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Dan Patch

"Messener's Folly" they called him. A crooked little colt that should have been put down.

On April 29, 1896 a small Standardbred colt was born at a livery stable in Oxford. Its legs were so crooked, it couldn't even stand to reach its mother's milk. Dan Messener, the owner of the colt, was dismayed. The mare had proven worthless in the harness as a trotter, and now his brand new colt was a dud.

"We should put him down," said one of the grooms, "He can't drink like that."


But Messener wouldn't let that happen. Between himself and one of the grooms, they helped the little tyke up and let him suckle on his mother. Word of the crooked-colt quickly spread amongst the townsfolk, and they dubbed him "Messener's Folly".

But folly or no, the crooked-colt would become on of the best pacers in US history: Dan Patch.

Dan Patch - Wikipedia

Dan Patch

DAN PATCH | Harness Museum

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The Wendigo, Cannibal


The Frozen Jenny


They would see figures wandering the house at night,

But it got worse.

His children began suffering from night terrors - screaming their heads off in complete terror. Sean would wake up in the middle of the night to find a faceless figure standing at the foot of the bed. Moaning and crying would be heard at night, and when either he or his wife would check on the children, they were both asleep. 

One evening, while Sean was out of town, his wife woke up to a man lying next to her in the bed, an incident that she says traumatized her. But the worst incident came when the visitor turned its attentions on their son, Kenan.


He was on his way to the kitchen and had just reached the top of the landing when a hand suddenly pressed against his back and shoved him down the stairs. Kenan took a hard tumble, bruised and battered, but thankfully, unhurt. He was, rightfully, completely freaked out by the incident and it would take some time to calm him down.

Fed-up, Sean wanted to see if this damned thing was really the cause of their misery. If it really was haunted. So, he set up a camera in a room and recorded the painting for eight hours. And the painting didn't exactly disappoint. 

Strange noises, doors opening and closing, and a ghostly figure rushing past in a buzz of sound are all caught on camera and there for the world to see. Skeptics have, of course, raised their voices, deeming it all to be an elaborate hoax, but thus far more believe in The Anguished Painting than damn it.


Sean has made his own comments on the matter;  "A lot of people are skeptical and I can understand that because I was a skeptic myself and I still am. But, the footage is there for you to see, it wasn’t faked. There could be a perfectly reasonable explanation but I haven’t found one yet."

Most of the problems do stem from the many sites with different facts and stories. There is no proof that this artist ever existed, no evidence as to where this painting originated from. The ghostly evidence on the tape can, unfortunately, be easily faked if given time and patience.


So, what is real? That is difficult to say, Sean himself seems to be a bit of a skeptic, which does give credence to his claims, but whether this is only part of an act, is also difficult to tell.


In the end, it all, really, comes down to how open-minded we are to the possibility of those ghostly specters actually wandering the living world. But whether The Anguished Man is truly haunted or not, that twisted visage of terror and agony is enough to give anyone night terrors.

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