The Most Haunted Liner in the World

Jim Kalafus

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Dec 3, 2000
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Dead Lucy AGAIN? First at my job, then in Lisa Simpson's bedroom, and now THIS!

13 years ago, the video store I was managing had its "tenth anniversary" and a pop-culture friend of mine and I jokingly mentioned that we were going to bring in Lucille Ball to host the "clip episode" just as she did on Three's Company. A dullard co-worker of ours snapped "How are you going to get Lucy? She's dead!" and we had to break it to her, gently, that there was NOT going to be a clip episode, and there WERE no clips, and that our jobs were not on a TV show, and that the Lucy reference fell into the category known as 'joke.'

Then, Dead Lucy appeared as a chain-smoking, raspy, vision to Lisa Simpson, and helped her hatch a "hare brained scheme."
 

Jim Kalafus

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Dec 3, 2000
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>she has incorporated John Ritter into the script?

She might have! When she did Three's Company, she only wanted to appear with him in the episode, and so it was!

In much the same way we altered our in-store print of the Sound of Music, we always wanted to alter that episode...while raspy, 160 year old Lucy is standing in the living room saying things like "You know what makes Three's Company Special? LOVE!" we wanted to splice in footage, from another episode, of Joyce DeWitt on the bedroom phone, and dub her saying, sotto voce, "Hello, Gary? Gary Marshall? Hi, Its' Janet Wood. Fine, thank you. Listen- it's Lucy. She's wandered off again. Yes, she's in our living room. No, she hasn't hurt anything, this time, but please come and get her."

But, we never had the chance.

Our re-cut Willie Wonka was a hit with kids young and old. After "Grandpa Joe" snarls "You...inhuman...monster" we cut the rest of the film and jumped straight to the credits. in OUR version, Charlie did NOT get the factory...
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May 27, 2007
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No ship named Ivan Vassili entered the US via the West Coast during the timeline established by the story....

It's the Government purging the records yet again! You only know what they want you to know. Big Brother is everywhere.
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Well I'm of to watch Special Dead. Because sometimes "Heros ride the short bus."

Synopsis:
When a zombie plague infects Camp Special Dude, a dude ranch for the mentally handicapped, a ragtag band of campers and counselors struggles to survive the night. Led by the indifferent, nun-chuck-wielding head counselor, Mac, and his wheelchair-bound sister Dale, the unlikely heroes fight their way off the mountain as, one by one, they're picked off and join the ranks of the walking dead. It's a campy stampede of blood, boobs and gore as some "very special" people show that they can kick some serious undead a**."
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I'm Off-
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Feb 4, 2007
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>She's wandered off again. Yes, she's in our living room......

Ha ha!

In my spliced version of the original Willy Wonka film, the method by which Charlie and Grandpa Joe float down from the ceiling after ingesting "Fizzy Lifting Drinks" has the bubbly gas emanating from the other end.

G. Joe: "Burp, Charlie! Burp!"
Charlie: "I can't!"

*pffft*

G. Joe: "That'll do, pig. That'll do."

(sorry)
 

Jim Kalafus

Member
Dec 3, 2000
6,108
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198

Jim Kalafus

Member
Dec 3, 2000
6,108
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198
IVAN VASSILI- NAME ORIGIN: Romanoff (Ivan and Vassili), first exiles of rank sent to Siberia...

Too much of a coincidence. The name is a historical reference, to two early Romanovs exiled after going against Boris Goedenov. Also, Ivan the Great's eldest son was...Vassili. NOW, either the freighter was named by someone with a flair for Russian Monarchist history, or the author of the fictional account had a flair for Russian Monarchist history.

The name strikes me as a 'cute' joke on someone's part- akin to naming a ship the "Nixon Agnew" or the "Charles Diana"

The earliest refrence to this event I can find, is in Vincent Gaddis' "Invisible Horizons." Will order same, and see if it is footnoted or has a bibliography.

*pause*

Return from ordering said book. Published in 1965, it is one of those books you may remember-Inger- that has a cigarette ad bound right int the center of the text that will cause the book to split in half if you try to tear it out. THIS DOES NOT BODE WELL...such books tended to be...well...not exactly SCHOLARLY...we'll see.
 
Feb 4, 2007
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The Ivan Vassili book by Vincent Gaddis does seem to be the one referenced most often for this tale. Incidentally, Gaddis was the first to use the term "Bermuda Triangle" in 1964. And some people here may find it interesting that he worked for Studebaker-Packard / Mercedes Benz during the late 1950's.
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In addition, he was a member of the International Brotherhood of Magicians and the now defunct Fortean Society.

I found some more info that may or may not be true, and that may or may not be helpful:

According to Italian writer Francesco Lamendola, in October 2003 the Russian Academy of Sciences performed a study on the supposed last remaining piece of the ship, the helm, which is allegedly now housed in a navigation museum in Vladivostok (BTW, there really is such a museum). Apparently, the science team discovered various alkaloids with hallucinogenic properties present in the wood. However, there have been doubts about this study - none the least of which is whether or not it was performed, how it was performed, and under what type of supervision. I do not read or understand the Russian language and so cannot research this lead further myself.
 
May 27, 2007
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Jason-

Yeah we get some weird choices in our video store and their bringing out all the scary ones for Halloween. Yes I'm reading World War Z and the Zombie Survival Guide both by Max Brooks son of Mel Brooks. So I'm in Zombie mode.

Now back to your regularly scheduled program.
 

Jim Kalafus

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Dec 3, 2000
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>Incidentally, Gaddis was the first to use the term "Bermuda Triangle" in 1964.

Strike 2.

I am intrigued by the possible study, in Russia. Will contact museum in Vladivostok directly. So many questions come to mind immediately~ if the helm truly is permeated with hallucinogenic alkaloids, then would not ONLY people who came in contact with the helm fall victim to it? Unless the hull and/or decking was built from the same wood source. If the wood was 'tainted' by a hallucinogen carried aboard the ship, one wonders about the sheer volume (not to mention composition) of hallucinogen needed to not only permeate wood but also selectively poison the crew. I wonder if the ship carried grain:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ergotism

...which has been festering in my mind these last few days.

Reading Gaddis and then talking with the museum ought to send us in the correct direction.
 
Feb 4, 2007
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Jason: >Incidentally, Gaddis was the first to use the term "Bermuda Triangle"

Jim: >Strike 2.

Yup.

If you can read/understand Russian, Jim, more power to you. It would be nice to clear this little mystery up. I have no idea which museum supposedly has this remnant from the Ivan Vassili. There are quite a few museums in Vladivostok, but a few of them are more marine-related so that might be a good start.

A few names in English translation:

"Far East Steam Navigation Museum"

"Museum of Fighting glory of Pacific Boundary District"

"Scientific museum of Far East State University"

Just to name a few. What a project!
 
Feb 4, 2007
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quote:

Step One on Surviving a Zombie Attack
Oh! I feel so much safer now! This isn't as hard as I thought. I am now all set for tonight. Thanks George!
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Oh, and as far as a "first use" of sorts for the term "devil's triangle", the term can trace it's origins back to at least the Middle Ages or thereabouts. At that time, the term was known as the "devil's triad", and was used to describe a dissonance in music. If you know the song "Maria" from Bernstein's West Side Story, the two notes sung on "Ma - ri" are what constitute the first and last notes of a "devil's triad", or "tritone". More simply, just play a middle "C" and the "F#" above it on a keyboard to create the tritone. It is quite an unpleasant sound to western ears if left unresolved. One must have the last "a" of "Maria" or play the "G" on a keyboard after the first two notes to resolve the dissonance. If it remains unresolved, the tritone was once considered a method for summoning the devil.

As the term applies to the body of water now known as the "Bermuda Triangle", well, I ain't sure.
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Jim Kalafus

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Dec 3, 2000
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>the two notes sung on "Ma - ri" are what constitute the first and last notes of a "devil's triad",

Gol'...I always THOUGHT West Side Story was like a two hour foretaste of hell, and now I know why!

Ever wonder if Maria got 'the chair?' I do... No witnesses to Chino shooting Tony. Upon the arrival of the police,there's Maria standing with a gun, hovering over the body of the man who killed her brother. Officer Krupke, having witnessed the embarrassingly unsubtle "Go to Doc's...get me my ...special....medicine" interlude will realise that it was premeditated, a trap set with the complicity of Anita, and she'll "go down," too. Even if Chino confesses, who'll believe him? Protecting the girl he loves by lying, etc. She MIGHT cop a plea to 'crime of passion' and hope for the best, but telling the truth will make it look like she's trying to set up Chino~ and we all KNOW how much juries, and judges, like defendants who do things like that. "There's a place for us" no doubt soon translated to Sing-Sing.

Or, at least that is how I view the end. Others may see it differently.
 

Inger Sheil

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Dec 3, 2000
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Inger, have you ever heard this story as being set in SanFran? I've always thought that it was English in origin, but I could be mistaken.
You know, oddly enough, if I'd been asked to place it I would have had it on the East Coast - must be some sort of association I made with the origins of the name. If pressed, I might have also gone for Pacific North West. I have one book left in the house, I think, which recounts the story - the author has done some primary source checking on other tales (like the haunting of the Asp), but I don't recall him doing much digging on the Squando - that chapter rather stood out because of the uncritical recounting of the story. I'll see if I can find it and see what version and sources he gives.

The headless ghost issue - yes, it does tip the line, doesn't it? I suppose up until that point one can someone identify with the ghost, if it's relatively intact. But once it's sans tete (to employ a nickname Anne Boleyn joked would be applied to herself after her execution), the question of deadedness is beyond discussion. A headless figure walking around puts me in mind of the Swedish villagers in M.R. James classic Count Magnus: "No, do not go; we are sure you will meet with persons walking who should not be walking. They should be resting, not walking."

Stories of the Brown Lady of Raynham Hall had a similar effect on me - there was a subtle additional horror to the idea that not only was she dead, but she was reported to appear with empty eye sockets. And the final icing on the cake was stopping in the corridor opposite the doorway Captain Marryat had ducked into to avoid her - although some versions have her giving him a "diabolical look", others have her with a chilling smile. Which I suppose could be pretty diabolical.

Dodgy binding was de rigeur for these books, wasn't it? Glue that gradually decayed, the binding dissolving. Almost as compulsory as Flight 19!

George, I have a "thing" about Zombie movies. No idea why. Other horror flicks roll off me -I watched a Friday the 13th marathon while housesitting a castle with an Edwardian collector's assemblage of skulls and mummy parts around me, samurai armour lurking in corners, and stuffed animals glaring down. I laughed my way through the first one or two, then grew very bored. But Zombie flicks kick into my subconscious, and I know they'll be visiting me in dreams. Even Shaun of the Dead, with a couple of my favourite comedians in it. I watch 5 minutes of a Zombie movie, and the undead will roam my dreams for weeks.
 
Feb 4, 2007
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quote:

Or, at least that is how I view the end.
ROTF!
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(isn't that icon above annoying? Ha!)

"The chair! Giver 'er the chair!" And suddenly, Maria and Anita find themselves surrounded by mud in the secret World Championship Wrestling ring of Sing Sing. Anita wins after slamming Maria into a pool of "Black Orchid" mud bubbles. A rendition of mandated audience participation in "I Like to be in America" ensues.

Inger, I, too, am quite easily induced to dreaming about zombies and scarring myself quite readily. This is why I DID NOT watch the recent film "1408", although I wanted to.