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Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum

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This weekend our crew headed out to Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum as an impromptu #Zoinks2015 vacation. The town of Weston, nestled in the mountains and forests of West Virginia, is about as charming as any little town that harbors an enormous lunatic asylum deserves to be.

The first surprise was that the asylum wasn't off at some distance from the town. It was literally a couple of blocks from main street. The grounds are lovely, and if you didn't know that it was reported as one of the most haunted places, I'm not sure it would be your first thought. Yes, it's large and imposing, but so are a long list of public buildings you wouldn't think twice about entering.

Entertainingly, we have two "first impressions" of the place. On Friday we arrived 10pm at night for the Rocky Horror Show, so although there's something inherently creepy about rolling up to a haunted building in the dark, it was pretty quickly offset by having flamboyant cast members des…

Movie Review: Insidious

I watched Insidious after having heard about it online. This movie is not for the faint of heart, and it's not for people who don't like being scared.

This movie was written by Leigh Whannel and directed by James Wan who, if you recall, were the same magnificent duo that wrote and directed the original Saw movie. The first one. The good one.

Insidious is about a family that moves into a new house. It's a very real environment, and draws you in, and weird things start happening right away. These things are all in the 'minor poltergeist activity' category at first. Books falling off shelves, doors opening. The action ramps up after the oldest son falls into a coma.

The movie plays a game of steady escalation, where you go from seeing things out of the corner of your eyes to jumping when something runs right in front of you. It does make use of jump scares, which I know annoy some people, but they are never the cheap kind of jump scares- the friend jumping out to sc…

The Little Light

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We've kept a flashlight under the table in our bedroom for a long time. It's one of those monster-sized lights for emergencies and on the top of it is a smaller second light. It had been under that table a long time without incident and then one night we realized the little light was on, casting a pale wash of blue light up the wall in that corner. Slightly creepy but not a big deal and we turned it off. The next night it was on again. And the next. At this point we teased each other that our oldest cat, who had passed away that month at the age of 18, was turning it on. As she wasn't usually allowed in the bedroom we thought she would consider it good fun to spend some of her afterlife in there. The light stopped turning on and things were back to normal. 
Some time later our second oldest cat passed away (also 18 by then) and within a few days the light was on. The Rational Human Reaction kicked in at that point. Perhaps it had been on more than we realized and we just h…

Creepy Pasta and You

If you haven't searched the internet for creepy stories, you may not have heard of Creepy Pasta. A brief primer on Creepy Pasta: the term is a bastardization for the word copy and paste (which is often called copy pasta) and refers to, generally, anonymous stories that are shared through copy and paste methods.

Those of you who have trawled for Creepy Pasta know that it is largely hit or miss. Some of them are really creepy and stay in your head for a while. Fortunately, the popular ones tend to be the good ones (as these are the ones people want to share).

The eerie thing about Creepy Pasta is the unsettling feeling like some of it is real. Some of them are urban legends, modified, and it's easy to pick those out. Others, though, make you wonder: Is this a good attempt to scare, or a genuine cry for help?


Cowboys and Aliens?

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If you haven't had a chance to see the new movie Cowboys and Aliens yet it is an intriguing excursion into the idea of aliens coming to the 19th century Old West of America. The concept of course makes you begin to wonder, "Were there alien sightings then?"According to Unexplained Mysteries and MSNBC the answer is yes.
"About 6 o'clock this morning the early risers of Aurora (Texas) were astonished at the sudden appearance of the airship which has been sailing throughout the country. It was traveling due north and sailed over the public square and when it reached the northern part of town it collided with the tower of Judge Proctor's windmill and went to pieces with a terrific explosion, scattering debris over several acres of ground." Dallas Morning News on April 19, 1897

More via Unexplained Mysteries: Were there UFO Sightings in the Old West?

The Mothman

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Driving through West Virginia this weekend I was reminded of the Mothman, mostly because once you hit a local gift shop there is always a stack of books about the legend. We first encountered the legend in the 2002 Richard Gere/Laura Linney movie "The Mothman Prophesies." It's odd that we hadn't heard of it before since we spend a good deal of time in West Virginia, but mostly on the east side and the Mothman incidents were on the west side. If you aren't familiar with the legend, it is about a large, winged creature with red eyes that was seen by multiple witnesses around Point Pleasant, West Virginia back in the 60s for about a year before a significant bridge collapse that killed 46 people. Some theorize that the Mothman came to warn the town of the impending danger.
But I told you all that in order to tell you this: my husband invited the Mothman over to our house. Well, alright, that's not exactly how it went but that's how it worked out. A couple of …

The Dark Figure

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One night a young man awoke to the sound of mumbling. Opening his eyes he could see a dark figure at the foot of the bed, leaning over him and speaking in some strange language. Although it seemed foreboding he couldn't stop himself from asking, "What?" The figure paused and then started speaking again. The young man sensed that if he focused he might be able to understand the language but that would be A Very Bad Thing. He buried himself under the covers and prayed.

The next morning he told his friend from across the street about the event and the other young man scoffed. The figure came back for two more nights, and on the third night the young man called out, "Go bother my friend! He doesn't believe in you!" The next morning he met his friend who said, "The weirdest thing happened last night. I woke up to hear something, maybe a squirrel, running around above my room counterclockwise three times. What's weird is that it sounded like it was in th…