Archive for spirit

Vintage Comics – Black Magic, Issue #2: The Scorn of the Faceless People, The Cheerful Old Lady in Black (Cover-Pg. 17)

Posted in Comics, Media with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 13, 2018 by ranranami

Recall the classic episode of the Twilight Zone wherein a man is haunted by his dreams (okay…maybe there was more than one), and he sought aid from a doctor only for the woman of his dreams/nightmare to pursue him to his death. Then recall the one where the man traveled through time in his dream on a train. This first story seems to open like both, until it turns into a very peculiar bit of dream analysis. Some pretty fun imagery, and I’ll admit it took me a bit by surprise. The second story uses one of my favorite tropes–death on a joyride.



Vintage Comics: Chamber of Chills – The Ghost of the Rue De Morte, How Death Valley Got Its Name, Weird Worlds (29-36)

Posted in Comics, Media with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 25, 2013 by ranranami

Finishing up the final portion of this ‘Chamber of Chills’, the first story focuses on that age-old saying…curiosity killed the cat. Sometimes it seems being a skeptic is far more dangerous than it’s worth, especially when it comes to investigating an apparent ghost in a shady area of the city late at night. You’d think the man would have at least had a gun to defend himself with.


Then we get some fun facts about a group of people who struggled to get across Death Valley, and a bit of mythology. The ancient Greeks and Romans sure could be brutal with their stories. Anyway, it was fun to read this issue, but I still can’t let go of the nagging fact that there’s a serious case of excessive exposition…


029 030 031 032 033 034 036

Halloween Myths and Misconceptions

Posted in Food, Halloween Junk with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 21, 2013 by ranranami

Halloween is a kid’s holiday nowadays. Oh sure, some of us more obsessive adults (especially myself) may still enjoy the festivities of dressing up, visiting haunted houses, having horror marathons, summoning the dead…but really, it’s marketed as a day for children. They put on their cute little outfits, grab their buckets and pillowcases, then terrorize local adults by demanding candy or promising pranks if candy is not delivered. It’s a magical time.



It’s also pretty dangerous. But, is it as dangerous as certain stories will have you believe? Do some adults really poison pixie sticks, stick razor blades in their apples, and round up local black cats for mass slaughter? Let’s consider these myths/stories and others, and consider the benefits of these tales.


Legend Number One: Your Kids’ Candy Might be Poisoned/Don’t Trust Strange Fruit


Look, there aren’t really any cases of this actually happening. There are movies, there are yearly articles in the local paper, and there are TV advisories. It’s believable though, because it’s possible. People always like to ‘debunk’ the candy myth, because the evidence is so scarce. There was a guy in ’74 who poisoned his own child with pixie sticks to collect the insurance, and he did indeed try to poison other kids too in order to make it look like there was a local madman doing the deed, but that’s one case…and it wasn’t even from a stranger. The rule of the myth is that it has to be random, not pre-meditated.

That doesn’t mean people don’t stick stuff in fruit, though. But when you consider it, any adult handing out nutritious things or pennies on Halloween is pretty sick. I wouldn’t put it past them to have something sneaky up their dastardly health-conscious sleeves.

The fact of the matter is this: check your kid’s candy. Not because of this myth being true or confirmed (which it statistically hasn’t been), but because someone will eventually decide to do it, and you can never be too careful when it comes from letting your kids eat things random strangers hand out to them. Don’t confiscate it if it’s safe, because that makes you a dick. Just be smart about it. As far as pennies go, don’t let your kids eat those…and the fruit? Wash it, cut it up, check it. That is, if your kid even wants to bother with the bruised apple that was probably sitting in some lazy guy’s pantry for the last 3 weeks.


Legend Number Two: Felix the Splat


If you’ve ever followed your local news, there are probably weekly issues with cats being beaten to death or maimed. Whether teenagers, kids, adults, whatever…some people are just sick. A lot of animal shelters refuse to adopt out black cats in October, just to be on the safe side. Now, online sources I’ve looked into say there isn’t enough evidence to support this…however, I’ve lived in neighborhoods where the black cat tradition proved true. I’ve gone to animal shelters where the people who worked there have seen it first-hand. So it’s either just a problem in the Central Texas area, or it is in some way true in other places as well.

The fact of the matter is this: If you have a black cat, there’s nothing wrong with keeping them indoors on October to be on the safe side. If you don’t like letting him or her inside, keep a kitty carrier, or maybe consider not getting a black cat next time you adopt. Frankly, no matter what the color, indoor cats statistically tend to live longer than outdoor cats anyway.


Legend Number Three: Bloody Mary


Don’t be stupid.

The fact of the matter is this: She doesn’t exist. Period. Believe me, I’ve tried.


Legend Number Four: Often, They Come Back

It's not's just a really bad ear infection.

It’s not ectoplasm…it’s just a really bad ear infection.


Samhain/Halloween/Dia De Los Muertos/Hungry Ghost Festival, there’s a common theme that the veil between the living and the dead grows thinner. Unfortunately, there aren’t a lot of scientific studies that confirm this. There actually aren’t really any at all, otherwise it would be a world news sort of thing, and it wouldn’t be relegated to the land of legend and ‘I heard it from a friend who knew a guy who had a cousin’.

The fact of the matter is this: There are exorcists out there. There are mentally unsound people who pretty much believe they’re possessed. There’s no physical evidence of the dead being able to visit you this time of year, but is the risk of becoming a plaything of Satan/nutcase really worth it? That’s really your choice.



Horror Flick of the Week: The Ghost and Mr. Chicken

Posted in Media, Movies and shows with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 9, 2013 by ranranami

I think it’s fair to say any person with even the smallest sense of humor knows Don Knotts was brilliantly funny. Anyone who says otherwise is a dirty, filthy liar. In fact, he was so funny, he took a character on the Andy Griffith show who was supposed to be a minor role…and transformed it into a supporting one, because Don Knotts was just that good. But the best part about Don Knotts? Unlike Jerry Lewis, sitting through a marathon with Don Knotts won’t leave you with a headache.


ghost mr chicken


Anyway, before I start preaching the Gospel of Knotts, let’s talk about this Halloween classic. Actually, it’s a classic in general, but for the sake of October I’m going to go ahead and add Halloween to it. You’ve got your basic Don Knotts storyline, with an awkward coward being thrust into a series of predicaments, and somehow bungling through the whole adventure.

Luther works for the press…type setting, and he’s just driven by a drunk who collapsed by the side of the road after receiving a rather nasty knock on the head by a mysterious block of wood. Right when Luther thinks he’s got a scoop for a sinister murder, he rushes to the police station to tell his story. Right in the middle of it-…the guy walks into the room. Poor Luther never hears the end of it the following morning at the boarding house he lives in. I suppose it doesn’t help that one of the people living there is Luther’s rival in love and work…Ollie Weaver.




But I think we all know the real villain here wasn’t a killer, but a dirty egg thief. This old guy at the table steals that woman’s egg, and nobody even notices! Criminal mastermind, no doubt.

There’s a big deal about to happen, Nicholas Simmons is going to buy his uncle’s house. Why’s that a big deal? Because his uncle murdered his wife and then killed himself 20 years ago. Apparently the house is haunted, and people hear the organ playing all by itself late at night. The anniversary of the murder is coming up, too, and who better to write about it than Mr. Chicken himself? By Mr. Chicken, I’m of course referring to Luther…




Clear sign of a haunted house: abandoned for several years, no damage to paint or wallpaper, no foundation problems, perfect condition, crap-load of cobwebs. Ghosts appreciate solid craftsmanship and so do spiders. Luther is in for one wild night…and I’d expect nothing less from Don Knotts.




 But this is just the beginning, pretty soon a sensational article comes out of this experience…and the whole town is stirred up. The least of which is a group of old melodramatic biddies. The worst? Nicholas Simmons.





Much of this movie plays out like an older Scooby-Doo episode, sans a gang of meddling kids and repetitive running sequences. This is the sort of film I’ll pull out to show my younger cousins, if I feel they’re not ready for Vincent Price or Robert Englund just yet.