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Archive for October, 2014

What things should you watch out for with a Time Share?

Thursday, October 30th, 2014

What things should you watch out for with a Time Share?

 Whether you are considering a purchasing a time share or already own one, there are a number of things to watch out for. It’s best to consider carefully in advance whether a timeshare will fit your customary pattern of taking vacations or perhaps point you in a new direction that you will find enjoyable and rewarding.

Timeshare contract
The first thing to realize is that a timeshare contract is for the right to use the property for a one-week vacation stay on an annual or biennial basis in perpetuity, until you sell it or donate it to another. The contract consists of a mortgage portion and a yearly assessment or maintenance fee.Reputation
You will have to do some research beforehand to discover whether the timeshare company you are considering is reputable and has been in business for some time — check with the local Better Business Bureau for a start.Timeshare Owners Association
Is there a timeshare owners association for owners to join and share experiences? Is there a yearly meeting similar to a yearly homeowners association meeting? These are excellent indications that the timeshare property and management are reliable and well-established.Sales Presentation
When you attend the sales meeting, how are the complimentary lodgings and meal, the sales presentation, the tour of the property? Is the sales staff courteous, thoughtful, honest? Are they considerate, and respectful of your time? Does the presentation end after a timely interval? Are the complimentary lodgings clean?

Scenic locations
Timeshares are often found in resort areas in scenic locations that appeal to vacationers and tourists. Is the timeshare in a location that you would enjoy visiting not just one-time but on an annual or bi-annual basis?

How easy is travel to that location — is it distant enough that you need to fly or is it near enough that you can drive the distance? Remember that the total cost of a timeshare vacation also includes the cost of travel to that destination.

Luxury Resort Timeshares
Your timeshare is likely to be a luxury resort, and you should expect the premises to be beautifully designed and kept spotlessly clean. You might find an attached restaurant and cafe, lounge, fitness room, pool and jacuzzi, golf course or tennis courts. If not, perhaps they will offer complimentary day passes to a fitness center or spa.

Variety of Attractions
Frequently, there are dining and entertainment venues located nearby. Is there a sufficient variety of attractions that will satisfy the whole family? Is there a variety of dining options for breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks and a diversity of cuisine choices?

Management and Staff
Once you are at the timeshare, how are the management and the service? The staff is trained to please resort guests, so expect your interactions to be pleasant and honest, the service timely, and the service staff to be considerate, thoughtful and respectful, all qualities that contribute to making your stay enjoyable. As a good guest and owner, you should also reflect those qualities to other guests so that everyone will enjoy their stay, and your resort continue to flourish.

Recurring Maintenance Fees
Once you have paid up the mortgage for your timeshare, you will still continue to pay an annual fee. Maintenance fees are part of the costs that are recurring. Fees for special one-time reasons are sometimes charged to your annual assessment in addition to those recurring. Fees will always be explained in the billing statement.

Your Week
Your week is either the same week every year or floats according to what is available. Normally a week starts on a Saturday and ends on the following Saturday. The benefit of a timeshare is the reduced cost of a week’s lodging with resort amenities and possibly dining.

Renting Out the Unit
If you do not take your owner’s week, you should be able to release the time to the timeshare management for renting out, and receive some rental profit. If you do not take your owner’s week or release it for rental, you cannot recoup the cost of the annual dues, and you will have lost that money that you paid for the year.

Timeshare Exchanges
Another alternative is to join an established timeshare trading company such as RCI (Resort Condominiums International) or II (Interval International) that enables you to swap your week at your own resort for a week at another timeshare located around the world. For a yearly membership fee, there are thousands of destinations around the country and around the world to consider. Your timeshare property should be a recognized partner of RCI or II or other reputable vacation exchange company.

Timeshare ownership can be a rewarding vacation experience at a prime destination. For some owners, it can be an opportunity to enjoy a premium vacation experience not normally part of their lifestyle. Whether you want to be in the thick of tourist crowds or to get away and enjoy the natural beauty of your surroundings, your timeshare should contribute enjoyment and appreciation appropriate for your desires and purpose of using the timeshare. It can take some adjusting of your expectations, schedules, and finances, but it can also be a welcome reminder every year to take necessary recreational care of you and your family.

Q: If I want to swap my timeshare week for another timeshare destination, how many choices would I have?

A: The two main timeshare exchange networks have thousands of locations. RCI the largest has 5255 destinations in over 100 countries of the world, II offers nearly 2800 in 80 countries. Q: Are there facilities for children care? 
A: Some very large ones might have such facilities, but most will not. You should generally count on activities for the entire family. Q: How can I find out about local festivals around my timeshare week? 
A: Your timeshare management should be able to give you an information brochure about local year-round attractions and special times of the year. Or, you can simply check online for readily available information.

Which is the Most Popular; Shore or Mountain Time Shares?

Thursday, October 30th, 2014

Which is the Most Popular; Shore or Mountain Time Shares?

 Timeshares are vacation homes that are shared by joint owners with the right to use their property during select times throughout the year. When it comes to buying or renting a timeshare to spend your annual vacations at, you may be left with a tough decision to choose between either a shore or mountain timeshare resort. Each type of location offers its own unique benefits and provide guests with amazing experiences that they’ll never forget.

A Variety of Timeshare Options
If traveling is one of the things that you enjoy most out of life, there’s no better way to experience different corners of the world than by opting to stay at timeshare resorts. There are many different timeshares located around the world from the shores of the Caribbean to the Great Smoky Mountains. With a variety of different resorts to choose from, those looking to travel should first narrow down their choices by selecting the type of location that they are most interested in. But which is more popular among travelers, shore or mountain timeshares? There is no real answer to this question, as it is completely based on the resort itself and the type of amenities and attractions that guests are looking for. Those who are more interested in skiing, winter sports, and scenic drives may prefer a cozy vacation in the mountains, while those who want to spend their days on the beach with a mixed drink in their hand may find shore resorts to be a better option. Whether you’re looking to enjoy a one-time getaway or the possibility of enjoying a timeshare vacation on an annual basis, you’ll first want to choose the destination that is the most popular option for yourself and your family.Benefits of Mountain Timeshare Resorts
Guests may choose to visit mountain timeshare resorts during any time of the year, as there’s a little something for everyone to enjoy during all seasons. During the winter months, mountain timeshares are the perfect place to cozy up with a good book and a cup of hot chocolate, or take on the excitement of the slopes that may even be located right on-site. During the summer months, mountain timeshares turn into a truly beautiful and natural wonderland, with hiking trails, horseback riding, off-roading and much more available for guests to enjoy. Respectful, honest and considerate staff members, along with clean and comfortable accommodations are what will really make all the difference during your mountain timeshare getaway. If you find yourself falling in love with this location, you may even opt to sign a contract and purchase your own little piece of vacation property at a cost that you can afford.

Benefits of Shore Timeshare Resorts
If you’re the type of person that enjoys relaxing in the warm sun with your feet in the sand, there’s no better place to stay than at a shore timeshare resort. These beachy villas allow you to escape into your own private paradise complete with beach access, water sport rentals, water-front dining and much more. Thoughtful staff members can even help you to make the most out of your vacation by providing you with recommendations on nearby attractions, local upcoming events, and things that are going on at the resort during your stay. Because shore resorts are a popular vacation option among couples and families alike, you’ll find a wide range of timeshare resorts to choose from at tropical destinations all around the world. Be sure to book your vacation at a shore resort in a timely manner, as timeshares can book up quite quickly at beach resorts during the peak summer season.

Buying a Timeshare: Shore or Mountain?
Those who are still unable to decide whether they prefer a shore or mountain vacation can actually enjoy the best of both worlds when they choose to buy a timeshare. As a timeshare owner, you can bank your weeks from your home resort or use your points to stay at other resorts around the globe. Visit a popular mountain destination during the summer and a shore destination during the winter to get away from the cold weather back home. The possibilities are endless. A one-time fee can make you the proud owner of a piece of vacation property. In addition to paying for your timeshare all at once, you can also pay recurring. fees. These are similar to that of a mortgage where you will pay a select amount per month until your piece of vacation property is paid for.

In addition to taking the cost of the timeshare into consideration as well as the location, there are some other factors that should play a part in making a purchase. The most popular timeshares to purchase are those with considerate, respectful, thoughtful and honest staff members. Clean accommodations and property also say a lot about the condition of the resort and how well it is taken care of. Before signing a contract, maintenance fees should also be discussed. While popular timeshares may have more expensive maintenance fees, this goes towards the overall upkeep of the resort so that you are able to enjoy a beautiful vacation year after year. If renting or using points to book a stay, be sure to do so in a timely fashion to ensure availability at sought-after resorts during the most popular seasons.

Q. Do timeshares have recurring. fees?

A. When you purchase a timeshare, no matter the destination, there are annual fees that are required for the up-keep of the resort, called maintenance fees.Q. Can I stay at other resorts after buying a timeshare?
A. Yes, timeshare owners are able to stay at other resorts that are part of their timeshare membership company. This allows you to enjoy vacations at different locations at your convenience.

Q. Do shore or mountain timeshares have more on-site amenities?
A. This depends on the resort itself. Some resorts, whether they are in the mountains or at the beach, may have more on-site activities and amenities than others. Simply look into the features of each resort before booking a stay.

Timeshares are an excellent and affordable way to enjoy a vacation at the destination of your choice. Both mountain timeshare resorts, as well as shore-front timeshare resorts, each offer their own benefits for travelers. Learn about the benefits of each type of resort and how to go about purchasing your own piece of paradise.

The Tools of a Ghost Hunter

Thursday, October 30th, 2014

The Tools of a Ghost Hunter

Throughout history, there have been tales and evidence of paranormal phenomena, but there was not always a way to provide real proof for an explanation. To investigate these incidences, today’s hunters (also called investigators) rely on science to determine the possible presence of entities. There are different tools used to investigate and provide a possible explanation.

Electromagnetic Field Detectors
Phenomena are known to cause disturbances in the electromagnetic spectrum, allowing entities to cause fluctuations in the energy around us. EMF detectors monitor magnetic, radio, and electric fields for fluctuations. Testameters measure electric and magnetic fields. RF meters are used to measure radio frequencies.Listening Devices
Any type of recording device has the ability to pick up electronic voice phenomena that may be emitted through EMF energy. A digital recorder with computer uplinking capabilities is often chosen for a hunt. Although each case is different, a listening device can often pick up the communication of any entities presently trying to interact.

Digital and Video Cameras
History is riddled with documented photographic proof of paranormal entities. These days the same evidence is used in almost every hunt or investigation. Today, however, the equipment used is more advanced and includes digital high speed cameras that can take hundreds of photos per minute and video cameras to film the whole event or to use as a means of catching video evidence of occurrences.

Temperature Sensors
Entities have also been known to produce cold and hot spots or even make an entire room cold or hot as they deplete energy during their manifestations. Infrared thermometers are used to read temperatures and thermal detectors can be used to detect hot spots. An infrared thermometer is often combined with a laser point for accuracy. Thermal detectors are usually paired with video cameras, or part of a multi-purpose device.

Ion Counters
It is not uncommon for entities to cause the air to ionize. When the air produces static electricity or becomes ionized, light emits as the source field discharges. This can be the source of unexplained balls or spots of light appearing without a known cause.

Radiation Detectors
Some occurrences can have evidence of radioactivity. Although objects can be radioactive, the odds of a high enough level to emit a green or white light are small. Radiation monitors, however, are still used to help determine if there is a fluctuation in background radiation. If background radiation levels fluctuate, it can show evidence of a paranormal occurrence.

Infrared Motion Detectors
These highly sensitive motion detectors are typically connected to camcorders and other recording devices. They are scattered around and rely on the infrared sensors. Changes in a room trigger the detectors, which in turn causes any connected equipment to begin recording. In investigations, this is a handy way to monitor multiple rooms without the need for a large amount of people.

Walkie Talkies
Communication between team members is important when you are split off into groups. You need to be able to relay experiences to one another in real time. Walkie talkies are used to ensure that each member can be reached at all times.

GPS Devices
A GPS device can be a beneficial tool on a hunt, particularly if it occurs outside. It can help you mark and keep track of specific locations where events occur. Many of these devices also allow time stamping.

Flashlights Galore
One of the most common tools to have in your arsenal is a large supply of flashlights – and tons of batteries. Flashlights come in handy when you are investigating dark places or if the electricity happens to go out. Be aware, however, that it is widely believed that the presence of entities drains batteries or causes interference with flashlights operating correctly. Always have night vision and candles as backups.

Miscellaneous Tools
In addition to the main tools, there is a substantial amount of extra things to include. Extra monitors are often used for multiple cameras. You will need a laptop to sync all the equipment. For cameras and camcorders, make sure you have plenty of memory cards. Also, it is likely that you will need surge protector power strips, extension cords, and extra batteries for everything. It may also be a good idea to have a small portable generator for the equipment that does not use batteries, in case a power outage occurs.

If you suspect that your house is haunted, or you think you are haunted, contacting a hunting organization or individual is your first step. Through the equipment used, you can obtain photos, video, and other proof that stems from science. Be aware that every case is unique. It may not be possible to obtain the kind of proof you seek. It is also important to note that not all tools are used in every single investigation. Hunters tend to use equipment that is most likely to provide proof of the presence of an entity.

Q: Is there a difference between ghosts and spirits?
A: Yes. A ghost and spirit are two similar but different types of entities. Both entities have died. Ghosts are usually not aware that they have died; they have not crossed over and are attached to specific places from their life, such as a house. Spirits, on the other hand, are entities that know they have passed, reside in another realm, and only visit occasionally – often during times of heightened emotion or distress.

Q: Can an investigation be done at any time of the day or is it only at night like they are on TV?
A: Paranormal investigation shows on TV have led many people to believe quite a few misconceptions about investigations. Entities and activity can be detected at any time, day or night. The TV shows portray hunts taking place at night to provide a dramatic effect.

Q: Are there different types of hauntings?
A: Yes. There are three basic categories used to describe hauntings. A residual haunting occurs when ghosts are trying to recreate or re-live an event they experienced in life, such as the events that caused their death. It acts like a loop, continuing over and over, and the ghosts do not acknowledge you are there nor can you interact with them. An intelligent haunting occurs when the entities can, and do, communicate and interact. The third category is a poltergeist haunting. This type is believed to actually be a manifestation caused by a living person. The belief is that this person is going through heavy emotional turmoil that creates a large amount of energy, leading to events caused by psychokinesis – moving objects with the mind.

Scientific Explanations For Ghost Sightings

Thursday, October 30th, 2014

Scientific Explanations For Ghost Sightings

Do you believe in ghosts? If you answered yes, you’re not alone. Almost half of all Americans believe, according to recent CBS News poll. This conviction is an old one, found throughout history in ancient Greek culture, cave paintings in Utah from 7000 BC, and even in the Bible itself. Science is still skeptical, but the absence of proof is not necessarily proof of absence. Scientists have yet to prove the existence of black holes under laboratory conditions, but we’re pretty sure they exist in the universe. Couldn’t the same be true for ghosts? Although researchers have yet to reach a solid explanation, here are a few of the most supported theories regarding whether or not paranormal beings exist, and what they actually are.

1. Spirits of the Deceased
Common culture dictates that apparitions are human spirits separated from their bodies by death. Surprisingly, it seems Einstein considered this a true possibility: “If energy cannot be created or destroyed but only change form, what happens to our body’s energy when we die? Could that somehow be manifested as a ghost?” In 1907, Dr. Duncan McDougall attempted to prove that at the moment of death, the soul leaves the human body and the body thus weighs less – 21 grams to be exact. His work was later discredited, but has since inspired other researchers to determine the soul’s weight and all resulted in some measurable weight loss after death, although results varied greatly. However, this does seem to imply that something that leaves the body following death – could this be the human soul, that for unknown reasons, lingers here on Earth?
2. Neutrinos
Neutrinos are weak, electrically neutral particles with the ability to pass through any form of matter. They are created by radioactive decay. If paranormal beings were made up of neutrinos, this would explain their ability to pass through objects. However, if this were true they would be silent and invisible to the naked eye. It’s possible that ghosts are made of neutrinos, but under the right conditions these neutrinos are charged and thus become audible and visible. This could explain why supernatural activity is more likely during solar storms and during heightened geomagnetic activity.
3. Infrasound Resonation
Some sounds emitted occur at too low a frequency for the human ear to fully process. These infrasound waves occur anywhere between one to twenty Hertz. They are so quiet that you don’t actually hear them, but your ears can still sense them. Your brain can’t zero in on the source so your mind becomes confused, causing fear, dread, panic, nausea, anxiety, and chills. At 18.9 Hz, the human eyeball will actually vibrate just enough to create optical illusions. This accounts for at least some reported sightings. In 1998 at Coventry University, Vic Tandy discovered infrasound resonation to be the source of ghostly apparitions and feelings of fear. A fan emitting a low frequency sound wave of 18.9 HZ was the culprit, and Tandy published his findings in the Journal of the Society for Physical Research.
4. Geomagnetic Waves
Robert Schoch, a professor at Boston University, is currently researching the relationship between brain waves and geomagnetic waves. His theory is that the mind’s emotional states can travel along the low frequency wavelengths found naturally in Earth’s geomagnetic field. In this way, they can be transferred between people and result in apparitions. Although this explanation may seem far-fetched, his laboratory has compiled evidence that a positive correlation exists between apparition sightings and geomagnetic flux patterns.
5. Electrical Stimulation of the Mind
Recently, researchers in Switzerland published a paper in the journal Nature. These doctors electrically stimulated the left temporoparietal junction of the patient’s brain to treat epilepsy. This is the area of the brain responsible for recognition of consciousness – it allows us to differentiate between ourselves and other people. The result was that the patient described a ‘shadow person,’ closely following her every move. Her mind was unable to detect the break in her consciousness, and instead sensed a strange presence.Summary
Although we currently have no concrete answers as to what exactly ghosts are, or if they even exist, the possibility still remains. There is much in the universe that we still don’t know. Every scientific fact we now know to be true was just an unproven theory faced with skeptical opponents. Throughout history we have consistently developed new technology and improved our scientific methods of detection. There is no telling what we might find in the years to come.

Q: Is this a real science?
A: Yes, it is. 
There are several scientific organizations and laboratories around the world investigating this phenomenon. Several are affiliated with or run by respectable universities and conduct experiments using the scientific method and advanced technology like Geiger counters, infrared cameras, ion detectors, digital video/ audio recorders, and Electromagnetic Field (EMF) to detect evidence of any abnormal presence. 

Q: Where can I find out more?
A: The American Paranormal Research Association (http://apraparanormal.com/), the Paranormal Research Organization (http://www.paranormal-research.org/), and the International Paranormal Reporting Group (http://www.iprgc.com/) are great places to start. 

Q: What universities have supported experiments and research in this field?
A: Stanford University (1970s-1980s), Duke University (1930s-1960s), Princeton University (1970s-2000s), Harvard University (1990s-2000s), University of Virginia (1960s-present), University of Arizona (2000s-present), University of California (1960s-1970s), and Cornell University (2000s), as well as several others worldwide.

Historical Ghost Sightings, Scary Ghosts Throughout The Ages

Thursday, October 30th, 2014

Scary Ghosts Throughout The Ages


Throughout history, imagery attached to ghosts is of shadowy, vaporous figures. Mysterious ghosts and phantoms reportedly haunt graveyards, misted moors, famous hotels, hospitals and prisons and castles. Spirits may possess good or evil auras.
Historical Ghost Sightings
In southeastern Ireland, Wilton Castle stands with only fire-scarred walls remaining. Ravaged by fire in the 1920s, this was the stately home of the prominent Alcock family since the early seventeenth century.
It’s believed several spirits reside within Wilton Castle walls. The strangest story about Wilton Castle is of a neighbor, Archibald Jacob, magistrate and captain of the local militia during the 1798 rebellion of the Irish against Britain.Jacob flogged and tortured many people in the parish. While returning home from a Wilton Castle ball one night in 1836, he was killed when he fell from his horse. For years, his ghost haunted the scene of his death and the castle.According to the story, a Catholic priest was summoned to perform an exorcism. When the priest made the sign of the cross and Archibald Jacob’s ghost appeared in the fireplace and subsequently disappeared in a cloud of smoke.Classic vs. Modern Sightings
Spectral hunting and paranormal research have always been subject to criticism and skepticism. The classic spectral image depends on the era in which the specter emanates. Although white-garbed spirits are the centuries-old popular image, naked spirits have been reported in a well-known Scandinavian story, where a scantily dressed man returns to his village after his death. The Japanese image of specters is clothed and often disheveled and bloody.Locations of Hauntings
The traditional locations of hauntings have been Scotland, Ireland, England and Germany. Hauntings of the early 1600s have also been reported in New England in the USA. The locations of hauntings have been reported in cemeteries and ancient Native American burial grounds. Military battle grounds of the Revolutionary and Civil Wars are reportedly haunted by unrested souls who died in battle.

Cultural Burial Rituals
Certain aboriginal cultures like Eskimos in the Bearing Sea, the Dogon people of West Africa, Siberian Chukchi and Kwearriburra in Queensland, Australia practice burial rituals to ward off the return of the dead who walk the earth restlessly. Within a culture, there are practices that transcend time and afford each culture a specific embodiment of understanding basic natural and spiritual events modern day people accept with skepticism.

Buildings, War and Mysterious Events
Old, empty buildings often evoke images in windows, in attics, basements, across expanses of lawns and lakes. A more recent haunting occurred when a well-known country and western singer purchased a large antebellum mansion in Tennessee. After moving in, she and her family experience paranormal events. After studying the history of the town and mansion, she learned it was located on the site of a Civil War battle.

Unexplained Events
Another unexplained event occurred when Charlie Troxell was murdered in Portage Indiana. His father, Romer, drove from his home in Pennsylvania to view his son’s body in the morgue. Romer Troxell believed he heard his son’s voice directing him to the killer. Local police later confirmed Troxell helped capture his son’s murderer. Unexplained visions shortly before or after a loved one’s death have been reported numerous times.

Halloween, Depictions and Demons
The celebration of Halloween is an annual event that arouses interest in scary demons, witches and specters. Halloween is actually an ancient Celtic harvest festival. It celebrated the bounty of harvest and souls who died.

Among ghostly locations, an historical, ancestral or military cemetery elicits a large number of eerie sightings. Some believe the dead haunt a cemetery to prevent desecration of graves. Native American Indian folklore is strongly attached to cemetery sites. Folklore and legends tend to add emphasis to ethereal beliefs.

Have You Ever Felt a Ghostly Presence?
Ghostly presences often occur during times of heavy emotional stress. Stress can originate from loss of a loved one or when the mind is crowded with confusion. The greater the sense of stress, the more the individual feels isolated from reality. A ghostly presence doesn’t have to appear in shape or form. It can be a feeling of extreme cold or “not being alone.” The phantom of an unresolved issue with a deceased individual is another example of ghostly presence that occurs day or night. It may be a memory jogged by some vague reminder lurking in the back of the mind.

Do Certain Places Scare You?
A dark attic, a lonely road or a vacant old home inspires the deepest sense of solitude. Humans are naturally averse to feelings of loneliness and isolation. Ethereal vibrations occur when humans place themselves in locations where there is emptiness surrounding them. Some believe that attics or vacant old homes evoke spectors of unrested souls who were unable to resolve serious issues before their demise. Dark or empty places conjure thoughts of the past from the sheer curiosity of previous people and events that occurred in these places.

Have You Ever Used a Medium?
A medium is the intermediary between the spiritual world and conscious world. The medium may be a person, place or thing. Fortune tellers, old wells, tea leaves, Tarot cards, crystal balls, prisms, runic stones and I Ching are depictions used.

Consciously, most people know it’s impossible to know the future. In reality, these are implements that heighten meditation skills. Many unconscious questions lie in human minds that affect meditation. These implements are centuries old and became practiced arts among highly sensitive individuals.

We see ghostly spirits because humans are naturally sensitive, intuitive beings. As the most intelligent life form, we seek answers to the unknowable.

The 7 Classic Horror Novels You Must Read before You Die

Thursday, October 30th, 2014

Here are 7 Horror Novels You Must Read

Spine-chilling stories of supernatural creatures and terrors from beyond the third dimension have been thrilling readers for centuries. Whether you are a fan of frightening fiction, or a lover of literature, here are seven must-read horror novels that have stood the test of time to take their place with the classics.

Mary Shelley’s “Frankenstein” is the enduring tale of scientific hubris. In a gloomy gothic setting, Dr. Frankenstein pursues his goal of animating a man of his own making. His efforts produce a terrifying monster so grotesque that it is shunned and driven away by the humans whose companionship it craves. Dr. Frankenstein and his monster are bound together for life in a nightmare of hatred, anger and desperate regret.

Equally well-known is the story of Dracula as told by Bram Stoker. Despite all the vampire stories that have been written since, “Dracula” is the original and the best. It tells the tale of how the unsuspecting Jonathan Harker meets the Count in Transylvania. He is puzzled by the strange psychological effect Dracula has on the villagers, as they seem to find him creepy, and even suspect him of murder. Jonathan unwittingly draws the Count back to his home where Lucy, a young woman of his acquaintance, becomes the focus of Dracula’s attentions. The suspense builds until finally Van Helsing reveals that Lucy’s terrifying illness is the work of a vampire that must be destroyed.

The third classic frightful story with which many are familiar is “Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde” by Robert Louis Stevenson. This tale is a scary exploration of the dark side of a seemingly normal personality. Dr. Jekyll is a bright young man interested in science and the psychological duality of the human mind. He compounds a drug that causes him to become possessed by the vile side of his nature. At first he experiences this as a lark, a way to free himself from the conventions of his time. However, as Mr. Hyde’s actions escalate to murder he seeks the asylum of his stable personality, Dr. Jekyll. Eventually he must make a choice between the best and the worst of himself.

“The Turn of the Screw” by Henry James is a classic ghost thriller in the gothic vein. It is a work of supernatural literature that allows suspense to build from a sunny, innocent beginning. A young governess is given the charge of two small children at a beautiful country estate. She soon develops the haunting feeling that all is not as bucolic as it seems. She learns that the previous governess had a dalliance with another employee which left her in a compromised state. There is the suggestion, although not explicitly stated, that the pair may have also taken illicit liberties with her young charges. Both lovers ended up dead through unclear circumstances. The new governess begins to see apparitions of the two, and she is horrified to realize that the children are aware of and welcoming to these ghastly presences. Have the children been possessed? Is it too late to save them?

The fifth title on the list is Shirley Jackson’s “The Haunting of Hill House”.  cters know what they are getting into and do it anyway. Dr. Montague is an investigator of the paranormal. He invites a number of people to spend the summer at the supposedly haunted Hill House to determine if the supernatural stories are true. The townspeople tell stories of family hatreds, suicide and the ghost of a sister. Two women, Eleanor and Theodora, accept his invitation, along with the nephew of the owner of the house. Creepy occurrences begin almost immediately. Doors close by themselves; loud banging sounds are heard at night; soft patterings are heard outside locked bedroom doors. The guests begin to realize that someone, or something, is trying to separate them. The house seems to have the strongest effect on Eleanor. When the others decide to send her home, whatever is in the house makes a decision of its own.

“The Island of Dr. Moreau” by H.G. Wells is not a ghost story, but it is definitely horror fiction. A man survives a shipwreck and is offered asylum on a small private island. The island is owned by Dr. Moreau, a scientist involved in mysterious biological experiments. The man is told that the island is rarely visited by outsiders, and it may be a year before he can return to his everyday life. As he rests in his quarters, he hears the piercing howls and screams of an animal in agony. The sounds become intolerable, and he flees the compound to walk about the forest. He catches glimpses of grotesque creatures that seem to be half man, half beast. Dr. Moreau confesses that his life’s work has been the attempt to humanize lower animals. Although some of his attempts are initially successful, all eventually revert to their animal natures. The dread of being trapped on the island as the doctor gradually loses control of his creations drives the rescued man to take desperate actions.

The last and most modern entry on the list is “Rosemary’s Baby” by Ira Levin. This is the story of Guy and Rosemary. They unexpectedly have the opportunity to rent an apartment in their dream building, but as they settle in and plan to start a family the dream becomes a nightmare. At first, everything is too good to be true: the neighbors are friendly, Guy is doing well in his career and Rosemary finds herself pregnant with the eagerly anticipated baby. On the other hand, a young woman in the building commits suicide, Rosemary finds an odd connecting door between her apartment and the one next door, and her pregnancy occurs only after eating a dessert with a strange aftertaste. Rosemary begins to understand that something is very wrong, and that she may not be able to turn to Guy for help.

As you scan through this list of frightful selections, there are a few questions that may spring to mind.

Q: What about the horror master Edgar Allan Poe?
A: Poe is known for his short stories and poems, not novels. A couple of other notable writers of short stories in this genre are Guy de Maupassant and Ray Bradbury.

Q: Are there any titles in this category that are considered modern classics?
A: There are many very scary selections that have been written more recently, such as “The Amityville Horror” and “Pet Sematary”.

Q: Should I read the books, or just watch the movies?
A: Read the books. You can catch the movies later, but what your mind can create is more complicated and more frightening than anything Hollywood can put on the screen. 

This list of seven classic horror novels to read before you die includes selections from early gothic novels to terrifying tales set in contemporary culture. Reading these books will give you a sampling of monsters, ghosts and a demonic baby. Reading these books will also give you seven examples of outstanding writing by authors who were not only masters of the genre novel, but of the written word.

Don’t Miss These 5 Super Scary Stories on TV

Thursday, October 30th, 2014

5 Super Scary Stories on TV

Over the last decade, there has been a shift in genre popularity on television, due in large part to the ability of cable networks to flex its liberal muscles. As people start to tire from reality TV, a new genre comprised of scary tales and sci-fi thrillers is waiting in the wings. ThThe creation is not it a way of life ... even for survive in the reality of this world that so often exceeds us?is new trend owes its apparent success to smash hit predecessors like “X-Files” and “True Blood.” Here are a few examples.

The Strain
The timing of this show is impeccable considering the current Ebola outbreak that has peaked concern all over the world. In this thriller, a plane of dead people shows up in New York City from Berlin. The cause of death is unknown, prompting the Center for Disease Control (CDC) to become involved. The scientists are led by an unlikely hero named Dr. Ephraim Goodweather (Corey Stoll), who plays detective type character who just happens to also be a scientist. His co-workers are like-minded scientists obsessed with finding the cause of death before it spreads. While investigating the circumstances, the group is confronted by a freaky doomsday advocate (David Bradley) telling scary tales about the impending end of civilization because of what lies in the box (coffin?) found on board. When the notion of vampires comes into play, the show becomes a modern horror story. Network: FX.

Bates Hotel
Beware, Norman Bates is coming to a cable channel near you. The show takes place in a small town in Oregon, depicting lives of Norman’s (Freddie Highmore) and his mother’s (Vera Farmiga) prior to the days of “Psycho.” When mother buys a local hotel after her husband’s death, the relationship between mom and son begins to evolve into a creepy, dark story of family dysfunction. Norman’s love interest is Emma (Olivia Cooke) who doesn’t know what to make of Norman’s increasingly strange behavior. When Norman is accused of a violent act, he is exposed for the disturbed person he was destined to become. The family is at continuous odds with the people of the town, including Sheriff Romero (Nestor Carbonelle) who fear something is up with this family. The screams may be missing, but the story still thrills. Network: A&E

Penny Dreadful
A dreary, mystical and dark Victorian English landscape is the backdrop for this tale of monsters, psycho-sexual behavior and romance. Malcolm Murray (Timothy Dalton of James Bond fame) is an explorer on a quest to find the horror and fear that lives through the visions of Vanessa Ives, a spiritualist with a strange ability to attract the occult. As Murray does his best Sherlock Holmes impression with his sidekick Ethan Chandler (Josh Hartnett), they encounter the kind of evil that evokes screams and fear. Her visions are complicated by the real-life relationships she has with these monsters. Along the way, Murray encounters such characters as Dorian Gray (Reeve Carney) and Dr. Frankenstein (Harry Treadaway). In their own unique way, each character has a demented personality and truly fascinating relationships. Network: Showtime

Where “The Strain” chooses to mix a mysterious virus with vampires, Helix chooses man-made viruses plus a crazy scientist determined to destroy humanity. The story takes place in the Arctic Circle where Dr. Alan Farragut (Billy Campbell) has been summoned to help investigate a couple of disease breakouts. As the head of the CDC, he is motivated to make the trip by the fact his brother Peter (Neil Napier) has been exposed to one of the biologically engineered viruses. It’s a story about good science battling bad science with a real Sci-FY flair. The show’s anti-Christ is the nice, but terrible Dr. Hiroshi Hatake (Hiroyuki Sanada), the man behind the bad science. With two viruses in play, time is of the essence as either one of the viruses is capable of wiping out civilization. Network: SyFy

American Horror Story
After encountering a lifetime of relationship difficulties that include affairs and a miscarriage, Ben (Dylan McDermott) and Vivien (Connie Britton) Harmon move into a mansion in Los Angeles with their bratty teenager. The move is intended to give the family a new start. What they get is an old haunted mansion filled with ghosts and witches. With one freaky event after another, the family is trapped in purgatory dealing with ghosts that are providing constant reminders of the very things the family was trying to forget. There is nothing mystical here as each creepy character, whether real or not, looks the part of ghosts, witches or ghouls. With no way to tell the characters apart, trouble lurks behind every door. Network: FX

This new TV genre is guaranteed to continuing growing based on the concept of supply and demand. Audiences are demanding to be frightened and cable television is obliged to meet that need. With a combination of horror/Sci-FY, the possibilities are only limited by the imagination.

Q. Which one of these shows is most likely to succeed?
A. As they stand now, “Penny Dreadful” has the most compelling characters and a larger pool of storyline possibilities. Of course the sexual overtones figure to captivate audiences as well. It is noteworthy that “Bates Motel” has already received Emmy consideration.

Q. On the flip side, which show is most likely to end up on the cutting room floor?
A. That’s a little more difficult to predict, but “American Horror Story” is a bit cheesy. The story-lines are weak and the only redeeming quality of the show is a few decent special effects.

Q. Mention was made about the recent Ebola breakout. Will there be any ramifications for “The Strain” and “Helix”?
A. The reality is that both shows figure to benefit from this terrible current event. People will tune in hoping to learn about the effects of uncontrollable diseases. Thank goodness these are only shows with no basis in reality, at least for now.


What is the difference between Ghosts and Spirits

Thursday, October 30th, 2014

What Is The Difference Between Ghosts And Spirits?
Have you ever contemplated what the difference was? Are they the same thing? Are they words that co-inside with each other or is there more to it than just semantics? Let’s take a closer look at the definitions of each and try to make some sense out of the difference.


The definition of a ghost is the following: a dead person’s soul, a disembodied spirit imagined, usually as a vague, evanescent or shadowy form, wandering among or haunting living persons. Looking at this, one would get the impression that a ghost is a troubled person that has died and who may be trapped between earth and a greater place, creating trouble for people who are alive.

Now let us take a look at the definition of a spiritI am the master of my fate: I am the captain of my soul.
: a supernatural, non-material being, especially one inhabiting a place or an object. Reading this definition, the feeling is of someone that is invisible but still here. The definition does not say that they are going anywhere, but that they are inhabiting a home or an object.

What Do Ghosts Do?

The common assumption is that they are known to haunt houses. There is a lot of documentation and information out there that humans have felt and seen apparitions in their houses, usually during night, when it is dark outside. They aren’t always evil though. There are many stories of people who just see or hear things, without an explanation.

Paranormal activity is thought to be trapped souls doing things to catch our attention. These souls are named poltergeists. They are known to cause objects to move in an attempt to scare people and as a means of showing their anger with being trapped. Things may fly off of shelves or fall onto the floor without a human anywhere near them. This activity is common in homes that are thought to be haunted.

Are they trying to get our attention? Or are they so upset that they are stuck here that they feel they need to haunt us until they get where they are going?

They are thought to be troubled and trapped between realms. They are here because they may have some unfinished business to attend to before moving on. However, they may be unaware of this and are feeling they are imprisoned and unsure of how to proceed. Because of this they often haunt homes and do the paranormal things out of anger or fear.

Spirits – What Is Their Story?

They have a different story. They are thought to be invisible souls that are still here after death has happened. No one really sees them though. They are felt. They are people that are still here but not to been seen or to have haunt you.

After death they can stay here to watch over family and friends. They are here for a purpose. Unbeknownst to the living, they may be trying to give them guidance through subtle hints that can be given without being seen.

They have already seen the light of the other side, any higher power. They know already what is out there. They are here to help us and are hanging around to give us signs to help us through.

What Can I Do To Help?

If you have felt a presence in your home, you may be afraid. You might not know who or what you are dealing with. What should you do?

Try to relax and call out to the presence to see if you get any results. If things move around and you feel an anger in the air, try to calm the ghost by letting them know that you understand their pain. Tell them that you are friendly and wish to help.

You may have to live with the presence for a while until they find what it is that they are looking for. There are hunters of the paranormal that you could call to come and help, if you are very scared. A paranormal specialist can be found with a quick search on the internet.

Will They Show Themselves?

There are stories of some sightings. Usually an apparition or a foggy shadow. This is very spooky if you witness it. It may involve mirrors. The best thing to do is continue to be calm, and to let them know you are not a threat.

How Can I Make Them Go Away?

After awhile you may luck out that they have finally found the answer to their problem and they will vacate on their own. If it goes on for some time, you might want to hire the service of a paranormal hunter to help determine what you are dealing with and to give you pointers on how to have them move on. They have electronic devices that can let you know if your home is affected or not and where they are vacating. They may be able to help.

If it is a visiting loved one however, you may feel that presence your whole life. And that is someone who you know, that wants to look after you, not to have you feel haunted in the night. So you probably don’t want that to go away at all. That is something you should cherish.


Any information obtained through stories or your own viewing should be passed around to others so they are aware of the differences. A lot of people are scared of hauntings and they don’t understand what they mean. They are also afraid of the feeling of someone being there with them, and that might be the spirit they feel.