How I started my paranormal journey.

I would sit up late at night watching those old black and white horror shows. Then I was brave enough to move onto colour.
I was always interested in ghost stories, old legends and stories from our past.

Then my nan told me a story that would put me on my journey into the paranormal
It was about a headless man that walked a country lane next to my nan's childhood home. In fact, she had seen him herself.
I had always remembered the story and a few years ago, I found, quite by chance, a newspaper cutting about a murder in the area my nan lived. I researched my nan's story and found out the true facts.

I realised that I enjoyed researching as much as an investigation.
With this in mind, every area I visit, I research and you will be surprised what information can be found.
So thanks to my nan, I lead an exciting life as a paranormal investigater.

I would like to point out that I do take this very seiously.
I am out to prove, one way or the other, IS THERE ANOTHER LIFE WHEN WE PASS or is it just our imagination.

Sunday, 21 February 2010



PRAGUE. AUG 05


GROUP ..... MYSELF


There has been a settlement in this area since early man.
The history of the city goes back to the foundation of Prague Castle by Borivaj in 870AD. Afer 894AD, it became the main seat of the oldest ruling dynasty of the state of Bohemia, the Premyslid Princes (Premyslovci).
Prague has been the capital of the Czech state for eleven centuries, not bad for a small settlement around a castle.
Most famous early ruler was the Catholic Duke Wenceslas 1st (903 - 935), who became the Patron Saint of Bohemia. He is, of course, known to us all as the subject of a Xmas carol.
With the death of Wenceslas 111 in 1306, the Premyslid Dynasty was succeded in 1310 by the House of Luxemburg and in 1346, Charles IV became the Czech King and he made Prague his capital. After Charles's death, came the Hussite Wars, which meant 15 years of religious conflict.
In 1526, the Hapsburg Dynasty succeded to the throne but this resulted in conflict including The Thirty Years War (1618 - 1648). The result was that about one third of the country's population was killed and the decline in the use of the Czech language.
During 1784 - 1848, there was a revival of the Czech nation and the Industrial Revolution emerged.
After the Great War in 1918, a new state of Czechoslovakia emerged - including Bohemia, Moravia, Silesia and Slovakia.
This whole area suffered greatly during Nazi domination in WWII (1939 - 1945).
Soviet troops took control in May 1945 and the country was under Communist rule. All land and industry was nationalized with the aim of making Czechoslovakia a supplier of heavy industrial equipment and arms to the Eastern Bloc.
Alexander Dubcek tried to form a new communist party, so to make life better for the ordinary people. But in August 1968, the Soviet Union and its allies, invaded the counrty resulting in worse conditions for a further 21 years.
The start of the communism happened just a few month's after the Soviet union took over (some people say), after Jan Palach, a 20 year old university student died after setting himself on fire on Wenceslas Square. He did this to protest and draw attention to the invasion the previous August. This is now celebrated on the 19th January - Jan Palach Day. But as I have said, it took over 20yrs and another student demonstration for this to happen.
On January 1st 1993, the Czech and Slovak Republics went their seperate ways.

Prague is now a busy but beautiful place to visit, with modern buildings (such as pubs, clubs, shops and a casino) rubbing shoulders with the old. But please be aware, this isnt known as one of the best stag and hen capitals for nothing. All I will say on this is some area's are not suitable for families esp if you have gone out in the evening.

Prague is divided up into five districts:- Stare Mesto (Ole Town), Nove Mesto (New Town), Mala Strana (Lesser Quarter), Josefov (Jewish Quarter) and Hradcany (Castle Quarter).


MALA STRANA and HRADCANY
This is the area beneath the castle and the castle itself. The area is dominated by the castle and Petrin Hill. Beneath the castle are gardens and orchards. Primarily, this area ia s tourist attraction with its Cathedral, Museums and Galleries but it is a seat for government with the President and its ministers having their offices in many of the Mansions, Palaces and even Museums.
Some important buildings in this area include:-
CERNIN PALACE ... this large building was built for Count Jan Cernin of Chudenice, Imperial Ambassador to Venice. The building was acquired by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 1948. Twenty years later, Jan Masaryk (son of the founder of Czechoslovakia and the only non communist member of the Government) fell to his death from an upper floor window onto the courtyard below. It is believed that he had been murdered on the orders of Stalin.
TUSCANY PALACE ... this yellow fronted building dates from 1689 and was owned by the Duke of Tuscany.
ST VITUS's CATHEDRAL ... it stands on the site of a chapel founded in 925AD. Work started on the present Gothic building in 1344. The chapel of St Wenceslas dates from 1358, where he is buried directly under the chapel.
ST THOMAS CHURCH ... this church was established for the Order of the Augustinian hermits by King Wenceslas II in 1285.
ROYAL GARDENS ... these gardens were laid out in 1534 in the style of the Italian Renaissence. It also housed bears, panthers, tigars, and other wild beasts for show.
LESSER TOWN SQUARE ... this former market square dates from 1257.
MALTESE SQUARE ... this neighbourhood has been associated with the Order of the Knights of Malta since 1169.
PETRIN HILL ... this hill was used by Pagans. They made sacrifices to their Gods. These were not the only killings to take place because Medieval Rulers used this hill to display the bodies of their executed enemies. The church of St Lawrence stands on the summit, on the site of the Pagan shrine. There is also an Observation Tower and a maze on this hill. Around the hill is the Hunger Wall, built in 1360 ordered by Charles IV to provide employment during a time of famine.



STARE MESTO
This beautiful area has the Old Town Square (Staromestske namesti) at its heart. This use to be part of The Royal Route, used by the Kings on their way to their coronations. It is a mase of narrow streets and courtyards, edged with churches, restaurants, brightly coloured buildings, junk shops and internet cafes. A real old and new mixture.

The Charles bridge takes you out of the old town and across the River Vltava, to the Lesser Quarter.







Some important buildings in this area include:
THE BETHLEHEM CHAPEL ... built between 1391 and 1394 by the followers of a preacher named Jan Milic of Kromeriz.
HOUSE OF THE LORDS OF KUNSTAT AND PODEBRAD ... this former palace dates from 1200
HOUSE AT THE STONE BELL ... this Gothic Tower was built as a Palace for King John of Luxembourg around 1340. The stone bell is on the corner of the building.
CHARLES BRIDGE ... this sandstone bridge was designed by Petr Parler for King Charles IV in 1357. There are more than 30 sculptures decorating the bridge. During the daytime artists sell their paintings or photos.
KAROLINUM ... this is the oldest university in central europe and was founded in 1348 by Charles IV.
ST JAMES CHURCH ... this church was built in 1689, to replace its 13th century predecessor which burnt down. Beware as you enter this church, as just inside the door you will see a shrivelled arm. This belonged to a jewel thief who was caught stealing here in the 16th century.
ASTRONOMICAL CLOCK ... this beautiful large clock gives the time, month, seasons of the year, signs of the zodiac, the course of the sun and the holidays of the christian calendar. On the hour, the figure od Death rings a bell and the 12 Apostles appear above. A cock crows, a Turk shakes his head in disbelief, the Miser who eyes his bag of gold and Vanity who admires himself in a mirror.




UNGELT ... this courtyard dates from the 12th century where merchants paid ungelt or customs duties to sell their goods. The buildings around the courtyard dates from the 16th century

JOSEFOV
This small area is named after Emperor Joseph II (Joseph's Town). The Jewish Quarter is full of Synagogues, Museums, shops and restaurants. During the 18th century, this area housed more than 12,000 people. Nowadays less than 3,000 people live here.
Some important places are:-
ST AGNES CONVENT ... this was founded in 1234 by Agnes, sister of King Wenceslas I. During the restoration in the 1990's, the burial places of some of the Kings and Queens of the Premyslid Dynasty were found, including the tomb of King Wenceslas.
MAISEL SYNAGOGUE ... built in 1591 for Mayor Mordechai Maisel. The building now houses religious objects including the five books of Moses (handwritten rolls of parchment).
JAN PALACH SQUARE ... this was known as Red Army Square but was renamed after Jan Palach who burned himself to death in January 1969.
CEREMONIAL HALL ... this was once the Ceremonial Hall of the Prague Burial Society for Jewish burial rites. It now houses an exhibition on Jewish customs and traditions.






OLD JEWISH CEMETERY ... this is one of the oldesh Jewish burial grounds in Europe. It was founded in the early 15th century. The oldest grave is that of Rabbi Avigdor Kara who died in 1439. There are about 12,000 tombstones and 100,000 bodies buried here.
Rabbie Jehuda Low is buried here. He was the creator of the Golem.
The cemetery closed in 1787.


NOVE MESTO
The New Town was founded in the 14th century and it is the commercial heart of Prague. It is a good mixture of old and new living side by side.
Some important places are:-
CITY OF PRAGUE MUSEUM ... three historic buildings make up this museum. They display pottery, coins, paintings, weapons and cannons.
NATIONAL THEATRE ... the foundation stone was laid in 1848 and was partly funded by public donations. Just before the building was finished, it was almost destroyed by fire in 1881. But in just 2 years, the rebuilt theatre was finished.
POWDER GATE ... work began on building this Gothic Tower in 1475 but was stopped eight years later when the King was forced to flee the city. It was completed in the 1870's.
VYSEHRAD ... the twin spires are one of the best known landmarks. The first dynasty of Czech rulers built a walled palace here. The cemetery was founded in 1860 as a burial ground for Czech national heroes.





WENCESLAS SQUARE ... this 750m lond boulevard started life as the site of a horse market. Surrounded now with 3 storey buildings, cinemas, restaurants and nightclubs. St Wenceslas watches over everyone.

GHOST TALES OF PRAGUE AND THE GHOST WALK
While on holiday, I went on my own ghost and legend tour as well as an organised ghost walk.

I started my personnel tour overlooking the city on Petrin Hill. I could understand why this had been choosen by the Pagons for their sacrifies. They must have felt nearer to their Gods. It was also used by the Medieval Monarchs to execute their enemies. Their bodies must have been seen for miles and forced many an army to flee. Its a far cry from the now peaceful haven you see today.

The Castle was next on my list. Just walking around this beautiful castle, it is easy to imagine all the Kings and Queens, their families and staff that have lived and worked here, also the many that would have died here. In the Powder Tower, alchemists were once employed to find the secrets of turning base metals into gold. There had been a disastrous fire in 1541 and lives were lost. In the Daliborka Tower, a nobleman was imprisoned here on suspicion of helping in the peasants revolt. Dark figures are seen throughout the Castle.

The next day, I went around the Lesser Quarter and over Charles Bridge. The Lesser Quarter has the ghost of a Swede who lost his head during a battle of The Thirty Years War. The mounted ghost is often seen cantering around the area, carrying his head in a sack. Headless monks are seen here and over the whole of Prague. Charles Bridge has many statues along it and you do get the feeling that you are being watched. But perhapes you are, as one of the statues may well be real. The legend is:- in the 14th century, St John od Nepomuk had taken confession from Queen Johanna (King Wenceslas IV wife). The King asked what she had said but the priest refused to tell. The King had the priest tortured and then thrown from the bridge and left to die. For 300 years, St John had been seen on the bridge and down on the waterfront. To stop this, it is claimed that a service was held on the bridge and the saint's soul was frozen in one of the statues. Now he watches people walking past him. But he is not alone, the bridge has a group of ten lords who were executed during the Middle ages. Their heads were stuck on poles and placed on the bridge. Singing mournful songs are heard at midnight.

I had heard many tales about the Jewish Golem and so the Jewish quarter and the cemetery were a must. The Legend of the Golem is well known around the world. The Golum was made by Rabbi Loeb from the mud of the river Vltava, in human form, to help with the everyday chores. One day the Golum went on a rampage and the rabbi lay it to rest in the roof of Prague's Old new Synagogue. No one can check to see if this Golum is still there as the keys to this room have been lost for over 200 years. As with any legend, there are different variations floating around including:- make a human form from clay and place an object from a loved one who had died. Say a special prayer and the loved ones form takes over the clay human figure. But be warned, this does not always have good results. There again bringing anyone back from the dead is never a good idea.
As I looked around the cemetery and saw these tombstones leaning against eachother or already fallen over, realising that bodies lie one on top of eachother, layer on layer in a confined space, you do feel so humbled. So much history in such a small space. It is claimed that not all the souls here are at peace, as many dark figures have been seen in the cemetery.

The Ghost Walk was centered in the Old Town. It only lasted for a couple of hours but it was very enjoyable. I cannot remember the people's names, as it was a lot to take in on the night but I will find time to do some research and find out but I hope you enjoy what I wright anyway and if you ever go to Prague, please go on a ghost walk and listen for yourself.

We start at the square, then walk for a short while to the gates of Romansky Palac - Vinoteka. This is the only bit of the old castle that was built here such a long time ago.
We walked passed and down the alley at the side of these castle gates. We walked down the alley and turned right.

We were greeted by these doors. It is said that there is a man who waits by these doors. The doors lead to his house.
On the top of this building, there is a figure of a woman (his wife). She walks along the top of this building. A few doors down, we find another set of wooden doors. This was his Barber's shop. But he didnt just cut hair, he had cut their throats as well.
When his wife found out, she jumped from the roof. He is said to walk from his house to his shop. Is he looking for more victims or can he not go in his own home because of what he has done. Some say he is made to watch his wife's death over and over again as punishment.

We carried on for about 5mins to an alleyway where a lady and her family lived. Her boyfriend came to her one day and told her he had to go away for a while on business. This wouldnt take too long and they would be married as soon as he came back. Just over a year went by and the lady met and fell in love with another man.
The night before they were due to be married. The first man came back. He was upset and filled with rage when he found out about his girlfriend. He killed the man, then his love and finally himself. All three are said to walk this area.

The next port of call was a church. A man who used to go to this church, found out how to bring the dead to life. He used this to get these so called zombies to do chores and jobs for him. He was warned about this but of course, he didnt listen. He was warned not to ask the dead to help him too often. One night, the man came to this church and woke the dead. They were not too happy and turned against him. The man ran but only made it as far as the outside church steps. The dead attacked and killed him. But they didnt just leave it there. Every year, this man had to come back and re live his own death. It is said that on this day his screams are heard.

Our final place was a walk way next to a pub/cafe.
A man lived in a flat above this alleyway. He would go out in the evening and normally brought a young lady back to his home. Now, these young ladies would be killed and their bodies dumped all over the place. This continued for a long time until he was finally caught but no one ever knew how many he killed. A group of young ladies are often seen in this area. Are they the ghosts of his victims or just friends out for the evening.




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