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

Chimera House

I'm sure some of you have heard about a supposedly haunted house attraction the Chimera House or "13 Floor Money Back House" so frightening that no one has been able to complete a full tour of it. Sorry to burst your bubble but this house doesn't exist.

It started to circulate among the population around in the mid-1980s. Like most urban legends, there are many variations of this one. However, they have some common links. The location of this house is usually set in the South or Midwest, but it is believed this legend may have started in Kansas City. Some have it located in an actual supernatural location or an abandoned hospital. Rumor also has it that the haunted attraction Britannia Manor may have also been the inspiration for the Chimera House.

The "house" has a specified number of floors or levels (most of the time it's 13 floors), and visitors are charged an exorbitant fee for entering, but get back a specified dollar amount for each floor or level completed. Those who complete the full tour get back every cent they paid to get in. In the same breath, however, one hears that no one has yet managed this feat — this place has proved to be too scary for those who've accepted the challenge in the past. The alleged horrors one can find in this house are deadly/poisonous animals, paranormal activity, and even deformed humans. Some versions include that a few visitors never came out of the exit and were later found dead on the top floor.

Many have filled the need for the interest in this legend. Richard Garriott, the creator of the Ultima series of computer games, use to Halloweenify his home and open it to the public. For fours years, 200 guests a night were allowed to explore the interactive theme park for free, witnessing a real-life sword-and-sorcery adventure, complete with monsters and mayhem.

Amusement parks even join in on the fun, turning into a fright-themed after-dark attraction. Of course, not everyone is looking for the ultimate scare. A woman in January 2000 filed a $15,000 lawsuit against Universal Studios in Florida, claiming their annual Halloween Horror Nights was too scary. Ms. Cleanthi Brooks, 57, said she knew it would be scary but not that scary. She said that when she and her granddaughter were visiting the Florida Park in 1998, an employee wielding a (chainless) chainsaw chased them toward an exit, with the result that they slipped on a wet spot and suffered unspecified physical injuries.

I believe the Chimera House will never be found, but think of the haunted attractions you may discover while looking for it.

Source: 

Snopes

Wikipedia - Chimera House

Gravedigger's Local 16

Oliver House

Today, the Oliver House in Bisbee, Arizona serves as a bed and breakfast to guests of all kinds. In 1909, it was built to accommodate Calumet & Arizona Mining Company executives. Mining tycoon Henry Oliver's wife Edith Ann Oliver oversaw the construction of the 12 room red brick structure in 1908. Since then, it has been a residence, boarding house, and business office. The building may have a pleasant appearance but also a violent past. There have been allegedly 27 deaths (mostly murders) on the property. The actual number can not be verified due to fires destroying historical records.

One known murder is that of a miner named Nathan Anderson. On February 22, 1920, Nathan attended a social affair, walked a woman home and had a light supper prior to returning to his room in the Oliver House. Approaching the door of Room 13, an unknown assailant shot Nathan three times and fled the scene. Some believed a theft a day prior to the murder may have been connected. However, most believe his murder was more personal. The story circulating say Anderson was having an affair with the wife of a man he owed money to. That man discovered the affair and decided to confront Anderson and settle things with a pistol. His murder remains unsolved.

Alleged cheating and murder seems to be a theme at the Oliver House. It is believed a mass murder may have taken place on the property as well. Supposedly, in 1932, the wife of a police officer chose the formerly known "The Blue Room" at the Oliver House as the place to have an affair. One night, her husband tracked her down. He killed his wife and her lover in the bed they shared. There is a bit of a dispute as to what happened next. Some say the policeman killed a lot of people out of panic, trying to get out of the building. Then, committed suicide once he was out of town. Others say the policeman went on a rampage. Killed his wife, lover and anyone else he could find before committing suicide.

Another reported death wasn't considered violent at all. An older woman passed away of natural causes in what is known as "The Grandma Room". When Dennis Schranz bought the Oliver House in 1986, he removed a rocking chair and a coo coo clock from this room. Why? This woman is believed to haunt the room. She loved to make the rocking chair rock and a broken coo coo clock chime at 2 am. People who have spotted her ghost have reported she smiles and winks before disappearing. All sounds rather benevolent, right? After her two favorite items were removed, she became a bit violent, hitting a little boy who was sleeping in her room.

This is by far not the only reported paranormal activity at the Oliver House. A shadow figure is often seen around Room 13 where Nathan Anderson was murdered. People have described hearing the sound of firecrackers followed by footsteps, running down the hall. Doors and shutters open and close by themselves. Witnesses have heard voices, running water as well as work being done on pipes that no longer exist, furniture moves on their own, feelings of being watched, cold spots, sounds of parties on the second floor when no one was there.

The Oliver House was up for sale last year. Not certain if anyone purchased it or not, but their Tumblr page has plenty of photos of the property.

Sources:

Haunt Spot

4 Girls and a Ghost

Legends of America

Vintage Vampire Stories Review

Skyhorse Publishing, May 1, 2011
Paperback, 320 pages
ISBN-10: 1616082348
Ordering Information: 

Long lost to the public in out-of-print pulp magazines, dusty Victorian anthologies, and the pages of now defunct newspapers these vintage vampire stories have truly proved immortal. Resurrected now for the year 2011, this is a stunning collection of nineteenth-century vampire stories by heavyweights such as Sabine Baring-Gould and Bram Stoker. 

These 15 rare stories are arranged in chronological order from 1846 to 1913 and are compiled by two of the world’s leading vampire anthologists and experts. Also included are rare images of Bram Stoker’s handwritten manuscript pages for Count Vampire (1890) courtesy of the Rosenbach Museum & Library in Philadelphia.

Now, it took me awhile to finish this book but I'm finally starting to get caught up on my reviews. This book didn't grasp my attention as much as I would have liked. 

I was looking forward to reading other author's interpretations of the vampire pre-Dracula. The way they look. How they feed on human life. Most tales weren't what some have come to known as "traditional". "A Kiss of Judas" written by Julian Osgood Field could easily be the subject of a Supernatural episode. However, this book has a couple of things working against it. Some stories have a rather....long winded feel to them, a lot of telling versus showing. Makes reading them all that more tedious. 

I must add this collection needs some serious editing. There were way too many misspellings to overlook. I spotted some words that didn't fit with the prose such as "clay" instead of "day" and "of" instead of "or". Each tale was accompanied by a short introduction about the author separated from story except in the case of Morley Roberts' "The Blood Fetish". For some reason, the Appendix font is tiny compared to the rest of the book. Not sure why (maybe to save space?).

Vintage Vampire has some interesting versions on this type of monster. However, if this kind of prose is not something you are use to, prepare to fight through it. 
 
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