All About Halloween

Every child knows Halloween as a holiday where they get to dress up as their favorite people, characters or things and go around and collect candy from the neighborhood.  I remember as a child it was always one of my favorite holidays, fantastical and sometimes a little crazy.  How often as a child, however, do you remember thinking, “How did trick or treating start?  Why do we dress up?”  My guess is probably never.  It is, however, exactly the type of thing that we think of here at Atmospheric Noise.

In truth, the origins of Halloween are very muddled.  It has ties to Western European harvest festivals, pagan rituals, Christian feasts, among others.  The term “Halloween” dates back to about 1745, coming from “All Hallows’ Eve,” which has a past in and of itself!   Many of today’s Halloween customs have been influenced by Celtic customs and beliefs, some from pagan beliefs and others from Celtic Christianity.  There are many holidays toward the end of the year that celebrate the harvests, and also the coming of winter.  Samhain, for example, is seen as a time when the spirits or fairies are able to come into our world more readily and are even more active than normal.  Feasts forSamhain are often held where the souls of the dead kin were beckoned to attend and a place was set for them at the table, as people believed the dead could revisit their families on these nights. 

In Scottish and Irish culture, guising (or dressing up) can be traced back to at least the 18th century, where people would dress up and go door to door and sing songs or recite poems in exchange for food. A similar practice can be seen in Christianity for All Souls’ Day or All Saints day, called souling.  On this holiday, people would bake small cakes (called souls) and hand them out to children and the poor who came door to door.  Traditional “souling” songs would be sung, such as:

A soul! a soul! a soul-cake!
Please good Missis, a soul-cake!

An apple, a pear, a plum, or a cherry,

Any good thing to make us all merry.

One for Peter, two for Paul

Three for Him who made us all.

In southern Ireland, guisers would follow a man dressed as a Láir Bhán (a white mare), who would lead them house to house collecting food.  In return for the food, the households would receive good fortune from the Muck Olla (the god of the dead in Celtic culture).  There are even more instances of an early form of trick or treating throughout different cultures, partially due to a mostly universal belief that the veil between worlds was thin on this night and spirits could be warded off by human wanderers.

Even Jack-o-Lantern’s have a place in history, having started out being a primitive sort of lighting for guisers carved out of turnips or mangel wurzels, hollowed out with grotesque faces to represent spirits or goblins, and filled with a candle to light the way.  They were very common in Ireland and Scottish culture, but can be found in almost every society.

As you can tell, the history of Halloween is as much a mixing pot from history as our society is as a whole!

Best Buy Mobile Specialty Stores: Your One Stop Holiday Shop for Smartphones and Accessories in 2013!

The holidays are rapidly approaching!  With the holidays comes the stress of going from store to store and fighting lines and crowds.  One of the most popular holiday gifts is the gift of a smartphone.  Best Buy has some great deals on smartphones, and works with a variety of carriers, so why not shop there?  Well, perhaps the big box version of Best Buy is too busy for your taste this holiday season.  As a great alternative, you should try finding one of Best Buy's Mobile Specialty Stores!

They're a great place to do your shopping for a smartphone this year, as you don't have to fight the crowds who are there for the latest Playstation!  Best Buy Mobile specialty stores are found locally in malls or in your neighborhood shopping centers, and are focused on mobile devices and accessories. Shop for the latest smartphones and tablets from Verizon, AT&T and Sprint, from all the top brands, along with stylish accessories to suit your lifestyle. The staff is highly trained, yet non-commissioned, so they can help determine the right phone for you, as well as compare plans across the carriers. They can set up and activate your new phone, transfer your contacts and data and set you up with the complimentary Walk Out Working™ program. To find a Best Buy Mobile specialty store, go to

And if you needed even more incentive to check out this great new holiday shopping option, Best Buy is offering you a deal!  

9 Famously Haunted Items

You've heard of Haunted Houses.... Have you heard of Haunted Objects?

The Haunted Cane

In December 2004, the first "ghost" was sold on ebay.  A woman from Indiana placed for auction grandpa's cane because her son believed it was haunted with his ghost.  (Ebay doesn't allow auctions of intangible items, such as ghosts, however the woman was selling the physical cane that the ghost seemed to inhabit)  In case you're wondering, the cane sold for $65,000 to Golden Palace Casino, to be part of a traveling tour which already includes a Virgin Mary Grilled Cheese Sandwich.

Annabelle The Haunted Doll

Touted as one of the most unusual cases of a possessed object, Annabelle the doll was originally bought from an antique store and given to a young woman by her mother.  After a short time, the girl and her roommate started noticing strange things about the doll.  First they noticed small movements, which grew to bigger movements and eventually they found the doll changing rooms entirely!  About a month after receiving the doll, they started finding small messages, which looked to be penned by the hand of a child, and they all stated some variation of “help.”  Not only were they strange notes, but they were also found on parchment paper, which neither of the roommates kept in the house.  Then one night, the girl came home to find that the doll appeared to be covered in blood, and she sought the help of a spiritual medium.  The medium came in and confirmed that the doll was possessed by the spirit of a 7 year old girl named Annabelle.  After this, the doll was investigated by Ed and Lorraine Warren, who called a priest in and determined that the doll was not really possessed by a spirit, but instead by a demonic entity who was looking to acquire a human host.  The doll is currently locked up in the possession of the Warrens, on display in their small paranormal museum.

Screaming Skulls

The tales of screaming skulls seem to be most familiar to Britain, with many of the more famous stories originating there.  Some of the stories are enough to send chills up your spine!  One of my favorites is that of Burton Agnes Hall in East Yorkshire.  Anne was a young maiden who was fatally stabbed.  On her deathbed, she had her sisters promise that they would remove her head and keep it in the great hall of their manor.  The sisters ignored her plea, and upon the completion of the great hall, it was filled with strange moaning and odd sounds.  Finally, the sisters could take it no longer and they went out to the family vault and retrieved the skull, finally placing it in its desired resting place.  Sometime later, a servant who did not believe the story went so far as to throw the skull out onto a passing wagon, causing the horses to rear in fear, and all the pictures fell from the walls in the great hall.  Needless to say, it was returned and later bricked up in the wall to protect it and keep it in its rightful place.  If you would like to read more about screaming skulls, check out this great website.

Haunted Bunk Beds

Purchased at a second hand shop, these are not your everyday bunk beds.  Since the Tallman family found them and put them in their children’s bedroom, a slew of bad events started happening.  The children fell ill, the radios started taking on a life of their own and objects started moving around the house.  The doors around the house would bang open and shut, the family heard voices and the entire family was scared of the haunted happenings in the house.  The last straw was when a skeptic relative was staying over and saw something strange.  The family finally moved, destroyed the bunk beds and never looked back.  They have since been haunting free and the house remains spirit free to this day.

Robert the Doll

Once owned by painter Eugene Otto, the doll is allegedly cursed. Otto got the doll as a gift in 1906 from a servant who was supposedly skilled in black magic. Neighbors reported seeing the doll moving from window to window. Otto would scream at night and claim the doll turned over furniture. When he died in 1974, the doll fell into the hands of a 10-year-old girl who also screamed at night and claimed that the doll tried to kill her. Robert is now in the Fort East Martello Museum and Gardens in Key West, Fla., where guests can take a picture with him. A word of warning: you must ask nicely, or Robert will curse you.

The Dibbuk Box

The definition of a Dibbuk box is a wine cabinet which is haunted by a restless evil spirit called a Dibbuk.  It is mainly believed to be folklore, however there are some odd stories of Dibbuk boxes throughout time.  This one became famous after it was listed on ebay.  It had belonged to a woman who had recently passed, who had been a Jewish survivor from a concentration camp during WWII.  When she immigrated to the US, this dibbuk box was one of the only items that she brought with her.  She had warned her family to never open the box, that they would be harmed and she asked to be buried with the box.  This was against their religious belief, however, and the granddaughter ended up selling the dibbuk box to an antique dealer.  Once it was in his possession, strange things started happening in his shop.  The antique dealer did what any good chap would do, he gave the box to his mother.  Within a few days, she suffered a major stroke.  He then attempted to gift the box to others, but everyone always returned it, either because they did not like the box or they felt something evil coming from it.  It was sold on ebay, and presumably, the antique dealer finally had the peace he wanted.

 "The Anguished Man"

This painting is just plain creepy. It doesn’t really need a spooky story to have it send chills down your spine, but it does anyway.  The story that was told to the owner was that the artist who created the painting mixed his own blood in with the paint and that he killed himself shortly after completing it.  Voices and weeping sounds were abundant, along with shadowy figures roaming the house.  The current owner has taken some video to back up his claim, see if you believe it for yourself.

The Cursed "Chair of Death" Kills All Who Sit in It

In 1702, a convicted murderer named Thomas Busby was about to be hanged for his crimes. His last request was to have his final meal served at his favorite pub in Thirsk, England. He finished his meal, stood up, and said, "May sudden death come to anyone who dare sit in my chair."

The chair remained in the pub for centuries, with many a brave man daring one another to sit in it.  It could be coincidence, but during times of war it was noted that soldiers that sat in his chair did not return.  After a long string of deaths that were tied to people who had sat in the chair, the owner of the pub donated it to a local museum in 1972.  The museum has the chair on display hanging up on the wall so that no one is able to sit in it and suffer the same fate.

The Women from Lemb Statue

Nicknamed “The Goddess of Death,” The Women from Lemb is a statue carved from pure limestone that was discovered in 1878 in Lemb, Cypruss. The item dates back to 3500 B.C., and is believed to represent a goddess, similar to a fertility idol. The statue was first owned by Lord Elphont, and within six years of having the statue in his possession, all seven of the Elphont family members had died from mysterious causes.

Both of the next two owners, Ivor Manucci and Lord Thompson-Noel, also died along with their entire families just a few short years after taking the statue into their homes.

The fourth owner, Sir Alan Biverbrook, died as well, along with his wife and two of their daughters. Two of Biverbrook’s sons remained, and though they weren’t big believers in the occult, they were scared enough by the sudden and strange deaths of four of their family members that they decided to donate the statue to the Royal Scottish Museum in Edinburgh, where it remains today.

Shortly after the item was placed in the museum, the chief of the section where the statue dwelled suddenly died as well, though no museum curator will admit that the statue may have supernatural properties. No one has handled the statue since that first museum worker who passed away, and the item is safely under glass and protected from human hands.

8 Most Haunted Locations in the World

We thought it only fitting to include the most haunted locations in the world with this months topic.  Some of them have a more dramatic past than others, though almost every visitor reports experiencing some sort of phenomena.  Some of the ghosts have names and stories while others are just a mystery.  Whether or not you believe in ghosts, some of these stories will send shivers up your spine!

The Myrtles Plantation

This plantation began in 1796, built by General David Bradford, in St. Francisville, Louisiana.  Not all of the history of the house is agreed upon, as some historians believe that up to 10 murders happened here, however only one murder has been officially confirmed.  One thing that is known, is that strange things happen here.  Some of the reports that have come in from the plantation are of children playing on the veranda, footsteps on the stairway, the piano plays by itself and random ghosts of slaves show up looking for work.   If you'd like to experience it for yourself, you're in luck.  It's now a bed and breakfast!  

"It was a spectacular place to stay, if you keep an open mind. While taking the guided tour, I saw what looked like a heavyset African-American woman wearing an apron walk by the door, on the porch. Thinking it was a worker in period dress, I peeked out and no one was there. We stayed in the children's bedroom, and my best-friend (who was a non-believer at the time) experienced quite a bit of paranormal phenomena. She was held down in the bed and constantly poked all night. She was unable to move or cry out for help. She didn't think the stay was as great as I did. They let you ghost hunt on the grounds whenever you like, but you can't ghost hunt in the main house without an escort. I suggest setting up a video camera in your room and bring a tape recorder to obtain EVP."  ~Stacey Jones, Central New York Ghost Hunters (found on

Here's some of the spookier pictures that turned up on a search:

Look in the Mirror:

Image from

Here's Chloe:

Chloe herself has an interesting story- She was a governess who accidentally killed off part of the family she cared for and then was hung for her misdeeds.  

If you want to know more, this is a great resource on the Myrtle Plantation.

Borley Rectory

The derelict building in the photo above is not a place to enter lightly. Though the small village of Borley, near Sudbury, UK, is not the sort of place one would associate with ghosts, it has a dreadful reputation because it was the site of the infamous Borley Rectory, reputedly the ‘Most Haunted House in England’.

Built in 1863 for the Reverend Henry Bull, it sits on the site of an ancient monastery. The ghost of a mournful nun who patrolled the so-called 'Nun's Walk' had often been seen there. An old story claimed that she had fallen in love with a monk from the Borley Monastery – to much outrage – and the two had tried to elope together but had been quickly tracked down. The monk was executed and the nun bricked up in the cellars of the monastic buildings!

Stanley Hotel

There are countless tales of ghosts from all over the world, but some are more skin-crawling than most. Many of us remember the superb horror film The Shining, based on the novel by Stephen King. The book was inspired by a stay at the Stanley in Estes Park, Colorado. Assigned Room 217, King reportedly heard ghost children playing in the hallway. Many have experienced paranormal activity here, but these real-life ghosts seem harmless. Many spirits are said to haunt the place, while guests and employees claim to have heard faint music coming from the ballroom and seen the piano keys moving.

Woodchester Mansion

Woodchester Mansion in Gloucestershire, England, is another building with a ghostly reputation. Building work has never been completed here, and in the last 200 years workers have repeatedly run from the place and seven builders are rumoured to have died in inexplicable accidents.

The Skirrid Inn

One of the most notorious haunted sites in England is the Skirrid Mountain Inn in Llanfihangel Crucorney, Wales. According to folklore, in its 900-year history over 180 people have been hanged from a beam on the staircase, which is still in place today, with rope marks, apparently. The first floor of the inn is thought to have been a courtroom in the past.

Glasses often suddenly fly across the room of their own accord, faces are seen at windows and people feel nooses around their necks. Guests who stay there often report waking to icy room temperatures – even when the heating is on – and the feeling of being watched. 17th-century barmaid Fanny Price is thought to be the most active spirit among many, but everyone agrees that this really is one scary place to stay.

Rose Hall

You might not think that Jamaica would be the site of an infamous haunted house, but Rose Hall in Montego Bay is exactly that. This huge house is inhabited by the ghost of voodoo priestess's daughter, Annie Palmer, who reportedly causes bloodstains to appear and disappear randomly. She was murdered in her bed after an 11-year reign of death, torture and nymphomania.

Annie murdered three husbands and a succession of slave lovers by poisoning, strangulation and witchcraft, before forcing other slaves to carry bodies through a tunnel to be buried on a beach. According to legend, it is not just the tormented Annie who roams the house, but also ghosts of the slave babies she sacrificed in rituals. Reports have it that her male victims have actually been not only heard but also captured on camera. Not a pleasant place to spend the night.

Bell Farm

The Bell Farm haunting is recognized throughout the paranormal community as the only known account of a ghost that caused the death of a living person. During the years of 1817 and 1821 a woman entity terrorized the Bell family. She became known as the Bell Witch or 'Kate'. She had tortured John Bell so much that it led to his death. He did suffer from a nervous system disorder, and Kate’s antics made his condition worse.

Beside John’s deathbed was found a vial of black liquid. When paranormal experts asked Kate what it was, she claimed she gave it to him. It was thought that the liquid Kate gave to John is what killed him. To test the validity of the liquid, they placed a drop of it on the family cat’s tongue which immediately killed it. Current residents near the Bell Farm believe Kate is still up to no good.

Edinburgh Castle

Edinburgh Castle is reputed to be one of the most haunted spots in Scotland. And Edinburgh itself has been called the most haunted city in all of Europe. On various occasions, visitors to the castle have reported a phantom piper, a headless drummer, the spirits of French prisoners from the Seven Years War, colonial prisoners from the American Revolutionary War – and even the ghost of a dog wandering in the grounds' dog cemetery.

Buy Your Own Piece of the Unexplained

Are you interested in having something haunted in your house without having your whole house be haunted?

Would you like to be terrorized by creepy dolls and watched by haunted paintings? 

If so, perhaps you would like to seek out your own piece of the Unexplained to have in your home!

You could go searching on Ebay, but we doubt you'll have much luck finding a real ghost.  They have loads of buying guides and rules in place about what you can sell and what you can't.  Apparently ghosts are an intangible object.

Your first stop should definitely be getting your own haunted doll.  Check estate sales first, as they seem to congregate there.  If not, here's a website where you can buy your own haunted doll.  History is noted with the doll!

If that doesn't work, there are a few small shops, like this one- Decroixs Haunted Barn, that features what items they have found that they have for sale.

No haunted shopping trip is complete without a trip to the International Metaphysical Marketplace, where not only can you buy haunted items, but spirits and protections as well!

Too chicken to try buying a haunted item?  Then why not check out books that you can read to have the experience without actually owning one!

*We here at Atmospheric Noise are all about having fun- none of this is an implication that the above items are actually real or that we think it's a wise idea to buy from these locations.  We just think it's fun to share!*

5 Weird Alien Encounters

Throughout history, there have always been accounts of encounters with alien life.  Some manifest in the guise of abductions, others are UFO sightings and then of course there is the crop circle phenomenon.  Today, enjoy a selection of some our favorite extraterrestrial encounters!


First up is the case that everyone knows about- Roswell, New Mexico.  This has always been such a great case, if only for the sheer number of alien hunters on the case, as well as the vast number of conspiracy theorists who have also tackled this interesting case as their own.  In 1947, the US military allegedly recovered the remains of an extraterrestrial spacecraft which has crash landed, and then a mass cover-up was executed.  It all started with an explosion late one night, followed by numerous findings of unusual debris scattered around the surrounding area the next day.  The debris had strange qualities, with some parts being noted as having a “water-like” quality, where they wouldn't stay in a solid form. 

The military stated that it was a weather balloon, and then quickly started quieting the locals.  Nurses at the local hospital reported that the military had cordoned off a section of the building, and nurses who were permitted to enter the cordoned off area reported that they saw “little men” who were being examined, and even one small humanoid figure that was up walking around.  Another interesting note is that the nurses who were allowed to work in this area reported being sick for a long time following their incident.   Of the military personnel who have reported claims, most of them report having seen a strange metallic craft that appeared to be embedded in the hillside, along with several of the strange humanoid bodies around the crash site. 

Since the event at Roswell, there have been numerous people who have come out with their stories involving Roswell.  One such story is told by supposed Army Colonel, about the strange technology that he was privy to in years following the incident.  If you’d like to read more about the “Day after Roswell”, go here.  There is also, of course, the famous video of the Alien Autopsy that supposedly followed the Roswell crash.  Lucky for us, it's still preserved on the internet, even though it is believed pretty widespread that the video is a hoax.

The Sunken Ship in the Baltic Sea

Discovered on June 19th, 2011, this strange anomoly in the sea still doesn't have much of a proper explanation.  It was discovered when a Swedish based diving company was exploring the Baltic Sea looking for sunken treasures.  A strange image appeared on their sonar and something caused major interference with their instruments.  It appears to resemble the millenium falcon (think star wars) and it appears to have a crash landing track in the sea bed.  More study is needed to fully identify the object.

UFO over the Mojave Desert

September 9, 1985, an aviation pilot was out for a flight when he saw a strange cigar shaped object in the sky.    He snapped a picture of this object, of which no one has been able to devise an explanation for, even today.

UFO over Holloman Base

This cigar shaped ship was photographed in 1964, by a government employee over the Holloman Air Development center in New Mexico.  Either this is an alien ship or some experimental army drone, but I'm leaning toward the former.  Conspiracy theorists agree, stating this as a case that the government has been in contact with aliens for much longer than we thing.  (Perhaps we're still negotiating the release of hostages from the Roswell incident?)

Alien Encounter in Brazil

This is a video grab from footage taken in Manaus, Brazil.  The description of the footage claims that he is just hanging out in the jungle of brazil, just feet away from a flashing blue light.  Could this jungle have been his rest stop on a longer voyage?  Was he merely stretching his legs?  The world will never know.

Innotab Giveaway!!!!

Are you getting ready for Christmas??  I know I am!  I've been finding all these great Giveaways that are just in time for the holidays- why not win some gifts and avoid extra expense??!?!

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InnoTab 3S connects kids to their parents and friends anywhere (available with Wi-Fi connection). With VTech Kid Connect Basic (included) you can wirelessly exchange text and fun stickers between the InnoTab 3S and smart phones. Kids can also connect with friends and siblings safely with tablet-to-tablet communication between two InnoTab 3S tablets no matter where they are- anytime, anywhere.
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Disclosure: This blog is not responsible for the shipment of the prize. This giveaway is not at all endorsed or sponsored by Facebook, Twitter and/or Vtech. This is a self sponsored giveaway brought to you by Empowered Mommy and friends. Once the giveaway is over, the winner will be announced via and will be contacted by Empowered Mommy via. For questions, please email Empowered Mommy. 

Sasquatch- Elusive or Just Plain Fake?

I am not a Sasquatch expert.  Not in any way shape or form.  I just happen to find the sasquatch interesting.  I find it interesting because over the years, there have not just been one or two localized sightings of sasquatch, but literally thousands across the United States.  It is hard to believe that it is merely a trick of collective consciousness when there are just so many sightings.  It is also hard to believe that people make careers out of hunting bigfoot.

Then, you could also theorize that with so many sightings, we really should have better physical evidence of the creatures themselves.  We know that if they live across the US, they have to have multiple home territories, much like us.  This would also indicate that their population should be higher and there should at least be some evidence of their dead.  (Provided that they aren't also super intelligent and haven't been using our burial grounds as well, literally placing their bones right under our noses.  Or, alternatively, they could use or burn their bones)  Seriously, though, we should have better pictures than this...

or even this:

And while we have extremely talented people making awesome graphs, like the one below, no one seems to be able to appropriately compile and decipher the data.  The maker of this chart indicates that there should be more sightings the higher the population in the area- but I disagree.  If the sasquatch is as elusive as he has proven (and not just a mythological creature), they would be smart enough to stay away from the densely populated areas and keep to himself where there aren't many other humans.

No matter what you believe, I think you'll find the Sasquatch to be an interesting story to consider.  Could this be a primitive ape man that once or still existed?  If he does exist, I think he is most certainly smarter than we give him credit for, if only for being able to evade the rest of the human populace for so long!

The Ouija Board: The Automatism Theory and Beyond

ouija board theories

The history of the Ouija board is something that has always been shrouded in mystery. Some people speculate that the board came from Egyptian times and others think that the history is Chinese. There are also some scientists that speculate that the ancient Greeks use divination tools similar to today's Ouija boards.

The Ouija board is a simple board with an alphabet numerical symbols, a movable planchette and is used to communicate with spirits. The etymology of the term Ouija is ambiguous, but it is surmised that the word Ouija is a combination of two words "oui" and "ja", the first being the French translation of yes and the second being a German translation which also means yes. Thus the term Ouija actually means "yes, yes" which is meant to be an invitation for spirits to communicate.

Vintage Ouija Board

There are number theories pertaining to how Ouija boards work, the most popular being that Ouija boards work as a form of automatism (this being the belief of the skeptic), and the other belief being that the Ouija board is working because an actual spirit is communicating with us. Automatism is believed to be an involuntary act where a person behaves in a certain way without being consciously aware of the behavior. It is believed that they affect the planchette with their hands because of their subconscious mind. When two or more people are using the Ouija board, it is believed that the board is active on the a collective automatism. While collective automatism may account for some successful Ouija board sessions, it is more likely that collective automatism can explain unsuccessful Ouija board sessions even better. If two or more individuals are using the board, each individual has a subconscious that is affecting their body in ways that the consciousness is it unaware of. This being the case, it is possible that two or more individuals will witness a clash of subconscious efforts which makes sessions where weird spellings are incoherent gibberish or nonsensical messages are the result.

For every skeptic who believes in the ideamotor concept, there seems to be another person who believes fully in the power of the Ouija.  Most of those who believe stand by the idea that spirits that you can contact through the Ouija board come from the "lower astral plane," and are often confused or violent.  They tout the importance of never asking a spirit to come into the physical plane, nor count numbers or the letters backward on the Ouija board.  Most of these types of people simply say "stay away" as a way of staying safe when it comes to a Ouija Board.

Either way you believe, Ouija boards have a certain place in our history, our folklore and our legend.  They've evolved through history (though not by much, and if you don't believe me, check out this gallery of vintage Ouija boards throughout history)

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