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Haunted Forests - Our Board of the Month!

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#1 Jeff Belanger

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Posted 17 November 2016 - 08:15 AM

Dear Ghostvillagers,

What is it about the forest? The tall and stoic trees standing above us like silent giants. The way a gentle breeze makes the woods hiss and a mighty wind makes them roar only adds to the mystique and ups the fear factor. Then watch the sun dip below the horizon as twilight turns to darkness, and the forest becomes something more ominous entirely.



I’ve been spending a lot of time in the woods lately. I’m training for my Mt. Kilimanjaro climb to benefit the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society in March. I don’t fear the woods per se, but I understand why they’re often the setting for scary movies and ghastly legends. When you’re feeling good, and in control, the woods are a beautiful place. Fall and hurt yourself, or find yourself confronted by a crazed animal or deranged lunatic, and now the woods can feel like you’re in the middle of the ocean with no other ships around. You can sense the isolation, which is exactly what makes the woods call to some people yet frighten others. Out there, sometimes all you have are your thoughts, and that’s BAD_WORD scary for some of us because we’re afraid of what we might find inside.


The forest also offers the hidden factor. The idea that deep in the woods, we’re away from the gaze of anyone. That’s also frightening. And there’s a spirit to the woods. Not only are you surrounded by life in great abundance, but you somehow know that beneath your feet sits centuries of death. As plants and animals die, they enrich the soil for new life. The story of us sits out there in the forest. All of our imperfections, flaws, and fears, but also our triumphs somewhere among the swamps and trees.



In my book, The World’s Most Haunted Places, I include a chapter on Aokigahara Jukai—the “Suicide Forest” that sits below Mt. Fuji in Japan. The locals also refer to this place as the “Sea of Trees,” which makes sense considering how many people drown within it. These woods have the dubious reputation as being the most popular place on earth to kill yourself. Estimates are as high as 100 people per year who take their own life in Aokigahara Jukai—that’s almost two people per week!



While it’s easy to assume that some ancient curse or legend is to blame for the high suicide rate, the real reason only dates back to 1960. In that year, Japanese author Seicho Matsumoto wrote a book called Kurioi Jukai (which translates to The Black Sea of Trees). In his novel, two fictional star-crossed lovers who are forbidden to be together in this life head into Aokigahara Jukai to commit suicide so they can be together in eternity. I’m sure that story sounds familiar -- Romeo and Juliet had similar ideas, though they weren’t based in Japan.



This novel made the idea of taking your life in Aokigahara Jukai romantic. And soon real people went there to fulfill the same fate as the fictional characters. Those suicides made the news, others read the book, and the reputation grew. A stain has been left here in those woods. There’s a spirit to the place, and it’s a dark one. And now more people choose to end their life in these woods than any other place on the planet. That energy draws people in, and it’s tangible. And now those woods are both haunted and haunting.



Sometimes we need to face our fears to grow. Sometimes we need to walk through those dark woods and come out the other side better for it. That’s our challenge: not to avoid the forest entirely because of the monsters that may lurk inside. We should acknowledge they’re present, but know we’re equipped to face them should they rear their disfigured heads.



Since I wrote to you last month, I’ve been on the move constantly. I’ve had lectures and events almost every night, and I’m looking forward to the seasonal slow-down that’s coming soon. It’s a time for me to get back to research, and to adventures. But I do want to point out my last scheduled event for 2016: A Creepy Christmas Carol with Jeff Belanger and Dustin Pari – this stage show will take place December 8 at 7:30 PM at the Blackstone River Theatre in Cumberland, Rhode Island. This show will save Christmas… and help you bring back the ghosts and monsters that have always lurked in the shadows of this holiday.



Supernaturally yours,

Jeff Belanger
Mayor of Ghostvillage.com
Twitter: @THEJeffBelanger
Facebook: Jeff Belanger
YouTube: www.youtube.com/legendtripping
Periscope: https://www.periscop...THEJeffBelanger

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#2 loganinkosovo


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Posted 29 November 2016 - 07:51 PM

If there is a Haunted Forest out there it has to be Aokigahara......



Don't watch if you have a week stomach!





The only difference between Socialism and National Socialism is the snappy uniforms. - Logan "Aside from ending Slavery, Fascism and Communist World Domination, War has never solved anything! ""For it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Chuck him out, the brute! But it's "Savior of 'is country" when the guns begin to shoot." - Rudyard Kipling "People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf."---George Orwell "Always Remember-All Lessons in Life are Expensive.....and the last one costs you everything you have." - Logan" Socialism is just Communism without a Dictator....and you can always find a Dictator!" - Logan "An Armed Man is a Citizen. An Unarmed Man is a Subject. Subject to anything anyone wants to do to him." - Logan "Without the Second Amendment there is no First Amendment...or Third or Fourth or Fifth....or 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th, 13th, 14th, 15th, 16th, 17th, 18th, 19th, 20th, 21st, 22nd, 23rd, 24th, 25th, 26th or 27th!" - Logan Peace is not the Absence of War. Peace is the Absence of the Opportunity for War. True Peace comes through Superior Firepower. - Logan Socialism is a University Induced Mental Illness - Logan



#3 Cryscat


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Posted 01 December 2016 - 09:14 PM

Cobb Estate/Haunted Forest

Cobb Estate, also known as, "Haunted Forest," is a 107-acre property located in Altadena, CA that is owned by the U.S. Forest Service. It was once owned by Charles H. Cobb, a wealthy lumber magnate, who bought the Altadena land in 1916.  He built the home as a summer retreat for his family and later it became their permanent residence.

After he died in 1939, he deeded the land to the Scottish Rite Cathedral in Pasadena. It later became a retreat for the Sisters of St. Joseph and then it subsequently was bought by the Marx Brothers in 1956 as an investment property. The once beautiful estate remained vacant and became hot spot for criminal activity. It was demolished in 1959, leaving the ruins that remain to this day.

The Marx Brothers attempted to turn the property into a cemetery but the community blocked this effort and it was later put it up for auction in 1971. Local preservation groups were able to raise the funds necessary to save the land from real estate developers who wanted to build tract housing.

The land was later deeded to the U.S. Forest Service as a free growth Arboretum in 1967 under the condition that structures could never be built on the land.

In order to view the ruins you will need to pass through the old ornamental gates and walk along the long, paved, curving driveway. It will eventually lead you to the ruins of the former home. If you're feeling adventurous you can follow the old concrete road, past the underground reservoir, and it will lead you to a dirt path, down a small creek, to the location of an abandoned gold mine and irrigation tunnels.






Edited by Cryscat, 01 December 2016 - 09:18 PM.

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