Friday, May 24, 2013

Devil's Turnaround

Noonday Missionary Baptist Church's Cemetery is also known as "Devil's Turnaround." It is located along a little back road in Kennesaw, Georgia, and most of the graves are scattered in the woods. It is easy to miss, but some of the gravestones are visible from the road.

The cemetery has graves from the 1860's. I wouldn't doubt that some of its occupants were slaves at one time. Many say the land is haunted by malevolent spirits who hurl objects and make physical contact--shoving, scratching, and even biting visitors. I could understand why any lingering spirits might be upset: These grounds have been terribly neglected. Much of the graves are broken and toppled over. Some are barely visible through the overgrowth of ivy and weeds. People also say the root of the haunting may be related to rumored cult rituals performed on the property.

Located right by the cemetery are huge power lines (high voltage transmission lines). I could hear them buzzing from the road. Power lines are known to radiate powerful electromagnetic fields. Not only do studies show that living near these can be harmful to one's health, but many paranormal researchers believe that these power lines can act as an energy source that feeds paranormal activity. There are also theories and studies surrounding the potential of high emf's to cause paranoia and hallucinations, so take your pick! Either way, it's a recipe for ghost stories.

Some locals, usually teenagers, come here at night looking for a thrill. Some claim to have found exactly what they were looking for, and they warn others on [online forums]. Others come here, including [my group] before I was a member, and find nothing at all. During the night, this location can be unsafe. The ground is riddled with fallen branches and holes. I've also heard trespassing laws are highly enforced at this location, so explore at your own risk!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Alter Ego Photos

I mentioned in [this post] back in February that my best friend's father, who owns a photography business, wanted to shoot alter-ego photos of me. Alter Ego photography involves taking two photos of one person portraying different egos and then photo shopping them together. For my photos, I dawned my Jareth Costume and another more feminine outfit I wore to give a ghost tour.

I thought the photos turned out well. I even half-joked that I was going to have portrait-sized photos made to put over my mantel when I get a house of my own. I think it would be amusing to have guests over and see their reactions. The piece would be a conversation starter, that's for sure!

You remind me of the babe!

I move the stars for no one.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Why I Still Use CD's

Second Wave Compilation, Talking Heads, and SOM all purchased at a used book store

Are CD's obsolete? With all of this digital downloading, most people don't even bother with them. Even vinyls (which are technically obsolete) have a vintage charm which CD's currently lack. I have a friend who jokes, "It's 2013. Who listens to CD's anymore?" while knowing full well that I still buy them. It might seem that I have luddite tendencies--I don't use an e reader either. However, I can make some very good arguments for purchasing CD's.

Buying your music on compact disks nowadays is really cheap, especially if you know where to look. I tend to shop for them at Goodwill, thrift stores, and used book stores. I found Ministry's Psalm 69 (in very good condition) at my local Goodwill for only $1. Keep in mind, many people pay that much for a digital copy of one song. When I shop for them at my local used book store, the CD's are guaranteed to be in good condition. They're a little more expensive, but I can also use trade credit to purchase them.

I also enjoy the fact that having a CD is more than just the music. Sometimes it's an experience. It's like owning a hard copy of a book. It's more than just the words, but the feel of the pages and the smell of the paper. When you purchase music on disc, you have the album art and CD booklet that may include band pictures, song lyrics, and other information that you wouldn't otherwise see on iTunes.

She Wants Revenge, Ministry, and Gothic Rock 2 purchased from a thrift shop, Goodwill, and  CD store sale, respectively.

You also have a hard copy as backup since technology is not always reliable. I, personally, have had trouble with iTunes in the past. There have been a few instances in which I have purchased faulty song files on iTunes. If you have digital copies from a less reliable source, you run high risk of losing those songs. (I still download music, but I like to purchase CD's when I can)

Song and artist discovery is another advantage of CD shopping. I bought some Leaether Strip albums from the used book store before I knew who they were. I recognized the band name, so I picked up the case, which has interesting cover art. I had money to spend, so I thought it would be worth a try. I was right. Sometimes, there are compilation CD's where you might recognize a couple songs, but end up discovering new artists to check out. A couple of days ago, I purchased "The Second Wave." It's a compilation CD. I knew some of the songs on there, but I was curious about the rest. I now have a soundtrack to my summer, which I can pop in my car's CD player, let the wind blow through my hair, and enjoy.

Here's the playlist I made with all the tracks on "The Second Wave."

CD's may be out of style and obsolete, but I think I've listed some pretty good reasons why you music enthusiasts who don't purchase them, should start. If I haven't managed to convince you, well, you're probably just as stubborn as I am. If any of you readers still listen to CD's, let me know why in the comments. 

Sunday, May 12, 2013

NASA and The Dead Children's Playground

I don't think many of you know this, but there was a period of time where I wanted to be an astronomer. I don't say this lightly either. When I was in the fifth grade, for example, I was seriously researching Princeton's Astrophysics program and what it would take to be an astronomer. No normal fifth grader does that, but what can I say other than I've never been "normal," really. Although I've found my calling in writing, I'm still enthusiastic about astronomy. My boyfriend, Ryan, shares this enthusiasm--He is an Astronomer after all! To celebrate the end of this school year, we both took a trip to NASA's Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville, Alabama. 

When I was younger, I really wanted to get some basic astronaut training at Space Camp. I didn't realize at the time how expensive it was. As a consolation, since my parents couldn't afford to send me, my dad took me to tour the Space Center years ago. It was just as good as I remembered. If I wanted, I could still do adult space camp...

This time, there was an interactive exhibit on black holes. We got to print out "explorer's cards" where we chose astronomical names from a name bank. I chose "Chocolate Genius" and Ryan chose "Astro Seeker." There was a really neat part of the museum that talked a lot about the space race and the first astronauts and technology. Outside the museum were a couple of rides: The Space Shot and G Force. These rides were more intense than I remember them.

After visiting the NASA center, we drove through Historic Huntsville on the way to the "Dead Children's Playground" behind Maple Hill Cemetery. My dad was the first to tell me about this site. This site at Maple Hill was founded in 1822. Nobody knows the source of the reported haunting, but there are two theories. Some believe it's the children of the cemetery that come out to play. Others believe the spirits stem from a string of abductions in the 60's, where the children's bodies were found nearby.

When we came upon the playground, located beyond a long stone wall, we were struck by it's beauty. It was like being walled in with dripping the stone that jutted up from the ground. It was so green, and very peaceful. It's not what I imagine of a haunted location, but people say the activity is isolated to late at night.

In the photo below, I couldn't help but notice a little light anomaly. It could be a moth, or maybe even a lens flare? perhaps something could be wrong the CCD? Zoom in and see for yourself...I'm not saying it's paranormal, but maybe some of you might be able to explain it better in a comment down below!

Do you see what I'm talking about? (bottom center-right)

What is going on in this picture?

On the way out of the cemetery, I noticed this interesting Celtic-looking grave. It was picture worthy, I thought.

It was a nice trip, all in all, and definitely worth it. If any of you are in the area, I do recommend stopping by both the Space and Rocket Center and Maple Hill Cemetery. As always, leave a comment if you have anything to say (especially about that questionable photo).

Sunday, May 5, 2013

A Small Update

Dear readers, It's almost Summertime--a time for catching fireflies, telling ghost stories, night swimming and watching the stars while lying along the warm ground.


I have one final exam left to go; This one's at 8:00 in the morning. I'm not worried about the exam itself, but rather waking up on time! My consolation it that afterwards, I will be going out for a french breakfast with my astronomer (who is now my boyfriend as of May 1!).

I will not be going to Thailand after all. This is somewhat unfortunate, but I'm instead planning an Eastern Europe trip for next year. This Summer will be filled with much reading and a few short adventures.

I've neglected this blog recently, but I have a couple of post ideas lined up.

 I know many of you started following because of my Goth-related posts, but that's not really the direction I want to take this blog. Although I'm not exactly sure where this blog will go either, I've got some ideas. I hope all you readers will still be willing to follow!