October 3: Mama

movie reviews

The stock market crashes. Dad comes unhinged and kills his colleagues and his estranged wife. He gathers up his two daughters and whisks them off, driving recklessly on a snowy mountain road. In a moment of distraction, the car careens off the road and the trio is forced to find sanctuary in an empty cabin. Dad decides to off his girls, too, but his plan is foiled by the entity that resides in the cabin. The maternal ghost violently kills the father and raises the girls as its own. A few years later, the girls are found and adopted by their uncle. Their foster mom, though, is reluctant to let them go.

As a parent, this movie touched a nerve. There are the obvious issues of filicide that are prone to discomfort, but also surprisingly touching takes on abandonment. The ending was maddening, but still well-done. Don’t be too hard on the CG and you’re almost guaranteed a few gasps.

Review: Scare-izona: A Guide to Arizona’s Legendary Haunts

book reviews

Scare-izona: A Guide to Arizona's Legendary HauntsScare-izona: A Guide to Arizona’s Legendary Haunts by Katie Mullaly
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I love haunted shit. Well, not really shit. Well, maybe. I’d have to encounter it to really be sure. Can you imagine being chased around the room by some haunted shit? Man, that’d be nuts. And gross. And kind of awesome. I’d totally watch that movie.

Places, I guess. I like haunted places. I’ve mentioned this before, but it’s never difficult for me to repeat myself ad nauseam concerning topics I get kind of fucking thrilled about. And, right now, I’m kind of fucking thrilled.

Let’s see…

Jerome. The last time we were in Jerome, Arizona, we stayed at the Connor Hotel. My father-in-law was playing da blues downstairs in a bar beneath the hotel. My wife and I used his gig as an excuse to visit our favorite little ghost town. We’d stayed in the big, bad motherfucker (the Jerome Grand- perhaps the hauntedest building in the Southwest) before, so we weren’t too scared. I even harbored hopes that the Connor would allow us to enjoy a good night’s sleep.

While there, I was looking around the gift shop. I happened upon a DVD that detailed the ghostly happenings of the town. As I was buying it, I asked the woman at the desk if the Connor was featured on the DVD. She said she didn’t know, but stated rather definitively that there were no ghosts in the hotel. This, I knew, was bullshit. Why the fuck would I book the place if I didn’t first know that there were dead people roaming around? Did she take me for an idiot? As it happens, the Connor was featured on that DVD. So she was probably just being an asshole. But I digress…

Our night in the hotel was uneventful. I didn’t get that restful sleep I was looking for, but that was just because we were staying in a hotel. I just don’t sleep well away from home. There was something rather odd that happened, though. Allow me to explain.

Kristin and I decided to have some hot chocolate in our room. As I was mixing it (oh the horrors of packaged hot chocolate!), some spilled. I quickly and efficiently mopped up the spill with a towel from the bathroom. A white towel. I am sure the poor maid thought the room had been hit by that haunted shit we were talking about earlier.

Yep, that’s it. You didn’t expect me to go somewhere with that, did you?

So the folks who wrote this book? They visited at the Connor, too. And the Jerome Grand. And Big Nose Kate’s. Basically, they hit most every haunted place worth mentioning in my neck of the woods. Which is a rather daunting prospect considering that fact that this whole damned state seems to be haunted by miners and cowboys and shit. Heh. Shit again.

The book itself is very informative and well-written. It’s very engaging, not dry at all. It’s done in a conversational, he said/she said style which is quite satisfying. I like the way this group performs its investigations. They’re adamant about not knowing about the place they visit until after they’ve done their investigation. Which is cool. They also insist on (big shock) being sober during the investigation, unlike these people from another local ghosthunting group.

These folks also place a lot of stock in dreams had while staying in an allegedly haunted place, which was different. I hadn’t heard of anyone doing that before. It makes sense, though. It’s just one of the smarter things to be done. Trying to prove that ghosts exist is like trying to prove god exists- it just ain’t gonna happen. As such, sticking solely to scientific bullshit, such as video, audio, etc is probably a bad idea. These guys also do said bullshit, but they emphasize that these investigations are more for understand the world you live in rather than trying to prove anything to anyone else.

Great book. Probably the best I’ve read on the subject. I’m very much looking forward to their other two. And that haunted shit movie. That’s gonna be awesome.

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