Friday, August 17, 2018

Old Fashioned Fun

Remember that blog post where I shared how I tried to summon Satan as a small child?  This kinda reminded me of that!  I'm sure in some cult-like religion, children gathering to play marbles (with or without the pentagram) is sinful enough to warrant their depiction as little demons.  I mean, it if played a certain way, it IS the same as gambling! 

Friday, August 10, 2018

Ghost Hunter For Hire: A Friday Funny

If you're experiencing paranormal activity and need help, then Michael might be your guy!  If you own a farm and your goats run away one night, then Michael might also be your guy!  Just, give him a looks like he could really use the money, lol. 

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Carolina Beach: The Weirdest Beach in the World

Lifeguard Stand where faceless apparition in gray was seen
If you follow me on Facebook at Theresa's Haunted History of the Tri-State, you've probably seen me post about my recent vacation to Carolina Beach, North Carolina. We had a wonderful family beach vacation, yet still managed to cram in as much haunted fun as we could.  We had beach and boardwalk days, but then we also had ghost walk and museum days and just overall had a really fun time together.  One day in particular we combined our beach fun with our spooky fun....

It started with a Google search.  Although I had read several books about the hauntings around Wilmington and Pleasure Island, I hadn't taken much time to just peruse what the online community had to say about the Carolina Beach area specifically in terms of spooky happenings.  The first website that came up was Ghosts of America.  Now, this isn't necessarily a site I would recommend to a serious researcher, but I've found some pretty off-the-wall stuff posted on there for West Virginia, so I wasn't too surprised to read what someone had submitted for Carolina Beach.

Apparently there is a stretch of Carolina Beach located off the  800 block of Carolina Beach Avenue that sounds like it must be the most haunted beach in all of America, if not the world!  (LINK to original post) The person submitting the tale had witnessed or had heard about the following at this location:

*A full-bodied apparition wearing a gray hoodie, which flapped in the breeze, come up out of the surf and head towards the lifeguard stand before disappearing.

*A giant cigar-shaped UFO

*Seneca Guns---strange, unexplained booming noises that seemingly come from the ocean. These are heard throughout the Carolina Coast and I'll be dedicating a special blog post to them later on!

*A giant manta ray estimated to be the size of two pick-up trucks

*Waterspout and various dangerous riptides

*A large bale of marijuana covered in barnacles

*A Civil War era button marked with the word 'Liverpool'

Haunted beach's public parking lot, across from Kupboard Grocery
Pretty crazy, right! That's a lot of stuff to happen in one little stretch of beach, so I knew we had to go.  Our main access point to the beach was at the boardwalk, since it was near our rental house, restaurants, etc. But, this location was actually sort of a hidden gem.  We easily found the place the person from the ghost site was talking about.  When we got there, there was only a few public parking spots, but they were all empty. The walk to the beach was nearly level and we had the majority of it to ourselves.  Seriously, there were only about 3 other families there when we arrived.

Unfortunately for me (because I'm a weirdo) nothing weird happened during the 4+hours we were there. But, we actually had a pretty cool time. My son, Luke, enjoyed collecting shells, building sand castles, and testing himself on how deep he could go out into the surf without me freaking out.  I stayed where it was pretty shallow since the waters were kinda rough from all the recent storms we had, but I had a fun time.  And while I'd like to remember this stretch of beach as being 'that haunted beach we went to,' I'll remember it instead as the location where I got the worst sunburn of my life!

Luke playing in the haunted surf

Monday, August 6, 2018

Ghosts of Old Wilmington: Book Review

Title: Ghosts of Old Wilmington
Author: John Hirchak
Published by Haunted America, a Division of The History Press (6th printing: 2012)

Despite my already extensive collection of regional ghost books from the Carolina Coast area, during my vacation I just had to pick up another!  The selection I chose was, of course, Ghosts of Old Wilmington, by John Hirchak.

So, our second full day of vacation was another day full of morning thunderstorms and rain on and off throughout the afternoon. After braving the lake that had formed overnight in the parking area of our rental house, we decided that since we were getting a late start, we might as well go into Wilmington for a few hours. One of the locations that I was really excited to visit was The Black Cat Shoppe, which I learned later was actually owned by the author!  Anyway, among the souvenirs I picked up there was this book, and its probably my favorite thing I bought on our whole vacation.  I tore through it that night.

At 128 pages, it was naturally a pretty short read, but it was also well written and entertaining. I also had an added layer of excitement---driving around town a bit that day, I had seen some of the locations mentioned as being haunted AND I knew that I'd likely be seeing even more in a few days when we went on the Ghosts of Old Wilmington Ghost Walk (which will be another upcoming blog post!). That made the stories really come alive for me since I knew I either had been or would be standing right by these places discussed in the book.

The book, Ghosts of Old Wilmington, reminds me a LOT of Ghosts of Old Wilmington, the ghost tour...and for good reason.  John Hirchak and his family started the ghost walk.  The collected stories and even the way they are told are similar throughout both the tour and this book, meant as a companion piece to the tours...but there are differences.  Not all the stories in the book will be told on your tour and not all stories on the tour are found in this book---so definitely don't think one can replace the other. 

If you do find yourself with a copy of Ghosts of Wilmington, you'll read tales of Samuel Jocelyn, who was buried alive in a local church cemetery; Gallus Meg, a rough tavern owner who is still assuring men follow the rules of her establishment; a ghost that likes to leave dimes with significant dates on them as presents; and plenty of others. There is a good mix of history thrown in, but not to the point where it bogs down the spooky stories.  Most, if not all, the stories found in the book are made even more interesting because they are from locations that are either open to the public, or publicly accessible in some way.

Even if you don't plan on visiting Wilmington, I'd still suggest this book.  There are some pretty fascinating stories that run a little deeper than the normal "footsteps were heard" type of haunting that is so often written about.  Wilmington is a cool little city, full of history and strangeness, and this book is a fun representation of some of its citizens that refuse to leave their southern home. 


New spooky books from Wilmington/Carolina Beach Vacation

Aaron got me these Wilmington/Carolina Beach books for Mother's Day to get me excited for our upcoming vacation

I already owned quite a few books ghost books about North Carolina, including one on the ship, the USS North Carolina! 

Sunday, August 5, 2018

Akaname, The Japanese Filth Licker

This infographic comes from the Association of Paranormal Study, and is a great little piece on a very interesting creature from Japanese folklore, the Akaname!

A couple of years ago, my son really got into Yokai Watch---a cute cartoon starring adorable characters depicting a variety of real Japanese ghosts and monsters, also known as Yokai.  As part of his summer study that year, we studied Japanese culture and REAL stories of yokai, which was perfect for me, because I got to read and learn about a ton of quite interesting (and sometimes spooky) creatures myself. However, I don't remember coming across the Akaname...

The name, Akaname, literally translates into filth licker. Akaname, sometimes depicted as being red in color, is said to sneak into old bathhouses and dilapidated homes at night with its super long tongue to lick the bathrooms clean of all the gross grime and yuck that tends to build up in such places. Its origins in popular culture can be traced back at least as far as Toriyama Sekien's 1776 publication, the Gazu Hyakki Yagyō ( aka, "The Illustrated Night Parade of a Hundred Demons" ).

Personally, I would LOVE to wake up to a perfectly clean bathroom, despite the nauseating idea that someone or something LICKED it that way.  However, the Japanese people were, on the whole, not so inclined. Seeing a yokai, any yokai, was generally considered to be a creepy experience. Added to that, cleanliness is extremely important in Japanese culture, and I'm sure it was a great dishonor to have a demonic creature have to come in and lick away your filth.  So, people would ensure that their bathing spaces were spic and span before they went to bed each evening.

Another interesting aspect of the akaname that I found was the idea that this creature focused less on literal filth (mildew, dirt, etc.) and more on the metaphor of filth as a moral impurity. In other words, keep your dirty thoughts and actions out of the bathroom, lol!

Source: Wikipedia---Akaname

*Want MORE Japanese Legends from Theresa's Haunted History of the Tri-State?  Check out this article on the Onamazu, the Earthquake-Causing-Giant-Catfish!*

Friday, July 27, 2018

Ghosts Kill...A Friday Funny!

"The reason ghosts don't kill people in real life is because if they did, those people would become ghosts and it would become really awkward."

Just a lil' something to keep in mind the next time you get freaked out by a ghostly manifestation! 

Friday, July 20, 2018

It's a Ghost!

Yeah, you can add this to the list of things that I laughed way more than necessary at. In fact, that's also the thought of the Forkly Vegan, the Facebook page that shared this little gem! I hope you also get a kick out of this Friday Funny.  Stay cool out there, remember to eat your veggies, and have a great weekend!