I recently watched a 2006 episode of Destination America's A Haunting called "Demon Child," and since I'm freaked out enough by regular kids, I should've known better to watch this while I was home alone at night. Jan and Dale Foster live in western Kentucky with their two children: Cody, 5, and Pamela, 16. One day Cody's nanny tells Jan that Cody has started using bad language, threatening her, and talking to someone who isn't there. Could Cody's imaginary friend be...SATAN?! Jan asks Cody the name of his new friend, and Cody tells her it is Man; when she walks in on Cody having a conversation with no one, she asks who he is talking to, and he responds, "I'm playing with Man." (That's something no parent ever wants to hear.) While fixing breakfast, Jan tells Dale about Cody's imaginary friend, and they turn around to see Cody staring at them like a creep, and when they tell him to eat his breakfast, he starts screaming at them and acting like a little shit. Later, Cody tells them that Man is 6 years old and "has brown hair, brown eyes, and pale skin." When Dale asks where Man came from, Cody says, "from behind the park where the lake is, deep in the ground." Jan asks if something happened to Man, and Cody tells her that Man was taken away from his mother by a man who did awful things to him. That's when Jan and Dale realize that Man is the ghost of a murdered child.
Jan asks her friend, a Native American shaman, for help, and he tells her that he thinks Cody invited the spirit into the house, and they must revoke the invitation to get rid of it. He tells Jan and Dale to burn sage and sweetgrass, put olive oil at each of the home's entryways, and pray. For three months, everything goes back to normal, then Jan hears Cody talking to Man again. He then gets really quiet, and when Jan goes to check on him, Cody is holding a Polaroid picture of an old woman and a little boy. When she takes the picture from Cody, he starts screaming at her, and when Jan asks about it, Cody says that Man is the boy in the picture and that Man gave it to him. And then things get really weird: when Jan drops Cody off to play at her cousin's house, the woman soon calls Jan at work, crying and saying that Jan needs to come get Cody immediately. When Jan shows up, her cousin tells her that when Cody was playing with her daughter Kaylee, she heard a deep voice, and then Kaylee started screaming. She ran into the room to find toys floating in the air around Cody.
One night, Dale catches Cody cutting up his teddy bear, and Cody tells him that "Man said it would be fun." Cody uses the same excuse when Pamela is searching for her cat and finds it underneath the couch cushion that Cody is sitting on. Jan is cleaning one day and realizes that Cody has been peeing on everything in his closet; he says that Man said it would be okay and that he doesn't have to listen to his mother.
Cody finally gets fed up with Man when he starts making his bed shake. After Cody falls asleep in his parents' room, Jan goes into his room and soon awakes to see Cody standing in the doorway. He hugs her, and Jan sees his body grow into a full-grown demonically-laughing entity, but he looks normal again when Dale and Pamela come in to see why Jan is screaming. Jan calls the shaman again and tells him that Man is a demon; he tells her to bless the house again and pray specifically for the demon to leave. She does, and when she comes back inside, she feels a presence. Jan continues the blessing inside the house and tells the demon to leave and never come back. The family sometimes hears strange noises and feels like someone is watching them, and they worry that it's Man trying to reappear in their lives.
This episode of A Haunting was pretty creepy...I'm definitely going to watch some more episodes.
My rating: 9/10
Wednesday, March 5, 2014
Sunday, March 2, 2014
I'm taking a trip to Los Angeles in April to see a performance of one of my plays, and my husband and I will be staying at the Hollywood Historic Hotel. The hotel, built in 1927, was formerly the Hollywood Melrose Hotel, and according to some of the reviews I read, it's haunted (a fact I didn't know until after I booked it). Trip Advisor reviewer Aliceinhaw says that when she stayed at the Hollywood Historic Hotel, she saw "weird shadows" and "felt like something was watching [her]." On Yelp, Jason B. wrote that "there is no doubt in [his] mind that this hotel is haunted" because he heard a lot of banging around and screaming in the room above him and heard a woman being thrown out of the window...but when he looked outside, there was no one on the ground. A few other Yelp reviewers mentioned that they got a creepy feeling when they walked in the building. Compared to some other hauntings I've heard about, this doesn't sound too bad...if I experience any paranormal activity while I'm there, I'll tell you guys all about it!
Thursday, February 27, 2014
In tribute to Harold Ramis, I decided to watch Ghostbusters and Ghostbusters 2 this week. It's been a few years since I've seen them, so I thought it would be fun to do a blog post with my favorite quotes from the movies.
-“Back off, man…I’m a scientist.”-Peter Venkman
-Ray Stantz: Symmetrical book-stacking, just like the Philadelphia mass turbulence of 1947.
Peter Venkman: You’re right. No human being would stack books like this.
-“You’re not gonna lose the house. Everyone has three mortgages nowadays.”-Peter Venkman
-Janine Melnitz: Do you have any hobbies?
Egon Spengler: I collect spores, molds, and fungus.
-Dana Barrett: Well, of course I’m telling the truth. Who would make up a story like that?
Peter Venkman: Some are people who just want attention. Others are just nutballs who come in off the street.
-Dana Barrett: You know, you don’t act like a scientist.
Peter Venkman: They’re usually pretty stiff.
Dana Barrett: You’re more like a game show host.
-“He slimed me.”-Peter Venkman
-Egon Spengler.: There’s something very important I forgot to tell you…don’t cross the streams.
Peter Venkman: Why?
Egon Spengler: It would be bad.
Peter Venkman: I’m fuzzy on the whole good/bad thing. What do you mean, “bad”?
Egon Spengler: Try to imagine all life as you know it stopping instantaneously and every molecule in your body exploding at the speed of light.
-“If there’s a steady paycheck in it, I’ll believe anything you say.”-Winston Zeddemore
-“I don’t have to take this abuse from you. I got hundreds of people dying to abuse me.”-Peter Venkman
-“She’s not my girlfriend. I find her interesting because she’s a client and because she sleeps above her covers. Four feet above her covers.”-Peter Venkman
-“Ray, when someone asks you if you’re a god, you say yes!”-Winston Zeddemore
-“This chick is toast!”-Peter Venkman
-“Let’s show this prehistoric bitch how we do things downtown.”-Peter Venkman
-“Nobody steps on a church in my town!”-Peter Venkman
-“We’ve been going about this all wrong…we get this guy laid, we won’t have any trouble.”-Peter Venkman
-Prosecutor: Dr. Venkman, would you please tell the court why it is that you and your co-defendants took it upon yourselves to dig a very big hole in the middle of First Avenue?
Peter Venkman: Well, there’s so many holes in First Avenue, we really didn’t think anyone would notice.
-Louis Tully: My guys are still under a judicial “mis-strangement” order, that blue thing I got from her. They could be exposing themselves.
Peter Venkman: And you don’t want us exposing ourselves.
-“We’re the best! We’re the beautiful! We’re the only…Ghostbusters!”-Peter Venkman
-Peter Venkman: Dana’s just come over to my place. Well, actually her-her tub tried to eat her.
Ray Stantz: Are you serious? Oh, that’s great!
-Dana Barrett: It’s so late, I really ought to put him down.
Peter Venkman: May I?
Dana Barrett: Yeah, if you want to.
Peter Venkman: You’re short, your belly button sticks out too far, and you’re a terrible burden on your poor mother.
-Dana Barrett: So what happened with my apartment?
Peter Venkman: Well, the guys spent the whole night there. They went through all your things, your personal stuff. They tried on some of your clothes, made some long-distance phone calls, cleaned out the fridge…
-Janine Melnitz: You’re very good with children.
Louis Tully: Thanks, I practiced on my hamster.
-“I used to have a roommate, but my mom moved to Florida.”-Louis Tully
-“If we don’t do something fast, this whole place is gonna blow like a frog on a hot plate.”-Ray Stantz
-Being miserable and treating other people like dirt is every New Yorker’s God-given right.”-The Mayor of New York
Monday, February 24, 2014
I really enjoyed visiting Madame Tussauds Wax Museum in Los Angeles, so when I saw that Ghost Adventures did a 2011 episode at the Madame Tussauds in Las Vegas, I just had to watch it! The show stars Zak Bagans, Aaron Goodwin, Nick Groff and airs on the Travel Channel. Zak, Aaron, and Nick start out at the David Saxe Theatre (hey, I saw the fake Beatles there!) at the Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino. David Saxe tells Zak that he used to work at the Sands Casino (which is where the Ventian, where Madame Tussauds is located, now stands), and things used to wrong with his sister’s magic act…things that could hurt or kill her. They installed security cameras because they thought someone was tampering with her props, but they never caught anyone on camera. David says that he doesn’t believe in ghosts, but he leaves a ghost light on in his theatre anyway; Zak and David see smoke in the theatre, and David can’t explain where it’s coming from.
The Sands used to be owned by the Mafia, and the team talks to a few people in Vegas about the mob activity that went on before arriving at Madame Tussauds Wax Museum. When they first get to the museum, they talk to Chris Mayes, the show manager at the museum. Zac wonders if any spirits of dead celebrities are inhabiting their wax likenesses. Chris gives them some history about Madame Tussaud, saying that during the French Revolution she was forced to find the heads of the deceased and make death masques. Employee Kurt Mayne tells the team that he has seen ghosts in the maze where the Halloween show takes place. Another employee, Stephanie Freitas, says that one night at closing, she heard the voice of Elvis Presley, who had performed at the Sands. Along with another employee, she followed the sound; when they figured out which room it was coming from, they opened the door and felt “a very cold chill…and Elvis was singing louder than ever.”
The crew sets up night vision cameras in the Viva Las Vegas Room and by the staircase. They begin walking around and hear something laugh at them; this is caught on the camera by the staircase, as well as one of the REM pods lighting up to signify electromagnetic energy. Zak places a recorder, an EMF detector, and some casino chips on a table, and they soon hear the EMF detector go off. They crew goes downstairs and try a new device called the Ovilus II that “contains a phonetic generator that spirits can manipulate and choose specific words by using their energy.” Zak asks if there’s someone in the room, and the word “Noah” shows up in the Ovilus II; the device then shows the words “play,” “corner,” and “tied.” Zak asks the spirit if the Mafia tied him up, and “contract” shows up on the Ovilus II, so the guys deduce that the Mafia put a hit on Noah. Zak asks what happened after Noah was tied up, and “cave” appears on the Olivus II, so Zak then asks what happened in the cave, and “dig” appears. Zak asks Noah if he had to dig his own grave, and he answers “throat” through the Ovilus II; he then asks if the Mafia strangled him and Noah answers “lash.” Zak asks if Noah died then or if the Mafia left him in the cave, and Noah answers “alive.”
The guys decide to split up: Aaron goes to the Scream Maze, Nick goes upstairs, and Zak stays downstairs. Zak walks around the Spirit of America room with a thermal imaging camera, then heads to the Viva Las Vegas room, but he doesn’t catch anything. In the Scream Maze, Aaron asks if there’s anyone there who enjoy scaring people and asks if they’ll show their presence…then he feels something go through his body. Aaron asks the spirit what show it performed in and if it was in a show with three other people…a female voice answers “singing in the rain.” They wonder if Judy Garland might be the spirit, and Kurt tells Zak that Liza Minnelli’s wax figure is standing right outside of the door to that room. Upstairs, Nick hears a noise, then takes a picture in which a transparent figure can be seen standing at the bottom of the stairs.
This was a great episode, and watching the Ghost Adventures crew investigate in dark rooms surrounded by wax figures was pretty creepy.
My rating: 8/10
Watch the episode here:
And just for fun, here's my favorite photo from my visit to Madame Tussauds in L.A.:
Friday, February 21, 2014
Let Me In is the 2010 remake of Let the Right One In, which is a Swedish movie based on a book by John Ajvide Lindqvist. The movie stars Kodi Smit-McPhee, Chloë Grace Moretz, Elias Koteas, Richard Jenkins, Dylan Minnette, and Cara Buono, and it takes place in Los Alamos, New Mexico in 1983. Bullied 12-year-old Owen (Kodi Smit-McPhee) befriends new neighbor Abby (Chloë Grace Moretz), who is also 12, "more or less," and happens to be a vampire. I enjoyed Let Me In and was impressed with the performances of Chloë Grace Moretz and Kodi Smit-McPhee...even though Abby kills people, I felt sorry for her because no one wants to be a vampire and be forced to kill people to feed, but she has no choice if she wants to live. My only complaint about the movie is that I would've liked to know more of Abby's back story, specifically how she became a vampire. I decided early on in the movie that if Kenny the bully (Dylan Minnette) didn't become vampire food (or maybe "drink" would be a more accurate term) by the end of the movie, I would be really disappointed...I hope that real bullies aren't as mean as Kenny and his friends because these kids were willing to do potentially deadly things just to get back at Owen for standing up to them, and to me, that's scarier than any vampire.
My rating: 7.5/10
My rating: 7.5/10
Tuesday, February 18, 2014
If you live in or near San Francisco and don't have plans for February 21st and 22nd, check out the Grey Ghost Paracon at the USS Hornet Museum. The conference's main focus will be UFO sightings and the military, and there will be lectures by paranormal experts and cast members from some shows on the Syfy channel. You even have the option of participating in a paranormal investigation of the USS Hornet, which sounds pretty cool. I wish I could go! : )
Saturday, February 15, 2014
They crashed in Roswell
Never stood a chance.
Their bodies are kept
At Area 51,
Though it's been denied.
Never play with a
Ouija board unless you want
All hell to break loose.
Do you really want
Evil demons in your house?
Burn the Ouija board!
I miss your smile,
Miss giving you tummy rubs,
Watching you chase squirrels.
Even miss waking
Up with your butt in my face,
My sweet, silly dog.
I miss you so much,
Beautiful, furry Layla.
Won't you come haunt me?
I can't have you back,
But I wish you would visit
Me from time to time.