I’ve never attended a horror event that was being protested before but this would be the first. I’m not talking Kent State level protesting of course but rather just a few religious people screaming at everyone who was trying to enter. Personally, protesting doesn’t bother me as the right to do so helps make our country what it is. However, being in close proximity to somebody screaming at the top of their lungs is irritating no matter what the cause. Unfortunately, that’s what we had here with a couple guys holding a sign while another yelled about choosing Jesus over the Satan. Instead of just ignoring them, some guy felt the need to go up and start an argument. On the one hand, I was irritated by his feeding into their nonsense while on the other grateful his distraction provided me safe passage inside.
I recently hunkered down with my new Blu-ray copy of Night of the Demon (1957) from Indicator (Powerhouse) Films and held my breath while pressing “Play.” As it was a British import, it cost more and I’ve had my fair share of disappointments with so-called “upgrades” of Black & White classics. 96 minutes later, I was grinning from ear to ear.
Having just seen The Lodgers, I’m convinced of two things: (1) I should spend more time out in the sun and (2) need to quit complaining about my dysfunctional family. The film is Directed by Brian O’Malley, and features twin sister and brother, Rachel (Charlotte Vega) and Edward (Bill Milner) who are virtual prisoners of their family estate. The isolated, Irish countryside alone inspires chills while the film’s dark, psychological components slowly bring things to a boil. Together, they help make The Lodgers much more than your average gothic thriller.
After leaving Braxton County West Virginia and checking out their tributes to the Flatwoods Monster, we headed further south to the Mothman Museum in Point Pleasant. I’ve been wanting to see this place ever since Brian Maze from Maze Studio shared his experience with this site back in 2011. It’s dedicated to a large, winged creature many claimed to have witnessed back in 1966-67. Though these sightings have never been sufficiently explained, they preceded the collapse of the Silver Bridge – a giant suspension bridge that joined West Virginia with Ohio. It would be years later when a connection would be suggested of the two; most notably illustrated in the 2002 thriller starring Richard Gere and Laura Linney – The Mothman Prophecies. This museum offers props and memorabilia from this film along with just about everything else associated with the creature. Though my experience will be documented in greater detail in my WEIRD USA column for Scary Monsters Magazine #111, here are some visual highlights to tide you over…
Though I enjoy ghost tours and ghost stories, I’ve never been a fan of ghost hunting TV shows. It felt like if I’d seen one I’d seen em’ all and there was no way even the most gifted ghoster can capture something on a weekly basis. Despite an open mind, I have little patience for “Wow, did you feel the room suddenly get cold?” or someone claiming they’re nauseous after entering an alleged haunted site. I’m not calling these folks liars or anything, just that these plot devices kill my suspension of disbelief. Continue reading
Like most major cities, Chicago has its fair share of supernatural lore and old cemeteries; including the infamous Bachelor’s Grove which is considered one of the most haunted in the world. I love a good graveyard. So when I discovered a group that met up every Sunday to do local tours, I quickly signed up. The first was about thirty-five minutes north in Justice, Illinois – Resurrection Cemetery. This Roman Catholic burial ground is over twice the size of Brookfield Zoo and home to Chicago’s most famous ghost, Resurrection Mary.
The most important lesson I got from Linda Blair at Chicago’s Days of the Dead is that sometimes celebrity encounters offer a learning curve. The last time we met was over seven years ago at Chicago’s Wizard Con where things didn’t go as I’d planned. Back then, I was fairly new to the convention circuit and assumed, incorrectly, that celebrity guests were all fan-driven and eager to discuss their movies. Instead, meeting Blair was like getting a crash course from the conventioneer’s “school of hard knocks” as it was evident the The Exorcist star was much more interested in discussing her canine-driven, Worldheart Foundation, rather than horror films. Since I was such a fan of her iconic role, that really disappointed me. So this year I decided to literally throw all expectations to the dogs and lead in with her foundation rather than wait for her to drag me into it. In doing so, I’d inadvertently gain a new respect for the actress along with a hard lesson about mistaking ones passion for standoffishness.