Friday, May 1, 2015

Book Review: American Ghost by Hannah Nordhaus

American Ghost: A Family's Haunted Past in the Desert Southwest is a 2015 book by Hannah Nordhaus. La Posada hotel in Santa Fe, New Mexico, has been haunted by Julia Schuster Stabb, the author's great-great-grandmother, since the 1970s. Julia lived from 1844 to 1896 and is the most well-known ghost in Santa Fe; she is most often seen in the room that used to be her bedroom back when the hotel was her family's house. Nordhaus says that Julia's story is one of "forbidden love, inheritance and disinheritance, anger and madness" (pg. 8) and that there have been rumors that Julia committed suicide or was murdered by her husband, and of course that made me want to know more.

Nordhaus found a book of her family's history at a relative's house and discovered that she wanted to know more about Julia's life and death, so she did historical research and met with psychics and paranormal investigators. She also tracked down a diary written by one of Julia's daughters and spoke to a former La Posada employee who had seen Julia's ghost. She traveled to New Mexico and Germany to find as much information about Julia as she could...now that's dedication!

Though Nordhaus did experience some paranormal activity when she spent a night in Julia's former bedroom at La Posada, I wouldn't consider American Ghost to be a paranormal book (which makes it different from all of the other books I've reviewed for this blog) since it focuses more on Julia's life than her afterlife. The paranormal aspect was what drew me to this book, but finding out who Julia was and how she lived was really interesting. I was surprised that I ended up being so invested in the life of someone I'd never heard of, but I was pretty enthralled by the mystery of Julia.

My rating: 8/10


Monday, April 27, 2015

Paranormal Pets: Murray the hamster

This is Murray, my Marbled Roborovski hamster...a few days ago, he decided to attack a stuffed alien and somehow ended up in a headlock. I think he might need to take some self-defense classes. ; )


Friday, April 17, 2015

Back Soon!

I'll be really busy for the next week or so and will have sporadic internet access, so I'm taking a short break from the blog. The next post is scheduled for April 27th...and it's a cute one! : )

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Submit your paranormal haiku!

When I started this blog, I thought it would be fun to try writing paranormal haiku, and I ended up writing enough to publish a book of them.  Now I want to see what you guys can come up with...send your best paranormal haiku (along with your name and the city and state where you live...and you can include a link to your website if you have one) to crystalsmithconnelly@yahoo.com, and I'll put them on the blog. Remember, in a haiku, the first and third lines should each have 5 syllables, and the second line should have 7 syllables (you're welcome to send one that has multiple stanzas). Here's an example:

Zombies only want
To eat brains, so don't worry.
Trust me, you'll be fine.

I can't wait to read your paranormal poems! : )

Sunday, April 12, 2015

UFO Watchtower

A week from today, I'm going to visit the UFO Watchtower in Saguache County, Colorado, as my husband and I make our way from Denver to Cortez.  From the watchtower, visitors can see the San Luis Valley, which is known as a UFO hot spot. I'll take lots of pictures while I'm there, and I'll share them on the blog when I get back...and maybe I'll even see a UFO! : )

http://www.ufowatchtower.com/

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Movie Spotlight: Grace: The Possession

Grace: The Possession is a 2014 movie starring Alexia Fast, Lin Shaye, Alan Dale, Alexis Knapp, Brett Dier, Joel David Moore, and Clarke Peters.  The movie begins with a woman giving birth while a priest speaks of absolving her sins; cut to 18 years later, where we meet that woman's daughter, Grace (Alexia Fast), who is starting college despite the objections of the super-religious grandmother (Lin Shaye) who raised her.  The morning after she moves into her dorm, Grace wakes up with a strange mark on her stomach and starts seeing things that aren't there. After attending a party where Grace is sure that she pushed her roommate (Alexis Knapp) off the balcony to her death, she wakes up in the hospital and finds out that her emergency contact (her grandmother) is coming to get her. Her grandmother pulls her out of college and takes her home, and when Grace insists that she needs to see a doctor after embarrassing her grandmother by coughing up blood in church, sweet, caring Grandma tells Grace that she needs God, not a doctor (and that's when I started hoping that character would die).

I've watched a bunch of possession movies, but the thing that's cool and different about Grace: The Possession is that we actually see what's happening through Grace's eyes; I don't think I've ever seen a movie that's done that, but I'd like to see some more. This movie was better than many of the paranormal movies I've watched for this blog; all of the acting was great, and the ending made me hope for a sequel.

My rating: 7.5/10


Saturday, April 4, 2015

Roswell Filmfest and Cosmicon

The dates for this year's Roswell Filmfest and Cosmicon have been announced, and it will be going on the same weekend as the Roswell UFO Festival!  The Filmfest takes place July 2nd-4th, and Cosmicon will be July 3rd and 4th.  It will be a very busy weekend for anyone lucky enough to be in Roswell for the Fourth of July.  If you'd like to submit your own short film to the Filmfest, here are the rules for the Sci-Fi Short Film Shootout:

http://www.filmroswell.com/shootout.html

Roswell Filmfest and Cosmicon sounds like fun, and tickets are only $5! : )

http://www.filmroswell.com/index.html