Towns And Villages You Didn't Know Were Cursed

Haunted or cursed places where strange supernatural phenomena take place are typically the foundation of a vast assortment of novels and movies in the horror genre that exists today. From novels like Stephen King’s “Salem’s Lot” to the film classics like Sam Raimi’s “The Evil Dead,” the plots of scary fictional tales with this kind of common theme are sometimes even set in towns and villages that actually exist in the real world. These existing locations are believed by many to be haunted by ghosts or cursed by powerful and malevolent unearthly beings. Because there are many chilling accounts of allegedly real hauntings and tragic events involving these old towns and villages, it is not surprising that they are used in fiction to maximize a story’s potential to horrify and terrorize its audience.

1. The Al Jazirah Al Hamra

Once a prosperous fishing village located on the northeastern edge of the United Arab Emirates, Al Jazirah Al Hamra used to be filled with antiquated houses that date back to the ancient times and was once an active coastal area where various trade transactions took place. For some reason, around 1968, the residents of the village collectively abandoned their homes. Today, while many of these previous inhabitants still have ownership over some of the land in the village, very few of their descendants continue to live there.

It was around the 1960s when rumors of Al Jazirah Al Hamra being haunted started to gain ground among UAE citizens. Many believe that the village is home to several “djinns” or genies – supernatural creatures in Arabian and Islamic mythologies. These djinns, in particular, are malevolent beings that feed on human flesh. Because of the dark tale surrounding the village, it is a popular tourist spot for those who enjoy ghost hunting and thrill-seeking. While some residents in the area discourage the nocturnal visits of strangers, many locals have also reported sightings of these djinns and have shared their stories with others.

2. The Cinco Saltos

Located in the rural region of Rio Negro, the City of Cinco Saltos is also notoriously known as the “City of Witches” due to reports of the rampant presence of black magicians, necromancers, and witches in the area. One infamous story about this old city involves its large cemetery where a body of a 12-year-old girl was supposedly found while workers renovated the area. Despite the fact that the girl was dead for around 70 years, the girl’s body is well-preserved due to mummification. Some even say that her body was tied to her coffin, leading superstitious residents of the city to suggest that the girl was used as a sacrifice in an occult ritual conducted by one of the hidden covens in the city. There are also reports of seeing a ghost of young girl roaming around the cemetery.

Another terrifying tale said to have taken place in Cinco Saltos involves the Pellegrini Lake where many child sacrifices were purportedly performed by the resident witches. This is supported by reports from visitors of hearing eerie shrieks of young kids when they pass through the lake’s crossing at night. Some people tried to locate the source of these unnerving screams but they always ended up unsuccessful.

3. The Dargavs

This village is more popularly known as the “City of the Dead” and is regarded as among the most enigmatic locations in Russia. Hidden somewhere in the Caucasus Mountains in North Ossetia of southern Russia. Looking at the site from a distance, it may seem like a regular hill village with crude houses, but in reality, Dargavs is no ordinary village. It is actually an ancient necropolis built around the Middle Ages. People of the Ossetian or Alanian tribe erected these house-looking crypts to bury their family members in, and today, there are currently around 100 stone crypts in the area and some of them contain scattered bones.

Today, many of the residents residing on the mountains steer clear of the necropolis due to a local legend warning that those who would visit the tombs in Dargavs end up receiving a curse that supposedly drives them to an early grave. It also doesn’t help that the area is covered with fog most of the time, adding a spookier feel to the grave site.

4. The Canewdon

Located in East Anglia, Canewdon is often referred to as the “witch country” of England as there are a lot of unverified superstitious tales surrounding the village, particularly about witchcraft. There was once a prophecy made by a famous “cunning man” from the 19th century named James Murrell about Canewdon, saying that the area would be doomed to be infested with witches forever. This makes sense in a way since the village has been the subject of witch lore since the 16th century. There is also a legend which states that each instance that a stone drops from the tower of St. Nicholas Church, a witch will perish only to have another take her place. Another legend claims that should a person run counterclockwise around the church or one of the tombs found in its courtyard during Halloween, ghosts, witches or even the Devil would appear.

More than the legends, what’s really tragic about the village of Canewdon was the fact that it was the site of many witch trials and executions that resulted in the suffering and demise of many people during the 16th and 17th centuries. Among the more notable magicians who came from Canewdon include George Pickingill, a black magician heralded as one of the world’s primary authority on witchcraft and Satanism during the early 20th century.

5. The Yarumal

The municipality of Yarumal in the Antioquia Department of Colombia has the unfortunate reputation of having an alarmingly large portion of its population suffer from the neurological curse of dementia. Out of 5,000 of its villagers, it has been determined that half of them will develop early-onset Alzheimer’s disease, with some of them getting afflicted with the neurological disease even before they hit 40 years of age.

As for the reason why so many of the residents in Yarumal are fated to suffer the affliction of dementia early in their lives, scientists have determined that a genetic mutation causing the disease can be traced back to a Spanish conquistador who arrived in the region sometime in the 17th century. The mutation is referred to as E280A and can be found on the 14th chromosome of a gene. While suffering from Alzheimer’s Disease is not fate that should be wished on anyone, there is a silver lining to the fact that many of the residents in Yarumal have this particular genetic mutation. Researchers believe that the people of Yarumal are the key to finding a permanent and effective cure to dementia, which is why the mountain village today is also serving as a large laboratory where the conditions of the villagers are thoroughly studied.

6. The Bhangarh

Regarded as the most haunted site in India, the ruins of the city of Bhangarh in the Rajasthan, India was once a stronghold of the Mughal Empire during the 16th century until the empire weakened by the early 19th century. However, it was the famine of 1783 that drastically diminished the human population in city and since then, Bhangarh has remained largely uninhabited.

The fort of Bhangarh is full of temples and palaces but despite its breathtaking sites, the city today is nothing more than an abandoned “ghost” town. In fact, even now, entry to the city between sunset and sunrise is prohibited and outsiders are warned against entering the city by the Archaeology Survey of India. There is even a legend circulating in the region that anyone who dared to visit the ghost city at night is fated to remain trapped inside the city’s ruins for eternity. Nevertheless, thousands of people have visited Bhangarh at night every year, either because they don’t believe in the curse or they want to see for themselves if it’s real.

As for why the city is cursed, one story tells of a holy man called Baba Balnath who gave his permission for the people to construct the town so long as the buildings they erected did not cast a shadow over his residence. If they did, he would punish the people by destroying the city. A descendant prince, however, violated this rule leading Balnath to curse the entire town.

Another tale speaks of a wizard called Singhiya who fell in love with the princess of Bhangarh named Ratnavati. To make the princess love him, Singhiya cast a spell on a fragrance purchased by one of the princess’s attendants. However, the princess saw through the plan and caused the magician’s death. Before he took his last breath, Singhiya cursed Bhangarh, prophesizing that people would soon abandon the city completely.

There is no way to tell if all these old towns and villages from different parts of the world are actually cursed. What we can say is that the spooky tales and legendary curses connected with these old sites are what makes these places all the more interesting for many of us. This is why many of us go out of our way to see them for ourselves – because they infuse a little fear, strangeness, and mystery into our normal lives.


The Black Knight Alien Satellite

    This black knight is not at all related to the bat-costumed dark knight that we know all too well. In fact, many people think it’s an alien satellite that has been kept secret by NASA and the government for more than a decade since it was first discovered. Over the decades, there have been many sightings of the strange object, but no one knows why it’s up there floating in space. All reports from US, Russia, And Europe in general say that the satellite is of “unknown origin”. So what is this curious object anyway? When was it discovered? What does it do? What is its purpose? Let’s start from the very beginning.

    Although there are varied opinions, it is generally believed that Nikola Tesla was the one who “discovered” the black knight when he set up a magnifying transmitter at his Colorado Springs facility in 1899 to investigate wireless distribution of electricity. What he didn’t expect were strange signals that were repeated periodically with number and order. They were timed pulses coming as ...1, ...2, ...3, that led him to believe that the signal was coming from an extraterrestrial source. Tesla originally thought that the signals were being sent from Mars, but he later restated that the signal was actually coming from another part of space. It’s not surprising that Tesla associated the signal with alien intervention, because a lot of people believe that Tesla has had contact with aliens. It is believed that he received information from aliens in a number of different cases. For example, once he was trying to find an equation/principle for the AC machine and suddenly, out of nowhere, he got the answer via telepathy or from an unknown source. Apparently he also invented many things for the government that were kept from the public, but that’s another story on it’s own.


    Not long afterward Tesla’s discovery, Guglielmo Marconi, Italian inventor and electrical engineer, was also intercepted by a strange unknown artificial signal. He found that some of his morse code messages were being returned to him, which fascinated and frightened him at the same time.

     Following his discovery in 1927, another man named Jorgen Hals, a civil engineer in Oslo, was using a radio receiver to listen to shortwave transmissions and noticed something very peculiar was happening. His signals were being reflected back to him. He didn’t know what it was, but the echoes were being reflected back to him at strange intervals ranging from 3-15 seconds. These irregularly reflected intervals were later known to be LDES, or Long Delayed Echoes.

    After the occurrence of all of these events that might have been related to alien interaction (especially the LDES),  the press was majorly stirred up. From 1928 to 1930, a experiments were performed that tested the legitimacy of the reflected signals, and it turned out that they were very real indeed. The only problem was that no one had an explanation for the signals’ reflections. As a result, even more experiments were run in France and the UK in the 1930's, but at the end of the day scientists could do nothing but be confused and speechless. Even today, we don’t have an agreed upon explanation for the occurrence and location of these LDES.

    Of course, after the experiments were run, the black knight became an even hotter topic for many news outlets, and the first story of the alien shuttle appeared on May 14th, 1954 when St. Louis Dispatch and The SF Examiner wrote about it, explaining that the U.S had found a strange satellite in space and that it could possibly be a surveillance satellite launched by the Russians.

     Then, on August 23, 1954, another story was released about the Black Knight, this time by the tech mag Aviation Week and Space Technology. They basically told the world that the Pentagon found two satellites orbiting the earth, both of which were natural. The pentagon was furious when they heard about the release of the story because want the satellites to be known by the public. As a result, they lied to the public and told them that the satellites were asteroids (as if anyone would actually believe them). By then the public already knew that something was up, and that either the Russians had managed to put something into orbit or there was something more...supernatural at work.

    A few years later, in March of 1960, another satellite was found orbiting earth. This satellite was a spectacular discovery because it wasn’t like the previously discovered satellites at all. It was a large black object weighing about 15 tons that was in POLAR orbit around earth, which means that it passes over polar regions and has a plane that contains the polar axis. This is amazing because first of all, the US and soviets didn’t even KNOW how to put an object in polar orbit. Second of all, neither country was capable of putting an object that weighs so much into space either. Third of all, the satellite was twice as fast as any known satellite at the time. As a result, the strange polar-orbiting satellites acquired a name: the Black Knight. No one knows for sure the origins of the name, but it’s believed that the name is based on a rocket the British had developed, which was also called Black Knight. After the amazing discovery, astronomers across the country conducted research on the satellite and realized that it had one of the strangest patterns of appearance and disappearance, because it would disappear for long periods of time before reappearing again YEARS later. 


      Stanford space scientist Ronald Bracewell had an explanation for the phenomenon and believed that the satellite was a way for a distant alien civilization to communicate with earth. He said that the aliens might have sent out a probe, or ‘Bracewell probe’ as it’s we now call it, into the universe to look for other planets that seemed promising and contained intelligent lifeforms. He said that the satellite would remain dormant until humans found a way to send signals to it, in which it would send signals back.

     Duncan Lunan, a Scottish science writer was so intrigued by Bracewell’s theory that he decided to test it out for himself. He reexamined the data from the LDE experiments of 1928 and was absolutely and completely baffled. He mapped out the delays from the echos he recorded in 1928, and found that they formed the pattern of the  Boötes constellation, a constellation the in the northern sky. Not only that, Lunan was also able to decode the message that was being conveyed from the LDE Data at a stable point between the orbits of Earth and Moon called L5. the message read:


If this doesn’t send chills down your spine, I don’t know what does.

     What’s even more amazing is that, along with the decoded message, Lunan also realized something else. Although he made his discovery in 1972, he realized that the star system he saw from the LDE data was not like the star system he saw in the skies at all. He concluded that if the black knight really was an alien probe, it must have taken ages to reach earth. He was right. By looking back in time, Lunan realized that the map he created matched how Epsilon Bootis looked like the Epsilon Bootis that was in the skies 13,000 years ago. This means that the satellite, possibly sent from a distant alien civilization, could have been orbiting the planet since pre-history.

     By then, Lunan was pretty much convinced that an alien civilization living near the Bootes constellation was trying to contact earth. It’s possible that the the same signal was also intercepted by Tesla and Macroni as well, but we will never know for sure. Sadly, since there wasn’t solid proof regarding the existence of such a supernatural satellite, people started believing the Pentagon’s excuse that the Black Knight was just some “space debris”.

     Thankfully, visual evidence of the satellite was found in 1998 when the crew of the space shuttle Endeavor was able to take high-resolution pictures of the strange black object while they were in space. The old stories of Tesla, LDES, and Lunan’s constellation map once again resurfaced in the minds of people across the country. Until today, we are still not sure what the Black Knight is, what it does, or where it comes from, but we DO know for a fact that it’s no regular satellite.

The Mystery of Streetlight Interference

One fine evening, you’re returning home after a long day’s work. As you stroll down the footpath of the street a block away from your house, no one else is around, and you only have the street lamps illuminating your path towards home. Oddly, the street lamp you just walked by suddenly switched off, only turning on again once you’ve passed it. Being the level-headed person that you are, you shrug off what happened as mere coincidence and think nothing more to it. However, three days later, you passed the same row of street lights, and the phenomenon happens again. Even weirder, this time around, three successive lamps are affected, each one suddenly turning off as you approach, only to switch on again as soon as you step away.

What just happened? Was this another random coincidence you should dismiss? Or did you somehow influence the street lights with a hidden energy or power you didn’t know you had?

Many people have personally experienced – or at the very least, witnessed – a streetlight suddenly turning off as someone passes under it. While some may think that this is mere chance, there are also others that suggest this to be an unknown phenomenon caused by a few individuals who supposedly possess an incomprehensible ability to influence electrical devices. Over the years, more and more people have become more open with sharing their unusual experiences involving street lamps, and this phenomenon came to be known as “Street Light Interference” or SLI.

What Is Street Light Interference?

“Street Light Interference” is a term coined by paranormal scholar and author Hilary Evans to denote the claimed ability of individuals to turn street lights or outside security building lights on or off when passing near them. Experience of this nature are quite common, with many people all over the world claiming that they involuntarily and usually spontaneously cause street lamps to go out. Typically, “the effect is intermittent, infrequent and is without an immediately discernable sequence of cause and effect.”

Although there are many personal anecdotes involving SLI experiences, the circumstances of each case are not always the same as with other instances. Some people report that they have only encountered switching off a single street light close by, while others claim to have influenced as many as a row of street lights in a single instance. There also those that possess the capacity to randomly affect only specific street lights, which makes it difficult to discern a testable pattern in studying SLI. Moreover, though the majority of SLI cases happen while walking, others say the phenomenon also occurs for them while they ride on bicycles, motorbikes, or even the bus.

However, the SLI phenomenon is not limited to street lights alone. There are also reports of people who supposedly can spontaneously and intermittently affect other electronic devices, which varies from battery-operated wrist watches to railroad crossing to aircraft navigation equipment. Some people also claim to affect volume levels on TVs, radios, and music players, and cause credit cards and other magnetically encoded cards to get damaged and erased while in their possession. There are also those who often experience problems with compasses, causing them to stop or malfunction.

People who supposedly experience the SLI phenomenon are referred to as “SLIders.” Many “SLIders” suffer from a lack of validation for their skeptical family members and friends unless the time comes that they witness the repeated occurrences firsthand. Without sufficient explanation for the phenomenon they experience and with no one to turn to confirm them, SLIders are mostly left with their own devices in imagining and speculating regarding the nature of their supposed power to influence street lamps and other items and devices.

Studies Related to Street Light Interference

In a modern world where empirical research decides the validity of a theory or a hypothesis, any attempt in determining the main cause of the Street Light Interference phenomenon without thorough scientific investigation is dismissed as mere speculation and intensely rejected by the academic community. This is where the problem with studying SLI arises. As with other reported psychic or paranormal phenomena, SLI is very difficult – if not impossible – to reproduce in a laboratory setting. They seem to occur spontaneously and sporadically without the deliberate intention of the SLIder.

However, there are some informal tests that have been conducted involving this phenomenon, and some of the data gathered in some research and studies are based heavily or solely on the personal anecdotes and subjective reports of the people who claim to have witnessed or experienced SLI for themselves. Even then, these tests and studies have shown that SLIders are usually unable to recreate the SLI effect on demand.

Prior to his death in 2011, the British paranormal scholar Hilary Evans was the foremost authority on SLI. Aside from being a pictorial archivist and authoring numerous books on the Fortean, Evans also helped found the Association for the Scientific Study of Anomalous Phenomena or ASSAP in 1981. And after receiving numerous reports from different people claiming that street lights respond to their presence in an inexplicable manner, Evans decided to uncover the truth behind the mystery. He collected hundreds of accounts of SLI through his research which he referred to as Street Lamp Interference Data Exchange or SLIDE. The culmination of this research was the publication of his final book titled, “SLIDERS: The Enigma Street Light Interference.”

Explanations for Street Light Interference

According to Evans, it is theoretically possible that every person who claims to have experienced SLI could be lying. However, since the majority of SLIders have “no ostensible motivation apart from a natural and commendable desire to resolve” this mystery, we can probably set aside deliberate deceit for the time being. And so, based on various research, studies and assumptions from experts that are supportive or skeptical about the validity of the Street Light Interference phenomenon, possible explanations for witness claims of SLI can be grouped into three broad categories -  psychological, paranormal, and mechanical.

Psychological Explanation

In his book about Street Light Interference, Evans raised this primary question: “does SLI occur at all, or are the alleged witnesses deluding themselves?” According to Evans, a decisive answer to this question cannot be produced until the SLI phenomenon is scientifically tested. However, he also mentioned the possibility that SLI could be a shared delusion, much like the widespread delusion that has taken place in the past – such as the witchcraft mania that took place in the 16th and 17th centuries – and even in our more enlightened era – such as the on-going alien abduction mania. However, Evans also noted that SLI does not have the same psychological pay-off as witchcraft or abductions. Those who seek to enhance their special gift of influencing street lamps will not find much to flatter themselves with achieving such a feat. In short, while its possibility cannot be disregarded, it seems highly unlikely that all SLI experiences are delusions. 

There are also those that suggest that that the SLI phenomenon might be attributed to people’s tendency to see patterns in “random noise.” Because it is unusual for a light to turn itself on or off when you walk past it, it catches your attention when it does happen. And when it occurs several times consecutively, people have the tendency to think that there is some kind of mechanism at work that makes it possible. And so, some argue that SLI can trace its roots in the power of suggestion, which requires a mix of different factors to work. As such, SLI could be brought about by the normal behavior of bulbs getting older, the witness’s observer bias, and some other important factor that is unknown to the person which would help in making sense of the situation.

Paranormal Phenomenon

Street Light Interference as a paranormal phenomenon is considered by skeptics to be the least likely possibility. By “paranormal,” we are pertaining to what occurs outside the conventionally recognized “normal” scientific parameters. It doesn’t have to mean that a supernatural force or an occult process is involved. If SLI really does occur as SLIders claim, then this phenomenon cannot be confined in the parameters of conventional science. Until now, there is no scientific recognition that the human mind can cause physical effects at a distance, which is what SLIders allege to be the case in SLI. However, the problem with SLI being a paranormal phenomenon is that it will be difficult to conduct experiments to test SLI since the phenomenon happens only at random and it is not produced by the person willing for it to happen.

There are also those who believe that what is causing street lamps to turn off or on could be some kind of “energy” that is emitted by the human body. SLIders report that the instances they spontaneously influence street lamps usually occur while they are tired, stressed, furious, or sad. Others, on the other hand, believe that street lamps are affected by some kind of static electricity that is produced by the body. There are also speculations that SLI might have something to do with the electrical impulses of the brain. At present, these electrical impulses are known to only have an effect within the body of an individual, but if it could somehow have an effect outside the body, then it could be the unconventional remote control that turns street lights off and on for these SLI eyewitnesses.

Mechanical Effect

According to Evans, “The fact that a mechanical device is involved logically suggests that a mechanical explanation should be looked for.” This is precisely why some skeptics suggest that SLI occurs as a consequence of lights nearing the end of their life. Typical modern street lamps are of the low-pressure sodium-vapor variety, which emit red glow at start up and turn into a steady monochrome yellow once they’re fully operating. The lamps automatically switch on at sundown through the activation of a light-sensitive cell or a photocell. When sunlight returns at dawn, the photocell is triggered again, switching the lamps off.

These bulbs take three to four minutes to light up and have a lifespan of 8,000 hours or approximately two years. When a bulb reaches the end of its life, it manifests a behavior that could explain the SLI phenomenon. This behavior is called “cycling,” which entails street lamps turning on and off every few minutes until the time comes that a technician comes along to replace the bulb. It is also possible that the bulb becomes slightly dislodged from its socket. If that is the case, even a minor vibration – such as that caused by a passing car, bike, or person – is enough to make the lamp blink for a brief moment.   

The Street Light Interference is a phenomenon that remains to be a genuine and fascinating mystery to those who believe it, and to those who are open to reserve judgement on it until such a time comes that sufficient empirical evidence is presented that completely disproves it or verifies it. Should it be proven true later on, SLI carries profound and exciting implications for science as well as for our knowledge about human potential.

But speculations aside, we also must not lose sight of the fact that at least some, if not all, incidents of SLI can be attributed to entirely mundane causes. It could simply be a natural event that could be explained by logical reasons, but we are unable to conclude as such because of insufficiency in tangible or verifiable evidence and the influence of psychological factors.