Reblog / posted 1 month ago with 4 notes
Why old portraits’ people never smiled?
(Photo: Remains to Be Seen)

Why are people in Nineteenth Century photos usually grimacing? This newlywed couple looks like they’ve just been sentenced to hard labor. American author Mark Twain explains their expression:

A photograph is a most important document, and there is nothing more damning to go down to posterity than a silly, foolish smile caught and fixed forever.

Twain wasn’t alone. He supported a traditional though fading belief that smiling made you look stupid. The Atlantic cites scholar Nicholas Jeeves:

Twain wasn’t the only believer in the idiocy of the style. Look back at painted portraiture — the tradition photography inherited — and you’ll rarely see a grinning subject. This is, in fact, Jeeves’s subject. “By the 17th century in Europe,“ he writes, “it was a well-established fact that the only people who smiled broadly, in life and in art, were the poor, the lewd, the drunk, the innocent, and the entertainment.”

Indeed, not only were smiles of the middling sortthey breached propriety. In 1703, one French writer lamented “people who raise their upper lip so high… that their teeth are almost entirely visible.” Not only was this discourteous, he asked: Why do it at all? After all, “nature gave us lips to conceal them.”

Portraits represented an ideal. It’s easy to mock them — they were the profile pictures of the aristocracy, in a sort of way — but they were crucial, tied to mortality, a method of preserving a person’s visage and affect. Jeeves puts it well: “The ambition [with portraiture] was not to capture a moment, but a moral certainty.” Subjects never looked exactly like their picture, yet their portraits were how they appeared. Portraits had permanenceYou did not want to commit a permanent faux pas

Link -via Glenn Reynolds



Rest in peace

You will be missed.

Awww… What am I gonna do with all those lollipops now…



Rest in peace

You will be missed.

Awww… What am I gonna do with all those lollipops now…

Reblog / posted 2 months ago with 1 note
Ghost story.

You never escape. Not really. It’s always going to be there.

Sometimes hidden away in the back of your mind in the form of a nightmarish memory. Or it sits and stares you in the face, daring you to just try and forget.

Do I consider myself lucky? Maybe. I don’t know anymore. I did at one point I suppose. I encountered something terrible. Inhuman. A real…whatever it was. It tried to hurt me. It hurt my friends, my family…all to get at me.

I don’t want to talk about “it”. Even thinking about it is causing my hands to shake. God, I’m sweating. The scars on my arms are itching at the memories flooding back. But “it” isn’t what I wanted to talk about. More, rather, I want to talk about after.

That creature killed people. And it almost killed me, but I beat it. I stopped it. Sometimes, on the darkest of days, I try to think of myself as a hero. That by stopping it, I saved countless future victims. Or that I avenged my fallen family. But I know it was just self-defense. Nothing more. A man isn’t a hero for shooting a charging bear. He’s just lucky the odds were in favor. I don’t consider myself a hero…or lucky either now.

I hear so many stories of people surviving against odd creatures. Monsters and demons…but they don’t delve into what happens after. Maybe a few lines but never the details.

You don’t hear about the countless sleepless nights staring out your dark window, imagining a beast pressing it’s head up against the window, staring and smiling. You don’t hear how they jump at the slightest creak in the house, wondering if another of its brethren has come to sink those stinking claws into you for revenge. They don’t talk about how their home is gone, lost. Not to those creatures, but to memories. You can wash away the blood from a room but not from your mind. I can still see my little brother’s room. So much…

That’s what happens after. The worst thing about that dark world that lies just out of sight of our own is knowing that it’s there. Knowing that the dark should be feared. That every creak or rustle can have something terrible behind it.

I know and worse, I can see them. Once you’ve been touched, it’s like you’re attuned for them now. You notice the small signs that give them away. I’ve seen a young boy play with a little girl who almost managed to hide the small, bloody hole in the back of her head with her long brown hair.

I’ve seen the jogger running through the park, unaware of how the trees above her rustle along at just the right intervals to constantly remain right above her. She looked just like my friend Connie too.

God, I miss her…

I’ve almost thrown up many times to the news articles outlining mysterious suicides where the victim showed no signs of depression but seem to always occur in the darkest hours of the night.

Sometimes, I wonder if I should get involved. Warn the jogger or the boy of the creatures they’ve attracted. Try to help them escape a fate that no person should be forced through. But, the truth is, I’m terrified.

If I help, I know I’ll attract them back to me. I’ve managed to keep my head down long enough after that creature to avoid any others. However, constantly sitting back and watching them target those poor people has weighed on me.

I…don’t know how much longer I can hold on.

Sometimes, on the blackest nights, when all light seems to be snuffed out, and the creaking grows in my house to where I’m sure they’ve found me, I pull out the small pistol I bought. It gives me comfort. It reminds me that those things are vulnerable at least. Claws, nasty face, or an inhuman body doesn’t make you bulletproof. Now, it’s a different comfort I feel as I place the cold barrel into my mouth. The metallic taste on my tongue and the surprisingly heavy weight in my hands seems to call to me. Offer a way out. It gives me a chance to be free from this dark knowledge.

I could never do it though. It’s not because I have some great deed left to do or even because I really want to live on. It’s because death horrifies me. It chills me to my core. Every time I think about it, my mind turns to them. I get the feeling that’s what they’re waiting for. For death to take me as he has countless others. Then I would join them in their world. Nothing would stand in their way as they claimed me like one tried to do long ago.

I just know, deep down, that the only thing that separates my world from theirs is this fragile, delicate body I live in.

So, there really is no escape. No matter how long you run or hide or forget, you can never escape the inevitable. One day, they’ll have me.

And there’s nothing I can do to stop it.

Someone wants to suck your blood.

Someone wants to suck your blood.

Willard Library

A little gift for our Ladies followers

A little gift for our Ladies followers

Reblog / posted 3 months ago with 1 note
Manresa Castle


651 Cleveland Street
PO Box 564
Port Townsend, Washington  98368

Manresa Castle web site

Manresa Castle is located at 7th and Cleveland, close to the intersection of 7th and Sheridan, where it sits on a bluff overlooking a wonderful view of Puget Sound. From their website: “SR 20 becomes West Sims Way. You stay on Sims Way until you get to Sheridan which is just past the QFC shopping center. Make a left on Sheridan and the Castle is on your right. (Tip: Follow the hospital signs.)”

Manresa Castle on Mapquest

Manresa Castle from the outside sure does resemble a European Castle, complete with towers, turrets, windows, and an aura of respectability of old-world culture. It is an immense building that is three storied, and its functionality is well used. It probably takes a boatload of money to keep this wonderful building up to snuff and heated, so they have done a great job putting Manresa Castle to work. The banquet room (formerly the chapel) is used for weddings and special events, they have their own restaurant, and they host retreats of book clubs, knitting events, and many other types of retreats that bring people into their lovely hotel.

Coming in from the back parking lot, the visitor steps into the large lobby, with the old chapel area, now a reception/event hall, is found on the left down a hall.

The first floor hall has guest rooms and leads to the cafe/restaurant located on the far right. The second floor has more guest rooms, and the third floor, that has a different feeling to it, also has rooms and suites. I got the tingly-dizzy feeling I experience when spirits are around.

Loved the oak paneling and all the nice touches of craftsmanship that are visible. Enjoyed the decor, and loved the fact that they had information sheets about their hotel.

Gutsy, progressive entrepreneur, Charles Eisenbeis, immigrated from Prussia, and settled in Port Townsend, in 1858. He got his future economic success in business rolling, by first opening up a bakery, that provided supplies of bread and crackers to ships and sailors who stopped at Port Townsend to restock their food stuffs for their next voyage. Business was booming, and with his newly acquired wealth, Charles branched out and invested in other economic opportunities, such as real estate, building new structures in Port Townsend, banks, a brick foundry and a variety of stores.

As Charles became a mover and a shaker in Port Townsend, helping to create opportunities to grow and thrive, the people elected Charles Eisenbeis to be Mayor, for three terms.

As his business grew so did his family. Charles married his Elizabeth in the fun town of San Francisco, in 1865. Charles and Elizabeth had four children. They enjoyed their lives together, until Elizabeth died in 1880.

Charles remarried to Kate in 1882, and they also had four children together; creating a huge family of 8 children. Kate did well with this large group of children, probably with the help of a nanny/housekeeper.

In 1892, Charles was having temporary cash-flow problems because of the hotel he had just constructed in anticipation of the Port Townsend railroad that was supposed to come to town. This was a business plan that was used in up and coming towns with great success (Wolf Creek Inn * The Rex).

That plan for a Port Townsend train station was scrapped, and Charles was left with a beautiful hotel but no increased demand for it. Undaunted, Charles went ahead and constructed his dream castle anyway, inspired by the castles in his native Prussia.

A. S. Whiteway was the designer and builder of Eisenbeis Castle; a three story, thirty room, masterpiece, that had walls that were twelve inches thick. Throughout the castle, hand-crafted woodwork and oak paneling was put in place, and three main coal-burning fireplaces kept the rooms toasty warm. Probably more fireplaces were in the castle as well, but many were covered up over the years, and haven’t been found just yet. Eisenbeis Castle’s turrets and towers are very European, giving the structure the aura that Charles was looking for; a pleasant tribute to his home country, Prussia, that he probably missed. The castle not only provided space for his large family, but was the biggest mansion in Port Townsend.

In 1902, Charles Eisenbeis died of Bright’s Disease; another name for chronic kidney disease. Kate remarried in 1905, and moved away, leaving just a caretaker living in Eisenbeis Castle, for 20 years. In 1925, a lawyer from Seattle bought Eisenbeis Castle, and turned it into a vacation spot for nuns who were teaching in Seattle Catholic schools. It perhaps was an idea that was stifled because of cost and location, for this enterprise flopped big time.

In 1927, Eisenbeis Castle was sold to The Society of Jesus, to be a place to educate their last year Jesuit students, studying to be priests. The priests spent their sixteenth and final year of training here studying ascetic theology. Eisenbeis Castle was renamed Manresa Hall, in honor of the birth place in Spain of the founder of their order, Saint Ignatius Loyola.

To make this property suit their needs, the Jesuits made some renovations and some improvements.The Jesuits installed a $3,400 Otis elevator, that is still working today! Needing a large chapel and more sleeping quarters for their students and faculty, the South Wing was built in back of the main building, in 1928, with a finishing touch of a stucco exterior. To give their Manresa Hall a more uniformed look, the original structure was also stuccoed, covering up the bricks.

This Jesuit order successfully ran their college here, until 1968, when they moved to another site in Seattle, because it was too expensive to keep this old building up to snuff. Manresa Hall was successfully sold to entrepreneurs, who started the long restoration and renovation process, while opening a unique hotel, called Manresa Castle. Since 1968, 3 different owners have each done their part to restore and renovate this grand building, much to the appreciation of both their living guests and spirit people in residence.

There are a variety possibilities of whom is haunting Manresa Castle. Not everyone agrees on who these spirits could be.

People who love their dream homes sometimes return in their after-life for a visit or an extended stay.

( Loveland Castle * Pittock Mansion * Adams House * Custer House )

Manresa Castle was the dream mansion/castle of Charles Eisenbeis and his family, a magnificent place that he only lived in for 10 years.(1892-1902)

His second wife, Kate, really enjoyed living their life together at Eisenbeis Castle, and loved to entertain with flair the upper crust of Port Townsend Society.

Besides Charles and Kate, others who lived there may also have chosen to visit or stay.

Children and others who died unexpectedly from an accident or illness, sometimes like to stay at their favorite place in this world, especially if family is still living in the home, or perhaps are spending their afterlife or parts of it there, in spirit form.

( Stranahan House * Gilcrease House * Stone Lion Inn * Moss Mansion )

Lotta Eisenbeis: granddaughter of Charles Eisenbeis.

She died at the age of 13 of a heart infection on March 20th, 1907, in a Seattle hospital. She probably loved her grandparent’s castle. If her grandpa was there in spirit form, she probably wanted to stay with him.

Entity of Father John Alden Murphy; Probably an instructor at the College:

This was researched by Olympic Peninsula Paranormal Society, who found a 1943 newspaper article, that told of his demise from drowning in Puget Sound, though his body was never found. Perhaps his body sunk to the bottom, and was pulled out by the strong currents to the sea. His clothes were neatly folded on the shore, suggesting that he was taking a recreation swim in the water, on September 2nd, 1943, but had some sort of unexpected deadly mishap, perhaps some sort of health issue. Father John Alden Murphy’s death certificate states that his death was assumed to be accidental; There was no suicide note, and perhaps it was part of his daily or weekly routine to swim in Puget Sound.

The following two, well-known and well-reported stories about the English female entity, Kate, and the Jesuit student priest, have been strongly denied by the present management, who claim these stories were made up by a bartender around eight years ago to explain the considerable activity experienced by numerous guests and staff members. I can see this happening, as a means to satisfy all the questions from curious folks.

However, my sources that reported this side of the story, offered by the management, didn’t follow up and ask the name of the bartender, so they could interview this fellow who supposedly made up the ghost stories of woe and tragedy. No hotel wants two suicides attached to their business, or perhaps they wanted to play down the fact that they have some mostly unseen, spirit people guests enjoying their establishment.

Though, the stories are somewhat plausible. There are stories on of women who find themselves pregnant, or just alone, who wind up killing themselves when they feel their beloved has abandoned them, or their beloved is thought to have been killed. Men also have killed themselves over a lost love.

( The 17 Hundred 90 Inn-Anne Powell * Daytona Playhouse * The Pagoda on Five Mile Drive * Southgate House * Hassayampa Inn )

Story Legend 1: As told supposedly by the bartender. A picture of a young woman, thought to be English Kate hung on the wall, as of 2008.

A young English woman, Kate, came and stayed at Manresa Castle, in 1921, to wait for her beloved to return from the sea. Perhaps she was a relative of the caretaker, who stayed at Manresa Castle as the one looking after the place. Disaster struck when her beloved’s ship sunk, and it was feared that all had died aboard. In her great distress, she killed herself by jumping out the window in room 306, not able to cope with life without him. However, it was learned afterward that her beloved had survived and had been picked up by a passing boat.

Story Legend 2: Added twists were revealed/confessed to investigator/author Jeff Dwyer by the female spirit, thought to be English Kate herself. Hopefully, she felt some peace in telling what really happened, if this indeed is true.

Because it was such a long time to wait, she became lonely, and got tired of waiting. Kate went out to have a good time, and inadvertently became pregnant. While Kate was very upset when she heard that her fiancee’s ship had sunk, and mourned for weeks, Kate panicked when she learned that he had actually been saved from the sea by a passing boat; probably at the same time that she realized that she was with child. Too ashamed to face her fiancé, she jumped out of the window, killing herself on the sidewalk in front of the castle.

Shame and guilt suffered because of a big sin, and/or being wrongly accused of something can cause hauntings as well.

( Waverly House * T’Freres House and Garconniere * Tavern At Clinton - Mary * Joshua Ward House )

LEGEND Story: - A wayward Jesuit Priest in Training: Told by the bartender.

This young Jesuit priest in training who may have had emotional issues, broke the rules of behavior by having “unsupervised visits” with a nun residing in town. When called on this after he was caught, he probably experienced some scorn, punishment and derision, and a threat of expulsion, causing him to become distraught and unhinged. They may have accused him of having carnal relations, while he just was talking to her as a friend. Or, perhaps he did fall in love with her, and did “have intimate relations” as he was accused of doing. He is said to have hung himself in the attic, from the rafters that support the turret, right above Room 302.

While there is no record of a Jesuit student hanging himself in the attic, this is an event that if it happened would probably be kept quiet, because this would be a terrible black eye on the Jesuit College, Manresa Hall; that one of their own committed a cardinal sin on their watch in their building. Though his death certificate would’ve been a public document, perhaps they just used his civilian name, instead of his church-given name. Port Townsend officials were very sensitive about suicide and the embarrassment of the people left behind. (Rothschild House)

While there is no record of a Jesuit student hanging himself in the attic, there is a recorded story of another suicide connected to the original Eisenbeis family. People who commit suicide often find that this desperate act doesn’t give them the peace and escape they were expecting. They sometimes try to find the peace they didn’t have while alive in a place they know and love.

( Lemp Mansion * Hemingway House * Luden Bon Air Mansion * Octagon Mansion )

Charles son, Charles, Jr., killed himself in the basement of the Baker building in Port Townsend, on September 29, 1897. Perhaps his business was failing, or some other tragedy he couldn’t face pushed him over the ledge of sanity.

He probably grew up or spent some time in the beloved family castle, and if his father was there, in his after-life, perhaps Charles joined him there, afraid to continue onto the other side because of his actions.

General Activity:

Throughout the castle, the living experience a variety of odd things:

Doors open and close by themselves.

Lights have a mind of their own.

Unexplained puffs of air spurt quickly off the shoulders of people walking down the hallways.

In the Attic:

Guests report hearing footsteps, walking in the space above their guest room, 302.

Sensitives feel an energy presence in the center of the attic.

An EVP of a male voice was caught here, saying “I’M NOT HERE.”

The entire third floor is said to be haunted, active with paranormal activity. It seems to be a favorite area to tease the living for chuckles.

In the Rooms on the Third Floor:

Guests sometimes have their covers pulled off while they sleep.

Room 306:

For a while, a log book was left in the room, for guests to record their experiences. But when future guests read the experiences of others, they asked for a room change, so the log book was removed.

The female Entity of English Kate, or perhaps granddaughter Lotta; as some of the behavior listed below suggests a young girl:

Described as having long, flowing dark hair, and wearing a white gown. Perhaps they share the space on different levels of existence.

Her apparition has been seen standing by the window.

This female entity is curious, and likes to look at the guests’ belongings that are placed in the dresser and on the floor. She moves them a little, not being too careful to leave these items in the same position the owner had put them in, before leaving the room. She is also attracted to shoes.

This female entity also leaves the dresser drawer open.

This female entity likes to sing in the bathroom, in the wee hours of the morning.

This female entity has created good aromas and bad smells in this room, depending how she likes the people staying in her room, and what mood she finds herself feeling.

This female entity has been known to sit on the bed, when guests are in it.

Dining Room:

Entity of Kate Eisenbeis, wife of Charles Eisenbeis, or perhaps one of family’s relatives from Prussia:

A digital photo was taken possibly of her, sitting in the dining room, in a long, Victorian gown, enjoying a memory of a fabulous event.

German Relative or employee: PERHAPS the housekeeper or a nanny/nurse

An EVP of a female entity, speaking in German, assuring that everything would be alright was recorded:

Suggests that there could be a female entity from either the Eisenbeis family or Kate’s family.

It could also be a housekeeper (Brumder Mansion), or a nanny or nurse, hired to help with the children, or the last stages of Charles Eisenbeis’ illness. It would make sense that she would speak German.

In the former Chapel; now a banquet hall for special events:

Perhaps Father Murphy or Charles Eisenbeis isn’t too pleased to see his chapel being used as a dining/event area.

Glasses that have been set up on the tables, have been found to be turned upside down.

Sometimes glasses shatter, even when being held by a living person.

A feeling of being watched closely is sometimes felt by employees.

Sensitives and psychics have felt a strong presence in the old Jesuit Chapel area.

Paranormal Findings:

Many guests and staff members have experienced a variety of paranormal activity, so much so that the known “haunted rooms” had their own ghost journals for people to share their experiences.

In one of my sources, a small group of amature investigators claimed that they had made contact with a male spirit in the attic through a Ouija Board. The responses they got back suggested that this entity did kill himself, because of an inner weakness or evil side. He answered using a Bible verse, suggesting that this could be the student priest, or even Charles, Jr., who may have been well-read, and probably brought up in the Christian religion. Information gotten from Ouija Boards isn’t very scientific, but it is interesting.

AGHOST investigation group had a sensitive who felt a strong presence in the chapel area, and some chanting as well.

She also felt a strong energy in the middle of room 302.

They left a camera running in the attic, and caught an orb flying right at the camera.

Investigator and author Jeff Dyer was treated to the full sports package of paranormal activity when he deliberately provoked the female spirit he called, “Kate,” getting her very angry. He reported all what he experienced in his book, Ghost Hunter’s Guide to Seattle and Puget Sound.

Jeff Dyer also caught on digital film the photo of a stately woman, perhaps Kate Eisenbeis, wearing a formal evening gown, sitting at a table in the dining room. This perhaps was residual energy, or it could be an intelligent spirit of Kate, or one of the other family members.

* The Olympic Peninsula Paranormal Society did their due diligence in their focused, professional investigation, conducted in January of 2010, and they hit pay dirt. “In total, we had 7 DVR cameras running from 5pm until about 6am, total of over 2000 photos and multiple audio recorders running all night long. We had 51 EVP/EAP’s, a couple of personal experiences and some video.”

All their hard work paid off, and they have been successful in capturing hard evidence of entities who are visiting or staying at Manresa Castle. The Olympic Peninsula Paranormal Society has posted on their website their captured EVP’s, that suggest the presence of intelligent entities, as well as some interesting photos and videos.

still haunted?

"A Big Yes Indeed" is in order, though not everyone agrees who exactly is keeping the staff and guests company.

The EVPs caught by Olympic Peninsula Paranormal Society do suggest that the spirits residing here include a woman who can speak German or a foreign language, at least one male of authority; (perhaps the drowned priest, or Charles), a girl named Lotta, a hint at a male that may have killed himself, and a cat!

According to Jeff Dwyer’s book, Ghost Hunter’s Guide to Seattle and Puget Sound, the English female entity, Kate, is also a resident spirit, and she possibly may well be responsible for one of the EVP’s caught by Olympic Peninsula Paranormal Society, though no one knows for sure.