Tuesday, 15 April 2014


KITCHENER — The case of the "haunted" labour hall has finally been laid to rest by the highest court in Ontario.

Trajan Fisca hoped to get $1 million in compensation because nobody told him a three-storey building in downtown Kitchener had ghosts before he bought it in 2010.

But after launching a lawsuit on that basis and getting short shrift from a local judge, Fisca didn't fare any better when he took his complaint to the Ontario Court of Appeal.

In a one-page ruling Monday, a three-judge panel dismissed his bid to get a trial to show how the building is "stigmatized" and therefore worth much less than he paid.

The panel noted there is no direct evidence of financial loss or testimony from anyone "who observed any strange occurrences in the property."

Fisca purchased the historic 1922 building at 137-147 King St. E. from the K-W Labour Association for $650,000.

Soon after, an executive for the association joked to a Record reporter about the building being haunted, a story he later said he had heard over drinks at a bar.

When his lighthearted comments appeared in print, Fisca claimed he should have been informed of the "existence of a death and/or murder" at the property and that he had essentially been sold damaged goods.

Justice James Sloan ruled last fall that there wasn't enough substance to the case — which named the association and two real estate agents as defendants — to even go to trial.

"In essence what we have is a double hearsay rumour about a ghost from a couple of people after they had consumed a few beers at a social function," he wrote.

While upholding Sloan’s ruling, the appeal court also ordered Fisca to pay more than $6,000 in legal costs.


A lease of a Venetian island described as one of the most haunted places in Italy is due to be auctioned off next month as the Italian state desperately seeks to raise revenue.

Poveglia, a small, uninhabited island in the Venice lagoon, minutes from St Mark’s Square, is among five prime properties, including a castle and a monastery, that will go under the hammer in an online auction to help cut Italy’s massive debt pile.

The 17-acre island was fought over by the Venetians and the Genoese in the 14th century - and still shows traces of being fortified - before it became a quarantine station for ships arriving at Venice in the 18th century.

After a plague was discovered on two ships, the island was sealed off and used to host people with infectious diseases, leading to legends of terminally ill Venetians waiting to die before their ghosts returned to haunt the island.

A hospital for the elderly which opened in 1922 and operated until 1968 is rumoured to have hosted experiments on the mentally ill, including crude lobotomies, carried out by a director who was driven mad by ghosts before throwing himself from the hospital’s tower.

The island is currently closed to visitors, but an American TV presenter who visited the island and entered the abandoned hospital for the Travel Channel series Ghost Adventures claimed to have been briefly possessed by a ghost there.

The Italian state is now hoping that offers will arrive to transform the hospital into a luxury hotel under a deal giving the buyer a 99-year lease to redevelop the property, while the island remains the property of the state.

A further four properties listed for auction will be sold off rather than leased, including a monumental monastery in the crumbling old town of Taranto in Puglia, in the heel of Italy, and a 15th century castle in Gradisca d’Isonzo, near the border with Slovenia, that was built to defend against the Turks.

The state sales agency is selling off the properties after first ensuring buyers have the permits to redevelop - an essential prerequisite in Italy, where red tape can deter investors.
A former barracks in Trieste is also going under the hammer, one of dozens of disused barracks buildings built in the centre of Italian towns and dating back to the unification of Italy, which the state is trying to sell.

A spokeswoman for Italy’s state sales agency declined to put a possible price on Poveglia but noted that barracks buildings had previously been sold for up to €3.8 million. Another 148 properties are due to be auctioned off this year, with the state hoping to raise €500 million.

Source: TheTelegraph

Sunday, 13 April 2014


The art of spiritual photography dates back to the 19th century when William H. Mumler made a name for himself as a photographer-turned-medium allegedly able to conjure deceased individuals with his camera. The psychic photography movement had been around for a few decades, but Mumler is considered the first to have commercialized the trend, producing images -- like the famous Mary Todd Lincoln portrait -- that feature what appear to be, well, ghosts.

Fast forward a few years, and photographers like the London-based Richard Boursnell and J. Evans Sterling, as well as the Scottish brothers Craig and George Falconer, took up the helm of spiritual photography. The former followed in the vein of Mumler, capturing ethereal figures hovering beside sitters. The latter specialized in "ectoplasm" portraits, eerie images that show a thick white cloud near or around subjects' faces. (Ectoplasm, for the uninitiated, is a substance or spiritual energy "exteriorized" with the help of mediums.)

From a group of eight photographs of séances, silver prints, 1930s. Estimate $1,000 to $1,500. At auction April 17.
We came to the attention of these strange, historical objets d'art thanks to The Vault and the folks at Swann Auction Galleries, who unearthed photographs by the Falconer brothers, Boursnell and Sterling, and their contemporary Frederick Hudson for an upcoming sale entitled "The Vernacular Eye: Photographic Albums, Snapshots & Objects." According to Swann, men like the Falconers invited viewers to not only observe the mediums at work during seances, but also the loading, shooting and developing of film during the photographic process. The process amounted to images like this:

Of course, a healthy dose of skepticism accompanied the rise in popularity of spiritual photography throughout the early 20th century. "The brothers were arrested and convicted, in 1931," Swann writes on its website, "when two plainclothes policemen, who were posing as sitters, charged that 'extras' (spirits) were actually photomechanical images and the cloudy ectoplasm was manipulated." Not surprisingly, Mumler also faced legal scrutiny back in the 1860s. As art history has proven, the camera, in the hands of seasoned professionals, can be a powerfully manipulative tool.

Nevertheless, the act of recording "supernatural visitations" has clearly persisted. Take, for example, the plethora of ghost hunting shows that populate television channels like Animal Planet, Discovery and SyFy. So, if you're as intrigued by ghost hunting's past as you are by today's pop paranormal activity, feast your eyes on Swann's collection of spiritual photographs here.

From a group of five British photographs depicting spirits and a bearded man, albumen prints, 1895-96. Estimate $2,500 to $3,500.

"The Vernacular Eye: Photographic Albums, Snapshots &; Objects" sale will take place on April 17, 2014. All photos courtesy Swann Auction Galleries.

Article: HuffPost

Wednesday, 9 April 2014


The house where serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer grew up and committed his first murder is for sale again in northern Ohio.

Situated on a private wooded lot in a wealthy neighborhood near Akron, the three-bedroom home is priced at $295,000.

The home was first listed two years ago before being pulled off the market. Realtor Rich Lubinski said it failed to sell then because of the depressed housing market and its notorious past.

"If you can get past that little problem, you'll have a wonderful place to live," said Chris Butler, the home's current owner.

He bought the house in 2005, well aware of its history. He said he was drawn to the house by its 1950s style and wooded lot.

"The fact that it was Jeffrey Dahmer's house was not an attraction," Butler told WKYC-TV in Cleveland. "I am not a ghoul. I am not interested in the supernatural."

Dahmer and his parents moved into the house in 1968 when he was 8 years old. Ten years later, he committed his first murder there, killing a hitchhiker he had brought home and then burying the remains in the woods.

Dahmer moved to Wisconsin in 1982 and went on to kill 16 more people before his crimes were discovered in 1991. He was killed in prison in 1994 by a fellow inmate.

Lubinski said he has gotten calls every day about the house since it went back on the market about two weeks ago. About half the people don't seem to care about its past, he said.

"The others, they're immediately not interested," he said.

He tells potential buyers that "this house never killed anyone."

The ranch-style house was built in 1952, and a year later it was featured in the Akron Beacon Journal for its modern style, open layout and floor-to-ceiling windows that provided views of the wooded hillside.

It's shielded by trees, but still draws attention. A film crew from Japan came last month for a story on who lived there.

The house isn't open for tours, and Lubinski will only show it to serious buyers. "This is not a museum," he said.

An animal rights group is taking a stab at buying the childhood home of serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer in an effort to transform the Ohio house into a vegan eatery.

Monday, 7 April 2014


Following from my earlier post on our visit to St Briavels Castle, Forest of Dean, Gloucestershire.


I`ve been working on the day edit from the shoot which includes a tour of the castle`s ghostly history with the author, Ross Andrews.
Here is a taster of what is to come. In this edit rough, I`ve created the imagery in sepia to add a particularly period `taste` to the events.
The full video will be conjoined to the night footage edited by Adam Heath, of Forest Paranormal Investigations. When a release date is imminent, you will all be informed.
Hope you enjoy!

Chris Halton