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

Ghostly Thirteen - 2011 in Review



Halloween Graphics - http://www.halloweentext.com


Ghostly Thirteen was inspired by the Thursday Thirteen meme. You list thirteen paranormal-related things, for example your top 13 posts (if you have a paranormal blog), mythical creatures, gods, haunted houses, etc... All is welcomed to participate by either leaving a comment or posting on your own blog. Theme is up to you as long as its paranormal related.

My Theme – Most Viewed Posts of 2011

1. Pennhurst State School and Hospital
2. Duckett Grove Castle
3. "Haunted" Swing
4. Haunted Collector Review
5. History of the Ouija Board
6. Hill View Manor
7. Three-Legged Lady Road
8. Reed Homestead
9. USS Olympia
10. Carey Mansion
11. The Legend of Lucy Keyes
12. Kolmanskop
13. The Ada Witch

2011 has been a good year. Can't wait to see what 2012 has to offer!

GS Question of the Week

Do you think aliens have ever been on the moon?

Krampus

On Christmas Day, most celebrate with presents, stockings and Christmas trees and traditionally believe the naughty kids receive lumps of coal for all the trouble they caused throughout the year. However, there are those who believe Santa Claus turns to a much darker character to dish out the punishment. Krampus is known throughout the world but mostly in Alpine regions like Austria and Hungary as a beast-like creature who enjoys punishing naughty children.

Descriptions of Krampus vary but he is mostly known to be devil-like. He is covered in brown or black hair with cloven hooves, long horns and a pointed tongue. He has also been described as a sinister gentleman in black or a man beast. He is known to swat at bad children with switches and chains and carry them away in baskets and bags.

His origins dates back to pre-Christian Germanic traditions, sharing characteristics with the satyrs of Greek mythology. Despite efforts to rid the world of this creature, Krampus figures continue to find its way in to our culture especially after being paired up with St. Nicholas. Since the 1800s, greeting cards containing humorous rhymes, poems and Krampus looming over naughty children have been exchanged. He is celebrated in Austria, Northern Italy, France, Finland, and other parts of Europe on Krampusnacht. People dress up as devils, wild men and witches and participate in Krampuslauf or Krampus Run. All dressed up carrying torches, they carouse through the streets terrifying both children and adults.

Here in America, Krampus has become apart of our culture. BLAB! Magazine curator Monte Beauchamp reintroduced his to Krampus cards in 2004 with his art books. Since then, a Krampus character has been featured on Adult Swim's The Venture Bros, CW's Supernatural and has made an appearance on The Colbert Report. The G4 channel created a Christmas commercial featuring Krampus in 2003. He has been seen in comics such as Chickenhare and Something Positive. U.S. cities such as Portland, Oregon and San Francisco, California participate in rare Krampusnacht celebrations.

As this evil St. Nicholas sidekick continues to grow in popularity you being to wonder, have you been naughty or nice this holiday season?

Clinton Road

photo via WeirdNJ.com
What elements does a road need to be labeled genuinely creepy? Isolated area? Thick forest on both sides? A dark history? Clinton Road in West Milford, New Jersey certainly would qualify. This ten mile stretch of curves and dips makes you feel like you’re millions of miles from civilization. Clinton Road along with the reservoir and brook received its name from the settlement Clinton, once located where it crosses the brook. The KKK and Satanists have all been known to worship in places near it. The woods next to Clinton Road was also the site of serial killer dumping ground. Richard “The Iceman” Kuklinski was a mob hitman who claimed to have murdered over hundreds of people but the one found near Clinton Road led to his 1986 arrest. The legends attached to the road attracts and terrifies all those who attempt to drive on it.

In 1905, a writer warned travelers to avoid the road due to reports of banditry and witchcraft. This was one of the earlier reports but certainly not the last. There are still stories of local cannibals. If you’re driving along the road and come to a fallen tree blocking your path, you must turn around immediately or you will be trapped and eaten.

One of the well known stories is of a boy at Dead Man’s Curve. He supposedly was playing on a bridge nearby and fell to his death on the jagged rocks below. They say his ghost haunts the spot. If you toss a coin over the edge of the bridge, it’ll be tossed back at you. Another report states the little boy tries to push visitors over the railing. Other ghost stories include a girl driving a phantom Camaro. She supposedly died in a fatal car crash in 1988 and if you mention of this story while driving at night, you risk triggering a manifestation. There are also reports of a phantom truck either white or red who chases people off the road. Some people claimed to have seen two park rangers who allegedly died on the job in 1939 while camping.

There are even reports of strange creatures seen on or beside the road. From hellhounds to unidentified hybrids, they are believed to be the survivors of Jungle Habitat, a nearby attraction that has been closed since 1976, who supposedly was responsible for crossbreeding local animals with wild animals. When the animal attraction closed, rumors state a lot of these animals were released into the local woods instead of being transported to another facility. Some claim the infamous Jersey Devil has made an appearance once or twice.

These are but only a handful of eyewitness accounts and stories told about Clinton Road. Does any of them hold a degree of truth? Or is this simply a road with a bad reputation?

Sneak Peek Tuesday: Sanctuary Season Finale

 

Magnus meets with the captain, whom for the most part has left Magnus and team alone from activities throughout the Sanctuary. Though as she’s escorted through the hangar, she suggests to the captain that things might have to change. As the group walks around the corner, they’re carefully approached by a group of abnormals and the officers quickly draw their weapons. Magnus and a representative confirm that they’re friends of the Sanctuary and that they only wish to speak to the Captain face to face. The officers are ordered to stand down and the Captain is asked for their support for the success of the mission. Tune in to Part 1 of the Season Finale this Friday, December 23 at 10/9c as the team races to prevent the unleashing of a doomsday weapon.

GS Question of the Week

True or False: There are actual reported sightings of the real Santa Clause.

Chernobyl

The Chernobyl Power Plant located outside the town of Pripyat, Ukraine (11 miles from the city of Chernobyl) began construction in the 1970s with the first reactor. Over the next few years three more reactors were added and two more were in the middle of construction at the time of the disaster. On April 26, 1986 at 1:23 a.m., the no. 4 reactor was shut down for maintenance. An experiment was being performed to test a safety emergency core cooling feature during the shut down procedure. It's uncertain as to what exact processes led to the explosions but a disruption in regulation seem to be a part of it.

The first explosion was that of steam. Steam from the wrecked channels entered the reactor inner space that caused the destruction of the reactor casing, tearing off and lifting by the force of 2,000 tons the upper plate. This ruptured further fuel channels, the reactor core suffered total water loss and a high positive void coefficient could entirely appear.The second explosions occurred seconds after the first. Some theorized the second explosion was caused by the hydrogen which had been produced either by the overheated steam-zirconium reaction or by the reaction of red-hot graphite with steam that produce hydrogen and oxygen. Others believed it was more nuclear or a thermal explosion of the reactor as a result of the uncontrollable escape of fast neutrons, caused by the complete water loss in the reactor core. Either way it was considered the worst nuclear power plant disaster in history. The fallout released was four times more than the atomic bombing of Hiroshima.

The explosions caused a chain reaction. The fire in Reactor 4 burned until May 10th, 1986 before it was finally extinguished thanks to Helicopters dropping sand and lead as well as injecting liquid nitrogen in to it. Radioactive particles were released in to the air. Smoke and wind carried it in to the nearby town as well as across international borders. Most of the radioactive fallout landed in Belarus. Light nuclear rain fell as far as Ireland. Over 336,000 people were evacuated. 600,000 people were exposed to radiation. Two people died in the initial steam explosion, but fifty-six people (47 accident workers and 9 children with thyroid cancer) directly died due to the disaster. There were as many as 4,000 cancer related deaths from those exposed to radiation. The nearby pine forest turned ginger brown and died earning the name "Red Forest". Horses left behind during the evacuation died due to destroyed thyroid glands. Some cattle also died but of those that survived, suffered stunted growth due to thyroid damage. Wild animals in the worst-hit areas either died or stopped reproducing.

After the disaster, all work on reactors 5 and 6 halted. Reactor 4 was sealed off with 660ft of concrete placed between the disaster site and operational buildings. A fire broke out in the turbine building of reactor 2 in 1991. It was declared beyond repair and shut down. Reactor 1 was decommissioned in November 1996 as part of a deal between the Ukrainian government and international organizations such as the IAEA. Then-President Leonid Kuchma personally turned off Reactor 3 in an official ceremony on December 15, 2000, shutting down the plant entirely.

The accident led to alleged governmental cover-ups and ghost towns. Pripyat has become somewhat a wildlife reserve. Most of those who were evacuated never came back. About 400 people were allowed to resettle in the Excursion Zone as along as they never request money or aid if they become ill. Since 2002, tours are provided for all those who want to see the infamous site.

Some believe aliens were involved with the disaster. Witnesses claimed to have seen a UFO hovering above the plant for six hours during the accident. Three years later, a Doctor Gospina stated he saw an "amber-like" object above the plant. A year after that, a reporter photographed an object similar to the one Gospina described hovering above the disaster site.

A creature known as the Black Bird of Chernobyl was also sighted days leading up to the disaster. It is described as a large black, bird like creature or a headless man with a 20 foot wingspan, and red eyes. It has been compared to that of the Mothman in Point Pleasant, West Virginia. This creature has not been seen since the disaster. People experienced horrific nightmares, threatening phone calls and first-hand encounters with the winged-beast. Did they really see an unknown creature or was it something out of nature such as the black stork? We may never know.

The Pripyat, the Chernobyl worker town, is believed to be haunted. People have had the feeling of being watched when walking past the city hospital. Considering it looks like the aftermath of an apocalypse, that feeling may be anything but supernatural. Apparitions and shadows are often seen. Some have even reported being touched. But could the spirits of its victims be roaming the affected areas? We'll find out on Wednesday during the first paranormal investigation of Chernobyl.

GS Question of the Week

What is a Pontianak?

Hanoverville Roadhouse

The main colonial-style structure was built around 1825. The rich soil and abundance of rain in this area of Bethlehem, Pennsylvania made it the perfect spot for a farmhouse. However, perhaps the location made it perfect for a lot of things. In 1837, the building was converted in to a hotel, general store, and post office complete with a stagecoach stop. The business remained very much the same through the Civil War in to the turn of the century.

When the 1930s rolled in, it transformed in to a restaurant, bar and hunting lodge. During the 1960s and 1970s, the building went through some construction. First floor walls were removed. A stage and two bars were built. Canned Heat from Woodstock fame and Tiny Tim both performed at the Roadhouse.

The Hanoverville Roadhouse may be known as a family dining establishment, but is it haunted? Its current owner Charles Oehlbeck believed it to be a possibility, leading to TAPS investigating the building. Most of the activity centers on a little boy. He is described as being around 8 or 10 years of age, dark hair and dark clothing who is often seen weeping. Witnesses have heard odd noises, voices and footsteps. Some have said the Roadhouse also has a bit of poltergeist activity.

TAPS concluded the activity was more “residual” rather than intelligent. Others may or may not agree with that conclusion, but it still leaves us with a question. If a boy truly haunts the Hanoverville Roadhouse, who is he?

Sneak Peek Tuesday - Fact or Faked/Haven/Being Human Teasers

 

In Fact or Faked, incredible videos continue to surface and the team is hard at work planning bigger experiments. Tune-in to the new season premiering next year to watch as the team is tasked to find out which new set of videos are… fact or faked!

 

In Haven, we see that Audrey has finally figured out that she’s not who (or what) she thought she was. Check on the all-new teaser and tune-in to the new Season of Haven premiering next year to find out exactly what happened to Audrey. -- Loved the Christmas episode! 

 

Josh is still dealing with keeping inside that one thing that sets the three roommates apart. Sally has let something into her world that she’s wishing she hadn’t and is after her. Aidan is still balancing being different like the other two, but he’s decided to give dating another try, and you’ll see whether or not he can keep his fangs to himself this time. Season 2 returns Monday, January 16th at 9/8c on Syfy!

GS Question of the Week

What is an Angel board?

Insight Review

Zondervan (April 12, 2011)
Paperback, 224 pages
ISBN: 0310723140
Young Adults – Ages 15 and up

Ordering Information
Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble, Christian Books

Some secrets won't let you go. Elvira Witsil lives about as far away from civilization as you can get, in a remote corner of Wisconsin where nothing much ever happens. In a house crowded with her mother, her cantankerous grandmother, and her little sister, Jessie, Elvira feels forgotten and alone. Their house also contains numerous secrets, and Elvira's family holds their secrets closely. Secrets about the father that Jessie never knew, and that Elvira can't forget. Secrets about that day five years ago. And the one secret that Elvira can't quite understand: that Jessie sees things no one else can see. These secrets will lead Elvira and her family on a journey far away from home---on a journey toward redemption and healing---if she can just bring herself to believe.

This is a nice coming-of-age story set in the 1940s during World War II. Well, it is suppose to be set during World War II. However, there are very few clues to remind you of that fact throughout the book. However, it’s rather well paced, making for an easy read.

Insight is the debut novel from Diana Greenwood and is rather Christian heavy. It’s mostly about the inner struggles of Elvira’s relationships with each member of her family as well as her relationship with God. I think the loose ends of her father’s death and her strained relationship with her mother wraps up way too quickly. Throughout most of the book Elvira blamed herself for her father’s death. The majority of interactions with her mother were tense. In one conversation, all that was cleared up. Doesn’t seem very realistic.

Also, I hated the mother throughout most of this book. She is bitter (some of which is directed towards her eldest daughter) for the most part who seduces a preacher to drive her and her family to California and uses her psychic daughter to get money. Then, towards the end, you get whiplash shifting to sympathy. I think if there were more sprinkles of clues concerning her true feelings it would have helped the reader understand her more.

Overall, it's a nice little book for a debut, but there is still room for improvement. I would recommend it for young adults.

The Red Onion Saloon



The founder of Skagway, Alaska, Captain William Moore, began cutting planks of wood in 1897 to construct the Red Onion Saloon. It opened for business in 1898. Visitors were served alcohol on the first floor while the second floor quenched another type of thirst. The brothel consisted ten cubicles, ten foot by ten foot, known as cribs. Each came with three exits and a hole in the floor connected to the cash register with copper tubing. In order to keep track of which girls were busy, the bartender kept ten dolls on the back bar, representing each girl. A customer would choose a girl and her doll was laid on its back to show she was “busy”. It was returned to an upright position after money (usually $5) was sent down the tube.

By 1899, business began to suffer. Most of the ladies moved north to be closer to gold fields and big gaming halls. When the railroad became the center of town, many buildings moved closer to the depot. The Red Onion made its big move from Sixth and State to Broadway in 1914. Only one horse was used to drag it but a miscalculation caused the front and the back of the building to be removed and switched.

During World War II, the building served as U.S. army barracks. It also housed a laundry, bakery, union hall, television station and gift shop. In 1980, Jan Wrentmore reverted it back to its saloon days, turning the second floor in to a brothel museum. Many items on display were found in the brothel.

The most well known resident ghost at the Red Onion Saloon is “Lydia”, one of the former madams. She is often seen watering the plants and likes to slightly push male employees and visitors. However, some believe there may be more than one roaming around the building. There are reports of footsteps on the 2nd floor, the smell of perfume, female voices, shadow, and cold spots.

For more information, visit their website at http://redonion1898.com.
 
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