666 Park Avenue – S01E07

image While nowhere near as dark and decadent as American Horror Story, 666 Park Avenue is still weaving an enjoyably foreboding story that plenty of twists, turns, deceit, lies and power struggles.

We’ve now learned that Gavin has a special box that is linked to and may even be the source of his powers. We’ve also come to understand that his wife Olivia has far more insight about her husband and who is than we previously thought. We’re not exactly sure of her involvement, but she’s no stranger to the dark side.

It’s also been revealed that Jane, like several other children, are part of the Drake. They are connected with it. Were they born there? Is there something to be known about their parents? If Jane is from Indiana, how did she end up being photographed in the Drake when she was merely 8 years old? And will she be an asset or a hindrance to Gavin? We clearly see his interest in Henry and making him a political figure, so where does Jane fit in? Especially now she has discovered some secrets in the basement.

And let’s not forget the misdeeds of Alexis with Brian. Clearly there is more to the story than a simple affair.

Goodness me, this whole thing sounds like an episode of Dallas, doesn’t it?

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American Horror Story Asylum S02E05

image This show is getting downright strange and bizarre. Where else can you get nuns possessed by the devil, war criminals, Ann Frank, lobotomies, serial killers and unwholesome medical procedures all in one place.

American Horror Story has turned very dark and psychotic. I think this season is far more diabolical than the original. Not only is the material more sensitive, but as we’re coming to see, no one is who they appear to be.

Our doctor likes to perform all sorts of experiments in the quiet of his locked laboratory. Kit Walker, "Bloody Face", may be completely innocent even though his legal counsel just completely blindsided him into confessing. Said legal counsel has a rather twisted hobby and is more than likely the serial killer everyone has been looking for.

Sister Jude has had a fall from grace. She’s no saint, but she might be the only one who knows what the hell is going on around this joint.

The twists and turns are staggering. We’re only on episode 5 and I’m quite stunned over what’s happened so far. If you haven’t jumped on board, you’re missing one hell of ride. If you thought the original was sinister and had you confused, what until what they’ve cooked up so far.

I have to say, I’m completely riveted.

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Ghost Adventures – Brookdale Lodge – S07E09

image For this investigation we head out to Northern California to visit the Brookdale Lodge, a place I’ve never heard of before, but was clearly known to the celebrities and presidents that have frequented there. It sits in a lovely area amongst the trees and rivers and even has a creek running through the middle of the lodge. However, from the way the staff and others tell the tale, the lodge is showing it’s darker side.

First, we have Sarah Logan who apparently drowned in 1918 when she fell, hit her head on the rocks. This same creek now runs through the center of the lodge.

There is also another drowning, of a young girl at the age of 13. In 1972 she was swimming on the glass bottomed pool and sadly drowned, quite possibly while guests looked on.

When it comes to physical manifestations, two members of the housekeeping staff have some rather forceful stories to tell. Denise was pushed so hard that her nose was broken and bruises appeared on her back. A young boy named Keenan was cleaning the stairs when his nose was slammed into those same stairs and he walked away with a massive bloody nose.

Jeff Dweyer, who lead the GAC on their Winchester House tour, saw the apparition Sarah Logan when he visited the lodge nearly 30 years ago.

From the descriptions it sounds like there is a lot more going on than just the spirit of Sarah Logan. If the claims are to be believed, there is a dark and violent presence within the building.

As the investigation gets underway, the team hears a few loud bangs, what they think is the whistle of a little girl, the feeling of cobwebs all over the face and hands and they experience the RemPod going off. They don’t get anything near the violent outbursts that the housekeeping staff have experienced, but they do get something interesting on the thermal imager. As they scan the room, there appears to be a fourth figure with them. Behind Nick, the torso of a person appears. Is this simply an odd reflection or is this the image of one of the girls who died in the lodge? Is it Sarah who died in the creek or the girl who drowned in the pool?

An interesting twist is bringing in Grace, Zak’s dog. As many people claim, dogs may be better able to see into the spirit world than we can. Was Gracie reacting to something up on the ledge by the bathroom? The same bathroom where Denise the housekeeper got locked in the bathroom? Or is Grace simply playing around and is just messing with something on the wall?

While the evidence doesn’t quite match up with the violence reported, this does sound like an interesting place. A beautiful place that is sadly looking like it will be abandoned. The question is, why is the spirit acting up now? If Sarah has been around all this time, why starting getting rough at this late stage? Wouldn’t one of the many celebrities said something? Or has something more sinister taken hold there? Is this some new force that’s acting up?

Is the business closing down because of the spirit activity or will the activity bring about a business revival?

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The Devil in White City

image After reading Bloodstains, many reviewers on Amazon suggested this was the next "definitive guide" to Holmes and his notorious crimes during the Columbian Exposition or Chicago World’s Fair as it was known. This book was to give a chronology of events and reveal details of Holmes and his activities.

It didn’t.

After reading Devil in White City, I once again felt duped. I trudged through 400+ pages of mind numbing details about the men tasked with the fair, their delays, the in fighting, the poor sales, the bad weather, union strikes, the lack of respect for landscaping, the toothaches, the headaches, the trash, the noise, the pigs and even the items listed on the dinner menu, waiting for the details about Holmes. Out of the 400 pages, only 40-50 revolve around Holmes and they were nothing but vague summaries that you could read about in Wikipedia. For someone who can just about document the number of bolts used in the Ferris Wheel, the details about Holmes’ Castle, life and crimes are shockingly hollow. In fact, Holmes is nothing more than a cameo appearance in this book and in my opinion is used as a lure to sell this book.

Every day I wondered why I kept reading. I thought perhaps the book would transition to an account of Holmes once the fair was up and running.

It didn’t.

There is absolutely nothing interesting or new to be learned about Holmes. The Strange Case of H. H. Holmes will give infinitely more detail than this long-winded tome. Even as an account of the fair itself it falls short. Erik Larson bogs down with excruciating details that simply don’t matter. Far too much time and too many pages are dedicated to meeting, dinners, train rides and trips abroad. This book should be condensed to 100 pages and it would be quite enjoyable.

Unfortunately, this is a bloated and boring read that left me frustrating for having wasted so much time when I learned so little. If you’re interested in reading about H.H. Holmes, aka Herman Webster Mudgett, look elsewhere. Again, you can read more in less time through Wikipedia.

The Devil in the White City: A Saga of Magic and Murder at the Fair that Changed America

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