I Will Follow You Into The Dark

Or, rather I invite you to follow me.

Short notice yes, but, little imps like us love spontaneity. I saw Nicole Strickland's talk last weekend at Ghost Fest Expo 4 and her collection of Queen Mary EVPs are wonderful. Louis Gonzalez is a joy to hear speak, especially when it is about EVP work and the rich history of this field of work. Then there's me - Merricat. I'll be happily sharing my research on the history of Linda Vista Hospital. Following all this chatter, we get down to business and investigate the historic Aztec Hotel. We'll have a time.


So Cal Para Con - October 2nd - mark your calendars. Look for more details in the coming days.

Silent, Secret Deeds

With their solemn, mournful gait, their melancholy litters, their bat-winged, black hats flapping, their black masks, their sunken eyelids like the visionless sockets of skeletons, their long, shroud-like draperies concealing alike figures and faces, their black stockings, ascetic rosaries, and leather purses at their girdles, in short their entire paraphernalia of death and disease as they go noiselessly through the busy streets, the spectators making way for them and standing aside with hat in hand as they pass.

James Jackson Jarves for The New York Times - February 8, 1880

As penance for their sins or to fulfill a vow, the mysteriously shrouded figures—who belonged to the Brethren of the Misericordia—carried the sick to hospitals, buried the dead. The society was so secret that members hid their identities even from each other.

Photograph by G. G. Hubbard, circa 1910

She'll Get You

"Be home when the street lights come on!" Was an oft heard directive during many of our childhoods, as we anxiously ran out into the world to play. However, in my neighborhood and for most of us who lived out our childhoods on the East Side of Los Angeles, we also heard, "Or, she'll get you."

Six year old me would warily begin to eye the diminishing light and sneak glances at the streetlights between games of tag and our cherished game of "circus." When the lights turned on I was running up the stairs and into the house at full speed. Sometimes, I would dare to look back half hoping to see her - a woman all in white, her long, dark hair wild and blowing out behind her. She would be clutching a claw hammer and you would hear her coming for you, screeching like an owl, her countenance contorted in a mask of insanity and looking for children...to kill.

The stories vary. Some say a local woman in the 20's or 30's had gone mad and killed her children with a hammer. They caught her up in the hills around my neighborhood, (El Sereno). As these stories so often go, the woman escaped and is still roaming the hills seeking her next pint sized victim.

As we grew up, we obviously recognized it as a cautionary tale, but, as I am sure you know, sometimes  the truth can be found in our elder's stories.

In the 1920's, Clara "Tiger Girl" Phillips, a 14 year old chorus girl was wed to Armour Phillips. She was a suspicious and jealous girl who frequently accused her husband of infidelity. Her suspicion turned to Alberta Meadows, a 20 year old widow who she considered a "love rival." Clara set her plans in motion.

Clara, along with her friend, Peggy Caffee, convinced Alberta to give them a ride. At some point during the drive Clara asked Alberta to pull over so that they might converse privately and proceeded to brutally beat her with a claw hammer and then a rock. With her rival now out of the way, Clara returned home to her husband, where she informed him that she would make him the best dinner he'd ever had.

Thanks to Kim Cooper - who first proposed the possible link to this urban legend - http://www.1947project.com/

Let The Right One In

The supernatural is something that isn't supposed to happen, but it does happen. - The Haunting (1963)

These compelling photographs were taken by artist Shannon Taggert. Her body of work focuses on fascinating subjects, including voodoo, exorcism and the spiritualist movement.