Ghosted

Monica was so excited she could barely sit still while Meghan was curling her hair. Meghan had been her best friend for over a decade, and today she had surprised Monica with tickets to a ghost tour while on their vacation in New Orleans. AND today just so happened to be Friday the 13th.

Monica had been a fan of all things supernatural her whole life. If it was weird or spooky, she was going to watch it. She was starting college in the fall, and she wanted to study Criminology. If it had to do with murders or mysteries, she wanted to know about it.

The girls had decided to venture to New Orleans for their first solo “adult” trip. The fun nightlife, the history, and the good food had landed them in New Orleans. The first two days had been fun, but with this surprise Monica had no doubt she would have the most fun tonight.

Monica knew Meghan didn’t believe in ghosts, but she loved her friend for being willing to sit through this for her. They finished getting ready, and went outside. Their hotel was right off of Bourbon Street, so they didn’t have far to walk to get to the carriage ride.

Five minutes later they were hopping up onto the carriage and listening to the tour guide’s instructions.

“When we get off at a stop for a guided walk through, please remember not to stray. These are old buildings and not all of the floors are stable. Not only that, but you may encounter a couple of spirits that aren’t happy you’ve disturbed them,” said the guide with a wink.

Monica’s eyes lit up, and Meghan shot her a glance. Monica knew Meghan would complain, but she couldn’t promise she wouldn’t explore the parts of the tour that were “off-limits”.

“Don’t look at me like that Meghan,” smiled Monica. “I won’t get us into any real danger. It’s just made up right?”

“I’m more worried about falling through an old floor board than a ghost,” said Meghan.

A few minutes later they were in the carriage slowly moving along. The guide went over the usual historical talking points, pointing out which buildings people claimed to see or hear things in. The carriage came to a stop outside of a dark alley beside a large, industrial type building.

“Okay, everyone off. This is our first leg of the walking tour; follow me!” said the guide.

Everyone filed along behind the guide through the alley and into a side door of the building.

“I wonder what this building was for,” mused Meghan.

The tour guide heard her question. “This was once a canning factory. It closed about thirty years ago though.”

“Why did it close?” Monica asked.

“Over the course of a year, six people were murdered here,” the tour guide said in a creepy voice that made their skin crawl.

“Did they find who did it?” another tourist asked.

“No,” said the guide. “The legends say that the murderer still comes back here occasionally. There have been a few unexplained disappearances in recent years near here, but the police have never been able to link them. Rumor has it, the murderer comes back every Friday the 13th and waits on someone to find him.”

Meghan shifted uncomfortably beside Monica, but Monica was too interested to notice.

“Oh, oh will we get to see where they were killed?” asked Monica.

“We’ll walk above the area on a raised level, but do not stray off of the path,” warned the guide.

“We’re definitely going to look around,” whispered Monica to Meghan. “What could actually happen to us?”

They walked along until they were raised above the area the guide had told them about. Monica looked around and there was an entry to a staircase to her right. She grabbed Meghan by the shoulder and pulled her into the staircase.

“Monica I’m scared, I don’t think we should do this,” whimpered Meghan.

“Don’t be a baby. We’re just going to look around and then we’ll go right back before they even know we’re missing,” said Monica.

Reluctantly, Meghan followed Monica down the stairs into a large room full of machinery. They were about to turn around a go back to the group when Monica saw a hat near one of the machines. It looked fairly new, so she wanted to check it out, thinking it may belong to one of those missing people the guide mentioned.

They creeped along and Monica reached for the hat. It was Pelicans cap, and she had been right- it wasn’t old at all. Monica looked up and as she did, a shadow ran along the back wall.

“Meghan,” hissed Monica. “Someone just ran by.”

“I’m sure you’re just seeing things Monica, but I’m really creeped out. Can we please go?”

Even Meghan had to agree that she was feeling uneasy and wanted to get back to the group. They turned to go back towards the staircase when they heard a thud.

“Don’t look back just run!” screamed Monica.

The girls ran as fast as they could, but when Monica reached the door to the stairs and threw the door open, she saw that Meghan wasn’t with her anymore.

“Meghan! Someone please help! She screamed.” Meghan ran up the stairs to find the tour guide and the group for help, but she couldn’t find them.

They were gone and no one heard her scream.

Outside, one of the tourists remarked that the girls were gone.

“They probably just took off for Bourbon Street,” said the guide. “Happens all the time.”

“Told them not to wander off,” the guide muttered under her breath, as she steered the carriage forward.

 

 

Happy Friday the 13th friends!

Top 3 Libraries I Want to See in My Lifetime

Libraries are my thing. I love the feeling I get when I walk into one, and local public libraries will always be where I feel at home. On the other end of the spectrum though are many massive, beautiful libraries that I would love to see. There are three in particular that I want to visit.

1)    Oxford University Queen’s College Library in Oxford, England

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2)   New York Public Library in New York City, United States

main-reading-room

 

3) Wiblingen Monastery Library in Ulm, Germany

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Let me know if you have been to one of these or if you think there are even better ones to add to my list!

Around the (Disney) World in 365 Days

Good Morning to everyone except people who drink decaf coffee. (Just kidding!)

This post is a little different from the normal murder mystery. While most of my interests in writing lie with the theme I’ve chosen for this blog, I have another obsession: Disney World! My boyfriend, Johnny, and I became Annual Passholders for 2018 and we are getting ready for our second trip of the year over Valentine’s Day weekend. Johnny is helping me write this article to ensure that I don’t leave anything out and to make it even more helpful!

When we went in March of 2017 (the trip that spawned the idea to gift each other these passes) we had no idea what Fast Passes are and we had no idea how a few simple adjustments could make your trip SO much less stressful and more enjoyable. For the love of Disney and your sanity, I thought I would share some tips on how to make the most out of your trip. I know when I was first researching all things Disney, I felt like I kept having to go to separate blogs to get information I needed. My hope is that this will be a comprehensive post.

FAST PASSES

Securing Fast Passes should be your top priority when planning your trip to Disney World. Without fast passes you will spend precious park time in lines that you can avoid with a little preparation. Remember, “Those who fail to prepare, prepare to fail,” and while Benjamin Franklin is not in the Hall of Presidents, his advice will allow you to eat a Turkey Leg in Adventure Land instead of sitting in a line for three hours to ride Space Mountain.

Each park is different in regards to fast passes, but I will break it down by park so that it’s much clearer to understand. For fast passes, you have a window of time that you can visit that specific ride or attraction and go in the short line with little wait. For example your window could be 10:00 am-11:00 am. You cannot go early and you cannot go late, it must be within the window.

Magic Kingdom: You can choose any 3 fast pass experiences that you wish. Once all three of these are used, you can pick three more. You have to use the first three before you can make more selections though. I would recommend using your first three fast passes on rides that typically have a long wait such as: Big Thunder Mountain, Space Mountain, and Seven Dwarfs Mine Train. While “it’s a Small World,” “Carousel of Progress,” and other timeless classics provide a fun experience and a short line, they are a waste of a Fast Pass.

Disney’s other parks, Epcot, Hollywood Studios, and Animal Kingdom, are different in how their fast passes work. The attractions at these Parks are separated into groups. In the first group you can only choose one attraction out of the first group of rides and then two out of the lower level of rides and attractions. For example: In Epcot, Frozen Ever After, Illuminations Reflection of the Earth, Soarin‘, and Test Track are in the first group. While you can get three fast passes to Epcot, you can only choose one of those rides from Tier 1 at a time and two other fast passes out of Tier 2.

When you plan ahead and reserve your fast passes before your trip, you can only do three fast passes per day at first. So, if you are park hopping and starting at Magic Kingdom and going to Hollywood Studios, you cannot do two fast passes at Magic and one at Hollywood Studios. You must do three at Magic Kingdom, and when you use those Fast Passes, you can get the three more at Hollywood Studios.

Fast Passes are harder to get for the newer rides, especially the new Avatar attractions in Animal Kingdom, but it is possible to do. You can get your fast passes 30 days before your day at the park, and if you’re staying on site that window opens to 60 days before your park day. If you plan ahead, you can ride any ride in Disney World!

MOST UNDERRATED ATTRACTIONS AT DISNEY

Some rides, attractions, and restaurants get overlooked after being at Disney for a while, getting less publicity, and simply not being the thrilling rides that some of the attractions at Disney are. Johnny and I were surprised at some of the things we enjoyed doing that tend to get overlooked at Disney.

Primeval Whirl is a really fun ride in the tucked away part of Animal Kingdom. That area has a carnival feel to it, and it is different from other parts of Animal Kingdom, but we had a great time on the ride. It is more of an old school roller coaster than the other ride types, but it was so fast and fun and it is easy to get a fast pass for.

50’s Prime Time Café is the cutest place to get lunch. It is decorated in 50’s decor and the waitresses are really good about sticking to the era when they talk. Not only is it esthetically identical to the 50s, the food is AMAZING. It was easy to get a reservation, even at one of the busiest times of year, and the wait was not bad (yes, you do still have to wait sometimes to eat even when you have a reservation).

Monsters, Inc. Laugh Floor is a great place to go and either cool down or rest your feet, while laughing at Mike Wazowski. It was very interactive and it had people of all ages laughing and joining in. I highly recommend checking it out.

The Country Bear Jamboree was a lifesaver for us on our last trip. When we went on NYE weekend, it was very cold. We had brought jackets, but it was still so cold that we were miserable. We were waiting on our dinner reservations in Liberty Square and had a lot of time to kill, so we watched this attraction at least three or four times. It’s adorable and funny, and I was a huge fan of this movie growing up, so I enjoyed it. The lines were short and it was a good way to warm up (or more likely cool down on future trips).

BEING A PASSHOLDER

Being a passholder has a lot of perks. Not only do you get to go to Disney World an unlimited amount of times in that full year, you also get great discounts on things such as food, merchandise, and staying at the hotels on site. In some cases it is up to 20% off. Parking is also FREE at all parks with an annual pass!

The upfront cost of the pass can be a lot to swallow, but even if you were only to go to Disney World twice during that year for a full week each time, it has more than paid itself off.

Being a passholder also puts you in a separate line to get into parks and you have your same magic band all year (which I highly recommend a magic band for convenience) so you don’t have to worry about getting a new one when you enter the parks at the beginning of your trip. You can just go in.

Passholders also get priority in a lot of situations. For example, we had a reservation at Epcot on New Years Eve and we were worried that the park would reach capacity before we could leave Hollywood Studios and get there. However, one of the cast members told us that people with reservations are always let in, as well as passholders get priority.

I definitely never thought I would be a “Disney” person, especially as an adult. I went once as a child and while I love Disney movies and the characters, I was never obsessed with the idea of going to Disney World. For this year though, Johnny and I are so excited to be kids again and enjoy everything Disney has to offer us.