Monday, December 31, 2012

The Haunted Maze of The Winchester House!

There is a very real story of a very real house that many believe was actually responsible for stealing a woman’s mind. Her name was Sarah Lockwood Pardee, a young, vibrant East Coast girl who many would call a member of the “upper crust” of society. She had not a care in the world as she enjoyed her youth in Connecticut, and was eager to live a fabulous life.

Falling in love with a highly intelligent man, Sarah became the wife of William Wirt Winchester, who was famous for being the creator and owner of the Winchester Repeating Arms Company. Guns and weaponry were his focus, a focus that would one day cost a woman her sanity.

Sarah Winchester was a young mother and a good wife, yet the curse of the ghostly spirits who had been killed and tortured at the end of a Winchester rifle began to slowly take their revenge. After the sudden death of her child, Annie (who survived only a few weeks after her birth), and the loss of her husband to tuberculosis, Sarah began to see the bloody path that lay in front of her.

Seeking out a psychic for help, Sarah was allegedly told that the curse of the Winchester family would continue. This “odd” medium—whose name is still unknown to history—told Sarah she would need to find a house where the spirits of the “victims” could reside. But if construction on the house ever stopped, Sarah would be taken by the ghosts and sent straight to the depths of Hades where she would pay for all eternity.

Sarah’s mind was slowly falling into a rotted state of confusion. In 1884, she traveled to California and purchased an eight-room farmhouse that was already under construction. Located in San Jose, Sarah enclosed herself within the walls of what would become her inner sanctum, and began to listen to the ghosts and goblins that followed her there. The largest construction project ever to be taken on began, as Sarah used her incredible $20 million fortune to continue the round-the-clock building, trying to calm the monsters that were calling out to her morning, noon, and night.

The Winchester Mystery House is an authentic realm that defies explanation. In the very depths of the monstrosity is a séance room, a room where the ghostly talks and visits would occur on a nightly basis. At midnight, every night of Sarah Winchester’s life, the bell in the clock tower of her mansion would ring out (although no one was ever at the very top to make this happen manually.)

But when the bell struck midnight, Sarah would make her way through the maze of rooms, staircases, and hallways to sit at the small table with one chair as she spoke, listening and begging the spirits to forgive her for what happened to them. Across the hallway from the séance room was the grand ballroom—one of the most beautiful and expensive rooms ever created.

Through this door, as she looked up from her table, it was said that Sarah saw the spirits walk past, sneering and screaming, demanding that she do more for them. Music could be heard coming from the antique organ in the ballroom, as the chandelier (with thirteen candles) hanging from above highlighted the bright, transparent orbs that always seemed to float in the air. According to Sarah (and the many tourists who have viewed the orbs on their cameras and cell phones) inside each one of these orbs is a spirit, a ghost that will stay in the house forever in order to make sure Sarah continues to pay for her family’s mistakes.

No one knows where Sarah’s other obsession came from. Perhaps it was the spirits themselves who spoke to Sarah about the power that the number thirteen carried. Whether it came from the “other side” or simply ingrained in Sarah from the talks she had with the medium, she was absolutely fascinated with the number thirteen. The diagrams and architectural plans Sarah would draw while sitting at the séance table every night, always included that powerful numeral. As she created the next room, the next window, or the next staircase in her mind, Sarah made sure that each new building project was somehow an ‘ode to thirteen.’ The house has thirteen bathrooms, thirteen bedrooms, and thirteen hooks in the closets, windows that have thirteen panes of glass, thirteen chandeliers, thirteen drains in the sink, as well as thirteen steps in as many staircases as she could build.

There is a creation in the Winchester House, however, that is barely spoken about: a stained-glass window that is one of the most powerful and haunting creations a person could ever lay their eyes on. Twilight turns to daylight in this magical scene created in a myriad of colors that, unexplainably, makes one’s own mind begin to spin.

Many tourists will simply stare into the window and think about the past, wondering what Sarah Winchester was pondering when it was created. In this window there are thirteen orbs, orbs that seem to represent the celestial bodies in the sky. Here perhaps, is a “shout out” to the original thirteen signs that once made up the horoscope charts, before the Pope threw out the 13th sign as being pure and utter evil.

In 1906, the San Francisco Earthquake hit and trapped Sarah in her bedroom: the 13th bedroom in the house. When she was finally pulled out of the ruins and rose from the ashes of her monstrous home, she told the construction crews to stop working on the nearly completed front part of the house. Immediately it was boarded up. According to legend, Sarah believed that the sprits were angry with her for working on the front rooms and not the ones they wanted to live in that were located in the interior of the Winchester Mansion.

But as with all ghostly tales, Sarah’s finally came to an end. In 1922, the hammers stopped pounding and the rooms were left unfinished, as the construction workers—after thirty-eight years—finally called it a day. Sarah Winchester passed away in her bed, leaving a will that was written in thirteen sections, which she signed thirteen times. The belongings were auctioned and the house was sold to the highest bidder, who then turned it into a place that would be forever known as the “House That Fear Built.”

There are many legends, such as a visit from the President that went awry, as well as a tour taken by Harry Houdini in his heyday, and many fictional accounts of the mighty Winchester Mansion. Included in these fictional tales is a lesser-known story regarding a treasure that is buried inside The Winchester House…

It is told that one night while Sarah Winchester lay in her bed sleeping, yet another predator entered the infamous home. This man was very real: the self-proclaimed Devil, Aleister Crowley. Crowley walked the halls of the Winchester Mansion on his own mission to hide two very specific orbs, orbs that played a part in the 13th sign that Sarah Winchester was so intrigued with. Here, in a staircase that was built directly across the hallway from that mind-bending stained-glass window, Crowley buried his ‘package’ in the 13th stairs Sarah Winchester still in that house?
Is she still trapped in the world that she simply could not depart from during life? There are many such sightings inside the Winchester Mystery House every year. Orbs that simply hang in the air and are caught on camera, as well as sightings of a small woman dressed in white vintage clothing sleeping on Sarah Winchester’s bed. Perhaps the spirits allowed her to become a part of their group. Perhaps Sarah is simply tied to that house because of all that happened to her inside of it for so many years, an albatross around her neck that she simply can’t rid herself of. The final sighting that many visitors have documented is within the small séance room. This is the room where a purely cold, frightening feeling comes over people…perhaps because this was the room where the evil magic happened—where a poor woman was drained of her sanity.

For believers, thrill-seekers, and historians, this 160-room Victorian mansion seems to hold many unexplained feelings, sightings, and emotions. Over time, the Winchester House has proven to all naysayers that the “other side” really exists.

Perhaps Sarah Winchester truly created a gate between Heaven and Hell!

To see more…Follow the Tallent & Lowery Adventures with 13!

Happy New Year!


Friday, December 21, 2012

Ottilie Weber: Glided Wings ~ Amy Lignor

Ottilie Weber: Glided Wings ~ Amy Lignor: Hey Lovelies! Today I am a day of the Glided Wings (book 2) Book Tour! Which is a delight because I did a review of the first book in March...

The Angel Chronicles by Amy Lignor: Gilded Wings blog tour stops - December 21

The Angel Chronicles by Amy Lignor: Gilded Wings blog tour stops - December 21: Day #39 of the Gilded Wings blog tour continues thanks to: Ottilie at Ottilie Weber (Stop #71) Continuing Read-Along Excerpt: Anya is...

Tallent And Lowery Adventures: The One Cold Case That Will Never be Solved! The '...

Tallent And Lowery Adventures: The One Cold Case That Will Never be Solved! The '...: In the late 1880’s, there appeared a monster who no one could seem to find. No matter how intense the search, local law enforcement, as we...

The One Cold Case That Will Never be Solved! The 'Ripper' & 13!

In the late 1880’s, there appeared a monster who no one could seem to find. No matter how intense the search, local law enforcement, as well as Scotland Yard, kept coming up empty... 

Brutal killings began to take place one right after the other, as prostitutes were found dead in the small section of London called, Whitechapel. In the back alleys, they had been carved up cleanly and precisely, as if a professional had performed surgery under the cover of night. The clues were simply not adding up, and the panic and fear that ran through Whitechapel was immense…as everyone wondered where exactly ‘Jack The Ripper’ would strike next. 

As the case went on and the murders kept adding up, the police became more and more stumped. Scotland Yard had no idea who the man was - focusing their investigation mainly on butchers in the area because they had the background of being able to “carve” flesh. The police explored every lead until the river of evidence simply ran dry. Then, out of nowhere, Mary Jane Kelly took over the front page of every newspaper across the globe.

This was the woman who would go down in history as being the very last victim of Jack the Ripper; she was his official swansong, leaving his most gruesome kill for his final curtain call. To this day Mary Jane Kelly’s figure - lying on the bed inside the small apartment located at 13 Miller’s Court - remains the bloodiest crime scene ever photographed. Not to mention, the one scene left behind by the only serial killer in history who was never identified.

The story of Mary Jane Kelly was far different than The Ripper’s other victims. From 1888 to 1891, some say The Ripper was responsible for six slayings – others say eleven – but nobody will ever really know.  All the women he preyed upon were poor, homeless and, in most cases, had no family or friends to speak of, but Mary Jane Kelly did not fit that mold.

With her auburn hair and sparkling blue eyes, Mary Jane was seen as extraordinarily beautiful, and came from the “upper-crust” of British society. She was smart as a whip, and even though her situation involved getting “orphaned and shunned” by her well-to-do family, Mary Jane still looked at life as though there was a stellar future out there for her, once she got through the “low-point” she’d found herself stuck in. 

Up until Mary Jane’s discovery, Jack The Ripper had always killed in back alleys at night. But the corner building located at 13 Miller’s Court was quite a busy place back in the day…and every evening.  The one-room house had two fairly large windows that faced on to the street, and the seedy bars as well as the girls waiting to give their ‘all’ for money, flooded the street in front of the building at all hours.

After the body of  Mary Jane was found, The Ripper simply disappeared - just like that. People say that Miss Kelly was The Ripper’s true statement, and that he saved the most gruesome for last. Jack’s kills were certainly horrible, but Mary Jane was a downright massacre. Law enforcement reported (and a very famous picture exists) that the interior of 13 Miller’s Court looked like gallons of blood had been used to paint the walls. The Ripper didn’t just kill her - he butchered her. Before Mary Jane the other victims had been dissected - their bodies were left ‘in a fairly clean and orderly state’ - like a surgeon had simply opened them up to study their organs. But with Mary, Jack didn’t want just her body and blood, he was quite literally digging for her soul.

A man by the name of Barnett came forward after the body had been found; a man who had been living on and off with Mary Jane at the time of her murder. It seems he’d gotten upset that she always let her friends live with them and not pay any rent, so Barnett had left about a week before Mary Jane was found dead. The other women who had been friends with Mary - most notably, a prostitute by the name of  Mary Cox - said she’d seen Miss Kelly at her home around midnight, and that she was singing while standing at the open door. There were lights in the big window, even though a large sheet had been hung up for privacy.

Although Mary’s singing was heard by others, a scream was not. A man named Hutchinson said he saw her around two a.m. and told the constable that she’d asked him for a loan, but he was flat broke. He testified that when he was leaving, a very elegant man came walking down the street dressed all in black. He had on a top hat and gloves, like he’d just come from the opera, and was calmly strolling the sidewalk carrying a polished cane in one hand and a black leather bag in the other.

Hutchinson also told the police that Mary Jane led this man into 13 Miller’s Court where they stood talking for a time with the door wide open. Miss Kelly was upset about losing her handkerchief, and he said that the mystery man pulled a bright red one from his pocket and gave it to her. Although Hutchinson saw an amicable meeting, as the door closed behind Mary, the elegant man apparently transformed into the monster all the world was talking about.

During the investigation, a woman came forward who lived down the street from Mary Jane and said that around four a.m. she heard someone scream, Murder!  But no one else heard a thing…not one.

After that, the hideous Ripper simply disappeared into the night. Some say his master called him back to Hell, as Mary Jane Kelly became the largest unsolved mystery in the history of the world. 

As conclusions have been made over time, many stories have arisen about who ‘The Ripper’ actually was. Not only does the legend increase with every telling, but there are now ‘puzzles’ being put together that link Jack The Ripper with yet another dark and monstrous being. There are some who say that in the early 1900’s the self-proclaimed Devil, Aleister Crowley, had found a way to hide a true treasure under the floor that ‘The Ripper’ once walked across. Although Mary Kelley's walls at 13 Miller’s Court had been torn down, another building was put up in its place. The location is still shrouded in mystery - knowing that this ‘ground’ was where the most notorious serial killer of all time had given his final performance.

Did ‘The Ripper’ leave something behind that would lead to solving the biggest question that all of humanity is still debating?  Or, did Aleister Crowley find a way to speak to his and ‘The Ripper’s’ followers from beyond the grave?

No matter what may be discovered or investigated in the future, which will happen considering ‘The Ripper’ will always carry the mystique that others will never attain, the death of Mary Jane Kelly will remain the most heinous crime in history. After all, the legend of ‘Jack The Ripper’ is the Cold Case of monumental proportions.

To find out what exactly what was discovered at the location of ‘Jack The Ripper’s’ final kill, read 13.

Until Next Time, Everybody,

Monday, December 10, 2012

And the Winner is....

Gale Nelson is the winner of our first giveaway! Gale, if you can send your email address to I can get all the info over to you about the free copy of 13!!

I hope you enjoy it!!

Happy Holidays,

Friday, December 7, 2012

Tallent And Lowery Adventures: New Release - 13! Is There a Treasure Buried Under...

Tallent And Lowery Adventures: New Release - 13! Is There a Treasure Buried Under...: There is a place – a very special place – located in Glastonbury, a small town in Somerset, England. A place that comes up in many convers...

New Release - 13! Is There a Treasure Buried Under Glastonbury Tor?

There is a place – a very special place – located in Glastonbury, a small town in Somerset, England. A place that comes up in many conversations, books and movies. This is not a surprise. After all, the myths and legends that have always surrounded this small community are numerous and well-known.
For Christians, it is believed that Glastonbury is where Joseph of Arimathea came with his men (the group numbering 13) to hide the Holy Grail, thrust his staff into Wearyall Hill, and produced the Glastonbury Thorn – the original thorn tree. It is also believed by many that King Arthur and his knights (the group numbering 13) entered the legendary island of Avalon through a ‘door’ in Glastonbury. In fact, in 1191 monks at the abbey claimed to have found the graves of Arthur and Guinevere to the south of the Lady Chapel of the Abbey Church. It has also been suggested that St. Michael’s Church – the remains of which still stand atop Glastonbury Tor – was the location where Michael and his angel brethren (another group of 13) entered the world to save, fight, defend, or bring law to the people of this earth.
There are colored lights seen (and photographed) in the sky over Glastonbury; and there are odd sounds and images that have been seen (and recorded) of ghostly figures that seem to inhabit the small town.
It was in 1935 however, when a landscape zodiac was first discovered. The ‘signs’ having been formed by natural features such as roads, streams and field boundaries that were situated around Glastonbury. This ancient zodiac was supposedly a perfect match to the stars above – a perfect match of 13 signs. Capricorn’s “eye” was a haystack; the wing of the Aquarius phoenix was a road laid in 1782; the sign of Cancer was a network of 18th century drainage ditches and paths. Many features ‘supposedly’ came together to show an ancient zodiac that leads people to the roofless, St. Michael’s Tower that sits atop the mysterious, Glastonbury Tor.
As everyone knows – fiction is fiction. BUT in every piece of fiction there is an undeniable fact that the fiction was built upon. In a remarkable new book that has just been released, this subject has been taken one step further. Perhaps there are facts embedded in the Arthurian legend, the legend of the Holy Grail, and the zodiac signs that could very well be put together to lead to a treasure that no one has even thought of yet.
Like The DaVinci Code, 13 (which is the first book in a brand new adventure series called, Tallent & Lowery), utilizes some very real facts that have been placed side-by-side in order to form a puzzle that has readers running to their computers in order to look up each and every detail.
Debates are already beginning over some of the very real characters and locations that this author has been able to piece together. From the mysteries that are inside the Winchester House in San Jose, California – to the ‘bloody’ streets of Whitechapel, readers are already discussing who The Ripper really was, and why a woman truly thought that there were ghosts living in her house that she had to listen to – all the while being completely obsessed over the number 13.
The author also dove into the world of Aleister Crowley. Some see this man as a true visionary who brought the world different ideas and concepts – a pioneer, in fact, where the subjects of religion and science are concerned. Whereas others believe him to be exactly what he proclaimed himself to be – the Devil, personified.
Aleister Crowley, Jack the Ripper, Sarah Winchester, Andrew Carnegie, Rudolf Steiner – what could all these people from such completely different locations have to do with any myth or legend that may reside in the small town of Glastonbury? Well…in order to know the answer to that, one must begin the adventure.
This is a novel that reviewers are calling one of the best puzzles to ever be written, and the upside for all readers out there is that 13 is only the first of seven that are about to be told. Already, people are debating on who should play the characters of Leah Tallent & Gareth Lowery – forty-something’s or the late-twenty-something’s that Hollywood has to offer.
But setting aside all the glitz of Hollywood, it is the historical information and the weaving of people and places into a very real mystery that is truly fascinating. And each and every piece of the puzzle is in direct relation to the 13th sign, and the reason why the zodiac was altered so long ago.
It’s no surprise that this book begins inside the New York Public Library – one of the most amazing institutions that houses some of the most fascinating history ever written. And to be able to head from there into a haunted house, walk down a famous street, explore a home on the shores of Loch Ness where some truly mystical events once occurred, is a fantastic experience. Finding clues in the brilliant poetry of Poe and Yeats have readers rushing to embark on this amazing treasure hunt.
What is buried in Glastonbury and simply waiting to be uncovered? Tallent & Lowery will show you. This work of fiction that was built upon facts buried in the past is a truly brilliant adventure.
Let the debates begin…
StAug News

Saturday, December 1, 2012

QueenWriter News: Come Meet Author Amy Lignor

QueenWriter News: Come Meet Author Amy Lignor: I am pleased to showcase author Amy Lignor. Her newest release, "13," is released today, December 1, 2012. Help me celebrate with her on th...

13 - The Ultimate in Suspense & Adventure is Here!

Today, is the day when Leah Tallent & Gareth Lowery enter a puzzle that will truly amaze you. From the Winchester House in California to the streets where the Ripper once walked to Glastonbury and the legends that come to life - readers will be enthralled by this series!

RT has already given '13' a glowing review, and bestselling authors have weighed in on the fact that this is one novel that is "The Da Vinci Code with Heart!"

Join this blog today and automatically be entered into a '13 Giveaway' where one lucky someone will win an electronic version of this incredibly amazing novel!