Topics: england, ghosts, holidays, pubs, supernatural, travel
Ghosts good for business at traditional English pubs Story Tools
THE Brits love to let you know they’ve a ghost of two around, and the more macabre the plight of the poor soul whose spirit supposedly haunts their local pub, mansion, castle or monastery, the more they relish sharing – and just occasionally – embellishing their yarn.
We’ve heard many a ghostly tale over a warm pint or three, and while somewhat sceptical as to their authenticity, there are two we empathise with.
Both involve pubs – coupled with ghoulish “hanging fields,” where official gallows were set up in open fields for barbaric public viewing before urban sprawl overtook them.
The first involves the Court Oak pub in Birmingham’s Harborne, whose resident ghost has been dubbed Corky – because he’s probably the world’s only known supernatural wine snob.
Corky earned his reputation by smashing bottles of the pub’s cheaper-label house wines apparently not to his liking.
“It isn’t so much that things go bump in the night, as things go smash in the night,” staffers say.
“He smashes them until they are replaced with others more to his favour: We’ve heard smashing when we’ve closed for the night and there is no one working in the cellar, and on the same nights customers have sworn they’ve seen the apparition of a man about 60 in old-fashioned attire materialising behind the bar, and instantly disappearing …”
And more strangely Corky the wine snob “appears” for only a few nights a year, in the lead-up to Halloween.
“There was a ‘hanging field’ on this site in the 17th century,” a staffer says.
“We believe Corky is the ghost of some well-to-do soul who knew his wines, but fell to the hangman’s noose all those years ago on this very spot… he comes back for a drink, but is very particular.”
The other English pub ghost whose tale we empathise with is far less charismatic.
And while never actually having been seen, his (or is it her?) presence has on many occasions been eerily felt in the basement of the Coach Makers of Marylebone pub in London.
And staff believe that presence – they say it’s like someone is looking over your shoulder – is that of some poor soul who drowned in the River Tyburn that once ran past the hotel, after flowing from another “hanging field,” on the outskirts of Tyburn village.
Tyburn’s first hangings were carried out in 1196 and over the next near-600 years thousands were hauled by open cart from Newgate Prison – bizarrely carrying their coffins with them – to meet their fate there, with ghoulish crowds clambering to watch the spectacle.
And in 1571 authorities replaced the several single gallows at Tyburn with the grotesque Tyburn Triple Tree, three tall posts in triangular formation topped with heavy beams, from which numerous nooses could dispatch multiple prisoners at a time … murderers, thieves, highwaymen, forgers, traitors and religious martyrs, 90% males.
The Tyburn Triple Tree drew even greater crowds for the Monday hangings, with anything up to 60,000 coming to watch. Entrepreneurial villagers built “grandstands” on which they sold seats to cheer on the final death throes of those being hanged, while hawkers sold beer and brandy, home-made cakes and gingerbread.
And hangmen at day’s end would sell their ropes by the inch (25mm) as souvenirs.
The biggest crowd gathered on June 23, 1649, when 23 men and one woman were hanged in groups, the 100,000+ mob cheering “good dying, good dying!”.
Tyburn’s Triple Tree was removed in November 1783 and today three brass plaques on a traffic island at London’s Marble Arch mark where the Tree’s posts stood.
Some speculate that the ghost of the Coach Makers of Marylebone pub could be that of an intended victim of the Tyburn gallows, grabbed from the hangman by a sympathetic crowd – and who drowned while trying to flee across the adjacent Tyburn River.
If you’re in London head for the Coach Makers of Marylebone.
Over a drink, Aussie barman Lachlan Andrews from Brisbane will tell you all about their ghostly basement dweller.
>> To read more travel stories
For years, Grinches of assorted stripes have complained that the Christmas season has been inching its way backward through the calendar. Once upon a time, Christmas was barely visible before Dec. 1, when retailers would roll out the holly and wrapping paper. Then, it started swiping more territory, working its way back past Thanksgiving and into the middle days of November. Now, Halloween barely ends before the back rows at Target start filling with lights and ornaments, tinsel and tree toppers. Like it or not, Christmas is slowly sneaking up on you, gobbling up more and more of the year and reminding you ever earlier that you need to start worrying about wearing ugly sweaters and finding the perfect gift for Mom.
This year, though, it’s not the usual suspects like Target and Walmart leading the charge to speed up the holiday calendar. Instead, the first Christmas culprit of 2013 is Ticketmaster, which seems to have decided that 2013′s holiday season will begin not in November, October nor even September. No, this year, Ticketmaster is starting the clock in May, more than seven months before C-Day.
That’s right: We’re still closer to Christmas 2012 than to Christmas 2013, but Ticketmaster is already trying to gin up excitement for Santa’s next ride.
Of course, Ticketmaster couldn’t do it alone: To move Christmas season up to late spring, it needed an accomplice, a group so closely associated with the Yuletide season that it’s beyond reproach. Santa and his elves are out, obviously, which left Ticketmaster only one choice: the Rockettes.
I first became aware of Ticketmaster’s scheme last week, when the company sent me an emailed offer for discounted tickets to the annual Radio City Music Hall spectacular. Last year, my wife, daughter and I went to the show, ponying up $162 for three seats. Since I bought the tickets through Ticketmaster, the company grabbed my information and, presumably, decided to let me know that, this year, I could get a great deal — if I bought my ticket seven months ahead of time.
Admittedly, the deal is pretty good: for a prime orchestra seat at 5 p.m. on a Friday in November, I would only have to pay $49, rather than the usual $78 — a pretty impressive 37 percent discount. Add in the standard $14 Ticketmaster fee, and the price rises to $63. Then again, I’d still need to know what I’m doing on a Friday in early November — a date that is still six months away.
The Rockettes’ complicity in Ticketmaster’s dastardly plan extends even beyond advertising in May: they have also begun pushing their Christmas shows earlier and earlier. In 2011, the “Spectacular” began on Nov. 10. A year later, the first show was on Nov. 9. This year, the Rockettes take the stage on Nov. 8 — almost two months before Christmas Day. And the Christmas creep continues …
Ticketmaster could not be reached for comment.
Bruce Watson is DailyFinance’s Savings editor. You can reach him by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org, or follow him on Twitter at @bruce1971.
Good news, guys! Candy isn’t going to make you fat or kill you or anything negative at all! Feast on M&M’s like an 8-year-old on Halloween, because you’re totally good on this one.
Says a study funded by the National Confectioners Association, a trade group representing the candy, chocolate, and gum industry.
Some findings from the study:
1.) “Frequency of candy consumption was not associated with the risk of obesity, overweight/obesity, elevated waist circumference, elevated skinfold thickness, blood pressure, low density lipoprotein (LDL) or high density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol, triglycerides, or insulin resistance.”
2.) “Increased frequency of candy consumption among adults in the United States was not associated with objective measures of adiposity or select cardiovascular risk factors, despite associated dietary differences.”
So in addition to “[fostering] industry growth by advancing the interests of the confectionery industry and its customers,” the NCA apparently funds (sketchy) scientific studies about how it’s cool to eat as much candy as you want, you guys, no problem, just live off the stuff. (Who runs this Association? I, personally, picture Candyland characters in suits sitting behind desks, barely visible through shadow and cigar smoke. But use your imagination!)
Well, some other studies would seem to disagree with the study’s assessment. But who are you going to believe? The New England Journal of Medicine or Laura Shumow, MHS, Director of Scientific and Regulatory Affairs, National Confectioners Association, who said in a press release: “There is a place for little pleasures, such as candy, in life. A little treat in moderation can have a positive impact on mood and satisfaction, and as emerging research suggests, minimal impact on diet and health risk.”
Oh, God, Big Candy, we want to believe!
- Delbert Huber
Delbert Huber, 82, shot Timothy Larson, a local teacher, after their argument over a missing $50 and farm equipment escalated. He pleaded guilty to second-degree murder.
- Shirley Nunez
Oregon woman Shirley Nunez, 47, was charged with attempted murder for allegedly running over her cop-husband with a Ford F-150 after pointing a gun at a woman he suspected him of cheating on her with.
- Deborah Burns
Burns allegedly threw a kitchen knife at her boyfriend, cutting his abdomen, because he farted in her face.
- Jillian Martone
Martone is accused of punching a man and threatening him with a knife after he refused to call her his girlfriend following their first date.
- Holly Solomon
Solomon is accused of running over her husband in her SUV because he didn’t vote in the 2012 election.
- Allen Casey
Casey was accused in October, 2012 of hitting his boyfriend with a plate for listening to nothing but Alanis Morissette music.
- Charlene Idelle Hunziker
Hunziker is accused of causing a disturbance at a P.F. Chang’s in West DDes Moines in October, 2012. She allegedly told police they didn’t need to be there because “she was a Republican,” according to a police report.
- Zachary Davis
This 15-year-old boy will be charged as an adult in the sledgehammer murder of his mother in August, 2012. Davis allegedly killed his mother and then lit his home on fire in an attempt to kill his older brother while he slept. Read more
- Disturbed Sleeper
Justin Michael Byars, 21, allegedly was so unhappy about being woken up that he assaulted the guy in the head who did it, punching the man in the head before throwing him into a fish tank. Read the whole story here.
- Lluvia Rodriguez
Rodriguez is accused of biting her sister’s nose off during a fight. The nose was successfully reattached.
- Couple’s Orgy Goes South
Tina Norris and James Barfield, a Florida couple, had an orgy at their house in August 2012. Mid-way through, they apparently agreed that they didn’t much care for orgies. They started beating on one another, and not in the good way. Both were charged with domestic battery and locked up.
Sheriff officers examine crushed cruisers at the Orleans County Sheriff’s Department in Newport, Vt., Thursday, Aug. 2, 2012. Authorities say 34-year old Vermont farmer Roger Pion, angry over a recent arrest last month on charges of resisting arrest and marijuana possession, used a large tractor like a monster truck, destroying seven police cruisers. (AP Photo/Northland Journal, Scott Wheeler)
- Robert Gernot
Germot was accused of threatening his neighbor by saying, “When I get done taking a s–t, I’m gonna kick your f—ing a–!”
- Christopher Dabney
Christopher Dabney, 22, allegedly attacked a US Army veteran in a wheelchair on Halloween, knocking the 35-year-old out of his chair. Dabney reportedly believed that the victim’s Army uniform–and wheelchair–were fake, and was angry at what he perceived as an offensive Halloween costume. Read the whole story here.
IHOP has introduced three Brioche French Toast dishes. In addition to Bananas Foster, you can order Berry Berry and Peaches and Cream. We picked Bananas Foster because, in keeping with brioche (a bread created in France) and French toast (which has the word “French” in it), Bananas Foster was created at Brennan’s Restaurant in the French Quarter of New Orleans.
Here’s the Bananas Foster Brioche blueprint: three thick, round slices of brioche bread soaked in lightly sweetened vanilla batter and grilled till crispy, then covered with sliced bananas caramelized in a buttery brown-sugar glaze, powdered sugar and whipped cream.
Yeah, like anything in this blueprint is “lightly” sweetened. When I was a kid, I brought home shopping bags full of Halloween candy that didn’t pack the sugar wallop the Bananas Foster Brioche French Toast does. Gee, dessert for breakfast. When did IHOP hire children in product development?
Forty-eight fat grams and 980 calories is only the start. I haven’t drizzled on IHOP’s signature maple-flavored syrup yet. And I haven’t upgraded to the Brioche French Toast combo breakfast, with eggs, bacon or sausage, and hash browns for $7.99.
I won’t run a total on the combo breakfast because this is a breakfast review, not a murder mystery. Let’s just say that you’re more than halfway home on the recommended daily allowance of calories and fat.
Actual Bananas Foster, as served in New Orleans, is laced with rum and banana liqueur. IHOP’s version is clean and sober.
In case you’re unfamiliar with the bread counter at Panera restaurants, brioche is made with more butter and eggs than everyday white or whole-wheat sandwich loaves. So, brioche is very rich – the perfect bread (tied with challah) for French toast.
IHOP’s Bananas Foster Brioche French Toast keeps its promise. It’s purely delicious and just as advertised – it’ll have you rockin’ and reelin’ till lunch on a sugar rush.
One thing about IHOP that’s guaranteed: This underrated nationwide chain puts down a lot of good, dependable food for a decent price.
Berry Berry Brioche French Toast is topped with sweetened blueberries and strawberries, plus powdered sugar and whipped topping. Peaches and Cream Brioche French Toast has sweetened sliced peaches, roasted pecans, vanilla-cream drizzle and whipped topping.
TYLER BLACKBURN MOVES FROM ROSEWOOD TO “RAVENSWOOD”: Tyler Blackburn, who as Hanna’s love interest, Caleb, has been one of the most popular characters on “Pretty Little Liars,” will headline the series’ fall spinoff, “Ravenswood.” While Caleb will be part of the fourth season of “PLL” beginning June 11, he will then travel to “Ravenswood” during the annual “PLL” Halloween special in October and then continue on the new show, which premieres the same night.
“Dallas” is set for a third season on TNT and will return in early 2014. Cast photos now show the character of John Ross, JR Ewing’s son, front and center, so expect a lot more JR-like behavior from his offspring.
If the recent “Vampire Diaries” episode featuring the original vampire-werewolf hybrid, Klaus, getting into trouble with protege Marcel and brother Elijah in New Orleans, looked like the preview of a spinoff, that’s exactly what it was. The CW will add “The Originals” to its 2013-2014 schedule; the show focusing on the vampire first family.
Victor Newman’s often difficult son, Adam, will continue to stir things up on “Young and Restless.” Actor Michael Muhney, who has held the role since 2009, signed a new long-term contract.
(E-mail Toby Goldstein at email@example.com.)
Photos laid on tables were available for the taking, and nostalgic alumni gathered up many to take home memories of Halloween parties, basketball victory parties, and class plays.
“The whole community was involved in everything,” Todhunter said. “We had a huge Halloween party. Everybody was at every basketball game.”
Amanda Devers, 29, of Nelson, graduated from the school in 1997. She felt “mixed emotions” about the closure, she said.
“My mom went here, and I went here, and my sister went here, and my aunt went here,” Devers said. “It’s family.”
Brooke Strangeland, 34, of Sterling, taught at the school for 2 years. She came to the open house and found a picture of the class of eight students – seventh and eighth grades combined – who made up her first class.
“There’s a lot of memories here, but that’s why you have all these people coming back,” she said. “It’s a tight-knit community.”
Erin McNaught weds in northern NSW
The Daily Telegraph | May 20th, 2013
Erin McNaught and Example on the wedding day last weekend. Pic: Ryder Evans Photography
ERIN McNaught became Mrs Example on Saturday, with the model marrying her UK beau.
The 30-year-old’s wedding to musician Example, real name Elliot Gleave, was held at Deux Belettes guesthouse, near Ballina, at 2pm surrounded by 66 family and friends, including parents Lynn and Andy McNaught, and Mike and Elaine Gleave.
Dressed in a custom-made Steven Khalil gown, the former Miss Universe Australia and MTV host looked stunning as she said “I do” to her partner of 18 months, who wore a Richard James suit.
“I am now Erin Gleave,” she told NewsLtd shortly after the ceremony.
On Friday night, McNaught spent some time with her mum Lin, sharing her final dinner as an unmarried woman with her Instagram followers.
“Thank you for raising me right,” she wrote after posting an image of the pair having a cocktail at a restaurant.
The leggy McNaught – infamously nicknamed “Erin McNaughty” by lads mags – moved to London last year to be closer to Gleave, whom she met at Field Day in Sydney in January last year.
She’d previously dated The Amazing Race Australia winner Nathan Jolliffe, who is also a model and businessman.
Gleave proposed to McNaught on the balcony of the couple’s London apartment last Halloween.
She joined him on his recent tour of the country as he was one of the headline acts on the Groovin The Moo festival.
Of his future bride, Gleave recently said: “I wanted an Australian wife, so getting Miss Australia was a bonus.”
And in a UK newspaper interview, Gleave claimed McNaught had helped him to turn around his rocker lifestyle.
“What helps me a lot is just knowing my girlfriend is there to support me – and knowing I can tell her anything,” Gleave said in the interview.
“She has almost become like a best mate and trustee, as well as my partner. I don’t want to lose her.”
LYNCHBURG — Two longtime members of the Lynchburg Symphony Orchestra are leaving the group.
Founder Bruce Habitzruther, the only music director and conductor LSO has had in its 30 years, retired last week, while General Manager Deirdre Serio has resigned her post but will continue on until May 31, the end of LSO’s fiscal year.
Board President Linda Edwards said the 2013-2014 season will be a year of transition.
The symphony will perform one full orchestra event — a Halloween concert featuring a zombie walk and costume parade across the stage — along with two smaller-venue events and several fundraisers. That’s a slight change from the 2012-2013 season, which ended in April and featured two full orchestra concerts and three of the smaller ones.
Habitzruther said the reduced schedule contributed to his decision to leave.
“Basically, four or five years ago, our budget was pushing $200,000,” he said. “Next year, it’s going to be $80,000 or less. So we’ve gone from five major concerts down to just one concert.
“The fundraising hasn’t been there, and just the push by the board,” he said. “We haven’t gotten corporate sponsors, and the fundraising has just dropped off the past couple years.”
He said the types of concerts also were a factor.
“We played City Stadium for up to 3,000 people for 16 years,” he said. “We were just doing strictly classical-type things. Now we [have] had to back off and do things that aren’t totally classical.”
“It’s just frustrating leaving, because we had something really good going that small communities like [ours] really don’t have,” he added.
Like many orchestras across the U.S., LSO is doing what it has to do to survive.
According to the organization’s IRS 990 form, it finished 2011 with an almost $13,000 deficit.
Edwards said Wednesday she didn’t have the 2012 figures, but that board members “have worked hard to keep a stable budget. The LSO is not in debt.”
Serio said, “We’re shrinking, but we’re still lean. What we’re trying to do is to stay as a major partner here in Lynchburg. Our competition, in 20 years, has increased immensely in things to do. … You have to pare down, you have to get lean and you have to get really creative, because we’re all chasing the same money.
“I think this next year will be a wonderful season. It’s going to be slightly smaller, but we’re finding if we do smaller ensembles, the costs are much, much lower.”
Serio worked as LSO’s administrative assistant from 2005 to 2010, when she and Executive Director Rick Piester were laid off as the symphony struggled financially.
But LSO was able to bounce back, thanks to new donors and revenue from the season’s final concert. The group returned for the 2010-2011 season, and Serio was rehired as part-time general manager, a position she described as “sort of a hybrid. The idea [was] I would do the two jobs but would not be raising money.”
Serio said her departure coming at the same time as Habitzruther’s retirement is a coincidence.
“I’m tired,” she said. “I’ve been doing this for three years, pretty much by myself.
“I have put my heart and soul into it. I have donated lots and lots of hours, and my poor husband has also. I’ve done so much networking around town, [and] I’ve tried really hard to tell people there’s a symphony in this town. I’m amazed at how many people didn’t know that.”
She plans to get back into technical writing and has started her own business.
Habitzruther said he will continue with the Lynchburg Symphony Youth Orchestra — a full symphonic orchestra of more than 80 high school and advanced middle school students. It operates separately from LSO and is “going really strong,” he said.
For LSO’s upcoming season, Edwards said they’ll use guest directors as needed, with the hope of eventually hiring another full-time conductor.
“We definitely want another conductor that could not fill Bruce’s shoes, that’s for sure, but [could be] a new face for the LSO.”
As for Serio’s position, “our personnel committee is in the process of evaluating job descriptions and determining what will be the best title and person going forward,” Edwards said. “So that’s in the works.”
They also will continue hosting the Festival of Dinner fundraisers, a series of events held in private homes. The owners provide the venue and pay for the food, and local chefs donate their time, so the symphony receives 100 percent of ticket sales. The last one of the 2012-2013 season is scheduled for June 1.
“Instead of a few big donors, we’re hoping to get in a whole lot of little donors,” Serio said.
ANCHORAGE, Alaska – This time of year across the country, gyms and auditoriums fill with robed students, “Class of 2013″ balloons and the strains of “Pomp and Circumstance.” In Anchorage – home to the highest concentration, per capita, of Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders on the Mainland – another unique graduation tradition has taken hold among people from all backgrounds: the graduation lei. Draping a graduate’s neck with bands of candy and flowers has become as expected in many families here as watching a graduate fling a mortarboard cap into the air.
The entrance of Sullivan Arena, where high school graduations were being held last week, has the feel of a Honolulu tourist market, with five competitive vendors selling lei made of flowers, candy, shiny kukui nuts, green ti leaves and jewel tone yarn. The sweet smell of plumeria hangs heavy in the air. Sellers shout, “Flower leis! Candy leis!” over the noise of the crowds trailing in.
Wednesday afternoon, Amy Riley browsed boxed $20 orchid lei at a stand set up along the road across from the arena and decided on a couple for her son and his girlfriend, who were graduating from Service High School. Their family is Yup’ik, she said, but they like the lei as a way to celebrate graduation.
“Even though we’re not Hawaiian, they’re really pretty,” she said.
Vendors Summer Prescott and Carey Ofahengaue, both Hawaiian by heritage, own the Utah-based lei business Leiaway.com. This graduation season was their first selling flower lei in Anchorage, they said. Business has been better than they could have hoped, they said. Lei are a Polynesian thing, Prescott said, but they spread the welcoming “spirit of aloha.” That appeals to everybody.
“Our people migrated to the Mainland for opportunities,” Prescott said. “They are bringing that tradition with them.”
Their lei business tracks with what census data show are some of fastest-growing Polynesian communities.
“We’ve been to Washington, Arizona, Nevada, and we’re heading to Oregon,” she said.
Alaskans have always been connected to Hawaii. A five-hour flight away, it’s a popular vacation destination. Over the last 20 years, Alaska has become popular with Pacific Islanders as well. About 3 percent of Anchorage residents- roughly 9,000 people – now identify as Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander alone or in combination with another race, according to the census. About half of those say they are from Samoa. The Pacific Islander population in Anchorage doubled over the last 10 years and experienced similarly rapid grown between 1990 and 2000.
Sisters Maria and Evangeline Morisa of Anchorage have been selling lei, made with Halloween candy, ribbon and cellophane, for graduations since 2001. They slowly built their family’s business to include mail order. Pictures of customers from around the country and the world were posted all over their lei table Wednesday. In the Pacific islands, lei might be a symbol of welcoming, part of a wedding costume, or even a funeral decoration. On the Mainland, the women said, they’re most often a symbol of accomplishment.
“It’s saying, ‘you’ve done well,’ ” Evangeline said.
Leonee May, who isn’t Pacific Islander, bought three candy lei from the Morisa sisters for her sister, who was about to graduate. Her sister insisted, she said. Other members of Leonee’s family bought lei, too.
“(It will be) like, around her neck, choking her, yes,” May said.
That’s part of the fun.
Bobbie Hammond, whose twin daughters were graduating Wednesday, showed up at the Sullivan Arena with homemade money lei. She taught herself lei-making with the help of the Internet, she said. It isn’t her family’s cultural tradition, but she’d seen lei at other graduations and thought they’d be fun, she said. When I caught up with her, she was explaining to her daughters’ grandmother, Liz Jones, and her boyfriend, Hal Greeney, about the Anchorage lei tradition. They were visiting from upstate New York.
“I’ve never heard of it before,” Greeney said.
Leilani Silao sat at the largest stand in the entrance of the Sullivan, pulling needles through plumeria, carnation and orchid blossoms. Her stand is operated mainly by relatives and “church family” from First Samoan Body of Christ Church, Silao said. Most of them are Samoan and many have spent time in Hawaii, she said. Their group was the first to set up a fresh lei stand near the arena in the early 2000s, she said. They used to be at the corner of 15th Avenue and Ingra Street.
They might be responsible for igniting the lei trend in Anchorage, but the popularity has spawned lots of competition, she said. People are making their own lei now with everything from crochet to Saran wrap. There are so many vendors at the entrance of the Sullivan now, they are thinking of moving back to Ingra, she said. They expect to sell hundreds of lei this season between Mother’s Day and Father’s Day, she said. Exact sales numbers are confidential.
“The smell makes me miss home,” she said, standing over a box of white plumeria that rode to Anchorage on a jet days before. “I was raised into (lei-making), it’s from the islands, our parents, our ancestors.”