Posts Tagged ‘review’

Podcast notes

In the last installment for this series I have reviewed Lee Roberts and the Parasearch Radio, I made notes against the information on the last two posts I made about Clifton Hall. It was uploaded to youtube in 2008 and if you want a far more in-depth listen, I have linked it below.  The first thing I will say is that I listened to the beginning and wondered if this was really my kind of listen, but I did enjoy it overall. They go over the history of the hall and the presenter has clearly spent time going into the past, even noting that Gervase Clifton had seven wives, and all died young, she said even for the time it was a lot.

Percy Clifton’s history was touched on, last Lord of the Manor, he lost his eldest son Gervase Ronald Bruce on the HMS Mommouth. Supporting information can be found here – https://secure.nottinghamshire.gov.uk/RollOfHonour/People/Details/9543 and was a young midshipman, at 15 it seems a sad loss of life, along with the other 735 crew that went down with the ship when it sank.

Along with this the rumours and hauntings from the Grammar school years are discussed noting that the rumours of hauntings do indeed go further back.

After this Lee Roberts is introduced who explained that at the time, they were trying to get TAPIT noticed and their name out there as an investigation team. He explains that the PA for Anwar Rashid contacted them to invite them in and they clearly wanted to go, Roberts says that they scheduled it for a three night visit where they could take some baseline readings for humidity, room temperature and air temperature. He goes on to say that there was a scenario where he got lost in a way he never should have, he left the nursery and went down a straight hallway then got turned around back into it, he could give no explanation about how it happened.

He references another event, there is a black and white chequered room that they went into and Roberts says the whole floor was covered in wasps. He turned to his brother-in-law and said they needed to get their cameras and record it all, they passed Rashid’s brother, they told him, and all went back to the room. When they got there the room was clear, there was no sign of a wasp in sight. Roberts says it took only 30 seconds but even if it was slightly longer than that it would surely have meant some evidence of them was left, even a straggler? It turns out that this was not a one-off thing, but they also found out that the wasps were never seen anywhere but that room.

Remember I mentioned the winding staircase? Well Roberts brought that up as well, they discuss King Charles and that the team had radio’s on them to communicate, over the radio Roberts heard “we know you’re alone in there,” which he explained was female and they checked locally for baby monitors or anything that could have come to the same channel but found nothing, a year late when he went back the same voice came over and said “so, you’ve come back again?” and they had no explanation for it.

The maid and her death are discussed too, they say a local witness talked about seeing a figure of a woman by the cliff and that the person had disappeared when they turned around. Roberts says that the team did not witness this, but they do muse about the subject of this as it is accepted that historically richer men would have affairs with their servants and the bi-product of unwanted – bastard- children was a reality. These scandals would result in women trying to self-terminate children or they must be secreted away to have them elsewhere.

It loosely linked into the story of the bricked-up room/wall and I think Roberts provides some better context about how this all came around. In the cellar they found that Rashid’s family stored boxes and belongings, also in there were some gargoyles and objects from the church along with an area that had been bricked up in the past that may be the tunnel to the church. It was reported that there were the sounds of scratching and of cries from behind it, realistically he points out that even if they wanted to sledgehammer the wall to find out more this was not going to happen and it was far to expensive to destroy the old wall.  Roberts goes on to explain that they did contact the local church and attempt to get information on the tunnel, but they got no reply. He does say that I was not unusual as many of the churches don’t want these teams coming in or making local sensations of them.

A year later Anwar Rashid contacted Roberts again to ask him to come back, he said that the situation had escalated to physical attacks leaving scratches and bruises. They had a priest come in who had left them prayers to print out and put around the house, the family had nailed them up high in all the rooms and it had not helped at all. He states that on the second visit it was a more active site, and this is where the Dark Mansions statement must have come in as well, he says that one of the team got scratched, another saw a reflection in the mirror and that two members passed out. Roberts says that this was the only time he had stopped an investigation and got the team back together through safety fears.

So here is a loose timeline I was able to make

Jan 2007 house is purchased

June 2007 the family moved in

August 2007 TAPIT call in the first time

August 2008 TAPIT go in the second time

October 2008 the family leaves.

Lee Roberts and his team had planned to put all their recordings and notes together ready to present to Anwar Rashid, he had heard nothing more from them and then one day he got a call from a newspaper for a quote. I rather liked that Lee Roberts made no hidden fact about the fact he enjoyed media attention and that he said he was happy to discuss it until he realised that they were after a sensational story about it all, at the time he was a police officer and was told by the force that he would need to remember this and keep it all professional so he held back from too much attention on himself.

Anwar Rashid gave some statements at the time, then he went media silent. This to me came across as quite a good point in the recanting of the events, the man didn’t want to make more money from it or bring his family more attention as he was more concerned about his family and their welfare. He mentioned that they also had a few things that were discussed like a little boy that appeared around a curtain and then could not be found, along with there being an elderly man’s ghost in the headmasters room but Anwar Rashid wanted to enter the tale no further. Lee Roberts say they keep in touch, but the subject of the Hall is not one to bring up, instead it is about how things are now.

I think there is a lot of interesting reading in Clifton Hall and the church, it is a small pocket in Nottinghamshire and has kept me busy reading for a while now! I hope you like the write up and that you find the subject interesting. I also hope you like my deep dives now and then as I do enjoy bringing more to the tale than a few tea-break paragraphs. Thank you also if you read all of this and if you want to offer any comments, I always enjoy seeing feedback.

Sources:

Wikipedia                            savills.com                                          History of Nottinghamshire, Vol 1

Telegraph.co.uk                mysteriousbritain.co.uk                nottsalgia.com

Haunted rooms                 theparanormalguide.com            Clifton-vollage.org.uk

Paranormaldatabase.com            Dark Mansions – Dinah Williams

BBC News                           kids.kiddle.co                                    officialleeroberts.com

Google                                 Fortean Times                                   alchetron.com/chek-whyte

Paranormal Network      Find A Grave                                      Parasearch Radio

Sky News                             nottinghamshistory.org.uk          The Clifton Book 1906. Rev Rosslyn Bruce

So I feel this might be me and a few other random folks who enjoyed this film but I’m going to try and break it down. I’d also like to say – Spoiler Alert – but let’s be honest, if you were excited about the film you would have watched it by now I am sure. Maybe this little write up would intrigue you mildly, who knows?

Guardians came out here, UK, in 2017 and was directed by Russian-Armenian Sarik Andreasyan and it is a shame it didn’t get to make a lot of reserve and wasn’t highly rated but I enjoyed the film and I’m pretty sure the rumoured sequel will never happen.

To be fair it is an easy enough plot to follow, (also rated 12+ here) and this is the case I found with a lot of things of this ilk, to be fair that isn’t a bad thing. Let’s be honest who needs an in-depth political level plot for everything? Sometimes I just like watching a fight scene and some silly jokes.

During the Cold War era a secret organisation (Patriots) gathered together and created superheroes. The team was pretty much designed around defending all of the Soviet nations and a bunch of scientists cross various nefarious boundaries to make them.

Inevitably we get the mad scientist plot and Professor August Kuratov (Stanislov Shirin) is that very mad scientist. Side not he had boots that looks a lot like Wellingtons… He turns himself into a cyborg, learns to control machines and sets off to prove to every naysayer he is a genius! Of course he’s so insane he can’t come up with a better idea like curing cancer, resolving mobility with prosthetic limbs that work or some other sensible thing. Silly man right?

In comes Patriot – reimagined with four superheroes, Arsus (Anton Pampushny) is a shape-shifting bear with a giant gun, Khan (Sanjar Madi) is a speedster and martial artist with curved swords, Ler (Sebastian Sisak) can control earth and stone and finally Xenia (Alina Lanina) who has the power of invisibility and can negate temperatures for the most part. They go to battle and after being kicked down they finish the fight on top.

So it is not an entirely new plot idea and I can see it has faults, mainly I think it lay with the special effects. Here’s another thing though, it is not Marvel and did not have that kind of budget! Also for kids I think the less scary the better and the bad guy was still creepy enough regardless, also I grew up with the original Power Rangers… The other thing I noted is that I think the dub-over in English was awful and I really didn’t find it a good watch, swapping to the native language and using subtitles meant it flowed far better.

I can understand that not everyone would enjoy this film but I did. I mean I must have liked it a bit as I ended up scouring the net for cosplayers and getting a little Russian under my belt, feeling inspired to understand the language more.

come on it’s a bear with a gun!!!!

Outlast and it’s DLC were developed by Red Barrels and for survival horror fans like me, this is on the top of the list. It is a first person game and in both the main game and DLC you play unfortunate chaps trying to escape a bizarre psychiatric horror. Available on PC, via Steam if you should so choose, or Xbox and Playstation. 

I’m going to attempt to review this without spoilers, except to say that if you thought the first one had crazy scenes you won’t be surprised to find out there are more in the DLC and some pretty gross moments. Neither protagonist uses combat, you’re weapon is a camera used I that sort of found footage Blair Witch-type and you get to occasionally shove someone or orchestrate movements so they end up deceased or fatally injured as you run the hell away.

In the first, main part, you play Miles Upsher, he’s the guy that heads inside to expose the atrocities. He’s been tipped off and ends up trapped inside. The DLC is Waylon Parker’s story and he risks it all to send out the e-mail that ultimately leads to Miles into the asylum.

The game has plenty of places you can explore, lots of grizzly sights and in sections some fast paces gameplay. You use your camera as a light source and so you have to watch out that you don’t blow your chances by running low on batteries.

The ‘patients’ are often unhelpful, talk gibberish are are down right psychotic/violent. It’s a best guess scenario when you meet them but that just adds to the fun factor. Put the headphones on and turn off the lights, then have a great time immersing yourself in a game to keep your heart racing.

10th September 2013, saw the Frictional Games release of the second Amnesia instalment, following the initial success of the older Amnesia, The Dark Descent. Without going into the plot this writer will tell you that the Machine really is about Pigs, it’s not misleading there!

Essentially for the horror enthusiasts this game is a survival horror, you play the part of a rather wealthy British Gent who is trying to rescue his two children. The story takes the player through a series of underground chambers, creepy parts of the house, into the streets overrun with monsters and predominantly an exploration into the character’s sanity (or lack thereof).

A mixed reception has come from the players, original fans of the series have been said to feel that it was not as scary as the original, perhaps also that it did not have the same interactive level. Others felt that this was a wonderfully constructed exploration into fear.

So why did I pick this for a blog?

What the games hold, that many others perhaps have missed out on, is that unknown fear and the glimpses of the creatures in the dark. One of the things that keeps me as a gamer engaged with survival horror is the unknown fear. H P Lovecraft’s stories have engaged me for many years, and with this instalment of the game it seems well placed amongst that type of genre. The scientific horror seems well placed for fans of H G Wells or Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. The game has monsters that are freakish and grotesque, their lumbering half man and half beast nature captures the essence of freak pretty well.

So for me, yes Machine For Pigs was a good game. Not the scariest thing I have ever played but again that’s something personal to each player. If you pick it up I hope you enjoy it, if you have already played it feel free to leave your comments.

Images taken from my playthrough on Steam.

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