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?


Thursday, June 11, 2009

Symptoms of a Haunted Home

Some of us might live in a nice little house like the one pictured above. It's simple, it's cozy, and it's a perfect fit for you and your family. In that house you may have a few kids running around maybe even a cute little puppy or kitty cat. It's decorated the way you want, everything is just the way it should be according to your preferences. You are perfectly comfortable in your house, and you don't plan on leaving for a very, very long time. People may drive by or jog by one morning and say "well isn't that just a nice little house?". However one day, something odd throws all out of that out of balance...something that you can't quite see.

We all get sick from time to time, whether it be a cold or the nasty flu. Some virus, invisible to the naked eye, invades our body and throws us out of our comfort level. Usually we gulp down some liquid remedy or swallow a ton of pills to make these things go bye bye in just a few days. Much like these illnesses invade our body...sometimes something from the other side may invade our homes. Sadly though, NyQuil and Sudafed won't get rid of these pesky little disturbances. By that of course I mean ghosts.

There are many "symptoms" for a haunted home, but most of them are to often confused for everyday household issues. Once you can weed out those common problems, and you are left with some strange things still going on...well then you may have yourself a nasty little spirit or two running amok in your house! Well I'd like to go through a few common things that you may think are ghosties and ghoulies...but really is just your imagination going buck wild!

1. You got a really old house. A lot of us don't live in these fancy new homes that were built just for us and our needs. In fact most people live in homes that have been around for fifty to sometimes up to a hundred years. It's common for people to automatically think there home is haunted simply because it's been around forever. This isn't usually true.

"Well my floorboards creek" you might say. That's probably because you haven't replaced your floorboards in many many years...if not ever. They get loose over time, they get deeply worn out. You may step on a floorboard in your hallway and the floor in your bedroom creeks. That's not a ghost. Usually. Now if you are just sitting on your couch one day and suddenly your floor starts creaking as if someone is actually walking...you might more than a few rodents under your house. You just might have a ghost who is trying to sneak in after curfew.

"Well weird knocking sounds come from walls and ceilings" is something you could argue for having a ghost. Again if you don't tend to the structure of your home for quite some time...it will ware down. Sometimes on old walls (even on new ones...my apartment does this on occasion) the wall or ceiling will pop. It will sound like a knock, and it will probably startle you. But it happens randomly doesn't it? Now if you hear three of these knocks in succession and then physically ask for more knocks and you get them right away...well you just might have a ghost (or there's some weird homeless man living in your walls and you should probably get him the heck out of there!).

2. You got way to many old or loose wires. Jay and Grant on Ghost Hunters have made this a well known debunking method on their show. When you have a crap load of wires and electricity generating in your home, these things can let off some very high EMF (Electro Magnetic Field) readings. So you are home alone and you are sitting on your couch in the dark watching TV and all of a sudden get the feeling someone is watching you from behind. You turn around and no one is there. Then you start to feel paranoid. Or maybe you are in the kitchen one day making dinner and all of a sudden feel nauseous and a bit dizzy and then immediately that goes away. Or you are in your basement doing laundry and you start to feel all of those things and it all goes away the moment you leave.

Well high EMF readings can be quite dangerous if you don't take care of those faulty or loose wires. If the EMF is high in your home it can actually cause you to feel paranoid or delusional. It can even make you see things like shadows out of the corner of your eye. It can make you feel sick and dizzy and it has nothing to do with ghosts. They can actually cause you to be hospitalized, so if you have these issues a lot I would call an electrician ASAP. Now if you have all your wires and electronics checked and cleared by a genuine licensed electrician and then you start to feel these weird things...there might be a creepy dead person standing right behind you and you don't even know it. Turn around...right now...I dare you. Muahaha.

3. You have some wind tunnels. Your doors keep opening by themselves and even closing all by their lonesome. Surely now your house must be a possessed by a demon who was clearly born in a barn...right? Well don't jump to that conclusion JUST yet. During the more humid times of year, your wood doors can expand ever so slightly. This causes a pressure and the door will pop open all on its own. Another explanation is the wind factor. I have had this experience in my apartment before. My bedroom door will be closed and my roommate at the time would come home through the front door. When he opens it, my bedroom door has actually popped open. I'm no scientist, but I believe I read that when the air in a room is suddenly forced in all directions (by a heavy door opening) it will rush to other areas immediately and cause some pressure to apply to other doors. You may even notice your blinds will shake or flutter violently for a moment when someone opens a door. But this can actually make doors open, so it isn't always Casper trying to sneak a peek in your bedroom.

Now if you check your doors, and even experiment with this wind tunnel theory and your doors don't open...well you might have something. For instance if you are sitting in your room and you hear the door knob physically turn or a latch on a door lift...usually it takes more than a breeze to make that happen. Then your door fly's open and shuts closed and latches back up...well that just doesn't happen folks. If this is the case...you probably DO have a case of a perverted Casper.

Thing is...you hear stories all the time about a nice little family is suddenly terrorized by a hoard of ghosts. Some families have even made bank of their tales that turned out not to be true. There was the Lutz family from Amityville who, along with their skilled lawyer, fabricated their entire story in order to make a profit off of movies and TV shows. There was also the family from Connecticut (whom the movie A Haunting in Connecticut is based) who all of a sudden couldn't get their stories straight on what was really happening in their home. Haunted houses are quite surprisingly a very profitable business. There's the Whaley House, the Winchester Mansion, the Lizzie Borden House, The Queen Mary, etc. These places all charge you a pretty penny just to walk through them. It's tough to say what places really are haunted.

Honestly it's usually the quaint little homes we all live in. Most families don't want these things, and will usually move out because they feel forced to. Did you know that for the most part, it isn't actually the building or home that is haunted, but the land it rests on? Over the decades and centuries homes where death has occurred have been torn down and new places are built. The energy generally stays on the land. Sometimes these ghosts will also attach themselves to objects and will actually move with them.

So what are the symptoms of a haunted home? Well I assure you it's not a heart of greed (like the Lutz family). Are you physically being touched? If you are lying in bed or sitting on the couch and you feel someone touch you and no one is there...well you might have something. I don't mean a breeze brushes your face, I mean an actual solid touch or even a smack or scratch? If you feel scratched are there marks on your skin right afterward?

Are there unfamiliar voices or sounds in your home? Do you hear screams or laughter coming from your halls and you know for a fact that it isn't your family? Have you ever been alone and talking to yourself and you get a verbal response from somewhere in your area in the home? Well you probably aren't crazy (although some people would like to tell you you are).

Have you been pushed hard by something that isn't there and know for a fact you didn't trip or bump something? Has your hair ever been tugged with some real force and you know it didn't get caught in anything? Have you seen full formed shadows directly in front of you that seem to move on their own and you know for a fact it isn't yours or light reflecting from outside?

Have objects fallen off shelves or out of cabinets when you know they were securely in there? Have you ever seen an object float or shoot across the room? Have you heard loud bangs coming from your walls or in a room where you know for a fact no one is in? Or by chance, have you seen a full bodied spirit standing in your eye line and then just vanish?

If you experience these things you may very well possibly have some ghostly activity in your home. You may be terrified of them. Just know that most of the time these ghosts aren't even aware you are in the house. A lot of the time it's just their energy causing these things. For the most part there really is nothing to fear. They can't do much harm to you. However I'm sure it can be very unpleasant and especially frightening to your younger children if you have any. But you really can't rid your house of them. They are generally there to stay. So you either have to learn to co-exist...or flee if it's that bad.

I'm not an expert in any field...these are just my own thoughts. But I'm tired of hearing about people having haunted houses just because they have over active imaginations. It isn't fair to the people who really do have a bad case of the ghoulies.

--Mike-- (I'm back!)