Monday, November 23, 2009

Twilight Mania!

Oh, alright. So Twilight Mania has bitten the American Public, and settled into the guts like an old case of H1N1. I will withdraw my own thoughts as to Stephenie Meyer's writing capability, as I've yet to fully develop my opinion on the matter. I suppose I'll pick up a copy tommorrow.

But in honor of Vampire madness, I present to you, my take on the Murder Mystery Game. This might be a bit of a divergence from the standard fare that I publish on this blog, but dont worry, I will return with another great ghost story after the Thanksgiving Holiday!

But in the meantime, here is a great Murder Mystery Game, maybe you guys can play it this Thanksgiving, or on Black Friday!

I call it simply the Vampire Mystery Game.

This is a brand of game similiar to other 'Murder Mystery' games, and is meant to be played at a dinner party of between 10 and 20 people. However, once you have the basics of how this game works, you can adapt it for larger or smaller groups.

For background, I actually developed this game to occupy the minds of my nieces and nephews, and it worked really well. After thinking about it for a bit, I realized that it would be fun for adults too, and a few of the more complex parts of the game could be fully realized at dinner parties. So, with that said, I introduce you to the Vampire Mystery Game.

The first step in the Vampire Mystery Game is to choose what guest attendee is your Vampire. You might want to set out notes at the different sitting places for your guests, which will discretely tell your guests whether they are Vampires or Humans. Also, tell them to keep their verdict a secret. However as the game becomes more active, and players learn how to play, you will have Vampires claiming they are Vampires, if only to confuse investigators.

During the meal, you should explain, in full, the rules of the game. Essentially the game has two objectives, to turn all humans to vampires, or to kill all vampires. How will this be done, read below.

After the meal is completed, and you are ready to begin the game, you will divide the group into 'houses'. You designate a several rooms in your house as 'houses'. You will want to make sure that each of these rooms is outfitted to give the 'home-owners' something to do. Magazines, board games, drinks, deserts, television. You will also make sure that there is a water gun, or maybe a nerf gun in the room, which is the only defense the house has.

Then, you, the game moderator, go each house, one after another, and release the house for their 'investigation' for 10 minutes. During this time, they must wear hats, to signify that they are investigating. They may go to the other houses, and ask questions about who the vampire could be. Indeed the humans must work together, to weed out the possible vampires. When a human thinks he has an accusation, he may accuse someone of being a vampire (only at the end of his investigation). If he accuses someone of being a vampire, they must reveal whether they are a vampire or not. If they are the vampire, the vampire dies (removed from the game). He must tell you, the GM, if he had made others into vampires. If not, is tale ends there. If the person accused is not a vampire, the accuser goes to jail. Those in jail can answer questions, but may not participate in the investigation.

During the investigation, the vampires, disquised as humans, can pretend to take part in the investigation. If they get close enough to a person to touch them, they must then whisper to them that the 'tagged' person has become a vampire. A new vampire must keep their new identity secret, and continue with investigations, trying to turn others into vampires, until there are no humans left who aren't in jail. A vampire can only 'create' other vampires during their investigation turn, not when others come to their house.

Also, a person at their house, can shoot someone in their house, most likely to defend from whom they think is a vampire. When they shoot someone, the person must admit whether they are a vampire or not. If the person is a vampire, the vampire dies, and must tell the Game Moderator of other vampires it 'created'. If the person who is shot is not a vampire, the shooter goes to jail.

The humans win if they kill all the vampires. The humans lose if all humans become vampires or end up in jail.

Sounds too easy, right? I hope you guys enjoy!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Corpse Wood Manor

One of my favorite stories of haunted locations in all of Georgi, is that of Corpse Wood Manor. Unfortuantely, I've yet to have the opportunity to visit the manor and examine it myself. However, maybe if this blog takes off, I can visit it, and by an applicable domain to support it. So however you can support me, is appreciated.

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The Manor & Dr. Scuddle

The story starts in Chicago, at Layola University, where Dr. Charles Scuttle was a chemical engineer. I have confirmed his existance there through at least one method, as I've seen his name mentioned in the 1972 edition of the Stethescope, as part recipient of a government grant at that time.

In a bit of a tangent, I've also seen Dr. Scuttle's name mentioned in some documentation involving project MK-ULTRA. This was a supposed government experiment to test LSD on unknowing test subjects. While his involvement can't be confirmed, it does seem interesting that the grant was given to the Chemical Department of a small Catholic University. The grant was for $600,000 USD, which seems alot in 1972. I will do my best to contact departmet heads and ask them about this, and update you guys in the future.

But back to the matter at hand. Dr Scuttle moved to Atlanta, from Chicago, giving the impression that he wanted to getaway from city ife. He later moved out further to Rome, Georgia and further to Trion. Finally comin there, he bought lad in an area know as the Corpsewoods, and built his own manor.

The Manor was self-sufficient, and was located within 15 miles of the city of Trion (which today, has a popultion of 1600 people). The events that take place in the story happened in 1982, which is important in establishing context of the events. So far as I can tell, the events as I describe them happened. However a few elements are derivitive of local stories, and much harder to confirm. Those elements will be put in Italics.

I'd suggest picking up a copy of the 'Murders at Corpsewoods' for your own investigation. It was written by a man named James Budd.

The Murders

When Dr. Scuttle moved into Corpsewood, he didn't move in alone. In truth, he moved with his Partner Joey Odum. So, Dr. Scuttle was a homosexual. That much we can be certin about, and given the climate of rural Georgia in th early 80s, I imagine it must've been a rarity, especially to be open and out about it.

But be that as it may. Dr. Scuttle and his partner would have parties at their manor, and it was thought drugs were often involved. Some of the local attendees were locals Kenneth Avery Brock and Tony West. It is a definate that the two knew Scuttle enough to know, probably rightly, that he had money.

It is ofte assumed that the upper portion of the Chicken Coop, which they had built themselves, they had converted into a play-pen of sorts. Supposedly they used it as a den for drug use, and other perverse things. One of the buildings that still stands today, is the Chicken Coop.

On December 12th, 1982 they came to the conclusion that they would rob Dr. Scuttle. However, the event didn't go as planned when Odum, Scuttle, and apparently Scuttle's dogs resisted the robbery. Not to mention that, despite being off-the-grid, they still kept their money in the bank.

This didn't stop them from killing Odum and Scuttle. Though, it is said all they escaped with was a small golden Harp.

Supposedly, the town's folk showed up, to find the gruesome scene. But supposedly, they found all sorts of occult memorabilia. Many quickly came to the conclusion that Scuttle and Odum were devil-worshippers. The house was either burned, or some how grounded so that only two buildings remain today.

And the whole region, many investigators contend, is incredibly haunted. However, there is much more to this story, so subscribe, and keep reading!

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Saturday, November 14, 2009

Underground Atlanta

Underground is one of the best places that you can go to see our actual history. For those of you who are not from Atlanta, please allow me to briefly explain.

You see, Atlanta was originally founded as the Cherokee and Creek Indians were pushed out of the valley that is now Atlanta. The Atlantic and Western Rail-lines decided to create a joint venture here, and created Terminus, which was a train station, and community. However, unlike the rest of the "Genteel" south, Terminus wasn't a fancy southern community like Charleston, Savannah or such. It was actually a fairly rough and tumble town, filled with railway workers and transients.

However, over time, Atlanta has changed, been burned, been the center for a peaceful movement of change, and is now the de-facto capital of the South. Atlanta now stands as a capital of economics, culture, and technology in the south, with the busiest airport in the nation, and a huge transportation infrastructure. But if you look closer, you can take a peek into it's past.

One example of this, is Underground. For you see, when Atlanta was rebuilt, it was literally rebuilt on the remains of the old city. Underground Atlanta is one example of this, as it has at least two levels from two different eras, over which downtown Atlanta was built.

However, as with anything that is old, there are more than a few stories associated with the paranormal. One such story, is that the Confederates had a Theater level hospital in the region. The capacity of the Hospital was about 1500 people, and during the height of the conflict, they had that many people arriving per day seeking medical treatment. So it was likely that many died in the field outside of the Hospital, waiting on treatment.

The remains of the old tracks and a well that serviced the hospital still exist in Underground, at the location that was once Dante's Down the Hatch. Supposedly, several phantom apparitions can be spotted at this location, though this is as of yet unconfirmed.

Either way, the area is historic, and makes for a great shopping district today!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Paranormal Activity

I reviewed this movie on another blog of mine, so I thought I would put it here as well, its definately worthwhile.

Hey everyone. This one was a bit overdue, as everyone was talking about this new movie, paranormal activity. So I decided to see it, and review it, if only because I seem to have an extended period of writer's block, mostly due to other events happening in my life right now.

Okay, firstly, you have to remember, the movie was made for $11,000 USD, which is really good, considering that I've seen some movies made for $30,000 which definitely didn't look as professional as this. Admittedly, however, the budget requirements of this production weren't as much as others. Either way though, my hat is off to them, if this is the case.

So whats the plot you ask? A couple in a relationship have only recently moved in together. However, the girl brings with her, an entity not of this world. It starts off with simple lights being left on, or keys moved around, but soon progresses to full-out terror. I won't give anymore, but its definitely a worthwhile story, with a scary twist at the end.

However, for all of it's hype, I found the movie lacking. It wasn't frightening to me, and I felt that the scares were too predictable. And you dint need a huge budget to write a unique script. But despite all this, my hat is off to them for what marketing success they did have.

So whats my verdict? Should you see it? Currently there is nothing better in the market right now for scary movies, though that might change quickly, so if you are going to see something, you might as well see this. However, if you can hold off, you might as well see it on DVD or HBO.

One of the things I really liked about the movie was the use of the Gonzo POV for the film. It reminded me of Quarantine, and this is a great way to immerse someone into the plot. Its definately a great ride for someone who is interested in hauntings or possession.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Fox Theater: Ghosts of the Past

Firstly before, I begin, if you've never seen the Fox Theater, you can see it here. I recommend you see it in person, its at the corner of Peachtree Street and North Avenue.

The Fox Theater started out as a temple of the Scottish Rite of the Masons. I can't elaborate more into that, simply because I don't know too much, though I think the lodge that inhabited it is still around here somewhere. However, the first thing you will notice is the theater looks as if it is influence by Arab design. Which is true, the theater is a westernized version of what you might find in the Arab World.

However, Architecture aside, the Fox Theater is incredibly interesting. It has a great history after its life as a Masonic Lodge. During the Civil War, it served as a Confederate Ammo Cache. This supposedly contributes to the haunted status of the Theater, as supposedly there is a tunnel at the bottom of the theater were the ammuntion used to be stored. People still report seeing confederate soldiers there standing guard.

In addition, supposedly an avid theater goer who always dreamed of being an actress inhabits the grounds. She was always one who wanted to be on stage, and gain acclaim, but it never happened for her. However, she had such a strong bond to the theater that after her death, she haunted the grounds. Now she supposedly steals the roses from the Actress' rooms.

However, this must be taken with a grain of salt as almost ever college or university in the Atlanta and Metro Atlanta area claims to be haunted in the theater department. You have to remember this, and keep it in mind.

But definately, the theater is worth looking at. Its a great facility and makes a great night out!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

The Imperial Hotel: Haunted or Just Hauntng?

The Imperial Hotel is located in Atlanta, once again, not so far from The Rufus Rose House. The Hotel has a deep and varied histoy, starting from its construction in 1911. It was designed by the Arhitect Edward Dougherty, with an emphasis on what is described as a variation of the chicago style.

From its groundbreaking, all the way up to the 1950s, the hotel served as an upper-class hotel in the city. Seven stories tall, it had over 120 rooms above the first floor and basement.

In 1968, it suffered a small fire, and as remodelled. After this, the Hotel stopped operation, as new Hotels began to be built in the city, including the mega Hyatt and Hiltons more intown. However, the Imperial was still used. In the 1970s it was home to Domino's Lounge, which was both a go-go bar and a local stage for blues artists of the day. However, within the decade the Lounge Closed down.

The Hotel remained vacant for the next several years, becoming a local mainstay for the city's homeless population. However in 1988, the hotel caught fire, and there were several undocumented deaths. In 1996 it was remodelled again, and made into low income housing.

This hotel has tons of stories, the most moving has to be the story of the undocumented deaths. But the exterior of the building certainly has an appreciable creepy asthetic.

On my tours, I've had several "sensitives" feel as if they could detect more to that in the story. One of the most common 'feelings' that is gotten from the house is that someone committed suicide from the top-most window to he left, as if you are looking at the house from the front. However, I was never able to confirm this story.

But on thing can be said or sure, whether or not there is any paranormal activity in the hotel, it has one of the more diverse and interesting histories in the city. And even if it isn't haunted, it certainly could seem that way! I recommend that you take a look at this building if you get a chance!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Rose House

Alright, so my first story for you, is that of the Rufus Rose House, off of Peachtree Street in Atlanta, Georgia. I will cover the history of the house, then reveal to you some of the strange happenings that I've encountered at the house. Then I will talk about the state of the house today.

The reason I can talk so candidly and knowledgably about the house is because the house is on a tour-guide route that I do here in Atlanta as a Ghost Tour Guide. The house is a big part of my particular tour, so I had took it upon myself to do research and get as much background information about the house as possible.

The house was built in 1907 for Rufus M Rose, a distillery owner here in Atlanta. It was built for $9000 in 1907, which according to consumer price index, would be worth around $250,000 today. If you think that this is price for construction, if you added in all other market factors, the house could easily sell for over $1,000,000 today. The architect was a man named EC Siez.

The house was first inhabited by Mr Rose. He lived there with his family. He had at least one son and one daughter. As was the tradition of the day, he would have galas to show off his daughter, so that she might be married. There are rumors that say that his daughter had an unrequited suitor, but it can't be confirmed. He moved, with his family and his distillery, to Chatanooga.

The house then served as a boarding house for more wealthy, upper-middle class people of the time. We know that alot of the original furnishings were left in the house.

Later, the house served as a Museum and later an Antiques store. However, for the past 20 years, at the very least, it's been vacant. It is still for sale today.

So what makes me think that the house might be a source for paranormal activity? Well, when I first started my job, we did a tour to learn the route that we would be taking guests on. We brought a K5 meter with us, it detects electro-magnetic activity. We proceeded to ask about to see if there might be an entity that would set the meter off. We actually started to get some response, which surprised me. I checked to see if the meter was running to the house.

If your familiar with GE Power, you know that they keep enough juice running so that the meters work. Well, I think the grid had been disconnected because the meter wasn't working. Given that we were in the middle of the city, there was still plenty of random electro-magnetic energy to affect the K5 meter.

However, it was really odd because whatever it was answered three control questions, and then answered several questions specifically about the house. We found that, according to our mediums, that there was a female entity in the house, who had been murdered. There was also a young boy, but his story was, and still is unclear.

I became incredibly interested in the tour. And asked my employer some of the stories about the house. She has some specific stories and symptoms that affect her, as she is a medium as well. She reports sensing a large male presence near the house, and every time she approaches the house, she gets an intense sensation of heat in her arm and right side.

I found this interesting, because a few weeks later, I had a customer come with me on the tour, and reported getting a heat-sensation in her right arm. At first it didnt strike me as peculiar, until the very end of the tour, which I remembered my boss' own unique story. Either way, it just added fuel to the fire which was my interest in the house.

You can still see the house today. It is on Peachtree Street, literally only a few feet from Gladys Knight's Chicken and Waffles. If you have a real stash of cash, you can buy the house for the princely sum of 1.6 million.

The house has an interesting backstory, but not one with a compelling paranormal link. So if I were to rate it out of five, I would say a three. The paranormal happenings at the house, however, have been the most I've ever seen in any location, and that would get five out of five. The overall ambience of the house is great, it fits the haunted house stereotype almost to a tee, and deserves another five out of five.

The house as a whole gets a 4.2 out of 5, and is honestly a great place to visit, if only for historical reasons. Though at night, it certainly has the power to scare!