Repost from Southern Expressions
I haven't posted for a while and there's a good reason for it. I had no electricity. Last Saturday, we had an ice storm which knocked our power out. Of course, we called it in and asked to be on their "priority" list because of my step-grandmother who relies on an oxygen machine and nebulizer for her breathing problems. I guess to our power company priority means absolutely nothing.
This isn't the first ice storm I've dealt with. There was the one in 2000. However, this time we had not only water but hot water. Our water heater is hooked up to the gas. We also had our gas stove to cook on. So, we had at least one hot meal a day. Our phones were still working for a short time until they went out. We also had a gas heater. I know you're not suppose to use gas appliances and/or heaters to heat your house because of carbon monoxide, but we have a carbon monoxide detector and we didn't have it going all the time. Plus we didn't use it all week.
My step-grandmother wasn't doing too well after a couple of days until one of the nurses who drop by every week told her how she could nebulize. Just as things were starting to get better, that step back came into play. She was running low on her oxygen tank and the company that refills and delivers them didn't have power. That left us with the options of either taking her to the hospital or to her other son's house. We chose the cheaper route. He only lived an hour away in Stillwater and he had everything up and running. So, he came and picked her and her son Shawn up on Tuesday.
My step-dad also got our generator fixed that same night, but the way people were acting it was safer for her to go there. Now for the step up. We had one day of safe warm air and light that didn't run on batteries or wax. It was almost ruined by my dad. He picked this week to call about child support crap. I also got a Christmas card from my great Aunt Mary from California. First one I've gotten this year.
Early Thursday morning, someone tried to steal our generator. The four big dogs in the backyard scared them away but not before breaking our generator. My step-dad tried to fix it, but we have an old model and no one had the part we needed. So, it was back to the gas heater. A couple of good things though. Our phones were back up and we remembered that we had a laptop. So, we got to check our emails. But this leads to the next thing. We called the phone company about the outage. They said it would be Dec 21st when they could fix it. About 250,000 homes and businesses in Tulsa County were without power and they predicted it would all be restored by next week. However, the phone company who only had about 8,000 reported outages tell us the wait will be two weeks. Don't know what that's all about.
Friday, we had to make a decision. My step-dad had a wood burning stove in the shop that he was thinking about bringing and placing on the back porch. It was either that or buy a new generator. We took the generator route. We paid quite a bit of money for a brand new one that a guy who owns a small engine repair shop had for sale. With getting the new one came the same fears of it getting stolen. Some people showed up next door claiming to be from the EPA, but they were in unmarked vehicles and they were doing a heck of alot of staring in our yard while taking the "soil samples". They showed up again a day or so later at another neighbors house. That is when we called the sheriff department. They stopped by and talked to them and got their information. Don't know what came of it after that. Maybe they really were from the EPA. I don't know. In situations like this, you don't want to take any chances.
Anyways, when we got our generator, we hooked up the freezers and the furnace and my mom and step-dad's TV. For the first time in six days, we got to watch satellite TV. It was a glorious day. It was suppose to snow Friday night into Saturday morning, but it only rained a bit. It started snowing around 10 am on Saturday and continued throughout the day. We got about an inch and a half. With the new generator, we got back a little civilization, but the excitement came later that night.
For the first time since this whole mess started, we saw a power company truck on our street. Of course, we were all happy about getting our electricity back on until they got to us. See they had this policy about the meter box and weather head. If either was damaged or pulled away from the house, you had to get an electrician to repair it. That means $500 has to come out of your pocket before they will consider reconnecting you. And every available electrician had a list of at least a hundred people with such damage. Ours was still attached to the house. Our carport shielded it from any damage. The problem was there was locks on the meter box and here's why.
The people who use to own this house (who by coincidence live next door to us) would rig the meter box to steal power when they shut it off. So, the power company put locks on it. When my step-dad bought the house ten years ago, he asked them to remove the locks and even replace the box, but they refused. The former owner was known to use aliases and the power company thought my step-dad was one of them. This particular company was bought by another one. So, the keys were probably lost in the shuffle or whatever.
When it came time to turn our power back on, they had to look in the meter box but couldn't because of the locks. We called the power company and they were acting like it was our problem. We needed to find someone to get them off even though it was their locks. They were even going to reconnect all of our neighbors power except for us. You can't even imagine how pissed we were about that but in the end, they just left the area and didn't hook anyone up. Finally, a troubleshooter guy from the power company came and got them off in two seconds. Unfortunately, there was no one there to hook us back up. So, we spent another night without power.
Despite the frustration, the power guys came back early today and finally reconnected our power. Ironically, it was the first time the sun shined since the whole thing started. We spent the rest of the day cleaning, getting caught up on everything. Let me tell you, I am so so glad to have power back and for this to be over with (minus the tree limb clean up). My step-grandmother and uncle will be coming home tomorrow and boy, she's ready to come home.She called everyday since she's been there asking if the power was back on.
The problem is between groceries, new generator, gas, monthly bills and replacing spoiled food, we probably won't have a great Christmas this year. It really sucks. There's really only one thing I want this year and if I get it, I wouldn't care about the rest. I guess I'll have to wait until the 25th to see what happens.
I took some pictures. I didn't start taking any until like Wednesday. By that time, most of the ice had melted. Anyways, I posted them on my Myspace page. You can't miss them. They are in the Ice Storm folder.
Andrea Allisonon Friday, December 07, 2007
If you frequent the A&E channel, you've probably seen the promos for this show. It seems they have decided to toss their name in to the paranormal hat with their own show entitled Paranormal State.
From what I gather this one will be much like Ghost Hunters and Most Haunted except the home base is at Penn State University. The Paranormal Research Society club was founded by Ryan Buell in September of 2001 and consists of four other members: Katrina - Interviewer, Heather - Team Documentarian, Sergey - Tech Specialist, and Elfie - Occult Specialist.
Here's my questions. This is a show about college kids in a paranormal club. What's going to happen when they graduate? I'm assuming it's going to be handed over to a new group of students. Or perhaps Mr. Buell will keep getting new degrees until the show goes off the air. He already has one and is now going for another. Of course, he may not have to worry about that seeing as he was made a producer of the show. However, I do want to warn you. Since it is set in a college, I'm sure they will probably be talking about their personal lives a lot too. I know I've read a lot of comments regarding TAPS talking about non-paranormal related subjects on Ghost Hunters. If you don't like it on GH then you'll probably won't like this show either.
I may be jumping ahead of myself on my predictions. The show may turn out to be a dud. December 10th 9pm Central is when we will find out.
Like the new template? I thought it was cute and it'll only be up for the holidays. If the falling snow gets too annoying let me know and I'll remove it.
Today's question has to do with a problem I'm sure a lot of us wished we had. While there have been many reports of stones materializing out of nowhere and falling from the sky, there are also reports of money doing much the same. Pennies, dimes, nickels and even bills falling from the sky in or near houses or apartments. What do you suppose is the cause of this bizarre phenomena?
Andrea Allisonon Thursday, November 15, 2007
I know I haven't been posting much lately. You can thank NaNoWriMo for that. I do want to recognize a few milestones that took place around Halloween.
Of course, with a blog like this, Halloween will always be the most busiest time of the year. When I checked MyBlogLog, I had over a thousand readers in one day. I believe that is the most this blog has ever had. I'm very proud of that and I hope those who visited will have the urge to come back again.
Also, by looking at the counter, Ghost Stories hit the 100,000 reader mark. Meaning, since this blog was created over 100,000 people have stopped by. This leads into the next one.
Tomorrow is Ghost Stories 3rd Anniversary! I usually try to come up with some way to celebrate, but as excited as I am for having this blog for so long, I'm not going to bother. However, I do ask for one thing. Tell me what you like about the blog and what other things you would like to see done in the future. I'm always open for suggestions.
Andrea Allisonon Thursday, November 08, 2007
First of all, last years live special was tons more better than this years. I understand they wanted to improve it but they took a step over to the Most Haunted side and it really didn't work. I was under the impression that Josh Gates, which by the way there will be a second season of Destination Truth as he plugged so many times that night, would be joining in on the investigation, but actually he was the host. One very annoying host.
This year they did a back and forth thing. It went from Josh to the investigation back to Josh then to the investigation. It seemed like when they did switch back to TAPS it was after they had seen or heard something. As a viewer it was frustrating.
Then they had a couple of interactive things they introduced this year that I didn't care for either. One was the live chat. I'm perfectly fine with people chatting as the show is progressing, but part of it was TAPS coming out of the field and chit chatting in the chatroom. While I think it would be cool for fans to get to talk to them in such a manner but not during the investigation. The other one was the Q & A. They had Jason and Grant come all the way down from the fifth floor to answer a question or two sent in by a viewer. Again, I'm cool with this but just not during the investigation.
While there were some things I didn't care for, there were a few that were alright. I don't think they had this last year but they had live feed from inside Waverly Hills. You could go to the Ghost Hunter site on Scifi.com and watch it. I tried but just kept getting an error page. I don't know what the problems was. They also uploaded digital photos throughout the night. They had the panic button again. If I remember correctly, they got between 150,000 to 200,000 hits. That was alot to go through.
As for the actual investigation, like I said before, stuff would mostly happen when the viewers couldn't watch. They had several personal experiences. Elijah saw a figure while he was with Jason and Grant on the 2nd floor. A ball moved about 16 feet. They even got video footage of it moving a little bit later on. It looked like it was just rocking ever so slightly. Dustin and Kris saw a light and heard footsteps in the body chute.
Also on the second floor, which is where most of the activity happened, something was moving back and forth in front of the thermal. We got to see it do it once. Poor Heather and Kristyn didn't get much camera time until they paired up with different TAPS members. One of the most exciting moments I guess is when something supposedly grabbed Steve's leg on the 4th floor. Some may say it was the plant outside the room he was looking in but he reacted to something before coming near that plant.
The other one was experienced by Elijah Burke. Now, can you imagine some big ECW wrestler screaming and running away? That's exactly what he did. It was toward the end of the night. Steve and Kristyn I think joined Jason, Grant and Elijah and they were all talking about the shadow people they had been chasing down lately. All of sudden he just jumped, screamed and barreled through the group to get away from whatever it was. Elijah said that he felt something caressing his back and then he heard like a scraping noise (I did hear the scraping noise which is surprising considering how loud the background music was) next to him and that's what scared him. His adrenaline was up from seeing the shadow people. So, I'm not surprised and I totally don't blame him. But when you see it, your first reaction is to laugh because it looked kind of funny. However, you'd probably would have done the same thing in that situation.
The reveal was last night. The only clips they showed after everything was said and done was of the ball moving and the two experiences Steve and Elijah had. Now, that may not be all they got. They've been known to not show all the evidence the capture on some of the episodes. I guess there is a chance they caught more.
Basically, I have mixed thoughts on the Halloween special. By the way, if you've been wondering what happened to Brian, Donna and Andy, well it looks like they got their own show. It's a spin off of Ghost Hunters called Ghost International. They'll investigating places overseas. It'll premiere in January 2008. More details on that as I learn about them.
What are your thoughts on the Ghost Hunters Live Halloween Special?
Andrea Allisonon Tuesday, November 06, 2007
I do plan on posting my review of the Ghost Hunters Live Halloween special, but I'm choosing to wait until they do the reveal episode tomorrow.
Today, I'm choosing to post my thoughts on a movie I've seen quite a few times. St. Francisville Experiment was suppose to be an actual documentary about an actual haunted house. It starts off with the producer telling the audience that everything presented in the movie was true. When you actually see the movie, you learn it is anything but that.
It was supposedly a film like the Blair Witch Project only true. In order to do this they needed a ghost story and a location to film. St. Francisville, Louisiana is known for its hauntings. So, it was an appropriate place for this movie. The actual ghost story that inspired it was that of the Madame Delphine LaLaurie. She was married to a doctor named Louis LaLaurie and they lived in a beautiful mansion in the French Quarter. According to the story, she was particularly cruel to the slaves they owned.
She kept one woman chained in the kitchen and was never allowed to leave. It was thought this female slave was the one who started the fire at the Lalaurie house thus allowing the world to discover what Madame Lalaurie was really doing behind closed doors. In the attic, they found slaves in dogs size cages, strapped to operating tables, human body parts and organs everywhere, women with their stomachs sliced open and their insides wrapped around their waist, men's private parts cut off, and many other horrors. Even though her husband didn't take part in all this, it is believed he knew all about it and did nothing.
A mob gathered in front of the house with the intentions of calling her, but she was able to get away in a carriage. No one knows for sure where they escaped to. How this is connected to St. Francisville is that it was possible they had family there and may have chosen the place to hide out. The mansion used in the film was said to be the one she hid in. Of course, there is no record of this.
At the beginning of the movie, the story behind Madame Lalaurie's cruelty is discussed and the four strangers, a historian, psychic, videographer, and a team leader, who supposedly were going to stay in that mansion were introduced. If you are familiar with the paranormal world then you may know how Troy Taylor is. He agreed to be in the movie under the impression that it was a documentary and was not happy with finished product. He gave a crash course on ghost hunting to the participants. Showed them how to use the equipment and what to do. They were then taken to the house, given everything they needed and left locked inside.
The psychic Madison was pretty annoying throughout the movie. She kept talking about white light. I don't anything about cleansing rituals and that may be part of it, but it was still annoying to hear about ti every two seconds. As for "activity", a chandelier fell (which could be because its an old house), a door supposedly opening by itself, a few noises, and a chair flipped over in the attic. They even found a doll wrapped in gauze hid in a hole in the wall. Someone was playing doctor. They also did a seance. When the two ladies were sitting at the Ouija board, shackles fell out of the chimney. The girl Ryan who was probably the most scared out of all of them decided to check it out. She laid under the opening and nearly got hit in the head from a falling chain.
The movie gives you the impression that it's all really happening until the ending. They decide to do some kind of cleansing ritual or something. Instead of going from room to room together. they separate which is not a good idea and I believe Troy told them that. The table in Ryan's room began to shake and then she like fell through the floor. I think Tim was in the room with the hidden door. He got drug through it. Madison sat down her camera and "something" (if you pause or slow the scene down you can see a disfigured face in the mirror) picked it up and began cutting or scratching her. Paul was in the attic. I don't think anything really happened to him. He heard Madison screaming and the lights going on and off and he dashed down to get everyone. He found Madison in the same room. They found the other two in a hidden room. Ryan was strapped to an operating table and Tim was hung up on the wall by chains or whatever. The ending was scary but was obviously fake.
The movie is entertaining and scary. Some will enjoy it for it is. From a paranormal stance, it's not all what it's cracked up to be. These kids did stay in the house all night, but some of it was probably staged. I suggest if you watch it, watch it for the entertainment and nothing more.
Andrea Allisonon Wednesday, October 31, 2007
Don't get this German vampire mixed up with the Doppelganger. They are very much different. Doppelsauger is German for "double sucker". Consider it's obsession with breasts, the name seems to fit.
He is believed to be the revenant of a child who sucked his mother's breasts after being weaned onto solid food. If this particular type of child dies, they would consume the flesh from their breasts while in their graves. Then it preys a member of their family, draining the life from them and eats their breasts.
There are certain preventative measures you can take. Place a coin between the teeth of the corpse. Place a semi-circular board under the chin of the corpse. Then, make sure the burial garments are as far from the lips of the corpse as possible.
The Liderc may appeal to the sexual interests of readers. This vampire-like being share a similar quality with the Succubus or Incubus. They tend to "love someone to death" with sexual activities.
According to Hungarian folklore, there are three varieties of Liderc. The first and more traditional form is that of the csodacsirke. One hatches from the first egg of a black hen kept warm under the arm of a human (there are variations of this). It can take form of a chicken or human but always has one goose foot. The Lidérc attaches themselves to people and becomes their lover. If the owner happens to be a woman, they will morph into a man. However, it doesn't have the desire to pleasure the woman. Instead, it fondles her, sits on her body and sucks her blood, making her sick and weak. It also carries out tasks to find treasure. This generous gesture would soon become annoying as it demands more work constantly. There are two ways to rid yourself of this Liderc. You can give it an impossible task such as hauling sand with a rope, or lock it into a hollow tree.
The second form known as földi ördög shares some qualities with the first one. It can be hatched from a black hen's egg, but it's mostly found in glass bottles, rags, and pockets of old clothing. They can also make their owners rich but they supposedly give their souls to the Liderc or possibly the Devil. Doesn't seem worth it.
The third and final variety is a Satanic Lover called ördögszerető (though they have many names throughout different regions). They appear as a fiery light or a bird of fire flying in the night sky and sprinkling flames. It can take the shape of a human, usually of a dead relative or lover, and leaves footprints of a horse. They enter chimneys or keyholes, bringing sickness to their victims. The only way to bar them from your home is to burn incense and birch branches.
Andrea Allisonon Tuesday, October 30, 2007
The interesting thing about how this vampire-like creature in Australian Aborigine lore is not his appearance. Sure a four-feet tall red, hairy man-like creature with a rather large head, no teeth and octopus-like suckers on its fingers toes may turn a few heads, but I think its eating habits are a bit more strange.
A Yara-Ma-Yha-Who doesn't hunt for food. He patiently waits in a fig tree for food comes to him. He pounces on a person when they walk under the tree and sucks most of their blood with his suckers, leaving just enough to keep them alive. But this is only the beginning of its torturous methods. After a little workout, he returns to his victim and lies on the ground, facing them. Then, he crawls to them and swallows them whole like a snake and does a little dance to jiggle the body down to his stomach. The Yara-Ma-Yha-Who regurgitates his victim who is usually still alive. At this point it would be best if you just played dead.
He'll test to see if his victim is still alive: poke them with a stick, tickle them under the chin and arms, and even walk away and quickly turn around. If the victim is successful in convincing him they are dead, he'll walk away and watch his victim for a little while, but eventually seek a bush and fall asleep, giving them the opportunity to escape. However, if they fail, the regurgitation process continues many more times. After a certain amount of times, the victim is turned into a Yara-Ma-Yha_Who.
In Haiti, it is the Loogaroo that inhabitants fear the most. These vampire-like witches are humans, especially old women, who make a deal with the Devil. They are to deliver large amounts of blood to a Devil Tree in exchange for magical powers.
During the day they appear as humans, but when night falls, they make their way to a silk-cotton tree a.k.a. the Devil Tree. They they removed their skin, carefully folding it up, and turn into a ball of fire and speed off doing their "business" until dawn.
While the Longaroo can slip through the tiniest hole, there is a way to defend yourself. They don't care for dogs which is probably why they tend molest animals. If you hear a dog barking, one might be near. Scatter rice and sand before a cabin and the Longaroo must stay and count every grain. Dawn will surprise them while doing such a task. If you happen to find their skin hidden in the bushes under a silk-cotton tree, you should pound it in a mortar with pepper and salt so the Longaroo can't take human shape again and dies.
Andrea Allisonon Monday, October 29, 2007
What vampire is closely related to a wendigo and sasquatch? According to Choctaw folklore, a Shampe. Coming across a bear in the woods is the least of your worries. Shampes are described as being giant, grotesque beasts seen with or without hair who live in the deepest part of the woods. They can't stand bright sunshine or open air and have a horrible foul scent much like a skunk.
These vampire-beasts were known to follow hunters carrying their kills. The sent of blood attracts them to you. Their keen sense of smell helps them track any person or animal which makes up for their terrible vision.
Considering who it is kin to, the Shampe gives off certain warning signs that lets you know it is near. Their foul smell is a huge one. It is believed that many people have died from this scent. Another giveaway is the whistling sound they make as they stalk their prey. If you ever hear and/or smell these two warnings, drop whatever wounded/dead animal you have and run as fast as you can.
Ghost Hunters live Halloween special is on Wednesday. It'll be a 6 hour investigation of The Waverly Hills Sanatorium beginning at 8pm Central. They will be joined by Josh Gates from Destination Truth, Elijah Burke from ECW and the three finalists from the Ghost Hunters contest. Waverly is a pretty active place so it should be an interesting night.
If you missed the premiere of Ghost Adventures, don't worry you'll get another chance to see it. Ghost Adventures will air again on Wednesday at 1pm Central.
It's that time again. Horrorfest will be on November 9th to 18th. Eight new films released by After Dark Films will be shown in over 350 theaters. This years films are: The Deaths of Ian Stone, Nightmare Man, Crazy Eights, Unearthed, Borderland, Mulberry Street, Tooth and Nail and Lake Dead. Go to HorrorFest Online to purchase your tickets.
There won't be a question this week. Due to circumstances beyond my control, I didn't have the chance to post as many vampire lore as I would have liked. There will be a vampire post later today and two for the next two days as a way to make up for lost time. Enjoy.
Andrea Allisonon Sunday, October 28, 2007
It's a bright sunny day and you are walking about minding your own business. You have no regard for your fellow men and women's plans or motives, but you should that is if you lived during Ancient Rome. A commonly known vampire-witch called Strix or striges wandered about during those times.
During the day, they appeared as a human and could walk in the sunlight with no consequences. When night fell, she transformed into a screech owl or crow described has having huge talons, misshapen heads and breasts full of poisonous milk. Once her transformation was complete, she began her hunt for fresh new victims to satisfy her cravings for blood, livers and internal organs. Her preferred target.....children. She would lure them into her trap by offering them the poisoned milk. Of course, men weren't safe from her wrath either. It is believed a Strix would transform into a woman and have sexual intercourse with sleeping men to drain them of their life-force.
How do you keep the Strix away? You could appeal to the Goddess Carna to fight the evil vampire-witch for you that is if she decided to take up your cause or put a few branches of Hawthorne in your window. Hawthorne is considered as effective as garlic and the best material for making stakes.
June. It's like 3 in the morning. It's ink dark in the house. I'm knocked out of a deep sleep by a scream.
This isn't the normal screaming I'm used to. This isn't "oh dear, I've stabbed myself with this kitchen implement!," Nor was it "Good Lord, that fecal expurgation was distressingly large and I fear that I may have torn something loose down there!" It was real fear. It was "I just saw a freaking ghost."
I ran downstairs, my mind blank with concern, and found Connor standing in the dining room, all the lights on, wailing. I grabbed him, asking what was wrong, checking him for blood, automatically adding up his extremities. He was perfectly fine--and white as a sheet. I asked him what happened.
"I saw a ghost."
Now my kids hate my inflexible stance on the paranormal, a stance immovable and fixed: it's one rung below noodling and NASCAR on the rung to true redneck Gothic stupidity and I don't buy it. I don't believe in:
* The Bermuda Triangle
* No Money Down Refi claims
* or ghosts
It just doesn't happen. As much as I enjoy reading about it, and as thrilling as it may seem, I think it's a big bucket of self agrandizement and delusion and the precipice off which one can gape into the wide, wiggly valley of bonkerville.
That isn't to say I won't tell a good ghost story. I've turned entire ranks of Cubscouts into wild-eyed, wigged-out believers. I made them cry and beg me not to tell another story. I've had parents tell me maybe I ought to tell some jokes instead. I can lay into it.
And I've met men who've spent their lives in the pursuit of dignity and providence, men who are not easily shaken, men who would stare down the barrel of a gun. They were the kind of guys you vote for. Pillars of character. And they told me they'd seen a ghost. Yet I don't buy it. I just don't.
But I'm closer now than I ever have been. If I shield my eyes and squint, I can barely see the idea of ghosts being real--like trying to make out the opposite shore of a long lake. I'm closer not because of Connor's recent scare. I'm closer because of my dog.
Connor didn't want to talk about what happened that night. He came upstairs and slept fitfully between me and my attorney. The next day Connor explained that he'd looked out his bedroom door and seen a face looking around the door jamb, then jerk back out of sight. He said he saw it then he screamed. I told him it was probably just part of a dream that got mixed up with some night time noise and not to worry about it and he bought it. Or seemed to.
But several months later. Yesterday, actually, out of nowhere, he told me what happened. We're driving back from downtown, just the two of us, and he tells me this version.
He says he woke up because Ty (the dog) was whining. He sat up in bed and Ty was standing next to the bed looking out the door, stock still. Connor looked up and saw a person dressed in nice clothes with white hair pulled back. He said they looked into his room and seemed amused. Connor said the dog backed up.
Connor said it took him a long time to scream. He said he had to make it happen. Then he said he screamed for a long time before I got there. (Of course, the sister never woke up.)
I've told you before our dog is gay and I mean that in a good way. Our gay friends know how to nurture--and Ty is no exception. When Connor gets hurt, Ty is all over him, tail wagging like crazy, licking and nudging, as if he's saying "It's all right, you'll be ok, don't worry, look I'm licking you. Everything is good. Lick lick lick"
But when I raced downstairs to deal with the screaming, when I skidded into the dining room and found Connor too afraid to come upstairs or go back in his room, the thing I forgot until yesterday is this: Ty's tail was dragging the floor and he was standing with his furry ass backed-up to the window and he was not happy. He was as far away from the hallway bathroom and he could get, still as a statue--looking over my shoulder.
Now perhaps Connor enjoyed a delusional moment of heightened and sudden neuroses. Maybe a moth flew into his room. Maybe nothing happened and he just had a dream. But the dog? Ty does nothing but wag his tail, lick people, and run around trying to figure out where we're going to walk next. He never stands still. Ever. Even when he's in STAY he's twitching and sweeping the floor with his tail, and smiling and panting and drooling all over himself. But this time--nothing. Backed up against the wall, afraid of the bathroom.
Andrea Allisonon Wednesday, October 24, 2007
We can agree the supernatural has been apart of our culture for thousands of years. This statement is the subject of Graham Hancock's new novel Supernatural. But who is Graham Hancock?
Born in Edinburgh, Scotland, Hancock spent most of his younger years in India. Later, he went to school and university in the northern English city of Durham and graduated from Durham University in 1973 with First Class Honors in Sociology and pursued a career in journalism. He wrote for newspapers such as The Times, The Guardian and The Independent and was co-editor of New Internationalist magazine from 1976-1979. He is known for asking legitimate questions and challenging popular views of orthodox scholars. Hancock is the author of the major international bestsellers The Sign and The Seal, Fingerprints of the Gods and Heaven's Mirror. I believe his latest novel will fall in that category as well.
When I first read a synopsis of Supernatural, I was excited. I love learning new things and ideas in this area. I have to say after reading a few chapters it wasn't what I thought it would be. It starts out with Hancock describing his experience with a session of a hallucinogen. He wasn't experimented with such drugs just for the fun of it. He did it to prove a point. Throughout part of the book, he makes a case as to how hallucinogens help shamans reach another realm of existence. This includes how some images depicted in cave art links the hallucinations they have (there are illustrations throughout the book to show you what he is referring to).
Next, his arguments shift to UFOs and hallucinogens. You would think it proves aliens don't exist and it's all in our minds. Actually, it's the opposite. Many of those who have had experiences with hallucinogens describe similar images including that of an alien-like figure. His belief is that they help connect us to them. Skeptics may think that's a stretch especially since we are basically taught that hallucinations are nothing and we shouldn't believe what we see. What if they are actually real?
Fairy abductions factor in this equation as well. These took place throughout Europe before UFOs became popular in the 1960s. Fairies were known to "take" people randomly to Fairy Knolls, some never returned. Others were taken to be midwives or mother figures for hybrids. They were also known to switch "Changelings" for human babies. Some even claimed to be "tortured by fairies" much like the alien operations. These stories mimic those of UFO abductees. Is it possible they are one in the same? Maybe considering there hasn't been a fairy abduction since UFOs came into play.
Last stop in the book tour, is DNA. It's a popular theory we owe our existence to a comet hitting the earth carrying an organism of some kind. In Hancock's book, he explains how some scientists believe it may have been more than that. Actually their thoughts are that our DNA may actually contain messages recorded by "clever entities" which we can access during sessions with hallucinogens. Since the function of 97 percent of our DNA is unknown, I can see how someone would propose such a theory. Most scientists have thought the large portion was nothing but junk DNA that it didn't really serve a high purpose. Francis Crick, co-discoverer of the structure of DNA, supposedly admitted to his colleagues that he was under the influence of LSD when he came up with the double helix shape. Does that prove our DNA holds some secret message(s). I really don't know. The drug may have picked up information he already knew.
This is but a large taste of what you'll find in Supernatural. If you love reading and learning about the abnormal aspects of life, you will love this book. I think anyone willing to put themselves out there and test their own theories (even if it means putting yourself through some risky "experiments"). Graham Hancock has that way of making you really think about what society has taught you.
It was 1967 when Roger Patterson and Robert Gimlin filmed an alleged Sasquatch at Bluff Creek. After 40 years, the Bigfoot footage is still regarded as the most popular and controversial. Was it a hoax? Quite possibly.
While Gimlin had his doubts, Patterson was a believer. Many who knew him say he wasn't the most reliable. You add that to inconsistencies in stories (interviews printed in various magazines) and the fuzziness in the film could convince any skeptic of its invalidity. This wasn't some random outing where they just happen to spot the mythic creature. Patterson was filming a Bigfoot documentary. According to Grover Krantz, the two even agreed they should have shot the creature not just to silence naysayers, but also for financial gain. So, what would have stopped them from staging the whole thing?
New species of animals are discovered all the time. I believe it is possible some mythical creatures really do exist. Do you think the Patterson-Gimlin footage is proof Bigfoot exists?
Andrea Allisonon Thursday, October 18, 2007
I know I haven't posted much lately. I planned on writing something yesterday but it was a very bad day. My step-grandfather died from respiratory failure. It was quite unexpected. I didn't really know him. Never had a chance to meet him. All I know is what I've been told and what I've been told weren't so nice. Whether you like your parent(s) or not, it still hurts to some degree when they die.
If that wasn't bad enough, we had two severe thunderstorms pass through. The last one left as quickly as it came but it still left its mark. A somewhat large tree in our front yard was blown completely over. It missed our house by a few feet. No one was hurt except for our picnic table or rather the umbrella. It took my mom forever to find one large and cheap enough for it. Now, she'll have to find another one.
I've always been deathly afraid of tornadoes, not so much now since we moved into a house and have a storm cellar. Obviously, there's a real reason to fear them especially if you live in Tornado Alley like I do. I look at that tree and realize that while tornadoes are bad, thunderstorms can be damaging as well. It'll be weird to not see that tree anymore. To not see the bird feeder the squirrels often ate out of in its rightful place. But yet I'm glad it did less harm than good.
Some of my worries should have subsided when the storms past, but yet they haven't. While there aren't any storms foreseen for tomorrow except for the possibility of a few isolated showers, they have predicted winds up to 40 mph. I fear tree limbs or even trees may be hanging on by a thread thanks to the storms from the previous night. I'm hoping if that is true the wind will blow it in a direction away from the house. My mother and step-father are busy with funeral arrangements and tending to my step-grandmother's needs. A tree falling on the house is the least of what any of us need right now. I know some believe that God never gives us more than we can handle, but can you blame me for having doubts?
Finally, my worries extend to my sister. She was scheduled to have surgery on her foot yesterday. She lives in Missouri with her husband and two kids. Eastern Oklahoma wasn't the only ones having bad weather. From what I understand, some of the tornadoes reported were in Missouri. I haven't heard anything about how the surgery went or their bad weather. I'm praying everything went alright.
I'm not sure when the next time I'll be able to write. If I get a chance to, further updates will be posted on Southern Expressions. Before I go, I want to remind everyone that tomorrow is the last day to vote in the Blogger Choice Awards. It seems that if you were nominated this year then you are automatically put on next years nomination list, the voting starting as this year's ends. I want to thank everyone who voted for Ghost Stories. These things are usually popularity contests and I never guessed how popular this blog has become. Thank you again!
Andrea Allisonon Thursday, October 11, 2007
It is a Chinese belief that everyone possesses two souls, a superior or rational soul an an inferior irrational soul. The superior soul can leave a sleeping body and roams about as the body's double. It can also possess and speak through the body of another. An inferior soul can inhabit the body of a fetus and linger in the bodies of the dead. It is believed that the mythology of the Chiang-Shih or hopping corpse came from the folklore practice of "Traveling a Corpse over a Thousand Li". A traveling companion or family members who could not afford a wagon or had very little money would hire a Tao priests to transport the corpses of friends/family members who died far from home over long distances by teaching to hop on their own feet back to their hometown for a proper burial. Other think they were smugglers in disguise who wanted to scare off law enforcement.
A Chiang-Shih is said to be created when a person's soul fails to leave the decease's body, usually after a violent death. It could also be the result of an improper burial. Their transformation taken place before the burial. Some appear as a normal human while others have a hideous green phosphorescent glow with serrated teeth, glowing red eyes, foul breath and long talons. They hop because of the pain and stiffness from death makes it difficult to walk. They are far more pale and have very dark circles under their eyes.
The Chiang-Shih were nocturnal creatures and couldn't cross running water. They ripped the head and limbs off their victims and attacked and raped women. After growing stronger, they gained the ability to fly, grow long white hair and sometimes change into wolves. It was also known to leap out of graves and attack people traveling at night. So, how do you protect yourself from such vicious creatures?
You are advised to hold your breath as they are blind and can only detect your breathing (they are known to steal the breath from their victims). You can also protect yourself by using garlic or salt. Other methods includes driving them away with noise (thunder could kill them), sweeping the creature back with a broom and use iron filings, rice and red peas as barriers, and kill them with bullets (if they reached the white haired stage). If the creature is killed, it must be cremated. Tao priests could also be recruited to perform a type of "exorcism". A piece of wood approximately six inches high is installed along the width of the door to prevent a hopping corpse from entering the household according to conventional wisdom of feng shui Chinese architecture.
This is a vampire you definitely want to stay far away from.
I didn't mention this in the previous post, but allow me to do so now. Forget every cliche Hollywood has taught you about vampires, including wooden stakes, holy water, crucifixes, etc. Some or possibly most vampires you will read here won't fit completely in that mold. Having said that, lets continue with the next stop on our "tour".
The first documented story of vampires possibly came from Ancient Greek lore. One kind believed to roam the lands of Greece and Macedonia is the Vrykolaka. There are several ways to become a Vrykolaka: suicide, violent death, improper burial, cursed by a priest, and excommunicated from the church.
Their method of killing is quite unique. A Vrykolaka would request entry into a person's household possibly someone they once knew. Next, they would call out the victims name before sitting on their chests and suffocating them. There are those who have survived these so called "attacks". But those who didn't were believed to have been turned into a Vrykolaka. In reality, the most logical explanation for this is a heart attack. Of course, people are going to believe what they want to believe.
There is a way to kill these vampires. You can choose a traditional method by driving a stake through it. Or pin it to its coffin so it won't rise. Other methods are cutting off its head and placing it out of the creatures reach, burning the body or having the ban lifted by a priest (in cases of excommunications). Then again you may not have to do it yourself. The Sabbatarian and his Fetch dog may take care of the Vrykolaka for you.
A Sabbatarian is a person born on a Saturday and are endowed with holy powers such as the ability to see these invisible horrors and fight them. A Fetch Dog is the constant companion of a Sabbatarian, a white magic familiar who helps chase away ghosts and vampires.
Sabbatarians are believed to have the ability to turn themselves invisible in some areas. So, if you are ever in Greece or Macedonia, be nice to the lonely dog you see wandering around. He may be a Fetch Dog accompanied by someone who could save your life.
Last night was an interesting episode. Below is a short synopsis of each location they investigated along with a clip, revealing the evidence they collected.
TAPS investigated the Presidio in San Francisco, California. In the 1770s, it was a Spanish fort until Mexico seized it. Twenty-four years later, it switched hands again and became a military base for the U.S. Army for over 148 years. Now, The Presidio is part of Golden Gate National Recreation Area.
One of the claims TAPS went in to investigate was that of a Spanish woman. Witnesses reported seeing and smelling her in a couple areas. Jason and Grant possibly traced the floral phantom smell associated with her to a janitor's closet. As for the visual reports, watch the clip and see if you think it's her.
The second stop in San Francisco was a baby store called Lullaby Lane. Most of the claims were audio except for a chair in their office moving on its own. The owners were less interested in having evidence to back up their reports and more wanting to know if it was a valid employee named Jean responsible for it all.
TAPS was able to debunk the sounds of footsteps along with high EMFs as a possible reason for the chair moving. The duration of the night seemed pretty quiet. It wasn't until they analyzed the evidence when the realized it was anything but that. The owners wanted to find out if Jean was haunting their store. Watch the clip below to see and hear what they didn't expect.
I'm declaring October Vampire Month here at Ghost Stories! Throughout the next four weeks, I will be writing about various vampire folklore and myths across the globe. The first vampire story is that of America's most well-known and last North American "vampire", Mercy Brown.
New England was the center of vampire folklore in the United States, especially Rhode Island. During the 1800s, consumption or pulmonary tuberculosis plagued the townspeople of Exeter. One out of four people died from it. Unfortunately, the Brown family didn't escape it. The disease first took Mercy's mother, Mary Brown. The next victim was her sister, Mary Olive. Edwin was the next to contract consumption, but fearing for his only son's life, George Brown sent him to live in Colorado, to stop or slow the disease. He returned in late 1891 because it had progressed. However, Edwin wasn't the next the person in the Brown family to die. Mercy had the "galloping" variety of consumption and her battle ended within a few months. She was only 19. Mercy didn't die as a vampire, but she would soon be labeled one. But why?
We know during these times vampires were to blame for almost anything that couldn't be controlled or cured. It was a way to give an explanation for the unexplained. You add that to ignorance and fear and vampire (along with other mythical creatures) folklore is born. Mercy became the scapegoat. George Brown wasn't the type to believe in such superstitions. However, three members of his family were dead, one was sick and he had two other daughters to think about. He began to think his family was cursed. It took the persistence of his friends and neighbors to convince him to exhume their bodies. Mary and Mary Olive's bodies were decomposed but Mercy's looked "too well preserved."
Everything we know about decomposition explains what they saw. There was no signs of decomposition because the cold of winter preserved her body. Blood can coagulate and become liquid again which explains why there was blood in her heart and liver. These misconceptions led them to believe she was the one responsible for draining the life from Edwin and other consumption victims. The townspeople felt the only way for the spell to be broken and Edwin to get well was to cut out her heart, burn it, mix the ashes with water, and have him consume it. Too bad it didn't work. Edwin died two months later on May 2, 1892.
After Edwin, the deaths stopped. Did their desperate act work? Was Mercy to blame for it all? Of course not. They discovered in 1882 tuberculosis was spread by bacteria. As a result, embalming became a common practice thus leaving the vampire theory behind.
Now, her grave site is believed to be haunted. Many witnesses have reported seeing lights in the graveyard, including a descendant of the Brown family. She has also been seen dressed in a torn black dress disheveled and dirty. Could the violation of her grave cause her to forever haunt her burial ground?
Andrea Allisonon Friday, September 28, 2007
More and more haunted locations are putting up web cams so people can ghost hunt from the comforts of their own home. Now, with a program called Mechanical Turk, you can use satellite technology to find mysterious creatures such as Bigfoot and the Loch Ness Monster.
The program was used to help find adventurer Steve Fossett after he went missing on Sept. 3rd. Participants used a single satellite image to note any object or wreckage that could be a plane or debris. Even though Fossett is still missing, the search did uncover several unknown small plane wrecks dating all the way back to the 1950s. Maybe they should try searching the Bermuda Triangle. No telling what they will find there. While this technology can be used in such life and death situations as this, a theory states it could be used for other types of searches as well.
It's believed that if such creatures as the Loch Ness Monster and Bigfoot really do exist they could easily be located and captured. While it won't be much help in heavily wooded areas, it's a good thing Bigfoot have been seen in such places as Nevada, Texas and Utah. With an estimated 6,000 to 10,000 in North America, they should be easy to spot on satellite images. Something similar can be said about lake monsters. On average they are reported to be about 50 feet or longer and surface on a regular basis. Couldn't be too hard to find them.
Whether or not someone actually spots one of these mysterious creatures using Mechanical Turk, it probably won't change the minds of believers, but it only takes one, dead or live, to prove their existence once and for all.
Andrea Allisonon Wednesday, September 26, 2007
First, allow me to say I’m pleased to see that Dave Tango was bumped up to investigator. I was beginning to wonder if his training stage was ever going to be over. Now, there’s a new trainee taking his place, Kris Williams. It looked like she did alright for her first two times out. You have to start somewhere, right?
Usually, TAPS goes in to disprove a haunting and that is exactly what was asked from them at Northern State Hospital in Sedro-Woolley, Washington. Unfortunately, after the investigation and all evidence analyzed, they had no choice but to deliver proof. They captured an EVP of a woman singing or humming in the attic, which Jason and Grant were both witnesses to and sort of backed-up eyewitness statements of a nurse being seen in there. Also, they had a video clip of a figure about 6ft tall or so walking slightly in front of a window I think and then back into the darkness. The figure was see-through so there wasn’t explanation for it. If someone kindly posts the clip of the evidence on YouTube or somewhere, I’ll add it here for you all to see.
Their next stop was the Underground Tunnels. In the late 1800s, Seattle burned down and they had constant floods. So, the decision was made to build New Seattle over the ruins of Old Seattle which became the Underground Tunnels and is now believed to be haunted. Several of the TAPS members had personal experiences. Steve and Kris were in the Prostitute Area and heard something like rocks or bricks being moved. Jason felt the hairs on his arm stand straight up which sort moved up his arm and became slightly painful. I can’t remember where they were exactly at, but Grant claimed he saw a full-body apparition. As for audio and video evidence, they didn’t really get anything except for a recording of the sound Steve and Kris heard. I guess it’s one of those places you have to investigate a few times before getting a full assessment of it. Maybe they will go back again sometime.
Next week’s investigations will be in San Francisco. They will be at The Presidio and I think some little baby store. Looks like it may be eventful. The mini-season will extend through November 11th. Hopefully, we won’t have to wait forever to see the next mini-season in the Spring. As for the live episode, I said I didn’t know if a celebrity would be participating this year. They have been running a contest, looking for the next Ghost Hunter. Well, it has been narrowed down to three and they will join TAPS at Waverly for the Halloween special. Then, it’ll be decided as to who will win the honored position and appear with TAPS in Season 4.
First of all, I don't like doing the double or triple post a day thing, but I have a whole list of topics to get to and not enough time or days in the week to do it. Plus, I like doing the Wander the Web Wednesday meme. So, Wednesdays will be the two-for-the-price-of-one day. Enjoy this and I'll have another entry up later today. Oh and don't forget the new season of Ghost Hunters premieres tonight.
The idea is to highlight 5 links that you feel would be new to other readers.
They can be daily reads, or personal favorites.
They may even just be something fun or freaky or just plain fascinating that you stumbled into recently.
If you want to “play along” make a list on your site and link to it in 2 Witches Blog comments. They'd also appreciate a link back.
1. WasArrested.com - Just a fun site where you can write a fake news story.
Before I get to this week's question, I have a little announcement. October 1st through 7th is Buy a Friend a Book Week. I was inspired by the idea of generosity and instead of buying someone a book, I decided to give two books from my own personal library away to two lucky readers here. One is a novelization of episode two, The Harvest, of the Buffy the Vampire Slayer series. The second is Star By. V.C. Andrews.
All you have to do to enter this little contest is leave a comment (with your email address) on any post this week stating you want to be entered into the drawing. That's it. I'll put your names in a hat and draw two out. The first name drawn will get to choose which book they want. Winners will be announced next Monday. Good Luck!
Something about caves attracts people near and far, not just the spelunkers. Many are considered haunted and Mammoth Cave isn't any different. With 330 miles of passageways on five levels, the ghosts have plenty of room to roam around and with over 150 reported sightings, they may need it. Of course, that doesn't mean 150 ghosts have taken up resident in the caves, but there are at least three.
One popular spirit is that of a slave who gave up freedom to stay with the cave he loved so dear even after death. Stephen Bishop was born in 1820. Eighteen years later, he began exploring the cave. That spring, his master, Franklin Gorin bought Mammoth and Stephen began giving regular tours. Back in those days, slaves were often recruited as guides, but Stephen was the one to go to, the best of the best. When he wasn't guiding tours, he was exploring new areas of the cave and thus began the naming tradition which continues til this day. Stephen died in 1857 and buried in the Old Guides' Cemetery south of the cave entrance. It is believed that he never left the cave he loved so dear. Sometimes, he joins a tour group, saying nothing but being seen nonetheless. Others, he is blowing out candles and torches or seen with an unknown woman and two children.
Another commonly sighted ghost is that of a woman named Melissa. The story of Melissa's involvement with Mammoth comes solely from a letter written to the Knickerbocker in 1858. It's one right out of high school. Well, sort of. According to her letter, she had lived near Mammoth Cave 15 years earlier in 1843. This is when she fell in love with her tutor "Mr. Beverleigh". The only problem was he fell in love with her neighbor. So, what was Melissa to do? The phrase "if I can't have him, no one will" comes to mind right about now. She led him to a spot in Mammoth Cave called Purgatory where she left him to die. At the time when she wrote the letter, Melissa was dying of tuberculosis and felt the need to confess her sin to all of Knickerbocker's readers. Now, she is seen wandering Mammoth Cave in search of her lost love "Beverleigh" who, ironically, may be haunting it as well. It's possible an unidentified ghost hanging around the "Chief City" area might actually be "Beverleigh". Hopefully those two will never reunite because I don't think he would be happy to see her.
The last stop on our ghost tour is that of a caver and adventurer named Floyd Collins. On January 18th, 1917, Floyd made a big discovery, a cave located several miles from Mammoth called Crystal Cave. He tried to make the smaller cave as popular as Mammoth, but sadly failed. However, that didn't stop him from searching for new caves. While exploring Sand Cave in January of 1925, a rock from the ceiling fell, pinning his left leg. The rescue attempt became national news. Floyd was even interviewed by reporter "Skeets" Miller, who later went on to win a Pulitzer. But he would never leave Sand Cave alive. A cave-in would take his life.
They later recovered his body. Floyd's father, Lee gained possession of the cave after his son's death and decided to capitalize on the frenzy surrounding it. Lee had Floyd's body exhumed and placed into a glass-top coffin, displayed within Crystal Cave. Jealous competitors stole his body, but it was recovered minus his left leg which was never found. It would remain in the caves for sixty years until being finally laid to rest in the Flint Ridge Cemetery in 1989. People have reported seeing his ghost around Crystal Cave calling for his friend Johnny. They also say he throws whiskey bottles and steals tools from geologists exploring the cave.
Of course, these three are not the only ghosts haunting Mammoth Cave. Some people have reported seeing two disembodied legs wearing boots and overalls, a woman with a knife in her chest observing the highway outside of the cave, a females voice that seems to come out of no where, and a formally dressed man in a nineteenth-century cummerbund among others. If you're looking for a haunted cave to explore, Mammoth might just be the place for you.
Andrea Allisonon Saturday, September 22, 2007
The first day of Autumn may be on Sunday, but some of your favorite shows, new and old, are already premiering new episodes. So, what's on the Fall schedule for paranormal enthusiasts?
Ghost Hunters is returning on Wednesday, September 26, 2007 with the first episode of the new season. They made us wait for the last six episodes of the last season, but we won't have to this time. Remember there will be another live show on Halloween which will wrap-up Sci-Fi's 13 Days of Halloween marathon. This year they are investigating Waverly Hills for a second time. Not sure who or if there will be a celebrity tagging along with them.
Last year, Destination Truth premiered with Josh Gates traveling all over the world investigating alleged sightings of mythical creatures. Well, a second season doesn't look real promising. Surprise. Surprise. The word around the Sci-Fi Channel forums is that its being replaced by another show called UFO Hunters, basically the same concept as Ghost Hunters except its about UFOs and aliens instead of ghosts. Cameras will follow the New York Strange Phenomena Investigators as they use the latest technology to lend some credit to reports of flying saucers and space people. I guess Destination Truth will join the rest of the one-hit TV shows.
If that's not enough reality TV for you then be sure to tune in on Friday, October 12th for the new reality show on Lifetime called the American Psychic Challenge. A group of psychics will compete to prove to skeptics and believers alike that they are indeed the real deal. American Psychic Challenge follows the premiere of the second season of Lisa Williams: Life Among the Dead.
Speaking of reality competitions, remember Elvira, Mistress of the Dark? The Fox Reality Channel has put together a reality show looking for the next Elvira. Now, no one can replace the woman no matter how hard they try, but I bet it'll be interesting to see who all shows up to try. The Search for the Next Elvira will premiere sometime in October.
Last but not least, the third season, and hopefully not the last, of Supernatural airs on October 4th at 8pm central on the CW. I don't know about any of you all but I'm looking forward to seeing Jensen Ackles and all his finest.
Okay, couch potatoes avid TV watchers, you have plenty to keep you entertained this year.
Andrea Allisonon Friday, September 21, 2007
Did Ya Know Friday
It's uncertain where the Ouija Board first originated, but if you think Parker Brothers came up with this idea, you would be wrong. According to some, something resembling a Ouija Board was in 1200 B.C. China, a divination known as Fu Ji. Others claim Pythagoras, in 540 B.C., would conduct seances at "a mystic table, moving on wheels, moved towards signs" in which he and his pupil, Philolaus would interpret to the audience as revelations from the spirit world. Both historic claims have come under debates as being inaccurate.
However, talking boards weren't actually used until the Spiritualism movement in the 19th Century. The Fox sisters developed a system of knocks for each letter of the alphabet to supposedly communicate with spirits. Many wanted to mimic their methods and speak to ghosts too. There were many forms of divinations to spell out messages at that time, including swinging a pendulum over a plate that had letters around the edge or using an entire table to indicate letters drawn on the floor, but during the late 1800s, a device known as a planchette would be the beginning of it all.
At first, it was being sold as a novelty. Then, businessmen Elijah Bond and Charles Kennard came up with the idea to attach a board with the alphabet to the planchette (a device still used by some til this day) and patent it. This was to be the first Ouija Board. While Kennard helped start it all, it was one of his employees, William Fuld who kept it going. In 1901, he began production on his own boards simply called "Ouija" which he also acquired a patent for. Many tried to cash in on this innovated idea from 1920s to 1960s by producing and marketing their own design of talking boards. But Fuld was determined to keep the name "Ouija" and its concept from their grasps by suing many companies right up til his death in 1927. Who was to later buy Fuld's business from his estate? Well, Parker Brothers, now known as Hasbro, snatched it up in 1966 and I guess as they say the rest is history.
There are many theories as to why you shouldn't use a Ouija Board. Some paranormal investigators believe as you attempt to contact spirits you open a door that allows any of them to enter, good or bad. Some people say you will be killed or disappear if you use one. While others consider it harmless.
Andrea Allisonon Wednesday, September 19, 2007
The idea is to highlight 5 links that you feel would be new to other readers.
They can be daily reads, or personal favorites.
They may even just be something fun or freaky or just plain fascinating that you stumbled into recently.
If you want to “play along” make a list on your site and link to it in 2 Witches Blog comments. They'd also appreciate a link back.
1. The Debris Field - A daily list of links about the paranormal from blogs, news websites, etc.
2. LibraryThing Unsuggester - It analyzes the eighteen million books LibraryThing members have recorded as owned or read, and comes back with books least likely to share a library with the book you suggest.
4. G.H.O.S.T. Hunters game - I was bored one day and found this game. The premise is your a member of the G.H.O.S.T. Hunters and are called in to investigate a possible haunting or cruel hoax at Majesty Manor. I've tried to play the free trial, but I have dial-up and it never seems to load. Maybe y'all will have better luck.
5. Ralan's - If you are a writers, this is a good place to find markets.
Andrea Allisonon Sunday, September 16, 2007
Clip from the paranormal tv show Sightings hosted by Tim White. They discuss the history and possible haunting of the Full Circle Cafe in Georgetown, Colorado. Even the late psychic Peter James (may he rest in peace) makes an appearance. Enjoy!
Andrea Allisonon Friday, September 14, 2007
Did Ya Know Friday
Did ya know that no accused witches were burned at the stake during the Witch Trials in Salem? They were either hanged or died in prison except for one who was pressed to death. However, "witches" on the other side of the world weren't so lucky.
From the mid-15th century to the late 19th century, those accused of witchcraft died by fire, as that was the ultimate element of purification. Many were even burned alive. Despite several British witches and occultist trying to up the number, the number of people who died during this period was between 200,000 to 500,000.
I would like to say that we have moved on and put these practices behind us, but in some parts of the country, burning those who are accused of using black magic is still an option. In May, An elderly Indian couple were burnt to death after villagers accused them of practicing black magic. Last year, a barber in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh killed his four-year-old son by slitting his throat with a razor after the man started seeing visions of the Hindu goddess Kali demanding a sacrifice.
Hopefully, one day we will live in a world where we refuse to let superstitions dominate our decisions.
Picture this: you ignore the high gas prices and go for a relaxing drive. Instead of taking the same streets you've driven on many occasions, you venture down a new stretch of road. Your guard is down as you admire the beautiful scenery. Then, your eyes drift back to the road, spotting someone standing motionless within a few feet from your vehicle. Reacting quickly, you swerve to miss them, crashing into the ditch. Dazed, you exit your car to check on the other person. They are no where to be seen. Where did they go? Why were they standing in the middle of the road and refused to move? Could it been a ghost?
Those living in Hong Kong who has survived a scenario such as this would say yes. In 1977, a major expressway called Tuen Mun Road was built to connect Tuen Mun with Tsuen Wang. Due to narrow carriageways and substandard geometry, the road has become more of a hazard than anything. With the numerous traffic accidents and casualties it's not surprising Tuen Mun Road is believed to be haunted. Many witnesses claim ghosts tend to "pop up in the middle of the road". Some even went on to say they have suddenly lost control of their vehicles for no obvious reason.
I don't know what's scarier: having an accident due to poor road construction or a ghost trying to play peek-a-boo.
For years, the mythical creature has eluded scientists, leaving little to no trace of its existence. A woman in Cuero, Texas named Phylis Canion claims she discovered one outside of her ranch. Actually, her and some of her neighbors found three 40 pound bodies in July, keeping it hidden until now. The animal is described as having big ears, large fanged teeth and grayish-blue, mostly hairless skin. Could this strange animal be a chupacabra?
Canion thinks so. She based her opinion on her twenty-six dead chickens who was drained of blood. Her animals weren't the only ones to fall prey to this alleged mythical creature.
Veterinarian Travis Schaar of the Main Street Animal Hospital in nearby Victoria believes what she calls a chupacabra is probably a strange breed of dog, a canine with a thirst for blood. He doesn't deny the possibility of it being a chupacabra, but states that it could just be a mutated litter of dogs.
Canion saved the head of the dead animal and plans on getting to the bottom of its ancestry through DNA testing. Its final resting place will be on her wall along with the heads of other exotic animals she collected during the four years she lived in Africa. In the meantime, you can purchase a t-shirt that reads "2007, The Summer of the Chupacabra, Cuero, Texas," accompanied by a caricature of the creature for $5.
Andrea Allisonon Saturday, September 01, 2007
There are many myths surrounding the memory of Elvis Presley. But which ones are true? Here you will find the answers to the questions about the late King of Rock-n-Roll.
Myth 1: Was Elvis a DEA Agent? - This particular myth coincides with another. It was no secret Elvis was interested in being a DEA agent. The desire to join was so great that he wrote a long letter to President Richard Nixon, who by the way didn't even know who Elvis was, listing his credentials in order to initiated into the club. Some believe he was made an official DEA agent which led to his sudden "disappearance" in 1977. However, the truth is, he was given an honorary badge. It couldn't be used for official DEA business, but he was still in a way part of the Drug Enforcement Association.
Myth 2: Did Elvis have a twin? - The answer is yes. However, his twin brother Jesse Garon was born stillborn. Elvis always missed his brother and always felt the that missing piece of him. I'm sure that's true for anyone who has lost their twin brother or sister.
Myth 3: Was Elvis discovered while making a record for his mom? - Those who were close to him knew he was extremely close to his mother. So, it wouldn't be out of character for him to make a record as a present to his mom. But the question is was he discovered while making said record? The answer is sort of. At the time, Sun Records was known to open its doors to anyone off the streets who wanted to make a record for a reasonable price. Elvis, who was working as a truck driver, summoned enough courage to walk in and pay $4 to record two songs for mom. Sam Philips, owner of Sun Records, wasn't even there at the time. He showed up about a week or so later, heard Elvis' recording and invited him back. The rest is history as they say.
Myth 4: Are Oprah and Elvis cousins? - This myth isn't surprising. Both are very influential people. But are they related? A genealogist traced both of their family trees back to a Mississippi town. It is believed that Oprah's ancestors were slaves owned by Elvis' ancestors. We all know that back in those days slave owners were known to have "relations" with their female slaves. If all the research is correct, it's entirely possible they are indeed cousins.
Myth 5: Was Elvis' hips censored on the Ed Sullivan Show? - If you were a musician, being on the Ed Sullivan Show was a must. Elvis knew this and made a request to be a guest. Unfortunately, it was denied. So, what was Elvis to do? He made them regret their decision by appearing on rival shows. Even Ed Sullivan and CBS couldn't overlook the amount of attention associated with Elvis. So, he negotiated with Elvis's manager and agreed to pay $50,000 for three appearances. Ed Sullivan and CBS came under pressure when Elvis was shown gyrating on stage during the second appearance. So, on the final one, his hips were censored. They shot him from the waist up.
Myth 6: Is Elvis still alive? - This one is the most popular of all the myths. It's so hard to believe that someone as famous as Elvis could die so suddenly. It left his fans in a state of shock. So much that evidence was collected to prove he faked his death. Some believe the body in the coffin was a wax figure and not Elvis and that because he was supposedly working with DEA agents, he had to go into the witness protection program. Another theory states Elvis's middle name was misspelled for a reason. The extra "A" in Aaron stands for "alive". However, those who attended the funeral and were close to him including his finacee Ginger Alden, who discovered him dead on his dressing room floor, swears he is indeed dead. However, short of exhuming his body and doing DNA tests, we may never know the truth to this myth.
Andrea Allisonon Wednesday, August 29, 2007
I come across many websites and blogs while doing research for posts. 2 Witches Blog putting together a meme called Wander the Web Wednesday where you list five links you think your readers might like. It can be your daily reads, personal favorites, fun or even fascinating. You're more than welcome to join in every Wednesday. Make sure you stop by 2 Witches Blog and leave your link in their comments.
Many flock to Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada to bare witness to its romantic setting. However, its beauty doesn't overshadow a local legend. The tunnel is located in the northwest end of Niagara Falls and was originally built to be a rail tunnel in the early 1900s. The only problem was the Grand Trunk Railroad went bankrupt after World War I and it was never finished. Even though the tunnel was abandoned it would never be forgotten.
Over a century ago, a farm house located near the tunnel caught fire one night. A girl, clothes engulfed in flames, ran screaming from the house into the tunnel in the attempts of putting it out. Unfortunately, she collapsed and died inside the tunnel. There are variations to this story.
One states an enraged father sat his daughter on fire in the tunnel after learning his wife was rewarded custody of their kids in a nasty divorce battle. Another story reports that a young girl was raped inside the tunnel and her body was burned to cover the evidence. No one knows which version if any are true. However, what is known is that someone did die in the tunnel.
It was dubbed the Screaming Tunnel because they say if you stand in it and light a match you will hear a scream before the flame goes out.
The White Eagle Saloon was considered the place to be for men from all over the world who worked on the docks. It wasn't just the thirst of alcohol that kept them coming back. The White Eagle Saloon depicted much of the seedier side of frontier life in the 1900s.
Two Polish immigrants, Barney Soboleski and William Hryszko, opened the White Eagle in 1905 to offer other Polish immigrants a place of after-work recreation: pool, cigars, poker, liquor, beer and for the right price patrons could indulge in a brothel upstairs or an opium den downstairs. It earned the nickname "Bucket of Blood" from frequent brawls that erupted in and around the saloon. However, it didn't stop the trolley from dumping men at its doorstep until 1916 when Prohibition put a stop to legal drinking. Then, The White Eagle became the "it" place to get ice cream cones and those wanting a good stiff pop could still get the goods down in the basement, below the "soda shop."
Once Prohibition was lifted, The Eagle served hard-working, blue-collar clientele for over 35 years until the 70s and 80s when bands such as Pete Karnes Blooz Band, Driving Sideways, Paul DeLay, Terry Robb, Steve Bradley, Robert Cray and the Razorbacks began playing there. It achieved legendary status in Portland much like CBGBs once was (and always will be).
Now, The Eagle attracts more than just music lovers or potential hotel guests. Many who once worked there have never left. A "working girl" named Rose still wanders the upstairs rooms where the "white" brothel once was, weeping. She was the personal property of the saloon manager until one paying customer fell in love with her and wanted to take her away from her dangerous life. Rose wanted to go but was fearful of the saloon manager's reaction. So, she refused. Instead, her young lover confronted him and was nearly beaten to death. He again pleaded with Rose to run away with him, but she refused. In a fit of rage, he stabbed his beloved to death in one of the upstairs bedrooms. However, she didn't let death stop her. Many have reported being propositioned by a woman who could only be the ghost of the dead prostitute. Rose is not the only ghost still seen at The Eagle.
Spirits of black and Chinese women who disposed of their babies in the basement are said to clog the atmosphere. Men who were shanghaied in the underground tunnels still hang around after being dead for so long. The image of a man named Sam who worked at the saloon the length of his life has been seen, gazing from the second floor window. Perhaps he's watching over the establishment.
Andrea Allisonon Thursday, August 23, 2007
We are taught at a young age that stealing is not a very nice thing to do. A German man found out the hard way just how wrong it is to steal from a Pharaoh.
It all supposedly began in 1922 with the discovery of Tutankhamun's tomb and the subsequent death of the excavation's financier Lord Carnarvon. The belief of a curse that strikes down anyone who disturbs the tombs or mummies of ancient Egypt's Pharaohs began to circulate. Apparently, a certain German man never heard about this curse.
While on a visit to Egypt in 2004, the man stole part of a Pharaonic carving and suffered the consequences. On his return to Germany, he suffered paralysis, nausea, unexplained fevers and cancer before dying recently.
His stepson handed in a package containing the carving along with a note to Egypt's embassy in Berlin. The note said the man felt obliged to return the carving to make amends for his late stepfather and enable his soul to rest in peace.
The Egyptian embassy sent the fragment back to Egypt by diplomatic pouch and it has been handed over to the Supreme Council for Antiquities, where a committee of experts are trying to determine its authenticity.
The moral story: don't steal especially from Pharaohs.
In May, I wrote about a cell phone accessory that doubles as a ghost detector. I have another little gadget for you. The Ghost Radar is a Japanese device that detects paranormal energies and contains a USB flash memory.
How it works is similar to the Ghost Detector. It beeps in rhythm which increases depending on how close the ghost is and the lights help you determine the ghost’s position, the ghost’s movement, and the risk possibilities. Basically, it responds to unusual magnetic waves with audible alerts and flashing red lights. Plus, the Ghost Radar and a small silver adhesive label have been purified at a Shinto shrine to help bring good fortune and keep evil spirits in check.
The device is quite complex, with an array of sensors and alert lights, as well as a very complex algorithm for detecting the paranormal which analyzes the sensor data, factors in biometric feedback from your skin, makes lunar-cycle adjustments and many other things. And that's not all!
It's USB flash memory isn't used for recording unusual paranormal activity. Instead, the Ghost Radar has a storage device for your documents, photos, I-tunes and movies. It can also improve the general performance of Windows Vista with a feature called ReadyBoost which allows Vista to use the flash memory as extra system RAM.
I'll admit that the Ghost Radar is a step up from the Ghost Detector. However, I don't think it's a piece of equipment that professional paranormal investigators should be using. The company that developed this device Solid Alliance and GRX doesn't guarantee it detects ghosts or even acknowledges they exist. This may be a cool little toy to play around with in a hotel or whatever, but if you are a professional, stick with the EMF detectors.