|Posted on July 22, 2019 at 6:50 PM||comments (0)|
Not all history is boring in fact most of history is quite interesting and educational. Nothing is more true about history when it comes to historical landmarks. What is a historical landmark? Historic Landmarks are historic properties that show the heritage of the United States. There’s around 2,600 historical landmarks within the U.S. today and they come in many forms such as historic buildings, sites, structures, objects, and districts. Each landmark represents an outstanding aspect and tells a fascinating story of American history and culture. So why is a horror author and poet such as myself writing about historical landmarks? Well for one I am very much intro history it’s one of my interests. I wouldn’t call myself a history buff but I find many aspects of our past truly interesting and even inspirational. The second reason is because my novel The Wax Factory is about an old factory that has a lot of history and will be revealed as a historical landmark in book two.
So why is it important to know about historical landmarks? Well because wherever you are you are likely near a historical landmark and whether or not your interested you should at least know about your surroundings. Historical landmarks are a sign of history, a sign of our past but in a way they are a distinguished badge or honor to a structure or object of history. It shows that at one time this building or object played a very important part in our history and transcended beyond it’s expectations so much that not only did it go beyond it’s fulfillment but it still exists today for people to see. Every state has it’s own landmark to showcase an important time in it’s history. Usually it’s old buildings and houses that get the honor to be considered historical landmarks. There are many historical landmarks that you may already know right off the bat just from knowing about the place by hearing about it or perhaps you’ve been there and just know that it’s bigger than any normal place.
Here is a list of the top 10 historical landmarks in the United States.
1. 3rd President Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello home in Charlottesville, Virginia
2. The Lincoln Monument in the U.S. Capital Washington D.C.
3. Ellis Island in New York
4. Independence Hall in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
5. Plimoth Plantation in Plymouth, Massachusetts
6. The World Trade Center Memorial in New York
7. U.S.S. Arizona Memorial in Honolulu, Hawaii
8. Lewis and Clark National Memorial Park in Astoria, Oregon
9. Fort Sumter in Charleston, South Carolina
10. The Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, Michigan
To read up more about these locations check out this article onhttps://www.attractionsofamerica.com/thingstodo/historical-landmarks.php" target="_blank" rel="nofollow"> Attractions of America.
So remember, the next time your out for a walk or a drive and you go by something that you’ve seen countless times but never stopped to wonder what it is stop this time. You may be presently surprised at not only what it is but that it holds some deep significance to your towns history or the state in general. You look into the landmark and before you know you’ve uncovered a whole bunch of history and facts you had no idea about. Landmarks help not only shape out country but help us go back in time even if just for a moment. They let us know that before us there were places and things that were important and were as popular then as certain things to us are now.
If The Wax Factory were real it would be a historical landmark. It’s been around for over 100 years, it once served a purpose that is practically extinct today, it’s in New York like several historical landmarks and it would still stand today to be preserved and shown as what it once was. Not to mention it may or may not go back into being the very same business it was all those years ago. Even in fiction the presence of a historical landmark would be and will be used to create a sense of nostalgia and to show people and educate them on their town.
|Posted on July 3, 2019 at 3:40 PM||comments (0)|
Some buildings history can be seen on the outside from its age, abandonment or old rustic look. However, for some buildings the history and the past isn’t always seen on the exterior but rather the interior and its history still lingers thinking it’s the past. Some buildings histories have haunted pasts, ghosts or beings who stay inside the building haunting it because they either don’t want others there or they simply don’t know things have changed. From a scary horror standpoint, we all know about some of the worlds most haunted places; from the city of Salem and it’s many places to Bobby Mackey’s bar, a place said to have not only ghosts but demon spirits as well. We will take a look at some of these places but in general, we will go over why it is we as people like not only abandoned places but we also like haunted buildings.
So what is our fascination with haunted buildings? Some have made a hobby out of it and some do it for a living. Ghost hunting has become extremely popular over the last twenty years and it’s no surprise as to why seeing as we tend to enjoy the things that scare us. These ghosts all seem to reside in old haunted buildings although I would state that even if you didn’t know a building was haunted it may give off haunted vibes just from the look alone. There are thousands of haunted buildings all over the world. From houses and old factories to old battleground bunkers to medieval European castles, there is no end to the type of building it is but what is known and what they all have in common is their haunted past that currently takes up residency.
Some famous haunted buildings have become big tourist attractions such as Bobby Mackey’s, Lizzie Borden’s Bed & Breakfast, The Winchester House, The Amityville House, as well as countless factories, hotels, asylums and prisons(two most notable are Eastern State Penitentiary and Alcatraz). These places all have chilling pasts and these past events now are said to live on forever as people flock to them to see if they can catch a glimpse of a spirit of centuries past. Why do we enjoy haunted buildings and ghosts? Well, we just do. Some of us find it really interesting and are intrigued by ghosts or simply love the creepy paranormal history of a building.
If anything consider this. A normal old historical building will have lots of history and great past stories to it no doubt but an old historical haunted building will have much more. Not only will it have its history but it will also have a dark twisted and sinister history to tell. A story that is hard to believe and not only that but the past is still around today and lingers telling people to leave, showing them a residual haunting or even worse trying to harm them. Haunted buildings may sound like fun but they can also be dangerous as this is a part of the unknown and you should be more scared than excited.
We love touring places of the past and we also love touring haunted places so the two do in fact go hand in hand. You should try to learn when going to a haunted building rather than hope to get scared and see something. In fact, try to go there with the intent to learn and if you do happen to see something haunting and chilling then consider that an added bonus. Haunted buildings make up a good chunk of our history and there will always be a story to tell and there will always be horrific things that have taken place that has shaped these places into haunted infamy. As long as we visit these places and talk about them they will live on forever and perhaps that’s just what they’ve wanted all along.
|Posted on July 2, 2019 at 8:00 PM||comments (0)|
Abandoned places. They fascinate, scare, and baffle us. They make us curious and wonder just what dwells inside and why it ever became abandoned. This is exactly what exploring the unknown is and while some don’t care for it, exploring abandoned places has taken on a life of its own and has become quite popular over the last few years. Urban exploring is going out and exploring man-made structures, especially abandoned buildings and areas not generally open to the public. Why is urban exploring a thing? Why are we fascinated by abandoned places? Is it really a good idea to explore the unknown? All these questions and more will be answered as we dive deeper into the craze and need to know of abandoned places.
Why are we fascinated by abandoned places? Some people are interested in knowing about the past, about learning what once was and the whole idea of why something that was once popular and prominent has become nothing more than a vacant empty space. You’ve likely walked or drove by countless abandoned buildings but have you ever been curious? Have you ever stopped and asked yourself what used to be there and why it’s no longer there or the better question why has nothing been built to replace it?
Abandoned means left behind, forgotten so buildings and areas are no different and many fall victim to the times, the economy or simple nature. I believe we are fascinated because it’s hard to wrap our heads around how such beautiful places become decrepit or how some places can become so decrepit when they used to be so lively. We are curious, it’s in our nature so abandoned places in a way take us back in time to make us think to the good ole days and how some of the places we go may also one day become abandoned.
Why is urban exploring a thing? One word, Chernobyl. The small town that went up in flames during a nuclear reactor exploding in 1986 has captivated us since it happened. More than a decade later the radiation levels have gone done immensely and over the last few years, the place has become a hot spot for urban exploring. Why do we as people like exploring places we aren’t supposed to be? Because of just that, we aren’t supposed to be there. Naturally, we wonder why the place is abandoned but we also wonder why(except for Chernobyl because it’s a safety concern) we aren’t allowed in the area. In most cases, it’s due to safety or because of its private property and people just aren’t allowed there. This is why urban exploring is a thing. We are intrigued, we like breaking the rules but most of all it’s one of the few things that even though it’s illegal to trespass we have fun and learn at the same time.
Is it a good idea to explore the unknown? Probably not but that certainly doesn’t stop people from going into dark places. Our minds and what we are told tell us not to dare go into the unknown but our instincts tell us otherwise. We love mystery, we love intrigue, and some of us love to be put into dark and dangerous situations. Also sometimes we need to take chances, perhaps the unknown isn’t always a bad thing maybe there’s something harmless or even good in the unknown.
Many abandoned places are like this. We have no idea what is inside not only does that not stop us because we want to know but we are willing to take the chance to find out. If it’s bad then we simply turn around and run away(well most of us anyway) but if it’s harmless then we explore deeper and deeper till we are captivated and educated at the same time. Abandoned places will always be around and as long as we as humans are curious we will always adventure into the unknown to find out just what exactly is inside and why it came to be abandoned.
|Posted on June 30, 2019 at 11:40 PM||comments (0)|
There are many horror themes and tropes out there. It could be monsters and haunted houses to skulls and psycho killers, but then there's the simple normal everyday things we put into horror to make it scarier than it really is. In this case, I'm talking about wax. Now, what makes wax scary right off the bat? Well, nothing unless you're afraid of burning yourself with hot wax. However, a deeper examination shows that not only is wax used in the horror world as an element to scare but you've probably been scared or at least unnerved by a certain piece of wax.
So what is the one-way wax can fit into horror? Why wax figures of course or turning people into wax. Wax figures creep some people out because of their ridiculous likeness of real people and also because there's sometimes you just get a weird feeling about them. Wax figures are for the most part meant to honor people but knowing they aren't really people and that sometimes wax creations of bad people exist, well it doesn't help put you in the mindset that wax is an evil vice.
Turning people into wax is another creepy thought and idea that has been placed into horror with the films House of Wax. In the original, a man murders people and turns them into wax figures he lost in his first place due to a fire. In the newer version, a whole town is abandoned and everyone a group of teens sees are wax figures who were once people but made into wax using a machine. Tell me that's not creepy, heck that's scary and downright terrifying. From those two examples, you can see how wax can be turned into a scary horror theme. Using the idea that people can be turned into wax figures creates the illusion in our minds that wax figures are creepy because maybe there's more to them then just wax sculpted into the likeness of real people.
Now, of course, these are just two mainstream examples of how wax has been incorporated into horror to make it scarier but there are others not only in cinema but in literature as well. When it's not being used as a way to scare people in horror, wax is mainly used in horror when shown as a candle to shine a light in the darkness. So in an ironic way wax can be used for both good and evil, good as a candle and light to help a character get out of the dark situation or evil as an element and theme to make people think that people are made out of wax. Wax is very much an underrated theme in the world of horror. When it's used as a small theme it tends to go unnoticed but when it's used as the main theme it can really make you think and perhaps as it's intended, scare the living hell out of you.
|Posted on April 10, 2019 at 7:35 PM||comments (0)|
Ghosts. Some of us find them scary and some of us long to talk to them because they are our loved ones trying to reach out. Ghosts are beings that are still around after death. Some are good and some are bad, some interact and some are just images reliving their past experiences and cannot interact. So what exactly is the difference between a residual haunting and an intelligent haunting? Well my guest, the operator of the My Haunted Salem site on tumblr is here to explain the difference between the two.
What is a Residual Haunting?
Residual hauntings are somewhat hard to describe, but are fairly common. Also known as “psychic impressions,” residual hauntings are considered by many as the type of haunting experienced most by people. When a ghost (person or animal) or even an event is witnessed over and over again, or doing the exact same thing, this is known as a residual haunting. It is “residual” because it is believe that energy from emotionally-charged events imprint upon our world. It is the release of this residual energy that creates the ghost person, ghost animal or ghostly scene.
Famed paranormal investigator, Frederic W. H. Myers called this type of haunting a “vertical afterimage.” A residual haunting, according to Myers’ definition, would be a memory impression left by individuals, animals or events, especially, it would seem, when under duress or from a time when there was the release of strong emotions, left as pictures in the atmosphere of a particular site.
The ghosts of residual haunting can be both seen or heard repeating the same activity. It is believed that most disembodied footsteps and many ghostly noises that are heard in a haunted place might be residual in origin. The residual sounds can be heard over and over and by different people. For example, it is said that in the Queen Mary’s Second Class Pool Room, one can still hear splashing, though the pool is now empty!
We may think of a residual haunting as a movie being replayed, day after day; and occasionally, someone is lucky enough to see or hear the encore. It is believed by ghost hunters that some events, due to strong emotional energy attached to it, imprint themselves on the environment where the event took place. Sort of “trapped in time,” the event is recorded in the atmosphere of a location. It’s the same with spirits of people – if one were to see a ghost doing the same activity over and over, and with no response to the present environment, it is likely a residual haunting. The person’s spirit is not there, in this theory, but just a phantasm of them exists, like a photograph in time. Residual hauntings are past events playing in the present but with no interaction or connection to the present.
What is a Intelligent Haunting?
Intelligent haunting are those in which the ghost interacts with the present. It is intelligent, in that the ghost may communicate, or interfere in some fashion, with those of us living on the earthly plane. The disembodied person has elected, for some reason, to stay here due to a connection with a person, place or thing. Intelligent haunting sometimes happens due to a spirit’s compelling need to deliver a message from the other side of the grave or to watch over loved ones. In addition, it is also plausible that an intelligent haunting can occur due to attachments the ghostly person feels to memories, trauma, tragedy or any other emotional tie, effectively binding the mind to:
not realizing the deceased person’s body has indeed expired
completing unfinished earthly business
re-living traumatic events, as the mind consistently replays the event in an attempt to comprehend
perhaps remaining with loved ones or persons the ghost finds like company with
not letting go due to some form of fear after death, such as fear of punishment or moving on unto the unknown
Intelligent haunting manifests typically in what some may consider to be “ghost signs.” Hiding or moving objects, doors opening and closing, hearing strange sounds, noticing a spiritual presence (e.g. goosebumps), and the disturbance of electrical devices are all examples of ghosts attempting to gain someone’s attention and communicate from the spirit realm.
One may also experience dreams and visions of loved ones, especially, right before or after sleep when most of us are more open to contact (and the left brain is quieted down). It is also not uncommon to physically see a ghostly loved one, as well, as either an apparition or shadowed form. The best thing one can do is remain open to the contact and listen to what is heard deep within as that is how ghosts primarily communicate. If you encounter a haunting, seek to speak to the spirit, using in words of peace, compassion and love.
A big thank you to my guest for this great thorough explanation on residual and intelligent hauntings. Check out her tumblr page https://myhauntedsalem.tumblr.com/" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">@myhauntedsalem for more on ghosts.
If you liked this than feel free to check out the rest of my blog for more creepy horror posts as well as other topics. Feel free to subscribe to my e-mail list
And check out the novel that inspired this very question, The Wax Factory, a modern gothic horror novel with a dap of paranormal and ghosts.
|Posted on April 10, 2019 at 6:10 PM||comments (0)|
Wax Museums are an underrated source of entertainment. They are museums yes but they not just places to learn about the history of a person or place they are an experience to see great craftsmanship and feel as though your standing next to someone famous. Wax Museums are intriguing places because they can take you back in time, take you to a place in the present you never thought you’d be and make you feel as though you’re a part of something special because well, you are! Listed below are the top ten best wax museums in America that you should check out if you happen to be in the area or if you are traveling the country checking out wax museums!
10. Jesse James Wax Museum in classic Route 66.
You’ve probably heard all about one of the wild west’s most notorious and ruthless outlaws back in the day. His story has been told throughout history hence the reason his name still gets mentioned today. This museum is not only located in a nostalgic area in Route 66 but is all about the famed outlaw who took the west by storm and continues to fascinate people today.
9. House of Frankenstein Wax Museum
Located in Lake George, New York this is a place absolutely perfect for horror fans. Aside from it’s name sake star of Frankenstein the museum also features many horror characters sure to scare and excite you to tears. There’s also other horrific looking figures that will leave you talking about them long after you leave.
8. Hollywood Wax Museum in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
Okay so chances are most people don’t go to Myrtle Beach to check this place out but perhaps they should. This version of the Hollywood Wax Museum is entertaining, enthralling and a great place to stop by before you head to the beach. It features many celebrities and even had zombie figures because why not, right?
7. National Great Blacks Museum
Located in Baltimore, Maryland, the museum is a dedication and honor in showing African American History. You’ll learn a lot of stuff you may not have ever learned in school and not only is it educational but very entertaining and a must-see for wax museums.
6. Potter’s Wax Museum
Located in St. Augustine, Florida, it’s said to be the first ever wax museum opened in the United States. The museum has many historical figures, celebrities as well as many of horror’s scary characters. Seeing as it’s the said to be first ever wax museum opened in the U.S, why wouldn’t you want to go?
5. Rock Legends Wax Museum
Located in Niagara Falls, New York this museum is perfect for all music and rock and roll fans. The museum features rock stars from the past as well the current ones. It’s a great place to learn the history of rock and roll and get a selfie with your favorite music star!
4. National Presidential Wax Museum
Who said there’s nothing exciting in South Dakota? Aside from Mt. Rushmore the state also has the National Presidential Museum. The place has over 100 historical figures and features every president and is a great place to catch up on your presidential history!
3. Salem Wax Museum & Witch's Dungeon Classic Movie Museum
Two places close to home that I just couldn’t separate!
The Salem Wax Museum is of course located in Salem, Massachusetts and as someone who’s been there I can tell you it’s quite a cool and interesting place! Of course you’ll see figures and learn about the infamous Witch Trials of 1692 but you’ll also learn about the history of the town and how they came to be so witchy as well as how the town came to be founded. There’s also a Pirate Museum in Salem that is really interesting if your into piracy.
Witch’s Dungeon Classic Movie Museum is located in Bristol, Connecticut and is an absolute must-see for horror and classic horror movie fans. The place is owned by Cortlandt Hull, the great nephew of horror actor Henry Hull who played the werewolf in The Werewolf of London. The place has many classic horror figures such as Frankenstein’s Monster, Count Dracula, the Phantom of the Opera and Nosferatu.
2. Madame Tussaud’s in Hollywood, California
If you ever find yourself in Hollywood and you still don’t come across any celebrities walking the streets it’s okay you can still meet them! Madame Tussauds is the most famous place known for wax figures. It’s right next to the Hollywood Walk of Fame, is an epic three story building and features 115 celebrity wax figures!
1. Hollywood Wax Museum in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee
There’s lots to do in Tennessee and if your planning a trip there you better be sure to add this to your places to visit. You’ll get to see old famous actors and actresses like silent film star Charlie Chaplin as well as Norma Jean herself, Marilyn Monroe. There’s lots to see and is truly the definition of a wax museum.
To find out more on these places visit thishttps://www.drivethenation.com/best-wax-museums-in-america/" target="_blank" rel="nofollow"> article by Melissa Martinez.
|Posted on February 11, 2019 at 3:45 PM||comments (1)|
The Wendigo is a mythical monster in Algonquin folklore. It’s a considered to be that of a man eating creature and an evil spirit known to the northern forests of the Atlantic Coast and other parts of United States and even Canada. The wendigo may appear as a vicious monster with some characteristics of a human and is also known to be a creature whose spirit has possessed a human being and made them become disturbing and unpredictable. It is usually connected to and associated with murder, greed, and other known evil notions. The legend of the Wendigo comes from a controversial modern medical term known as Wendigo psychosis, described by psychiatrists as a syndrome with symptoms such as an intense craving for human flesh and fear of becoming a cannibal.
There are well over two dozen different types of spellings for the Wendigo. Many of these come from several different Native American Algonquin tribes. In most cases and incidents the Wendigo are known for being cannibalistic, evil and supernatural. They are also associated winter and famine. In some cases, humans are known to be overpowered by greed and could turn into wendigos. It is also said that Humans could also turn into wendigos just simply by being in contact with them or around them for too long.
It’s suggested that Native Americans understand the wendigo. The Wendigo can take over a person with an idea of corruptive and disturbing behavior, greed or even consumption. This idea states that a person of evil intentions or who favor certain sins are prone to becoming taken over or influenced by wendigos. Wendigos are known to be violent and aggressive by their nature. They also have the instinct to kill and are known to be cannibals. In popular culture the Wendigo has appeared all over. It has appeared in several fiction books even having some fictional books solely written for it. They have appeared in comics and graphic novels as well as movies and television shows.
While the wendigo is known from myth and in popular culture there is still a mystery behind the creature that gives off it’s evil eerie presence. Wendigos don’t just appear as stated above it takes a person thinking evil self-absorbed thoughts and having ill intent in order for them to appear or take over. Yet even this idea and their having some notoriety, they still have a mysterious aura about them. Wendigos tendencies are enough to scare or frighten a person however, they are also known to have a foul smell to them and they look like beasts with their bones using showing and having blood on them. Wendigos could be characterized as several personifications of evil and their presence is of the darkest intent.
Adding to popular culture, one of the poems in my horror poetry book, The Macabre Masterpiece: Repressed Carnage, is called The Wendigo which is my take on the mythical creature.
In the harsh winter climates
There lurks a suspicious creature
Half person/half beast
Imagine a skeletal moose-like bigfoot
That feasts on human flesh
It comes from an old Algonquin myth
Its said a human can transform into one
Or vice versa, either way it's chilling
It’s a vicious spirit with malicious intent
Violent by nature, fueled by greed
With gluttonous tendencies
Its exterior is that of mainly bone
With skin that drapes like a canvas
Lips tarnished and bloody
Not to mention they smell horrid
An odor of death and decay
But most of all it wishes to feed
And feed it shall if one encounters it
Beware of the Wendigo
The treacherous famine walker
The beast of starvation
A cannibalistic being of death
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|Posted on January 28, 2019 at 6:45 PM||comments (0)|
What makes horror great? Well before we get into that let's go over what is essential but not always necessary when it comes to horror. A scare factor, suspense, fear, blood, guts, evil, darkness, and death. These are just a few of the many words and feelings that attribute to horror but they are the basic ones that are usually seen. However, two three of these tend to always be the focus when they don't need to be. When making horror whether it's a novel, video or film the first three things people naturally go to right away and make sure they add are blood, guts, and death. Blood is usually added because it demonstrates a part of us that is usually the first thing to go when it comes to horror. This is in most cases followed by guts as a story being told goes past simple blood loss and guts are shown. Finally, after the two meet and are withering a person away death is the end result. Does a story truly need these three things to be great horror? The answer may surprise you but it's no, no they do not.
A great horror story or film can still be epic and amazing without all the theatrical elements that make it stand out. For example, an intense paranormal movie with extreme haunts from spirits, ghosts, and demonic presences does not use blood and guts because the sheer fact that they are not among the living is enough to invoke fear and scare a person. Psychological horror doesn't need blood, guts or death but relies on the deterioration of the mind by invoking fear and using whatever means of horror that are necessary to scare a person. Horror can be many things and relies on several different elements to make it what it is. When we read a horror novel or watch a horror movie we see the variables that make it up to be horror but sometimes it's the things we don't see or consider that truly make it a horror. A simple spine chilling look from a character, the focusing on a shadow or the cold sensation from a lingering ghost can make for some great and creepy horror.
It's not always about body counts. You know where I'm going with this. Perhaps not so much in novels although I'm sure there are some, horror movies solely rely on body count to really show that it's horror. Sorry, Jason, Freddy, Chucky, and Michael Myers but how you're used is a cliche in horror and while it is horror and it is gruesome it's not always necessary to truly make horror stand out. How many books or movies have you read or watched only to realize that either a bunch of people are going to die and the main evil presence sole focus is on killing people and lots of them at that? Chances are more than you thought and this is okay but in my opinion, we need to try to stay away from this and get into more factors of what makes horror great.
In my upcoming novel, The Wax Factory, I have a group of college students who visit an old factory as part of a project( I know this may sound cliche but just stay with me here). Along the way, they encounter some strange things and paranormal events that change the landscape and test their will power for survival. I'm not spoiling anything for you here but people die, also what I can tell you is that not everybody dies and there's not a huge body count. Why? Well Aside from not wanting to be cliche I didn't want this to be a focus in my novel. Death is just a basic anomaly, a natural part of life in this novel. Sure, how some perish could be considered extreme but the fact that I don't have a body dropping in every chapter means I want you to appreciate all the things that make the novel horror and not just the blood, guts and body counts.
Is horror too cliche for its own good? Not at all, but like all things and other genres it needs to be itself and branch out and expand. Do you want every horror novel to be on the sole point of everybody dies, it's about the kills and there's a huge mess afterward? Do you want every fantasy to be about wizards, dragons, and magic? Do you want every romance novel to have a hunky guy or love triangle? No, these are considered cliches and basic tropes to these genres but they do not define the genre just like how horror does not need gore and death to make it stand out. The next time you pick up a horror book or movie or see something horror ask yourself the following, will I stop reading or watching if it's solely one element? Or will I read and watch intently and look for the other essentials? Will my experience be better knowing that horror does not have to be about guts and the glamour of killing?
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|Posted on January 21, 2019 at 4:40 PM||comments (0)|
Wax Museums, they show famous people and help them live on forever. The craftsmanship of the figures within these museums are absolutely timeless. When we step into a museum we are sometimes taken back in time or up close and personal with some of our favorite people. One of the most famous wax museums is https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Madame_Tussauds" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Madame Tussaud's in London, known for its amazing wax figures. Over the years many other https://www.madametussauds.com/" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">locations of the most famous wax museum have appeared all over the globe. Wax museums are meant to be an experience and entertainment of education and fun. They serve as a purpose to showcase and immortalize people from history and people we currently see in today's society. However, a quick observation of one of your favorite celebrities or perhaps an infamous killer in wax makes you think it's so real that it's as if the person is standing there before you. This isn't a bad thing but if it's someone evil or bad such as an infamous killer it sort of gives you the creeps and for a brief moment you get the sensation that the wax figure is so life like that it may come to life!
One of my favorite https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0052520/" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Twilight Zone episodes called, "https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0734665/" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">The New Exhibit" tells of a curator of a wax museum who is in control of the Murderer's Row section of the museum. Here we see wax figures of infamous killers and the most well known of them is Jack the Ripper. The museum closes and the man decides to keep the figures down in his basement where he keeps them cool. He also swears that they are starting to come to life. The reason I reference this episode of the Twilight Zone is because it's a perfect example of our fears as human beings of wax figures looking so lifelike that you'd swear on your life that they themselves breathe life and are real. Also, it's not until we encounter an evil figure made of wax that we get chills and forget that it is wax but our minds wander as we try and try to remember that they are only made of wax, nothing more.
The resemblance of some of these figures is sometimes eerie and creepy. One thing as people that we tend to do is associate figures, dummies, dolls, and mannequins in the horror culture by bringing them to life and giving them real-life characteristics. This is why some of us(including myself as I'm afraid of ventriloquist dummies) are scared of all these things especially wax figures because we know they aren't real but because we've seen so many horror films that depicting them coming to life that sometimes we just assume they will come to life and let our imaginations get the best of us. Some dolls are just creepy looking, mannequins aren't always the best things to be near while your alone in a mall, dummies are always being brought to life in cinema and literature and wax figures just look so darn life like that you'd be a fool not to get scared or have the thought cross your mind.
Imagine you're in a museum and you're the only one. You walk around looking at the figures and taking it all in, the history, the detail in each figures face, the feeling as though you're among real people. Suddenly you look around your shoulder and turn around. You look back at the figures where they stand or are in the same position they've always been and will continue to be in. Then you get that odd feeling in your stomach, that feeling you can't shake. Your mind starts thinking strange thoughts and your hearts beating a mile a minute and before you know it your thoughts and heartbeats have been coated in shock, hysteria, and fear. You feel as though the figures will come to life at any minute and harm you or even worse kill you! Surely, you've experienced this or at least thought about it? If you haven't well then the next time you decide to go to a wax museum you better hope other people are there, otherwise you'll remember this article and all I've said and you'll be looking over your shoulder thinking that maybe just maybe your not alone after all.
I'm intrigued by the idea of whether or not wax museums are scary or not because my sixth novel takes place in a wax factory and deals with the principles of wroking with wax. I wonder, since wax figures and museums are scary, wouldn't factories of wax be just as scary knowing they use the same materials and elements? The Wax Factory could be as scary as a museum but I'll leave that for youto decide.
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|Posted on January 21, 2019 at 4:40 PM||comments (0)|
You walk by a building such as a house or a factory every day. This building has been abandoned for years. You've heard stories and rumors as to how it got to be abandoned but you don't know which one if any are the truth. These stories have been passed along so many times that after a while whether or not you don't get scared easily you find that the next time you walk by the building it gives you the chills. You slowly walk by and stop and stare at the place. You don't know why but just looking at it and really taking it all in gives you goosebumps and all the stories you've heard go rushing through your head like a train. You stare harder and then you make up your own reason as to why it became abandoned and it scares you just thinking about it. Then it occurs to you, one question settles into your brain that you can't seem to answer. Why are some abandoned places so scary? Is it because of all the stories and rumors? Is it because knowing that a place is now desolate may hold dark secrets? Or is it because our brains naturally know that the unknown scares us?
Many times as children we all have that story of an old rundown house that we walked by. We know nothing about it other than the fact that no one lives there anymore and it's abandoned. Why does it scare us though? Perhaps it's because of what we're told, maybe it's because as kids and as humans the unknown just scares us. Maybe it's because deep down we know that if we got up the courage to go into the abandoned building that it truly would scare us.
As adults, this could be the same notion but then again not everyone is scared of creepy abandoned buildings and chances are adults aren't as prone to being easily scared of places as children. How much being scared is on the individual over the actual place? In some instances, some people are more easily scared than others and buildings give up creepy looks and some people aren't exactly scared by them but they are at the very least chilled by the place. Background of the building is again some part of the fear factor but overall there could be several factors as to why we sometimes find ourselves scared of an abandoned place.
It's simple, we take a look at a decrepit building that's been abandoned for years and naturally within our instincts and thoughts that sometimes get the best of us, we get scared, creeped out or at the very least eerie thoughts take over our brains. Sometimes it's fun to get scared and technically until we go in and adventure for ourselves this type of scare could be considered innocent and not really all that scary. So the next time your walking by an abandoned building or house and you stop and think about it, maybe don't think too long, maybe don't create a reason as to why it's scary or if it's haunted because if you do only bad things may come from it. You may just find yourself adventuring in and then who knows what will happen…
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|Posted on January 14, 2019 at 4:50 PM||comments (0)|
Gothic. Chances are you know what it is and can define what it is in some way. Urban Gothic? Well, not many people know what urban gothic is so that's what this article is about. It will explain to you what urban gothic is and give you a general idea of examples of what truly defines it. First off, Urban Gothic is a subgenre of gothic that deals with industrial and post-industrial urban society. The term was first coined in the 19th century in Britain as well as Ireland and the U.S. Urban gothic is a part of film and television as well as literature where it originally was seen. Early on there was a boost in gothic literature and other classic types of genres this is what started to make gothic novels more popular and a genre slowly on the rise. Urban Gothic tends to be an idea that deals with the generalizations of the regular definition of gothic; dark themes and elements with a classy and elegant representation. It usually deals with the descriptions of dark, dreary and vivid backgrounds of a lively yet at the same time lonely setting. Settings of rural locations where horror meets danger and adventurous levels. It's also known to put people in horror situations such as paranormal and supernatural creating for an overall dark feel and eerie look.
Some early examples of Urban Gothic are Robert Louis Stevenson's Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1886), and Irish novels such as Oscar Wilde's The Picture of Dorian Gray (1890), and Bram Stoker's Dracula (1897). One thing you can immediately see is that all these books share common themes. They are all set in Britain, are gothic literature and also have that element of the unknown where the setting and the people are dark, mysterious and yet are strange and profound. It's these books that are the real first known case of urban gothic and are absolute classics. These novels, as well as the genre itself, helped to create two more branches in the gothic genre, southern gothic and suburban gothic. In many ways, urban gothic is sort of the indie of gothic's, it is a subgenre of Gothic but has enough in its own right to stand on its own. Frankenstein, some of Edgar Allan Poe's works as well as other well-known authors such as Nathaniel Hawthorne have works that are in some ways considered to be Urban Gothic. Another fine and classic example is Phantom of the Opera that does a lovely job of blending class and horror together to create a strong vivid gothic story of romanticism.
Modern gothic has helped the sub-genres, like urban gothic for a smooth transition so that they keep what makes the genre unique but at the same time adding a modern twist or flare. Some examples of modern day urban and suburban gothic are Anne Rice's Vampire Chronicles, several of graphic novelist Frank Miller's books such as Batman and Sin City and the film, The Crow. Again like the books described earlier, these books and films all have something in common. The dark setting that's dark yet engaging and simplistic giving off that mystery element within an industrial rural location coated in a classic blend of horror and classical gothic.
New Orleans is quite the city so despite being loud at times there's also a certain prestige to the city making it a place where vampires tend to dwell in literature and making it a perfect location of Urban Gothic. Nothing says urban gothic quite like the dark foggy yet strangely alluring streets and alleys of New Orleans. Also, take a look at Sin City, it's a dirty and dangerous place yet has that mantra of urban gothic with it's industrial and rural setting. The modern adaptation and take of urban gothic shows that the genre can be enjoyed by those who enjoy classic and modern gothic literature and cinema.
So that's what Urban Gothic is. Chances are by now that you've realized that you not only have known what it is but you enjoy and have read and seen what urban gothic is whether it's from a classic or modern sense. It's a subgenre that helps the flow of gothic within dangerous yet classy situations. It's the taboo of gothic, it's a representation of how shadows get lonely sometimes and most of all it's still being written and made into movies today. So the next time your at your local library or in the mood for a gothic film but you still want that current feel, look into Urban Gothic, it will not disappoint you.
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|Posted on October 8, 2018 at 12:05 AM||comments (0)|
You’re probably thinking yes but now your thinking about the last horror movie you saw and realized it had no blood in it at all. Horror doesn’t need blood to win people over or catch their attentions but it is used as an effect because it is so associated and common in horror that it’s just naturally assumed that horror has to have blood but it really doesn’t. Sure, vampire novels and movies need blood because vampires are all about blood and sure killers and slashers cause bloodshed but still blood is not necessary for horror. Gory and gruesome horror entertainment thrive off blood but does this mean blood is a need in horror? Once again no just a theme in horror that needs it. Horror is the intent to scare, to gross out and yet it is widely known that horror and blood usually go hand in hand but both do not need one another and horror more so does not need blood to be what it is.
The Shining, one of the most iconic movies in horror. Yes there’s an elevator scene where blood splashes through the doors but it’s only shown twice in the film and the rest of the film uses different elements of horror to scare you. Blood is not the effect in it nor is it used to scare, it’s not necessary. While there is blood it’s not enough and it doesn’t use blood to make the film. There are way better examples out there of films and books that don’t use blood to pull you in or to use it as a way to get the story going. Blood is in all of us, it is essential to life but not to horror, remember that the next time your thinking about writing it in your story. Blood is used because it’s a go-to effect, it’s an obvious theme, it’s “hey how do I get this story really going? Oh I know I’ll include blood!”. Horror may not need blood but just think of how films that do need it would be without it.
The Shining could survive without the elevator scene but there’s a few iconic films that simply wouldn’t have the same effect or scare factor without the appearance of blood. Imagine if Psycho’s iconic scene of Janet Leigh getting stabbed in the shower didn’t happen and you didn’t see the blood going down the drain? Well it is in black and white and they used chocolate syrup but the whole idea is to make you think your seeing blood. Imagine if they didn’t show gore in Halloween or the Friday th 13th films? You’d be bored because you’d know people got killed but without showing blood you’d be less interested. In this regard, blood is necessary. Any slasher film; Nightmare on Elm Street, Scream, American Psycho all rely on blood to get their point across and this isn’t a bad thing but it just goes to show you how they fit in a certain type of theme of horror. Gothic films, psychological thrillers and macabre don’t necessarily need blood to scare or to be their selling point to be horror. The next time you read or watch horror ask yourself, do you see blood? Is the blood important to the story? You may be surprised at the realization.
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|Posted on April 2, 2018 at 4:20 PM||comments (0)|
Psycho, it is regarded as one of the best and most iconic horror and suspense movies of all time. It’s director Alfred Hitchcock is by far one of the best directors of all time. Many will agree and I too agree with this notion. Psycho is a great film and was quite controversial during it’s time for it’s sexual references, violence and ending subject matter. However despite all these things I think that Psycho stands the test of time and is still many of people’s favorite horror films. I recently watched it again as I saw it on cable and it was when I was watching up to a certain scene that I realized there is a big flaw in the movie that I bet many people never notice or disregard because of the time it was made. Before I go ahead and explain what I noticed I will mention that there is spoilers in this so if you have never seen the film and don’t want to know then don’t read and if you don’t care then please keep reading. With that being said here is the huge flaw I found in the movie Psycho.
The scene is when the detective Arbogast goes to the Bates Motel(looking into Marion’s murder who of course was killed at the Bates Motel) having been to a few motels already and came across the Bates Motel going over his procedure. He is met of course by Norman whom he makes small talk with in the rain before Norman invites him into the check in room. Arbogast asks Norman if anyone has stayed here recently and if he’s seen Marion(he shows him her photo), Norman declines saying no one’s stayed there in a few weeks and Arbogast insists he at least looks at the photo. Norman looks over the photo and says no he has never seen Marion before and is rather convincing at least to me he is. He then says no nobody has stayed here in a few weeks and that he’s never seen Marion before. Here’s where I have a big issue and see a huge flaw in the film.
Websites will claim that Norman’s answers and talk is suspicious and doesn’t add up and that he’s contradicting himself which is correct but to a point. People fail to see that Arbogast is asking the same questions that he’s already gotten the answers to, yet he’s already convinced that Norman knows something, I don’t know about you but I never see Norman nervous and he plays it off well. The detective’s persistence in asking questions throws Norman off but I feel it’s one-sided. What I’m getting at if it isn’t clear is that I figure most people would be satisfied with the answers given to them, ask a few more and then just assume Marion stayed a night and drove off the next morning.
The detective never thinks Marion did this and only thinks Norman knows something and his questioning is off and it’s too alarming. Hitchcock makes it seem as if the detective already knows something or is having the detective come off as intimidating but in a very odd manner by asking the same questions. This bothered me because while Norman does act strange he acts way stranger later on with other people and I would say out of all the people he talks with, the detective is the least one that he acts strange with. I feel like perhaps they gave the detective too much direction where he was supposed to frighten Norman but to me it never fully comes out that way yet you still get the full effect despite certain questions not being asked.
I get that all detectives are thorough and ask a line of questions as standard procedure but it’s just the way he asks them and how Norman responds that makes me think that they left out parts. None of his line of questioning to me could arose suspicion or lead to contradictory statements by Norman but yet in his subtle answers the detective is able to keep asking hellbent on saying something is up with Norman. Now Norman does slip up as he mentions his mother which of course then turns the whole story around but again this conversation never really had to happen if the detective just had even a slight thought that Marion simply stayed a night and drove out of state. The detective asks to see Norman’s mother because Norman slipped up and said she didn’t like Marion drawing the conclusion that his mother and Marion had met and spoken. Of course Norman says the detective can’t talk to his mother because she’s ill. The detective persistent as always insists on talking to her to which Norman again tells him she’s ill.
Again call me crazy but if someone told me twice that they’re mother or relative was ill I’d say oh I’m so sorry or have some sympathy and yes even if I was a detective I’d still say it. I find this to be another odd part, like if someone tells you you can’t talk to someone because their ill(yes we all know “mother” is ill alright) but my point being that on the outside we don’t know anything and the detective should have just moved on. The detective is of course told Marion stayed there, moved on elsewhere, I think he should have believed that because he is truly never given real odd statements other then twisting his own words to get what he wants to hear.
He goes to the pay phone, calls Marion’s sister and of course says that Norman is suspicious, yeah but he’s only suspicious because that’s how it was written and the sell job on Norman being suspicious to me is just not good enough. He mentions the mother and then says he’s going to return. I’ll jump a bit because this isn’t an issue to me but to end this part, Arbogast returns, goes into the Bate’s house goes up the stairs where he is stabbed and falls down the stairs as “mother” killed him. Technically, in my eyes the detective’s dumb persistence got him killed and the idea of talking to a sick woman by breaking into someone’s house just seems a bit off to me.
So that’s where the flaw ends right? Not exactly there’s still Marion’s sister and boyfriend, Lila Crane and Sam Loomis. From the get go we find that Lila is even more persistent then the detective and very curious and suspicious. Yes, Lila is her sister so she more than anyone would know of Marion’s idea’s and what she would do but the lengths and odd points Lila makes just seem a bit extreme to me even if it is to find her sister. She never looks anywhere else and is determined and sold that it happened at the Bates which is true but again with little to go on why wouldn’t anyone look elsewhere, other places around the Bates or further into town? Nope, just the Bates is looked into. I can however forgive Lila’s erraticness because after all she is Marion’s sister(so it’s both against her and helps her) but if there was ever a more sloppy scene it would be Sam confronting Norman.
Sam goes back to the check in after he and Lila pretended to be a couple to check in to investigate because Lila wanted to see for herself. Sam’s questioning to Norman is at first idle small talk and Norman doesn’t talk much which Sam finds odd(I can buy this, Norman is acting strangely but then again he doesn’t get many people). Here’s my other issue, Sam delves into Norman’s personal life asking if and why he doesn’t sell the place and move on and get a place of his own, I could think of several, his “mother” is ill, he likes to keep to himself, it’s not Sam’s Business, he could make something up, etc. My point is that Norman could have told him tons of things but instead we are given a cheap he’s hardly speaking routine which leads to Sam’s accusations against Norman. He asks him about the money which Norman knows literally nothing about and when he keeps asking dumb questions Norman attacks him.
I’d have no issue with this except the question he asks Norman to further upset him is one Norman actually has no knowledge of. Of all things to set him off why was it a question to which he didn’t know the answer or know what Sam was talking about for that matter? Sure he could have attacked him because Sam was nosy as all hell which he was but we are instead given the idea that Norman attacks him because he is being asked questions to which Norman really doesn’t know anything about. So that’s my gripe with the movie, the persistence and unlogical idea that three people don’t think of plan B and are just totally 100% sold on plan A despite Norman not truly selling them on any such suspicion other than a little off-putting answers. I still love the film but I thought I’d share my thoughts on the flaws I found.
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|Posted on March 19, 2018 at 5:55 PM||comments (0)|
The Reconstruction Era, it was a time period between 1863(or 1865 which ever you prefer) to 1877 in which the United States attempted to recover following several issues including the Civil War, slavery and the transition of states back into the union. While the era had it’s benefits and good days, the era was mostly hard on mostly everyone and left it’s mark as a hard way for people and communities to recover. Whether it was slavery, recovering from the Civil War or a transition from a south state back into the union the progress was the same for all, difficult. I could write a small book on this because of the amount of information on it but instead I am putting my focus on reconstruction in connection with the Civil War and western states and how it effected them. I also want to focus on the down side to reconstruction because it was certainly not a walk in the park or breath of fresh air, it was a time where the society that once destroyed themselves only years before had to come together to rebuild. One question haunts me however, has President Abraham Lincoln not been assassinated would reconstruction have been different? Easier? A smoother transition for the entire united states?
The Civil War, it’s one of the most fascinating yet most ridiculous wars we’ve ever seen. Fascinating in the sense of now as you look back at it as nostalgia and rustic feeling but ridiculous in the sense that it was a war that we fought...against ourselves. The aftermath of the war was just as hard on people as the war itself. People had to reclaim land, property, but most of all they had to clean up and rebuild their towns which turned into utter decay and wastelands of rubble. For some it took a mere few months, for others they simply moved on somewhere else and for most it took years to not only reclaim but to replace what they once had. You can add all the treaties, policies and acts that you want that factor in but in reality what is a piece of paper to something that needed to be physically done, fixed and rebuilt? The years after the Civil War were just a cruel to people who battled in it. It’s hard to imagine what was worse, a soldier who survived and went through reconstruction or a person who didn’t who lost someone and had to carry on through an era to which they never wanted to go back into. The Civil War left imprints and foreshadowed the U.S to a massive cleanup that no one could have seen coming despite a horrendous war.
The violence didn’t end when the war did. Let that sink in. When some men returned from the war they just weren’t the same men they were before they left. Some could get over what they felt was right but none could recover from what they saw or felt. One reason violence still reigned supreme was because there was still tension between the North and South states. Many southerners would kill after the war because they still believed in the confederacy and northerners would kill simply out of spite, hatred or because it’s all they knew. It was called reconstruction but tell that to the countless lives lost well after the war ended.
To them it was resuming and continuation of something that was just pointless to begin with. Small towns were sometimes swallowed whole with three reasons to their downfalls, wreckage, politics and other people coming in to destroy what little remained. One book that does a great job of portraying people against one another during reconstruction is Skin Medicine by Tim Curran, a horror western. The main character Tyler Cabe who fought comes into a town where the Sheriff is someone who punished him during the war. The point is that thr Wild West and reconstruction go hand in hand and they have violence to that for that.
The Civil War era, The Wild West and Reconstruction era were a deadly time in our history which as we look back we ask, why did some of it if not all of it need to happen? All accounted for bloodshed, death and destruction that never needed to happen. Perhaps the only benefit is the shape and direction our country took after the war and the era. The horrors of reconstruction impacted so many people, rich and poor, well known or not well known, it just didn’t matter. If you were anybody you accounted for everybody and the effects were felt by all those who involved or were bystanders to the destruction. Was reconstruction supposed to be an easy clean up? A simple era? A time where we could simply move on and forget the war ever happened and live happily ever after? Not in the slightest. The error with man is that it is in our nature to destroy ourselves even if it means actually fighting our own people in our own country in our own backyards because in the end, we will move on slowly and we learn. We learn from our errors and our ways...
|Posted on February 26, 2018 at 2:15 PM||comments (0)|
Serial Killers are probably the most clear evidence of real horror. People without a conscience or shred of remorse or human decency. Yet while they are on the top of the real life horror pyramid who and what makes up the rest? Think about the question and I’m sure you can come up with a few ideas. Current events, whether your reading it right now there’s some known violence going on in the world, there will be further violence in the future and that will be the latest current event of real world horror because this world is one big world of horror. School shootings, stabbing of spouses, setting houses on fire, going on a killing spree, people overdosing on drugs; these are just of the few real world horrors we deal with every single day and the saddest part of all? We will likely continue to see them every single day because it’s just simply how the world works, for every peaceful and blessed thought a normal person has there is a raging psychopathic lunatic who just loves to watch the world burn along with the people in it.
Of course we want to live in a world where peace runs rampant and violence and horror don’t exist but that would seem too ideal, too unrealistic. Some of us are horror genre fans who love scary and gory movies, books and conventions. Why do we love these things? Because they are fictional and made for our entertainment and yet despite being exactly the same, the real world of horror is something that no person wants to experience, wants to feel or see and most importantly of all hates seeing because it isn’t the horror we want to be exposed to. Guns kill people, guns kill people with guns, people kill people; however you choose to see the glass here just remember that the end result will be the glass shattering. It’s all violent no matter how you look at it and it’s truly baffling how people can actually think that using a gun can make a difference. Guns are like drugs, they are a horror in our world and when given to the wrong people can cause utter chaos and even bring out the worst in sometimes the best of a person. Guns are vessels of horror, they do not make the world a better place no matter how many times you try to spin it.
However for every crime spree, every gun fired and every house set a blaze there is a person behind it. Some people are horrific, inexcusable excrements for human beings, psychopaths, not fit for this world or any known to exist but yet here they are in our world sharing space and air with us and why? Well that’s a question that if we knew maybe just maybe we could put a stop to it but again violence and horror in the real world is an inevitability. If not one thing then surely it’s something else. Can we treat each other better? Of course we can. Will it help? In a sense. Can it stop people from becoming a part of horror and violence? That remains to be seen. The horrors of the real world have become such an every day sight and yet despite this we still remain shocked when we hear something horrific happen. Why is this? Because we’d like to think that the world isn’t fifty percent made up of grizzly and traumatic events and psychos but your local channel news, twitter feed and current events remind you that horror is real, it’s all too real.
The scariest thing you’ll ever read isn’t a Stephen King book, the scariest thing you’ll ever see on television isn’t a John Carpenter movie, it’s what’s around you happening in the place you call home. The true horror is the horror that’s preceded by the word “real”. It’s horror we wish was directed, produced and considered as fiction but we cannot change the real horrors around us, at least not right away. Remember the kind of person you are, remember that what ever problems you may have and whatever troubles you may come across that you want to live life to the best of your ability because horrors happen every day and you truly never know when it may involve you.