Uprooted Uprooted by Naomi Novik
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I love, love, LOVE this book! It was so fun to read and there was never a dull moment. At first I thought it was the typical story of a girl whisked off by a wizard to train as an apprentice but no, there were so many elements to this book, you would be surprised.

So the main character of the book was this girl named Agniezka, who never really expected that she will be the one chosen by this mysterious wizard to be his apprentice (they call him the Dragon but his name is actually Sarkan, which means "dragon" LOL :-D ) because her entire village believed that Sarkan will pick Kasia, Agniezka's friend, who was beautiful, elegant, and just the perfect girl. Agniezka was just average looking, not really proficient in anything aside from getting herself dirty, and she was clumsy and all. So everyone was really surprised when Sarkan chose Agniezka instead of Kasia and before she knew it, she was in Sarkan's tower.

Now without getting into so much details, Sarkan grudgingly trained Agniezka in doing spells (cantrips) and it became apparent very soon that despite Agniezka's lackluster appearance, she was a naturally powerful witch. This is just my personal view, but I think she is either a reincarnation of Baba Jaga (an ancient powerful witch) or she was descended from her. In any case, Agniezka was soon making it known that it will be unwise to underestimate her because she HAS POWER and she is not to be messed around with.

Now it is revealed that Sarkan's primary role is to safeguard the people and the land from the evil brought upon by the Wood. The Wood is actually this place where strange and awful creatures roam (twig-like beings who kidnaps people, big ferocious wolves, and large monstrous mantises to name a few) who seemed deadset in spreading misery and pestilence to the people living in the valley. It really made me so interested to read about the Wood, it was fascinating and horrible at the same time. Even if you don't go inside the Wood, it could spread pollens carried by the wind and infect people, usually making them go mad and kill themselves and the people around them.

Anyway, let me just share my thoughts about the characters. I liked Agniezka but I just wish she cared more about her appearance. If I had a spell that will enable me to change my outfit into one fabulous ensemble to another, you can be sure I will probably be changing clothes at least 5 times a day. But I guess that's part of her charm, that she was so unaffected and lacks of artifice. She does make up for it by having a smart and sensible head on her shoulders.

I liked Sarkan with reservations. I do get the moody and aloof exterior he has, but I sort of got exasperated that he continued to keep Agniezka at arms length. I guess he was truly hurt by his past love and that made him jaded about love. Oh boy, by the way, this book is not a young adult novel. This is definitely a New Adult. I was so surprised when Agniezka and Sarkan did the "deed." I mean, when it happened, I was so shocked. Not that I'm a prude or anything (maybe I am), but it was so unexpected and I kind of crossed my fingers that Agniezka would become pregnant and Sarkan would be man enough to ask her to marry him.

I liked Kasia because she was a loyal friend till the end. I was half-expecting her to betray Agniezka, probably because she may resent her friend for being picked instead of her. I am glad that it wasn't the case. I thought that she and Prince Marek would fall in love and that she will be queen but I guess what happened to her was okay as well.

So all in all, this book was great and I wish there was a sequel. This book is kind of dark because of all the people dying and the atrocities, but still it was magical and interesting. Giving this book a definite 5 stars!

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I have used Blogger for quite some time now and I really don't have major complaints, I enjoyed posting and sharing my likes and interests. However, I am very concerned that my followers are not really increasing. Though I realize that MAYBE some people are visiting my blog regularly, they're just not publicly following me, I am still not sure if my stay here is even worthwhile.

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So I decided to transfer my blog, at least for the meantime, to TUMBLR. I believe that more people are using Tumblr and I already exported my previous posts there. Lo and behold, I already have SEVEN followers in less than 30 minutes. That tickled me pink and sealed the deal.

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I am not closing my doors to Blogger, though. I may still return depending on how my experience will turn out with Tumblr. I hope that I will still be welcome and my followers would still be here.


You can visit my new blog clicking this link http://nevemoon.tumblr.com

Au revoir Blogger! Its been nice staying here. wish me luck on my new home in Tumblr!

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First, let’s look at what constitutes a “haunting.” To us, there are two main categories for ghost / spirit hauntings…
Residual Hauntings

A residual haunting, by far the most common type of haunting, is a haunting in which the ghostly energy goes through a cycle of actions – thus repeating itself over and over again. Typically, these ghostly actions play out at specific times / dates, as though they were following a schedule. Oftentimes, the event playing out will be that of a tragedy or horrific scene – such as a death or murder. Residual hauntings have been said to be more like a psychic impression of energy – rather than an actual haunting of a physical presence or being.

Intelligent Hauntings

An intelligent haunting is described as a haunting in which the spirit / ghost demonstrates an intelligence level at which the entity seems to be aware of its surroundings and/or the present-day situation. These ghosts have been said to actually communicate or interact with the living. Intelligent hauntings often involve objects being moved and/or other physical activity such as the spirits making sounds / noises, writing on walls / mirrors / etc., slamming doors, and other physical traits such as footsteps appearing from nowhere. There have been reports of intelligent hauntings where the entities will move things around or even hide objects from their living counterparts. Distinct smells and/or odors are also commonly reported with intelligent hauntings.
Okay, now that we have the definitions out of the way, on to our list…





10. Moss Beach Distillery – Moss Beach, California





The Story:

The Moss Beach Distillery in Moss Beach California is well known on the California coast, both for its great food and fantastic views – but also for its ghosts! Moss Beach Distillery originally opened in 1927 as “Frank’s Place” – a highly successful “speakeasy” during the prohibition era. It was a popular hot spot for movie stars, politicians from San Francisco, and well known gangsters. Even rumored to have been a brothel at one point, it was a place where shady deals went down and lots of bad things happened.
The most well known ghost of the distillery is “The Lady in Blue.” Said to be the ghost of Mary Ellen, a beautiful young woman who loved wearing blue dresses, The Lady in Blue met a handsome piano player named John Contina. Already married, Mary Ellen fell for Mr. Contina and the two soon entered into an adulterous affair.
The lovers met frequently for moonlit walks on the beach and encounters at the Marine View Hotel – which was located next to the Distillery overlooking the cliffs. The romance ended tragically on a stormy November night, as Mary Ellen died in a horrific automobile accident on old Bayshore Highway. Ironically, at the same time the piano player was also having an affair with a local woman named Anna Philbrick. Anna discovered John’s deceit and flung herself off the cliffs near the Distillery, drowning in the kelp beds below. Contina later met with a tragic death himself, as his decapitated body was found washed-up ashore near the distillery. It is rumored that a jealous husband decided to take revenge, but Contina’s death is still an unsolved mystery.

Why We Believe This Haunting Is Real:

The Lady in Blue has been witnessed by dozens of people, often in the cliffs surrounding the building warning children and other guests not to play too close to the edge. There are numerous reports of poltergeist activity and other paranormal activity, including: Incessant telephones ringing, with no caller on the other end; Cases of wine repeatedly being moved, with no one accountable; Random objects being tossed around; And doors mysteriously slamming shut.



9. Winchester Mystery House – San Jose, California





The Story:
Few haunted places are more massive or beautiful than the Winchester Mystery House. Originally begun in 1844 by Sarah Winchester, heiress of the Winchester Rifle fortune, the mansion began as a humble 6-room home. Now, the sprawling structure has more than 160 rooms and is like a labyrinth of intrigue, suspense, and as the house’s name suggests – mystery!
Driven by guilt over the many deaths her husband’s rifle business had caused, Mrs. Winchester was supposedly driven by ghosts to continually build onto the Victorian-style mansion over a period of 40 years.
Legend has it that ghosts inspired Mrs. Winchester to keep building onto this house… the house that never ends. It has even been speculated that Sarah constructed the house in such a manner as to confuse or trap ghosts so they could not disturb her further. In later years of her life, she even slept in a different room every night, hoping to avoid repeated ghostly hauntings.
Today, the mansion is a tourist attraction. Filled with modern amenities, the Winchester Mystery House includes button-operated lighting, almost 50 fireplaces, parquet floors and magnificent chandeliers. Almost every window has 13 panes of glass, most floors contain 13 sections, and all but one staircase has 13 steps. And, did I mention that the house has several oddities like staircases that lead nowhere?

Why We Believe This Haunting Is Real:

Sarah Winchester was one of the wealthiest, most influential women in America during her time. And, as she claimed, she was haunted by the spirts of the hundreds, if not thousands, of souls killed by Winchester rifles. Additionally, there have been numerous ghostly appearances in the house and on the property and visitors often report hearing mysterious voices, footsteps, and doors slamming when no one is in the room. Cold spots and strange lights / orbs are frequently reported as well.



8. Kreischer Mansion – Staten Island, New York


The Story:

The Kreischer family of New York, during the 1800′s, owned and operated a large brick factory that supplied most of the brick for the entire Staten Island area. With the profits from their business, they built two large mansions – one for the original family members and a second for their son and his new wife.
The father and son began to feud over the years and the relationship soon turned to one that could not be reconciled. Mysteriously one evening, the second home erupted in flames and burnt to the ground – killing both the son and his wife. The house was rebuilt after the fire, and was later turned into a restaurant. It is said that the property is haunted by the ghosts of the son and his wife, along with those of a cook who apparently hung himself on the property in the early 1900′s. Frequent apparitions are seen and heard throughout the residence.

Why We Believe This Haunting Is Real:

Dozens of visitors and employees of the restaurant / mansion have reported seeing strange, ghostly apparitions and/or witnessed unexplained events, such as doors slamming behind them, objects mysteriously flying across the room – and more. The modern owners of the property claim to have witnessed almost daily ghostly encounters.



7. Lemp Mansion and Brewery – St. Louis, Missouri





The Story:

The infamous Lemp Mansion, built in the 1860′s, was home to the Lemps – a prominent St. Louis, Missouri family that owned one of the largest breweries in the world. Well, that is until prohibition started the family’s downfall.
Legend has it that after prohibition took hold in the 1920′s, the Lemp family went into a quick spiral of deceit and treachery – with one family member dying under mysterious circumstances, four others taking their own lives, and another dying of a heart attack – all inside the confines of the mansion itself.
Next door to the mansion is the Old Lemp Brewery. The Brewery is nestled on top of a natural cave system that was used to store beer and, at one point, smuggle slaves to the Mississippi River. Today, the Lemp Mansion and Brewery is a horrific haunted house experience like no other.

Why We Believe This Haunting Is Real:

After the deaths of the Lemp family members and as the brewery business collapsed due to prohibition, the mansion quickly fell into disrepair. Years later, as hired contractors were brought in to restore the mansion – things began to get a little creepy. Workers quickly began getting the chills and a deep overall feeling of “being watched.” Tools began to disappear, objects moved on their own or were thrown about with no one in sight, and workers quit out of sheer terror. Later on, while being used as a restaurant, employees and patrons witnessed objects “floating off the bar,” mysterious sounds with no explanation, the piano playing by itself, and ghostly apparitions appearing and disappearing at will. Then, there’s this… Life Magazine named the site as “one of the most haunted places in America.”




6. Bullock Hotel – Deadwood, South Dakota



The Story:

As any American history buff (or anyone who watched the HBO series Deadwood) can tell you, Sheriff Seth Bullock was one of the most successful and famous lawmen of all time. Sheriff Bullock was said to be one of the baddest dudes around and that just his convincing stare was enough to stop an evil doer in their tracks!
Bullock and his partner, Sol Star, moved their hardware business from Helena, Montana to Deadwood in 1876. Their store was an instant success and they soon bought the property at the corner of Main and Wall Streets – the current location of the Bullock Hotel.
Having been Sheriff in Lewis and Clark County, Montana, Bullock was elected Deadwood’s Sheriff after the untimely death (murder) of Wild Bill Hickock in August 1876. Sheriff Bullock assembled a team of fearless deputies to help him “clean up” the town. Before long, order had been established in the former hell-raising camp.
The hardware store survived the devastating Deadwood fire of 1879, but wasn’t so lucky the second time around and was completely destroyed, save the brick facade, by fire in 1894. Instead of rebuilding their hardware store / warehouse Bullock and Star decided to build Deadwood’s finest hotel in its place.
Seth Bullock died of cancer on September 23, 1919 at his ranch near Belle Fourche, South Dakota. He was buried on the high trail to White Rocks above Mount Moriah Cemetery. But, many people feel that, rather than moving on, Bullock’s spirit now haunts the halls of his luxurious Hotel.

Why We Believe This Haunting Is Real:

Being one of the most violent old west towns on record, many people lost their lives in the town of Deadwood to gun and knife fights, violent beatings, and outright murder. Dozens and dozens of people have reported strange paranormal experiences at the Bullock Hotel. Ranging from feelings of a strong paranormal presence inside many of the hotel’s rooms and hallways to hearing voices when no one is present and seeing physical apparitions, Bullock Hotel is an all-around haunting hot spot.

#5 – Eastern State Penitentiary – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania


The Story:

Opened in 1829 as part of a controversial movement to try to change the behavior of inmates through “confinement in solitude with labor,” Eastern State Penitentiary quickly became one of the most expensive and most copied prison buildings in the young United States.
Housing the worse of the worst criminals (rapists, gangsters, serial killers, murderers, and more) for more than 140 years – thousands of inmates passed through the cells of Eastern State Penitentiary until its close in 1970. The facility lay vacant for two decades until it was re-opened as a tourist attraction and museum in the 1990′s. Eastern State Penitentiary is one of America’s oldest standing prisons and home to ghost hunting and paranormal investigations of all aspects, as hundreds of reported deaths (both from natural causes and murder) occurred within the prison’s walls.

Why We Believe This Haunting Is Real:

The age of the building, combined with both the number of believed deaths in the facility and the shear evilness of many of the inmates of Eastern State Penitentiary make this a totally believable haunting. Then, there’s the torturous techniques used on inmates (Water Bath, Mad Chair, Iron Gag, and The Hole – among others) which often resulted in death. Charles Dickens visited Eastern State in the 1840′s and wrote that the inmates were “buried alive…” and described the psychological and physical torture suffered at the hands of prison guards as appalling. And, of course, there’s the countless reports of paranormal activity – most famous of which is the “locksmith” story. While doing restoration work in Cell Block #4, the locksmith was working to remove a 140-year-old lock from the cell door when a massive force overcame him so powerfully he was unable to move. The locksmith spoke of experiencing an out-of-body state as he was drawn toward the negative energy which burst through the cell. Evil faces appeared on the cell wall, hundreds of distorted forms swirled around the cell block and one dominating form seemed to beckon the locksmith to him. The man’s experience was so horrific, years after he would cower in fear when asked about the experience.


4. Alcatraz Island – San Francisco, California


The Story:

Long before Alcatraz Island came to host many of the most notorious criminals known to man, it was known by Native Americans as a place that contained evil spirits. Calling it “Ohlone” (a Miwok Indian word meaning “western people”), these Native Americans used the island as a place of punishment for members violating tribal laws. Alcatraz Island received its first prisoners in the 1850′s, in the form of U.S. Military prisoners who were placed there to build a defensive fort and, eventually, a new prison. This new prison later became known as “The Rock.”

Through the years, Alcatraz served many purposes from a military base to one of the most infamous prisons in American history.  Before its closure in 1963, Alcatraz housed prisoners like Al Capone and other notoriously ruthless criminals. The prison facility has long been the subject of great controversy.  Just the thought of Alcatraz conjures up ghostly images of the paranormal.
There have been numerous ghostly encounters on Alcatraz Island, too many to list here. But, some of the most famous (or infamous) stories include “The Corridor” (where three inmates were gunned down while trying to escape), “Cell Block C” (a visiting psychic wrote that while in Block C he came upon a disruptive spirit name Butcher – prison records show that another inmate in block C murdered Abie Maldowitz, a mob hitman known as Butcher), and “The Ghost of Al Capone” (Capone spent his last years in Alcatraz – and there have been many supposed appearances by the dead gangster).

Why We Believe This Haunting Is Real:

From the early American Indian belief that the island was evil, to the initial prisoners who both worked and died on the island during its prison transformation in the 1850′s, to the many murders committed within the prison walls – it’s not hard to understand why so many people, including us, firmly believe that the paranormal activity at Alcatraz Island is real.

3. Borden House – Fall River, Massachusetts


The Story:
Surely you’ve heard the rhyme surrounding this story…
Lizzie Borden took an axe
And gave her mother forty whacks
And when she saw what she had done
She gave her father forty-one

In 1892, both Lizzie’s father and step mother were slaughtered in the Borden home. Lizzie Borden stood trial for the brutal murders, but was acquitted. Lizzie herself actually discovered the body of her father, on the first floor of the Borden family home. The only other person in the house at the time was the maid, who was upstairs napping. Lizzie called out for the maid to come downstairs. Lizzie said that her father had apparently been killed when she was at the barn. (He had been hacked in the face and head with an axe or hatchet.) After the authorities were called, Abby (Lizzie’s step mother) was found dead in a bedroom of the home. (Abby had also been hacked many times throughout her face and body with an axe or hatchet.) Later tests revealed that Abby had died 1-2 hours before Andrew.
Because Andrew Borden died without a will, this meant that his estate, worth about $300,000 to $500,000, would go to his daughters (including Lizzie), and not to Abby’s heirs. Many people have speculated over the years, that Lizzie committed the murders so she would not be taken out of the family’s inheritance.
Lizzie Borden died at Fall River, Massachusetts, in 1927. Her legend as a murderess haunted her for the remainder of her life. She was buried next to her father and stepmother. The home in which the murders took place opened as a museum and bed-and-breakfast in 1992.

Why We Believe This Haunting Is Real:

Numerous guests at the Lizzie Borden Bed & Breakfast have reported hearing voices of a woman softly weeping in the night, only to investigate and find no one there. Other guests have seen shoes move across the floor, while others have had an older woman, in traditional dress, “tuck them in at night.” Lights are reported to flicker, video equipment is suddenly turned on and off and cameras work when no one is using them, but won’t work when you expect them to – all distinct signs of paranormal activity.

2. The University Of Alabama – Tuscaloosa, Alabama



The Story:

Horrid violence, death, destruction, gun fights, riots, war, and more! These are all things that have happened on the grounds of the University of Alabama. Opening its doors to the public in 1831, the University of Alabama has seen more than its fair share of phantoms, spirits, and other apparitions on its grounds and in its buildings.
After 29 years of mayhem on the school grounds, it was decided to transform it into a military academy – just in time for the Civil War. And with this turn of focus, the school seemed to some to become a place of evil. It is reported that in April of 1865, a Union soldier came onto campus to sign a treaty. When he entered the cadet guardhouse (now known as Jason’s Shrine or as The Little Round House) he was beaten, tortured and then murdered. Another similar story accounts that when Union troops were marching to the university (supposedly to burn it down), two confederate soldiers stayed behind to kill a few Yankees. When three Federal soldiers asked one of the young cadets where to find some whiskey, he told them to go into the small structure. Lying in wait was the second southern cadet who shot the three soldiers when they entered the building.
Many of the haunting stories surrounding the University of Alabama are said to be those of Civil War era victims. It is rumored that on foggy nights, the spirits of soldiers can be seen marching through the quad to an unknown spectral destination. But, there are many reports of other believed spirits roaming the campus as well, including reports of seeing the horse drawn carriage of Dr. Smith (from whom Smith Hall is named) careening through buildings as well as the sound of horses coming from nowhere. Countless other reports have been made of sightings of ghosts and spirits in many buildings throughout the campus. Possibly the most famous of which is the tale of Gorgas Library, where it is said the spirit of a black man wanders the stacks of books, sometimes touching people browsing materials.

Why We Believe This Haunting Is Real:

With all the death and turmoil throughout the University of Alabama’s history, and the literally thousands of supposed sightings and ghostly encounters, it only seems apparent that at least some of these reports must be true.

1. Waverly Hills Sanitarium – Louisville, Kentucky


The Story:

First opening in 1910 as a small, two-story hospital, the Waverly Hills Sanitarium “specialized” in the treatment of Tuberculosis. (An easily curable disease today, “TB” had no truly successful treatment options at this time in history.) Rampant spreading of the disease throughout the country meant the small hospital would soon be over crowded. By 1924, a much larger building was erected and more Tuberculosis patients from around the country were being sent to the facility.
As there truly was no cure for TB in the early to mid 1900′s, hundreds (if not thousands) of patients were submitted to torturous testing, abuse, and experimentation as treatment for the disease. It is estimated that as many as 40,000 people died in the hospital, either from the effects of the disease itself or from the experimental procedures performed on many of the patients. In fact, so many people passed away so quickly at the Waverly Hills Sanitarium, that a “body chute” was invented to transport the dead out of the hospital. (The body chute, as it was nicknamed, was simply a tunnel that was dug from the lower level of the hospital out to a field that was out of site from the main areas of the hospital. Hearses would line up at the opening of the tunnel and hospital employees would wheel the dead from the hospital to the waiting automobiles. This was done so that the still living patients would not be affected by the massive numbers of dead leaving the hospital every day.)
The Waverly Hills Sanitarium is said to be one of the hottest spots for paranormal activity in the world. Almost all aspects of a haunting have been witnessed in / around the location. Everything from cold spots and disembodied voices to ghostly appearances, flying objects, and even reported demonic possessions have been witnessed at the former Tuberculosis hospital.

Why We Believe This Haunting Is Real:

Well, first of all – I have a friend from Louisville and he spent a lot of time “breaking” into this place as a teenager. So, he can tell you first hand that this is one of the scariest places you will ever see. It is a huge, multi-level facility that has been largely abandoned for all of 40 years. He personally witnessed some of the more standard paranormal activity that you might expect like objects flying across the room, doors opening or shutting on their own, sounds that appeared to be human voices / crying – but no one could be found, that sort of thing. And, of course, his friends  “thought” they saw ghostly apparitions several times when they were there. But then, when you take into account all the death that surrounds this place combined with the torture and abuse of the patients – not to mention all the countless people like myself who have first-hand accounts of paranormal activity there – I just feel that there is little doubt that this is a true haunting.

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In the history of modern man, certain patches of land have witnessed horrifying events of mass murder and carnage.  These locations are said to house certain disturbing and ritualistic ghosts.  This article will be discussing ten haunted places around the world.  Places that might be stricken with an unexplained ghostly phenomenon.


10. Camp Scott-

Camp Scott is a 410-acre (1.7 km2) compound that is located in the US state of Oklahoma.  The former Girl Scout camp is situated along the Snake and Spring Creeks near State Highway 82, in Mayes County.  In 1977, Camp Scott entered its 49th year as a keystone in the Girls Scouts of America program.  The annual summer camp began on June 12, 1977.  Around 6pm on the first day of camp, a large thunder storm struck the area.  This caused the dozens of campers to huddle inside their tents for the entire evening.  Inside of tent #8 in the Kiowa unit, housed three small girls named Lori Lee Farmer, 8, Doris Denise Milner, 10, and Michele Guse, 9.  What happened next cannot be adequately described.  The following morning, a camp counselor discovered the lifeless bodies of all three girls.  They had been raped, bludgeoned, and murdered.  The victim’s bodies were scattered over the surrounding forest land.  The event remains one of the worst mass murders in the history of Oklahoma.




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In the weeks before the murders, strange events took place around Camp Scott.  Personal items began disappearing from the cabins and tents.  In one incident, a counselor reported that her doughnuts had been stolen, and inside the empty doughnut box was a disturbing hand-written note.  The author vowed to “murder three campers in tent 1.”  Because summer camps are rife with ghost stories, the note was treated as a prank and discarded.  After the murders, Oklahoma police launched one of the largest manhunts in US history.  Detectives ultimately focused their attention on a man named Gene Leroy Hart, who had been free since escaping from the Mayes County Jail four years earlier.  He had previously been convicted of raping two pregnant women.  Hart was arrested and tried for the crimes, but was ultimately acquitted of the killings in 1979.  Later that year he died of a heart attack while in prison.

During the publicized trial, the camp underwent many accusations, stemming from the fact that the girl’s tent was 86-yard (79 m) from any counselors.  Other campers reported that they witnessed a man peeking in their tents on the evening of the murders.  The day following the incident, Camp Scott was closed forever.  To date, the Oklahoma Girl Scout Murders remain unsolved and DNA testing has returned inconclusive results.  However, something is said to remain on the grounds of Camp Scott.  It has been claimed that when a heavy rain falls, the eerie sound of small girls crying can be heard.  Dark shadows are said to lurk and the sensation of someone walking around you has been reported.  Only true thrill seekers will stay a night within the walls of the Camp Scott compound.  In an interesting twist, the original Friday the 13th film was released in 1980, which is only three years after the violent murders.  The movie franchise has helped insert an urban legend in popular culture that summer camps are creepy and dangerous.  Camp Scott just might be.



9. Phantom Vehicles

Many areas of the world claim to hold the mystery of a phantom vehicle.  A phantom vehicle is a ghostly or haunted mode of transportation, which can take the form of a car, train, ship or plane.  In some cases, the objects are said to have a visual flicker.  One of the most famous phantom vehicles in the world is located in the Saskatchewan village of St. Louis.  St. Louis is an eerie place with a strange past.  The area houses a large archeological site, where some bizarre bones have been unearthed.  Key discoveries at the site have included evidence of an ancient species of wolf and buffalo, which are approximately 25% larger than modern species.  Beads have also been discovered that have indicated a style and decoration of clothing occurring approximately 1000 years prior than previously thought.  In 1983, the Canadian National Railway abandoned the rail line that was located south of Prince Albert and north of St. Louis.  The tracks were permanently removed, but it seems that the train has stayed.


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On a nightly basis, lights can be seen traveling along the path of the old St. Louis train tracks.  The lights are flashy with bright colors.  This paranormal phenomenon has been named the St. Louis Light.  Thrill seekers from all over the world travel to this area of Canada to view the strange occurrence, which has been described as the carriage lights of a train traveling from the south.  The intensity of this activity increases on certain days of the year and the lights bring about strong emotional reactions in people.  Silverpilen is a reported subway train that haunts the metro system of Stockholm, Sweden.  The phantom train has been described as a silver aluminum model C5 car.  This model was manufactured in the middle of the 1960s.  During this time, Silverpilen was the only train in the entire Swedish fleet that was silver.  It acted as a back-up unit until 1996, but many residents of Sweden have never seen the vehicle and fail to believe in the train’s existence.  According to ghost stories from this area of the world, Silverpilen only travels after 12:00 midnight and has been known to stop and invite travelers.

Upon entering the doors of the train, a fuzzy feeling falls over your body as you encounter a compartment full of ghost life.  The doomed passengers are then lost in the train forever or emerge from the vehicle days to months later.  On the night of December 29, 1972, Eastern Air Lines Flight 401 crashed under strange circumstances into the Florida Everglades.  In all, 101 of the 178 passengers onboard the flight were killed in the accident.  After the crash, Flight 401 became known for reported paranormal activity, supposedly stemming from the salvage of the plane’s aircraft parts, which were placed on a number of different airplanes after the accident.  Over the following months after the crash, employees of Eastern Air Lines began reporting sightings of the dead crew members on board a different L-1011 (N318EA).  It was a serious situation and the reports caused officials to remove all equipment that originally came from the doomed Flight 401.  After the action, reports of the ghosts stopped.

8. Clinton Road

Clinton Road is located in West Milford, Passaic County, New Jersey.  The road spans roughly 10 miles (16 km).  Over the generations, Clinton Road has gained a reputation for unexplained paranormal activity.  Reported visions include a roadside hitchhiking ghost, strange creatures, Satanists, the Ku Klux Klan, and fireside witch gatherings.  There are only a small number of houses lining the road and much of the adjoining property is undeveloped publicly owned woodlands.  Articles describing abnormal activity on Clinton Road date back to 1905.  One legend tells of a ghost boy that drowned in a stream along the road.  Supposedly, if you toss a coin into the water off any of the bridges on Clinton Road, the boy will throw it back at you.  This area of New Jersey clearly has a long history, with an American Revolutionary War iron smelter being located just east of the road.  If you drive down Clinton Road late at night, headlights of a truck may appear out of nowhere and chase you down until you exit the road.  Daylight visions have been cited, with people claiming that they have seen people dressed in strange clothing loitering around in the woods.




Do Not Enter

People who visit Clinton Road have reported a feeling of uneasiness or mounting dread as they move down the road, sometimes so great that they have to turn back.  In 1905, a man named Richard Cross built a castle on the high land peering over the reservoir surrounding Clinton Road.  Decades later, the structure fell into ruin when a fire destroyed it.  After the incident, the castle became a popular location for teenage parties and reported Satan worshippers and their sacrifices.  It is a scary place, and certain people have written to Weird NJ magazine telling of strange occurrences in or near the castle site.  This includes people going into seizures and being physically injured.  Within certain individuals, the castle is said to produce instant and disturbing visions.  Many people have also reported seeing members of the KKK, which is interesting because prior to the US entry into World War II, a German-American Bund maintained camps in the area surrounding Clinton Road.  If you are unfamiliar, a Bund member holds a favorable view of Nazi Germany.

It has been rumored that professional killers dispose of bodies in the surrounding woods.  In 1983, this claim was substantiated when a bicyclist traveling on Clinton Road noticed a group of vultures feasting at a spot in the nearby woods.  This sparked the man’s interest and led him to the discovery of a dead body.  An autopsy found that the deceased individual had been murdered by foul play, but something else initially puzzled police.  The victim had ice crystals in his blood vessels near the heart.  Pathologists concluded that someone had frozen his body after death in an attempt to mislead investigators into believing he died at a later time.  Ultimately the information led to the direct arrest of Richard Kuklinski or The Iceman.  Kuklinski is a prolific contract killer and mafia assassin.  The six foot five inch (196 cm), 300 pound (135 kg) monster claims to have murdered over 250 men over a career that lasted from 1948 till 1986.  It is unclear how many bodies he planted in the area surrounding Clinton Road or if his victims still haunt the patch of land today.




7. The Weeping Woman

La Llorona (The Weeping Woman) is a popular legend in the Spanish-speaking cultures of the southwestern part of the US and Mexico.  The story tells of a beautiful woman named Maria who suffered from depression and drowned her two young children by tossing them into a flowing river.  Maria became haunted by the memory of her kids and ultimately crumbled in inconsolable grief.  She would not eat, and walked alone on the riverfront in her torn white gown searching for her boys.  She cried endlessly, with periodic fits of screaming and wailing.  After weeks of suffering, she ended her life on the banks of a riverbed.  When Maria reached the gates of heaven, she was asked, “Where are your children?” and she replied, “I don’t know, my Lord.”  She was not permitted to enter heaven until she found her boys, banished to an eternity of wandering the Earth’s rivers, searching in vain for her drowned offspring.


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Over the centuries, the ghost of La Llorona has become angered.  In certain areas of the world she is known to hunt and kidnap wandering children or teenagers that disobey their parents, grabbing the kids by the leg and tugging them into a watery grave.  After darkness falls, Maria’s restless spirit walks the banks of multiple bodies of water in the southwest portion of the Americas.  In the area surrounding the Santa Fe River in New Mexico, her loud cries have become a curse of the night.  The Weeping Woman is a beautiful ghost.  She is tall and thin with long flowing hair.  Reports have claimed that she can be seen drifting between trees along the shorelines or floating in the watery current.  If you are marked by the desire of La Llorona, an untimely and mysterious drowning could be in your future.  Some believe that those who can hear her cries are going to die.
In Mexico, Central and South America, the tale of La Llorona is represented as a cultural symbol that models negative behavior, ultimately looking to prescribe an idealized version of motherhood.  

The ghost of La Llorona has been reported in many locations throughout North and South America, including a creek between Mora and Guadalupita, New Mexico, and as far north as the Yellowstone River.  However, the majority of the reports of the Weeping Woman surround the Santa Fe River.  For example, a tall wailing spirit has been repeatedly viewed in the PERA Building near the river.  The PERA structure was built on land that once held an old Spanish-Indian graveyard.  If you are looking for a good Halloween scare, go explore the Santa Fe PERA structure on a dark evening.



6. Crybaby Bridges of Ohio

Over the years, a strange phenomenon has been recorded in the vicinity of specific rural bridges in the US state of Ohio.  On certain days of the year, after the Sun goes down, the sound of a baby’s presence can be heard.  Most often, a shattering cry is recorded, but in other cases a baby’s laughter or scattered speech is said to plague the area.  These bridges have been given the label Crybaby Bridges.  The eerie locations usually hold a violent history, with stories involving a baby or young child being brutally killed.  One of the most famous Crybaby Bridges is the Rogues’ Hollow Bridge, which is located near Doylestown, Ohio.  In 1840, this area of Ohio experienced a large mining boom when coal was discovered in the deep hollows southeast of the village.  The area became known as Rogues’ Hollow because the miners had a strong reputation for wild goings and violence.  Rogues’ Hollow was congested with saloons, houses of ill repute, disease, dust and Sunday dog fights.


Do Not Enter

The Rogues’ Hollow Bridge sits deep inside Rogues’ Hollow on an old climbing road.  The bridge is located in a remote area and is approachable from only one direction.  Due to bad weather, it can only be reached during certain months of the year.  The bridge is adjacent to the old Chidester Mill, which is often included in articles describing haunted locations.  Loud voices and celebrations are said to radiate around the Chidester Mill.  If you dare venture near the Rogue Hollow Bridge on a dark evening, be sure to keep an open ear for the sound of a crying baby.  The noise has been reported to come from all directions, often times floating above your head.  People have also reported that as they left the bridge, the intensity and volume of the crying increased.  The Screaming Bridge of Maud Hughes Road is another reportedly haunted bridge located in Liberty Township, Ohio.  The bridge is reputed to have been the site of many terrible accidents and suicides.
A set of old railroad tracks sits 25 feet below the bridge, and at least 36 people are said to have been killed on or around the Maud Hughes Road Bridge.  Many different people have reported seeing and hearing usual things around the structure, including ghostly figures, mists, and lights, as well as black hooded figures and a phantom train.  

These aspirations seem to have an evil agenda and people often report a sensation of wanting to run while crossing the Maud Hughes Bridge.  Others have made claims of screaming in their ear, load moans, shrieks, and the sound of a baby crying.  Near the town of Salem, Ohio, citizens have reported strange occurrences around the Egypt Road Bridge.  The area surrounding this bridge is closed off to the public.  The bridge is located at the end of a dead-end and can only be reached from a single direction.  Strange occurrences around the bridge have been reported, including the loud cries of a baby.  However, unlike other Crybaby Bridges, on Egypt Road these sounds seem to occur during the day and night.



5. Popobawa

Popobawa is the name of an evil creature that has been terrorizing the East African coast.  The spirit is a shapeshifter and has been described as taking many different forms.  The being can appear as either a human or an animal, and metamorphose from one into the other.  The beast has been viewed during the daytime, but doesn’t attack until the late evening.  Popobawa has been reported to abuse men, women and children, but the majority of the incidents are targeted at men.  People routinely report assaults and poltergeist-like phenomena surrounding the creature.  However, the most feared action is a sexual attack and the sodomizing of adult men.  Many people in this area of the world have contacted the police and implicating the Popobawa in rape cases.  In the mainstream media, the events have been described as an incident of mass hysteria or panic that comes and goes in waves.  The largest outbreaks occurred in 1995 and 2007, when the reports spread all over the East African coast.  The victims of the Popobawa are ordered to tell others about the attack, or the creature will return.  It seems that the villagers in this area of the world become enraged if you claim that the spirit is unreal or fake in any way.


Do Not Enter

The Popobawa has been known to attack in many areas along the East African coast.  The reports of the creature originated from the area surrounding Zanzibar Archipelago, which holds several islands off the coast of East Africa in the Indian Ocean.  Specifically, the area of Pemba Island is said to be watched by the Popobawa.  However, during large outbreaks, the presence of the spirit has been reported in mainland Tanzania.  His presence is usually announced by the sound of scraping claws on the roof and a sharp, pungent smell.  It has been suggested that the wave of attacks increase during All Hallows’ Eve, when ghosts are said to patrol the night.  In most reports, Popobawa primarily attacks men and only in their own beds, resulting in many guys sleeping outside in the streets or on porches after recent attacks.  The beast is known to overpower his prey, holding their face to the floor and sodomizing them for up to an hour.  His genital area has been described as “significant.”  Many Africans believe that the creature takes human form by day, and lives among the people.  If you visit this area of Africa, keep a look out for the Popobawa.

4. The Candy Man



Dean Corll was a sadistic serial killer that savagely murdered dozens of small boys in the US state of Texas during the early 1970s.  He was responsible for the death of a confirmed 27 children.  At this time in history, the term serial killer had not yet been coined, and the case was simply known as the Houston Mass Murders.  In the early 1960s, the Corll Candy Company was founded by Dean’s mother.  The Corll family set up a production facility in their home and turned the garage into a candy store, which was located across the street from Heights Elementary School, in the Houston Heights area of northwest Houston, Texas.  Dean became second in command of the candy business and lived in an apartment over the garage.  During this time, Dean Corll became known as The Candy Man.  He would routinely give out free candy to the local children, in particular teenage boys.  The company had a handful of employees and Dean was in charge of hiring the staff, which consisted of teenage children.

He even installed a pool table at the rear of the factory where employees and local youths would go to hang-out and do drugs.  At this time, Dean Corll befriended 12-year-old David Brooks and Elmer Wayne Henley.  In 1968, the Corll Candy Company closed and Dean gained work as an electrician.  He killed his first known victim in 1970.  Most of the children he murdered were abducted from Houston Heights.  He would lure his victims into a van with an offer of a party.  He used the help of two teenage boys, David Brooks and Elmer Henley, who were given $200 for every successful capture.  He would overpower his victims and perform sadistic rituals.  Corll would start by putting his prey on a plywood torture board.  He sexually assaulted all victims and usually killed them by strangulation or shooting with a .22 caliber pistol.  Upon searching his home, police found multiple wooden torture boards with handcuffs, ropes, sex toys, and plastic covering the carpeted floor.  He also owned an odd wooden crate with what appeared to be air holes cut into it.

On August 8, 1973, Henley angered Dean Corll when he brought his young girlfriend over to his house with another friend, Tim Kerley.  The group drank and did drugs and each fell asleep, but when they awoke Corll had handcuffed them all.  Elmer Henley reportedly convinced Corll to let him go, so that he could participate in the murders.  When his back was turned, Henley took the gun and shot Dean Corll six times killing him instantly.  Henley then began to tell the police about the deadly rampage and specify where the children’s bodies were buried.  It was the first time that the Houston police department had investigated Dean Corll or even connected the series of rash murders to one person.  In a highly publicized trial, Brooks was found guilty of one murder and sentenced to life in prison.  Henley was convicted of six of the murders and sentenced to six 99-year-terms.


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During the years of Dean Corll’s murder spree, he is known to have frequently changed addresses in the Houston Heights area.  He lived in a trailer park, several apartment buildings and rented rooms at private residences.  Specifically, these locations include a metal warehouse in the 500 block of West 22nd Street, a run-down apartment building in the 800 block of Heights Boulevard, a house on North Durham and an apartment on East 7th Street.  A collection of old structures in the Houston Heights area have witnessed the worst crimes known to man.  Dean Corll buried his victims in one of four separate locations, a rented boatshed in southwest Houston, a beach on the Bolivar Peninsula, in woodland near a cabin on Lake Sam Rayburn (owned by his family) or on a beach in Jefferson County.  A small group of people living in Houston believe that the ghost of Dean Corll and his victims haunt the city.  Reports have surfaced from his grave stone, which mysteriously reads “PFC US Army.”  Why he was still given this honor after death is unknown to me.

3. Corpse Road


In late medieval times, a steady population increase caused an expansion in the construction of churches in Great Britain.  This upset the mother churches of the area, who felt that the new organizations were encroaching on their territory and taking away profits and power.  For this reason, they instituted a law indicating that all burial rights were the property of the mother church.  Officials had corpse roads constructed, which connected outlying locations and their main churches.  This was a great hardship on the people and it meant that citizens living on the outskirts of town had to transport their dead family members a long distance in order to be buried.  Sometimes the corpse roads traveled up steep mountain cliffs and over large bodies of water and rivers.  Many of the pathways contained specifically placed coffin stones, which were used as a resting spot for the travelers.  Evidence of the stones is still evident today and a number of the locations are said to hold a dark spirit.  In many cases, humble men, women, and old citizens were given this impossible task of transporting their loved ones.  This burning animosity and the continual shuffling of human corpses is said to have left a lasting impression on the hundreds of corpse roads in Europe and South America.


Do Not Enter

Many of the corpse roads have disappeared over the years, but you can still see the remains of some prominent routes, which appear in the form of small woven pathways.  For generations, people have reported strange noises and lights on these ancient corpse roads.  Legend tells that spirits and ghosts regularly fly along the roads in a direct straight line from one end to the next.  This energy guides the people along the trail at night.  It directs them around all fences, walls, buildings, and other structures.  The Will-o’-the-wisp are said to patrol the corpse roads.  Folklore is full of tales describing the Will-o’-the-wisp, which are ghostly lights that resemble a flickering lamp.  These mischievous spirits attempt to confuse travelers.  They are said to recede and fade away if approached.  Ancient people believed that these paths were haunted.  They followed a list of specific rules to prevent the dead from wandering the land as lost souls or animated corpses.

The number of reportedly haunted corpse roads is extensive.  Phantom lights are regularly witnessed on the Scottish cemetery-island of Mun in Loch Leven.  Traditionally, these lights were thought to be omens of impending death.  Many eyes have reported a regular phantom funeral procession heading across Dartmoor on its way to Widecombe and the burial ground.  People have also witnessed a monk dressed in all white.  Places where corpse roads intersect are considered dangerous and are believed to be occupied by special spirit-guardians.  A famous corpse road in England runs from Rydal to Ambleside in the Lake District.  Along this route, at the foot of Blue Bell Hill, is an old coffin stone.  It is a rectangular stone that measures 14.4 feet (4.4 m) long and 9 feet (2.8 m) wide.  In 1836, a sack of bones was discovered under the rock and it has since been revealed that the area is one of the Medway tombs.  The Corpse Rock is located on private grounds, with local residents staying far away from the area in the mist of night.  However, the field is currently being planted as a vineyard, which has caused a buzz in the area, as it may be disturbing sacred ground and releasing the wrath of ancient ghosts.

2. Suicide Cliff and Banzai Cliff


2. Suicide Cliff and Banzai Cliff
The Pacific Ocean theatre of World War II was a major conflict between the armed forces of Japan and those of the United States, the British Empire, the Netherlands and France.  Two of the largest battles included the Battle of Saipan and Battle of Okinawa.  The 82-day-long Battle of Okinawa was one of the deadliest in all of World War II.  Japan lost over 100,000 troops, and the Allies suffered more than 50,000 casualties.  Simultaneously, more than 100,000 civilians were killed, wounded, or committed suicide, which was approximately one-quarter of the entire population.  The one chilling factor that both of these battles have in common is the mass suicide of Japanese civilians, usually accomplished by leaping from the steep cliff faces of the islands.  After the Allied forces captured Saipan, the soldiers erected a civilian prisoner encampment.  They were told that over 25,000 Japanese people lived on the island, but it was soon evident that thousands were missing.
After searching the island, Allied soldiers made the grisly discovery that Japanese citizens were committing suicide by jumping from Saipan’s Suicide Cliff and Banzai Cliff.  It has since been realized that Emperor Hirohito personally found the threat of the defection of Japanese civilians disturbing.  During the Battle of Saipan, Hirohito sent out an imperial order encouraging the civilians of Saipan to commit suicide.  The order authorized the commander of Saipan to promise civilians who died an equal spiritual status in the afterlife.  Over 10,000 Japanese people committed suicide in the last days of the conflict.  In Okinawa, this issue is at the center of an ongoing disagreement between the local government and Japan’s national government.  In 2007, a mass rally erupted in Okinawa when the Japanese government announced that they were changing the wording in school text books regarding the suicides.  Okinawa ultimately won a court battle and the books were restored, using the statement that the citizens “were forced into mass suicides by the Japanese military.”  This was partially achieved by evidence that implicated the Japanese military in distributing grenades for the purpose of suicide.


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The island of Saipan is said to be haunted by ghosts.  Today, the land is officially the largest island of the United States Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands.  It is littered with underground shelters and tunnels that were used during the war.  In many cases, mass suicides were performed in the bunkers or massacres took place as US troops dropped explosives into them.  This is said to have left a lasting impression on the Saipan underground, with the sound of artillery fire, explosions, and screams routinely spreading over the land.  However, the majority of the strange activity has been reported on the cliffs surrounding the limestone covered Mount Tapochau, located at 1,560 ft (480 m).  One of the drops has been given the nickname Suicide Cliff, while the other is named Banzai Cliff.

The beauty of Saipan makes it a popular tourist destination and many people have claimed supernatural experiences.  At all times of day, but more prevalent at night, human figures can be seen leaning over the cliffs and jumping.  Children can be heard crying and sporadic gusts of wind loom over the area.  Unlike other ghostly phenomenon, these spirits appear to be determined to jump off the cliff and don’t notice human contact.  People have also reported violent visions, often stemming from the scene of dead bodies on the rocks below.  If you search the Internet for the ghosts of Saipan, you will find many links to a video that was recorded near Banzai Cliff.  It has been claimed that the video shows a ghost jumping from the cliff.  Check it out for yourself.  If anything, the video gives a good perspective of what this area of Saipan looks like.

1. Edinburgh Vaults


In the late 18th century, the city of Edinburgh was a thriving community.  To help drive expansion, officials in this area of Scotland approved the construction of two bridges, the North Bridge and South Bridge.  The South Bridge is a nineteen arch viaduct, which holds some unusual architectural feats.  Eighteen of the arches were enclosed behind tenement buildings, which were built upon floor layering.  In total there are approximately 120 vaults beneath the surface of the South Bridge, ranging in size from 6.5 feet (2 meters) to 131 feet (40 meters) squared.  The South Bridge officially opened for business on March 1, 1788.  For around 30 years, the Edinburgh vaults were used to house taverns, cobblers and other tradesmen.  Specific sections were used for the storage of illicit material, including dead bodies.  The bodies were examined by doctors and reportedly used in medical experiments.  Unfortunately, construction of the South Bridge was rushed and the surface was never sealed against water damage.  For this reason, the vaults began to flood and the area was abandoned.


Do Not Enter

By the start of the 19th century, slum dwellers had taken over the vaults and the area became a renowned red light district, with countless brothels and pubs operating within the abandoned complex.  Living conditions in the chambers were appalling.  The rooms were cramped, dark and damp, with no sunlight, poorly circulated air, no running water, and no sanitation.  Serious crimes and acts of violence were a major problem.  The serial murderers Burke and Hare are thought to have chosen victims from this area.  In the middle of the 19th century, the first reports of bizarre visions and ghostly phenomenon were issued.  At that time, city officials made the decision to drop tons of rubble into the Edinburgh Vaults, making them inaccessible.  The landmarks were not rediscovered until the 1980s, when they were excavated by Norrie Rowan and his son.  During the unearthing of the vaults, strange occurrences and loud cries were often reported.

Today, the Edinburgh Vaults house some of the most popular tourist attractions in the area, including many ghost tours.  The most popular venues are the Mercat Tours, Marlin’s Wynd, and a tour known as The Caves.  Specific corridors of the Edinburgh Vaults are said to house spiritual characters.  Mr. Boots is a ghost that has been known to nudge tourists and follow large groups.  He can often be heard using foul language and stomping on the hard stone floor.  A young spirit named Jack can be seen running about the dark rooms, giggling as he passes by unsuspecting people.  One of the most chilling spirits is an ailing pregnant woman that can be heard crying for attention and help. The Edinburgh Vaults are also known to contain odd cold air flows.  Scientific studies and overnight sleepovers have been conducted in the vaults with some unexplained findings.  In 2009, a BBC TV production team recorded a strange voice that appeared to be that of a Catholic priest reciting the Last Rites.  The ghostly voice continued to be heard on the recording for some 20 minutes before abruptly ceasing after what appeared to be the sound of children yelling.


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The Brain mushroom (Gyromitra esculenta)

Gyromitra esculenta, one of several species of fungi known as false morels, is an ascomycete fungus from the genus Gyromitra, widely distributed across Europe and North America. It normally sprouts in sandy soils under coniferous trees in spring and early summer. The fruiting body, or mushroom, is an irregular brain-shaped cap dark brown in colour which can reach 10 cm high and 15 cm wide, perched on a stout white stipe up to 6 cm (2.4 in) high. Although potentially fatal if eaten raw, Gyromitra esculenta is a popular delicacy in Scandinavia, Eastern Europe, and the upper Great Lakes region of North America. Although popular in some districts of the eastern Pyrenees, it is prohibited from sale to the public in Spain. It may be sold fresh in Finland, but it must be accompanied by warnings and instructions on correct preparation. It is eaten in omelettes, soups, or sautéed in Finnish cuisine. Although it is still commonly parboiled before preparation, recent evidence suggests that even this procedure may not make the fungus entirely safe, thus raising concerns of risk even when prepared properly. 


The Bleeding Tooth fungus (Hydnellum pecki)

Allow me to introduce to you one of the more unusual members of Kingdom Fungi, the Bleeding Tooth Fungus, or Hydnellum peckii which goes by various names often referring to juice or blood. This fungus can be found in North America where it is more common in the Pacific Northwest and resides mostly in coniferous forests. The Bleeding Tooth also makes appearances in Europe and has recently been discovered in both Iran and Korea. Upon a first glimpse of the bleeding tooth fungus, one may dismiss the ruby-red liquid as the blood of some poor forest creature splattered across the white mushroom cap. When inspected more closely, it becomes obvious that the fungus is oozing liquid through its own small pores.

The Giant puffball (Calvatia Gigantea)
The giant puffball, Calvatia gigantea, is easily recognized by its size and shape. Typical specimens are about the size of a soccer ball, and more or less round. However, it can be much larger (a 5-foot, 50-pound specimen is on record!), and its shape can be more "blob-ish" than round, especially when it attains enormous sizes. But it is never shaped like an inverted pear, since it lacks the sterile base portion common to many other puffballs.

The Devil's Cigar (Chorioactis) – world's rarest fungi
A star-shaped mushroom, called the Devil's Cigar (Chorioactis geaster) is one of the world's rarest fungi. It's also known as the Texas star. These fungi had been detected only in central Texas, two remote locations in Japan, and most recently in the mountains of Nara. The Devil's Cigar is a dark brown cigar-shaped capsule that transforms into a tan-coloured star when it splits open to release its spores. It is also one of only a few known fungi that produce a distinct whistle sound when releasing its spores.

Turkey Tail (Trametes versicolor)

Trametes versicolor, often called the "turkey tail," has the dubious distinction of being the only member of the forest fungal fowl community not named for the full bird, but a feathery fraction. However, the chicken of the woods and the hen of the woods look nothing at all like chickens or hens, while the turkey tail does look (vaguely) like a turkey's tail. Who started this clucking menagerie of mushroom monikers, anyway?

Sky Blue mushroom (Entoloma hochstetteri)

Entoloma hochstetteri is a species of mushroom found in New Zealand and India. The small mushroom is a distinctive all-blue colour, while the gills have a slight reddish tint from the spores. The blue colouring of the fruit body is due to three azulene pigments. Entoloma hochstetteri is not edible, but whether or not it is poisonous is unknown. This species was one of six native fungi featured in a set of fungal stamps issued in New Zealand in 2002. It is also seen on the reverse side of the $50 bank note, issued by the Reserve Bank of New Zealand in 1990.

Bearded Tooth mushroom (Hericium erinaceus)
This mushroom that looks like noodles or pom-pom are known to a variety of name like Lion's Mane Mushroom, Bearded Tooth Mushroom, Hedgehog Mushroom, Bearded Hedgehog Mushroom, or Bearded Tooth Fungus. It is an edible mushroom in the tooth fungus group. In the wild, these mushrooms are common during late summer and fall on dead hardwoods, particularly American Beech

Dog Stinkhorn (Mutinus caninus)
Mutinus caninus, commonly known as the Dog Stinkhorn, is a small thin, phallus-shaped woodland fungus, with a dark tip. It is often found growing in small groups on wood debris, or in leaf litter, during summer and autumn in Europe and eastern North America. It is not generally considered edible, although there are reports of the immature 'eggs' being consumed.


Bioluminescent fungi (Mycena chlorophos)
No, you're not hallucinating; you really are seeing bright green mushrooms, but if you are partial to the odd magic mushie, these images won't faze you in the slightest. These neon green mushrooms, or Mycena chlorophos, to use the technical term, emerge during the rainy season in Japanese and Brazilian forests, scattering the floor with glowing spores. The bases of tree trunks, fallen branches, leaf litter and moist soil provide perfect breeding grounds for the mushrooms. Found mostly on Mesameyama island in Ugui, Japan and Ribeira Valley Tourist State Park, Brazil, the appearance of these garish looking fungi is due to bioluminescence, one of the weird but wonderful reactions that happen naturally in many plants and animals.

Fly Amanita (Amanita muscaria) – world's most famous mushroom


Also known as the fly Agaric or the fly Amanita, the Amanita muscaria is a poisonous and psychoactive basidiomycete fungi, which is one of many in the genus Amanita. There are several subspecies, and each of them has a different cap color. These include the yellow-range flavivolata guessowii, formosa, the pink persicina, and the brown regalis (although it is now considered a separate species).

Fly Agaric's are one of the most recognizable and widely encountered in popular culture. They have been featured in children's books, films, garden ornaments, greeting cards, and computer games. This toadstool is associated with the famous book turned movie, Alice in Wonderland; the mushroom in Super Mario Bros., and more. It is also known as the mushroom of flies from due to Albertus Magnus' work in De vegetabilibus where he stated, “It is called the mushroom of flies, because crushed in milk it kills flies”.





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Sylvia Mythen, a 70-year-old grandmother from Venice, Fl, has discovered what appears to be the world's first orange alligator. She was returning from work when she drove by the gator and promptly had to back up for a double-take. After sending the picture to her local news station she also contacted a biologist who believes the gator is really just half-albino. He says he has never seen or heard of one. But Gary Morse from Florida Fish and Wildlife feels the orange color might be from some environmental element. Regardless, the University of Florida Gators might have a new mascot.


Look at this strange animal! Yes, that is a purple polar bear believe it or not! This usually white polar bear created quite the buzz about the Mendoza City Zoo in Argentina when it unexpectedly turned purple. It seems that the polar bear named Pelusa had a skin condition that the zoo officials were trying to treat, and as a result of the special treatment of this condition the polar bear turned purple. The purple color only lasted for a little while, but it was quite the talk of the town and spread across the world news and internet like wildfire.





The lizard in the photo is not being manipulated (not a photo manipulation). It is now the latest exotic pet craze. Mwanza flat-headed agama's vivid blue-and-red colouring, is a lizard that has a body skin colour similar to Spiderman. Agamas, which are native to Kenya can be good pets, as they become tame and docile if handled regularly.

It can grow up to a foot long, and a balanced diet for them includes locusts, crickets, meal worms and wax worms. They are unable to throw webs, but can change colour – the brightly coloured males will change brown at night or if frightened. They can also run on their hind legs, and can scale vertical walls like spiders.



Take a look at these tattooed pigs. Wim Delvoye has been tattooing them since the 1990s. In the early 21st century a tattooed pigs project was set up in the Art Farm in China, where there are fewer strictures regarding animal welfare than in most parts of the Western world. In 2005, Delvoye's colleague, artist Danny Devos, spent several months at the farm, reorganizing, managing and rebuilding. The tattoos range from traditional flags and lions kind of stuff to Louis Vuitton logo patterns. The skins are not used as formal art objects until the pigs die, at which time, the skins are removed and displayed on walls in various art venues.


The flamingo tongue snail (cyphoma gibbosumn) is a small, colorful sea snail which lives on various species of soft corals in the Caribbean. This creature almost-literally wears its heart (soul and colors) on its sleeve. The pretty color you see in this image is not a snail's shell! Rather, it's in a layer of live mantle tissue, connected to its foot - the snail pushes it out to cover the shell. The mantle tissue also works like a fish's gill. When the snail is attacked, the mantle (and colors) is withdrawn. So you might say, this is the only marine animal that literally turns pale in fright.


Insects typically do not stand out. Something to do with being their one way ticket to certain extinction, generally. A fact that just adds to the mystique of the extremely rare pink katydid. What is perhaps strangest about this species is where they are turning up; the majority of pink katydid images are attributed to the most untropical places such as Osaka and the American Midwest. Speculation is that their unusual color is caused by the genetic condition erythrism, which denotes an unusual red pigmentation.



The Mandarin Duck, or just Mandarin, is a medium-sized perching duck, closely related to the North American Wood Duck. The adult male is a striking and unmistakable bird. It has a red bill, large white crescent above the eye and reddish face and "whiskers". The breast is purple with two vertical white bars, and the flanks ruddy, with two orange "sails" at the back.

The veiled chameleon, Chamaeleo calyptratus, a large and colorful species of chameleon, are found in Yemen and Saudi Arabia and also sometimes referred to as the Yemen Chameleon. This chameleon changes color depending on its mood. The prominence of these markings is dependent on several factors including health, mood, and temperature of the lizard.



The Atelopus frog is known by many names such as the clown frog or the Costa Rican Variable Harlequin Toad. Whatever you call the frog, it is a neo-tropical toad that was once quite wide spread living throughout Costa Rica and Panama. The species is listed as critically endangered and is thought to be living primarily in Panama today.



The Panda Dog was invented by Kensuke Hirakawa after adopting an abandoned Maltese cross Poodle, called Colombo, who was apparently abandoned because of his ugly looks. The unfortunate dog had all its canine teeth removed, a stiff hind leg and tear stained eyes. Having been a beautician and a former pet store owner, Mr Hirakawa decided to beautify his newly found friend. He used puppy safe hair dye to make Colombo look like the cuddly endangered Panda Bear. The result was overwhelming, with a massive and diverse response from the community. Since Colombo was white, the owner simply hair dyed black circles around the eyes, the ears, hind and front legs and strips across the pooch's back. Many scorned the idea as cruel for using chemicals on the animal and for altering its appearance. Others dismissed those perceptions as being over-dramatic. The owner did use a dog-safe non-toxic hair dye. The Panda Dog look turned famous overnight







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