According to a 2019 YouGov survey, 45 percent of adult Americans believe in ghosts. What's it like for people who are convinced they are quarantining with a specter? The New York Times' Molly Fitzpatrick interviewed several true believers about their ghostly roommates and puts their experiences in context. From the New York Times:
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John E.L. Tenney, who describes himself as a paranormal researcher and is a former host of the TV show “Ghost Stalkers,” estimates that he received two to five reports of a haunted house each month in 2019. Lately, it’s been more like five to 10 in a week.[...]
Mr. Tenney has no doubt that the vast majority of these cases in his inbox are “completely explainable” in nature. “When the sun comes up and the house starts to warm up, they’re usually at work — they’re not used to hearing the bricks pop and the wood expand,” he said. “It’s not that the house wasn’t making those sounds. They just never had the time to notice it.” [...]
Kurt Gray, an associate professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, studies how we perceive and treat the minds of other entities, including animals, machines and the dead. Times of great unease or malaise, when there is an increased drive to find meaning in chaos, can lend themselves to perceived hauntings, he said — not to mention that disease itself shares certain psychological parallels with a “malevolent spirit,” creeping invisibly upon its unsuspecting victims.
This phenomenon could also be a side effect of the loneliness of our time.
On April 16, Marvel live streamed 10 hours of "footage" from outside Dr. Strange's Sanctum Sanctorum, which you can now watch in its entirety on YouTube. It's kind of like a Lovecraftian YuleLog, with spooky sounds and energy demons and ghastly spirits peeking through the windows.
It's also kind of like going outside, but without actually going outside, and somehow less terrifying (but still kind of eerie). Read the rest
Finally, someone's asking the important questions.
61 percent of respondents picked the #3, the "baguette skeleton," with the Spider Bread (#4) coming in second at 29 percent.
But clearly 90 percent of people are wrong, because nothing compares to the horror of my imagination as it speculates at what might lay beneath the ghostly sheet of Halloween Baguette #2. The possibilities in my mind are endless, and they are all fucking terrifying. Read the rest
Halloween, like many modern American holidays, is a kind of mashup of different cultural traditional traditions rooted in the autumnal harvest, and some kind of celebration or connection with the spirit world. You see it in Mexico with Dia de los Muertos; and in pre-Christian Ireland, it was Oíche Shamhna ("Shamna" being the genitive form of "Samhain," which is pronounced kind of like "SOW-un," and actually just means "November").
An episode of The Irish Passport podcast takes a close look at the roots of those Gaelic traditions, and the kind of generation loss that happened when it was exported to the United States, and then re-imported back to Ireland. The result is kind of fun-house-mirror reflection of itself—modern Irish imitating a mutated American imitation of older Irish traditions. You'll also get to learn a bit about how the faeryfolk in Ireland, the Aos Sídhe, still play an active role in modern real estate development in the Republic (yes really).
Just below the surface of modern Ireland, a parallel world exists with its roots in pre-Christian belief. Irish fairies aren’t like Tinkerbell—they’re more like a supernatural mafia. So be careful what you say, because as the story goes, they’re probably listening. Tim talks to one of Ireland’s last seanchaí or story-teller historians, who once managed to get a highway diverted to prevent the felling of a fairy bush. We also hear about modern traditions from the streets of Galway as the Celtic New Year Samhain festival is underway.
You can download the mp3, or find the episode on iTunes/Stitcher/Google Play/Spotify/etc. Read the rest
Josh O'Neill writes, "We're doing a box set edition of Dracula in which we reconstitute the novel into the primary source documents from which it's drawn: Mina's diary, Lucy's letters, Dailygraph newspaper clippings, even an actual phonograph record from Dr. Seward. It comes in a suitcase. Or a wooden casket or stone crypt, depending on the edition."
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Have you ever wondered if someone died in your house, or worse?
Enter DiedInHouse.com. A simple $11.99 search through them will tell you everything you (probably don't) want to know.
A query on this website will uncover if a specific address is "stigmatized," meaning that it's got issues beyond its physical condition. Sellers are generally not under legal obligation to share if something horrible -- like a murder, suicide, or, say, a meth lab -- has happened on a property. And they certainly aren't required to disclose "paranormal" activity.
Software engineer Roy Condrey founded the site in 2013 after getting a strange text.
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The website’s creation begins like a ghost story. ...Condrey received a text message in the middle of the night from one of his tenants that read: “Did you know that your house is haunted?” Condrey went down a cyber rabbit hole seeking, but not finding, an easy way to determine if his property had indeed seen a gruesome crime or fatality.
“I went online to find a ‘Carfax’ of sorts for deaths in homes and I didn’t find anything, but I did find pages and pages of people asking if there’s a way to find out if their house is haunted,” says Condrey, who rents out several properties. He later learned through his data collection that, in fact, at least 4.5 million homes nationwide have had documented deaths take place on the premises. The number of homeowners that know about the history of their home, however, is unknown.
As Halloween approacheth, perhaps it's time to tour the world's most troubling and terrifying toilets, courtesy of Phil from Toilets With Threatening Auras. Read the rest
We went to our neighborhood Halloween store yesterday to find cool stuff with which to celebrate the best holiday of the year, and came home with one of these $30 animated, spooky eyeball doorbells, which I am now officially obsessed with. Read the rest
Centralia, PA has been on fire for 53 years, and now it's been dubbed the spiritual home of a deeply-creepy horror series.
The origin of this "large face" on the side of a cliff remains unknown. Read the rest
A gorgeously retro-spooky series of stereoscopic GIFs from The Saline Project: "Monsters, Villains, Heroes, and Victims (MVHV)." Read the rest
The Winchester Mystery House is San Jose, CA's legendary tourist attraction, built by Sarah Winchester, widow of the heir to the Winchester rifle fortune, who believed that she was haunted by the spirits of Native Americans who'd been murdered with the guns and designed and ordered the construction of over 160 rooms that she designed by means of automatic writing in a special seance room.
It's just been granted a permit to allow for overnight stays in the house, along with the right to sell booze throughout the property. Now I know what I'll be doing the next time I'm in northern California. Read the rest
This spooky photo appears to depict the 1970s-era Tram 58 terminus in Zugliget, Budapest, Hungary. The original source isn't clear to me (if you know it, please note it in the comments so I can re-attribute the image, which appears all over the net without attribution). There's a plan underway to renovate the tumbledown terminus and turn it into a shopping mall.
Budapest Trolley Station
(via Disquieting Metamorphasis) Read the rest
Ori Hartstein drew this great Haunted Mansion-inspired butler-and-maid scene, part of her series of Haunted Mansion pieces. I love the composition and character design here.
Disney’s Haunted Mansion-inspired cast member Maid and Butler art Read the rest
Hope sez, "My husband, Jeff, and I decided to combine our love of Edward Gorey's Gashlycrumb Tinies and our son Dash to make a Dashlycrumb Tiny for Halloween. Jeff designed the tombstone detailing Dash's untimely demise...Thought it would be fun to share!"
My son Dash’s Halloween costume as a “Dashlycrumb Tiny” Read the rest