Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Collection of personal accounts

Hello Macabre Monkeys,

I've been at it again, hounding strangers for stories to share. What's amazing is that the more people I talk to, the more I believe most people have had an experience of some kind! Here are a selection of a few stories for your enjoyment.

What did she say?!?
So we all know kids are weird but sometimes the stuff they say might have more meaning than adults realize. Take the case of 4 year old Samantha who while sitting on the edge of her bed kicking her legs as her mom tries to tie her shoelaces looks down and says to her mother "I used to do this for you when I was your Mommy."
Well 'mommy' thinks this is strange but lets it pass not really thinking of it until a few years later when she is reading the results of a past life reading and reaches a paragraph that says Samantha had been in Mommy's life for many past lives but always as parent or guardian or mentor but most often as Mommy's mother.

Another case of independent corroboration?
So we all know that University/College age boys are not the most sensitive or considerate beings on the planet so it's not surprising that when visiting friends at a university town, Jill was given a place to sleep in the excessively creepy basement. You know the kind that hasn't been redecorated since the 70's when wood paneling and deep pile carpet were all the rage. Well to add to the creepy atmosphere Jill spends most of the night hearing noises coming from the stairs to the first floor like someone is skipping up and down them or bouncing a ball and even seeing occasional shadows move even though everyone else slept two floors above. When she could sleep Jill also had some strange dreams that she didn't clearly remember but that felt connected to the noises, as though she wasn't fully asleep. In the morning Jill is talking with the boys who live in the house and begins asking if they have heard these noises before or if they knew what caused them. They tell her that they think its a ghost and they've even had a medium come in...Jill interrupts and without feeling fully conscious of where it came from says "Yeah, his name's Toby, he died when he was 9". This statement is met with open jawwed shock from all 5 boys, one of whom finally manages to say "That's what the medium told us too"

Grandma again?
This story comes from a friend who heard it in high school as it made the rounds through the gossip mill. It is perhaps a localized urban legend but still a fun story. The story goes that it was an average night and a few boys were hanging out at a friend's place in the basement following an evening of typical teenage boy antics which always somehow result in leaving a mega-mess behind them. After a little while the boys here the host's parents go out and then a short time later they hear noise coming from upstairs that sound like things being moved around. So one of the boys says "Are your parents back?" and the host replies "No, that's my grandma." The group looks puzzled and one finally says "uh... I thought your grandmother passed away last year." The host shrugs and says "She did." At this point the group thinks he's just screwing with them so they go upstairs to check out the noises expecting to find their friend's parents cleaning up. What they find is their path of destruction returned to order and no sign of the parents. I guess grandma still hates a mess!

Want to check out more personal stories take a look at past posts:
Renovations cause ghosts?
Time Slip at Waterloo Station
Spooky Dorset
First independent corroboration story, featuring a hooded figure
The haunted stove or grandma stops by to say hi


Thursday, January 20, 2011

The haunted stove ... or Grandma stops by to say Hello

This is another story shared with Pee Wee (who obviously talks incessantly about Death Clicks to anyone who will listen until they share a story she can write about on the blog).

Let's call our anonymous contributor Jim (I've already used Joe).

Having recently finished school Jim was once again staying with his parents. Jim's parents had gone to bed and Jim was hanging out in the living room, when at about a quarter past midnight he hears a ringing/buzzing sound coming from the kitchen. He goes to see what the noise is and realizes the timer on the stove is going off. Jim turns the old style one-hour timer off and goes back to the living room and eventually to sleep only to be awoken at almost exactly 3:15 AM by the timer going off again. While baffled (and let's face it, probably aggravated), Jim simply turns it off and goes back to sleep. And now, fellow monkeys of the macabre, is where the story gets spooky.

The next day Jim mentions to his parents that the timer on the stove may be broken "It went off on its own at 12:15 and 3:15 in the morning" at this statement his mother turns pale and tells him: "last night was the anniversary of the night your grandmother died...I received the call that she was ill and left the house at 12:15 that night and she died at 3:15"

So the question is did the stove know or was it Grandma popping in to say hello?

Note, Jim has given us the okay to share the story as is - however, we're hoping he'll fill in some more details.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

He said, She said...We said! Independent Ghost Corroboration

My constant verbal promotion of Death Clicks has once again struck gold. We, here at Death Clicks tend to combine a deep-seated belief in the paranormal and unknowable with a healthy skepticism and even healthier (if extremely twisted) sense of humour. As such, we are often interested in exploring personal accounts and finding or experiencing evidence of ghosts and mikkary (no idea what that is? read the blog post).

One type of evidence often dismissed or over-looked (in my opinion) is independent corroboration of stories from multiple sources. A friend recently shared this story:

When he was around 10 or 11, our friend (we'll call him Jack) was spending some time visiting with his Aunt, Uncle, and two similarly aged cousins. Jack was sharing a room with one of his cousins and was awoken in the middle of the night. In that shaky, 'it's the middle of the night, why am I awake?' way Jack looked around to try and determine what had woken him up. In the course of scanning the room, Jack sees a hooded figure leaning over his cousin's bed. At first, thinking in his sleep-muddled brain that it's his aunt, Jack sits up and begins to call out to her at which point the figure disappears. Jack is by this time terrified, so terrified in fact, that he waits YEARS to ever speak of what happened. Flash forward (hurray for time machines) to a decade or two later and Jack is hanging out with his other cousin (not the sleeper who was hovered over) and asks her about the figure he saw. She tells Jack that she saw this figure around her home constantly when she was a child but that eventually her mother told her to stop talking about it.

The hooded figure is a common figure in paranormal accounts and some believe it's the grim reaper or a demon but what interests me more is if an account of a personal experience can be as easily written off when someone else has had the same or similar experience independently? I think it's understandable to question thousands of claims of seeing Anne Boleyn at the Tower of London, but what about individuals like Jack?

I have my own story similar to this of a figure of a man in jeans and a plaid shirt and foam-mesh (or trucker) hat who would stand in the kitchen doorway. He was always seen only out of the corner of my eye and any time of day but most often during daylight. It wasn't until my family and I were moving out of the house after more than 15 years living there, that anyone said anything about him and we all discovered that we had each seen him on many occasions.

We'd love to hear your stories and what you think about independent corroboration as evidence of the paranormal.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Mikkary, Memory, and Mayhem

The inspiration for Death Clicks came during a internet romp into haunted places Minky and I were having via MSN. We were missing Edinburgh and began looking up more local haunted places to visit. In this search I came across a list of the world's most haunted places. The list we looked at seems to have been taken down but there are many lists like this all over the web and many include a lot of the same places. What I noticed was that there are a number of locations that are called haunted but have no ghost sightings or reports of other typical ghost and poltergeist related phenomena. Instead it's a location that has a bloody and disturbing history and people report feeling oppression, anger, sadness, and an array of other negative emotions.

CorambisMelusineThe MiradorThe Virtu

In one of my favourite fiction series, the Labryinthine series (I beg you not to judge them by their covers), author Sarah Monette describes this feeling in a word unique to her characters' world. The word is "mikkary" and the meaning is described in The Virtu:
"She was worshipped in labyrinths. Or with labyrinths. The texts are unclear. Since she is death and despair and means something like insanity and something like ecstasy--in the theological sense, not as in the throes of delight--and something like terror. It was her miasma, her perfume if you will. She was a goddess of fear and pain. Her rites were performed in darkness. Her followers drank the blood of their own children."

In my mind every time I experience a location with that sense of oppression and taint I think of it as mikkary, the imprint of horrific acts on a location, building, or object.

A good example of a location that makes it onto these top ten lists is Auschwitz-Birkenau where very few, if any, ghost sightings or other typical paranormal incidents have occurred. But who needs them? It's not difficult to imagine this historic site having its own memory and visitors sensing the residue of those events.

Some of what Minky and I felt at Casa Loma I would describe as mikkary especially as it relates to labyrinths in Monette's fictional mythos. The sense of incorrect proportions and disorientation was deep-rooted for me and I found there were areas and rooms that didn't seem to fit where they were supposed and although I normally have a great sense of direction, found myself going to windows repeatedly to check which way I was facing. Although, at least one person thinks the castle is haunted, even if it was localized to the lockers.

Death Clicks will soon be starting a Mikkary series show-casing places that are more tainted than haunted but still of macabre interest.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Body Crop Circles

A Death Clicks first, a phenomenon that's new to us paranormal and macabre know-it-alls.

For at least the past year, a 'friend of a friend' has been waking up periodically with red patterns on her abdomen. These patterns are eerily similar to reported crop circles. She was kind enough to provide a photo see below. She has visited multiple physicians and undergone tests to exclude various things as the cause and still the patterns appear.

One site hypothesizes that crop circles align with body chakras which strangely does fit with the location of these belly marks.

I could find no other reports on the web and we know the internet knows everything! So Death Clickers if you have heard of this, experienced it, have other information please comment or email us.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Pee Wee Returns from Brain-cation

Here are the pics of the promised punk-rock tree. Although fair warning tree is more pretty purple explosion than punk-rock, am obviously not as hard-core as I like to think I am. Enjoy!


Thursday, January 6, 2011

The disappointment that is haunted Toronto

So far, all our Death Clicks outings to Toronto’s haunted places have turned out to be busts.

Probably the most annoying part is to realize that there’s so much talk about “haunted this” and “the ghost of that”, only to discover that nearly every single ghostly going on can be debunked.

But is it really Toronto’s fault, or just the problem of a more accurate historical record. A lot of Toronto’s history has happened during a far more illuminated age. More people could write, printing presses were around, records were being kept. Which means there’s hard proof that a lot of awesomely eerie stories are a load of old bollocks.

Sad, isn’t it.

Sir William Mackenzie’s house in TO is allegedly the most haunted. From the outside, it’s wickedly imposing. Bleak, stark, dark, looming. While the inside has the atmosphere of a ping-pong ball. Actually, that’s probably talking it up too much as I’m sure ping-pong balls are filled with toxic gas and this was just … blah.

I thought that maybe I was missing something. I skim-read the pamphlet The Haunting of Mackenzie House which seemed to promise some hard-fact hauntings, so I gleefully handed over $3, but if I’d skim-read the intro page or if the title had been more accurately rendered, I would’ve realized the awesomely researched pamphlet by Chris Raible – who previously worked at the building – was actually about the non-haunting of Mackenzie House.

And then there’s Casa Loma – which translates as Hill House, which just has to be haunted, right? Built in the early 1900s for Sir Henry Pellatt, an eccentric businessman who wanted a castle, Casa Loma is another edifice that has looming down pat. Set up like a medieval castle except without any of the common sense or practicalities that allowed medieval castles to evolve, the place is rumoured to be haunted by the ghost of Sir Pellatt’s wife whose deathbed scene occurred in one of the bedrooms.

Rumoured, my arse. The family fortune went tits-up and the Pellatts were forced to move out, long before Lady Pellatt died. She did however once watch Girl Guides skate from her bedroom when she was bedridden. Nope, not such a sexy story is it? Although, when she did die, she was buried in her Girl Guide uniform … hmmm, maybe sexy if you have dodgy inclinations.

Casa Loma does however have an oven large enough to cook an ox, which is a bit H H Holmesey. And while The Toronto Ghosts and Whatever Society have thoroughly debunked all the Casa Loma stories, the actual curator of the place was forced to point out to them that both staff and visitors have had some pretty uncanny experiences there.

We went for our Death Clicks visit at the end of December and it was interesting afterwards to compare notes with Pee Wee and Nigel. Both Pee Wee and I found the entire layout and dimensions of the interiors disorienting, to the point of feeling a physical discomfort. Meanwhile Nigel ‘Delusions of Grandeur’ Leng was just thinking how ‘livable’ the place was.

Various stories suggest tourists having heard horses in the tunnel that links to the stable and that tunnel is damn creepy. Although the fact that the temperature is 20 degrees lower than in the house helps create an atmosphere. That and the imperceptible rise and fall and bend of the tunnel, along with the oxidized original metalwork that runs along the walls. 

But ultimately, the scariest thing about Casa Loma is its website.

And then there was our outing to Keg Mansion. The steak was good, Barry the waiter was slightly esoteric in his enquiry of ‘and will there be anymore guests joining you?’ as the four of us sat at a table for four, hungry and disheartened by lack of ghosts, but again, the atmosphere of a ping-pong ball, although one at least that promised steak.

In the old world, fact and fantasy and folklore have been intertwined for millennia. Here, in Toronto, it’s all documented, and where there’s documentation, there’s easy proof that nothing is ever as spookily good as it first seems.

And we didn’t even get an orb.