athelind: (Default)
Remember my post about the Real-Life Arkham Asylum, in Danvers, Massachusetts, which was being turned into luxury condominiums?

Well, last week's issue of Batman Confidential was the final chapter in Yet Another Retelling of the Dark Knight's first encounter with the Joker -- or rather, in this case, what happened after the Joker was in police custody. After causing multiple deaths while in custody, under guard, and in chains, including the death of at least one judge, the authorities were at a loss with what to do with this pasty-skinned sociopath. They couldn't put him in with the mainstream prison population, and they couldn't remand him to conventional psychiatric care.

As Gordon and the D.A. (a pre-acid Harvey Dent, I believe) were having this conversation, a television in the background showed a news story about a certain old hospital being converted into condominiums.

One of them says, in disbelief, "Can you believe this? Didn't they used to experiment on patients there? Who the hell would want to live there?"

On the next page, it's announced that the state has used eminent domain to reclaim the property, which was going to become a special facility for extremely dangerous psychiatric cases.

athelind: (Default)

Archaeologists Find Mayan Hell; Provide Plot of Mummy IV



It's like some kind of pulp adventure tale: deep in the Yucatan jungles, there's a flooded cave complex that the Mayans believed was the entrance to the Afterlife, Xibalba. Scuba divers have, slowly and carefully, explored the caverns and found vast, air-filled chambers filled with temples.

This is right out of Call of Cthulhu -- and I don't mean that in a good way. I mean that in a "Do Not Call Up What You Cannot Put Down" way.

It's cool, yes... but pretty damned creepy. I mean, we're talkin' LifeGems level creepy. The Mayan afterlife is not a happy place; "Xibalba" means "Place of Fear".

We're talking Hell itself, people. They've found Hell. This is not the start of any happy movie; Brendan Fraser wisecracks are the best we can look forward to here.

If I were given to Omens and Revelations....

EDIT: [livejournal.com profile] halfelf reminded me that the Mayan calendar ends in 2012!

Okay, now I'm really creeped out.

Found via BoingBoing.
Coincidentally, I spent the morning reading pages at http://www.xibalba.demon.co.uk/ -- also found via BoingBoing.

athelind: (Default)
Okay, now, this is one for the list of Places To Go Because Of Their Literary Connections:

The Avalon Danvers Apartments in Danvers, MA.

What the Avalon web site doesn't mention is that this lovely, mid-19th Century "castle" used to be Danvers State Hospital, a mental institution. Originally built to be a pleasant, peaceful setting to help treat the mentally-ill degenerated over the years into an overcrowded bedlam, complete with lobotomies, electroshock treatments, and cemetaries with numbered graves. It was also the setting of Session 9, a horror movie I now have to hunt down.

The blogger who was so cheerfully disturbed by the graveyard and the movie also failed to mention a few delightful facts about this place:
  • It sits on Hathorne Hill, where once stood the residence of one John Hathorne, the "hanging judge" of the Salem Witch Trials.
  • Danvers, you see, was once known as "Salem Village" (to distinguish it from nearby "Salem Town") -- and much of the drama of said trials played out right there.
  • Danvers was mentioned several times in the works of H.P. Lovecraft, both by its real name and as "Arkham Sanitarium".
  • HPL's "Arkham Sanitarium", in turn, inspired Denny O'Neill to incorporate "Arkham Asylum" into the Batman Mythos.

That's right, kids. Live near Boston? You can rent an apartment or buy a condo in Arkham Frakkin' Asylum!

I am so using this in the Legacy 2020 game. Asylum full of lunatic supervillains? Overused to the point of tedium. Yuppie condos built on the former site of an asylum full of lunatic supervillains?

Creeeeeeeepy.

athelind: (Default)

The Three Things Meme


Snagged from A Whole Lot O' Folks

  1. Post 3 things you've done in your lifetime that you don't think anybody else on your friends list has done.
  2. See if anybody else responds with "I've done that." If they have, you need to add another!(2.b., 2.c., etc...)
  3. Have your friends cut & paste this into their journal to see what unique things they've done in their life.

Oof. This would be a lot easier if [livejournal.com profile] eclipsegryph and [livejournal.com profile] wy weren't on my f-list; a lot of my best stories are Coast Guard tales. Still...
  1. Visited a major landmark just because it appeared in a movie -- and then had natural phenomena provide better special effects than the movie did.*
  2. Attended the funeral (or other major occasion) of one of your all-time favorite writers (or other celebrities) in an official or invited capacity.**
  3. Gone from being a child-free bachelor to a grandfather less than two years.


* Devil's Tower, Wyoming: lightning storm. The year after Close Encounters of the Third Kind came out, no less!
** I buried Robert A. Heinlein.

March 2010

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