The Satisfaction of a List

It’s Media Monday here on WeWoHa and so I thought I would share some media finds in the form of a list. I’m using the prompts over at The Daily Post to help inspire the posts here and “The Satisfaction of a List” jumped out at me. It’s sort of low-key and no pressure. On a Monday, no pressure is the best kind of pressure. So here goes.

A list. Easy enough, but how to relate it to our purpose here? How about a list of books I’m working my way through?

Here goes:

  1. Haunted Connecticut: Ghosts and Strange Phenomena of the Constitution State by Cheri Revai

I’ve had this one sitting in my bookshelf for a while and have just recently started to flip through its pages. The book takes common lore throughout Connecticut and breaks up the stories based on region. It’s a mixture of myths and legends, UFO sightings, and ghostly haunts. The stories are short and sweet and to the point, just the way I like ‘em. It makes it nice to just flip through and find a tale. No need to read from cover to cover, it’s a go as you please kind of style that I can dig. Recommended for you Nutmeggers out there.

  1. Weird New England by Joseph A. Citro

So this is a part of the Weird U.S. phenomenon created by Mark Moran and Mark Sceurman. I had that big book o’ weird but have since misplaced it. Perhaps I lent it to someone and now it’s gone forever. That’s ok though, because my current focus is on New England and lo and behold we have an equally weird book to guide us through the…well…weirdness. Again, it’s a go-as-you-please type of style that I find so appealing. This one just has more pictures and is for a much larger region. I also like that they give a little credit to the people that took time to submit their local history to the author. It lets me know that someone who grew up with the phenomenon right in their backyard is giving the best dirt available to dish.

  1. Old Ghosts of New England by C. J. Fusco

This is a recent addition to my collection and one, I have to admit, I haven’t much read yet. It seems to have a collection of haunted sites throughout the region. What I really like though, is that not only does it give the site and the history behind it, but it also tells you exactly how to find the place it just described. I mean, it gives you literal directions. It also gives you contact information in case you want to know more. Very helpful and I look forward to using this resource as I check out various sites over the summer.

  1. Legends, Lore and Secrets of New England by Thomas D’Agotino and Arlene Nicholson

I had the pleasure of meeting the authors at Terror-Con (or it might’ve been Comic-Con) in Rhode Island last year. They were both a pleasure to speak with (if briefly) and had a collection of books. This wasn’t one of ‘em. I did get a different one though and will maybe talk about that another day. Legends and Lore is a bit more in depth than the books I’ve mentioned already on this list. So while you can pick or choose, the 10 minute read will likely be more like 15-20 depending on your pace. The details add depth, and in some cases, a real sense of tangible reality, to the legends that create intrigue for each site described.

  1. Connecticut Curiosities by Susan Campbell and Bill Heald, Revised and updated by Ray Benedict

Another book that I only just recently purchased. This is isn’t just the haunted sites or your paranormal excursion. This is everything from bookstores to burgers with burnt cheese and from carousel museums to dinosaurs. It’s the wonderful side of WeWoHa and all the curious sites you’ll find all throughout the state. I appreciate the fact that nearly every town/region is represented, including my home town. (We have a trolley museum) So if you’re looking for sites of the non-haunted variety, this is the book for you. And just like in “Old Ghosts…” they give directions and contact information to help you plan your trip.

Well I hope this format worked for ya and that you got a little bit more information than you had before you came. I look forward to using more of the Daily Prompts because I feel like it will create a little bit of variety to the posts. Keep being Weird and Wonderful! And maybe even haunted?

-Red

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WeWoHa Wednesday: A Helpful Tip

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A big part of this blog is about sharing information with others that are interested in the weird and wonderful (and possibly haunted). And so here’s a tip I recently learned from one of Connecticut’s leading experts on cemetery preservation, Ruth Shapleigh-Brown. When attempting to photograph gravestones, or even properly read gravestones, direct light is often too harsh on the stone. Use a mirror to reflect light onto the stone. As the picture above demonstrates, this brings out some of the fine details and carvings and can allow for a better photograph.

Media Monday: Paranormal Reality Shows

Paranormal Reality Television shows. Sounds like a bit of an oxymoron but that doesn’t mean they can’t be enjoyable. We’ve compiled a list of those we’ve seen over the years and rated them. And since this blog celebrates all things New England, we’ve tried to highlight those episodes that take place in our neck of the woods.

The Rating System:

3 Stars = Leave the lights on, get under the covers, don’t plan on sleeping because this is creepy as @#!$

2 Stars = You can turn the lights off but shouldn’t you get your feet under the blanket? Not too bad but you never know….

1 Star = My 6 year old cousin watches this show, no problem.

Paranormal Witness: 3 Stars

Probably one of our favorites. It keeps to the simple formula of “Real people tell the story, fake people act the story” but it does a pretty nice job of it. Some New England Episodes: S1E4 “The Haunting of Mansfield Mansion” (Connecticut), S2E7 “The Real Haunting in Connecticut”, S3E2 “The Lost Boy” (Massachusetts), S3E9 “the Wolf Pack (Maine)

The Haunted: 3 Stars

Another favorite with the same simple formula except this time it involves animals! Some New England Episodes: S1E4 “Terror at Maple Dale Farm” (Connecticut), S1E5 “Demon House” (Connecticut, literally the next town over from us), S1E11 “The Demonic Seduction”, S1E18 “Curse of the Evil” (Connecticut)

A Haunting: 3 Stars

Same formula, but has lasted the longest of most of these types of shows. It was still producing new episodes as of 2013. Some are better than others, but all are quite enjoyable. Some New England Episodes: There is a stand alone episode called “A Haunting in Connecticut”. Sound familiar? Yup. The same story is told again for Paranormal Witness. Season 1: “Hell House” (Connecticut), Season 2: “Where Demons Dwell” (Connecticut), Season 4 “Spirits of the Dead” (New Hampshire), “Echos of the Past” (Vermont), Season 5 “Nightmare in Bridgeport” (Connecticut), Season 6 “Well to Hell” (Connecticut), “Haunted Victorian” (Massachusetts)

Dead Files: 2 Stars

This show follows a psychic medium and a police officer as they investigate hauntings. Some of us love it and others are split. So we went with a 2. Some New England Episodes: S1E10 “Special Investigation: Lizzie Borden House” (Massachusetts), S2E33 “Tortured Souls (Connecticut), S3E8 “Summoning Souls” (Maine), S3E14 “Dark Inheritance” (Massachusetts)

Paranormal State: 2 Stars

Follows the investigations of Pennsylvania State University Paranormal Research Society. Another show where we split the difference at 2 stars. Some New England Episodes: S1E6 “Pet Cemetery” (Maine), S1E10 “Shape Shifter” (Maine), S2E6 “The Ladder” (Massachusetts), S5E2 “They Only Come out At Night” (Massachusetts)

Paranormal State begot Paranormal State: the New Class: 1 Star

No where near as good as the original. Didn’t last long either.

Ghost Hunters: 3 Stars that dwindled down to 2 but shows signs of returning to 3

This show follows T.A.P.S (The Atlantic Paranormal Society) based in Warwick, Rhode Island. The show has been hugely popular and while it’s not the first of it’s kind, it did spawn the next generation of paranormal investigation shows. Due to it’s base in New
England, quite a few investigations take place within the 6 states:

Season 1: E3 “The Lighthouse Inn” (Connecticut and Massachusetts), E4 “Race Rock Lighthouse” (Connecticut), E7 “The Armory” (Massachusetts), “New Boston Inn” (Massachusetts)

Season 2: E2 “Cranston & Grafton” (Rhode Island and Massachusetts), E5 “The Playhouse & The Firehouse” (Connecticut and Rhode Island), E6 “The Ledge Lighthouse” (Connecticut), E7 “Two Houses” (Massachusetts), E8 “Beechwood Mansion & Garden State” (Rhode Island), E9 “Dave Tango & Rolling Hills” (New Hampshire), E12 “Lizzie Borden House” (Massachusetts), E15 “Ghostly Grace & the Palladium” (Massachusetts), E17 “Two Brothers and Willard Library” (Massachusetts), E18 “Hartford Conservatory” (Connecticut)

Season 3: E3 “Shadow People” (Vermont), E4 “Whispers and voices” (Massachusetts), E9 “Nightmare Noises” (Rhode Island and Massachusetts), E10 “Toys of Terror” (Rhode Island), E11 “USS Lexington” (Rhode Island), E16 “Houses of the Holy” (Rhode Island), E17 “Salem Witch” (Massachusetts)

Season 4: E2 “Two to Tango” (Connecticut), E3 “Words From Beyond” (Massachusetts), E5 “Ghostly Bounty Hunter” (Massachusetts), E7 “Ghostly Conversation” (Rhode Island and New Hampshire), E10 “House of Spirits” (Connecticut and New Hampshire), E11 “Widows Watch” (Massachusetts), E15 “So She Married An Axe Murderer” (Rhode Island and Connecticut), E16 “The Boy In The Brothel” (Rhode Island and Connecticut), E20 “Bottled Spirits” (Connecticut), E21 “Hometown Haunts” (Massachusetts), E25 “Recycled Souls” (Massachusetts), E27 “Portsmouth Harbor Lighthouse” (New Hampshire)

Season 5: E2 “Star Island” (New Hampshire), E3 “Edith Wharton Estate” (Massachusetts), E5 “Soul Searching” (Rhode Island and Massachusetts), E7 “Crossing Over” (New Hampshire), E9 “Inhuman Entity” (Massachusetts), E13 “Judgement Day” (New Hampshire), E16 “Glimmer Man” (Massachusetts), E21 “New Hampshire Gothic” (New Hampshire), E23 “Mark Twain House” (Connecticut), E24 “Unexplained Phenomena” (Connecticut)

Season 6: E3 “Shamrock Spirits” (Connecticut), E7 “Ghosts In The Attic” (Massachusetts), E8 “Inn of the Dead” (Massachusetts), E9 “Spirits of the Night” (Massachusetts), E10 “Norwich State” (Connecticut), E13 “Uninvited Guests” (New Hampshire), E14 “A Shot In the Dark” (Massachusetts), E15 “Signals From The Past” (Rhode Island), E25 “Ghosts of Christmas Past” (New Hampshire)

Season 7: E3 “Century of Hauntings” (Massachusetts), E7 “Residual Haunts” (Maine), E8 “Knights of the Living Dead” (Massachusetts), E9 “A Soldier’s Story” (Connecticut), E11 “Urgent” (Rhode Island), E13 “Dark Shadows” (Rhode Island), E14 “Ghostly Evidence” (Massachusetts), E16 “Harvesting Murder” (Massachusetts), E24 “Membership Denied” (Connecticut)

Season 8: E1 “Roller Ghoster” (New Hampshire), E2 “Buyer Beware” (Massachusetts), E6 “City Hell” (Rhode Island), E11 “The Princess and the EVP” (New Hampshire), E12 “Please sign the Ghostbook” (New Hampshire), E20 “Fear Factory” (New Hampshire), E22 “Heir Apparition” (New Hampshire), E23 “Paranormal Pioneers” (Massachusetts), E26 “Haunted Home For The Holidays” (Connecticut)

Season 9: E6 “Ghosts From Hale” (Connecticut), E15 “Shock Island” (Rhode Island), E22 “Nine Men’s Misery” (Rhode Island)

Ghost Hunters International: 2 Stars

Ghost Hunters, just, international! With a few regulars from the Ghost Hunters crew and a couple new guys, the same investigative style is applied to sites not in America. While the show didn’t last as long as it’s parent, it was great to see some unusual locales. Also a plus: they tried to speak to the spirits in their native language (unlike other international investigations we’ve seen.)

Ghost Adventures: 2 Stars

Love it or hate it, this show can be very entertaining and they do explore quite a few interesting places. And quite a few people must like this show because they’re currently airing season 9 with season 10 set to air in the Fall (2014). Much of their investigations take place in the south/southwest but here are some New England episodes: S1E2 “Houghton Mansion” (Massachusetts), S3E4 “Remington Arms Factory” (Connecticut), S4E19 “Salem Witch House/Lyceum Restaurant” (Massachusetts), S5E5 “Lizzie Borden House” (Massachusetts), S6E6 “The Galka Family” (Connecticut), S9E6 “Haunted Victorian Mansion” (Massachusetts)

Most Haunted: 2 Stars

Before Ghost Adventures, we had Most Haunted . This was a British paranormal show which followed a group of investigators and a couple psychics. Most investigations were in the British Isles although they later traveled to America. However…. the show became embroiled in controversy as skeptics questioned their methods and “evidence”. And let’s not even discuss the Derek Acorah issue. Regardless, the show is entertaining if nothing else. (And frankly, waiting for Yvette (the host) to go into a bleeping tirade when things get scary is half the fun of watching this show.)

My Ghost Story: 1.5 Stars

The production can be a little… meh, but the stories are decent. Also, I appreciate the puns in their episode titles. Some New England episodes: S1E2 “Ghosts Run In the Family and Haunting In The Woods” (Maine), S1E7 “Ghostly Intruder and A Brutal Murder Revealed” (Maine), S2E7 “The Grim Rapper” (Connecticut), S3E1 “The Demon Shadow” (Rhode Island), S3E6 “41 Whacks and He’s Back” (Massachusetts), S3E7 “Mystifying Mystery Ship” (Massachusetts), S4E1 “Bones In the Basement” (Massachusetts), S4E2 “House of Paine” (Rhode Island), S4E4 “Take A Picture, It’ll Slash Longer” (Maine), S4E6 “Lizzie’s Legacy” (Massachusetts), S4E7 “Working ghouls” (Massachusetts), S4E10 “Hair-Raising Spirits” (Massachusetts), S4E13 “Ghost In The Time Of Cholera” (Rhode Island), S4E14 “Salem Witch Dungeon” (Massachusetts), S5E3 “Sister Pact” (Massachusetts), S5E5 “Middle Burning Town Hall” (Massachusetts), S5E22 “Spirits In the Spotlight” (New Hampshire), S5E25 “Ghost Writer” (Connecticut), S6E5 “The Mist and The Pendulum” (Massachusetts)

Celebrity Ghost Stories: 3 Stars

A twist on the old formula: “Real people (that play fake people) tell the story, other fake people act out the story.” And it still works! Decent stories from relatively familiar faces.

School Spirits: 2 Stars

This show focused on haunted stories in schools. Although it was pretty decent, it was short lived with only 6 episodes to it’s credit.

The Scariest Places On Earth: 1 Star

While not scary, this was certainly an interesting take on investigating haunted sites. Drop a family/group of friends in, strap cameras to their bodies, separate them, and then scare the hell out of them. And while we’re at it, let’s get some great folks from some of the scariest movies to host the show. Some New England Episodes: S1E3 (Massachusetts), S2E15 “Urban Legends” (Connecticut), S4E5 “Urban Legends 2” (Massachusetts)

MTV’s Fear: 1 Star

See the description from above as it’s pretty much the same thing. Episode 2 took place in Connecticut.

VH1’s Paranormal Project:

No stars for this one as we don’t actually remember it. It appears to be very short lived and episodes 2 and 4 took place in Connecticut.

Ghost Mine: 1.5 Stars

Exactly what it sounds like. Investigating a haunted mine. Not located in New England, and lacks some of the scare factor, but it can hold your attention for more than 5 minutes.

Unsolved Mysteries: 3 Stars

The defining show of my youth in the 80’s and 90’s. Unsolved Mysteries wasn’t strictly paranormal, but it certainly had it’s fair share of fun. This show opened up a world of UFO’s and Bigfoot sightings to a generation of would-be investigators. No disrespect to any of the other hosts, but Robert Stack is the king of the voice over. His deep, haunting tone lent an air of credibility to these often mocked topics. Do yourselves a favor, kids, and check this show out.

Sightings: 1.5 Stars

We’re going back to the 90’s with this show and using pretty much the same formula as Unsolved Mysteries. This show, however, was strictly about the paranormal/unexplained.

Haunted Collector: 2 Stars

Let’s take one genre of reality TV (people that collect stuff) and mash up with another (paranormal investigations) and you have Haunted Collector. Basically they go around and find objects or artifacts at paranormal locations and remove them in the hopes that it will help those in the effected site. If you like this show, you might also like the show “Oddities”. Some New England Episodes: S1E1 “Library Ghost” (Connecticut), S1E4 “The Sanitarium” (Connecticut), S1E6 “Slaughterhouse Ghost” (Connecticut), S2E10 “Firestarter” (Connecticut), S2E11 “Enfield Horror” (Connecticut), S3E2 “Cigar Bar Spirits” (Massachusetts), S3E11 “Ghost Games” (Massachusetts)

Fact or Faked: Paranormal Files: 1 Star

This show takes the premise of investigating possible evidence of the paranormal. Someone has a creepy video or picture they’ve posted or shared? This group attempts to determine if it’s real evidence or debunk it as a hoax. As a show it was… ok. No New England episodes in this one though.

For those of you keeping track at home, that’s:

Vermont: 2

Maine: 8

New Hampshire: 17

Rhode Island 20

Connecticut: 41

Massachusetts: 54

Keep in mind though, most shows are apt to investigate popular sites like the Lizzie Borden House and anything associated with the Salem witch trials. Also, keen observers can find the same story featured a few different times on different programs.

Houses are alive. This is something we know, news from our nerve endings.
If we’re quiet…
… if we listen…
… we can hear houses breathe.
Sometimes in the depth of night, we hear them groan.
It’s as if they’re having bad dreams.
A good house cradles and comforts.
A bad one fills us with instinctive unease.
Bad houses hate our warmth, our humanness.
That blind hate of our humanity is what we mean by the word “haunted”.

– Rose Red

Source:(X)

Paranormal Bucket List

Has it been too long between posts? It has. But we’ve been discussing Bucket Lists of the paranormal kind.

A bucket list is those things you want to do before you… well.. kick the bucket. We decided to put a twist on ours and make a Paranormal Bucket List. All the things we want to experience and/or see within the realm of the paranormal. The list is in no particular order.

1. Stay at the Stanley Hotel: Nestled in the Rocky Mountains sits a looming, grand hotel with glistening white sides and a striking red roof. And it is most noted for being Stephen King’s inspiration for The Shining. It’s the inspiration because the place is famously haunted. And of course… you have to stay in room 217, the most disturbing of them all. Of the three of us, one (the writer… we’ll call me Big Red) has been there. I went a few years ago around Halloween time. It’s a pretty amazing place and area, regardless of the paranormal side, and they offer tours and free wandering of the grounds. However, even I haven’t stayed there yet and am very interested in doing so.

2. Tour the Warren Occult Museum: Living in Connecticut, we’re pretty well acquainted with who the Warren’s are and the legacy they have in the world of the paranormal. Just to see all of the items they’ve collected over the years would be a treat.

3. Meet Lorraine Warren: Since we’re on the subject, it would be extremely interesting to pick the mind of one of the foremost paranormal investigators of our time. to hear her stories and have her share her experiences would be an incredible honor.

4. Stay at “Dracula’s Castle“: The famed castle in Romania is long rumored to be cursed and haunted. The history buff in me would love to tour the grounds to see the different centuries worth of architectural building styles. The paranormal buff in me wants to experience the unseen forces that lurk within.

5. Experience…. something!: Catch a great EVP, see an apparition, feel a cool breeze in a warm room, any experience will do. It’s the quest for the unexplained that drives this field. The wonders of the world beyond this world lay open for us to appreciate and be baffled by. And then to not only experience the thrill of the unknown, but to document it as well? It would be fantastic.

6. Visit Eastern State Penitentiary: Another notoriously haunted site, this one is actually pretty accessible to most anyone with an interest. So this item might happen by the end of this year.

7. Investigate New Orleans: A place such as New Orleans holds so much history, myth, and legend of the paranormal that I’m not sure anyone with a deep interest in the paranormal would leave this place off their list. It’s a modern place rooted in the past and that past contains spiritual elements unlike anywhere else int he United States.

8. Visit Dudleytown (legally): This might not be well known outside of Connecticut, but this is supposedly a very haunted place. Unfortunately, it’s on private property and is pretty well watched by the State Police. We attempted to visit once… but that’s a tale for another day…

To be continued….

 

The Friday Find: A Cave, A Cavern, and an Island

So every Friday we’re going to try to share an interesting “find” or two. It might be a news story or a website. Maybe a neat artist. Who knows! The possibilities are varied and we hope it’ll be stuff you think is interesting.

The Weird: So in perusing the interwebs, I came across this Caving Page. Some say it’s just a tasty dish of creepypasta, but it’s quite a joy to read. And then you have to wonder…. is it true? did this happen? What exactly is in this cave?

The Wonderful: So it’s just outside of New England, but it’s pretty wonderful. Howe Caverns in New York is a series of underground caves. Oh my, look at that, we have a theme going! Walking in a cave is one thing, but the boat ride takes it to the next level.

The Possibly Haunted: The proclaimed “most haunted place in the world” is for sale. Let me just check my bank accou-… er, guess I won’t be moving anytime soon.

 

Enjoy the finds!

Media Monday: Dolls…

Media Monday: Dolls...

What is it with dolls that make them so creepy? This is a doll at our local historical society and something in the eyes catches you off guard. No idea what era this is from, but when the 3rd graders in town came for a visit, more than a few steered clear of the doll collection. Perhaps it takes up space in the back of our minds, wondering if the dolls, in all their human like form, might come to life when we’re not looking. And they wouldn’t be as friendly and wonderful as Toy Story would have us believe, but it would be haunting and terrorizing like in Puppetmaster. Tommyknockers had a doll scene and a giant living doll is featured in one of the more recent Silent Hill games. The creep factor escalates when a clown doll attacks the son in Poltergeist, and of course, Dead Silence. Chuckie, though, sent thousands of kids to bed with their dolls tucked safely in their closet at night. And maybe with a chair under the door handle, just in case. (Did you have a “My Buddy”? You didn’t after you saw Chuckie. Or what about a Cricket and her brother Corkie? Yikes!)

Children and adults alike are unsettled by dolls. It’s in the way we look back over our shoulder, sure we just caught movement out of the corner of our eye. It’s in how we make them sit, hoping to make them comfortable and not wanting to upset them. We are careful that they are warm and covered tightly with a blanket. Or when we turn them away, not wanting them to watch with their unblinking eyes. And how our hearts rise in our chest and our stomachs fall when in the middle of the night we hear, in the silence, a soft “Mama.”