2. Munchkin Zombie: The Munchkin games are a world unto themselves. They are a fairly simple card game that pokes fun and pays homage to role playing games. I don't care for role playing games, but this card game makes me giggle happily every time I play it. The zombie version of this game is brilliant. You will battle horrible adversaries like girl scouts or cafeteria ladies with your own large intestine or with someone else's left leg. This is a definite dark delight for anyone who likes zombies.
Thursday, September 29, 2011
I love games. I love playing every kind of card game and board game. Game night was a tradition in my family that I have passed on to my own family. It is a way of bonding with friends and family that draws everyone together in fun. My favorite games are quite traditional. I love scrabble and Words with Friends on my iphone is my favorite app. I love hearts and chess and monopoly deal, but for Halloween I've discovered some new games that bring out my ghoulish nature. They also reveal my dork side as much as they reveal my dark side. They are cute and creepy and make the season more interesting. I turn out the lights, light some candles, and get out these games for a a ghostly giggle in the dark hours of night:
Monday, September 26, 2011
It is said that ever since this time, anyone who wanderers along this lonely stretch of train track can catch a glimpse of this young man at night. He walks along the tracks he was killed on carrying a lantern. Those that see him can see him in front of them for only a minute. He appears to be searching for his lost head in the darkness. When the observer gets to close to the young man that has come to be called the Vander Light, he vanishes into the darkness. If you turn around, you can see him standing behind you, watching you and waiting for the parts of himself he has lost in the darkness.
Wednesday, September 21, 2011
5. The House on Larabee Street:
This haunting story has always been one of my favorites because it does not have a history. The haunting on Larrabbee Street has often been compared to the Amityville case, however, the house on Larrabee Street didn't have the history the Amityville house had. It is a haunting that is unexplainable. The spirit that haunted Allen and Deborah Tallman came from nowhere.
The Tallman's found their dream home on Larabee street and the house slowly turned evil. At first, the family began to get sick and sickness became nightmares and ghosts and monsters that crawled in and out of the woodwork tormenting the family and their children until they finally flee there home. For a more detailed write up on this fascinating haunting you can go to:
4. The Demon in the Shadows:
This is a haunting I learned about during an interview for Haunted North Alabama. A young woman came forward and told me she wanted to talk to me and the story she told me was chilling. This young woman bought a lovely home with her husband and the house immediately showed signs of haunting. Doors opened and closed on their own. Light bulbs exploded. Phantom mists tormented the woman and her family. Finally, the woman would wake in the morning to find deep gashes in her back where the hostile entity had clawed her. She and her family had to flee their home. The complete write up for this haunting can be found in Haunted North Alabama.
3. A Haunting in Conneticut:
This is one of the most famous hauntings. It was made into a movie, that was not true to the facts of the actual haunting, but was still an interesting movie. The real haunting in this case began with a house that had been a funeral home. The eldest son of the family that moved into this home was driven slowly mad by a hostile entity that lived in the house and when he went to an institution the entity turned to the rest of the family. Psychics involved in this case say an old evil lived in this house that preyed on the living. An exorcism was performed of the house and the case resolved, but the family still moved . You can read more about this case at:
2. The LaLaurie Mansion:
This infamous haunted house was home to the famous Madam LaLaurie. Madam LaLaurie was a sadist and the things she did to her slaves in this New Orleans Mansion are beyond horrific. She sewed slaves together and removed their appendages and reattached them to other places. After a fire, the community discovered Madam LaLaurie's sadism and she fled, leaving behind her a trail of ghost stories and a house that is so haunted it screams with ghosts. You can learn more about this ghoulish haunting at:
1. Hull House:
This is another haunting that was so famous it inspired a movie. Hull House is tucked away neatly on a campus in Chicago. It was founded by Jane Addams as a refuge for displaced young woman. Jane Addams was a remarkable woman and the work she did for those in need is admirable on every level. That is why she hated that Hull House became most known as the house where Satan's baby was born. According to legend, one of the young women living in this house gave birth to a demon spawn in this house. Ever since then tails of ghosts and paranormal activity surrounding this location have proliferated. Hull House is a popular stop on the Chicago Ghost tours and is one of the few places I've photographed in which I got something that looked like a ghost on film. The story behind Hull House was the inspiration for Rosemary's Baby. Learn more about this one at:
I know there are many other house hauntings that aren't on my list. The Winchester House, Lemp Mansion, Whaley House, and The Myrtles Plantation all have wonderful haunted histories, but these five are my favorite and the they have stories that give me a chill every time. For me, this is the perfect time of year to revisit some of my favorite haunted house stories. With October around the corner and Halloween in the air, a little scare is the perfect way to set the mood for the season!
To learn more about haunted houses you can go to this link and read more:
Sunday, September 18, 2011
The Arsenal switched hands again several times and was taken by the Confederates during the civil war only to be passed back over the United States again in 1862. From 1887 to 1894, The Arsenal became a Barracks and was used as a prison for the captured Apache people. The most famous of the Apache people to be held in these barracks was Geronimo. There is a door in the lobby of the old hospital that is labeled as the door to Geronimo's cell. It is beautiful and intricate. Sadly, history notes that Geronimo was not kept in a cell during his stay at Mt. Vernon. He was allowed freedom to wander the barrack, so the door is just a lovely bit of folklore. The infamous Aaron Burr was also held at this secluded prison at some point after his notorious gun fight.
In 1900 the Barracks were transformed once again and the prison became a mental hospital. Searcy hospital was built as the African American mental hospital in Alabama. Conditions in the hospital were beyond questionable and at one time there were over 2000 patients in the crowded hospital and all were seen by one psychiatrist. All patients were expected to work in the fields.
Thursday, September 15, 2011
This left me with a bit of a mystery. There was clearly someone upstairs. My dogs saw it. I saw it. It was an adult person. I sat down to ponder whether or not both the dogs and I had accidentally ingested LSD when my husband came home. He reminded me that his mother had died two years ago last night. He was sad. I had completely forgotten about the day because I forget all birthdays and anniversaries by default, but now I had to wonder if my unexplained event and the date were related. I've heard stories of ghosts that only return on the anniversary f their death. Perhaps this is what I saw. I saw my mother-in-law going upstairs to check on the grandchildren she loved so much. I hope so. There is actually comfort in that thought. There is comfort that somehow those who have left us can still come back and check on us and make sure we are alright, that they can love us from afar even if we can't always see them. It is certainly more comforting than my accidental ingestion of LSD theory. Either way, I'll light a candle for my mother-in-law today. She and I had our differences, but I miss her now that she is gone.
Monday, September 12, 2011
As I watched some odd show on TV about a young man being tormented by a demon that researchers thought was connected to his haunted house, I realized that the line between haunting, possession, and true mental illness is blurry to many. The young man on the show demonstrated classic symptoms of schizophrenia. He was at the right age for his first psychotic break. He was having command hallucinations. His thought patterns were disorganized and he was no longer rational. To me, this wasn't a haunting, it was a young man who needed help. For sceptics, this is the obvious answer to all hauntings and demon possessions. It is easy to say mental illness is the answer. However, I think there are ways to see a difference between the supernatural and the natural affects of mental illness. Obviously, many psychiatrists and therapists don't feel this way, but I think when diagnostic criteria for a mental illness aren't met and treatment doesn't work, other things could be considered.
First, lets talk about mental illness. In order to be diagnosed with any mental illness a cluster of symptoms has to be present. So someone who is describing the ghosts of the dead tormenting them in the absence of other symptoms could really be seeing them (in my opinion). Here are some examples of the diagnostic criteria for some mental illnesses in which delusions of ghosts and demons and paranormal events are common:
1.Characteristic symptoms: Two or more of the following, each present for much of the time during a one-month period (or less, if symptoms remitted with treatment).
Disorganized speech, which is a manifestation of formal thought disorder
Grossly disorganized behavior (e.g. dressing inappropriately, crying frequently) or catatonic behavior
Negative symptoms: Blunted affect (lack or decline in emotional response), alogia (lack or decline in speech), or avolition (lack or decline in motivation)
2.Social or occupational dysfunction: For a significant portion of the time since the onset of the disturbance, one or more major areas of functioning such as work, interpersonal relations, or self-care, are markedly below the level achieved prior to the onset.
3.Significant duration: Continuous signs of the disturbance persist for at least six months. This six-month period must include at least one month of symptoms (or less, if symptoms remitted with treatment).
Schizotypal Personality Disorder:
A. A pervasive pattern of social and interpersonal deficits marked by cognitive or perceptual distortions indicated by 5 or more of the following:
1. ideas of reference
2. odd beliefs and magical thinking that are inconsistent with cultural norms such as belief in clairvoyant, telepathy, or a sixth sense.
3. unusual perceptual experiences, including bodily illusions
4. odd thinking and speech
5. paranoid ideation
6. inappropriate or constricted affect
7. behavior or appearance that is odd, eccentric, or peculiar
8. lack of close friends other than first degree relatives
9. excessive social anxiety that is associated with paranoid fears rather than negative judgements about oneself.
Psychotic features can also be present in mood and other disorders that could lead to delusions of persecution from otherworldly forces. However, when looking at a functional person who believes in ghosts or the supernatural and sees things haunting him the easiest way to determine if he might be really mentally ill or just haunted is to ask if meets other criteria: Is the person normal otherwise? Do they have successful, happy interpersonal relationships? Do they make sense when they talk to you? Can they hold down a job?
An example I have is of a fellow I worked with some years ago in one of the three cities I've worked in. I worked with this fellow for a long time and he was completely resistant to treatment. He was a father of three who had a stable job and a happy marriage. He had no symptoms of bizarre behavior and had many friends. Out of the blue, a ghost began to torment him. He went to seek medical help. He had been in and out of hospitals and never had any medication worked. As a professional, I couldn't say this, but I had to wonder if his ghost may not have been real? He was a normal fellow in every other respect and no treatment worked. He was not superstitious and didn't believe in ghosts himself so he was confounded and angry as to why the mental health community just couldn't help him.
I've interviewed many people who have described persecutions by demons and ghosts and haunting. I've written their stories and I've believed these people, but skeptics and other professional always ask me how I know these people aren't just crazy. I always answer with the above. They were otherwise normal, healthy, balanced people. They had no history of mental illness and when they left their house or escaped the haunting situation they were able to return to a normal life. It is simple. Many sane and normal people describe paranormal experiences and once mental illness and natural phenomena are ruled out, the alternative has to be considered, and maybe that is the most terrifying possibility of all.
Friday, September 9, 2011
I feel this way about black stick men. I keep an open mind, but the stories I've heard of these paranormal entities leave me wondering. Black stick men are a relatively new phenomena. According to witnesses, these men are unnaturally tall and so thin that they are two dimensional. They look like stick figures drawn by a small child in kindergarten class. They have no facial features and are a blank slate. They are said to watch people. They don't move fast or attack their victim, but instead slowly follow behind them from a distance. Those who have seen them describe feeling overwhelmed by fear and indicate that ignoring the creatures seems to be the fastest way to get them to leave you alone. One gentleman described seeing one of these stick men on a walk at night. He glimpsed the stick man with the light of a flashlight. He didn't describe any fear or action on the part of the figure. He only described it as there, watching him. This tends to be the standard description of these phantom creatures. They watch and they wait and what their purpose could be is as mysterious as the creatures themselves.
There are many theories as to what these stick men are. Some say they are ghosts or demons and others say they are alien visitors sent to observe us. I'm not sure what they could be, but this is one paranormal creature I tend to think might exist more firmly in the mind of the observer than in the real world. Of course, I am often wrong.
Thursday, September 8, 2011
The Ghost Train in Saskatchewan is one of the most famous ghost stories in Canada. Saskatchewan is one of the warmer provinces of Canada. It receives more sunlight than any other province and its summer temperatures can be almost as high as the temperatures in the United States. This warmth doesn't stop St. Louis, Saskatchewan from being home to a famous ghost train, however. In 1929, a CNR engineer was checking the train tracks by St. Louis. He was taken by surprise and hit by a train. He was lost in the headlights of the train and his ghost is said to wander the tracks to this day.
A multitude of people have described seeing ghostly lights by this stretch of track for over 80 years. These lights are attributed to a phantom train that has been brought back by the dead engineer's ghost. Late at night, travellers and explorers who stand by the track can see lights coming down the tracks and then vanishing into the mist. These lights have been described by skeptics and believers and have even been caught on film. Nonbelievers look for some earthly cause to explain the lights, but many say this will never be found. The ghost train comes in the night and for many the only explanation imaginable is that this stretch of track is haunted.
Monday, September 5, 2011
The Petit Trianon is amazingly beautiful. Marie Antoinette made it a little piece of heaven, but it is soaked in blood and forever a symbol of the aristocratic oppression of the French people. It is not surprising that this disquieting place in known to be haunted and lost in time. It is not only known for its numerous ghosts, but also for its strange time slips. A plethora of ghosts have been seen wandering the serene grounds of this sanctuary. Workers in eighteenth-century clothing are seen milling about. Marie Antoinette and her many visitors and friends have been seen in the building and gardens. Strange noises have been reported throughout the Petit Trianon. Phantoms call this small palace home.
One of the most interesting stories from the Petit Trianon involve a group of people that went into the building at the turn of last century for a tour. The building, which had once been crowded with people, suddenly became very empty. The silence was uncanny and the group wandered for what seemed like forever trying to figure out what had happened. Finally, a lovely lady appeared seated on a terrace. As they approached the lady, a footman came and drove them out off the terrace into a crowd of people. As they left, they realized that not only had no time passed since their arrival and their departure, but the woman they had seen on the terrace matched the picture of Marie Antoinette perfectly.