Happy Samhain Halloween & Dia de los Muertos

October 30th, 2009

Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary,

Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore,
While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,

As of someone gently rapping, rapping at my chamber
door.

"'Tis some visitor," I muttered, "tapping at my chamber
door;

Only this, and nothing more."

- Edgar Allen Poe, The Raven

These are my favourite holidays, during my favourite time of year! Hope you all have a terrific weekend. See ya Monday!

My Thirteen Favourite Monsters

October 29th, 2009

The following is a listing of my 13 favourite non-Dr Who monsters. I could fill a listing, and half with those. Maybe next week &#59;)

1. Baba Yaga in Slavic mythology, the wild old woman; the witch; and mistress of magic. She is also seen as a forest spirit, leading hosts of spirits. My mother would tell me stories of her when I was a child that chilled me to the bone. Disney could not make a movie out of her!

2. Bluebeard is the title character in a famous fairy tale about a violent nobleman and his over-curious wife. It was written by Charles Perrault and first published in 1697. The story of this fictitious mass murderer was also a childhood favourite!

3. Nosferatu the silent film, by F.W. Murnau is a classic, and Nosferatu the closest you will come to the vampires of Slavic lore. They are gruesome in appearance, and horrifying. Nothing like the romanticized version of vampires at all.

4. Jack The Ripper is an alias given to an unidentified serial killer (or killers) active in the largely impoverished Whitechapel area and adjacent districts of London, England in the latter half of 1888. The name is taken from a letter to the Central News Agency by someone claiming to be the murderer, published at the time of the killings. Whoever, he, she, they were, Jack the Ripper has always fascinated me, and provided a mystery for the ages. And yes, I do qualify certain humans as monsters.

5. Sasquatch is a figure prominent in North American Native folklore, and said to inhabit remote forests, mainly in the Pacific NorthWest region of the United States, and the Canadian province of British Columbia. Sasquatch is also reported in my home province Ontario.

6. Wendigo sometimes is confused with Sasquatch. They are nothing alike. Wendigo is a malevolent, cannibalistic, spirit into which humans could transform, or which could possess humans, appearing in Algonquian mythology. Humans who indulged in cannibalism were at particular risk, and the legend appears to reinforce this practice as taboo. Stories of Wendigo are particularly unnerving around a campfire.

7. Mothman Mothman was the name given to a strange creature reported in the Charleston and Point Pleasant areas of West Virginia between November 1966 and December 1967. The creature was sporadically reported to be seen before and after those dates, with some sightings as recent as 2006. You may have read the book or seen the film with actor Richard Gere.

8. Godzilla I LOVE HIM!!!! Godzilla is a fictional monster featured in Japanese films and has become one of the world's most recognized movie characters. I was not too happy with the remake though.

9. Nessie or The Loch Ness Monster is a cryptid, claimed to inhabit Scotland's Loch Ness, the most voluminous freshwater lake in Great Britain. She is the most famous of all the lake monsters! I would love to go on an expedition looking for her!

10. The Beast of Bodmin Moor is a black panther like creature that is believed to inhabit Bodmin Moor in Cornwall, England. When we visit Nicola I will try to seek it out!

11. El Chupacabra the name translates literally from the Spanish as "goat sucker." It comes from the creature's reported habit of attacking and drinking the blood of livestock, especially goats. It is mostly reported in Spanish speaking communities, and very creepy!

12. Spring Heeled Jack is a Satanic, Superman-like character from English folklore said to have existed during the Victorian era and able to jump extraordinarily high. The mystery of who or what was Spring Heeled Jack has never been resolved!

13. And last, but in no way least, Frankenstein's Monster who according to author Mary Shelley's book, was sensitive, intelligent, and wholly sympathetic...unlike the film adaptations of her story.

Haunted Fire Station

October 25th, 2009

I had fun yesterday morning hanging out with a friend and her Toronto District School Board ghost research class. We visited the Swansea Fire Hall, and spoke to the fireman about their ghostly encounters in this historic west Toronto building.

I took a bunch of interior pics, and will be updating the Toronto Ghosts & Hauntings Research Society website with them, and the firefighters reports later this upcoming week.

The Ghosts Of Motley Hall

October 24th, 2009

Does anyone else remember this really cute 1970's, British, children's tv show? It was called The Ghosts Of Motley Hall, and was about a group of rather friendly, but still very much creepy ghosts from various eras that were haunting this fictitious English manor home.

I was delighted to find out that the entire series is available on DVD. I miss the days when tv was more about good writing, and talented acting, as opposed to the "reality" schlock we are bombarded with now, especially when it comes to the paranormal.

When I do watch tv for the most part it is either well written Sci Fi like Doctor Who, and Torchwood, Dexter (another brilliant show) and documentaries or classic DVDs.

With Halloween almost upon us I look forward to re-visiting all three series of the Ghosts Of Motley Hall. Definitely the season for it!

The Impossible Little Man

October 23rd, 2009

"Last night I saw upon the stair
a little man who wasn't there.
He wasn't there again today.
Oh gee, I wish he'd go away!" 

~ Old Nursery Rhyme

 

I love a good mystery......which is why I chase after UFO's, Ghosties, and other strange beasties....in a conversation with a friend the other day I had the opportunity to remember, and relate a strange experience from my childhood, which may have in turn been the impetus for my deep interest in the paranormal. My encounter with the "Impossible Little Man" is from way back, 1973 to be exact, and I was 5-6 years old.

 

Make of this what you will.....

 

In '73 my Mom was pregnant with my younger sister and my parents were looking to upgrade their home. Often they would take me out with their real-estate agent looking at houses. One house in particular was in a then newly developed neighbourhood, but on land with some historic significance.

The house was brand new at the time, and therefore never lived in. Being a kid I was itching to explore, and seeing it was unoccupied I was given free reign. And I did explore on my own bottom to top. I came to one bedroom that was just too cool!!! It had skylights, and I said to myself this is soooo going to be my bedroom!!!!! I whirled around intending to run down the stairs and tell my parents, and the realty lady that I picked MY room ... :p

And that is when I saw him .... He was standing in the corner of the bedroom. A little man, slightly smaller than myself at age 5-6. He was wearing non-descriptive clothing, looked rather stern and was staring directly at me. I remember being shocked. I remember blinking, looking away, and back again and he was still there. I was probably scared, that I can't really recall, but I do remember knowing he was "wrong" ... not supposed to be there, not "real" ...

I have no idea how much time passed, but eventually I heard my parents and the realtor outside of the door. I looked at my mom in the door frame, and gingerly made my way past the little man who had kept his eyes fixed to my own the entire time.

I said nothing ..... But I loathed the house from that point. My father put a deposit it on it, but the deal fell through ... and I was relieved ...... we eventually moved elsewhere.

Many years later I told both parents about that day. My father was a scientist and atheist, and my mother more of a nature loving free spirit, but who was still very level headed ... and they both were supportive of me. They never insulted my intelligence....or in other words, if I said something happened, they trusted my word that something had indeed occurred that I felt was important enough to tell them.

My mother claimed to have recalled that day, and how my demeanor did change dramatically, but she just wrote it off ... and I said nothing to her at the time.

So there you have it, what, who, or why I can't say.....beyond he was solid, and looked very real ... yet somewhere in my child's mind I knew he was "impossible" ....... maybe even a ghost......or some bleed through from another space, and time.....

Several years after writing this post, and with the help of another friend who is a professional scientist and very well versed in UFOs and open to the occult, I came to consider my "little man" may have been a homunculus or  -> literally "little man." The image I have included is LAM which is Aleister Crowley's homunculus. This is not a true representation of what I encountered, but its close enough that I thought I'd include it.

 

Image Credit: Widely distributed through the internet and I believe no longer copyright. 

 

Blame It On The Parents

October 21st, 2009

When we see a child or young person do mean-spirited, thoughtless, immature or stupid things it is easy to take a look at the parents, and to assign blame to those parents who are obviously lacking in parenting skills.

We all encounter them...dreadful kids that either make us think I hope my kids will not turn out to do such things or if that were my child I'd be very embarrassed at the least.

As people age, and gain life experience they tend to mature, and mellow out, at least that has been my observation with only a few exceptions. I have met, and know several people from horrific family circumstances that grew up to be nice, thoughtful, and decent people.

So I guess my question is based around when should this naturally occur? At what point should people have to take responsibility for their own actions, and not hide behind the poor me, look at my bad upbringing excuse for their own bad behavior?

And if they cannot see how their own lack of compassion, maturity, and empathy affects others at what point do we say this person is just a jerk that seemingly does not care a wit for anyone else's feelings beyond their own no matter what their upbringing?

Roncesvalles Avenue Torn Up

October 19th, 2009

I happened to be in Roncesvalles Village the the other day, and snapped this pic of the construction currently going on. Vast sections of the street are torn up at the moment, and apparently construction will not be completed until January 2010.

This can't be too good for business for the cute shops, and restaurants that make up this fun street.

Definitely a great area to shop in, just don't attempt to drive around there until the construction has been completed.

Urban Decay

October 18th, 2009

Urban decay

A sad, broken building

Another view

What makes abandoned, and ruined places such as these even sadder in my opinion is how they sit empty, and decaying while we have 1000s of homeless people, and those awaiting some sort of affordable housing in this city.