Get your scare on: Here are real haunted places you can stay

Published: Thursday, October 27, 2016 @ 12:57 PM
Updated: Sunday, October 01, 2017 @ 1:08 PM

The Story Of The Stanley Hotel

If one of those fake "haunted house" locations aren't enough for to scare you out of your socks, you can always check in to a real haunted hotel.

Hotels.com came up with a list that may have rooms with unexpected chills and creepy corners that may have you thinking someone is there. 

Hotel Parq Central is first on the list. Located in Albuquerque, New Mexico, the luxury hotel was originally a former rail yard hospital that was eventually used as a psychiatric ward for children. There are rumors that the patients once housed there are still among the entities. Both employees and guests say they've heard strange whispers and feelings of being watched.

>> Read more trending stories  

The Marshall House, located in Savannah, Georgia, was once used by the Union Army during the Civil War. It was also used during yellow fever epidemics. Guests say the spirits of children run the hallways at night. Ghosts still walk around the hotel and the faucets turn on by themselves. The Marshall House embraces its haunts and offers Halloween stays that include talks about the history of the building.

The Stanley Hotel was made famous by Stephen King and his book "The Shining." As the hotel's history goes, King and his wife checked in for a one night stay in the Estes Park, Colorado, resort. They were the only ones on property. King was inspired to write the novel of the haunted hotel after that stay.

>>Read: Man snaps haunting photo at ‘The Shining’ hotel

The Hotel Del Coronado was made famous by the movie "Some Like It Hot." One woman, according to the hotel's website, never checked out. Kate Morgan is said to still roam the halls of the luxury beach-front hotel in Coronado, California. Morgan was at the hotel in 1892. She was seen having an argument on the train ride from Los Angeles to San Diego. He abandoned her during that trip. But she still checked in to the hotel. She went into San Diego to reportedly buy a handgun. The San Diego coroner said she died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. Guests and employees see flickering lights, a television that turns itself on and off, changes in temperature and footsteps and voices. Paranormal researchers have documented supernatural activity in Morgan's room using gadgets like infrared cameras and night vision goggles.

Stay on Main was formerly known as Cecil Hotel. It is said to be the inspiration behind "American Horror Story: Hotel." As the Cecil, it was the home to at least two serial killers -- "Night Stalker" Richard Ramirez and Jack Unterweger. A woman also is said to have killed herself by jumping from a hotel room, landing on and killing a pedestrian on the sidewalk below. Another woman was choked to death in the mid 60s. Her case was never solved. One story goes, a man was staying there and woke up in the middle of the night feeling like he was being choked. He said the felt the hands of an unseen person around his neck. After describing what happened to the hotel clerk, the employee said someone had been murdered in that room. Another creepy story was that of Elisa Lam, who disappeared from the hotel on Jan. 31, 2013. Her body was found more than two weeks later after guests told management that the water tasted strange. Lam's body was found in one of the roof-top water tanks, CNN reported. The hotel is currently closed, but is said to be in the middle of a conversion to a boutique hotel and micro-unit apartment complex, according to Curbed Los Angeles.

Not on the list, but still scary:

Christmas 2017: Top ugly holiday sweater ideas

Published: Tuesday, December 12, 2017 @ 9:55 AM

A Celebration of Ugly Holiday Sweaters

In recent years, the combination of Christmas and tacky sweaters has taken on a life of its own. Festive people aspire to wear the ugliest holiday sweater possible. Whether it’s including as many adornments as possible, breaking out a ratty and worn polyester pullover or sporting animals in full holiday cheer, here’s a roundup of ugly Christmas sweater ideas to inspire you.
 
Shiny wreath
What’s says Christmas more than a wreath with a little shine? Take your Christmas tackiness to a new level with a shiny wreath pinned to your red or green sweater. For a little extra bling, string some lights to the wreath and load with a battery pack to keep it shining.
 
The fireplace
If the coziness of sitting by a blazing fire in the winter tickles your fancy, you’ll love this ugly Christmas sweater idea. This sweater can be pre-purchased with a trimmed fireplace and a pocket in the middle of sweater for your phone. Download an app on your phone to provide virtual flames.
 
Trim the tree
Get your craftiness ready to whirl with this shiny and embellished sweater. You’ll need shiny garland, small ornaments and lots of glue, but the end result is a tree to inspire even the grinchiest with a smidge of Christmas spirit. By the way: Don’t forget the ornament to top the tree.

>> Read more trending stories
 
Stuffed stocking
Need some wine or sweet treats to keep you going through the holiday season? This stocking stuffer sweater is just what you need.
 
A beer lover’s Christmas
Yet another DIY ugly Christmas sweater idea, this one entails the usage of hundreds of bottle tops to make a Christmas tree. Take a red or green sweater and gather all your bottle tops. Arrange them on the sweater and glue them into the shape of a tree. Top off the tree with a metallic bow for a touch of glitz.
 
Snow globe
Bring the wishes of a White Christmas to life with this ugly Christmas sweater in the fashion of a snow globe. Take a plastic tablecloth and fold in half, being careful to stuff it with the insides with a pillow to look like artificial snow.
 
An ugly tie tree 
For this creation, all of the old ugly ties of Christmases pasts can be put to good use. Gather your ugly Christmas ties and arrange them in a tree pattern on an old sweater. Easy peasy Christmas sweater to don at all your holiday parties in the season.
 
Matching couple sweaters 
Want to look tacky as a pair? Wear the ugliest Christmas sweater connected to one other person to have double the fun and double the tackiness.
 
Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer
Pay homage to Santa’s favorite reindeer and favorite helper of them all with this Christmas sweater. Start with a black sweater vest and decorate with big eyes and a red nose. Layer a brown long-sleeved shirt underneath the sweater vest, attaching stems to look like antlers on your sleeves.

Your guide to building a fabulous gingerbread house

Published: Wednesday, December 13, 2017 @ 11:03 AM
Updated: Wednesday, December 13, 2017 @ 11:03 AM

When an architect, a pastry chef and a kid decide to build a gingerbread house, who knows what will happen?

If you're like me, this time of year brings the yearning for upholding or creating family traditions such as building a holiday gingerbread house, but the reality is that there's only so much time in a day.

RELATED: 6 things you may not know about Christmas

Most of us were already burning our candles from both ends before they turned red and started smelling of spice and apples. Now we're just burned out.

 

Take a breath. You’ve got options. My family has been making a gingerbread house for the holidays since I was the age of my 11-year-old (trust me, it's been a while). And we've managed to not only stay sane, but continue speaking to each other.

 

How?

We cheat. We use a kit to build out houses. Kits comes in lots of shapes and sizes, from beginner to advanced, and can be bought even on the most meager of budgets. If you can Google, you can find a kit (but we’ve done some of that legwork for you, with a list of kits; see the list on this page).

 

Kits basically offer the pieces to your house already baked — all you have to do is the fun part: make some icing and start decorating and making memories. 

RELATED: Debate settled: This is the right time to put up your Christmas tree

WHERE TO FIND KITS

 

Wilton, Orbit, Gingerhaus and Create-a-treat kits and related accessories also are available from Amazon.com.

 

——————————

 

Royal Icing

 

Makes about 3 cups

 

Hands on: 2 minutes

 

Total time: 7 minutes

 

Use this icing "glue" to put together a gingerbread house, or to pipe decorative designs on cakes and cookies. You can also use the recipe in the booklet inside the Wilton Meringue Powder canister.

 

4 cups confectioners' sugar

 

3 tablespoons meringue powder

 

6 to 7 tablespoons warm water

 

With an electric mixer using a whip attachment, whip confectioners' sugar, meringue powder and water in a bowl until incorporated, Continue beating on medium speed for 7 minutes. Keep the icing covered with a moist paper towel when not using.

 
Per tablespoon: 25 calories (no calories from fat), trace protein, 6 grams carbohydrates, no fiber, no fat, no cholesterol, 2 milligrams sodium.

This week’s ‘Artisan Night’ offers gift ideas that can’t get more local

Published: Tuesday, December 12, 2017 @ 1:49 PM

The 2nd Street Market will host its first-ever Artisan Night at the Market from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 13. CONTRIBUTED
The 2nd Street Market will host its first-ever Artisan Night at the Market from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 13. CONTRIBUTED

The 2nd Street Market will host its first-ever “Artisan Night at the Market” from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 13.

The event is described by market organizers as “an evening of music, gift shopping and mini workshops … a perfect opportunity to purchase or create your very own unique holiday gifts.”

>> RELATED: 2nd Street Market to add Sunday hours in June 2018

More than a dozen of the market’s vendors will be participating. The event will be held on the east end of the market. Attendees should park and enter at the far east end of the market. No registration is necessary, and admission is free.

Lynda Suda, the Five Rivers MetroParks 2nd Street Market’s coordinator, provided a few of the projects that vendors will offer:

• Consider the Lilies - small wreath

• Hedy Riegle Studio – stamped brass tag

• Willowdale Farm Botanicals – essential oil roll-on

• Revamped Jems – small earrings

• Studio Regina - glass ornament

The full list of participating vendors include:

Animal Snackers, Azra’s Mediterranean Desserts, Caffeine Carl, Consider the Lilies, Fabric Arts, Hedy Riegle Studio, Missing Peace, New World Alpaca Textiles, Now and Zen Terrariums, Papi Joe’s Tennessee Pepper Sauce, Revamped Jems, Simply Aura Boutique, Studio Regina, Tim’s Gifts N’ More, Westlane Alley, and Willowdale Botanicals.

>> CHRISTMAS DINING: Which Dayton-area restaurants are open on Christmas Day? 

Coffee and holiday treats will also be for sale, and Anna Baugham will provide acoustical music entertainment.

The artisans’ night could become an annual event, Suda said.

The 2nd Street Market is located at 600 E. Second St. at Webster Street in downtown Dayton. For more information, call (937) 228-2088.

Kwanzaa: 7 things to know

Published: Tuesday, December 12, 2017 @ 4:10 PM

Understanding Kwanzaa

Kwanzaa is a relatively modern holiday that began just over 50 years ago. Since then, Kwanzaa has grown in popularity and has been commemorated with postage stamp designs and mentioned by several presidents as part of their holiday greetings.
 
Unless you celebrate Kwanzaa, you may not be aware of the traditions and philosophy that are important to its meaning and celebration.
 
Here are seven things to know about Kwanzaa.

>> Read more trending news
 
Why and when it was created
 
Kwanzaa was created in 1966 by Maulana Karenga, a black nationalist who became a college professor. He created the holiday in the aftermath of the Watts riots in Los Angeles as an effort to unite and empower the African-American community, and it was first celebrated that year.
 
The origins of its name
 
Inspired by traditional harvest festivals, Kwanzaa takes its name from a Swahili phrase, “matunda ya kwanza,” which means “first fruits.” Over 2,000 languages are spoken in Africa, so Swahili, which is spoken by millions, was chosen since it’s a unifying language. An extra “a” was added to the end of the original word because seven children each wanted to represent a letter at the first Kwanzaa celebration.
 
Who can celebrate Kwanzaa

Because it’s celebrated from Dec. 26 to Jan. 1, some people assume that Kwanzaa is an alternative to Christmas. It’s a cultural celebration that has a spiritual quality, but the holiday is not a religious one. And although it celebrates African culture, people of any race or ethnic background can participate in the holiday’s events and customs.
 
Why it lasts for seven days

Each of the seven days of Kwanzaa is dedicated to a principle, which gives each day a specific meaning and purpose on which to focus. The seven principles are: unity, self-determination, collective work and responsibility, cooperative economics, purpose, creativity and faith.
 
The colors of Kwanzaa

The colors of Kwanzaa are black, red and green, and they’re used to represent unity for people of African descent worldwide. Black represents the people, red for their noble blood that unites them and green for the rich land of Africa.
 
The meaning of the candelabra

A seven-branched candelabra called a kinara is used to help discuss and celebrate the principles, with a new candle being lit each night. One is black, three are red and three are green, and the black candle is placed in the center. The black candle, which represents unity, is lit on the first day of Kwanzaa. Red candles are placed to the left and green to the right and are lit in that order. The order of the candles indicates that the people come first, followed by the struggle and then hope.
 
The importance of food

Food is an important part of many holidays, and Kwanzaa is no exception. Many people celebrate with their favorite African-American dishes – along with traditional African, Caribbean and other appropriate recipes – throughout the week. The holiday culminates with a feast (known as Karamu) on Dec. 31, with dishes meant to symbolize the past as well as the current growth of African culture. 

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