VeggieMacabre Revisits Savannah, GA

Sometimes you just have to get out-of-town and if there is a opportunity to mix a getaway with a business trip, I say do it. Fortunately for me my adventures have brought me back to an old haunt, so to speak. You may remember last year’s trip to Savannah when I took a look at some supposed haunted pubs that I knew of and managed to knock out some power lunges for the un-rested dead. This year was pretty much the same but it was a solo trip that included a bit more nightlife and a stay in a haunted room. Let’s recap my trip to one of the weirder places in these great fifty states!

I pulled into town late morning and wasted no time finding a parking deck because if you forget where you parked on the street and the meter lapses, expect a $100 ticket. This is a tourist city and they thrive on idiot dollars. The ticket clerk was nice enough to provide me with a map of the city, where to find college girls and drew boobs to show the places to most likely find them. All of this information was voluntarily provided. I just smiled and nodded. That was the first creepy event of the day.

There was still a few hours before my check-in time at the hotel so wasting no time, I headed back to the Moon River Brewing Company for an early lunch and hopefully a seasonal beer or two to make my Uncle Nat jealous. You may have remembered this place from last year.

This is their famous “Apparition Ale” and holy macaroni is it good! I get it almost every time I come here and this year is no different. It’s a bit hoppy but overall not offensive to any of the senses and most would agree, this beer has to be guzzled in a place renown for it’s haunted prowess. In fact, like a typical tourist with no sense of shame for asking, I questioned the bartender if anything spooky happened lately and she proceeded to rattle off at least ten events over the course of a couple of weeks that left her shook up enough to never go to the basement or upstairs office without someone else. One event involved something four feet tall in a top hat showing up behind people. If I saw something that is four feet tall in a top hat, I would punch it. I would punch it so hard. I don’t do short creepy things.

So after a couple glasses of courage and some really awesome crab cakes, I once again ventured back down to the basement where numerous people have not only seen but have supposedly been attacked by a…thing. Without company, I went alone to say hi and snap some pictures. Luckily for me I have an app on the phone for a timer and a stool so I was able to once again do this. Albeit a little quicker.

I am not really sure why this is becoming a Moon River tradition for me but when I am down in the basement where people have died and an evil presence dwells, I feel like the gift of physical fitness is the only thing I can offer. I didn’t get choked or possessed so perhaps it is appreciated. But most likely, if there is something we can’t explain in this cellar, they probably just feel bad for me.

Just before I said goodbye to the Moon River Brewing company I needed to make a pit stop at the restroom and was greeted by a four-year old pooping in the urinal. I can hold it. Off to River street!

Savannah is older that just about any English settled city in America and much of the structures and streets are just as they were almost three hundred years ago. To get from the Main street down to River Street much of the way down looks like this. Never mind the Exorcist stairs, try getting down these after a night of boozing at the club. I am almost positive that people have died on these but this town is so macabre, it probably went unnoticed.

Somehow I always end up back at the Pirate House. Even though we have a special history, I have to say that this place officially sucks. I chalk it up to a Disney restaurant on the outskirts of the park. It’s gimmicky, the staff (at least the ones who served me the last two visits) are rude, the food is laughably overpriced while it tastes like something pirates would eat, the historic atmosphere is plagued with campy pirate shit and most of all, the part that makes this place cool is completely covered up! You would never guess that a tunnel runs directly under you that led hundreds of unsuspecting travelers to their doom. Nope! But you can get the kids eye patches with their kid’s meals. I hope Black Beard hammer punches someone in the nose for what they did to this place. arrr…

After that disappointing trip to the Pirate House it was time to check in and boy was I looking forward to this, for this was no ordinary room. This room is said to be haunted and was investigated by numerous paranormal groups over the years and I just happened to get a last-minute reservation for…way too much. I’ll just say that. But no matter, this blog needs better material and I am willing to battle the forces of the dead to do so. See? I do care.

As I was checking it, the room checker-inner advised me to stop by the consioure desk for a brief history of the room and a guest waiver. I kid you not, I had to sign a waiver before going up to the room! Whether it was a gimmick or not, I will tell you I got a bit nervous signing a waiver to sleep alone in a hotel room. And that’s when I was told why they think the room is haunted and so many leave to either switch rooms or check-out totally. Here is the conversation. By the way, the conseour guy’s name is Scott. I am tired for misspelling consiourre. I think there is a ‘g’ in it.

Scott: “All we ask is that you are respectful to any of our guests that may be present, whether they are seen or unseen. There has never been anyone hurt though many have been frightened by occurrences like noises or things moving. If you decide to leave for reasons of this nature you will receive a full refund. Just sign here noting that I have explained this to you and you understand.”

Me: “Why do people think this room is haunted”

Scott: “Because it is. The cleaning staff will only clean the room with the door open and usually it is two people cleaning it.”

Me: “What happened in the room?”

Scott: “In 2006 a gentleman took his life in the room. People have reported incidences since.”

Me: “2006?!?!?

That immediately sucked all the excitement and wonder out of me. 2006? This is more of a tragedy than a hokey night stay in a place where some folklore was said to have taken place. Also keep in mind that there was no expression in Scott’s tone. He was friendly but very matter-of-fact. I kind of believed him.

Here it is. It’s a pretty small room that is far from special and very much over priced. I couldn’t tell if it was the waiver that I had just signed or Scott’s “serious” face but this room was deafeningly quiet. I don’t know if there is a trapped and tormented soul from beyond there but the area was so small, I couldn’t help but think that it could only be feet away.

It was oppressively sad and I am sure it was all in my head but you just can’t help but feel bad. I really wished I didn’t ask and carried on the idea that some civil war soldier still occasionally camped there. I turned on the TV, took a shower and changed clothes, all will eyes and ears open, maybe wanting to experience something but also hoping not. I needed to get out for a bit so I headed out. I left the TV on. Hopefully the ghosts like Everybody Loves Raymond as much as I do.

Back on the bustling streets of Savannah I felt a little better. I mean, I was taking pictures of a dog in sunglasses so obviously I was in a better place. I did, however, accidentally tip that guy a five dollar bill in the dog’s water dish by mistake. Oh well, it spends that same.

And this place, ladies and gentlemen, is where I spent the majority of my night. The Crypt Pub is a horror bar during the evening hours and some kind of vampire dance club after midnight. Luckily, I am a guy who is long gone by the time that transition happens. But until then, it was a blast with great people and interesting drinks.

The whole bar had those changing portraits that look innocent enough until they morph into some hideous beast. I love them. The walls are blood-red and everywhere you turn there are skeletons posed as patrons or bats swinging from the rafters. This is not a Halloween themed bar but rather a good taste of the strange and spooky Savannah. I can’t think of another city where this kind of bar would survive. And the drinks?

This is a “Frankenberry” and it is glorious. It does taste like Frankenberry cereal but that isn’t why I love it. I love it because I am still a twelve-year-old in a thirty-four year old’s body. It has dry ice and looks like something that the Munster’s would serve. Brilliant and I bought at least three…that I can remember. Look at it in action!

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Everyone seemed to be in great spirits that night. No matter where I go I always seem to make a couple of friends. The couple next to me were doctors from Michigan for the same conference I was there for. Although it seemed a bit strange that cardiologists were in a macabre bar, I took it at face value that Savannah can cast a spell on even the most high in stature. We toasted our foggy drinks to health and fun. Then I watched more horror portraits.

The staff was a lot of fun, too. Shut up.

As the night wore on I decided to say my goodbyes and head out to the crazy bustling streets and try one more bar before going back to the infamous room. It was an English pub that I had visited before and I really wanted to catch the second half of the UGA game so I grabbed a seat at the bar and got into a great discussion with a really cool bartender over pumpkin ale. We all watched the win and pretty soon other people joined the bar including a bunch of frat-looking guys around my age. And wouldn’t you know it, one of them grew up in the same neighborhood my parents live at? What are the odds? The night was going great and I was having a great time until…

That scene actually happened to me. These gentlemen were cool, MARRIED, guys who tell their wives that it’s guys night out and in less than a second they went from high-five football gurus to people wanting to go to the bathroom to do…well…you can assume. I don’t know what’s more shocking; the 180 degree shift in demeanor or the candor in which they assumed I would be okay with that. Now don’t get me wrong, some of my closest friends are gay and I love them to death but they would never come on to me that way. For a brief second I could understand how chicks at a bar feel. Emasculated, I paid my tab and headed for the room. But not before stopping one more place when I was waved down by my bartender friends for a beer. That made me feel a little better.

Soon it was time to depart because I am an old man and 1:30am is like a young man’s 5am. I can’t believe I paid so much for a room that I dreaded all night to come back to. It was an ever presence in my mind and soon it was time to face what I asked for. I am glad for tipsiness because no matter how freaky something could get, nothing was keeping me up long with four bubbly rum drinks in my bloodstream.

Did anything happen that night? I don’t know. Sure there were times when I thought the facet was on or something moved but really, besides the ice machine dumping causing me to do practically the same, I can honestly say it was uneventful. Had this been a popular haunt with historic significance, I probably would have approached it differently and been disappointed that nothing happened. But this felt wrong. I felt like I was as guilty of exploiting this guy’s death as much as the hotel. For whatever reason, I hope he isn’t stuck there. It’s a pretty dull room and there is no AMC channel. Double farts.

So who knows if all these paranormal things are real? It seems that there are plenty of reality ghost hunting shows to say otherwise but it is kind of funny to think they all might be one big snipe hunt. Someday, I am sure we will find out. Until then, I’ll watch Poltergeist and think, “wouldn’t that be cool?”.

Here’s a Joe Bob Briggs breakdown:

Trip Totals

Beers                                               15

Bubbling Death Cocktails         4

Boobs                                               0

Friends                                            8

Unwanted Advances                   One Too Many

Beating Galaga                              1

Pirates                                             100

Cool Graves                                    1,000’s

Ghosts                                              ?

Savannah Trip: The Good, The Beer, The Ghosts

Savannah, Georgia will always have a special place in my heart. It was forged years ago through countless family beach vacations, a middle school field trip where I discovered that girls where not as gross as I imagined, wild college road trips where I really discovered girls were not as gross as I imagined and finally my time stationed near there in the Army. I call it as much home as I do anywhere else and though I am not a current resident, I jump at the chance to bring anyone who hasn’t been. This past weekend I did just that and we hit a few “haunts”, even making time to get a royal sunburn at the beach. Eat it mid-October!

 

We started off for the five hour trek at around four in the morning so by the time we thought about breakfast we were well past the halfway mark. I am not really sure when this happened but somehow I became my parents and insisted we stop at a Cracker Barrel rather than a McDonald’s. I will admit, there is a certain charm about eating under the same roof that has a one pound Sugar Daddy for sale and more Christmas ornaments than the Whoville. I know this restaurant has had some bad publicity with their idiotic rule of not hiring anyone who is gay, but I will admit, their biscuits do make the Pillsbury Doe Boy look like he should be selling ratchet sets instead.

I get a little excited when I am traveling to some place I want to go to, especially cities of nostalgic meaning. Though I don’t recommend breaking the law by exceeding the speed limit AND trying to take a cellphone picture in reference to Back to the Future, in my defense, I saw a palm tree. We were close and by all logic, going 88mph would get us there sooner. Don’t worry, it didn’t last long. I am 3/4 of the way through Crime and Punishment. I get it.

Well look at that. I got us here safe and sound without rocketing back to 1955. Driving down this street brings back so many memories, I can’t even begin to start with the “no shit, there I was” stories and honestly, I am old enough now to realize no one cares. That’s okay because just looking at the cobble streets, historical markers, memorable bars and vibrant tourists traps I have too many warm memories that I don’t mind replaying them in my own head. But this tease of a drive was short because the girlfriend had other plans than being drunk pirates like I wanted. She opted for an afternoon at the beach. I obliged.

I am saving the Tybee Island part of the trip for another part of the blog. I feel that since this is the Halloween season and I had another purpose to come to Savannah, this should take precedence over summer fun. I came back to visit a few places and boy oh boy, they did not disappoint. Not in the least.

Years ago I wrote about a business trip I took to Savannah and the incredible experience that I had at a particular restaurant. I risked looking like a complete jackass and wrote how I saw a ghost.  A full torso vaporous apparition and over the years it has grown into a well sought after story. After that happened I started to become aware that I am not the minority when it comes to spooky happenings in Savannah and this place is known as the most haunted city in America.

Moon River Brewing Company in all it’s glory. This place has been on every paranormal show imaginable and each one has come through with some very creepy footage. What is equally creepy is how all the stories are so similar. It’s not like there are dozens of independent experiences and conflicting sightings. No, just about every person interviewed had like ghostly encounters in the same locations. And one of those location is in the basement where anyone can go, but no one does.

Getting a spot in this place can be tricky but luckily for us we managed to squeeze into a nice two-top just next to the basement stairs with more than an hour to go on the “happy hour” clock. The beers here are incredible and if we didn’t have places to go and ghouls to meet, I would have just camped eating garlic fries and wit beer. But even in beer heaven, my eyes couldn’t leave the dreaded basement stairs and after a couple drinks of courage, I asked our waitress if going downstairs was allowed. She raised her eyebrows, smirked and said, “sure…if you want to”. I did. It’s why I came. The girlfriend, however, was happy to stay with the fries and beer and who could blame her?

I don’t know if all the stories are true and though the “evidence” of a short shadow creature jetting around this place are bone-chilling, I can see how the quiet and musty basement can prod the imagination. But the one thing that I reflect on now is how busy the restaurant was upstairs and I was the only one who was roaming around the famous basement that made shows like Ghost Hunters and Ghost Adventures so credible and popular. I stayed down here for quiet awhile and took pictures and not a single curious patron decided to come down. Weird.

Another strange thing is when I was taking these photographs I made an effort to take straight photos but so many came out crooked. I know that’s not paranormal but I am a little afraid that I may have a leaning problem.

After enough time passed to piss off a girlfriend, I headed up for more libations and people watching, scouring the pictures for orbs, demons, pirate ghosts, thumbs, and Bigfoot. I got nothin’. Luckily, before we left I was able to talk the girlfriend into a quick tour of the basement because I had a little experiment I needed to conduct.

I know that I can seem a little strange and I am thankful I have someone who puts up with me. I needed to have someone take pictures of me actually in this place. I don’t know, it bugs me that I have thousands of pictures and no proof that I was actually even there. Plus, I needed to show this entity the importance of physical fitness through the power of lunges.

Though this particular lunge is wickedly improper, I think that if there is a…thing in the basement, it got the point. What’s the point, you ask? I don’t know. Ask your mom. (Sorry. You don’t have to ask her.)

But did it work? I don’t know. What do you think?

Well, Moon River Brewing Company was a lovely experience, even if we didn’t “experience” anything. But I will say the atmosphere, people, beer and garlic fries makes this place a step up from any place I would want to be. I just like knowing that wit beer can be consumed while touching the ethereal plain.To the Pirate House!

Remember how I was telling you that Savannah was a dark and creepy place? Yeah, this is similar to a lot of the store fronts and this one in particular happens to be a greeting card and collectible shop. My heart sings knowing the fact that these mannequins are probably stored close to the bathroom and scare unsuspecting grandmothers when they search for a bathroom around April. Had it not been closed, I am sure we would be proud owners of magnolia covered greeting cards. Thank you for your window fronts and also for being closed.

The Pirate House. The last time I was here I witnessed a really strange occurrence that to this day I can not explain. There is no possible way to describe the feeling when I look at this place and going inside it was even more intense. When I left this bar almost six years ago my perception of reality was skewed a bit. Not drastically changed but definitely skewed. I really wanted to get skewed again. In a non-obscene way of course.

We barely made the last call and the bartender looked super annoyed which made me even more annoyed. I didn’t come over here to get the same service as an Applebees in Paducah, Kentucky. I was in an establishment that was older than most states, has tunnels that lead to the Savannah River to shanghai unsuspecting colonials, it is IN the book Treasure Island, famous pirates died here and, most importantly, this is where I saw a ghost. If this bartender wants to be pissy I was in no mood. Much like the guy who puts on the Mickey Mouse suit at Disney World and complains about getting hit in the balls every time a kids hugs him, don’t make the dick-face when we come in at last call. It was 10:30! Don’t be in the service industry of a tourist city and be a jerk. You bag of dicks!

Wow, sorry about that. Where was I? Oh yeah, The Pirate House, established when people lived to be forty and could die from a tooth ache.

I soon got over myself and made it clear that I am glad we were there and the bartender should be performing unicycle tricks on a corner in Pakistan. I observed that the bar changed a little from my last visit and the bar-top was no longer stainless steel but wood and they downgraded the size of their television. Other than that, it was like being right back in 2006. I peered at the corner where I watched some…thing race down phantom stairs and block the TV some years prior. But the mood was different. Too many people. Too many noises. So I excused myself to venture around the now empty restaurant.

You have to admit, even without the countless witnesses of ghostly accounts and the dark history of this place, it does look creepy, eh? I don’t know if it’s the low ceilings or the constant musty breeze but it is impossible to not have a feeling that unless you are carrying dinner rolls and menus, you probably shouldn’t be there. The human brain is a quirky thing but it does let you know that something happened in there. Think I am crazy? You wouldn’t be the first.

Well soon it was time to head out but the cool thing about Savannah (besides the three million other things) is you can get your beers to go. That is right, there is no open container law in this town so we got a couple of Ghost Ales and sat outside for a bit and man, it’s even macabre on the outside!

Well, it was getting late and though walking down River Street drinking Wet Willies’ Mind Erasers and brawling with frat kids sounded fun, I am old and it was time to head back to the room and look through pictures. Those days are long past. Today, I am about craft beer, fine food and folklore. I am an adult. Haven’t you read this blog? (har har har)

Battle of the Paranormal Shows. We Have a Winner!

What the hell is going on with so many shows about ghosts and the paranormal lately? There are literally twenty shows that have some sort of investigative or first-person account of ghosts and hauntings right now in production. Actually, I bet I am low-balling that number. For the most part, I am pretty happy about these programs because, who doesn’t like a spooky tale this time of the year? There is nothing I like more than to get settled on the couch with a glass of brew, turn on a show that is mostly in night vision and learn about the history of an old inn or dilapidated hospital. To me, they are almost like history programs and the pay off of ghostly evidence is just a bonus. But of all these shows, there is only one that truly creeps me out. My Ghost Story.

You had me at "Warning".

Recently I have learned that the Bio Channel is not Lifetime. Honestly, I assumed Lifetime, WE, Bravo and the Bio Channel were all the same. Just since this past September did I learn that the Bio Channel is the deliverer of all things down right scary and it is because of the show My Ghost Story. Right away this program separates itself from the ridiculously dressed Ed Hardy figure, Zak Bagans of Ghost Adventures and the painfully boring Ghost Hunters, with words that will make me miss my mouth when playing a game of Cheez-it catch like “disturbing”. And you know what? A few of these episodes are a little disturbing.

I think what separates this show from all other types of paranormal shows are the real photographs and videos. I mean, take it for what it is. Any of this could be fake but after watching a few of these episodes I am hard pressed to believe that every one is a hoax.

The show has the real people telling you their experiences without actors or drawn out reenactments. There is no narrator or host but rather a simple text explaining who these people are and after their story, what the present situation is. More than not, their situation never gets better. I know this is selfish, but I like it better that way. Such a dick I am! The whole show has creepy ambiance that one can’t help but look over one’s shoulder, try not to peer at the dark windows and keep a close ear for any noises from upstairs. I am not going to lie, this show has been in my mind when the dog has to pee at 2am.

So, with so many paranormal shows out there, why is this the one that makes me want to sleep with rosary beads? I think it is a combination of the first-person accounts with the witnesses and tangible evidence. The tales, whether true or not, are just unnerving. It seems that all the “ghost chaser” shows like Ghost Adventures and Ghost Hunters, there is too much emphasis on the crew and the spooky feeling is completely lost.  Lately, these shows are ether tear jerkingly boring or laughably idiotic. My Ghost Story may not make you a believer but I promise you, next time you are in a basement alone,you’ll want to stay away from the mirrors!

If you want to watch this, and I suggest you do, it airs pretty often on the Biography channel. Actually, this coming Saturday a whole new season starts. But if you can’t wait and want to know what I am talking about, there are full episodes on YouTube.

I love you YouTube. I like pina coladas and getting drunk in the rain. I am not into yoga and I have half a brain. Please marry me.

BONUS!

Here is another review from the Dundee Seasonal Pack. This time I try the porter and chat about my favorite horror selection for Halloween. Please excuse the babbling.

My finger looks like a ghost. Wait a minute…

“Art! Your Wife Is Home…

…and your house is on fire!”

That was a line from The ‘Burbs. But this post isn’t about my favorite movie or Rick Ducommun. No, it’s about my quick visit to Philadelphia and above all else the Philadelphia Art Museum.

dscn0041I don’t know whether it’s because I live on a snow covered mountain secluded from anything that walks upright or the fact that I find my most important social interaction is in a bowling league, but I really enjoyed my day alone in the city of Philadelphia. So much to do and so little time. I will take you with me. So pretend we did this together.

img_0435Well, we have to take the trolly to the subway. Personally I love public transportation. Nobody talks to each other but if you are really lucky like we were, you’ll have a lady sitting behind you coughing her head off on your neck. I can hold my breath for a while but after that trip I was halucinating Carebears and Luck Dragons in business suits reading the newspaper.

dscn0039After the tuberculosis scare we will walk quickly up the subway exit stairs to find ourselves in the middle of the hustle and bustle of the city center. It may just be me but I always hum the Willy Wonka song that Gene Wilder sings when he opens up the doors to his candy room. You know, the one with the chocolate river? The city is a place of pure inebriation. So many smells like car exhaust, steam pipes, pretzel carts and many mystery smells leading to a game I like to call “soup or poop”.

dscn00421The one thing about Philadelphia is the amount of bronze statues. I would venture to say that this city has more than Vienna, Austria. But I guess it should since right where we were standing was where our country was formed. It almost makes your head spin when you think about it. But enough about that, I am on a mission. And that mission is to find where the Rocky statue is. We will do what ever you want after that is checked off the list. To the art museum!

dscn0046I know this was a long hike but I know we are on the right track to the museum because this is the famous running scene from the movies Rocky and Rocky II. Aren’t you glad that I didn’t make us run it?

That is so awesome. I get goose-bumps every time I watch it.

dscn0050But you know we have to run these. Actually everyone was doing it so it’s not as silly as one would think. Except when I run them and trip.

“Hey, look at me! I am just like Rocky and I am so awes-oh fuck!”

It’s a good thing you have bandages. Actually, it’s a rule that who ever is with me, needs to have a first aid kit.

dscn0052dscn0053The thing about the Art Museum of Philadelphia is that it is a full day activity. We have so much to see and only a day so we have to move with a purpose. But when you are looking at art from ?B.C. to present it is at least a three hour journey.

dscn0056I was shocked that it only cost $10 to go through this. That’s cheaper than movie! And if you see a movie with Ben Affleck for more than $10 you really feel like a schmuck when for less, you have this. Did that even make sense?

img_0437I know you are not suppose to take pictures of paintings but you covered me. I mean look at this. The original “Moulin Rouge” from the French painter Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec! Can you believe we were within inches of it?

img_0438Not all Picasso paintings look like a butt with eyeballs. This is “Portrait of a Woman”. It is creepy but it’s a Picasso. So….you have to respect that.

img_0440This is my favorite one of them all. Actually it has been my favorite art piece for years and when we found it I made a sound like a girl who made the cheer-leading squad. But you don’t judge me, do you? I wish I was able to take a better picture of it. This is “Carnival Evening” by Henri Rousseau.  It’s so dark and mysterious. I stared at it for at least 15 minutes.

Thanks for looking out for me while I snuck a few camera phone pictures. But really we were in no danger. The guard was sleeping.

img_0441Well, I dragged you from the year 300 to present and up and down three stories of art so I suppose you are a little hungry. And this is the town to eat! Let’s go!

Ok I lied. We have to stop at the Rodin museum. Just a quick run though. He did sculpt “The Thinker” so the least we could do is stop by to say hi.

dscn0060This is such a pretty front to the museum. That’s not the original “Thinker” but it’s probably more famous and viewed by more tourists than the original. I made that up.

dscn0061Do you know what I didn’t know? This was just apart of a larger art piece called “The Gates Of Hell” inspired by Dantes Inferno. Huh… But you already knew that.

dscn0064Ok, ok! I know you are starving by now. I really want to go to Pat’s or Gino’s Cheese Steak stand but time is a factor. So, I asked for a recommendation and it’s a quirky place to eat called the Devil’s Alley. You need food and I need a beer. Hey, it’s vacation.

dscn0066dscn0067dscn0065The food at the Devil’s Den is nothing to write home about but the decor is a home-run. I know we just were in the presence of art that inspired religon and started wars but this also cranks my tractor. Speak up if I embarrass you.

dscn0069You know we would end up here. The infamous Eastern State Penitentiary. This is one of the most spooky and intimidating prisons in the U.S. by far. I didn’t know about it until the show Ghost Hunters did an investigation here a few years ago. But besides that, it has some serious history.

dscn0072Back in the day, the prison system was a little medieval in their quest to rehabilitate inmates. The thought process was to isolate and repent. I can spend about two days alone before I start making up imaginary friends so the thought of spending years in isolation without a view is…actually I can’t even imagine. Charles Dickens took a tour through here and went back to the UK stating that he has seen the worst of humanity here. Now that’s history! Oh, and Al Capone was here too. But he was a dick.

dscn0073It’s spooky to hear these doors slam in the background when no one is in the prison. The tour guides joke about the ghosts and seem to not even notice it. You can hold my hand. For dudes you can too because it’s not sissy if we thumb wrestle at the same time.

I didn’t capture any anomalies and that sucks. But after the tour I did see other peoples digital pictures with some weird shit on it. You know like lights and blurry things? I don’t know, I’m a sucker. You roll your eyes.

dscn0070dscn0077Well, if that wasn’t disturbing enough we are now going to the Mutter Museum. This is the museum of pathophysiology and abnormal human defects. This place makes you want to shower but it is so awesome.

dscn0080Here we are! The place where they keep human skulls with a description of how they died, a cast of Siamese twins, a preserved gangrened hand in a jar, jars of deformed babies and a book made of human skin. Yeah, we are disturbed for sure. It’s a good thing we already ate.

i188808786_96611_7Me: Oh my God! What the fuck is that!!!

You: Shhhh. Inside voice!

mutter_museumMe: That dude is eating for two!

You: Would you please? We are in a museum.

featureMe: Oh my….

You: Take your head out of my coat!

Courtesy ofMe: Can we go now?

You: You are such a sorry Nancy.

Well, it is getting dark out now. You know what that means? It means that we have to get a beer and become friends with at least one of the locals. That’s a rule of mine. You haven’t been to a place unless you know a person from there.

So I picked a little pub that didn’t look too pretentious and safe and moseyed up to the bar. Wouldn’t you know it, only ten minutes went by before people approached me? I give off that “I’m lost and not from here” vibe.

dscn0084Talk about the city of brotherly love! This is Dawn and Ashely, two local Penn State students who were nice enough to join us for brews, high-fives and picture sharing. We traded email addresses and were even given an invite for New Years Eve. Too bad that’s a travel day, huh? But what can you do? We made friends and that is what we set out to do.

Look at this. We are cultured, fed, tipsy and disturbed all in one day! I say that’s a great day! Thank you so much for putting up with me and enjoying the day. Let’s go recap back at home with some more brews and watch Rock II. What do you say?

dscn0059

Ghosts: Maybe?

Ok, let me throw out a disclaimer before you read this. I am normal and I put science and reasoning before all oddities and paranormal conclusions. BUT, it is fun to think the things that go bump in the night might actually be spooky. So, read this with a level of skepticism, as I only believe what I see. I just find it fascinating.

Have you ever watched the show Ghost Hunters on the SciFi channel? I love this show and it’s not because of the scare factor. Really, it’s neat to watch blue collar folks take a hobby to an epic scale and then get thrust into celebrity status by doing what they love. Jason and Grant, the founders of TAPS (The Atlantic paranormal Society) and plumbers for Roto-Rooter, travel around the country with a few other members “debunking” claims of paranormal happenings. Sometimes they are able to do so but at times they can not. There is nothing cooler than watching their evidence of paranormal anomalies. Check this out from the St. Augustine Lighthouse. INSANE!

Yikes! I have been to that lighthouse and I can attest to the fact there is no way to fake this video. Unless of course everyone is in on the hoax. But that isn’t likely. I like to live in a world of blind naivate’ so let me believe in that.

The next video is also from a Sci-Fi show called Ghost Adventures. Now this chilled me to the bone. I like to think that I am an even keeled person and all that is on TV should be looked at through an eye of skepticism but what these guys film had me believing. I don’t know what’s going on in these south western ghost towns but jumpin’ Jesus it was frightening. Mainly because you can hear the sheer terror in their voices that you know is legit. I have been in real life situations where I have heard grown men scream in a way that I have never heard in any movie by any actor. I heard them scream that way in the documentary and that alone frightened me very badly.

You can’t believe everything people tell you and I understand that. I don’t understand why people would make up stories though. Personally I would be embarrassed if I was dealing with a problem of no specific origin. I mean, who would you turn to and what would people think? It’s not like you can walk into a church and fill canteens full of holy water. Plus, the people who dabble in the occult and paranormal, for the most part, can be eccentric at best.

The next couple of videos is from a British documentary and I must say it is creep as hell. You be the judge but I can’t say that it is hooky. The dude being choked in the beginning looked kind of funny but the ninth minute of the first video was just cool. I’m sorry, but that looked as ghostly as anything I have ever seen. And the pictures at the beginning of the second one just gives me the heebs. I’m glad I am writing this at night, alone on a mountain in a rainstorm. I think I just saw Scuzzlebutt.

Sorry about that last part. I hope you didn’t spill something on yourself. Fuckin’ eh, I did.

So if you are asking yourself, “why is this dude writing about such a ridiculous thing”, I will answer, “because I want to assmaster!” Just kidding. But seriously, I have had an experience and it has had me thinking for sometime. But most of all, it has been comforting. Do you think that is crazy? So here is my story.

I have been to Savannah, GA no less that one thousand times. Shit, I used to live there when I was in the Army. But it has only been the past few years that I have taken interest in the history of the old city. And it is a dark and macabre past. Did you know that most of the city is one giant grave yard? They just buried people where ever back in the day. Only the rich were given Christian burial privileges. So Savannah is known to be the most haunted city in America and it was there that I became a believer.

It happened here at The Pirate House. I knew about this place and the fact real pirates used to drink here as well as the ghost sightings but as many times as I had been there before, no luck. Only a fat bill and over priced beer. I dragged my poor ex-girlfriend there every time we visited and she had to put up with my dumb questions about peoples’ experiences.

But last year I went on business and I was able to pop over there at 10pm for a quick few Ghost Ales (excellent). They close at 11pm so I was the lone person at the long bar. I kept my dumb questions to myself because the bartender was busy closing down and didn’t seem like the chatty type. I couldn’t blame her. So, I half payed attention to the game on the flat screen at the opposite end of the bar and flipped through my Blackberry.

Then I heard someone running down the steps, very fast and loud, just out of view where the TV was. The figure stopped smack infront of the screen. I didn’t look right at him but kept flipping through old messages on my phone, quite aware that this rude figure made a better door than a window. Finally I put my phone down, picked up my beer and looked to see who was blocking the view and there was no one there.

I felt like I was floating. Finally, I have touched the ethereal plain. I can’t remember if I was holding my beer or I put it down but just as I was about to close my open jaw the bartender kick the double doors open from the kitchen, holding a glass rack. I about jumped out of my skin. She saw my face and just ginned.

“You saw something, huh?” Her candor towards the matter was about as shocking as the experience itself. I told her what happened and she smiled and nodded the whole time. When I told her about the loud noise of running down the stairs she stopped me and asked me to follow her to the end of the bar. I did so and when I turned the corner every hair stood on end.

There were no stairs at all. It was just a wall and an old wine barrel with a model ship on top. She explained that before the kitchen expanded there used to be a staircase to the upstairs but that had been removed years ago. I think she felt that I needed another drink so she and I went to another bar and proceeded to get drunk. I needed that.

The more I thought about my experience the more comforting it felt. Maybe there is something beyond death? I am hard pressed to believe that when we die there are pearly gates and a list but maybe we do go on? The thought that is disturbing is whatever came down the stairs, stopped for a good five minutes and I don’t think it was looking at the TV. It was looking at me. Goooood God that is creepy!

Do you think I’m crazy? Have you had any experiences?

Sleep tight!

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