Wednesday, 27 April 2016

Ghosts and Ghouls of Asia:

Pocong
In Indonesian (and Malaysian) belief, a pocong (pronounced “Poh-Chong”) is the reanimated body and trapped soul of a deceased person who was not given the proper burial rights.
The pocong is described as the decomposing body of a recently buried individual wrapped in a kain kafan; which is a shroud traditionally used in Muslim burials that is wrapped completed around the body, including the feet and head where it is tied with a knot on top, leaving only the face exposed.


According to belief, the soul will remain on Earth for 40 days, and after this period has elapsed, the knot tied around the top of the head should be undone, so that the soul can ascend.

Neglecting to do so will cause the decomposing body to rise from the grave and hop around during the night, often times causing havoc. Many rural villages blame crimes on the pocong.
Pocongs are said to make great distance in seconds and are able to jump distances of 150ft in one bound. Once they lock their target on an unfortunate victim, they are relentless in their pursuit. 
To see a pocong at night is extremely bad luck, as they can be face to face with their victim in a split second.



If you see a pocong, you must run as fast as you can in the opposite direction and resist the temptation to look back- doing so would result in the ghoul appearing directly in front of you.

There are many movies features the pocong, here is a small selection:

Pocong 2 (2006) [ X ]
40 Hari Bangkitnya Pocong [ X
The real Pocong [ X
Sumpah (ini) pocong! [ X
Tali Pocong Perawan (2008) [ X



Wewe Gombel
Wewe Gombel is a child snatching super natural entity in Javanese / Sudanese mythology.
A classic old hag character with a twist, the Wewe Gombel snatches away troubled children who stay out after dark. She is described as an old woman with overly exaggerated long dropping breasts.

 The origin story of Wewe Gomble is that she was a woman from Semarang who murdered her husband after he cheated on when he discovered that she was unable to bear his children. The village chases her away and harassed her until she eventually took her own life.
She became a vengeful ghost who kidnapped mistreated children and cared for them until their parents changed their ways.



Sundel Bolong
Sundel Bolong is a vengeful ghost in Indonesian mythology, and is born of a beautiful woman (often said to be a sex worker) who died violently or during pregnancy. She is sometimes thought to have given birth either in her grave or had the baby removed from her body after death, leaving her with a large hole or open wound on her back or side, which is usually hidden by her long black hair.
Clad in a white dress, she would sometimes appear before men, sometimes  castrating or injuring them in some way.

Sundel Bolong was famously played by an actress named Suzanna Martha Frederika Van Osch- aka. Suzanna, the Indonesian queen of horror.

Suzanna was born in Buitenzorg in the Dutch East Indies and had acting roles in various ghost movies (and other genres) throughout her career.  She starred in the 1981/2 movie simply titled “Sundel Bolong” directed by Sisworo Gutama Putra, which features an iconic scene in which her character eats a large amount of chicken satay at a food shop and drinking boiling hot soup, only for it to spill out of the maggot infested wound in her back.


Watch the scene here [ X
Full movie here [ X

Bhoot
Identified by their backwards facing feet or sometimes upturned features, a Bhoot is a supernatural entity in Indian folklore that can shape shift into any animal at will.
They are the wandering souls of those who met violent ends and had unfinished business on Earth making them unable to move on after death. In some cases they may not have been properly buried.
Bhoots usually do not make contact with the Earth, as it is considered sacred and they cannot touch it, instead they choose to hover above the ground. They are also said to speak in a nasal voice, as if they have a cold.
Much like vampires they have no reflection and no shadow and like ghosts in many traditions they are usually bound to their place of death or a building that is familiar to them.  
Often times people will accidentally make the acquaintance of a bhoot, before they link or even notice the identifying trails of this paranormal being.
To repel a Bhoot, water or iron can be used. Burning turmeric, similar to burning sage, can keep them at bay. Scattering earth on oneself also works, however a bhoot can never be fully destroyed. 


Krasue กระสือ
 (Note: Although the Krasue exists under many different names and with slight variation in behavior, this article will be concentrating on the Thai Krasue กระสือ.)

 The Krasue is an undead, some say cursed, being. It is described as having the head and long hair of a beautiful woman and a string of organs and entrails, including the heart and lungs, hanging from its trachea. It floats through the night sky in rural areas, emitting a halo of light. 

The ghost is said to have vampire like fangs, and has been heavily featured in horror films and horror themed comic books throughout the years in Thailand. In some villages, women who often looked exhausted or were perceived as strange by the rest of the community were though to transform into Krause at sunset and fly around detached from their bodies with an insatiable hunger for flesh. Much like the Mexican Chupacabra, it would drain the blood of local livestock, however would resort to eating vegetation or feces if no living creature was available.


 Afterwards, the Krasue would use the clean laundry left out by any locals to wipe the remains of its meal from its face and mouth. This is why many older Thai’s will warn not to leave your laundry hanging out overnight, for fear of attracting ghosts or ghouls. 

Another characteristic of the Krasue is the threat it harbors to pregnant women. It is said to use its long, thin snaking tongue to infiltrate the womb and eat the baby.
 This is possibly an explanation for miscarriage and disease in a time when reasons for such things were unknown. The Krasue would screech and moan outside the homes of pregnant women, much like a banshee. 
The occupant would place a thorned plant around the perimeter of their home to ward it off. 

After a night of gorging itself, the Krasue would return home. The headless body is cautiously concealed as any fatal damage to it would lead to an agonizing death. This is one way to hunt and kill the Krasue, as well as severing the organs from the head.

 The exact origins of the creature are unknown, however there are stories that the krasue was a Khmer princess, who was burned at the stake for refusing to give up her lover from a lower social status despite being arranged to marry to a wealthy Siamese aristocrat following Cambodia’s loss in the war. 
She was said to have arranged a powerful practitioner of black magic to cast a spell that would protect her from the flames. Unfortunately, the spell only activated halfway through the burning, leaving the princess with only her head and a string of organs hanging down from her neck. 

Other legends speak of the practice of black magic gone awry, possession, witchcraft, bad karma and the consumption of food or beverages tainted with the saliva or other biological secretions from a Krasue.

Thursday, 21 April 2016

extraordinary exhibition of industrious fleas:


In 1820, an Italian event organizer by the name of Louis Bertolotto hosted one the first recorded flea circuses in Regent Street, London. Posters circulated advertising Bertolotto’s “extraordinary exhibition of industrious fleas”- and industrious they were!
The fleas could be seen pulling tiny reproduction chariots, operating small fairground attractions, walking tightropes, kicking small balls and playing tiny musical instruments.
The technique used to harness the fleas was first sorting them into types: walking types and jumping types. 
Those with a tendency to walk were made to pull things, such as chariots. Those with a tendency to jump were assigned to operate small Ferris wheels or kick lightweight balls.

(Images: darkroastedblend.com, british pathe, fleacircus.co.uk)

They were harnessed by tying a gold wire around their necks. This technique was inspired by watchmakers, who would use it to showcase their skills in metalwork.
In the 1500’s a blacksmith named Mark Scaliot even made a lock and key on chain that was so light, tiny and intricate that it could be locked around the neck of a flea.

Human fleas were the performer of choice, and due to neglect in hygiene at the time, they were readily available. Often times during a performance, the odd performer would escape and jump into the crowd, causing the audience to itch and fidget.

Some circus owners were even known to reward their fleas after a night’s performance by allowing them to suck the floor from their arms. Louis Bertolotto claimed that he even knew each of his fleas by name, and once kept one for almost 2 years.


[ X ] Bertolotto’s book notes “The history of the flea”  
[ X ] British pathé video
[ X ] Real flea circus featuring the agitators 
[ X ] David Attenborough's national curiosities 

Wednesday, 13 April 2016

Deon Dreyer and David Shaw:


Deon Dreyer grew up in Vereeniging, a city in the Gauteng province, south of Johannesburg, South Africa. He was an adventurer who loved to dive frequently and did.
When he received an invitation to dive at the Boesmansgat Cave (also known as Bushman’s hole) with some of the members of the South Africa Cave Diving Association, he leapt at the chance to join them. They had planned a deep, technical dive at a decent of 492ft.
Tragically, on the 17th of December 1994, Deon died during the practice dive at around what was assumed 160ft. He was only 20 years old at the time.

Although a small remotely operated underwater submarine was hired and sent down to look for his body, it found nothing but his helmet at the bottom of the cenote floor.

I0 years had passed when an experienced and prominent Australian cave diver named David Shaw discovered Deon Dreyer’s body at 890ft in October of 2004. He was compelled to retrieve Deon’s remains from void, and on the 8th of January 2005, on what would be his 333rd dive, he embarked on his mission, disappearing into the inhospitable darkness of what many refer to as the dead zone.

(picture from deepcave.com)

Everything was going as planned, Shaw was recording his journey and in the film he is seen attempting to roll a body bag over the legs of Deon Dreyer. He runs into complications when he cuts the body loose from its harness and it begins to float up. A line floats free from the body bag, tangling Shaw’s flashlight and himself. Since Dreyer’s body had been in encased in his wetsuit it had reduced to a lathery adipocere and became buoyant when cut free from the harness.

Shaw ran out of time and knew that it was time to start making it towards the surface.

He died attempting to recover Deon Dreyer.
Both bodies eventually surfaced.

(picture from deepcave.com)

Youtube video of David's last dive [ X ]
David Shaw's website deepcave.com [ X ]
Deon Drever wiipedia [ X ]
David Shaw Wikipedia [ X ]




Tuesday, 12 April 2016

John Wayne Gacy // Michael Marino:


Sherry Marino was never quite convinced that her son, Michael Marino, was a victim of John Wayne Gacy. She recently exhumed her son’s body from his burial site in order to have a DNA test performed.
The results concluded that the body was not that of her then 14 year old son, and instead, possibly an unidentified victim of infamous serial killer and rapist John Wayne Gacy.
The county Cook’s sheriff’s office refused to accept the results of the test, unless re-tested in the lab they usually use. Sherry Marino remembers her son’s autopsy report stating that he had a healed collar bone from an old injury, despite Michael never breaking or damaging his collar bone in any way.

Forensic investigators report that they carefully referred to dental records, skeletal analysis and x-rays to match the remains to each other victims, however it wouldn’t be completely impossible that remains were mixed or misidentified.
Sherry Marino has requested the body of Michael's friend Kenneth Parker (whom he was said to be found buried next to) also exhumed and tested, and is currently raising the funds. 
Sherry Marino was never quite convinced that her son, Michael Marino, was a victim of John Wayne Gacy. She recently exhumed her son’s body from his grave site in order to have a DNA test performed.

The results concluded that the body was not that of her then 14 year old son, and instead, possibly an unidentified victim of infamous serial killer and rapist John Wayne Gacy.
The county Cook’s sheriff’s office refused to accept the results of the test, unless re-tested in the lab they usually use. Sherry Marino remembers her son’s autopsy report stating that he had a healed collar bone from an old injury, despite Michael never breaking or damaging his collar bone in any way.

Forensic investigators report that they carefully referred to dental records, skeletal analysis and x-rays to match the remains to each of the victims, however it wouldn’t be completely impossible that remains were mixed or misidentified.
Sherry Marino has requested the body of Michaels friend Kenneth Parker (whom he was said to be found buried next to) also exhumed and tested, and is currently raising the funds. 
I hope she finds the answers she needs. 

The death of Debbie Wolfe:


Debbie Wolfe was a nurse working at Fayetteville Veterans hospital in North Carolina. She lived alone in a small, isolated cabin around 4 miles on the outskirts of the city with her two dogs Morgan and Mason.
On the 25th of December in 1985, she finished her shift to most likely make the drive back to her residence, but failed to show up for work the following morning, which was very out of character for the usually reliable Wolfe. The hospital could not contact Debbie despite making many phone calls, so after a few hours her mother (Jenny Edwards) and friend (Kevin Gorton) made the trip out to the cabin to check up on her. When they got there, the usually neat and clean property was left in a mess. 

(picture: Dr. Maurice Godwin)

Debbie’s immediate belongings were strewn throughout the house; her work uniform was found on the kitchen floor, her bag under her bed and empty beer cars were scattered out front.
They played back the messages on Debbie’s answer machine in hope of clues, and heard the voice of a man saying that he hoped Debbie didn’t miss any more days at work, implying that she had been absent, which was not the case. At the time they were listening to the message, Debbie had only been unaccounted for a few hours into her morning shift that day.

(picture: Dr. Maurice Godwin)

Family and friends knew of a male volunteer at the Veterans hospital who wanted to date Debbie, despite her rejection. She talked openly about the situation to those around her and had made it clear to the man that friendship would be as far as things would go between them. She also told him that she already had a boyfriend. He was briefly a suspect, and although he refused to take a polygraph test according to the sheriff’s department he did provide them with an alibi before skipping town for a week.

Another volunteer was also interested in Debbie. He too was apparently questioned and later cleared.

Debbie’s dogs, which she usually took very good care of, were loose outside on empty stomachs.
After surveying the property and briefly looking around the pond near the cabin, Debbie’s mother contacted the local police station: The Cumberland County Sheriff’s Department. Captain Jack Watts was on the receiving end of the call and dispatched to the scene. 
Dogs searched around the general area but did not pick up anything. He did not order a search of the nearby pond, as he believed Jenny Edwards and Kevin Gorton had already done so, despite the fact that they did not have the means.

Frustrated at the Cumberland County Sheriff departments incompetence, Edwards and Gorton privately hired divers of their own to search the pond. Almost a week later, on the 1st of January, Kevin Gorton and a friend of his found the body of Debbie wolf stuffed into a rusted metal oil drum in around 6ft of water.  

(picture: Dr. Maurice Godwin)

Footprints and drag lines were embedded into the mud on the bank.
Debbie’s mother recognized the drum as a barrel that Wolfe used to keep firewood in, near the porch next to the cabin. A quick inspection revealed that the barrel from the cabin was gone, leaving only a ring shaped indent where it used to be.

The following day an autopsy was performed and revealed death by drowning- however it could not be determined whether the drowning was accidental or if Wolfe was the victim of homicide.
The local sheriff’s department claimed it was probably accidental. The oil drum that Wolfe was discovered in also went missing, and police denied that she was even found in it, insisting that the divers had been mistaken.

Even more perplexing was the fact that the clothes Debbie was dressed in were either too large for her, or items that no one could ever remember her owning.
She was dressed in a bra that was too large, both in cup and back size, a Pittsburg Steelers shirt that no one had ever seen her wear, brown cords much too big for her and an army issue jacket- the origins of which could never be traced; however North Carolina has one of the largest United States Army installations, Fort-brag, home to the 82nd Airborne Division.
Debbie was also wearing men’s Nike sneakers two sizes too big for her, which had no mud from the river bank on them.

Police claimed that they interviewed a handful of patients from the hospital, but they lead nowhere.
What happened to Debbie Wolfe that night?


 
Dr.Maurice Godwin [ X
Unsolved [ X ]
Youtube video [ X ]


Wednesday, 6 April 2016

Incident No.N3-27244:

*Warning. Graphic details to follow.


On the 20th of December, 1976, a White Haven, Carbon County resident made a gruesome discovery. 
At around 4:30pm the fourteen year old boy found three suitcases near the Lehigh River. 



The cases were all the same dimension; however the materials and patterns differed. Two of them were blue soft vinyl with red, white and blue stripe motifs across the upper front panel, and the other was a dark blue plaid with a tan vinyl outline. All three had been sprayed with matte black spray paint and had deliberately removed handles (possibly to eliminate fingerprints)
They appeared to have been thrown from the bridge 300 foot above (may be an attempt to submerge them in the river below) and two of the three were open, spilling out grisly contents.


The severed head and two parts of the torso of a young Caucasian woman and her full term fetus were strewn over the river bank. Later investigators would open the third to reveal the woman’s other limbs, some of which had been wrapped up in pieces of a dirtied dark green and pink Chenille quilt. Her severed breasts, nose and ears, however, were never found.  Police estimated that she had only been dead for the past 7 – 24 hours. Several pages from the September 26th 1976 edition of New York Sunday Newspaper were wrapped around the dismembered torso and Styrofoam and straw were used as packing insulation.

Clasped in the palm of the victim’s left hand was writing on her skin in ink. The letters WSR and what was either a number 4 or 5 followed. Below and to the right, a number 7 or 4. Investigators ran the numbers in hopes they would lead to clues in solving what they determined was a homicide by strangulation as well as a gunshot to the throat, but nothing turned up.

Isotope analysis determined that the unidentified woman was born and lived in central or possibly Western Europe before immigrating to the United States. Examination of hair, bone and tooth enamel indicated that she had most likely spent her last 5 years living in the southeast, likely Tennessee.
She came to be known as Beth Doe- a petite, heavily pregnant dark haired woman with an olive complexion and dark brown eyes. Some missing person’s websites propose that she was possibly of Mediterranean heritage. Vital stats state that had a few distinguishing features including a scar just under 6inches long above her left heel, and two moles on her face, one on her left cheek and one sitting above her left eye.

Some have entertained the idea that the murder was an honor killing , possibly a punishment for adultery (Take away thy nose and thine ears) or that Beth Doe was fleeing an abusive relationship or escaping the sex trade. Some suggest WSR could possibly stand for "women's services and resources" and she was heading to a shelter to escape domestic violence.

One reddit user named Riddleskittle put forward an idea centered around this theory:
 "After some searching I found out that there was (and still is) a newly opened (1975) women's resource center located in Centre County PA , roughly two hours due west from Carbon County. To travel from this center to Carbon County you would need to take I-80. The same road the police believe was taken. If this is related to the case this would lead me to believe Beth doe is local and perhaps the numbers written on her hand are also a local number. If, for instance, the resource center had a phone number and area code similar to her own she would need to only write the last four digits to help her remember. Here is the center's Web page which lists it's history and it's opening in 1975, this could also explain her running from an abusive relationship as that seems to be the center's speciality. (Again, perhaps the luggage was her own?) Hitch hiking was not uncommon perhaps she hoped to get there that way, or, was picked up from the facility from an irate partner. http://ccwrc.org/about-ccwrc/founding-philosophy/"

Pennsylvania missing [ X ]
DN profile [ X ]
The morning call article [ X ]

Where is Emma Fillipoff?


“Home; the only place I where I don’t know how to be, so deep beneath the surface, I cannot breathe”
 
Emma Fillipoff, described by friends and family as a beautiful, creative and private girl, was only 26 years old when she went missing from Victoria, British Columbia on November 28th 2012.
A surveillance video from earlier that day shows Emma in a convenience store (7-Eleven), pacing around and cupping her hands around the glass door as she looks outside, as though she is being followed. Despite never owning one before, she purchased a pre-paid cell phone and hesitated before leaving. A little later, Emma Fillipoff got into a taxi, instructing the driver to go to the airport. When the driver asked where she was going she replied that she didn’t know. She then got out of the taxi due to insufficient funds for the fare.
Emma had traveled to Victoria in the autumn of 2011 where she worked a seasonal job at a fish and chip shop named “Red Fish Blue Fish” at 1006 Wharf Street on the Victoria inner harbor. She had a diploma in both culinary arts and photojournalism; her computer contained thousands of photographs.  
(Image: redfishbluefish.com)

Fillipoff had been staying in a women’s shelter, known as the Sandy Merriman House, for nine months before her disappearance. The shelter would later decline providing Fillipoff’s mother with information, as they claimed that it would compromise the confidentiality agreement that they had with their often vulnerable tenants.

Emma left the woman’s shelter at around 6pm and returned to the same 7-Eleven as she had been to earlier in the day, this time to purchase a pre-paid credit card at the value of $200. She acted much in the same paranoid manner before exiting the store.


She was last seen between the times of 7:30pm – 8:30pm in front of the Empress Hotel. According to a witness, Dennis Quay (an acquaintance of Fillipoff, who claimed he had only met her once before) Emma seemed confused. He saw her at a zebra crossing, refusing to cross the street. Quay asked her if she was feeling okay, and asked her if she was being followed, due to her paranoid mannerisms. Fillipoff said she was okay, so not knowing what to do; he entered a near-by restaurant and made a phone call to the police, claiming there was a dazed and distressed woman pacing in front of the Empress hotel. He assumed the police would pick her up, however they didn’t.
Police showed up and found her shoeless. They questioned her for a total of 45 minutes, asking if she felt suicidal or homicidal. She answered no to both questions and said she was going through some things, and was taking a walk before going to stay with a friend. 

They left.


Dennis Quay later took a polygraph test during the investigation and was cleared as a suspect.

 Investigators would find her vehicle the following morning; a red Mazda MPV '93 van, parked at Chateau Victoria parking lot, containing all of Fillipoff’s belongings, including her laptop, rented books and identification items such as her passport and library card.


On the 26th, Emma had contacted her mother back in her hometown in Ontario, asking if she could come back home. Her mother agreed. Later however, according to an episode of the Canadian show “fifth state” titled “Finding Emma Fillipoff” the missing girl’s mother states Emma called back and told her mother “I don’t know if I can face you”.
After much debate her mother made an unannounced trip to Victoria and headed to the Sandy Meriman house. She arrived three hours after Emma vanished.
The first CCTV footage that investigators found was a clip from a local YMCA five days before Emma went missing. In the clip, she walks in and out through the door six times, peering out through the glass.


Journals and writing by Emma Fillipoff suggested that she was depressed. Police unlocked her lap top and found personal entries talking about her parent’s divorce and feelings. She believed that someone was following her, and admitted that she felt stalked, in one passage mentioning a car that seemed to be tailing her. A letter from “Dead Emma” was also found on the computer; however police did not believe it to be a suicide note, as usually Emma wrote in a similar style, poetically and in prose. 

A man named Julian was another suspect. The two had met back in Ontario, where he fell for Emma, however the feelings were unrequited. He continued to pursue her regardless, with phone calls and showing up to places he knew she would be. He too moved to Victoria some months later and inevitably ran into Emma on the street. He claimed that he did not intend to “Stalk her like he did the last time” and that the meeting was a pure coincidence. He was cleared as a suspect after passing a polygraph.  

The cellphone she had purchased at the 7-eleven was never activated; however there was a purchase of cigarettes was made on the credit-card a week later. An investigation revealed that the card had been used by a homeless man. He claimed that he found the card by the side of the road, 20km from the Empress hotel, but due to his alcoholism was unable to recall exactly where. 
Another lead in the case came from a surveillance tape of a small clothing store showing a man in a green T shirt, clutching a missing poster in his first. The cashier reported that the man seemed angry and said that he was sick of seeing Emma’s missing posters in the area. “She’s not even missing” he exclaimed “She’s my girlfriend and she just hates her parents”.

The man could not be traced.

Emma is still missing.


Help Find Emma Fillipoff [ X ]
Find Emma Fillipoff tumblr [ X ]
Fifth State Episode [ X ]