Thursday, February 25, 2010

Photos from Halloweens Past

I've always found most old Halloween photos to be WAY too creepy!  I think it has to do with the photos usually being posed oddly and taken in the daytime. 

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

A Real House on Haunted Hill

In 1959, the wonderful film "House on Haunted Hill" was released.   The exteriors for the movie were filmed at the famous Ennis House in the Los Feliz district of Los Angeles, just a short drive from where I live.   While the Ennis House was simply a spooky looking set for a great movie, it overlooks the backyard of a real life 1959 horror house which has sat abandoned for over 50 years.

On the night of December 6, 1959, Dr. Harold Perelson murdered his wife with a ball peen hammer, attempted to murder his oldest daughter, and then killed himself by taking poison.  The two youngest Perelson children woke up during the murder, and saw their father in the hallway.  He told them them they were having a nightmare and they should go back to bed, which they did.

Police found Perelson dead on the floor next to his wife’s blood-soaked bed.  He was clutching the hammer. Next to his bed, investigators found a copy of Dante’s Divine Comedy, opened to Canto 1.   “Midway upon the journey of our life I found myself within a forest dark, for the straightforward pathway had been lost ... ,” read the passage.

Police made quick work of the case, the children were moved to the East Coast to live with relatives and the house was locked up, nearly untouched, for 50 years.  Visitors to the house say that they can see through some of the windows where pans and dishes have been placed to catch rain water leaking through the roof.  A 1959 artificial Christmas tree still sits in one of the rooms, with wrapped presents nearby.  Neighbors have taken to attending to the lawn as necessary for the past 50 years. 

For the entire eerie story, please read THIS.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Cafe In The Crypt

This is a really fun place in the center of London, next to Trafalgar Square.  In the basement of St Martin in the Fields church is a wonderfully creepy cafe called "Cafe in the Crypt".   It is an 18th century crypt with vaulted brick ceilings.   The headstone pictured above was on the floor near my table. 

Cafe in the Crypt - St Martin in the Fields

Tuesday, February 2, 2010


Photo of Ball Lightning

During the first 21 years of my life, I lived in Michigan and experienced my share of violent thunderstorms.  When I was a teenager, the storms where I lived seemed to increase in their violence.  There were often tornado watches and warnings, and there was plenty of lightning.

On the night of June 14, 1968, we had yet another severe thunderstorm.  I was sleeping in a bedroom I shared with my 3 brothers.  I was in the top bunk of a bunk bed, and as the storm raged, I could actually feel the electricity in the air.  The feeling was odd - my muscles tightened, and the hair on my arms stood up with each new bolt of lightning.  I got out of bed, needing to use the bathroom.  Closing the bathroom door, I switched on the bathroom light.   Before I could take my fingers away from the switch, I saw a blinding light, the power in the house went off, and arcing sparks shot out of the bathroom light switch towards my fingers, in almost the exact way that one would see the arcs of electricity coming out of a toy plasma sphere.

At nearly the same second, I heard my older sister scream as I've never heard her scream before.  The thunder we had just heard was deafening, my ears were ringing.   I opened the bathroom door and both my mother and sister were standing there.  My sister was shaking.  No one knew exactly what had happened.  My sister said her back hurt.  Someone got a flashlight, my mom looked at her back, and saw that tiny holes were burned into her nightgown.  Then we looked in her bedroom.  We saw nothing at first, but then we aimed the flashlight toward the ceiling.  In the very corner of the room were two perfectly round charred holes.  We knew that lightning had hit, the lightning had caused ceiling plaster to melt, and that is what splattered over my sister and her bed, causing the burns and holes in her nightgown and bedding.  Everyone stayed awake that night for quite a long time, most of us were afraid to go back to sleep. 

Click to enlarge newspaper article

The next morning, city workers came to check out the ceiling holes created by the lightning.  At that time, we were told that it was "ball lightning" that hit the house.  Ball lightning is very odd, it's not always directional, it's a bright "ball of energy" that travels rather slowly and erratically.   We found out that the lightning hit the corner of my sister's room, then made a second hole going out.  It traveled across our driveway and went through our neighbor's house, making a hole in their outside wall, and another one in an inside wall where it then travelled down a heating duct and exploded in their basement.

Severe storms eventually became a regular feature of my life in Michigan.   Our house was to be hit at least 2 more times while I lived there, once hitting our metal basketball pole and missing me by about 5 feet. 

I was thrilled to find that after I moved to Los Angeles, they do not have such severe electrical storms.   To this day, I have a slight fear of lightning, the fear is most intense when lightning occurs in the middle of the night. 

I have a couple more interesting lightning stories, but will save them for another time.  One involves my Mom and "ball lightning" while using a Ouija board! 

Monday, February 1, 2010

Ghost in the Closet

I grew up in an older house in Michigan.  I lived there for over 20 years, and during that time unexplained "events" occurred.   The things that happened in that house did not happen often, but when they happened, they tended to be "big".    Really big.

One of my earliest memories of this phenomena occurred during one of my older sister's birthday parties.  I was about 4 years old, they were playing hide and seek.  I was too young, and not really part of the party, so my sister and her friends hid, one went to seek them out, and I decided to watch. 

I remember thinking that one of the best places to hide in the house was in our downstairs coat closet.  The closet was about 3 feet deep and 5 feet wide.  Besides being able to hide among the heavy winter coats, there were also enough boxes on the floor to easily conceal one's feet and legs. 

After a short time, everyone was found except for one person.  My sister and her friends were convinced that she was hiding in the basement so they all went downstairs.  I ran to the coat closet and opened the door.  Sure enough, there were feet standing on top of an old 8mm projector case.  I pulled the coats aside and saw a child peering back at me.   He was thin, pale, and seemingly frightened.  He put his finger up to his lips and made a "Shhh" sound.  I heard my sister and friends coming back up the stairs and so I quickly closed the closet door.

My sister found the friend who was indeed hiding in the basement, but I explained to them that there was one more in the coat closet.  They laughed and told me that everyone had been found.   I angrily opened the door and said "He's right HERE!"   Except there was no one there.  I dug through the coats and I recall being very frightened.  Where did that boy go?  There was no other way out of the closet.  To get out, he would have had to open the door and walk past me.  He didn't.

The memory of this event has made me feel uneasy off and on during my entire life.  I still cannot make sense of what happened and who/what it was that I saw.  Little did I know that in future years similar things were going to occur in that house, both to me and to my younger brothers.

As of this writing, my childhood home has been vacant and unsold for nearly 10 years.  While it's technically vacant, I very much doubt that it's truly "empty".