Monday, October 9, 2017

Once-in-a-deathtime opportunity: Sleep in a coffin in Dracula's hometown!

A vampire festival in Transylvania invites you to sleep in a coffin in Dracula’s hometown: June 7-10, 2018.

Ever feel the beating heart of the Transylvanian mountains? In a Transylvania town called Sighisoara, where the medieval towers and stony lanes are fabled to lure vampires, now there's something even more bloody palatable to experience. The vampire film and art festival called Vampfest will breach the ancient walled citadel of Transylvania’s most notorious ruler, Vlad Ţepeş, better known as Vlad the Impaler.

Spend a night in vampire hell

This means YOU can go and sleep just like the undead! Spend the night in a luxury coffin, in an otherwise deserted medieval catacomb under the hilltop town just like Dracula from Bram Stoker’s novel. According to Festival Organizer Craig Hooper, sleeping in a coffin beneath the citadel guarantees quite a scary experience. “This town is so old you can feel the history seeping from the stones around you, not least the history around it’s most famous and most bloodthirsty son, Vlad Dracula, and the vampire myth that has existed in this part of the world for centuries," he said.

“The coffins will be comfortable but I think you’ve got to be brave – or at least make sure your imagination doesn’t run away with you in those dark hours – otherwise you won’t sleep at all,” Hooper said.

For those too spooked (or sane) to snooze in a coffin, the festival offers other exclusive rewards, including an after-dark ‘Banquet of Blood’ inside of Dracula’s castle at Bran. From South Wales, Craig and colleague Peter Phillips have been running Vampfest in Transylvania since 2016. According to their press release, this year's festival will be bigger, better and bloodier than ever before. They’re looking to raise £10,000 to make the already well-established festival into the most talked-about horror event of the year.

The four-day festival will include screenings of original and classic vampire films, trips to Dracula’s fortresses, live bands and lots of vampire-themed parties. It also hosts the Vampire Academic Conference, run by US university Seton Hill, where the keynote speaker will be bestselling Buffy The Vampire Slayer author Christopher Golden.

Other special guests include Bram Stoker’s direct descendant Dacre Stoker and the Buffy The Vampire Slayer actress who plays Drusilla, Juliet Landau. For more information about the festival Kelly Gumbley or or Aimee Thomas: See also

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Circle the trash-filled shopping carts. It's an attack on homelessness!

This man accepts cash donations but never uses the
money to care for his leg.
DISCLAIMER: This article only addresses the lowest segment of homeless society. Many hard working people, with great ambition, end up being broke, tired and worn-out. Good people become homeless for many different reasons. There's no sin in not being able to afford a home - except as it relates to a society that charges too much for rent and doesn't pay its workers enough so they can truly live independently.

I know there are MANY reasons why a person becomes homeless and there are many programs in place to get folks off the streets. This opinion article is about folks who CHOOSE the lifestyle when it leaches off others (not about folks with mental health issues).

by Tami Jackson
If mothers ran the country, there would be no homelessness problem. If that admission knocks your toupee loose, then get ready for more bald truths ahead. Good moms not only nurture their offspring but they discipline those who need it, when they need it, sometimes distributing *lessons* against that child's will. Mom's make really tough decisions to produce a better life outcome for all.

With the "mom" model in mind, our government should stop 
operating from a short-sighted "give the brat candy to shut it up" agenda. Presently, our city, state and national leaders continuously tax the well-behaved to create more dependency in the least inspired, then scratch their glabrous heads over why freeloaders keep failing to launch.     

Bureaucracy is why a man I call Agony plants himself at 72nd and Hosmer, in Tacoma, WA, to show off his enormous bio-hazard leg-wound. He refuses to accept existing assistance programs in preference for soliciting cash from ignorant donors, who never notice that he fails to use their offerings to treat his lesions. Yet there he sits, every day, giving more drivers traumatophobia. Like a stray dog that won’t leave a house that feeds it, Agony won't stop begging. Yet he doesn't need cash. He really needs medical intervention before he dies from self-neglect.

According to the City's website, Tacoma invested $10.9 million these past two years on homelessness service contracts. That's not counting all the homeless benefits provided by the county, state, and non-profits. Yet the mentally retarded, brain damaged and/or insane are still living on our streets along with Agony. Visit any local tent city to see all the same people still hanging out.

How many mentally ill could we have checked into hospitals for $10.9 million? Our culture's value of "free will" is one reason that homelessness seems like a problem that's so difficult to solve. "Free will" is why we allow those (who are mentally incapable of making wise decisions) to sleep outside in extreme heat or cold that can kill them.
Homelessness is also a problem because Americans deeply value human life. If not, we could decorate a barge with Christmas lights and promise "free drugs" to anyone who's exhausted community emergency funds (by being resuscitated from drug overdose more than twice). Once everybody onboard is high, we could ship that barge out to sea and sink it along with a note to God. "You sent us these defective people. We are sending them back."

While I admit that would be unconscionable, because we humanely put suffering animals to sleep but force people to live in their misery for eons, I half-wonder why our President of privilege, Donald Trump, hasn't realized how financially advantageous it would be to swap the identities between hard working illegal immigrants with able-bodied Americans who just don't want to work. We could then deport the lazy people and adopt the hard-working to dramatically improve our country's economy.

From psychology, we learn that contributing to a larger community makes people feel happy. A good mom knows when we give the homeless free clothes, they simply throw away whatever they've worn since the laundromat requires coins. Donating socks is also stupid when folks use them for toilet paper, thanks to T.P. costing money. To prevent such waste, a good mom would make recipients do chores like pull weeds or collect trash to earn their meals, clothes, and methadone.

For anyone who thinks it's inhumane to ask the homeless to work for the soup they consume, just talk to higher achievers who barely eke out a living. They must perform chores they loathe and nobody thinks it's inhumane when they must give up their personal freedoms to accumulate food and/or housing - then get taxed on everything they earn.

My brain says “I have to work and pay taxes, dammit. Homeless people should have to work for their sustenance too!” Then I realize that each person’s situation is unique. We have highly educated bureaucrats handing things. Everything will get better, in time, if we just relax and give beggars more of our hard-earned money after Uncle Sam has already taken most of it. Except the fact is ... most of our money never makes it to the beggars. Most of it gets lost in bureaucracy to line the pockets of those who are already most affluent in our country.

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Vampire Poetry To Make You Swoon And Feel Woozy (It's That Good)

Gotta admit I was pretty excited to learn Garrison Wells, who holds black belts in jujitsu, judo and Goju Ryu karate, was sending me his book of vampire poetry to review. *Kapow!*

With so many new writers seeking publicity these days, bloggers must often slog through typos, poorly written sentences and whatever else bleeds bloody grammar stains all over our freshly pressed white blouses. That is not the case with Garrison Wells' work, however. As a seasoned journalist, he's got skills and professional writing experience under his karate belts. His poetry is clean. It's sexually tasteful. I give his thought-provoking book five stars and I really hope you spend a buck to read it.


To you die-hard traditional vampire fans out there, you may get the chills when you realize not all of Garrison's artistry is stuck-in-the-coffin. He's not confined to the same old vampire lore that our Dracula made famous. Garrison makes up some of his own rules about whether a vampire's heart should beat slowly and whether the undead can produce offspring; sexually. In fact, children born to vampires can fly with muscular wings!

His work is new and fresh. You will love how he describes the burning daylight like a pair of handcuffs.

Because of my enthusiasm for his work, I hit Garrison up with a few overly excited questions, as follows:

Me: "Are you attracted to more in the vampire realm than just the poetry of it? What inspired you to write vampire poetry in the beginning? Do you self-identify as a vampire?

Garrison: "I don’t necessarily self-identify, but do have a passion for the vampire story. To me, vampires are sensual beings and Dracula is one of the world’s great love stories."

Author Garrison Wells has a passion for the Vampire story
Me: "How do you switch from writing various perspectives ... from the vampire to the vampire's host, to the vampire's child ... and make it seem so seamless?"

Garrison: I initially wrote just a couple vampire poems trying to see where I connect and understand why. It turned into several and then into the book. (Another one is coming) As I wrote them, I found myself needing to explore other bits of the vampire lore, and then to go beyond where history has led us, which then leaked into previously unexplored territory. I began to feel that poetry done right is a great way to tell their story because it is so poetic itself.

When I asked why he changed vampire facts from historic depictions, Garrison replied: "I didn’t want to tell the same story that has been written and filmed a thousand times. I wanted to go past the history and into today, where it seems to me that vampires could, like the rest of us, evolve. Thus, the heart, beating slowly, he comes slowly to his humanity. They are growing and so dual mating of vampires can create superior offspring, in essence, a new line of higher evolved vampires.

I challenged Garrison about a line where he describes pavement as though it cannot be stained by blood. Like a true poet, he responded: "The lack of stain on the concrete is more of a simile. He leaves no mark on this world. Blood, of course, being his mark."
Then he elaborated: "I think some of it too was that I didn’t want to portray vampires as joyless, vicious beings with no heart, which again is the slow heart thing . . . Maybe, in a sense, as I think about it, I figured that vampires, in some ways, want to be us. And we want to be them. And by making them a touch more human, we touch each other."

Garrison's is offering his vampire poetry book on Amazon for just $1. (You read that right. A single buck!)
To see MORE of his fantastic work ... go here!
Follow Garrison Wells on Facebook!
Here is a link to his newest novel! Nightgoer: The journey begins

*Happy reading!* 

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Update on the William Ross Rust House

Of all the stories I've written here at Vampire Review, the William Ross Rust house research has stimulated the most consistent curiosity and feedback on an on-going basis over the years. 

As a blogger, receiving so much interest expressed about my Tacoma Haunted House tale, I feel inspired to write even more mystery house stories. That means I will have to conduct even more intuitive and tangible hard research on historic homes.

Just recently,  Tacoma author Steve Dunkelberger contacted me about the 
William Ross Rust story. He quoted my article in the newsy feature he wrote.

Here's a screen shot of Dunkelberger's feature, which was published in Southsound Talk.

You may read his article, in its entirety, here: Tacoma’s Rust Mansions – Lavish Living Followed by Rumors, by Steve Dunkelberger.

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Bluetooth Uses Magick To Grow Its Business

What does the Bluetooth symbol have to do with witches?

Bluetooth sets the standard for 
wireless communications. Its 
service allows TVs, mobile
devices and desktop 
computers to
communicate wirelessly, and
device to device.
Recognize this symbol? If you ever use wireless technology you've undoubtedly seen it.

What you might not realize is the Bluetooth company logo is an ancient binding Rune. Perhaps we'll talk about binding Runes and how witches use them for working powerful magick some other time.

For now, you'll need to know that the Bluetooth binding Rune is made from two powerful Runes and both have very specific meanings; magickally. The first Rune, "Berkana," is also the Norse word for Birch tree. (See image of Berkana, below.)
Berkana is also called "Berkanan"
(Germanic), "Bjarkan" (Viking)
and "Berkano" depending on dialect 

SIDE NOTE: In Norse mythology, the Birch is associated with Goddess Frigg (Odin's wife) and Idunna, Goddess of innocence and fertility. Odin (Frigg's husband) is vital to Rune casting because he is the God who first received the Runes and gained their meanings from a great deal of self-sacrifice.

Berkana stands for "growth" and "rebirth." Knowing that, it's easy to conclude why an entrepreneur would incorporate this very positive symbol into his/her company logo! Obviously, Bluetooth wanted to induce growth and rebirth magickally and, since they're setting the standard for wireless communications today, we can deduce that their magick is working!

The second half of the binding Rune is Gebo. Gebo means "gift of the Goddess." Life teaches us that with every gift there is an obligation for reciprocity. Or to think about it another way, Gebo is all about having a "fair exchange" and about gaining a reward for sacrifice. 
Gebo means "Gift of The Goddess"

What better company logo could any business adopt besides these two ancient Runes bound together in an overlay? By putting the two runes together, Bluetooth sealed its future success with growth and reciprocity.

The plot thickens: With all the advertisements around teeth whitening these days, it's entertaining to realize Bluetooth is named after a wealthy royal who had stained teeth!  

"Bluetooth" was the nickname given to Scandanavian Warrior King Harald Gormsson, who loved eating Denmark's wild blueberries. Reportedly, they didn't have teeth whitening strips back then, so when King Harald smiled ... (*ahem*). 

Don't blame me for making that Bluetooth name connection to King Harald. I learned about it from Symbols, A Universal Language, by Joseph Piercy.

Finally, this whole Bluetooth symbol thing has me wondering: Are the blue stained king's teeth the reason why Bluetooth made it's logo blue? Does the shape of their logo look like a tooth to you?  (One can only postulate!)

If you're interested in learning the Runes, so you can incorporate the same kind of magick Bluetooth uses in all your business dealings, I recommend
 The Little Giant Encyclopedia of Runes by Sterling quite strongly. I've read many Rune books and this has got to be the absolutely best one I've found.

Friday, September 16, 2016

Most Creeptastic Movies from the 80’s

Guest article by Caroline at Culture Coverage
Web mastery by Tami Jackson

The 1980s gave us hundreds of horror movies. Forget "Top 100" lists because "Top 200" horror movie lists still lurk about. Many of the best horror I’ve seen came from the eighties and it's extremely difficult to choose the best of the scariest but this list, "Most Creeptastic Movies From The 80s" is a great start!

Fright Night (1985) 
Tom Holland wrote and directed this award-winning horror movie about 17-year-old Charlie Brewster. Brewster discovers that his neighbor, Jerry Dandrige, is a vampire but his parents refuse to believe him when he tells them about it. So Brewster turns to TV Show Host Peter Vincent for help. 

Fright Night proved popular when first released and has gained a cult following since. The cast includes Roddy McDowall, as the delightful unwitting vampire-hunter named Peter Vincent and Chris Sarandon, who steals the show as Vampire Jerry Dandrige, an amusingly affable and debonair personality (until crossed).

AVAILABILITY: Fright Night is not on many streaming services but you can buy or rent it on Amazon Prime 
or buy the full series by searching Google under the "shopping" tab. You might also find it by subscribing to a Virtual Private Network, such as Express VPN. Buy: Fright Night 1985.

Poltergeist (1982) 

Steven Spielberg wrote and produced Poltergeist; another award-winning supernatural horror. Directed by Tobe Hooper, it follows the story of the Freeling family and the peaceful community they live in. When their youngest daughter, Carol Anne, starts talking to the static on the TV late at night, her peculiarities are heightened the day after an earthquake. That's when even stranger things happen. A malevolent force abducts Carol Anne, and the Freelings battle it to save their daughter from a terrible fate.

When first released, Poltergeist was praised for its special effects. It is now considered a classic and has a cult following, thanks to the brilliant plot and frightening presentation. Even more creepy, the movie is said to be cursed! Four of its most significant cast members died within a few years of its release. As with Fright Night, it is not available on many streaming services, but it is available on Amazon, and for purchase by Google "shopping." Buy: Poltergeist 1982

The Thing (1982)
Directed by John Carpenter and written by Bill Lancaster, The Thing is an American science fiction horror movie where a parasitic alien life form can assimilate anything it touches. When the alien infiltrates an American research station in Antarctica, the team must kill it. Yet things get more complicated as it becomes more difficult to differentiate between the alien and their friends. As a result, survivors become increasingly paranoid.

Despite this movie's major box office success, critics initially gave it negative reviews. Today, however, it receives high ratings and audiences still enjoy it. The creepy, well-crafted, story is enhanced by the remarkable makeup effects. The desolate setting adds quite a grim tone. Unfortunately, it’s not available on American Netflix, but you may access it through Netflix in other countries. You can also use a Virtual Private Network (VPN), such as Buffered VPN, to watch it overseas. Buy: The Thing 1982

A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)
A Nightmare on Elm Street is a supernatural slasher movie written and directed by Wes Craven. The movie follows teenager Nancy Thomson and her friends as they start having nightmares in which they are hunted and killed by a disfigured man, Fred "Freddy" Krueger. Every injury inflicted in their dreams results in a physical injury when they're awake and everyone that Freddy kills in their dreams actually dies. In time, Nancy realizes that she must figure out how to stop the disfigured man before she’s murdered too.

A Nightmare on Elm Street was successful from the start and both critics and viewers loved it. Even today, it’s hailed as one of the best horror films ever made. This highly imaginative movie plays with audiences’ perceptions and crosses the boundary between dreams and reality in alarming ways. The suburban setting only adds to the terror and shows audiences that horror can happen anywhere. While not available on American Netflix, you can watch it on Netflix overseas. The DVD is available for sale in many stores and you can order a copy by mail through Google's shopping feature. Order it on YouTube for $2.99. Buy: A Nightmare On Elm Street 1984

The Shining (1980)
No list of great horror movies from the 1980s would be complete without The Shining! Stanley Kubrick produced and directed this psychological horror, which is based on Stephen King’s 1977 novel of the same name. 

About recovering alcoholic Jack Torrance - the man hires on as an off-season caretaker of an isolated hotel. When a snowstorm traps the family at the hotel, Jack loses his grip on reality and grows increasingly agitated. 

Amazingly, audiences did not receive The Shining very well; not on its initial release. Critics labeled the film as "too slow" and "not scary enough." Now, however, it’s become a classic! The change in attitude probably evolved because it’s more common for horror movies to have a slower pace today. Nowadays that gradual build-up is thought to add a hypnotic quality. 

In The Shining, the atmosphere is heavy and claustrophobic. The hotel itself is isolated. All elements add up to make The Shining delightfully disturbing. Watch this movie for FREE on YouTube. Only available on Netflix outside of the US, "The Shining" DVD can be purchased on-line and in stores. Buy: The Shining (1980)

As said above, this list is simply a small taste of what the 1980s offered in terms of creeptastic horror. Which is your favorite horror movie from the decade? (Please let us know in the comments below.)

About the author: Caroline is a blogger who focuses on entertainment and technology. She’s also an avid horror movie fan and hopes you’ll love the movies on this list as much as she does.

You may find Caroline on Twitter at: @CultureCovC.

Leave tips for her here in the comments, at Vampire Review, because she’s always on the lookout for recommendations for terrifying movies!

Here is our list on sale right now!

Thursday, June 23, 2016

So Many Super Short Horror Flicks - Never Enough Time!

I feel so lucky to learn my coworkers on the county's graveyard shift with me are all HORROR MOVIE FANS! (Who could be lucky as me?) 

To my utter and complete amusement, I am now being texted SUPER short horror flicks to watch on my midnight lunch break. Here is one of my favorites. Yes dear reader of Vampire Review. You will want to thank me after watching this because it's super short and completely exciting, funny, scary and awesome. As usual, I'm happy to promote great work when I see it.