It's Saturday night so let's have a ghost story for 30th January...
The ghost is that of Lady Gertrude Wintour who haunts her former home Huddington Court (pictured), near Worcester in the west of England mourning, the passing of her husband Robert Wintour who was gruesomely executed for treason in 1606 for his part in the Gunpowder Plot to blow up the Houses of Parliament and kill King James the First. Gertrude’s ghost is said to been seen every 30th of January which is the anniversary of Robert’s execution by being hanged, drawn and quartered.
Lovers of irony may appreciate the fact that exactly 43 years later, on 30th January 1649, King James’ son King Charles the First was separated his head when he was executed for treason by the forces of Oliver Cromwell and the Parliamentary Party.
Time for another ghost story on a winter's night and this time it's the Red Ghost of Quartzsite in Arizona.
The story starts in the 1880s with sightings of what was described as a giant red horse with a devil on its back. Around 1883 at a lonely ranch at Eagle Creek near the Arizona-New Mexico border, a woman was stomped to death by a strange-looking red-haired beast with a devilish-looking creature strapped on its back. A few days later a party of prospectors was awakened to thundering hoofs and terrifying screams stampeding through their campground. A week later what was now being called the Red Ghost struck again, this time flipping over two freight wagons.
At the scene of each event were signs of the creature: enormous hoof marks larger than any horse, and strands of red hair. All the witnessed were agreed on one thing however: the creature had a human skeleton attached to its back.
Tales of the Red Ghost continued for several years but it was finally solved when a farmer discovered a large reddish-coloured camel grazing on his land. Knowing its fearsome reputation, the farmer shot it dead. However when he examined to camel, he noticed its back was badly scarred from rawhide straps that had been used to strap something to its back – and if the bones still caught up with strapping were any clue, it had been the body of a man.
The Red Ghost, it transpired, was a straggler from a US Army experiment to set up a Camel Corps in the American Southwest. The project had begun in the late 1850s but then the Civil War intervened and the area was occupied by Confederate troops until 1865 after which the project was wound up and the US Army opted to stick with horses and mules. Most of the camels were rounded up and sold but some roamed free for many years including the reddish-coloured camel that gave rise to the Red Ghost story.
Well that’s one mystery solved but nobody can explain the corpse strapped to its back. Who was he? We don’t know. How did he get there? We don’t know. How did he die? We also don't know.
Quartzsite is on Interstate 10 and is a popular winter camping area for RV vandwellers. It’s tourist attractions include a gum museum featuring a large collection of chewing gum wrappers and the burial site of Hadji Ali, popularly known as Hi Jolly. Jolly was citizen of the old Ottoman Empire hired by the US Army to lead the camels during the Camel Corp experiment. He continued to live in Quartzsite after the camel experiment ended, dying in 1902. A monument was later erected over his grave, taking the form of a stone pyramid topped with a metal camel. The town now also has a steel sculpture, made of old car wheels, commemorating the Red Ghost.
Catch my latest webinar on Ancient Origins Premium this coming Saturday (23 January) 1pm Eastern/6pm UK. "Everyone wants to be a superstar psychic researcher today with a large, monetized YouTube audience but in the process they are destroying the field for serious Investigations, generating fake-news legends, and undermining the credibility of more academic paranormal study."
Today's ghost tale involves a recurring haunting at the footbridge over the East Coast mainline at Tallington (Lincolnshire – about 4 miles east of Stamford). At 5:50pm (UK) every 15th January, the ghost of a man is seen jumping from the footbridge and down towards the railway tracks. The story is the man was so grief-stricken after the death of his wife, that he took his own life by jumping from the bridge directly into the path of a north-bound express train.
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Charles was born a 'chime child' with a caul – according to legend a caul-shrouded chime-child can't drown at sea but can see and talk to ghosts and fairy folk without fear of coming to harm – allegedly!
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