Wednesday, December 25, 2013

The Ghosts of Christmas Yet to Come

Christmas is one of the most ironic holidays.   Although it has been embraced by Christians around the world as the celebration of the birth of Christ, its antecedents are murky and deeply embedded in pagan tradition.   Christmas isn't the day Christ was actually born.  In fact, most scholars believe he was born in the spring.  Christmas was chosen by the early Christians as a day to celebrate Christ's birth because the celebration could be easily hidden beneath the more common pagan holidays of the time, like the Roman Saturnalia which was celebrated on the 25th.  Early Christians were being hunted by the Romans and it was safer for them to celebrate their holidays when they could be hidden.  There were many pagan holidays around Christmas because they were solstice celebrations.   Over the centuries,  Christianity has taken many pagan traditions and integrated them into their celebration of the birth of Christ, so that Christmas as we know it today is a kind of conglomerate of many different early solstice traditions.  Despite this,  Christmas is a celebration of Christ and his birth, but it is not surprising that some of the most terrifying ghosts and horror stories also seem to spring from Christmas. 

One of the earliest and most famous of these Christmas ghosts comes from literary master Charles Dickens.   Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol is possibly the most famous work of Christmas literature ever written.   It has been redone so many times that people hardly remember what the original ghosts that haunted Dickens' story actually looked like.  Few know that the ghost of Christmas past was actually a creature in white with a flame on his head.  Dickens most famous ghost is the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come.

The Ghost of Christmas Future was and is one of the most terrifying ghosts ever imagined.  Time has eroded the edges of this famous haunt, but in his original form, the ghost was akin to death.   All of Dickens' ghosts have been imagined and re imagined in many different forms.  They've become fairies and cab drivers and cartoon characters, but the ghost of Christmas Future has remained completely untouched.  He is always the same.  No matter how silly the depiction of a Christmas Carol he resides in,  The Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come is always a grim specter dressed in black.  He is speechless and shows the horrors of  what lies ahead. He is my favorite spirit because he represents all our worst fears.  He represents the unknowable and uncontrollable.  No matter how much money we save, the future is always unpredictable. 

Now for me to go watch my favorite adaptation of Dickens classic A Christmas Carol.  I am going to watch "Scrooged."

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Bigfoot Footprint?

A friend of mine showed me this picture a few days ago.  I'm not much of a cryptid person.  I tend to be deeply skeptical when it comes to bigfoot and other creatures that some believe lurk in the shadows forgotten by man.  This photograph, however, challenged my skepticism.  I know the folks that showed me this picture are not the type of people who would fake a photograph.  They are pretty busy people.  They both work and have children and are stable, normal adults.  I don't think they have the time or the inclination to fake a footprint like this.  They happened upon this footprint by chance.

The man who took this picture is about six foot six by my estimation and has a size 14 shoe.  He placed his foot by the footprint to give the viewer a sense of perspective on how massive the footprint is.  He also indicated that the dirt around the footprint was packed pretty tight and that he hadn't left a footprint at all that day.  This photograph was taken in Tennessee.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

My American Horror Story Coincidence

I began writing years ago and most of the books I am publishing now I actually finished writing more than two years ago.  It takes a while for books to make it through the publication process.  It is therefore a strange coincidence that the release dates for my books seem to mirror my favorite television show.  This, of course, fills me with giddy glee.

American Horror Story is my favorite show and has been since I saw the very episode.  I make no secret of this.  The first season of American Horror Story was set in a haunted house in California that was known as Murder House.  It followed one family's daunting experiences in this twisted house.  It also tells the diabolical history that lives in the shadows of this chilling house.  Ghosts of the wicked dance across the screen and made this season of American Horror Story utterly unique.  That same year I released my second Haunted book, Haunted Chattanooga, in it I go over the dark and terrifying haunted locations in Chattanooga.

The second season of American Horror Story was called Asylum.  This season was even more twisted than the first and all you could do was watch in horror as the history of  an evil asylum opens up before you. That year my novel, Circe, was released and it chronicled the haunted and twisted history of Searcy State hospital in South Alabama. 

This year American Horror Story delves into witchcraft with its third season, Coven.  The wicked witches in this season summon the dead, murder each other, and bury my favorite serial killer alive.  It is magnificent.  This fall, my latest novel is The Accidental Witch, which chronicles a clinical psychologists descent into a world of dark magic and sex after she receives a strange spell book in the mail, was released.

Of course, this is all just lucky coincidence, but it is enough to make me happy.  I'm hoping the trend continues, but I doubt it will last another season.  Either was I can't wait to see what American Horror Story will bring next!

Monday, December 2, 2013

Book Tour Give Away

My new book, The Accidental Witch, is going on tour today.  To celebrate, I am doing an extra give away here.  All you have to do is comment below saying that you will rate my book on Amazon and/or Goodreads and I will send 3 commenters a free copy of my book and a $10 giftcard!  Good Luck!" rel="nofollow">a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Le Donjon de le Musee du Louvre

In a write up Haunted American Tours did on the Louvre they wrote, "Many believe that thousands of lost and crazed starving and tortured souls still walk the many gallery's, looking for a way out."   After spending one long day trying desperately to see the Louvre in it's entirety I would say the lost, crazed, starving souls described here must have included me.  It took me almost an hour to find where to eat and I couldn't find my way out of the Egyptian section.

Although the Haunted American Tours write up on the Louvre says that the entire museum is crawling with ghosts,  I only found one placard in the museum commenting on ghosts.  This placard was located in the lonely medieval section of the Louvre.  There are sections of this gargantuan museum that are so crowded, even in the off season, you can barely breath, but the medieval section or donjon of the Louvre is quiet, almost forgotten.   It is beneath the rest of the museum, hiding in it's shadows.  There is no art in the donjon only the long buried history of the museum itself.

The first Louvre was a fortress built at the beginning of the 13th century by Philip II Augustus to defend the Seine below Paris against the Normans and English. It consisted of a thick cylindrical donjon (dungeon) surrounded by towered walls. This château, enlarged and embellished by Charles V in the 14th century, was sacrificed in the 16th century at the end of the reign of Francis I in order to make room for a new Renaissance structure of the same size. Only the west wing and part of the south wing of the projected palace, conceived by the architect Pierre Lescot and decorated with sculptures by Jean Goujon, were finished.

It is in the old donjon that there is a placard that clearly states that there are ghosts in the Louvre.  It tells about the multiple visitors and employees who have encountered ghosts in this once battle torn portion of the old museum. The placard explains that the donjon walls stood against the English and the Normans and saw battles on many occasions so the ghosts could be the ghosts of fallen soldiers or even those imprisoned in the old fortress walls.  Whoever the ghosts are,  it is clear that the older portions of the Louvre are haunted and if you are quiet you can almost hear them.  I think I even see a small orb at the top of a picture I took while I was visiting this haunted location.  It is in the picture at the top of this story.

Friday, November 8, 2013

The Moody Brick and The Accidental Witch

The Moody Brick is an old plantation house in rural Alabama.  Its bricks positively drip with ghost stories and old legends.  The ghost stories there are so thick you'd have to shovel them away to see past them.   According to local legend, the original owners of The Moody Brick weren't a very kind lot.   In fact, they were known for their cruelty.  They enjoyed torturing their slaves and their cruelty was so profound that it drew the attention of others.   The slaves there knew little peace until the Emmancipation Proclamation.   Although the proclamation freed them, in the South they were still slaves.  However, they were doe and it is said that they rose up in the middle of the night and killed their masters in their beds.   After, they fled into the night. 

The locals couldn't tolerate this act, however, and they hunted the slaves down and killed them all.  They hung them from an oak tree in the front yard.  This is all according to local legend and this legend also describes the ghosts of the slaves and their masters wandering the grounds of the Moody Brick looking for solace.  The factual history of  The Moody Brick isn't much more pleasant.  During the civil war, the building was taken by Union forces and used as a hospital.  The countless Union soldiers that died there are buried on the property.  The building has burned down and been rebuilt.  It has seen suicides and lynchings.  It sat empty and has now been redone and rumored to be filled with old ghosts and lost spirits.  Whether or not this is true, The Moody Brick intrigued me enough to set my novel, The Accidental Witch, in it's old bricks.  I renamed it, but the place is almost the same.

The Accidental Witch cam out this week. 

The Accidental Witch

Kindle US


All Romance eBook


Kindle UK

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

The Accidental Witch is Officially Released!

My new book, The Accidental Witch, was released today!  Yay!  Here is a little bit about this haunting book, set in a house based on my favorite haunted plantation, The Moody Brick.

The Accidental Witch  - Ebook

Phaedra Michaels is a small town psychologist who is beginning to lose hope. Two of her patients at the local hospital in Dismal, Alabama have just killed themselves, she’s still reeling from her divorce and what turned out to be a disastrous marriage, and her father has died, leaving her without any notion of who her real mother is.

Just as Phaedra decides to commit herself to a serious drinking problem and an eating disorder, or two, a mysterious spell book arrives in the mail. Feeling desperate, Phaedra uses it to cast spells to save her fading patients. Suddenly, good things start happening.  Phaedra’s patients begin to get better and she even starts dating the sexy doctor from the hospital.

Phaedra is so happy she doesn't notice the small things that start to go wrong in Dismal, or the dark creatures slithering out of the shadows near her house. When Phaedra finally realizes her spells have attracted every card-carrying demon from hell, she has no choice but to accept help from a slightly nerdy, 500 year-old warlock with a penchant for wearing super hero T-shirts and a knack for getting under Phaedra’s skin. Now, if only she could get the hang of this witch thing, she might be able to save her town.  

Click Here to Buy Now: 

Monday, November 4, 2013

13 Most Haunted Sites in New York by Emily Nonko

13 Most Haunted Sites in New York City

Emily Nonko

 As you might guess, there are no shortage of hauntings reported in each of the five boroughs. Some ghosts date back as far as the Revolutionary War, others are a product of more recent, grisly deaths. Here's our pick for 13 New York City haunts where New Yorkers, dead and alive, still roam.

One – Algonquin Hotel

Location: Midtown, Manhattan

Why Haunted: The Algonquin is a well-regarded Manhattan hotel famous for its ghost stories. A celebrated group of writers and actors, known as the  “Algonquin Round Table,” congregated at the hotel everyday for lunch in the 20s. There are reports that the members still haunt the hotel grounds today. Dorothy Parker, founding member of the Round Table, tried unsuccessfully to commit suicide in the hotel in 1932. She died in 1967 and her spirit has been hanging around since.

Two – The Dakota

Location: Upper West Side, Manhattan

Although the Dakota is famously known as the murder site of John Lennon, the historic co-op building has a very long history of ghost stories and lore. Lennon himself saw the “Crying Lady Ghost” roaming the hallways of the building – a spectral figure of a woman who wailed down the building corridors. Residents and building workers also report reoccurring sightings of a little girl in turn-of-the-century clothing, as well as the ghost of a young boy. Reportedly Yoko Ono, along with other residents, have seen John Lennon's spirit periodically in the building.

Three – Morris-Jumel Mansion

Location: Washington Heights, Manhattan 

This is Manhattan's oldest house and George Washington's headquarters during the Revolutionary War. It's also haunted by the actress and prostitute Madame Eliza Jumel. Jumel was driven into bankruptcy and divorced by her second husband Aaron Burr; eventually she lost her mind and died in the mansion at age 92. There are reports she roams the building and taps on the windows and doors. In 1962 a mysterious woman asked a group of visiting school children to quiet down, despite no living person living inside. That's not the building's only haunting – the ghosts of Aaron Burr, a maidservant, a Revolutionary War soldier, and Stephen Jumel, Eliza's first husband who died a mysterious death, are also reported to roam the grounds.

Four – White Horse Tavern

Location: West Village, Manhattan

The White Horse Tavern is the historic bar where the famed poet Dylan Thomas died a famous death – collapsing outside the bar after a reported 18 whiskey shots. Now patrons occasionally see him sitting at his favorite corner table in the bar, or wandering outside. It certainly helps that the bar looks nearly unchanged since it opened in 1880, decorated with old porcelain horses and portraits of Thomas. The bar serves the poet's purported last meal in the back room every year on the anniversary of his death, November 9th.


Five – Kreischer Mansion

Location: Charleston, Staten Island

The Krischer family built this mansion in the 1880s, right next door to an identical mansion that eventually burned down. The family made its money through brick making, although the fortune ran out. Distraught over his dwindling funds, mansion owner Edward Kreischer committed suicide. Staten Island residents have spotted a spectral couple – possibly Edward and his wife -- wandering the grounds. There are also reports of wailing coming from the home. Many years later in 2005, a mob-related murder took place here. Now the rundown property is a popular destination for Staten Island kids on Halloween.


Six – The “House of Death” at 14 West 10th Street

Location: Greenwich Village, Manhattan

This 1856 townhouse was dubbed the “House of Death” because a reported 22 former residents have haunted the building over the years! A number of these tenants died mysteriously in the home. Once of the reported ghosts is Mark Twain, who lived in the house in 1900 and appeared in the ground-floor apartment in the 1930s. In 1987, the home made headlines after a tenant beat his daughter to death in the second-floor apartment.

Seven – Melrose Hall

Location: Flatbush, Brooklyn

Melrose Hall was one the most heavily reported haunted houses in the late 1800s and early 1900s, when the Brooklyn Eagle reported ghost stories like hard news. The interior has been described as having "dark corridors, oddly shaped rooms, winding stairways, black holes, mysterious trap doors, and other unprecedented features." During the Revolutionary War, the owner built secret chambers in the mansion to hide Tory supports, as well as a dungeon in the basement to imprison American patriots.  The home's most famous ghost is a young woman who died in one of the secret chambers.

Eight – Seaview Hospital and the New York Farm Colony

Location: mid Staten Island

First a poor house, then a tuberculosis hospital, now a decrepit and abandoned New York City landmark. The farm colony/poor house (designed as a means of rehabilitation for the mentally ill) was established in the 1830s and the hospital opened in 1913. The complex has sat in decay since 1975, but due to a landmark designation in 1985 nothing can be torn down. Workers of the hospital claimed to have seen old patients wandering through the hall, now it's a rotting asylum left to the elements.

Nine: Brooklyn Public Library

Location: Grand Army Plaza, Brooklyn

In 1977, the six-year-old girl Agatha Ann Cunningham visited the Brooklyn Public Library with her classmates, disappeared, and was never found. Both employees and patrons have heard mysterious noises, like a girl's laughter or sobbing, coming from the library's basement stacks. In 2011, a few interns looked a little further into the haunting, and published this convincing video...

Ten – Belasco Theater

Location: Midtown, Manhattan

The Belasco Theater, in Manhattan's famed Theater District, is haunted by the theater's namesake. David Belasco started writing plays in the 1880s and died in 1931 after a celebrated career. There are no scandalous or tragic stories attached to his death, but for whatever reason his ghost decided to stick around the theater. Theater workers have spotted him in the upstairs apartment and offices of the theater wearing a cassock and a clerical collar. (They dubbed the ghost “The Monk.”) He's also been spotted standing on the balcony, observing the shows that go on in his theater.

Eleven – The Octagon

Location: Roosevelt Island 

Roosevelt Island, once an island the city used as a location for corrective hospitals, is rife with ghost stores. The Octagon, a rental building located there, was previously the site of the former New York Lunatic Asylum, famously criticized as a place of suffering and horror. The only remaining architectural element of the asylum is the building's octagon, which is now the centerpiece of the residential development. The residents report unexplainable incidents and paranormal activity; they also report that pets sometimes refuse to walk up the stairs of the building. The island is also home to ruins of a former smallpox building (declared a landmark in 1975), only adding to the eerie vibe of the place.


Twelve – Van Courtland House

Location: Van Courtland Park, Bronx

The Van Courtland House is the oldest surviving home in the Bronx, located on a park that's also said to be haunted. Visitors of Van Courtland Park, the site of the Stockbridge Indian Massacre, have heard whispers and seen spirits around Vault Hill, the park's burial grounds. As for the house, built in 1748, it is the site of hauntings by Adrian Van der Donck, a Dutch settler who laid claim to the area and later died in a Indian raid, and Jacobus Van Courtland, the original owner of the home. Sighting of George Washington have also been reported – he stayed at the home at least twice during the Revolutionary War.,47140


Thirteen – Merchant House Museum

Location: East Village, Manhattan

The New York Times dubbed this East Village house museum the “most haunted house in Manhattan” – there's even a dedicated section of the Merchant House's website for the resident ghosts. The Tredwall family lived in the house for nearly 100 years, and the last living resident of the house, Gertrude Tredwell, is said to still watch over it. She died in the home in 1933 and it became a museum in 1936. Since then, the museum staff, visitors and volunteers have experienced strange happenings – sites of a woman in a brown dress roaming the house, mysterious piano music, and unexplainable flashing lights. All this month, the museum hosts a series of “spirited” events in honor of its not-quite-dead residents.

Thanks to Emily for giving me a chance to repost this awesome story!


Friday, October 25, 2013

The Origin of The Halloween Costume

For those of us who passionately love Halloween, the season's preparations have already begun.  Part of every child and adult's preparation is deciding on a costume.  This is perhaps the most beloved part of any Halloween celebration.  Dressing up as a sexy maid or a horrible zombie is the Hallmark of our modern Holiday celebration. But as Halloween creeps up on us, I always think it is fun to think back to where this tradition came from. It is good to know why we dress up on Halloween. Halloween's history is most commonly traced back to the Celtic festival of Samhain. During Samhain, the Celts believed that the divider between this world and the next became thin. This thinning allowed both malevolent and benevolent spirits to cross over to our world. This naturally caused a good deal of fear and anxiety for the ancient Celts. While family ghosts were welcomed, bad spirits had to be scared off. Celts used bonfires to drive evil spirits off. They also used apotropaic devices to scare off bad spirits.

Apotropaic literally means to ward off evil but apotopaic devices are often devices that are so terrifying that they scare away evil. My favorite examples of apotropaic devices are the gargoyles and terrible monsters that line the outside and insides of medieval cathedrals in Europe. The most holy places in the medieval world were lined with horrifying demons and monsters that are often depicted devouring people and animals. These horrors were so terrible that medieval people thought that even evil spirits would be frightened off.

Costumes were used as both apotropaic devices and disguises to confuse the spirits. In Scotland, young men pretended to be dead by blackening their faces. These costumes evolved over the years and were eventually used in the late medieval practice of souling when poor people would go door to door asking for food. This practice eventually evolved into costumed trick or treating. So as you plan your costume this year remember that it should not only be interesting, but it should scare off evil spirits as well!

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Decking the Halls With Balls of Horror!

It is October.  The pumpkin spice lattes are at Starbucks.  Spirit Halloween is selling massive amounts of Halloween Horrors.  The kids can practically smell the bags of candy in the air.  For me, that means it is time to get out the Halloween decorations and begin decking the halls, yard, living room, kitchen, and any other area I can find with skeletons, monsters, and all manner or horrors.  Here is a look at what I've started with!

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

The Ghost Bride

The Ghost Bride by Yangsze Choo has become one of my favorite books. It is like nothing I have read before and it tells a ghost story unlike any I have ever heard.  I have long had a fascination with Asian supernatural beliefs and The Ghost Bride is a journey into these beliefs.  The novel is set in old Malaya.  Malayasia at this time is still deeply set in old Chinese customs.  The novel is the story Li Lan, the daughter of a bankrupt family with no hopes of a proper marriage for her. It is because of this that her family considers an unusual offer for her from the rich and powerful Lim family.  She has received a rare offer to become a ghost bride to the Lim family's deceased son.

This dreamlike book pulls its heroin through the ghostly world of the dead and into a realm of superstition and magic.  It is beautifully written and oddly educational.  The author introduced me to a new concept of death and dying.  According to Choo,  "The folk tradition of marriages to ghosts or between ghosts usually occurred in order to placate spirits or allay a haunting.  There are a number of allutsions to it in Chinese literature but its roots eem to lie in ancestor worship.  Matches were sometimes made between two deceased persons, with the families on both sides recognizing the marriage as a tie between them.  However, there were other cases in which a living person was married to the dead.  These primarily took the form of a living person fulfilling the with of a dying sweetheard, or to give the rank of a wife to a mistress or concubine who had produced an heir.  In rare cases,  an impoverished girl was taken into a household as a widow to perform the ancestral rites for a man who died without a wife of descendants.  In such a case, an actual marriage ceremony would be performed with a rooser standing in for the dead bridegroom."

Choo does an amazing job integrating this old costume into a fictional account of a young woman coming of age.   I can't wait to read more books by Choo.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

American Horror Story's Madame LaLaurie

Anyone who has ever heard me tell ghost stories knows that the positively diabolical tale of Madame LaLaurie is my absolute favorite tale of ghoulish, ghostly, evil.  Madame LaLaurie makes most serial killers look like house pets and the mansion that stands as a rembrance of her cruelty is often called the most haunted house in the nation.  It is one of the few haunted locations that holds ghosts that have actually killed their victims (according to legend).

This is why I literally jumped for joy when I found out that my favorite television series, American Horror Story, will feature Kathy Bates playing Madame LaLaurie this year.  It really doesn't get much better than this.  Kathy Bates plays evil as deftly as any master and I can't wait to see her bring this iconic monster to life.  In order to celebrate, I've done a little history of Madame LaLaurie below.  American Horror Story premiers on FX at 10 pm October 9th.  I'm already there, in spirit.

 According to haunted New Orleans tours and Haunted America, the LaLaurie Mansion is the most haunted site in New Orleans. Sources say that the house is filled with tormented screams and terrifying wails. They describe chains rattling at night and the apparitions in chains wandering the halls. The house has been many things since the famous Delphine de LaLaurie abandoned it, but it hasn't been anything for as it has been quickly abandoned by every resident afterwards. Some stories indicate that the ghosts here are aggressive and that they have attacked residents with whips and some even claim that multiple deaths have resulted from the hellish, supernatural residents of 1140 Royal Street.

The history of this mansion can only be confirmed to a point. It is known that Delphine LaLaurie was a wealthy, socialite who resided until 1833. Many accounts from contemporaries show that Madam LaLaurie was uncommonly cruel and beastly to her slaves, even for a time when cruelty to slaves was somewhat common. Following a kitchen fire in the house in 1833, the remains of over 100 dead slaves were found. After this, the evidence becomes weaker. Many sources indicate that firefighters entering the house found a room in the house in which slaves had been tortured in the most gruesome ways. It is said that some slaves had been subjected to many unnecessary surgeries and had had their sex organs removed, mutilated, or sewn onto other slaves. Other slaves had their mouths sewn shut with feces in them and their intestines removed and nailed to the floor. The list of atrocities goes on and on and are so vile that I shutter to even write about them.

Whether the more gruesome elements of this story are true or not, it is true that LaLaurie was a beast and a serial killer and that reports continue that this house is tormented by constant ghosts and spirits. Anyone curious about this house will be easily appeased, as it is a regular part of all haunted New Orleans tours and the guides stories about the house are beyond chilling.  However,  the house's inability to maintain an owner still remains a problem.  Nicolas Cage bought the house in 2007 and it was foreclosed on in 2008.  The house is still vacant and owned by the bank.

Friday, August 30, 2013

The Island of the Dolls

There is an island just South of Mexico City called Xochimico. Xochimico is famous for its beautiful gardens, scenic canals, and ancient history. Thousands of tourists travel through the canals of this beautiful island to gaze in wonder at the hanging gardens of Mexico. Hidden deep in these canals, far away from the normal tourist routes is a swamp with that is thick with scraggly trees that are all hung heavy with with the broken and shattered remains of an army of dolls.

According to travelocity, it is the creepiest place on earth. Although I have never seen this island, I tend to agree. Fifty years ago, a little girl drown in the extensive canals that innervate the small island. At the time the island was occupied by a man named Don Julián Santana Barrera. Shortly after the little girl drowned, Barrera found a doll in the swampy waters of the isolated island. A few days later, he found another doll. Several days later he found another doll. Berrera became convinced that the dolls were a sign from the netherworld. He believed that the dolls were vessels that had been sent to keep the little girl company and prevent evil from seeping out through the swamp. Berrera took this message seriously and began to collect dolls from all over and hang dolls from the trees.

Berrera died mysteriously some time later and from that point the mystery grew. Many people said that the dolls had come to life and killed Berrera. Others insisted they had seen the dolls wandering the island at night. Some believe that the dolls have come to life to replace Berrera as the island's keeper. Whatever the case, the pictures of this location are terrifying. It is an island hung with decaying, glass eyed dolls that stare out vacantly at those that pass by in boats.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

The Fengdu Ghost City

The Fengdu Ghost City is located on the North end of the Yangthze River on Ming Mountain.   If you wander through this old Chinese City, you will cross a landscape of ghostly loss that is rarely seen in this world.   You can walk across The Bridge of Helplessness.  This is the bridge every soul must cross before it can enter the underworld.  You will find statues of the ghost king, the judge of hell, the drunkard ghost, and the the lustful ghost.  Every bend and turn of the road brings you to meet another building that would be found only in the land of the dead.  Every statue is a depitction of a ghost.  The Fengdu Ghost City is trully a ghost town..

Fengdu Ghost City got its name during the Han Dynasty when two officers came to Ming Mountain to practice toaist teachings.    On Ming Mountain, these officers sought immortality and accourding to legend, they eventually became the kings of hell.   During the Tang Dynasty a temple was built in this location to show life in hell.  The temple was meant to be horrifying.  It showed graphic depictions of the horrors that awaited those who did evil in hell.  Now, Fengdu is an entire city dedicated to Diyu, the underworld of Chinese mythology.

It isn't surprising that ghost stories linger in Fengdu.   It is said that Fengdu was a Taoist cemetery before it became the ghost city it is today.   Although the city bustles with tourists during the day, some believe it is crowded with ghosts after the night falls.   Fengdu is one of the creepiest places in the world on almost every list of creepy places I have seen.   It is certainly on my bucket list as one of the places I dream of going before I die.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Aokigahara Forest: The Suicide Forest

Aokigahara Forest sits at the base of Mount Fugi in Japan.  The Forest has always been a place of death.  Poor families used to abandon  their elderly and infirm in the woods when they became a burden.   The abandoned would suffer long and horrible deaths from exposure in the gnarled trees.  The forest has also always been associated with people getting lost.  The Mountain has large deposits of volcanic, magnetic iron that cause malfunctions of compasses, GPS's, and cellphones.  It also has over 100 caves.  It is a treacherous landscape that is easy to lose your way in and slip into a cave and be forgotten.  In fact, many of the trail heads are blocked by ropes and labeled with signs that say not to enter because it is too easy to become lost.

As you enter the forest, signs read "Your life is precious.  Please think about your parents, siblings, and children.  Don't keep to yourself.  Talk about your troubles suicide prevention association."  Nooses dangle from trees where bodies used to hang. Old skeletons can be found amongst the undergrowth and suicide notes are nailed to trees.  Every year there are over 100 suicides in Aokigahara Forest.  Authorities are only able to sweep the forest for bodies annually and many bodies aren't found during these sweeps.  The bodies of the dead often linger for years, waiting to be found.  Although the forest has always been a place of death, since Seicho Matsomoto's novel "Kuroi Kaiju", or Black Sea of Trees, the forest has become the second most popular place in the world for suicides (The Golden Gate Bridge is the first.).  The novel tells the tale of two lovers who end their tragic lives via suicide in Aokigahara Forest. 

It isn't surprising that tales of ghosts and spirits abound in the shadows of Aokigahara Forest.   It is said that ghastly white spirits glide between the trees.  The spirits of the elderly that were once abandoned there wander with the spirits of those who ended their own lives.   Locals believe that death has so permeated the forest that the very soil and trees have taken on the evil of the place and that they actively prevent those who enter from finding their way out.  The darkness of the place ensnares travelers and traps them so that they get lost and never find their way out.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

A Ghost Tour of Haunted Ebay

I find the number of creepy ghost stories that seem to slither their way off of  Ebay fascinating.   Items that have horrible histories and terribly haunting stories are common place on Ebay.  Check my story below "The Dibbuk Box" for a peek into one of my favorites.  A few of these haunted Ebay item stories have gone viral and spread. However, there are literally thousands more of these haunted items on Ebay that seem to go entirely unnoticed. The majority of these items are dolls, but there are other interesting items in the mix.  Many of these items have compelling back stories and interesting histories.  I'm going assume most of the haunted items on Ebay are Hokum, but the creativity that goes into these stories are worth noting.  It is also just interesting to explore haunted Ebay.

Haunted Doll Puppet Savannah:  Ebay Item #:  121154390486  Price$15.49
This is a very old haunted doll puppet named Savannah, I purchased her along with a few other items from a witch estate Salem Ma. on my last trip there a week and a half ago. This doll is beautiful I have never seen another like her, she is amazing, I love the little bird on her hand, and the black and red lace dress that she is wearing, when I purchased her the lady who sold me her, said that there is a soul of a woman attached to this doll vessel, and that she was very wealthy, she married into it, she met her husband at a convention, she was a waitress there, she was serving that night when he set eyes on her, she was breath taking, he fell in love with her at first site, he approached her and introduced himself, but she was of course intimidated by his hefty wallet, so she turned his offer of exchanging numbers down that night, but he was persistent, he found out where she lived, and he located her, a few weeks later, she was stunned by the effort that he made to find her, so when he asked her out she excepted, they dated a few months and by then she had also fell for him, so they married shortly after, they had a happy marriage, until one day all that changed, her husbands company began to seep down hill, and he became agitated, he turned into a man that she did not recognize, all they did was fight and argue about the littlest things, soon they felt like strangers, they began to thrift apart, the love that they once had for each other, was like a light in the farthest distance of the ocean, that neither one could grasp, soon the light had vanished completely, and there was no turning back, Savannah began to find comfort in a new love interest of hers, he was the grounds keeper, they began to form a love for each other, because when she was down about her husband, he was the shoulder that she cried on, they would sneak off together into the fields and make passionate love, soon the other staff began to talk, soon the whole town was talking, and sure enough the news had gotten back to her husband, who felt that he was not finished with the marriage, he wanted answers, she told him that it was just rumors, and that they were just friends, later that night while her husband was asleep she slowly slipped off the bed, and exited down the corridor, she had to see her love to assure him, that her heart was always with him, and that she had to lie because she did not want to cause trouble for him, because she loves him dearly, she found him sleeping in his room, she told him how she felt, and he said that he knew, he can feel their love for each other, and that they should leave together, they planned that the next morning they will leave and never return, they kissed goodbye and parted ways, Savannah was unaware that her husband had followed her and was listening to her sneaky plan, the next morning she woke and her husband was by her bedside, he was very polite and generous, he rubbed her feet and shoulders, and kissed her passionately, she pushed him away, she told him that she was upset that he accused her like he did, and that he should have never done that, he apologized, room service brought in breakfast, he told her to wash up, because they will be having breakfast in bed today, she was stunned and figured that he was trying to butter her up, so she went to freshen up, after breakfast she felt ill, her stomach began to cramp, she said I do not feel well, and she lied down, about 20mins later she was dead, her husband had poisoned her, later her lover saw all of the commotion and did not know what was going on, then he saw them taking out a body bag, he was still confused, he looked and looked around to try to figure who it could have been in the bag, then he overheard a lady speaking to her husband, asking if he had any idea of what may have happened to Savannah, and this is when he fell to his knees, screaming noooooo!!!! nooooo!!!! why? why? not Savannah! NOOOOO!!! everyone was starring at him, some staff even had tears in their eyes, because they knew how much he loved her, and her husband stood there with a smile on his face, later they found out that her husband did it, and he received the death penalty, but her poor love, never married, or had children, he died a lonely man, waiting for his lost love. Savannah became attached to this vessel, because it was a gift from him to her, he gave it to her on her 29th birthday, it reminded him of her because she loved to wear red, and black, they were her favorite colors, and she had a pet bird that was similar to this one, Savannah is a loving spirit she is great to enhance your relationship, she helps things work out for the best, she is a blessing and she will make an excellent addition to any haunted doll collection, she is a puppet and she does not have any legs, she is very unique anyone who owns her will be very lucky, thanks for reading, blessings, love, and light...

Vintage 1930's Rare Cocktail Ice Crusher from Haunted Collection Estate 

Ebay Item #:261261617936  Price$35.00

This item is from the estate collection of my friend Maggie, a respected medium. She collected highly unusual items for most of her life. Please read below the description for information on the estate that this item hails from. The description relates to you what was related to me and my own experience, if any with the item. I make no claims that you will have the same or any experience with this unique vintage barware item. I am not auctioning off anything other than a vintage ice crusher. 

This is a rare vintage cocktail ice crusher from the 1930's. Stainless steel (very rare in the 1930's) with a wood handle and razor sharp crushing blade things! Wicked looking for sure, but will not bring any wickedness to your home. Quite the opposite! Maggie acquired this old piece from the grand daughter of the original owner, Charlie. Charlie lived a good life, was a good man, but passed at the early age of 54 back in 1959. Charlie was a heavy drinker all of his life and struggled with it. On the mornings after, Charlie would get out this ice crusher and make a homemade hangover concoction - crushing ice, tomato juice and other stuff in this stainless cup. The ONLY time he used it was on these mornings. After Charile left this earth, his wife could hardly stand the sight of this ice crusher but could not bring herself to get rid of it. It was a prized possession of her late husband, who would often talk about the quality of stainless steel. To was a memory of the alcoholism that killed him. Eventually the item passed on to Charlies daughter. The family felt his presence in the home and attributed it to the ice crusher. They experienced the sound of tinkling ice in glass, laughter, footsteps, knocking and doors opening/closing. Pranks.The item was finally given to Maggie as the disruptions became too much for a new family. My personal experience, and again, this may not be yours, but here at my house, my dogs have loved having a new playmate around. I think Charile loved dogs. I have heard him romping around with mine! It is a unique vintage item to add to a collection. 
Haunted Jewelry 
Ebay Item #:  111140201376  Price$89.99
This Ring is to powerful to even have in anyone's possession, but the witches cajinn the ring is known to contact the dead and let them thru and bring evil to your enemies you wish upon VERY DANGEROUS if you dont know what your doing! If you are not certified in witchcraft please don't purchase this ring something can go wrong and you have NO control over what is brought thru BUY AT YOUR OWN RISK!

Antique Rogers Silver Plated Pitcher Large from Haunted Collection

Ebay Item #: 261262194754  Price$30.00
This antique pitcher would be beautiful if someone is willing to put some elbow grease into it and polish off the decades of tarnish. If you look at the 2nd photo, you can see I polished a section of it. I did not finish because as soon as I started, the activity began. I got my hair pulled, the phone rang with no one on the other end and there was a strong, strong scent of almonds. Too much for me. I am still very uneasy having all these "visitors". Maggies notes on this item say - "Jules. Found hidden in coal bin, 1947 - Denver, Co. Katherine. Homicide. Eternally pissed off (her words, not mine :) ) likes attention." So there you have it. Very old William Rogers. Engraved on bottom. I cannot make out the numbers. As I said - this could be a beautiful antique piece with a little TLC. Large - 9 inches high and 7 from handle to spout.

Monday, August 12, 2013

The Bitterroot Footage

My sister found this footage for me and brought it to my attention.  I've heard many rumors about it.  Initially, people were saying it was an attempt at viral marketing for the movie "The Possession" but that movie has been out for a year now and was based on the Dibbuk Box I wrote about yesterday.  I've also heard that it was marketing for another movie called "The Lords of Salem" but that movie doesn't seem to fit the bill either.  The footage has been floating around for a while and no one seems to really know the story behind it.  The consensus is that it is a hoax or marketing but for what?  I thought the footing was haunting and creepy enough to merit a post here.  It certainly got my attention and I would love to hear the real story behind it.  I think I would also watch whatever movie this might be marketing for.   Here is the footage and the story that came with it.

My name is Chad. I'm a student at a university in New York.
I just moved to a studio apartment and needed some furniture.
I found a guy on Craigslist that wanted to desperately get
rid of his things at super cheap prices so I went to check it out.
He sold things in bulk to get rid of as much things as possible.
I bought a small table and it came with a bunch of other random things.
Some of it I gave away and some I kept.

An old wooden box caught my attention. It was locked and out
of curiosity, I kept it. I had to force open the lid with a screw-driver
and inside I found some old pictures. The word 'bitterroot'
was handwritten on the backs of all of them. There was also a tin can that
contained a reel of film that I later learned from my
friend Dario (a film student), was 8mm film.

The film was pretty damaged so I just kept it on my bookshelf
as decoration, but I couldn't get the images of the pictures out of my head.
I had to figure out a way to watch that film.

With help from Dario, we got an old 8mm projector in good
working condition on Ebay. The film skipped in several spots so
we put it together with a special tape and then watched it again.
What we found was disturbing.

I asked my friend to help me make this website so I can share my findings."

If you want to look at the actual website you can find it at:

Sunday, August 11, 2013

The Dybbuk Box

I love internet tales of Horror.  My favorite is The Hand that Resists Him but the Dybbuk Box is a close second.   The Dybbuk Box was first discovered my a man named Kevin Mannis.  Mannis purchased what is now known as the Dybbuk Box at an estate sale in 2001. It used to be the property of a Holocaust survivor who escaped and moved to the US.  The survivor's name was Havela and she was supposed to have put the Dybbuk into the box after her friends helped her with a séance.

A Dybbuk is a spirit from Jewish folklore.  It is an angry spirit that is able to possess the living.  When Mannis opened the box, he found 2 pennies, a lock of blonde hair, a lock of brown hair, and a small statue engraved with the word Shalom inside the box.  It also contained a wine goblet, a dried rose, and a candle holder wit octopus legs.   These items are all used in the Jewish exorcism ritual.  According to Manis, he gave the box to his mother as a birthday present.  She had a stroke that very day. Manis had many other problems with the box and he finally decided to list the box on Ebay.  The listing included the following statement:

All of the events that I am about to set forth in this listing are accurate and may be verified by the winning bidder with the copies of hospital records and sworn affidavits that I am including as part of the sale of the cabinet. The winning bidder will also be able to contact most of the persons mentioned herein for the purposes of verification, corroboration, and to gain insight into the full scope of whatever it is. During September of 2001, I attended an estate sale in Portland Oregon. The items liquidated at this sale were from the estate of a woman who had passed away at the age of 103. A grand-daughter of the woman told me that her grandmother had been born in Poland where she grew up, married, raised a family, and lived until she was sent to a nazi concentration camp during World War II. She was the only member of her family who survived the camp. Her parents, brothers, a sister, husband, and two sons and a daughter were all killed. She survived the camp by escaping with some other prisoners and somehow making her way to Spain where she lived until the end of the war. I was told that she acquired the small wine cabinet listed here in Spain and it was one of only three items that she brought with her when she immigrated to the United States. The other two items were a steamer trunk, and a sewing box.
I purchased the wine cabinet, along with the sewing box and some other furniture at the estate sale. After the sale, I was approached by the woman's granddaughter who said, I see you got the dibbuk box. She was referring to the wine cabinet. I asked her what a dibbuk box was, and she told me that when she was growing up, her grandmother always kept the wine cabinet in her sewing room. It was always shut, and set in a place that was out of reach. The grandmother always called it the dibbuk box. When the girl asked her grandmother what was inside, her grandmother spit three times through her fingers said, A dibbuk, and keselim. The grandmother went on to tell the girl that the wine cabinet was never, ever, to be opened.
The granddaughter told me that her grandmother had asked that the box be buried with her. However, as such a request was contrary to the rules of an orthodox Jewish burial, the grandmothers request had not been honored. I asked the granddaughter what a dibbuk, and keselim were, but she did not know. I asked if she would like to open it with me. She did not want to open it, as her grandmother had been very emphatic and serious when she instructed her not to do so, and, regardless of the reason, she wanted to honor her grandmothers request.
I finally ended up offering to let her keep what seemed to me to be a sentimental keepsake. At that point, she was very insistent and said, No, no you bought it!
I explained that I didnt want my money back, and that it would make me feel better to do what I thought was an act of kindness. She then became somewhat upset. Looking back now, the way she became upset was just plain odd. She raised her voice to me and said, You bought it! You made a deal!
When I tried to speak, she yelled, We don't want it! She began to cry, asked me to leave, and quickly walked away. I wrote the whole episode off to the stress and grief she must have been experiencing. I took my purchases and politely left.
At the time when I bought the cabinet, I owned a small furniture refinishing business. I took the cabinet to my store, and put it in my basement workshop where I intended to refinish it and give it as a gift to my Mother. I didn't think anything more about it. I opened my shop for the day and went to run some errands leaving the young woman who did sales for me in charge.
After about a half-hour, I got a call on my cell phone. The call was from my salesperson. She was absolutely hysterical and screaming that someone was in my workshop breaking glass and swearing. Furthermore, the intruder had locked the iron security gates and the emergency exit and she couldn't get out. As I told her to call the police, my cell phone battery went dead.
I hit speeds of 100 mph getting back to the shop. When I arrived, I found the gates locked. I went inside and found my employee on the floor in a corner of my office sobbing hysterically. I ran to the basement and went downstairs. At the bottom of the stairs, I was hit by an overpowering unmistakable odor of cat urine (there had never been any animals kept or found in my shop). The lights didn't work. As I investigated, I found that the reason the lights didn't work also explained the sounds of glass breaking. All of the light bulbs in the basement were broken. All nine incandescent bulbs had been broken in their sockets, and 10 four-foot fluorescent tubes were lying shattered on the floor. I did not find an intruder, however. I should also add that there was only one entrance to the basement. It would have been impossible for anyone to leave without meeting me head-on. I went back up to speak with my salesperson, but she had left.
She never returned to work (after having been with me for two years). She refuses to discuss the incident to this day. I never thought of relating the events of that day to anything having to do with the cabinet.
Then, things got worse.
As I already indicated, I had decided to give the cabinet to my Mother as a birthday gift. About two weeks after I made the purchase, I decided to get started refinishing it. I was surprised to find that the cabinet has a unique little mechanism. When you open one of the doors, the mechanism causes the opposite door, and the little drawer below, to open at the same time. It is very well made. Inside the cabinet, I found the following items:
1 1928 U.S. Wheat Penny; 1 1925 U.S. Wheat Penny; One small lock of blonde hair (bound with string); One small lock of black/brown hair (bound with string); One small granite statue engraved and gilded with Hebrew letters (I have been told that the letters spell out the word SHALOM); One dried rosebud; One golden wine cup; One very strange black cast iron candlestick holder with octopus legs.
I saved all of the items in a box intending to return them to the estate. The family has refused the items, so they will be included in this sale of the cabinet.
After opening the cabinet, I decided not to refinish it. I cleaned it, and rubbed in some lemon oil. It was at this time that I noticed that there was an inscription in Hebrew carved into the back of the cabinet. I have no idea what it says or if it is significant. I have included a picture of that inscription below. On my mothers birthday, October 28, 2001, my mother called to tell me that she was going out of town with my sister for three days, and we postponed celebrating her birthday together until she returned. On October 31, 2001, my mother came to my shop. We were going to have lunch together, but before we were going to leave, I gave her the wine cabinet. She seemed to like it. While she examined it, I went to make a phone call. I hadn't been out of sight more than 5 minutes when one of my employees came running into my office saying that something was wrong with my mom.
When I went back to see what the matter was, I found my mom sitting in a chair beside the cabinet. Her face had no expression, but tears were streaming down her cheeks. No matter how I tried to get her to respond, she would not. She could not. It turns out that my mother had suffered a stroke. She was taken to the hospital by ambulance. She ended up suffering partial paralysis, and losing her ability to speak and form words (she has since regained the ability to speak). She could understand things being said to her, and could respond by pointing to letters of the alphabet to spell out words she wanted to say. When I asked her the following day how she was doing, she teared up and spelled out the words: N-O G-I-F-T. I assured her that I had given her a gift for her birthday, thinking that she didnt remember, but she became even more upset and spelled out the words: H-A-T-E G-I-F-T. I laughed and told her not to worry. I told her I was sorry she didnt like the cabinet, and that I would get her anything she wanted if she would promise to get well soon.
Still, I didn't associate anything that had happened with the cabinet itself or anything paranormal. Frankly, I dont think I ever even used the term paranormal until this last month.
I'll try to make this short now. I gave the cabinet to my sister. She kept it for a week, then gave it back. She complained that she couldn't get the doors to stay closed and that they kept coming open. There are no springs in the door mechanism and I have never found that the doors come open. I gave it to my brother and his wife who kept it for three days and then gave it back. My brother said it smelled like Jasmine flowers, while his wife insisted that it put out an odor of cat urine. I gave it to my girlfriend who asked me to sell it for her after only two days. I sold it the same day to a nice middle aged couple. Three days later, when I came to open the shop for the day, I found the cabinet sitting at the front doors with a note that read, This has a bad darkness. I had no idea what that meant. Anyway, I ended up taking it home.
Then, things got even worse.
Since the day I brought it home, I began having a strange recurring nightmare. Every time I have the horrible dream it goes something like this: I find myself walking with a friend, usually someone I know well and trust at some point in the dream, I find myself looking into the eyes of the person that I am with. It is then that I realize that there is something different, something evil looking back at me. At that point in my dream, the person I am with changes into what can only be described as the most gruesome, demonic looking Hag that I have ever seen. This Hag proceeds then, to beat the living tar out of me. I have awakened numerous times to find bruises and marks on myself where I had been hit by the old woman during the previous night. Still, I never related the nightmares to the cabinet, nor do I think that I ever would have.
About a month ago, however, my sister, and my brother and his wife came over to my house and spent the night. The following morning, during breakfast, my sister complained that she had had a horrible nightmare. She said that she recalled having had it a couple of times before, and went on to describe my nightmare exactly to the last detail. My brother and his wife froze as they listened, and then chimed in that they had both had had the exact same dreams during the night as well. The hair was standing up on the back of my neck and still is. As we talked, it became clear that the common denominator was that each of us had had the nightmare during the times that the cabinet was in our respective homes. I called my girlfriend and asked if she could recall having any nightmares recently. She described the same nightmare, same Hag, everything. When I asked her if she remembered the date when she had the nightmare, she said she did not. Then I asked if it happened to be the night before she gave me the cabinet back to sell for her. She said, Yeah! Hey, how did you know that?!!!
Now then, since my family discussion, it seems like all hell is breaking loose. For a week afterward I started seeing what I can only describe as shadow things in my peripheral vision. In fact, numerous visitors to my house have claimed that they have seen these shadow things. I put the cabinet in an outside storage unit and was awakened when the smoke alarm in the unit went off in the middle of the night. When I went to see what was burning, I opened the door and didnt see any smoke. However, I did get hit with the smell of cat urine. When I went back inside, the smell was there in my house. I DO NOT OWN A CAT AND I NEVER HAVE. I went back outside and grabbed the cabinet. I brought it back inside and tried to research it on the Internet. While I was surfing the net, I fell asleep and once again had the same freakin nightmare. I woke up at around 4:30am (when it felt and smelled like someone was breathing on my neck) to find that my house now smelled like Jasmine flowers, and just in time to see a HUGE shadow thing go loping down the hall away from me.
I would destroy this thing in a second, except I really dont have any understanding of what I may or may not be dealing with. I am afraid (and I do mean afraid) that if I destroy the cabinet, whatever it is that seems to have come with the cabinet may just stay here with me. I have been told that there are people who shop on EBAY that understand these kinds of things and specifically look for these kinds of items. If you are one of these people, please, please buy this cabinet and do whatever you do with a thing like this. Help me.
You can see that I have no reserve price or minimum bid. If I can make things any easier let me know and I will do everything within my abilities.
One more note. On the same day my Mom had her stroke, the lease to my store was summarily terminated without cause.
The measurements are 12.5" x 7.5" x 16.25"

Other owners say the box smells like urine and is accompanied by nightmares about an old hag.  Horrible tales were carried with the box as it leapt from one owner to the next. Iosif Neitske was the last owner that auctioned the box on Ebay.  He claims that the box caused electronic failure, insect swarms and medical problems.  Medical problems included hives, vomiting blood, and hair loss.  Neitske tried to sell the box on Ebay. 

An article in the Los Angeles Times talks about this famous Ebay box:

"A small wooden cabinet went up for auction on EBA.  Inside were two locks of hair, one granite slab, one dried rosebud, one goblet, two wheat pennies, one candlestick and on allegedly, "dibbuk", a kind of spirit popular in Yiddish folklore.

The seller, a Missouri college student name Iosif Nietske, described the container as a "haunted Jewish wine cabinet box" that had plagued several owners with rotten luck and a pate of bizarre paranormal stunts"

The story of this strange box was the basis for last summer's movie "The Possession".   You can read more about this box and its story at 

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Halloween is Comming!

I am always slightly dismayed by how early Christmas decorations go up in stores.  It often seems like Santa finds himself sitting by skeletons before Halloween is even over and that bothers me.  Yet, the earlier Halloween decorations are up the happier I am.  The first signs of Halloween can be seen in my corner of the world and I am delighted.  I received my first Halloween catalogue yesterday.  Spirit Halloween is already setting up and Cracker Barrel has its Halloween display up. Old Time Pottery Barn has its front filled with pumpkins and ghosts and The Hallmark Stores are putting up their Halloween Trees.  Halloween is popping up everywhere and I have begun counting the days.  Here is a little peek at some of the Halloween fun I've found so far.

Friday, August 9, 2013

The Conjuring and the True Story of the Annabelle the Doll

I watched the Conjuring last night.  I really enjoyed the movie.  The Warrens and their work have always fascinated me and I've written about them before on this blog.   The movie was primarily about the work they did with the Perron family.  They aided in ridding the Perron house in Rhode Island of the ghost of a witch name Bathsheba.   However, the movie begins with Annabelle the Doll.  I have written about Annabelle a couple of times before and although I loved to see her story in the movie, it wasn't completely accurate.   First of all, the movie doll was a creepy glass doll and the real Annabelle was just a Raggedy Ann doll.   Here is the real story of Annabelle

 Annabelle was a gift given to a young nurse named Donna by her mother. It wasn't long after Annabelle was given to Donna that Donna began to notice Annabelle moved about the apartment on her own. Donna and her roommate, Angie, began to notice that they would leave for work and when they came home the doll would be laying on the bed in a different position. The women started arranging the doll purposely in one position and they would find it with its arms crossed or legs moved. This went on for some time and after a while the doll became more active. It would change rooms. Once, they even found the doll kneeling. This is a position that is impossible for a raggedy anne doll on its own.

Over time the doll began to leave messages. The messages were left in pencil on parchment paper. The women had never owned parchment paper so its origin was as mysterious as the messages themselves. The notes usually said "help us" or "help lou". The women began rigging the apartment to check for intruders. They thought that maybe someone was tricking them, but there was no evidence of break ins. One night they came home to find blood on the doll's hand.

Finally, the women contacted a medium to talk to the doll. The doll said that she was a little girl who had died on the property who was lonely. After this, the women contacted paranormal experts Ed and Lorraine Warren. The Warrens believed the story about the little girl was trickery to gain sympathy and that Annabelle was really possessed by a demon. This belief was confirmed when Angie's boyfriend was attacked physically by some unseen spirit in the apartment. The attack left a series of deep marks on Lou's chest.

After this, a priest was called in to do an exorcism. The exorcism seemed to work and the Warren's offered to take Annabelle home with them. On the way home, Annabelle caused the car to veer off the road almost killing the Warrens. The Warrens dosed the doll in Holly Water and the activity stopped for a time. Soon after, Annabelle began to be active in the Warrens' home and they had to move her to their Occult Museum in Monroe, Connecticut. They keep a website that documents their experiences with Annabelle at The doll has remained active since its placement in the museum and is even thought to be responsible for some deaths since that time.  Below you'll see the real Annabelle as compared to the demented looking doll they used in the movie.