2017 – Ringing in the New Year!

PrintWith the advent of a new year, sensibilities rise to the forefront of our mind. Perhaps more than a birthday, the new year sings its own reverie to get our ducks in a row, to begin again to tow the mark, bids us to turn the page and start anew. Yes, the new year taunts us to envision the horizon and see the future by improving our focus. The festivities are over – winter is settling in and she proves to be a preponderance of resolution our inner being innately underscores in its need for reparation toward the achievement of our newest creative seeds and their triumphant emergence in the springtime for summer’s consumption and fall’s exuberance.

As a fledgling entrepreneur / small business connoisseur, having experienced equally great successes and failures, it is time to embrace the season and refresh business acumen, ideologies and direction. It is time to take successes into the future, and to comprehend lessons-learned from entrepreneurial failures of the past, in order to benefit clients, customers, readers and authors universally in our future.

In order to enact benefits, change is required. So, throughout the month of January 2017, change is the plan of the hour. And, will be introduced as the month progresses to enrich government and commercial clients and customers, as well as literary and non-fiction readers and authors.

Both dpInk Company Ltd. and DonnaInk Publications, L.L.C. wish each of you happiness, prosperity, and health throughout 2017!

Tour the Twisted mind of Author Lyn Gibson

flier1Stream me live or tune me in on TUNEIN Satellite Radio, Monday nights! This week I’m hooking you up with a gruesome New Orleans legend and a little something special in celebration of Halloween! My guest this week is my friend Scott Baker, author of several gore ridden trilogies and a whole lot more!

The Legend of Stingy Jack – Jack-o-Lantern urban legend

stingy-jack There’s the slightest hint of Fall in the air, an omen of one of the most revered holidays of the year, Halloween!

As a primer for the approaching, “Day of the Dead” I thought I’d share the urban legend that inspired the Jack-o-Lantern.

This tale is rooted in Irish folklore, stemmed off of the reputation of a man called Stingy Jack.

Stingy Jack was a nasty deviant,  foul tempered and mean was he!  Jack was a known alcoholic that frequently beat his wife and children before setting off into the streets to create mischief with whoever was unfortunate enough to encounter him.

One Halloween night Jack comes staggering in to the local pub.  He bellies up to the bar and orders a drink, but the Bar Keep is no fool.  Jack frequently comes in to the bar and drinks then has no money to pay.  This night there would be no free drinks for Jack.

By now he is irate as the Bar Keep has refused him service.  He looks about the pub and discovers that every man in the room has turned their backs to him, no doubt they had all fallen victim to his evil ways.

Just as he had about given up, the door to the pub flies open revealing Satan himself standing beneath the threshold.  You see, Satan had come to claim Jack’s soul on this night and he was eager to add another wicked man to his minions.

Jack peered over at the towering beast and deep within him he knew that he had been the reason for Satan’s visit.  Jack, thinking quickly, invites Satan to have a drink with him.  Satan, seeing no reason to refuse his offer, approaches the bar.  Jack orders two pints of ale for them, then proceeds to gulp his down in one swig.  Now Jack, having no money, laughs at the Bar Keep when he demands payment.  He then turns to Satan and convinces him to turn himself into a sixpence so that he could pay for their drinks.

Satan, seeing no harm in a further delay, turns himself into a sixpence.  Jack, true to his own evil nature, picks the sixpence up from the bar and puts it into his pocket next to a silver cross which would keep Satan from returning to his true form.  Jack then flees from the pub, his belly full of ale and his pocket heavy with coin.

At some point Jack decides to set Satan free and releases him to return to his true form with one condition; that Satan would not return for his soul for 10 years.

Ten years later Jack is stumbling down a dark country road and who should he encounter other than Satan himself!  Satan, angered at having been outsmarted and imprisoned by a drunkard, is eager to claim what is rightfully his.

“I’ll go with you” Jack said.  “But before I go, will you pick that apple from the tree for me” he said motioning to the top of a nearby apple tree.

Satan, feeling he had nothing to lose, climbed the tree but soon became perturbed as Jack stood pointing at the highest apple on the tree.  He grumbled loudly but continued climbing up into the tree.

When Jack saw that he was on the highest branch, he ran quickly to the tree and carved a cross into the trunk so Satan could not descent.  Jack, now overjoyed by his own wit, made Satan promise that he would never again come seeking his soul.  Satan, seeing no other option, begrudgingly agreed.

Soon after this, Jack died but the story doesn’t end here.  Seeing as that Jack was such an unsavory character and had knowingly made deals with the devil, God refused him entry to Heaven.  Jack soon after finds himself at the gates of Hell, but he would find no solace here.  Satan was still quite put off by the tricks that jack had played on him, he too refused Jack entrance.

Jack, standing alone in the darkness cries out to Satan.  “God will not allow me into heaven and you refuse to claim my soul, where is it that I am to go?”

Satan, feeling no compassion for Jack, calls back to him, “Go back where you came from!”

The way back was very dark and treacherous and Jack was afraid.  He began begging Satan for a light so that he may find his way back.  Satan, now more that a little irritated, tossed some coals from the lake of fire at Jack’s feet.  Jack carved out a turnip and placed the coals inside to light his way.  From that day forward Jack has roamed the earth in the form of a shadowy man, carrying what we know today as a Jack-o-Lantern.

Now that you know the urban legend, I’ll fill you in on the pumpkin side!  The carved turnips became common place because of the great potato famine.  When Irish immigrants began to migrate to the United States, they found an abundance of pumpkins or other gourds that were much larger and much easier to carve.

Homes all across the United States and other countries place Jack-o-Lanterns in the windows or on their front porches for dual purposes, whether we knew it or not.  The Jack-o-Lantern is said to frighten old Stingy Jack away but on the flip side, a tasty gourd is seen as a food offering to other ill willed spirits that are free to haunt the living on All Hallows Eve.  Got your pumpkin ready?

Urban Legends of Louisiana – The New Orleans Axeman

the-axemanOn May 22, 1918, Joseph Maggio and his wife Catherine, would meet gruesome fates at the hands of a fledgling serial killer: The Axeman of Louisiana.  The Maggios’ were asleep in their home, on the corner of Upperline and Camp streets, when their murderer broke in and sliced their throats with a straight razor. Catherine’s lacerations were so deep that her head was nearly severed.  Dissatisfied with his handy work, the Axeman decided to add his very own special touch by bashing in the heads of his victims with an axe.

The fledgling serial killer, now having committed the first of many heinous acts, found himself longing for the taste of blood again, just a few short weeks later.  During the wee hours of June 27, the Axeman would strike again.  Louis Besumer and his mistress, Harriet Lowe, were bludgeoned with an axe while they slept, ironically with the very axe that Besumer owned.  Both survived the attack,  Lowe died in August due to complications during surgery in attempt to repair damage done during the attack.

On the same day that Harriet Lowe passed, the Axeman sought out another victim.  28 year old, pregnant woman, Elmira Schneider, woke to a dark figure looming over her.  She was then bashed in the head repeatedly with a bedside lamp.

Just a few days after on August 10, Joseph Romano, an elderly man that was living with two of his nieces, was attacked in his sleep with an axe.  Romano survived for a couple of days before dying from his injuries.

It seems that our mysterious Axeman had had his fill.  Several months passed without incident; the streets of New Orleans had settled into a false sense of security.  On the night of March 10th, 1919 screams racked Jefferson Avenue as the Cortmiglia family woke to discover an intruder inside their home.  Charles, Rosie and their young daughter had all been attacked with an ace.  Charles and Rosie would survive but their young daughter died on the scene.

It seems, at this point, that our Axman was more than amused with himself.  Three days after the Cortmiglia attack the infamous “Axeman Letter” makes it’s appearance:

Hell, March 13, 1919

Esteemed Mortal:

They have never caught me and they never will. They have never seen me, for I am invisible, even as the ether that surrounds your earth. I am not a human being, but a spirit and a demon from the hottest hell. I am what you Orleanians and your foolish police call the Axeman.

When I see fit, I shall come and claim other victims. I alone know whom they shall be. I shall leave no clue except my bloody axe, besmeared with blood and brains of he whom I have sent below to keep me company.

If you wish you may tell the police to be careful not to rile me. Of course, I am a reasonable spirit. I take no offense at the way they have conducted their investigations in the past. In fact, they have been so utterly stupid as to not only amuse me, but His Satanic Majesty, Francis Josef, etc. But tell them to beware. Let them not try to discover what I am, for it were better that they were never born than to incur the wrath of the Axeman. I don’t think there is any need of such a warning, for I feel sure the police will always dodge me, as they have in the past. They are wise and know how to keep away from all harm.

Undoubtedly, you Orleanians think of me as a most horrible murderer, which I am, but I could be much worse if I wanted to. If I wished, I could pay a visit to your city every night. At will I could slay thousands of your best citizens, for I am in close relationship with the Angel of Death.

Now, to be exact, at 12:15 (earthly time) on next Tuesday night, I am going to pass over New Orleans. In my infinite mercy, I am going to make a little proposition to you people. Here it is:

I am very fond of jazz music, and I swear by all the devils in the nether regions that every person shall be spared in whose home a jazz band is in full swing at the time I have just mentioned. If everyone has a jazz band going, well, then, so much the better for you people. One thing is certain and that is that some of your people who do not jazz it on Tuesday night (if there be any) will get the axe.

Well, as I am cold and crave the warmth of my native Tartarus, and it is about time I leave your earthly home, I will cease my discourse. Hoping that thou wilt publish this, that it may go well with thee, I have been, am and will be the worst spirit that ever existed either in fact or realm of fancy.

The Axeman

 

One would imagine that the Axeman passed the next few weeks hidden in plain sight, observing the chaos that he had created among both the community and law enforcement.  Giddy with his handy-work, his thirst for violence peaked once more.  On August 10th 1919 the Axeman broke into the home of Steve Boca then attacked him while he slept with of course, an axe.  Boca also survived the attack but because of his injuries, could not recall any of the details.

Sarah Laumann, another of his victims who would recover with no recollection of the event, was attacked just a few weeks later.  On the night of September 3rd, neighbors of Laumann who had come to visit, broke down the door when she did not respond.  Laumann was found unconscious in her bed with sever head trauma and missing several teeth; a bloody axe was discovered on the front lawn.

On the night of October 27, 1919, the Axeman would commit his last “verified” attack, resulting in the murder of Mike Pepitone.  Pepitone had been asleep in his bed, next to his wife, who was spared from the attack.  Mrs. Pepitone awoke during the attack and witnessed the assailant flee from the scene but could give no definite description.

 

Many have both analyzed and speculated the identity and motivation of the Louisiana Axeman.  Regardless of his methods or madness, his identity and motivations remain a mystery.

Among one theorist is a dear friend of mine, Todd C Elliott.  Todd published a well researched, factual timeline of the true Axeman murders.  Elliott manages to bind the loose strings of this Louisiana mystery as he investigates all victims and suspects.  “Axes of Evil” is an insightful view of this well known, unsolved “Urban Legend”  Check out his book here!

Tour the Twisted Mind of Author Lyn Gibson

flier1ARMED RADIO GLOBAL and TUNEIN Satellite Networks presents, Southern Horror Queen; Author Lyn Gibson.

Author and horror enthusiast, Lyn Gibson has joined the ARMED RADIO GLOBAL Network and will be launching her premiere show September 19th at 7:00PM Central time.  Lyn is the author of “The Adrian Trilogy” a top selling vampire series based in Southern Louisiana and her more recent release, “Short & Gory” a compilation of uniquely twisted and macabre short stories.  Lyn is also an avid blogger who shares with her followers, dark tales, horrific urban legends, oh and let’s not forget, Vampire history from around the globe.

“I’m excited to have been given this opportunity” Gibson states.  “We were supposed to launch the premiere show several weeks back but because of the massive flooding event here in Louisiana, we had to postpone for a while in order for me to begin recovering from damages.”

Gibson, shortly after having her home devastated by 83 inches of water, upheld her commitment to the American Cancer Society and attended a benefit in nearby Covington Louisiana.  “Things were definitely screwed up for us here but my husband and I discussed it and decided to uphold our obligations.  Though things were really bad for us at that time, we knew that 6 months from now we would have recovered; we could not say the same for some of these kids.  John worked feverishly to repair damage to the dragster by flood waters and as promised, the “Adrian’s Fury” dragster was present and accounted for at the event!”

“I’m looking forward to launching the show with ARMED RADIO GLOBAL” she said grinning broadly.  “I’m hoping that everything flows smoothly.  On the first episode I think it best to introduce myself, you know, give the listeners some idea of what and who I am.  ARMED RADIO has been promoting the show for a while now, I’m certain that there are folks who will be tuning in just out of curiosity to find out what kind of twisted individual I am!”

Author Lyn Gibson is no stranger to the bizarre and terrifying world that exists just outside of mankind’s grasp.  Her research and writing has intrigued a new generation and resurrected the minds of those who have been numbed by recent horror movie/literature releases. Ms. Gibson thrives on sharing her dark tales, she welcomes followers new and old to tune in this Monday Evening at this link:

 

Haunted Louisiana – The Old State Capitol Building

statebuilding     Built between 1847-1852 this lovely Gothic styled monument was not exactly welcomed with open arms.  Baton Rouge residents were appalled by the structure as it was not similar to other traditional Southern Louisiana structures.  The building was also immortalized in a negative light by none other than Mark Twain who referred to it as “A little sham of a castle.”

Originally constructed to act as the throne of Louisiana’s Government, the building is now a museum containing both political history and artifacts, but that’s not all it contains.  It is a well known, and documented fact that there are ghosts within the Old State Capitol Building.

One of these ghosts is said to be Pierre Couvillion, a congressman who died at age 47 of a heart attack during the midst of a heated political debate about gambling .  Having unfinished business at the Capitol Building, Couvillion can be seen, heard and sometimes felt walking the hallowed halls.  There is a tale of a security guard making his rounds one evening that was “bumped” into by a unseen passer-by.  The jolt was enough to turn his body.  Couvillion is also blamed for setting off motion detectors inside of the building.  On one account, a female night guard states that detector alarms were going off in sequence starting from the dining room, through the baby’s room and ending at the Governors’ room.  Once the alarms had settled the guard went to investigate, she discovered that the bed in the Governors’ room had been mussed, as if someone had been laying on top of the blankets.

Couvillion is not the only political figure to have perished in the Old State Capital, and perhaps he continues his unfinished debate with Louisiana Governor and United States Senator Huey Long who was assassinated.  Long was shot while tending to political business and died 31 hours later at a medical facility.  Long is said to be guilty of following visitors throughout the building, the smell of cigar smoke is a indication that he is near by.

Along with these two political figures is also the spirit of a woman.  Sarah Morgan can be seen wandering the halls at night as well.  Sarah is a remnant from the Civil War era, one of the few that adored the magnificent castle like structure.  Better known posthumously for her publication “The Civil War Diary of a Southern Woman.”   Sarah wrote of the horrors and tribulations endured by she and her family as the Union soldiers stormed Baton Rouge.  Perhaps, she saw the Capitol building as a safe haven and felt peace within it’s realms as she is noted as a peaceful spirit that can be seen from time to time wandering about or standing in front of one of the upper level windows, peering out onto the grounds.

As if there isn’t enough activity on the upper levels of the building, it is a well known fact that most of the happenings occur in the basement.  Utilized as both a hospital and a jail during the Civil War, a visit to the basement will likely be the most advantageous to ghost hunters.  Many reports have been documented concerning physical contact, evp’s and full bodied specters whilst investigating this area of the building.

Today the Capitol Building (Museum) can be toured, there is even a 12 minute adventure for guests to experience where Sarah Morgan, in 4 D form, tells the history of the building and of those that both lived and died therein.

Urban Legends of Louisiana – The Green Light Bridge

glb1This one is a “not so well known” legend, unless you are a resident of Franklin Parish and in that case, anyone could tell you the tale.  Green light road is found just off LA 15.  One would have no doubt that they have found it, as pavement turns to gravel and dense thickets line the narrow road on either side.  So thick is the overgrowth that sunlight is challenged to filter through.

Just a way down is Green Light Bridge which spans Turkey Creek.  Though the original historic wood framed structure has long since been upgraded, there are some locals that can remember the narrow wooden bridge with no side rails.  Many of these same locals are happy to oblige in sharing the haunted history of this area.

It seems the legend begins with an old church that was constructed in the late 1800’s, just east of the bridge.  Thought the details are sketchy, it is a known fact that someone had been hung in the large tree in front of the church.  Shortly thereafter the church relocated to a more populated area, leaving the old wooden structure to deteriorate as time went by.  During this time, there had been an accident on the bridge, a man was decapitated making the second uncanny death in the same general area.

Years after, a woman driving through the area, wrecked her car into the same tree where the hanging had taken place.  Before she passed away, she testified that she had tried to avoid hitting a man that was walking from the thickets toward the road.  Once her car made impact with the tree, the man disappeared into thin air.

With this, the third untimely death, locals began experiencing frequent paranormal experiences.  Common sightings were of the hanged man, emerging from the tree line, walking toward the road.  Other folks claimed to have seen the decapitated man searching for his head, the eerie green glow of his lantern could be seen bobbing about around and under the bridge.  As if you haven’t guessed, this is how the title “Green Light” Bridge was earned.

Other experiences have been documented in the area.  Residents claim that when crossing the bridge at night, it was not uncommon for vehicles to stall and electronic components fail.  One investigation in 2009 validated that there was a sporadic electromagnetic field present in the area.

So if you’re in the area and decide to visit the “Green Light” Bridge, take the advice of the locals.  If you see a green light, put the pedal to the metal, turn around and get the Hell away from there; unless you are there to visit with the restless souls that haunt a bridge in Franklin Parish.