Wednesday, September 30, 2009

What Kind of Ghost Hunter Are You?

Preoccupied by/fear death: (example Steve Gonsalves TAPS “Ghost Hunters”)
These hunters often present as young hunters, goth types, those with grief/depression issues chronically, those who’ve come close to death through illness or accident, and those who carry a preoccupation of thoughts about death and dying. Their motivations are vast, but they all fall within the realm of fear of death and a need to prove to themselves there is an afterlife.
The strengths of these hunters are an openness to the possibilities, they don’t generally fear the concept of ghosts, in fact, they are excited about it, and they are morbidly fascinated with places of death, types of death, and how people were killed and so therefore not squeamish.
The weaknesses about these types of hunters are that they’re often not eager to take on a leadership role, will often believe anyone who seems wise such as psychics or experienced hunters, and are sometimes hard to motivate to stay on task.
The best role in your group for this type is documentation. These hunters are very good at focusing when given a task of concentration such as keeping notes, documenting times and readings, writing down observations. When they’re given a task it often times keeps them from focusing on their inner world in their mind where they run a constant conversation that takes them off task.

Unanswered questions/Seeking a Truth:
(example Jason Hawes TAPS “Ghost Hunters”)
These hunters often present themselves as logic-minded people who are quick to tell you they don’t believe in ghosts and supernatural. Still, they have experienced something their logic can’t explain. They’re in search of debunking skills, pondering all the approaches to ghost hunting—knocking them off their list one by one as they dispute the false logic in others' belief systems. What they’re often left with is more questions than answers. Nothing seems to ring true to them.
The strengths of these kinds of hunters is that they can’t be taken in by anything or anyone, are quick to debunk, and won’t get carried away with fear.
The weaknesses of these kinds of hunters are that their minds are not open to accepting what anyone says, they need to experience something and apply their own logic to come to a reasonable conclusion, and they don’t like to be followers.
The best role in your group for this type is debunking. These hunters will go to great lengths to not look stupid by finding explainable reasons behind what’s happening. They’re pit bulls when it comes to using logic to explain anything that happens.

Adrenalin jockey: (example Zak Bagans “Ghost Adventures”)
The strengths of these kinds of hunters is that no place is too creepy, no height too tall, no spider too scary. They're ready to go and go now!
The weaknesses of these types are that they often times don't take guidance well, they think they know how to do it and when to do it and will often times disregard instructions.
The best role in your group for this type is reconnaissance. They should be the ones to test the site, check out the rickety stairs first, poke around a dirty basement, crawl in a tight space, and generally protect the group from any unexpected squatters or other dangers like rusty nails sticking out of boards or unstable railings. Some would also say that these types of hunters are ideal for taunting and they certainly are, if you’re of a mind to taunt.

History buffs/romantics: (example Yvette Fielding “Most Haunted”)These types of hunters want to explore historic sites, feel the floorboards, stand where others have stood, knowing that generations have gone by, events have occurred, and the ambiance is exciting to them.
The strengths of these kinds of hunters are they are great at finding neat locations, love to take photos, and are usually the most charming representative for the group with clients.
The weaknesses of these kinds of hunters are they’re the most likely to not like poking around in the darkness, crawlspaces, or sitting for long periods of time in the dark.
The best role in your group for this type is researcher. These type of hunters would like nothing more than an afternoon at the library or registrar for the city to look up titles and histories of buildings. They want to know all the romantic details of the illustrious past of the dead or the location. You can be sure that they won’t just take someone’s story about a location as fact, they want to know the “true unvarnished” history.

Pious/Righteous Minister: (example "demonologist" Lorraine Warren)
These hunters enter the field in order to prove to people that ghosts exist, that they know just what they are, and that others must accept what they say without question. They have THE TRUTH. They're the experts.
The strengths of these kinds of hunters are that they can work independently. In fact, they’d really prefer to do their own thing because no one else is doing it right.
The weaknesses of these kinds of hunters are they tend to overtake a group, try to become leader, insist things be done their way, and completely poo-poo anyone else’s viewpoint causing a lot of infighting.
The best role in your group for this type is as a consultant. This is someone you want to call in, but you don’t want to lead the group.

Psychic sensitives/caretakers: (example Ryan Buell “Paranormal State”) These types of hunters are often time psychics, empaths, sensitives, and caretakers. They have a tendency to want to protect and help others.
The strengths of these kinds of hunters are they take their time in locations and let their senses dictate where to go. They have great patience. They keep care of the others on the team.
The weaknesses of these kinds of hunters are they let their emotions rule their actions. They become involved in the group’s dynamics as a peacemaker and have dark and sullen moods and withdraw upon occasion.
The best role in your group for this type is EVP sessions. Honestly, I’ve found that people with tender hearts and sensitivity, especially nurses, teachers, mothers, and psychics are excellent at getting responses on audio.

Show me/I want to believe: (example Dave Tango, TAPS “Ghost Hunters”)
These types of hunters haven’t yet experienced a paranormal event, but they desperately want to. They want to see something that makes them believe. They want to know what it’s like to feel something unexplainable.
The strengths of these kinds of hunters are they’re very eager. They’ll do anything, go anywhere, try anything. They have endless energy.
The weaknesses of these kinds of hunters are they think everything is a ghost. They startle easy. They don’t have a body of experience or knowledge to be beneficial yet.
The best role in your group for this type is tech work. These are the ideal people to review film and audio searching with great detail for any sign of anything.

You’re probably going to ask me, "Autumnforest, what kind of ghost hunter are you?"

The three I haven’t been are preoccupied by/fear death, pious/righteous Minister one, and the show me/I want to be believe.

I have been a little bit of the psychic/sensitive/caretaker, Adrenalin jockey, history buff/romantic.

My primary role is definitely the unanswered questions/seeking a truth.

That’s probably why I have a “Ghost Hunting Theories” blog.

Chernobyl Tour

Romantic Horror: Atmosphere, atmosphere, atmosphere!

As an expert on both horror and romance, I have some very special titles I’d love to share with the female audience (and male—depending on what you enjoy) seeking romance, mood, desirable men, and atmosphere, atmosphere, and more atmosphere (a girl’s favorite thing for foggy moors to darkness and candlelight). I’ll make it easier for you too by letting you know which mood suits which movie. I know you girls will understand how I hooked up the descriptions of mood with the movie—these are key words that get us going.

A cold beach, a lighthouse, a handsome lighthouse keeper, a Scottish village, a background haunting, a lonely cottage, a thick fisherman’s sweater, Celtic wild horses… “Half Light” with Demi Moore. This was a surprising movie that made it under the radar. A woman writer with a failing marriage and a child who drowns, goes off to finish her latest novel in a very isolated Scottish coastline cottage. She’s attracted to the lighthouse out in the water and the lighthouse keeper. But is he what he seems?

Europe, wolves in packs, powerful exotic men, dark wet woods, being pursued... “Blood and Chocolate” A movie about a woman werewolf who stays in hiding like the rest of her kind until she meets a mortal man who desires her. Should she take the risk and anger her possessive family who has a mate in mind for her amongst her kind?

A wolf in the French woodlands, horseback riding, Victorian era clothing, powerful men, werewolves, like a French painting brought to life…“Brotherhood of the Wolf” An unusual and visually extremely sensual French werewolf movie that is dripping in sexuality and amazing woodland scenes. It’s like watching rich art from a museum in movement.

Hard young men, testosterone, autumn leaves, cold rains, big old scary buildings, male Warlocks, New England, prep school… “The Covenant” is a movie about a prep school in New England and a line of families that spit out powerful male warlocks with amazing powers and the infighting for more of the addictive power.

Rich wet forests with giant trees, Indian folklore, vampires, powerful men, beautiful musical score, dripping in mood…“Twilight” is about a teenaged girl who goes to live with her father in Washington where there’s a local family of vampires and some tension with the local Native Americans and the forbidden love between a mortal and an immortal.

Beautiful lonely woman and sexually gratifying ghostly encounters turned dark…“Haunted Passion” Jane Seymour did this 1983 movie that was made-for-tv about a lonely housewife who begins to have sexual dreams about an imaginary lover, but the entity begins to attack her friends and husband and becomes possessive.

Gorgeous period costumes, orgasm by vampire, spooky, dark, castles, highly sensual, hypnotic, possessed… “Bram Stoker’s Dracula” starring Keanu Reeves involves a vampire who works to seduce away a man’s faithful fiancée using any means necessary.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Boo! This Should Scare You

Check it out--right around 50 seconds, you should get some chills.

Doll Faces

Here's a couple of the dolls I've "operated" on so far. One I call Rosy because she looks like she has bubonic plague. The other is a crackled face one. I made the sores using Elmer's glue in thick globs and let dry for a few days, then peeled it back. The crackled one was made with crackle medium (found in the craft store near the acrylic paints). I'm "operating" a bunch more and when they're done and ready to display, I'll show you those too. Hope it's creeping you out. I'm keeping the dolls to store. Some day, when my son moves out and I can have my own office in the house, I hope to have a wall of these dolls staring at me as I write horror and a bunch of rusted farm implements hanging over my head (like the editor's deadlines)!

Party Prop Progress: Say That 3 Times Real Fast!

I had an unexpected day off yesterday and was able to work on some props in the yard. I'm hoping over the next month they can kind of wear in and get aged. The first is the face of the ghost I place in my huge mulberry tree. He kind of spreads out and greets you as you enter the main cemetery part of the garden. The wind makes him dance like mad. On the night of the party, they'll be lightning behind him which should make it even creepier. There's a full-body shot of him too. There's a cemetery in the corner of the yard where I'll have a lot of rats and dead bouquets of flowers and a huge very sheer, floaty, very creepy ghost overhead hanging by fishing line and dancing in the wind over the graves. The last shot is the doll island area. There's a sheet against the shed and the movie of the Brothers Quay creepy dolls will play on that with the dolls all around it. A bunch of the dolls are in my "workshop" (aka my kitchen, there's not a lot of free room in my house). But, when all is said and done, there will be dolls propped up in my veggie garden there, along the entire top of the shed, and on poles.

So, that's about it for now. I made about 3 dozen white crosses and those'll be spread out throughout the entire yard and pool area, a giant reaper to greet folks, and more details. I haven't come up with a lot to do with the post-apocalyptic theme, so I'm going to probably make a wooden lean-to with something with red glowing eyes inside and caution tape and radioactive signs around it and a few glow sticks making glows coming out of the corners. I'll have a bunch of dead bodies floating face down on the pool with a red light on in the water. I decided in the bathrooms, I'd have bloody gloves and a bloody scalpel near the sink. Maybe some bloody handprints on the shower curtains, smeared.

I'll keep you up on the progress. I hope to record the whole event and get it onto YouTube. Should be lots of loud live music, but the scenery should be scary.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Steampunk: Romantic Geeks Delight

In my teens, I never knew just what my part was in the scheme of things, but I felt like I was from a different time. I had Victorian stiletto boots, lacy anklets, high-necked lacy blouses, and I hid from the sunlight like a vampire. I was a Victorian Goth in the late 70s when it wasn’t “in” yet. I was most excited about the old west Victorian era garments and gadgets like the TV show “The Wild Wild West.” I was fascinated with the gadgetry of the steam-engine era and stopped in every antique store to check them out. My heroes were H.G. Wells and his time machine and Jules Verne and his submarine archetype. I didn’t know it then, but 30 years later a movement would happen that would define the “look” I wanted to achieve.

Steampunk is described by Jake von Slatt, a designer in Bostom and the proprietor of Steampunk Workshop this way, `To me, it’s essentially the intersection of technology and romance,' That definition is loose enough to accommodate a stew of influences, including the streamlined retro-futurism of Flash Gordon and Japanese animation with its goggle-wearing hackers, the postapocalyptic scavenger style of “Mad Max,” and vaudeville, burlesque and the structured gentility of the Victorian age. In aggregate, steampunk is a trend that is rapidly outgrowing niche status.”

Wikipedia does a fair job of explaining this trend. “Steampunk is a sub-genre of fantasy and speculative fiction that came into prominence in the 1980s and early 1990s. The term denotes works set in an era or world where steam power is still widely used—usually the 19th century, and often Victorian era England—but with prominent elements of either science fiction or fantasy, such as fictional technological inventions like those found in the works of H. G. Wells and Jules Verne, or real technological developments like the computer occurring at an earlier date. Other examples of steampunk contain alternate history-style presentations of "the path not taken" of such technology as dirigibles, analog computers, or digital mechanical computers (such as Charles Babbage's Analytical Engine); these frequently are presented in an idealized light, or with a presumption of functionality.

I’ve never been so excited about a movement before. Goth came in as I was ending high school and punk was at its peak, but neither suited me. I wasn’t morbid above life, I was bubbly (even though I love all things spooky) and I wasn’t angry or tough or an anarchist. I was very feminine and very romantic and yet adored abandoned sites and junkyards. That was a combination that made me see myself as a total spaz, but apparently I’m not the only one who likes the romance of the steam engine era and its crude and ornate technology. I’ve never liked the icy glass and chrome modern type of SciFi movies, but give me one that involves reuse of old technology by a post-apocalyptic group and I’m thrilled.

I hope the movement stays around longer, but if it doesn’t, it won’t matter. I’ll always be Steampunk in my heart.

Escape Monday

Today's escape, a wonderful tour of Doll Island in Mexico showcased on "Destination Truth."

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Halloween TV

I’m making it easy for you. I’ve researched a bunch of cable channels to see what’s out there for the month of October that you might want to record or watch. There’s TONS of stuff and a lot more channels than I’ve listed (many channels won't show their October schedule yet), but I think I’ve given you a good assortment of the things I deem worthy of watching/recording. Mind you, there’s a lot more than I have a listed, but these are the ones I thought were really worthy of catching and ones I thought you might not have seen before or if you have you might want to finally record. NOTE: The times in your area might differ, so check your listings.

If you click on the channel's name below, it'll take you to their schedule online.

This channel is thinking smart. They have “31 days of Halloween” which means any given day in October, you’ll find tons of scary show marathons and scary movies. Every weekend, they’re showing nonstop scary movies. Here’s the ones I think are worth marking on your calendar:
Oct 2 (Friday): 3:30 pm “Pitch Black” A wickedly creepy SciFi movie involving a crash landing on a barren planet and gargoyle type monsters.
Oct 14 (Wednesday): Nonstop “Haunted” tv series all day, then “Ghost Hunters” at night
Oct 18 (Sunday): 7 pm “The Dunwich Horror” A positively awesome 1970s horror movie based on an H.P. Lovecraft short story involving a sinister man planning a ritualistic fate for Sandra Dee.
Oct 25 Sunday 10 am “Kaw” Think of an update of “The Birds.” Interesting characters, dark, spooky, and unsettling. I don’t like blackbirds anyways, so this one really chills.
Oct 26 (Monday) 3 pm “An American Haunting” This was a movie based on the “Bell Witch” legend. I admit that the story was disappointing at the conclusion, but there is plenty of atmosphere, creepiness, and period-feel.
Oct 31 (Saturday): Ghost Hunters marathon followed by their 6-hour live show.

Oct 3 (Saturday) 6 pm “Disturbia”Admittedly, I enjoy this movie a lot. I has a kicking soundtrack, it’s a loose remake of the “Rear Window” movie theme, and I feel like I’m a teen again whenever I see it. It’s a tense thriller about a teen (Shia LaBeouf) under house arrest who fills his time spying on neighbors only to think one is a killer.

October 10 (Saturday) 1:30 am “Magic” This movie with Anthony Hopkins is the most disturbing ventriloquist doll movie ever!
October 10 (Saturday) 4:00 am “The Curse of the Living Corpse” 1964 movie where family gathers at the mansion of the dead man for reading of the will, only to be killed off one by one.
October 16 (Friday) 3:30 pm “Reign of Fire” The best dragon movie ever! The world is coming to an end after dragons breed and take over. A handful of people hide in a castle in England to try and survive. This isn’t your usual dragon movie with campiness, this one is chilling and tense and gritty.
October 16 (Friday) 5:30 pm “Stargate” A great SciFi movie about an ancient structure that’s found and put into use only to find it’s a portal to other worlds.
October 23 (Friday) 8 pm “Alien” The original SciFi movie about a parasitic creature that gets onboard a spaceship.
October 23 (Friday) 8:30 “Aliens” The follow-up movie of great 1980s fame.
October 24 (Saturday) 7:30 am “The Fly” A classic SciFi Horror movie with Vincent Price involving a man who builds a transporter but gets mixed in with a fly when he transports.
October 24 (Saturday) 9:30 am “Dracula” with Frank Langella (classic)
October 24 (Saturday) 2:30 pm All four “Alien” series of movies in a row.
October 25 (Sunday) 10:30 am “Wolf” with Jack Nicholson as a publisher who feels the pinch of aging until he becomes a werewolf and feels renewed.
October 25 (Sunday) 6:30 pm “The Shining” is the classic Stephen King movie involving a man, his wife, and child caretaking a mountain resort all winter.
October 26 (Monday) 8 pm “Thirteen ghosts” A slick and super creepy remake about a man and his family who inherits a house including 13 ghosts locked in the basement. Some of the creepiest ghosts ever in a movie.
October 26 (Monday) 10 pm “Halloween” The classic 1970s movie about a killer maniac and a town of unsuspecting teens.
October 28 (Wednesday) 4:30 am “And Now the Screaming Starts” is a surprisingly good 1973 movie about a new bride in the 1700s who is raped by a ghost as part of a family curse and becomes pregnant. If you like the Gothic British 1970s movies, this is a MUST SEE, beautiful, romantic, and creepy.

A lot of cable channels won’t list their October stuff yet, so keep your eyes peeled. I’d love to hear from anyone who finds cool stuff in the listings.

One other great resource for horror on TV is this site.

What to do in a Zombie Attack

For your entertainment, a tongue-in-cheek zombie practical killing guide.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Autumn Forest - Get in the Mood

This is why I'm Autumnforest. This is not only where I want to be, but how I want to be...

Huge Angry Things: Universal Fear

As a followup to my last post about little creepy things that scare us, I thought I’d cover the most obvious fear—anything bigger than us.

My fear of big things comes from my height. That sounds weird for a 5’8” woman, but the truth is, I’m used to being taller than, not shorter than. My 5’1” ghost hunting partner adores horses and large creatures, but then she’s used to everything being taller than her. I, however, don’t like the sensation.

Humans are used to being the most powerful, top of the food chain, dominating creatures of the natural world. So, obviously, our greatest fear is something that sees us as a potential food source or so insignificant we’re like ants under their huge feet.

There are three really common scenarios for the large and angry creature movies:
1. The Japanese Godzilla genre--monster crushes big city.
2. Dinosaurs.
3. Radiation-induced large versions of earthly creatures.

There’s nothing that says “terror” like some gigantic monster trying to make humans into a tasty appetizer.

Here’s some great movies that involve enormous predators:

“Cloverfield” This reality-feeling hand-held camera movie involves and attack on New York by some kind of insane gigantic beast that won’t stop until the city is dead.

Huge beast attacks Japan and there’s no where to hide.

“King Kong” An island with a giant ape is found by a film group who decides to cash in on the big guy and take him to the city.

“Food of the Gods” 1970s classic about an island with toxic ooze that makes all the critters grow super larger—including the rats!

“Them” This is a classic from the 50s SciFi genre. Gigantic ants in the desert. It’s a must-see for everyone.

“Reign of Fire”
Dragons taking over the earth, oh my! I adore this film—one of my favorite ones of all time to watch in my home theater. The room rumbles while it plays. (It doesn’t hurt that the men are delicious—I love those hardened end-of-world kinda guys like the ones portrayed by yummy Christian Bale and Matthew McConaughey). Girls warning: Best male shirtless testosterone fight scene ever!

“Jurassic Park” What if the dinosaurs came back to life? What if they got loose from their pens? What if you had nowhere to run?

So, what’s your giant fear? For me, it was always elephants stampeding people. If I even hear they’re showing film of it, I rush to change the channel. I can barely look at the beasts without freaking out at the zoo--and that's with a huge moat and fences between us! Forget the circus!!!

Friday, September 25, 2009

Little Creepy Things: Innate Fear

Sure, it’s easy to be scared of Godzilla and King Kong. They’re enormous and can crush you, but there’s another fear in the spectrum of humankind. Fear of small things.

That makes you smile, huh? Don’t believe it? How could I be scared of something tiny?

Have you ever watched film of a tarantula, his fuzzy soft legs creeping one after another up someone’s arm? Tickling and crawling, and making its way towards his face. Gives you goosebumps, huh?

How many times have you cringed and freaked when you ran into a spider web in a basement or startled a mouse from his corner hiding place? Do bats flying in the night air make you duck?

Haven’t had enough of small creepy things? Try these movies:

Phantasm: Creepy little shrunken down people in black cloaks.

The Brood:
A woman’s anger creates little creepy “children” who kill for her.

Don’t be Afraid of the Dark: A house with hidden little brownie elves that torment the woman who resides there.

It’s Alive: After giving birth to a murderous little baby that kills the entire delivery team and escapes the hospital, the detectives are on the search for an evil deformed baby-thing.

A doll comes to life to kill and torment full-grown adults.

Leprechaun: An angry leprechaun wants his pot o’ gold back.

Children of the Corn: The youth of a town kill the adults and take over, making sacrifices to the corn monster.

Parasite: A scientist has to hide his creation inside of him, an evil parasite.

Arachnophobia: Killer spiders hitchhike to America and breed and kill.

Kaw: Evil blackbirds attack a town.

The Birds: Birds go insane in a town in Northern California and attack the people.

Infested: Teenagers camping out are attacked by mutant bugs.

Trilogy of Terror:
A trilogy of stories, one of which involves a woman in her apartment attacked by a zuni hunting doll.

Village of the Damned:
Little tow-headed children with alien fathers put an entire town in fear.

What little thing scares you? For me, it's dolls!

Set Your TVs This Weekend

Friday (today) on Travel Channel at 7 pm (check your local time) is "Ghost Adventures: The Beginning" which is the 2-hour hilarious (not intended to be so) documentary that spawned Zak Baggypants and the Scooby-Douche show "Ghost Adventures" (okay, I made up the first name and the second name was used by "The Soup" -- brilliant writers). It has a piece of evidence at the very end that will puzzle you and no doubt, you might want to talk about it on here.

Saturday SyFy is doing an all-day "Children of the Corn" series marathon to launch their 10 pm showing of their remake of the original "Children of the Corn." I would have to say this was a brilliantly stupid idea. We really shouldn't be having the original to compare the SyFy level remake with. Yikes! But, it does sound like a fun day of horror. Instead, I'd suggest you turn to History channel Saturday night.

Here's the one I'm excited about. On History Channel on Saturday night at 8 pm (check your local time) is "Holy Grail in America" about the Kensington Stone tablet found in the 1800s with runes on it showing that America was found much earlier in the 1300s by the Norsemen.

Entry below from:

The Kensington Stone, displayed above, was discovered near Kensington Minnesota USA in 1898. In the nearly one hundred years since its discovery, the Stone has been the source of on-going debate as to its authenticity. The reason is clear, the Kensington Stone presents a Runic text which describes a Norse journey into North America in the 14th Century. Following is a transcription and translation of the text of the Kensington Stone.


8 : goter : ok : 22 : norrmen : po : opdagelsefard : fro : vinland : vest : vi : hade : lager : ved : 2 : skjar : en : dags : rise : norr : fro : deno : sten : vi : var : ok : fiske : en : dagh : aptir : vi : kom : hem : fan : 10 : man : rode : af : blod : og : ded : AVM : fraelse : af : illy : har 10 : mans : ve : havet : at : se : aptir : vore : skip : 14 : dagh : rise : from : deno : oh : ahr : 1362 :


8 Swedes and 22 Norwegians on a discovery voyage from Vinland westward, we had anchored by 2 rocky islets one days voyage north from this stone. We had fished a day, after we came home [we] found 10 men red with blood and dead. AV(E) M(ARIA) deliver from evil. We have 10 men at sea to look after our ship 14 days voyage from this island. Year 1362

The Stone is ostensibly a record of a 14th century expedition by Scandanvian explorers into the North American heartland. The notion must certainly be entertained that the Stone is a hoax, and most of the scholarly comment on the Stone has come to that conclusion. The Stone has been declared a hoax and forgery on the basis of the style and type of its runic letters and on the basis of the language presented. Others have argued persuasively that these objections are both ill placed and inappropriate, and that the Stone should be given the benefit of the doubt. We believe that to be accepted as genuine, an artifact of this type, ostensibly being of such outrageous provenance, needs more than a benefit of the doubt. It needs a mark of clear evidence, a signature of antiquity beyond the abilities of a modern forger. Given this, the Stone would then have to be accepted as genuine, the linguistic and orthgraphic arguments becoming irrelevant.

Three letters on the Stone, AVM, provide the sufficient mark of antiquity to declare the Kensington Stone genuine. Dr. Keith A.J. Massey and his twin brother Rev. Kevin Massey have noted that the convention of medieval abbreviation presented in these letters is beyond the reasonable ability of even the most expert forger. The details around this Latin abbreviation will convince even the most hardened skeptic that the Kensington Stone is the real article.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

"The Fourth Kind"

Release Date: November 6, 2009

The movie “The Fourth Kind” is listed as a fact-based thriller involving an ongoing unsolved mystery in Alaska, where one town has seen an extraordinary number of unexplained disappearances during the past 40 years and there are accusations of a federal cover up.

I can’t resist a mystery, so admittedly, I did a little research into the story to find out that since the 1960s a lot of visiting Native Americans going into Nome went missing. In fact, since 1990, 10 have gone missing. No signs of what happened to them, no bodies found. The FBI was called in to find out if there as a serial killer. The FBI pretty much chalked it up to local bars and drinking and either wandering off into the cold and drowning in the river or being preyed upon by opportunists.

So, how did a story such as that become a movie about abductions?

That had me wondering. When a movie talks about having real footage of actual hypnotherapy sessions with abductees, it smacks of “Blair Witch Project” promotion. Come on, how many of you searched out the story of the Blair Witch and the missing film crew? Well, it appears this story is much the same. The doctor the movie was based on has a “mock” website registered by “” so that about says it all (note there are no contact addresses on the site).

Admittedly, I am totally cool with promotion for movies that crosses the “reality” threshold. I remember the “Blair Witch Project” and its online promotion was what made a budget nothing movie into an enormous success. I also, however, can’t help but be cautious when assuming promotional materials are reality. I’m not a gullible type, so I tend to be skeptical when they say anything is based on a true story (remember “A Haunting in Connecticut” and “Amityville Horror?”)

It won’t stop me from seeing the movie. I’m hoping the “reality” aspects of it will make it seem much more visceral. I can’t help thinking of that scene in “Signs” when the brother is in the closet watching the film footage of a birthday party in which the alien is caught by viewers. It was so much like how it would go down in real life that it gave me goosebumps. I’m hoping this movie does the same. I’m ready for a reality feel in a fiction movie (it worked in “Cloverfield”).

If this trailer above is any indication, it’s going to be a tense and exciting ride.

Marree Man: Mystery in the Australian Desert

Just when you think we know it all about our happy planet, She spits out something new, a beautiful treasure held in her land, waiting to be found. Or does She?

The beautiful geoglyph (above) named “Marree Man” was found in Australia by a pilot in 1998! No, it’s not an ancient work of art portraying a classic aborigine. This is truly the largest piece of graffiti on the earth. It was created using modern technology—tractors and GPS receivers. But as with the older geoglyphs, no one knows for sure who did it. The lines are as wide as 115 feet and they were made by carving about a foot into the red soil.

According to, "after the site’s accidental discovery, anonymous press releases began showing up giving details about the drawing. The wording of the press releases suggested that they may have been written by an American; this notion was strengthened by the discovery of several objects at the site, including an American flag, a note referencing the Branch Davidian cult, and a satellite photo of the figure. Some suspected that American soldiers stationed at a nearby base may have done the work, while others thought the American wording and objects were simply a decoy to divert suspicion from those who were really responsible—perhaps one of several Australian artists, a group of construction workers, or members of the Australian military.

"A fax sent to a hotel in Oxford, England pointed officials to a plaque buried at the site, which contained a quote from H.H. Finlayson’s book The Red Centre: Man and beast in the heart of Australia; the context of the quote helped to identify which tribe the man pictured was supposed to have been from (the Pitjantjatjara tribe) and suggested strongly that the weapon he was holding was indeed a stick. However, the identity of the artist was still unknown. Eventually the publicity, as well as the image, began to fade, and official investigations were called off.

Recently, attention has focused on Australian artist Bardius Goldberg, who died in 2002. He was known to have both the skills and the resources to create a work of this sort; he had expressed an interest in creating a work of art that could be seen from space; and he apparently received a large sum of money at the time of the Marree Man’s discovery. He carefully avoided either refuting or confirming claims that he was responsible, which in some people’s minds is the equivalent of admitting he did it. We may never know for sure, but it does seem clear that no efforts will be made to preserve this artwork for the future. What a pity: the first generation with the technology to easily create and appreciate this art form ends up being the first to shun it."

One of my favorite things is to leave a bit of artwork behind to make others wonder about who did it, why they did it, and why they didn't stay around to soak up the reactions they created. I also love to spontaneously donate or do a good deed with complete anonymity. The only person I want to impress is myself. Apparently, this artist can feel the same way; truly amazed at what he can do when he puts his mind to it.

Open-Mindedness in the Ghost Hunting World


Thank you, my dear friend, Anadæ, for sending me this video as a gift to his "open-minded" ghost hunting friend.

I admit, as ghost hunters go, I'm the agnostic. I've seen a lot of weird stuff I can't explain but I'm not quick to attribute it to the spirits of the dead. That makes me rather unpopular in the ghost hunting world. There's an enormous majority who not only believe they're chasing the souls of the departed, but also know why they haunt "they don't know they're dead," "they have unfinished business," "they're attached to this place..." Yada yada yada... (Sigh. Roll my eyes)

Although the concept of spirits being the cause of phenomenon is a conclusion I can understand, given that the house I grew up in was an old Civil War Hospital at one time and still had blood stains on the wood floors, it also was atop of a mass of quartz and a wellspring. It also had dozens and dozens of families in almost 250 years living there, that's a lot of imprinted memories. It also saw a great deal of emotional upheavel--Revolutionary War and Civil War and death and dying. It also still contained a lot of relics within its foundation and crawlspace. Any of these factors could be at fault.

Once a person knows what a ghost is and has a preconceived mindset about it, they stop looking for answers. It's the same with religion. Once you know "The Truth," there can be no other variables. The mind closes shut to the sound of a rusty door hinge. The soul hardens. The personality becomes paranoid. Thus, George Bush and Dick Chenney are born.

I know I'm not an athiest of the ghost hunting world. I definitely know there's phenomenon with absolute certainty. I might believe it's spirits of the deceased, should I experience evidence that draws me to that conclusion (thus, I'm "agnostic" in this realm). I am not, however, an absolute believer that we're dealing with sentient beings of the departed. There are too many possibilities from other dimensions to a life form that evolved alongside of us without the need for physical form to physical phenomenon created by the Earth and geomagnetic activity and seismic activity to events imprinting on environments given the right conditions and repeatedity.

See what it's like to ghost hunt open-minded? Limitless. I'm not trying to prove ghosts, I'm trying to prove phenomenon. Then, I'm trying to find out why phenomenon? how phenomenon? where phenomenon? when phenomenon? who phenomenon?

I hope the film above helps you. I found it to be truly enlightening.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Icelandic Elves: Is There Reason to Believe?

The belief in elves in Iceland isn’t talked about amongst the people, but if privately polled, a great deal of them believe. The elves are supposedly associated with the Celtic origins of the people and adapted to their rocky surroundings. In fact, people believed the elves lived in rocky caves and rock outcroppings and in gardens that contain a lot of stones. It is for this reason that they’re hesitant to plow down earth and rock for roadways and new construction. A roadway had even been averted to avoid bothering the homeland of elves. Apparently, efforts to break a large rock for a roadway was met with equipment breaking down constantly. They finally gave up and left it.

The country even has mystics and elf communicators when the locals need permission or access to new areas. Such a concept seems quite strange, but remember that in America we have people who burn sage, bless homes, and regularly communicate with the dead through psychics. We also have those who believe they communicate regularly with aliens and ghosts. There are whole industries based on this, i.e. “Ghost Hunters” and “Miss Cleo.” One such Icelandic psychic said, “I think elves want people to preserve nature.” That's the kind of message I want to hear.

When you look at the creation of folklore such as elves, you have to look at it within the context of the surroundings. For instance, the Christian Church uses tote-ism (eating flesh/drinking blood) which was a pagan practice. When a new religion was begun, it took elements from what had been and adapted it. Should people from Celtic lands have elves, they can enter Icelandic mythology but be adapted to the surroundings. This is a country that is extremely beautiful and bleak and yet dynamic. There is seismic activity, hot springs, geysers, and volcanoes, in a mix that can only be called “potent” for phenomenon.

Wikipedia describes the geology of Iceland as,“unique and of particular interest to geologists. Iceland lies on the geologic rift between the Eurasian plate and the North American plate. It also lies above a hotspot, the Iceland plume, which is believed to have caused the formation of Iceland itself. The result is an island of volcanism and geothermal phenomena such as geysers. Because of the special geological situation in Iceland, the high concentration of volcanoes and geothermal energy are very often used for heating and production of electricity.

Imagine that power? Imagine those dynamics of being where two tectonic plates meet? Imagine the volcanic and seismic activity? I like to look for things within their context. Repeatedly, the Icelanders associate elves with rocks. The very rocks from a volcanic, dynamic environment are attributed with magical beings.

What do you think? Is it entirely possible that living in a place with so much Earth activity, electrical interruptions, equipment breakdown, and other strange phenomenon could be associated with the geology of the area? Then, with these things occurring and the people taking note of an extensively rocky environment, blame it on something hiding in the rocks.

Yes, something hiding in the rocks…

I’ve talked about the geology of haunted sites and whether the Earth itself creates phenomenon such as spooklights and strange occurrences like seen in the Romanian forest on the season opener of “Destination Truth” where the man appeared to be thrown. The case of Iceland and its elves seems to be a natural and expected folklore. In fact, where you hear ghost stories and you hear strange phenomenon and elemental creatures spoken of, you might be encountering a combination that’s got some truth to it.

It could certainly be that the sense of “something being in the rocks” is a very astute reaction by people who grew up in this dynamic terrain and have felt this presence and witnessed strange “Earth nightmares,” and have created a folklore to explain it. In the context of where they live, the elves in the rocks story is a perfectly logical explanation in order to continue to live in such dynamics and unpredictability.

Soak me in Autumn; Steep me in Fall

Martha Stewart’s “Halloween” issue and her “Living” issue entitled “The Magic of Fall” are on the newsstands now. I admit to not taking to Martha as a role model or even a personality (does she have one?), but as a mogul who wants to sell the seasons, she’s without peer.

On my day off, I purchased both magazines and popped in the movie “Ten Little Indians,” pulled back the curtains, and made some hot apple cider. For a few hours, I was soaked in Autumn; steeped in Fall.

The Halloween issue had the most genius costumes (her staff is awesome!) There were nature-based costumes like a beekeeper, a lady covered in butterflies, and cute little baby bugs. There were spookier more classic costumes including the Gray Lady (a popular ghost figure--shown above) which was so brilliant I immediately pulled that page out for my buddy. She wanted a costume that was classically spooky and traditionally "ghostie."

On the cover of the Halloween issue, you can see Martha as a ghostly equestrienne. There are also instructions for the costumes. The pumpkin designs, as always, are awesome, and the recipes for creepy foods and drinks are fabulous! I might just change my punch recipe—hers was yummy sounding and I liked the touch of using a twisted licorice stick for a straw!

The “Living” magazine about the "magic of fall" (gourds stacked into toadstool shapes on the cover), will so immerse you in Autumn, you won’t want the ride to ever end. What I love most about what she does in Autumn/Halloween is stick with the classics and the spooky stuff, nothing campy or abrasive. It’s all about mood and atmosphere (women’s two favorite things when it comes to designing parties and interiors). There are also strong ties to the season of autumn and the influences of nature instead of mass-manufactured plastics.

Page 50 is my favorite with ideas for petrifying potions, glass jars with lids filled with water colored to a soft amber and filled with poppy pods and coneflower heads and such that look botanical and eerie. There’s “Autumn in a Jar” (I have no idea how they fit me in there—hee hee). It’s basically an awesomely healthy and yummy trail mix.

Page 128 has an amazing spread of a macabre buffet. There are yummy cider recipes, and yummy food recipes, as well. Interspersed through all the pages are hints of nature. After all, this is the time of year we can safely wander outside without ticks and mosquitoes (well, everywhere but the desert southwest) and enjoy the colors and pick up things from nature to make crafts like pine cones and drying wildflowers from summer’s bloom, seed pods, and abandoned bird’s nests.

I highly recommend both magazines. I keep them in my Halloween supplies every year so I can thumb through past issues when I pull them out the next autumn time. There’s always some great idea I didn’t use the prior year that I might be in the mood for this year.

Keep me posted if you try any of her crafts or recipes, I’d love to hear how they turn out for you. I’ve never had a miss when following the instructions, they’re usually very successful.

Humanoids of the Magical Type

Oh, we have humanoids in our culture such as Bigfoot, the Lizard Man, and the Skunk Ape, but there are magical ones in our folklore. They seem to cover all the ranges of human characteristics, some good, some bad, some indifferent. Here’s an introduction to just some of the humanoids man has designed in his history:

Gnomes (German origins) were supposedly named by Paracelsus in the 16th Cenury, a physician and alchemist. He believed these creatures had an occult knowledge of the earth. In the 1800s in Germany they began to make ceramic garden gnomes to protect the creatures and the plants in the garden. It was believed these elemental spirits spread wildflowers, maintaine the garden, and nursed hurt animals, and were a sign of good luck.

Trolls (Scandinavian origins) were believed to be tiny creatures that could not be exposed to sunlight or would crack. They came out at night. Rock foundations that looked like faces are said to be trolls that stayed out after sunlight. They had crooked noses, four fingers, and tails. It was said they could transform their looks and fool people and would lure them away for attack. If a farmer angered a troll, he would feel his wrath.

Green Man (Celtic origins) was a pre-Christian Pagan symbol known widely as a god of ecstasy and divine rapture, he was also the god of vegetation. To many He represents the cycle of life, birth, and renewal. His image is carved in lots of historic sites and even in old churches and often is brought forth in Springtime as the symbol of rebirth.

(Irish origins) were driven into hiding when the Celts invaded Ireland. The Pagan gods of the Tuatha, skilled in building and magic, went underground to live in the tombs and mounds they had built. Hidden from sight, they grew smaller in the popular imagination until they turned into fairies.

Gargoyles (Ancient Greece, Egypt, and Rome) were originally used a waterspouts to drain water away from buildings. They were named for the gurgling sound they made as water passed through them. They were found on many cathedrals and other architecture. They went away for many centuries and then reappeared as a popular craze during the Victorian era. These ugly “demons” were believed to scare away evil spirts.

Elves (German origins) were originally thought of as a race of minor nature and fertility gods, who are often pictured as youthful-seeming men and women of great beauty living in forests and underground places and caves, or in wells and springs. They have been portrayed to be long-lived or immortal and as beings of magical powers.

Pixies (Celtic origins) were mythical creatures of folklore, considered to be particularly concentrated in the areas around Devon [1] and Cornwall, [2] suggesting some Celtic origin for the belief and name. They are usually depicted with pointed ears, and often wearing a green outfit and pointed hat. Sometimes their eyes are described as being pointed upwards at the temple ends. Pixies (or Piskeys) are said to disguise themselves as a bundle of rags to lure children into their play. The pixies of Dartmoor are fond of music and dancing. These Pixies are said to be helpful to normal humans, sometimes helping needy widows and others with housework.

Nymphs (Greek origins) were spirit females. They tended to frequent areas distant from humans, but could be encountered by lone travellers outside the village, where their music might be heard, and the traveller could spy on their dancing or bathing in a stream or pool, either during the noon heat or in the middle of the night. They might appear in a whirlwind. Such encounters could be dangerous, bringing dumbness, besotted infatuation, madness or stroke to the unfortunate human.

(European origins) is a broad term referring to a number of preternatural legendary creatures. The term is generally used in reference to elf-like creatures, including fairies, and similar beings (although not earth beings),[1] but can also signify various spiritual beings, including ghosts.

Brownies(Scottish origins): Customarily brownies (A type of hob – see hobgoblin) are said to inhabit houses and aid in tasks around the house. However, they don't like to be seen and will only work at night, traditionally in exchange for small gifts or food. They take quite a delight in porridge and honey. They usually abandon the house if their gifts are called payments, or if the owners of the house misuse them. Brownies make their homes in an unused part of the house. (as in the movie “Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark.”)

I admit a love of fairies and garden gnomes outdoors. Inside, I have many images of the Green Man, as I like the concept of a keeper of the woods made from the plant life with a vested interest in its welfare. Of the badass ones, trolls have my attention hands down. Gargoyles are beautiful in sculpture and architecture. All in all, if I could only have one around my house, I'd probably pick the Green Man, he's just darn sexy.

Which is your favorite?

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Ghost Lab: New Show!

This 13-part series begins October 6th, shown on Tuesdays on Discovery

According to, "this show is about Brothers Brad and Barry Klinge who investigate the paranormal through their team, Everyday Paranormal, founded in 2007. They have explored more than 70 locations and given a new twist to paranormal research through sophisticated equipment housed in a decked-out traveling “ghost lab.” The 24-foot car hauler is capable of providing 200,000 watts of electricity to power audio, video and photo analysis stations; flat-screen televisions and an interactive touch-screen smartboard. The lab also houses surveillance video cameras capable of shooting 300 feet away in total darkness; temperature, humidity and dew point data loggers; thermal imaging cameras; audio recorders; and more.

Some of the locations the Klinge brothers and their team investigate on the show include Tombstone, Arizona; Shreveport Municipal Auditorium, where Elvis got his start; and Granbury Opera House, where legend says that John Wilkes Booth changed his name and performed Shakespeare after assassinating Abraham Lincoln."

The team also consults with some of the world's foremost specialists in science measurements to devise and test theories during their investigations. Is there more "ghost activity" around water? Are spirits attached to specific items or locations? Is there a parallel universe?

I know what ya'all are thinking, we're saturated with ghost shows. I agree. These guys have been working for 2 years? Huh?

Here's how I see it, someone had some serious financing to get this equipment (which is what holds back most hunters), but unlike Brian from TAPS, they probably won't stare at a Geiger counter and wonder what it is. These guys will actually go out and find people to train them.

I'm giving them a chance because they're open to some notions that I, myself, have noted in hunting such as parallel universe theories and waterways. I'm all over that. Now, if I could get them to consider geology and geomagnetic storms..

Discovery Channel has been showing the promo, but I can't find it online anywhere. I'll send out a reminder on the 6th of October. Hopefully on October 1st I can make a post of all the horror on the airwaves during the month.

What is it with Women and Vampires? The Secret Revealed!

Above: “Drinking by the Moonlight” by Hong Ling Yang

Anyone who’s read my blog long enough probably knows I write erotic horror. There’s no way to approach the genre without first becoming fascinated with vampirism. I was in a Halloween shop talking to my friend. We were discussing our fascination with men at Halloween parties who dress as vampires.

The sales guy couldn’t help inquiring about why women are so fascinated with vampires and “Twilight” and “all that sh@$!”

I thought about it a moment and went over the usual culprits. The concept for women that the man mesmerizes her, forces his will upon her, and she was simply a victim of the encounter, but that’s so Victorian. Women certainly don’t need an excuse for why they had some hanky panky any longer.

I looked at my friend as to say, “should I give away the female secret?”

She bravely nodded.

“Well,” I explained to the eager middle-aged man who at this time in his life should have known the secret… “women have a direct line to their groin via their head and neck.”

“Hmm?” He baffled.

“Remember the old days, early in a relationship when you made out with your girlfriend and you’d basically be necking? Was it hard to get her to sleep with you after that?”

“Nope.” He admitted.

“When the relationship moved on and you weren’t putting out the head and neck attention, did you notice a decrease in her desire to sleep with you?”

Forehead wrinkled, eyes grew round.

“If you nibble on a woman’s neck, tickle her ears with your tongue, hold her head in your hands, run your hands through her hair, kiss her mouth…you get and instant reaction from her…usually grabbing at you and forcing herself upon you in a state of frenzy.”

My friend’s face turned bright red. So did the clerk’s. He nodded imperceptibly and left behind his desk to hide (no doubt the results of the conversation).

My friend prodded me with her elbow, “why did you give him the secret?”

I shrugged. “Every now and then I like to serendipitously dispense the secret to a man who seems lost.”

Vampires aren't just a romantic tale told in movies to make women swoon. There are people who profess to be vampires and to adhere to a vampire lifestyle. These alternative lifestyles have always intrigued me.

According to Wikipedia “The vampire lifestyle is an alternative lifestyle, based on the modern perception of vampires in popular fiction. The vampire subculture has stemmed largely from the Goth subculture,[1] but also incorporates some elements of the sadomasochism subculture. The Internet provides a prevalent forum for the subculture along with other media such as glossy magazines devoted to the topic.[2]
Active vampirism within the vampire subculture includes both blood consumption,[2] which is commonly referred to as sanguinarian vampirism, and psychic vampirism, through which the practitioners believe they are drawing spiritual nourishment from auric or pranic energy

In my desire to research for erotic horror (strictly, hee hee), I found a site that actually lists vampire-friendly bars. Imagine that! The problem with researching such clubs and meeting people in this lifestyle means needing to not go alone. But, where does a woman find another friend in the middle years who’s willing to tell her hubby she’s off to the vampire club to meet vamps? Well, alas, I have yet to figure out that part of the puzzle. Once I get myself into a crowd of vampires, I’ll gladly show them in the light in which I believe they should be shown for the role-playing romantics and hardcore driven passion jockeys that they are. There is a culture of goth-related and S&M folks who enjoy the lifestyle, no doubt about that. There's also a more "lite" version that enjoys the romance, fashion, and night-living, pale-skinned, dramatics of it.

Alas, since it’s apparent I can’t keep a secret, I’m sure you’ll hear all about them.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Bear With Me

I'm testing new templates trying to find the right one. I always seem to find some flaw that's impossible. At least the photos are now no longer see-through. I hope to have it tweaked by the end of the day. I also need to re-add all the blogs I follow (quite a list!) so hang on and blogs I've visited will be added shortly.

Escape Monday

My newest endeavor is to give everyone an escape on their Monday--a video short to just make them go into another world.

Warning: Today's video is the SCARIEST MUSIC VIDEO OF ALL TIME! I'm not kidding. I have yet to find a better one. This one is extremely scary--hope you're up to it. You're going to get goosebumps...

This video is by Aphex Twin "Come to Daddy"

Casting Call for Males in Phoenix!

Debe Branning of MVD Ghostchasers is doing a benefit for the Pioneer Cemetery Association in downtown Phoenix. On October 25th she's running tours of the historic cemetery with characters who are buried there giving talks at their graves to the tour groups. This is to raise money for the association that handles Arizona graveyards and their maintenance. It's a fantastic event. I did the springtime one as the first mayor's wife. This time, I'm going to assist in the tours and let some others enjoy the speaking parts. She's still looking for males who want to don a period costume and come and be one of these characters (the theme for this Halloween tour is creepy and weird deaths):

Tom Graham----about 38-40 He was the last man killed in the Pleasant Valley Wars. He was ambushed near the Buttes while taking a load of grain to Hayden Mill in Tempe.

W H "RED" Nelson---- about 35 Nelson was a traveling hot air baloonist that fell from the sky during a show on the grounds of the Salvation Army.

Jacob Waltz -----about 81 AKA the Lost Dutchman kept the secret of the location of a gold mine he discovered and mined in the Superstitions Mountains to his deathbed.

It is SUNDAY OCT 25th 2pm to 6pm------------Debe will provide a script to work off of!

If you're interested, please leave a comment or write me "autumnforest" at

How to Make a Zombie

Makeup I did on my son when he was trick-or-treating years ago: He wore a sweatshirt with black tire marks painted over it and looked like he’d been run over by a car with a windshield wiper sticking out of his shirt. He wouldn’t let me ashen his face, but he was willing to have wounds (early adolescent compromises about wearing "face makeup" versus "wounds"). p.s. I hope to probably redo my template so photos are no longer translucent. To see the picture better, click on it.

Zombie looks: Personally, I like a zombie that just zombitized at a strange time. I’ve seen some good ones from ER zombies in scrubs to child zombies with pigtails and lollipop, ones who were mechanics and others who were flight attendants. Some of the better ones I have enjoyed are a 1950s happy housewife in a belted dress with flared skirts and pumps, teased hair, and blood dripping down her V-neck collar, a martini glass in her hand and a Hugh Hefner man in smoking jacket, slippers, cigar, brandy snifer, and ascot (hell, on second thought, it might have been Hugh!)

Once you decide the part you’ll play, you need to prepare the costume. It should have frayed and tattered edges, make little cuts in the hem and pull. You can roll it in the dirt if you want it to look like you just dug your way of the grave. Now, get some fake blood on the costume. Remember, this has to be either a throw-away costume or one you save for zombie times, so don’t worry about staining it. A fast and easy fake blood is made with red food dye and corn syrup, but honestly it’s so sticky you’ll feel ooky. I’d suggest you try and get some fake blood at your local Halloween shop, craft store, or even the drugstore should carry it.

Your hair should be given the same care as the body to look like you came back from the dead. I suggest teasing it up, and inserting some leaves and twigs. This is the difference between and authentic zombie and a last-minute zombie (you shouldn’t half-ass a zombie costume, you bring down the whole genre).

The last step is the makeup. Everyone has his own method. I find getting a container of fake skin and a container of makeup that includes colors like purple, black, white, and green to be enough, some toothpicks, a makeup sponge, fine paintbrush, and fake blood. Some people use liquid Latex and toilet paper to make skin, but most people get irritation from that. To your skin, add the fake skin and mound it up into a sort of worm-length and shape on your cheek and maybe another on your forehead that’s sort of silver dollar-sized. Press the edges of these into the skin to hold, but peel back one edge of it to make it look like skin is peeling away. If you make one of these mounds deep enough, you can take a toothpick or the handle of a fine paintbrush and dig into it to make a gash, you can even grab the edges and peel it back to open it up more.

Next step, You want the skin tone of the undead. Take the white makeup and scoop some into your palm (which will warm it up a bit for mixing). Add a touch of black and a touch of blue with a toothpick of the handle of a paintbrush. Mix this up until you get an adequate ash color. Sponge this onto your entire face, exposed ears, and neck; all that’s exposed by your costume.

Once you’re adequately pale, begin the bruising process. Dab purple under the eyes where your circles are (you know you have them). Use your fingers and dab it in so the edges fade. If it’s too dark, you can dab more of the face color on top. Now, get some green and dab that lightly around the edges of the purple on the inside and outside of the undereye circle (bruises fade from purple to green as they go outward).

For the wounds, I like to take some fake blood and add a toothpick tip or two worth of black to it to darken it. I work that into the fake wounds with a fine paintbrush. Where the fake skin meets your skin, begin to dab some of the purple and then the green out around the edges of that for bruising. You can now take a paintbrush and work some fake blood into the wound’s opening and let it drip down. Don’t forget to put another bruise along the corner of your mouth with purple and then green around its edges and drip blood from the corner of your mouth (zombies do eat, you know, and they don't use napkins).

Personally, I like a series of finger-sized bruises around the neck to make it look like you had been strangled to death (in your first lifetime--in this lifetime, it'll take a blow to the head--avoid those at all costs!) Some people enjoy doing the fake skin in a strip across the neck, open it up, and do a seam where someone slit your throat (also very classy).

Now, get a look at your makeup. You might want to take and lightly dust the top of your makeup with some cornstarch or baby powder. You can use a cottonball for this, but whisk the powder off it until there's barely any on the cottonball and then dab it. You don't want to become a clown (how does one tell if a clown is a zombie?)

Zombie attitude: I’d say just pretend it’s Monday morning after a party weekend and your carcass is going to work, but your mind isn’t there. Being a zombie is a combination of things. Working the limbs to walk should be foreign to you. I tend to like to imagine I’m walking with a ball and chain on my ankles so I have trouble moving them forward and planting them adequately to step off. Tilt the head to the side a bit because your center of balance is all f-‘d up. Don’t stare at anyone, just gaze out with half-opened eyes at nothing and don’t move them around a lot—makes you look too alert. Very slow reaction times are zombie hallmarks. No brushing back your hair quickly or yanking at your costume. Just repeat over and over again, “I don’t care, I don’t care, I don’t give a sh@$!”

Enjoy your stint as the undead. If you get any photos, please post them on your blogs. My son and his girlfriend are coming to our Halloween party as a Clint Eastwood Cowboy zombie and a settler girl zombie. Now, that's fun!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Get Your Horror Fix Online--Free

I did a little digging around. I hear from readers that they often times don’t get cable and miss some of the cool shows and awesome horror movies. Some don’t get the chance to sit down when movies are shown, but at your own leisure you can watch movies on your computer. Budgets and drives to the video store aside, if you have a fast Internet connection, these movies and shows for free online might make you feel like Halloween is accessible to us all at any time and cable is well…boring.

I picked some favorites, but with a little poking around, you can find all kinds of movies/shows online. If you see any on here you’ve never seen before, please let me know what you thought of them. They’re ones I highly recommend.

Carnival of Souls” 1962. This movie is creepy and weird. Women drag racing end up going off the bridge. Surprisingly, one woman emerges. When she recovers she takes a job as the town organist. It appears, however, that some creepy phantom from the abandoned amusement park is haunting her. This is considered a classic amongst horror fans.

"The Last Man on Earth" 1964. This Vincent Price movie is basically, “I am Legend” and “Omega Man.” This, however, is a classic version of it with lots of moodiness and creepiness. I adore this one and the zombies are awesome.

"Night of the Living Dead" 1968. People barricade themselves in a farm house to fight off zombies rising from the dead. This George Romero movie is a classic.

"The Haunting” 1963. The greatest haunted house movie of all time. This one is a classic, creepy, atmospheric, and realistic. Beautiful! A team is assembled to study a haunted house with an evil history.

"The Legend of Hell House” 1973. I adore this one. Much like “The Haunting” (same premise) but more ghostly “scientific” feeling to it. Super creepy, super classic.

See episodes of “Destination Truth,” “Ghost Hunters,” and other SyFy channel shows.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Blogs For Every Mood, Hobby, Personality, and Interest

“I want a one-stop place that has links to the latest blog posts on the Internet about the paranormal.”

“I want a one-stop place that has links to the latest blog posts on the Internet about aliens, UFOs, and paranormal.”

“I want a one-stop place that has links to the latest blog posts on alien info”

“I want a blog for reading great recaps of the latest episodes of paranormal shows”

“I want to read a blog by folks who are totally into urban legends, ghost stories, and all things paranormal with a perspective that’s honest and real.”

“I want to see creepy crafts and people into make spooky art.”

“I want to read a blog by someone who’s completely immersed in Halloween, is king of special effects, and has an awesome shop of horrors, someone who can show me things I didn’t know about the season.”

“I want a kind of `Practical Magic’ Martha Stewart blog that makes the world beautiful, magical, and witchy.

“I want a blog for Fortean, well-read, liberal intellects who enjoy philosophy, theories, politics, social issues, and literature,”

“I want a blog for people who love Cold War/art/missile silos and all things slick and nostalgic from the 40s to the 80s?”

“I want a blog for fortean zoology(cryptids.

“I want a blog for Wiccans to just hang and talk.”

“I want a place where a devout Christian can also talk UFOs.”

“I want a place to hear about all things paranormal.”

“I want to check out a cute comic that makes me smile.”

“I want a blog that’s written by someone real, someone with a bawdy sense of humor, who says it like it is.”

”I want a blog about ghost hunters and what’s up in other states and in the industry.”

“I want a blog by a hunter of vampires and zombies”

“I want a blog that takes me away to a quiet inlet of the Chesapeake with photographs and stories of life at a slower pace."

“I want movie reviews from someone I can trust, no ego, just good commonsense and a wide variety from obscure to current releases.”

“I want a blog that reviews obscure horror movies”

“I want a site by a babyboomer who’s seen it all, done it all, and is kicking back now to enjoy the countryside, chasing around historic sites and beautifully photographing them.”

“I want a blog by someone real!”

Admittedly, I'm practically cross-eyed reviewing all the blogs I follow to find you good matches. If I missed one, please let me know.

Friday, September 18, 2009

"The Brood"

If you are creeped out by movies with little things attacking you liked "It's Alive," "Phantasm," "Chucky," "Leprechaun," and "Don't Be Afraid of the Dark," this 1979 David Cronenberg movie "The Brood" is not to be missed!

I consider myself a real freak for 1970s horror, but somehow I completely missed this one until just recently. How is it possible??? It stars one of my biggest crushes--Oliver Reed, pretty boy of the time, Art Hindle, and the elegant Samantha Eggar.

A man must have his wife put away for being insane. While in the hospital she becomes a subject of an egotistical psychiatrist with strange concepts about healing. He encourages her to fester her anger towards everyone who ever wronged her and thus begins to give birth to her own demons. This movie seemed like a slow-moving movie-of-the-week type film until all of a sudden it threw me a curve. Just like it's wrong for dolls to attack people, it's equally wrong for small humanoid creatures to attack. Yikes! It's an interesting statement about physical manifestations of anger, such as seen in poltergeists. In this case, however, she can manifest full-blown biological organisms to do her angry bidding.

I strongly encourage you to seek this one out. You won't be disappointed for its novelty and surreal qualities. I definitely put it in alignment with "Don't Be Afraid of the Dark" and "Phantasm" for scary little people...

Debunking Answers to Last Post

Photo #1. Natural. This was taken on an icy night and the suspended ice crystals in the air picked up the light from streetlamps. This was taken in a very cold country, but here in AZ we sometimes get this when there’s a sandstorm. The crystals of sand and particles reflect the lights. Those of you who noted that the lights seemed to extend from existing lights were very perceptive. I usually like to arrive before dark to places to take reference shots. Later, when I’m at home reviewing photos, I can see what’s there in the daylight that might be reflective or objects that appear to be human shapes at night.
Photo #2. Supernatural. This not only couldn’t be explained, but was shot in consecutive shots for about 10 frames before disappearing completely. The shots were all taken with the camera resting in the same spot that I’ve taken shots for many years regularly. This was the first time this particular phenomenon showed up. I’ve gotten lots of strange things in this same area with lots of colors cresting in consecutive shots and then dissipating. We’ve even caught them on separate cameras. What it is—I have no explanation, but because this area has had the same issues for many many years with many cameras and many photographers, I’m left baffled. I would like to say its earth phenomenon. If you take pictures anywhere else around the graveyard you don’t get this effect. Admittedly there is a prominent family of 20 buried in this fenced in area and many tragic deaths. I originally thought it might be an issue with the fencing, but repeated shots under the same conditions haven’t proven it to be repeatable over time. If it were an issue with the bars, the camera remaining in the same spot taking consecutive pictures should just continue to capture it. It is on at an Indian butte where all the HoHoKam canals converged. Some have said it’s a portal. To be honest, because it occurs within a few feet of the same place every time…I think it just could be. I’ve found no temperature changes or EMF issues, but the dowsing rods go mad there and my body becomes covered in intense goosebumps and hair-standing-on-end feeling like when lightning strikes too closely. I've even smelled ozone. I’ve come to call the spot "the portal."
Photo #3: Natural. It was a cold night and I purposely exhaled while taking the shot to see what cold breath looks like in a picture. It’s a good practice to try your camera in the rain, wind, up close to a tree when you shake it, in a dusty room when you shake a curtain, with cold breath, with a camera strap and hair in the way, and moving it when taking shots at night to see how it blurs. These reference shots are priceless when debunking. Any time you’re shooting in cold weather, you need to definitely take a deep breath, wait, and take the shot while holding your breath. Keep others away from you so their breath isn’t in the shot either. Tie your hair up. Remove your camera strap. The more controlled your shots, the less you have to debunk. Camera straps usually fall on the right side of the shot and often times look braided or coiled. Cold breath is wispy and usually comes from the bottom of the shot drifting upwards.
Photo #4: Supernatural. I’m amazed, but every now and then I get a shot like this—an orb quite a distance away (I’ve zoomed in on the original shot, but it was about 15 feet away) appearing to be behind the fencing. So much for the dust/pollen in front of the flash near the lens theory on that particular one. I really can’t explain it, but it’s very pretty, isn’t it? Oh, and it’s in that same place where we got the pink patch “portal.”
Photo #5 Natural. A hair! They usually resemble your hair color and have inner circles. Women with long hair really need to keep it braided or tied up. I can’t tell you how many times in the early years I examined hair for hours thinking it was a vortex!