“There’s a Ring Around Your Rosy Dude”

Ring-a-ring-a-roses

Are the Children actually singing and playing a game about pestilence and death,or is it folklore evolving from folklore?

The Game

The singing play game involves a group of children holding hands to form a circle, dancing around singing, “Ring Around the Rosies”.  The lyrics have many variations and have also developed over time.

This is the version that I remember as a child:

Ring around the rosies

Pocket full of posies

Ashes…Ashes…

We all fall down

When the children finish singing the last line, “we all fall down”, the children fall to the ground. The last child to hit the ground ends up in the center of the circle and the game continues with another round of the lyrics.

Another variation of Ring Around the  Rosy

children playing ring around the rosey

Hidden Meanings

The most notorious hidden meaning in the nursery singing game is about the Black Plague also known as the bubonic plague originating from Central Asia and spreading throughout Europe in the late Middle Ages starting around 1340 and lasting ‘til 1400.

  • Ring around the rosies:  represents the red sores that are a common symptom
  • Pocket full of posies:  the posy flower was used to help relieve the pain of the sores
  • Ashes…Ashes… :  It was common practice  to cremate the infected bodies and homes
  • We all fall down :  A third of the Western European population died from the bubonic plague
Plague_-buboes

Plague Buboes

Another Common Version

Ring a ring a roses

A pocket full of posies

A-tishoo! A-tishoo!

We all fall down

This version of the song is supposedly referencing the plague that occurred in London 1665.  A-tishoo! A-tishoo!, is claimed to be representing the sound one makes when sneezing, that or… London depleted their tissue supply in 1665 and the people were demanding more tissue. “A-tissue! A-tissue!”.  That last sentence was completely 100% made-up and it seemed funny at the time so I’m standing by it.

Anyways…

The first printed version of “Ring around the Rosy” was published in 1881 in Kate Greenaway’s Mother Goose Old Nursery Rhymes.

mother goose

I have a question

If there were groups of children gathering in the streets of Europe holding hands dancing and singing about pestilence and death for roughly over 500 years why didn’t anyone report it or at least document it?

 

MetaFolklore

Folklife Today, has classified folklore that is about folklore metafolklore.  It is typically untrue but some might have some small truths to them.  The metafolklore about the game in question is untrue. The lyrics of any version of “ring around the rosy”  have no real meaning or known origin. As for the origins of the game involving the nursery rhyme, Folklorist Philip Hiscock suggested:

“The more likely explanation is to be found in the religious ban on dancing among many Protestants in the nineteenth century, in Britain as well as here in North America. Adolescents found a way around the dancing ban with what was called in the United States the “play-party.” Play-parties consisted of ring games which differed from square dances only in their name and their lack of musical accompaniment. They were hugely popular, and younger children got into the act, too.” (Snopes)

Final Thoughts…

Ring around the rosy is a children’s game with many variations from around the world and modern versions have developed and are currently still being played as a sing play game by our little ones today.  It is very human of us in wanting to believe in hidden meanings behind the games, stories, movies, or other forms of entertainment. The older the secret of the hidden meanings the better, whether it’s true or not, doesn’t matter.  It creates an added entertainment value to the old original piece of folklore. As long as the beliefs in these hidden secret meanings are maintained the value of the entertainment will hold its value.

Some other interesting hidden meanings…

According to Urban Dictionary, a ring around the rosy is a service that one will provide with their tongue after doing some butt stuff with a partner.  As for those gentleman who have experienced having intercourse with a lady who was having her menstrual cycle, if you discovered that you had a red ring around your penis after taking off the condom, that… is a ring around your rosy dude.

References

FACT CHECK: Ring Around the Rosie. (2000, November 17). Retrieved September 16, 2018, from https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/ring-around-rosie/

Bubonic plague. (2018, August 27). Retrieved September 16, 2018, from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bubonic_plague

McDaniel, S. A. (2017, May 03). “Ring-around-the-Rosie” Is Not about the Black Death, Nor Has It Ever Been. Retrieved September 16, 2018, from http://talesoftimesforgotten.com/2017/05/03/ring-around-the-rosie-is-not-about-the-black-death-nor-has-it-ever-been/

Winick, S. (2014, July 24). Ring Around the Rosie: Metafolklore, Rhyme and Reason. Retrieved September 16, 2018, from https://blogs.loc.gov/folklife/2014/07/ring-around-the-rosie-metafolklore-rhyme-and-reason/

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Lost In Alaska

Welcome to alaska

Could it be Bigfoot, evil spirits, aliens, serial killers, freaky acts of phenomenon, or the cruel side of Mother Nature herself.   Let’s take a trip through the Alaskan Triangle!

 

If 33,000 miles of wilderness including 70 active volcanoes, 3 million lakes, 3,000 rivers, and an estimated 100,000 glaciers, blanketed with year round snow inhabited by untamed man eating beasts that could literally eat your face right off, is not enough for you outdoor adventure/survivalists types, then possibly an encounter with Bigfoot, evil spirits, aliens, or a run in with a local serial killer burying evidence in the woods might satisfy your adventure thrills to take a trip through the Alaskan Triangle.

Land of the Missing

In 2007, Alaska state troopers added 2,833 missing person notices just in that year alone.  With over a population of 670,000 residents that 2007 statistic averages out to four in every 1,000 people who go missing.  Many of these missing persons reports have been closed, however, Alaska also has the highest open missing persons alerts than any other state within the United States.  The 2016 FBI Violent Crime Report stated that Alaska also has the highest violent crime rate per capita in the United States.   Alaska also has become known to be the number one state, proportional to its population, that has had the most serial killings in the United States with a 15.65 serial killings per one million inhabitants.

alaskan-bermuda-triangle-1a

Many that are still missing have disappeared  within the boundaries of what is being referred to as the Alaskan Triangle.  The Cities of Anchorage, Juneau, and up to the north coast of Barrow, form this mysterious vortex that is also a hotbed for paranormal and UFO phenomenon that some people are claiming are the culprits of those who are still lost in Alaska.

220px-Hale_Boggs

Thomas Hale Boggs Sr.

Hale Boggs

One of the most high profile missing persons that has vanished within the Alaskan Triangle in 1972 would be the House Majority Leader Thomas Hale Boggs Sr.  He and his colleagues were on a flight, a twin engine Cessna 310, en route to a campaign fundraiser. On October 16, the plane disappeared somewhere between Anchorage and Juneau.  After a 39 day search for the plane and passengers, with the aid of the US Coast Guard, Navy, Army, Air Force, and Civil Air Patrol, neither the wreckage of the plane nor the remains of those who were onboard were ever found.  With Boggs involvement in the Warren Commission many conspiracy theories were born.

Vile_Vortices_Map
Vile Vortices

Vile vortices are geographical areas around the world that exhibit extreme electromagnetic anomalies and energy vortices, which are also called ley lines.  The term vile vortices was coined by researcher and cryptozoologist Ivan T. Sanderson. The most famous of these Vile vortices is the Bermuda Triangle. They also exist in the Algerian Megaliths to the south of Timbuktu, the Indus Valley in Pakistan,  Hamakulia Volcano in Hawaii, the Devil’s Sea near Japan, and both the North and South poles. Stonehenge, The Moai monuments of Easter Island, and the Pyramids in Egypt, sit on vortexes and it is currently believed that these structures were intentionally built in these places for that specific reason.

These electromagnetic vortices create all sorts of weird phenomena.  They are believed to affect humans in a wide variety of ways physically, mentally, and emotionally, causing auditory and visual hallucinations, giving people miraculous powers of healing, causing spurts of creativity and epiphanies.  These vortices can also cause disorientation, confusion, and wreak havoc with electrical instrumentation.

Microburstnasa

Microbursts

On 26th of April 2016, the Science Channel broadcasted an episode of “What on Earth?”.  Part of the segment claimed that the mystery behind the disappearances of ships and planes in the Bermuda Triangle were due to natural meteorological phenomenon known as microbursts.  Hexagonal clouds that can create up to 170 mph downward winds. These microbursts can be strong enough to force airplanes down from the air and flip ships over.

Shortly after the episode aired, the two scientists that were on the show talking about these microbursts stated that what they were talking about on the program was taken out of context. They stated that microbursts happen everywhere on the globe not just in the Bermuda Triangle. https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/scientists-solve-bermuda-triangle/

Myths and Legends

Within many cultures around the globe, legends and myths have lived and flourished through time and serve many purposes in our lives.  The Alaskan folklore is rich with terrifying creatures and share common characteristics with other horror pop culture beasts that roam within the dark forests of many people’s minds.

Qalupalik

A creature from Inuit legend that is described as being a human-like female with green skin, long hair, and very long fingernails.  According to legend, she resides in the sea humming to entice children to come closer to the waters. If the unsuspecting child gets too close to the shore line, the Qalupalik snatches them from the waters and claims them to be her own for eternity, never to be seen again.  Children are reminded by their parents and elders that if they are disobedient and wander too close to the shore that the Qalupalik will get them.

bigfoot

Tornits, aka The Alaska Bushman

Since the human migration crossing over the Bering Land Bridge, the story of the Tornits were created and are still being told today.  The story begins with the Inuit tribe and the Tornits living peacefully in villages near each other and shared common hunting grounds. The Inuit people were well skilled at building kayaks that were very useful for fishing, hunting, and transportation.  The Tornits were also great hunters themselves but lack the skills to master building kayaks like their friendly neighbors. One of the stories tells of a young Tornit that borrowed a Inuit’s kayak without permission and damaged the bottom of the boat. The young Inuit became very angry and stabbed the Tornit in the neck while the Tornit was asleep.  Fear in the Tornit’s villages quickly ran rampant, causing the Tornits to quickly disappear into the Alaskan bush and rarely were ever seen again. Inuit hunters eventually started to disappear while on hunting expeditions. Later they would be found dead, their bodies mutilated and limbs torn off. Sightings of Alaskan Bushmen also referred to as Bigfoot, Sasquatch, and Yeti  have been reported from all over the world and share similar characteristic with each other. If you are ever wandering in the woods and you see trees that have been uprooted and flipped upside down, just remember, trees don’t do that by themselves. It is a sign that you are in Bigfoot country.

werewolf

Adlet

Adlet is commonly described and compared to the likes of the pop culture horror creatures known as werewolves.  According to Inuit legend, Adlets originated from the offspring of a human female and a male dog. The woman gave birth to 10 children, half of them were dogs and the other half were Adlets.

Tizheruk

A snake-like sea creature that is believed to roam the Alaskan waters.  They are commonly described as having a 7 foot-long head with a flipper tail and are typically 12 to 15 feet from head to flipper.  It is believed that they snatch and eat people from docks and piers.

Mount_Hayes

Mount Hayes and UFOs

If you saw the movie “Men Who Stare at Goats”, you might possibly be blown away if I were to tell you that the movie was loosely based off of a real CIA project that occured in the early 1970’s

Project Stargate was a CIA project with the support of the University of Stanford.  Individuals with the ability of remote viewing were recruited and assigned the task of discovering foreign countries secret military facilities.  While these sessions were being held, not only were key locations of other countries bases revealed but the remote viewers were also able to locate four additional bases that were being operated by extraterrestrials.  The four locations named were Monte Perdido in the Spanish Pyrenees, Mount Nyangani in Zimbabwe, Mount Zeil in Australia, and Mount Hayes in Alaska.

References

Toombs, T. (2012, June 12). Alaska folklore: Five mythical creatures of the Last Frontier. Retrieved July 14, 2018, from https://www.adn.com/features/article/alaska-folklore-five-mythical-creatures-last-frontier/2012/06/13/

Urban Legends of Alaska. (n.d.). Retrieved July 14, 2018, from https://www.history.co.uk/shows/missing-in-alaska/articles/urban-legends-of-alaska

Hale Boggs. (n.d.). Retrieved July 14, 2018, from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hale_Boggs

Conger, C. (2008, April 15). Why has part of the Alaskan wilderness been called the Bermuda Triangle? Retrieved July 14, 2018, from https://adventure.howstuffworks.com/alaska-bermuda-triangle.htm

FALSE: Scientists Finally Solve the Mystery of the Bermuda Triangle. (2016, October 25). Retrieved July 14, 2018, from https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/scientists-solve-bermuda-triangle/

Seaburn, P., & Swancer, B. (2015, April 07). The Mystery of the Alaska Triangle. Retrieved July 14, 2018, from https://mysteriousuniverse.org/2015/04/the-mystery-of-the-alaska-triangle/

Medred, C. (2010, September 8). Alaska: The land of disappearance. Retrieved July 14, 2018, from https://www.adn.com/uncategorized/article/alaska-land-disappearance/2010/09/09/

Project Stargate: Remote Viewers Discover UFO Bases. (2017, January 31). Retrieved July 14, 2018, from http://www.historydisclosure.com/project-stargate-remote-viewers-discover-ufo-bases/

Facts About Alaska. (n.d.). Retrieved July 14, 2018, from http://alaska.gov/kids/learn/facts.htm
Additional Sources

Table 3. (2017, September 07). Retrieved July 14, 2018, from https://ucr.fbi.gov/crime-in-the-u.s/2016/crime-in-the-u.s.-2016/tables/table-3

(n.d.). Retrieved July 14, 2018, from https://www.cia.gov/library/readingroom/document/cia-rdp96-00788r001100210002-6

(n.d.). Retrieved July 14, 2018, from https://www.cia.gov/library/readingroom/search/site/projectstargate

(n.d.). Retrieved July 14, 2018, from http://www.nuforc.org/webreports/ndxlak.html

 

Turnbull Canyon

Looking for the most Extreme mountain biking or hiking experience?  Then check out Turnbull Canyon located near the city of Whittier, CA.  The history of Turnbull Canyon has a checkered but interesting past.  Over time urban legends developed and spread like a wildfire about the canyon, which created an infamous reputation of being a hotbed of tragedies and weirdness.

TurnbullCanyon_google

The History of Turnbull Canyon

The Native American tribes that inhabited the San Gabriel Valley referred to a canyon within the valley as Hutukngna which means the “night”, “the dark place”, or “the place of evil”.  According to one story, the Spanish would force the natives  who refused to convert to Christianity to spend several days in the canyon of evil.  Later the east side of the San Gabriel Valley was named Rancho La Puenta by William Workman who was a banker and land developer.  In 1876 Workman was ruined financially which led to his suicide four months later.

A Scottish immigrant by the name of Robert Turnbull moved to the San Gabriel Valley in the 1870’s and made a small fortune through real estate.  After Workman’s suicide, an advisory committee was formed to regulate bank loans.  While sitting as an advisor on the committee, Robert Turnbull came across an opportunity that allowed him to buy land in the canyon for a cheap price.  Due to a stream of water running through this land he was successful at raising sheep.  While making his name as a shepherd he also developed a reputation of being a drunk and a loud mouth.  A group of Quakers moved into the area and decided to develop a settlement for their people.  They made several offers to buy Robert Turnbull’s land, but Turnbull never accepted their offers.  Until one day, the Quakers offered him $30,000; a fortune during that time period, and Robert decided to sell.

One night in 1888, Robert Turnbull was leaving one of his favorite taverns, the St. Charles Hotel, and was arrested for public drunkenness due to falling off of his horse.  The next day he was released and while entering his home his housekeeper, Mary Kate, noticed that Robert had several bruises all over his face and body.  She reported that it looked like he was involved in a brutal fight.  After taking a long nap, Robert got up the next day and Mary told authorities that he didn’t seem himself and left the house wearing mismatched clothing including a hat that belonged to her.  The next day two children found his body floating face first in the Los Angeles River.  The coroner stated that Robert died from a blood clot that developed from a head injury and that it was very possible that Robert was murdered.  Shortly after, the Quakers renamed the canyon to honor Robert, and that is how Turnbull canyon got its name.

William Haight-popular science

The Electrodome

During the late 19th to early 20th century, droughts were very common from the mid-west to the west coast of the United States.  Rainmakers were coming out of the wood works claiming that they could make it rain for a small fee of course.  Many rainmakers were eventually exposed as  charlatans but some names were noted in history as the real deal.  During the 1916 drought in San Diego, CA; Charles M. Hatfield’s method of controlling the weather was successful, so successful that he caused a heavy downfall of rain that caused a flood that claimed 20 lives, washed out the infrastructure of the city, and many homes as well.  He was chased out of town and was never compensated.

In the early 1930’s, William Haight made his mark as a rainmaker with his invention of the Electrodome.  His device would generate negative electrical currents into the atmosphere and create a pulsating direct current from the ground to the sky.  His invention would allow people to create rain, displace fog, and could even prevent frost from forming on crops.  His smaller model of the electrodome was a success, but to produce a more effective result Haight would require a serious financial support which he didn’t have.  Due to some financial support from a Citrus farmer, John Dodrill,  William was only able to build one big tower that was based off of an old existing oil tower located in the Turnbull Canyon.  With the laboratory sitting on an 80 foot tower the Electrodome reached 125 feet from the ground to the sky.  The final test of his experiment happened on New Year’s Eve at the stroke of midnight in 1932.  There is no mention in the media of the results of the test.  However, the Russian Government at the time was very interested in Haights invention and used it for themselves.  Currently, more advanced versions of the Electrodome are currently being used by the United States government, Japanese government, and a company called the Australian Rain Technologies.

Flight 416W

On April 18, 1952 a North continent airline, operating under Robin Airlines, was on a flight from New York City, NY to Burbank, CA.  After making several intermediate stops flight 416W was redirected to Los Angeles International Airport due to bad weather in Burbank.  The plane was on an instrument landing system approach to LAX.  While the landing gear was fully extended, the left wheel of the plane struck a ridge near the Turnbull canyon causing the pilot to lose control causing the plane to crash into a steep hillside.  The plane exploded into flames instantly and all 29 on board were killed.  After the investigation was completed the officials stated that the cause of the crash was due to pilot error.  The pilot was flying below the minimum altitude of the area.  It was suspected that the pilot couldn’t see the runway due to fog build up and decided to fly below the minimum altitude which led to the accident.  The investigations also found Robin Airlines had more than 40 violations that included, charges of overweight planes, demanding and excessive flying time for crews, and failure to use approved seats and safety belts.  The investigation also discovered that the pilot of the plane was flying with a restricted medical certificate.

flight 416 crash

KKK, Satanic Cults, and UFOs..ooh my

Many locals of the area of Whittier Heights claim that Turnbull Canyon is home to KKK rallies and Satanic Cult activities.  During the depression era of the 1920’s rumors were spreading that people in black outfits with hoods were seen walking around at night and some stories claim that orphan and runaway children were being sacrificed in the area.  Video’s of UFOs and orb sightings in the Turnbull canyon are also all over the internet.

 

Hell’s Gate

In the depths of the brush of Turnbull Canyon lies Hell’s Gate.  There is not a lot of information about the origins of this notorious gate on the Web.  The location of Hell’s Gate is between the intersections of Skyline Drive and Descending Drive.  There is a dirt path that cuts through the overgrowth of vegetation that leads to a chain linked fence with a “Private Property” sign along with another sign warning intruders that there is a dog.  One story that is floating around the Web is that behind the chain link fence there use to be an insane asylum that was notorious for neglect and abuse of the inmates.  The facility eventually burned down.  Years later some teenagers decided to visit the abandoned asylum and supposedly came across a device that was used to administer electrical shocks to the inmates.  Joking around one of the teenagers applied the electrode probes to his head got electrocuted and was killed.  As the story goes…the electricity was shut off 20 years ago before this alleged incident.

While digging deep on the internet I have not been able to find any validation of an asylum in the area of Turnbull canyon or no proof that a teenager was killed by self-electrocuted shock to the head.  I have found some Youtube videos of brave souls exploring beyond the chain link fence.   Behind the fence is a lot of vegetation overgrowth along with some remnants of concrete slabs with pipes coming out of them.  The notorious Hell’s Gate was still present but the rod iron gate that was shown in these videos did not live up to the infamous reputation that have developed overtime.  No dead babies, hell hounds, or internal flames coming out of the ground, just an ordinary rod iron gate.  According to one of my sources, one person made a journey beyond the Gate of Hell which just led to someone’s backyard.

gates of hell

Gravity Hill

Many locals claim that there is a gravity hill somewhere located in Turnbull Canyon.  Gravity hills have been found all over the world and locals in the areas of these mysterious hills will tell stories of spirits or aliens that are to blame for the phenomenon.  For those of you who don’t know what a gravity hill is, don’t feel bad,  I had to look that one up myself.

A gravity hill is a hill that appears to be going up and people in cars will travel up the hill without applying any gas.  Balls have been placed on these hills and they would roll up the hill.  A gravity hill is an optical illusion, sorry to disappoint everyone but there is no prankster ghost or alien messing with us.  When standing on a path of a gravity hill the horizon is obscured from the person’s viewpoint which creates the illusion that the hill is going up but it is actually going down.

The Hanging Tree

There is supposedly a tree somewhere in the Turnbull Canyon that is referred to as the “Hanging Tree”.  While reading up on the Turnbull Canyon, I came across two different stories about this elusive tree.   One story states that a man hanged himself on a branch of a tree and at the time and day of his death you can see his ghost dangling from the branch.  Another story that I came across involved a teenage couple who decided to take a drive through the canyon and ended up having car troubles.  The male told his girlfriend to stay in the car and not to let anyone in while he goes and gets help.  After a while, the female started to hear sounds on the roof of the car that resembled the sound of light rain.  After several hours waiting for her boyfriend to return she ended up falling asleep.  The next day she was woken up by taps on the window from a police officer.  While the police officer was asking her to step out of the car he instructed her to not look up.  Supposedly she disregarded the officer’s advice of not looking up and saw her boyfriend was dangling from a rope tied to a branch and his blood was dripping on the roof of the car.  While searching for any validations to these stories I came across quite a bit of uncertainties from other curious minds of where this “Hanging Tree” is located and there are so many different trees that are being referenced as the phantom tree of death.

Final Thoughts

I always love to hear a good ole ghost story and the Turnbull Canyon is riddled with them.  There have been actually deaths and horrible tragedies that actually occurred in the canyon.  Walking around in the wilderness especially at night will naturally create some healthy paranoia.  But after my journey of reading up on Turnbull Canyon the only real threats to be aware of are: rattlesnakes, white supremacists, mountain lions, and drift car racers.

The canyon also has some great mountain bike paths.  If you decide to go hiking on these paths, bikers going down hill have the right away.  Gravity trumps their brakes so to avoid any collisions get out of their way when you see them.

References

F. (2014, November 17). Retrieved November 24, 2017, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ii8KDPMg7Ys

F. (2014, February 28). Retrieved November 24, 2017, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bb-beiXJMDg

Valenzuela, A. (2016, January 22). The Ascension to Hell – POETINIS: DRINK IN THE TRUTH – Medium. Retrieved November 24, 2017, from https://medium.com/engl-201/the-ascension-to-hell-d30d43952889

“The Rainmaker” House and Weather Station (1916). (n.d.). Retrieved November 24, 2017, from https://www.vchistory.org/historical-sites/the-rainmaker-house/

Brown, R. J. (1934). Electricity Governs Our Lives. Popular Science, 124(2), 11-13. Retrieved November 23, 2017, from https://books.google.com/books?id=2CcDAAAAMBAJ&pg=PA12&lpg=PA12&dq=William Haight PopularScience&source=bl&ots=gB_8GWBnUY&sig=gIjPl7i5pE6axyoWR9I0_KT_2VA&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiWtLWApMLQAhWJ7YMKHXLTBrYQ6AEIHzAB#v=onepage&q=William%20Haight%20Popular%20Science&f=false.

Sundermier, A. (2016, April 14). People all over the world are flocking to these mysterious hills that seem to defy gravity. Retrieved November 24, 2017, from http://www.businessinsider.com/what-really-happens-on-a-gravity-hill-2016-4

WeirdU.S. (n.d.). Retrieved November 24, 2017, from http://www.weirdus.com/states/california/local_legends/turnbull_canyon/

Whittier, CA (near) Airliner Crashes Into Hills, Apr 1952. (n.d.). Retrieved November 24, 2017, from https://www.gendisasters.com/california/5517/near-whittier-ca-airliner-crashes-hills-apr-1952

M. (2014, August 14). Haunted Los Angeles. Retrieved November 24, 2017, from http://hauntedlosangeles.blogspot.com/2014/08/turnbull-canyon-whittierhacienda.html

McKenna, J. A., M.A. (n.d.). Native People. Retrieved November 24, 2017, from http://www.hillsforeveryone.org/the-corridor/native-people/

The Silver Arrow

silver-pin

Urban legends involving ghost trains have been reported from around the world since the early days of locomotives.  The Silver Arrow, later to be known as Silver Pin, is a story that dates back to the the mid 1960s behind the backdrop of Stockholm, Sweden.  

capture

The legend begins when an experimental aluminum model C5 train was built.  1 out of the 8 prototypes was left unfinished.  The car was left unpainted and had other differences that separated it from its peers.  It was missing an air suspension, it had a whining distinctive motor sound, and it had outlying sliding doors.  It was stated the sliding doors were an idea that would allow more room on the inside of the train for passengers.  Another difference between the cars was that the interior panels were installed on the other cars that supported beautiful advertisements on the walls that brought a little color into a commuter’s mundane life.  The interior atmosphere of the The Silver Pin was described to be an urban ghetto landscape littered with graffiti and a metaphorical imagery of the daily grind mentality from the working class perspective.  The odd “red headed step child” train was only put into commission to be used as a backup car in the Stockholm metro system.

c5

The Folklore

The stories of the ghost train vary from each other.  One claims that the The Silver Arrow or Silver Pin is believed  to be a train that is only for the dead.  Another legend states that If one were to step into the train and sit down they would disappear forever or would finally get off the train weeks, months, or even years later.  Reports from subway tunnel workers and commuters claim to have seen Silver Pin moving down the rails filled with commuters with emotionless stares gravitating to the front of the car.

Another urban legend of a haunted abandoned metro station, Kymlinge station on Line 11 also referred to as The Blue Line, had intertwined with the legend of The Silver Pin.  Another legend  of The Silver Pin ghost train claims that the last stop on the Silver Pin is the Kymlinge station.  “Bara de döda stiger av i Kymlinge”,  (“only the dead get off at Kymlinge”).

kymlinge-station

My Thoughts…

The reputation of the train, while being in use, would probably have something to due with the infamous reputation that it later ended up earning.  Being only used as a backup would explain why common everyday commuters would rarely see the unique car.  The Silver Pin also developed the reputation of not being very reliable.  Due to it being the back up train I’m willing to bet the schedule of arrivals at the various stations would be affected.  Out of frustration, the people relying on the metro system waiting to be picked up could’ve had a part in creating the references of the legend.  I know from personal experience, while having to be dependent on public transportation from my younger days as a teenager, I had made statements such as “I  will probably be dead by the time this damn bus arrives.”  Of course I’m paraphrasing from the original comments that I made that were filled with all kinds of colorful language and euphemisms.

References

Investigations into the unknown and weird. (2013, October 9). Retrieved September 18, 2016, from https://silentthrill.wordpress.com/tag/silverpilen/

Journals, W.L. (n.d.). Silverpilen. Retrieved September 18, 2016, from http://worldjournals.org/article/WHEBN0002652899/Silverpilen

Grundhauser, E. (2015, October 7). The Silver Arrow, the Real Ghost Train Haunting the Stockholm Metro. Retrieved September 18, 2016, from http://www.atlasobscura.com/articles/the-silver-arrow-the-real-ghost-train-haunting-the-stockholm-metro

Ghost train (folklore). (n.d.). Retrieved September 18, 2016, from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ghost_train_(folklore)

Stockholm haunted by ghost train. (n.d.). Retrieved September 18, 2016, from http://www.stuff.co.nz/travel/destinations/europe/74125955/The-mystery-behind-the-ghost-train-that-haunted-Stockholm

Kuchisake Onna (the Slit-Mouthed Woman)

Kuchisake Onna

The legend of Kuchisake-Onna, a.k.a. The Slit-Mouth Woman, is a Japanese tale about the consequences of vanity and infidelity that can be dated back to the Heian Era (794-1185).  Many variations of the tale have been adapted to fit modern times, but the underlying life lessons still remain.

Folklore

A very beautiful wife of a Samurai was obsessed with pulling males complimentary attention to her radiant glow of her promiscuous presence that reached a point where suspicion of infidelity started to creep into the thoughts of her husband.  Eventually the Samurai couldn’t bare the shame and  humiliation of his wife having an affair and out of rage the husband started to beat his wife and took a knife to her mouth that gave her a permanent smile from ear to ear while yelling, “who will think you’re beautiful now?”  The woman died shortly after her domestic assault and then arose as the vengeful spirit known as Kuchisake Onna.

According to the earliest version of this story that I have found, the first appearance of Kuchisake Onna was described to be wearing a Kimono and would hide her face with one of the large sleeves while haunting the streets looking for her next victim.  She would approach lone male travelers while hiding her hideous deformity with her sleeve and ask them, “Do you think I’m pretty?”  If the unsuspecting prey says yes, she will reveal her face and and ask “Do you think I’m pretty now?”.  If the victim lies and says “yes” Kuchisake Onna will give the liar a permanent smile just like hers or If he says no she will slit his throat.

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A more modern version of the tale states that Kuchisake Onna was a victim of a botched plastic surgery operation and haunts the streets wearing a trenchcoat and a surgical mask to cover her mouth.  Instead of using a knife as a weapon, she would use a pair of dull rusty scissors to bring a smile to her victims.

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The surgical mask adaptation is the scariest version, in my opinion, due the fact that it is very common to see people commuting around the bigger cities of Japan.  Due to huge populations in cities such as Tokyo, Yokohama, Osaka, etc.  the fear of spreading germs is a norm in the culture of the populace and surgical masks have become the standard accessory that people wear while commuting in these cities.

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True Events

In 1979, the legend of Kuchisake Onna blew up into mass hysteria among the children of Japan.  A woman with a Glasgow Grin was witnessed chasing children around.  The news spread rapidly like a forest fire through the rest of Japan, South Korea, and even China.  Parents, teachers, and local law enforcement of Japan got swept up into the scare by closing schools earlier in the day to allow teachers to escort the children home before it got dark.   Parks, once filled with children playing, became ghost towns.  Police increased their patrols in the neighborhoods.

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Survival guide to avoid or escape the Slit-Mouthed Woman

It was a common belief that Kuchisake Onna comes from shadows, so children would avoid streets that had shadows present in the area.  Many other tactics were developed to avoid or to ward her off.  When she asks if she is pretty, answering her question with the question, “do you think you’re pretty?” or reply “So-So” is believed to confuse her and buy you sometime to escape your deadly date with this vengeful spirit.  The smell of Pomade (a certain type of hair gel) offends her and will prevent her from coming near you.  It is believed, according to the modern plastic surgery version, that the surgeon was wearing Pomade while performing his operation on the soon-to-be Kuchisake Onna and the smell of it caused her to move her head which led to her deformity and death.

References

Matsuura, Thersa. “Frightful Japan: The Torn-Mouth Woman (Kuchisake Onna) – HNN | Horrornews.net – Official News Site.” HNN Horrornewsnet Official News Site. N.p., 06 Feb. 2011. Web. 08 Aug. 2016.  Retrieved from http://horrornews.net/30080/frightful-japan-the-torn-mouth-woman-kuchisake-onna/

Kuchisake-Onna. (n.d.). Retrieved August 08, 2016, from http://creepypasta.wikia.com/wiki/Kuchisake-Onna

Wirawan, Anita. “Legend Of The Slit-Mouthed Woman: Kuchisake Onna – Anita’s Notebook.” Anita’s Notebook. N.p., 04 Feb. 2013. Web. 08 Aug. 2016.  Retrieved from http://anitasnotebook.com/2013/02/legend-of-the-slit-mouthed-woman-kuchisake-onna.html

Schwarz, Rob. “Kuchisake-Onna, the Slit-Mouthed Woman.” Stranger Dimensions. N.p., 01 July 2013. Web. 08 Aug. 2016.  Retrieved from http://www.strangerdimensions.com/2013/07/01/kuchisake-onna-the-slit-mouthed-woman/

La Llorona (The Weeping Woman)

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While growing up in Albuquerque, NM; the fear of La Llorona (pronounced “LAH yoh RoH nah”), also known as The Weeping Woman, was a fear instilled into me to the point where you would never see my happy little monkey butt playing by rivers or arroyos (ditches) at night as a child.

There is no established date of when the legend of La Llorona took place.  However the origins of the story came from Mexico and has spread all over the southwestern parts of the United States with many variations to the Legend.

Folklore

The retelling that I still remember from my childhood of the La Llorona starts in a small village in Mexico.  In this village lived a very attractive woman named Maria with vanity over surpassing her beauty.  All gentlemen suitors were rejected when trying to court Maria, until one day a very handsome man, son of a very wealthy ranchero, rode into town on his horse.  When this man first laid his eyes on the very beautiful Maria, he was convinced that this was the woman that he wanted to marry.  For awhile at first, Maria played hard to get by ignoring this handsome wealthy gentleman.  She would refuse to speak to him by not giving him the time of the day.  She also rejected all of his elaborate gifts that were presented to her to win her affection.

Long story short, they were married and had two children together.  They were perceived to be the happiest family in the area.  Then after a few years after the children were born, the ranchero started to leave home more and more to suit his embedded wild frontier lifestyle.  When returning  on occasions the man started to ignore Maria and would only spend time with his children.  On the last visit home the wealthy ranchero came back with another woman in his carriage.  The man told Maria that he was leaving her for this woman who was from a wealthier class.  As the newlyweds rode off Maria became furious and grabbed her children and took them for a walk to a nearby river.  While they were walking down the bank of the river, Maria’s anger was festering from within and boiled over.  Out of rage she grabbed her children by the arms and threw them into the river.  Maria stood by the river watching the strong currents pulling her children away to their watery deaths.  After realizing what she had just done, Maria started running down the river bank crying out to her children.  Maria ran as fast as she could but could not keep up with the speed of the currents.  While running and trying to shorten the gap to her children, she tripped and fell face first hitting her head on a rock and died.

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To this day, if children dare to play near any form of rivers they might hear the sounds of a crying woman in white yelling out for her children.  And if these foolish young souls stay long enough, she will take them as her own.

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Other variations of the La Llorona portray her children to be spoiled little brats and after her husband left her the little monsters misbehaving is supposedly what triggered Maria’s rage that caused her to kill her children.  Another version of the La Llorona tale states that she married a conquistador and when she was dumped for another woman of higher status her Aztec blood threw her into madness and she killed her children.  After killing her children she went on a mission to rid all European colonists by killing men, women, and children as an act of vengeance against the intruders of her land from overseas.  She was portrayed to be wearing black clothing, a blank expression on her face, and having long fingernails.  She would carry out her conquests of eliminating European colonists at night.

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Like any other ghost story, the La Llorona legend is used as a scare tactic to keep children from danger.  Whether it is to keep them from playing around bodies of water or to get them to come home before it gets dark.  The story is also used to get a child to behave.  If a child acts like a brat, La Llorona would be the threat used to redirect the child’s behavior.

References

La Llorona – A Mexican Ghost Story | donQuijote. (n.d.). Retrieved July 24, 2016, from http://www.donquijote.org/culture/mexico/society/customs/la-llorona

Challenging and Redefining the Myth of La Llorona. (n.d.). Retrieved July 24, 2016, from http://www.csusm.edu/news/topstories/articles/2012/10/tsLaLlorona.html

Fuller, A. (n.d.). The evolving legend of La Llorona. Retrieved July 24, 2016, from http://www.historytoday.com/amy-fuller/evolving-legend-la-llorona

LA LLORONA. (n.d.). Retrieved July 24, 2016, from https://tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/lxl01

Weiser, K. (n.d.). La Llorona – Weeping Ghost of the Southwest. Retrieved July 24, 2016, from http://www.legendsofamerica.com/gh-lallorona.html

Hayes, J. (n.d.). LA LLORONA – A HISPANIC LEGEND. Retrieved July 24, 2016, from http://www.literacynet.org/lp/hperspectives/llorona.html

 

The Hull House

Hull House

In 1856, a real estate tycoon Charles J. Hull built a home in the near westside of Chicago, which in that time period was considered to be the upper class area of the city.  Mr. Hull’s wife died in the second floor bedroom and shortly after a few months of her death it was reported that her ghost haunted the room.  After the rest of the Hull family vacated the house  the Little Sisters of the Poor and a used furniture store occupied the building and also claimed to have experienced the presence of Mrs. Hull.

After the Chicago Fire of 1871, burning down most of the westside, the wealthy moved to other parts of the city and the near westside became inhabited by Italian, Greek and Jewish immigrants.  The area’s landscape went from luxurious homes with green lawns and hedges to tenement houses and factories.

Jane Adams

jane adams

Jane Adams was a social reformer who was the first American woman to receive the Nobel Peace prize.  In 1889, Jane Adams along with her partner Ellen Starr Gates started their social equality efforts in Chicago by opening up the Hull House as a peaceful haven for the immigrants living in the area.  They provided shelter, education, and job training to improve the quality of life of the residents who resided in an area that became plagued with crime and crooked cops and was known as the “Dark Corner of Chicago”.  The Hull House was purchased by the University of Illinois and still stands today as a museum of social reform efforts made by Jane Adams, Ellen Gates, and the staff of Hull House.

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The Devil Baby

The Hull House became a footnote in the realm of urban legend folklore by becoming known as the House of the Devil Baby of Chicago.  The story goes that a catholic woman married an atheist man.  The woman tried to put a picture of the Virgin Mary on a wall of their house and the man ripped the picture down and tore it to shreds.  The man yelled out, “I would rather have the Devil himself in this house than that picture.”  Shortly after the woman gave birth to a child that had scales and a tail.  Some variations of the story claim that the child had horns and a hooves for feet.  The baby was taken to and abandoned at the Hull House.  Supposedly, Jane Adams took the baby in and while trying to baptize the baby, the infant stood up, walked around, and was mocking the priest.  Rumors ran rampant about the “Hull House Devil Baby” and people would visit the House and ask to see the infamous baby, some even tried to offer money for a peak of the demonic creature.  

Jane Adams and the staff of Hull House denied the stories.  Jane Adams even wrote in her autobiography dispelling the rumors and claims of the Devil Baby.  People to this day claim to see at night a demonic face of a child appearing out the attic window of the Hull House.  Whether the story has some truths or not, there are now known birth defects that could have happened that could logically explain on how this once started as a rumor then turned to the legend of the Devil Baby.

References

About Jane Addams. (n.d.). Retrieved June 05, 2016, from http://www.hullhousemuseum.org/about-jane-addams/

 

Visit The Museum. (n.d.). Retrieved June 05, 2016, from http://www.hullhousemuseum.org/overview/

Jane Addams and Hull House. (n.d.). Retrieved June 05, 2016, from http://www.hauntdetective.com/hauntings-legends-folklore/chicago/westside/85-jane-addams-and-hull-house

The Devil Baby of Hull House. (2011, October 3). Retrieved June 05, 2016, from http://www.chicagonow.com/chicago-quirk/2011/10/the-devil-baby-of-hull-house/

JANE ADDAM’S HULL HOUSE. (n.d.). Retrieved June 05, 2016, from http://www.prairieghosts.com/hull.html