Archive for ghost story

Review of Haunter (2013)

Posted in Review with tags , , , , , , , , , on December 11, 2015 by Xander Woolf

Dir. Vincenzo Natali
Starring: Abigail Breslin, Stephen McHattie, Eleanor ZichyHaunter_poster

One of the movie recommendations I received from Netflix was the 2013 movie Haunter. I decided to watch it because it seemed interesting and Netflix gave it 4 stars. Here’s what I thought of it:

What’s it about?
Lisa (Breslin) begins to notice that she and her family are living the same day over and over again. Through this realization, she starts trying to change things, day by day. Eventually, she discovers that her family was murdered on the eve of her sixteenth birthday and are doomed to repeat the day for the rest of eternity. Lisa tries to find ways out of the house, but ends up learning that she is able to contact other victims from both the past and future. She must figure out who is responsible for her family’s purgatory and make sure he can’t do it to anyone else.

What did I think?
This movie is interesting. It’s a new spin on the classic ghost story. Instead of a new family moving into a haunted house, this story revolves around the ghost realizing that she’s a ghost.

The acting is well done. Abigail Breslin is angsty, emotional and very convincing. Stephen McHattie is satisfactorily creepy and scary. The writing dragged in some parts and suffered a bit, but it came together quite well in the end.

The camera work was amazing. They did not rely on special effects to get the story across, which was refreshing to me. They relied on story and acting, which both added up quite well.

Would I recommend it?
Yes, I would. The movie itself isn’t scary, but it’s great for what it is.



The Legend of The Black-Eyed Kids

Posted in Urban Legend with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 26, 2015 by Xander Woolf

The legend of the Black-Eyed Children tells of paranormal creatures that resemble children with pale skin and black eyes. These creatures are usually seen hitchhiking, panhandling or just standing on the doorsteps of residential homes. These children are usually asking for help, a ride home or to be let inside out of the cold.

Those who have reported encounters with the Black-Eyed Kids (BEKs) often describe a feeling of danger or dread. They report that the BEKs feel supernatural and unsafe, though they can never explain why.

In the encounters, they usually appear in pairs, are confident, yet avoid eye-contact, and keep their faces turned down. It is also said that they speak with a maturity far beyond their age. Not only do these children possess the mannerisms and speech patters of adults, but they also sometimes possess the voice of an adult.

All reports of BEKs have the same thing in common: these Black-Eyed Kids and their requests for help create an unsettling sense of danger in the adults with whom they speak. Some people even believe that the children may use low-level mind control to try to get their victims to comply with their demands.

Many people believe that the BEKs are spirits of lost or murdered children that are the “harbingers of ill will and personal doom.” Many others believe that they are vampires, as it does appear that they cannot enter a house or vehicle without the owner’s permission. Some even believe that they are extraterrestrials trying to blend into society.

There are no accounts as to what happens should one actually let a BEK into their home or car, which could possibly mean that those who do are killed.

Would you help a BEK in need?

The Legend of The Vanishing Hitchhiker

Posted in Urban Legend with tags , , , , , , , , , on July 19, 2015 by Xander Woolf

The legend of “The Vanishing Hitchhiker” is a tale almost as old as time – at least, it was present for as long as I can remember.

The basic legend goes as follows: A motorist picks up a female hitchhiker – usually in the middle of nowhere – and drives her home. Upon arriving at her destination, the motorist finds that the woman has vanished from the back seat. In the confusion, the motorist knocks on the door of the hitchhiker’s home only to find that his description matches that of a young woman who was killed in a car accident in the exact spot where he picked her up.

This urban legend not only has a variation of titles, but also a variation of the story itself. It has been called “The Ghostly Hitchhiker,” “The Disappearing Hitchhiker,” “The Phantom Hitchhiker” or simply “The Hitchhiker.” Many believe that the hitchhiker remains in the car until it is stops and departs as normal, but leaves something behind that causes the motorist to try to make contact later. When he reaches the family of the girl, he then finds out that the girl was dead the entire time. A similar variation is that the hitchhiker keeps something that belongs to the motorist – usually a jacket borrowed to fend off the cold. In this variation, the garment is usually found draped over the young woman’s grave.

A popular version in Hawaii claims that the vanishing hitchhiker is the Goddess Pele, who is traveling the streets incognito and rewards kind motorists. Other versions tell of the hitchhiker prophesying disaster.

According to the Beardley-Hankey survey, taken in 1942-1943, there are 4 common variations of this urban legend:

  1. The basic urban legend, where the motorist finds out the girl is dead from knocking on the door to the address given by the hitchhiker.

  2. The hitchhiker is an old woman, who prophesies disaster.

  3. Stories where the hitchhiker meets the motorist in a social setting instead of on the road, then leaves some token from the motorist – usually a jacket – draped over her grave.

  4. The hitchhiker is a local God or Goddess, such as Pele.

This survey concluded that the first variation, told by 49 of the 79 participants, is the closest to the original story, as it contained the most essential elements of the urban legend.

Researchers believe that this urban legend can be dated back to 1870, with similar stories not only across the United States, but also in various parts of the world. Jan Harold Brunvand’s book, The Vanishing Hitchhiker, suggests that the legend can be found all over the world, from Korea and China to Russia, the United States and the Ozark Mountaineers.

So, tell me, with a legend so wide-spread, would you dare pick up a hitchhiker in the middle of the night?