Archive for the ‘TV or other media’ Category

Animal Planet – The Haunted, Episode 1, Season 1 in 2009 had found a nameplate with “The Blakely Home” upon looking for information, the owners of a software company, find that from 1919 to 1950 it was an insane asylum. Going outside the owners of the company find empty animal cages, the cages seemed big enough for cats, dogs and other small animals. Some weeks after this the motion sensors went off the police could find no reason for it.

I tried to look into this, I really found it quite hard work as I am not local and the information online is scant. I found that there were references to Blackley, Blockley or Blakely Insane Asylum all in the area. What I could find in general was an old reference to Blakely Home as an historical building stating it is now used by Calvert Laboratories. The company deals in pharmaceuticals and my research online shows animal testing is mentioned.

Initially I was getting frustrated but genealogy sites can really be of great help. The Blakely Home is located in Lackawama County, PA, USA. Kriswfield has entered a message on ancestry.co.uk about the place, he says that his father and his partner brought the property from the county in 1976. The business his dad owned ran up until 1982. He comments he could not say about the ethics of the lab that came in after that. He does however say that the labs were tightly regulated by the FDA and says in the main building, where they lived, that it was never considered to be haunted.

A nurse prior to that was able to say it was used as convalescent home and she worked there from 1971 to 1972, she states that it was a nice place to work.

Mentions I found in the area:

Built 1891 – Blakely Poor Farm.

Active Electronics building 2014, the PPA.net shows a picture of the building.

Ease Diagnostics – Auto Inspection & Testing Services

What can I work out? There was more than one building and I’m sure there are blurred lines here as I am not local and actually you need to ignore Ease Diagnostics, I believe. So that leaves the electronic company and Calvert Laboratories Inc on the same site. In 1891 the poor farm expanded and on that area there has been an old poor house; insane asylum, nursing home and then animal testing lab. So perhaps the bit more referred too is the one used by the electronics company and its really more coincidence Calvert Laboratories Inc are nearby now.

Haunted Title Screen.jpg
By Source, Fair use, Link

Alan Moore created the comic book character of John Constantine, later adapted into a film that starred Keanu Reeves playing the character, but Alan Moore may well have come face to face with his ceration before then. In his words:

One interesting anecdote that I should point out is that one day, I was in Westminster in London – this was after we had introduced the character – and I was sitting in a sandwich bar. All of a sudden, up the stairs came John Constantine. He was wearing the trenchcoat, a short cut – he looked – no, he didn’t even look exactly like Sting. He looked exactly like John Constantine. He looked at me, stared me straight in the eyes, and then just walked off around the corner to the other part of the snack bar. I sat there and thought, should I go around that corner and see if he really is there, or should I just eat my sandwich and leave? I opted for the latter; I thought it was the safest. I’m not making any claims to anything. I’m just saying that it happened. Strange little story.”

In the snakes & ladders book a fictionalised version added he once came up to say “I will tell you the ultimate secret of magic. Any c*** could do it.”

Now either Alan Moore was telling another good tale, delusional, had subconsciously made him and had seen the guy before or possibly he had brought Constantine into existence. This has been discussed before as something called the Tulpa effect, essentially this is a Buddhist belief that a thing or being can be willed into existence with the right spiritual and mental discipline. The concentration and the power of the mind is what creates it but with enough vitality the creation can free itself from its maker. Perhaps we shouldn’t be so quick to dismiss Alan Moore’s story, or come to think of it, a child with an imaginary friend….

DC Comics' Constantine No. 1 cover.jpg
DC Comics’ Constantine No. 1 cover” by Source (WP:NFCC#4). Licensed under Fair use via Wikipedia.

The Romanian forest claims to be the most haunted forest in the wood. At 20 hectares the forest is sometimes referred to as the Bermuda Triangle. Visitors to the area often report feelings of anxiety or like they are being watched. This was one of the things covered by Ghost Adventures when they visited, and yes you can laugh, I still watch because they go to places I want too. Shame on me?

The forest was named after a shepherd, he apparently disappeared with a flock of two hundred sheep. Now not only that but in the 1960’s the forest gained another event of a note, a biologist Alexandru Sift who snapped a UFO in the sky above the forest. August 18th 1968, Emil Barnea captured something too and by the 1970’s it was a hotspot for sightings.

It is also said it could be a gateway to another dimension and another local story says that a 5 year old got lost and wandered into the woods before disappearing. 5 years later she came out untarnished and in the same clothes. There is no clear indicator in regards to when this happened however.

How about the ghost of murdered Russian peasants? The souls of the unfortunates are trapped and angered by their predicament. Still not convinced? What about an area where there is no vegetation even though research suggests there is nothing in the soul to cause it.

Strange noises, UFO’s, voices, vortex’s, disappearances, rashes and scratches on visitors and more! If you visit and experience anything I’d love to hear it!

Floyd Collins was a well-known explorer who visited the large cave complex in Kentucky, USA known as Mammoth Cave. Tragically he died in Sand Cave there on 30th January, 1925 after a rock fell on his leg and he was pinned in a small passageway.

The day after two friends found him and for two weeks rescuers attempted to reach Collins. It was a media sensation but had a tragic end as three days before the rescuers could reach him Collins perished.

They could not remove the rock and so left him there and sealed the area up that led to his body. His brother, Homer, finally recovered him and then had his body buried at the family property. Two years later his father sold up the place and the new family had his body exhumed, they had the body placed in a glass coffin and he was left on display there for several years.

In 1929 Floyd was subject to another move when his body was stolen, the police recovered the unfortunate corpse but his injured leg was missing. He has not finally got rest at the Jackson’s Flint Ridge Cemetery and hopefully will remain undisturbed.

Is it any wonder then that he is not at rest? the area of Sand Cave is said to be haunted by Floyd, his screams and pleas can be heard from the sealed cave. A story recounts about decades old whiskey bottles being thrown at people who get too close. Is he trying to help though? Colleen Olsen told Kentucky’s Wave 3 News she slipped and started to fall but was grabbed and pulled back up. She turned to thank her friend Richard only to find that he was on the other side and so she thanked Floyd instead.

I have this picture via the Musical written about the events, I am not entirely sure how I feel about that… but here you go anyway.

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There you go for a song from Black Stone Cherry too:

In 2005 the ever popular World or Warcraft MMO introduced a new raid to the game, it was Zul’Gurub (now a dungeon instance) that has been cited as a model for real world epidemic study. The games mechanics introduced a damaging effect called ‘Corrupted Blood’ from the last ‘boss’, Hakkar, that came off the players when they either died or the boss was killed. It could however be on the pets that players brought along and when they left the instance it continued to stay on the pets.

Consequently some players inadvertently spread this to others as it leapt from the pets to the players, this incident primarily occurred in Ironforge, the Dwarven City. Some players indeed found this quite amusing and deliberately brought it to the city as well.

Discussion forums at the time discussed the sight of bodies in the streets of the city, and it seems that at least three of the multiple servers were affected. The towns and major cities were abandoned by those not affected as they went into the countryside. The urban areas were then graveyards with the white bones of the dead.

It was interesting to see that players that had an ability to help did so, they directed the lower level characters away from the area and where they could remove the disease from others they did but other players deliberately brought the contagion to others.

Blizzard then attempted quarantine, the idea being that those affected would stay in a contained area but vindictive players (or those not taking it seriously as it was a game) brought that to those areas, praying on the weak and the fact it was a confined area. Some players ensured that the pets that caught it were then ‘un-summoned’ to remove the issue but ultimately Blizzard had to hard reset all the servers and reprogram the glitch.

After the outbreak the next even in 2008 was intentional. Blizzard released a zombie plague week in order to promote the new release of the expansion ‘Wrath of the Lich King’. This one was seemed more true-to-life as it was a small risk of transmission and encountering a lone zombie was not as dangerous as a large number of the infected. It was met with both praise and criticism, and from my side, mostly praise as it was an interesting adaptation to the game for a short period of time.

The epidemic of the Corrupted Blood was compared to real life breakouts, the CDC did ask for information about the statistics but Blizzard found they could not provide them as it was a computer glitch. It was also fascinating to see that it was carried from a remote area into a larger one, that people and animals could contract it, much like Avian Flu, and that people in larger areas were more at risk.

However there were differences from the real world too that negate parts of the study, such as it did not affect the non-playable characters because they did not transmit it. Alongside this there were no visible signs of the disease, such as pustules or other effects, but there was one thing that made it feel realistic – the rush of journalists wanting to cover the story and then get back out of it.

There was a discussion about using the platform for further study with the players however it never really came to fruition. It was felt that it was not really going to be indicative of a real world situation. There was not enough realistic data because players regenerate and with that meant there was little threat on the infection if all the player precautions could be set up, it would really be more for entertainment…

It was also discussed that WOW could be used in terms of how terrorists form collaborations and cells, this again would only be used for entertainment as a model could not be formed from the game. It did however give interesting light when someone pointed out that people quickly got smart in the game about how to do the biggest damage to the most amount of people and how. And lets not forget that it is a game and the very worst that can happen, unlike real life, is you can re-spawn and get back to doing what you like, so it really does not mirror real life.

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