; Phantoms and Monsters: Pulse of the Paranormal

Friday, December 12, 2014

Daily 2 Cents: 'Quite Creepy' Hotels -- Hocking Hills Haunts -- Pope Francis Says Dogs Go To Heaven

'Quite Creepy' Hotels

Boutique Hotel ZaZa is one of Houston's finest inns, but it holds a terrifying secret. One traveler showed up late one night asking if a room was available and was by accident put in Room 332. While the rest of the rooms are modern and inviting, Room 332 has a bare concrete floor, a bed chained to the wall and is about 1/3 the size. Hanging on the walls are creepy paintings as well as a photograph of an executive from the Stanford Group. When the renter complained, the desk clerk panicked, explained that the room wasn't supposed to be rented, and moved him to another. The hotel's official explanation is that Room 332 is supposed to be "prison themed," but some suspect it's a torture den for the Skull & Bones Society.

Many hotels around the world are rumored to be haunted, but London's Langham Hotel tops them all. This historic building, constructed in the 1860s, has long been a favorite destination for the Royals and other English celebs. One room, however, draws the lion's share of the terror, and that's Room 333. This third-floor single has been the location of a variety of weird paranormal phenomena over the years, most notably a glowing apparition materializing in front of a BBC newscaster in 1973. The hotel is very reluctant to rent the room, only opening it for special requests. Maybe it's the inspiration for Stephen King's story-turned-movie "1408."

One thing that can definitely make a hotel room weird is a haunting, and Little Rock's Crescent Hotel has a particularly nasty one. While the building was being constructed, a workman named Michael fell to his demise in what would eventually become Room 218. His malevolent spirit has been reported for decades since then, with all of the hotel's employees taking his existence as fact. If you're ballsy enough to rent the room, you can expect all manner of shenanigans, as guests have reported spectral hands reaching from the mirror and God-awful howling coming from the ceiling.


Hocking Hills Haunts

Hocking Hills is a 200 mile ride west from Pittsburgh, located south of Columbus, Ohio. May be worth a weekend trip:

* Ash Cave Lady: She's a shadowy apparition dressed in 1920's attire that likes to follow tourists as they wend their way along the trail.

* Ash Cave Lights: These are green and yellow orbs that have been reported floating around the cave.

* Athens Asylum: We don't know if this former sanitarium dating back to post Civil War days is spooked out or not, but its' old bones were featured on Fox Family Channel's television show Scariest Places on Earth.

* Conkle's Hollow: William Conkle was the first to settle in his neck of the woods, and fell so in love with the place that he just couldn't leave, even in death. It is said his spirit still roams his hollow that bears his name, decked out in 18th century gear. His friendly spirit watches over visitors, but he'll turn mean if you plan any harm to his woodlands.

* Georgian Manor: What's a spook site without its very own haunted B&B?

* Hope Furnace: The spirit of a watchman who had fallen into the fiery furnace and burned to death over a hundred and forty years ago has been seen carrying an orange lantern while he ambles over the Hope Furnace, as if walking on air where old building roofs once connected to the furnace.

* Lavender Lady: It is said that as a local woman was crossing a RR trestle, she was struck and killed by a train. Legend has it that her ghost still walks the area under the bridge, where her broken body landed after the accident. The scent of her lavender perfume still lingers.

* Moonville Brakie: A RR brakeman took a nap while waiting for his train to take on supplies, and helped his rest with a little taste of likker. Well, the train pulled out without him, and in his haste to climb aboard, he fell under the cars and met his doom. The ghost of the man is said to be seen stumbling down the tracks inside the Moonville tunnel with lantern in hand, eternally trying to catch the train before it leaves the station.

* Old Man's Cave: Richard Roe went out to get some water for himself and his hounds one winter day at the turn of the 19th century, and found the stream frozen. All he had with him was a bucket and his musket, so he tried to break the ice with the butt of his weapon. It went off, and he fatally shot himself. Local lore claims that those camping at the park campground have heard the baying of Roe's hunting dogs on full moon nights, crying for their master to return. - Haunted Hocking


Pope Francis Says Dogs Go To Heaven

Recently, when consoling a boy whose dog had died, Pope Francis publicly stated that "paradise is open to all of God's creatures." Despite the ambiguousness of the statement, many animal lovers and rights groups have interpreted it as a repudiation of Catholic theology stating animals don't have souls.

Well now, the Pope is certainly endearing himself to a widening number of groups. Early in his tenure he has given hope to gays, unmarried couples, and advocates of evolution and the Big Bang theory.

"My inbox got flooded," said Christine Gutleben, senior director of faith outreach at the Humane Society, the largest animal protection group in the United States. "Almost immediately, everybody was talking about it."

Charles Camosy, an author and professor of Christian ethics at Fordham University, said it was difficult to know precisely what Francis meant, since he spoke "in pastoral language that is not really meant to be dissected by academics." But asked if the remarks had caused a new debate on whether animals have souls, suffer and go to heaven, Mr. Camosy said, "In a word: Absolutely."

[...] Citing biblical passages that assert that animals not only go to heaven, but get along with one another when they get there, Francis was quoted by the Italian news media as saying: "One day, we will see our animals again in the eternity of Christ. Paradise is open to all of God's creatures."

Theologians cautioned that Francis had spoken casually, not made a doctrinal statement.
Indeed, the Catholic Church has been inconsistent in this regard. Pope Pius IX said dogs and other animals have no consciousness, while John Paul II said animals have souls and are "as near to God as men are." More recently, Benedict contradicted JPII by saying an animal's death "just means the end of existence on earth."

Pope Francis's comments aside, the Vatican has yet to make a definitive statement on this question. But don't hold your breath; a declaration that animals have souls would imply that killing animals is a sin. The Catholic Church likely won't go there. Read more at NY Times


Help me Obi Wan Kanobi...you're my only hope



The Easter Island Heads Have Bodies!

Beware of the Hat Man

Red Laser-Firing UFO Seen by Space Station Camera

Eight things you didn't know about magic mushrooms

Raelians Demand Return of Swastika Wrapping Paper

I highly recommend these titles:

The Bigfoot Filmography: Fictional and Documentary Appearances in Film and Television

Lizard Man: The True Story of the Bishopville Monster

Encounters with Flying Humanoids: Mothman, Manbirds, Gargoyles & Other Winged Beasts

American Monsters: A History of Monster Lore, Legends, and Sightings in America

Monster Files: A Look Inside Government Secrets and Classified Documents on Bizarre Creatures and Extraordinary Animals

Monsters of West Virginia: Mysterious Creatures in the Mountain State

As well as some light reading on a cold night...

Phantoms & Monsters: Cryptid Encounters

Phantoms & Monsters: Strange Encounters