Some thoughts on ghosts in historic places

The Lizzie Borden Bed & Breakfast and Museum is at 92 Second St. in downtown Fall River. (Photo by Michael Freeman).

On Oct. 11, 1998, I started writing a diary. I continued adding to it until Oct. 10, 2002.
At the time, I was living in a beautiful and historic Colonial house in Swansea, Massachusetts, built in 1889, and located on a pond.
I stopped adding to the diary only because I knew that in April 2002, I would be moving to Orlando, following the lead that my sister and her family made in 1999. I had sold the Colonial and was packing up to say goodbye to Massachusetts, the state I was born in.
The diary was not a daily recollection of my job, home life, family, or private thoughts about world events. I started writing it, sporadically, for a very different reason: I had come to conclude that the house was haunted, so I began writing down the eerie, spooky incidents happening inside those walls.
Pictures falling off a wall, even though they were securely attached to a nail. Loud banging in our basement, with no indication of what it was when we went to investigate. One of my cats staring down a dark hallway, and suddenly all the fur on her back standing up — and there’s nothing there. This happened over and over again.
The house, by the way, was right across the street from a graveyard.
Check out this entry from Thursday, Feb. 17, 2000: Continue reading

Freeline Media Review: The “It’s a Wonderful Life” revival

The Hollywood classic "It's a Wonderful Life' is a lot more relevant to today's world than some people might think.

The Hollywood classic “It’s a Wonderful Life” is a lot more relevant to today’s world than some people might think.

There’s no small irony in the fact that when the movie “It’s a Wonderful Life” premiered on Dec. 20, 1946, it drew mixed reviews, did not do particularly well at the box office, and would lose the Best Picture Academy Award to “The Best Years of Our Lives.” That, in Hollywood’s view, is a movie slated to quickly be forgotten.
Of course, that’s not at all what happened, and the movie’s current status as one of the greatest films of all time (it was preserved in the National Film Registry by the United States Library of Congress) owes much to the fact that the movie became a staple on television around Christmas time starting in the 1970s. The movie got a second life, and today, with so many cable channels available, it’s impossible not to find it playing numerous times this month – as I discovered several nights ago. Lying on my couch flicking channels, I came to the RKO Motion Pictures logo, and then the start of the movie. I put down the remote and started watching a movie I had seen countless times in the past decades, and wondered if it truly would hold up. Continue reading

Intro to Buddhism: No war, eat what you like, and pain is inevitable.

Bill Melms offered an Intro to Buddhism at the regional gathering of American Mensa.

Bill Melms offered an Intro to Buddhism at the regional gathering of American Mensa.

CLEARWATER – Bill Melms was raised as a Protestant, but as a teen, he didn’t stick with the faith. He eventually got to the point where he started to question aspects of the church’s teachings.
“When I got old enough to think for myself, I had one of those ‘Now wait a minute ….’ moments, and became an agnostic,” he recalled.
But as it turns out, his lack of commitment to faith didn’t last, either. In the 1960s, Melms got drafted into the Vietnam War, and as an American soldier fighting in the jungles of that Southeast Asia country, he had yet another epiphany.
“They say there’s no atheists in foxholes,” he said. “We were suffering from rocket attacks then. There’s nothing like a rocket attacking you to put the fear of God in you.” Continue reading

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