Nicola Kirk: Author and Collector of Paranormal Stories and Other Strange Encounters

The Horror Of Mannequins

Image result for horrible mannequin

Even The Plastic Dead Have Bad Hair Days

Mannequins.  I do not like them and I’m quite sure they aren’t that keen on me either.  What with their fixed, sightless eyes and their ridiculously skinny arses.  The first time I can recall recoiling from the sight of a mannequin was when I was about ten and I went into a sports shop with my parents.  I went to try something on and almost fell over backwards with fright when I came face to face with one of the Plastic Dead lurking in the changing room.  I’m not sure why someone thought it would be a good place to store such a thing, perhaps to ensure people didn’t linger.  I certainly did not linger and it was the quickest change of clothes I’d ever managed in my life.

Fat Mannequins?

Image result for shrunken head beetlejuice

Sorry, Beetlejuice Got There First

Mannequins have continued to haunt me into my adult life too.  They sometimes invade my dreams.  After having gone to see Lights Out at the cinema (a pretty good horror flick, as horror flicks go), the opening scene where dad is working at his textile factory jolted something in my mind and dredged up a rather uncomfortable dream I had a couple of years back.  I was in a school somewhere.  It wasn’t a place I knew although it felt oddly familiar.  There was a long corridor with glass sides and plastic strips hanging down from the doorways at either end, the kind of plastic strips you see at the butchers to keep flies out – thick, heavy things that barely stirred when you pushed through them.  The corridor edged a square space in the centre which was dark and dingy, with moss smudged along the windows.  A couple of male mannequins languished in the middle of the square.  They were just standing there, one had orangey red painted on hair and the other one was dark-haired.  I remember walking down the corridor just looking at them, thinking how horrible they were, just standing there – what business could a couple of mannequins have being there?   After a while I realised that the mannequins had moved.  They were no longer in the glass surrounded square; they were out and coming for me.  The feeling of terror as I lost sight of them but knew they were loose and somehow coming to do… um… terrible mannequiny things was overwhelming.  Yeah, I have no idea what mannequins would do if they got me – improve my dress sense possibly.

And then this turned up on my radar.  There’s a little bridal shop in Chihuahua, Mexico, called  La Popular where, in 1930, a very realistic looking mannequin suddenly appeared in the window dressed in the latest bridal gown fashions.  Nicknamed La Pascualita, people took a serious interest in the lifelike mannequin and came from far and wide to have a peek at her.

 Corpse-Bride-1

Just A Mannequin?  Or Some Damned Fine Embalming?

What was it that was so interesting about this particular mannequin?  Apparently she has human hair, extremely detailed features – just take a look at the detail of her hands.  And apparently she also has varicose veins… who gives a mannequin varicose veins?:

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Some people think she is the embalmed body of the shopkeeper’s daughter and stories abound about the mannequin mysteriously shifting positions at night:

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Yes, okay, I can see a resemblance, however keeping a body in such a good state after embalming is no mean feat. The Russians apparently spend huge amounts of money keeping Vladimir Lenin’s corpse in good condition and it’s unlikely that a bridal shop could spare that kind of time and money on such a thing.  More likely it’s just a very detailed mannequin that keeps the tongues wagging and the tourists visiting.

But apparently not all mannequins are dangerously deranged or out to haunt bridal shops as the film Mannequin from 1987 demonstrates.  Oddly enough, despite my dislike of the Plastic Dead, I really liked this film.  Go figure.

Nicola

©Nicola Kirk 2016 and www.nicolakirk.wordpress.com

When Your Nine Lives Is Up But You Refuse To Peg It.

The other day, my elderly neighbour, Mrs R., came to see me asking if I could help take her cat to the vet.  She didn’t look at all happy but the cat looked infinitely worse.

“He was fine up until it rained yesterday,” she told me sadly as we stood over the cat who was busy languishing on her living room carpet.  I eyed the cat and quickly concluded that the poor thing should have been put out of its misery a fortnight ago.  Our other neighbour, Mr B., had come over to see if he could help but, alas, it was clear that there was nothing more he could do other than dig another hole in Mrs R.’s garden.  (Whoever lives in Mrs R.’s house next is going to get one hell of a shock if they landscape that back garden: “Doris!  Doris, you’ve read Pet Sematary – what was the outcome and should we consider moving?!”).

“You know, I’m not sure that cat’s going to make it to the vet,” Mr B. muttered to me as Mrs R. scooped the stricken creature up and laid it in the cat carrier.  I peeked at the cat through the bars of its box.  Glassy eyed, mouth open, tongue trying to escape its head… it looked like it was somewhat… dead.

“Uh, I think it might be a bit late to take him to the vet,” I started to tell her as gently as I could, but then the cat gasped and twitched a bit.  “Oh!  Hold on… no, I think…” The cat went still  again.  “No, sorry, I think…” Gasp!  Twitch! Damn it cat, make up your mind!!

Best Paint Job Ever.

I kid you not, that cat was having a game with me as we loaded the carry box into my car and trundled off to the vet.  It waited until we parked up, walked in and sat down before it finally decided it would be better off vacating.  However, we stayed until the vet had a look at the now rapidly stiffening cat, pronounced him DOA (and probably dead quite some time before arrival too… days… perhaps weeks… it certainly smelt that way…) and gave poor Mrs R. a sympathetic smile.  I’m sure it was on Mrs R.’s lips to ask the vet to give the cat a shot with a defibrillator to see if that would do anything but I quicky ushered her back out through the door and into the waiting room again, her ex-cat firmly wedged back into its travel box ready for future planting in the back garden.

While I was sitting in the vet’s waiting room with zombie cat quietly trying out his latest rigor mortis poses at my feet, I thought about experiments that have been carried out in the past to try to resurrect animals.  Because in the 1940s, the Russians decided this was a good road to go down.  And us humans just can’t leave anything alone, can we?  Dead or otherwise, we just have to tinker.  Well, let’s face it, this kind of experiment is never going to be pretty, so people with a weak disposition probably shouldn’t proceed beyond this point (who am I kidding, we all know  you’re going to go ahead and watch it anyway):

And when you consider how we have progressed from that to this:

My, we have come a long way!  Hopefully Mrs R.’s cat will remain at peace in the back garden though because I’d hate to have to go after it with a shovel.  Hey, I’ve read Pet Semetery, too.

But for those of you who are now thoroughly traumatised, here, this should sort you out:


Nicola

©Nicola Kirk 2016 and www.nicolakirk.wordpress.com

I Sell The Dead

Ebay Item: One Careful Owner.  Met A Nasty End.  Buy Me!

I’ve sold my daughter’s old cot today.  She has a new ‘big girl’s bed’, so she’s very happy.  While I was writing the advert for the cot, I started thinking about the relevant details that I needed to put on there… make of cot, size of cot, whether it was haunted… Ah, it’s okay, it’s very much not haunted, but I did start wondering about all the other stuff that’s for sale out there and whether selling something that’s ‘haunted’ is a selling point or something to keep veeery quiet about.

In some states in America, if you believe your house is haunted, you may be obliged to disclose this to potential purchasers.  This is rather bumpy ground as some people say, if there are no such things as ghosts, how can such a thing be relevant when it comes to something like purchasing a property?   Or pieces of furniture.  Or toys.  However, a quick scout around on Ebay turned up a smattering of ‘haunted’ or ‘haunted looking’ dolls and teddies, but to be honest, the only really scary thing about these items is the inflated price tags.  But if you are considering purchasing a haunted doll, you may want to read up on it a bit first, perhaps an article from someone like this Ebay Seller might be of interest:  Purchasing Haunted Dolls.

‘Needs A Little Work.  Spacious Rooms. Purchaser May Wish To Avoid Murderous Ghost On Second Floor Landing.’

For those of us who love all things creepy and spooky, purchasing a haunted house sounds like a dream come true.  But for some, especially those who are unaware of the extra inhabitants of their newly purchased abode, it can be an absolute nightmare, as described in this Huffington Post article.

One particular haunted item that I heard about was the Dybbuk Box.  The Dubbuk Box was originally meant to be a little cupboard for storing wine, although somehow over the years it became haunted by a Dybbuk (an evil spirit).  Apparently, the story of the Dybbuk Box first came to light when a chap called Kevin Mannis advertised it on Ebay (where else?) with an intriguing back story of its alleged haunting.  It gained so much interest that a film was made in 2012 based on the story (The Possession).  The curious story is detailed on Wikipedia for those of you who want to read more and, of course, there are numerous videos lurking on the internet, but one particularly good version of it was produced by Paranormal Witness and I’d highly recommend you take a moment to watch it.  Preferably when you are home.  Alone.  With the lights out.

 

*Incidentally, the title of this article ‘I Sell The Dead‘ is also the title of a brilliantly funny film – I’d highly recommend it!

Nicola

©Nicola Kirk 2016 and www.nicolakirk.wordpress.com

Some Ecards Funny | The best part is that you can create your own funny greeting cards ...:

We’ve all had days like it.  You’re out and about, minding your own business when everything just seems to Go Wrong.  I had a day like that at the weekend.  I went to a picnic to celebrate my brother’s birthday – lovely!  The kids were good, the weather was fantastic and we had a great day.  Until I went near my car.

Usually I will be the first to admit if I’ve done something a bit daft (at least to myself, anyway) however on this particular day, things just seemed to happen that were not of my creation.  On the way there, my engine light came on.  Fortunately, I knew it wasn’t anything serious, just a sensor misbehaving, so I carried on.  Then a little light popped up to advise me my tyre pressure was low.  Huh.  My dashboard was starting to look a little Christmas tree-like.  Okay, fine, fine, I can get these bits sorted out, I thought to myself as I trundled over the Dartford Bridge.  Then coming home, a guy quite literally took my wing mirror off as he came around the corner on my side of the road.  That was a bit of a shocker, I can tell you. We stopped, checked we both retained all of our limbs, he apologised, I collected the bits of my mirror from down the road and I thought with slightly gritted teeth, okay, it’s fine, it can be fixed, and I pushed what remained of the now smashed mirror back into place so I could at least get home and went on my way.

I made my way back towards the Dartford Bridge with my car feeling a little under the weather and me feeling a little paranoid that people were looking at my freshly shattered mirror and silently judging me as they went by, when I had a moment of horror as I saw a large stone hurtling towards my face.  Fortunately the windscreen took the brunt of it but the glass was left with two nice big chips in it.  “Oh, for goodness sake!!” I snapped.  “Really!? Anything else?!  Could there be anything else that could happen!?”

Then the petrol light came on.

But epic as my journey seemed at the weekend, it’s nowhere near as bad as this poor chap’s day, so I shall count my blessings:

 

And then there’s always the times that animals are hell-bent on wrecking your day too:

 

But then there are the times when… well, there is just no hope for some people, it was destined to not go well right from the outset:

 

 

Nicola

©Nicola Kirk 2016 and www.nicolakirk.wordpress.com

ghost flying out from an old radiator on a moon-lit night

Cooling Pipes… Or Death Looking For A Way In?

Paranormality defines ‘Death Clicksas: “a strange phenomenon that has its origins in Samoa.  Like the wailing banshees of Ireland, believed to predict the imminent death of someone in the household, death clicks are the sudden onset of persistent and loud clicking that sounds throughout the house of someone who is going to die soon.”

My house seems to be full of things that bang, pop and click (including my mother -in-law), but I’ve recently conducted a head count and, touch wood, everyone still seems to be lurking where I left them.  Fortunately, it would appear that Death is not trying to get my attention just yet.  Who am I kidding, what with the general chaos that’s usually going on at home, we wouldn’t hear him knocking anyway!

But should you panic if you hear the strange knockings of, say, the Deathwatch Beetle?  The film ‘Practical Magic‘ suggests pulling up floorboards to conduct a frantic search for the little bugger is in order if you wake up in the small hours to hear the peculiar knocking noise they make.

WARNING: the following clip is a guaranteed blub inducer, get thy tissues at the ready:

There is, apparently, an old superstition that if you hear three knocks that seem to come from nowhere then, in a nutshell, someone you know is going to peg it.  Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow but… you get my drift.  There are quite a few stories out there from people who have indeed experienced this strange occurrence for themselves – click on the following link to read about those who have been dragged into the fateful game of:

KNOCK KNOCK, WHO’S DEAD?

So, now I’m somewhat confused.  What do I do if I hear someone knocking at my place of residence? I can’t help but feel it’s a little bit rude to yell at them to ‘use the doorbell or I’m not coming to the door!’  Or maybe I should just board the front door up for good measure and wait for Death to come crashing through my window in a flurry of highly charged black nylon and plastic scythes like this guy:

My fellow Researcher of Much Spookiness and  Head Sifter of You Tube Clips, Tarryn, has also come across some records of strange knockings that preceded deaths: Click Here for more tales of ghostly knocks in the night…

Meanwhile, in the distant land of Can’t Understand What You’re Saying,  from what I can make out, this lady appears to have experienced mysterious knocking sounds in her house and the perpetrator can not be located.   Or… she could just be looking for her kettle:

A further donation from Tarryn comes from SeeksGhosts Blog Spot, who also has a few stories about strange Knocks of Doom:

“The Irish and the Scots both have traditions that state three knocks on a door or three taps on a window especially when heard at regular intervals – lasting for two minutes-means death.

According to several Native American tribes when the thumping of a stick 3 times on the ground is heard or the beating of a drum 3 times is heard it means someone will die.  This superstition also pops up in Arab and Jewish traditions.”

If you have had any strange experiences involving Death Clicks (or Death Knocks or Death Trying to Climb Through Your Window), please feel free to leave your stories in the comments section below!

But please, no knock knock jokes…

Nicola

©Nicola Kirk 2016 and www.nicolakirk.wordpress.com

I SAID IT’S YOUR STOP!

I am often amazed by the paranormal qualities of the London Underground.  What did happen to that train that was supposed to be here five minutes ago?  How do so many people manage to ram themselves into a single carriage at Oxford Circus?  Does that man really believe he is invisible and that we are not going to notice the fact he’s lighting up a spliff in the middle of a packed carriage?  I’ve written in the past about ghosts reported on the London Underground but during a recent ‘condor moment’ I started thinking about other strange transportation occurrences that the paranormal world has thrown out into the ether over the years.  The first one that stuck in my mind was this one, the Phantom Car Chase:

Meanwhile in Russia, strange cars seemingly appear out of nowhere and the overuse of the question mark is demonstrated in full force:

And finally, if you’re having a go at teleporting your car, at least make sure you don’t teleport into the side of someone else’s car because, you know, insurance companies frown on that sort of thing.  Rookie error Number One can be viewed below:

Nicola

©Nicola Kirk 2016 and www.nicolakirk.wordpress.com

Ghosting Toby Meakins

I’m a book kind of girl rather than film, it’s true, but I do like a good rummage on the darker side of the internet and YouTube for spooky bits and bobs (which I then go on to inflict on you in turn).  Well, the other day, while I was mid-rummage, I came across the trailer for ‘Ghoster’ and I really enjoyed watching it.  It’s by Toby Meakins (who has a channel on YouTube) and Thom Burgess.   I’m not well versed when it comes to film shorts but I’ve watched the one below a few times now and I’m looking forward to finding out more about Ghoster – see what you think:

I then wondered if Toby Meakins had done anything else, so I had a proper up-to-the-elbows kind of delve into the internet and after a little poking about I found another film short by Toby called ‘Breathe’, which is about a ghost girl that can only be seen if you hold your breath…  Alas, holding my breath has done nothing for me other than make my eyes go fuzzy but watching the film short below was much more entertaining:

And finally, there’s this one, LOT254 about a man who buys an old cinecamera at auction and gets a whole lot more than he bargained for:

Personally, I think film shorts like these are due a lot more recognition than they seem to get.  You can find Toby’s channel on YouTube and if you have a look on Vimeo you can watch his other film shorts such as ‘Condition’, which I found very uplifting, and the thought provoking ‘Secrets of Angels’.

I look forward to seeing more film shorts by Mr Meakins.

Nicola

©Nicola Kirk 2016 and www.nicolakirk.wordpress.com

 

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