Saturday, March 03, 2007

From The Plastic Pumpkins Case Files: The Sinister Secret of Alden House

Perched high atop a hill on a winding and secluded country lane there stands a house who's every bit of brick and wood exudes an evil so palpable that Campbell's could capture it in tin, call it "Cream of Evil House" soup and sell it at your local grocery store, but not for very long since no one would buy "Cream of Evil Anything" soup and stores would soon remove the product from their shelves and replace it with something more popular like another facing of "Chicken Noodle-O's" and the exec at Campbell's who had the brilliant idea of trying to sell a soup that was nothing more than the very essence of evil house itself (in what is already, let's face it, an overcrowded market) would find his sorry behind fired so fast that the trip from his swanky corner office down to the employee parking lot would be nothing more than a red and white with gold lettering blur...

Where was I? Oh, yeah-

What Is The Sinister Secret Of Alden House!?!

Alden House sits alone (except for the big observatory that's right next door) and forgotten (except by those who drive past every day on their way to and from that big observatory) on the grounds of the University of Virginia in Charlottesville where the people in charge don't mind you trespassing on private property so long as it's for a worthy cause, such as paranormal research and investigation or taking pictures for your blog. While the building is still owned by the college, the people concerned with such things have long since given up any attempts at occupying the property. Alden House has been abandoned and sealed off for as long as any one that I talked to about the matter can remember. (I talked to no one.) What resides within the walls of Alden House that have driven otherwise logical and collegiate-type people to run screaming (one assumes) from it's shadowed halls in the dead of night (I imagine) taking nothing with them but the clothes on their backs (probably)? Theories abound, all of them formulated by this writer. Was Alden House once the scene of a multiple murder so gruesome and violent that the victims of this crime continue to haunt their former home, staring with unseeing eyes out of every mirror and re-arranging the alphabet magnets on the refrigerator to spell out rude and vaguely threatening messages? Was Alden House the site of a long ago frat initiation stunt that went hideously awry leaving the poor initiate who was the focus of the deed forever scarred, both physically and mentally? Was the Alden House frat then closed down for many years thereafter until some rowdy, over-sexed and possibly hopped up kids decided that it was the perfect spot for a rocking Arbor Day party only to have the party crashed by that now-crazed initiate who'd just the evening before escaped from the asylum he'd called home for the past twenty-five years and who then proceeded to decapitate, garrote, disembowel, crush and mutilate each and every one of the drunken revellers all the while dressed as a lumberjack until finally only one party-goer remained... probably a girl... probably blond... who alone managed to kill this homicidal maniac in such a way that he may or may not really be dead, but will at least lie low for another 8 to 12 months? Was Alden House built on land that was once the burial ground of Native Americans or a cemetery for freed slaves and do those souls buried beneath Alden's foundation cry out for vengeance against all who would dare dwell there as the spirits of deceased minorities are so want to do? Nobody who knows the truth of this matter is talking but I say- probably yes to all those things! Alden House is one bad-ass MoFo.

If the truth of this matter was ever to be known it would require some on-site investigation. A photo-taking excursion was planned for a day when the forecast called for clear and sunny skies. I mentioned before how Alden House exudes evil, so you'll understand why 'clear and sunny' was a must. It's kind of creepy up there and no one would come with me.
Upon arriving at Alden House I parked in the driveway at the rear of the building, then proceeded down the road so that I could approach the house from the front because it's a lot more dramatic that way. Looking at this photo I think that we can all agree that, clear and sunny weather not withstanding, there is some way-bad mojo going on at this place!

I approached the house cautiously, snapping pictures as I walked. The air seemed heavy and, except for all the birds and the passing cars and joggers and college kids on bikes, there was an unnatural silence about the place. But even more sinister still was the strange glow that seemed to emanate from the walls of Alden, a 'halo of evil' if you will. So intense was this glow that one could not stare directly at it for very long without soon finding themselves forced to avert their gaze. Lesser men and women would have turned back right then...

...but I sojourned on. I was crossing the front lawn of the building when suddenly, and with what I think in retrospect was probably a foreboding blast of frigid air, the image within my camera's viewfinder blurred and the ground beneath my feet seemed to give way! Was I so soon after arriving to feel the wrath of Alden's spirits? Did they resent the very fact of my having innocently set foot upon their property? Or, blinking and half-blinded from Alden's 'halo of evil' and looking through the camera at Alden's front porch rather than at where I was going, did I trip over a fallen branch lying in my path? Actually it was that last thing... but who put that branch in my way in the first place? Who... or what?

As I approached the porch I realized that any hopes I had of gaining entrance into the building via the front door must be discarded. Someone had seen to it that Alden would remain secure from inquisitive eyes. What must lurk inside that would make a man go to such lengths to keep out the unsuspecting passer-by? I cursed myself for not having brought the proper tools along with which I might force my way through this blockade. The very porch railing seemed to laugh at me, mocking my lack of foresight. "Ho, ho, ho!" it seemed to say. Then I saw that it was actually saying "Oh, oh, oh!" A cry of despair perhaps? Were the cursed souls trapped inside this godforsaken place actually praying that someone would find there way inside and stumble upon the secret journal that would hold the key to freedom from their earthbound imprisonment? Were the ghosts of Alden actually victims rather than tormentors? Food for thought. Then I realized that the funny-looking thing beside the 'o' wasn't actually an 'h' and that the front porch wasn't saying anything to me at all, unless it was something in Greek or possibly Russian... neither of which I speak. If the tortured souls wanted my help they should learn to speak American like everybody else before coming over here and dying.

Finding myself unable to go in I had to satisfy my naturally inquisitive and adventure-seeking nature by merely standing outside and taking pictures through the windows. This was the only window that I could take pictures through while still maintaining a safe distance from the house itself. Having mentioned several times before in this narrative that Alden exudes evil, I'm assured that you will all understand that I didn't want to stand too close to the walls for fear of ghostly hands reaching through and grabbing at me. Anyway, this particular window looked in on a staircase which, paranormally speaking, is an excellent location in which to catch photographic images of ghosts. Ghosts love going up and down staircases and even though they might not be visible to the eye at the time, they will be clearly noticeable on any photographs that you might take. In this first photo there's a very noticeable image of a tree behind me being reflected in the glass. Pretty!

I took several pictures through that window because I was certain that when I studied the photographs later I'd see a demonic face staring back at me just like Candy Clark did in 'Amityville 3-D.' While she was driving back to Amityville to warn Tony Roberts about what she had seen in the pictures the photographs burst into flames right there on the front seat of her car causing her to drive off the road, wrecking her car and trapping herself inside the inferno so that when rescuers managed to pry open the car door their was nothing left of her but a crispy carcass which lurched into the camera like it was gonna fall right on you and get charcoal stains all over your clothing. I wasn't worried that anything like this would happen since I was using a digital camera and if my computer happened to burst into flames I wouldn't be driving at the time. Anyway, you'll notice that there's no demon face in this picture. You maybe just can't see it because of the tree...

Alden house has a lot of chimneys. Who needs that many chimneys? People with a lot of secrets to burn that's who. As the old saying goes "Smoke, smoke, sign of the devil, sign of the devil, city on fire!" I don't know what that means really, but I can't think of anything else to say about chimneys.

Wait a minute... in that upper window? Oh my God!! IS THAT A FACE!!?!!


This is a close up of one of the chimneys. Ghosts sometimes appear in pictures taken of chimneys. Ghost like to hang around chimneys. There's no ghost in this picture, unfortunately. Just a chimney. It's a nice chimney, though. More rectangularly than most chimneys. Most chimney are more square-ish than this chimney. Food for thought.

At this point in the investigation several things occurred that forced me to realize that I would need to cut short my investigations into Alden's secrets. The first thing was that something scurried through the undergrowth near my feet. It could have just been a groundhog or a possum, but knowing what I imagine that I know about this forlorn place it was probably more likely some sort of horrid demon pig. The second thing that happened was that I had to pee real bad and I didn't want to go in the bushes what with the grounds being all overrun with demon pigs and everything. I returned to my car, satisfied that I'd done my investigative best. I live by the letters "W.W.V.M.D" and I'm certain that I did all that anyone, even Ms. Mars, could expect of me. But don't fear, I haven't closed the book on Alden yet. I plan to return there at some point in the future to continue my inquiries, that is if I can find someone to go with me. I think my search for answers would go a lot smoother if I had someone with me who could keep an eye on the bushes while I peed and run for help if ghost arms came out of the walls and grabbed me.

Back at home I did some extensive research (i.e. 'Googling') into Alden's history and learned that the house once served as living quarters for the family of the Dean of Astronomy or whatever, which does seem to tie in with the fact that there's a big observatory right next door. This bit of info raises more questions than answers unfortunately and adds yet another theory as to the origins of Alden's taint (ooh, I like that!) Astronomers are notorious for accidentally breaching the barriers between dimensions in their mad quests for knowledge and power. Could Alden House house something of unspeakable Lovecraftian design? Again, it's very possible. I also managed to dig up (i.e. 'clicked on a link to') a PDF document where-in the suits at UVA claim that Alden was abandoned due to it's overall age and structural deterioration. A so-called 'committee' that had been formed to study certain college properties with an eye to their possible future uses supposedly determined that the cost to renovate Alden and bring it up to current housing codes would be economically prohibitive. Nice try UVA suits, but you have to get up pretty early in the morning to convince me that there's a perfectly logical explanation to something that I've convinced myself can only be explained away by the superstitious and irrational. Screw your company line, UVA suits!

Summary- Alden House: Exudes Evil.

No comments: