Thursday, August 14, 2014

Supernatural Friday: Book of Imagination








Book of Imagination
By
Pamela K. Kinney

Book of imagination,
Nightmares carved in words
Darkly my soul covets,
Freely calling the need to read.

The ghosts haunt the pages,
Werewolves stalk the lines
Vampires hide among the paragraphs,
While chapters are mummified.

Come now, open that book,
The raven near you has the key
Beware what I tell you,
The story will haunt your dreams.


This poem is original and copyrighted. Please just share the link ad not the poem so others can come and read it. Thank you.

Thursday, August 07, 2014

Supernatural Friday: Towns and Cities with Names To Scare You or Freak You Out!




While working on my latest nonfiction ghost book, I discovered a section of Enon (in Chester, Virginia) that is also known by Screamersville.
Screamersville? Yes, Screamersville. There is even a page for it on FaceBook. There are some stories behind why it is called by this. Couple are ghost stories. One that the free Blacks who lived here earlier in the 20th century, are calling from their graves in a cemetery or two hidden back in woods behind some apartment buildings now there. Another concerns that the earthbound spirits of  Civil War soldiers who had their limbs amputated at a Civil War hospital that was on the land of what is now Point of Rocks Civil War Park.
But this is not the only town or land with such a scary or weird name.  Here are more:

Bad Axe, Michigan
Bat Cave, North Carolina
Black Cat, Arkansas
Blood, New Hampshire
Bloody Corners, Ohio
Bloody Springs, Mississippi
Boos, Illinois
Casper, Wyoming
Cricket Corner, New Hampshire
Cricket Hill, Georgia
Cut Off, Louisiana
Dead Mans Crossing, Indiana
Dead Women Crossing, Oklahoma
Deadman Crossing, Ohio
Deadman Landing, Florida
Deadmans Corner, Maine (there’s also one in Wyoming)
Deadwood, Oregon
Death Valley, California
Devil Canyon, California
Devil Town, Ohio (Rumor has it the Devil wasn’t such a nice guy. So we’re wondering why so many towns honor him.)
Devils Backbone, Connecticut
Devils Corner, Michigan (there’s also one in Wisconsin)
Devils Crossroads, South Carolina
Devils Den, Wyoming (there’s also one in California)
Devils Elbow, California (there’s also one in Michigan and Missouri)
Devils Gap, Nebraska
Devils Ladder, Idaho
Devils Lake, Michigan (there’s also one in North Dakota)
Devils Slide, Utah
Devils Tower, Wyoming—Remember the Devils Tower as a mashed potato sculpture in Close Encounters Of The Third Kind?
Erie, Pennsylvania
Frankenstein, Missouri
Fresh Kills, New York
Goblintown, Virginia
Half Hell, North Carolina (so it’s only half fire and brimstone?)
Hell, Michigan—is the only place where Hell freezes over..\
Hell For Certain, Kentucky
Hell Hollow, New Hampshire
Hells Corner, Ohio
Ghost Town, Texas
Ghost Creek, Texas
Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina
Little Hell, Virginia
Looneyville, Minnesota (there’s also one in New York, Texas and West Virginia.)
Monster, The Netherlands
Pumpkin Bend, Arkansas
Pumpkin Center, Alabama (also ones in Arizona, California, Florida, Indiana,
Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina,
Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, Virginia.)
Pumpkin Hill, New York
Pumpkin Hook, New York
Pumpkintown, South Carolina (also North Carolina, Tennessee, and West
Virginia)
Red Devil, Alaska
Satan’s Kingdom, Massachusetts (there’s also one in Vermont)
Scary, West Virginia
Screamer, Alabama (also Tennessee)
Seven Devils, North Carolina
Shadow Hills, California
Slaughter, Delaware (also Louisiana and Tennessee)
Spider, Louisiana
Spiderweb, South Carolina
Spook City, Colorado
Spook Hill, Maryland
Tombstone, Arizona
Skull Valley, Arizona
Skullbone, Tennessee
Skullhead, Georgia
Skull Run, West Virginia
Skull Creek, Wyoming
Transylvania, Louisiana
Transylvania Beach, Kentucky
Transylvania County, North Carolina
Witch Hazel, Oregon
Witch Lake, Michigan

How some of the towns got their names:

Bad Axe, MI: Back in 1861, two surveyors set up camp in the area and came across a badly damaged axe. To mark the site, they made a sign that read “Bad Axe Camp”, hence the city’s name was born and was officially established in 1905.

Bat Cave, NC: This is the home of Bluerock Mountain, otherwise known as Bat Cave Mountain. It features a cave that houses several species of – you guessed it – bats! Fun fact: This mountain is reportedly the “largest known granite fissure cave in North America”. Sorry, it’s not open to the public.

Casper, WY: Commonly referred to as “The Oily City”, Casper’s name originated from Lieutenant Caspar Collins who was killed in 1865 by enemy forces. Nope, that’s not a typo, folks, at least not on our part. The change in spelling is due to a typo that was mistakenly submitted when the town name was officially registered with the state of Wyoming.

Cape Fear, NC: Widely recognized as the name of a 1962 thriller (and its 1991 Martin Scorsese remake), Cape Fear is a tiny town halfway between the larger metros of Raleigh and Fayetteville. Cape Fear’s name dates back to a 1585 expedition in which a ship became stuck behind the cape. The crew was afraid they’d wreck, giving birth to the name Cape Fear.

Deadwood, OR: This small town takes its name from nearby Deadwood Creek, an area known for a series of wildfires caused by dead timber snags along the water.

Frankenstein, MO: Sorry to burst your bubble, but this small town does not take its name from the popular square-headed monster. It’s actually named after Gottfried Franken in honor of the land he donated to build a church back in 1890.

Sleepy Hollow, NY: Located on the coast of the Hudson River just minutes from White Plains, Sleepy Hollow was known as North Tarrytown up until 1996. At that time, residents voted for the name change in honor of local author Washington Irving’s story “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow”.

Slaughter, LA: The name of this small and fairly new Baton Rouge town comes from an award-winning fictional novel by Michael Ondaatje. Buddy Bolden: Coming Through Slaughter, is largely based on the legendary New Orleans jazz musician.

Slaughters, KY: A simple bet is how this town earned its name. Augustus G. Slaughter won a card game, ultimately winning the right to name the town as well as the local post office where he served as postmaster from 1860 to 1865.

Tombstone, AZ: During the late 1800s, U.S. Army scout Ed Schieffelin searched the area looking for “valuable ore samples”. Around the same time, three army officers were killed by Indians. Schieffelin’s friend told him, “The only rock you will find out there is your own tombstone.” Ed continued his search, eventually locating a stash of silver ore. He named this spot Tombstone, which became the name of the town. It’s since been dubbed “The Town Too Tough to Die.”



Have you seen places with weird or scary names, not mentioned on here. Can be anywhere in the world. If so, do leave a comment.

Wednesday, August 06, 2014

Friday, August 01, 2014

Supernatural Friday: House of Headstones and More.....



 
It can be fascinating, but it can be strange too. Most homes are built of lumber and brick. But others are made most differently.
Like a house of tombstones. Like the one in Petersburg, Virginia that will be my future nonfiction ghost  book, Haunted Peterburg and the Ghosts of the Tri-Cities Area from Schiffer Publishing. Builtin the 1930s, the builder used tombstones from Poplar Civil War Cemetery, which is in Dinwiddie County. This house’s exterior walls are fashioned from the 2000 marble tombstones of Union soldiers killed during the Siege of Petersburg. Sixty thousand people were killed during the siege, which lasted ten months during 1864-65.

To save money, the city sold these tombstones to the builder, O. E. Young, for forty-five dollars. The ones used to build the house were put in facing inwards, and then Young plastered over the inscriptions. He even made the walkway out of the tombstones too, facing down. Wooden markers were placed upon the graves at Poplar Grove at first. But wood is not a very durable material and the weather destroyed them over a couple of years. In 1873 the government replaced them with marble ones. The soldiers’ names, states, and ranks were inscribed upon these new markers. Poplar Grove is the only cemetery in a national park where the tombstones lie flat. Besides being creepy enough to live in a house of gravestones, the place is also haunted. To find out more about it, you will have to buy the book when it is finally released, to learn more.
To save money, the city sold these tombstones to the builder, O. E. Young, for forty-five dollars. The ones used to build the house were put in facing inwards, and then Young plastered over the inscriptions. He even made the walkway out of the tombstones too, facing down. Wooden markers were placed upon the graves at Poplar Grove at first. But wood is not a very durable material and the weather destroyed them over a couple of years. In 1873 the government replaced them with marble ones. The soldiers’ names, states, and ranks were inscribed upon these new markers. Poplar Grove is the only cemetery in a national park where the tombstones lie flat. Besides being creepy enough to live in a house of gravestones, the place is also haunted. To find out more about that, you have to buy the book when it is finally released, to learn more.

Though this is the only place made of markers from graves I found, other materials a builder wouldn’t think of using nor ally, are used to build buildings. More than 50,000 cans adorn John Milkovisch’s Houston home in Texas.  It also includes bottle caps, bottles and other beer paraphernalia. The project began in 1968 when Milkovisch, a retired upholsterer was tired of mowing grass and covered his front and back yards with concrete, inlaying thousands of marbles, rocks and other glittery items to create a unique lawn.
He then turned to the house and began decorating it with flattened beer cans, covering the walls and roof, and even creating beer-can wind chimes.
Garlands made of cut beer cans hanging from the roof edges not only made the house sing in the wind, but also lowered the family's energy bills.
Today the Beer Can House is a museum. Find out more on how you can visit it at http://www.beercanhouse.org/.

It was in Rockport, Massachusetts, in 1922 that mechanical engineer Elias F. Stenman constructed his two-room home, planning to insulate it with newspaper. Before long, he made the entire house out of paper, and two years and 215 layers of newspaper later, he moved in. At that, he went on to make all of the home’s furnishings — including the desk and the piano — out of newspaper as well. He worked on the project until his death in 1942. Although the frame, floor and roof are made of wood, the rest of the home is composed entirely of newspaper, all donated by Stenman’s friends and family. Although the Paper House is completely sturdy, it does have to be revarnished every few years to keep it well-preserved. Of course, you can visit it. You can learn more at http://www.paperhouserockport.com/index.html.

In the southern part of Virginia, actually in Hillsville, there’s a house made up of all things, bottles. In 1941, pharmacist John “Doc” Hope commissioned a builder to build for his daughter a playhouse made out of bottles. Glass containers that had contained castor oil to soda pop were used in construction of this place. But unlike most children’s playhouses, this one stretched from fifteen to twenty-five feet.

Nicknamed the “House of a Thousand Headaches” due to the wine bottles also used in its construction, unlike many homes today, this one has stood the test of time. It is said that unlike other homes made of bottles in the world, this one had all its bottles arranged backwards, making the inner walls green. Green bottles form an "H" pattern (for Hope) on one of the side walls. There is also a blue bottle chandelier.

 

Friday, July 25, 2014

Supernatural Friday: I've Got a Ghoul for You!


"They are neither man nor woman
They are neither brute nor human
They are Ghouls"
Edgar Allan Poe
When George Romero's Night of the Living Dead came out, the press called the undead zombies. Except Romero never coined them that term. Instead he had called them ghouls. Which would be the right term, as zombies are connected to voodoo and are people drugged and controlled, not flesh eating monsters.

What are ghouls? A ghoul is a legendary evil being that robs graves and feeds on corpses.  It is one who shows morbid interest in things considered shocking or repulsive and supposedly lives in burial grounds. In Arabic folklore, ghouls are a type of jinn that could change their shapes but had one unchanging feature: donkey's hooves for feet. Even more horrible, it kills young children and even can lure unwary folk into abandoned places. By extension, the word ghoul is also used derogatorily to refer to a person who delights in the macabre, or whose profession is linked directly to death, such as a gravedigger.
Ghoul is from the Arabic ghul, from ghala "to seize." It is even thought to come from Gallu, a Mesopotamian demon. In Sumerian and Akkadian  mythology, the Gallus (also called gallu demons or gallas [Akkadian: gallĂ»]) were great demons/devils of the underworld. Their job was to haul off unfortunate victims to the underworld and even accompanied Istar when she headed down to the underworld.
The ghul is a fiendish type of jinn believed to be sired by Iblis, known to the Devil in Islam. A ghoul is a desert-dwelling shapeshifting demon that can assume the guise of an animal especially a hyena. It lures unwary people into the desert wastes or abandoned places to slay and devour them. The creature also preys on young children, drinks blood, steals coins, and eats the dead, taking the form of the person most recently eaten. In the Arabic language, the female form is given as ghouleh and the plural is ghilan. In colloquial Arabic, the term is sometimes used to describe a greedy or gluttonous individual.
In stories and films, I think Gollum as closest to the idea of a ghoul, and wouldn't be surprised this is what Tolkien had in mind when he wrote him into The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings trilogy. What other beings in books or TV or film, do you believe they are ghouls?