We'll See You On The Other Side…

Posts tagged “Halloween

Crafty Ghost Nails Paranormal Investigator

When you investigate the paranormal, you quickly learn that ghosts can be anywhere. But it isn’t until it surprises you in some random place that this fact really hits home. Last night, Jamie, Brian and I (Heather) were hanging out together celebrating the approach of Halloween by driving around town in search of festively decorated houses. After satiating our desire for giant spiders and bodies hanging from trees, we decided to stop by one of many in a chain of craft stores for a couple of supplies before heading home.

Our mission was simple. We needed glow-sticks and glitter to recreate a neat little project Jamie had seen online. When mixed together, the contents of the glow-stick and the glitter were supposed to look like glowing fairies in a jar. While wandering through the store, we literally ran into the paranormal. Or rather, it ran into us. Well…it ran into Jamie to be exact.

Let me see if I can paint a bit of a picture for you. Jamie was walking down one of the main aisles toward the front of the store. I (Heather) had just stepped into the same aisle from one of the smaller off-shoots. Brian, who was already up front, had just stepped into the aisle to see if we were on our way to him. As I came out from the smaller aisle, Jamie stopped and turned around to make sure I was in tow. Next to her was a wire display. The framework had dump bins on the long sides. The ends were capped with pegs and stocked with lenticular portraits; the kind that morph depending on the angle from which they are viewed.

Brian was looking at Jamie and I. Jamie was just turning to look at me. And I came around the corner just in time to see one of the lenticulars lift off its peg, levitate for a split second, then hurl itself sideways and hit Jamie. And it hit her hard! It took us all a minute to process what we had just experienced. I immediately checked for someone on the other side of the display, thinking that they had hit it causing the picture to fly off. There was no one there. Jamie was as confused as we were. Both Brian and she were looking at me as if I was going to explain it away but I couldn’t. Brian and I moved toward Jamie as she turned around to stare at the picture which was now laying on the floor silently professing its innocence and claiming its status as an inanimate object. But no amount of silent protest could change what Brian and I had both seen and what Jamie had felt.

Upon inspection, we noticed that the piece of cardboard from which the picture had been suspended was ripped. Luckily, the object was light, so Jamie wasn’t hurt. We stood there, completely stunned, our mouths agape, when an employee came strolling up the aisle. We didn’t even tell him what had happened before he casually dropped this little nugget: “Yeah….our store is haunted.” He didn’t even break his stride. Figuring he was just being a smart-ass, we stopped him and made him explain. As he did, we realized that he was being serious. He told us he heard voices in the back on more than one occasion and that the television in the break room turns itself on. We promptly handed him our card.

Had he told us his experiences before the picture had attacked, we probably would have been less likely to take them at face value.  But seeing that picture fly off the rack was incredible. I’m still having a hard time believing it. Before you get all excited and start trying to disprove the experience, let me mention that we did take a few minutes to try to figure out if there was anything that could have caused the event.

The closest set of circumstances consisted of the picture falling off the peg. Perhaps the cardboard it was hanging from finally ripped through and released it letting it fall onto the peg below. We tried to reenact the scenario, but when it bounced, it didn’t go nearly as far as what we had witnessed. And it certainly didn’t have the thrust. Jamie was standing at least three feet from the picture. Had it bounced off the peg after falling from its perch, it would have landed beside her at best. Eager to create some magic at home, we left the store with glitter, some glow sticks, and a whole lot of questions.

If you are wondering how our quest to make fairies in a jar turned out, let me help you with your curiosity. The original picture that stirred our imagination looked like this:

Obviously photoshopped!

While we didn’t think it would turn out quite like that, we thought it was at least worth a try. We ended up making something that looked more like radioactive goop in a jar. Much less charming.

This isn’t ours. This example was brought to you by: iamjolene.blogspot.com. It is much closer to what we ended up with. We used glitter. First it clumped together. Then it coated the jar. Not at all fairy-esque.

(If you want to try this project for yourself, try going to The Gold Jellybean.com. She offers nice step by step directions and she adds a bit of extra advice that makes the finished product look more like fairies and less like radioactive goop.)

It’s always nice when time with friends leaves you with warm memories. But it is even better when your time together both surprises and teaches you.  And this night taught us plenty!

1. Glitter and glow-stick juice doesn’t  make for very good fairies.

2. The Michael’s arts and crafts store we went to? Totally haunted. (All right…it’s at least a good candidate for an investigation.)

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Queen Mary Management To Showcase Bad Taste….Again.

 

“12:00 noon. I relieved Tommy as lookout on the quarter deck. He reported Queen Mary sighted with HMS “Curacaos” in the fare of her. What happened in the next few moments was too quick to be true. Unfortunately, it was true. I glanced and saw Q.M: and Curacao. They seemed ok from our position. Tommy and I put a cigarette in our mouths. I lit a match gave him a light, lighted my own, and looked astern. Queen Mary going strong at approx 20 knots, “Curacao” I could see no sign. I immediately contacted the bridge and reported “Curacao” had disappeared. From then on it was panic. Our ship turned about, asdis lamps flashing messages. We passed the Queen Mary. She was still making for homeport like a bad horse. We arrived at the last position where I had seen “Curacao.” What a terrible sight it was. The sea was covered in oil, dirty and black with hundreds of heads with oily faces and panicky white eyes, mouths opening and closing like fish, some shouting for their mothers and help, others just chocking with fuel oil in their lungs and dying from drowning. All good British lads, bobbing up and down. We picked as many as we could: 97 out of 650. The rest perished. On our way back to Ireland 5 out of the 97 we had saved from the sea died on board due to the fuel in their guts, all that destruction in the time it takes to light a cigarette.”[1]

Not all of us will be lucky enough to experience the brutal destruction of iron and steel or drowning in a slick of oil and debris in the middle of the ocean, but now, for a limited time only, YOU CAN! No longer will this privilege be reserved for wartime soldiers!

Yes folks! For the LOW LOW price of just $19.99 you can relive this actual World War II disaster in inglorious detail!

“I skipped Dark Harbor in 2011 because event organizers offered nothing new, recycling the exact same mazes and themes from the previous year.”[2]

The new haunted maze, Deadrise, takes visitors inside a World War II escort ship that helped guide the Queen Mary until she plowed right through it ripping it in half and leaving hundreds of men to die in her wake in 1942. Trapped in a watery grave, sailors still haunt the sunken escort ship. [3]

Just in time for Veterans Day!

Hurry! Tickets won’t last forever…just like the Curacao.

If you thought nothing could top a special effects Deadly D-Day Disaster Show, wait until you see all of those dead sailors dripping water and walking around with metal shards sticking out of their skulls. It’s WAY better. It’s just like being there!

That’s right folks! We’ve really pulled out all the stops! ~All~ of them. So come on down to the Queen Mary in Long Beach today and learn what it is to die like a hero!

Oh Evolution…what ARE we going to do with you? Once again, your desire to make more money and show you are the biggest, baddest management company to ever rule The Queen has succeeded in turning what once was the most luxurious ocean liner to cross the open seas into nothing more than a worn out home for circus acts and sideshow freaks.

I know that there is a large public contingency against both the “Ghosts and Legends Show” (offered daily) and the annual money-maker “Dark Harbor,” but that is, perhaps, material for another post. The point, which hopefully, I have already highlighted, is the bad taste required to theme a maze around an actual World War II disaster in which hundreds of men brutally lost their lives. They could have avoided the look of disgust by simply theming the maze as a shipwreck. It’s as if they hired a bunch of 14-year-old boys to create an event and simply let them run amok.

 “My family came over on the ship from Scotland. My family helped build the ship in Scotland. I have a lot of passion for protecting the ship.”

                                 ~Attractions Manager Andrew Mason~

But does that passion extend to protecting the reputation of the ship as both a historic and a financial entity? Instead of attracting and educating the consumer by offering innovative experiences regarding both her historic and modern significance, management plans events that repeatedly mar what is left of her original features thereby aiding the further deterioration of her public image. Disrespecting her history in such a blatant manner sends the message that the people who own her or who own her lease no longer see the value of what they have.

And while “Dark Harbor” and “Deadrise” are splashed in all their bloody glory across the front page of The Queen Mary website, a brief search of her links reveals their respect for the military during the remainder of the year.

PLAN YOUR MILITARY EVENT

“With the Queen Mary’s proud military service in World War II, it’s no surprise that the legendary ship has become a favorite amongst our brave men and women in uniform. Dubbed “The Grey Ghost” during her military service, the Queen Mary transported thousands of American troops and broke several speed records along the way. Today, the Queen Mary serves as a reminder of the Great War and a living tribute to those who fought to defend freedom and democracy throughout the years.The Queen Mary is the ideal venue for military reunions of any size.” [4

How ironic.

Unfortunately this type of contradiction is indicative of the ship’s upper level management. We saw the same behavior when they let stunt cyclists ride their bikes through the ship. The public roared, and what did management do? They threw their business partners under the bus by lying about how the stunts were never permitted.

Evolution Hospitality has a well-defined vision, a strong sense of values, and guiding principles, and a long-range, quality minded approach to business.

                               ~Evolution Hospitality LLC Website~

The company currently running the ship proudly touts its “servant leadership philosophy.”[5] But their focus on “revenue and sales”[6] is a very temporary fix to a 40-year-old problem; especially if they alienate the public in the process. From raising prices for parking and entrance fees with no warning and no added value, to theming tacky events on some of the darkest history The Queen Mary has ever seen, they continuously demonstrate their ethics with displays of spectacularly bad taste.

 


…Don’t try this at home!

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So my friends it’s that time of year when Macy’s starts to proudly display all of their coats, fur-lined sweaters and boots (even though it’s still 103F outside). Spirit Stores start popping up in your local abandoned Circuit City and the smell of latex and over priced grocery store pumpkins fill the air.

Yes! It’s fall!  With fall comes an amazing amount of paranormal activity. Already our email has exploded with “amped up” activity from around the city. Some of this is simply due to the beginning of the holiday season. Loved ones want to pop in and say hello.They want to reassure us that they are ok on the other side and that they still want to take part in family traditions.

Additional activity can also be attributed to changes in the atmosphere. Has there been a recent flow of thunderstorms through your area? See? And you thought it was the coming of Gozer…Nah.

There is one more thing that often brings about activity during this time of year and it happens to be the key topic of this post. Are you ready for it? Drum roll please ………………….DABBLERS!

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Yes folks it’s the season of what WE like to call DABBLERS!

Merriam Webster defines a Dabbler as such:

Dabbler

: one that dabbles: as
a : one not deeply engaged in or concerned with something
b : a duck (as a mallard or shoveler) that feeds by dabbling—called also dabbling duck, puddle duck, river duck  
          Obviously we’re not talking about ducks, so let’s go with that first one. We’ll elaborate for you. To us a dabbler is someone who: sees a movie, reads a book or does an internet sweep of a subject and then deems themselves appropriately schooled to call forth spirit. A dabbler doesn’t care to or doesn’t feel the need to learn the responsibility of what they might be getting into. They also never seem to know how to get themselves out of it.
          We have found that the most popular tool for dabbling during this season is the Ouija Board, once called a “spirit board.” It was patented in 1891, although such items date back to approx. 1100A.D. in China. They are currently on the shelves of your local Toys “R” Us and Target with board games and are marketed as such.
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          Hmmmm- calling to the great beyond is a game? This is what we found on drugstore.comEight years and up! Great for sleep overs!  Please tell us the general public is smarter than this? We understand people are curious. Someone hands you what appears to be a harmless board game, it’s practically giving you permission to be an idiot, right?
This is a toy:
                   
 This is not a toy:
 
In the spirit world, it is theorized that:
          Catch our drift? We thought you might. The Ouija Board is not a toy. It’s a tool. There is no one that we would trust at this point in time to use this competently as a tool for spiritual connection. Our views come from a place of knowing. When you choose to dabble in things that you are not schooled in, you are opening yourself to a world of the unknown. Your intentions can be heard in places that you can’t even fathom right now.
          We operate under the rule of 3 fold (more like 10 fold really) here is a little rhyme to help you remember:
“Mind ye three-fold law ye should, three times bad and three times good.”
                                                                                                                                              ~The Wiccan Rede~
          It’s all about intent. This simply means that what ever your intentions are, you will get back 3x what you put out. Remember this when you are looking for something “fun” to do this Halloween season. When you blindly open yourself to things beyond this realm of living with out proper training and guidance you open yourself to EVERYTHING : good and bad, light and dark.
           These so-called toys and even books that you read innocently or scenes you try to recreate from a movie are all subject to creating an “opening”. Yes, congratulations! You just gave everything on the other side(s) permission to enter not only your home, but to enter you. You opened a doorway, and we are guessing that you have no idea how you did it, or how to close it. 98% of all residential cases we’ve encountered have been connected to someone dabbling. Here’s the real rub, we were not there, we don’t know what you did exactly so how are we supposed to help you?
          Paranormal investigators do not, let me repeat, DO NOT GET RID OF GHOSTS. We are there to research, to document and try to discover the cause of disturbances. We can give you suggestions on how to deal with what is there, but we can not guarantee it’s removal. Often times certain groups may specialize in other methods that can help, but we don’t carry proton packs and we don’t have a nuclear vault under a firehouse that holds ill-mannered entities.
          Okay, okay.  We know it’s been a lot of finger wagging up to this point. As you may be able to tell, we are passionate about the subject.
Insert deep relaxing breath here :

Deep relaxing breath

          We are not trying to tell you that you should never try to seek out what can no longer be seen.  There are easier and better ways to connect with those who have passed. The easiest way is to simply talk to them as though they were right there next to you. Most of the time they are. Did you happen to get a warm fuzzy feeling or suddenly smell your loved one’s favorite scent? They are just letting you know that they are with you at that moment.
          There are also many traditions from around the world that are centered around honoring and communicating with the dead. Here are a couple of examples from Wikipedia:
Day of the Dead (SpanishDía de los Muertos) is a Mexican holiday celebrated throughout Mexico and around the world in other cultures. The holiday focuses on gatherings of family and friends to pray for and remember friends and family members who have died. It is particularly celebrated in Mexico, where it is a national holiday, and all banks are closed. The celebration takes place on November 1st, in connection with theCatholic holidays of All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day (November 2). Traditions connected with the holiday include building private altars honoring the deceased using sugar skullsmarigolds, and the favorite foods and beverages of the departed and visiting graves with these as gifts. They also leave possessions of the deceased.
or:
Obon (お盆?) or just Bon (盆?) is a Japanese Buddhist custom to honor the spirits of one’s ancestors. This Buddhist-Confucian custom has evolved into a family reunion holiday during which people return to ancestral family places and visit and clean their ancestors’ graves, and when the spirits of ancestors are supposed to revisit the household altars. It has been celebrated in Japan for more than 500 years and traditionally includes a dance, known as Bon-Odori.
          See? There are ways to responsibly and safely connect with those on the other side. If you still have questions or concerns try contacting a local group and asking them for advice. It’s better to ask and be sure than to not ask and be sorry. If you are having trouble connecting with someone near you for answers you can always contact our team. We will do our best to help you find the right team near you.
          You can contact us and some of our favorite teams by visiting our website @ www.eastvalleyparanormal.com or contact us via email @ eastvalleyparanormal@gmail.com

A Ton of Bricks

Recently, the team did a local investigation in Pasadena, California. Beneath the historical National Bank building which dates back to the 1800’s, is an annual commercial haunted house (www.oldtownhaunt.com). Built within the original catacombs where the bank placed their vaults, this is one Halloween attraction that is truly haunted. Our chaperone, Gary, was a great guy; enthusiastic about the night’s activities, ready to listen and learn, he proved an awesome guide and ensured our time beneath the city was problem-free.

After a quick tour, the investigation began, and activity started right away. We started in the old vault where we experienced cold spots, captured EVPs, and felt the tickle of spider webs (though there was nothing tangible to create the tickle). But after about an hour and a half, things got really interesting.

We moved from the vault to the southwest corner of the maze which was not ideal. From the top-notch horn player farting out tunes on the sidewalk above to the traffic, proximity to the busy street outside threatened to provide some serious audio contamination. Regardless, we settled there, noting the noise  and marking our audio well, especially for any conversations that drifted in.

Little did we know, audio phenomena would not be our best shot at compelling evidence. We were in our new spot about ten minutes before something hard hit the concrete floor nearby.

We were not expecting things to start flying through the air. This particular piece of brick landed behind us. It came from the empty and unwatched end of the corridor in which we were standing. We walked toward the sound immediately, trying to figure out if there was anything in the area that could have made the sound we heard.

There were three “rocks” on the floor where the noise had come from. As you can hear, all three were examined. The first piece of debris turned out to be foam.  Though it is only open for part of the year, the haunt remains in tact year round, so we were literally wandering through a maze full of hanging corpses and false walls, many of which were made of foam. We were not sure where the other pieces of stone came from because there were no real exposed walls in the area. Perhaps it fell from the ceiling? Or, perhaps Chaperone Gary was having some fun with us? Because the location is set up for maximum scare potential, it wouldn’t be too far-fetched to think that Gary, a guy who works the haunt every year, would have some tricks we might not know about.

Our question would be answered during evidence review. If you listen closely to the end of the first clip, you will hear the voice of a little girl we call Sarah. (Not to be confused with the Sarah we regularly talk to aboard the Queen Mary) I isolated the EVP out of the longer clip so it would be easier to hear.

Having trouble hearing it? Here’s some advice: Make sure you have ear buds or headphones on and, instead of turning the sound up, try turning it down. I know it sounds counter-intuitive, but it really works!

Though faint, the answer is there. “It was me.” She was trying to get our attention, and it worked.

Sarah wasn’t the only one speaking to us. Apparently we had an audience while trying to figure out what had occurred. At the end of the clip where we are examining the pieces of stone on the floor, we captured this faint EVP.

Though it is quick, there is a whisper there that says “we know” and it seems to be in response to us figuring out which piece of brick was the one that actually made the sound we heard.

It’s funny. When you start getting crazy activity, the skeptic in you wants to dismiss it. There is a part of you that would prefer the culprit was living, because it would be easier for your brain to make sense out of it. But, as important as it was for us to dismiss that first noise, or, at the very least, set it aside for later analysis, it was just as important for Sarah to make herself known. Just five minutes later, it happened again. And, this time, it was louder.

That piece of debris was actually hurled parallel to the floor along the corridor adjoining ours. As you can probably tell, it hit a wood wall at the end and then skidded along the floor. Again, we did not actually see the rock fly through the air. And we did not have eyes on the end of the darkened corridor from which it came. But, as you can hear on the audio, the rock was thrown with a great deal of force. And our tosser wasn’t finished.

Less than five minutes later, it happened again. And this time, we knew it had to be paranormal. Once again, we missed the throw. But while there wasn’t enough light in the tunnels to catch the piece of brick in mid-air, there was certainly enough light by which to see a human figure. However, there were no human figures to see.

As you can hear on the audio, it hit a foam hook that was hanging in front of a metal gate. Like most ghost hunters, I had that annoying habit of pointing the camera in the wrong direction every time another piece of brick took flight. I know. I know. It’s annoying as hell. But while I didn’t catch the brick in flight, I did manage to capture the swinging hook and the piece of brick that caused it to swing. You can check out the video on our YouTube channel.

Now, so far, I have to say, this is a pretty epic display. I mean, it’s up there with what we call our “Party In The Mirror” picture. It took us months of theorizing and debunking before we finally gave in to the fact that there is no natural explanation for the image. But the activity wasn’t finished. Another piece of brick was tossed about fifteen minutes later. This fourth and final piece was the largest piece thrown.

As you can probably tell, that one freaked me out. It was a big piece of brick! And it hit really close to where I was. (And I STILL didn’t capture it on video.) We immediately started looking for a place where the brick could have come from, and it seemed like the most likely point of origin was an exposed brick wall about five or six feet away. This particular wall was originally an entrance to more tunnels that had been blocked off years before.

While we were trying to figure out the point of origin of the latest piece of brick, we captured an EVP. I’m not sure if it should be classified as an EVP or a disembodied voice because, as you can hear in this next clip, I heard “someone” at the time. I know that what I heard made me uncomfortable even though I couldn’t tell what had been said.  It felt like whoever spoke was right by me, in my personal space. CREEPER.

Did you catch that? Just after I say “It has to be ~covered~” there is an EVP of someone saying my name…which was in my ear…and all up in my business. Here it is isolated.

So not right. I theorize that the ghosts know me by name because I have a big mouth and never shut up. That’s just how I roll.

Now, you would think that our playful ghostly friend would be worn out by now. That’s four pieces of brick she just sent flying through the air in less than an hour. About twenty minutes passed, and we were fairly sure the ghost who, at the time, I nicknamed “Gus,” was exhausted. Out of boredom, I began to playfully taunt the spirit just to see if we could squeeze some more activity out of it. And it worked. A little more than twenty minutes later, we heard this:

Our recorder, which had been sitting safely on a ledge, suddenly fell to the floor and started playback. Brian had just walked away from the device before it fell. Immediately, we put it back where it was and started jumping around the base of the set-piece on which it was resting, wondering if the vibration from traffic outside could have made it suddenly jump to its doom. Nothing happened. We then shook the pillar trying to get it to fall. It didn’t budge.

Later, while going through evidence, I discovered something that boggled my mind. The previous audio clip was captured on the recorder I was holding. The following clip is what it sounded like from the perspective of the recorder that was knocked down.

     It took listening to it a few times before I was able to comprehend what I was hearing. I had fully expected to hear the recorder move followed by a loud bang. Instead, my ears were met with the sound of someone touching the recorder and turning it off. The device stopped recording before it ever left the ledge. WHO? WHAT? HOW? Are you kidding?
     I took a few minutes to process what I had just heard, then I tried to recreate it using the same recorder. The only way I could match what I heard was to press the stop button. If I picked up the recorder, the sound of my fingers was too loud to match what was captured on the device at the time. This means the spirit pressed “stop,” then knocked it to the ground.
     Shortly after this last effort by our paranormal friend, Chaperone Gary came to collect our team and move us to the next location. By this time we were exhausted and apparently, so was our company. Activity died, no pun intended. We could feel the change in energy as we settled into our new location. Though we hung out for a while longer, our quest for evidence had been more than fulfilled. Eager to get some sleep so that we could dive into the evidence, we ended up leaving the location early.
     A couple of months have passed since this investigation and we are still amazed by what we experienced. Accompanied by a soundtrack of top-notch tunes like “Tequila” and “My Country Tis of Thee” farted into the basement by the horn outside, the location delivered some stellar activity that we can’t deny. Thanks to a very persistent ghost, Chaperone Gary’s name has been cleared, and our team, after an investigation that turned out to be as subtle as a ton of bricks, feels quite comfortable in labeling the old bank: haunted.

P.E.T.A. People for the Ethical treatment of Apparitions

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It’s October and of course we are busy fielding all incoming paranormal hits, be it emergency house calls, frantic members of the public or a variety of craziness from social network outlets. I often find myself paying extra attention to our various network sites to see what is going on within the community. Some of what I’m seeing is rather upsetting and downright unnerving. More and more we are seeing historical landmarks taken advantage of by the over-marketing of Halloween.

This is especially difficult for me because these are two areas of my life that I’m very passionate about and I walk that line between the two. I do feel that they can co-exist, but with great care.  I’m all for a good scare. I do not personally enjoy walking through manufactured haunted houses and scare factories, but I’ve been involved in all other areas of them: building, propping, costumes, make-up. For the creative industry that I’m so fond of this is a time to show your talents, to imagine and create for the sake of great entertainment; however, there are those that I believe are crossing the line.

It’s one thing to go out in a field, build a maze, and maybe destroy some grass for a few weeks, but it’s another thing to set up a haunt in a REAL HAUNTED HISTORICAL LANDMARK !  First of all, a historical landmark should be treated as such. Do what ever you want but don’t damage the integrity of a building with such significance . I’m seeing walls and original fixtures damaged in these locations and it’s just not right.  When you throw in the fact that the location is the actual site of a haunting it’s down right disrespectful.

We’ve been in locations where you can feel the anger and resentment of the energies and it’s heartbreaking.  I’d love to take people through these locations, teach them of their history and the residents that still remain . In my opinion it’s just as exciting.

Unfortunately the Location we are the most passionate about has fallen victim to this kind of ignorance and mistreatment. Original chairs, tables and other fixtures being harmed and misused. Walls are splashed with faux blood and skeletons, etc.that stays up all year.

We understand that the money is important to it’s survival, but there are bigger and better ways to go about it. We would love to be involved in giving this location alternatives to the damage that they are causing now.

The Queen Mary is one of our last great examples of not only Luxury liners of the past; but Art Deco architecture and craftsmanship that were created by the hands of the Masters themselves.

Please respect the REAL ghostly residents of the Great Queen and other Landmarks like her!
If you’d fight for a deer in the forrest, how about an apparition in it’s historical home?!

So, what do you think folks….. People for the Ethical Treatment of Apparitions?