Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Night Visitors

No, Mr. Ghostie.
Unless your name happens to be Casper,
you most certainly cannot keep me!

Picture this:

You're lying in your comfy bed at night contemplating something or other, half asleep, when suddenly the mattress shifts underneath you as if someone's weight had just settled beside you, but you KNOW that you're the only one there...

Or are you?

Ghosts or spirits aren't bound to darkness, they don't just come out at night. In fact, they can show themselves whenever they want. The thing is that people who are not as sensitive to their presence as a medium would be, mostly experience them at night. Especially when they're in that semi-conscious state between sleeping and awake. It's then, in that transition between sleep and wakefulness, when our cold brains begin to warm up or vice versa, that we become more receptive to everything around us and often notice things that we normally wouldn't.

When they have enough energy in them, spirits try to communicate with the living. Most choose the passive-aggressive method and just jump into our dreams and manifest themselves as a series of signs or symbols with which they convey their message. Others are less preoccupied about preserving our mental health and go about things in a more direct manner, like Bruce Willis' character at the end of the Sixth Sense when he talks to his wife while she's asleep.

The problem is that a few of them tend to exaggerate or get frustrated when they receive no obvious reaction or acknowledgment of their attempts. That's when the real fun starts. Beds shake, covers come off, a grab here or there and coldness ensues.

What can one do in such a situation?
Personally, I've recurred to the “shut your eyes and hope it goes away quickly” approach. Thankfully, it has worked out well thus far.

Here's a little diagram to help you out before you go to sleep tonight:

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Evil Clowns


'Cause I can't look at a sewer without seeing his clown face!
[Not Johnny's - duh - read on...]

OK, so an evil clown isn't really any kind of supernatural entity... or is it?

Let us explore...

What makes a clown? What are they, if not ordinary [not so well adjusted] human beings dressed up for the amusement of children and their families?

Red noses, painted faces, rainbow colored hairdos and psychotic smiles.

If all of that wasn't enough, add the fact that they go around having laughs at your expense [and what weird, shrilly sound their laughter is].

Pop culture is brimming with freaky looking clowns provoking all kinds of anxious reactions in children as well as adults.

Fear of Clowns is not that new [Coulrophobia, is the official term]. I guess it always had to be present, although the name wasn't formally acknowledged until the eighties and it doesn't really show up in texts on its own.

Wiki says that, "... clowns are universally disliked by children. Some found the clown images to be quite frightening and unknowable", and I couldn't agree more.

Most of us shed these uncertainties behind our fears as we grow into adulthood, but there are those that carry a remnant of it ways into their grown-up lives.

Who can blame them?

Harlequins, I can tolerate, but clowns... there's just something about them.

In The Simpsons episode, "Lisa's First Word", Homer tries to build a bed for Bart after he outgrows his crib, and makes him one with the giant face of a clown as a headboard. The not so fun bed triggers insomnia in Bart, who keeps repeating "can't sleep, clown will eat me". The phrase became an Internet meme and has inspired the Alice Cooper song, "Can't Sleep, Clowns Will Eat Me".
Scary? Yes.
Supernatural? Not exactly there yet.

Movies then? You must already guess where this is going.

Let's have a looksie at our old friend Pennywise. [You know, the pirate toothed monster clown from the movie adaptation of Stephen King's infamous "It" novel].

The nameless being exploits the fears and phobias of its victims in order to disguise itself while hunting its prey. "It" primarily appears in the form of a clown [looking a LOT like poor Bozo] in order to attract its preferred prey, young children.

[So it's not an actual clown, but since it chooses to
assume the exterior form and appearance of one,
I'm making it fit into this category.]

Clowns are supposed to be funny, friendly characters that liven parties and amaze in circuses. Even though we may be instinctively afraid of them, of the unknown person behind their painted mask, our brains always try to make sense of things by letting us know that, "it's okay, they're harmless".

But, then a movie like It or Poltergeist comes out and we're back to square one, right back to where we started, scared little kids waiting for our mommies to come and take us away from the scary looking dude in the Rainbow Brite costume.

In conclusion, most clowns are creepy as hell!

[I mean, what's with the ridiculous dancing and the jumping around and the blatant disrespect of boundaries and personal space? Not to mention the thing with the balloon animals!]

Hey, but at least Sam's evil clowns turn to glitter when you whack'em.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Black Dogs & Hellhounds


Who let the dogs out?
[What, too cheesy?]
The dog is the oldest domestic animal, "man's best friend" and all that, its relation to humans can be traced all the way back to the Paleolithic period.

Early literature implies that dogs have a connection with the Otherworld. This is not unique to hounds though, as many species of animals have clear associations with the spirit realm. However, archaeological evidence and mythology brings recurring examples of a very specific role for dogs. They seem to be the "psychopomps" or guides on the paths to the Otherworld.

Black dogs are almost universally regarded as malevolent, and a few are said to be directly harmful. Some, however, like the Gurt Dog in Somerset and the Black Dog of the Hanging Hills in Connecticut, are said to act benevolently.
The nocturnal apparition commonly known as the Black Dog, is often said to be associated with the Devil and its appearance, regarded as an omen of death. Supposedly, they're larger than normal dogs and often have large, glowing eyes.

They are frequently associated with electrical storms, crossroads, places of execution and ancient pathways.

The origins of the Black Dog are difficult to discern. It is impossible to ascertain whether the creature originated in the Celtic or Germanic elements in British culture. Throughout European mythology, dogs have been associated with death. Examples of this are the Cลตn Annwn, Garmr and Cerberus, all of whom were in some way guardians of the underworld.
To feed the association with evil, or hell as the case may be, I'll single out Cerberus, Hades' guardian at the gates of the underworld in Greek mythology. The three headed monstrosity that made sure that no wayward souls ever escaped the river Styx.
Hellhounds, on the other hand, though similar in all their attributes, stand on their own. In my research, I've found that most of the myth is actually deeply rooted in Christian beliefs. Almost everywhere I looked they were referred to as the dogs of hell.

I stick with that theory - clearly biased by full seasons of Supernatural and my love for Dean Winchester [surely, you know Dean] and his plight on the third one. I've often said that being so hot should be a sin, but that thing with the hellhounds dragging him to hell was ridiculously dramatic, Sam or no Sam.
[*grumble* Stupid deal]

It seems a bit unfair though that even if they are a ghostly essence, they can still cause physical harm to their target. Poor Dean never even saw them coming, the mangy bastards!!!

Wouldn't blame him if he got stuck with some degree of PTSD and freaked at every black dog he saw after that.
Back to the canine profile used to portray either of these entities and their rabid ways. In all the information I found, none of it mentions a motive or a cause behind it. What do you think, lack of love and care?

*ding* Light bulb moment!
Let's experiment, shall we? Someone [that isn't me] adopt a Black Dog puppy and raise it with tender loving care and all that other fluff. Maybe then the end result would differ, save a few lives and whatnot.

Who's up to the challenge?! o.O
Excuse me if you're one of those, "must love dogs", people. But, I can't help to find some of them creepy.

[Remember that resurrected zombie dog from Pet Sematary 2? That scene where the kid wakes up in the middle of the night and finds it sitting on the rocking chair gave me nightmares. No dogs coming into my bedroom after that, no siree!]
The fact that I was bitten by one that sneaked behind me doesn't help their cause. Sure, it was old and had only two frail fangs left in its mouth, but still, it hurt like hell and the huge bruise it left marred my calf for weeks.

It was sort of funny because it was this round purple nasty looking thing with only two little holes on each side. I told people that I got attacked by one of the vampire dogs from Blade Trinity.

What's ironic is that just this morning I was followed home by a stray puppy. At first I was all like, “don't look at its eyes, don't turn your back on it, crab step away from it, sloooowly”, but it never stopped following me.

It waited outside my door all freaking morning and evil Elmyra that I am, I took pity on it and fed it. Now it won't leave my house and it keeps wagging its tail while it looks at me with those huge happy eyes.

It is so CUTE and I am so screwed...

But don't start hating dogs on my account, there are a few lovable figures out there, you know, like: Benjie, Marmaduke, Underdog, Beethoven, Marley, Krypto, Buddy, Padfoot, Cujo... wait...

Thursday, August 30, 2012

The Woman in White

(Vanishing Hitchhikers/La Llorona)

One of the Things that Make Me Happy to be a Girl

The aforementioned terms that title this Monster Wednesday [now Thursday, sorry! :/]  post are often used to identify a certain stereotype of tortured souls.

A young woman, in a despairing fury over her treatment at the hands of her husband, murders her children. Or she kills them because they prevent her from marrying the man of her dreams. The most known variant of this legend has to be Mexico's La Llorona. In any case, she dies [mostly by killing herself after realizing what she's done] and becomes a spirit doomed to roam the Earth, sobbing and wracked with guilt for all eternity.

[Lets pause and get our facts straight here: The woman murdered her own kids, in cold blood, and we're supposed to let her go around scaring people to death? Someone find out where her remains lay, then salt and burn the b%$^#!]

Dogs go mad when they hear her cry.

Not just anyone can hear her cries though, they are like a warning or a foreshadowing for mishap. Her presence is an omen for tragedy, sickness and in extreme cases, even death.

So if you are able to hear her wails, break out the candles and holy-whatevers that you have [supposedly, it is possible to make her keep her distance by brandishing a silver crucifix] and start praying like tomorrow never comes, because maybe... just maybe... it won't.

Now, don't start panicking every time you hear your neighbor's dog bark or howl tonight, it might just be a cat.

Witnesses have often described the spectral appearances as, “the floating shape of a woman”, garbed in a tattered white dress. Sometimes without a clear face or feet, as if she aimlessly wandered the world, but couldn't come into actual contact with it.

My hometown of Vega Baja has its own version of the Woman in White myth. It's an urban legend that's been going around for generations that talks about, “La China”, the spirit of a beautiful young woman with almond shaped eyes that haunted a narrow curve of road 686 of said town. She was said to hitch rides or, more often than not, to simply hop onto the backseat of any car steered by a lone,   well-off man. [Gold digger to the end baby!] 

She appeared beautiful to them [them = those that stopped to pick her up]. She would ask them to take her home, promising to repay them when they got there, but she'd disappear just as they reached their destination. Some of the men dared to call on the house that she'd pointed out, only to find out that the girl they described had been dead for years.

That would happen if the guy knew how to be a gentleman and behaved respectfully, if the man tried to touch her or made any kind of inappropriate advances toward her, he would vanish, never to be seen or heard of again.

[There in lies the tricky part, because she presents herself in such an alluring way for men. Maybe if she stood there looking like an overweight, middle-aged housewife in a bathrobe, fluffy slippers and rollers they wouldn't stop. But she shows herself as a beautiful maiden and the suckers fall for it every single time.]

They'd be all like, “Ooh!”, and
she'd be there waiting and thinking,
“Hehehe, you're so screwed...”.

[It almost seems unfair, but it serves them right, the dirty pigs. *sticks tongue out*]


Now, the others that chose not to stop and aid her, got off a little easier. She merely gave them a small scare before letting them go on their way.

As soon as they went by her curve, she appeared in their backseat demanding a ride and when they looked at the rearview mirror they saw her true face, a ghastly reflection of death, before she vanished. [Some reported their wallets vanishing as well, but I don't know...]

If you noticed that I'd been using the past tense back there, that's because that road has gone through a lot of transformations in the last few years.

There is no curve anymore, the bit of woods that made it seem hidden were torn down and leveled. The small back-road has been paved over to become an avenue that connects the rural area near the beach to the urban part, bustling with tiny shopping malls and fast food restaurants, near the center of town.

It makes me wonder about what happened to La China, would a reconstruction of such magnitude affect her hauntings in any way? Maybe her spirit is now free to move as it desires and is haunting the unsuspecting male population on the wealthier parts of our island near the hotels and casinos.


[Like I said earlier, it kind of makes me happy that I'm a girl.]


Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Haunted Dolls

(Possessed Toys)

Because Ted is Just the Tip of the Iceberg

For some weird and unexplained reason, dolls appear to attract ghosts or spirits. A lot scarier, is the fact that they seem to pick up signature traits of the spirits of the children to which they are the closest and carry these so called traits even after their human parallel has ceased to live.

People then collect these dolls as antiques, passing them down to the new generations to come. With so much history under their proverbial belts, it's no wonder that most of us are creeped out by them.

Author Anne Rice [very dear to me because of her Vampire Chronicles] owns a very eerie doll collection. To quote Haunted America Tours, “they can be seen on display at her Doll Museum in New Orleans. Once the site of the St. Elizabeth’s Orphanage, the building now houses Rice’s vast collection and other artistic works. It is interesting to note, however, that Rice once stated that she moved her doll collection to the centralized museum location because it basically bothered her to have them around her house. Prior to the opening of the museum, when she and husband Stan Rice were making one last walk-through, Rice is quoted as having said she “wouldn’t like to be locked in here all night with all of them [the dolls].” Not only are most of the dolls allegedly haunted, they are now housed in a verifiably haunted location.”

One of the most known haunted dolls in the United States – I think – has to be Robert the Doll, from Key West, Florida. A straw doll that eccentric artist Robert Eugene Otto received as a gift from his nanny as a child. Apparently, it possessed its owner and made him its accomplice in all kinds of mischief.

[I would have liked to have had a Robert doll when I was little too. Then, I could have done whatever I wanted, justified it with a simple, “Robert did it!”, and scare the crap out of my grandparents. A brilliant alternative to being punished. Don't you think?]

Haunted dolls have been said to do all sorts of things. From their eyes or heads moving on their own, to disappearing from their perches and appearing somewhere else. The truth of the matter is that a great ammount of weird stuff happens around them.

Its not so much that the doll has a life of its own, but that a spirit or entity has attached itself to it and is using it as a medium to interact with things or people in our plane.

You don't need me to mention all of them, but there have been many reports of haunted dolls throughout history and a list of movies [that are awesome and just give me the creeps] just as long.

It's all cute and sweet when done within the narrow Disney scope.

But, think about it...
[I mean, did you see how Chucky
skewered all those people?!]

Would you find it as cute if you came home to find some beat up doll or toy that you forgot about when you were five lying in bed waiting for your return? What's more, one that you expressly remember throwing away?

[Certainly NOT!]

By the way, am I the only one that finds it creepy that the boy owner from Toy Story shares the same name [ANDY] – and a small likeness – with the boy from Child's Play? [Just saying...]

I haven't had any incidents with “real” haunted dolls.

Here's as close as I got, maybe someone remembers – with me being so ancient and all – about Xuxa's children TV show in the 90s?

For those that don't, it was a weekday series [and yes, I used to dance to it too] that roused disgruntled parents because of the model/singer/show hostess' skimpy outfits and her bold practice of smothering her lips in bright lipstick and kissing pimply prepubescent boys on the cheeks at the end of each episode.

Anyway, during a birthday party, I got a Xuxa doll as a present. A few of my friends started to tease me and tell me scary stories about rumors of there being some Xuxa dolls possessed by the devil. I didn't believe them [yeah, right] and placed the doll on my bedside table in spite of their warnings.

Were it evil spirits or the powerful effect of suggestion, I was awakened in the middle of the night by the Xuxa TV show's theme song. I looked at the side table and there was Xuxa with her head turned toward me, [obviously] I screamed my head off and could have sworn that I saw the doll's eyes turn red for an instant. My mother chalked it up to nightmares, but took the doll with her so I could go back to sleep.

The following day, two of my cousins helped me get rid of the doll. We ripped off its head, set fire to it, wrapped a rosary dipped in holy water around the remains and buried it – feet up – in a shoebox on our backyard.

Maybe, but it helped me sleep at night!

Come to think of it, the evidence of my gullibility has to still be buried around there somewhere.

Hunting party, anyone? o.O