The Mystery of the Haunted Vampire

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Thursday, March 31, 2005

Hopi issue a warning

Indian Country Today reports a warning of impending trouble:

HOTEVILLA, Ariz. - From Hopiland, a spiritual vortex for Native people, spiritual leaders Dan Evehema and Thomas Banyacya became the voice of the voiceless: the birds and animals.

Warning of the impending apocalypse, they urged all people of good hearts to join them.

Even in their last years, Evehema and Banyacya warned that material greed and ignoring spiritual truth results in climate change, and, ultimately, the destruction of the world.

Hopi Snake Priest Evehema said the disease in the world today is greed, and the final insult for this country's aboriginal people is the loss of ceremonial land.

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The mystery of the Moon

The Moon holds a fascination for us. We may have walked on it, written songs about it, made love under it or planted our crops by it. But our nearest space neighbor remains an enigma. has the story:

Planet Earth’s natural satellite has got a grip on scientists. The charisma of the Moon is made more so by many unanswered questions, even after Apollo moonwalkers went the distance to study the nearby, crater-pocked globe.

Not only the U.S., but European, Indian, Japanese and Chinese probes are being readied for a new scientific assault on the Moon, hoping to glean insight about lunar ice, the Moon’s cratering history, and even how that big, dusty ball of rock got there in the first place.

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Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Johnny Cash: "Hurt"

I added the video at the top of the site. It is probably a temporary feature. I love the song. And it is appropriate to the site because Johnny Cash sounds like a dying man singing out the last of his glorious life. It's hauntingly beautiful.

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Tuesday, March 29, 2005

ISIS investigates haunted New England mansion

The Book of Thoth carries fascinating details:

In the 1890's the Houghton Mansion belonged to the former mayor of North Adams Massachusetts, Albert C. Houghton.It is now a Masonic lodge and home to the Greylock Lodge A.F. & A.M. and the Naomi Chapter of the Eastern Star.

The mansion has been identified as haunted and has been previously investigated by The New England Ghost Project.

Go read the details. It's well worth the click on the link.

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Lost novel of Dumas resurrects mystery of Nelson's death

Lord Admiral Horation Nelson is a historic hero of mine; Alexandre Dumas one of my favorite novelists. Now their paths cross. From The Australian:

A QUARREL about who killed Admiral Horatio Nelson is about to be revived with the first publication of the lost final novel of Alexandre Dumas.

The French marksman who shot the British commander at Trafalgar is the hero of Le Chevalier de Saint Hermine, a 900-page work Dumas was turning out for serial publication in the months before his death in 1870.

The imminent appearance of the lost Dumas, the product of eight years of detective work by Claude Schopp, a Dumas expert, had been kept secret and has taken the literary world by surprise.

Mr Schopp gathered the text from newspapers of the period and other places, including a library in Prague.

Britain has always doubted French claims that Sergeant Robert Guillemard, a Provencal fusilier, shot Nelson from the mizzenmast of Le Redoutable and survived to tell the tale.

Midshipman John Pollard was credited by Captain Thomas Hardy, commander of HMS Victory, with killing the sniper, who was described as an anonymous infantryman.

As an older man, the then Commander Pollard wrote to The Times in 1863 to complain that another former midshipman, Edward Collingwood, was trying to take the credit.

Dumas appears to have exploited uncertainty over the identity of the marksmen to put his hero's finger on the trigger. By weaving historic fact with swashbuckling fiction, the author of The Three Musketeers was pursuing his life's mission of bringing French history to the masses through fiction.

St Hermine is the long-missing third part of a trilogy about a band of aristocratic adventurers set during the revolutionary terror and the Napoleonic empire. Hector de St Hermine appears briefly in the previous two parts, Les Blancs et les Bleus and Les Compagnons de Jehu.

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The goddess with 100-foot breasts

I like art. The Times of London has the story:

FIRST came the Angel of the North. Now motorists using the A1 are to be confronted with the far earthier figure of a giant reclining “goddess” stretching her curves alongside nearly half a mile of the dual carriageway.

The woman, with breasts and hips up to 100ft high, will be created 10 miles north of Newcastle from the waste material generated by open-cast mining, with each of her enormous curves concealing millions of tons of mining spoil. By the time the “Goddess of the North” is finished in two to three years she should be among the world’s largest sculptures and visible from a passing passenger jet.

Charles Jencks, the renowned landscape sculptor behind the designs, said: “When finished you will see the most incredible curvaceous woman lying there with her left leg over the right and her hair spread out.”

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Monday, March 28, 2005

World War II 'plague' submarine discovered at bottom of ocean

University of Hawaii researchers found a World War II-era Japanese sub designed to carry out an attack with biological weapons. DefenseTech has the story:

The submarine is from the I-400 Sensuikan Toku class of subs, the largest built before the nuclear-ballistic-missile submarines of the 1960s. They were 400 feet long and nearly 40 feet high and could carry a crew of 144. The submarines were designed to carry three "fold-up" bombers that could quickly be assembled...

An I-400 and I-401 were captured at sea a week after the Japanese surrendered in 1945. Their mission, which was never completed, reportedly was to use the aircraft to drop rats and insects infected with bubonic plague, cholera, typhus and other diseases on U.S. cities.

When the bacteriological bombs could not be prepared in time, the mission reportedly was changed to bomb the Panama Canal. Both submarines were ordered to sail to Pearl Harbor and were deliberately sunk later, partly because Russian scientists were demanding access to them.

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Students study the supernatural in Buffalo

Let's shuffle over to The Buffalo News for the story:

We're in good hands. In my annual April Fool visit to the realm of pseudoscience, I visited Center for Inquiry Research Fellow Chris Whittle's University at Buffalo honors class studying the so-called supernatural.

His 21 students are investigating reports of everything from coffee shop ghosts in Clarence (Alyssa Brown) to the monster South Bay Bessie in Lake Erie (Ryan McNerney); from the physics of quack medical devices (Chris Wirz) to voices heard over white noise (Heather Camp); from the reported odd behavior of the Buffalo Museum of Science's mummies (Hajan Thomas, Luke Mohr, Jon Morabito, Peter Ruocco and Laura Karnath) to the contemporary local occurrence of panthers (Sarah Finch); from abominable snowmen in Washington State (William King and Chris LaFleur) to giant frogs in Buffalo's old Central Terminal basement (Ian Phillips).

"It's all nonsense" may be your first reaction - as was my own - but these bright and energetic young men and women have been asked to take their responsibilities seriously and to examine their assigned aspect of what some - but unfortunately not most - of us think of as weirdness with objectivity.

I think these students are doing a remarkable job.

The most serious problem in carrying out their research, they told me, is bringing objectivity to their task. When you're a member of a university community, the identified home of science and rationality, that's not so easy to do. When you're taught by a Center for Inquiry representative, you know which way the class is slanted.


One is Nathan Brandwein's study of so-called "real vampires" - yes, vampires. These are not people restricted to Transylvania: a quick Web check locates at least 45 here in Buffalo. There are several roles: sanguinarians who drink human blood and psi-vampires who instead get their boost through psychic energy. At least they're not modern-day Draculas: they have volunteer donors. One vampire Web site even welcomes the following: "Vampires, Wiccans, WereCreatures, Goths, Pagans, Dragons, the Fae (all types, Fairies, Sidhe, Elves, etc.), Donors and Supporters."

Click on the link for the entire story. It's a good read.

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Ghost hunters search in Texas

The San Antonio Express News has the details:

Feeling a presence in one of the darkened rooms of Victoria's Black SwanInn, Gloria Young began to speak. "If you're here, will you make your presence known?" she asked. Nothing. She tried several more questions. Then, finally, "If you're here, will you speed up the Geiger counter?"

It had been clicking about once every 30 seconds. Click click click click click. "Thank you," she replied, ever respectful.

The Geiger counter was just one of the many devices pressed into service by Young and the handful of other ghost hunters who descended on the innfor a ghost hunting seminar, which took place Saturday in the day andnight at the storied inn.

Though Young acknowledged no one yet knows if a Geiger counter can detect ghosts, it is one of many technologies sheand other ghost hunters use.

The inn and the buildings surrounding it on the 35-acre property along Salado and Walzem creeks are thought by many to be chock-full of spooks and spirits. American Indians lived on the land for hundreds of years. The Mexican Army and early Texans met in bloody battle there in 1842.

The grand oldhouse that now hosts weddings and brunches has seen its share oftragedies. Jo Ann Rivera, who bought the property in 1987, became a believer notlong after moving into the inn.

She says she constantly hears voices, piano music and footsteps. She says she's even seen apparitions,including a little girl who shows herself more often to men staying at the inn.

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Archaeology, Biblical scripture and tomb raiders

Is the ossuary of James a clever forgery or a legitimate artifact?

The question comes up because the ossuary was not dug up at an authorized excavation, where every shard is scrutinized by scholars.

Like most so-called antiquities, it just turned up in the shop of an antiques dealer, which is another way of saying it was looted.

The Israel Antiquities Authority has a special unit of archaeological detectives trying to stop this trade. They spend their nights burrowing underground on the trail of tomb-raiders, like those who may have stolen the ossuary from the tomb of James. The trouble is, no one has any idea when that happened, or where.

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Sunday, March 27, 2005

News from the Underworld set

I thought the first Underworld movie had a great look and feel to it, particularly Kate Beckinsale playing a vampire battling werewolves. But the plot could have been concocted by young roleplayers on a Saturday night. Despite that, I'll probably see the sequel, Underworld: Evolution, and hope for the best. MTV has a story from the set:

At the end of the original film, Beckinsale's Selene and love interest Scott Speedman's half-Lycan/half-Dealer Michael saved the day only to unleash a greater threat as the blood of both armies poured into the grave of Marcus, a sleeping vampire whom fans expect to awaken as a hybrid.

"Marcus is the big ... yeah," Wiseman says, acknowledging the villain of the sequel while trying not to give too much away. "You get to see what the relationship between [first-film villain] Viktor (Bill Nighy) and Marcus (Tony Curran) is, and what had gone on between them before we kick into the modern times of seeing Marcus again." Although most of "Evolution" is set in the present day, the film will flash back to two important moments in the timeline: one, a medieval sequence, explains the relationship between the main baddies; the other reenacts the first-bite story that Selene recounted in the first film.

"The medieval village, I'm actually not in at all," says Beckinsale. "That was all before I became a vampire. So that's sort of Bill Nighy and Tony Curran on horses and armor and all that stuff."

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Coming attractions

Here's a list of upcoming releases I want to see: Sin City. Incredible looking. Kontroll. Probably won't be at a theater near me, but I'll search for this Hungarian film on DVD. Sahara. Popcorn movie. Looks like mindless fun. The Amityville Horror. Not too many horror movies coming out. At least it is rated R. I hate when cuts are made to horror movies just to get the PG-13 rating. House of Wax. Because I can't stop seeing remakes of horror classics even when they have nothing but the title in common with the original.

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Saturday, March 26, 2005

What sweet music they make

Currently listening to Chopin - Nocturne No. 2, Op. 27 in D-Flat.

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Friday, March 25, 2005

Killer thought mother, aunt were vampires

From Honolulu comes this grisly tale:

There is a bizarre new explanation for one of Hawaii's most horrible murders. Micah White, of Kailua, who stabbed and burned his mother and aunt, told psychiatrists that he thought they were vampires.

Sharon and Kerrie White were stabbed, dowsed with gasoline and set on fire last April in their Kainui Road home.

"The mother and the aunt were laying on the ground. Her throat was stabbed and she was bleeding and they were on fire," witness Alyssa Erickson said in April.

Before dying, the victims identified Micah White. His father and police suspected drugs. His mother's call for help described Micah as "tweaking," but a court appointed psychiatrist said White denies using drugs and told her he believed vampires were out to get him.

His doctor wrote, "it appears the world of vampires closed in on him and that he began to see his aunt, and then his mother, assume the appearance of the vampires. And these vampires were snarling at him and the air was populated by their screams and voices."

White told the doctor that his weapons were a rock and a sharpened drumstick. Although the doctor didn't say so, if White is telling the truth, the sharpened stick may represent the type of wooden stake said to be used by mythological vampire slayers.

Remember, there are ways to check to see if someone is a vampire before you break out the stakes. And, really, is staking necessary? Just because they might be vampires, it doesn't mean they're out to get you.

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College student ghosthunters search bar

If you're going to haunt any place, a bar is as good as any. The Penn State's The Digital Collegian carries the story.

Sometimes when Duke Gastiger is alone in his bar, the All American Rathskeller, he feels a presence.

"It's never been a feeling of evil or goodness," Gastiger said. "It's just a feeling like someone or something else is there."

Last night, 14 members of the Penn State Paranormal Research Society (PRS) conducted an investigation at the Rathskeller, 108 S. Pugh St., searching for what they called "abnormal activity."

Paranormal Research Society President Ryan Buell said he thinks the bar has a certain "negative energy," but that does not mean there is something demonic or evil haunting the bar.

I spent a lot of time in bars while a college student too searching for "unusual activity." Or maybe I was causing the unusual activity? I don't remember.

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Paranormal investigators prowl cemetery, write book

The Americus Times Recorder has the story on two paranormal investigators in Georgia.

It is 6 p.m. in Andersonville and behind the Pennington St. James Church is a small cemetery. Two people stand over the graves, taking photos with digital cameras, wondering what will appear after the camera's flash creates an image. One of the individuals, Tom Hebert, notices a particular grave in the cemetery with a hole in the headstone. The grave is where a couple who died in the 1800s is laid to rest. Walking over to the spot, he snaps a photo of the hole. Immediately after this, his energy seems to plummet, and he feels drained. Something seems wrong. Tom turns his head and notices a black grave behind the one he just photographed. Suddenly a pungent odor appears in the air; it smells like death. Tom looks over at his wife Margaret, and asks her if she smells anything. She doesn't, but she feels that something is not right. Tom tells his wife, "We’ve got to get out of here … ”

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For those here to read the manuscript

The Mystery of the Haunted Vampire

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Thursday, March 24, 2005

Exorcist fights demons in Australia

I'm currently reading a book on exorcism by Father Malachi that a friend loaned me so this story in the Herald-Sun is particularly interesting to me. Also, I'm working on a story involving exorcism.

A CONTROVERSIAL visiting exorcist says Melbourne's demons are the most vicious in the world because our society is a religious vacuum.

High profile American preacher Bob Larson began his national exorcism tour at the Forum Theatre last night.

A shyster to some and a saviour to others, he claims to have exorcised demons in 90 countries.

He said the demons he battled in his Melbourne exorcisms were among the roughest he had faced. Larson said Australia's "lack of regard for religion" led demons to possess non-believers.

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Scientists study Anasazi calendar

And they discover it more advanced than previously suspected.

Dr. Don Smith/College of Eastern Utah, San Juan Branch: "I think we're becoming more aware that those people were far more familiar with astronomy, science and possibly math than we give them credit for."

That's probably why those who are amateurs or professionals - who study these sites- are called archaeoastronomers. The calendar markings are accurate every year. A photograph of spring equinox from last year - right on target - the ancient target that is.

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Panther stalks London streets

Yet another big cat sighting in London.

It has probably slunk off to a neighbouring suburb to become the Penge Panther, the Catford Cheetah or the Beast of Beckenham by now.

But residents of the blossom-filled streets of Sydenham were still shaking last night as a father of three told how he had been mauled by a black cat the size of a labrador.

Police armed with Taser stun guns sealed off roads in south-east London, school gates were locked and teachers warned pupils to keep away from wooded areas after Tony Holder escaped with a cuff around the face from the big cat.

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Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Satan interviewed! (parody)

Jazzmaniac got to sit for an exclusive interview with Satan.

JM: So you're afraid you're going to run out of room? Satan: No, not at all. Space is nearly infinite down here. Hell is just a vast, ugly plane. Sort of like that Airbus they rolled out a few weeks ago. Hey, I just made that up! Write it down! JM: Got it. Satan: Like I said, it's thinking up the special places, and then getting them built. I'm intimately involved in every aspect no matter how small. You know, The Devil is in the details. We're way behind schedule. My contractor's bleeding me dry with shoddy work and cost overruns. I'd fire them if I could, but we've only got one contractor down here: Helliburton.

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Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Site news

I tweaked the format so that the quote boxes are no longer italic. I thought the italic a bit hard to read. I also added AdSense and a google search at the bottom.

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How to succeed at vampire slaying and keep your soul

The L.A. Times has a great column by one of the writers of Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

Then there's Buffy, the teenage "vampire slayer." A woman warrior, she refused to answer to her profession's stuffy, male-dominated Counsel of Watchers. She had the power, she reasoned, and that gave her the authority to decide how to use it. She didn't figure it out overnight or without a struggle, but after seven TV years, she had learned how to make it in the graveyard.

I can't make real-life workplaces safer and more fair for women just by showing them with briefcases or crossbows. But I can try to grant my characters the quirky gift of humanity — whether they're adjudicating torts or dishing tortes or saving the world. And hope the little girls watching do the rest.

Go read all of it. I'll be here when you get back.

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All big cats, all the time

I may have to turn my blog over to British big cat sightings:

A man has been attacked by a large cat-like animal which jumped out from bushes in his garden during the night. Anthony Holder said a 6ft-long black animal pounced, knocked him to the ground, then mauled him with its claws for about 30 seconds. He said "I am 6ft and weigh 15 stone and it was considerably stronger and bigger than me. This thing was huge." Police were called to Sydenham Park in south-east London and one officer saw a cat "about the size of a Labrador dog". Armed officers arrived soon after and a search of the nearby railway line and allotments was carried out. Mr Holder was looking for his kitten at the bottom of his garden, which backs onto woodland, when the powerful creature attacked him. He described how a "big black figure pounced" and he was "in its claws for about 30 seconds". "Its teeth were out and I tried to defend myself and eventually I got the thing off my body." He was scratched all over his body and suffered swelling and bruising to his hand and the back of his head. The animal, which Mr Holder is convinced was a panther, then went and sat in the garden next-door and he called the police
As usual of late, see further black cat stories down thread.

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Tomb of Medici child mysteriously disappears

Discovery News has the story:

The tomb of a four-year-old heir of the Medicis has mysteriously disappeared, scientists exhuming the remains of several members of the family that dominated the Florentine Renaissance have announced.

Working in the Medici Chapels at Michelangelo's church of San Lorenzo in Florence, where they aim to exhume 49 bodies of the Medici clan, the researchers found the remains of an unknown one-year-old child in what was supposed to be the tomb of Filippino, the son of Grand Duke Francesco I (1541-1587).

The finding adds new mystery to one of the most discussed families of the Renaissance.

"We have no idea who that infant was, neither do we know where Filippino could have been buried," the researchers told a news conference.

Filippino, who died in 1582 of an unknown disease, was the son of Joan of Austria — the ugly daughter of Ferdinand of Habsburg — and Francesco I, an ineffectual ruler more interested in spending his time with alchemy experiments than dedicating himself to statecraft.

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Monday, March 21, 2005

The truth behind Jekyll and Hyde revealed

New research reveals the story behind the story of Robert Louis Stevens' The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.

THE Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde was written by Robert Louis Stevenson under the influence of a hallucinogenic drug similar to LSD, according to new research.

Doctors believe the Scots author wrote the classic exploration of good and evil while being treated with a derivative of ergot, a potentially deadly hallucinogenic fungus. The mould, which affects rye and wheat, caused mass poisonings during the Middle Ages. Victims suffered vivid hallucinations and convulsions, which were mistakenly believed to be symptoms of demonic possession. Many witch trials, including those in Salem, Massachusetts, in 1692, are believed to have been triggered by outbreaks of ergotism.

During the Victorian era, ergotine, a derivative of the fungus, was used by doctors to stop bleeding. Stevenson, who suffered from tuberculosis, was given injections of the drug to stop bleeding in his lungs.

For the record, The Mystery of the Haunted Vampire was written on nothing stronger than Earl Gray tea and the occasional Rolling Rock beer.

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Ooh, pretty!

Great petroglyph photos.

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Reward for big black cat terrorizing region

A £5,000 reward has been offered for the capture of a "big cat" in Oxfordshire. The Beeb has the details:

The so-called "Beast of Burford" has been spotted prowling near farms and has killed several sheep in west Oxfordshire, according to farmers.

Foxbury farmer Colin Dawes told the BBC he saw the "large black cat" running away after killing three of his sheep.

Cotswold Wildlife Park has now offered to pay £5,000 to anyone who can capture the creature alive.


"Something is killing sheep. I don't know what that is, but there is a possibility there's something out there, an animal that shouldn't be there, but I don't have any proof," (a Thames River Valley Police Constable said).

See down thread for more big cat news.

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Christine, is that you?

Straight out of a Stephen King tale, a car started up and crashed into a neighbors house with no one behind the wheel in Indiana.

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Saturday, March 19, 2005

Vampires roam Illinois town

Vampires, demons, werewolves? This is my kind of movie:

It's moviemaking season again in Waukegan and local filmmaker James Zahn is ready to begin shooting his genre-bending gangster/horror movie "Death Walks the Streets" in May or June. The flick, written by Zahn and photographer Ben Brezinski, follows an ex-con pulled back into organized crime during a war between vampires, werewolves, demons and the undead for control of a powerful and deadly ancient artifact. "I wanted to see this huge monster movie with all these monsters I liked as a kid and the gangster element," Zahn said.

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Constantine set was haunted?

Sounds like a publicity stunt to me for the opening of Constantine in Britain:

Keanu Reeves and director Francis Lawrence were overcome with fear when supernatural forces disrupted shooting on a vital CONSTANTINE scene.

The cast and crew had gathered in sound stage 16 at WARNER BROS' Hollywood lot to work on the spooky blockbuster, but were soon desperate to leave the building when paranormal activity started to arise.

And it was particularly terrifying for all present - because they were all aware of the spooky forces that had tormented movie-makers working on THE EXORCIST and POLTERGEIST.

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Supernatural blamed in Phillipines' jail deaths

The Sun.Star of Cebu has a true story that sounds like a perfect setting for a horror tale:

Gripped by fear over the “strange” incidents inside the new prison, the inmates welcomed and participated in yesterday’s mass and blessing officiated by Fr. John Llacuno, who also led prayers and rites to “exorcise” the place of bad spirits.

Some inmates believe bad spirits are roaming the facility. Joel Monterrola, one of the inmates, said they noticed that one of them either dies or gets terribly sick after seeing a black cat, or sometimes a black dog, inside the new jail in Barangay Kalunasan, Cebu City.

“Patay jud dayun or 50-50 (You’re dead right away),” said Monterrola. Aside from this, inmate Ricardo Olasima said there are also unexplained incidents, like an inmate waking up to find his face already distorted, although the doctor concluded his blood pressure was normal.

Another inmate also woke up and found that his neck was already in between his cell’s iron bars, said Monterrola. “Imposible gyud kaayo, natural nangahadlok mi (It’s just impossible, so naturally we’re terrified),” Monterrola added.

Demosthenes Villariasa also narrated that at least 14 of them now have a swelling that started in their feet and eventually spread up to the waist. Many of them are no longer able to walk and are placed inside the jail’s infirmary. “Mostly, these people who suddenly died were healthy,” he said.

Guards reportedly tried to catch the cat but failed. Capitol consultant Rory Jon Sepulveda said they have traced the black cat as coming from the neighborhood. It goes inside the jail for leftover food, as seen from the security cameras.

Sepulveda said they will explain this to the inmates to allay their fears. But the Capitol consultant, a lawyer, also admitted they are still trying to contact a technical expert who can explain strange things caught on the facilities’ security cameras.

Set on motion-detect mode, the cameras were able to capture, usually from midnight to dawn, what appears to be a white light flying from the cells and in other parts of the jail. One video captured a light that looked like a dove, and another recording caught something that looked like a footprint moving fast on the ground. There were other similar moving lights recorded on other frames.

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Big cat sighting in Wales

Sightings of big cats in place where they should not exist are one of the biggest mysteries of cryptozoology. The Beeb has a story on a sighting in Wales:

He saw some people a few minutes later and mentioned it to them. They told him there had been one spotted about a year earlier in the area. "It was jet black and it was really, really shiny. It was bigger than an Alsatian but longer. "If you see a cat, their back is flat and their head is low. A dog is more upright and a tail is swishing. "I don't know much about them really. I've seen these stories in the paper and I've always taken it with a pinch of salt really, but having seen it, it's wonderful.

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Friday, March 18, 2005

A mysterious universe

New Scientist lists 13 inexplicable facts.

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Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Vampire on the pro-cycling circuit

Pro Cycling News has the details about Chris Walker:

Out of nowhere Walker (Carnacki note: photo here) comes across to us by himself. Don’t ask me how the 2nd placed G.C. guy jumps away from the field alone, this is just the kind of trick Walker can pull. Does Walker rest when he tags on the back of the break? No. No. NO. He goes straight through our group and ups the tempo. For the next probably sixty miles no one else even takes a pull. We are all withering in the heat, but Walker is just flying. I honestly don’t remember seeing him eat or drink anything the entire race.


For the second column in a row, I find myself explaining a nickname. As far as I know, the Vampire moniker was coined by Team Labor Power before Walker joined their crew. As mentioned, you never see the guy eat or drink, so one can only assume that he feasts on blood at the end of the day. On the other hand, as evidenced in this story, he has no fear of daylight, and as skinny as he is, I have my doubts as to whether he eats at all.

As astute readers of Bram Stoker's Dracula knows, vampires can walk about (and apparently race) in daylight. The myth about sunlight destroying vampires did not arise until much later (planted as part of a clever misinformation campaign by vampires, no doubt).

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A tale of two authors

Interesting story on vampire writer Anne Rice and Christian author Howard Storm working together to promote Storm's book, My Descent Into Death: A Second Chance at Life.

"Vampires and angels are very similar," says Rice, who sees nothing strange about the collaboration. "My discussion of vampires has always presented them as sort of the elegant inverse of angels."

Rice says she, like Storm, was a "fashionable atheist" for many years. She re-embraced her Roman Catholic faith in 1998. Storm got religion after excruciating stomach pain landed him in a Paris hospital for emergency surgery in 1985.

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Update on Malawi leader haunted by palace ghosts

The haunting of the Malawi leader at his palace (see downthread) took a strange turn when the journalists were jailed for their reporting of it. They have since been released.

Blantyre - Malawi police freed two journalists without charge on Wednesday, a day after they and a government official were held over reports that President Bingu wa Mutharika had left his palace due to fears it was haunted.

Mabvuto Banda of the influential daily Nation newspaper, who also works for Reuters, and Raphael Tenthani of the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) were both released on police bail. It was not clear whether they would be charged.

Both were taken in separately on Tuesday in dawn raids at their homes in the commercial capital Blantyre.

Horace Nyaka, an aide to Vice President Cassim Chilumpha, was also arrested in connection with the reports, which police described as falsehoods.

Malawi newspapers and radio stations carried the story on the ghosts on Sunday, quoting a senior presidency official, and newspapers on Monday urged Mutharika to focus on priorities such as fighting poverty in the southern African state.

Mutharika, a former economist with the World Bank, reacted angrily to the stories, telling reporters at the weekend he had not met any ghosts in the palace and was in any case not afraid of them.

The jailing of journalists for doing their jobs is truly scary. Mutharika and other African leaders should be using their nations' wealth to help the people not themselves. Let us hope the ghosts lead Mutharika to change his ways like in a certain Charles Dickens' novel.

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Lebanese vampire movie broadens the myth

Director Ghassan Salhab is setting a vampire movie in Beirut. This sounds like a film I'd like to see, but I doubt if it'll be at my friendly, neighborhood video store. The Daily Star of Lebanon has the details:

"[This film] follows the mutation of a man," he says to the tabletop. "It's about a doctor who's changing into a vampire."

Like many filmmakers before him, Salhab is interested in the metaphoric power of the vampire myth. "It isn't a genre movie with crosses and fangs and all that," he smiles. "It's not a gore movie. A vampire is very peculiar as he's neither living nor dead. He rejects day for night. The mirror doesn't respond to his image. This isn't a genre movie: I'm using the genre.

"We understand that the protagonist, Dr. Khalil, has been bitten. We see the vampire's victims." He refills his water glass. "It's like a classical tragedy insofar as the character has a tragic flaw which leads him to a certain end. You resist because you don't want to kill. You struggle against this destiny but you can't escape it."

Salhab says he wants to examine the process of change. "I'm not interested in the exterior aspects of mutation - except for the mirror not reflecting his image. The mirror is very interesting. It doesn't reflect you. It gives you another 'you.' You are confronted by the 'other,' but it's you.

"Khalil won't make any big speeches about not wanting to kill. It's about the battle between the beast and the man within all of us but it's not through words. As usual I don't explain a lot of things. I hope the audience feels them.

"I'm treating the vampire myth seriously. That's why I'm not using any special effects. The more special effects you use, the more comfortable the audience feels - because they know that it's a myth. The more human the protagonist looks, the more interesting the frontier between human and nonhuman."

I wish more directors of vampire films from Hollywood understood that concept.

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Spider-Man helmer snags vampire western

This sounds like a lot of fun. Sam Raimi, one of my favorite directors since the original Evil Dead, is set to produce a "vampire western":

Sony Screen Gems, according to today's Variety, has picked up the rights to a spec script by Cory Goodman called Priest, which Sam Raimi will produce. The project is described as a "vampire Western" (pretty cool sub-genre!). It reportedly centers around "a warrior priest who disobeys church law by teaming with a young sheriff and a priestess to track down a band of renegade vampires who have kidnapped his niece." Nice!

No director is attached at this time. Raimi will produce along with Mike De Luca and Josh Donenwill.

Raimi is also cobbling together another vampire flick; an adaptation the vampire comic 30 Days of Night, which tells about a group of vampires who invade a town near the Arctic Circle.

I am glad to see that the maker of the classic Evil Dead trilogy has not allowed his success of the blockbuster Spider-Man flicks to keep him away from the horror genre.

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Vatican vs. DaVinci Code

Popular author Dan Brown is not popular every where:

The Roman Catholic Church in Italy has spoken out against what it says are "shameful and unfounded lies" in the best-selling novel The Da Vinci Code. Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, Archbishop of Genoa, broke the church's official silence on the controversial book.

Its story about the Church suppressing the "truth" that Jesus had a child with Mary Magdalene has convinced many fans.

But the cardinal's spokesman denied reports that the clergyman was asked by the Vatican to hit back at the book.

Carlo Arcolao told the BBC's News website that it had been the cardinal's own decision to make a public statement about the book.

Mr Arcolao confirmed that the cardinal told an Italian newspaper: "It astonishes and worries me that so many people believe these lies."

It astonishes me that Brown wrote a solid thriller, but then blew the ending with one of the oldest cliches in any book -- the villain explaining his deeds when if he simply had kept his mouth shut, he would have achieved his goal. (I know, saucer of milk for Table 2.)

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'Highgate horrors' investigated

And it does not involve Lucy Westenra. Honestly. I'm not covering for her (this time). The Hampstead and Highgate Express has the story:

An amateur ghost hunter will be tracking down the haunts of ghouls in a Highgate street.Paranormal investigator Andrew Wright aims to test the truth of several spooky sightings in Swain's Lane.

In May, the 49-year-old security guard from Leicester will be accompanied by ghost experts from Greece and the USA to finally lay to rest claims of a "disturbance" at Highgate Cemetery in the 1970s.

He said: "There are three ghosts that seem to have been sighted on the road: a man on a bicycle riding up the road and another who is supposed to walk through walls. "But the most terrifying of all is one that is supposed to reach out and try to grab people."

Mr Wright, who became fascinated by ghosts after reading the novel Amityville Horror, said he wanted to hear from anyone who had experienced any strange sightings in Swain's Lane.

He believes that many of the urban myths date back more than 30 years ago.

He said: "About three decades ago, a dog walker returning, presumably from the Heath, had parked in the road.

"When he got back to his car there was a freshly dug up corpse in his car. Bizarrely, the doors were still locked.

"At the time there were all sorts of strange rituals going on around there and rumours of corpses being dug up from Highgate Cemetery.

The entire story is worth reading. If you read my manuscript the references to ghosts, mysterious figures, and investigations of the cemetery will bring back memories. It certainly did for me. "Swain's Lane, that is where Carnacki met Inspector Johnstone."

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Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Napier's wizard roots

The Scotsman has a fascinating story:

He was considered a brilliant man. His role in Scotland and the impact he had across the Continent were great. He was a mathematician, inventor, laird, as well as a devoted and deeply religious family man.

He was also a noted wizard.

In fact several members of John Napier’s family – respected and wealthy participants of Edinburgh society - were commonly known to be wizards or sorcerers. Their necromantic power was feared by nobles as well as peasants from far and wide.

Digging through the digital archive of The Scotsman, one comes across a story from 1910 that is steeped in mystery, magic and intrigue. It involves the Napier family of the 16th and 17th centuries, a time in Scotland’s history when superstitions and the occult were popularly accepted. The newspaper account of the Napiers' magical links makes for interesting reading, even if it was written more than 200 years after the fact.

The family wizardry started with Napier's father, Sir Archibald, seventh Laird of Merchiston, who successfully predicted when Mary, then the former Queen of Scotland, would leave Lochleven Castle, where she was imprisoned. The story goes: "Claude Nan, the Queen's secretary, wrote that 'the Laird of Markyston (Sir Archibald), who had the reputation of being a great wizard, made bets with several persons to the amount of five hundred crowns, that by the 5th of May Her Majesty would be out of Lochleven." Mary escaped on 2 May 1568 – and the senior Napier was presumably wealthier for his prediction.

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Welsh and Hindi: a connection?

A BBC journalist believes there is a link between the Welsh and Hindi accents.

Sonia Mathur, a native Hindi speaker, had her interest sparked when she moved from India to work for the BBC in Wales - and found that two accents from countries 5,000 miles apart seemed to have something in common.

It has long been known that the two languages stem from Indo-European, the "mother of all languages" - but the peculiar similarities between the two accents when spoken in English are striking.

Remarkably, no-one has yet done a direct proper comparative study between the two languages to found out why this is so, says Ms Mathur.

"What I'm hoping is that if amateurs like myself - who have indulged in doing a little bit of research here and there - come forward, we can actually do proper research with professional linguists," she told BBC World Service's Everywoman programme.

Ms Mathur explained that when she moved to Wales, everyone instantly assumed she was Welsh from her accent.

"I would just answer the phone, and they would say 'oh hello, which part of Wales are you from?'," she said.

This could be another "open source" research effort similar to that done by bloggers to expose rightwing pundit Jeff Gannon as a gay male prostitute.

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Hitler and the A-bomb: closer than we thought?

Take this story with a grain of salt. Some push stories of superior Nazi technology as a way to make them appear, well, superior. If true, history was almost a lot different than we realized.

A German historian has claimed in a new book presented on Monday that Nazi scientists successfully tested a tactical nuclear weapon in the last months of World War II.

Rainer Karlsch said that new research in Soviet and also Western archives, along with measurements carried out at one of the test sites, provided evidence for the existence of the weapon.

"The important thing in my book is the finding that the Germans had an atomic reactor near Berlin which was running for a short while, perhaps some days or weeks," he told the BBC.

"The second important finding was the atomic tests carried out in Thuringia and on the Baltic Sea."

Mr Karlsch describes what the Germans had as a "hybrid tactical nuclear weapon" much smaller than those dropped on Hiroshima or Nagasaki.

'Bright light' He said the last test, carried out in Thuringia on 3 March 1945, destroyed an area of about 500 sq m - killing several hundred prisoners of war and concentration camp inmates.

The weapons were never used because they were not yet ready for mass production. There were also problems with delivery and detonation systems.

Karlsch has done us a service in showing that German research into uranium went further than we'd thought... but there was not a German atom bomb Michael Schaaf, German physicist"We haven't heard about this before because only small groups of scientists were involved, and a lot of the documents were classified after they were captured by the Allies," said Karlsch.

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Argentina deports ex-Nazi cult leader

What is about Nazis, cults and sex crimes? The Beeb has the details:

Argentina has deported a former Nazi to Chile, where he is wanted on charges of sexually abusing children.

The move was announced two days after Chile's most wanted fugitive was arrested after eight years on the run.

Schaefer, 83, was a corporal in the German army during World War II before running a religious commune in Chile.

Colonia Dignidad, established in 1961, was cut off from the outside world and was alleged to have been a centre for torture and child abuse under Schaefer.

Schaefer was arrested on Thursday after a joint operation between Argentine and Chilean police.

A Chilean judge late last year convicted and sentenced him in absentia for sexually abusing 26 minors following allegations from victims. Twenty-two other members of Colonia Dignidad were also found guilty. He is expected to face a court hearing on Monday after returning to Chile by air force transport. Chilean authorities have long held suspicions that Colonia Dignidad was used as a torture and interrogation centre during the military regime of Gen Augusto Pinochet. In addition, Schaefer is wanted for questioning about the disappearance in 1985 of Boris Weisfeiler, an American Jewish mathematics professor of Russian origin.

'Anti-communist philosophies'

For years, Colonia Dignidad was a mysterious community that was cut off from the outside world by barbed wire fences.

But in recent years former residents have testified of sexual abuse, the use of drugs and the separation of families.

German was the dominant language and Schaefer was the supreme ruler, they said. Colonia Dignidad still exists - although it is now called Villa Baviera - and has about 280 residents.

Members have denied they participated in torture but said they had friendly relations with the military, with whom they shared anti-communist philosophies.

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Monday, March 14, 2005

Swank may star in supernatural horror flick

Oh please, oh please let this report be true. (After the Quentin Tarantino disappointment down thread, I'll keep my fingers crossed.)

Two-time Oscar winner Hilary Swank is in final talks to star in Dark Castle Entertainment's latest horror entry, The Reaping, for Warner Brothers Pictures, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Dark Castle is Joel Silver and Robert Zemeckis' production company. The two will produce, along with Susan Levin and Herb Gaines, the trade paper reported. The Reaping is a supernatural tale centering on a myth debunker (Swank) who travels to a small, religious town in Texas to investigate occurrences that appear to be the 10 biblical plagues, the trade paper reported.

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London site of real-life horror

Like a scene out of a horror movie, a brutal axe murder occurred in broad daylight in a quiet London neighborhood. (Warning graphic details and photos.)

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Tarantino hiding from Jason?

In a case of good news-bad news, Quentin Tarantino is not in talks to direct a Jason movie afterall.

"What's happening with Friday the 13th? Nothing at all! It's a complete lie," Tarantino told Empire Online. "I like Jason and everything, but I've no intention of directing a movie. New Line talked to me about it, but it was a complete fabrication, that article. I would love to do a horror film. I'm just saying it's not going to be Friday the 13th."

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Malawi leader haunted by palace ghosts

The BBC has the story of a Malawi leader chased out of his palace, the former parliament building:

Bingu wa Mutharika has been sleeping away from the 300-room building in the capital, Lilongwe, and only comes there to work during the day, an aide said. Christian clergy have been asked to help exorcise the "evil spirits" there. Controversy has raged over the costly palace which housed parliament until Mr Mutharika's election last year. "The president is no longer staying there and we have asked clerics from several Christian churches... to pray for the New State House to exorcise evil spirits," said Malani Mtonga, the presidential aide for religious affairs. Another aide who did not want to be named told the Associated Press: "Sometimes the president feels rodents crawling all over his body but when lights are turned on he sees nothing." Mr Mutharika is believed to be staying temporarily at another palace in Mtunthama, about 100km (60 miles) from Lilongwe.
The ghosts may be haunting the president because he is living in opulence instead of using his nation's wealth to help the people. Hopefully the White House ghosts will take a page from Malawi ghosts.

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Saturday, March 12, 2005


I am listening currently to RadioAmbient. I'm working on the manuscript so I won't be posting as often for the next couple of days. Also, I'll be off chat and posting on other sites too until I get this done. Not enough hours in the day or night. UPDATE: It's hard to stop blogging.

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Thursday, March 10, 2005

Pulp Jason? Tarantino considers directing Friday the 13th movie

I have many fond and frightened memories from the Friday the 13th series so it is exciting that Quentine Tarantino may breath new life into Jason's lifeless corpse. From the Hollywood Reporter:

Quentin Tarantino is considering writing and directing a new installment in the long-running "Friday the 13th" series.

Tarantino is in early talks with New Line Cinema, where he is scheduled to meet with executives this week. The original "Friday," released in 1980 and featuring the hockey-masked killer Jason Voorhees, spawned a series of sequels, including the 2003 hit "Freddy vs. Jason," in which Jason squared off against Freddy Krueger from the "Nightmare on Elm Street" series. New Line tried to make a sequel to "Freddy vs. Jason" involving the "Evil Dead" character Ash, but a deal with "Dead" rights holder Sam Raimi couldn't be reached. According to those familiar with the discussions, Tarantino is intrigued with the idea of playing with one of the movie's classic horror villains. If the project does develop, it could be the first film Tarantino directs outside Miramax Films. The filmmaker recently signed on to direct the season finale of CBS' "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation."

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Rob Zombie: 'The Devil's Rejects'

I'm a big fan of Rob Zombie's work so I find this news really exciting. As usual, Fangoria has the story covered well:

Fango friend Rob Weisman, an LA-based producer, attended a top-secret screening of Rob Zombie’s THE DEVIL'S REJECTS and gave us some advance word—and it's all good!

"For anybody sick, tired and ready to throw up from all the PG-13 rated 'horror' movies being cranked out, THE DEVIL'S REJECTS is a real treat," Weisman tells Fango. "Not only is it R-rated, but it is so hardcore R that it almost falls into the category of an NC-17. This movie kicks ass! It’s even better than HOUSE OF 1000 CORPSES and was more fun than most of the horror movies I have recently seen."

Our critic liked the sequel from the get-go. "The opening Western-style shootout is fantastic," he says. "The film moves at a great pace. There are many tortured victims and tons of sick killings, one of which involves a vehicle. The thing I love about Rob Zombie as a moviemaker is that he seems to get his vision to the screen without holding back or toning down. He is an artist who isn’t afraid to display his art. People are going to be very surprised with this one.... Not only is THE DEVIL'S REJECTS a great horror movie, it’s so much more!"

MTV also covered the story since Rob has that other job as a bad-ass rocker.

If you saw Rob Zombie's first horror movie, 2003's "House of 1000 Corpses," it should terrify you that the singer/director said the sequel makes the original look like a Road Runner cartoon."I hate to say 'sequel,' because it usually means retreading the same ground," said Zombie of "The Devil's Rejects" (out July 22), his horror-Western that Lion's Gate recently moved up from late August in light of "unbelievable" test-screening scores. "I kept the major characters that I loved and spun them in a new direction and revamped them. The first movie was more wacky and colorful and tongue-in-cheek; this one is more down and bleak and real."

"The Devil's Rejects" finds the return of several characters from the first film, including ultra creepy Captain Spaulding (Sid Haig), Otis Driftwood (Bill Moseley) and sexy serial killer Baby Firefly (Zombie's wife, Sheri Moon). The film, set in 1978, pays homage to the blood-spattered Westerns of director Sam Peckinpah, as Sheriff John Wydell (character actor William Forsythe) tracks the men who killed his brother.

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Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Manuscript issues

I found a couple of minor issues in the beginning of The Mystery of the Haunted Vampire so I'm reading through one more time to tweak before sending it out to publishers. I want it to be perfect. Email or posts any suggestions or thoughts.

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Paranormal investigators explore the dark

This is my kind of group:

It's an icy February evening. A cold rain pelts insistently against the windows. "Is there anything you'd like to say to us?" asks Rieve. "If you're here with us, Harriet, is there anything you'd like to say?

"We're listening."

Rieve continues to ask questions. And if there's an answer, it's not readily discernable, though an electromagnetic field reading of .2 milligaus taken next to the mask is intriguing, at the least.

So are some other readings taken throughout the evening, though whether they mean anything is hard to say. The goal is to gather up evidence, and see where it leads.

Rieve, who is from New Britain, belongs to the Central Connecticut State University Society of Paranormal Investigations. The student group, organized last fall, is investigating what's known as the Coe mansion, or Coe Castle as it's sometimes called, which looks down at Platt High School from a nearby hill.

The group first investigated the mansion just before Christmas, after a story in the Record-Journal highlighted the history of the Coe family and the expansive, 8,700-square-foot stone mansion, built in 1870. The story mentioned those who feel the house might be haunted. The return trip in February was for further investigation, with the permission of Gregory Harte, who bought the house in August.

The student group, which has a faculty advisor, is the brainchild of Shelby Threloff, a 2002 graduate of Lyman Hall High School whose penchant for the paranormal was cultivated during nine years of volunteer work at Wallingford's Halloween attraction, the Trail of Terror. "People there are very into it," she said.

So are members of the student group, which numbers about 20, with about 15 to 17 taking a very active role. The group's goal is pretty straightforward.

"Some day I want to be able to prove to a skeptic that ghosts are real," said Threloff. Rieve counted himself among the skeptics until the summer before he entered college. He was helping his father, a plumber, on a job in a house the owner rather casually assumed was haunted. The job took a week, recalls Rieve, in which doors and windows opened and closed on their own.

"It makes you think a little bit," he said.

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Monday, March 07, 2005

'A shiver down the spine'

Bill Moyers in the New York Review of Books:

There are times when what we journalists see and intend to write about dispassionately sends a shiver down the spine, shaking us from our neutrality. This has been happening to me frequently of late as one story after another drives home the fact that the delusional is no longer marginal but has come in from the fringe to influence the seats of power. We are witnessing today a coupling of ideology and theology that threatens our ability to meet the growing ecological crisis. Theology asserts propositions that need not be proven true, while ideologues hold stoutly to a world view despite being contradicted by what is generally accepted as reality. The combination can make it impossible for a democracy to fashion real-world solutions to otherwise intractable challenges.
Frighteningly perceptive article well-worth reading.

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Horrific competition by the feds

I hate when reality is scarier than fictional horrors.

The US military is funding development of a weapon that delivers a bout of excruciating pain from up to 2 kilometres away. Intended for use against rioters, it is meant to leave victims unharmed. But pain researchers are furious that work aimed at controlling pain has been used to develop a weapon. And they fear that the technology will be used for torture.

"I am deeply concerned about the ethical aspects of this research," says Andrew Rice, a consultant in pain medicine at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital in London, UK. "Even if the use of temporary severe pain can be justified as a restraining measure, which I do not believe it can, the long-term physical and psychological effects are unknown."

The research came to light in documents unearthed by the Sunshine Project, an organisation based in Texas and in Hamburg, Germany, that exposes biological weapons research. The papers were released under the US's Freedom of Information Act.

The entire article by New Scientist is worth reading.

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Sunday, March 06, 2005

Theory of a Deadman

Song I'm currently listening to: No Surprise by Theory of a Deadman. Hat tip to xArtofGothFu

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Saturday, March 05, 2005

Kolchak the Night Stalker returns!

SciFi Wire brings us exciting news:

Stuart Townsend (Queen of the Damned) will star as ABC's new Kolchak in the drama pilot Night Stalker, an update of the 1970s supernatural TV series, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Gabrielle Union will also star in Night Stalker, from Touchstone TV and writer-producer Frank Spotnitz (The X-Files), the trade paper reported. Union will play Kolchak's colleague at the paper who partners with him in his pursuit of supernatural phenomena.
I'm a huge fan of the original series. Let's keep our fingers crossed the makers do not screw this up.

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Death worshippers march for faith

Faithforward pointed us to this story from Mexico City:

MEXICO CITY - Hundreds of Mexican devotees of Saint Death - a quasi-Catholic faith that worships the skeletal figure of death - marched through downtown Mexico City yesterday to demand respect for their religion and its followers.

Holding banners reading "Respect Religious Freedom" and "We are not criminals or drug addicts," marchers drawn from some of the city's roughest barrios carried statues of the elegantly clad Grim Reaper down the city's main boulevard.

The march was called in response to an investigation launched last month by Mexico's Interior Department into complaints that the church falsely registered itself as an offshoot of Roman Catholicism, which neither recognizes nor approves of the death cult.

While some anger was directed at the government, which has not decided whether to sanction the group, there was resentment at the Catholic Church and society for looking down at death worshippers.

"In many parishes, they say our people are all drug addicts or criminals," said Juan Manuel Cortes, 27, who officiates Masses at the main Mexico City death shrine in a crime-ridden section of the old downtown. "That's not true, but we also don't close our doors to anybody."

Many of the faithful recounted miracles that Saint Death - depicted as a smiling female skeleton known as our "Our Little White Girl," the right-hand servant of God - had performed for them.

The group registered as a religious group in 2003 under the name The Mexico-US Tridentine Church, a move that allowed it to legally raise money and own property. The government said it was considering withdrawing official recognition of the church after an excommunicated member accused the cult of forcing members to worship death and failing to stick to its bylaws.

If recognition is withdrawn, the religion could continue but would lose money-raising and other privileges.

Which part led the government to consider withdrawing official recognition? The forcing of members to worship death or failing to stick to its bylaws? Process will get you every time.

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I saw Cursed yesterday. I found the movie entertaining, despite the weakness of the second half of the film. Wes Craven needs some new tricks.

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Sunken village reappears

In Portugal, a village drowned when a dam was built has reappeared due to a drought lowering water levels:

Visitors from across Portugal, including former residents of the village of Vilarinho das Furnas, located some 400 kilometres (240 miles) northeast of Lisbon, have travelled to the locality to walk through its streets which have been under water since 1970.

The roofs of the dozens of homes which housed 52 families in the village are missing but the stone walls are for the most part still standing.

Residents of the village, who received state compensation to leave their homes, formed an association in 1985 which has set up a small museum charged with keeping memories of village life alive.

I've always found "lost places" fascinating. This sounds like an ideal situation for a horror or mystery story.

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Friday, March 04, 2005

A strange 'car' ad

This is my kind of road. (Link downloads and plays in QuickTime).

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Thursday, March 03, 2005

Priests ready to battle Satan

The Toronto Free Press has the story:

The 100 Catholic priests who have signed up for the world’s first university course in devil worship and Satanism, now officially underway in Rome, should apply their learning to the Vatican when they graduate.

Scouting out Satan in corners of the Vatican would be destined to find success, if you take to heart the warnings of the late Fr. Malachi Martin, scholar, Vatican insider and best-selling author. "Anybody who is acquainted with the state of affairs in the Vatican in the last 35 years is well aware that the prince of darkness has had and still has his surrogates in the court of St. Peter in Rome," Fr. Martin penned in his article, The Fatima Crusader.

For many Catholics, the specter of Satan lurking in St. Peter’s Basilica goes well beyond the 1990 warnings of Fr. Martin. For them, it goes all the way back to Our Lady on May 13, 1978: "How I warned and warned that satan would enter into the highest realms of the hierarchy in Rome. The Third Secret, My Child, is that satan would enter into My Son’s Church."

The recipient of that secret, Sr. Lucia de Jesus dos, affectionately dubbed "Sister Lucy" by ardent believers of the Lady of Fatima, was buried last week at the Carmelite convent in Coimbra, Portugal.

But neither Sister Lucy’s death at age 97, nor those with reason to suppress it, could ever take away evidence of the Third Secret.

One of the last visitors to see Sister Lucy alive was actor-director Mel Gibson, who visited with her in July.

During Lent of 2004, Gibson’s movie, The Passion of the Christ was making news all over the world. During Lent, 2005 Sr. Lucy passed on.

The spirit of Sister Lucia lives on. In one year’s time her remains will be transferred from the Carmelite convent to the Fatima shrine her life on earth made famous.

Sister Lucia was the last of three shepherd children who turned the town of Fatima into a pilgrimage site after telling of her visions. Much has come to pass since Sister Lucia first saw the Virgin Mary in 1917.

The apparition took place the same year as the Russian Revolution. It was to be a revolution that ended with the collapse of communism in Sr. Lucia’s lifetime.

One of the predictions made to the three shepherd children came to pass on May 13, 1981, when Turkish gunman, Mehmet Ali Agca, nearly killed Pope John Paul II in St. Peter’ Square, with the shooting taking place on one of the anniversaries of the 1917 apparitions.

In a sign of gratitude one year after the assassination attempt, the Pope had one of the 9mm bullets, which Agca fired at him placed in the crown of the Statue of Fatima. "One hand fired the bullet and another guided it," Pope John Paul II once said of Agca’s attempt to kill him.

More insidious than the bullets of a would-be assassin is the tenure of Satanism on home turf.

From 1958 until 1964, Jesuit priest Malachi Martin served in Rome where he was a close associate of, and carried out many sensitive missions for the renowned Jesuit Cardinal Augustin Bea and the Pope. Released afterwards from his vows of poverty and obedience at his own request (but still a priest), he ultimately moved to New York and became a best-selling writer of fiction and non-fiction.

"Most frighteningly for (Pope) John Paul (II), he had come up against the irremovable presence of a malign strength in his own Vatican and in certain bishops' chanceries. It was what knowledgeable Churchmen called the 'superforce'. Rumors, always difficult to verify, tied its installation to the beginning of Pope Paul V1’s reign in 1963. Indeed Paul had alluded somberly to 'the smoke of Satan which has entered the Sanctuary'…an oblique reference to an enthronement ceremony by Satanists in the Vatican. Besides, the incidence of satanic pedophilia--rites and practices--was already documented among certain bishops and priests as widely dispersed as Turin, in Italy, and South Carolina, in the United States. The cultic acts of satanic pedophilia are considered by professionals to be the culmination of the Fallen rites." (Keys of This Blood, Fr. Malachi Martin, p. 632).

Fr. Martin gave more details of this enthronement in one of his last works, Windswept House: A Vatican Novel (1996).

In this story, he vividly described a ceremony called "The Enthronement of the Fallen Archangel Lucifer" purportedly held in St. Paul’s Chapel in the Vatican, by all accounts a dark and spooky place. The enthronement was linked with concurrent satanic rites in the U.S., on June 29, 1963, barely a week after the election of the ill-fated Paul IV.

At the time of his death on July 27, 1999, Fr. Martin was at work on what he said would be his most controversial and important book. Primacy: How the Institutional Roman Catholic Church became a Creature of The New World Order was to deal with power and the papacy. It was to be a book of predictions about the Vatican and the world in the first decades of the new millennium.

The book, no doubt would have gone a long way in blowing holes in the concept of the New World Order being only the monopoly of rabid conspiracy theorists.

Fr. Martin never recanted any of his claims that the scene in Windswept House was based on an actual satanic ritual in the Vatican in the first days of the reign of Pope Paul VI, nor that there exists a general satanic conspiracy within the Roman Catholic Church.

In fact, he confirmed that the ceremony did occur as he had described in interviews to both The New American and to John Loeffler, host of the Steel on Steel radio show.

Meanwhile the 100 priests studying the history of Satanism, launched Feb. 17 by the Athenaeum Pontificum Apostolorum, should know where to start looking on Graduation Day.

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City is cursed by carved stone

An English town is under a cursed:

A stone commissioned to mark the millennium may be destroyed after being blamed for bringing misfortunes of "biblical proportions" to a city. Since the Cursing Stone was placed in Carlisle, the city has suffered floods, foot-and-mouth disease, job losses and a goal famine for the football team. The 14-tonne granite artwork is carved with a 1,069-word 16th Century curse. Now city councillor Jim Tootle wants the stone destroyed and has tabled a motion to discuss it on 8 March. The stone, which stands between the castle and the museum, is inscribed with a curse first invoked by the Archbishop of Glasgow in 1525 against cross border families, known as the "reivers", who lived by stealing cattle, rape and pillage.
My guess is the goal famine for the football team (what we call soccer) was probably the final straw.

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