Scare-O-Pedia: P

By Kathy Murray

P is for…

Translated from German, it literally means “noisy ghost”. Poltergeists make their presence known by moving or throwing things, banging on walls and turning things on and off, like lights or TVs. Sometimes they use invisible hands to pinch and slap the living, and on other occasions, voices can be heard coming from thin air.

This is the term for when a spirit tries to get in contact with the living via the telephone. Hundreds of people claim to have received a call from someone they knew to be dead. The person on the other end sounds just like he or she did in life and will use nicknames and bring up occurrences known only to the receiver and the deceased. Usually, there is some static coming from the other end and the voice grows fainter as the call goes on. Most of the time, the calls last a minute or less until the phone goes dead.

A blue mist appears every night around midnight at the front gates of this castle in Devon, England. The mist takes the shape of a five-foot tall figure that glides across the road from one tree to another.

These old train tunnels in New South Wales, Australia, haven't been used for decades, as there are now new and improved tracks. At least three ghosts lurk here in the ruins. Legends say that one is of a woman who was run over by the tracks, another is that of a girl who was murdered and the third ghost is that of a young woman who hung herself at the entrance of one of the tunnels. She is the most commonly seen of the three. She has often been spotted pacing that very entrance.

Once the house of writer Edgar Allan Poe, it's thought that his grandmother's spirit is the one who haunts the inside of this museum in Baltimore, Maryland. Many visitors have reported a phantom finger tapping on their shoulder. The outside of the house is protected by Poe himself, who locals call Mr. Eddie. Even gang members respect him and stay away from the house. Could it have been Poe still protecting the house after Martin Luther King's assassination in 1968? Though the power was out in the surrounding neighbourhoods due to rioting that occurred after the event, the lights in the Poe House flickered all night, causing many to contact the police.

This hotel in Cripple Creek, Colorado, is haunted by the original owner, Kitty Chambers. She died in room three and has been seen there frequently. For some reason though, she likes to steal and hide the keys to room nine. She also likes to mess around with the covers on the beds and will give you a nudge when you stand at the top of the stairs.