Posts Tagged With: photography

 
 

Spirited Theaters

One thing London does not have a shortage of is haunted places. On my sprint through the city, I mapped out a few spooky locations. Due to the pandemic and the hour of my journey, I wasn’t able to venture into any of them, but they still have that sense of something other worldy lurking in the shadows.

In St. Martin’s Lane, it was originally called The New Theater in 1903. The Noel Coward Theater has the distinction of being the home of it’s original manager, Sir Charles Wyndham. Sir Charles managed both the New Theater and the Wyndham Theater, which sits behind it.

If you see a debonair gray haired man walking the hallways or entering the dressing rooms, say hello to Sir Charles.

Towards the end of WWI, a group of friends were enjoying a performance at The London Coliseum. They noticed a friend of theirs walking down the aisle. Strangely, he disappeared into thin air. On his last day before being deployed, this young soldier had seen a production at The Coliseum. Later, the friends were notified that he had been killed in battle. There were sightings of the young soldier for many years after.

For more stories about Haunted London check out this book by my good friend, Rob Gutro.

Categories: Haunted Travel, hdr, London, Photography, Theaters, Theatres, Travel | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Lights of Christmas Past

For many years, The Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights, lit up the Streets of America at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Begun as a gift from Jennings Osborne to his six year old daughter in Little Rock, Arkansas. The display kept growing until neighbors complained of the traffic and inconvenience. By 1993 the display had grown to over three million lights.

Disney Project Director, John Phelan reached out to Osborne’s attorney about bringing his display to Disneyworld. In 1995, the first Osborne Spectacle of Lights adorned the backlot at the then Disney/ MGM Studios. They appeared every holiday until January 2016 when work began on Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge.

For more information check out…

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Osborne_Family_Spectacle_of_Dancing_Lights

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Shiny and Bright

In anticipation of the Magic Kingdom’s 50th Anniversary, Cinderella’s Castle has a swanky new paint job.

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Going to Dizzneyland

Do you like to go around and round? Getting dizzy in Disneyland is the perfect pastime. Especially after dark.

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Yo Ho Yo Ho, A Pirates Life For Me

Originally conceived as a walk through wax museum attraction, The Pirates Of The Caribbean has long been considered one of the most immersive dark rides in the world of Theme Parks.

When the attraction opened, Disney found the fake skeletons that the Imagineers had made to be missing “something”. It was then that they decided to use real human skeletons to represent the dead pirates. No one knows when these former cadaver skeletons from UCLA were swapped out with fake ones. But today, only one set of bones are the real thing (or so the legend goes.)

According to some longtime cast members, look for the skeleton in the big bed as you sail through the cavern. Behind his head is a skull and crossbones that is noticeably darker than the other bones in the attraction. This has never been acknowledged by Disney but one can only imagine.

Pirates of the Caribbean was the last attraction that Walt Disney worked on before he died in 1966. The cost to build it was over $8 million, coincidentally, this was the same amount the United States paid for acquiring New Orleans as part of the Louisiana Purchase.

Over the year’s the attraction has has several updates. Actor Johnny Depp starred as Captain Jack Sparrow appeared in The Pirates Of The Caribbean films. Captain Jack appears in the attraction several times.

The Pirates themselves became more politically correct over time. The infamous Wench Auction scene now features the townsfolk bringing their valuables to the auction master to be sold.

Helping sell off the town’s prized possessions is Red. You may remember her as one of the brides up for auction. Now, she has joined the pirate raiders and is helping with the proceedings.

If you’d like to join this band of marauding pirates, just take a visit to Disneyland.

Categories: Disney, Disneyland, hdr, Photography, Pirates, Travel | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Something So Familiar

One of my favorite parts of any film studio is the backlot. The Warner Bros. Studio saw many classic films produced in their backlot. From Spiderman to Annie, used the famous Hennessy Street set.

Originally called Tenement Street, it was renamed Hennessy Street after Art Director Dale Hennessy. Hennessy was the Art Director for John Huston’s movie “Annie”. He redesigned Tenement Street to represent Annie’s New York city and the Orphanage where she lived.

If you saw the Movie “Gremlins” then you may recognize these steps down to the basement store where Hoyt Axton buys his son Gizmo. Unfortunately, the magical shop doesn’t exist at the bottom of the stairs.

The many fire escapes set the scene for Tobey Maguire’s and Kirsten Dunst’s upside kiss in “Spiderman” and Prince’s “Purple Rain” cover.

Around the corner from Hennessy Street you may see Hazzard County from “The Dukes Of Hazzard” where the Bo and Luke Duke would raise cain.

Even the Tanner Family from “Full House” have a house on the backlot. If you expect to find Uncle Jessie or Kimmy Gibbler hanging out on the front steps you will disappointed. It was only used once for a photo shoot and never appeared in the original series or the new version “Fuller House”. Even star Candace Cameron featured the fake Tanner House on her own Instagram.

There’s so much more to explore at The Warner Bros. Studio. For more information on tours check out this link below.

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The World Of Harry Potter

Fans of The Harry Potter series will be excited to see some of the film’s iconic props up close and personal at The Warner Bros. Studio Tour.

The candy store, Honeydukes was full of wizarding world confections. Check out the detailed graphics on these candy packages.

Creatures from the films, costumes and concept art are in every corner of the gallery. The life size Dobby was made for the scene where Harry buries him at the seashell cottage. I wouldn’t recommend getting too close to Aragog.

Fantasic Beasts is also represented in the exhibit. You can take an up close look at Gellert Grindelwald, Johnny Depp’s wicked sorceror.

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The Prop Shop

Did you ever wonder where TV shows and Movies get all of the “Stuff” to make their sets look real? One of the stops on the Warner Bros. Studio Tour takes you through The Prop Department.

If you need a library full of leather bound books or a creepy skull, look no further. Propsmasters and Set Decorators comb through the stacks and stacks of things you never thought you needed. You can even rent the Samurai armor from “Inception” or President Bartlett’s desk from “The West Wing”. Keep your eyes open, because you never know what you might spy.

You can check out some of the items for rental at the link below.

https://property.warnerbros.com/

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Marilyn Monroe’s Mirror

The four-star Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel on Hollywood Blvd is one of the area’s most haunted hotels. It seems that some guests just refuse to leave. One such guest was the legendary, Marilyn Monroe.

The Roosevelt Hotel is named for President Teddy Roosevelt and was financed by Hollywood elite, Douglas Fairbanks, Mary Pickford and Louis B Mayer of MGM. Among the Hotels’ guests were Charlie Chaplin, Clark Gable, Carole Lombard and Montgomery Clift (who still paces the halls of the 9th floor.)

Among the treasures of the Roosevelt is a particular mirror that used to be in Suite 1200 during the time that her modelling career was flourishing. Some believe that she comes back to the spot where she spent some of her happiest days. In the 80’s after a lengthy renovation, a mirror from the suite was relocated to an alcove off of the main lobby near the elevators.

One day as an employee was dusting the mirror, she noticed the reflection of a pretty blond woman. She turned around to say hello, but there was no one there. But, when she turned back to face the mirror, the woman was still there.

Marilyn is not the only spirit that haunts the halls of the Roosevelt Hotel. A ghostly apparition manifests on security cameras in the hotel pool. When security goes to investigate, there is no one there, yet the camera shows the swimmer standing next to the security guards.

Caroline is a five year old girl that likes to skip around the lobby singing and 2 gentlemen haunt The Blossom Room. One is seen wearing a tux, the other is heard playing the piano. Guests have been locked out of their rooms, the switchboard receives calls from empty rooms and yes, Montgomery Clift is heard practicing the trumpet he played in “From Here To Eternity” outside room 928.

The Roosevelt Hotel is operational today and, if you dare, you can book a room and discover if it’s haunted for yourself.

https://www.thehollywoodroosevelt.com/

Categories: Haunted Travel, Travel, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Spending the Afterlife in Key West

Looking for somewhere to spend Eternity? Look no further than the Key West Cemetery. If you’d like to preview your everlasting rest stop, start at the entrance at Passover Lane and Angela St. and pick up a free map at the office.

The cemetery was built in 1847 after the original cemetery was washed away in a hurricane a year earlier. Bodies were discharged from the sandy graves and drifted down the street. Some reported that even after the waters subsided, there were bodies stuck in trees around the city. To prevent the horrors of the flood, the new cemetery was built on the highest ground in Key West. Some of the new gravesites are above ground like in New Orleans.

Walking around the cemetery gives you the impression that this is it’s own little city. Populated by the dead, chickens and iguanas.

Here lie the graves of Key West’s famous residents. See if you can find “Sloppy Joe” Russell, Hemingway’s fishing guide and famous bartender. Popular epitaphs located around the grounds showcase the eccentricities of the Key West population.

If you “Remember the Maine” stop near the entrance where there is a fenced in area that contains the remains, known and unknown of many of the 260 sailors killed in Havana Harbor on February 15, 1898. An explosion occurred by accident and not a Spanish mine, as was originally thought. William Randolph Hearst and other newspapers shouted ‘Remember the Maine!’ and was the beginning of US involvement in the Spanish-American War.

Visit the grave of Norm Taylor aka Captain Outrageous. He legally changed his name to run as mayor of Key West. Visitors to the gravesite often leave offerings of Mardi Gras beads to let him know that he is remembered.

A giant Florida Conch marks the grave of Sir Peter Anderson, Secretary General of The Conch Republic. Sir Peter was one of those colorful people that made Duval Street so much fun.

As you wander among the graves and enjoy the sun bleached marble headstones, look carefully and pick out your future spot.

The Friends of Key West Cemetery website has information on the famous and infamous buried here. Check it out below…

http://www.friendsofthekeywestcemetery.com/

A memorial to Captain Outrageous can be found here…

https://captainoutrageouskeywest.blogspot.com/

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