Wednesday, August 31, 2005

'T ain't No Sin- Great Song !

Wander down the the Ballroom and take a listen to what the Band of Bones is playing....

'T Ain't No Sin

When you hear sweet syncopation, and the music softly moans
‘t ain’t no sin to take off your skin, and dance around in your bones

When it gets too hot for comfort, and you can’t get an ice cream cone
‘t ain’t no sin to take off your skin, and dance around in your bones

Just like those bamboo babies, down in the South Sea tropic zone
‘t ain’t no sin to take off your skin, and dance around in your bones

When you hear sweet syncopation, and the music softly moans
‘t ain’t no sin to take off your skin, and dance around in your bones

When it gets too hot for comfort, and you can’t get an ice cream cone
‘t ain’t no sin to take off your skin, and dance around in your bones

Just like those bamboo babies, down in the South Sea tropic zone
‘t ain’t no sin to take off your skin, and dance around in your bones

Words by Edgar Leslie
Music by Walter Donaldson

What Was In That Box Anita Marie?

Memories and Bones and Secrets and Shadows.
Open it wider if you dare.....................

To The House Of Baba Yaga

Between the Day Job and doing what I love ( writing of course ) I take trips. Here's one Heather invited me on.

It was a trip to visit someone named the Baba Yaga. The Price of this Journey, well it wasn't cheap as you'll see...


Marie and I were standing in front of the House of Bones last night.

She looked over at me and shook her head, " this is no good for you Anita " she warned me " there's much danger here for you. "

I nodded and reached out for the door handle and she snatched at my wrist " Ask who's house this is before you go in, bring her a gift and don't eat anything she offers you. "

" I'll remember. " I said.

" Anita, don't fall asleep in this place either. Go in awake or go in asleep. But don't do both. Otherwise you'll get lost. "

I woke up and found that it was just after three in the morning I spent some time wondering about Marie's warnings. Funny, she should be warning me about a writing project...a blogg.


Almost as funny as the little doll I found on the pillow next to me when the sun came up.

Even funnier was the message carved deep into the ceiling above my bed.

Beware the House of Baba Yaga...
Marie L.


We were standing in front of the House of Bones last night and Marie turned to me and asked, " still dreaming about this place?"

I nodded because in my dreams I can't read and in some of my dreams I can't speak. Tonight I found myself mute.

I'm sure Marie could see the panic in my eyes, on my face. I had been dreaming about this House of Bones every single night, every time I closed my eyes and then opened them I could still see it.

Asleep or awake there was no escaping it.

" It's alright Anita, here... come here and look " Marie pointed to the spot between her eyes " look here Anita, this is where the Soul lives. Look here. "

And I did.

I reached out and knocked on the door of Baba Yaga and the door swung open and I could smell cinnamon. " Whose house is this? " I called in

I saw the shadows gather and pull itself apart at the threshold several times before they took shape.

" This is my home, "

" Who are you? " I asked

" Baba Yaga, come in ... come in "

I looked from left to right and then crossed the threshold, on my way in I dropped a small gold coin on the floor and the Baba Yaga stooped to pick it up.

Then she looked up at me and snarled.

Her face was old but not offensive, certainly not demonic but there are ways to hide your face. It's a parlor trick in the world of magic.

Faces are only masks after all.

There was no hiding her expression though; she didn't like standing here and she didn't like showing herself.

" I received your Invitation Baba Yaga, it came to me in a dream and in omens. I don't like that sort of thing. " I said.

" Ah, a non-believer. " she said smugly.

" Oh Baba Yaga, call me anything but don't call me a non-believer. No, I believe in the direct approach. Besides, " I said lighting a candle that sat on the kitchen table " I don't like it when people take what's mine. "

Baba Yaga grabbed at my hand and threw it back then she took the candle from the table and thrust it very, very close to my my eyes.

" Laveau " she spat, " Marie Laveau, you and your tricks. "

" In my world Baba Yaga this is no trick. Possession is no game to us. "

" What do you want?"

" I'm this woman's...spiritual advisor, I want to know why you are in her dreams. "

" I have something of hers and she knows it. She just doesn't know WHAT it is and you know Laveau, I don't have to tell her and I don't have to tell you either. "

I reached back and pushed Anita's hair over her shoulders and smiled her crooked smile and shrugged. " Oh, we both can appreciate the challenge Baba Yaga, but you can't take what isn't hers. Don't even try. This won't be the last time we cross paths Baba Yaga, but I'm warning you. Don't make it necessary for me to come at you from those paths with vengeance in my heart. Don't make me come to you from the shadows. Are we agreed? "

Baba Yaga held her hands up and nodded. " Agreed. "

Inside I could feel what Anita was thinking... neither of us trusted this Baba Yaga.

Marie was waiting for me the Next Night and this time I could speak.

" What does she mean, she has something of mine? " I asked Marie.

" Could be anything, strand of your hair, a book, a dress...anything. But unless you find out the dreams will get worse. "

The Sun was just coming up in my dream, but I was sleeping at home in my bed and I'll bet it wasn't even Midnight yet. The Sun was coming up in my dreams because Marie was going to show me something.

" Luis is taking you to a place called Yakima this weekend. You're going to stop in a town called Ryderwood to buy gas. Look, behind the station is this tree. It was a hanging tree back in the late 1800's. The last man to be hung there was buried under it. You won't have to dig far to find him. It's all sand out there in Ryderwood. It's in the middle of the desert and he’s been mummified by the elements. He's buried face down and his hands are tied behind his back. Take his left hand. "

" It's not like the legend, he doesn't have to be hanging to make this work..."

" Why do I need it? " I asked.

" Main de Glorie, Anita. Hand of Glory, you'll need it where you'll be going."

I found the hand where Marie said I would and Luis waited in the car while I completed my task. I came to the car with the hand wrapped in a clean white sheet and I put it in the trunk.

" Are you done? " he asked me.

I shook my head, " I've only just started. "


To All My Friends Back Home,

I'm on my way to the House of Baba Yaga...or the House of Bones as I've been calling it. This is my first stop, it's a house in the middle of the Desert outside of town called Cavern. Isn't that a weird name?

The locals tell me it was built by a Devil. Not THE devil...but "a Devil". They seem to take some weird sort of comfort in that.

I'll be in touch soon,
Anita Marie


She bothers me, this woman who comes to me in my dreams wrapped in Snakes.

She tries to tell me her name but I won't listen. She holds the Serpents out but I won't touch them. She offers to tell me her secrets but I've been warned nothing on this journey is free.

It all costs.

Like the Main de Glorie I used to steal my lock of hair back from the Baba Yaga in the House of Bones.

I took the Main de Glorie in and lit it's waxed covered fingers and when the flames jumped up everything in the House of Bones fell asleep.

I was able to move from room to room and saw people on hooks and racks and hearts in wicker baskets and I saw Baba Yaga herself sitting in a rocking chair with a little doll dressed in red with strands of my hair pinned to it's head on the table next to her.

Its eyes were taped shut and before I peeled the tape away I knew why I wasn't able to sleep or waken. Why I'd been walking in twilight for almost a month.

I left the tape on. I didn't want to wake up in this place. I didn't want to know where I really was.

I placed the little doll in my pocket and leaned close to Baba Yaga and asked her sleeping form, " Why, why me? "

And from the place Baba Yaga goes when she dreams I heard her whisper, " I'm not really asleep you know. "

I expected her eyes to snap open, for her claw like hand to grab me by my throat and squeeze until my face turned black. But she slept and dreamed and I guessed things like the Baba Yaga that live in Nightmare Worlds never sleep.

They're always there waiting for you to shut your eyes.

" I spent the night in a house built by a Devil because of you. I won't forget that...ever. It's all about you and me and revenge Baba Yaga. The things I see now...the things I hear, all of that because of you. It costs Baba Yaga. It's going to cost you. "

I went out of the House of Bones and walked down that dark road filled with bones and whispers and I took the doll from my pocket and pulled the tape away from the dolls eyes.

The light from the Main de Glorie's fingers flared blue and orange and died out.

I was plunged into darkness...and it didn't matter. I could see just fine. I could move sure footed through the Deadwood Forest.

I belonged in this place now.

That was the price you see that I paid for using the Main de Glorie.

It all costs.

And I’ve paid in full.

© anita moscoso 2005

What Was In That Box Again, Anita Marie?

( Maybe this is the male version of Pandora's Box???
What was Anita Marie's Great Grandfather
really meaning? Hmm....shall get to the
bottom of this......Jack-in-the-Box....
but she said it had a carved lid...)

Entering Baba's World

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By Terror

I read Em several stories here,
and she said, "See, they write of terror
and fear and neat stuff."
I admit my contributions have not been
in that vein. Perhaps it is because I,
"Ain't skert of nuthin'" (ask Em),
or because I sense enough terror in the
world already.

But I will try ....


story written 08/30/05 (Em insists I start copyrighting things)


I lay on the silent carpet,
not yet captured by the pattern
of the Persian maze of horror
thought beautiful at a distance.

My clenched fist held trembling chin
confronts the terror of the stove,
ever cold by right -- never a friend
at night or shared pleasant meal.

Dread forged blackened iron soul --
snarling nickel grated bulging teeth --
rotating, silver irised eyes --
dead, dangling ferns in want of hair.

When the house burned down no one really knew if Aunt Tillie was in it or not. After all, she had hidden herself away after Fred was killed in the war and never appeared again. Milk bottles cycled full and empty. Delivery boys piled bags on the back porch. Contract work on the yard and outside of the semi-Victorian home was handled by her attorney, Amber Wilkes. It was rumored that a steady stream of indigents 'camped out' there -- or worse. Leastwise, lights came on at strange hours behind un-drawn curtains. No one cared much either, as she hadn't been very nice even when sociable. Karen only remembered her through little girl eyes. And now because of the will. Everything in the house had been left to her. The old biddy's money went to her cousins -- karma.

Trouble is -- 'everything' meant 'nothing', as not a single smoking board remained standing -- except for the strange miracle. It seems the old claw-foot tub, somehow full of water, fell through the burning floor and came to rest over an ancient coal stove. Both were saved. The tub now served as a huge planter on Karen's sun porch. The stove sat proudly in her living room, just as it had in Tillie's -- a display stand for her collections of turtles, except for Tillie it had been salt and pepper shakers. The stove didn't work -- never had! Besides, there was no way to put a chimney in her flat. Karen remembered the stove. It scared her to death!

The hinged mouth looked tight-lip hungry
but the polished snaggle-tooth handle
did not turn or budge at all --
a brass rivet through its knee.

The double ring atop its skull
was welded roundly and forlorn,
and the damper wing pinned tight
with a bar of hammered steel.

Karen wondered why she kept the thing, a source of remembered punishment, and thereby fear. "Sitting in the corner" was ready punishment for fractious infractions of adult power and distain for the energy of youth. "An'tillie" was the worst. With no children of her own bitterness, she was expert on how to raise them. "Sit in the corner until you learn respect!" This meant silence and unquestioned obedience and servility. The stove already owned the corner. The five year old Karen had churned inside. The aging woman Karen felt only rage, and stared at the stove with clenched teeth and senses sealed against compassion or understanding. Unknowingly she blamed this small stove, no bigger than a two-drawer file cabinet, for the fire. Then she rejoiced that the evil old house was gone. Then she was ashamed. Of such is terror made.

"Somehow this is your fault," she screamed. A flower pot shattered against the unrepentant stove -- again! It was well-built. Such endured abuse showed no sights of dent, nor tarnish, not rust nor age. So had it been in An'tillie's house -- so it was again. Karen screamed again at the insolence of the gleaming nickeled skirt, mouth and condemning eyes. "If only you could be lit, damn you, I would stuff you with garbage and let you burn up from the inside out." She knelt before the terrible image -- an icon more stolidly cold than any in church. Even her dripping tears failed to mar the stove's virgin soul.

The affixed brass plate still remained,
set low where genitals should be --
and should have read with pride secure,
"Beldon Stove # ___, 1893"

Instead it proclaimed, yet still bold,
"DEFECTIVE -- do not use -- WARNING,"
and set aside for window display,
still-born but denied a burial.

Karen felt trapped -- nay, consumed by the stove's vile countenance. Yet she did not know how to rid herself of its memories, for she dreaded even more the derision of her siblings and in-laws. So she hid her smoldering coals of pain and hatred, and made the decorated stove a center piece of deceit for others to see. She even learned to crochet doilies for its top, forgetting that An'tillie had done that too. Only when she was alone -- fearfully always, did she strip the stove bare and reveal its true nature. "Why didn't you love me?" she shouted. "At least now, leave me alone!" The stove only grinned menacingly, reflecting in its shinning fixtures images of unkempt hair and bloodshot, vacant eyes.

She had a plan! Somehow she would get the stove open and destroy its pristine superior pride. She surreptitiously acquired a single-jack, cold chisel and hacksaw at several flee-markets. Some discarded metal dryer vent was found on a trash pile. Fiberglass insulation was torn from the closet ceiling. A pry-bar was stolen from a construction site. She was ready. Its terror would die!

First she managed to bend the steel bar enough to wedge the flue baffle open a tad. The came the vent hose, packed round with insulation and secured with duct tape, leading to the range-hood in the kitchen. Her windows did not open -- built that way, while An'tillie's had been nailed shut. Then, pin by pin, rivet by rivet, she beat the restricting locks apart. In her passion she even struck off one of those holding the brass plate, before realizing her error. She could not free the top ring-plates but found no need. At each side stood saved kitty-litter containers of trash and unread newspapers. The handle turned with squealing protest -- resisting perhaps in knowledge of impending death. The loosened name plate swung free on its damaged pin. Karen stopped and stared …

Beneath was another gleaming plate:

"Beldon Stove # 1, 1891"
"May it ever be a symbol of family pride"

Now the door swung open of its own accord, no longer bound by the sorrow of Tellacia Beldon Stein. The pins had been added in 1943 -- the year Karen had been born. The firebox was not empty. Each stack of love letters were bound with a silk ribbon and a date scripted in careful lavender ink -- 1940, 1941, 1942, 1943. All were from Fredrick Roberts to "Dearest Tillie." Karen read them all through the night -- up to the last letter written just before getting on the ship for home. The last spoke of their daughter and the impending wedding.

With the first glimmer of ghostly dawn Karen opened the shoebox that remained. Inside were hundreds of savings bonds …

And a note:

"When all who know are dead,
I will come to you."


There is no fire like that of love,
and no terror like that of fear,
fueled by bigotry and false pride,
in what others may think or do.

Burn up all your needless secrets
in a convenient ancient stove,
and warm your soul in gleeful dance
'neath glowing smile and laughing eyes.

© Sakin'el 2005

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Odd Room

These Prints are in a little room here in the Chamber of Horrors that's full of dust and cobwebs. I wonder who put them in here and then abandon the's a very big room and it's very dark and over in the corner is a jack in the box.

How strange.

Anita Marie

Fear Base

When I shared this story a year ago,
I received some comments that might be
considered 'fear based', so will include it here,
though it is not 'ghostly'.

I regret using the word 'wizard' since it is
now 'Hollywood' meaningless --
please substitute your own meaningful term.


My Best Sunset

I knew he was there – a higher vibration, or something. Six guests – strangers – internet contacts who chanced to be here and now and why. A simple dinner, croquet on the lawn – later a fire for storytelling and marshmallows. All accepted – no clues. I didn’t even know one was a wizard. Perhaps the sunset will tell.

No sunset is really special for me – extra special that is. With each dawn’s gifted rebirth of purpose – creation; a sunset is merely a signature – though some are certainly more profound than others. Is their awesome beauty a mirror of my own passion, or just a song played on dancing clouds? Nothing special tonight – yet one can learn much by observing how others view a sunset. What will a wizard do?

Nothing! All attention is on the glowing, pulsing coals – more vibrant that the pastel sky – almost breathing – whispering, “come close – let me give life as I die!” A different type of sunset, I guess. If true, then is the sunrise found in the seed, the blossoming tree, the fruit – or the lover’s touching in the shade of this ‘once was a tree’’? Marshmallow time!

Sigh! Always the draw back to a slower pace – a pleasant walk when I should skip and dance. Make the most of it. Watch. All six play with the willow sticks as children – different artful methods of concentrated bliss. Too close and the fire claims the prize. Too distant and the mallow dries and withers without praise or reward. Kind of like ‘relationships’ I guess. Man and a lump of egg meringue – a story on a stick – birth and death in shades of gold and brown. Does anyone else sense the spirituality of this moment?

One takes a while longer than the others to caress the marriage of treat and ebbing embers – making it perfect – complete. Then he offers the marshmallow to a stranger – an old woman scarcely seen in the fading light – my mother. She accepts it with an intense grace – to honor this special unique gift – there will never be another the same. The sunset is complete – now only shadows from the meager fire remain. Too dark now! When he turns and looks at me, and I know he is smiling. I do not have to see his eyes – there will be a lifetime for that.


Monday, August 29, 2005





Baba Yaga Vase

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Sunday, August 28, 2005

Mind bending stuff - where oh where to go next???

The Fiji Mermaid and Stuart of The Six Shadows

When my Great Grandfather was a young man he was a Magician who once shared billing with the Famous Harry Houdini. My Great Grandfather wasn't the Showman his peers were plus he had nine kids to support and he wasn't able to do it on an entertainer’s salary.

So you’ve probably never heard of Stuart of the Six Shadows.

Instead of becoming a famous magician my Great Grandfather published our town's local newspaper and no matter how big or small he made each story fun to read. He had a wonderful imagination and was quiet the showman, so I guess it was to be expected

It was a gift he had, he knew how to tell a good story and he was so good at it that it was a relief to know somewhere in the back of your mind it was only a the one he use to tell about how he came to own a Fiji Mermaid.

One day late in the Fall of 1910 my Great Grandfather Stuart was invited to perform his Magic Act for a ' Foreign Gentleman' and his Wife.

Stuart boarded a train and then a boat that took him up a River somewhere back East. The trip was long and lonely because Stuart was the only passenger the entire journey.

Then after nearly after a week of travel he arrived at a very old Manor House in the Mountains.

Everything around him looked so foreign to Stuart that he would have sworn on the head of his newborn son back home that he was in a different Country all together.

The clothes the people he did see where of odd designs and made from strange fabrics. The houses were dark and looked empty but he saw little signs of life, toys scattered here and there, baskets tied shut with twine and livestock wandering around in fields.

Even the Plants were different from anything he'd ever seen before, and the lakes were an unnatural shade of blue and stayed that color even in the moonlight.

And he didn't hear Night Sounds...nothing moved or stirred in that strange countryside and even the Stars looked different...and then Stuart realized though he didn't want to acknowledge it at first what was wrong with them.

The Constellations were all backwards.

It was like he was seeing their reflections in a mirror or a lake.

When he realized that, he didn't look up again and he wanted very desperately to turn around and go home. But a deal was a deal and the Gentleman and his Wife were willing to pay a lot of money for an hours entertainment.

And of course...the show must always go on.

The Hall he performed in on that night was cavernous and full of shadows.

The guests of the Gentleman and his Wife had odd shaped hands and their faces were almost mask like and pale but their eyes were bright as candlelight in the darkness

They reacted to each trick, each slight of hand, each story with delight and laughter and they said " Ooohh " and " Ahh" much like any other audience Stuart had ever performed in front of before. But they seemed unwilling to move away from the walls and shadows to try to sneak peaks and figure out Stuart's secrets like most audiences do.

Then Stuart called for a volunteer, some brave soul willing to participate in a routine called, " The Coffin of Mystery."

The Coffin of Mystery, he boomed into the darkness in his great stage voice would restore life to the dead.

To prove his claim, Stuart asked for a volunteer to plunge a sword into his chest and then close the Coffin Mystery’s door and latch it closed.

Then Stuart claimed dramatically he would emerge moments later alive and unmarked from The Coffin.

The Gentleman's Wife seemed very excited at this story and she whispered something to one of the guests who hurried up to Stuart and asked, " Tell me again Sir, if someone dead is placed in this box they'll be restored to life?"

Stuart nodded and the Guest begged for Stuart to wait, and from the back of the room one of those twisted little forms broke out of the darkness and slowly made it's way to the stage.

The Man was pale and Stuart could see under better circumstances he was a young man and probably a handsome man but right now he looked aged and sick and his hair was falling out in patches.

" Run in with a nasty neighbor of ours a hunter of sorts...climb on in Zhiam and let's see what this can do..."

Stuart stepped back and watched the young man helped inside of the Coffin and the Gentleman looked on with longing and the Wife looked so sad and he heard her say, " Please Dear, don't expect too much..."

" Do your Magic. " Begged the Guest and Stuart looked into his dark eyes that glowed in the dark and the guest said with such pleading in his voice it broke Stuart's heart. " Please Sir, do your Magic. "

As the young man lay back on the cream colored satin lining Stuart leaned in and whispered, " Knock when you see the blue light. "

Then Stuart closed the Coffin's lid and because he'd never performed this trick with anyone else in the Coffin he opened the lid again and told the young man inside, " This is a Magician's Trick, and you're sworn to can never tell anyone what you see and hear in there. Is it a deal? "

The young man who looked old nodded and he said solemnly, " I swear. "

Stuart looked deep into the boy’s eyes and nodded. " I believe you. "

And then Stuart shut the lid and latched it.

Stuart wasn't surprised when he heard the knock from inside the Coffin a few minutes later and he wasn't surprised when the sickly young man emerged a very healthy young man.

Everyone else in the Hall was amazed as Stuart knew they would be; the Gentleman's stern face dissolved into a much kinder stern face the Lady's face broke into sunlight and the guests moved out of the shadows to shake Stuart's hand.

The guests Stuart could see weren't really human, some resembled Wolves, some he took for witches, others were pale and thin and he knew they were Vampires and others were exotic creatures from places where the Sun never traveled to.

But that didn't matter, because for those few moments really...they were all the same.

Stuart was packing his props, which he always did in an empty room when he heard the Guest clear his throat and say, " Excuse me, Sir? "

" Just a minute..." Stuart closed the last case and locked it and turned around and the Guest introduced himself as Mr. Nightson.

" This is just a gift from the Young Count, to show his appreciation. He'd have brought it himself but..." Mr. Nightson pointed to the window and Stuart could see the morning sunlight just coming over the tops of the trees.

Stuart removed the burlap cover from the box and inside he saw the form of something that looked half fish, half least that was his first impression.

" The Young Count calls it his Fiji Mermaid. That’s where he and his friend...a wonderful young Werewoman found it. They found it in Fiji washed up on the shore and I think it only lived for a few minutes. He's very fond of it...I'm not sure why. Young Love...strange what it does to the mind. "

" It means quite a bit to him..."

" It will to me as well. " Stuart promised.

And Stuart always kept his word.

So now the Fiji Mermaid sits on my desk as I write my stories and for Halloween and Christmas I bring her out to my living room and I tell the story and people laugh and say, " Well Anita, you certainly inherited Stuart's flair for the dramatic. "

And I look into their eyes with Stuart's Magician's Eyes and I nod and assure them, " Yes,'s all just a story after all. "

Then I look over at the Fiji Mermaid and wink and the Fiji Mermaid floating in her jar winks back at me.

© anita moscoso 2005

Reluctant Ghost

I do not normally write ghost stories,
or horror fiction (or real), but m'lady Em
asked me to write one on our honeymoon ???
so this is what you get ...



‘“Course I don’t believe in ghosts -- and don’t ‘llow any of them ladies to tell ‘ya different,” opinioned old Jess. He stared a bit after the retreating reporter. “Them what believes ain’t ever seen one -- and those that have ain’t sayin’,” he muttered. “Believin’ ain’t related to truth at all, or least wise not like nuts and shells. Ya’ hear a story, excited like, by a person rightly truthful and credible and you repeat it. That’s believin’. Now if you done saw the specter yur own self, you wouldn’t be believin’ -- you’d be knowin’. I’d be one of them, for shore -- one that be knowin’, that is. Too bad ya didn’t ask the right question.”

The aging mountain man sauntered over to the shed -- the one with all the brooms hanging and sprigs of rosemary and always in the shade. He unfastened the rusty lock with a key hung from his belt, and swung the door wide and free.

“Come on out Annabell, and sit a spell,” he jested. “I know it isn’t dark enough to see your pretty dress, but I’ll pull my cap down low. You deserve a reward, being right quiet and gentle just now. What’ll it be -- a story about knights and faeries?”

He selected a children’s book from a stack at the corner of the porch and began to read. The sun set ahead of time, but the shimmering glow in the rocking chair next by provided all the light he needed. “Don’t know why you hang around, my dear,” he smiled. “You must know all of these stories by heart. This one is pretty long -- I’d better get a sweater.” The shimmer shifted hue a bit and might have seemed brighter to anyone close by -- anyone who knew about ghosts, that is. Jess decided he was comfy after all, and continued to read.

Dan, the reporter from the city, tossed his backpack into the trunk and handed over some bills for the gas. “I chatted with that old man like you suggested,” he lamented. “Nothing to it -- says he has never seen a ghost, and I sensed he doesn’t lie. Doesn’t believe it them at all. Don’t know how these rumors get started.” The dust took a while to settle in the road after he sped away.

“Of course he doesn’t see ghosts, you ninnie!,” chuckled the store-keep. Jeff has been completely blind for years.”

An Unseen Visitor

I am pulling this out of the Chamber's library to share here at the party. After you read this, think...have you ever had the sensation of watched, but nobody was there? Do tell...

Something skitters past your peripheral vision.

What was that?

You look, but there's nothing there.

Could it have been your imagination...or something more? Something...only the open mind can see? Possibilities of what it might be occupy your mind as you give the room one last sweep, searching even the slight shadows created by the phosphorescent lights overhead. Nothing. You're alone. You dismiss the notion of seeing something and soon forget about it. Until the next time.

* * * * * * * * * *
Evening falls quietly and gracefully into shadows. Pleasant thoughts or memories fill your head as you sit in front of the computer. A vacant smile plays about your lips while you're lost in a reverie. Suddenly, you sense you're not alone. The little hairs on the back of your neck rise, your heartbeat picks up. Thump, thump, thump, thump. Curiosity though, has you looking to the right.

There's nothing but empty space. No one lurks in your doorway. Yet, your feeling remains.

You stare at the spot where you first thought you sensed a presence. Though your eyes tell you otherwise, you're not quite sure you're alone anymore. But how could that be? Nothing is there! Or is something..someone...there after all, unseen? The air is thick with speculation and some undefinable element. Your thoughts, scattered from their previous enjoyment, now race and your body tenses.

Don't be stupid, you tell yourself. It's just your overactive imagination at work. You want to believe something or someone is there. Just so you can experience an other worldly event.

But try as you might, you can't totally dismiss the feeling of being watched. As you wait with bated breath for some unknown thing to happen, you become aware of no malevolence in the air. Only...a curiosity and mischievousness. A visiting spirit perhaps? But who? Once again your mind races, looking for answers. A past owner of the house? A dead relative you were close to? Or a passing spirit? Or is it really just your imagination after all? The guesses could go on.

As you ponder who your unseen guest might be, you sense them coming towards you in a rush. Gasping in surprise, you recoil expecting to feel something at contact. When nothing happens you open your hastily shut eyes and look about. Except for you the room is empty. Your earlier feeling is gone. Releasing a pent up breath you slowly relax. Whoever it was disappeared when they came upon you. For several moments you just sit, thinking and taking it in. You're reminded of another earlier incident months before, when you thought you saw something but was unsure.

Questions bloom in your fertile imagination. Was that really real then too? Surely I couldn't have imagined two similiar incidents? Am I going nuts, or can I sometimes feel what's on a higher plane? The possibility that you can excites you and brings a smile to your face, yet at the same time fills you with an eerieness.

There are many inexplicable things in our universe. The Loch Ness Monster. Leprechauns and fairies. Ghosts. We hardly see them for cynical minds and lost innocence. But if you're lucky, or of an open mind you just might sense or get a glimpse of another world...

You hear something on the wind. Was that...laughter?

Elective surgery, anyone?

Saturday, August 27, 2005

Halloween Dare

Following this message are two true tales from local cemeteries.

Go ahead, we dare you...go to these places and judge for yourselves if we're simply spinning Halloween Yarns or giving you the Bare Bones...

Your Hostesses
Anita and Karen

Last Confession-By Karen Roberts

This year of our Lord 1876, I, Miranda Jacobsen write this my confession. I attempt to clear my conscience prior to my death.

My story begins a year ago, on All Saint’s Eve; a cold night, and one which I spent very much alone. My father had died just a few weeks earlier, of a terrible catarrh in the chest, and we had buried him in the Stull Church Graveyard. He was a cruel man, and few attended the services, those few who don’t still blame him for the death of my mother, gone these six years.

He worked her to death, never sparing her even when she was late into her final months of pregnancy. This was her seventh, all the rest besides me having ended in miscarriage, due to overwork and poor nutrition—my father was a skinflint with food. My mother had been hauling wood all day for the coming winter when her pains began. She tried to make it into the house, but something went dreadfully wrong, and I found her behind the shed, her skirts soaked in blood when I returned from school. I held her in my arms while the life leaked out of her, and she died a few moments later. My father had long looked for a reason to take me out of school, and he did so with haste thereafter, and at age 15 I surrendered my dream of completing my education and becoming a nurse. I became instead his unpaid drudge. In these past seven years, I have been kept clothed and fed, just barely, and have had a roof over my head, but no kind word was spared, no joy allowed, no extraneous conversation, merely orders, commands, work, work, and more work.

It was summer last that the peddler came through town, and my father let loose a few coins for purchase of household necessities. I bought the things he asked, save one—a tin bucket—and told him later the peddler had just sold his last one to a Mr. Strass, a neighbor up the road. My father cursed both the peddler and the neighbor and asked me for the remaining coins. I impressed upon him that the price of the other goods had risen and that there were no coins left. I hid from him the fact of my other purchase, which I began to use nightly to season his stew. Shortly thereafter, he began to waste away, as if his cruelty was eating him from the inside out, and became pale and wan. It was not a month later that he succumbed to illness, as he would sooner die than pay a doctor. In this, he was accommodated.

I enjoyed a period of relative quiet then, with the church aiding in my support, as I had no other family. They allowed me to live on at the cabin, as they felt sure they could make me a match. I was, after all, 21, able-bodied, a good worker, and unblemished of face.

I lived contentedly, taking in sewing and washing, lending my hands to those who needed help with canning and preserving, while the church elders searched for a suitable Christian man who could sustain my wellbeing. In spite of the fact that I felt no real loss, and needed to make a hasty match, it was felt that my attendance at the All Saint’s Eve dance would be unseemly, so soon after my father’s death, so I remained in my cabin alone.

I had finished a simple dinner of soup and bread when I heard a knock on the door. I opened it to find a stranger, a tall dark man with deep-set eyes who smiled at me.

“Miss Jacobsen?”

“Yes, sir, do I know you?” I pulled the door to a bit, stepping back.

“Pastor Hollings sent me over. He felt a bit sorry that you are being kept from the dance, and has wished for some time for me to make your acquaintance. He thought that it would be a fine time for us to meet.”

“Unchaperoned? That seems a bit…” I trailed off.

“Well, my dear, he has reason to trust me. I am the son of his sister.” He smiled, again, quite charmingly.

“Oh,” I said, a bit flustered yet relieved, “do please come in.” I opened the door widely and when he passed by, I smoothed my hair and pinched my cheeks to make the color rise. “Are you a man of the church as well, sir?”

“No, no, I wouldn’t say that.” He smiled pleasantly, but did not volunteer further information.

“Please, come and sit down and have a cup of tea,” I said, motioning toward the table. He took a seat and I bustled around getting the kettle on. I felt his eyes on my every move.

Talk was exchanged, we drank our tea, and I began to feel a glimmer of hope. This man was educated, cultured, and witty—all qualities my mother had possessed and my father had tried to eradicate in her and in me. I could feel heat in my cheeks as I spoke to him. My father’s death was mentioned.

“Yes, it was…strange. Some sort of wasting illness. He didn’t take to doctors, so I never found out the cause.”

“Perhaps something he ate,” he said, smoothly, smiling at me. His eyes bored into mine. “But then, I imagine you are a wonderful cook.” I blinked, and shook myself a bit.

“I have had lots of practice, Mr.—I don’t believe I heard your name, Mr.--?”

“I am Mr. Damon,” he said, and extended his hand toward me. I clasped it, expecting it to be warm, as he was seated directly next to the fire, but it was ice cold. I pulled my hand from his grip.

“Well, Mr. Damon, I expect you need to be getting back to the dance, and I need to be getting on to bed. I’m sure there are many young ladies waiting for the pleasure of your company.” I rose to show him to the door, and he followed.

“You flatter me, Miss Jacobsen,” he said. As we approached the door, his arm came over my shoulder and around my throat. “Shall we dance, Miss?”

My hands clawed, reaching toward the door, but I was pulled up and off my feet as he dragged me back into the room. His hot breath was on my neck, his arm pressing the air from my throat. The room spun.

“You’ll make a pretty bride, Miss, but I don’t know as I would allow you to cook for me. Arsenic, isn’t it?” Not exactly to recipe, I would say.”

Panicking and unable to breath, I felt my body going limp as I lost consciousness. Was this my father’s spirit, back for revenge? My last thought was of my mother, her bloody skirts and pale skin. So be it.

I awoke on the bed. I cannot say exactly what transpired in that room, but my neck was ringed with bruises and I could barely move. I have a vague recollection of awakening, but it must have been a dream, as atop me in the bed was a creature with red eyes and dreadful features, something not of this earth. Overcome, I once again slipped into a swoon.

I kept to my home for several days until the bruised faded, and after church the next week, I spoke to Pastor Hollings.

“Did you enjoy your nephew’s visit?” I said, forcing a smile to my lips. He looked puzzled.

“I have no nephews, just the one niece,” Pastor said, looking at me strangely. “Are you feeling quite all right, my dear?” I assured him of my health and returned home. Many sleepless nights ensued, and my dread increased when I realized it had been two months since I had experienced my monthly courses. Out community did not look fondly upon bastard children, and how could I explain what had transpired on that wretched night without being thought touched or feebleminded? I did not wish to end up at the lunatic asylum in Topeka.

I remained as long as I could in Stull proper, until such time as my belly began to swell despite severe restriction of my victuals, and then I told Pastor Hollings that I was leaving town for a bit, to visit a distant aunt, twice removed, who I had located recently. In truth I went to the forest, and there built myself a shelter among the trees and brambles. A thin layer of snow lay on the ground, and I dug as deep a hole as I could in my condition. I survived on the foodstuffs I had carted to the forest over time; canned and preserved goods I had put up the year prior, and water from the creek nearby. My hair became a tangle, my clothes dank and musty. Several times I spotted nearby hunters or children and had to dash to the safety of a nearby cave I had found in the side of the riverbank. Spring turned gradually to summer, and I wore only my shift, filthy and torn it was, but cool, and I bathed in the creek at night under the moon. I lost track of the days.

Finally, I was awakened one night, a dark and moonless night, by my pains and a rush of water into my bed. After many hours of labor, moaning and writhing by myself in the woods, the child slid free. I lay, spent, upon the quilt. Upon hearing my babe cry, I forgot my misery and turned to him. As I picked him up to cradle him to my breast, I could see his face. His eyes were blood red, and glowing with all the evil of his father and he had a mouthful of tiny sharp teeth, which made toward my breast. Screaming, I threw him down on the blanket and turned away, crying and shivering with fear and loathing. I took the thing outside down to the creek, and held it under the water, allowing the current to cleanse the birthing fluids from the tiny body, and cleanse the evil from my life. When the child stopped struggling, I bathed and buried my bloody rags, and bundled up the child to take it to the cemetery. A burial on sacred ground was the only chance I could offer the little thing, the only chance of salvation. I made my way quietly to the Stull cemetery and dug a small hole. I wrapped the body in a rag and tucked the bottle of arsenic I had carried for many months next to it, and covered them both with earth. I arranged the grasses to appear undisturbed. As a gardening project had recently been accomplished by the Ladies’ Auxiliary in the Churchyard, the slight disruption would not be noted. I returned to my home, bound my leaking breasts, and bathed, combing the tangles out of my hair after several hours work.

The next day I visited Pastor Hollings, to tell him of my return home. He greeted me gladly, and told me all the latest news of the town.

“Be careful, Miranda,” he said. “A strange presence has been seen in the woods hereabouts of late. Keep the door tightly locked.”

My ordeal was over. I waited for my life to resume…the matchmaking and care of the community continued to be lavished upon me, as my food and funds grew ever more meager. I continued to work for others, but was often absent, almost in a trance, and people began to talk. I was extremely tired, as my nights were a torment of dreams, evil dreams in which I relived the attack, the birth, and the moment when the life went out of the devilish spawn beneath my hands. I lay awake many nights, praying for deliverance, but God has forsaken me, I fear.

I began to hear voices. “Murderer. You killed my child. I am coming for you, Miranda.” My nights continued to unravel, and I noticed my neighbors whispering behind me as I walked. I started at the least sound, the least unexpected event.

As the year began to die, I waited for All Saint’s Eve with dread. I was more and more distracted and fretful, and there were murmurings among the townspeople of sending me to the asylum. My dreams became more and more vivid, until I could scarce tell when I was awake, and when I was asleep. My evil tormentor often stood in the half-dark corner of my room, red eyes glowing, unpleasant smile on his lips, staring at me. “I am coming for you.”

This morning, I rose early, having lain awake for hours in torment. I had promised Pastor Hollings that I would bring bread to the church for the evening communion, and planned to deliver it early. As I approached the churchyard I heard the voice in my head, louder and louder. I began to run, to try and rid myself of the foul presence, hoping the churchyard would provide shelter. Instead, as I approached the church, I spied a bundle on the front steps. I stepped closer, with dread clawing at my heart and innards. I could see a form within the bundle, and recognized the sheet I had wrapped the child in, torn and filthy though it now was. Lying next to the bundle was the arsenic bottle. Beneath the bundle, written in what appeared to be blood, was my name, MIRANDA. I stumbled to the bushes nearby, and retched up my breakfast. Across the churchyard I saw Pastor Holings emerge from the rectory and startle visibly as he saw me taking ill in the bushes.

“Miranda?” he said. “Child, are you ill?” His voice carried across the vacant churchyard. I looked at him with despair, and did the only thing I could. I ran.

As I entered the wood, brambles tearing at my clothes, I heard the voice in my head, laughing with maniacal pleasure. I ran until my legs could carry me no further. I was near a small home in the woods, and exploring, it appeared there was no one at home. I entered the house and found paper and this quill, and taking only that I traveled on my way, deeper into the wood. I was now doomed, I knew, and would not be welcomed in the town of Stull again. “Nor anywhere, miss.. Anywhere but hell!” The voice whispered inside my skull, filling my chest and belly until I vomited with the pain of it. I could feel the evil growing within me, the girl that I once was fading with the afternoon light. I made ready.

There is no hope for one such as me. Have mercy upon my soul.

This account was discovered on All Saint’s Eve, 1876, in a wood outside Stull, Kansas. The words you read were written on the parchment in blood, the blood which flowed from Miranda Jacobsen’s fingertips after she pricked them deeply with locust thorns. Miranda was found hanging from a tree nearby, having torn and braided her cloak into a rope. Fixing herself to the tree, she jumped from a nearby rock. She did not die immediately, but struggled to claw the rope from her throat. Authorities discovered a partially decomposed newborn infant along with a bottle of arsenic on the steps of the Church at Stull on the same day.

Each year, on All Saint’s Eve, October 31, Miranda Jacobsen returns to the woods around Stull, and her cries of agony as she suffocates, hanging from the tree, can be heard in the hollows and hills. Her terrible attacker, who is widely thought to be Satan, returns as well. He searches the churchyard for his child, who, following autopsy was reburied at the State Cemetery for the Poor along with Miranda, thirty miles away. Stull is thought to be one of the seven gates of hell, as Satan chose it for the birthplace of his heir. Miranda’s name is often found the next morning, written in fresh blood, on the remains of the old church foundation, which was demolished a number of years ago.

The Von Bormann's Children

I would love to have you come visit me and see for yourself where I spent my childhood.

I mean, for a writer like yourself…well, it would be time well spent, as you’ll see:

I grew up outside of a town where there's this small private Cemetery owned by the Von Bormann Family. The Von Bormann Family's Home is still up there overlooking the Cemetery and there's some talk about making it into a Historical Landmark.

The Local Smart Alecs started that movement. They are the types that like to go to The Clover Patch Bar and wear t-shirts with sports team logos on them and drink alcohol until they pass out.

The Blue Bloods, who do the exact same thing as the Smart Alecs only they do it in more expensive clothes would like to see the entire 100 acres shoved off the bluffs into the Straights, but you can't always get what you matter what Mick Jagger says.

The Von Bormann’ s were this odd family where everyone looked alike, even the husband and wife...who in all probability were actually brother and sister and they had ' about a million kids' and it was said the kids wore really ratty, gray, ugly clothes even though the Von Bormann’ s were suppose to be Mega-Rich.

So the Von Bormann’ s kept having kids and the cemetery kept filling up until there was about 30 graves and the house fell apart little by little and the people in town saw less and less of the Von Bormann’ s until the sightings stopped all together.

The Von Bormann’ s were probably all dead the people in Town thought…though hoped was more likely what they were feeling.

Had the Von Bormann’ s been alive they’d have been way over a hundred when the stories started

It was the stories about the children that came first.

People saw these little kids wandering up and down the road leading to the Von Bormann’ s house in the middle of the night in all sorts of weather. Though, mostly they seemed to be seen more when the weather was bad.

So these people would pull over in their cars and ask the kids if they needed help and these kids would say yes and hop into the car. Then as soon as the car door slammed shut and the driver turned around to ask what on earth are you wondering around at this hour of the night they'd be gone.

Just like that.

Mrs. Woods said that once she stopped to help what she thought were two little girls walking hand in hand up that long dark road and when they got close to the car Mrs. Woods could see that the two little figures only looked liked children from a distance.

But they weren't...they were twisted and small and as Mrs. Woods would try to explain " they only looked like children, but they weren't they were just dried little husks. "

" Husks of what? "

Mrs. Woods would be asked and she would shake her head and say, " Husks, that's all. Husks."

Then the story about the Singing Lady in the cemetery started.

She was suppose to be dressed in old fashioned clothes and would wander from grave to grave singing lullabies. Once someone new to town actually talked to the Singing Lady and asked what she was she doing out there in the dark and she said, " why, I'm singing to my babies of course " and then she wandered off into the darkness.

Then a few years ago the Blue Bloods got their wish...sort of.

We had this massive rainstorm hit our town, which had started off as a massive blizzard, and we were nearly buried alive in all the snow and ice. Then something called the Pineapple Express tore in off the Pacific and the entire mess turned to water and instead of snow it rained.

And it rained and rained and rained.

Sometime during the storm part of the cliff that the Von Bormann’ s House stood on slid straight into the Straights and took part of the cemetery up there with it.

Coffins and body parts in all sorts of stages of decay started to wash up alone the shoreline.

My Dad was one of the half dozen that went up there to check and see what the state of the rest of the cemetery and the house was in.

The Von Bormann’ s House only looked abandoned. My Dad was convinced someone was watching them from that house ' lots of someones ' he told me ' that house was full of eyes.

Then they made their way carefully to the place where the cemetery was and they saw row after row of sleeping lambs and baby angels and little marble bibles with that prayer little kids say ' now I lay me down to sleep' carved into them.

I'm not sure who noticed the names first, but they started to go from stone to stone and familiar names started to come after the other.

All had once been residents of the Town and later of the Town's Cemetery.

Now they were up here buried under children's tombstones.

" Oh God, " someone said, " it's them, it's Mrs. Von Bormann’ s Babies. "

They were you see...they had become Mrs. Von Bormann’ s babies.

This was Mrs. Von Bormann’ s nursery.

The Cemetery.

It probably always had been where her ‘babies’ came from.

Later these people from the Health Department found more of Von Bormann’ s Babies up at the Von Bormann’ s house. They were in the sitting rooms reading books and comics in front of cold dusty fireplaces and in a spider-webbed schoolroom with a blackboard and the ABC's printed on it in colored chalk.

They held stuffed toys and had ribbons in their hair and some were even sitting on a swinging bench in the backyard.


Mrs. Von Bormann’ s babies.

And to this day no one knows how they got up there.

So if you come to visit me soon (and I hope you do) all I can say is watch out for those kids on the road and if you hear singing coming from the cemetery I suggest you run, not walk away as fast as you can.

© anita moscoso 2005

Meet Bustah!!!!

This is Bustah, a permanent fixture of Samhain celebrations in our little madhouse. He is most definitely a one-of-a-kind!!!

Prayers of the Dead

Listen to the corpses pray:
Bones rattle in supplication
absent lips form phrases
stored deep in the marrow.
Phalanges click like rosary beads
over the mysteries of the twelve ribs,
to the left, sorrow
the right is joy.
This is the body,
now and forever
world without end.


cham'ber of hor'rors
1. a place for the exhibition of gruesome or horrible objects.
2. a group of such objects, as instruments of torture or murder.
3. any collection of things or ideas that inspire horror.

WELL OF COURSE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

And Ill leave it to your imagination but these items are from the Shelves of the Mutter Museum....go ahead, just THINK about it.

Broken bones
Pott's Disease Skeletons
Skull Collections, including the Muniz collection of trephinated (holes cut in them)
"Brain Of A Murderer" - John Wilson hanged in Norristown, PA
Longitudinal slices of the head, showing brain
Brain of animals arranged from tiny frog to man, often with eyes attached
Large collection of baby deformities.
Hearing apparatti of mammals in butterfly collection-like cases.
Wax Renderings of Eye Disease Problems

Ghostly Passage....

This passage will take you here...and if you cruise around the site you'll come to the Amazing Benandanti....I still haven't figured out why she's there, but hey, you can't help but to feel flattered!
Anita Marie

That scary house

I'm sure I'm not alone in having a house from childhood that haunts the memory no matter how many years and miles away it may be.
Just such a house was my father's Mother's house. Once upon a time, about 1900 or so, it was considered a mansion. By the time I was introduced to it in the early 1960's it had a terrifying resemblance to the Bates family manse in "Psycho".
It brooded on the corner of the block, the paint long since faded to a nondescript dust-bunny grey. The trees were withered and sickly and the grass had given up growing, no flower bloomed in this sullen space, nor did children scamper gaily with jump rope or bicycle. Animals wisely gave it wide berth; even the automobiles, no matter how new and shiny looked abandoned in the shadow of this place.
The windows were wavering and dull; rheumy eyes into a world of mildew, dust and rot. The curtains hung tiredly within, the velvet drapes limp and greyed, the furze slowly falling away from the fabric. The lace beneath was of the same stuff as the eternal cobwebs on the high ceilings.
Creaking, scuffed floors of faded hardwood planking seemed barely able to support the weight of Persian rugs, worn to their burlap backing from countless feet over the years. The furniture would have looked perfect in a daugerrotype, with the frozen faces of the barkeep and the local madam in front of them.
Enter into this, if you dare, from a narrow, coffin-sixed front stoop with the skeletons of long-dead wisteria still caught on the pillars. There we were, my brothers and I; it was Sunday, time for 'visitation' with the father that didn't wish to be one.
While he slumbered on the old wingback sofa, like a brooding manatee, we explored the verboten realms; the shadowed and maze-like basement and the upstairs... oh that upstairs.
The basement was more than enough to frighten the most stolid of children, stacks of old magazines had become mounds of... something dank and slimy. The sort of thing that made one scrub their hands on their clothes, over and over till the skin burned. Furniture sank in on itself, black holes of decay under the sickly light of dusty, flyblown low-wattage bulbs, much too far apart for comfort.
Through the haphazard warren we explored, trying to ignore the home canned food that was so old all the colour had leached out of the flesh within, giving them the appeartance of monstrous foetuses suspended in formaldehyde. And always, always so careful to avoid that room.
The room that housed the long-forgotten well. The door had rotted from its hinges and there was no cap on the well. I dared a look down it, once. That is still indelible in my memory. The smell of stagnation slithered up from a round hole, just large enough to swallow an unwary child. The bottom and sides were unseen, from the rim of the dirt floor onward it was blackness impenetrable; it was too easy to imagine a passage straight to the depths of Hel in that well.
The old laundry sinks and spare shower were the colour of old blood from rust, the floor was gritty and uneven, as if to pitch someone into the waiting maw of... what???
The second floor should have been a relief after the basement, but it was not to be. The wax on the hardwood planking had long since been absorbed into the wood and the grain was splitting from itself. Whatever the original colour had been will remain a mystery best left be.
None of the high narrow windows had curtains, there should have been light a-plenty, yet even the sun dreaded visiting this place. The rooms' doors were closed tightly and opened slowly screaming in protest through rusted hinges.
Empty, empty empty were the rooms, sad and forgotten. Most of the rooms had lost their memories before my brothers and I explored this place of troubled dream and failed rest. A few still cried out under the burden of their pasts.
When the upstairs had been a boarding house, in the era of grandmother's childhood, there was a large communal kitchen. All that remained of it was a sink, and the ghost-patterns of icebox and wood stove on the scabrous linoleum. This room held a deep shame, terror and pain that echoed in the silence.
What surely must have been the grandest room for rent boasted its own bathroom, I never ventured far enough in to see the fixtures. This room still glowers in my memory, silent screams ricochet in my subconcious.
For many years this house held such terrors I could not even speak of it to anyone. It was close to 20 years before I could tell my mother of our wanderings. I told her of the rooms that frightened me so,even in their dying emptiness. My mother's tanned and rosy face became sickly and her eyes were like a frightened horse's. "Tell me again," She said. "Which rooms these were,and where were they?"
I answered her, still remembering the feel of buckling floorboards under youthful feet. She paled even more and crossed herself (I have seen her do this only that once outside of church).
"Oh my God Gwen Marie..." Mum took hold of my hand with her shaking one. "The kitchen that frightened you so, your grandmother and great-aunt wsere raped in that room!!"
"The bedroom you couldn't go into you were so afraid, that was the room where one of the boarders committed suicide. They found him in the tub, soaking in his own blood."
I still must fight a shiver when I think of that house. I sometimes wonder where the ghosts went when it finally collapsed in on itself from old age?
I'm afraid to know where.

We need ghost stories!!

A friend was kind enough to send me a link to Ghost stories across the US, both white and Native American. Shall we read these by candlelight, snuggled in our beds???

Friday, August 26, 2005

Underworld Snapshots - More Orsini

Can't keep away from here....
too interesting...

Thursday, August 25, 2005

My Night To Hhhhhhooooooowwwwwllllll!!!!

Wolf Maiden by Jessica Galbreth

Some Monsters - Parco Dei Mostri, Italy

Circa 1552
(Villa of Wonders, Park of Monsters)
Take a wander...

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

An Urban Legend? One Can Only Hope....

( 13 Steps Cemetery )

I received this e-mail last Halloween with this message...
E-mail this photo to six people and after the sixth person has opened it you'll see a hearse appear at the front gates.

I dug around a bit and discovered that Picture #666 is of a real cemetery.
The tombstones there are all blank .... Someone went through and defaced all 300 of them.

To strange to be fiction if you ask me...

Vampires: The Bare-Fanged Truth and Legends

This is another entry I did for the 13 Days of Halloween. The vampire is my favorite monster, but this isn't what I'm sharing for the challenge/suggestion I set for all of us. No, I'm going to do something fresh...*toothy smile* for my monster. But this is merely a passing on of information and spreading of fun.

Children of the Night. Bloodlust. Deadly beauty. Mystique. Fear. All these describe one of best well-known and most fascinating monsters in the course of human legends: vampires.

As far back as the beginning of the human race there have been tales of a demon-like creature who drinks the blood of the living. In Hebrew legend the creature--or first vampire--is Lilith. According to this myth, she was Adam's first wife...and his equal. She refused to meekly obey him and rebelled against him, fleeing the Garden of Eden for the shores of the Red Sea. As punishment for mating with demons and refusing to go back home, Lilith was cursed to drink the blood of others.

Every culture throughout time has had its own version and lore of vampires. In Ancient Greece they were called nosferatu, meaning "plague-carrier." Empusas, a nosferatu, was supposedly a servant to the Witch Queen Hecate.

In Arabia the Algul is a female demon who drinks the blood of dead babies and lives in cemeteries.

The Baobhan-sith is Scotland's version. They are beautiful maidens in long dresses of green who lure their male victims to their deaths. (Hmmm, an idea for an entry for another day. Must make quick note of it.)

In India the Brahmaparush not only drink their victims' blood, but eat their brains as well. Then, having finished their meal the Brahmaparush wrap their victims' intestines around themselves and dance.

Germany has a child vampire, the Doppelsauger. A child becomes one when they're are nursed again after being weaned. Once they become a Doppelsauger they enjoy eating the breasts of a relative. (Watch out Mama, Aunt Ermengarde and Cousin Hilda!)

And let's not forget the most famous vampire of them all: the Transylvanian Dracula! The frightening, suave, mysterious, otherworldly handsome Prince of the Night. The one vampire most are drawn to, the one most vampires are now modeled after in movies and books. The one based on a real man, on legends and pure invention.

Despite their different habits and characteristics, the vampiric traits never change. All drink blood. All have to return to their homeland's earth to sleep, and they must sleep during the day. Of course, there are many ways to kill a vampire.

  • Decapitation
  • Forcing them into the sunlight and/or
  • A wooden stake made of ash or rowan driven through the heart

These creatures are fantasy, myth, legends. Products of superstition and over-active imaginations. It is the more real, more tangible, mortal "vampires" that are...or were...the ones people needed to fear, for they were truly the most evil and diabolical of all vampires. I'm talking about Vlad the Impaler and the Blood Countess, Elizabeth Bathory.

Vlad was fascinated with and perfected the art of impaling. He would dip his bread in the blood of his enemies and eat. The Countess was equally morbid and sinister. She was so vain and believed fully in any rejuvenating properties virgin blood may have. She killed hundreds and thousands of virgin girls, bathing in their blood, hoping to remain eternally young and beautiful. (I think this is where the agelessness of vampires comes from--from the Countess of Bathory.)

All in all, what I have shared depicts a gruesome and vile picture of vampires. And in truth it's not pretty or romantic at all. Humanity can be twisted, supicious, distrustful of anything it doesn't know about or understand. It can be cruel and Thus, it is so easy to invent such a creature to put the blame on. A vampire. A creature that walks the night, neither living nor completely dead, forced to drink the blood of the living to survive.

The vampire, I think, has undergone a Renaissance of its own. No longer feared due to superstition of long ago, the vampire is viewed in a new accepting light. Vampires are now cool. Just look at Angel, the latest vampire show, or look up The Little Vampire. In these the vampires are the good guys. Just read one of Anne Rice's or L.J. Smith's books. People, though still fascinated by them, are no longer afraid of vampires. Vampires are good. Perhaps tragic, cursed souls as I said last night, but even they to some people, deserve happiness.

Coincidentally, my Monster Match is the Vampire!

The vampire is your monster match--the dentally endowed child of the night. This Halloween, take a nap during the day so you can make it from dusk 'til dawn. Like the "undead" themselves, you demonstrate eternal youth and an appetite for living that is contagious (no biting necessary). When the sun goes down, you have an uncanny sense of where to be and when to show up.

Even if you decide to strap on the udders and dress as a dairy cow, you still have a certain suave gracefulness that permeates even the silliest of costumes. Lay off the garlic and you'll have no trouble getting that special victim back to your coffin for a little nibble. Pace yourself Vampires, you're going to need to save a little energy for the day after. Dracula can't see his reflection in the mirror, but luckily, you can. So don't forget to freshen up a little after your Halloween weekend.

What's your Monster Match?

Take the quiz and find out...if you dare!

Iain Piping in Samhain Eve

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

A Little Dinner Conversation

We've been waiting for you, Balnetar and I, he knows I get... hungry... for company out here. We're tucked away in the middle of nowhere, between two folds of the Highlands. Balnetar knew you were coming before you'd put on your coat and taken up your keys to the automobile in your snug little garage. How the times have changed since I was born. It is so much easier to make friends and invite them over for a bite to eat. Most of them are blessed with good taste and I truly enjoy going all out for them.

What is that noise you ask? Why 'tis only Iain, piping up the moon. Oh, my goodness yes, The Silver Lady is her full round self tonight. So excellent that it should coincide with the Samhain Festival tonight.

Yes, yes, the Festival is always held by the old castle, the one so near the loch. Isn't that wonderful to have such a rich mist risig from the loch's depths? Come, come to the window dear. You can hardly see Iain as he marches to the castle as have his family for centuries. Ill? Och, nay, his family are always pale as he, but oh! the sloe-coloured eyes and midnight black hair are stunning with the white skin, don't you agree?

On those nights when a storm threatens 'tis best to snuggle in with a book, and a candle for when the lights go out. Because they will, they always do here.

With lightning crackling across the heavens and layers of brooding clouds blocking out moon and stars it can get awfully... dark here. That is when the Voices start. You've never heard Them?? Stay here tonight, please. It's too soon till full night to travel. You'll be far safer here, in my Circle...

My Darker Half

Meet my darker half dears, with her pet and beloved companion, Hugo. They are usually up to no good, I can tell you that. Hugo is full of gossip, and tales of blood and sacrifice.

Housewife Freak Squad

Mr Freak was a mistake, an ink blob, a sob job;
nothing really, in hindsight...
I answered a notice in the paper,
"Angry pack of women seeking Mr Freakazoid,
we need numbers, stragglers, on two legs,
with wooden spoons, ghostly nightgowns,
recipe books filled with flopped cakes
and black biscuits...join the crusade."
We met by moonlight, a sliver, and
grinned at each other, then laughed shortly,
and went.

A million movie pictures oozed in our
minds as we stumbled through the black,
night moaning, bumping into shards of
crumbling drapes that fell apart in our hands,
shapes that wanted us, that clawed our eyes,
yet the thing that frightened us most
was the tour of the desperate housewives,
locked in a cave with no light, we saw
our reflections in wide eyed stupors
staring at some kind of box that made
pictures we devoured with our big, dull eyes.

The caves weren't what you think --
full of plastic flowers, colour of the month,
cut out stencils, shapes of devouring youths,
plastic holidays to soulless places, blank
postcards coming back, stuck on fridges
nobody looked at. A computer was stuck
in the iceberg fridge with the internet on,
while biscuits burned in the clinical stove,
and a cake stood cooling on the bench of
plastic marble, sunk through the middle, caving in.

With our spoons we stirred the pot, the
cauldron, in our nightdresses like wraiths,
screaming like banshees, at the man who
sat cross legged with crooked teeth, looking at
pictures of himself in a daze in the papers,
gossip mags, chip packets and collectable
cards. Our Hero, it said in the headlines,
which we didn't believe for a second. Mr
Freakazoid was home but attached to nothing,
like a black balloon, bobbing and weaving
in the stale air, in love with his own reflection
on a fragile paper stand, no strings attached.

We had found him and took a group photograph,
when we got back, and swapped pictures
by the light of the full moon, we could see
our own reflections, clear eyes burning back,
smiling with black remembrance,
and saw in our glowing nightgowns,
that he wasn't there. There was a black hole
in the pic, with us blooming around it.
It was nothing, yet something, and
there was no turning back.


As legend has it, one of the seven gates of hell

Stull, Kansas
Soon you will hear the facts behind the legend...

Too much candy!

Strange emails

I've been a bit concerned recently, as I have received a strange email. The only thing in it was this photo, which is a picture of a psychiatric hospital I worked at for a has since been demolished, after a series of events which--well, which rocked the community, and are best left unsaid. I fear that one of my former patients is trying to reach me, and it has me looking over my shoulder a bit. Please pray for my safety.

An Idea--Anyone Game?

I've been rereading one of my 13 Days of Halloween entries...and had a frightful idear. Would anyone be interested in sharing their favorite moster, if they have one? My idea was to write a piece, a poem or song, or create an image or some type of game about your favorite monster. This is a party after all, and who knows what fun this exercise could bring?

The Witching Hour

Last year, following in ABCFamily's shadow, I did a 13 Days of Halloween in my journal. It was a fun two-week long exercise. This offering is one of the entries I did for it. Enjoy! But, if you are out walking on the night of October's Hunter Moon and lil chills zing up your spine all of the sudden while the lil hairs on your neck stand at attention, don't be too alarmed by the voices you're hearing. After all, it is the Witching Hour, and you should be safe at home anyway. Just pray these women aren't hexing you.

The Witching Hour by Jessica Galbreth

The Witching Hour is the hour of midnight on a full moon. It is at this time that the witches' spell casting powers are at their fullest. It is a time of change and transformation. The history of this may be traced to the ancient times of the worship of goddesses associated with the moon and fertility. As the moon waxes in its phases so do the powers of those, until they culminate at the full moon.

Sometimes, this moon in October is called the Hunter's Moon or Wolf Moon. (Any pagans reading this, please correct me.) The moon is very powerful in pagan beliefs, and I think it's said it affects emotions...? Usually herbs are collected and harvested at night while the moon is high. It is believed when done thusly, the herbs are at their best, infused with the moon's power.

Sometimes, other spells are performed during the day. Here is a spell to heal a broken friendship: If you have had a falling out with a good friend this simple spell will clear away the bad feelings and create a situation where peace can be made and the past put behind. It will in no way mean that the spell will force your friend to come running to you. It will simply pave the way for differences to be forgotten and your friendship to resume its happy path. You will need:

  • Two twelve-inch white candles
  • One twelve-inch yellow candle
  • Some yellow ribbon and white ribbon
  • Two Tarot cards to represent you and you and your friend
If you are female choose queens and if you are male choose knights. However do not choose the swords cards. Hearts are recommended. This spell is to be done only on a Sunday or Monday at exactly midday. It should be done on a bright, sunny day, never in the rain.

Using a heavy duty pin engrave the name and birthdate of your friend on one white candle and your name on the other. On the yellow candle engrave both your names and birthdate together. On the yellow candle also engrave the following words: "Preese ito na lionide."

Find a peaceful spot in a grassy place under a tree. Place the yellow candle in the center with the white candles on opposite sides twelve inches apart. With your left hand light the yellow candle. Then light the candle on your left, which will have your name on it. Then light the candle on the right, which will have your friend's name on it.

Wait until a piece of dripping wax from each of the candles has touched the ground. Then say these words: "(Your full name backwards) ete tiato el liso reto mio li qi (your friends full name backwards)." Repeat three times. Extinguish all three candles with the little finger of your left hand your candle first, your friend's candle second and the yellow third.

Tie all three candles in both yellow and white ribbons entwined. Bury in the ground.

Though this spell calls for the day, from my limited understanding a lot of spells are performed under the full moon when a witch's power is at its highest. During the Witching Hour...

"Tis the witching hour of night,
Orbed is the moon and bright,
And the stars they glisten, glisten,
Seeming with bright eyes to listen
For what listen they?"

~John Keats~