Top Five Horror Rides of 2018

Theme park rides have existed for a little over a century now, which is probably longer than most would assume.
The earliest mechanical rides, monstrous Ferris Wheels and steampunk carousels, came into being during the late 1800’s and have been evolving ever since.
The earliest dark ride, “A Trip to the Moon”, was also probably one of the most quintessential (and debuted at the Pan-American Exhibition in 1901).
It featured elaborate theming to keep true to the plot of the Jules Verne story, actors in Selenite suits, and a chance for riders to stroll about the moon’s surface before being shooed out on a rocket ship.
Of course, we’ve come quite far since then, and today’s rides have diversified into a plethora of new forms, from pretzel rides to VR rides to the towering steel behemoths that exist to give their riders bragging rights.
Here, we’ve gathered five of our favorite horror-themed rides of many different genres for your perusing pleasure. Enjoy!

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5. Knoebel’s Haunted Mansion

A classic. The theming, the cheesiness, the just-toned-down-enough-that-it-counts-as-kid-friendly atmosphere, Knoebel’s Haunted Mansion is pretty renowned in the dark ride community.
It’s just… so… classic. There’s an animatronic vulture on the “welcome” sign. That’s how classic horror we’re talking.

4. Screamin’ Gator Zip Line

What could be scarier than flying over a pit of live alligators on a 7-story-high zip line?
Orlando, Florida’s aptly named “Gatorland” promises to be an “entertaining and educational 2-hour experience”.
But flying at 30 mph on a 65-foot high line, over a pit of ravenous reptiles (well, okay, as “ravenous” as any other gator) has more than a few overtones of “Indiana Jones”.
I mean really… that’s some “Raiders” stuff.

 

3. Halloween Hootenanny

Really, almost any Halloween attraction at the famed Knott’s Scary Farm (the fall run of Knott’s Berry Farm in Buena Park, CA) could probably fit here, so consider this more an example.
They’re pretty well known for a consistent and high-quality rotation of rides, many of which include scare actors to enhance the scream quotient.
The Halloween Hootenanny, aside from being the only time in my life I’ve ever had to type the word “Hootenanny”, was Knott’s spooky log flume ride for the 2017 season.
Killer miners, witches, UFO’s… the theming is rather erratic, but a fun time all told.

2. Saw – The Ride

The UK’s Thorpe Park absolutely stabs the bullseye with its perfectly realized “Saw – The Ride” coaster.
Animatronics, sound effects, and an intensely demented track layout send riders careening through a real-life Jigsaw trap, which at the time of opening contained the world’s steepest drop as its claim to fame.
Fans of the film series (with its myriad installments) and theme parks alike can more than enjoy this game.
If, of course, they want to play.

1. Wicker Man

Sometimes the most obscure choices are the most fitting.
Based off of the classic British horror film “The Wicker Man” of the mid-70’s (yes, the one turned into a sad parody of itself by Cage and co.), Alton Towers’ “Wicker Man” seems to have it all*.
Suitably spooky theming, an exhiliarating ride, even the fact that this coaster is made of wood all lend itself well to the cult concept.
Something something, “not the bees!”

*Alton Towers seems to have a lot of horror-based attractions. When your park name comes from the ancient castle built upon the grounds (still standing to this day!) it’s rather obligatory.
In conclusion, we at Paranormal Supplies would like to posit a question.
Though these are all clearly fine rides, it seems baffling to us that there are so few horror-themed rides outside the “big names” (Disneyland, Universal Studios, et. al.).
Even then, does it not strike anyone else that the world of thrill rides need more… thrills?
To us, horror theming and thrill rides should be a no-brainer, as ubiquitous a pairing as peanut butter and jelly.
Those of us who want to be thrilled surely want that rush of danger, right?
The astute among our readers may note that we stuck to rides using (mostly) practical props and theming for this list, and here’s the reason:
Even the biggest-budget high concept modern rides have given way to, essentially, sitting on a barely-moving track as 360-degree videos play around passengers.
It’s futuristic, sure, but is it really thrilling? Can a 100-foot plunge or in-your-face animatronics truly be replaced by a screen?
Have these practical effects been tried and simply failed, or have they just not yet reached their zenith?
Must a horror themed jaunt give up its uniqueness to be greenlit?
Our closing question, then, is this:

Who is going to create that perfect vector of anxiety and acceleration, that merger of mayhem and mile-per-hour, that singular freak of design that puts the "thrill" back in "thrill ride"?

Top 5 Spectres of the Celtic World

Welcome, all ye, an’ prepare to pay honors to all things Seelie and Unseelie.
Today we take a look at our favorite fae beasts of Celtic mythology!

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5. Leprachaun

Ah yes, the most famous among all Irish fairies, the Leprechaun.
Though much of their lore is well known in America thanks to Saint Patrick’s Day, it should be known that the diminutive, red-haired, bearded man swathed in green is a far cry from the original concept of the leprechaun. Sort of.
The fundamental lore of the Leprechaun can be broken down into some very basic points:

A. Leprechauns are adept shoe makers, and this is their sole profession. (Get it?)
B. They are known for keeping kettles full of gold at the end of rainbows. As stereotypically “whimsical” as this may seem, it should be understood that they guard these kettles jealously, as the gold therein is the spoils of an ancient war between man and fair folk. Just let that sink in.
C. If captured, they will attempt to fight back. If this does not work, they will attempt to deceive their captors into releasing them. If all else fails, they will grant a wish in exchange for release.

And, finally, and perhaps the biggest misconception:

D. They have different uniforms depending on region. Some do wear green, some dress similarly to what Americans would consider a “gnome”, some wear full bright red military regalia… Think less “Lucky Charms” and more “Sergeant Pepper”.

It should be also known that Leprechauns are not really that prolific of drinkers. That would be their vaguely similar, lazy, distant cousins the Clurichauns*.

*Clurichaun: It’s like a Leprechaun, but drunker.

4. Changeling

Shape-shifting fairies are not uncommon in lores around the world, but in Celtic myth they seem unusually prolific.
Kelpies (which are men who take the form of water-horses), Selkies (women who become seals), and the Puca (a phantom which can become pretty much anything it feels like, usually a horse) are of course among the best well known, but one of the most widespread ancient superstitions involves creatures called “Changelings”.
These fairies function much like the cuckoo bird: they are able to shapeshift into the likeness of a child (or adult), and use this ability to “replace” one in a human home by kidnapping the human and assuming their identity.
It was believed that looking upon someone with envy or admiration would “alert” nearby fairies to their beauty, social status, or the affection of those around them, and therefore mark them as a potential target.
The only way to tell if someone had been replaced with a changeling is to place the accused in the fireplace and light it. If the accused is a changeling, they would fly up the chimney.
In other words, the belief was, that if you place a changeling in fire, they will perform the highly unusual act of… trying to get out of the fire.

This belief was so widespread in earlier days that not only were murders of family members often attested to it, but many murderers were openly acquitted due to having “only killed a changeling”.
One example of this is the 1890’s murder of Bridget Cleary, who was burned alive by her husband presumably due to her strange behavior and his belief that his wife had been kidnapped and replaced with a monstrous doppelganger.
This bizarre behavior was later attributed to pneumonia, just as many other accusations of changelingism are assumed to have been examples of misinterpreted developmental/physical maladies in infants.

3. Dullahan

The Irish Grim Reaper takes the form of a headless horseman, the Dullahan.
They are often portrayed as a ghostly (and usually, but not always) male rider with a whip made from a human spine and a carriage resembling the Sedlec Ossuary – and his rotting head held under his arm.
Much like the also-Irish Banshee, the Dullahan makes a habit of visiting domiciles and screaming the name of an occupant in a shrill voice. Whoever hears his or her name called dies instantly.
The Dullahan do not like being looked upon by mortal eyes – if they are spied on, they employ the use of their whip to blind any who see them, which seems crueller than just killing them, really.
The Dullahan are impervious to mortal weapons, no gates or doorways or barricades can bar their entrance, and the eyes on their decapitated heads can see in the dark for miles in every direction.
The only way to defend oneself against a Dullahan is to carry a small amount of gold visibly upon your person, because the Dullahan fears gold, making them terrifying ghosts but terrible accountants.

2. Dobharchu

No, it’s not a leak from the next Pokemon gen (probably), but in fact the Dobhar-Chu is notable for being one of the few cryptids in existence with a body count.
A being not only seen in folklore but also to this day reported among the rivers and lochs of Ireland, the Dobhar-Chu (pronounced kind of like Doo-waar-koo) is something like a hairy crocodile with a dog face and orange flippers.
Indeed, its name roughly translates to “Sea Hound”, chosen by the ancient Celts presumably because it sounds more intimidating than “Otter-dile”.
And intimidating this creature is, as there are some who would go as far as to postulate that the Dobhar-Chu is a juvenile form of the Loch Ness monster, and some even claiming that the beast has been attacking locals as recently as the late 90’s.
The most recent sighting was by an Irish artist in 2003, and the oldest sightings are from the 17th century.

1. Nuckelavee

Coming in at number 1 is a demon from the Northern Isles known as the Nuckelavee.
Feared as the most inherently evil being in all of Scotland, the Nuckelavee is a walking, roaring, putrid mountain of rage, and there’s nothing more metal than that.
Telling of its ghastly disposition is that only one (1!) person, a Scotsman named Tammas, has ever seen it and lived to describe it, though his description does nothing to alleviate its fearsomeness.
Are you ready for this?

The only numerical reference given for size is a head 3 feet in diameter. Assuming that that the “A human form is 8 heads tall” formula is correct, that would make the Nuckelavee about 24 feet tall.
He’s demonstrably taller than that, however, as this monster’s legs from the waist down are replaced by a proportionally-sized horse.
Not the legs of a horse, like a Satyr, or the body of a horse, as a centaur, but a full-on horse, replete with tail, neck, whale-like maw, and a hellish, glowing cyclopic eye.

Not freaky enough? Understandable. How about the fact that the horse-legs end not in hooves but tendril-like flippers?
Or that he breathes a rancid plague known as the “Mortasheen”, capable of killing livestock and crops and essentially decimating a countryside within a month?
In addition, his knuckles are known to drag the ground… making his arms exactly long enough to claw his way into your nightmares all the way from Scotland.
AND, in order to cement his status as a monster best seen only in fever dreams and death-metal album covers, this sprawling mass of hate doesn’t have any SKIN.
Black blood flows through his yellow veins, and his bulging, sinewy musculature can be seen without an X-Ray or Body Worlds exhibit.

Tammas was clearly a brave soul, but I will have none of what he was drinking.

The Nuckelavee was the most feared being in Orcadian lore, with farmers and working-class families fearing him the most.
This is understandable, as the beast was known to be enraged by pretty much anything – burning seaweed, farming from peasants in hard times struggling to get by, the concept of happiness somewhere in Scotland – all were enough to set the demon on a rampage.
Luckily, the creature was imprisoned in the sea during the Spring and Summer by the Mither o’ the Sea (Scottish Poseidon), and possesses an unabated fear of… fresh water?
That’s rather anticlimactic.

That being said, the most recent alleged activity by the Nuckelavee was during the kelp production season of 1722, which is still far too recent for comfort.

5 Musicians Who Have Experienced the Paranormal

Of all professions, perhaps none are more intertwined with the influence of the supernatural than that of the Artist.
As such, perhaps those of an artistic mind are more open to paranormal experience – or more willing to accept an experience as such.
Please enjoy our list of 5 musicians who are believed to have had paranormal encounters!

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5. MEAT LOAF

Yes, the guy who sang “Paradise by the Dashboard Light”.
Evidently, Meat Loaf is an avid believer in the paranormal, going so far as to frequently use an EMF meter to track apparitions.
He also experienced an encounter with a ghostly lady, clad in white, during the recording period for his Bat Out of Hell album.
As he lay in his bed, he saw a thin, pale woman pass by his window. Thinking that it was one of his producers’ groupies, he thought nothing of it until a short time after.
He later was confronted with poltergeist-like activity, slamming doors and smashing glass until he finally downed an entire bottle of sleeping pills – not exactly the wisest action – and only then slept until morning.

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4. KENDRICK LAMAR

Kendrick Lamar reportedly met the ghost of Tupac, who told him “Not to let (his) music die”.
He purports to have seen Shakur come to him in a dream, appearing in silhouette and giving his fan a moving word of encouragement.
Pardon the pun, but the experience must have been… “humbling”. 😉

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3. BOB DYLAN

During the recording of his seminal album Time Out of Mind (Because all of his albums are “seminal” somehow), Bob Dylan had repeated experiences involving Buddy Holly.
Always subtle, as most experiences of the sort are, Holly’s music became a dominating prescence on the radios of Dylan’s recording studio.
The catch – Dylan and crew had no hand in tuning in.
He even alluded to this in a Grammy acceptance speech:

“I just wanted to say, one time when I was about sixteen or seventeen years old, I went to see Buddy Holly play at the Duluth National Guard Armory (late January, 1959)…I was three feet away from him…and he looked at me. And I just have some sort of feeling that he was – I don’t know how or why – but I know he was with us all the time we were making this record, in some kind of way.”

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2. DAVID BOWIE

We’ll be honest, it’s not surprising that David Bowie has made it on to this list.
During the mid-70’s, Bowie’s ‘Thin White Duke’ phase was in full swing, at which time he began experimenting with magic and… other substances.
However, all this experimenting came with a price, as Bowie gradually grew paranoid that seemingly everything was out to kill him;
Nazis, heights, a group of witches called the Brides of Satan, and even the Manson family (though this was 1970’s California, so perhaps this was not so farfetched as his other fears).
This all came to a head, at which point he hired a White Witch by the name of Walli Elmark to come and exorcise the demons from his home.
According to Bowie’s wife at the time, Angie, the swimming pool bubbled and boiled and churned and ‘thrashed’ in unexplainable ways until the exorcism came to a conclusion.

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1. ROBERT JOHNSON

Probably the most notable example of a musician meeting the supernatural, the tale of Robert Johnson barely needs an introduction.
Leaving home as a teenager (and mediocre blues musician), Johnson would within the course of his short life become one of the most influential musicians of all time.
So how could someone who, upon leaving home an unimpressive instrumentalist, suddenly become renowned as a blues crooner for nearly a century after his untimely death at the age of 27?
Practice certainly could have had nothing to do with it.
Clearly, Johnson made a deal with the Devil himself.

This may seem like hyperbole, but it must be remembered that a great amount of the man’s personal life is an enigma… the only lasting testiments that Johnson existed at all are a handful of eyewitness accounts… and his songs.
Most of his 29-song repetoire consisted of reworkings of older blues traditionals – unsurprising for a delta blues musician – but included three songs he penned himself.

Their names?

Hellhound On My Trail, At the Crossroads Blues, and Me and the Devil Blues.

*shiver*

These songs detail a Faustian pact made at a crossroads between the speaker and a ghostly dealmaker (for women and fame in exchange for his soul, naturally), and the demon’s subsequent pursuit of the speaker to the ends of the earth in order collect his debt.
The speculation that this story is more than pure fiction – in fact, possibly autobiographical – has not been lost in the generations since.
After all, we know nothing of Johnson except what he left as a legacy.

Sources:
https://io9.gizmodo.com/the-haunting-of-meatloaf-is-exactly-as-weird-as-it-soun-1738349647
http://www.zimbio.com/Celebrity+Paranormal+Encounters+That+Will+Freak+You+Out/articles/QqwEKqkz2kA/Kendrick+Lamar+saw+Tupac+vision
https://www.lightforcenetwork.com/aradia/david-bowie-and-white-witch
http://www.openculture.com/2015/07/the-story-of-bluesman-robert-johnsons-famous-deal-with-the-devil-retold-in-three-animations.html

CREEPERS, AND THE TOP 5 SONGS ABOUT THEM

You know, when it comes to love, the only difference between “romance” and “stalking” is attraction. A multitude of lists have been made about the “Top Ten Spooky Love Songs OMG!”, but these seem to be about 20 of the same songs on repeat. (Yes, we all know that “Every Breath You Take” is creepy, it’s not a surprise anymore!)
So here, I’ve decided to dig up some of the less commonly-mentioned creeper songs. Some you may know, some you may not, but all of them are worthy of this list. So ladies and gentlemen, allow me to present our favorite obsessive stalker songs.

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5. LUDO – THE HORROR OF OUR LOVE (2008)

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A very interesting group indeed, the Saint Louis- based rock band LUDO scored some minor hits back in the 00’s with songs such as “Love Me Dead” and “Good Will Hunting By Myself”.
However, one of their more obscure tracks – an album cut off of 2008’s “You’re Awful, I Love You”- holds up as an almost excessively beautiful song… about excessively un-beautiful things.
The Horror Of Our Love presents a narrative that alternates between different horror scenarios, all with the common theme of a twisted love story taking place.

4. THE CURE – WHY CAN’T I BE YOU? (1987)

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THE CURE? Writing a song about an obsessive stalker?
… Well I never.
If you can’t tell by the title, this song is a frantic plea from the singer to his… I think “crush” is putting it mildly… about how “simply elegant” and “delicious” and “intelligent” and “wooooooo!” she is.
I just can’t help but think the subject of this song doesn’t exactly know what he’s thinking. Or, probably, that he even exists.

3. FALL OUT BOY – SUGAR, WE’RE GOING DOWN (2005)

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Alright, I’ll admit this doesn’t quite fit the “lesser known song” criteria, but why is it that nobody seems to acknowledge that this is an absolutely creepy song??
A monstrous hit released at the height of the mid-00’s pop punk craze, “Sugar, We’re Going Down” by FALL OUT BOY details the progression of a remarkably shallow one-night stand that eventually culminates in a verse like this:

Is this more than you bargained for yet?
Oh, don’t mind me, I’m watching you two from the closet
Wishing to be the friction in your jeans
Isn’t it messed up how I’m just dying to be him?

…. Yeah. That’s about as blatant a verse about stalking as I’ve ever heard. Good song though. Next!

2. DR. HOOK AND THE MEDICINE SHOW – SYLVIA’S MOTHER (1972)

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Has no invention served as a stalker’s go-to method more than the telephone?
DR. HOOK AND THE MEDICINE SHOW‘s first single, “Sylvia’s Mother”, tells a maudlin little story about a man calling his ex, named “Sylvia”, only to be answered by his ex’s mother, “Mrs. Avery”, and pleads with her to give Sylvia the phone.
But the real selling point of what makes this song so… stalkery, is the vocal delivery of the singer. He whimpers the (very obviously) Shel Silverstein-penned lyrics with an agonizing amount of conviction.
Knowing the band’s discography and sense of humor, this song may have been meant as a parody of melodramatic breakup songs, but regardless, I imagine it must have been terrible to be named Sylvia (or Mrs. Avery, for that matter) circa 1972 due to this song.

1. ELECTRIC LIGHT ORCHESTRA – TELEPHONE LINE (1977)

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So here it is, my personal top pick.
I don’t care how pretty it is. I don’t care that it’s a classic. I don’t care that the chorus is the most bubblegum I-VI-IV-V chord progression in history.
ELO‘s forlorn breakup song, “Telephone Line”, is a song about a jilted lover who incessantly calls his ex-girlfriend, regardless of whether or not anyone answers.
He also seems to relish in the fact that his ex can’t seem to keep a steady relationship, and still he calls her.
Letting the phone ring.
Forever.

 

So we've tried a bit of a different idea this time, what did you think?
Let us know your favorite songs about unhinged love.