Vengeance, Trickery, And Strange Deaths – Disturbing Encounters With Entities From The Other Side

Marcus Lowth
Published Date
September 17, 2023
Last Updated
September 8, 2023
Estimated Reading Time
16 min read
Posted in
Supernatural, Ghosts & Hauntings

By their very nature all paranormal events – certainly those involving ghosts and ghouls from beyond the realm of the living – are bizarre and, at least in some cases, harrowing. And some of these cases such as the Enfield Haunting or the Black Monk of Pontefract are well-known even outside of paranormal circles, there are many others not quite so well-known but are no less intriguing.

While we clearly can’t examine each and every one of these cases – to do so would take up multiple volumes, at least – there are several that stand out more than others. What stands out more than anything, though, is the fact that each of these paranormal has a unique aspect to it, showing that for as many “rules” as we might highlight to explain the paranormal, the more we notice a uniqueness about each case.

Indeed, like many other fields that involve unexplained phenomena, the more we discover about these encounters, the more questions that come up – questions, for the most part, without answers, and that only serve to muddy the waters even further.

The Vengeful Grandmother From Beyond The Grave

Perhaps the best place to start would be with a particularly disturbing case from Aberdeen in Scotland in 1976, where one woman – Diane Glaze – would encounter the seemingly vengeful spirit of her husband’s later grandmother. [1] Diane had arrived back in Scotland from Malta the previous year in 1975, following the break up of her marriage. She moved in with her sister where she met a Malaysian student, Isa Sumat, who was studying dietetics at Aberdeen University.

By September 1976, after Diane’s divorce was complete, she and Isa married, although they had been living together for several months before this. In fact, it was one evening in July of that year when things began to turn decidedly strange.

On the night in question, Diane awoke suddenly at 2 am and immediately felt an icy chill in the room. Seconds later, she began to feel suddenly panicked and anxious. Then, when she looked out into the darkness of the bedroom, she saw a tall woman standing and watching her from the door. In spite of the darkness, Diane could see the woman’s face clearly, as if it was being illuminated from the inside.

This woman had long, grey hair that was tightly tied back into a bun, with several strands of hair untidily hanging loose. She had a pale brown face and wore a yellow and grey dress that appeared to have a diamond pattern to it and had the sleeves rolled up, exposing the pale brown skin of her arms.

Uncertain what to do and on the precipice of absolute terror, Diane closed her eyes, hoping against hope that when she opened them, the figure would be gone. Rather than that, though, by the time Diane had opened her eyes, this ghostly woman was much closer to the bed.

“Now You’ll Believe In Ghosts!”

As this unnerving entity approached it held its arms out in front of it, revealing them to be stick-thin and fingers that more resembled talons than anything else. Diane could feel herself shrinking back into the bed, wishing it would somehow swallow her and give her cover from this bizarre specter. However, before she realized what was happening, the woman was reaching for her neck, the long, bony fingers tightening almost immediately causing Diane to struggle for air.

Instinctively, she moved her hands to the arms of the ghoul in an attempt to wrench them free, and when she did, she could immediately feel how icy cold they were. The more she pulled at them, however, the tighter the grip became around her throat.

Then, as she could hear herself choking and just as she thought she was about to die, the iron-like grip lessened and the woman released her, turning away from her with an apparent look of disdain and disgust. Throughout the episode, Diane could hear what she presumed was the woman’s voice (although she suspected she heard it in her mind, like telepathy) stating, “Now you’ll believe in ghosts” over and over again.

After a second or two of contemplating just what had happened, Diane let out an almighty scream. As she did so, the woman appeared to move to the doorway before she faded from sight. A moment later, Isa awoke and quickly put the light on, wanting to know what the matter was with Diane. By this stage, she was in a mild state of shock, and for several minutes couldn’t offer any explanation.

“That’s My Grandmother!”

Eventually, Diane managed to tell her (then) fiancé what had happened, of the old woman appearing in their room, and of how she came toward her and attempted to strangle her. She knew she had been witness to a ghost, and wondered out loud if it might have been the spirit of the woman who had lived in the flat for 40 years before them. However, she soon noticed that Isa appeared to know something more than he was letting on.

He repeatedly asked Diane to describe the woman to him, even though she already had done so in great detail, almost as if he recognized the woman but he didn’t want to admit it. Eventually, he relented and offered that the woman she was describing was his grandmother, right down to the colors of her dress.

He would tell Diane that when he was only two years old, his parents had split up and, consequently, he had gone to live with his grandparents. He would then reveal that this couple were not his biological grandparents, but a couple who had, in fact, adopted his mother when she was only a child. He would recall that while his grandmother was loving to both he and his grandfather, she was also possessive in the extreme, bordering on obsessively jealous. So much so, that his grandfather was often questioned repeatedly about where he might have been and who with, even if he had only been at work or chatting to a neighbor.

Then, the tale turned even stranger.

Isa would state that his grandmother had died some time ago when he was only six years old. However, her presence – and indeed her control – appeared to remain over the family, specifically, his grandfather. He would recall how he appeared constantly in fear of his dead wife, almost as if she was watching him constantly. He would also tell Isa of a repeated dream he had of his grandmother standing by Isa’s bed and stoking his hair while he slept.

Isa theorized that his grandmother, somehow learning of their engagement had come to see her grandson’s bride for herself. And despite the harrowing affair, he offered that the fact she had relinquished her grip and turned around was her way of approving of her.

Whether that is the truth or not, the couple experienced no further activity. That was until BBC Radio Aberdeen arrived at their home in January 1977 to speak to Diane about her encounter. However, when the tape of the interview was played back, there was audio interference that wasn’t there when recording. Might that have been Isa’s grandmother registering her displeasure at the interview?

The Ouija Board, The Ghost, And The Neighbor

Several years earlier, in 1973 around 40 miles north of Aberdeen in Fraserburgh, an even more bizarre encounter unfolded. [2] At the time, a 33-year-old sailor in the Merchant Navy, Robert Cowe, was on leave and returned home to his parents’ flat. After making a quick cup of coffee, he immediately went to bed, exhausted from the journey.

However, at around 2:30 am, he awoke and had a sudden craving for a cigarette. He knew he had no cigarettes left on him, and was also aware there was a vending machine a short distance up the road. He wrestled with the prospect of getting out of bed, getting dressed, and venturing out to the machine to buy a packet. Eventually, he made the decision to go to the vending machine and sat up in bed ready to get dressed. When he did so, though, he suddenly became aware of something strange in the room.

As he focused on this unsettling apparition, a distinct figure began to appear in its place in front of his eyes. The figure appeared to form from the ground up, with a pair of black shoes followed by black stockings becoming clear first, before a blue and white dress with an apron over the top came into view and then, last of all, the head, which belonged to an elderly lady with red hair, somewhere between 60 and 70 years old.

This ghostly figure appeared to be staring straight at Robert, and furthermore, he had the impression that it was attempting to say something or communicate with him. Robert found himself asking the figure what it wanted out loud, which appeared to make it lean closer to him as if still desperately trying to talk.

After several moments, the figure, while “still keeping its outline the apparition began to glow in what seemed tiny particles of electrified dust” before it disappeared. Robert noted how the room was now icy cold. When he switched the light on moments later, the room was completely empty. He was completely at a loss as to who the figure might have been or why it had appeared. That was until he heard the gossip from around the apartment estate.

According to local gossip, the owner of the building – Gina Wiseman – had conducted a Ouija board session along with several friends on the night of his sighting. It had come to light that they had contacted an elderly lady, who had lived in the building (which dated back to 1820) over a hundred years earlier. It appeared the spirit they had contacted, was the same spirit who he had witnessed in his bedroom.

The Footsteps In The Hall – The Encounter Of Alan Bogue

A decade and a half earlier in 1955, also in Scotland in Edinburgh, 19-year-old Alan Bogue endured one of the most unnerving encounters on record while working as an apprentice painter at an old Victorian terrae. [3] Alan was working at a location in Garscube Terrace to repaint a flat on the property and during the morning he had been alone in the bathroom while his colleague went downstairs to make a cup of tea.

As Alan was scrubbing away paint from the wooden floor, he suddenly footsteps in the hallway outside. Even stranger, the sound was like whoever was walking had something sticky on their foot. At first, he wasn’t too concerned, thinking it was simply another tradesperson coming to ready the flat for the next tenants. Then, however, things changed dramatically.

He currently had his back to the hallway as he backed out of the bathroom while wiping paint away from the floor. However, as he backed out of the doorway, he suddenly realized the footsteps were almost directly next to him. A moment later, he felt a jolt of what felt like electricity surge through him and a flash of white, blinding light filled his vision. For a brief second, he was paralyzed and unable to move.

In a second, things were back to normal and Alan managed to pull himself up to his feet. He was decidedly unsteady, though, and quickly rushed into the bedroom in order to take a seat. However, before he could open the door, he saw the handle move by itself and the door opened of its own accord. He stumbled through it and sat down on the bed. It took him several moments to come to his senses before he began to contemplate just what had happened, and just whose footsteps he had heard in the hall.

The Scene Of A Tragic End

He eventually ventured out of the room, certain that the door must have already been open and that he had imagined the handle moving, and that, more importantly, there could be an exposed wire in the hallway. However, a quick inspection showed no such wires, nor any electrical equipment that could have caused the shock.

He turned his attention back to the doorway of the bathroom where the incident had happened. As he bent down to inspect the floor near the doorway, the electric shock sensation and the blinding flash of light occurred again, only not as strong this time. He was amazed and confused by these events. More than that, though, and for reasons he simply couldn’t fathom, he had a sudden feeling of sadness wash over him, so much so, that he felt as though he was about to burst into tears.

Before he could contemplate matters any further, his colleague, Bill, returned with two cups of tea and immediately noticed Alan was in a state of shock. When he asked him if he was OK, Alan immediately replied that he thought the flat, and more specifically, the bathroom, was haunted. He couldn’t, however, have anticipated Bill’s reaction to this.

Even before the words had left his mouth, Bill’s face had changed completely, going noticeably paler and horrified. He dropped the tray on which the cups of tea were, and then flew at Alan, attempting to physically attack him. The assault lasted only a few moments when Bill’s demeanor suddenly changed, and he returned to his usual self. He apologized repeatedly, unable to explain why he had acted in such a way. To say the two young men were a little concerned would be an understatement. It was then that Bill announced his own revelations.

He claimed that as he made the tea he had been speaking with the lady who owned the house. She informed him that the reason the flat was undergoing a complete redecoration was due to the previous tenant, a young teacher named Anne, having hanged herself in the bathroom following her fiancé leaving her.

Although neither of the men witnessed anything strange during the rest of the time they were there, they were certain that the strange events witnessed by Alan were connected to the tragic teacher. And what’s more, all the while he worked in the house, Alan had a permanent feeling of intense sadness.

The Haunting Of The Sargent Family

If we head south and cross the border into England, we will find plenty more of these intriguing little-known paranormal encounters. Without a doubt, one of the most intriguing unfolded in Epsom in Surrey in 1950 when the Sargent family – Victor and Betty, as well as their young son, Christopher –  were ultimately forced out of their home by a malevolent spirit. [4] They had moved into the two-bedroom flat in April of that year, and it was their first home as opposed to renting rooms with family or friends. However, the signs were there that something was amiss from the first day they moved in.

At 11 pm on that first evening, Betty heard a strange tapping noise that seemed to come from just above the head of her bed. Of much more concern was the feeling that something had physically touched her on the forehead. When she switched the bedside light expecting to see a mouse or even a spider on her pillow, she was shocked to find nothing there at all. She put the incident out of her mind and returned to sleep. However, several days later, the strange events continued.

Things began relatively harmless to begin with. Betty and her husband would see clothing being thrown to the floor as if by a pair of invisible hands, for example, or Betty would return to the bedroom to find the bed she had recently made was in disarray. However, when the couple returned home to find a pair of brand-new oven gloves ripped up and thrown around the kitchen floor, they began to feel a little more uneasy.

As well they might, as the activity began to intensify as the days and weeks went on. And they began to notice that the hours between 11 pm and 1 am appeared to be when the worst and most terrifying activity would unfold.

A Final Tipping-Point

One night while she was sleeping, Betty was awoken by what seemed to be a pair of invisible hands wrapped tightly around her throat. So much so that she was struggling to breathe. The grip eventually loosened and disappeared, but she and Victor made the decision to move to the living room and spend the night on the sofa. However, not long after they had done so, as if to prove there was no safe place in the house, Betty once more felt a grip around her neck and the strangling feeling began once more.

Even more startling, several nights later, Victor watched while a lamp rose from the bedside table and came crashing down on Betty’s head while she slept. The final straw for the married couple, though, occurred several days later.

As Betty was sitting up in bed, she felt a pair of invisible hands suddenly grabbed her by the shoulder. She then found herself being dragged toward the bedroom window. By the time she called out to Victor for help, she was parallel to the floor, with only her legs still on the bed. Victor reached out toward his wife in an effort to pull her away from whatever entity had hold of her. However, despite his efforts, he found himself being dragged toward the window also.

After a short struggle, the grip suddenly disappeared and Betty fell to the floor, extremely shaken but largely unhurt. However, the couple quickly came to the conclusion that had Victor not been quick enough or indeed not been there at all, Betty would very likely have been thrown out of the window. Had she died, people would have concluded that she had taken her own life. It was clear to the Sargents that whatever was behind these harrowing attacks, it wanted the family out of the property and they made the decision to leave as soon as possible.

A Presence Of Something Evil

Just over two decades later, in 1971 from the Cotswolds region of England, another encounter unfolded that involved a physical attack. [5] Joy McKenna lived with her husband in a large stone house. However, he sometimes had to work away for business, and on those occasions, he would sleep the night before in one of the spare bedrooms so that he wouldn’t wake his wife when he left in the morning.

One particular November evening, with her husband due to be away on business the following day, Joy retired to bed at 11 pm, having set her alarm for the following morning for 6:30 am. She almost always awoke several minutes before the alarm was due to go off, so when she awoke a little after falling asleep, she assumed it was just short of her due time to wake.

However, before she could get out of bed, the usual feelings of tiredness upon waking were replaced with a certain amount of anxiety. Although she didn’t know why or how, she sensed that there was an ominous presence in her bedroom. And what’s more, she sensed it was heading in her direction. By the time she heard the sounds of her husband snoring in the next room, she realized that something out of the ordinary was taking place.

Not knowing what to do, she pulled the bedsheets up over her head. A moment later, she felt a crushing weight as whatever was in the room pounced on top of her. What followed was a sustained attack, during which she suffered several blows to the upper body. As the ordeal progressed she found that not only could she not fight off her attacker, but she couldn’t bring herself to scream out for help.

Then, she saw the most terrifying thing of all – a pair of glowing, amber, eyes that she could see through the bedclothes. They reminded her of the eyes of a demon and the terror inside her rose even further.

Something That Moved With A Slithering Motion

Not knowing what to do she found herself beginning to pray. Perhaps bizarrely, as soon as she began to do this, the weight on top of her began to lessen. She would later recall that the presence on top of her almost appeared to “slither” from the top of her.

At that moment, she also realized that she could scream, and called out to her husband as loudly as she could. Only seconds later, he rushed into the room. By the time he came into the room, the bizarre presence had gone. Joy, though, remained in a state of shock and appeared decidedly pale.

The couple made a coffee and discussed what had happened. Although he was fully supportive, he felt certain that his wife had merely suffered from an intense nightmare. Joy almost submitted to this theory. Then, though, she recalled an event that had happened several days earlier.

On the day in question, Joy had entered their bedroom and had seen a lump under the bedclothes, which she presumed was one of their four cats. However, as she watched the lump a moment longer, she was horrified to see that it moved with a “slithering” motion, almost like a fish. It did this for several seconds before simply vanishing into thin air. By the time she had ventured back downstairs to see all four of her cats on the lower floor of the house, she began to wonder just what she had seen under the bedclothes that day. And now, she recalled the same slithering motion as she prayed for help moments before her husband had entered the room.

Bizarrely – even to the McKennas – they experienced no further paranormal-type activity in the house. Something which made the events of that November night all the more mysterious.

A Paranormal Encounter That Predicted The Future

Five years later in the summer of 1976 in Looe in Cornwall, one of the most intriguing paranormal encounters of the era unfolded, not least as it appeared to foretell the future. [6] Although they had been married since December 1975, by the summer of 1976, Julian Watson would move out of the room they shared in Penny’s parents’ home to temporarily lodge in a room in the town center in order that the couple had some space in their cramped existence. For Penny, however, the days that followed would be anything but peaceful.

Several days after her new husband had left for his new lodgings Penny lay in their bed in their room at her parents’ home, staring at the ceiling. As she was lost in her thoughts, she suddenly noticed the bed appeared to moving up and down somewhat, as if something else was moving on it, something unseen. She tried to dismiss such notions but knew something was amiss and she suddenly sat straight up, looking around her intently for clues as to what was making her bed move.

Then came the most terrifying feeling of all. She realized that the bed wasn’t moving. She could sense someone – or something – breathing next to her. It appeared that the more this realization came to her, the more she could actually hear the sound of a person breathing. The more she listened, the more it appeared that her breathing was labored somewhat, almost wheezing and struggling for a clear breath.

At this point, Penny jumped from the bed, terror beginning to build steadily inside her. After several moments, the breathing and the movement stopped, and she eventually lay back down on the bed. However, as soon as she did so, the breathing sounds started again. She sat up once more and stared around the room, desperate to see something that could explain the bizarre happenings. This time, as well as the breathing sounds, she began to notice a sharp ringing sound in her ears. After several moments, the ringing appeared to progress to an electric motor sound which appeared to increase in intensity by the second. The sound became so unsettling she found herself covering her ears with her hands.

A Truly Tragic End

Then, just when she thought that things couldn’t turn any stranger, a bright flash of pink light that suddenly changed to a brilliant white appeared in the room before fading away just as quickly. As soon as the events came to an end Penny leaped from her bed and ran to her twin brother’s room. She told him what had happened, eventually alerting her father from his room. Much to her surprise, he would inform her that he too had heard and sensed the same breathing previously.

Penny refused to sleep in the room after that. However, several days later, things turned decidedly worse for the young lady.

Penny received an out-of-the-blue phone call from Freedom Fields Hospital informing her that Julian had been involved in a motorcycle accident and had suffered extensive injuries. In fact, he only remained alive due to being on a life-support machine (a ventilator) which was providing his body with air. When Penny went to see him, she noted immediately that his breathing appeared labored and had a wheezing sound to it. The sound was exactly the same as she had heard in the bed at her parents’ home only days earlier.

From here the account takes a rather morose turn. For several weeks, Julian remained alive, even appearing at one point as if he would pull through and make a full recovery. However, around a month after the accident, he lost his battle to survive and passed away. It would appear that the breathing that she and her father had heard was a grim prediction of the horrific future events to come.

The More We Know, The More We Don’t Know!

As we can see from this small selection of bizarre encounters and paranormal happenings, our collective history is one that is rich with strange events and unexplained incidents. And these unsettling events happen much more than most of us might think or certainly wish to accept.

All of the accounts we have examined here have all been decidedly different. Yet all of them show one thing – that there appears to be something beyond death. Just what that existence is and what it entails remains unknown, but that some kind of consciousness exists following us departing this world would appear to be without doubt.

Of course, whether a ghost, spirit, or presence returns to the realm of the living depends on certain circumstances remain unknown, at least for now. Perhaps how a person lives in this life determines whether a person’s spirit returns to the realm of the living or not. Or perhaps it depends on how strong a connection a person has to this life – such as Isa’s grandmother, for example, whose intense love-bordering-on-jealousy for her family seemingly resulted in her maintaining a vigil of sorts over them from beyond the grave.

The fact is, like UFO and alien encounters, it is important to keep all encounters of a paranormal variety in the public arena and on our mental backburners lest we pick up on similar details that start to offer an explanation for these strange events and perhaps offers an explanation as to what ghosts are, and what awaits all of us after death.

The short video below looks at some of the most interesting hauntings in history.


1 Haunting In Aberdeen: The Strangling Ghost Of An Over Protective Grandmother, Donkey Junk
2 Haunting In Fraserburgh: Scottish Man Suffers The Apparition Of His Neighbours Ouija Board, Donkey Junk
3 Haunting Of Garscube Terrace: A Terrified Painter In Edinburgh Uncovered A Tragic Story, Donkey Junk
4 An Epsom Haunting: The Violent Spectre That Forced A Family From Their Home, Donkey Junk
5 A Malevolent Spirit In The Cotswolds: The Shapeless Spectre That Attacked A Woman, Donkey Junk
6 A Haunted Bed In Cornwall: A Terrifying Incident That Foretold A Tragic Accident, Donkey Junk

Marcus Lowth

Marcus Lowth is a writer with a love for UFOs, aliens, and the Ancient Astronaut Theory, to the paranormal, general conspiracies, and unsolved mysteries. He has been writing and researching with over 20 years of experience.

Marcus has been Editor-in-Chief for several years due to his excellent knowledge in these fields. Marcus also regularly appears as an expert on radio talk shows including Troubled Minds and Unexplained Radio discussing these topics.

Read Marcus' full bio.

You can contact Marcus via email.

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