Friday, October 16, 2009
Hopefully this will set a precedent to the major studios that if you get a good movie just release it as is, don't try and add Hollywood polish to it. Today the released a new trailer for the film that plays very well into the Blair Witch comparison.
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
Sister #1's review-
Saturday night sister 2 and I traveled to The Pointe Theater in Butchertown for a musical production of "The Evil Dead".
This is another feather in the creative hat of Joey Arena and company. While I loved the performance the evening was not without flaw.
Flaw #1 -Sister 2 purchased our "splatter row" tickets the second they were available. These had seat numbers printed on them so we didn't break our necks getting to the theater. When we arrived we were told that they decided not to assign seats. An email about this post purchase decision would have been nice.
Flaw #2- The two girls dry humping in the front row the entire time. We learned from a cast member that these two attention whores are famous for this kind of behavior.
Now for the good stuff....
Scott Anthony WAS "Ash". I can't imagine anyone doing a better job in the roll. He really captured the feel of Bruce Campbell's Ash while making it his own.
Felicia Corbett was adorable as "Annie" (not her regular roll. While her singing had a tendency to be pitchy in parts she really carried it off and her quick and witty recovery from an accidental "wardrobe malfunction' had the audience cheering.
Shawn Sloan won our hearts as redneck "Jake". His stage presence is amazing.
The cast was great, the music cool and the blood spraying in the air....fabulous!
All in all we had a wonderful night and I highly recommend Evil Dead the musical
Check out the website at http://www.louevildead.com for ticket info
Sunday, October 11, 2009
Spending the night with my best friend/cousin Carl always meant a late night viewing of "Creature Features" (when you're 7 years old late means after eight PM).
Channel 41 was the local, shoestring budget TV station that kids in circa 1970's Louisville couldn't get enough of. Creature Feature always showed the cheesiest (most terrifying) movies and we would be up half the night, scared to go to sleep. Ahhhh good times...
Ahhhh, Bill Moseley...How I love thee. Even though this little zombie gem is going straight to DVD it looks worth a look.
"Logan Burnhardt is the ego-king of the airwaves, but his unflappable persona is put to the test when a terrorist bio-attack unleashes a plague of flesh-ripping maniacs on Los Angeles"
Saturday, October 10, 2009
Damn, not much "treat" to this article. So gross and funny. Check it out!!!!
From the "My Old Kentucky Ghosts" website:
Edgar Cayce was a world-famous clairvoyant born in Christian County Kentucky on March 18, 1877. The Cayce family moved to Hopkinsville Kentucky in 1893. Cayce received only an eighth grade education, but this was not uncommon at the time, and was considered adequate for pursuing a working-class career. Much of Cayce's early life was spent experimenting with various forms of employment. But most important to Cayce was his spiritual pursuits. He was very active in his church, teaching Sunday School and recruiting missionaries. He is also said to have read the entire Bible every year of his adult life.
An incident that occurred during Edgar Cayce's early years was described by Dan Cowherd, who's mother attended Cayce's Sunday School class in Hopkinsville: "Cayce was attending school at Beverly Academy, and his dad was trying to help him with a spelling lesson, and Cayce just couldn't learn it. And I suppose along about 10:30 or 11:00 his father said 'It's too late. We're not getting anywhere. Let's just quit and try again tomorrow.' Well the father goes in the kitchen and gets a drink of water. And comes back and finds young Cayce asleep on the couch, and the spelling book is on his head. And when he woke the boy up, the boy knew all the words in the book."
One event in particular may have led to Cayce's lifelong career as a clairvoyant: In 1900, while working as an insurance salesman, Cayce developed a case of severe laryngitis and completely lost his voice. Unable to sell insurance without a voice, Cayce lived at home with his parents and took up a new career in photography.
In 1901, a traveling hypnotist, Hart - The Laugh Man, who was performing at the Hopkinsville Opera House, heard about Cayce's conditions and offered to help. Desperate for a cure, Cayce accepted the offer. The ceremony took place in front of a live audience at the opera house. Amazingly, while in a hypnotic trance, Cayce's voice returned, but upon awakening his voice was gone again. The hypnotist tried to remedy this with post-hypnotic suggestion, but this was unsuccessful.
After Hart left town, the cause was taken up by a local hypnotist, Al Layne. Layne suggestion that Cayce describe his condition while in a hypnotic trance. During one of the readings with Layne, Cayce revealed that the laryngitis could be healed if blood flow was increased to the voice box. Layne suggested that the blood flow increase to afflicted area, and it is said that Cayce's throat and chest turned bright red. When Cayce awoke from this trance, his voice was back to normal.
Over time, Cayce discovered that his trance healings were not limited to himself. With encouragement from Layne, Cayce became to offer free trance readings to local townspeople. With great accuracy, he diagnosed and suggested cures for many ailments. Amazingly, the person who Cayce was reading for would not be present. Cayce would only be told the name and address of the person. Cayce would loosen his shoes and clothing and go in a trance. He would begin a reading by saying, "Yes, we have the body." He would then go on to describe the person's illness and the cure for it. A stenographer would record everything he said. Upon awakening, Cayce would have no memory of the reading. These readings were so draining to Cayce that he was only able to perform two a day.
Cayce soon became famous and was frequently offered money by people who wanted to use his abilities for monetary gain. Cayce believed his talent was a gift from God and should only be used in a way that was helpful to others. In 1910 a reporter stole a picture of the media-shy Cayce from Cayce's parents' house. The picture, along with an article about Cayce, appeared on the front page of The New York Times, spreading his fame even further.
During his career Cayce also lived in Texas and Virginia Beech, where he founded the Cayce Hospital in 1929. He performed his last known reading in September, 1944. He died on January 3, 1945. His body was brought back to Hopkinsville and was buried in the Hopewell Cemetery.
Night of the Living Dead: Reanimated is an art show hung on the cult classic's timeline. Every scene serves as walls to hang artworks, the audio becomes the ambiance of the space and the original narrative serves as the theme that holds the show together.
Much like in a museum, the works are curated within the space to carry the viewer from one piece into the next with the intention that though the individual works vary greatly, juxtaposed they play off each other and leave the viewer with a unified experience.
Instead of trying to alter Image Ten's work, NOTLD:R seeks to showcase the responses that artists from around the world have had to this landmark film.
“My Super Psycho Sweet 16” marks the first premiere from the new slate of original movies produced by MTV and is the network's first foray into the horror genre. The film tells the story of Madison Penrose (Juliana Guill), a spoiled and beautiful high school queen bee, and Skye Rotter (Lauren McKnight), the class outcast whose father Charlie Rotter committed a series of grisly murders a decade before the movie’s events.
Madison’s plans for the ultimate birthday bash are ruined when Skye shows up to get closer to Madison’s ex-boyfriend Brigg (Chris Zylka), but things get really psycho when Charlie returns to crash the party too. “My Super Psycho Sweet 16” offers the perfect blend of teen drama, sly humor, horrific thrills and eye-popping special effects.
Damn This looks naaaaaasty. It insane, horrific and I must see it. This seems to be one of the "it's a car wreck but can't look away" type of movies (I.E. Martyrs).
Internationally respected Siamese twin surgeon Dr. Josef Heiter has a demented vision for mankind’s future existence. He wants to remove human beings’ kneecaps so they have to exist on all fours and then surgically graft them mouth-to-anus to form a centipede chain. When two stranded female Americans arrive at his luxury home-cum-hospital looking for help, his long-gestating plan swiftly moves into chilling action with a shocking force. Kidnapping a third Japanese male tourist he begins the tissue matches, teeth removal and buttock moulding to create his triplet creature.
The American Dream goes horribly wrong when the residents of this picture-perfect town begin to succumb to an uncontrollable urge for violence and the horrific bloodshed escalates into anarchy. In an attempt to contain the epidemic, the military uses deadly force to close off access into or out of town, abandoning the few healthy citizens to the growing mayhem as depraved killers lurk in the shadows. Sheriff David Dutton (Timothy Olyphant); his pregnant wife, Judy (Radha Mitchell); Becca (Danielle Panabaker), an assistant at the medical center; and Russell (Joe Anderson), Dutton’s deputy and right-hand man, find themselves trapped in a once idyllic town they can no longer recognize. Unable to trust former neighbors and friends, deserted by the authorities and terrified of contracting the illness themselves, they are forced to band together in a nightmarish struggle for survival.
Sunday, September 6, 2009
Plot; In a world where the dead rise to menace the living, rogue soldier Crocket (Alan Van Sprang) leads a band of military dropouts to refuge from the endless chaos. As they search for a place "where the shit won't get you," they meet banished patriarch Patrick O'Flynn (played with zeal by Kenneth Welsh), who promises a new Eden on the fishing and ranching outpost Plum Island. The men arrive, only to find themselves caught in an age-old battle between O'Flynn's family and rival clan the Muldoons. It turns out that Patrick was expelled from the isle for believing that the only good zombie is a dead zombie, while the Muldoons think it's wrong to dispatch afflicted loved ones, attempting to look after their undead kinfolk until a cure is found. But their bid for stability on the homestead has turned perverse: the undead are chained inside their homes, pretending to live normal lives - and the consequences are bloody. A desperate struggle for survival will determine whether the living and the dead can coexist.
Such apocalyptic themes have long haunted George A. Romero, much to the delight of his legions of fans. He now follows Crocket, a minor character from his last film, Diary of the Dead, to present a new doomsday scenario. In that film, Crocket made a brief appearance with his militia to appropriate the heroes' supplies at gunpoint. For Crocket's subsequent journey, Romero does something that most horror directors have neglected to do in recent years - he uses the genre to address societal issues. Romero here creates a world in which he can wrestle with the human condition while simultaneously finding new and creative ways to exterminate lurching flesh eaters.
Molly, together with her three art student friends, embark upon a mission to find an empty house in London, with the view to the living as squatters, free from rent, and free to party. Having found the ideal squat, they break in and go about the merry business of dressing the stark interior to reflect their artistic selves. Darkness pervades their new dwelling place, a darkness through which they discover the full implications of their intrepid choice. A nightmare unfolds that traps the viewer and protagonists alike in a terrifying and unforgiving new reality. Who or what is orchestrating their bloody demise and why? The house appeared to be empty and yet a malevolent force is clearly at work.
Saturday, September 5, 2009
Seemingly doomed to roadtrip doldrums and dives, the band The Winners break their slump when their female bass player disappears one night with a studly, stylin’ vampire. She returns charged with sexual charisma that creates audience frenzy and eventually ensnares the rest of the band. Their “hook” launches them to fame. But fame turns out to be a different kind of Hell than AC/DC promised.
Following an “incident” on a national radio show with “Rockn’ Roger” The Winners hit mega-stardom beyond their wildest dreams. But Joey is haunted by an eerie bartender with a dark secret. And legendary vampire hunter, Eddie Van Helsing, is on their tail tracking them down despite his fear of the dark. But when a veteran music producer calls them on becoming a vampire freak show, their rock’n’roll bubble bursts.
Directed by newcomers Matt Simpson and Joseph Luke Avery, Plague is a 17 minute PA zombie short shot in the UK and inspired by none other than Max Brooks' "World War Z." Based on the teaser, it looks like the story might revolve around a survivor's memories of what went down during a fast and bloody outbreak.
Tuesday, June 9, 2009
Sunday, June 7, 2009
Tuesday, June 2, 2009
Sunday, May 24, 2009
Saturday, May 23, 2009
Thursday, May 21, 2009
Wednesday, May 20, 2009
Tuesday, May 19, 2009
No one has ever made a film about the Manson family that has even come close to Jim Van Bebbers The Manson Family. But if anyone can do it, I think Oliver Stone would be the man. According to a source close to Variety blogger Liz Smith, Stone is in talks with Vincent Bugliosi to put his book on the silver screen. Bugliosi knew quite a bit about the case considering he was the prosecuting attorney in the case.
We are approaching the 40th anniversary of the murder of Sharon Tate and 4 others by the hands of the Manson "family". Stone has always been very effective when taking on material from the 60s. Whether or not his style will really effect what happens with this movie is something that may not sit well. He will have to walk a fine line with the subject matter and not make something like Natural Born Killers.
Monday, May 18, 2009
Sunday, May 17, 2009
Saturday, May 16, 2009
Her daughter was only 23. Yet Mary Jane Heaster watched through tear-soaked eyes as the body of her young daughter was lowered into the cold ground. It was a gray, dreary day in late January, 1897 as Elva Zona Heaster Shue was laid to rest in the cemetery near Greenbrier, West Virginia. Her death came much too soon, thought Mary Jane. Too unexpectedly... too mysteriously.
The coroner listed the cause of death as complications from childbirth. But Zona, as she preferred to be called, had not been giving birth when she died. In fact, as far as anyone knew, the woman was not even pregnant. Mary Jane was certain that her daughter's death was quite unnatural. If only Zona could speak from the grave, she hoped, and explain what had really brought about her untimely passing.
In one of the most remarkable cases on U.S. court records, Zona Heaster Shue did speak from her grave, revealing not only how she died - but at whose hand. Her ghost's testimony not only named her own murderer, but helped in convicting the culprit in a court of law. It is the only case on U.S. lawbooks in which the testimony from the spirit of a murder victim aided in resolving the crime.
Just two years before Zona's death, Mary Jane Heaster had endured another hardship with her daughter. Zona had given birth to a child out of wedlock - a scandalous event in the late 1800s. The father, whoever he was, did not marry Zona, and so the young woman was in need of a husband. In 1896, Zona chanced to meet Erasmus Stribbling Trout Shue. Going by the name Edward, he was newly arrived in Greenbrier, looking to make a new life for himself as a blacksmith. Upon meeting, Edward and Zona took an instant liking to one another and a courtship began.
Mary Jane, however, was not pleased. Protective of her daughter, especially after her recent difficulty, she did not approve of her Zona's choice in Edward. There was something about him she didn't like. He was virtually a stranger, after all. And there was something she didn't trust... perhaps even something evil that her daughter, blinded by love, could not see. Despite her mother's protests, however, Zona and Edward were married on October 26, 1896.
Three months passed. On January 23, 1897, an 11-year-old African American boy named Andy Jones entered the Shue home and found Zona lying on the floor. He had been sent there by Edward to ask Zona if she needed anything from the market. He stood for a moment looking at the woman, at first not knowing what to make of the scene. Her body was stretched out straight with her legs together. One arm was at her side and the other resting on her body. Her head was tilted to one side.
At first Andy wondered if the woman was asleep on the floor. He stepped quietly toward her. "Mrs. Shue?" he called softly. Something was not right. The boy's heart began to race as panic swept over his body. Something was dreadfully wrong. Andy bolted from the Shue house and rushed home to tell his mother what he had found.
The local physician and coroner, Dr. George W. Knapp, was summoned. He did not arrive at the Shue residence for about an hour, and by that time Edward had already taken Zona's lifeless body to an upstairs bedroom. When Knapp entered the room, he was astonished to see that Edward had redressed her in her best Sunday clothing - a beautiful dress with a high neck and stiff collar. Edward had also covered her face with a veil.
Obviously, Zona was dead. But how? Dr. Knapp tried to examine the body to determine cause of death, but all the while Edward, crying bitterly - almost hysterically - cradled his dead wife's head in his arms. Dr. Knapp could find nothing out of the ordinary that would explain the death of what appeared to have been a healthy young woman. But then he noticed something - a slight discoloration on the right side of her cheek and neck. The doctor wanted to examine the marks, but Edward protested so vehemently that Knapp ended the examination, announcing that poor Zona had died of "an everlasting faint." Officially and for the record, he inexplicably wrote that the cause of death was "childbirth." Just as mysterious was his failure to notify the police about the strange marks on her neck that he was unable to examine.
The Wake and the Ghost
Mary Jane Heaster was beside her self with grief. She felt that Zona's marriage to Edward would come to a bad end... but not this. Were her apprehensions about Edward more dreadful than she imagined? Were her motherly instincts correct in not trusting this stranger?
Her suspicions deepened at Zona's wake. Edward was acting strangely; not exactly like a husband in mourning. Some of the neighbors attending the wake noticed it, too. One moment he seemed grief-struck, another moment highly agitated and nervous. He had placed a pillow on one side of Zona's head and a rolled up cloth on the other, as if keeping it propped in place. He refused to allow anyone near her. Her neck was covered by a large scarf that Edward claimed was her favorite and that he wanted her buried in it. At the end of the wake, as the coffin was being prepared to be taken to the cemetery, several people noticed an odd looseness of Zona's head.
Zona was buried. Despite all of the strangeness surrounding her daughter's death, Mary Jane Heaster had no proof of any kind that Edward was somehow to blame, or that Zona's death was in any way unnatural. The suspicions and the questions might have been buried along with Zona and eventually forgotten had not some unexplained phenomena begun to take place.
Mary Jane had taken the rolled up white sheet from Zona's coffin before it was sealed. And now, days after the funeral she tried to return it to Edward. In keeping with his peculiar behavior, he refused to take it. Mary Jane brought it back home with her, deciding to keep it as a memory of her daughter. She noticed. however, that it had a strange, indefinable odor. She filled a basin with water in which to wash the sheet. When she submerged the sheet, the water turned red, the color bleeding from the sheet. Mary Jane jumped back in astonishment. She took a pitcher and scooped some of the water from the basin. It was clear.
The once-white sheet was now stained pink, and nothing Mary Jane would do could remove the stain. She washed it, boiled it and hung it in the sun. The stain remained. It was a sign, Mary Jane thought. A message from Zona that her death was far from natural.
If only Zona could tell her what happened and how. Mary Jane prayed that Zona would come back from the dead and reveal the circumstances of her death. Mary Jane made this prayer every day for weeks... and then her prayer was answered.
Cold winter winds swirled around the streets of Greenbrier. As the early darkness crept into Mary Jane Heaster's home every night, she lit her oil lamps and candles for light, and stoked the wood stove for warmth. From out of this dim atmosphere, so Mary Jane claimed, the spirit of her beloved Zona appeared to her on four nights. During these spectral visits, Zona told her mother how she had died.
Edward was cruel and abusive to her, Zona said. And on the day of her death his violence went too far. Edward became irrationally angry at her when she told them she had no meat for his dinner. He was overcome with rage and lashed out at his wife. He savagely attacked the defenseless woman and broke her neck. To prove her account, the ghost slowly turned its head completely around at the neck.
Zona's ghost had confirmed her mother's worst suspicions. It all fit: Edward's strange behavior and the way he attempted to protect his dead wife's neck from movement and inspection. He had murdered the poor woman! Mary Jane took her story to John Alfred Preston, the local prosecutor. Preston listened patiently, if skeptically, to Mrs. Heaster's story of the telltale ghost. He certainly had his doubts about it, but there was enough that was unusual or suspicious about the case, and he decided to pursue it.
Preston ordered Zona's body exhumed for an autopsy. Edward protested the action, but had no power to stop it. He began to show signs of great stress. He said publicly that he knew he would be arrested for the crime, but that "they will not be able to prove I did it." Prove what?, Edward's friends wondered, unless he knew she had been murdered.
The autopsy revealed - just as the ghost has said - that Zona's neck was broken and her windpipe crushed from violent strangulation. Edward Shue was arrested on charge of murder.
As he awaited trial in jail, Edward's rather unsavory background came to light. He had served time in jail on a previous occasion, being convicted of stealing a horse. Edward had been married twice before, each marriage suffering under his violent temper. His first wife divorced him after he had angrily thrown all of her possessions out of their house. His second wife wasn't so lucky; she died under mysterious circumstances of a blow to the head. Once again, Mary Jane's intuition about this man was verified. He was evil.
And maybe he was a bit of a psychopath. His jailkeepers and cellmates reported that Edward seemed to be in good spirits while in jail. In fact, he bragged that it was intention to eventually have seven wives. Being only 35 years old, he said, he should easily be able to realize his ambition. Apparently, he was certain that he would not be convicted of Zona's death. What evidence was there, after all?
The evidence against Edward may have only been circumstantial at best. But he didn't count on the testimony of an eyewitness to the murder - Zona.
Spring had come and gone, and it was now late June when Edward's trial for murder came before a jury. The prosecutor lined up several people to testify against Edward, citing his peculiar behavior and his unguarded comments. But would that be enough to convict him? There were no other witnesses to the crime, and Edward had not been placed at or near the scene at the time the murder allegedly took place. Taking the stand in his defense, he vehemently denied the charges.
What of Zona's ghost? The court had ruled that prosecuting testimony about the ghost and what it claimed was inadmissible. But then Edward's defending lawyer made a mistake that perhaps sealed his client's fate. He called Mary Jane Heaster to the stand. In an attempt, perhaps, to show that the woman was unbalanced - maybe even insane - and prejudicial against his client, he brought up the matter of Zona's ghost.
Seated on the witness stand in front of a packed courtroom and an attentive jury, Mary Jane told the story of how Zona's ghost appeared to her and accused Edward of the foul deed - that her neck had been "squeezed off at the first verterbrae."
Whether or not the jury took Mary Jane's - or rather Zona's - testimony seriously is not known. But they did hand down a verdict of guilty on the charge of murder. Normally, such a conviction would have brought a sentence of death, but because of the circumstantial nature of the evidence, Edward was sentenced to life in prison. He died on March 13, 1900 in the Moundsville, W.V. penitentiary.
Was the jury swayed, even a little, by the story of Zona's ghost? Was there even a ghost at all? Or was Mary Jane Heaster so convinced that Edward Shue had murdered her daughter that she made up the story to help convict him? In either case, without the story of Zona's ghost, Mary Jane may never have had the courage to approach the prosecutor, and Edward may never have been brought to trial. And Zona's ghost would have remained unavenged.
A highway historical marker near Greenbrier commemorates Zona and the unusual court case surrounding her death:
Interred in nearby cemetery is
Zona Heaster Shue.
Her death in 1897 was presumed natural until her spirit appeared to her mother to describe how she was killed by her husband Edward. Autopsy on the exhumed body verified the apparition's account. Edward, found guilty of murder, was sentenced to the state prison. Only known case in which testimony from ghost helped convict a murderer.
A group of young actors is recruited to work for the "Dark House," a new haunted house attraction built by impresario, Walston Rey. His revolutionary new holographic system projects images of monsters throughout the house in an infinite number of variations.
Walston has deliberately chosen a house which fourteen years before was the scene of a grizzly massacre perpetrated by Ms. Darode. Slowly the group begins to realize that things are not what they appear. The house locks down and the attractions begin to attack the actors with murderous intent as they frantically work to shut down the system and understand what happening. Could it all be just a computer malfunction and an attempt to ruin Walston or has the spirit of Ms. Darode returned to take care of some unfinished business...
Tuesday, May 12, 2009
Source: Quiet Earth:
Out of nowhere, dark clouds blanket the sky over Washington DC and a deadly plague strikes everyone in its path. With that, we are enticed into the mysteries of The Black Dawn, a new multi-layered web-series directed by William Hellmuth.
"The Black Dawn" centers around thirteen college students who have mysteriously survived a deadly plague that has fallen over Los Angeles. Banding together, these survivors must find out what has happened...and why.
The series, which started back on January 31, is now done and you can catch every episode here on WebSerials.com.
Sunday, May 10, 2009
During a violent thunderstorm, a family is awoken by piercing shrieks which summon the dead to rise again. Their lives explode in a blood soaked fury as they battle malevolent spirits... whilst fighting to save their souls from eternal torment with... the Banshee.
Friday, May 8, 2009
The world is falling apart. An unknown metropolis sits under a Jade green sky. Abandoned in a hurry, belongings lay piled high and the roads are clogged with Cars and columns of Tanks sitting idle and empty. The few remaining inhabitants reel aimlessly through the streets behaving erratically, screaming - unable to control their own actions, whilst all around them a rapidly growing green mold is sucking the life out of every living thing.
Monday, May 4, 2009
Source: Quiet Earth
We all are making light of the new H1N1 Virus aka Swine Flu but holy crap their is a variant that makes Zombies REAL and scares the hell out of me. BamKaPow has the following quote which they source to the BBC;
"Similar to a scare originally found in Cambodia back in 2005, victims of a new strain of the swine flu virus H1N1 have been reported in London. After death, this virus is able to restart the heart of its victim for up to two hours after the initial demise of the person where the individual behaves in extremely violent ways from what is believed to be a combination of brain damage and a chemical released into blood during ‘resurrection.’"
Um..... can anyone say 28 Days Later? If you havent stocked up on canned goods, lumber and nails for a barricade and shotgun shells now might be a good time to start
Thursday, April 30, 2009
Jimbo is 13. All he can think about is one girl, Sarah Jane. And no matter what stands in his way - bullies, violence, chaos, zombies - nothing is going to stop him from finding a way into her world.
Monday, April 27, 2009
The World's Largest Haunted Place
by Troy Taylor
There have been many stories of ghosts at Mammoth Cave, spanning several generations of visitors, guides and service personnel. This isn’t surprising considering that caves can be very spooky places, filled with dark corners, shadowed crevices and odd noises. But are the stories of Mammoth Cave merely figments of overactive imaginations? That remains to be seen, although we should take into account that ghostly tales have been told about the place almost from the time when the first cave tours roamed the darkened corridors with only a small lantern to guide the way.
These eerie stories tell of unexplained sounds, strange lights, bizarre noises, disembodied footsteps and of course, apparitions and spirits. However skeptics maintain there are explanations for these things. A person’s imagination can play tricks on them in the dark and footsteps and voices can seem ghostly when there are echoes from other parts of the cave. They also state that stories of encounters with ghosts in Mammoth Cave are told by tourists and visitors who have no previous experience with caves and with the natural phenomena that accompanies them. But there are others who would say that this isn’t true. While many of the stories are indeed accounts told by visitors to the cave, others are not so easy to explain away. Many of the tales are experiences shared by park rangers, cave explorers, spelunkers and even geologists who are fully aware of what strange things a cave can do.
Believers in the resident ghosts can cite a number of reasons why the cave might be haunted. The long history of the place includes accidents from the days of the saltpeter operations, Native Americans who wandered into the cave and never found their way out, stranded travelers, missing cave explorers, tragic tuberculosis victims and even those who loved the place so much that they have never left --or so the stories go.
I will allow the reader to judge for himself.
I have visited Mammoth Cave many times in years past and while collecting ghost stories, I have had the opportunity to talk with many of the people who work here. I have also been able to find other accounts from those who have gone on the record about the resident haunts in years past. In my own experience, I have found most of the park rangers reluctant to talk about ghost stories, although I have found a few who don’t laugh off the odd tales and who will share their own strange experiences.
One such ranger has served as a guide in the cave for a number of years. She told me that weird things often happen along the route leading from the historic entrance to the cave. One day, she had been leading a tour group into the cave and had stopped to point out a site along the passage. She paused to wait for everyone to catch up and noticed a man in the back who was lingering behind the rest. He was wearing a striped shirt, denim pants and suspenders, but that was all she remembered. After her discussion, the group moved further along the passage and she looked for the man again, but he was gone. There was no one else in the tour group who matched the description of this man, so she sent another guide back a little way to look for him. The man was never found.
Another story, told by an experienced tour guide named Joy Lyons, tells of a tour that was taken a few years ago in the company of a large group and two guides. When they reached a point on the trail called the "Methodist Church", they usually turned out all of the lights so that visitors could experience what the cave was like in pitch blackness. She was standing at the back of the group when the lights went out and she could hear the lead ranger talking about the experience. Then, she felt a strong shove against her shoulder. The assault was hard enough that she had to step forward to keep from falling over. She turned to another ranger, who was supposed to be standing next to her and she whispered to him to stop clowning around. A moment later, the lead ranger ignited the wick on a lantern and she saw that the other ranger, she had thought was close to her, was actually about 70 feet away. There was no way that he could have shoved her and then walked so far in complete darkness.
"There was no one near me," she said, "but it was a playful shove. There are a number of us who feel things in various parts of the cave. It’s not frightening -- but it’s something else."
An additional story comes from Charlie Hanion, a former cave guide who became a nature writer. He and a friend were leading a "Lantern Tour" of the cave (a historic tour designed to give the visitor an idea of how early tourists saw the cave) and as his friend was talking to the assembled group, a girl of about 14 years-old turned to Hanion and asked who the man standing near the rocks was. Hanion looked about 40 feet away and saw a man in old-fashioned, formal attire. He was dressed in a fashion that tourists from decades past would have dressed to tour the cave. The man quickly vanished!
"But the really weird part came the following week when we were on the same tour," Hanion added. As the tour group reached the same point in the cave, a guide asked if there were any questions. A woman raised her hand and asked if strange things were ever seen in this part of the cave? The woman was a tourist and claimed to be a psychic. She pointed over to the place in the rocks where Hanion had seen the man the week before and she asked who that person was.
"It was the same spot where we’d seen it before. I didn’t see it at all that time," Hanion recalled. He also admitted that while he hadn’t seen anything, the entire experience gave him chills to think about.
Based on these accounts, it would seem that apparitions are fairly common at Mammoth Cave and this is especially true when it comes to the most famous ghost connected to the cave. It is said to be a fictional account but many wonder if the story might contain elements of the truth, especially those who believe they may have encountered the main character in the story.
In February 1858, an article appeared in Knickerbocker Magazine called "A Tragedy in Mammoth Cave". The story tells of a girl named Melissa, who confessed the entire tale on her deathbed, having succumbed to tuberculosis. Melissa was a southern girl who lived in the vicinity of Mammoth Cave and she had fallen in love with her tutor from Boston, a young man named Beverleigh. The tutor had ignored Melissa’s affections and began courting a neighbor girl instead. Melissa plotted her revenge.
Having grown up in the area, she knew well the twists and turns of Mammoth Cave and with careful planning, she lured Mr. Beverleigh to the cave. She conducted him on a "tour" to the depths of the cave and to a place called "Echo River". Here, she vanished into a side passage and left the poor man to find his own way out. Days passed and Beverleigh did not return. Melissa had only meant the whole thing as a cruel joke and so in despair, she went back to the cave to look for him. She made daily treks underground, searching and calling out to him -- but Beverleigh was never seen again.
Melissa was later diagnosed with consumption and died a short time later, never recovering from her guilt over the tutor’s death. Many believe that her ghost is still seen and heard in Mammoth Cave, desperately searching for the missing man.
While the story sounds incredibly melodramatic, the reader is warned not to dismiss it too quickly. According to Gary Bremer, a former Mammoth Cave guide, there may just be something to the tale.
Several years ago, Bremer and four others were in a boat on Echo River, an underground stream that lies deep in the cave. One of the men had left to get another paddle for the boat. Bremer remembered what happened next: "The three of us in the boat all heard a woman calling out. It wasn’t screaming but it was as though she was looking for someone."
The next day, they asked some of the other guides if anyone else had ever had such an experience. One of the older guides told him about a murder that was supposed to have taken place in that area and told him the story about Melissa. Bremer had never heard the story before that time.
Strangely, it would not be his last encounter here either. A short time later, he was again on the Echo River, this time with a new employee who had never seen the river before. She suddenly turned and grabbed his shoulder. "Did you hear a woman cough?" she asked him.
Bremer felt a cold chill. Melissa had died of tuberculosis, he remembered.
The other employee would later verify Bremer’s version of their experience and would also add that she had also heard garbled voices in the cave and on one night, believed that she heard someone whisper her name.
Not all of the accounts of Mammoth Cave come from parts of the cave that are accessible to the public. Many of the strangest tales come from Crystal Cave, which was once believed to be a separate cave and was once operated as a private attraction. This cave is located along Flint Ridge, now well within the boundaries of the national park. It is not, at this time, open to the public and yet the stories that surround this portion of the cave are too mysterious to not be included here.
Most of these legends involve the ghost of a man named Floyd Collins, the former owner of Crystal Cave. Collins was not only an avid cave explorer but an established businessman too, always on the lookout for new caves that could be developed and put into service as a moneymaking enterprise.
Floyd had grown up in the area around Mammoth Cave and through his early years, his family eked out a living with a farm on Flint Ridge. He had been fascinated with caves as a boy and spent most of his childhood crawling in and out of holes that were scattered over the farm. His life as a professional caver began in 1912 though, when he met Edmund Turner. The enterprising young man roomed with the Collins family for a time and he paid young Floyd to act as a guide and to help him find caves that could be explored and developed. Turner gave him more than just money though and instilled in Floyd a knowledge of cave formations and geology. Turner’s discoveries and initial success only heightened Floyd’s interest in developing his own caves and by World War I, he was spending little time on the family farm and was instead mining onyx and exploring the caverns of the area. In the winter of 1916 - 1917, he made his greatest discovery by accident.
One day, while slipping into a crevice that he described as “breathing” (meaning that air was coming out of it from a cave below) he uncovered a crawlway that led deeper into the earth. After two weeks of digging, he emerged into a huge cavern that was encrusted with white and cream-colored gypsum flowers. Delirious with excitement, Floyd rushed back to the house and even though it was well past midnight, he roused the family and rushed them to the cave while they were still in their night clothes. The stunned family members did not emerge until after dawn.
Floyd called this discovery “Wonder Cave” but William Travis Blair, his next-door neighbor, suggested that he call it Crystal Cave instead, referring to the wondrous gypsum flowers. Floyd’s father, Lee, and his brothers helped him to enlarge the entrance and they smoothed the floors and made trails during what ended up becoming more than 12 months of hard work. While all of this was going on, Floyd was exploring new passages and chambers and continued to make discoveries that made the cave one of the showplaces of the Flint Ridge.
In 1918, the Floyd’s opened the cave and hired a manager and with that, formally entered the Cave Wars. The family began prowling the highways looking for tourists because unfortunately, the cave was located off the beaten track and could be reached by an almost impassable dirt road. Floyd and his family fought for their share of the local traffic but the odds were against them, which was too bad. Crystal Cave was reportedly amazing and tourists were given an especially rare treat if Floyd himself showed them through. He often told them of adventures that were beyond the tourist trail or would, in his enthusiasm, reach over and break off one of the gypsum flowers and hand it to the astonished visitor. Those who came loved the cave, but few made the trip and Crystal Cave refused to make money, no matter how much work was put into it.
In the lull between tourists, Floyd continued to relentlessly explore the cave but this did nothing to alter the poor business situation. The cave was only occasionally profitable and the Collins’ still had to rely on farming and other activities to remain in business. In 1920, Floyd even invested in a still and for a short time before Prohibition made legal whiskey to supplement the cave’s income. Some say that he continued this after Prohibition was passed as well. The rough economic times, as well as family problems, caused a division between Floyd and his father, who wanted to sell off the cave and get out of the business. Floyd refused and in fact, the arguments between them stiffened his resolve. He was convinced that Crystal Cave’s many passages led to connections with surrounding caves. He had already explored five or six miles of passageways and had uncovered many leads, some of which ran toward Mammoth Cave. He wanted to, like George Morrison, find a commercially exploitable opening -- and one that was found in the right place could even displace Morrison’s New Entrance and ensnare the largest share of the tourists.
Floyd carefully researched his plans. He talked with old-timers and cavers about their experiences and looked over old charts and maps. From all of this, he concluded that the most likely spot for a new opening was just over the line in Barren County on the narrow piece of land that connected the Mammoth Cave Ridge with Flint Ridge at the latter’s southeast corner. An opening here just might, Floyd thought, connect Crystal Cave with Mammoth.
Floyd recalled from his past explorations that a sand hole existed on the farm of Beesley Doyle. Since Doyle was only one of three farmers controlling this area, Floyd began negotiations with him, as well as Edward Estes and Jesse Lee, the other owners. Of the three of them, only Estes was a caver, often raiding local caves for the onyx, which he sold to tourists. Floyd offered to search their land for caves in return for one-half of the profits and the three farmers could split the other half. Only Estes originally balked at the deal but finally, prodded by the others, he also agreed.
Floyd began his explorations, starting with the hole on the Doyle farm. The press later called this hole “Sand Cave”, but this was a misnomer. It was not so much a cave as a narrow, twisting crevice that led downward. It had been opened due to the collapse of a larger cavern centuries before and the passageway skirted the edge of an overhanging shelter’s back wall. Floyd chose this route, which was covered with sandstone debris, because he thought it might be a shortcut to what he hoped was solid limestone below. He had no idea where it might lead but hoped for either a new passage to Mammoth Cave, a back door to his own Crystal Cave or even an entirely new cave altogether.
Floyd stayed with the Doyle’s for the next two weeks as he began to dig out an entrance and to begin a descent into the crumbling passage. He returned home to his parent’s house on weekends and his father constantly chastised him for the time and attention that he was paying to his new project. Not only that, Lee Floyd insisted, but the hole was dangerous and he warned Floyd that he was liable to get caught in it. His mother also chimed in. She confided to her son that she had dreamed that Floyd would get caught in a rock fall and would be rescued by angels. She was convinced that the dream had been a warning from God. She begged him not to return to the cave -- but Floyd did not listen.
At the beginning of his third week of work at Sand Cave, Floyd moved over to stay with the Estes family but left his work clothes at the Doyle farm because it was closer to the site. His progress in the cave was rapid, especially after his use of dynamite on Monday. On Thursday, he hauled some stalactites out of the cave to show to Doyle and Estes as evidence of the wonders that he was sure were waiting below. On Friday morning, January 30, 1925 -- Floyd Collins entered Sand Cave for the last time.
When Floyd did not return to either the Doyle or Estes homes by Saturday morning, it was realized that someone should go and check the sand hole and to make sure that he was all right. Unfortunately, he was not. While winding his way through the narrow passage, a rock worked its way loose from the shattered stone and fell on his left foot. He became wedged in against the wall and was unable to work himself out. He was lying on his right side and his right leg was locked at an awkward angle. His left arm remained free but in the cold dampness of the cave, it quickly became numb. During the night, Floyd had fallen asleep and when he awakened, he discovered that his lantern had gone out. He could only wait and hope that someone came to his aid.
When Floyd’s family and friends arrived on Saturday, they immediately set to work trying to free him. They managed to work his upper body loose and to warm him up with a gasoline lantern but that was all. With Floyd still trapped, they began widening the narrow opening into the cave and removed two bushels of rocks but even this did not help. Floyd’s brother, Homer, climbed down into the passage to spend the night with his brother as rescue attempts were called off for the day. Not sure of what else to do, Lee Collins offered a $500 reward to anyone who could free his son. It was becoming clear to the crowd that was beginning to gather outside that the rescue would not be a simple one.
By Monday morning, newspapers across the United States had begun to report his predicament. Hundreds of people congregated outside Sand Cave. Members of the Louisville Fire Department were on hand, as well as experienced cavers, concerned locals and many who simply meant well but had no real experience with such predicaments. Many of them tried to reach Floyd with supplies and comfort and while many of them made it, most turned back, paralyzed with fear at the narrowness of the passageway.
As mentioned, newspapers all over the country reported on the trap that Floyd had gotten himself into. A number of reporters tried to reach Floyd for interviews but the most successful was a cub reporter from the Louisville Courier-Journal named William Burke “Skeets” Miller, who later won a Pulitzer Prize for his coverage. Miller’s nickname (for “mosquito”) came from his diminutive size, which enabled him to slide down the narrow path and sit with Floyd where he was trapped. He made eight descents into the cave and conducted a series of interviews that were quickly relayed to his readers as a first-hand account of what it was like to be literally buried alive.
Days passed and began to turn into several weeks. There had been attempts to bodily hoist Floyd from the cave (he had requested it -- even if his foot was pulled off) and an assortment of wild schemes, but none of them had worked. The local attempts soon became a national crisis involving dozens of miners, the National Guard, the Red Cross and a number of engineers. Thanks to the inclement weather, the crumbling walls of the cave passage, and often just confusion, Floyd could not be freed.
Many would later claim that Floyd became secondary to the scene on the surface. Fascinated by the daily reports from the reporters on the scene, an estimated 20,000 onlookers streamed into the area. Some of them hoped to help or catch a glimpse of the now heroic Floyd but others simply wanted to exploit the event by selling food, drinks and souvenirs. The circus-like atmosphere reached its peak in mid-February and the steady stream of curiosity-seekers continued.
Finally, a group of men managed to work their way into the cave and began trying to pry loose the rock that trapped Floyd’s leg. They had widened the passageway and as they worked, the rock finally came free -- then immediately slipped back into place wedging Floyd’s leg even more securely into place. The worked it back and forth but it was no use. Then, to make the situation even more dire, a series of small cave-ins occurred, crashing down onto Floyd and cutting him off from the surface. His would-be rescuers, after discovering that Floyd was still alive, scurried back to the surface. From that point on, none of the workers would return to the cave, fearing that the entire shaft might collapse. Homer Collins was enraged that no one would attempt to save his brother and he clashed with the authorities. Eventually, he was banned from the site.
Since no one would go back into the hole, a new plan was devised. A vertical shaft was started a short distance away with plans for it to intersect with the spot where Floyd was trapped. Friends, family and volunteers worked feverishly and on February 16, the shaft finally reached Floyd. Tragically though, he had died three days earlier -- on Friday the 13th -- from exposure and exhaustion.
People all over America had been riveted to the story of Floyd Collins and his plight had been front page news in newspapers and the source of constant updates on the radio for weeks. The press had descended on the Mammoth Cave area and had turned the region upside-down. What was not reported so widely was the fact that it took an additional two months to finally remove Floyd’s lifeless body from the cave.
The tragedy brought national attention to the Kentucky cave country, but it also created a backlash, leading many to wonder if the caves were safe. The tourist trade was temporarily affected, with the small commercial caves suffering the most. This was at the height of the previously mentioned "Cave Wars" and now the smaller caves were fighting one another for an even smaller piece of the pie. Even Crystal Cave, which should have still managed to draw business thanks to the Floyd Collins name, was hurt by the slump. As a result, Floyd’s father, Lee Collins, was even more anxious to sell the place than he had been when Floyd was alive.
In 1927, he accepted an offer from Dr. Harry B. Thomas, a local dentist, to take Crystal Cave off his hands for $10,000. Dr. Thomas already owned two other commercial caves in the area, Hidden River Cave and Mammoth Onyx Cave. In the transfer of property, Thomas was authorized to move Floyd Collins’ body from its resting place and re-locate it in Crystal Cave, where it would be given a new burial spot. The Collins family, of course, objected to this, but it was too late. Lee Collins had already signed the deal.
Thomas wanted to move Floyd’s body because he was sure that it would be a huge moneymaker for Crystal Cave. He had the body exhumed and then placed it in a glass-covered, bronzed metal coffin, opening it for public viewing in June 1927. It was placed in the middle of the tourist trail leading to Crystal Cave’s main concourse. Here, visitors could pass by and look at him as they walked deeper into the cave. He had a large granite tombstone placed at Floyd’s head. Granted, the stunt was ghoulish but it worked. Hundreds flocked to see Floyd’s body and in his death, he became the cave’s greatest advertisement. The guides would lecture solemnly about the exploits of the "world’s greatest cave explorer" while the tourists gawked at the white, waxed face of the man in the coffin.
The Collins family sued Thomas and the case was battled out in court for several years. In 1929, the courts ruled (hopefully reluctantly) that Collins’ body could stay where it was. Dr. Thomas had the legal right to the macabre display. Floyd would remain where he was in Crystal Cave --- or at least that was the general idea.
At some point on the night of March 18, 1929, Floyd’s body was stolen from its glass coffin and spirited out of the cave. The theft was discovered the next morning and authorities from three counties were enlisted to help in the search. The casket was dusted for fingerprints and bloodhounds, after being given Floyd’s scent, scoured the surrounding area. Before the day was over, the missing body was discovered (minus the left leg), about 800 yards from the cave’s entrance. It had been wrapped in burlap bags and hidden in the brush along the Green River.
The cadaver was back in its coffin the following day, a little worse for wear, although the missing leg was never found. The identity of the thieves was also never discovered, although many of the local folks had their suspicions.
The prime suspect was Dr. Thomas himself. Although he maintained that he could not guess the motives of the body-snatchers, there were those who believed that he had stolen the body himself in an effort to boost business at Crystal Cave (which it did). Others, however, blamed competing cave owners, jealous over Thomas’ newfound success and some believed that the Collins family had nabbed the corpse, or had hired it done, and they had lost the body before they could get away.
Regardless, after the attempted theft, the casket was covered each night with a metal lid and was securely locked. As time passed, the body was shown infrequently, although tourists were still asked to pause at the casket and listen to a short spiel offered in memory of the fallen cave explorer. The body continued to be displayed on occasion as late as 1952, although it remained in the cave for years after, long after it was closed to the public.
Many years after his actual death, Floyd Collins was finally buried at the Baptist Church cemetery up on Flint Ridge Road. His grave can easily be found here today. The last time that I visited here, I found a plastic bag that had been left behind on his tombstone with a note that was inscribed "To Floyd". Inside of the waterproof bag were a handful of matches and a candle-- the best friends of an old-time cave explorer. Even after all of this time, Floyd Collins has not been forgotten. Could that be because his ghost is still around?
Over the past several years, Crystal Cave has not been accessible to the public, although it has been charted and explored by national park employees and by a limited number of spelunkers. The fact that these veteran cave explorers have encountered weird phenomena in the cave dismisses the idea that the ghost stories here are merely the result of the overactive imaginations of tourists who are unfamiliar with the ordinary happenings in a cave.
A few years back, a group of Mammoth Cave employees were on an after-hours excursion in Crystal Cave and they noticed an old whiskey bottle that was resting on a rock ledge. One of the men in the group picked it up and looked at it and then placed it back on the ledge where he had found it. The group walked on deeper into the cave.
Later on in the evening, one of the men was walking back toward the cave entrance and was just passing by the old whiskey bottle when he heard a strange sound. "It was just behind my ear," he stated. "I heard a sound as though someone had flicked a finger against glass... a clink. I turned around just in time to see the bottle hit the ground."
Another man who was with him jumped back in shock. He claimed that the whiskey bottle had not just fallen, but that it had come straight out from the wall and had just dropped! "The little clink was loud enough to make me look back toward the ledge," he remembered, "and as I did, the bottle actually came out and then went right down in front of me. It was very bizarre."
Could the ghostly activity in the cave be attributed to the ghost of Floyd Collins? If there were an identity to be given to this ghost, he would certainly be everyone’s first choice.
Another tale from Crystal Cave is attributed to a former employee named George Wood, who filed it as a report back in 1976. He wrote that he and another employee, Bill Cobb, had spent a day in June checking springs for a study on groundwater flow in central Kentucky. They didn’t make it to the last spring until after dark and it was located near the old and abandoned Collins house on Flint Ridge.
Cobb went to the spring while Wood waited near the truck. After a few moments, he heard the sound of a man crying out in the darkness. At first, he thought it was his friend calling for help, but the voice seemed too high-pitched. It was also so faint that he had to listen carefully to hear what it was saying.
The voice cried: "Help me! Help me! Help me, I’m trapped! Johnny, help me!" It called out over and over again.
As he stood there on the edge of the dark road, he felt a cold chill run down his back. He vividly recalled hearing and reading about Floyd Collins and how he was trapped in Sand Cave --- which was located just a short distance from where he was standing!
A few minutes later, Cobb returned and Wood asked him if he had been calling for him. The other man had heard nothing while at the spring, but after hearing Wood’s account, admitted that he was spooked. In fact, they both were and didn’t waste any time in getting back in the truck and driving off.
Could the spectral voice have really belonged to Floyd Collins? And if so, could the "Johnny" that was heard in the mysterious cry have referred to Johnny Gerald, a friend of Floyd’s and the last person to speak with him before the cave collapse sealed him off from rescue? Is his spirit still trapped in the cave, or could the sound have been merely an eerie echo of yesterday?
So, are they really ghosts in famous Mammoth Cave? If the stories of witnesses and guides from almost the past two centuries can be believed, there are. Combine these accounts with hesitant reports from scientists and trained skeptics, who can’t explain what they have encountered in the cave, and you certainly have an unusual situation on your hands!
But if nothing else, the cave is certainly ripe for a haunting and the legends alone draw thousands of eager visitors each year. The mystery, the history, the cave explorers who have never returned, the tragedy, the terror and the death have created just what may be one of the most haunted places in the world!
Mammoth Cave is located twenty miles northeast of Bowling Green, Kentucky in the southwest part of the state. Don't look for the body of Floyd Collins when you go there... he is now resting in the Flint Ridge Baptist Cemetery, which is located on the park grounds.
From "Beyond the Grave" by Troy Taylor
In 1938, stories of a "killer ghost" began to be told in eastern Kentucky. Even though no one ever saw this malevolent apparition, it was said to have caused five very similar and unexplained deaths.
In June of that year, a man named Carl Pruitt came home from work one night and found his wife in bed with another man. After her lover escaped by jumping out of a window, Pruitt strangled his wife with a small piece of chain. Immediately after, perhaps having just realized the depth of his madness, he committed suicide. He was buried in a separate cemetery from his wife.
A few weeks after he was buried, visitors to the cemetery began to notice the pattern of a chain that was slowly forming on Pruitt’s gravestone. The "chain" was caused by an unusual discoloration in the stone and slowly, it gained links until it formed the shape of a cross. At that point, it stopped growing. A number of local residents suggested that perhaps the supernaturally marked tombstone should be removed from the graveyard and destroyed, but officials scoffed and nothing was done about it.
A month or so after the chain stopped growing, a group of boys were riding their bicycles past the cemetery one afternoon. One of them, a boy named James Collins, decided to throw a few stones at Pruitt’s "cursed" gravestone, probably just to prove that he wasn’t afraid and had little use for spooky stories. Whatever the reason for his actions, the hurled rocks managed to chip several spots from the stone. As the young men started home, Collins’ bicycle suddenly began to pick up speed, to the point that he could no longer control it. It veered off the road and collided with a tree. Then, in some unexplained way, the sprocket chain tore loose and managed to wrap itself about the boy’s neck, strangling him. Rumors quickly spread about this remarkable occurrence, especially after an examination of the Pruitt tombstone revealed that no marks or chips marred the surface of it. The other boys knew what they had seen however and their breathless accounts only fueled speculation about a vengeful ghost.
James Collins’ mother was especially heartbroken over her son’s death. Less than a month after his accident, she went out to the cemetery and destroyed the Pruitt gravestone with a small hand axe. She pounded and hacked at the stone until it lay in dozens in pieces. The following day, she was hanging the family wash on the line. Ironically, the clothesline was made from small linked chain rather than the usual rope or wire. Somehow, she slipped and fell and her neck became entangled in the chain. She twisted and tried to get free, but it was no use and she strangled to death. The legends say that after she died, the Pruitt tombstone showed no signs of destruction!
Needless to say, news of this most recent incident spread. A short time later, a local farmer and three members of his family were driving a wagon past the cemetery. For some reason, the farmer announced that he had no fear of ghosts and fired several shots at the Pruitt stone with his revolver. Chunks flew from the marker and immediately, the horses pulling the wagon began to run. Their hooves pounded faster and faster, until the wagon was out of control. The family members all jumped to safety but the farmer hung on, frantically pulling on the reins. Just as the wagon veered around a curve in the road, the farmer was thrown from his seat and he tumbled forward. His neck snagged on one of the trace chains and the motion of the horses snapped his neck. Once again, Pruitt’s stone showed no signs of the damage that had been done to it.
The local residents were now convinced of the fact that the grave marker was cursed. Things got so bad that the local congressman was contacted and two police officers were sent out to the cemetery to investigate the stories. When they arrived at the graveyard, one of the men began to laugh about the stories and made fun of the idea of so-called "ghosts and curses". Regardless, they took several photos of the stone and then left to go and talk with the witnesses to the events surrounding it. As they were leaving, the doubting officer happened to look into the car’s rearview mirror. In it, he saw a bright light coming from the direction of the Pruitt tombstone. At first he assumed that it was just a reflection from the car’s tail lights, but then it began to get closer to the car. Startled, he began to drive faster, but the light kept coming. He drove faster and faster, always watching his mirror. His partner pleaded with him to slow down, but it was no use. The light was still coming!
Just then, the car swerved off the road and crashed between two posts. It rolled over and over again several times. The officer on the passenger side was thrown clear of the wreck and was only slightly hurt. Shaken, he climbed to his feet and went to his partner’s aid. He found that his friend was dead... but he had been killed before the car had wrecked. As the car had passed between the two posts, a chain that had been hanging between then had shattered the car’s windshield and had wrapped around the driver’s neck. The force was so great that it had nearly severed his head!
After this death, residents began to avoid the cemetery altogether. Only one man, Arthur Lewis, dared to go there. He was determined to prove that the stories of a "cursed" tombstone were nothing but superstitious nonsense. One evening, after telling his wife what he intended to do, he went to the graveyard with a hammer and chisel and began to methodically destroy the grave marker. The sounds of the hammer and the shattering stone could be heard by all who lived near the cemetery... and they also heard the bloodcurdling scream that filled the night too! Several men grabbed lanterns and went down to investigate. When they arrived, they found Lewis dead with the long chain that had been used to close the cemetery gate wrapped about his neck. Apparently, something had frightened him and he had started running, forgetting about the chain that barred the entrance gate. Oddly, even though ten or fifteen people had heard the sound of the man breaking Pruitt’s gravestone, there were no marks of broken places on it.
After this last death, other bodies in the cemetery were removed and buried again in other locations. People gradually moved away and the small burial plot was forgotten. Since Pruitt had no family left to care for his grave, the site became overgrown and tangled with weeds. In 1958, it was destroyed for good by a strip-mining operation. The five strange deaths, all linked by chains, were never explained.
Sunday, April 26, 2009
Gary Ugarek and I became "internet friends" during the long wait for Dawn of the dead 2005. We frequented the same forums and exchanged friendly emails because he loved the idea of the remake as much as I (sister #1). Now he's made a zombie film of his own and it looks great for an Indie film....enjoy
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
Last of the Living HD Trailer from Gorilla Pictures on Vimeo.
A highly contagious virus is spreading throughout the land. With one bite, it's only hours before victims will turn into zombies and hunt for human flesh. Morgan, Ash, and Johnny might just be the only humans left, but they don't seem to mind and find enjoyment lounging around in their underwear living in vacant homes. When they stumble upon a hot girl who just may have a cure, the three decide it's finally time to step up to the plate and save the world- and the girl. Now the only hope for survival lies in their hands.
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
Poison, Drowning, Claw, Or Knife. So Many Ways To Take A Life.
Four interwoven stories that occur on Halloween: An everyday high school principal has a secret life as a serial killer; a college virgin might have just met the one guy for her; a group of teenagers pull a mean prank; a woman who loathes the night has to contend with her holiday-obsessed husband.