Haunted Places: North America (6 Part Series)

I’m starting another series for this month. Yes, with 31 posts, there’s gonna be series, and plenty of them. I already started True Horror Tuesdays, “31 of…”, and the History of Halloween series this week. I have a few “usual” series popping up, like Foodie Friyay and coming up this Wednesday, Wine Wednesday.

This series is going to go over haunted places, both common and uncommon. I want to do 2 posts per region, the common, then the uncommon following it. How I broke it up: North America, Europe/Australia, then everywhere else. This might be much. I guess we’ll see.

To start off this series, I’m going to talk about common haunted places in Canada, the US, and Mexico. Tomorrow I’ll do the not so common haunted places. HALP ME NOW GAWD. I’m so uncool.

Let’s make it easy by breaking it up into:

CANADA

Coming from Haunted Rooms, there’s a few in BC, a few in Ontario, and others are scattered, totaling 17 in their list. My favorite from reading this, is the Old Spaghetti Factory location in Vancouver. I really didn’t know how spread out the franchise was. I remember going to the one in Riverside, California, growing up, with family. I have all good memories there.

Now, from the CBC, they list the top 5 in Canada. 3 out of 5 were listed on the Haunted Rooms list. Out of the 2 not listed on the previous list, I’d see myself visiting/more wanting to visit the Fort Garry Hotel in Manitoba.

I’ve shared this website before, but here’s a list of 15 haunted places in Canada. They have a lot of different places that the other 2 don’t have.

If you live in Canada, how do you feel about these lists? Where have you been? Were they actually haunted? I WANT TO KNOW ALL OF THE THINGS.

UNITED STATES OF MURICA

Since I’m an American, there is many things here. This section is easily biased and may be longer than the other two, so I’m sorry guys!

Good ol’ NatGeo….how could I not click on this link when I googled it! Let me tell you, why is New Orleans the first one? It kind of shocks me, but not really, if you get my feels. A former friend of mine commented to me about wanting to revisit the Penitentiary in Philly PA, which they list here. If/when I make it out that way, I so want to visit.

Boston and that area is a good place, off the top of my head, due to the Salem Witch Trials. I’ll do a poll, on Twitter, but should I do a post on the Salem Witch Trials sometime this month?

The Travel Channel is another amazing resource, at least for us Americans. For those international that view American content (obviously I’m American here), is the Travel Channel such a big thing, when researching places to visit here in the states?

Anyway, The Travel Channel mentions the Penitentiary in WV, another place close to me. Add this to my bucket list STAT haha.  Another I’m adding from this is the Weston State Hospital, also located in WV. There’s like so many others I want to personally add to my #wishlistwonder visits, just from this list alone, for the US. Doing this post (and kind of tomorrow’s too), makes me want to travel domestically so much…now to get enough money to afford it and not care *insert cry laughing emoji here*.

MEXICO

I’m not one to constantly source the same sources. I’m trying here, on this one, let alone some of my most recent posts’ sources. But I’ve noticed with my most recent posts, for Blogtober, it’s the same like 3-4 sites.

Well, this is not from the usual sources, at least the last handful from this post and since I started Blogtober (yea, I know…it’s been barely a week). The US was easy for me, since I knew a few spots. There’s more in all three countries, I know. I am exploring more tomorrow.

So for Mexico, here’s what I’ve found, from Amy’s Crypt: This site even includes a video, right at the top. That’s a plus for us lazy folk who like videos or just audio even. From city of ruins, to a reclusive house and a hotel, this post is up my alley for somewhat common places for Mexico.

How many have you been to? Where have you been even, in these countries? Where have you been to, that’s haunted in your country (if you don’t live in Canada, US, or Mexico)? I want to learn more and add it to the bucket list that I’ll probably do when I’m 80.

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Settle In Saturday: Adult Twists on Kids’ Stories

This post contains affiliate links to the movies.
Sources can be linked to via their clickable links, via the host’s name.

This will be a journey, let me tell you! We’ll go on this together, right?!

SmallDog

To break any ice, I have this to offer. It’s a post about books that look like they’d be for kids, but aren’t.

Now that we’ve cleared any awkwardness that might have been, let’s dive into some classics! Memory lane…and if you haven’t read any of these:

Who Are You Mean Girls

Let’s start with a classic: Beauty and the Beast

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Taken from The Culture Trip, Beauty and the Beast (1991, 2017):

In the original, Belle is the daughter of a bankrupt merchant, as opposed to an eccentric inventor, the silverware in the Beast’s impressive castle neither sings nor dances and, most importantly, it is the machinations of Belle’s two wicked sisters that result in the Beast’s demise, and not the comically villainous Gaston, who is merely a Disney embellishment. Furthermore, though de Beaumont’s narrative does end happily, with Belle’s love breaking the curse placed on the Beast, many versions deny this happy ending for the ill-fated couple, instead choosing to close the story with Belle grieving over the Beast’s prone form.

To continue on some of the depth from the original, from HuffPo:

Then, the merchant receives a welcome surprise: One of his ships, thought to be lost at sea, has come safely to harbor with its full cargo. His children think their fortune will surely be restored. When he sets out for the city to deal with his freight, he takes with him requests from his sons and daughters for expensive clothes and other gifts. Only Beauty is hesitant to ask for a gift, and finally asks that he bring her a single red rose. 

Continuing, from HuffPo:

Like so many fairy tales, “Beauty and the Beasthas evolved considerably during its journey from oral tradition to the page to the screen. Moreover, there is not only one literary version ― but dozens. Today, Disney-fied fairy tales are most familiar to the masses in their animated forms; the originals, when revisited, can seem comparatively brutal and dark.

Unlike Disney’s “Cinderella” and “Snow White,” however, “Beauty and the Beast” hardly sugarcoats the violence of the original. It’s literally a romance between a captive woman and the monster she at first believes might physically attack her.

Going back to The Culture Trip source:

Furthermore, though de Beaumont’s narrative does end happily, with Belle’s love breaking the curse placed on the Beast, many versions deny this happy ending for the ill-fated couple, instead choosing to close the story with Belle grieving over the Beast’s prone form.

Reading into Belle’s story, it sounds like the flip from the story we see of Cinderella. Sure, the modern tale has Belle as an only child (so there’s that “new” flip), but Belle in the original story had siblings, and instead of being the “red-headed step child” sort of character, she’s the gifted, beautiful one.

Red Riding Hood Spanish Poster

Now let’s go onto Red Riding Hood (2011, 2014 children’s twist, 1983 reprint):

Going back to my The Culture Trip source/inspo for this post:

 One version hints at the wolf and the grandmother being one and the same person, another hints at Red Riding Hood ‘graciously’ allowing the wolf to eat her grandmother before she kills the wolf, so as to be able to seize her grandmother’s property.

Keep in mind this:

it is difficult to work out which is the ‘earliest’ version. Though the most expurgated versions simply use the wolf as an allegory to warn against talking to strangers, several darker accounts reveal a violent and destructive layer beneath the initial veneer.

If you don’t think the “generic”/kid version is weird enough, when you think about it, consider this plot twist from Ranker.com:

Little Red Riding Hood’s full story is pretty dark. Unlike the modern version, where a naive and trusting girl who can’t tell the difference between a wolf and her grandmother escapes in the end, in most older versions, Red is eaten alive. And that’s only the beginning of the horrible things that happen in “Little Red Riding Hood.”

Also, look at this snipet:

The versions circulating in 17th-century France, when Charles Perrault first wrote down the story in his collection called Mother Goose Tales, featured a cannibalistic granddaughter and a pedophile wolf who tells Red to strip down before she climbs in his bed. No wonder the fairy tale was changed – it’s for children, after all!

The history is intense, and changes so much over time. I learned so much, just from this one article alone! I never found interest in most “kid” versions of these fairy tales, when I was a kid. Yes, I was that weirdo…it made me into the interesting adult that I am today though! I never even cared for Red Riding Hood either. But now I’m kind of intrigued! I may add some audio books or threads on her, in the future.

Look here, at some darker things, about the twist of Red Riding Hood being about coming of age:

Psychoanalyst Erich Fromm claimed that the red hood was a symbol of menstruation, turning the tale into a morality lesson for young girls who might “stray from the path,” putting their honor at risk. The wolf, in Fromm’s version, becomes a seducer of young girls.

Sin is also a possibility, as a tale from this story:

Red was a color associated with sin when Perrault first wrote the fairy tale in the 1690s. And many folklorists point out that the red color was often a symbol that a girl had come of age, linking it to menstruation. When the wolf tricks Little Red Riding Hood and eats her up, the message is clear: beware of predators who want to take advantage of young girls. And there’s a twisted part of the earliest French versions that really drives the point home.

I’m keeping this one simple, as there’s so much just in this source I found. I feel like I’d just copy and paste everything from them, and that’s not right.

Now, I’m going to dive into my FAVORITE kids story now. I don’t know why I went to this story, and I don’t know why I did it out of nowhere, when I tried out the Audiable subscription (if anyone can help me find the “get 2 credits a month” subscription, I would love you forever…I just need the link…it’s not the $15/a month one…)

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LET ME TELL YOU ALL ABOUT ALICE IN WONDERLAND. Like I said, I don’t know why I, as an adult, became recently interested/obsessed with Alice in Wonderland, but here I am.

So Alice in Wonderland (2010, 2016 twist, Alice through the Looking Glass, Alice [Which is what made me fall down the rabbit hole]) is my jam. I’m currently listening to the next book after Alice, which will be finished shortly, let’s be real.

Did you know that there’s an actual syndrome? I HAD to ask my dad about it…I’ll update with what he had to say.

Anyway, back to what we need to get to: the mature version of this story. Here’s what the BBC has to say:

With the waning of Victorian prudery and the birth of psychoanalytical theory, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderlandseemed a good deal less innocent

The book began life humbly, as entertainment for 10-year-old Alice Liddell and her sisters as they boated on the Thames with one Charles Dodgson. It proved such a hit that Alice persuaded Dodgson to transcribe it, which he duly did – using the nom de plume Lewis Carroll. Alice was the daughter of the dean of Christ Church, the Oxford college where Dodgson taught mathematics, and she wasn’t the only young girl he befriended.

With the waning of Victorian prudery and the birth of psychoanalytical theory, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland seemed a good deal less innocent. Re-examining the text, critics found plenty of gynaecological imagery, from the rabbit hole itself to the curtain that she must push aside

Continuing, the BBC article says:

Far out

More nuanced readings have viewed Alice’s journey as being less about sex per se and more about a girl’s progress through childhood and puberty into adulthood. Our heroine feels uncomfortable in her body, which undergoes a series of extreme changes; her sense of her self becomes destabilised, leaving her uncertain of her own identity; she butts heads with authority and strives to understand seemingly arbitrary rules, the games that people around her play, and even death.

Do you think it might be about drugs and getting high? Think about this:

There is no concrete evidence that Carroll ever experimented with mind-altering drugs

Famed literary scholar William Empson got especially carried away, declaring that Alice is “a father in getting down the hole, a foetus at the bottom, and can only be born by becoming a mother and producing her own amniotic fluid”.

That’s all just from one article. I know, it’s bad to do so much from one artice, but this one provides so much thought. And yes, I’m going deeper with Alice, as I have an enjoyment favor towards her, but this is a decent article. I pulled maybe 12-15% of what the article shared.

Take a look at this piece from Diply:

Point 4 states this

It has been documented that Dodgson didn’t view Queen Victoria favorably. The Queen of Hearts in Alice in Wonderland is obviously bombastic and somewhat evil.

Yet, the Queen found this book amusing…so what did she see, and I have to question all of it.

What are some of your childhood favorites? Do you have kids? What are their favorites? Do you know the twists or origins to your childhood favorites?

Spooky Foodie Friyay: Halloween Food Series

For the next 3 weeks, I’m making Foodie Friyays all about Halloween food. This will be the perfect series for throwing those parties, and even some cute dishes perfect for a potluck or even just dinner this month.

So light your candles, grab a cup of coffee/tea/drink, and a notepad!

This week is all about snacks. I hope ya’ll are ready, and are decent on plating things (because I’m totally not)! I’m including things that could be appetizers as well here.

To start out, I have a Pinterest board of a bunch of snacks. Shameless plug to start out, right?!

Delish posted 19 Easy Halloween Recipes, which includes brie, rice krispie treats (also could be seen as a dessert!), jello (ADULT RECIPE), and “fingers”!

We all know and love Food Network (I half grew up on that channel). Here’s their Scary Good Snacks list. Cocktails and sweets and healthy? Oh My! They give you pictures and the link to the recipe, all the works! For those in the warmer areas, or who just love ice cream, even in cold temps, this Orange Sherbet in Cups looks devilish! Plus it’s near fool proof…just make OJ, then scoop the guts out! I think that was a sign, since I’ve been eyeballing an old school fruit juicer, where you do it by hand. The link is for reference (I can do a review on this one, if ya’ll want…just tell me plz)

Here’s one for the kiddo’s…especially if you’re on town Aunt/Uncle duty (since all of your kids’ friends are coming over, or it’s an event and you’re that extra as a person). Just for reference, mind how much sugar you give ’em, and mind their age and tolerance…bedtime might be 2 am!

Anyway, Country Living gives these 35 treats for your (and your neighborhood/classroom/Sunday School) kids. Some of them are on my Pinterest board, I’ve noticed…at least the images anyway. As an adult, whose not the fondest of sweets, this whole thing has me some ideas…I might try a few and take them into work to have others eat them as well!

Do you want more from Country Living? Check out this post of 60 Homemade Halloween Treats. Some of them are similar to what we’ve seen in these other posts, and others are typical snacks, with a twist.

What are your favorite snacks or appetizers for October/Halloween? Let me know! I want to try some out, including your favorites!

History of Halloween (2 Part Series)

So this will be part one of our series on the history of Halloween. This week/post will focus more on the non-religious side of things. Or more so on the non-Christian/Catholic side of things.

For starters, it’s a Celtic Holiday, something you wouldn’t expect. Leave it to us drunks to create a holiday, right?! Why would you let us do that?! (I’m expecting my DNA results any week/day now from ancestry.com…my grandma graciously paid for it to happen. Don’t think I became suddenly rich all of a sudden now haha. But truly I truly thank my grandparents for this experience. I’ll definitely double post when I get the updates on it!) (UPDATE: 74% European/Northern Wales and 26% Scottish/Irish…no surprise there)

According to History.com, Halloween was started to ward off ghosts at the end of summer. Then with All Saints Day becoming a thing (November 1st), it was called Hallow’s Eve on October 31st.

Why ward off ghosts though? Well, if we look back to the origins, it’s the start of the cold weather, and being in the farther north (Scotland, northern Europe, those places), not everyone made it through the winter. Between that and the fact that they thought that ghosts, or those who have passed on, would want to mess with the crops, the people would try to ward them off by sacrifice and by making large fires.

I’ll share the religious take over of this holiday in a couple weeks, so I’ll leave that part out for now.

Unfortunately most of the interesting part of the history of Halloween is the switch over to the religious end of things.

What do you do for Halloween? Do you do anything special for All Saints Day or All Souls Day?

 

Blog 2 Bank Review: 5 Day Facebook Challange

Yes, I’m still on Facebook. My personal page has turned into a recipe diary, animal videos, and a diary of when I do finally get to/decide to do things. I’m mostly involved in dog groups (living vicariously right now…one day babe and I will get a house to get ALL OF THE PUPPERS), cooking groups, among other groups. I’ve gotten into lifestyle groups lately, as well as a few blog groups, to see what that’s like.

Last week, in one of those groups. I think, someone shared that they were doing the Blog to bank 5 day challenge. So what did I do? Joined it. I looked at the daily emails, which had the general gist for each day, plus a few questions for self reflection on your own blog, relating to the topic of the day.

Each day had a little bit of a different theme, and sort of built on each other, but were good stand alone topics. It spanned from focusing on your niche to an email list, to where you wanted your end goal in mind, so you could work backwards, and make money on it.

The creator was Rachel Ngom (yea, try pronouncing that one guys!) from She’s Making an Impact. No I’m not sponsored to make this review (but I would be down for future ones, no lie!), but I just did it, to see what I could get out of it. One of my favorite little things from at least the email part, is her cute little titles for each day.

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Here’s what I got out of this free 5 day challenge, that was more a reflection series and learning series than anything:

-There’s always room to be more specific for your audience.
-Don’t be afraid to share parts of your story! Even if it may be a little off from your content, you can always make your story relateable!
-Have both a why and an end goal/ideal end in mind. It’ll help you through your unmotivated days, and when the haters want to hate.
-I got 4 ideas for blogs just from the questions, plus some other inspiration for future posts! (Expect them starting in November!)
-Ideas for upgrade-able content/sell-able content (free or paid worksheets, for here and on Etsy, easy access meal ideas, and the like)
-The most profitable way to earn money on a blog, is by offering a course/program. I’m thinking about a podcast/audio only version for cooking/recipes.

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Would you guys like an audio version of a cook book where there was an art gallery of the meals? Let me know in the comments! I’d love to know, truly.