Andrea Allisonon Sunday, August 29, 2010
Flipping through the channels, I came upon what is known as a "mockbuster" (a movie designed to capitalize on the success of a higher budget film, in this case Paranormal Activity) called Paranormal Entity on ChillerTV. The premise of the movie is surveillance videos documenting the downward spiral and eventual supernatural rape and murder of a woman named Samantha Finley, all presented as fact.
Throughout the movie as the alleged activity escalates, the family is constantly trying to contact a self-professed paranormal expert named Edgar Lauren to rid them of their problem. The guy finally shows up towards the end of the movie and gives them the answers they have been looking for. On a previous night, the mother, supposedly possessed or in her sleep, wrote a word on a sheet of paper: MARON. The expert explains the word MARON is Old Germanic for "nightmare" and goes on to say the entity is fairly similar to the "incubus" in the way it attacks and rapes women. This made me wonder if there was any truth to their story of "maron". Turns out there is.
We know the word "nightmare" as meaning a dream that can cause a strong negative emotional response from the sleeper, typically fear and/or horror. Its etymology derives from several different languages including the Proto-Germanic word of marōn. It was believed to be a spirit or goblin in Germanic folklore which rides on people's chests while they sleep, bringing on bad dreams and most likely inspired by the medical condition called sleep paralysis. It's also linked to the mythical creatures succubus and incubus. Nightmare was used to describe 'a bad dream caused by an incubus' in the 16th century. After several centuries, the meaning watered down even further to describe a bad dream.
Paranormal Entity not only attempted to capitalize on Paranormal Activity's fame but also went to lengths for a Blair Witch type marketing strategy. The Asylum attempted to convince viewers the film footage is all 100% legit. There isn't any filmmaking credits or even a title card and the various production credits on their own website are billed as "n/a". However, what does the viewer see after the movie's conclusion? "All events, characters, and firms depicted in this photoplay are purely fictitious. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental." I say their strategy was a failure. The movie isn't the worst of all time but it's not the best either.
Was notified that Ghost Stories was chosen as one of OnlineSchools Top 40 Paranormal Blogs!
From the OnlineSchools website: This award highlights the very best blogs to learn about the Paranormal and all things related on the internet that were nominated by the internet community, and is designed to thank the authors for their contribution toward the world wide web we all use & enjoy.
I would like to thank OnlineSchools for bestowing me with such an award as well as those who thought to nominate Ghost Stories and all my loyal readers. I hope to continue to make this site a useful resource for all things paranormal.
Update: Ghost Stories has hit a milestone. It currently has 200 followers!!! Thank you readers!!!
The theme around the paranormal blogosphere has been haunted dolls as of late. I’ve written about Robert the doll and the Island of Dolls in the past. Today’s entry is about one located in the Quesnel Museum in British Columbia. Mandy is an antique porcelain doll over 90 years old supposedly made in Germany or England around 1910 or 1920. She was donated to the museum in 1991. What makes her so unusual is the powers some say she possesses.
Her previous owner related to the museum all the strange things she is supposedly capable of. The donor would wake up to the sounds of a crying baby in the basement. Upon inspection, she found an open window and no baby. After Mandy was donated to the museum, the crying stopped. However, the museum staff and volunteers problems were just beginning. Lunches would mysteriously disappear from the refrigerator and be found tucked away in a drawer. Objects such as pens, books and pictures would go missing. Some would turn up later. Others were never found. Footsteps were heard when no one was around.
When she first arrived at the museum, Mandy didn’t have a “permanent” place within the building. She sat facing the public entrance and provided fodder for visitors. Later, she was placed in a case alone in another part of the museum. Rumors stated she couldn’t be placed with any other dolls, as she would harm them. Then again, she may not like being by herself. After being locked in a room, staff found papers thrown all around the room as if she allegedly had a tantrum. She’s been known to “play” around with electrical equipment, causing them to malfunction. Visitors have claimed to feel uneasy or sad around her. Some say her eyes have a tendency to blink or follow people around the room. Her fingers and head move on their own as well.
If Mandy is as bad as some say, how did she become possessed in the first place? No one knows for certain. Although, there’s a possible legend. There is a story, which has the doll being trapped in a basement with a little girl. She died and supposedly her spirit became trapped within the doll. Many years after this allegedly happened the doll was found in the basement after hearing a child crying. When they found it, the doll was crying tears of blood. Don’t believe there is any evidence to prove this story to be fact or fiction as of now. Either way, it doesn’t stop people from flocking to Quesnel Museum, hoping to see Mandy put on a show.
Farquarte found himself as an apprentice without a mentor. As a last resort to save himself from starvation, he turned to the only dragon in the country. Old, lonely and crippled, Fechum the dragon reluctantly took him on for odd jobs around his cave. Rules and regulations concerning magical creatures (and to save his own skin from execution) led to Farquarte making the jump from human to dragon in human form. Then, his desires became the same as any Reptilians Dragonus....gold. An act of patricide and a twist of fate would lead Farquarte down a magical road filled with dwarves, elves, ghosts and the royal government to establish his new life.
I like a book that can make you think. We talk about the possibilities of creatures like the Loch Ness Monster or Bigfoot. Have you ever wondered what would happen if one was found, particularly alive? In the right hands, it would be protected. Treated with respect. in the wrong hands, exploited for every dime one could milk out of it. Dragon Creed really plays around with this ideology. Fechum is an intelligent creature who knows just how to capitalize on the Royal greed. Nessie wouldn't have a chance. Dragon Creed is the first book in a series of six or seven. In Book one, the reader follows the journey of Farquarte's transformation from human to dragon, laughing at every failed attempt to get this so called "sea legs".
Susie Hawes presents a very light and comical approach to oppression. I liked the storyline and characters to the point I can overlook the occasional spelling and grammar slip ups and plot and character holes. You barely notice them as you get pulled in to the story. It has my recommendation to any and all looking for a little dragon fun.
Lemon Tree Passage in Newcastle, New South Wales Australia is increasing becoming dangerous thanks to an alleged ghost. Port Stephens police are issuing more and more warnings to motorists driving 180km/h on this stretch of road, attempting to conjure the spirit of a 20-year-old motorcyclist.
Supposedly, a 20-year-old Salt Ash man died in a motorcycle accident at Tanilba Bay in Port Stephens. He and his male passenger were riding on Lemon Tree Passage Road when they collided with a four-wheel drive in November 2007. Now, legend dictates, if you travel along Lemon Tree Passage Road at incredibly high speeds, a light will appear in pursuit of people who drive dangerously. More and more people are testing this legend in order to film it for YouTube (do I smell a future episode of Fact or Faked?).
There are some who have tested the myth without the excessive speed and have seen the "ghost light". One should use their head. If you travel over a 100km/h to see a ghost light, you're likely to join it in the afterlife. If you live in this part of Australia or are planning to visit there, please DO NOT try to prove this legend fact. Obey all laws of the road.
Andrea Allisonon Sunday, August 15, 2010
Brown Mountain, Hornet, Marfa all have something in common. Mysterious lights appear at night and have left scientists baffled for many years. The first reported sighting was in 1966 by a carload of teenagers. In Paulding, Michigan, one such light exist. Is it headlights from a car? An airplane? A natural phenomena? It's true origins may or may not but unknown but sustains certain characteristics. The Light appears every night on Robins Pond Road. Some say it sits in a fixed position and changes shape. Others claim it moves. Some have described it being white, red, green or blue in color (red and white being the most common). If you walk or drive to the light's location, it vanishes. With an unknown phenomena comes various legends to explain it.
Some believe a railroad switch man, lantern in hand, was crushed to death between two cars while attempting to signal the train's engineer. Now, he is bound by that railroad tracks (which doesn't exist anymore) forever signaling those who pass by. Or perhaps it wasn't an accident. Maybe he was murdered.
Then again, if it is ghost, who's to say its that of a railroad switch man. Some think it's the ghost of a mail carrier. One day traveling by dog sledding he was mysteriously slain. All took place around a hundred years ago. If not a ghost, why not aliens? They seem to be responsible for a lot of the world's unknown phenomena.
And of course, what would a legend be if a variation didn't include the death of children. There's a story of two children, a boy and a girl, playing on the train tracks. They used lanterns to guide their way during this foggy night. A train approached them but they didn't hear it. Didn't even know of its existence until it was within a close proximity to their location and too late to do anything. They both died. The girl's head was decapitated. The boy was crushed under the train. The boy still goes back there every night to look for his beloved sister's head, using a lantern.
Syfy's Fact or Faked took on the task of explaining the lights and failed to find one. Do you think with enough research and/or experiments, the enigma of the Paulding Light will be put to rest?
What happens when a urban legend becomes reality? Cropsey: The Urban Legend is a spine-tingling documentary which peels back the layers of fact and fiction behind one of New York's most disturbing unsolved mysteries. When five children go missing on Staten Island, filmmakers Joshua Zeman and Barbara Brancaccio realize the cautionary tales of their youth may have come true.
Growing up on Staten Island, Zeman and Brancaccio had often heard the legend of "Cropsey" - the escaped mental patient who lived in the abandoned tunnels of the Willowbrook mental hospital and came at night to snatch children off the streets. "Cropsey" remained just that, an urban legend, until the summer of 1987 when a 13-year-old girl with Down syndrome disappeared from her neighborhood. Five weeks later, she was found buried in a shallow grave on the grounds of Willowbrook. Investigators soon link this case to four other missing children cases in the area - none of whom had been found. In CROPSEY, the filmmakers return to Staten Island to undertake their own investigation of the missing children, as well as the real-life boogeyman linked to their disappearances - convicted kidnapper, Andre Rand.
The film is slated to air this month as the world TV premiere on Friday the 13th @ 9 pm ET on Investigation Discovery (ID), sister network of the Discovery Channel, focused on fact-based investigative content about culture, history and the human condition.
Andrea Allisonon Friday, August 06, 2010
In late May, the infamous "Amityville Horror" house went up for sale with a $1.5 million price tag. Over two months later, a buyer was found. The Dutch Colonial at 108 Ocean Ave. was made famous by The Amityville Horror book and movies as well as being the site of the 1974 DeFeo murders.
The five-bedroom, 3.5-bath home went through extensive renovations including the boathouse, the bulk head, the central air conditioning, the gas heating system, the roof, the windows, the sprinkler system, the central stereo system, the deck and the patio by the current owners. Former owners changed the well known address from 112 Ocean Ave. to guard their privacy.
The house went in to contract this week. However, rumors dictate they live and are active in the community. It is believed the buyers are retirees David D'Antonio and his wife but neither has made a comment to confirm or deny it. At this time, this has not been confirmed. Details on how much was offered for the property has also not been released. Not all houses in contract make it to closing. There may still be hope for those looking to purchase the house that inspired a horror movie franchise.
"Once upon a time, an older man, tall in nature and dressed in black, entered in to the Rataskaevu Residence Hotel a.k.a. The Old House in the 16th Century. He approached the landlord inquiring about obtaining an apartment for a wedding. He offered to pay the landlord a substantial amount of money if one condition was met. Under no circumstances could the landlord enter, approach, or peek in on this utmost secret affair.
The landlord was broke and near suicidal. He eagerly agreed to the man's terms and offered him Apartment 6. Late in to the night, the landlord heard loud noises, people going up and down the stairs and ungodly racket from Apartment 6. He became intrigued to see why this wedding was cloaked in secrecy. He approached the door to Apartment 6. Falling to bended knee, he peered through the keyhole. What he saw would haunt him to the day he died. He fled from the door in sheer panic. He told his wife of what he witnessed. He said to her it was the devil. The Devil's Wedding. Soon after, the landlord died."
This legend has been attached to Rataskaevu 16 for centuries. It's unsure as to whether or not there's any truth to it. The late gothic styled building was constructed in 1370 by German merchants. Since then, has been owned by various famous Tallinn residents including Verner Duding, Hans Rotert, Hans Hothus, and Henricus Tunder. It is now owned by the National Heritage of Tallinn and was renovated in 2003. During the remodel, several items were found hidden in the walls, including coins, documents and, in one wall in the back of the Sushi House restaurant, which occupies the same building, human bones were allegedly uncovered in what’s now the employees’ room.
People passing this house late at night have heard unexplainable party noises. Supposedly, they only stopped because an owner, tired of the complaints, bricked up the window, but some say it was loud footsteps that led to this action. Is the Rataskaevu Residence Hotel really haunted or has there been too much fuel put in to this legend?