Those Universal Movie Monsters We Love So MuchThe recognizable looks of many classic horror characters came from Universal Studios. The movie studio began cranking out monster movies in 1931 with Dracula, which was a huge hit. Hoping to catch lightening in a bottle twice, Frankenstein followed. Universal had found its winning formula! Monster movies were inexpensive to film and the returns were phenomenal. They followed those successes with The Mummy, The Invisible Man, and The Werewolf of London. In the 1940s, Universal instituted the concept of the sequel and the crossover, multiplying the possibilities of their properties and further solidifying their monsters in the public's perception. Science fiction was melded into the genre in the 1950s. In this video, we get the chronological history of Universal Studios' monster movies and how they captured the world.
Ghost Ship Captured On Video Brittany Kinnersley was casually lounging near the Esquimalt Lagoon in Canada when something caught her attention. Water was being sprayed in the nearby body of water, which made her take out her phone to capture a video of it.Sitting in her vehicle at around 9:00 A.M., the woman was initially confused at the event. "At the time, I didn't know what it was. It looked like water in the air,” she explained. According to her recollection, the water sprayed around as if it were a waterfall. Additionally, she noticed two boats on the side. The odd incident continued for about ten minutes, and Kinnersley wasn’t the only one to take a video of it. When the water stopped pouring out into the open, another boat appeared, much to her surprise. Confused but amazed, she then posted the images and videos she took on the Internet. Other users theorized that it could be the Black Pearl, a fictional ship from Pirates of the Caribbean. Highly unlikely, but it sure is fun to think about!An investigation was launched to see what this mysterious incident was. Meteorologists, such as Environment Canada expert Armel Castellan believe that it’s not driven by the weather or the seasons.  "We can close the door on a waterspout or any other phenomenon that we may have considered," he said.  In the end, the boats were actually what they were– boats. A communications advisor for the Canadian Coast Guard shared that a fire drill was happening between Canadian warships. “You are in luck! The Maersk Tender and Maersk Trader left Ogden Point this morning with pilots onboard,” the spokesperson said. “They were doing fire drills using water cannons. That’s what folks were seeing.”Image screenshot via Glacier Media Group
All About the Bloody Mary Mirror GameYou remember the spooky parlor game Bloody Mary, a staple of slumber parties and Halloween gatherings. You stand in front of a mirror and say "Bloody Mary" over and over and wait. Soon a spectral image of a woman will appear, beside you, behind you, or maybe even taking over your own visage! The exact rules for the ritual of summoning Bloody Mary vary from place to place and over time. But who is Bloody Mary, anyway? What really happens when you do this? It could be anything, but you are very liable to scare yourself silly. PBS's Monstrum looks at the customs surrounding this game, the legends behind it, and the psychological factors that go into it. Your experience, imagination, and expectations have a lot to do with what results you get.
An Actual Haunted House for SaleEven if you aren't in the market for a new home, and you never read real estate listings, you'll want to see the photographs of this one. A house in Baird, Texas, has three bedrooms and two bathrooms, but that fireplace? It's fake, and is actually a door to the kitchen. Which you need to see.
The Ephemeral Tale of The Television GhostIn the 1930s, television was produced mechanically, which involved a lot of moving parts and very low resolution. But it was radio with pictures, so it was better than anything that had come before! Just not for many people. Television receivers (TV sets) were expensive, and few people wanted to drop a lot of money on something that might not catch on, particularly during the Great Depression. Besides, there were not that many stations actually sending out television broadcasts, and those that did had little to show us. In this setting, station W2XAB in New York, a CBS affiliate, came up with something really eerie: The Television Ghost.The Television Ghost consisted of 15-minute murder story episodes presented by George Kelting, and aired from 1931 to 1933. Kelting dressed as a ghost, with white makeup and a sheet draped over his head. The premise was that the ghost of the murder victim was the one telling the story! The stories were also broadcast on radio, where it was probably just as scary. But when you find out what the pictures looked like on mechanical TV, you can imagine that a guy in white makeup telling a story looked ultra weird indeed. Listen to the expanded story around The Television Ghost in this video.
The Historical Evolution of Ghost StoriesMany Halloween traditions revolve around spirits who comes back from the dead. After all, Halloween descended from Samhain, a time when the boundary between the world of the living and the world of the dead becomes thin and blurred. This focus on the dead gives us the folklore surrounding ghosts, vampires, and zombies -which we think of as scary. But it wasn't always so, at least for ghosts. The ghost stories we see in horror films are designed to be terrifying, usually involving a spirit who has unfinished business in the corporeal world that requires that they scare the daylights out of us. Conversely, there are the Star Wars force ghosts, who are brought back to showcase familiar characters who died before their popularity did. But I digress...There's no real mystery why ghost stories have been around so long. People have a hard time letting go of those who died, and the fear of death leads us to look for some evidence of an afterlife. In ancient times, ghosts weren't all that scary. Early European stories featured ghosts who didn't try to frighten those they appeared to, but rather to communicate with them. So how did such benign ghosts become fodder for campfire tales and horror films? That took hundreds of years and the influence of Christian theology. The result was that modern ghosts come in all forms. Of course you are familiar with malevolent ghosts of horror films, but there are also the helpful ghosts of A Christmas Carol, the funny ghosts of Ghostbusters, romantic ghosts like Patrick Swayze's character in Ghost, and the nod to nostalgia in Star Wars movies. Read about the evolution of the ghost story and what it means at Perspectives on History.-via Strange Company