The Mystery of the Haunted Vampire

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Thursday, June 30, 2005

Gravediggers's party disturbs some

From Reuters:

The mourning parents of a traffic accident victim who visited their son’s grave near Antwerp were shocked to find the local gravediggers enjoying their annual barbecue at the graveyard. Workers at the cemetery in Merksem had music playing and their children were running around near the graves, De Morgen newspaper said Wednesday.
Several things struck me about this story. In the Victorian era, people frequently picnicked at cemeteries and took walks through them as though it was a park. A story about Highgate Cemetery goes that one family would picnic inside the family's crypt by candlelight and in formal dining dress. The people could be seen inside through a skylight in the roof of the crypt built into the slope of the hillside. My family and I often take walks in the very old cemetery behind the Presbyterian church in our village. Many generations of my wife's family is buried there, including her younger brother. It is true we do not play music or grill food. But we have been known to play hide and seek among the tombstones and I've been known to stretch out on the soft carpet of grass with my head propped up on a footstone to read a book. The world does not revolve around the dead. Graveyards are for the living, not the dead. Excessive association of death and grieving with cemeteries is, well, morbid in my opinion. Hat tip to protected static for emailing me the link to the Reuters story.

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Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Bram Stoker Awards

Can't believe I missed this. I know it sounds fanboyish, but this is an award ceremony that I've always looked forward to the way others look at the Oscars. Here's the list of this year's Stokers: Novel: In the Night Room by Peter Straub First Novel (tie): Covenant by John Everson Stained by Lee Thomas Long Fiction: "The Turtle Boy" by Kealan-Patrick Burke Short Fiction: "Nimitseahpah" by Nancy Etchemendy Fiction Collection: Fearful Symmetries by Thomas F. Monteleone Anthology: The Year's Best Fantasy and Horror, 17th Annual edited by Ellen Datlow, Kelly Link and Gavin Grant Nonfiction: Hellnotes edited by Judi Rohrig Illustrated Narrative: Heaven's Devils by Jai Nitz Screenplay (tie): Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind by Charlie Kaufman, Michel Gondrey and Pierre Bismuth Shaun of the Dead by Simon Pegg and Edgar Wright Studio Work for Young Readers (tie): Abarat: Days of Magic, Nights of War by Clive Barker Oddest Yet by Steve Burt Poetry Collection: The Women at the Funeral by Corrine De Winter Alternative Forms: The Devil's Wine edited by Tom Piccirilli Lifetime Achievement Award: Michael Moorcock Straub's work is always awesome. And last year I sent Piccirilli a congratulatory email for his win and received a very nice and warm reply. Belated congratulations to all the winners this year.

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Please welcome Nitpicker to the sidebar under reality investigators. He's back from a far away exotic land.

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Bloggers of the night! What sweet posts they make...VI

Mondo Schlocko casts light on Weird Vampire Tales. Bubblegumfink serves up Vampire Beach Babes. FinalGirl howls at Werewolf By Night. Warrenzone is out for revenge. MValdemar breaks into song and posts some truly frightening photos. Old Haunts is the ring master for two scary characters. Fantastic Planet plays games with human heads. Dark, But Shining has a version of F. Paul Wilson's The Keep that sounds, well, worth keeping. And Corpse Eaters marks a special event...ignore the blood stains.

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Lestat cast for Broadway musical

Start spreading the news, Jim Stanek was picked to play Lestat in the upcoming musical version of Interview with a Vampire. From has learned that Jim Stanek will play reluctant bloodsucker Louis de Pointe du Lac, a role made famous by Brad Pitt in the film Interview with the Vampire, in the Broadway-bound musical Lestat. As we previously reported, The Phantom of the Opera's Hugh Panaro is in talks to play the title character. "It feels even silly to be talking about the fact that I am going to be a humongous Elton John musical," Stanek told "He is a legend. To be doing new music of his is pretty cool. I don't know of any other way to say it. This is an amazing opportunity."
I'm a song writer too. "Fame! Vampires are undead for ever..."

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Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Women dig ghosts

From Wakefield (U.K.) Today:

Living TV’s Most Haunted Live beamed three spectre-packed nights from Wakefield and became the highest-rated channel for adults on cable and satellite television. The latest viewing figures for the shows at Wakefield Theatre Royal, Caphouse Colliery in Overton and two city mills reveal that spirits are a big magnet to women viewers. A spokesman for Living TV said: “The latest Most Haunted Live event for the summer solstice reached more than 2.2 million viewers. Over the three nights the main show averaged an amazing 5.2 per cent share among women aged 16 to 44 in pay TV homes, up 81 per cent on the slot average for the previous quarter, making it the top cable/satellite channel among all adults.

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Jack the Ripper theories

A new book covers some old theories on Jack the Ripper. Per usual, I deny any involvement although I don't have an alibi for the Ripper killings. If you still suspect me, my motive for the killings is different than you probably think.

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Monday, June 27, 2005

National Talk Like a Pirate Day

Arrr, ye scurvy dogs. National Talk Like a Pirate Day is Sep'embarrr 19th. Ye've been warned.

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Haunted Louisville

From the Louisville (Ky.) Courler-Journal:

Even before he moved into his 1895 chateau-like mansion, Domine learned he might not be the only person residing there. Despite some frightening encounters with unusual phenomena, Domine, a university professor, remains a skeptic, but that's an asset. He doesn't just relate stories told him by others; he's done hundreds of hours of research in local archives to determine if there's any corroborative evidence to support their stories. His conclusion? There usually is. Perhaps the most "haunting" tale, if you will, is the well-documented story of a young woman hoping to elope with her military sweetheart as World War I raged. Their likely rendezvous: the steps of a Christian Scientist church. Unfortunately, the Spanish flu epidemic hit and took her lover shortly before they were due to skip town, but she didn't get the news. Three days later, she also succumbed. Now, "The Lady on the Steps" sadly paces on the portico, forever searching for a boyfriend who never shows up. Then there are the ghosts at the J.B. Speed Art Museum. Several employees and visitors have seen a woman in white wandering the lower level, and in a main-level gallery the faint smell of rose perfume can often be detected. The ghost -- commonly thought to be "Miss Hattie" Bishop Speed, the museum's founder -- is generally benign but has shown a jealous streak: Odd things have occurred around a portrait of another woman, the first Mrs. Speed, who died several years before Hattie came along. In an area devoted to Native American culture, there may also be the ghost of an angry warrior. Did he once wear one of the beautiful articles of clothing displayed there? No one knows. The most startling story involves the "Phantom of Brook Street," probably a Victorian maid named Jennie Bowman. One day in April 1887, Bowman surprised two burglars while everyone was out of the house. Her bloody murder was a local sensation. Fortunately, the perpetrators were soon caught and later executed. End of story? Hardly. Many area residents say she still roams the street, and one resident of a house where the murder may have taken place gave Domine a meticulously detailed story of the strange goings on in her kitchen and a creepy servant's stairway in the back.

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Sunday, June 26, 2005

Dracula's 'Historian'

More rave reviews for Elizabeth Kostova's "The Historian." From The Baltimore Sun:

One of the most anticipated books this summer is by a woman writer who labored in obscurity for many years, holding a variety of jobs while she created a fanciful world with inquisitive heroes and ghoulish creatures. Yes, that describes J.K. Rowling, whose sixth Harry Potter is almost certain to be the summer's biggest hit. But it applies just as well to Elizabeth Kostova, first-time author and recent writing program grad, whose suspenseful saga The Historian should become a familiar sight at beaches and pools. The Historian provides another twist on the Dracula myth, this one steeped in scholarly sleuthing. While researching his dissertation on 17th-century Dutch trade, a young American historian comes upon a mysterious book that initiates another quest: A search to find the grave of Vlad the Impaler, the historical inspiration of the legendary vampire. Over the course of this hunt - inherited from his mentor and continued by his daughter - the historian encounters mysterious deaths, disappearances and other ominous signs suggesting that the 15th-century Vlad, who was widely feared for his cruel tortures, is still alive and indulging his regrettable tastes.

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A good first step

In a slightly better plane of existence.

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Haunted cemetery

Man, did I miss out on an exciting ghost hunt. From an email:

I suspect that people living a half mile away from the cemetery could hear the screams from three frightened Ghost Hunters when they watched a tombstone rock back and forth under its own power. The first incident of rocking startled them. The second incident, a minute or two later, scared the yell out of them! There were plenty of witnesses. It happened! It was only one of many strange and eerie events that took place in the graveyard during the Ghost Hunt on Saturday, June 25, 2005. Our time there was all about heart-pounding, unpredictable, and fear-provoking “contact” with the supernatural! The atmosphere was stifling when we arrived; hot, muggy and soupy. Despite a near full moon, it was so dark, one couldn’t see the ground beneath one’s feet. And, almost from the first moment, we knew something was there, watching and waiting. This enormous cemetery is said to date back to the French & Indian War. Somewhere on the site, the famous Confederate General “Stonewall” Jackson stood as he spurred his troops on during his January 1861 invasion and capture of Berkeley Springs. The deadly violence of that time has left a legacy of restless ghosts. As teams spread out over the graveyard, Ghost Hunters quicly began to make “Contact!” First, they photographed orbs with clear faces in them, then shimmering blue miasma. Later, they began to report seeing something dark running across the landscape. It was short and dark or tall and dark or bright and thin. More than one entity was darting, dodging and tantalizing the Ghost Hunters. Icy winds blew for a moment or two then stopped. Ghostly activity was everywhere! Then, the ghostly gunfire began; pop, pop, pop from the left then, pop, pop, pop from the right. It was an exchange of ghostly gunfire. Altogether, we heard the echo of 15 shots! It was a record-breaking supernatural event! It was incredible! Sounds could be heard erupting in the trees, like very large birds moving rapidly among the leaves as if they were startled. But, there were no birds. Not one! There are oral histories of the graveyard that tell of flesh-eating birds feeding on the corpses of the dead after the fighting during the Civil War. The sounds we heard were those of heavy, ghostly, flying “somethings.” With the old stories in mind, we moved away very, very quickly. Later in the evening, someone took a photo of the tree. It was filled with orbs…sitting on the branches of the tree! Three Senior Paranormal Investigators were involved in a weird but familiar form of “Contact.” It concerned tobacco, a favorite commodity among Civil War soldiers. One Investigator sat smoking a cigarette while the rest of her team was sitting about 20 yards away. A few minutes later, the smoker’s team called on the Walkie to report they had found her cigarettes sitting beside them on a tombstone. Somehow, a package of cigarettes had moved from one place to another. First, they were seen in the smoker’s hand in one place then, minutes later, they were resting on the base of tombstone in another! The smoker hadn’t moved an inch! Over the years, we have had many tobacco products and candy inexplicably disappear from a Ghost Hunter’s pocket only to be found yards away, carefully posed on a rock, log or tombstone. The placement of the items is always such that it could not have happened accidentally; fourteen lemon drops arranged in a perfect row, three licorice sticks formed into a triangle and cigarettes arranged in a perfect line, like pickets in a fence. It always seems mischievous, perhaps the work of a ghostly child. The “Moving Marlboros” incident in this cemetery was unnerving for the smoker and mesmerizing to those of us who have seen it before. This is a haunted site that never ceases to amaze and startle Ghost Hunters. From the weird, boiling miasma to the prolonged, heavy, rhythmic breathing received over the Walkies, “Contact” there is utterly unpredictable, chillingly powerful, and unmistakably supernatural in origin. Ghost Hunters will be posting their photos and EVP on the Yahoo Group over the next few days. Be sure to check them out. Among them are some very outstanding, very eerie photographs of the supernatural in this graveyard.
To join the yahoo group, click here.

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Silver bullets

A warning to werewolves. Exclamation Mark posted a link on how to make silver bullets.

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Masques of Death

Billmon points out that Edgar Allen Poe's descriptions of horror are timeless.

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Saturday, June 25, 2005

Untold tale of King Tut's tomb

Al-Ahram carries details of the boy king and the discovery of his tomb.

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Cave of early Chinese

From China View:

BEIJING, June 24 -- Traces of ancient men were found recently in the suburbs of Beijing, indicating other possible sites of ancient men in the city. A large number of fossils of ancient animals including bull, sheep and rabbit were recently found in a cave behind Xitaiping Village in Shidu, a scenic spot in Fangshan District in the southwestern suburbs of Beijing, 70 kilometers from downtown. Preliminary examination by experts showed that these ancient creatures lived 100,000 years ago, earlier than the Upper Cave Man and later than the Peking Man. A two-meter-long ash belt and tooth fossils, thought to belong to ancient men, were also discovered. The site is 35 kilometers from Zhoukoudian, where the Peking Man lived, indicating other possible sites of ancient men in Beijing.

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Friday, June 24, 2005

Imaginary creatures

Via SuperFrankenstein came this link to Fantastic Zoology.

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Hitler Road address

Resident on Hitler Road in Circleville, Ohio, get strange looks from people. From The Associated Press:

The Circleville resident says after 30 years, he's used to the weird looks and questions. But the three rural roads and the cemetery that bear the Hitler name were around long before the German dictator.
Does Godwin's Law still apply?

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Devil told him to have sex with sheep

That Satan, he's such a prankster.

Nairobi - A cobbler suspected of sorcery was attacked and nearly lynched by outraged villagers in central Kenya on Tuesday after being caught having sex with a female sheep, witnesses and officials said. Joshua Kiplagat, 36, sustained a serious head wound when the sheep's owner threw a machete at him after finding him in flagrante delicto with a prize ewe in the Rift Valley district of Bomet, they said. He was then tied to a tree stump for five hours before being frogmarched naked with the violated ovine in tow to a police station where he confessed to several acts of bestiality that he blamed on the devil, they said. "I was sent by the devil to do that," Kiplagat told the angry crowd which included several people who accused him of being a warlock and one disgusted woman who claimed to have seen him engaging in sex acts with a dog.
In his defense, he did say he wore two condoms.

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Massive crack in Texas

Fill free to make your own punchline. From First Coast News:

CLAUDE, TX -- A massive crack in the earth opened up last week in Claude, Texas and its creating a stir among geologists.

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Adding Ginmar to my sidebar. She writes terrific Buffy the Vampire Slayer fanfic and she knows about a lot of other horrors too. She should have been in my sidebar earlier.

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Source of Stonehenge stones

At least one mystery is finally solved. From The Western Mail in Wales:

ARCHAEOLOGISTS have solved one of the greatest mysteries of Stonehenge - the exact spot from where its huge stones were quarried. A team has pinpointed the precise place in Wales from where the bluestones were removed in about 2500 BC. It found the small crag-edged enclosure at one of the highest points of the 1,008ft high Carn Menyn mountain in Pembrokeshire's Preseli Hills. The enclosure is just over one acre in size but, according to team leader Professor Tim Darvill, it provides a veritable "Aladdin's Cave" of made-to-measure pillars for aspiring circle builders. Within and outside the enclosure are numerous prone pillar stones with clear signs of working. Some are fairly recent and a handful of drill holes attest to the technology used. Other blocks may have been wrenched from the ground or the crags in ancient times. They were then moved 240 miles to the famous site at Salisbury Plain, Wiltshire. The discovery comes a year after scientists proved that the remains of a "band of brothers" found near Stonehenge were Welshmen who transported the stones. The skeletons were found by workmen laying a pipe on Boscombe Down and chemical analysis of their teeth revealed they were brought up in South West Wales
And, for the record, I was in Cairo when those bodies were put into the ground. I had nothing to do with it. HP will vouch for my alibi for me, I'm sure.

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Friday vampire dance party

"...and the bodies stank."

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Scotland's big cats

I haven't done a big cat up date in ages. Here's one from The Scotsman.

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Romania and vampires

Will Romanians' belief in vampires scuttle Romania's chances to join the EU? From Reason:

"Ask any priest in this region, and he'll tell you he knows these things are going on," he said. "I know it sounds like a bad B movie, but it's a pagan ritual that happens several times a year... Before the dead is put in the coffin, his relatives insert a needle above his bellybutton to prevent him from becoming a strigoi. But if he is already buried, they have to dig up his grave in the middle of the night. The family drinks a lot before opening the coffin!" He showed us some freshly disturbed graves from the local cemetery, tried to explain the finer distinctions between a strigoi and a moroi, and seemed to regard his flock's weird habits with a slightly exasperated but gruffly empathetic tolerance. Romanians, famously insecure about their international image, worry that such folkloric outbreaks may scuttle their chances at joining the European Union on schedule in January 2007. But the real obstacle to EU accession right now is not vampires or nun-crucifying priests, but the doddering ghouls in Brussels, who are suddenly uncertain they can digest any more post-communist countries after swallowing 10 in 2004.
I didn't know the EU was so opposed to vampires.

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Phantom flyers

This falls more under cryptozoology, but it's fascinating. From The Guardian:

The notion that large, hitherto unidentified creatures may exist in our oceans and wildernesses is one that most people are comfortable with. But could colossal, primitive lifeforms, invisible to human eyes, also populate our skies?

Trevor James Constable, sailor, aircraft historian and scientific iconoclast, certainly thinks so. Inspired by Wilhelm Reich's orgone energy, Ruth Drown's radionics, the writing of Charles Fort and Arthur Conan Doyle's story The Horror of the Heights, Constable became convinced that the UFOs he heard so much about in the 1950s weren't alien spacecraft, but living beings. Armed with a camera fitted with high-speed infrared film and an ultraviolet filter, Constable set out to reveal these sky beings to the world. His photographs certainly show something. To the untrained eye they look like discolorations produced during the developing process. But stare long enough and they take on the appearance of floating, zeppelin-sized amoebas.

I heard this theory on Art Bell's Coast-to-Coast AM years age and find it fascinating.

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Australian feared castle ghost

Apparently at least one cricketer on Australian's team was frightened afterall. From Fox Sports:

ENGLAND bowler Darren Gough kept spirits high as he made a light-hearted dig at Shane Watson's fear of ghosts during last night's tri-series cricket match at the Riverside Ground. The Australian allrounder came in for plenty of ridicule this week after it was revealed he slept on the floor of teammate Brett Lee's room because he was spooked by tales of a ghost haunting the 600-year-old Lumley Castle, where the Australian team stayed. Towards the end of Australia's innings, Gough made a point of getting in the face of Watson and shaking his arms in the air, ghost-like, and wiggling head while yelling boo. Watson did not respond to Gough's antics and later copped ridicule from crowd members, who put white sheets over their heads in some more friendly jibes.
England's spooky strategy paid off against Bangladesh too.

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Land of the Dead

Eh, Michael Sullivan, what does he know? From The Washington Post:

Don't get me wrong. "Land of the Dead" is fairly intense. Intensely gory and violent, that is, as has come to be expected from the genre. It's just not very frightening. Not half as frightening as, say, last year's "Dawn of the Dead," a remake of Romero's own 1978 film. That remake was not just gory, but way scary, funny and smartly self-aware, with a touch of social critique and a deliciously pessimistic unhappy ending thrown in. Other than the opening shot of "Land," however, in which Romero's camera pans past a battered diner sign pointing in the direction of "Eats" (get it?), there's no real joy in this undertaking, which seems to prize grossing out the members of its audience above freaking them out.
Let's see what The New York Times thought:
In "George A. Romero's Land of the Dead," an excellent freakout of a movie, the living no longer have the advantage or our full sympathies. The fourth installment in Mr. Romero's vaunted zombie cycle (which began with his 1968 masterpiece, "Night of the Living Dead"), the new film is also the latest chapter in what increasingly seems like an extended riff on Dante's "Inferno." In the earlier "Dead" films, Mr. Romero guided us through circles of hell that, despite the flesh-eating ghouls, looked a lot like the exurban world outside our windows. With this new movie, we jump straight to the ninth circle, where Satan is a guy in a suit and tie who feasts on the misery of others, much as the dead feast on the living. An army of the dead in George A. Romero's new film. It's a sign of both Mr. Romero's waggish humor and control as a director that the guy in the suit and tie is played by the cult-movie icon Dennis Hopper, an often unrestrained performer who here is right on the money. snip With "Revenge of the Sith" and "Batman Begins," "Land of the Dead" makes the third studio release of the summer season to present an allegory, either naked or not, of our contemporary political landscape. Whatever else you think about these films, whether you believe them to be sincere or cynical, authentic expressions of defiance or just empty posturing, it is rather remarkable that these so-called popcorn movies have gone where few American films outside the realm of documentary, including most so-called independents, dare to go. One of the enormous pleasures of genre filmmaking is watching great directors push against form and predictability, as Mr. Romero does brilliantly in "Land of the Dead." One thing is for sure: You won't go home hungry.
As Zombie_Tom would say, MMMmmm. Brains. UPDATED. Slate liked it too.

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Thursday, June 23, 2005


Just saw an ad on IMDB I thought funny. "Beware of The...Cursed." Having seen the movie in the theater, I can say that is very good advice for the newly released DVD. Probably not in the way intended by the ad's copywriter, but you never know.

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Haunted art

Via The Groovy Age of Horrors came this link to The Haunted Studios. I know what I want for Christmas now.

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Vampire music

'If Bram Stoker's imaginary Transylvania had a jazz scene, the music might sound something like this.' -Jazz Review.

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Divine twins

It takes two. Occult Investigator Tim Boucher looks into how the concept of divine twins occurs across several religions. Entire post well worth the read, but here's a taste:

A post on Fantastic Planet has really fired up my imagination. It explores in some more detail this idea of the divine twin (that I brought up earlier in relation to tulpas) across a variety of religious traditions. I highly recommend checking this out. Anyway, I thought I’d pick up the baton and run with it a little ways myself. One of my first encounters with the divine twin concept comes through the Egyptian and Persian religion, but by way of Philip K. Dick.

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Edinburgh Ghostfest

Fortean Times has the spook scoop.

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In defense of vampires

Josh, please don't insult vampires. They aren't nearly as evil, bloodthirsty or vile.

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Horror quotes

The list of AFI's Top 100 movie quotes was released. The horror quotes include: 21. "A census taker once tried to test me. I ate his liver with some fava beans and a nice Chianti," "The Silence of the Lambs," 1991. 37. "I'll be back," "The Terminator," 1984. 44. "I see dead people," "The Sixth Sense," 1999. 49. "It's alive! It's alive!", "Frankenstein," 1931. 56. "A boy's best friend is his mother," "Psycho," 1960. 68. "Here's Johnny!", "The Shining," 1980. 69. "They're here!", "Poltergeist," 1982. 70. "Is it safe?", "Marathon Man," 1976. 76. "Hasta la vista, baby," "Terminator 2: Judgment Day," 1991. 77. "Soylent Green is people!", "Soylent Green," 1973. 83. "Listen to them. Children of the night. What music they make," "Dracula," 1931. 84. "Oh, no, it wasn't the airplanes. It was Beauty killed the Beast," "King Kong," 1933. I debated including a couple of the science fiction movies in the horror category, mainly Terminator and Terminator II. In my decision, I considered the cyborg another version of the unstoppable killing machine represented elsewhere in horror by Jason and Michael. Considered from that stand point, I thought of many other similarities The Terminator movies shared with the Halloween and the Friday the 13th series that I had not thought of before (and may post in the future though it may be a subject better suited for Final Girl). I also thought AFI should have put the Dracula quote much higher such as the top spot. AFI officials may want to consider wearing crucifixes and eating a diet heavy with garlic to avoid repurcussions for their slight.

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Mysterious Stonehenge

From The Scotsman:

Stonehenge, a World Heritage site eight miles north of Salisbury in Wiltshire, is one of the world’s most famous prehistoric monuments, yet who built it and why remains a mystery. Its construction has been attributed to Celtic Druids, indigenous tribes from the late-Neolithic period and even the Arthurian wizard Merlin. Some believe it was a temple used to worship ancient earth deities. Others say it was a prehistoric astronomical observatory or a sacred burial site for people of high birth.

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Australians don't fear the ghost

Unlike the Bangladesh team of cricketers who were frightened by a ghost, the Australian team refuses to be spooked. From The BBC:

[The team's media manager] said: "I was scared. I definitely saw something, a shadowy figure. It was either a ghost or someone looking through my window at 4am." However, the fast bowler Michael Kasprowicz denied he or his team mates were frightened. He said: "I'm not afraid. I encourage any ghost out there to come and see me. Please come and say g'day, and we will sit down and have a beer or coffee and talk things through." John Dobbs, the hotel's operations director, said the ghost had been sighted frequently in the past. "Lily was the first wife of Sir Ralph Lumley. While he was away she was murdered by two priests who threw her body down a well, but she keeps coming back and visiting our guests and staff.
Amazingly how the paranormal tactics of British ghosts are working to assure England's success at cricket.

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Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Vampire bats kill 11

Maybe I spoke too soon about vampire bats.

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Nurses battle evil cyborg

Evil cyborg vs. firefighters, police, teachers and nurses.

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Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Bloggers of the night! What sweet posts they make...V

Warrenzone is the luckiest horror blogger in the horrorsphere. (My wife doesn't like zombie movies.) Keith and I chat about pirate socks at Old Haunts. Mondo Schlocko has the best headline in the blogosphere and a bunch of other great posts. HP at M Valdemar has sleep apnea. That is really scary and we hope he gets feeling well soon. Exclamation Mark links to a War of the Worlds comic in production online. Final Girl covers actors and actresses who appeared in slasher flicks before they went on to star in other things. Ghost in the Machine covers a horrible evil. And Curt at The Groovy Age of Horror steps back from his usual grooviness to offer tips on finding books online.

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Dracula sites

The Cincinnati Post highlighted web sites dedicated to Count Dracula. Unfortunately it missed Dracula Blogged (I emailed the writer). However, it includes many other great sites, including Elizabeth Miller's. From the article: What might at first seem like an insignificant offering turns instead into a truly educational and entertaining collection when you begin to examine the eight bulleted items on the home page. My particular favorite is to be found by clicking on "the journal of Dracula studies," and then on "Bram Stoker and Dracula: miscellaneous documents," and finally, "Reviews of 'Dracula' (1897)."

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EVP recording

From Fogg of the Fortean Phenomena email group I belong to comes this link to an Electronic Voice Phenomena recording he made.

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Defending the courageous

Defending the courageous.

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1938's War of the Worlds

From National Geographic:

It was the day before Halloween, October 30, 1938. Henry Brylawski was on his way to pick up his girlfriend at her Adams Morgan apartment in Washington, D.C. As he turned on his car radio, the 25-year-old law student heard some startling news. A huge meteorite had smashed into a New Jersey farm. New York was under attack by Martians. "I knew it was a hoax," said Brylawski, now 92. Others were not so sure. When he reached the apartment, Brylawski found his girlfriend's sister, who was living there, "quaking in her boots," as he puts it. "She thought the news was real," he said.
As we learned in The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the Eighth Dimension, the invasion at Grover's Mill, N.J. was real and the radio show was a coverup. More on War of the Worlds here.

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Life saving vampire bat saliva

I told you vampire bats are our friends. From The L.A. Times:

Every minute counts when someone suffers a stroke. Yet because symptoms are often subtle, most victims arrive at the hospital too late to use medication to dissolve the blood clots that cause most of the brain attacks. As a consequence, thousands of victims suffer severe brain damage or even die. Bat saliva could hold the key to saving them. An experimental drug based on a vampire bat protein has shown promise in clearing away clots up to several hours after a stroke. Such a drug could not only save more lives, it could also reduce the incidence of permanent disability.

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Monday, June 20, 2005

The Adventure of the Haunted Detective

Sherlock Holmes will be investigating ghosts? Does life get better than this? From Reuters:

Carr teams Holmes up with his sidekick Dr. John Watson in his book that has the duo dealing with the specter of ghosts and spirits. Holmes goes solo in the other new entries. Carr's novel grew out of a short story requested for the forthcoming anthology "Ghosts of Baker Street," commissioned by the Conan Doyle estate to portray encounters between Holmes and Watson with the supernatural. The novel revolves around two murders in Edinburgh's Holyrood royal castle where a ghost is feared.
Lots of clues to other upcoming books about the Great Detective in the story.

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Gallup: 3 in 4 believe in paranormal

Why am I not getting more hits? From Gallup:

A recent Gallup survey shows that just about three in four Americans hold some paranormal belief -- in at least one of the following: extra sensory perception (ESP), haunted houses, ghosts, mental telepathy, clairvoyance, astrology, communicating with the dead, witches, reincarnation, and channeling. There are no significant differences in belief by age, gender, education, or region of the country.

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Driving to Dracula

No more waiting at crossroads for a carriage like Jonathan Harker to visit Count Dracula's lair. Just drive there.

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Pimping online ghost hunting classes

From a news release emailed by Susan Crites:

The WV Society of Ghost Hunters announced it will provide Ghost Hunter Training on-line beginning July 1, 2005.
"Finding and photographing the supernatural is a thrilling adventure," said Susan Crites, founder of the WV Society of Ghost Hunters. "Real ghost hunting isn't simply grabbing a camera and running to the nearest haunted house. To be safe and successful at photographing the supernatural, people need to know about professional ghost hunting techniques and equipment, as well as what the supernatural looks like and how it behaves." The fun, easy, inexpensive, on-line course will include photographs of the supernatural taken by Certified Paranormal Investigators, wav files with authentic voices of the supernatural, and all the basic information anyone will need to be successful and safe while Ghost Hunting. When the course is completed, participants will receive a handsome certificate, suitable for framing, and a wallet card. All proceeds benefit the continuing work of the WV Society of Ghost Hunters, a membership organization open to everyone who is interested in ghosts and the supernatural.
Founded in 1989, the WV Society of Ghost Hunters is the oldest and largest organization of its type in West Virginia.For further information and registration, email
Now you too can become a certified paranormal investigator.

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Revenge of the Sith abridged

Via Skippy the bush kangaroo, I read the hilarious Revenge of the Sith abridged script. Now you can read it too.

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Vampire legends die hard

From The Guardian:

'His own sister complained that her daughter-in-law had fallen ill and that Petre was to blame - she said he had become a strigoi and something must be done,' recalls Marinescu. What six local men did was enact an ancient Romanian ritual for dealing with a strigoi - a restless spirit that returns to suck the lifeblood from his relatives. Just before midnight, they crept into the cemetery on the edge of the village and gathered around Toma's grave. Then they dug him up, split his ribcage with a pitchfork, removed his heart, put stakes through the rest of his body and sprinkled it with garlic. Then they burnt the heart, put the embers in water and shared the grim cocktail with the sick woman. More than a year later, the effect of the macabre ritual still reverberates through the village: 'Well, the sick woman got better again, so they must have done something right,' says Anisoara Constantin, on what constitutes the village's main street.
But was the ritual covered by the sick woman's insurance?

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Sunday, June 19, 2005

Rise of the vampires

Like all of the other reviews, the San Jose Mercury News (free registration required) loved Elizabeth Kostova's The Historian. But the review also contained this:

If you've never read ``Dracula,'' that great, clumsy novel by Bram Stoker, you really should go do it. And don't think because you've seen any number of film versions of the story that you've really gotten at its creepy essence. The vampire legend reaches back to antiquity, but because it's really about our fear of and fascination with sex, it seems to crop up most in times of repression or anxiety. That may be why it got its definitive treatment from Stoker at the end of the Victorian era. And why the age of AIDS has seen a charnel-houseful of cold-blooded but hot vampires. Think of Lestat and his cohorts in Anne Rice's novels, and the broody dudes Angel and Spike and the femmes très fatales Darla and Drusilla on ``Buffy the Vampire Slayer.'' ``Buffy'' put a feminist spin on the vampire story, which in Stoker's hands had been about imperiled virgins and their doughty male defenders.
There's a lot that is right about the above passage. But the truth is the women in Stoker's Dracula are as much feminists in their way as the characters in Buffy. In several passages, the women are referred to as among the class of "New Woman." From Dracula, Chapter 8:
Lucy is asleep and breathing softly. She has more color in her cheeks than usual, and looks, oh so sweet. If Mr. Holmwood fell in love with her seeing her only in the drawing room, I wonder what he would say if he saw her now. Some of the `New Women' writers will some day start an idea that men and women should be allowed to see each other asleep before proposing or accepting. But I suppose the `New Woman' won't condescend in future to accept. She will do the proposing herself. And a nice job she will make of it too! There's some consolation in that.
Lucy came from the upper class, of course, which helped give many of the New Women their freedom to behave outside of the societal norms. With her entries on being loved and wanting to love three different men, in another time Lucy would have been at the forefront of the sexual revolution. Mina represented the growing number of women at the end of the 19th century taking employment outside of the home. She worked as an assistant school teacher before her marriage, but she planned to continue working after her marriage as an assistant to her solicitor husband. And throughout the hunt for Count Dracula, it is Mina who supplies most of the rational decisions and quick wits. This post is longer than I intended it to be. But I could not let the description of Stoker's female characters as "imperiled virgins" go unanswered. Lucy and Mina were many things, but they were never as hapless as the Mercury News implies.

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A fishy haunting

From the BBC:

Staff at a Grimsby museum are taking part in a vigil with paranormal experts to try to explain a series of strange happenings over the past two years. Unexplained smells, extreme cold spots and loud footsteps at the National Fishing Heritage Centre have led staff to think they have a ghostly visitor. Many believe a former skipper of the centre's Ross Tiger trawler could be responsible for the friendly presence. Investigators from TV's Most Haunted will visit the site on Saturday. Visitors and staff have reported cold spots that have made them shiver in the radio room and strong smells of tobacco smoke have permeated a room where no one is allowed to smoke.
The staff believes it's a friendly ghost of the well-respected skipper. Let us hope they are correct.

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Ghost hunt at Moonshine Hollow

Date: Friday, June 10. Location: roadside picnic area on Route 9 in Morgan County between Hedgesville and Berkeley Springs. Weather: Warm and humid. Dry conditions. Other: Receptive group of about 25. Susan Crites of the West Virginia Society of Ghost Hunters conducted her basic paranormal class for about 25 students at a public picnic area off WV 9 known as Moonshine Hollow. (Photo link. Is that an apparition forming in the upper left hand corner?) During prohibition, moonshiners operated their stills in the thickly wooded area. The area is isolated. Bushwhackers often would ambush the moonshiners in order to steal their illicit alcohol to sell themselves. This resulted in quite a few violent deaths, many unreported. Crites also believes that the area is also haunted by the ghosts of Civil War soldiers since they traveled along the road on various campaigns. Crites explained the differences in apparitions. She went over her precaution instructions at length on how to conduct a safe ghost hunt, from carrying a whistle to alert others if you're lost or injured to being aware of the ill effects caused by dark entities. She also explained proper photography of ghosts and the ethics of not "photoshop-ping" the images. She also explained the use of dowsing rods in the detection of ghosts and in communicating with the images. Holding a rod in each hand, we practiced asking questions. Crossed rods meant yes. Uncrossed, no. Night had fallen as she spoke and a lone owl cried out. The setting was similar to the woods in The Blair Witch Project. Before setting off on the ghost hunt, we experimented with the rods. I asked if there were ghosts next to me. Yes. I asked if the ghosts wanted to harm us. Yes. I asked if the ghosts could harm us. No. I confess, as irrational as it is on every conceivable level, I felt a twinge of disappointment at the last response. We divided into teams led by senior paranormal investigators. Our guide led us to an area where she had experienced a terrible dark energy before. I snapped a few photos (here's one I shot with multiple orbs) where she directed (she has psychic abilities) that she sensed ghostly presences. The three others -- a couple and a woman from Philadelphia I'll call Janet -- followed with their rods also in hand. Holding one rod in hand helped guide us like a dowsing rod to water. Flashes of light from the other groups flickered like heat lightning in the distance. But our area was especially dark despite the light of the stars between the trees elsewhere. (Here's a solitary bright orb.) Janet's rod directed her to a ghost immediately behind her. I snapped a picture and to me it appears as if miasma is forming behind her. (photo unavailable.) I shot more photos where our guide directed and then we walked under an open picnic pavilion, possibly built over something else for the spirit rods held in Janet's hands began to whirl incredibly fast. I held mine with a similar result. Neither of us appeared to be moving our hands to spin them. I took a photo with my digital camera of Janet with her rods spinning. There was a thick miasma between her hands and her head in the view screen of my camera. Unfortunately, this photo was accidentally deleted from the memory card by my wife when she took shots of the girls flying in an airplane the next day. ( Paranormal Investigator Amy took some great photos she posted online of orbs and miasma.) Conclusion: Moonshine Hollow is haunted. P.S. You might be asking yourself: Why didn't he write this as a spooky story like his fiction? Because when it comes to writing ghost hunt reports, certified paranormal investigators just give the straight facts.

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Saturday, June 18, 2005



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Dracula and others

Speaking of Groovy Age of Horror (see below), I just obtained Robert Lory's The Hand of Dracula and Dracula's Brothers because Curt enjoyed the series so much during the Groovy Age of Dracula month in May. They are numbers 2 and 3 in the series. Unfortunately Wonder Book and Video in Hagerstown did not have the others. But the great thing about Wonder Book is you never know when something might turn up. I'm really looking forward to reading these books. I also picked up Summer of Night by Dan Simmons, Kingdom of Fear, The World of Stephen King edited by Tim Underwood and Chuck Miller, Swords Against Darkness edited by Andrew J. Offutt (a short story collection in the tradition of Robert E. Howard) and The Good, the Bad and the Undead by Kim Harrison. I love summer reading.

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Ghost in the Machine

Via Groovy Age of Horror, I'm happy to add a great blog to my side bar: Ghost in the Machine.

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Friday, June 17, 2005

The Golden Dawn

A couple of interesting stories in The Scotsman involving the history of the occult organization The Golden Dawn. From Thursday's edition:

In the spring of 1903 the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn – a magical society beloved of WB Yeats – broke into pieces, fragmented by its quarrelsome members. In the power vacuum created after the schism a well-respected Edinburgh lawyer fully expected to become overall chief. John William Brodie-Innes, founder of the Order's Amen-Ra Temple in Edinburgh failed utterly in his desire to rule the Order. The writer AE Waite witnessed his humiliation and noted that "it was almost pitiful to notice the change which came over the poor small Pope of Edinburgh". The Golden Dawn was the most well known of the occult groups to emerge at the end of the 19th century. The Order combined a hotchpotch of Masonic ritual with eastern esoteric thought. Under the leadership of Samuel Liddell MacGregor Mather it also moved into the realm of practical magic. Members were instructed in the art of alchemy, the tarot, astrology and astral travel. Eventually Mather was to lose control after a bout of "psychic duelling" with the black magician Aleister Crowley. snip Although the Temple was secretive, a small glimpse of what went on is offered to us by the author Arthur Conan Doyle. He was asked to join in 1898 but found it all "queer and disagreeable" hating in particular the "astral examination" carried out on him. He declined to join. There is a suspicion that Bram Stoker, a friend of Brodie-Innes may have been less fastidious than Doyle and accepted an invitation to join.
The group has a fascinating history and the story is well-worth the click. This story, The Strange Case of Psychic Murder, was published in May (free registration required):
A WOMAN is found dead on the island of Iona near the Fairy Mound, a place associated locally with magic and dark deeds. She is naked, but for a strange cloak and her feet are bloodied and swollen. In her hands is a knife and her body lies atop a crude cross carved out of the peat. There is a look of terror on her face. You would be forgiven for thinking that this is the start of a newly discovered Sherlock Holmes story, but these events describe the death in 1929 of Norah Fornario, a clever, but slightly eccentric student of the occult. Fornario was a member of the Alpha and Omega, an offshoot of the esoteric and theosophical Golden Dawn. These late-19th century societies set up by the occultist Samuel Liddell Mathers promoted western and eastern mysticism. The infamous black magician Aleister Crowley was one of the novices attracted by the colourful rites and promise of power.

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Russian archaeologists discover cursed treasure

From Pravda:

One of the archaeologists found a small silver case in the western part of the castle. The case was filled with eleven items marked with mystical symbols. The findings included amulets with images of creatures with horns and tails, medallions with Hebrew markings, as well as a gilded seal-ring dotted with magic symbols. "The seal ring was fixed to the inner surface of the case with an iron lock. It was apparently a ghost-protecting jewel," Vladimir Kulakov suggested. According to the archaeologists, the unique finding can be related to the 16th century, the era of the legendary Paul Skaliha, the advisor of the Prussian duke Albrecht. "The scientific value of this finding is enormous. Even single magic things like those used to be banned in ancient times, but we found a whole set of them," the scientist emphasized. The chairman of the archaeological group, Anatoly Valuyev, said that archaeologists were frightened to find the treasure in the Kaliningrad castle. "The people thought that they uncovered a hiding place with a cursed treasure. I have to say that our KamAZ truck went out of order the next day," the archeologist said smiling.
The truck went out of order? That is just the beginning of the curse. I recommend you send the treasure to me immediately or else you are doomed. Doomed! I say.

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Haunting abolitionist

Does the ghost of abolitionist Frederick Douglass haunt his Rochester, N.Y., home? Former tenants believe so. From The Associated Press:

The Dukes rented out the top floor until the mid-1980s. Around 1986, Lee Dukes began encountering a well-dressed figure in a corner of their bedroom, his wife recalled. "He described a black guy with gray hair, a gray beard and a top hat" who was "always busy with his head down, constantly writing, always flipping pages and stuff," she recalled. While she scoffed at his stories, she was intrigued enough to take out a library book on Douglass. "When I showed him a picture and asked, `You know who this is?'--I knew he didn't know him, he didn't have a high school education or do a lot of reading--he got excited and said, `That's him! That's the guy!"'
Douglass's ghost is probably writing angry letters right now to the pro-lynching GOP senators.

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Texas hill country is spooky

From The University Star of Texas State University - San Marcos:

San Marcos has the distinction of being in one of the oldest inhabited regions in the North America, with humans having settled here for approximately 12,000 years. Its first known inhabitants were American Indians, specifically the Lipans, who were a subset of the Apache tribe. The Apache population eventually dispersed as Spanish and Anglo-American explorers settled the San Marcos area. San Marcos’ long history of habitation has contributed to the city and surrounding area a wealth of reports of hauntings and sightings of apparitions.
Some other interesting details of area ghosts in the story.

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Ghost hunters filming in Ohio

The Atlantic Paranormal Society's investigation of the Ohio State Reformatory in Mansfield, Ohio is being filmed for Sci-Fi Channel's Ghost Hunters.

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Security is mostly a superstition. It does not exist in nature, nor do the children of men as a whole experience it. Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing.

Helen Keller
Hat tip to the Daily Grail.

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Child sacrifice on the rise

A shocking report by Scotland Yard has terrifying implications. From The Evening Standard:

Boys from Africa are being murdered as human sacrif ices in London churches. They are brought into the capital to be offered up in rituals by fundamentalist Christian sects, according to a shocking report by Scotland Yard. Followers believe that powerful spells require the deaths of "unblemished" male children. Police believe such boys are trafficked from cities such as Kinshasa where they can be bought for a little as £10. The report, leaked ahead of its publication next month, also cites examples of African children being tortured and killed after being identified as "witches" by church pastors. The 10-month study was commissioned after the death of Victoria Climbié, who was starved and beaten to death after they said she was possessed by the devil.
Rigorous Intuition has this covered extremely well. Go there to read a round up of stories and his views.

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Thursday, June 16, 2005

Man who outed MKULTRA dies

Calling all conspiracy investigators. All conspiracy theorists to the white courtesy phone please. From The Washington Post:

John K. Vance, 89, a member of the Central Intelligence Agency inspector general's staff in the early 1960s who discovered that the agency was running a research project that included administering LSD and other drugs to unwitting human subjects, died May 27 of respiratory arrest. He died at the Wilson Health Care Center of Asbury Methodist Village in Gaithersburg. Code-named MKULTRA (and pronounced m-k-ultra), the project Mr. Vance uncovered was the brainchild of CIA Director Allen Dulles, who was intrigued by reports of mind-control techniques allegedly conducted by Soviet, Chinese and North Korean agents on U.S. prisoners of war during the Korean War. The CIA wanted to use similar techniques on its own POWs and perhaps use LSD or other mind-bending substances on foreign leaders, including Cuba's Fidel Castro a few years after the project got underway in 1953. Heading MKULTRA was a CIA chemist named Sidney Gottlieb. In congressional testimony, Gottlieb, who died in 1999, acknowledged that the agency had administered LSD to as many as 40 unwitting subjects, including prison inmates and patrons of brothels set up and run by the agency. At least one participant died when he jumped out of a 10th-floor window in a hotel; others claimed to have suffered serious psychological damage. Mr. Vance learned about MKULTRA in the spring of 1963 during a wide-ranging inspector general survey of the agency's technical services division. The inspector general's report said: "The concepts involved in manipulating human behavior are found by many people both within and outside the agency to be distasteful and unethical." As a result of Mr. Vance's discovery and the inspector general's report, the CIA halted the testing and began scaling back the project. It was terminated in the late 1960s. MKULTRA came to public light in 1977 as a result of hearings conducted by a Senate committee on intelligence chaired by Sen. Frank Church (D-Idaho). Mr. Vance gave several long phone interviews to committee staff members but never had to testify.
Mr. Vance's death should be noted by all those interested in bringing light on the dark side of U.S. history.

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Stephen King's commencement address

I had not visited the Stephen King web site in some time so I did not see this speech when it was posted. Stephen King gave the commencement address at the University of Maine on May 7. The entire address is well-worth reading. There's also a link to hear the audio. Here's an excerpt:

Give away a dime for every dollar you make. Why not? If you don't give it, the government's just going to take it. You think you can't afford it, one lousy thin dime out of every dollar? If you think you can't, just look at the taxes you pay on every gallon of gas you buy. If you think you can't, look at all the sick, hungry, unhappy, uneducated people standing outside the fence America has constructed around herself, people who only want a little something for themselves and their families. For their children. Very few of them are suicide bombers. Very few of them are Mr. Bush's "enemies of freedom," whether he believes that or not. They might become enemies of freedom, but right now all they want is a little something to get by on. A little chance at the kind of joy most of us are feeling today. A dime out of every dollar. And here's a secret I learned six summers ago, lying in a ditch beside the road, covered in my own blood and thinking I was going to die: you go out broke. Everything's on loan, anyway. You're not an owner, you're only a steward. So pass some of it on. You may not have much now, but you're going to have a lot. And when you do, remember the ones that don't have anything. A dime out of every dollar. If everyone did it, maybe we could make Mr. Bush let go of the weapons he loves so well and give some of the money he spends on them back to the farmers, the unwed mothers, and the working poor.
I do not own much. My house is small. My car has too many miles. But I am rich. I am fortunate to have been born in the United States to middle-class parents. My children are healthy, my wife is loving and we have food stored in our pantry. As Christians we tithe. Some of our tithe goes to our small Methodist church in the country. Some goes to the local homeless shelter. Some goes to Doctors Without Borders. We also give to the American Civil Liberties Union. And we donate to Sojourners. If you are inspired by Mr. King's address, look for local charities to support. And the other organizations are worth supporting too.

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King Tut

King Tut returns to conquer America once more. From The New York Times:

The Curse of the Pharaohs has a long heritage, at least as far as King Tut is concerned. It was said to have caused a series of unusual deaths that followed quickly on the 1922 discovery of Tutankhamen's tomb in the Valley of the Kings near Luxor. Later it supposedly brought blackouts, floods and major inconveniences, all in retribution for the disruption of Tut's 3,300-year-old mummy and the display of any of the 5,398 objects that filled his oddly cramped tomb.

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Bangladesh cricket team faces British ghosts

Talk about an unfair, home field advantage! From The BBC:

The Bangladesh cricket team's tour of England has been fraught with testing challenges from pace bowling attacks. But recently the players experienced perhaps the biggest scare of the tour while staying at a hotel that has a reputation for being haunted. A ghastly apparition, clothed in white and accompanied by the anguished cries of a child, appeared by their rooms. In the disturbance that followed, several guests were woken up, the hotel manager told the BBC News website.
Lots more spooky details that are more exciting than cricket.

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'Vampire' arrested in Indiana

From The

A teenager has been charged with multiple counts of sexual misconduct with a minor and sexual battery against two female victims, Indianapolis television station WRTV reported. The unusual part of the alleged crimes is that Steven Rogers, 18, allegedly told the victims he was a vampire, police said. Investigators added that Rogers told female victims that he also worships Satan. There are no allegations that he tried to suck the victims' blood, but police said he bit and bruised their necks.
Rogers denied the allegations in an interview with a TV station. He also said he stopped doing those things in the eighth grade. The story does not say how recently the eighth grade was for the 18 year old.

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Is Robin Hood's grave haunted?

The Book Of Thoth has an exclusive account of an investigation by David Farrant, president of the British Psychic and Occult Society, of the famous outlaw's ghost followed by an exorcism. From the report:

There is no real evidence to suggest that earlier stories and accounts, about ghostly goings on at Robin Hood's Grave, differ considerably from the usual exaggeration and hypothesis that accompanies many modern ghost stories, although in more recent times, accounts about the 'female spectre' that has for long been said to haunt the gravesite have tended to take on a more sinister perspective. It is asserted nowadays, for example, that this figure is seen to have a 'devilish countenance' and it has also been claimed that it is the ghost of the evil Prioress who bled Robin Hood to death in nearby Kirklees Gatehouse (now a secluded ruin) and who is in fact now a vampire! Reports of her appearances would certainly seem to take on the characteristics of one; although the 'vampire element' probably came about because Robin was supposedly murdered by being drained of blood. Whatever, this fearsome spectre (a 'banshee-like' wailing sound sometimes accompanying her presence) is said to have piercing red eyes, and is reported to have a poignant effect upon anybody foolish enough to venture near the isolated grave at night. Having heard these stories and apparently choosing to ignore their consequences, one small group of aspiring 'ghost spotters' claimed to have visited the grave one night in 1990, only to confront the devilish entity. The whole thing was an absolute disaster: the 'demonic hag' gave them such a fright that it caused them to scatter in all different directions, and for one of them to become painfully entangled in a bramble bush as he tried desperately to escape!
Go read the entire article for interesting details. I'm always happy to pimp The Book of Thoth. UPDATED Make certain you check out the comments for more details from a critical point of view of this account. For the record, the Haunted Vampire is opposed to trespassing on private property on any property, whether hunting for ghosts, mushrooms or wildlife. UPDATED 2 Rebuttal comment just posted that is worth highlighting and updating this since last updated on June 3.

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Coming attractions

I'm always asking advice from others on what movies to see. In the spirit of bloggers posting their music player lineups, here's my Netflix queue. Anyone else want to post their list? Captain Kronos: Vampire Hunter The Night Stalker / The Night Strangler The Fog The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes Bjork: Cambridge A Chinese Ghost Story The Legend of Hell House The Howling The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Rush: Rush in Rio Sherlock Holmes: The Scarlet Claw Shikoku Amelie Midnight Phantom Phantom of 42nd Street The Phantom of the Opera: Special Edition Sherlock Holmes: In Pursuit to Algiers Dirty Pretty Things Run Lola Run The Mothman Prophecies The Company of Wolves Something Wicked This Way Comes Scanners Encounter of the Spooky Kind Tsui Hark's Vampire Hunters Mrs. Miniver Remo Williams: The Adventure Begins Primer Daredevil Shaun of the Dead Dario Argento Collection: Vol. 3: Deep Red Horror Express Several of those are movies I've seen and want to revisit. Others I've never seen. And a few probably make sense to nobody but me.

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Wednesday, June 15, 2005


At 9:56 p.m. last night, I hit my 5,000th recorded site visit.* The Mystery of the Haunted Vampire began at the end of 2004 as a place for me to post my manuscript for friends to read as I ship it out to publishers. The first post, a practice post if you will, was a very personal one. I wrote a version of it as a comment on another blog to an online friend. I did not put the site meter on for several weeks after beginning the blog so I do not know how many site visitor's I've had. The numbers in the early days were so slim I could follow them reading the book chapter by chapter. There was a reader in New York City, another in France and one in Hong Kong. There was 42 and her daughter and sersan and a few others. I did not begin "blogging" stories about the supernatural until February 20 with this post about Hammer Studios. Though I shipped the manuscript out to another slush pile today, I'm still tinkering with it. However I'll be focusing more on the next stories and leaving that one behind. One thing I will not be leaving is blogging about the supernatural. I'm enjoying this as a hobby of running a news site, if you will, for supernatural news. Other sites such as DailyGrail, Fortean Times and the Book of Thoth provide links, but I try to blog the supernatural news with commentary and humor that can't be found elsewhere. And while the site meter stats are interesting - for instance, I learned the other day that my site is the number one site if someone googles in French for "vampire beauty" - I don't find it a good measure of the success or failure of my blog. I measure that by the amount of personal enjoyment I get out of doing it. And on that scale, this blog is tremendously successful.

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Artist paints ghostly portraits

Kevin at Dark, But Shining pointed me to this excellent article of an upcoming Edinburgh art exhibit in The Scotsman:

A grove of banana palms will be planted in the gallery, with fragments of Chinese and Scottish ghost stories inscribed on the leaves. Overnight, surveillance cameras will film the trees which, according to Chinese folklore, summon female ghosts to appear. Footage from this ghost watch will then form part of the exhibition. In preparing his Edinburgh exhibition, Guo-Qiang said he was struck by the presence of spirituality in Scotland. He said: "The culture and religion of the past, including pre-Christian culture, has a special hold still. Edinburgh is famous as a city of ghosts and its ghost stories resound today." He said it was a real challenge for artists to try to depict the "unseeable", such as the spirit world. He added: "Visual art has historically struggled with that which is not seeable. I am trying to deal with these issues. "The idea is not to conjure superstition or practice but provide a departure point to discuss our relationship with the forces in the world around us and the belief systems in which they take root."
More on the exhibit here and about the artist here. If I get a sugah momma in time, I'm going.

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