My night as a professional ghost hunter

As most of you may know by now, I love Halloween. I love horror movies. I love ghost stories. I particularly love when I’m a part of the story. I love Halloween. Every year I try to do something Halloween-ish so I can write about it and every year I fail. 

Not this year.

This year, I kicked the season off right by staying in one of Texas’ most haunted locations, the Magnolia Hotel in Seguin. Every paranormal investigator knows (or should know) about the Magnolia Hotel. The site has been featured on Ghost Adventures, Ghost Hunters, and Paranormal Files, just to name a few. 

A quick background on the Magnolia Hotel. Built in 1840 by Texas Ranger, James Campbell, the Magnolia Hotel started out as a two bedroom log cabin that included a large basement built under the cabin that was used an Indian Raid shelter and a jail. So already you know it’s fucked. The cabin would eventually be sold to a businessman named Joseph Johnson who would turn the cabin into Seguin’s first hotel. The hotel would then go on to get sold about a billion more times before ending up in the possession of the current owners, Erin and her husband, Jim Ghedi.

Throughout the years, the hotel has been home to some serious shit resulting in its alleged haunting by 13 ghosts (because obviously) ranging from jilted lovers to children as well as the spirits of some that committed suicide in the hotel. But the real story of the Magnolia Hotel (or at least the most popular one) is the story of the murderer.

Back in 1874, a man by the name of William Faust allegedly murdered 12-year-old Emma Voelcker at her  home in New Braunfels, then fled to Seguin and hid out in the hotel. I say “allegedly” because Erin believes the man who actually killed her is an individual by the name of MP Deavers. Supposedly Mr. Deavers confessed to the murder on his deathbed, claiming it was actually he who stayed in the hotel that night. So who the hell knows who the killer actually is or who the ghost is.

Anyway, Erin claims to have made contact with all of the spirits and goes into detail about them during her ghost tours. I didn’t attend her last one but my friends, Joanne and Becky who joined me on this adventure, did. They got the rundown on what spirits inhabited the building and got to check out the bed and breakfast where we’d be staying as well as the connected, unrestored (most haunted) portion of the building. Apparently during the tour, a woman became ill and began dry heaving when she walked in the bed and breakfast as well when she got to the stairwell by the murderer’s room. When Joanne told me this I thought the woman was just a part of the show but whatever. I appreciate theatrics. 

The night of our stay, my friends and I arrived, got settled in, and then went to the closed off section of the B&B where all of the paranormal activity is said to take place. We took a look around and got familiar with the place, learning the layout since it was going to be nearly pitch black in there. We also thought it’d be fun to include our side of the B&B in our ghost hunting so we took a couple of balls from the haunted baby’s room and put them in our living room to see if they’d move or fly across the room or explode, whatever ghost balls do.

It was still daylight so we decided to go to dinner and load up before our night started. We headed outside and while Joanne took a smoke break, I took a look at the outside of the building trying to see if I could see any ghost faces in the window like I’d seen in some of the pictures hung up inside the B&B. Nothing. Just the kitchen curtains moving from cranking up the A/C because Joanne likes to feel like she’s in a meat locker.

When we got back, we got Becky’s ghost hunting equipment and the equipment we rented from the hotel and began our search. 

3 hours went by and nothing happened. We walked around the sectioned off part of the building looking for ghosts, calling out to ghosts. Nothing. Hey, what’s that over there?! Nothing. At about 11 p.m. we started to figure this was it. Just a self-guided tour of a supposedly haunted hotel.

That was until we stopped in the hallway right in front of the murderer’s room. 

Becky had an infrared camera on her phone from an app and a device that plugged into the charging port. While we stood in the hallway calling out to whatever could hear us, the camera was picking up blue specs which Becky said was an entity. Honestly, I had no idea what I was looking at so I kept my gaze on the corner of the room where her camera was aimed while holding my EMF reader.

This same EMF reader that hadn’t done shit all night began going off. Now, here’s how those things work. They gauge electricity (which there is none of on that side of the hotel) as well as drastic temperature changes. Throughout the night we took breaks so every time we switched from our side to the other side and vice versa, I had to turn the temperature gauge off because the difference in temperature between both rooms was nearly 20 degrees. When Becky was talking to whatever it was she could see on that infrared, I could not get the temperature gauge to turn off.

She announced that this thing was coming closer to us (actually she asked it come closer to us and I said no and it fucking didn’t listen) so I took out my camera trying to captured whatever my regular camera could capture. But my live option wouldn’t work and when I hit the button I was prompted to “hold still”. And right as my camera was trying to compose itself, A FUCKING LIGHT ORB FLEW AT ME. As soon as it flew past me, my camera went off.

After that, it was break time.

We went back to our side and started going through all of the pictures that Joanne took. Now, Joanne only used her live feature, so it was disturbing as fuck when this picture showed up, and it was the only still pic in the series.

image1-3

The next picture was a live picture (taken at the same time as the one above) and it scared the hell out of us. Give it a listen.

We think it’s saying “get off it” but I would love to know if you hear something different.

I was out after that. I was done ghost hunting. Zak Bagans could have it back. My friends were out too. Fuck. That.

There was just one problem.

We needed to put the ghost balls back that we’d grabbed earlier and I sure as shit wasn’t going to do it.

Becky is braver than I am because I don’t think she’s seen as many possession movies as I have so she volunteered to put the balls back. Joanne accompanied her because she’s nicer than me. Clearly, I’m just a terrible person.

Becky and Joanne took the balls back with Joanne taking more live pics of the ordeal. I stayed by the door in case I needed to call 911 or a priest. This would be the last time any of us would go on that side of the hotel that evening. When we reviewed Joanne’s live pics, this is what we heard.

Yup. Joanne and Becky were told to “leave”. The voice says it right at the beginning of the video.

Had this voice been picked up on the voice recorder or spirit box that came in the rented ghost hunting kit, I would’ve called bullshit on it. But those items picked up nothing. Additionally, we didn’t hear anything at the time her phone picked up this voice. We were the only 3 in there.

Needless to say, it wasn’t a very restful sleep. In fact, I slept with the lights on. We did go back in there the next day but by then, whatever was in there the night before was gone.

In the living room there’s a guest book where you can write about your experiences. I sat and read through just about all of them and for the most part, the experiences were pretty light. A couple of people claimed to have heard voices but the majority of the entries claimed they’d been visited by the spirits of the little girls, Itzy and Emma.

I don’t doubt their accounts. My opinion, however, is that there are no kids in that place, or at least not on the side of the hotel we stayed. Whatever is in there is dark and not happy. And it’s probably getting angrier. I will say that there’s a sign on the door warning people that there is a heavy spirit in that place, but heavy might be putting it lightly.

We sat in the kitchen and must’ve listened to these live pics about a hundred times, and while we did I kept thinking of the girl who kept getting sick in the exact place we picked this voice up. I stared at the curtains in the kitchen as we listened, and I noticed they were motionless which was weird because the A/C was on full blast. I looked up above the curtains, then the rest of the ceiling in the kitchen. There were no vents in the kitchen. 

I don’t know who or what was fucking with the curtains earlier that day, but I do know that 100%, the Magnolia Hotel is absolutely haunted.

Halloween season has officially begun. 

Here are a few more pics from the hotel

Watch This, Not That: His House vs. Things Heard and Seen

For the most part, the people in horror movies don’t have it so bad, with the exception of whatever’s trying to kill them. Whether they’re being chased by zombies, serial killers, or whatever demonic spirit they’ve let inhabit a doll, their story usually starts off in a nice house with a nice family and everyone including the toddlers have high-paying jobs. (No wonder the rest of the world hates us). So when Netflix released His House, a horror/drama hybrid, I was pleasantly surprised, and impressed.

His House tells the story of a couple seeking refuge after fleeing their native country: the war-torn South Sudan. They survive the horrendous ordeal and arrive in Britain, eventually receiving housing on the outskirts of London. But it’s not just a regular family home like all of the houses in Insidious. It’s a run down apartment that looks like it’s haunted by the last meth head that lived in it.

Meth head ghosts are the least of their concerns, though. Demons are what they’re fighting, and not just to save themselves but to save what they sacrificed everything for. What kind of demons are they? Who wins? You’ll have to watch this week’s Watch This to find out. Netflix’s His House will mess with your head, which I think we all can agree is the best when it comes to horror.

What isn’t the best is when you have a horror movie figured out in the first 10 minutes and then you have nothing to do for the remainder of the 2 hours. Yes, 2 hours. This week’s Not That was stretched 110 minutes too long and I sat through all of them. Netflix’s Things Heard and Seen features Amanda Seyfried who plays Catherine, a wife who’s given up her life to support the ambitions of her douche husband.

Right off the bat, we’re given insight that there’s something wrong in their marriage: Catherine has an eating disorder. That revelation is immediately followed by another one: Catherine’s husband George (James Norton) has a wandering eye.

Pretty soon, haunted things start happening. A rocking chair moves on its own. Their daughter sees a ghost lady. Catherine smells gas fumes. All of this freaks Catherine out, but then her husband’s colleague explains that it’s NBD, just a woman ghost who’s got her back. Empowered by her supernatural backup, she starts to make her way out of her shitty marriage. During the time she’s getting her groove back, she discovers that her husband is a liar, stole his cousin’s identity, is a cheater, and then also he commits a bunch of murder.

But, surprise!, the ghost men of the house are shit too. Just as Catherine learns everything that’s bad about George and is about to make her move, George drugs her. And, surprise again!, the lady ghost (whose real/ghost name is Ella) can’t help her because of her dick ex-husband ghost. So George kills Catherine. Then he gets away with it because he’s a man. But then he rides off into the ocean and gets killed by the devil? I’m not sure. It doesn’t matter.

What does matter is I sat on my couch rolling my eyes for 2 hours proving that good horror movies are hard to come by, disproving that your eyes will get stuck that way. If you want to try it for yourself then watch Things Heard and Seen. Not responsible for loss of vision or interest.

Photo by screenrant.com

Watch This, Not That: The Vanishing at the Cecil Hotel vs. Demonic

According to Google, the definition of ‘horror’ is “an intense feeling of fear, shock, or disgust” which simultaneously explains, and somehow does not explain, why there are so many shitty movies lumped into this genre on Netflix. It’s tough to find good horror these days, at least something that’s not brought to us by the news anyway. It just so happens I do not watch the news. It also just so happens that the news watches me because this week’s Watch This is a documentary on a story that made national headlines.

This past week, Netflix released a 4-part documentary called Crime Scene: The Vanishing at the Cecil Hotel which detailed the disappearance of a young tourist named Elisa Lam. I’d actually heard of this case before, not from the news (thank God) but from my favorite YouTube channel, Top5s. About 6 years ago, one of their videos featured the footage of Elisa Lam in an elevator that shocked the interwebs. When I first saw it, it creeped me out. You see, Elisa Lam was a woman who traveled from Canada to L.A., found herself staying at the infamous Cecil Hotel which is where she was last seen. After she was reported missing, video surveillance captured Elisa in one of the elevators looking paranoid and frightened. That was the last anyone saw her until she was discovered more than 2 weeks later in one of the hotel’s water tanks.

Prior to the discovery of what actually happened to her (she climbed in herself which was most likely brought on by her mental illness), the story itself was something out of a true horror film. In fact, some people compared it to the 2005 film Dark Water. Those people would be conspiracy theorists who decided it was their job to find out (i.e. make up) what happened to Elisa Lam. They would also be the same people who helped pin it on someone who’d never even met Elisa Lam, causing that individual to basically give up a part of his life because of the harassment, helping this documentary land in the ‘horror’ genre thanks to that one tidbit of this story being absolutely disgusting. In fact, the scariest part of this documentary is the incredible amount of people who could afford to spend countless hours investigating Elisa Lam’s case, making it difficult at times for actual investigators to do actual investigating.

Then there’s the former GM of the hotel who gives off serious American Horror Story: Hotel vibes – she plays a great villain. The entire documentary is weird and while it’s definitely a shocker of a story, it’s more tragic than anything. The Cecil Hotel is worth Googling as it’s actually pretty disturbing. However, the only reason you should watch the documentary is to understand what mental illness can do to a person as well as understand how much of a tool you’ll look like if you spread conspiracy theories – particularly ones you made up – about a subject matter that effects millions of people.

Coincidentally, this week’s “don’t watch” is a movie based on demonic possession which some are more than ok with classifying as mental illness. Demonic is about a bunch of amateur ghost hunters (what else?) attempt to become professional ghost hunters by venturing into a house where a mass murder took place with a goal of raising the dead. As you may have figured out, the majority of them die because one of them gets possessed but actually he’s dead and it’s his girlfriend who is possessed but not for real her, her baby is possessed.

Other than that stellar description I just provided, here’s why you shouldn’t watch it: as with most terrible horror films, we’re never told or given any sort of inclination as to what and/or who is possessing people. It could be the devil. It could be something pretending to be the devil. It could be a picture frame. Who knows? Not the screenplay writer, that’s for sure. I give it one star and that’s only because Dustin Milligan, AKA Ted from Schitt’s Creek, is in it.

Watch This, Not That: Mercy Black vs. Our House

I like to consider myself a horror enthusiast, a horror snob if you will. When it comes time to pick the movies I’m going to watch for this column, I can barely get through the horror movie section of Netflix without making a sarcastic remark to myself. I’m very witty. Who decides this belongs in horror?, I always think to myself. I should be getting paid to decide what goes in the horror genre. Amateurs, all of them.

Then I watched a movie titled Mercy Black and what the fuck? First off, Mercy Black is a Blumhouse Productions movie – the people who gave us Insidious – so I should’ve known it wouldn’t be too terrible because Blumhouse can do no wrong, ever, not even if they tried.

Mercy Black is about a woman who is returning home after having spent 15 years locked in a mental institution for assisting in the attempted murder of her friend – very Slender Man. Upon her return she has to deal with visions of the past, weird occurrences in the home, and then, her nephew acting like a murderous weird-ass just like she did when she was a kid.

She sets out to help him by trying to figure out if the thing that made her try to kill is real – AKA Mercy Black – or if she made it up. The more she looks into her past, the more it comes back to haunt her (obviously). But not like regular haunt. Like, fucked up haunt. Like people getting stabbed in the eyeballs haunt. I had to watch a couple of episodes of Schitt’s Creek to come down off what I saw. I’m not saying this will give you nightmares but any movie that makes me go “the fuck just happened?” is worth a watch.

What’s not worth a watch is Our House. Our House is about a teen, Ethan, who has to leave college to care for his brother and sister after their parents are killed in a car crash. During the day he does the adult thing (job, taking and picking up the kids from school, etc.) but at night, he works on a project: a machine that he hopes will generate wireless electricity.

As you’ve probably guessed, it does not generate electricity; it generates ghosts, two of which are believed the be their parents. At first you’re like, ok, he brought his parents back and now the kids can live with their parents’ ghosts, super cool. But then the little sister starts talking about a little girl ghost she’s been talking to and then the neighbor’s dead wife comes back but in a black shadow/murderous form and then it turns out that the little girl ghost had been killed by her step-father in that house oh and also the parents’ ghosts are not actually their parents but something evil duh.

SOOOO, we’ve established that the ghosts are not the Casper-kind and eventually so does Ethan, but when he tries to get rid of them the neighbor is like “don’t make my ghost wife go away” even though she’s trying to fucking kill everyone and also she looks like what a 1st grader would draw as their interpretation of a scary ghost. Anyway, before all of the ghosts can kill the family, Ethan smashes his machine and the ghosts are gone and then they move out of the house and also it wasn’t actually the house that was causing the problem it was Ethan and his spirit summoner because the ghosts were fine until his wind machine irritated them. So it shouldn’t have been called Our House, it should’ve been called Ethan Fucking Around With Shit He Shouldn’t.

I probably made it sound cooler than it is. Look, it’s a movie about a homebuilt machine that conjures up murder-y ghosts instead of conjuring up electricity or my recommendation.

Ghost Stories: Part 3

In the winter of 2011, my husband and I moved into our very first grown-up house: a duplex. It doesn’t sound grown-up but our rent payment nearly doubled so that was pretty mature for us. The duplex was fairly new so the thought of it being haunted never crossed my mind. Also, I don’t believe “being haunted” is something someone thinks about when moving into a new place.

Our dogs were the first to let us know something was up. Our bed faced the bedroom door so you could see straight down the hallway. On several occasions our dogs would stand in the doorway and bark at the hallway, but would never leave our bedroom. One time, when my husband was out of town, I was in bed watching TV, about to dose off when I noticed both of our dogs turn their heads to face the hallway. They just sat there and stared. It creeped me the fuck out.

Then there was the time me and the dogs were home alone watching Celebrity Ghost Stories (side note: I’m pretty sure a couple of those celebrities were liars). While sitting on the couch with my oldest MinPin, I felt someone walk in back of the couch, and I wasn’t alone. My dog sat up, stared behind me, and began growling while turning his head toward the door, as though he was growling at someone until they left.

The occurrences were non-stop. Every single day I could hear someone walking in our attic. At first I thought it was woodpeckers, then I thought a tree branch was low and hitting our roof. It was neither of those. The duplex had 3 bedrooms, 2 of which we used for storage. The one my husband used was the creepiest. Like my cousin’s old room (in the house we used to share), I could never walk in there by myself.

But the worst was when I got locked out of the house. I had just returned home from dropping off my husband at the airport. I stuck my key in the lock, turned it, went to open the door, and then heard another click. It was the deadbolt, which meant someone was in the house. I immediately called the cops, then my boss who sent someone to wait with me while the cops searched the duplex. They were able to get in easy and of course, they found nothing.

I never found out what or who was in the house. My mom thought it was a little kid but who knows. I also don’t know if the tenants after us experienced anything. What I do know is, the day we moved out a couple of college guys moved in next door and as I was leaving, asked me if the landlord was “cool with people having parties.” So I’m pretty sure if the ghost didn’t get to them, that shit probably did.

Photo by: vox.com

Watch This, Not That: Delirium vs. The Open House

Hello, and welcome to another edition of Watch This, Not That: Halloween Edition. I’m your host, Typical Jenn, and I believe my taste to be better than the know-nothing movie critics that panned the movie The Exorcism of Emily Rose, one of the best possession movies of all time – FACT. Anyway, I spent my weekend watching horror movies that, for the most part, aren’t well-known so I could report back and give you something to watch this delightful Halloween season.

Let’s begin with my recommendation. If you’re looking for a movie to get into this weekend, I suggest watching Delirium on Netflix. Delirium stars Topher Grace (from That 70s Show which I’ll admit, set my expectations pretty low) who plays Tom Walker, a man who was just released from a mental institution after 20 years. He’s placed on house arrest and sent to live at his father’s house who has since passed away. 

He’s enjoying his newfound semi-freedom for about 7 minutes when shit starts to go down. It starts out with the usual: noises, he starts seeing things. Then, pieces of his past start to manifest like his brother, who’s the reason he ended up in an institution in the first place. The thing is though, he’s a bit mental. So, is he really seeing these things or is it all in his head? My favorite thing about this movie is every time I thought I knew what was going on, I didn’t. It’s not without a few cheesy parts but the twists and turns make up for it – I think you’ll like it.

The next movie I watched was The Open House, also on Netflix. It made approximately zero sense. The Open House is about a mother and son who are forced to move into a relative’s home after their husband/father passes away. The house is up for sale so the deal is they have to be out of the house every Sunday from 10AM to 5PM. 

Weird things happen from the moment they move in. They meet a weird ass lady who is not pertinent to the story whatsoever but keeps making cameos.   More weird things happen in the house like items disappearing and sounds and the hot water keeps going out. Then one night, shit goes from amateur to slasher-ish? Some dude whose face we never see breaks into the house and kills a friend of the mom’s and then tortures the mom and then the son helps her escape but then the guy finds her and just when she gets away again the son accidentally kills her. And then the son escapes but the guy catches him and kills him and then it ends with a car driving to the Open House. 

I don’t know if the open house was how this guy found his victims or if he’d been following them all along. Why didn’t he kill the family who owned it before?! At first I thought it was the town that was fucked up but nope. Listen, I dig movies that make me think one thing and then go in a surprising but even better direction (i.e. Delirium), but this? I just didn’t know what was going on. I don’t think the actors did either, or the directors, or whoever wrote this. I give it negative 134 stars because that’s the exact number of minutes I wasted on this film.

Before that movie I tried watching All Lights Will End. I got about 20 minutes into it and turned it off. I couldn’t get past the terrible acting. Don’t watch that either. Even if it’s the only thing on TV forever there’s absolutely nothing else on it’s either static or this movie – don’t watch it. Carve a pumpkin, take a nap, learn to churn butter. Anything else would be better.

And that’s it for this edition of Watch This, Not That: Halloween Edition.

Photo by: Netflix.com 

Ghost Stories: Part 2

Ever since the incident at our grandma’s house, my cousin and I have been obsessed with ghosts and all things horror. Fun fact: for one of our regular horror movie nights we watched the B-rated movie Doctor Giggles and from that day forward, my cousin wanted to work in the medical field. She was 5. Today, she’s an emergency room trauma center nurse for a major hospital. The point is: no one would be lost if they watched horror movies.

The night we heard those footsteps would be just one of many occurrences for my cousin and I, both together and separately.

When I was 12, I saw my first apparition. I was with my parents and we were headed out of town to visit my great grandmother as she wasn’t doing very well. I was lying down in the back seat of my dad’s truck; I looked up from messing with my portable CD player to see my great grandmother sitting on the other side of the seat. I froze. It was only a silhouetted outline of her but it was her. I sat up and let my parents know what I had seen. Sure enough, when we arrived at our destination we were told she had passed away about an hour prior to our arrival.

Other times it would just be feelings. My mom and I used to spend Christmas Eve night at my godmother’s mom’s house and I was always terrified of her stairs. I would have to brace myself every time I walked passed them. It was like there was someone up there that wanted to make sure I had zero desire to go up those stairs – and I never did.

There are many more stories I have that are like that but the one I’m going to tell you today includes my cousin.

While in college, my cousin and I lived with her then-boyfriend (now-husband) in an older home. We didn’t know the history of it but in our early twenties, it’s not like we really cared. We had a house and it wasn’t a frat house; nothing else mattered.

The first time I discovered something was off about the house, I was in the process of switching bedrooms and needed to buy some new curtains to match the wall paint. I’d been watching Kathy Griffin comedy specials on my laptop and as I made my way out, I shut my laptop because I was too lazy to simply pause it. When I returned, I could hear something playing in my bedroom. At first I thought I was hearing things. As I slowly walked up the stairs I could hear that it was Kathy Griffin’s comedy. “What the fuck?” I thought. I ran up the remaining steps and right when I reached the top, it stopped. I walked into my room and there was my laptop: open and at the end of the special.

I told my friend Joe who lived in the house before I moved in and my story didn’t surprise him. He went on to tell me about a time when he had a friend over who also had a strange encounter. His friend had been upstairs using the bathroom when Joe heard his friend calling for him, asking if Joe needed something. Joe didn’t know what he was talking about. His friend came downstairs and told him that he heard someone running upstairs and then slam the bathroom door, but it happened so fast that he just thought it was Joe because he didn’t see who shut the door.

Joe’s first questions was, “why were you using the bathroom with the door open?” Then it was, “what the fuck shut the door?” They’d been the only 2 in the house at the time.

Not long after the laptop incident, my cousin’s boyfriend left for AirForce bootcamp, so for the next 6 weeks, she and I had the house to ourselves…. or so we thought.

One night we were watching TV in the living room when the light just turned off. We thought the lightbulb had gone out but when I went to hit the switch, it turned back on. It might not sound weird, but we used to have lights that were controlled by a remote so the only way the downstairs lights could’ve turned off was if someone turned the lights on upstairs (they were supposed to be energy savers). Not surprisingly, the lights upstairs were on but nobody else was home with us.

My cousin’s room used to scare me. Every time I walked in there I always felt like there was someone in there watching me. One night we had a slumber party in her room and while reminiscing, her bedroom door began to open. Not all the way, but enough to scare the shit out of both of us.

We never did find out who was in that house, and the occurrences never quit. Eventually I would move out, only to find myself in another an even more active home just a few years later.

Ghost Stories: Part 3 to be published next week.

Photo: Caltech.edu

Watch This, Not That: Malevolent vs. The Final Wish

Not that October (or any month over the last few years for that matter) is normally filled with new horror releases but thanks to the ‘rona, there are now zero. But like everything else, I’m making the most of it: I’m watching horror movies I’ve never heard of and letting you guys know if they’re worth the watch. You’re welcome.

First up: Malevolent. Malevolent is a British horror film that can be found on Netflix and, for being low budget, is pretty good. The plot: a brother (Jackson played by Ben Lloyd-Hughes) and sister (Angela played by Florence Pugh) run a fake paranormal hunting operation in which they con people into believing they’re speaking to their deceased loved ones and helping them crossover. It’s basically like every ghost hunters/psychic show that’s on TV now.

Angela wants out of the paranormal game but after Jackson gets in deep with some loan sharks, she agrees to take on one final case to help him pay off his debts however, this isn’t like any other case they’ve taken on.

The duo and their team have been asked to help an elderly woman rid her home that’s occupied by several spirits that torment her daily. They accept the job and get to work however, they soon discover that the spirits are just one of many problems they’re about to encounter as the case quickly turns into a fight for their lives.

Do they survive? Only one way to find out: add this to your weekend horror movie viewing list.

Next up: The Final Wish. The only reason I watched this movie is because it features the woman who’s in all the horror movies. You know, Lin Shaye: she’s in almost all the Insidious movies, she was in Nightmare on Elm Street and Wes Craven’s New Nightmare. Anyway, I figured since she was in it, it might have a decent storyline. It did not. It was as B-movie as they come.

In addition to Lin, the guy from Twilight is in it. No not that one; he’s filming Batman. No, not that one either, although it’s been a minute since he’s been in anything so this type of movie is probably not far off. No, it was that guy that liked Bella and was in the background pretty much all the time. Him. He (Michael Welch) plays Aaron, an aspiring, down-on-his-luck lawyer who heads home following the death of his father. His plan is to help his mom manage his dad’s belongings except, she didn’t ask him to do that and it’s just one more thing he does wrong.

The other thing was finding an urn that grants wishes but also has a devil figurine as its top. And the problem with that is? As you can imagine everything goes to shit including the acting, the plot, and my interest. Basically, everyone dies thanks to his selfish inability to quit wishing for things and then he fixes it by making a final wish: that he die in the car accident that occurred earlier in the movie. But, Uh Oh! He made another wish – what could happen next? He’s dead and everyone else is back alive but something has to happen because of his wish! Hopefully, it’s not a part 2.

I do not recommend unless… no, I do not recommend.

See you next time for Watch This Not That: Halloween Edition.

Photo: heavenofhorror.com

Halloween, or just 2020?

I don’t know why people keep comparing 2020 to a Quintin Tarantino film. Tarantino films are good – even the fight scenes are delightful. Tarantino movies are entertaining, which is the polar opposite of 2020.

If director comparisons are what we’re after, then I would like to toss M. Night Shyamalan’s name in the hat. Think about it: this year has been nothing but terrible at every turn – just like his movies. You know I’m right.

Anyway, 2020: the year of shit. Luckily, we’re at the tale end of it which also happens to be my favorite time of year: Halloween season. For some of you it’s Everything Smells, Tastes, and Walks Like a Pumpkin season. For me, it’s horror movie-watching, scary story-telling, black like my soul Halloween season and to properly kick it off, I’m going to tell you a story that is perfectly on brand with 2020 in that it’s horrific and it’s also true.

The speed at which 2020 hits is different for everyone. For my sister, it was 72 hours and came in the form of a dead body.

A few months ago, my little sister took the leap into adulthood and moved 3 hours from my parents house into an apartment that we’ll label as affordable, which admittedly made me nervous for her. She was excited. My parents were excited. Both seemed to forget that the year is 2020.

I hadn’t, though. I gave her a little over a week to get settled before I called to check on her – the first words out of her mouth were “dude, you’re not going to believe this”. Just that morning, upon returning home from a job interview, my sister was greeted by paramedics wheeling out a body bag.

Word around the complex was it was the old man who lived RIGHT ABOVE HER. She hadn’t spoken to him but for the first few days in her new apartment, she used to see him all the time: he would hang out on the balcony staring at people. And if that weren’t creepy enough, the rumor was that he’d been in the apartment for a couple of days before he was discovered.

Happy to hear that she was doing well, I asked her to keep me posted on the rest of her 2020.

A couple of weeks went by without so much as a peep, which could mean anything these days, so I decided another call was in order.

This call went a lot better.

Me: “Hey sis! Just want to see how everything’s going!”

Sister: “Dude…”

A few days after our previous call, my sister arrived home to find that the old man had resurrected from the dead. There he stood on his balcony, staring off into the distance. At first she thought he was a ghost, but when her boyfriend said he could see him too, she realized: “holy fuck, who was in the bodybag?”

It was the old man’s wife.

She’d passed away about 2 MONTHS PRIOR and he kept her in the apartment.

“What the fuck?” was what my response. She was like “yeah, she’d been here while we were moving in.” I asked her if she’d smelled anything or if there was any weird type of fluid leaking from the ceiling (because that’s how it works in horror movies) and she said no, which is why she never suspected anything and also you don’t expect to be living underneath a corpse.

“How could she not smell anything?” I can hear you not asking. Apparently, Norman Bates covered the body in kitty litter. I don’t know what brand but as a marketer I can tell you that would make one hell of an ad campaign.

Just laugh, I won’t tell anyone.

Anyway, if that’s not a 2020 horror story I don’t know what is.

Happy Halloween month, everyone!

“The Autopsy of Jane Doe”

Here we are again. Another year. Another October where I, once again, do not have 31 posts relating to my favorite holiday for each day of my favorite month. I have about four. So, here is my first post for Typical Jenn Loves Halloween But Also Loves Procrastination So Instead Of Reading A Halloween Post Every Day You’ll Get One Every Sunday.

One thing I feel like I got semi-right was my horror movie intake. I watched a ton of the mainstream stuff but this year I took in a movie that had a limited release in 2016 and I only heard about because my mom and dad happened to watch it on Showtime out of boredom. As is the case with most movies like this, it turned out to be one of the creepiest movies I’ve seen in a very long time. Underground movies are where it’s at. FACT.

“The Autopsy of Jane Doe” is one of those movies with a twist, but a twist you won’t see coming. After a body is brought in to a mortuary, the owner and his son begin to conduct their autopsy, each cut bringing on a new strange occurrence – each worse than the last. If I’m not mistaken the movie is currently On Demand, so if you’re looking for a good horror movie to watch I highly suggest “The Autopsy of Jane Doe”. You will not be disappointed.

Photo cred: thefourohfive.com