Thursday, March 16, 2017

Book Review: Haunted by the things you love (John Zaffis and Rosemary Ellen Guiley, 2014)

A couple of years ago, I received a book from my good friend and paranormal expert, Rosemary Ellen Guiley. The book in question is called Haunted by the things you love (Visionary Living, Inc., 2014), and is written by demonologist John Zaffis and Rosemary Guiley. This book is all about haunted objects, which is an endlessly fascinating subject. I myself have encountered a haunted doll by the name of Robert, and it was truly a strange experience. However, the objects described within this volume have much more violent spirits and disturbing histories attached to them, as we shall soon see.

In this book, some of John’s most frightening and disturbing cases are recalled and examined in great detail, sometimes to the point of morbidity (which just makes it even more interesting). Some of them are short, while the others are quite long. John and Rosemary’s research and their attention to detail are painstakingly thorough, and are based in the two’s decades of experiences with supernatural forces. It is simply amazing that they have managed to survive (mostly) unscathed! Prepare yourself, for within these pages is the stuff of nightmares.

This book is divided up into nineteen chapters, with sixteen of them dealing with John’s investigations, and three of them are on understanding how and why haunted objects come into existence, dealing with those objects, and on John’s career and his paranormal museum. In this book, Rosemary and John make it very clear that literally anything can be haunted. The book’s chapters deal with nightmarish clown dolls (*shivers*), a very evil possessed idol, an African deathbed, a mirror inhabited by evil spirits, a century-old magician’s robe, a malevolent cherub statue, a wooden statue named Mr. Sinister (and rightly so), a cursed jester doll (this chapter becomes emotional very quickly), an evil haunted mask, a pair of hideous bookends imbued with a scorned lover’s curse, an antique violin that plays its own music, a clay oil lamp with a malicious Djinn attached to it (the Djinn are one of Rosemary’s specialties), a possessed cadet’s dress jacket, a pig-faced statue with a demon inside, a bone-inlaid wooden box full of jewelry cursed by a witch, and a Chinese porcelain figurine with the power to literally shock you and give you a headache for good measure afterwards. The other three chapters, to reiterate, deal specifically with how and why these objects become haunted, how to deal with haunted objects, and a brief chapter on John’s Museum of the Paranormal in New England, with the former two chapters being my favorite parts of the book. If you want to know more, pick up a copy of the book.

Overall, John and Rosemary’s book is very well-written, free of flaws, and incredibly thorough. Plus, these accounts are truly frightening! It has a very short bibliography containing books by both authors for further reading and research, and very brief biographical section about the authors. Personally, I love this book! It is both very informative and highly entertaining. I owe my sincerest thanks to Rosemary, who was not only kind enough to send me a copy of this book free of charge, but she has waited patiently for over two years for this review! Furthermore, Rosemary is a true friend who has always been kind to me and has always been willing to answer my seemingly endless questions to the best of her ability. I extend my sincerest apologies to Rosemary for making her wait so long. I have been struggling with my life for almost four years now, with one bad thing happening after another. Anyways, this book is simply amazing, and answers a lot of questions that I’d had about haunted objects. Honestly, I cannot recommend this book more! But allow me to give you some final words of advice: Do not read this book after night has fallen. It will give you nightmares, and you will inevitably become suspicious of everything that you own. You have been warned!

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

The Ghost Rider of River Road

Roads are essential to daily life. These paved travel routes take people everywhere that they need to go, from the workplace to the grocery store and right back home. But roads can also be places where monsters and restless spirits dwell, making their frightening presence known in the darkest hours of the night. Such roads are common throughout the civilized world, and are famous (or infamous) for the legends that surround them. One of the most mysterious of these legends centers on River Road in Perry County, Indiana, where stories of a phantom rider on a fiery spectral horse have persisted since the mid-1800s. Locals know this spirit as the Ghost Rider of River Road.

The Ghost Rider is said to haunt River Road, which is found in Perry County in Southern Indiana. At one time, this three-mile highway was the only thing connecting the towns of Cannelton and Tell City. Today, this route is blocked off to travelers (Marimen, Willis, and Taylor 173). Other roads that are faster and more convenient have been built since those times. But one cannot help but wonder if it was blocked off because of the legend…

The legend of the Ghost Rider began on September 8th, 1858 during a wedding (of all things). Paul Schuster and Amanda Brazee were finally getting married, and both of the couple’s families and friends were gathered together at the Brazee family estate in Mulberry Park for the joyous occasion. Ironically, the estate was located right alongside River Road. Without warning, the festivities were brought to a complete stop when something was seen coming down the road at an ungodly speed. Witnesses soon saw that the figure appeared to be a man, riding on the back of “a fiery black horse” (Marimen, Willis, and Taylor 173). The figure wore a dark, hooded cloak that hid his face and carried a riding crop that he urged his mount onwards with, the steed’s hooves blazing as it galloped down the road. Some of the guests dove for cover, while the others just stared with their mouths hanging open. When the figure reached the party, just before colliding with the terrified onlookers, it stopped and stared at the frightened guests for a moment in utter silence. The rider then reared back on his horse and bolted down the road, vanishing completely when the two came to the end of the property (Marimen, Willis, and Taylor 173; Willis 64).

Gradually, the wedding guests began to regain their senses. They tried to make sense of what the hell they had just seen in rational terms, but no answers were forthcoming. Far too many of them had seen the apparition, so they knew that it wasn’t a hallucination. But they couldn’t help but wonder whether it was a ghost, a demonic manifestation, a malicious hoax, or something else entirely. Finally, they decided that it would be in their best interest to forget about the entire ordeal and get back to the wedding party (Willis 64-65).

After the wedding, news of the ghostly encounter quickly spread throughout Perry County. Most of the folks who heard the tale broke into uproarious laughter, saying that perhaps the liquor had been flowing too freely during the party. However, as time went on, more and more people reported coming face to horse with the apparition as they traveled down the road. These witnesses were honest, churchgoing people, who had little to no reason to lie or to fabricate an outlandish ghost story. Perhaps the sightings of the Ghost Rider actually weren’t the result of a drunken hallucination after all…?

On one quiet night sometime later, a young man was driving his horses and buggy along River Road on his way to Cannelton. From out of nowhere, the Ghost Rider materialized on the road in front of him. The man quickly reined in his team and brought them to a whinnying halt. Scared out of his mind, the young man drew his revolver and fired several shots at the spectral horseman. To his horrified dismay, the bullets had no effect on the rider whatsoever! Freaking out, the man whipped his horses and drove them all the way back to Cannelton like the Devil himself was chasing him down! When he finally got home, his mother and father immediately noticed that their son’s face was as white as a sheet! The young man immediately recounted his harrowing encounter with the Ghost Rider and his fiery steed. Needless to say, they believed him (Marimen, Willis, and Taylor 173).

The next recorded encounter with the Ghost Rider took place on a night in 1890. This time, a young boy was hurriedly walking from Tell City along River Road, trying to make it to Cannelton before an impending thunderstorm hit the area. Nearing Mulberry Park, the boy was startled by the deafening retort of a thunderclap, followed by the inevitable burst of lightning. This lit up the road in front of him, and to his horror, the lad saw the dark figures of a cloaked rider and a horse standing by some trees on the side of the road. The rider made no attempt to move, but the boy was so utterly terrified by the phantasm’s presence that he absolutely refused to try to walk past the spirit or to otherwise draw any closer to it. Now panicking, the young fellow turned around and ran like hell all the way home! Understandably, the boy didn’t try to reach Cannelton again until well after sunrise the next day (Marimen, Willis, and Taylor 173).

Sightings of the Ghost Rider and his fiery black steed continued to be reported for another decade afterwards. In 1900, however, sightings of the phantom began to dwindle as more and more roads were built. Finally, the sightings ceased entirely in 1940 when a flood wall was built over that section of River Road, essentially blocking off the ghost’s path (although how mere bricks and mortar can stop a ghost is anyone’s guess). Nowadays, River Road itself has been all but forgotten, hidden behind a wall and overgrown with gnarled trees and creeping plants. That does not mean, however, that people have forgotten about the fiery, cloaked phantasm and his nightmarish black horse that haunt the road. Nobody seems to know who or what the Ghost Rider is, nor is it known why this cloaked specter terrorized people on River Road for close to half a century (Marimen, Willis, and Taylor 173; Willis 65). And as of this writing, no clues can be found as to the Ghost Rider’s true nature or who he might’ve been during his lifetime, although this blogger suspects that he may have been demonic. If this is the case, then it is very odd that he never actually tried to hurt anyone. Then again, maybe inflicting fear and psychological trauma to those who had the misfortune to see the ghost was all that he wanted to begin with. In any case, there are very few people from the older generations in Perry County who doubt the Ghost Rider’s existence. But if somebody were brave (or stupid) enough to climb up over that wall and walk along River Road’s dilapidated surface at night, what would they find? A heap of legal trouble, or the Ghost Rider of River Road?

Sources

Marimen, Mark, James A. Willis, and Troy Taylor. Weird Indiana: Your Travel Guide to Indiana’s Local Legends and Best Kept Secrets. New York: Sterling Publishing Co., Inc., 2008.

Willis, James A. Haunted Indiana: Ghosts and Strange Phenomena of the Hoosier State. Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania: Stackpole Books, 2012.

Saturday, February 18, 2017

My Encounter with Robert the Doll

Almost two years ago, I had my very first supernatural experience. Ever since I first read about a particular doll in 2006 or 2007, I’ve wanted to meet him myself. His name is Robert the Doll, and this is the story of my experience with him.
 

On Thursday April 2nd, 2015, I visited the Fort East Martello Museum in Key West, Florida while on vacation in the Keys. As soon as I walked into the building, I started looking for Robert. Two minutes later, I found him, sitting in h...is case. I got pretty excited, so I went back to the front and asked the lady at the front desk what I should do and how I should approach the doll. She told me that if I felt nauseated, dizzy, or overheated, I should say “hello” and “good-bye” and leave. I didn’t feel any different than usual (if a bit on the excited side), and so I walked up to Robert’s case. Once there, I said – to the best of my memory – “Hi, Robert. My name is Kyle, and I have traveled a very long way to see you. I was wondering…may I take some photos of you? Please?” I didn’t feel anything out of the ordinary, so I took a couple of photos. I then thanked him and finished looking through the museum.

Shortly thereafter, I noticed that my name had “inexplicably” appeared on the chalkboard behind the case. I asked my parents AND my little sister if they had written it. All three of them denied it. That night, I found out that Olivia had done the deed, and she LIED to me twice about it!! But two days later, on our way back home to Indiana, Olivia was sick as a dog and puking all the way home! As bad as I felt for her, could this have been a coincidence? I prefer to think that this was Robert’s revenge, both for her cruel joke and her disrespect. And in addition, my Mom (who had also disrespected the doll) lost her wallet when we got to the airport, although it was only lost for maybe ten minutes altogether. Both Mom and Olivia had laughed at me for asking Robert if I could take some photos of him. And for their disrespect, they were briefly afflicted, I believe, by Robert’s curse.

In addition to the photos, I purchased a couple of books. Among them was a book simply called Robert the Doll, written by David L. Sloan and published by Phantom Press in 2014. I also purchased a poster of Robert, which says “ROBERT DID IT!” across the top in big yellow letters. After I paid for them, I shared my experience with the cashier regarding the name on the chalkboard, and she said “Maybe it’s a good omen.” I then questioned her about whether it might be some kind of special effects, which she said it wasn’t. After that, I thanked her for her help and said good-bye as me and my family set off to explore the rest of Key West.

NOTE: These photos were taken by me, and they may NOT be used without my explicit permission, and perhaps not even then!

SIGHTINGS AND STORIES WANTED!!!

Hey, guys! Although I have received some emails regarding encounters with the Wendigo, I need MORE for my blog entry revision. Also, ANY encounters with monsters are welcome at any time. Don't be afraid to send me an email! Rest assured, I will NOT call you crazy, insane, or say that you were hallucinating and such. I am very open-minded, and I am willing to help you if I can. Stories and encounters of skinwalkers, the Rake, haunted dolls (especially Robert the Doll), Sasquatch, the aforementioned Wendigo, werewolves, dogmen, vampires, and all sorts of monsters are all welcome. But NO UFOS! Please don't hesitate to send me an account if you feel like you're in imminent danger or that your life is being threatened! Keep in mind that I can only get online two or three times a week, but if you send me your encounters, I'll respond to you as soon as I possibly can! Also, I am looking to start posting encounters as blog entries for others to read. This will serve to entertain, educate, and scare the literal CRAP out of my readers. Looking to do at least one encounter story a week. As such, I will be expecting you guys to send me, at the very least, one encounter or story in a week. Most professional monster hunters and cryptozoologists get emails regarding such things on a daily basis, and I would like that to happen for me as well. If you could humor me, I would very much appreciate it. As always, thank you for your support! I will be posting again before the end of the month, and it'll be well-worth waiting for!

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Donations?

Okay folks, here's the deal. My job doesn't pay very well, and a lot of the money I make goes towards my household's bills (food, television, Internet, etc.) and such. I really don't have a whole lot of money to spend on the research materials that I need to make blog entries more often. Such materials are often expensive and, in some cases, hard to find (or both). So, I hate to ask for this from readers of my blog, but here it goes. If any of you can make donations in the form of cash (via mail), Amazon giftcards (preferred), hard-to-find books (via mail), or information, please contact me at KPG1986@msn.com for further details. I will NOT accept checks or online donations, as I simply do not know how to accept those things through my blog. If any of you can do this for me, you can expect better and more detailed blog entries in the future.

Kyle

DARKNESS PREVAILS

For about six months now, I've been listening to scary stories and allegedly true encounters with monsters on YouTube. Now, I admit that I am skeptical of some of these stories, but some of them are just FAR too frightening to be made up. The channel that I've listened to the most is called Darkness Prevails, and the way he narrates and tells the stories, it's truly chilling. These stories include encounters with the Wendigo, skinwalkers, werewolves, aliens (ugh), ghosts, demons, Bigfoot, dogmen, the Goatman, Creepypasta, lake and sea monsters, the Rake, witches, dinosaurs, clowns, serial killers, stalkers, haunted dolls, poltergeists, faeries, the Jersey Devil, shadow people, the Mothman, the Chupacabra, flying bat-monsters, djinn, incubi and succubi, black-eyed people, imaginary friends...the list goes on and on!! And new videos are being added almost daily! I highly recommend subscribing to his channel. Also, if you have stories of your own that other people might find terrifying, I would recommend submitting them to this guy. His YouTube channel can be found at Darkness Prevails - Creepypasta, True Stories & Paranormal.

I'd like to take this opportunity to share some of my favorite videos with you.







Darkness Prevails also has a website, Darkness Prevails - True Scary Stories - Creepypasta - Paranormal. I highly recommend checking it out. Donate to his cause if you can, and you'll be given a shoutout on his videos. I'm currently unable to do so, not making enough money the way it is. You won't be disappointed. However, take heed of my warning: DO NOT LISTEN TO THESE STORIES AFTER DARK OR LATE AT NIGHT UNLESS YOU WANT NIGHTMARES. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED!

Saturday, September 17, 2016

WENDIGO SIGHTINGS WANTED!

To all of my readers,


If you have seen, encountered, or even been attacked by anything that you have reason to believe may have been the Wendigo in any way, please email me at KPG1986@msn.com. Any sightings or encounters will be revealed in my revised research on the creature. Thank You!! Below is a description of the beast, based on my recent research.

After consulting twenty-one slightly-differing sources, I think that I've managed to form a basic idea of what the Wendigo looks like. Bear with me, as this will be sort of lengthy. The monster is bipedal and humanlike in shape, having a gaunt, emaciated body covered in matted hair or desiccated ash-gray skin pulled tightly over its starving flesh. It ranges from seven feet to over thirty feet in height.

The Wendigo has long arms, ending in enormous clawed hands. The hands and limbs may have chunks of flesh gnawed away, due to the Wendigo's voracious hunger for human flesh. The monster has huge feet with long, pointed heels and clawed toes. In some accounts, some of the toes are missing due to frostbite. Sometimes, its footprints are said to be filled with blood.

The Wendigo's eyes are owl-like, with accounts differing as to whether the eyes are pushed deep into the sockets or they protrude from the skull. The eyes are said to glow a fiery red or an eerie yellow in the dark. The creature has a large mouth full of long, jagged yellowed fangs and a disgusting dark-blue tongue. The beast most often has no lips, due to the monster's own unending hunger or frostbite. Sometimes, what's left of the lips are shredded and bloody, due to the monster's constant chewing. In some of the stories, the Wendigo is said to have antlers like those of an elk or a deer protruding from its head. According to some accounts, the beast's visage is so utterly horrifying that it actually paralyzes people who gaze upon the creature, which prevents them from escaping the monster's ravenous hunger. The monster is said to smell horrible, like a putrid rotting corpse or rancid meat. It can oftentimes be smelled before it is actually seen.

In all accounts, the Wendigo's heart is said to be made of solid ice. This renders the beast devoid of mercy, love, compassion, or any other positive human emotions. This trait also renders the monster incapable of empathizing or feeling even the slightest measure of kinship with humans. The Wendigo is dead inside, feeling only the constant, never-ending hunger for human flesh gnawing at its mind and its perpetually-empty stomach.

Because the beast is thought to be a shapeshifter by most (if not all) Algonquian tribes, these traits may change from one tribe's views to another's. One can never be sure exactly how the Wendigo will appear.

Monday, August 8, 2016

Book Review: The Bigfoot Book (Nick Redfern, 2016)

About a year ago, I received another book from my buddy Nick Redfern for review. The book in question is titled The Bigfoot Book: The Encyclopedia of Sasquatch, Yeti, and Cryptid Primates (Visible Ink Press, 2016). I’ve been looking for the definitive guide to the Sasquatch and his kind for ears now, and when I got this book in the mail, I thought to myself, “This could be one of them”. This book is the first-ever encyclopedia of unknown hominids, and it may very well become a classic someday. But for now, let’s move on to the review.

The Bigfoot Book is an encyclopedia in every sense, and it contains nearly two hundred entries that cover everything Bigfoot-related. Written in A-Z format, the book covers topics related to history, mythology, popular culture, folklore, and science…and it all applies to Bigfoot in one way or another. The book’s contents consist of entries on specific creatures, theories, encounters, books and literature, movies and television, hoaxes, conspiracy theories, the supernatural, people, places, and specific events from history, all of which have links to these mysterious beasts. The book features some incredibly diverse topics like Ape Canyon, the Brassknocker Hill Monster, Car-Chasing Sasquatch, Duende of Belize, Eskimo Legends of Mighty Man-Beasts, Flying Saucers and Bigfoot, the Glamis Castle Ghoul, Hairy Hands on the Highway, Inter-dimensional Bigfoot, Japan’s Enigmatic Apes, Kushtaka of Alaska, the Lake Worth Monster, Man-Monkey of the Shropshire Union Canal (Nick’s personal nemesis), Nyalmo, Orang-pendek of Sumatra, Philippines’ Hairy Dwarfs, Researchers of Bigfoot, Suicide, Sasquatch, and the Restless Dead, Telepathy, Underground Wild Man, Varmint of Mine Hill, the Wendigo, Yeti of the Himalayas, Zoo Escapees, and much, much more. In only three hundred and eighty-one pages, this book covers four hundred years of Bigfoot lore, and that’s a lot of information!

Overall, The Bigfoot Book is well-written, entertaining, thought-provoking, and highly informative. With an index for finding entries quickly and a nearly fifteen-page bibliography for further reading, this book will make you reconsider everything that you thought you knew about Bigfoot. And furthermore, cited in the bibliography is my article, “The Hairy Hands of Dartmoor”, which Nick was instrumental in helping me write and research, and which is featured on this blog!! That is truly an honor for me, and I heartily recommend this book to all of my friends and this blog’s followers. Now I would like to take this opportunity to personally thank Nick, not only for kindly sending me a copy of this book, but also for his friendship and for honoring me by using my article in his research for his book. Thank you so much, Nick, and I am greatly looking forward to your next books!