Archive for ghost stories

The Story of Centralia, Pennsylvania

Posted in Urban Legend with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 21, 2016 by Xander Woolf

You may have heard that Centralia, PA is considered a ghost town. Here’s the brief story as to why.Censign.jpg

On May 27, 1962, a mine fire started burning under Centralia, PA. As a result of this, the town’s population has drastically decreased from over 1000 residents in 1981 to only 7 residents in 2013.

It is suspected that the fire started from the deliberate burning of trash down in the mine, igniting a coal seam. The mine continues to burn to this day and is estimated to burn for another 250 years.

Many of the buildings in town have been leveled and most of the properties are condemned under eminent domain. The US Postal Service even revoked the ZIP Code 17927. The remaining 7 residents are allowed to live out their lives there, but no new residents can move in due to safety reasons.

The fire causes the town to be filled with smoke and ash. This has led to Centralia becoming a fairly large tourist attraction. It embodies the aesthetic of a “ghost” town, in more than one way.

This aesthetic has inspired many horror stories. It is a common reference when referring to physical manifestations of hell and has inspired the film Silent Hill, the books Strange Highways and Vampire Zero, and the 1991 movie Nothing but Trouble.

Have you been to Centralia, Pennsylvania? We’d like to know about it. Let us know what you think in the comments below!

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The Legend of the Richmond Vampire

Posted in Urban Legend with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 7, 2016 by Xander Woolf

Richmond, Virginia was the site of a tragic accident in 1925. On October 2 of that year, the Church Hill Train Tunnel collapsed onto several workers as they attempted to repair the tunnel for the use of the burgeoning railroad.

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Tess Shebaylo/Flickr (Source Link Below)

What’s the legend?
On that same day, it was reported that a ghastly creature escaped the tunnel and ran into the mausoleum of W.W. Pool in Richmond’s Hollywood Cemetery. This creature was said to be covered in blood and have ghastly pale, sagging skin and jagged teeth. It was never seen again.

What’s the real story?
Reports of the incident say that there was one person who was able to escape from the caved-in tunnel. This person was named Benjamin Mosby, a 28-year-old fireman who was helping shovel coal. He was severely burned from the incident, causing his skin to sag and peel. Many of his teeth were broken, causing them to look jagged.

Mosby died just hours later in Grace Hospital and the legend grew from there.

How’s it used today?
The legend holds so much power in the Richmond area that occult groups are often found gathering in or around the mausoleum. The History Channel attempted to open up the old tunnel to film a show about the 1925 incident, but it was in such bad shape that it was deemed unsafe to film or even explore. It is believed that there were at least two workers who could not be recovered from the rubble. In 2014, a local petition was started to renovate the area and create a memorial for the victims of the tragic cave-in.

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Image Source.

Urban Legends

Posted in Urban Legend with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 17, 2016 by Xander Woolf

Hey Horror Fans!

As you may know, I have dubbed Sunday “Urban Legend Day!”

Today, instead of picking a legend and boring you with it, I’m asking you to let us know what your favorite urban legends are.

Is there a local scary story you love? Is there a monster you’d like to learn more about, but don’t have the time to research it?

Now is your chance to let us know the stories you want us to tell!

Leave a comment below, message us on Facebook, Tweet at us (@9thcirclehorror) or take advantage of the Contact Us page to let us know!

wolfout

American Horror Story (Part 2) Freak Show & Hotel

Posted in Review with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 5, 2015 by Lilliandra Winters

Review of American Horror Story (Contains spoilers)

Reviews for Murder House, Asylum and Coven found here

ahs

Freak Show:
I finished watching ‘Freak Show’ in time for ‘Hotel’ to premier. I went into FS really thinking that I was going to hate it. I’ve never been a fan of Freak Shows in general. Not because of the ‘freaks’ but because I feel that they are exploited people. I also can’t stand people who point and laugh. They should be punched in the head. Not to mention, I fucking hate clowns. So I sat down to watch this knowing I wouldn’t like it.

I was wrong.

I rather enjoyed FS. It was hard to follow in the first half of the series. The amount of setup needed was a bit more than I am used to but I made it… mostly unscathed.

This season has it all, freaks & monsters (as they are referred to all season), killer clowns, ghosts, love, weddings, sex and murder, of course.

sarah_paulson_freak_show_animated_gifOne of the beautiful things about this season is that they employed actual ‘freaks’. Four  actors are ‘deformed’ in some way, but I loved them all, especially Ma Petite (I want to give her a hug). If you don’t understand why this is amazing, I am shocked. With how amazing makeup and prosthetics are (obviously well done, given that Kathy Bates doesn’t really have a beard and Angela Bassett certainly doesn’t have three breasts and Evan Peters’ hands were just fine last season), they chose to employ actual people with deformities rather than make them all up. This is another reason to applaud all of the people over at AHS for all of their amazing work to make things as authentic as they can.

Of course, these are all real conditions. Lobster Boy was Grady Stiles who suffered from Ectrodactyly, deformation of the hand. Salt and Pepper, the pin heads, actually suffer from Microcephaly and are fashioned after performer Schlitzie. The three breasted woman suffered from Accessory Breast;  the bearded woman simply suffered from a hormone imbalance or a form of Hypertrichosis which is where we get our Wolf Boy from. Lastly, Conjoined Twins, which is one of the prominent ones. I could go on and on, but I am sure you get the point. There are many conditions out there that explain why they are the ‘freaks’ they are. 


They also take the time to connect season 4, “Freak Show,” to season 2, “Asylum” with the ever loveable Pepper. So there is a connection to Briarwood, the actual Asylum. Looking at some fan theories, there are vague connections to the other seasons throughout and some are easy to catch and others you need to remember a lot more than I do.

I can’t tell you how pleased I was seeing actress Jamie Brewer in her third season of the show (I can’t place her in Asylum). Obviously, she was among the family that is now AHS but included some new blood, mainly Neil Patrick Harris.

1411437600138_wps_17_ryan_murphy_jessica_and_oSo, what was ‘Freak Show’ actually about? It’s about a traveling Freak Show that is currently in its Jupiter, Florida location. There is a lot about how society treats people with deformities, how they treat each other and themselves. The amazing dangers of greed and trusting the wrong people. ‘Freak Show’ seemed like more than most of the other seasons. I can’t quite put my finger on it but this season felt so much different. Family doesn’t always end in blood, but a little bit of blood can end everything.

I liked it and it has the best ending of any season and most series I’ve ever seen. I enjoyed the last episode immensely. I enjoyed the season much more than I thought I would. This gives me hope for ‘Hotel.’

american-horror-story-hotel-soundtrack

Hotel:

If the movie Se7en and Interview with a Vampire had a baby that H.H Holmes dry humped till exhaustion, it would be American Horror Story: Hotel.

If you just said ‘Holy Shit’ than you are right Sir, Holy Shit indeed. After binge watching a lot of AHS I actually took a bit of a break before I started watching Hotel, I was only going to let 3 episodes pass before I started watching, I checked and now it is 6 episodes in and I dove in.


anigif_optimized-25371-1444310786-7After 6 episodes I am nearly salivating for more! It combines elements from each previous season to perfection. This is, so far, my favorite season yet. Lady Gaga is a much better actress than I had originally anticipated, however after watching 6 episodes I am starting to find her performance becoming a bit stale and one sided. I do hope this changes as the season goes on and that it is situational. Everyone else is, of course, spot on and I expected no less. I am shocked that Jessica Lange isn’t in this season, she was a staple in all of them but maybe she will appear in the 6th season the was recently ordered. However I will take Matt Bomer in guyliner over anyone. That is, of course, on top of the fact that the man oozes talent and steals so many scenes.

Now every season has it’s inspiration and this season was the Cecil Hotel in Los Angeles. “The Hotel is known for several suicides and its criminal activity which includes three murders. Most notably, the hotel was the reported residence for serial killers Richard Ramirez in 1985 and Jack Unterweger in 1991. It is rumored to be one of the last places Elizabeth Short was seen before her murder in 1947. “


It is also the location of the mystery surrounding Elisa Lam, the college student was found in the hotel’s water tank weeks after she disappeared. Mostly famous due to the elevator security footage that made its rounds on the internet before her death. She is seen doing odd and strange things that will probably never be explained. There are many theories on the footage, from demonic possession to being stalked. 


superthumbThe show also draws on the bloody legacy of H. H. Holmes. Holmes is the first documented serial killer. Mr. James March (Evan Peters) has constructed this hotel specifically to murder as many people as he could. In the show, this hotel is in Los Angeles but in reality Holmes did construct a hotel for this very purpose in Chicago. Admitting to 27 murders, 9 bodies were found but the number could be well into the hundreds.

Holmes is not the only serial killer to visit us in Hotel. Richard Ramirez, Jeffrey Dahmer, John Wayne Gacy and Aileen Wuornos all make an appearance in one episode and I am curious to see if they pop up again later.

Now I am only touching on minor details here.There is so much more to this show than I can convey to you in this review. I don’t know major plot points yet, I don’t know where the show is actually headed or if it will be as amazing when it gets there. All I can tell you is to hop on for the ride.

So what is ‘Hotel’ actually about? So far it’s about a detective that gets wrapped up in the mysteries surrounded a handful of gruesome 10 Commandment murders that, for some reason, keep leading him back to the Hotel Cortez. A confusing place that leads him down a blood soaked rabbit hole and bizarre happenings. He is torn between losing his mind and the possibility that this is reality. A much more terrifying notion.

If you’re not already watching, I suggest binge watching it as soon as possible and chatting with me about it in the comments.

WintersOver4

References:

Freak Show:
http://www.bustle.com/articles/44086-which-ahs-freak-show-freaks-are-real-and-which-ones-are-modified-for-tv
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ectrodactyly
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grady_Stiles
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Microcephaly
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Schlitzie
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conjoined_twins

Hotel:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cecil_Hotel_(Los_Angeles)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Death_of_Elisa_Lam
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_Ramirez
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jeffrey_Dahmer
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Wayne_Gacy
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aileen_Wuornos

The Legend of The Rake

Posted in Urban Legend with tags , , , , , , , , on November 29, 2015 by Xander Woolf

The Rake is a humanoid creature with canine movements who supposedly stalks and tortures its prey. It has been described as hairless with hollow eyes. He has strange and unnatural movements, as if he’d been hit by a car. This creature is associated heavily with Slenderman.

What’s the story?
According to The Slender Man Wikia and Creepypasta, The Rake was first written of in the 12th Century. However, the oldest written account found is from 1691 from a Mariner’s Log:

He came to me in my sleep. From the foot of my bed I felt a sensation. He took everything. We must return to England. We shall not return here again at the request of the Rake.

In 1880, a Spanish journal entry was translated, describing the Rake as having “hollow eyes” and “wet hands.”

The next written account found was from 1964. It is a suicide note:

As I prepare to take my life, I feel it necessary to assuage any guilt or pain I have introduced through this act. It is not the fault of anyone other than him. For once I awoke and felt his presence. And once I awoke and saw his form. Once again I awoke and heard his voice, and looked into his eyes. I cannot sleep without fear of what I might next awake to experience. I cannot ever wake. Goodbye.

Along with this note was a personal letter to a woman named Linnie:

Dearest Linnie,
I have prayed for you. He spoke your name.

The most recent sighting is from 2006. It is the most thorough account of an encounter with this mysterious being. A woman and her husband wake up in the middle of the night to find a strange creature sitting at the end of their bed. Once it’s seen, it rushes to the side of the bed to stare at the husband, then runs out of the room. It attacks their daughter and runs out of the house. The daughter’s last words were, “It is the Rake.” That same night, the husband and daughter die after he drives into a lake while rushing to the hospital.

The woman found others in the area who had encountered the Rake. She came to understand that this creature visits its prey many times. Under this realization, she set up a digital recorder to record while she slept. For the first two weeks, she only heard the sounds of her sleeping. In the third week, however, she heard a shrill voice. This was evidence enough that the Rake still visits her and sits at the end of her bed at night.

Though nobody knows who the Rake is or how he came about, he is heavily associated with Slenderman. Many believe that he is a proxy created by Slenderman from a human being. Others believe that, through his own self-loathing and self-harm, he mutated into the creature he is today.

What’s it based on?
The legend of the Rake comes from Creepypasta, which openly claims that the stories found on the site are fictional. There is not much information available on this creature, only a few written eyewitness accounts.

How’s it used today?
The Rake is the center of a horror video game called Rake. He is featured in online horror stories on sites such as Creepypasta and The Slenderman Wikia. He also appears in a web series by a YouTube channel called EverymanHYBRID.

What do you know about The Rake? Let us know in the comments!

Is there an Urban Legend you’d like to read about? A ghost story you’re dying for others to read? Now is your chance to let us know what you want us to write about! Leave a comment below and tell us what you would like us to cover!

wolfout

American Horror Story (Part 1) Murder House, Asylum & Coven

Posted in Review with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 28, 2015 by Lilliandra Winters

Review of American Horror Story (Contains spoilers)

american-horror-story-tv-show-house

Murder House:
‘Murder House’ was by far one of my favorite shows. I loved nearly every moment of it. It’s very rare for me to love every moment of anything, to be honest. I thought it was well written and the actors did an amazing job. It was amazingly unpredictable with beautiful scenery and an unending cast of characters.

Now, usually this many characters can be extremely overwhelming for the viewer, but they handled it perfectly. Each character’s story was explained, At first it was all very confusing, but that was the sly beauty of it. Just as you thought you had an idea about what was going on, the rules changed and you had no idea all along. I love telling people to watch ‘Murder House’. It left me with so many questions, but in a wonderful way. It was gross, it was scary, it was emotional. It was everything it needed to be, even touching on historical murders. A great mix of psychological fear and what goes bump in the night.

Of course, the first season was only dubbed ‘Murder House’ (mostly by fans) after they continued the series with no intention of revisiting the first season. You could no longer just call it AHS because the others had a name, so ‘Murder House’ is accurate.

Love the house? It’s a real place and you can purchase it for a simple $4.5 Million.

tumblr_ns9mt4fcff1si8ep5o3_500Now, is the actual house haunted? According to TVGuide, “The house
could actually be haunted. Even the real-life owners think so. They’ve certainly decorated Los Angeles’ Rosenheim Mansion, a massive 15,000-square foot, six-bedroom home built in 1908, to accommodate souls (or ghouls?) of differing tastes. Alongside the original Tiffany stained glass, the house’s bizarre art collection also includes statues of a goat wielding a shield, a monkey with a banana and a knight with a sword, pencil sketches of Japanese children, Italian paintings, a tiger clock…” But there doesn’t seem to be evidence otherwise.

The inspiration for ‘Murder House’ apparently came from the Bailey Mansion in Hartford, CT. However, everything that I research is just telling me that “This Haunted House was the inspiration for the ‘Murder House”’ (Yeah, no shit! That’s why I’m looking at it). All the sites show the same picture of the house and I’ve only seen two (shotty) explanations. The first explained that a woman killed her husband and children before hanging herself; the second that a witch lived there and buried bodies on the property (I did find an account of a haunting, but I couldn’t prove that it was the same house). I’m not satisfied with either. If you dig something up, let me know in the comments.

So, what was ‘Murder House’ actually about? A family with some serious issues move into a new house to start their new life, but people don’t change and things get fucked fast. Trust no one.

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Asylum:
I was thrilled to see that they were going to be doing a second season and even more excited that they planned on doing a new story with some of the same actors (ok, a lot of them) from the first season. I found this to be not only an interesting concept but also a clever way to keep the audience interested in the show. With that said, I was a bit disappointed with this season. It was good, it still held its twists, but it was more psychological and less physical. What physical they did felt… like an afterthought. Now that doesn’t mean it wasn’t wonderful in its own right, but it wasn’t for me. I enjoyed how much they tried to stay true to the times (there is a scene about ‘correcting’ homosexual behavior) and even incorporated things I’ve personally researched.

Pennhurst State School and Hospital in East Vincent, Pennsylvania was a hospital for the mentally and physically disabled. An expose by Bill Baldini and a lawsuit aided in shutting the place down. It was understaffed and underfunded, but that is no reason for the mistreatment that occurred there. Now it serves as a haunted attraction, Halloween Haunted House, and Army Reserve Base. I’ve been there several times and it’s the one place that I hate going. I don’t plan to go back. There is something wrong with that place. However, I did have the pleasure of meeting Mikey several times in Phoenixville (I would assume this is the same Mikey. I never got his last name). He was one of the patients that was released into the world with nothing and no help. He got through and is amazingly positive, but they could have done so much better.

8fdd5e26-27bb-4ed5-8411-88efeb1e064fThe similarities between the two (‘Asylum’ and Pennhurst) were eerie, to say the least. There were definite chills down my spine. However, they made aliens weird, not terrifying, and it seemed so very out of place for me.

I did enjoy Bloody Face, though. That felt like a toss back to the first season. It was about the creepiest part of the whole season.

Again, not my favorite, had to push myself through some of the episodes, but I finished it.

So what was ‘Asylum’ actually about? A reporter gets locked up for snooping around where she doesn’t belong. Nothing is as it seems, your past will come back to haunt you and they really are out to get you.

illuminatiwatcher-american-horror-story

Coven:
‘Coven’ did a much better job. It wasn’t as amazing as ‘Murder House,’ but it was a lot better than ‘Asylum.’ ‘Coven’ also incorporated two of my interests: Marie Laveau and New Orleans.

‘Coven’ is about Witches. The season takes place in a boarding school for witches in New Orleans that is charged with the training of new witches to help them come into their power and stop accidentally killing people. I use the word ‘accidentally’ loosely. They encounter many a horrible thing in the awakened war with the Voodoo Queen, Marie Laveau. During all of this they encounter a woman, Madame LaLaurie, who is holy fucking horrible, Jesus Christ.

tumblr_mvc012zrrh1rr9hnvo1_250For those of you who don’t know, Marie Laveau, the famous Voodoo Queen of New Orleans, is currently buried in New Orleans St. Louis Cemetery #1. She had a large following and people would swarm to watch her rites. A lot of mystery shrouds her life, but in death people will go to her tomb, drawn an X, spin three times and shout their wish to her. If it’s granted, they are to return and circle their X before leaving an offering. This practice is still held today.

The LaLaurie house is considered to be one of the most haunted places in America and there is no mystery as to why. Delphine LaLaurie was a prominent member of white Creole society. Oh, and she was a psychopath. In public, she seemed to amicable to black people. Even after several accusations of mistreatment bore no fruit, the rumors still spread. It wasn’t until her cook started a fire (she was chained to the stove and trying to kill herself) that they discovered 7 mutilated slaves in the slaves’ quarters and dug up two bodies in her backyard, one of which belonged to a child. Her cruelty is infamous.

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New Orleans Cemetery Courtesy of Joyce Rossback

So what was ‘Coven’ actually about? ‘Coven’ is about a group of witches who keep screwing up, coming into power, changing how the world works, and poor, poor Evan Peters kind of being thrown into a role because he is the wonderful Evan Peters and they didn’t know where to put him. I applaud what he did with such an awkward character.

I want to take a moment to applaud AHS on their research. It would have been so much easier for them to just make up horrific characters, but they really dug deep and did their best to incorporate the history of the location into this season.

*Side Note* I am very curious as to who on the show has an obsession with Stevie Nicks from Fleetwood Mac. Not that I have a problem with Stevie, but one episode really looks like they were making her a music video. Watch and you’ll understand.

WintersOver4

References: 
Murder House:
http://www.tvguide.com/news/american-horror-story-murder-house-1040779/
http://hookedonhouses.net/2011/10/31/the-real-american-horror-story-house-in-l-a/
http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/american-horror-story-mansion-sale-272875

Asylum:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pennhurst_State_School_and_Hospital
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YG33HvIKOgQ
http://weirdnj.com/stories/pennhurst-asylum/

Coven:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marie_Laveau
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Delphine_LaLaurie
http://www.hauntedamericatours.com/ghosthunting/hauntedcities/NewOrleans.php

The Legend of the Boogeyman

Posted in Urban Legend with tags , , , , , , on November 1, 2015 by Xander Woolf

We’ve all heard of the boogeyman. Stories of the boogeyman are told from Portland, Maine to Portland, Oregon; from the English speakers in the UK to the Japanese speakers in Japan. The Legend of the Boogeyman is universal. He’s the monster under the bed, in the closet, lurking in the shadows. He’s the monster looking to terrorize, kidnap and eat misbehaving children. boogeyman

What’t The story?

For centuries, parents and guardians have used benevolent and malevolent figures to control how their children act. On one hand, the happy myth of Santa Clause is used to convince children to be “Nice.” If you’re nice, Santa will bring you all the presents you could ask for. If you’re naughty, you’ll get a lump of coal in your stocking. Positive reinforcement. On the other hand, the myth of the boogeyman is meant to scare children into submission. Go to sleep so the boogeyman doesn’t get you. Stay in bed, or else the boogeyman will catch you. Negative reinforcement.

The boogeyman himself varies in appearance. It’s common belief that he will embody the fears of the person he has targeted. If you’re afraid of spiders, he could appear as a giant spider. If you’re afraid of a specific person in your life, he could appear as that person. The possibilities are endless.

The boogeyman only targets children who misbehave and adults who are connected to their inner child. It is said that he only targets adults who have had run-ins with him when they were children. To defend against the boogeyman is fairly simple, I’ve been told. One way is to take cover under your blankets. Another way is to turn on the lights. A more specific way is to recite the following verse:

I’m not afraid of the Thing in my closet, or the monster under my bed.

No, I’m not afraid of the Boogeyman,cause I know he’s in my head.

However, the most effective way to ward against him – I’ve read – is to mind your parents and behave.

How’s it used today?

The story of the boogeyman is utilized today in much the same way as it’s always been. Children all across the world are frightened of the boogeyman, whether their parents used him as a fear tactic or not. It’s impossible to escape the story. Today, the figure is used as the villain in countless horror movies and scary stories. He is possibly the most common archetype in our world today. As the embodiment of Fear, he will continue to live on in many cultures.

What’s it based on?

The idea of the boogeyman is not just an American thing. Stories of the boogeyman are told all across the world. Because of this, it’s impossible to pinpoint the actual origin of this terrifying man-like creature.

Whether you believe in the boogeyman or not, he is prominent in our world. He will continue to scare children into sleepless nights and entertain horror fans on the big screen.  The boogeyman isn’t going anywhere.

Don’t forget to check under the bed and in the closet before going to bed tonight.

wolfout