Abandoned: The Real Estate Bubble And America’s Zombie Subdivisions

zombie-sub-2

Previously: Bodie, California.

Although we wouldn’t officially know it until the end of 2008, a recession began in the United States in 2007. As anyone who lived through it knows, it was a bad one, claimed by many to be the worst financial crisis we’d seen since the Great Depression—  and the effects of this crisis can still be seen in a chillingly literal way scattered across the landscape of the entire country: What are called “zombie subdivisions.” Half-finished housing developments, deserted and lonely, have become the modern-day equivalent of the gold rush ghost town, and they’re just as eerie as their older cousins. In fact, in many cases, they’re even eerier — because they’re not something out of our past, with the distance history can provide. They’re our present, and if we’re not careful, they’ll be our future, too.

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The Most Dangerous Games: Dry Bones

bonesPreviously: A Small Radio.

There are a couple of versions of Dry Bones floating around on the internet, but the oldest one I’ve found dates back to 2013. It was posted to r/NoSleep in June of that year by a Redditor going by the name “yomomma56.” (Reddit user names are endlessly entertaining.) They’re still active, by the way, so at least we know that they’ve played the game and survived.

The game itself is sort of like a hybrid of One Man Hide and Seek, the Midnight Game, and Bloody Mary; the stakes are high, but the prize might be valuable enough to justify it — it all depends on your own wants and desires. Be careful what you wish for, though; it’s possible that whatever you’re summoning here might decide that playing the game isn’t fair bargain for what you’re asking for.

As always, play at your own risk.

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A Short Break

Hey gang,

Just wanted to give you all a heads up that I’m taking a short break — I actually, uh, got married around Halloween, so October was a pretty busy month. (I seem to have developed a habit of going through major life events in October, haven’t I?) Since I still kind of regret having to go mostly AWOL during the Halloween season last year, I worked my butt off to get enough content queued up to get us through the Halloween season this year before I took off for Weddingcation 2016; now that we’re on the other side of it all, though, I’m going to take a little time to, y’know, enjoy newlywed life and all that.

It shouldn’t be too long of a break — a couple of weeks at most. Until then, Gentle Readers, I leave you with this:

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Are These Halloween Urban Legends True? An Examination Of 6 Classics

jack-o-lantern

Happy Halloween, Gentle Readers!

You’ve probably already got your plans all set for tonight — even if it’s just staying in and watching a whole bunch of movies, listening to a ton of podcasts, playing a couple of games, or reading a good book — but let’s do a little something to mark the occasion while we’re here: Tell a few classic Halloween urban legends. Or perhaps more accurately, debunk a few classic Halloween urban legends, because honestly, urban legends aren’t interesting unless you’re digging into where they came from and whether or not they’ve got a kernel of truth buried in there somewhere.

In case you still need a few ideas for how to occupy your time tonight, here’s a list of things to do on Halloween — but why not kick it off by taking a look at a few of the tales below? I’m sure you’ve heard them before. So, which of them are actually true? You might be surprised.

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Creepypasta of the Week: “Trick Or Treat”

doorbell

Previously: “The Cardboard House.”

The selection of Halloween-themed creepypasta available is surprising slim. Perhaps it’s to be expected; layering a creepy story on top of a holiday that’s already supposed to be creepy seems a little like overkill, and might even cancel out the creepiness all together. But “Trick or Treat” is quite a successful little story, weaving together well-known traditions, the history of Halloween, and one the most puzzling unsolved mysteries on record. (If you’re keeping up with this season of American Horror Story, you’ll probably know what I’m talking about.)

Like a lot of creepy stories, this one is sort of a cautionary tale. It also brings up a very good point about trick or treating — namely, that it’s actually a little weird we’re so trusting of strangers opening up their doors to a whole bunch of equally strange children on one specific day every year.

Kind of makes you wonder, doesn’t it?

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The Best Spooky Books To Read, October 2016 — And Why They’re Worth Your Time: Part 2, Serial Killers, Unreliable Narrators & More

books-2Previously: Spooky Books: Ghosts & Haunted Houses.

Time for the second installment of the Best Spooky Books To Read, October 2016 edition. Whereas last week we focused on ghost stories, this week, we’re broadening it out a little bit: Murders and Serial Killers, Unreliable Narrators, and Short Stories. As was the case with last week’s selections, the books found here aren’t necessarily “horror” in the classic sense of the word; they span many genres, often even defying genre entirely. But what they all have in common is that they’re “October books” for me — the kinds of books that are good no matter when you read them, but which always pack a particular punch at this time of year. (See the introduction to last week’s post for more about what I mean.)

Ready? Let’s go.

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The Best Spooky Books To Read, October 2016 — And Why They’re Worth Your Time: Part 1, Ghosts & Haunted Houses

booksThere’s a particular kind of spooky book I like to read when autumn rolls around. They’re not necessarily scary per se — but they all have the same sort of air about them: They’re the kinds of stories that beg to be told when the weather starts to get cooler and the nights grow longer and October is in the chair There’s an impulse to write horror fiction off as “just meant to scare you” and nothing more — but as I’ve mentioned before, good horror is about something much more than just what’s going on on the surface. It’s usually talking about something else — something we really should be talking about.

That’s what these books have. For me, at least.

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