July 31, 2016

Moving right along.

Ya know, I have a beef with people who post on the Halloween Forum that they don't have the $$ to do their H'ween display this year, woe is me, woe is me.  Why can't they reuse the stuff they already have?  That should cost all of $0.  Or do they throw everything away come November??   
Sheesh.  But I digress.

Anyhoo.  I've added a few new things so far. 
I ordered another 4 foot skelly from the Skeleton-Factory.  It's entertaining that the family isn't even fazed that Paul is currently chilling on the couch in the living room. 
I used my 55% coupon at Michael's to get the red velvet skull.  
And damn if I didn't get an email today that if you're on the new Rewards Program, you have a 60% coupon!  I can't think of anything else that I want!
Joann's already has what little H'ween stuff they have out 30% off.  
I got this little headstone for the kitchen cemetery. 
The one I stopped at had very little out, but a lot of empty shelving with shelf plans taped to them.  I didn't see anything really exciting on the plans, but I may change my mind once I SEE it in person. 
And since I've decided on a masquerade ball for the cemetery this year, I've started getting some stuff from the Salvation Army to dress the skeletons with.  I asked my Secret Reaper for masks & beads & other scraps of materials.  I refuse to spend any more than $3 per piece on these outfits, so it's kind of fun to see what I can find.  These are some fabulous scarves, tho!
I found this village piece today in with the Christmas knick-knacks!  
Super cute.
I also found this reaper candle-holder.  It's hard to tell, but he's pretty happy looking. 

oh, and these......this isn't all from one trip.  I've been finding these nutcrackers since the beginning of the year.  I've been avoiding "typical" nutcrackers and only getting "unique" ones. 
A Royal Canadian Mountie, a bunny that will go in with the Easter stuff, an aviator and a biker holding a helmet & gloves. 

Actual Christmas nutcrackers.  On the right, the average looking guy is stained & not painted so that's how he rated as "unique".  The snowman is also a candle-holder and may possibly be regifted to my sister who loves snowmen.  
A postman, a gardner and a very fabulous pirate on the left. 
I found this one at an antique store.  He needs a little work, maybe a new paint job and glue here & there, but is otherwise solid.  He's got that old attic smell.  I've got quite the herd of these now. 

Speaking of herd.....did you see this is coming soon to a Home Depot near you???
OMG - how awesome would this be???  Over 6 feet tall (I assume they measured to the ears and not the base of the neck like a real horse)  O the possibilities!  
I would LOVE to have one, but storage would be a huge issue for this.  It would be hilarious to store it in my sister's barn!  She's got 2 live horses but 3 stalls in the barn so the skeleton could have its own space!  Heehee, she would probably disagree, tho.  A photo-op for sure, but not actually storing it there.   We'd (hubby & I) have to figure out a way to rig a pulley system to get it up in the garage rafters with the rest of the skeletons.  He's great at figuring out things like that.  It won't happen this year so I hope they bring it back for 2017!  

Going back to the masquerade ball idea - I discovered I had like $64 on my iTunes account and before I went nuts buying more music, I researched music for the ball.  Gots to have tunes at a ball!  I didn't want to use stuff from Midnight Syndicate or Nox Arcana.  While they are super awesome and creepy, I wanted to find music someone could actually dance to.  So I uploaded some of the usual stuff, but found some others that are pretty awesome.  
Witch Doctor
Purple People Eater
Monster Mash - did you know there is an explicit version of this????
Love Potion No 9
The Addams Family Theme
This is Halloween (Marilyn Manson)
Time Warp
I Put a Spell On You (CCR)
Monster in my Pants (Fred Schneider from the B52s)
Call Me on the Ouija Board (Sharon Needles)
Dracula (Sharon Needles)
This Club is a Haunted House (also Sharon Needles)
This is only around 38 minutes, so I'll have to find at least a couple more songs.  I won't have it playing every night, but will for sure during ToT.  And I've been listening to it while painting.

I thought of another quick improvement project to do for this year.  I have a ground-breaker coffin that I made a couple years ago that needs to be aged.  There are all sorts of recipes to stain wood on Pinterest using steel wool & apple cider vinegar so that's the plan.   

I'm almost done with repainting the headstones.  I've not doing a lot at a time, but tomorrow (Well, today since its after midnight) looks like it'll be decent (cloudy but not too hot and hopefully not humid) so maybe I'll get them finished up.  It'll be nice to get them put away so we can actually get into the garage!  I have the sawhorses right inside the door so they're in the way. 

Time to turn in - busy painting day tomorrow!  And I should do thru some boxes in the house that are mysteriously labelled "Halloween" to see what's in them (insert Twilight Zone music)!
I can't possibly be the only one who has such things floating around, am I??

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July 24, 2016

A paranormal investigation

My cousin posted something earlier this year on Facebook about wanting to do this ghost hunt she had found.  We all thought it would be really cool, but by the time I could get online to order tickets, all the places for last night's event were filled up. So the hubby told me to get ours for one of the October dates.  I did, and never thought any more of it.       
(I don't think the cousin actually went, since she would have bragged about it)

However, my nephew is getting married and my sister went to Chicago to assist with wedding dress shopping, so she wasn't able to go last night.  My other sister called me Friday night and asked if I wanted to use her ticket?  Sure! 
 Me & Laurie, Catie & Charlie. 
That must be my ghost hunting shirt, since I wore it to the haunted jail in Charleston, too!

So we got to the mill.  They have an area in the Mill itself that can be used for weddings and such, so that's where we met up.  They had some food and water / lemonade there for us and they explained what was gonna happen and kind of what to expect.  Then we broke up into 4 groups.  There were only 6 of us in our group plus our guide.  We started out in what they called the Museum Barn.  They had some cool antiques and clearly must decorate for Christmas, due to the pine needles and fake snow scattered about.   Catie had gotten one of the EMF meters that picks up electromagnetic fields and Maria, the guide, had her EVP (electronic voice phenomena) recorder and held sessions at each location we went to. 
Maria told us about reports of the ghost of a 5 year old girl and I do believe we heard her!  At the very beginning of the EVP session, Maria asked if anyone was there who might like to speak with us.  A bit later, she started playing it back and as soon as she asked, there was, clear as anything, a little kid's sassy voice saying "NO!!!" and a little bit later, you could hear a woman's voice saying "get back in the house!" which I'm sure happened a lot in a household where they had 12 kids!  
Back behind that white wall with the creepy ass deer tapestry, a large critter was back there, going to town gnawing on something.  We laughed as it would stop or get louder whenever Maria asked a question!  Funnier yet, Maria told the group who went in after us about it, but nobody else heard the critter!  
 We were told to take 2-3 pictures each time we took one, so in case something showed up, we could compare them.  I personally didn't see anything unusual in any of my photos. 
This is the mill.  The 1-story part to the right is the banquet room.  
When we passed the other group, we were told they got a lot of activity on the 3rd floor, so that's where we went first!   
It was insanely hot up there.  
Typical attic on a 90+ degree day. 
When there was road construction recently outside the mill, the guys working on the bridge kept saying they saw someone standing in this window, watching them.  Every morning.  And since the building was closed, they would call the police.  Finally, the manager invited them in and the workers saw a picture of Fred Wolcott, they pointed it out and said that's who they saw every day.  He'd died in 1921.  
We were interested in this corner with a bunch of clothes.  The EMF went crazy!  The garment bag this lady is looking thru held a set of somewhat older US Navy dress blues (these were wool) with a 2nd class Machinist Mate badge on the sleeve.  However, there was no name in the cover or on the uniform itself.  If they'd actually been used, there would be some sort of ownership on it!

In the closer bag, there are several sets of US Army uniforms, also wool.  You can see the private stripes on the one jacket, there was also sergeant's jacket in there.  And I was astounded at how crisp the creases were on that damn wool shirt!  Sorry, I digress.  I was in the Navy and it was a pain in the ass to get good creases to stay in a cotton shirt!  And who knows how long this shirt had been in this attic and they were still very sharp!
Going down to the second floor.  There was a table with several portraits.  This old lady was sort of creepy! 
I'm going to jump around here.  At the end of the night, we could roam to anyplace we wanted and re-explore.  We made a beeline back to the third floor (more on that later) but coming down to the second floor, I had the EMF and it was going nuts by this machine.  Charlie was asking questions and recording as we explored.  Laurie and I had the same idea, there was a little door along the top curved part.  I handed her my phone, lifted the clasp and peeked in right as Charlie said if someone doesn't want us touching your equipment, make a noise and let us know.  Right then, the machine directly behind me clanked loudly and I'm pretty sure we all screamed!!!  But we got the point and stopped touching this machine, but then we tried to figure out what exactly made the noise.  There was part of the next machine that had ropes attached to it that went down thru holes in the floor.  We all laughed, thinking someone else simply yanked on the ropes at the perfect time!  So we trooped down to the first floor and found the ropes and thought we'd solved the mystery until the manager from the mill told us that nobody had been on that floor for a while!   
We moved this map so you could see Mrs. Wolcott better. 
Next we went to the basement.  It was so nice & cool like basements usually are!  
Laurie cracked me up.  She tended to stay near the guide, but I would explore.  She said she'd keep seeing something moving, and it would end up being me every time!  
The youngest son of the Wolcott's was a bit of a drunk.  One morning he managed to fall into the machinery and they said being drunk is what saved him.  He didn't tense up and therefore got spit out into the pond outside with just a couple broken bones, bumps & bruises.  Sheesh! 
Awesome stove on the 1st floor.  
Next we had a bit of a break.  We were good and didn't climb on these wagons, but we did check them out.  We laughed about them being like a semi pulling pups because there were hooked together.  Laurie was surprised they were so narrow, but when we looked at a car parked nearby, the wheels weren't any narrower than the cars!  
Our next exploration were the grounds, the "ruins" of the original house and the woodshed (where the above-mentioned younger son was banished to when Mrs. Wolcott refused to let him live in her house after his mill-episode.  So his siblings built him this shed.)
The original house was moved to another location, so the "ruins" were a couple cement slabs where the porch probably had been and some stairs leading from the road. 
Supposedly there has been a woman in a white dress seen roaming the grounds.  
I liked how all of these trees were in a perfect row.  
We stood out by the stairs and chatted with Maria for a while, asking questions and her telling stories and such.  I was trying to get a picture of the bats that had been flying around here.
 Then we went to the woodshed.  
Inside the woodshed. 
Some of the siblings and at least one pet signed their names in the cement foundation. 
The woodshed and beyond. 
There was a garage with a couple beautifully restored old Chevy trucks in there. 
This is a 1927 dump truck. 
The hubby likes old license plates, so I took this for him.  
This stake truck had 1935 on the plate.   
 As we stood there and talked, Maria said out of the corner of her eye, she saw a whisp of a white skirt swish behind this truck.  She looked around and told Charlie she wouldn't tell on him if he stepped over the barricade and checked it out.  So, of course, he did.  He had the EMF and it did nothing.  
Our last stop was in Barn #2.  I'm not sure why it was named that, since it seemed to have a lot of lumbering stuff in it.  A huge slice of a California Redwood and a lot of saws & axes and stuff.  

This stove was in the bunk area.  Catie felt a brief touch on the back of her calf in here. 
I was drawn immediately to this sawhorse.  When I got close to it, I got a crawly feeling on the backs of my legs.  Maria tried to tell me it was a breeze from the door, but I was facing the door. And when I touched it, the crawly feeling went up my arm!  I walked away and returned several times and it happened every time.  I never felt it anywhere else! 
I had the same feeling in Charleston when we explored the jail.  I stood near a window and touched the sill and got the same feeling.  Later the guide told us that the resident lady spirit likes to stand near that window!   
I had Laurie take a picture of me with this sawhorse, but I don't see anything untoward on it. 

In barn #2, at other times, they've picked up voices in Pottawatomie asking what tribe they were from, another in Jewish saying Auschwitz (they'd been talking about someone's grandfather who'd been in a concentration camp) and a couple great comments about pizza, beer & cigarettes! 

They've gotten a lot of Native American contacts because where is the mill is located is in the middle of where a lot of Pottawatomie, Cherokee & Sauk Indians had been and from what they told us, the Sauks weren't very peaceful people and a lot of deaths happened because of them. 

Once we were free to roam around, we went back to the third floor of the mill.  There were a couple other people up there with more equipment of their own.  I showed Laurie the uniforms and wasn't paying attention to this man who was all excited about the readings he was getting around me!  Whatever his meter was, he'd only been getting 1.8 readings all day, but near me, he was getting over 4!  And the EMF was going nuts near me, too!  Charlie held it up to himself - nothing.  To Catie - nothing.  To Laurie - nothing.  To me - off the scale!  I was beginning to wonder if something attached itself to me, so I had Laurie stand where I was (I was getting that crawly feeling again on the backs of my legs, but not as strong as in barn #2.)  The other man's meter dropped to like 3.4 and our's was still registering activity, but not as much.  We switched again and both meters jumped way back up!  And then Catie got pinched on her thigh! 
 Pretty sure the expression says it all!  

The other man was asking questions for a EVP, too.  I would love to know if he picked up anything.  He seemed to think the 5 year old girl was up there, because that's who he was directing his questions to. The ladies who ran this investigation have a website, so it'll be pretty neat to find out what they collected.  

http://www.hauntedtravelsmi.com/     click on Wolcott Mill on the right side, then click the evidence room tab to find out more about the June investigation.   

I'm looking forward to going back in October!  I've already found where you can get EVP / EMF apps on your phone, so I may just do that!

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