Friday, October 14, 2011

Discussion 30: Telling a good scary story

Scary stories are an important part of Halloween. It's fun to spook your friends. Here are some of my favorite tips for telling a better scary story:

1. Set a spooky mood by dimming the lights.

2. Hold a flashlight under your chin while you tell the story.

3. Set your story in a place that's familiar to your guests, like a spooky old house in your neighborhood- it will make it seem much more real.

4. Talk slowly, in a low voice, so people will have to lean in to hear you.

5. Do not laugh while you are telling your story!

6. Have someone (like a sibling) sneak up on your guests and scare them.

7. Stories with a surprising twist at the end are crowd pleasers.

Those are my top tips for telling the best scary story in town. Enjoy!

Happy Haunting,
Frankie

Friday, September 30, 2011

Discussion 29: Bermuda Triangle

The Bermuda Triangle is located off the southeastern Atlantic coast of the US. It is sometimes known as the "Devil's Triangle." This area (the points being Bermuda, Miami, and San Juan, Puerto Rico) has a high rate of unexplained ship/boat and plane losses. Within the BT a magnetic compass will point towards true north, rather than magnetic north like a compass would in any other place (which can put the navigator off by 20 degrees). Another unique characteristic of this area is the Gulf Stream, which is very turbulent and unpredictable. These two things alone could be the reason for so many disappearances. Even Christopher Columbus noted that they area was bizarre!

But is the Bermuda Triangle nothing more than a disaster spot because of a few natural occurrences? Or is there something paranormal going on? Could the BT be a gateway into another dimension? In an episode of The X-Files that is exactly what happened. Fox Mulder was transported back to WWII. (And is seriously one of the best episodes. The camera work is awesome). What do you believe? A natural phenomenon or a paranormal one?

National Geographic

Friday, September 16, 2011

Discussion 28: Spirit boards

Spirit boards are boards which have the letters of the alphabet, and other words and symbols on them. They are used to talk to spirits, using a planchette to spell out words. A planchette is a piece of wood on which each person trying to contact a spirit puts one finger. The planchette is supposed to move on it's own to spell out messages from the dead.

The best known spirit boards are Ouija boards, which are made and trademarked by Hasbro. A man named William Fuld named the Ouija board. According to Fuld, the word "Ouija" comes from the French and German words for "yes." this name is so well known, that most people simply refer to all spirit boards as Ouija boards. An author named Emily Grant Hutchings even wrote a novel using a Ouija board, in 1917. It is called Jap Herron: A Novel Written by the Ouija Board. She believed it was dictated by the late Mark Twain.

Can spirit boards really put you in contact with the dead? No one knows for sure. Some say the planchette is moved by spirits, but others say that the planchette is moved by the unconscious movements of the living players. Many people believe spirit boards can attract demons, and other evil spirits, and even lead to possession. Despite these warnings, spirit boards are still used in current times. Needless to say, their use should not be taken lightly.

For more on the spirit board's haunting history, see these sites:
http://www.museumoftalkingboards.com/WebOuija.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ouija

Happy Haunting,
Frankie

Friday, September 2, 2011

Discussion 27: Ayre's Rock

Frankie and I are back for out weekly discussions. We have a few different things planned, and please post any suggestions on things you'd like to see in the comments. We look forward to teaching our readers new paranormal things!

Ayre's Rock, known as Uluru, it's aboriginal name, is located in Northern Territory, Australia. It's sacred to aboriginal creation mythology, which is known as dreamtime. It is Australia's post popular natural attraction.

Many tourists who have visited Ayre's rock have taken small pieces of it as souvenirs. The strange part? Most all of these bits of rock have been returned with claims by the owners that they have had bad luck ever since. It is said that Uluru has it's own magic and way of protecting itself. It reminds me of the "Brady Bunch" Hawaii episode where Peter (I think?) found the tiki idol and everyone who had it had bad luck. Have you ever had an item that gave you constant bad luck?

Ayre's Rock is a sandstone formation 1,142 feet high and 2 miles long. Possibly over 3 miles of the rock is concealed underground. In the aboriginal beliefs, there is a hollow underneath with energy called Tjukurpa meaning "dream time". This dreamtime is about reality being a dream. This is a myth or belief of the formation of the world.

Uluru is a popular tourist attraction, which the aboriginals aren't terribly fond of. And you can't really blame them since this is something in their beliefs and tourists don't pay it proper respect.

You can see pictures at this website: http://www.crystalinks.com/ayersrock.html.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Discussion 26: King's Park Psychiatric Center

Kings Park is an old Long Island psychiatric facility. Many who have investigated the old building agree that the place has a decidedly spooky energy. Stories are told about mental patients being tortured in tunnels below the building, although the torture chambers' existence hasn't been confirmed. It is believed that abuse of patients did occur in this facility though. The actual facility is now closed, and entering the building is against the law, but stories still arise of people seeing spirits, hearing disembodied screams, and capturing photos of ghostly mists. For photos and info, see this site: http://lioddities.com/ghost/kingspark.html

Discussion:
- This building seems like the perfect setting for ghost stories. Do you think it's easier for people to see ghostly phenomena in a place like this?

- The tunnels are believed to be places of torture. Do you think that negative energy can stick around so long?


Happy haunting,
Frankie

Friday, May 20, 2011

Discussion 25: Questing Beast

Kit is here today to help me talk about the questing beast.

The Questing Beast is best known from stories about King Arthur. It's a pretty reoccurring theme with one knight or another on a quest to find it. The QB is usually described as sounding like "thirty hounds" with the noise coming from it's stomach. In the book Morte d'Arthur it is described as having the head of a snake, body of a leopard, a lion's back end, and a deer's feet. It's origin is supposedly from an incestuous affair that was aided by magic and produced this demon. The sound of dogs is from the curse the woman's brother placed on their child because he was sentenced to death by being torn to bits by dogs.

The QB has another incestuous affair tied to it as well (this being from Arthurian legends, of course) and that is Arthur's affair with his half sister Morgan or Morgause depending on which you believe (and don't get Kit started on that). The QB is said to be the symbol of Arthur's lust. But what really is this thing? Is it real? A lot of that could really depend on your opinion of Arthurian legends and whether or not you believe King Arthur was also a real being.

On the TV show Merlin the QB is called a creature born of old magic and "one bite, you die". What do you think the QB is? How was is created?

This discussion was brought to you by Emily and Kit.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Discussion 24: The Jersey Devil

In the Pine Barrens of New Jersey, a mysterious creature is said to exist. This creature is the Jersey Devil. According to local legend, the mother of the Jersey Devil was a woman named Mrs. Leeds, who was pregnant with her thirteenth child. The year was 1735. On the night she was to have the baby, she cursed it, saying; "Let this child be the devil." That night, she gave birth to a winged creature with hooves, and the child flew away. There are other variations of how the Jersey Devil came to be, but this version is the most well known.

Several years later, a member of the local clergy is said to have exorcised the Jersey Devil. It seemed to last for a while, but after time, people started seeing and hearing the creature again. He fed on people's cattle, and residents living near the Pine Barrens were terrified of this beast. Sightings continued, although no one could capture the beast. During the early 1900's, the Jersey Devil was reportedly seen by many, and the legend became more popular than ever. Sightings, however less frequent than in the past, continue into the present day.

Want to know more? Read the full legend here: http://njdevilhunters.com/legend.html

Questions:

-Why do you think no one can capture the Jersey Devil?
-Why do you think sightings of it are less frequent now than in the past?
-Do you believe that this creature exists?
-If so, do you believe it is really a supernatural creature?

Happy Haunting,
Frankie

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Discussion 23: "Little People"

I have something a little bit different this week. In the Pryor Mountains of Montana (located south-central-ish near the Wyoming border) there is a Native American belief or legend of "little people" living in the mountains. They are often described as 18 inches tall (sort of like all of us) and are often called "devils" or "demons" (hopefully not like us).

Whether you believe in the Little People as part of Crow Indian folklore or as something else is for you to decide. Physical evidence has been found, but there are still no firm conclusions drawn as to what the mummies found are. Such as whether it is a pygmy or an infant or an actual little mountain dwelling person. This could be tied in with the discovery of Hobbit-like people found in Indonesia.

The question is: what kind of beings are these? We're all pretty into paranormal here, maybe that sways our belief that these are alien beings? Or do we base our thinking on science?

Questions: What do you think these Little People are? Just folklore? Alien species? Another race? Could they be similar to the supposed Hobbit people? Or would you consider the Hobbit people more scientific and the Little People more spiritual?

Hobbits
Little People of the Pryor Mountains

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Discussion 22: Hauntings at the White House

Do you know which famous place has been described as one of the most haunted American homes? The answer might surprise you. Stories have circulated for years and years about things that go bump in the night at the White House, by many important people who have lived there or visited.

-Abraham Lincoln reportedly once told his wife about a dream he had, in which he predicted his own death. He was also known to hold seances in the White House, in which he supposedly made contact with many spirits. Many political figures have claimed to see or sense Lincoln's ghost, including; Jacqueline Kennedy, Theodore Roosevelt, and Ladybird Johnson, among others.

-The spirit of Dolley Madison allegedly stopped her beloved rose garden from being removed from the grounds. She transcended time to protect her prized possession. The garden still thrives today.

- An apparition of a cat is known to appear in the White House basement. The cat's appearance has predicted several tragic events.

Those were just some of the amazing presidential ghost stories. Find the full stories, and more, here: http://www.haunted-places.com/WhiteHouseGhosts.htm .

Do you believe in the White House ghosts? Here are some questions:

-Lincoln seems to be the most consistently seen ghost. Why do you think this is so? Maybe because he was so open to the idea of spirits. People claim that he had great psychic energy.

-Many important, educated people, such as presidents and First Ladies, have claimed to see ghosts in the White House. Does this make the stories seem more believable?

-Why do you think so many presidential ghosts stick around?

Happy Haunting,
Frankie

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Friday, April 22, 2011

Discussion 21: Crop Circles

What is a crop circle? The basic definition is a formation created by the flattening of tall crops, like corn, wheat, barley, etc. The exact date that these began appearing is unknown, but the most documented cases has occurred since the 1970's. Here are some pictures:
If you search the internet for pictures of crop circles do be wary of some them. Not everything on the internet is real, believe it or not :)

But what causes a crop circle or crop formation? One theory is that it is caused by the weather. Another is animal activity. The most popular theory is, of course, paranormal activity. Are aliens trying to communicate with us via these formations? Why would they only do them in crops and not just anywhere? Are crop circles caused by alien technology and/or UFO's?

What do you think causes crop circles? Or are they all just hoaxes?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crop_circle

Friday, April 15, 2011

Discussion 20: Boggarts

Boggarts are malevolent fairies. They originate in English folklore, and are similar to Brownies (not the chocolaty baked good, but the type of fairy. We'll do a discussion on Brownies some week).

Boggarts center on a specific family and cause misfortune and mischief. They will follow that family wherever they go. The only way to keep them away, according to some sources, is to hang a horseshoe over your door. In Rowling's Harry Potter and The Last Apprentice book series by Joseph Delaney, Boggarts are described a little differently, as a shape-shifting entity which morphs into whatever it's victim fears the most. It is said that no one know what a Boggart looks like in it's natural form, because of it's shape-shifting abilities.

What do you think Boggarts are really like? Do you think they are more like in older folklore: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boggart, or more like Boggarts in the Harry Potter series, and other fantasy novels?

If you believe Boggarts are shape-shifters who can read fear, what would they shape-shift into if you stumbled upon one? For me, a Boggart would probably turn into an ocean wave, because I'm most afraid of deep water and drowning.

Happy Haunting,
Frankie

Friday, April 8, 2011

Discussion Nineteen: UFO's and Aliens

There has been quite a few sighting of UFO's recently. This one was spotted in Colorado: http://www.dailycamera.com/ci_17692697?source=most_viewed.

What do you think it is? Is it really a UFO? If not, what could it be? With UFO sightings comes the fear of an alien invasion. What would you do if we are invaded? Or do you think we would even know? Maybe the government would find a way to keep it hush hush, like with Roswell. I'll post more information about what to do in the wake of an alien invasion. For now, you can discuss the UFO sighting and what you personally would do if aliens came to earth.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Discussion Eighteen: Zombies

Zombies are the walking undead. They are bodies that are re-animated, but have no will of their own. Lots of people believe zombies are controlled by a master (whoever created the zombie), and used to do their bidding. This idea comes from voodoo beliefs. In Medieval times, zombies were believed to be vengeful spirits walking the earth, trying to right some sort of wrong done to them in life.

Since the 1968 movie,
Night of the Living Dead, zombies have been seen in popular culture quite often, most often in the "zombie apocalypse" scenario, where zombies outnumber the general population and take over the world, leading to catastrophe and mayhem. Some sort of quick spreading virus or plague is usually the cause of the zombies in this scenario, and the illness is usually passed by a zombie bite (scroll down to see my book review on Never Slow Dance With a Zombie).

Zombies are almost always portrayed as rotting corpses with green-ish skin, who eat human flesh (or just brains in some cases). They shuffle along with stiff movement and cannot talk, but make grunting sounds. They are usually not very smart, and are generally pretty easy to escape in the event of a zombie attack because of their slow movement.

Questions:
-Do you believe in zombies?
-Have you ever seen one?
-Why do you think zombies are so popular in pop culture?
-Any tips on how to survive a zombie uprising?

For more on Zombies:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zombie
http://www.monstropedia.org/monster/Zombie

Friday, March 25, 2011

Discussion Seventeen: Chupacabra

You may have heard of the chupacabra, which means "goat sucker", from various supposed sighting in the news. Often these chupacabra are dogs with the mange or decayed animals. But the idea has to stem from something real, right?

The appearance of this creature can vary widely between sightings. The most popular description is  hairless and kind of looks like an overgrown rat on a dogs body.

The belief in chupacabras is often linked with aliens because of the blood draining (which could also link them to vampires). This creature is called an ABE (Anomalous Biological Entities) with the UFO crowd. There is an episode of The X-Files about chupacabras, but I wouldn't totally recommend it since it wasn't the best episode.

But what really is a chupacabra? How did it come about? Why does it seem to attack mostly in warm climates (Puerto Rico, Mexico, and Miami seem to have the most sightings)? What would you do if you saw one? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chupacabra

I was going to post some links of recent sightings and better information, but the pictures are pretty disturbing since they are of a dead animal. Just be aware of this if you search for more information. The Wiki link only has a cartoon drawing.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Book Review: Never Slow Dance With A Zombie

Frankie here!
I just finished reading Never Slow Dance With A Zombie; by E. Van Lowe. I thought I'd review it here.

Summary: Never Slow Dance With a Zombie is about two girls, Margot Johnson and her best friend Sibyl. They are average girls at an average school. But they feel left out among the many cliques, who seem to rule the school. They aren't really sure where they fit in. But one day, Margot and Sibyl go to school to discover that their classmates have become zombies. Their principal asks them to keep the zombies a secret- to live among them like nothing ever happened. Easier said than done, of course. Zombies eat brains! Being the only non-zombies at school, that is a very dangerous situation. But the girls also see an opportunity to change their own social status, and live the way they always wanted to. Then Margot and Sibyl discover that they are not alone- two of the school geeks, who are also unaffected, are trying to find a cure for the zombie epidemic. This is not so easy either, especially when it seems like there may be a traitor among them, or worse.

My thought: This is a really fun book to read. The zombies are entertaining, of course. I loved their interactions with Margot and Sibyl. And Margot was a pretty funny character. But the deeper meaning of the books is the message of tolerance for others' differences, and the importance of being yourself. It was a really good story about loyalty and I thought it was very suspenseful. Plus, again, it had zombies... what's not to love?

My Rating: A-

Happy haunting,
Frankie

Friday, March 18, 2011

Discussion Sixteen: Poltergeist

They're He-e-re... but what are they?
Poltergeist, German for "noisy ghost,"
have been a subject of mystery and fascination for many years. But many people are torn on where these mischievous entities really come from. Now it's time for you to decide.

Poltergeist activity is marked by such phenomena as; objects moving by themselves, changes in temperature, interference in electronics, such as televisions, and disembodied noises. Poltergeists are known as mischief makers. They are invisible forces, known for such tricks as throwing objects across rooms. Although they are invisible, there have been many well-documented cases of Poltergeist phenomena, which you can find more about here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Poltergeist#Famous_poltergeist_cases

There are some common theories as to what poltergeists really are. Some say they are angry ghosts (as shown in the movie Poltergeist, and the Harry Potter series), but other theories identify poltergeist as a type of energy coming from a person who lives where the phenomena takes place. This energy could cause psychokinesis or telekinesis, which is the moving of objects with the mind. It is thought that this phenomena could be caused when a person is under stress and emotions are running high. This is why poltergeist cases are well known to occur in the homes of teenagers and children, who are at stressful times in their lives. The phenomena may only occur when they are present. It is thought that they may cause the phenomena without knowing it. Environmental factors have also been thought to cause poltergeist phenomena, such as static electricity. Some famous cases have also been proved to be fraudulent.

Now, what do you think causes poltergeist phenomena?


Happy haunting,
Frankie

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Contest Winner!

The winner of the contest was announced over at Bolton Girls Travel Journal.

Congrats to Stephanie J! And a huge thank you to the Bolton girls for taking the time to do this contest and interviewing Frankie and myself. We loved every moment of it!

Frankie and I will resume our weekly discussions next Friday. Mark your calendars and tune in then!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Fun Fact: Day 8

Don't forget that everyday is another chance to get your name entered in the drawing. All you have to do is comment.

How much do you comment on other peoples blogs?
Frankie - Not nearly as much as I should.
Emily - I try to comment frequently. Since I like people to comment on my blog, it feels right to return the favor. Plus I love reading what is going on in others lives and giving him/her support.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Fun Facts: Day 7

Which of the blog discussions are your favorite?
Frankie - I liked the one about Resurrection Mary, because I got to go in depth about Phantom Hitchhikers.
Emily - I likes the ones we did on on paranormal encounters. We got a lot of good discussion going on that one.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Fun Fact: Day 6

Another fun fact to get your week started on the right track.

If you could own one animal what would it be?
Frankie - A Scottish Terrier. I love them.
Emily - A wolf. I think I would name it Fox. Haha, that sounds weirder than I meant it.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Fun Fact: Day 5

Here is our question of the day! Don't forget to tell us your answer for the question for a chance to win!

Do you have a favorite book about the paranormal?
Frankie - "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" by Washington Irving. It is my first memory of hearing a scary story.
Emily - "The Mystic Bestiary" is my favorite. It has tons of paranormal creatures in it and cool pictures.

Thanks!

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Fun Fact: Day 4

How much do you enjoy blogging?
 

Frankie - I like it, because I can share my interests.
Emily - I enjoy it a lot. It's fun to document what is going on and share with others something I enjoy and maybe teach them something new.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Fun Fact: Day 3

What is your favorite thing about the paranormal?

Frankie - The unknown! I love the mystery, and the possibility that believing doesn't always mean seeing.

Emily - There is no right or wrong, no boundaries as to what is possible. To quote a tag-line from one of my favorite shows, Fringe: "Imagine the impossibilities".

P.S.- Don't forget to post your answer to this question. Your answer is a chance to win!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Fun Fact: Day 2

It's the second day of the contest! Here is today's fun fact:

Who do you spend the most time with and what do you love to do?
 

Frankie - Paige Shepherd. We like to draw together.
Emily - I probably spend the most time with Kit since we live under the same roof and share a bedroom. We love to play with stuffed animals, talk about our favorite TV shows and actors and share our plans for hunting paranormal creatures (she loves werewolves and dragons).


Remember to comment here and at Bolton Girls Travel Journal for two entries into the prize drawing. Tune in tomorrow for another question!


Emily

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Fun Facts: day 1

Frankie here! Emily and I are having a contest. We are partnering with The Bolton Girls Travel Journal. You can read Emily's and my interview there, and then see the prizes you can win. Everyday for the next eight days, we will post a fun fact on our blog, and our friends' blog: http://boltongirlstraveljournal.blogspot.com/ . To enter the contest, check back here and at the link just shown, daily, and answer our fun fact question for yourself through commenting. It's easy and fun to enter, and you can win a cute prize.

The rules of the game ..
1. You can comment answering the fun question of the day on our post here for a chance to enter .. and then visit http://boltongirlstraveljournal.blogspot.com/ and answer the question on their blog .. two different fun questions to answer .. two times for chances to enter ..

2. At the end of the week we will put everyone's name into a hat and draw out a winner for the ugly doll hat and spy kit .. please have fun answering our questions ..

Fun Fact- Day 1:

Q. What do you think is the most important part of your family life?

Frankie: I like to cook with my family (anything where we are working toward the same goal).

Emily: The constant support and understanding. No one else knows what you are going through like your sisters do.


Now answer this question for yourself! Have fun!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Quiz: Which Famous Ghost Are You?

Want to find out which famous ghost you're most like? Take my quiz:

1. It seems like you spend most of your time:
A. Looking for lost things
B. Doing laundry and other chores
C. Traveling

2. You would love to be able too:
A. Predict the future
B. Grant wishes
C. Disappear

3. Your biggest flaw is:
A. You have a bad temper
B. You're always behind with chores
c. You're always forgetting things

4. You're favorite pastime is:
A. Taking moonlit walks
B. Sitting by a peaceful stream
C. Hanging out in cemeteries

5. What annoys you most?
A. People who don't listen to you
B. People always asking you for things
C. Bad weather on an important day

Here are the results:

Mostly A.'s:
If you picked mostly A's, the ghost you are most like is La Llorona, the ghostly weeping woman of Hispanic legend. According to the legend, La Llorona is the spirit of a woman who spends eternity searching for her dead children. Her haunting weeping is known to be a harbinger of death or misfortune. Her story is mostly told to deter children from staying outside after dark. If you are most like this ghost, you are sentimental, emotional, and devoted to those you care about. You have strong ties to your family and friends. But your hot temper and jealous streak may get you into trouble sometimes. See our discussion about La Llorona here for more info: http://paranormaldollclub.blogspot.com/2010/12/discussion-legend-of-la-llorona.html

Mostly B's:
If you picked mostly B answers, you are most like the Bean Nighe, of Celtic legend. Also known as "The Washer Woman at the Ford," the Bean Nighe is a banshee-like spirit of a woman who died in childbirth. She spends her days washing blood-stained clothing in lonely wooded streams until the day she would have normally died. Those like the Bean Nighe are driven to success. You like to get your responsibilities done just so, even if it seems like there is an endless list of them. You are clever, and sometimes tricky, but you love to help others. Bean Nighe is known to grant wishes and predict future events. See our discussion here: http://paranormaldollclub.blogspot.com/2010/12/discussion-eleven-bean-nighe.html

Mostly C's:
Picked mostly C's? You are most like Resurrection Mary. This Chicago native is a phantom hitchhiker. Mary was killed in an accident on a dark and stormy night, coming home from a dance. After that, she has been seen by many travelers on similar, stormy nights. If a driver sees her, and offers to give her a lift, she is said to ask to be dropped off near the cemetery where she is buried, then disappear without a trace. If you are most like Resurrection Mary, you are a hopeless romantic, who loves the excitement of the big city. You tend to live in the past sometimes, but you are also have a big heart, and a strong belief in the kindness of strangers. You love to meet new people on your travels, even if your "travels" are only a trip across town. See our discussion here: http://paranormaldollclub.blogspot.com/2011/01/discussion-thirteen-resurrection-mary.html

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Favorite Paranormal Creature

A quick little questionnaire for everyone. You can just copy and paste it into the comments with your answers.

Name:
Age:
Favorite Paranormal Creature:

Here is Frankie, myself, and our friends:

Name: Francesca Shiloh Schafer
Age: 10 (and 1/2)
Favorite Paranormal Creature: Phantom Hitchhikers and wendigos

Name: Paige Shepherd
Age: 10
Favorite Paranormal Creature: The Bean Nighe

Name: Emily Jacobs
Age: 12
Favorite Paranormal Creature: aliens

Name: Kit Jacobs
Age: 11
Favorite Paranormal Creature: werewolves and dragons

Name: Jocelyn Miles Bishop "JJ"
Age: 11
Favorite Paranormal Creature: mothman

Thanks everyone!

Friday, February 4, 2011

Discussion Fifteen: Dragons Part II

Frankie and Emily were kind enough to let me do another dragon post (or it's because they didn't have anything planned!).

I'll start with Eastern Dragons. These dragons are mostly from Japan, Korea, and China. These are the long, snake-like dragons depicted in Asian artwork. Chinese dragons have five toes. Japanese dragons have three toes. Korean dragons have four toes. No one is quite sure why, but some theories is that when the dragons started relocating they gained or lost toes. This is probably some evolution thing.

There are nine types of Chinese dragons (nine being a very lucky number to Chinese). These are: horned, celestial, spiritual, winged, coiling, yellow, king, and dragon of hidden treasures. Each different type plays a different part in Chinese beliefs/rituals/superstitions, etc. Eastern Dragons play a different role in society than Western dragons. Eastern dragons tend to be regarded more as an invisible force, something to pay homage too and things dealing with rituals and such. Western dragons are more of a feared thing, something that is hunted and wanted destroyed. Western dragons don't receive the same spiritual treatment Eastern dragons do.

One more thing to remember is that Eastern dragons don't have wings.

Please feel free to ask any questions in the comments and leave your thoughts about Eastern dragons and/or any other dragon species.
http://www.blackdrago.com/easterndragons.htm

--Kit--

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Contest Reminder

Just a reminder that the photo contest ends on Thursday. We look forward to seeing your creations!

Emily

Friday, January 28, 2011

Discussion Fifteen: Dragons

Hi, everyone, my name is Kit. I'm Emily's younger sister. She and Frankie are letting me to the discussion this week because I'm pretty much an expert on dragons.

Not everyone knows that there are different species of dragons. These can be divided mostly into two categories: Western and Eastern. I'll talk about Western dragons first. This group includes the most common dragon, the European. This is what is depicted in most artwork and TV shows. The dragon in Merlin is this. These dragons live in a mountain or sea cave and can grow up to 45 feet long and 17 feet high. Their favorite food is cattle and sheep, but they will also eat humans if no other food source is around. They try to avoid this, though, because humans have a bitter flavor.

The Gargouille is another fairly common dragon. You might be more familiar with a gargoyle, which this dragon is named after. The Gargouille is very good at camouflaging itself, perching itself on top of old buildings much the same a gargoyle does. They eat rats, bats, and cats.

Eastern dragons are a little different in appearance. You can think of these as the dragons depicted in Chinese artwork and legends: long bodied. If Frankie and Emily let me do another discussion I will talk more on these guys. Right now I want to cover a unique dragon.

The Basilisk is pretty well known thanks to Harry Potter, but did you know it is a dragon? These dragons are very deadly; there is not cure for it's deadly bite. There is some debate on whether seeing a Basilisk face to face will kill you. Some say having a mirror with you protects you from being attacked by the Basilisk as it will attack it's mirror image instead of you. It is logical to say then, that if you don't have a mirror you will get killed because the Basilisk will attack you. But you'll die from the poison not seeing it.

Questions: Have you ever seen a dragon? If you live in Europe your chances are higher as there is only one breed found in the US. How do you think the Basilisk kills?

--Kit--

Most of  my information came from: The Dragonology Handbook: A Practical Course in Dragons written by Ernest Drake.

Monday, January 24, 2011

My new favorite book!

At school, we have been working on a project, where we have to read a book a month and write a book report. The report has to be like a book review. At first I wasn't to happy. I don't mind reading, but I'd rather be out sledding, or playing with my friends. But then, I went to the library at school, and found a book that caught my eye. Since it's suitable for this blog, I thought I would share my book review here:

The Last Apprentice: Revenge of The Witch
By Joseph Delaney


The Last Apprentice: Revenge of The Witch is about a young boy named Tommy who becomes apprentice to the town "Spook." The Spook is a mysterious man who rids the surrounding towns of evil and horrifying creatures. Tommy is not sure how he feels about being the Spook's apprentice. It is a scary and very lonely job, especially when dealing with boggarts and witches. But when Tommy makes a mistake that causes him to be indebted to a clan of witches (a mistake that may have freed the most evil witch of all), he fears that he has endangered not only himself, but everyone he cares about. Now Tommy has to try to stop them with his own skills and smarts, and the help of an unlikely friend.

I loved this book. It was packed with everything I am interested in. And it was full of valuable ghost hunting info. I liked the ghost-hunting aspect, although Tommy and the Spook didn't just hunt ghosts, but all kinds of paranormal entities. It was full of spooky, creepy moments, and it was a lot of fun to read. I also loved the illustrations, which really added to the haunting vibe of the story, and Tommy's personal notes about "Spooking." I recommend this book to any fan of the supernatural. It was really good!

Frankie's rating: * * * * (four stars)

Book review by Frankie


For more info on this book, see here:

http://www.harpercollinschildrens.com/books/Last-Apprentice-Revenge-Witch/?isbn13=9780060766184&tctid=100

Friday, January 21, 2011

Discussion Fourteen: The House That Ghosts Built

The Winchester Mansion is a sprawling California Mansion. It was owned by Sarah Winchester. Legend has it that the house was built after a seance, where Sarah was told by spirits that she must never stop building her home, in order to be protected from spirits who were killed by Winchester rifles. Seances were very popular during the Victorian period, as people started to develop an interest in supernatural phenomena. The construction of the mansion went on for 38 years, until Winchester's death. Sarah was allegedly guided by the instruction of spirits whom she made contact with, during the construction of her house, which lead to the eccentric design, which is described as a maze. The home is now world famous for it's mysterious design

Read all about this amazing historical home here:
http://www.winchestermysteryhouse.com/index.cfm

Discussion:
1.Why do you think the Victorians were so interested in the supernatural? Parlor games concerning seances and contact with the dead became extremely popular in this time period.

2. Would you want to visit the Winchester mansion? I would!

Happy Haunting,
Frankie

P.S.- It's not too late to enter our photo contest! Hope to see your entries.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Photo Contest 1: Favorite Paranormal Creature

Do you have a favorite paranormal creature? Do you like dressing up? Then here is the contest for you! For the next three weeks, Frankie and I will be accepting pictures of you girls (and boys) dressed up as your favorite paranormal creature. This can be anything: ghost, dragon, werewolf, banshee, fairy, etc. What we want to see is something creative that shows your personality as well as the creatures. Don't worry about fancy camera tricks or elaborate scenes. A simple photo that shows off your costume well is enough. Here's all the details:
  • Send your photo to clementinefox7@yahoo.com with the subject "Paranormal Photo Contest"
  • Include your Name, Age, and a few sentences about why this creature is your favorite or something unique about this creature
  • You can enter from now until February 4th (Friday). Pictures will be posted that weekend for everyone to see. Frankie and I will choose the winner and announce her/him on Monday.
  • The winner will receive a personalized ghost hunter badge and get to choose the next discussion topic and write it up if they like.
  • If you have any questions please post them as comments here.
I think that covers it. Don't be shy about entering. We look forward to seeing what you guys come up with and learning about your favorite creatures. Have fun!

Discussion thirteen: Resurrection Mary

Resurrection Mary is a famous Chicago ghost. Her story is rooted in the family of "vanishing hitchhiker"* ghosts. But who is this windy city phantom? Is she real?

Her legend begins in the 1930's, where a young woman named Mary was supposedly killed in a hit and run accident, coming home from a dance. She was buried in Resurrection cemetery, and since then, witnesses have claimed to pick up a young girl on the road, near where Mary died. The woman asks to be dropped off near Resurrection cemetery, where she then disappears. People have reported seeing Mary's ghost since the 30's, until recently.

To read the full legend, see here:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Resurrection_Mary

Discussion questions:
1. Many phantom hitchhiker stories are never proven- no one has connected them to an actual person who actually died at the allegedly haunted place. But Resurrection Mary is different. There are several graves in the cemetery where she was supposedly buried, that have been linked to her name and cause of death. Does this make Mary more "real?"

2. Could this be why her story has stayed popular over the years?

3. Mary supposedly had a fight with her boyfriend on the night of the dance, and left angry, which is why she was walking home when she died. Do you think this could be why her spirit has stuck around? Do you think she haunts because she has unfinished business to deal with, or, like some ghost, she doesn't know she is dead?

* Vanishing hitchhikers are ghosts that are prevalent in urban legends and campfire stories. They are the type of story that can be placed in any town, and are told over and over. They differ, but some elements that the stories share are:

-The ghost is usually a young woman in a white or blue dress, who is picked up by a man driving alone.
-She usually has a classic name like Mary or Sarah.
-She is usually walking home from a party, or sometimes, leaving her wedding.
-It is usually stormy on the nights a phantom hitchhiker are spotted, parroting the type of night she died. The weather is usually what caused her to meet her fate.
-She asks to be dropped off at a strange place like a cemetery, a rundown house, or an empty lot where her house once existed. Or she simply disappears from the car.
-The driver returns to where she was dropped off to check on her, only to find the house is abandoned, or the current owners fill him in on who this girl actually was.

Happy Haunting,
Frankie

P.S.- Check back for details on our first ever photo contest!

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Discussion Twelve: Banshee

A bit of a continuation from last weeks discussion. What do you think a banshee looks like? Beautiful, ugly, ordinary? Supposedly a banshee wails if someone is about to die. Do you believe there is a creature--maybe not a banshee--that can foretell death? There have been some cases about animals knowing when someone is about to die. What are your thoughts on banshees? Real, or just Irish myth?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Banshee

Next week Frankie and I will be having our first contest. It will be a photo contest. So, get your cameras ready!