Archive | January, 2011

SKELETONS DONATED TO PARANORMAL CHARITY FUNDRAISER FEB. 5

28 Jan

I’m pleased to announce that I’ve donated two copies of Skeletons in the Swimmin’ Hole—Tales from Haunted Disney World to a paranormal charity fundraiser for Bella Tucker, a little girl who became extremely ill on Easter Sunday and is now facing a long, difficult recovery and not without significant hardship for her family.

The paranormal event will take place Saturday, February 5, 2011 at 3 p.m. at the Harley House in Lunenburg, Mass. Several paranormal personalities are pulling together for this event, among them Jeff and Shannon Sylvia from Ghost Hunters International and Paranormal State, Keith and Sandra Johnson of Ghost Hunters and Paranormal State, Brian Harnois, Dustin Pari, and Lisa Dowllaby, all of Ghost Hunters; author David Manch, and Mike Baker, director of 14 Degrees.

The evening will include presentations, face painting, raffles (I’m assuming Skeletons will be a raffle prize), and a ghost hunt; psychic medium Beckah Boyd and occultist Katie Boyd will be on hand. 100% of the proceeds will go to Bella Tucker and her family.

If you’d like more information about this event—tickets are quite reasonable, actually—you can visit http://www.pararockproductions.com/events.html

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PARANORMAL, POE, AND GHOSTS IN DISNEY ON THE INVISIBLE WORLD

26 Jan

In October, I was featured on Frank Todaro’s Paranormal Internet Radio Show The Invisible World.

Recently, people have been dropping me e-mails asking me where they can find it. I looked back through my posts and realized I’d never posted the re-play, so here it is!

The Invisible World explores paranormal news and features guests discussing all that’s happening in the paranormal—be it UFO sightings, cryptids, ghosts and hauntings, conspiracies, and much more. Frank features guests from all walks: writers, investigators, psychics, and paranormal celebrities. The hour-long show is always entertaining and features psychic Lady Fontaine as well.

Support Frank and head on over to The Invisible World at www.blogtalkradio.com/theinvisibleworld and check out Episode 33—you can play it right from his page. Extra bonus? Nathan is featured on Episode 31.

Or…you can head over to my blog and listen to it directly from my site, here: http://wp.me/pIXRs-qj

 

RHODES REVIEW NOTES SKELETONS

24 Jan

 

Rick at Rhodes Review gave Skeletons in the Swimmin’ Hole a nice blurb! You can check it out here: http://rhodesreview.com/?p=1971

 

 

WINNERS OF THE BLESS THEIR HEARTS MOM SKELETONS GIVEAWAY!

20 Jan

Congratulations to the winners of the Bless Their Hearts Mom Skeletons in the Swimmin’ Hole Giveaway:

Kayla Justice of Kansas

Wanda Bergmann of Canada

Each received a copy of Skeletons in the Swimmin’ Hole with limited-edition postcards.

To learn more about Bless Their Hearts Mom and check out her other giveaways, visit here:

http://www.blesstheirheartsmom.blogspot.com/

ONE FAMILY TAKES SKELETONS TO WALT DISNEY WORLD!

12 Jan

Adam Boneker and his daughter, Dakota, with Skeletons in Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom.

So, where are you headed in 2011? Right now, I’m sure some of you are saying nowhere because of all of these winter storms. But recently, Skeletons in the Swimmin’ Hole—Tales from Haunted Disney World got to travel to Disney World thanks to the Boneker Family of New Jersey!

This is the coolest series of pix I’ve ever seen! The Bonekers took the book and visiting the various attractions featured in its short stories—but spent the most time at The Swiss Family Treehouse, where “Charlotte’s Family Tree” is set. Since that’s hands-down one of my favorite attractions of all time, it was quite awesome to see my book become part of its unique settings (come on, who DIDN’T want to live in a tree house as a kid? I sooo wanted to sleep on one of those hammocks in the tippy-top room!)

Here we go! The Bonekers give Skeletons a tour…

Dakota Boneker underneath the sign for Big Thunder Mountain. Disneyland’s version of this attraction is featured in the Skeletons story “Romancing the Goat.”

Adam Boneker and his daughter, Dakota, at the entrance to Splash Mountain, where the story “Miss Reyna Gets Her Comeuppance on Flash Mountain” is set.

Dakota in front of It’s a Small World, which figures into two stories—one in the book called “All This Furniture and Nowhere to Sit,” and one that isn’t in the book but is available online, called “It’s a Good Life.” (You can read “It’s a Good Life”—and download and share the PDF with your friends—here: http://bit.ly/hngTTE)

Dakota in one of the It’s a Small World boats. The boats play a huge role in the story “All This Furniture and Nowhere to Sit,”—Lainee purchases a boat, has it delivered to her house, and converts it into seating for her playroom…with disastrous consequences.

Dakota and Skeletons about to climb The Swiss Family Treehouse, the centerpiece for “Charlotte’s Family Tree.”

The sideboard in the Swiss Family Treehouse Living Room, which is where the wonderful organ that pipes out that polka is kept. In “Charlotte’s Family Tree,” something important happens in this room, and the organ music is featured prominently in the piece.

Skeletons on the sideboard in the Swiss Family Treehouse Living Room!

The Swiss Family Treehouse Library.

Skeletons in the Swiss Family Treehouse Library.

The Swiss Family Treehouse Kitchen.

Skeletons seems ready to be served in The Swiss Family Treehouse Kitchen.

WILL DISNEY CHANGE TOM SAWYER ISLAND?

12 Jan

 

The welcome sign on WDW's Tom Sawyer Island in 2005.

I’m sure we’ve all heard of or read about the recent controversy over a newly-released NewSouth Books edition of Mark Twain’s Huckleberry Finn, which changes certain words, including the word “injun,” as in “Injun Joe.”

I grew up in a house in which my father the English teacher read me both Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn when I was very young, and he was careful to explain everything in a historical and respectful context. He also stressed that the word “injun” was, in addition, not only part of a dialect, but also an indicator of education. (Webster’s Dictionary still notes, beside the current definitions, “a common misspelling or typo”[1] of the word Indian, which of course today we use to refer to people from the country India and not indigenous Americans). “Huck and Tom aren’t very educated,” Dad had explained. “So that’s why they talk that way.”

With regard specifically to Twain, Huckleberry Finn and Tom Sawyer, this word isn’t just in Twain’s books. It happens to be on many of the signs of the Walt Disney World Magic Kingdom/Disneyland Frontierland Attraction, Tom Sawyer Island, so as we visited the Island in the parks as a kid, I simply took it as bad spelling among all the other badly-spelled words. These signs lend to the charm of the place. Visiting the Island is stepping into Huck and Tom’s world (it’s even rumored that the island itself has a Missouri zip code[2]). Consider the following signage (in some places, the letter ‘S’ is backwards; I’ve denoted that here with a *).

WELCUM!

IF’N YOU LIKE DARK CAVES*, MYS*TERY MINES*, BOTTOMLES*S* PITZ, S*HAKEY BRIDGES N BIG ROCKS* YOU HAVE COME TO THE BES*T PLACE I KNOW. IF’N YOU DON’T LIKE CREEPY OLD S*CARY PLACES* DON’T WORRY……HUCK FINN N MYSELF WUZ PLENTY S*CARED TOO. HUCK WUZ MORE S*CARED THAN ME.

TOM

WUZ NOT HUCK

~

The Harper's Mill sign, WDW's Tom Sawyer Island, 2005.

HARPER’S MILL

THIS HERE DESERTED GRIST MILL WUZ NAMED AFTER MY FRIEN JOE HARPER’S OLD MAN. IF N YOU CHOOZE TO GO INSIDE, PLEASE DON’T SCARE THE BIRDS THAT YOU WILL FIND THERE UNLESS SOME NO GOOD DONE SCARED EM BEFORE YOU DID.

TOM S*AWYER

~

OLD SCRATCH’S MYSTERY MINE

I HAVE EXPLORED MANY OLD MINES, BUT THIS UN IS THE BEST EVER! STRANGE THINGS HAPPEN IN HERE TO KEEP A SHARP EYE OUT AND DON’T STOP FOR NUTHIN!

TOM

And even this, which appears in the fort:

USE COTT’N WHEN S*HOOTN

Nathan--swear to God, the world's biggest Twain fan--in front of Injun Joe's Cave warning sign on WDW's Tom Sawyer Island, 2005.

And then, of course, there is the Island’s big ticket item: Injun Joe’s Cave. Not only are there directional signs everywhere on the Island pointing you in that direction, it is labeled as such, and the following warning is posted for visitors:

DO NOT WURRY…

INJUN JOE AINT BEEN SEEN IN THESS PARTS FOR ALONG TIME. HIS* CAVE IS DEESERTED! P.S. IF N YOU WANT TO MAYBE YOU COULD WURRY JUS*T A LITTLE BIT.

TOM

The cave’s mouth is so dark and emits such terrifying sounds that I didn’t go through it for the first time until I was in my late twenties. It turned out it wasn’t as scary as I thought—but I felt a sense of privilege and really appreciated the resourcefulness of this fictional character, who had done all sorts of clever things to his cave (want a brief tour of the cave? Check it out here at Zannaland: http://zannaland.com/tom-sawyers-island-pictorial-review-part1/)

While it looks as though the controversy is dying down a little bit and it appears, from all the news and blogs I’ve been reading, that most people are not liking this new edition of the book, it does makes me wonder: If this becomes widely accepted, what is Disney, in the wake of all this, going to do about the signs on Tom Sawyer Island?

DO NOT WORRY…

INDIAN JOE HASN’T BEEN SEEN IN THIS AREA IN MANY YEARS. HIS CAVE IS DESERTED. P.S.: IF YOU’D LIKE, YOU COULD WORRY JUST A LITTLE BIT.

TOM

I somehow suspect that if that happens, visiting ‘Indian Joe’s Cave’ just won’t be the same.

Me, in front, and Nathan, in the hat, navigating that crazy barrel bridge on WDW's Tom Sawyer Island, 2005.

HEAR HAUNTED DISNEY TALES ON DARKNESS RADIO!

9 Jan

Recently I had the pleasure of discussing Disney’s Haunted Mansion, Disney ghosts and legends, Skeletons in the Swimmin’ Hole and more on The Darkness on the Edge of Town paranormal radio show! The episode’s hosts were Tim Dennis and Mallie Fox. I had a really great time, and their questions were nothing like I expected. It was fun!

If you’d like to give a listen, you can do it two ways. If you’d like to check it out and, in addition, have access to their pretty awesome past episodes that feature every paranormal topic you can imagine and more, visit the Darkness Radio archives on KTLK radio and scroll down to the 12/16 Haunted Disneyland show; you can click on ‘listen’ or download the MP3:

http://www.ktlkfm.com/cc-common/podcast/single_podcast.html?podcast=darknessradio.xml

If you just want to hear the show that I was on, you can listen right from the Kristi Petersen Schoonover website here:

http://wp.me/pIXRs-pO

Enjoy!

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