Own Mister Babadook, the Pop-Up Book

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Mister Babadook

Mister Babadook

Own Mister Babadook, the Pop-Up Book

The horror movie The Babadook is premised on a children’s pop-up book. The movie is the best horror movie of 2014. Read my review. This blog is about owning the pop-up book. The book will be fashioned after the production version and autographed by Jennifer Kent, writer/director. It’s costly; however, there’s a huge part of me who wants to buy it.

As a former Youth Services Librarian, I adore pop-up books. They are very popular. And one that is incredibly sinister takes the cake!

Just as the movie was crowd funded, so will the book. Jennifer Kent wrote the story and Alex Juhasz illustrated the nightmarish images. The U.S. price is $80, which includes shipping. Pre-order sales were set at 2,000. To date, 3,019 books have been ordered. The book will take 5 months to produce. Time is of the essence. Only 34 days remain. Go to http://thebabadook.com/ for more information.

Christmas is coming. It will make the perfect gift.

Inside Mister Babadook

Inside Mister Babadook

Review: The Babadook

The Haunted Librarian:

Another glowing review of The Babadook.

Originally posted on Rami Ungar The Writer:

A truly terrifying time.

I know I don’t usually do back-to-back reviews, but this time around is an exception. Especially since this film is so damn good. It’s actually won a couple of awards and is nominated for plenty more, so I think it’s especially deserving of a review.

The Babadook follows Essie Davis as Amelia, a widow who refuses to confront her own grief over the death of her husband or the fact that her young son Samuel (played with convincing skill by Noah Wiseman), while brilliant enough to do advanced magic tricks and build weapons, has some behavioral problems (as evidenced by the weapons). One day Samuel finds a pop-up book entitled Mister Babadook, about a boogeyman-like creature whose name is derived from the onomatopoeia of two quick raps and three steady knocks. Anyone who sees it will be menaced by it until it kills them. Thus…

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The Babadook: The Best Horror Film of 2014 that You’ve Never Seen

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The Babadook

The Babadook

The Babadook: The Best Horror Film of 2014 that You’ve Never Seen

Mister Babadook is a pop-up book discovered in Amelia’s house six years after her husband, Oskar, died en route to the hospital. The day Oskar died was the day their son, Samuel, was born. Amelia still grieves. And Samuel is odd. Only the neighbor, Mrs. Roach, seems to like him—including Amelia.

Samuel believes in monsters. He creates primitive weapons to keep them at bay. After reading Mister Babadook, however, Samuel fears this new bogeyman has taken over the family home.  The Babadook is this year’s best horror film.

This highly anticipated horror movie started as a short film, Monster. Through online campaign funding, the movie was extended to full-length. It debuted at Sundance Film Festival in January 2014. Currently in limited American release, it can be rented through various video on demand services.

More of a psychological thriller, The Babadook follows grief-stricken Amelia, played by Essie Davis, as she becomes possessed by this shadow figured bogeyman. Davis shines. Equally impressive is Noah Wiseman’s portrayal as 6 year old Samuel. Samuel seeks to protect his mother.

The film is very Hitchcockian, although the official website likens it more to Polanski. Both were great directors in this genre. Writer/Director Jennifer Kent employs minimalistic camera techniques and little background music. Absent are the cheap horror tactics of slasher films. And this is appreciated! Furthermore, the ending is more realistic than recent horror films, thus setting up the potential for sequels. The Babadook will be a franchise worth watching. Every horror film aficionado must see this film. Every budding horror film writer should take notes and see that there is more to horror films than graphic violence. Horror movies can have a plot and great actors.

Jennifer Kent has created one wicked creature. The Babadook creature is more than a children’s book. He can be anywhere. The pop-up book is simply sinister. Fans can purchase a high-quality version of the book for $80 at www.thebabadook.com.

The Babadook

The Babadook

Investigate with Nick Groff

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Nick Groff

Nick Groff

Investigate with Nick Groff

Since leaving Travel Channel’s Ghost Adventures, Nick Groff has diversified and started touring. Nick is the Executive Producer and Creator of Destination America’s freshman paranormal offering Ghost Stalkers. The series ended its 6 episode run in November. Still no word on whether the show was picked up for a second season. But Nick is not resting on his laurels. NickGroffTour.com debuted online almost simultaneously as Travel Channel announced his departure.

Two locations are currently scheduled. On February 8, 2015, Nick will be investigating at the infamous Bobby Mackey’s Music World, in Wilder, Kentucky. Ticket sales are brisk. The only remaining options are general admission for $30 or the VIP ticket for $325. The VIP package is truly a celebrity ghost hunting experience. There will be lots of face time with Nick, a full-fledged investigation, plus a bunch of photo opportunities. The general ticket gets you into the Q&A sessions and a photo. There’s a wide range on these prices, so carefully weigh your options.

The second investigation will be held at the Ashmore Estates in Illinois. More ticket options are still available for the April 11, 2015, investigation. View www.nickgrofftour.com for more information as more locations will be added.

Public group tours are popular. Fans yearn for personal investigative experiences with paranormal celebrities. Face time is paramount, and people will pay. Ask Amy Bruni who has also started her own touring company called Strange Escapes, www.strange-escapes.com.

Small group investigations differ from conference sessions. Attendees can see how a paranormal investigator reacts in the field. Numbers are low, so that fewer people can have full access. Evidence is not guaranteed. However, I would venture to guess that the ability to walk side by side, shoulder to shoulder with a celebrity ghost hunter far outweighs the occasional anomalies.

Only adults age 18+ are able to participate in the investigations. However, children may attend the Q&A sessions.

Locations for Nick’s events are more well-known and supposedly haunted. Advertising claims “iconic haunted locations in America.” Seems Nick is off to a good start. Once he gets closer to the Greater Atlanta area, I will venture out and join in on the craze.

Bear Camp Swamp Yields 21 Creepy Dolls

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Creepy Dolls

Creepy Dolls photographed by Marty Roney, Montgomery Advertiser

Bear Camp Swamp Yeilds 21 Creepy Dolls

Twenty-one dolls affixed on bamboo stakes were retrieved from Bear Camp Swamp last week. Chief Deputy Joe Sedinger noticed the dolls earlier in the month when he was responding to a stolen vehicle call. The Augauga County (AL) Sheriff’s Office decided to collect the dolls when the story exploded on social media.

The dolls were mostly porcelain. A lot of the faces were painted white. All were staked in the swamp in a cluster. The dolls were described as creepy. Deputy Sedinger canoed out to get them. The swamp is owned by a timber company; however, the company failed to respond to calls. Currently, the dolls have been catalogued and are being held until someone claims them. The question remains as to why the dolls were even there.

Rumors about supposed hauntings abound. The swamp is located in Prattville, Alabama. Native Americans lived in the area. The Civil War impacted the area as well. Local lore mentions sightings of Native American Indians and Civil War soldiers. Unexplainable lights have been seen. “Little People” are said to live deep within the swamp. The most chilling story claims a mother haunts the area looking for her child. If someone calls “We have your baby” three times, the ghost is said to appear. The reality TV paranormal group from Deep South Paranormal investigated the swamp in 2013.

In addition to the paranormal community, Bear Camp Swamp attracts geocaching groups. Geocaching is a hide and seek adventure where people use global positioning systems (GPS) to play a scavenger hunt. It is incredibly popular.

Deputy Sedinger speculated that the dolls were a prank leftover from Halloween. Several ghost hunting groups have investigated the location. Observations are available online. I hope that no one was attempting to provoke any spirits by offering the dolls up for sacrifice. It would be horrible for anyone to do. Trigger objects are one thing. A cluster of creepy dolls is a whole nother thing.

Nick Groff Exits Ghost Adventures

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Nick Groff

Ghost Adventures Nick Groff

Nick Groff Exits Ghost Adventures

Twitter exploded when the Travel Channel posted a “good-bye” tweet thanking Ghost Adventures (GAC) co-founder Nick Groff. Nick quickly sent out a follow-up tweet reaffirming the news that he had in fact left the insanely popular GAC show. As a true professional, Nick remained positive and respectful. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said about the other co-founder Zak Bagans.

Change is inevitable. Change moves at light speed in the reality television realm. Every TV show has a natural lifespan. And they differ. But in the end, all TV shows end. Realizing this, a savvy TV celebrity recreates and rebrands himself to remain relevant. Madonna comes to mind. She’s a pro at it. Zak Bagans did it by developing Ghost Adventures: Aftershocks, where he profiles some of the GAC’s more exciting investigations. Now it’s Nick’s turn.

Nick’s brainchild is Ghost Stalkers (GS), starring John E.L. Tenney and Chad Lindberg. John, the seasoned researcher, and Chad, the para-newbie, travel the U.S. in a Coachmen RV and investigate low-media profiled locations. Paranormal inventor David Rountree creates new instruments to assist in the investigations. Investigations cover 2 days with each taking a turn locked inside. John and Chad are incredibly likeable and sincere. GS has breathed a breath of fresh air into the paranormal reality TV biz. Last week GS ended its freshman season consisting of 6 episodes. Fans await news of a second season. Hint, hint Destination America.

The paranormal community took to twitter for comments from all affected. The GS base posted highly favorable comments and kept it positive. The GAC side was silent. Crickets could be heard from the lack of interest from Mr. Baggans, who focused on himself and the new season starting in January. Pressed for any comment, Mr. Bagans said:

  1. many of you have been asking…Nick is no longer with Ghost Adventures. Right now Im focused on the new season premiering Jan 10th 2015
  2. I’d also like to make an announcement……
  3. I’m pleased to announce that season 10 returns January 10th with the most-anticipated episode ever… the BELL WITCH CAVE #GhostAdventures
  4. and not to mention the next episode after BELL WITCH CAVE is the SALLIE HOUSE …oh yes, get ready!!!!

Well, this was disappointing…not unexpected…but very disappointing. Similar to the supposed rift between Jason Hawes and Amy Bruni from Ghost Hunters, this intentional diss from Bagans is abysmal to the paranormal community. Viewers do not care about the contractual obligations of paranormal reality TV people. Dishing on dirty laundry, however, diminishes the hard work others, TV and non-TV people alike, put into the field.

In short: Man up, Zak, and thank your “friend” and wish him well. Acknowledge his leaving in a professional manner. Set an example to your fans who follow ALL of you.

Update: Approximately 4 hours after the announcement and 15 minutes after posting this article, Mr. Bagans posted: I do wish Nick the best w his future while I continue to deliver GAC fans what they want. #GhostAdventures.

Ghost Adventures

Ghost Adventures cast

Breaking the News: Nick Groff Leaves GAC

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GAC

GAC

Just released, Travel Channel tweets that Nick Groff is leaving Ghost Adventures. TC wished Nick the best of luck. Nick tweeted that the post is correct.

Here’s hoping that Nick will fill his time with new episodes of Ghost Stalkers. Ghost Stalkers ended its freshman 6 episode season last week. No word on whether the highly popular show starring John E.L. Tenney and Chad Lindberg will return.

Missing: A Haunted House or 2 or 3 or …

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Nova House

Nova House

Missing: A Haunted House or 2 or 3 or …

Self-proclaimed “Artivist” Seph Lawless, a pseudonym, has pulled the wool over the paranormal community’s eyes this month. Surprisingly, mainstream media took the bait and fell for it too. Most of the “haunted” houses Lawless photographed and published in his recent book 13: An American Horror Story (Artivist Publishing) are made up. False. Non-existent. “Take that, all you American paranormal suckers!” Seems the joke’s on us, my friends.

  1. Nova House, Youngstown, Ohio.

“Nova House Mystery” posted on Friday, November 7th, http://thehauntedlibrarian.com/2014/11/07/nova-house-mystery/, discusses the made-up story about a house in Youngstown, Ohio. Lawless claims that Benjamin Albright accidently shot and killed his son. Bereft with grief, Albright supposedly turned the gun on his wife and then himself. This tragic murder/suicide supposedly occurred in 1958. Problem is no one named Benjamin Albright died in Ohio in 1958. Nor was this person the father of a boy dying in 1958. Research pays off!

Since posting this blog, I received numerous comments and emails from people from the area who had never heard this story. Some even did some legwork and visited archives only to leave empty handed.

  1. Cater House Estates, Buffalo, New York.

Lawless penned a brief blurb for this photograph claiming that Sheriff Donald Caters shot himself to death in this house. In 1968 the home went into foreclosure and has been vacant since.

Several people have called this story false. Further, I cannot locate any information substantiating this story. Another piece of fiction.

  1. Oliver Family Mansion, Chester, Pennsylvania.

Lawless claims that the Oliver family went missing in 1898 and was never heard from again.

Nothing turned up on this story. Zilch.

  1. Milan Mansion, Milan, Ohio.

Lawless states that a known witch lived in this house and is possibly buried underneath the front door.

Again, I cannot locate any information supporting this story. Further, it is easy to prove with radar. However, the address for this home, like the others, is not available.

  1. Hooley Haunted Mansion, Texas.

Again, I located an electronic bulletin board asking for any information since no one has ever heard of this. My, my, my.

By now, I’m exhausted and disgusted at this juvenile attempt to fool the paranormal community.

I did not pay $99 for the book to see whether Lawless has a tightly drafted clause stating that the stories are for entertainment purposes only. However, he has portrayed these stories as true, when in fact, they are not. This is false advertising. Lawless is attempting to deceive readers and the media. This must stop. Poking fun at the paranormal community is abhorrent. Taking advantage of believers by misrepresenting the truth in order for financial gain is unlawful. The paranormal community should stand up and boycott this interloper. We should also ask those who regurgitated his press release if they actually viewed the book and conducted a little research. Just a little research would have caused a journalist to pause.

Shame on you, all you copy-and-paste “writers”! Do some research next time.

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