Winchester: Before the Movie, See Dread Central's Paranormal Investigation of the Actual Winchester Mansion - Dread Central
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Winchester: Before the Movie, See Dread Central’s Paranormal Investigation of the Actual Winchester Mansion

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In just a few days Winchester, starring Helen Mirren arrives in theaters; the Oscar-winning actress plays an elusive heiress who spends the majority of her life surrounded by ghosts. One of the most intriguing aspects of the film (and a major hook) is that it’s based on a true story.

Sarah Winchester was heiress to the Winchester Rifle fortune; she built a sprawling mansion in San Jose, California, that still stands today. Recently, Dread Central was given unprecedented access to what’s been called “The House That Ghosts Built”. Our goal: To determine if the estate deserves its reputation as one of the most haunted locations in America.

We assembled some of the country’s most prominent paranormal investigators and mediums who employed a variety of techniques, all in an effort to detect the supernatural forces long rumored to roam these halls. Most importantly, we were joined by historian Janan Boehme, an expert on the life of Sarah Winchester and the mansion, who was able to immediately validate some of the details provided by our mediums.

Our group consisted of Tim Wood, founder of the TV series In Search of the Paranormal which launched in 2006; he was joined by team members Kristin Manning, a medium who uses her drawing talents illustrate what she senses, and photographer Patrick Langdon who utilized specific camera techniques and film stocks to detect paranormal remnants.

Tim Meunier is the founder of American Paranormal Investigations as well as the founder of both the Sacramento Horror Film Festival and the bi-annual Sinister Creature Con. Michael B. Chochla is a medium and member of River City Paranormal; Michelle Goyette has been working as a professional spiritual medium for over 5 years, and Chloë Tatro is an empath and Reiki Master.

History:

Sarah Winchester lived a long and sad life. The heiress to the Winchester Rifle fortune lost her infant daughter and husband very early into her marriage. Widowed and childless, she sought the aid of a spiritualist in Boston, something that wasn’t uncommon in the 19th Century. And it was there, the story goes, that she received a message from the ghost of her husband, William.

“Move out west, start building a giant mansion, and never stop.” Failure to oblige would result in terrifying consequences. What Sarah realized that day was that her wealth was a source of incredible luxury and privilege, but it was also a terrible curse.

The house was intended to hold thousands of guests—none of the alive. Sarah was charged with attending to the restless spirits of everyone who died by Winchester Rifles. From those who fell in the Civil War to Native Americans whose lands were stolen and anyone murdered in a crime of passion; they were all to be welcomed. And those spirits who couldn’t be appeased by the mansion’s many treasures? They’d be contained within an ever-changing labyrinth, trapped by numerological talisman and their own confusion.

Construction began in 1880 on a stately yet modest estate, but legends abound about teams of carpenters working non-stop for almost forty years, only ending their efforts on the morning of Sarah Winchester’s death. What had started as an 8-room home had grown to over 160 rooms connected by miles of corridors and, at one point, towering seven stories tall.

The Investigation:

The investigation exceeded all of my expectations; you can see much of what transpired in the video below, produced by Matthew Galvin of Active Matrix Networks.

Highlights:

  • A medium was overcome by the pervasive sadness of The Winchester Mansion; another felt compelled to speak the name Daisy—one of Sarah Winchester’s favorite nieces who had her own bedroom in the estate.
  • On our initial walk-thru, two members of our team got lost. It’s a testament to the labyrinthine nature of The Winchester Manson, where a simple wrong turn can get you hopelessly confused.
  • One of our mediums saw a “shadow person”, something supported by photographic evidence; another drew an image of an inhuman, dark entity she believed tormented Sarah, feeding off of her sadness.
  • An EVP experiment seemed to produce detectable responses.
  • Finally, we utilized an early 20th Century Ouija board in an attempt to contact Sarah Winchester herself. It included a ganzfeld experiment, a method of sensory deprivation utilized by psychic Elise Rainier (played by Lin Shaye) in the Insidious movie franchise.

Conclusions:

I’ve always considered myself, objectively, a skeptic. But part of what draws me to horror movies is that question of “What if?” As long as humans have been able to express themselves, we’ve been obsessed with the afterlife. What happens when we die and are those who meet with violent ends somehow trapped in a realm just beyond our detection?

I approached this opportunity with a skeptical, yet opened mind, allowing myself to become immersed in the ambiance of The Winchester Mansion. While my core beliefs remain intact, there were moments that affected me deeply. Our investigation produced evidence that seems to support past reports of supernatural activity—provided you already believe such forces exist.

There’s a profound sadness here, likely to infect anyone who visits the Winchester Mystery House. You can’t help but hope that Sarah Winchester finally found happiness when she was reunited with her husband and daughter in the afterlife. After decades of attending to the dead, we hope she’s finally at peace.

Be sure to check out Winchester when it arrives in theaters on Friday; we’ll have a review here at Dread Central posted shortly!

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Want a LEGO Godzilla Set? Here’s Your Chance!

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The longest-running franchises in cinema history, the Godzilla films have created a cultural icon in the form of the titular beast. Simply hearing its roar or seeing its silhouette is enough to let us know precisely what we’re looking at. Having ventured out of cinema and forayed into TV shows, comic books, video games, and countless merchandise options, Godzilla still hasn’t managed to break into one of the world’s most popular toy company: LEGO. However, that might change if BRICK_101 has their say via LEGO Ideas, where they submitted a design based on the 1954 original film!

Here’s the description from the site:
This model contains approximately 850 LEGO pieces, stands 9 inches (23 cm) tall, and measures 17 inches (44 cm) from head to tail. Godzilla has had many different designs over the years, but we based ours on the original 1954 movie. The arms, legs, jaw, and tail are hinged to allow the model to be posed in a variety of positions. In addition to Godzilla, the set also includes a small microscale train for Godzilla to stomp on or chomp on and a flame piece to represent Godzilla’s atomic breath.

The website allows people to submit their own ideas (such as this Call of Cthulhu set) and then allow the public to vote on whether or not they want to see it get made. Should the idea get 10,000 votes, it then gets moved up the ladder within LEGO’s headquarters and a decision is made to see if they want to make an official set.

So, if you want to see LEGO make an official Godzilla set, click on the link above and cast your vote!

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#Brainwaves Episode 78 Guest Announcement: Legendary Film Composer Harry Manfredini

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The Friday the 13th franchise without the music of Harry Manfredini would be like peanut butter without jelly. McDonalds without the Big Mac. Knetter without Creepy. His music defined a generation of horror fans, and few could have done it better, if at all. Now Manfredini brings his equally as unique voice to Brainwaves Horror and Paranormal Talk Radio.

Join us this coming Wednesday, February 21st, at 8:00PM PT/11:00PM ET for all the shenanigans fit to be had!

It’s radio without a safety net, kids. It’s Brainwaves: Horror and Paranormal Talk Radio.

SUPPORT BRAINWAVES ON PATREON!

Listen to Stitcher

Brainwaves: Horror and Paranormal Talk Radio is available to subscribe to on iTunes and Stitcher.

Spooky, funny, touching, honest, offensive, and at times completely random, Brainwaves airs live every Wednesday evening beginning at 8:00 PM Pacific Time (11:00 midnight Eastern Time) and runs about 3 hours per episode.

Knetter and Creepy will be taking your calls LIVE and unscreened via Skype, so let your freak flags fly! Feel free to add BrainWavesTalk to your Skype account so you can reach us, or call in from a landline or cellphone – 858 480 7789. The duo also take questions via Twitter; you can reach us at @BrainwavesRadio or @UncleCreepy, @JoeKnetter, or @MrDarkDC using the hashtag #BrainWaves. You can also check us out on our Brainwaves Discord channel!

Have a ghost story or a paranormal story but can’t call in? Feel free to email it to me directly at UncleCreepy@dreadcentral.com with “Brainwaves Story” in your subject line. You can now become a fan of the show via the official… BRAINWAVES FACEBOOK PAGE!

Brainwaves: Horror and Paranormal Talk Radio is hosted live (with shows to be archived as they progress) right here on Dread Central. You can tune in and listen via the FREE TuneIn Radio app or listen to TuneIn right through the website!

For more information and to listen live independent of TuneIn, visit the Deep Talk Radio Network website, “like” Deep Talk Radio on Facebook, and follow Deep Talk Radio on Twitter. And don’t forget to subscribe to Brainwaves on iTunes.

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Supernatural Irish Horror Beyond the Woods Hits Home Video and VOD This February

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Supernatural Irish horror Beyond the Woods makes its way to DVD and VOD from Left Films!

Shot on location in Ireland, Beyond the Woods echoes the creepy supernatural horror of recent Irish genre hits The Hallow and The Canal, with its eerie and grisly tale of an unknown evil.

Synopsis:
Seven friends meet up in the Irish countryside for a secluded weekend getaway but unfortunately for them a fiery sinkhole has opened up in the mountains nearby. It’s burning hot, spewing out sulphur and casting a hellish stench over the local area. Determined to make the most of the weekend, the group decide not to let the noxious atmosphere get to them…but it’s getting worse. Soon the troubling hallucinations begin as an ancient evil starts to take hold. What malevolent force has crawled from the sinkhole and will any of them survive the weekend?

Following a successful run on the festival circuit where it picked up the Best Feature Film Award at the World International Film Festival Montreal in 2017, Seán Breathnach’s spine-chilling low budget nightmare finally makes its way to UK and North American DVD and VOD courtesy of Left Films.

On digital/VOD February 5th, DVD February 19th.

UK DVD AMAZON
UK VOD ITUNES
US VOD ITUNES

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