Humans have ‘built-in survival instinct triggered by ghosts and aliens’

EXCLUSIVE: UFO researcher of 50 years, Paul Ascough has pulled together different subjects that surround extraterrestrial and paranormal thought in his new book UFOs – The Real Story

Humans can instantly detect extraterrestrial and paranormal activity thanks to a special frequency, says an ex-MoD medic.

In his new book UFOs – The Real Story, Paul Ascough attempts to make sense of all life clouded in mystery from aliens to bigfoot and ghosts, based on his own run-ins with the unexplained.

The retired British Army and NHS paramedic claims whenever we witness something other-worldly, our frequency crosses with theirs which triggers in us a “visceral terror”.

According to Paul, anyone who has spotted or experienced mysterious activity is left in no doubt it was with an extraordinary being because of an internal reaction to their presence.

Paul Ascough
Paul Ascough has penned his experiences and theories in a new book (Image: Paul Ascough)

Paul from Yorkshire, said: “I believe that it could be quite plausible that as human beings we have a built-in survival instinct, that our own frequency can pick up an ‘alien’ frequency and recognises at some deep level that we should not be where we are.

“Therefore we feel this visceral terror and absolute fear; because our ‘soul’ can recognise that we are in danger, by being in a frequency that does not resonate with our current body and where we should be!about:blank?unblock=true

“To take this another logical step, could this also be true for the eye-witnesses to the paranormal? People who may become terrified on seeing spirit?

“We are temporarily exposing ourselves to a frequency or vibration that is higher or lower than where we currently resonate.”

Paul believes aliens carry a frequency which alerts our own when near (Image: Getty Images/Science Photo Library RF)

The proud Yorkshireman, who has investigated the phenomenon of UFOs and the paranormal for over 50 years, adds that ET can use their frequency to control reactions to their presence.

After spotting a UFO in the sky but not grabbing his camera, Paul wonders if his conscience was being warned against capturing evidence.

He added: “ET can control and project a ‘fearful’ frequency, that dissuade any witnesses from being more curious and people will naturally shy away from a fearful confrontation.

“ET make their own little universe around the craft. They are able to manipulate the frequency of the immediate surroundings to travel at will wherever they want to be!”

In his new book, Paul explores human and alien frequencies further as part of a multitude of subjects from UFO abductions to the paranormal.

I wanted to share this article simply because I think there’s likely truth in it. Obviously, I’ve lived through multitudes of things many have said weren’t possible. Therefore, when it comes to aliens, I can’t imagine why they wouldn’t or couldn’t exist.

Too, I once experienced a rather strange reaction when visiting the local Children’s Museum. At the time there was a dinosaur exhibit. An exhibit that randomly broadcast the call, or sound, of a dinosaur over their speaker system. When I heard the sound for the first time I felt pure terror. Yes, I didn’t know the sound was coming, but it wasn’t loud at all. Rather, it sounded sort of “off in the distance”.

Yet the fear that resonated in me came from the deepest core of my being. I wanted to run. I wanted to hide. I wanted to instinctually get away from that sound. It was bizarre! My reaction, along with the sound, wasn’t “normal”. It was primitive.

As a result of this one experience I can’t imagine we don’t have a powerful gut-level reaction to many things, one almost certainly being anything not of this world. So Interesting! Calleen

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This Romanian Forest Is Said To Be The Most Haunted In The World by Katie Machadop

Hoia Baciu is the most haunted forest in the world and if stories from the locals are any indication, we don’t recommend going in alone.

The Hoia Baciu Forest is more than just haunted – it also carries with it a dark history that many people attribute their negative experiences. While the wooded land only consists of about 729 acres of land (which is not a small amount but it’s not nearly the largest, either), being in this forest often feels as though it’s surrounding you with much more than originally bargained for. Those who do explore it do so by foot or bike, as there are plenty of trails throughout for both. However, once a person hears the history of these woods, it’s unlikely they’ll be jumping to go on a hike or a bike ride anytime soon.

The forest resides just west of Cluj-Napoca so it’s not difficult to find. With the surrounding land still looking very much like it did during the 12th century (with the exception of modern society, of course), it’s easy to imagine that these woods do carry the energy, hauntings, and paranormal activity they’re said to. The Daco-Roman architecture from the 12th century only enhances the overall atmosphere and in the city, it’s beautiful… but on its outskirts, well… we’d say you were warned.

Romania’s ‘Bermuda Triangle’

While Hoia Baciu has many names by the locals, one of the most well-known is Romania’s Bermuda Triangle. One of the alleged paranormal phenomena that occur here has to do with time travel and bizarre disappearances, as many people have either gone into the forest and not come out, or have gone in and come out years later, looking exactly as they did years prior. Two such stories account for this activity. The first is about a local shepherd who disappeared with his flock of sheep in the woods. When locals have gone to search for the man, they’ve all returned with stories that don’t necessarily add up as something ‘normal,’ and have come back with strange rashes that have seemingly been caused by nothing at all.

The second story is that of a five-year-old girl who wandered into the woods alone, and though she was searched for, the girl was never found. Five years later, she wandered back out of the woods and, although it was five years after her disappearance, she appeared to be no older and was wearing the same exact clothing she had on the day of her disappearance. While it’s estimated that roughly 1,000 people have disappeared in the woods in total, according to JayWay Travel, it’s also said that the forest is home to a secret portal that allows people to (unintentionally) travel in time or to another world.

The Peasants Who Lived There Before

It’s said that the forest’s original haunting happened centuries prior when peasants were murdered on the land it sits on. While this happened hundreds and hundreds of years ago, it’s said that this is the negativity that causes the unease that many people feel when hiking through the forest. Those who believe in its tragic history – as well as those who don’t – have said that they’ve gone into the forest and heard strange noises, seen unexplainable things, and have even heard giggling seeming to come from nowhere, in particular.

Today, some people still come out of the forest with rashes and other physical symptoms that can’t be fully explained, and this has driven up the interest in recent years. The unexplained mysteries surrounding the forest have gotten so popular that paranormal groups have taken to its trails, as well, and many tourists have strapped on their own hiking boots to see what it’s all about.

UFO Sightings Since The 1960s

One of the most unique things about this forest is its geological features which, many people say, only feel into the paranormal phenomena that seem to surround it. Since the 1960s, there have been many UFO sightings – and by ‘many,’ we mean so many that people have been able to capture them on film and in photos. There’s even an area in the forest where nothing grows as it is completely devoid of life, and it’s an area that has even stumped scientists.

It’s often said that this is where the portal to another world lies and, if not, then perhaps it’s a place of alien origin. Interestingly enough, upon further studying the soil, it’s been determined that there’s nothing biologically wrong with it, and there should be no logical reason that no trees or even grass grow in the area. Therefore, on top of its dark medieval history, there’s also the question of whether or not this land has been visited by others we don’t even know about.

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The is one forest even I don’t think I’d ever want to visit. I’ve read too many things about how horribly many people are affected. Truly, a scary place. But interesting, so interesting! Calleen

Delve into the History of Black Eyed Kids on Linnea Quigley’s Paranormal Truth Exclusive Clip By Karen Benardello

Horror fans are being lured to explore the myths and realities of some of the world’s most haunting supernatural events on the upcoming television docuseries, ‘Paranormal Truth.’ The show’s first season, which is comprised of 12 30-minute episodes, is set to premiere later this month on Amazon, Tubi and other major On Demand platforms.

In honor of ‘Paranormal Truth’s upcoming premiere, ShockYa is debuting an exclusive clip from the horror docuseries’ seventh episode, which is titled ‘Black Eyed Kids & Celebrity Deaths.’ The clip delves into the question of why the children appear to adults with black eyes, and how the former lure the latter under their spell.

‘Paranormal Truth’ is hosted by horror icon Linnea Quigley, who’s known for starring in ‘Return of the Living Dead.’ The show is presented by MAHA films, ScreamQueen Productions and Red Rock Entertainment. It was written and shot by Jeff Sheldon, who also served as the director with Victor Huesca.

From vampires, exorcisms, devil worship to supernatural hauntings, each episode of ‘Paranormal Truth’ will take viewers behind the myths and realities of each subject. With interviews from leading investigators around the world, the series will delve into a world never seen before.

The Black-Eyed Kids Freak Me Out… and Not Much Freaks Me Out! Creeeepy! Calleen

Spend the Night in a Haunted Prison

Are you a fan of horror movies? Do you believe in ghosts? If so, you might be interested in going on a ghost hunt in the old Montana State Prison in Deer Lodge, Montana.

Thanks to, thrill seekers and those interested in paranormal activity can book an overnight ghost hunting excursion at the prison. The prison was first built in 1867, which is longer than Montana has been a state.

The overnight ghost hunt includes access to the most haunted areas in the prison. You’ll have access to the Death Tower, Administration House, Clark Theatre, Maximum Security, The Hole, and the Chapel. Led by an experienced investigator, you will be able to use EMF readers and other equipment to detect paranormal presences. Your guide will be there to lead vigils and answer your questions about the prison and its inhabitants, and they will walk you through the most active areas of the compound so you can experience everything the prison has to offer.

According to Ghost Hunts USA, visitors have reported a variety of paranormal experiences within the prison walls. Records show that the living conditions were nearly intolerable with deadly heat, unhygienic living spaces, and corrupt management. Many men suffered and died there. There were several violent riots and attempted prison breaks over the years, with one such riot leading to a hostage situation and a bloody murder-suicide at the top of the Death Tower. In other words, there are many unhappy souls who have ties to the old Montana State Prison

If you want to book an old Montana State Prison ghost hunt, more information can be found here.

Read More: Spend the Night Ghost Hunting in This Creepy Old Montana Prison |

Josh Gates’ Explorations Take Him Back in the Field as Epic Nights of Adventure Every Wednesday on Discovery Channel Return April 14

Via Discovery Channel

Look for “Expedition X” and “Josh Gates Tonight” back-to-back starting at 9:00/8:00c.

Adventurer and avid explorer Josh Gates has spent his career traversing the globe investigating history’s greatest legends and mysteries. Now, America’s most adventurous talk-show host is getting out from behind the desk and is once again back in the field for a hands-on, heart-pounding investigation as Discovery’s Adventure Wednesday lineup returns with all-new episodes of JOSH GATES TONIGHT and EXPEDITION X. Episodes of both series will be available to watch on Discovery Channel and stream on discovery+.

Beginning, Wednesday, April 14 at 9PM ET/PT, audiences can join Josh as he breaks out of lockdown to join his team of scientist Phil Torres and paranormal researcher Jessica Chobot in the season premiere of EXPEDITION X, airing at 9PM ET/PT on Discovery+ and Discovery Channel.

In one of the most exciting EXPEDITION X investigations yet, Josh ventures into the field to join his dynamic duo as they hunt the legendary Beast of Bray Road across rural Wisconsin.

And throughout the new season, Jessica and Phil will continue to tackle the strangest mysteries and legends from around the country. Whether it’s exploring the waters surrounding “UFO Island” just off the coast of California, chasing the legend of a seven foot tall humanoid creature in the eerily-named Ape Canyon, or ghost hunting on an abandoned canal rumored to be haunted by soldiers slaughtered in the Civil War, the Expedition X team has the truth in its sights.

Working with eyewitnesses and experts, and deploying a cutting-edge toolbox of high-tech equipment, Phil and Jess shed new light on cases that have confounded, frightened, and fascinated people for generations.

Could be Interesting…. Calleen

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Close Encounters of the Fifth Kind

My oldest child reached out to me and suggested I watch this movie. He had just watched it and found it very interesting. He also mentioned how so much of what is talked about are things I encounter or work with daily. So obviously, I watched it last night.

All I want to say is, watch it if you’re open to such things. If not, you’d probably be bored. I was transfixed, especially as it advanced.

Yes, my son was right, so much of what they speak of I work with or have encountered… still encounter. Am I a believer? YEP. In truth, it doesn’t even seem that weird to me. It seems like the only sensible possibility.

Anyway, watch it if you have any interest whatsoever in some pretty explosive facts about those things not often mentioned in public.

Enjoy. Calleen

Mysterious Deaths and Serial Killer Residents: What to Know About the Cecil Hotel’s Creepy History

Netflix’s Crime Scene: The Vanishing at the Cecil Hotel examines the 2013 death of Elisa Lam, whose body was found in a water tower atop the Los Angeles property.

cecil hotel


Netflix’s Crime Scene: The Vanishing at the Cecil Hotel delves into one mysterious death, but the historic Los Angeles property had an eerie reputation long before Elisa Lam checked in.

The twenty-one-year-old Canadian college student disappeared while staying at the hotel in 2013. Her body was later found at the bottom of a water tank on the roof. The circumstances surrounding her death mystified law enforcement and online sleuths, who studied the evidence, including a bizarre bit of security footage of Lam stepping in and out of a hotel elevator that marked the last time she was seen alive. Her death was later ruled an accidental drowning, but that has done little to quell the endless speculation about foul play or even paranormal activity.

According to one of the experts featured in a clip from the show (below), “Throughout the years the Cecil has become this exalted space of crime, of violence, of spookiness.”

Serial Killers in Residence

Two serial killers famously lived at the Cecil, a 700-room hotel that opened in the 1920s and is located in Downtown L.A.’s Skid Row. For much of its history, it functioned as single-room rentals with shared bathrooms, rather than a typical hotel.

Richard Ramirez, known as the “Nightstalker,” resided in a $14-per-night room in 1985, according to CNN. In the early 1980s, he killed 13 women and, the outlet notes, was able to remain under the radar thanks to the building’s seedy reputation and largely transient occupants. A second expert who appears in the episode notes Ramirez would “come back covered in blood” without raising eyebrows.

Another serial killer, Jack Unterweger, was reportedly a resident at the Cecil in 1991 and killed three Los Angeles sex workers during his time there. The Austrian journalist had previously been convicted of murder but was released early in 1990 after he was thought to have been rehabilitated. He went on to be convicted of nine more murders.

A Link to Black Dahlia

The Cecil Hotel also has ties to one of the most famous unsolved crimes in history: the Black Dahlia murder. While actress Elizabeth Short, who became known as the Black Dahlia after her death, was last seen at the nearby Biltmore Hotel before her gruesome death, Crime Scene indicates she allegedly visited the bar at the Cecil Hotel shortly before she was killed.

One online theory about Lam’s 2013 death also involved a suspect who had previously visited the Cecil and posted a video of himself with an image of Short in the background.

Numerous Guest Deaths

At least four tenants of the hotel have also died by suicide at the site since 1927. In 1962, a woman jumped from a ninth-floor window and landed on a pedestrian below killing them both. Several others died after ingesting poison. In the show, the hotel’s former manager, Amy Price, claimed she had seen 80 deaths in the 10 years she worked there, from 2007 to 2017.

Turns on TV

The Cecil served as inspiration for American Horror Story: Hotel, the fifth season of the Ryan Murphy-created show, which aired in 2015 and 2016. The show was not filmed on-site, but there were many parallels to Murphy’s fictional Hotel Cortez. He even revealed on a panel that he decided on the theme of the season after seeing a real bit of surveillance video. “A girl got in an elevator in a downtown hotel. She was never seen again,” he said seemingly referring to the footage of Elisa Lam.

It also received a visit from Travel Channel’s Zak Bagans and his team of paranormal investigators, who created the two-hour special Ghost Adventures: Cecil Hotel, which debuted on January 4 and is available to stream on Discovery+.

New Tenants Wanted

The Cecil Hotel is not currently welcoming guests, but there are plans for it to reopen. The property was purchased by hotelier Richard Born for $30 million in 2014, according to Curbed. The plan was to turn it into “reasonably priced residences catering to young professionals,” according to the outlet. But it soon changed hands again. It was purchased by a development group in 2016 with hopes to turn it into the Historic Core hotel, a mix of hotel rooms and rental units.

In 2017, it closed for renovations, with plans to add a gym and rooftop pool among other luxury amenities. It has yet to reopen.

Crime Scene: The Vanishing at the Cecil Hotel is streaming now on Netflix.

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Our favorite musicians are just like us. They love to seek out creepy paranormal experiences.

musicians ghost hunting, kesha, corey taylor, ash costello, post malone
[Photos by: Kesha, Corey Taylor/Spotify, New Years Day, Post Malone/Adam Degross]

There are few things we love more than musicians and ghost stories, so when they come together, we can’t get enough.

Luckily, many musicians in the scene are self-proclaimed horror buffs, sometimes incorporating the aesthetic into music videos, album art and more.

And some even take their curiosity to another level, actively seeking out paranormal events for themselves.

We decided to look at 10 musicians who have been ghost hunting or claim to have encountered spirits from another dimension. Because these stars just love scaring the shit out of themselves, just like us.

Post Malone

Post Malone is likely the most well-known artist who has had a highly public ghost encounter. In 2018, the rapper appeared on Ghost Adventures with Zak Bagans, where he encountered a haunted box. In the time that followed, a chain of unfortunate events followed, including a car accident, an emergency landing via plane and a failed robbery attempt, leading Posty to now believe that he was cursed by the experience

Vince Neil

Vince Neil of Mötley Crüe also appeared on the Travel Channel show, investigating the Riviera Hotel in Las Vegas. The experience definitely freaked him out and made him believe in ghosts after feeling the presence of a cold energy in the room.


Awsten Knight of Waterparks has shared several paranormal experiences with his Twitter followers, including burning sagesleeping at haunted hotels and playing with possessed dolls. However, he seems to always be pretty freaked out by anything remotely spooky. Who could blame him?

The Osbournes

It’s unsurprising that America’s favorite spooky family has had a ghost encounter. Last year, the family appeared on the Travel Channel show Night Of Terror, where they investigated L.A.’s haunted hotspot Heritage Square and learned about its sinister history.

Alice Cooper

Alice Cooper might bask in all things creepy and scary, but he hasn’t been spared from a few frights of his own. He’s previously shared a story about a time when he was staying at a house that seemed to be haunted. The faucet would turn on by itself, and there were loud sounds coming from the basement. The entire experience made him and his company flee, only to later find out that The Amityville Horror was written in the home, which definitely explains a few things.

New Years Day

In 2014, New Years Day got together with us to go ghost hunting in Cleveland, and it was a sight to behold. It was pretty harmless, but you definitely get some paranormal vibes from the whole thing.

Meat Loaf

In an episode of The Haunting OfMeat Loaf confronted the spirit of a man who attempted to sabotage his music career many years ago. The scene will definitely have the hair on the back of your neck sticking up.


Kesha hasn’t been shy about her paranormal experiences. Aside from a claim she made in 2012 that she slept with a ghost, she also appeared on The Haunting Of to revisit a haunted hotel she once stayed at. In her original encounter, she says she felt a weird energy and saw the figure of a girl who “stared into [her] soul,” which sounds like it came straight out of a horror movie.

Oliver Tree

While Oliver Tree didn’t seek out a ghost, one was definitely looking for him. He told a story of seeing a ghost when he was 8 years old at his grandma’s house and later seeing the same ghost several years later. He had been told his grandpa was haunting the house but wasn’t sure whether or not the spirit was related to him.

Corey Taylor

Slipknot’s Corey Taylor went ghost hunting at acclaimed former comedian Redd Foxx’s house, and he proved that he’s lowkey a professional ghost hunter. He took the whole thing seriously, and while he tried to keep a brave face, he was definitely a little shook.

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Ghostly Experience

I know there are a lot of skeptics out there who will try to tell me what I experienced was unusual but nothing paranormal. Trust me, my boyfriend still doesn’t believe me. However, I feel like there is no other explanation for what happened to me over the weekend.

It all started when I went to go to my boyfriend’s aunt’s house in rural Michigan to feed her cats while she was out of town. It was dark out but nothing too eerie in the air. I was blaring my music, just vibing and getting ready to play with some cats, life was good.

Once the cats were fed, I hopped back in my car and continued to play my music (this detail is important later) and head home.

As I turn onto our road, there is a heavily wooded nature preserve so you usually have to keep your eyes peeled for deer. Well, what I saw zoom across the road was NO deer. No, no, it was the size of a deer but was up in the air about halfway up the tree line.

I can hear you now “Geez, it was probably just a bird” and to that I say, nay! It did not move like a bird.

My first thought was it was a ghost, a demon, a spirit of some sort…Jordan’s first thought was that it was an owl when I got home, took my coat and shoes off and ran inside to tell him what I had seen.

As I’m freaking out, telling him my story, trying to convince him that it’s not just because I’ve been watching too much “Ghost Adventures” I go to reach for my phone…and it’s not in my pocket.

I check my coat, purse, car, bed, everywhere…it’s not there.

I get mad because how do I lose my phone two seconds after walking in the door?

Jordan suggested I maybe left it at his aunt’s house but I couldn’t have as my music would not have played in my car without it.

After a lot of searching, swearing and thinking a ghost must have moved it, I check my car for the fifth time and find my phone in the side panel door pocket on my passenger side!

I immediately get the chills because I knew it was in my coat pocket the whole time I was driving. Also had my phone fell in there when I braked or turned or what-have-you, I would have heard it smack into the door.

All in all, yes, what I saw could have been something living but with the whole phone situation right after, I have to think it was paranormal.

I told the story on my Instagram story later that night and a shaman reached out and said he believed me and that he thinks I saw some sort of “animal/spirit guide” and it was trying to give me a message.

What that message would be, I’m not sure but man, something spiritual or ghostly happened and there is really no convincing me otherwise but you sure can try!

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7 Terrifying Tales From the World’s Most Haunted Museums, From the Red Man of the Louvre to Monet’s Restless Ghost in Cleveland by Katie White

Happy Halloween!

Who stalks the halls of the palaces of the Louvre? (Photo by Francois LE DIASCORN/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images)
Who stalks the halls of the palaces of the Louvre? (Photo by Francois LE DIASCORN/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images)

Filled with prized paintings, storied treasures, and, yes, sometimes even mummies, museums are a natural haunt for otherworldly spirits.

Legends abound in the museum world of artistic spirits like Frida Kahlo roaming Casa Azul and a spectral lady in white spooking MoMA employees. Many museums have even publicly acknowledged the visitations. 

The Museum of Contemporary Art in Tokyo played into ghostly rumors when it opened a “Haunted House” gallery for kids filled with eerie paintings. (The eyes move in one picture; in another, a pair of hands emerge from the face of Mona Lisa). 

But we’re not talking about kids’ stuff. This Halloween, we’ve compiled seven of the most notorious museum hauntings, ranked from those that give slight goosebumps to ones that are totally hair-raising. 

Read on—if you dare…

 The Met’s Creepy Crypt

Does the ghost of a girl haunt the American Wing of the Metropolitan Museum of Art? Image by Mark B. Schlemmer.

Does the ghost of a girl haunt the American Wing of the Metropolitan Museum of Art? Image by Mark B. Schlemmer.

Doctor, Doctor, Give Me the Boos: The Upper East Side of Manhattan has every kind of doctor imaginable, including (and why not?) a duo of self-proclaimed ghost doctors. Over the years, the paranormal experts Dr. Pete and Dr. Stew have made numerous visits to the Met equipped with essential ghost-hunting gear, including EVP monitors and dowsing rods (never mind how those got through security). Over the years, the doctors have captured some spine-tingling sounds emanating from the galleries, and, on a 2013 ghost-hunting expedition with the Observer, the doctors seemed to have channeled a spirit in the European sculpture and decorative arts wing.

A Ghostly Girl: Elsewhere in the museum, at the Henry R. Luce Center for the Study of American Art, the phantom of a young girl has been seen running down the halls, her giggling and chatter giving unexpected frights to studious art historians and curators. According to museum lore, she’s believed to be the daughter of a long-ago employee.

Monet Manifests in the Midwest 

This honest-to-god photo of Monet was snapped by museum staff at the Cleveland Art Museum. Courtesy of the Cleveland Art Museum.

This honest-to-god photo of Monet was snapped by museum staff at the Cleveland Art Museum. Courtesy of the Cleveland Art Museum.

Guest Appearance: While curators were busy finalizing the installation of the Cleveland Art Museum’s 2015 exhibition “Painting the Modern Garden: Monet to Matisse,” the famed Impressionist painter of waterlilies himself appears to have paid an unexpected visit.

On the balcony overlooking the galleries stood a man with Monet’s characteristic salt-and-pepper beard and bowler hat. A photo of the figure was snapped by the museum’s director of design and architecture, Jeffrey Strean, showing the illusory artist just above a strikingly similar vintage photo of Monet. 

Staff Support: The Cleveland Museum claims the sighting is the real deal. Soon after the story emerged, Caroline Guscott, communications director for the museum, asked the Cleveland Plain Dealer: “What are the chances someone looks like that and happens to be at the museum the day we are finishing installation?” 

Not Their First Seance: Besides Monet, museum visitors from the afterlife have included the former museum director, William Mathewson Milliken, spotted sporting a tweed jacket and wandering the oldest sections of the museum. A likeness of the subject of Jacques André Joseph’s Portrait of Jean-Gabriel du Theil at the Signing of the Treaty of Vienna has supposedly been seen gazing at his portrait (we hope he likes it?). In 2010, the museum published a blog post recounting a few of the most frequent fantastical tales.

Restless Relics at the British Museum

A statue of the goddess Sekhmet is one of many objects in the collection of the British Museum believed to have other-worldly powers. Courtesy of the British Museum.

A statue of the Egyptian goddess Sekhmet is one of many objects in the collection of the British Museum believed to have other-worldly powers. Courtesy of the British Museum.

Ghost Gossip?: With millions of artworks and artifacts spanning millennia, it seems like merely a game of odds that there would be at least one spook wafting around the British Museum—at least that’s what Noah Angell, an American-born artist, supposed when he started researching hauntings at the museum back in 2016.

Years later, his list of stories, told to him mostly by museum guards, keeps growing.

“Most of the people that I’ve gathered these stories from… don’t self-identify as believing in ghosts,” he told the Economist. “For the most part, these visitor-services and security people are working-class blokes and they don’t make a fuss unless something really serious is going on… But what they all seem to agree on, as the sort of folk belief of the museum worker, is that objects hold energy.”

A Ghoulish Guard Dog: In one story, a security guard found himself inexplicably captivated by a 19th-century wooden Congolese sculpture of a dog. Sensing that the sculpture had inanimate powers, he pointed his finger towards it—and fire alarms in the gallery allegedly went off on cue. Other tales include ones of haunted stairwells, a crying caryatid from the Elgin Marbles, and secret powers from statues of the Egyptian goddess Sekhmet.

Unhappy Objects: Angell offered an alternative perspective on the repatriation of objects from Western museums, alluding to the possibility that the objects themselves may be uneasy in their current settings, particularly when ritual and ceremonial purposes are neglected.

“In the conventional discourse around repatriation… contested objects are like pawns. They may be fantastic and big and old, but essentially they are being employed as a symbolic wedge, which two countries with grievances against each other can use to get what they want,” Angell said. “These stories seem to suggest that the objects themselves are restless.”

Aaron Burr’s Widow Wanders a Manhattan Mansion

Yinka Shonibare, The Ghost of Eliza Jumel (2015) at the Morris-Jumel Mansion, New York. Photo: Trish Mayo, courtesy Morris-Jumel Mansion.

Yinka Shonibare, The Ghost of Eliza Jumel (2015) at the Morris-Jumel Mansion, New York. Photo: Trish Mayo, courtesy Morris-Jumel Mansion.

The Mysterious Mansion: In the northern stretches of Manhattan lies the Morris Jumel Mansion, a mid-18th-century Federal-style home that sometimes hosts art exhibitions. Along with the home’s era-specific furnishings comes one apparent epoch-appropriate apparition: Eliza Jumel, Aaron Burr’s widow, who lived in the home when she died in 1865, then one of the richest women in New York City. 

A Wretched Wraith: In her day, Jumel was known as a preternaturally shrewd businessperson. Born in a brothel as the daughter of a prostitute, she ascended to the height of American society. Gossip was always at her heels as she garnered power and wealth, through marriages, lies, and her own acumen. She was also a keen collector of art.

Jumel was rumored to have murdered Burr (no lamb himself) for his money—their divorce was meant to be finalized the day of his death. Her first husband, too, died under suspicious circumstances, falling on a pitchfork in their basement. Following her own passing, Jumel’s ghost stubbornly wouldn’t leave the house. 

Artist’s Conjuring: Several years ago, the museum hosted a Yinka Shonibare exhibition that included a headless figure meant to evoke Eliza Jumel’s ghost. The museum seems to agree something uncanny is afoot, and often hosts paranormal investigations that are open to the public.  

Lore at the Louvre 

Girolamo della Robbia, Catherine de Medici funerary statue (1567). Collection of the Louvre.

Girolamo della Robbia, Catherine de Medici funerary statue (1567). Collection of the Louvre.

Bloody Beginnings: Long before the Louvre was a museum, it was a fortress with beginnings dating back to the 12th century. With such august origins, no doubt the building itself has been home to more than a few unfortunate endings—and a running list of its own startling tales. 

The Queen’s Butcher: The Louvre’s most infamous apparition is that of Jean l’Ecorcheur— Jack the Skinner.

A butcher by trade, he became a favorite henchman of Queen Catherine de Medici in the 16th century. Suspecting he knew just one too many secrets about the royal family, the cunning queen had him murdered.

It is said that, from beyond the grave, Jean l’Ecorcheur returned to haunt the royal family, living in the palaces of Louvre. Nicknamed the Red Man of the Tuileries, he can still be spotted dressed in red, moving about the museum and the nearby gardens. Napoleon claimed to have seen his likeness in 1815. 

A Bogeyman Bell Tower at the San Francisco Art Institute

The San Francisco Art Institute. Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

The San Francisco Art Institute. Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

Tower of Terror: Even Quasimodo would be hightailing out of this bell tower. The San Francisco Art Institute’s bell tower is a hotbed of paranormal comings and goings—so much so that they’ve cordoned the tower off from the public. 

Decades of Disturbance: The first significant occurrence came in the 1940s. A student needing to pay for this schooling took a job as a night watchman, and, pinching pennies, worked out an arrangement to live in the tower as well. One night, the student reported hearing what he believed was an intruder running up the stairs. Alarmed, he prepared to bludgeon the invader, but when the door swung open, no one was there (!). Nevertheless, the footsteps continued out to the observation deck. Following this incident, the institute received intermittent reports of unusual activity, but the ghost settled down… at least for a while. 

Damning Decision: Don’t disturb the dead is horror-movie 101. Nevertheless, in the 1960s, the school went ahead and began renovations on the bell tower. Supernatural reprisal is said to have commenced in the form of disembodied screams, destroyed equipment, and falling objects. Construction workers complained of many unsettling events, with the company ultimately quitting the job. 

Artistic Inspiration: While the bell tower has been largely off-limits, the school has allowed psychics to perform occasional seances on site. One psychic claimed to have had a vision of a graveyard at the base of the bell tower—which might just be true. According to research, the graveyard was built over following the 1906 earthquake. In 2017, SFAI leaned into the creepy factor by hosting an exhibition inspired by the hauntings titled “Ghost Of The Tower.” 

Buried at the Museum, the Smithsonian’s Founder Wanders the Halls 

James Smithson was buried in Italy before his body was moved to the United States.

James Smithson was buried in Italy before his body was moved to the United States.

Ghost in Residence: James Smithson, the founding donor of the Smithsonian Institute, has been spotted wandering the organization’s “Castle,” home to its administrative and information headquarters, on numerous occasions. This starts to make a lot of sense when you learn that Smithson’s remains have been interred at the museum since 1904.

Afterlife Investigation: Smithson’s frequent appearances were supposedly causing such a ruckus that, in 1973, his remains were briefly disinterred for investigation. His skeleton was, in fact, still safely in its coffin—though that’s to say nothing of his spirit. (Other motives for the disinterment might have been to search for documents rumored to have been buried with him… but we choose to believe otherwise.)

No Rest for the Weary: The English Smithson died without ever visiting the United States, despite his eagerness to help fund the new institution. He was buried for the first time in Genoa after he passed away in 1829. But attempting to right that perceived injustice, Alexander Graham Bell arranged to have his body exhumed and brought to the US in 1903—meaning that Smithson has been exhumed not once, but twice. It’s no wonder his spirit can’t settle down.

Working the Graveyard Shift: Smithsonian enthusiasts never seem to want to leave. As early as 1900, the Washington Post mentioned sightings of Spencer Fullerton Baird, the museum’s first curator, seen wandering the museum’s hall. Another regular: the famed paleontologist Fielding B. Meek, who lived in one of the museum’s castle towers with his cat and died there in 1876. Other sightings include the explorer Emil Bessels and secretary Joseph Henry, both lifelong devotees of the institution.

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