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    "Death is no more than passing from one room into another." – HELEN KELLER

The Jersey Devil

There are various versions of the story about the Jersey Devil. One was that Mrs. Shrouds of Leeds Point, New Jersey made a wish that if she ever had another child, she want it to be a devil and he was born misshapen and deformed. She sheltered him until one day his arms turned into wings and he flew away. Another was that a young woman fell in love with a British soldier during the Revolutionary war. She was eventually cursed by the people of Leeds Point and she gave birth to a devil. Some people believe the birth of the devil was punishment for the mistreatment of a minister by the Leeds folk.

Despite how the devil supposedly came into this world, there have been several eyewitnesses how swear they have personally seen the Jersey Devil. In the 19th century, a naval hero Commodore Stephen Decatur accidentally hit a flying creature while testing a canon. Former king of Spain Joseph Bonaparte spotted the creature while hunting. George Saarosy, a prominent business man, saw the devil at the New Jersey/New York border. Just to name a few.

Practically the only evidence there is that the devil exists is similarity in the story of how he was born, eyewitness testimonies, and footprints that are said to be his. The Jersey Devil has said to avoid man but not animals. Many people believe that the Jersey Devil could be the very essence of evil, embodied. It is said that the devil is an "uncanny harbinger of war" He tends to make himself known before conflicts and wars started, including the Civil War, WWI & II, Spanish American War and before the bombing of Pearl Harbor.

Many believe he is of a supernatural origin. When he was hit by the cannon ball, it seemed to actually just go through him and didn't really affect him any. He would also have to be about 260 years old now. Since he was seen in like 3 different states with in a week, he would have to be a pretty fast traveler.

Whether the Jersey Devil is real or not, the legend will continue to live on in whatever version. And there will be more sightings for as long as the legend is kept alive or possibly even longer. Who knows? There may really be something lurking in the woods in New Jersey.

More info: http://theshadowlands.net/jd.htm

Timothy Clark Smith

First of all, I want to apologize for how short this entry is but I only found limited information about this guy. I felt his unusual grave site was worth mentioning here. Something out of a Stephen King novel unusual.

Timothy Clark Smith was a world traveler. It was because of his world travels that he requested an unusual grave site. He had a fear of being buried alive. He ended up dieing on Halloween in Middlebury, VT in 1893.

He had pre-arranged how he would be buried in a special made grave. His head was positioned under a 6ft cement tube. The tube ends at a 14x14in piece of thick glass. A bell was also placed in his hand.

The reason for this is: Smith's face is gazing up through the glass. So that if he was buried alive, he could ring the bell (not that anyone would be able to hear it) and they would be able to see him through the glass. Even if he was buried alive, Smith would probably die from of lack of oxygen before anyone would have able to dig him out. But oh well. I thought this worthy sharing with everyone.

To see pics of the grave site go here: http://www.vermonter.com/evergreen.asp

Vampires

Ok so yeah we all know what vampires are or at least several different versions of how we see vampires. There are the Hollywood version. The ones that occur in nature, bats. And last but not least, the real life ones. Yes that's what I said the real life ones.

For years, vampires have lived in the world, survived mostly in books and movies. Bram Stoker was the first person to really bring them into our lives through entertainment with Dracula. Others followed his lead adding their own touch of the vampiric lifestyle and appearance. Anne Rice wrote the Lestat Chronicles and there are tons of movies like The Lost Boys, Interview of the Vampire (which was based on Anne Rice's book), Dracula, etc. Of course, I can't forget about Buffy the Vampire Slayer, the movie and the series. Hollywood gave the world a set vision of vampires while othe forms and views are hidden in the shadows.

We can't forget our vampires in nature. The infamous bats. There are of course tons of species of bats. Even those who suck the blood from animals. They are also creatures of the night much like vampires themselves.

Then there are the real vampires. People of today that live the lifestyle of a vampire. Some people may look at that as a phase teenagers go through or just something weird, but I personally feel that everyone has a right to live the way they want to as long as its legal. I'm currently working on a book about mainstream vampires. I was able to get an inside look at what its all about and yes it does seem a little weird but also kind of cool. With every culture there are the good and the bad and its unfair to judge them based on those who like to cause trouble. I think that everyone deserves a fair chance, even vampires.

Lovers Lane

A girl and her boyfriend, looking for a little privacy, decide to park their car in the woods so they could make out. When they were done, the boy got out to go to the bathroom and the girl waited for him in the safety of the car.

After waiting five minutes she became nervous and got out of the car to look for him. Suddenly, she sees a man in the shadows. Scared, she gets back in the car to drive away, when she hears a very faint squeak... squeak... squeak...

This continued a few seconds until the girl decided she had no choice but to drive off. She hit the gas as hard as possible but couldn't go anywhere, because someone had tied a rope from the bumper of the car to a nearby tree.

Well, the girl slams on the gas again and then hears a loud scream. She gets out of the car and realizes that her boyfriend is hanging from the tree. The squeaky noises were his shoes slightly scraping across the top of the car!!!


This is a very popular urban legend that some believe is based on a true story, but then again, that's how all urban legends begin. When it comes to urban legends, there is always someone who says "It really happened to a girl/guy at my school/hometown." In actuality, I doubt any of these legends are even true. But the one above is said to be based on murders that happened in my hometown of Texarkana.

In the 1940s, a killer dubbed The Phantom attacked and killed teenagers parked in a well known "Lovers Lane" spot in a wooded area off of Richmond Road. Mary Jeanne and her boyfriend were the first couple to be attacked. Her boyfriend was immediately knocked out by the phantom and Mary Jeanne was sexually abused with a pistol barrel and beaten as well. They were the lucky ones. The only two that would survive the Moonlight Murders. A month later another couple, Richard L. Griffin and Polly Ann Moore were shot to death by a .32 caliber revolver, possibly a Colt. Ms. Moore had also been sexually assaulted.

Betty Jo Booker played saxophone in a band and was playing at a gig the night of her murder. After the gig was over Paul Martin, a friend of hers, was going to escort her to a slumber party, but they never made it there. Martin's automobile was discovered abandoned at the entrance of Spring Lake Park, nowhere near the slumber party to which Betty Jo was headed. Paul's body was located first, north of Interstate 30 a mile and a half from his car. He had been shot several times. Betty Jo was found nearly two miles distant outside a patch of woods near Fernwood, also north of I-30. Like Paul, Betty Jo's body was bullet-ridden. She had also been sexually molested. This time, official records didn't deny it. They were killed by the same .32 caliber revolver.

There was one other incident concerning a couple, but no one knows if this had anything to do with the phantom. Katy and Virgil Starks were at home. Virgil was resting in an easy chair and Katy had just finished doing the supper dishes and was in their bedroom reading a magazine. Neither of them noticed a silhouette of a man climbing the front steps. The first shot hit Virgil in the cranium and the second struck about the same place. He was killed instantly. Katy heard the shots and immediately raced down the hallway. After seeing the carnage in the living room, the first thought that entered her mind was "The Phantom." She ran to the telephone and managed to get the operator but never was able to speak a word. She, herself, was shot twice. The first went into her right cheek and exited her left ear. The second one smashed her jaw and got lodged under her tongue. After all that, she remained conscious and ran out the front door while the intruder struggled to enter the back. She ran to her sisters but no one was home. So she continued down the road to A.V. Prater where she was able to get help. Katy survived the attack after having surgery. But authorities weren't sure if this incident had anything to do with the phantom.

They had several suspects but in the end, was never able to make an arrest. Though there was one suspect that stood out among the rest. Youell Swinney and his wife were arrested for stealing a car. Even though Swinney clamed up, his wife made a full confession, more than just the stolen car. She went into full description of the phantom murders giving major details that weren't released to the press. The only problem was that her story changed from interview to interview except that her husband was left at the scene of each crime everytime. In the end, she was an unreliable witness and refused to take the stand and testify against her husband, there is a law in Texas that says a man or woman can't be forced to testify against their spouse. Swinney was convicted of car theft only and was sent to the penitentiary in Huntsville. No one knows if he really was the Phantom but after his arrest, the moonlight murders stopped for good.

More info: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phantom_Killer
 
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