What’s on the Tube? Winchester—A Ghost Story Based on the Winchester Mystery House, Starring Helen Mirren ☠️☠️☠️

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There are other posters I liked (see below), but I really dig this one! The ghost stories are based on actual events. And the house is a real place you can visit (see Links below)! (IMDb)



The critics hemmed and hawed—but don’t they always? I liked this one! Mirren does a great job as Sarah Winchester heiress of the Winchester rifle fortune; and the rest of the cast worked well too, especially Jason Clarke. The sets were beautiful. There’s an interesting perspective on the period costuming (see the DVD’s “Special Features”). The characters could’ve been drawn more deeply; and, although there was a nice little general-type substory flowing underneath the plot, it could’ve been a more sophisticated one and woven a bit tighter to control the tension better. And a few of the ghost pop-ups—a little blasé. But I got the DVD and I’ll watch it again. Mirren is a masterpiece—she depicts the fin de siècle spiritualist widow perfectly and with a compassion and vulnerability that are touching and believable. 3 skulls! ☠️☠️☠️


 

Other Posters

Click thumbnails to enlarge…


Links

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Winchester Mystery House is a mansion in San Jose, California, that was once the personal residence of Sarah Winchester, the widow of firearm magnate William Wirt Winchester. Located at 525 South Winchester Blvd. in San Jose, the Queen Anne Style Victorian mansion is renowned for its size, its architectural curiosities, and its lack of any master building plan. It is a designated California historical landmark and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It is privately owned and serves as a tourist attraction….

Read more, here…

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Winchester_Mystery_House

Official Website…

https://www.winchestermysteryhouse.com/

Reviews

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.rogerebert.com/reviews/amp/winchester-2018


Official Trailer

The Amityville, New York-DeFeo Family Murders—Behind the Scenes, November 12, 1974

“Then Why Call Him God?”

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Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able?
Then he is not omnipotent.
Is he able, but not willing?
Then he is malevolent.
Is he both able and willing?
Then whence cometh evil?
Is he neither able nor willing?
Then why call him God?

– Epicurus, Greek Philosopher (341–270 BCE)

Image by Malinda Rathnayake, Flickr.

Tonight’s Read: The Queen’s Conjurer—The Science and Magic of Dr. John Dee, Adviser to Queen Elizabeth I—by Benjamin Woolley, Reviews & Links…

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“John Dee is commonly regarded as England’s finest home-grown magus, our most notable exponent of the esoteric arts that promised astonishing advances in knowledge for 16th-century Europe. His name is mentioned along with those of Paracelsus and Giordano Bruno, and he is sometimes proposed as an inspiration for Dr Faustus, Prospero or Ben Jonson’s Alchemist.“

– Graham Parry, The Guardian


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John Dee, Portrait. Date unknown (Wiki commons).

‘Dr John Dee is a Jekyll and Hyde kind of historical figure – intellectual giant or shady charlatan, depending on your point of view.

Born in 1527, when England was enjoying that flowering of art and learning we call the Renaissance, he trained with the scientist and technical instrument-maker Gemma Frisius at Louvain in the Low Countries, and went on to become a mathematician of distinction.

A personal adviser and official writer of technical “position papers” on navigational and maritime policy matters to Queen Elizabeth I, his opinion was sought by the Tudor government on investment in new technologies and projects to smelt metals.

He was a consultant to Martin Frobisher’s 1576 attempt to discover the Northwest Passage (a northerly trading route by sea to the lucrative markets in Russia and beyond), and trained Frobisher’s team of adventurers in navigational techniques. Dee’s preface to the first English-language edition of the Greek mathematician Euclid’s Elementes of Geometrie (1570), edited by Sir Henry Billingsley, is regarded as a landmark piece of writing on the applications of pure mathematics in science and technology.

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Hereditary…WTF does one even SAY about this movie? ☠️☠️☠️☠️

Holy crap. I’m lost for words. This film scared the shit outta me. Four stars. All the way.

Click here for The New York Times review of Hereditary…

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It made the cover of Rue Morgue also. Creepy AF.

 

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“The Call of Cthulhu”—The Story That Started It All—by H. P. Lovecraft, 1928

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Art by Robin Claridjs.

 

The Call of Cthulhu

H. P. Lovecraft, 1928

 

(Found Among the Papers of the Late
Francis Wayland Thurston, of Boston)

***

“Of such great powers or beings there may be conceivably a survival . . . a survival of a hugely remote period when . . . consciousness was manifested, perhaps, in shapes and forms long since withdrawn before the tide of advancing humanity . . . forms of which poetry and legend alone have caught a flying memory and called them gods, monsters, mythical beings of all sorts and kinds. . . .” – Algernon Blackwood

***

I

The Horror in Clay

The most merciful thing in the world, I think, is the inability of the human mind to correlate all its contents. We live on a placid island of ignorance in the midst of black seas of infinity, and it was not meant that we should voyage far. The sciences, each straining in its own direction, have hitherto harmed us little; but some day the piecing together of dissociated knowledge will open up such terrifying vistas of reality, and of our frightful position therein, that we shall either go mad from the revelation or flee from the deadly light into the peace and safety of a new dark age.

Theosophists have guessed at the awesome grandeur of the cosmic cycle wherein our world and human race form transient incidents. They have hinted at strange survivals in terms which would freeze the blood if not masked by a bland optimism. But it is not from them that there came the single glimpse of forbidden aeons which chills me when I think of it and maddens me when I dream of it. That glimpse, like all dread glimpses of truth, flashed out from an accidental piecing together of separated things—in this case an old newspaper item and the notes of a dead professor. I hope that no one else will accomplish this piecing out; certainly, if I live, I shall never knowingly supply a link in so hideous a chain. I think that the professor, too, intended to keep silent regarding the part he knew, and that he would have destroyed his notes had not sudden death seized him.

My knowledge of the thing began in the winter of 1926–27 with the death of my grand-uncle George Gammell Angell, Professor Emeritus of Semitic Languages in Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island. Professor Angell was widely known as an authority on ancient inscriptions, and had frequently been resorted to by the heads of prominent museums; so that his passing at the age of ninety-two may be recalled by many. Locally, interest was intensified by the obscurity of the cause of death. The professor had been stricken whilst returning from the Newport boat; falling suddenly, as witnesses said, after having been jostled by a nautical-looking negro who had come from one of the queer dark courts on the precipitous hillside which formed a short cut from the waterfront to the deceased’s home in Williams Street. Physicians were unable to find any visible disorder, but concluded after perplexed debate that some obscure lesion of the heart, induced by the brisk ascent of so steep a hill by so elderly a man, was responsible for the end. At the time I saw no reason to dissent from this dictum, but latterly I am inclined to wonder—and more than wonder.

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Reblog: Ancient Feasting Rituals—Crucial Steps Forward in Human Civilization…

Belarus Ivan Kupala Day

Kupelo festival (Pinterest).

“The Epic of Gilgamesh” is one of the earliest texts known in the world. It’s the story of a god-king, Gilgamesh, who ruled the city of Uruk in Mesopotamia in the 3rd millennium B.C. Within its lines, the epic hints at how the ancients viewed the origins of their civilization.

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Art inspired by the Epic of Gilgamesh (realm of history.com).

Gilgamesh’s antagonist, Enkidu, is described as a wild man, living with the beasts and eating grasses with the gazelles. But he’s seduced by a beautiful temple priestess who then offers him clothing and food, saying “Enkidu, eat bread, it is the staff of life; drink the wine, it is the custom of the land.” And so Enkidu is transformed from a naked wild beast into a “civilized” man living with other people.

Both bread and wine are products of settled society. They represent the power to control nature and create civilization, converting the wild into the tamed, the raw into the cooked – and their transformation cannot be easily done alone. The very act of transforming the wild into the civilized is a social one, requiring many people to work together.

Over the past few decades, archaeological theory has shifted toward the idea that civilization arose in different regions around the world thanks to the evolution of cooperation. Archaeologists have discovered that the consumption of food and drink in ritually prescribed times and places — known technically as feasting — is one of the cornerstones of heightened sociality and cooperation throughout human history. My own research in Peru bears this out. The data from my colleagues’ and my work provides yet another detailed case study for theorists to model the evolution of complexity in one of the rare places where a civilization independently developed.

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Tea—Earl Grey. Read—The Devil & Karen Kingston. A True Account of a 3-Day Battle to Rid a Young Girl of 13 Demons…

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Picked this 1977 paperback up this weekend at a little bookshop in Denver. I was 10 when this was published. That was of course way back during the Cretaceous period. 😉

Seriously, though, I’ve always been drawn to these nicely detailed dramatized accounts. While their veracity seems to be a favorite target for criticism, which can go on for decades (e.g., Sybil, & The Amityville Horror), I enjoy these types of documentaries; their prose style and approach to the subject matter is so “retro”—peaking during a time when the US was experiencing its own little “Heyday in Hell” (thank you William Peter Blaaty).

The Devil & Karen Kingston

Robert W. Pelton

Simon & Schuster, Pocket Books, December 1977

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The Vivid Account of an Authentic Exorcism!

At the age of seven, Karen Kingston witnessed the brutal murder of her father by her own mother. By the age of 13, she barely seemed like a human being. Leading an almost catatonic existence in a home for handicapped children, the once pretty, happy young girl, had transformed into a hideous creature. Doctors tried everything; but Karen’s case seemed hopeless—she was suffering mentally, emotionally, and physically, and no one knew why. Finally, a priest was called in—Reverend Richard Rogers, a man of God by faith, and an exorcist by trade.

In one of the most horrific cases of demon-possssion on record, one by one, Reverend Rogers exorcised a total of 13 demons said to have been inhabiting the young body of Karen Kingston. This is that story. After three excruciating days, Karen was set free. And now (at the time of the writing of this book, which was in 1977) at age 16, she is living a happy, healthy life. (from the back cover)

The Accursed Treasure (“Le Trésor Maudit”) of Rennes-le-Château trans. from the French by Sanguine Woods—Part 1…

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View from the hilltop village of Rennes-le-Chateau I’m the Aude region of southern France Photographer unknown (Wikipedia).

The Accursed Treasure of Rennes-le-Château

Translated by Sanguine Woods from the 1967 French study by Gérard de Sède

The following text is a translation from the 1967 French study of the Rennes-le-Château mystery by Gérard de Sède. I have translated as close to the French as possible, adding or retracting, minimally, only where clarity was the desired outcome, and/or the avoidance of a misinterpretation or misunderstanding the goal. (Italicized parentheticals are mine.)

***

Rennes-le-Château—a historic hilltop village in the Aude region of France (named after the Aude River)—would it turn out to be the location, at the end of the nineteenth century, of one of the most fabulous discoveries ever dreamed of? What was the secret of the Abbe Bérenger Saunière? And why, between 1891 and 1917, did he spend more than a billion-and-a-half in old francs? How does one explain that all who come close to the truth today (as was the case in bygone days) do so at the risk of their lives?

In the following study, author Gérard de Sède strives to provide answers to these questions, and more, with precision and objectivity. A study of the enigma of Rennes-le-Château—and the violent deaths surrounding it—is not without risk; but this is a courageous, important book, one that seeks to clarify and document history for posterity, and one that offers an exciting look at an ancient and “accursed treasure” long hidden beneath a veil of secrecy.

***