haunted house

All posts tagged haunted house

Glensheen Mansion

Published May 28, 2015 by Shadow Girl

It’s been a minute since my last post, and I truely apologize for the lack of activity here! Sometimes life just happens, and all we can do is go along for the ride. It’s up to us if we’ll throw our arms up and enjoy the roller coaster ride, or if we’ll hide in the corner with a barf bag :p

Today was a “Weeee!” day 🙂

I’m on a roadtrip with Eve, (aka: my partner in crime), and today we got to visit the Duluth Murder House – GLENSHEEN MANSION.

I’m sad to report the lack of any paranormal activity on our visit, but I believe that the absence of any ghostly contact is directly connected to the continuous ‘crop dusting’ received from another member of the group – or… perhaps ghosts get gas and they were with us all along!

Here’s a little background information on Glensheen Mansion that was posted by Dread Central…

Duluth, MN – The newspaper headlines read like a tale from a dime-store detective novel. An heiress murdered, a fortune to blame, and all set in an enormous mansion overlooking a lake. And now, more than thirty years after the crime, the victims are still not at rest. During the night, lights flicker and shadows glide from room to room, as the dead continue to tell their tale, unfettered by the truth, that they died long ago.

The classic haunted house story has become something of a cliché in literature. But every now and then, there appears a story that, rather than being part of the stereotype, seems to be the reason for it. How many times have you read a story in which a house was haunted by a wealthy person, murdered for their riches, the victim of a tragic and violent death? In Duluth, Minnesota, the classic tale came to life, and the high-peaked mansion still stands testament to the events that occurred there. The lawn is immaculate, the silver polished, and the ghosts of the previous owner still roams the halls.

History:
Built between the years 1905 and 1908, the enormous Jacobean structure called Glensheen was originally the family home of mining-millionaire Chester Congdon and his wife, Clara. They, along with at least two of their seven children, took up residence in the house and lived happily for eight years, until Chester’s death in 1916. While there is little mention of Clara, it is known that she lived until 1950, presumably in the house. On his death, however, Chester left his considerable fortune to his daughter Elisabeth.

Elisabeth saw no need to conform to the societal rules that said she had to be married, but she did want children. So, in 1932, she adopted a young girl, whom she renamed “Marjorie Mannering Congdon.” As she grew older, Marjorie exhibited strange behavior, leading to her being tested and diagnosed a sociopath. Marjorie’s habits of borrowing money was an embarrassment, as were her other, more overt behaviors. After her first husband left her with seven childred, she was placed in an institution, where she seemed to make progress. Shortly after her release, she remarried a man named Roger Caldwell, and for a time things seemed normal and happy.

She continued borrowing money from her mother, with which she lavished gifts upon her children, but still she wanted more. No matter how much money her mother gave her, Marjorie quickly burned through it and came back again.

On June 27, 1977, Elisabeth Congdon was found murdered, suffocated with a satin pillow, in her bed. Propped on a bench in the stairwell was her night nurse, Velma Pietila, who had been beaten to death with a candlestick. Aided with evidence in the form of a hastily-written will (dated just three days before her death), nd a ring belonging to Elisabeth that Marjorie was found wearing after her mother’s death, the police arrested the pair. Roger Caldwell was found guilty of the murder while Marjorie was acquitted. Caldwell’s conviction was overturned, but he later confessed to the murders, then killed himself.

Ghosts:
For more than thirty years, people have seen apparitions of the two murdered women roaming the halls of the stately mansion. Employees of the house as well as visitors have reported seeing shadowy figures glide about in the halls and basement, as well as getting the feeling of being watched. Others report lights flickering or going on and off by themselves. Some reports even claim that the two women stand in the upstairs windows, looking through the trees and toward the great lake. There is also at least one report of a piece of candy being rolled back and forth over a dresser, though that one has not been confirmed.

One phenomenon that has been confirmed, however, is a strangely eerie feeling, or even feeling sadness or panic, when visiting the area where Elisabeth and Velma died.

Present Day:
In 1968, Elisabeth gave Glensheen Estate to the University of Minnesota, Duluth, who granted her a home there until her untimely death. Today it stands almost exactly as it did thirty years ago, but as a museum. Containing nearly all the original furniture from when it was first constructed, the house boasts both guided and unguided tours, as well as “slipper tours,” in which guests replace their shoes with slippers and are able to walk beyond the velvet ropes.

Marjorie, though acquitted of her mother’s murder, didn’t stay out of jail for long. She was charged with bigamy in 1981, and was suspected of killing her new husband’s wife. She was then was arrested in 1984 for arson, and suspected of murdering her third husband, although police also suspected his death to be the result of a double-suicide pact gone wrong. In 2007, she was arrested again and charged with theft, fraud, and computer tampering.

Best Times:
The house is open for visits year round, with many special events to be experienced. However, due to sensitivity issues stemming from relatives of victims living nearby, tour guides are instructed not to talk about the murders, and by proxy, the hauntings. And although sightings of the unfortunate women are reported year-round, it seems the best times to visit are during the month of June, specifically around the date of Elisabeth’s death, if one wishes to have a paranormal experience. For more information, visit Glensheen’s website at their website.

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A House In The Country by Matt Shaw

Published August 4, 2014 by Shadow Girl

You ever have a moment where something was SO CREEPY that you threw up, or almost threw up?
About a year ago… I was checking out a series of pictures posted online, and when I found out where the pictures were taken, every hair on my body stood up, I got so weirded out! I never verified if it was true – don’t really care, either. It freaked me out, I moved on.
Then, I read this book.
That moment came flooding back – with a vengeance.

A House in the Country

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When will people learn?
A dream home in a perfect location, with a price tag that you can actually afford… Too good to be true! Turn around, you’re not welcome. Doesn’t anyone watch movies? Do the walls have to literally drip blood before people take a hint?
Not me, fuck that noise! I’m outta that bitch like it’s on fire. Meet ya at the county line!
Dean and Jess apparently don’t watch movies, either.
Not only is it a dream house, in a perfect location, with an affordable price tag – (that’s already three strikes!) – it also has a tragic history. ♪ ♫ ♩ Dun dun duuuuuun… ♪ ♫ ♩
This novella details the events of the seven days spent in this house in the country.

::whispers:: sssseven daysssss….

This book felt very similar to THE LOST SON.
Almost the same blueprint, just decorated differently. I’m not pointing out the specifics, and I’m really not saying anything bad, merely stating an observation.

I’m also not pointing out the specific moments that freaked me out. Except for one… omg – the twist in this story is messed up!! ::shudders:: The discovery made by Jess – I swear, I almost threw up!! Not because of gore or anything like that, just because of that ‘Aw, HELL no!’ moment of fright. (Refer back to my opening statement).

I think I regret filling out the LITERATURE-LY YOU questionnaire, because Matt has a direct link to the freak-out sensor in my brain. 😉

After you’ve read this, if you know what story I’m talking about with the pictures – I would love to hear your opinion!!

Sixty-Five Stirrup Iron Road

Published July 4, 2014 by Shadow Girl

Near the end of September 2012, Tom Piccirilli went under the knife to have a tennis ball sized tumor removed from his brain (!), and SIXTY FIVE STIRRUP IRON ROAD is what happens when your friends include the Kings of Extreme!
All proceeds from 65SIR go to Tom Piccirilli and his family.
Tom has also been given a nod within the book, lending his name to a rather unhappy loan shark!
I read that Tom had a setback last month, suffering a stroke and another hospital stay. But, I’m happy to say that he is home now, and on the road to recovery!

I’m not entirely sure what happened to my review from the first time I read this. When I realized that it wasn’t on my blog, I pulled it out and started to skim for details – I looked up to see that two hours had passed – I had become another victim of the house! I reread it cover to cover, and I think I enjoyed it even more this time.

cover-2

The house at Sixty-Five Stirrup Iron Road has a history stained by the blood and bodily fluids of every person who ever inhabited it. The house was built in the 1930s by Harold & Lucy Pearson. We’ll find out more about them later in the book. THIS story starts ten years ago… with siblings Nicci & Sam Forrestal.
Sam works as a guard at the county detention center, and Nicci… well, Nicci was just released from said detention center. She had spent 30 days inside for doing the same thing that got her fired from her job at Corn Dog Dee-Lites, (let’s just say that she was about to win the gold in the oral Olympics, but that last ‘judge’ whipped out his badge. The cuffs were NOT fun that time!) Her brother has graciously taken her in until she can get back on her feet.
She accuses him of having ulterior motives when she wakes up sticky, crusty, and has a bad, yet very familiar, taste in her mouth.
This leads to the most disgusting, and gag inducing (no pun intended) prologue ever written.
*Coprophilia, emetophilia, urolagnia, mysophilia, zoophilia, and mucophilia, are some of the highlights included, and these are just a prelude to the violent & bloody end of these appx. 30 pages.
If you made it through this, I think you’ll be ok.
Maybe.
Probably not.
But – don’t wuss out on me!

NoKidsNoStupidAdults
Now, after ten years, Chuck & Arrianne are moving in.
Almost immediately – it begins again. Slowly, at first. But when Arrianne crosses Chuck’s line in the sand, from what’s acceptable kink, to ‘that’s just disgusting’, his thoughts go to denial and blame, and hers go to realizing that it’s the house, and trying to make some sense of it all.
The Diary of Lucy Pearson makes an appearance, and I wish there was more of it. If one of these guys were to publish the entire diary… they’d make a lot of money! (HINT HINT, GUYS!!)
I have to tell you here – I’ve been slowly working on my Library Thing account, so I was paying close attention to places of interest. I made this note, and I’m adding it to show you how brilliant I think I get after not sleeping for extended periods –

Arrianne goes to the Cellar Door pub for a drink and two things stand out:
1 – The pub’s name – Cellar Door.
It may be a nod to Karen Pomeroy / Donnie Darko, it could be used because of it’s phonaesthetics, OR – it’s just a name and I’m looking WAAAAY to deep into things… whatever. I noticed & made a note of it. And, number
2 – The drink she orders is… a WHISKY SOUR 🙂 That has to be on purpose!

The other characters in the story all have their roll to play, and there is a damn good story here. You can feel that the authors had a good time writing this, and their friendship shows – mostly in an annoying sibling kind of way! They name characters and places after each other, and poke fun at each other. By the end, the novelty of lending their fellow author’s names to characters had turned into the names BEING their fellow authors.
By this point, I was about to pee my pants from the absurdities of the deaths, childish bickering between the surviving authors, and a comment to WJW about being the only black man in a horror story – ‘you might have super-powers!’ If that wasn’t hysterical enough, his reply brought tears to my eyes – “There ain’t any magical negroes in an Ed Lee novel”!!
I had to laugh at myself, too. During a particularly disgusting scene I had thrown my left hand up to cover my eyes, but kept reading by peeking through my fingers. Who covers their eyes while reading? I don’t think I’ve ever done that before, but if I had – I’m sure it was while reading the other book I’ve read from Ryan Harding. (I won’t say where in the story that this happened, but, I’ll tell you this – I learned that Ryan is an Eli Roth fan!)
The first time I read this, I had recently finished THE KILLING KIND. I was all warm & fuzzy thinking that Bryan Smith rode off into the bloody sunset with the crazy chick of his dreams. But then, by way of rotation, he wasn’t in the group that wrote the last chapter.

Rated4Adults

So, the Sixty-Five Million Dollar Question… Will you like it?
I can’t make that call! I did. More so the second time.
I gagged. I was grossed out. But, I also laughed, and I couldn’t wait to find out what would happen next.
Even seasoned fans may find certain scenes too disturbing, but will still want to own it for their collection.
But – there’s not one page, not one review, that doesn’t warn the reader about what’s inside Sixty-Five Stirrup Iron Road. Please, don’t read it, then leave a shitty review just because of the content. By all means – be honest about the story! Just remember, it’s all in good fun, and for a good cause. ❤

*While trying to find ‘proper names’ for the acts described, (so I didn't offend anyone too bad), I was stuck under an umbrella term that I found while trying to review THE HAUNTER OF THE THRESHOLD, (which was also written by Ed Lee). 'Paraphilia: sexual interests in objects, situations, or individuals that are highly atypical.'
That just doesn't cut it for this story.
I was able to find an expanded list! 547 listed forms of paraphilia! Go, me!

Tom Piccirilli is the author of more than twenty-five novels including A CHOIR OF ILL CHILDREN, SHADOW SEASON, THE COLD SPOT, and THE LAST KIND WORDS. He's a four-time winner of the Stoker Award, two-time winner of the International Thriller Award, and has been nominated for the World Fantasy Award, and twice for the Edgar Award. Marilyn Stasio of The New York Tims Book Review called THE LAST KIND WORDS, "A caustic thriller…the characters have strong voices and bristle with funny quirks." New York Times bestselling thriller writer Lee Child said of Tom's work, "Perfect crime fiction…a convincing world, a cast of compelling characters, and above all a great story" And Publishers Weekly extols, "Piccirilli's mastery of the hard-boiled idiom is pitch perfect, particularly in the repartee between his characters, while the picture he paints of the criminal corruption conjoining the innocent and guilty in a small Long Island community is as persuasive as it is seamy. Readers who like a bleak streak in their crime fiction will enjoy this well-wrought novel." Keir Graff of Booklist wrote, "There's more life in Piccirilli's THE LAST KIND WORDS (and more heartache, action, and deliverance) than any other novel I've read in the past couple of years." And Kirkus states, "Consigning most of the violence to the past allows Piccirilli (The Fever Kill, 2007, etc.) to dial down the gore while imparting a soulful, shivery edge to this tale of an unhappy family that's assuredly unhappy in its own special way."
Update: 7/15/14 6:55am –
(I just bought a few of Tom Piccirilli’s titles, and have gotten a couple recommendations, so watch for future reviews & discussions!)

http://www.amazon.com/Tom-Piccirilli/e/B001ILM8YQ/ref=sr_tc_img_2_0?qid=1280862700&sr=1-2-ent

https://www.facebook.com/tompiccirilli?fref=nf

http://www.thecoldspot.blogspot.com

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Sinister-Grin-Press/192775404110112

Brian Keene

Jack Ketchum

Edward Lee

J.F. Gonzalez

Bryan Smith

Wrath James White

Nate Southard

Ryan Harding

Shane McKenzie

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