Tuesday, September 13, 2011

A Haunting on Wood Avenue

   We were driving home this afternoon and noticed black plastic trash bags lining the windows of the old Westmoreland Building on Wood Ave. Intrigued, I slowed down to check it out. 
   Usually black trash bags in the windows of old buildings this time of year can only mean one thing.... HAUNTED HOUSE!

   Turns out it was the Big Stone Gap Fire Department putting on a Haunt. My first experiencing working IN a Haunted House was for the BSG Fire Dept so I can't wait to see what they have in store this year! There was a bunch of woodworking and saws running out front tonight getting it ready. If the amount of people running about and working on it are an indicator of how good it will be, it should be GREAT!
   Make sure you get out and visit this Haunt. It's for a great cause to boot! I have updated the 2011 Haunted Attractions near Wise County page with the below info:


Big Stone Gap Fire Department Haunted House

   Located on Wood Ave in Big Stone Gap, Just down from Ball's TV in the Old Westmoreland Building. This is one of the first groups I did a home town haunt with. Hope some of the old group is still there. It's in a great location with the creepy old building and all plus it is for a GREAT cause. This is one I will absolutly be hitting several times! wicKEDly ranKED review coming soon!
   This is the only information they had available on their website as of now:
Location: Inside the Old Westmoreland Building
Admission: $5.00 per entry or $20 unlimited entries all night
Schedule: Every Friday and Saturday in October as well as everyday the week of Halloween.
Caution:This will be a dark confusing enviroment with strobe lights in use!

   If anybody knows of any other  Haunted Attraction out there I don't have listed, or if you would like to request an in depth review of your favorite, drop me a line please! I am always looking for more  local stories, haunts, ghost stories, etc so reach out to me with your wicKED information. 

It's a sign of the times.... x2

   We were at the local Foodcity yesterday and I was happy to see pumpkins on display.  They had these HUGE white ones that would make great ghostly jack-o-lanterns as well as the usual selection of gourds and traditional pumpkins. Just another sign that the Halloween season is coming upon us quickly.

   What was sad for me was that while the sign on the box proclaims they are all locally grown.... they still need to charge 12.99 each for them! Even the standard pumpkins were 7.99! This will force the savvy haunter to just buy a forever pumpkin that they can use year after year. I can recall the good old days when locally grown meant you were not paying for the high cost of transport. Thank goodness they were not from farther away as we would need a co-signer to purchase one.
   I am further saddened by the fact that most of these will likely go to waste and not be used in Halloween celebrations because people will not want to pay for them just to carve.
   The economy has struck another blow at Halloween enthusiast across the nation. First the slow sale of summer and back to school items has delayed the Halloween merchandise from hitting shelves like they have in the past. Now they want an arm and a leg for the coolest pumpkins.
   We will be doing our part to be ready for next year here at the wicKED Mannor. Recycling old or broken props into bigger, badder, scarier inventions. Building most of the items we need for our haunt from hand rather than paying premium price for inferior products from retailers.  I also plan on buying up pumpkin seeds from the local farmers market in prep for some organic gardening next spring.
    Even our little demon cat Lily is doing her part this year to help out with rising cost....
   She has started eating the neighborhood children and any stray Jehovah's Witness that come to the door to save on cat food. She plans on taking the money we save and buying us a big old white pumpkin....as soon as she finds a co-signer.....

Monday, September 12, 2011

Just in time for Halloween! GLOW IN THE DARK CATS!!!!!

photo courtesy of  Mayo Clinic vai Reuter
   I am not pulling your leg, nor am I crazy. There are green glowing cats in this world and I want one by golly!
   It's not some science experiment gone wrong or "luxury" pet gene experiment. It's actually for a good cause in the fight against feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) which causes AIDS in our four legged friends. This research is also being used in the fight against HIV.
   Scientist are inserting monkey genes which block the virus into cat with glorious results. They use green fluorescent protein gene from the jellyfish Aequorea victoria that makes them glow green. This helps them spot the altered cells better. It also cause the cats to glow green (harmlessly) and they pass it down to their offspring as well. Special thanks to my friend, Angie M. for bringing this to my attention.

*For the complete news article, click HERE*

Here is Mr Green Genes as seen on the Today show.

   Before anyone gets on a soap box about animal testing, let me say this. I am against animal testing for commercial use PERIOD.  This, however, is for the greater good of not only cats around the world (which I have 2 that I dearly love), but also their human companions. If they were doing this to make a new mascara or for some erectile dysfunction drug, I would not be posting and would take great offence to it. I would be more likely to defend an animal over most adult humans that i know.  So put your soap boxes back in the closet next to the Christmas decorations... thanks!

   That being said.... I WANT ONE!!!

The Zombie Apocalypse is upon us! Well, if you're a Gypsy Moth Caterpillar that is.

   I stumbled across an article today about scientist identifying a virus which cause the gypsy moth caterpillar to turn into mindless zombies!!!
    Nobody panic! It does not turn them into brain eating worms, it just causes them to crawl off and die.
   In a nutshell, these caterpillars eat high in the tops of trees at night and crawl down to the ground during the day to hide from predators.  The virus causes them to crawl to the top of the tree (even in the day) and just stand there. They don't eat or move... just stay there till they die and liquefy (or are horribly masticated by predators). By them dying in the top of the tree (where the other non zombie worms eat) they spread the virus all over the leaves and it continues.
*For full details see the article HERE*

   This is disturbing to me for several reasons. Apparently this virus has come about naturally as a way for population control of the caterpillars. How long is it before nature comes up with something similar for us!?!? Could you imagine what would happen to us if the same virus attacked humans? We would stop what we are doing and head to the nearest McDonald's where we would stand near the counter and drip in the food as it comes out.
Photo credit: Kathryn Findlay
   You may argue that we are safe because the virus only effects caterpillars. Need I remind you that some of the most terribly viruses originated in the animal kingdom (HIV from chimps, H1N1 in birds, etc) ? It most likely will not hop straight over and start being a human strain virus, but it's one mutation away from jumping ship to another species. Life could get sticky if that happened.
   Looking beyond the nature aspect of this whole Zombie Virus mess, we have to look at the human influence. I can just imagine some guy in a cave in a third-world country with a cage full of zombie caterpillars. He is probably laughing like a maniac as he declares war on the infidels with his soon to be perfected Zombie Virus! 

   Too far fetched for your tastes? How about a government bunker out in the dessert somewhere in Arizona? A jeep rolls up delivering a unmarked package.... a package containing ZOMBIE CATERPILLARS! 
   If that were the case and some egg-head super scientist in a bunker were truly working on this for Uncle Sam, I am sure it is for the greater good and protection of this great nation of ours. You know the saying though. The road to damnation is paved with good intentions......
   I know this post has been more on the funny side rather than the dark and creepy, but I for one could use a little humor to start out the week. 
    It is a very real subject and I ran across another blog that details some other scientific cases of zombie like situations in nature. The article comes from Miss Cellania's Files and can be accessed HERE . It's a creepy read indeed! 
    Since zombies make terrible gardeners (and I am all out of my zombie making virus), I am off to do battle with the lawn! I hope I don't run into any zombie wildlife while I am out there!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

The ghost and the Pumpkin.

    So ends another hum-drum weeKEnD. Not much in the way of Halloween happenings went on. Oh well, there will be other sunny days to work with.
   There were some unearthly sounds coming from the back of the house late last night. Moans and groans followed by a few screams. You see, I have been haunted for the last week. Nothing supernatural unfortunately. I had a bout with a kidney stone in the early AM and I came out the winner. Even if I feel like I lost. It did manage to sap all of my creativity and drive. From now on, the only stones I want to deal with are the kind with an epitaph engraved on them.
   The title of this blog may be a bit misleading, but true to my word I did have an encounter with a ghost and a Pumpkin this afternoon. First an actual picture of a ghost!
   A ghost caterpillar that is. Little bugger is eating my Lilac bush! I bet a sting from him would make me forget all about that stone business.

   And now to the Pumpkin. I regret to inform you that there are no pumpkins growing in the wicKED garden this year, but I did get a visit from our neighbors's cat Pumpkin.
   He's a little raggedy but a fine feline. He always comes over and grabs a snack then heads to the big chair on the front porch to catch 20 winks. When the Halloween decorations are out in full force, he always curls up in the lap of our sitting scarecrow. Too bad Pumpkin is't a black cat, but I won't hold that against him.
   New week is about to start. Hopefully I can get back in the wicKED groove. Time will tell.

A costume does not a haunter make

   It takes more than a costume to be a haunter. It apparently takes more than a costume to make an effective criminal.
   So some half wit gets a Gumby costume and tries to hold up a gas station. He manages to steal 27 cents from the "need a penny take a penny" cup, only to drop it on the way out of the store. See actual news footage below:

   This leaves me with a few unanswered questions :
  1. Why did he not have a weapon? He said he had a gun in the costume but come on! I mean you are wearing a very non threatening costume so at least look menacing with a bat, machete, or even a rock! Then make sure the costume you wear has FINGERS so you can hold the weapon.... not to mention the loot you get!
  2. Why are people stupid? Here is the kicker... there were two master minds behind this. Gumby in the store and an accomplice. Why did it not occur to either of them how bad an idea this was?
  3. Was the driver of the getaway van dressed like Pokey?
  4. And finally, was this guy trying to make Halloween look bad or just Gumby? 
   Too bad he did not find this costume first!
That would have been some good news footage!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

It's as if summer is trying one last desperate attempt to hang on.....

At least today wasn't a total loss. I got some fairly good pictures of the Jeweled Touch-Me-Nots in the back yard.

They are everywhere!

    I always like to see these come in full bloom because of the timing. I always put the summer stuff up and drag out all the fall and Halloween things on the last weekend of Sept. These flowers are always full in bloom when I do.

   At dusk. I caught this rascal harassing one of the frogs in the pond... he even had the nerve to cuss me out in bird calls when I pointed the camera at him.

   The moon was nearly full... it is a bright night out!
   I will actually miss the garden lights.
   There is something, "other worldly" about them.
   Hard to believe that this warmly lit, welcoming  portal will soon become a scream factory for little children.

   Nothing much creepy or spooky going on this weeKEnD..... maybe I will luck up and another vampire attack will go down in Florida.....

What a bright beautiful day! Think I will make something dark and horrid!

   Finally! Perfect weather for projects! Heading out to gather supplies, hit some garage sales, then back to creepy stuff! We hope to get our ground breakers skinned today and maybe make a few chicken wire dummies. Hope everybody is having a wicKEDly great day!

Friday, September 9, 2011

It's a fact.... vacant Hooters Restaurants are Vampire magnets.

I thought it was going to be a boring day of blog posting when I ran across this little gem here from a local news site:

Josephine Rebecca Smith
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) - Police say a woman told a 69-year-old St. Petersburg man she was a vampire before biting off chunks of his face and part of his lip.
Milton Ellis told police Thursday he was sleeping in his motorized wheelchair on the porch of a vacant Hooters when the attack happened
Police spokesman Mike Puetz says the man woke up to find 22-year-old Josephine Rebecca Smith on top of him. Ellis escaped after the attack and called police. Police found Smith at the restaurant, half naked and covered in blood.
The injuries to Ellis required stitiches.
The St. Petersburg Times reports Smith, of Pensacola, told police she had no idea what happened.
She was arrested on a charge of aggravated battery on an elderly person. Bail was set at $50,000.
This is for real. You can find the link HERE ! News story below :

   Couple of questions come to mind here.

  1. What the hell was an elderly man in a motorized wheel chair  doing on the front porch of a vacant Hooters? Was he waiting for it to open? Was he lost? I think he knew that he would find a half naked vampire chick if he went there!
  2. Has Josephine never read a book or watched a movie with Vampires in it? They bite the NECK! Would it kill you to pretend correctly? By the way "vampire woman", you don't announce you are a vampire before you attack them! Jeez! 
  3. If she was truly going to pretend to be a vampire and attack somebody, could she not have have sprung for a 25 cent pair of vampire fangs? I mean come on!
   At least she sort of looks like a vampire. She has the pale dead skin complexion going for her.  To bad she did not go all the way with the look ....
   This could have been an entirely different news story all together if she had!

Oh inanimate objects! You mock me with your silence!

    It has rained here for days and days. Besides making my grass grow impossibly fast, it also puts a damper on Halloween projects. As soon as we have a couple of good dry days, we will drag our creations to the drive way and begin to slap them full of paper mache skins.
   They have been sitting in our living room staring at us for so long, they are beginning to seem almost comical.  Like some macabre Three Scary Stooges, (Scooges if you will). I think I will name them :

    I really think I need to get out of the house before the cats start talking to me..........

Uh oh......

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Frightfully Fantastic Terror Television


   Just in time for Halloween season comes some great horror themed programs! Let's start off with what is currently on the Boo Tube:

   MTV offers this little nugget of evil. Think of it as COPS meets TRUE BLOOD with a dash of RENO 911 for flavor. 
“A year ago, vampires, werewolves and zombies mysteriously descended upon the streets of California’s San Fernando Valley. Death Valley is the dark comedy that follows the cops that capture the monsters, and the camera crew that captures the cops.

Follow the horrific yet comedic exploits of the newly formed Undead Task Force (UTF), a division of the LAPD created to combat the emergence of monsters in the San Fernando Valley. Death Valley showcases the outrageous and courageous men and women working the toughest beat in the US: Death Valley."

   Cast members include :  Bryan Callen (Hangover II), Caity Lotz (Mad Men), Tania Raymonde (LOST) and Texas Battle (Final Destination 3).  
   It's a fun little show to watch and with the supernatural theme, it's like icing on the cake. The humor is campy and the effects are fairly good and the acting is... well 2 out of 3 aint bad!. If you're into raunchy reality with a horrifically humorous twist, then this is right up your alley. 
   Death Valley airs on MTV, Monday nights at 10:30 Eastern. 

   SyFy's newest paranormal program offers professional reenactments of documented paranormal cases. 
"From Raw TV, the acclaimed creative team behind "Locked Up Abroad" and "Gold Rush Alaska", this tense, filmic and high-octane drama-documentary series brings to life the stories of people who have lived through paranormal experiences that defy explanation. Using the mixture of intimate first-hand testimony and grittily realistic drama that Raw TV is known for, "Paranormal Witness" will transport the audience into a world turned upside down by extraordinary and terrifying events. "Paranormal Witness" is produced by Raw TV. Executive producers: Dimitri Doganis and Bart Layton."
   Not a bad first showing. Reminds me of a supernatural themed "Unsolved Mysteries" with no host. It's good for a couple of chills.
   Paranormal Witness airs on Syfy, Wednesdays at 10 Eastern.

Moving on to upcoming shows for the Halloween minded viewer :

   Spike TV unleashes another epic battle with Deadliest Warriors : Vampires vs Zombies. If you are a DW fan then you already know what a treat it is to tune in each week and watch two historic figures go head to head to the death. Now throw in two of the greatest undead figures of all time and you have a combination for great  TV.
In “Vampires vs. Zombies,” the “Deadliest Warrior” franchise takes on its first-ever fantasy matchup to determine once and for all, which of these mythical creatures would come out on top in this battle of the undead. Vampires and Zombies have terrorized and tantalized their way through pop culture for decades – from “Dracula” to the “Twilight Saga” to “Walking Dead.” The unprecedented television event features an array of icons of film and fiction who are authorities on the topic, including George Romero (“Night of the Living Dead”), Max Brooks (World War Z)¸Steve Niles (30 Days of Night), Scott Bowen (Vampire Survival Guide) and Matt Mogk (founder of the Zombie Research Society). Through these expert interviews, scientific tests and careful analysis, it will be determined who would win in a battle to the death between these two iconic groups.

   This will be airing on SPIKE TV September 14th at 9pm. It is a 2.5 hour LIVE season finale event. I kinda hoped for a Vampire vs Werewolf show, but this promises to be one heck of a ride!

Last but not least I have a super sweet tidbit from Food Network. We all know that Food Network always has some great Halloween specials showing us how to decorate and cook up Halloween goodness. This year they have raised the bar....really high! Coming October 2nd at 9pm, Food Network will air :

The following is a press release from Food Network :
Food Network puts viewers in the Halloween spirit, serving up a deliciously scary new primetime series, "Halloween Wars", premiering Sunday, October 2nd, at 9pm ET/PT. The four-episode competition series places five teams, comprised of cake decorators, candy makers and pumpkin carvers, working in unison to create the ultimate Halloween themed display. One team is eliminated each week, with the winner taking home $50,000. Hosted by Justin Willman ("Cupcake Wars"), and including renowned cake decorator Shinmin Li and Hollywood conceptual artist Miles Teves on the judging panel, the competitors must battle it out to prove who is the best, all the while scaring viewers' pants off with some of the most amazing horror tales through their cake, candy and pumpkins. Each episode will see a celebrity guest judge join the panel including Rob Zombie (musician/film director, Halloween), Jaime King (actress, Sin City), Scout Taylor-Compton (actress, The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement), and R.L. Stine (author, Goosebumps).Episodes include:
Premiering Sunday, October 2nd at 9pm ET/PT - SEASON PREMIERE!
"Witches and Scary Places"
Five teams go to battle to create mind-blowing Halloween-themed displays of a creepy witch and a scary haunted house. At the end of the battle, one team's creation won't be enough to impress the judges forcing them to go home with tricks and no treats.
Premiering Sunday, October 9th at 9pm ET/PT
"Scary Tales"
The four remaining teams battle to create Halloween-themed displays of a twisted version of a fairy tale.
Premiering Sunday, October 16th at 9pm ET/PT
"Zombies vs. Vampires"
Three remaining teams create an epic, sugary sweet battle between zombies and vampires.
Premiering Sunday, October 23rd at 9pm ET/PT
In the finale, the last teams standing create mind-blowing displays of the unknown underworld. In the end, one team creates the scariest and most impressive display and wins the title of Halloween Wars champion and a $50,000 grand prize.
   So we have Cupcake Wars meets Rob Zombie for an all out Halloween treat feat. Sounds good to me... pass the beer.

Since there is no trailer or even pictures out there of "Halloween Wars" (I had to make my own Rob with a cupcake!), I will leave you with a clip of Rob Zombie's  "Dragula".

The train tracks always lead him home.... and sometimes beyond.

   My great grandfather on my mother's side, Charles Collins, had several encounters with the supernatural.  My mother still tells me these stories to this day. What makes these stories so strange is the kind of man my great grandfather was proclaimed to be. He was a no nonsense kind of fellow who was not taken to flights of fancy or imagination. He was the groundskeeper for the local cemetery and was firmly grounded in reality.  He was not one to joke, kid, or exaggerate. Tending to the dead and the grieving had a way of sobering a man's view. That's why when my mother tells me these stories, they hit home a bit harder.
   One of these tales stands out to me and I will share it with you now.
   It was late Autumn in 1960. Charles lead a very structured work life as head groundskeeper at Glencoe Cemetery. It was a very repetitive existence but my great grandfather thrived in the structure of it.
  Every Friday at quitting time, Charles would drive a town truck from the cemetery to the stone mason just a few miles down the road. He would drop the truck off at the mason's shop so that they would have it loaded with ordered tombstones or other stone work for Monday morning. Having no vehicle himself, he would then walk home following the railroad track to 2nd street, right across from his home. Luckily he had a good friend, "Skinny" Wilson, who would meet him there and walk home with him.
    Skinny worked for the railroad. He was one of those jack of all trade workers at the local station yard. He was mostly in charge of ensuring the large metal "arm" of the water tower was positioned correctly over the engine. He was very good at this due to his stature, from which he gleaned his nick-name. Being a small man, he could easily climb the side of the train engines as they came into the yard. He would scurry under the heavy spout and secure it to the boiler.
   Unfortunately, Skinny Wilson was always about half a bottle shy of being the town drunk. While not one of those staggering Ottis types from Mayberry, he kept it at a steady pace. Often, he would drink himself into a good nap while waiting on Charles to get off work. Several times, my papaw would find Skinny, passed out and using the train rail for a pillow and his old wool jacket as a blanket. Charles was a deeply religious man and would then preach to him the entire way home about his drinking.
   "You are going to wake up dead one of these nights Skinny! That train is going to take your head!" he would berate to the intoxicated man.
   "Then thank the Lord I have you Charles to watch after me and guide me home!" Skinny, would always respond.
   It was a very familiar argument that anybody within ear shot had overheard countless times. My mother said the only reason they put up with each other was papaw needed somebody to walk with and Skinny needed somebody to wake him up and lead him home.
   On one such Friday, my great grandfather found himself working very late into the evening. He had to see to the digging of 2 graves before he could end his day. It was already dark when he started down the road in the town truck. Being as late as it was, Charles fully expected his friend to have given up and walked home long ago, especially as cold as this particular night was. Parking the truck, he  then climbed up the steep bank and started following the familiar tracks home.

   It was very dark on those tracks, having no street lights to find his way. He was fortunate to have a nearly full moon to give some form of  illumination on his journey. Walking alone must have been unnerving to say the least. He must have felt very relieved when he saw the familiar form of Skinny Wilson, huddled up in his old wool coat by the track just ahead.
   "Come on Skinny! You're going to catch pneumonia on that cold ground!" he called out to to the figure.
   The form under the long wool coat did not move. Charles thought he must have drank the bottle dry waiting on him and was down for the count.
   Moving closer to the wool covered form, he called out again, "Skinny! Come on now, we gotta get moving!  No God fearing man should be out this late at night.".
   Again, no sign of movement at all from the form. As he moved in closer, he could see the old wool coat in detail as it covered the humped up form of his friend. He bent down to shake his friend awake. As his hand made contact with the materials of the coat , he was surprised to feel how terribly cold and damp it felt. Gently he shook the form. The figure in the jacket did not respond.
   Charles must have been very frustrated with Skinny as he reached down with both hands and roughly pulled him up to his feet.
   "Come on Skinny, get up and head down the track to your home and your own bed!",  he grunted with the effort.
   Slowly Skinny stood up. Not like a normal person would using their hands to push them up on their knees, but almost as if the figure rose straight into the air. The figure continued to rise until it was fully erect and standing whole in front of Charles. Whole, except the figure had no head!
   Charles stumbled back trying to put distance between him and the headless figure in front of him. Not daring to take his eyes from his friend with the missing head, he back peddled furiously.
   The figure stood motionless there for a several seconds, as if staring back at Charles, if it had a head that is. Then, with no warning, the figure turned and slowly walked away. It headed down the tracks away from him. Charles watched the figure shuffle away until the darkness swallowed it.
   At that point, my great grandfather ran like a man possessed back down the bank to the truck he had parked just a few minutes ago. He started it up and flew back to his house. My mother was just a young girl, but she knew something was wrong with her grandfather. He was pale and out of breath. Once he had regained his composure, he described his encounter in vivid detail to his family.
   He soon had steadied himself enough to drive over to Skinny's house and check on him. The door was locked, and the lights out. Charles beat on all the doors and windows but Skinny was either not home or not answering. He hoped he was passed out drunk in his bed. Reluctantly my great grandfather returned home, vowing to return in the morning when Skinny had slept it off.
    The next day, true to his word, he returned. Charles was surprised to meet the Sheriff  as he pulled up to his friends house. The Sheriff was the bearer of bad news. He went on to tell him that Skinny had been found dead near the station yard. Apparently skinny was working on the side of an engine, securing the water spout. The train had lurched forward pulling Skinny under the large spout, severing his head at the neck. His body was not found till that following morning as it had rolled down an embankment and was hidden in the weeds.  Nobody had missed Skinny because he was filling the last Engine scheduled that day and it was close to quitting time. The other men all thought he was in a hurry to hit the bottle and had headed home.
   The most disturbing news from the Sheriff was that they were still looking for the head and feared it had been scavenged by wild animals.
   I can only imagine how my grandfather reacted to this news. Skinny had died at around 4pm that Friday and my papaw had his encounter with the headless form at almost 10pm!
   My great grandfather never walked those tracks again....even though his good friend was still willing to walk with him from beyond the grave.....

   I have to wonder if Skinny Wilson even realized he was dead? If his spirit continued to follow the same routine as it had in life? Was it waiting on my great grandfather to direct it and guide it home? Maybe it was a sense of loyalty that Skinny stayed behind to walk home with his friend.  Perhaps he was searching for his missing head that was never recovered or trying to lead my papaw to where it was located.
   We may never know why this spirit lingers, but to this day, people still report seeing a ghost on the tracks during full moons. A headless form wearing an old wool jacket that hops up and heads down the track when approached. 

   I wonder what  one would find if they ever followed him?


Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Wanna see something really scary?

Then click below!

   When you are done with that, head on over to the 2011 Haunted Attraction page to find a listing of other scary things to see.  Just updated it with all confirmed haunts in our area thus far.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Some secrets are best left with the dead.


   Madame Borlae was one of the most noted mediums of the time. Claiming roots from far off Romania as well as boasting mystical powers from a possible royal blood line, she was quite the social figure. She even had regular articles about her in nationally syndicated newspapers. That was an incredible feat for any female in 1931 New York. These articles would cover her seances and contacting the dead. In this, the medium was unequaled. Able to discern great personal things about her living clients through the voices of their beloved dead. Several times she had celebrities or political figures seek her out. When they would, the newspapers would surely follow. However, the articles were not always flattering.
   James Bower was a noted journalist with a penchant for digging up the truth no matter the cost. He had sat in on one of Madame Borlae's sessions with a prominent local judge. During the sessions, she channeled the spirit of the judge's dead brother who told the judge to give up his worldly possession to all in need. Conveniently the spirit suggested he should start with the medium, which the judge did. Ever since then, James had devoted untold time and resources into proving the psychic a fraud.
   Over the last month, James had published several scathing articles about the medium. The last one exposed her true name as Jane Miller from Nebraska. Although this lowered her long list of paying clients, she still found true believers that continued to come to her for advise from the beyond. James may have been able to discover the secret of her identity, but he was never able to debunk any of her "powers" and this was wearing on him.
   Lately James had taken to more aggressive measure of exposing the woman. Over the last week, he had been able to find, and interrupt, three of her scheduled sessions with paying clients. Due to this very fact, James was surprised to receive a hand delivered letter from the would be charlatan at his office.
   The letter was almost a plea from Madame Borlae for the "war" between them to stop. The note offered  a truce of sorts, if he would come to her private home, she would reveal all the secrets to her psychic powers and medium abilities. The request for the meeting was for that very day. It was signed "Madame Borlae, Medium Extraordinaire".
   With a smirk, he grabbed a pen and crossed out the signature. He scribbled underneath the ruined words, "Jane Miller, EXPOSED FRAUD".
   "I have you now Jane!" he said to himself. Reaching for his hat and overcoat, he headed down to the street to hail a cab.
   He arrived at the very opulent home of the soon to be exposed medium. A butler ushered him into the back study after taking his hat and coat. The study was obviously a place where she would conduct private "sessions" with clients. The only seat in the room was at a small black topped table with two chairs sitting across from each other. He took the seat closest to him.
   James took note of his surroundings. The room was decorated in all dark colors with macabre paintings and oddities displayed among the many shelves. The ambiance was certainly befitting a place one would speak to the dead.
    He was soon greeted by the woman whom he had crossed swords with for so long. She entered from behind him and made her way to the table.
   "Come clean and show me how you do it!". he boldly said as she took a seat across from him at the table.
   "Patients good sir," she said as she rang a small silver bell at the table. "All will be revealed in time, but first let us have tea like civilized humans.".  The butler appeared with a silver tea set. Putting a fine china cup and saucer in front of them both, he poured their tea and disappeared back through the double door of the study, closing them behind him.
   James gave a cross look at the cup offered to him and pushed it slightly forward. "Do you think me mad? What if you poisoned it? My death would make life much easier for you wouldn't it JANE?"
   The woman visibly flinched when she heard her true name. "My dear James, I would not stoop so low as to put poison in your tea!" She reached across the table to his cup and delicately took a long sip from his. She then slid it back in front of him.
   She set back and began to enjoy her own cup. "If I wanted you dead, I would not poison you in my own house where your death could be traced back to me.".
   James relaxed and took a long sip of the hot tea. It was really good. Chamomile with a hint of honey and some other sweet flavor. He took  a second sip and sat back in his chair. "How do you do it? How do you know the things you do about your clients".
   "Perhaps a demonstration is in order?". She leaned forward and stared deeply into his eyes. In an lower, more somber tone she began," You enjoy shopping at fine establishments. You prefer to pay top dollar for imported material rather than equally suitable local fair."
   James stared back and leaned in as well. "Your butler checked the labels in my hat and coat and somehow got word to you about the origins of those garments." His tone was mockingly close to her own.
   The psychic did not show any signs of being defeated. She simply closed her eyes and tilted her head back slightly.
    In the same tone, she spoke to him.  "I foresee that you will lose a good deal of money tonight.". Her eyes remained shut.
   Again James was ready with a retort. "You entered from behind me and undoubtedly saw the bills I keep folded in a clip peeking out of my pocket." Snorting slightly he continued, "No doubt a person of your class is also an accomplished pick pocket and you intend to see that your prediction will come true before I leave your home tonight.". James sat back in a cocky manner and drained the last of his tea. He sat the empty cup down with a loud clatter.
   The sound seemed to break her "trance". Slowly the medium opened her eyes and leveled her gaze at him from across the table. "How about this then..... I foresee your death. Right here at this table, your breath will cease and you will shuffle off this mortal coil...tonight!".
   James straightened is his chair. "What on earth are you talking about fraud?". His voice trailed off and he was shocked to feel his wind pipe closing as he forced his next breath. Her only reply was a knowing smile.
   Panic set in and he jumped to his feet only to feel the room spin around him. He quickly found himself on his knees as every breath came at a greater cost.
   "You said no poison...... you drank the same tea? How.....what..... what did you do?". His tone was a gurgling whisper by this point and he was having trouble staying even on his knees. He propped himself up on one arm so he could keep his eyes on her.
   The medium had stood up for a better view of her quarry. "Dearest James, true to my word I did not poison you. The papers would have a field day if they found traces of poison in your system after your body is discovered at my home. The tea had nothing added to it except a dash of honey and hmm, oh yes! Almond extract. Lots of it!".
   James looked on horrified. He was deathly allergic to almonds! How had this woman found that out? Only he and his parents had known this and both of his parent were long dead. He had kept it to himself his whole life not wanting to show any signs of weakness.
   She continued,"What better way for you to pass on than from a silly, weak, allergy in my house? Nobody even knew you had it.". It was hard for her to contain the smile on her face. "Nobody will say a word about the circumstances and I could use the publicity of saying you were here to seek my services the night you died. Talk about irony!".
    The room seemed to get darker and he felt himself slipping away. He managed to squeeze out a single word to Jane. "How........".
    She managed a fake look of concern. "Oh dear sweet James, your mother told me all I needed to know about you.". Her tone was sickeningly sweet, "She was more than happy to tell me all about her baby boy.".
   The frown on his face revealed that James was critic to the end. "D...d...dead.. mother......long...gone". He managed to whisper. The room felt like a ship deck tossed in a storm. He was barely conscious from lack of oxygen as his airways continued to close.
   Jane smiled and reached for an object on the bookcase nearby. Firmly she set the object on the table where the dying man could see it. It was a skull. Bits of hair and dusty, paper like skin still clung to it.
   With great theatrical flare she rose to her full height and proclaimed, "I, Madame Borlae, dug your mothers bones up late last night and pulled her soul from the ever after to do as I bid! Her spirit had no choice but to tell me all, lest she suffer for all eternity!".
   Madame Borlae knelt down beside the near breathless man and took the thick money clip from his pocket. "See James, I was right about my prediction after all.". She flashed the money in his face before it disappeared into her own pocket.
   As James faded into oblivion, he could swear he saw the faint glowing apparition of  a woman standing behind the murdering thief. The ghostly figure looked exactly like his mother!
  As he slipped into eternal darkness he was sure the figure of his mother was crying......

Monday, September 5, 2011

Fear not the forest..... fear what lurks within!

 Just received some wicKED words from an inside source about this year's annual MECC Haunted Forest. I was very glad to hear from this local haunt and finally get confirmation of it's imminent opening.
The terror begins the second weekend in October (October 7) and is open Friday's and Saturday's from 7pm-11pm. through the end of October. Admission is $5.00 per victim. 
 Our resident Graveyard Undertaker "Dr. Cadaver" assures me that there will be the return of several past favorite Ghouls and Psycho Killer Clowns as well as some new fright filled scenes with Zombies and a werewolf on the prowl. You can also expect to encounter a few "insane" residents and other creatures along your foggy torch lit journey as well.   Careful in the graveyard though," Dr. Cadaver" has the Grim Reaper searching for a few more souls. It would be a "grave" mistake to get lost there!
The Haunted Forest isn't like any other haunted house because it takes place in a REAL forest- with all the creepy, natural ambiance to go with it. There aren't any walls to protect you from the horrors that lurk in the trees, and no roof to keep out the howling October winds. 

   For further information, head over to the MECC Haunted Forest website (soon to be updated) or follow my blog on this and all other Wise County Haunted Attraction this year.
   I will be looking forward to exploring the dark paths of the Haunted Forest myself! As soon as I do, I will be posting a full review and get it wicKEDly ranKED. Hope to see you there!

And remember, in the Haunted Forest.... question not if you are brave enough to enter.....rather if you feel lucky enough to leave!

With a ghastly shriek.... the monstrosity willed itself into being!

   It's desire to exist almost outweighed it's hunger for human flesh. Pulling together bones made from newspaper and wire , it slowly takes form. Silvery strips of duct tape slither forth to form tendon and muscle. It's newly formed talons claw at the ground in search of a suitable receptacle for it's evil intelligence. The bony appendages slide over a nearby plastic Halloween skull. The claws eagerly clutch the orb as the torso shivers in hideous anticipation. The skull was a mere child's toy a few moments ago. Now it houses the vile essence of a creature that should not be! As an unearthly shriek emanates from it's newly acquired head, it drags itself along in search of it's next component to bring itself further into reality. 


Well that or some newspaper and carpet glue... maybe some paper towels and elmer's.

   What a way to spend Labor day, laboring away on our zombies. If the rain breaks,  we will try to suitably dress them in some fine paper and glue skin with a hint of summer tan coming from wood stain. Hope all of my readers are having a wicKED Labor day. 

Sunday, September 4, 2011

They're coming for you Barbara!

    Run for yer lives! They have came back from the scrap wood pile! Destined to be kindling but some strange force calls them back! Now they roam around our front porch. Silently stalking our every move! All night we could here their mournful cries of "paaaaaper maaaaache" or "chiiiiiiiken wiiiiiire".  

   Ok....I'm not buying it either. We got tons of work to do before these five stands (and their one illegitimate PVC cousin that is going in  the water access man hole cover) can do their job of scaring the bujeebus out of little children. Looks like we are going to be making rolled newspaper and duct tape bones all night tonight unless I can come up with another angle to this. Let me see........


   Nope.... guess we got work to do.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

The foul liquids inside were glowing as if evil itself radiated within the vile tubes.

   We finished 5 zombie stands (Spookeyblue style) in record time. Now we are moving on to corpsing some dead stuff.
   Miranda wanted a unique serving tray to serve drinks with at the Halloween party this year. We threw together a rough test tube rack. It is not sanded or painted yet. I plan on throwing a couple of coats of flat black on it in the morning. Then it will loo truly wicKED. I just could not wait to share how cool this dirt cheap test tube drink serving rack is.
(FYI test tubes were the $1 ones we got at Dollar Tree today) 

Rough rack with standard lights.
Rough rack with standard lights on and black light. It even glows with the lights on!
Lights off! Black lights on! wicKED!!!!

Truly one of the best Labor Day weeKEnDs I can recall.
 Now back to zombies!