There is a vault in a West Indies cemetery that prefers its coffins in disarray. An entire family was buried within - the Chase family. One by one, family members both young and old would die and be carefully placed in their eternal resting place - until the father (rumoured to be one of the most hated men on the island) was interred. When the ground keepers opened the door to store him within, all the coffins seemed to have scattered themselves about the floor. The strange occurrence happened again and again. Some reports say people could actually hear the coffins moving themselves while locked inside the cement sealed vault.
Many a strange thing has happened in the West Indies - not the least of which is the case of Barbados' self-moving coffins. The story goes that the family Chase had a crypt in a local cemetery to hold all the family members who'd passed on. The first to be housed in the edifice was Mrs. Thomasina Goddard in or around 1807. She was followed by two year old Mary Ann Chase in 1808 and then by another child - Dorcas Chase in 1812.
Those coffins were all very well behaved until the family head - Thomas Chase - was to be placed inside. Thomas, as we've already stated, is said to have been one of the more despised men on the island. When the crypt was opened to place him inside, the other coffins seemed to have moved themselves from their orderly places.
Those in the funeral party were angered at the finding, supposing heartless robbers to be responsible. This thought was soon abandoned as nothing was missing from the coffins, nothing of value had been placed inside in the first place, and (most significantly) the door to the burial site was a huge stone cemented in place. To open it, the cemetery workers quite literally had to do so with a hammer and chisel. The stone was also said to have been so big, a team of at least four men would be needed to move it. Confused, the townspeople placed the freshest body inside and resealed the vault.
The newest coffin was a 240 lb. lead coffin, an extremely difficult thing to toss about for anyone looking to drag it around until money fell out.
In 1816 another burial was to take place - this time for eleven year old Charles Brewster Ames. Again the coffins were everywhere but in their proper places. The 240 lb. lead coffin of Thomas Chase was also in the wrong location. The crypt had been completely sealed and, again, had no signs of tampering or forced entry.
52 days later, another burial was to take place in the crypt. A large crowd gathered for this one, and they weren't disappointed. This time the cement-sealed door was closely examined before opening, with no strange findings. Again the coffins had thrown themselves about. There was a difference this time in that the first coffin that had been placed inside - the only one made of wood - had been badly damaged by the tussle. A reverend was called in to check the scene, but left with no new insight. Once again the vault was sealed.
In 1819 another family burial was needed. The vault was opened with all the same results - except the wooden one found damaged the last time had not been moved one single inch. The governor of the island (Lord Combermere) had enough at this point and ordered his own investigation - nothing was found. This time sand was scattered on the ground to catch the footprints and movements of any pranksters. The governor's own seal was placed in the hardening cement, then the vault was ordered sealed until the next family tragedy.
But the governor couldn't wait that long.
Less than a year later the head-of-state ordered the crypt opened, this time only in front of himself and several friends. The seal was perfectly intact upon arrival, but the coffins were still scattered. Some of them had even flipped upside down, and one was lying halfway up the stairs leading to the door. The sand so carefully placed before gave away no footprints or signs of water. The governor then ordered the coffins removed to a new burial site, and the crypt was left open. It's standing open and empty to this very day.
We don't know about you, but we're not scared of it at all.
Paranormal investigators are trying to determine if a strange floating object caught on videotape and an unexplained noise on an audio recording at a home in Sanford, Fla., were made by a woman believed to be haunting the historic home.
In July, Local 6 News featured a home for sale in Sanford that several people believe is haunted by a woman who moves items and slams cabinets shut inside the 1921 structure.
A volunteer ghost hunter team located in Florida, The Peace River Ghost Trackers, noticed the story about the house online and decided to spend a night inside the home.
"Hopefully what we'll see in the monitors is a shadow, an apparition, which is the Holy Grail -- capturing the apparition of someone walking past the camera," Peace River Ghost Tracker spokesman Scott Walker said.
"Walker must determine whether a floating ball of light (caught on tape) is a ghostly orb or a particle of dust," Local 6 reporter Mike DeForest said.
Ghost hunter Ellen Dvorak said before she can prove a ghost exists she must first try to disprove unusual activity -- such as a door in the house that mysteriously opens apparently because it does not completely close, the report said.
"Usually, 99 percent of the time, the spirits are very friendly," Dvorak said. "They might get your attention by making noises, touching you, poking you or whatever."
During their stay at the Sanford home, the ghost trackers found no obvious signs of paranormal activity, DeForest said.
"But, in an audio recording that they plan to examine further, they think they might hear the ghost trying to communicate," DeForest said.
If you believe in ghosts, you may want to steer clear of Library Park.
A Westport-based paranormal investigation society, the Smoking Gun Research Agency, said it has received several reports of ghostly activity in the park on Grand Street.
The group plans to "spook" around the area this afternoon at 3 if the weather cooperates, said the agency's director, Jon Nowinski.
The city's first burial ground, known as the Grand Street Cemetery, was on the site of what is now Library Park. It was the only burial ground in the city from 1686 well into the 1800s. As many as 2,000 graves reportedly remain in the park.
The agency has received seven "experience reports" from people who say they've had contact with the great beyond, Nowinski said.
"What we've had is information from people who have been walking in the park and had strange feelings, or driven by the park and thought they saw a figure within the park,'' he said. "One person who was walking outside of the park wall claimed they saw a figure kneeling at a headstone. It was one of those things where they looked back and the figure was gone, but they were certain of what they saw."