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The Terrifying True Story Of Poltergeist At Epworth Rectory



In the early 18th century, Epworth Rectory in Lincolnshire, England, was the site of daily poltergeist disruption. The Queen Mary gave over the rectory to the Reverend Samuel Wesley, but his family (especially his daughter Hetty) was not happy with the move into the faraway rural village.

The local townsfolk were not particularly welcoming to the stern and severe new clergyman either: They set fire to the rectory in 1709 and injured the pastor’s cattle.
However, Wesley decided to rebuild the rectory, and stay on. On December 1, 1716, poltergeist activity started at the Epworth Rectory, Dorcester, South Yorkshire. The children and servants brought their complaints to Reverend Samuel Wesley.
Samuel Wesley
Samuel Wesley
For several nights they had been heard mysterious groans and sounds in their rooms. In addition to those frightening manifestations, they also heard the sound of footsteps ascending and descending the stairs at all hours of the night.
The sounds of bottles smashing and pewter plates crashing could be heard in adjoining rooms; but when the rooms were checked, nothing had been disturbed. On at least one occasion, the bed of a daughter, Nancy, levitated with her on it.
Reverend Wesley was skeptical about the allegations that paranormal manifestations were occurring in his house. After a week of careful nocturnal surveillance throughout the rectory, Wesley had not even uncovered a stirring mouse. One night at dinner, he told his family that he been unable to detect any unusual noises in the rectory.
The Wesleys had four grown daughters who had begun to entertain beaus and suitors. One of the older daughters wished aloud that the ghost would come knocking at the door to their father’s study or bedchamber and give him a fright.
The girls were so peeved with their father that they stubbornly vowed to ignore the disturbances until they became so loud that even he would have to acknowledge them. The next night, nine loud knocks thudded on the walls of Wesley’s bed chamber.
In the morning, Wesley whispered to his wife that he would buy a large dog “big enough to gobble up any intruder.” First thing in the morning, the clergyman obtained a huge mastiff and took it into the rectory. Such a brute would be able to deal with any spook, he decreed.
Old Rectory, Epworth
Old Rectory, Epworth
That night, however, as the knocks began to sound, Wesley was startled to see his canine ghostbuster whimper and cower behind the frightened children. One of the older girls teased that the dog was more frightened than they were.
Two nights later, the sounds in the house seemed so aggressively violent that Wesley and his wife were forced out of bed to investigate. As they walked through the rectory, the unseen noisemakers seemed to follow them. Mysterious crashing sounds echoed in the darkness.
The sound of metal clinking seemed to surround them. The Wesleys somehow managed to maintain their courage and searched every chamber rectory for the source of the disruptions, but they found nothing.
Poltergeist activity became a nightly event, usually starting about 9:45 P.M. The impending commotion was always preceded by a “signal” that sounded something like the winding of a very large clock. The noises also appeared to follow a pattern that seldom altered. They would begin in the kitchen, then suddenly move up to visit one of the children’s rooms, where the ghost would knock on the foot and head of the bed.
Wesley demanded to know one night as the knockings in the nursery became especially explosive and challenged the ghost to meet him at his study room. As if in answer to Wesley’s challenge, a sharp knock sounded on the door of his study with such force that the cleric thought the boards would splinter.
Although there were no more disturbances that evening, Wesley soon found that his invitation not been ignored. While in his study one evening, “an invisible power” heavily pushed him up against his desk. On another occasion he was slammed into the door jamb of his study just as he was entering the room.
Wesley decided to obtain reinforcements for the struggle against the evil that had invaded his rectory. He sent for Mr. Hoole, the Vicar of Hoxley, and told him the whole story. Hoole listened patiently to his fellow cleric’s story and told Wesley that he would lead devotions that night. They would see if the thing would dare to manifest in his presence.
The ghost was not the least bit awed the Vicar of Hoxley. That night the ghost put on such a powerful demonstration of paranormal power that the clergyman fled in terror, leaving Wesley to combat the unseen demon as best he could.
The children had overcome their initial fear of the invisible entity in a most remarkable way. They had come to accept its supernatural antics as a welcome relief from the boredom of village life. They had begun to call their unseen guest “Old Jeffery,” and the ghost almost achieved the status of a pet.
Old Jeffery, it was observed, was a bit testy and temperamental. If any visitor slighted him by claiming that the rappings were due to natural causes, such as rats, birds, or wind, the phenomena would quickly intensify so that the doubter stood instantly corrected.
Some people believed the culprit to be the ghost of “Old Ferries,” which was the name of someone who had died in the rectory. No apparitions were ever seen, but some thought that a rabbit-like creature seen one night, and a badger spotted on another evening, were actually spirits in animal form. Also, no real communication was ever established with the poltergeist; it would repeat raps but would never use them to answer questions.
Once, Mrs. Wesley remembered an ancient remedy for riding a house of evil spirits. Old folklore and texts recommended that those afflicted by bothersome entities should obtain a large trumpet “and blow it mightily throughout every room in the house,” she told the family.
“The sounds of a loud horn are unpleasing to evil spirits.” Then she tried to scare the ghost away by blowing a loud horn throughout the house. The poltergeist responded by doubling its efforts to both day and night.
The children seemed to welcome the fact that Old Jeffery would be available during their playtime hours as well. Several witnesses swore that they saw a bed levitate to a considerable height while a number of the Wesley children squealed merrily from the floating mattress.
The only thing that seemed to disturb the children was the sound that Old Jeffery had begun to make. It sounded like a trailing robe was following them wherever they went.
One of the girls declared that she had seen the ghost of a man wearing a long, white robe that dragged on the floor. A number of the servants testified that they had seen the head of a creature that resembled a rodent peering out at them from a crack near the kitchen fireplace.
As suddenly as the poltergeist activity started, it abruptly stopped at the end of January 1720. While the entity never returned to harass Epworth Rectory with its mischief, the memory of its disruptive period of occupancy has remained to challenge both scholars of Christian history and the paranormal for more than two centuries.
Among the 19 children of the Reverend Samuel Wesley who witnessed the phenomena were John and Charles, the founders of Methodism and the authors of some of Christendom’s best loved hymns.
Paranormal experts suggest that the poltergeist phenomena were actually caused by the unleashing of pent-up psychokinetic activity, either on the part of the frustrated Mrs. Wesley (who was kept in an almost constant state of pregnancy19 births in 20 years, only five children of which lived past infancy), or of the daughter Hetty (who hated the rectory and was at that poltergeist-triggering age somewhere between 14 and 19 years old).
There is also the possibility that villagers who wanted to drive the rector and his family out of town perpetrated some of the activity.
Sources: Real Ghosts, Restless Spirits, and Haunted Places by Brad Steiger; The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Ghosts and Hauntings by Tom Ogden


The Dark and Mysterious History of Yosemite’s Tenaya Canyon




Tenaya Canyon is a trail-less and treacherous part of Yosemite
National Park that runs from Tenaya Lake down to Yosemite Valley. It is
known as the “Bermuda Triangle of Yosemite” because of the many
accidents, injuries and deaths that have occurred there over the years.

people even believe that the canyon is cursed by the spirits of the
original inhabitants of Yosemite, who were violently displaced by the
Mariposa Indian War in the 1850s.

The canyon is a challenging and
risky route for adventurous hikers and climbers, who have to navigate
smooth granite slabs, steep rappels, mandatory swims and precarious
ledges. The canyon also offers stunning views of waterfalls, swimming
holes and rock formations.

However, the park officials warn that
“a trip into the unforgiving terrain of Tenaya Canyon…should not be
taken lightly.” There is a sign at the entrance of the canyon that

of the most famous incidents in Tenaya Canyon happened in 1918, when
John Muir, the “Father of the National Parks,” fell and was knocked
unconscious while exploring the canyon.

He later wrote: “I was
suddenly brought to a standstill by a blow on the head that confused my
senses for a moment or two without wholly stunning me.” He managed to
recover and continue his journey, but he never returned to the canyon.

Yosemite National Park, Mariposa County, CA

“Tenaya Canyon is one of those places where you can feel history all
around you,” said Scott Gediman, a park ranger at Yosemite National
Park. “It’s a very powerful place.”

Another notable explorer of
Tenaya Canyon was Ron Kauk, a legendary climber who lived in Yosemite
for decades and scaled some of its most challenging walls.

He camped on the side of a rock face in Tenaya Canyon and felt a mysterious force pulling on his sleeping bag.

He told SFGATE:
“It was like something that came around in a teasing kind of way or
something. It wasn’t anything too dramatic, no lights flashing around or
flying by you. Just to acknowledge that there was something else

He speculated that the canyon might be “the holding place for the original spirit of the place and the people (of Yosemite).”

Canyon is named after Chief Tenaya, the leader of the Ahwahneechee
tribe that lived in Yosemite Valley before they were driven out by the
Mariposa Battalion, a group of armed volunteers sent by California’s
governor to subdue the Native Americans in the area.

battalion captured Chief Tenaya and his people and forced them to
relocate to a reservation near Fresno. However, some of them escaped and
returned to Yosemite Valley, where they were attacked again by the

Chief Tenaya’s son was killed in the battle, and he
reportedly cursed his enemies and his homeland before fleeing into
Tenaya Canyon. He was later killed by a rival tribe near Mono Lake.

historians and locals believe that Chief Tenaya’s curse still lingers
in Tenaya Canyon, causing misfortune and tragedy for those who enter it.
Others think that the canyon is simply a dangerous place that requires
caution and respect.

Tenaya Canyon has had more than 110 people
killed there and many more injured. It is known to the Park Service as
the Bermuda Triangle of Yosemite.

of people go missing at national parks across the United States every
year. Some of these disappearances are never solved. Yosemite National
Park holds the notorious position as the national park with the third
most missing persons per year (233).

Either way, Tenaya Canyon
remains one of Yosemite’s most fascinating and mysterious places, where
nature’s beauty and history’s brutality collide.

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Vatican investigates potential miracle at Connecticut church




The Catholic Church is reportedly investigating a potential miracle that occurred at a church in Connecticut, reports

The supposed miracle took place at St Thomas Church in Thomaston, Connecticut, according to the Hartford Courant.

Revered Joseph Crowley, who heads St Maximilian Kolbe Parish, which
includes St Thomas Church, reported that the wafers distributed during
the observation of communion multiplied while sitting inside the

“God duplicated himself in the ciborium,” Rev Crowley
said after communion, referencing the metal storage containers used to
house the communion wafers. “God provides and it’s strange how God does
that. And that happened.”

response, the Archdiocese of Hartford began an investigation to
determine whether or not a miracle had occurred at the church.

then, the Vatican’s Dicastery for the Doctrine of Faith, a group dating
back to the 1500’s tasked with promoting and defending the Catholic
faith throughout the world, has been notified and has begun its own

A spokesman for the archdiocese, David Elliott,
issued a statement to the Hartford Courant saying that “reports such as
the alleged miracle in Thomaston require referral to the Dicastery for
the Doctrine of the Faith in Rome. The Archdiocese has proceeded
accordingly, and will await a response in due time.”

Miracles are
an important part of the process of becoming a saint within the Catholic
Church. Sainthood considerations typically begin five years after the
death of an exceptional Catholic.

number of criteria must be met, including “verified miracles” — Vatican
officials must determine that the miracles are a direct result of an
individual praying to the candidate saint. They must come to the
decision that the miracle was a result of the dead potential saint
interceding between the petitioner and God, causing the miracle.

Catholic Church defines a miracle as a “sign of wonder such as a
healing, or control of nature, which can only be attributed to divine

While duplicating thin bread wafers may seem like a minor
use of divine power to those unfamiliar with Catholic theology, the
Eucharist — often called communion or the lord’s supper — is arguably
the holiest and most important sacrament — or ritual — in the faith.

typically believe in the idea of transubstantiation, or the idea that
the bread and wine given during the ritual literally become the body and
blood of Jesus Christ upon consecration, as opposed to simply symbols
of his presence.

O’Neil, who goes by the moniker Miracle Hunter, authored a book called
Science and the Miraculous: How the Church Investigates the
Supernatural, spoke to the Hartford Courant and gave examples of
previous eucharistic miracles.

“There are various types of
eucharistic miracles, but the ones that are most remarkable, in my
opinion, were on some rare occasions, the host is said to bleed human
blood,” he said.

Reverend Michael McGivney, the founder of the
Knights of Columbus, ended his clerical career at St Thomas, where the
alleged communion miracle took place. He has been in consideration for
sainthood and requires one more verified miracle before he moves on to
final consideration for sainthood within the Catholic Church.

Leonard Blair explained to the Hartford Courant that “what has been
reported to have occurred at our parish church in Thomaston, of which
Blessed Michael McGivney was once pastor, if verified, would constitute a
sign or wonder that can only be attributed to divine power to
strengthen our faith in the daily miracle of the Most Holy Eucharist.

would also be a source of blessing from Heaven for the effort that the
US Bishops are making to renew and deepen the faith and practice of our
Catholic people with regard to this great Sacrament.”

“Blessed” is a title given to saint candidates who have had “verified” miracles attributed to them by the Vatican.

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