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Spell of Binding (Dark Caster #2)

Written by Anna Abner

Copyright 2013 by Anna Abner

Cover Blurb:

Daniela Ferraro can’t touch people without hurting them. So when she wakes up in the Dark Caster’s cell next to the one man guaranteed to mess with her heart, she will risk anything to escape.

David Wilkes has no idea why he’s been abducted and thrown in a locked room with Dani, the woman who jilted him two years ago. But when the Dark Caster threatens David’s four year old son, David will not stop until Ryan is safe and the evil necromancers tormenting him are destroyed.

When Dani’s powers are bound and her necromancer friends are out of commission, the only way to protect the people she cares about and keep the Chaos Gate firmly closed is to trust in David.

But the closer Dani gets to David the more lethal her touch becomes for the only man she’s ever loved.

Chapter One

David Wilkes’s bedroom smelled funny. He woke with a pulsing headache to mold, dust, and perfume scents—three odors he never encountered in his new condo. With great care not to jostle his skull, he peeled his cheek off a strange pillow and rolled onto his back in an unfamiliar bed. A white ceiling came into focus, so he hadn’t skydived with a faulty parachute. But something bad had happened. In a flash, it was four years ago, and he was driving his ‘63 Camaro home with his wife, Jordyn, and their son, Ryan, when a motorcycle veered into his path and the side of a Chinese restaurant rose up in front of his windshield.

“David?”

He returned, gratefully, to the present and an uncertain female voice. But when he lifted his head to make eye contact, the resulting agony forced him to reconsider.

“Are you in pain?”

That was a nurse type of question. Maybe he’d had another accident and ended up in a hospital. Oh, no. Ryan. David didn’t care if he tore his own body to pieces in a high speed collision, but he couldn’t handle the thought of Ryan injured.

“Where’s my son?” he mumbled. Even speech hurt.

A small, cold hand palmed his forearm. “Heal,” she said. He extracted himself from her icy grasp, and the uncomfortable freezing sensation faded.

David took a deep breath, which helped. A few more and the pain receded into the background.

“I don’t know,” she answered.

He blinked and found himself staring into a pair of dark, nearly black, eyes. Familiar eyes.

“Daniela?” What was his son’s former preschool teacher doing here? And where was here?

This was no hospital room, but a basement, considering the dank odors. Two narrow mattresses lay on the floor, a beat-up recliner between them. A bare concrete floor. And a steel door. The kind of door used in horror movies and prison cells.

This was not a hospital. And there was no sign of his son.

“What happened?” he asked. Time felt wonky. Things blended together, some events hazing over. He must have been asleep a long time.

“Drink some water. You’ll feel better.” She slid a tall plastic bottle across the floor.

Yes, he was thirsty, like really thirsty. David drank, spilling water down the sides of his mouth, and then stood. But he moved too quickly, got light-headed, and reached for Dani to steady himself.

“Something’s wrong,” he said, and then groaned.

She shrank from his touch. “I’m not totally sure what’s going on. I woke up a few minutes ago.”

Her rejection cleared his head like nothing else could have. For a moment, he’d forgotten how cold she was. “You’re not totally sure.” He tried to shake off her obvious revulsion. As if she hadn’t already made it clear a year ago. “But you have an idea?”

David remembered leaving his office in city hall. Had he reached Ryan’s day care? Had he made it home? Someone had abducted him by force, obviously, and stuck him here with Dani Ferraro, of all people. But that didn’t make any sense. He wasn’t important enough to abduct. There must be another explanation. Or this was one big goof-up.

“I don’t know.” She shook her head, and waves of black hair rustled around her narrow shoulders. And just like in the old days, desire zinged through him. She was still graceful and petite and exactly his type. While she had her face turned away, he studied her from her neon pink sneakers to her wild mane of black curls. Yep, still gorgeous. “But it has to do with magic.”

He would have laughed if he hadn’t been so sick inside. “Right.” So, Dani was going the crazy route. Fine. But he couldn’t afford to sit around describing pink elephants and shouting about alien conspiracies. He had his son to worry about.

Turning in a slow circle, he stared at the door and then the high window. Where the hell was he, and where was Ryan? The last he remembered, his four-year-old was safe in Auburn in his new day care. But what if…? David’s insides twisted, and he rushed the door, jerking on the handle. It didn’t budge. Sealed tight. As in triple locked, maybe welded shut.

“Hey!” He pounded on the metal. “Open up!” No response. “You hear me? Open this door!”

His memories twisted and warped. Last night—was it only last night?—he’d been driving home from his office in Auburn’s city hall on his way to pick up Ryan at New Horizons Day Care, thinking about dinner and construction on the bridge and the new crime drama waiting for him on his TiVo. There was no reason he should be locked in this room except that someone with a strong incentive had put him here.

And he was trapped with the one woman he’d hoped to never see again. A year had passed, but he hadn’t forgotten when this sexy woman had flicked him away like lint on her sleeve.

He had to get out of here. Now.

If Ryan was in some room somewhere, alone and scared and hurt, the boy would be terrified. David hauled back and punched the door. Pain shrieked up his forearm, but there wasn’t so much as a scratch on the metal. He couldn’t deal with a fracture when he didn’t even know where he was or why. No more punching things.

“Ryan!”

Dani didn’t get anywhere near him. “Easy, big guy.”

Mentally, he shut her out. She was too distracting. There was nothing Dani could say right now he’d want to hear. Unless it was a realistic escape plan. Instead, he pulled himself up onto the high window like it was a chin-up bar and peered through glass streaked in dried mud and covered with a heavy-duty security mesh. Were they still in Auburn, let alone North Carolina? He recognized dirt and light and a part of a dandelion weed. They could have been anywhere in the world.

“Ryan!” David banged on the glass so hard it cracked along the left edge. He dropped to his feet. A cut could mean tetanus or a staph infection and eventually sepsis. He couldn’t afford any accidents until he figured all this out.

“There’s broken glass,” he warned Dani. He couldn’t help talking to her just like he couldn’t help still liking her even after she’d rejected him. He was such a sucker. “Stay back.”

“Did you cut yourself?” Her voice registered concern, but she didn’t get any closer in order to look for herself. Obviously, she still couldn’t stand him. Not used to feeling like a leper, he turned his back on her.

“No.” Abandoning the window, he inspected the surrounding wall for weaknesses. The bricks looked new, like maybe someone had remodeled the room recently. “We’re prisoners.” It wasn’t a question. They were.

“I haven’t heard anyone else,” Dani said. “My purse is here, but my cell phone is gone.”

He patted his pants pockets. Everything was in his wallet in its proper place, including eighty dollars in cash, but his phone and car keys were missing. “What do they want? Money?” He snorted.

He was the city manager of Auburn. He had a lot of responsibility to the community, and his job came with a fair amount of power, but he couldn’t single-handedly make things happen. He couldn’t clear arrest records. He couldn’t reduce tax fees. He couldn’t even fix tickets.

But if it was a ransom they wanted, no problem. David had savings. And his mother was stupidly wealthy. All they had to do was ask.

“Do they have demands?”

“I haven’t seen anyone besides the two of us,” Dani said.

No demands meant their jailers had no plans to release them. Ever. “Did you see Ryan?”

He glanced up from the junction of the bricks and the concrete floor to watch her reaction, but something hazy and out of place caught his eye. A figure hovered in the corner. David wouldn’t normally pay attention to aberrations in reality. They were lingering symptoms of a serious head injury four years ago. But he was being held hostage in a basement with a girl he’d once kissed, so he was paying attention to everything.

The longer David stared at the figure, the more details solidified. A teenage boy, tall and lanky, appeared. He had dark hair and wore long pants, a thin sweater, and a pair of skate shoes. A manifestation of David’s inner fears? A memory of someone he’d once known? An amalgam of himself, his son, and his late father?

“Did you?” Dani asked for maybe the second or third time.

David blinked, and the boy in the corner vanished. “What?”

“Did you see anyone else?”

“No.” He checked the dial on his watch. “It’s Friday.” His eyes widened. Not possible. He’d been driving home on Thursday. He ran his fingers through is hair, feeling for bumps or sore spots, but didn’t find any. How had he lost an entire twenty-four hours? “We’ve been here for a whole day? Are you kidding?” His mother must be freaking out. Not to mention Ryan. The boy wasn’t used to David spending nights away from home. He’d be a nervous wreck.

“Actually, it’s the nineteenth.” She waved her chunky digital watch at him. “We’ve been here eight days.”

“No.” The room tilted wildly before righting itself. Eight days. Not only was it physically impossible, but without any word from him, his family would begin to think he was dead. “A person can only live three days without water.”

“Unless we were under a sleep spell. Magic can keep a person alive indefinitely.”

Magic again. This was serious, damn it. He crossed the room in two long strides and grabbed Dani by the upper arms. His fingers dug into her biceps, and he caught a whiff of floral perfume. His nerve endings came to life as his breath shortened. Even after a year, she still affected him.

“Magic’s not real,” he said.

She jerked away, much stronger than she appeared, and stumbled into the wall at her back.

“Don’t touch me,” she said, gasping.

It had been a year since their ill-fated date at Papa Luigi’s when he’d leaned in for a good-night kiss and she’d turned to a block of ice. Apparently, her disgust for him hadn’t dwindled. Which hurt, even now.

He studied her, unabashed, memorizing every curve and square inch of her work scrubs, and he still couldn’t pinpoint the reason for the attraction he felt, even now. She’d always seemed so friendly. A little eccentric, but he liked that. It’s why he’d agreed to the setup a year ago. He hadn’t expected her to reject him so completely. Not after such an amazing first date, during which they’d clearly connected. Chemistry through the roof. He hadn’t imagined that. Her rejection still stung.

Of all the people in the world, what were the two of them doing there together?

“This can’t be a coincidence,” he said. Maybe Dani knew more than she was saying. Was she in on it? He narrowed his eyes. Was she the mastermind come to screw with him? “What aren’t you telling me?”

Dani acted like she hadn’t heard his question. “You must have some knowledge of magic, or you wouldn’t be here.”

“Are you hearing me?”

“Do you hang out with a lot of casters?” she asked.

“Where is Ryan?”

She squinted at different points on his face as if she were solving an algebraic equation.

“Answer me!” God, this was not the time to get weird.

Dani visibly paled. “No way. You’re not a caster. You can’t be.”

* * *

So, so awkward. No, it was worse than that. Humiliating was a good word. So was demeaning. There was no reason for her to be in this room with him. She’d once taken a chance on David Wilkes, the first guy in ten years she’d liked enough to try for something more.

The date had been such a train wreck that he wouldn’t make eye contact the next time he came by to pick up his son from day care. About a month later, David pulled Ryan out of Dani’s preschool class, and Happy Trails completely, saying he had a new job in Auburn, a forty-five minute drive south. It had been humiliating then, too, to think their date had been so painful he couldn’t even stand to look at her afterwards.

Dani folded her arms around her middle, afraid she’d fall to pieces if she let go. Some witch or necromancer had grabbed her and David—what were the odds, really?—and forced them to sleep. Magic, not hers, soured her entire nervous system. Her stomach rioted.

A supernatural being was screwing with her and David, too. And she couldn’t even think about anyone hurting four-year-old Ryan because she’d start crying and never stop.

In the ten minutes or so while David had still slept, she’d examined the basement and everything in it. Whoever had put them here was smart. They’d swept the room of anything resembling a weapon. No tools or lumber or anything helpful remained but the narrow mattresses, the recliner, and a couple bottles of flat, room-temperature water. Anything else she needed was going to have to come through that door.

She just hadn’t figured out the why, yet.

Dani had been born a witch, but she hadn’t fully come into her power until the age of fourteen when she’d squeezed in a hall closet with an older boy. That encounter, too, had ended in pain and anguish. She’d spent the last decade trying to control the unrelenting tropical storm brewing inside her with varying levels of success.

The past few years had been fairly stable. She liked working at Happy Trails Day Care. She liked her new apartment. She had a friend. And purpose. Her power was easier to control when she was content.

So putting her in a cage with the one guy who messed with her head was a very bad idea.

What did David Wilkes have to do with anything anyway? Besides being so gorgeous and blond and tall that he made her nervous, if she got upset and touched his bare skin, she could cause permanent damage. She might even kill him.

Her power operated through touch. She couldn’t wiggle her nose like Samantha in that show. She couldn’t wave a wand like Hermione. Dani had to have actual physical contact with the object—or person—she wanted to effect.

Was that her captor’s endgame? Get her to kill an innocent person?

Or maybe David wasn’t completely innocent. Maybe he was a caster, too. She stared at him, trying to find signs. No paranormal jewelry. No magical tattoos. Just khaki pants, loafers, and a white button down shirt. Absolutely nothing otherworldly about him. Even his hair was neat and tidy.

“Don’t screw around with me,” he snapped. “I want to see Ryan. I want to know he’s safe.”

Someone with significant power had put her and David to sleep like unplugging a pair of blenders. What did David Wilkes have that they wanted? As far as Dani knew, he was a regular guy, a local politician with an adorable son, but nothing screamed supernatural. What was she missing?

“Are you a necromancer? A witch?” Not a single spell mark on him. “Something else?”

David zigzagged across the room from door to recliner to window to mattress like a rat in a maze. Even trapped and freaking out he looked good, which let her know she must be in shock. A normal person in the same situation would be pondering escape, not the power in David Wilkes’s long, long legs. Or the way his shoulders flexed and moved under his white shirt. Or how red highlights shone in his touchable blond hair every time he passed in front of the window. He was still hot, and he still revved her engine. Even after their disastrous date and the awkward encounters right afterwards and then the ensuing silence.

He returned to the door and rapped on the steel. “Excuse me! I want to talk to the person in charge.”

The idea that this local do-gooder was secretly a caster just didn’t click. But if there was a chance that he was a necromancer—even one very, very deep in the magical closet—she had to get him to power up. They needed every advantage they could muster.

And nothing put a caster at ease like seeing someone else use magic.

“I’ll do a locator spell, and then you’ll know where Ryan is,” she offered.

There was no reason to feel silly. Dani cast magic in front of people. Yesterday she’d cast a spell on Rebecca Powell in front of Holden Clark. No, not yesterday. Over a week ago.

But that was different. Holden was a caster, too. And Rebecca had been under a demonic-summoning spell. She’d had a quick and brutal introduction to the supernatural. But David claimed he didn’t believe in magic. It was possible he’d never seen a caster at work, let alone a witch.

He stared at her like she’d suggested they polka. “You’ll do a what?”

“I’m a witch.”

He snorted. “Right.”

“Whether you believe me or not doesn’t change anything.” Kneeling, Dani laid a palm on the cold concrete floor. Her power surged like a blizzard under her skin and connected her nerve endings in a net of magical energy.

The outline of all fifty states appeared in neon-blue lines on the concrete. “Show my location.”

A lavender dot burst into being within the borders of North Carolina, her home state. So, their abductor hadn’t carried them too far. Good.

“Show Ryan,” she said.

Another lavender dot joined the first in nearly the same spot.

“How the hell did you do that?” David asked.

“Magic.”

Dani lifted her hand, breaking the spell, and when she next flattened her palm against the floor, a neon-blue map of North Carolina appeared. “Show me where we all are.” Three dots popped up in David and Ryan’s hometown of Auburn.

Scrutinizing the map, David eased nearer than she was comfortable with. On a normal day, she liked a three-foot bubble of empty space around her at all times. What she called her no-touch zone. David was about eighteen inches away, and this was far from a normal day.

“Is that real?” he asked.

“One hundred percent,” she said, trying not to notice little things like the silky caramel color of his trousers or the fine sprinkling of hair on his forearm. It really wasn’t fair that he was that good looking and still so out of bounds. “I, uh, I can be more specific.”

“Please.”

“What’s your new address?” She hadn’t been to his home since he’d moved away a year ago.

“It’s 232 Pear Street. Down at the end of Western.”

In increments, Dani drew new maps. Auburn, his neighborhood, and finally a sketch of their home on Pear. Ryan’s lavender dot lay in bed.

David leaned in, narrowing the gap to about twelve inches, tops. She stiffened, her breathing accelerating. “Can you see who’s with him?”

She magically redrew the blueprint of his condo. “Show me who is in the home with Ryan.” One other lavender dot appeared with a little glowing tag that read “Joan Wilkes.”

“Your…?”

“My mother,” he said.

Thank God. The little boy was safe with his grandma. Whatever plot she and David were part of didn’t include Ryan, and that made everything more manageable, even David’s extreme proximity.

“Show me where I am.” The map’s lines adjusted themselves. Her dot paused north of Auburn off Highway 17 on the edge of the old Hofmann Forest.

“We’re so close to town,” David marveled, hopping over to the window and pulling himself up. “Hey!” His voice boomed in the quiet space. “Can anyone hear me?”

Dani sagged in relief, her no-touch zone blessedly reestablished, and then shook off a cold sensation like frost bite. A symptom of practicing magic. She laid her chilled palm flat against the brick wall beside her. “Show me the spells cast on this room.”

Spell marks burst into sight like fireworks around the door and window. Impenetrable, one-way barrier spells.

These were necromancy marks. She couldn’t break them. Only another necromancer could do that, and she was fresh out of those. She knew exactly two. Holden Clark was trying to keep a demon out of Rebecca Powell. Maybe he already had. Or maybe he’d failed while Dani slept helplessly in this basement cell.

The other was Cole Burkov, the biggest, baddest caster in town. He’d be a huge help right now. But she couldn’t get his attention. He wasn’t here, and neither of them was psychic.

“No one will be able to hear you,” she confirmed. “They’ve cast a couple of different spells. Nothing can escape, not even sound, from either the window or the door.”

“This is so absurd.” Massaging his temples, he frowned at the glowing orange spell marks around the window frame.

Dani plopped onto her bottom and hugged herself for warmth because her temperature had dropped a degree or two during the spell. That was the tricky thing about her magic. It was fueled by her body heat, and it eventually chilled her to the bone.

“Now you know.” Her teeth chattered, and she briefly clenched her jaw to stop. “Ryan is with his grandmother.”

“Yeah. What a relief.” David didn’t sound very relieved. “You don’t know why we’re here?”

“No. Are you ready to tell me why a necromancer put you in this room with a witch?”

“I only understood about half of that sentence, so I guess the answer’s no.”

“Then why are you here?” Dani asked. It couldn’t be to simply pretty up the place. Though he was doing a damn fine job at it.

Hands on hips, he faced the window. “Has it really been a whole week?”

The floor was too cold for her now, so she paced instead, rubbing her forearms to get the blood flowing again. And with that window broken, it would only get colder after nightfall. If they were still there after dark.

“Afraid so.”

She was on her own. She’d have to escape without any help. Which meant she was going to have to lay her hands on whoever walked through that door.

“I’ve never seen anything like this,” David grumbled. “I didn’t know…” He reached for the marks, but his fingers passed right through them.

“Y-y-yeah.” Damned chattering teeth. She sounded like a cartoon character.

His brow furrowed. “Are you okay, or aren’t you?”

“I’m fine.” And then to distract him from her slight case of hypothermia, Dani added, “What do you remember about the abduction?”

“I’d rather hear how you became a witch.”

“That’s easy.” She completed another circuit of the room. Five strides one way, four strides the other. “I was born this way.”

He returned to the door but didn’t knock. Instead, he eyeballed its framing and the narrow seam along the bottom edge.

“Can I try?” she asked.

David stepped out of her way.

Neon spell marks floated around the edges of the door, but maybe her witch magic could overpower the necromancer’s spell. After almost an hour in this place, she was desperate enough to try.

Over the past few years, magic had gotten easier to control. If she wanted to straighten her hair, it fell in black, glossy strands. If she wanted her work scrubs ironed, the wrinkles vanished. If she wanted her fingernails painted purple with white polka dots, presto change-o. She was further in sync with her power every day. It was possible she was more powerful now than she’d ever been. Wouldn’t that be convenient?

Dani pressed the palm of her hand against the cold metal door. “Open.”

An opposing force blasted her flat on her back. Stunned, she lay there for a moment, focusing on drawing breath as foreign power fizzed like soda bubbles under her skin.

So, lesson learned. Witches still couldn’t do jack shit against a necromancer’s spell.

“Jesus. You okay?” David dropped to his knees beside her, smack-dab in her no-touch zone.

No. All this power battling within her was messing with her equilibrium. “Don’t touch me.”

“Right.” His voice echoed in the quiet room. “Message received, Dani.” He gave her a hurt look and put a whole lot of empty space between them.

Dani bit back an explanation. What was the use? She should have a blinking caution light over her head because touching her was hazardous to a person’s health. It was easier if he thought she hated him. Better than her mutilating him with magic and being unable to stop.

Dani stood and drifted to the window to stare at dirt and light and a whole lot of nothing. “I finished my shift,” she said into the awkward silence. She’d replayed her final conscious hour in her mind a thousand times since waking up in a strange bed. “I walked out with Georgie. I got into my own car and drove away. But after that, nothing. Until now.”

“You didn’t see anything?” he asked.

“Nope.”

“Same here. They must have drugged me. Or hit me. I don’t know.”

“Or spelled you.” That was more likely.

They both heard it at the same time.

He hopped away from the door. “Holy shit.”

“Sounds like car tires.” Two vehicle doors slammed shut. A couple of minutes later they heard footsteps on stairs.

“Get behind me,” David said, rising to his full height.

“No, darlin’.” Dani shook her hands to get the blood flowing and then cracked her knuckles as power tingled into her fingertips. “You get behind me.”

Download the full novel from Amazon HERE.

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Haunted Hollywood Hills Home For Sale

Fully Renovated–and Possibly Haunted–Hollywood Hills Home Asks $2.1 Million

Written by Elijah Chiland

You can read the full article below or click here for the original post.

When last we saw this 1925 Spanish-style residence in the Hollywood Hills, it was being sold in a state of significant disrepair—so much so that we wondered at the time if it could find a new owner willing to commit the time and expense necessary to restore it to its former glory.

Well, we’re pleased to say that four years later, the house is still standing—though the interior is barely recognizable. The current owner has thoroughly remodeled the place, leaving a few vintage windows and a handsome beamed ceiling in the living room as reminders of what once was.

Speaking of what once was, we should mention the house may be haunted.

Various reports of ghostly apparitions spotted at the residence throughout the years can be found in a few dark corners of the internet, and parapsychologist Barry Taff tells a documentary crew that he was once pelted with pennies that mysteriously fell from the ceiling when he visited the house in the 1970s.

 Outfitted with plenty of wide windows that give the place a light and airy feel, it doesn’t look very haunted in listing photos, but one never can tell.

The house has four bedrooms and four bathrooms. Features include a fully renovated kitchen, fireplaces in the living room and office, three separate bedroom suites, and a tall entryway with an elegant, winding master stairwell.

The home sits on a 5,970-square-foot lot and includes numerous patios and decks that provide excellent views around the surrounding hills. It last sold in 2013 for just $700,000. Now, it’s listed for $2.095 million.

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<3 Anna

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Haunted Casa Grande Domes

Crumbling, Iconic, Haunted? Future Uncertain for Casa Grande Domes

Written by Mariana Dale in June 2017

You can read the full article below or click here for the original post

About seven miles south of Casa Grande hulking mustard-colored domes rise up from the desert landscape like a scene from Star Wars’ Tatooine.

Built in 1982, they were meant to be the headquarters for an electronics manufacturer, but have since become a magnet for photographers, artists and hooligans.

“Virtually anyone who was raised in Casa Grande and went to high school or college here has partied out here,” said Dan Peer, the property’s owner.

The domes might not be an icon much longer.

Half of the largest dome collapsed last year. Pinal County asked the owner to have an engineer assess the domes’ safety or block them from public access. When he did not, the domes were condemned as unsafe, said spokesman Joe Pyritz in an email.

The owner is appealing the county’s decision and will have a hearing with the Board of Supervisors at a future date.

Abandoned, Broken, Haunted?

Peer starts a tour of the domes with a disclaimer.

“First comment is, you enter the grounds at your own risk.”

There’s a no trespassing sign, but the barbed wire fence has been trampled down.

“There are holes. There are unfinished foundations. There is rebar sticking up. There’s rocks, glass — you name it,” Peer said. “Don’t trip. Don’t get hurt. ”

The first dome was the closest to ever being finished. You can see the tiles where the bathroom would have been inside. Unlike the other structures, made of connected orb shapes, it’s shaped more like a flying saucer.

Graffiti ranging from clumsy tags to elaborate images of faces and animals cover the walls.

“We have some good artists in the area, no doubt about that,” Peer said as he gazed up at the walls.

A group of pigeons fly out of the domes as the tour continues.

The Travel Channel show “Ghost Adventures” featured the domes in an episode last March.

“This may be one of the most unusual, yet sinister places we’ve ever investigated in America,” the host claimed.

There were rumors of satanic rituals practiced beneath the arching concrete ceilings.

“There were satanic signs they tell me, but I wouldn’t even recognize them,” Peer, who appeared in the show, said.

A man of God, Peer said when he purchased the property, they exorcised any otherworldly presence.

“It is not haunted and Satan is not welcome here anymore,” Peer said.

‘A Unique Type Of Construction’

The domes were built in the 1980s as the headquarters for electronics manufacturer InterConn Technology.

Lonnie Mikkelsen was part of the construction crew and still lives in Casa Grande.

“I didn’t have a clue what they were doing,” he recalled. “I said, ‘Yeah, sign me on.’”

Maybe you’ve made a globe or piñata out of a balloon and papier-mâché. The process to build the domes was like that, but in reverse.

First a giant balloon-like tarp was attached at the foundation. Fans inflated the balloon and workers built the dome from the inside, first spraying the sides with polyurethane foam, then concrete reinforced with metal fibers and added rebar.

Interconn went under before the domes were completed and the property has sat vacant for years.

A protective white layer covering the foam has peeled away and the foam turns mustard yellow in the sun. The domes’ surface are pockmarked with handholds people use to climb to the top.

“I would have liked to see them make it just because it was a unique type of construction,” Mikkelsen said.

The company that built the domes on the other hand, still exists.

“So far we have constructed domes in every state in the union except one and in 52 foreign countries,” said Gary Clark, sales vice president at the Monolithic Dome Institute.

The tarp used to build the largest Casa Grande dome structure was re-configured and formed to shape for Monolithic’s manufacturing facility in Italy, Texas.

It’s called brucco, the Italian word for caterpillar.

Clark said before the recession in 2008, the company was creating more than 100 new domes a year for everything from schools, private residences and churches.

Monolithic touts the domes’ weather resistance, insulation and ergonomics.

“It’s very simple to say they are iconic,” Clark said.

Decrepit And Real, ‘It’s Honest’

The Casa Grande domes may not be an icon for much longer. Peer pointed out cracks and holes in the domes as we walk through the cavernous space. Some are no wider than a hand, others you can walk through.

“Concrete does have a tendency to crack anyhow, but none of these cracks are really structural,” Peer said.

He believes vandals caused the destruction, including the collapse of the largest dome. The Pinal County Sheriff’s Office reported there have been about 26 calls about the property since 2012 — 76 percent for trespassing.

“Is it really worth the trouble?”

Peer said sometimes he wonders. The property is for sale and has been for years.

“It’s a million-dollar property in little better shape than it is now,” Peer said. “Maybe in quite a bit better shape than it is now.”

For now, Peer occasionally rents the property to filmmakers and photographers, but many people still visit the domes without permission.

On the day of the tour with Peer, Patrick McPherson and his buddy from Phoenix are also exploring the domes.

He’s from South Carolina and read about the site online before visiting.

“There’s just something nice about, I don’t know, how decrepit and real it is. It’s honest.” McPherson said. “It would be a shame to lose this, I think.”

An LA-based artist that goes by Boots stenciled her poetry on the domes walls. Boots became enamored with abandoned places after a break-up from an  eight-year relationship.

“The domes, like other places I’ve explored, have their bad and good graffiti,” Boots said. “There’s artists you recognize and then kids tagging how much they hate their parents.”

Since she visited, several of her poems have been covered by spray paint.

“The domes are dreary, but have a sense of hope,” Boots said. “Their oddness alone is appealing: random domes in the middle of the desert that have become a tourist attraction.”

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Is The Horse You Came In On Saloon Haunted?

Or, Peek Into Baltimore’s Historic Haunted Saloon

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Exploring Baltimore’s Historic Haunted Dive — The Horse You Came In On

Written by Clint Lanier and Derek Hembree in 2017

There’s no controversy about which bar in Baltimore, Maryland is the oldest – the honor belongs to The Horse You Came In On.

Founded as a saloon (under a different name) in 1795, this bar has been quenching the thirst of sailors, shipbuilders, and all other kinds of miscreants since its opening. When it was founded at what is now called Fells Point, the port of Baltimore was an important shipping center for the young United States. Cargo from throughout the world arrived and offloaded here, including African slaves during the height of the American slave trade.

Originally, the bar was quite small with stables in the rear to keep horses while customers imbibed. Its legacy, then, is as a saloon rather than a respectable tavern of the day (like Gadsby’s Tavern down in Alexandria, Virginia). This is fitting considering its proximity to the dock and the type of clientele it saw.

The current name of the joint draws from this legacy. Howard Gerber bought the place in 1972 and changed the name from Al and Ann’s to The Horse You Came In On. He then got a friend to dress up like a cowboy and ride a horse into the bar on opening day. That pretty much sums up what this place is like – funny and fun with an odd sense of humor, but always keeping an eye to the past.

When you walk inside, the first thing you notice is just how damned big the place is. Years ago the owners expanded the bar by replacing the area in the back that housed the stables with three brand new bars, including a tequila bar and a bar with more of a Tex-Mex sort of feel.

The small bar at the front entrance is the authentic 18th century saloon. The furniture and décor are new, but as Rob Napier, the long-serving manager and bartender told us, after 200 years of service things will get updated. He pointed out the tin ceiling, which was probably added in the 1800s, and the electric lines added in the 1900s. Things change.

But not necessarily everything. We think the atmosphere is probably about like it was back when it was founded. It’s energetic but comfortable, bawdy but thoroughly enjoyable. The live music, played 7 days a week, can get a bit loud, but not so much that you can’t have a conversation across the table. It’s easy to see yourself here back in 1849, having a drink at the bar with your friends. And if you had been there then you might have noticed a local, down and out writer having a drink before walking out into the night.

That writer would have been none other than Edgar Allen Poe. You see, this bar was the last bar he would have passed on the way to his house, and so he was known to frequent the place. It’s thought, in fact, that this was the last place he drank before being found on the night of October 3, 1849, deliriously wandering the streets of Baltimore. He died four days later.

It’s Poe, in fact, that Rob tells us is the ghost that causes so much havoc at The Horse. They typically refer to him as “Edgar,” and even Rob, who says he was never really a believer in the supernatural, has had his run in with the spirit. He told us that late one night, as he was closing up with another bartender, they went to lock the front door when suddenly, a beer mug sitting on top of the bar shattered into a pile of broken glass for no reason at all. Rob turned to see a look of terror on his bartender’s face and so asked him what was wrong. The bartender took out his phone and showed Rob a picture he took the night before. It was of a shattered beer mug that exploded in the exact same place on the bar just as he was closing up. Needless to say, Rob is now a believer.

The Horse has a full bar and can whip up just about anything you can order, but they are known for their Jack Daniels and tequila programs. They infuse their own cinnamon, honey and green apple Jack Daniels. They also have a Jack Daniels bottle program where you can buy a whole bottle, leave it there, and then drink off it until empty. They also infuse tequilas and have a huge selection of the smoky, agave-based spirit at their tequila bar.

Lastly, they do have a full kitchen and a great selection of pub grub. We tried the crab and cheese soft pretzel and the street tacos, and we’d definitely recommend either one.

If you visit Baltimore, don’t miss the historic Fells Point, with its 19th century cobblestone streets and historic buildings. And, of all the places to visit, make it a point to have a drink at The Horse You Came In On. Order an Old Fashioned or local beer, raise a toast to Edgar Allen Poe, and drink in some history!

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Family Searching for Nanny in Their Haunted House

Nanny Sought for Haunted House in the Scottish Borders

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Five nannies in the past year have blamed their departure on spooky happenings in the “haunted” house.

The alleged incidents have included strange noises and moving furniture.

The family have not experienced any “supernatural happenings” themselves but are happy to pay above the asking rate to find the right person.

The couple, who have two children aged five and seven, are advertising the position on Childcare.co.uk, a social networking platform for parents, childcare providers and private tutors.

The successful candidate will have their own room with en-suite bathroom and private kitchen in the family home, a “lovely, spacious, historic property in a remote spot with spectacular views”.

However, the live-in nanny will sometimes be alone in sole charge for up to four nights per week while the parents work away.

The advert said: “We have lived in our home for nearly 10 years.

“We were told it was ‘haunted’ when we bought it, but kept our minds open and decided to buy the house regardless.

“Five nannies have left the role in the last year, each citing supernatural incidents as the reason, including strange noises, broken glass and furniture moving.”

It said that had resulted in a “period of great upheaval” for the children.

“We haven’t personally experienced any supernatural happenings, as they have been reported only while we’ve been out of the house, but we’re happy to pay above the asking rate, and feel it’s important to be as up-front as possible to find the right person,” the advert continued.

“We are keen to find the perfect long-term nanny, so if you’d like to be considered for this rewarding and exciting position, please do get in touch with us.”

‘Genuine position’

They are offering a salary of £50,000 gross per year and 28 days holiday, plus bank holidays.

Richard Conway, founder of Childcare.co.uk, told the Daily Mirror: “When we saw the advert we were stunned.

“Some of the guys at HQ were sceptical but after talking to the family and their previous employees we realised it was a genuine position.

“We have hundreds of thousands of providers on the site and we’re hoping that one of them will be able to help them.

“We’ve had some weird and wonderful families find childcare providers through the site, however I think this is probably the most interesting story we’ve heard.

“The family has assured us that no harm has come to anyone living in the house, however the nanny will have to have a strong disposition!”

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Is an Oswego Spirit Haunting the NY Governor’s Mansion?

Or, Take A Peek Into The Haunted Mansion

Is an Oswego Spirit Haunting the NY Governor’s Mansion?

Written by Steve Yablonski in June 2017

You can read the full article below or click here for the original post

Is Gov. Andrew Cuomo being haunted by the ghost of a former Port City pastor?

At some recent public events, the governor has taken to playfully discussing spooky happenings at the Executive Mansion, his 160-year-old Eagle Street home.

He claims he doesn’t believe in ghosts, the noises the mansion makes in the dark of night still “creep him out.”

“It’s me alone when I’m in the house because my family’s in Westchester,” Cuomo said in an interview with the Albany Times Union early last month, alluding to the home he shares downstate with his partner, Sandra Lee. “The kids are in school. So it’s me alone. There are stories that this house is haunted. Now, I don’t believe in ghosts, and I’m a big tough Italian guy. But I’ll tell you – it gets creepy in that house and there are a lot of noise that go on and you are very alone.”

Perhaps he is being visited by Gov. Charles Evans Hughes’ father.

The elder Hughes died in the Executive Mansion in December 1909, “following a recent stroke of apoplexy,” according to the New York Times.

Whether there were any other deaths in the mansion before it came into the state’s possession in 1877 is unknown. At the very least, none were recorded.

A native of Wales, the 77-year-old arrived in the United States in 1855 and preached at churches in Oswego, Brooklyn, New Jersey and Pennsylvania, according to his obituary.

The Reverend David C. Hughes was the pastor of the West Baptist Church on the corner of West Third and Mohawk streets in Oswego, according to Justin White, president of the Oswego County Historical Society.

The church was an offshoot of the First Baptist Church, which was located on the east side in Washington Square.

The West Baptist Church was formed in 1853, but the current church that stands today was built in 1867.

“Half the cost was financed by Thomas Kingsford, which allowed for a more substantial ornate church,” White said. “It was designed by Andrew Jackson Warner of Rochester, who also designed the Richardson-Bates House and the Oswego Ladies Home.”

Rev. Hughes was the pastor during the construction of the “new” church and was the pastor from 1866 to 1869.

“Ministers often traveled from one church to another and did not stay in one place for long,” White said. “The building of a new church would have been an important legacy.”

What makes this even more interesting is that he was the father of the Hon. Charles Evan Hughes, who had an equally amazing life, he added.

“He was the Governor of New York State, the Secretary of State under President Harding and then Chief Justice of Supreme Court under President Hoover. He also ran for president in 1915,” White said.

Charles Hughes was a child when he lived in Oswego; started school in the Port City and became a “scholar” of the church Sunday school.

“When the stained class memorial windows replaced the original windows in the church by Haskin Glass Studios of Rochester, Hughes donated one the called “Gethsemane” in memory of his father for his time in Oswego at the minister of West Baptist Church,” White said.

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Does Jared Leto Live in a Haunted House?

Jared Leto’s Haunted House?

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Jared Leto’s house is haunted.

The ‘Suicide Squad’ actor lives in a converted Air Force base in the Hollywood Hills and believes the estate is inhabited by ghosts.

He told the latest issue of ES magazine: “God knows what they did here, but it talks. We’ve already had ghost sightings reported by my housekeeper. A handyman quit the project as he had an encounter. But I feel quite at home up here. It’s like a refuge. You’re at the top of this mountain. There’s this breeze coming through. It’s hard to leave.”

And Jared, 45, also revealed he believes in Singularity, the theory that technological advances will lead to machines that are smarter than human beings and that man and technology will eventually merge.

He said: “It’s far away but I don’t think it’s science fiction. I think it’s reality. Haven’t you had that thing, where you dream something and it sort of … happens? It’s inevitable that will happen at some point. You’d have to be a monkey not to see that. The difference between ourselves and our technology will be hard to decipher and determine.

“I mean, this is a long time in the future, but we are going to become an interplanetary species. Culture and society will advance. And we will become indistinguishable from the technology that gets us there. If you refuse, you are going to be left behind in the Dark Ages. You won’t even be able to talk to people, you’ll be grunting compared to the language that they speak.”

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Radiohead Recorded Album in Haunted House

Radiohead Talk Recording “OK Computer” in a Haunted House

Written by Luke Morgan Britton in May 2017

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Radiohead have recalled working on their classic album ‘OK Computer’ in a haunted house, speaking in a new interview to mark the 20th anniversary of their seminal record.

The band recently announced the 20th anniversary reissue of their classic album ‘OK Computer’. Originally released in 1997, ‘OK Computer’ was largely recorded at St Catherine’s Court in Bath between 1996 and early 1997.

Speaking of the Somerset manor house where the likes of The Cure and New Order have also recorded, guitarist Jonny Greenwood has told Rolling Stone that “people were always hearing sounds” in the house.

Frontman Thom Yorke added: “Ghosts would talk to me while I was asleep. There was one point where I got up in the morning after a night of hearing voices and decided I had to cut my hair.” The singer described how he proceeded to attempt to cut his hair with “the little scissors on a penknife” and “cut myself a few times. It got messy. I came downstairs and everyone was like, ‘Uh, are you all right?’ I was like, ‘What’s wrong?’ Phil very gently took me downstairs and shaved it all off.”

Elaborating on his psyche during the making of ‘OK Computer’, Yorke said: “I was basically catatonic. The claustrophobia – just having no sense of reality at all… I was getting into the sense of information overload, which is ironic, really, since it’s so much worse now.”

“The paranoia I felt at the time was much more related to how people related to each other,” he added. “But I was using the terminology of technology to express it. Everything I was writing was actually a way of trying to reconnect with other human beings when you’re always in transit. That’s what I had to write about because that’s what was going on, which in itself instilled a kind of loneliness and disconnection.”

“Back then,” Yorke recalled, “the person I saw in the mirror kept saying, ‘You’re shit. Everything you do is shit. Don’t do that. It’s shit.’ ”

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Haunted Insane Asylum

Haunted Insane Asylum Part of Iowa Barn Tour

Written by Alma Gaul in June 2017

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The 2½-story limestone building stands alone on a rural county road in Jackson County.

It is the only structure that remains on what was once the county “poor farm,” a name given to farms set up years ago to give a home to people who, for whatever reason, did not have one.

Constructed in 1870, it was the “insane asylum,” where people judged by the state to be “incurably insane” were locked away.

Local historian Don Wentworth believes it is haunted.

“When you go up the stairs, there is a hall with chambers, or cells, on either side, and at the end of the hall is a door with a lock on it,” he said. “You have to have a key to open it.

“The (caretaker) keeps getting calls that it’s open when no one has been out there. That’s why we call it an authentic haunted place. Because there’s no way to do that.”

So why is this building on the Spring Barn Tour, a free, self-guided event to be held this Saturday-Sunday, June 10-11, sponsored by the Iowa Barn Foundation?

The foundation is a nonprofit group founded in 1997, dedicated to preserving Iowa’s rural buildings that are symbols of Iowa’s early agricultural heritage.

The answer is that because after its use as an asylum, the building was converted to agricultural purposes, used to raise hogs and chickens.

Each year, the spring tour highlights buildings in various parts of the state; this year, the Quad-City region is featured, with six barns in Jackson County and four barns and two corn cribs in Clinton County.

A building with haunted ties definitely is a first for the foundation.

The former asylum is empty inside, Wentworth said. The second-floor door that mysteriously opens without a key opens to … nothing. A person stepping through the door would fall to the ground below. Although there are no known photos of how the building looked when it was built, Wentworth assumes the door originally opened to a balcony or landing with stairs to the ground.

One of the windows still contains a steel grate, making it impossible for anyone inside to get out.

During the late 1800s, people with mental illnesses were regarded as hazards to themselves and to others who needed to be locked away, Wentworth said.

“And there are stories of widows who were committed by their families to get their hands on their money,” he said.

The building was restored in 1993 and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

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Tuesday Teaser (Spell of Shattering #4)

Or, Take A Peek At The 1st Book In The Dark Caster Series

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