Adelaide Arcade ‘haunted’ by caretaker ghost Francis Cluney

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It’s the oldest shopping arcade in Australia with a deadly past and at least one resident ghost.

Caretaker Francis Cluney was investigating a flickering light when he fell into an electrical generator and died in the most gruesome way.

The father-of-five’s mangled body was found a short time later and many of the arcade’s businesses are convinced he still walks among them and watches over them.

According to center management marketing consultant Sharon Leaney, “friendly Francis” is most active when works are taking place.

And some say he’s not alone.

Despite his gory death way back in 1887, Ms Leaney said many traders still report feeling his presence and had come to accept him like part of the furniture.

She said traders and shoppers at the iconic arcade, built in 1885, didn’t seem to be put off by the ghostly presence.

“We’re quite sure it’s him,” she told news.com.au of the reported sightings and encounters.

“He seems friendly and no one seems spooked by him — we think he’s just keeping an eye on things.”

Ms Leaney said traders had reported encounters from things being moved to feeling cold and hearing footsteps when no other people were around.

On one occasion an electrical contractor went into the ceiling while doing some work and heard footsteps behind him before it went cold.

According to her, he refused to do the work telling management they didn’t have enough money to make him do the job.

And it seems Francis isn’t the only spirit to walk the shopping arcade, which was the country’s first retail center to have electric lighting, according to the Adelaide Arcade museum.

In 1904 a man called Thomas Houghton shot his wife dead in what used to be the laneway next to the arcade.

She ran into the arcade to get help before taking her last breath.

Ms Leaney said some traders had even reported hearing a child’s voice and laugh, who some claim is the ghost of a girl who was suffocated by her mother.

Francis Cluney’s story and that of the other ghosts were captured by Fox TV show,Haunting Australia , which went inside Manhattan Dry Cleaners, close to the spot where it is believed Mr Cluney died.

Manhattan Dry Cleaner business owner Bronwyn Berry admitted she was a skeptic but even she believed there was something following the show’s filming.

Mrs Berry told news.com.au her daughter and brother-in-law both reported encounters with Francis.

She said when psychics were brought in following filming, problems began occurring with one of their machines.

Her brother-in-law ended up apologizing to the ghost for bringing strangers into the shop and everything went back to normal after that.

“My daughter was in the shop one morning before the arcade opened and heard the EFTPOS machine beeping,” Mrs Berry said.

“She said ‘Francis if this is you beep again’ and the machine began beating furiously fast.”

Mrs Berry said whether it was all coincidence or not, they had been in the arcade for 40 years and weren’t thinking about moving elsewhere because of an apparent ghost.

Arcade’s resident psychic Joan Lesley told The Advertiser in 2004 that Francis wasn’t the only ghost to walk the mall’s floors, with his friend Ken also believed to haunt the arcade.

“There’s a woman here but she won’t tell me her name — she smothered her child with a pillow and is too ashamed to identify herself,” she said.

“They have a real attachment to the building and are really quite harmless.”

[Debra Killalea, news.com.au]

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Three American friends hospitalized after becoming ‘possessed’ following Ouija board game in Mexican village

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Three American friends have been taken to hospital after reportedly becoming ‘possessed’ by evil spirits while playing with a Ouija board. 

Alexandra Huerta, 22, was playing the game with her brother Sergio, 23, and 18-year-old cousin Fernando Cuevas at a house in the village of San Juan Tlacotenco in south-west Mexico.

But minutes into it, she apparently started ‘growling’ and thrashing around in a ‘trance-like’ state.

Meanwhile, Sergio and Fernando also reportedly started showing signs of ‘possession’, including feelings of blindness, deafness and hallucinations. 

Paramedics were called to the house and took the trio to hospital, according to Alexandra’s parents.

They restrained Alexandra to prevent her from hurting herself, before treating the three with painkillers, anti-stress medication and eye drops, which seemingly worked.

Victor Demesa, 46, the director of public safety in the nearby town of Tepoztlan, said: ‘The medical rescue of these three young people was very complicated. 

'They had involuntary movements and it was difficult to transfer them to the nearest hospital because they were so erratic.

'It appeared as if they were in a trance-like state, apparently after playing with the Ouija board.

'They spoke of feeling numbness, double vision, blindness, deafness, hallucinations, muscle spasm and difficulty swallowing.'

He added that whether the trio were really possessed, or had simply convinced themselves that they were, was not for doctors to comment on.

lexandra’s parents said they had called paramedics after a local Catholic priest refused to perform an exorcism on the three because they were not regular churchgoers.

The Ouija board - also known as a spirit board or talking board - is a flat board marked with the letters of the alphabet, the numbers 0-9, the words ‘yes’, ‘no’, ‘hello’ and ‘goodbye’ and various symbols and graphics.

It uses a small heart-shaped piece of wood or movable indicator to indicate the spirit’s message by spelling it out on the board during a seance.

Participants place their fingers on the wood and it is supposedly moved around the board by the spirit to spell out words.

Mainstream religions and some occultists have associated use of a Ouija board with the concept of demonic possession, and have cautioned their followers not to use one.

[The Daily Mail]

*UPDATE* 'We tried to pray for them but it only made the demons angrier': Inside the terrifying 'possession' of Mexican orphan girl who took shamanic drugs to contact her dead parents with an Ouija board

The girl who shocked the world this week after she was videoed being ‘possessed’ after using a Ouija board was trying to contact her dead parents and had taken a shamanic drug used in Mexico to contact the ‘spirit world’, MailOnline can reveal today.

16-year-old orphan Alexandra Huerta, who appeared possessed by evil spirits in a video taken by paramedics as she was taken to hospital, had taken Brugmansia, a poisonous plant which grows in tropical regions of Latin America.

The drug is also known as Angel’s Trumpet for its large poisonous flowers, and induces dark hallucinations, confusion, muscle paralysis and can lead to death in large doses. 

Brugmansia can induce temporary insanity, especially in those who are not yet fully grown.

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Amazing Coincidences

The world is filled with astonishing occurrences of coincidence and synchronicity that defy explanation. Are these incredible true stories of mere chance… or the hand of fate?

Finnish twin brothers, aged 71, were killed in identical bicycle accidents along the same road two hours apart, police said. “This is simply a historic coincidence. Although the road is a busy one, accidents don’t occur every day,” police officer Marja-Leena Huhtala told Reuters. “It made my hair stand on end when I heard the two were brothers, and identical twins at that. It came to mind that perhaps someone from upstairs had a say in this,” she said.

Identical twins. Identical accidents. Identical deaths. Two hours apart. This astonishing coincidence was reported in newspapers and on newswires around the world in early March, 2002. The odds of it occurring seem remote in the extreme, and it causes one to wonder, as the woman did above - even for a moment - if there’s more at play here than mere coincidence. Is it the hand of fate? Is it true, as author Elizabeth Kubler-Ross wrote, that “there are no mistakes, no coincidences. All events are blessings given to us to learn from.”

History is full of amazing and sometimes bizarre coincidences that give us pause and keep us scratching our heads in wonder. Here is just a small sampling:

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