Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Lizzy Borden

Lizzy Borden took an axe
And gave her mother forty whacks.
When she saw what she had done
She gave her father forty-one.
How's that for a little rhyme?  In just a few short days, it will be the anniversary of the gruesome murders that inspired the passage above.
On August 4, 1892, Andrew Jackson Borden and his wife, Abby, were murdered in their home in Fall River, Massachusetts.  The rhyme above is a little off.  Andrew suffered 11 whacks to the head while he slept on the sofa.  Abby was dealt 19 blows while she was cleaning an upstairs room.
The number one suspect in their murders was their daughter, Lizzy.  For the time, it was the trial of the century.  I mean come on...how could a woman murder anyone like that?  Yep, that was what a lot of people said.  Anyway, after a long, hard trial, Lizzy was released from police custody.  If you haven't heard the story, I highly encourage you to do a little research.  It's a very interesting piece of historical information!
The house that Lizzy Borden grew up (and possibly committed these heinous murders) in is now a bed and breakfast.  The business also gives ghost tours.  I've taken the tour twice.  The first time, I went with my husband, the second with a friend.  On my first visit, there was a large crowd and not much ghostly activity was experienced. 
The second visit was different.  My friend and I were the only ones taking the tour that day.  We heard a voice in the house and my friend's camera stopped working.  The camera began working again after leaving the house.  AND THE CAMERA WAS A FILM CAMERA!!! 
How's that for a ghost story?  Have you been to the Lizzy Borden house?  Did you have any experiences?

Friday, July 26, 2013

Gargoyles Galore

Gargoyles can be frightening for some people.  They're made of stone.  Some of them have wings and hideous faces.  But what the heck are they for?

Some explanations for the use of gargoyles are:
  • the plumbing of rainwater
  • a reminder that evil exists
  • warding off evil
  • encouragement to come to church

Gargoyles can be used to divert rain water from the roofs of buildings.  These types of gargoyles have been around since the Ancient Greeks, or maybe even before that!

Reminders of Evil

Gargoyles could have been placed on buildings to remind people that evil exists in the world.  Medieval people were warned that evil can take many forms....You better come into church, you would hate to end up like this....Sounds like something my grandma would say!

Warding off Evil

One of my favorite explanations for gargoyles is protection.  They may have been meant to stand guard and ward off evil spirits.  If they were ugly, they could scare off anything.  Gargoyles were said to have the ability of come to life at nighttime in order to keep people safe while they were sleeping and at their most vulnerable.

Encouragement for Church

In the days when Christianity was trying to become more popular, they may have used gargoyles on their churches in order to encourage pagans to come to church.  Not many people during this time were literate, so images would be used instead of words.  Since pagans were familiar with images of animals and animal/human mixtures representing their gods, Christians may have used the gargoyles to comfort the people they meant to convert.

There are some other explanations for the use of gargoyles.  The ones listed above are only some of the more popular.  Can you think of any other possible uses for gargoyles?

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Zombies? Eeewwwww!

As a hard-core vampire fan, I've been curious as to why people have started going so hog-wild over zombies. I mean, who would choose a rotting corpse?

It has been brought to my attention that zombie fans are a lot like vampire fans.

When I see the word "vampire," thoughts come to mind. I think most people are the same.  These thoughts are shaped from many books, movies, TV shows and other sources.  Whether you're thinking tall, thin, bald head, long fingers and pointy ears or sexy and well dressed, it doesn't matter.  Both forms are now widely accepted.  But there are also mythological aspects of vampires. And let's not forget about the references to human sexuality!

For zombies, physical traits can come to mind too.  Some things that come to my mind are puss, sores and missing body parts.  But I might be biased!  Anyway, it has been brought to my attention that an underlying aspect of planning for a Zombie Apocalypse has its uses too. While a person imagines what they might need if zombies ever try to take over the world, a lot of the supplies they may take along with them would probably also be needed during a natural disaster (hurricane, tornado, other evacuation). Planning for a Zombie Apocalypse can therefore help people plan for disasters of many kinds.

If you have something to add, please leave a comment for me.  You may also leave a comment if you are feeling the need to defend zombies everywhere.  However, I'm pretty sure I'll be sticking with the vampires!

Friday, July 19, 2013


I was asked by my friend and fellow writer, Mardra Sikora, to participate in a blog hop.  The topic...normal.  What is normal?  Why do people strive to be normal?  I thought about it and have decided to take this opportunity to write a blog on the abnormal....

Black pants with chains and other hardware, hair died as black as can be, thick black eyeliner and black lipstick, possibly a spiked collar...these are some of the things that would mark a person as being Goth, a freak, weird and abnormal.  Things that give other...normal...people reason to be afraid, to shy away.

Well I guess I'm not normal, because these just may be my peeps.  Though I've never adopted the tell-tale look completely, I do tend to weave certain aspects of it into my daily appearance.  I don't dye my hair black, but dark brown.  My eyes are lined with black, a lot of my clothes are black, and sometimes my jewelery can make people stare (silver and black chains, skulls, and yes...spikes).  Growing up, I realized that some of my family members were easily frightened.  And boy, does my family like to gossip!  Maybe that's why I never completely adopted the look, I don't know.

I've never been frightened off because someone looks a little odd.  I always gravitated toward stores like Hot Topic, because I liked the people in there.  I have found that these people can be some of the friendliest and most intelligent people around.  If taken the wrong way, they can come off as offensive.  When seen in a different light, the offensive becomes humorous.    

About a year and a half ago, I began to become close friends with a group of girls.  We call ourselves The 6 Pack (yes, there are six of us...a six pack of chicks).  We have nicknames too, The Bitch, The Nice One, The Bad Influence, The Freak...guess which one I am.  Yep, I'm the freak.  Am I angry with this nickname?  No, I love it!

In my experience, everyone is a nerd, geek or freak with something.  I love to read, the thicker the book, the better.  My mind tends to run toward the dark side of things and I think about vampires way too much.  How about you, where does your freakdom lie?

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Psychic Ability

Have you ever known anyone who could tell you what was going to happen before it did?  Were you ever in a room with someone while they were speaking with a member of the spirit world?  Have you ever had your Tarot cards read?

There are a number of things that may pop into your mind when you hear the word "psychic."  Crystal balls, hoop earrings, long flowing skirts, Jamaican accents...the list goes on.  But can people really be psychic?

Most people go through their day to day lives and have a limited number of occurrences where they knew things without explanation.  But what about when those occurrences happen too frequently to be ignored? 

There are people who possess certain psychic abilities.  Some of these people have one ability, others have more.  Some of the more common psychic abilities include:

  •  Aura Reading- perception of the energy fields surrounding people, places and things
  • Automatic Writing- writing produced without conscious thought
  • Clairvoyance- perception outside the human senses
  • Empathic Abilities- ability to sense and experience the feelings of others
  • Divination- gaining insight into a situation via a ritual
  • Precognition- perception of events before they happen
  • Mediumship- ability to mediate communications between our world and the spirit world

The list above is not all inclusive.  However, it is a short list of some of the abilities that I have witnessed first hand.  How about you?  Do you have any abilities to add to the list?

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Fears and Phobias

Are you one of those people that likes to experience fear?  Do you have a particular phobia?  What is the difference between a fear and a phobia?

Fear  to be afraid or apprehensive

Fear from a distance is great!  Many people like to experience fear through books and movies.  The scary scene in a movie frightens you at first, but then sometimes you're left laughing afterward.  The rush of adrenaline is intense and thrilling.

Fear in reality is different.  Did you just lock your keys in the car?  You can't find your wallet when you go to pay for something.  You turn around and notice that your small child is not by your side in a crowded store.  With hope, you've made it through your predicament without anything to worry about.  Your keys were safely in your purse.  Your wallet fell out of your pocket while you were sitting in the car.  Your little one was standing by the gumball machine.  You can take a deep breath.  It's all behind you now.

Phobia an exaggerated usually inexplicable and illogical fear of a particular object, class of objects, or situation

Phobias are not fun.  They can be debilitating.  Phobias range from the fear of heights to the fear of clowns to the fear of spiders to the fear of going outside.  There doesn't always have to be a reason for the fear, it just has to be there.  There are ways to fix a phobia and sometimes you can just grow out of them. 

I used to be afraid of ghosts but now I love to go in search of them.  I've always been afraid of spiders.  This phobia has gotten better over the years but is still very much there.  Spiders and I have come to an agreement...if they don't try to eat me, I won't kill them.  Though the urge to stomp first and ask questions later is still there, I can usually let spiders go upon their merry way.

How about you? What are you afraid of?

The above definitions were found at www.merrian-webster.com.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Spooky Specters

Have you ever felt like someone was watching you?  Like you aren't alone even though there's no one else in the room?  Has your hair ever stood on end as soon as you walked through a door?  Was the place haunted?

When I was younger, I was extremely afraid of ghosts.  I once screamed at my parents because they were watching the movie  Poltergeist and I could hear hear it in my bedroom.  Since then, I've changed.  I now find myself curious and excited about the idea of ghosts.  I've been to a few haunted locations including Gettysburg, New Orleans, Salem, MA, the Lizzy Bordon House and the Stanley Hotel.  There are a few lesser known places I've visited as well.  But what about these places makes them haunted?

Here is a list of some signs a place is haunted:

  • unexplained noises
  • doors or cabinets opening/closing on their own
  • lights turning off/on
  • cold/hot spots
  • unexplained smells
  • cries and whispers
  • feelings of heavy, hot air
  • thoughts that are not your own
  • apparitions
  • unexplained shadows
The list goes on, but you get the idea.  There are various reasons a place could be haunted.  Each location is different.  If you love that eerie feeling that ghosts can give you, keep exploring and looking for them.  If you've never experienced ghostly activity before, I encourage you to try it.  Almost any area has their own ghost stories and haunted locations.  If you don't know where to start, your local library or bookstore probably have books on the subject.  And there's always the Internet.  Look around and see what you can find.  You just may discover a new hobby!