Saturday, September 29, 2012

"Paranormal Witness: The Fox Hollow Farm" EP 208 Recap

A family fears their Indianapolis mansion is haunted by the serial killer who previously resided there.

In 2006, the Graves family yearned for life outside the busy, city life and while looking for homes out the country, they found a beautiful manor complete with a barn outside and an indoor pool, surrounded by beautiful, lush green woods. The family was very impressed the first time they saw the beautiful home. "It was breathtaking! You walk into the home and living room and you want to stay,” Vicky Graves said about her first visit to the home. Her husband, Rob agreed: "It was in a very desirable location and property. But no one is living here. So you ask yourself what is going on?” As Rob looked more around the home and landscape, he realized that it might be a property he remembered hearing about in the local news so he asked the realtor about it. The realtor told him that Indiana’s notorious serial killer Herbert Baumeister lived there. Baumeister was known to be responsible for the death of 9 single, homosexual men, 7 of them whose remains were buried under the estate. Vicky was a laboratory medical scientist so having been exposed to one's mortality, the idea of living in the home didn’t bother her so much; however, she acknowledged she felt a bit different knowing who owned the home and what had happened. The family moved in anyways and figured all would be well at the Graves household. 

One day, Vicky was cleaning around the pool area. Rob and Vicky had two teenage boys that loved to use the pool and because they got rambuctious like boys are, gravel was tracked in the pool house so Vicky would have to use the vacuum cleaner to clean it up. One day when she was using it, the vacuum randomly turned off. Thinking she yanked on the extension cord, she goes back to plug it back in and continued vacuuming. The vacuum turns off again. Vicky stands up and looks, and this time, the cord is pulled apart and 12 inches apart. This is really odd because I know that I didn't pull it apart, Vicky thought. Vicky proceeds to plug it back in again. The plug then sparked out and yanked off again. "The hairs in the back of my hair stood up. There was an unsettling presence there,” Vicky recalls; “It felt like someone was there and someone didn't want me there.” 

From who else's point-of-view?

Meanwhile, Rob worked at a car dealership when a man named Joe was hired on to work with him. Rob and Joe immediately became good friends and enjoyed working together. However, Joe was having trouble making it to work on time because he lived an hour away and traffic was brutal. Rob then suggested an apartment at the house Joe could use. Rob also warned him about the history of the house and who used to live there but Joe figured since all the “bad things” in the house were gone, it would be okay to live in. After spending a day moving in the apartment, unloading boxes and boxes from the moving truck, Joe was exhausted. Joe brought his dog Fred with him and passed out on the bed from exhaustion. Finally, everything was settled and Joe felt a sense of relief! However, Joe had a less-than-pleasant sleep. He recalls a dream he had where he had a sensation to run. "I felt like something was chasing me...I was running from something bad,” Joe explains. “I was running for my life".  Joe immediately got up to run and smashed into the doorframe and fell on his face. He laid there in pain as shards of glass dug into his fingers. Joe didn't know what he was running from but he felt a sensation to run out right away. He didn’t really know where the sensation was coming from…

An odd sensation to run....
One afternoon, Rob was on a ladder painting the house and Vicky came home from work. Vicky was looking at his work when something caught her attention out of the corner of her eye. “I saw someone standing there,” she said. “I realized that he's got a red t-shirt on and I figure it’s a trespasser. He had his back to me and he slowly walked away. I then realized I couldn't see his legs! And suddenly, he disappeared into the trees…” she recalls. Rob immediately thinks it’s what he describes as a “serial killer groupie”. Both went to the sight where the man was standing but they saw nothing. Because of her job, Vicky claimed she was one of the biggest skeptics. "You have to prove things to me! But I gauruntee you that I saw what I saw!” she exclaimed. One night at around 9pm, Joe was was washing dishes and heard a knock on the door. He grabbed a towel, dried his hands, saying he’d be right there but the door kept knocking. He opens the door wide and no one is in there. He looks over the balcony and staircase and still saw no one. However, Joe felt like he was being watched. But he still didn't see anything. In another scenario, Joe is watching TV when he turns it off to go to bed. He catches something on the screen and turns around. He catches what he describes as a "wisp of something”.  Joe looks back in the bedroom and again, doesn't see anything . Meanwhile, Rob became concerned with what both Vicky and Joe saw and experiences so he installed surveillance cameras that were placed from the barn that had views of the front of the house, in the back of the house, at the front door, and at the back door. The cameras were on continuously. 

Cameras rolling...

Three weeks after Joe moved in, Joe would take walks with his dog Fred and walk up and down the driveway on clear nights. He hears a noise coming from the woods. Fred stops and his ears perk up. He's making low growling noises as well. Fred takes off running and Joe ran after him to see what he was looking at. He saw a man in a red shirt. Once again, the man disappeared into the trees. Joe was fearful to go into the woods because of the man, thinking he may have ill-intent to hurt Joe. But Joe slowly goes into the woods to call out for Fred. As Joe follows Fred's barks, he sees the man in the red shirt for the second time. While Joe doesn’t go into exact detail of what the man was, it was enough to scare both Joe and Fred and both shoot out of there like a bat out of hell. The next day, Joe tells Vicky about it and shows Vicky where he saw the man and where he disappeared to. "There was no evidence that anyone had been there and I'm thinking, okay.....what's going on?" Vicky said. But this wasn’t the last time Joe would experience something in his apartment. 

Joe LeBlanc recalling his dark days spent at the home and what would haunt him....

"One night, I woke up with this startling feel and I hear knocking on the door,” Joe said. Joe was calling out and wasn't hearing a response. The knocking repeated and repeated and Joe actually felt the wood in the panel vibrating inside the door. Joe opens the door and no one is there. The door knob was still horizontal and knocked one last time. "That scared the hell out of me!" Joe remembers. Again, there was no evidence of footsteps being seen or heard. Joe goes out to explore the premises but sees nothing so goes back in his apartment. He's walking upstairs and couldn't see something beyond the lights but still felt like he was being watched. Joe shuts the door, locks the deadbolt and then Fred starts growling at Joe. Joe looks around and hears what he said sounds like the door knob turning. He heard the spring compressing too. Then it stopped turning….BANG! The door flew open and slammed in the wall, sending woodchips flying all over the apartment. "I saw this man. He had a complete look of terror on his face. You can tell he was running for his life, his breathing heavy and he was trying to run from something. I've never seen anything like that in my life!" Joe explains. After much thinking and reflecting, Joe starts thinking that the man he saw was a victim of the serial killer. Joe also wonders why the victim is reaching out to him. "I think I see the victims because they reach out to us to find closure, to seek assistance" Joe explained. Joe and Vicky started researching more on the Herbert Baumeister investigation and the victims of his crimes. They called the local news station to get original footage from the coverage of the case in 1996. In the video coverage, they started showing photos of the victim. One particular one popped up. Joe begins freaking out because he recognizes him… it was the man he had seen in his apartment. But as they watched more of the footage, they learned the police found around 5,500 bone fragments from the property and more were to be found. This inspires Joe to explore the woods and take Fred with him. As they are exploring the woods, Joe looks to the left and something caught his eye. A certain item was lying on the ground as if being meant to find it. "At one point, it all started to make sense,” Joe said about the mystery item he found. It was a Sunday night when Rob and Vicky came home from dinner when Joe runs up to the driveway and said "I found something, you need to see!" The three of them go to the kitchen. 
Joe then shows them a bone, which Vicky identifies as a human femur bone.

What surprised Vicky more so than the actual discovery of the bone was at how flawless the condition of the bone seen…she was even more amazed when she learned of where Joe found it, right on top in the woods, not buried within dirt covered and decayed. Joe then contacted the lead detective on the case and he agreed to come out and show them where everything happened. According to the detective, victims were selected by gay bars in downtown and how he would bring home his victims in for a swim in the pool. Mannequins were found around the pool in various poses, like a setup to lure his victims. What the detective concluded is that the killer would drug his victims with alcohol and/or drugs, lure them into the pool for sadistic, sexual acts and then kill them by strangling them. Herbert eventually killed himself by a gunshot wound to the head on July 3, 1996 to avoid arrest. He traveled to Canada to commit his own suicide.

One night at around 6 o’clock, Joe, his friend Jeremy and the Graver boys were taking a swim in the pool, horsing around one another. One of their pool activities was diving to the bottom of the pool picking up large beetles found there. All the sudden, Joe felt a sensation in his neck, like hands were on his neck. He thought it was one of the guys but they were on the other side of the pool from where Joe was. All the sudden, Joe feels these fingers and describes it as if he was being strangled. When all of this is happening, Jeremy turns to look at him and sees Joe with his hands to his neck and pure panic in his face. Jeremy knew then that Joe was not joking. The hauntings continued. In another scenario, Joe was at the front door where his computer was when all the sudden, he heard “metallic scraping”. Joe then notices something strange in the wall. He sees knife marks on the wall and they went across the wall. At this point, Joe is thinking someone could've been murdered or stabbed. Inspired by ghost shows on TV that he saw, Joe uses a voice audio recorder on his phone and turns off everything in his house, from lights to fans, anything that would cause noise and begins conducting an EVP (electronic voice phenomenon) session in the kitchen. EVP’s are audio/voice recorders being used to ask questions to ghosts/entities and is a way a person can possibly communicate and hear the “voices” of spirits. Joe then asks “Is there anyone in here?” He doesn’t hear a response. All the sudden Fred growls in the background. After looking back and listening to his recorder, he all the sudden hears an answer to his question “Are you here?” Joe hears a crystal clear male’s voice respond;

“The married one”

Shocked at his paranormal discovery, Joe looks through his files of information on the victims. All the victims were single. Herbert Baumeister was the only one in the case that was married. Joe then believes then that it’s not just the spirits of the victims that may be still lingering in the house…..

The femur bone was tested by a laboratory and remains unidentified.

Janes Notes: After last week's headache of an episode, I was pondering whether to get out the vodka for this one or not. However, I didn't need the liquor for this one because it had me hooked from start...and it wasn't towards the end I literally felt chills. But before we get to the end part, let's get into the case. Fortunately, I was able to pull up this article from People that dates back to 1996, which can be found here. I tried to then look up the lead detective in this case but sadly, he passed away at the age of 61 in the beginning of the year. Further information about Herbert Baumeister and the timeline of his life leading up to his suicide can be found here in a PDF format that goes into great detail about his childhood, his rather bizarre behavior during adolescence leading up to his murder cases and murder profile. What intrigued me more so about this case was the part about Joe and Jeremy playfully picking up dead beetles from the pool. Part of me just suggests that this is boys just being boys.It's a common theory that serial killers will "make their start" not by going immediately after humans but experimenting and killing animals. Is there a correlation between the dead beetles, the boys playing with them and Joe's strangling sensation. I personally don't think so but it has been something that I found interesting. As far as the EVP goes? I think out of all the EVP's I've heard in my years of studying this kind of thing...that one is one of the most chilling because of how clear it is. A lot of EVP's I've heard have been whispers, mumbles...not very clear. This one? So clear and so chilling.....

I could easily plaster pictures of this man all over this blog post but this is the paranormal and death were talking and I would instead rather take the time to use this as a place to honor the victims whose lives were taken too soon. So let me close this recap with this;

On behalf of all who contribute here to “MOB Wives”, we all send our deepest condolences and sympathies to the families of the victims. We cannot imagine the grief you’ve had to endure and we all pray that you all find comfort and bask in the wonderful memories you've have with your loved ones. To those whose remains have yet to be found, whose remains still have yet to be properly identified, may your souls find peace and may your families find peace as well.

Picture Credit: Syfy

Follow me on Twitter @janedoeghost

Check out my own site for more ghost adventures at Ghost In A Machine

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Big Ang: Blonde Linda Chats with Carmela

Carmela Interviews Blonde Linda

I had the pleasure of interviewing Blonde Linda, one of Big Ang's best friends. Linda has made several appearances on the show. Big Ang and Linda go back 40 years and their relationship shows it. Linda, who was guilty of humping nearly everyone and everything including boys, men, furniture and one time even Little Louie, on the show, was fun to speak with. I was waiting for her once to say "who's your mama," but I didn't get so lucky. However, I knew I would enjoy this interview because some of the stories she told brought me back to my fun days in the 80's. And boy were those the days.

Hi Linda, thank you for taking the time out to speak with me.

Aw, your welcome Carmela, my pleasure.

First of all, I was wondering if you were related to AJ, because I see one of your last name is the same as his.

No, it’s a coincidence and he refers to me as cousin Linda.

Where did you grow up?


Did you go to school with Big Ang?

No, but we both grew up in Brooklyn.

Tell me how you were approached for the show?

Well, I was around on the set of Mob Wives. I use to go when Ang was filming and Jennifer Graziano, who I know for years, told me about her idea for the Big Ang show.

Did you date any wise guys?

But of course! Sometimes Ang would date a guy and afterwards I would date him, we sometimes switched off and on.

Are you dating now?


And what about marriage?

Been there, been married twice. I'm a cougar and I loveeee my boys!

What is the best gift you ever received?

Well, houses, jewelry, I never had to pay rent once in my life!

Wow! What kind of work are you doing now?

Nothing, I am a retired bartender.

And what is your drink of choice?

Patron baby!

Tell me a bit about Big Ang.

Big Ang has an aura about her. People gravitate to her. She's genuine and not a phony. She's a phenomenal cook. When she cooks she cooks for an army. We  use to have dinner parties s and Ang cooked for all the girls.  Ang could make anything. She could prepare dog shit add some spices and you would think it was great!

I’m thinking in my head, even I couldn't pull that off!

Tell me about a scared shit moment.

Well, really not scared of anything, but I do remember once we were driving down the highway and a cop pulled us over. He wanted to give Ang a breath analyzer  test. He walked over to me and said, "Boy she's hot, can you get me a date?" And I said, "Sure, I’ll get you a date if you let us go!" 

Linda then told me how wherever they went money was thrown at them. She tells me of the times her and Big Ang would show up at clubs and the place use to clear out for them. When guys use to ask for a date, Linda would say "Sure, but you need to buy me an outfit first". And the guys would go for it.

I was enjoying Linda's stories, I asked for some more funny moments with Big Ang. And she had a few more…

There was the time when we were out at the club and Ang was pregnant. Her water broke on the dance floor. So we took her to the hospital. Shortly after we were all in the wheelchairs taking them for rides. Then there was another time when we were at an After Hours club. It was like 20 steps downstairs. When we got there it was snowing. When we tried to leave there was over 15" inches of snow and it snowed the door shut. We couldn’t get out and had to call the sanitation department for help. They came and got us out and had to carry us to our cars because we were carrying our heels in our hands. She also tells me of another time when they were leaving a club and they lost the keys to the car. Ang had really long terodactyl nails so she tried starting the car with them!

Silly me, I was laughing and writing and forgot to ask her if it worked!

Tell me about your relationship with Tan Tony and Franky; the bartenders at the Drunken Monkey.

Well, Tan Tony is my TV brother. He's hot! I love him and we are the same. He loves his women and I like my men! And those eyes will melt you.

I definitely agree with that! And Franky?

He's a fun, nice kid. I don't really know him as long. But the boys are great.

Which mob wife, besides Big Ang, are you closest to?

Renee. I know her since I'm 17. Her Aunt Celia is very close to Ang.

Did you watch Mob Wives Chicago and what did you think of the show?

Yes, I did. Honestly, I didn't take to the storylines so much, but I love Leah and Christina. Christina was just here and we had a blast.

And what do you think of Neil?

He's very nice. Nothing like who I thought Ang would date, but he is very loyal to her.

Any off-screen or during taping moments you can share?

Well, for one thing, we use to all talk at the same time. They were constantly telling us to be quiet and to stop that it's not done like this!

What are your future plans?

Well, I'm a simple person. I'd like to get into fashion  or make-up if this continues. We are hoping for a Season 2.

Well, I wish you all the best for your future. Thank you for taking the time to talk. It was fun. Before I go, did you go to the Girl Power awards that honored Jennifer the other night?

Yes I did!  She deserved it. We had a blast! She's one smart cookie and everything she touches turns to gold. We had a party afterwards and it was standing room only!

What a very nice compliment, I must say. Well, thank you Linda for taking the time. It was really fun talking to you. I hope to meet you in person soon.

Thank you, Carmela. have a nice day. 

Interview By: Carmela Corleone

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Jennifer Graziano's Girl Power Award!

It's all the talk this morning on Twitter! Last night Jennifer Graziano, Creator and Executive Producer of Mob Wives, Mob Wives Chicago and Big Ang, recieved the Girl Power Award at the Green House in Manhattan. The Awards were sponsored by Cherry Martinez and to honor Jennifer for all her accomplishments. Many of our favorite Mob Wives were present to honor and celebrate with Jennifer. Here is just a glimpse!

Ramona, Karen and Renee watch as Jennifer receives her award,

The crowd!

Renee & Jenn sharing a moment.

Cherry, Charlamagne and Renee

Of course everyone at the blog sincerely and warmly congratulates Jennifer Graziano for the well deserved recognition for all she has achieved in a very short time. It's nothing short of remarkable! Please feel free to post your comments to Jennifer below as she often reads the blog!

Picture credit: Cast Twitter Accounts

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

The Mob Doctor: Family Secrets

This scene must have been very important since it's the only one I can find a picture of.

We begin this episode, yet again, when Grace is 6 years old.  Grace's mother told her that her father couldn't come to her birthday party because he was busy with work, but in actuality he was stumbling drunk.  That was the first time Grace's mother lied to her, she says.  I guess Grace's mother never told her about Santa Claus.

All this is to make the the heavy handed point that, sometimes, we can't trust the people closest to us, and, sometimes, the only way to  protect the people you love is with a lie.  I could really do without this Grey's Anatomy voiceover at the beginning and end of every episode.

Grace's mother has invited Brett to dinner with the family.  She's making duck, which is a meal she reserves for whenever Grace brings a doctor home.  Seeing as how Grace IS a doctor, I'm not sure why her mother is so impressed that she is dating one.

Grace's brother, Nate, asks her if she's heard from Moretti lately.  She says, for the tenth time, she hasn't and she tells him to enroll in community college.

Constantine visits Dante Amato, who is in hiding, because of something to do with shooting some Filippino people or something of that nature.  Dante's brother Titus is there as well, and informs Constantine that the video poker machines will be coming in next week.  I don't know about anyone else, but video poker machines remind me of my grandmother... that is to say, not very mob-like or ominous.  Anyhoo, Constantine says he can distribute and collect, and Titus offers him the same deal he offered Moretti, 10%.  Constantine wants 15%.  Is this what it's like to be in the mob, really?

Grace shows up to work, and an old man without family is admitted to the hospital.  And if that wasn't thrilling enough, a woman in a wedding dress appears, saying "Help, I need a doctor."  She is crying blood tears and her dress is soaked with blood.  Like a lot of blood.  So much blood that it couldn't possibly have come out of her eyes.

At this point I am certain that either Grace or I am dreaming.  Why do we have to do the House thing?  Is it not enough that she works for the mob on the side?  Must she also figure out mysterious cases?

Since there's no external trauma, Dr. White, the head honcho says it might have to do with the bride's heart, so Grace says she will stay close, lest we forget she's a THORACIC surgeon, because that's so important.  And then Grace immediately leaves.

Franco, Moretti's former henchman, now Constantine's, picks Grace up from the hospital and brings her to Dante.  She examines him but says she won't know anything until she can get him to a hospital, which is obviously out of the question since he is in hiding.  So she tries to make due by taking a urine sample.

Grace's brother goes to the post office.  Oh wait, no, he's actually registering for community college classes.  The guy behind the bulletproof glass window, for some reason, gives Nate the third degree.  He asks him questions like, do you have proof that you graduated high school?  And, what classes are you going to take?  Nate changes his mind about community college, it's dumb.

Grace asks her nurse friend Ro to find out about Dante's urine.  Ro says it shows a risk of renal failure.  Grace knows she can't help Dante without getting him to the hospital, so she tells Ro to keep her eye on the old guy from the beginning of the episode, and not let anyone call it when he dies.  Ro says, ok, seeing nothing wrong with this picture at all.

Meanwhile, Brett diagnoses the bride as having had a panic attack.  I don't think he even tried to explain why that made her bleed from the eyes.  Maybe Grace's mom should rethink that duck.

Nate storms into the hospital to yell at Grace and tell her how dumb city college is, because they wanted to know what classes he would take and stuff.  She basically tells him, don't bother me with this stuff at work.  This is the first thing Grace has done in two episodes that I have actually liked.  In the parking lot, Nate catches Grace bringing Dante into the hospital.

While Grace gives Dante tests, she finds out that he knew her father.  She asks if he knows who killed her father.  Dante says she'll have to ask Constantine.

Brett is running some more tests on the runaway bride, and finds a shadow on her kidney.  When he presses on it, she screams in pain and pushes him into a window.  She starts bleeding from the eyes and nose again.  Somehow now Grace is involved, and helps Brett inform the family that pressing on the growth released adrenaline that made her go nuts, and the first incident was caused by her corset.

Meanwhile, Flanigan is back from his, um, weekend off.  He has an axe to grind now, and he is suspicious as to why Grace is running to many tests on an octogenarian.  He's about to take over as the doctor for the patient when Franco runs up and says the patient is his grandfather and he insists that Grace stay on as his doctor.  The scare is too much for Dante, so he decides to go back into hiding.

During surgery, Dr. White talks about Grace and Brett's dinner plans, because apparently her mother had called him to tell him all about it.  How embarrassing must it be for your mother to call your boss to tell him she invited your boyfriend over for a duck dinner? 

Before dinner, Grace makes a quick pit stop to Constantine's to ask if he killed her father.  He swears he didn't.  Dante's breathing is very shallow so Grace calls the hospital for results.  She gets some... and based on that and the fact that his nailbeds are pink apparently means it could be cyanide.  I usually don't feel this out of the loop when I watch tv.  But apparently, Dante's wife was so sick of being in hiding, she was poisoning him with cyanide so he would die and she could leave.

Brett is the only one to show up on time for dinner, so Grace's mother gets to speak with him privately.  He helps her cook, and she tells him he has to keep stirring the potatoes or else they get lumpy.  UM... I don't think that's how it works.  That's like saying, if you don't shake the orange juice it will turn back into an orange.

Grace heads home and sees Nate on the side of the road.  He tells her she's in deeper than he knew. Then they go home and arrive just in time to miss the whole dinner.

Dante has survived, and to show Constantine his gratitude, he offers him... 10% on the machines.  Oh.  Well Constantine still wants 15%, so he leaves.  He and his men hijack the truck transporting the machines.  They douse them in gasoline and are going to burn them, but then Constantine realizes that each serial number matches two machines.

Apparently, I neither understand the medical part of this show, nor the mob part.

At this point I discover that Grace still lives at home AND she sleeps, which I was pretty convinced she didn't do.

Constantine visits Dante's brother Titus and tells him he knows about the twin machines, and how half the money can be collected tax free.  So wait... this money was going to be taxed?  What was illegal about these video poker machines then?  Constantine says now he's going to take 25% on all the machines.  Good for him, I guess.

A patient comes into the hospital and is pretty instantly pronounced dead.  Grace recognizes it is Dante's wife, and tells them to tell the coroner to check for cyanide.

Nate goes to Constantine and says he knows Grace is working for him, and now he wants a job.

I was hoping this episode would be less confusing than the last, but that wasn't the case.  For some reason this show wants to be EVERY medical drama that's ever existed AND MORE, but for me it is falling flat on all levels.  Why do we have to have to be subjected to Brett's ridiculous cases?  Why do we have to be subjected to Brett at all (no offense, but he doesn't serve much purpose)?  They could use that time to, oh, I don't know, tell us what debt Grace is even paying?  Maybe show her actually being an ethical doctor?

Is it just me?  What did you guys think of episode 2?

Follow me:
Picture Credit: FOX

Real Housewives of New York: What The Hell Moments S5E17

Don't go away mad Ramona, just go away!

The reason I jumped on to season five of the RHONY is because they brought in three new wives. I only watched a few shows of the past four seasons and had no favorites. In fact, if anything, I found them all obnoxious and annoying, looking for any excuse to argue and behave badly. The arguments were heated and over petty issues. When they brought in three new wives I thought, this is my chance to poke fun at the show, because it has been “reinvented” and all the “dynamics” have changed. Maybe a fresh point of view on an old show is in order? And that’s where I am coming from. I have no allegiances to anyone on the show. I write what I see and feel. Let’s get to the show!

Aviva: "I may be dependent on Reid, but YOU are dependent on alcohol!"

Aviva is getting a bad rap from what I saw on Twitter last night. Aviva “heard” that Ramona called Harry, her ex-husband” to ask him about Aviva’s phobias. Why the hell is that Ramona’s business? She obviously doesn’t like Aviva at all. So why does she intrude into her Aviva’s personal life like that. Everyone watching the show knows they would be pissed if someone you didn’t like called your ex or anyone you were close to, to ask questions about you. And, that’s why Aviva was pissed and THAT is what she wanted to talk about at lunch. It wasn’t Aviva who brought up St. Barth’s at all, it was Ramona. Ramona must have assumed Aviva wanted to rehash it, but that was clearly not the case. Once Ramona went off, Aviva defended herself. Aviva barely got to discuss Ramona’s inappropriate call to Harry. Ramona kept the conversation on St. Barth’s because she knew she was dead wrong to make that phone call. Now how did Aviva know about the phone call to Harry? Did Harry call and tell her or did a producer mention it? Whatever the case, she had every right to be angry and confront Ramona about it. What if had been Aviva who called Mario to discuss Ramona’s drinking?

As for Aviva bringing up Ramona’s drinking issue. This is not the first time this has been brought up on the show. I watched the Reunion Show of season four…don’t ask why…and it was either Kelly or Jill who accused Ramona of being an alcoholic. Ramona drinks too much on the show. She often appears to be tipsy, slurring words, talking out of her hat, and not too steady on her feet. I think there is cause for concern. Whether you like Aviva or not, the fact that she brings this up to Ramona to make her aware she may have a problem, is a good thing. After all, Ramona keeps insisting that Aviva is dependent on Reid, and Aviva never denied it. But, those dependent on alcohol are often in denial.

Sonja: "Boo Hoo I have to sell the house in France!"

Aviva also brings up the fact that Ramona “enable” Sonja’s drinking. Sonja is depressed over her financial problems…boo hoo she might have to sell the house in France! We should all have those problems. But, alcohol is a depressant and not good for someone who is allegedly depressed. I think Aviva is has a point that Ramona should be more concerned for her friend, Sonja, and not encourage the drinking. However, if they both have issues with alcohol, they sort of give each other permission to drink because it’s “social.”

Now I can just hear all the Aviva haters hating me too! But, the New York Daily News reported its own What The Hell Moments, on September 18th, saying that Sonja was “straddling cameras naked” and Ramona almost broke one of the cameras, during one of their drinking binges. Of course, this footage never made it on to the show. It was also reported that the two ladies locked themselves in their room, leaving the crew outside the set. Subsequently there was a meeting between the women and the crew to discuss how they were treating staff. So there is some real validity to Aviva’s remarks and perhaps there should be more concern from others who are close to these two women? In other words, don’t kill the messenger!

George made things worse, Ramona was already traumatized at lunch!

Now for Aviva’s Dad. Why the hell did she send him to Ramona’s charity event? Was it to get even with Ramona? Well it worked! But no, she should not have sent him to the charity event, especially since she is well aware of his predatory behavior around women and that he needs to be supervised. At 80 years old, the man has a lot of energy, but lacks censorship in his brain. Whatever he thinks immediately comes out of his lips. It’s not big deal that Aviva missed the event…Ramona and Sonja both blew off her charity. Ramona gave her a check, Aviva reciprocated, but she should have mailed it or gave it to one of the other women to deliver. George needs to go to obedience school to control his “urges” or reduce his medication and natural libido enhancers!

Now a tip for Aviva. There are professionals who specialize in helping people with phobias. They say they are relatively easy to “cure” because although there may be some real trigger that started them, many are irrational fears that can be eased with baby steps. Maybe she could make a list of her fears and they can be worked on one by one. Even if they only eliminate half of them, it would reduce her stress level. I am concerned that her children may overhear her say she is afraid of this, that and the other, and develop phobias themselves to some of these things. For all I know she has already tried behavior modification, but I had to throw it out there.

My assessment of the ladies so far is that Ramona and Sonja are the worst behaved, prima donnas I have ever seen. I have always disliked LuAnn for her condescending attitude towards the other wives, but this season she seems a bit more like the rest of us…peasants. Maybe Carole’s presence is a reminder that no matter how high up you are on the social ladder, there are always people higher than you? As for the new wives, Carole is like no other. She is always the calm during the storm. Carole is level headed, logical, intelligent and funny, even though the others barely let her get a word in. Her blogs are hilarious. I like her, she is consistent and she considers others, not herself. Heather is pleasant. She tries to avoid confrontation and drama, but doesn’t run from it. She handled both Ramona and Sonja very well, even though they really tried her patience. She speaks the truth and tries to be diplomatic if the subject is touchy. I like her too. Aviva seems to be the one all the older fans of the show love to hate. I will admit that I had had enough of the “leg story” in the early episodes. For someone who didn’t want to focus on her leg and disability, Aviva seemed to always bring it up. However, let’s not forget that editing and the producers have a hand in this. I think Aviva did her best to get along with the “old” wives, Ramona and Sonja. It wasn’t working. I don’t think it’s all Aviva’s fault. The issues she had with Ramona, and Sonja “by proxy,” were brought on and created by them for the most part, in my opinion.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Big Ang: A Movie Role for Big Ang!

Big Ang at her book signing

If you missed any of Big Ang's book signings don't worry, there are more to follow. Big Ang wasn't kidding when she said, “Bigger is Better.” Seems like there is no stopping this reality star! Big Ang has been on the move.

When Big Ang starred in Mob Wives Season 2, it was only the beginning of her reach for the stars. Soon after, everyone fell in love with Big Ang's no drama, I just wanna have fun, persona. This soon led to her own spinoff, “The Big Ang Show,” that aired through summer. There are murals of Big Ang painted throughout Staten island, Brooklyn and Manhattan. Fans stop and take photos of themselves next to the murals while almost stopping traffic. Her book, “Bigger is Better,” came out in September and she currently is doing  book signings.

What's next for Big Ang?  It looks like she made it into the movies. Recently she was on the set of “Scary Movie 5,” in Atlanta. She will be filming a cameo appearance, playing herself. The production set said they wanted big personalities for the movie who are larger than life. After all, can you get any bigger than Big Ang? Who has a tape measure?

Catch one of Big Ang's book signings in the next few weeks, the dates and locations are posted below. As I come across more dates, I will post them here. For all the latest news on Big Ang, show, cast and Mob Wives follow me on twitter @carmelacorleone

Written by: Carmela Corleone

Upcoming Book Signings:

Tuesday, Sept 25th
7:00 pm
Barnes and Noble
2245 Richmond Ave.
Staten Island, NY

Thursday, September 27th
6:00 pm
Angelina's Restaurant
399 Ellis Street
Staten Island, NY

Saturday Oct. 13th
Brownstone Realty
268 Court Street
Brooklyn , NY

Friday, September 21, 2012

"Paranormal Witness: A Haunting In Connecticut" EP 207 Recap

A family learn that their new Connecticut home was once a funeral parlor, and strange incidents occur in the walls 

The year was 1987. Carmen Snedeker was living the American Dream in a small town in Upstate New York: she had a husband named Allen and together, they had four children Brad, Jennifer, AJ, and Phillip, the oldest of the four. “Phillip was idolized, he was their big brother,” Carmen said. “They all played baseball, rode bikes…it was a nice slow paced life. There was nothing that I thought could destroy our lives.” But that was all about to change dramatically. After Carmen discovered a lump on Phillip’s neck, she took him to the doctors for test. The lump tested positive for Hodgkins Lymphoma cancer. Even worse, no childhood treatment centers were nearby. The closest one was in Hartford, Connecticut which offered “very radical, intense” new treatment so for five times a week, Carmen would make a round trip to the treatment center. The treatment left Phillip’s skin scarred and black and the trips were becoming too much as Phillip would constantly suffered from nausea and headaches. Worried that the trips would literally kill him, Carmen and her husband decide to move to Connecticut to be closer to Phillip’s treatment center. 

The actual home in Connecticut (picture credit: NY Daily)
Buying a place with four children in Connecticut was a very difficult process and the only option the family had was an old townhouse. The family knew it was their last resort so they too it with Carmen promising herself she would make it as much of a home as possible.  When the family arrived at the home, Carmen was hesitant to go in right away. “I begged Allen to please go in and check it,” Carmen recalls. “I’m chewing my nails waiting on him to come back out. He was gone about 15 minutes. (He comes back) We then go into the house and everything looks pretty normal”. However, one unique feature of the home was that in every entrance way, there was a crucifix. It was then that Allen informed Carmen that this townhouse used to be a funeral home. A stunned Carmen and Allen go to basement and they see a counter that went around the 3 walls. There was also another room to the right that was used to prepare the bodies that included an embalming table, an embalming machine, and a lever that would lift the coffins up to floor level. Needless to say, Carmen wasn’t exactly thrilled; “We have a son that has cancer! I don’t want him thinking of his own mortality, we can’t live here!” Allen said they had no choice so they decided the best they could to turn the house into a home and try to keep it from the kids that it was once a funeral home 

Meanwhile, the kids were excited because of the size of the house and thought it was like a palace. Phillip, who was still very ill from treatments, stayed in a room connected to the basement.  On the first night at the house, Philip went downstairs to bed. Carmen was on the phone with Allen explaining about the day and talking about Phillip. Meanwhile, Phillip is sleeping and wakes up to someone calling his name and so he tells his mom. Carmen explains she probably heard her say his name over the phone and the sound travelled through the house. He warned “no, we have to leave this place and never come back, its evil”…..

Brad and Phillip explored the home as Phillip showed Brad the “funeral basement”. Phillip puts Brad on the embalming table as a prank and spun him around. Brad told Phillip to stop; “He was really trying to creep me out!” The next day, Phillip tells Brad and AJ about the counters that go all around the room. Phillip opened a hole under the counter and AJ explained how they all proceeded; “ Phil was in front, then it was me, naturally me being the youngest one, I was in the rear…it was like a long dark cave…” AJ then noticed a stain on the ground. AJ touched it and described it as a “dark, sticky substance”. Phil took his flashlight, pointed it to the wall, and it showed deep, dark red stains on the wall, like the color of blood. All the boys frantically crawled out, scared out of their mind. Meanwhile, Carmen is wondering what all the fuss is about.  “They’re white as ghosts and said there was blood coming out of my wall,” she described. “I thought it was paint running down the wall that was dried. I started laughing at them and said, ‘scared yourselves, didn’t ya? You had no business of being down there anyways!’” When a crucifix on the entranceway went missing, she once again assumed it was boys just being boys and they were trying to scare her. Despite the shenanigans she thought her boys were up to, Phillip’s health was her main priority; “He was so ill and…he was going through probably more than I can imagine,” she recalled. 

Phillip went to sleep one night and heard his name called again. He was hearing it every night now and began seeing things. Carmen assumed it was maybe the side effects of treatment and medication. Carmen was afraid that he was telling the kids these stories and they were going to believe it. They had been living in the house for about six months when Phillip wakes up and sees four cloaked men in the corner of the room. Brad, who was sharing the room with Phillip, wakes up and both boys look over at the men.  “My (toy) robot was going crazy and there were four guys standing around it. All I saw were dark cloaks,” Brad explains “All the sudden, all four of them turned over... My heart’s in my throat, scared, about to pee my pants!” Brad and Phillip ran to Carmen to tell them about the four men in the basement “I was more angry then frightened!” Carmen said. “If somebody is in my house with my babies, I get angry! I was going down to rip them a new one!” Carmen went downstairs, the boys next to her, scared to death. Carmen explores the basement with a flashlight. The next way of going into the basement was going through the back half of the rooms. Carmen went from room to room looking. She looked in every possible room and every possible place and there was nobody there. Carmen calls the police to report a possible burglary. But in conclusion, once again, she thought it was the boys story-telling and taking the crucifixes.  “I told Phillip that he needed to act his age!” Carmen said. She then held a family meeting for the boys and explained that they needed to stop with the ghost stories. 

It had been a year since the family moved in the house when Brad came home from school and saw that Phillip had moved his bed from his bedroom to the next room over, the embalming room, which Carmen felt was very strange.  “Puberty was kicking in, he moved to a strange city, he had cancer,” Carmen explained “He was hearing voices and he was seeing things. His doctors were telling him it wasn’t the medication”. Meanwhile, Phillip became more withdrawn. That summer, the family cousins, Kim and Tammy came over to visit. Tammy was especially excited to see Phillip. “Me and Phillip had a deep connection, we were like brother and sister,” Tammy said. “Everyone greeted me at the door except Phillip. I was kind of hurt. I wanted to hug him and have him be excited with me…he just wasn’t…”

The Snedeker family's case went onto the big screen (pic credit: People)
One day, Brad went downstairs to the bedroom and he discovered Phillip writing in a book. Brad poked fun at him and playfully asked him what he was writing. He’d just sit there and look at Brad. It’d send chills up Brad’s spine. In another scenario, Tammy was cleaning up around the house and noticed in Phillip’s room, there was the book. She opened the book and was stunned at what she saw in it. In it included gruesome pictures with “dark words” like “kill” and “death” in them. Worried about Phillip and his odd recent behavior, she showed the book to Carmen. Carmen became very disturbed by the book. “I began to wonder if these were his writings at all because Phillip was dyslexic and I had spent years teaching him how to write the alphabet let alone these complex words,” Carmen said.  When Carmen asked Phil how he wrote them, he said “the man helped me write him”. At dinner time one night, Phillip reached around Carmen at the dinner table and his sleeve went up; Carmen noticed scratches in his arms and grabs his arm, demanding where the scratches came from when Phillip explained “something it telling me to do this”. 

Meanwhile, cousin Tammy became more spooked at Phillip’s behavior. “This was not his nature at all,” Tammy said. “Now he was different. Tammy explained how Phillip would just lean around, looking out at you. As time went on, Phillip became more aggressive and began throwing punches at his brothers where playful wrestling turned into UFC brawls. On one occasion, Phillip was being very physical with Brad when Tammy jumped in to defend Brad. Phillip retaliated by going into Tammy’s room and destroying it. On a second occasion whenTammy and Philip were fighting , out of nowhere, Phillip used an unusual amount of enormous strength and threw her across the room.  “It put the fear of God in me!” Tammy explained. Carmen herself was stunned: “He was a sick boy! There was no way he could throw me across the room like that. He just couldn’t”. 

Tammy woke up one night and felt hands were grabbing the covers. She felt like something was coming after her. Her shirt is being lifted up. She was very frightened because she didn’t see what it was. Tammy felt very violated and confided in her Aunt Carmen about it. Carmen didn’t believe it was ghosts and that it was her son. “I didn’t know what to feel or what to think. I felt more like a robot running on battery power,” Carmen explained.  Allen was in New York at the time and Carmen was left alone deciding what to do. She called Phillip’s doctor and said what was going on. The doctor said that she was describing symptoms of schizophrenia and Phillip needed to be committed. Carmen felt completely numb as she was about to face making a heartbreaking decision. Come 6 o’clock on evening and she’s acting like nothing is wrong. She made his favorite dinner for the family. The doctors all the sudden came in the house without a word being said. They took Phillip away but not without a fight.

“MOM, what is going on??” Phillip screamed. “What are they doing to me?”
“I am so sorry, Phillip….I am so sorry…” both Carmen and Tammy answered. 

“I wanted to believe him but every time they had told me that there was something going on, I went in there and looked and never found anything so I couldn’t prove that there was anything there,” Carmen cried when remembering that dark event. “I had to make sure the other children were safe!”
They doctors strapped Phillip in a straight-jacket. They wouldn’t let Carmen in. But Phillip continued screaming and yelled out a haunting warning; 

“Mom, don’t leave me! Now that I’m gone, they are going to come after you!” 

Carmen cried the entire way home. She was angry, frustrated, sad and conflicted. Everything he said preyed on her mind. Finally, Carmen had enough and wanted to get to the truth. Carmen went to the back stairs and yelled “You son of a bitch, you want to play? You play with me!” She sat at the stairs for a few hours to “quiet, eerie silence”. Nothing ever appeared. Meanwhile, Tammy once again, woke up to see a shadow above her. Her covers were pulled off completely. Tammy ran terrified to Carmen’s room. Carmen then noticed on her way out of the bedroom, she noticed her crucifix was gone. There were no more crucifixes in the house. Carmen returned to Tammy’s room and began to read the Bible to Tammy. Tammy then said, “it’s coming, it’s coming!” Tammy felt a hand rise up under her clothes. Carmen saw the wrist, the hand, the knuckles crawl over Tammy and violate her. Carmen immediately scooped her up and ran her to the dining room. Tammy was trying to calm down when she saw it was coming again. Carmen couldn’t sense it but Tammy did. “The coldness, the growling, the motion of the room, the coldness,” Tammy explained. “ I feel it and I couldn’t see it or fight it back. My rosary began levitating around my neck!” The rosary then dropped and shattered to pieces .

Carmen knew in her heart at this point that committing Phillip was the wrong decision. 

Happier Times: The Snedeker family. (picture credit: Hubpages)
Carmen calls the church after this incident and fortunately, they believed her and told her that there would be an exorcist the next day. Carmen was joyous to know her family would be healed and on that day Carmen was showering on day when the shower curtain “very quickly wrapped around me. I couldn’t push away,” she explained. “It was tightened around my face. Like someone was trying to smother me. It’s getting tighter. I thought this thing is trying to kill me. It wants me dead….”Tammy hears Carmen screaming to her. Tammy tried unraveling her and eventually, pulled and ripped the curtain apart. The house was later on exorcised. “That house, it changed us to the core of who we are,” Carmen said. The family moved out of the house 1989. While the haunted house was behind them, the scars it caused the family weren’t. “The guilt of what I’ve done to my son is overwhelming,” Carmen says sadly. Eventually, Phillip was out of the hospital. The first time she saw him, she just held him and rubbed him and said “I’m so sorry, baby.” While Phillip was back home with the family, he grew up having a very hard time with trust and maintaining a relationship with his family because of what had happened to him. 

After 24 years, Phillip’s cancer appeared. He died in January 2012 at the age of 38. Carmen remembers his final moments; “he came to me a week before he died and came into the kitchen and asked “mom am I evil?” “No, you’re not evil, you’re a sweet boy and I’m proud of you…” 

Shortly before he died, he recorded this audio interview;

“…Can you hear me? I told my mom someday, one, that the house was evil. My parents weren’t believing me and yeah, I guess I became more fascinated then frightened of the things that were in the basement. My mom was trying to be strong and on one hand, was trying to do what was right but on the other hand, I felt a sense of betrayal. It’s hard to describe the way the (inaudible) can find its way into the little nooks and crannies in your life and begin to manipulate you like that.” 

Janes Notes: Oy vey, where the heck to begin? This was a loaded case and what was even more interesting than the episode was a little bit of net searching for more information about this case. This real life case was the inspiration for the movie “The Haunting In Connecticut”. Ed and Lorraine Warren, paranormal investigators, were soon called upon the house and an exorcism was performed. The Snedeker family have gone on nation-wide talk shows, interviews and their story…and its legitimacy…is still a paranormal debate between believers and skeptics. Anyways, I tried going to Carmen's site, but it just takes me to Go Daddy's! website. I tried looking up Syfy but even they don't have the episode featured. I started by coming across this article here about the case in People Magazine but that wasn’t enough for me. It is mentioned that the entity that haunted Phillip was a “long haired” spirit. It also mentions 3 kids and two nieces. Didn’t she say 4 kids? She said she had 3 boys, AJ, Brad and Phillip and then a daughter. I also couldn’t find anything in the Hartford Courant about the case. Anyways, I found a lot of this research was conflicting, accusations that Carmen was involved in an illegal state lottery scam (couldn't find anything on that) and made my head spin but bear with me as I post the following on what I found on the important characters involved in this story: Carmen Snedeker, Ray Garton (author of the book “In A Dark Place” about the case...and was also interviewed in regards to how the stories the Snedekers seemed to have not added up), Joe Nickell (paranormal investigator/publisher), and Susan Trotta-Smith, the owner of the now famous townhouse. All quotes from articles/interviews are in orange. 

I  did a search of Carmen Reed after learning she changed her name from Snedeker to “protect her children” (source for that quote: here). I did a google search on Carmen Reed and this page came up on the first page. Click here for the full page but some of the content contains on how she has a “gift” and always knew it: 

At an early age, Carmen found a friend, Jaco, who became and remains her spiritual guide. No, no one else can see or hear Jaco, but his ability to help Carmen see into others spirits is well documented. Jaco was not only her spiritual guide and friend, but her advisor, as he knew the "normal" world would not approve of Carmen voicing all her concerns about upcoming events. In spite of Jaco's insistence, Carmen told her uncle of his impending death, and he never forgave her in this life. Thus she learned to "jam" her gift; another way of saying withhold the information. She stifled her abilities for many years. 

This has got me confused because she said over and over on the TV show that there were no such things as ghosts.  She did an interview for CNN that can be found here.


Garton was hired to write a story based off the case and was invited to spend time with the Snedeker family. According to his accounts, the family "was going through some serious problems like alcoholism and drug addiction, could not keep their story straight, and I became very frustrated; it’s hard writing a non-fiction book when all the people involved are telling you different stories”. He also noted in regards to Phillip; 

Since writing the book, I’ve talked to a couple of people who knew the Snedekers when they lived in the house in question, and it seems no one in the neighborhood was aware of the boy having cancer. I’ve been told he was a trouble-maker who had some difficulties with drugs and mental illness, but nothing like the health problems the Snedekers claim. The Snedekers’ story involves an incident in which some young female relatives were fondled and groped in the house by demonic hands, but the boy confessed that he had done the fondling and groping, and that’s why he was removed from the house......Personally, I have no solid evidence that the boy did not have cancer, and I’ve never said that he didn’t. But the evidence that he did is pretty flimsy, and when you combine that with the other holes in this story and some of the disreputable details about the Snedekers and the Warrens, it’s difficult not to question it. As I said, I’m not claiming the boy did not have cancer. But there are reasons to doubt the claim, and all those reasons are related to the wobbly and ever-changing story told by Carmen Reed.

The full interview can be found here


Joe Nickell has 40 years experience under his belt from a magician, to paranormal investigator to a private investigator. He is the publisher for "CSI: The Committee For Skeptic Inquiry" whose "mission... is to promote scientific inquiry, critical investigation, and the use of reason in examining controversial and extraordinary claims." (Here's the link to the site). Nickell had his own encounter with the Snedekers and includes even more disturbing claims;

"Other revealing information came to light in Southington—about Philip Snedeker’s drug use, vandalism, and other misbehavior. There was even an explanation for the sexual touching that Carmen’s niece had felt “from an unseen hand.” The boy was actually caught fondling his nieces while they slept. “Steven” (as he is called in the book) “was taken away by the police that afternoon. He was questioned, at which time he confessed that he’d been fondling the girls while they slept at night, and that he’d attempted unsuccessfully to have sex with his twelve-year-old cousin.” He was later taken to the juvenile detention center, where a psychiatrist diagnosed him as schizophrenic (Warren et al. 1992, 145–147)."

Full article can be found here



Susan and her husband are current owners of the house and aren't exactly thrilled with the Snedeker family and their exploits of the story. An article in The New York Daily News interviewed Susan about the house and the media fenzy that surrounded it in light of the movie. "It's got beautiful woodwork and there is a nice warm feeling to the house," Trotta-Smith said. She further explains that the curiosity surrounding the house has caused a lot of headaches. Article can be found here

My take on it all?  After reading all this conflicting information, it's a good case of "he said, she said'. There will always be a dose of skepticism in the paranormal community when encountering the paranormal but when it comes to this case? It's not looking really good for the Snedekers as far as their credibility goes. Too many questions about it, not enough answers. Phillip played such an important, vital role in this case but to think that he was so quiet about it while his mom went and took this case to a media frenzy level? If that was my child and he was that scarred from it, I would respect that and not tell the story and try to live as much of a normal life as possible but that's just my opinion. This pic pretty much sums up my reaction to this;

Follow me on Twitter @janedoemessage

For more ghost adventures, check out my personal site at Message In A Bottle