Scary

VIDEO: Rake Creatures Caught on Camera

Bonus Episode 127: The Rake features an interview with Guy, who describes a rare, chance sighting of two creepy rake creatures near Dallas, Texas. (You can also watch the interview on video by clicking here.) If you aren’t familiar with what a RAKE purportedly is - or if you feel the need to be terrified today - check out the video below to watch a compilation of alleged rakes caught on camera!

What do you think rakes really are? Have you ever seen one? Share with us in the comments!

16 Scary Things People Experienced in the Woods

Just what is it about woods and forests that makes them so beautiful and so eerie at the same time? When most people take a scenic hike through the woods, they don’t typically expect to come face to face with a shapeshifting, teleporting old witch in a cloak. But that’s exactly what our guest on Episode 125: The Shapeshifting Witch encountered while hiking around the isolated area of Dismal Falls in Transylvania County, North Carolina (which totally sounds like a place that’s not at all haunted…). As creepy and unsettling as his experience is, there are a great many uniquely chilling tales of people encountering something unexpected, and not usually welcome, while out in the wilderness. Whether they be supernatural events, human horrors, or mysteries of nature, here are 16 scary things people experienced in the woods!

Stories from Thought Catalog:

A ghost writes Latin phrase in the snow?

The words “Per audacia ad ignotum” drawn in the snow in the absolute middle of nowhere, yet no footprints around them. The words were probably a few hours old. The closest translation we could find was “through audacity towards the unknown.”

That feeling that you’re not alone in the deep, dark cave.

Took my young children to a cave not far from the house. Popular spot, but we had the place to ourselves. You can walk through it in about 30 minutes without too much difficulty. It has a tiny exit at the opposite end. It was pretty muddy, so we decided to turn around and head back to the entrance. Halfway back, there was a lit candle sitting about eight feet up one side. It was definitely not there on the first trip. I went into full-on protective-dad-mode knowing there was likely someone hiding in the dark while we walked the rest of the way out.

Get out now.

My dad said once he was out in the forest with one other ranger, the had to camp overnight halfway to their destination. Well that night they heard footsteps and a lot of them outside their tent. Then they heard at least 20 people scream ‘get out!’ Needless to say they got the f*** out and radioed it in. The next morning the cops went out and searched and found 4 skinned animals pinned to the treats around their camp site.

Apparently every time they go hiking, it’s a nightmare.

I’ve spent various stretches of time backpacking and camping throughout the US and seen some strange things.

My brother and I came across an abandoned trailer town, of sorts, that scared the hell out of us.

We also came across a rundown town (really, really small) out in northern New Mexico that seemed to have one person living in it. We based that on the fact that there was still some food and supplies there that were fairly fresh (perhaps just a few days old). Spent a couple days there trying to find the person, just to find out why they were staying in the town. Never found a person.

We found the skeletal remains of an unknown number of deer (ranging from bucks to fawn) ensnared in a barbed-wire fence that encompassed a 10×10 area in the Ozarks. A few of the skulls topped the fence posts, and there was one post in the middle of this area that had decaying deer bodies (looked to be two, but there were only 6 hooves jutting out of the wreckage) wrapped around it.

We found a dummy hanging from a tree while in the Yukon territory of Canada. Literally out in the middle of the woods. No reason for it, as far as we know.

And we also came across a dead junkie on a road out of Olympia. Obvious OD, as he had his arm tied and a needle in hand. Eyes were glazed over and staring straight ahead, mouth slightly ajar.

A giant guy in a black coat talking to himself is scary pretty much anywhere.

When out exploring an old abandoned quarry with some friends we found this dude stood staring at this rock, occasionally twitching, but he never turned around. We were pretty creeped out so didn’t investigate, and left pretty soon after. Later on that night we found out that another friend was driving down the lane that runs parallel to the quarry found a guy in a black coat stood in the middle of the road, and wouldn’t move. She was pretty freaked out and had to reverse all the way back up the lane in the dark because he was still there. Pretty sure it was the same guy, otherwise it was just a big coincidence.

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Why does this sound weirdly like a smaller scale DyatIov Pass incident, minus the bodies?

I was once canoeing the boundary waters between Minnesota and Canada. These aren’t your normal backyard ponds. The boundary waters are thousands of enormous lakes interconnected with each other (think mini-great lakes). We had been canoeing and camping along the lakes for about a week at this point. We didn’t really have an itinerary, just planned to boat and camp, fish, and live off the land two weeks. We had a GPS and a sat phone to call a helicopter for pickup whenever we were done.

Anyway, about a week in and we were set to canoe a few hours to the next lake. An hour or so in and we are in the center of a extremely long and narrow lake. Unfortunately, a storm started to blow in and the waves on the lake swelled to 2+ feet. Too much for our dinky canoes. We pull off to a random clearing on the shore and set up camp in rush to avoid being totally thrashed by a rainstorm. We just setup camp and hunker down for the night.

By the next morning it had cleared up. We started walking up the coast of the lake about 200 feet from our camp looking for a good fishing spot. What we actually found was another campsite. However, it was ABSOLUTELY wrecked. Trash strewn everywhere, tent collapsed and torn, clothes on the ground. At first we were just like disgusted like what assholes did this? or left their shit out to be bear food?

The more we looked around though, the weirder things seemed though. For one, their garbage was still hoisted into a tree to keep it safe from bears, but the whole bag was ripped open despite being 30 feet in the air. Second, literally everything except the canoes were still at the campsite. Clothes, packs, food, rope, pans, like a serious set of hiking equipment. Enough for 2 or 3 people. Half of it was trashed and torn open, mostly the packs, tent, and clothes. The other half was totally untouched but thrown on the ground. Like somebody NOPE’d the hell out of there in nothing but their long johns ditching hundreds of dollars of gear in the process. We waited a couple hours and eventually called it back to our helicopter crew– but they hadn’t been aware of anybody else or gotten any distress calls. We eventually just left everything and moved camp. Everybody was pretty upset by it and a day or two later we ended the whole trip early because it seemed like nobody wanted to be out anymore.

It was the weirdest thing I’d ever seen. First thought was bear attack, but there was food left uneaten, and I’ve seen bear attacks on camps before, but nothing like this. Bears rip open packs and go after food, and are generally pretty easy to scare away. What still sticks with me is why all their clothes and packs were still there with half being totally destroyed and half being untouched. I still don’t get it. I’ve done a lot of other camping and hiking, rafting and biking, all around the country and I’ve never had any other weird experiences like that.

Don’t follow the music.

I lived in a national park by myself for three months. Several times when I was going back to my trailer for the day, I would hear music like a music box or an ice cream truck. It was always loud and sounded like it was coming from somewhere over my head. One day I decided to look for the source so I followed the dirt road past my trailer. The music continued, I couldn’t tell if I was getting closer or not. I had my eyes on the trees and looked down just in time to avoid stepping on a snake. I scrambled back but it didn’t move. I realized it was dead and it wasn’t alone, there were half a dozen dead copperheads stretched out in the road, looking in the same direction.

I went back to get my car because I couldn’t bring myself to step over them, but by the time I got my keys, the music had stopped and I didn’t hear it again.

Stories From ViralNova:

The disembodied doll head.

It was right in the middle of a short trail. No garbage or anything around it. And no other doll pieces were near it. It was like someone wanted someone to find it. And the very next day it was gone.

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Time slip into a crime scene?

I once found a bloody backpack and a termite infested book nearby. Clearly someone had left this here for a very long time considering the amount of termite damage. I picked the backpack up to see what was inside it and I saw that it left an indentation in the pine straw below. Inside the backpack was a mint condition notebook and a decaying binder. I left to tell my parents about the discovery. When we got there, the objects were just gone. It was like the backpack was never even there. There was no indentation left in the ground and there were no termites at all. My footprints were still there, but there weren't any other footprints anywhere.

No one will be going near the river on this trip. Or ever again.

Went for a walk through the woods today and discovered this...

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What possible explanation could there be for what they found?

I was backpacking in Yellowstone above the tree line at about 10,500 feet. We are hiking on a ridge above a lake when all the sudden we come across a horse skull. No body just the skull, pretty cool looking. We get to our campsite not too far away from the lake near where we found the horse skull. When we climb down to the lake we find the body of the horse rotting on the edge of the lake with with negative film strips floating in the water and lying around the shore near the body.

Stories From Ranker:

Short, simple, and horrifying.

[I saw] a human thumb nailed to a tree.

A very unsettling trail marker.

I'm a ranger at Yellowstone. Couple weeks ago I was exploring the Lamar Valley, about 11 miles from the nearest road and even further to the park boundary.

There, in the middle of the trail, is a perfectly severed deer head. No blood, no raggedness at the severance. Perfectly in tact.

This is weird because I have seen wolf and bear [spoils], and I used to find cougar [prey remains] in SD with radio tracking just after the cougar made them.

This was not any of those things. The head was completely uneaten - eyes, tongue, everything intact. Even the ravens hadn't touched it yet. No caching, no [droppings]. Right smack in the trail, but again, no blood.

Even a human doing it made no conventional sense. It was a doe so it had no antlers, plus, why leave it in the trail?

Whole thing, even in broad daylight, gave me chills. Just an ocean of waving grass, bison calmly grazing, and a perfectly clean deer head right on the path.

Stories from Mysterious Universe about Aokigahara, Japan’s Famous Suicide Forest:

A colorless vanishing man.

We thought this was another guy out there, but then we noticed that there was no detail to this person, no color. It was as if he, I felt it was a he, was just a shadow without any features. He also seemed to be following us, but he was way off the trail, just out in the trees, and there was not sound of footsteps or crunching leaves. This was strange, but it got stranger when I watched this figure pass behind some trees. I expected him to come back out from behind the trees, but instead he was suddenly about 10 meters ahead, as if he had just teleported. There is no way anyone could have covered that distance without me noticing it. After some time of this, the strange intruder stood there watching us and then just faded away right before our eyes. My friend and I were quick to head back.

Feeling the memories and despair of other people.

I began to have these memories of people I did not know. These memories came to me unbidden, and just popped into my head as clear as day. As I walked on I started to get this deep sense of despondency, fleeting images of sadness in my head. It was unbearable. But what made it even worse is that I began to hear this whispering in my ear, this insistent voice that told me to end it all, and I started to feel that I wanted to die. I felt compelled to kill myself, and I might have if I had had the means to do it. I sat down there right in the forest as this voice whispered to me and it was the most crushing sense of loneliness and despair I have ever experienced. Then another hiker came through and this wave of angst just lifted and I was myself again. I can’t quite explain it, but I feel like something visited me there in that forest and tried to take me.

The corpse that cried.

We heard what sounded like a woman weeping. It was very strange, but got more alarming when it seemed to actually get louder. We thought it might be someone out there in trouble, so we headed off the trail to see if we could find this person. It was odd, because as we made our way to what we thought was the source of the crying it seemed to move farther away, leading us deeper into the woods. Making it all scarier was that the crying seemed to get more desperate and anguished as we pursued it. We called out to whoever it was, but they did not respond. They just cried.

We got pretty deep into the woods, this crying eluding us the whole time, until we finally seemed to be getting closer to the source. The crying got louder and louder, we were almost there. And then it suddenly stopped. Just stopped altogether. We were a bit bewildered, and then my friend sort of gasps and points, and there hanging from a tree was a noose, holding the remains of what had once been a woman. We got out of there fast and contacted the authorities. It was another suicide. I’ve always wondered if what we heard was the ghost of that woman leading us to her forgotten corpse.

CREEPY BONUS PHOTO:

There’s no background on this creepy image, but we’d probably be staying way out of these woods if we stumbled upon this unexplained horror.

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For more scary encounters in the wilderness, check out these frightening and unexplained trail cam photos, or listen to The Confessionals Podcast Episode 64: The Disappearing Church of the Woods, Episode 65: The Mysterious Pine Barrens, Episode 92: The Forest Lights, Episode 100: Bigfoot Found Them… and many more!

Have you ever experienced something scary while in the woods? Share with us below!

Written Confession: Homemade Ouija Board Summons a Scary Specter

The following written confession + photos were shared via Reddit:

So back in 2013, I lived in Kent, WA, a suburb of Seattle. I lived there with my two high school buddies (M & R) from UT and they were getting ready to move back home while I was planning to move into another apartment in the area. R and I had always been into paranormal activities, including exploring houses which were formerly scenes of horrific incidents or doing ouija boards in known haunted areas. M had grown up Mormon, and although he is no longer, "f***ing with the devil" as he called it, was still out of his fun time wheelhouse.

About a week before our move out date, R and I were drinking some shine and had a grand idea to make a home Ouija board, download some ghost hunting apps and find out why the kitchen cabinets would always open themselves when we left the house, and why our pots and pans always found themselves on the kitchen floors while we were watching tv.

After all, we were moving out soon anyways, so why not haunt the damn place up?

We took a piece of poster board and a slightly modified shot glass and read some incantations for "waxing" the home made ouija board up. We have had INSANE, terrifying Ouija experiences in the past but we were unable to get this one to work. My guess is that although modified to slide better, the shot glass was too heavy to move freely on the poster board. I made the mistake of saying, "If there are any spirits around, we call upon you to communicate with us." Still nothing happened.

We resorted to using our ghost hunting apps courtesy of the AppStore-I get it, I think/thought they were total bullshit too. We had one with a radar, and the dots were never constant but when they did occur, there would be a single dot in our kitchen or there would be several dots from the area between my room and our porch. Coincidentally, our floors in the kitchen once creaked while the dot was in there.

We gave up on the radar and went to the EMF scanner. We heard words like pig, apple, pencil- nothing made any sense.

Then, it started to become extra creepy. It said look....... up...... out...... away..... out.....

Well, we started looking around, up and out and nothing happened. We started taking pictures on my phone and weren't able to see anything. Then, R pulled out his phone and switched it to the camera. He had one of the new Androids with the burst shot camera- a new feature for phones at the time.

He pointed at the door and told me to smile for the pictures. I had honestly given up, so while he was taking pictures, I leaned forward to roll a joint. His phone snapped 8 times before he started crying. He looked at me shaking and said, "Dude, I think we got something."

For R to start crying, I knew something was up. He started at picture 1- nothing except me, my Weim, Ringo and the Highwaymen above the fireplace. He got to picture 6 and a faint silhouette appeared in the frame as my body crossed the door from leaning forward. Picture 7 was the most vivid- the one I personally saved and posted here. In picture 8- no dice on the ghost.

We immediately dropped everything, taped some knives together to make a cross and spent the rest of the night saying the Our Father and pouring salt around the edges of our apartment. In the morning, we showed M the picture and he sent it to his mom. She went the extra mile to brighten the photo up and recognize that not only did our visitor have a face and a cross on their chest, but we also had 2 more standing right behind them.

These pictures have not been altered whatsoever other than brightness changes so that you can see everybody (Or lack thereof) in full detail. Feel free to check it for doctoring or any reverse image search. These are personally the scariest photos I've seen on this subject but I have a tough time acknowledging that they actually contain my back (And dog).

Original photo.

Original photo.

Photo with additional brightness added.

Photo with additional brightness added.

VIDEO: 7 Scariest Things Caught on Camera While People Were Sleeping

For those of you wishing you never had to sleep again, here’s a helpful video! Watch the 7 scariest things caught on camera while people were sleeping, and you just may never want to close your eyes.

Also, if you are someone who would like to sleep again sometime in the near future, definitely don’t watch this video immediately before bedtime, like I may or may not have done. (Worst decision ever.) Sleep tight!

Are these the 7 scariest things to experience while sleeping? Share your thoughts or stories in the comments!

4 Serial Killers Who Left Their Ghosts Behind Them

History is marred by countless accounts of murderers who committed heinous acts and gruesome killings. Arguably some of the darkest crimes were the work of repeating offenders - serial killers who left their stain on the world over and over again with each horrifying act. Some of these criminals were caught and tried for their crimes, while others remained anonymous and at large. Among them all, there also seems to be a number of killers who continue their reign of terror, even after their own deaths.

As if these murderers weren’t already scary enough, here are 4 serial killers who died and left their ghosts behind:

1) JACK THE RIPPER

Jack the Ripper is possibly the most infamous serial killer of all time. In 1888, he gruesomely killed five women in England. He was also the first serial killer to taunt the press by sending them letters, creating a worldwide media frenzy and becoming the first “modern” serial killer. Adding to his terrifying legacy is the fact that he was never successfully identified, let alone caught, so his crimes are also shrouded with mystery as well as brutality.  Despite his undetermined identity, the ghost of Jack the Ripper is believed to haunt several locations in London, including the sight of his second murder - 29 Hamburg Street- and a pub where patrons have reported seeing a “ghastly old man in Victorian clothing.” It was in this same pub where his victim Annie Chapman was drinking before Jack the Ripper savagely killed her. 

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Jack the Ripper’s five victims also haunt London on their own. On the street where Mary Anne Nichols had her throat and abdomen slit, people report hearing horrible gasping noises and an argument between an unseen man and woman, along with seeing her body lying in the street. The ghost of Elizabeth Stride has been heard crying for help, and the apparition of Catherine Eddowes has been spotted multiple times. Another victim, Mary Kelly, was witnessed speaking to people in the street hours after she had already been murdered. 

2) TED BUNDY

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In the 1970s, Ted Bundy killed at least 30 women across seven states, though his murder tally is suspected to be much higher. He was executed for his crimes in 1989, but allegedly his ghost has lingered. A decade after he died, a prison guard divulged to a reporter that several guards claimed to have come across the ghost of Ted Bundy casually sitting on the electric chair - and creepily smiling his signature smirk. If anyone tried to approach him, he would disappear. At one point the sightings were occurring so often, the prison warden couldn’t find anyone willing to enter the execution chamber alone. Bundy also began popping up in prison cells, housing units, and his holding cell on death row. Once his ghost even spoke to guards, boasting  “Well, I beat all of you, didn’t I?” According to an inmate, Bundy’s ghostly visage appears as a blue-white mist, but is so detailed it’s impossible to deny that the likeness is Bundy. And he’s always, always smiling. 

In recent years there have also been reports of ghostly activity in Ted Bundy’s childhood home, including dressers falling over, drawers opening on their own, and words being mysteriously scrawled in the dust, but no one has yet identified the ghost as Bundy himself. 

3) JEFFREY DAHMER

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Between 1978 and 1991, Jeffery Dahmer, the Milwaukee Cannibal, killed and consumed 17 men. For his horrific crimes, he was sentenced to 16 terms of life imprisonment, but was beaten to death by another prisoner in 1994.

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Since his death, Dahmer’s childhood home in Bath, Ohio - and the place he committed his first killing - has been the site of haunted activity. The ghost of Dahmer and several other spirits (perhaps victims?) have allegedly been seen inside the house, but the most significant activity has come in the form of EVPs. Known as one of the best places in world to capture EVPs, it’s been reported that ghost hunters have rented out the house for as much as $10,000 a night in search of Dahmer’s ghostly voice.

In the video below, one such ghost hunter shares numerous EVPs that he captured on the property, including words and phrases that sound eerily like “can’t breathe,” “run,” “stop the bleeding,” and more. 

4) JOHN WAYNE GACY

The disturbed John Wayne Gacy abused and murdered at least 33 men and boys between 1972 and 1978. Because of his penchant for dressing as “Pogo the Clown,” Gacy has become known as the Clown Killer. All of his known murders were committed at his ranch house, 8213 W. Summerdale Avenue in Chicago, where he buried over two dozen bodies in a crawl space and several more in the backyard. Although the original Gacy home was razed during the police search for so many bodies, different owners of the house that was later built on the property allegedly reported screams in the night and bloody apparitions. For several years after Gacy’s house came down, no plant life would grow on the lot, although supposedly there was no logical explanation for the yard to remain barren. The lack of vegetation on only that spot confused the neighbors, and people began to believe it was some kind of mark on the property, left behind by Gacy’s evil works. While none of these strange events is attributed directly to the ghost of Gacy, his terrible legacy was still a hulking specter, even forcing new homeowners to change the house’s street number in an effort to distance it from Gacy’s presence.

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Gacy’s presence also led to a terrifying paranormal-type encounter for one of our interview guests. During the last two years of Gacy’s, our guest James spoke with Gacy one-on-one multiples times, as he gained insight into the mind of a serial killer. When the time came for Gacy to be put to death, James chose not to oblige a last request from the murderer. Two weeks after the execution, he awoke to find the ghost of Gacy in his room, staring and snarling at him. The full account of James’ ghostly encounter and the time he spent with John Wayne Gacy can be heard on Episode 116: Serial Killer John Gacy - Life After Death.

Have the evil works of these serial killers left them restless in the afterlife? Is their dark legacy so strong that they are still hunting for victims? Their own lives may over, but these serial killers are continuing to instill fear even from beyond the grave.

Have you heard of any other serial killers who have manifested in ghostly form? Tell us about it in the comments!

Explorer Films Ghostly Figure in Abandoned Chapel

When you’re alone in the dark and hear an unexpected noise, you may secretly wonder whether you’re about be attacked by a serial killer or spooked by a creepy ghost. Most of the time, the errant sound turns out to be something ordinary, like the house settling or the cat throwing up (also a terrifying prospect).

But for explorer and urban adventurer Danny Duffy, the creepy ghost was all too real in a brief but chilling encounter that he captured on video and recently posted to his YouTube channel, Exploring with Danny.

Danny, who films his explorations of “places frozen in time and places of the forgotten,” was just at the beginning of a venture into an abandoned UK chapel late one night when the sudden appearance of what appears to be a full-body specter sent him running. The scary figure - with a stark white face, fairly definable features, and possibly wearing a long black robe - peers straight at Danny from around a corner of the building. It looks surprisingly human, but it’s frightening just the same. Is it a robed person hiding out in the dilapidated church? Or did a former religious resident of the chapel come to find out what Danny was doing on their hallowed grounds?

The Confessionals had the opportunity to interview Danny following his spooky experience, and that interview will be forthcoming. For now, take a look at Danny’s ghostly video below (language warning!). The actual figure appears at the 2:18 mark. What do you think is really revealing itself in this old chapel in the dark of night?

New York's Spooky Island of the Dead

New York City is home to many famous places: Broadway. Times Square. Central Park. The Statue of Liberty. The Empire State Building. Wherever you are in the world, you've probably heard of these big-name attractions, located only in The Big Apple.

What you probably haven’t heard about are the 1,000,000 bodies located just offshore.

Yes, bodies. On Hart Island, a small plot of land in the Long Island Sound, approximately one million people are buried in a potter’s field. The lonely island has a long, eerie history that stretches into the present... where the freshly dead are still buried in open graves.

Hart Island, New York.

Hart Island, New York.

Hart Island satellite image.

Hart Island satellite image.

Hart Island’s history began during the Civil War, when the island - only a mile long and a quarter mile wide - was used as a prisoner-of-war camp. Over 3,000 Confederate soldiers were held there for four months in 1865; 235 of them died and were buried there, marking the island’s beginning as a massive gravesite.

Over the following decades, Hart Island became a place to isolate outcasts of society. In 1870, the island was used to quarantine patients during a yellow fever epidemic. In the late 19th century, it was the site of a women's lunatic asylum. Well into the 20th century, the facilities also functioned as a tuberculosis hospital, a workhouse for delinquent boys, a prison again, and a drug rehabilitation center. The island was even briefly a missile base - all the while amassing the bodies of men, women, and children in its public potter's field.

Hart Island burial, 1890.

Hart Island burial, 1890.

Along with the Civil War soldiers buried there, the dead of Hart Island are primarily the remains of the destitute, the unidentified, and the stillborn; even dismembered body parts have been disposed of in the mass graves. Called “City Cemetery,” the graves of Hart Island make up the largest tax-funded cemetery in the world. On a weekly basis, the bodies, in plain pine boxes, are stacked three high and 25 across in trenches. The process, carried out by inmates of nearby Rikers Island prison, is unceremonious, straightforward, and stoic.

For a long time, the burial sites were even reused: after 25 to 50 years of being buried (long enough to sufficiently decay) new bodies were interred on top of the old, crumbling ones. In 1977, vandals started a fire on Hart Island that destroyed most of its burial records to date, sadly eliminating the only remaining proof of existence for many of the deceased.

Also adding to its grim history are the deaths of four teenagers who drowned when they attempted to sneak onto the island. Only one body was ever found, washed up on the Hart Island shore.

Women's lunatic asylum on Hart Island.

Women's lunatic asylum on Hart Island.

Even though burials continue to occur each week, access to eerie Hart Island is very restricted. The public can only venture to the island by boat, once a month, and can go no further than a memorial and waiting gazebo at the dock. For those who have family buried on the island, a monthly visit is permitted to the burial site, but they must be accompanied by a member of the Department of Corrections. No public photographs are allowed, and paperwork to visit must be filed well in advance. Part of the restriction is a safety issue, as Hart Island is now a ruin of abandoned buildings from its previous incarnations. Among the structures are rusted hospital beds, old documents, discarded shoes, and empty caskets, creepy remnants of the island's long history. But it could be supposed that the restriction is also to ensure that the island graveyard, where so many unclaimed and unwanted have been laid to uneasy rest, stays out of the public eye. 

Mass graves, 1992.

Mass graves, 1992.

Despite its spooky history and mass corpses, a formal paranormal investigation has never been conducted on Hart Island. It is the belief of paranormal investigators that souls of the dead are undoubtedly trapped on the island, as witnesses and inmates who have been there have reported hearing the whispering of voices - many of them children - and the feeling of being watched. Hart Island has even made it onto lists of the nation’s “Most Haunted Islands.” But with so much difficulty accessing the site, it may never really be known how many of the dead still “live” on Hart Island.

Bones eroding from the earth on Hart Island.

Bones eroding from the earth on Hart Island.

Recently, however, it has been made known that the Hart Island dead are rising, in a very literal sense! After enduring years of storms, Hart Island is eroding. As the shoreline deteriorates, skeletons in the mass graves are being unearthed. Some of the bones are collected and reburied as they wash down the beaches, but still others are carried out to open ocean. Miranda Hunt of the Hart Island Project has revealed, “Entire skeletons are sort of falling out of the hill onto the beach, and then they're washed away with the tide.” The problem is so significant that the area of erosion has even become known as "bones beach." The rising skeleton situation has been ongoing since the 1990s, but only lately have efforts been made to stabilize the surfacing bones. The city is finally in the process of repairing the damage, but those repairs aren't scheduled to begin until sometime in 2019, giving ample time for many more displaced remains to simply wash away.

With its creepy past and gloomy present, it’s no wonder that Hart Island is not usually mentioned along with New York City’s famous landmarks. Indeed, there are actually a number of eerie New York islands that are kept quiet from the public, including similarly spooky North Brother Island - the strip of land where Typhoid Mary met her demise and New York saw its biggest loss-of-life disaster prior to 9/11. After over a century and a half of death and more than one million corpses, Hart Island is well-deserving of the title, “Island of the Dead.”

For more stories, facts, and photos of Hart Island, check out "Buried from the Public: Hart Island, New York" on Sometimes Interesting.

Hart Island burial trench.

Hart Island burial trench.

Written Confession: Mike N.'s Paranormal Night

The following Confession was shared by Mike N. via The Confessionals' Facebook page:

"I had been on my guard since the last visit. It was the first time I felt threatened/scared. At this time I was not very well versed with the finer points of hauntings or how to deal with them. It was a week night so it was off to bed early because I am a natural early riser. I was awakened around midnight by a horrible nightmare that left me and the sheets soaking wet. The details of that dream have faded over the years but still remember the darkness of it.

I got up to get a drink of water and to let the sheets dry out a bit. I climbed back into bed shifting more to one side to stay off the damp sheets. As I laid there trying not to think of the nightmare I caught an "off" sound that came from the end of the bed. My ears perked up as I strained to hear the sound again. I decided to grab a pillow and propped my head up on the sleigh bed's footboard. Just moments later I did hear the sound again. It came from the wall that was just feet from my head. I shot straight up and turned to face the sound. The sound was nothing I had ever heard or have ever heard since that night. I can only compare it the sound of a can of spray paint being discharged but much, much lower in tone.

As I stared at the wall and sound I tried to pin point what part of the wall it was coming from. However the sound would be toward the lower part and then sound off up toward the top. They came 5-10 seconds apart. Then 4-5 seconds apart. Shooting from the top left to the bottom right. All of a sudden it was a constant repetitive mean disturbing LOUD over and over again. I had back up from the foot of the bed mid way through staring with WIDE eyes trying to figure out what the h#*ll was going on.

I soon realized that I did want to be where I was at. I jumped from the bed and headed for the front of the house. As I entered the utility room the sound got stronger and louder. It was coming from the bathroom that was opposite from my room. I flipped the light on in the utility room as I eased up to the bathroom. The sound was deafening. I stretched my arm into the bathroom to turn on the light. The sound was coming from the bathtub and wouldn't you know it the shower curtain was closed. I was pretty much freaking out at this point and wasn't about to enter the bathroom and open that curtain with my hand.

I looked around the utility room and saw the broom. I quickly grabbed that and slowly creped into the bathroom. I had the broom stretched out cause I wanted to be as far away from that tub as possible. I hooked the end of the shower curtain and jerked it open. And there, right there in front of me was nothing. Nothing but this evil, evil sound going around in circles over and over pausing from second to second to stop in front of me to give me a "well howdy do" to let me know it knew I was there.

I was shaking in my undies. Tears were streaming down my face and was unable to comprehend what I was witnessing. I have since learned that mean hauntings feed off your fears, well let me tell you there was plenty of fodder to feed from. I was absolutely terrified. This moment only lasted about a minute or two but seemed like hours. It continued going around and around in this small space of the shower/tub getting madder and madder. The low deep spraying sound was so loud at this point. After the few minutes it made a move to the lower part of the tub constantly making the sound and going in circles. Here's odd part, IT went down the drain. You could hear as the tone changed as it entered the opening and how the sound carried as it went into the plumbing to fade out.

I was left standing there with a broom in my hands shaking. I quickly left the bathroom and went to the front room. I was pacing back and forth trying to figure out what had just happened and what I was going to do next. I knew I had to calm down some how. That sound just seemed to continue in my head over and over.

After a bit I knew I had to get to bed because I had to be a work in a short time. With EVERY light on I eased into the bedroom. I climb into bed sliding all the way to the other side of the bed with my back on the edge of the bed. I was facing the door way and could see pretty much all of the room. I laid there for only a few moments when I felt something set on the bed right where the previous visitor stopped. It sat on part of my leg as it made itself comfortable. I was able to see the bed compress down as this happened. Sigh, I screamed like a little girl and ran to the front room and picked up my shaking. I was back to the pacing around like crazy again trying figure my best move.

The thing was I didn't have anyplace to go. There was such a heavy, intense, thick, mean feeling/vibe that radiated from the door way into the utility room. It's presents was so, so forceful that I found myself in the furthest corner of the front room. I couldn't take my eyes off of it. I felt so mean. I was afraid it was going to spill into the front and fill it up with this thick soup.
I wanted to run and fast. But I was in my underwear and it was February in AR which means very cold. I had to set in the corner of that room for hours to pass until that feeling of being watched by a mean thing to fade away. When it did I ran into my room quickly gabbing whatever clothes I could find and throw them on as I headed out the front door."

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