We are still wanting to hear your spooky stories! Remember they can be stories passed down through your family, or something you have experienced first hand. Send them our way!
Carnivals, in earlier times, was most commonly found in Rome. Throughout history, many countries have embraced the art of being different and created variations of their own carnivals. For instance, there is Mardi Gras in New Orleans, as well as Rio de Janeiro. From masked balls to eccentric costumes, large parades, cultural foods and beverages and even rides and attractions.
But somewhere, sometime in history they became creepy. Whether it was how carnivals were portrayed in the famous non-fiction book, the Devil in White City, or the portrayal of carnivals and fairs in movies like “Mr. Giggles,” or even kids’ shows like “Goosebumps” and “Are you Afraid of the Dark.”
Carnivals often have what is referred to Freakshows where they exploit and profit from an individual’s talent, and in some cruel cases, their disability. Carnivals have a sketchy history of human abuse as well as animal abuse. So, what we used to turn a blind eye to, has come to the forefront and the more we know, the creepier they become.
Now, that’s not to say all carnivals are bad, or treat their crew and animals badly, but there have been enough bad seeds to tarnish the entire reputation of the carnival.
If you have a creepy carnival/ fair story we would love for you to email us your story and we could showcase it as one of our blogs!
Horror films play a prominent part of American culture, especially during the fall. Let’s look back at some of the history of this peculiar genre. Horror films today are obviously different than their grandfathers who started the genre, such as The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari and Nosferatu, but these classic original horror films helped pave the way for a new kind of entertainment. Entertainment drawn from fear. Some films like Freaks (1932) were banned for 26 years in Great Britain due to public outcry regarding the disturbing content. Movies like this along with directors and actors helped pave the way for some of the most influential figures in the genre, such as Alfred Hitchcock. Hitchcock would continue to produce horror films from the 1940’s until the 1970’s. It was with his creation of Psycho that he invented modern horror. Up until then a lot of horror films were based on folklore, urban legends and the life of those in sideshows.
Following Hitchcock’s reinvention of the genre movies like The Exorcist (1973) would follow. Following these films though would be a lot of backlash due to their disturbing and graphic content including rape, murder, and animal cruelty. A good reference on how society, especially the U.K, reacted to such films would be to research Film Nasties. Films that were banned due to their very graphic nature that a lot of people would believe may cause an extremely violent society.
Horror continued to grow and even cultivated a sub-genre, known as slasher parodies. Scream (1996) is among the most popular slasher parody. With most of these characters deliberately breaking the rules to survive a horror film; No sex, no drinking or drugs, and never wondering off by yourself. Another strange, yet good, sub-genre of horror films is horror romance. Warm Bodies (2013) which took the Romeo and Juliet formula and put it in a world of humans and zombies in war.
As horror films continue to grow and gain a following, we see more and more styles of horror films and new takes on the genre. James Wan brings back the classic anticipation anxiety that a lot of old films produced. Movies like Zombieland have comedic relief that also portrays humans essentially turning on humans in the form of becoming zombies. Horror has become a genre that has multiple sub-genres and a mass following that doesn’t show any signs of slowing down any time soon.
There is a lot of reasons humans tend to be drawn to True Crime, whether in the form of documentary movies, podcasts, TV Specials or books and newspaper write ups. We as humans all have some level of journalistic instinct in us and we want the answer to the 4 W’s and the How. A lot of these cases, especially the most famous, also tend to have a mystery to them and humans like the gratifications of problem-solving.
Interestingly enough, the demographic more interested in True Crime stories are women. It is believed that women are more interested in True Crime because they can relate to the victim and use these reviews of past crimes and investigations to subconsciously gather tips on escaping and knowing how to pick up the signs of danger and the motives of these monsters.
10. Pinocchio is based on a story from 1883 by Carlo Collodi. This story shows a dark side to Pinocchio and how he treats his cricket companion.
9. The Little Mermaid, in the telling of Andersen, the mermaid was silenced by having her tongue cut off and there is not a happy ending resulting in the mermaid marrying the human, instead she ascends to heaven with her sisters and smiles at her love as he marries his human bride.
8. Cinderella, a 1950 Disney movie stays pretty close to the original story, “Cinderilla or the Little Glass Slipper” written in 1697 by Charles Perrault. This story has Cinderella getting the life she deserves and forgives her wicked stepsisters. However, the 1812 Grimm version, “Aschenputtel,” is pretty horrific compared to the original story. The wicked stepmother instructs her children to cut her toe off and pigeons help save the prince by plucking out the stepsister’s eyeballs.
7. A famous tale that we all know Grimm took a stab at is, “Little Red Riding Hood.” In the Grimm version the wolf does indeed devour Red Riding Hood and her grandmother, but the hunter arrives, cuts the wolfs belly open and Red Riding Hood and her grandmother escape without a scratch. Oddly enough, the Grimm version is less violent that Perrault’s version, where the hunter allows Red Riding Hood to be eaten.
6. Hansel and Gretel, in the Grimm’s 1812 version the old woman traps the duo and starves Gretel but fattens Hansel up. She decided to eat both of them anyway, but is outsmarted by Gretel who, at the right moment, pushes the witch into the oven and burns her to death.
5. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs the first Grimm story Walt Disney would turn into a beloved child’s movie has a pretty dark start. For example, in the Grimm version Snow White’s evil stepmother is invited to Snow Whites wedding where guest head a pair of iron shoes on burning coals and she is forced to step into the burning footwear and dance in agony until death becomes her.
4. Rumpelstiltskin, I’m sorry, but there is no version of this story, either in film or text that is not utterly terrifying. Having a creepy man demand your first-born child and then being ripped into by the very ground he stands on, is scary no matter the context. For a good scare check out the Rumpelstiltskin movie starring Amy Irving.
3. The Snow Queen is obviously different from its Disney Counterpart “Frozen.” In the Anderson story portrays a little boy named Kay who gets shards of broken magic mirror glass embedded in his heart and eyes. The glass turns to ice and this leads to him being abducted by the Snow Queen and Kay’s sister Gerda then has to retrieve him from the queen’s palace that is guarded by bears, snakes and porcupines.
2. Rapunzel, the original story has the prince climbing the town and then he impregnates her, then cuts her hair and abandons her in the desert. When the prince returns to the tower where he is confronted by the witch who taunts him and tells him he will never see Rapunzel again. The prince, in despair, jumps from the towner and lands in a bush whose thorns pierce his eyes, leaving him blind. He wanders around for years as a homeless blind man, until he reunites with Rapunzel, who is a single mother struggling with twin and for whatever reason forgives him, heals him and for an even weirder reason goes on to marry the man who humiliated and abandoned her.
1. And for the darkest of all Sleeping Beauty. This story has had many versions from 14th Century France “Perceforest” and Basile’s 1634 story “The Sun, the Moon and Talia.” Both versions end up with Snow White being violated and in the 1634 version the Queen is a cannibal.
Whether or not your walking through and old structure and feel a cold spot, or see a shadow out of the corner of your eye and then it disappears when you turn to it, or perhaps you feel for a split second some normalcy because you thought you saw a deceased relative. Believe it or not, all of these different situations could be ghosts. Like the living, ghosts come in many shapes and forms, so let’s explore five different types of ghosts.
- The Interactive personality: This can be a visit from a past family member or friend, sometimes even a historical figure. These ghosts tend to carry over their personalities they had when they were among the living. They can also emit odors that they believe you will associate with them, such as perfume, cigarette smoke, baked goods, etc. Mosts often these ghosts come about when they sense a loved one needs them, or they need you to know something.
- Ectoplasm: Yep! Sounds like ghostbusters, but believe it or not, this is a real type of ghost. These are your typical ghosts sightings that occur outdoors, likely in cemetery’s. What you will see with these ghosts are a swirling cloud that appear a couple of feet off the ground. They can be white, gray, or even black, and many times one will see the Ectoplasm before a full body apparition.
- The Poltergeist: This is the most widely known type of ghosts, due to pop culture. Poltergeists are referred to as “Noisy ghosts,” they have the ability to manipulate objects around them. They can open and shut doors and cabinets, move furniture, turn lights on and off, etc. This activity is normally harmless and ends as quickly as it started , however they have been known to become dangerous.
- Orbs: The balls of light that you believe it to just be bad lighting when taking a picture, could actually be a spirit, you have caught on camera. These orbs can be blue or white, they move very quickly and this is often the form they take before becoming an apparition, similar to the Ectoplasm.
- Funnel Ghosts: These ghosts can form a cold vortex. So, when you’re touring a historical structure that gives you the creeps and you walk through a cold spot in the upstairs walkway, more than likely you have passed through a Funnel Ghost.
“Ouija, the Wonderful Talking Board,” had booming sales in a Pittsburgh toy shop in the late 1800’s and never stopped gaining notoriety. The Ouija board was described as magical, promising answers to questions about the past, present and future, never-failing amusement and promising a link between the known and unknown, the material and immaterial. And perhaps the most truthful description was that it was interesting and mysterious. Which even then it was hard to see actual truth in advertising, as it is today, however the advertising of this toy was truthful, it was amusing, it was interesting and very mysterious, and it remains so today.
The Wonderful Talking Board came out of the 19th Century obsession with spiritualism in the United States of America, believing that we could communicate with the dead. Back then it wasn’t seen as strange or dangerous to try, and sometimes succeed, with communing with the dead, now it’s a different story. We fear the unknown, yet we’re still curious. We fear the danger associated with it, yet we love the rush. We fear unanswered questions, yet we don’t give it a chance to answer them.
To read more about the history of the Ouija Board visit this link:
How do you tell if your house is haunted?
Here are six things you can do to see if your house is haunted
- Use a voice recorder. If you find your house, or a particular room is haunted, take a voice recorder in that room, ask the ghost a series of questions and then leave giving the ghost enough time to answer. Upon reviewing the tape, you may hear your answers.
- Ghost apps. There are some apps out there with a radar mechanism that can pick up some bursts of energy.
- Communicate via Ouija Board. This is a tried-and-true way to communicate with the deceased, however, if the board starts to spell “hell” or “evil” quickly move the planchette to “good-bye” before the demon has a chance to enter your home.
- Take a picture. Take a lot of pictures of your home, and maybe they will appear through the lens.
- Energy Audits. Use a thermal imaging camera, this will show you where a spirit can be standing in the room.
- Ask your realtor to stay in the house overnight. If you’re currently looking to buy a home and the house gives you an eerie feeling, ask your realtor to say all night, if they can’t make it through the night, neither will you.
Click the link for more info on testing your house for ghosts.
Rugby, TN founded in 1880 by Thomas Hughes, the author of the first children’s book “Tom Brown’s School Days.” Hughes used the proceeds from his book to buy land on the Cumberland Plateau, with the initial sight to establish a Utopian village, however that didn’t work out and then the typhoid fever took the lives of many residents.
Rugby is settled in the shadow of Big South Fork River and Recreation Area with population that sits at 75 living, and an unknown number of the deceased. Upon visiting you will be sure to see that the Victorian Village hasn’t changed much in the past 120 years. Seventeen of the original Victorian Structures still remain including the Thomas Hughes Free Library, where every book was published in or before 1900.
An especially active building is the Old Newbury House, which is still open for overnight guests, and has been the scene of many unexplained events throughout the history of Rugby TN. Instances include, children’s laughter, uneasy feelings, chills when entering rooms, women who claim to feel a nudge or a touch because the ghost of Mr. Oldfield, who died in one of the rooms, is looking for his wife. A horse drawn carriage can be seen on an overgrown road, and on your way out be sure to pay your respects and leave some pennies on Mr. Oldfield’s grave.