Friday, December 19, 2014

Hamster and a flying saucer

I collect Charming Tails, and for our anniversary, my husband gave me one I'd been wanting for awhile called "Friendship is Universal."  I decided to put it in Murray's play area to see if I could get a picture of him with it, and he seemed to like it. : )



Monday, December 15, 2014

When Ghosts Attack: Beasts From the Beyond

I haven't watched When Ghosts Attack in awhile, so I decided it was time to scare the crap out of myself again.  This time I watched an episode called " Beasts From the Beyond," which aired on Destination America.  Katharine Driver moved to Flat Rock, Indiana to help her parents renovate their house.  When she was a teenager, strange things happened in the house, such as a Quija board spelling out "BEAST" and "DEATH"  when Katharine's friends decided to try to contact the ghost that haunted the house.  When Katharine arrived to help her parents, she noticed a bad smell and several dead mice in the house, so she called cleaning specialists Cassi Bowman and Vicki White on August 3, 2011.  Cassi said she felt like she was being watched when she was cleaning, and Vicki saw a figure pass by a doorway; she thought it was Cassi (the only other person in the house), but it wasn't.  The next time they went to the house, Cassi saw footprints on the floor, even though she knew no one had been there since the last time they cleaned, and she heard a voice whisper "Get out." Vicki and Cassi did not return after that. (Smart move.)  On October 8th,  Katharine slept in the house and had dreams about a man in a gray suit running through the woods; he looked like he was from the 1800s and kept saying "What have I done?" and "How do I fix it?"  She began having the dream regularly, and one night she awoke to a freezing room and saw the man from the dream standing next to the bed.  Katharine later saw this man in the woods; she followed him, and he disappeared.  She decided to research the area and found out that two people had died in an explosion at the sulfur springs not far from the woods, and she wondered if the man she saw might be one of the men who died in the explosion.  On September 17th, 2012, Katharine woke up feeling like something bad was going to happen, and she was correct; her cat didn't appear when Katharine called her to eat, and she found her dead in the yard.  That night she kept hearing someone repeating the word "cat" over and over again, and then she felt something grip her throat; she said her neck felt cold and like it was being shocked.  She repeated a mantra that her grandmother had taught her ("White light, bright light, please protect me both day and night."), and then she could breathe again.  Katharine has not experienced any paranormal activity in the house since that night.

On June 9, 2007 in Manahawkin, New Jersey, Cam Sammartano and Lindsey Monaco decided to stop sitting around the house and visit a pet cemetery that was said to be haunted. (Sounds like a great idea...what could possibly go wrong?) Soon after arriving at the foggy cemetery, they began hearing barking and growling dogs, so they decided to get back in the car.  Once in the car, Cam tried to drive to the main road, but just kept driving past the cemetery; he tried to do a three-point turn, but the car wouldn't move.  Cam thought he saw something in the woods, and then the car was attacked by something that looked like a dog; Cam and Lindsey were terrified, but the attack stopped when the creature disappeared.  They eventually found the main road and made their way back to Cam's house; he worried about the damage to his mother's car, but when he got out of the car, there wasn't even a scratch on it.  They knew that it would be impossible for the car to not show any signs of damage after an attack from a real dog, so Cam and Lindsey concluded that the animal they saw must  have been a ghost.  They learned their lesson and never returned to the pet cemetery.

Katie Gammage thought it would be fun to work at Eastern State Penitentiary's "Terror Behind the Walls" Halloween attraction, but she was soon proven wrong.  On October 13, 2012,  Katie was locking up and felt like she wasn't alone.  She then saw a male figure wearing prison gear from the 1920s and felt cold air rush past her, and the figure vanished.  She then heard chains rattling and was shoved to the floor by "an unseen force."  An EMT heard Katie screaming and came to help her; she told Katie that the night before, she had seen an orb in the area where Katie was attacked.  Katie continued to work at the penitentiary, and though paranormal activity is still reported in the building, she has not had any more experiences like the one from October 13th.

This episode of When Ghosts Attack wasn't quite as scary as some of the other episodes I've seen, but I still enjoyed it. : )

My rating: 8/10


Thursday, December 11, 2014

World's Most Haunted Places

On our way to Wilmington a few weeks ago, my husband and I stopped at a Books-a-Million in Myrtle Beach, and when I saw a magazine called World's Most Haunted Places, of course I had to buy it.  The magazine costs $9.99 and is 131 pages, and it's one of the most interesting magazines I've ever read.  The magazine is divided into 11 sections: Mystery Mansions and Paranormal Plantations, Haunted Hotels and Sinister Inns, Haunted American History, Sacred Grounds, Ghost Towns, Earthly Prisons, Military Murders, Watery Graves, Creepy Castles, Terrifying Territories, and Imprisoned Forever.  A few of the stories stood out to me, such as the story of LaLaurie Mansion in New Orleans, which is really disturbing (fun fact: Nicholas Cage lived there at one point).  I knew that the Queen Mary (which I'd never heard of until Arrested Development, even though it's a very famous ship) was haunted, but I didn't realize that it's haunted by more than 130 spirits and that cabin B340 has had so much paranormal activity that guests are no longer permitted to stay there.  Most people know that the Stanley Hotel in Colorado inspired Stephen King to write The Shining; while he was staying there in 1973, he saw spirits of children playing in the hallway and several ghosts in the ballroom.  Good news for anyone who would like to stay there or go on a ghost tour: all of the ghosts are friendly.

Apparently The White House is incredibly haunted; the spirits of Abraham Lincoln, William Henry Harrison, Andrew Jackson, Dolly Madison, Thomas Jefferson, John Tyler, and Abigail Adams have all been spotted there.  Lincoln is the most frequently seen ghost, and the Lincoln Bedroom has had more paranormal activity than any other room in the house.  Mary Todd Lincoln used to hold seances at the White House to try to contact her deceased sons.

I had never heard of the Island of the Dolls (which is in Xochimico, Mexico), an island that's full of dolls hanging from trees.  Some believe that the dolls are possessed, and the pictures in the magazine really creeped me out.  Here's a link to the island's website, so you can have nightmares too. ; )

http://www.isladelasmunecas.com/Island-of-the-dolls-pictures.html

The front of the magazine says that it should only be on display until November 11th, so hopefully that means a new issue will be coming out soon.  If you really want to read this issue though, you can still buy it from the publisher's website:

http://engagedmediamags.com/sports-entertainment/magazines/special-issues?product_id=67691677

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Movie Spotlight: If I Stay

If I Stay is a 2014 movie starring Chloë Grace Moretz, Jamie Blackley, Mireille Enos, Joshua Leonard, Stacy Keach, Lauren Lee Smith, Liana Liberato, Aisha Hinds, Aliyah O'Brien, and Jakob Davies.  It's based on a 2009 young adult novel by Gayle Forman and is about a teenage girl hovering between life and death.  The film goes back and forth between the past and present, where Mia Hall (Chloë Grace Moretz) and her family have been involved in a car accident.  Mia has an out-of-body experience and sees herself lying on the ground and then being loaded into an ambulance.  Mia continues to have this out-of-body experience once she gets to the hospital, and she eventually finds out the fate of her mother (Mireille Enos), father (Joshua Leonard), and brother (Jakob Davies) while her physical body is still unconscious.

Chloë Grace Moretz is a great actress, and she did an amazing job in If I Stay; all of the other performances were great as well (especially Jamie Blackley as Mia's boyfriend).  I thought the movie might be depressing, but it really wasn't that depressing considering the circumstances, and it was very thought-provoking.  I'm not sure anyone can watch If I Stay without thinking about what they would choose if they were in Mia's situation.

My rating: 8/10


Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Movie Spotlight: Thir13en Ghosts

Thirt13en Ghosts is a weirdly-spelled 2001 movie starring Tony Shalhoub (love him!), Shannon Elizabeth, Alec Roberts, Embeth Davidtz, Matthew Lillard, Rah Digga, and F. Murray Abraham. The movie begins with paranormal investigator Cyrus Kriticos (F. Murray Abraham) losing his life while trying to catch a spirit known as "The Juggernaut."  Cyrus has left his mansion to Arthur Kriticos (Tony Shalhoub), his nephew, who moves there with his daughter Kathy (Shannon Elizabeth) and son Bobby (Alec Roberts), along with their nanny (Rah Digga).  When the family is checking out their new home, Cyrus' former assistant, psychic Dennis Rafkin (Matthew Lillard) poses as a power inspector to get inside...where he discovers that twelve ghosts are trapped in the house.

I'd been meaning to watch Thir13en Ghosts for awhile since I've been a fan of Tony Shalhoub for a long time (since Wings...and then I became a bigger fan after I discovered Monk), so I'm glad I finally watched it.  The movie wasn't very scary, but all of the actors were great, and the movie kept my interest.

My rating: 6.5/10


Saturday, November 29, 2014

Funko Pop! Vinyls: The X-Files

I started collecting Funko Pop! Vinyls a few months ago, so I was pretty excited to find out that they're releasing some for The X-Files next year.

http://funko.com/blogs/news/18183859-the-x-files-pop-and-wacky-wobblers-coming-soon

I probably won't buy The Cigarette Smoking Man, but I'll definitely get the other ones...I loved The X-Files, and Mulder is one of my favorite characters of all time!

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

MysteryQuest: Return of the Amityville Horror

I recently discovered a show called MysteryQuest on the H2 channel, and I decided to watch an episode called "Return of the Amityville Horror" since I had just read a book about Amity.  On the night of January 1, 1976, Kathy Lutz was sitting in front of the fireplace when "a hooded figure materialize[d] from the flames."  The Lutz family only spent one month in the house, and for good reason; while they lived there, they experienced objects moving on their own, disembodied voices, and demonic spirits.  Not long after the family left, a news crew took a picture of the house, and in it was a picture of a young boy with glowing eyes (they showed the picture, and it's super creepy).  Though Amity is one of the most well-known haunted houses in history, the family who currently lives there has not experienced any paranormal activity.

Three thousand miles away in Clovis, California, a house known as Wolfe Manor is experiencing similar problems.  Wolfe Manor used to be a sanitarium (Is it just me, or does it seem like every former sanitarium is haunted?), and owner Todd Wolfe believes that some of the former patients are still there.  Mystery Quest sends demonologist David Considine and paranormal investigator Chris Daddio to investigate Wolfe Manor, and Todd says that most of the activity takes place in the basement (where dead bodies were kept in the sanitarium), kitchen, and the rooms of Mary and George (two spirits believed to haunt the home).  They set up an infrared camera, FLIR thermal camera, and Platoon Early Warning (PEW) System to try to catch any paranormal activity.  David and Chris are joined by research scientist Andy Coppock and medium Melissa Sehgal, who start out in Mary's room, while David, Chris, and paranormal investigator John Arel check out the basement.  The FLIR thermal camera shows a heat anomaly on a column in the basement, and the PEW System alerts them to an intruder on the property, but there is no one outside the house.  In Mary's room, the electromagnetic amplifier indicates a great deal of activity, so Melissa tries to communicate with Mary.  The team takes their equipment to PFM Engineering (Andy's headquarters) in Carson, California, which also happens to be (possibly) haunted...a security camera caught a chair moving by itself and a cubicle wall dislodged itself and fell over.  The team then decides to investigate PFM for paranormal activity, and by that point, I totally lost interest in the episode.

When the team reviews the recordings and video footage they took at Wolfe Manor, most of it is inconclusive, but some video from the second floor convinces the team that they may have found a vortex "between this world and the other side."  I enjoyed MysteryQuest, but the title of the episode was misleading since this show was actually about Wolfe Manor, and the Amityville house was only mentioned a few times.  I feel like a lot of people were probably tricked into watching this episode because they thought it would be about the Amityville Horror.

My rating: 6/10