Sunday, October 31, 2010

Getting Ready for Tricks or Treats

Halloween at our House

Well, we finally found a couple of pumpkins for our porch, and the little scarecrows are ready to greet the kids.  We have to leave as much room as we can on the porch because it crowds up with anywhere from 5 to 15 ghouls at one time.  So, over the past few years, we've downsized on the decorations.  And we have our Grandson Shawn (Scooter, etc.) this weekend, so this could be very interesting.  Our plan is to take him to just 3 or 4 houses on our street and let him look at some of the other goblins along the way.  But it gets so crowded with cars and kids walking around that we'll have to be extra careful and really hold on to him.  And later, maybe he'll help me pass out candy and pose for some pictures.  And then, in a day or two I'll have to close the vault on my Halloween memories, until this time next year.

Here is a little Halloween poem I scribbled out a few minutes ago while dodging Shawn and his trike!  I just wanted to leave you with a few last haunting tips- OH, and, PLEASE be safe tonite.  If I get a chance, OH, but probably not-have to go to work tomorrow and tonite will be so busy...

"Do You Believe?" 
The spirits are stirring-they're anxious to leave.
And spiders are working-on webs they must weave.
Do beware of the goblins-OH! What foul they do heave!
Watch out!  The Witches are brewing, on this Hallow's Eve!

~ penned by Suzanne Prickett
KardKorner Headquarters, October 31, 2010

And one more thing...please, please vote on my poll!  I'm leaving it open until midnight toniTe!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Ladies, Fire up Your Brooms! It Looks Like a Witch Hunt!!!

 Moosham Castle in Austria, aka "Witches Castle"

Moosham Castle was built somewhere in the 14th Century in Austria.  This castle has a grizzly and brutal past.  YES!  There is a torture chamber-about 500 years old that still exists today within the bowels of this so-called magnificent castle.  It was in this castle that the bloodiest witch trials took place.  The torture chamber was used in trials of thousands of young women who were tormented and executed, sometimes being pulled apart by 2 horses running in opposite directions.  They were all accused of being witches!  Well, I'd probably beg for death after being tortured that way...wouldn't you?

Moosham Castle during the day

It is said that "Witches Castle" is one of the most beautiful castles left.  You can see as far as Hungary from this site.  And the best time to visit is in the summer or early fall, when you can see the changing colors in the woods.  How beautiful AND deceiving at the same time!

 Leap Castle, Ireland, aka "Bloody Chapel"

This castle was built in the late 15th century, and was the center of a shocking murder.  A family of powerful Princes called the O'Carrolls owned this castle.  A powerful sibling rivalry began following the death of the O'Carroll Chieftan.  One brother, who was a priest, was giving holy rites to other family members one day in the Chapel.  The other brother rushed in and drove a sword into him, killing him right in front of the family.  Afterwards, the chapel became well known as "The Bloody Chapel".  In later years, a hidden dungeon was found off the bloody chapel with a drop floor.  It seems as though prisoners would be pushed through the door and fall through the floor to land on a spike eight feet below-OR NOT.  If you didn't get killed by the spike, you simply starved to death.  No one bothered to check and see what would become of the prisoners.  Around c.1900, some workmen that were hired to clean out the chapel area and dungeon, discovered human skeletons piled on top of each other.  Well, needless to say, Leap Castle acquired a reputation of being haunted, and the townspeople stayed clear of it at night.  Well, this place, gutted by fire, laid in ruins for over 70 years.  And from time to time, townspeople would claim to have seen the top of the castle "light up" as though a great amount of candles were brought into a room at night.

An interior room of Leap Castle

Ownership of Leap Castle finally passes, through marriage, from the O'Carroll's to the Darby's, an English family.  The Darby's made major improvements to the castle and grounds, turning it into a family home.  However, Mildred Darby couldn't keep her nose out of the dark side and manages to rekindle some of the former sinister energies that had long laid to rest.  She began to receive visits from decaying corpses, and strange, pungeant odors would follow, oozing throughout the castle.  That wasn't bad enough-the Irish, who were struggling for their independence at the time, really didn't want an English family living in their midst and the castle was bombed, and looted, flushing the Darby's out.

The current owners, who purchased the castle in the 1990's, were aware of the castle's history.  They agreed to share the castle with the spirits as long as there are no more "occurences".  They moved in and began restoration of the castle.  And later, christened their baby daughter in what was known as the "Bloody Chapel" with singing and laughter and love.  It is said that if the troubled spirits of Leap Castle remained, they may finally have found peace.  The castle is open year round, there are no accommodations.

The research for this information is credited to Carolyn D. Ahrns from Las Vegas, NV.

Bran Castle~Romania/Transylvania

In a far off land, sitting on top of a rock, there exists a fortress built in 1377 called Bran Castle.  This castle is known as the world's most famous vampire castle.  The legend of Dracula haunts this castle even though it was not his original castle.  It is said that one chamber in this castle is dedicated to Bram Stoker and it is now a museum open to tourists.

Will the real Dracula please stand up?

From Simon Marsden galleries, this is the real Castle of Dracula in Arges Valley Wallachia

I obtained my information from the following resources: (The Journal of a Ghosthunter)

I do want to thank all of my readers for the fun and great comments given for my Halloween collection.  I think some of the most exciting conversations came from "The Scariest Halloween Movie Ever" post.  And, once again, I would like to thank my mother and sister, who, by the way, also enjoyed my post on "The Haunted (Sauer) Castle".  My mother said it was a "great" story.  My sister's daughter, Erica, also commented and was excited to read a story based on one her mother's artistic accomplishments.

And don't forget to vote on my "Frankenstein Meets the Wolfman" poll!  I'm leaving the poll open until midnight Halloween nite!  I have 4 voters so far-who's in it for 5?


 AAGGHH!  IT'S A GRANDMA!  Shawn, November 22, 2008-just shy of 2 months old! 
We will be celebrating an important Birthday this month...our little Grandson Shawn, aka Shawnsky, aka Scooter, aka Son, aka Bubba.  "the poor kid!"  No wonder he doesn't answer to anyone...anyway, he will be turning 2 years old on Tuesday, October 26, 2010-right before the Witching Hour!  Hopefully we can get the little guy to hold still long enough for some cool pictures!

I've been fighting a strange allergy-kind of cold all week, and now I've lost my voice...oh well, all the more time I guess to shut up and PUT OUT!!!

Have a Hauntingly Safe Halloween From The KardKorner!

Friday, October 15, 2010

"Haunt...Haunted? Haunting!"

The Haunted Castle in chalk by Leta (Berry) Brewer

The picture above is an abstract drawing done in chalk, by my sister Leta, somewhere around 1963-1964.  This piece was on display at an art fair given by the art department, headed by Mrs. Mary Glenn,  at Argentine High School, in Kansas City, Kansas.  The picture is of a true structure, known as The Sauer Castle.

This 3 story mansion has been described as being Victorian in style, Italian Villa in design, and /or German Gothic inspired!  According to the National Register of Historic Places, the castle is located near the crest of the bluffs that overlook the Kaw River Valley.

  Anton Sauer was born in Germany in 1823.  Having been a merchant and trader in Paris and Europe throughout his early adulthood, he later arrived in New York City in 1853.  He set up a business importing European goods to the country and had moved his wife and 5 children to New York in the late 1850's.  He had occasion to pass through Kansas and eventually saw it as a good business opportunity for buying and shipping goods.  After his wife died in 1868, he moved his children to Kansas City and opened a fur trading house near the river.  It is also said that he started one of the first tannerys.  Within a year, he married a widow with two children, whose name was Maria.  Anton was already suffering from tuberculosis, but had become very successful in his import business.  He acquired 63 acres on Shawnee Drive in Kansas City and had this magnificent home built for Maria and their family.  Eventually, Anton and Maria had 5 more children together-all girls!

I cannot begin to describe this 3-story castle with a 4-story tower somehow attached.  We'll just have to view the various photos that I have managed to acquire.  However, the tower was always of interest to most people.  Some say it was a lookout tower to keep watch over the property, since it was close to the old Santa Fe Trail.  It seems that many travelers would pass by on their way West, and some were not so pleasant.  It has also been called a bell tower-I don't know if there was ever a bell up there.  And, lastly, it was called a widow's walk because Maria Sauer would sometimes go to the tower and walk around just to get some fresh air after Anton passed away.  The story we always heard was that a distraught wife hung herself in that tower after hearing that her husband had perished during the war.  And the HAUNT begins! 

Actually,  Anton Sauer loses his battle with tuberculosis in 1879 leaving his wife and children very well off.  And, I should mention, that by the time Maria was widowed she was just 38 years old.  She was mother to Anton's 5 children from his first marriage, her 2 children from her first marriage, and the additional 5 children acquired in their marriage!  One of their daughters did get married in the castle.  I think some of their children did remain for some years with Maria in the home after Anton passed.  One of their daughters, Eve, had married twice and her second husband, having been older, did commit suicide in 1930 by hanging, in a 2nd floor bedroom.  He was in bad health and very depressed.  And it is reported that Eve's young granddaughter did drown in the swimming pool on the property before Anton passed away.  The child was buried on the property and then buried again in a cemetary when Anton was buried.  Maria Sauer continued to live in the Mansion until she died in 1919.  And daughter Eve resided in the home with her children until she passed in 1955.


I don't know exactly how old I was when I first knew of  "The Haunted Castle" as we called it.  But I'm pretty sure it was in the late 1950's when I was 9 or 10 years old.  Some of our school friends lived very near to that property-we lived about 3-5 miles from it.  I can't remember the exact distance, but I could still take you there!  We did actually walk over to look at it from time to time as we got older.  When I was in Junior High School, we would always threaten to go to the castle on Halloween night because there were such rumors of the woman walking around in the tower at night, and screaming and howling throughout the castle.  Also, the lions at the front entrance would come alive and prowl the property looking for something to eat.  And, of course, there were bets on who would actually get into the castle.  Well, we never did get in.  It would have been easier then, because the massive wrought iron fence did not encase the property those years ago.  I walked to the Castle with some girlfriend's one dark Halloween nite, and we heard noises alright!  And you could see movement on the property-just shadows, tho, scurrying about-AND THEN DOGS BARKING!!!  YAAGGHH!  So, it wasn't the Lions coming alive afterall...they were guard dogs, and they weren't happy!  We never got past the sidewalk in front of the property, and then we were walking backwards-fast!

Well, time goes on and I moved away from that part of the city years ago.  But it's not that I ever forgot the Haunted Castle.  And, of course, there's my sister's drawing to remember it's story by.  During my research on this Castle, I came across a review written by a young lady who grew up in another part of Kansas City, in the Miege district.  It seems that this girl and her friends took a serious interest in the Castle, and decided one nite to pay a visit themselves.  There were 5 girls- two stayed in the "getaway car", and the other 3 approached the property. The young lady goes on to say that she and her friends were not aware of the 3 guard dogs stationed around the Castle.  They only came across one dog out front of the property and were able to "steer clear" of him and make their way to the old slave quarters behind the property.  It was then that she saw a small window opening to the basement of the Castle.  This writer then exclaims "STUPID, STUPID ME"...and in they went through the window!  She said that what they saw was no different than the last scene of the "Blair Witch Project", "an empty stone basement with nothing but an actual STONE WELL in the very center...creepy as all hell!"  Had enough?  Well, lo and behold, a light is coming toward the girls, and it's the caretaker, also wielding a rifle.  The author's "two dear friends" climbed out of the basement leaving her with no "cell phone light", and no knee to climb on.  This leads me to believe that the event occurred somewhere in the early to middle 1990's, as we didn't have cell phones in the 1960's!  She does not mention if any words were exchanged between the caretaker and herself or the other girls-but they did come back for her.  She says, "I had to scratch my way up with them pulling on my arms, as I had been entirely alone in Sauer Castle!  Finally, the three of us hauled ass to the car and sped off before we were caught as trespassers and prosecuted!!!"  Her closing comments went like this:

"Oh, what a night...something I will NEVER do again and a story I will NEVER forget.  Is Sauer Castle HAUNTED?  From the fright of feeling trapped in the stone basement with nothing beside me but an old well...I would say YES!"

Now, I have questioned my sister at length about her thoughts and feelings while she was sketching that old Castle.  She comes across as having no fear or strange feelings one way or the other about the experience.  I mean, I HOUNDED her for some sign of fear or spookiness!  I thought she wanted to sit on the high concrete wall that held the property up off the street to do her sketch?  She says "No, I didn't get on the wall...I stood on the sidewalk out front at first and worked, but I ended up on the sidewalk across the street and stood up the whole time while I finished the sketch."  Do you think my sister is holding out on us?  I DO!


I always liked my sister's drawing of the Haunted Castle, but she never hung it in her homes that I know of-maybe it didn't compliment her decor.  My sister has never bragged about her work and asked why I liked the picture so much.  I like abstract art-and she did it!  It has been carefully cared for between Leta and mom, and they gave it to me after my begging and pleading around 1987 or 1988.  It hung above my piano in a former house, and now it hangs in my small entryway at my current home.  I have a gothic looking sconce hanging next to it with a chubby burgundy candle and some small burgundy and brown weeds placed around the candle and hanging from the sconce.  When the candle is lit, it projects an eerie glow to the picture and the entryway.   A perfect place for it.

This was a tough story to write.  First of all, it was my mother's idea to write about it since I do own the drawing.  Originally, I had mentioned to my mother that I wished Leta would take up drawing again.  I loved her stuff-very contemporary work, and I would like to see more!  And that's when mom said I should do a story on the Haunted Castle.  I didn't know if I could do it, but finally started jotting down some notes, and then it took off for me.  So, thank you Leta for providing me with a great subject for an interesting and historic story.  A piece of our own history, too, no doubt.  And thank you mom for the idea and the old articles that you saved from years ago that contained additional information I could not find elsewhere. 

  I also want to mention that I acquired some of my information from the National Register of Historic Places Inventory,, and an article my mom had kept in a notebook since 1978.  The Haunted Castle still stands today.  It has had several owners in the past 40 years, but, so far, there haven't been many renovations.  It has been said that the current owner would like to open it as a Bed and Breakfast-SURE!  I'd be HAPPY to stay the nite there!  Wouldn't YOU?

"If a man harbours any sort of fear, it makes him landlord to a ghost"
~Lloyd Douglas

Thursday, October 14, 2010

In Search of The Great Pumpkin

Every year at Halloween Linus is determined to find The Great Pumpkin.  He searches for the most flourishing pumpkin patch he can find in hopes that The Great Pumpkin will fly over and drop toys and candy.  And he begs his friends to keep vigil with him promising them that they will receive more toys and candy than they could hope to receive by knocking on doors for "tricks-or-treats". 

Charlie Brown FINALLY gets invited to a Halloween party and he isn't about to give up his special nite to sit in a pumpkin patch with "loser" Linus waiting for what all the kids say is a figment of Linus' imaginationAnd not wanting to waste his time any further, Charlie Brown dons his 5-holed ghost costume and sets out for "tricks-or-treats" with his friends.


So, poor, faithful Linus trudges on to his pumpkin patch, and comes across Sally Brown along the way.  He finally persuades Sally to sit with him in the pumpkin patch to wait for the almighty Great Pumpkin.  You see, this is Sally's first year to do "tricks or treats" and she is reluctant, but is in love with Linus and agrees to sit with him and wait.

"Sally, The Great Pumpkin will find our pumpkin patch to be the most "sincere".  He will rise up and shower us with toys."

Eventually, a shadowy figure appears and is moving slowly through the pumpkin's getting bigger, and bigger, and BIGGER UNTIL FINALLY!!!

Well, Linus is so excited he faints!  And Sally screams BLAAGGH!  It's only my dog Snoopy!  I've been cheated!  I missed "tricks or treats"-I missed candy and fun with my friends for this!  "Tricks or Treats" comes only once a year, and I missed it by sitting in a pumpkin patch with a blockhead!"  I want restitution!

"Happy Halloween from The Pumpkin Patch!"

Me and my Great Pumpkin!  Photo taken by my sister in 1968.

I'm probably about 20 years old here in Kansas where I grew up.  My mom had this fold-out pumpkin thing that she put over a lamp during Halloween and when the lamp was turned on the pumpkin would light up in orange.  It's kind of funny, huh?  This pumpkin was so great, he was partially cut from the photo!  My sister and I were playing around with my little Polaroid "Swinger" camera.  You had to smear some stuff  from a tube (looked like what we now know as glue sticks) on to the picture to set it.  The photos would always kind of roll up, so you had to be careful and try to keep them flat.  This photo is quite old.  And hey, my hair looks pretty good-I used to put it up in curls by myself!  Now, I can hardly get my arms up that high-not really...just kidding!   And look at those dining chairs!  I remember the vinyl upholstery used for dinette chairs.  We liked them, back then, of course.  Well, we had fun halloweens, but instead of searching for "The Great Pumpkin", we were searching for a way into THIS!

Story coming to this blog VERRY SOON!!!  Keeping you posted at the KardKorner!

And don't forget to vote on my poll...I promise-I can't see who votes.  But you can tell me if you want!

The Texas Rangers hopefully standoff New York Yankees Friday nite at around 7:00pm Texas time! 

Thanks for stopping by-and thanks for the fun comments and conversation!

Charlie Brown photos- courtesy of
That large gothic structure photo-courtesy of

Friday, October 8, 2010

The Scariest Halloween Movies Ever!

While fishing through Halloween Central on, I came across their list of the 5 scariest Halloween movies ever!  The number 1 scariest movie ever, was said to be "The Shining", in the year 1980 starring our favorite Jack Nicholson!

The 2nd movie chosen was 1973 "The Exorcist".
The 3rd scariest movie was 1974 "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre".
The 4th movie picked is 1991 "The Silence of The Lambs".
 The #5 scariest movie choice was 1975 "JAWS".

And as I was moving along in my quest to find the scariest movies ever, I came across the following 5 from a site called  Here is their list:

#1 "The Exorcist"

The 2nd movie of choice was l978 "Halloween".
The number 3 movie was 1984 "Nightmare On Elm Street".
Then came #4 with 1979 "The Amityville Horror".
Bringing up #5 scariest movie is 2004 "Saw".

Well, those are pretty good lists.  But how about the old "Dracula" and "Frankenstein Meets the Wolfman"?  Those movies were scary to me!  I know, technology, and sound and visual effects have come so far since the 1950's!  I've tried to move up and outward!  I really can't name the SCARIEST MOVIE EVER that I've seen, but I can come close.  The movie "Salem's Lot" written by Stephen King made me sit up and take quick breaths-I would get up every few minutes, leave the room, and then peek around the corner to see if it was safe to go back into the living room.  I couldn't even finish watching it, and had to I had to wait a few more years during a bright sunny day, before I could watch it to the end.  And later, "Nightmare on Elm Street" put me on the edge of the couch within the first 2 minutes of the film.  That's what I get for listening to my son, who was 10 years old at the time-he said it was a pretty cool movie-he had watched it at a friend's house.  I hadn't heard much about the movie, so I rented it.  I came unglued!  And, again, I'm up and down, leaving the room-couldn't watch all of it.  It took me a few years to get through that entire movie and I know I can never watch it again.  

*** So YOU tell me!  What is the SCARIEST movie you've ever seen? *** 

And this is what Mark Twain has to say about that!
"Everyone is a moon and has a dark side, which he never shows to anybody."

~ The Texas Rangers play the Tampa Bay Rays tomorrow at 5:07 pm. ~
We're cheering for our Texas guys!

Fort Worth, Texas is at a cool and mild 71 degrees at 10:40 pm tonite.
  Oh, Autumn, thank you for your refreshing entrance!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Halloween is Grinch Night!

The Cat In The Hat Pumpkin
Entry for pumpkin carving/decorating contest-October 2004

We had a pumpkin carving contest in our office in October of 2004.  We were assigned to teams of  3 or 4 employees.  But, sadly, not all of us have carving skills-yours truly included!  Well, there were 4 of us-me, Kim, Marlie and Shawna, and coming up with an idea was almost futile.  So finally, I begged to do The Cat in the Hat and the girls agreed, as time was running out. And the plans evolved!  I did make the shirt for him using black and white felt.  You can get them cut in squares, so Karo helped me make a pattern and "voila"!  I stuffed the sleeves with newspaper to give his arms definition.  His shirt is wrapped around a starfoam cube and is easily pinned with floral pics to the starfoam.  We painted the pumpkin over and over with white acrylic paint-what a job!  Kim made his ears of white felt-they were cute and we used black pipecleaners for his mouth, whiskers and nose.  I found plastic rolling eyes and we glued them on.  Shawna made his hat, and I think it turned out pretty good.  And, lastly, we placed his head on top of the large starfoam cube.  Well, we didn't even place in the contest, but we did get pretty good reviews.  The actual winners were pumpkins that were cleverly carved-I have pictures of them around here SOMEWHERE-heh! heh! Below are a few of the other exciting entries.  All in all, it proved to be a good bonding time for all of us!

 Halloween Pumpkin Lineup-October 2004

Dr. Seuss
Theodor Seuss Geisel was born March 2, 1904 in Springfield, Massachusetts.  His father's desire was for him to become a doctor.  He did attend Oxford with intentions of earning a Doctorate in literature, but  he married and left before acquiring a PhD.  He then began to write humorous articles with illustrations that he did himself.  It was after his leave of Oxford that Seuss put the "Dr." in front of his name (Seuss was actually his middle name as well as his mother's maiden name).  And before he started writing children's stories he was drawing advertisements for NBC, General Electric and Standard Oil.  Theodor was very patriotic and in 1942, he began drawing posters for the Treasury Department, and also did some documentary films.  Sadly, in 1967, after 40 years of marriage, Dr. Seuss' wife Helen became very ill and committed suicide to end her suffering.  Within the year, he had met and married his wife Audrey and the two remained married until Dr. Seuss passed away in 1991.  Dr. Seuss never had any children, but loved children and was considered the best selling children's author in the world.

Aside from his writing and illustrating 44 children's books, Dr. Seuss' honors include The Legion of Merit Award, two Academy Awards, two Emmy Awards and the Pulitzer Prize in 1984.  His widow was left in charge of his affairs, and after the 2003 production of "The Cat in the Hat", she declared there would not be anymore live productions of Dr. Seuss' books.  It has been said that Audrey disliked Mike Myers' interpretation of the "Cat in The Hat".

 Dr. Seuss National Memorial Sculpture Garden

After Dr. Seuss' death in 1991, his widow, Audrey, authorized the Springfield Library of Museums Association to create a memorial in Massachusetts at the Springfield Museums.  The sculpture garden features bronze characters and a sculpture of Dr. Seuss himself at his drawing board with the Cat in the Hat looking on.  These sculptures were created by Dr. Seuss' artist stepdaughter Lark Grey Dimond-Cates who witnessed many of these characters being born.  The Memorial Garden is said to have been opened in 2002.

I would like to give credit to all the articles found in my research of Dr. Seuss:
New World
*** A special thanks to Laura at forestwalkart for her "unbeknownst" idea! ***

"One man's toxic sludge is another man's potpurri!"

The Grinch!
"You pay this woman to sit on babies?  THAT'S disgusting!  I do it for nothing."
~the cat in the hat~
"Without my hat, I'm just your garden variety, 6' tall, talking cat!"
~the cat in the hat~
Welcome October-a month of all seasons...
 And welcome to KardKornerKrib!