Month: September 2020

Spookytown! Freaks & Grimm {an excerpt or two}

Welcome to Spookytown! A weekly blog post about, you guessed it… all things spooky. Ghost stories, books, hauntings, movies, music, history and so much more!

For this week’s blog, I’m going to post a few excerpts for my finished novel Freaks & Grimm. This is the mini blurb for it. Carrie thought grade 9 was going to be different. That she would finally fit it. Then Grimm moved to town and her world completely changed. Both obsessed with the paranormal, they are about to go on a ghost hunting adventure they would never forget.

I had a lot of fun writing this novel and definitely was inspired by the many ghost stories told to me as a kid. Here are a few excerpts.

***

That morning Carrie didn’t join her family for breakfast. This wasn’t anything out of the ordinary. Sometimes she just wanted to sleep in, other times, she just wanted to stay in her bed and read. At first her mother would try to force Carrie to come to the table for breakfast, eventually deciding it was easier to let her eat when she was ready. 

After eating a bowl of Cap’n Crunch with soy milk, Carrie decided she wanted to go for a walk, one that would take her right past the MacTavish Bed & Breakfast, as a sort of scouting mission to see if she could catch a glimpse of the new kid. She walked to the end of the block and sat on her neighbours rail fence. She was partially hidden by a large maple tree, but the house was completely visible to her. The house was an old Victorian mansion that was once owned by a shipping magnate. The town she grew up in was a shipping port in the early 1900s for the grain companies. Over time the house went from being a single-family home to a rooming house, then on two separate occasions a bed and breakfast. Maybe the new family would be using it that way as well. After twenty minutes of staring at the house, listening to squirrels fight, and waiting to be kicked off the fence, Carrie was about to give up and walk downtown when she saw him. He was tall and lanky and dressed head to toe in black. He had a haircut, just like the lead singer of The Cure.  He looked like he had just walked out of a Sandman comic. She looked away. At first, she didn’t want to look directly at him. She was afraid if she did, he would turn out to be an apparition, just like one of the ghosts in her beloved ghost stories. 

***

The movers unloaded the truck quickly, placing boxes and furniture in their designated spots.  Once Grimm’s father confirmed that everything was there, the movers tidied up, rolled up their rubber mats, were paid and left. Grimm’s father looked around at the boxed up contents and shook his head.  

“Guess we have more stuff than I thought we did”. Said Stewart.  

“Maybe the boxes multiplied like Gremlins in the truck.” Said Grimm.

“I think you’re right. Ok. I have no idea where anything is and don’t dare unpack the kitchen till your mother gets here. Let’s go find a place to eat and get some groceries.”

As they made their way to the car, Grimm caught a glimpse of someone across the street. He had to move away from the car to get a full view as a very large tree blocked out most of it. Perched on a rail fence that wrapped around the house across the street, sat a girl. She had dark, long hair, very pale skin and was all dressed in black. At first Grimm wasn’t sure she was even real. When she quickly got up and hurried away down the street, he knew she must be. He continued watching to see where she went, but was interrupted by his father.

“Are you getting in the car?”

“What? Ya Dad.”

“What were you looking at?” Inquired Stewart.

“A neighbour kid I think.”

“Did you wave hi?”

“No. They ran away.”

“Well maybe you will meet them on Monday when you go to school.”

Grimm hoped so as well. Suddenly, he was looking forward to his first day at his new high school.

***

The book was partially hidden under a pile of notebooks and loose papers. As Freaks grabbed hold of the book, the pile on top of it tumbled to the floor. She gasped, trying to grab the falling items, causing it to scatter all over the floor. She couldn’t believe how clumsy she had been. Freaks placed the book on the chair so it wouldn’t get lost amongst the mess. Bending down to pick up the pile that had fallen, Freaks noticed that a book, possibly a journal, was amongst the papers. The book itself looked old, worn. As if it had been read over and over again. She picked it up and quickly looked over her shoulder to make sure her father wasn’t nearby. She knew she shouldn’t have been snooping through Mr. Archer’s things but she had a lack of self control when curiosity took hold of her. She knew there had to be a reason why he’d been acting so strange the day that he had his panic attack.

“What’s taking you so long down there? You should have found that book by now.” Yelled down her father.

“I found it. I just need to tidy up a mess I accidently made. I knocked over some papers. I’ll be there in a minute.” Freaks responded.

“Take your time. I’m still having a heck of a time finding the clothes he has on this list. This guy seriously needs a housekeeper. This place is an absolute mess.”

“No kidding.” Said Freaks, as she looked around at the heaps of books and papers. Until now, she hadn’t noticed how messy the place really was. His office had stacks of newspapers on the floor and chairs. Along the floor and near the overstuffed bookshelves, there were stacks upon stacks of books in a variety of sizes and covers. Even the kitchen was a mess. Though there wasn’t any dirty dishes to be seen, the countertops were covered with a large number of canisters and more piles of books. On one section of the counter, there were dozens of boxes of tea. Every kind you could think of. Some boxes still had the cellophane on them. 

Freaks stood beside the desk holding the worn book in her hand. She didn’t know what to do. Should she just put it back on the desk where it originally was or should she open it up and look inside. Just like the garden she knew that this book likely held many secrets. Secrets she probably shouldn’t be allowing herself to know.  If she did, would she regret it?

“Hey Kiddo!  I think I found everything.” 

Freaks jumped. She had been so entranced by the book, she didn’t hear her father enter the room. 

“Geez Dad. You scared the cra….”

“What is that?”

“What?”

“That. The book you are holding.”

“Oh. Uh. I’m not sure. It fell on the floor.”

“Have you looked at it?”

“No.” 

“Looks like a diary.”

“Yes. Maybe.” 

“Were you going to look at it?”

“Maybe. Ya. I dunno.”

“Can I ask why?”

“Mr. Archer has been acting strange. I thought, maybe it would explain why.”

“Can I see it?”

Hesitating, Freaks handed her father the book. When he grabbed onto it, he stared at it momentarily, flipped it back and forth, inspecting the outside of it. Absentmindedly, Freaks continued to look around her, when she noticed a small box beside the desk. Wondering if they had also knocked it over, she grabbed the box, noticing that it was an old, yellow stained shoebox.

“It really does look like a diary doesn’t it. It looks old though. Don’t you think?” Said Robert.

“Ya. Maybe he’s had it for a while. Maybe we shouldn’t look at it.”

“Maybe.”

“Dad, what do you think this is?”

Robert looked up at Freaks and his eyes moved to the box. “Was the lid off?”

“Um. It kinda shifted when I picked it up.”

“Uh. Huh.” Retorted Robert. “Those look like letters.”

“Old letters.”

Freaks and her father stood in silence. Both wanting to open the book and the letters, neither taking the leap.  Taking a long breath and sighing Robert walked over to the desk with the intent on placing the book and the box back on the desk. 

“Where exactly did you find it?”

“It was under the pile of papers.”

“Which pile? The whole desk if a pile of papers.” 

“The pile on the left side.”

As Robert was shifting the papers, to stick the book underneath the pile, the book slipped from his hand and when it landed on the desk, it opened to the front page of the book. On the top right corner of the book was a name. Hester McGregor.

Almost in unison, Freaks and her Dad sang out, “Who’s Hester McGregor?”

Freaks looked down at the letters. “These are from a Joy Matherly.”

“McGregor? The McGregor’s owned the house on the corner. The one Grimm lives in.”

“Joy Matherly?”

Picking the book back up, Robert motioned to Freaks saying, “I’m not sure. Pull up a chair. We have some reading to do.”

***

Anne was four when she realized what she was seeing was otherworldly. None of it scared her. In fact they were playmates to her. Most of her days were filled with long, lonely hours. She had to be within sight of her mother, yet out of the way. Her mother ignored her constant chattering with persons who were not there. Well, not to her mother’s eyes. Anne had the constant companionship of three individuals. An older woman. Likely the first patriarch of the house, who passed away during a flu epidemic, an elderly gentleman, who was once the grounds keeper and a young boy. Anne never did figure out who he was. The young boy was only there for a short time, then stopped visiting Anne. At the time, she felt sad, as if she had been abandoned. Later in life she came to discover that sometimes spirits stick around, waiting for someone they loved or were attached to, to pass on. She figured he was waiting for his mother. The elderly man and woman stuck around, until Mr. McGregor died. They too, then disappeared. Something felt different that time. There was no peace to replace them. After that point, Anne felt uneasy in the house. The empty spaces felt as if they had been replaced with something malevolent. Something very wrong. 

Mr. McGregor, an awful, angry old man lived in a house filled with staff and no family. Mrs. McGregor had by then been forgotten in a home, no one even sure if she had passed on or still lingered amongst the beige walls of the institution. Her name was almost never mentioned. Especially after Hester vanished. 

Mr. McGregor’s business lost, he stewed in the darkness of his final days. No family, no friends and many enemies. Especially those who he’d not given a second thought when the doors to his shipping yard slammed shut on them. Left high and dry, they spit out his name in rage. They no longer cared to search for an innocent young girl who offended no one. They no longer cared about his implications of the young handsome man, who’d long vacated the town. No one believed Mr. McGregor and like those before him, he faded away. His negative anger however, stuck around. 

Anne could feel Hester everywhere she went, but only outside of the house. The sensation is the strongest, in a curving path, between the backyards of the carefully manicured Victorian homes. Anne was pulled to follow, but her worry of upsetting her mother stronger. She was still a child and her mother’s concern. A mother who returned to the madman’s employment when all others had completely abandoned him, she felt she had to keep an eye on her child at all times.

Queen of Schlock! The B Movies Queens: Caroline Munro

Everyone’s favourite b-movie bombshell is one of my all-time favourite b-movie actresses. I’ve loved her since seeing her guest role in the Christmas Horror movie classic Don’t Open Until Christmas and fell even more in love when I saw her in movies such as Starcrash and the Hammer sensation Captain Kronos: Vampire Hunter. If I ever see her name billed for a movie, I’m watching it! Oh yes, I am!

Who, oh who am I talking about? The illustrious b-movie queen herself, Caroline Munro! I like so many others swoon when we see her grace the screen. Recently, we rewatched her in The Golden Voyage of Sinbad and will soon be rewatching her in another Hammer classic Dracula A.D. 1972. Yes, her role is small in this one, and there are bigger stars such as Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing, however, I come for the vampires, but always stay for the Caroline Munro!

And let’s not forget the fact that she was a Bond Girl! She played Naomi, Stromberg’s personal pilot, and a would-be assassin in the movie. Her voice was once again dubbed (as in many of the movies she was in), which I never understood. I get it, this happens a lot. They did it to Barbara Steele as well. Both have lovely voices and British accents. Why you would dub over that is beyond me!

Some Caroline Munro Trivia:

*Caroline is a trustee of the Ray and Diana Harryhausen Foundation.
*In 1977, Munro turned down the opportunity to play villainess Ursa in Superman in favour of Naomi in The Spy Who Loved Me.
*Caroline, that’s Ms. Munro to you, continued to work in numerous British and European horror and science fiction films through the 1970s and 1980s.
*Munro’s career commenced in 1966 when her mother and a photographer friend entered some headshots of her in The Evening News‘s “Face of the Year” contest.

Yes, this was mostly me fangirling, but… if you haven’t heard of Caroline Munro. You. Are. Welcome!

For those of you who also love her as much as I do, what is your favourite Caroline Munro movie?

Each month I run a b-movie night called Killer B Cinema. Join Lizzie Violet & Zoltan Du Lac for a monthly evening of b-moves from the 1950s to 1990s! There will also be trivia with prizes & much more! Please follow us on Instagram and Facebook!

Spookytown! It’s The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown

As I mentioned in my last Spookytown post, I like to get warmed up for Halloween by watching classic spooky cartoons. My ALL TIME favourite and a tradition I follow every single year is to watch It’s The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown. Every single year, since I was a child, no matter how many times I’ve watched it, I still keep hoping…. oh… no… in case you haven’t watched it, I’m not going to spoil it for you. Why haven’t you watched this yet? I grew up with three, THREE television channels and I even managed to watch it every single year. Go watch it!

Who is The Great Pumpkin for those who still haven’t watched it? Linus explains it best!

A ways back we got a projector (thank you Heather Babcock) and we have been planning on projecting the movie from our front window on Halloween night (same with A Charlie Brown Christmas). We just bought ourselves a proper screen, so…. if all goes as planned (I’m talking to you weather), we may attempt to do it out in the front yard! We were inspired by others in our neighbourhood who project Halloween cartoons from their own front windows. We may also throw in a few of our other favourite Halloween cartoons.

If Linus and The Great Pumpkin had their way they would make sure Halloween happens, but sometimes it’s even out of their control.

Because of the plague, I’m pretty sure trick or treating won’t be happening this year, but we all need a bit of joy. Halloween is such a special time for so many people, children and adults alike. Even if you can’t give out candy this year, plan on decorating like you never have before, do fun events for your own kids so they don’t feel like they are missing out. Don’t let 2020 be a rock in your candy bag! Maybe this will be the year that Linus gets his wish!

{The below clip is a spoiler, if you haven’t watched It’s The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown, and why haven’t you, don’t watch below.}

Queen of Schlock! Wasp Woman of the 1950s and Today.

During COVID we’ve been watching a lot of television shows and movies from the 1950s, especially horror and sci-fi. Though entertaining and revisiting a simpler time of no computers or cell phones is nice, there is a certain way of life that is a consistent thread/trend throughout each of these shows/movies and one that is very, very apparent in The Wasp Woman. Now don’t be silly, I’m not going to give it all away in the first paragraph. Read on dear human. Read on!

The Wasp Woman (a.k.a. The Bee Girl and Insect Woman) is a 1959, independently made, American black-and-white science fiction-horror film, produced and directed by Roger Corman, that stars Susan CabotAnthony EisleyMichael Mark, and Barboura Morris. The film was originally released by Filmgroup as a double feature with Beast from Haunted Cave.[1][2] To pad out the film’s running time when it was released to television two years later, a new prologue was added by director Jack Hill.

The founder and owner of a large cosmetics company, Janice Starlin (Susan Cabot), is disturbed when her firm’s sales begin to drop after it becomes apparent to her customer base that she is aging. Zinthrop has been able to extract enzymes from the royal jelly of the queen wasp that can reverse the aging process. Janice agrees to fund further research, at great cost, provided she can serve as his human subject. Displeased with the slowness of the results, she breaks into the scientist’s laboratory after hours and injects herself with extra doses of the formula. {source Wikipedia} This is where the true horror begins!

I love this movie for so many reasons. My number one reason usually isn’t the script, it’s the monster and in this case the Wasp Woman. The make-up department did an amazing job making her look horrifying (head and hands of a wasp). I, myself have a phobia with wasps and hornets and was uncomfortable not only watching the scenes where they showed real wasps but by the actual wasp woman costuming. The things that scare you the most, right?

What audience was this movie meant for? According to Tim Dirks, The Wasp Woman was one of a wave of “cheap teen movies” released for the drive-in market. They consisted of “exploitative, cheap fare created especially for them [teens] in a newly-established teen/drive-in genre”. {source Wikipedia} Now that drive-in theatres have become popular again due to COVID, I’m hoping one of them does 1950s b-movies and the original double bill of The Wasp Woman and Beast From the Haunted Cave.

I think one of my favourite things about Roger Corman is many of his movies touch on the dark side of humanity. The Wasp Woman is definitely one of them. Another of my favourite things is he is able to make a movie for as little money as possible. The film was made for an estimated budget of $50,000. We are considering making our own b-movies and Roger Corman continues to inspire us. You will also notice that musical score from this movie was used in several other Corman movies including Little Shop of Horrors. The Wasp Woman‘s musical score, written by Fred Katz.

Star Susan Cabot, who I loved in this movie and many others, had a tragic end to her life. In the 1980s, she was suffering from severe mental illness, including depression and suicidal thoughts. On December 10, 1986, Cabot’s only child, 22-year-old Timothy Roman, bludgeoned her to death in their Los Angeles home after Cabot awoke in a panicked state and attacked him. It was a heart-breaking end to Susan’s life.

Someone did an amazing job cleaning up the quality of this version. Give it a watch before it vanishes from YouTube!

Oh yes, the trend I was speaking of. The one where women aren’t allowed to age gracefully, get old and definitely shouldn’t get gray hair or wrinkles. Ya that one. Sadly, not much has changed over the decades. Society still hasn’t learned to stop bullying women about their appearance and continue to set ridiculous standards. Many women still inject themselves with poison and unknown substances just to appear thin and youthful. When it comes to that part of the movie, 2020 is no different than in 1959.

Each month I run a b-movie night called Killer B Cinema. Join Lizzie Violet & Zoltan Du Lac for a monthly evening of b-moves from the 1950s to 1990s! There will also be trivia with prizes & much more! Please follow us on Instagram and Facebook!

Spookytown! Haunted Toronto

I grew up in a small town that has lots of ghost stories. A few of them have inspired my novel Freaks & Grimm (will be released at some point). I also come from a family of storytellers and a good portion of those stories were about ghosts. When I moved to Toronto at the age of eighteen, the very first thing I did was dive into it’s haunted history. I bought books and eventually joined online communities. When I discovered haunted walks, I was in my element. Oh yes I was.

If I remember correctly, Bruce Bell was one of the first names I heard in relation to haunted Toronto. The other first for me was I dove deep into learning about Toronto and Canada’s Spiritualism history. It was a little harder to find information for Canada. There are lots of articles about the US, especially, the Fox Sisters. There were a lot of fraudsters and I often wonder if that embarrassment is why it’s harder to find information here. Nonetheless, I was able to find articles on Mary Melville and a few other spiritualists. To learn more, please click here.

It you want to learn more about Spiritualism or Occultism in Toronto, there are a few really good books at the Toronto Public Library and the Canadian Encyclopedia has a great article (see below). This is one of my favourites. The Secret City: An Occult History of Toronto

Spiritualism in Canada. https://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.ca/en/article/spiritualism

Haunted Places Now let us move onto haunted places in Toronto. There are many haunted places in this city. There are also lots and lots of articles about it. Rather than rehash everything, I am going to link sources below. I was so incredibly obsessed with hauntings, that every time I moved to a new neighbourhood (that was a lot), I would investigate if there were any hauntings. At one point I had a book that I logged all of the information into, but it is long lost. I really wish I still had that book.

I currently live in the west end of Toronto and am very close to several cemeteries and well known haunted places such as Colborne Lodge, but I can also easily get to places like McKenzie House, Black Creek Pioneer Village (which holds a seance), Spadina House and the old Don Jail.

There are several books about Haunted Toronto, this one is by far my all time favourite. Haunted Toronto by John Robert Colombo

https://www.toronto.com/things-to-do/haunted-places-in-toronto/

https://dailyhive.com/toronto/haunted-places-toronto-2018

https://juliekinnear.com/toronto/haunted-houses

https://www.blogto.com/city/2016/10/12_haunted_places_to_get_spooked_at_in_toronto/

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/toronto/haunted-toronto-a-paranormal-primer/article559802/

https://dailyhive.com/toronto/haunted-places-toronto-2018

Haunted/Ghost Walks One of my favourite things to do when the weather is agreeable is go on Haunted or Cemetery walks. Unfortunately, due to Covid not many of these are happening right now. I have a few friends who run some of them and I will list any of the other ones I know about as well. Once they are up and running again, please join them!

The Haunted Walk: https://hauntedwalk.com/toronto-tours/

Ghost Walks of Toronto: www.ghostwalks.com

Toronto Ghost Walks: https://www.torontoghostwalk.com/

Haunted High Park. They do a walking tour every Halloween, but not sure about this year.

Montgomery’s Inn and the Islington Pioneer Cemetery also host haunted walks, but again…. who knows with Covid.

Cemetery Tours: Toronto also has some really cool cemetery tours. I kinda feel like Covid is ruining a lot of our fun so I’m going to stop repeating the phrase… due to Covid. Eventually, all of these cool things will be happening again.

Muddy York Tours: https://muddyyorktours.com/?page_id=57

Toronto Cemetery Tours: https://www.facebook.com/TorontoCemeteryTours/

For my birthday this year, I was going to do a haunted back walk, that of course included ghost stories…. but that didn’t happen. Next year?

If I’ve missed any, please post them in the comments below.

Queen of Schlock! Japanese B-movies

In October of 2019 my b-movie partner in crime, Zoltan Dulac, and I went to Japan for most of October. You know… back in the before times. While we were there, I made an attempt to find DVD’s of Japanese b-movies, but didn’t have much luck. I seemed to have better luck finding them online. Where we lucked out was finding Japanese Rockabilly and Surf music on vinyl. At some point in the future we will be returning and I will be better prepared next time and will hopefully score big. Gojira big!

Speaking of Gojira! When I was a kid, my first introduction to Japanese cinema was of course Godzilla. Since then I have learned, experienced and loved so much more than just the monster movie master pieces of Toho studios. Though they are some of my all time favourite movies to watch, you haven’t truly enjoyed Japanese cinema until you have feasted your eyes on some b-movies!

Below are some of my favourite all time Japanese b-movies! As always, there are trailers or links to full movies where I can.

Battle in Outerspace (1959) is a 1959 Japanese science fiction film produced by Toho Studios. Directed by Ishirō Honda and featuring special effects by Eiji Tsuburaya, the film starred Ryō IkebeKoreya Senda and Yoshio Tsuchiya.

The film was released theatrically in the United States in the summer of 1960 by Columbia Pictures. {source Wikipedia}

Frankenstein Conquers the World (1965) is a 1965 kaiju film directed by Ishirō Honda, with special effects by Eiji Tsuburaya. The film stars Nick AdamsKumi MizunoTadao Takashima, with Koji Furuhata as Frankenstein and Haruo Nakajima as Baragon. The film was a Japanese-American co-production; it was the first collaboration between Toho and Henry G. Saperstein. In the film, scientists investigate a child’s resistance to radiation that makes him grow to monstrous size, while a second monster ravages the countryside.

Frankenstein Conquers the World was released in Japan on August 8, 1965 and was given a theatrical release in the United States on July 8, 1966 by American International Pictures. In 1966, Toho/UPA released a sequel titled The War of the Gargantuas. {source Wikipedia}

Matango (1963) is a 1963 Japanese horror film directed by Ishirō Honda. The film stars Akira KuboKumi Mizuno and Kenji Sahara. It is partially based on William H. Hodgson‘s short story “The Voice in the Night” and is about a group of castaways on an island who are unwittingly altered by a local species of mutagenic mushrooms.

Matango was different from Honda’s other films of the period as it explored darker themes and featured a more desolate look. Upon the film’s release in Japan, it was nearly banned due to scenes that depicted characters resembling victims of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The film was released directly to television in the United States in a shortened form. Retrospective reviews generally commented on how the film varied from Honda’s other work, with its darker tone. {source Wikipedia}

Latitude Zero (1969) is a 1969 science fiction film. It was directed by Ishirō Honda and written by Ted Sherdeman, based on his radio serial of the same name. The film stars both American and Japanese actors including Joseph CottenCesar RomeroAkira TakaradaMasumi OkadaRichard JaeckelPatricia Medina, and Akihiko Hirata. {source Wikipedia}

Starman Attack From Space (1964) is a 1964 film edited together for American television from the Japanese short film series Super Giant. It is available on YouTube as of June 2020. {source Wikipedia} 

The Green Slime (1968) is a 1968 science fiction film directed by Kinji Fukasak and produced by Walter Manley and Ivan Reiner. It was written by William Finger, Tom Rowe and Charles Sinclair from a story by Reiner. The film was shot in Japan with a Japanese director and film crew, but with the non-Japanese starring cast of Robert HortonRichard Jaeckel and Luciana Paluzzi. {source Wikipedia}

The H Man (1958) Following a routine nuclear experiment, the ship Ryujin Maru II disappeared while in the South Pacific. Days later, another ship, bound for Izu, stumbles upon the craft adrift at sea. Six members of the crew decide to board the ship. To their surprise, they find no one on board at all, only clothes lying around, but in a way that makes them look like the person wearing them simply disappeared. {source Wikipedia}

The Mysterians (1957) is a 1957 Japanese science fiction film directed by Ishirō Honda and stars Kenji SaharaYumi Shirakawa and Takashi Shimura. The film begins with a giant fissure destroying an entire village. This leads to an investigation whereby the source is discovered to be Moguera, a giant robot, who is then destroyed by the military. The remains are analyzed and discovered to be of alien origin. Shortly after, an alien race known as the Mysterians arrive, declaring they have taken some Earth women captive and that they demand both land and the right to marry women of Earth. {source Wikipedia}

Warning From Space (1956) is a Japanese science fiction tokusatsu film released in January 1956 by Daiei, and was the first Japanese science fiction film to be produced in color. In the film’s plot, starfish-like aliens disguised as humans travel to Earth to warn of the imminent collision of a rogue planet and Earth. As the planet rapidly accelerates toward Earth, a nuclear device is created at the last minute and destroys the approaching world. {source Wikipedia}

Each month I run a b-movie night called Killer B Cinema. Join Lizzie Violet & Zoltan Du Lac for a monthly evening of b-moves from the 1950s to 1990s! There will also be trivia with prizes & much more! Please follow us on Instagram and Facebook!

Spookytown! My Haunted Hometown

Welcome to Spookytown! A weekly blog post about, you guessed it… all things spooky. Ghost stories, books, hauntings, movies, music, history and so much more!

The town I grew up in holds many ghosts. Some personal, some spooky. As kids, there were a few houses in town, that we either decided were haunted or they were the products of grownups telling us they were. Whether or not they are, is yet to be determined.

A couple houses that I personally thought were haunted (one of which was confirmed for me) was a house on Frank Street, near Taylor Street, the huge house on the top of the hill on Mary Street (corner of Mary and Gould) and the Inn on Bayview Avenue. The latter is the one I heard many creepy ghost stories about. (photo below) The Inn (not to be mistaken for the restaurant by the same name on the main street) has had many transformations over the years and was apparently, at some point recently, a restaurant.

Over the years I have searched online and read many books about ghosts in Ontario, yet, rarely find any about my hometown, which I find strange. Even the story of the famous Spirit Rock is rarely found in print. All that aside, the best of the stories, were always the ones told by my family.

One ghost story that always stuck with me, is the one about the footprints in the mud. This story was told to us by Grandpa Jim and Great Grandpa Bill. Both of their stories are told identically, neither straying from the details.

Before I tell this story, you will need a little bit of background. Grandpa Jim and Great Grandpa Bill were farmers. In addition to their farm, they owned a huge bush lot and in the middle of that bush lot was a massive field where they planted crops. I’m sure a few of you are asking, why is there a field in the middle of a bush lot? I’ll get to that.

Every spring, they would plow the fields a few times to prepare them for planting, often leaving them muddy. The freshly turned soil, hungry for the seeds they would plant. When my Great Grandpa/Grandpa acquired the bush lot, they knew there was a story, a very spooky and quite unsettling one, however, they left it to rumour, to them it was just a story. That was until that first spring.

After doing the first turn of the soil, they returned for its second plowing. When they reached the top of the field they saw something that confused them both. They weren’t completely sure if it was exactly as it seemed. Could the story be true? They decided to do their daily chores and laugh it off.

A few days later they returned only to see it again and in the exact same spot. This continued on each time they plowed. Same thing, same place. What were they witnessing? A very young child’s footprints that started at the top of the field and ran diagonally off towards the side of the field, then they disappeared into no where.

They tried to come up with a rational explanation. Maybe it was an animal. Maybe it was someone playing a trick. But how? The prints were the exact same each and every time, disappearing into nowhere. There were never any other footprints near it. It was impossible. Or was it?

A few moments walk from the field is a disintegrating foundation of a house. The forest reclaiming it. There once stood a small house on the masonry and close by, a small barn. The earth has long devoured it. A young family once lived there, but only for a short time. That was well over a hundred years ago now.

As with many families during that time, they were excited to buy their own land, build a house and eventually grow their own food to eat and crops to sell. Unfortunately, for that family, the dream was short-lived. One day, someone came across the darkened house, only to find its residents deceased. There are many versions of this part of the story. Some say their death was accidental, while others say they were murdered. Either way, there is a child that continues to play in the nearby field, just as they would, while they watched their parents work.

Every year, that my Great Grandfather and Father worked that field, they knew they would see those footprints and every spring, they were not disappointed.

Chunks of that bush lot have since been sold off to other people, so I’m not sure if that field is used to grow crops any longer. If it is, I would love to know if the new owners still see the footprints.

That bush lot has always creeped me out and even before hearing that story. I have always felt like someone or something was watching me. As kids, we spent a lot of time there, either with my Grandpa Jim as he worked, spending time in the shanty with my parents, or going to Thanks Giving cookouts with our entire family.

I have other spooky stories about that bush lot and may even write about them at some point.

Below are a few links to information on alleged hauntings in my hometown, and the Bruce Penisula.

Haunted Wiarton

https://www.torontoghosts.org/index.php/the-province-of-ontario/central/706-wiarton-bed-and-breakfast

https://brucemuseum.pastperfectonline.com/bysearchterm?keyword=Spirit+Rock+Conservation+Area

Ghosts of the Bruce Peninsula

https://jamesmac.ca/curious/page/3/

https://www.trueghosttales.com/paranormal/creepy-ontario-cottage/

Ghost towns: https://www.ghosttownpix.com/ontario/towns/spry.html

https://juliekinnear.com/blogs/ghost-towns-ontario

Google Map of Ghost Towns: https://www.google.com/maps/d/u/0/viewer?ie=UTF8&t=m&oe=UTF8&msa=0&mid=1gmYBD-AOQvZnItg2D0DaK5XR5Y4&ll=46.75902195463678%2C-83.950281&z=5

Queen of Schlock! Mexican Batwoman

She’s a wrestler, she’s a lover, she’s a super hero! She is Mexican Batwoman!!! Mexican Batwoman is by far one of my favourite movies that we have shown at Killer B Cinema. There is a sexy heroine, bad guys, a crazy creature, Luche libre wresting and great underwater action scenes. You cannot go wrong with this movie! It’s become one of my favourite movies (along with Jaws, and The Creature From the Black Lagoon) to help kick off Summer.

Mexican Batwoman aka Batwoman (1968) was directed by Rene Cardona and stars Maura Monti (a name that will be recognizable to those who love Italian cinema). Rene is a Cuban-Mexican director also known for Wrestling Women vs. the Aztec Mummy (1964), Night of the Bloody Apes (1969), Blue Demon y Zovek en La invasión de los muertos (1973) and several Santo movies!

The basic plot for the movie is Batwoman is called to investigate a whacked out scientist that is capturing wrestlers and using their spinal fluid to create a Gill Man. She goes undercover as a wrestler and underwater to infiltrate the sinister plot!

I think one of the things that really makes me happy about this movie, is the lead female character isn’t just eye candy. Oh no. She kicks ass, literally! I love that they don’t hold back in the fight scenes.

This is a really great review of the movie. After you watch it, you will see what I’m talking about.

There are several posters for this movie, these are my absolute favourites!

And we can’t leave out the monster/creature! The Gill monster costume is laughable, but to be honest, we aren’t here for the monster. We are here to watch Batwoman kick some ass!

Here is the trailer from when we showed it at Killer B Cinema. It got such a huge response and due to many requests, once we resume Killer B Cinema again at See-Scape we will be showing it again. When we do, you need to come see it!

Each month I run a b-movie night called Killer B Cinema. Join Lizzie Violet & Zoltan Du Lac for a monthly evening of b-moves from the 1950s to 1990s! There will also be trivia with prizes & much more! Please follow us on Instagram and Facebook!