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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Why Are We Here?

Hey folks!

I’ve been working on this blog for a little while now and since there’s a few new followers, let’s take this opportunity to tell you all a little bit about this site and what I hope to accomplish.

WeWoHa is Weird, Wonderful, and possibly Haunted. It’s my way of sharing some of the great places that are in and around New England. I’ve always been interested in the off-beat and the abnormal. Mostly because I think that every place is a little off-beat and every thing has its own unique qualities. There is no normal, just what is. So I hope to visit various sites across the region and share interesting information, pictures, historical data, and whatever else catches my fancy. Perhaps, through this blog, you might learn about a place you never knew of or find reasons to visit a place you’ve only thought of in passing.

I should share with you that this endeavor isn’t entirely out of good will toward tourism. New England is full of old tales. There’s a ghost story around every corner and an urban legend to follow. I want to believe that there is something here. I’m not sure what. I don’t know if ghosts are real. I don’t know if any of the stories we told each other at sleep overs when we were kids is true. I just know that I want to experience something. To see something. Anything. A twitch in the curtain to a world beyond this world. And I know that if I’m to find any type of experience, then it will be where I call home.

I want to share these experiences with people. And I want to know what others have experienced. I want to hear from people that have been to these places and have had their notions about the world challenged. And I would love to hear from anyone from anywhere about what they’ve experienced in places they call home. It’s a wide and wonderful world, full of weird possibilities.

By sharing my adventures, I hope to find the magic int he world. And by hearing from you that read this, I hope to learn from your experiences. I want to learn and to share. And mostly, selfishly, I want to experience.

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.

Media Monday: Dollar Babies

So after much discussion, we’ve decided to make Monday “Media Monday” where we share some of our favorite movies, music, games, and such. Our favorite genre is horror (contain your shock) and so our first “Media Monday” post involves the master of horror, New England native Stephen King. And we start with something you may not have heard of: Dollar Babies

Stephen King is a generous guy. Conduct a search on him and “donation” and you’ll to see the numerous philanthropic acts he and his wife have made to his hometown of Bangor and the State of Maine. A part of that need to give back to the community is evident in the “Dollar Baby” deal. Mr. King will allow a film student to purchase a one-time right to make a film out of one of his short stories for a single dollar. The only rules are that the film cannot be shown for profit without his permission and he must receive a copy of the finished work.

Some of these are available on YouTube, although many have been taken down. It seems that a new rule might be “no internet”. Ah well. Here are some links to few that remain available. If you get the chance to view others, don’t hesitate! Some great short horror films.

Lunch at the Gotham Cafe

Grey Matter

Harvey’s Dream

 

Note: Yes, some of these aren’t labeled “Dollar Babies” in their description….. So chances are that a few linked are just home spun creations. Enjoy anyway!

New England

New England, home to rolling hills and time worn mountains creating twisting roads that glide over valleys and through forests, creates the perfect backdrop to any campfire story or mysterious legend. From Maine to Connecticut, the tales and lore that exist within this area are abundant and varied. For the seasoned veteran, many tales will seem familiar, such as that of the Salem Witch Trials and the ghosts that are rumored to roam there still. However, others are of a more local variety, like the cursed gravestone in Bucksport, Maine, or the lights of Gungywamp Swamp. It is our hope to explore the weird, wonderful, and possibly haunted New England landscape and share the incredible stories that we find.