"Death is no more than passing from one room into another." – HELEN KELLER

Mr. Apple's Cemetery

Teenagers worldwide experiment with the tale of "Bloody Mary". However, Ardmore, Oklahoma has Mr. Apple. According to legend, go to the cemetery and find the headstone marked Mr. Apple. If you walk around it 3 times saying "Mr. Apple are you home" or "Mr. Apple, can your daughter come out to play?", a bright light will start chasing you and your neck will start to hurt. As soon as you get to somewhere safe and you look at your neck it looks like some one has scratched you so deep that it will leave scars.

There are several things inaccurate with this legend. First of all, it's often relayed for someone to go to Mr. Apple's cemetery. Well, there is no Mr. Apple's Cemetery in Ardmore. The deceased in question is buried in Rose Hill Cemetery also known as St. Mary's Cemetery which leads to the next issue. It tells you to find his headstone. Technically, he doesn't have a headstone. He was privileged enough to be buried in a mausoleum. Thus, making his final resting place just that much easier to find by those looking to put the legend to the test.

As for Mr. Apple making himself known, visitors have reported several types of activity. There may or may not be some truth to the scratches. Several people have claimed to walk away from the mausoleum with scratch marks, some on the neck and arms. Although not to the point of scarring. Others have reported hearing footsteps, seeing orbs and lights within the mausoleum as well as apparitions, one believed to be Mr. Apple.

If you're thinking about paying Mr. Apple a visit, you may want to reconsider. You'll probably meet a member of the local police department before any ghost.

GS Question of the Week

With Cyberdyne planning to show off versions of its Hybrid Assistive Limb exoskeleton, better known as HAL, at the Consumer Electronics Show next month, could this be a prelude to the invention of our very own terminator?

Happy Holidays

Happy Holidays Comments Christmas

I hope everyone had a good and safe Christmas and Santa brought you everything you asked for. Regular posts will return tomorrow. If you haven't entered The Walking Dead Giveaway, you still have a few days left to get yours in. Drawing will be on January 2nd!

GS Question of the Week

Why did Europeans hang their Fir trees upside down in the middle ages?

Haunted Theatres in London

The below article comes to you from Ben Piper Web Editor UK Tickets:

London’s theatres are steeped in history, so it’s not surprising that tales of ghostly goings on are rife in their buildings. Many actors and staff have had haunting experiences - from furtive figures, to possessed props and suspicious smells. Here is a rundown of some of the more famous:

Adelphi Theatre

In 1897 the Stage Door of the Adelphi Theatre was the scene of a grisly murder when stage star William Terriss was stabbed to death by unemployed actor Richard Arthur Prince. Described as a tall man dressed in a turn of the century suit, Terriss is said to wander the fine old building, with sightings also reported at nearby Covent Garden Underground Station.

Aldwych Theatre

The popular venue, just off The Strand, has tales of an unusual haunting that produces fragrances of different flowers, perfumes and even cigar smoke in different parts of the building, with no apparent source for the various strong scents.

Duke of York’s Theatre

The most bizarre incident at the Duke of York’s Theatre involved a curious item from the wardrobe department. During the 1920s ladies who wore a certain jacket suffered feelings of constriction and suffocation as the coat grew progressively tighter. The ‘strangler jacket’ was later sold to an American collector whose wife and daughter also experienced the same eerie feeling when wearing the garment.

Fortune Theatre

The Woman in Black is a popular thriller which has been playing for years at the Fortune Theatre. Unfortunately, since the show began its run, another woman in black has started to haunt the venue. The dark shrouded figure is often seen in the hospitality bar and in one of the boxes during performances.

Her Majesty's Theatre

The home to Phantom of the Opera is also rumoured to house a few spirits of its own. The theatre’s first manager, Herbert Beerbohm-Tree, has made several ghostly appearances, including on stage and from a box in the auditorium. Fez-wearing comedian Tommy Cooper is also said to wander the venue, hoping to complete his act after his infamous death on stage midway through a televised performance in 1984.

Lyceum Theatre

A spooky incident took place in the late 1880s when a couple sitting in their box looked down at the stalls and saw a woman sitting calmly with a man’s head in her lap. When the performance began she hid the shape with a shawl, and after the show became lost in the crowd before anybody had a chance to confront her.

Theatre Royal Drury Lane

Believed to be the most haunted theatre in London, the old venue is home to the famous ‘man in grey’, thought to be the spirit of a gentleman killed in an 18th century stage fight. The renowned clown Grimaldi is also regularly seen, and said to guide nervous actors to good positions on stage. Music hall entertainer Dan Leno is also thought to haunt the building. The sound of his clog-dancing has been heard in empty dressing rooms and the distinctive smell of his lavender scent can sometimes be caught on a mysterious backstage breeze.

Victoria Palace Theatre

More wardrobe problems have been reported at the Victoria Palace with a wig cupboard door that opens and closes all by itself. Once open, the wigs have been seen flying through the air in a ‘hair-raising’ display of poltergeist activity.

The Art of Maschalismos

You find yourself in the middle of a zombie apocalypse along with a group of survivors. Your running towards a reinforced safe house while being chased by a swarm of your undead enemy. Just as the relief is in reach, a member of your group is being attacked. As the rest run in to the house, a few stay behind in an effort to rescue their survival brethren. A few head shots puts the zombie down, but oh no. The person has been bitten and would soon go from friend to foe. A decision needs to be made. They are drug inside for a chance to live out their remaining minutes before you put a bullet in their head to keep them from turning.

This is a common scenario among monster movies, TV and books. This instinctual move decreases their numbers which in turn increases your chances of survival. However, with the lack of actual evidence of zombies, and vampires, is there a need for such a practice in real life? There are some cultures who believe in its power.

Maschalismos is the practice of physically rendering the dead incapable of rising or haunting the living in undead form. Such ritual mutilations of the dead were not limited to folkloric physical risings but to also escape the ill will of those wrongfully slain by a murderer after death.

A common method was the cutting off the feet, hands, ears, nose, etc, and tying them under the armpits of the corpse all strung together. In the Moluccas, they believe that the dead fly like birds and the presence of eggs will bring out maternal instincts. A woman who has died in childbirth is buried with pins stuck through the joints, and an egg under the chin and or armpits. In doing so, the ghost won't leave the eggs thus staying with its former body.

In Europe, those who committed suicide were sometimes buried with a stake driven through the heart, the body buried upside down, or the head cut off and placed between the legs. In many parts of Britain, the feet or large toes of the dead are tied together.

A tribe of American Indians known as The Omaha, slit the soles of the feet of those killed by lightning. The Basuto and Bechuana cut the sinews and spinal cord of their dead. The Herbert River aborigines of Australia beat the body to the point of breaking its bones. Then, filled the incisions made in the body with stones.

What are your thoughts on the practice of Maschalismos?

Win an Exclusive Ghost Hunters Vacation

This week in conjunction with the new episode of Hollywood Treasure, Syfy invites fans to a chance to win a Ghost Hunters vacation at Jason and Grant’s bed and breakfast, a limited edition signed Ghost Hunters night lite, and a ghost hunting kit with their weekly auction on Net proceeds go to national non-profit KaBOOM! to provide innovative play equipment to kids in need.

Spend a weekend at Jason and Grant's very own Spalding Inn! You and a guest will fly to New Hampshire and spend 3 days/2 nights exploring the haunted residence. Perhaps you'll run into the original owners, Anna and Randall Spalding, who opened the inn in 1927 and are suspected to still look after it from beyond the grave.

The current bid is at $1075. The auction ends on Wednesday December 22nd at 8/9c. Hurry over to for your chance at a once in a lifetime stay in the Ghost Hunters’ own bed and breakfast!

GS Question of the Week

Do you think Santa Claus actually exists?


Remember the days of Scariest Places on Earth where supposedly average families were taken to alleged haunted locations and had the s*** scared out of them? Many ghost hunting shows today are saturated in science and have left behind the scary aspect of the paranormal. One new and upcoming production company is attempting to change that.

Blood and Guts Productions has a new TV series in the works called "One". The premise of this show is to feature real people in supposedly haunted locations. Armed with only a video camera, they hope the ghosts will help to stir up some good entertainment.

One location used for the series is the South Lyon Hotel in South Lyon, Michigan. It was built in 1867 on what use to be a cemetery. The original name of the Hotel was the Commercial House owned by Baker & Hopkins. It contained four large fireplaces and gas lights. Electricity didn't make it to South Lyon until 1923. It went through several name changes as well as being gutted by a fire in 1977. It wasn't renovated in to the hotel/restaurant seen today until the 1980s. It is also believed to be haunted.

It is believed South Lyon Hotel has something in common with the likes of Cheeseman Park. When the land was being cleared to make way for construction, there was a fee of $2.50 per body removal. The mid-1800s being what they were, some people have linked the alleged haunting to the possibility that some bodies were left behind and are still buried on the property. I have yet to find anything to confirm this. However, witnesses have reported activity such as doors slamming, scratching sounds, and a television turning on by itself.

The completed show will begin broadcasting next year on Comcast cable channel Fear net.

The Walking Dead Giveaway

In November, I promised a giveaway and I don't like to disappoint. This contest will run the duration of the month to give everyone a chance to enter. On to the details.

The Walking Dead wrapped up its first season last week. Better yet, it lived up to the hype that surrounded it. For those die hard fans, I have a copy of The Walking Dead Vol 1: Days Gone Bye to give away. This book is a compilation of the first six issues of the comic book. Go crazy on the compare and contrast.

The second prize up for grabs is a new twist on an old story. Pride and Prejudice and Zombies By: Jane Austen and Seth Grahame-Smith takes the classic novel beloved by many and tosses plot and characters right in the middle of the land of zombies. This book received some major buzz, resulting in a possible movie (starring Natalie Portman), comic book series and it's own video game. But it all started with the book and here's your chance to own a copy.

How to Enter:

Winners will be randomly drawn using First person chosen will get first pick of the prizes. This contest is for US Residents only. Deadline is December 31st. There are several ways to enter, each point equals an entry:

1+ - New Follower
2+ - Old Follower
3+ - Tweet about the contest. (Include @sthrnwriter in your tweet)
5+ - List the contest on your sidebar (Include link to your blog)
8+ - Blog about contest (Include link to your post)
10+ - Tell me who your favorite Walking Dead or Pride and Prejudice and Zombie character is and why.

Leave a comment (1 per person), itemizing your points with any mandatory links. Also include your name and email address for notification purposes. Good Luck!!!

White Lady Road

The White Lady legend has stories sprinkled in various countries. They supposedly died or suffered trauma in life and are associated with losing or being betrayed by a husband or fiancé. They have white cloudy eyes with short white hair and milky white skin, each of her physical features are very distinguished. She often appears not to be fearful in nature, more like sad. One such variation of this legend is located on a road in Leroy, North Dakota.

Legend states on a stretch of road, now known as White Lady Road, a traveling salesman became attracted to a farmer's daughter. He took her for a walk on this remote road for a more intimate encounter. When they came to a bridge over a swampy area, he made his move. Her response to his gesture was anything but what he desired. Instead of walking away, he flew in to a rage and killed her.

Today, when people travel on White Lady Road, it is sometimes met with a surprise. During no specific time at night, witnesses have been known to come across a woman dressed in white standing in the road. Before they can react, she suddenly appears on their vehicle looking inside with red glowing eyes. The purpose of her actions has been tied to her searching for her murderer. Those who have encountered her drove at high speeds to rid themselves of her presence, but she is one of determination. This particular white lady will not leave you be until she is satisfied the man she is looking for is not in your car.

GS Question of the Week

What is Krampus?

The Sea of Trees

At the base of Mt. Fuji in Japan sits a dense forest. To those who are unfamiliar with it's reputation, Aokigahara would appear like a run-of-the-mill forest. However, venturing inside would reveal the weight it bares. Any unexpected hiker will likely find more than trees, caverns and wild animals in this forest. Personal items, such as credit cards, wallets and rail passes are often found as well as a decomposing body hanging from a tree limb. Aokigahara is the second most popular suicide location, ranking under the Golden Gate Bridge. There are an average of 50 to 100 suicides each year and the numbers continue to increase as time passes despite posted signs telling them to seek professional help. Why would so many choose this forest as a place to take their own lives?

There area a couple of possible reasons. Seichō Matsumoto wrote a book in 1960 called Kuroi Jukai which describes the suicide of two lovers in Aokigahara, leading to romanticizing the act. Although, suicide is believed to have been associated with the forest long before the book was published. It is believed the 19th Century practice of Ubasute where an infirm or elderly female relative is carried to a mountain or desolate location and left to die by dehydration or starvation had more than once taken place there. Wataru Tsurumui’s controversial 1993 bestseller, The Complete Suicide Manual, describes various methods of suicide and even lists the forest as "the perfect place to die". Some who have committed suicide in the forest had been found with the book in their possession. However, there are those who think Japan's expectations of excellence may have something to do with it. Citizens who find themselves unable to succeed buckle under the pressure.

Then again, some remains found may not be from those who took their lives willingly. Supposedly, underground iron deposits cause compasses to go haywire and interfere with GPS devices, making it quite easy to get lost. Not only that, but the forest also contains cenotes, collapsed lava tubes, and hidden caves. Each can play their part in taking a life.

Either way, Aokigahara is not only associated with suicides but myth and ghosts as well. When Forestry workers come upon a body in the forest they carry it back to their station where a special room is designated for such occasions. In Japanese mythology, a corpse can not rest alone. If it is left alone, the lonely, unsettled soul or Yurei will scream the whole night, and the body will move itself into the regular sleeping quarters.

Aokigahara is considered the most haunted location in Japan. Dubbed the "Purgatory of Yurei". Hikers have often seen apparitions as well as heard the howl of Yurei on the wind. Some have reported objects moving and seeing shadows amongst the trees. Spiritualists say that the trees themselves are filled with a malevolent energy, accumulated from centuries of suicides. They try to prevent you from getting back out. They say if you look hard at the trees, you can see the faces of the dead in the bark.

Today, the forest is littered with colored tape used by walkers to find their way as well as discarded items and nooses, used to facilitate the suicide of its recent victims. Bouquets of flowers left by grieving friends and family members can also be found.

The Castle on Peachtree Street

An announcement of an upcoming giveaway will be made within a few days...

Amos Giles Rhodes was born in Kentucky in 1850s. Twenty-six years later, he married Amanda Wilmot Dougherty in Atlanta, Georgia and began his furniture business that extended to 35 locations throughout the Southeast. His grand home that is still til this day admired by visitors from all over began a trip to Europe. He found himself marveled by the Rhineland Castles during his trip in 1890s. He was so much inspired that upon returning home he began making plans to build his family home in a similar style.

Back in the 1900s, Peachtree Street was considered a fashionable residential area, lined with large residences. Between 1901 and 1906, Rhodes assembled an estate of 114 acres, stretching across Tanyard Creek and including most of the present-day Brookwood Interchange at I-75/85. He hired architect Willis F. Denny II to bring his vision to life. Rhodes Memorial Hall was built in Romanesque Revival and infused with Victorian elements. Construction began in 1902.

Locally quarried Stone Mountain granite was acquired for the towers, turrets, and battlements of Rhodes' castle home. It also contains ornate woodwork, murals, intricate parquet floors, colorful mosaics, a carved mahogany staircase and exquisite stained glass windows. The house was wired for electricity to power the 300 light bulbs, call buttons (in most rooms) and a security system. The castle was completed in 1904, costing nearly $50,000.

The Rhodes family lived in the home until Mrs. Rhodes death in 1927 and Mr. Rhodes death about a year later. Their two children J. D. Rhodes and Mrs. L. O. Bricker deeded the house and just under an acre of the original estate to the State of Georgia with one restriction. The property could only be used for "historic purposes." In 1930, the building opened as the home of the State Archives until 1965 when a more modern building was constructed on Capital Avenue. However, Rhodes Hall continued to serve as the Peachtree Branch of the Archives. In 1983, The Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation signed a lease with the State of Georgia and made Rhodes Hall their headquarters for The Georgia Trust. The property went through restorations of the mechanical and electrical systems and the re-installation of original staircase and windows that had been removed to the State Archives facility.

From 1984 to 1992, the house was used as a haunted house attraction every year for Halloween, but is it really haunted? Employees and visitors to the Castle on Peachtree Street have witnessed a variety of activity. Some have seen a little girl on the 1st Floor Foyer and 2nd Floor Landing. No confirmation if it is the same girl. There are also reports of a tall man believed to be that of Amos Rhodes and that of an older woman in a white dress. The door in the attic has been known to open and close and sometimes lock from the inside on its own. Other reports include voices, being touched, and sudden decrease in temperature.
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