Monday, September 15, 2008

VLAD TEPES, The Impaler - Prince Dracula

Known as "Vlad the Impaler", we have the historical figure behind Brahm Stoker's famous fictional count Dracula.

Vlad was born in 1431 in Romania. His father had been inducted into the Order of the Dragon - a religios order of the knights created in 1387 by the Holy Roman Emperor- to protect Catholicism and to fight the Turkish military and prevent them from invading.

The word "Dracul" in the Romanian language means "dragon", since he held a high position in the Order of the Dragon, in makes since that young Vlad would be called "Dracula", or "Son of the Dragon". That is how the name "Dracula" came down thru history for Brahm Stoker to find in Romanian records, and they name he took for his now infamous vampire.

Our Vlad eventually became the Ruler of Wallachia and believed in a harsh rule to force his subjects to live in honesty to promote a crime-free state. Under his rule, any crime, from the most minute as a housewife not having her husbands clothing clean enough to the most heinous such as murder, were punished severly. Vlad's favorite punishment was impalement.

Word of Vlad's blood thirsty punishment's got around quickly, as did the soaring number of people he killed. Those numbers including thousands and thousands of his own people. This reputation of visious blood thirst is most like what led to "Vlad the Impaler" and Brahm Stoker's Vampire permenently melding into one in our minds to the point were there is some talk wondering if Vlad himself were not a vampire, the blood-sucking kind Brahm wrote of. During an investigation into the place that was assumed his burial place, it was found that no body rested there. This not only fueld this story, but led many on a hunt to find out more. Perhaps the future will hold some interesting information along these lines for us.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Patty Cannon - An early Serial Killer/A Haunting?

The story of Patty Cannon is an interesting one. She was a very bad woman with a deceptively sweet name. Patty committed her crimes beginning in the early 1820's, but they were so ferocious they are still remembered throughout Delaware and Maryland today.

Because her house sat right on the line between the two states, Patty could literally kidnap and kill someone and then just walk a few feet to dispose of their body in another state. This practice eluded authorities for years!

Patty Cannon was a large, unkempt, unruly woman who headed up a gang that kidnapped free black people from Delaware and recently freed black slaves from Maryland to sell them into, or back into slavery. However, if her kidnapped subjects were unhealthy, injured or weak or for some other reason Patty didn't think she could garner a good price for them she would kill them in a hideous way and steal their meager belongings to sell on the second hand market, right down to the teeth in their head and the clothes on their backs.

The subjects she decided to keep alive to sell were kept chained by the neck and ankle to the wall in her basement until she collected enough of them to arrange a makeshift slave-auction. Those not "lucky" enough to be sold were butchered and then their bodies were loaded up and taken by night to an abandoned field and buried in the night.

Law enforcement finally able to catch up with Patty when members of her gang were caught and jailed and decided to turn state's evidence against her for lesser sentences. She was taken into custody amidst cheering crowds, hoards of spectators and overwhelming evidence against her. So much so that the judge found her guilty and ordered her execution by hanging for the very next day. The lines for the execution were stretched for blocks as everyone wanted to be able to tell their grandchildren they saw the notorious Patty Cannon pay for her crimes, but Patty had the last laugh. She committed suicide by drinking a vial of arsenic she had hidden in a secret pocket of her skirts and thereby cheated her audience out of their grand finale. Patty was buried in a paupers grave and was laid to rest for decades, her notorious deeds able to slip into memory....for awhile.

Many years later, Reliance officials decided to enlarge the Sussex County Courthouse and Jail so the paupers grave's had to be of those was Patty's. Somehow, someone got hold of her skull and passed it from hand to hand and it eventually got donated to the Dover Delaware Pubic Library with enough documentation to authenticate that it was indeed Patty's skull, but library officials insist the library where Patty's skull is sometimes put on display for Halloween and NOT haunted. Her another story.

Patty's house still stands. Some owners have reported hearing strange sounds, footsteps in rooms that are empty, doors opening and closing on their own and other ghostly goings-on. So, the question is, is this Patty making her presence known or is it one of her more than 40 victims? Any thoughts on this....or does anyone have any more information on this infamous Patty Cannon? Any information or comments, as always, would be welcomed and appreciated!!!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Factoids to start us thinking about Halloween....

**The Witches Ball A shiny glass ball, most often made of silver or mercury glass, which was much cheaper and known as "poor man's silver", were hung high up in the home to deflect evil forces. These pretty, reflective balls were very much like the silver balls we hang from our Christmas trees today.

**One of the 19 people accused and hanged as a witch in Salem Massachusetts during the famous witch trials in 1692, was actually one of Salem's own former preachers. He professed his innocence until the very end of his life and recited the Lord's prayer perfectly until his body was pushed from the scaffold on Gallows Hill.

**Did you know those famous windows at 112 Ocean avenue, the home of the famous Amityville (Horror) hauntings made famous by Jay Anson's book and the subsequent films were removed by the new owners in an effort to keep the number of amateur ghost hunters and curious tourists to a minimum?

Monday, September 8, 2008

Body & Chakras

Crown Chakra Violet Just above top of head coherence, spiritual life

Brow Chakra Indigo Center of Forehead Sight,comprehension, intuition

Throat Chakra Lt Blue Base of throat Communication, expression, peace

Heart Chakra Green Center of Chest Relationships, balance, growth, love

Solar Plexus Chakra Yellow Between naval & diaphragm Personal power, control, integrity

Sacral Chakra Orange Below the Naval Creativity, exploration, pleasure

Root Chakra Red At the base of the spine Energy, motivation, survival needs

practicality and connection to the earth.

Chakras are the main flow systems of energy in the human body. The first step in "crystal cleansing" or "Crystal healing" is balancing the chakras. The simplest way to do this for a beginner is first to collect a stone in each of the colors above that feels right to you, whether rough or polished. It will be important to have one of each of the colors and a soft pouch to keep them in. Then, have a friend or partner help you. Get your body relaxed, put on some nice music, burn some relaxing incense and then take one stone of the appropriate color and place on the related chakra. Leave in place for at least one minute or until you feel the time is right.

Most people lie on their backs for this, but since the root chakra is at the base of the spine, you can balance this by placing a crystal between your knees or your thighs.

I'd love to hear from you if you give this a try! Any comments would be welcome!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

For the Love of Stones

I have always loved rocks, even in their most generic form. Even as a child, my favorite part of a family vacation was when we would stop at those old "Souvenir trading posts" that used to dot the highways, and sometimes still do but a lot less frequently. We recently found a couple in the upper regions of Michigan around St. Ignace just over the Macquinaw bridge. It was great just thrusting my hands in the pile of pretty polished stones and letting them fall through my fingers. They felt wonderful, they looked beautiful and they made me happy. I took my time picking out the ones I wanted to fill my little purple velveteen pouch. I still like thinking about that day.

Since I know I am not alone in my love of stones and crystals and all the lovely things that come from the Earth, I thought I'd devote a little blog time to some things stone related.


Aquarius Jan 20 - Feb 18 Amethyst, sapphire, garnet

Pisces Feb 19 - Mar 20 Turquois, pearl, rose quartz, aquarmarine

Aries Mar 21 - April 19 Carnelian, Bloodstone, Jasper, Diamond

Taures April 20 May 20 Tourmaline, tiger's eye, topaz, emerald

Gemini May 21 - June 20 Aquamarine, citrine, tiger's eye, pearl

Cancer June 21 July 22 Moonstone, pearl, ruby, emerald

Leo July 23 - Aug 22 Ruby, sunstone, clear quartz

Virgo Aug 23 - Sept 22 Sapphire, peridot, carnelian, citrine

Libra Sept 23 - Oct 22 Lapis lazuli, opal, aventurine, peridot

Scorpio Oct 23 - Nov 21 Obsidian, Herkimer diamond, topaz

Capricorn Dec 22 - Jan 19 Jet, Black onyx, Clear quartz

This is just a general guideline, but shouldn't be followed as if it is written in stone....pardon the pun! When choosing a stone, or a crystal for a piece of jewelry or as a token to carry with you or to give as a gift, choose the one that feels right to you. You needn't follow a chart, rather, follow your heart......or your inner energy fields (or chakra's). We'll talk more abou that tomorrow!

Friday, September 5, 2008

The Myrtles Part III

Ruffin Gray Stirling and his wife Mary Cobb were very well thought of in the community and very well-to-do. They bought the entire Myrtles property and all the slaves from Clarke Woodruff and his mother-in-law and moved into Laurel Grove. They began renovating the place immediately and began travels to europe to pick out furnishings that suited their social status.

Ruffin Stirling died of consumption only four years after the renovations were completed His wife stayed on and managed the property with the help of her children (4 out of 9 that had survived to adulthood). One son-in-law became another among the murdered...while sitting on his porch one Sunday afternoon after the Civil war, a stranger on horseback pulled up claiming he had business discuss with him just pulled out his gun and shot him dead. He was taken into custody, a trial was held but there was no outcome of it.

From this point on, the property was handed dow to numerous heirs of the Stirling family and their descendants and by a few others. In 1980 it was purchased by Frances Kermeen and her husband who planned to operate the Myrtles as a bed and breakfast. She wrote a wonderful book about her experiences there. If you are looking for a great read, check it out!

Your Ad Here