Monday, September 27, 2010

The Uncovered Ghost...

The more people I get to know the more haunted places I hear about. There are so many paranormal investigation groups out there. SO many. But luckily there are thousands of rumored-to-be-haunted spots across the United States as well as around the world. I was checking out a few abandoned locations the other day I heard about recently and found something I wasn't quite expecting.

In the Finger Lakes region of north central New York State just outside of Syracuse is an area known as Split Rock. It was the site of a an open pit limestone mining operation beginning in 1881 known as Split Rock Quarry. After its abandonment around 1912 another company set up operation there where phenol was refined into picric acid to create TNT. On July 12, 1918 an uncontrollable fire broke out reaching the munitions plant and causing an explosion that rocked the area, killing around 65 workers and injuring at least 50 more employees. After World War I business faded and the factory was abandoned but the site still draws people interested in catching a phantom from the disaster.

The victims from that night were dyed a yellowish-green tint from the acid and according to legend you can see glowing figures of the same color around the mine and rock crusher still to this day. While some were burned alive by the acid, others were buried in the rubble when the blast rocked the mine. The rock crusher itself is said to hum on some nights as though it is still in operation. Visitors report strange lights and glowing figures. Allegedly, at least one exorcism was performed at the ruins to remove the confused and unhappy spirits. Even during the day there have been reports of footsteps, cold spots, voices and the sensation of being watched from the mine tunnels.

During an investigation on July 30, 2009 Corey Vander Sluis and the rest of his team from The Ghost Finders Association of Central New York experienced a lot of activity and captured some interesting evidence, the most compelling of which was an apparition in an old mine shaft. The figure can be clearly seen standing in the ruins and "looks to be free floating, but has legs as well. The head is barely visible, but a distinct torso is easily seen."

Now perhaps it's just my vivid (and demented) imagination, but look at the "apparition" in question shown to the right. Aside from the Botticelli Birth of Venus pose it has, am I the only one who sees that it appears to be naked? I am, of course, assuming it's a man. The photo quality is a bit too grainy to see any—ahem—clear evidence of that. It's certainly plausible that working in a cramped, hot environment workers might wear few articles of clothing or that the acid and flames from the explosion could have burned off anything covering a torso. He also seems to be orange-yellow in color, common for the "canaries" as workers of the time dealing with picric acid were nicknamed.

There have been a few rare stories of nude ghosts in the past including a Roman soldier in England and the "Octoroon Mistress" of New Orleans. But catching one on camera? I wonder if that qualifies as para-pornography.

Friday, September 24, 2010

When a Boyfriend Brings Dead Baggage...

Nearly everyone I've spoken with over the years has wanted, once they discovered I research the paranormal, to tell me their own personal account of an unexplained encounter from their past. In fact most people have a ghost story to tell but keep it quiet not wanting to be ridiculed by others. Whenever I've given a talk at a library or anywhere else I tend to stay at least an hour after just to field the additional questions and outpouring of tales held within for a very long time. A sympathetic ear can make a huge difference.

One other blogger mentioned many months ago about his own personal experience with ghosts and that he would have to tell me the story some time. Life can get busy for all of us so it kept getting postponed. But Ken (the other blogger) did finally have a chance to share his tale on his own blog, Adventures in Gay Dating. Though it happened 15 years ago, the experience still lives with him.

At the time Ken was living in North Carolina with a new boyfriend named Scott who hailed from California. He was a staunch skeptic of anything supernatural and hardly someone willing to look at ghost stories, UFO sightings, or other strange happenings with anything other than complete disbelief. His boyfriend was a recovering meth addict who had lived a turbulent existence and wasn't very forthcoming about his past. Slowly as the trust developed, he would divulge small windows into his horror story of a life. He has once been involved with (and nearly married) a female, a witch by her own admission, and practiced the occult arts himself though he refused to discuss the matter any further. Ken would soon discover why.

On what seemed to be a normal night, Ken awoke suddenly at 2:20 AM. Before rolling back over to sleep, he caught a glimpse of something dark at the foot of the bed. It was the shadowy form of a man, so black it seemed to radiate the color. He found himself frozen not only by fear but a paralysis rendering him immobile and unable to wake his sleeping boyfriend. There was a choking sensation around his throat. He could feel the anger from the presence who undoubtedly was there because of Scott. He saw a vision in his mind of a hilltop cemetery surrounded by wrought iron fence. The male spirit led him to a gravestone beneath a tree and pointed at it.

Ken struggled to break from the immobilization, murmuring a religious instruction summoned from his Baptist upbringing. “I command you in the name of Jesus Christ Of Nazareth, go!” His eyes followed his outstretched finger toward the window. “I command you in the name of Jesus Christ Of Nazereth, leave through this window now!” He began to recover his movement and looked forward to find the room once again empty. Waking Scott he attempted to explain what had happened in excited gibberish but Scott was too tired and wrapped an arm around him before fading back to sleep.

The following morning, Ken told his boyfriend about his frightening encounter.

"Oh," Scott said nonchalantly, "that's just Steve." Ken was shocked.

“Do you believe a person can be haunted, Ken?”

He was fraught with surprise and bewilderment. “I… I don’t know. Why?”

“I’m haunted, Ken," Scott said in a serious tone. "Just like a house can be haunted a person can be haunted. Trust me on this one, I know.”

Steve's parents were friends of Scott's parents so the two had been occasional friends in Placerville, California before graduation. While Scott was living with the witchy woman in Los Angeles his father called to tell him that Steve had been killed in a car accident the night before. His father sent him the money for a bus ticket to come to the funeral. He was gathered with some old friends on the steps of the funeral home, playing with a deck of tarot cards to show off his psychic abilities when he happened to glance up. There was Steve, plain as day. Horrified, he quickly put away the cards. Steve's specter reappeared that night in his bedroom at his parent's place to terrify him once again. The following morning at the cemetery as they lowered Steve's body six feet under, Scott saw several other ghosts watching him from around the bone yard.

Scott asked Ken to describe in detail exactly what Steve had shown him. He mentioned the cemetery, the fence, the colored marble headstone beneath a tree. Scott clapped his hands with glee and explained that every single detail of where Steve was buried was dead-on.

"Why did he appear to you as himself but I got the whole spooky-figure-cloaked-in-black treatment?"

"He was trying to scare you off," Scott replied.

"So, he 'liked' you?"

"I think he did."

The whole experienced seemed to awaken something inside Ken. Six months after the terrifying night, he saw a little boy in the shop where he worked when he was completely alone. He vanished right before Ken's eyes. It turns out that during construction of the building a large cement drainage pipe crushed a young boy to death at that very site. He was approached by a young, attractive man on a separate occasion several months later asking him for the time at the store. He glanced at his watch and looked back up to find he too had disappeared. But there was something else peculiar about the incident. The man carried a shopping bag for Ivey's--a department store which went out of business in 1985 and formerly occupied the same building he was working in.

Steve made a few more random appearances and seemed to be trying to scare Scott. Ken had enough of the disturbances and researched the paranormal heavily in search of ways to rid their lives of the repeat occurrences. After smudging the house with white sage (while projecting a white light in his mind and singing "Amazing Grace") all activity seemed to stop. Neither of them saw another ghost or had another freaky experience.

What happened to Ken that night is often attributed to sleep paralysis. But how do you explain the vision of a cemetery on the other side of the country? Did he really experience a ghost or was it picking up on Scott's own memories? And best of all, was Steve paying a visit to a past friend or trying to voice his disapproval that  Scott was in bed with another man... and that man wasn't him? We may never know yet the thoughts are certainly intriguing.

To the Death and Beyond...

Another Flickr find to end the week: this semi-spooky capture of two boy "ghosts" battling it out in briefs.

Ghost Fight at Midnight
Originally uploaded by jonnyrewind

Who knew a ghost fight could be so homo-erotic...

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Kicking Some Ectoplasmic Butt...

Everywhere you look, you'll find serious paranormal teams using serious techniques to find serious evidence of ghosts... and being way too serious. Even when it's all supposed to be in good fun with a dash of humor, too many people build whole careers--even lives--on the illusion of a flawless reputation. For what? A "real orb" photo and a strange sound on audio tape that only is completely convincing to anyone who was present at the time it was recorded? If anyone had that hard-core evidence proving beyond any doubt the existence of ghosts and spooks paranormal activity would be widely accepted as factual and science-based, not the grey area it really is. Even J. B. Rhine, one of the most respected parapsychologists of all time, believed that if anything was happening in a haunting it was merely the ability of the observer's brain to tune into past events and witness things being projected from their own mind.

But then we have the physical phenomena to take into account. Apparitions. Levitations. Light phenomena. Audible sounds able to be recorded by devices. Certainly there's some amount of deception and illusion involved in some instances. Yet a great many people have witnessed something for which there is no scientific explanation. Perhaps that's why paranormal television is so popular... as is the drive with so many ghost hunters to capture that fifteen minutes of fame and the attention they so desperately desire. But this is serious. We can't all just be namby-pamby and let the unseen world walk all over us. We need to fight back! Grab the ghoul by the gonads!

Have no fear! The Ghost Provokers are here!

You may ask yourself why (aside from the humor) I bring up a comedic spoof of Ghost Adventures here. Aside from doing a brilliant job on their first episode their storyline was certainly a little queer. But I'll let you see for yourself. Join Scott Butterfield, Dr. David Jordan, and Jim Dooley as the team tracks down (and tries their best to royally piss off) the ghost of a woman and her lesbian lover in the creepy old Wildewood Manor... well... almost.

Thanks, Cullan, for bringing this to my attention!

Alas, Poor Yorick and His Cousins...

Being a baggage examiner must have some interesting moments. People travel with all sorts of belongings and mementos and with such heightened security there's a long list of items not permitted to board an airplane. Why fingernail clippers pose such a great risk and are confiscated is beyond me. Do they think someone could be manicured to death? Or do airlines have stock in a manufacturing company and profit from selling new ones when someone lands? It's beyond me. However, some things that show up in x-rays are likely to turn a few heads.

Last week at Athens International Airport in Greece two US tourists on their way home to California were stopped after security discovered six skulls stashed in their luggage. While visiting Mykonos the Californians told authorities they purchased the skulls, which they believed were decorative replicas, from a souvenir shop for US$33 each to use as Halloween decorations. Each was charged with desecrating the dead after a coroner confirmed that they were, in fact, real human skulls. The pair were released pending trial.

After arguing their case before a court, the two tourists were acquitted this week of any wrong-doing on their part. Police are launching an investigation to find the sellers and return the bones to their rightful place. When the guilty parties are apprehended, heads certainly will roll.

Monday, September 20, 2010


Mondays can be rough. Every so often when I need a little pick-me-up and a good chuckle, I drop by ICanHasCheezburger for some feline amusement. And every so often, they can get a little supernatural. As a little break from too much seriousness here are a few favorites from the site.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Love is a Devil...

It's hard to resist the temptation of a bad boy. As much as we all say we want someone kind, sweet, and thoughtful you can't deny that a tough and sexy narcissist attracts a lot of attention and lustful thoughts, to say the least. But when we go after the hell-raisers and pass over the innocents it can lead to some dangerous situations. Playwright Roberto Aguirre-Sacassa takes this idea almost too literally in his comedic theatrical piece Say You Love Satan.

Set in Baltimore, the play revolves around a graduate student named Andrew with a picture-perfect and sweet quasi-boyfriend named Jarrod. While reading Dostoyevsky in a laundromat one night, he spies the gorgeous, shirtless Jack and sparks fly... despite the fact that Jack happens to have "666" burned into his forehead at his hair line. When Andrew asks his new flame about it, Jack explains that he's not a satanist, "But [his] father - he is the devil." Though his fag-hag friend Bernadette objects, Andrew pursues the relationship and begins to discover that Jack isn't really the son of the devil, but his real identity is far worse. "Evil incarnate," as Andrew explains, "has a six pack... and zero percent body fat..."

This is the final week you can catch Say You Love Satan in Cleveland, Ohio at The Liminis in Tremont produced by Convergence-Continuum. The play runs through Saturday, starring Scott Gorbach as Andrew and Lucas Roberts as the steamy Jack. If you live in Arizona you can catch it at Live Theatre Workshop in Tuscon from October 21 through November 6. Here's a little video message about the Cleveland production from one of the cast:

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Supernatural Spotlight: Ryan Buell

It's been a while since I've mentioned Paranormal State here on my blog. I know it'll sound terrible but I rarely ever watch any television at all, even the paranormal shows. There is a certain level of drama set up in every episode (not to mention the suspense before every commercial break, which could either be an amazing discovery or turn out to be a ploy to make you believe there's something exciting waiting after advertisers fill your head with products you probably don't need). But--especially in light of recent events--I felt it was high time I said a little about the star of the show and founder of Paranormal Research Society, Ryan Buell.

Hailing from Pennsylvania (so practically my next-door neighbor) the 28-year-old is known across the country for his "directors log" speeches on the hit television show which is entering its fifth season on A&E. He was just 19 when he founded the paranormal group at Penn State where he majored in journalism and anthropology. It wasn't long before he was launched into the media along with his team and psychic medium Chip Coffey from Atlanta. Some people love him while others loathe him. Like anyone who steps into the limelight he became easy prey for rumors and speculation, praise for his work and scorn for finding so much demonic activity in houses and businesses.

Given his background in Catholicism and the religion's disbelief in ghosts, it's possible to postulate that a demon is more acceptable to the Catholic psyche than the spirit of a dead person. Every belief system labels good and bad in a different sense. However, this hasn't been the only dark shadow looming over his life. Buell has spent the last few years with a buzz murmuring through the audience regarding his personal life. People always want to know the little details and that can detract from anything else about who you are as an individual. The paranormal investigator has finally broken his long-standing silence on his private life and the paranormal in a new autobiographical book, Paranormal State: My Journey into the Unknown.

So... is he or isn't he? You know what I mean. "I’ve decided to share my sexuality and struggle over faith," Buell wrote in his new book, publicly announcing his bisexuality, "in hopes that others will no longer feel as though they are alone or that they can’t be religious." There has been an outpouring of both support and condemnation on his Twitter page as one might expect. He recently made a $2500 donation to The Trevor Project which promotes the acceptance of GLBTQ youth. This marks the first time anyone on paranormal television has openly acknowledged being anything other than straight. And he seems to go about it in the right way.

Sadly, there is the risk that like so many others who have "come out" in a public forum Ryan's sexuality could become the forefront of all focus and attention. Hopefully once the frenzy dies down everyone will realize the one thing so many of us try to get people to understand: we haven't changed. We don't suddenly bust into Barbara Streisand and wear make-up. Being gay, lesbian, or bisexual is just another identity or label like being tall, French Canadian, or near-sighted. It may make part of our life different from our heterosexual counterparts but it is not all we are. As a paranormal investigator who happens to be gay, I can understand why Buell has been quiet about his private life. I've been fortunate to be accepted by nearly everyone in the ghost hunting field I've worked with over the past 15 years but that doesn't mean I haven't experienced plenty of homophobia and rudeness as well. We all hope for the day when making a statement about our sexuality will be answered with a "so what" instead of shock and awe.

Kudos to you Ryan for having the courage to speak up. And I believe I speak for him as well when I say, "Now, let's get back to the ghosts, shall we?"

Friday, September 17, 2010

Psychic Kid Has Two Mommies...

I know I'm terrible. I've been neglecting the lesbians out there so much on my blog. It hasn't been intentional. You know how us gay men can be: thinking with parts of our anatomy below the neck, prone to emotional outbursts, a bit self-centered and shallow. It's a wonder you can tolerate us sometimes. But I have some good news! I've found some things you might be amused by, starting with a movie just in time for the Halloween season!

Imagine the little boy from Sixth Sense was actually a girl. And imagine she was being raised by lesbians. Now, toss in a crazed psychic scientist and some gore and a kidnapping/murder plot. What do you get? An interesting horror movie released last year by Lead Balloon Pictures. Written and directed by Brian Feeney, The Echo Game is a horror thriller centered around a young girl with supernatural abilities. Her mother April (played by Alisha Seaton) and her partner Casey (Jeannie Bolet) receive a letter from Rachel, a former lover thought to have been dead for 10 years. The important message sparks a chain of events involving a psychotic scientist who wants to steal the little girl's powers.

Although the child's parents are a same-sex couple, Feeney makes sure not to place too much emphasis on it. It's crafted in the style of those great 80s slasher flicks most of us remember and grew up watching so prepare yourself for plenty of gratuitous nudity and gallons of fake blood. Become a fan on Facebook or check it out on the big screen on October 25th at Spooky Movie 2010: The 5th Annual Washington, D.C. International Horror Film Festival! Hopefully it'll be released on DVD in the near future!

Watch the trailer:

Queer Paranormal Road Trip: Keating House Bed & Breakfast

During my time living in California, ghost stories were always close to my mind. I even contemplated writing a book of haunted places in one specific area of town, but it would have taken many months just to amass and uncover any legends. Still I did keep my eyes and ears opened for any whispers of spooks. I did find one tantalizing place but left before I was able to pay it a visit. If you find yourself in San Diego it might be worth spending a few nights at Keating House to enjoy the Victorian atmosphere... and perhaps a ghost.

George James Keating was originally from Halifax, Nova Scotia where he was born in 1840 but he immigrated to the United States in his 20s and settled in Kansas where he operated a very successful agricultural machinery business. With his newfound wealth, Keating and his wife Fannie headed west to the boom town of San Diego and built their glorious new home in 1886 in a wealthy area known as Banker's Hill. George became an asset to the community, acting as the first president of the short-lived Hospital of the Good Samaritan in January of 1889. Keating passed away in the early hours of June 22 later that year. His wife carried on her husband's work, building the Keating Building at 5th Avenue and F Street as George had intended. The Reid Brothers--architects responsible for the famous and also haunted Hotel del Coronado--carried out the construction of the unreinforced masonry Romanesque Revival office building in 1890. It still stands today in the heart of the Gaslamp Quarter, retrofitted for seismic regulations in the city, and houses the luxurious Keating Hotel.

Fannie passed away in 1909. The house still stands as a beautiful example of Queen Anne Victorian design in what is now known as Park West. Keating House was lovingly restored in 1975 and the Keating House Bed & Breakfast opened nine years later. The current innkeepers, Ben Baltic and Doug Scott, offer guests their choice of eight rooms and a garden suite in a quiet suburban neighborhood. Of course, there may be an additional guest not listed in the books. The inn is said to still be the home to George Keating who occasionally makes his kind presence known.

A paranormal group conducted a brief investigation at the inn and recorded a few unusual EVPs in recent years. I was unable to get in contact with Ben or Doug while I was out west, but be sure to stop in for a stay and ask them about their resident spirit. For those of you who aren't quite able to spring for a vacation, here's a little nighttime video of the interior:

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

A New Look, New Outlook, and Library Talk...

Yes, you did come to the right blog. I know it might be a surprise for some of you. I did feel the need to do some overhauling on the overall look of Spooked! so I put my insomnia to use last night. So, what do you think? Better? Worse? Feel free to leave a comment and let me know. I know there's an unwritten rule that paranormal-themed blogs should be black, spiritual/psychic blogs all light and airy, etc. but I don't feel like being too traditional is very fitting for my writing. Time to shake things up a bit... and reflect my traveling lifestyle coupled with the "armchair tourist" experience I like to give people every so often.

I'm looking forward to getting out for a little local ghost hunting this week, since it's been so long. And at this rate, it might be one of my last few chances to see the Cuyahoga Valley... where it all began for me. I began my blogging and writing as the first and only investigator searching for legends and ghosts in this region. Now... well, anyone with a camera can dub himself or herself a "paranormal investigator" (becoming an overnight expert from watching a few episodes of Ghost Hunters, no doubt) and heads out into the valley like he/she owns it triumphantly showing it off as though it were a new Porsche.

That might sound like I've grown bitter. But in reality, I haven't. It's like watching a playground as the children claim a jungle gym all their own and fight over who is allowed on it. If anything, it's a relief to be out of the war. All the pettiness, backstabbing, badmouthing, and other high school behavior that plays out all the time. The valley used to be my playground and my place of tranquility. Now, new generations of tenderfoot ghost hunters (though they will tell you they've been doing it "for years") run amok in the places no one would know about were it not for my work and research. So, I'm leaving it all to the paranormal Lord of the Flies people. Save for the occasional reminisce and jaunt with old investigating buddies reliving the good times, I'm turning it over to other people to explore ad nauseam.

But beyond that, I don't see myself staying in this region for a long period. Truthfully, part of me does miss San Diego. For all the unplanned disappointments, it was breathtakingly beautiful in spots, had picture-perfect weather, and was so very different from what I've grown accustomed to in the Rust Belt of America. I thrive on new experiences and wither from the mundane. Yes... there was drama out west. But being new, I could safely escape some of it simply by dropping off the radar. There are possibilities with me ending up out west (in some instances, WAY out west... so west that it's east) but I'm seeing how life plays out.

In just a few weeks, I'll be doing a talk at Cuyahoga Falls Library on my book, gay & lesbian psychics, and some interesting hauntings I've unearthed worldwide. My talk will be on Wednesday October 6th at 7:00 PM EST. I'm trying not to bore people too much with parapsychology and history and will try to focus on hauntings (since that's why people do attend these things, after all). Copies of my book will be available for $10.00 (even cheaper than Amazon). Even if you have read the book, there will be new things to hear about that night. Not only will I talk about some interesting names in paranormal history but I'll talk a lot about haunted gay-owned inns and other hauntings, many of which were NOT discussed in the book. Otherwise, it will be a quiet month for me which is a vast difference from recent years. And all this leading up to my grand travels. Time goes by so quickly.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Ever-Changing Phantoms and Life Marching Forward...

This November, there's a very good chance I'll be visiting another location mentioned in my book, Queer Hauntings. I am quite excited to have chances to visit the places I've researched, especially when they aren't so close to the Midwest. I've also added another travel destination to my explorations in the coming months. It feels good to be getting out into the world in broader and broader circles. And as a reader of my blog, I'm sure there's a lot more interest when I'm writing from somewhere other than Ohio.

I've learned that writing about haunted businesses can have its drawbacks. Given our economy and the natural uncertainty of businesses, ownership can change without much notice. Some inns and such can close their doors before anything is published or written, which I encountered during my trip last October to Salem. I heard about a haunted gay-owned bed & breakfast but at the time of my arrival, it was closed until further notice. At the Inn on Washington Square, there had been a death in the family and the innkeepers were out of town and uncertain about the inn's future. I had intended to list it in the back of my book, but was unsure about whether it would still be in existence by the time my book went to press.

Since finishing writing Queer Hauntings and its publication, there have been changes to some places I've spoken about in some of the chapters. A couple of inns no longer are gay-owned and some businesses have fallen on bad times and vanished. Other landmarks have undergone changes which nearly ruled them out as suitable for the intent of my book. Yet there are always a few surprises. I was getting ready to scratch one place from my list when suddenly I was informed of another ghost story attached to it. I'll be exploring this international locale in November and (while struggling with the language barrier) trying my best to uncover the truth behind it. Other information regarding the well-known haunting has come into light as well... revealing a far more sinister plot behind the many deaths at the site. But you'll have to wait to find out more...

With all these new developments and the slow process of gathering new places for a sequel, I've been giving some thought to a revised and expanded edition of the book instead of a second volume. I have also met one of my goals: to find ONE haunted place in Australia to add to the mix. And lucky for me, I'll be able to interview the owners and spend the night there in December. I'm hoping to find more places as I explore new areas of the world, but we will see what all develops. These are exciting times. And being the only person (seriously) seeking out GLBT spooks I'm still hacking away with my machete at the undergrowth. Who knows there the blazed trail will lead next...

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

What a Strange World, Indeed...

It's been a while since I've taken a break to glance over some of the unusual (and often less-depressing) news from around the world. To be honest, it's been more difficult these days to find enough amusing news with a creepy twist. I blame the economy. It's making people far too serious. But never fear; I've scrounged the internet for

The Sweet Thrill of Blood-Sucking...

There's a sanguineous creature lurking in Puerto Rico. But this isn't your ordinary Chupacabra tale. Locals near Guánica fear a nocturnal winged phantom believed to be a gargoyle. As he/she/it has been so named, "the Gargoyle" is believed to be responsible for a series of attacks on living creatures and one human being. Livestock victims look oddly similar to the Chupacabra corpses with slashed throats. Mr. Valdo was attacked near Guánica Lagoon nearly 15 years ago by a large, winged creature leaving severe claw marks on his back and abdomen. The "Gargoyle" is described as a very large bird-like creature which smells strongly of sulfur (doesn't EVERY vicious cryptid?) and attacks healthy animals, draining them of blood.

Like any night-flying monster, it is believed to have a lair. Only a few months ago, Officer Miguel Negrón heard loud, powerful wings beating and the scratching of tin roof at the old abandoned Guánica Sugar Mill. Oh, sweet sanctuary! Let's see: we have an unexplained creature terrorizing locals, an abandoned building, a creepy tropical location... it almost sounds like an episode of Scooby Doo come to life!

Don't Speak in Tongues and Drive...

Everywhere, people seem to love spending copious amounts of money for personalizing the plates on their cars. Yet one woman in Sweden was denied her choice in vehicular statements. Law requires any request to be examined, ruling out anything deemed "offensive" or inappropriate. "Luzifer" didn't make the cut. Annsofie Tedfors hadn't intended to cause a major heated debate. It was both the name of her business and beloved feline and she "just wanted to pick a memorable name". But as they say, the Devil is in the details...

Répondez S'il Vous Plaît...

Josiane Vermeersch was unable to contact her son regarding the death of his uncle. Believing he was merely ignoring her after an argument over the summer, she attended the funeral near Lilles with the rest of her family. While leaving the cemetery one one of them noticed a new, wooden grave marker nearby in the poor section bearing the son's name and date of birth. Josiane collapsed from shock. The son, Olivier, passed away from natural causes over a month prior. Just a little reminder not to go to dead angry...

When Psychic Vision Isn't 20/20...

Australians have been eager to solve the disappearance of six-year-old Sydney-sider Kiesha Abrahams since she vanished around the beginning of August. Weeks later, an Aboriginal elder named Cheryl Carroll-Lagerwey had a dream about Kieska's murder and believed she knew the location of her body. Police began their search at the specified location at Nurragingy Reserve and discovered the dismembered body of an adult female. The victim is believed to be another Sydney woman who went missing in June. In all fairness, Carroll-Lagerwey does not believe herself to be psychic but does feel she has "a third sense". She told a Reuters reporter, "I have certain strong feelings about people who claim they are psychic. I don't think it will help if we enter a discussion on that."