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Monthly Archives: July 2011

Nedrow, NY-

I grew up in a modest little hamlet nestled in the lap of a wide and spacious valley  in Central New York – but through almost 40 years of calling this place my “home”, I never knew that it derived its original birth name from the clear, free flowing gift of nature. I only knew it as Nedrow. The name Rockwell Springs plays nice in the ear and it’s refreshingly pleasant to say but the town’s first given name was forever banished from existence by people of an earlier time. I was oblivious to the name change as well as to the humble history of the town where my life began.

Rockwell Methodist Church

Rockwell Methodist Church being built- Nedrow, New York

 When I was thirteen or fourteen years old, as I was pedaling and meandering my bike down one of the town’s side avenues, I looked up and noticed its street sign: “WORDEN AVE”. I quickly made the obvious connection and began to wonder:   Worden is Nedrow spelled backwards, but why would they do that?  What’s the story?  

 I soon found out from somebody in town that “A family by the name of Worden used to live here and they named the town Nedrow.”  How very odd, I thought. Why would these people, who obviously held much influence in the development of this small little hamlet, not want to call the town “Worden”? I was further bamboozled, years later, when I found out that these same people not only didn’t want the town named after themselves- but a decision was made to change the original town name of Rockwell Springs to the “backward name” of Nedrow.

 To sum it all up in a more comprehensible perspective; starting out with Rockwell Springs and then twisting and turning a name around is equivalent to taking flower and renaming it  rewolf.  Beauty has been lost and replaced with something that snarls and has sharp teeth. 

I mean, what were the Worden’s thinking!? Didn’t they love their town enough to at least name it after themselves-  and then to toss away the town’s namesake and to seemingly dismiss the natural aquatic beauty of the  springs at the end of Rockwell Rd?  The first thought that comes to my mind is they didn’t want to attract too many outsiders to their humble little town and they knew, with a name like Rockwell Springs, the pilgrimage would have certainly been much greater than it turned out to be. Were they afraid that somehow people would mistake Rockwell Springs with Saratoga Springs- causing a massive invasion of sick people searching for some kind of medicinal healing? As it turned out-  some folks who would have undoubtedly been compelled to go to a place called Rockwell Springs kept a distance and asked what some people inquired of me in the 1970′s when I tried to explain where I was from: “What’s Nedrow?”

 I’m also thinking that the Worden’s might have been prophetic pranksters- realizing that one day in the far future a group of bored Nedrownian youngsters might consummate their plan in  petitioning the township to rename the town “Deadrow”.  Here we go again…another name change.

 With that being said- there’s not much you can say to vilify a name like “Rockwell Springs” and it certainly conjures up images of a much nicer place than the name Nedrow does.  But, a name is a name and my guess- it will always remain Nedrow.

The bigger question that has resurfaced lately is: Who were these people called the Wordens who worked the  land and created the place where I would spend close to forty years of my life?

Please visit the author of this post: www.tomriddell.com

Asylum was written by Claude Bouchard and published in e-book format in 2011.  You may purchase it at Amazon.com/ Kindle. Visit the author at Claude Bouchard Books.com.

 

Asylum

By Claude Bouchard

Doctor Matthew Russell is a Managing Director for a hospital in Montreal for the criminally insane. He is a hard working professional who puts in long hours and cares deeply about his job- but there is a flip side. His family is paying the price. When his marriage and family life begins to quickly deteriate, Matthew takes action and makes a choice. He leaves his work behind and takes his wife Cassidy and their two children, Stuart and Jennifer on a vacation of a life time. But will it be enough to repair the damage that has already been done?   

Claude Bouchard is predominately a writer of crime thrillers. His first book, Vigilante (In a series of 5) had my eyes glued to the page. I couldn’t wait for the  next action packed adventure scene that would pop up around the next shadowy street corner.  So, when I started reading Asylum I was ready for that same kind of dark and sleazy element of human nature to capture this readers voraciously hungry appetite. After all, doesn’t just the word Asylum conjure up all kinds of creepy and nasty human behavior? Isn’t it suppose to be a place that relegates to some of the worst and most broken people of society? A place where we can learn about what makes people tick in all their evil ways. A place where we can listen to the horrible stories and dulusions of the criminally insane. Instead, Mr. Bouchard saunters me away from the Asylum - kicking and screaming I might add-  and has the audacity to take me on a long and extended vacation. 

Soon,  I’m driving, flying, surfing, hiking, hot air ballooning all over Canada, The United States and beyond with the Russell family.  And, I have to admit- I’m loving it!  This author knows how to paint a picture in words. If he ever goes dry on writing the crime thrillers, I’m sure a travel agency could use him to promote a glorious vacation.  Also- he throws in some thrilling and heart stopping adventures that he’s known for in the Vigilante series.

At the end of the book I realize that the place to be is really on vacation.

Go on vacation. Before your job destroys everything.

 I give it 4 out of 5 stars.

ASYLUM TRAILER:


Tom Riddell is also a book reviewer over at WEBBWEAVER

Please visit: www.tomriddell.com

 

Dark Corners was written by Liz Shulte and published by4 Corners Press in 2011. You may purchase it at Amazon.com. Visit the author at ENTERTAINING BAT COUNTRY

Dark Corners

By Liz Shulte

Ella is a well known writer who lives in a house that she is bound to by a real life murder mystery. Her husband was brutally killed in their kitchen and the town folk have turned their suspicions on her. She finally becomes determined to find the real killer but the house is haunted with entities adrift that seem to be working against her. Her sanity is threatened as she looks for clues along with Gabriel, a local detective friend, that will solve the mystery and hopefully give her closure and the ability to move on in her life.

As I started reading Liz Shulte’s novel, I was impressed with her ability to infuse a strong sense of emotion and character into her main protagonist. Ella came alive for me as a person and I began to care for her- something that is essential to building a good story.   After the initial introduction to Ella, I found myself caring so much that it was a little difficult getting through the first few chapters. The story and her life seemed to drag and there wasn’t a lot on zing to the story. Questions that were inserted in my mind earlier in the story, lingered a bit too long for my taste and the tale lost some of the pop that I was looking for.   However, the story soon recovered nicely and all of the story’s neighborhood characters, including the ghosts, began to compete for a really good supernatural whodunit. 

Liz Shulte has crafted a worthwhile read and I recommend that you find a place for Dark Corners on your bookshelf. I enjoyed it.  I look forward to more from this author in the future.  I give it 3 out of 5 stars.

Tom Riddell is also a book reviewer over at WEBBWEAVER

Please visit: www.tomriddell.com

For almost a year now I have been involved in the very interesting field of Paranormal Investigation. I’m still “wet behind the ears” when compared to some of the others on the team but my experiences have definitely had a significant impact on my life.

First off- I’m highly skeptical of any ghostly or paranormal claims. I approach each investigation with a healthy dose of doubt but I also keep an open mind to any and all possibilities. If something happens during an investigation that can’t be initially explained- I look for the obvious connection between the event and logical reasoning. If that fails, then I’m left with a conclusion: “I can’t explain what happened…”

In a few investigations that I have been on in the past year I have left with that statement on my lips but then, of course, it eventually leads to “If no one can explain what happened…then we have to consider the possibility that there are spirits here- or there are forces at work here beyond the normal range of reason.” Or we also have to consider the possibility that a whole group of us are nuts because we all experienced the same thing- at the same time.  Unlikely that we could all go crackers at once- but possible I suppose…

Case in point:

This last February, when Minnesota was in the grips of another bitter cold and snowy winter, our team (TIPS- The International Paranormal Society) headed to the icy shores of Lake Superior in Duluth to investigate claims that a bar had ghosts in its basement.

Sir Benedicts Tavern is a cozy and comfortable place to have a bite to eat and to swig back a bottle of beer. The ambiance puts you in a relaxed, rustic, nostalgic setting where old time piano music reverberates from the walls and the Great Lake Superior beckons your attention from beyond the windows.  When we arrive, Sir Ben’s owner, Antonino Coppola, explains that there have been no ghosts reported in the public  areas of the tavern. All of the events that have been encountered have occurred on the other side of the floor, down in the cellar. We were told that there was shuffling of feet, cold spots and once while the owner was in the basement walk-in cooler- the large steel door closed on him. The door is way too heavy to swing closed by itself and no one was around.

As we made our way down the steps into the basement we came upon a space or storage area that most would find common under a tavern. Across a slightly dusty cement floor were half empty cardboard cases of beer, kegs of beer, a metal rack containing a good selection of wines, a large metal cooler, stacks of plastic patio furniture and other miscellaneous items. Most  areas were not well lit, with far walls and corners obscured in pockets of darkness and immediately I begin getting the feeling that all  seven of us will be glad when our 4 hours of investigation are up. It isn’t because any of us are afraid of the dark. We live for the dark. We need the dark. The dark is a P.I.’s tool just as a hammer is to a carpenter. What will make this night extremely long and boring is to sit around in the dark- for 4 hours- in a very ordinary tavern basement, while the faint sounds of a ragtime piano plays and cheerful  people, out for a fun Saturday night, congregate above our heads. I love what we do but I almost felt punished and kept away from the fun that was going on upstairs.

As I suspected- it started out kind of boring. We brought out all of our ghost hunting tools:  K-2 meters, digital voice recorders, camcorders, laser lights, flashlights and an Ovilus. It was a lot like fishing.  We sat in the dark, using all of our lures, waiting for a bite and all we got were a few nibbles and we weren’t even sure if it was the ghost fish that were  biting. But things began to happen in about the 3rd and 4th hours. My wife caught a cold shiver down her neck and back which was quite intense, according to her, and we were fortunate to capture that session on video. We had a digital thermometer that recorded the temperature variance between her head and feet.  It was her first paranormal experience.

This was  a tease. What would happen during the last hour of our investigation was an experience that I, for one, will never forget. It was a life changing moment for me.  It was a spiritual moment.  More than any religion has ever done- it gave me a deep feeling of peace and a renewed swell of faith that there is most definitely a place that we go after we die. And- we have a choice…

Our team leader Lisa and my wife suggested that we move over to the walk in cooler area to investigate and to set up the laser lights. As the laser light shot out a field of stars in front of the far wall next to the cooler, Lisa and my wife Lou sat down about six feet from the wall while the rest of us, including Antonino, formed a circle around the Ovilus (A device with a large database of approx 2,000 words- which operates and reacts from temperature readings and EMF readings). We were more than 10 feet away from Lisa and Lou.

After several minutes of the Ovilus spitting out a bunch of non-sensical words, Lisa finally told us that she sensed that a spirit was trying to communicate with her. She first explained that the spirit was “afraid” and it took a few minutes for her to tell us what it was afraid of. As she tried desperately  to communicate, the Ovilus now began repeating a flurry of words that seemed to make sense with what Lisa was picking up on. After Lisa again said that it was “afraid of something…”- the Ovilus kept going back and forth with these words:

“Light, Pain, Weary,  Help”

Suddenly there was a heavy apprehension in the air. Lisa finally told us that the spirit had lived in this area for many years but that it was “afraid of being judged.”  Lisa began to get very emotional at this point and strongly encouraged the spirit to “go into the light…”  It was then communicated to her that it was the light that it was afraid to go into.  Apparently it didn’t want to be judged by God. Lisa didn’t back down. Her pleas got stronger as she begged the spirit: “Please, go into the light. It’ll be okay. It’s not the way that you think it is…”

Immediately after Lisa spoke the Ovilus was spitting out these words at a rapid pace:

“Light, Light, Light…”

It was as if the spirit was trying to convince itself and to encourage itself to take Lisa’s advice by repeating the words as it moved closer to the light. Lisa continued her pleas as she began to cry , overcome by emotion. Her final plea came:  “Please cross into the light. Don’t be afraid….”

The Ovilus was still stuck on “light, light, light” but then this came after a pause:

“Light, Light, Light”

“Cross”

And finally the words came that moved us all to tears:

“Home, Home, Home”

The Ovilus went silent.  Our investigation was done.

What happened that night can be debated and argued. But whatever happened its impact was great. The experience can be summed up in two words that were spoken several times by Antonino as he walked up the steps and out onto the main floor of Sir Ben’s. 

“Amazing! Wow!”

The following is the TIPS video of the investigation-Part 2:

Please Visit: www.tomriddell.com