Friday, September 30, 2011

Stella: A Zombie Housewife

Stella before becoming a zombie letting her hair down and not wearing her pearls.

Stella's house before the apocalypes.

She was a typical 1950’s housewife who kept a meticulous home.  On the outside the lawn was manicured as well as the bushes.  Her house must have the perfect curb appeal.  Inside there was no place for dust and her floors were so clean you could eat off them.  She always had her hair done just right, not a hair out of place with a bow made out of ribbon on top.  Her dress was ironed with not a wrinkle in site and pearls adorned her neck.  Her husband was a hard worker affording Stella and the children a wonderful life.  Keeping her children cleaned as well as the house, doing laundry and making a luxurious dinner every night was a full time job for Stella but she loved her life.  Her only complaint was living next door to her lush of a sister-in-law Liz.  She put up with Liz and her antics for her husband who loved his little sister.

The toxin storm rolling in.

The heavy fog of toxins.
She doesn’t remember much of that day.  The sky got dark and a fog rolled in.  The chemical bombs were coming in fast and furious.  No one could hide from them.  The winds picked up carrying the heavy toxins throughout the land.  Everyone’s body were absorbing the poisons and for some reason adjusting to breathing it in.  People were no longer alive but now started living an undead existence.  The ones who did survive and didn’t turn into zombies became prisoners.  They were farmed out to various places and became food for many zombie feasts.

Stella continued to try and keep a clean home.  Her house which once had a beautiful lawn and plants now stands barren.  Most of the walls are missing from her home which also has no roof.  She sweeps the dusty floors, puts dead branches in her flower vases and now enjoys Frosted Fingers for breakfast. The pearls still adorn her neck, the bow is still on her now disheveled hair and her dress is dirty but still ironed.  Her husband goes to work but now it is hunting people for food.  Her children enjoy people’s brains the most.  Unfortunately her sister-in-law is still around.  Liz still loves her Bloody Mary, but now she drinks real blood from women named Mary.  Stella continues with her daily routines as if nothing happened and has adjusted well to being a zombie housewife.
Stella's living room.

Her basement door.  I wonder what is in there?

Stella's bathroom.

Having her Frosted Fingers for breakfast.

Keeping up with the house cleaning.

Adorning the house with sticks in bloody water.
Stella's favorite tree along her driveway.

Click on these other Zombie Walk blog participants and enjoy their undead posts:

Ghost Hunting Theories

Zombies Everywhere

Holly's Horrorland

Little Gothic Horrors

Anything Horror

Katy Bennett Horror Writer and Poet

Bubba's Place

Horror Smorgasbord


Monkey Man

Words and Music

Red Shoes Chronicles

The Wolf's Eyes

My Day in a Sentence

Pixie's Horror Galore

Strange State

The Misadventures of HalloweeNut

Halloween Blues

Kweeny Todd

The California Blogging Massacre

Horror Shop Lolipop

Vanessa Morgan

Improbable Frontiers

No Really, You Can Eat It

So How Am I Today?

Art By Living Dead Girl Nicole

Two Gory Chicks

A Dust Bunny in the Wind

A Ghoul's Best Friend

Zombies Are Magic

Cherry Neko Saves the World

Tall Tales

At the Mansion of Madness

The Haunted Rose

The Rotting Zombie

Halloween Overkill

Out of the Shadows

Keyhole Gallery

Creepy Glowbugg

Bifocal Univision


Sherry Soule

Anchors and Roses

Paranormal Researchers Group

Whispering Pines History

Lovely Miss Megs

Sean Thomas Fisher's Blogwash

Rise and Fight

Stump Town Horror

LoliClown's Little Blog of Horror

Zombies Can't Love

Books and Beyond

The Grave Bandits

Screaming Goregasms

Lazy Daisy Life

Icky Monster

Pretty in Fiction

Ivy's Closet

Justine's Halloween

Annie Walls

Just Johnny

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Getting Out of the Heat

My family (hubby, daughter, granddaughter) and I went to a campground near Payson, AZ in Forest Lakes.  It was my husband's company's annual campout.  My hubby caught the most fish and won a trophy.  We had a great time and it was nice to get out of the heat.

My hubby's tent. (The girls stayed at the nearest hotel.)

The camps port-a-potty.

This critter and its friends were caught by the kids.

The campsite.

A nice fire for the evening.


Getting dark...

My daughter and granddaughter walking to camp.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Bisbee: An Arizona Mining Ghost Town

One of my favorite minings towns to visit in Arizona is Bisbee.  The old section and main street of town is set down below the highway.  Many old buildings which line the street are filled with antique, new age stores and other businesses.  Along the main drag are hotels with interesting pasts and several claims of ghostly activity.  I stayed at the Copper Queen Hotel a couple of times and experienced some paranormal activity.  The town's residents homes are high above dotting the landscape, some having over 100 cements steps leading to their front doors.  At night time when you walk the streets, not only are they pitch black but on some occasions, a ghost or two just might be seen wander the streets as well. 

In 1877, a civilian tracker named Jack Dunn lead army scouts into the Mule Mountains to look for rebellious Apaches.  They found instead signs of mineral deposits consisting of lead, copper and even silver.  The first mine to be staked, later became Bisbee.  Many claims that were filed, lead to a lot of prospectors and on lookers running to Mule Mountain in hopes of striking it rich.  Due to the many claim filings, the town of Bisbee became known as the “Queen of the Copper Camps”.   Because of the growth and increase in population, they needed to meet the basic needs and services of all the people living there.  On January 9, 1902, Bisbee became the City of Bisbee.  By 1910 the city was the largest in the territory, with a population of over 25,000 people. 

By 1974 the ore reserves were dry which caused the closing of all mining operations in Bisbee.  With cheap real estate and history, Bisbee drew various types of people, “hippies”, retires, investors or just visitors.  There are many empty homes high on the hills above the main street.  Many stairs lead to those furthest away.  Today, Bisbee is more of an artist’s colony.  The architectural and history of Bisbee has been restored and is keep well preserved.  It’s the history and many stories of seeing ghosts that keep this small mining town surviving through all the hardships.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Skeleton Cave

On December 28, 1872, around 75 Yavapai men, women, and children were massacred while trapped in a cave north of Salt River Canyon now known as Canyon Lake. It was General George Crooks who lead the charge against the Kwevkepaya, southeastern Yavapai people, who were attacking white settlers. He used an Apache scout named Nantaje and the union of Captain Burns and Major Brown’s 5th Calvary. Collectively there were 100 Pima scouts, and around 120 of General Crooks’ men.

It was the morning of the 28th when they open fired on approximately 110 Kwevkepaya people confined inside the cave. They shot at the cave’s roof, causing an avalanche of rocks to tumble down on the unsuspecting families. They panicked and ran to the mouth of the cave where they were met by gun fire and huge boulders being pushed on top of them. By mid-morning when the dust finally settled, there were only a few survivors. These scattered few were taken to Camp Grant as prisoners. The dead bodies were just left there to rot.

In 1906, Jeff Adams came across the cave and told several valley newspapers of his discovery. Two years later, Walter Lubken, using a guide, took photographs of the bones and artifacts inside the cave. In 1925, a group of Yavapai and the Maricopa County Sheriff, gathered all the bones and relocated them to the Fort McDowell cemetery.

Is this cave haunted? With all the lives that were lost, death, and bloodshed, I would think some of the tormented spirits are still hanging around the rock walls. I know that my POE team wants to get permission to do a ghost hunt there. If we get the awesome opportunity to investigate Skeleton Cave, we will share our findings.

To read a more in-depth story of the massacre at Skeleton Cave, click on this link:

Friday, September 23, 2011

The Cottingley Fairies

There once were two cousins who lived in Cottingley, England. Their names were Elsie Wright and Frances Griffiths. The two of them loved to take pictures in the gardens where apparently fairies seem to exist. At least this is what 16 year old Elsie and 10 year old Frances saw in their photos. In 1917, the girls’ photos became famous and known as the Cottingley Fairies. The series of five photographs first caught the interest of writer Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. He was writing an article for the Christmas 1920 edition of The Strand Magazines and wanted to use the girls’ pictures for his article on fairies. As a spiritualist, he felt the photos were solid proof of psychic phenomena. Some people viewed the pictures as real but others were not as easily convinced. The skeptics said the pictures were a hoax.

By 1921 the appeal of the Cottingley Fairies had weakened to the point where most didn’t care. Elsie and Frances both married and moved away from England. The girls moved on but the pictures still had some that believed them to be real and were fascinated by them. In 1966, Elsie moved back to England and was located by a Daily Express newspaper reporter. The woman wanted to regenerate the story of the pictures. After that, people started showing interest in their fairy photos once more.

It would be close to 20 years later when the girls or rather ladies would admit they faked the photos by using cardboard cutouts of fairies. They made copies of the fairies from a children’s book using hat pins to hold them up. Although Elsie maintains all the pictures are fake, Frances stands by her claim that the fifth and final photograph was authentic. I agree with Elsie in saying that they are all bogus.

Elsie & Frances 1917

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Better in Photo Filter?

I just love Photoshop CS2.  Everyday I mess around with it and find different ways to alter my pictures.  I usually shoot all my photos in color and desaturated some of them in Photoshop.  I figured out how to add some color to some of my desaturated photos and used that method on our zombie pictures.  I also adjust some of the photos using Photo Filter.  It takes a modern day picture and makes it look like it was taken many years ago.  Some have just a hint of the photo filter changes, others are more obvious.  Here are some I was playing with:

Assay Office, Vulture Mine

The Domes

Rub-a-dub-dub, Vulture Mine

cabinet, Vulture Mine

School house, Fairbank AZ

Birdcage Theatre, Tombstone

Birdcage Theatre, Tombstone

Poker Room, Birdcage Theatre, Tombstone

Bee Apartments, Miami AZ

abandoned trailor, Morristown AZ
If you have any cool Photoshop effects to share, I would love to hear about them.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

The Lost Dutchman Mine

Hiding in the Superstition Mountains and located about 35 miles southeast of Phoenix, is Arizona’s mysterious Lost Dutchman gold mine.  For more than a century, this wonder has been attracting those who believe in the stories of riches and are looking for the mine. Many have met with tragedy having their lives claimed by the barren desert.  

The Dutchman himself was actually a German miner named Jacob Waltz.  Born in Germany in 1808, he set out for America in 1839 looking to strike it rich.  In 1848 he became a US citizen while in Mississippi.  After not having much luck there, he decided to head west to California.  He ended up in the Bradshaw Mountains, a mountain range in the Sonoran Desert in central Arizona, and was determined to find gold.  In 1968, having made a homestead claim of 160 acres near the Salt River, Waltz would mine the nearby Superstition Mountains.  For about 20 years he would head out every winter searching for gold.  The story goes that on one of his excursion he found the notorious mine and left only a few clues on its whereabouts.  In 1891, Waltz died in Phoenix and the mysterious location died with him.

As the famous story is told, these are the clues Waltz left on the mines location:

 "From my mine you can see the military trail, but from the military trail you can not see my mine. The rays of the setting sun shine into the entrance of my mine. There is a trick in the trail to my mine. My mine is located in a north-trending canyon. There is a rock face on the trail to my mine."

The stories were told from generation to generation having many believe that the treasure is still there even though no one has had any luck in finding it.  The Superstition Mountains were named for all the tragedy that the gold seekers came across while searching for the gold mine.  Many met their demise either from the Apaches, the extreme heat or the elements or the harsh desert.  One of the rock shapes that people come across while searching for the mine in the mountains, is Weaver’s Needle.  This tall mass stands as a symbol for all of those who searched, and possibly died, never finding the Lost Dutchman Mine.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

The Hohokam

The Hohokam people existed as far back as 200 B.C. until around 1450 in the south-central area of the Arizona. The name Hohokam derives from the word Hoohoogum, a moniker given to those living in that region of the southwest desert. History tells us that this tribe migrated north from Mexico and settled in southern Arizona. From the Hohokam ruins we can see they were a skilled group of farmers who built elaborate canals that went on for miles. They grew corn, beans, squash, agave, and cotton for clothing and other uses to protect themselves from the harsh environment. The Hohokam were hunters and feasted on deer, rabbit, quail, and various types of fish. They used their stone tools for cooking and building while living in their mud houses created from the desert’s materials.

Not much was know about this tribe nor written about their demise. We are able to study them through the well engineered canals, ruins, and written stories on rocks known as petroglyhps that were left behind.

There are several stories on what happened to the Hohokam. One is they simply went back to Mexico due to the drought in Arizona, while another theory is they stayed and split up into different tribes. It is not entirely clear what happen, perhaps their story is buried in the ruins somewhere in the southwest desert.