Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Ghost Hunters International & Face Off

Tonight on Syfy are new episodes of "Ghost Hunters International" and "Face Off."


The Ghost Hunters International team is off to Italy in this week's episode to find out if an Italian prison's most famous inmate is guilty of paranormal crimes. In the sneak peek, the team is investigating inside of the prison when they being to hear noises and feel like someone or something is watching them. When Susan claims to have seen a black blob fly through the air, Paul has his doubts since it is a dead end. As they are debating however, they both see something. Is it the prisoner or is it just their mind playing tricks on them?



On Face Off, the contestants are tashed with creating a character worthy of a Tim Burton film to be judged in front of Burton film veteran Catherine O'Hara. As the contestants get down to work, Ian notices that Sue had the same idea when it cam to designing their character. Will Ian change his idea or will he take his chances?

The Wacky Redhead's Agenda

(Taken this morning on my day off, heading out to Starbucks in flannel)

Lots of things under-wraps until I shock and surprise you, probably the end of next week. No doubt, y'all will be saying "that minx!"

In the mean time, Julie and I are going on a very cool UFO hunt in the desert with TGAPH/Desert Paranormal on Saturday.

A brilliant astronomy friend told me about a cool site. Just go online and look for latitude and longitude of your city and then punch it in. You can find out each night where the satellites, space station, and iridium flares are occurring. This helps so when you're out there staring at the sky and see something, you can eliminate the explainables.

Next week, Julie and I will be going on a top secret mission that will result in some awesome photos, videos and crazy stories. We are a regular Lucy and Ethel, plotting and planning.

I have some wicked cool events coming up that I will share with y'all and the release of our book in April as well as hopefully the contract for the "Growing Up With Ghosts" book I just completed. I am beginning the work on Paranormal Geeks book soon, so if y'all are paranormal geeks of any degree, please email me. I need more people to interview anonymously! I can be found at ghosthuntngtheories@gmail.com

On Sunday night, I will be live blogging on Bigfoot Evidence about the F'ing Bigfoot episode and then reviewing the show on Monday morning, followed in the afternoon by a new LAUGH episode about the show going after the insane Wylie Coyote methods they use to flush BF from the forest.

I expect to be covering more in the UFO and Bigfoot worlds this spring/summer, as well as some interesting ghost hunts and hopefully managing to do some vlog hosting about these adventures and talking face-to-face to y'all. Expect me to share what a real BF hunt is like and do a series of under 5-minute documentaries about these crazy excursions.

So, that's what's up with the wacky redhead--well, some of it. A girl needs a few secrets.


Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Sex and the Single Ghost Hunter: The Simplest Thing


I was as indoctrinated into a female dream world as most women, reading romance novels, watching romantic comedies, and plotting out a dream wedding some day.

Life has a way of ruining just about everything you imagined it would be. Instead, I married someone who didn't have a romantic or charming bone in his body.  I settled for having a justice of the peace wedding and catered my own reception. I was not told I was beautiful or given compliments. And, when I caught a cold or flu, he threw his arms into the air and grumbled, "Oh great! Now I'm going to get sick!"

It should have broken me and made me bitter. Instead, it left a hunger in me. A hunger for the tiniest gesture of kindness and caring; not because of obligation, duty and chore, but because I somehow evoked tenderness in a man. 

It was only this year that I had the single most romantic moment of all the moments of my entire life combined. For anyone else, it would make no sense why it was utterly captivating, but after a lifetime of being ignored and not nurtured with loving gestures, the tight knot in my belly loosened, my defenses dropped, and I felt a little sob of relief deep within as if the universe finally heard my deepest desire, to provoke a loving gesture from a man in an unguarded moment.

What was this romantic gesture? It wasn't a compliment or flattery. It wasn't flowers or candies.

I was cooking supper, getting it onto the plates when he reached over and brushed the hair from my face in a gesture that was so natural and unguarded that it showed caring on his subconscious level. It was no flirty pat on the butt or compliment about how good the meal smelled. No, it was affection. True affection. Something I had never received. And, the single happiest moment with a man that I can ever recall.



Yes, men, it might seem that women expect so much from you; put the seat back down, pick up your dirty clothes, quit buying video games, and take me out for supper now and then, but it still boils down to this - we're really just feeling hurt for a lack of nurturing.

Women are caretakers from the moment we first bundle up a baby doll. Men grow up, marry and end up being treated like they are still with their mommy. Women don't have mommies when we grow up. We are the mommies. Sometimes, when we have had about enough of responsibilities and everyone else coming first, one tiny little gesture of mothering can make our hearts melt and replenish us.

I know you're going to ask me about the man. No, we are not an item. But, he will always be in my heart for giving me something I dreamed about since I was a girl approaching womanhood. For that, he is a romantic hero and a very fine man. And, I dare to dream again.

Paranormal Radio

There are a lot of paranormal radio shows. They are quite the rage. The most famous AM version is Coast to Coast with host George Noory. Anyone in the industry and any subject relating to the paranormal is handled on this very popular show. Some day, it's my goal to be a guest.

If you move to the Internet, paranormal radio takes off. I was on ParaEncounter's radio program Paranormal Head Rush and hope to be on there again soon. It was a fun program with a perky and intelligent hostess, Debbie. They have a wide variety of paranormal shows on there docket.

Darkness Radio is another very big and popular online radio program. They travel to haunted locations and encourage their listeners to come along.

Here are some more to look into:
Planet Paranormal
Para X Radio
The Paracast

I suggest everyone consider spending an evening, plugging into one of these programs and seeing how nice it is listen to a variety of experts on subjects and stimulating back and forth about the topics. It really is the new age of radio.

Nordic Music Videos Rock!

I make no bones about the fact that I ADORE Scandinavian horror, but I find myself equally impressed by their music videos. The music often sounds like the 80s revisited, but the visuals are outstanding.

Here are some amazing examples that will totally mesmerize you. This Swedish lead singer group iamamiwhoami has become a bit of a mystery.

 


Sigur Ros "Viorar Vel Til Loftarasa" (award-winning Icelandic band)



Röyksopp (Norway band "What Else Is There?")



Chisu (Finnish band, "Sabotage")



Best Scandinavian music video went to Torgny "The Only Game"


 Y'all are right - Techno Viking (my biggest crush) is on here now -

How Does Prometheus Tie Into Alien Series?

Some folks have speculated that the upcoming movie "Prometheus" is a prequel to "Alien" and "Aliens," movies, but this may not be true. Before you read much further, you might want to know that what Ridley Scott (director) has to say about the movie might be a bit of a spoiler -

“When the first 'Alien' movie and 'Blade Runner' were made, I thought that in the near future the world will be owned by large companies. This is why we have the Tyrell Corporation in Blade Runner, and Weyland-Yutani in 'Alien.' They sent the Nostromo spaceship. The Prometheus is owned by an entrepreneur called Peter Weyland, and is played by Guy Pearce. That’s the connection between the two films, and nothing more. 'Prometheus' is a new film, a new world, and is full of new ideas. And of course new monsters as well."

I'll be honest, I'm glad it stands on its own and has new creatures, new world and all. I adore the way Ridley Scott does SciFi on other planets--it's just so gritty and the proportions are all distorted as it would be in land without our biologic basis. I love the lack of color, hard man-made steel versus creatures with no conscience - brilliant! It is slated to come out in June and I cannot wait! Some movies must be seen on the big screen and anything Ridley Scott does - yeah, it's a requirement. 

Here you go- have your film of Ridley Scott in these movies -

 

Monday, February 27, 2012

Zombie Housewives


Don't forget--Julie and I's book "Zombie Housewives of the Apocalypse" comes out this spring in print. Part of the fun is the promotional stuff. We are making magnets and stickers, but these bookmarks totally ROCK! We have our zombie shop open on CafePress with lots of totally cool graphics pertaining to the zombie housewives.

I even had to get one of our shirts just because, well, I thought it'd be a real mind fuck - and it is -


Nazi-Themed Over-the-Top Horror Movies

Let's face it, Nazis just set themselves up for awesome horror movie subjects. Here's just a few examples. 


Iron Sky
The Nazis set up a secret base on the moon in 1945 where they hide out and plan to return to power in 2018.



Dead Snow
A ski vacation turns horrific for a group of medical students, as they find themselves confronted by an unimaginable menace: Nazi zombies.



The Keep Nazis guard a citadel that harbors a dangerous force that starts wreaking havoc and death upon them, forcing an uneasy alliance with a Jewish professional who can stop it.

 

Shock Waves Visitors to a remote island discover that a reclusive Nazi commandant has been breeding a group of Zombie soldiers.

The High Fashion of Adventure

Urban exploring, Urban Decay Makeup, Urban Outfitters, Banana Republic, Eddie Bauer, Cabelas, Army Surplus, Destination Truth, Finding Bigfoot, and many more influences at this point in time converge to create a desire to outfit ourselves in Safari, camouflage and camping gear.










Urban Decay Dustin Nude Lip Gloss $19

 Shows and movies to inspire exploration


 

Weirdest Serial Killer's Nicknames

 The Shoe-Fetish Killer

I remember the 70s and the lots of weird serial killers of that era. Sometimes, their names were horrifying and other times, so innocent that it was hard to believe the press couldn't collectively give them better names. Here's just some of the ones that seriously make you wonder what the hell they did to get that moniker....  

The Happy Face Killer Keith Hunter Jesperson - Keith Hunter Jesperson (born 6 April 1955) is a Canadian-born American serial killer known as the "Happy Face Killer" for the smiley face he drew on his many letters to the media and prosecutors. He had a violent and troubled childhood under a domineering, alcoholic father. Treated like an outcast by his own family and teased by other children for his large size at a young age, Jesperson was a lonely child who howed a propensity for torturing and killing animals. Despite consistently getting into trouble in his youth, including twice attempting to kill children who had crossed him, Jesperson graduated from high school, secured a job as a truck driver, got married, and had three children. In 1990, after 15 years of marriage, Jesperson was divorced and saw his dream to become a Royal Canadian Mounted Policeman dashed following an injury. It was that year, after returning to truck driving, that Jesperson began to kill. Jesperson is known to have killed eight women over the course of five years. Strangulation was his preferred method, the same method he often used to kill animals as a child.  

The Shoe-Fetish Slayer Jerry Brudos - Jerome Henry "Jerry" Brudos (January 31, 1939 – March 28, 2006) was an American serial killer and necrophiliac, also known as "The Lust Killer" and "The Shoe Fetish Slayer". Brudos was born in Webster, South Dakota, and was the youngest of four sons. His mother had wanted a girl and would dress Brudos in girl's clothing. In 1961, he married a 17-year-old girl, with whom he would father two children, and settled in a Salem, Oregon suburb. He asked his new bride to do housework naked except for a pair of high heels while he took pictures. It was at about this time, however, that he began complaining of migraine headaches and "blackouts", relieving his symptoms with night-prowling raids to steal shoes and lace undergarments. He kept the shoes, underwear, and (for a time) the bodies of his victims in a garage that he would not allow his wife to enter without first announcing her arrival on an intercom that Brudos had set up.Between 1968 and 1969, Brudos bludgeoned and strangled four young women. The only initial evidence was witness sightings of a large man dressed in women's clothing. In the garage of his Salem, Oregon home, Brudos kept trophies from his victims, expressly two pairs of amputated breasts that were used as paperweights and the left foot of a 19-year-old girl named Linda Slawson (his first murder victim) which he used to model the shoes he collected. After committing a murder, he would dress up in high heels and masturbate.  

The Singing Strangler Edward Leonski - A self-described "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde," Leonski was a U.S. Army private stationed in Australia during World War II, convicted and sentenced to die for strangling three women in Melbourne. The first victim was Ivy McLeod, found dead on the night of May 2, 1942, after leaving a tavern for home. A week later, Pauline Thompson was murdered in similar fashion, with Gladys Hosking joining the list on May 28. A fourth woman was also accosted, but the killer unaccountably left her alone when she threatened to call the police. Suspicion focused on American servicemen after an Australian sentry reported sighting a GI in blood-stained clothing on May 28. Troops in Melbourne were assembled on parade, for an inspection, and the sentry picked Leonski from the lineup. Under questioning, the stocky Texan made a full confession , telling his interrogators of a twisted fascination with the female voice. "That's why I choked those ladies," he explained. "It was to get their voices." Pauline Thompson had sung for Leonski on their last date, and he recalled that "Her voice was sweet and soft, and I could feel myself going mad about it." Dubbed the "Singing Strangler" in the press, Leonski filed a plea of not guilty by reason of insanity . Convicted at his court martial and sentenced to die for his crimes, the defendant was hanged on November 9, 1942.

Others with crazy names -
The Pied Piper of Phoenix
The Tourist From Hell
Bluebeard
Nebraska Fiend
The Casanova Killer
The Mad Biter
The Gorilla Murderer
The Toybox Killer
The Vampire Rapist
The Skid Row Slasher
The Gay Slayer
The Lipstick Killer

Matterhorn and Yeti


After Disney did Pirates of the Caribbean ride into a movie and Haunted Mansion, you kind of knew that the Matterhorn and Yeti was going to be next.  

MATTERHORN tells the story of five young thrill seekers who venture into the Alps and face off with Yetis who guard an ancient secret. Disney is the studio behind this one which was at first thought to be based on one of their theme park rides called The Matterhorn, the scope of the project has since been broadened.

Let's just hope it isn't like this -


Sunday, February 26, 2012

Finding Bigfoot Tee?


So, what do y'all think. Should Cliff's line become a tee?

Finding Bigfoot Tonight On Animal Planet


Be sure to check out my LAUGH episode before this post--I made a little fun of Matt's insane theories.

Tonight the F'ing Bigfoot show is a "best of" episode. Yes, I will be living blogging this one on Bigfoot Evidence at 1 am EST. Remember, that Cliff's blog has wonderful wrap-ups of the shows. I will not do a review tomorrow because, well, it's a best of episode.

Tonight's snack?

Buffalo Wraps:  Mix buffalo wing sauce and ranch sauce (1 part to 3 parts). Take a large leaf of lettuce, lay down a slice of thin cut deli turkey atop of it, place a carrot stick on the edge, and roll it up and dip into the sauce.

LAUGH: Finding Bigfoot Matt's Theories


This is another in my series poking loving fun at the paranormal-reality shows. This time, the focus is my favorite show, “Finding Bigfoot” and most especially the team leader, Matt Moneymaker who, well, gives me a lot of material to work with and his nemesis, Ranae (the skeptic).

In the dark forest, Matt and Ranae are teamed on a hillside, sitting it out for the night.

Ranae: (comes to a stop) Look, it's a dead deer.

Matt: Don't move! There's a squatch around here. (searching around them in the dark forest) This kill is new. Squatches kill deer for food.

Ranae: But, Matt, this deer hasn't been touched.

Matt: (snarls) It would have eaten it, but we scared him away.

Ranae: This thing has rigor mortis. It died long ago. It doesn't have any cuts or bleeding. It might have fallen off that rock ledge up there and broken its neck.

Matt: I'm telling you, it's part of a master plan by the squatch. (points a finger in the air) He kills a deer and leaves it here as a snack for later on. It's like we're standing in a pantry for the squatch. (coyote howls and he startles and steps back).

Ranae: (sighs) Coyote.

Matt: No! Shh! (listens) That's a squatch! Don't let him fool you. He sounds like a coyote to confuse the humans.

Ranae: Why would a squatch do that? How would his own kind know it's him?

Matt: (chuckles knowingly) See, that is exactly what he wants you to assume. He has his own language in Coyote talk.

Ranae: (rolls her eyes and crosses her arms, shaking her head) There's a school for that?

Matt: Don't ever underestimate squatches. See these trees around us?

Ranae: Yeah.

Matt: Squatches can impersonate them!

Ranae: Trees? Really?

Matt: (points to a row of trees) He could be any one of those. They stay real still and you think they're a tree. They're watching us, I tell you. They're all around us. (backs up into a tree and whimpers and jumps away from it)

Ranae (giggles) Yeah, I think that maple over there has its eyes on you.

Matt:  (grabs her hand) Don't point at them! When they know that we know that they're there, they will use their minds to mesmerize us and make us forget the encounter.

Ranae: (twitching smile) Like those boys in Men in Black with their little light pen?

Matt:  Where do you think that movie got that idea, hmm? (raises his eyebrow) Much of the things we consider fiction on TV are facts that Bigfoot is hiding from us by making it look fictionalized.

Ranae: Wait, so you're saying Bigfoot is controlling my TV viewing? I wish I knew that because those Real Housewives shows are making me go nuts. I really need to find me one so I can explain what women really want to watch. (walks away into the woods with Matt rushing up on her heels)

Matt: (clutching her arm) W-where are we g-going?

Ranae: Matt, I am going to try my hand at a squatch call.

Matt: No! You'll do it all wrong. Female squatches do not holler.

Ranae: They don't?

Matt:  Of course not! Everyone knows the female of the species is always a tattletale. They would give away the location and all the family secrets. It's up to the big strong men to keep the tribe in line.

Ranae: Okay, Moneymaker, now you've crossed the line. It's one thing to make a bunch of idiotic assumptions about a creature that has yet to be proven to exist, but it's another thing to use your own caveman thoughts about women to support those insane theories.

(Matt cowers)

Ranae: (takes a breath, fists clenched) Too-many-big-words-for-you?

Matt: (twig snaps nearby) Shh! (cocks his ear)

Ranae: (looks through the nightvision goggles) Oh look, it's Bobo!

Matt: That's not Bobo! That's just what Squatch wants you to think.

Ranae: Well, it would appear that squatch is wearing a T-shirt from a bar in South Carolina and a hat that says "Gone Squatchin".

Matt: Oh God. It's just what I thought!

Ranae: What?

Matt: Squatch has knocked Bobo over the head and stole his clothes. He's going to try to impersonate him. Don't let him know that we're on to him.

Bobo: Hey guys! (chomping on a bagel)  Cliff is at base camp and we're ready to wrap it up. I realized you didn't have the walkies, so I thought I'd come and tell ya.

Matt:  So, you're saying you want us to go with you? (shakes his head "no" at Ranae)

Bobo: That'd be the plan, man.

Ranae: Come on, Bobo. Let's go to base camp (takes his arm)

Bobo: (turns to Matt) Are you comin' boss man?

(Matt nods and cautiously follows)

Bobo: You know, Ranae, it felt like it would be squatchy tonight but we didn't see a single squatch. Did you two see a squatch?

Matt: Yes, we did, actually.

Bobo: (pivots and looks back) Really? How close did he get?

Matt: (nods) About as far away from me as you are. In fact, exactly that far. (pulls a banana from his pocket and waves it in the air) Would you like a snack, tall man?

Bobo: No thanks. I still got my bagel.

Matt: But your kind loves bananas. You are closer to ape than man.

Bobo: My kind? Hey, are you calling me an ape?

Ranae: (takes Bobo's arm and leads him down the trail) Don't ask. Do me a favor, will you? Give me your best Bigfoot call.

(Bobo stops and cups his hands, letting out a long loud howl)

Matt: Oh God! Run Ranae! He's calling on his clan! (takes off running into the hills)

Bobo: (shrugs) I had no idea he hated my family so much. 



Urban Exploration's Top Photographers


(Moscow) Garik Alexandrovich


(Moscow)  George Lanchevsky,

(Toronto)  Tom Ryaboi

Check out some of the best in the world here

Do you want to start the exciting and amazing hobby of urban exploration and photography? Well, you might start with this ebook by an expert (free). It is called Urban Exploration Photography by Neil Ta.

There is also Julie and I's book photographing and doing psychic reads on 12 abandoned locations - 





Also, our book "Kickin' Up Dust (Getting Lost To Find Ourselves)" that chronicles our crazy road treks and personal growth in the process of urban exploring.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Photography: Rename It: Reframe It


Corn fields are green and yellow, right? Not if you wait until sunset and take only a partial picture to give a glimpse and a hint of the entire field. Instead of taking a picture of a corn field, I reframed the scene by renaming it, "hiding in a cornfield at sunset." This perspective is a chilly autumn evening, the promise of a coming cold Halloween night. By naming your picture when taking it, you have just told a story. I could have taken a shot of a whole corn field, but we've all seen them. How many have hidden in the dark cool recessed as the sun leaves them in the dark? Show the viewer something vaguely familiar, but in a way they have never seen it.


It was just an abandoned jail; rectangular walls, metal bars, occasional window. I could have recalled this place with straight on shots of a room with bars and a cot. That would be a shot of a prison cell, like thousands of others taken. What do I recall from this place? Tight spaces, hardly any light, feelings of desperation. Hence, the shot up the stairs of the only light--as seen by someone having claustrophobia. I called it "chased up the jail stairs."


I could have lined the team up for a happy shot in front of a bar in Tombstone, but that's now how we would remember the trip. This is how we remember it, wandering down the empty street at sunset as if we were outlaws. It was hot. Our shadows were long. We ruled that town at that moment. Instead of "us in Tombstone" it was renamed and reframed as "Sunset in Burning Tombstone."

I hope I've helped y'all to think outside the box. To look at a place, look at the mood, tell a story with a photo. Decide on things, whether it's "bored dog on an afternoon" or "too tall building." Now, imagine the shots you would make with those titles. See? It's that simple.

Indie Horror: You Need To See

"Spiral" A reclusive telemarketer, whose dysfunctional friendship with his boss is alleviated when a whimsical co-worker enters his life. But as he begins to sketch his new friend's portrait, disturbing feelings from his past threaten to lead him down a path of destruction. Starring Joel David Moore and Amber Tamblyn (Joan of Arcadia).


"Automaton Transfusion" In the early 1970's when everyone in America was worrying about what was going on in Vietnam, the Unites States Army was secretly developing a way to reanimate the dead. The hope was to have the dead fight instead of the living, but the experiments were shut down when the reanimated corpses were unable to control their hunger for human flesh. Thirty years later the army has decided to reopen the project. Grover City, because of its remote location, would be the home of their main testing facilities. Without warning the experiments go horribly wrong in Grover City and the DEAD are now on the rampage, eating everyone in sight.





"Splinter" Trapped in an isolated gas station by a voracious Splinter parasite that transforms its still living victims into deadly hosts, a young couple and an escaped convict must find a way to work together to survive this primal terror.



Of course, with all these fantastic indie films, especially zombie ones, a girl can hope some smart indie filmmaker notes an up and coming book in April entitled "Zombie Housewives of the Apocalypse."

Skateboarding ala 1970s


It dates me, but I got a skateboard around 10 years of age and there were no other skateboarders in my area in the East Coast. I knew kids in California were using them, but it was a mystery. It's hardly like the Sonny and Cher show or even Brady Bunch portrayed the tricks and the culture on TV.

So, I taught myself to skate and made up tricks and gave them crazy names like "upsy daisy" and "woo-woo curb hug" and "over and under." Little did I know at the time, I was already doing the tricks the skaters in California in drained swimming pools were perfecting.

Times are changing for skaters. Here's an interesting recent article; A mobile app studio has invented a skateboard that takes commands direct from the rider's brainwaves. Called the 'Board of Imagination' the device is able to travel at up to 30mph using an 800-watt motor, the rider simply needs to imagine where they want to go and how fast and the board will take them there. "The headset sends the signals from the rider's brain to [the tablet] via a USB connector that comes with the headset," said the general manager who goes by the moniker 'Whurley'. "From there, software on the board interfaces with the electric motor via a 'phidget', which is basically a plug-and-play, low-cost USB sensing and control unit."The general manager of Chaotic Moon Labs, who refers to himself simply as Whurley, shows that he has mastered the art of thinking his way from Point A to Point B. So far, he's the world's leading pilot of the board, but it's clear that there could be skaters thinking themselves all over the place in no time at all. 

For me, skateboarding was purely a way to "surf" on land. I dreamed of being Gidget and living in the golden land of California and I listened to Beach Boys obsessively. 

I did a few other sports extensively (tomboy); diving, swimming, gymnastics, tennis, basketball, freestyle rollerskating, dance, but nothing ever came close to the feel of a skateboard and a long stretch of promising pavement. Just look at this video and tell me you don't get nostalgic -

Terrifying Book About Ted Bundy


Terrible Secrets: Ted Bundy On Serial Murder by Robert D. Keppel and Stephen G. Michaud is an ebook on Kindle that is 60,000 words of spine-chilling facts from the Sheriff detective who investigated him extensively.

This book has dozens of previously unreleased photos and hours of audio and video from the case that unfolded as Bundy raped and killed from coast to coast from 1969 to 1974. It also includes a hand drawn map of a hillside where Bundy said he buried some bodies. The serial killer hinted at having killed over 100. It is a mystery that still remains.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Going Ape For Horror Movies



1943 "The Ape Man" with Bela Lugosi



 1933 "King Kong"



1968 "Planet of the Apes"


1969 "Night of the Bloody Apes"



1995 "Congo"


1949 "Mighty Joe Young"


 ...and, venturing into ape-man -


1970 "Trog"

Abandoned Amusement Park

 
History: Heritage USA opened in Fort Mill, SC, in 1978, and by the mid-eighties drew in six million visitors each year. In 1986, Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker's Heritage USA was the third most-visited amusement park in the US, behind only Disney World and Disneyland. Now the park that once entertained millions of guests is falling to pieces, and looks more like the scene from a post-apocalyptic movie than a place for family fun.

After scandals regarding Falwell's fundraising efforts to build the park's never-completed hotel and the IRS's revocation of its tax-exempt status, Heritage USA was hit by another, more physical blow. Hurricane Hugo wreaked havoc on the park's buildings in 1989, and Heritage closed for good shortly afterward.

Are You Ready For the Summer?

It's in the upper 70s/low 80s here in the desert, so I am getting summer fever big time. The means putting on some of my favorite movies that inspire me about warm weather and fun. Some movies to
inspire you about warm weather -

   

This also means that I have ordered this swimsuit and beach coverup to wear on a girl's road trip to Galveston-- heaven help me the next 20 weeks of rigid programming to be decent to wear this in public. Talk about motivation!

I also purchased some camping equipment including this awesome camping chair to use for UFO hunting and Bigfoot hunting, which I will be taking y'all along with me on by video and pics -



I planted my heirloom tomatoes, herbs, green beans today. Yes, it is spring here in AZ. Right now, I'm harvesting my winter purple spinach and lettuces.

You might only be able to dream about summer where you are, but consider turning the heat to a high setting and having a cool drink while watching some summer-inspired movies and maybe sit inside the window with the sunlight hitting you and dream while listening to Reggae music.

**Tonight is Deadliest hospitals and hotels on Ghost Adventures on Travel Channel--if you're in the mood for Zak Baggy Pants and the Scooby Douche team's antics.**

Sex and the Single Ghost Hunter: It's Raining Men!


Single life is surprisingly a LOT like Bridget Jones. I used to watch that movie when I was married and envy her, even the moments of focusing on her weight and eating ice cream, getting drunk, and making a fool of herself. Whether she made it or not was totally up to her. Love? It could be just around the corner! And, so could heartache.

I thought when I became single that it would be raining men. I would hang out a shingle saying "this gal is single," and they would hover at my front door. So, maybe not so much.



I learned a lot along the way about where NOT to meet men.  

Bars. Anyone who is having some drinks and relaxing with his buddies, looks across the place and sees me, has a few counts against him. One count is that he chose me purely for my looks. That means his cock is making his decisions in women. The other count against him is the odds. What are the odds that in a bar of 80 women, 50 of whom are single, 22 who are of the right age range, that he found the love of his life out of 22 possible women in one location in a few hours' time?

Singles Sites. I know some people will quote eHarmony and Match.com's records, but honestly these people are strangers coming with no pedigree, no frame of reference, no person that can vouch for them. They come from all over town, all lines of work, all marital and non-marital situations, all bad habits and deal breaker conditions, and it's like spitting in the dark and hoping to hit a target.

Online.  As many amazing men as I have met online, they are all over the country and world and there comes a time when one must decide whether to pursue a real-life meeting. Even, after knowing each other for months, sometimes years, meeting in person is a whole new dimension that can ruin everything. Chemistry isn't always guaranteed and then life situations--who is the one who has to move?

I like to see being single as a romantic comedy and not a tragedy. If the hero and heroine are supposed to get together, they will in the end.

In the mean time, lots of insecurity, angst, loneliness, joy, hope and, awkwardness. Yeah, it may not be raining men, but isn't it easier to notice the one promising raindrop that hits your face on a hot day than the floods and torrents hitting you all at once? Sometimes, it's that one sweet promise of what might be that's better than having everything at once.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Blog Logo Design


I got Julie to design me some new logos and she is working right now on the new banner for the top of my blog. She has a wonderful design business called Julie Ferguson Designs. I gave her barely any instructions because I am not good at conceptualizing visuals like this. I said, "pipes, crows, rusted metal, barbed wire--something Mad Max feeling." She is so wonderfully talented! Expect me to put one up as a button my blog soon that links to my CafePress shop for Ghost Hunting Theories. The shop is new and not completely developed yet, but there are some items there now. Unfortunately, Blogger is being a bia-tch again and will not show me my blog's layout template so I cannot add anything to the sidebars right now.


Stalkers: Scary Reality


Stalking is a term commonly used to refer to unwanted and obsessive attention by an individual or group to another person. Stalking behaviors are related to harassment and intimidation and may include following the victim in person and/or monitoring them. The word stalking is used, with some differing meanings, in psychology and psychiatry and also in some legal jurisdictions as a term for a criminal offense.

Common Characteristics:
Won't take no for an answer 
Has an obsessive personality 
Above average intelligence
Low self esteem
Sociopathic thinking 
Has a mean streak
Lack of embarrassment or discomfort at actions
No or few personal relationships

Reality:  I had a stalker a few years while I lived in California in the 80s. It was before they had laws about such harassment. The cops came and talked to me and basically told me they knew the guy had done the same thing before and all they knew was that he drove a van. It is sad that there are people who so few connections with human beings that they have to glom onto someone and hope to find some satisfaction in a fantasy world with that object of their obsession. They obviously missed some important steps in the interactions with others in which the person they interact with returns the attention and affection. Those broken tendrils in one's psyche--they lead to some horrifying scenarios. Just look at these few movies about stalkers and realize there are hundreds more out there about the subject that is classified as "horror."

"P2"

 
 

"Cape Fear"


 

"Fear"


   

"Taxi Driver"

Bigfoot Witness: Nightvision Shocker

I had the greatest honor to interview a Bigfoot hunter who had many tales of unusual and downright frightening encounters in the woods in Arizona's high country. This is one hunting trip that came out with a twist he didn't see coming and one that gave me chills.... 
 

We were in this location(in Arizona's high country) because of the activity it had during the 2008 BFRO Expedition (vocalizations, chatter heard) and the 2009 BFRO Expedition (close encounter, grunts, rock clacks, knocks and tree shake) at this exact location. I had to wait until fall 2009 to get back there, and took my two children and nephew on the mini, one night-two day expedition. My son (17 at the time), daughter (14) and nephew (12).

We spent the day scouting and hiking in the canyon complex. We set up a game camera in a side canyon area, and remote recorders in various locations. At dusk we returned to camp, started a fire, cooked dinner and enjoyed some fun and laughter. We toasted some marshmallows and made s'mores. I reviewed the do's and don'ts with them about squatching, and we discussed some of the theories and had a good question and answer session. It was around 9pm when we were going to drive back to the canyon for some calls and intent listening. It was at that time my daughter told me she didn't feel so good. When we arrived at the location, she said she did not want to leave the SUV, and didn't want to stay there alone. Her brother volunteered to spend time with her, so my nephew and I walked 100 feet and set up at the knocking station.

We arrived to our position at 9:48 and I turned the SUV around so it was pointing north on the road back toward camp. My nephew and I took a digital recorder, night vision monocular with IR light, and a knocking stick. I started the recorder and leaned it against the tree in the middle of the clearing. I turned on the night vision and handed it to my nephew, then walked over to the knocking tree.

At 9:55pm I did two knocks separated by two seconds. We waited three minutes, then did a single knock. One minute later, there was a whoop from at least a 1/4 mile to the west that was very faint. I waited about a minute, then did a whoop back. We waited about 12 minutes then I did another single knock. We waited about 5 minutes then I did another whoop. A return whoop was heard LOUDLY directly across the canyon to the west. It was VERY close and surprised me. I stepped over to my nephew and told him to keep a close watch. He asked if we should respond, I told him, no... it knows right where we are! We kept the IR light on the nightvision as there was no moon.

(Wood knocking area)

I whispered to my nephew that I was not going to point, but would instead give him directions like a clock dial (9 o'clock, 1 o'clock, etc). Within a minute I could hear a small rock slide in the creek, then all was quiet. Within 5 minutes I could hear a VERY soft and quiet footstep. The foot was laid down slow and deliberate. We were about 20 feet north of the knocking tree and six feet east and could see down the hillside a distance by starlight and very clearly with the night vision scope. I could hear the steps getting closer. A shadow kept moving or rocking in and out at the edge of the trees.

I told my nephew to look at 11 o'clock, he raised the NV and he said he saw an arm and the brush moving. I asked him for the NV unit, and the next time I saw a shadow I brought up the night vision. This time I saw a leg and foot from the calf down as it stepped back into the brush. After this I could hear it walking but couldn't see it. I handed the unit back to my nephew and had him keep watch while I listened intently. After a few minutes it stopped its quiet steps, It seemed to be a standoff, and where it positioned itself we couldn't see it. There were three instances of eye glow during this time we thought, but very dim through the brush. I'm not sure it wasn't reflection of the IR light off the eyes?

After what seemed to be eternity, I decided we needed to get it on the move again. I told my nephew that we would walk back toward the vehicle slowly and pretend we didn't care or know it was there, and when I told him 'NOW' to turn back and look into the wide gap in the trees. We turned and walked 30 feet and I told him to stop. I could hear the visitor following. We walked slowly again about 30 feet more to what I thought was a clearing in the underbrush, and when I thought I heard steps in the clearing I told my nephew, 'NOW'. He spun around, and I initially stayed facing the same direction. He brought the scope up to his eye. He simply said, 'Yep, there it is.' I said, 'Really? What's it doing?' My nephew said, 'looking at me!'

I took the scope from him, and had a look. It was stepping back to the trees when I saw it. I saw the left shoulder, arm, breast and leg. It was a female. As it stepped behind the tree, she put her left hand on the side of the tree and kept it there. It was 25-30 feet away. I could clearly see four fingers, the hair and fingernails and forearm. I watched for about 20 seconds when it peered around the opposite side of trunk. I could see the right eye for a second. I handed the scope back to my nephew, and he saw it peek out once more. Then it did nothing more and stayed behind the tree with the hand and forearm in view for a total of three minutes. It then withdrew its hand, and we couldn't see it. Later height measurements of where the hand was placed on the tree was 69 inches.


(View looking down at incident site

We sat down and I tried a couple of rock clacks, grunts, and tried my best to mimic the Sierra Sounds. At one point it sounded like a light rock clack but we weren't certain, and we couldn't see it anymore. About this point we heard a snap up the hill behind us, and I decided it was time to head to the vehicle. We got in and scanned the treeline again. Nothing moved. The entire stop from first knock to departure was around 57 minutes!!

I asked my nephew to describe what he saw when he first turned around. He said it was standing in the middle of the clearing, and he said it had a look of surprise on its face. In fact, he said it turned and looked behind it... as if it thought we were looking at something behind it, then turned and looked back at us. My nephew said its head was more 'oval-shaped' with a high brow and appeared to have no neck. He did say there was some movement to the head when it looked back, but rotated it's body to look downhill then looked back at him. It was at that time I asked to see the scope, and by the time I brought it up, she was headed behind that tree. During the entire encounter there was no smell, and did not feel threatened. A little paranoia did set in when no footsteps were heard as we sat there.  

My nephew was a real trooper for being just 12!

We got back to camp, restarted the fire, then climbed into the tent by 11:30pm. Most of the night, elk called all around us. Some coyote were heard, but almost exclusively elk calls from all directions.

Interestingly, the recorder placed in the canyon did not record the knocks or whoops I did, or the responses. The digital recorder we had at the site stopped recording after the third knock I did. I've since replaced that recorder.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Springtime Horror Movie Releases




Silent House: March 9th release: (ROTTEN TOMATOES) From the directors of the hit film Open Water, Silent House is a uniquely unsettling horror thriller starring Elizabeth Olsen as Sarah, a young woman who finds herself sealed inside her family's secluded lake house. With no contact to the outside world, and no way out, panic turns to terror to terror as events become increasingly ominous in and around the house. Directed by filmmaking duo Chris Kentis and Laura Lau, Silent House uses meticulous camera choreography to take the audience on a tension-filled, real time journey, experienced in a single uninterrupted shot.

 

Cabin in the Woods: April 13: Five friends go for a break at a remote cabin in the woods, where they get more than they bargained for. Together, they must discover the truth behind the cabin in the woods.




Dark Shadows: May 11:   The story focuses on Barnabas Collins (Depp), who was transformed into a vampire by a jilted lover (Eva Green's witch Angelique) way back in the 1700s and buried. He's just been dug up, and attempts to reintegrate with his descendants, led by Michelle Pfeiffer's Elizabeth and Jonny Lee Miller's Roger - despite the fact that Angelique is still around and still not in a forgiving mood.

Paranormal Meeting Place Online!

I have an online friend who has started an online Paranormal Meeting Place to discuss all subjects in the paranormal realm. I am encouraging you to go there and join up and be able to learn, talk, and share things about everything from UFOs to ghosts, Bigfoot to Mothman. I hope to see you there!

**don't miss tomorrow morning--a chilling interview with a Bigfoot witness**

Chapter One: Growing Up With Ghosts (Book)

This is the first chapter of "Growing Up With Ghosts" which I am preparing to edit. This is unedited and as written the first go-round. I hope you enjoy the scenes from my childhood growing up in a very active haunted home. These stories are gathered by family members and myself to recreate a period in time that changed the course of my entire life.
(Mother at the side door of the newly purchased house, 1964)  

“The home and grounds were magical. Somehow, they remained as stately as they were hundreds of years ago. People were drawn to it over and over again. Some would take the driveway just to see the Confederate Gray house closer up. Others would sneak in and sketch the grounds with an art tablet on their laps. Children would play tag in the boxwoods or ride their sleds down the steep pasture out front in the wintertime. It got into one's blood and became the congregating place for generations of admirers.” (mother, Sue Day, 1982)

Mother awakened from her newly acquired sleep because one of her five children was climbing back up the steep unfamiliar staircase, the wood creaking from the weight of booted heels. She peeled back the blankets in the chilly night air and automatically slid her feet into her slippers to guide the lost sheep back to bed safely.

Halfway down the hallway and finally wide awake, mother realized none of her children had anything but rubber-heeled boots. She stopped nervously and looked back at the open bedroom door. My father was away on business and she and us children were alone in the estate, with nothing but chains on the doors and no locks on the knobs.

Taking her stance as guardian, mother plunged forward, tightening the belt of her robe and reached the top of the narrow enclosed stairwell. When she flicked on the light, there was no one in sight. She rushed down the stairs, her slippered feet making the ancient wood stairs creak appropriately, but none of the clicking sounds of hard heels that she heard earlier.

She went from room to room in the house flicking on lights, checking the doors, finding the chains still in place. She maneuvered around ill-placed boxes, unable to tell if anything in the disarray had been tampered with. Considering we had just moved into the house a week before, the sounds of the 200-year-old home were all foreign to her.

Deciding it had been a nightmare drifting into her waking state, mom went back to bed. Little did she know that she would reenact this scenario many times before father returned from his trip.

 *

One early winter morning, father awakened, groggy and not fully awake yet, but the smell of coffee beckoned him. He headed downstairs to the kitchen, brushing past my mother as she scrambled some eggs in a pan. My siblings were in various stages of awakening upstairs. Mother occasionally called up the echoing stairwell for them to awaken. As the toddler, I was curled up in a tight ball in the center of my parents' antique Lincoln bed, having found my way in there before sunrise.

“Hell of a night.” My father reported over his coffee cup.

My mother yawned in response.

“What was with the kids last night? I heard them climbing the stairs.”

My mother left the eggs scorching in the pan and walked over to him.

“You heard that?”

“I've heard it a few nights. Do you think it's being in a new home that has them all riled up?”

“It's not the children.” She shook her head briskly. “When you were gone, I checked it every time I heard it. The chains were still on the doors. The children were in bed.”

“Hmm.” My father swirled his coffee cup and gazed out the window over the sink. “Well, the place is old. Maybe we have ghosts.” He chuckled.

My mother rolled her eyes, but neither of them ever believed in such things. Their lives were much too practical, being raised in the Depression era and taking a very serious bend on the business of earning an income and raising a family.

Still, my mother's eyes lingered at the stairwell and the unsettling concept nagged at her mind. She hoped soon she'd get used to the sounds of the house and perhaps learn to sleep through the nightly footfalls. With our father being away so much, us living in the middle of what seemed like the countryside and her not driving a car; these were vulnerabilities that bothered her.

Mother wanted an historic old home and plenty of room for the children to play, but with old homes came strange sounds, drafty windowsills and odd odors. It was going to be the way of life henceforth. She loved the estate too much to ever leave. It was home. And so, she focused her thoughts on turning it into something a bit more cozy and authentic for its original time period. She still had the history of the place to research, as well, and five children to race after.  

She decided in that moment to never pursue the nightly sounds and let them just be unexplained quirks.

*
Mother sat down her paint brush in the art room and moved through the empty house towards the windows in the kitchen, hoping to catch a glimpse of my siblings returning from school.

Outside, I pumped my legs on my tire swing awaiting their noisy arrival with longing. Every day they climbed the chain-link fence to the suburban neighborhood and disappeared with books in their hands on some mysterious adventure. With me being only 4, I had a while before I would understand their daily pilgrimages.

Turning away from the window, something caught my mother's eye and she swung back around to see a person walking down the driveway between the boxwood maze and the house, perhaps 50 feet away. She squinted against the afternoon light, trying to fully make out the wispy figure, head bobbing, features ill-defined, wearing way too much clothing for a warm day. Then, the person headed past the wisteria arbor and towards the huge walnut tree where I dragged my feet in the dirt and studied the ground oblivious to the intruder.

Mother swung open the back door and rushed out towards the tree where I spun around now, unwinding the rope after winding it up.

“Sherry?” I looked up at her. “Did you see someone?”

I shook my head.

She stood puzzled, hands on her hips, studying the curve of the gravel driveway that went on down the hill to the creek and up the other hill to the roadway. It was silent, clear and sunny, but the figure looked as if had cut through fog. She shook her head and gathered me up, still unsettled by the eerie sight. With a few more backward glances, she ushered me quickly to the main house.

*

They came in groupings, my mother found out. The “drifters,” as she came to call them to herself. They headed along the driveway, sometimes along the boxwood maze out front. She didn't know when she'd run into them, but they would be gone for weeks at a time, sometimes months, and then a few days in a row, she'd see them repeatedly. Every time, they appeared rather transparent and strangely vague, as if parts of them were not visualized. She might note a piece of clothing or a hairstyle or hat, but the rest was unclear. Every time her mind ran wild with concern for intruders, she also knew deep inside that these weren't real. That worried her even more. She had enough in her immediate environment to distract her. She didn't need to be losing her mind, as well.

With five yelling children, ages 3, 8, 9, 10, and 16, Mother had her hands full enough. The huge house was a task to keep clean and she desperately sought to renovate with things in various stage of completion. The breakfast room, a new addition to the house, still had linoleum to be laid down before the family could finally have a casual dining spot instead of using the huge awkward formal dining room. The chaos was enough to keep her from looking for an answer about the drifters. But, then, my mother was a queen of denying that which she didn't want to face and the drifters were another nuisance in the recesses of her cluttered busy mind. Mother learned to avoid staring out the windows at the stately gardens and pondering if she would see yet another drifter.

One autumn afternoon, she picked up her broom to gently sweep up the living room floor, preparing to put down a huge oriental carpet that would cover the expanse. She furiously brushed over the dark black stains on the wood and studied what looked like some kind of past spillage that soaked into the boards. If she didn't know better, she would have thought it was bloodstains, but there was an awful lot of them. She wondered if wood could mold or discolor.

Our dog King, part German Shepherd/part Collie, let out a low growl behind her and my mother swung around. The silky dog went down on his front paws, rear in the air, tail down tightly against his body, and snarled.

Mother looked towards the fireplace where the dog stared up at something that seemed to be angering him. She stepped back instinctively, assuming there was yet another spider dangling from the huge ornate Waterford crystal chandelier.

The hairs on the dog's back stood on end in a uniform ridge. He turned his head, snapping at something.

“What is it, King? A fly?” She asked the dog, but the tone of his growl and the snap of his jaws at nothing but empty air, made mother step back, her hand to her chest, sensing a threat. The hairs on her arms stood on end, her neck tingled, and the dog growled low and snapped yet again.

With a loud yelp, King bunny hopped backwards as if he had been kicked. Then, he scrambled to get upright again, rushing from the house and knocking the screen door open on its hinges with a scream.

Mother chased after him, wondering if he was bit by a dreaded spider. The dog cowered under the breakfast room in the crawlspace outdoors. She called and coaxed him, but he wouldn't come out. Later that evening, she went to put his food under there, but he was gone. She wandered the yard to find him holed up in the shed beside the barn and refusing to come back no matter how much she waved the food in front of him. She left the bowl in there.

And every night for a few weeks until he was brave enough to come up to the house, but never inside it again.

*

It was 1:00 a.m. and a loud crash boomed as if the house had been hit by a wrecking ball. Us children scrambled to the hallway, blankets in tow and father, rumpled and confused, pushed us back and cautiously took the staircase, gesturing for us to remain. We huddled together and waited nervously for our father to figure out what hit our house.

Long minutes later, he climbed he stairs and shooed us back to bed.

“What was it?” My brother Scott asked.

“Don't know. Old houses make noises.” Dad shrugged.

“Not like that!” Scott was old enough to realize that anything that sent people jumping from their beds was not an old floorboard or rattling pipe.

“I'll look tomorrow morning. No doubt, it's just something that fell in the basement.”

“Sure, you're right.” Scott happily agreed, wanting to support our father's opinions in all matters of importance, as well as sincerely hoping for a logical explanation to ease his fear.  

We were awakened random nights by the same boom, always around 1 a.m. It was rare, but when it happened, we did the same drill we did every other time, met in the hallway and waited for Father to inspect.

*

Father chased the sound down yet again, perhaps the third time in as many months. He flicked on the basement light and descended, knowing that the sound came from there, but having never found anything to explain it. He felt obligated to make a show of trying to find the culprit.

As he turned the corner, father was met under the bare light bulb by the sight of a slight teenaged boy who stared at the wall with a puzzled look upon his malformed face.

Father remained in place, frozen by the sight of this slender boy and his pained expression. Just as he took in the details of the boy's asymmetric eyes, the down-turned corner on one side of his mouth, the very wide-set space in the center of his face and flat nose, the boy disappeared as if he evaporated in the dry cool basement air.

Father remained there long enough that he convinced himself it was a trick of his eyes. Adrenalin still rushed through his body and his legs quivered, his heart raced, and he fell back on the stool he used when he was tinkering at his work bench. He rubbed his moist palms on his pajama bottoms and took a few breaths before he realized the family would be waiting upstairs for an answer. It was an answer he didn't have.

Just as he made his way through the basement in the off chance someone was hiding there, he stopped and realized the place where the young man had stood, right in front of a spot on the wall that vexed father. He had performed the search for the sound every time it happened, leading him to the basement which he knew was the site of the boom. That one wall in particular. The wall the youth stood in front of with his misshapen face and bewildered expression.

Father reached up and touched the wall, his hand running over a perpetual drip. He fingered the surface to find a strange round bulge. He picked up a nearby screwdriver and clinked the object in the wall to hear a distinct clank of metal.

If his mind wasn't so weary, father would have dismissed an idea that caught hold. He climbed the stairs to once again send us off to bed with talk of poorly strapped pipes in the basement rattling. He hoped it would never happen again and he wouldn't be forced to form a theory on such an illogical conclusion. Unfortunately, a few months later, it sounded again.

*

Dad came back up the stairs and us kids weren't taking his explanations so easily anymore. Even my 5-year-old mind was questioning my father's ability to protect us from that “booming thing.”

He sighed. “I tell you what,” he crouched down and whispered to us huddling children, “it would appear to be the cannonball.”

“What cannonball?” My sister Kathy asked. The middle child always had to be contrary and question authority.

“The one in the wall in the basement. If you get to bed, I'll show you in the morning.” He pushed us back towards the doors in the hall and rejoined my mother who somehow managed to sleep through the “bombing” of the house.

The next morning, father was in the basement before us kids even recalled the crazy night. We rushed down into the musty old unfinished hollow. Normally, we avoided it unless an adult was there. The crawlspace opened up like a black earthy void housing unseen eyes studying us. The strange furnace and dangling pipes all created the belly of a beast scenario for our young minds.

Father stood near the wall, reaching up with his trowel and plastering over something protruding. We came up closer and asked about it.

“It's a cannonball.” He thumbed the round smooth object and then clinked it with the handle of the trowel until it clanged.

“How'd it get there?” My brother asked. “Did someone hit us with a cannonball, dad?”

Father chuckled. “It happened during the Civil War a hundred years ago, someone struck the house.”

Kathy tilted her head and studied it. “How did they shoot through the front porch?”

My father smiled. “Well, the porch wasn't added on until the 1900s. Long after the Civil War.”

My sister considered his words.

We watched him working to ease the mortar around the ball.

“How did it make a boom blast last night if it was shot a hundred years ago?” Kathy questioned. As always, us siblings all turned to stare her down for ruining the fun with her questioning nature.

My father squatted down and brushed the trowel across the mortar in the pan. “I'm thinking the house remembers that hit.”

Kathy frowned and couldn't seem to come up with a reply to that.

“I think we should keep it there where we can show it to our friends!” Scott chirped.

Father went back to troweling the cannonball over. “Nope. I don't want any rain to leak through here.”

Kathy shook her head and crossed her arms stubbornly, her blonde hair shining in the light of the bare bulb. “How's rain gonna get in there? The porch is deep.”

My father sighed and shook his head, refusing to answer that. We all sensed that he had run out of explanations for a crowd of growing skeptics.

As we left the basement, my father studied the last bit of the round surface as he covered it over, hoping that somehow he found a magical solution to the 1 a.m. booming. He didn't believe in ghosts. didn't believe in haunted houses. Nothing in his upbringing explained what he knew deep inside, that at 1 a.m. on some special nights, that exact spot in the house went “boom!” and the windows rattled in his bedroom up above on the second story.

If he were a better handyman, he would have found an explanation, and several furnace workers and a plumber later, no explanations were ever found. In fact, following the troweling of the cannonball, the booming stopped all together. And, that paranormal conclusion unsettled my father even more.

Hot Spot #1: The Basement  

The basement had a creaky old door closing it off from the pantry room. The boards were thick, very dried and aged. They groaned and stressed under each foot fall. There were no face boards, so drafts from the dirt crawlspace gathered around your ankles as you climbed the stairs. 

Every time one of us children had to descend or ascend, the imagery of something in the crawlspace reaching between the board slats to grab our ankles came to mind. Thus, every single one of us had a habit of racing up and down and never taking the steps slowly. 

As you came down the stairs, about halfway down, it opened up on the left to show a crawlspace under the kitchen. This powdery very dry dirt housed black snakes who liked to winter there and some of the best artifacts we ever found. Us kids would stake a floodlight into the dirt, turn it on and crawl back in there with the metal detector. It was only about 3 high, so as the youngest, I was the best at manipulating this terrain and had no fear of black snakes, so I was often the one to run reconnaissance under the kitchen and my siblings would stick to under the stairs where there was some height. 

At the bottom of the basement stairs there was a door with glass panes leading straight ahead and out those infamous slanted root cellar doors that old homes always possessed. Rain came easily through there and cascaded like a waterfall, flooding the basement with water. We would have to run the pump and sweep it up, so the bare concrete floor would often smell of silt and be covered in a layer of grit. 

To the right as you went down the stairs was another door that led into the main original basement. The basement stretched out under the dining room, music room and living room, a giant square. This square had in its center the fireplace that ran up the center of the house's base, furnace for hot oil that ran though the radiators, and electrical. There was also an opening from the crawlspace under the stairs. This huge window-like hole carried pipes alongthe ceiling. The feeling of being watched from that “portal into the dirt” was intense. 

My father reported in his little workshop corner of it (happened to be directly under that depressing place in the living room), that items moved around and voices whispered like mosquito sounds in one's ear. 

 I, admittedly, despised having to go to the basement, but with father being away a lot, mother not driving, and five children in the house, we would go to the commissary and load up on food supplies and store the canned things below on a shelving unit deep in the basement where it was cool and dry. I hated when my mother requested me retrieve something. I would look straight ahead, grab it and literally run like hell up the stairs, feeling like something was chasing me the entire way. I would shut the door against it and take a breath, having survived another encounter. 

That sprinting ritual continued even into my teens. That sense of being chased from the dark and dank domain never abated, even for the toughest of tomboys.

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