Category: Halloween

Josh Gates Searched for and Found the Irish Banshee on Destination Truth

Josh Gates Searched for and Found the Irish Banshee on Destination Truth

Lethal, fairy tale phantoms and creatures have haunted Ireland for centuries, according to the Irish townsfolk. In particular, they hold a special reverence for the Irish Banshee. Based on the mysterious happenings at a certain dilapidated medieval castle near the cliff-side, the screaming Banshee seems to have settled itself there.

Destination Truth producers sent worldwide adventurer, Josh Gates, to Ireland to search for the notorious phantom. Here he questioned the townsfolk. And after hearing about the medieval ruins, he set out to find this terrible phantom. Strange events happened there. Afterwards, leaving Ireland, Josh Gates insisted the Irish Banshee is more than a mere fairy tale. Or, are the Destination Truth producers selling tall tales?



Why Josh Gates Searched for the Irish Banshee in the First Place

People around the world watch, know, and love Josh Gates. He is a fun-loving, down-to-earth American who respects and honors other people and cultures. Fellow Americans – and I must assume other people from different nationalities – also hold an interest in Irish folklore. Having combined these two elements, specifically with the infamous Banshee, Destination Truth producers had the perfect episode.

I only question why Josh Gates acted so convinced about the Irish Banshee’s presence? Yes, mysterious noises permeated the otherwise silent night. Some odd shadows appeared inside the castle’s ruins. However, in every abandoned place, there exists wild animals. Some rustle in the bushes, others hide in dark crevices. Demons probably exist, as seen in Josh Gate’s Romanian episode, but they are known to harass living people. Why did Josh so readily believe in the Irish Banshee’s existence?



What Occurred as Josh Gates and His Crew Searched for the Irish Banshee

Little occurred in this episode regarding the Irish episode other than what normally occurs when people go ghost hunting. Inexplicable shadows ran to and fro, up and down castle ruins and yawning lawns. Sounds like a screaming woman – which can be very similar to a howling fox – resound throughout the empty and silent grounds. Bats and birds fly up unexpectedly. All of this spooked Josh Gates and his crew. And soon they “heard” the phantom chasing after them.

What really got the ball rolling was when Barry, who used to host Ghost Hunters International, trained everyone’s eyes on an object on the ground. We television viewers saw nothing, though the camera pointed down to the ground. However, Barry convinced everyone that the Irish Banshee had thrown the unseen object. And if anyone picked it up, they would soon meet their death. Hocus pocus, in my general opinion. They should have picked it up to verify the rumors of the howling Banshee.

Then came the part where Hallie entered the high tower alone, where the Irish Banshee had supposedly been seen, to do a ghostly interview. The metal stairs, which she had just climbed, began making noise, as if the lethal phantom was coming to meet her. She freaked out and began talking on her walkie-talkie. And Josh told her to come down the stairs and investigate what could have made the noise. Nothing else happened.



What I Learned about Josh Gates and the Irish Banshee

To be perfectly honest, I learned more about Josh Gates during this episode than I did about the Irish Banshee. Based on the performance given, Josh Gates serves as the overworked employee to the Destination Truth producers. Either that, or he wants to believe in Irish folklore. Whichever one be the truth, I’m surprised either way.

To the screaming Irish Banshee, where are your victims? What leads the Irish people to wholeheartedly believe they will die if they pick up a thrown item? The wind there howls at night. Animals rustle and hide in crooks and crannies. Shadows appear in odd places throughout the world. All of these could explain the Irish Banshee’s existence. Why believe in a lethal phantom?

This Irish Banshee interests me greatly in folklore. But, in the real world, I’m a sceptic and a naysayer about television’s adventure programs. So, only one question remains: What do you believe?



 

How Stevenson’s Literature Possibly Inspired Jack the Ripper’s Murders

How Stevenson’s Literature Possibly Inspired Jack the Ripper’s Murders

School grade teachers and college professors must practice more awareness in what they choose for their students to read. For literature can inspire bad behavior. Just as television can. Or, just as theater productions can. But does doubt about this fact cause them indecision on what to read? They need only consider how Robert Louis Stevenson’s literature possibly inspired Jack the Ripper’s murders.

How a Californian Girl Realized Literature Possibly Inspired Jack the Ripper’s Murders

Teachers failed to educate me on the importance in filling one’s mind with positivity and good behavior. Thankfully, my parents picked up on where they lacked. As for the countless other children who received little or no instruction on proper behavior and morals, they live lifestyles brimming with violence, misbehavior, and destruction. Some literature merely encouraged such lifestyles.



As the reader has likely already deducted, criminal investigators and curious citizens around the world wondered about Robert Louis Stevenson and Jack the Ripper. Specifically about how The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde may have inspired the notorious, unidentified London killer. Oddly enough, teachers neglected to teach me this in school. I found out through my own deduction and consequential research.

Literature Possibly Inspired Jack the Ripper's Murders
Film production of The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

Stevenson’s famous novella was first published in 1886. The resulting fame produced theater productions throughout America and England. However, mere days after The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde first played in the London theater in late August 1888, Jack the Ripper mauled and killed his first victim. Had he read the book? Had the play inspired his mania?



Curious Connections on How Literature Possibly Inspired Jack the Ripper’s Murders

In Stevenson’s novella, the character Dr. Henry Jekyll studied and practiced medicine. Living as a bachelor with extensive financial funds, he used his spare time to concoct scientific experiments. This, as everyone knows, led to the birth of Mr. Edward Hyde, a social and criminal deviant.

Based on how Jack the Ripper murdered the Whitechapel women, the inspectors suspected this unidentified man had a background in medical surgery. How he treated the entrails and preserved certain organs especially made this suspicion seem true. But the British police suspected something more.

In The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde renditions, whether they be onstage or on film, the writers presented Dr. Jekyll as even more gentlemanly and righteous than Stevenson had written him. To make the doctor seem more traditional and upright, a young woman for Dr. Jekyll to pursue was added. Stevenson had written Dr. Jekyll in a different light, originally. Making the character resemble a genius and someone who brooded over complex subjects.

Jack the Ripper also seemed to contain a certain genius – a genius to avoid the police, if nothing else. The inspectors referred to his likely propensity to brood. Only, instead of brooding over complex subjects, the murderer would brood over which woman to kill and how to kill her.



Personal Opinion on How Literature Possibly Inspired Jack the Ripper’s Murders

Studies throughout the past few decades in the United States have proven the link between bad behavior on television to bad behavior in younger generations. Why television? Because younger generations watch more television than they read or attend theater. The general conclusion is all entertainment forms can have a negative or positive influence on people.

Therefore, I suspect that Stevenson’s literature did partially influence Jack the Ripper. Some sort of chemical imbalance in the brain seems likely, hence why the murderer brooded. But stories have the power to change people, to lead them toward positive forces or negative roads. And too many similar dark ideas and actions came from Stevenson’s literature and Jack the Ripper’s deeds to be unconnected.

What do you think? Do the similarities make you suspect a connection, as well? Or is Robert Louis Stevenson a literary genius and Jack the Ripper some disconnected maniac killer?



Sean Bean and Eddie Redmayne in Black Death – Critical Review

Sean Bean and Eddie Redmayne in Black Death – Critical Review

Perusing the movie selections on the shelves at Walmart, I was startled to see Boromir from Lord of the Rings staring out at me. Only, on this movie cover, located on a high shelf near the back, a zombie-like creature stood behind him. The movie was titled Black Death, starring English stars Sean Bean and Eddie Redmayne.

Black Death‘s Plot and Purpose

Germany financed and English Director Christopher Smith directed this film about witch hunters during the three year Black Death pandemic in England. Originally, English production companies intended to help finance the film. They later refused, for reasons I assume lie within the movie’s plot. Allow me to explain what occurred in the film:

Black Death
Averill and Osmund making plans to flee.

In the year 1348, the Black Death pandemic had entered the England monastery, where our main character was located as a novice. After a few short scenes with those suffering from the black plague, we saw the young novice stealing food from his monastery brothers and, after some deception about feeding the afflicted, giving the food to his secret girlfriend. He told her to flee, for the black plague was spreading. She did, but only after telling him to follow, or else she’d leave him forever.



Novice Osmund prayed for the right decision, and thought he received it when witch hunter Ulric walked in and asked for a guide. Journeying with the witch hunter and his men revealed their twisted sense of kindness and mercy. Where Osmund saw unjust persecution, Ulric saw sin and damnation. Osmund merely persevered to reach his girlfriend, Averill.

What happened when Osmund reached his destination was twisted: He came across Averill’s clothing, torn and blood-splattered. He despaired and grieved. Ulric convinced him to go farther with him and his crew to avoid imminent death. Osmund went and they all reached the witch’s village. The witch played with them, drugging them and causing them to see visions. Then came the climax.

Freezing water trapped Ulric, Osmund, and the other witch hunters. The witch, reveling in her power, gave them the option to forsake God and live, or to remain in the faith and die. Well, as Ulric warned his men, she killed both the questionably faithful and the absolute deserter in the group all alike. However, when Osmund and the witch hunters first arrived at the village, the witch showed Osmund his “dead” girlfriend. And how she had raised her from the dead.



Black Death
Osmund goes to see his “resurrected” Averill.

Believing this story about his girlfriend which the witch had crafted, Osmund questioned whether to forsake God, living in the witch’s village, or to keep his faith and die. He chose the latter. He also chose the latter for his seemingly possessed girlfriend, whom he drove a knife into and killed. Realizing what he had done, the witch acted horrified and exclaimed this as typical for how Christians act.

After quartering Ulric – who, it turned out, had black plague symptoms – everyone fled the scene. This left Osmund and one somewhat kindly witch hunter. Osmund followed the fleeing witch, intending to kill her, but learned the horrible truth instead: His girlfriend had never been dead, merely drugged and used to fool Osmund. Needless to say, the witch got away, leaving Osmund stunned, horrified, grieving, and hopeless.

The narrator, who turned out to be the somewhat kindly witch hunter, ended the film. He talked about the rumors he heard about Osmund turning into a witch hunter and killing many innocent women from his grief-driven madness. Overall, the film showed God as powerless, and evil as superior.



What British News Sources Taught Me About Black Death

Silly and historically inaccurate, said the writer for The Guardian. This particular article used references to describe how some witch hunting did occur in England, but predominantly in different centuries. Also, villages did learn to target mostly women, but this occurred only after a couple centuries after the mid-1300’s. And the degree of violence against innocent women in general never reached the extreme that this movie portrayed, at least in England.

Based on this information, I concluded English film producers refused to finance this film because the film writer had over-exaggerated this dark historical period. Moreover, this film was produced in the year 2010, while her majesty Queen Elizabeth II had (and still has) power. Because this film portrayed England and God in a negative light, the loyal citizens would have none of it. Thank God for Britain’s good sense.



Surprising Actors Found in Black Death

Black Death
Sean Bean as Ulric

Of course, I already mentioned my surprise to see Sean Bean dressed very similarly to his character “Boromir, son of Denethor II” in The Lord of the Rings on this film’s cover. In The Lord of the Rings, Bean’s character encouraged both dislike and understanding in the viewers. He was a gray character. Therefore, to see him as witch hunter Ulric, another brutal and daring role, brought about mixed feelings.

Alex and I failed to recognize Eddie Redmayne’s name. However, early on in the film, Alex piped up and said, “Hey, it’s Newt!” The nagging feeling I had about this character was solved. For Eddie Redmayne had played the beloved Newt in J.K. Rowling’s Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. He played Osmund, the main character, in Black Death. Recognizing him as Newt made his ending in Black Death much harder to accept.



One Christian’s Opinion on Whether or Not to Watch Black Death

If my readers are strong believers in the Christian faith, like my husband and I, then they will severely dislike this film. At the beginning, the possibility of a strong Christian message appeared so likely as to give my husband and I hope for a happy ending. These hopes disappeared as the film progressed. In the end, we felt nothing but shame at how the film writer portrayed the Christian believers, if they could even be called believers.

How Osmund turned out also doesn’t sit well with me. He started off devout and loving. He questioned the monastery life, like the Protestant Christians did, and wished for a wife. His faith seemed genuine. However, when the witch tricked him, and he ended up killing his love, his faith didn’t save him. He become corrupted, in mind and spirit. True faith would heal all wounds, even those from a powerful witch and necromancer. Osmund’s faith should have kept him in the light.

Overall, I think the film did well in regards to acting and scene setting, but the plotline was terrible. History as it played out in the real world is frightening enough. Mixing history for a fictional horror film seems unnecessary. I recommend watching this film when my readers feel the need for something eerie. But, please, try to ignore the social agenda in the film, for only those enslaved to sin do such horrific deeds. And, as to witches, we all have different beliefs regarding witches and necromancers.



 

Modern Writers and Mary Shelley – What We Can Learn from Her Literature, Thinking, and Life

Modern Writers and Mary Shelley – What We Can Learn from Her Literature, Thinking, and Life

Anyone and everyone who has attempted to read great classic literature at some point in his or her life assuredly has borrowed or bought a dozen or more novels from famous past British and Irish authors. I own 50 such novels or more. To begin the Halloween season’s celebrations, I pulled out Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. To review the horror elements within the story was my aim.

The Wordsworth Classics edition I own started the book with a blatant appeal for the readers to skip the introductory novel analysis and to start the classic story. I did as told, and first read Mary Shelley’s explanation on how she dreamed about a mad scientist’s living creation. From this simple explanation did my heart reach out to her and fill with empathy and awe. Allow me to explain how modern writers can learn from Mary Shelley.



What Mary Shelley’s Story Explanation Said About Her Thoughts and Her Life

I will refrain from pouring over the explanation about how Mary Shelley dreamed up Frankenstein’s monster. Instead, I will attempt to describe what the young married woman revealed about herself in her explanation.

A proper description would include an extensive knowledge about religion, politics, and society during the late 18th – early 19th century. But I have very little knowledge right now about such history. What I can do is describe how young people, especially young writers, have very much in common with Mary Shelley.



America attempts to downplay how much religion affected past British writers in their literature and dissertations. However, religion and society norms genuinely seemed to lead Mary Shelley in her life and in her writing. For example, when in the presence of her husband and Lord Byron, she settled down to listen without speaking. Doing so provided her with much information. More information than what she and other women were accustomed to receiving.

As a young married woman, Mary Shelley struggled to keep up conversation with her husband in academical and world interests. She admitted to keeping up on her personal studies, to better converse with him, as opposed to writing and publishing as both her parents did. She was a young woman split between her desires to please her husband and fulfill personal achievement.



How Modern Writers Can Relate to Mary Shelley

Choosing to engage in personal studies to converse with her husband on a daily basis proved her respect for Christian principals. For the Holy Bible says to cling to one another in marriage, to love and respect each other. Mary Shelley knew her husband needed intellectual stimulation. So she studied to provide him with such stimulation, improve her own mind, and maintain a happy, healthy relationship with him.

Unfortunately for the young writer, her husband also wanted to see her write. How could she keep up intellectually and write to became famous like her author parents at the same time? Like everyone today, she struggled to fulfill everyone’s wishes and her own desires with the limited time provided for her.



An even better relation on how modern writers can relate to Mary Shelley comes in the form about conforming to society norms. In the ten or fifteen years between Frankenstein prints, Mary Shelley revised a few spots so as to keep from upsetting the public readers. Today, predominantly most bestsellers conform to politically left-wing views and beliefs. Writers who write about opposing views must find different publishers.

Overall, Mary Shelley’s whole demeanor in her personal note seemed to portray a quiet, imaginative, and somewhat anxious young married woman who aimed to please everyone around her. Frankenstein resulted from conversation between her husband and Lord Byron on current developments during the period. Then her imagination took over, and the short novel resulted. Her aim had never been to change society or religion with her writing.



What Mary Shelley’s Character Betrays About Frankenstein

Both my husband and I read Frankenstein in high school as required reading. I remember enjoying the book, thinking it bespoke much about how the young woman thought about people. Remembering this makes me excited to read it again. Since my age has nearly doubled, what will I learn in this second reading of this young woman’s fine thoughts? I look forward to finding out.

Have you read Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein? What do you like most about the novel? What do you think Mary Shelley revealed about herself in her changes and her way of writing and living?