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Jamie Davis Writes

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Haunted Asylums Journals

Sharing a sample Handmade Haunted Asylums Journal made from photos of an investigation of St. Albans Sanatorium in Radford, Virginia.

The story inspiration of the journal is as follows:

Once upon a time, a younger version of myself set off on an adventure to explore abandoned insane asylums and prisons.  My first book, Haunted Asylums, Prisons, and Sanatoriums was born. But there were still stories to tell. Somehere deep within the innards of an abandoned insane asylum in the Northeastern United States, I made a discovery…

A handmade patient’s journal, taped and stapled together using a culmination of whatever materials were available during art therapy. There were envelopes, photos, and assorted charms hidden within the book.

What you hold in your hands is a copy inspired by the original patient’s journal. Peppered by color photos taken during the course of my own explorations into abandoned asylums and prisons, the journal also features envelopes for holding your treasures (one has been started for you). I have upcycled hardcover books and given them new life with each creation, making each journal a truly one-of-a-kind handmade book.

I hope that it inspires you to document a chapter in your own journey. Create some madness. Make something for yourself. Escape the prison of your own mind. Write your own book. – Jamie Davis Whitmer

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Ghost Hunter’s Journal Now on Sale on Amazon

The Ghost Hunter’s Journal is a softcover ruled, indexed notebook journal that contains 200 pages to help keep you organized when documenting all of your ghost adventures. You can purchase your copy for just $12.99 on Amazon!

Ghost-Hunter's-Journal
Ghost Hunter’s Journal

The indexing system aids in reflection and planning throughout the year. The pages contain sections for the Who / What / When & Where details of your ghost hunts; followed by sections for: hotspots of the area and building that you are investigating; legends & lore; equipment used; and weather. The following page contains a full section for your notes.

The last few pages of the indexed book journal come with marked pages that have been indexed for you. Sample topics include: Best of (every month); Most Overrated; Equipment to Buy; Places to Visit – Bucket List (with one page completed as a suggested travel list based on my own travel research from my first two books).

 

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Interior pages of the Ghost Hunter’s Journal, with bonus index and sample content pages.

Make sure to check out P. 197 for a recommended beginning bucket list of paranormal places to explore! I included places investigated for America’s Most Haunted Hotels and Haunted Asylums, Prisons, and Sanatoriums.

Ghost-hunter's-journal-bucket-list

Each indexed book journal features 200 ruled pages that are numbered for your ease of use. The numbered pages with an index will help keep you organized and make it easy to find your important entries. To really make your brain sing, we recommend that you use tabs and update your book journal’s index as necessary immediately after you have completed your journaling.

Specs: black and white interior ink, 200 ruled, indexed, and numbered pages.

On My Bookshelf: Ink and Bone, by Rachel Caine

I finished Ink and Bone earlier this week. This is book one of Rachel Caine’s The Great Library series. This was a thought provoking read about what could have happened if the Great Library of Alexandria had survived; had kept Gutenberg’s printing press from existence; and had kept control of the dissemination of books and knowledge (making personal ownership of books illegal).

A truly terrifying and captivating read! The post-it notes mark all of the passages that reference the personal journals that the characters kept. Oh yes, the Great Library issued  electronic journals to its citizens. Parents were diligent about their children “writing” in their journals every night, and when citizens died, the journals would be seized for The Great Library to archive them.

Page 34: “..the Library provided them free on the birth of a child, and encouraged every citizen of the world to write their thoughts and memories from the earliest age possible. Everyone kept a record of the days and hours of their lives to be archived in the Library upon their deaths. The Library was a kind of memorial, in that way. It was one reason the people loved it so, for the fact that it lent them a kind of immortality.” 

Meanwhile, the Library also used the electronic journals to spy upon its own citizens. Really, really scary. And timely. These people should have kept handwritten journals, not electronic diaries! Perhaps a secret diary journal?

Ink-and-bone-rachel-cain
Ink and Bone by Rachel Caine

Thankfully, we still mostly have the right to be secure in our own papers. Can you imagine what the world would be like if we didn’t have that anymore? Chilling!

Rise – A New Journal from Stealth Journals

Pre-orders for the new Rise journal over on Stealth Journals. Stealth Journals are manufactured in the United States. Each indexed book journal features 200 ruled pages that are numbered for your ease of use. The numbered pages with an index will help keep you organized and make it easy to find your important entries.

Rise.
Rise. The Notebook for People Who Are Going Places.

Rise

Travel. Write. Index. Buy Stealth Journals. Repeat.

On My Bookshelf: Mr. Splitfoot, by Samantha Hunt

Oh wow, did this book knock my socks off! The mix of the Western New York references; coupled with cults/religious children’s homes really wove together nicely to up the creep factor for me. I loved the clues that the author laid out for the reader as to Ruth’s identity. Maybe I’m slow, but it kept me guessing up until almost the end.

This is one of those books that has a “Sixth Sense” vibe in that you don’t really appreciate everything and how it all ties together until the very end. Then you look back, and think, oh wow, the girl in the motel who gave the speech about dead people?! Seriously?! Sheer brilliance!

Also, in the beginning, I for sure thought that when Nat and Ruth were in the basement and Mr. Bell first appeared, that he was a demon! This is one of the creepiest books I’ve read in a long, long, time. I highly recommend it.

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Mr. Splitfoot, by Samantha Hunt

On My Bookshelf: The Invisible Library [series by Genevieve Cogman]

invisible-library-series-by-genevieve-cogman
The Invisible Library [a series by Genevieve Cogman]
I recommend this series to any reader who enjoys escaping into imaginary worlds, and loves reading books about books! Her world building scratched what I will always refer to as my “Harry Potter” itch. An invisible library whose sole purpose is to send their librarian agents out into alternate worlds to capture/claim books for the library? Check! Fae and dragons? Check! Secret agents, a detective who resembles Sherlock Holmes, and an assortment of other possible spies and traitors? Check!

Sign me up for more!

 

Dali17 at the Museum of Monterey

I had no idea that Salvador Dali lived (and worked) in Monterey in the 1940s. Apparently he was also an early Carmel Art Association member. What a treat of an exhibit!

Some selections from the Salvador Dali exhibit at the Museum of Monterey in Monterey, California:

Lithographs with religious themes (Dali was a devout Catholic)

planctus-david-in-mortem-soul
Planctus Dead in Mortem Soul
ego-sum-dominus-deus-tuus
Ego Sum Dominus Deus Tuus
cadaver-in-sepulchra-elisei
Cadaver in Sepulchra Elisei
arca-foederis
Arca Foederis
iosue-fortis-in-bello
Iosue Fortis in Bello
iosias-sepultus-in-mausoleo-patrum
Iosias Sepultus in Mausoleo Patrum

Surreal works with some elements of my favorite theme (melting clocks)

the-frozen-watches-of-space-time
The Frozen Watches of Space-Time
persistence-de-la-memoire-tapestry
Persistence de la Memoire (Tapestry)
mystery-of-sleep-the-hermit
Mystery of Sleep (The Hermit)
enigma-of-the-rose-death
Enigma of the Rose (Death)

As always, we log all of our adventures in our “Play” Journal by Stealth Journals. “Play” is an indexed book journal that should be used to record all of your good times!

San Francisco: Alcatraz and Other Stops

Ah, San Francisco, with your urine-soaked streets and parks. You certainly have a smell and a look like no other. You get an A+ for making tourist traps too, and even provide a great free workout via stairs up Lombard street. Union Square is a mob scene disaster to shop/walk/breathe. Haight Ashbury is touristy weird, but has a great bookstore and is fun to walk a bit and people watch, checking out the old Victorian houses in the neighborhood. Golden Gate Bridge, Fort Point, and the park = the best thing going on out here.

Then there is Fisherman’s Wharf. I knew it was a trap, but we had to eat before we got trapped on that awful ferry to the prison. Do you know what these people did to me out here? We went into some chowder restaurant and they had soup and chili in bread bowls. The menu read: “Stagg chili – $8.25.” I asked Bob, I said: “What’s Stagg chili?” We discussed it amongst ourselves and concluded that it must be the West Coast’s answer to Black Angus. Well, I get a bowl and it tasted like holy hell. Super bad. But I ate it anyway because it was the most expensive cup of chili I ever ordered in my life.

I get back here tonight and I’m still thinking about how awful that expensive chili was. Do you know what Google told me? It’s a can of chili. These people served me canned chili out here.

https://www.google.com/aclk?sa=l&ai=DChcSEwiulZTzs53RAhXNW34KHXN8B2oYABAB&sig=AOD64_3e5A0iBMlPbaYC0Fs6zUvpFQcDlQ&ctype=46&q=&ved=0ahUKEwj8npDzs53RAhUO0WMKHY9ACoYQzzkIHw&adurl=

As soon as I find my receipt I’m going to tell you who did it. And no, we did not mistakenly wonder in to a soup kitchen (although that is a real possibility out here, and you will know you are in one because there will be a Bernie Sanders sticker covering up the broken window, and they will probably be dishing out Bison Chili straight from one of Ted Turner’s fourteen Venezuelan ranches). Anyway, I ate my can of “chili” and prepared to go to prison. How fitting.

Alcatraz

alcatraz-from-ferry
I had to throw a couple of the smaller sized kids overboard to get up here to the front of the boat.

A disappointing and frustrating visit. A perfect example of what happens when government gets its claws into anything, and completely ruins the experience by apparently making the goal to sell tons of cheap tickets in high volume vs. offering a curated private experience, and letting guests choose their preferred mode of experience.

I was not able to get a single photo inside the main cell block because I was too busy elbowing my way through. Compared to Missouri State Pen; Eastern State Pen; Mansfield Reformatory; and the West Virginia State Pen, Alcatraz (my former holy grail of abandoned prisons) gets an “F -.” The more than failing grade is attributed not only to poor general guest experience, but in lack of access to the buildings. All four of the prisons mentioned above are proud to offer about 95-98% guest access to the public at an affordable admission price. Alcatraz is not a private business, so it doesn’t feel the need to be good.

I’m not saying I’m somebody, but when the author of “Haunted Asylums, Prisons, and Sanatoriums” tells you to skip this one, I’m trying to do you a favor. You aren’t going to be able to see anything except the back of the head of the person who is walking in front of you. Really, truly, terrible. A big fat, glaring FAIL.

Also, I’m not sure why you can’t take a helicopter over there. Do you think I wanted to spend my free time sitting on a ferry squeezed in between some people I don’t know? For God’s sakes, some poor kid played his harmonica THE ENTIRE BOAT RIDE. I thought I was in steerage on board the Titanic, and I thought I WAS GOING TO DIE ON THAT FERRY.

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I just sat on that boat, watching this poor old guy pick his nose, amazed that I had found a mode of travel worse than commercial air. I did, I found it, and it was this boat. Don’t do it to yourself.

But on a high note, there was Fort Point and the Golden Gate Bridge. Neither of which, I might add, gave off the merest hint of urine. And no one, not even one time today, tried to make me eat canned chili.

As always, we notate our adventures in our “Play” Journal by Stealth Journals. Stealth Journals is a line of indexed book journals. “Play” should be used to record all of your good times!

Notes from the Road – Monterey / Big Sur / San Simeon, California

Scenes from Monterey

Eighteen miles of paved bike/walking trails along the coast. Magnificent, but crowded!

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Monterey Trees
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Monterey Coast

In 1879, an unknown writer (Robert Louis Stevenson) holed up at the French Hotel while waiting for Fanny Osbourne to divorce her first husband so they could get on with their lives.

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Robert Louise Stevenson – French Hotel

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Scenes from Big Sur

Dear Sur: You are prettier than Montana. We drove you twice just to make sure.

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Big Sur
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Lunch at Lucia Lodge

Scenes from San Simeon

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An Elephant Seal Stifles a Yawn

Elephant Seal Pups:

Scenes from Hearst Castle

Let me put it to you this way, it takes a certain type of asshole to stand in front of you at the very end with his hand out for more donation money after the $50.00 tour, while we are all standing under a ceiling that is plated in 22 carat gold leaf. Just kidding, no one had their hand out. I’m referring to the audio tour guide begging for more donation money as we rode the bus down the hill. Hilariously tacky!

 

I do have to say that the Roman Pool seems haunted, though. I kept waiting for something to swim up to me. I don’t know what, but I felt like something was brewing underneath that pool. Maybe they buried the bodies down there.

roman-pool-cove

We keep an analog version of all of our travels carefully notated in our “Play” Journal by Stealth Journals. “Play” is an indexed book journal that should be used to record all of your good times!

 

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