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.

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

Friday, November 21, 2014

AtomaCon Panel: Bigfoot Hunting

On Saturday, November 15th, I attended the Bigfoot Hunting panel at AtomaCon in North Charleston, SC.  It was led by Cheralyn Lambeth and M. Doc Geressy (who are both members of the Carolina Ghostbusters), and it was a fun and entertaining discussion.  Doc stated that just because we haven't found something doesn't mean it's not there and that if Bigfoot doesn't want to be found, it wouldn't be that hard for him to evade everyone.  Cheralyn pointed out that every major civilization has stories about a Bigfoot-like creature.  They talked about the famous 1964 Bigfoot documentary made by David Patterson, and Cheralyn said that a line going down the back of Bigfoot looks like it could be a zipper and that it wouldn't be that difficult to make a fake Bigfoot film.  As for why someone would fake it, she said that professional filmmakers do things all the time to amuse themselves, such as giving Bigfoot breasts in the Patterson film.  Doc said that if the film was a hoax, it was a very good one and wondered why, if it's easy to fake, more people don't make Bigfoot films?  He also noted that generally the people who have claimed to see Bigfoot don't seem like intelligent or credible people and that if someone like Bill Nye claimed to have seen him, then people would probably believe in Bigfoot.  Cheralyn said that you can't prove that something doesn't exist, and I'd never thought of it that way, but it's so can prove that most things do exist, but if no one has proven the existence of something like Bigfoot, it might just mean we haven't found it yet.  And, really, don't we all secretly hope that Bigfoot exists?

I really enjoyed this panel, and I thought about Bigfoot more than I ever have in my entire life.  I even ended up writing about Bigfoot later that night...I've had a lot of fun writing paranormal jokes and haiku for this blog (which are all going into a book I'm publishing next year), so here's a haiku I wrote after the Bigfoot panel:

Bigfoot, how we wish
You’d reveal your existence,
But we understand
Why you stay hidden.
Steer clear of rednecks with guns,
Or you might become
A Bigfoot-skin rug
Or head mounted on a wall.
Stay safe, furry one.

Also, if you're interested in Bigfoot, check out Graham Roumieu's Bigfoot books (Me Write Book and I Not Dead)...they're hilarious! 

Carolina Ghostbusters:

M. Doc Geressy:

Cheralyn Lambeth:

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

AtomaCon Panel: Haunted Carolinas

Last year I didn't find out about AtomaCon (All Types of Media Arts Convention) until two days before it began, so I just went the last day and attended one panel (Ghost Hunting Tech); this time I bought a three-day pass as soon as they went on sale last November, so I was prepared to spend all weekend there and learn more about some of the things I'm interested in. On Saturday, November 15th, I attended the Haunted Carolinas panel, so I could hear Tally Johnson, Cheralyn Lambeth, Rebel Sinclair, Pamela Nance, and Ashley Field talk about haunted places in North and South Carolina.

Lavinia Fisher might be Charleston's most notorious ghost, and Rebel Sinclair said that she may have been buried in a potter's field (under what is now The Citadel's football field) since that's where executed prisoners were buried back when Lavinia Fisher was executed.  The panelists talked more about the Old City Jail later; Rebel said that the ghosts of jailers have been seen there, and Pamela Nance and Ashley Field (who make up the paranormal investigation group Spirit Hunters of the South) talked about an investigation they did in 2010.  They said that in a replica of a jail cell, Pamela took pictures while Ashley acted like a jailer, and when they looked at the pictures they took, a ghostly face could be seen between the bars of the cell.  In the morgue area, they heard footsteps running toward Ashley, which then knocked her into Pamela, and when they listened to the recording, they heard a male voice say "That shook 'em" and a female voice say "F**k them."  They believe that the female voice belonged to Lavinia Fisher since it was the voice of a white woman, and she was the only white woman ever held in the jail.  At one point, a cameraman forgot Ashley's name, and a spirit supplied it for him (creepy!).  This story sounded familiar to me, and I was pretty sure I must've seen Pamela and Ashley on a show I wrote about for my blog, and I was right:

It's not uncommon to hear about spirits of soldiers killed in battle, especially in the Carolinas.  Cheralyn Lambeth said that at Kings Mountain Battlefield, two soldiers were killed by American troops and have haunted the road they died on ever since.  She also showed us a picture of a flag in the Fort Sumter museum that has a ghostly face in it. The flag was shot down and retrieved by a Confederate soldier, and the Union army was so impressed by his bravery that they saluted him; during the 100-gun salute, a Union soldier was killed, and many believe that his face is the one in the flag.

Other hauntings the panelists discussed include:

-14 Legare Street: The house is said to be cursed, and Rebel believes that she and her now-husband were passed by Ruth Lowndes' coach while walking on Legare Street; they smelled horse-hide, but there were no horses around.  They realized that they had just passed #14, the house where Ruth's husband lived alone during their marriage.

-1914 Chester County Jail: Tally Johnson said that six ghosts haunt the jail, and one of them (the spirit of a man imprisoned for slitting his wife's throat, putting her in a trashcan, and setting it on fire) possessed the leader of the paranormal group Tally was investigating with. Tally and his fellow paranormal investigators did a ghost box session at the jail, and the spirit they communicated with knew the names of all three of the investigators; when they ended the session, the cell door slammed shut.  There is also a Victrola at the jail that plays by itself.

-Southend Brewery: Rebel told us that the building is haunted by a man who hanged himself, and sometimes people walking by can see his ghost.

-Cheralyn said her scariest moment was when she arrived at the hotel she was staying at during a paranormal investigation at Waverly Hills Sanitarium (All former sanitariums are haunted, aren't they?) and discovered that the hotel was hosting a Toddlers and Tiaras convention. (That does sound terrifying...I'd rather run into a ghost than a pageant mom.)

-Rebel said that sometimes the FBI holds EVP sessions after a murder because the sound waves from the event might still be there.

-Pamela and Ashley played an EVP recording where a spirit answered questions and told them his name.  They decided to do an EVP session after Ashley's leg started burning all of a sudden, and they found out that the spirit of a man who had been shot in the leg was present.

-Tally said that the ghost of his great-grandfather appeared in his house the night before his wedding and tipped his hat to him...then Tally realized that he was no longer worried about getting married.

The Haunted Carolinas panel was really interesting, and I'm glad I got to go to it.  The panelists were very knowledgeable about hauntings and paranormal investigations and told some fascinating stories.


Tally Johnson:

Cheralyn Lambeth:

Rebel Sinclair:

Pamela Nance and Ashley Field

Monday, November 17, 2014

Pictures from AtomaCon 2014

AtomaCon was held at the Charleston Plaza Hotel in North Charleston, SC on November 14th-16th, and I had even more fun than I did last year since I went all three days instead of just one.  Here are some pictures from the convention:

Me with Ecto-1

Me with Ecto-1 again

My husband with KITT

Me with a replica of the Vigo painting from Ghostbusters 2

Kyle and me with our Ghostbusters gear

Posing with Jimmy Woody of the Carolina Ghostbusters

Me with some Carolina Ghostbusters and South Carolina Ghostbusters
(Randi Jackson, Jeffrey Lewis, John Arledge, Cheralyn Lambeth, and Scott Freeman)

Kyle with something from Star Wars
(Can you tell I don't know much about Star Wars?)

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Movie Spotlight: Jamie Marks is Dead

Jamie Marks is Dead is a 2013 movie starring Cameron Monaghan, Noah Silver, Morgan Saylor, Madisen Beaty, Judy Greer, and Liv Tyler.  The movie begins with high school student Gracie Highsmith (Morgan Saylor) finding the dead body of classmate Jamie Marks (Noah Silver) next to a river.  No one ever paid much attention to Jamie when he was alive (except for the bullies), but Gracie and fellow student Adam McCormick (Cameron Monaghan) begin seeing Jamie's ghost.  Gracie warns Adam not to get involved, but Adam befriends the ghost of Jamie and works to find out what happened to him.  As if that weren't enough for a teenage boy to deal with, Adam's mother (Liv Tyler) is paralyzed in a car accident and becomes good friends with the driver (Judy Greer) who caused the accident, which Adam has a hard time comprehending.

Unlike most movies featuring ghosts, Jamie Marks is Dead is definitely not a horror movie, but if you want to watch a good, well-written ghost story, give it a chance.  All of the actors did a great job, and the story is one that sticks with you long after you've finished watching the movie.

My rating: 7/10

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Book Spotlight: Amity by Micol Ostow

Amity is a 2014 novel by Micol Ostow and is about two families living in Amity (the New England house made famous by The Amityville Horror) ten years apart.  The novel goes back and forth between two narrators: Connor, whose family lived at Amity ten years previously, and Gwen, whose family currently lives there.  Amity is a young adult novel, but I'm 33, and I enjoyed it; since it's aimed at teenagers, it was tamer than the horror I usually read (Stephen King, Bentley Little, etc.), but I cared about what happened to the characters and liked reading about how the house affected Connor, Gwen, and their families.  For more information about Amity, check out the author's website:

My rating: 7.5/10

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Movie Spotlight: Finder's Keepers

Finder's Keepers is a 2014 Syfy original movie starring Jaime Pressly, Patrick Muldoon, Tobin Bell, Justina Machado, Marina Sirtis, Kylie Rogers, and Joey Luthman.  The movie begins with two police officers entering a house and finding a bunch of dead bodies. Soon one of the cops is attacked and killed by a bloody little boy holding a creepy doll.  Cut to single mom Alyson (Jaime Pressly) telling her daughter Claire (Kylie Rogers) that they'll be happy in their new home, but it turns out to be the same house where the kid with the creepy doll murdered his entire family and two police officers, so you know everything's going to go to hell.  Things start getting weird soon after Claire finds the tiny murderer's creepy-ass doll and becomes way too attached to it.

I went into this movie thinking it would be really cheesy, which is the reason I usually watch Syfy orginals, but it actually wasn't, considering it's a movie about an evil doll.  The actors were great, and it kept me entertained, which is the main thing I want from a movie.

My rating: 6.5/10

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Halloween 2014

I look forward to Halloween all year, so I'm kind of sad that it's are some pictures of me in my Janine Melnitz costume. : )