vivien: (halloween)
Tonight is the last night of my Halloween countdown. I hope everyone enjoyed it!

This last one is a doozy. I've been saving it up for you. I offer you Mexico's Island of the Dolls.

From Oddity Central:
Known as “La Isla de la Munecas”, by the Spanish, The Island of the Dolls is perhaps the creepiest tourist attraction in Mexico. Located within an extensive network of canals, south of Mexico City, the island is a place of mystery and superstition.

Almost every tree growing on the island is decorated with old, mutilated dolls that give anyone the feeling that they’re constantly being watched. The story behind the Island of the Dolls began when a hermit by the name of Don Julian Santana moved here. Although he was married he chose to live the last 50 years of his life alone.

Don Julian used to say he was haunted by the ghost of the little girl who had drowned in one of the canals around the island. Some say he used to fish the dolls from the water because he though they were real children, but the truth is he was collecting and placing them around his home as a shrine for the spirit that tormented him. At one point he even traded home grown fruit and vegetables for old dolls.

Ironically, in 2001 Don Julian Santana was found dead by his nephew, in the same canal that he said the little girl drowned in. Now his Island of the Dolls is one of the world’s weirdest tourist attractions. Some tourists who visited this place claim the dolls whisper and you must offer them a gift upon setting foot on the island, to appease their spirits.

I've watched enough criminal procedurals to wonder whether... well. There are reasons people would become fixated like this. I have to wonder if this man killed that child and was not simply a harmless eccentric. Brrr.

I'm putting all pictures behind a cut, because dude. SERIOUSLY CREEPY )

I'm not sure why every horror movie in the world hasn't been filmed here. I mean... Oh my gosh. This is beyond creepy.

If you want to learn more (and see more pictures... brr), here are a couple of links:

Happy Halloween! Don't get too creeped out, now!

Or is it... TOO LATE?
vivien: (halloween)
Okay, here it is. The night before Halloween and Viv's biggest fear. For reals. This is what really, really scares me.

Brrrrr - .gif under cut )
vivien: (halloween)
Tonight is pretty scary for a lot of people.

So behind the cut are
gleeful pictures of
adorable children and pets in costumes.

Like this one!

Er, I have the sources on Tumblr... )

vivien: (halloween)
Oops. I was too busy with Halloween revelry yesterday - and then too sleepy when I got home - to post!

Consider this a Things That Are Scary" combo.

Real vs. Pretend

You've probably noticed that everything on this countdown has been a real thing. Even Crybaby Bridge is a real place and a real urban legend to experience. There is very little in the fictional world that truly scares me. Zombie shows and movies are intense, but I know that the makeup is well done. I think the Gentlemen from Buffy are fiendishly delightful. The little girl from
The Ring
didn't scare me because all I could think of when I saw her onscreen was that she got onset tutoring like every other child actor in the world, and that blew the illusion. Mannequins, ventriloquist dummies, and creepy dolls are all just props. Come on, I love Voldemort for heaven's sake.

There is one exception. There is a version of a fictional character that gives me shudders and creeps me out so badly that I don't even want an image on my computer to upload for this post. I feel silly even admitting it, because, uh, this villain should be on my list of bulletproof tropes.

Nope. Nope nope nope nope nope. )

Okay, on to something that is REAL (more or less) and much easier for me to look at!

Ghost Lights

Ghost lights can be found twinkling on and off all over the country. The Marfa Lights in Texas are probably the most famous, but there are many sites like this one devoted to lesser known ones. The folklore is common - tragic death, either from battles or from railway or car accidents that leave spirits to wander, trying to light the way.

The stories that spook me the most are the stories of ghost lights chasing cars.

There is a good write up of one in Florida on Greenbriar Road. An uncle of mine used to tell a story of being chased by lights on a rural road near Lawton. I think it was a GREAT story, and only that, but it always gave me shivers.

The best footage I've found of ghost lights is from the Brown Mountains of North Carolina. Cut for embedded video )

I am certain that there is an explanation for these and the other ghost lights on record. I am also certain that while it is fine to look at pictures and Youtube videos, I never ever EVER want to see ghost lights in person. NOPE. NOPE NOPE NOPE NOPE.
vivien: (halloween)
in the walls

I grew up in warm climates, and I lived in old houses. In warm places, there are often critters. In old houses, there are ways for critters to get into walls. Squirrels, bugs, little rodents - they can all get into the walls and rustle around.

At least, you assume they are critters.

they are critters.

My BFF lived in a house that was, according to him, haunted. His older brother's room had been an epicenter of odd sights and sounds when he was still at home, but by the time C & I were in high school, he'd left home. So his empty room became our TV room.

Our favorite hobby (when not hanging out at Crybaby Bridge, ha ha) was watching movies. Video was still a fairly new thing, and it was a cheap way to fill a weekend. We watched pretty much every horror movie Hastings video stocked. In the haunted room. Of course!

One night we were watching The Unnameable, which was loosely based on something H.P. Lovecraft. All I remember was it was slow and not that scary and THE BIG REVEAL - this beast guy:

made me laugh in mocktastic hilarity. Yes, even back then I laughed at the monsters. The build up was SO serious and the costume was just awful.

I stopped laughing when we heard something frantically scratching at the top corner of the wall behind us. It stopped and started right back up again, this time at the bottom opposite corner. I looked at C, C looked at me, and I turned to the wall and apologized for mocking the Lovecraftian horror.

The noise stopped.

For that night.
vivien: (halloween)
Glowing eyes in the darkness

This is one fear that comes straight from a book I read as a kid. See, back in the day, a trip to the library was a weekly occurrence. I plowed through every single book on the Salem witchcraft trials, UFOs, ghosts, and other paranormal material (alongside my ‘research’ on scary animals and fiction reading). Any time I went to a new library, I looked for hose sections first.

When I moved back to my hometown at age 11, my grandparents took me to the library out on Ft. Sill. A new library! OH BOY! I found a book that had a chapter on phantom black dogs with glowing red eyes. There were illustrations.

From then on, when I’d walk into the kitchen at night, I’d glance out the window and freak myself out by thinking “what would you do if you saw red eyes looking back at you?”

Trufax, I do that to this very day when I look out windows at night. I am not sure I have an answer. What would I do?
vivien: (halloween)

Basements are creepy. When I was eight or so, my mom and I moved into the top floor of a widower’s home. He’d been a dentist in the small North Carolina town I grew up in. The basement was where the washer and dryer was, and while my mom went to the laundromat most of the time, sometimes Dr. Finch insisted she not be silly and to please use the appliances. He was a very sweet elderly man.

You got to the basement by an outside door; it wasn’t connected to the house. You walked down into dank darkness which reeked of mold. Once you got to the light bulb and turned it on, you were right beside the OLD DENTIST CHAIR OF DOOM. It freaked me out. There were jars and dentist tools and everything stank and the air stuck to you because of the humidity and clamminess.

...I think I know why my mom preferred going to the laundromat.
vivien: (halloween)
Crybaby Bridge

I'm going to bet that everyone here has known of a Crybaby Bridge or something like it. I know Anime Girl and her high school friends talked about one in the country somewhere east of here. The story goes there was a horrible car crash that killed a mother and a child, and on quiet nights if you sit out at the spot, you will hear the baby crying and crying. There are variations on the story, of course, but we KNEW it was true because my BFF’s dad worked for the newspaper and he told my BFF it happened in the 1960’s.

So my friends and I made a few pilgrimages out past the city limits and down Deyo Mission Road to the creepy bridge over the dry creek. I never heard any babies cry, but I got hyped up and screeched at shadows and looked for signs of Satanic worship at the eerie and isolated Deyo Mission Chapel where older friends INSISTED their car had stalled suddenly while passing and they saw STRANGE LIGHTS in the churchyard.

Scroll down for an article on the actual place!

What can I say? It was more entertaining than going to beer bashes, and it took about the same amount of gas as cruising around the main teenager locations on a Friday night. This was life before the Internet.

There was another house in the country that we looked and looked for. It was known as Zombie House, and I can’t find anything on Google about it, so it seems to be a lost urban legend. Legend had it that medical experiments had taken place there, and strange people wandered around causing havoc. I asked my grandfather who grew up in the area if he knew anything about it, and he laughed and said he thought it was probably a place in the country where convalescents stayed in the mid-twentieth century.


Urban legends are fun.
vivien: (halloween)
This should be number one, but I am exhausted, and I need something short.

vivien: (halloween)
I love urban exploration. Well, not actually doing it, but seeing others' pictures of expeditions. While most places evoke sadness - farm house with faded curtains, once grand hotels flaking with decay - some are just plain creepy. Asylums... You know the suffering that happened inside them, the innocent people who had a curable illnesses who were trapped there.

They are creepy as hell.
is still one of my very favorite
episodes because of this creepiness.

This is Danvers State Hospital.

It was built in 1874, closed in 1992, and demolished in 2006. There are LOTS of explorations documented of this site, but I found some evocative and creepy as hell pictures from a site called Opacity.

Spookiness within )
vivien: (halloween)
A lot of people think graveyards and cemeteries are scary places, or at least uncomfortable ones. I love them.

Most of the time.

There are some - usually isolated and abandoned ones - that are scary.

The Tin Cup cemetery is one of those. [personal profile] silveraspen and I wandered through it on a fall drive through Colorado. We were both creeped out, but the middle in particular gave me shivers.

Further back into the cemetery, there were deadfalls. Pet Semetery deadfalls and old and tumbled down graves. The other side was quite peaceful and lovely, with gorgeous views. But most of the place? Egads.


Pictures from here and here

(And this is the pretty non-creepy part:

vivien: (halloween)

CENTIPEDES - which are too terrifying to see )
See this sucker? Texas Red Headed Centipedes are SCARY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

They move fast and they have big pincers and... EEEK. I was a Girl Scout camp counselor in eastern Oklahoma, and these monsters showed up all the time in the closest latrines. I walked the extra distance to the slightly less terrifying lit bathrooms on the far end of camp.

SHUDDER. They eat mice. No, seriously. LOOK AND BE TERRIFIED )
vivien: (halloween)

I like to be tough and cool and pretend that spiders don’t freak me the hell out. Spiders are good! They eat icky bugs! They spin intricate webs! Charlotte was awesome!

(Except when I played Charlotte back in college and my costume was black and tarantula-like. Do not be afraid of the terrifying spider, kids.)

But look at them. HORRIFYING. (Or not, I will use a cut, cos dude, creeptastic)

Here there be spiders )
vivien: (halloween)

After the success of Jaws, I quickly learned through pop culture that everything in nature was out to get me. It is really no wonder I ended up playing inside for the majority of my childhood.

There was a movie called Swarm, you see, and it was based on TRUE EVENTS. I didn’t see the movie. Mom learned the lesson of inappropriate movies from Jaws. I just saw the commercials on TV, which stirred up my fear into a frenzy.

Here is a still from the movie! That's a kid. With a lollipop. Dead from bees. On the school playground.


Some of my fear was well-grounded. There were swarms of killer bees killing people in the US, just as there are now. I was allergic to many things, including, the doctors suspected, bee stings. They never tested me, since on the testing day, I was nothing but one giant welt from all the other substances I reacted to. They warned my mom to be prepared for anaphylactic shock if I ever got stung. They probably thought I was too young to know what that meant. Uh, I got the gist, doctors. I was a smart kid.

Being covered in bees is not always funny. Especially Africanized honey bees. Gah.

So my shark books from the library were joined by bee books. Bees are very cool! As long as they stay a long, long way from me.

Don't get me started on hornets or wasps, though. They should all die in fires.
vivien: (halloween)

When I was six, my mom and I spent a lot of time in Virginia Beach visiting my favorite aunt and uncle. We were there the summer Jaws came out. Being responsible parental figures, they talked my mom into taking me to see it.

This was, as it turned out, a REALLY BAD IDEA. For the rest of that visit (I was staying with them for the summer, and my mom was visiting on weekends when she could), I was terrified of pretty much any body of water I had the bad luck to be near. I was certain that Jaws was going to come up the pipe and into the bathtub. We were RIGHT NEXT TO THE OCEAN. Which is where the water came from, according to my six-year-old logic. Of course, it could happen!!!

LOOK AT THESE SCARY BEASTS! You'd avoid baths, too.

Needless to say, any beach adventures from then on featured me shying away from the water and indulging in my newfound great love for building sandcastles.

For about a two or three years, I checked out as many books on sharks as the library had, determined to know my enemy. That helped quite a bit. I was able to take baths in peace and even go into the water again without expecting an inevitable fatal bite to my ankles.

Still. I wouldn’t go swimming with a scratch on my knee. Sharks can smell blood, you know.


vivien: (Default)

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