltergeists named themselves, this one calling itself “Bob”.

Many of the same supernatural activity occurred here as at

the Lutz home nearly one – hundred years later. (Guiley 4)

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