Friday, August 29, 2008

Queer Paranormal Road Trip: Battlefield Bed & Breakfast

Without a doubt, the town of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania is one of America's most haunted locales. During the pivotal Civil War battle of 1863, the town saw the largest number of casualties of any campaign. It has since become a major tourist attraction, not only for the history but the ghosts as well. One such haunted site is a quaint, lesbian-owned inn on the southern end of town: Battlefield Bed & Breakfast.

The house was built out of fieldstone in 1809 by Cornelius & Anna Houtelin. A barn followed in 1820. It remains largely unchanged from its original design, save for the modern amenities added in the 1970s. The current owner has occupied the bed & breakfast for the last 14 years. The house is one of the oldest in the city and has more than a few eternal guests.

During the Gettysburg Campaign, fighting took place on the property. One soldier still appears throughout the homestead and on the property. The spirit of a young girl has also been witnessed by guests. Some have reported a small, cold hug from the ghostly child. Footsteps are heard on the stairs. Door unlock by themselves. An ethereal lantern shines in the nearby field. Some even say Cornelius Houtelin himself still watches over his former home.

Devil's Den, Cemetery Ridge, and Little Round Top are just a short distance away, making it a prime location for paranormal enthusiasts. But why venture out? There are plenty of spirits within the grounds of the inn, just waiting to be explored...

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Abundant Mystery and Intrigue...

Another week is flying by at the speed of sound. Indeed, this month is ending rapidly. It won't be long before the leaves fade into their vibrant skeletal hues. As autumn begins its final approach, thoughts drift more toward the supernatural. Death and decay.

I have spent these past weeks wrapped up in writing, crafting and revising chapters for a new book. At times, the research has been tedious and frustrating. My approach to my work has changed course more than once. Yet I break up the monotony with design work for the new website. I haven't touched any pages in quite some time, but I did create some logos and images which have pleased me. All I have left is the incredible amount of text to fill in the pages.

More stories have slowly come to the surface, but one from Ireland has proved itself a most challenging task. I rediscovered a ghost forgotten for 300 years. The problem is I don't have a clue where he is.

You might think it strange to find a ghost without being able to locate it, but it can happen. The key is finding which house he haunts. When you delve into the distant past, it isn't always easy tracing former owners from across the Atlantic. History is often a forgotten part of the past. Many home owners have no idea who lived in their house before them. And when you're dealing with a family which spanned a dozen generations and owned an elaborate expanse of lands and properties, finding one house owned by one member becomes a daunting task.

Otherwise, life has been pleasantly quiet. Aside from the occasional thundering bass from the replacement hicks in the downstairs apartment, I can't complain much. But there is a lot of work ahead and with a completion goal of New Years, I still have a lot of writing ahead. Provided I finish the next chapter by tomorrow evening, I will be one-sixth of the way through the first allotment of tales. The second grouping might be tackled in a different manner, so I'm leaving them for last. luckily, those chapters are proving most difficult with research, so if they aren't covered in the same detail, it may not be a problem.

And luckily, with my new approach to the work, I'll be returning to my weekly road trips. Since some of the places may or may not make the cut, I'll be writing about those places occasionally.

The end is in sight, but it's a long road ahead...

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Bigfoot Lost and Found...

For those of you who haven't followed the news story about the bigfoot body on ice, you didn't miss much. As the corpse thawed out prior to examination, it was discovered to be (as was expected by most) nothing but a big gorilla suit stuffed with roadkill. The cop was fired for the stunt, and both of the "hunters" who "stumbled across the body in the woods" have gone missing.

Wisely so, considering they made off with a good amount of money.

After emerging from seclusion, they began blaming Tom Biscardi for the whole ordeal. This isn't over for the duo, who may face legal action.

But don't let that discourage you from cryptozoology. Sasquatch is still out there, and you can get your own.

The folks at have pounced on the discovery and are offering a limited edition bigfoot plush. At 16 inches tall, he may not be a beast exactly, but he could lead to your own 15 minutes of fame. The website is offering a contest for creative photos of your stuffed bigfoot. The lucky winner receives a phone interview and a special page on the company's website.

It might not be as nice as 15 minutes on CNN, but it's a lot safer...

The Woman Who Knew Too Much?

Police in South Carolina are scouring a pond off Highway 17. Not far from the location, Kathy Parish's stolen Audi was found, parked behind a grocery store.

Parish, 46, was shot twice in the face at European Psychic in West Ashley. Detectives suspect the motive was robbery since her car was stolen, but everything is unclear as of this time. The suspect is still at large and there are no other leads.

The victim is currently in stable condition at a Charleston County hospital.

Who knows. Perhaps she was way off in a reading... or too close for comfort.

Monday, August 25, 2008

A Knight's Ethereal Tale...

During an average consultation in Dearborn, Michigan, psychic Lori Miller had an unexpected guest: Heath Ledger.

It happened last week during a session consulting a deceased relative of no relation to the actor. Ledger appeared very youthful and dressed in casual attire. He was adamant that a few messages get through.

According to 27-year-old Miller, he looked her right in the eyes and said, "Life's too fucking short. you got to enjoy your life."

Ledger's spirit went on to lament on not having the chance to spend time with his daughter, Matilda, and praise the success of The Dark Night. He was pleased that his co-workers were receiving acclaim and was aware of the recent unfortunate events of fellow cast members. He also stated that he was acting as a "guardian angel" for them and doing what he could to see them through the difficult times.

"Sometimes when I'm having a session and engaged with an entity, another one will appear for no reason," she said. "That's what happened this time."

The Other Kind of 'Down Under'...

Last week in England, a man returned from the dead... well, sort of.

Michael O'Neill decided a change of scenery might do him a world of good. He departed on June 2nd, unannounced, from his Middlesborough residence on a vacation to Australia and didn't bother to tell anyone about it. With his last-minute trip, notifying neighbors and friends slipped his mind.

Neighbors became restless with worry and the police were called when no signs of life came from Mr. O'Neill's home. Upon breaking in, they found the place deserted. Friends were shocked and saddened to see in the newspaper the reports of the death of Michael O'Neill, leaving behind two brothers: Terry and Kevin.

In an interesting twist, the obituary was for another man, nearly the same age, in his town, who also had brothers with the same names as his own.

O'Neill returned home on August 11th to find his door broken in. As he headed around town, friends were approaching him, filled with shock and relief. One neighbor did receive a postcard from abroad but word hadn't spread fast enough. Yet some people still mistake him for a ghost.

"They can't believe it's me and I'm still alive," O'Neill told The Telegraph. "I'm a nervous wreck because everywhere I go people keep grabbing me!"

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Waken Thou With Me...

I have been reminiscent of my latter school days lately. Mostly, it is from the notion that I was, at that moment, so oblivious to the subtle messages sent to me from one of my teachers.

Since he is still in the educational system, I will avoid any direct mention of his name, yet he knows who he is. He was both an educator and a vocal coach to me as I made my way toward college, majoring in music. I was on the timid and shy side in those days. I kept to myself and never quite felt that I fit in. Apparently, one teacher recognized this... and in ways I couldn't imagine at the time.

Theater and music brought me out of my shell, and I decided a major reflecting that would be best suited for me. Even though I felt inadequate, I was pushed onward by one teacher in particular. He was in his 20s and quickly became one of my favorites.

While most of my peers ignored my lack of social and dating life, I sometimes wonder if he took notice of it. While I was quiet, I completely avoided coming out of the closet, not wanting to give anyone extra ammunition against me. I kept to myself a lot but allowed myself a little artistic freedom on stage and in music classes. Nothing out of the ordinary happened in school but when I began gearing up for college and sought private lessons for my audition into the school of music, I noticed certain things which, in hindsight, were very blatant.

At his house, I would learn vocal exercises and more challenging music to prove myself worthy of acceptance into the college program. Two pieces were chosen for me: 'Nina' by Giovanni Battista Pergolesi and 'Now Sleeps the Crimson Petal' by Roger Quilter. The latter work had lyrics by Alfred, Lord Tennyson. It would be a decade before I bothered to note that both Quilter and Tennyson were gay. I am uncertain about Pergolesi and he was merely 26 when he died of tuberculosis.

I do recall one incident during a lesson that became etched in my mind. Before the lesson, I mentioned how I wanted to sing Danny Boy, a song I had always liked. he thought it was a bit too simplistic, but we practiced it briefly anyway. Midway through the song, he stopped and looked at me with a curious expression.

"I always wondered. This song is sung by a man to another man, isn't it?" he asked.

I was dumbfounded. "Um, well," I stuttered, "it's sung between a father and son."

"Oh. Right," he replied. A snide grin flashed across his face. With that, he said we should get back to Nina. "Where were we? Oh yeah, she's in her bed... the bitch is dead, blah, blah, blah..."

I chuckled a bit. I didn't want to assume anything. With hindsight, it seemed completely obvious that it was a semi-subtle way of acknowledging a secret we both shared in common.

That was the same day I met his "roommate". I'll confess, I thought he was quite handsome.

It wasn't until after graduation that the truth finally leaked out. They had been together since college. There was a bit of a scandal in school when he had been accused of having an affair with one of my classmate's mothers. It lead to a divorce, but I'm certain this little secret came out. I'm not sure if he was relieved of his teaching duties or left voluntarily, but he still is in the education system in a new place with a different role. I did a little researching years ago and had a friend who encountered him a few times as they went to the same gym.

Part of me thinks I couldn't have been that ignorant. Perhaps I was trying to live in denial that someone could pick up on my little secret. Yet often, others know before we do. Sometimes they acknowledge it, sometimes they stay silent.

I do regret not thanking him for making me feel a little less outside of normal. For making my high school years more fun and memorable. For introducing me to a spectrum of music which had passed me by at that point in my life. The Village People. Gloria Estefan. Maria Carey. And the music and lyrics which still linger with me to this day...

"Now folds the lily all her sweetness up,
And slips into the bosom of the lake:
So fold thyself, my dearest, thou, and slip
Into my bosom and be lost in me."

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Deconstructing Dead Toons...

South Korean artist Hyungkoo Lee's exhibit, Animatus, is currently in Basel, Switzerland at the natural history museum. An odd place for an art exhibit, right?

Well, not for skeletons.

The resin pieces were meticulously crafted using techniques used by palaeontologists to approximate the skeletal structure of creatures. Mr. Lee just happened to have the ingenious idea of turning it on our favorite cartoon critters.

Wile E. Coyote, Road Runner, Donald Duck, Elmer Fudd, Bugs Bunny, and several others.

The morbid creations have caused quite a stir and many laughs. The exhibition runs through August 31st.

Planting the Seed of Mystery...

I confess that more often than not, I tell myself I want to read a certain book and end up forgetting all about it. As with my list of "to-watch" movies, my "to-read" list is quite lengthy. Yet I finally took the time to read a former best-seller... 15 years after it was published.

Although I've watched the film more times than I can remember, I wanted to take time to read Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evilwhile I had the chance. I spent the past weekend in the company of the novel, which turned out to be quite a good and amusing read. The characters were diverse. The crime (you can't call it a "murder" since he was acquitted, apparently) still baffles some people. Yet as a piece of literary history, I was impressed.

And I'm left wondering if the term "dead time", so often tossed around by the troop on Paranormal State, isn't some extrapolated redefinition of the identical phrase used in this book.

Of course, no good book comes without controversy, and I know there was plenty of it. John Berendt has suffered a good tongue-lashing from critics and journalists. Much of the "non-fiction" work ended up being inaccurate. There was a secret contract which, to this day, has never been made pubic between the author and Jim Williams, the accused. Random House was up in arms when these details leaked out. But it doesn't end there.

The house, now owned by Jim's sister, became famous and a popular stop for tourists. Yet she was never the intended owner. Her inheritance consisted of the rights to a game named "Psychic Dice" and the whopping sum of $10. That's when it really gets interesting. The house was placed on the market for the absurd price of $9 million (but it failed to sell, so was taken off the market). $1 million in antiques owned by Jim found their way to Sotheby's for auction (including the very rug Danny Hansford died on). People selling photographs of the front of the house found themselves in legal trouble, since his sister claimed legal ownership of the exterior images.

What a nightmare.

The house is currently a "museum" and there are many mixed feelings about it. Yet it is a beautiful piece of Italianate architecture and quite infamous to say the least. Then there's the haunting, which makes it a perfect mention for this blog.

Regardless of what has and will be said by many, I still would recommend the book. Just be sure to take it all with a grain of salt. As a novel, it's an excellent read. As a historical chronicle, however, you might want to dig a little deeper.

And most interesting of all, there is something this tale has in common with the Corpsewood Murders... but I'll leave you all wondering for a while.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Historical Absurdity...

The oldest building in Macedonia may soon be nothing but a pile of rubble.

Longwood Manor, the 84-year-old former home of Colonel William F. Long, could face the wrecking ball any time now. Long was the first mayor of Macedonia. City officials have produced an estimate for repairs on the "structurally unsound" house: $500,000. The house was deemed unsuitable for living "several years ago".

"We would like to have a historical marker like this. How do you do that when you are $227,000 in debt?" asked Mayor Don Kuchta. Demolition costs would roughly amount to $34,000, not including asbestos removal.

The house is located on 292 acres, known as Longwood Park, donated to the city through Long's will. According to the city, the will only states that the land be used for public purposes... it mentions nothing about the house.

On March 12th, the house was quietly condemned. Longwood Manor Historical Society wasn't told they only had 10 days to appeal the declaration. If a half-million dollars isn't put into escrow by September 12th, Longwood Manor will be leveled.

I have been inside this house within the last few years for an overnight ghost hunt. The preservation society has done wonders rehabilitating the home and giving it a facelift. Restoration efforts have been slow, but what little funding they have received has gone immediately into supplies for repairs. All labor has been on a volunteer basis. If this property is "condemned", I would hate to see how many other structures in the city would also qualify. They're not important enough to touch, apparently.

I can't help but wonder about the ulterior motives. Construction companies have a close-knit relationship with the city and have a habit of ending up on the payroll. Macedonia already bulldozed the old high school to the ground. The century-old railroad bridge is in the process of being eliminated. History is quickly becoming a thing of the past in the city.

But would you honestly expect a town to care when their oldest building was only built in 1924?

Monday, August 18, 2008

Supernatural Spotlight: Sherri Brake-Recco

Over the years, I have met and worked with many paranormal investigators. Only a select few have been gracious and kind, and made working with them a pleasurable experience. In 2005, when I local newspaper asked to accompany me on an investigation, I assembled a makeshift crew of the best people I knew locally.

That night on the Towpath Trail, I had the distinct pleasure of collaborating with a delightful investigator and dowser, Sherri Brake-Recco.

Sherri has over 25 years of experience investigating hauntings. A Civil War reenactor for over a decade, her keen interest in genealogy and history drew her into the supernatural realm.

Back in 2003, Sherri began conducting ghost walking tours in the Canal Fulton area. She achieved so much success that she formed her own ghost tour company, Haunted Heartland Tours, the following year. It is currently ranked one of the Top 10 Ghost Tours in the country.

While her tour company keeps her beyond busy year-round, she still finds the time in her hectic schedule to teach classes on a wide range of paranormal subjects and give presentations and lectures at various libraries and events. And now, Sherri will be adding a new title to her roster: author.

The History Press has signed her on for a book, Haunted Stark County, which will be released some time in July of 2009. If all goes according to plan, another book, Haunted Tuscarawas County, will follow the proceeding year.

Keep an eye out for these titles because they'll be here before you know it. And if you're ever looking for a little haunted excursion to a cemetery or haunted landmark, be sure to give her tour a try...

Sunday, August 17, 2008

A Peek into the Near Future...

On this peaceful Sunday, I thought I'd take a few moments to let you all know what to expect in the coming days. Rarely do I plan ahead for this blog, but this time I felt compelled to give a brief overview of what my plans are for the week ahead.

Tomorrow will start off with the resurrection of the 'Supernatural Spotlight'. I'll be discussing someone I know personally and have worked with in the past, along with a book which is in the works. Then, later in the week, there will be a tale of more historic destruction in my backward, senseless neck of the woods, followed by a little recommended reading, revisiting an older book with a supernatural connection.

Otherwise, all is quiet in northeastern Ohio. Or, at least, that is how I choose to view it. I'll say it again: this is a year of change for me. Profound change in many aspects of my life. Luckily, I can observe much of it happening without much strain. As everything unfolds, I'm just sitting back and taking diligent notes.

'Two tears in a bucket'.

Time for me to get back to reading and taking copious notes. Enjoy the rest of your weekend, in whatever manner that may be...

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Supernatural Imitates Life...

Every so often, there's a need to be silly for no apparent reason.

Here's a little something submitted to by yours truly:

marlene dietrich, shanghai express, virgin mary, grilled cheese
see more famous faces look-a-likes

Friday, August 15, 2008

It Was a Monster Mash...

First bigfoot, now El Chupacabra turns up again in Cuero, Texas?

And the police officers even have dashcam video this time. How fitting for all this during a summer when the new X Files movie hits theaters.

As reported by CNN:

Thursday, August 14, 2008

A Little Manifesto...

On April 27, 1932, American poet Hart Crane leapt off the rear deck of the ship Orizaba not far from the Florida coast. His body was never recovered.

In many ways, I can understand Crane's life (and death). He was a fellow Ohioan, born in the small town of Garrettsville, not too terribly far from where I was born and raised. He never felt like he belonged anywhere he went, be it New York or Mexico. He struggled for acceptance in literary circles and was a bit of a laughing stock among the intellectually elite. He was a simple man with a simple education who used a dictionary to find the big words to make his poetry "sing".

But at the end of the day, he was just a plebeian... a high school dropout... with what some might call delusions of grandeur.

We often live in a world of mediocrity, trapped between ignorant dimwits and superior scholars and shunned by both. Society is one huge ladder, overflowing with people scampering among the rungs to reach higher levels. All we manage to do is step on each other's faces.

Perhaps this is why I've relished in escaping into the realm of the supernatural. There are no holier-than-thou spirits. Stupidity too seems rectified by death. It's one big melting pot of beings, absent of hierarchy and judgment. It doesn't matter if you're white, black, Christian, Buddhist, gay, etc. In the afterlife, spooks are spooks.

Paranormal investigators, on the other hand, are on the opposite end of the spectrum. Moral criticism in commonplace. We attack each other on our beliefs and theories. If someone decides to earn a few doubloons in their paranormal pursuit, they face harsh criticism from the rest of the mob. Those exploring the parapsychological paths in the field distance themselves from the "commoner 'ghost hunter'". You have extreme scientists and carefree enthusiasts. And they all seem to hate each other.

I'll be blunt and shameless and come right out and say it: I am not a scientist. I have no white lab coat. I'm not spending every waking moment testing fine-tuned hypotheses and waiting with baited breath for a positive result. When I began studying ghosts in my teenage years, I wanted to prove to the world that they existed beyond a shadow of a doubt. Nowadays, I feel less militant.

If anything, I consider myself more of the reporter. The social worker. The psychologist. I want to explore who the people were when they were alive, what happened to them, where they lived and traveled, and why they stayed. Are they still the same people even without a body? Do they linger out of shame or contentment?

That's where I become the radical. I believe people who call in exorcists to get rid of a simple ghost should be beaten repeatedly with a stick. I believe there are no simple scientific answers that will suddenly explain everything. I believe that there is fun and humor to be found in the afterlife. These are the things that make me a heathen, idiot, and unprofessional in the eyes of many.

But so what? Hart Crane lived his short life to its fullest. He never let a few opinions stop him. he never apologized for being different. none of us really should. No matter what we do or say in life, someone will take issue with something. There is always someone better or smarter. I'd rather be a fool at times and live an amusing life than please the world and end up miserable.

Life's too short... and the afterlife's too unpredictable.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Do Not Adjust Your Television Sets...

Don't worry. There isn't anything wrong with your screen. Spooked! has gone blue.

Why? Well, you'll find out in October when I finally unveil my new (old) website. It might be finished before then, but I'd rather overestimate than stress over deadlines. And best of all, this blog will actually be incorporated into it (somehow... don't ask, I'm still trying to figure that part out).

The basic layout is mostly complete. I have a ton of writing still to work on for it and several more design elements to slowly create (provided my Paint Shop Pro software stops giving me error messages when it involves more memory than I'm apparently capable of handling), but so far so good.

And now, we return to our regular unscheduled posts without further interruption...

Lavender Bloodbath Television...

If you're looking for some paranormal television this evening, you might want to check out a gay ghost investigation!

Tonight, the series Ghost Hunters International will visit a couple haunted relics in eastern Europe, including Čachtice Castle, alleged haunt of the sadistic, lesbian serial killer Elizabeth Báthory who bathed in the blood of virgin women to "maintain her youth". Vampire legends are often linked to some of her dastardly deeds. She died while imprisoned in a castle tower in the 16th century.

Her ghost is rumoured to haunt the place of her death.

Figures. The bastards didn't invite me.

You can tune in tonight on the SciFi Channel at 9:00 PM.

Messin' with Sasquatch...

If what Matthew Whitton and Tom Biscardi claim is true, the mystery of Bigfoot finally might be solved.

And they have the corpse to prove it.

Whitton, a police officer, and his friend Rick Dyer, a former corrections officer, say they didn't shoot the animal. They found the dead body in the woods of northern Georgia. It is described as 7 feet 7 inches tall, weighing over 500 pounds, having reddish-brown hair or fur, and having feet over 16 inches long.

They stored the body and froze it to keep it from further decay. There are even pictures.

Biscardi, CEO of Searching for Bigfoot Inc. in California, has examined the body and sent the DNA in for testing. The results are in, and the answer is...

Well, we'll have to wait a few more days to find that out. A press conference to be held on Friday at noon in Palo Alto, California will reveal all the answers to this mystery.

The greater question is, if this is the real McCoy, how did he die? Too much beef jerky?

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Plasma from Heaven...

Some perplexing news comes from the country of Colombia last week. For a period of about 30 minutes, a 100-meter area of the village of Bagadó was deluged with red rain.

A sample of the rain was sent to a bacteriologist and he concluded that, in fact, it was blood.

Father Jhony Milton Cordova, a local priest, said it may be "a sign from God" telling humanity to "change their modus operandi, because mankind wants to change the course of history and be god himself."

Others disagree. There has been speculation about red rain for quite some time. The most likely scenario is algae. Porphyridium cruentum, a variety of red algae, actually can resemble red blood cells under a microscope, especially in large clusters. During blooms when the algae reproduction explodes, the clusters could become so large they could resemble globs of coagulated blood.

How they would get into the atmosphere is another story altogether, though.

On an interesting note, the hamlet was relocated to its current location back in 1994, following an avalanche. The hilltop where many of the houses now stand was also the site of the cemetery.

The Pressing of Time...

Summer is slowly winding down and fall is quickly approaching. It may seem at times that I've fallen off the edge of the world, but I'm still going and keeping myself quite busy. Although this summer didn't hold the drastic changes I expected, it has been quite interesting and productive. August has been a bit chaotic and a bit harried, yet there is a lot of change looming on my horizon.

Once more, I am taking steps to quit that dreaded smoking habit of mine. I have learned that quitting "cold turkey" isn't an easy method, so I'm weening myself off slowly. I've cut down drastically, and I'm changing habits which give me the desire to smoke. Gone are the days of drinking two monstrous cups of coffee with plenty of cream in the morning. My habit of smoking while writing is being altered as well. I make my cigarettes not-so-easily accessible now, and I've been getting along fine on only a few a day. I will cut back once more to one or two a day before finally dropping them altogether. At least I'm allowing my body to adjust to low nicotine levels first so that I should spare everyone the grouchy, cranky withdrawal symptoms.

I also am working on a new web venture. Yes, my old website is now a thing of the past. I'm giving myself two months to set up a new site with a new focus. This past weekend was spent working on some new graphics, and I must say I'm quite pleased with how one of them has turned out. I'm not expert, but I have a decent grasp on the basics now. My aim is to keep things relatively simple yet visually appealing. It will change as time passes, but for now the rudimentary site should be up and running rather soon.

Otherwise, research is slowly progressing. I have hit a few snags here and there, but overall it is going smoothly. I have set a few goals for the end of this month, and hopefully I'll be able to meet or exceed those milestones. I have encountered some fascinating bits of history and tales of people long since dead. While I am often seeking out information over a great distance, I have only hit a few major roadblocks. A few small detours should bring me back onto the right course once again.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Beyond Late for Class...

Students at Asheville High School in Asheville, North Carolina might feel a bit anxious about returning after summer vacation, but now they have another reason to worry.

They're school might be haunted.

Surveillance footage of the school's rotunda recently captured an anomaly on film. What appears to be a shadowy figure can be seen roaming the room and leaving through the hallway in the early hours of the morning.

While public relations director Charlie Glazener says he doesn't believe in ghosts, he's having a difficult time wrapping his mind around the video. This skeptic is slowly becoming a believer.

Here is the full news story:

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Breathing New Life...

Most ghost hunters and thrill seekers would love to spend a night at the notoriously-haunted Waverly Hills Sanatorium outside Louisville, Kentucky. If owner Charles Mattingly has his way, that might me a lot more possible for everyone.

On Thursday, he announced plans to finally renovate the old 1926 tuberculosis hospital. With a projected cost of $18 million, the hollow shell of a building will become a 78-room boutique hotel, complete with meeting rooms, a spa, and a fitness center.

While the main draw will still be ghosts, there will be a lot more reason to spend a weekend there.

On top of everything, it will be a rather eco-friendly business. Solar power is expected to provide all the electricity and geothermal heating and cooling will be installed. Flooring of cork and recycled rubber also will provide a more durable surface.

Architect Kevin Milburn of Urban Designz has been working closely with Mattingly to make the venture a reality. While no definite funding has been procured, he is in talks with several major financial institutions and says the work could begin late this fall.

There is already plenty of press for Waverly Hills. There was the documentary released, the many visits by paranormal investigators, and a steady stream of media engagements.

Provided the funding goes through soon, the renovations could be completed as early as 2010.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Finding the 'Family' Plot...

Wouldn't we all like to rest our bones beside the bones of those we've known and loved?

Assistens Kirkegård in Copenhagen has a very unique feature not found in other graveyards: a gay section.

Married couple Ivan Larsen and Ove Carlsen initiated the project by forming an organization named Regnbuen (or Rainbow) and renting space in the cemetery earlier this year. It lies beneath a large tree and contains enough room for 45 urns. Each plot costs 2500 kroner, or approximately US$565. The area is marked by a triangle made of stone pebbles with a large boulder, draped with a rainbow flag, perched along one of the angles.

Larsen, a minister, believes this is a very good thing. "Just as we have our own places where we can meet and have fun,... so we would also like to have a grave. And it's really nice that we have our own grave."

"We don't want to isolate ourselves but we also feel a need to be together," said Larsen. "We see this as a family grave, one that will be taken care of by our family.''

The cemetery dates back to 1737 and is the final resting place of many well-known people from Danish history, including author Hans Christian Andersen.