Since 2007 book reviews, events, publishing announcements, opinions, wild ideas and more!

Monday, December 28, 2009

Book Review: Ghosts Among Us: Uncovering the Truth About the Other Side


Experiencing my first ghost encounter with the spirit of my father at the age of 32, my entire concept of the after life changed. Being one who thought that once you were dead, you simply ceased to exist, I am now absolutely certain that this is not true. Still, I was curious if anyone had ever witnessed anything similar to what I had observed. Happily, I was drawn to this book, and it has certainly answered some of my nagging questions.
With his life-long ability to communicate with ghosts, author James Van Praagh describes in this work what happens to an individuals spirit after death. Also, he states that the most common reason a ghost will make contact, is to help their loved ones while grieving. It was indeed a tremendous comfort when my father contacted me several times after his death.
Ghosts Among Us offers many fascinating accounts of spirit encounters. In addition, Van Praagh describes in detail how readers can attempt to contact the spirit world. The author has lived a unique and gifted life, and this book provides readers with a glimpse into his world.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Paranormal Internet Radio

I just love Internet Radio, and there are quite a few great paranormal radio formats that you can listen to free-of-charge. I have put together a short list of my favorite programs. I hope that you will enjoy them too.

The Jerry Pippin Show: http://www.jerrypippin.com/ Jerry Pippin is such a nice man, and he always treats his guests with great kindness. Check out the UFO-FILES and the PARA-ZONE.

BoA Audio: http://binnallofamerica.com/boaaudio.html/ Tim Binnall is a younger enthusiast of the paranormal, but he interviews legends in Ufology like a seasoned broadcaster. You will enjoy his latest interview with veteran researcher Stanton Friedman.

Kevin Smith Show: http://kevinsmithshow.com/ Another great interviewer, Kevin Smith offers access to his most recent broadcasts for free, and you have the option to just listen, or watch his latest show.

As a note of thanks to these broadcasters, I know it takes a considerable amount of time to produce your programs, not to mention a substantial amount of money. Thanks for keeping the information free to those of us who are not quite in a position to afford access to paid archives. Knowledge is power.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

'LIGHT' WORK



Well known late night talk show host, George Noory (Of Coast to Coast radio show fame) has a new book out that continues the story of the book, "Worker in the Light". The new title, "Journey to the Light" focuses on personal stories of self-empowerment.
Enlightening, challenging, and inspiring, the book is a must for every self-improvement collection and for everyone searching for ways of becoming more as a human being. Available from Amazon.com.

Monday, November 30, 2009

THE UFO FILES: THE INSIDE STORY OF REAL-LIFE SIGHTINGS by David Clarke


What a treat to read. Frankly, it's rather astonishing that this book even exists. No matter where you stand on the issue of UFOs, there is no question that the British Government was perplexed as how to manage UFO reports. All sightings and accounts offered in this book were once locked up and tucked away in the National Archives in the United Kingdom. These very reports were likely never intended to be read by the public. At one point, reports held in the Archives prior to 1960 were destroyed, but then later reports were saved, and now all remaining documents are available to the public. What a curious turn of events.

I commend the author for sifting through a myriad of reports to publish fascinating accounts from school children, diplomats, pilots, and police officers. The book begins with sightings in the early 1900s of scare ships and phantom airships. Could these craft have been misidentified Zeppelins? Or perhaps they were the very same cigar-shaped craft people the world over report seeing today.

Accounts are presented in a concise manner along a timeline of events familiar to a U.S. audience ranging from Foo Fighters to Flying Saucers and Roswell to RAF Bentwaters.

The UFO FILES is a quick read, and one need not be a Ufologist to enjoy this book. Any researcher will appreciate viewing the many reproduced primary resources featured throughout the text.

Monday, November 16, 2009

1ST ANNUAL URBAN FANTASY COVER ART AWARDS 2009

All Things Urban Fantasy Presents
The 1st Annual Urban Fantasy Cover Art Awards 2009
Nominations will run throughout the month of November and voting will open up to the public beginning December 1st. Winners will be announced on December 30th.

AllThingsUrbanFantasy.blogspot.com
Questions? Email Abigail at AllThingsUrbanFantasy@gmail.com

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

SCARY TALES TO RAISE FUNDS FOR OKLAHOMA HISTORIC HOUSE


“Scary Tales and Twilight Tour” at the Overholser Mansion:Thursday October 29th7:00 p.m. & 8:00 p.m. & Friday October 30th 7:00 and 8:00 p.m.hear scary stories told by Oklahoma storyteller Marilyn Hudson (aka The Oklahoma Ghosteller) followed by a twilight tour of the mansion.
MAKE RESERVATIONS NOW as space is limitedCall 525-5325 to RSVPAdmission:$10.00 for Adults / $5.00 for childrenOverholser Mansion is located at 405 NW 15th Street Oklahoma City, OK 73103Note: Event may not be suitable for younger children
[photo by Cullan Hudson, used by permission

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

HAPPY HALLOWEEN


From graphic artist Cullan Hudson of Strange State blog. See his Halloween t-shirts at Fresh Eire Design.


Sunday, October 18, 2009

IKnowWhatISawTheMovie

IKnowWhatISawTheMovie

Shared via AddThis

UFO Documentary

A new UFO documentary!"I Know What I Saw," directed by James Fox will appear on the History Channel, Monday, October 19: 8:00 - 10:00 p.m. Check out the trailer below.

Video of haunting courtesy of CNN

Italic

Friday, October 9, 2009

OKLAHOMA'S 'DR. FEAR' PUBLISHES NEW BOOK


Description
John C. Malcolm was not prepared for his new line of work. He and three others were chosen by President Lincoln to infiltrate Indian Territory in the year 1865 to simply ‘cleanse’ it. Their orders loosely followed the procedure that all agents in the Department of Indian Affairs must use to fine and evict anyone that should not be in the designated region but was vague. Caught in the middle of the Civil War, John and his companions must enforce the Indian Intercourse Act of 1835 with special badges and paperwork and nothing more.

Barely a hundred miles into the territory had the dysfunctional team of agents discovered that things are not what they should be. They find small settlements and a city that should not exist and the existence of strange cults, witchcraft and monsters. Each new discovery takes John and his team into a much darker and disturbing world of secret technologies and horror that Mankind does not know about. They are eventually lead on a bloody trail to the City of Immortals where another world seems to exist in private behind mighty walls and where the privilege of living at all is a rare luxury rarely granted by the Immortal lords within.
The startling revelations found inside the city’s walls will open up new eyes for the agents and begin a long nightmarish ride to survive. John and his companions will discover a secret society that has been in an ancient secret war against the Immortal inhabitants of the mysterious city and those elsewhere in the world and must help to wage the war. While dealing with their own personal issues, the agents fight to survive and discover the meaning of life and living and what it means to be Human in the end. De Civitate Sanguino is a tough, fast paced story about the mysteries in the world and the darker side to mortality and what the living will do to remain alive.
This is part one to the series of The Silent War that will cover various moments in global history during the 19th century and beyond from a fresh Steampunk Horror perspective.
Author Biography

Born in Okeene, Oklahoma in the early seventies, Brian was quick to get interested in the arts by the age of four. The two influences were watching the Godzilla cartoon and the band KISS; both gave his imagination the needed stimulus to begin drawing. These influences somehow fed on an over active imagination until one thing led to another and by the early eighties he was drawing fantasy and Science Fiction regularly, this love for warriors, dragons and wizards was fired strongly by the fantasy/medieval rock groups strong at the time.
Even school was no obstacle to get in the way of more ideas, concepts and themes. By Junior High his goal was to become a professional artist by his twenties. Taking on a job in radio in the late eighties, the fun and sometimes stress of show business was now common-place. The greatest influence was discovering role-playing games as a hobby in the early eighties, this outlet brought Brian’s mind into new places undreamed of before.


This hobby was a means to explore many limitless genres of ideas: Sci-Fi, horror, historical and obviously fantasy. From this hobby came a catalyst to so many other outlets such as reading novels, script-writing, etc. One of the earliest attempts at writing was during this period as the multitude of ideas were almost unstoppable and had to be put to paper in some form, unfortunately these early projects never flowered. The possibilities for stories, unusual characters and settings now grew into a plethora of endless ideas due to the gaming influence. By the early nineties a friend had published a role-playing game and Brian was able to submit artwork into it making him into a professional artist as hoped.


This began a long trek of producing many works; at first strictly fantasy based but later Celtic. His artwork was shown and many times sold out at Science Fiction/Fantasy conventions across the state of Oklahoma. Brian’s interest in Celtic studies was initially started by owning a few role-playing games that shared that theme. From the early nineties on Brian’s interests became completely Celtic. This lead to curiosity about King Arthur and a life-long study in the field culminating in earning the world’s first Masters of Arthurian Studies from the University of Wales Lampeter in the summer of 2007.


The research of Celtic languages, mythologies, history, and art was now academic and by 1998 Brian illustrated and wrote the book ‘Lyver-Lywans Bukkyas Keltek’. The world’s first tri-lingual Celtic language book, though directed towards children for the sake of coloring, it was a project new to the world. He took an active part in helping the Cornish language scene in writing and participating in journals and organizations as well working towards becoming a teacher to further educate on the vast subject. By the Fall of 2001 Brian has earned a BA in History from NWOSU and later that next spring started working at a local TV station. The six month stint at the TV station was the birthplace of his horror shows that are still going strong since 2002. Changing stations in the Fall of that year the show ‘The Mysterious Lab of Dr. Fear’ was born.


Being inspired from watching the Oklahoma legend Count Gregore in his youth, now Brian and his friends and family film campy horror skits while playing old horror classics and not so classics every Saturday night for fans everywhere.


Gradually this inspired Halloween events locally and taking part in many related events from Enid to Oklahoma City. By the end of the six month stint Brian became a professor teaching the Humanities at a local college, a job that he is completely happy with and loves to this day. The TV show itself gave birth to a radio incarnation called ‘The Mysterious Hours of Dr. Fear’ which airs every Sunday night and plays the weirdest mix of horror, Halloween and Gothic music and is streamed online worldwide for all to hear now. Because of the constant exposure to all things dark and gothic along the way Brian started to look at the horror scene, in both movies and books and naturally wanted to contribute in some way more.

The Silent War series is planned to be written so long as there are devoted readers of this unique style literature. Beginning in 1865 and ending with the end of World War II, this series will explore a ‘hidden’ history to recent world events that deals with weird sciences, conspiracies and horror but laced with plenty of gripping action. Mr. Young’s greatest literary influences are Robert E Howard and H.P Lovecraft with some Tolkien and L. Sprague D. Camp.


Source: www2.xlibris.com
ISBN: 1-4415-6544-2 (Trade Paperback 6x9)
ISBN13: 978-1-4415-6544-0 (Trade Paperback 6x9)
Pages : 224
Book Format : Trade Book 6x9
Subject : FICTION / Science Fiction / General

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Paranormal/Strange Stories Solicited

The OKLAHOMA PARANORMAL RESEARCH PROJECT is soliciting stories of real events that could be labeled 'strange' or 'unexplained'. They are looking for people willing to go on the record with a detailed narrative of their experience. They are looking for several layers of experiences.

TYPE A : The event must be verifiable (others must have experienced it, it was written about in a family history or local history, etc.) The report must contain who, what, when, where, etc. in some detail. Details may include things like the date, location, weather conditions, time of day, reason for being in the area, etc. The submitter acknowledges that by submitting the story they will allow their name and story to be used in an anthology of such accounts.

TYPE B: The event is a personal experience but may be tied to the history or experiences of people in the location or setting. The submitter must provide some details of who, what, when, and where. A name must be submitted, however it can be kept anonymous if requested.

Experiences can include but are not limited to:

  • Ghostly, haunting or shadow people encounters or sightings
  • Unidentified flying objects
  • Unexplained experiences
  • Sightings of anomalous animals or places
  • Strange, bizarre, or mysterious events or experiences
  • Locations can be Oklahoma, but also from other areas are welcome

Please send your submissions in the following form:

PRP

Type of Submission (Ghost, UFO, etc.)

Narrative of your submission (who, what, when, etc.)

Your name

Your address

One of the following:

__Yes, I give permission for this story and my name to be used

__No, I give permission for this story to be used but do NOT want my name printed.

Send to:

marilynahudson@gmail.com

Place: Paranormal Research Project in the subject line

Monday, October 5, 2009

WILLING TO GO ON RECORD?

A writing project is underway right now and seeks stories from people willing to 'go on the record' with their paranormal experiences. The projects are divided into three sections:

1) General paranormal, strange, and unexplained (including BIGFOOT) experiences in OKLAHOMA.

2) General paranormal, strange, and unexplained experiences ANYWHERE.


You will need to be willing to include your name (although you can ask for a pseudonym), include dates, places, and names that can be verified and allow for expanded research.

Send your submissions to author Cullan Hudson at strangestateok@yahoo.com

Sunday, September 27, 2009

GHOSTS OF THE MCBRIDE HOUSE


"What is it about the McBride House that serves as a beacon to the dead? Built in the oldest town in Oklahoma by physician George McBride in 1895, this Victorian home is rife with ghosts from the past. Ghostly parties at 2:00 a.m., spirits calling family members and houseguests by name, dolls that talk even after the batteries have been removed...The Back family has been subjected to impossibly bright lights, loud crashing noises, weird shrieks—even ominous odors such as decaying matter.

Each ghost in the McBride House has a personality of its own, including one entity whose antics are downright terrifying. But instead of fleeing, the Back family remained and gradually got to know their "spirited" residents. This is their story. "

The book by Celia Back is a true accounting of her family and their experiences in this historic and haunted house. This 192 page book is easy to read and at times engaging but at other times slightly disturbing. Living in a house with sometimes cankerous spirits pushes the bounds of being a good neighbor! There is no gore or deep mystery but rather a family's open acceptance that the house they had purchased was considered home to those no longer living. All in all a worthwhile read as history and as metaphysical journey.

Available on Amazon and from Llewellyn Worldwide http://www.llewellyn.com/

Product details.

WEIRD TALES WINS REVIEWS


Vance offers up thirteen tales of Lovecraftian horror with a deft sense of suspense and heart-pumping terror. His grasp of terror is second to none, and delivers nightmarish scenes with incredible, horrific feelings. Ron Fortier

“I'm a-skeered just lookin' at that!! Woooooooooooooo” Van Allen Plexico.

“Scary!” Guglie

“Nice, spooky cover.” Bobby Nash

“That cover is to die for (from?)! This looks to be a great anthology and a great start to this year's wave of Airship titles. A must have!” Andrew Salmon

“You said the magic word, Ron..."Lovecraft". It is now on my wish list to buy.” Mike Schau

“Oooh, that IS a scary cover! It would even make a good sword-and-sorcery type cover.” Duane Spurlock



I did get a chance to read "Picked Clean". As you requested, I am going to be completely honest!

So far as the story goes -- I especially liked the pressurized atmospheric effect that you describe during the two men's encounter with Caleb's island environment. This was very effective. Caleb is a very unnerving character, desperate and deformed, with strange agendas. Ezekiel is brutal and greedy, and operates in a very clearly defined manner with no ambiguity, a nice offset to Caleb. Hiram seems like he's been dragged along for the ride, and provides the necessary sympathetic character, and the hint of a continuation of the story with his survival.

The suspense built up by the end, when Hiram enters the cave chamber, is palpable, and the dread approaching is wonderfully crafted, especially as the ultimate denouement doesn't occur until after Hiram's fate is settled for the reader. Meanwhile, the reader sits, their mind imagining what the horror could have been.

The giant maggot kind of threw me. It seemed like ... well, the spider leg reference was disorienting, and the biological method necessary to encourage Caleb to create a maggot monster offspring baffled me, and distracted me from how well the suspense had been built up to that point, until I had reread the story a couple of times and regained that sense of dread prior to the monster's reveal. I think I had been expecting something oceanic, since it lived in a sea well -- that might part of it. So for me, the suspension of disbelief got thrown at this point because of the extremism of the monster, which was a pity after the build-up of historic mood and setting.

But overall, I enjoyed the story! While I was out at lunch, it occurred to me that in a pulp-story sense, the creature was perfect for that genre -- over the top and hideous, an amalgamation of evil and man's warping influence.
Michelle Souliere


Mark Orr
Michael Vance has produced a terrific cycle of tales, inspired by but not slavishly imitative of Lovecraft's Cthulhu Mythos. He seems to draw from some of the same tainted wells that Lovecraft did, and from those drilled after Lovecraft passed on, but has assembled those traditions in a new and deliciously creepy way. Frissons abound in his tales of Light's End. Highly recommended.



By Frank Creed

After King and Poe, Lovecraft is widely acknowledged as one of the top three horror writers to impact American horror. Lovecraft's horror world even has its own name: the Cthulhu (Kuh-Thoo-Loo) Mythos. Fans of Howard Phillip Lovecraft's style, rejoice--there is an author you simply must meet. Algernon Blackwood and August Derleth have a stylistic contemporary in Michael Vance, a professional writer of non-fiction for over thirty years, who has mastered the short story form.

The award-winning Vance does not write in the Cthulhu Mythos itself, but his Lovecraftian style features patiently built suspense rich in setting and character, usually with short vivid climaxes and resolutions. Properly written, the effect puts a reader into the story, with page flipping curiosity.

Vance paints portraits of fated personalities in an eerie little town on Maine's northern Atlantic coast. Light's End can also be found on brink of madness. Deep spiritual influences and events, guilty evils, and ancient lore are scrimshawed into memorable tales centered on the moral implications and consequences of personal actions.

Vance's voice is distinct from Lovecraft's on several points. Horrors of the dark human heart, rather than horrific alien mysteries, are the center of each work. Readers are snatched from madness' edge by an overall Christian worldview, which gives horror, and moral choices, context.

Weird Horror Tales' thirteen short stories, and a few non-short story treats, showcase a Lovecraftian sins-of-the-fathers theme. The collection is what's known as a braided novel. The tales, all in and around Light's End, are set chronologically from the early twentieth century, to present day and near future. Common threads of symbol and prophecy progress through the stories. Any of the stories could be enjoyed individually, but read sequentially, there's a bigger tale.

Vance's fiction does not cower from language and subjects that most Christian publishers avoid. Vance uses dark imagery and language in a tasteful and literary sense. Pre-teens would see examples of good literature, but graphic content is appropriate for high school and older maturity levels

Sadly, Vance's literary level may be too high. I fear readers won't like Random Pairings: a literary dialog, boldly written without quotation marks, with one of the most dramatic endings in the braided novel.

Overall, Weird Horror Tales is a must-read for genre fans, especially those who of the Christian worldview. Note that one tale, The Lighter Side, should be saved for a reader's zany reading mood. When you want something fun, the humor in this piece rivals Douglas Adams and Stephen Leon Rice.

Friday, September 25, 2009

OKLAHOMA AUTHORS VISIT ENID







Two new Oklahoma authors will be visiting the Enid, Oklahoma public library on Oct. 10, 2009. The 10 a.m. program will feature Cullan Hudson, author, artist and blogger,whose book STRANGE STATE: MYSTERIES AND LEGENDS OF OKLAHOMA, has been cited as "the premiere collection of stories about the strange and the marvelous in Oklahoma."




Also featured will be TAMMY WILSON, one half of the dynamic duo that keeps the paranormal (and those who research it)in Oklahoma hopping. Longtime paranormal researcher, she and her writing collaborator, Tonya Hacker, recently published GHOSTLAHOMA, a collection of ghost stories from the Sooner State.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

OKC'S BBQ AND BANSHEES

Oklahoma City's legendary "County Line" resturant is uniting with GHOULI to present a series of select evenings of "BBQ and Banshees". Enjoy fantastic food, legendary conversation from authors, researchers, and storytellers. Stick around to see if the ghosts in the storied resturant reveal themselves....space is limited! Information:http://www.ghouli.org/countylinedinner

Monday, September 7, 2009

OKLAHOMA GHOSTTELLER

Marilyn A. Hudson is the "Oklahoma Ghost Teller" who shares legends, folklore, literary and original stories that go "bump in the night".

marilynahudson@yahoo.com

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

'SHADOW TALES' SOON TO AVAILABLE


Author Marilyn A. Hudson announces that soon her collection of short stories will be available as print on demand. Many of the tales were inspired by the folklore and stories of Oklahoma and some from the imagination of the author. Leave a light on..and keep an eye on the shadows...

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

'CIRCLE OF SOULS' A THRILLING READ

This novel by new author Preetham Grandhi is a riveting work of strong and unique characters. A delicate young girl begins to have strange dreams, a horrific killer strikes a peaceful community killing a young girl, and the genesis of a story of love, human corruption, and struggle are revealed with the an artist's touch.

Can the caring doctor help the young girl in his care? Can he make sense of her troubling dreams before something happens to her? More importantly, can he really believe what her dreams seem to imply about the nature of reality and of life and death?


Strongly recommended as a welcome addition to lovers of suspense, the paranormal, crime stories, and a good read. Set aside time to read with this one....you will not want to put it down until the last page.


Webpage: http://www.acircleofsouls.com/

Sunday, June 14, 2009

'RELENTLESS' IS UNFORGETABLE


Author Dean Koontz has become a great favorite of mine. Emerging from the often mindless horror and suspense genre - where reason and motive are less important than new imaginative ways to destroy a human life - his works over the last decade have transcended the common and become extraordinary. 'Relentless', his latest, contains an almost lyrical beauty within its text and a rare strand of hope for the dark of life. Like a lighthouse, his works send out search beams that remind that we are not alone. They encourage the willing heart to reach out and connect - before it is too late - with the better part of ourselves in those around us. We are in the middle of a herd of lemmings rushing toward the cliff - but catch the eye of those around and escape the doom of a soulless future.

With heavy doses of natural humor, a keen insight into the logical goal of thoughtless philosophies, and a mild touch of the supernatural - this is a book for the intelligent, thoughtful, and human among us.
--The Paranormal Librarian

Thursday, June 11, 2009

BOOKS I'D LOVE TO SEE AS MOVIES


With limitations. I would hope that they would first come to truly understand the book and the story, grasp the layers and the depth of these authors in presenting a good old fashioned story that just happens to be one to give you chills. Both of these have great use of character and mood in a story. "Ammie, Come Home" was made into a awful television film in the 1970's, I think the cast just walked on the set and read the script and five minutes later they filmed it. No understanding of the story, a lot of cheesy aspects, and little to no suspense. "Lightening" - just grabs from the first lines....like most authors Koontz has had bad luck getting his stories translated with understanding and vision into a film media.



Tuesday, May 26, 2009

WEIRD HORROR TALES GARNERS FOLLOWING

Interviews with author or artist available; email MiklVance@Yahoo.com
Cover art is available on request.

The reviews are pouring in on Michael Vance’s Weird Horror Tales, the recently published braided novel of horror, science-fiction, fantasy, and mainstream short stories set in Light’s End, Maine.

Tim Walters: Michael Vance's “Weird Horror Tales” is a collection of thirteen stories set in Light's End, Maine. Vance has created a fascinating and detailed background and cast of characters for his continuing Light's End series.
"Billie Hell" is a harrowing tale set in the sordid Light’s End district dubbed "The Alley", an underbelly of rough-and-tumble dance halls and bars, circa 1914. Bishop’s Alley is teaming with drunkards, drug addicts and prostitutes and, of course, is secretly frequented by some of Light's End's most prominent and respectable citizens. From this squalid and decadent scenery emerges the tale's aptly-named title character, Billie Hell. A highly effective story, and one of the more unsettling chapters in the Light's End oeuvre. "Unhinged" features Schlomo Nantier and Charlie Azreal, two boys growing up in the Light's End of the 1920s and 1930s. There are comic strips and pulp magazines (“Weird Tales”, “The Shadow”, “Doc Savage”) and movie matinees, but it's far from an idyllic portrait of childhood friendship in a small town. Issues of race, class and religion are woven throughout this poignant coming of age saga. The timeline extends into the 1940s with Schlomo Nantier shipping out to fight the war in the Pacific, then returning home to Light's End. This tale offers a vision of small town America that, beneath the surface, is much darker than the wholesome Norman Rockwell images often associated with the era. Other tales in this collection include "Face Off", "Random Pairings" and "The Zoo". Michael Vance is a writer in the finest tradition of H.P. Lovecraft, Ray Bradbury and other masterful purveyors of the imaginative genre. I highly recommend that readers climb aboard and take a trip to the small but unforgettable town of Light's End, Maine. You won't regret it.

Cover artist Keith Birdsong painted the cover for “Weird Horror Tales”, which is an homage to the horror pulp magazines of the ‘30s and ‘40s, and interior illustrations are by artist Earl Geier who is best known for his horror, fantasy and science fiction artwork

The publisher of “Weird Horror Tales” is Cornerstone Book Publishers. Airship 27 packaged the anthology. For more information on Airship 27, go to www.airship27.com.


Tuesday, April 14, 2009

ANCIENT TALES OF GHOSTS

In ancient Greek writings, there was a tale recounted as true by Pliny of a haunting. The story was that dreams revealed the death of someone and when the body was found it was just as the dreams had said.

In ancient China there is a story of a girl thrown down a well who haunted the location - especially any men who came by - until someone solved the mystery of her death and disappearance.

In the Bible is the story of King Saul going to the "Witch of Endor" - a medium or discerner of spirits - to get advice from his deceased mentor, Samuel. The act is frowned upon by Judaic-Christian teachings, but nonetheless, even though the woman was probably a fraud, on this occasion the woman apparently brought up something that scared even her!

Monday, April 6, 2009

THE HOUSE NEXT DOOR


One of the myths of every Hollywood movie and more than one story is that a haunted house must look the part. Author Ann Rivers Siddon challenged that years ago with a novel, The House Next Door. The story is about a brand new house that... from its inception is somehow...not right. It's glossy, modern lines hide a perversion usually only seen in musty, cankered castle walls. Somehow, this genesis in the normalcy of modern life is worse and Siddon's work balances the modern complexities and neuroses with ancient fears. Check out a public library, book store, or the book club page for more information.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

DREAM SHARE

What happens to people in a coma? Can our dreams be real? Do 'alternate realities"' exist?

"Dream Share" is a book for older elementary and middle school readers. It's the story of a twelve year old who accidentally enters the comatose state of his elder brother and the two begin exploring the mystical realms between life and death. Fun soon turns to fear the boys find themselves fighting for their lives in a place where your worst nightmares come true, and each is forced to confront their own demons in order to survive.

Author, Rita Milios, is a licensed psychotherapist, author, and workshop presenter. Rita Milios, known also as The Mind Mentor or The Dream lady, is an expert in the subconscious mind and in the use of the mind, Rita has been researching and writing about dreams, intuition, meditation, visualization, creativity, and other mind-related topics for more than twenty years.
The book is an engaging and very human story told with energy, understanding of human nature, and sympathy for the real anxieties and fears youth face. The theme of the paralyzing influence of fear is predominant and as the protagonist of the story, Sam, learns to "see more deeply", the boys begin to understand that reality is often what you perceive it to be. This truth is what will lead them safely home.
A bonus section at the back of deals with the the "story behind the story" as the author discusses the real life and real science inspiration for the books paranormal themes: what happens when a person is in a coma? What are "out-of-body" experiences? Do alternate realities truly exist? A special glossary to understanding dreams and a "Dream Journaling" section is included.
Milios, Rita. Dream Share. Rose Heart Publishing/Cypress Imprint (www.roseheartbooks.com), 2009. ISBN: 978-982233728 Cover Price: $12.95 (U.S.)

Friday, April 3, 2009

SPIRIT OF OKLAHOMA STORYTELLING FESTIVAL IS HAUNTED


Not really. But it got your attention! The 3rd annual storytelling festival on the campus of Seminole State College in Seminole, Ok will have an intensive workshop on telling ghost/scary stories on Friday June 5 with nationally known storyteller, Dan Keding.


Dan Keding, storyteller of international acclaim, is well known for his telling of traditional world folktales, personal narratives of his boyhood in Chicago, ghost stories and dark tales, and superbly crafted original pieces.

As a child he learned the traditional stories that his grandmother brought to this country from Croatia. A well-respected ballad singer, he accompanies himself on guitar, banjo and spoons. This combination of dynamic storytelling and powerful ballad singing has made him a festival and concert favorite throughout the US, Great Britain and Ireland, endearing him to audiences of all ages.



Workshop description: "Why are we fascinated by ghost stories? When do they fit into our working repertoire? In this workshop we'll discuss researching, tellling, and interpreting the scary story. This workshop will focus on ghost stories, horror stories and ghastly tales from around the world. They're not just for October."


There will also be a late evening ghost story session with the keynote tellers. For registration, costs, etc. go to http://www.territorytellers.org/


--"The Oklahoma Ghostteller" aka Marilyn A. Hudson

Monday, March 30, 2009

THE PARANORMAL MUSEUM

John Zaffis, of the Paranormal Research Society of New England, has many photos related to his "Paranormal Museum". This web page holds images of numerous objects taken from homes, or given by people, because of negative energy or unexplained occurrences related to their presence. Dolls, books, paintings, organs, clothes, and statues are on display.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Celebrating World UFO Day

World UFO Day is coming! It will arrive in our atmosphere July 2, 2009.

I am producing an article for Stories for Children Magazine, which has UFOs as one of their themes for the July issue. I find it interesting and promising that such a professional and well-received online magazine is taking part in the UFO discussion.

The article will be a Q/A interview with Dr. Richard Boylan, a former university professor and psychotherapist who has presented at conferences at MIT and other respected venues regarding UFOs and "space visitors".

Does anyone else have plans for celebrating World UFO Day?

Rita Milios, The Mind Mentor
Latest book: Dream Share, a paranormal "tween" novel
Visit www.DreamShareBook.com (coming May 09)

Thursday, March 26, 2009

GHOST HUNTING 101 AND 102 WORKSHOPS

P.I.T.T. (The Paranormal Investigation Team of Tulsa) hosts two informative workshops created to aid and support paranormal research. "We will advise from years of experience, and field knowledge, "states the group, " on the latest trends, data collection protocals, and so much more." Discover how to apply scientific and technical procedures to research into the paranormal phenomena.
  • 101 Workshop is Saturday, June 13th, Tulsa Little Theater (1511 S. Delaware), 9:30am -5:00pm. There is a cost.
  • 102 Workshop is Saturday, July 25, Tula Little Theater (1511 S. Delaware), 9:30am-5:00pm. There is a cost.
The workshops provide opportunities to learn to eliminate and identify false positives, learn to verify accurate historical research, and apply theory, ethics, and techinal procedures. Learn proper video and audio analysis, data collection, correlation, and more!
Must pre-register to attend, and some proceeds will go to the Tulsa Little Theater.
Questions - call Teri 918-694-7488 or visit www.PITTok.com

KOONTZ "ODD"


No, the author is not odd but his character of Odd Thomas is both odd of name and odd of talent. The popular novels about the fry cook with a fey skill of seeing the dead and sensing things often best left unseen, have won a following. There is a haunting beauty under the horror and the happenings of this character, a rare fabric of the hero lost amid the jumble sale polyester of so much of modern life, and a shining light of hope in the polluted air of the horrific. Not everyone's cup of tea, but for those who have found in Odd a favorite read, these are eagerly awaited books. Visit Odd's page at http://oddthomas.deankoontz.com/

Sunday, March 22, 2009

GHOSTLAHOMA: Over 100 Years of Oklahoma's Haunted History


In El Reno, at the historically haunted Elks Lodge, during Paracon Oklahoma 2009, the book, GHOSTLAHOMA, featuring Oklahoma's true ghost stories was unveiled. Authors Tonya Hacker and Tammy Wilson present over forty tales that cover the state. The work salutes the familiar ghost stories of "Dead Woman's Crossing" but also lesser known tales such as the "Bricktown Banshees" and present fascinating reports of their first hand investigations into such places as the Woodward Hospital and the old Skirvin Hotel. The 128 page, illustrated, permabound book is published by Whitechapel Press (Dark Haven Entertainment )and available from Amazon.com Link: Ghostlahoma webpage

13 NIGHTMARES DELIVERS


Dennis McDonald's recently released story collection, 13 Nightmares, delivers on the chills and thrills scale. A tagline from one of the stories is featured on the back of the book : "Horror is best written in the dark." McDonald was surely in the deepest bowels of subterranean dark when penning these tales because they will satisfy the most supernaturally starved, macabre munching, horror hound around. So sit back - do not try to get comfortable because these will keep you on the edge of your seat - and do read "13 Nightmares". Find it on Amazon.com and Barnesandnoble.com

Friday, March 20, 2009

KEITH BIRDSONG TEAMS WITH MICHAEL VANCE


Something big just got bigger. Legendary cover artist Keith Birdsong has painted the cover for “Weird Horror Tales”, an homage to pulp magazines from the ‘20s, ‘30s, and ‘40s “Weird Tales” and “Horror Stories”. The collection was written by Michael Vance, and is now available.


Birdsong, amous for his extremely realistic covers for “Star Trek” novels, featuring the actors from the movies and television series, has also done work for “Star Wars”, the cyberpunk role-playing game “Shadowrun”, and children’s books like “The Halloween Hex”. Additionally, Birdsong’s work has been featured in films, on Hamilton Collection collectors’ plates, and on U.S. Postage stamps.


"Vance offers up thirteen tales of Lovecraftian horror with a deft sense of suspense and heart-pumping terror,” said Ron Fortier, editor of the title. “Earl Geier’s art for these stories is as stark and brutal as a cold knife’s edge. His grasp of terror is second to none, and delivers nightmarish scenes with incredible, horrific feelings. Whereas Keith Birdsong’s cover is simply creepy to the max. It is a work of intense imagination that will pull you into this collection like a twisted siren’s song.”
“My stories are founded on the premise that there is something larger than our narrow view of reality,” said Vance. “Each interconnected story shares setting, history, prominent families, and a macro plot. The stories also focus on the Azrealites, a religious cult that works tirelessly to reinstate that ‘Other’ on Earth through science and the occult.” These stories about the fictional town of “Light's End” in Maine have been published in dozens of magazines in three countries, including “Dark Corridor”, and have also been recorded by renowned actor William (“Murder She Wrote”) Windom.


Vance’s influences on these stories are H. P. Lovecraft, William Faulkner, Alfred Hitchock movies, and The Twilight Zone television series. The interior illustrations are by artist Earl Geier who is best known for his horror, fantasy and science fiction artwork. In the role playing game industry, his work includes art for “Battletech”, “Call of Cthulhu”, and many others. He has illustrated books for “Cemetery Dance” magazine, Chaosium, Gryphon and Subterranean Press. For comic book, he's had work published by Dark Horse Comics, Comiczone, Now, Innovation and DC Comics Paradox. Vance has written for national and international magazines, and as a syndicated columnist and cartoonist in over 500 newspapers.


His history book, “Forbidden Adventures”, has been called a "benchmark in comics history”. He briefly ghosted an internationally syndicated comic strip, wrote his own strip and several comic books. He is listed in the Who's Who of American Comic Books and Comic Book Superstars. The publisher of “Weird Horror Tales”, Cornerstone Book Publishers also publishes Masonic and esoteric books, selected pulp fiction, art literature, limited children's books, and poetry collections.


For more information about Cornerstone, go to www.cornerstonepublishers.com. Airship 27 packages and publishes anthologies and novels in the pulp magazine tradition. In the past, Airship 27 has released “Witchfire”, a series of “Captain Hazzard” pulp thrillers, more pulp fiction in “Brother Bones” and “Secret Agent X” and the WWII/SF thriller “The Light of Men”. For more information on Airship 27, go to www.airship27.com.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

'GHOST STORIES' Theme of Paracon 2009


In historic El Reno, Oklahoma, Paracon 2009, Sat. March 21, will focus on ghost stories: why we love them and why they linger on. Various personalities will address the topic from a variety of viewpoints: storytellers, television personalities, skeptics, researchers, historians, and others...

For info:
Tonya Hacker, Tammy Wilson, or Amanda Wagamanokparacon@gmail.com(580) 402-6732www.ghouli.org or www.eerieok.comOklahoma ParaCon 2009 Hosted by the “Ghost Divas” and the El Reno Convention and Visitor’s Bureau is set for Saturday, March 21, 2009 at the Historical & Haunted Elk’s Lodge No. 743.El Reno, OK – The 4th annual Oklahoma Paranormal Conference will be held at the historic Elks Lodge in El Reno, Oklahoma on March 21, 2009. This year’s event will feature many speakers from across the nation and Oklahoma. 2009 speakers include nationally recognized ghostologists such as Oklahoma favorites Troy Taylor, author, and TruTV’s “Haunting Evidence” star Patrick Burns who will headline the conference.
Other speakers are Oklahoma’s very own skeptic, Dr. Bryan Farha, Paranormal Deep Sea Diver Lee Ehrlich of Florida, Georgia Ghost Society founder Bob Hunnicutt, Oklahoma story-teller Marilyn Hudson, Oklahoma’s only TV horror host Brian “Dr. Fear” Young, and Paranormal Investigation Team of Tulsa and Tulsa’s Spirit Tour coordinators Teri French and Russ White. The event is being emceed by internationally known Brian and Anna Marie of Ghostology! - internet radio powered by CBS.
This year’s theme is “It was a dark and stormy night…Celebrating the ghost story!” Ghost stories have intrigued everyone for centuries, so we invite everyone to explore, share and understand the power of the ghost story. From the psychology behind why we like to be afraid to the ghostly tales of yesterday and today, it will all be discovered in a fun and educational setting.
Ghostlahoma, the only book solely dedicated to Oklahoma ghost stories will be released at the Oklahoma ParaCon. Written by para-historians Tonya Hacker and Tammy Wilson, Ghostlahoma will chill your bones and warm your heart with over 40 true tales of hauntings from the Sooner State. From the first published ghost story in Oklahoma to present day phantom hitchhikers, this book will take you through over 100 years of Oklahoma’s haunted history.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

HAGER HOUSE BED & BREAKFAST, EL RENO, OK


Feel in the mood for something different? Visit the Hager House Bed and Breakfast in the future. Two different teams have been in the B&B and have found a great deal of activity according to owner , Raelyn Grant .
The Hager House Bed and Breakfast

619 S. Hoff Ave.El Reno, OK 73036

405-262-2565

Sunday, March 8, 2009

1905 Weatherford, Oklahoma


In 1905, Mrs. Katy James and her baby went missing while out in a buggy. Frantic family members searched the area around Weatherford but found no sign of her, the baby, or the buggy. Eventually it came to light she had been murdered by Mrs. Fannie Norton of Clinton, Oklahoma. Her baby had been left with a family. Investigating the disappearance and the murder was the noted Sam Bartell, Deputy Sheriff in Oklahoma Territory and one time U.S. Marshall. Finally, Norton was identified and trackd to Shawnee where she attempted suicide. It was a crime that captured the attention and imagination of the entrie region. Some investigators in years to come would muse that Mr. James, seemed a little distant in the affair and perhaps did not grieve as much as a man in his position might be expected. Rumors of possible divorce and perhaps loss of property and land have been discussed and caused many to wonder if Norton had been hired to do the dirty work, as their appeared so little motive otherwise.


Later, pranksters from the local university in Weatherford would confuse the story and terminally cloud exact locations, the truth of "Dead Woman's Crossings", and generally everything else about the story. It is interesting to note that in the region are several hillocks named "Dead Woman" as well as the water realted site. Is it possible there is an older back story that helped confuse the two events into one? Definitely something to consider and research.

The Skirvin - The Real Story

Over the years, around this romantic and marvelous hotel, have grown many legends. Many of the 'facts' reported have perpetuated errors in the historical record of the building. Some paranormal groups have profiles of the hotel's past with these errors. It is time to clear the air.
The Skirvin Hotel - gem of Oklahoma City for decades and recently reopened in rennovated glory - was inspired by the Southland Hotel in Dallas. Galveston native and capitalist, W.H. Skirvin bought land in 1909 at the corner of Broadway and First in Oklahoma City and announced his plans in 1910 to build a "modern hotel" ("Work Starts Soon on the New "Skirvin House". The Oklahoman. (Feb.27, 1910; pg. 5).

The architect for the hotel, Solomon A. Layton, oved the classical styles and incorporated them into many of his buildings. That location was also where a delapidated landmark was falling down, the old Richardson Real Eatate Office, known from very early days ("Landmark Demolished..." The Oklahoman (May 1, 1910;pg. 39). The Skirvin House was being called the SKIRVIN HOTEL by April of 1911 when a story advertized the "ten-story hotel". It opened September 26, 1911. Within about months additional floors were being added and expansion continued at a good pace. ("Add Five Stories to Skirvin Hotel", The Oklahoman (July 10, 1912:pg. 1). The hotel soon became one of the stellar facility hosting events attended by politicians, the wealthy, and large conventions. As early as 1913, it could honestly claim in its ads that it was "one of the great hotels of America" (The Oklahoman, Dec. 21, 1913:pg. 14).

In 1913, manager Fred Scherubel died, "Health Troubles Cause of Suicide of Skirvin Manager (Oklahoman, April 18, 1913:pg. 1) followed a day later by an article indicating bullet trajectories and other issues had the police looking more closely at the death ("Officers Probing Scherubel Death", ibid, April 19, 1913, pg. 5) and two days later he was "tenderly laid to rest" in full Masonic rite splendor ("Fred Scherubel Funeral" ibid., April 21, 1913, pg. 1).

Is it haunted? Over the years nebulous stories of phantom and frisky ghosts had emerged but lack any real substantive historical basis or quantative evidence. Until someone can supply some dates, names, and facts - or can do a quantative study of the facility - they should probably remain in the arena of urban legend. That is perfectly fine as well. Stories give the past its depth, romance, and appeal.

The hotel is a survivor, a lovely old building that somehow dodged the bullet of the mis-guided movement called "urban renewal" that stole so much of the past from the future.

Vanishing Hitchiker - Oklahoma

The vanishing hitchhiker may be a tale of truly ancient origins. A Chinese story tells of a ghost of woman killed in a well haunting the travelers along a stretch of road until her body is found. A few stories and poems from the middle ages may also hint at the concept.

A version dated to the civil war was collected in the Ozarks in the late 1800’s. Chicago in the 1920’s with its bootleg, fast autos, and “flapper” lifestyle, saw the rise of the definitive Vanishing Hitchhiker in the form of Resurrection Mary. Through all of these is the thread that the normal (therefore virtuous) present is going to “hell in a hand basket” because of the “loose” and “antisocial” behaviors of the young. They must, the stories all agree, be cautioned and brought back to the “straight and narrow” path of acceptable social behavior.

The Vanishing Hitchhiker motif again achieved great notoriety during the late 1960’s and 1970’s across America, no doubt in response to the cataclysmic social changes occurring in society. The Vanishing Hitchhiker seems to have always had an element of cautionary notice about the shortness of life. In the hippie culture of the 1960’s this aspect was very visible with a few new wrinkles. These disappearing riders were often labeled as runaways, angels, demons, Jesus, and victims of drug overdoses, or serial killers. They reflected the fears in society about the dangers to be found on the road by those who ran away, they reflected the values of the “Jesus People”, and other evangelical movements, and early New Age spirituality in a personification of the rider as a spiritual or mystical figure. No matter when it is found, the story keeps its strong message as a cautionary tale about the safety of the family and of the risks of departures from the social norm.

Oklahoma has reported sightings of a “lady in white” or sometimes the “Lady in yellow” in the Ardmore area and the roads around the lakes. Explanations have ranged from drunken visions to clouds of bioluminescent insects. No images proving the truth of either the claim of the apparition or the insects has been seen by the author. There is also, to my knowledge, no song such as the one described in this story. Every good legend deserves a theme song though.

She is sometimes glimpsed strolling along the old blacktop roadways around the lakes. A few people have described her dress as being slightly in the style of the 1930’s with a longer skirt that flapped about the knees and a cloche hat. Others however have merely cited the faint blurred form or the slightly luminescent image by the roadside in the dusk or evening hours. Who she is and why she walks is apparently unknown. Or, if anyone does know…they aren’t talking

Preacher Girl of Healdton, Oklahoma - 1918.

Many strange stories recount the simplicity and innocence of an earlier day. Some underscore the things accomplished since and some seem to remind of the things lost in the swelling tidal wave called progress. South Central Oklahoma was a hive of change as the oil industry boomed and Healdton would become known as the birthplace of noted television personality, Rue McClanahan. There was a female of note there much earlier however. Meet Miss Annie Browne Dollar, ten-year-old daughter of a carpenter in Healdton, Oklahoma. For twelve days in 1918, she had suffered from some malady that had her in a rigid state, talking only in a whisper. Then one day she was perfectly fine and restored to normal physical activity. There was, however, a new light in her eyes as she shared she had “talked with Jesus” and the “Angles.” Soon she requested a Bible and was soon preaching on the streets, going were the “Spirit” directed. Reading aloud from the scriptures, far above her known reading ability, she would bolding preach the Word of God, and then lapse into the mystery of “unknown tongues”. She seemed very concerned for the soldiers on the battlefield in those days of WWI and felt certain the war would be the last followed quickly by the end of the world. The era was also one that saw a plague sweep across the globe and thousands became ill with Influenza. Searching for more on this amazing story it was learned that Annie Dollar, in 1920 along with a Willie and Vernon Dollar, was an inmate of the Oklahoma Methodist Orphanage in Oklahoma City. It can be assumed that she, like so many other children in this period, lost her father to this illness.

Hearth & Home?

The ancient Germanic tribes would build a fire to welcome the home goddess Hertha into their homes for the winter soltice. evergreens came into adorn walls and other surfaces, bringing good aromas and splashes of colors. A large flat stone was placed in the home just for this time and branches would be burned there because it was believed the action would bless the home, bring good luck, and health over the cold days into the warm ones. People would walk through the smoke to help insure this would happen. These altar stones of Hertha would later become simply "hearth stones" and eventually refer to the stones in and around the fireplace of a home.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

UFO's - EARLY GREY ALIENS

The archetypal "small grey aliens with large eyes" may be much older than some believe. An Australian blogger finds a 1960's mass market paperback referring to them (http://theozfiles.blogspot.com/2007/04/gray-aliens-1963.html) and it has been suggested by some that the 1891 book , Meda: A Tale of the Future by Kenneth Folinobly, may be the first to use the "big headed" concept ( ). Various covers from pulp magazines, such as Amazing Stories!, do show large headed aliens and "bug eyed monsters" that might be considered precursors of the classic large headed, small bodied, and grey alien of more recent cultural mythology. Stephen King in his Dance Macabre noted the similarity of the alien image with the fetus. Were the horror film works of the early 1950-80's, a cultural reflection of the fear of our future, or perhaps, awareness of social responsibility for the future?

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Liars All

There was a tide of sightings by people across the country in the 1890's of mysterious "airships" that predated dirigibles and similar flying machines. These have long been used to support the pre-Roswell existence of "UFO's". Other researchers, however, citing the known tendency of some newspaper reporters to be less than truthful, or more kindly put, more inclined to not let an opportunity to pull a prank escape, question the validity of these stories. In 1897 there came a report of a visit of one of these mysterious craft to LeRoy, Kansas.

"An account by Alexander Hamilton of Leroy, Kansas supposedly occurred about April 19, 1897, and was published in the Yates Center Farmer’s Advocate of April 23. Hamilton, his son, and a tenant witnessed an airship hovering over his cattle pen. Upon closer examination, the witnesses realized that a red “cable” from the airship had lassoed a heifer, but had also become entangled in the pen’s fence. After trying unsuccessfully to free the heifer, Hamilton cut loose a portion of the fence, then "stood in amazement to see the ship, cow and all rise slowly and sail off." (Jacobs, 15)."

"In 1982, ....UFO researcher Jerome Clark debunked this story, and confirmed via interviews and Hamilton's own affidavit that the story was a successful attempt to win a Liar's Club competition to create the most outlandish tall tale). "

Once again, we see the "Liar's" angle from Kansas - which must have had a very strong storytelling heritage to support such tall tales and outright lies! One prank or hoax does not necessarily eliminate all such reports, but it does underscore the necessity of doing full background research when looking into any mystery of history.

Read the full and excellent report on the entire mystery airship phenom at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mystery_airship.
Also, Publications International, Ltd., the Editors of. "The 1897 Cow Abduction Hoax." 07 February 2008. HowStuffWorks.com. 27 July 2008.


'WICHITA'S LIARS" : 1903
Early judge and newspaperman, David Leahy, spoke in Wichita in Feb. 1903 calling it the "hot air Emporium" and stating that "Wichita sends out more newspaper fairy tales than any place of like size on Earth." He referenced a story where a fake story was supported by forged telegrams and as a result a NY paper was defending itself in court. In another, he told of a tale that a 2 year old had fallen into a bored well and numerous requests for updates flooded the newspaper office. Another tale involved a farmer in the Cherokee Strip and a tornado funnel. According to the Kansas Historical Society, Leahy was an Irish born newsman who was in the first government in Kingfisher, Oklahoma and was in Wichita on the newspapers in 1890's. So, he presents alikely candidate as the "Kansas reporter" for the story of the "all woman town" in Oklahoma . "Wichita's Liars". Oklahoma (Feb. 14, 1903)David Leahy at http://www.kshs.org/research/topics/kansasn ewspapers/Leahybio.htm

What Happened to the Vampire?



WHAT HAPPENED TO THE VAMPIRE?
In 1910 American born sculptor, Kuhne Beveridge shocked the art world with a sculpture of a prostrate male and female nude she dubbed "The Vampire". The work was revealed in Germany, not known for its reserve in modern artistic style. The work was described in almost psychological terms - not strange in the land of Freud - that vampires were not bats or mythic creatures at all. "Are not Carnegie and Rockefeller financial vampires?"......of all the vampires, love, she claimed was the worst....
Beveridge was the daughter of a one-time Illinois Governor and had gained attention with her work in the early 1890's. She had been a pupil of Rodin in Paris. In 1893 she had married Charles E. Coglan in Marion Co., Ind. Later she was to learn he was already married with a family and divorced him. She married again to a Mr. Branson and resided in South Africa. Her step-father was a British aristocrat. Mention is made of her works "Veiled Venus" and the "Rough Riders", but the "Vampire" seems to have disappeared from mention. No image of the once scandalous work seem to be easily available.
Avant-garde her opinions were in 1910, but they are an eerie- and early- echo of more recent works by psychologists concerning the "psychic vampires".
What happened to the statue- an apparent masterpiece by an unique and insightful artist - that caused such a fuhrer in 1910 Berlin? Lost? Destroyed? In a private collection? In an art museum?
("Vampire Stature Shocks Artists". The Oklahoman ( March 13, 1910; pg. 53)
("Women in the Fine Arts" at http://www.fullbooks.com/Women-in-the-fine-arts-from-the-Seventh2.html)


GREAT AIRSHIP MYSTERY OF 1897 LEROY, KANSAS
There was a tide of sightings by people across the country in the 1890's of mysterious "airships" that predated dirigibles and similar flying machines. These have long been used to support the pre-Roswell existence of "UFO's". Other researchers, however, citing the known tendency of some newspaper reporters to be less than truthful, or more kindly put, more inclined to not let an opportunity to pull a prank escape, question the validity of these stories. In 1897 there came a report of a visit of one of these mysterious craft to LeRoy, Kansas.
"An account by Alexander Hamilton of Leroy, Kansas supposedly occurred about April 19, 1897, and was published in the Yates Center Farmer’s Advocate of April 23. Hamilton, his son, and a tenant witnessed an airship hovering over his cattle pen. Upon closer examination, the witnesses realized that a red “cable” from the airship had lassoed a heifer, but had also become entangled in the pen’s fence. After trying unsuccessfully to free the heifer, Hamilton cut loose a portion of the fence, then "stood in amazement to see the ship, cow and all rise slowly and sail off." (Jacobs, 15)."
"In 1982, ....UFO researcher Jerome Clark debunked this story, and confirmed via interviews and Hamilton's own affidavit that the story was a successful attempt to win a Liar's Club competition to create the most outlandish tall tale). "
Once again, we see the "Liar's" angle from Kansas - which must have had a very strong storytelling heritage to support such tall tales and outright lies! One prank or hoax does not necessarily eliminate all such reports, but it does underscore the necessity of doing full background research when looking into any mystery of history.
Read the full and excellent report on the entire mystery airship phenom at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mystery_airship.
Also, Publications International, Ltd., the Editors of. "The 1897 Cow Abduction Hoax." 07 February 2008. HowStuffWorks.com. 27 July 2008.
Posted by Word Woman at 6:17 AM 0 comments
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'WICHITA'S LIARS" : 1903
Early judge and newspaperman, David Leahy, spoke in Wichita in Feb. 1903 calling it the "hot air Emporium" and stating that "Wichita sends out more newspaper fairy tales than any place of like size on Earth." He referenced a story where a fake story was supported by forged telegrams and as a result a NY paper was defending itself in court. In another, he told of a tale that a 2 year old had fallen into a bored well and numerous requests for updates flooded the newspaper office. Another tale involved a farmer in the Cherokee Strip and a tornado funnel. According to the Kansas Historical Society, Leahy was an Irish born newsman who was in the first government in Kingfisher, Oklahoma and was in Wichita on the newspapers in 1890's. So, he presents alikely candidate as the "Kansas reporter" for the story of the "all woman town" in Oklahoma (see previous entry "Can Any True Thing Come From Kansas.")."Wichita's Liars". Oklahoma (Feb. 14, 1903)David Leahy at http://www.kshs.org/research/topics/kansasnewspapers/Leahybio.htm
Posted by Word Woman at 5:57 AM 0 comments
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26.7.08

'WHO WAS THE GIRL IN RED"?

In 1906, a headline cried "Girl in Red Takes Plunge of 42 Feet on Horse's Back" in Oklahoma City's Colcord Park before an audience of some 2,000. The 2:30 event was part of the grand entertainment of fancy shooting, diving horses, and daring riders, like the girl in red "the bravest girl in the west", riding the diving horses.(Okahoman, Dec. 4. 1906, pg. 5)
"Doc Carver" or "Dr. Carver" had begun the wild west show phenomena in the 1870's, one of his first performers was Bill Cody. His show, in an appreviated format, continued well into the 1930's.
He was well known in Texas as well as nearly everwhere else in the country, ( http://www.texasescapes.com/MikeCoxTexasTales/192-Jumper-and-Diving-Horse.htm) The girl changed from time to time - which may be why she was whisked away before reporters could interview her in OKC - but all that was needed was the red outfit and a girl with enough bravado, or desperation, to make the jump.
The girl jumping into the tank of water continued with the Dr. Carver show for many years. One young woman in the 1920's missed the water and hit her head, blinding her for life. Yet, she went on to make more jumps and her story is immortalized in the Disney film, "Wild Hearts Can't Be Broken."
Sources:
Thorp, Raymond W. "Wild West" Doc Carver : spirit gun of the West; plainsman, trapper, buffalo hunter, medicine chief of the Santee Sioux, world's championmarksman, and originator of the American Wild West Show".
Buffalo Bill Historical Center at http://www.bbhc.org/edu/readyReference_02.cfm
Posted by Word Woman at 1:10 PM 0 comments
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24.7.08

SAVE AN AMERICAN CLASSIC: The Arts-N-Crafts Bungalow

In a 1915 edition of the Oklahoman an article stated "100 Homes Built Here During Year: Bungalows Predominate as Type of Construction in Buildings". The hugely popular style was slated to reach 400 in the coming year due to its style, attentions to detail, and its price range of $12,000 to $40,000. There was, quite literally, a style for almost every pocket book. It was the emergence of the American middle class and the "home ownership" movement that merged individualism, modernity (freedom from the stuffy Victorian styles) and a decidedly American equalization of status in society that made these homes real estate winners. Add to that in the coming years the "kit" houses, from Aladdin and Sears, that were easy to deliver, easy to build, and easy to buy and the stage was set for wide spread home building. "On Capital Hill, throughout the precincts of University and Putnam and other additions...their tile, slate, or shingle roofs cover comfort and inviting elegance." The ubiquitous bungalow, so carelessly cast aside and denuded of its many charming and unique features is worthy of salvation through restoration. The bungalow and the larger arts and crafts movement styles were all designed and carried out with charming attention to creating an "atmosphere" of harmony, of integration of nature and art, and a space to feed the inner soul as well as protect the outer being. Bungalows, and the arts and crafts style, can often be identified by signature features: cross gables, exposed rafters, butt outs (dining or breaskfast nook), half columns on the front porch (although some - shudder - have been enclosed or replaced with New Orleans metal work); half columns and book cases dividing parlor and dining/living space. groups of three large windows (bringing light into the house in contrast to the Victorian shadows), large front porches with arbors or open spaces and two small windows on each side of the fireplace (center of the home). So - is your old house a mystery waiting to be discovered? A classic unique to the American experience?
Posted by Word Woman at 4:10 PM 0 comments
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REMEMBERING ROBERT
The death of a child is always a tragedy. They are all gifts from God. When that death is the result of possibly human intervention - it is something so much worse.
In the summer of 1985, July 10, an eight year old boy from a very poor family in Oklahoma City went missing. His young life, and that of his brother, had been haunted by extreme poverty, the social stigma and cruelty that can bring, and related health problems. Often dirty and unkempt and wearing clothes long overdue for a wash, he was laughed at by classmates, ignored by adults, and left to his own devices far too much. Little Robert was starved for affection, yet as cautious as a wily cat who'd had his tale stepped on once too often.
On July 29, his remains, partially buried, were found under a neighbor's garage. The neighbor - who may or may not have been the mysterious adult "friend" that Robert said he was going to see on the day he disappeared - was later picked up in Texas. There he had been in legal trouble over child molestation charges. Brought back to Oklahoma he was charged, and soon confessed, to the murder and burial of young Robert. Later, in 1991, a judge would acquit citing the prosecution had not shown a clear link from the body back to the suspect. At worst, he was guilty of illegally burying a body but no proof had been shown he had committed the murder (or even if there had been a murder and not a natural death).
Did the man initially charged actually commit the murder of an eight year old boy? If this man did not commit the crime - that means someone else did. Someone who, since 1985, as been living somewhere with the knowledge of little Robert's last moments..... For others, like the people who saw him at school (Eugene Field Elementary), or whose hearts were touched by such tragedy in one so young, they can only remember, and mourn, and hope that someday justice will prevail. They had to see an empty desk where a little boy should have been seated for another day of learning. Someday....
[For all children who have been taken by violence - and the people they have left to mourn them - we remember and honor them all.]
Posted by Word Woman at 2:51 PM 1 comments
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WHO WAS THAT MYSTERY WOMAN?

Who was the young woman who dropped dead in 1912 Oklahoma City? She claimed she had once ridden bareback for the famous Miller Brother’s 101 Ranch Wild West Show, yet the manager could recall no one by either name.
She had arrived in Oklahoma City from Chickasha and used two names, Myrtle Rue and Theresa Daffin, while in the City. She told acquaintances at the hotel where she boarded, the Metropole Hotel (315 ½ N. Broadway) that her parents were dead and her only relative was an aunt in England. She had entered the hospital for an operation on an ulcer and dropped dead as she was leaving.The Miller Brother’s 101 Ranch Wild West Show was the first of its kind, it invented the popular notion of the Rodeo enjoyed today. It began as entertainment by ranch hands and quickly developed a life of its own and spawning one-of-a-kind stars. Lucille Mulhall, “America’s First Cowgirl”, who in 1905 won the Vanderbilt Club Medal for being the Greatest Horsewoman in America and African-American cowboy, Bill Pickens. (Sources: Oklahoman; Carlile, Glenda. Buckskin, Calico and Lace.)
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20.7.08

Lost in the Woods

Over the centuries the story has been repeated: a child is lost in the deep, shadowy forests or sweeping wilderness. The parents grief, fear, and guilt. The heroic efforts of searchers and animals tracking the sparse or nonexistent clues. In 1882 the New York Times reported about a little 10 year boy - without hearing or speech - who wandered off into the Pennsylvania forests near Pottsville ("Child Lost 6 Days in the Woods". NYT. July 16, 1882). He ate bark to survive. In 1901, a three year old was lost and report in the Stroudsburg (PA) papers. In 1910, Long Island reported a lost child and in 1929 CT was the scene of searches. In 1939, however, was a spunky little boy in Arizona who at 7 years of age became lost in the Mogollon rim area. He traversed some 30 miles, crossing three "rugged canyons" and was within miles of reaching Heber when hunters encountered the nonchalant child. The boy, said newspaper accounts, asked for a drink of water and, when asked if he was lost, replied he " ...wouldn't want to be lost any worse...I was far enough in the woods this time."("7 year old boy found alive After six days in Wilderness..." Oklahoman, Nov. 5,1939)p.17).
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19.7.08

SWEEPING HISTORY UNDER THE RUG: Eugene Field Elementary, OKC

One of the problems of modern society is that children are often disenfranchised from any roots. They have no sense of place, of their role in the continuing saga of a community, the sense of civic co-ownership is never inculcated into them as it was in previous generations. The result is a rootless, migratory, dislocation that feeds dissatisfaction and leads to a sense of alienation. In researching some locations recently the web page for the OKCPS Eugene Field Elementary was found. It states there the school was "established 1984". This is a clear case of revisionist history. The "school" was established, and originally scheduled to be opened September 13, 1909. It would open with $60.00 worth of textbooks, mission style (Arts and Crafts Movement) furniture, single student desks, and dictionaries for each of the grades through 8th grade.* ("New Buildings Await Opening", The Oklahoman , August 31, 1909, pg. 4). Delays in several school projects (HS, Williard, Putnam ) delayed the opening for about a year ("Accomodation is Schoool Problem", The Oklahoman 9/6/1910 :pg.16). The first principal was scheduled to be M.F. Butler of Aurora, Missouri ("School Notes", The Oklahoma, 6/18/1909, pg. 2).
In the early 1980's it was an overcrowded school in an area bursting at the seams with Asian and Hispanic immigrants. A new school (able to house all these students) was fought for, and won, by parents, community and faculty uniting under the direction of Principal Mrs. Audrey Baker. There was a parade of staff, student Cub Scouts, students painted murals on the soon-to-be-torn down walls, and shovels of dirt were turned by every student on the final days of that last semester (- I know I was there). During the year of construction students and staff were relocated into the old Mayfair Elementary off NW 50th. The present building opened for business in 1984, true, but was merely a new suit of clothes for a historic school that opened a mere 3 years after statehood. The original columns were saved and incorporated into the new design. Colors of earthen greens and browns were chosen for decor that would not become dated and would fit the historic links of the school . A school establish not in 1984 but a school that will celebrate 100 years in 2010!Eugene Field School was named for the American poet, Eugene Field (1856-1895) who was known as the "children's poet" for his delightful writings. There are also Eugene Field schools in Tulsa, Altus, and McAlester. Along, with "Washington" and "McKinley" it is one of the most popular names for schools in the country.
*- This would have consituted about the highest level expected for youth in this time period.
Posted by Word Woman at 8:37 AM 2 comments
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15.7.08

FERINDANDINA : Early European Trading Center

An explorer with the French Colony located in Louisiana is said to have come to an Indian village to trade. The description if Lt. Charles duTisne seems to fit a location on the bank of the Arkansas River six miles east of Newkirk, Oklahoma and along Deer Creek. Archaelogists have unearthed various implements, pieces of French guns, and even a brass piece with the distinctive fluer-de-lis insignia. If this is true it would be possibly the oldest White Settlement in the area of modern Oklahoma. (For further reading consult - http://stinet.dtic.mil/oai/oai?verb=getRecord&metadataPrefix=html&identifier=ADA108841 and http://www.ou.edu/cas/archsur/counties/kay.htm; image courtesy of Cullan Hudson).
Posted by Word Woman at 10:41 AM 0 comments

"Can Any True Thing Come from Kansas?"

Probably...and I can say this because I am a child of the Sunflower State...but apprarently in the early years of the 20th century newspaper men from Kansas were less than truthful. Now, they may have been exercising the fine art of "tall tale tellin'" or they may have been facing a deadline and an editor who did not understand the difficulties of unearthing a story in a small prairie town. This may be the case in a story that is said to be true from the early years of what is known as Oklahoma. They story said to have been written by a Kansas newspaper man in September 1893 when all eyes turned to the opening of the Cherokee Strip in northwestern Oklahoma. The reporter regaled his readers with a tale of a town founded, occupied, and run by women only. "Bethsheba" (some sources say "Bersheba" ) was said to be somewhere between Perry and Enid. The Kansas writer headed south via the rail lines and observed things from a distance. He claimed he had recognized on the women as a fellow Kansan who had married a man only to learn he already had a fine and healthy wife and children elsewhere. The Kansas editor sent the reporter back to do a census and get interviews of the inhabitants of this "gynecaeum"....but the town (or by some reports the inhabitants) were all gone when he returned. They had left word they were going back to the world of men..... (reported feb. 19, 1961 by Robert E. Cunningham in Oklahoma's Orbit). Now, when one balances the claims of editors in Kansas ca. 1910 that more lies had come from Kansas than true stories....it just makes you think.
Posted by Word Woman at 10:27 AM 0 comments
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FABLED TREAURE GUARDED BY VENGEFUL SPIRITS
Fabled Treasure Guarded By Vengeful Spirits . Cullan Hudson of Strange State Blog.A torrential spring rain fell heavily on the men of the Mexican Treasure Exploration Company who, in March 1909, were scouring the banks of the Blue River northeast of Durant, OK. The team hoped to uncover, at last, a strong box laden with gold coins stolen by Mexican outlaws.
At least two cave-ins had occurred, costing the lives of those poor souls trapped in the exploratory shafts. Rumors shuddered through the nervous workers like a chilling game of "telephone". Tales that the treasure was haunted by angry spirits who lost their lives on its behalf.
Legend says the iron-bound chest, filled with gold that would value in today's market at over 1.3 million, has lain deeply buried along this river since 1819. During that time, a gang of Mexican outlaws cut a swath of terror from south of the Rio Grande to southern Missouri. Loaded down with their pricey burden, the outlaws camped along Blue River in present day Bryan County, ten miles north of Durant.
It was here where they were ambushed by angry citizenry. The gang's leader ordered the treasure to be buried in order to hasten their own escape, free from the weighty gold. However, many of the men did not survive the ambush. Those that did, it seems, died later from wounds or were unable to return to retrieve the gold.
The curious legend came alive again nearly 100 years later when the search resumed. Unfortunately, after exhausting all funds and losing several men, the company had to shut down without ever finding the treasure so fervently believed to lie deep within the banks of the Blue River.
Posted by Word Woman at 6:37 AM 0 comments
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13.7.08

ELECTION TIME!

Oklahoma has a notable history of women who early achieved by taking part in the democratic process. KATE BARNARD (1874-1930), who became the first Commissioner of Charities. In 1906, before Oklahoma became a state, she was working at feeding, clothing, and keeping safe juveniles and homeless families in Oklahoma City. As COC she vastly improved the prisons and other agencies dealing with people. An outspoken but very traditional (it has been stated she was not in favor of women getting the vote, and remarked "but since they gave it to her....") ALICE ROBERTSON (1857-1931) became the second woman elected to the US House in 1920. She served only one term but her role was significant. In 1924, IDA M. HALE ran for re-election as Oklahoma County Superintendent (on the Democratic ticket) and her campaign ad cited her "successful record of achievement."(The Oklahoman, Aug. 3, 1914, pg. 15.)
Posted by Word Woman at 7:00 AM 0 comments
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11.7.08

OKLAHOMA PARANORMAL NEWS: THERE'S SOMETHING IN THOSE OKLAHOMA HILLS.....
OKLAHOMA PARANORMAL NEWS: THERE'S SOMETHING IN THOSE OKLAHOMA HILLS.....
Posted by Word Woman at 1:16 PM 0 comments
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1.7.08

YALE, OK: Civil War battles, Jim Thorpe & Great Salsa

Sometimes tooling around the back roads can lead to wonderful treasures, history you never knew existed, and sometimes even a mystery of two. Yale, Oklahoma (founded in 1895) is largely known as the birthplace of Olympic great, Jim Thorpe The name is supposedly from the "Yale" lock on the Post Office door (Shirk, George, Oklahoma Place Names. 1965). On a recent trip, with a new and very detailed map, I noticed that just NW was something called "Twin Mounds" and my curiosity peaked. Being an enthusiast of the Archaic period, I immediately wondered if these were "Indian Mounds" - so far west of the noted Spiro Mounds would be fascinating. So I went to the local public library and the helpful staff informed me that the site was the place of a Civil War battle in 1861 and that often local residents would hold re-enactments there. Driving out toward the "mounds" I was immediately struck by how much they resembled "Indian Mounds" in Illinois. I vowed to try and learn more but was unable to locate anything but some mention in the Chronicles of Oklahoma about the battle and the dispute if it was the Yale location or a location at Keystone (the War of the Rebellion report states "Round Mountain" and early maps of the war and post-war show the twin mounds as one feature adding to the confusion). I found very little about any "digs" or other articles to bring it up to date (but I will continue to look). I did find that as early as 1903 railroad reports about trips from Sapulpa to Denison, Texas indicated "Indian Mounds" on the landscape. Noted Oklahoma historian, Angie Debo reported that she had unearthed an 1849 map of the boundaries of the Creek lands that clearly identified in the Yale region "twin mounds" but that later maps had morphed the two into a single "Round Mound." I did, however, learn that "Indian Mounds" may have been initially identified as far west as Scott in Caddo, County. Some may have turned out to be "natural" or geologic mounds...but it is interesting to note that early state historican J.B. Thoburn thought they were so numerous in eastern regions of the state borders as to not even cause comment. In fact near Muskogee one person even refused in the 1920's to allow anyone from the state to exam the mound on their property but demanded it remain intact. It is known from sites in Illinois, Missouri, and Mississippi that such site were often considered "sacred" by early peoples. However, the gaps in the history of the state might be filled with better understanding gained from examining more of these "possible mounds.". Just to the SW of Yale is the famous Ingalls townsite - home of a desperate early day gun battle with famed Doolin Gang members. Further SW is Ripley, home of a mysterious haunted pool (according to early cowboy lore).(Photo of similar mound site in Illinois.)
BATTLE OF ROUND MOUNTAIN , YALE OKhttp://www.geocities.com/round_mtn/ and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Round_MountainDebo, Angie. The Site of Battle of Round Mound. Chronicles of Oklahoma.http://digital.library.okstate.edu/Chronicles/v027/v027p187.pdf
If you happen to travel that way, stop at the Chavas Mexican Resturant, 301 N. Main Street, Yale (918)-387-2203. They make wonderful homemade salsa and a green chili burrito!!! They also have a location in Muskogee.
Posted by Word Woman at 7:49 PM 0 comments
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THE CAVE HOUSE - TULSA

The United States is home to many unique buildings - cafes shaped like whales and milk bottles and even UFO's! In Tulsa is an example of one of these out-of-the-ordinary buildings. The Cave House. Visitors can take a tour as well with the inside revealing just as many unusual features. So make plans to drop in and see this strange house and a slice of history as well!
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30.6.08

FORGOTTEN OKLAHOMA HISTORY

Emerging from the racism of the early 20th century, came a poet, a teacher, and worker for human rights. He lead a debate team from a "black" college in the era of desperate political, cultural, and racial tensions. Along the path to the historic debate against the national - all-white-champions of Southern California was a stop in Oklahoma. He brought his team to debate against then all-white Oklahoma City University. Later in 1947, he returned to the state to teach on the historic campus of Langston University, the once all black institution of higher learning in Oklahoma. This was the same year that Liberia named him their national poet. He was buried in Guthrie, Oklahoma in 1966. His son would later become the first black instructor on the campus of the University of Oklahoma. In 2008 a film by Denzel Washington, "The Great Debaters", would have to remind most of Oklahoma about this most notable citizen.....Melvin B. Tolson.
The film also featured "Nate Parker, an All-American wrestler at OU" playing debate team member Henry Lowe - Norman Transcript (Feb.2008).
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29.6.08

HATCHET HOUSE: Anatomy of an Urban Legend?
In the early 1990's accounts of a "Hatchet House" with accompanying awful murder and porch painted red to hide "all the blood", began to appear in local OKC newspapers. Soon tales of swings moving in the moonlight.....and ghostly voices of children playing..... began to flesh out the vague and lurid premise. Now, every Halloween local haunters flock to the historic district of the Gatewood Neighborhood to find the notorious house with hatchet cutouts...or the red painted porch....or the driveway where 'they found the body.' This seemed like an easy find....track down the dastardly crime....solve the mystery...provide some background for this legend. So far...however, no such crime has come to light. The area only dates back to the 1920's when it boomed along with various other areas of the city. Its classic hometown feel and its historic homes kept it a special place for many decades. There was tragedy as children, go to and coming from the local elementary school (Gatewood Elementary) were struck by automobiles...a few random crimes....and some natural deaths. Findng a grim and ghastly crime worthy of such a horrific legend....has so far drawn a blank. It is similar to the tale in the Don Knotts comedy, "The Ghost and Mr. Chicken" with its tale of murder, blood stained organ keys ("and they used Bon-Ami!"), and generally bad reputation. Unless, and until, something definite is discovered this is no doubt another OKC Urban Legend. So, drive through the area and enjoy the neighborhood that is on the national history registry.....but give the folks there a rest because there is really nothing else to see there.
Posted by Word Woman at 8:23 AM 0 comments
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28.6.08

MARY ELLEN MACDONALD: SPOOK?

In 1922 the community of Caldonia Mills, NS (Antigonish) was stirred by reports of strange manifestations, rappings, spontaneous fires, and other "ghostly" events. The stories led to a Doctor Prince arriving on the island to investigate. UPDATE: Dr. Whittier F. Prince was a member of the American Society of Psychic Research in New York City. Very shortly, however, he was claiming that the girl was the exact same person whom he had investigated some nine years prior in Missoula, Montana when she was nine years old. Raps, bangs, and other manifestations had occurred when Mary Ellen was in a sleep walking type state and Dr. Prince termed it "self-hypnosis". An examination of the 1910 US Census revealed that there was only one "Alex MacDonald" in Montana, aged 20 born in Scotland - so Dr. Prince's claim may be false. To invalidate Prince's claim proof of her whereabouts in 1912 would be needed (census, etc.). Remember too, that Mary Ellen was reported to be 16 at the time of the NS events. A 1922 photo reveals a stocky, mature looking Mary Ellen, as tall as her foster father.
The family in NS said they had never been off the island. The story was picked up by the New York Times, and dozens of other papers across North America. Many others investigated the stories and finally "Mary Ellen Spook" as the woman came to be labeled, moved to central Canada. There were reportedly no further occurances after the island.
To learn more: http://www.parl.ns.ca/maryellenspook/article2.asp and http://www.townofantigonish.ca/folklore.html
Another NY Times article from 1922 recounts the puzzlement of the Dr. Prince about the whole situation and how it was confounding his ability to solve the problem:
http://query.nytimes.com/mem/archive-free/pdf?_r=1&res=9802E4DD1E3EEE3ABC4A52DFB5668389639EDE&oref=slogin
Unanswered questions do remain: Who was Dr. Prince and why was he called in? What is the truth behind the tales of demonic black dogs, mysterious fires, and the like? Who was the family Prince mentions from Missoula, Montana? What do they have to say about the visit of the good Dr. Prince? Did the episodes really stop once she moved away? Who were her birth parents and did those children exhibit any similar manifestations? Was this all the pranks of a bored farmer, or bored young woman seeking excitement? Or, was this a rare experience of some form of special kenetic ability as of yet unexplored?
Posted by Word Woman at 8:30 AM 0 comments
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"HE PUT A SPELL ON ME..."
Hexes, spells, weird pagan incantations....these were very real things in 1902. Fortune-tellers, seers, mediums, made the circuits of communities just like the patent medicine wagon and the traveling sales man. A clairvoyant going by the name of "Professor William Clements", who sported a black suit and a Prince Albert hat, was in Clay Center, Kansas were he bilked people out of their hard-earned cash through fortune-telling, hypnotism, and acting as medium to the spirit world. He apparently did a booming business among the female population while in town. The fifteen year old daughter of a local farmer went to see the "Professor" several times, then withdrew $500 from the bank, and disappeared. A couple resembling the girl and the man bought train tickets......but were they the same couple? The father was certain the girl had eloped and went to Wichita to investigate, sure that his daughter would only have done such a thing because she had been cruelly mesmerized by the travelin' man...."a voo-doo man."
Posted by Word Woman at 8:11 AM 0 comments
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25.6.08

THE MYSTERY OF 666: Unusual Utah Grave
It is a mystery that remains elusive.... the mystery in a Utah cemetery. There the grave of a woman buried in 1958 raises more questions than it can answer. The strange inscription "killed by the beast 666" marks the 77 year old woman's resting place.
What does it mean? She left no children and only distant family. No records indicate any details.People have suggested a variety of possibilities: ritual abuse (in 1958 Utah?), Satanic masses, murder by the Anti-Christ, an illusion to man's sinful nature.....No record of who requested the wording has been found to date or a record that she requested that wording. WHO placed it on the stone is a key feature to understanding WHY.
What are some possibilities? She was run down by a car with tags bearing the digits "666". She was run down by a train with an engine number "666". Someone with a badge bearing "666" pushed her into traffic. She was driven insane by illness and was fixed on the apocalyptic prophecies of St. John. Whoever buried her was fixated on apocalyptic literature.
See the stone and decide for yoursefl: http://www.flickr.com/photos/93468869@N00/161851689
Posted by Word Woman at 5:59 AM 0 comments
23.6.08

STRANGE RUBY GLOW: Ghost or Gas?
In 1926 reports surfaced near Claremore, OK of seeing a strange ruby hued ghost moving through a local graveyard and no one could identify it. Apparently, it had been earlier seen near Nowata and Rogers county. No other accounts seem to mention the ghost and no explanations seem to clearly describe what was seen. It would be easy to dismiss as "tail lights" of vehicles on a nearby road, etc. There is insuffiant data as to the geography of the area to make more than a guess.
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10.6.08

MABEL BASSETT - 1914 SAPULPA POLICE MATRON

Mabel Bassett (1876-1953) is well known for her role as the 3rd Commissioner of Charities and Corrections of the State of Oklahoma - a role she held for 6 consecutive terms (1923-1947). What is not as well known is that from 1910-1914 she served as the Police Matron, and Humane Officer, for the community of Sapulpa, and probation officer for Creek County. She had a deep desire to help those in need, and her life reflects how she tired to help all those around her. Her name is memorialized in the "Mabel Bassett Correctional Facility".
Posted by Word Woman at 7:09 AM 0 comments
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9.6.08

SUCH CONDUCT IN PUBLIC!
Young lovers. Men and women, flirting, stepping into dark shadows entwined and stealing long, sweet kisses. Scandalized citizens, outraged public, and dutiful police officers keeping the streets safe from public displays of affection. Hip-hop couple? Juvenile delinquents from the be-bop generation? Flaming youth of the 1920's? In 1909, Oklahoma City police were called out to complain of the 10-12 couples who almost nightly were taking up residence on the church porch, lawn, and other corners, of the Seventh Day Adventist Church at 217 West 7th. "They bill and coo for hours" was the disgruntled -and envious? - charge of one citizen. Since the front rooms of the church were being occupied by people trying to sleep, such "spooning" was a problem.
Posted by Word Woman at 4:45 AM 0 comments
8.6.08

Move Over Marlow!
What is a mystery without a detective? Philip Marlow move over. A mere four years after state hood the pages of the local Oklahoma city newspapers were filling with commerical ads for "DETECTIVES". Move over Big Apple...or even St. Louis....Oklahoma was in the big time crime fighting market. R.S. Moore and G.W. Morgan managed the "Commerical Detective Agency" on West Grand and they handled all legitimate detective work. They needed to because the hotel on Grand was one of the busiest suicide centers in the city around then (carbolic acid was strangely the method of choice). More in the market for something a little more sophisticated? Try the "Merrill-Staton Detective Bureau" in the Oklahoman Blg. It declared it was the "oldest established and best in the southwest" or the "Western Detective Agency" in the old Campbell Blg. Need more ? Then try the "John Hayes Detective Agency" of Kansas City who opened local offices in the National Bank Blg. and said they handled all types and were open all the time. Of course the most well known - due to its involvement in the high profile Kate James murder - was probably the "Oklahoma Detective Agency" run for a time by one time Federal Marshall, city policeman, and city jailor, Sam Bartell. (Sources: The Oklahoman, July 6, 1910: pg. 13 and other). The state might have achieved statehood when these ads appeared, but it would be a few more years before the region lost the label as the "no man's land" and the "robber's hideout" of its pre-territory "hell raiser" days.
Posted by Word Woman at 7:18 PM 0 comments

Sam Bartell - Pioneer Lawman
Samuel E. Bartell served as Deputy U.S. Marshall from the late 1800's, worked for the early Oklahoma City Police Department, served as Justice of the Peace, and ran for Sheriff a time or two. He hunted down desperadoes , kept the peace, put his life on the line to "protect and serve." In a time when politics and political party affiliations ruled law enforcement, these brave individuals often went in and out of favor, were brought up on charges, discharged, only to be rehired with a change in the political climate. OKC might have been tamed but it was not altogether "civil."
As a U.S. Deputy Marshall, his name appears in several federal court records as witness, arresting officer, etc.
According to U.S. Federal Census records, in 1900 Sam E. Bartell was a 39 year old (born 1861) born in Kentucky who was living at 11 Noble Avenue, OKC. With him was his wife of 6 years, Alto, 21, and three children: Carl (1895), Burnice (1896) and Fae (1899) . In 1910, Deputy Sheriff Samuel E. Bartell, 47, but now listed as being born in Kansas (such mistakes were common on the census), was living with wife of one year, Mary E. 34. With them were Carl 14, Bernice,12 and Fay, 11. According to a news article Sam's father was Inglehart Bartell of California. He may have had a brother who was also living in Oklahoma.
It is known that as early as 1902 Sam Bartell was living in Oklahoma City and in 1904 he was a city police officer with a son named Carl. Around 1905 he purchased the "Oklahoma Detective Agency" and became involved in one of the most notable cases of early day Oklahoma, the kidnapping and murder of young Mrs. Kate James of Weatherford. In about 1910, his wife Mary E. Bartell becomes the Oklahoma City Police Matron and he was serving as a Justice of the Peace at about the same time.
He may be the "Samuel E. Bartell", 85, who died while living at 1428 SW 25 on November 14, 1944 and was buried in Fairlawn Cemetery.---Ongoing Research, Marilyn A. Hudson
Posted by Word Woman at 10:00 AM 0 comments
5.6.08

OKLAHOMA PARANORMAL FIELD GUIDE: INDEX
The following are some of the most common spots listed as haunted in Oklahoma:Ft. GibsonFt. WashitaFt. El RenoBlack Jail - GuthrieKulli Tukilo Methodist Church - IdabelCarey Place - Oklahoma CityKitchen Lake - SE OKC/MWC areaOld women's dorms/ AGR Frat House- OSU, Stillwater"Dead Woman's Crossing" - WeatherfordCounty Line Resturant - OKCOKC Zoo - OKCWalls Bargain Center- ShawneeMusic Store - ShawneeCate's Center - OUTulsa Area:Cain's BallroomBrady TheaterTulsa Little TheaterTulsa Garden CenterSparky's CemetaryRiverside ParkThe Cave HouseThe Gilcrease houseLabadie MansionThe Brady MansionThe Camelot HotelThe Mayo HotelPeace of Mind BookstoreOld Bellview School (Jason's Deli 15th & Peoria)Empire BarBrady MansionHex House LotClub MajesticLola's & Fox HotelPhilbrook MansionThe White House - Jenks, OKDue to significant debunking the following are not listed:Choctaw Library, Choctaw Middle School, Stone Lion Inn
Posted by Word Woman at 7:12 AM 0 comments

Children Saved Train from Doom

In 1907 "Indian Territory",just months before Oklahoma became a state, two children near Henryetta became heroes. A fire burned down the trestle and any train following would crash into the deep ravine. The children, a son and a daughter of Jim Whetstone, raced to a phone to call the station and get word to the engineer. There was no answer so they grabbed two lanterns and hurried to the tracks signaling the oncoming train. The train was stopped, lives and property saved, and the children were awarded $1000.00 each. ("Rewards Children Who Saved a Train." Oklahoman, Mar. 12, 1907,pg. 8).
Posted by Word Woman at 7:05 AM 0 comments
4.6.08

BEFORE SKIRVIN: Early Day Oklahoma City Hotels
Long before the magnificent Skirvin Hotel rose high above the city in 1910, there were hotels that throbbed with adventure, festivity, mystery, death, and scandal in the new community.
According to a 1922 article in the Daily Oklahoma ("Owner of City's Original Hotel, the Pickwick, was Mrs. Wright, Still Here", April 22, 1922, pg. 2), the first hotel in Oklahoma City was the two story PICKWICK HOTEL and it stood, "on the south side of Grand avenue, the third door west of Broadway." It was named for the Fort Worth hotel of the same name. Other early day hotels included: The Grand Avenue, The Arbuckle Hotel, The Compton, The Alamo Hotel, The Weaver, The International Hotel, and in 1902 the Illinois Hotel opened. Later on, but before the Skirvin, the Lee Hotel, would be the talk of the town. Early day newspaper reports would over who was in town, and why, and keep everyone posted of the comings and goings around the town. The hotels were often the scenes of affairs, people also chose to kill themselves (usually by carbolic acid or morphine overdose, less often by pistol). Lovers tracked down errant mates, gentlemen thieves and con artists plied their trades and "Doctors" were frequent guests selling their "patent" formulas.
This website has some excellent images of these early hotels - and many others - before 'Urban Renewal" gutted the heart of the city of its history: http://dougdawg.blogspot.com/2007/03/downtown-hotels.html
Posted by Word Woman at 5:19 PM 0 comments
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SHE'S THE POLICE MATRON! By Marilyn A. Hudson
A short history of Police Matrons in Oklahoma City....
Early day law enforcement in Oklahoma City was the rough and ready style of frontier justice: quick, no nonsense, and often unforgiving. Although some claimed the city was "born grown" there is ample evidence that it had more than one struggle to acquire big city ways. Crime was ever present: toughs in town to test the limits of the law, local con artists, town drunks, and small rubes come to taste the delighful sins of the metropolis. There were seldom areas beyond the clear cut "good" and "bad". Yet, with the founding of Oklahoma City, and the subsequent migration into the area by people from all over, this had to change.
Police found themselves frequently dealing with young girls left alone and in danger of "going bad" by falling into the clutches of local madams or procurers. Young innocents were left stranded in city hotels when they realized their Prince Charming was more of toad. The aged and homeless needed care and not punishment. Children were left, abandoned on city streets, to survive as best they could by careless and heartless parents. These were not people that could be slapped into jail. Into this void stepped the "Police Matron" following trends begun in the 1890's in other urban centers. These women first dealt with "feminine" prisoners, but, they soon were branching out to serve as social worker, counselor, and welfare officer as needed.
In 1903 Oklahoma City
Mrs. N.E. (Sarah F.) Bond was hired as a (possibly the first) "female policeman". The next year she attended the "Western Police Matrons Association" convention in St. Louis and saw the development of a 'half-way house" called "Waif's Anchorage". This operated in partnership with the police matron and a local group called "Amie Rescue Home." Youths were given shelter, a job and some skill training. Later that same year, Bond helped uncover an "underground railroad system" for transporting girls from the Depot to a local brothel. In April, when an "Adam God" cult of two men, one woman and a 10-year-old boy (a return to Edenic innocence group) marched nude into a local hotel, it was the police matron who took custody of the youth. In 1905 there was a shake up and temporarily Ensign Nora Hill, of the Salvation Army and an ex-teacher, was named the new Police Matron. Two other women briefly held the position after Hill: Mary A. Parker and Mary C. Clark.
With statehood in 1907 the city formerly adopted the office of Police Matron as an adjunct of the Police Department. Mrs. N.E. Bond was back in place as the Matron and working with state prisons by the next year when she advised Tulsa of adopting a Police Matron as well. She was no doubt a contemporary of the noted Kate Barnard, first woman to hold a state office in Oklahoma and may have been inspired by her in how she shaped the nebulous roel of the Police Matron. In 1909, Mrs. Lilah D. Lindsay, a W.C.T.U. leader, after a suggestion by the OKC Polic Matron Bond, met with the Tulsa City Council about appointing a matron for Tulsa. The name of the woman is not mentioned in sources consulted.
In early 1911 a "white slavery" business was identified by Clark in the city. In 1911, Mrs. Sam Bartell, wife of ex-U.S. Marshall, Deputy, and Policeman, donned a neat navy jacket and skirt with official police buttons and announced herself proud of being an uniformed police officer! In 1912 and 1913, local papers revealed that Muskogee and Sapulpa had their own Police Matrons in place.
Also, in 1912, a woman, former Police Matron Anna Laskey, surprised everyone by announcing she was running for county clerk. In 1914, Police Matron Lena B. Pelley left the position and the office was vacant for a time as fiscal cuts were contemplated. Evidently, it was seen as a crucial part of the work of the police and the city and remained in place.
In 1920, a young girl downed poison in the office of the then acting Police Matron, Mrs. A.A. Rogers. Miss Grace Campbell was the Police Matron by 1923 and her interest in "social welfare" was reflective of both the times and the traditional role of the office.
Sources (in brief):
Daily Oklahoman (1903-1920)
Misch, J.O. "Lilah D. Lindsey". The Chronciles of Oklahoma (v.33).
New York Times (1908)Owens, Ron. Oklahoma Justice: The Oklahoma City Police (1995) [Note: mentions one Police Matron in the 1930's but does have excellent details on women in the OKC police force from 1955 to 1995]
Posted by Word Woman at 5:10 PM 0 comments
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THE 1905 MYSTERY OF WEATHERFORD, OK

In 1905, Mrs. Katy James and her baby went missing while out in a buggy. Frantic family members searched the area around Weatherford but found no sign of her, the baby, or the buggy. Eventually it came to light she had been murdered by Mrs. Fannie Norton of Clinton, Oklahoma. Her baby had been left with a family. Investigating the disappearance and the murder was the noted Sam Bartell, Deputy Sheriff in Oklahoma Territory and one time U.S. Marshall. Finally, Norton was identified and trackd to Shawnee where she attempted suicide. It was a crime that captured the attention and imagination of the entrie region. Some investigators in years to come would muse that Mr. James, seemed a little distant in the affair and perhaps did not grieve as much as a man in his position might be expected. Rumors of possible divorce and perhaps loss of property and land have been discussed and caused many to wonder if Norton had been hired to do the dirty work, as their appeared so little motive otherwise. Later, pranksters from the local university in Weatehrford would confuse the story and terminally cloud exact locations, the truth of "Dead Woman's Crossings", and generally everything else about the story.
Posted by Word Woman at 4:54 PM 0 comments
2.6.08

STOP YOUR INSANE QUESTIONS!
In 1907, Oklahoma, local news reported a passenger asked too many questions of a train conductor and was arrested with "insanity suspected." "Don't Question the Conductor." (The Oklahoman, April 20, 1907)pg.5.
Posted by Word Woman at 5:45 AM 0 comments

THEY JUST DISAPPEARED...
In 1944, Washington D.C. maritime authorities released the news that "several American merchant ships" had disappeared during the war "without any trace." They could apparently release that they had lost ships, but sstrangely could not release the name of the ships for "security reasons." It was supposed that most had been attacked by submarines and they noted that several U.S. Warships had likewise disappeaed - mostly submarines - but that such was "not unusual." It can only be hoped, for the sake of family and friends waiting at home, that by the wars end, they had a full accounting of all such ships. The truth is that some ships do seem to sail off into the mists and never be seen again. A haunting reminder that life has never been safe or easy for those "who go down to the sea in ships."
Posted by Word Woman at 5:33 AM 0 comments
1.6.08

THE HOUSE NEXT DOOR

One of the myths of every Hollywood movie and more than one story is that a haunted house must look the part. Author Ann Rivers Siddon challenged that years ago with a novel, The House Next Door. The story is about a brand new house that from its inception is somehow...not right. It's glossy, modern lines hide a perversion usually only seen in musty, cankered castle walls. Somehow, this genesis in the normalcy of modern life is worse and Siddons work balances the modern complexities and neuroses with ancient fears. Check out a public library, book store, or the book club page for more information.
Posted by Word Woman at 7:25 PM 0 comments
31.5.08

CROSS MY PALM WITH SILVER....

In the years preceding World War II, communities all across the country saw ads in the local newspapers for "mediums", "psychics", "fortunetellers", and "seers". They would sweep into town, rent rooms, publish their ad, and wait for people to show up on their doorsteps. Some were romantic and mysterious figures, draped in veils or sporting fake ethnic origins. While others inferred they had incredible new scientific methods to learn the secrets of the past or the future using 'palmistry' or even 'psychology'! Some were quickly shown the community door as local citizens reported strange thefts or assaults after such a visit. Some, apparently lived quietly and successfully in the community without anyone batting a eyelash. In 1908 New York, several notable society people, mostly women, reported missing money or stolen knowledge (insider trading secrets) after visiting some such establishments. Allegations of hypnotism and worse were lodged against several individuals. All told it was thought they had scammed over $100,000. Such events led to most communities curtailing or outlawing such activities within their city limits and another era passed into the pages of history.....
Posted by Word Woman at 11:31 AM 0 comments
22.5.08

FORT WASHITA, OKLAHOMA
Long recognized as one of the historic gems of the state, the location also has a long history of paranormal stories. As early as March of 1907 a local newspaper recounted people traveling there to view the semi-annual appearance of ghost said to appear the last day of March and the last day of October of each year. On these ocassasions witnesses have claimed seeing a young woman who, when she sees she is watched, will beckon the observer to follow and then disappears as she floats over a spring stream running near the fort. At the same time will be reports of the sounds of horses hoofs as cavalry troops are taking a ghostly ride. The romantic underpinning of the tale involves a young lieutenant from an eastern post sent to the garrison at Fort Washita. Although, to be married in a week, his orders sent him to the frontier and the wedding was postponed. The young man soon became ill and died and the bride-to-be died of grief soon after. The appearances are thought to have been linked to the death of first the young man and then the bride to be. ["Party Will Await Beck of "Ghost"" Romantic Story's Foundation To Be Investigated by the Curious". The Oklahoman (March 17, 1907): 15.]. For more informatio and events go to Ft Washita
Posted by Word Woman at 10:59 AM 0 comments

LOST IN THE ZOO!
Not just a story....but a real event in 1954 at the Oklahoma City Zoo. A Pittsburgh County 6th grader from Harper Valley school near Kiowa was left behind when students piled into their cars to head home. With each car thinking the boy was in another vehicle they all wrapped the day up and set off. The 10 year old was taken under the wing of a local police officer until family could come pick the boy up and he enjoyed staying a bit longer in order to have a closer look at the animals. Source: The Oklahoman, April 25, 1954.
Posted by Word Woman at 10:32 AM 0 comments
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21.5.08

DEATH BY HORN
In 1947 San Diego a little seven year old girl, Margaret Parker, was crossing the street with a friend when a passing automobile sounded its horn. The child died about 2 hours later due to, said the local medical authorities, being frightened by the blaring the car horn. In 1952, Time magazine would share the findings of a doctor that seemed to support being "frightened to death".
Posted by Word Woman at 3:34 PM 0 comments

OKC SKIRVIN HOTEL

The Skirvin Hotel - gem of Oklahoma City for decades and recently reopened in rennovated glory - was inspired by the Southland Hotel in Dallas. Galveston native and capitalist, W.H. Skirvin bought land in 1909 at the corner of Broadway and First in Oklahoma City and announced his plans in 1910 to build a "modern hotel" ("Work Starts Soon on the New "Skirvin House". The Oklahoman. (Feb.27, 1910; pg. 5).
The architect for the hotel, Solomon A. Layton, oved the classical styles and incorporated them into many of his buildings. That location was also where a delapidated landmark was falling down, the old Richardson Real Eatate Office, known from very early days ("Landmark Demolished..." The Oklahoman (May 1, 1910;pg. 39). The Skirvin House was being called the SKIRVIN HOTEL by April of 1911 when a story advertized the "ten-story hotel". It opened September 26, 1911. Within about months additional floors were being added and expansion continued at a good pace. ("Add Five Stories to Skirvin Hotel", The Oklahoman (July 10, 1912:pg. 1). The hotel soon became one of the stellar facility hosting events attended by politicians, the wealthy, and large conventions. As early as 1913, it could honestly claim in its ads that it was "one of the great hotels of America" (The Oklahoman, Dec. 21, 1913:pg. 14).
In 1913, manager Fred Scherubel died, "Health Troubles Cause of Suicide of Skirvin Manager (Oklahoman, April 18, 1913:pg. 1) followed a day later by an article indicating bullet trajectories and other issues had the police looking more closely at the death ("Officers Probing Scherubel Death", ibid, April 19, 1913, pg. 5) and two days later he was "tenderly laid to rest" in full Masonic rite splendor ("Fred Scherubel Funeral" ibid., April 21, 1913, pg. 1).
Is it haunted? Over the years nebulous stories of phantom and frisky ghosts had emerged but lack any real substantive historical basis. Until someone can supply some dates, names, and facts - or can do a quantative study of the facility - they should probably remain in the arena of urban legend.
The hotel is a survivor, a lovely old building that somehow dodged the bullet of the mis-guided movement called "urban renewal" that stole the past from the future.
Some excellent old images of this historic site:
http://www.oklahomacounty.org/assessor/PhotoSkirvin.htmhttp://www.usatoday.com/travel/news/2007-02-26-skirvin-hotel-reopens_x.htmhttp://www.dougloudenback.com/downtown/vintage/1.skirvin.htmhttp://dougdawg.blogspot.com/2006/08/skirvin-hilton.html
Posted by Word Woman at 2:01 PM 0 comments
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HE WOULDN'T DO THE DAM WEDDING!
Marketing and publicity are the lifeblood of many projects. In 1918 in Oklahoma City, the Chamber of Commerce was struggling to think of a way to highlight their new waterworks and dam. The City had suffered, in its early years, with massive floods that had devastated wide areas of the community and were justly proud. When they approached the pastor of the First Methodist Church, the Rev. I. Frank Roach, with an idea he turned them down. The idea? Find a couple who wanted to be married and perform the ceremony on the new dam. The reverend said such a frivolous action did not agree with his beliefs about the sanctity of marriage or sacredness of the rite of marriage.
Posted by Word Woman at 1:57 PM 0 comments

EVERY YEAR ABOUT THIS TIME. M.Hudson (2004)

Mark was looking forward to playing football in his senior year. The team was in great shape and everything, even the state championship, looked like it was possible. It seemed as if all of his life he had been waiting for this year. He knew he would have the best time of his life. He was dating a beautiful girl named Pam. His grades looked good enough to not worry too much about getting into college. In honor of his soon-to-be-graduating status, his parents had even given him a car. He’d spent hours fixing it up, painting it, and now it was something special.He could hardly wait to take Pam out for lonely romantic drive. He knew just the place too. He’d passed it a few weeks ago on a drive. The road curved and there was a sudden view of a valley filled with black jack oak and cedars. There was even an old concrete road leading down along the hillside to an old bridge. Come fall it would blaze with color – just right for a drive.Soon the days had mellowed into early fall and the year was going just as Mark had thought it would. One crisp, late October afternoon he asked Pam out for a drive and told her about the view he’d found. They packed a picnic lunch and set off on a gorgeous day with a soft, warm sun and leaves blazing with new autumn wear.Carefully he turned off the highway onto the old road, following it for a mile or so until it stopped by the edge of the creek. Old, rusted pilings showed there had once been a bridge arching across to the other side of the water. It seemed they were the only ones in the whole world. For hours they explored the old road, the ragged remains of the old bridge and off one of the trails nearby, still rimmed with wildflowers, they found a perfect place to eat their meal. The view was incredible and as the twilight began to creep closer, they decided to head back to town.The twilight was growing deep and purple as they slammed the trunk down and turned to get in the car. A deep rumbling sound caught their attention and they turned to see headlights speeding down the road. Then they saw a car driving crazily, back and forth, across the dark concrete. Muted sounds, like laughter and cries of fright, sent them scurrying to the side of the road. Roaring past went a dark car, its windows dark, but filling the evening with sound. Sure, that it would run into them Mark grabbed Pam and swung them both off the side of the road.Swerving past them it kept going….right out across the bridge that was no longer there. Yet, for a brief, crazy moment, it seemed to Mark that those car lights illuminated a bridge and a road leading away from the creek. Yet, he knew that could not be the case.A dreadful sound of squealing tires and metal screaming against metal filled the air. The car seemed to do a graceful dive into the ravine, hanging silent in space and then it was gone. A large splash followed its disappearance and then a roar as the car exploded….and finally silence.Mark and Pam climbed back out onto the road.Mark rushed to the tattered edge of the old bridge and searched and searched but saw nothing: no smashed vehicle, no blazing wreck, no injured people. The only things in the ravine were the same things they had seen earlier that afternoon: darkly rusted, half-submerged bridge parts and water bubbling southward through tangled weeds.“How can that be?” a voiced asked nearby. He turned and Pam’s pale face mirrored his own uncertainty and fear. “I don’t know. I just don’t know.”They rushed back to town to find the police. As the story poured out, the officers in the station all paused. Mark could sense them looking silently at each other. Great! Mark though, they think we’re drunk or around the bend crazy. He knew they were not though. He’d felt the wind as the car rushed past them on the bend and the sound of that car exploding still rang in his ears.The officer at the desk, as if reading Mark’s thoughts finally spoke. “Don’t worry about it son. There is no accident…” He held a hand up as he saw Mark start to argue. “At least there is isn’t one now.”One of the other officers took pity on the boy. “There was an accident like the one you describe. It was back in 1957. A carload of teens, drunk, and going way too fast took a one-way dive off the old highway bridge. Every one of them died. It pretty much devastated the town back then. Town missed the state championship that year and never did make it back. Anyway, a few years later the new road swung to the north and the bridge road just wasn’t used much anymore. Except every once and while – in fact seems every year about this time - like they have to relive it or something – somebody sees them going off that bridge. Every year…about this time.”
Posted by Word Woman at 12:49 PM 0 comments

GHOST CARS
Ghost cars have been around since the vehicle was invented, replacing the ghost carriages and trains of earlier tales. The rational might query how a machine could be a ghost. Several theories, however, offer explanations. One is that extreme emotions can leave an “imprint” on an area or cause certain scenes to replay long after they have happened. This replay is the “ghost” of folklore. Others suggest that tiny rips in fabric of space-time may be responsible, but this does not explain the focused limitation and the repetitive nature of the scenes displayed. Researching “Cry Baby Bridge,” I found a couple of lovely, rusted old bridges that had long been closed and all around them, nature had reached out to reclaim what humanity had carved out. After hearing several “half-tales” about terrible accidents, ghostly bridges and haunted places, the germ of this story evolved.
Posted by Word Woman at 12:47 PM 0 comments

THE VANISHING HITCHHIKER TALE IN OKLAHOMA

The vanishing hitchhiker may be a tale of truly ancient origins. A Chinese story tells of a ghost of woman killed in a well haunting the travelers along a stretch of road until her body is found. A few stories and poems from the middle ages may also hint at the concept.
A version dated to the civil war was collected in the Ozarks in the late 1800’s. Chicago in the 1920’s with its bootleg, fast autos, and “flapper” lifestyle, saw the rise of the definitive Vanishing Hitchhiker in the form of Resurrection Mary. Through all of these is the thread that the normal (therefore virtuous) present is going to “hell in a hand basket” because of the “loose” and “antisocial” behaviors of the young. They must, the stories all agree, be cautioned and brought back to the “straight and narrow” path of acceptable social behavior.
The Vanishing Hitchhiker motif again achieved great notoriety during the late 1960’s and 1970’s across America, no doubt in response to the cataclysmic social changes occurring in society. The Vanishing Hitchhiker seems to have always had an element of cautionary notice about the shortness of life. In the hippie culture of the 1960’s this aspect was very visible with a few new wrinkles. These disappearing riders were often labeled as runaways, angels, demons, Jesus, and victims of drug overdoses, or serial killers. They reflected the fears in society about the dangers to be found on the road by those who ran away, they reflected the values of the “Jesus People”, and other evangelical movements, and early New Age spirituality in a personification of the rider as a spiritual or mystical figure. No matter when it is found, the story keeps its strong message as a cautionary tale about the safety of the family and of the risks of departures from the social norm.
Oklahoma has reported sightings of a “lady in white” or sometimes the “Lady in yellow” in the Ardmore area and the roads around the lakes. Explanations have ranged from drunken visions to clouds of bioluminescent insects. No images proving the truth of either the claim of the apparition or the insects has been seen by the author. There is also, to my knowledge, no song such as the one described in this story. Every good legend deserves a theme song though.
She is sometimes glimpsed strolling along the old blacktop roadways around the lakes. A few people have described her dress as being slightly in the style of the 1930’s with a longer skirt that flapped about the knees and a cloche hat. Others however have merely cited the faint blurred form or the slightly luminescent image by the roadside in the dusk or evening hours. Who she is and why she walks is apparently unknown. Or, if anyone does know…they aren’t talking
Posted by Word Woman at 12:45 PM 0 comments

THE RIDER. M.Hudson (2005)

THE RIDER
“You’ll see me in the twilight, you’ll seem in the gloom;take pity on me as you pass, for you’ ll be here soon.”
It was a soft autumn evening in southern Oklahoma when Brian found himself driving out by the old lake road. The fragment of a song his grandmother used to sing when he’d drive her around the lake kept teasing his memory. Every time he thought he’d caught the end, it dodged away to scamper around his memory. He had remembered sometimes as a boy she’d drive him around the lake taking him to her favorite spots. She’d find a big rock and sit looking out over the shimmering water. Later they’d leave and he’d hear her humming a little tune to herself as they drove along.
Now, trying to remember the song he knew he was just filling time to avoid going home.He was in no hurry to go anywhere. His girlfriend had just dumped him in a grand and public way. He had no urge to face the family and act as if nothing had happened.
The last of the sunshine faded soon, leaving the stand of trees along the roadside in deep inky shadows. He glanced at the gas gauge and knew he couldn’t stay out her much longer. When he saw the flash of white just ahead, though, he slammed down hard on the brakes. Shivering slightly, a young woman, her dress looking damp and far too thin for such a cool night, stood at the side of the road hugging her frail body.
Brian jumped from the truck, hurrying over to where she stood. He looked around but couldn’t see any other cars. “Did you have an accident?”Closer to her, Brian could see beads of water clinging icily to her long hair and what appeared to be bruises in the pale parchment of her skin. What had happened? “Miss, did your car break down? Did it go in the water? Was there anybody else with you?” Brian was distressed by her forlorn appearance and wanted to try and help her.
She looked like she should see a doctor right away. Her silence was as intense as screams and struggles might have been with someone else. He wasn’t sure what to do and felt strangely unable to form a coherent sentence. Finally, he blurted out “Well, can I give at least give you a lift somewhere?” Her pale face lifted for the first time then and her voice was husky and faint, “May I ride with you down the road a bit? This is not a good place to be. I shouldn’t have come. But I want to go now. I want to …I want to leave here.”
“Sure. Sure. Come on and get in. I’ll get the heater going and you’ll be fine in just a couple of minutes.” He felt sympathy for the girl and a strange kinship. Maybe she’d been dumped too. She sure looked the way he felt. He glanced around though because he didn’t want to be in the middle of something if her boyfriend decided to come back. “Come on let’s get you inside. You are freezing.”
He helped her into the cab and then hurried around to the driver’s side to climb in beside his cold and silent guest.“If there was an accident,” he glanced at the bruises and wondered again what might have happened to her,” or something else happened, maybe we should call the police? I mean is there someone still out there on the road? Maybe hurt or something?”
“No one. No one now. I am all alone.”
The words held a tone that sent shivers up his back and he turned the heater up in the sudden chill he felt. Turning back onto the road, he stole glimpses of her as the miles sped past. Despite the heat, she still looked as wet and bedraggled as before. Silent and still she sat for what began to seem like hours to Brian. Starting straight ahead in to the dark road or staring at her pale hands, silence hung around her like a fragile fragrance.
So lovely, Brian couldn’t help but think as he stole glances at her profile. He found himself even wondering if he should ask her for a date. Then mentally kicked himself as he remembered he’d just been dumped. No wonder he’d lost his girlfriend, Brian thought in disgust. Maybe his girlfriend was right and shallow was his middle name. He should not be trying to pick up strange women. Especially bedraggled women who looked like they had swam in an icy pond. Yet, something about her kept drawing his attention and causing strange feelings of protection and concern to bubble to the surface. Maybe she had been dumped too and was hurting as much as he had been. Brian chided his thoughts; not a good time to go hitting on a girl he’d never seen before in his life.
Brian realized he had just had an astounding moment of insight and was puzzled as to where it had come from. Maybe there was hope for him, despite his shallowness. So Brian kept his eyes on the road as the heavy, awkward silence dragged on.
Finally, though, the silence was too much and he bumped common sense out the window to blurt out the first thing that came into his mind. “Did you get lost? Boy, is that easy to do of you are not familiar with the way things are laid out. The signs keep disappearing. Souvenirs I guess. I know them and even I got a confused a time or two and nearly ran out of gas once.”
“I’m trying to get home…I need to get home. It was going to be such a lovely and I had planned so long for it to be special. I had a dress just for it. My mother had saved the longest time to buy it and now….” The voice broke and she turned away to look out into the night. “I just need to see home again.”
The impact of her words was a wave of sadness so thick and strong he felt he might never surface. It threatened to pull him into its heart and hold him under. Strong, manly Brian felt as if he wanted to cry. He thought he had been hurting because a girl he liked didn’t want to see him anymore and had said so loudly in front of their friends. In this girl’s voice was a universe of pain so vast that he knew it had no end. He wanted suddenly to do something out of character, to be the hero, to make it all right for this strange, hurting girl.
Yet, he could say nothing, only gripped the wheel cursing his weakness. He was breathing as if he actually were battling a wave that threatened to shove him face down in the sand and out to the depths of a deep and unforgiving ocean. In the long silence that followed, he struggled at least to give her some small courtesy. His mother had tried to teach him some manners.Clearing his throat, he finally asked inanely, “Would you like some music?”
The seat beside him was empty.
The pickup truck skidded, fishtailing wildly, as Brian braked hard. Heat pounding, he jumped out, stumbling away from the truck, the door hanging open behind him, a mechanical voice repeating “the door is a jar” and filling the night air with its surreal litany. An empty cab was all the overhead light illuminated.Desperately his eyes jerked around, as he ran a hand through his hair, spinning drunkenly around he could see no one. No one. He drew a deep breath and focused, trying hard to figure out just what had happened. Where was she? The truck cab was empty.
How had she gotten out? Where was she!!
The old lake road was dark in both directions. Nearby, frogs were singing in low boggy places. Stars dusted the dark sky. No one else was anywhere close. Dragging a ragged breath, Brian took one last look around, muttered a tiny disjointed prayer, and then climbed back into his pickup. The seat beside him was still empty. Hesitating, he reached out slowly toward where the girl had sat beside him. He placed a hand in the seat and jerked it back as he felt the frigid dampness there.Heading down the road he silently watched the speedometer climb, eager to be anywhere but here along this dark stretch of lake road. As he finally put distance between him and the lake, he suddenly remembered the song his grandmother had song as they drove. Suddenly it made sense.
“You’ll see me in the twilight”, it began, “You’ll see me in the gloom.“Take pity on me as you pass; -for I’m just a poor and lonely lass.”
With a last look in the rearview mirror at the black stillness of the lake road, he shot the truck forward, toward town…and far away from that lonely dark lake road.
Posted by Word Woman at 12:42 PM 0 comments
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THERE ARE PLACES PEOPLE DARE NOT GO

There Are Places People Dare Not Go. M.Hudson 2005.
There are places people dare not go. We sense it with shivers and wariness, as we pass that door, orr walk that street, to find our self in that one most particular place.There are places people dare not go.They rest beneath a blanket of sorrow,Yet their restive andRumpled form shows,That it is not a peaceful or a lasting sleep.There are places people dare not go.The gathering places of now and then,The dark nexus ofThere and here,Where light walks and shadow speaks.
There are places people dare not go.Hillsides suffused in pagan light,Feral eyes shimmering bright,Watching and waiting,Ringing the silvered realm, the ancient guardians.There are places,There are paces,There are places people dare not go.There are places we avoid, lonely places that seem to wrap melancholy arms around us. Lonely, often desolate, places’ echoing with whispers of a long ago that lingers on despite time and distance. Shadowed places that reveal themselves only by the light of the dark, we avoid these places. We hitch collars around our ears, duck our heads and quicken our steps as we pass.Without conscience thought, we hold our breath until that place is far behind us. We instinctively cross ourselves, or grip tighter the rabbit’s foot, until the face of the focus of our fear has passed from our view.These are the places we try to avoid…
In a small town with curving streets that speak of another time, a more gracious time, there is just such a place. Some people tell you that houses are born bad…Some people will tell you they are like people…they learn to be bad. They absorb the habits and hungers of their inhabitants like parched ground drinks in a summer rain.
No one could ever say what it was about the house on the corner but through the years, its somber Victorian tones had taken on funereal hues. While other houses sit adorned with leafy trees and flowered shrubs, the growth around this house seemed to sicken and lift fragile bony fingers to the skies no matter what the season. Pale and hazy, as if afflicted with cataracts, its mullioned windows seemed to be hiding dark secrets. Through the years its huge double doors saw a flood of families who moved in with high hopes and quickly left.
People whispered over morning cups of coffee about shrill cries heard in the night. Half-remembered tales from decades before shared over campfires far away from the ears of the children. Most of those who knew the stories seemed eager to forget.
Tales of greed, of malevolent rituals,Of murder…People missing never to be found…Tales of a woman who opened her home with lies on her smiling face and by the light of a feeble lantern buried her guests in the basement. Whispered memories about the two teenage girls who disappeared one fall and how people knew where they were. Of how people had had to force themselves to go there in the night…whispers that recounted creeping into the house, slipping through shadowed halls, and hurrying the girls away.
Dream-like tales - said in voices low and fearful - of shadows fluid as falling water that seemed to dog their steps as they hunted, and were hunted, through those dark rooms. Stories of how when the police finally came calling…well, she was nowhere to be found…she’d fled into the night, they decided, guided only by the dark light of her soul.Now the house stands stark and withered, unable to be a home.
These chill places reek of dark actions and unseemly forces. Or maybe just the twisted desires of the human soul, things dark enough that they poison the atmosphere and sadden the soul.There are places we avoid, lonely places that seem to wrap melancholy arms around us. Shadowed places that reveal themselves only… by the light of the dark.Note: There is a story of a house that once stood in the Tulsa area where dark, satanic rites were performed, and girls went missing. A parking lot is said to now cover the place where the evil house once stood. Local l legend says the place was burned down one night by persons unknown and the land that it had sat upon was salted, the ancient safeguard against horrendous evil.
Posted by Word Woman at 12:39 PM 0 comments

PROPHET ON POINT
Jacob Mingle, was just a dusty, well-worn old man who barely scraped by and avoided people as much as he could. He lived a life hermited away in the sand hills near Kinsley, Kansas in 1911. He claimed the gift of prophecy. Most just ignored the old man. When Edwards County farmer Paul Reich disappeared, though, he gained attention of a different kind. "You search the house and you will find blood on the telephone and empty shells in the stove." A dog, he told them would lead them to where a body was buried. A large posse of men set out and found the blood stains as predicted and the shells in the stove.....but no dog came to show the way to a grave. Refusing to join the posse, Mingle had, however, drawn a chart marking the approximate location of the grave
Posted by Word Woman at 12:33 PM 0 comments

PREACHER GIRL OF HEALDTON, OKLAHOMA
Many strange stories recount the simplicity and innocence of an earlier day. Some underscore the things accomplished since and some seem to remind of the things lost in the swelling tidal wave called progress. South Central Oklahoma was a hive of change as the oil industry boomed and Healdton would become known as the birthplace of noted television personality, Rue McClanahan. There was a female of note there much earlier however. Meet Miss Annie Browne Dollar, ten-year-old daughter of a carpenter in Healdton, Oklahoma. For twelve days in 1918, she had suffered from some malady that had her in a rigid state, talking only in a whisper. Then one day she was perfectly fine and restored to normal physical activity. There was, however, a new light in her eyes as she shared she had “talked with Jesus” and the “Angles.” Soon she requested a Bible and was soon preaching on the streets, going were the “Spirit” directed. Reading aloud from the scriptures, far above her known reading ability, she would bolding preach the Word of God, and then lapse into the mystery of “unknown tongues”. She seemed very concerned for the soldiers on the battlefield in those days of WWI and felt certain the war would be the last followed quickly by the end of the world. The era was also one that saw a plague sweep across the globe and thousands became ill with Influenza. Searching for more on this amazing story it was learned that Annie Dollar, in 1920 along with a Willie and Vernon Dollar, was an inmate of the Oklahoma Methodist Orphanage in Oklahoma City. It can be assumed that she, like so many other children in this period, lost her father to this illness.
Posted by Word Woman at 12:32 PM 0 comments
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THE SINGING GHOST

In the summer of 1932 in Joliet, Illinois a strange thing occurred. Soon people passing by the potter's field adjacent to the local prison began reporting hearing singing from the graveyard. Day by day the crowds grew larger as people sought to hear the sounds of the afterlife. Day and night they would await the spectral noise that would reassure them of the soul's eventual abode. Old hymns, latin chants, and odd fragments of music thrlled more than one visitor over the weeks. Then in late July the mystery was solved when it was discovered a trustee from the prison, afraid near the cemetery, was singing to buck up his courage in the spooky place.
Posted by Word Woman at 12:30 PM 0 comments
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A TORNADO THAT SPAWNED A MYSTERY
A wicked finger of nature spiraled out of a stormy sky and scratched a path of devastation for nearly 200 miles April 9, 1947. Coming out of Texas, crossing into Oklahoma and then finally sputtering angrily out in Kansas this tornado would destroy most of Woodward, Oklahoma and leave several heartbreaking mysteries behind. Several children were unidentified and one kidnapped in the wake of the storm. The unidentified were finally thought to be children of destitute parents unable to afford a funeral - although one girl was a blond 12 year old that none in several surrounding counties and states could identify. Little 4-year old Joan Gay Croft lost her mother in the storm, her father was badly injured and she and a slightly older sister were relegated to the basement of the hospital were the "slightly injured" were kept. In the middle of the night two men in work clothes common to the time period came in and took the girl. She was never seen again. Over the years various children were suspected of being her - especially one case of man who had beaten a little girl in California just a year or so later, but they all turned out to be dead ends. In recent years, several women have come forward as the little girl stolen away that night but so far none appears to have been positively identified using DNA or other tests. In retrospect, given the mysterious dead 12 year old, whom no one could identify, it may be that some sick individuals seeking a " younger replacement" may have taken the little Croft girl. Hopefully ,that was not the case, and she was simply misidentified and taken to a loving and nurturing home all those years ago. Look closely at her face - maybe you can see her in a loving grandmother or neighbor and thus solve a decades old mystery.
The other unidentified children rest in the local cemetary under the same death date as many others, "April 9, 1947". Read more at http://www.officialcoldcaseinvestigations.com/showthread.php?p=18210 and http://www.srh.noaa.gov/oun/wxevents/19470409/
Posted by Word Woman at 12:28 PM 0 comments
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SPOTTING AN URBAN MYTH
One of the obstacles for anyone doing "serious" research is trying to untangle the truth from layers of obfuscation, confabulations, mixed up memories, and plain and simple tall tale. So how do you identify an urban legend?
Here are some tips:1. Consider its structure. Does it have all the normal "story" components of a beginning, a middle, or an end? Does it have a "punch line"....or a tag line....."no matter how much they tried they could never get the stain out...." Chances are it is an urban legend.2. Watch out for lines just as : 'This is a true story...' or 'This really happened to a friend of a friend' .3. "Only names and places have been changed"....you have heard the same story before with different little (or updated) details?4. Is there a peculiar lack of details as to names, places, dates, or exact details of the event?5. Can the "facts" be verified in newspapers, books, interviews, etc.
Things to remember:Often hauntings do not have any context; there is no romantic tale of why a ghost is there or what caused the ghost to stay.Satanism, witchcraft, and cults - are not as prevalent as some would have you believe (check with studies by national police organizations and the FBI). There have been more lynchings in this country than the burning of witches at the stake and more accidents than murders.Hauntings or episodes quite often have a "I walked into the middle of something" feel to them when they are real. They do not have a "beginning" or an "end" - they dangle out there in mid event with no why or how and leave the observer scratching their head.
What to Do if You Find It Is An Urban Legend?
Record it - it is a legend in the making and should be preserved. Note its sources, their background, where they heard it, etc. Contact local libraries, history centers, and universities to see if they have any oral history projects collections. If not, offer to start one!
Enjoy it - urban stories are fun, they connect people with some common sense lessons and values, and reaffirm we are all human (thus the wry quality often found in urban legends).
Sometimes - it is okay to just enjoy a good story!
Posted by Word Woman at 12:28 PM 0 comments
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Is there a "Satanic" connection between thunderstorms, and other extreme weather, and the paranormal? Visit http://www.weathergraphics.com/tim/hauntedhouse.pdf for a lighthearted look at the correlations between extreme weather and extreme paranormal activity. Spoiler alert: keep tongue firmly in cheek while reading!

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