Author Topic: Paranormal Polka: these boots were made for haunting.  (Read 56566 times)

Barek Halfhand

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Re: Paranormal Polka: these boots were made for haunting.
« Reply #390 on: June 08, 2011, 01:38:38 PM »

http://i1082.photobucket.com/albums/j367/HalfhandFiles3/Maple%20Lake/100_9603.jpg


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The Notorious Mr Halfhand

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Re: Paranormal Polka: these boots were made for haunting.
« Reply #391 on: June 08, 2011, 11:13:09 PM »
Wow, its really beautiful there!!!! Reminds me of some of my fav spots!

Cassiel

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Re: Paranormal Polka: these boots were made for haunting.
« Reply #392 on: June 09, 2011, 04:54:09 PM »
Am as always very impressed with the dedication to the sites you cover, I find this photo especially interesting, cool shot... indeed  :-o




« Last Edit: June 09, 2011, 05:03:20 PM by Cassiel »
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Barek Halfhand

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Re: Paranormal Polka: these boots were made for haunting.
« Reply #393 on: June 09, 2011, 05:17:42 PM »
thanks  :-) ....b
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Barek Halfhand

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Re: Paranormal Polka: these boots were made for haunting.
« Reply #394 on: August 05, 2011, 07:55:12 PM »
Road Trip 2011 Part 2by Barek Halfhand

The gargantuan propellers seem surprisingly graceful spinning in the distance as the wind farms of pastoral north central Indiana suddenly dominate the landscape and have come to serve as my symbolic gateway to The South...If I didn’t view this spectacle as fanatically futuristic I may have been compelled to fulminate over the irony of these immense landscape transformative edifices compared to the energy output of a single conventional fossil fuel/nuclear power plant but I digress...

The aromatic night air changes rapidly as the miles stream by...everything from fertilizer to fern wafts through the opened windows, but the country and mountain purity of this pollution free expanses of the open road are something that you rural folks probably take for granted ...

This return trip entailed some new and some return visits ...a new site was an antique mall plagued by a cantankerous old spinster the owner hesitantly confided is clinging to some of her worldly possessions purchased legitimately by the dealer at an estate sale ...

A tip lead me to the site of 2 failed businesses where growing anxiety over bankruptcy and liquidation evidently lead one to drastic measures of desperation and sadly resignation ...

Another new site by a trusted confidant lead me to a shack in the woods that where I literally felt the resident entity glowering in my direction from the rickety wooden porch ...the tin roof (rusted) created a hot box effect that baked the hay stored within and created a musty, sour smell...visible holes in the floor called for careful circumvention ...

A new twist in one of the return sites was the insight of a local that noticed me in the parking lot (out of state plates are a source of intrigue in this particular area) and while I was not immediately forthcoming as to reason for photographing the cemetery opting to attribute my interest one of historical study, he related an enticing tidbit of local lore associated with the site...The tragic story of teen sweethearts planning on a wedding after graduation turned from a simple postponement of the nuptials to sorrow when the young man’s call to service lead him to the European theater of WW1 and sadly; his death... his body was returned and interred with honors at this site where legend contends that the young woman anguished for months grave side, mourning the loss of her paramour ...It is said that the specter of her grieving beside his memorial marker is still a fairly frequent occurrence ...the girl herself never married, died young for reasons unspecified and was buried elsewhere downstate ....

The closed down daycare center has a sordid history and I would prefer not to speculate or fill in the blanks that exist on this one ...the site has strewn debris and mattresses on the floor with assorted paint cans sitting next to it leaving little doubt that this now abandoned building plays host to huffers and assorted other transients...there is a strange substance splattered on the walls of the kitchen and the cabinet doors are all hanging open, giving the appearance of a temper tantrum ...there are still board games neatly stacked on the shelves of 2 of the hallway closets...there is an awful, stale sense of stagnation and putrefaction inside, the basement door hangs wide open, the staircase steep and devoid of handrails ...the caliginous cavern below was illuminated only by the faint light of square window of a single outside door leading outward and up via cracked concrete steps...the basement fireplace still bore the remnants of a recent fire and piles of discarded clothing, beer cans and liquor bottles littered the floor ...an odd line of wooden chairs arranged like they were intended to accommodate an audience of some sort were situated to the left of the fireplace...the fetid stench of decay rapidly became intolerable and as my discomfort level rapidly rose, a horsefly bit my leg creating a surprising amount of pain for such a small insect ...I finished with the basement photos and promptly departed ...

This was my 3rd visit to the old creek side mill and the weeds have definitely gained a foothold on the aluminum sided, wooden floored structure...the bottom windows and door are now boarded up and there are now “No Trespassing” signs posted so this edition was limited to outside shots ...the is still a dour presence lingering here and whether you ascribe to the ecumenical perception of negative entities as “demons” or not is irrelevant, the discordant nature of those that dwell in shadows is clearly tangible to those with unfiltered sensibilities and unfettered by the blinders of convention ...I could literally hear the muffled cackling as I slipped down the bank of the creek next to the north wall, stopping just short of the rushing water...his sense of humor hasn’t changed since 2 visits ago when I almost plunged through the second floor rotted planks ...

The old church in the bad section of town was merely a fortunate happenstance and 2 quick phone calls granted me access...the old TV, stoves, oak hutches, 2 upright pianos, standup wooden mirrors and antiquated recording equipment long with other assorted oddities stored inside undisturbed in this less than secured building left me perplexed ...a tree branch grew through a broken window from the outside and seemed to be reaching towards the roof in defiance of the entire constitution...I wasn’t able to glean much in the way of site history as I embarked on some post-visit research and phone calls but apparently the church was lead by a particularly pernicious pastor that was accused of “abuse of authority” but my source wasn’t sure of the specific allegations...he was eventually transferred following mounting complaints leveled by the congregation, that again weren’t specified...

The covered bridge was a welcomed diversion from the norm and as this new addition was another referral, the details surrounding the nature of the alleged activity were also sketchy...as promised and by request, the exact location of these “Road Trip” sites will continue to remain undisclosed to prevent the attraction of “ghost hunters” and others looking to glom onto the latest wave of paranormal culture popularity, but the bridge is in fact a known historic site...the legend collectively recollected here relates to a woman battling an ultimately debilitating terminal illness who, as part of her self prescribed convalescent therapy enjoyed spending several afternoons a week at this location...she seemed to find solace by the mountain air and bubbling brook beneath the bridge and the scenic overview from the path leading from the main road ...Reports of continued presence at the bridge following her losing the battle against whatever disease she fought are still rumored today but my source disavows any personal experiences here at this site that he himself frequents with his dogs in tow ...shortly after my arrival at the bridge an SUV full of teens showed up and much to my chagrin; frolicked in the knee high creek thus depriving me of the solitude I prefer on these excursions.. In resignation I opted for a an insouciant photo session, thus treating the location like more of a tourist attraction than the site of purported paranormal activity ...of course after collecting a sufficient amount of stills and videos, I started my ascent to the parking lot as the raucous teens began to grate on my nerves with their high decibel joviality and I was at the time in my then irritated state; lacking the appropriate parlance to request that they dial it down a few notches ... In a moment of clarity and terse introspection I realized what a cranky curmudgeon I was becoming by such intolerance as I plodded up the path looking downward at red-dirt soiled shoes. A sudden ”hello” startled me...I returned the greeting as my head snapped back upward just glimpsing the middle aged woman in a sun hat passing me heading downward and the other direction ...it wasn’t until I reached the summit and the gravel parking lot moments later that I made the connection and spun around to look back down the path ...of course nobody was there ....

Here are the (compressed to 1MB) photos...some have been slightly sharpened or color enhanced (07-2011) total....b
http://s1082.photobucket.com/albums/j367/HalfhandFiles3/Road%20Trip%202011%20Part%202/

Here's the youtube video:

"Haunted Road Trip":
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pyxHJuAemHA


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« Last Edit: August 07, 2011, 08:38:07 PM by Barek Halfhand »
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Barek Halfhand

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Re: Paranormal Polka: these boots were made for haunting.
« Reply #395 on: August 05, 2011, 07:57:51 PM »

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« Last Edit: August 06, 2011, 06:42:17 PM by Barek Halfhand »
The Notorious Mr Halfhand

Nina
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Re: Paranormal Polka: these boots were made for haunting.
« Reply #396 on: August 06, 2011, 01:39:01 AM »
where were these pics taken? :)

Cassiel

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Re: Paranormal Polka: these boots were made for haunting.
« Reply #397 on: August 06, 2011, 08:36:56 AM »
where were these pics taken? :)
In the United States..No locations will be disclosed   8-)
« Last Edit: August 06, 2011, 09:01:43 AM by Cassiel »
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davidn13

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Re: Paranormal Polka: these boots were made for haunting.
« Reply #398 on: August 06, 2011, 11:08:13 AM »
where were these pics taken? :)
In the United States..No locations will be disclosed   8-)

That seems to be most peoples main way of dealing with the supernatural-ignore/ denial of whatever happened.
"What the hell was that?"

Cassiel

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Re: Paranormal Polka: these boots were made for haunting.
« Reply #399 on: August 06, 2011, 12:19:47 PM »
where were these pics taken? :)
In the United States..No locations will be disclosed   8-)

That seems to be most peoples main way of dealing with the supernatural-ignore/ denial of whatever happened.

I have to ask, just out of curiosity, what are you talking about? :focus:
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Barek Halfhand

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Re: Paranormal Polka: these boots were made for haunting.
« Reply #400 on: August 26, 2011, 12:39:16 PM »

That seems to be most peoples main way of dealing with the supernatural-ignore/denial of whatever happened.


That for some seems to be an effective shield (ignore/denial) so I have become more hesitant to challenge such as of late ....b
The Notorious Mr Halfhand

Barek Halfhand

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Re: Paranormal Polka: these boots were made for haunting.
« Reply #401 on: September 06, 2011, 10:23:11 AM »
The Old Joliet Prison
by Barek Halfhand


   It’s been over a decade since I worked at the Joliet Correctional Center and just returning to the empty main lot reminded me of the dread, insecurity and very real sense of mortal vulnerability that only those that have worked in such an institution can truly relate to... I found the 2009 announcement that the old prison was slated for conversion to a tourist attraction paradoxical as the concept of incarceration itself is antithetical to recreation...I felt less than nostalgic returning to that lot I did so may times over a 2 year stint to complete a project concurrent with the remodel undertaking ...Still no word on the ribbon cutting ceremonies for the “Joliet Prison Park” as of the 08/2011 writing of this article, but I plan on including an inside view update to this topic once it does in fact open those massive iron gates to the public ...

 The Annex was originally constructed as a women’s prison and ultimately ended it’s tenure housing sex offenders that have completed their DOC sentence but have been deemed to still be a public threat by the Illinois Department of Human Services... I was working in the basement of The Annex where the most intense negative presence I have ever encountered near the small square barred doors of the Segregation Cells or ‘Seg“ used to hold the more unruly female inmates to serve a punitive penance for whatever transgression or policy violation they perpetrated  ...and as my original narrative (below) outlines, rumors of alleged abuse of these women by the “guards” of that period was related to me by a Correctional Officer that served as an escort that particular day ...the assignment of one “escort” to a lone contractor was not unusual and at times they were female officers that wouldn’t done me much good had the inmates of this Super Max correctional facility decided to stomp us...There is a certain cold emptiness about the eyes of a sociopath...a complete lack of empathy for others, a remorseless pathology devoid of emotions, a lack of a moral compass and an innate sense of right and wrong that most of us possess even if it is crippled or arrested developmentally ...once you look into those eyes you wont ever forget it, the absence of the radiant essence that makes us human is tangible even to those lacking this sensitivity and very obvious when it is missing...

Construction began on the medieval style castle prison complete with turrets and crenelated topped walls of the admin building in 1858 and a workforce of inmates and contractors shared the task ...this site housed civil war POWs and criminals by 1860, even though the building wasn’t retrofitted with the basic amenity of running water in the cells until as late as the 1940's the civil war prisoners were probably better off there than Chicago’s notoriously cruel and unsanitary; Camp Douglas that claimed so many lives...

There have been riots, the murder of a Warden’s wife, rumors of a singing ghost in the prison cemetery that drew thousand of curiosity seekers until the ghost was discovered to be a certain night guard that had a penchant for crooning to himself to stave off the lonely quietude of his post ...

The woman’s prison was built in the 1890's before the inmates were transferred to a new facility in Dwight Illinois and the Annex was converted to a male R & C (Receiving and Classification) then finally in the late 90's (when I worked there) the annex was transformed into the D
Department of Human Services sex offender residency...incidently (and ironically) the new R & C moved back across the street to the main complex and into a small buildings on the north side of the yard where they filmed John Belushi reclaiming his belongings that were cataloged and stored upon his incarceration...that famous scene with Frank Oz was actually shot in a mattress factory and I could still see the silver painted ceiling the director decided was necessary to brighten up the background for the shoot during the remodel ...

Over the years the site has housed some famous inmates from celebrated cases, one such case  was heralded as the Trial Of The (previous) Century; that being the trial of chilling child murderers Leopold and Loeb...

The famous opening gate scene from The Blues Brothers where “Joliet Jake” and Elwood are reunited on the Collins Street side of the prison wall was sealed shut during my tenure working there ...

I didn’t watch too many episodes the Fox series “Prison Break” but I was in fact inside of that  tunnel that was an integral part of the escape plot...this tunnel actually served as access to the yard guard tower and a service conduit for plumbing, electrical, voice and data ...It is covered by a sidewalk and vents that runs the length of the yard that is digitally removed from most of the yard scenes ....

 Most of the “Natural Born killers” prison sequences were filmed at Stateville on the other side of the river and although a large portion was shot at the JCC Annex, most of it was not used save for (I believe) the sequence where Mallory (Juliette Lewis) kills Scagnetti (Tom Sizemore) in solitary confinement ...

There have been numerous movies and television filmed at the Joliet Correctional Center including  “Red Heat”, “Derailed”, “Let’s Go To Jail”, the shows “Bones”,  “Breakout Kings” among others ...

I wrote up my experience, working in the basement of the Annex in late 2006, and you will probably notice my penchant for run on sentences is not a recent cultivation...

Quote me: (*edited for spelling, execrable grammar, run on sentences and inadvertent malapropisms )...

January 2007:
I have had some instances of an uneasy "bad vibe” sort of feeling in certain places one of which could be easily dismissed just based on the creepy nature of the location but it is the most pronounced to date I can recall. For those of you in the USA you are probably familiar with the Fox series "Prison Break", this show was filmed in the Joliet Correctional Center in Joliet Illinois (now closed) where I spent a considerable amount of time working as a technician during some of its remodeling . The nature of the work sent me to all areas of the prison (including ones occupied by real inmates not actors!) as well as a satellite building across the street called The Annex that was originally constructed around the turn of the century to serve as a women's prison ...well in the basement of this building there is a row of very small cells with tiny barred doors about waist high that was used as isolation or "seg" (segregation) for the female prisoners that misbehaved (I later found out that there were rumors of these ladies being the victims of regular abuse by the guards of the era) anyway, one day my task at hand led me to this notorious area with a coworker and we noticed one of the small cell doors...

As I moved in for a closer look I got this overwhelming feeling of dread or like a “bad energy” is the best I can describe it ...it was almost like years of psychic trauma had been hewn into the stone wall of the structure that comprised the building material used to fashion the medieval castle style prison this one was designed to resemble (the beginning of "The Blues Brothers" has a good shot of the main building)...The only way I can describe it is just a negative energy...I looked at my coworker; a very Joe Six-Pack kind guy and said "do you feel that ?" and his response was “yeah I do!"...we didn't discuss it immediately afterwards and he didn't bring it up again. It wasn't until weeks later that I leaned about the lore surrounding that basement being the site of abuse...I have felt this sensation in other environments as well, some of which were simple empty rooms or basements that weren't aesthetically "creepy" at all and there were many times that I was alone in super creepy places and felt nothing at all...I am especially interested in the stone style bricks in the prison as I believe there may be something to the residual haunting theory, much the way an audio impression can be played back in the case of a phonograph,  perhaps psychic impressions can be left on certain materials and all of the construction and electrical work being done (a lot of new electrical conduit nears basement cell area) could have released this "imprint" even louder.  Now, have I considered that I may have been feeling an EM field in the proximity of the new electrical work?...yes I have, but I also know that there was something ominous about this sensation, the same as the presence I have felt in the recurring sleep paralysis dreams I have (dark, foggy presence etc.) ...

January 2007:
“I touched on my theory that certain stone or rock based building materials may harbor the psychic impressions perceived by many of us ...I have heard from friends that have visited the Viet Nam Memorial wall in Washington DC have felt something unusual and considering how many grief stricken people have visited this site it may be prime example ...I am not sure but think it is made of a type of granite (will Google and report back later) taking this into consideration wouldn't it also be reasonable to conjecture that graveyards loaded with assorted granite tombstones have been exposed to countless grieving visitors ...I kinda of consider this my "Sci-Fi" explanation to some aspects of hauntings but it doesn't necessarily dismiss the possibility of a spiritual activity...”

January 2007:
“Maybe the (Viet Nam) Memorial is a bad example of this idea (I haven’t paid my respects as of yet) nor do I know if my friend has lost someone to that war, but i think maybe when all those names come into focus the sheer volume of them may evoke this as a sort of shock...Also in the case of the tombstone comment I made I didn’t mean the stone was imbued with the spirit of it’s dead sub-dweller but maybe exposed to the psychic trauma of a visiting grieving relative/friend and somehow released by weather, tremors, tidal forces, etc. ...”

January 2007:
“My theory is; it my be anything from the earths’ own EM field to mild tremors to a nearby train passing, traffic, weather, or even power tools used in construction (as was the case for me in the basement of the Joliet Correctional Center)...”

January 2007:
“There’s no disputing it was a stressful work environment but I did spend alot of time in this place (Joliet correctional center) and would often have to walk among killers and other assorted baddies so when I got across the street to the basement of this "annex" building where the old seg (punishment) cells are, with other contractors nearby and with no inmates (at the time) even in the building, I was much more at ease than usual and I was not at all creeped out by the basemen. Lets take a moment to consider the composition of the base structure of the building and the large scale construction taking place. There were alot of additional electrical conduits installed overhead and powers tools humming everywhere, may have been enough to shake the bad energy out of anything even the contemptuous bad energy I felt out of nowhere within the proximity to the tiny cells where I first perceived it...”


The late August noon-ish visit to the aptly renamed: “Old Joliet Prison” was nothing short of splendid weather-wise ...the sun was bight, the skies were a deep blue with a few billowy white clouds,  the temperatures moderate and breezy and the preseason September scents of the approaching Indian Summer reminded me of the anticipatory excitement and apprehension of a new school year this season represented in childhood... the drive there took me through a surreal city of silos, smokestacks and an elaborate oil refinery network of pipes that transformed the suburban outback into a postcard from the Persian Gulf ...I’m not sure if the Joliet Park District, Visitors Bureau or Historical/Preservation Society is responsible for the new gate, information kiosks and primary parking lot upgrade including park benches, but this seems to be as far as the “Prison Park” project has proceeded thus far...the buildings appear to be in a growing state of disrepair with broken windows, tall weeds growing through cracks in the concrete beyond the razor wire topped fence and even visible tree saplings sprouting from roof top crevices and crannies peeking over the ledges...the main admin building has several broken windows...I look forward to getting shots inside if the chance arises, the warden’s office is opulent in its ornate woodworking but again I don’t particularly relish the notion of walking that yard or the cellblocks again ...the smell is a stale, sour odor that I will never forget ...

There was a fairly steady stream of families in cars and couples on motorcycles pulling to the lot for a look, some of which parked and walked around while others were content with a slow drive-by viewing ...One particularly imperturbable father repeatedly admonished his son of about 5 or 6 from attempting to scale the fence...one gentleman I noticed walking the north perimeter taking photos as I arrived inquired about the opening of “Prison Park” for inside tours when we crossed paths at the south end near the entrance...I informed him I knew as much as he did and after he shared that he drove from Ohio via Indiana for this visit, I regaled him with my experiences working there and knowledge of it’s history ...he rolled his eyes when I brought up the ghost lore associated with the facility and fondly admitted his friends in Ohio have explored The Mansfield Reformatory under pretense of a ghost tour/paranormal investigation but was himself a skeptic albeit an ardent history enthusiast...I elected to forgo intimating my own supernatural experiences there in favor of a more cerebral discussion of the prison based on his reaction and wished him a safe journey home ... More often than not I have had to shift gears when I am at a site like this and engage others present for any personal insight or information I can glean by such mild interrogative probing and find myself laughing off such superstitions nonsense right along with them citing it as a necessary aspect of the historic research I was conducting ...

The Annex looked the same as it did over a decade ago from the outside ...the paint on the bright red fire escape along the west wall was chipping away surrendering to the orange rust beneath, its’ bottom most section still cranked up perpendicular to the base...As I rounded the sentinel Lion statue on the left of the main entrance I realized that the small, wire mesh fortified windows would grant me a look inside the front doors where a double iron gate buffer space separated the outside world from “inside” ...knowing that those small isolation cells where almost directly below the armory box to the left, I braced myself for a blast of that searing, soul swallowing negative energy I encountered over 12 years back...I was not disappointed in the least by it’s anticlimactic absence and fired off a couple shots through the windows before turning back to the sun soaked euphoria of the early afternoon and started down the small staircase when the unmistakable muffled SLAM of a cell door rang out from within the cold stone walls of the building ...

I wandered around back down a gravel driveway between the Annex and another building that used to be a State Police forensic lab which still looked to be occupied and even had a few civilian (looking) vehicles in the lot ...the weeds are rapidly overtaking the exercise yard but the basketball net and rusting weight bench are clearly visible through the double fence line..

I opted to save exploring the quarry for another time (predawn-sunrise) ...the rear of the Annex revealed a few old maintenance or storage buildings, a radio repair shop for the entire correctional complex and trailers that looked to serve as additional DHS office space ...the field to the east is reverting to a prairie state and at the bottom of a steep summit; a freight train clamored by a rectangular, white track-side edifice with JCC (Joliet Correctional Center) boldly effaced on the front and a newer looking large water tower labeled “Joliet” in a more contemporary italic font...

The empty Supermax facility seemed infinitely more peaceful albeit the indeterminate levels of lingering residual or sentient supernatural activity that may still dwell within ...

Here are the (compressed to 1MB) photos...some have been slightly sharpened or color enhanced (09-2011) 92 total....b
http://s1082.photobucket.com/albums/j367/HalfhandFiles3/The%20Old%20Joliet%20Prison/

Here's the youtube video: The Old Joliet Prison

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rVQwFEk2Wcw
The Notorious Mr Halfhand

Barek Halfhand

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Re: Paranormal Polka: these boots were made for haunting.
« Reply #402 on: September 06, 2011, 10:24:17 AM »

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The Notorious Mr Halfhand

Barek Halfhand

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Re: Paranormal Polka: these boots were made for haunting.
« Reply #403 on: October 03, 2011, 03:08:35 PM »
Haunted Archer Avenue: Fairmount Hills
by Barek Halfhand

*From 5-09:

The Archer Avenue gates to Fairmont Hills lie between St James Church and The Willow Brook Ballroom along the farthest, forest draped reaches of that famous stretch of Chicago land roadway.  There was no predetermined destination when stumbled into my jeep slopping coffee on my lap at 5 am one morning,  but knowing that there was a good chance of finding an open pre dawn gate at either St James or Fairmount was a safe bet and traversing the distance before full sunrise to Archer Woods or Sacred Heart being another two off-hour options I have not been to recently pointed me in that direction…As I passed the enigmatic, landmark sign that read Willow Brook Ballroom no less than a half a block on the left the open gates to Fairmount became visible in the waning morning darkness…the last few visits there are indelibly etched in my mind as the unlikely combination of both  scenic foreboding …I have in the past always feel literally sick when I got too close to the “Savage Tower” and that morning was no exception ….


Here are the unedited (cropped) photos from today’s visit 5-3-09 (51 total)….
http://s473.photobucket.com/albums/rr97/BarekHalfhand/Fairmount%204/


*From 11-08:


I have featured this location in Misc. Debris if it looks familiar ...this afternoon's cold, blustery weather and periodic snow flurries and my usual lack of weather appropriate attire made for yet another physically depleting afternoon photo shoot...there were some pronounced energy fluctuations in certain isolated spots...
this site is apparently featured in a book discovered researching the area that am so drawn to....and an off duty police officer selected this location to commit suicide a few years back ...


Here are the unedited photos from today's visit: 11-20-08 (71 total)...
http://s150.photobucket.com/albums/s85/landofhand/Fairmount/

Here's the Youtube video....b

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c0Fd4pgV_fw



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The Notorious Mr Halfhand

Barek Halfhand

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Re: Paranormal Polka: these boots were made for haunting.
« Reply #404 on: October 30, 2011, 01:59:06 PM »
*UPDATE*

Haunted Archer Avenue: Fairmount Hills-Update
by Barek Halfhand

The afternoon sun was warm on my short sleeve shirt-ed arm as I crossed the bridge over the I&M Canal and Des Plaines River... a bridge that leads to Willow Springs terminating at Archer Avenue which acts as a line of demarcation to an area vetted as one of the most haunted in the nation...the pleasant view of the sun-sparkled waterway of the canal oddly triggered the memory of a certain bad, made-for-TV movie called “Deadly Matrimony” (1992-Brian Dennehy, Treat Williams ) based on the twisted, sordid murder-for hire and cover-up plot that transpired here back in the early 80's involving prominent divorce/criminal attorney Alan Masters and the town’s chief of police ...the attorney conspired to have his (often battered) wife Dianne murdered to cash in on a $100,000 life insurance policy after years of abuse pushed her into threatening divorce and into the arms of another man ...

The scheme culminated in Dianne Masters getting brutally beaten by Alan with a pistol when a friend of his spotted Mrs Masters with her extramarital paramour covertly cavorting about town and promptly phoned him ... Alan evidently had the corrupt Willow Springs Police Chief and a high ranking Cook County Sheriffs Police Commander in his back pocket to protect the racketeering, gambling and prostitution interests of his clients that pervaded the southwest suburbs at the time...so when he bludgeoned and crushed the skull of poor Dianne in a fit of rage after she returned home one mid March of 1989 morning, he knew just who to call ...

Police Chief Corbitt allegedly found her still alive and moaning faintly in the trunk of her car in the Masters’ secluded driveway so without hesitation he shot her twice, closed the trunk and proceeded to drive the car back to his home jurisdiction of Willow Springs...he probably drove casually down along the train tracks, any one of many gravel power line service roadways or perhaps even one the recreational off-road trucking trails adjacent to canal then unceremoniously dumped the Cadillac containing Dianne’s pummeled, bullet invaded body in the canal where it slowly sank to the murky depths and sat for nine months until recovered ...

The perniciosus layers of corruption, deceit and malfeasance that quietly coexisted with the suburban country charm of this scenic forest-side community mere decades ago seems almost unfathomable today as I sat at the Archer stoplight watching a young couple perambulate between the unique, tree bluff ensconced specialty shops of the Willow Hill strip mall... Economic uncertainly has not quelled the residential and commercial development endeavors along the train tracks based on the new condos and office buildings strategically and tactfully blended into a homogenous architectural design ...

The fall draped asphalt of Archer Avenue has become a favorite circuit for bikers and this was confirmed by a consortium of assorted Harley’s roaring the opposite direction as I made my way west...some may have just departed from the pub across from the Willow Brook Ballroom’s enigmatic neon sign ...I doubt even Resurrection Mary would have hitched a ride with some of the scoot-jockeys that used to frequent that establishment in the past, but for the most part it looked to be a more upscale crowd of weekend warriors enjoying the afternoon sun on the patio that unseasonably mild October afternoon... One of the most notable permutations along that stretch I noticed (aside from the tavern’s name change and less frightening clientele) was the addition of a very large funeral home/chapel on the left, just before the gates of Faimount Hills came into view ...

There is a protocol observed by many of us that photograph these sites that dictates a measure of respect and reverence, not only for those that have passed but also for the living with loved ones committed there...this should never be a group or “team” effort spectacle by way of the inclusion of ghostbuster gadgetry ...I always make a concerted effort to pick up litter, straighten up floral arrangements and grave-side adornments, dress appropriately and behave respectfully ...obviously posing for a self portrait in front of a grave marker is not an aspect of the aforementioned protocol but a grossly insensitive vanity nuance that needs to cease in the para-community and I believe the impetus for change is within our grasp (end lecture) ...

Short of the lone statue of Martin Luther along the south fence, the cemetery is almost completely devoid Christian allegory in favor of Masonic symbolism ...a pumpkin placed near the tower even has crescent moons and stars drawn for eyes with a black marker...The letter “G” framed by a square and compass seems to be the most prevalent, the “G” is said to represent geometry or even “God”...another recurrent theme is a simple dark red or obsidian urn atop a simple stone monument ...

I didn’t notice the “all seeing eye” within a pyramid which almost always seems to be inexorably linked to Freemasonry, The Illuminati, secret societal orders and even ancient alien theories thanks to The History Channel, Erich Von Daniken and Giorgio Tsoukalos in particular, who’s hair looks to be of extra terrestrial origin itself....Oddly the Savage Tower seems almost congruent with one of the more dubious postulation made by Danikens’ didactic disciple which lays claim to the Washington Monument being secretly constructed as an antennae or funnel for global/galactic/universal energy...a concept perhaps exemplified by the very credible work of Nikola Tesla even though the culpability of media sensationalism can quickly transform “Chariots Of The Gods” wisdom into “horse and buggy thinking”...

The feeling of light-headedness close to the tower has remained a constant on each and every trip and the latest visit was no exception ...the tiny windows of the metallic, padlocked doors are opaque with grime and obscured by decorative grid-work ...The inside looks unchanged with the two chairs centered at the base of the structure with a small coffee table between them topped with a modest floral arrangement...around the back walkway there is a roughly three foot wall with square inset cremation slots available, some of which already have inscribed covers with names and dates on them...

It could almost be a peaceful setting overlooking the solitary, hillside crypt along the main road...a narrow, winding road leading in from the main gates and running the entire length of the west grounds below the tall, silent trees before continuing south or forking left and back east then circling the crest of the properties centerpiece ...Anyone from this area is surely familiar with the glowing yellow clock on the upper north side of the tower that glowers at Archer Avenue motorists like an evil eye after dark ...the hollow chimes of the hour bell clangs ponderously from a concealed speaker and timer tripped PA system within, lethargically heralding the passage of time when it tolls from the darkness above ...

A lone police car with a lightly tinted UV resistant windshield that sat dormantly at the edge of the pond when I arrived was still visible below and through the amber, orange and yellow of the autumnal tinted foliage skirting the tower...it was gone the when I looked again moments later...

A sudden fatigue overwhelmed me and as took a brief respite on a section of the walkway wall where there were no names, I peripherally caught movement on the tower’s back wall ...small orange and black dots covered the stone blocks, some were stationary, some not ...Closer inspection revealed that literally hundreds of Lady Bugs crawled the west wall of the burial obelisk and as I turned the corner back to the front I was shocked to see that the entire surface of the building hosted the polka dotted insects ... retreating to my awaiting vehicle I made my way back south toward the central low lying area of the site where some of the more interesting photos were captured few years back ...a throng of bikers rolled through and the ground continued to reverberate even as they passed from site around the bend ...I accepted the tremulous incursion with the realization that this was a sound of summer and warm weather that would end soon ...

I kept hearing what distinctly reminded me of haunting opening notes to Pearl Jams’ “Release” looping over and over in the distance like a malfunctioning music box or a very slow moving ice-cream truck ...


Here are the (compressed to 1MB) photos...some have been slightly sharpened or color enhanced (10-2011) 7
7 total....b
http://s473.photobucket.com/albums/rr97/BarekHalfhand/Haunted%20Archer%20Avenue%20-Fairmount%20Hills%20Update/


Pearl Jam: Release
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iPUwtyZglQI




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« Last Edit: October 30, 2011, 04:58:38 PM by Barek Halfhand »
The Notorious Mr Halfhand