Sunday, December 13, 2009

Elves

 
According to wikipedia an elf (plural elves) is defined as “a being of Germanic mythology. The elves were originally thought of as a race of divine or semi-divine beings (wights, vættir) endowed with magical powers, which they use both for the benefit and the injury of mankind. In pre-Christian mythology, they appear to have been divided into light elves and dark elves, difficult to delineate from the Æsir (gods) on one hand and the dvergar (dwarves) on the other.


In early modern and modern folklore, they become associated with the fairies of Romance folklore and assume a diminutive size, often living underground in hills or rocks, or in wells and springs. 19th-century Romanticism attempted to restore them to full stature, often depicting them as youthful-seeming men and women of great beauty. From their depiction in Romanticism, elves entered the 20th-century high fantasy genre in the wake of the publications of J.R.R. Tolkien, especially the posthumous publication of his Silmarillion where Tolkien's treatment of the relation of light elves, dark elves, black elves and dwarves in Norse mythology is made explicit. Popular culture in the Anglosphere at the same time with Santa Claus and his helpers preserves a direct continuation of early modern folklore.”


For some wonderful post about elves check out our friend Devin’s blog:
http://myfavoritemonsters.blogspot.com/search/label/elves  

Monday, November 16, 2009

Gremlins: Those Pesty Littly Creatures

 In the 1984 movie “Gremlins”, a young man named Billy was given a unusual gift from his father for Christmas. This very cute creature was a Mogwai which Billy named Gizmo. Most Mogwai are mean spirited and mischievous but not Gizmo. The father was told by the creepy old man that sold him Gizmo, there were three very important things he must follow when owning a Mogwai. 1. Never expose a Mogwai to bright light, especially sunlight. Bright lights will hurt it and the sunlight will kill it.
2. Never feed it after midnight. (I have often wondered, from midnight to when in the morning can you feed it?) It creates a cocoon and what comes out is a fierce little monster called a Gremlin.
3. Never get it wet. If they get wet it will reproduces another which pops from its back.

The father didn’t question these three details that the old man stressed to him, but he did let Billy know what the rules were.

So wouldn’t you know it, Billy’s little friend spilled water on Gizmo and it spawned more Mogwais. However, these creatures appeared to be more deveaous and less sweet than Gizmo. They chewed through Billy’s clock/radio cord so he wasn’t aware that they were given food after midnight. This transformed these Mogwaias into little, evil, destructive monsters known as Gremlins. The Gremilins set out to destroy the town after the leader, Stripes, jump into a pool and spawned hundreds more of them. Basically, Billy saves the day by killing off all the Gremlins but it was not an easy task.

This wasn’t the end. In 1990, “Gremlins 2: the New Batch”, Billy and Gizmo are reunited in NY and it starts all over again…..

Are gremlins real? Wikipedi calls a “Gremlin as an English folkloric creature, commonly depicted as mishcievous and mechannically oriented, with a specific interest in aircraft. Although their origin is found in myths among airmen, claiming that the gremlins were responsible for sabotaging aircraft. Since World War II, different fantastical creatures have been referred to a gremlins, bearing varing degrees of resemblance to the originals.”

Deep in the jungles of Peru sightings have been reported of a creature, Chullachaqui, is demonic and looks like a gremlin. There have been many recent sightings in the rainforest near the Madre De Dios River, with many local tribesmen in fear of coming face to face with the Chullachaqui. This creature seems to be different from any other creature that lives in the forest. Usually there is a strange whistling sound right before it is seen in the thick Peruvian jungles. It is very fast, between 3 and 4 feet tall, has sharp fang teeth, pointy ears, and fur, with a three-toed footprint and is a night-dweller.

Josh Gates and the Destination Truth team recently went looking for this gremlin-like creature. Check out my recap.  The evidence they collected did not find proof that this creature was real, but for the people of Peru, they believe that gremlins exist.

~Julie~

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Interesting Rock and Mountain Shapes



Thumb Butte, Prescott, AZ
Bell Mountain, Sedona AZ
Camel Rock
Elephant Rock
Elephant Foot Rock
Sleeping Cat
Old Man, New Hamshire
Penguin Rock
Wave Rock

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Mysterious Ape Island

The picture is by artist Peter Oberdorf

For centuries a terrifying beast has been haunting the Pacific Northwest, more specifically Sasquatch sightings on Vancouver Island. This island has over 12 thousand miles of fast moving rivers, rugged beaches and sits about 15 miles southwest of Vancouver, Canada. Many hikers and hunters are attracted to this beautiful island but there appears to be something else lurking there as well. This rain soaked island has many stories told by the Native Americans that a large hairy beast is known to inhabit the area. Many witnesses have seen an ape-like creature and said that it walks on two feet, stands about 9 feet tall and has an estimated weight of 800 pounds. This hairy man-like creature has a long stride and likes to stay along the coastline and rivers edge. The native legends stretch back many centuries giving the beast several different names and say it is a beast to be respected and feared. The stories also are told that if you harm one of this creatures that within 7 years you will die. More than a century ago, as westerners explored the island, and came face to face with the big hairy beast. The earliest sightings were around 1900 where a trader was exploring the area known as "the forbidden plateau" which is located in the central part of the island. The two guides with him refused to go further in the area because it was the place where the so called "monkey man" has been seen. The trader was not afraid and headed out on his own. The next day by a waterfall, he saw the beast for himself. It was washing food in the water. He moved closer, raised his rifle and before he could pull the trigger, the beast stood up and yelled out a bone chilling scream, and then ran off into the forest.

There have been so many stories told of eyewitnesses having encounters with the “Ape Monster”. One man tells the story of a cold night while sleeping in his motor home, it started shaking violently. He jumped to his feet and ran outside where he was met with a very foul odor. In the darkness he could hear the heavy footsteps walking nearby, and then walk away. He thought afterwards how crazy he was to go outside with no means of defense.

The great northwest has been known for a long time for its Sasquatch sightings. With its vast wilderness it makes for an excellent place for a creature to hide. Vancouver Island's population is less than 800,000, which is small in comparison to the size of the island. Because of the many rivers and salmon swimming around in them, this makes for an excellent food source for the mighty beast.

Of course scientists say there is no way these creatures could find its way to Vancouver Island. They feel that there is no proof of its existence nor is there any fossils left by the creature. If it is an ape, there is no proof of how it got to the island because the only way to reach the island is by water. The salt water canals separating the island from the mainland are about a half mile wide. There are videos of bears and primal apes swimming across rivers, so why couldn’t a Sasquatch?

Some stories are told that of people who visited the island as well as some locals, gone out in the woods and just disappeared. Another man tells of his encounter with the beast. He was driving on the highway near the river and noticed a large hairy creature lying on a log with its hand in the water fishing for salmon. He sat there watching this creature crouching on a log for a short time, surprised by what he was watching. Another witness tells his story of seeing the creature while on his fishing boat with his crew, traveling on the east isolated part of the island. They notice that there was no wildlife in the area where they was the days before and thought it to be a bit strange. All of a sudden, they smelt an awful smell and then a creature appeared on the shoreline coming out of the brush. It looked nine or ten feet tall, probably weighed about 400 pounds with red piercing eyes and was crouching down hiding from the spotlight. They watched this massive creature for almost an hour from the safety of the boat feasting on claims until after three long strides; it disappeared in the heavy woods.

About 12 thousand black bears live on Vancouver Island. Some wildlife scientists are convinced that the sightings are probably misidentification between the bear and the beast. The problem with that is Sasquatch does not have pointed ears on top, and a defined snout. It has a long stride and walks like a human. This is not typical for the black bear. Many are convinced that what people are seeing is a great ape so the experts continue to constantly investigate all the reports. They keep track of the areas where the sightings have been reported, which is in the more isolated areas of the island. Forensic pediatrics looks at the castings that were made by witnesses of the hairy beast. They come to the conclusion that they are human-like but not made by a human. They also conclude that the tracks were made by an unknown mammal or species.

The Monster Quest team has gone to the island to investigate the stories of the Bigfoot sightings. Monster Quest focuses their investigation on Meares Island, a place that has more reported sightings than any other place. The team follows the man back to the area where he saw a large hairy creature lying on a log with its hand in the water fishing for salmon. They check out the log and surrounding area to see if there was any evidence that a Sasquatch was there. It was now nightfall, and as they were walking upstream, they caught a heat signature on the camera, lurking in the distance. As they got to the place where the figure was seen, they noticed that on a tree near that area was a heat signature, almost like something big touched it. They also noticed the shell fish all over the area and feel that this is one of the creature’s favorite foods and could be why it stays around the island. The next day the team puts cameras in various places along with some fish to entice the beast. The also set up two base camps with equipment and wait until nightfall to do some investigating. While on the boat they use call blasting to try to lure the beast out or perhaps get an answer. They use night vision cameras and other equipment but the dense fog makes the investigation difficult. They did get a response to the call blasting and will have to analyze it later. Next they move off the boat and back to base camp to check the cameras and bait and found them untouched. They check out the river bank where a creature was seen lying on a log fishing, the next day to see if they can find any tracks from the creature. They find a very sandy spot but find no physical evidence of the creature. Next they check out the trap cameras and find a dark shape in one of the photos. They didn’t find any tangible evidence but they know that with all the eyewitness’ sightings, many more will continue to be in search of the beast on Vancouver Island.

~Julie~

Monday, September 14, 2009

Devil Worm, Worm Monsters and Graboids

Something slimy to start off the week, lol.
Is there such a thing as an underground, huge, man eating worm? Underneath our desert floors and in the most remote areas on Earth, there have been reports of such worms. Hollywood even made a movie focusing on these subterranean creatures terrorizing the folks of a small Nevada town. The movie “Tremors” is one of my favorites and gave the creature its name, Graboids, with them getting different names, Shriekers and Assblasters in the not as good sequels.

In the 1990 dark comedy, TREMORS, these subterranean worm-like creatures decided to make meals of the citizens of Perfection, Nevada. The town is made up of a few trailers, a couple of houses, and a general store owned by Walter Chang. It makes you wonder why anyone would want to live in this desolate dust bowl of a town, but 14 people called Perfection home. As I previously mentioned, there is Walter Chang, who spends half the movie naming the creatures and the other half in the belly of one of them. He should have fixed that noisy Coke machine instead of spending so much time coming up with the name, "Graboid". Then there is the potter Donna, her pogo jumping young daughter Mindy; the smart ass teenager, Melvin, whose parents are unknown; Nester, who you have no idea who he is and are pretty sure he is going to be dessert later in the movie; and Miguel, the farmer whose animals are mysteriously disappearing. Then we have Burt and Heather Gummer who state that the geographical isolation is why they chose this location. Their house is a fortress and their rec room has every weapon known to mankind. A Graboid found out the hard way not to mess with the Gummers and bust into their precious rec room. Then there are the heroes, Val and Earl, the resident handymen. After having a bad bout with a septic tank’s waste spraying all over them, they decide to finally leave Perfection. On their way out of town they come across Edgar Deems on a top of an electrical tower. Edgar died of dehydration and even though the worms didn't get Edgar, they did manage to make meals of Fred, his flock of sheep, the doctor, his wife, their station wagon, a couple of construction workers and telephone repairmen. They almost got Rhonda the college student who was conducting seismology test around the area but unbeknown to her, she escaped being a snack. After another failed attempt of leaving town, Val and Earl found one of the tentacles of the beasts attached to their truck. The next day they took Walter’s horse to get help and warn the doc, his wife and Rhonda. After coming across the doctor's car buried, they haul ass on the horses only to be chased by a Graboid. After jumping into a concrete ditch, the Graboid smashes into the side and ends up committing suicide. They run into Rhoda who after checking her paperwork realizes that there are three more of them out there. Back in town, they warn the people who are now huddled in the general store except for the Gummers who are out looking for Rhonda. After the town's folks did battle with the monsters, and the Gummers defeated one at their house, they came up with a plan and were able to get the survivors out of town. The Graboids had one more trick up their sleeves, they set a trap. Now we see the ragtag gang sitting on some boulders out in the middle of nowhere where they use Burt's homemade bombs to defeat the last two Graboids. They were able to trick one into eating the bomb and blowing it into many pieces but the other one wasn't falling for it. Val came up with a plan knowing that this gigantic worm was not smarter than them. The worm chased Val, Earl and Rhonda towards the end of the cliff. Using the bomb, Val throws it behind the Graboid causing it to pick up speed, crashing through the cliff-face and plummeting to its death. They all hugged and kissed and went back to their dreary little town and made a boat load of money off the Graboids.

The movie was science fiction but are subterranean worms real? The people in Mongolia's Gobi Desert will tell you that they are in deed real. They claim that they are terrorized by a bright red worm, with a wide body and measures about 5 feet long. They refer to this worm as the Mongolia Devil Worm or Death Worm. The stories are anywhere from the worm shooting sulfuric acid at its victims, or killing from a distance by means of an electric charge. This kind of story is exactly what Josh Gates and the Destination Truth crew like to check out for themselves. The fact that so many have reported seeing the devil worm, and hearing that an entire village was abandoned because of this worm, sparked Josh’s interest. The area surrounding the village is where they decided to do their investigation. To get to the destination, they had to go off-road, using only GPS coordinates, stopping in the town of Dalanzadgad to eat some of the local cuisine and talk to more eyewitnesses. They were told that the worm is attracted to the color yellow, something Josh took note of. After a long dreary drive in the Gobi Desert, they finally reach the abandoned village and Osman, the only inhabitant still living there. He tells them that he hasn't seen anything but hearing eerie sounds that caused the other villagers to leave.

Josh and his team head out to the outskirts of town and find many tunnels. Are these made by the devil worm or large creepy rodents? Hoping it was the devil worm itself that made the tunnels; they attach a yellow cloth to their camera and put it in one of the holes. The elements were hard to deal with like the ever dropping temperature. Using the thermal camera, Josh happens upon a fresh hole and some sort of residual heat signature. They take samples and hear a scratching sound but find nothing. Then one of the team spots an orange flash off in the distance but found nothing upon investigating it. They had to quit investigation because the frigid air was draining the batteries and making it hard to tolerate and finish the investigation. They took all the evidence and samples back to Los Angeles for testing but nothing identical or organic was found. Josh had to conclude that they didn't have enough evidence to support the existence of the Mongolian Devil Worm.

Even in one of the coldest places on Earth, Iceland have reports of a giant Worm Monster. Reports are that is it longer than a football field and has been seen near Lake Lagarfljot. This monster has been reported by witnesses since 1345 and is one of the oldest lake monsters ever recorded. It has been spotted either in the lake or on land in a coiled position. It is brown in color, slimy skin with huge set of sharp teeth that remind me of the gaping maw of the Sarlacc from the movie “Return of the Jedi”. Others have reported seeing it slither into the forest and have the locals frightened by its existence. Josh Gates and the Destination Truth team went to investigate this worm and had lots of mishaps because of the frigid weather and thick fog surrounding the lake. Josh and the two others with him in their boat were lost for over 6 hours on the lake trying to find base camp. The temperature got down to 10 degrees and they were afraid of hypothermia. While trying to get back to base camp, they did spot something enormous, about 20 or 30 feet, black shadow moving in the water. This thing created huge waves that rock their boat. After making it back home to Los Angeles, they had the video footage analyzed. They expert could not ID what they caught but ruled out a school of fish and large eels that are known to be in that area.

Whatever the truths behind these incredible enormous worms are, all the witnesses will tell you that they are real. Anyone want to go fishing?

Friday, September 11, 2009

Destination Truth Recap: Haunted Forest; Alux

On this 3rd season, Josh Gates has a bigger role besides host and that is of producer. Having more control, he can run the show his way. Along with the first-hand duties, he has a new team going with him on all the new destinations. They are Bicha Gholam, case manager; Evan Stone, cameraman; Gabriel "Gabe" Copeland, cameraman; Jael DePardo, researcher; Mike Morrell, audio; Rex Williams, medic; and Sharra Jenkins, tech manager. With his new team they set out for their first investigation of the paranormal activity in the Hoia Baciu woods in Romania.

FIRST INVESTIGATION: "Haunted Forest", Hoia Baciu, Romania
The Hoia Baciu woods are also known by the locals as the haunted gateway to the other side. This dark forest is very disorientating and feed on our darkest fears. Deep in the back woods of Transylvania, stories of bright lights tower skyward from the forest at night are seen by many of the locals. A couple of research teams that went into the forest were spooked with some of their pictures that had ghost-like human figures in them. They saw nothing with the naked eye while walking around in there. Now the locals are afraid of traveling to the Hoia Baciu forest and call it the most haunted spot in Europe. With over 45 ghost sightings in the past 6 months, Josh and his team were hoping for an incredible investigation with great evidence. They flew 6,000 miles from Los Angeles to Cluj, Romania and Josh called ahead to rent an SUV using what little Russian he could muster up. What they ended up with was a tiny two-door, filthy 4X4 which Josh said, "must mean that it is only 4 feet by feet and can only fit 4 comfortably. The entire crew squeezes in and off they go having some car problems at the beginning. They head off to the center of Cluj to find a professor that is an expert in the study of strange phenomena. Adrian Patrut, professor of Inorganic Chemistry at Cluj University is who they met up with and is an expert on the forest. He has several pictures of the bright lights and human like apparitions on nine different trips in the past three years that he took. He tells Josh that most of the sightings are concentrated around a perfectly circular clearing in the woods. The circular area is a natural vegetated dead zone where nothing grows. All the strange pictures are what started all the interests and investigations. Since he could not give them an exact location of where the circle was located, he pointed them to a small village outside of town near the forest where many of the residents have seen strange lights hovering over the forest. Their Romanian road trip was adventurous needless to say. It was bumpy and they came across some oxen pulling carts and felt like they were back in the 1800's. It didn't take them long to find a local that was willing to talk about the haunted forest. This man tells them that there is definitely a strong energy there while another local tells Josh not to go to the forest. Josh asked “why not go” and he tells them that you will remain there and never come back. They decide to chart a plane to get the best visual location of the mysterious circle and chart it on his GPS so they can find the place on foot. They rent a plane that Josh said looked like it escaped from the Air and Space Museum and was quite the antique. He tells everyone to get in the coffin or rather plane and off they go. Right away the roof of the plane flew off and panic sets in. They had to go back and were glad when they landed safely and hugged the ground. Needing to find another mode of transportation, they rent some ATV's and follow the map that professor Patrut made for them. They wanted to find the circle before it got dark and had to stop somewhere near it to set up base camp. They set up four infrared camera around base camp about 300 yard radius and four wireless trap cameras about a mile beyond that. These cameras have GPS tracking on them so they can locate there whereabouts and will shot anything that comes in front of their lens.

They spend the first night looking for the clearing or mysterious circle. In this area is where most of the activity was reported. Josh, Rex and Evan set off to the south where Josh spots a small light through the trees. Josh has everyone turn their headlamps off to see if it is one of his crew. After realizing that it wasn’t any of the team, they run towards the light and Rex falls down and hurts himself. He is fine but goes back to base camp to rest. Jael and Gabe hear noises so Jael takes several pictures of the surrounding area. She captures weird lights and orbs in the photos. Mike joins Evan and Josh and not having to walk very long, they found the elusive circle which was close by base camp. Right away they get a high EMF reading and take soil samples to see if they could explain why vegetation won't grow. Through the trees they see a light moving and run towards it. They experience the thermal imaging camera all of the sudden shutting off. Then Josh decides that each will sit in isolation in the circle with him going first. Josh keeps hearing noises all around in the woods. In the base camera they see a light behind Josh near his left shoulder. It looked like someone was walking behind him. As he turns to glimpse at the lights, it disappears off the camera. Now it’s Evan's turn to be alone in the circle where he kept hearing female voices behind him. On the camera they see him all of a sudden disappear like an unseen hand grabbed him and pulled him back. This happened right after hearing a big wind sound. They quickly ran to see what happened and found Evan lying on the ground. He had a burning feeling on his arm, lifted the sleeve and noticed deep scratches that were bleeding. He said that it felt like a big wind blew him backwards which freaked him out. Back at base camp, Rex fell sick. Not wanting to endanger anymore of his team, they took the evidence they collected back to Los Angeles for analysis. He took the soil samples to Wallace Laboratories to see if there was something biological or natural in why nothing would grow in the circle. They checked samples taken inside and outside the circle for analysis and concluded that there was very little differences in both samples. There was no explanation for why nothing grew in the circle. He took the photos, video and audio evidence to Jason and Grant to get their opinion of what they captured. On one EVP they caught a voice that sounded female moaning or yelling and another sounded like a female laughing. Because of the elements of the area the female sounds could be an animal or bird native to the area. To me it sounded like females voices. In the pictures they concluded that the orbs could be dust, but could not explain the weird lights and shadows. Then he showed them footage of Evan being blown away like something grabbed his arm and showed them the scratches. They couldn't explain what happened because he had a heavy jacket on and he only scratched his arm. They felt like Evan had a paranormal experience and that something unexplainable is going on in those woods. How did a full grown man in a sitting position get picked up and thrown around like a rag doll? How indeed?

SECOND INVESTIGATION: "Alux Creature", Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico

The Alux is a mythical pygmy like creature that has been seen deep in the jungles of Mexico in the Mayan ruins. These stories of a "Mini Me" called the Alux, which are child size beasts, have been reported for centuries. About 90% of the indigenous residence believes the creature to be real. There have been a spike in sightings in Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula in just the past month. It is described at a small human like creature with dark fur and an aggressive disposition. This creature, which is less than 4 foot tall, lives primarily in caves and the ruins that are deep in the jungle. After a 5 1/2 hour flight from LA to Cancun Mexico, they had to stay focused even though the margaritas were calling. They rented a jeep, headed due west, and noticed all the Alux houses along the highway built to appease the creature. They meet up with professor Carlos Cervantes and expert in Mayan history who has been tracking the recent run-ins with the Alux. He tells them than 95% of the people living there believe it is real and they are very afraid of the creature. He tells Josh that the creature lives in caves in the jungle. While in the jungle, he met up with a Shaman whose people came face to face with the creature. He directed Josh and his team to where the Shaman is located and they immediately headed off to seek him out. Along the way they ran into a bunch of male belly dancers that seem to take a shine to the team. Back on the road they ended up in the town of Merida by nightfall and decided to relax and let loose. They had some fun at the towns Carnival and ran into "Santa", the potato head float and did some dancing. The announcer told the crowd that Josh was in the Batman movie and he became an instant celebrity. He woke up in the morning with a female officer's phone number written on his hand and clearly it was time to leave. Just kidding of course, or was he, lol. On their way to see the Shaman, they stopped in a remote town where they heard that a young boy was taken by the Alux. Luis and Betty Kuilton, the boy's parents, felt that their son Jesus, is in the jungle with the Alux, alive and still there. They mapped out the jungle and figured that they needed to cover an area with the radius of 20-25km in diameter. They drove as far as they could but since the deep jungle terrain was so thick, they had to reach their destination on foot. They first set their sites on the remote caves that used to be dry and are now filled with water. Jael and Josh descend into one of the caves where they find human remains deep inside of the belly of the cave. He says he saw a part of a human skull and other bones that could have been there for thousands of years. They finally got to the Shaman village by nightfall and the locals did a ceremony to make contact with the Alux. They had to drink a special beverage that the Mayan used to protect them from the Alux and blessed them with leaves. Josh and Jael did a preliminary sweep of the area and saw lots of spiders, many of which are poisonous. They come across some ruins where the Alux is known to live. They use the parabolic dish to pick up any unusual sounds because they heard that the Alux makes a high pitch sound almost like a giggle. Mike picked up a sound and said it was like a kid screaming, a high pitched sound off in the distance. Was this the Alux letting them know it was there? Josh spots a huge snake and quickly moves everybody out of the way. They head out deeper in the forest and come across an enormous cave and step inside to investigate. They light their torches to investigate the cave which has long tunnels and experience their lights going out. They see a hive for some critters along with other poisonous creatures and find bones but can't describe the nature of origin of the bones. They gather some evidence and leave the cave. After the sun came up they took the evidence back to LA and the natural history museum. Some of bones could be from a goat and the others from chickens, but they still didn't know what may have killed them.

Great season premiere and from what I read, the shows highest ratings to date.

~Julie~

Monday, September 7, 2009

The Ghosts of Whiskey Row

Prescott poet Gail Gardner once wrote of "Whiskey Row":
"Oh they starts her in at the Kaintucky bar,
At the head of Whiskey Row,
And they winds up down by the Depot House,
Some forty drinks below."


Nestled in Yavapai County, Arizona, is the quaint little city of Prescott. The locals will tell you that it is pronounced Pres-kit and not Pres-cott. In 1864, Prescott became the capital of the Arizona Territory. In 1867 the capital was moved to Tucson, then back to Prescott in 1879, and finally to Phoenix in 1889.

Prescott is rich in history, housing one of the most famous red-light district areas known as “Whiskey Row”. This area on Montezuma Street had many saloons, with the most famous being the Palace Saloon. The Palace Saloon opened in September of 1877 and was filled with the highest standard of liqueur and decorated with the most impressive furniture from all over the world. The Palace wasn’t just a place to get a meal or have a drink, many men would check out the postings for work, bought and sold mineral claims, and it also served as a place for elections. It can boast having many notorious figures from history frequenting the place such as The Earps, Doc Holliday and “Big Nose Kate” Elder in the late 1870’s. Virgil and his wife Allie lived in the Thumb Buttes area of Prescott and owned a saw mill before joining his brothers in Tombstone. There are stories that Doc Holliday won 10,000 in poker at the Palace and afterwards joined the Earps in Tombstone eight months later.

In 1883, a fire destroyed most of Whiskey Row, taking out many buildings including the original Palace Saloon. Robert Brow, the Palace owner, rebuilt the place with a stone foundation and brick walls. Not only was it built sturdier, but he made it even grander than before. He added and elaborately carved 1880’s Brunswick bar measuring approximately 20 feet long. Unfortunately, Prescott suffered another huge fire destroying most of down town and again abolishing the Palace Saloon. Most of the patrons grabbed their drinks and much of the liquor stock and went across the street to watch the Palace burn. Some of the more faithful of customers actually lifted the Brunswick bar and carried it out to safety. That bar is still remains in use and is the only historical thing left and can be seen in the Palace today which was rebuilt in 1901.

Today, the Palace is a big part of Whiskey Row and has many faithful patrons that frequent it walls, with many visitors having a meal and drink. According to the owner, employees and visitors, many rowdy and playful spirits seemed to have made the Palace their eternal home. At the Palace, there is an 1890’s picture of the bar with what looks like a ghost in the background. There are other stories of glasses falling off the rack for no reason, a plant on the bar suddenly falling to the ground, and a mannequin in period clothing falling over the railing at the top of the stairs while no one with up there. In the 1972 movie, “Junior Bonner”, many of the bar fight scenes were filmed at the Palace. There have been numerous reports of chairs flying across the rooms as wells as bottles by unseen forces, and the sound of glass breaking everywhere. The employees chalk it up to a prankster ghost recreating the bar scenes from the movie. Some have witness the ghost of Nevins, who owned the mortuary and lost it to the sheriff along with all his other possessions. Many feel the he is there to repeat that ominous game hoping for a different outcome. There are other ghosts seen at the bar having a drink by the patrons and employees of the palace. Click here to see a photo of a female ghost taken outside the Palace by a visitor in 2004.

The next time you take a trip out West to Arizona, be sure to put Prescott on your list of places to visit. Check out its historical Whiskey Row and have a meal and a drink at the Palace. You might not be alone.

On September 26-28th, Haunted Con will be in Prescott. I would love to go but probably won’t be able to. I will do a blog on the other many haunted places in Prescott towards the end of this month.

~Julie~

Monday, August 10, 2009

After the Ouija Board: The Mysterious Call

Another evening shortly after April, her boyfriend and two roommates played with an Ouija board, they had another weird and creepy incident happen. It was very late in the night, one of her roommates was sleeping and the other wasn’t home from her night out yet. While April and her boyfriend were also sleeping, her roommate came home. Right after hearing the apartment door shut, April heard her cell phone ringing in the living room. She looked at the clock and noticed it was 3:00 am, and got up thinking that the call could be an emergency. As she was walking down the hall, her roommate came by and said that it was Kelly calling because she saw her name on the phone. Right when April was about to grab the phone, it stopped ringing. She picked it up and checked her missed calls, and saw that Kelly indeed called her at 3:00 am. She immediately called her back and was very worried about why she would call so late. On the other end of the phone she heard a very groggy “hello” from Kelly. April waited for a second for her to explain the call but she just asked April, what was up. April asked, “Why did you call me”. Surprised, Kelly responded with, “You called me”. Completely confused at this time, April decided it would be best to talk about it in the morning. The two girls hung up and right afterwards April could hear her boyfriend calling her name very faintly from the bedroom. When she walked in the room, she saw him sitting up at the end of the bed, pale as a ghost. He told her that a white mist formed in the doorway shortly after she left, and then sudden rushed towards him. He was so scared that he couldn’t move or speak for a few minutes. Then he told her that he felt the mist was evil, like it was the devil, and it lured her out of the room with the phone call. He continued to say that it wanted him to be alone, so it could attack him. April was not sure of what it could have been, but knows that he experienced something extremely frightening. They stayed up the rest of the night, not getting any sleep. The next day, April checked her phone before calling Kelly and noticed that the missed call she saw last night, was no longer there. Both her and her roommate saw Kelly’s name on the phone and under the missed calls, but it was no where on her phone. So why wasn’t it on the phone the next day? Was it the devil making the call to get her out of the room so he could attack her boyfriend? Who knows?

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Disneyland: The Happiest Haunted Place on Earth

Thousands of people visit Disneyland every year. It’s a place where adults can be kids again and kids can let their imaginations run wild. You can walk down Main Street and run into one of your favorite Disney characters, or ride to adventures through small worlds, down Splash Mountains, attacked by pirates, or abominable snowman on the Matterhorn Mountain, run through Tom Sawyer’s Island, and are totally scared by ghosts in the Haunted Mansion. You can spend a day or two forgetting your troubles and just have fun, lots of fun!

Disneyland is located in Anaheim, California and is known as an American theme park. It is owned and operated by The Walt Disney Company and opened it’s doors on July 18, 1955. The park has seen more than 515 million guests walk through its gates since it opened. With all the fun that Disneyland provides, no wonder it is called, “The happiest place on Earth.” Is this place, which has seen its share of royalty, presidents and other heads of state visit its adventures and rides, haunted as well? According to the many reports of sightings of ghosts and other paranormal activity, it would be a resounding “yes”. The following is some of the stories I found during my research:

The Haunted Mansion:There are many urban legends of deaths that have occurred in the Haunted Mansion. The Imagineers have done a great job of creating a spooky environment for all to enjoy and have a scary adventure through an old New Orleans style house. Some of the stories of “real” ghost haunting the place have been circulating for some time but are they all true. One of the stories is that an elderly man died of a heart attack because the ride was supposedly too scary. This happened before the ride was officially opened. They re-designed the ride and it was finally opened in 1969. His ghost has been seen by some wandering around the place. Another urban legend is of a 1940’s man who died in a park nearby where Disneyland would later be constructed. He was piloting a small plane and crashed in a lake. Some of the employees have seen his spirit late at night and refer to him as “the man with a cane”. Also in the area where the passengers disembark, a man in a tuxedo has been seen. One day an employee working in that area kept seeing a shadow in a mirror she uses to see the rides coming up. Every time she turned around, no one was there. The figure appeared to be wearing a tuxedo. She then experienced a chill and an unseen hand on her shoulder. Shortly afterwards, she ran out of there and quit her job. Another story is about a woman who wanted to scatter her son’s ashes inside the Haunted Mansion but was not allowed. She snuck in and scattered them anyway. Shortly afterwards some people have seen the apparition of a small boy crying and sitting near the exit. And still there is another story of a teenage boy, who stepped out of the Doombuggy to get a better look at the “Séance Circle”, fell to his through a gap in the walkway and died by breaking his neck. That area has seen its share of strange phenomenon like ghosts and strange music with no explainable source to where it was coming from. The next time you are riding around in the “Doombuggy” of the Haunted Mansion, the ghost sharing the ride just might be “real”. Muhahahaha!

The Haunted Mansion is not the only place that has had reports of unseen happenings; there are many other rides and buildings that are haunted as well.
The Fire Station on Main Street has reports of strange footsteps and lights turning themselves on, and a voice telling an employee, “Don’t forget, I am still here”, all on the second floor.
The storeroom behind the magic shop on Main Street had reports of cold spots and a creepy feeling while in the room.
The Disney Gallery above the Pirates of the Caribbean ride is said to be haunted by Walt Disney, his wife and another woman named Mary. Walt’s ghost has been seen in many places around the park.
Pirates of the Caribbean ride has also had story of the mother who wanted to scattered her son’s ashes on the ride. Basically it’s the same deal, she snuck in and scattered them anyway. Sometimes at night the ride operators have seen a lone boy riding in one of the boats on the video monitors. After checking it out, they found no one there. Is this boy at the Haunted Mansion or riding a boat on the Pirates of the Caribbean ride? I suppose it depends on who is telling the story.
Matterhorn Mountain is said to be haunted by the ghost of a woman named Dolly. The story is told that she unhooked her belt to check on her children riding behind her. The ride hit a steep incline, she fell out and was hit and killed by the sled behind her.
Space Mountain has a ghost of a man who died on the ride in the 1970’s. Witnesses have described him as a large man with reddish hair and a red face. His apparition has been seen getting in a car of a lone rider but disappearing before the end of the ride.
It’s a Small World can be a Pupaphobic’s worst nightmare at night. Lights have been reported turning themselves on and off, while the figures were reported moving on their own after the power has been shut down.
Tom Sawyers Island is being haunted by a couple of ghosts that might be the grad students that drowned in the Rivers of America. Also, many employees have reported seeing children running around the island. After boating over to the island to check it out, they never found them.
Tomorrow Land has had reports of a menacing spirit along with cold spots where the spirit has been seen. The People Mover Ride, which used to run through Tomorrow Land, has the ghost of a teenager who apparently jump from the car as it moved along the tracks, and was dragged to his death. They say the he reached up grabbing desperately to his girlfriend’s long blonde hair but couldn’t hang on. He will usually manifest himself to girls with long blonde hair and will tug on it.

Disneyland is truly the “Happiest haunted place on Earth” especially for those of us who love all the ghost stories. Wouldn’t it be great if we could get locked inside for the night and see for ourselves if the place is really haunted?

--Julie--

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

The Ford Theatre and Lincoln's Ghost


Not far from the Mall where the Smithsonian Museums are located is the Ford Theatre. We planned on touring the Ford Theatre after spending most of the day in the museums seeing all the historical exhibits and paintings. You walk through the main doors and are ushered into the theatre area where you are asked to be seated. After all the tourists are seated, a man came onto the stage and gave us a brief history of the theatre.

The building was built in 1833 and was originally a house of worship. In 1861, John T. Ford bought the place and had it renovated into a theater which was originally called Ford’s Athenaeum. Then in 1862 a fire destroyed the place, it was rebuilt, and then opened a year later, and was called Ford’s New Theatre. On April 14, 1865, just three days after General Lee surrendered at Appomattox Court House; President Lincoln was shot while enjoying a performance with his wife Mary Todd Lincoln.  President Lincoln died some hours later, across the street in an apartment.  John Wilkes Booth, a famous actor in the theatre, snuck up behind Lincoln and coldly put a bullet in the back of his head at point blank range. After stabbing Henry Rathbone, who was also in the box with the Lincolns along with his fiancee Clara Harris, he jumped onto the stage and shouted, “Sic semper tyrannis”, but some thought he said “The South is avenged”, and then escaped out the back door of the theatre. Lincoln’s body was taken to the Petersen House, a boarding house across the street, and put on a bed that wasn’t long enough for him. Clara Harris and Henry Rathbone escorted Mrs. Lincoln to the boarding house where Henry passed out from the blood loss of the stab wound. All through the night and early morning the physicians worked hard to save Lincoln but with no avail. At 7:22 am on April 15, 1865, Lincoln died at the age of 56 from external and internal hemorrhaging. Aft
er the assassination, the government took over the theater and it saw many owners since then. After a lengthy restoration period, the Ford Theatre today is an active theater presenting various types of plays and musicals, and offering tours with a bit of history thrown in.

After the history lesson, we are then ushered into the basement where the historical artifacts are exhibited. On display are many items relating to the assassination, including the Derringer pistol used to kill Lincoln, Booth’s diary, the original door to Lincoln’s theatre box, his coat (minus the bloodstain pieces), the blood stained pillow from his deathbed, statues of Lincoln, and several portraits of President Lincoln. This was truly a fascinating place to visit, and at times you feel like someone unseen might be watching you.
Is the Ford Theatre haunted? Many say it is haunted not only by Lincoln’s ghost, but Mary Todd Lincoln and John Wilkes Booth’s ghosts as well. Many of the witnesses have seen and heard the entire tragic event played out even to this day. The sounds of disembodied footsteps rushing the balcony box can be heard, and then followed by a loud gunshot and screams. Some have seen Mary Todd Lincoln’s ghost shortly afterwards leaning over the railing, pointing towards the stage and yelling “He killed the president”. Abraham Lincoln’s apparition has been seen by some in various places of the theater especially in the booth where he was killed. Others have reported seeing the ghost of Booth and feeling that he is haunting one particular part of the stage. Some of the actors that have stood on the left center of the stage have reported a cold spot, becoming nauseous, and having uncontrollable tremors causing them to shake and mess up their lines. Booth’s ghost has been seen running across the stage on numerous occasions, perhaps the exact area that he ran to make his escape.

The Petersen House has seen its fair share of paranormal activity too. Strange noises, voices, footsteps can be heard along with the ghost of Abraham Lincoln himself. His spirit has also been seen at his grave site in Springfield, Illinois and on many occasions, at the White House. Some say the Lincoln reported having a frightening vision of seeing his body, lying in state at the White House, ten days before he was assassinated at Ford’s Theatre. Maybe that is why Lincoln’s spirit has been witnessed by many hanging around the White House. It's too bad that we didn’t have the time to tour the Petersen House because it would have been a nice finish to the incredible tour.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Mysteries of the Smithsonian

After leaving Virginia and spending a day at Monticello, our 2005 trip took us to Washington DC. We had three days there and decided to take one full day to visit most of the Smithsonian museums. You actually need two or more days to see everything these amazing museums hold. I found out that there are so many fascinating stories for each item and their significance, also the journey they took to find their final resting place at each of the museums. Here are just some of the stories behind the treasures.

The Smithsonian in Washington DC is the biggest museum complex in the world. It houses an astonishing 142 million items in 16 buildings around the US capitol. It is not surprising that there a numerous exhibits that hold intense stories and puzzling mysteries. Some of the biggest stories come from one of the smallest branches of the museum, the National Postal Museum. What this museum holds it not for the timid, the Hope Diamond, a priceless gem that is said to have a devastating effect on anyone that comes in contact with it. The diamond was given to the institution by Harry Winston, who was a jeweler in New York City. He decided to donate the gem to the institution in November of 1958 and mailed it to them, via registered mail. Winston had insured the diamond for a million dollars for its overnight trip from New York to Washington DC. It came by train to the mail station and James Todd was the mail carrier was assigned to deliver the Hope Diamond to the institution. He picked up the gem and delivered it to the National History Museum. Some people were surprised on how this precious gem was delivered, but Harry Winston said that is how he sends all his gems. This gem has had a legendary history, passing over 300 years from adventurers, to European Kings, and to wealthy collectors. The legend says that after the French adventurer who quickly removed it from the 17th century statue in India was mauled by a pack of wild dogs. Then when it was passed to King Louie the VXI of France, he lost his head. A 20th century American socialite wore it constantly and two of her children died while her husband went insane. As for James Todd, the mailman, within a year after delivering the Hope Diamond to the institution, his leg was crushed by a truck, his wife died of a heart attack, his dog died after being strangled on his leash, and James' house partially burned down. The curse devastated James life but it hasn't stopped the diamond from becoming the most popular attraction of the Smithsonian Museum. Also found in the National Postal Museum is a large group of the nations postal collection. In a safe is where a charred postcard is kept locked away and holds a strong and an interesting, sad tale. It was mailed from Germany in 1937 to an address in New York City and was written by Dein to his dearest friend, Hans. Dien sent the letter air mail on the Hindenburg which took off on May 6, 1937 from Germany. This pride of Nazi Germany was more than 800 feet long, and was four times the length of today Boeing 747. It crossed the Atlantic at 82 mph and contained 7 million cubic feet of explosive hydrogen gas. The arrival of the Hindenburg was delayed in Lakehurst New Jersey because of a thunder and lightening storm, but after it stopped, the Hindenburg caption decided to try and land. As it was coming in and someone noticed what appeared as a flash of light that appeared in seconds and realized that it was a fire. The Hindenburg went up in seconds with some of the passengers jumping out of it about 300 feet above ground. Of the 97 crew and passengers on board, 35 perished along with one person on the ground. What was amazing was that Hans postcard did survive the massive inferno. Hans upon receiving the postcard realized its significance and donated it to the museum. National Postal Museum holds many other treasures and stories equally as interesting.

The National Museum of Natural History attracts nearly 10 million each year. Everything about it is gigantic from the soaring rotunda to the elephant underneath which is the world's largest stuff mammal. The biggest monster mystery there is the giant squid. It is an elusive creature because no one has ever seen a living giant squid in its natural habitat. The one at the museum washed ashore near Boston in 1980, and when they stretched it out, they found that they had a small female, and the feeding tentacles were 28 feet long. There have been a couple of records of them being up to 60 feet in length and are deadly killing machines. When they shoot out those tentacles, pray is then brought to its mouth which contains a huge beak. It also has big massive eyes known to scare any sailor that came across its path. This museum holds the biggest collection of priced fish, about 8 million specimens, the largest in the world. Creatures have been collected from every ocean for over 100 years and can be found here having grown to unworldly shapes and sizes. Here you will find one of the strangest and oldest creatures on earth, a Coelacanth fish. This fish is showing the beginnings of arms and legs and some say is the missing link. This museum is also the home of the largest collection of dinosaurs. They used computer animation to recreate a five ton triceratops, bringing it back to life and its full sculptured of bones are on display.

In the Anthropology Department of this museum, there are thousands of human skulls in drawers and bones are stacked almost to the ceiling. This is the final resting place for some 30,000 human specimens from around the world and across the ages. On a slab lays the body of a well preserved mummy, all of 5 feet 5 inches, right down to his linen socks. He was an accidental mummy and was preserved by the electrolytes in the water near where he was buried, which slowed down his decaying.

The National Museum of American History houses the original star spangle banner flag that is being slowly restored by careful seamstress. During the War of 1812, the flag was flown at Fort McHenry, and was where Francis Scott Key saw it blowing at the top of the flagpole and inspired him to write “The Star Spangle Banner”. Over the next 100 years the flag was rarely displayed with pieces cut out of it, for various reasons. The first piece cut out was the 15th star and given to a defender of fort McHenry. His widow had requested a piece of the flag to bury with her husband. Today they are not trying to repair the flag but preserve it, even with the missing star, for future generations of Americans. Also in the National Museum of American History, the President’s room houses the uniform worn by George Washington, the desk used by Thomas Jefferson to write the Decoration of Independence, and a section on assassinations displaying Abraham Lincoln's hat. Many more items held, owned and used by our past presidents can be viewed in the President’s Room.

The National Air and Space Museum is where exceptional moments in aviation history come to life. The first manned flight, the first lunar landing, and the first plane to break the sound barrier, can all be found there. An interesting display of Amelia Earhart's collection can be seen, showing her leather flying suit, goggles and two way radio.

Perhaps the biggest mystery of the Smithsonian is why it came to be in the first place. The Smithsonian has many collections of bones but in the Smithsonian Institution Building, also known as The Castle, lays the special remains of human bones sealed in a crypt. They belong to James Smithson who made it all possible. James was a troubled British scientist and the last person you would expect to be responsible for such a huge American institution. In his hand written will, it stated that his humble fortune was to be donated to the American people. No one knew why because he did not know anyone in the United States and never once set foot in America. He died in 1829 in Italy far from home and even farther from America. His estate was turned into gold sovereign, put on a boat and travel across the Atlantic to Washington. His gold sovereign was melted down and turned into 2 dollar gold coins. It added up to be more than 250,000 of them, which was a very serious sum in those days. John Quincy Adams wanted an observatory while others wanted various types of museums and at the end it turned out to be all of those things. The mystery still remains to why Smithson left his fortune to a country he had never seen. He believed that by giving a gift that would increase knowledge would make life better for all humanity.

If you ever get to visit Washington DC, don’t forget to put the Smithsonian Museums on your ‘must see’ list. Give yourself enough time to see as much of the exhibits as you can and a whole day on just the paintings alone. There are so many more stories about the many unique and wondrous items that are in the rooms of each of the Smithsonian Museums, these were just a few. Paranormal activity has also been reported from those seeing apparitions, to unusual noises, unseen footsteps and eerie voices. Perhaps some of the past owners can’t give up their precious items.

(I have to mention the Travel Channel’s documentary on the Smithsonian for providing me with much of my information.)

Monday, March 9, 2009

Urban Legend: When a Stranger Calls

Many stories are handed down from generation to generation in the form a modern folklore or urban legends. Urban legends are stories that are spread in various forms that are usually false though believed to be real by those telling them. Some believe that they are based on real events making the tales even more twisted. The substance of these stories usually consists of humor or horror. Sometimes the stories are told around campfires or at slumber parties with the person telling the story holding a flashlight under their chin for visual effects. Many horror movies are based on urban legends of one sort of another. One of the stories circulating around is the one about the babysitter. The horror/thriller movie, "When a Stranger Calls", was based on this very story and scared many of us from babysitting other people's children. I saw the 1979 version of the movie in the theatre with my friends. I am the biggest chicken when it comes to watching horror flicks even though I still loved to watch them. In 1979 there were fewer theatres so waiting in long lines was typical so you wasn't sure which show time you would make. Most of the time I just hated it when a tall person sat in front of me except during a horror flick. But as luck or lack of luck would have it, we ended up in the second row and had a perfectly clear view of the screen. Now I had to depend on squinting my eyes or looking through the fence fingers during the intense scenes. The fence fingers are just my hand in front of my face with my fingers slightly apart enough for me to see the movie. The first part of the movie, which starred Carol Kane as the babysitter, was based on the babysitter urban legend. The story begins with Jill (Kane) at the home of a doctor and his wife watching their children. The children are upstairs sleeping when Jill's terror begins. She receives a phone call from a mysterious man asking her questions about what she is doing and asking “have you checked the children”? At first, she just dismisses the calls as a practical joke but the calls kept coming along with more frightening threats. She becomes so scared that she calls the police. They told her that she needed to keep him on the phone long enough so they can trace the call. Now watch the video and see what happens next.



Although this story has been told many times with different variations of what happen, the basic story is still the same. Some stories say that the babysitter hears heavy breathing with the killing telling her that he is coming to get her. The part where she calls the police, they trace the call and tell her to “get out” because the man is inside the house, is basically the same. The killer getting away and the children being dead are also told the same in this Urban Legend.

The movie, “When a Stranger Calls” goes beyond the Urban Legend letting us know what may have happened afterwards. (If you haven’t seen it then maybe you would not want to read on.) The middle of the movie is slow where we follow the killer, Curt, after he escapes from the asylum and the retired detective, Clifford, tracking him down. We now find Jill as an adult, married with children of her own. Curt just happens to find out where she was living from a newspaper article. Jill and Stephen, her husband, go out to dinner and get a babysitter to watch their two kids. Jill receives a call at the restaurant, answers it only to have the creepy voice of Curt on the other end asking, “Have you checked the children?” Jill freaks out; they call the police and head home to find everything just fine with the babysitter and the children. Later, we see Jill having trouble sleeping, as you can imagine, and in the kitchen getting milk when all of a sudden, the lights go out. She heads back to bed and hears what appears to be Curt’s chilling voice whispering to her from the closet where the door is ajar. She shakes her husband, trying to wake him up, but it was Curt that was in bed with her. He rips her nightgown, chases her around the room, trying to kill her. Officer Clifford shows up in time to shoot Curt and kill him. Jill’s husband was knocked out in the closet and still alive.

During the climax of this movie, I hid my eyes, my friend Mary grabbed my leg and dug her nails in, and my friend Deb’s popcorn, (whatever she had left) was all over the place. Oh my, we sure enjoyed that adrenalin rush. You can’t beat a good horror/thriller movie that has an intense ending. I have seen the more current version of this movie but did not care for it.

There are many urban legends out there; this is just one of them. Look for Mike and myself to blog about other urban legends that have movies made from them or the ones we just like to talk about.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Ouija Board: Spirit Board or Just a Game


Most of us have checked out Ouija boards at one time in our lives. For me, it was when I was in middle school. My friends and I would spend the night at one of our homes on the weekends. There were usually six of us and we loved getting scared. Our night would usually consist of cheesy scary movies, junk food and playing games. The games weren’t your typical board games but anything that might give us a scare. We might start out with: light as a feather, stiff as a board; or a séance; or we would pull out the Ouija board, which someone conveniently had. We would all put a finger on the triangle pointer and ask questions. The excitement would build when the pointer started moving. Of course we all swore that we didn’t move it. Nothing major happened, just a group of silly adolescent girls having fun.

Even though we had nothing happen afterwards, the same can’t be said for a friend of my daughters and her two roommates. They decided to check out the Ouija board one night that April had purchased. They asked all the questions and got movement from the pointer. After having fun, the board was put away and they went to bed. The next morning several of the kitchen cabinet doors were opened. They blamed each other for playing a prank but no one would fess up. The doors were shut and the two roommates went to work while April took a shower. When she returned to the kitchen, some of the cabinet doors where opened. She called her roommates to see if one of them returned and opened the cabinets, but they were already at work. Creepy feelings came over her at this point. This was only the beginning of many unexplained phenomenon to happen in that apartment. All April’s life strange paranormal activity kept happening to her or around her. This seemed to another chapter in the spooky life that was April’s. (I hope to write some blogs about some of these chapters). After a month or so of the paranormal activity in the apartment, they all moved out! Did some type of spirit, good or bad, get released when they used to Ouija board? I don’t know but the paranormal activity was real.

Ouija board (pronounced “weejah”) has been known as a spirit board or talking board. The board is made up of letters, numbers, and symbols all to help communicate with spirits. The triangle pointer (as I call it) is called a planchette and aides in spelling out the messages from the questions asked. Although “Ouija” is a trademark name, the term “Ouija Board” is abandoned as a registered trademark. The Ouija board goes as far back as 1200 B. C. and used by the Chinese as a method called “planchette writing”. On February 10, 1891, the Ouija board was patented, looking much like the board we use today.

The scientific explanation for the Quija board is that we are using our subconscious mind in directing our thought process. Some people believe that the Ouija board is so powerful that they a not aware that they are moving the planchette. They are so caught up in the moment and believe that some kind of spiritual force is answering their questions. Experiments were conducted to try and prove this theory right and concluded with different results.

A spiritualist explains the Quija board as vessel for spiritual contact. Some say that the contacted spirits may use the talents of a medium to get their messages across. The medium’s eyes are a vessel for a spirit to use and be able to point at the letters in order to form the message it needs to convey. Some don’t believe that the board has any mythical powers but used as a tool for a medium to communicate with spirits.

Of course, where would we be without the skeptic’s view? They feel that it is used to fool people, a prank, and that one person is indeed moving the planchette. Maybe, more than one person is in on the joke, with all moving the planchette slowly, having the unaware person thinking that it is moving on its own. Also, they may keep a straight face or show shock, keeping up with the prank. The skeptics believe that the planchette can only move by human power and not spiritual power.

Although many think of Ouija board as a simple game and harmless, some revere it as evil and dangerous. What may seem like a friendly spirit could be a demon spirit instead playing tricks on an unsuspecting victim. People have reported being haunted by ghosts, hearing voices and other unknown phenomenon after using the Ouija board. This is what happened to April and her roommates. There are many other stories similar to these that can be found on the Internet. What do you think? Is the Quija board evil or just a game?

--Julie--