Tag Archives: caitlin horton

Happy Hauntings: The Magic of Walt Disney’s Haunted Mansion

“When hinges creak in doorless chambers, and strange and frightening sounds echo through the halls. Whenever candlelights flicker, where the air is deathly still — that is the time when ghosts are present, practicing their terror with ghoulish delight!”

Many years ago in the Victorian Era, the Louisiana located Gracey Mansion was alive with parties and guests, with love and hope. Wealthy landowner Edward Gracey was in love with Elizabeth Henshaw and asked her hand in marriage. At a grand fete Gracey proposes and Elizabeth sends a note with her response, apparently rebuffing a love he thought they shared. Finding her body after she takes her life with poison throws him into turmoil. He ultimately decides he cannot face life without her, and hangs himself in his garden atrium. And so the Gracey manor fell into disrepair, until a hundred years later when a descendant of the Gracey family who desires to sell the home contact a couple involved in Real Estate, Mr. and Mrs. Evers. Their own marriage is on some rocky ground due to long work hours, Mr. and Mrs. Evers along with their two children, stop at the house on the way out of town for vacation.

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The Time Capsule

Today is not someday August 2019. Today you have time traveled back to a pivotal event in world history: Sunday, September 3rd, 1939. You are sitting in your comfy armchair, your slippered feet propped up on a moquette covered footstool, and hearing these chilling words from Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain as you tune into your Bakelite wireless set; “This morning the British Ambassador in Berlin handed the German government a final note stating that unless we heard from them by eleven o’clock that they were prepared at once to withdraw their troops from Poland a state of war would exist between us. I have to tell you now that no such undertaking has been received, and that consequently this country is at war with Germany.”

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The Strange Affair of Fairy-Kind

Every morning I bet you wake up and think, “Today I will contemplate the Napoleonic Wars and the many ways they could have been won or lost.” Okay, maybe that’s a bit dramatic. Even I, a History Major, admit I never gave old Bonaparte more than a passing glance when I was poring over history books. So I wouldn’t blame you if you retorted, “Heck, I’ve never given over three seconds thought to the old dude” and move on with your day.

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The Sweater Wearing Good Guy

Today you are not in the year 2019. Today you have time traveled back to an ordinary afternoon in 1996. No, you have not entered the Twilight Zone. But what you are about to witness is a true story. You are looking into a living room with a dark-paneled wall, a wood-burning stove, and an old square television set with dials. Seated in front of it is a little girl with scraggly blonde pigtails wearing a pink turtleneck under a jumper-dress. She fixes her eyes on the screen. The tall, thin man with grey hair she is watching on the screen removes his red sweater and hangs it in the closet, replacing it with a suit jacket. As he does so, he sings part of a song, “I’ll be back, when the day is new. And I’ll have more ideas for you. And you’ll have things you’ll want to talk about. I will, too.” And just before the man leaves through the front door of his home, the little girl leans forward and kisses him on the cheek… or rather, the static-y screen of the TV. Continue reading

Arriving in Paradise

Okay, let’s be honest with each other. It’s mid-February and winter is dragging its feet and the snowy blues seem like they will NEVER LEAVE! You look out the window and its 14 degrees out and grey and yucky and summer feels like it will never brighten the skies again. Yikes! So humans do the next logical thing. We fantasize about a nice tropical getaway, a paradise with shimmering blue-green water, palm trees, eighty-five degree breezes and a chilled, sparkling glass of murder. Wait, what? That last bit doesn’t fit? Oh, but what if you’re a sleuth, keen on solving mysteries, including that most morbid of its kind: murder? Or better yet, what if that’s your job! Continue reading

The Scoundrel and the Bounty Hunter


Once upon a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, there was a five year old little girl planted in front of a television set watching Star Wars. She was in awe of it all, from the storyline about a farmboy from a sandy, hot planet (she lived on a rainy, cold coast) to the droids (some small just like her!) to a fascinating energy called The Force. Now, a five year olds brain works in mysterious ways, because while the Star Wars marathon was airing, she became absolutely fixed on two specific characters as her favorites: Lando Calrissian and Boba Fett. Fast forward twenty-two years and nothing has changed. Oh, well, certainly the franchise has changed. There were those other three movies that generally are never named amongst her friends and family, they are the Star Wars outcasts because it seems no-one really likes them. Then there was the newest, where the Force is awakening in someone new, but in a likable, organic way. But what has never changed is that love for two secondary characters from a franchise that began thirty-nine years ago. Continue reading

Vincent Price Double Dare



I admit it, I am that individual who jumps at their own shadow and can count the modern horror movies they’ve seen on one hand. One finger, actually. And I watched it during the day with light pouring from every lamp and the mute button on and discovered that without scary sounds and music, modern horror is, well, cheap and melodramatic and very much pantomime. So how I wound up watching two 1950s horror movies with Vincent Price in one week and liking them is still a mystery! Perhaps it’s because I know that pre-1960s films had to adhere to a stricter film decency code and only so much “horror” could actually take place. But more likely it’s because I knew it would be a more surreal, more artistic horror that leaves much to the imagination. Continue reading

Repeat, Terminator, All Men Must Die



Can you imagine that from your first breath on earth you are told you will one day save mankind? Not only that, you will live through a nuclear war and fight apocalyptic assassin robots bent on annihilating the human race? Yeah, sure. Right. No kid is going to ever believe that kind of bunkum, instead, they’re likely to run screaming away from your madness. Unless your name is John Connor, that is. Continue reading

Adrift No Longer: Shipwrecked



Once upon a time there was a boy who went to sea. His name was Håkon Håkonsen and he was from Norway, the land of majestic fjords, deep forests, and ancient charm. He went to sea, for who knows why, but being a good boy, he quickly worked his way up in the ranks to become a valuable sailor. He returned home several times, obtaining a lease for a farm and marrying the sweetest girl there could ever be. They had three children together, a boy and two girls, and nothing it seemed would ever part their happiness… until he was wounded in an accident and could no longer work the rigging of a ship. This meant he could no longer make payments on his farm and he risked losing it all. But this is not the Håkon of our story. That would be his son, nearing his early teenage years, brave and understanding of matters that shouldn’t worry children and willing to be all for his family. Håkon Håkonsen decides to accept a commission to become cabin boy on the ship his father used to sail with for two years; he will earn enough in that time to make payment on the farm so his father, mother, and sisters can live. Continue reading

Louder Than Words: Indiana Jones



You know that old saying “It takes a village to raise a child”? Well, that is probably true for some people, but not the family I have in mind. In fact, in three generations of this particular line it only takes one parent who will have maximum impact on their child’s life. Sometimes this happens when they are teens and sometimes when they’re adults, but always in meaningful ways. This shows how humans never stop learning from one another and despite all the bravado that says “I can manage alone,” there are times when all you want is for a parent figure to grab you in a bear hug and tell you that “You don’t have to be the one-person band.”

The above kind of sentiment is good for the family I’ve mentioned, because they can also be called dysfunctional and without the common ties of blood and love, they would probably run screaming for the nearest exit. And why not? After all, there’s a history of gun-shootouts, circus trains, stolen goods, and lifelong crusades for finding the “perfect” object, all the while ignoring other objects (and people) that may be more significant in the long run. Continue reading