Archive for October, 2012
“Want to get your Halloween Spook On?”
Here are our Top Five Locations guaranteed to give you the creeps this Halloween Season!
# 5 Myrtles Plantation
As a general guideline, we typically do not encourage our readers to visit haunted homes unless the location has at least a baker’s dozen of frequent entities. Otherwise, it is hardly worth their time and expense, but we will make an exception for Myrtles Plantation’s reported dozen spooks.
Metaphorically speaking, you can’t swing a black cat around your television set this Halloween season and not catch a show that features the fascinating story of romance, murder, and hauntings that reportedly occur at this historic antebellum plantation.
Learn more by visiting: The Myrtles Plantation
# 4 Mansfield Reformatory (aka Ohio State Reformatory)
Built to look like a German Castle, this former palace for the naughty, just gives you the willies looking at it! Who wants to spend time in a prison under the best of circumstances, let alone go to rusty, deteriorating, big house of boo?
Spirits are alleged to abound here! Visitors tell of satistic guards, forelorn prisoners, and even the warden’s own “accidentally” shot wife that still frequent the grounds. During the Halloween season, the facility has an extremely popular paid attraction (must be at least 13 years old) called Prison Experience: Dead Walk – they make it sound so nice!
# 3 St. Augustine Lighthouse
Unlike prisons, lighthouses are cool places to visit regardless if they are haunted or not. Here you will learn all about the original Blue Man (years before he formed a group) who likes to chill in the basement, as well as the tragic story of the former lighthouse keeper, whose daughters, along with another girl, drowned when the lighthouses supply trolley they were playing on suffered a catastrophic failure!
This is one Halloween beacon sure to lead you to haunted shoals. For more information, we dare you to visit: St. Augustine Lighthouse’s Dark of the Moon tour
#2 Peoria State Hospital
This one is a no brainer – in fact, everything we post on our blog is a no brainer – but we do the best we can with the limited resources our DNA grants us.
Peoria State Hospital is always near the top of most recommend Haunted Places to visit list. Someone needs to investigate to see if there is a connection between weird castle designs in prisons and hospitals and frequency of haunting. Perhaps these designs are satellite dishes for the receiving departed.
It is also no wonder the patients here went insane, even the location had more names than Sybil. The facility has been called Peoria State Hospital, Bartonville State Hospital or Illinois Asylum for the Incurable Insane (how is that for an optimistic prognosis doctor!).
Find out more about their brand of crazy at: Peoria Asylum
#1 Waverly Hills Sanatorium
Even if it wasn’t reported to be one of the most haunted places in America, Waverly Hills Sanatorium goes off the spooky richter scale. This expansive sanatorium once housed thousands of patients who were undergoing bizarre treatments for tuberculosis (the “White Plague”).
The real human toll here was staggering. Most patients were sent here to die. Although the actual number of patients who died here might never be known the fact that the facilities tunnel has been nicknamed the “Death Tunnel” or “Body Chute” gives you some sense of the scale of the operation.
Here is how you can check in for treatment: Waverly Hills
It’s a Wrap!
Well that wraps-up our recommendations for our top five locations to get you spooked this Halloween season. Whether you are a firm believer or an ardent skeptic, these locations are sure to get the hairs on the back of your neck to stand up!
As always, we welcome your thoughts and recommendations here at Halloween for All.
by John Morgan
Micro Fall and Halloween Breaks
Just reflect on recent conversations with family, friends and colleagues – almost everyone is tasked with doing more, with fewer resources.
Frankly, it is a bear just to hold your own – let alone gain any forward momentum. Dysfunctional, seems to best describe most of our personal and professional lives.
Fortunately, we can all take microbreaks that allow us to hit the mental refresh button.
For example, yesterday, I had a rare business need to take the train from Sacramento to San Jose, California.
It was a welcome change. I brought plenty of work with me to maximize my three-hour trip, but I was amazed throughout the course of the journey how wonderful and refreshing brief glances out the window were for my spirit.
As I boarded the train and peeked out the window, I could see the fascinating old railyard buildings. All in various states of disrepair, but thankfully, these buildings somehow seemed to walk that fine line of being “cool and intriguing,” rather than earning the moniker of: “Someone should do something about this mess – it’s a menace to the community!”
Within seconds of leaving the station, passengers find themselves going over the Sacramento River. This is where two old ghost steam paddle wheelers are alleged to materialize from time to time. Forever locked in an epic race to see who is the faster of the two vessels.
Old Town Sacramento can be seen along the eastern river bank. It is here where mysterious apparitions from beyond are reported to peer at tourists from the windows of surrounding old western buildings. Many more are said to interact with the living in the areas ancient underground tunnels.
Even Mothman has been reported on the Tower Bridge which can viewed just south of Old Sac.
In minutes, you pass one of the major wetland bird sanctuaries in North America as you travel across the Yolo Causeway. Ducks, geese, pheasants, pelicans, and even sandhill cranes can be viewed as you make your way over this large floodplain. The influence of Fall was seen everywhere, even though the temperature outside was in the 90s.
The first station stop occurs near UC Davis and from the train you can see the agriculture student’s fields of corn and pumpkins. Next you travel through Dixon, which recently held the title for the world’s largest corn maze!
For the remainder of the journey, I was treated to sight after sight of images of Autumn and Halloween. From my window I could see the eerie looking Ghost Fleet in Suisun Bay, catch sight of the supposedly haunted Alcatraz and USS Hornet, and view the Oakland Raider stadium, as well as view construction going on for the new 49er stadium in Santa Clara.
The entire trip afforded brief reminders of how beneficial it is to simply take a moment to reflect on the world outside our typical challenges and life routines.
Even if you cannot travel, simply view various web sites of places you would like to see or better yet, challenge yourself to explore subjects or places that you have never focused on before. A great starting point is to see where your blog is being viewed and make it a point learn more about the people and things in that part of the world. Which reminds me that I need to find out how Halloween is celebrated in Moldova!
Let’s face it, we all need to take a break from time to time. If nothing else, it will afford you a fresh perspective from daily grind. As always, we appreciate you taking a macrobreak with us here at Halloween for All.
Looking for a good scare this Halloween season?
Here is a teaser on Waverly Hills Sanatorium from our friends over at Ghostly World.
We encourage you to check back with us soon, as we are about to publish our post on the top five locations to get spooked this Halloween season!
Whether you are a firm believer or an ardent skeptic, these locations are sure to get the hairs on the back of your neck to stand up.
Location:Louisville/Jefferson County, Kentucky, USA
Operation Time: 1910 – 1962
Status: Open as tourist destination
A portion of land was bought by Major Thomas H. Hays in 1883, and called it the Hays’ family home. Since the home was too far from any sort of school, Mr. Hays opened a local school so his daughters could learn.
The one-room schoolhouse soon had a teacher, Lizzie Lee Harris, to teach at it. Miss Harris, having enjoyed Walter Scott’s Waverley novels, entitled the school “Waverley School”. Mr. Hays liked the name, as it was peaceful-sounding, and he named his property Waverley Hill.
When the Board of Tuberculosis Hospitals bought the land, they kept the name and opened the sanatorium; it is unknown when or why the name’s spelling was changed from “Waverely” to “Waverly”. Waverly Hills Sanatorium opened as a tuberculosis hospital in 1910, and had a capacity of…
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Warning: Did you know that kids today believe that Halloween is all about “Having Fun and Getting Candy.”
Watch this shocking expose from The Onion and judge for yourself if “Halloween Has Become Over-Commercialized?”
Proof that Americans are Nuts!
“Sorry Russell, the Only Jack
We Want Around Here is on Our O-Lanterns!”
According to a recent CNN survey, Americans are expected to spend $370 million this Halloween season on costumes for their pets! That is an increase of over $40 million over last year. Well, that is to be expected since we are living in such robust economic times – what better use is there for spending our excess discretionary boo bucks than on pet costumes?
In general, we here at Halloween for All don’t give a Shih Tzu how you spend your hard-earned greenbacks! However, if Reality TV has taught us anything, it’s this: “All issues and problems with people and their pets originate in the gray matter – no matter how limited – found between the ears of the primate in that relationship.”
If you have ever watched an episode of “The Dog Whisperer” or “My Cat from Hell,” you will quickly discover that nearly all animal behavioral problems originate with the pet owner or guardian not treating the animal like an animal. In short, the two shows’ basic principle is this:
“STOP TREATING YOUR PETS LIKE THEY’RE PEOPLE!”
Cats are cats and dogs are dogs – isn’t that wonderment enough? Animals are great companions. It is impossible not to marvel at the parallel and mutually beneficial relationship that humans and especially cats, dogs and horses have developed and maintained through the passing ages.
Here at Halloween for All headquarters, we love animals. We have two cats, one dog, two rats, one hamster, one turtle, one bearded dragon (lizard), one tarantula, and two black widow spiders! In the spirit of full disclosure, we have adorned our dogs and cats – even the bearded dragon – in various costumes.
Is it the right and responsible thing to do? Certainly not, we can recognize that it is not beneficial to the animal. We cannot hide our bizarre compulsion behind the “Dolphin Show Get-Out-of-Jail-Free Tarot Card” disclaimer of “the tricks you are about to see here today are natural behaviors that can be observed in the wild.” We have yet to read about packs of wolves donning “Princess Leia” outfits before the hunt nor have we received reports of bearded dragons dressing like Elvis in the Australian Outback – until now!
So we are left with the conclusion that Americans are nuts!
Wheatland, CA – You do not have to look any farther than your local pumpkin patch or farm to realize that Halloween is gaining in popularity.
Since 2003, our crack research and trend analysis team has ventured to the Bishop’s Pumpkin Farm in Wheatland, CA to assess the health of the holiday. We are delighted to report that Halloween is in good spirits and doing well.
For you history buffs, Wheatland became the base camp for the Donner Party survivors after they finally crossed the Sierra Nevada Mountains, but of course they became infamous for eating more than Wheatland’s legendary pumpkins.
Anyway, rather than our usual snarky observations and bizarre factoids, we’ll try something new, and merely post some images of our fun-filled outing.
Should you find yourself in the greater Sacramento region during the Halloween season, we encourage you to include a visit to Bishop’s Pumpkin Farm as part of your short list of things to do while you are here. For more information, check out their web site: Bishop’s Pumpkin Farm
By John Morgan
“Help – I am Lost and I Haven’t
Even Entered the Corn Maze!”
Halloween is a big enough and versatile holiday to handle just about everyone’s tastes. Since Halloween is agile enough to please just about everyone, there are bound to be elements that simply are not your cup of cider.
At the risk of polarizing our readers (and we know who both of you are), we here at Halloween for All have a confession to make: corn mazes appeal to us as much as pork flavored ice cream – we are simply lost regarding their popularity.
So, if we understand it correctly, the allure of corn mazes consists of the following: you get to go to the country; you get to find a corn maze that suits your needs; you get to shuck out some boo dollars; you get to enter a hot, humid, perhaps bug infested corn field; you get to have hours – perhaps even days – of fun as you wander around seeking an exit. Is that correct (minus of course any effort on our part to describe anything remotely resembling fun)?
We are huge fans of critical thinking here at Halloween for All, it is the only way we can maximize the limited gray matter in our gourds. Therefore, we will apply Barbasol shaving cream to the problem and then whip out Occam’s Razor – which states that the simplest solution is often the best – and we will shave ourselves a solution in no time!
Ah, we have it! Don’t enter the maze. Even better, stay at home!
So in a real sense, you will be saving corn by not visiting a corn field. When you stay home, you won’t expend any corn ethanol; when you don’t use any corn ethanol, fossil fuels aren’t used in creation and transportation of the corn ethanol; when farmers decide that it is better just to grow corn in the former maze paths, additional corn will be grown; when additional corn is grown, more feed is available for domestic livestock; when more feed is available, pigs will multiply and get larger – which in turn can be used for making more pork flavored ice cream. It is the perfect win-win!
Isn’t it wonderful what you can do with properly applied critical thinking!?
However, we also realize that there are some corn haters out there who can not or will not be persuaded to not go into a corn maze no matter how compelling the arguments against it are! Therefore, we reluctantly will provide you with the following resources for your sick amusement:
One final warning before we select submit to this post, let us ask you this: Are corn mazes part of a complex, subsidized government effort, to keep us distracted and misinformed, in order to fog the collective memory of humankind regarding not the nature of corn mazes themselves, but the true alien menace – crop circles?
Quick, tell us, what came first, the corn maze or the crop circle? See for most you, you simply do not know or worse, you might even be thinking “I don’t care!” And if that is the case, wouldn’t that be exactly how the power elite would want you to feel.