Images. From left to right. Ghosts of Departed Usurers woodcut by John Leech from A Christmas Carol by Charles
Dickens (1812 - 1870). Eugène Delacroix (1843) Hamlet and the ghost. Barbara Radziwil ghost.
Legendary Ghosts - And there are many of them, worldwide. Of the many legendary ghosts we hear and read about
come from folklore.
Ghosts and ghost stories are among the many types of folklore such as stories of gods, heroes, etc. But then, some
of the stories have been built about ghosts, people believe, really exist. The ghost of Abraham Lincoln? Fisher's Ghost?
Ghost of Hampton court?
Some other familiar ghosts are being found in the arts. One of them is that of Shakespear's Hamlet.
Fact is, legendary ghosts and any other ghost exist in stories some of which are greatly exaggerated.
One Part History, Two Parts Haunt! Visit more than 15 scary sites to hear Philadelphia's haunted facts and folklore.
Experience Philadelphia's monuments by moonlight. Travel the cobblestone streets of Old City to hear chilling stories
about the Spirits of '76, featuring:
Haunted Facts - Hear stories about the Master of the Macabre, Edgar Allan Poe, who used to reside in Philadelphia and
learn about Leo Callahan, the only prisoner to escape from Eastern State Penitentiary and never be captured!
Haunted Folklore - Learn about the legendary ghosts that inhabit Independence Hall, the spirits of Carpenters' Hall, the
dancing statue of Benjamin Franklin at Library Hall and paranormal Pine Street happenings.
Haunted Movie Sets - See famous film locations from big screen thrillers such as The Sixth Sense, Shooter, National
During an investigative tour Down Under, I was able to examine the persistent legend of "Australia's most famous ghost"
(Davis 1998). I was generously assisted by magic historian Peter Rodgers with whom I shared several other adventures
One writer has commented, "It is a mystery why some ghost stories catch the public's imagination and survive while
others, often more shocking and more credible, are forgotten" (Davis 1998). He cites the story about Frederick Fisher,
which has been related in countless newspaper articles, as well as poems, songs, books, plays, an opera, and other
venues (Davis 1998) and provided the inspiration for a movie (Fowler 1991). It once attracted the attention of notables like
Charles Dickens, who published a version in his magazine Household Words, and entertainer John Pepper, who used it
as the subject of one of his "Pepper's ghost" stage illusions in Sydney ca. 1879 ("Illusionist" 1984). Today, Fisher's ghost
remains the subject of an annual festival. All this-even though the ghost reportedly appeared "to just one man on one
occasion" long ago (Davis 1998).
The story began June 17, 1826, with the disappearance of Frederick Fisher. Fisher was a "ticket-of-leave man" --
a paroled convict -- who had acquired land at Campbelltown where he built a shack. Unfortunately he also caroused
there with itinerants and other ticket-of-leave men including his neighbor and best friend George Worrell (or Worrall).
When Fisher found himself in debt and facing possible arrest, he trustingly signed his property over to Worrell-either to
conceal or to protect his assets. But when Fisher was released from prison after six months and returned to his farm,
he found Worrell had been claiming it as his own.
Legendary spooks reign supreme in Elliot Hall's Haunted House
A locked door opens itself. Electric appliances turn on when no one is in the room. Strange sounds are heard from the
fourth floor. A body is seen hanging from a tree.
Such spooky occurrences are rumored to happen without warning at Elliot Hall. Perhaps by themselves, these incidents
would raise little fear. Yet some students and Muncie residents believe there is another answer -- ghosts that haunt the
Whether these ghosts are real or not, they are the basis for the Elliot Hall Haunted House.
"Most residents have had ghostly run-ins," said Michelle Hildebrant, chairwoman of the residence's Haunted House event.
Though now in its 22nd year, students are still working to keep the haunted house new and scary.
"We continue to work to improve it because last year's wasn't especially great," Hildebrant said. "We've put in a new
insane asylum featuring Hannibal Lecter."
The haunted house raised between $500 and $700 last year. Hildebrant said she hoped to raise at least a few hundred
dollars each night the house would be open this year.
Those returning for the dorm's spooky thrills will still find familiar scares such as the White Lady -- a woman who
supposedly hung herself in a closet on the first floor.
Although Elliot Hall's most legendary ghost, William Schaumburg, will continue to haunt the house, Hildebrant said
students should not expect him to have remained the same.
"Will's always the star. I don't want to give anything away, so I'll just say that what we've done with him this year is really
neat," she added.
Schaumburg was a soldier in World War II who came back disfigured. After his family and girlfriend shunned him from
their lives, he hung himself on the fourth floor of Elliot Hall -- the floor where the haunted house is located.
Hildebrant said Elliot Hall will offer children's hours from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. today. Although the kids will not be taken
through the haunted house, activities will be offered including crafts and free trick-or-treating.
Rome's Ghosts. A different 'Rome by night' experience
One may expect that due to Rome's millenary heritage, when the shadows of the night spread over the eternal city,
crowds of ghosts of emperors, popes, artists, saints, warlords, come out and haunt its streets and squares.
But nowadays the silence of the historical districts after dark is broken merely by young people that hang around till
dawn, and their cars and scooters would probably ...scare these ghosts to death.
Nevertheless, Rome too can be proud of a few mysterious presences, whose stories are tightly bound to the city's
own history and traditions.