Monday, August 17, 2009

A Ghost in Atlanta

New York Times (New York, New York) - March 1, 1883


ATLANTA, Ga., Feb. 28 - For the past 10 days Montgomery County, near the line of the Macon and Brunswick Railroad, has been the scene of a great mystery, and people are almost wild with excitement owing to the manifestations of alleged ghosts. The house of Mr. Adams is the scene of the disturbance. About 10 days ago he was alarmed by loud rappings against the side of his house as if some one was beating against it with sticks. When he would open the door to go out and investigate the matter, the rapping would begin on the inside of the house. No trace of the cause could be found. The disturbance has greatly increased within a few days, and the rapping finally became so violent that Mr. Adams tore down the ceiling and walls of the house in endeavoring to find a reason or explanation for the singular proceedings. The entire matter is involved in the greatest mystery. People are greatly alarmed, and are flocking by hundreds to Mr. Adams's house to try to solve the mystery.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

The Ghost of Mary Gallagher - 1879

Now it all makes sense! At first glance, the articles dated June and July don't seem to have anything to do with the articles dated October and December. At first I had come across the June articles and went in search for more information. I couldn't find anything on the names of the people, so I tried to find out more about the area. Eventually I found "Griffintown", badly misspelled in all but one of the articles, which was an Irish district of Montreal for over a century starting in the 1820s. The Wikipedia article for this district mentioned a documentary of a ghost story of "Mary Gallagher" - a prostitute that was murdered in 1879 on Williams Street and is still searching for her head. I knew this couldn't be a coincidence, there had to be some connection between this old ghost story and the articles that I had found.

Believed to be the scene of the crime
cor of Williams and Murray Sts.

Then I found the October and December articles which mentioned Mary Gallagher, Susan Kennedy and Michael Flannagan, the names there were mentioned in the ghost story, but with no details to confirm it was the same as my June articles of if the two had some how gotten confused with each other over the decades. Finally I found "The Dominion: An Annual Register and Review" which detailed the entire incidence and confirmed that they were the same story - and that the American newspapers had butchered the facts.

The name "Mrs. McCormick, alias Conway" is a version of Mary's married named of "Connolly". "Mr. and Mrs. Jacobs" are really "Mr. and Mrs. Jacob Mears". The rest is the same with the exception of the American newspaper omitting all information regarding Michael Flannagan and the reason for the crime.

The articles:

Galveston Daily News (Galveston, Texas) - June 29, 1879

MONTREAL, June 28. - At a late hour last night the mutilated body of a women named McCormick, alias Conway, was found in a house on William street, Graffinton. The house, which is in a low part of the city, is occupied by Mr. and Mrs. Jacobs, and is frequented by dissipated characters. When the police visited the place at midnight a horrible scare presented itself. The body of the unfortunate woman was lying in a pool of blood, while her head, completely severed from her body, was placed in a basket close by, in which was found her right hand. A drunken brawl had been going on during the early part of the day, and it is supposed the murder was committed in the afternoon. Mrs. Jacobs has been arrested, all the circumstances so far pointing to her as the murderer.

Daily Constitution (Atlanta, Georgia) - June 29, 1879

MONTREAL, June 23 - At a late hour last night the mutilated body of a woman named McCormick alias Conway, was found in a house on William street, the Grafferton house, which is in the low part of the city occupied by Mr. and Mrs. Jacobs, and is frequented by dissipated characters. When the police visited the place at midnight a horrible scene presented itself. The body of the unfortunate woman was lying in a pool of blood, while her head, completely severed from her body, was placed in a basket close by, in which was found her right hand. A durnken brawl had been going on during the early part of the day, and it is supposed the murder was committed in the afternoon. Mrs. Jacobs has been arrested, all the circumstances so far pointing to her as the murderer.

Fort Wayne Weekly Sentinel (Fort Wayne, Ind.) - July 2, 1879

Montreal, June 28. - Mrs. McCormick, alias Conway, was murdered last night in a low house in Griffintown. The body was lying in a pool of blood. The head and hand, severed from the body, were in a pail.

Daily Constitution (Atlanta, Georgia) - October 5, 1879

Mrs. Susan Kennedy Miars, in Montreal, has been found guilty of the murder of Mary Gallagher and sentenced to the banged on the 5th of December next.

Daily Kennebec Journal (Augusta, Maine) - October 6, 1879

Susan Kennedy Mars was found guilty of the murder of Mary Gallagher, and sentenced to be hanged on the 5th of December.

Sedalia Daily Democrat (Sedalia, Missouri) - Dec. 7, 1879

Michael Flannigan, who was acquitted of the charge of the murder of Mary Gallagher, was accidently drowned in the canal basin, at Montreal, on Friday. A singular circumstance connected with the drowning is that he was drowned on the same day and same hour on which Susan Kennedy was to have been executed. She was convicted of murder, and her sentence was commuted to imprisonment for life.

Stevens Point Journal (Stevens Point, Wis.) - Dec. 13, 1879

Michael Flannagan, acquitted of the charge of complicity in the murder of Mary Gallagher, was accidentally drowned on the 6th instant, in the new canal at Point St. Charles, Canada. It is remarked that the hour and day on which Flannagan was drowned are the same as appointed for the execution of Susan Kennedy, whose sentence has been commuted to imprisonment in the penitentiary for life.


The Dominion - Annual Register and Review - 1879

October 1st - Susan Kennedy, wife of Jacob Mears, is placed on trial before the Court of Queen's Bench, Montreal, His Honor Judge Monk presiding, charged with having murdered Mary Gallagher, wife of James Connelly, on the 27th June. The murder was commited in the upper portions of the tenement house No. 242 William street, in the portion of the city commonly called "Griffintown"; and appears to have been the result of a drunken quarrel between the two women about a man named Michael Flannagan, who had come into the house early in the morning with the deceased. Both the women were known to the police as loose and disorderly characters. The murder appears to have been committed about midday, but it was not until nine o'clock in the evening that the police heard of it and visit the house. The body of the murdered woman was then found lying on the floor, with the head and one hand cut off and placed in a tub by the side of the body; and the woman Mears lying half drunk on a bed in a back room. It appeared that when the woman Gallagher and the man Flannagan came in together in the morning they sent Mrs. Meare for a bottle of whiskey which the three of them drunk; Flannagan then went to sleep and the two women got quarreling when Mrs. Mears murdered her companion by striking her with an axe. Fourteen cuts were found on the head and neck. The defense endeavoured to show insanity, but failed; and the jury brought in a verdict of willful murder, which a recommendation to mercy. Susan Kennedy was sentenced to be hanged on the 5th of December; but her sentence was commuted for imprisonment for life. Flanagan was also tried for murder and acquitted; but, by a curious coincidence, he was drowned in the Lachine Canal on the very day Kennedy was to have been hung, 5th December.

Friday, August 14, 2009


I think I love these old ghost stories the best, and this one is also an early account of a ghost hunt as well, which makes it extra special. Problem is, this one seems pretty fake, would be interesting to find out more info, but so far I haven't found anything. Don't get me wrong, the article is 100% real, so it myself in the 1884 newspaper - but I think that back in 1884 a couple of guys might have gotten together to put on a show for their neighbors. But how they did it I don't know.

Newark Daily Advocate (Newark, Ohio) - February 25, 1884


A Curious Apparition That Excited General Superstitions

NEWBURG, N. Y., Feb. 25. - The threatened reappearance of the ghost of old William Van Tassel has demonstrated that the good people of Orange county do not fear "spooks" and are willing to investigate one when and wherever they can find it. A reporter of the World called on James Van Tassel, who, it was alleged, received the charge from the ghost, this evening - after the hour for the reentree - and found him surrounded by his neighbors, among whom were James Chet Almora, Rice Steven, Gil Baily, Sam Jones and George and Mr. Stall.

When approached by the reporter James said the apparition that he and his brother-in-law saw did not resemble his father. It looked like a child five years old and had neither arms nor legs. He heard it say that James Henry Hoffman, his brother-in-law, could not come to the property. Then it vanished. Although he does not believe spooks, James says he cannot but believe his eyes.

True to contract, as James would lead people to suppose, the spectre returned again last evening at the appointed hour, and all the neighbors had gathered to greet it. A noise was first heard outside of the house about 6 o'clock. An investigation was made but nothing discovered. The party went into the house and remained until between 7:30 and 8 o'clock, when another noise, which sounded like the groans of a human being, was heard, and the party went out determined to see what was the cause. When they looked around the premise they discovered a brilliant light about three hundred yards from the house, it started from the ground and gradually ascended skyward. As it floated through the air it slowly sailed to the northeast, although the wind was blowing strongly from the west. It had the appearance of a man's head and neck, but it was much larger than any James had ever seen.

It did not, however, look like his father. The neighbors stood and looked at it in amazement as it floated in a direction contrary to the prevailing strong wind. It took about five minutes for it to gradually recede out of sight. As it bore away from the mountain side it presented a sight not unlike a fire-balloon. The head and neck figure was there, however, and was a source of great wonderment to the party, who were unable to discern its meaning.

Manhasset's Aged Ghost

This one is just cool! Of all things I love ghost stories, and want to badly to go on a ghost hunt. Today I came across this old newspaper article that tells of a recent ghost in Manhasset, New York. You've got to love this sort of thing - now, this it an actual article from 1880! It is not a reproduction or a story meant to take place in 1880!

New York Times (New York, New York) - August 13, 1880


A house at Manhasset, Long Island, recently owned and occupied by Milton Smith, was built by his father, Richard R. Smith, in 1835. At his father's death Milton fell heir to the property. Recently he mortgaged the place to parties in New York, and not being able to pay the interest, was dispossessed. The house remained vacant for some time, and there were rumors of strange sights having been seen about the premises after nightfall, and the story soon god about that the house was haunted. Finally, the owners gave Elias Peaser, the village blacksmith, permission to live in the house rent free, and he moved in, with his wife and little daughter. On the evening of the day the family moved in, Mrs. Peaser took a lamp, and, with the little girl in her arms, started to put her to bed, leaving her husband in an adjoining room reading. Mrs. Peaser had been gone but a moment when her husband heard the door hang and his wife scream. He ran into the room where she was, and found it in darkness. His wife was lying upon the floor in a fit, with the girl near her. Mrs. Peaser soon revived, and begged to be taken out of the house at once, as she had seen an old man dressed in white, who had shut the door behind her, locked it, and knocked the lamp out of her hand. The family moved out that night.


Dutch Reformed Church, Manhasset - Marriage Records

Richard R. Smith to Phebe Cornelius - January 1, 1804

North Hempstead, Queens, New York - October 4, 1850
1850 United States Federal Census

Richard Smith - m 73, butcher
Phebe Smith - f 81
Martha Leah - f 26
Henry Smith - m 16, butcher
Susan A. Smith - f 11
Amanda Smith - f 9
Ja H. Leah - m 4
Milton Smith - m 38, butcher

North Hempstead, Roslyn, Queens, New York - July 3, 1860
1860 United States Federal Census
[there is a note that the house next door was unoccupied and owned by "Smith"]

Milton Smith - m 47 - Master Butcher, born New York
Sarah E. - f 35, born NY
Ezra H. - m 8, born NY
Wallace H. - m 3, born NY
Jesse - m 1, born NY
Richard R. - m 80, born NY
Chester Howell - m 67, born NY
John Jones - m 24 - butcher, born NY
Susan Schenck - f 13, black , born Pennsylvania

Manhasset, Queens, New York - June 15, 1880
1880 United States Federal Census

Smith, Milton - wm 67 - butcher, b NY
Smith, Sarah E. (wife) - wf 52 - keeping house, b NY
Smith, Jessie (son) - wm 21 - butcher, b NY
[next door]
Peason, Elias - wm 24 - blacksmith, b NY
Peason, Kate (wife) - wm 20 - keeping house, b NY
Peason, Louise (daughter) - wf 6 months, born Dec 1879, b NY

Episcopal & Dutch Reformed Church Yards, Manhasset - 1913

Smith, Milton (1812-1889) - "The grave of an honest man"
Smith, Lizzie B. - d 9 Oct 1866, 11 mos, 8 days
Smith, Orvell G. - d 19 Sep 1868, 9 mos, 15 days
Smith, Richard R. - d June 23, 1861 - 81 years, 5 months, 8 days
Smith, Phebe - wife of Richard R. - d. July 6, 1856 - 86y/2m/18d

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Geoffroi de Charny (1300?-1356)

Geoffroi de Charny was a French knight from the early 14th century, and one of the most well respected of his time. He was born sometime prior to 1307, most likely in Lirey, France. His father was Jean de Charny, Lord of Lirey - a minor land owner, they were considered a "cadet family". His mother was Margaret de Joinville, daughter of Jean de Joinville, a close friend of King Louis IX. Geoffroi's first wife was Jeanne de Toucy who gave him the Castle of Pierre-Perthuis as her dowry. She died in 1341 and he remarried to Jeanne de Vergy, Lady of Montfort and Savoisy. With her he had two children - Geoffroy and Charlotte.

He carried the "Oriflamme" in battle, the standard of the crown of France. This showed his position and loyalty to the king as it was an honor to carry it and made him a target in battle. Geoffroi had fougth at Hainult and in Flanders and participated in a failed crusade under Humbert II of Viennois - they signed a treaty with the Turks in 1348. He also spent some time in captivity in Herefordshire, England in about 1342 before being killed in the Battle of Poitiers in 1356. But he is best known for being the author of several books on chivalry - the most famous being the "Book of Chivalry" written in about 1350.

But Geoffroi does not have an entry on this blog for his chivalry and battle history. He is instead mentioned because of his uncle and wife and his connection with the "Shroud of Turin" and the Knights Templar. His uncle was Geoffrey de Charney, who died in 1314. His wife, Jeanne de Vergy, is the first confirmed owner of "Shroud of Turin". It is therefore speculated that Jeanne found the shroud among her husbands belongings after his death, and that he had acquired it from his uncle, who in turn had acquired it through the Knights Templar who, supposedly, had taken it from Constantinople at some early date. Others believe that Geoffroi acquired it himself while on Crusade in 1348.

The church at Lirey

We do know that Geoffroi wrote to Pope Clement VI (if you have a copy of this letter, I would love to see it), that stated that he planned to build a church in Lirey, France in honor of the Holy Trinity who answered his prayers for a miraculous escape from England. Some believe that he must have already had the shroud at this time, but there is no record of it. One interesting piece of evidence to support this is a medallion, supposedly made to commemorate this church, depicting what looks like the double full body figure of the "Shroud of Turin". If the medallion, which is held at the National Museum of the Middle Ages, at the Cluny Abby hotel in Paris, is authentic (I have recently written to them, hope to get an answer soon) - then it would suggest that di Vinci did not make the shroud - unless he made a new one in the likeness of this one, which there is some evidence to support. It does not disprove that it may have been made during the carbon 14 dated period of 1290-1360. When a new church was built, it was customary for it to be commemorated with some sort of artifact from Christ, and it was quite common for these artifacts to be "representations" and not real.

When the shroud at Lirey, now referred to as the "Lirey Winding Sheet", was first displayed it was immediately displaced by the Bishop of Troyes who wrote to the pope with his displeasure of the fake shroud being presented as real. He noted that the shroud was clearly a painting, and that he had in fact met the painter who admitted to creating it. Some argue that such a clear forgery of the time could not possibly be the same shroud that we know today, such a perfect image. The pope examined the evidence before him and gave his blessing that the shroud could be shown as long as the priest stated to the crowd that it was only a "representation" of the shroud of Christ, and not the real shroud. This proves, without a doubt, that the shroud owned by Geoffroi de Charny and Jeanne de Vegny, the same one on the medallion at the museum and Paris and, supposedly, the same Shroud of Turin, is a fake created by a french painter in Lirey in the 1350s.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

The Shroud of Turin

The Shroud of Turin - I'm using this because of all of the mysterious subjects that I have read about lately, this one seems to be the closest to being solved - as long as the world will open their minds beyond their veiled (or shrouded) faith - and at least consider what is in front of them.

So what can I say about this very interesting artifact. Or, I should say item. First, I am not a religious person of any sort - not Christian, Jewish, Buddist - or any major religion. I suppose I am a spiritualist - if you have to give it some sort of title. I do not believe in any specific organized religion. So I have no ulterior motive for the validity of the shroud as the cloth that laid over the body of Jesus Christ after his crucifixion. I watched a LOT of videos today, most of which did have some sort of agenda. There was only one that seemed to really answer all of the questions and have a logical explanation for its existance. The problem? Even this explanation seems somewhat far fetched. But it is, at least, within some sort of understanding - a much better explanation than simple divination.

I hope to put in this blog entry the various problems with the shroud, and see if this explanation can logically and scientifically answer all of the questions that have been brougt forward. If you find any new questions or problems, please let me know so that we can address them.

What is the shroud:

For the few people that haven't heard of it, the shroud of Turin is a piece of linen cloth, about 14 feet in length (this my estimate, I don't know the exact length), that has traditionally been accepted as the cloth that was wrapped around the body of Jesus of Nazareth for three days following his death from crucifixion in Jerusalem. The shroud is considered to be a divine object because his image was mysterious imprinted on the fabric - showing his face, body and injuries sustained during the "Passion" - the last hours of his life. No matter what, it cannot be denied that it is a beautiful object of great historical significance - regardless of wether or not it is legitimate.

From what I understand, Jewish tradition of the time would have involved such a cloth either wrapping the body or covering over it and, being such an important figure to his followers, the shroud would have been an important artifact to keep. But there is no record of the shroud or where it was kept for over a thousand years. In the early medieval period it began to show up in various parts of Europe, but these "shrouds" were just cloth - with no image of Jesus present. The only exception is the "Shroud of Edessa" which depicted a head, but not the body.

The shroud as we know it today first "reappeared" in Lirey, France in 1357 - when it was displayed by the wife of the French knight Geoffroi de Charny to whom it had supposedly been passed down from his Knight Templar ancestor Geoffroy de Charney, who in turn had acquired through the Knights Templar, who had taken from the city of Constantinople. None of this history has been verified of course. The only thing we know for sure is that a shroud was put on display by this woman in Lirey in 1357. But the descriptions of the shroud don't seem to match! This shroud, known as the "Lirey Winding Sheet" was immediatly said to be a painting by various witnesses including the Bishop of Troyes. The Bishop even protested to Pope Clement VII, testifying that the shroud was a fake, and that he had even met the man who had painted it. The Pope did not oppose the shroud to be shown in the future, only as long as the priest declared to the viewers that it was a "representation" of the original shroud, and not the shroud itself. There is no doubt what-so-ever that the "Lirey Winding Sheet" was a fake.

In 1418, during the civil wars, the "Lirey Winding Sheet" was entrusted to Humbert, Count de La Roche, Lord of Lirey. His widow, Margaret de La Roche, never returned it but instead sold it to the Duke of Savoy in 1452 who later presented the "Lirey Winding Sheet" as the "Shroud of Turin" - the sheet that is now believed to be the original cloth that wrapped around the body of Jesus.

Problems with the shroud as authentic from the 1st century:

1. Carbon 14 dating shows that the cloth was made between 1260 and 1390. A lot of Christian historians have denounced these findings and have asked for additional testing from another part of the sheet, but the Vatican has refused.

2. The "back" image is about two inches taller than the "front" image. If the sheet was cut in half, and the two halves but side by side, you will see that the "back" image is about two inches taller than the "front" image. This suggests that the two halves were not made from the same subject.

3. The head is too small and set low in proportion to the body. It is disproportionate by average standards of anatomy.

4. There is no record of a shroud that fits this description prior to 1357. There have been many shrouds mentioned over the centuries, but most were described as square and rarely with any sort of image, let alone a full body image.

5. There is no known way in which a body can cast its image on a cloth. This is simply a scientific fact as far as I know. If anyone is aware of way in which a body can cast its image onto a cloth in three days, please let me know.

6. The face is depicted 2 dimentionally rather than 3 as it should be. This is basic geometry. If you take a cloth and shape it around a head with paint on it, you will see a very disfigured representation of the face on the cloth - because you are changing the image from three dimensions to two. The Shroud of Turin shows a 2 dimensional image, which cannot be created from a piece of cloth wrapped around a head.

Pros consistant with the shroud being authentic from the 1st century.

1. Bits of plants were found on the shroud that are indigenous of Jerusalem. These fibers are not found in Europe. This tells us that the cloth was most likely from Jerusalem, or traveled, or someone from there held the cloth. Somehow, at some point, the cloth has had some sort of contact with that area of the world. Some have tried to state that this proves it is from the 1st century, but that is not correct. It only shows geographic location.

2. The location of the "nails" through the hands are anatomically correct for crucifixion. If the shroud was wrapped around a crucified body, the nails wounds are shown in the correct location - which is not typical of other representation of the crucifixion in the medieval and renaissance period. If it was made during the time, the creator would have had to have an extensive knowledge of anatomy.

3. The weaving pattern in the cloth is consistent with techniques of 1st century Jerusalem. This comes from Mechthild Flury-Lemburg who was hired by the Vatican to restore the Shroud in 2002. She has stated that she has only seen the sewing pattern of the cloth in one other example - in textile samples found in the ruins of Masada, also from the 1st century. However, this only tells us that this style has been seen as early as the 1st century, and does not mean that it did not continue to exist in Jerusalem as late as the 14th century. However... in her expert opinion, she is not aware that it existed later and she believes that the shroud is authentic. There is no doubt that Ms. Flury-Lemburg is a highly respected and skilled textile historian and her opinions should be highly concidered.

I'll be honest at this point. Weighing the pros and cons - it seems that the Shroud of Turin is not authentic. But now the big mystery is - who made it and how? We know through exhaustive testing that the image was not painted or dyed. Some have suggested burning but there is no luminesence. By all accounts the creation of the image seems to have been divine! And by 15th century standards it might as well have been.

There is one explanation that seems to answer all of the pros and cons listed above. That the shroud was created through an early photographic process. The technology and materials were available and it explains and it supported by all of the scientific data available. It is actually a simple process. And who might have done it? It could have been any number of scholars from the time but the most probable is Leonardo di Vinci - which to some may sound far fetched. But he was very closly connected to the Savoy family that first presented the shroud in Turin, he was familiar with anatomy and would have known where the nails would best be placed for crucifixtion, he was well aware of the technology needed for the photographic process as seen in his notebooks and he was very closly connected to textile trade centers were he would have been able to pick up old cloth retrieved from the crusades.

There is so much information here that perhaps I have opened a can of worms about this subject. Well, the can of worms was opened a long long time ago, but I hadn't planned at examining the can. I know I will be adding a lot more to this in the future, but there are other subject that I want to get on to. If you have any ideas or problems with this theory, please bring them up and we can try to work them out together.

Mysteria Lane - the Beginning!

I've always a great deal of interest in all things mysterious. From UFO's to ghosts to the great mysteries of the worlds ancient civilizations. Over the past couple of days I've watched a lot of videos on YouTube from all kinds of sources, and the amount of disinformation in this videos boggle the mind! How these people can transmit what are, in some cases, obvious lies - and present them as fact - is beyond my comprehension. I don't know the truth to these mysteries any better than anyone else, but I do want to know the truth and get as close to it as possible. I want to see the facts, I want to see the proof! Don't tell me that you believe in something "just because". Show me why your belief is true.

I'm going to attempt to use Blogspot as a repository for documents about many different subjects. Each subject and each piece of evidence will have it's own entry and entries will be edited and updated as I find new information - and will attempt to cross-reference these entries with hyperlinks to each other. I'm not sure if Blogspot has been used in this way before, and I don't even know how possible it is, but I'm going to do my best. I welcome everyone reading to leave comments, suggestions, opinions, etc. I want to know what your thinking so that we can try, perhaps in futility, to solve these puzzling questions. Please, however!, do not tell me your "beliefs" - I don't want to be preached to. If you have an opinion of a certain thing, tell me what evidence you have to back up that opinion.

Well, that is the beginning :) Lets see how this goes!