Saturday, June 6, 2015

Water Deaths and Hauntings


It's tragic, the fact that human beings in moments of utter anguish, would throw themselves from high precipices to ensure they would not survive this physical world. For some, the attraction to water is symbolic and mystical - the body becoming one with the moving water, lost, washed free of all sorrow. It's been a hard task for many locations to balance the need for people to appreciate beauty and to prevent those who want to commit suicide. 

Beachy Head
United Kingdom

In East Sussex in the UK, there is a chalk cliff known as Beachy Head. It is glorious and beautiful. It is also a place that, in the most dark moments of a person's soul, it draws those who want to commit suicide. 

It is 531 feet high, dropping to the sea below and it draws about 20 people a year to their end. The citizens of the area formed groups that check it out daily to try and top people from ending it. It is an amazingly compassionate and loving deed.

The Gap

On a peninsula east of Sydney, this rock outcropping it just too epic for potential suicidal residents to ignore. Even with all the methods to try and stop them including fencing and cameras, it is still sought after. Before his death in 2012, Don saved over 160 jumpers this way and was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia for being a decent human being. People called him ”The Angel of the Gap.”

Source:  The area’s best weapon against suicide was a man called Don Ritchie. Don was a WWII veteran who lived right next to the most popular jumping cliffs. He had a habit of wandering over to jumpers who were bidding goodbye to the world and engaging them in conversation, often starting with the phrase “Can I help you in some way?” Usually, he could and the suicide candidate would end up having tea at Don’s house, their will to live brought back by his sympathetic ear.

Niagara Falls
New York

They are glorious, they are draw vacationers, photographers and honeymooners to them, but the Niagara Falls also have a dark side - over 5000 bodies have been found at the bottom of it in 150 years' time.

Golden Gate Bridge
San Francisco, CA

When I visited the Golden Gate Bridge, they had done a good job of posting emergency phones and signs to help people stop, realize there is a person to talk to before they do something they cannot take back.

The bridge opened in 1937 and since then, about 1600 people have ended their lives there. Many times, the body is never found. At this time, there are about 25-30 suicides on the bridge a year. 

If you want to support the effort to finally put up a rail deterrent, please go to this LINK


Lake Ronkonkoma
New York

Hold onto your blanket and pull your feet up off the floor and be safe. Here's a legend of a lake haunted by a beautiful Indian Princess who likes to claim men at the lake to join her in the deep recesses for eternity.

The legend says this princess fell in love with a white settler who claimed a homestead near the lake. Her father forbade her marrying the man. They would repeatedly send each other love messages. The princess would paddle halfway out on the lake and push a message toward his shore. After years of this lovesick connection, the princess lost her mind. She supposedly sent her lover one last note of farewell and the note and her boat washed up on his shore. She had killed herself on the lake. The legend also says that over the past 200 years, one man has died on the lake each year. 

Watertown Ghosts
Atlantic Ocean

In 1924, two crewmen from the USS Watertown died by accident while inhaling gas fumes. They were buried at sea. Still, the crew could feel their presence. They started seeing the men's faces in the sea. They took this photo, but eventually it was reported to be a hoax by many.

Overtoun Bridge

This location is a bit unusual in that those that are "committing suicide" are dogs. For the past 50 years, 50 dogs have leaped off the bridge with no warning. What is going on?

An animal behavioralist thinks he knows what's happening - dogs catching the scent of mink below, making them want to give chase. 

Fairfax, VA

What about the ghosts of those who drowned? Here I am telling a Candlelight Tale about one such ghost from the estate I grew up at (see my book Growing Up With Ghosts). 

And, here's a Scandinavian horror film about a drowning ghost. 

La Llorona 
Southwest US

La Llorona is a popularly recited ghostly figure in the Southwestern US. She was said to be a woman who drowned herself in an arroyo (wash). There are so many versions of the story, it's hard to keep them straight, but one is that she drowned her children because her lover didn't want kids and when he found out what she did, he was horrified of her and so she drowned herself. Her ghost is said to haunt the deserts in search of her children.


In Australia, a photo surfaced in which a family says they were swimming in a river when a ghost photobombed their picture. It is said she is the ghost of a girl who drowned there 100 years ago. You be the judge - 


Here's a fun one - a supposed ghost jumping into the water. 


Source:  The legend says Filipino boys were fishing when something really strong pulled on the line. Both boys held on tightly but it pulled them in. The boys never resurfaced and were believed to be drowned. It didn't take long for rumors to surface of spirits in the water pulling people under. 

Water Haunting Atmosphere 

I just bought this projector light on Amazon and I love it so much!!! You can change the colors with the click of a button from blue, red and green and multicolor. You can also plug it into your Ipod to listen to music too. It's great mood lighting, relaxing bedroom lighting or bath time lighting. It could be put on red for a Halloween party too for flames of hell. I thought I'd share it because it's just too cool.

Haunted Titanic Exhibit

There have been some very tragic sinking of ships in the history of the world. In fact, this summer marks the 100th anniversary of over 800 people dying on the SS Eastland in Chicago in a tragic spill caused by a narrow-based boat and a full load of riders. The Titanic, however, might be the most romanticized of all sinkings in the Victorian Era, fraught with obsession with death. 

It is said that the exhibit for the Titanic relics is haunted. The Luxor in Las Vegas houses this exhibit where employees and visitors alike have reported strange things happening. (more on haunting here)

They have repeatedly seen a woman in a black gown with a white collar wandering the exhibit. When approached and spoken to, she does not respond, but disappears.


Water is cleaning, lifesaving, and baptizing. It creates negative ions that actually make us feel good when it's churning over a waterfall or falling from the sky. It supports living creatures and plant life. It is believed to be the origins from which all of us evolved, and what makes this planet so hospitable for a wide variety of life. That it also is the way in which some meet their ends is tragic and also symbolic in some ways. The cycle of life finding its way back to its origins and it appears, as well, that it can be haunted. We certainly know a lot of haunted locations are near moving water such as lighthouses on the sea and homes near creeks and rivers. Given the dynamic properties, the catalyst, the conduit that it is, water holds our imaginations and our rightful respect. 


  1. A dear friend of a blogger friend of mine traveled from Spain to the UK to jump off a cliff, I think the same one you posted in your picture.

    I really feel for these people, and think they are too harshly judged. As long as you are still living, there is always a chance for things to turn around and get better.

    1. Very well said. Yes. I can't help but think of the times in my life when things looked so bleak and I wasn't sure I wanted to continue on, but I also knew that each day I wake up, things are very different. Everything changes. Life is like an EKG tracing, peaks and valleys. Just gotta sit it out until you get to the peak again. I have lost a few friends to suicide and you never seem to see it coming. People hold a lot in. If we all talked more, we'd get through things. Hugs for you and so sorry about your loss.