Wednesday, July 23, 2014

My Haunted House: The Sorority Sister and the Secret Room

I was scrolling through the Directv guide not too long ago and saw a listing for a show on the Lifetime Movie Network (though the series originally aired on Bio) called My Haunted House.  I'd never watched it, but it sounded like something I would like, so I recorded the episode "The Sorority Sister and the Secret Room."  In college, Jill joined a sorority that was desperate for pledges and offering free room and board; during spring break in March 2010, the other sorority girls left town, but they told Jill that she had to stay and watch the house.  Her first night alone in the house, Jill heard creaking and heavy footsteps, but didn't see anyone when she left her room to check, so she went back to sleep.  The next night, Jill found muddy hand prints all over the walls of the sorority house when she returned from the library and thought she heard someone crying.  She kept hearing noises that night and thought it was a nearby frat party, but soon realized that the sound was actually coming from inside the house; she went to investigate and heard crying coming from upstairs.  Before she could locate who (or what) was making the sound, the phone rang; when she was talking, she looked up and saw a creepy female figure in the mirror, standing behind her.  When she turned around, nothing was there; Jill ran out of the house, and a campus security officer happened to be driving by, so he checked the house and told Jill that he didn't find anyone there and that sometimes big, old houses can be scary.  Jill went back inside (WHY?!) and went to sleep.  Two days later, Jill was watching a movie and left to go to the kitchen for a few minutes; when she returned, she found an old photograph lying on the floor that hadn't been there a few minutes earlier.  She looked at the photo and realized that one of the girls in the picture was the girl she had seen in the mirror, so she decided to get the hell out of there...but that was easier said than done.  Jill packed a bag and tried to leave through the front door, but the lock turned by itself and wouldn't budge when she tried to unlock the door.  The phone rang, and when she answered, Jill heard a voice say "Help me."  Jill decided to check out the attic and see if that's where the crying she'd heard earlier had been coming from, and a box flew off the shelf and almost hit her; when she bent down to open it, she heard a voice whisper "Please don't be afraid."  She looked up to see the girl from the mirror and thought that there was something in the box that the spirit wanted her to see, so she began looking through the photographs she found in it; the pictures were of the girl being hazed by sorority sisters.  Jill searched online for information about a 1987 hazing death and found out about Donna James, a 19-year-old student who was found dead in a field; her death was blamed on alcohol poisoning.  Jill is convinced that Donna's death was caused by hazing and that the sorority covered it up.  Jill decided not to join the sorority, which was a good idea since living with those bitchy sorority sisters sounds even worse than living with a ghost.  

In June 2002, Hayley and Elliott got engaged, and he surprised her with a furnished house he had bought at an auction.  A few weeks after they moved in, Elliott's 9-year-old daughter came to spend a month with them; Jenny wasn't crazy about the fact that her dad was getting remarried, so Hayley was a little nervous to spend two days alone with the girl when Elliott had to leave town for a work emergency.  Hayley was upstairs one day and saw Jenny standing downstairs, weirdly staring at her; the door to the guest bedroom opened by itself, and when Hayley looked downstairs again, Jenny was gone.  Hayley checked the bedroom to make sure a window hadn't been left open; when she turned to leave, the mirror reflected a pair of child's feet behind the curtain, but when she looked at the curtains, the feet weren't there.  She found a a tiny pink bow on the floor, and then Jenny asked Hayley to play hide-and-seek with her.  Hayley noticed that the basement door was open, so she looked for Jenny there, but instead she found a young blonde girl who quickly disappeared, and she later found Jenny hiding upstairs.  The next night, Hayley awoke to sounds coming from underneath her bed; she looked down to see a creepy doll lying on the floor before it was yanked underneath the bed.  She was sure that Jenny must be hiding under the bed, but didn't want to stick her head down there, so she tried looking under the bed with a mirror; as she was doing this, she heard the door creak open and then saw it slam shut.  Hayley checked Jenny's room, but she wasn't there, so she went to the basement and saw Jenny "just standing there, mumbling to the wall."  Hayley kept calling her name, but Jenny didn't respond, so she approached Jenny, who seemed confused after she snapped out of her trance.  Jenny said she didn't remember anything, except that "the wall was talking to her."   One night later, Hayley and Jenny were playing Go Fish when the lights when out; Hayley left Jenny alone to go check the circuit breaker in the basement.  After she got the lights back on, she saw the pink ribbon she'd found earlier lying on the stairs; a hand shot out and grabbed the ribbon, and Hayley screamed.  She told Jenny she had seen a rat, so she wouldn't scare her; she said good night to Jenny and was disturbed when Jenny replied "Goodbye" instead of "Good night."  Hayley later heard Jenny's door open  and tracked her to the basement; Jenny was talking to someone, and when Hayley approached her, she pointed at the wall.  They heard crying coming from the other side of the wall, so Hayley used a sledgehammer to make a hole in the wall and told Jenny to go upstairs.  Hayley saw the blonde girl, but she disappeared; Hayley made a bigger hole in the wall and discovered that there was a hidden room with a bed, a desk, a mirror, and the doll that Hayley had seen in her room.  Hayley called the police, and they took the doll and the sheets from the bed, but said that the evidence was too old for them to be able to find out who had lived in that room.  Hayley thinks that the blonde girl was held there and "wanted someone to know what happened to her."  Jenny later told Hayley that she had also seen the girl and that she has no recollection of playing hide-and-seek or sleepwalking down to the basement.

This show was pretty good and almost as creepy as When Ghosts Attack.  I'll definitely be watching more episodes.

My rating: 8/10

http://www.mylifetime.com/movies/my-haunted-house


Saturday, July 19, 2014

When Ghosts Attack: Deliver Us From Evil Spirits

Since my When Ghosts Attack recaps are some of my most popular blog posts, I decided to watch another episode even though this show always scares the shit out of me.  This episode is called "Deliver Us from Evil Spirits," and it originally aired on Destination America in October 2013.  On November 22, 2011, Joy Stinson took a short trip with her friends to an antebellum plantation in central Louisiana that was said to be haunted by several spirits, including the spirit of a man who was murdered there.  When Joy got back to her family (husband Jamie and three daughters) in Mt. Herman, Louisiana and was showing Jamie the pictures she took on her trip, they saw a ghostly face in a few of the pictures.  On Thanksgiving night, Joy and Jamie heard their two-year-old scream, and when Joy went to check on her, her daughter said there had been "a mean man in her room" and had night terrors for a few weeks after that.  On December 7th, Joy was sleeping alone (Jamie worked out-of-town and was only home on weekends) and heard her bedroom door start to open; when she looked to see if one of her daughters were there, the door was completely open, and when she looked in the hallway, she was shocked to see the face of the man from the pictures she had taken at the plantation house.  (That would be my cue to leave.)  Two weeks later, Joy and Jamie were sleeping when "a paralyzing pressure" came over Joy and she saw the ghostly face above her; she managed to move one arm and wake Jamie up, but he couldn't move her because the weight on top of her was too much, so he prayed until the spirit let Joy go.  On January 7, 2012, they got a Catholic priest to bless the house , and Joy noticed that the priest seemed afraid.  One night soon after, the family was eating dinner when one the girls started acting strange and then tried to strangle Joy; after it was all over, they talked to their daughter about it, but she couldn't remember anything that had just happened.  They put her to bed, but she later came downstairs with demonic symbols carved into her arm and said that she felt stinging and they just appeared. Joy became very upset and was then pushed into the ground and felt something heavy on her chest.  (This ghost is a real asshole.)  Joy decided that it would be a good idea to sell the house.  The moral of this story: Don't go to a place that's known to be haunted...you might bring a ghost back with you.

In Lennox, South Dakota in 1980, Jules Ness was a newlywed with a six-month-old baby, and her mother-in-law wanted to know if Jules and her husband were interested in buying a house she had just inherited. Jules' mother-in-law said that she'd had trouble keeping renters in the house, but apparently she didn't tell them why because they ended up buying the house.  Jules said that things didn't feel "quite right" when they moved in, and her fears were confirmed when a local couple who were painting the outside of the house in sweltering heat refused Jules' invitation to come in for a drink, one of them saying, "We're not going in that house."  On June 5th, Jules felt an inexplicable "ice cold wind" in the house, and a bowl that Jules had pushed all the way to the back of the cabinet flew out and shattered on the floor.  One night Jules heard loud footsteps in the house, and her husband got up to see what was going on; when he went downstairs, all of the kitchen chairs were "laying on their backs all around the table."  Her husband checked all of the doors, but they were locked , so they knew whoever knocked the chairs over was not a human intruder.  On June 21st, Jules woke up to the sound of her son screaming, but when she checked his crib, he wasn't there; she could still hear him screaming and found him underneath the crib; it would've been impossible for him to get out of the crib by himself because he wore braces on his legs.  A few days later, Jules was awakened by loud footsteps coming down the hall; she saw the door open by itself and heard a male voice next to her ear; she felt something crawl onto the bed, and she screamed until her husband woke up.  After being in the house for almost a month, some neighbors invited them over, and Jules told them she thought her house might be haunted.  One of the neighbors told Jules' husband that his great-grandfather killed his great-grandmother in the house and then hung himself in the garage.  Jules and her husband confronted his mother with this information, and she said that she kept it from them because she didn't think they needed to know.  On July 6th, something tried to push Jules down the stairs while she was holding her son, and she decided she couldn't live there anymore. She has not experienced any paranormal activity since leaving the house.

This episode of When Ghosts Attack didn't creep me out as much as the other episodes I've watched, but it was still pretty creepy.  I should stop watching this show while I'm home alone. ; )

My rating: 8/10


Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Movie Spotlight: Alien Tornado

Alien Tornado is a 2012 Syfy movie about aliens using tornadoes to take over the Earth...so of course there was no chance that I wasn't going to watch it.  The movie stars Jeff Fahey, Stacey Asaro, Kari Wuhrer, David Jensen, and Willard E. Pugh, and the movie begins with Judd Walker (Jeff Fahey) creepily whispering to a horse until his daughter Kelly (Stacey Asaro) walks in and starts being a bitch because her dad isn't excited enough about her SAT scores.  All is forgiven though after an electrical tornado comes out of nowhere and almost kills Judd.  We then meet Gail Curtis (Kari Wuhrer), a storm chaser who has just gotten 132 tornado reports and wonders why the National Weather Service doesn't know about them; she receives a video of one of the strange tornadoes and goes to that town to meet the person who sent it to her (who proclaims to be her biggest fan and yells all of her lines for some reason...I guess even the aliens are annoyed with her since they get her with a tornado later in the movie).  They spot an electrical tornado and decide to chase it, and soon they meet Judd and Kelly; Kelly is thrilled to meet Gail because apparently storm chasers are famous in this movie. (Can you name one storm chaser? Neither can I.)  Before long, Kelly intercepts an alien signal and wants to prove that aliens are causing the tornadoes so she can get a scholarship and leave  this lame town forever. (If she aced the SATs like she claimed, shouldn't that be enough to get her a scholarship?)  A creepy government guy (David Jensen) sends his minions to track Kelly down and bring her to him, but she manages to escape and not end up being murdered by Creepy Government Guy.

Alien Tornado is about what you'd expect for a Syfy Original, and it's kind of boring for a movie about aliens attacking the Earth with tornadoes.  I didn't enjoy watching this one nearly as much as I enjoyed watching and writing about Ghost Shark.

My rating: 5/10

Friday, July 11, 2014

Movie Spotlight: Barricade

Barricade is a 2012 movie starring Eric McCormack, Jody Thompson, Conner Dwelly, Ryan Grantham, Donnelly Rhodes, and Dallas Blake.  After the death of his wife Leah (Jody Thompson), Terrance Shade (Eric McCormack) takes his children (Conner Dwelly and Ryan Grantham) to Leah's favorite spot from her childhood...which happens to be in the middle of nowhere.  Strange things start happening almost immediately: Terrance sees a creepy girl looking in the window the night they arrive, then things get weirder from there.  Since the family is in the middle of the woods, and this is a horror movie, there's a blizzard and no cell service (of course).

Barricade was hard to follow at times, but the performances were good, and I enjoyed the flashback scenes of the family's life with Leah (the flashback of her death is pretty heartbreaking).  I loved Eric McCormack on Will and Grace, and I thought he did a great job in this movie, playing a workaholic who is trying to learn how to be a good father and must protect his sick kids in a creepy cabin in the middle of a blizzard while he is suffering from the same sickness.

My rating: 6.5/10


Monday, July 7, 2014

Movie Spotlight: An American Ghost Story

An American Ghost Story is a 2012 movie that stars Stephen Twardokus, Liesel Kopp, Jon Gale, Wendy Haines, Cain Clifton, and Maureen McElroy.  Writer Paul Anderson (Stephen Twardokus, who also wrote the movie) and his girlfriend Stella (Liesel Kopp) move into a house that is said to be haunted by a family who were victims of a murder-suicide; Paul hopes that living there will inspire his first novel.  The first night in the house, Paul shows Stella crime scene photos of the house and asks her to decorate one of the rooms exactly the way it was decorated when the murders occurred because it might increase the likelihood of paranormal activity. (Your boyfriend isn’t right in the head, Stella. Get out!)  Stella is in the kitchen one day when all of the cabinets fly open and the radio turns on by itself; Paul later comes in to find Stella nearly catatonic, and she tells him that she can’t live there anymore.  Paul talks her into staying until the next morning, but she's smarter than most people in horror movies, so she hightails it out of there and never comes back.

I thought An American Ghost Story was a decent movie, but it didn't scare the shit out of me the way some of the Paranormal Activity movies did (which was probably a good thing since I was alone when I watched it). If you like movies about haunted houses, but don't like to be too scared, this might be the movie for you.

My rating: 6/10


Thursday, July 3, 2014

Roswell Memories

The Roswell UFO Fest takes place this weekend, so I thought now would be a good time to post a bunch of pictures I took when I attended last year's festival.  I had a great time there, and hopefully I'll get to go next year. : )

















Wednesday, July 2, 2014

I finally have a video of one of my plays!

This isn't exactly paranormal, but a few weeks ago, my play 'Til Death Do Us Part was performed at the Hudson Theatre in Hollywood, and today I got the video of it. It's about Zeus and Hera in marriage counseling, so while it's not totally paranormal, it's not normal either. ; )

http://youtu.be/2faJloXY4vE