July 15

Origins of Urban Legends

We have all grown up hearing, reading, and telling urban legends. These stories are passed around from generation to generation. Sometimes they are funny, while other times they are shocking and scary. They are usually meant to be used as a life lesson or for a warning. Urban Legends are entertaining, but have you ever stopped and asked, what are the origins to these stories? Is there any truth to them? Or better yet, some of them are so silly that you really don’t understand how they became an urban legend in the first place.  Today, we are going to attempt to look at some origins of a few urban legends. Even though these have been researched, part of the appeal of urban legends is that it could be anyone’s story. It has been said there is a bit of truth to ever urban legend. Let’s see how spooky, or even how silly those origins might be.

 

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1. Drinking Diet Coke and Eating Mentos will cause your stomach to explode.

I think most of us have heard a variation of this particular urban legend. If you drink a full can of diet coke, and then follow that with eating the candy, Mentos, your stomach will blow up. Sometimes, it’s drinking a full can. Other times, it says to take a sip of the Diet Coke, and put a Mentos in your mouth. If you swallow them at the same time, then that will cause your stomach to explode. Does this actually happen? Of course not, but there is reasons behind this story. The origin comes from the fact that there is a very real chemical reaction that happens when adding mint Mentos to Diet Coke. If you place Mentos in a Diet Coke, it will cause the soda to shoot out of the container. However, this isn’t the same effect when you add in a human to the mix. What will really happen to you if you mix these two items? You may have a bad taste in your mouth, and get some gas. It’s not going to explode your stomach.

 

 

 

 

2. I’m carrying Spider Babies in my cheeks!

I clearly remember reading this story in the “Scary Stories”  books when I was a child. This really bothered me, as I’m sure it bothered many people. This urban legend states that a young girl went on vacation overseas. When she was at her destination, she was bitten by a spider on her cheek. They didn’t seek medical attention because it was not bothering her. By the time she had arrived back home, her cheek was swollen. While taking a bath, her cheek burst open and baby spiders came out of her face! I can say one thing about the origins of this myth. A spider can’t lay eggs in your face. Keep in mind, I said a spider only. There are many creepy crawling creatures that can do some serious damage to you. When you travel, take all the precautions that you need, including learning about the local wild life.

 

 

3.If you put batteries in the Fridge, they will last longer.

This may be a very dated urban legend since everyone has chargers for everything. However, there are still those certain things, like your TV remote, that requires actual batteries. Many people stored their unused batteries in the Fridge right next to the milk and butter in an attempt to keep them fresh. My Grandparents did this, and I think my parents did as well. The thought process behind this origin is that many years ago, different chemicals were used to make batteries. It might have been instructed on the packages to store in a cool, dry place. Many people decided to put their batteries in the fridge because they thought it would help them not to spoil. This became a learned behavior, and as technology improved, the need to do this anymore stopped. However, many people still store their batteries in the Fridge even though it may actually be damaging to them instead of extending their life.

 

4.Throwing a Penny from a high location can kill someone!

Have you ever been to a really high place like the Sears Tower and saw warning signs about not throwing anything off the side of the building? That makes a lot of sense, because there is a lot of items that can do some damage. However, people fear the tiny little penny as a weapon of death! To date, not one death has been caused by a penny. There also has never been property damaged done by a falling penny. The origin to this urban legend comes from the fact that items gain velocity while falling. Meaning objects that fall get faster, therefore have a greater force when it finally stops. A penny is not ever going to be enough force to hurt anyone, or anything if falling from a huge building. However, other falling objects can cause a lot of damage, so don’t throw anything off a building, and be careful where you are standing!

 

5. Chain Letters, Emails, Posts:

This super rich celebrity is going to pick one lucky person to give a million dollars to give to! All you have to do is like, share, and comment on this post. They will see it, trust me! Or, this random person won the lottery, and they want to share their money with one person! All you have to do is forward this email to everyone in your list! If this post gets 1 million likes, this person will give away a car to one of the people who clicked the like button. Did you fall for it? Many people have. The origins of this is simple. Most of the time, these are ways to collect your data. Many of these posts that you are sharing come with an unwanted guest, a virus that scans and collects data from your phone and computer. Let’s just be clear, if it’s too good to be true, it is not real.

 

Those were a few of the strange origins to some urban legends. They may vary, but essential the message is the same. What are some of your favorite urban legends?

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June 17

Can you hear me now?

 

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Can we trust our own ears? Do we need to be more cautious about what is coming through our precious ears? Keep in mind that “Can you hear me now,” contains affiliate links. Check out the disclaimer page for more information.  Of course, I am talking directly about the whole Yanny V. Laurel debate that has been going viral for the past few weeks. The discussion on what word you hear has people talking about their hearing.  There is a theory  that younger people can hear a wider range than people who are older. If you want to know more about this, and see some examples, there are many videos on YouTube about this subject. You can see group hearing tests with people of different ages. They are all subjected to vastly different tones and as predicted the younger people can hear more than the older crowd. While this is true for the most part, it isn’t true for everyone. There are people that have hearing problems. There are also people who are very old that can hear the same tones as a child. There are also middle aged people who can hear the same tones that aren’t supposed to be heard above someone who is a teenager. So, no big deal, right? Hearing and age go hand in hand. Except, what are we missing that our children are hearing? Should we be worried.

While there is such thing as subliminal messages, this is different. This is using a tone or pitch that can only been heard by people with a certain level of hearing. Mostly, this means that the majority of children can hear things that the majority of adults are not able. Yanny and Laurel brought up a lot of interesting things but it made it clear that we might be living in a spookier world than we realize. Let’s take a look at a few examples of what we might be dealing with and how scary some of this may actually be. Keep in mind many of these things are legends or theories. However, the fear fact is there, and some of the fears cold become a reality if there haven’t already!

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Lavender Town Syndrome:

There is a mythical song out there called Lavender Town. This song has been featured in many different games and shows directed at children, such as Pokeman. According to this legend, this song features no lyrics, but pitches that can only be heard by the very young. As I stated above, you lose the ability to hear certain pitches as you age, and generally, the very young can hear things that even teenagers can no longer pick up. Placing this bit of music is something that you could call intentional. Why would someone do this? To bring about more sales on games, or to have kids continue to purchase more items from the Pokeman line? Not according to this legend. The story goes that children to from around the ages of 7 to 12 years old reported feeling ill after playing this game with the Lavender Town theme. It ranged from headaches to being dizzy or even vomiting. The worst part is some claim that up to 100 children were driven insane and killed themselves. The only common thing that was found that they all had this Pokeman Red/Green game from Gameboy and all had been known to play for hours. While this is a legend, people who worked on this project admitted to putting in a high pitched tone in this theme song to annoy children. It may have worked much better than they even realized.

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Furby

If you are lucky enough to not remember these creatures, then consider yourself lucky! These creepy little animals came out around 1998, and I believe that you can still find them in stores even now. Personally, I have always hated these little demon dogs, but many people adored them and were swept up in the introduction of A.I. and becoming used to things watching and recording you via a toy. They had to start somewhere. Those same people that had these Furbies as children are okay with having a Smart TV today that tells you flat out that they are recording you and don’t have private conversations around the TV. That’s true, and look it up if you don’t believe me! Anyway, these little toys were able to learn words and have a conversation with you. The longer you talked with them, the more they learned and the more they communicated. According to legend, like Lavender Town, these Furbies would let out high pitch tones when your child was alone. These things recorded you, so they would know when your child was alone or not! These tones would make  children act out, go crazy, or get sick. Is any of this true? Who knows, but the truth of a Furby is scary enough!

 

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The Pied Piper

Almost everyone knows the fairy tale about the Pied Piper. One day, a strange man came into the city and played his pipe. He lead all of the rats out of town in order to help them fight the plague which has been linked to rats. He saves the day and everyone is happy that these terrible creatures are out of their town! While many versions of this story is out there, this is not the original story. The Pied Piper shows up and plays his pipe and all of the children of the town hears. Parents watched in horror as this strange man played his soundless pipe, but their children couldn’t resist the temptation of the song and ran away with this man and out of their lives. They could hear something that their older siblings and parents could not, and this was the sound from the pipe! They ran away never to be seen again. There are many stories that this was a based on a true story. It could be an example of how terrible that the plague was and how it killed so many children. Other people think that this was a real story and the Pied Piper knew how to manipulate sound to kidnap children! It’s pretty scary to think of because legends like this are meant to be a warning.

 

What do you think? Do you think these examples could show that sound manipulation is real? Should we be worried about sounds coming from toys, games, and other things directed towards children? If we know sounds can’t be heard after a certain age, should we be worried what is being placed into the mind of a child who won’t recall this later on in their lives? Are they being prepped for something? As a product of the 1990’s, I think I can say we were prepped for something! What do you think? Leave your comments below.

 

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June 3

The Black Angel: Revised

The post” The Black Angel” is a revised version of an older post. It contains affiliate links. For more information, see the Disclaimer on the Promotions page. 

 

Hello everyone, this is one of my original blogs when I switched over to this site. I hope that you enjoy this being re-posted because you may have not had a chance to read it before.  Take a look and I hope you like the legend of The Black Angel.

 

 

Today, we are going to talk about a local legend that I grew up around called, The Black Angel. I was raised in Iowa, but didn’t hear about this until I was in college. This legend is about a supposedly cursed statue that is located in a cemetery in Council Bluffs, Iowa. It has become stuff of teenagers daring one another to spend a night by her side, hoping to see her move or do something terrifying. Some people honestly think that this Black Angel will not only bring you bad luck, but death as well.

Iowa actually has two Black Angels, one in Iowa City, and one in Council Bluffs. As the years progressed, their stories got a bit mixed up and sometimes two legends melted into one. This is the story of the Dodge’s angel.  While many people find solace in this statue, many others find terror. The legend goes, that Mrs. Ruth Anne Dodge had a visions of this angel 3 days prior to her death. Each night, she would go to bed and have vivid dreams.  She would then wake up, and tell her daughters who wrote down the experience. The first two dreams were the angel coming to Ruth Anne who offered her a drink of water. Both times, Ruth Anne refused the water even though she was very thirsty. The third night, the Black Angel came again and once more offered Ruth Anne the water. This time, she drank the water and woke from her dream long enough to convey it to her daughters before passing away.

 

Before she died, she let her children know that the water wasn’t just liquid, but a grand gift. The angel had offered her the gift of immortality and she took it.  Her children had the angel made as a memorial to stand by her grave inside the Walnut Hill Cemetery, which is now called Fairview. The statue was bronze and was made by the same sculpture who did the Lincoln Memorial. She has one hand that is stretched out while the other is holding the same water vase that Ruth Anne described in her visions. At one point, the statue functioned as a working fountain but as the years went on, it broke down. There was a large hole in her back that stopped the flow of water. That has been repaired in the last few years and now it works once more. The angel was no stranger to vandalism either.

What started the legend of the Black Angel is unknown, but people think it has to do with the fact that the angel was a bronze color. After time, it became more gray, or even appears black in color. People associate an angel with being a heavenly white color, but this one is dark and seems ominous, earning the nickname the angel of death.  This may have started the stories that come from this statue.

One of the stories is that the angel’s eyes will turn red. The color glows Image result for Dark Angel Statue Council Bluffsand is very terrifying. If you see the change of color in the eyes, then you are supposed to die in 2 days. Other legends say that children have gone missing after spending time with the angel. They say she snatches them into the afterlife. People also dare each other to stay the night next to her, but you must be aware, she might move, or she might even call your name. If she speaks to you, then that means you are going to die very soon, or something very terrible will happen to you in 3 days time. There are many different legends, but the statue stands longer than than stories.

I have only seen her once, and it is a very unnerving sight. Especially when it is covered in snow, or if the sun is setting. I feel it’s disrespectful to be in a cemetery after dark unless you have permission. It’s even worse when people have done things to vandalize someone’s memorial. No matter what you believe, it is never okay to spray paint, break, or leave trash on someone’s grave. I only saw her from a car and passed on. I knew that in college people told all sorts of stories, but it never seemed like a good enough legend to match such a spectacular statue. I hope if you ever get a chance to see her, it will be a pleasant experience. Don’t forget to keep your ears open, and your eyes peeled!

 

What do you think, is there really something spooky going on here, or is it all just a story? Comment and let me know!

 

 

 

 

May 27

Haunted Auctions

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Underdogs, I know that I have done a similar post in the past about haunted auctions on Ebay.  However, it was all about dolls. There are so many listings that are considered haunted actions on Ebay, it deserves another blog post. It may deserve a few posts! As of right now, if you search the word “haunted” on Ebay, you will see over 100,000 auctions listed. Of course, this is a general haunted auction search. I didn’t include any keywords like dolls or cursed items. It is really crazy to me that there are so many listings, and just as many people wanting to purchase these items! There is a policy with Ebay that you can’t technically sell items that are haunted, even though the word is in the description. You can’t prove things one way or the other, so that is a no go for Ebay. However, like the mystery box craze, this hasn’t stopped anyone from finding creative ways around this issue. For instance, a key that was found and considered haunted is being sold as an antique key. While I try not to make light of situations, because I do believe in a lot of things, I have to still question the authenticity of any of these claims. I really don’t want to offend anyone, but you must ask logical questions when you are purchasing anything, including haunted auctions.  Take a look at these haunted auctions that are currently being sold on Ebay!

1. Haunted Spirit Key: Haunted Spirit Key

This haunted auction item listed on Ebay claims that it came from a time capsule in North Carolina. Since it’s listed as an antique key that happens to be haunted, it is fine to sell. The story goes that the time of this burial may be around the 1940’s since newspaper clipping was found from that time. However, no one is sure of this information. Some of the claims for this key is items that fell on the person who dug the key up, and some bad feelings. The seller believes that this key is haunted by a dark entity, or a soul of a woman who was sad about the loss of her life. Sadly, there isn’t a lot of information from the seller due to claims of Ebay policies. So, we have one claim of an incident that may or may not have anything to do with this key.

 

 

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2.Spirit Shipped to You! Spirit Shipped to You!

This is a haunted auction unlike I have ever seen before. You actually are not bidding on a doll, or even an actual item, but a promise of a spirit named Hayden. Basically, the person who is “selling” Hayden is going to send him to your house with the help of a friend. The spirit will be shipped via atrial plane. Hayden seems to be a very nice spirit who is kind, and brings protection and luck. He also can communicate through cards and other means. Although he is kind, he doesn’t want to be stressed out by people trying to haunt him, but communicate with him in a kind manner. How will you know if you have gotten Hayden? Well, great question because 24 hours after purchasing, you will receive some good feelings at some point in the day. You may also see some things out of the corner of your eyes or orbs, which is Hayden. While this listing is ridiculous, I have a major problem selling a spirit. Ghosts were people too, so isn’t this essential selling a person, and what gives this random person the right?

 

3.Haunted Family Picture Book: Haunted Family Picture Book

Getting right to the point, the seller says they will not accept any returns on this item at all. They have had it returned to them two times already, and they will not take them again. Claiming that this book was found at Waverly Hills, before it was made into a tourist trap, the seller wants this book gone! For some reason, they decided to take it and not donate it to the museum even though they are having trouble with this item. However, there is no description as to why this book is a haunted auction outside of strange things happening since they had this picture book. Of course my questions are, what are the strange things that are going on, and how can you prove this item is from one of the most known haunted places in America?

 

 

4. Old Haunted Scrap Book: Haunted Scrap Book: Main Street

For the price of $4000.00 American dollars, you can own this haunted scrap book. The book itself was apparently found at the seller’s home on Main Street. While this seller does have some great stories about some paranormal activities that their son experienced, it is not clear to me what the scrap book has to do with anything. Meaning, while the stories are great, I don’t really see the connection between the activities and this book. It seems like it’s a collection of things that may be haunted from this one family. This is the first seller that I have seen that will take returns. The seller also says they will add more stories when they think of them. Even if you don’t have the money to purchase this, it may be good to keep an eye on it to read what the seller has to add!

 

5.Haunted Silverware: Haunted Silverware

Did you wake up this morning and ask why you don’t have a set of silverware that may not only be haunted, but also might have been involved in some sort of mafia murder? If you did, then you are in luck because this is the listing of for you! Please do yourself a favor, and follow the link above and read this description. They are also asking if you have any information about a murder that was unsolved between the years of 1903 and 1911, then email. By the way, it took place 41st or 42nd street in New York City. The thing is, there could be evidence of a crime on these items! Then again, it may be rust, and for some extra money, you can get it cleaned. The seller also wants to include some sage in the package so the poor postman may not have anything happen to them due to this sell. How very thoughtful. I have no idea what this is haunted for, besides the fact that it says some things move. However, the story is excellent. I want to know where this story goes, and what, if any unsolved mystery is attached to this whole listing!

 

Those were just 5 of the the thousands of haunted auction items on Ebay. Most of them are dolls so it was a bit difficult to find objects that were different. While these had some interesting stories, who knows what the real claims are, or if anything is actually real at all. Ebay is a place to bid at your own risk, and it looks like you are taking a much bigger one with these items. Have you bought any items that you later found to be haunted? Leave your comments below.

 

 

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May 6

The Curse of the Wizard of Oz

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One of my all time favorite movies is The Wizard of Oz. Like many people, this was one of the first movies that I ever got to see. To this day, I have never grown tired of it. I watch it at least once a year, if not more if it’s possible. This movie was based off the second book, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, by L. Frank Baum. Every since he wrote this story of the people of Oz, and Dorothy going on her adventure, it has never been out of print. In fact, many different versions of this story exists including stage, and other books based off of this world. This movie is one of the most loved, and of course, one of the most studied.  People think that there many have been a curse associated with the movie. Here are a few examples, and you make up your mind about the Curse of the Wizard of Oz!

 

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Back in the 1930’s, the rules and regulations for make up weren’t anywhere near what they are today.  Basically there were no rules, or regulations, so many different substances and chemicals were used in the makeup, no matter what kind of damage that it could do the person wearing it. For the tin man, they used a toxic combination of paint and aluminum dust. Buddy Epson, who played the Tin Man had to be hospitalized due to complications from wearing this make only during the first 9 days. Because of this, he suffered lung failure and the filming of The Wizard of Oz was shut down for over two weeks. Buddy Epson suffered with issues for the rest of his life due to this choice in makeup materials.

 

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Speaking of makeup, one of the biggest painting jobs had to go to the actress who played the Wicked Witch. Saying it ain’t easy being green is an understatement is an understatement. Actress Margaret Hamilton played the Wicked Witch of the West. She was painted green to make the character a little bit more scary. Her makeup was made with paint and copper. This is toxic to anyone, and Hamilton had to wear a variation of this mixture the whole film. While bad enough to have toxic makeup on every pore, it wasn’t as terrible as what happened next. An accident happened on set when the Witch leaves during the first scene. The fire came too early, and ended up burning Hamilton. The makeup actually made it much worse, and help spread the burns. She ended getting first and second degree burns across her hands and face. She was able to come back to work almost a month later. However, her hands were so badly burned, she had to wear gloves which covered her injuries.

 

The biggest curse and controversy surrounding The Wizard of Oz has to do with the famous hanging. Or lack of hanging? For years, people have debated if their was a person hanging from a tree in the background when the group happily sins that they are off to see the Wizard. This urban legend has been told at countless slumber parties, camp fires, and of course, on the internet. No matter what you think happened, there is clearly something in the background. Some people think that there was a munchkin that hung himself , while others think it was an extra walking around. There are also those who  think it was just an animal. My personal story with this theory is that as far back as I can recall, I thought someone was hanging from the tree. Keep in mind, movies get “remastered” all of the time. This means that they change things, edit others things out, and add things in. Think of the Star Wars movies that you grew up with verses what they are today. They have new scenes that weren’t filmed or finished in the first place. When The Wizard of Oz was remastered, the hanging person was replaced by a big, walking bird. The official story was that this bird was wondering around the whole time, but people misunderstood what it was and thought it was a person hanging.

 

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Most of us called that explanation BS! My thoughts on this matter are what follows. The Wizard of Oz didn’t have any birds walking around. Why would they appear in this one random spot if they aren’t in any other scene? Yes, there were scenes that were filmed and deleted. In fact, there was an entire music number that was cut. No one can seem to find why this random bird was there because it wasn’t in those deleted scenes. Could it be a person who hung themselves? That is truly what I always thought, but I know it could have been people walking around. Unfortunately, like The Song of the South, you will not find an original version being sold of The Wizard of Oz today. They  only show the remastered version on TV as well, so the answer may be lost in time.

Those were some examples of why people think that the Wizard of Oz was cursed. It had a lot of terrible things happen on set, that included some very scary injuries. We aren’t sure if someone killed themselves, but we do know that Judy Garland was abused by the movie studio, and drugged. Her life was tragic and her time on the set didn’t help her any. Her life is worth a blog of it’s own, but it isn’t hard to see that the studios didn’t really care about their stars, and put them in life threatening situations. It’s hard to look at footage from the past because HD didn’t exist. You will not get a clear shot of what happened in that forest. What do you think? Is this movie cursed?

 

April 22

Orbs: Proof of the Paranormal?

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Hello Underdogs! As many of you know, I love the unknown and the paranormal. I enjoy the mystery and the intrigue about the things that we can’t quite explain. Those theories and questions of why and what keep me going. Life is too short to be given all the answers, and too vast for any of us to every find out the truth of the universe. The journey is so important and sometimes, we are lucky enough to see hints and get some small glimpses of answers or another twist and turn. This is one of the reasons I enjoy the paranormal so much. However, you must realize that even though I enjoy these things, I still look at everything with a skeptical eye. This leads me to a very popular subject and many people’s proof of the supernatural, which are orbs.

First, what is an orb and why would someone think that they have anything to do with the paranormal? An orb is defined as a circular item appearing on a photo or in a video. Sometimes they are clear, and sometimes they have their own light. Why do people think that a circle showing up in a photo has anything to do with ghosts? Some people theorize that this is an example of a ghost or a spirit that can’t harness enough energy to show themselves. Instead, they show up in a ball of energy, or an orb, and this results in evidence in a haunting situations. There are people that are so convinced of this, that they have come up with orb guides to let you know what certain colors may or may not mean.

 

 

I posted  two photos that I took on my Instagram account to see what people thought about the orbs that I caught. At the time, I was in Bonaventure Cemetery where I was taking several photos. These two photos stuck out to me because I saw a few rambling orbs joining the headstones. I wanted to see what people thought when I posted these photos and I got a lot of responses in the form of messages. Many people were either impressed or really freaked out about what I may or may have not captured! People were either very worried, or they thought it was cool. However, no one seemed to question what an orb really was so this prompted me to do research. I also got some new followers so I hope you go and check out my Instagram feed to keep up on my social media life. Inserting shameless self promotion here: https://www.instagram.com/lisateb

 

 

 

 

 

 

While orbs are cool looking, I no way in any shape or form believe that they are proof of the paranormal or the supernatural. While my photos were not fake, they were mistaken for something spooky. What you saw in my photo was rain drops. It was raining the day I was at the cemetery. While there aren’t orbs in each photo, there is a very good reason for this fact. The rain was intermittent so it was only for a few moments and didn’t appear in any other photos of mine after the rain had stopped. Orbs are not normally faked, but they are logical things. A few years ago, my friend picked up a bunch of dirt and threw it into the air. Her Mom took a photo with the flash on and it looked as though there were hundreds of orbs, both clear and colored, all over the place! It was spooky, but those orbs were not evidence of anything paranormal. They were a great trick of the light and some dust.

 

Orbs are not proof of anything but something being caught by a camera that is either dirt, rain snow, dust, bugs or other natural things.  There are reasons why historic places seem haunted because they are full of orbs. It is simply because the location is old and there is a lot of dust and other items around that is easily kicked up and photographed when people are walking around. I don’t think that anyone who captures orbs in their photos are faking anything. Please don’t think that at all. They really capturing something, but it’s just not what you think it is. Just because I think there is a logical explanation, doesn’t mean that I’m 100% right or 100% wrong. However, I feel if you are documenting the paranormal, you will need stronger evidence than orbs, which can easily be explained away as something very logical such as dust or rain drops.

 

 

What do you think? Do you think orbs are an explanation or proof of the paranormal? Have you had any other evidence to back up your spooky claims beyond any orbs that you have caught? Post your photos below and join the discussion. Also, don’t forget to follow my Instagram account!

 

 

 

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March 18

Irish Legends

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Hello Underdogs, I hope you enjoyed your St. Patrick’s day celebration and are now nursing your hang over by reading this awesome blog! Many of the people living in the United States share ancestry with Ireland, yet so many people have no clue about the rich history and folk lore. Saint Patrick’s day is a whole other story!  I encourage you to do your own research and see where you may have come from, and find out about some of these amazing legends. In the meantime, here are a few stories that are disturbing, spooky and send shivers down your spine!

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The Legend of the Girl and the Four Leaf Clover:

Once upon a time, there was a little girl in first grade who was learning about St. Patrick’s Day. While she didn’t really care about the pinching, and thought wearing green didn’t matter when her eyes were that color, she did latch on to something that her teacher said. Her teacher told her that there was no such thing as a four leave clover! Astonished, the little girl decided to prove her teacher wrong and find the magical four leave clover! She went outside and search and searched. In fact, she searched all over the yard, the block, and even behind the school itself. She combed through clover and clover, ignoring her running nose and her dirty fingers. She never picked anything, but carefully counted the leaves on each clover she came across. After a few weeks had passed, the young girl found a four leave clover and  picked it, and brought it to school! She presented it to her teacher in front of the entire class who cheered. The teacher was so happy that she told the girl they were going to press the four leave clover in a book and she would give the book, a story about Irish Legends to her at the end of the semester! Unfortunately, the book was stolen a few weeks later and the clover was lost. While this legend may not be terrifying, it is a true story that is mine! I had to include it, and the fact that the clover I worked so hard to get was lost forever is kind of scary in it’s own right!

The Banshee:

One of my favorite, and most terrifying legends that I have ever heard about is the Banshee.  A Banshee is a woman who is theorized to have roots with the fairies, or the fairy world. She is supposed to appear during two different times. First would be to announce the upcoming death of someone in the household. The second would be to show that the person hearing her shrieking means they are about to participate in an adventure that will end with their death. The legend states that she will appear, and cry, shriek, or yell a horrible and unworldly sound that may cause a fear so deep, the person hearing it will die instantly! Who was this woman and how did she become the Banshee? There are several thoughts about this including a young woman who was kidnapped and murdered, and a cursed older woman who was burned as a witch. It seems the Banshee runs in families and is attached to the families that have the prefix, “O'” or “Mac.” There are also legends that the Banshee is not signally death, but crying out because she knows something terrible is about to happen, yet there is nothing that she can do to stop it from happening. Either way, if you hear and unworldly wail, you better run for your life!

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Fairy Rings:

Fairy Rings are a very real thing in the world! It is a ring of mushrooms, flowers, or even a circle of grass. The legend is anywhere from fun to downright evil. The common thing in each story told about these rings is to leave them alone. They may just be a place for faeries to dance at, and you don’t want to rudely crash their party!  First, it the legends have something to do with nature itself. If you find a fairy ring on your land, then nothing will grow for 7 years. Others view this a sacred ground and if you do anything to harm or destroy a fairy ring, you will pay dearly. There have been cases where airports have been built over a fairy ring, and that results in crashes until they ring was put back and the airport was closed down. There are also legends that anyone who steps in the middle of a fairy ring and they were asked to do so by a fairy, will lose their souls. Or, they will be plagued with their worst memories and deepest fears.

 

 

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Slaugh Sidhe:

If you have never heard of the Sluagh Sidhe before, then consider yourself lucky! While people disagree what these beings look like, they all agree that they are swift, and travel in swarms. Said to be the souls of the dead, the Slaugh Sidhe are the departed who were evil in life and are paying it in the hereafter! In fact, they are considered to be so evil that they aren’t welcome in either Heaven or in Hell! Why would a Slaugh end up coming to your home, or the home of one of your loved ones? You may have accidentally called upon them and they are answering you. First, you might be truly evil and you are attracting them to you. Or, more likely, you are a sad, lonely soul who feels empty for a moment and the Slaugh Sidhe are coming to take advantage of your vulnerable state. Scholars wonder if Edgar Allen Poe’s, “The Raven” was based off of this legend.

 

There are a few legends from Ireland for your reading entertainment! What are some of your favorites? Leave your comments below and let me know which ones might make your blood run cold?

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March 11

The Lonley Child?

The blog post, “The Lonely Child” is an excerpt of a short story. This post will contain affiliate postings. For more information, check out the Disclaimer page. 

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As I retold the story for the 19th or 20th time, I was even starting to doubt it myself. I knew I sounded like an insane person, but the whole thing really happened. I wanted to stop talking and run away. I didn’t want to be in this small, cold room talking in circles, answering all of their questions until my throat was on fire and my voice was horse. There were no clocks in the room, but one of the officers had a wristwatch on and I could see the time was 3 AM. This means that I had been in this room for at least 5 hours. It seemed like an eternity and my body was feeling every moment of it. The door opened, but I didn’t even look up because I knew what I would see. It would be one more nameless, faceless person demanding to know the story. I’m sure they want to know how that police officer died. So would I, but he was dead when I got there. They keep ignoring that part.

I heard the weight of the metal chair being pulled back, and then forward again after the man had taken a seat. I could smell his dime store cologne filling the room. There were three other male officers in the room, standing with their arms folded, glaring down at me. They had all taken their turns interrogating me, but I couldn’t give them the answers that they wanted. I could only tell them the truth no matter how strange it all was. I heard him take a long breath, and tap his pen on the table. The sound was too much, and my hands involuntarily went to cover my ears. Hours ago, I was terrified for my life for a much different reason, and know I was afraid that I would be blamed for something I never did, and lose my freedom. I’m not sure what is worse.

“Miss Paula? I am Detective Shawn. I know you have had quite a night. I have some questions, and I’m sure you have some answers. You answer the questions that I have, and then you can go home.”

Broken, the tears fell down my cheeks. Of course I didn’t believe him. I didn’t believe any of them. Even thought I had asked for legal help when I got here, it didn’t’ seem to matter one bit. They wanted answers that I couldn’t provide and they may just make me guilty for a horrible crime. At this point, I was so tired and afraid that I could no longer keep my mind from racing. I lifted my head and looked directly at Detective Shawn. He looked like an average man, but something was off about him. He didn’t have any lenses in his glasses. His watch also had crack on the face, and his beard was very uneven. I had the same feeling as I did when I saw the child earlier, and I bite my tongue to keep from screaming.

“Has anyone offered you a drink, Miss Paula?” he asked politely. I shook my head no and he turned to the 3 officers behind him and pointed his finger at the tallest man who’s name that I had forgotten. “Bring Miss Paula a water, and a coffee” He shrugged and left the room, returning a few silent minutes later with a bottle of water and a cup of steaming coffee. He sat them down and went back to stand next to the other goons. “It’s time for you to take a break.” Detective Shawn said to them. “Excuse me?” The tall man asked back, taking a step forward. “I said, it’s time for you to take a break. All of you. Now.” The glare the tall man gave the Detective radiated down my spine. I thought he was going to punch the Detective in the face. He paused, but then quickly backed off and walked out the door, followed by the two other men. The Detective watched for the door to close, and then he stood up and walked over to the camera that had been recording our entire conversation. It looked as though he had turned it off, but I knew they were not going to stop filming, especially when it came to a dead police officer. He walked back over to the table with heavy steps, and sat on the table.

“Where did the child go, Miss Paula.”

I looked at him for a long moment. “There is no child.” I said after a beat. “In case you didn’t know, because that’s what your friends keep telling me.”

“There was a child, Miss Paula. You know it, I know it, they know it, but are either too afraid or too stupid to realize the truth.”

“Are you playing the role of the good cop? I said rudely. I was tired, afraid, and alone, but suddenly, I wanted to fight.  I had been telling my story, which was the truth for hours. However, I was called a liar at least 70 times by the other 3 officers who refused to believe anything about the child that had been there.

“I’m not playing good cop, bad cop. I’m trying to find the truth and I believe you know it.”

“Then look back at the hours of footage of questions that the officers asked and my story being ignored! I’m tired of going over it again and again. I want to go home!”

“I have been watching the whole time.”

“Then you already know everything.”

“I know what the other officers have asked you, but I don’t know the truth. They weren’t asking the right questions.”

I laughed. “Well then Detective Shawn, how could you magically ask me the right questions that haven’t already been asked a hundred times already by your friends?”

“Was the child alive, or dead when he talked with you?”

That snapped me out of it, and I leaned forward. His eyes held my gaze and I realized he was being serious.

“I don’t know.” I answered in a small, but level voice. “The child was unlike anything I have ever seen before, but I didn’t kill that officer.”

“I know you didn’t kill him,” Detective Shawn answered. “I don’t care about that at all.”

“You don’t care?” I shouted. “You don’t care about a dead police officer. Then why in the world…”

“I need to know about the child.” Detective Shawn said firmly. “That officers was already dead, and if we don’t work together, more people are going to die. I need to know about that child. Are you ready to tell me the truth?”

I saw back in my seat and crossed my arms. “No, but I will. Are you ready to hear my answers?”

“No, but we need to find that child.”

I nodded and closed my eyes, gathering my strength. Even thought I had retold the story over and over again to the officers, I was holding back a lot of details about the child because no one believed me. They scoffed at me, they laughed at me. But if they would have seen what I had seen, they wouldn’t have been laughing, they would have been begging for their Mother.

The Detective sat back down in his chair, and pulled out a note pad. “Okay, tell me the real story of what happened to you tonight. Don’t leave out any details.”

“No matter how crazy?”

“No matter how crazy.”

“Detective, answer me one question before we get started.”

“Alright,” he nodded. “Go ahead.”

“What are you?”

After a long moment, the Detective answered. “Tell me about the child, and then I will tell you about what I am.”

Still angry, afraid, and pissed, I  manged to push all that aside. For the first and only time in my life I retold the real story of what happened on a normal day that ended with me being accused of murdering a police officer. The truth did not set me free, it took more for me than I could have ever imagined.

 

I hope that you have enjoyed my sample of my story, “The Lonely Child.” If you would like a second one, comment below.

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March 4

The Palmer House Ghosts

The Palmer House Ghosts contains affiliate links. For more information on this, please visit the Disclaimer on the Promotions page. 

Underdogs, one of my favorite places to visit when I’m in Chicago is the Palmer House. It is an incredibly beautiful hotel in the heart of Chicago, located on South Monroe Street. I have stayed there only once, but have come to have a coffee, and just walk around the hotel almost every single time I’m in the city. Even if this hotel is not in your budget, I encourage you to go inside, grab a coffee, and sit in the lobby, or walk around. Of course, you want to make sure you are polite, but I encourage you to check it out. You never know what you will see, including something spooky!

One thing to keep in mind when you are visiting is this is a historic hotel. In the most basic terms, this means that the hotel is old. While the lobby is beautiful, the rooms and bathrooms are a bit smaller. However, the views are spectacular, and the whole experience is awesome! Here is a nice tip for you as well. I suggest that you use their guest service when you are making reservations for dinner and other places around the city. You may be surprised what you get. We used them to book a dinner reservation at the Italian Village, and because of that we got a free appetizer and a desert. They also helped us get cheaper tickets to the theater than I could find anywhere. The biggest complaint I have seen outside of people saying the rooms are too small is the parking. If you are in Chicago, you must realize parking is a problem everywhere and public transportation is so big for a reason. Everyone uses it, so be prepared if you aren’t used to this. Best to not take your car into the city at all, and use the train, and subway to get around.

When we stayed at the Palmer, we were close to the top floor. I’m not going to lie, it seemed very spooky for some reason. You could just feel the electricity in the air as you walked through the halls. The hairs on the back of my neck would slowly pick up every time I went by the small hallway that was close to the elevator. I didn’t want to look because I was afraid of what I would see. It was as though I just knew someone was there, watching and waiting for me to look in their direction. This happened several times since we had to pass this small hallway every single time we went to the elevators. There was a black piano there, which was beautiful. It was not roped off, so in theory, one could go play the piano at any time. More than once, I heard the piano playing while we waited for the elevator. But no one was there, and there was no way anyone could get around to play the piano without walking right past us.

During the day, we kept hearing kids running up and down the hallway. It sounded as though they were bouncing balls, and stomping. We knew it was kids because of the laughter and the light voices of children. I could never hear what they were saying, but they were pretty active. It is Chicago, and the Palmer Hotel, so we all knew it was very busy. However, it got to be annoying the later the hour got. I went down to lobby to get something to drink and decided to stop at the front desk. I really try to be understanding, but it was a bit much. Plus, I was in the hotel with my best friend who I rarely see and we all wanted to be able to enjoy our visit. I asked them polity to see if there is anything that could be done about the kids quieting down. The asked me where I was and I let them know. After checking their computers, they told me no kids were on the floor. I asked if there was a basketball team checked in the Palmer because they must be running around the halls. They answered me that there wasn’t and I went back to my room feeling crazy.

I returned to room and told my friends. We all agreed that we weren’t crazy, and we really heard the kids. So of course we decided the next logical thing to do was to go on an armature ghost hunt. We took our keys, and cameras and headed out the room. We walked up and down the hallway, enjoying the black and white photos on the walls. It is so easy to image what life would have been like in the height of this hotel. While we took many photos and even used our recorders in an attempt to pick up EVP, we never caught anything. However, that doesn’t mean that we didn’t have personal experiences. Every single one of us heard voices. Each of us heard our names being called, and not by the other people in our party. I kept seeing things out of the corner of my eye. For some reason, I thought I was finally brave enough to face my weekend fear, the piano.

I walk over to the piano with my friends behind me. We didn’t see anything, and for a time, we talked about why we had such a strange feeling here. We theorized that we could be in something called a fear cage. A fear cage is when a person starts to feel fear, paranoia, and even itching and hearing high pitched sounds in certain areas of a house, or building. The reasoning behind this happening is their is a disruption between the electrical work and the person.  A lot of electrical items in one place have been proven to cause these types of disturbances in people. For example, many people feel have a common fear of the basement. This usually stems from the fact that there are exposed wires and lots of items such as washers, dryers, and heating units in one small area. That’s a lot of energy that is being contained. The older the builder, and the older the wiring, the more this happens. We concluded that this was probable until I saw a girl.

My friends had started to walk away when I got that feeling once more that someone was behind me. It was strong and I felt it down my spine. It made my knees shake. I didn’t want to look back, but I had to see once and for all what was going on behind my back. I turned around to see a little girl who was around 7 years old. She had long light brown hair pulled back in a pony tail. She was wearing a long, white nightgown and was staring at me as she stood right next to the piano. That’s when I opened my mouth to ask her if she was okay. The little girl looked right into my eyes, but didn’t say a thing. I knew that I only had moments with her, so I asked if she needed help. Again no words came out of her mouth, but a smile came across her face. I had a feeling that she was happy, and she melted away. I asked my friends if they saw the girl, and both of them said yes.

We agreed to not speak of the incident at all, but once we got back to our rooms, we would each write down our experience and then share it with one another. The reason behind that was so we would have all the details we knew written down without accidentally influencing one another. If we had a similar experience, then we would  know that something spooky had really just happened. No one talked until we were all done, and then we took turns reading out loud what we had seen and experienced. Each of us had written down a young girl from 7 to 10 years old, white dress or nightgown who didn’t talk. Each of us saw she was by the piano with one hand on it, watching us. Each of us had the feeling that she wasn’t afraid, trapped, or hurt, but happy where she was at. It was a pretty cool experience, but we have no “real proof.” After walking around the hotel the next day, right before check out, I saw a painting of a little girl that looked a lot like the child I saw the night before.

 

 

The Palmer Hotel is beautiful and full of history. If you have a chance to stay there, try it out at least once. If you can’t, at least visit because there is so many beautiful things to see. It is a must to see the grand peacock doors that were designed by Louis Tiffany. They are so beautiful and there is nothing like them anywhere else in the world. While the Palmer house may or may not have ghosts, you will definitely have some good stories during your visit. What do you think? Have you ever stayed or visited the Palmer hotel? Do you think that the Palmer is haunted? Leave your comments below!

 

 

 

 

 

February 18

Winchester House of Confusion

This post contains affiliate links for the Winchester House. For disclose information, see the Promotions page. 

 

I have always wanted to see the Winchester House. It is a story that I have heard about for years, and everyone seems to agree that the house is not only haunted, but a haven for the spirits. Located in San Jose, California, the Winchester House is unlike anything else built in the Untied States, or anywhere is the world. The history is long and strange, full of sadness, fear, ghosts, curses, and lies. A movie has recently been released about the Winchester House, and there are countless stories and specials about this location. No matter what you believe about ghosts and goblins, there is no doubt about this architecture marvel. Let’s take a look at the strange story of how this wondrous house was built.

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Sarah Winchester was married to her husband, William until his death in 1881. They had no surviving children. William Winchester was one of the founders of the Winchester riffles which made them extremely rich. After the death of her husband, and daughter, Sarah found herself very alone, and very depressed. Many reported that she sought out the help of a Spiritualist who did communications with the other side. During this time, Spiritualism was huge, and it took advantage of many people who were sad and grieving. This was the belief that the living and the dead could communicate through people such as mediums. They would usually gather together with several people and put on some what of a show with moving objects and candle light to tell their story. It would have not been unusual for a woman in her position to seek out the guidance of a Spiritualist, however, this story has never been confirmed.

The legend goes that during one of the many seances that Sarah Winchester held, the medium gave a strange and chilling message from the other side. It seems that the spirits of the very people that were killed by the guns they profited off of were not happy with Sarah at all. In fact, they gave her an order to purchase a home, and never stop building the house. If Sarah Winchester failed to to this, then the spirits would take revenge on her and she would die. Sarah took this threat to heart, and purchased a Queen Victorian Style home and started renovations that would last the next 38 years. It was told that Sarah had work crews working around the clock. When they ran of conventional things to build in the house, they took to unconventional things such as doors that went nowhere, and rooms that were too small for any human to pass through. This was to appease the spirits, but they reportedly haunted Sarah until the day that she passed away.

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While a great ghost story, there is little to no evidence that any of this is true. Even the official story of the Winchester House on the tour tells strange and thrilling ghost stories. It is fun and exciting, but is any of it actually real?  People seem to ignore that maybe Sarah was not motivated by ghosts at all, but her own vision. Sarah Winchester was interviewed several times while she was building, and she spoke of how she adored designing. While her plans were strange, she designed many of the rooms herself. While she did feel guilty of the lives lost that built her family’s fortune, she was not crazy as some would want her to seem. She was a woman who knew what she wanted to do, and designed it herself without asking permission or giving explanation. There were in fact years that went by without any building, that was a direct contradiction to her supposedly working non stop to keep herself alive. There is no doubt that Sarah was depressed and had a hard time dealing with the loss of her loved ones. However her strange behavior and belief in ghost may have been nothing more than a board of men trying to make the woman who held a lot of power seem feeble minded. Today, she would have been known as an innovator, while then she was known as essential and crazy.

No matter the truth of the story, the house itself is site to behold. No blueprints of this house exists and even years after Sarah Winchester’s death, they are still discovering new things about the home. There seems to be a running them of the number 13, which has given this house another layer of fear and curses. The house is a maze, and it can be dangerous since there are tricks in the floor, staircases to nowhere, and door that could cause a person to fall to their death. There is no good estimate of the size of this house, and it seems like it grows on it’s own due to tricks of the eye. The whole thing makes a wonderful ghost story. In fact, Steven King’s series Rose Red was based loosely off the legend of the Winchester House.

While it’s an excellent story, no one is really sure if the ghost stories are real or not. Or, if Sarah Winchester lost her place in the history of design and building due to the fact that she was labeled as crazy. The house is alive on it’s own, and there are secrets living within the walls. When the recently found a safe built into the wall that was covered by many mazes, they found a lock of Williams, and a lock of her daughter’s hair. Perhaps the house was not haunted by ghosts at all, but a way for Sarah Winchester to preserve the things that really mattered in her life.